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.
luckystar84
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby luckystar84 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:18 pm

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:21 pm

luckystar84 wrote:
owlofminerva wrote:
luckystar84 wrote:How prevalent are gunners @ HLS? Is everyone who eventually wants a SCOTUS clerkship (not me--probably) or some other prestigious gig striving for those from day 1?

If so, how do you deal with them when they come at you with annoying questions? In UG I had one or two who were just insufferable. Not in class. they can talk for all they want in class. But their gunnerish attitude comes out in outside-the-classroom situations and it was too much. But I kind of just yes'ed them and played along because if they were in the same student organization or a tangentially close friend group, things can get awkward if I just adopt the "talk to the hand" approach.

A few pages ago some poster answering questions said that HLS is a big law school but in absolute terms pretty small. Anyone ever deal with this situation before? Amazingly, I don't really care about in-the-classroom gunning--you have to get your good participation bonus and all that. It's more when it spills over into extracurricular things and a gunner engages you one-on-one.


This really comes down to how you handle your outside-the-classroom social life more than anything else. If you don't want to be around the people who are always talking about the law (and there will be plenty of them), then find another group to hang out with. I think one of the best things about HLS' size is that there are a ton of social opportunities. Find the right group for you. Note, though, that gunners in the classroom typically isn't a "participation grade" thing. Most classes do not have such a thing (though a few do). If that were the case, gunnerism would be more tolerable. Instead, it's the people who always have something to say despite it not being of any benefit to them or the class (and that will be annoying if it happens).


Well yea just moving to another group is easy enough, unless my social group has significant overlap with the gunner's. Would it be too awkward to just say "no I can't help you, sorry" if a gunner tries to leech off you? I usually have no problem with helping someone out, but in my experience gunners are too preoccupied with themselves to make the relationship mutually beneficial.


None of the people I know who got SCOTUS clerkships (or Bristow Fellowships) are anybody you would think of as gunners. They are all brilliant, and some participate more than others, but none are the stereotypical gunner. In fact, a few of them are some of the nicest people at HLS.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:25 pm

90% of the population is neurotic. But few are actual gunners. People should probably not worry about the social aspect of HLS vs other schools. If you can't, without drama, manage to find a group of people you enjoy spending time with consistently, the problem is probably you.

luckystar84
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby luckystar84 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:27 pm

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patogordo
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby patogordo » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:28 pm

luckystar84 wrote:That said, what's the gracious way to let down leeching gunners without making coexistence in the same social group weird?

the key is to stop worrying about shit like this

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:29 pm

luckystar84 wrote:
ph14 wrote:
None of the people I know who got SCOTUS clerkships (or Bristow Fellowships) are anybody you would think of as gunners. They are all brilliant, and some participate more than others, but none are the stereotypical gunner. In fact, a few of them are some of the nicest people at HLS.


Well yea, nobody would say that gunners are "smarter" than everyone else. I'm just figuring that your typical 1L aiming for SCOTUS/Bristow have something to gun for even if they don't end up getting it at the end (because they're not the special snowflake they think they are).

That said, what's the gracious way to let down leeching gunners without making coexistence in the same social group weird?


I have yet to meet a leeching gunner. People here aren't lazy/stupid.

luckystar84
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby luckystar84 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:35 pm

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:35 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
luckystar84 wrote:
ph14 wrote:
None of the people I know who got SCOTUS clerkships (or Bristow Fellowships) are anybody you would think of as gunners. They are all brilliant, and some participate more than others, but none are the stereotypical gunner. In fact, a few of them are some of the nicest people at HLS.


Well yea, nobody would say that gunners are "smarter" than everyone else. I'm just figuring that your typical 1L aiming for SCOTUS/Bristow have something to gun for even if they don't end up getting it at the end (because they're not the special snowflake they think they are).

That said, what's the gracious way to let down leeching gunners without making coexistence in the same social group weird?


I have yet to meet a leeching gunner. People here aren't lazy/stupid.


This.

patogordo wrote:
luckystar84 wrote:That said, what's the gracious way to let down leeching gunners without making coexistence in the same social group weird?

the key is to stop worrying about shit like this


And this.

I'm not sure why you expect to have to be beating up swarms of gunners seeking to leech of you. It's not going to happen. Someone might ask you to study together or something and if you don't want to, you can be an adult and say "No thanks, I prefer studying alone" or some such thing.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:40 pm

luckystar84 wrote:
No but they could still be leeching in the sense that your relationship with them is entirely you helping them while getting no help in return.


I didn't meet a single leecher in undergrad, either. Also the alum/student thing isn't really fair, in the sense that students have nothing to offer alums other than awkward reminiscing over the shape of buildings.

Also, like I keep saying, people here aren't lazy/stupid. It's not like they're going to think you're smarter than them. People are cognizant of reputation-building here, and are careful to reciprocate.

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paglababa
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby paglababa » Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:00 pm

Something I've noticed on this thread based on the questions asked: Why is the population of Harvard students on TLS more neurotic than anywhere else on TLS? :lol: :lol: :lol:

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:14 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
luckystar84 wrote:
No but they could still be leeching in the sense that your relationship with them is entirely you helping them while getting no help in return.


I didn't meet a single leecher in undergrad, either. Also the alum/student thing isn't really fair, in the sense that students have nothing to offer alums other than awkward reminiscing over the shape of buildings.

Also, like I keep saying, people here aren't lazy/stupid. It's not like they're going to think you're smarter than them. People are cognizant of reputation-building here, and are careful to reciprocate.


Agreed. I'm not sure I understand this concept of a "leech." People ask each other for notes or send each other questions before exam time, but I've never had anyone ask for excessive favors or say no when I ask for something. I've found I don't really like studying with people most of the time, and I've had no problem politely declining when invited to. And if you find that a friend is talking about law a lot outside of class when you're not in the mood, it's not that hard to change the subject.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Feb 19, 2014 8:23 pm

despina wrote:
Agreed. I'm not sure I understand this concept of a "leech." People ask each other for notes or send each other questions before exam time, but I've never had anyone ask for excessive favors or say no when I ask for something. I've found I don't really like studying with people most of the time, and I've had no problem politely declining when invited to. And if you find that a friend is talking about law a lot outside of class when you're not in the mood, it's not that hard to change the subject.


This.

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BelugaWhale
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BelugaWhale » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:11 pm

To be honest Luckystar, I'm starting to think you may be more 1) gunner 2) just generally neurotic 3) pessimistic than the vast majority of HLS'ers.

"leeching gunner"...."special snowflake"...dude, the VAST majority of people here are really good and nice people who are more than willing to help you. Stop worrying about this dreaded gunner problem you think HLS has.

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jrf12886
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jrf12886 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:26 pm

I have no idea what a "leeching gunner" is. I think of gunners as people who wouldn't ask for help because they assume they know better.

People at HLS work hard. Typically they look to other students as an escape from school work (grab a meal, go to a bar, etc.), not as a means of advancing themselves.

Not sure what you're worried about, but your concern isn't warranted.

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wert3813
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:35 am

So there have been enough replies to you that I'm assuming your question has been answered, assuming it was sincere in the first place. However, to the hundreds of people who read through this when deciding whether to go to Harvard the following has been my experience. I speak only for myself.

Who your classmates are is a plus not a negative. For me it is my favorite thing about HLS. I have found the vast majority of people to be kind, friendly, brilliant, and fun. Do people here study a lot? Yep (1L at least). Are there people here who suck? Yep. But I went to an a big state school for undergrad where an 1180 on the SAT will get you in no problem. I don't interact with more people who suck in my classes here than I did there, in fact it's way less. I get why people who don't go here assume it's cutthroat or competitive--It's absurdly competitive to get in, "1L", Paperchase, the Harvard name, etc--but I haven't found that at all. It would not be one of the first ten words I would use to describe my experience at HLS.

owlofminerva
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby owlofminerva » Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:30 am

wert3813 wrote:So there have been enough replies to you that I'm assuming your question has been answered, assuming it was sincere in the first place. However, to the hundreds of people who read through this when deciding whether to go to Harvard the following has been my experience. I speak only for myself.

Who your classmates are is a plus not a negative. For me it is my favorite thing about HLS. I have found the vast majority of people to be kind, friendly, brilliant, and fun. Do people here study a lot? Yep (1L at least). Are there people here who suck? Yep. But I went to an a big state school for undergrad where an 1180 on the SAT will get you in no problem. I don't interact with more people who suck in my classes here than I did there, in fact it's way less. I get why people who don't go here assume it's cutthroat or competitive--It's absurdly competitive to get in, "1L", Paperchase, the Harvard name, etc--but I haven't found that at all. It would not be one of the first ten words I would use to describe my experience at HLS.


Agree with all of the above posters. This really isn't a problem at HLS and I'm not sure why you keep thinking this "leeching gunner" thing is a problem. Not much more to be said about it.

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Searchparty
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Searchparty » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:52 pm

luckystar84 wrote:
ph14 wrote:
None of the people I know who got SCOTUS clerkships (or Bristow Fellowships) are anybody you would think of as gunners. They are all brilliant, and some participate more than others, but none are the stereotypical gunner. In fact, a few of them are some of the nicest people at HLS.


Well yea, nobody would say that gunners are "smarter" than everyone else. I'm just figuring that your typical 1L aiming for SCOTUS/Bristow have something to gun for even if they don't end up getting it at the end (because they're not the special snowflake they think they are).

That said, what's the gracious way to let down leeching gunners without making coexistence in the same social group weird?


Honestly, the interactions you're concerned about are more about life interactions than interactions specifically related to law school. What is the gracious way to let down *anyone* who is being a "leech?" This seems like a problem you will continue to encounter throughout life and we can't help you handle your social interactions. People at HLS are just that, people. We're not a rare breed that come with special instructions.

I also come from a large state school and I would say that the students here don't meet any stereotypes you might imagine from movies or just preconceptions about Harvard generally (and other similar schools). Also, admitted students weekend is a great way to get a feel for how people actually are.

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patogordo
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby patogordo » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:54 pm

i try not to interact with any of my classmates without first obtaining assurances that they will reciprocate in a way that makes the relationship mutually beneficial. it's just easier to get these things worked out up front to avoid surprises come exam time.

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Searchparty
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Searchparty » Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:39 pm

roranoa wrote:How old is one of your "older" classmates? Does he get along well?


Completely dependent on personality. Some of my older classmates are married with kids, so they don't seem to be interested in the socializing. On the other hand, some of my classmates are older and married and integrate just fine.

rathgra
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby rathgra » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:37 pm

Just chiming in that the people here are generally good, nice people - I might have just gotten extremely lucky with my section, but I wouldn't call anyone a traditional gunner, even close to a leeching gunner, or whatever the terminology is. The people are genuinely one of my absolute favorite things about Harvard - we skew nerdy and neurotic, but I have yet to encounter someone who seems to "use" people or just isn't a good person.

Purely anecdotal - but I was incredibly stressed about one of my finals last semester (like awkward sobbing in my room, not a pretty time). I kept it pretty close to myself, but the people who figured out I really was not doing well at all sent me outlines (totally unsolicited) and offered to walk me through stuff. I was surprised because me imploding would be a good thing for them, but nope, just incredibly sweet and generous about the whole thing.

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HorseThief
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby HorseThief » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:11 pm

I really hope there's someone in my class with the name Gunner so I can start a 'Gunner's Club.' Our state aim will be to encourage all Gunner activities, but really it will just be a group of random students who are extremely supportive about everything Gunner does. Like having a personal cheerleader squad that also helps out with laundry.

I also want to start a bad ideas club where we brainstorm and then execute a whole bunch of bad ideas.

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patogordo
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby patogordo » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:15 pm

HorseThief wrote:I also want to start a bad ideas club where we brainstorm and then execute a whole bunch of bad ideas.

sounds like you've already started

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wert3813
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:39 pm

patogordo wrote:
HorseThief wrote:I also want to start a bad ideas club where we brainstorm and then execute a whole bunch of bad ideas.

sounds like you've already started

So as non dueshe-ily as possible--do you go here Patogordo?

hlsperson1111
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby hlsperson1111 » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:40 pm

Can confirm that the "gunners" aren't there to sabotage or undermine you. Most of the folks who talk a lot in class, go to office hours, etc. are really not very different from your average HLS student, and a lot of them are very willing to share outlines or class notes or the like without any expectation of a quid pro quo.

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patogordo
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby patogordo » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:57 pm

wert3813 wrote:
patogordo wrote:
HorseThief wrote:I also want to start a bad ideas club where we brainstorm and then execute a whole bunch of bad ideas.

sounds like you've already started

So as non dueshe-ily as possible--do you go here Patogordo?

oh yes. i'm the non-trad leeching gunner lurking around every corner.




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