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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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:15 am

fpn17 wrote:So can/do people who get LR just resign from secondary journals?


you can, and many do. some keep up both though.

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I, Lawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby I, Lawyer » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:28 am

Couple different questions:

I need to change banks; any recommendations on what is convenient in the area? Maybe chase or BofA?

As far as on campus food options, how is the quality/price/variety?

does the school provide us access to the WSJ, NYT or anything?

Thanks in advance

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holmes
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby holmes » Fri Jul 19, 2013 9:38 am

BofA has an ATM right in Wasserstein so it's really convenient (also a branch in Harvard Square). No Chase ATMs anywhere near. I had Chase before law school and had to open a BofA account.

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pupshaw
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby pupshaw » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:05 am

holmes wrote:BofA has an ATM right in Wasserstein


Wait, seriously? Where is it? How have I missed this for a year.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Fri Jul 19, 2013 10:55 am

Toward the north side of the ground floor of the Hark, tucked into an alcove. If you're walking out toward Gropius, it's on your left.

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pupshaw
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby pupshaw » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:10 am

You guys are blowing my mind right now.

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pupshaw
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby pupshaw » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:36 pm

Are waitlists for fall classes going to keep moving/start moving again as the start of the semester approaches, or are you more or less out of luck if you're still a ways down the list at this point?

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:43 pm

cerealdan wrote:Are waitlists for fall classes going to keep moving/start moving again as the start of the semester approaches, or are you more or less out of luck if you're still a ways down the list at this point?

FIRESALE!

hlsperson1111
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby hlsperson1111 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:05 pm

Yep, unless you want an *extremely* popular class (think 1st Amendment with Feldman, 14th with Klarman, maybe Copyright), you should be able to get anything you want by the time the fire sale rolls around. Even if you are on the waitlist for one of these classes, there will be significant waitlist movement and you still have an excellent chance of getting in.

Stinson
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Stinson » Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:13 pm

I, Lawyer wrote:Couple different questions:

I need to change banks; any recommendations on what is convenient in the area? Maybe chase or BofA?

As far as on campus food options, how is the quality/price/variety?

does the school provide us access to the WSJ, NYT or anything?

Thanks in advance


If you have a separate reason for BofA, like you live next to one now and you can/want to for convenience reasons open the account now, go for it. But TD Bank also has a branch in Harvard square and most people I know, myself included, have had better customer experiences with TD. Additionally, if you keep a $2500 balance in your TD account you can use the BofA ATM in Wasserstein for free (as far as I remember).

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

Postby Mr. Elshal » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:17 pm

Would any current students who have read 1L mind briefly touching on which aspects of that book are similar to the HLS 1L experience now and which are different? I've heard that it's less extreme now, but I feel like a more detailed answer would be helpful.

Also, is it unrealistic to try to participate in two extra-curricular activities starting during my first semester?

Thanks!

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thelawschoolproject
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby thelawschoolproject » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:29 pm

zor wrote:
Yikes. Thanks for the perspective. What's "a bad situation"? Awkward discussions or actual disciplinary action? You can PM if you want.

Also, I assume I'm going to be in the minority in terms of who's going to actually use the kitchen and cook, right? There are pots/pans and plates and stuff?



I think it was more of an awkward discussion with the Housing lady in the WCC. Not sure what came out of that, though.


Um...I feel like the kitchens are used all of the time, especially if you're on a female floor. But yes, there are pots/pans . . . you might wanna bring your own plate/bowls/cups/silverware though. I don't remember those being provided.

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thelawschoolproject
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby thelawschoolproject » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:34 pm

Mr. Elshal wrote:Would any current students who have read 1L mind briefly touching on which aspects of that book are similar to the HLS 1L experience now and which are different? I've heard that it's less extreme now, but I feel like a more detailed answer would be helpful.

Also, is it unrealistic to try to participate in two extra-curricular activities starting during my first semester?

Thanks!


There are a lot of differences. Grades don't work in the same way. HLS as an institution is more focused on the student than it was in the 70s. There's more of an emphasis placed on students socializing with each other, hence the pub in the law school. I'd also say professors are encouraged to be more accessible. There are more clinics, which means more of an opportunity to gain practical experience. Finals aren't all 3 hr, closed book examinations. Lots of them are all day take home examinations (you get 8 hrs to do the work).

As to your second question, it depends on you. Look, nothing about who you are changes when you start law school. If you were able to juggle lots of activities before HLS you'll be able to do it again. I was involved in a journal, a student practice organization, two affinity groups, and one "club" during my first semester. Did most people do this? No. Did it work for me? Definitely. Just depends on the person.

richyrich
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby richyrich » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:58 pm

Mr. Elshal wrote: Also, is it unrealistic to try to participate in two extra-curricular activities starting during my first semester?


No, not unrealistic. I only did one (a journal) but many people in my section joined two journals, a journal and a student practice org, or a journal/SPO and a club. A few even joined 3+ activities but I'm not sure if they managed to sustain their participation through spring semester. I only did one (a journal) so that's all I can directly speak to. Many of the journals aren't a huge time commitment during the first semester so two activities would be doable. My journal only expected first semester 1Ls to subcite, which involved showing up at the library for 8 hours on a specific weekend day and checking the citations in a law review article. That was it. However, for some of the journals, required participation ramps up in the spring. For instance, starting in January, my journal expected me to prepare for and attend weekly meetings which sometimes lasted 2+ hours. It was doable, but definitely irritating when I had legal writing deadlines or a lot to read. However, time commitment is going to totally depend on the extra-curricular. Most of my friends weren't expected to participate nearly as much for their journals and student practice orgs vary in how much time they want you to work. If I remember correctly, the school hands out some sort of chart detailing how much time is required for each SPO. And the school holds separate fairs for the journals, clubs, and SPOs in the fall so you can get specifics on time commitment from members.

lgm13
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lgm13 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:20 pm

Does anyone know if/how we can get Microsoft Office software for free (or cheaper than normal) from HLS?

hlsperson1111
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby hlsperson1111 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:30 pm

lgm13 wrote:Does anyone know if/how we can get Microsoft Office software for free (or cheaper than normal) from HLS?


You can get it through Harvard Technology Services once you have a HUID, don't know if there's a way to get it for free.

Also, you can definitely do 2+ extracurriculars unless you are one of those people who needs to study a million hours a day, but you should not feel compelled to. I don't think there's a lot of instrumental value in doing extracurriculars besides a single journal (FedSoc/ACS may be an exception if you are trying to position yourself for certain clerkships), so I would really only do more activities if they are things that you genuinely enjoy doing.

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

Postby Mr. Elshal » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:34 pm

richyrich wrote:
Mr. Elshal wrote: Also, is it unrealistic to try to participate in two extra-curricular activities starting during my first semester?


No, not unrealistic. I only did one (a journal) but many people in my section joined two journals, a journal and a student practice org, or a journal/SPO and a club. A few even joined 3+ activities but I'm not sure if they managed to sustain their participation through spring semester. I only did one (a journal) so that's all I can directly speak to. Many of the journals aren't a huge time commitment during the first semester so two activities would be doable. My journal only expected first semester 1Ls to subcite, which involved showing up at the library for 8 hours on a specific weekend day and checking the citations in a law review article. That was it. However, for some of the journals, required participation ramps up in the spring. For instance, starting in January, my journal expected me to prepare for and attend weekly meetings which sometimes lasted 2+ hours. It was doable, but definitely irritating when I had legal writing deadlines or a lot to read. However, time commitment is going to totally depend on the extra-curricular. Most of my friends weren't expected to participate nearly as much for their journals and student practice orgs vary in how much time they want you to work. If I remember correctly, the school hands out some sort of chart detailing how much time is required for each SPO. And the school holds separate fairs for the journals, clubs, and SPOs in the fall so you can get specifics on time commitment from members.


thelawschoolproject wrote:
Mr. Elshal wrote:Would any current students who have read 1L mind briefly touching on which aspects of that book are similar to the HLS 1L experience now and which are different? I've heard that it's less extreme now, but I feel like a more detailed answer would be helpful.

Also, is it unrealistic to try to participate in two extra-curricular activities starting during my first semester?

Thanks!


There are a lot of differences. Grades don't work in the same way. HLS as an institution is more focused on the student than it was in the 70s. There's more of an emphasis placed on students socializing with each other, hence the pub in the law school. I'd also say professors are encouraged to be more accessible. There are more clinics, which means more of an opportunity to gain practical experience. Finals aren't all 3 hr, closed book examinations. Lots of them are all day take home examinations (you get 8 hrs to do the work).

As to your second question, it depends on you. Look, nothing about who you are changes when you start law school. If you were able to juggle lots of activities before HLS you'll be able to do it again. I was involved in a journal, a student practice organization, two affinity groups, and one "club" during my first semester. Did most people do this? No. Did it work for me? Definitely. Just depends on the person.


Thanks for the quick responses. I really appreciate the insight. My aim is to join a journal and an SPO, and I'm glad to hear that it's doable (if not necessarily for everyone).

And TheLawSchoolProject, thanks for the comparison to the book. That resonates with things that I had heard from staff at the school, so it's nice to hear it from a student. That's reassuring.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:54 am

The stories I've heard about HLS in the 1970s or 1980s — or, come to think of it, pretty much any time before 2003 — sound horrifying and totally different from my experience in the past few years.

You can really see the change in the way that they've redone the buildings. (And this is representative of how they've changed other things.) Prior to the building of Wasserstein, pretty much every building on campus was faculty-centric. Austin, Langdell, Lewis, Areeda, Griswold, and Pound all were designed to be convenient for faculty to have offices, do their research, and walk out to teach every now and then. Student space and student services were pretty neglected. Now, Wasserstein and Caspersen are extremely student-centric buildings. They have food, study space, meeting space, and pretty much every student service (registrar, financial services, career services, etc.) that students will need. They're even refurbishing Gropius to be a little less Gropius.

There has been a very deliberate effort to make the school friendlier for students. It began under Dean Kagan, but Dean Minow has continued it, and while HLS is not exactly a paradise, I don't think it's likely to cause the emotional scarring that people talk about from before the Kagan/Minow reforms.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:02 pm

I joined several organizations as a 1L and was glad I did. I joined a (low-commitment) journal, a (moderate commitment) SPO, a (moderate commitment) issue-based group, and another (very high commitment) group. I also did a no-credit reading group with a professor my first semester, which was fantastic but I've heard mixed things about other 1L reading groups. Doing all these activities helped me make 2L and 3L friends very quickly, so I had people looking out for me who knew the ropes and helped calm me down when other 1Ls were just freaking me out. It was also nice to meet people with common interests outside my section, especially since the 1L curriculum wasn't really directly connected to my intended career area. Plus, your first semester, your work will take up as much time as you let it, so it was good for me to have constructive distractions and learn quickly that I really should not be briefing every case.

This was basically my approach to undergrad and high school as well, so as thelawschoolproject said, your milage may vary -- keep doing what has worked for you so far.

I haven't read One L but everyone who read it said that it was entertaining but basically useless for understanding how HLS is now.

roranoa
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby roranoa » Tue Jul 23, 2013 7:59 pm

People of Harvard Law, how much time did you spend studying for the LSAT? 1 month? 2 months? 3?

roranoa
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby roranoa » Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:44 am

Wormfather wrote:
roranoa wrote:People of Harvard Law, how much time did you spend studying for the LSAT? 1 month? 2 months? 3?


Lol, Harvard students don't have to study for the lsat.

J/K I studied for about seven months combined, taking the test a total of three times.


Did you cancel the first two scores? Or did you get in with 3 scores?

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Jul 24, 2013 12:20 pm

roranoa wrote:People of Harvard Law, how much time did you spend studying for the LSAT? 1 month? 2 months? 3?


1.5 months.

ETA: This question isn't really as useful as you might think it is. This stuff is highly individualized. Some people score into the 170s on their first try, and yet I know someone else who climbed from the 150s to a 180 after many months of practice.

Mr. Elshal wrote:
Also, is it unrealistic to try to participate in two extra-curricular activities starting during my first semester?

Thanks!


No, I did an SPO, a journal, and sort of did an affinity group. I knocked out my 40 hours of pro-bono requirement doing an SPO my first two years. Most journals don't expect very much from their first-years first semester. Mine expects more, but not too much more, second semester if you rise. The ramp up in work load is really in joining the masthead 2L year.

One of my close friends here did a handful of organizations (well over three) and handled it no problem.

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Searchparty
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Searchparty » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:04 pm

roranoa wrote:People of Harvard Law, how much time did you spend studying for the LSAT? 1 month? 2 months? 3?


~ 3 months

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:05 pm

roranoa wrote:People of Harvard Law, how much time did you spend studying for the LSAT? 1 month? 2 months? 3?

Two weeks, and that was only because I took a few days off to go to the Bahamas in the middle of studying.

[But seriously, studying the "right" amount, as defined by other students, isn't what's going to magically get you into a top school]

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Wed Jul 24, 2013 8:30 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:studying the "right" amount, as defined by other students, isn't what's going to magically get you into a top school


Yeah, this information is nearly useless without a lot more context. Aim high and do what it takes YOU (not some random other person) to get there without sacrificing your life and your sanity. If you find reading quickly, manipulating abstract rules, and performing under time pressure are a huge struggle, then law school is not for you. If you already have those skills, the LSAT is learn-able without killing yourself.

For what it's worth, I studied for two months while working full time. Maybe spent 10 hours a week the first month, and 15 the second month.




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