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

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:00 pm

blckwsl wrote:Hello,

I'm looking into buying plane tickets home for Thanksgiving and I noticed on the academic calendar that 1L fall semester classes end on December 1st, which is the day after Thanksgiving break. Does this mean that I could come back to school later since it's just exam review week (I'm assuming no classes then?)

Thanks for your help!


Ordinarily, I'd say it would be a mistake to waste two days in the critical reading period before 1L exams in transit, but this year's schedule is really poorly planned. Just one day of classes between the end of Thanksgiving Break and the beginning of reading week? wtf.

If my reading of the calendar is right and you'd be flying back for just those Monday classes, then yeah, you might as well study from home. Many profs just use the last day for a review or wrap-up... usefulness of the review sesh varies by prof.

Only real disadvantage is that you couldn't partake in group study sessions, which may not even be a disadvantage if you prefer to study on your own.

az21833
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby az21833 » Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:44 pm

Quick question, apologize if its been answered before, but does the "GPA" that HLS calculates matter for anything besides latin honors? I know employers will always review your transcript to see how you did generally but are you putting anything like a GPA or class rank down on your resume? Just scrolled back a few pages in the thread and saw a giant GPA discussion but was previously under the impression there was no gpa or class rank at HLS and that was one of the reasons why it was less overtly competitive than some other law schools

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:15 pm

HLS does not rank (except for Latin honors, and even then you only know what honors you got, not your specific rank). GPA does not explicitly matter for anything except Latin honors (though obviously your grades matter for some job applications, e.g., EIP — because most employers ask for a transcript).

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appind
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby appind » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:38 am

(Please do not quote - TIA) This seems to be the most relevant thread for this Q, so posting it here.

I was aiming for H this year but my June LSAT score was below par after a cancel-162. I can't take the lsat again until late next December. If I had a 173 lsat then I would have applied to hys/t6. At this point, I don't want to lose one more year but LSAT gives me no other choice. I have also been looking at programs such as MPA/MPP at HKS but have seen comments that indicate that hks is not as highly regarded as other programs at H e.g. jd. I wanted to focus on government during jd so not sure if HKS could not help.

Am I competitive for HKS? why is hks not as recognized? Would a first year at hks help me gain acceptance to hls should I apply next year?
I was considering at least applying this year to some jd programs even without much chance thinking at the very least it would help get recs / ps etc in order. Is it reasonable to at least apply this year to any jd programs? Would I be harming my chances for next year cycle if I get rejected this year and reapply next year with same recs?
Last edited by appind on Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

politics89
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby politics89 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:34 am

HKS is not a joke. It's actually one of the top MPP programs in the country. I got into the law school and was rejected from HKS. The application is a lot of work too.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:39 am

I'm a JD/MPP at HLS/HKS.

You have a shot at HKS (though it's hard to know who will get in and who won't). If I remember correctly, the median GPA is 3.5. But the basic difference between HLS and HKS is that HKS (like HBS) selects more on resume and less on test scores/GPA than HLS does. You have a resume that they would find interesting (business/nonprofit background, etc.). You'll have to go take the GRE if you just apply to HKS, which probably isn't going to be particularly hard for you but does require some extra work.

A degree from HKS will help for virtually any kind of government work that you want to do. Few/no jobs require a policy degree (unlike a law degree), but it is useful for lots of jobs.

I think that getting into and attending HKS does help with the application to HLS. Plenty of people apply from one to the other and get in (this is what I did, though the other way).

If you do want to apply this cycle, I think you'd be competitive at something like, say, Georgetown, but whether you want to apply depends on what you're trying to do and where you're trying to go.

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wert3813
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:49 pm

tomwatts wrote:I'm a JD/MPP at HLS/HKS.

You have a shot at HKS (though it's hard to know who will get in and who won't). If I remember correctly, the median GPA is 3.5. But the basic difference between HLS and HKS is that HKS (like HBS) selects more on resume and less on test scores/GPA than HLS does. You have a resume that they would find interesting (business/nonprofit background, etc.). You'll have to go take the GRE if you just apply to HKS, which probably isn't going to be particularly hard for you but does require some extra work.

A degree from HKS will help for virtually any kind of government work that you want to do. Few/no jobs require a policy degree (unlike a law degree), but it is useful for lots of jobs.

I think that getting into and attending HKS does help with the application to HLS. Plenty of people apply from one to the other and get in (this is what I did, though the other way).

If you do want to apply this cycle, I think you'd be competitive at something like, say, Georgetown, but whether you want to apply depends on what you're trying to do and where you're trying to go.
Isn't HKS the best MPP school in the country bar none? No?

az21833
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby az21833 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:57 pm

Sorry - a serious of boring logistical questions but hopefully helpful for the other 0Ls.

At what point do we buy books - will our professors give us a list prior to orientation?

Also, where do most students buy books? Amazon? Harvard Square COOP? WCC COOP? How much should we be looking to spend each semester?

Lastly, will professors recommend certain supplements or are you on your own to figure out the most relevant? How many are appropriate?

Lubberlubber
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Lubberlubber » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:59 pm

az21833 wrote:Sorry - a serious of boring logistical questions but hopefully helpful for the other 0Ls.

At what point do we buy books - will our professors give us a list prior to orientation?

Also, where do most students buy books? Amazon? Harvard Square COOP? WCC COOP? How much should we be looking to spend each semester?

Lastly, will professors recommend certain supplements or are you on your own to figure out the most relevant? How many are appropriate?


Yep--you'll get a list.

I mostly brought mine from the Harvard LAW Coop, because it was so convenient, and their prices aren't THAT much more than Amazon for a new book, but you can def shop around. If you want all brand new books, probably about $500/semester. If you are judicious (lol) about it, you can get that shaved down to $200? There are also some professors that don't have casebooks etc, so can't really say.

Professors will never recommend commercial outlines, and I personally have never used them. BUT you absolutely should not get more than one...

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wert3813
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:10 pm

Lubberlubber wrote:
az21833 wrote:Sorry - a serious of boring logistical questions but hopefully helpful for the other 0Ls.

At what point do we buy books - will our professors give us a list prior to orientation?

Also, where do most students buy books? Amazon? Harvard Square COOP? WCC COOP? How much should we be looking to spend each semester?

Lastly, will professors recommend certain supplements or are you on your own to figure out the most relevant? How many are appropriate?


Yep--you'll get a list.

I mostly brought mine from the Harvard LAW Coop, because it was so convenient, and their prices aren't THAT much more than Amazon for a new book, but you can def shop around. If you want all brand new books, probably about $500/semester. If you are judicious (lol) about it, you can get that shaved down to $200? There are also some professors that don't have casebooks etc, so can't really say.

Professors will never recommend commercial outlines, and I personally have never used them. BUT you absolutely should not get more than one...

My civ pro professor recommended Glannon. Actually for those of you who are neurotically eager you could read Glannon's Civ Pro EE right now and it would be somewhat helpful I think.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:40 pm

wert3813 wrote:Isn't HKS the best MPP school in the country bar none? No?

As policy schools go, it's hard to beat HKS. Princeton has a really good one, and so does Berkeley, and there are a few others, but HKS is definitely in contention for the best.
wert3813 wrote:My civ pro professor recommended Glannon. Actually for those of you who are neurotically eager you could read Glannon's Civ Pro EE right now and it would be somewhat helpful I think.

My Civ Pro prof did too.

I probably would've sounded smarter in class if I had read Glannon sooner. I didn't read Glannon until right before finals. On the other hand, reading Glannon right before finals put it all in my head right before the exam, and I did well on the exam.

I used supplements for maybe half of my 1L classes (one for each class). Glannon for Civ Pro helped a lot. The others were basically meh.

az21833
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby az21833 » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:23 am

Cool thanks, super helpful. Is it even worth investing in any others or will they be more of a distraction than anything? I've heard commercial outlines / hornbooks can divert your attention from the perspective your professor is imparting upon you. I know this is a much-debated topic but was just curious where older HLS students came out on this. Excluding the Civ Pro one you are mentioning which seems genuinely helpful regardless...

Lubberlubber
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Lubberlubber » Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:25 am

az21833 wrote:Cool thanks, super helpful. Is it even worth investing in any others or will they be more of a distraction than anything? I've heard commercial outlines / hornbooks can divert your attention from the perspective your professor is imparting upon you. I know this is a much-debated topic but was just curious where older HLS students came out on this. Excluding the Civ Pro one you are mentioning which seems genuinely helpful regardless...


I've mostly used other people's outlines and made a couple on my own and was fine. I think the commercial outlines are good if you don't know what's going on and want it explained in very simple terms. For purposes of the exam I stuck to the cases we read, paying attention to what the professor likes to emphasize and what his opinions on various issues are (and obviously agreeing with them on the exam)

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Fri Aug 01, 2014 1:39 am

Prior student outlines from that professor are where it's at.

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Single-Malt-Liquor
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Single-Malt-Liquor » Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:28 am

TripTrip wrote:Prior student outlines from that professor are where it's at.


TITCR

Professors change very little. Even the jokes they tell during specific lessons. Do the readings and get a previous year's outline. Profit.

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appind
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby appind » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:43 pm

(Please do not quote - TIA)
thanks mpp/jd students (Stats in last post.)
If I am competitive for some t14 then it makes sense to apply even with my low lsat this year? With jd I want to go in government/public interest. No biglaw. I wasn't sure if i would go for anything other than hysccn or hys. There is a non-urm accepted to H this year with 165 lsat and slightly below median gpa. Should I throw a hail mary to H or would it harm chances next year for a fresh application if rejected this year?

How much additional work is HKS application compared to jd app besides test scores? It's not online yet but asks for 3 recommendations. Are these recs expected to more detailed than jd application recs?

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:47 pm

Retake the LSAT in September or December.

Woops, didn't notice you already took it three times. Then my advice changes to: wait until you're allowed to retake it, then retake.
Last edited by TripTrip on Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

politics89
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby politics89 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:53 am

Check out the HKS blog. It should have posts on the essay questions. It was a lot more work than law school apps. Especially since you'd have to take another standardized test.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sat Aug 02, 2014 11:58 am

politics89 wrote:It was a lot more work than law school apps.

Really? Other than the GRE, I remember writing a couple essays and being done. It was more or less the same app as I turned in to law schools with a couple of supplemental pieces. The recs are basically similar, the resume is the same (probably), etc.

As far as whether it makes sense to apply to law schools generally now with those grades/score, it depends on what government/public interest you're looking for and where you want to go to school (geographically). Georgetown might make sense, depending on your goals, and you have a fighting chance to get in. But that might not take you where you want to go, depending on what you want to do.

Being a reapplicant doesn't hurt your chances. My impression is that it's basically the same as applying initially, with perhaps a very, very slight boost because it shows that you're serious about wanting to attend. If you have a much higher LSAT score the second time, they'll give you serious consideration. That said, you're not getting into HLS this year. LSAC puts your chances of admission at between 0% and 10%. It's going to be rough with that GPA; even with a 180, you have between an 11% and 23% chance at HLS. You have an interesting resume and background, and your GPA is from a long time ago (and it was international? They might be more inclined to shrug it off then), so if anyone were likely to overcome that GPA, it'd probably be you, but you need a rockin' LSAT score to convince them.

politics89
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby politics89 » Sat Aug 02, 2014 12:41 pm

They overhauled the application last year and changed all the essay questions. I couldn't really use any of the same essays and you had to do special kinds of resumes. A quantative and a qualitative one.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:04 pm

politics89 wrote:They overhauled the application last year and changed all the essay questions. I couldn't really use any of the same essays and you had to do special kinds of resumes. A quantative and a qualitative one.

Oh, how odd. I didn't know that.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby dirkgently » Sat Aug 02, 2014 4:01 pm

Should there be enough time to move into Gropius and then go shopping for a minifridge and some other basic supplies on the same day? I'm driving up the East Coast on the 24th and can't decide if I should leave on the 23rd instead.

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appind
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby appind » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:25 pm

(Please do not quote - TIA)
thanks!
It looks like they broke down the "ask what you can do" 1000 word essay into 2 essays each of 500 for 2013 application. The first of these two essays is same in 2014 and the second has changed a bit.

Can you elaborate on what government/PI georgetown can be effective for versus H. I thought that H will trump georgetown in every aspect. Geographically boston and dc are a tie for me. I was interested in federal positions primarily in regulatory or advisory but not limited to them. If reapplication doesn't hurt chances then it seems that applying this year to H even with infinitesimal chances is beneficial. Or may be I do not understand it correctly?
I have a gmat score of 700+ from 5 years ago and i think it's expired. Does it matter which test gre/gmat/lsat is used with the application?
Where does 0-10% figure come from? I am using mylsn.info.
Last edited by appind on Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Sat Aug 02, 2014 6:31 pm

dirkgently wrote:Should there be enough time to move into Gropius and then go shopping for a minifridge and some other basic supplies on the same day? I'm driving up the East Coast on the 24th and can't decide if I should leave on the 23rd instead.

Yes, but why not just order your minifridge on Amazon and have it waiting at your dorm when you get there?

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:37 pm

I mean, Georgetown just came to mind because I ran your numbers at LSAC's Official Guide (this is a good resource for the schools it includes because LSAC has better data than anyone else) and it was telling me that you had an outside chance (like, 20-25%) at schools like Cornell, Vanderbilt, etc. Georgetown is about the same level of selectivity but is the top law school in DC (so some of its grads stay in DC and work in government). I don't really know the details of this, so it would bear further investigation if you decided to go that route.

Um, wait. It's really, really different if you have a 3.4 or if you have a 4.0. You're still not getting into HLS this year, but on a retake, you'd have a really good shot if you scored, say, 173 and had a 4.0 GPA (whereas a 173 and 3.4 is still not getting in). I have no idea what goes on with international GPAs, but you'll want to check on that, because that really changes things.




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