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.
despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:57 am

heythere2016 wrote:Does anyone know how difficult it is for 1L's to get RA positions over the summer? Is the process usually to reach out the professors on your own or just wait for the listings?


Definitely reach out to profs on your own. As I understand it many are happy to take RA's but don't necessarily advertise at all. Career advisor folks don't seem to think it's a good idea to have an RA gig be your only 1L summer job, but some folks do it part-time or for a few weeks.

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wert3813
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:45 am

Thoughts on Ogletree 2Ls and 3Ls?

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:15 am

wert3813 wrote:Thoughts on Ogletree 2Ls and 3Ls?


The best.

wwwcol
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wwwcol » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:16 pm

Good, cheap place in Cambridge for a few easy alternations?

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Eichörnchen
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Eichörnchen » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:38 am

Has anyone in here ever had Ferrell for Contracts? I'd really appreciate a PM if someone has!

I am also curious if there is some sort of general strategy to selecting our electives. There's a class (3 credits, Prof. Waldau's Animal Law) that interests me topic-wise, but I'm not sure I'll be going into that area for work. Is it better to select a class with more practical value (like I assume Corps with Prof. Hanson), or since it seems we can take a two credit class with an essay as a final, should I aim for that because it might make life less stressful?

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sun Oct 20, 2013 11:07 am

Take what you're interested in — and what will make your life better — in the spring. If you want to take a sort of random elective because it sounds interesting, do it. If you want to take a seminar because you're interested in the topic and want to write a paper, do it. There's plenty of time to take more core doctrinal classes later.

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Blessedassurance
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Blessedassurance » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:45 am

Eichörnchen wrote:Is it better to select a class with more practical value (like I assume Corps with Prof. Hanson)


i lol'd

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:27 am

Eichörnchen wrote:Has anyone in here ever had Ferrell for Contracts? I'd really appreciate a PM if someone has!

I am also curious if there is some sort of general strategy to selecting our electives. There's a class (3 credits, Prof. Waldau's Animal Law) that interests me topic-wise, but I'm not sure I'll be going into that area for work. Is it better to select a class with more practical value (like I assume Corps with Prof. Hanson), or since it seems we can take a two credit class with an essay as a final, should I aim for that because it might make life less stressful?


I think that you should take a class without an exam, if possible. 4 exams is quite a bit in law school, as you might know from first semester 1L. A paper might be a nice change of pace and it could also serve as a writing sample for clerkships. There are plenty of time to select classes of practical value during 2L and 3L.

Also, you should take classes that interest you topic-wise; don't worry that you are "not sure [you'll] be going into that area for work." Most of us won't be going into the area of work of 95% of the classes we take.

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Eichörnchen
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Eichörnchen » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:26 pm

Thanks for the helpful input guys. It makes the most sense to choose something I'll enjoy because it's the one class we get to do that in 1L. It seems tricky since I am not sure what I'd enjoy, especially because so far, it seems me that the most important factor in that is the Professor and not the subject (Who would have guessed that I'd love Civ Pro? :P ) I seem to like my classes that are highly structured, and dislike classes that meander into talking about our personal thoughts and opinions too much. Another thing I realized after posting is that these seminars will, I assume, be full of 2 and 3Ls with a lot more knowledge than me, so it might be tougher to get a good grade. That's just a guess though. Right now I'm leaning towards Tax/14th Amendment/Access to Civil Justice/Trusts & Estates/ Corps but I do dread another 4 final semester.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:49 pm

Eichörnchen wrote:Thanks for the helpful input guys. It makes the most sense to choose something I'll enjoy because it's the one class we get to do that in 1L. It seems tricky since I am not sure what I'd enjoy, especially because so far, it seems me that the most important factor in that is the Professor and not the subject (Who would have guessed that I'd love Civ Pro? :P ) I seem to like my classes that are highly structured, and dislike classes that meander into talking about our personal thoughts and opinions too much. Another thing I realized after posting is that these seminars will, I assume, be full of 2 and 3Ls with a lot more knowledge than me, so it might be tougher to get a good grade. That's just a guess though. Right now I'm leaning towards Tax/14th Amendment/Access to Civil Justice/Trusts & Estates/ Corps but I do dread another 4 final semester.


Seminars are uncovered (assuming they have less then 30 people). So it's not necessarily true that it will be tougher to get a good grade in a seminar.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:55 pm

ph14 wrote:
Eichörnchen wrote:Thanks for the helpful input guys. It makes the most sense to choose something I'll enjoy because it's the one class we get to do that in 1L. It seems tricky since I am not sure what I'd enjoy, especially because so far, it seems me that the most important factor in that is the Professor and not the subject (Who would have guessed that I'd love Civ Pro? :P ) I seem to like my classes that are highly structured, and dislike classes that meander into talking about our personal thoughts and opinions too much. Another thing I realized after posting is that these seminars will, I assume, be full of 2 and 3Ls with a lot more knowledge than me, so it might be tougher to get a good grade. That's just a guess though. Right now I'm leaning towards Tax/14th Amendment/Access to Civil Justice/Trusts & Estates/ Corps but I do dread another 4 final semester.


Seminars are uncovered (assuming they have less then 30 people). So it's not necessarily true that it will be tougher to get a good grade in a seminar.


And there are 2Ls and 3L in all the classes you listed lol.

Mista Bojangles
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mista Bojangles » Mon Oct 21, 2013 4:54 pm

Eichörnchen wrote:Another thing I realized after posting is that these seminars will, I assume, be full of 2 and 3Ls with a lot more knowledge than me, so it might be tougher to get a good grade.


Counterpoint: 2Ls and 3Ls are a lot less likely to read and to take classes seriously in general

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Eichörnchen
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Eichörnchen » Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:31 pm

ph14 wrote:
ph14 wrote:
Eichörnchen wrote:Thanks for the helpful input guys. It makes the most sense to choose something I'll enjoy because it's the one class we get to do that in 1L. It seems tricky since I am not sure what I'd enjoy, especially because so far, it seems me that the most important factor in that is the Professor and not the subject (Who would have guessed that I'd love Civ Pro? :P ) I seem to like my classes that are highly structured, and dislike classes that meander into talking about our personal thoughts and opinions too much. Another thing I realized after posting is that these seminars will, I assume, be full of 2 and 3Ls with a lot more knowledge than me, so it might be tougher to get a good grade. That's just a guess though. Right now I'm leaning towards Tax/14th Amendment/Access to Civil Justice/Trusts & Estates/ Corps but I do dread another 4 final semester.


Seminars are uncovered (assuming they have less then 30 people). So it's not necessarily true that it will be tougher to get a good grade in a seminar.


And there are 2Ls and 3L in all the classes you listed lol.

I know but it seems like for more than a few of them there are literally 3 or fewer seats for 1Ls unless I'm misinterpreting it. And I don't know what it means when you say a seminar is "uncovered". :(

Mista Bojangles wrote:
Counterpoint: 2Ls and 3Ls are a lot less likely to read and to take classes seriously in general

This is an interesting point. Hmm... :lol:

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:45 pm

Eichörnchen wrote:
ph14 wrote:
ph14 wrote:
Eichörnchen wrote:Thanks for the helpful input guys. It makes the most sense to choose something I'll enjoy because it's the one class we get to do that in 1L. It seems tricky since I am not sure what I'd enjoy, especially because so far, it seems me that the most important factor in that is the Professor and not the subject (Who would have guessed that I'd love Civ Pro? :P ) I seem to like my classes that are highly structured, and dislike classes that meander into talking about our personal thoughts and opinions too much. Another thing I realized after posting is that these seminars will, I assume, be full of 2 and 3Ls with a lot more knowledge than me, so it might be tougher to get a good grade. That's just a guess though. Right now I'm leaning towards Tax/14th Amendment/Access to Civil Justice/Trusts & Estates/ Corps but I do dread another 4 final semester.


Seminars are uncovered (assuming they have less then 30 people). So it's not necessarily true that it will be tougher to get a good grade in a seminar.


And there are 2Ls and 3L in all the classes you listed lol.

I know but it seems like for more than a few of them there are literally 3 or fewer seats for 1Ls unless I'm misinterpreting it. And I don't know what it means when you say a seminar is "uncovered". :(


Uncurved*. I think that was my phone.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:47 pm

Eichörnchen wrote:It seems tricky since I am not sure what I'd enjoy, especially because so far, it seems me that the most important factor in that is the Professor and not the subject

Yes. The sooner you realize that the prof matters much, much more than the subject, the better you will be at selecting classes.

You can get a decent sense of which classes will be good and which not as much based on the course evals, but sometimes students offer overly rosy ratings of teachers. You also have to talk to 2Ls and 3Ls to get a sense of who's good and who's not.

Some classes are also obscenely impacted (Klarman for 14th Amendment, Warren for Tax, etc.), so they're hard to get into even as a 2L/3L (so, unlikely as a 1L). You have to preference them #1, and even then you may end up waitlisted so far down that you have no chance.

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pupshaw
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby pupshaw » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:01 pm

Has anyone taken the Appellate Courts and Advocacy Workshop during J-Term?

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:20 pm

tomwatts wrote:The sooner you realize that the prof matters much, much more than the subject, the better you will be at selecting classes.

You can get a decent sense of which classes will be good and which not as much based on the course evals, but sometimes students offer overly rosy ratings of teachers. You also have to talk to 2Ls and 3Ls to get a sense of who's good and who's not.


100% agree with tomwatts as usual. As in college, go for the prof, not the content, since on the job you're going to teach yourself the content or learn from other practitioners anyway.

I've found that the course evals are basically useless in picking classes except for spotting which profs are widely considered ineffective and widely considered favorites since so many of the questions are irrelevant or poorly phrased. Since different people have different learning styles, I'd talk to 2Ls and 3Ls about favorite classes they've taken and what they liked about them. If particular things are important to you (cold calling style, tightly controlled vs free flowing discussion, etc) you can ask about that too. If you don't know a lot of 2L / 3Ls yet, ask your BSAs, more senior people in your student orgs, your WLA/Lambda/ACS etc mentor, etc. You can also ask your section leader prof to put you in touch with former members of your section.

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Eichörnchen
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Eichörnchen » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:47 pm

Thanks so much everyone. You've all been really helpful. I will definitely use your suggestions for getting opinions of Profs despina, since I really haven't gotten to know any 2 or 3Ls (I guess I need to get more involved with student orgs :oops: )

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:18 pm

You're fine, it's still early in the year! Don't be shy, people are happy to pass on advice / knowledge or to connect you to people who can.

Stinson
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Stinson » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:20 pm

Yeah, I always disliked doing evals ("Did this class on ancient Greek law help you better interpret statutes?" "How would you describe the workload, implying that 3L's actually do whatever the required amount of reading is?") and while I think most people took more care in filling them out than I did, you really do just have to talk to people.

And the professor, not content, thing is right too, though not only because you'll have to teach yourself the law come bar exam/firm associate time anyway. It's also that many of the professors consider the course title to be a light and slightly tedious nudge in the direction of what the course is supposed to be, not a rule. They're going to talk about what they find interesting. So if they're interesting, that's a good thing for you. If you take first amendment with professor Parker, you're going to learn about his theories of law and about democracy and Clint Eastwood movies and his daughter's taste in music (Bon Iver, it turns out), not about first amendment doctrine per se. It will be a rollicking good time but very different than other professors' First Amendment courses. That's an extreme example, but many of the professors are that way to one extent or another.

As for spring elective, take something with a paper. LRW is less work second semester and it's awesome to only have three finals.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:33 pm

Stinson wrote:Yeah, I always disliked doing evals ("Did this class on ancient Greek law help you better interpret statutes?" "How would you describe the workload, implying that 3L's actually do whatever the required amount of reading is?") and while I think most people took more care in filling them out than I did, you really do just have to talk to people.


Yep, it also really helped me learn to draft legal documents.

upthebracket
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby upthebracket » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:36 pm

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wert3813
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:41 pm

Is there a way to know how many people are in a class?

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:17 am

wert3813 wrote:Is there a way to know how many people are in a class?


If you are in the class, yes. If registering, I think it said how big the class is.

whichfish
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby whichfish » Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:39 pm

I'm going to talk to the 2/3Ls I know about this, but figured I would check here too - would it be weird/generally a bad idea to take 2 classes with the same professor in the spring? It's a class I'm genuinely interested in and wanted to take specifically with that professor, but I was hoping to do it a little later in the game.




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