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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ScratchableItch
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ScratchableItch » Wed May 07, 2014 6:56 pm

guppy55 wrote: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?


There are RAs for the law school dorms (Gropius, Hastings, etc), but it's surprisingly competitive. This year something like 40 people applied for 10 available spots.

There is also the possibility of being a graduate RA for one of the undergraduate houses, but from what I hear that is even more competitive.

So it's a possibility, but don't necessarily count on it (even if you were an RA in undergrad).

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

Postby t-14orbust » Wed May 07, 2014 6:58 pm

BlakcMajikc wrote: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.


Damn. Does this mean if I live in the dorms I have to save rent money to pay for August/September too? Is there a way to get COL loans for summers?

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Wed May 07, 2014 7:05 pm

t-14orbust wrote:
BlakcMajikc wrote: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.


Damn. Does this mean if I live in the dorms I have to save rent money to pay for August/September too? Is there a way to get COL loans for summers?


You'll be fine with dorms. They should just be billed to your Harvard student account. Although someone here should confirm. You won't need COL loans for summers -- SPIF is a grant to cover cost of living for private interest summer work (SPIF - Summer Public Interest Funding). If you don't do PI work, you'll most likely take a paid position (like an SA). Very few HLS folks intern with judges for a variety of reasons (and that belongs in its own post) so that won't affect you.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Wed May 07, 2014 7:37 pm

I can confirm that dorm rent is charged to your term bill and is paid at the same time as financial is distributed, so there's no problem there as long as your paperwork is all in order on time.

Not that you're likely to need it, but I believe it is possible to get a supplemental loan for summer expenses if you need more than SPIF provides. I can't find the details immediately, though, because I've never needed it (SPIF is pretty adequate).

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TheMostDangerousLG
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TheMostDangerousLG » Wed May 07, 2014 8:11 pm

This has sure been ask 800(K) times or so, but if you had to guess, what percentage of people who want a big law job ultimately end up getting offered a position?

.. and who are these 4 or 5 mystery kids who end up unemployed after HLS? :shock:

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Wed May 07, 2014 8:37 pm

BlakcMajikc wrote:. . . financial aid checks sent out after September rent is due.


Uughghgh this is just so uncalled for. I was so broke after moving here before 1L that I actually had to ask my parents for a short-term loan so that I could buy my textbooks (yes, I bought used, but for four classes it still added up). If had waited until my loans disbursed I wouldn't've had them in time to read for the first week of class or I would've had to pay my rent a week late.

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

Postby t-14orbust » Wed May 07, 2014 8:54 pm

despina wrote:
BlakcMajikc wrote:. . . financial aid checks sent out after September rent is due.


Uughghgh this is just so uncalled for. I was so broke after moving here before 1L that I actually had to ask my parents for a short-term loan so that I could buy my textbooks (yes, I bought used, but for four classes it still added up). If had waited until my loans disbursed I wouldn't've had them in time to read for the first week of class or I would've had to pay my rent a week late.


Crap. Idk if I'll have the money for a laptop and books

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hop
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby hop » Wed May 07, 2014 9:19 pm

BlakcMajikc wrote:Very few HLS folks intern with judges for a variety of reasons


This is something I've wondered about. Aside from SPIF funding, why is this the case? Thanks.

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Wed May 07, 2014 10:26 pm

hop wrote:
BlakcMajikc wrote:Very few HLS folks intern with judges for a variety of reasons


This is something I've wondered about. Aside from SPIF funding, why is this the case? Thanks.


1. SPIF funding is a major reason.
2. Most externships are through the clinics and interning with a judge would be an independent clinic (someone correct me if I'm wrong) so a student would have to find their own placement.
3. Clerkships are so common that it's almost seen as unnecessary to extern/intern.
4. Because of 3, career services doesn't really push interning.
5. For some reason, it's not considered prestigious in HLS student circles (that's just anecdotal).

I have my theories, but I definitely think others should chime in as well.

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Wed May 07, 2014 10:28 pm

t-14orbust wrote:
despina wrote:
BlakcMajikc wrote:. . . financial aid checks sent out after September rent is due.


Uughghgh this is just so uncalled for. I was so broke after moving here before 1L that I actually had to ask my parents for a short-term loan so that I could buy my textbooks (yes, I bought used, but for four classes it still added up). If had waited until my loans disbursed I wouldn't've had them in time to read for the first week of class or I would've had to pay my rent a week late.


Crap. Idk if I'll have the money for a laptop and books


Yeah... good luck with that... smh. I wish I could offer advice other than charge it to a credit card and pay it off as soon as you get your finaid.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Thu May 08, 2014 7:27 am

BlakcMajikc wrote:2. Most externships are through the clinics and interning with a judge would be an independent clinic (someone correct me if I'm wrong) so a student would have to find their own placement.


There is actually a clinic that places you with local judges (Harvard clinic with external placements, not an independent clinical). It's called Judicial Process in Community Courts. For next year it's a spring clinic with 15 spots.

Clinical placements are available with individual judges of the District Court, Boston Municipal Court, Juvenile Court, and Housing Court Departments of the Massachusetts Trial Court, and federal District Court. Students work alongside a judge observing court, as well as researching and writing about many different areas of the law. Students will gain perspective on the career of a judge as they have the opportunity to discuss a variety of cases, opinions, sentences, and other judicial matters with their supervising judge.


http://law.harvard.edu/academics/clinic ... icial.html

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Thu May 08, 2014 7:40 am

The Child Advocacy Clinic also places some students with Juvenile Court judges. But I agree that this is not generally high on people's priority list; as far as I know, neither of these two clinics are in high demand the way that, say, US Attorney is.

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

Postby t-14orbust » Thu May 08, 2014 3:07 pm

How do you secure a spot in a clinic?

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Searchparty
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Searchparty » Thu May 08, 2014 3:10 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?


As someone in a similar situation to you (always working jobs since 16 and throughout UG @ a public U), this was something I was concerned about. I refused to make a decision until I went to ASW and experienced what it would be like to be around my [future] classmates. I can honestly say at ASW and since being here, I have never felt like an outsider in this respect. Most of the people I associate with are either in the same boat, or I have no idea what boat they're in. The "culture" is very pleasant, regardless of your background. I think the sense of community (all being at HLS starting out as 1Ls), especially among your section, overrides any differences in your background.

t-14orbust wrote:How do you secure a spot in a clinic?


Some clinics are by application. The rest of the clinics get preferenced in their own round (you're only selecting clinics, not other classes) during course selection. You have to preference clinics for both fall and spring. You have no guarantee of getting a [med-high demand] clinic even if you preference it first.

BlakcMajikc wrote: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.


This! I also had a problem with the required $2500 contribution from 0L summer. Working a low paying job, even full time, and trying to pay for all expenses related to moving, plus the income contribution, after they've told me I need to give them [most] of my assets... that was a huge pain.

However, I do believe that even though I was assessed the $2500 contribution, I was given the opportunity to take out a LIPP eligible loan. Regardless though, grant award goes down for any assessed contribution.

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guppy55
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby guppy55 » Thu May 08, 2014 4:33 pm

Searchparty wrote:
BlakcMajikc wrote: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.


This! I also had a problem with the required $2500 contribution from 0L summer. Working a low paying job, even full time, and trying to pay for all expenses related to moving, plus the income contribution, after they've told me I need to give them [most] of my assets... that was a huge pain.

However, I do believe that even though I was assessed the $2500 contribution, I was given the opportunity to take out a LIPP eligible loan. Regardless though, grant award goes down for any assessed contribution.


Wait, can you expand on summer finances a bit? I thought Harvard Law provides guaranteed summer public interest funding, and that any summer firm work would be more than enough to pay for itself. Is this misguided? I haven't been including summers at all in my financial assessments because I just assumed summers would be self-sufficient no matter what I do (and I plan to do PI).

Also what is the $2500 contribution from 0L summer?

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Thu May 08, 2014 5:53 pm

guppy55 wrote:
Wait, can you expand on summer finances a bit? I thought Harvard Law provides guaranteed summer public interest funding, and that any summer firm work would be more than enough to pay for itself. Is this misguided? I haven't been including summers at all in my financial assessments because I just assumed summers would be self-sufficient no matter what I do (and I plan to do PI).

Also what is the $2500 contribution from 0L summer?


Summers are self-sufficient. No one has said otherwise.

Also, financial aid is calculated every year. That's very important. (For example, if you came in with need based aid and your sibling(s) was in college, but they will graduate during your time at Harvard, your parental contribution will go up substantially after their graduation.)

0L summmer - $2500 expected student contribution from every student at a minimum. As previously mentioned, you can take out a LIPP eligible loan instead of paying the $2500 worth of tuition.

1L summer - if public interest, then you take SPIF and you're all set. your student contribution won't go up; if 1L SA, then most of the money after expenses will be expected student contribution and your need-based aid will decrease accordingly.

2L summer - same as 1L summer, see above.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Thu May 08, 2014 9:36 pm

guppy55 wrote:Wait, can you expand on summer finances a bit? I thought Harvard Law provides guaranteed summer public interest funding, and that any summer firm work would be more than enough to pay for itself. Is this misguided? I haven't been including summers at all in my financial assessments because I just assumed summers would be self-sufficient no matter what I do (and I plan to do PI).

Also what is the $2500 contribution from 0L summer?

Guppy55, take a good long read of HLS's SFS page. You seem very, very anxious over things that really aren't going to be a problem — to the point of misreading posts — and I think getting better informed will put your mind at ease.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Thu May 08, 2014 9:59 pm

Is the $2500 from 0L summer income real? In the admit thread TripTrip said it only applied for 1L summer income, and I don't have any assessed "student contribution" on my FinAid?

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Thu May 08, 2014 10:30 pm

Pneumonia wrote:Is the $2500 from 0L summer income real? In the admit thread TripTrip said it only applied for 1L summer income, and I don't have any assessed "student contribution" on my FinAid?

While we expect entering 1Ls and transfer students to work during the summer before attending law school, we exempt them from the 8-week requirement; however, regardless of the length of summer work or the amount of money earned, all entering 1Ls and transfer students are expected to contribute a minimum of $2,500 towards the cost of their education during their 1L year.

Source

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Thu May 08, 2014 10:37 pm

tomwatts wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:Is the $2500 from 0L summer income real? In the admit thread TripTrip said it only applied for 1L summer income, and I don't have any assessed "student contribution" on my FinAid?

While we expect entering 1Ls and transfer students to work during the summer before attending law school, we exempt them from the 8-week requirement; however, regardless of the length of summer work or the amount of money earned, all entering 1Ls and transfer students are expected to contribute a minimum of $2,500 towards the cost of their education during their 1L year.

Source


Well done TW.

Pneumonia, chill brah. The nitpicking about the finaid is coming from current HLS students who are really in the weeds about the operations of it all. Generally, finaid is straightforward via the HLS website.

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Searchparty
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Searchparty » Fri May 09, 2014 5:19 am

Also want to clarify that you do not have to literally write a check for the $2500. If you are receiving financial aid in the form of loans or grants, your disbursement will just be $2500 less, you do not need to give it to anyone. That said, depending on your lifestyle, it is more than possible to never even need that $2500 for your living expenses if you live under budget. In my experience, the budget is very generous if your rent is around $1000-$1200. If your rent is more than that, no worries (mine is!), you can still live comfortably.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sjgonzalez3 » Fri May 09, 2014 12:28 pm

t-14orbust wrote:
despina wrote:
BlakcMajikc wrote:. . . financial aid checks sent out after September rent is due.


Uughghgh this is just so uncalled for. I was so broke after moving here before 1L that I actually had to ask my parents for a short-term loan so that I could buy my textbooks (yes, I bought used, but for four classes it still added up). If had waited until my loans disbursed I wouldn't've had them in time to read for the first week of class or I would've had to pay my rent a week late.


Crap. Idk if I'll have the money for a laptop and books


I read somewhere that you can get a supplemental one time loan for a laptop, specifically.

I would look into that if you think you might have trouble buying one.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Fri May 09, 2014 12:32 pm

sjgonzalez3 wrote:I read somewhere that you can get a supplemental one time loan for a laptop, specifically.

I would look into that if you think you might have trouble buying one.


You can. Here's the info from last year: http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... puter.html

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

Postby t-14orbust » Fri May 09, 2014 1:05 pm

despina wrote:
sjgonzalez3 wrote:I read somewhere that you can get a supplemental one time loan for a laptop, specifically.

I would look into that if you think you might have trouble buying one.


You can. Here's the info from last year: http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... puter.html


Awesome. I didn't know they did cash advances for this. I thought that I'd be screwed since others have mentioned that loan disbursements don't go out until classes have already started(why???). Thanks!!!

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

Postby t-14orbust » Fri May 09, 2014 2:30 pm

What's the gym like? Is there a free-weight squat rack? I haven't had access to one in a long time and my workouts have suffered tremendously.




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