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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polareagle
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby polareagle » Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:03 am

yomisterd wrote:why doesn't hls ever do a law revue video?


There actually is going to be at least one this year from HLS, though not from our law revue (Parody), which focuses on its live show.

Orion311
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Orion311 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 1:13 am

cheesin23 wrote:Hi! Would any current students be willing to talk about their living expenses? I'm trying to figure out if I can afford Harvard and want to see how feasible it would be to get the room/board/personal expenses down from the suggested $21,373. Thanks!


You could start by living in Gropius type 1 where the rent is like $800/mo ($7200). Even if other expenses come to $1000 a month you only hit $16,200 and that seems like a pretty high-end estimate. I can't imagine coming near $21,000...

Edit: just realized you asked for current students to answer, and i just realized we're in that thread.... well. I guess I'm just adding on - why is the suggested number so high?

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:55 am

polareagle wrote:
yomisterd wrote:why doesn't hls ever do a law revue video?


There actually is going to be at least one this year from HLS, though not from our law revue (Parody), which focuses on its live show.


Yup, stay tuned! HLS doesn't have a "law revue" organization like other schools, but DoS was very supportive of the student who put together the one-off entry this year, so there would probably be the space to create an org for future years.

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HorseThief
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby HorseThief » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:02 am

cheesin23 wrote:Hi! Would any current students be willing to talk about their living expenses? I'm trying to figure out if I can afford Harvard and want to see how feasible it would be to get the room/board/personal expenses down from the suggested $21,373. Thanks!


Based off last semester, my expenses come to about $18,000 for the school year (9 months). The largest expense is rent, which for me is $1,300/month, but I make up the difference by cooking most of my own meals and being generally frugal. So you can compare to your own lifestyle, here's my breakdown:

  • $1,300 rent
  • $40 entertainment (concerts, outings)
  • $70 restaurants, bars, coffee
  • $140 groceries
  • $15 pharmacy
  • $20 T-passes
  • $100 computer things
  • $20 clothes

In addition, there were irregular expenditures like $500 for casebooks, $400 for plane tickets home, etc. When I factor all of those together, I come out to about $2,000 per month. Like I said, though, I tend to be very frugal. I know that the people in gropius spend a lot more on restaurants/on campus food, and I'd bet that most other law students spend far more on bars than I do.

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:23 am

despina wrote:HLS doesn't have a "law revue" organization like other schools

As the outgoing co-president of HLS's law revue organization, I despise this comment. We do all the same things as every other school's law revue, except we don't do a video and we call it the Parody.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:38 am

TripTrip wrote:
despina wrote:HLS doesn't have a "law revue" organization like other schools

As the outgoing co-president of HLS's law revue organization, I despise this comment. We do all the same things as every other school's law revue, except we don't do a video and we call it the Parody.


Apologies, what I meant to say was, "HLS does not have an organization which makes parody videos, unlike other schools." No disrespect to Parody / Drama Society.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:43 am

HorseThief wrote:
cheesin23 wrote:Hi! Would any current students be willing to talk about their living expenses? I'm trying to figure out if I can afford Harvard and want to see how feasible it would be to get the room/board/personal expenses down from the suggested $21,373. Thanks!


Based off last semester, my expenses come to about $18,000 for the school year (9 months). The largest expense is rent, which for me is $1,300/month, but I make up the difference by cooking most of my own meals and being generally frugal. So you can compare to your own lifestyle, here's my breakdown:

  • $1,300 rent
  • $40 entertainment (concerts, outings)
  • $70 restaurants, bars, coffee
  • $140 groceries
  • $15 pharmacy
  • $20 T-passes
  • $100 computer things
  • $20 clothes

In addition, there were irregular expenditures like $500 for casebooks, $400 for plane tickets home, etc. When I factor all of those together, I come out to about $2,000 per month. Like I said, though, I tend to be very frugal. I know that the people in gropius spend a lot more on restaurants/on campus food, and I'd bet that most other law students spend far more on bars than I do.


Saving on rent is really what's going to make your lifestyle easier. Live in Gropius or get some roommates, and you can get rent to $700-900 / month. That way you'll have a lot more money left over for law student socializing -- going out to restaurants and bars, fun trips on the weekends, etc.

I'm not sure what the $100 / month for computer things is... I just bought my computer at the beginning of 1L (with a LIPP-eligible loan) and then only ever had to spend like $80 on it when my charger died.

Depending on what you did before law school, you may have to budget more than $20 / month for clothes, since you'll need at least one nice suit and a couple of nice business casual outfits for 1L. And for your summer job, depending on where you go, you'll need more suits and/or more business casual things.

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HorseThief
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby HorseThief » Fri Apr 10, 2015 9:53 am

despina wrote:
HorseThief wrote:
cheesin23 wrote:Hi! Would any current students be willing to talk about their living expenses? I'm trying to figure out if I can afford Harvard and want to see how feasible it would be to get the room/board/personal expenses down from the suggested $21,373. Thanks!


Based off last semester, my expenses come to about $18,000 for the school year (9 months). The largest expense is rent, which for me is $1,300/month, but I make up the difference by cooking most of my own meals and being generally frugal. So you can compare to your own lifestyle, here's my breakdown:

  • $1,300 rent
  • $40 entertainment (concerts, outings)
  • $70 restaurants, bars, coffee
  • $140 groceries
  • $15 pharmacy
  • $20 T-passes
  • $100 computer things
  • $20 clothes

In addition, there were irregular expenditures like $500 for casebooks, $400 for plane tickets home, etc. When I factor all of those together, I come out to about $2,000 per month. Like I said, though, I tend to be very frugal. I know that the people in gropius spend a lot more on restaurants/on campus food, and I'd bet that most other law students spend far more on bars than I do.


Saving on rent is really what's going to make your lifestyle easier. Live in Gropius or get some roommates, and you can get rent to $700-900 / month. That way you'll have a lot more money left over for law student socializing -- going out to restaurants and bars, fun trips on the weekends, etc.

I'm not sure what the $100 / month for computer things is... I just bought my computer at the beginning of 1L (with a LIPP-eligible loan) and then only ever had to spend like $80 on it when my charger died.

Depending on what you did before law school, you may have to budget more than $20 / month for clothes, since you'll need at least one nice suit and a couple of nice business casual outfits for 1L. And for your summer job, depending on where you go, you'll need more suits and/or more business casual things.


Computer things = new charger, mouse, programs, other electronics, etc. Clearly, this is the one area where I splurge (other than rent). Everything else you said is spot on, though. Especially if you're willing to live further from campus and get a 3-4BR, you can have a lot of money left over for socializing.

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malleus discentium
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby malleus discentium » Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:53 pm

HorseThief wrote:
cheesin23 wrote:Hi! Would any current students be willing to talk about their living expenses? I'm trying to figure out if I can afford Harvard and want to see how feasible it would be to get the room/board/personal expenses down from the suggested $21,373. Thanks!


Based off last semester, my expenses come to about $18,000 for the school year (9 months). The largest expense is rent, which for me is $1,300/month, but I make up the difference by cooking most of my own meals and being generally frugal. So you can compare to your own lifestyle, here's my breakdown:

  • $1,300 rent
  • $40 entertainment (concerts, outings)
  • $70 restaurants, bars, coffee
  • $140 groceries
  • $15 pharmacy
  • $20 T-passes
  • $100 computer things
  • $20 clothes

In addition, there were irregular expenditures like $500 for casebooks, $400 for plane tickets home, etc. When I factor all of those together, I come out to about $2,000 per month. Like I said, though, I tend to be very frugal. I know that the people in gropius spend a lot more on restaurants/on campus food, and I'd bet that most other law students spend far more on bars than I do.

I'm actually going to go through all my credit card statements soonish and see how much I spent on things since coming here, but I can say that $110/month on entertainment/coffee/eating out/drinking is on the very low side for people who socialize. (Black coffee alone is like $25/month.) Neither a good or bad thing, but if you like to go out, $110 is not a reasonable estimate at all. Conversely, as a 1L, I barely use the T and so haven't spent $20 for T passes in the entire time I've been here, let alone $20/month.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Fri Apr 10, 2015 7:56 pm

Yeah Cambridge is expensive to socialize in. It's not like you need to spend $100/night to have friends or anything, but $120/mo is very much on the low side. A draft beer is like $6.

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HorseThief
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby HorseThief » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:10 pm

Okay, I get it, I'm boring. Thanks guys.

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Nonconsecutive
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Nonconsecutive » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:20 pm

HorseThief wrote:Okay, I get it, I'm boring. Thanks guys.


Not as boring as me. There is no way I even spend 110$ a month. Oddly enough I still have a social scene, maybe I just associate with fellow poors/cheapskates. 8)

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Pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Fri Apr 10, 2015 8:49 pm

Tbf I live pretty far from campus, so anytime I meet people it's always for dinner/drinks.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:47 pm

Pneumonia wrote:Tbf I live pretty far from campus, so anytime I meet people it's always for dinner/drinks.


Yup, that's the downside of living farther away to get cheap rent. Gotta go more out of your way to be social, and it often involves spending money.

lawlorbust
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lawlorbust » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:06 am

any idea on whether the housing waitlists move at all? specifically hastings

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

Postby Mr. Elshal » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:32 pm

cheesin23 wrote:Hi! Would any current students be willing to talk about their living expenses? I'm trying to figure out if I can afford Harvard and want to see how feasible it would be to get the room/board/personal expenses down from the suggested $21,373. Thanks!


My breakdown won't be very relevant (unless you've got a spouse living with you), but I can tell you with certainty that you can get significantly below the estimate. I think the estimate is high just to ensure you can borrow enough, or something like that, but my wife and I together probably don't spend too much more than that.

If you live in Gropius, or in a cheap building with at least one roommate, you can spend much less than 21k. As someone mentioned earlier, rent will be the biggest driver of your expenses, so that's a good place to focus on minimizing.

nmb43
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby nmb43 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:46 pm

ph14 wrote:3. Yes. And there is no diversity or personal statement in the write-on (at least while I was at HLS). Edit: I've been informed HLR has implemented an optional diversity statement this year.


Can anyone confirm the implementation of an optional diversity statement this year?

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:40 am

If you go out to eat often or out drinking or to law school events that have ticket costs then the entertainment/dining section can get pretty pricey. I have no idea how y'all kept that category to $110/month. I spent more than $110/week in that category, sometimes more than that in a weekend for formals. Most of this was eating out costs, tho. Not confident enough in my cooking to cook for others, and meals are an easy way to socialize with others.

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wonka
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Pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:40 pm

mwonka wrote: The most promising option atm is: room in apartment that's a 10 min walk to campus, private bedroom, bathroom shared with 2 other roommates. Cost comes out to roughly $825 including utilities/internet.

For the most part it seems good, and it's exactly in my budget, but really I'd love a private bathroom. Does anyone know if getting a room with private bath is even possible for under $1000? Not married to HUH but within 2 miles of the law school is important.

Also, does plenty of housing tend to become available in May/June, or do people generally jump on housing ASAP while in town for ASW?


Private bathroom is going to be really difficult to find if you have roommates. The only girl I no who lives in a 2Br/2Ba pays 1600/mo, and still her apt only has 1 shower; her roommate pays the same. Almost everything here is really old and the old constructions, even if updated, still usually only have 1 bathroom per unit. I guess you could find what you're looking for, but its gonna be difficult imo.

Also, 2 miles is pretty far from the school. I live that far and don't find it prohibitive, but know that most of your classmates will be within 1/4 mile or so.

HUH/HLSH moves during those months, and even in July. If you're looking for anything other than Gropius though I'd probably sign sooner rather than later.

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wonka
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despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:01 pm

Plenty of September housing is available in May -- I came up over Memorial Day weekend to meet with realtors and there were plenty of options.

I agree that a private bathroom is unlikely. A big house (4-5 bedrooms) might have two bathrooms, or even 2.5. But you're not going to get your own at your budget.

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wonka
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anon903817
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby anon903817 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:36 pm

How far through the waitlist does it usually get for Klarman?

kcam1991
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby kcam1991 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:43 pm

What about Fallon?




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