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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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:57 am

Harv wrote:Hey, read the whole thread. It's super informative, thank you everyone who contributed. I'm a Canadian debating between HLS and U of T (Canada's best). I'm willing to go wherever opportunity and adventure takes me, but the approximately 100,000 more in debt I would carry out of Harvard gives me pause. Admittedly, I haven't researched this thoroughly, but it seems that Canada's economy/legal market is more stable than America's. Though, of course, HLS grads are pretty insulated from America's volatility. Given the debt load that I'll be carrying at either school, I am interested in big law (at least in the beginning). Both schools place quite well in this regard.

When I consider HLS, and the job prospects after, I have the following concerns:
No geographic ties anywhere in the US
No-name undergrad
No relevant work experience, though I have a few years of carpentry experience (perhaps this nets me some sort of maturity/character points?)

I would say my only saving grace at this pont (can't predict my grades) would be that I think I'm relatively socially adept. I'm confident that I would have a great three years at either school, so post-grad job prospects and lifestyle are my primary concerns. Any thoughts?
Thanks.



from my understanding (talking to my canadian friends and understanding of job prospects), you are in a winning situation, just go where you are happiest. seems like a win-win. chat with people, come visit, see where you would be the happiest.

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bob loblaw11
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby bob loblaw11 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:49 pm

Are there class attendance requirements 1L year?

Also, I know that your section is picked by the administration, but for personal reasons I was hoping to end class as early as possible on Fridays. Have you ever heard of a student having a request like that honored?

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:50 pm

bob loblaw11 wrote:Are there class attendance requirements 1L year?

Also, I know that your section is picked by the administration, but for personal reasons I was hoping to end class as early as possible on Fridays. Have you ever heard of a student having a request like that honored?


Most professors don't take attendance, nor have attendance policies, but there is an official ABA one. And you should attend classes anyways as a 1L. Do you have something better to do? And I don't think i've heard of anything like that honored. If you are an observant jew you will be fine. There are tons at HLS and they manage to get home before the sabbath without much issue.

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bob loblaw11
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby bob loblaw11 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:58 pm

Thank you. I'm considering commuting during some weekends. I would obviously plan around my regular schedule, but I am concerned about last minute make-up classes, etc. after travel was booked. This helped, I appreciate it.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 2:01 pm

bob loblaw11 wrote:Thank you. I'm considering commuting during some weekends. I would obviously plan around my regular schedule, but I am concerned about last minute make-up classes, etc. after travel was booked. This helped, I appreciate it.


You're definitely not going to get your request accommodated if your reason is that you wanted to commute on weekends. I think the policy for make-up classes is that they are recorded, for that exact reason that sometimes people can't make make-up classes. You generally have a week or two of notice, if not more though, but not always, so you might be able to accommodate make up classes.

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bob loblaw11
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby bob loblaw11 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:49 pm

Another question: can anyone speak to need-based grants over the years? I was fortunate enough to receive some aid; can I make the assumption that if my parent's income levels stay relatively stable over the next three years, my aid package will as well? I'd like to estimate COA as best I can. Thanks!

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Blessedassurance
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:16 pm

bob loblaw11 wrote:Another question: can anyone speak to need-based grants over the years? I was fortunate enough to receive some aid; can I make the assumption that if my parent's income levels stay relatively stable over the next three years, my aid package will as well? I'd like to estimate COA as best I can. Thanks!


getting an SA affects your grant. there's an explanation somewhere. getting a 1l SA affects your grant, which i think is a disincentive to find a 1l SA as opposed to doing PI and using spiff, since you make little profit, if any, but whatever. it's probably "fair" in the grand scheme of things, who knows.

Edit: i don't remember the numbers off the top of my head but roughly, you're expected to contribute approximately 90% of your summer income after subtracting taxes and like a 7-8 grand allowance (can't remember) from your gross. basically the profit you make comes from living below the allowance plus the 10% after the 90% is subtracted from the remainder. they have the calculations for different scenarios on their website.

e.g.

let's say you gross 30,000 over the summer. First they subtract the taxes you paid. then subtract the allowance (which is 7-8,000, i forget). you're then expected to contribute 90% of the remainder to your education. i think stanford has a similar model although the allowance allowed may be different. people who do PI 1L get funding (like 4,000 or something), and keep their grants, all other things being equal. as such, the lower your grant, the more you benefit from getting a 1L SA. the higher your initial grant, the lower the benefit gained (in monetary terms) from a 1l SA.
Last edited by Blessedassurance on Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bob loblaw11
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby bob loblaw11 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:44 pm

Thank you! Clearly I need to do my homework on SA work. I thought it was really only my parent's income that would influence the grant.

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howlery
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby howlery » Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:17 pm

Around how many pro bono hours did you all complete? Does the student with the most hours get any kind of recognition? Students who complete more than a 1000 hours are mentioned during commencement. How could one go about getting that many? Doing a clinic+SPO every semester beginning 1L spring?

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Searchparty
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Searchparty » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:18 pm

bob loblaw11 wrote:Thank you! Clearly I need to do my homework on SA work. I thought it was really only my parent's income that would influence the grant.


Plus your assets. You're required for your 1L year to contribute a minimum of 2500 from your summer work or else your gross summer income minus taxes minus $7k allowance times .9. Your 2L and 3L if you do PI, you (can) get SPIF and don't have to contribute any. But definitely 1L no less than $2500

Then every year your total assets (as of when you did your fin aid form) divided by three (for each year) minus $500 (emergency reserve)

GertrudePerkins
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby GertrudePerkins » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:45 pm

howlery wrote:Around how many pro bono hours did you all complete? Does the student with the most hours get any kind of recognition? Students who complete more than a 1000 hours are mentioned during commencement. How could one go about getting that many? Doing a clinic+SPO every semester beginning 1L spring?
You can get pro bono hours for working PI summer employment as well. (That's how I got mine.) Figure 40 hours per week for 8-10 weeks, so that takes you roughly a third of the way to 1000 right there. HLAB would obviously be another way to earn lots of pro bono hours.

ETA: I shouldn't say "earn," but rather "undertake" or something similar. You get the idea.

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:47 pm

bob loblaw11 wrote:Another question: can anyone speak to need-based grants over the years? I was fortunate enough to receive some aid; can I make the assumption that if my parent's income levels stay relatively stable over the next three years, my aid package will as well? I'd like to estimate COA as best I can. Thanks!


depends on age. if you are under 29 or whatever the cutoff is, your grant allocation going up is basically balanced with your SA money (ie when parental contribution goes from 50% to 25%). of course that depends on the circumstances. if your parents are expected to pay $0, then 50% of 0 = 25% of 0.

basically, if ur 21-24 entering, you can expect your grant aid (if any) to go down over the years because parental contribution factor is always 100%. if you are 25-28 you can expect your grant amount to go up as your parental contribution factor is decreased, but that increase in grant is balanced by a decrease due to SA money. if you are 29 or over, then your grant aid will go down over the years from an SA because your parents were never figured in the first place.

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dcg2120
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby dcg2120 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:30 pm

Does anyone know if Prof. Oren Gross is coming back to Harvard on a permanent basis? I read somewhere on TLS (couldn't find the thread; forum search for "gross" turned up a bunch of lounge posts about feet) that he was a visiting prof this year but that HLS might hire him away from Minnesota. I sat in on his class during ASW and thought he was awesome.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:42 pm

dcg2120 wrote:Does anyone know if Prof. Oren Gross is coming back to Harvard on a permanent basis? I read somewhere on TLS (couldn't find the thread; forum search for "gross" turned up a bunch of lounge posts about feet) that he was a visiting prof this year but that HLS might hire him away from Minnesota. I sat in on his class during ASW and thought he was awesome.


I don't think the committee has made the decision yet. If you check http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/ every so often, that's where it should be announced.

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dcg2120
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby dcg2120 » Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:16 pm

ph14 wrote:
dcg2120 wrote:Does anyone know if Prof. Oren Gross is coming back to Harvard on a permanent basis? I read somewhere on TLS (couldn't find the thread; forum search for "gross" turned up a bunch of lounge posts about feet) that he was a visiting prof this year but that HLS might hire him away from Minnesota. I sat in on his class during ASW and thought he was awesome.


I don't think the committee has made the decision yet. If you check http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/ every so often, that's where it should be announced.

Sweet, thanks.

PriOSky
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby PriOSky » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:11 pm

How are 1 credit courses (e.g. Introduction to Accounting and Corporate Financial Reports) graded? DS/H/P/LP? C/NC? Also, can you choose to take courses C/NC during 2L and 3L?

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facile princeps
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby facile princeps » Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:01 pm

Hey guys. First off, thanks for being awesome.

My question(s) is about off-campus housing. I was wondering whether or not I should be concerned about planning on securing an apartment (through HU Housing) for around early to mid August.

As I understand it, the self service window will allow me to select a unit but I wont be able to select one in, say, May and have them hold it until August without paying for it throughout (please correct me if I'm wrong on this). My problem is that I currently live in NYC and will be working here throughout the summer (until early/mid August). Is scarcity of units a problem that late in the game?

I'm guessing the majority of incoming students will have already selected their units and I'm worried about availability for late summer. Is it highly competitive to get apartments around that time? Should I just bite the bullet and secure a unit by the end of, say, June? (<--- the obvious issue being paying rent in both NYC and Cambridge)

I'd like to hold out as long as possible, but if you guys think it would be wise to get an apartment in early summer rather than later, I'll play it safe and try to secure one no later than the end of June.

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Searchparty
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Searchparty » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:30 pm

facile princeps wrote:Hey guys. First off, thanks for being awesome.

My question(s) is about off-campus housing. I was wondering whether or not I should be concerned about planning on securing an apartment (through HU Housing) for around early to mid August.

As I understand it, the self service window will allow me to select a unit but I wont be able to select one in, say, May and have them hold it until August without paying for it throughout (please correct me if I'm wrong on this). My problem is that I currently live in NYC and will be working here throughout the summer (until early/mid August). Is scarcity of units a problem that late in the game?

I'm guessing the majority of incoming students will have already selected their units and I'm worried about availability for late summer. Is it highly competitive to get apartments around that time? Should I just bite the bullet and secure a unit by the end of, say, June? (<--- the obvious issue being paying rent in both NYC and Cambridge)

I'd like to hold out as long as possible, but if you guys think it would be wise to get an apartment in early summer rather than later, I'll play it safe and try to secure one no later than the end of June.


HUH select time leases begin when the apartment is available. For instance, there are some available to have leases signed for today, but begin as late as June 6th. I can't speak for the window select time lease start dates, I can only speak for what I currently see. So, it's not exactly "if you want to sign now, you want to move in now," but I'm not sure if the lease start dates get pushed back as far as August.

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facile princeps
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby facile princeps » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:03 am

Searchparty wrote:
facile princeps wrote:Hey guys. First off, thanks for being awesome.

My question(s) is about off-campus housing. I was wondering whether or not I should be concerned about planning on securing an apartment (through HU Housing) for around early to mid August.

As I understand it, the self service window will allow me to select a unit but I wont be able to select one in, say, May and have them hold it until August without paying for it throughout (please correct me if I'm wrong on this). My problem is that I currently live in NYC and will be working here throughout the summer (until early/mid August). Is scarcity of units a problem that late in the game?

I'm guessing the majority of incoming students will have already selected their units and I'm worried about availability for late summer. Is it highly competitive to get apartments around that time? Should I just bite the bullet and secure a unit by the end of, say, June? (<--- the obvious issue being paying rent in both NYC and Cambridge)

I'd like to hold out as long as possible, but if you guys think it would be wise to get an apartment in early summer rather than later, I'll play it safe and try to secure one no later than the end of June.


HUH select time leases begin when the apartment is available. For instance, there are some available to have leases signed for today, but begin as late as June 6th. I can't speak for the window select time lease start dates, I can only speak for what I currently see. So, it's not exactly "if you want to sign now, you want to move in now," but I'm not sure if the lease start dates get pushed back as far as August.

Thanks.

I understand that (I'm also seeing the available units). What I'm asking is--based on anyone's experience--do you think there will still be an abundance of available units (or at least some options) around early/mid August? I just want to know if there are usually a decent amount of units left at the end of summer or if students usually scoop them up earlier in the summer, potentially leaving me without an option.

GertrudePerkins
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby GertrudePerkins » Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:22 am

PriOSky wrote:How are 1 credit courses (e.g. Introduction to Accounting and Corporate Financial Reports) graded? DS/H/P/LP? C/NC? Also, can you choose to take courses C/NC during 2L and 3L?
I think it may depend on the particular 1-credit course. Reading groups are always (I think) just credit/fail, but I'm not sure about others. As for your second question, no, you can't choose to take upper-level courses as credit/fail. They just are what they are.

hellohi
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby hellohi » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:26 am

Is there a large difference socially if you don't live on campus? Is HLS like undergrad where people get very tight with their dorm mates at the beginning or is it small enough that everyone knows everyone regardless of if you live close to each other or not? I guess basically I'm asking if you guys think there is a large social advantage to living on campus

GertrudePerkins
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby GertrudePerkins » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:09 pm

hellohi wrote:Is there a large difference socially if you don't live on campus? Is HLS like undergrad where people get very tight with their dorm mates at the beginning or is it small enough that everyone knows everyone regardless of if you live close to each other or not? I guess basically I'm asking if you guys think there is a large social advantage to living on campus
No, I don't think there's any social advantage, let alone a big one. So many students don't live on campus. There's probably some disadvantage from living so far away that you can't readily walk to campus, and/or have to plan your time around the commute. But between living in Gropius vs. living, say, up by Porter? I don't think it really matters.

Stinson
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Stinson » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:31 pm

I live in an off-campus apartment about ten minutes away near Harvard square. I really like living off campus because especially 1L can at times feel stressful or overwhelming, and it's nice to be able to just turn it off and go home. I firmly believe that, while socializing is important, it is equally important to be able to control one's exposure to law school.

AllTheLawz
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby AllTheLawz » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:12 pm

englawyer wrote:
bob loblaw11 wrote:Another question: can anyone speak to need-based grants over the years? I was fortunate enough to receive some aid; can I make the assumption that if my parent's income levels stay relatively stable over the next three years, my aid package will as well? I'd like to estimate COA as best I can. Thanks!


depends on age. if you are under 29 or whatever the cutoff is, your grant allocation going up is basically balanced with your SA money (ie when parental contribution goes from 50% to 25%). of course that depends on the circumstances. if your parents are expected to pay $0, then 50% of 0 = 25% of 0.

basically, if ur 21-24 entering, you can expect your grant aid (if any) to go down over the years because parental contribution factor is always 100%. if you are 25-28 you can expect your grant amount to go up as your parental contribution factor is decreased, but that increase in grant is balanced by a decrease due to SA money. if you are 29 or over, then your grant aid will go down over the years from an SA because your parents were never figured in the first place.


One word of warning since I think this could be misinterpreted. Even if you are 25-28 your grant aid is almost certain to decrease if you take an SA. This is because student contribution and base loan are calculated completely separately (i.e. the student contribution is IN ADDITION to a set base loan). The max aid for a normal student is like 36k. For max aid recipients, having an SA pretty much cuts grants in half (down to $18k). Say you received 15k your 2L year and the reduction in parental contribution factor would raise that to 22k your 3L year. If you get an SA your estimated student contribution will still be about $18k, resulting in the grant being knocked down to ~4k despite the reduction in parental contribution.

Moral of the story is that, barring a very specific set of circumstances, the typical single student should expect grant aid to be hit really hard by having an SA position. One major exception might be a person who is turning 29 and has parents with a very, very high contribution. In that case, the drop to zero contribution could be very significant.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:35 pm

GertrudePerkins wrote:
hellohi wrote:Is there a large difference socially if you don't live on campus? Is HLS like undergrad where people get very tight with their dorm mates at the beginning or is it small enough that everyone knows everyone regardless of if you live close to each other or not? I guess basically I'm asking if you guys think there is a large social advantage to living on campus
No, I don't think there's any social advantage, let alone a big one. So many students don't live on campus. There's probably some disadvantage from living so far away that you can't readily walk to campus, and/or have to plan your time around the commute. But between living in Gropius vs. living, say, up by Porter? I don't think it really matters.

I think that being in Gropius has led me to meet and remain in contact with a bunch of people I wouldn't otherwise have. I don't know that this is an "advantage," exactly (what on earth is a "social advantage," anyway? how competitive are we, here?), but it's been a personal plus.

Gropius is generally reputed to be much more social than Hastings or North. I don't think that there's a huge social difference between living in Hastings/North/off-campus. But I do think that there's a noticeable social difference between living in Gropius and anywhere else.




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