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
Posts: 477
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:09 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:06 pm

Are the admissions folks no longer matching you up with 1L hosts? I crashed on a 1L's (superbly comfortable) couch for free during ASW, which was great.

User avatar
t-14orbust
Posts: 2068
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2012 4:43 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby t-14orbust » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:08 pm

despina wrote:Are the admissions folks no longer matching you up with 1L hosts? I crashed on a 1L's (superbly comfortable) couch for free during ASW, which was great.


Not this year. I suppose I'll just suck up whatever uber/taxi late night fare I end up getting lol

User avatar
BlakcMajikc
Posts: 763
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:05 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Wed Mar 26, 2014 5:15 pm

t-14orbust wrote:
despina wrote:Are the admissions folks no longer matching you up with 1L hosts? I crashed on a 1L's (superbly comfortable) couch for free during ASW, which was great.


Not this year. I suppose I'll just suck up whatever uber/taxi late night fare I end up getting lol


you'll be okay

roranoa
Posts: 588
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:18 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby roranoa » Thu Mar 27, 2014 6:29 am

How much prestige is accorded to people who get into Wachtell among HLS students?

Is it like "Wow! That's amazing!" or like "Meh, who got the supreme court clerkship?"

User avatar
Mr. Elshal
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:30 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mr. Elshal » Thu Mar 27, 2014 9:31 am

roranoa wrote:How much prestige is accorded to people who get into Wachtell among HLS students?

Is it like "Wow! That's amazing!" or like "Meh, who got the supreme court clerkship?"


I haven't seen it as either of those. One of my friends got an SA there and everyone reacted basically the way they would to any SA. "Congrats dude, that's pretty awesome. Enjoy the summer."

User avatar
Doorkeeper
Posts: 4872
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:25 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:57 am

roranoa wrote:How much prestige is accorded to people who get into Wachtell among HLS students?

Is it like "Wow! That's amazing!" or like "Meh, who got the supreme court clerkship?"

Why are you asking this? What's the point?

User avatar
DoubleChecks
Posts: 2333
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:20 am

Doorkeeper wrote:
roranoa wrote:How much prestige is accorded to people who get into Wachtell among HLS students?

Is it like "Wow! That's amazing!" or like "Meh, who got the supreme court clerkship?"

Why are you asking this? What's the point?


He wants to know which position he should shoot for to receive maximum accolades from his peers, the driving force behind all his major life decisions :lol:

delusional
Posts: 1190
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:37 am

roranoa wrote:How much prestige is accorded to people who get into Wachtell among HLS students?

Is it like "Wow! That's amazing!" or like "Meh, who got the supreme court clerkship?"
To the extent it matters at all, (and it doesn't), it's a minor awareness for around two weeks at the beginning of 2L fall. People IRL are human, surprising as that may be. Their friends are happy for them, acquaintances who are struggling are a bit jealous but self-aware enough not to focus on it, people who don't know them don't care, etc.

User avatar
Lovely Ludwig Van
Posts: 370
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:43 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Lovely Ludwig Van » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:44 am

roranoa wrote:How much prestige is accorded to people who get into Wachtell among HLS students?

Is it like "Wow! That's amazing!" or like "Meh, who got the supreme court clerkship?"


I used to think Wachtell associates were badasses too, until like my third firm reception. Honestly, I don't think people here are all that impressed with working at any particular firm. The most impressive people here are the ones who make LR, get a DC Circuit clerkship, graduate magna cum. And even then, it's not that impressive. My LRW instructor graduated from a T6 with the highest grades of any student there in like the past 20 years, and it's not like I cower in deference when I go to his office hours.

But back to the firm thing, my personal belief is that any monkey can graduate from here and make 160K/year. It's not all that impressive that you make 180K instead of 160. The stuff that really makes you impressive at HLS doesn't happen until at least a few years down the line when you make partner, get elected for office, become a law professor, etc. Wachtell, for me, tends to signal that the student is relatively hardworking, competent, driven, well-put-together. But I wouldn't accord them any "prestige."

PMan99
Posts: 300
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:21 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby PMan99 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:06 pm

Lovely Ludwig Van wrote:
roranoa wrote:How much prestige is accorded to people who get into Wachtell among HLS students?

Is it like "Wow! That's amazing!" or like "Meh, who got the supreme court clerkship?"


I used to think Wachtell associates were badasses too, until like my third firm reception. Honestly, I don't think people here are all that impressed with working at any particular firm. The most impressive people here are the ones who make LR, get a DC Circuit clerkship, graduate magna cum. And even then, it's not that impressive. My LRW instructor graduated from a T6 with the highest grades of any student there in like the past 20 years, and it's not like I cower in deference when I go to his office hours.

But back to the firm thing, my personal belief is that any monkey can graduate from here and make 160K/year. It's not all that impressive that you make 180K instead of 160. The stuff that really makes you impressive at HLS doesn't happen until at least a few years down the line when you make partner, get elected for office, become a law professor, etc. Wachtell, for me, tends to signal that the student is relatively hardworking, competent, driven, well-put-together. But I wouldn't accord them any "prestige."


To be fair,

More like 320k than 180k.

That said, SCOTUS clerk is probably the only thing I can see HLS students giving another student credit for. So to OP's point: people do not care (or perhaps they care, but you will never know).

jimbeam21
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:46 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jimbeam21 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 12:20 pm

Sorry if this has been covered already.

With many judges going off-plan, how do Harvard students find out about when judges are hiring for clerkships?

What kind of grades/credentials are needed for a CoA clerkship? My guess is that it varies by judge, so can someone comment on the difference between any non-feeder judge on a non 9th/2nd/DC Circuit, and feeder judges and 9th/2nd/DC judges?

It looks like the 9th circuit has chambers in Seattle, Portland, SF, and Pasadena. Does this mean that you could end up at any one of these places depending on where the judge's main chambers are located? Or would you get to choose? Is there a "main court" where most of the court's business is done?

roranoa
Posts: 588
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 11:18 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby roranoa » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:09 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:
roranoa wrote:How much prestige is accorded to people who get into Wachtell among HLS students?

Is it like "Wow! That's amazing!" or like "Meh, who got the supreme court clerkship?"

Why are you asking this? What's the point?


He wants to know which position he should shoot for to receive maximum accolades from his peers, the driving force behind all his major life decisions :lol:

LOL!!!

I was just bored and curious :)

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:11 pm

roranoa wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:
roranoa wrote:How much prestige is accorded to people who get into Wachtell among HLS students?

Is it like "Wow! That's amazing!" or like "Meh, who got the supreme court clerkship?"

Why are you asking this? What's the point?


He wants to know which position he should shoot for to receive maximum accolades from his peers, the driving force behind all his major life decisions :lol:

LOL!!!

I was just bored and curious :)


I know multiple people who have turned down Wachtell offers. Vault rankings are the end all be all.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:13 pm

jimbeam21 wrote:Sorry if this has been covered already.

With many judges going off-plan, how do Harvard students find out about when judges are hiring for clerkships?

What kind of grades/credentials are needed for a CoA clerkship? My guess is that it varies by judge, so can someone comment on the difference between any non-feeder judge on a non 9th/2nd/DC Circuit, and feeder judges and 9th/2nd/DC judges?

It looks like the 9th circuit has chambers in Seattle, Portland, SF, and Pasadena. Does this mean that you could end up at any one of these places depending on where the judge's main chambers are located? Or would you get to choose? Is there a "main court" where most of the court's business is done?


It's hard to say, various by judge. A really rough approximation might be cum laude for a COA clerkship and magna cum laude for a feeder clerkship. Let me preempt everyone and say that grades in that range are neither necessary or sufficient for any judge, that your friend got a feeder without any honors, etc. etc.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:39 pm

jimbeam21 wrote:Sorry if this has been covered already.

With many judges going off-plan, how do Harvard students find out about when judges are hiring for clerkships?

What kind of grades/credentials are needed for a CoA clerkship? My guess is that it varies by judge, so can someone comment on the difference between any non-feeder judge on a non 9th/2nd/DC Circuit, and feeder judges and 9th/2nd/DC judges?

It looks like the 9th circuit has chambers in Seattle, Portland, SF, and Pasadena. Does this mean that you could end up at any one of these places depending on where the judge's main chambers are located? Or would you get to choose? Is there a "main court" where most of the court's business is done?


Also, the 2d/9th/DC Circuit trope is pretty overrated in my book. It's much more about the individual judge, in my opinion. See, e.g., Sutton, Wilkinson, Pryor, Posner, Boudin, etc. etc.

jimbeam21
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:46 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jimbeam21 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:14 pm

ph14 wrote:Also, the 2d/9th/DC Circuit trope is pretty overrated in my book. It's much more about the individual judge, in my opinion. See, e.g., Sutton, Wilkinson, Pryor, Posner, Boudin, etc. etc.


Thanks for the info. Agreed, but it does seem that 9th/2nd/DC are popular destinations regardless of judge, and hence more competitive.

Any idea what % of Hs you need for Magna? Does anyone ever get Summa? It looks like you'd need more DSs than Hs in order for that to happen.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:25 pm

jimbeam21 wrote:
ph14 wrote:Also, the 2d/9th/DC Circuit trope is pretty overrated in my book. It's much more about the individual judge, in my opinion. See, e.g., Sutton, Wilkinson, Pryor, Posner, Boudin, etc. etc.


Thanks for the info. Agreed, but it does seem that 9th/2nd/DC are popular destinations regardless of judge, and hence more competitive.

Any idea what % of Hs you need for Magna? Does anyone ever get Summa? It looks like you'd need more DSs than Hs in order for that to happen.


Yes, the top student every year gets summa as well as anyone who hits the absolute cut off of 4.75 GPA. That is extraordinarily rare, I think in most years it is just one, top student who gets summa. The cut off for magna is thought to be around 3.95, roughly, and obviously varies year to year, so you need mostly Hs, though obviously DSs come into the picture as well.

tomwatts wrote:LATIN HONORS

According to the current HLS grading policy, Latin honors are calculated as follows:

For each class, DS = 5, H = 4, P = 3, LP = 2, and F = 0. Calculate a GPA by calculating a weighted average of your grades for the year (weighted by the number of credits). Then average each of the three years of law school.

Thus, imagine a student with 1 DS and 4 Hs in regular 4-credit 1L classes and all Ps in the other 5 classes (including in both semesters of LRW and a 4-credit elective). That comes out to (from best grade to worst, by number of credits): [(4 * 5) + (4 * 4 * 4) + (3 * 4 * 3) + (2 * 2 * 3) ] / 36 = 3.67 for 1L year. If this student then had two more years of grades, you'd repeat the same calculation for each year individually, and then average the three years. So if 2L year gave 3.33 and 3L year gave 3.6, this student would have an overall GPA of 3.53. This is true despite the fact that the years have wildly different numbers of credits; each year is of equal weight regardless.

The top student gets summa, the next 10% get magna, and the next 30% get cum laude. TLS estimates put the cutoffs for cum laude as around 3.5 or so each year, and for magna around 3.9 or so. (These seem slightly low to me; I was told by a prof that magna is around 4.0, give or take.)

WHAT ALL THIS MEANS FOR A 1L WHO JUST GOT FIRST SEMESTER GRADES

Pretty much nothing. Average and median are about 1-2 Hs. If you did much better than that, don't get too cocky. You still have to do that another five times before you can stamp the "magna" on your transcript. If you did much worse than that, don't freak out. You've got five more semesters to figure it out. Talk to professors and see if you can get feedback. Talk to professors this semester and see if they can advise you how to study and what to pay attention to. Talk to 2Ls and 3Ls. Get outlines and hornbooks. Do something different. You'll be fine.

Even for EIP purposes, it's the total on the year that matters, not just one semester, and a great second semester will help to make up for a so-so first semester (and a crappy second semester can screw up whatever good stuff you've done in your first semester). So take it all with a grain of salt. There's quite a way left to go.

If you did really poorly (multiple LPs and no Hs), talk to OCS early, too. Part of what they paid for is making sure that all Harvard students get jobs when they graduate. They can figure out what you ought to do.
Last edited by ph14 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
HermioneG.
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:32 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby HermioneG. » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:25 pm

Hey 2/3Ls, I was wondering if any of you have ever taken a class at FAS. Is it difficult to cross-register? Would you recommend it? I am getting incredibly rusty in my second language, so I think taking a class would be great for keeping my skills from deteriorating entirely. I would love to hear from anyone who has done this.

In addition, has anyone here done the veteran's law clinic? I hear that it is essentially a trusts and estates clinic, so I am considering doing it, but the sign-up date for clinics is coming up fast and I'm pretty clueless about clinics. :|

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:28 pm

HermioneG. wrote:Hey 2/3Ls, I was wondering if any of you have ever taken a class at FAS. Is it difficult to cross-register? Would you recommend it? I am getting incredibly rusty in my second language, so I think taking a class would be great for keeping my skills from deteriorating entirely. I would love to hear from anyone who has done this.

In addition, has anyone here done the veteran's law clinic? I hear that it is essentially a trusts and estates clinic, so I am considering doing it, but the sign-up date for clinics is coming up fast and I'm pretty clueless about clinics. :|


I HEAR IT'S EASY TO GET A DATE WITH A GIRL AT THE ED SCHOOL/HOW DO I GOLD DIG A DUDE AT THE B-SCHOOL?
tomwatts wrote:The difficulties involved in cross-registering include:

HLS chooses classes long before the other schools do, generally long before the other schools even post their schedules. So if there's something that you really want to take at another school, you'd better hope that it doesn't conflict with the law school classes that you need. This is frequently an issue because...

HLS operates on a consecutive-days-of-the-week model, so you have M/Tu classes or M/Tu/W classes, or W/Th/F classes, or whatever. All of the other schools I've paid attention to within Harvard (HKS, the College, the HGSE) operate on an alternating-days-of-the-week model, so they have M/W/F classes or Tu/Th classes or the like. (HKS has Tu/Th/F classes sometimes, too, but the Friday session is "optional" in theory.) So there's a LOT of overlap, partly because of this and partly because...

The campuses schedule classes in blocks that don't correspond. For example, HLS has no classes during the 12-1 pm block, but classes will run right up to that blank space or begin right after it. HKS, on the other hand, typically has an 11:40 to 1 pm block in which classes are scheduled. So you'll often have 10-minute or 20-minute overlaps of classes. The campuses are not necessarily all that close to each other, either (HBS is probably a 20-minute walk from HLS), so travel time can be an issue. And if that weren't enough of a scheduling nightmare, there's also the fact that...

The campuses take different holidays. For example, because I'm a JD/MPP and a TF at the College, I have to pay attention to HLS, HKS, and the College, and the first day of classes is 9/3 for the College, 9/5 for HKS, and 9/9 for HLS (for 2Ls and 3Ls). All three campuses take Columbus Day off, but HLS also takes the following day off, which HKS and the College don't. HLS and the College take Veterans Day off, but HKS doesn't. All three campuses have the same Thanksgiving, but the last day of classes is 12/3 for the College and 12/6 for HKS and HLS. Confused yet?

Once you've found a class that you want to take and think you can fit into your schedule, you may not be able to take it. As far as I know, cross-registrants go into the back of the line of people trying to register for the class. Thus, HLS students typically can't take (or have to apply into) the most impacted (best?) classes at the other schools. For example, I know that many of the best HKS classes don't allow students from other campuses.

There's also some annoying paperwork to be done, but that's usually not the biggest issue. Also a maximum of 12 cross-registration credits count towards the credits you need to graduate, so if you cross-register a lot, some of the classes may not count towards your law degree. (This is a big issue for joint-degree students, often, but less so for everyone else.)

Despite all of the above, people cross-register all the time, and it's often a very good experience. There are non-impacted but good classes that you can take at other campuses that are really worthwhile, if you can get past the scheduling nightmares.


SO LET'S SAY I MEANT SOME K-SCHOOL HOTTIES INSTEAD
tomwatts wrote:
PinkCow wrote:
neprep wrote:Can anyone speak to taking classes at one of the other schools, like HBS or the Kennedy School? My understanding is that the academic calendars don't jive across schools; so, if you want to take classes in these other schools, do you pretty much have to arrive earlier/stay later on campus?

I took 2 classes at HKS. It's a hassle but worth it if you find something you like. One class was probably the best class I've taken at Harvard. Some cons: both of my classes were 1 hr. 20 mins twice/week, and only counted for 2 credits each. I personally found one of the classes I took to be more work than most 3 or 4 credit LS classes, so it was kind of rough for just 2 credits, especially when you're in class for almost the same amount of time. Also, classes at HKS are typically every other day (e.g., Tuesday, Thursday) instead of back to back, which makes scheduling complicated. Also, you have to wait a month or so longer than other HKS students to get your grades because it goes through the law school. So, if there's any issue with your grade, you won't know until much later than everyone else. Also, the cross-registration system is really not good. You don't know for sure if you're in a class until past the add/drop date, and the whole process for getting into a class is just difficult and uncertain.

I'm a JD/MPP, so I take a lot of classes at HKS. A couple of extra things about this:

* The greatest hits at HKS are probably the best classes at Harvard. A few of them are so impacted with HKS students that they don't take cross-registrants at all. A few of them are a little complicated to get into, but you probably can if you're really, really persistent. A good number of them you can just take, because there's plenty of room. PM me if you want to know about a specific class; I can probably tell you about most of them. People say good things about HBS classes, but I know less about them.

* The weekly schedule is horribly in conflict. HLS has a consecutive-days-of-the-week system that no other Harvard campus has (as far as I know). Also, the times don't line up. So a lot of classes will overlap for 10 minutes once a week or something awkward like that, so you can't take them.

* Normally, a 0.5-credit module at HKS counts as 1 cross-registration credit. This is a class that meets for half the semester (which is super convenient for a law student, if it's the first half of the semester). A 1-credit class at HKS counts as 3 cross-registration credits. Assume that a 1-credit class at HKS (so, 3 cross-registration credits) is at least as much work as a 4-credit class at HLS.

PinkCow wrote:The academic calendar is quite similar. I think classes at HKS might start like a couple days early, but not that bad. They end basically the same as law school classes.

The calendar is technically aligned, but that doesn't mean very much. At HLS, the fall semester began on 9/3 (the day after Labor Day), but that just meant that 1L classes started then, and 2L/3L classes didn't start until 9/9. At HKS, the fall semester began on 9/3, but that meant that course shopping (sitting in on classes to see what you want to take) started on that day, and classes didn't begin until 9/5. Other campuses do things differently, too, e.g., the College starts all classes on 9/3. I don't know what HBS does, but it seems likely that it's slightly different, too.

The campuses also take different holidays. All campuses take Columbus Day off, but HLS uniquely takes the following day off, too. HKS takes Veterans Day off, but the other campuses don't. The list goes on.

In the spring, all the campuses start on the same day, but HLS ends classes on 4/25, and exams start on 4/29. HKS doesn't end classes until 5/2. HLS exams run through 5/8, and HKS classes run through 5/16.

The end result is that you have to get to campus a week (well, a few days, but the prior week) early in the fall or stay up to a week late in the spring, depending on the class's exam schedule.

PinkCow wrote:Grades are letter grades but they don't factor into your LS GPA calculations. They do show up on your transcript. The curve is pretty tight and you can generally expect an A- or a B+ unless you do really well or really poorly.

The HKS grade distribution is here.

PinkCow wrote:Also, this is just a random point, but the facilities at HKS are a little . . . old. Hallways, classrooms, and common areas are typically extremely cramped. Plus, the desks suuucckkkkkk.

Some of the rooms have been refurbished lately. The old L-130 was an affront to educational architecture. The room literally impeded my learning. The new L-130 is much better (though still small). If you get an unrefurbished room (RG-20), it may be a little awkward. If you get a refurbished room (Starr), it's pretty comparable to Austin or Langdell.

Oh, and walking down from HLS to HKS or HBS is kind of a hike. I don't normally mind — it's not more than 15 minutes at most to get to HKS, and probably no more than an extra 10 to get to anywhere at HBS — but in a snowstorm (as today) it can be a little more arduous. Today was one of my HLS-HKS-HLS-HKS-HLS days, so it was a little rough.


CLINICS?
DoubleChecks wrote:Haven't seen a response to the clinical work yet, so I will comment, having done two and have friends who have done a few.

The experience varies from clinic to clinic. It would be best to get a heads up on how your specific clinic is run. I did negotiation clinic which I loved. Loose structure so 2 to 4 credits, hard to tell the difference. You're in a team of 2-3 and you all work hard to try to get the project done. Not as much law as it is negotiation/mediation. If you enjoy that stuff, it is a very fun, unstructured clinic that can leave you feeling like you accomplished something. Have to have taken the negotiation clinic beforehand, which I personally loved, but I am a negotiation-addict. Most people I talked to loved the clinic (I took it in the winter so I got to immerse myself and not worry about grades/other classes)...though I have met a handful that thought it was too many hrs/waste of time for what you end up learning. But meh, that's law school in general.

I have friends in the WilmerHale transaction clinic. Show up every day, very much like a job. Most said it is kind of boring. Did not ask too much about it but that was the impression I got.

Capital Punishment clinic was another one I took. Again, if you enjoy that type of work, it can be quite rewarding. Depending on where you land for the winter (it is a winter-spring clinical), you can get anywhere from intense to chill. I went to a really chill place in TX. Pretty lax, good work (very LRW-like), unstructured, and went to death row a few times to meet clients. Good experience. In the spring, it was remote access. I would not recommend taking too many credit hours for this just because it is too unstructured/distant to get 4 credits worth (20 hrs a week). I felt like I was begging for work at times. Similar work but you don't get the same feel by doing it from the comfort of your own home, though obvious benefit is you get to do it from the comfort of your own home.

Other friends of mine have done the human rights clinic. The former sounds like it can get REALLY intense (at some points, sounded like more work than 2 classes combined o.O), but you're doing substantive work. Not to sound repetitive, but if you enjoy the work...good experience.

I feel like there are a lot of clinics here, and they really vary in the experiences they offer. Do some research beforehand in how the ones you are interested in are like, then do one. I recommend doing a clinic before one graduates. Law school classes teach you stuff that is maybe 1% applicable to the real world. Clinics give you at least some higher percentage.

I hope this post made sense. I drank a lot an hour ago. Pretty much finished law school today. sw00t.

User avatar
Mr. Elshal
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 11:30 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mr. Elshal » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:44 pm

Has anyone on here taken Philosophical Analysis of Legal Argument, with Scott Brewer? Is so, did you like? And can you describe it?

User avatar
HermioneG.
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:32 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby HermioneG. » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:00 pm

ph14 wrote:
HermioneG. wrote:Hey 2/3Ls, I was wondering if any of you have ever taken a class at FAS. Is it difficult to cross-register? Would you recommend it? I am getting incredibly rusty in my second language, so I think taking a class would be great for keeping my skills from deteriorating entirely. I would love to hear from anyone who has done this.

In addition, has anyone here done the veteran's law clinic? I hear that it is essentially a trusts and estates clinic, so I am considering doing it, but the sign-up date for clinics is coming up fast and I'm pretty clueless about clinics. :|


I HEAR IT'S EASY TO GET A DATE WITH A GIRL AT THE ED SCHOOL/HOW DO I GOLD DIG A DUDE AT THE B-SCHOOL?
tomwatts wrote:The difficulties involved in cross-registering include:

HLS chooses classes long before the other schools do, generally long before the other schools even post their schedules. So if there's something that you really want to take at another school, you'd better hope that it doesn't conflict with the law school classes that you need. This is frequently an issue because...

HLS operates on a consecutive-days-of-the-week model, so you have M/Tu classes or M/Tu/W classes, or W/Th/F classes, or whatever. All of the other schools I've paid attention to within Harvard (HKS, the College, the HGSE) operate on an alternating-days-of-the-week model, so they have M/W/F classes or Tu/Th classes or the like. (HKS has Tu/Th/F classes sometimes, too, but the Friday session is "optional" in theory.) So there's a LOT of overlap, partly because of this and partly because...

The campuses schedule classes in blocks that don't correspond. For example, HLS has no classes during the 12-1 pm block, but classes will run right up to that blank space or begin right after it. HKS, on the other hand, typically has an 11:40 to 1 pm block in which classes are scheduled. So you'll often have 10-minute or 20-minute overlaps of classes. The campuses are not necessarily all that close to each other, either (HBS is probably a 20-minute walk from HLS), so travel time can be an issue. And if that weren't enough of a scheduling nightmare, there's also the fact that...

The campuses take different holidays. For example, because I'm a JD/MPP and a TF at the College, I have to pay attention to HLS, HKS, and the College, and the first day of classes is 9/3 for the College, 9/5 for HKS, and 9/9 for HLS (for 2Ls and 3Ls). All three campuses take Columbus Day off, but HLS also takes the following day off, which HKS and the College don't. HLS and the College take Veterans Day off, but HKS doesn't. All three campuses have the same Thanksgiving, but the last day of classes is 12/3 for the College and 12/6 for HKS and HLS. Confused yet?

Once you've found a class that you want to take and think you can fit into your schedule, you may not be able to take it. As far as I know, cross-registrants go into the back of the line of people trying to register for the class. Thus, HLS students typically can't take (or have to apply into) the most impacted (best?) classes at the other schools. For example, I know that many of the best HKS classes don't allow students from other campuses.

There's also some annoying paperwork to be done, but that's usually not the biggest issue. Also a maximum of 12 cross-registration credits count towards the credits you need to graduate, so if you cross-register a lot, some of the classes may not count towards your law degree. (This is a big issue for joint-degree students, often, but less so for everyone else.)

Despite all of the above, people cross-register all the time, and it's often a very good experience. There are non-impacted but good classes that you can take at other campuses that are really worthwhile, if you can get past the scheduling nightmares.


SO LET'S SAY I MEANT SOME K-SCHOOL HOTTIES INSTEAD
tomwatts wrote:
PinkCow wrote:
neprep wrote:Can anyone speak to taking classes at one of the other schools, like HBS or the Kennedy School? My understanding is that the academic calendars don't jive across schools; so, if you want to take classes in these other schools, do you pretty much have to arrive earlier/stay later on campus?

I took 2 classes at HKS. It's a hassle but worth it if you find something you like. One class was probably the best class I've taken at Harvard. Some cons: both of my classes were 1 hr. 20 mins twice/week, and only counted for 2 credits each. I personally found one of the classes I took to be more work than most 3 or 4 credit LS classes, so it was kind of rough for just 2 credits, especially when you're in class for almost the same amount of time. Also, classes at HKS are typically every other day (e.g., Tuesday, Thursday) instead of back to back, which makes scheduling complicated. Also, you have to wait a month or so longer than other HKS students to get your grades because it goes through the law school. So, if there's any issue with your grade, you won't know until much later than everyone else. Also, the cross-registration system is really not good. You don't know for sure if you're in a class until past the add/drop date, and the whole process for getting into a class is just difficult and uncertain.

I'm a JD/MPP, so I take a lot of classes at HKS. A couple of extra things about this:

* The greatest hits at HKS are probably the best classes at Harvard. A few of them are so impacted with HKS students that they don't take cross-registrants at all. A few of them are a little complicated to get into, but you probably can if you're really, really persistent. A good number of them you can just take, because there's plenty of room. PM me if you want to know about a specific class; I can probably tell you about most of them. People say good things about HBS classes, but I know less about them.

* The weekly schedule is horribly in conflict. HLS has a consecutive-days-of-the-week system that no other Harvard campus has (as far as I know). Also, the times don't line up. So a lot of classes will overlap for 10 minutes once a week or something awkward like that, so you can't take them.

* Normally, a 0.5-credit module at HKS counts as 1 cross-registration credit. This is a class that meets for half the semester (which is super convenient for a law student, if it's the first half of the semester). A 1-credit class at HKS counts as 3 cross-registration credits. Assume that a 1-credit class at HKS (so, 3 cross-registration credits) is at least as much work as a 4-credit class at HLS.

PinkCow wrote:The academic calendar is quite similar. I think classes at HKS might start like a couple days early, but not that bad. They end basically the same as law school classes.

The calendar is technically aligned, but that doesn't mean very much. At HLS, the fall semester began on 9/3 (the day after Labor Day), but that just meant that 1L classes started then, and 2L/3L classes didn't start until 9/9. At HKS, the fall semester began on 9/3, but that meant that course shopping (sitting in on classes to see what you want to take) started on that day, and classes didn't begin until 9/5. Other campuses do things differently, too, e.g., the College starts all classes on 9/3. I don't know what HBS does, but it seems likely that it's slightly different, too.

The campuses also take different holidays. All campuses take Columbus Day off, but HLS uniquely takes the following day off, too. HKS takes Veterans Day off, but the other campuses don't. The list goes on.

In the spring, all the campuses start on the same day, but HLS ends classes on 4/25, and exams start on 4/29. HKS doesn't end classes until 5/2. HLS exams run through 5/8, and HKS classes run through 5/16.

The end result is that you have to get to campus a week (well, a few days, but the prior week) early in the fall or stay up to a week late in the spring, depending on the class's exam schedule.

PinkCow wrote:Grades are letter grades but they don't factor into your LS GPA calculations. They do show up on your transcript. The curve is pretty tight and you can generally expect an A- or a B+ unless you do really well or really poorly.

The HKS grade distribution is here.

PinkCow wrote:Also, this is just a random point, but the facilities at HKS are a little . . . old. Hallways, classrooms, and common areas are typically extremely cramped. Plus, the desks suuucckkkkkk.

Some of the rooms have been refurbished lately. The old L-130 was an affront to educational architecture. The room literally impeded my learning. The new L-130 is much better (though still small). If you get an unrefurbished room (RG-20), it may be a little awkward. If you get a refurbished room (Starr), it's pretty comparable to Austin or Langdell.

Oh, and walking down from HLS to HKS or HBS is kind of a hike. I don't normally mind — it's not more than 15 minutes at most to get to HKS, and probably no more than an extra 10 to get to anywhere at HBS — but in a snowstorm (as today) it can be a little more arduous. Today was one of my HLS-HKS-HLS-HKS-HLS days, so it was a little rough.


CLINICS?
DoubleChecks wrote:Haven't seen a response to the clinical work yet, so I will comment, having done two and have friends who have done a few.

The experience varies from clinic to clinic. It would be best to get a heads up on how your specific clinic is run. I did negotiation clinic which I loved. Loose structure so 2 to 4 credits, hard to tell the difference. You're in a team of 2-3 and you all work hard to try to get the project done. Not as much law as it is negotiation/mediation. If you enjoy that stuff, it is a very fun, unstructured clinic that can leave you feeling like you accomplished something. Have to have taken the negotiation clinic beforehand, which I personally loved, but I am a negotiation-addict. Most people I talked to loved the clinic (I took it in the winter so I got to immerse myself and not worry about grades/other classes)...though I have met a handful that thought it was too many hrs/waste of time for what you end up learning. But meh, that's law school in general.

I have friends in the WilmerHale transaction clinic. Show up every day, very much like a job. Most said it is kind of boring. Did not ask too much about it but that was the impression I got.

Capital Punishment clinic was another one I took. Again, if you enjoy that type of work, it can be quite rewarding. Depending on where you land for the winter (it is a winter-spring clinical), you can get anywhere from intense to chill. I went to a really chill place in TX. Pretty lax, good work (very LRW-like), unstructured, and went to death row a few times to meet clients. Good experience. In the spring, it was remote access. I would not recommend taking too many credit hours for this just because it is too unstructured/distant to get 4 credits worth (20 hrs a week). I felt like I was begging for work at times. Similar work but you don't get the same feel by doing it from the comfort of your own home, though obvious benefit is you get to do it from the comfort of your own home.

Other friends of mine have done the human rights clinic. The former sounds like it can get REALLY intense (at some points, sounded like more work than 2 classes combined o.O), but you're doing substantive work. Not to sound repetitive, but if you enjoy the work...good experience.

I feel like there are a lot of clinics here, and they really vary in the experiences they offer. Do some research beforehand in how the ones you are interested in are like, then do one. I recommend doing a clinic before one graduates. Law school classes teach you stuff that is maybe 1% applicable to the real world. Clinics give you at least some higher percentage.

I hope this post made sense. I drank a lot an hour ago. Pretty much finished law school today. sw00t.

Thanks for this, I have read the general posts on here but I should have specified more clearly that I was wondering if anyone had cross-registered for a language class. I haven't found any posts about experiences with that, but maybe I missed them. I'm curious because my UG transcript shows that I have taken very advanced classes in my language, so what I really want to know is how I would be placed in terms of what level they would put me in. My skills have deteriorated and I would like to take a an advanced grammar class (vs. lit classes that are just fully conducted in the foreign language, etc which is what most classes are after a certain point of proven fluency). Just wondering if anyone has done so, and if it was a hassle to set up or was too much of a workload when combined with law school classes during the semester.

Also, I already know a lot about CP clinic (way too intense in content for me) and am not considering Negotiation right now, but am wondering if it's true that Veteran's Law means that you can do pretty much all T&E. That's kind of the only part of that clinic's described work I'd be into, so I'd like to know if anyone has done it, and what their work was like. (I was told by a faculty member that they think it's possible to do all T&E but they seemed uncertain). Thanks for digging up those posts though.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:02 pm

I don't think cross-registering is a huge hassle. It's not as convenient as registering for HLS courses as an HLS student but it shouldn't be viewed as an impediment to take the course. I would caution you that you cannot receive credits for cross-registering for a class that is substantially similar or the same (double-check the standard) as an undergrad class [edit: that you have previously taken]. So if you got course credits for, say, Spanish 101 and now you want to take introductory Spanish here because your skills have deteriorated, you might not be eligible for course credit if that is something you care about. I would verify and double check all this information.
Last edited by ph14 on Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
HermioneG.
Posts: 13
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:32 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby HermioneG. » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:07 pm

ph14 wrote:I don't think cross-registering is a huge hassle. It's not as convenient as registering for HLS courses as an HLS student but it shouldn't be viewed as an impediment to take the course. I would caution you that you cannot receive credits for cross-registering for a class that is substantially similar or the same (double-check the standard) as an undergrad class. So if you got course credits for, say, Spanish 101 and now you want to take introductory Spanish here because your skills have deteriorated, you might not be eligible for course credit if that is something you care about. I would verify and double check all this information.

Ooh that's a good point. That's the kind of thing I was worried about. This may be a very stupid question, but who would I make an appointment with for mundane questions about academics like this? DOS? I know there are "program of study" advisors and the section faculty leaders, but I don't feel like this question would be best answered by either of them.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3225
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:12 pm

HermioneG. wrote:
ph14 wrote:I don't think cross-registering is a huge hassle. It's not as convenient as registering for HLS courses as an HLS student but it shouldn't be viewed as an impediment to take the course. I would caution you that you cannot receive credits for cross-registering for a class that is substantially similar or the same (double-check the standard) as an undergrad class. So if you got course credits for, say, Spanish 101 and now you want to take introductory Spanish here because your skills have deteriorated, you might not be eligible for course credit if that is something you care about. I would verify and double check all this information.

Ooh that's a good point. That's the kind of thing I was worried about. This may be a very stupid question, but who would I make an appointment with for mundane questions about academics like this? DOS? I know there are "program of study" advisors and the section faculty leaders, but I don't feel like this question would be best answered by either of them.


Oops, I had a typo, sorry if I had a confusion. You can get law school credit for an undergrad class, what I meant to say was that you can't get law school credit for an undergrad class that you have previously taken a substantially similar course during undergrad.

I think that you would talk to someone in OCS, one of those academic advisers. You can make an appointment online. I'd double check anything they say in the academic handbook though.

User avatar
Searchparty
Posts: 193
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:22 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Searchparty » Thu Mar 27, 2014 4:20 pm

Mr. Elshal wrote:Has anyone on here taken Philosophical Analysis of Legal Argument, with Scott Brewer? Is so, did you like? And can you describe it?


Unorganized.
The beginning was much more rewarding, but it's gone down hill. Last four classes I sat there like "..."

I'll let you know when I get my grade.

I should also say that it was very reading intensive in the beginning, but a lot of what was read wasn't covered, so you could skim it all except for the symbolic logic. Last three classes there hasn't been a reading assignment. It's a little annoying that it's so unorganized, however, for a two hour class, with minimal reading, it's fine if you don't mind sitting in class for two hours going "..."




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Screech Owl and 2 guests