Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

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Alea Iacta Est
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby Alea Iacta Est » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:34 pm

Nice. I'm still not sure I totally understand the point of Winter Term.

bahama
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby bahama » Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:29 pm

Do you guys know any harvard 2Ls or 3ls without a job lined up? Or has the impact been more along the lines of some people not getting the location or prestige level of firm they were hoping for?

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mallard
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby mallard » Sun Dec 27, 2009 6:32 pm

bahama wrote:Do you guys know any harvard 2Ls or 3ls without a job lined up? Or has the impact been more along the lines of some people not getting the location or prestige level of firm they were hoping for?


I do, yeah.

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Alea Iacta Est
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby Alea Iacta Est » Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:38 pm

mallard wrote:
bahama wrote:Do you guys know any harvard 2Ls or 3ls without a job lined up? Or has the impact been more along the lines of some people not getting the location or prestige level of firm they were hoping for?


I do, yeah.


Yeah, same here (I'm a 2L). Seems to be many more 3Ls who got no-offered than 2Ls who struck out. The latter exist but seem pretty rare. The former are more common, especially for certain markets (Cali, TX if you didn't split).

For 2Ls, expectations were probably much lower than people had in previous years if you were sub-median. But it's not like we had a prior experience to compare to, so it's hard to say people felt shortchanged. We never really had the top half = V5, bottom half = V10 mentality that prior years may have had.

Sorry to jump in on your thread, mallard.

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mallard
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby mallard » Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:50 pm

No problem. I don't have any special expertise, I'm just offering my perspective on law school, tinged by finals.

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Na_Swatch
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby Na_Swatch » Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:51 pm

How long is the winter break for Harvard Law School mallard? (And what is this winter term you guys are referring too?) Thank you!

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mallard
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby mallard » Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:57 pm

Na_Swatch wrote:How long is the winter break for Harvard Law School mallard? (And what is this winter term you guys are referring too?) Thank you!


So winter break is basically two weeks. Class starts again in eight days, and it'll be this problem-solving course that was workshopped last year. It's ungraded. Winter term is three weeks; 2Ls/3Ls do fun stuff or take courses, and 1Ls do this problem-solving thing. It's all teamwork and sounds like a good time.

bahama
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby bahama » Mon Dec 28, 2009 4:41 am

Alea Iacta Est wrote:
mallard wrote:I do, yeah.


Yeah, same here (I'm a 2L). Seems to be many more 3Ls who got no-offered than 2Ls who struck out. The latter exist but seem pretty rare. The former are more common, especially for certain markets (Cali, TX if you didn't split).

For 2Ls, expectations were probably much lower than people had in previous years if you were sub-median. But it's not like we had a prior experience to compare to, so it's hard to say people felt shortchanged. We never really had the top half = V5, bottom half = V10 mentality that prior years may have had.

Sorry to jump in on your thread, mallard.

Thanks to both of you for answering. As a follow up, for the 2Ls that stuck out at OCI, was there any discernable trend such as lower grades, poor bidding strategy, weak interviewing skills, etc? Did folks with work exp tend to do better? Is OCS/OPIA doing anything extra to help these folks and the 3Ls that got no-offered? Thanks in advance. Feel free to PM is you prefer.

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Alea Iacta Est
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby Alea Iacta Est » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:31 am

2Ls without jobs are too few and far between to draw any type of discernible trend. But I imagine one thing they all have in common is very poor grades, and possibly also restricting themselves to a tough market (DC, Cali, and to a lesser extent, Chicago). I also get the impression there are a few public-interest types who didn't really have much of an interest in Biglaw -- and accordingly put a halfhearted effort into OCI. Might not really be fair to count that group as not having a job if they were just going thru the motions just for the sake of killing time in August.

I think work experience was a huge plus for anyone w/ 2 or more years of a real job after college. But I wouldn't go as far to say that lack of work experience hurt anyone, they just didn't have the boost that someone with it might get (obviously you could say those lacking WE were hurt compared to those who had it, but you get my point).

Both OPIA and OCS have been extremely responsive with respect to both 3Ls and 2Ls who have borne the brunt of the changes in the legal market. They have been pushing a "Plan B" since summer, and anyone who checked that they didn't have a job on a survey that went out to everyone gets special emails. I seriously doubt that anyone will turn up empty, but there have been some significant adjustments in expectations.

My apologies for the delayed response; please don't hesitate to ask if there's anything more you'd like to know.

ad astra
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby ad astra » Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:39 pm

Hi, newly admitted student here (for class of 2013), thanks a lot for answering these questions for us. I have a couple of questions:

First, can you give us a sense of what types of students at HLS are competitive for feeder clerkships? What about non-feeder appellate clerkships and well-regarded district clerkships (like SDNY)? Is Law Review virtually required for the former, and on that note, how has the law review selection process adapted to the new grading system?


Second, does the age distribution affect the student dynamic in any way? Do those with more work experience tend to get the leadership positions, or is it more or less a non-factor?

Thanks again!

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Alea Iacta Est
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby Alea Iacta Est » Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:05 pm

ad astra wrote:Hi, newly admitted student here (for class of 2013), thanks a lot for answering these questions for us. I have a couple of questions:

First, can you give us a sense of what types of students at HLS are competitive for feeder clerkships? What about non-feeder appellate clerkships and well-regarded district clerkships (like SDNY)? Is Law Review virtually required for the former, and on that note, how has the law review selection process adapted to the new grading system?


Second, does the age distribution affect the student dynamic in any way? Do those with more work experience tend to get the leadership positions, or is it more or less a non-factor?

Thanks again!


I don't want to hijack mallard's thread, but I imagine I might be slightly more plugged into this than he/she is, so I'll answer. That said, I haven't applied for any clerkships (I think you do it at the beginning of 3L year) and I probably won't, so don't take my word as gospel.

To your first question, I think nearly everyone is competitive for almost all clerkships. 2nd, 7th and 9th Circuits and SDNY are probably most competitive, but coming out of HLS you will be at a great advantage right off the bat. You don't need superstar grades or law review for any clerkship, except the Supreme Court. Certain judges may place more emphasis on grades or LR than others, but LR is definitely not virtually required for any clerkship. Regarding both grades and LR, I've heard some judges care greatly, and other judges care not in the slightest. My impression is that the most important thing is actually to get some substantive writing experience, because most judges look for that.

To my knowledge, the selection process for LR has not changed at all due to the new grading system. Two spots per section awarded based on 50% grades 50% competition score, and the rest are the top 20 or so competition scores that did not make it in the 50/50 round. The third and final round is a few AA and "discretionary" spots (the whole thing is blind but you can report race). Despite the new system, there are still grades, and they are still useful for ranking people.

To your second question, I do not think age or work experience affects positions in organizations at all. Someone who previously worked in accounting might be more inclined to volunteer to be the guy who keeps track of the budget, for example, but you certainly won't be disadvantaged in gaining a position in an organization if you don't have work experience. Nor are the "older kids" disproportionately represented in organizational leadership. I don't think this is a competitive thing at all; if you want to get involved, groups will be happy to put you to work no matter your background.

On the social front, I've never noticed age differences affecting the dynamic. People may naturally tend to become closer friends with those closer to their age and who have similar backgrounds, but there is certainly no drastic social division between 21-22 year olds and 24-25 year olds, or anything like that.

Also, congratulations on the admission! HLS is a great place and I hope you will decide to attend. I've had absolutely no regrets and would make the same decision again in a second.

emptybee
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby emptybee » Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:22 am

Thanks all for taking the time to answer questions, it's a huge help! Could you could discuss the internal reputations/perceptions of the different journals?

Thanks!

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bgc
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby bgc » Thu Dec 31, 2009 6:58 am

Mallard,

Thanks for putting so much time into this thread. Every school is a bubble, so it's interesting and useful to see what others are experiencing. I'm especially looking forward to reading the Kennedy article. Much that I've encountered in law school and that it seems he addresses in his article makes perfect sense in retrospect but surprised me nonetheless.

One thing I would recommend is that you reconsider your understanding the identity of law school as a trade school. It is a trade school, of course, but I think that's one of its chief strengths. I was in a trade school as an undergrad (music performance) and loved the connection. It gave tremendous freedom to theory, which need not fear the complete loss of relevance no matter how fanciful it seems in the moment, and it gave great depth to practice, which almost effortlessly absorbs the lessons of theory, enriching its performance while avoiding the tortured introspection of the academy.

The close connection between legal practice and legal theory has, I hope, the same possibility. This might prove untrue. Law school surely has some and might have all of the problems you describe. But I wouldn't assume its professional nature is at fault. A purposeful education can be the most abstract.

I've observed a problem people having is wanting to learn the wrong trade. Many come to law school to become better advocates for a particular cause. This is a reasonable and valuable goal. It doesn't make for a smooth transition, however, because the lessons of law school, especially at the beginning, are not designed to allow one to more effectively promote human rights. I'm fortunate in that the trade we're learning is one I seem to enjoy. For those who are more conflicted about the trade itself, I can understand the ambivalence you seem to feel.

I haven't read this article in a while, but it deals with the strength that comes from law's professional nature and how it allows the legal academy to import methods from other disciplines without being colonized.

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/jbalkin/articles/inter01.htm


Enjoy the next semester.

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IHaveDietMoxie
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby IHaveDietMoxie » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:56 am

bgc wrote:

Nice to see another musician on these boards.
That was a great description of the satisfaction of going to a conservatory. I had never really articulated what seemed so inviting and familiar about law until you put it that way. Enjoyed the article as well.

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rolark
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby rolark » Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:16 am

I see this thread has slowed down a bit in the past few days, but I'll send my question along anyway.

Mallard, you've made a reference to Harvard's public interest culture and support several times. Would you be willing to go into more detail? What advice would you give to 0Ls interested in public interest as they are looking into/deciding upon schools in this top category?

As I think may be more common among prospective students interested in public interest, I think I'd be more comfortable with a more "artsy" or humanistic approach. Also, institutional financial support and the school environment are big factors. Do you still Harvard still holds its own in this area despite the economy, etc.?

sam.emton
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby sam.emton » Sun Jan 03, 2010 12:06 pm

mallard wrote:
ylc wrote:Do the dorms attract mostly people right out of college? I like the convenience, but haven't decided whether it's worth it to live in one of those cells :).


The dorms are not well-managed. However, the camaraderie is excellent. I'm pretty sure the dorm population is significantly younger on average than the school population.


What are the dorms like? Where do people who live there socialize?
Last edited by sam.emton on Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mallard
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby mallard » Wed Jan 06, 2010 5:29 pm

emptybee: JOLT is very in-demand among 1Ls, but I can't tell you much more than that. I get the sense that JOL has thoughtful people and CRCL is an important journal. Don't really know much else.

bgc: Thanks for that. Not sure I agree (as a fellow musician), but it's something to think about.

rolark: I think Harvard is a great place to go if you want to do public interest, but as somebody who is considering that route, I've been just slightly disappointed by resource allocation at some points (e.g. the aforementioned reduction of public interest funds as the endowment shrank) and surprised by the maintenance of the assumption that HLS students will go into private practice in various Harvard environs.

sam.emton: Some common rooms are actually good for this stuff, and not all of the rooms are that small. That said, real social events are of course almost always at friends' apartments or at bars.

We've all started the problem-solving workshop, which is sometimes fun, sometimes pointless; I'll be happy to answer questions about it but want to reserve judgment about it till it's complete. That'll also be around when I get my grades, so I'll be able to speak on study techniques with more authority (or I guess with more regret) at that point.

ad astra
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby ad astra » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:32 pm

Hey Mallard - how did grades turn out for you? Would you revise / underscore any of your past suggestions based on how well you did?

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mallard
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby mallard » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:38 pm

No grades yet. I'll bump when I get them on the 24th or 25th.

fingerscrossed88
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby fingerscrossed88 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:13 am

Hey mallard, not sure if you're still taking questions but if you are - I was wondering if you knew anything about art law classes at Harvard, what Harvard's course offerings are in that area and how strong the department is. I found this: http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/mart ... ourses.htm but it says these are the course offerings from 2006. Just curious to see if you know anyone specializing in art law, etc. I know you're a 1L so yall are all taking the same classes right now, but just thought I'd ask.

Thanks so much!

Edit: Sorry, I did a bit more research and I can see that there are a lot of courses in the 09-10 catalog that match that site's lists, though not the Art Law Seminar that is listed first. Nonetheless, if you have spoken to anyone or heard of anyone interested in this area of the law, that'd be great to know. Thanks!

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mallard
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby mallard » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:40 am

fingerscrossed88 wrote:Hey mallard, not sure if you're still taking questions but if you are - I was wondering if you knew anything about art law classes at Harvard, what Harvard's course offerings are in that area and how strong the department is. I found this: http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/mart ... ourses.htm but it says these are the course offerings from 2006. Just curious to see if you know anyone specializing in art law, etc. I know you're a 1L so yall are all taking the same classes right now, but just thought I'd ask.

Thanks so much!

Edit: Sorry, I did a bit more research and I can see that there are a lot of courses in the 09-10 catalog that match that site's lists, though not the Art Law Seminar that is listed first. Nonetheless, if you have spoken to anyone or heard of anyone interested in this area of the law, that'd be great to know. Thanks!


Hiya! The courses listed there are actually really, really general. That said, I think art law will probably involve the sorts of issues mentioned therein. Sorry I can't be of more help.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:43 am

Since your username indicates you may have some expertise on this:

1) Does Harvard offer a course in bird law?

2) Is it governed by reason?

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excelsiorcaelo
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby excelsiorcaelo » Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:35 pm

2) Is it governed by reason?

Not in this country. See if there's a course in international bird law.

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Nom Sawyer
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby Nom Sawyer » Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:58 pm

excelsiorcaelo wrote:
2) Is it governed by reason?

Not in this country. See if there's a course in international bird law.


Obviously Bird Law is governed by reason. If not then why do it's practitioners get this awesome uniform?

--ImageRemoved--

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IHaveDietMoxie
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Re: Harvard 1L will take some questions about Harvard.

Postby IHaveDietMoxie » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:52 pm

You all clearly need to read Birdlaw Without Borders, Migration In The Age of the Internet and How to Stop It




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