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.
User avatar
crystalized
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:23 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby crystalized » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:36 pm

Are there any students who work part-time during their 1L year? Is it doable or would it be too much? By part-time, I mean something like 15 hours a week.

094320
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby 094320 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 10:51 pm

..

User avatar
crystalized
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:23 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby crystalized » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:28 pm

Fair enough.
What kind of part-time jobs would a 2L or 3L do during the school year? How common is it (i.e. 50% of the class? 25% of the class?)?

094320
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby 094320 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:32 pm

..

abacus
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:05 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby abacus » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:36 pm

Thanks for answering questions! I'm curious about the grading system; since they removed the fixed grade distributions, do most professors still give out around 35% H and 8% LP?

094320
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby 094320 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:37 pm

..

User avatar
crystalized
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:23 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby crystalized » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:41 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
crystalized wrote:Fair enough.
What kind of part-time jobs would a 2L or 3L do during the school year? How common is it (i.e. 50% of the class? 25% of the class?)?


Teaching assistant, research assistant, BSA, residential adviser. Some 1Ls are research assistants, and I recommend that, though I sort of consider it an activity--the purpose for that should be more about the research experience and the connections you forge with a professor, rather than the pay. I'm doing research for a prof for free and that's def. worth my time more than something that paid me minimally. I don't know a single person who does anything outside of that kind of realm as a part-time job, like not a soul, though I don't have a sampling of the entire study body of course. What kind of part-time jobs were you thinking about? What's your motivation?


Just something to pay the monthly interest on my private loan. But I wouldn't do it if it'll affect my studies.
What is BSA? And I assume residential adviser is similar to those in undergrad, for residences?

abacus
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:05 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby abacus » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:51 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
abacus wrote:Thanks for answering questions! I'm curious about the grading system; since they removed the fixed grade distributions, do most professors still give out around 35% H and 8% LP?


They changed the curve and now refuse to tell anybody what the distributions are. Our professors are forbidden from telling us. So your guess is as good as ours.


Oh that's interesting... Would you have a sense about whether LPs have become more or less prevalent? Thanks!

094320
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby 094320 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:59 pm

..

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3227
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:16 am

crystalized wrote:Are there any students who work part-time during their 1L year? Is it doable or would it be too much? By part-time, I mean something like 15 hours a week.


I know two people off the top of my head who work part time. At the very least, it will make it harder to get good grades and make 1L more stressful than it already is. I would at least not work during fall semester and see. But if you don't care that much about grades then it's definitely do able. I would definitely recommend not working though personally.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3227
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:19 am

abacus wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
abacus wrote:Thanks for answering questions! I'm curious about the grading system; since they removed the fixed grade distributions, do most professors still give out around 35% H and 8% LP?


They changed the curve and now refuse to tell anybody what the distributions are. Our professors are forbidden from telling us. So your guess is as good as ours.


Oh that's interesting... Would you have a sense about whether LPs have become more or less prevalent? Thanks!


It's hard to tell. I don't think it is something to worry about to be honest now. I don't know very many people's grades but I don't know anyone with a LP and I my sense is that you have to do pretty badly to get one. Of course, it varies by professor.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3227
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:25 am

acrossthelake wrote:
crystalized wrote:
Just something to pay the monthly interest on my private loan. But I wouldn't do it if it'll affect my studies.
What is BSA? And I assume residential adviser is similar to those in undergrad, for residences?


BSA are the Board of Student Advisers. This probably explains it better than I can: http://hlsorgs.com/bsa/
It's hard to say whether it'll affect your studies, but it's just not worth it. You want to be either studying, skill-acquiring, or taking care of yourself (friends, relaxation, sleep, hobbies). If you go into biglaw, it'll be much worth it to do well and get that job, rather than risk sacrificing something it. It's a bit penny-wise, pound-foolish. If you go into public interest, you'll have LIPP and the difference amount of debt you have will at that point not even matter since your contribution each month will be the same either way. http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... scale.html


Also, I agree with everything that ATL has said. Just to elaborate on the BSA: it is a paid position, but it is paid very little. If you want to do BSA you would do it for the experience and definitely not for the money. The main thing that BSAs do is serve as teaching assistants for the LRW classes. They look over your first draft for you basically before your LRW prof reads it. They also are the upperclassmen that are supposed to be there for you if you have questions about classes or school or anything, or if you have personal issues/questions. There are also BSAs that do other things, like write the materials for the writing assignments.

094320
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby 094320 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:40 am

..

User avatar
englawyer
Posts: 1270
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:57 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:56 am

acrossthelake wrote:
abacus wrote:Thanks for answering questions! I'm curious about the grading system; since they removed the fixed grade distributions, do most professors still give out around 35% H and 8% LP?


They changed the curve and now refuse to tell anybody what the distributions are. Our professors are forbidden from telling us. So your guess is as good as ours.


when did they change the curve? i haven't heard of that.

User avatar
TennesseeBob
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:02 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TennesseeBob » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:21 am

I know this is more about admissions than attending the school itself- but have you heard anything about the way Harvard treats multiple lsat scores? is it still largely the average?

094320
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby 094320 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:35 am

..

lessthanjake
Posts: 55
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:59 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lessthanjake » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:56 pm

I have a few questions about clinics/cross-registration/written work at Harvard:

1. I know you can take a maximum of 12 clinical credits and no more than 1 clinic at a time. In practice, though, is it realistic to be able to take 12 clinical credits? I anticipate really enjoying clinics, and with all the clinic options HLS has, I am hoping to be able to take a few of them.

2. How difficult is it to get into the Supreme Court clinic? Obviously this seems like an incredibly interesting clinic, but I imagine a ton of people try to get in it. What are the chances I'd be able to participate in this?

3. How often do people take cross-registered courses? I imagine that there are plenty of interesting cross-registration options. For instance, I might be interested in taking classes at the business school. Do students actually cross-register? How do the grades work when you do this? How do potential employers see cross-registered classes (I know law firms will have hired you after 1L where you won't have cross-registration, but I'm referring to clerkships/gov jobs, etc)?

4. Is it common to do some sort of independent written work to fulfill the written work requirement? I might eventually be interested in legal academia, and I know this requires having written/published articles. As such, the idea of getting credit to build up that part of my resume sounds attractive. Is this feasible? Does it make sense to do this?


Bear in mind, I am aware that I can only take 16 credits total between clinics/cross-registration/written work. I am just curious about each individual one.

094320
Posts: 4431
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby 094320 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:14 pm

..

User avatar
englawyer
Posts: 1270
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 10:57 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:22 pm

lessthanjake wrote:I have a few questions about clinics/cross-registration/written work at Harvard:

1. I know you can take a maximum of 12 clinical credits and no more than 1 clinic at a time. In practice, though, is it realistic to be able to take 12 clinical credits? I anticipate really enjoying clinics, and with all the clinic options HLS has, I am hoping to be able to take a few of them.


this is possible. some clinics are more in demand than others. I think the ones that involve 1 hr commute each way to Jamaica Plain (legal services center) are in particular less popular. thus it seems quite possible to do a clinic for three semesters 2L/3L year with four credits each (you can choose 2,3,or 4 credits for each clinical). however, i have heard clinics are better in theory than in practice because the amount of work you actually put in exceeds the amount expected on paper (i think 4 credit = 20 hr, 2 credit = 10 hr, 3 credit=15 hr).

tomwatts
Posts: 1680
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:56 pm

lessthanjake wrote:1. I know you can take a maximum of 12 clinical credits and no more than 1 clinic at a time. In practice, though, is it realistic to be able to take 12 clinical credits? I anticipate really enjoying clinics, and with all the clinic options HLS has, I am hoping to be able to take a few of them.

If you do the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (one of the three possible two-year-commitment extracurriculars you can try out for in the spring semester of 1L), you will get all of those clinical credits for sure. The answer above is also accurate: some clinics are much more popular than others. Don't know which, yet, because I'm a 1L and haven't looked into it at all.

lessthanjake wrote:3. How often do people take cross-registered courses? I imagine that there are plenty of interesting cross-registration options. For instance, I might be interested in taking classes at the business school. Do students actually cross-register? How do the grades work when you do this? How do potential employers see cross-registered classes (I know law firms will have hired you after 1L where you won't have cross-registration, but I'm referring to clerkships/gov jobs, etc)?

Plenty of students do this. I'm a little unusual, because I'm doing a JD/MPP (just got in a few days ago), so I'm doing basically all my cross-registration at HKS, but it's not uncommon at all. If you want to do corporate law or have businesses as clients generally, it's good to know a little of what your clients would be thinking about and would have learned in business school, so that's generally viewed favorably in those contexts. Maybe less important for, say, public interest, depending on the classes and the type of work.

If I'm not mistaken, the grades just show up on your transcript like any other grades, except they won't be on the DS/H/P/LP scale that HLS uses. Uh, I guess I'll have a real answer to this in another year or two.

lessthanjake wrote:4. Is it common to do some sort of independent written work to fulfill the written work requirement? I might eventually be interested in legal academia, and I know this requires having written/published articles. As such, the idea of getting credit to build up that part of my resume sounds attractive. Is this feasible? Does it make sense to do this?

If you're interested in legal academia, you want to do plenty of scholarship, and there's a ton of opportunity to do it at HLS. You can get credit for it during the semester or (commonly) January Term, and you can get research funding to work on a paper for a few weeks over the summer. I have started to look into this, because it sounds really interesting, and it's definitely something that people do in a significant way here.

Also, I want to second the idea that working 15 hours a week during 1L is way, way, way too much. I was doing 2-3 hours of online work per week from my old job during my first semester, and the only reason it was okay was that it was a bunch of math and stuff, really different from reading cases, so I viewed it as a way of blowing off steam. Any more than that would've made me crazy.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3227
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:57 pm

tomwatts wrote:
lessthanjake wrote:1. I know you can take a maximum of 12 clinical credits and no more than 1 clinic at a time. In practice, though, is it realistic to be able to take 12 clinical credits? I anticipate really enjoying clinics, and with all the clinic options HLS has, I am hoping to be able to take a few of them.

If you do the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (one of the three possible two-year-commitment extracurriculars you can try out for in the spring semester of 1L), you will get all of those clinical credits for sure. The answer above is also accurate: some clinics are much more popular than others. Don't know which, yet, because I'm a 1L and haven't looked into it at all.

lessthanjake wrote:3. How often do people take cross-registered courses? I imagine that there are plenty of interesting cross-registration options. For instance, I might be interested in taking classes at the business school. Do students actually cross-register? How do the grades work when you do this? How do potential employers see cross-registered classes (I know law firms will have hired you after 1L where you won't have cross-registration, but I'm referring to clerkships/gov jobs, etc)?

Plenty of students do this. I'm a little unusual, because I'm doing a JD/MPP (just got in a few days ago), so I'm doing basically all my cross-registration at HKS, but it's not uncommon at all. If you want to do corporate law or have businesses as clients generally, it's good to know a little of what your clients would be thinking about and would have learned in business school, so that's generally viewed favorably in those contexts. Maybe less important for, say, public interest, depending on the classes and the type of work.

If I'm not mistaken, the grades just show up on your transcript like any other grades, except they won't be on the DS/H/P/LP scale that HLS uses. Uh, I guess I'll have a real answer to this in another year or two.

lessthanjake wrote:4. Is it common to do some sort of independent written work to fulfill the written work requirement? I might eventually be interested in legal academia, and I know this requires having written/published articles. As such, the idea of getting credit to build up that part of my resume sounds attractive. Is this feasible? Does it make sense to do this?

If you're interested in legal academia, you want to do plenty of scholarship, and there's a ton of opportunity to do it at HLS. You can get credit for it during the semester or (commonly) January Term, and you can get research funding to work on a paper for a few weeks over the summer. I have started to look into this, because it sounds really interesting, and it's definitely something that people do in a significant way here.

Also, I want to second the idea that working 15 hours a week during 1L is way, way, way too much. I was doing 2-3 hours of online work per week from my old job during my first semester, and the only reason it was okay was that it was a bunch of math and stuff, really different from reading cases, so I viewed it as a way of blowing off steam. Any more than that would've made me crazy.


Is the JD/MPP a 4 year program?

tomwatts
Posts: 1680
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:54 pm

ph14 wrote:Is the JD/MPP a 4 year program?

Yes. Am finishing 1L at HLS now. I'll be at HKS next year, then (mostly) back to the law school for two years.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3227
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:12 pm

tomwatts wrote:
ph14 wrote:Is the JD/MPP a 4 year program?

Yes. Am finishing 1L at HLS now. I'll be at HKS next year, then (mostly) back to the law school for two years.


What do you want to do with the JD/MPP?

freestallion
Posts: 944
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:17 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby freestallion » Fri Mar 16, 2012 4:32 pm

Hey tomwatts, I'm curious about the JD/MPP too. Do you feel like it's worth the extra year and cost? Does it cost basically the same amount as 1 extra year of law school?

splbagel
Posts: 380
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:53 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby splbagel » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:00 pm

freestallion wrote:Hey tomwatts, I'm curious about the JD/MPP too. Do you feel like it's worth the extra year and cost? Does it cost basically the same amount as 1 extra year of law school?


Would love to hear the answer to this as well, as I'm considering the JD/MPP to go into policy analysis / advocacy work.

Random useful thing I learned at ASW: the LIPP covers up to $30k of extra debt from a joint degree.

http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/de ... nancialAid

But HKS tuition is currently 41,418, not to mention living expenses. So how do public-interest-minded folks make up the difference? Fellowships?




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest