Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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codyoneill
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby codyoneill » Tue May 06, 2014 2:02 pm

BlakcMajikc wrote:I know the housing debate has been well-covered, but I've never really comment in this thread. I live off-campus. Not a K-JD so I couldn't imagine going back to the dorms. I think the cost differential is also exaggerated. Get some roommates and you can pay $850-900/month close to the law school. And even for a K-JD, purchasing furniture is way way too easy/cheap. (check out the Harvard Graduate Market FB group).

The bang for your buck is obvious in my mind after checking out the monthly dorm rate
(http://www3.law.harvard.edu/dos/hlshous ... nd-prices/). What am I missing?


I'm interested in inexpensive furniture options, but my search for the Harvard Graduate Market didn't yield any results. Could anyone share some links or advice?

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Tue May 06, 2014 3:22 pm

Didn't mean to send anyone on a wild goose chase. Think the FB group is actually "Harvard Grad Market" and you have to get approved (it's a closed group).

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Tue May 06, 2014 4:18 pm

BlakcMajikc wrote:I know the housing debate has been well-covered, but I've never really comment in this thread. I live off-campus. Not a K-JD so I couldn't imagine going back to the dorms. I think the cost differential is also exaggerated. Get some roommates and you can pay $850-900/month close to the law school. And even for a K-JD, purchasing furniture is way way too easy/cheap. (check out the Harvard Graduate Market FB group).

The bang for your buck is obvious in my mind after checking out the monthly dorm rate
(http://www3.law.harvard.edu/dos/hlshous ... nd-prices/). What am I missing?


Agreed, and I'd add that you can get it down to $600/700 if you're willing to (gasp) take a longer walk or use public transit.

The main thing you're "missing" in the cost calculation is, as I described a page or two back, the fact that you might have to eat the cost of summer rent if you can't find a subletter. The dorms only charge 9 months of rent -- no subletting worries for the summer. The other main missing cost here is the cost of a realtor, which going to be at least a month's rent.

So, say you get a bedroom in a shared off-campus apartment for $700. Your total cost for the year is $700*13 (monthly rent plus realtor fee) = $9100.

Compare to the cheapest Gropius single, $771 / month. Your total cost of the year is $771 * 9 (monthly rent, no realtor fee) = $6939.

Assuming you leave Boston for the summer and don't sublet, you do save over $2000 by getting a cheap Gropius single.

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Mr. Elshal
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mr. Elshal » Tue May 06, 2014 5:11 pm

For SPIF funding, I understand that only 37.5 hours/week count, and that a minimum of 280 hours must be completed, but if you work, for example, 37.5 hours/week, for 10 or 12 weeks, is there a maximum amount of hours you can get paid for for the entire summer?

ETA: Specifically for a 1L

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Tue May 06, 2014 5:54 pm

Mr. Elshal wrote:For SPIF funding, I understand that only 37.5 hours/week count, and that a minimum of 280 hours must be completed, but if you work, for example, 37.5 hours/week, for 10 or 12 weeks, is there a maximum amount of hours you can get paid for for the entire summer?

ETA: Specifically for a 1L

For a 1L, there's no bonus for working longer. For a 2L, there is.

Source
PotenC wrote:I had a really good housing window, but I was also at work at that time, so I had to hastily pick a room. I picked a room in Dane 1 right next to the entrance. I've read that it can get noisy. Now, is it THAT noisy or is it just kinda noisy? I'm not that light of a sleeper.

You're probably fine. There's a high-pitched beep from outside every time someone comes in the door, and certain doors open and close louder than others, but I don't think you're likely to have an issue.

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Mr. Elshal
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mr. Elshal » Tue May 06, 2014 6:00 pm

tomwatts wrote:
Mr. Elshal wrote:For SPIF funding, I understand that only 37.5 hours/week count, and that a minimum of 280 hours must be completed, but if you work, for example, 37.5 hours/week, for 10 or 12 weeks, is there a maximum amount of hours you can get paid for for the entire summer?

ETA: Specifically for a 1L

For a 1L, there's no bonus for working longer. For a 2L, there is.

Source


Thanks!

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PotenC
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby PotenC » Tue May 06, 2014 6:33 pm

.
Last edited by PotenC on Thu May 15, 2014 3:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Tue May 06, 2014 9:19 pm

despina wrote:
BlakcMajikc wrote:I know the housing debate has been well-covered, but I've never really comment in this thread. I live off-campus. Not a K-JD so I couldn't imagine going back to the dorms. I think the cost differential is also exaggerated. Get some roommates and you can pay $850-900/month close to the law school. And even for a K-JD, purchasing furniture is way way too easy/cheap. (check out the Harvard Graduate Market FB group).

The bang for your buck is obvious in my mind after checking out the monthly dorm rate
(http://www3.law.harvard.edu/dos/hlshous ... nd-prices/). What am I missing?


Agreed, and I'd add that you can get it down to $600/700 if you're willing to (gasp) take a longer walk or use public transit.

The main thing you're "missing" in the cost calculation is, as I described a page or two back, the fact that you might have to eat the cost of summer rent if you can't find a subletter. The dorms only charge 9 months of rent -- no subletting worries for the summer. The other main missing cost here is the cost of a realtor, which going to be at least a month's rent.

So, say you get a bedroom in a shared off-campus apartment for $700. Your total cost for the year is $700*13 (monthly rent plus realtor fee) = $9100.

Compare to the cheapest Gropius single, $771 / month. Your total cost of the year is $771 * 9 (monthly rent, no realtor fee) = $6939.

Assuming you leave Boston for the summer and don't sublet, you do save over $2000 by getting a cheap Gropius single.


If you aren't allowed to get a subletter, then don't sign the lease. That's just silly. And subletters aren't that hard to find with grad students doing summer research at Harvard. And there are tons of apartments without realtor fees (particularly for housing with roommates) -- think more duplex and not pure apartment building.

smh... still don't get it. Enjoy a dorm room and I'll enjoy my space, hardwood floors, free laundry, porch, back yard etc. etc.
Alright, rant over. I'll shut up about it now.

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Tue May 06, 2014 11:17 pm

BlakcMajikc wrote:
despina wrote:
BlakcMajikc wrote:I know the housing debate has been well-covered, but I've never really comment in this thread. I live off-campus. Not a K-JD so I couldn't imagine going back to the dorms. I think the cost differential is also exaggerated. Get some roommates and you can pay $850-900/month close to the law school. And even for a K-JD, purchasing furniture is way way too easy/cheap. (check out the Harvard Graduate Market FB group).

The bang for your buck is obvious in my mind after checking out the monthly dorm rate
(http://www3.law.harvard.edu/dos/hlshous ... nd-prices/). What am I missing?


Agreed, and I'd add that you can get it down to $600/700 if you're willing to (gasp) take a longer walk or use public transit.

The main thing you're "missing" in the cost calculation is, as I described a page or two back, the fact that you might have to eat the cost of summer rent if you can't find a subletter. The dorms only charge 9 months of rent -- no subletting worries for the summer. The other main missing cost here is the cost of a realtor, which going to be at least a month's rent.

So, say you get a bedroom in a shared off-campus apartment for $700. Your total cost for the year is $700*13 (monthly rent plus realtor fee) = $9100.

Compare to the cheapest Gropius single, $771 / month. Your total cost of the year is $771 * 9 (monthly rent, no realtor fee) = $6939.

Assuming you leave Boston for the summer and don't sublet, you do save over $2000 by getting a cheap Gropius single.


If you aren't allowed to get a subletter, then don't sign the lease. That's just silly. And subletters aren't that hard to find with grad students doing summer research at Harvard. And there are tons of apartments without realtor fees (particularly for housing with roommates) -- think more duplex and not pure apartment building.

smh... still don't get it. Enjoy a dorm room and I'll enjoy my space, hardwood floors, free laundry, porch, back yard etc. etc.
Alright, rant over. I'll shut up about it now.


Rough day of exams? lol

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Tue May 06, 2014 11:20 pm

MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:
BlakcMajikc wrote:
despina wrote:
BlakcMajikc wrote:I know the housing debate has been well-covered, but I've never really comment in this thread. I live off-campus. Not a K-JD so I couldn't imagine going back to the dorms. I think the cost differential is also exaggerated. Get some roommates and you can pay $850-900/month close to the law school. And even for a K-JD, purchasing furniture is way way too easy/cheap. (check out the Harvard Graduate Market FB group).

The bang for your buck is obvious in my mind after checking out the monthly dorm rate
(http://www3.law.harvard.edu/dos/hlshous ... nd-prices/). What am I missing?


Agreed, and I'd add that you can get it down to $600/700 if you're willing to (gasp) take a longer walk or use public transit.

The main thing you're "missing" in the cost calculation is, as I described a page or two back, the fact that you might have to eat the cost of summer rent if you can't find a subletter. The dorms only charge 9 months of rent -- no subletting worries for the summer. The other main missing cost here is the cost of a realtor, which going to be at least a month's rent.

So, say you get a bedroom in a shared off-campus apartment for $700. Your total cost for the year is $700*13 (monthly rent plus realtor fee) = $9100.

Compare to the cheapest Gropius single, $771 / month. Your total cost of the year is $771 * 9 (monthly rent, no realtor fee) = $6939.

Assuming you leave Boston for the summer and don't sublet, you do save over $2000 by getting a cheap Gropius single.


If you aren't allowed to get a subletter, then don't sign the lease. That's just silly. And subletters aren't that hard to find with grad students doing summer research at Harvard. And there are tons of apartments without realtor fees (particularly for housing with roommates) -- think more duplex and not pure apartment building.

smh... still don't get it. Enjoy a dorm room and I'll enjoy my space, hardwood floors, free laundry, porch, back yard etc. etc.
Alright, rant over. I'll shut up about it now.


Rough day of exams? lol


Quite the opposite. Drafted a paper on the beach. I don't do exams. haha.
Just been bugging me since a potential roommate turned down living off-campus all together for a dorm.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Wed May 07, 2014 12:44 am

BlakcMajikc wrote:Just been bugging me since a potential roommate turned down living off-campus all together for a dorm.

Yeah, I can't imagine why anyone would do that, Judgey McJudgeypants. :P

In all seriousness, though, for me, it's about convenience. I don't have to deal with finding an apartment, roommates, subletters, etc. I just sign up, choose my room, and... there's no step three. That's it.

Also, at least during my first couple of years, living in Gropius was a way to meet people.

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guppy55
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby guppy55 » Wed May 07, 2014 11:36 am

Hi everyone,

I’m a K-JD coming to Harvard in the fall, and I’m worried about how my lack of WE is going to stack up for 1L summer internships in public interest. All my experience is just so ‘undergrad’ (student government, on-campus jobs, undergrad research) and I have nothing law-related on my resume.

Am I going to really struggle to find a 1L summer opportunity? Is there anything I can do now to mitigate this?

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Wed May 07, 2014 11:53 am

guppy55 wrote:Am I going to really struggle to find a 1L summer opportunity? Is there anything I can do now to mitigate this?

No, and no, and it doesn't matter. About quarter of HLS's 1Ls are K-JDs, and none of them are unemployed in their 1L summers.

Also, I think the majority of incoming law students at HLS — though I don't know the exact numbers — have no law-related experience before law school.

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Wed May 07, 2014 12:57 pm

tomwatts wrote:
guppy55 wrote:Am I going to really struggle to find a 1L summer opportunity? Is there anything I can do now to mitigate this?

No, and no, and it doesn't matter. About quarter of HLS's 1Ls are K-JDs, and none of them are unemployed in their 1L summers.

Also, I think the majority of incoming law students at HLS — though I don't know the exact numbers — have no law-related experience before law school.


TITCR. (and no one I know is unemployed any summer.)

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guppy55
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby guppy55 » Wed May 07, 2014 5:12 pm

I’m not sure exactly how to ask this question, but I will try and I would appreciate any thoughtful commentary on this.

I have lived a solidly middle-class life, raised by two full-time-working, coupon-clipping parents. I have consistently worked two or more jobs since I was 16, and I worked my way through public university. As such, I am a little concerned about a potential culture shock of coming to Harvard Law, as a private university and a very privileged space.

To be clear, I do not mean to imply that people would be snobby or unpleasant. I just worry that I won’t fit in as well because I may not share similar experiences/backgrounds. I know HLS strives for diversity and that many students are on financial aid, so there may be a greater socioeconomic spread at Harvard Law than I anticipate. Does anyone have thoughts on this?

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BelugaWhale
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BelugaWhale » Wed May 07, 2014 5:30 pm

guppy55 wrote:I’m not sure exactly how to ask this question, but I will try and I would appreciate any thoughtful commentary on this.

I have lived a solidly middle-class life, raised by two full-time-working, coupon-clipping parents. I have consistently worked two or more jobs since I was 16, and I worked my way through public university. As such, I am a little concerned about a potential culture shock of coming to Harvard Law, as a private university and a very privileged space.

To be clear, I do not mean to imply that people would be snobby or unpleasant. I just worry that I won’t fit in as well because I may not share similar experiences/backgrounds. I know HLS strives for diversity and that many students are on financial aid, so there may be a greater socioeconomic spread at Harvard Law than I anticipate. Does anyone have thoughts on this?

Most of us here are probably from your economic group I think. I really mean it. Yes there are objectively well off people here. But I know quite a few people who had to scrap by in life to get here.

I really think you're overestimating the quality of the socioeconomic representation here.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Wed May 07, 2014 5:39 pm

guppy55 wrote: I just worry that I won’t fit in as well because I may not share similar experiences/backgrounds. I know HLS strives for diversity and that many students are on financial aid, so there may be a greater socioeconomic spread at Harvard Law than I anticipate. Does anyone have thoughts on this?


We had a discussion about this a few months back -- I will take a look and see if I can find it for you.

ETA: Found it -- starts on pg 119 of this thread.

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guppy55
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby guppy55 » Wed May 07, 2014 5:57 pm

despina wrote:I'm not aware of anything as blatant as the stories I've heard third-hand from HBS, but class differences are definitely noticeable and sometimes uncomfortable. Most of us, regardless of the backgrounds we grew up in, are living semester-to-semester on our student loans and are thus on decent but limited budgets. There are definitely some people who are clearly not limited on a day-to-day basis, and while most don't flaunt it, I've definitely had some awkward conversations with people who just couldn't understand why it wasn't an option for me to go to Europe over spring break, or why I would buy $30 shoes when the $300 ones are so much nicer.

Of course, most of us who are living on student loans also have parents who can help spring for a wardrobe for EIP, foot the bill for a health emergency, or give a no-interest loan if summer public interest funding checks are mailed a week after rent is due. Those who truly come from middle class or working class backgrounds and struggle financially might not feel comfortable saying so to most their classmates, but may often feel awkward. Also, those who were the first in their families to go to college or whose parents don't come from "professional" backgrounds might sometimes feel like there are parts of the culture that are harder for them to navigate.


Thanks for pointing me to this conversation. Basically this is exactly my concern, especially the assertion that class differences are "definitely noticeable" and the last comment about the difficulty of navigating an unfamiliar culture.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Wed May 07, 2014 6:13 pm

Also, for what it's worth, I'd be very surprised if Belugawhale's comment that "most" HLS students are from your ("coupon clipping" - "two or more jobs since I was 16" - " worked my way through public university") socioeconomic class.

Yes, you will find plenty of folks who fit that description. But my impression has been that at least a plurality of students come from "upper middle class" backgrounds (little or no undergraduate debt because their parents paid for college, worked or did unpaid internships during summers but never had to work during the semester, could easily count on their parents to give them $10,000 to cover a medical emergency, etc).

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed May 07, 2014 6:19 pm

guppy55 wrote:I’m not sure exactly how to ask this question, but I will try and I would appreciate any thoughtful commentary on this.

I have lived a solidly middle-class life, raised by two full-time-working, coupon-clipping parents. I have consistently worked two or more jobs since I was 16, and I worked my way through public university. As such, I am a little concerned about a potential culture shock of coming to Harvard Law, as a private university and a very privileged space.

To be clear, I do not mean to imply that people would be snobby or unpleasant. I just worry that I won’t fit in as well because I may not share similar experiences/backgrounds. I know HLS strives for diversity and that many students are on financial aid, so there may be a greater socioeconomic spread at Harvard Law than I anticipate. Does anyone have thoughts on this?


One of the best things about HLS is the large class size. You can definitely find a group with which you fit in, no matter who you are, what your interests are, or what your background is. I wouldn't worry about it.

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wert3813
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Wed May 07, 2014 6:29 pm

ph14 wrote:
guppy55 wrote:I’m not sure exactly how to ask this question, but I will try and I would appreciate any thoughtful commentary on this.

I have lived a solidly middle-class life, raised by two full-time-working, coupon-clipping parents. I have consistently worked two or more jobs since I was 16, and I worked my way through public university. As such, I am a little concerned about a potential culture shock of coming to Harvard Law, as a private university and a very privileged space.

To be clear, I do not mean to imply that people would be snobby or unpleasant. I just worry that I won’t fit in as well because I may not share similar experiences/backgrounds. I know HLS strives for diversity and that many students are on financial aid, so there may be a greater socioeconomic spread at Harvard Law than I anticipate. Does anyone have thoughts on this?


One of the best things about HLS is the large class size. You can definitely find a group with which you fit in, no matter who you are, what your interests are, or what your background is. I wouldn't worry about it.

I really really wouldn't either. You're classmates aren't going to be jetting to Vegas for a weekend and you can't go because your poor. Very few of my classmates do I know how much money they or their parents have. I will say try not to come in here finding a reason that you don't belong. I did that and it's not healthy mentally/a massive waste of time and happiness.

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guppy55
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby guppy55 » Wed May 07, 2014 6:33 pm

wert3813 wrote:
ph14 wrote:One of the best things about HLS is the large class size. You can definitely find a group with which you fit in, no matter who you are, what your interests are, or what your background is. I wouldn't worry about it.

I really really wouldn't either. You're classmates aren't going to be jetting to Vegas for a weekend and you can't go because your poor. Very few of my classmates do I know how much money they or their parents have. I will say try not to come in here finding a reason that you don't belong. I did that and it's not healthy mentally/a massive waste of time and happiness.


Fair point & good advice -- thanks =)

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guppy55
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby guppy55 » Wed May 07, 2014 6:34 pm

Do you know anyone who has been / is an RA (as in resident assistant, not research) in the law school dorms? I was an RA in undergrad and I'm wondering if this is a way to cut/eliminate living expenses in law school? Actually does this position even exist?
Last edited by guppy55 on Wed May 07, 2014 6:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed May 07, 2014 6:37 pm

I think most here are actually from the upper middle class, and I recall reading data that backs this up. You'll notice it, but day-to-day it's not a big deal. It can sometimes be an issue when going out to eat, but if you just speak up that you don't feel like spending a lot, most people will understand (since loan debt is a pretty big issue). Plenty of people here who come from the upper middle class still won't spend money too lavishly or often either.

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Wed May 07, 2014 6:54 pm

My last post had a relatively critical tone and this one won't do much better. One of my main issues with the institution of Harvard Law is that for all the talk about diversity/socioeconomic diversity the institution is operated for the upper-middle class, and HLS doesn't try to compensate for a student's lack of financial cushion. Examples that were already mentioned definitely include the SPIF checks being sent out late, not giving SPIF for judges (hence only those who can afford to intern for free are able to intern with a judge), a blanket approach to the student financial contribution from SA $s, financial aid checks sent out after September rent is due, and winter term international funding that falls well below the actual costs. I was in professional graduate school before HLS, and it just surprises me that so many of the policies/operations of the institution are based on an upper middle class norm.

As for my peers at HLS, I absolutely love them and only on occasion do I remind them that $75 dinners aren't normal... But as previously mentioned, on a day-to-day it's a non-issue.




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