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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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Sun May 25, 2014 7:07 pm

http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/stud ... rking.html

Parking at Harvard University is extremely limited and Harvard Parking Services recommends not bringing a car to campus.

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Sun May 25, 2014 9:43 pm

nothingtosee wrote:What is the situation with parking near the law school? Is it possible? Is it reasonably priced? Does anyone do it?


Best way to park near campus is to get a Cambridge residency parking permit (if you qualify): http://www2.cambridgema.gov/traffic/rpp.cfm

There's tons of street parking if you have the permit.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Mon May 26, 2014 12:36 pm

Anybody still missing most of their (upper-level) grades? I still have only one grade out of four -- all classes had 3Ls.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon May 26, 2014 1:09 pm

despina wrote:Anybody still missing most of their (upper-level) grades? I still have only one grade out of four -- all classes had 3Ls.

Since they released grades on a Thursday and it's a long weekend, the next update won't occur until tomorrow.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Mon May 26, 2014 1:16 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
despina wrote:Anybody still missing most of their (upper-level) grades? I still have only one grade out of four -- all classes had 3Ls.

Since they released grades on a Thursday and it's a long weekend, the next update won't occur until tomorrow.


Oooh right. Totally reasonable, forgot about the long weekend thing.

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malleus discentium
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby malleus discentium » Mon May 26, 2014 3:08 pm

These questions are pretty basic so my apologies if the answers are obviously posted somewhere:

1) SPIF requires eight weeks of work, but the summer is 16 weeks long. What do most 1Ls who use SPIF do for these other eight weeks? Likewise, most 2L SAs are 10-week situations, right? What do people do for these other six weeks?
2) This page suggests that the only requirement to receive the SPIF funding is that the job be in "government agencies, non-profit organizations, and their international equivalents [or] Small private firms that primarily work in the public interest." That is, there's no mention of an income stipulation. Is it the case that if this eligible employment pays you, or even pays you a lot, as long as you work there for eight weeks you get the full stipend? As a corollary, what if you work on like an oil field (or any other non-SPIF-eligible employer) and make tons of money those other eight weeks? Do you still get the full stipend? (I know this is probably a question better suited for SFS itself, but maybe someone has experience with this firsthand.)
3) Assuming you do EIP, about what time that fall can you expect to know what you're doing the next summer? I know firms give offers out at different times, but about when do most people have theirs? This thread provides a timeline that's useful but only relative.

Thanks :)

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Mon May 26, 2014 4:38 pm

EIP starts in early August. EIP & callbacks take up approximately 4 of those weeks. The law review competition is the full week after classes end. For those doing summer SAs, they actually only get 1 week off if they do the law review competition and EIP. For those who do 8-week jobs and EIP, that's 3 weeks of summer. Travel, relax, whatever.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon May 26, 2014 4:45 pm

malleus discentium wrote:These questions are pretty basic so my apologies if the answers are obviously posted somewhere:

1) SPIF requires eight weeks of work, but the summer is 16 weeks long. What do most 1Ls who use SPIF do for these other eight weeks? Likewise, most 2L SAs are 10-week situations, right? What do people do for these other six weeks?
2) This page suggests that the only requirement to receive the SPIF funding is that the job be in "government agencies, non-profit organizations, and their international equivalents [or] Small private firms that primarily work in the public interest." That is, there's no mention of an income stipulation. Is it the case that if this eligible employment pays you, or even pays you a lot, as long as you work there for eight weeks you get the full stipend? As a corollary, what if you work on like an oil field (or any other non-SPIF-eligible employer) and make tons of money those other eight weeks? Do you still get the full stipend? (I know this is probably a question better suited for SFS itself, but maybe someone has experience with this firsthand.)
3) Assuming you do EIP, about what time that fall can you expect to know what you're doing the next summer? I know firms give offers out at different times, but about when do most people have theirs? This thread provides a timeline that's useful but only relative.

Thanks :)


You should probably know by early September what you are doing, and that's if you have to think about what offer to accept. Many people accept offer(s) in August, some take a little bit longer to figure out their situation.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Mon May 26, 2014 5:51 pm

malleus discentium wrote:1) SPIF requires eight weeks of work, but the summer is 16 weeks long. What do most 1Ls who use SPIF do for these other eight weeks? Likewise, most 2L SAs are 10-week situations, right? What do people do for these other six weeks?


Most internships require 10 or even 12 weeks. And most people return to campus in early August for EIP, and many do the law review competition during the first week of the summer. So that pretty much covers the whole summer. Or you can "split" (do two short internships at two different organizations). Or you can do what I did and not do the competition, not do EIP, work for 10 weeks, and take a lot of awesome vacation time. Up to you.

2) This page suggests that the only requirement to receive the SPIF funding is that the job be in "government agencies, non-profit organizations, and their international equivalents [or] Small private firms that primarily work in the public interest." That is, there's no mention of an income stipulation. Is it the case that if this eligible employment pays you, or even pays you a lot, as long as you work there for eight weeks you get the full stipend?


There's a maximum summer income that you can keep before HLS will start to "take it back" by reducing your LIPP-eligible loans. Here's the info on the funding cap: http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... -caps.html

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Pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Mon May 26, 2014 9:18 pm

Does anyone know how non-LIPP eligible loans work during repayment?

Like say you have 150k LIPP eligible and 50k non-eligible: once you enter repayment (assuming BigLaw) can you designate your repayments to the non-eligible loans first OR is it basically Harvard will only LIPP insure 75% of your payment until you're done repaying? Thanks!

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Tue May 27, 2014 10:06 am

Pneumonia wrote:Does anyone know how non-LIPP eligible loans work during repayment?

Like say you have 150k LIPP eligible and 50k non-eligible: once you enter repayment (assuming BigLaw) can you designate your repayments to the non-eligible loans first OR is it basically Harvard will only LIPP insure 75% of your payment until you're done repaying? Thanks!


If you're in biglaw, I don't see why it would matter what's LIPP eligible and what's not, since you're not on LIPP anyway. At that point HLS doesn't have anything to do with your loans, you're just paying them off in whatever order you want from your own paycheck, right?

Or do you mean, what if you do biglaw for a few years then get a LIPP eligible job but haven't touched the balance on your LIPP-eligible loans? That would definitely be a question for financial aid.

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CSSNYC
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby CSSNYC » Tue May 27, 2014 11:55 am

Hi!

I was just wondering if anyone here lives in (or knows somebody who lives in) a studio in Terry Terrace? I managed to snag one in the HLS block, but I would love to get a better sense of the place, as all I have is the floorplan I've been provided with in my lease. I know that all the layouts are slightly different and the studios vary slightly in size, but it would be great just to get a better picture of what life is like in Terry Terrace. I'd really appreciate it if someone could PM me some photos. (I realize that sounds creepy...)

On that note, just some broader questions for anyone living in Terry Terrace:
- Laundry: I read that the laundry room is in the basement of the 19 portion of the building. If I live in the 15 portion, do I have to go outside to do my laundry, or is the building connected from within? Also, is the laundry room usually very busy (people taking other people's laundry out of machines, long waits, etc)?
- What do most of you do for grocery shopping? Online delivery (ex, peapod) or is there anywhere decent nearby?
- I'm moving in in late August, do you suggest I arrange for an air-conditioner for the month of September?
- In general, do you like / do people seem to like living there (in the HLS block specifically)?

Thanks so much! (Apologies if some of these questions have been answered already.) Can't wait to move in and to meet many of you in the Fall.

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Searchparty
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Searchparty » Tue May 27, 2014 12:24 pm

malleus discentium wrote:These questions are pretty basic so my apologies if the answers are obviously posted somewhere:

1) SPIF requires eight weeks of work, but the summer is 16 weeks long. What do most 1Ls who use SPIF do for these other eight weeks? Likewise, most 2L SAs are 10-week situations, right? What do people do for these other six weeks?
2) This page suggests that the only requirement to receive the SPIF funding is that the job be in "government agencies, non-profit organizations, and their international equivalents [or] Small private firms that primarily work in the public interest." That is, there's no mention of an income stipulation. Is it the case that if this eligible employment pays you, or even pays you a lot, as long as you work there for eight weeks you get the full stipend? As a corollary, what if you work on like an oil field (or any other non-SPIF-eligible employer) and make tons of money those other eight weeks? Do you still get the full stipend? (I know this is probably a question better suited for SFS itself, but maybe someone has experience with this firsthand.)
3) Assuming you do EIP, about what time that fall can you expect to know what you're doing the next summer? I know firms give offers out at different times, but about when do most people have theirs? This thread provides a timeline that's useful but only relative.

Thanks :)


Funding for the SPIF position is limited to $7500, anything over that lowers your SPIF award. If you work an additional job it does not count toward the funding cap, but it is still subject to summer income contribution which is assessed at about 90% for after tax money over ~7500 (or whatever the summer living allowance is). That income contribution lowers grant awards, not loans.

So, if your SPIF + any type of income exceeds ~7500 it goes to income contribution.

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Searchparty
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Searchparty » Tue May 27, 2014 12:49 pm

Pneumonia wrote:Does anyone know how non-LIPP eligible loans work during repayment?

Like say you have 150k LIPP eligible and 50k non-eligible: once you enter repayment (assuming BigLaw) can you designate your repayments to the non-eligible loans first OR is it basically Harvard will only LIPP insure 75% of your payment until you're done repaying? Thanks!


If you want to pay down your non-eligible loans first and then go into LIPP and still have the full amount of LIPP eligible loans as you did when you graduated and expect they will end up paying 10 years worth of loans for 7 years (assuming 3 years in non-LIPP big law)...doubt it.

dm21998
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby dm21998 » Tue May 27, 2014 1:22 pm

Can anyone confirm that a 3.97 made magna this year? I'm surprised if so. A couple alums told me they thought magna required above a 4.0. I also noticed that at least a few people from the c/o 2014 who landed pretty grade competitive clerkships did not make magna. Tough to believe that a less than H average (even number of DS and P grades) could land those clerkships, regardless of other qualifications. Maybe they stopped trying after they got their clerkships. But you can also pick and choose easy classes 3L year. Also seems crazy given that summa probably requires at least a 4.5. Would be a crazy spread if magna ran from 3.97 to 4.5 or 4.6 territory.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Tue May 27, 2014 2:46 pm

dm21998 wrote:Can anyone confirm that a 3.97 made magna this year? I'm surprised if so. A couple alums told me they thought magna required above a 4.0. I also noticed that at least a few people from the c/o 2014 who landed pretty grade competitive clerkships did not make magna. Tough to believe that a less than H average (even number of DS and P grades) could land those clerkships, regardless of other qualifications. Maybe they stopped trying after they got their clerkships. But you can also pick and choose easy classes 3L year. Also seems crazy given that summa probably requires at least a 4.5. Would be a crazy spread if magna ran from 3.97 to 4.5 or 4.6 territory.


Don't have any hard facts on this year's cutoff, but I don't see why it would be so surprising that the cutoff would differ a bit from year to year, since it's based on percentile. So if an alumn says that a few years ago 4.0 or 4.X was the cutoff, 3.97 wouldn't be insane (and it's barely "less than an H average").

Also not sure why it would be "crazy" if the Magna spread was 3.9X to 4.5 since that's the "tail" of the grade distribution. As we all know it's super hard to have equal DS's and P's, so it's reasonable to imagine that the 10%ish percent of the class who manages that feat ranges from "just about equal" (probably a considerable number of the 10%) to "I rack up DS's and never get P's."

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Tue May 27, 2014 2:59 pm

dm21998 wrote:Can anyone confirm that a 3.97 made magna this year? I'm surprised if so. A couple alums told me they thought magna required above a 4.0. I also noticed that at least a few people from the c/o 2014 who landed pretty grade competitive clerkships did not make magna. Tough to believe that a less than H average (even number of DS and P grades) could land those clerkships, regardless of other qualifications. Maybe they stopped trying after they got their clerkships. But you can also pick and choose easy classes 3L year. Also seems crazy given that summa probably requires at least a 4.5. Would be a crazy spread if magna ran from 3.97 to 4.5 or 4.6 territory.

From what I've heard, the magna cutoff is somewhere around 3.95-4.00 depending on the year, so 3.97 would totally make sense, as would the magna spread.

I too wondered the bit about cum laudes getting feeders, but a few considerations: (1) They got these clerkships over a year and a half ago by this point, and so they definitely could've coasted for the rest of their time at Harvard after the first year, (2) Strength of particular recommenders to particular judges, and (3) I've seen in previous years 1-2 cum laudes getting feeders, so it's not unheard of at all.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Tue May 27, 2014 6:21 pm

Re: LIPP eligibility

Thanks for your comments and yeah that makes sense I'll probably just ask finaid. I'm not looking to game the system, but more just wondering what repayment looks like if I have 20-30k or so in non-eligible loans due to an SA or something. I get that they probably wouldn't let you prioritize your entire payment towards these, but in the case of like a bonus or something in Biglaw it would be nice to be able to direct that money towards the most high-risk loans ie the non-LIPP insured ones. Maybe anything above the minimum payment due can be directed?

Idk; I'll just ask finaid in two years or whatever.

dm21998
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby dm21998 » Tue May 27, 2014 8:14 pm

despina wrote:
dm21998 wrote:Can anyone confirm that a 3.97 made magna this year? I'm surprised if so. A couple alums told me they thought magna required above a 4.0. I also noticed that at least a few people from the c/o 2014 who landed pretty grade competitive clerkships did not make magna. Tough to believe that a less than H average (even number of DS and P grades) could land those clerkships, regardless of other qualifications. Maybe they stopped trying after they got their clerkships. But you can also pick and choose easy classes 3L year. Also seems crazy given that summa probably requires at least a 4.5. Would be a crazy spread if magna ran from 3.97 to 4.5 or 4.6 territory.


Don't have any hard facts on this year's cutoff, but I don't see why it would be so surprising that the cutoff would differ a bit from year to year, since it's based on percentile. So if an alumn says that a few years ago 4.0 or 4.X was the cutoff, 3.97 wouldn't be insane (and it's barely "less than an H average").

Also not sure why it would be "crazy" if the Magna spread was 3.9X to 4.5 since that's the "tail" of the grade distribution. As we all know it's super hard to have equal DS's and P's, so it's reasonable to imagine that the 10%ish percent of the class who manages that feat ranges from "just about equal" (probably a considerable number of the 10%) to "I rack up DS's and never get P's."


Maybe I had misstated. Alums to whom I spoke seemed to suggest that clearing a 4.0 was not going to cut it, so something comfortably above a 4.0 was required. Of course they couldn't know everyone's GPAs. Maybe all the magnas they knew had GPAs well into the 4.0s even though several other magnas had even 4.0s (or less).

Also, not trying to ruffle any tail feathers, but I had thought that it was not that difficult to pull of an equal number of DS and P grades? Maybe the population off of which I'm basing this opinion is biased. Not suggesting that 4.0 is a cake walk by any stretch. Was just my impression that a fairly large number of people pulled that off. Especially given how easy 2L and 3L year can be.

I think what's going on is this. There's a whole bunch of people who get between a 3.9 and a 4.0. But a relatively small number with above a 4.0 or 4.1. I would bet that there's a big clumping around like 3.95. So a substantial chunk would fall just above (magna) and a pretty substantial chunk just below (cum laude). Makes sense given how sparingly DS grades are handed out relative to H grades.

Man if that's the case, it has to really suck to be the 3.96 or whatever that falls just short of magna. But who cares about grades right.

dm21998
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby dm21998 » Tue May 27, 2014 8:22 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
dm21998 wrote:Can anyone confirm that a 3.97 made magna this year? I'm surprised if so. A couple alums told me they thought magna required above a 4.0. I also noticed that at least a few people from the c/o 2014 who landed pretty grade competitive clerkships did not make magna. Tough to believe that a less than H average (even number of DS and P grades) could land those clerkships, regardless of other qualifications. Maybe they stopped trying after they got their clerkships. But you can also pick and choose easy classes 3L year. Also seems crazy given that summa probably requires at least a 4.5. Would be a crazy spread if magna ran from 3.97 to 4.5 or 4.6 territory.

From what I've heard, the magna cutoff is somewhere around 3.95-4.00 depending on the year, so 3.97 would totally make sense, as would the magna spread.

I too wondered the bit about cum laudes getting feeders, but a few considerations: (1) They got these clerkships over a year and a half ago by this point, and so they definitely could've coasted for the rest of their time at Harvard after the first year, (2) Strength of particular recommenders to particular judges, and (3) I've seen in previous years 1-2 cum laudes getting feeders, so it's not unheard of at all.


Eh. Maybe. But if you cared enough to land a feeder you'd probably care enough to expend some minimal effort in class and professor selection. Else, why bother clerking for a feeder? And definitely possible to coast 2L and 3L year but maintain your grades.

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malleus discentium
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby malleus discentium » Tue May 27, 2014 9:21 pm

Searchparty wrote:
Funding for the SPIF position is limited to $7500, anything over that lowers your SPIF award. If you work an additional job it does not count toward the funding cap, but it is still subject to summer income contribution which is assessed at about 90% for after tax money over ~7500 (or whatever the summer living allowance is). That income contribution lowers grant awards, not loans.

So, if your SPIF + any type of income exceeds ~7500 it goes to income contribution.

So that $7500 cap is the stipend itself + anything else that job pays you? Other income is irrelevant to that cap but is not irrelevant to summer income overall, right?

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Tue May 27, 2014 11:59 pm

dm21998 wrote:Maybe I had misstated. Alums to whom I spoke seemed to suggest that clearing a 4.0 was not going to cut it, so something comfortably above a 4.0 was required. Of course they couldn't know everyone's GPAs. Maybe all the magnas they knew had GPAs well into the 4.0s even though several other magnas had even 4.0s (or less).

Also, not trying to ruffle any tail feathers, but I had thought that it was not that difficult to pull of an equal number of DS and P grades? Maybe the population off of which I'm basing this opinion is biased. Not suggesting that 4.0 is a cake walk by any stretch. Was just my impression that a fairly large number of people pulled that off. Especially given how easy 2L and 3L year can be.

I think what's going on is this. There's a whole bunch of people who get between a 3.9 and a 4.0. But a relatively small number with above a 4.0 or 4.1. I would bet that there's a big clumping around like 3.95. So a substantial chunk would fall just above (magna) and a pretty substantial chunk just below (cum laude). Makes sense given how sparingly DS grades are handed out relative to H grades.

Man if that's the case, it has to really suck to be the 3.96 or whatever that falls just short of magna. But who cares about grades right.

Basically everything you're saying is wrong or unlikely. The cutoff for magna is roughly 3.9-4.0. The cutoff for cum laude is roughly 3.5-3.6. This means that 30% of the class gets between 3.5-3.6 and 3.9-4.0, and about 10% of the class gets above 3.9-4.0. This is pretty firmly established at this point (professors have said so, etc.).

Your hypothesis of clumping around 3.95 is implausible. If there were all that much clumping, the cum laude cutoff would be higher than it is.

2L and 3L are usually less work than 1L year (you're taking fewer credits) and less stress (you understand how classes work, you already have a job), but people's grades don't actually go up all that much. The grade distribution still applies to most of your classes, unless somehow you manage to take a majority of your classes as clinics and seminars (which most don't).

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jasper09 » Wed May 28, 2014 8:56 am

tomwatts wrote:
nothingtosee wrote:What is the situation with parking near the law school? Is it possible? Is it reasonably priced? Does anyone do it?

For a one-off event or every now and again when something comes up, it's possible. As part of your everyday commute, it's basically not.

Also, regarding the computer choices above, I use a 15" rMBP with a 27" monitor (that does 1920 x 1200) at home. This is a really, really great setup for me, and it's not terribly expensive (the monitor is probably $200-300).


Would you mind sharing which monitor you have? I have a 15" non-retina MBP, but I've been looking at some monitors to go with it and would prefer one that rotates vertically as well for long documents. However, I'm having trouble finding one I really like that isn't going to cost me an arm and a leg. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!!

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

Postby Mr. Elshal » Wed May 28, 2014 11:22 am

jasper09 wrote:
tomwatts wrote:
nothingtosee wrote:What is the situation with parking near the law school? Is it possible? Is it reasonably priced? Does anyone do it?

For a one-off event or every now and again when something comes up, it's possible. As part of your everyday commute, it's basically not.

Also, regarding the computer choices above, I use a 15" rMBP with a 27" monitor (that does 1920 x 1200) at home. This is a really, really great setup for me, and it's not terribly expensive (the monitor is probably $200-300).


Would you mind sharing which monitor you have? I have a 15" non-retina MBP, but I've been looking at some monitors to go with it and would prefer one that rotates vertically as well for long documents. However, I'm having trouble finding one I really like that isn't going to cost me an arm and a leg. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!!


I got this one. It rotates to just about any angle you want, you can tilt it forward or backward and side to side. It can be moved to your heart's content. Also, the screen is good enough quality that I could open three word documents side-by-side and read them from 6 feet away.

I definitely remembers paying less for it than the price at this link, though, so maybe shop around for a better price.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005JN ... UTF8&psc=1

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Searchparty
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Searchparty » Wed May 28, 2014 3:49 pm

malleus discentium wrote:
Searchparty wrote:
Funding for the SPIF position is limited to $7500, anything over that lowers your SPIF award. If you work an additional job it does not count toward the funding cap, but it is still subject to summer income contribution which is assessed at about 90% for after tax money over ~7500 (or whatever the summer living allowance is). That income contribution lowers grant awards, not loans.

So, if your SPIF + any type of income exceeds ~7500 it goes to income contribution.

So that $7500 cap is the stipend itself + anything else that job pays you? Other income is irrelevant to that cap but is not irrelevant to summer income overall, right?


Correct. If your employer pay (or any other funding like a fellowship you applied for) exceeds $7500 with the stipend, they will lower the SPIF stipend. Example: SPIF 4500, employer pay 2000, and applied for funding 2000. Your SPIF stipend will be lowered from 4500 to 3500.

A second job doesn't have that effect, so you can make more than $7500 for the summer, but anything above the summer living allowance (around $7500) will be "taxed."




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