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.
jbs017
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:06 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jbs017 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:01 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.


So long as we're loading you up with questions about the JD/MPP, I have to ask, how does it work out with regards to extracurriculars? If you make HLR in spring of 1L, for instance, do you postpone that while you do the year at HKS?

tomwatts
Posts: 1383
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:49 am

What I want to do with the JD/MPP is a little up in the air right now, but there are about half a dozen different things that I'm interested for which having the extra year would help. Part of the reason I'm doing it is that I have no background in anything even slightly related to law or the social sciences, and the extra year of classes, together with the extra summer, will help me develop a skill set and resume that make more sense to employers. But to be honest, I could see it playing out a number of ways right now. (Bear in mind that I haven't actually started the program yet; I'm just a 1L.) Generally speaking, I'm interested in doing policy work at some point for some governmental body.

It does cost about as much as another year of law school. I worked for three years before law school and saved up a bunch of money, so my general plan is to pay all but 30K of the HKS cost outright, and graduate with 100% LIPP-eligible debt that I won't necessarily have to pay back. I'm going to meet with SFS when HKS financial aid stuff comes out at the end of the month, and then we'll hammer out a more specific plan.

For law review (and I imagine for BSA and HLAB, too), you still apply in spring of 1L, but you don't start with the group until after the year at HKS. I'm not 100% sure how it works with other groups -- I'm a mid-level officer with a student-run journal right now, and I have to ask them what's going to happen there. I assume it's similar.

maxpower430
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby maxpower430 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:47 pm

So I read through the thread and didn't see this addressed. I'm pretty positive that I'm going to come here, and I have a longterm-SO who will be in the nyc area for at least the first year I'll be in school. I was wondering if you knew of anyone in similar situations? We're not expecting to see each other every other weekend or anything, but assuming I worked hard/efficiently, would it be feasible to take a few weekends (i.e. 2 or 3) a semester to travel to nyc? I'd still be doing some work over those weekends and I'm fine with reading on a bus or train. Obviously around finals time this changes, but it seems feasible to me assuming I manage my time well (which I think I do). Am I totally off base here? Thanks.

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3567
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:24 pm

maxpower430 wrote:So I read through the thread and didn't see this addressed. I'm pretty positive that I'm going to come here, and I have a longterm-SO who will be in the nyc area for at least the first year I'll be in school. I was wondering if you knew of anyone in similar situations? We're not expecting to see each other every other weekend or anything, but assuming I worked hard/efficiently, would it be feasible to take a few weekends (i.e. 2 or 3) a semester to travel to nyc? I'd still be doing some work over those weekends and I'm fine with reading on a bus or train. Obviously around finals time this changes, but it seems feasible to me assuming I manage my time well (which I think I do). Am I totally off base here? Thanks.


Absolutely. Especially early on in the semester. Just be realistic about it. When you plan take note of LRW deadlines too. Fall semester you also get a "fall break" in October and Thanksgiving, plus maybe another day or too off.

tomwatts
Posts: 1383
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:42 pm

This is quite common. I had the same situation this year, and so did someone else in my section. I went to NYC three times last semester and have been three times this semester (and will probably go one more time). Buses are generally pretty cheap (can be $20 or less roundtrip much of the time), and the ride is usually 4.5-5 hours; many of the buses have electrical outlets and wifi.

But yeah, avoid the weekends before LRW deadlines, and (obviously) the time right before finals.

maxpower430
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby maxpower430 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:59 pm

Thanks guys, I figured it was feasible but wanted to make sure I wasn't being overly optimistic. And good point about the LRW stuff, I hadn't considered that but it makes sense. It's a good thing I don't mind buses haha.

Did you guys mostly go through craigslist for finding apartments? I know housing has been done to the death on this thread, but I'd prefer to not live in the dorms and I'm wary of relying on craigslist if I'll only be up in the area for the ASW. Are there any brokers that are particularly student friendly? Also, assuming I'd like to pay around $1,400/mo for an apt, where would be some good neighborhoods to look? Porter? Thanks.

User avatar
acrossthelake
Posts: 4461
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:47 pm

maxpower430 wrote:Thanks guys, I figured it was feasible but wanted to make sure I wasn't being overly optimistic. And good point about the LRW stuff, I hadn't considered that but it makes sense. It's a good thing I don't mind buses haha.

Did you guys mostly go through craigslist for finding apartments? I know housing has been done to the death on this thread, but I'd prefer to not live in the dorms and I'm wary of relying on craigslist if I'll only be up in the area for the ASW. Are there any brokers that are particularly student friendly? Also, assuming I'd like to pay around $1,400/mo for an apt, where would be some good neighborhoods to look? Porter? Thanks.


$1,400/mo for one person in an apt is feasible if you're willing to get away from Harvard Square and probably up to Porter, if not as far as Davis. I did Craigslist, but I also was in Boston for the entirety of my spring break. Don't know anything about brokers, sorry.

concurrent fork
Posts: 669
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:40 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby concurrent fork » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:51 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
maxpower430 wrote:Thanks guys, I figured it was feasible but wanted to make sure I wasn't being overly optimistic. And good point about the LRW stuff, I hadn't considered that but it makes sense. It's a good thing I don't mind buses haha.

Did you guys mostly go through craigslist for finding apartments? I know housing has been done to the death on this thread, but I'd prefer to not live in the dorms and I'm wary of relying on craigslist if I'll only be up in the area for the ASW. Are there any brokers that are particularly student friendly? Also, assuming I'd like to pay around $1,400/mo for an apt, where would be some good neighborhoods to look? Porter? Thanks.


$1,400/mo for one person in an apt is feasible if you're willing to get away from Harvard Square and probably up to Porter, if not as far as Davis. I did Craigslist, but I also was in Boston for the entirety of my spring break. Don't know anything about brokers, sorry.

You can get a nice studio pretty much anywhere for $1,400 or less, but yeah you might need to get a bit further from campus for a decent 1 BR. Porter is close, while Davis, Inman and the north side of Central Square can be reasonably close depending on where the building is located.

The brokers all deal with students (a huge slice of their business, especially in Cambridge) and they are mostly all the same. The most common approach is to just look up listings on craigslist and call the broker.

User avatar
beevs
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:30 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby beevs » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:13 pm

Hey everyone,

I can't attend ASW and have to visit on my own. Would you recommend sitting in on a 1L class that maybe requires less explicit legal knowledge and that I would have a better chance of understanding, or should I try to go to an upper level class that is more in line with my interests/has a star professor? Do you have any other recommendations of things to do while I'm there to get the best picture of what Harvard has to offer?

User avatar
ph14
Posts: 3567
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:15 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:15 pm

beevs wrote:Hey everyone,

I can't attend ASW and have to visit on my own. Would you recommend sitting in on a 1L class that maybe requires less explicit legal knowledge and that I would have a better chance of understanding, or should I try to go to an upper level class that is more in line with my interests/has a star professor? Do you have any other recommendations of things to do while I'm there to get the best picture of what Harvard has to offer?


Do both.

User avatar
acrossthelake
Posts: 4461
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:17 am

beevs wrote:Hey everyone,

I can't attend ASW and have to visit on my own. Would you recommend sitting in on a 1L class that maybe requires less explicit legal knowledge and that I would have a better chance of understanding, or should I try to go to an upper level class that is more in line with my interests/has a star professor? Do you have any other recommendations of things to do while I'm there to get the best picture of what Harvard has to offer?


I find that classes very different from section to section and time of year. For example, the day after a brief is due, or the day before, attendance can be lulzy and the people there are half-dead and there to be polite. Other times, people are more alert. I personally didn't find sitting in on a class at ASW remotely useful as a measure of...anything....or an indicator of anything that was to come.

maxpower430
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby maxpower430 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 10:03 am

concurrent fork wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
maxpower430 wrote:Thanks guys, I figured it was feasible but wanted to make sure I wasn't being overly optimistic. And good point about the LRW stuff, I hadn't considered that but it makes sense. It's a good thing I don't mind buses haha.

Did you guys mostly go through craigslist for finding apartments? I know housing has been done to the death on this thread, but I'd prefer to not live in the dorms and I'm wary of relying on craigslist if I'll only be up in the area for the ASW. Are there any brokers that are particularly student friendly? Also, assuming I'd like to pay around $1,400/mo for an apt, where would be some good neighborhoods to look? Porter? Thanks.


$1,400/mo for one person in an apt is feasible if you're willing to get away from Harvard Square and probably up to Porter, if not as far as Davis. I did Craigslist, but I also was in Boston for the entirety of my spring break. Don't know anything about brokers, sorry.

You can get a nice studio pretty much anywhere for $1,400 or less, but yeah you might need to get a bit further from campus for a decent 1 BR. Porter is close, while Davis, Inman and the north side of Central Square can be reasonably close depending on where the building is located.

The brokers all deal with students (a huge slice of their business, especially in Cambridge) and they are mostly all the same. The most common approach is to just look up listings on craigslist and call the broker.



Cool thanks, I'd actually be totally okay with a studio as well, I more meant a place of my own. I'll keep that in mind about the locations as well, from what little I've read on here Porter seems pretty sweet, but assuming those other areas are reasonably close I'll add them to my search. One last housing thing, I read earlier on this thread I should be prepared to sign for a place over the ASW, would I potentially have to eat a month or two of rent in that situation or are the brokers understanding about the student situation? Thanks.

User avatar
DoubleChecks
Posts: 2332
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:46 am

maxpower430 wrote:Thanks guys, I figured it was feasible but wanted to make sure I wasn't being overly optimistic. And good point about the LRW stuff, I hadn't considered that but it makes sense. It's a good thing I don't mind buses haha.

Did you guys mostly go through craigslist for finding apartments? I know housing has been done to the death on this thread, but I'd prefer to not live in the dorms and I'm wary of relying on craigslist if I'll only be up in the area for the ASW. Are there any brokers that are particularly student friendly? Also, assuming I'd like to pay around $1,400/mo for an apt, where would be some good neighborhoods to look? Porter? Thanks.


If you shell out a tad more, $1500 or so, you can live in HRES studio housing over at Akron or Cowperthwaite (closer). Very new (4 yrs old?) buildings, which is like unheard of in Boston haha. Pricey, but per usual comes with heat/water/great internet speeds. About 15-18 min walk to the law school campus, but bus stops in front of Cowperthwaite every 10 min until 4:00 (then it's like every 30 ish), and bus stops at law school campus.

I personally am not a fan of taking the T in and out every day to class.

concurrent fork
Posts: 669
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:40 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby concurrent fork » Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:57 am

maxpower430 wrote:Cool thanks, I'd actually be totally okay with a studio as well, I more meant a place of my own. I'll keep that in mind about the locations as well, from what little I've read on here Porter seems pretty sweet, but assuming those other areas are reasonably close I'll add them to my search. One last housing thing, I read earlier on this thread I should be prepared to sign for a place over the ASW, would I potentially have to eat a month or two of rent in that situation or are the brokers understanding about the student situation? Thanks.

I think I made that comment a couple of pages back, but by "sign" I just meant sign the lease -- not begin the rental period. Apartments in the Boston area usually turn over in August and September to coincide with student schedules (you won't have to eat rent). However, many of them are claimed/signed for by a new tenant in April or even earlier. So, my point was that if you plan to look at places over ASW, you should be prepared to sign a lease within a couple of days after viewing a place. If you come back a month later, everything you saw initially will probably have rented already.

With your budget I expect you will find something pretty easily. In my experience, students who had difficulty finding something either (1) came from a low CoL area and were unrealistic about how far their money would go; or (2) at the other extreme were trying to find the "perfect" place (new construction, in-unit laundry, parking -- all of which are rare in Cambridge).

User avatar
beevs
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:30 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby beevs » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:15 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
beevs wrote:Hey everyone,

I can't attend ASW and have to visit on my own. Would you recommend sitting in on a 1L class that maybe requires less explicit legal knowledge and that I would have a better chance of understanding, or should I try to go to an upper level class that is more in line with my interests/has a star professor? Do you have any other recommendations of things to do while I'm there to get the best picture of what Harvard has to offer?


I find that classes very different from section to section and time of year. For example, the day after a brief is due, or the day before, attendance can be lulzy and the people there are half-dead and there to be polite. Other times, people are more alert. I personally didn't find sitting in on a class at ASW remotely useful as a measure of...anything....or an indicator of anything that was to come.



Yeah, this is something I was worried about. Even when I visited classes at my undergrad toward the end of a school year it was almost pointless, but at least I got a picture of how the teachers treated the class and it was one more opportunity to meet students (After class, of course). I don't expect it to be magical, but I figure if I'm there for a whole day, I may as well.

maxpower430
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby maxpower430 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:13 pm

Ah gotcha, thank you for clarifying, that makes a lot of sense. And yeah, coming from NYC-metro most of the places I'm looking at seem like steals compared to what I saw while searching here haha.

Doublechecks, do you think that would be fine 1L year? It seems like a lot of that housing is tough for 1Ls to get, though I could easily be confusing things. Also my preference would be to stick closer to campus, but if my budget won't allow that, those sound like excellent options as well.

User avatar
freestallion
Posts: 916
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:17 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby freestallion » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:40 pm

Does anyone know if it is possible to do a dual or joint degree with a public policy/international affairs school *other* than HKS? The HKS curriculum isn't that strong for what I'm interested in, and I would be interested in trying to do a joint degree with HLS and Columbia SIPA or SAIS. Is this possible at all...?

User avatar
acrossthelake
Posts: 4461
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:51 pm

freestallion wrote:Does anyone know if it is possible to do a dual or joint degree with a public policy/international affairs school *other* than HKS? The HKS curriculum isn't that strong for what I'm interested in, and I would be interested in trying to do a joint degree with HLS and Columbia SIPA or SAIS. Is this possible at all...?


You're definitely best off asking the school itself. I definitely haven't heard of a joint degree with Columbia, but who knows what expections they might be willing to make.

tomwatts
Posts: 1383
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:52 pm

freestallion wrote:Does anyone know if it is possible to do a dual or joint degree with a public policy/international affairs school *other* than HKS? The HKS curriculum isn't that strong for what I'm interested in, and I would be interested in trying to do a joint degree with HLS and Columbia SIPA or SAIS. Is this possible at all...?

I asked about this. As I understand it (and I could be wrong, so you should also ask the school), it's possible to do a concurrent degree, but not a joint degree. You can go on leave for more or less any reason for a few years, so if you want to leave HLS temporarily and do two years at SIPA or wherever, you can do that without trouble. But it makes for five total years, not four. If you felt like it and if the other school agreed, you could even do some sort of alternation: one year at HLS, one year at other school, one year at HLS, one year at other school, one year at HLS. The only real restriction is that you have to finish your law degree within (I think) seven years total.

I think there's some sort of special status with the Fletcher School at Tufts, but I can't track down anything specific about it. (I'd expect it to be here, but it doesn't say anything special there.)

User avatar
freestallion
Posts: 916
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:17 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby freestallion » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:54 pm

tomwatts wrote:
freestallion wrote:Does anyone know if it is possible to do a dual or joint degree with a public policy/international affairs school *other* than HKS? The HKS curriculum isn't that strong for what I'm interested in, and I would be interested in trying to do a joint degree with HLS and Columbia SIPA or SAIS. Is this possible at all...?

I asked about this. As I understand it (and I could be wrong, so you should also ask the school), it's possible to do a concurrent degree, but not a joint degree. You can go on leave for more or less any reason for a few years, so if you want to leave HLS temporarily and do two years at SIPA or wherever, you can do that without trouble. But it makes for five total years, not four. If you felt like it and if the other school agreed, you could even do some sort of alternation: one year at HLS, one year at other school, one year at HLS, one year at other school, one year at HLS. The only real restriction is that you have to finish your law degree within (I think) seven years total.

I think there's some sort of special status with the Fletcher School at Tufts, but I can't track down anything specific about it. (I'd expect it to be here, but it doesn't say anything special there.)

That's what I thought; wish there were more joint opportunities as 5 years is not worth the cost. Thanks for the info!

sea15
Posts: 129
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:20 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sea15 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:26 pm

So I am going to be gone the month of May. Is June too late to get an apartment? Or should I travel up in April? Anyone have any insight?

User avatar
acrossthelake
Posts: 4461
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:40 pm

sea15 wrote:So I am going to be gone the month of May. Is June too late to get an apartment? Or should I travel up in April? Anyone have any insight?


It depends how picky you are and how flexible your budget is. Apts. close to campus go fast. Deals go fast. I locked down my current apt. within 48 hours of it being posted on craigslist. You have gunners like ME in the housing market. Adjust accordingly.

sea15
Posts: 129
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:20 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sea15 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:49 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
sea15 wrote:So I am going to be gone the month of May. Is June too late to get an apartment? Or should I travel up in April? Anyone have any insight?


It depends how picky you are and how flexible your budget is. Apts. close to campus go fast. Deals go fast. I locked down my current apt. within 48 hours of it being posted on craigslist. You have gunners like ME in the housing market. Adjust accordingly.


I'm having difficult finding apartments available in August. Plus, I don't live remotely close to Boston and would definitely want to see the place I'm going to be living in. I'm actually considering going through a realtor just to save me a lot of hassle. when did you find your apartment?

User avatar
acrossthelake
Posts: 4461
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 5:27 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:54 pm

sea15 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
sea15 wrote:So I am going to be gone the month of May. Is June too late to get an apartment? Or should I travel up in April? Anyone have any insight?


It depends how picky you are and how flexible your budget is. Apts. close to campus go fast. Deals go fast. I locked down my current apt. within 48 hours of it being posted on craigslist. You have gunners like ME in the housing market. Adjust accordingly.


I'm having difficult finding apartments available in August. Plus, I don't live remotely close to Boston and would definitely want to see the place I'm going to be living in. I'm actually considering going through a realtor just to save me a lot of hassle. when did you find your apartment?


For next year, posted on the Thursday before Spring Break on Campus. Put down my security deposit that Saturday.
For this year, I visited during my senior year spring break.

August 1sts close to campus get harder to find as time progresses since both 1Ls and 2Ls prefer it.

maxpower430
Posts: 269
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:16 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby maxpower430 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:39 pm

I was wondering if anyone could speak to the reliability of buses? In my search for housing, I've seen a few places that are near/at my price range and are on top of the campus, and then everything else seems to be about a 20-25 minute walk away from the law school. With buses though, it'd be less than 10 (in theory). Is counting on buses something that's advisable? Or does it make more sense to just suck it up 1L and pay a bit extra for a place that's really close and then move to a cheaper/further place 2/3L? Thanks.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: haus and 11 guests