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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CyanIdes Of March
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby CyanIdes Of March » Sat Nov 30, 2013 1:07 am

acrossthelake wrote:
CyanIdes Of March wrote:So I've read a lot of doom and gloom (people who regret law school, regret big law, etc). Does anyone know people that loved law school, loved their careers afterwards, and weren't just socially weird people who enjoy what should be misery?


Breyer, Kagan, Kennedy, Roberts, Ginsburg(transferred to CLS to be with her spouse) Kagan, and Obama seem to be having a good time. Jury is out on whether they're socially weird.


Haha, fair enough.

Although I'd argue that Obama doesn't seem necessarily happy with life. The only people I've seen grow that old that fast is other presidents.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sat Nov 30, 2013 11:39 am

CyanIdes Of March wrote:So I've read a lot of doom and gloom (people who regret law school, regret big law, etc). Does anyone know people that loved law school, loved their careers afterwards, and weren't just socially weird people who enjoy what should be misery?

The only guy I know who's currently several years into biglaw is a person who enjoyed law school on the whole, had a good clerkship, and has had ups and downs with his job but generally is happy with it for the time being and will remain for a few more years at least. It's not exactly that he loves it, but he's not miserable; he's generally pretty pleased with how it's all working out. He went to a t14 (but not t6) law school and, as far as I know, did fine but not top of his class or anything.

Given the options available to me now, I'm pretty sure that I'll be happy with what comes, too.

luckystar84
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby luckystar84 » Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:12 pm

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Last edited by luckystar84 on Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:12 am

luckystar84 wrote:you hear of class differences @ HUG and HBS. e.g., high SES people sailing the world, low SES stuck working jobs. Do you see the same @ HLS? in fashion, style, manner, diversions, etc.?


No, not really. I mean every once in a while you see someone sent their butler to class to take notes, but besides that not really.

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wert3813
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 3:18 am

ph14 wrote:
luckystar84 wrote:you hear of class differences @ HUG and HBS. e.g., high SES people sailing the world, low SES stuck working jobs. Do you see the same @ HLS? in fashion, style, manner, diversions, etc.?


No, not really. I mean every once in a while you see someone sent their butler to class to take notes, but besides that not really.

1L so grain of salt but other than my good friends I haven't a clue how much money anyone in my section has.

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Searchparty
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Searchparty » Mon Dec 02, 2013 1:09 pm

wert3813 wrote:
ph14 wrote:
luckystar84 wrote:you hear of class differences @ HUG and HBS. e.g., high SES people sailing the world, low SES stuck working jobs. Do you see the same @ HLS? in fashion, style, manner, diversions, etc.?


No, not really. I mean every once in a while you see someone sent their butler to class to take notes, but besides that not really.

1L so grain of salt but other than my good friends I haven't a clue how much money anyone in my section has.


Seconded. I only get some inklings of it through talk (though not bragging) or lurking someone on FB. Even then, I've never conclusively been able to tell what economic class someone comes from. People also don't seem to throw out whether they went to a prestigious undergrad or not. I'd say people seem to treat everyone else as though they're on an equal playing field (because they're all at HLS) and you stick out based on what you say, not how much money you have.

Disclaimer: not really social enough to get an accurate feel for individual people who act differently than above, just as a whole, I think this is true

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:13 am

My experience has been a little different than those described above.

I'm not aware of anything as blatant as the stories I've heard third-hand from HBS, but class differences are definitely noticeable and sometimes uncomfortable. Most of us, regardless of the backgrounds we grew up in, are living semester-to-semester on our student loans and are thus on decent but limited budgets. There are definitely some people who are clearly not limited on a day-to-day basis, and while most don't flaunt it, I've definitely had some awkward conversations with people who just couldn't understand why it wasn't an option for me to go to Europe over spring break, or why I would buy $30 shoes when the $300 ones are so much nicer.

Of course, most of us who are living on student loans also have parents who can help spring for a wardrobe for EIP, foot the bill for a health emergency, or give a no-interest loan if summer public interest funding checks are mailed a week after rent is due. Those who truly come from middle class or working class backgrounds and struggle financially might not feel comfortable saying so to most their classmates, but may often feel awkward. Also, those who were the first in their families to go to college or whose parents don't come from "professional" backgrounds might sometimes feel like there are parts of the culture that are harder for them to navigate.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 12:33 am

despina wrote:My experience has been a little different than those described above.

I'm not aware of anything as blatant as the stories I've heard third-hand from HBS, but class differences are definitely noticeable and sometimes uncomfortable. Most of us, regardless of the backgrounds we grew up in, are living semester-to-semester on our student loans and are thus on decent but limited budgets. There are definitely some people who are clearly not limited on a day-to-day basis, and while most don't flaunt it, I've definitely had some awkward conversations with people who just couldn't understand why it wasn't an option for me to go to Europe over spring break, or why I would buy $30 shoes when the $300 ones are so much nicer.

Of course, most of us who are living on student loans also have parents who can help spring for a wardrobe for EIP, foot the bill for a health emergency, or give a no-interest loan if summer public interest funding checks are mailed a week after rent is due. Those who truly come from middle class or working class backgrounds and struggle financially might not feel comfortable saying so to most their classmates, but may often feel awkward. Also, those who were the first in their families to go to college or whose parents don't come from "professional" backgrounds might sometimes feel like there are parts of the culture that are harder for them to navigate.


Another thing, too, is that HLS is a big school. I'm sure there are people like this, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you will be encountering them if you don't want to.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:16 am

ph14 wrote:Another thing, too, is that HLS is a big school. I'm sure there are people like this, but that doesn't necessarily mean that you will be encountering them if you don't want to.


Exactly. You may encounter them, but it's totally easy to surround yourself with people who are grateful for free lunch, super-excited about a school-wide clothing swap, and happy to see family (or take a free sponsored trip!) for spring break.

AllTheLawz
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby AllTheLawz » Tue Dec 03, 2013 1:54 am

tomwatts wrote:
CyanIdes Of March wrote:So I've read a lot of doom and gloom (people who regret law school, regret big law, etc). Does anyone know people that loved law school, loved their careers afterwards, and weren't just socially weird people who enjoy what should be misery?

The only guy I know who's currently several years into biglaw is a person who enjoyed law school on the whole, had a good clerkship, and has had ups and downs with his job but generally is happy with it for the time being and will remain for a few more years at least. It's not exactly that he loves it, but he's not miserable; he's generally pretty pleased with how it's all working out. He went to a t14 (but not t6) law school and, as far as I know, did fine but not top of his class or anything.

Given the options available to me now, I'm pretty sure that I'll be happy with what comes, too.


It's really hard to take much from how other people feel about law school since perspectives vary by a ton. If you are the type that needs a job that defines your life and gives your life meaning (and a good number of people in law school think like this) then you are going to hate big law and, truthfully, 90%+ of all career paths. For people like that, its hard to really blame it on law school.

There is another contingent of people who came to law school for a sort of "challenge the system" type of academic experience and they are generally unhappy with the lack of innovative thinking and the fact that so many people stick to the traditional path of clerkships or law firms. Again, its hard to really blame law school here.

A third portion (which I expect is very large) are the type of people who really find once they start working that they are unable to handle the stress of big law or simply unwilling, or too unhappy, to deal with 60+ hour weeks. Unfortunately, most of us didn't really have a crazy demanding career before hand (no, TFA doesn't count) and really don't know what it will be like before we start. I suspect that this a big source of the doom and gloom surrounding life as a lawyer. Further, a shocking number of people just really don't understand personal finance and taxes and just really don't realize how far $160k pre-tax in nyc/sf/dc actually goes in reality.

Finally, you have the people who see life at a law firm as just a job/career rather than something that actually defines their life. These people are mostly happy just having a job where people are fairly nice and respectful, they are decently paid, and the work is somewhat interesting. This is the contingent that is fairly happy in big law. In my experience these tend to be the people who have seriously worked before law school.

Personally, I don't really hate or love law school in particular. The actual academic experience is pretty meh but I do enjoy living student life and being out of the real world for a while. Other than 1L year, its really just extended and extremely boring undergrad.

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Searchparty
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Searchparty » Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:23 am

Weird question...

Ordered Chirelstein off of Amazon. It's been stuck in Nevada since the 6th and was supposed to be here the 9th. Thanks USPS.

Anyone happen to know where I can locate a copy at a brick-and-mortar within close walking distance of the school?

rathgra
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby rathgra » Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:39 am

Searchparty wrote:Weird question...

Ordered Chirelstein off of Amazon. It's been stuck in Nevada since the 6th and was supposed to be here the 9th. Thanks USPS.

Anyone happen to know where I can locate a copy at a brick-and-mortar within close walking distance of the school?


I suspect we're in the same section - about half (if not more) of the section seems to own the book, so it might be worth asking to see if someone'll loan it to you for a bit.

As for bookstores, I know the Coop has some supplements (no idea if they have Chirelstein). And you can try bookstores of other local law schools (Suffolk and BU are pretty easy to get to), but they're not going to be walking distance.
Last edited by rathgra on Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:39 am

Not sure which Chirelstein you're looking for but the library has a bunch of books by that author. Good luck!

kcam1991
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby kcam1991 » Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:31 pm

Do 2Ls and 3Ls have to take classes during the winter term?

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:37 pm

kcam1991 wrote:Do 2Ls and 3Ls have to take classes during the winter term?

You can either: 1) take a class, 2) do a clinic, or 3) independent writing project.

It's awesome.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby kcam1991 » Fri Dec 13, 2013 3:47 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
kcam1991 wrote:Do 2Ls and 3Ls have to take classes during the winter term?

You can either: 1) take a class, 2) do a clinic, or 3) independent writing project.

It's awesome.


Ok sounds cool. What does the independent writing project entail

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:07 pm

kcam1991 wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:
kcam1991 wrote:Do 2Ls and 3Ls have to take classes during the winter term?

You can either: 1) take a class, 2) do a clinic, or 3) independent writing project.

It's awesome.

Ok sounds cool. What does the independent writing project entail

You come up with a paper topic and have it "supervised" by a professor. It's normally 1 credit for every 20 pages, but professors differ on their requirements.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Fri Dec 13, 2013 4:55 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
kcam1991 wrote:Do 2Ls and 3Ls have to take classes during the winter term?

You can either: 1) take a class, 2) do a clinic, or 3) independent writing project.

It's awesome.


There's also generally some pass/fail option, I think negotiations.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:19 pm

ph14 wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:
kcam1991 wrote:Do 2Ls and 3Ls have to take classes during the winter term?

You can either: 1) take a class, 2) do a clinic, or 3) independent writing project.

It's awesome.


There's also generally some pass/fail option, I think negotiations.

Oh yea, stuff like Negotiation Workshop and Trial Advocacy Workshop. I forgot about those. I guess they're classes?

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:24 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
kcam1991 wrote:Do 2Ls and 3Ls have to take classes during the winter term?

You can either: 1) take a class, 2) do a clinic, or 3) independent writing project.

It's awesome.


The masterful thing to do is find a topic that you have to "research" abroad and get the law school to fund your trip there for J-term. Then write a paper about it and fulfill your writing credit.

owlofminerva
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby owlofminerva » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:34 pm

If you are interested in litigation, the winter Trial Advocacy class is pretty awesome. Yes, it does require "work" but it is probably one of the most useful classes in the entire school and you get to meet a ton of judges and practitioners who give endless amounts of practical information for careers and the like.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:08 am

owlofminerva wrote:If you are interested in litigation, the winter Trial Advocacy class is pretty awesome. Yes, it does require "work" but it is probably one of the most useful classes in the entire school and you get to meet a ton of judges and practitioners who give endless amounts of practical information for careers and the like.


Winter Term is also the correct time to take either Trial Advocacy or Negotiation. Both are fairly time-intensive in a way that standard BLL isn't, so it's best to be able to focus on it in isolation.

owlofminerva
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby owlofminerva » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:47 am

acrossthelake wrote:
owlofminerva wrote:If you are interested in litigation, the winter Trial Advocacy class is pretty awesome. Yes, it does require "work" but it is probably one of the most useful classes in the entire school and you get to meet a ton of judges and practitioners who give endless amounts of practical information for careers and the like.


Winter Term is also the correct time to take either Trial Advocacy or Negotiation. Both are fairly time-intensive in a way that standard BLL isn't, so it's best to be able to focus on it in isolation.


Agreed--I felt so bad for those guys taking Trial Ad at the start of fall semester. While it is only three weeks of pain, it is a lot of pain; especially at the very beginning of a school year. I think those two classes are much better when you can focus exclusively on them in the winter.

Stinson
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Stinson » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:45 am

As long as we're talking winter term, people should also be on the lookout as far as classes. Because it's just a month, HLS sometimes gets unusual or interesting people to teach. When I was a 2L I took my winter term class with an appellate court judge from Ohio. It was a really different perspective and classroom experience, and I'm very glad I did.

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HarvardHopeful
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby HarvardHopeful » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:54 am

Any of you regret passing up a full ride to T10 and instead going to Harvard? Or do you believe Harvard has been/will be worth the debt that you take on?




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