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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arkansawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby arkansawyer » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:12 pm

As far as this median business goes, how are DS's calculated?

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:16 pm

arkansawyer wrote:As far as this median business goes, how are DS's calculated?


I suppose as 2Hs.

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arkansawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby arkansawyer » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:19 pm

Need to get some of those then.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:20 pm

arkansawyer wrote:Need to get some of those then.


Good luck.

bigbirdfly
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby bigbirdfly » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:25 pm

ph14 wrote:
arkansawyer wrote:As far as this median business goes, how are DS's calculated?


I suppose as 2Hs.


How many DS are given in each class/section? Is it that hard?

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:26 pm

bigbirdfly wrote:
ph14 wrote:
arkansawyer wrote:As far as this median business goes, how are DS's calculated?


I suppose as 2Hs.


How many DS are given in each class/section? Is it that hard?


Varies a bit depending on the exams/class size. Rumor is that it is generally 2 or 3 people a class, and other posters saying that Professors have stated they have given 5 DSes in a single class. I have seen personally 3 old exams that self-identified as DS for the same class, a class of over 120, so that's all I can confirm personally.

AllTheLawz
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby AllTheLawz » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:37 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:I've gotten my best grades in classes I generally failed to show up and do the reading for. You can't really guarantee yourself anything.


Agreed. I think the less fucks you give, the better you do. Maybe it's just coincidence but that's my theory.


Credited theory. I am also starting to doubt the existence of LPs considering the quality of work I am putting out.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:44 pm

AllTheLawz wrote:
Blessedassurance wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:I've gotten my best grades in classes I generally failed to show up and do the reading for. You can't really guarantee yourself anything.


Agreed. I think the less fucks you give, the better you do. Maybe it's just coincidence but that's my theory.


Credited theory. I am also starting to doubt the existence of LPs considering the quality of work I am putting out.


I got an H in the class I tried to test the boundaries of an LP on. :lol:

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:59 pm

.
Last edited by delusional on Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:40 pm

Incidentally, a bunch of description of grades is on the past few pages, in case anyone is just jumping to the current page and asking questions.

Broadly speaking, for first semester, 1-2 H's is normal (but 2 is on the good side of normal), more than that is pretty good, any DS's is really good (unless paired with LPs), straight P's is meh but not terrible, and P's mixed with at least one LP is bad. That said, first semester grades aren't a lot by themselves; you need at least second semester grades before you know what you're going to EIP with.

And for the public-interest types, you get even more than two semesters of grades before you get a post-graduation job.
Last edited by tomwatts on Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:05 am

I'd encourage 1Ls who feel upset to cry it out and know it gets better. I bawled for an hour straight when I got my first semester grades, but am currently perfectly content with them (and I didn't do any better second semester.)

dafaz16
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby dafaz16 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:50 am

Are we counting LRW in all this talk of 3-4 H's being the median for the year?

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:51 am

dafaz16 wrote:Are we counting LRW in all this talk of 3-4 H's being the median for the year?


Yes.

Stinson
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Stinson » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:27 am

A little late to the party (is it a party? grades can be a party at Harvard, right?) but just another voice to the 1L's saying not to be shaken by grades, because they can be awfully random. Study a lot, outline, class participation and all that jazz - P. Skip like half the classes, study from an old outline from a website - DS. It happens.

I think people have covered all the other stuff. 3.7 would be the median if H's were totally random, and even I don't think they are totally random. Some people will get lots of them. Some people will get lots of P's. So 3-4 is the average. From speaking with employers - this was a couple years ago, mind you, but I doubt much has changed - most of them don't really know what to make of the system and the most common approach is to sort people into mental bins, which roughly run All P's, Couple of H's, Several H's, and lots of H's. Beyond those broad strokes all the other stuff about you is going to matter enough that any finer distinctions are unwarranted, and you can certainly punch above your weight with good interviews, work experience, or whatever. And to many employers the Couple and Several categories are the same thing. The only category you want no part of is All P's and an LP or two, though even there I know someone in that scenario who did just fine. (Ignore all this if you're doing IP and have the relevant hard science background, in which case just pass everything and chuckle over the callbacks you will have even before EIP starts.) As for DS, I have no idea where it comes from or what to make of it, and employers don't either. I remember a couple of interviews actually explaining what the thing was. (Really Harvard, an asterisk on the transcript? That makes it look bad to most people...)

LP's are pretty avoidable in doctrinal courses. I've only ever heard of them in LRW, actually, and that was for an epic lack of effort, as well as in doctrinal classes when the person was very ill. LRW also seems to be the class that has the most straightforward effort/outcome ratio, though I only know that in the sense that I saw several people do absolutely no work and get LP's. For what it's worth, if you like writing generally and law school exams aren't exactly your thing, take a class with a paper as a 1L elective. It's nice to have one less exam, and I've always found grading easier in paper classes. But then I'm not great with exams, and I like writing, so play to your strengths.

If that was all a bit much to read on grade day, just internalize this: you go to Harvard Law School, and it is awesome, and you will be absolutely fine.

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

Postby Hattori Hanzo » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:36 am

LPs are not as rare as they're made out to be. I have it from a very reliable source that Frug gave out 6-7 LPs in my 1L contracts. I also know a few other professors who have given them out.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:48 am

Hattori Hanzo wrote:LPs are not as rare as they're made out to be. I have it from a very reliable source that Frug gave out 6-7 LPs in my 1L contracts. I also know a few other professors who have given them out.


I'm pretty sure that LPs aren't as rare as they're made out to be, but that there's such a stigma that people don't like to volunteer that they've received one. I know someone who got it alongside a slate of mostly Hs who still ended up at a top firm in her target market.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:05 am

Hattori Hanzo wrote:LPs are not as rare as they're made out to be. I have it from a very reliable source that Frug gave out 6-7 LPs in my 1L contracts. I also know a few other professors who have given them out.


That's brutal.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:05 am

ph14 wrote:
Hattori Hanzo wrote:LPs are not as rare as they're made out to be. I have it from a very reliable source that Frug gave out 6-7 LPs in my 1L contracts. I also know a few other professors who have given them out.


That's brutal.


Yeah I know a 3L who had Frug who says a close friend of hers got an LP in that class.

anela00
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby anela00 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:58 am

I'm a recently admitted student strongly leaning toward Harvard. But...is everyone as grade obsessed as they are in this thread? :(

I've been out of school for a few years (will be 5 years by next fall), and I'm kind of over the whole stress/obsess about grades thing. Is this how the HLS atmosphere is? I honestly don't remember talking to anyone in undergrad about grades except first semester freshman year because we were all still in high school mode, and I went to HYS...

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thelawschoolproject
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby thelawschoolproject » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:20 am

anela00 wrote:I'm a recently admitted student strongly leaning toward Harvard. But...is everyone as grade obsessed as they are in this thread? :(


Our grades just came out yesterday, that's all. I'd actually say that compared to what I know of other places that HLS students are less grade-neurotic. Mostly due to the new grading system which is odd--and thus provokes these discussions trying to translate what the grades actually mean.
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delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:23 am

anela00 wrote:I'm a recently admitted student strongly leaning toward Harvard. But...is everyone as grade obsessed as they are in this thread? :(

I've been out of school for a few years (will be 5 years by next fall), and I'm kind of over the whole stress/obsess about grades thing. Is this how the HLS atmosphere is? I honestly don't remember talking to anyone in undergrad about grades except first semester freshman year because we were all still in high school mode, and I went to HYS...
No. Grades came out yesterday, so you're seeing the brunt of it now. If you look back through the thread, most of the grades obsession has been me, and I'm by far the most grade obsessed person I know. But even I would not discuss it IRL.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:49 am

thelawschoolproject wrote:Mostly due to the new grading system which is odd--and thus provokes these discussions trying to translate what the grades actually mean.

Second this. The new grading system is deliberately obfuscated, which is good in some ways, but it leads to a lot of confusion. I can't recall having had a conversation this specific about grades off of TLS ever.

bigbang
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby bigbang » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:37 am

tomwatts wrote:
thelawschoolproject wrote:Mostly due to the new grading system which is odd--and thus provokes these discussions trying to translate what the grades actually mean.

Second this. The new grading system is deliberately obfuscated, which is good in some ways, but it leads to a lot of confusion. I can't recall having had a conversation this specific about grades off of TLS ever.


Yes. Most people do not talk about grades in person, except with very close friends. I have only talked about grades with 1 or 2 people in real life, so TLS is a good place to clear up some confusions and talk about grades openly. If you want to avoid the grades discussion, don't worry. Most people are not talking about it in such depth (or at all) IRL.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:42 am

anela00 wrote:I'm a recently admitted student strongly leaning toward Harvard. But...is everyone as grade obsessed as they are in this thread? :(

I've been out of school for a few years (will be 5 years by next fall), and I'm kind of over the whole stress/obsess about grades thing. Is this how the HLS atmosphere is? I honestly don't remember talking to anyone in undergrad about grades except first semester freshman year because we were all still in high school mode, and I went to HYS...


Hate to break it to you but any school is going to be focused on grades the day first semester grades come out. It's laughable that you would pass over HLS for this reason. It's not going to be better anywhere else (pergaps excepting Yale as they are p/f first semester).

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bedefan
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby bedefan » Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:06 pm

anela00 wrote:I'm a recently admitted student strongly leaning toward Harvard. But...is everyone as grade obsessed as they are in this thread? :(

I've been out of school for a few years (will be 5 years by next fall), and I'm kind of over the whole stress/obsess about grades thing. Is this how the HLS atmosphere is? I honestly don't remember talking to anyone in undergrad about grades except first semester freshman year because we were all still in high school mode, and I went to HYS...


First of all I'd second what everyone else has said about it being the day/day after grades came out.

That said, people are more grade obsessed at LS's, even elite ones, than at fancy private UG's like the ones you mentioned. In fancy private UG's, you get mostly A's and B's and few people afterward (employers, grad schools) will care about the details. UG is so mushy anyway. At LS, depending on what you want to do afterward, your grades will matter a lot. As in, your potential employer has a good chance of closely scrutinizing your transcript, then calling you in for an interview, and asking you why your got particular grades in particular courses. In a context like that, students will worry about their grades. Can't avoid it without changing the legal profession. (Or, for the first semester anyway, going to Yale.)

I came to HLS with many more than 5 years post-UG under my belt. I hadn't thought about grades in forever. At my fancy private UG, as at yours, nobody cared even a little about grades. Is it an adjustment to go from that to a place where grades will matter in real life? Yeah. Does it make you more stressed about your classes than you were in your halcyon days? Yeah. But that's just it -- LS isn't a chill environment like UG where you're finding yourself and whatnot. It's a place you go where you get training to do a particular job.

Anyhow, this is just my two cents, your mileage may vary, etc. etc. I'm probably giving you a non-traditional students' perspective, and those closer to your age will probably have a different view. But this is how I've thought of it.




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