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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lawschool22
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lawschool22 » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:01 pm

Hey 2Ls and 3Ls:

Any general advice on SPOs? Anything you wish you knew as a 1L?

robotrick
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby robotrick » Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:05 pm

lawschool22 wrote:Hey 2Ls and 3Ls:

Any general advice on SPOs? Anything you wish you knew as a 1L?

Seconded. I'm not even sure I want the extra commitment at this point. Can they be joined in the Spring, presumably after I get "better" at law school?

On the other hand, some of the SPOs sound interesting and exposure to legal work (however superficial) couldn't hurt.

NoLongerALurker
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby NoLongerALurker » Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:20 pm

I wish I'd joined PLAP as a 1L, for whatever that's worth.

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Tue Sep 16, 2014 6:11 am

robotrick wrote:Can they be joined in the Spring, presumably after I get "better" at law school?

Journals yes. SPOs are trickier. For example, Defenders will only bring in one or two 1Ls for spring semester, and they will probably be students who applied in the fall and didn't get in.

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

Postby Mr. Elshal » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:12 am

robotrick wrote:
lawschool22 wrote:Hey 2Ls and 3Ls:

Any general advice on SPOs? Anything you wish you knew as a 1L?

Seconded. I'm not even sure I want the extra commitment at this point. Can they be joined in the Spring, presumably after I get "better" at law school?

On the other hand, some of the SPOs sound interesting and exposure to legal work (however superficial) couldn't hurt.


The school has a list of SPOs and their time commitments. Some have minimal commitments (HLEP is definitely less than 15 hrs per semester, maybe as low as 7-10 depending on the position), so they may not be the added burden you think they are. Also, some can be joined in the Spring with no problem at all and some may not take as many people in the Spring, but this is something you can ask people at the Student Activities Fair (or people you met at last night's event).

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Nonconsecutive
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Nonconsecutive » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:37 am

Mr. Elshal wrote:The school has a list of SPOs and their time commitments.


Here is this year's said list, just for reference:

http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/clinical/documents/hls-opportunities-for-student-practice-at-a-glance-2014.pdf

robotrick
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby robotrick » Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:38 pm

Nonconsecutive wrote:
Mr. Elshal wrote:The school has a list of SPOs and their time commitments.


Here is this year's said list, just for reference:

http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/clinical/documents/hls-opportunities-for-student-practice-at-a-glance-2014.pdf

Ah, yeah that's useful. Thanks.

Mr. Elshal wrote:The school has a list of SPOs and their time commitments. Some have minimal commitments (HLEP is definitely less than 15 hrs per semester, maybe as low as 7-10 depending on the position), so they may not be the added burden you think they are. Also, some can be joined in the Spring with no problem at all and some may not take as many people in the Spring, but this is something you can ask people at the Student Activities Fair (or people you met at last night's event).

HLEP is actually the one I'm considering most strongly, so your comment was extra helpful. I guess I'll make up my mind based on what I learn tomorrow night at the fair.

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

Postby Mr. Elshal » Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:24 pm

robotrick wrote:
Nonconsecutive wrote:
Mr. Elshal wrote:The school has a list of SPOs and their time commitments.


Here is this year's said list, just for reference:

http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/clinical/documents/hls-opportunities-for-student-practice-at-a-glance-2014.pdf

Ah, yeah that's useful. Thanks.

Mr. Elshal wrote:The school has a list of SPOs and their time commitments. Some have minimal commitments (HLEP is definitely less than 15 hrs per semester, maybe as low as 7-10 depending on the position), so they may not be the added burden you think they are. Also, some can be joined in the Spring with no problem at all and some may not take as many people in the Spring, but this is something you can ask people at the Student Activities Fair (or people you met at last night's event).

HLEP is actually the one I'm considering most strongly, so your comment was extra helpful. I guess I'll make up my mind based on what I learn tomorrow night at the fair.


Ok cool. That's good to hear. I should be at the HLEP table, so if you meet me and my name sounds very obviously like my TLS name, feel free to introduce yourself.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:17 am

Just figured out who Mr. Elshal is. :lol:

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

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Wed Sep 17, 2014 12:43 pm

acrossthelake wrote:Just figured out who Mr. Eishal is. :lol:


+1 lol

robotrick if you're looking for a ground-level perspective on HLEP, have questions about the work, actual time commitment, etc feel free to PM me. It's a great experience.

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lawschool22
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lawschool22 » Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:02 pm

Any thoughts on TAP?

o0o0o0o
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby o0o0o0o » Wed Sep 17, 2014 3:32 pm

lawschool22 wrote:Any thoughts on TAP?


I've enjoyed it a lot. It's especially good if you're interested in civil legal aid/public interest work. Opportunities to do your own hearings 1L, with opening/direct/cross etc. Feel free to pm with more specific questions.

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

Postby Mr. Elshal » Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:27 pm

acrossthelake wrote:Just figured out who Mr. Eishal is. :lol:


I gave up on hiding my identity on TLS. It's just too annoying. How have we met? (you can also PM if you want--or just don't)

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Wed Sep 17, 2014 6:34 pm

Mr. Elshal wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Just figured out who Mr. Eishal is. :lol:

I gave up on hiding my identity on TLS. It's just too annoying.

Obviously, I agree. 8)

NoLongerALurker
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby NoLongerALurker » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:16 am

Mr. Elshal wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Just figured out who Mr. Eishal is. :lol:


I gave up on hiding my identity on TLS. It's just too annoying. How have we met? (you can also PM if you want--or just don't)


Having your real name basically be your TLS name would make it super annoying, yes.

Full credit to tomwatts on that one, too.

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heythatslife
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby heythatslife » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:31 am

NoLongerALurker wrote:
Mr. Elshal wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Just figured out who Mr. Eishal is. :lol:


I gave up on hiding my identity on TLS. It's just too annoying. How have we met? (you can also PM if you want--or just don't)


Having your real name basically be your TLS name would make it super annoying, yes.

Full credit to tomwatts on that one, too.

I guess that's why his posts tend to be actually thoughtful and informative.

Krysty
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Krysty » Thu Sep 18, 2014 6:18 pm

If any 2Ls had Prof. Lauren Willis last year for Civ Pro, would you mind sharing your outline? Prof. Willis taught at Harvard last year, however this is her first year teaching at my school and I'd like to compare my outline thus far.

Thanks! : )

eleemosynary2
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby eleemosynary2 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 1:01 am

I had the pleasure of running into Tom the other day and asked him why he did that - he said (I'm paraphrasing) that it was to make sure he made contributions he was proud of and didn't say anything he wouldn't feel comfortable saying in real life. Bolder than most of us, and I agree an absolute font of information on TLS.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:11 pm

You guys are awesome. :D

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:31 pm

heythatslife wrote:
NoLongerALurker wrote:
Mr. Elshal wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Just figured out who Mr. Eishal is. :lol:


I gave up on hiding my identity on TLS. It's just too annoying. How have we met? (you can also PM if you want--or just don't)


Having your real name basically be your TLS name would make it super annoying, yes.

Full credit to tomwatts on that one, too.

I guess that's why his posts tend to be actually thoughtful and informative.


Agreed.

I think trying to stay anonymous or enjoying anonymity on this site is silly. Hiding behind a computer screen is for wimps. In hindsight I wish my sn was not a standard username, but at the time, I was applying to SEO.

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

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Wed Sep 24, 2014 6:49 pm

Winter term questioms:I have near zero desire to stay in Cambridge in January and understand that we can do a (non Boston) placement with a nonprofit or in govt -- anyone done this?

I am trying to figure out thr feasibility of this but am not finding much useful info. Do we reach out directly to places of interest? It seems like the fact that this is just 3 weeks would be a barrier to placements that don't already have a relationship w HLS and understand j term. Also, What is the timeline for doing this? Feels like we should be arranging this stuff now but I haven't seen anything in any emails about winter term.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:22 pm

MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:Winter term questioms:I have near zero desire to stay in Cambridge in January and understand that we can do a (non Boston) placement with a nonprofit or in govt -- anyone done this?

I am trying to figure out thr feasibility of this but am not finding much useful info. Do we reach out directly to places of interest? It seems like the fact that this is just 3 weeks would be a barrier to placements that don't already have a relationship w HLS and understand j term. Also, What is the timeline for doing this? Feels like we should be arranging this stuff now but I haven't seen anything in any emails about winter term.

As far as I know, the J-Term-only placements are independent clinicals (meaning, yes, you reach out to them yourself). As one alternative, one of the more convenient ways of getting off campus for J Term is writing a paper where you "have to be" elsewhere for three weeks. As another, you can do a winter/spring clinic that is on-site (and off-campus) in winter and by correspondence (and on-campus) in the spring, which I've done. How it works depends on the clinic, but the clinic had contact with the organization I wanted to work for, so I just expressed interest to the clinic head and the organization said yes. It was pretty simple.
Last edited by tomwatts on Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 8:58 pm

MyNameIsFlynn! wrote:Winter term questioms:I have near zero desire to stay in Cambridge in January and understand that we can do a (non Boston) placement with a nonprofit or in govt -- anyone done this?

I am trying to figure out thr feasibility of this but am not finding much useful info. Do we reach out directly to places of interest? It seems like the fact that this is just 3 weeks would be a barrier to placements that don't already have a relationship w HLS and understand j term. Also, What is the timeline for doing this? Feels like we should be arranging this stuff now but I haven't seen anything in any emails about winter term.


You can also do an independent writing project and get professor permission to not be in-residence during J-Term (I don't think it's particularly hard to get a professor to agree to that).

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:18 am

Keep in mind that the deadline for applying for money to travel over J-Term is November 1 (or at least was the last two years). Lots of people miss it or scramble to throw something together in late October.

Stylistics
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Stylistics » Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:07 am

Re: Not reinventing the wheel:

1L here:

I came in thinking that keeping up with the readings is pointless because at my undergrad, professors dumped hundreds of pages on us for no particular reason or benefit. I'd fill up my participation quota by asking questions related to other peoples' points instead of bringing stuff up from the readings. Then I'd just meet a minimum essay length requirement or read the textbook for the final. Note: this was at an undergrad that had SAT 25-75 splits of something like 680-780 in each of the 3 sections. Yes, no one cares but this is just to say that my undergrad wasn't exactly carpeted with people you'd want as classmates in a curved course. Basically the same undergrad everyone else here went to.

My opinion on that hasn't changed--I still think my time is better spent doing other things. I've also missed a handful of classes (other places to be, oversleeping). Some of profs who have less control over their classes have allowed their classes to turn into free for alls where people just volunteer wild theories for why we have a duty to do blah blah blah because "society's interests" or "the Earth!" or whatever. In those classes I'm completely checked out.

But what this means is that I'm already far behind. I'm not panicking like "OMG I'm behind!" But I can't hold a convo with anyone on any of the topics we've covered besides baby stuff like duty breach cause damages.

Questions:

1. I've tried to catch up using E&Es but they've been inadequate. For example, Glannon's E&E for CivPro is universally recommended but doesn't even mention opportunity to be heard, unless it's in the actual E&E sections which I haven't gotten to yet. Should I also get a "here's what the law is" treatise like Chemerinsky to keep up throughout the semester, then use E&Es to do well on the finals? Or am I basically screwed if I don't read the casebook for 1L classes?

2. Visiting profs--I figure I'll never see them again or ask them for recommendations so is "cultivating relationships" with them basically pointless too?

3. With the profs who'll be around and have a ring to their name, is there anything I can do to regain favor with them? I know showing up on time is step one but anything else?

4. LRW isn't blind, so should I avoid being seen as the person who bickers over grade technicalities? ("well technically this component has no weight so how can there be a penalty against something that has no weight"). In undergrad my grades were usually unambiguously one thing or another so I never really waved the syllabus because I figured I had more to lose by making a bad impression on the prof.




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