Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

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jbs017
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jbs017 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:33 am

I tend to think the small convenience of being able to look things up is outweighed by the major distraction of Facebook, Gmail, etc. You could say that's paternalistic, I guess. But I also think that, if lots of people are goofing off, it does make it harder for everyone else to concentrate. It brings down the overall seriousness of the class.

To be clear, though, if I had to choose between no-laptops and laptops-with-Internet, I'd go with the latter.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:49 pm

jbs017 wrote:I tend to think the small convenience of being able to look things up is outweighed by the major distraction of Facebook, Gmail, etc. You could say that's paternalistic, I guess. But I also think that, if lots of people are goofing off, it does make it harder for everyone else to concentrate. It brings down the overall seriousness of the class.

To be clear, though, if I had to choose between no-laptops and laptops-with-Internet, I'd go with the latter.


That's a reasonable concern, but I remain a bit skeptical of how it would actually play out. Generally, if a class has a cold call structure, most people are not spending the bulk of class time messing around on the web haha. If it does not, then I am a bit unsure how the seriousness of the class would manifest itself...given you are just essentially sitting there listening to a lecture. Professors that work with panels are essentially the same thing (no one on panel is gchatting while on call lol).

On the matter of concentration, I have always wondered about that as well. I'm a decently hardcore PC gamer, so I feel I am too prejudiced on this topic, especially when it comes to the perception of computers (ex: no, macs are not computers, they are just really cool paperweights :P). But is staring into a field of computer screens (assuming you're sitting somewhat back) that showcase fb and gchat really that different than a field of computer screens that showcase OneNote, Word, or the FRCP? (genuinely curious)

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Mon Dec 26, 2011 1:26 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
jbs017 wrote:I tend to think the small convenience of being able to look things up is outweighed by the major distraction of Facebook, Gmail, etc. You could say that's paternalistic, I guess. But I also think that, if lots of people are goofing off, it does make it harder for everyone else to concentrate. It brings down the overall seriousness of the class.

To be clear, though, if I had to choose between no-laptops and laptops-with-Internet, I'd go with the latter.


That's a reasonable concern, but I remain a bit skeptical of how it would actually play out. Generally, if a class has a cold call structure, most people are not spending the bulk of class time messing around on the web haha. If it does not, then I am a bit unsure how the seriousness of the class would manifest itself...given you are just essentially sitting there listening to a lecture. Professors that work with panels are essentially the same thing (no one on panel is gchatting while on call lol).

On the matter of concentration, I have always wondered about that as well. I'm a decently hardcore PC gamer, so I feel I am too prejudiced on this topic, especially when it comes to the perception of computers (ex: no, macs are not computers, they are just really cool paperweights :P). But is staring into a field of computer screens (assuming you're sitting somewhat back) that showcase fb and gchat really that different than a field of computer screens that showcase OneNote, Word, or the FRCP? (genuinely curious)


I have to disagree with you. First off, my civ pro class was cold call and many people were on facebook, gchat, or someother webpage. At the beginning of the semester you didn't see it as much but by the last 6 weeks or so I'd say 3/4 of the computers had some type of non law school stuff up. In my opinion this is much more distracting than one note or word. I actually like when people have Word up because if I miss something I just look at their computer and get the notes I didn't write down (I don't take computers to any class). I think I'm a diligent student but if someone has the recap of Dolphins/Pats game or even a stupid article about Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore's divorce you just naturally finding yourself reading it.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:41 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
jbs017 wrote:I tend to think the small convenience of being able to look things up is outweighed by the major distraction of Facebook, Gmail, etc. You could say that's paternalistic, I guess. But I also think that, if lots of people are goofing off, it does make it harder for everyone else to concentrate. It brings down the overall seriousness of the class.

To be clear, though, if I had to choose between no-laptops and laptops-with-Internet, I'd go with the latter.


That's a reasonable concern, but I remain a bit skeptical of how it would actually play out. Generally, if a class has a cold call structure, most people are not spending the bulk of class time messing around on the web haha. If it does not, then I am a bit unsure how the seriousness of the class would manifest itself...given you are just essentially sitting there listening to a lecture. Professors that work with panels are essentially the same thing (no one on panel is gchatting while on call lol).

On the matter of concentration, I have always wondered about that as well. I'm a decently hardcore PC gamer, so I feel I am too prejudiced on this topic, especially when it comes to the perception of computers (ex: no, macs are not computers, they are just really cool paperweights :P). But is staring into a field of computer screens (assuming you're sitting somewhat back) that showcase fb and gchat really that different than a field of computer screens that showcase OneNote, Word, or the FRCP? (genuinely curious)


Oh, you'd be amazed at how smoothly you can respond to a cold-call even if you were messing around on the web at the time. 8)
I'm amazed that other people's screens bother people when it's not something like a video. But I'm biased as well for similar reasons. I personally would prefer the lecture format to be scrapped entirely and replaced with something I could read. I read better than I can hear. Alternatively, if I could for once have a seat close to the front that would help too.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:49 pm

I, for one, am glad that thread has morphed into "Harvard Students Chatting". I found that it was a royal pain to not be able to take notes on a computer, and the result was that I didn't even think of creating my own outline for Civ Pro. Writing by hand makes it harder to organize - I always found that I brought my reading notebook to class instead of my class notes notebook, or even my torts notebook. Of course, it's possible to be organized with pens and paper too, but it's harder.

I was not tempted to waste time in class, but I am tempted to not engage in tedious retyping of notes. I guess it's just the professor deciding which personalities he'll indulge, and which he'll penalize.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:59 pm

acrossthelake wrote:I personally would prefer the lecture format to be scrapped entirely and replaced with something I could read. I read better than I can hear. Alternatively, if I could for once have a seat close to the front that would help too.

It would be nice if law professors ever did real boardwork. To his credit, my Civ Pro professor put a lot of stuff up on the board before class that he pointed to variously during class, which was helpful (and a fair step beyond anything that other profs did). But this just isn't the same as real boardwork (which goes up during class, as points are made, regularly, and helps make key points and structure students' notes).

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby hiya » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:14 am

Not to derail the web-chatting, but I'm curious about LPs and if there's any sense across profs of what it takes to get stuck with them. The "good faith effort" lingo seems to have been used in this thread, so totally not answering a question is a good way to do it. Aside from that, it seems unclear, yet some have to be going out, I imagine...

How about misunderstanding/misapplying basic doctrine on a chunk of one question, but otherwise righting the ship on other elements of that question and the rest? Or even just a sentence that goes awry, but that is still a glaring mistake compared to a misreading of a fact pattern?

Maybe one just falls back on the "know it when I see it," but it seems hard to predict compared to a system like Yale's that seems much more lenient on the whole. Am I right to see it as a pretty large gray area?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:47 am

unc0mm0n1 wrote:I have to disagree with you. First off, my civ pro class was cold call and many people were on facebook, gchat, or someother webpage. At the beginning of the semester you didn't see it as much but by the last 6 weeks or so I'd say 3/4 of the computers had some type of non law school stuff up. In my opinion this is much more distracting than one note or word. I actually like when people have Word up because if I miss something I just look at their computer and get the notes I didn't write down (I don't take computers to any class). I think I'm a diligent student but if someone has the recap of Dolphins/Pats game or even a stupid article about Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore's divorce you just naturally finding yourself reading it.


Huh, guess your section was different from mine haha, or your profs didn't cold call furiously enough. Mann is too intimidating to take the risk of not being alert 24/7 lol.

I don't know how 'naturally' I start reading a whole article on someone else's comp lol. You seem to pay a lot of attention to other people's screens lol...I don't know if I ever start reading their word doc or whatever is on their screen during class...I'd feel like an academic voyeur, as odd as that sounds hahaha.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Dec 27, 2011 3:49 am

hiya wrote:Not to derail the web-chatting, but I'm curious about LPs and if there's any sense across profs of what it takes to get stuck with them. The "good faith effort" lingo seems to have been used in this thread, so totally not answering a question is a good way to do it. Aside from that, it seems unclear, yet some have to be going out, I imagine...

How about misunderstanding/misapplying basic doctrine on a chunk of one question, but otherwise righting the ship on other elements of that question and the rest? Or even just a sentence that goes awry, but that is still a glaring mistake compared to a misreading of a fact pattern?

Maybe one just falls back on the "know it when I see it," but it seems hard to predict compared to a system like Yale's that seems much more lenient on the whole. Am I right to see it as a pretty large gray area?


Obviously this will vary from professor to professor -- some give out closer to 8%, some give out none. You can prob get a feel halfway through the semester what your professor is like haha.

The stories of LPs I have heard of tend to be those who walked out thinking they got one due to a glaring error like running out of time and not finishing a problem. One sentence that goes awry won't kill you...a whole question when there are say, only 2-3 questions? Maybe...esp. if you're misapplying basic doctrine on a really large chunk of the problem.
Last edited by DoubleChecks on Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:07 am

hiya wrote:Not to derail the web-chatting, but I'm curious about LPs and if there's any sense across profs of what it takes to get stuck with them. The "good faith effort" lingo seems to have been used in this thread, so totally not answering a question is a good way to do it. Aside from that, it seems unclear, yet some have to be going out, I imagine...

How about misunderstanding/misapplying basic doctrine on a chunk of one question, but otherwise righting the ship on other elements of that question and the rest? Or even just a sentence that goes awry, but that is still a glaring mistake compared to a misreading of a fact pattern?

Maybe one just falls back on the "know it when I see it," but it seems hard to predict compared to a system like Yale's that seems much more lenient on the whole. Am I right to see it as a pretty large gray area?


It varies. Some really just do bottom 8%, in which case, it matters how the rest of your class did. One prof of ours sorta just tallies the points and looks. If at the bottom there's a clear drop/cut-off, he'll make the cut for those people: there could just be 0, there could be 8, it's usually in the middle for him. I've seen one exam that either was an LP or close to it, and it was pretty horrible. Flat out wrong on a lot of the basic rules, missed more difficult ones completely. Where a better exam had written many paragraphs, this exam writer would write a sentence.

Unless your professor tells you very directly how many he/she gives out, I actually wouldn't necessarily trust your assessment of how nice/strict they are. I had one prof who would even say that he hates grades and that he wished we could all just get Ps--but I heard from upperclassmen that he basically gives out the full 8% every year (shocking the people who relied on his nicer demeanor in class for their assessment).

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:48 am

One prof described LPs to our class as people who "really missed the boat." I think this is on the level of "negligence requires the intent to harm" or "if there is diversity between the parties, the court has jurisdiction even without minimal contacts, because diversity substitutes for personal jurisdiction."

Another prof described it as someone appearing not to have done the reading at anywhere near an acceptable level.

Man, I really hope I'm never one of the worst six people in a class of eighty.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:45 pm

acrossthelake wrote:Unless your professor tells you very directly how many he/she gives out, I actually wouldn't necessarily trust your assessment of how nice/strict they are. I had one prof who would even say that he hates grades and that he wished we could all just get Ps--but I heard from upperclassmen that he basically gives out the full 8% every year (shocking the people who relied on his nicer demeanor in class for their assessment).


Sounds like a visiting or old prof who doesn't realize the discretionary nature of grades haha (esp. for the LPs). I am always afraid of those -- Nesson strikes me as that type, where he'd want to chunk the whole grading system but for some reason, gives near full LPs from what I hear.

I was thinking more along the lines of people like Manning, such a sweet guy, giving an LP would pain him...unless you just did really poorly. Mann or Coates, however, would have no qualms about giving out the max 8% LPs just based on a curve lol, which is fine -- just comforting (though not practically useful) to know which is which.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:52 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Unless your professor tells you very directly how many he/she gives out, I actually wouldn't necessarily trust your assessment of how nice/strict they are. I had one prof who would even say that he hates grades and that he wished we could all just get Ps--but I heard from upperclassmen that he basically gives out the full 8% every year (shocking the people who relied on his nicer demeanor in class for their assessment).


Sounds like a visiting or old prof who doesn't realize the discretionary nature of grades haha (esp. for the LPs). I am always afraid of those -- Nesson strikes me as that type, where he'd want to chunk the whole grading system but for some reason, gives near full LPs from what I hear.

I was thinking more along the lines of people like Manning, such a sweet guy, giving an LP would pain him...unless you just did really poorly. Mann or Coates, however, would have no qualms about giving out the max 8% LPs just based on a curve lol, which is fine -- just comforting (though not practically useful) to know which is which.

WE ARE THE 8%!

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby freestallion » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:13 pm

I know there's a common stereotype that Harvard is highly competitive/there are a lot of gunners. Is there any truth to this or not? I'm about 99% sure about attending HLS and this is the only thing that's making me nervous!

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Harvard14 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:21 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:Sounds like a visiting or old prof who doesn't realize the discretionary nature of grades haha (esp. for the LPs). I am always afraid of those -- Nesson strikes me as that type, where he'd want to chunk the whole grading system but for some reason, gives near full LPs from what I hear.


Uh oh. I never heard that about Nesson. By "near full LPs" do you mean 8% or 90% :? ? I'm taking American Jury next semester...

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:22 pm

freestallion wrote:I know there's a common stereotype that Harvard is highly competitive/there are a lot of gunners. Is there any truth to this or not? I'm about 99% sure about attending HLS and this is the only thing that's making me nervous!


The competitive thing is untrue -- from what I have seen and heard from multiple years, generally, everyone is super nice and friendly. The grading system cuts down on competitiveness as well. Definitely no 'cutthroatness.'

Gunners? Self-competition? That's a different story -- we definitely have those...gunners or people who work really hard because they, well, work really hard (not that they are not friendly or helpful). But I am unsure if there are more here than at other schools -- I certainly don't think it is overwhelming so I am inclined to guess "about the same as anywhere else" when it comes to this lol.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby thederangedwang » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:24 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
freestallion wrote:I know there's a common stereotype that Harvard is highly competitive/there are a lot of gunners. Is there any truth to this or not? I'm about 99% sure about attending HLS and this is the only thing that's making me nervous!


The competitive thing is untrue -- from what I have seen and heard from multiple years, generally, everyone is super nice and friendly. The grading system cuts down on competitiveness as well. Definitely no 'cutthroatness.'

Gunners? Self-competition? That's a different story -- we definitely have those...gunners or people who work really hard because they, well, work really hard (not that they are not friendly or helpful). But I am unsure if there are more here than at other schools -- I certainly don't think it is overwhelming so I am inclined to guess "about the same as anywhere else" when it comes to this lol.

can you elaborate on the harvard grading system? I heard first year grading system is different..

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:25 pm

Harvard14 wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:Sounds like a visiting or old prof who doesn't realize the discretionary nature of grades haha (esp. for the LPs). I am always afraid of those -- Nesson strikes me as that type, where he'd want to chunk the whole grading system but for some reason, gives near full LPs from what I hear.


Uh oh. I never heard that about Nesson. By "near full LPs" do you mean 8% or 90% :? ? I'm taking American Jury next semester...


My gawd, I mean 8% lol. Nesson is just very black box. Super unorthodox. His evidence exam was an exam that pretty much did not require you knowing evidence haha. I don't think a person who never attended the class or read (not that there was much reading anyways) the whole semester would have had a lot worse of a grade than someone who did :P

I know a few people who certainly thought they'd either get a DS or LP :D haha -- you know, that kind of randomness from a prof when it comes to expectations (or what he'll say next...)

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:26 pm

freestallion wrote:I know there's a common stereotype that Harvard is highly competitive/there are a lot of gunners. Is there any truth to this or not? I'm about 99% sure about attending HLS and this is the only thing that's making me nervous!
IME, there is absolutely NO truth to this at all. I did not have any gunners in my section. (I know what they say about if you don't know who the gunner is...). All the people that I met are nice, and the grading system/employment prospects are such that there is much less incentive to gun. There may be some more "serious" people in Harvard than in other places, but only in the sense that they put in the work for themselves, not in any way that affects other people.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:27 pm

thederangedwang wrote:can you elaborate on the harvard grading system? I heard first year grading system is different..


Are you thinking Yale? Because the first year grading system at HLS is the same as what it will be like all 3 yrs. I mean, 1L classes are generally the full 80 section courses and professors adhere more strictly to the suggested curve of 37% HP...but the system is the same.

Smaller classes (think like 24 or less ish) are more HP heavy, but you don't really get to those till after 1L yr...and large classes later on are generally like 1L year classes when it comes to grading curves. For 1L year, the expected curve is 37% HP, rest Ps. A few discretionary Dean Scholars and Low Passes (not more than 8% though).

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby thederangedwang » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:29 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
thederangedwang wrote:can you elaborate on the harvard grading system? I heard first year grading system is different..


Are you thinking Yale? Because the first year grading system at HLS is the same as what it will be like all 3 yrs. I mean, 1L classes are generally the full 80 section courses and professors adhere more strictly to the suggested curve of 37% HP...but the system is the same.

Smaller classes (think like 24 or less ish) are more HP heavy, but you don't really get to those till after 1L yr...and large classes later on are generally like 1L year classes when it comes to grading curves. For 1L year, the expected curve is 37% HP, rest Ps. A few discretionary Dean Scholars and Low Passes (not more than 8% though).

hmmm...Yale's first yr is different? Ok so what I understand is that grades fall into DS, HP, P, and LP? and there are certain percentages for each grade?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:31 pm

thederangedwang wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:
thederangedwang wrote:can you elaborate on the harvard grading system? I heard first year grading system is different..


Are you thinking Yale? Because the first year grading system at HLS is the same as what it will be like all 3 yrs. I mean, 1L classes are generally the full 80 section courses and professors adhere more strictly to the suggested curve of 37% HP...but the system is the same.

Smaller classes (think like 24 or less ish) are more HP heavy, but you don't really get to those till after 1L yr...and large classes later on are generally like 1L year classes when it comes to grading curves. For 1L year, the expected curve is 37% HP, rest Ps. A few discretionary Dean Scholars and Low Passes (not more than 8% though).

hmmm...Yale's first yr is different? Ok so what I understand is that grades fall into DS, HP, P, and LP? and there are certain percentages for each grade?


Yale's is different...I think their 1L first semester literally has no grades.

lol not to call you out...but the %'s I listed in my last post still hold true :P

37% HP, rest Ps. Discretionary (read: possible) DS (I have seen anywhere from 0 to 6%) and LPs (0 to 8%) that will cut into the aforementioned 37% HPs/rest Ps.

People like to guess median after 1L year is about 3-4 Hs out of your 10 classes...though imo, as far as biglaw hiring is concerned, exactly where median is does not really matter...as long as you're around it, you're kinda seen the same academically.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby freestallion » Tue Dec 27, 2011 1:38 pm

delusional wrote:
freestallion wrote:I know there's a common stereotype that Harvard is highly competitive/there are a lot of gunners. Is there any truth to this or not? I'm about 99% sure about attending HLS and this is the only thing that's making me nervous!
IME, there is absolutely NO truth to this at all. I did not have any gunners in my section. (I know what they say about if you don't know who the gunner is...). All the people that I met are nice, and the grading system/employment prospects are such that there is much less incentive to gun. There may be some more "serious" people in Harvard than in other places, but only in the sense that they put in the work for themselves, not in any way that affects other people.

Thanks! This is really helpful!

Another random q: Since there is no "GPA" as such, and you wouldn't be able to include a GPA on your resume, when applying to summer internships/jobs (both PI and biglaw), do you always have to include a copy of your transcript?

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:30 pm

freestallion wrote:I know there's a common stereotype that Harvard is highly competitive/there are a lot of gunners. Is there any truth to this or not? I'm about 99% sure about attending HLS and this is the only thing that's making me nervous!


I'm going to answer this from anecdotes from my section that show that we're not gunners, but I'm going to do this via PM. I'm outed enough already (OH HELLO EVERYONE who knows who I am in real life and who might be reading this. Also hello nice person who introduced himself to me in the library. I don't remember your face anymore, but feel free to introduce yourself again or friend me on facebook), but I might try to maintain some semblance of privacy for myself.

Also, re: transcript. It isn't special for Harvard. A large # require transcripts from everyone. Some don't from anyone. They won't specially request from Harvard students, to my knowledge. You can actually calculate a GPA off of your grades, it just wouldn't be "official".

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:40 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Unless your professor tells you very directly how many he/she gives out, I actually wouldn't necessarily trust your assessment of how nice/strict they are. I had one prof who would even say that he hates grades and that he wished we could all just get Ps--but I heard from upperclassmen that he basically gives out the full 8% every year (shocking the people who relied on his nicer demeanor in class for their assessment).


Sounds like a visiting or old prof who doesn't realize the discretionary nature of grades haha (esp. for the LPs). I am always afraid of those -- Nesson strikes me as that type, where he'd want to chunk the whole grading system but for some reason, gives near full LPs from what I hear.

I was thinking more along the lines of people like Manning, such a sweet guy, giving an LP would pain him...unless you just did really poorly. Mann or Coates, however, would have no qualms about giving out the max 8% LPs just based on a curve lol, which is fine -- just comforting (though not practically useful) to know which is which.


Lol yeah he's been teaching here for decades. I know a sectionmate whose parents had him when they went here.




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