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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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Sun Aug 31, 2014 8:26 pm

Mista Bojangles wrote:Waitlist page itself works, but when I press the "claim" button from it, it goes to same error message. I'll just let the reg know


I'm getting the same error... not sure what's going on. Just emailed reg.

tomato123
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomato123 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 12:22 am

Do you take notes on all your readings? Typically I found this to be very helpful in undergrad but now I'm finding this to slow me down quite a bit...

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appind
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby appind » Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:51 am

Does the automated email link sent to HKS recommenders contains specific questions to which recommenders have to formulate responses or contains grid-type evaluations? Where can one access the recommendation questionnaire sent by HKS?

thanks.

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

Postby Mr. Elshal » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:26 am

tomato123 wrote:Do you take notes on all your readings? Typically I found this to be very helpful in undergrad but now I'm finding this to slow me down quite a bit...


I started off taking notes on all my readings but I quickly realized it was not worth the amount of time it took (for me). Some of my friends did take notes on all of it, all semester, and had some really great notes to study from. Others wrote down way too much and had hundreds of pages worth of notes to slog through before exams. I'm still on the fence about whether doing it is better, but you can probably succeed just fine without it.

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jasper09
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jasper09 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:27 pm

Mr. Elshal wrote:
tomato123 wrote:Do you take notes on all your readings? Typically I found this to be very helpful in undergrad but now I'm finding this to slow me down quite a bit...


I started off taking notes on all my readings but I quickly realized it was not worth the amount of time it took (for me). Some of my friends did take notes on all of it, all semester, and had some really great notes to study from. Others wrote down way too much and had hundreds of pages worth of notes to slog through before exams. I'm still on the fence about whether doing it is better, but you can probably succeed just fine without it.


So, possibly a stupid question, but given these Notes and Problems sections in the casebooks, should I be coming up with answers to all of them? I'm brainstorming ideas but at this point I feel as though I don't know enough law to come up with legitimate answers. Is it reasonable to assume these will be guided discussions in class?

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

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:33 pm

jasper09 wrote:
Mr. Elshal wrote:
tomato123 wrote:Do you take notes on all your readings? Typically I found this to be very helpful in undergrad but now I'm finding this to slow me down quite a bit...


I started off taking notes on all my readings but I quickly realized it was not worth the amount of time it took (for me). Some of my friends did take notes on all of it, all semester, and had some really great notes to study from. Others wrote down way too much and had hundreds of pages worth of notes to slog through before exams. I'm still on the fence about whether doing it is better, but you can probably succeed just fine without it.


So, possibly a stupid question, but given these Notes and Problems sections in the casebooks, should I be coming up with answers to all of them? I'm brainstorming ideas but at this point I feel as though I don't know enough law to come up with legitimate answers. Is it reasonable to assume these will be guided discussions in class?


The notes sections may be worth looking at initially; you'll probably want to reassess once you have a better grasp on your professor's teaching style and an idea what they're looking for. The quality of the notes section also varies dramatically by textbook; for some subjects, I found the notes very helpful. Others, not so much. For problems, I always skipped them unless the prof/syllabus explicitly said to consider problem X on pg. Y, and that approach worked fine for me.

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

Postby Mr. Elshal » Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:19 pm

jasper09 wrote:
Mr. Elshal wrote:
tomato123 wrote:Do you take notes on all your readings? Typically I found this to be very helpful in undergrad but now I'm finding this to slow me down quite a bit...


I started off taking notes on all my readings but I quickly realized it was not worth the amount of time it took (for me). Some of my friends did take notes on all of it, all semester, and had some really great notes to study from. Others wrote down way too much and had hundreds of pages worth of notes to slog through before exams. I'm still on the fence about whether doing it is better, but you can probably succeed just fine without it.


So, possibly a stupid question, but given these Notes and Problems sections in the casebooks, should I be coming up with answers to all of them? I'm brainstorming ideas but at this point I feel as though I don't know enough law to come up with legitimate answers. Is it reasonable to assume these will be guided discussions in class?


I usually just tried to briefly, in my mind, try to figure out why the problems are different from the preceding case/s and possible ways that those differences might impact the outcome. That almost always gave me the right context for class discussion and helped me figure out how to apply the ideas to different cases. Don't treat it like an issue-spotter and try to write out a detailed answer. Just use it as an opportunity to reflect on the material in a different context.

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sjgonzalez3
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sjgonzalez3 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:18 pm

Can anybody give me a brief overview of how to print on campus? I have to print 10 or so pages before class tomorrow.

Where? Do I need to bring thumb drive or is there a cloud/email/or straight from laptop option? Is there an account I have to set-up prior to the print endeavor?

Thanks!

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Sep 01, 2014 9:25 pm

sjgonzalez3 wrote:Can anybody give me a brief overview of how to print on campus? I have to print 10 or so pages before class tomorrow.

Where? Do I need to bring thumb drive or is there a cloud/email/or straight from laptop option? Is there an account I have to set-up prior to the print endeavor?

Thanks!


Email your documents to yourself. Go to the 1st floor library or basement of WCC. Log onto your email at the computers there, download documents from email, print. You'll need one of your logons. I believe it is the name.jd14 one.

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

Postby Single-Malt-Liquor » Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:19 am

ph14 wrote:
sjgonzalez3 wrote:Can anybody give me a brief overview of how to print on campus? I have to print 10 or so pages before class tomorrow.

Where? Do I need to bring thumb drive or is there a cloud/email/or straight from laptop option? Is there an account I have to set-up prior to the print endeavor?

Thanks!


Email your documents to yourself. Go to the 1st floor library or basement of WCC. Log onto your email at the computers there, download documents from email, print. You'll need one of your logons. I believe it is the name.jd14 one.


[url]dropbox.com[/url]

Fred012
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Fred012 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:12 pm

1L here, with a couple career questions. let me know if there's a better place to put this.

1) What is median grades after 1L at HLS? Is it like half Hs and half Ps?

2) If only looking at NYC biglaw, where does median place you - holding all else constant (i.e. avg. work experience, UG prestige, interviewing skills). Is it V25-V50, like Caldawater, Fried Frank, Paul Hastings, etc.?

3) How many H's do you need to make the cut at the bottom end of V10 NYC - Weil, Clearly, Latham, Gibson, Paul Weiss, etc.?

4) Same question for the elites - Wachtell, Cravath, Skadden, SulCrom

I know there are huge ranges and exceptions to each of these (people doing way better or worse than their grades) but just looking for on average

Thank you!

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

Postby Single-Malt-Liquor » Wed Sep 03, 2014 4:27 pm

Fred012 wrote:1L here, with a couple career questions. let me know if there's a better place to put this.

1) What is median grades after 1L at HLS? Is it like half Hs and half Ps?

2) If only looking at NYC biglaw, where does median place you - holding all else constant (i.e. avg. work experience, UG prestige, interviewing skills). Is it V25-V50, like Caldawater, Fried Frank, Paul Hastings, etc.?

3) How many H's do you need to make the cut at the bottom end of V10 NYC - Weil, Clearly, Latham, Gibson, Paul Weiss, etc.?

4) Same question for the elites - Wachtell, Cravath, Skadden, SulCrom

I know there are huge ranges and exceptions to each of these (people doing way better or worse than their grades) but just looking for on average

Thank you!


So the general consensus is that 3 Hs=median. As for the next three questions, there are so many things that play into the answer, some firms have grade cutoffs (5-7Hs) most do not. As far as elite goes, you'll figure this out later, but dont go strictly by vault rankings, Quinn is ranked 15 but is more grade selective than all but a couple of the V10. Furthermore eliteness very much has a lot to do with what it is you want to practice. For example, you'd never pick a law school because they were number one in environmental law or space law or whatever, but that switches around a lot once you're looking for a firm w/re to most practice areas. There's a lot of other stuff I could say but I'd hate to distract you from all that civpro reading about the awesomeness of our federal court system.

Anyway, personality, WE, other softs take you a lot further at HLS than you'd expect so try to get as many Hs as possible and avoid LPs and you'll be fine.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:10 pm

Single-Malt-Liquor wrote:
Fred012 wrote:1L here, with a couple career questions. let me know if there's a better place to put this.

1) What is median grades after 1L at HLS? Is it like half Hs and half Ps?

2) If only looking at NYC biglaw, where does median place you - holding all else constant (i.e. avg. work experience, UG prestige, interviewing skills). Is it V25-V50, like Caldawater, Fried Frank, Paul Hastings, etc.?

3) How many H's do you need to make the cut at the bottom end of V10 NYC - Weil, Clearly, Latham, Gibson, Paul Weiss, etc.?

4) Same question for the elites - Wachtell, Cravath, Skadden, SulCrom

I know there are huge ranges and exceptions to each of these (people doing way better or worse than their grades) but just looking for on average

Thank you!


So the general consensus is that 3 Hs=median. As for the next three questions, there are so many things that play into the answer, some firms have grade cutoffs (5-7Hs) most do not. As far as elite goes, you'll figure this out later, but dont go strictly by vault rankings, Quinn is ranked 15 but is more grade selective than all but a couple of the V10. Furthermore eliteness very much has a lot to do with what it is you want to practice. For example, you'd never pick a law school because they were number one in environmental law or space law or whatever, but that switches around a lot once you're looking for a firm w/re to most practice areas. There's a lot of other stuff I could say but I'd hate to distract you from all that civpro reading about the awesomeness of our federal court system.

Anyway, personality, WE, other softs take you a lot further at HLS than you'd expect so try to get as many Hs as possible and avoid LPs and you'll be fine.

For nyc, 3 Hs is going to put all but maybe 5 firms in play. And vault does not equal grade selectiveness all that much. Avoid LPs. Note: if you want dc plan to kill it.

Fred012
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Fred012 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:08 am

is it advisable to "take the P" in LRW given how time-consuming it can be? or go hard for the H can its probably the one thats most in your control?

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:53 am

Fred012 wrote:is it advisable to "take the P" in LRW given how time-consuming it can be? or go hard for the H can its probably the one thats most in your control?

As someone who loves to game systems this is a terrible idea. Just...on so many levels. 1) LRW is a really important skill that you should learn. 2) LRW professors do give LPs. 3) You are about to be scaled against some of the most brilliant kids in the world; the idea that your best effort in any class, including LRW, is good enough for an H is interesting. 4) It's not clear to me that your grade in LRW is "more controllable" than some other class. 5) I, and literally every other HLS student, have gotten Hs in classes that I didn't know the material as well and didn't think I did as well in and vice-versa.

Try hard and do your best. There are very few shortcuts here.

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

Postby Mr. Elshal » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:35 am

Fred012 wrote:is it advisable to "take the P" in LRW given how time-consuming it can be? or go hard for the H can its probably the one thats most in your control?


I doubt that you can guarantee yourself the P. The problem with strategies like these is that, for most classes (LRW included, in my experience), you just don't know how much work gets you to what grade. This stuff is all arbitrary and you have no way of knowing where your professor falls. Even if your professor says they don't give LPs, you have no way of knowing whether a particularly weak level of work may convince them to change their policy. Just work hard for every class.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:35 pm

Concurring with the posters above.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:01 pm

Yeah, it feels like there should be a lot of room between low P and high P in LRW especially. But people who took Sunstein's admin would say that you have to think of the error cost (an LP) compared to the cost of getting it right. And the cost of getting it right is the same as doing the work because that's the only way you know that you're slacking hasn't cost you anything. That made sense in my head.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:54 pm

To expand, I think part of why grades can feel fairly random to people in law school is because it's the nature of the curve and subjective grading. Some profs are more sensitive to organization and grammar, some care more about analysis and less about whether you got the law right, and others will slam you for messing up the law. Some will say don't do X, and then give a Dean's Scholar to the one student who did X because...what? (I've seen this happen). Or will say don't worry Y won't be on the exam, and then base 25% of the exam on Y (this happened, my friends were so mad) and so the only people who do well on that exam are the ones who didn't show up to class to hear the prof say that. And you can't even trust profs. I've managed to pull a lot of old exams from classes, and compare across the Ps, Hs, and DSes who did what, against what the prof told us to do, and I don't know that profs intentionally lie, but I think they're a bit lacking in self-awareness sometimes.

Also, like I've said, it's curved. You might really know a subject well, but if the rest of your section does as well, it'll be a bit more random who snags that H. And you can't necessarily get an accurate pulse on who knows what, because people are unreliable narrators.

I knew a girl in LS who basically tended to either get Ps or DSs, not really Hs. She either really had what the prof wanted, or she didn't. This sort of thing isn't common, but it happens. Also know someone who got 4 Hs and a LP (lolwut) one semester, and she still doesn't know what happened.

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

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:26 pm

Worth adding the usual refrain: When you learn subject X, you're learning Professor Y's conception of X. If you can figure out what your professor is looking for in answers, then you're putting yourself in a good position w/r/t the curve. Grading isn't totally random - if it were, then you'd be unlikely to have people with mostly/all H's or all P's. It can just feel random if you have no idea what your professor is looking for on exam day.

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wert3813
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wert3813 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:56 pm

acrossthelake wrote:To expand, I think part of why grades can feel fairly random to people in law school is because it's the nature of the curve and subjective grading. Some profs are more sensitive to organization and grammar, some care more about analysis and less about whether you got the law right, and others will slam you for messing up the law. Some will say don't do X, and then give a Dean's Scholar to the one student who did X because...what? (I've seen this happen). Or will say don't worry Y won't be on the exam, and then base 25% of the exam on Y (this happened, my friends were so mad) and so the only people who do well on that exam are the ones who didn't show up to class to hear the prof say that. And you can't even trust profs. I've managed to pull a lot of old exams from classes, and compare across the Ps, Hs, and DSes who did what, against what the prof told us to do, and I don't know that profs intentionally lie, but I think they're a bit lacking in self-awareness sometimes.

Also, like I've said, it's curved. You might really know a subject well, but if the rest of your section does as well, it'll be a bit more random who snags that H. And you can't necessarily get an accurate pulse on who knows what, because people are unreliable narrators.

I knew a girl in LS who basically tended to either get Ps or DSs, not really Hs. She either really had what the prof wasted, or she didn't. This sort of thing isn't common, but it happens. Also know someone who got 4 Hs and a LP (lolwut) one semester, and she still doesn't know what happened.

I can top you. 8 Hs/DSs 1 LP.

esther0123
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby esther0123 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:43 pm

So some of my classes assigned me to read the statute/acts straight up. It seems like a lot of details that I probably won't retain anyways. Should I bother reading them? Would exam be mostly about fact pattern and applying the rules that I identify from CASES that we read?

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:52 pm

esther0123 wrote:So some of my classes assigned me to read the statute/acts straight up. It seems like a lot of details that I probably won't retain anyways. Should I bother reading them? Would exam be mostly about fact pattern and applying the rules that I identify from CASES that we read?

Depends on the class and the professor. Some professors really want you to quote the statute on the exam and use the language a lot in the analysis. Others, not so much. As a general rule, in Civ Pro, it's usually good to quote the Federal Rules verbatim during your answer unless the prof tells you not to. Less so in other classes, though you might quote the Restatement in Torts, the UCC or Restatement in Contracts, etc.

There's a better-than-50-50 chance that a prof who has you read statutes wants you to use the statutes in some way on an exam, but it's not 100%. If you're not sure what you're supposed to get out of a reading, go to the prof after class or in office hours and ask.

Oh, and in Leg Reg, the reason you're reading the statute is that the whole point of the class (well, half the point of the class) is to figure out how to interpret statutes. So you might get some kind of statutory language on an exam that you then have to interpret in the same way as the courts have done in the cases you've read.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Searchparty » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:00 pm

Fred012 wrote:is it advisable to "take the P" in LRW given how time-consuming it can be? or go hard for the H can its probably the one thats most in your control?


I disagree it's more controllable. IMO I think LRW lacks instruction, so the people that succeed the most are those that already have whatever skill is being rewarded. Whether that be writing ability, argumentation, I don't know... I do believe that it is going to vary widely based on your fellow, so it's even more a shot in the dark because (similar to other classes). I know at some point my fellow was incorrect (telling me I was wrong about a case I cited) and at other times the feedback I got was too micro without help on the overall writing piece, leaving me feeling without direction (therefore unable to tailor my writing to what he/she wanted). Also, some of the stuff seemed to be in direct contrast with what other fellows wanted. Remember, your LRW fellow is probably new at this whole process, and combine that with having a BSA, it gets really muddy. Interested in others' opinions on their LRW experience.

I do know I tried a lot harder second semester than I did first semester with no reward, and our paper was SO much better than the team I went up against (really the only time I had a comparison, would have liked to know their grade!). I think I understand what you mean when you say "take the P," because I often debated whether I should have worked harder second semester (I shouldn't have). You have to give an honest effort, which is why I think above posters are advising against such a lackadaisical viewpoint of the LRW grade.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Fri Sep 05, 2014 3:15 pm

Searchparty wrote:
Fred012 wrote:is it advisable to "take the P" in LRW given how time-consuming it can be? or go hard for the H can its probably the one thats most in your control?


I disagree it's more controllable. IMO I think LRW lacks instruction, so the people that succeed the most are those that already have whatever skill is being rewarded. Whether that be writing ability, argumentation, I don't know... I do believe that it is going to vary widely based on your fellow, so it's even more a shot in the dark because (similar to other classes). I know at some point my fellow was incorrect (telling me I was wrong about a case I cited) and at other times the feedback I got was too micro without help on the overall writing piece, leaving me feeling without direction (therefore unable to tailor my writing to what he/she wanted). Also, some of the stuff seemed to be in direct contrast with what other fellows wanted. Remember, your LRW fellow is probably new at this whole process, and combine that with having a BSA, it gets really muddy. Interested in others' opinions on their LRW experience.


My experience was different, so I agree that it likely varies a lot by instructor.

My perspective is that most of us have strong writing and argumentation skills for academic and general writing, but that LRW teaches such a different (and specific) set of skills that you get rewarded for figuring out exactly what the prof wants and doing it absolutely perfectly with no tiny little errors. Often "good LRW writing" conflicts pretty strongly with everything I'd ever been taught about "good writing" in general, so I had to learn to override my intuitions about flow, tone, organization, etc.

I totally agree that it was frustrating to get a bunch of "micro" feedback based on the draft, address all that feedback, and then still get a P, with feedback based on more "macro" stuff. Also agree that it is sometimes hard for BSA's and instructors to coordinate their expectations, so feedback at times was contradictory.

I got an H second semester. Not sure how I did it, but I learned a lot from my partner, who was brilliant and chill. I'd say that my biggest piece of advice for LRW is to be thoughtful about what you want in a partner second semester, and to be clear with your expectations up front when you discuss working with someone. Are you happy to put in a decent effort, not be a total perfectionist, and "take the P"? Do you both want the brief to be the absolute best it can be, and put the effort in accordingly? When you split up the parts of the brief, how do you want to give each other feedback and integrate the sections? What aspects of LRW writing are most challenging for you, and how can you support each other? I saw some folks be pretty unhappy when there were mismatched expectations or lack of clarity on process for collaboration.




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