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.
politics89
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby politics89 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:29 pm

I feel like I'm missing an obvious answer somewhere but what classes do we take first semester? I know there are 10 we have to take over 1L but if it random which comes in first semester and which in second? Do all the sections take different 1L classes (like some do Contracts 1st semester, some 2nd)?

Thanks!

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:32 pm

politics89 wrote:I feel like I'm missing an obvious answer somewhere but what classes do we take first semester? I know there are 10 we have to take over 1L but if it random which comes in first semester and which in second? Do all the sections take different 1L classes (like some do Contracts 1st semester, some 2nd)?

Thanks!


It's kind of random, but everyone takes civil procedure and LRW, and no one takes their elective or international elective until second semester. So there's a limited number of other classes you can get. Yes, some sections take contracts first semester and some take it second.

quijotesca1011
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby quijotesca1011 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:36 pm

ph14 wrote:
politics89 wrote:I feel like I'm missing an obvious answer somewhere but what classes do we take first semester? I know there are 10 we have to take over 1L but if it random which comes in first semester and which in second? Do all the sections take different 1L classes (like some do Contracts 1st semester, some 2nd)?

Thanks!


It's kind of random, but everyone takes civil procedure and LRW, and no one takes their elective or international elective until second semester. So there's a limited number of other classes you can get. Yes, some sections take contracts first semester and some take it second.


LRW is first and second, yes?

Sorry, can't seem to find it on the website and couldn't make ASW.

ETA: actually apologies maybe I am confusing schools and curriculums?

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:38 pm

quijotesca1011 wrote:
ph14 wrote:
politics89 wrote:I feel like I'm missing an obvious answer somewhere but what classes do we take first semester? I know there are 10 we have to take over 1L but if it random which comes in first semester and which in second? Do all the sections take different 1L classes (like some do Contracts 1st semester, some 2nd)?

Thanks!


It's kind of random, but everyone takes civil procedure and LRW, and no one takes their elective or international elective until second semester. So there's a limited number of other classes you can get. Yes, some sections take contracts first semester and some take it second.


LRW is first and second, yes?

Sorry, can't seem to find it on the website and couldn't make ASW.

ETA: actually apologies maybe I am confusing schools and curriculums?


Yes, LRW is both 1st semester (closed and open memos) and 2nd semester (appellate brief).

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 6:39 pm

So here's what is guaranteed:

Fall Semester:
1. Civil Procedure
2. LRW
3. ?
4. ?
5. ?

Spring Semester:
1. International Law Elective (~7 options)
2. LRW
3. True Elective
4. ?
5. ?

? marks are filled in by: torts, contracts, property, criminal law, and legislation and regulation.

politics89
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby politics89 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:05 pm

ph14 wrote:So here's what is guaranteed:

Fall Semester:
1. Civil Procedure
2. LRW
3. ?
4. ?
5. ?

Spring Semester:
1. International Law Elective (~7 options)
2. LRW
3. True Elective
4. ?
5. ?

? marks are filled in by: torts, contracts, property, criminal law, and legislation and regulation.


This is incredibly helpful. Thanks!

quijotesca1011
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby quijotesca1011 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:09 pm

politics89 wrote:
ph14 wrote:So here's what is guaranteed:

Fall Semester:
1. Civil Procedure
2. LRW
3. ?
4. ?
5. ?

Spring Semester:
1. International Law Elective (~7 options)
2. LRW
3. True Elective
4. ?
5. ?

? marks are filled in by: torts, contracts, property, criminal law, and legislation and regulation.


This is incredibly helpful. Thanks!


+ 1, Thanks!

emu42
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby emu42 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:11 am

ph14 wrote:So here's what is guaranteed:

Fall Semester:
1. Civil Procedure
2. LRW
3. ?
4. ?
5. ?

Spring Semester:
1. International Law Elective (~7 options)
2. LRW
3. True Elective
4. ?
5. ?

? marks are filled in by: torts, contracts, property, criminal law, and legislation and regulation.

thanks! which of these was your favorite? :lol:

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wert3813
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:14 am

emu42 wrote:
ph14 wrote:So here's what is guaranteed:

Fall Semester:
1. Civil Procedure
2. LRW
3. ?
4. ?
5. ?

Spring Semester:
1. International Law Elective (~7 options)
2. LRW
3. True Elective
4. ?
5. ?

? marks are filled in by: torts, contracts, property, criminal law, and legislation and regulation.

thanks! which of these was your favorite? :lol:
Not p14 but he is (I think) going to tell you that the answer is so professor based as to be meaningless. Mine was Civ Pro. Civ Pro, contract and legreg are probably the classes I learned to most in fwiw.

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:19 am

Civ pro generally makes law school case method easier to follow -- it can be tough to understand the nuances of a case without understanding the nuts and bolts behind the decisions (aka rules of civil procedure).

With that being said, professors can make or break any subject.

roranoa
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby roranoa » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:41 pm

I think I've asked this question a few months ago but I can' seem to locate it in this thread.

So....How old is too old for law school? CLS has on their homepage that their incoming student body has only 2% of "29 or older" students. Is 29 really that old in law school?

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patogordo
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby patogordo » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:44 pm

roranoa wrote:I think I've asked this question a few months ago but I can' seem to locate it in this thread.

So....How old is too old for law school? CLS has on their homepage that their incoming student body has only 2% of "29 or older" students. Is 29 really that old in law school?

nah. i'm 30 and have a couple classes where there are several people older than me

roranoa
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby roranoa » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:47 pm

patogordo wrote:
roranoa wrote:I think I've asked this question a few months ago but I can' seem to locate it in this thread.

So....How old is too old for law school? CLS has on their homepage that their incoming student body has only 2% of "29 or older" students. Is 29 really that old in law school?

nah. i'm 30 and have a couple classes where there are several people older than me



Do you have any trouble competing with "younger" "fresh" minds(brains)?

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codyoneill
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby codyoneill » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:51 pm

patogordo wrote:
roranoa wrote:I think I've asked this question a few months ago but I can' seem to locate it in this thread.

So....How old is too old for law school? CLS has on their homepage that their incoming student body has only 2% of "29 or older" students. Is 29 really that old in law school?

nah. i'm 30 and have a couple classes where there are several people older than me


Follow up on that: how much of an impact does being older (late twenties, early thirties) have in EIP or job prospects? I remember reading someone somewhere on TLS saying that Big Law is a young man's game and firms don't want associates who are slightly older or have families. That user sounded like a blowhard, but I am curious if any older HLS students encountered any difficulties (or advantages).

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:51 pm

roranoa wrote:
patogordo wrote:
roranoa wrote:I think I've asked this question a few months ago but I can' seem to locate it in this thread.

So....How old is too old for law school? CLS has on their homepage that their incoming student body has only 2% of "29 or older" students. Is 29 really that old in law school?

nah. i'm 30 and have a couple classes where there are several people older than me



Do you have any trouble competing with "younger" "fresh" minds(brains)?


Seriously.

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patogordo
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby patogordo » Tue Apr 29, 2014 12:52 pm

codyoneill wrote:
patogordo wrote:
roranoa wrote:I think I've asked this question a few months ago but I can' seem to locate it in this thread.

So....How old is too old for law school? CLS has on their homepage that their incoming student body has only 2% of "29 or older" students. Is 29 really that old in law school?

nah. i'm 30 and have a couple classes where there are several people older than me


Follow up on that: how much of an impact does being older (late twenties, early thirties) have in EIP or job prospects? I remember reading someone somewhere on TLS saying that Big Law is a young man's game and firms don't want associates who are slightly older or have families. That user sounded like a blowhard, but I am curious if any older HLS students encountered any difficulties (or advantages).

i'm married, no kids. didn't seem to be an issue at all. probably more of a benefit in interviewing, really, since i had more stuff to talk about.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:12 pm

roranoa wrote:I think I've asked this question a few months ago but I can' seem to locate it in this thread.

So....How old is too old for law school? CLS has on their homepage that their incoming student body has only 2% of "29 or older" students. Is 29 really that old in law school?


Nope, not at all. I'm friends with people of all ages and I don't even know how old a lot of people are exactly.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:24 pm

Are there no lunches today or is my browser being weird?

http://hlsdope.org/

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:25 pm

Pneumonia wrote:Are there no lunches today or is my browser being weird?

http://hlsdope.org/


It's finals.

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:45 pm

ph14 wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:Are there no lunches today or is my browser being weird?

http://hlsdope.org/


It's finals.

Ha. HLS Dope should probably have a more exciting homepage for finals and during the summer when there aren't many events.

lawbeahs
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lawbeahs » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:30 pm

Thank you all for doing this forum- much appreciated!

I have questions regarding HLS and the path to legal academia:

My primary goal (really, my only true goal) is to become a law professor. I know that HLS places very well in this field (2nd to Y, right?), but I can't help but notice that HLS does not seem to offer the same sort of structured program/support for those interested in legal academia as, say, YSCCN, and I've had a hard time finding any information regarding the HLS path to legal academia on the HLS website/ google.

My questions are:

1. Does HLS offer any sort of structured program for those aspiring to be law professors, and, if so, where can I find information on this?
2. If there is no structured program, what are the most important things I should be aware of/ what should I be doing throughout 1L, 2L, and 3L to best prepare myself for a career in legal academia?
3. I know publishing is incredibly important; should I spend my 1L summer writing/attempting to publish? How do you find an HLS faculty mentor to write/publish with?
4. My current plan after law school is to clerk for a year, practice for 2-5 years (biglaw, probably Boston), and then transition to VAP, then tenure-track position. Is this realistic, and can you think of anything I should be doing differently to maximaize my chances?
5. Any other advice for legal academia would be heartily appreciated.

Thank you all so much!

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:00 pm

lawbeahs wrote:Thank you all for doing this forum- much appreciated!

I have questions regarding HLS and the path to legal academia:

My primary goal (really, my only true goal) is to become a law professor. I know that HLS places very well in this field (2nd to Y, right?), but I can't help but notice that HLS does not seem to offer the same sort of structured program/support for those interested in legal academia as, say, YSCCN, and I've had a hard time finding any information regarding the HLS path to legal academia on the HLS website/ google.

My questions are:

1. Does HLS offer any sort of structured program for those aspiring to be law professors, and, if so, where can I find information on this?
2. If there is no structured program, what are the most important things I should be aware of/ what should I be doing throughout 1L, 2L, and 3L to best prepare myself for a career in legal academia?
3. I know publishing is incredibly important; should I spend my 1L summer writing/attempting to publish? How do you find an HLS faculty mentor to write/publish with?
4. My current plan after law school is to clerk for a year, practice for 2-5 years (biglaw, probably Boston), and then transition to VAP, then tenure-track position. Is this realistic, and can you think of anything I should be doing differently to maximaize my chances?
5. Any other advice for legal academia would be heartily appreciated.

Thank you all so much!

*taps in*

1. HLS is very decentralized. You have the be the one to make the connections with academic faulty that you want to write with/for. Same goes with the administration. With this being said, NYU is the only one who really has a true centralized program (i.e. Furman program). YSCC are similar to Harvard in that regard.
2. Your focus in law school will be very different to your peers. Aside from 1L grades, which matter a lot, your #1 concern during 2L and 3L should be writing. You should be leaving law school with at least 1-2 papers ready for publication. To that end, you need to be thinking about which areas of law you're interested in writing in and which professors you want to supervise your writing.
3. 1L summer is a great time to start a writing project to continue into 2L year, but you can do this on your down time while interning at a 9-5. You find a faculty mentor though one of three ways: 1) take a class with the professor and go to office hours, 2) become an RA for the professor, or 3) cold email them to talk about a project that you want to write about and see if they would be willing to help you with the project and supervise the writing.
4. Nope, that's the standard plan nowadays. The only other thing that could help is to complete a PhD, but under no circumstances should you complete a PhD simply to maximize your chances at being a legal academic. You do it because you love the discipline and would genuinely enjoy spending 5-7 years on the topic.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:07 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
lawbeahs wrote:Thank you all for doing this forum- much appreciated!

I have questions regarding HLS and the path to legal academia:

My primary goal (really, my only true goal) is to become a law professor. I know that HLS places very well in this field (2nd to Y, right?), but I can't help but notice that HLS does not seem to offer the same sort of structured program/support for those interested in legal academia as, say, YSCCN, and I've had a hard time finding any information regarding the HLS path to legal academia on the HLS website/ google.

My questions are:

1. Does HLS offer any sort of structured program for those aspiring to be law professors, and, if so, where can I find information on this?
2. If there is no structured program, what are the most important things I should be aware of/ what should I be doing throughout 1L, 2L, and 3L to best prepare myself for a career in legal academia?
3. I know publishing is incredibly important; should I spend my 1L summer writing/attempting to publish? How do you find an HLS faculty mentor to write/publish with?
4. My current plan after law school is to clerk for a year, practice for 2-5 years (biglaw, probably Boston), and then transition to VAP, then tenure-track position. Is this realistic, and can you think of anything I should be doing differently to maximaize my chances?
5. Any other advice for legal academia would be heartily appreciated.

Thank you all so much!

*taps in*

1. HLS is very decentralized. You have the be the one to make the connections with academic faulty that you want to write with/for. Same goes with the administration. With this being said, NYU is the only one who really has a true centralized program (i.e. Furman program). YSCC are similar to Harvard in that regard.
2. Your focus in law school will be very different to your peers. Aside from 1L grades, which matter a lot, your #1 concern during 2L and 3L should be writing. You should be leaving law school with at least 1-2 papers ready for publication. To that end, you need to be thinking about which areas of law you're interested in writing in and which professors you want to supervise your writing.
3. 1L summer is a great time to start a writing project to continue into 2L year, but you can do this on your down time while interning at a 9-5. You find a faculty mentor though one of three ways: 1) take a class with the professor and go to office hours, 2) become an RA for the professor, or 3) cold email them to talk about a project that you want to write about and see if they would be willing to help you with the project and supervise the writing.
4. Nope, that's the standard plan nowadays. The only other thing that could help is to complete a PhD, but under no circumstances should you complete a PhD simply to maximize your chances at being a legal academic. You do it because you love the discipline and would genuinely enjoy spending 5-7 years on the topic.


Don't know anything about YLS or what kind of support they offer, but HLS places great into academia and certainly provides support, you just have to know where to look and how to proceed.

1. Does HLS offer any sort of structured program for those aspiring to be law professors, and, if so, where can I find information on this?

Not sure they have a structured program per se, but there is a "Becoming a Law Professor" reading group (1 credit). Professor Susannah Tobin is the professor who runs this program and coordinates all of HLS's academic placement. If you want institutional support, she would be the person to talk to.

2. If there is no structured program, what are the most important things I should be aware of/ what should I be doing throughout 1L, 2L, and 3L to best prepare myself for a career in legal academia?

See above. Talk to professors. My professor mentor has been invaluable in providing career advice to me personally. Many professors mentor law students (try and RA for a professor).

Focus on:
1. Good grades
2. Professor connections.
3. Law review
4. Publication(s) (though student publications are heavily discounted in professor hiring)
5. Developing expertise/interest in an area (especially not an oversaturated area) would be helpful too, but not necessary.

Go clerk for a year, get a year or two of practice experience, get a fellowship, publish 2 quality pieces in a field that isn't completely oversaturated, and try and get a position somewhere.

3. I know publishing is incredibly important; should I spend my 1L summer writing/attempting to publish? How do you find an HLS faculty mentor to write/publish with?

Publishing is important, but anything you write as a student will be heavily discounted. I wouldn't worry about publishing as a 1L, and I especially would not worry on pushing out multiple publications. If you come out of school with one quality piece you have put yourself in a great position. Quality is more important than quantity. That being said, writing multiple papers can also be very helpful in developing your skill set. I know for sure that my legal writing has improved immensely since I was a 1L, or even as a 2L.

Finding a HLS faculty supervisor is not hard. One way would be taking a class with the professor (and dropping by office hours once or twice so they know who you are), doing well in the class, asking to do a writing project in the field. Another way would be applying to be an RA for a professor. There are listings that go up frequently on the MyHLS page. You'll work very closely for a professor, learn about probably some cutting edge and important issues in the field, and get to know the professor and developing a relationship. You could also just drop in office hours or get in touch with a professor you don't know and ask if they would be willing to supervise a writing project. I know of someone who did this and it seems to be working out well. The person is getting to know a professor, even though s/he didn't get a chance to take a class with the professor.

4. My current plan after law school is to clerk for a year, practice for 2-5 years (biglaw, probably Boston), and then transition to VAP, then tenure-track position. Is this realistic, and can you think of anything I should be doing differently to maximaize my chances?

Definitely a realistic plan as far as any path into academia is realistic. Especially if you want to practice in private law, having practice experience helps make you a more marketable candidate and allows you to bring some personal experience in teaching your students. Less important in public law fields, but you really want a Ph.D or SCOTUS clerkship, or both, for a public law field, and those fields are more competitive in general as well. Apparently international law fields are also among the most difficult to get a position in, nowadays.

5. Any other advice for legal academia would be heartily appreciated.

Can't think of anything right now but I'll come back and update later if I can. I would just say that legal academia is probably the most credential sensitive legal position out there (though of course people will come back with anecdotes about how they got a great position with okay credentials, these are a minority of people getting hired nowadays). Having professors go to bat for you is also increasingly important nowadays, so if you can come away with one strong relationship that helps a lot. Even more is better.

Harvard education is great for law professor hiring. I know a professor who graduated at the tippy-top of his law school class from CCN who remarked at the power of Harvard for academic placement and how he felt that he was a little disadvantaged not having attended HLS (note, obviously, this was directed at me specifically, a HLS student, meaning that i'm not trying to implicitly slight Y/S).

I would say focus on maximizing my 1-4 points in response to your second question. Make sure you graduate with strong credentials, if you can. Doorkeeper is also very knowledgeable about the path into legal academia and would be a good person to find out more information from.

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Arrow4Christ
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Arrow4Christ » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:08 pm

Is it realistic to expect to be able to sublet a Cambridge or Somerville apartment in the summers? All the units I've looked at so far can't be sublet.

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:13 pm

Arrow4Christ wrote:Is it realistic to expect to be able to sublet a Cambridge or Somerville apartment in the summers? All the units I've looked at so far can't be sublet.
Is that what the contract says, or is that what the law and the market say? Based on Facebook alone, it seems like people do it, although I would imagine that almost all contracts don't allow it.




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