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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catsparka
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby catsparka » Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:12 pm

Thank so much for the insight!
I think I'll probably want to live with a roommate (preferably also a HLS student). How do most people find roommates? Is there like a directory listing type thing through the HLS housing website (and can I use this even if I'm looking for a roommate to live off-campus)?

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GeePee
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby GeePee » Sat Dec 18, 2010 9:00 pm

catsparka wrote:Thank so much for the insight!
I think I'll probably want to live with a roommate (preferably also a HLS student). How do most people find roommates? Is there like a directory listing type thing through the HLS housing website (and can I use this even if I'm looking for a roommate to live off-campus)?

Yes, there is a networking website to look for roommates. Stay tuned in the spring; they'll open it up right around when deposits are due.

@rv11 -- Yes, the HRES housing bidding goes from the beginning of May to the middle of June. This is before 3 months notice for September lease openings; if you're interested in comparing to off-campus stuff, then your best bet is to talk to a realtor so you can see what's available in each price range. Even if you end up hitting the craigslist lottery, getting a tour from a realtor is a good idea at some point.

omgwtfhls
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby omgwtfhls » Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:48 pm

catsparka wrote:Thank so much for the insight!
I think I'll probably want to live with a roommate (preferably also a HLS student). How do most people find roommates? Is there like a directory listing type thing through the HLS housing website (and can I use this even if I'm looking for a roommate to live off-campus)?


Hoy there, GeePee... I don't want to hijack your thread but I live off-campus so I thought I'd answer too :D

One of the sites you can use to find a non-HRES place to stay is here: http://hres.roommateclick.com

It's not exclusively for law school students; a lot of professors and grad students from other Harvard schools will post listings there. If you're willing to share a house, you can get a pretty good place near the law school for around $850 to $1000 a month. If you're willing to go a bit further to Somerville (~ 15 minute-walk from campus), the houses are older but you could probably find a place starting around $600 a month.

Nobody will really start posting on that site until later in the spring semester I'd imagine, but it's a good resource to have if you're seriously considering non-HRES housing :)

sarahh
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sarahh » Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:55 pm

Off campus housing is my only option because I have two cats. I will be living into California until school starts. I am planning to go to Cambridge for a week to look at places. When would be a good time to go? I am thinking early July, but I am not sure if that is too late.

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GeePee
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby GeePee » Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:50 pm

sarahh wrote:Off campus housing is my only option because I have two cats. I will be living into California until school starts. I am planning to go to Cambridge for a week to look at places. When would be a good time to go? I am thinking early July, but I am not sure if that is too late.

During June or the beginning of July is good. I'd say the second half of June is probably ideal because the majority of the apartments you'll see then will be Sept. 1 leases, but the first week of July is probably fine too. Plus, Fourth of July in Boston is fairly patriotic and fun if you'd like to city the city itself as well.

The Real Jack McCoy
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby The Real Jack McCoy » Wed Dec 22, 2010 7:00 pm

This set of questions might be a little early for the 1Ls:

Any additional information on the Summer Academic Fellowship Program? For instance, how difficult is it to obtain a summer fellowship and how open are most professors to signing on to research projects? Is it mostly for 2Ls and beyond or do 1Ls obtain these fellowships on a regular basis?

http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/fe ... ogram.html

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GeePee
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby GeePee » Sat Dec 25, 2010 2:08 am

The Real Jack McCoy wrote:This set of questions might be a little early for the 1Ls:

Any additional information on the Summer Academic Fellowship Program? For instance, how difficult is it to obtain a summer fellowship and how open are most professors to signing on to research projects? Is it mostly for 2Ls and beyond or do 1Ls obtain these fellowships on a regular basis?

http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/fe ... ogram.html

This is something that is better handled with a particular professor anyway, after you decide on your area of research interest and develop a good enough relationship with him or her to really think about this.

It's something that I've thought about, and I'll probably have more information for you in the next couple of months, but as of yet I don't have enough specifics on the process to give you a straight answer. On the other hand, JR will probably put you in touch with a faculty member if he hasn't done so yet, and I'm sure whoever that might be would have good information.

Also, there seem to be a couple more of these threads in other forums, is there any way we might be able to have them merged?

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Dec 25, 2010 2:10 am

Any advice for 0L summer if we want to do something? I was told by a 2L that if we contacted career services they might actually talk to us as admitted students(though not enrolled)--thoughts?

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby GeePee » Sat Dec 25, 2010 2:18 am

acrossthelake wrote:Any advice for 0L summer if we want to do something? I was told by a 2L that if we contacted career services they might actually talk to us as admitted students(though not enrolled)--thoughts?

Personally, I'd suggest doing as little as possible.

I worked my 0L summer to pad my resume a bit, but it was in a low-stress environment and I don't really recommend it in general. First semester 1L is more taxing than you'd expect.

Heeding that warning, if you'd still like to do some light work, OCS would actually talk to you. I would suggest waiting until about February when the 1L job search process dies down. When talking to OCS though, definitely emphasize that you're looking for something that's not too stressful -- you'll be glad you did.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Dec 25, 2010 2:14 pm

GeePee wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Any advice for 0L summer if we want to do something? I was told by a 2L that if we contacted career services they might actually talk to us as admitted students(though not enrolled)--thoughts?

Personally, I'd suggest doing as little as possible.

I worked my 0L summer to pad my resume a bit, but it was in a low-stress environment and I don't really recommend it in general. First semester 1L is more taxing than you'd expect.

Heeding that warning, if you'd still like to do some light work, OCS would actually talk to you. I would suggest waiting until about February when the 1L job search process dies down. When talking to OCS though, definitely emphasize that you're looking for something that's not too stressful -- you'll be glad you did.


I definitely understand the warning, though the binder notes that if one has no WE (as in, if someone went straight through from undergrad), then one should try to acquire *something* 0L summer to help attain a 1L summer job. I have part-time work experience(working as an RA, etc.), but none that I think that would help me in the 1L summer search. So, not sure where the balance lies between needing to relax vs. doing that.

APimpNamedSlickback
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Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:02 pm

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Last edited by APimpNamedSlickback on Thu Aug 25, 2011 6:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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GeePee
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby GeePee » Sun Dec 26, 2010 12:22 am

APimpNamedSlickback wrote:
GeePee wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Any advice for 0L summer if we want to do something? I was told by a 2L that if we contacted career services they might actually talk to us as admitted students(though not enrolled)--thoughts?

Personally, I'd suggest doing as little as possible.

I worked my 0L summer to pad my resume a bit, but it was in a low-stress environment and I don't really recommend it in general. First semester 1L is more taxing than you'd expect.

Heeding that warning, if you'd still like to do some light work, OCS would actually talk to you. I would suggest waiting until about February when the 1L job search process dies down. When talking to OCS though, definitely emphasize that you're looking for something that's not too stressful -- you'll be glad you did.


i'll have to disagree with you here dude, although you're probably right about trying to teach yourself substantive law. but everyone should take the time before starting law school to 1) know how to take (and kill) a law school exam, 2) develop a very basic, super high level grasp of the substantive courses, and 3) know how to approach studying/test preparation/outlining efficiently.

at a place like hls, where nearly everyone is outrageously smart and motivated, knowing what the hell you're doing early is especially important. you don't want to be the guy still polishing their outline the night before an exam or briefing cases like a jackass while other people are taking practice exams.

anyway, beyond that, everyone feel free to pick my brain about my first semester at hls too. i'm bored and feel like pontificating about stuff.

edit: i just realized this comment is non-responsive since i'm talking about prepping for school and the two above are talking oci. but take from it what you will.

I'm not really opposed to what you're saying. I'm not sure trying to get too into the grit of exam taking without knowing any real substantive law is the most rewarding endeavor, but I do think that knowing what a law school exam looks like and requires is a good idea. Getting to Maybe is great -- I read it about a month in and felt it was a great time, but reading it earlier and then re-reading around exam time is also a pretty good idea (I skimmed the "taking exams" part the week before tests).

acrossthelake wrote:I definitely understand the warning, though the binder notes that if one has no WE (as in, if someone went straight through from undergrad), then one should try to acquire *something* 0L summer to help attain a 1L summer job. I have part-time work experience(working as an RA, etc.), but none that I think that would help me in the 1L summer search. So, not sure where the balance lies between needing to relax vs. doing that.

I did this, and I do recommend it, I was just trying to do something low-stress. Some sort of internship is a good idea to pad the resume for something law related, just making sure it will be in a good environment.

If you want to talk about my approach in more detail, I'd definitely be willing to share more in PM (I was also straight from undergrad, and had little prior experience relevant to law).

APimpNamedSlickback
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Postby APimpNamedSlickback » Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:01 am

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GeePee
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby GeePee » Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:35 am

APimpNamedSlickback wrote:yeah man, i don't think you can do much more than getting to maybe and leews before school starts. i just think it helps to have enough of a sense for law school exams to be able to gear the stuff you do all semester toward them. for example, i found it pretty helpful to know from the start to focus on splits of authority and places where the law isn't stable or settled.

then again, i guess i should probably wait until AFTER i get my grades back to say much more about doing well. anyway, dude are you looking forward to j-term? pass/fail class for only three hours a day should make for plenty of free time.

Definitely. Looking forward to hours of pickup basketball and some nights out as well.

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Nom Sawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Nom Sawyer » Sun Dec 26, 2010 5:23 pm

GeePee wrote:
APimpNamedSlickback wrote:yeah man, i don't think you can do much more than getting to maybe and leews before school starts. i just think it helps to have enough of a sense for law school exams to be able to gear the stuff you do all semester toward them. for example, i found it pretty helpful to know from the start to focus on splits of authority and places where the law isn't stable or settled.

then again, i guess i should probably wait until AFTER i get my grades back to say much more about doing well. anyway, dude are you looking forward to j-term? pass/fail class for only three hours a day should make for plenty of free time.

Definitely. Looking forward to hours of pickup basketball and some nights out as well.


lol hours of free time and nights out doesn't sound different from how I treated first semester... Praying it doesn't hurt too badly when grades come out. But yeah, maybe I don't have the best sense of things but it doesn't seem like you need to know all that much going into 1L year because all the professors test so differently... like I only had takehome exams so a lot of the stuff that is generally good about preparation/ exam structure was useless in my case.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:45 pm

Nom Sawyer wrote:
GeePee wrote:
APimpNamedSlickback wrote:yeah man, i don't think you can do much more than getting to maybe and leews before school starts. i just think it helps to have enough of a sense for law school exams to be able to gear the stuff you do all semester toward them. for example, i found it pretty helpful to know from the start to focus on splits of authority and places where the law isn't stable or settled.

then again, i guess i should probably wait until AFTER i get my grades back to say much more about doing well. anyway, dude are you looking forward to j-term? pass/fail class for only three hours a day should make for plenty of free time.

Definitely. Looking forward to hours of pickup basketball and some nights out as well.


lol hours of free time and nights out doesn't sound different from how I treated first semester... Praying it doesn't hurt too badly when grades come out. But yeah, maybe I don't have the best sense of things but it doesn't seem like you need to know all that much going into 1L year because all the professors test so differently... like I only had takehome exams so a lot of the stuff that is generally good about preparation/ exam structure was useless in my case.


disclaimer: EVERYTHING i say related to exam prep/taking is worth absolutely zilch until i get my grades back haha

same here. tbh, i think you should approach law school like how you approached ugrad. i mean, you'll need to 'up' the lvl a bit, but dont go do something uncharacteristic. you'll just end up buying a bunch of supplements that you'll never read :P
which reminds me...if anyone wants to buy some E&E's for 1L or LEEWs or GTM, i have nearly mint copies for sale hahaha.

also, reading TLS kinda already gets your mind rdy. you'll know outlining exists and old practice exams exist. 3/4 of my exams were take home and each one very diff (depending on what the prof wanted), so iunno how much 0L prep would have helped -- though im sure it would have helped on some level.

Lady Finch
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Lady Finch » Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:43 am

I found this and thought I would share....I'm not a Harvard student but I was looking at a bunch of articles and thought someone might see this as helpful...

--LinkRemoved--

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Calla Lily
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Calla Lily » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:44 pm

What extracurriculars have you been able to get involved in as a 1L (given time constraints and all that)? Is there something you are looking forward to being able to do as a 2L?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Dec 29, 2010 1:38 am

Calla Lily wrote:What extracurriculars have you been able to get involved in as a 1L (given time constraints and all that)? Is there something you are looking forward to being able to do as a 2L?


getting more involved w/ my journal and clubs, for one

and i cant wait to take a clinical course -- the 1L spring electives, though a bit restricted, are a nice break from the schedule and makes the 2nd semester seem a lot "lighter" imo

Lady Finch wrote:I found this and thought I would share....I'm not a Harvard student but I was looking at a bunch of articles and thought someone might see this as helpful...

--LinkRemoved--


short article -- and i agree w/ most of it. if you treat it like a job, i didnt find it that bad at all. you do grow really close to your section, and to be honest, i never a competitive atmosphere -- but like most things, i think law school (anywhere) is what you make of it; the attitudes and habits that you bring into it are kinda what you're gonna get out of it as well lol

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GeePee
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby GeePee » Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:42 pm

Calla Lily wrote:What extracurriculars have you been able to get involved in as a 1L (given time constraints and all that)? Is there something you are looking forward to being able to do as a 2L?

I have to say, the opportunity to be job secure is what I'm most looking forward to about 2L.

As far as extracurriculars are concerned, this was my first semester 1L:

-Admissions Fellow (this involves next to nothing in the fall)
-Canvasser for Project No One Leaves (4-6 hours on Saturday mornings. I'd be sleeping for a lot of it otherwise, so it's actually less of a time commitment than it seems. This organization basically notifies foreclosed owners/tenants of their basic rights and directs them to further help.)
-Captain for Flag Football (2-3 hours on Sunday mornings/afternoons. This was a ton of fun and I definitely recommend it.)
-Subciter, Harvard Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Law Review (1 evening and 1 weekend day during the fall. Not really a big deal)

I'll be doing more in the spring, but I just wanted to stay middle of the pack in terms of extracurriculars in the fall to not overdo it.


Oh, and 1 thing I'd change about HLS: Summer Public Interest Funding (SPIF) does not include judicial internships. This makes no sense, but this is how the administration has set policy.

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Calla Lily
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Calla Lily » Mon Jan 03, 2011 1:25 pm

For those of you who live in the dorms or don't have kitchen space where you live, how much do you normally spend on food? Is it hard to keep costs down and eat healthy when relying on options on and/or near campus? How is Harkness and how much is it for a meal (I saw that there isn't a meal plan)? Also, did most people who applied for dorms get them?

Thank you for answering questions! It definitely makes me more excited about HLS!

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EbonyEsq
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby EbonyEsq » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:19 pm

GeePee wrote:@rv11 -- Yes, the HRES housing bidding goes from the beginning of May to the middle of June. This is before 3 months notice for September lease openings; if you're interested in comparing to off-campus stuff, then your best bet is to talk to a realtor so you can see what's available in each price range. Even if you end up hitting the craigslist lottery, getting a tour from a realtor is a good idea at some point.


How does payment work when securing housing, especially off-campus, before the start of the school year? Is a down payment of some sort usually required? Also, are financial aid funds dispersed beforehand or do you have to use our own funds to secure an apartment?

This is coming from someone who is not familiar with how financial aid packages work for graduate students. Thanks!

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EbonyEsq
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby EbonyEsq » Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:22 pm

More questions:


1. Are there a number of groceries and markets around town ?

2. Does one NEED a car to get around Cambridge and Boston ?

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GeePee
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby GeePee » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:21 pm

EbonyEsq wrote:
GeePee wrote:@rv11 -- Yes, the HRES housing bidding goes from the beginning of May to the middle of June. This is before 3 months notice for September lease openings; if you're interested in comparing to off-campus stuff, then your best bet is to talk to a realtor so you can see what's available in each price range. Even if you end up hitting the craigslist lottery, getting a tour from a realtor is a good idea at some point.


How does payment work when securing housing, especially off-campus, before the start of the school year? Is a down payment of some sort usually required? Also, are financial aid funds dispersed beforehand or do you have to use our own funds to secure an apartment?

This is coming from someone who is not familiar with how financial aid packages work for graduate students. Thanks!

You'll get your cash advance when you arrive for orientation. Usually, you'll be on the hook for at least the first month's rent if you decide to move in ahead of time, and possibly also the last month's rent depending on your landlord. Keep this in mind when considering off-campus housing.

Also, Mass. law requires that brokers charge a 1 month's rent finding fee, so if you pursue that avenue then there's that as well. I had some savings for my first and last month's rent, but I could definitely see living on campus if you can't cover that during the first year.

EbonyEsq wrote:More questions:


1. Are there a number of groceries and markets around town ?

2. Does one NEED a car to get around Cambridge and Boston ?


If you live within a couple of blocks of the law school, you'll have to walk about 10 minutes in any direction to get to a supermarket (Shaw's, Star Market, Whole Foods) but there are a few smaller groceries closer to the few if you're not doing a huge food shop.

You DO NOT want a car in Cambridge, especially if you don't have a driveway/garage to keep it. Getting the Cambridge parking permit (all local street parking requires a permit all days but Sunday) is not a trivial process, and in general the roads are not good for driving too much. Also, you won't have much opportunity to get too far away -- not enough to justify keeping insurance and such on the car.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:48 pm

GeePee wrote:
EbonyEsq wrote:More questions:


1. Are there a number of groceries and markets around town ?

2. Does one NEED a car to get around Cambridge and Boston ?


If you live within a couple of blocks of the law school, you'll have to walk about 10 minutes in any direction to get to a supermarket (Shaw's, Star Market, Whole Foods) but there are a few smaller groceries closer to the few if you're not doing a huge food shop.

You DO NOT want a car in Cambridge, especially if you don't have a driveway/garage to keep it. Getting the Cambridge parking permit (all local street parking requires a permit all days but Sunday) is not a trivial process, and in general the roads are not good for driving too much. Also, you won't have much opportunity to get too far away -- not enough to justify keeping insurance and such on the car.


to add to that, the T is really convenient too if you need to get around the cambridge/boston area. a car is by no means necessary.




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