Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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GeePee
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby GeePee » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:23 pm

AllTheLawz wrote:
GeePee wrote:
JDflowergirl wrote:Regarding LRW, does this class really screw people over? TLS makes it seem like its one of the hardest things in Law School. Since its graded at Harvard (curses!!!), how do employers use this in making their their decisions? Also any tips on how to do well?

Put the time in and get an H in LRW. Really. If you try hard enough, you will get an H. Try to see if you can schedule a check in appointment or two with your Climenko and make sure you're giving them what they want.

There are few classes where putting additional time in is nearly guaranteed to pay dividends in your grade. In fact, I would argue that spending too much time getting bogged down in the details is objectively bad for some classes and some professors. I'd say 98% of the people at Harvard are good enough writers to get an H in LRW, yet only 35% do. If you really spend time refining your prose, you're probably going to get an H -- it's just kind of the reality of the situation.


Out of curiosity.. does anyone know definitively whether there is a special curve for LRW?? Ive heard conflicting things.. some people swear that the percentage of people who get an H in LRW is far less than doctrinal classes.

I'm not sure why that would be, but I can't say for sure how many people get H's in LRW. I can't imagine the school would put the stamp on a curve that gave significantly fewer than 35% H's, especially considering that notions of median/rough percentiles are becoming better defined over time. I know a few BSA's that might have some perspective on this, but I can't guarantee that even they know.

On the philosophy of LRW, I think that the time and seeking additional feedback are both probably necessary to do well first semester. My understanding is that there are fewer than 35% H's given out on the first memo, because everyone screws it up and it's supposed to be a motivating learning experience. However, I still think the curve sorts itself out by the end, and it becomes easier to "do it right" on the open memo. Learning how to craft concise legal prose (and learning things like when it's appropriate to speak from the point of view of the court's reasoning versus stating the rule or proposition directly) takes time, and you should try to understand your Climenko's philosophy. I maintain that it is learnable, however, and it can pay significant dividends.

Now
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Now » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:41 pm

How does having a "low pass", or multiple low passes, affect employability? Assuming a student isn't interested in clerkships/the most elite firms, will the Harvard brand outweigh the damage caused by a few lower grades?

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:48 pm

Now wrote:How does having a "low pass", or multiple low passes, affect employability? Assuming a student isn't interested in clerkships/the most elite firms, will the Harvard brand outweigh the damage caused by a few lower grades?
The real answer to this question is probably only available from 3Ls who have gone through OCI and aren't as uptight about sharing grades.

But from the perspective of someone who hasn't done it yet and doesn't know anyone with a confirmed LP, I warn you that there are two totally different attitudes that you will get from OCS on this. Until actual OCI, they're all sunshine and rainbows. "Straight Ps, a couple Hs and an LP, no problem, this is Harvard!" When you're putting together a bidlist, they get super conservative - "you're in good shape, but don't bid on Drinker Biddle - they're very selective."

Now
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Now » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:07 pm

delusional wrote:
Now wrote:How does having a "low pass", or multiple low passes, affect employability? Assuming a student isn't interested in clerkships/the most elite firms, will the Harvard brand outweigh the damage caused by a few lower grades?
The real answer to this question is probably only available from 3Ls who have gone through OCI and aren't as uptight about sharing grades.

But from the perspective of someone who hasn't done it yet and doesn't know anyone with a confirmed LP, I warn you that there are two totally different attitudes that you will get from OCS on this. Until actual OCI, they're all sunshine and rainbows. "Straight Ps, a couple Hs and an LP, no problem, this is Harvard!" When you're putting together a bidlist, they get super conservative - "you're in good shape, but don't bid on Drinker Biddle - they're very selective."


Thank you! Does Harvard do a lottery system for interviews/can mediocre grades keep you from getting an interview?
What percentage of 1Ls get SA positions their first summer? Is it true that what you do 1L summer doesn't matter, as long as you are working/volunteering/doing something?
~0L lacking real world work experience

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:33 pm

Now wrote:
delusional wrote:
Now wrote:How does having a "low pass", or multiple low passes, affect employability? Assuming a student isn't interested in clerkships/the most elite firms, will the Harvard brand outweigh the damage caused by a few lower grades?
The real answer to this question is probably only available from 3Ls who have gone through OCI and aren't as uptight about sharing grades.

But from the perspective of someone who hasn't done it yet and doesn't know anyone with a confirmed LP, I warn you that there are two totally different attitudes that you will get from OCS on this. Until actual OCI, they're all sunshine and rainbows. "Straight Ps, a couple Hs and an LP, no problem, this is Harvard!" When you're putting together a bidlist, they get super conservative - "you're in good shape, but don't bid on Drinker Biddle - they're very selective."


Thank you! Does Harvard do a lottery system for interviews/can mediocre grades keep you from getting an interview?
What percentage of 1Ls get SA positions their first summer? Is it true that what you do 1L summer doesn't matter, as long as you are working/volunteering/doing something?
~0L lacking real world work experience
No, there's no way for employers to avoid interviewing people with bad grades, although people know where they have a chance to get hired and they bid accordingly.
I don't know the exact percentage of people who have 1L SAs, and my opinion on it differs from what I've heard. Minority students at Harvard seem to have it if they want it. Others seem to have a 50/50 chance if their grades from fall semester were good to very good. The exact odds are difficult to tell, because many people don't bother trying, since they're told that it's unlikely.

People say that what you do 1L doesn't matter, and I can't do more than echo it. I will say that I had one friend in a non-HYS T14 that did poorly at OCI because he RA'd over the summer. But in his particular case, I felt that it was exacerbated by the fact that he didn't have real WE and he didn't have good grades. If he had either of those, I get the sense he would have been fine. I also have a few friends who are going totally non-law over 1L summer. I would not advise this, except that in this case, some have absolutely insane WE and they'll have jobs as long as they have a pulse, and some don't want to work in law when they graduate. (It is a good reminder that TLS is not the only approach that one can take to law school.)

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Jul 20, 2012 2:58 pm

Now wrote:
delusional wrote:
Now wrote:How does having a "low pass", or multiple low passes, affect employability? Assuming a student isn't interested in clerkships/the most elite firms, will the Harvard brand outweigh the damage caused by a few lower grades?
The real answer to this question is probably only available from 3Ls who have gone through OCI and aren't as uptight about sharing grades.

But from the perspective of someone who hasn't done it yet and doesn't know anyone with a confirmed LP, I warn you that there are two totally different attitudes that you will get from OCS on this. Until actual OCI, they're all sunshine and rainbows. "Straight Ps, a couple Hs and an LP, no problem, this is Harvard!" When you're putting together a bidlist, they get super conservative - "you're in good shape, but don't bid on Drinker Biddle - they're very selective."


Thank you! Does Harvard do a lottery system for interviews/can mediocre grades keep you from getting an interview?
What percentage of 1Ls get SA positions their first summer? Is it true that what you do 1L summer doesn't matter, as long as you are working/volunteering/doing something?
~0L lacking real world work experience


A few of us went over your 1L eomployment question in a LOT of detail a few pages back.


I know someone who did well with ONE LP--"what happened?" "no idea", but that person had mostly Hs otherwise. Multiple LPs can be pretty damning, since LPs are discretionary to begin with. Some firms care a lot about grades, but a lot of others figure that you're bright because you go to Harvard--unless they see multiple LPs, in which case they don't. I honestly wouldn't worry about it yet. People get LPs here and there as flukes (messed up word counts, didn't follow directions, just didn't get it) and I know someone else who got a DS and an LP in the same semester, but only a very small handful actually get multiple. Some profs give out the max, but a lot only give it to exams that they believe to be godawful. Right now, there's no reason to believe you'll do horribly. Most people who think they did horribly just get Ps instead. Hell, for one exam I was sure I had failed because I didn't notice a question covering 25% of the grade until the last 10 minutes before submission, and I got an H on that one. Don't sweat it yet.

Now
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Now » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:12 pm

Thanks!

After talking to the career center at Harvard Law, I got the impression that many students attend HLS with no intention to be lawyers and there is a lot of institutional support for non-traditional careers. I also got the impression that HLS has programs that are only peripherally related to law at best. Do you feel that HLS will make it easier for me to enter fields outside of law, as compared to Stanford/Yale?

AllTheLawz
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby AllTheLawz » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:18 pm

Now wrote:Thanks!

After talking to the career center at Harvard Law, I got the impression that many students attend HLS with no intention to be lawyers and there is a lot of institutional support for non-traditional careers. I also got the impression that HLS has programs that are only peripherally related to law at best. Do you feel that HLS will make it easier for me to enter fields outside of law, as compared to Stanford/Yale?


Lol.. dont fall for that trick.. by many, they mean a few handfuls. Even a large percentage of the JD/MBAs end up working as lawyers. Unless you are in a dual-degree program you will be taking a lot of law classes. At any of HYS you CAN enter fields outside of law but most people who do it have a PhD, connections/killer work experience, an engineering degree, or want to be something like a community advocate or a teacher.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:46 pm

AllTheLawz wrote:
Now wrote:Thanks!

After talking to the career center at Harvard Law, I got the impression that many students attend HLS with no intention to be lawyers and there is a lot of institutional support for non-traditional careers. I also got the impression that HLS has programs that are only peripherally related to law at best. Do you feel that HLS will make it easier for me to enter fields outside of law, as compared to Stanford/Yale?


Lol.. dont fall for that trick.. by many, they mean a few handfuls. Even a large percentage of the JD/MBAs end up working as lawyers. Unless you are in a dual-degree program you will be taking a lot of law classes. At any of HYS you CAN enter fields outside of law but most people who do it have a PhD, connections/killer work experience, an engineering degree, or want to be something like a community advocate or a teacher.


Yeah I'd say 100% of people I've met so far at HLS entered with intentions to be lawyers and currently still intend to (though I obv. don't know everybody, not even close). I don't know who these mythical people planning to do something else are.

Now
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Now » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:33 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
AllTheLawz wrote:
Now wrote:Thanks!

After talking to the career center at Harvard Law, I got the impression that many students attend HLS with no intention to be lawyers and there is a lot of institutional support for non-traditional careers. I also got the impression that HLS has programs that are only peripherally related to law at best. Do you feel that HLS will make it easier for me to enter fields outside of law, as compared to Stanford/Yale?


Lol.. dont fall for that trick.. by many, they mean a few handfuls. Even a large percentage of the JD/MBAs end up working as lawyers. Unless you are in a dual-degree program you will be taking a lot of law classes. At any of HYS you CAN enter fields outside of law but most people who do it have a PhD, connections/killer work experience, an engineering degree, or want to be something like a community advocate or a teacher.


Yeah I'd say 100% of people I've met so far at HLS entered with intentions to be lawyers and currently still intend to (though I obv. don't know everybody, not even close). I don't know who these mythical people planning to do something else are.


haha fair enough. i also imagine there might be social pressure to not share non-law ambitions with classmates?

looking at course offerings/materials online, i was amazed at the amount of classes that were focused on business (using cases from HBS, GSB, etc. as primary course materials) as well as other non-law subjects (e.g. "the good life", which i believe included lots of philosophy reading and zero cases). obviously the majority of classes were law-focused, but it was reassuring to see what a variety of classes are available. do you guys know if it is tough to get the into classes that are more oriented to business/business law? i imagine there is a high demand for them.

thanks again.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby thederangedwang » Sat Jul 21, 2012 7:57 pm

for the Harvard 2012 OCI thread, I keep seeing people with 9H 1P or 5H 5P...which adds up to 10 classes.

Question, if OCI is in second semester of 2L year, and assuming you take 5 courses a semester, shouldnt you guys have 15 grades/classes total (assuming second semester 2L grades arent out yet?

Also what is considered median?

jurisx
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jurisx » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:26 pm

I have a question, Why didn't you go to Cooley?

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby thederangedwang » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:28 pm

jurisx wrote:I have a question, Why didn't you go to Cooley?

just answer the fucking question

jurisx
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jurisx » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:33 pm

thederangedwang wrote:
jurisx wrote:I have a question, Why didn't you go to Cooley?

just answer the fucking question


No need to be rude, give the boy time. He's thinking.........relax......

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sharktankdean
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sharktankdean » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:06 pm

thederangedwang wrote:for the Harvard 2012 OCI thread, I keep seeing people with 9H 1P or 5H 5P...which adds up to 10 classes.

Question, if OCI is in second semester of 2L year, and assuming you take 5 courses a semester, shouldnt you guys have 15 grades/classes total (assuming second semester 2L grades arent out yet?

Also what is considered median?



I thought OCI/EIP happened some weeks before 2L began...

thederangedwang
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby thederangedwang » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:10 pm

sharktankdean wrote:
thederangedwang wrote:for the Harvard 2012 OCI thread, I keep seeing people with 9H 1P or 5H 5P...which adds up to 10 classes.

Question, if OCI is in second semester of 2L year, and assuming you take 5 courses a semester, shouldnt you guys have 15 grades/classes total (assuming second semester 2L grades arent out yet?

Also what is considered median?



I thought OCI/EIP happened some weeks before 2L began...

ah, that would splain it

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sharktankdean » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:46 pm

Do we take legal writing in the fall/spring only or is it a 2 semester course?

Also in reference to thederangedwang's question, what are the 10 classes and when do we take them (fall vs spring)? i know HLS revamped the 1L curriculum to include international and policy/regulation classes.

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:35 pm

sharktankdean wrote:Do we take legal writing in the fall/spring only or is it a 2 semester course?

Also in reference to thederangedwang's question, what are the 10 classes and when do we take them (fall vs spring)? i know HLS revamped the 1L curriculum to include international and policy/regulation classes.

Legal Research and Writing is both semesters. The first semester, you have two projects - a closed memo and an open memo. Second semester you have a partner, and you do an appellate brief.

The ten classes consist of six doctrinal classes: Contracts, Torts, Property, Civ Pro, Legislation and Regulation*, Criminal Law; two semesters of LRW; one International Law fake elective* and one real elective.

*In case Legislation and Regulation is less self explanatory than the others, it's about drafting and interpreting legislatively passed laws and administrative regulations.

**The reason I call International Law a fake elective is because it's just for 1Ls and the classes (IMO) are not substantively distinguishable on any real basis. So instead of being assigned a class with the rest of your section, you get to choose a class from among 7, several of which are identical, with indeterminate content that will be the same size as your other 1L classes and only will have 1Ls.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sharktankdean » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:26 pm

delusional wrote:
sharktankdean wrote:Do we take legal writing in the fall/spring only or is it a 2 semester course?

Also in reference to thederangedwang's question, what are the 10 classes and when do we take them (fall vs spring)? i know HLS revamped the 1L curriculum to include international and policy/regulation classes.

Legal Research and Writing is both semesters. The first semester, you have two projects - a closed memo and an open memo. Second semester you have a partner, and you do an appellate brief.

The ten classes consist of six doctrinal classes: Contracts, Torts, Property, Civ Pro, Legislation and Regulation*, Criminal Law; two semesters of LRW; one International Law fake elective* and one real elective.

*In case Legislation and Regulation is less self explanatory than the others, it's about drafting and interpreting legislatively passed laws and administrative regulations.

**The reason I call International Law a fake elective is because it's just for 1Ls and the classes (IMO) are not substantively distinguishable on any real basis. So instead of being assigned a class with the rest of your section, you get to choose a class from among 7, several of which are identical, with indeterminate content that will be the same size as your other 1L classes and only will have 1Ls.


Thanks! I guess it's time to start praying to the LRW gods.

jurisx
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jurisx » Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:26 am

acrossthelake wrote:
AllTheLawz wrote:
Now wrote:Thanks!

After talking to the career center at Harvard Law, I got the impression that many students attend HLS with no intention to be lawyers and there is a lot of institutional support for non-traditional careers. I also got the impression that HLS has programs that are only peripherally related to law at best. Do you feel that HLS will make it easier for me to enter fields outside of law, as compared to Stanford/Yale?


Lol.. dont fall for that trick.. by many, they mean a few handfuls. Even a large percentage of the JD/MBAs end up working as lawyers. Unless you are in a dual-degree program you will be taking a lot of law classes. At any of HYS you CAN enter fields outside of law but most people who do it have a PhD, connections/killer work experience, an engineering degree, or want to be something like a community advocate or a teacher.


Yeah I'd say 100% of people I've met so far at HLS entered with intentions to be lawyers and currently still intend to (though I obv. don't know everybody, not even close). I don't know who these mythical people planning to do something else are.


Politicians.


Many sit the bar, but stop there. Heck Obama recently gave up his license (as did his wife) to avoid any MPRE issues as Prez. I doubt he did a lot of trials as Senator before that either.

Now
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Now » Sun Jul 22, 2012 12:50 pm

In general, are students able to place into their first choice study abroad program (to do coursework that will be applied to the J.D., not the J.D./LLM in Cambridge)? How tough is it to gain HLS approval for outside programs?

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Sun Jul 22, 2012 9:09 pm

sharktankdean wrote:
delusional wrote:
sharktankdean wrote:Do we take legal writing in the fall/spring only or is it a 2 semester course?

Also in reference to thederangedwang's question, what are the 10 classes and when do we take them (fall vs spring)? i know HLS revamped the 1L curriculum to include international and policy/regulation classes.

Legal Research and Writing is both semesters. The first semester, you have two projects - a closed memo and an open memo. Second semester you have a partner, and you do an appellate brief.

The ten classes consist of six doctrinal classes: Contracts, Torts, Property, Civ Pro, Legislation and Regulation*, Criminal Law; two semesters of LRW; one International Law fake elective* and one real elective.

*In case Legislation and Regulation is less self explanatory than the others, it's about drafting and interpreting legislatively passed laws and administrative regulations.

**The reason I call International Law a fake elective is because it's just for 1Ls and the classes (IMO) are not substantively distinguishable on any real basis. So instead of being assigned a class with the rest of your section, you get to choose a class from among 7, several of which are identical, with indeterminate content that will be the same size as your other 1L classes and only will have 1Ls.


Thanks! I guess it's time to start praying to the LRW gods.


also, scout for good LRW partners during the fall. i've heard awesome things from people who sought out partners and terrible things from those that did not and took a random partner.

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sharktankdean
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sharktankdean » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:12 pm

Thanks guys!

In regards to the winter term, what's that about (is it compulsory, do we take electives, what's the point of it...)?

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thelawschoolproject
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby thelawschoolproject » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:22 pm

tagging this thread

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:23 pm

sharktankdean wrote:Thanks guys!

In regards to the winter term, what's that about (is it compulsory, do we take electives, what's the point of it...)?


There's a lot about this many pages back in late Dec.ish that we 1Ls asked. But in a brief summary, 1L you take problem-solving workshop, which is 3-weeks where they have profs (who generally have experience working in the real world, rather than in just academia, and sometimes they bring in ppl who only work in the real world outside of the workshop) bringing you through these different projects that you work on with an assigned group of 5. Typically class is from 9-12, then the group works till it's done, sometimes due at 5pm (sometimes earlier, sometimes later). The projects are supposed to give you a taste of like, interpreting a contract, or how to practically solve some problems outside of just the legal aspect. Usually they bring in people from outside relevant to the project to evaluate the group's work and give you feedback (so I got to do some oral argument in front of a judge, for instance). For the very last project they send you out into law firms around Boston to give a presentation to either some associates or an associate and a partner (depending on the firm). People's opinons of it really vary and I think the value you get out of it really depends on which prof you had, which teammates you had, and your attitude. I actually was fairly pessemistic going in, but while I did feel some of it could've been tightened up, I liked it a lot and thought it was a good experience. I lucked into a really great group though. It's pass/fail, too, so no pressure.

2L & 3L there's a mix of like classes you can take or externships you can do for credit. A lot of people try to get into the negotiatoin workshop for winter term, because it's supposed to be really good, but very time-consuming during the regular semester.




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