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

Postby sarahh » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:44 pm

caminante wrote:Before getting accepted to Harvard I was focused on finding the best school I could go to without taking out much (if any) debt. Now I am faced with a really hard decision that many of you had to deal with as well.

My husband and I already have substantial education-related debt from undergrad as well as his masters degree. The thought of taking on a lot more debt makes me sick... but so does the idea of passing up a Harvard Law degree.

So, my question for you is- Knowing what you know now, what is the maximum amount of education-related debt you would be willing to take on in order to graduate with a law degree from HYS?

Full disclosure: I have not heard back from Chi or Columbia yet, so I am currently only comparing H at most likely close to sticker with UVA $$$.


Is your husband going to have to find a job wherever you go? That was a major concern for me when choosing schools. One of the reasons I turned down a full scholarship to another school was that it was located in a place with a weak job market. I wanted him to find a job that he liked, not have to take whatever he could get.

I don't have undergraduate debt, but I have a mortgage. It was hard to turn down the free ride, but I felt that Harvard would give me the best job opportunities. Ultimately, I felt Harvard was the least risky choice.

roranoa
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby roranoa » Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:59 am

Do you think lawyers are more oblivious about what's going on in the world, like the economy in general (ex. euro crisis) or innovation in certain industries (IT, cars, etc.)?

I just figured, because lawyers have to work crazy hours for so many months of the year, they miss out a lot on what's happening. (in the world)

Do you think this applies to law school students as well? Or are LS students more attuned to world news?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:43 pm

roranoa wrote:Do you think lawyers are more oblivious about what's going on in the world, like the economy in general (ex. euro crisis) or innovation in certain industries (IT, cars, etc.)?

I just figured, because lawyers have to work crazy hours for so many months of the year, they miss out a lot on what's happening. (in the world)

Do you think this applies to law school students as well? Or are LS students more attuned to world news?


Relative to what? The average American? A precocious undergraduate student? Probably is also affected by which school you go to...

roranoa
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby roranoa » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:19 am

DoubleChecks wrote:
roranoa wrote:Do you think lawyers are more oblivious about what's going on in the world, like the economy in general (ex. euro crisis) or innovation in certain industries (IT, cars, etc.)?

I just figured, because lawyers have to work crazy hours for so many months of the year, they miss out a lot on what's happening. (in the world)

Do you think this applies to law school students as well? Or are LS students more attuned to world news?


Relative to what? The average American? A precocious undergraduate student? Probably is also affected by which school you go to...


Let's say relative to those who work at multinational corporations. (Coca cola, GE, P&G)

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:07 pm

roranoa wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:
roranoa wrote:Do you think lawyers are more oblivious about what's going on in the world, like the economy in general (ex. euro crisis) or innovation in certain industries (IT, cars, etc.)?

I just figured, because lawyers have to work crazy hours for so many months of the year, they miss out a lot on what's happening. (in the world)

Do you think this applies to law school students as well? Or are LS students more attuned to world news?


Relative to what? The average American? A precocious undergraduate student? Probably is also affected by which school you go to...


Let's say relative to those who work at multinational corporations. (Coca cola, GE, P&G)


To be honest, I have absolutely no idea, and unless you're asking someone who worked in a biglaw firm, then went over to be in-house at a multi-national corporation, I don't know if any of us would really know (and to be fair, even that person would only be able to provide the anecdote of his own personal experience).

HLS students, for the most part, seem to keep abreast of what is happening in the world in general. No idea how much of that is affected by their status as law students, HLS students, etc. I would also imagine corporate biglaw lawyers would need to know the market and how industries are going...coupled with the fact that we live in a global economy nowadays, I would presume they would need to keep up to date on all those issues to best serve their clients.

sea15
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sea15 » Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:50 pm

sarahh wrote:
caminante wrote:Before getting accepted to Harvard I was focused on finding the best school I could go to without taking out much (if any) debt. Now I am faced with a really hard decision that many of you had to deal with as well.

My husband and I already have substantial education-related debt from undergrad as well as his masters degree. The thought of taking on a lot more debt makes me sick... but so does the idea of passing up a Harvard Law degree.

So, my question for you is- Knowing what you know now, what is the maximum amount of education-related debt you would be willing to take on in order to graduate with a law degree from HYS?

Full disclosure: I have not heard back from Chi or Columbia yet, so I am currently only comparing H at most likely close to sticker with UVA $$$.


Is your husband going to have to find a job wherever you go? That was a major concern for me when choosing schools. One of the reasons I turned down a full scholarship to another school was that it was located in a place with a weak job market. I wanted him to find a job that he liked, not have to take whatever he could get.

I don't have undergraduate debt, but I have a mortgage. It was hard to turn down the free ride, but I felt that Harvard would give me the best job opportunities. Ultimately, I felt Harvard was the least risky choice.



Several of these issues very much apply to me. If I were single, right out of undergrad, I would take Harvard in a second. However, I have a husband, and assets, and hopefully kids sometime soon.

caminante, I felt the same way about you. Before I got accepted to Harvard, I didn't see what the big deal was. I wanted to avoid debt and UVA had already offered me a near-full scholarship. Sounds like it's just like you! Then, i got into Harvard and I just really don't know what to do. The prospects of a Harvard degree are limitless. However, I don't even know if I would ever want a job that a Harvard degree could get me that a UVA degree couldn't.

Fortunately, my husband and I do not have undergraduate debt. And it would be really nice to keep it that way. Also, we will probably not qualify for much need-based aid due to our age and my parents.

What would you do?! What are you going to do?!

splbagel
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby splbagel » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:07 pm

I'm hoping to attend the Admitted Students Weekend in early March. Would it be worth it to take an extra day off of work (Friday or Tuesday) to do some apartment hunting? I was thinking I'd be able to check out some of the HRES options during ASW, but maybe I could also schedule appointments to see some off-campus apartments as well, or at least get a better sense of the neighborhoods. The next time I'd be anywhere near Boston would be in late May, which I assume is too late to be looking for an August lease?

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 6:19 pm

splbagel wrote:I'm hoping to attend the Admitted Students Weekend in early March. Would it be worth it to take an extra day off of work (Friday or Tuesday) to do some apartment hunting? I was thinking I'd be able to check out some of the HRES options during ASW, but maybe I could also schedule appointments to see some off-campus apartments as well, or at least get a better sense of the neighborhoods. The next time I'd be anywhere near Boston would be in late May, which I assume is too late to be looking for an August lease?


Yes, definitely worth it. Late May is not too late at all to be looking for an August lease. You can definitely get one in July. There are a lot of apartments that begin their lease on Sept. 1 too.

freestallion
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby freestallion » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:04 am

I know that grades are really important for firms, but do public interest employers care so much about grades? Or do they look more at your past relevant experience, etc.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:27 pm

freestallion wrote:I know that grades are really important for firms, but do public interest employers care so much about grades? Or do they look more at your past relevant experience, etc.


Public interest employers care I think a little bit more about whether you're truly dedicated to public interest (so they're going to be a little skeptical hippo if you're doing firm jobs for summers) and fit, but grades are still important at the more competitive places.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:21 pm

freestallion wrote:I know that grades are really important for firms, but do public interest employers care so much about grades? Or do they look more at your past relevant experience, etc.


eh, grain of salt. imo, the vast majority of firms participating in EIP at HLS do not really care about your grades. I mean, if your grades are really bad then that might go against you...

But unless you're shooting for a boutique or really selective firm or top firm in a really tough market, being in a (rather) large band around median, up or down [9 Ps and 1 H lol to 7 Hs and 3 Ps if I were to randomly come up with the rough band off the top of my head :P], will net you essentially the same results (with bidding strategy, geographic focus, and interviewing skills really making the difference).

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:47 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
freestallion wrote:I know that grades are really important for firms, but do public interest employers care so much about grades? Or do they look more at your past relevant experience, etc.


eh, grain of salt. imo, the vast majority of firms participating in EIP at HLS do not really care about your grades. I mean, if your grades are really bad then that might go against you...

But unless you're shooting for a boutique or really selective firm or top firm in a really tough market, being in a (rather) large band around median, up or down [9 Ps and 1 H lol to 7 Hs and 3 Ps if I were to randomly come up with the rough band off the top of my head :P], will net you essentially the same results (with bidding strategy, geographic focus, and interviewing skills really making the difference).


+1 on this. I think 2/3H vs 5/6H is a minor distinction recruiting-wise (although the later but not the former is on track to graduate Cum Laude).

Curious1
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Curious1 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:07 pm


But unless you're shooting for a boutique or really selective firm or top firm in a really tough market, being in a (rather) large band around median, up or down [9 Ps and 1 H lol to 7 Hs and 3 Ps if I were to randomly come up with the rough band off the top of my head :P], will net you essentially the same results (with bidding strategy, geographic focus, and interviewing skills really making the difference).


Whats the distribution of grades like? Is having straight Ps median, or are Hs awarded pretty leniently?

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Nom Sawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Nom Sawyer » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:54 pm

Curious1 wrote:

But unless you're shooting for a boutique or really selective firm or top firm in a really tough market, being in a (rather) large band around median, up or down [9 Ps and 1 H lol to 7 Hs and 3 Ps if I were to randomly come up with the rough band off the top of my head :P], will net you essentially the same results (with bidding strategy, geographic focus, and interviewing skills really making the difference).


Whats the distribution of grades like? Is having straight Ps median, or are Hs awarded pretty leniently?


H's are awarded to a bit more than 1/3 of the class so having straight P's puts you below median for sure. However, its like the poster above said, if you have 9P,1H to 7P,3H you're not really going to be treated that differently... furthermore it really comes down to as long as you don't have bad grades (as in a LP) AND bad interviewing skills your not going to strike-out.

If you have a combination of both things could get rough... LPs are discretionary now though so its much better then when profs thought you had to give out a couple.

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:58 pm

Curious1 wrote:

But unless you're shooting for a boutique or really selective firm or top firm in a really tough market, being in a (rather) large band around median, up or down [9 Ps and 1 H lol to 7 Hs and 3 Ps if I were to randomly come up with the rough band off the top of my head :P], will net you essentially the same results (with bidding strategy, geographic focus, and interviewing skills really making the difference).


Whats the distribution of grades like? Is having straight Ps median, or are Hs awarded pretty leniently?


the "recommended" curve is 37% H and most profs follow it.

a small portion of the class gets nearly all H as they can consistently outperform the rest of the class all the time. another small portion gets nearly all P. most people get H's in a few classes due to a combination of luck and/or the class lining up with their skills/talent.

Median is somewhere between 2-4 H

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:41 pm

Nom Sawyer wrote:
Curious1 wrote:

But unless you're shooting for a boutique or really selective firm or top firm in a really tough market, being in a (rather) large band around median, up or down [9 Ps and 1 H lol to 7 Hs and 3 Ps if I were to randomly come up with the rough band off the top of my head :P], will net you essentially the same results (with bidding strategy, geographic focus, and interviewing skills really making the difference).


Whats the distribution of grades like? Is having straight Ps median, or are Hs awarded pretty leniently?


H's are awarded to a bit more than 1/3 of the class so having straight P's puts you below median for sure. However, its like the poster above said, if you have 9P,1H to 7P,3H you're not really going to be treated that differently... furthermore it really comes down to as long as you don't have bad grades (as in a LP) AND bad interviewing skills your not going to strike-out.

If you have a combination of both things could get rough... LPs are discretionary now though so its much better then when profs thought you had to give out a couple.


Though on the other hand, having an LP on your transcript might hurt even more now because it is discretionary...firms will not see them on transcripts as much moving forward, so it sticks out more.

But hey, I know ppl who have an LP on their transcript who got V50s so lol.

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:06 pm

God this waiting for grades is horrible.

jbs017
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jbs017 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:08 pm

englawyer wrote:Median is somewhere between 2-4 H


To clarify, are you talking about 2-4 H's a year? How many courses do most people take each term anyway?

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:13 pm

jbs017 wrote:
englawyer wrote:Median is somewhere between 2-4 H


To clarify, are you talking about 2-4 H's a year? How many courses do most people take each term anyway?
1Ls take four courses plus LRW. I think that people count LRW when they tally Hs, even though it's only two credits and the others are four.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:18 pm

jbs017 wrote:
englawyer wrote:Median is somewhere between 2-4 H


To clarify, are you talking about 2-4 H's a year? How many courses do most people take each term anyway?


For the whole yr...so 2-4 out of 10.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:23 pm

delusional wrote:
jbs017 wrote:
englawyer wrote:Median is somewhere between 2-4 H


To clarify, are you talking about 2-4 H's a year? How many courses do most people take each term anyway?
1Ls take four courses plus LRW. I think that people count LRW when they tally Hs, even though it's only two credits and the others are four.


Matters less for GPA and graduating with honors, but employers don't really care about the number of credit hours. They just see an H. Also, it may have more value to them because out of all your 1L classes, LRW is really the only class that has any practical value to your first few yrs at a firm (assuming you're doing litigation -- if transactional, then nothing your 1L yr helps :P).

Firms also love using summers for westlaw/lexis research because they believe we are so "good" at it, still fresh from usage and everything. In corp work, you tend to not really use those programs anymore as you progress so a lot of associates are rusty...I assume you still do for litigation though.

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:31 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
jbs017 wrote:
englawyer wrote:Median is somewhere between 2-4 H


To clarify, are you talking about 2-4 H's a year? How many courses do most people take each term anyway?


For the whole yr...so 2-4 out of 10.


yep thats what i meant. HLS 1L's take ten courses, five each semester, including LRW. 2-4 H out of 10 is median-ish. Firms that care about grades usually just count the number of H regardless of the course content.

jbs017
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jbs017 » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:13 am

englawyer wrote:yep thats what i meant. HLS 1L's take ten courses, five each semester, including LRW. 2-4 H out of 10 is median-ish. Firms that care about grades usually just count the number of H regardless of the course content.


How tight do you think the curve is around the median? Like, what grades place you in the bottom and top 10% of the class?

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Chichaca
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Chichaca » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:29 am

jbs017 wrote:
englawyer wrote:yep thats what i meant. HLS 1L's take ten courses, five each semester, including LRW. 2-4 H out of 10 is median-ish. Firms that care about grades usually just count the number of H regardless of the course content.


How tight do you think the curve is around the median? Like, what grades place you in the bottom and top 10% of the class?

I think the short answer is no one knows, and all you're going to find on here is speculation. But if speculation is what you're after, there are plenty of threads, like this one:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=120574
and
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=146018
And a bunch more if you search around.

Speaking of grades, I haven't seen an email that told us when they're coming out like last year. Did I just miss it, or are we in the dark?

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:07 am

Word around the block is the 26th based on an email one profs secretary sent to a section.




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