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.
Fred012
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Fred012 » Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:58 pm

sounds like a great professor to me lol

robotrick
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby robotrick » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:04 pm

Thanks everyone for the advice. Maybe going through the E&E this weekend will help. I'm still hoping that it will begin to come together in my mind some time soon.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jbagelboy » Sun Oct 05, 2014 1:36 pm

Stylistics wrote:
Depends on what you need a recommender for. If it's a clerkship you're after you'll need an HLS prof. If you want to add someone to a list of references to give to firms/summer internships, a visiting prof is often quite willing to be listed.


You need references for firms/summer internships? Does this mean that if you plan on applying for 1LSAs during the upcoming winter, you need 1 or 2 references from your 1L Fall? Crap I didn't know this. If I had known this I might've joined one of those reading groups which otherwise seemed like a waste of time.

You think I can still get back on my feet with my 2 or 3 profs who are actually at HLS and blame my first month on "developing a pace and a routine"? I can start appearing as if I know what I'm talking about in class, but no one came to law school to learn about 1L course topics or these profs' specialities. Is just appearing active in class enough to get them to agree to be a reference for 1LSA purposes? Because if so I can start fresh with some other profs next semester for EIP.


from personal experience, you don't need a law professor reference to get a 1L SA. same for US attorney and AG's office. for judicial internships, which you generally need to apply for a little earlier than other positions and before you have taken a 1L exam, just ask a legal writing instructor who is familiar with your work. As others have pointed out, down the line as a 2L/3L there are benefits to having formed concrete relationships with professors (not at H, but it shouldn't be any different).

Stylistics
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Stylistics » Sun Oct 05, 2014 5:40 pm

How do you distinguish yourself on journals and be competitive for leadership positions? Are leadership positions possible your 1L year?

Throughout high school and undergrad, I never held a leadership position and was only superficially involved in extracurriculars. Never been part of a school newspaper etc. But when it comes to journals, how can you really say one 1L is better than another if all they're doing is chasing commas?

Does it become a popularity contest by election?

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:03 pm

Stylistics wrote:How do you distinguish yourself on journals and be competitive for leadership positions? Are leadership positions possible your 1L year?

Throughout high school and undergrad, I never held a leadership position and was only superficially involved in extracurriculars. Never been part of a school newspaper etc. But when it comes to journals, how can you really say one 1L is better than another if all they're doing is chasing commas?

Does it become a popularity contest by election?


Most of journal work is chasing commas. If you want to rise, you do a good job, even if the work is boring. It's pretty obvious when someone is half-assing work, and when you do, it creates more work for the person supervising you. If you make their lives easier by doing a good job, then you'll get promoted.

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zor
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby zor » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:20 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.


I did this as an Independent Clinical. It's an enormous freaking pain in the ass but it was worth it to me. I had a placement lined up in October or so, and the deadline for submitting all the paperwork is November 3, so sooner than you may think. You have to find the place, offer yourself, and get them to agree to do it. They have to fill out a bunch of forms. You have to find a faculty sponsor at HLS to whom you will submit a pointless, 15-page paper that can't be a reflection paper vaguely related to the topic of your placement. It's credit/fail, so you feel especially annoyed at this. You also have to submit long weekly reflections to the clinical office.

Basically, they make it as difficult as possible, probably to dissuade people from doing it. But I really wanted to be home with my partner so I jumped through the hoops and don't regret it. Paper was hilariously bad but I got my credit.

One note: organizations are actually usually pretty happy to have some free labor for a few weeks in January, especially a free Harvard student. In my case, I was literally the only intern there because the semester interns hadn't started up yet, so they were THRILLED (this was govt). If you can, reach out via an alumni connection rather than just cold-calling. Another thing that gets the org onboard: I actually volunteered to do it for six weeks rather than 3, starting right after finals. This was insane so don't do this (I had no freaking break at all, sigh) but maybe volunteering for 4 or so would be a good idea.

Mista Bojangles
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mista Bojangles » Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:54 am

is there a good chance of getting the j-term clinical approved if you'd like to work for your hometown DA or PD, and can articulate an interest in doing so? or would it just be viewed as an attempt at another 3 weeks of vacation?

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BlakcMajikc » Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:42 am

Mista Bojangles wrote:is there a good chance of getting the j-term clinical approved if you'd like to work for your hometown DA or PD, and can articulate an interest in doing so? or would it just be viewed as an attempt at another 3 weeks of vacation?


good chance.

Stylistics
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Stylistics » Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:07 pm

Anyone know whether WRubenstrein's CivPro or Singer's property classes are amenable to the "ditch class, use commercial outline & hornbook approach?

What about Crim or Torts, generally and not tied to any one professor?

Basically, I think i'm good if the exam is just an issue spotter/what's the law in this area exam. If the exam asks policy questions like "why is the law this way and should it be otherwise, then I guess I should know the prof's own view."

Although my crim law prof's views can probably be gleaned from her publications. Or if i just parrot the party line "[an irrelevant doctrine] perpetuates...[something the prof doesnt like] etc"

Or do I have it backwards?

ddoodle
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ddoodle » Wed Oct 08, 2014 2:54 pm

Stylistics wrote:Anyone know whether WRubenstrein's CivPro or Singer's property classes are amenable to the "ditch class, use commercial outline & hornbook approach?

What about Crim or Torts, generally and not tied to any one professor?

Basically, I think i'm good if the exam is just an issue spotter/what's the law in this area exam. If the exam asks policy questions like "why is the law this way and should it be otherwise, then I guess I should know the prof's own view."

Although my crim law prof's views can probably be gleaned from her publications. Or if i just parrot the party line "[an irrelevant doctrine] perpetuates...[something the prof doesnt like] etc"

Or do I have it backwards?


You can look at past exams here: http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/registrar/exams/

As you can see, only about 1/3 of Singer's property exam is an issue spotter, so I don't think you'd be ok with just hornbooks.

Fred012
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Fred012 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:23 pm

dude.. go to class lol. this is HLS not state school, u can't just ace by showing up, everybody is brilliant

Fred012
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Fred012 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 4:47 pm

let me guess. you are not in section 5 LOL

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

Postby Single-Malt-Liquor » Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:27 pm

Fred012 wrote:dude.. go to class lol. this is HLS not state school, u can't just ace by showing up, everybody is brilliant


This. So much this.

To top it off, there's so much law that literally turns on how your professor interprets it. Like in civ-pro, how you write about Iqbal (you're probs not there yet) might to turn on whether your professor thinks is a travesty or NBD.

Fred012
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Fred012 » Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:12 pm

can you guys advise us on picking electives for spring? we just got an email with instructions. should we take a serious class like con law or corporations or evidence or some seminar to ease the course load? if the latter, what are some easy classes, if the former what are some key ones to target

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:50 pm

Fred012 wrote:can you guys advise us on picking electives for spring? we just got an email with instructions. should we take a serious class like con law or corporations or evidence or some seminar to ease the course load? if the latter, what are some easy classes, if the former what are some key ones to target

Take something you're interested in and that will be easy.

No reason to take corps right now. Go for a 2 credit class if you can.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Wed Oct 08, 2014 9:26 pm

If you have Rubenstein, the most efficient way to learn CivPro is to go to class. Seriously, if there is a short cut to CivPro, he's it.

For spring electives, take Negotiation. I've written this elsewhere in the thread but the reasons to do so are, briefly: (1) you'll get in as a 1L, whereas in future years you'd have to rank it first and still not get in, (2) it's a fun break from the 1L doctrinal class, (3) it's probably the most useful, universally applicable class you could take at HLS.

If you don't take Negotiation, I recommend finding a lighter class (not all seminars are light -- ask around) to give yourself a well-deserved break. Conlaw, Evidence, Corps etc can wait.

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nothingtosee
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby nothingtosee » Wed Oct 08, 2014 10:51 pm

TripTrip wrote:
Fred012 wrote:can you guys advise us on picking electives for spring? we just got an email with instructions. should we take a serious class like con law or corporations or evidence or some seminar to ease the course load? if the latter, what are some easy classes, if the former what are some key ones to target

Take something you're interested in and that will be easy.

No reason to take corps right now. Go for a 2 credit class if you can.


How can you tell if a class is easy?

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HorseThief
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby HorseThief » Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:02 pm

nothingtosee wrote:
TripTrip wrote:
Fred012 wrote:can you guys advise us on picking electives for spring? we just got an email with instructions. should we take a serious class like con law or corporations or evidence or some seminar to ease the course load? if the latter, what are some easy classes, if the former what are some key ones to target

Take something you're interested in and that will be easy.

No reason to take corps right now. Go for a 2 credit class if you can.


How can you tell if a class is easy?

I'm only a 1L, but I'm planning to use the info on dope to decide this.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:45 pm

On the registrar's website, look at old course evaluations. You can see the distribution of how many hours per week students reported spending on prep for the class.

Stylistics
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Stylistics » Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:49 am

Single-Malt-Liquor wrote:
Fred012 wrote:dude.. go to class lol. this is HLS not state school, u can't just ace by showing up, everybody is brilliant


This. So much this.

To top it off, there's so much law that literally turns on how your professor interprets it. Like in civ-pro, how you write about Iqbal (you're probs not there yet) might to turn on whether your professor thinks is a travesty or NBD.


Well Singer wrote both the casebook and the hornbook, and most of the time in class he says "I have no idea how a court would rule on this."

As for CivPro, it's pretty obvious the prof is on one side of the spectrum. Why don't I just say stuff like "the law is currently this, but Brennan/Ginsburg raises serious concerns..." to show that I'm aware of what the "plaintiff's rights" side wants?

I just took a look at Singer/Rubenstein's past exams. As of right now, I'm completely lost on what things like "run with the land," "grantor grantee covenant" mean, but that's nothing that can't be cured with his hornbook. Once I know what the terms mean, I can probably write a good "fairness, utility" exam.

Rubenstein's exam looks like a cakewalk. We haven't gotten to joinder yet but from what I can see in the question dealing with jurisdiction, it seems like you can answer it from a commercial outline alone. I'm not even up to speed on my commercial outline yet but I could write something like:

Subject Matter Jurisdiction in USDJ can only be founded on diversity in this case, but there's no complete diversity because Mary and John are both domiciled in Ames, although you can argue that John is actually domiciled in Holmes. If you can then we move on. If you can't then it's game over for diversity jurisdiction. Besides, the claims don't meet the AIC. But maybe Exxon-Mobil 2005 supplemental jurisdiction? No because 1367b requires complete diversity.

Next: Personal jurisdiction. John satisfies minimum contacts but Joe doesn't.

I mean my real answer would obviously be more fleshed out but I can't see this taking me 60 minutes, which may mean that I'm missing something.

My original question was "value in going to class?" What's the value besides the once-every-two-weeks case that's arguably controversial, where you show up to see what the prof thinks; if he thinks "Twombly is the law but is wrong" then I'll write "Twombly mandates dismissal but perhaps this should not be so." I'm not arguing that the outline/hornbook approach is preferable to going to class; it's just a matter of time allocation.

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

Postby Single-Malt-Liquor » Thu Oct 09, 2014 7:52 am

Whatevs dude(ette). Do you, but don't say you wernt warned.

You're gonna miss those moments in class where the prof says "Now I want you to pay close attention to xxxx" and suddenly even people who don't usually take notes start writing.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Thu Oct 09, 2014 9:47 am

Stylistics wrote:I'm not arguing that the outline/hornbook approach is preferable to going to class; it's just a matter of time allocation.

wert3813 wrote:I've often wondered how it would work out. Please report back in late January.

I'm going with wert on this one.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Thu Oct 09, 2014 10:05 am

Stylistics wrote:Rubenstein's exam looks like a cakewalk.


Exactly -- that's the problem. Everyone is going to look at the exam, spot a bunch of issues, address them correctly and clearly, and come up with a clever answer to the policy-ish question. He still grades on a curve though, so how do you make your exam stand out? I don't know -- I walked out of his exam feeling like I nailed it, and got a P.

My original question was "value in going to class?" What's the value besides the once-every-two-weeks case that's arguably controversial, where you show up to see what the prof thinks; if he thinks "Twombly is the law but is wrong" then I'll write "Twombly mandates dismissal but perhaps this should not be so." I'm not arguing that the outline/hornbook approach is preferable to going to class; it's just a matter of time allocation.


Right. What I was saying with respect to time allocation is that, with Rubenstein, you're probably going to learn more in 2 hours of class than 2 hours studying the hornbook on your own without having gone to class, so the most efficient way to learn CivPro is to go to class. Maybe some folks with different learning styles are the exception to this, but my guess is it applies pretty widely.

Fred012
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Fred012 » Thu Oct 09, 2014 12:26 pm

somebody told me that OCI employers look at your 1L elective and ask about it? seems like corporations would be good for someone trying to sell a transactional interest then, no?

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

Postby Single-Malt-Liquor » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:11 pm

Fred012 wrote:somebody told me that OCI employers look at your 1L elective and ask about it? seems like corporations would be good for someone trying to sell a transactional interest then, no?


Never came up in any of my interviews.




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