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.