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 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:56 pm

re: harvard grant aid etc.

you should note that getting a 1L firm job also impacts the grant aid. arguably going to hys increases your chances of getting the 1l sa but then most of what you earn will just offset the grant...

if you're interested in pi etc., and do that your 1l summer, then you get funding for that. if you just want a firm job, i'll probably just take the money.

what you're getting with hys is insurance for a number of things but at a certain price point, it might make more financial sense to just take the money. only you can determine that price point, i think.

note that if you get the maximum aid, it's possible to graduate with around 100-120 total debt depending on a number of things.

hellohi
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby hellohi » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:14 pm

Does anyone know what kind of grades you need to get interviews for the non-legal business jobs like mckinsey? Or are those more based on networking?

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:30 pm

hellohi wrote:Does anyone know what kind of grades you need to get interviews for the non-legal business jobs like mckinsey? Or are those more based on networking?
I don't think they're necessarily based on either. McKinsey and other consulting firms come to OCI and have several other recruiting events in Cambridge.
I know a few people who interviewed for consulting firms but only one who ended up working at one. I got the sense that the substantive interviews (There are apparently several rounds and they actually try to test your aptitude rather than just shooting the breeze) and prior experience were much more important than law school grades.

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Mr. Elshal
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mr. Elshal » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:48 am

For 1L students, approximately how much did textbooks cost for the full 1L year? It looks like the school budgets $1225 but is this generally an overestimate? And what are some good ways that you have used to cut down on costs?

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:32 am

Mr. Elshal wrote:For 1L students, approximately how much did textbooks cost for the full 1L year? It looks like the school budgets $1225 but is this generally an overestimate? And what are some good ways that you have used to cut down on costs?


I didn't pay nearly that much but I got many of my books from upperclassmen. Some clubs have book exchanges. I also used to buy a book from the Coop and then find it cheaper on Amazon or some other vendor. I'd order it and when it came I'd return the book to the Coop. One class I just did a borrow direct from Cornell and never purchased the book.

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BelugaWhale
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BelugaWhale » Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:06 am

Mr. Elshal wrote:For 1L students, approximately how much did textbooks cost for the full 1L year? It looks like the school budgets $1225 but is this generally an overestimate? And what are some good ways that you have used to cut down on costs?

I spent around 700 first semester but I bought all new books (big mistake). Some prep books, and people in general, had suggested get new books since I wouldn't be distracted by other people's notes and highlights. I bought usedbooks this semester (cost me like 250) and I found the highlights and notes helped me out since it helped clarify points I would have needed to figure out regardless.

I would suggest you either buy used or rent

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thelawschoolproject
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby thelawschoolproject » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:26 am

Mr. Elshal wrote:For 1L students, approximately how much did textbooks cost for the full 1L year? It looks like the school budgets $1225 but is this generally an overestimate? And what are some good ways that you have used to cut down on costs?



I spent more than this, actually, and I bought all of my things off of Amazon. The problem I had was that most of my professors wanted new editions of the textbook (one which was published January 2013, that was a peach) and because there are note cases after the main cases that change in each edition, I had to suck it up and get the new one instead of a cheaper older one.

But, you definitely don't need new books most of the time and don't waste your money in the COOP.

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Mr. Elshal
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mr. Elshal » Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:57 am

unc0mm0n1 wrote:
Mr. Elshal wrote:For 1L students, approximately how much did textbooks cost for the full 1L year? It looks like the school budgets $1225 but is this generally an overestimate? And what are some good ways that you have used to cut down on costs?


I didn't pay nearly that much but I got many of my books from upperclassmen. Some clubs have book exchanges. I also used to buy a book from the Coop and then find it cheaper on Amazon or some other vendor. I'd order it and when it came I'd return the book to the Coop. One class I just did a borrow direct from Cornell and never purchased the book.


BelugaWhale wrote:
Mr. Elshal wrote:For 1L students, approximately how much did textbooks cost for the full 1L year? It looks like the school budgets $1225 but is this generally an overestimate? And what are some good ways that you have used to cut down on costs?

I spent around 700 first semester but I bought all new books (big mistake). Some prep books, and people in general, had suggested get new books since I wouldn't be distracted by other people's notes and highlights. I bought usedbooks this semester (cost me like 250) and I found the highlights and notes helped me out since it helped clarify points I would have needed to figure out regardless.

I would suggest you either buy used or rent


thelawschoolproject wrote:
Mr. Elshal wrote:For 1L students, approximately how much did textbooks cost for the full 1L year? It looks like the school budgets $1225 but is this generally an overestimate? And what are some good ways that you have used to cut down on costs?



I spent more than this, actually, and I bought all of my things off of Amazon. The problem I had was that most of my professors wanted new editions of the textbook (one which was published January 2013, that was a peach) and because there are note cases after the main cases that change in each edition, I had to suck it up and get the new one instead of a cheaper older one.

But, you definitely don't need new books most of the time and don't waste your money in the COOP.


My UG did that with the editions, which was one reason I got worried. Those textbooks sometimes ran up to $400. I'm glad to know that there are ways around it, though. Trying to drop COL as much as possible because those ~7% interest rates scare the crap out of me.

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BelugaWhale
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BelugaWhale » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:49 pm

http://www.cheapesttextbooks.com/

Youre welcome.

Its a book search engine that searches all the major book retailers and any available discount coupons. You can usually can better deals than from Amazon.

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:57 pm

thelawschoolproject wrote:
Mr. Elshal wrote:For 1L students, approximately how much did textbooks cost for the full 1L year? It looks like the school budgets $1225 but is this generally an overestimate? And what are some good ways that you have used to cut down on costs?



I spent more than this, actually, and I bought all of my things off of Amazon. The problem I had was that most of my professors wanted new editions of the textbook (one which was published January 2013, that was a peach) and because there are note cases after the main cases that change in each edition, I had to suck it up and get the new one instead of a cheaper older one.

But, you definitely don't need new books most of the time and don't waste your money in the COOP.

Yeah, those are the ones that are a pain. I didn't find that most wanted it - it depended on when their favorite textbook had last been reprinted, and it was usually not that semester so it was available used.
Another thing to keep in mind is reselling them after the semester. I know that some people like to keep them, but if you figure in buying used and then reselling, often the only cost is shipping since you can essentially resell it for as much as you bought it for. The expenses arise when you use a book right before it's reprinted so it's not worth anything after you use it; or when you buy a brand new book, and there's a $40 depreciation right away. Taking reselling into account, I've spent a net of about $150 a semester, and that's a pretty generous estimate.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:25 pm

Some ip-related classes don't require textbooks at all. I also just never got around to buying my textbook for corporations. For 1L, I don't think I spent more than 200 a semester cuz I got everything used.

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Mr. Elshal
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mr. Elshal » Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:59 pm

Another question:
What's the policy on cooking implements in the dorms? For example, toaster, microwave, any other thing that can heat up food? Also, for anything that is not allowed, is it a strict policy, or do they just let things slide?

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Blessedassurance
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Blessedassurance » Sun Feb 10, 2013 9:43 pm

Mr. Elshal wrote:Another question:
What's the policy on cooking implements in the dorms? For example, toaster, microwave, any other thing that can heat up food? Also, for anything that is not allowed, is it a strict policy, or do they just let things slide?


you can't have a microwave in the dorms (ames, story etc, dunno about north) but there are microwaves on multiple floors and there's at least one available like always, somewhere. you can have a small fridge in your room. nobody's gonna come check your room for what you can and cannot have though but you really don't need a microwave in your room.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:21 am

Yes, 1L first semester I spent like $700, just buying from amazon and coop new books. I have yet to find a single casebook that cost $400 (most around $150, new), thankfully, but I mean $700 for 1 semester sucked.

Second semester I bought used, and spent $100. 2L yr I spent $50 one semester, and $100 the next. There seems to be a general trend that electives have books that are cheaper/easier to get used.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:23 am

DoubleChecks wrote:Yes, 1L first semester I spent like $700, just buying from amazon and coop new books. I have yet to find a single casebook that cost $400 (most around $150, new), thankfully, but I mean $700 for 1 semester sucked.

Second semester I bought used, and spent $100. 2L yr I spent $50 one semester, and $100 the next. There seems to be a general trend that electives have books that are cheaper/easier to get used.


Yeah, plus generally you take less classes after 1L year. 18 and 16-18 credits your first two semesters, and then 16 becomes your maximum, with a lot of people choosing to take around 12 a semester (which is all you need to graduate on time).

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2012applicant2013
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby 2012applicant2013 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:36 pm

I saw on the website that around 40% of 1Ls live off-campus. I don't (ever) want to live in a dorm again.

Would living off-campus my first year seriously detract from my law school experience and bonding/getting to know classmates? If I were to live off-campus, should I live with another 1L from HLS?

AllTheLawz
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby AllTheLawz » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:07 pm

2012applicant2013 wrote:I saw on the website that around 40% of 1Ls live off-campus. I don't (ever) want to live in a dorm again.

Would living off-campus my first year seriously detract from my law school experience and bonding/getting to know classmates? If I were to live off-campus, should I live with another 1L from HLS?


No, everyone mostly hangs out with their sections and you will still get plenty of invites to dorm parties to meet people that you don't know. Honestly, most people at HLS just aren't super sociable or warm, so everyone ends up gravitating to a relatively small circle where they feel comfortable and then that group is supplemented with people you meet in activities and their friends. I would say when it comes to bonding/getting to know classmates being involved with a campus org or two is more important than living on campus

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby bernaldiaz » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:26 pm

Hey guys, I'm trying to decide between H and S. I'm shooting for Boston biglaw (I'm a native Bostonian). Do you guys get the sense that Harvard owns the Boston market and that it would be stupid to go anywhere but Harvard for boston biglaw, or is Harvard's reach so national/international that there isn't enough of a local concentration to make Boston its home market? Are any of you Harvard people shooting for Boston? What have your experiences been?

From the Stanford POV, I've had people tell me that firms want a sampling from the top law schools, so coming back to Boston will a breeze from Stanford since I'd only be competing with 2-5 people in all likelihood, especially with my ties.

Thanks! I really appreciate your input.

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:35 pm

bernaldiaz wrote:Hey guys, I'm trying to decide between H and S. I'm shooting for Boston biglaw (I'm a native Bostonian). Do you guys get the sense that Harvard owns the Boston market and that it would be stupid to go anywhere but Harvard for boston biglaw, or is Harvard's reach so national/international that there isn't enough of a local concentration to make Boston its home market? Are any of you Harvard people shooting for Boston? What have your experiences been?

From the Stanford POV, I've had people tell me that firms want a sampling from the top law schools, so coming back to Boston will a breeze from Stanford since I'd only be competing with 2-5 people in all likelihood, especially with my ties.

Thanks! I really appreciate your input.
There's no question that Boston is, to a degree, Harvard's home market.
That said, there's also something to be said for not competing with 150 other students for the 80 slots that firms reserve for Harvard. I would guess that if you're at the top of the class and you're basically just trying to stamp your ticket, or at the bottom of the class trying to scrap and claw your way into Boston biglaw, it will be much easier from Harvard because ties are easy to show and because it will just be that much more convenient for networking, name dropping, etc. However, if you end up in the middle of the class at Harvard, and you're kind of "graded on a curve" at OCI, you might be better off at Stanford where you'd actually be a special snowflake. Obviously you can't know where you'd end up ranking so I'm not giving a clear answer. Just throwing it out there.

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holmes
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby holmes » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:27 pm

This question might be way too optimistic, but do people who make law review usually continue with their secondary journals? I'm wondering if the 1Ls running for positions on journals are in fact deciding not to do the writing competition.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:29 pm

holmes wrote:This question might be way too optimistic, but do people who make law review usually continue with their secondary journals? I'm wondering if the 1Ls running for positions on journals are in fact deciding not to do the writing competition.


For the most part people don't, but a small minority stay on. I don't think it's uncommon for a 1L to run for a position but perhaps resign it if they make HLR. But I wasn't in this position so I'm not quite certain.

PMan99
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby PMan99 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:32 pm

holmes wrote:This question might be way too optimistic, but do people who make law review usually continue with their secondary journals? I'm wondering if the 1Ls running for positions on journals are in fact deciding not to do the writing competition.


If they're running for a position on a secondary journal, there's a very good chance they're doing the competition too. Gunners gonna gun.

That said, your secondary journal won't miss you even if you had a position with your journal. It's just expected people are going to try and get HLR and it will replace the secondary.

AllTheLawz
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby AllTheLawz » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:47 am

delusional wrote:
bernaldiaz wrote:Hey guys, I'm trying to decide between H and S. I'm shooting for Boston biglaw (I'm a native Bostonian). Do you guys get the sense that Harvard owns the Boston market and that it would be stupid to go anywhere but Harvard for boston biglaw, or is Harvard's reach so national/international that there isn't enough of a local concentration to make Boston its home market? Are any of you Harvard people shooting for Boston? What have your experiences been?

From the Stanford POV, I've had people tell me that firms want a sampling from the top law schools, so coming back to Boston will a breeze from Stanford since I'd only be competing with 2-5 people in all likelihood, especially with my ties.

Thanks! I really appreciate your input.
There's no question that Boston is, to a degree, Harvard's home market.
That said, there's also something to be said for not competing with 150 other students for the 80 slots that firms reserve for Harvard. I would guess that if you're at the top of the class and you're basically just trying to stamp your ticket, or at the bottom of the class trying to scrap and claw your way into Boston biglaw, it will be much easier from Harvard because ties are easy to show and because it will just be that much more convenient for networking, name dropping, etc. However, if you end up in the middle of the class at Harvard, and you're kind of "graded on a curve" at OCI, you might be better off at Stanford where you'd actually be a special snowflake. Obviously you can't know where you'd end up ranking so I'm not giving a clear answer. Just throwing it out there.


As someone who applied in the Boston market, going to disagree here.. If you are in the middle of the class at Harvard w/ Boston ties and a decent personality you are going to have a whole handful of offers. Honestly, the same is probably true from Stanford.

Choose the school you want, neither will significantly affect your ability to get a job in Boston when you already have ties. If you strike out at Stanford you probably would've struck out at Harvard. The only exception might be a situation where you end up at the very bottom of the class (like all Ps and an LP or multiple LPs) and use networking to get an in at Boston firms. Obviously that can only be done from Harvard.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:49 am

PMan99 wrote:
holmes wrote:This question might be way too optimistic, but do people who make law review usually continue with their secondary journals? I'm wondering if the 1Ls running for positions on journals are in fact deciding not to do the writing competition.


If they're running for a position on a secondary journal, there's a very good chance they're doing the competition too. Gunners gonna gun.

That said, your secondary journal won't miss you even if you had a position with your journal. It's just expected people are going to try and get HLR and it will replace the secondary.


This. Secondaries know it's gonna happen and roll with the punches.

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Spritzpiggy
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Spritzpiggy » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:29 am

AllTheLawz wrote:
2012applicant2013 wrote:I saw on the website that around 40% of 1Ls live off-campus. I don't (ever) want to live in a dorm again.

Would living off-campus my first year seriously detract from my law school experience and bonding/getting to know classmates? If I were to live off-campus, should I live with another 1L from HLS?


No, everyone mostly hangs out with their sections and you will still get plenty of invites to dorm parties to meet people that you don't know. Honestly, most people at HLS just aren't super sociable or warm, so everyone ends up gravitating to a relatively small circle where they feel comfortable and then that group is supplemented with people you meet in activities and their friends. I would say when it comes to bonding/getting to know classmates being involved with a campus org or two is more important than living on campus


I am definitely considering living in the dorms but am curious what the general demographic is there. Is it mostly K-JD? I have been out of school for a few years now and am not thrilled about returning to my freshman lifestyle, but I also want to save as much as I can. But if I'm gonna be grandma Spritzpiggy than I'll definitely reconsider:)




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