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

Postby delusional » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:25 am

roranoa wrote:I'm not sure if this was asked. (I couldn't find an answer by searching this thread.)

Do you enjoy law school generally? Is the general feeling somewhat like being in college? (but of course with more intense exams)

Is there a lot of homework? Are they important or is grading just about exams?

I enjoy it, but I think that it depends what you were doing before. IMHO it is much more constant and intense than college. You can't just take a day off. You can't just cram at the end of the semester/when project is due. You need to do the homework just to understand what is going on in class, and even then you might not understand it until you review it. It's not just that the exams are more intense, but that they are everything, and that they are curved, and that they cover not only what you learned, but the context in which you learned it.

roranoa
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby roranoa » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:29 am

delusional wrote:
roranoa wrote:I'm not sure if this was asked. (I couldn't find an answer by searching this thread.)

Do you enjoy law school generally? Is the general feeling somewhat like being in college? (but of course with more intense exams)

Is there a lot of homework? Are they important or is grading just about exams?

I enjoy it, but I think that it depends what you were doing before. IMHO it is much more constant and intense than college. You can't just take a day off. You can't just cram at the end of the semester/when project is due. You need to do the homework just to understand what is going on in class, and even then you might not understand it until you review it. It's not just that the exams are more intense, but that they are everything, and that they are curved, and that they cover not only what you learned, but the context in which you learned it.


Thanks for the response. But what do you mean by " it depends what you were doing before"?

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:33 am

roranoa wrote:
delusional wrote:
roranoa wrote:I'm not sure if this was asked. (I couldn't find an answer by searching this thread.)

Do you enjoy law school generally? Is the general feeling somewhat like being in college? (but of course with more intense exams)

Is there a lot of homework? Are they important or is grading just about exams?

I enjoy it, but I think that it depends what you were doing before. IMHO it is much more constant and intense than college. You can't just take a day off. You can't just cram at the end of the semester/when project is due. You need to do the homework just to understand what is going on in class, and even then you might not understand it until you review it. It's not just that the exams are more intense, but that they are everything, and that they are curved, and that they cover not only what you learned, but the context in which you learned it.


Thanks for the response. But what do you mean by " it depends what you were doing before"?

It is very different if you were working 16 hour shifts in a hot kitchen to barely pay the rent, or if you were working on one last paper for a year on your own schedule while living at home with your very permissive parents.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:39 pm

I don't like 1L all that much because I find it lacks an intellectual challenge. It is more work but way less satisfying academically than undergrad. The material interesting enough but the challenger is in the curve and not the material. I hear it gets better 2 and 3L though. Except for lrw none of my core courses had assignments.....just the blindgraded final exam.

It's more work in terms of time needed but not difficulty.
On my phone so forgive my punctuation.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:41 pm

It reminds me a lot of my math and science classes in undergrad, but without the problem sets that (in principle are supposed to) help you understand the material as you go along. You learn topics and are tested on applications in big exams at the end. This was very different from the classes in the humanities that I took in undergrad. I think a good rule of thumb is that if you took classes in undergrad that had problem sets, you'll find law school somewhat familiar (once you get past the initial "what the hell is this?" that I think everyone goes through for the first month of law school — I think at this point I could explain in about half an hour what you need to understand about how law works in order to understand what you're learning from the beginning of law school, but I don't think anyone ever quite does this).

I do find it strange how differently everyone goes about studying. I assiduously read every case, took notes on each one, copied down every major point my professors made in class, and didn't look at past exams or hornbooks until the week before exams. I had friends who stopped reading the cases and started reading supplements/hornbooks and working through previous exams in October; these were typically the same friends whose attendance in class became spotty and who were on Facebook or working on their memos during class as much as not. Somehow I expected to have a better understanding of everything than they did, but it doesn't quite work out that way. We ended up being about equal. This does mean, though, that people's experiences of the first semester vary widely, in terms of what they're actually doing.

Regardless, I enjoyed first semester a lot.

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ben4847
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ben4847 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:04 pm

Anyone know when grades come out?

roranoa
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby roranoa » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:37 pm

delusional wrote:
roranoa wrote:
delusional wrote:
roranoa wrote:I'm not sure if this was asked. (I couldn't find an answer by searching this thread.)

Do you enjoy law school generally? Is the general feeling somewhat like being in college? (but of course with more intense exams)

Is there a lot of homework? Are they important or is grading just about exams?

I enjoy it, but I think that it depends what you were doing before. IMHO it is much more constant and intense than college. You can't just take a day off. You can't just cram at the end of the semester/when project is due. You need to do the homework just to understand what is going on in class, and even then you might not understand it until you review it. It's not just that the exams are more intense, but that they are everything, and that they are curved, and that they cover not only what you learned, but the context in which you learned it.


Thanks for the response. But what do you mean by " it depends what you were doing before"?

It is very different if you were working 16 hour shifts in a hot kitchen to barely pay the rent, or if you were working on one last paper for a year on your own schedule while living at home with your very permissive parents.

This is a silly question but, so, do you mean that one would enjoy law school more if one had a more intense/busy experience before matriculating? (like the former example?)

I heard that people who used to work before going to law school enjoy the new academic environment more than those who come straight from undergrad or graduate school so...

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:40 pm

roranoa wrote:I heard that people who used to work before going to law school enjoy the new academic environment more than those who come straight from undergrad or graduate school so...


I think I would like law school more if I weren't comparing it to undergrad and was comparing it to a job instead. I think. Depends on the job.

Grades came out the 26th last year. Should expect it around a similar time this year.

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kulshan
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby kulshan » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:34 pm

Okay, this is a dumb question, but you all have been really helpful. Will I have to worry about cockroaches in Cambridge/Boston? I've never lived in a big, old city, so I'm not really sure what to except.

edit: For that matter, tell me what I need to know about living on the East Coast. I'm a Kansas girl. I went to DC/NYC once on a Girl Scout trip, and that's about it. Yes, I'm a stereotype.

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:38 pm

kulshan wrote:Okay, this is a dumb question, but you all have been really helpful. Will I have to worry about cockroaches in Cambridge/Boston? I've never lived in a big, old city, so I'm not really sure what to except.

I did not have problems with cockroaches, but I did have problems with mice, as did some classmates. I suspect that it's worst in the fall, since many apartments have been vacant and mice are looking for a warm place before the weather gets cold. I got traps and "hypersonic transmitters" or something, and after I caught a couple mice, I have not seen any in two months.

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kulshan
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby kulshan » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:39 pm

delusional wrote:
kulshan wrote:Okay, this is a dumb question, but you all have been really helpful. Will I have to worry about cockroaches in Cambridge/Boston? I've never lived in a big, old city, so I'm not really sure what to except.

I did not have problems with cockroaches, but I did have problems with mice, as did some classmates. I suspect that it's worst in the fall, since many apartments have been vacant and mice are looking for a warm place before the weather gets cold. I got traps and "hypersonic transmitters" or something, and after I caught a couple mice, I have not seen any in two months.


Okay, cool. Mice would be bearable.

splbagel
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby splbagel » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:52 pm

kulshan wrote:
delusional wrote:
kulshan wrote:Okay, this is a dumb question, but you all have been really helpful. Will I have to worry about cockroaches in Cambridge/Boston? I've never lived in a big, old city, so I'm not really sure what to except.

I did not have problems with cockroaches, but I did have problems with mice, as did some classmates. I suspect that it's worst in the fall, since many apartments have been vacant and mice are looking for a warm place before the weather gets cold. I got traps and "hypersonic transmitters" or something, and after I caught a couple mice, I have not seen any in two months.


Okay, cool. Mice would be bearable.


I've never dealt with mice so perhaps this is an extraordinarily dumb question but... having a cat would pretty much make this a non-issue, right? Or am I going to come home to a mouse on my pillow as an offering?

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:25 pm

kulshan wrote:Okay, this is a dumb question, but you all have been really helpful. Will I have to worry about cockroaches in Cambridge/Boston? I've never lived in a big, old city, so I'm not really sure what to except.

edit: For that matter, tell me what I need to know about living on the East Coast. I'm a Kansas girl. I went to DC/NYC once on a Girl Scout trip, and that's about it. Yes, I'm a stereotype.


I had a huge mouse infestation problem that ruined my life during finals(it didn't impact my exams or anything, but I'm sure the stress shortened my lifespan). We're talking mouse poop in my sheets, *all over* my frying pan, etc. I'd gladly go through the stress of finals again rather than deal with my mouse problem.

My apt. doesn't allow pets.

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:53 pm

kulshan wrote:Okay, this is a dumb question, but you all have been really helpful. Will I have to worry about cockroaches in Cambridge/Boston? I've never lived in a big, old city, so I'm not really sure what to except.

edit: For that matter, tell me what I need to know about living on the East Coast. I'm a Kansas girl. I went to DC/NYC once on a Girl Scout trip, and that's about it. Yes, I'm a stereotype.


buy a good winter jacket :)

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kulshan
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby kulshan » Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:27 am

englawyer wrote:
kulshan wrote:Okay, this is a dumb question, but you all have been really helpful. Will I have to worry about cockroaches in Cambridge/Boston? I've never lived in a big, old city, so I'm not really sure what to except.

edit: For that matter, tell me what I need to know about living on the East Coast. I'm a Kansas girl. I went to DC/NYC once on a Girl Scout trip, and that's about it. Yes, I'm a stereotype.


buy a good winter jacket :)


Ha, thanks. It gets pretty cold in Kansas (and Colorado, where I am now), so I should be set.

acrossthelake wrote:I had a huge mouse infestation problem that ruined my life during finals(it didn't impact my exams or anything, but I'm sure the stress shortened my lifespan). We're talking mouse poop in my sheets, *all over* my frying pan, etc. I'd gladly go through the stress of finals again rather than deal with my mouse problem.

My apt. doesn't allow pets.


Yikes, that's messed up.

roranoa
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby roranoa » Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:15 am

This is something I noticed in other threads and people talking.
Why do you guys call dating in law school "incest"?
How is it different from dating someone in your class or social club when you were in undergrad?

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:24 pm

roranoa wrote:This is something I noticed in other threads and people talking.
Why do you guys call dating in law school "incest"?
How is it different from dating someone in your class or social club when you were in undergrad?


I mean people called dating in dorms dormcest in undergrad as well. In law school, sectioncest.

It's really I think a difference in scale of size. The law community is very small. A lot of law schools only have ~200 people per class. In your section, you take all your classes with them. My undergrad certainly had more than 200 people in the entire class, and I didn't have the exact same people in each course either. It's a small community, so there's just pressure to keep it more civil and private. I guess it's akin to a social club in undergrad, except you can't just quit law school the way you can a social club if things head very far south.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:57 pm

I'm told that most sections end up with a couple who get married. Intrasection dating is (apparently) common, as (I assume) is intersection dating.

A fair number of students (I can name maybe four or five in my section off the top of my head) come into law school already married, though. (Usually not to a fellow law student.)

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:56 am

roranoa wrote:This is something I noticed in other threads and people talking.
Why do you guys call dating in law school "incest"?
How is it different from dating someone in your class or social club when you were in undergrad?


A sizable minority of people are either married/in serious relationships (guesstimating 45%). And most of those relationships are with non-law students...there aren't many LS/LS relationships. Dating someone in your section is acceptable but somewhat rare in my experience (maybe 3-4 couples in the section).

Curious1
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Curious1 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:59 am

Not sure if this has been asked already, but I had some questions about the dorms. Basically, is it "worth it" to pay the extra money for Hastings or north (or even a bigger room in Gropius)?

ignatiusr
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ignatiusr » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:16 am

Anybody play/know people who play HLS-specific intramural sports? I'm interested in basketball and tennis. I found websites for both sports, but the basketball site stopped updating last spring, and the tennis page hasn't been updated since 2005. I'm wondering if these leagues even exist anymore.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:36 pm

Curious1 wrote:Not sure if this has been asked already, but I had some questions about the dorms. Basically, is it "worth it" to pay the extra money for Hastings or north (or even a bigger room in Gropius)?

If you want suites, rather than regular dorm singles, then it's worth it to pay for Hastings. If you want your own bathroom and a somewhat quieter, less social environment, it's worth it to pay for North. If you want extra space, grab one of the bigger rooms in Gropius (somewhat hard to do; there aren't many). I quite like my small room in Gropius, though. It just depends on what you want.
ignatiusr wrote:Anybody play/know people who play HLS-specific intramural sports? I'm interested in basketball and tennis. I found websites for both sports, but the basketball site stopped updating last spring, and the tennis page hasn't been updated since 2005. I'm wondering if these leagues even exist anymore.

I know a few people who play intramural soccer, and a bunch of people who play various pickup sports (including lots of basketball). Not sure about intramural basketball and tennis specifically, though.

I was generally surprised at how fit everyone at the school stays. I've been studying too much to get a great deal of formal exercise, but a lot of people in my dorm go to the gym often, play sports, or otherwise keep active. Makes me feel like a slob.

roranoa
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby roranoa » Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:46 am

I here that there's a lot of socially awkward people at law school. Is it the same at Harvard? In what way are these people awkward? I've known some people who were, so to speak, "shy" in college but what do you law school students mean when you say someone is socially awkward?

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:19 pm

roranoa wrote:I here that there's a lot of socially awkward people at law school. Is it the same at Harvard? In what way are these people awkward? I've known some people who were, so to speak, "shy" in college but what do you law school students mean when you say someone is socially awkward?


You've never interacted with a socially awkward person before? Ever?

I don't really know how to describe it--I view it as a "I know it when I see it" thing. It really depends I think on personal tastes though. I don't mind social awkwardness. I find there to be something nicely genuine about it. I'm sure we have an average share compared to other law schools.

roranoa
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby roranoa » Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:32 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
roranoa wrote:I here that there's a lot of socially awkward people at law school. Is it the same at Harvard? In what way are these people awkward? I've known some people who were, so to speak, "shy" in college but what do you law school students mean when you say someone is socially awkward?


You've never interacted with a socially awkward person before? Ever?

I don't really know how to describe it--I view it as a "I know it when I see it" thing. It really depends I think on personal tastes though. I don't mind social awkwardness. I find there to be something nicely genuine about it. I'm sure we have an average share compared to other law schools.


Ha ha, maybe I have but I didn't realize it. Maybe those people I didn't like in the past were the ones that people normally label "socially awkward"

But usually when I look at people I really don't care what they are like as long as they don't insult me or anything. I'm pretty tolerant with "weird" people.

I'm just asking if I might fit into a certain category where it is considered to be socially awkward.




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