Harvard Class of 2017

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2017)

State your section!

Section 1
6
8%
Section 2
12
16%
Section 3
8
11%
Section 4
7
10%
Section 5
19
26%
Section 6
8
11%
Section 7
13
18%
 
Total votes: 73

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The-Specs
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby The-Specs » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:40 pm

scoopDeeDoo wrote:Since we're on the subject, why does everyone hate on New Haven? Not challenging, just have no idea about the area.


I certainly don't hate New Haven but to me it is simply less family friendly than Cambridge and does not have the proximty to a major city like Boston (though New York is pretty close).

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Sourrudedude
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby Sourrudedude » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:58 pm

scoopDeeDoo wrote:
The-Specs wrote:
CyanIdes Of March wrote:World's biggest first world problem? Lol.

To add on to that, I'm really struggling with whether or not I should apply to Yale. Spivey seems to think 173's have a better shot now than any other year but I'm not really sure if I'd prefer Yale over Harvard. I know I'm suppose to, but 3 years in Cambridge seems more interesting than New Haven to me. Plus, I'd have to try to solicit a fee waiver or swallow the entire $85, which, for a school I'm not %100 percent I'd attend, is a lot relative to my total net worth. Anyone want to tell me I'm crazy for not being sure I'd pick Yale over Harvard?


I don't think you are crazy at all. I think Yale is a better fit for my goals and even I am not sure that I would pick Y over H anymore. I agree, cambridge seems like a much better city to spend 3 years in (especially with a family) than is New Haven. I applied becuase I can't afford to have the "what if" looming but now I am not sure what I would do if they accepted me.


Since we're on the subject, why does everyone hate on New Haven? Not challenging, just have no idea about the area.

I don't know that there's necessarily anything wrong with New Haven, it's just that we're always comparing it to Palo Alto and Cambridge which are great places.

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HarvardHopeful
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby HarvardHopeful » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:28 pm

***
Last edited by HarvardHopeful on Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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HarvardHopeful
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby HarvardHopeful » Wed Dec 04, 2013 8:47 pm

I've got a soft spot for good commencement speeches. Its worth the watch!

Student Speaker at the 2013 Harvard J.D. Commencement
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8vVXV7zThE

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Sourrudedude
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby Sourrudedude » Wed Dec 04, 2013 9:21 pm

Just took the housing quiz. I know this is something that has been covered in the ask a Harvard student thread, but is there any consensus advice on best places to live? My problem is that I want a real apartment but I don't want to be isolated from other law students.

sasquatchsam
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby sasquatchsam » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:50 am

Sourrudedude wrote:Just took the housing quiz. I know this is something that has been covered in the ask a Harvard student thread, but is there any consensus advice on best places to live? My problem is that I want a real apartment but I don't want to be isolated from other law students.


I have a wife so same question here.

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codyoneill
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby codyoneill » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:31 am

I've been doing a lot of research w/r/t housing the last few days.

Cambridge is expensive!

My big anxiety (and I'm sure this is shared) is debt. Every dollar spent on housing at HLS is two dollars I'll be paying back after school (fuzzy math, but a close enough approximation to easily keep in mind at all times).

Sorry I can't provide the link, but somewhere on the Harvard housing website they list the percentage of HLS students in each (general) neighborhood of the city.

A few important things about Boston:

1) It is much smaller than you likely expect. It is more or less 1/10 the size of New York City and (I think) 1/3 the size of Philadelphia.
2) Depending on where you're coming from, public transit is less robust than you might expect. Some apartments are a 7 minute drive or 20 minute bike ride from HLS, but (because the T only extends in so many directions and bus routes are madness) it could be 45 minutes to an hour on public transit.
3) Because of 1) and 2), there are often parts of the city that seem more remote but are actually more accessible to HLS (and vice versa). For example, a trip from Brighton to HLS seems farther than a trip from adjacent Somerville to HLS, but (thanks to the 86 bus) a public transit trip from parts of Brighton to HLS might be half the length of a public transit trip from parts of Somerville.

So if you're looking for (cheaper) apartments outside of Cambridge, pay close attention to the red line T and also be sure to check googlemap directions for walking/biking/public transit. Buses in Boston also have bike racks on the front so you can make combo bike ride / bus trips.

I've been exploring the listings on craigslist, and I've not been too happy/impressed. I will be moving to Boston with my wife, so we're looking to get a dog friendly one bedroom, ideally in the ballpark of $1500 a month, within reasonable walking distance (1/2 hour) to HLS. Seems impossible, but I imagine the December/January housing listings are neither the most robust nor the most accurate.

One thing to note for those with significant others: a car might be necessary. My wife and I lived in Boston briefly and we both needed a car at times for different jobs. There are a lot of job listings in Waltham or other places just outside the city that aren't accessible via public transit. It's generally expected that working professionals in the city have a car. I have a number of friends who live in Boston and, aside from students, they all have cars. Public transit is nice perk for Boston, but it seems to be sufficient only if you're within a university bubble.

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t-14orbust
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby t-14orbust » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:11 pm

HarvardHopeful wrote:I've got a soft spot for good commencement speeches. Its worth the watch!

Student Speaker at the 2013 Harvard J.D. Commencement
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8vVXV7zThE


At first I liked the content but not the delivery, but when she quoted Young Jeezy, I fell in love.

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Sourrudedude
Posts: 415
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:34 pm

Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby Sourrudedude » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:24 pm

codyoneill wrote:I've been doing a lot of research w/r/t housing the last few days.

Cambridge is expensive!

My big anxiety (and I'm sure this is shared) is debt. Every dollar spent on housing at HLS is two dollars I'll be paying back after school (fuzzy math, but a close enough approximation to easily keep in mind at all times).

Sorry I can't provide the link, but somewhere on the Harvard housing website they list the percentage of HLS students in each (general) neighborhood of the city.

A few important things about Boston:
...

Thanks for doing some legwork on this.

jimbeam21
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:46 pm

Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby jimbeam21 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:33 pm

codyoneill wrote:I've been doing a lot of research w/r/t housing the last few days.

Cambridge is expensive!

My big anxiety (and I'm sure this is shared) is debt. Every dollar spent on housing at HLS is two dollars I'll be paying back after school (fuzzy math, but a close enough approximation to easily keep in mind at all times).

Sorry I can't provide the link, but somewhere on the Harvard housing website they list the percentage of HLS students in each (general) neighborhood of the city.

A few important things about Boston:

1) It is much smaller than you likely expect. It is more or less 1/10 the size of New York City and (I think) 1/3 the size of Philadelphia.
2) Depending on where you're coming from, public transit is less robust than you might expect. Some apartments are a 7 minute drive or 20 minute bike ride from HLS, but (because the T only extends in so many directions and bus routes are madness) it could be 45 minutes to an hour on public transit.
3) Because of 1) and 2), there are often parts of the city that seem more remote but are actually more accessible to HLS (and vice versa). For example, a trip from Brighton to HLS seems farther than a trip from adjacent Somerville to HLS, but (thanks to the 86 bus) a public transit trip from parts of Brighton to HLS might be half the length of a public transit trip from parts of Somerville.

So if you're looking for (cheaper) apartments outside of Cambridge, pay close attention to the red line T and also be sure to check googlemap directions for walking/biking/public transit. Buses in Boston also have bike racks on the front so you can make combo bike ride / bus trips.

I've been exploring the listings on craigslist, and I've not been too happy/impressed. I will be moving to Boston with my wife, so we're looking to get a dog friendly one bedroom, ideally in the ballpark of $1500 a month, within reasonable walking distance (1/2 hour) to HLS. Seems impossible, but I imagine the December/January housing listings are neither the most robust nor the most accurate.

One thing to note for those with significant others: a car might be necessary. My wife and I lived in Boston briefly and we both needed a car at times for different jobs. There are a lot of job listings in Waltham or other places just outside the city that aren't accessible via public transit. It's generally expected that working professionals in the city have a car. I have a number of friends who live in Boston and, aside from students, they all have cars. Public transit is nice perk for Boston, but it seems to be sufficient only if you're within a university bubble.



Hey guys,

I currently live in Boston so I can give a bit of insight.

First, Boston/Cambridge leases almost always run from Sept-Sept or June-June b/c there are so many students. If you're looking at a Sept-Sept lease, I wouldn't bother looking on craigslist/padmapper until June/July as there will be nothing available. However, when they do become available, the best apartments go extremely fast.

If you don't live in Boston, I suggest working with a broker. Almost all apartments will require a 1 month rent broker's fee, but without living in Boston, it will be very difficult to find a no-fee apartment. Plus, having a broker do the searching for you will remove a bit of the stress.

Apartments around Harvard Square will be VERY expensive- $1600+ for a 1BR, $2400+ for a 2BR.

The Red Line is actually extremely reliable, thus a lot of Harvard students actually live in Porter Square or Davis Square (near Tufts), where apartments are much much cheaper. You can probably find a 1BR in Davis 5-10 min from the train around $1100; 2BR are even cheaper per room. Both areas are very student-dense, but very young-professional friendly.

I'd avoid Brighton- while its cheap, you'll be stuck on the B train of the Green line- which is a nightmare. That area is also very student-dense, but in a trashy kind of way. The housing options are very run-down and it will be constantly loud.

Finally, if you don't have a significant other working outside the city, I highly recommend NOT getting a car. Parking is a pain. Renting a spot will likely cost you $500-$700 a month. If you plan on parking in the street, you'll have to move your car regularly to avoid being towed for street cleanings.

Hope this helps.

delilah88
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Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:55 pm

Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby delilah88 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:44 pm

I've lived in the Boston area for over three years, so I can speak to the rental process. You're not going to find apartment listings now for September 1 (or even June 1). My last two apartments had September 1 leases and I signed both leases in July. There just isn't a lot of stuff on the market now, so the prices/places you're finding may not be a good sample. Not to say that Cambridge isn't extraordinarily expensive, but there will just be more options in the early summer. Also, prepare for hefty broker fees or some serious Craigslist digging.

Either way, if you really want to save money, it's going to be tough to find a place that is in walking distance of HLS. Outside of Cambridge, Brighton and Somerville (not including East Somerville) are probably the most family friendly options and easy to get to Harvard by bus or T. I've lived in Brighton Center and there are fewer undergraduates than most people expect from the areas adjacent to the nearby colleges (BU/BC). Most of my neighbors were young professionals or families. You can take a bus to Harvard - I agree with jimbeam, avoid the Green Line at all costs.

Allston is a cheaper option that is bus-accessible to Harvard, but prepare to be surrounded by undergrads and bars. If you're not bus-adverse and you have a family or a spouse that commutes outside the city, you might consider some parts of Arlington. It's a suburb just north of Somerville/North Cambridge but has a few major bus lines.

It's all in the planning. Like codyoneil said, you could be a 10 minute drive from somewhere, and the T could turn that into a 45 minute subway ride. Or you could be the same distance, and have a 15 minute bus ride.

You can PM me with questions if you want.

Hope to see you all in Cambridge next year!

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codyoneill
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby codyoneill » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:51 pm

I second the Davis Square / Porter Square suggestion. I have friends who live in that area and it is really nice: a lot of interesting restaurants, walking trails, and small shops. For anyone familiar with New York, I find it to be somewhat similar in vibe to Park Slope, Brooklyn. With any luck that's where I'll end up. If you do visit that area, I highly recommend going to Sacco's Bowl Haven for some craft brews and a New England classic: candlepin bowling.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/saccos-bowl-haven-somerville

I hate broker's fees, but they might be a necessary evil.

delilah88
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby delilah88 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:53 pm

codyoneill wrote:I second the Davis Square / Porter Square suggestion. I have friends who live in that area and it is really nice: a lot of interesting restaurants, walking trails, and small shops. For anyone familiar with New York, I find it to be somewhat similar in vibe to Park Slope, Brooklyn. With any luck that's where I'll end up. If you do visit that area, I highly recommend going to Sacco's Bowl Haven for some craft brews and a New England classic: candlepin bowling.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/saccos-bowl-haven-somerville

I hate broker's fees, but they might be a necessary evil.


I love Sacco's!

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HorseThief
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby HorseThief » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:55 pm

Hooray for helpful locals! Speaking of which, what's up with the Green line?

delilah88
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby delilah88 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 12:57 pm

HorseThief wrote:Hooray for helpful locals! Speaking of which, what's up with the Green line?


The MBTA decided that the BU campus needed approx. 20 stops (an exaggeration, but still terrible). Plus it's above ground so it is affected by traffic. Essentially it takes like an hour to get from the beginning into downtown. It's just the "B" line. The others aren't as bad.

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HorseThief
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby HorseThief » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:01 pm

Cool, thanks.

FYI for peeps unfamiliar with Cambridge like myself, Porter Sq and Davis Sq are just north of campus. According to google, Porter is a 13min walk or 8min train ride and Davis is a 24min walk or 16min train.

https://maps.google.co.in/maps?q=davis+square,+boston&ie=UTF-8&ei=76-gUr2lO4vPrQfFu4HgDg&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAg

sasquatchsam
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby sasquatchsam » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:23 pm

Does anyone know if HLS offers some kind of a travel stipend for students visiting from far off lands (west coaster)?

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Sourrudedude
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby Sourrudedude » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:39 pm

sasquatchsam wrote:Does anyone know if HLS offers some kind of a travel stipend for students visiting from far off lands (west coaster)?

Last year was 50-200 dollars depending on distance. Definitely only a supplement for west coasters.

sasquatchsam
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby sasquatchsam » Thu Dec 05, 2013 6:45 pm

Hey, I'll take it if they offer it again this year :) My wife and I are both planning on visiting so it is going to be pricey but I am not going to complain too much.

NapoleonXV
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby NapoleonXV » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:05 pm

Really want to visit from across the pond, but it is going to be very pricey. Does anyone know if I can get subsidies from multiple schools? :D

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Sourrudedude
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby Sourrudedude » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:34 pm

NapoleonXV wrote:Really want to visit from across the pond, but it is going to be very pricey. Does anyone know if I can get subsidies from multiple schools? :D

I know that that's fairly standard for firm interviews, so I could see it happening.

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The-Specs
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby The-Specs » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:46 pm

Sourrudedude wrote:
NapoleonXV wrote:Really want to visit from across the pond, but it is going to be very pricey. Does anyone know if I can get subsidies from multiple schools? :D

I know that that's fairly standard for firm interviews, so I could see it happening.


The only reason I can't see this happening is that usually schools only subsidize your travel if you are coming for ASW but you can two ASW in one weekend as they both take the weekend. The possible solution is to stay over two weeks if you can get two ASW's lined up in consecutive weeks but even that would probably cost you a bundle because of room and board costs.

That being said, where there's a will there's a way. Good luck! :)

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cotiger
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby cotiger » Thu Dec 05, 2013 11:50 pm

The-Specs wrote:
Sourrudedude wrote:
NapoleonXV wrote:Really want to visit from across the pond, but it is going to be very pricey. Does anyone know if I can get subsidies from multiple schools? :D

I know that that's fairly standard for firm interviews, so I could see it happening.


The only reason I can't see this happening is that usually schools only subsidize your travel if you are coming for ASW but you can two ASW in one weekend as they both take the weekend. The possible solution is to stay over two weeks if you can get two ASW's lined up in consecutive weeks but even that would probably cost you a bundle because of room and board costs.

That being said, where there's a will there's a way. Good luck! :)


Airbnb / Couchsurfing

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The-Specs
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby The-Specs » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:16 pm

Well my admission packet finally arrived. Totally worth the wait. I got a little giddy opening it and was touched by the very nice personal note from Dean Soban. This is going to be a great day. :)

Stinson
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Re: Harvard Class of 2017

Postby Stinson » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:54 pm

HorseThief wrote:Hooray for helpful locals! Speaking of which, what's up with the Green line?


All you need to know is that you want nothing to do with it.




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