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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t-14orbust
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby t-14orbust » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:19 am

When would we get our loan/aid disbursements? I want to head to Cambridge in August but money will be lacking.

owlofminerva
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby owlofminerva » Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:28 am

TripTrip wrote:
stmichael91 wrote:What's the stance on having a car? Is public transportation good enough in Cambridge to get by?

Don't bring a car to Cambridge.

The parking is terrible, there's very few places to drive to, and maintaining the vehicle is expensive when compared to how little use you'll get out of it. For any driving you do want to do, there's ZipCar.


I disagree somewhat. I had a car at HLS and loved being able to use it, though I worked for a number of years prior to law school and was pretty attached to having that mobility. Public transportation is decent so long as you live near a T stop, but its reach outside of Boston is pretty limited and I enjoyed the ability to regularly get away to Maine or New Hampshire occasionally on the weekends.

I think the biggest consideration in bringing a car to HLS, though, is where you end up living while at school. If you are in Cambridge proper, especially if living in the HLS dorms, then honestly I would caution against having a car. Despite its benefits, parking is a huge issue. If you are willing to live a little away--even walking distance away--your options for parking are expanded. For me, I lived in Somerville right across the city line where Washington and Beacon streets intersect. It was a 15 minute walk to school and the parking on my street in Somerville was typically easy to find. That said, it can still be a pain to find parking in the winter with snow everywhere and you have to be careful of street cleaning (once a week I had to wake up early and make sure I was parked on the right side of the street).

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:29 pm

stmichael91 wrote:What's the stance on having a car? Is public transportation good enough in Cambridge to get by?


Most people I know with cars here either 1) have money, 2) have an S.O. who has a job, or 3) have family or a long distance S.O. in the region. The average HLS student doesn't leave the Harvard Square area at all in his/her average week. The way public transport is laid out in Boston basically facilitates getting in and out of the city from the suburbs. So, it's actually fairly easy to get downtown via the T to go to Chinatown or to catch a movie. But it's a ridiculous travelling of legs rather than the more efficient hypotenuse to get to any of the other suburbs. For most (though not all) of the times I ever would have found a car more convenient than public transport, I was drunk and couldn't drive anyway. You just get used to sharing taxis or ubers home with friends after a night out.

stmichael91
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby stmichael91 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:31 pm

Thanks guys.
I'm on the road constantly so maybe it'll be refreshing not to drive all the time. Planning on living in the dorms if I decide to go and I don't mind walking (unless there's another polar vortex coming around...)

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:33 pm

I should also add that Harvard offers a "SafeRide" door to door service after 7pm till 3am every night. Within a certain zone, if you call, they'll pick you up from and drop you off at whatever address within the zone. This service is free and open to all of Harvard, so during the winter months sometimes the wait can be a little irritating, but still a consideration. I use it to get back from hanging out late at friends' places.

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t-14orbust
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby t-14orbust » Fri Mar 14, 2014 2:15 pm

Anyone want to house a lowly 0L for April ASW? Will compensate in pitiful sums of cash and arguably good company, should you be so inclined.

I can sleep on a couch, floor, in the hallway (have slept on a staircase and in a bush before, so this will be a step up) etc. Just need a place to keep my stuff and somewhere to sleep where I won't be arrested.

baloneydanza
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby baloneydanza » Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:17 pm

Use airbnb if you're trying to save money

sonyvaio18
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sonyvaio18 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:08 pm

Thanks everyone for your thoughts on mentorship! It makes sense

Another question:
1) If you could do HLS over again, what would you do differently?
2) How does one make the best out of their experience there?

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Sun Mar 16, 2014 6:44 pm

sonyvaio18 wrote:Thanks everyone for your thoughts on mentorship! It makes sense

Another question:
1) If you could do HLS over again, what would you do differently?
2) How does one make the best out of their experience there?

Re 1: I don't think there's much that I would change, academically. 1L is a slow learning process that's painful, but there isn't really a way to shortcut it and magically learn how to read cases quickly and efficiently. I probably would have prepared for exams a bit differently - focusing more on previous exams while studying.

Re 2: Learn what is necessary to achieve whatever you want to do (biglaw, clerking, prosecution, etc) and focus on taking those steps that help you to achieve that goal. Don't become unfocused and too many activities and random shit because other people are doing it.

esther0123
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby esther0123 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:00 pm

I imagine this could've been asked before but did you find that there was any relationship between a student's LSAT score and law school performance? I realize this was and continues to be a hotly debated topic and everyone points me to 0.4 correlation between LSAT and 1L gpa... but i was wondering what your experience was like at HLS where the range of LSAT scores is presumably relatively small.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:01 pm

esther0123 wrote:I imagine this could've been asked before but did you find that there was any relationship between a student's LSAT score and law school performance? I realize this was and continues to be a hotly debated topic and everyone points me to 0.4 correlation between LSAT and 1L gpa... but i was wondering what your experience was like at HLS where the range of LSAT scores is presumably relatively small.


No.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:10 pm

esther0123 wrote:I imagine this could've been asked before but did you find that there was any relationship between a student's LSAT score and law school performance? I realize this was and continues to be a hotly debated topic and everyone points me to 0.4 correlation between LSAT and 1L gpa... but i was wondering what your experience was like at HLS where the range of LSAT scores is presumably relatively small.


LSAC itself would predict that you wouldn't find any relationship at Harvard. We don't have enough of a score spread here for you to see much of a correlation.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:29 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:Re 2: Learn what is necessary to achieve whatever you want to do (biglaw, clerking, prosecution, etc) and focus on taking those steps that help you to achieve that goal. Don't become unfocused and too many activities and random shit because other people are doing it.

In relation to this, I didn't know what any of the things that I now want to do were called — except maybe IP — when I started law school. That really worked against me as I was looking for my first summer job, and, while it's working out — slowly — now, I'd be in a better place if I had just gone to OCS and OPIA and kept talking with them in November and December of my 1L year until they gave me decent answers. Well, and searched more thoroughly on OCS's "Career Exploration" and OPIA's "What is Public Interest Law?" pages; though they give pretty short shrift to my niche interests, they do at least use the right words, which was a problem for me at first.

That doesn't really apply to a person who wants to do biglaw litigation or transactional work, but it does apply to someone who wants to, say, work for a state legislature's Judiciary Committee (as I did last summer) or do educational adequacy/equity work (as I'm doing now). Even if you're going to biglaw, I'd never heard of, for example, emerging companies practice until I started researching firms last summer before EIP, and now that's one of the areas that I'm definitely going to try to get involved in during this coming summer.

So don't get too wrapped up in the usual things that other people do. If those don't appeal to you, keep looking. There's some niche thing that you'll like, if you keep looking.

But that's more for the later part of 1L year. For the first part of 1L year, focus as much as you can on doing the reading, learning the material, etc. There's time for all that other stuff later. Don't do more than one or two activities, because you won't care and no one else will either.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:40 pm

owlofminerva wrote:
TripTrip wrote:
stmichael91 wrote:What's the stance on having a car? Is public transportation good enough in Cambridge to get by?

Don't bring a car to Cambridge.

The parking is terrible, there's very few places to drive to, and maintaining the vehicle is expensive when compared to how little use you'll get out of it. For any driving you do want to do, there's ZipCar.


I disagree somewhat. I had a car at HLS and loved being able to use it, though I worked for a number of years prior to law school and was pretty attached to having that mobility. Public transportation is decent so long as you live near a T stop, but its reach outside of Boston is pretty limited and I enjoyed the ability to regularly get away to Maine or New Hampshire occasionally on the weekends.

I think the biggest consideration in bringing a car to HLS, though, is where you end up living while at school. If you are in Cambridge proper, especially if living in the HLS dorms, then honestly I would caution against having a car. Despite its benefits, parking is a huge issue. If you are willing to live a little away--even walking distance away--your options for parking are expanded. For me, I lived in Somerville right across the city line where Washington and Beacon streets intersect. It was a 15 minute walk to school and the parking on my street in Somerville was typically easy to find. That said, it can still be a pain to find parking in the winter with snow everywhere and you have to be careful of street cleaning (once a week I had to wake up early and make sure I was parked on the right side of the street).


I actually don't agree with this. I live 3 minutes from the law school and never have a problem with parking. Having a Cambridge address is great because you can park almost anywhere in Cambridge including many popular places like Kendall Square or Central Square. I love the fact I never have to pay for meters in those places. Many streets have resident only signs, whereas when I go to Somerville I never have trouble finding parking.

scoopDeeDoo
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby scoopDeeDoo » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:55 pm

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Last edited by scoopDeeDoo on Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:22 am

scoopDeeDoo wrote:Sorry if this has already been asked, but do you regret going to HLS with the debt load instead of going to a T14 with substantial $$$?


I didn't really apply to the lower T14, and don't regret it. The employers I've worked at & am going to work for in the fall didn't recruit at most of the T14. The relaxation of having grades not matter quite as much for employment made the entire experience way less stressful.

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patogordo
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby patogordo » Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:37 am

i wish i had gone to a t14 for free but i didn't have that option so lol

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bedefan
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby bedefan » Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:53 am

scoopDeeDoo wrote:Sorry if this has already been asked, but do you regret going to HLS with the debt load instead of going to a T14 with substantial $$$?


This depends so much on your situation. If you want clerkships, top top firms, or federal government (and the easier time breaking into NYC or DC that all of this implies), take Harvard.

If you want to do something more off the beaten track, I would guess you'd be better off graduating with little to no debt. (HLS has great support for people who want to do something unusual, I know, but I am learning it's nothing like the freedom of leaving with little to no debt.)

In my situation, I slightly regret taking HLS over a T25 with a full scholarship + an opportunity to TA (which would have meant zero debt). But this is mostly because the T25 was in the place I was living and I now realize I want to go back there. OTOH people I know who went to the T25 school are having horrible times finding work in the geographic area where the school is. So I guess this might be a grass is greener effect.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:39 pm

Someone literally posted this exact same question about two or three pages back. You might want to look back on it and read the responses before you go and ask a new question.

Doorkeeper wrote:Also turned down a free ride at NYU and mega cash at Chicago. My specific goals from law school made Harvard the easy choice, but I agree with the sentiment that if you're just looking for NYC biglaw then the CCN full ride makes a lot of sense.

Happy to discuss more via PMs.

hwannabe1234
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby hwannabe1234 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:03 pm

When is the latest day that we can send our statement of intent form?

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:07 pm

hwannabe1234 wrote:When is the latest day that we can send our statement of intent form?


That's the kind of question you want to find out from HLS.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:07 pm

hwannabe1234 wrote:When is the latest day that we can send our statement of intent form?


That's the kind of question you want to find out from HLS.

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paglababa
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby paglababa » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:09 pm

maximum amount of grant aid HLS provides to anyone, just to think about BEST CASE SCENARIO?

scoopDeeDoo
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby scoopDeeDoo » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:19 pm

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Last edited by scoopDeeDoo on Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:52 pm

paglababa wrote:maximum amount of grant aid HLS provides to anyone, just to think about BEST CASE SCENARIO?
The minimum you have to borrow before receiving grant aid is like $44k a year. COL + Tuition is like $78k. So the maximum aid for a single student with no income, assets, or expected parent contribution is something like $34k a year.

Note that income depends on the time you are in school, so your only relevant income is likely to be the summers, beginning the summer before 1L.

Assets can bite you if you're a little older, i.e. old enough to avoid the expected parent contribution. If you have 30k in a 401k from working for 3-4 years, then that is counted as assets and reduces your aid. Same if you have equity in a house.

If you have children, then your cost of living can go up and you can get more than that in aid - but of course, your expenses are higher too. The maximum grant you can get period is the amount tuition costs.




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