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.
delusional
Posts: 1190
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:23 am

AllTheLawz wrote:
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.
As someone else who applied to Boston, (and had a different experience from yours) I don't think that we're disagreeing. I didn't mean to say that you don't have a really good chance from median at Harvard. I meant to say that you have a chance from anywhere in either school. But the advantages of Stanford might be greater than those at Harvard if you're at median.

User avatar
thelawschoolproject
Posts: 1364
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:58 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby thelawschoolproject » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:31 am

Spritzpiggy wrote:
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:)



There are a lot of K-JDs, but there are also a lot of K-JDs at HLS. I don't know what you mean by out of school for a "few years" if it's only been 4-5 years, I'd say you'd fit in just fine. If you've been out 10+ years, it might be awkward. Just remember, the dorms aren't only 1Ls. There are 2Ls, 3Ls, and LLMs who live in the dorms too.

User avatar
Spritzpiggy
Posts: 229
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2012 9:57 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Spritzpiggy » Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:47 am

Thanks. I have only been out 3/4 years so that should still be fine. I am sure law students are far more mature overall anyways, Im just having flashbacks to dorm life in years past I suppose. Dorms 2.0 here I come. Anyways thanks again :)

justinp
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:33 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby justinp » Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:39 pm

I would strongly recommend that you not live in Gropius. Pay more for Hastings or an apartment.

I guess the caveat here is that this only applies if you are the sort of person who likes to have people over to hang out and watch TV/play board games/cook/drink before going to bars. Can't really do that in Gropius. There are common rooms, but they are tiny and awful and don't exist on many floors.

If you don't ever want to have somewhere to invite friends to, I guess Gropius is fine. It definitely is the cheapest living option if you want to be close to the law school/Langdell (which was definitely nice during finals) but otherwise it's pretty much unvarnished horrible.

PMan99
Posts: 300
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:21 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby PMan99 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:12 pm

justinp wrote:I would strongly recommend that you not live in Gropius. Pay more for Hastings or an apartment.

I guess the caveat here is that this only applies if you are the sort of person who likes to have people over to hang out and watch TV/play board games/cook/drink before going to bars. Can't really do that in Gropius. There are common rooms, but they are tiny and awful and don't exist on many floors.

If you don't ever want to have somewhere to invite friends to, I guess Gropius is fine. It definitely is the cheapest living option if you want to be close to the law school/Langdell (which was definitely nice during finals) but otherwise it's pretty much unvarnished horrible.


I'll cosign - even aside from ever having people over, it's incredibly small even for one person. Also, very thin walls (you will hear everything in your hallway) and a horrible person:bathroom/kitchen ratio. You do save a decent amount of money over Hastings/North/Apartments, but it just isn't worth it for the vast majority of people - which is why Gropius is filled with 1Ls, because they don't know better.

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:24 pm

justinp wrote:I guess the caveat here is that this only applies if you are the sort of person who likes to have people over to hang out and watch TV/play board games/cook/drink before going to bars. Can't really do that in Gropius. There are common rooms, but they are tiny and awful and don't exist on many floors.

The common rooms are large enough to accommodate half a dozen comfortably and more than 10 pretty regularly if people mill a bit or whatever. I don't think they're tiny or awful at all, and you always have a common room no more than a hall away (e.g. if you're on Dane 2, then Ames 2, which is just down the hallway, is your common room).

I mention this just because large groups tend to congregate and socialize in Ames 1, and I hear people playing board games as I walk by Ames 3 all the time.

I've loved being in Gropius, partly because I've gotten to know people outside my 1L section and stay in touch with law people during my MPP1 year.

Some bathrooms/kitchens are much busier than others. Ames 3 has a pretty busy kitchen because it serves four floors (Holmes 3, Ames 3, Dane 3, and Ames 4), while Dane 1 is pretty empty because it basically only serves Dane 1 and to some extent Ames 1.

At some point, I should write up all the quirks of the housing scheme in the Holmes-Ames-Dane complex. It's not intuitive at all how it ends up playing out.

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:22 pm

tomwatts wrote:At some point, I should write up all the quirks of the housing scheme in the Holmes-Ames-Dane complex. It's not intuitive at all how it ends up playing out.

And now, after procrastinating on a problem set that I don't really want to do, here it is:

YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO HOLMES, AMES, AND DANE (PART OF THE GROPIUS COMPLEX)
Holmes, Ames, and Dane are three connected parts of the Gropius complex, such that you never have to step outside to go from one to the other. (Shaw and Story are connected to the three by a roofed but open walkway.) Ames is in the middle and is 4 floors tall. Holmes and Dane are on the sides and are 3 floors tall, but Holmes 1 doesn’t have residences. The doors connecting Ames and Holmes are unlocked and open, but the doors connecting Ames and Dane are locked and closed, so you have to use a key to get from one to the other. You also have to use a key to get to a floor above or below yours.

The basic amenities on a floor are the bathroom, possibly a lounge, and possibly a kitchen. The floors alternate male/female bathrooms, starting with Ames 1 female and Dane 1 male. Thus, Ames 2 has a male bathroom, and Holmes 2 and Dane 2 have female bathrooms, and so it alternates all the way up. The floors are generally coed, but they tend to segregate partially by the type of bathroom nearby. Ames also has lounges on every floor; Dane 3 is the only non-Ames floor with a lounge. Kitchens are placed apparently randomly: Dane 1, Dane 2, Holmes 2, and Ames 3. Ames has a few much larger (and more expensive) rooms as well as the regular (small) rooms that the other buildings have.

Some people want to live near a lounge, and some don’t. Ames 1 tends to be pretty active every year; the other lounges vary. If you’re living right next to the lounge, you can hear everything that goes on in it. If you’re living down the hall a ways, you hear it if it gets loud, but not otherwise. If you’re around the turn (e.g. Holmes 2, around the turn from Ames 2), you don’t hear anything.

Also, if you care about how much traffic goes through your bathroom or kitchen, then you probably want Dane. Because Dane is locked off from the other two, it tends to get less use for its facilities. Dane 1 and Ames 1 also have nice, large shower stalls intended for (I think) handicapped students but available for anyone’s use.

Short version: If you’re female and want to be near a lounge, you probably want Ames 3 or possibly Ames 1. If you’re female and don’t want to be near a lounge, you probably want Holmes 2 or Dane 2. If you’re male and want to be near a lounge, you probably want Ames 2, or maybe Dane 3 or Ames 4. If you’re male and don’t want to be near a lounge, you want Dane 1 or maybe Holmes 3. Wanting large rooms, larger stalls in the bathroom, a less busy bathroom, or other things may change your calculation, and being right at the end of Ames closest to Holmes or the end of Holmes closest to Ames is basically equivalent.

Here’s the floor by floor breakdown:

Ames 1: This is probably the best floor for a female who wants to be near a very social lounge and doesn’t care about being near a kitchen. Amenities: Female bathroom (not busy, large stalls). Nearest male bathroom is either Dane 1 (through a locked door) or Ames 2 (through a locked door). Lounge (fairly busy, general meetup place for most Gropius gatherings). Nearest kitchen is either Dane 1 (through a locked door) or Holmes 2 (through a locked door). Large rooms available.
Dane 1: This is probably the best floor for a male who wants to be near a kitchen and not near a lounge. Amenities: Male bathroom (not busy, large stalls). Nearest female bathroom is Dane 2 (through a locked door). Nearest lounge is Ames 1. Kitchen (not busy).

Holmes 2: This is one of the best floors for a female who doesn’t want to be near a lounge. Amenities: Female bathroom (somewhat busy? Not sure). Nearest male bathroom is Ames 2 (through an open door). Nearest lounge is Ames 2 (through an open door). Kitchen (somewhat busy).
Ames 2: This is probably the best floor for a male who wants to be near a lounge. Amenities: Male bathroom (somewhat busy). Nearest female bathroom is either Holmes 2 (through an open door) or Dane 2 (through a locked door). Lounge. Nearest kitchen is either Holmes 2 (through an open door) or Dane 2 (through a locked door). Large rooms available.
Dane 2: This is one of the best floors for a female who doesn’t want to be near a lounge. Amenities: Female bathroom (not busy? Not sure). Nearest male bathroom is a floor up or down or in Ames 2 (any of which is through a locked door). Nearest lounge is either Ames 2 (through a locked door) or Dane 3 (through a locked door). Kitchen (somewhat busy).

Holmes 3: This is an okay floor for a male who doesn’t want to be near a lounge and doesn’t mind sharing a kitchen with a lot of people (or going through a locked door to get to one). Amenities: Male bathroom (not very busy — Ames 3 males for some reason use Ames 4 a lot). Nearest female bathroom is Ames 3 (through an open door). Nearest lounge is Ames 3. Nearest kitchen is Ames 3 (very busy), though Holmes 2 (through a locked door) is also an option.
Ames 3: This is the best floor for a female who wants to be near a lounge and wants a kitchen nearby. Amenities: Female bathroom. Nearest male bathroom is Holmes 3 (through an open door), Dane 3 (through a locked door), or Ames 4 (through a locked door). Lounge. Kitchen (very busy). Large rooms available.
Dane 3: This is an okay floor for a male who wants to be near a lounge and doesn’t mind going through a locked door to a kitchen. Amenities: Male bathroom (not busy? Not sure). Nearest female bathroom is Ames 3. Lounge. Nearest kitchen is Dane 2 or Ames 3 (both through a locked door).

Ames 4: This is a good floor for a male who wants to be near a lounge and doesn’t mind going through a locked door to a kitchen. Amenities: Male bathroom (somewhat busy). Lounge. Nearest kitchen is Ames 3 (through a locked door). All-male floor. Large rooms available.

pinnipotto
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 9:45 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby pinnipotto » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:14 pm

Thanks for this analysis! I'm pretty interested in Gropius and while you can see the lounge/kitchen/bathrooms on the floor plan it is great to know a little more about which ones tend to be busier and where you need a key, etc.

User avatar
acrossthelake
Posts: 4432
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:23 pm

I actually think dorm-living can be a good way to meet people. I sort of wish I had.

User avatar
kulshan
Posts: 413
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:59 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby kulshan » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:05 pm

I applied for fin aid last year, but ended up deferring. I am starting the process of applying this year, and I don't see anything about the NeedAccess form, which was required last year. Did HLS stop using it? Or maybe I'm mis-remembering and I filled out the NeedAccess form for other schools, but not for HLS?

waters
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:55 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby waters » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:18 pm

delusional wrote:Well, parental contribution can be tricky to work out. But they'd only be counting 75% the first year, going down over the next two. The maximum expected parental contribution your first year would be like $39k and your expected COA would be something like $100k, resulting in a grant of around $10k. But by 3L year you would probably qualify for close to a full tuition grant (although a summer job would affect that). Would you choose UT with a full scholarship over Harvard with a half scholarship? Consider also LIPP, whether you plan to have another child during law school, and whether your wife would work in either TX or in MA. It might also be worthwhile to defer for a year so you can get a larger grant.


Could someone confirm this? If one is borderline (eg. 25-28 years old), would a year's deferral add an extra 25% deduction in parental contribution?

User avatar
yarsten
Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:28 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby yarsten » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:38 pm

waters wrote:Could someone confirm this? If one is borderline (eg. 25-28 years old), would a year's deferral add an extra 25% deduction in parental contribution?


Yes, the following ages and parental contribution reductions apply for each year (age is determined as your age by 9/1 of that school year):
26- 25% reduced
27- 50% reduced
28- 75% reduced
29 and up- no expected parental contribution

waters
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:55 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby waters » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:53 pm

yarsten wrote:
waters wrote:Could someone confirm this? If one is borderline (eg. 25-28 years old), would a year's deferral add an extra 25% deduction in parental contribution?


Yes, the following ages and parental contribution reductions apply for each year (age is determined as your age by 9/1 of that school year):
26- 25% reduced
27- 50% reduced
28- 75% reduced
29 and up- no expected parental contribution


Do many students defer for this reason?

tomwatts
Posts: 1551
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:29 am

waters wrote:Do many students defer for this reason?

No. Deferring a year to be $20,000 less in debt (or whatever) is a pretty terrible idea when you're going to be making $160,000 on the other end. (Or, if you're going into public interest, if you're not going to be paying back your loans anyway on the other end.)

User avatar
acrossthelake
Posts: 4432
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:43 am

tomwatts wrote:
waters wrote:Do many students defer for this reason?

No. Deferring a year to be $20,000 less in debt (or whatever) is a pretty terrible idea when you're going to be making $160,000 on the other end. (Or, if you're going into public interest, if you're not going to be paying back your loans anyway on the other end.)


yeah, opportunity cost doesn't seem worth it.

AllTheLawz
Posts: 369
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:20 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby AllTheLawz » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:12 am

waters wrote:
yarsten wrote:
waters wrote:Could someone confirm this? If one is borderline (eg. 25-28 years old), would a year's deferral add an extra 25% deduction in parental contribution?


Yes, the following ages and parental contribution reductions apply for each year (age is determined as your age by 9/1 of that school year):
26- 25% reduced
27- 50% reduced
28- 75% reduced
29 and up- no expected parental contribution


Do many students defer for this reason?


It only makes a difference in very particular circumstances w/ the base loan already being some $42k+. So, for instance, if your original parental contribution was $50k a reduction by 25% drops it to $37.5k and makes no difference. The subset of people for which it would matter has to be miniscule. Plus, assuming you worked during your late 20s, you risk making enough money to increase your student contribution significantly and if you get a 2L SA your 3L year destroys finaid anyway.

Mista Bojangles
Posts: 243
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:33 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mista Bojangles » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:19 pm

if i do something that reeks of PI in my 1L summer, will it hamper me significantly at EIP? assuming grades are fine

User avatar
acrossthelake
Posts: 4432
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:29 pm

Most ppl can only get pi, so it's nbd.

Mista Bojangles
Posts: 243
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:33 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mista Bojangles » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:32 pm

acrossthelake wrote:Most ppl can only get pi, so it's nbd.


i get that very few 1Ls work at firms, but i feel like a lot of people i know are working at attorney's office-type positions. what i had in mind was something more like an overseas human rights NGO. still not an EIP eyebrow raiser?

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3224
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:42 pm

Mista Bojangles wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Most ppl can only get pi, so it's nbd.


i get that very few 1Ls work at firms, but i feel like a lot of people i know are working at attorney's office-type positions. what i had in mind was something more like an overseas human rights NGO. still not an EIP eyebrow raiser?


No.

Mista Bojangles
Posts: 243
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:33 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mista Bojangles » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:45 pm

ph14 wrote:
Mista Bojangles wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Most ppl can only get pi, so it's nbd.


i get that very few 1Ls work at firms, but i feel like a lot of people i know are working at attorney's office-type positions. what i had in mind was something more like an overseas human rights NGO. still not an EIP eyebrow raiser?


No.


excellent, thanks :mrgreen:

arez
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Aug 12, 2011 8:43 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby arez » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:55 pm

A variation on Mista Bojangles' question: If I work for a V20 firm in my midwestern-ish hometown this summer (1L summer) will I be stuck explaining during EIP why I don't want to work for them again next summer? I want to accept the offer but at the same time I don't want to be stuck with awkward EIP interviews!

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3224
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:55 pm

arez wrote:A variation on Mista Bojangles' question: If I work for a V20 firm in my midwestern-ish hometown this summer (1L summer) will I be stuck explaining during EIP why I don't want to work for them again next summer? I want to accept the offer but at the same time I don't want to be stuck with awkward EIP interviews!


You can probably just return for 2-4 weeks at the end of your 2L summer. That is, you can split between a firm at EIP and your 1L firm.

User avatar
englawyer
Posts: 1270
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:57 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:08 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.


I was a multi-city applicant, including Boston. If you are aiming for the top firms in Boston (Ropes, Wilmer, Goodwin), median at H is far from a lock, at least if you consider median in a broader sense (interview skills + personality + background + grades). Boston is a fairly popular market for H, even for people not from MA. It's lower cost-of-living, its convenient for HLS students (some move into their "real" apartment during school), and its a reasonably interesting/fun city.

About 100 bid on Boston each year (using the # applying to the Boston firms as a proxy), yet those three firms collectively took 25 summers. EIP stats say its roughly a 50% chance for Ropes and 25% for Wilmer (from screening to offer), and those stats are correlated (some people clean up, while some virtually strike out).

No firm wants a summer program filled with HLS students, so I agree w/ Delusional that Stanford probably has an employment advantage in Boston. There are probably less people aiming for Boston from S (and less people period) but S is just as valued as H. However, there are definitely benefits for H. It is a nice that you would not have to sublet over the summers, and interviews/networking will be easier. Overall, I would go for Stanford. S seems to have less competition, more faculty attention, great weather, and the rare-factor will help in the Boston market.

mommalee
Posts: 176
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:05 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby mommalee » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:25 pm

Are there any current students who can comment on elementary schools and decent places to live with small children?




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests