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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Blessedassurance
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Blessedassurance » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:11 pm

honeybadger12 wrote:These are for current students, right? Did any of you get scholarships for your 1L year?


Most people get grants and call it a day. The time and effort required for the scholarship applications vis-a-vis the chances of securing one, as well as the relatively small amount available is off-putting for most people. Some of the scholarships are for like the whole school and stuff (all grad students)...

That said, if you have super impressive stats etc., and lots of time, go ahead...might as well. They have the link on the sfs page, I think. There are also narrowly-tailored scholarships. E.g., people who graduated high school from a certain county, first generation immigrants and that sort of stuff.

Have you looked into grants?

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:19 pm

I didn't bother applying to any of the scholarships cuz I'm not a URM and don't come from any of those random locales.

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honeybadger12
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby honeybadger12 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:07 am

Blessedassurance wrote:
Have you looked into grants?

Thanks for the info - where would I look into grants?

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Blessedassurance
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Blessedassurance » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:04 am

honeybadger12 wrote:Thanks for the info - where would I look into grants?


They'll walk you through the process at some point.

In the meantime, see: http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/index.html

You can get a general sense of what you'll need from the link above.

canarykb
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby canarykb » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:12 pm

I'm currently looking for scholarships, too. No, there are not a lot available if you are non-URM, and a lot of them are very specific and random, but I have found a couple I can apply for. Admissionsdean.com has a large searchable listing: http://www.admissionsdean.com/paying_fo ... hip-finder, you can also look at individual schools' websites and see their listing of outside funding students have received.

Not sure whether it will be worth the effort, in the end, but it's slow this week at work.

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Hattori Hanzo
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Hattori Hanzo » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:10 pm

There are also a number of fellowships that pay anywhere between $1,000-5,000 a year and usually just a require a paper. Olin is a good one (I think $3,000) but there are others as well. For whatever reason it seems like not many people apply to these. One of my friends got one last summer by just sending a plain email. They had posted it on her FB class wall and hadn't gotten any takers so after the application due date had already passed, she sent an email to ask if it was still available and got it ($4,000). It required working in public interest over the summer and writing a report about the experience.

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domino
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby domino » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:43 pm

this is going to out me as a gunner but i am curious about the grading system. i had heard from a friend that ds is actually given out to about 10% for a lot of classes/is considered an a, h an a-, pass a b. any truth to this?

apologies if this has been covered. am already getting freaked out about being at the bottom of the class lol.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:56 pm

domino wrote:this is going to out me as a gunner but i am curious about the grading system. i had heard from a friend that ds is actually given out to about 10% for a lot of classes/is considered an a, h an a-, pass a b. any truth to this?

apologies if this has been covered. am already getting freaked out about being at the bottom of the class lol.


I'm pretty sure that's wrong. They might have changed the curve (they like to do that), but last I checked from reputable sources, the DS is given out to the top 0-2 students in a class. Hs cover the top 1/3 of the class(I'm not sure whether DS'es displace and cause the curve to shift downward, or just replace the top 2 Hs, keeping the rest of the curve the same. My guess is the latter, but I'm not sure). LPs are given out to the bottom 0-8%. Ps are the rest in the middle.

I don't know what size most classes are, but I've only taken one with only 20 students, and for 1L, that's certainly wrong since 2 out of ~80 is 2.5%.

It's difficult to approximate exactly what letter grades they correspond to, since I don't remember exactly what the grade distribution was when it was on letter grades. I talked about this once with someone who did know, and I think he said a DS corresponds to an A+, an H probably covers the range of A to B+, and pass from B down to C or maybe C+, and LP whatever is below that.

You have to do pretty bad to get an LP, though they certainly happen.

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domino
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby domino » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:08 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
domino wrote:this is going to out me as a gunner but i am curious about the grading system. i had heard from a friend that ds is actually given out to about 10% for a lot of classes/is considered an a, h an a-, pass a b. any truth to this?

apologies if this has been covered. am already getting freaked out about being at the bottom of the class lol.


I'm pretty sure that's wrong. They might have changed the curve (they like to do that), but last I checked from reputable sources, the DS is given out to the top 0-2 students in a class. Hs cover the top 1/3 of the class(I'm not sure whether DS'es displace and cause the curve to shift downward, or just replace the top 2 Hs, keeping the rest of the curve the same. My guess is the latter, but I'm not sure). LPs are given out to the bottom 0-8%. Ps are the rest in the middle.

I don't know what size most classes are, but I've only taken one with only 20 students, and for 1L, that's certainly wrong since 2 out of ~80 is 2.5%.

It's difficult to approximate exactly what letter grades they correspond to, since I don't remember exactly what the grade distribution was when it was on letter grades. I talked about this once with someone who did know, and I think he said a DS corresponds to an A+, an H probably covers the range of A to B+, and pass from B down to C or maybe C+, and LP whatever is below that.

You have to do pretty bad to get an LP, though they certainly happen.


thank you, this is really helpful

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:39 pm

domino wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
domino wrote:this is going to out me as a gunner but i am curious about the grading system. i had heard from a friend that ds is actually given out to about 10% for a lot of classes/is considered an a, h an a-, pass a b. any truth to this?

apologies if this has been covered. am already getting freaked out about being at the bottom of the class lol.


I'm pretty sure that's wrong. They might have changed the curve (they like to do that), but last I checked from reputable sources, the DS is given out to the top 0-2 students in a class. Hs cover the top 1/3 of the class(I'm not sure whether DS'es displace and cause the curve to shift downward, or just replace the top 2 Hs, keeping the rest of the curve the same. My guess is the latter, but I'm not sure). LPs are given out to the bottom 0-8%. Ps are the rest in the middle.

I don't know what size most classes are, but I've only taken one with only 20 students, and for 1L, that's certainly wrong since 2 out of ~80 is 2.5%.

It's difficult to approximate exactly what letter grades they correspond to, since I don't remember exactly what the grade distribution was when it was on letter grades. I talked about this once with someone who did know, and I think he said a DS corresponds to an A+, an H probably covers the range of A to B+, and pass from B down to C or maybe C+, and LP whatever is below that.

You have to do pretty bad to get an LP, though they certainly happen.


thank you, this is really helpful

I wonder if the "lighter" curve is for upper level courses. Per my most forthright 1L professor, H is more than 1/3, less than 1/2. Fits neatly with the 37% back when the curve was public, although it might be more flexible now.
I'm torn on the DSs. I know too many people who got DS utterly randomly to believe that it's only the top exam or two.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Jan 03, 2013 5:51 pm

delusional wrote:I wonder if the "lighter" curve is for upper level courses. Per my most forthright 1L professor, H is more than 1/3, less than 1/2. Fits neatly with the 37% back when the curve was public, although it might be more flexible now.
I'm torn on the DSs. I know too many people who got DS utterly randomly to believe that it's only the top exam or two.


There are upper level classes with only 20 people in it--which would come out to top 10%. My guess is that the curve I talked about is probably still "recommended", but that the faculty is given more leeway to diverge from it than before. Hm, well for 1L, if you think--in one semester, if 2 are given out per class (including per Clemenko fellow) then that's 12 in a single semester, adding up to 24ish(sort of complicated by the electives second semester) available per section for all of 1L year. It's possible. For my section, I can only account for 3 DSes out of the 10ish people whose grades I know.

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domino
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby domino » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:38 pm

one more for you guys. i know one of the climenko fellows who will be teaching next year (not well). for personal reasons, i would prefer not to be taught by him.

what are your thoughts--is there someone i can talk to about this before i'm assigned to a section, or do you think it would make more sense to let myself be assigned and only try switching if i end up in his class?

thank you very much for all the help!

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:52 pm

domino wrote:one more for you guys. i know one of the climenko fellows who will be teaching next year--not well, but we have a few mutual friends. the one time i hung out with him we had a pretty unfortunate confrontation, and i would prefer not to be taught by him.

what are your thoughts--is there someone i can talk to about this before i'm assigned to a section, or do you think it would make more sense to let myself be assigned and only try switching if i end up in his class?

thank you very much for all the help!

The odds are one in fourteen that you'll end up in his section because each section is divided in two for LRW, so I wouldn't worry too much. That said, what do you lose by trying? On the other hand, how strange would it be to contact the school now and tell them you don't want to be in this guy's section next year? Now that I've rephrased the question for you, proceed accordingly. If you choose to talk to someone, I would suggest waiting until you know whose section you're in, and then, it it's relevant, contacting the registrar and asking to switch into the other group in your section. Doesn't sound like it should be a big deal.

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domino
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby domino » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:59 pm

delusional wrote:The odds are one in fourteen that you'll end up in his section because each section is divided in two for LRW, so I wouldn't worry too much. That said, what do you lose by trying? On the other hand, how strange would it be to contact the school now and tell them you don't want to be in this guy's section next year? Now that I've rephrased the question for you, proceed accordingly. If you choose to talk to someone, I would suggest waiting until you know whose section you're in, and then, it it's relevant, contacting the registrar and asking to switch into the other group in your section. Doesn't sound like it should be a big deal.


thanks, that makes sense--it's good to know there are two lrws a section, so hopefully that will make it not a big deal to switch. (in my defense was not planning to reach out about this until much closer to the beginning of the year...i am 99th percentile neurotic, but that's like 99.8th percentile :D)

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:16 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
domino wrote:this is going to out me as a gunner but i am curious about the grading system. i had heard from a friend that ds is actually given out to about 10% for a lot of classes/is considered an a, h an a-, pass a b. any truth to this?

apologies if this has been covered. am already getting freaked out about being at the bottom of the class lol.


I'm pretty sure that's wrong. They might have changed the curve (they like to do that), but last I checked from reputable sources, the DS is given out to the top 0-2 students in a class. Hs cover the top 1/3 of the class(I'm not sure whether DS'es displace and cause the curve to shift downward, or just replace the top 2 Hs, keeping the rest of the curve the same. My guess is the latter, but I'm not sure). LPs are given out to the bottom 0-8%. Ps are the rest in the middle.

I don't know what size most classes are, but I've only taken one with only 20 students, and for 1L, that's certainly wrong since 2 out of ~80 is 2.5%.

It's difficult to approximate exactly what letter grades they correspond to, since I don't remember exactly what the grade distribution was when it was on letter grades. I talked about this once with someone who did know, and I think he said a DS corresponds to an A+, an H probably covers the range of A to B+, and pass from B down to C or maybe C+, and LP whatever is below that.

You have to do pretty bad to get an LP, though they certainly happen.


This is right, although in the largest classes I know for sure that 3 DSs have been awarded.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Thu Jan 03, 2013 11:48 pm

Right, I think the curve isn't adhered to SUPER strictly, though 1L courses following the rough outline of what acrossthelake laid out. Once you get to 2L and 3L seminars...no idea. Professor Alford for the Intro to China international 1L elective also told us he gives out 6 DSs a year (or more specifically he said, "Last year I gave out 6 DSs"). The class was larger than an 80-person section. I think it had about 100, maybe a bit more. I'd imagine 0-3 DS for a 1L class sounds right, w/ about a third to a bit over third w/ Hs, then rest Ps, not counting the handful that may or may not get LPs. I feel as if LP is as rare as DS...but that's just a feeling.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sabanist » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:20 am

A couple of questions have been asked about housing in the "In at Harvard" thread in Acceptances/Denials, but I figure y'all will see them much sooner here.

I'd really like to live on campus for 1L. Is North worth the premium, or should I suck up my pity party about community bathrooms, A/C, and floor space and go the cheaper route?
Another thing influencing my decision is what most people are able to do for their 1L summer. What kind of work do people get, and where (what cities) do they do it? I'm under no delusions that I'll score an NYC 1L SA, but if I can't land some kind of PI work in Atlanta and crash with family, I'll need to save up for the summer.

Thank y'all for continuing this thread :)

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:28 am

sabanist wrote:A couple of questions have been asked about housing in the "In at Harvard" thread in Acceptances/Denials, but I figure y'all will see them much sooner here.

I'd really like to live on campus for 1L. Is North worth the premium, or should I suck up my pity party about community bathrooms, A/C, and floor space and go the cheaper route?
Another thing influencing my decision is what most people are able to do for their 1L summer. What kind of work do people get, and where (what cities) do they do it? I'm under no delusions that I'll score an NYC 1L SA, but if I can't land some kind of PI work in Atlanta and crash with family, I'll need to save up for the summer.

Thank y'all for continuing this thread :)


We (by we I mean I) don't really check the "In at Harvard" thread--they should post in here.

It depends--why do you want to live on campus?

To me, the value of living on campus comes with the opportunity to meet people. There really is no socializing experience quite like living in the dorms--those who live in the dorms tend to branch out beyond their section more easily, which I think is a good thing. I think this is part of the weakness of North; to my knowledge, North doesn't tend to have the community aspect.

If it's because you want to live close to the school, there are apartments closer than North.

If it's because of price--there are probably some apartments you could get for cheaper, though obviously with roommates.

People get 1L summer jobs all over the world. I know people who got 1L SAs (in NYC, LA, DC, SF), others who got in-house positions at places like Marvel, Google, and Microsoft, people who worked at an assortment of non-profit organizations, including the ACLU and Wikimedia, and people who worked for government agencies, including the USAO of several different cities (Boston, Seattle, etc.) and the DOJ. More internationally, I know several people who worked for a non-profit in China, someone else who worked for in Rome, and someone who worked for the International Criminal Court in the Hague. There's really a rather broad range. You can probably land PI work in Atlanta.

There's a stipend given out for people who do PI work, more info here: http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/spif/index.html

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sabanist
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sabanist » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:44 am

acrossthelake wrote:
We don't really check the "In at Harvard" thread--they should post in here.

It depends--why do you want to live on campus?

To me, the value of living on campus comes with the opportunity to meet people. There really is no socializing experience quite like living in the dorms--those who live in the dorms tend to branch out beyond their section more easily, which I think is a good thing. I think this is part of the weakness of North; to my knowledge, North doesn't tend to have the community aspect.

If it's because you want to live close to the school, there are apartments closer than North.

If it's because of price--there are probably some apartments you could get for cheaper, though obviously with roommates.

People get 1L summer jobs all over the world. I knew people who got 1L SAs (in NYC, LA, D.C., SF), others who got in-house positions at places like Marvel, Google, and Microsoft, people who worked at an assortment of non-profit organizations, including the ACLU and Wikimedia, and people who worked for government agencies, including the USAO of several different cities (Boston, Seattle, etc.) There's really a rather broad range. You can probably land PI work in Atlanta.

There's a stipend given out for people who do PI work, more info here: http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/spif/index.html

I'll pass the word along!

The social aspect is part of the reason I want to live on campus. I'm moving from Alabama, so it's not like I have an established friend circle up there :lol:
The main part, though, is that I was under the impression that billing for on-campus housing will go through financial aid as opposed to having to go through outside sources. I'm totally, 100% broke until I get my loan refund next fall, so I can't pony up the money for rent and brokers ahead of time. The comfort of knowing I'll have a place to stay and how much it will cost is basically priceless.

I sort of imagined 1L SAs as mythical creatures... How likely would you say it is for someone to get a (well-)paid position? I knew about the SPIF, but for whatever reason didn't factor it in as a rent-paying possibility.

Thank you so much for the help so far! I'm getting really excited about next year.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:58 am

Most people here don't really know too many people and everyone will be eager to make new friends. I lived off-campus and found it really easy to make new friends. That said, it would've been even easier if I had lived in Gropius. You're right that apartments will expect first month's rent ahead of time, though, and that you might not get your loan refund in time.

They're not too mythical, though they went overwhelming to either URMs or people with IP backgrounds. I know a couple of people who got it through other channels though, including through firms that came to campus for Spring On-Campus Interviews (there weren't many, but they did hire non-URMs). I can't see a trend in people who got in-house positions. Those two pay the most, and a fair bit more than SPIF. The SAs I know got 3300/week, and in-house can come out to around 20K for the summer.

It says in the link that 368 1Ls got SPIF last year, out of a class of about 550(rounded, I don't know our exact size). So about 1/3 of the class got some sort of paid position. Part of those, however, are people who got positions like working for professors, which doesn't really come out to much more than the SPIF stipend. And some jobs give funding that really just covers expenses. So definitely less than a third got well-paid positions.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:39 am

acrossthelake wrote:Most people here don't really know too many people and everyone will be eager to make new friends. I lived off-campus and found it really easy to make new friends. That said, it would've been even easier if I had lived in Gropius. You're right that apartments will expect first month's rent ahead of time, though, and that you might not get your loan refund in time.

They're not too mythical, though they went overwhelming to either URMs or people with IP backgrounds. I know a couple of people who got it through other channels though, including through firms that came to campus for Spring On-Campus Interviews (there weren't many, but they did hire non-URMs). I can't see a trend in people who got in-house positions. Those two pay the most, and a fair bit more than SPIF. The SAs I know got 3300/week, and in-house can come out to around 20K for the summer.

It says in the link that 368 1Ls got SPIF last year, out of a class of about 550(rounded, I don't know our exact size). So about 1/3 of the class got some sort of paid position. Part of those, however, are people who got positions like working for professors, which doesn't really come out to much more than the SPIF stipend. And some jobs give funding that really just covers expenses. So definitely less than a third got well-paid positions.


Aha, I see what you did there to figure out approximately how many got in-house/1L SA positions :P Slick. I've always been curious but unmotivated to find out. If you're from the south and want to return there, then I am obligated by my personal moral code to recommend TX to you. Great legal economy, good city, one of the best and improving job prospect cities, and 1L SA possible if you either have ties to TX or can convince them that you'd be seriously interested in TX (you're from the south so that's a start :P). 2L SA jobs in TX are much easier to come by, but 1L SA jobs are still relatively available in TX (URM or not).

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby smittytron3k » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:40 pm

I had a professor off-handedly refer to giving out 5 DS's in a 1L class, fwiw.

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:21 pm

sabanist wrote:A couple of questions have been asked about housing in the "In at Harvard" thread in Acceptances/Denials, but I figure y'all will see them much sooner here.

I'd really like to live on campus for 1L. Is North worth the premium, or should I suck up my pity party about community bathrooms, A/C, and floor space and go the cheaper route?
Another thing influencing my decision is what most people are able to do for their 1L summer. What kind of work do people get, and where (what cities) do they do it? I'm under no delusions that I'll score an NYC 1L SA, but if I can't land some kind of PI work in Atlanta and crash with family, I'll need to save up for the summer.

Thank y'all for continuing this thread :)


I would go gropius for first year. It is closer to campus and you will meet more people. Then you can move to North 2L year (or off campus) and it will feel like an upgrade

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JDflowergirl
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby JDflowergirl » Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:01 am

1L here and I hope this is the place to ask this

(I Know grades do not come out till late Jan or early feb)
But what grades are good enough for a 1L summer firm position (if such a standard exist)? And what are median grades at H? OCS kept saying that most people get straight P's but I don't think thats equivalent to median. I just thought about all these and thought someone here might be able to help.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:18 am

JDflowergirl wrote:1L here and I hope this is the place to ask this

(I Know grades do not come out till late Jan or early feb)
But what grades are good enough for a 1L summer firm position (if such a standard exist)? And what are median grades at H? OCS kept saying that most people get straight P's but I don't think thats equivalent to median. I just thought about all these and thought someone here might be able to help.


On the old curve, median grades were approx. somewhere between 3-4 Hs. Difficult to say now that the curve is relaxed. Most summer firm positions go to URMs or people with good work experience (think a couple years at Goldman or McKinsey) or who did the SEO program. Of the few that manage to get one without that, I've heard of 2-3 Hs from 1st semester. Difficult to say whether they would've gotten it without those grades, though.




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