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

Postby roranoa » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:32 pm

englawyer wrote:
roranoa wrote:
splbagel wrote:
roranoa wrote:I wanted to ask you guys this just because you guys go to Harvard.

How bad do you think it is to have a 1year gap in your resume? That is, 1 year gap between undergrad and law school. For employment sake I mean.


What were you doing in that year? Unemployed and looking for work? Caring for an aging relative? Volunteer work? Travelling the globe?


The first half, I worked at some company for about a month and quit. the next half job hunting. I know, it sucks. I should've been travelling the globe.


you are still in the second half of that year off right? i would try to find something asap (even volunteer or unpaid internship) for now until august. the less gap the better. this could have an effect for at least your 1L job search.


How far across my career would this effect me? Would it also effect me beyond my 1L job search? Because if I can't get a job after getting into law school. There's no point in going right? Or would I be fine if I could just get good grades during 1L?(Although no one can guarantee that)

Do you guys think this gap year is critical? Would I be scrutinized on this or would interviewers just make a simple inquiry and move on? If it is critical, why does it matter if I have a gap year?

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:39 am

It's not ideal, but it's not a dealbreaker.

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:49 am

roranoa wrote:Do you guys think this gap year is critical? Would I be scrutinized on this or would interviewers just make a simple inquiry and move on? If it is critical, why does it matter if I have a gap year?


in your interviews (both 1L and 2L), there is a high chance that you will be asked "so what did you end up doing during the year before LS". and you want to have a half-decent answer to that (as I said, it's not too late. you can just say "well i searched for a job a while but couldn't find anything, so I ended up working at starbucks for a few months before LS"). resume gaps are considered sketchy and undesirable..you can google this readily.

gaps wouldn't seem to be a big deal , but you have to remember they are going to be interviewing 10 other HLS students that day that don't have a gap, and those other students are your competition. some people won't care, and good grades can certainly help overcome it...but it will be a black (or grey) mark to at least some interviewers. i don't think it should affect your decision to attend (you will still be able to get a job) but it will likely hamper your search somewhat.

maxpower430
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby maxpower430 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:35 am

englawyer wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Porter is probably preferable to Davis for 1L. I know a lot of ppl up at Porter, and 2Ls/3Ls up at Davis, but no 1Ls at Davis. I don't think being dependent on the bus is that great for 1L.


I know some people that did Davis for 1L. It is doable but Davis residents usually take the train (red line ) to harvard station rather than take the bus. The 77 does not go to davis, and the 96 is too infrequent.


Hmm interesting stuff guys, thanks. I think I will cross Davis off my list for 1L at least. I don't have a problem taking the bus on a consistent basis (as long as it is consistent, which appears to be the case for the #77), but I'm hoping I can find a place that's a 15ish minute walk. So from what I can gather, Porter might be my best option, but we'll see.

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:52 pm

maxpower430 wrote:
englawyer wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Porter is probably preferable to Davis for 1L. I know a lot of ppl up at Porter, and 2Ls/3Ls up at Davis, but no 1Ls at Davis. I don't think being dependent on the bus is that great for 1L.


I know some people that did Davis for 1L. It is doable but Davis residents usually take the train (red line ) to harvard station rather than take the bus. The 77 does not go to davis, and the 96 is too infrequent.


Hmm interesting stuff guys, thanks. I think I will cross Davis off my list for 1L at least. I don't have a problem taking the bus on a consistent basis (as long as it is consistent, which appears to be the case for the #77), but I'm hoping I can find a place that's a 15ish minute walk. So from what I can gather, Porter might be my best option, but we'll see.


sounds like Porter is a good choice. another side benefit of Porter is that you probably have faster access to Boston than anyone living on campus and/or apartments close by to campus. you can get the Red Line@Porter rather than Harvard Sq. then again, most people hardly ever, or never, go into Boston due to laziness/time crunch.

goducks01
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby goducks01 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:48 pm

I just (miraculously) got in at HLS, planning to do PI, possibly after a clerkship. However, I am seriously considering CLS, NYU, and Chicago (with no $$ offers yet at either) for one reason- Comparatively, HLS’ LRAP seems to be rather terrible for PI peeps. It’s definitely more flexible, but since I’m certain I want to do PI, I would end up paying a lot more of under LIPP as long as I make more than $45k.

On the other hand, I also hope to go into academia after 10-15 yrs in PI, and Harvard is definitely better for clerkships/professorships. Thoughts and help are much appreciated.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:17 pm

There's a donut hole right around 70-80K where other schools' LRAPs are more generous than LIPP is, if you're staying in public interest for at least 10 years. What LIPP does for you is that it covers virtually any work and, at the 50-60K range, you pay next to nothing of your loans, all while not having to commit to anything in particular. So you can transition from public interest to a firm or vice-versa and you're still covered for your PI time.

It's hard (really hard) to get a job in academia after a long (more than 3-5 years) career in practice. It's hard to get a job in legal academia at all, but the standard is publishing law review articles. That's often hard to do when you're in practice. (People do manage to practice and then go into academia, but it's hard.)

If you tell NYU that you got into Harvard, they will throw money at you to try to buy you away. Columbia and Chicago are less blatant about it, but NYU Law has a ridiculous amount of merit scholarship money that it tosses at people to get top students. So if you don't want to deal with the debt, you could negotiate a scholarship with NYU. (By which I mean to fill out the Need Access and tell them you got into Harvard. You don't even really have to negotiate.)

curiousgeorges
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby curiousgeorges » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:58 pm

It's hard (really hard) to get a job in academia after a long (more than 3-5 years) career in practice. It's hard to get a job in legal academia at all, but the standard is publishing law review articles. That's often hard to do when you're in practice.


As a PI attorney who recently published a law review paper, this is all very true. From reading goducks' description of their interests, though, I was wondering if they were also interested in a clinical professorship. 10-15 years in PI + an HYS JD is a great combination if seeking a solid clinical professorship gig. Of course, clinical profs are viewed as lower on the academic food chain than tenured professors, but I think that for some people, the mix of work involved in clinical teaching is actually a better fit: you teach students, you represent clients, you may have the opportunity to write some academic papers (some schools may expect this; other schools may leave very little time for this), and you may do policy work, depending on the school/clinic. For me personally, this seems like a much more desirable mix than tenure-track teaching + writing academic papers. (Congrats on the HLS admission, btw.)

ETA If you're interested in tenured academia, though, this is the time-honored overview of how to get there: http://ww3.lawschool.cornell.edu/facult ... aching.htm

justinp
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby justinp » Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:44 pm

Quick question-- do most all of the places where students frequently live (on-campus dorms, H-owned apts, etc.) have good wifi? I'm looking at getting a macbook air, and don't want to show up and feel like a tool if all of the sudden I need ethernet all the time.

Geneva
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Geneva » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:08 am

As of 3/22, my application to HLS is "on hold", and I am encouraged to update my file with new information/info on why I want to attend Harvard. I plan to send in a LOCI about recent work/volunteer experience. Would it be helpful, hurtful, or neutral to mention that I was accepted at SLS (in the context of other positive comments about HLS)? Thanks!

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:20 pm

justinp wrote:Quick question-- do most all of the places where students frequently live (on-campus dorms, H-owned apts, etc.) have good wifi? I'm looking at getting a macbook air, and don't want to show up and feel like a tool if all of the sudden I need ethernet all the time.

The entire campus is blanketed with wifi, so the dorms are covered. I don't know about the apartments.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:22 pm

Geneva wrote:As of 3/22, my application to HLS is "on hold", and I am encouraged to update my file with new information/info on why I want to attend Harvard. I plan to send in a LOCI about recent work/volunteer experience. Would it be helpful, hurtful, or neutral to mention that I was accepted at SLS (in the context of other positive comments about HLS)? Thanks!


I haven't done anything of that nature, so I'm not sure how good/bad it'll be perceived. On a personal level if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't.

Applying_Late
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Applying_Late » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:46 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
Geneva wrote:As of 3/22, my application to HLS is "on hold", and I am encouraged to update my file with new information/info on why I want to attend Harvard. I plan to send in a LOCI about recent work/volunteer experience. Would it be helpful, hurtful, or neutral to mention that I was accepted at SLS (in the context of other positive comments about HLS)? Thanks!


I haven't done anything of that nature, so I'm not sure how good/bad it'll be perceived. On a personal level if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't.


I disagree. I would. I know one kid who got into Yale and sent in a LOCI saying that Harvard is her first choice. Not long thereafter Harvard gave her an interview and then an acceptance. If you have valid reasons for choosing H over S, state them. On the other hand, just sayin "hi idiots, I got into the number 2," and leaving it at that will get you nowhere.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:51 pm

Applying_Late wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
Geneva wrote:As of 3/22, my application to HLS is "on hold", and I am encouraged to update my file with new information/info on why I want to attend Harvard. I plan to send in a LOCI about recent work/volunteer experience. Would it be helpful, hurtful, or neutral to mention that I was accepted at SLS (in the context of other positive comments about HLS)? Thanks!


I haven't done anything of that nature, so I'm not sure how good/bad it'll be perceived. On a personal level if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't.


I disagree. I would. I know one kid who got into Yale and sent in a LOCI saying that Harvard is her first choice. Not long thereafter Harvard gave her an interview and then an acceptance. If you have valid reasons for choosing H over S, state them. On the other hand, just sayin "hi idiots, I got into the number 2," and leaving it at that will get you nowhere.


I guess it depends on how you write it out. I think if you weave into a general thing of why Harvard it works, but I def. wouldn't make it just "I got into SLS". Like general name-dropping, I'd try to be somewhat subtle about it.

Geneva
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Geneva » Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:11 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
Applying_Late wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
Geneva wrote:As of 3/22, my application to HLS is "on hold", and I am encouraged to update my file with new information/info on why I want to attend Harvard. I plan to send in a LOCI about recent work/volunteer experience. Would it be helpful, hurtful, or neutral to mention that I was accepted at SLS (in the context of other positive comments about HLS)? Thanks!


I haven't done anything of that nature, so I'm not sure how good/bad it'll be perceived. On a personal level if I were in your shoes, I wouldn't.


I disagree. I would. I know one kid who got into Yale and sent in a LOCI saying that Harvard is her first choice. Not long thereafter Harvard gave her an interview and then an acceptance. If you have valid reasons for choosing H over S, state them. On the other hand, just sayin "hi idiots, I got into the number 2," and leaving it at that will get you nowhere.


I guess it depends on how you write it out. I think if you weave into a general thing of why Harvard it works, but I def. wouldn't make it just "I got into SLS". Like general name-dropping, I'd try to be somewhat subtle about it.


Right, I would only do it this way. Thanks! I know this has been discussed ad nauseum, but any more info/personal experiences/opinions on why H over SY would be greatly appreciated! On the one hand, I've heard that it's nearly impossible to go wrong with the T3 and that the decision (in the unlikely event that I am fortunate enough to have a decision to make) should largely be a matter of individual career goals and "fit". On the other, I am having an awfully hard time getting a general grasp of the pros/cons and differences at the margins. Thanks so much.

Qwerty12345
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Qwerty12345 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:29 am

Hello,

Thanks for doing this! I'm a sophomore considering law school and I have a few questions about HLS. From the school's website (http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/spotlig ... dents.html), I have gotten the impression that after attending HLS more than after attending any other law schools, students follow non-typical paths, working for NGOs, the UN, in diplomacy, etc... I would imagine this may be due to the availability of joint and concurrent degree, and the networking opportunities. I was wondering if you think this would be true or not.
Also, I realize that most people would say that it is very naive to go to law school in hope to make a positive contribution to society and help other people, as well as enter a profession that would be fulfilling because of its intellectual challenges (problem solving, constant thrive for precision, etc...), but I was wondering if maybe HLS would be a place where one could really meet such goals. Thanks for your answers!

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:57 pm

Qwerty12345 wrote:Hello,

Thanks for doing this! I'm a sophomore considering law school and I have a few questions about HLS. From the school's website (http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/spotlig ... dents.html), I have gotten the impression that after attending HLS more than after attending any other law schools, students follow non-typical paths, working for NGOs, the UN, in diplomacy, etc... I would imagine this may be due to the availability of joint and concurrent degree, and the networking opportunities. I was wondering if you think this would be true or not.
Also, I realize that most people would say that it is very naive to go to law school in hope to make a positive contribution to society and help other people, as well as enter a profession that would be fulfilling because of its intellectual challenges (problem solving, constant thrive for precision, etc...), but I was wondering if maybe HLS would be a place where one could really meet such goals. Thanks for your answers!


I think there are better ways to make a positive contribution to society outside of becoming a lawyer, but that it's still something you can do. I think if that's your goal, you need to come here with a solid will. There are a lot of incentives to go into the private instead of public sector, and I know a fair # of public-interested oriented people who feel like they're swimming upstream. There are definitely a lot of resources from the school itself, the pressure is more social in that you're going against the grain. There are a mighty number of people you see coming here to "help society" who end up just going straight into big law firms--and for a fair # of issues, if you care about X issue, firms are going to be on the opposite side of the one you believe in. Law school itself is intellectually unchallenging, it's mostly just a dull grind, but I don't have grounds to say what the profession will be like. I imagine too, that a number of those who start in biglaw end up going into more diverse paths afterward.

ETA: The world filter is fun today.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:34 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
Qwerty12345 wrote:Hello,

Thanks for doing this! I'm a sophomore considering law school and I have a few questions about HLS. From the school's website (http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/spotlig ... dents.html), I have gotten the impression that after attending HLS more than after attending any other law schools, students follow non-typical paths, working for NGOs, the UN, in diplomacy, etc... I would imagine this may be due to the availability of joint and concurrent degree, and the networking opportunities. I was wondering if you think this would be true or not.
Also, I realize that most people would say that it is very naive to go to law school in hope to make a positive contribution to society and help other people, as well as enter a profession that would be fulfilling because of its intellectual challenges (problem solving, constant thrive for precision, etc...), but I was wondering if maybe HLS would be a place where one could really meet such goals. Thanks for your answers!


I think there are better ways to make a positive contribution to society outside of becoming a lawyer, but that it's still something you can do. I think if that's your goal, you need to come here with a solid will. There are a lot of incentives to go into the private instead of public sector, and I know a fair # of public-interested oriented people who feel like they're swimming upstream. There are definitely a lot of resources from the school itself, the pressure is more social in that you're going against the grain. There are a mighty number of people you see coming here to "help society" who end up just going straight into big law firms--and for a fair # of issues, if you care about X issue, firms are going to be on the opposite side of the one you believe in. Law school itself is intellectually unchallenging, it's mostly just a dull grind, but I don't have grounds to say what the profession will be like. I imagine too, that a number of those who start in biglaw end up going into more diverse paths afterward.

ETA: The world filter is fun today.


Just commenting on the bolded: for the most part I agree, but it sort of depends what you're looking for. For those that are more interested in practical solutions (i.e. just not that into academia), I think the profession itself is great for that and provides a lot of intellectual challenges/interesting perspectives to solving real issues. For those that are more interested in academia, a lot of professors are very theory-oriented...with some courses being a lot better at it than others. If you want to go down that rabbit hole lol, it is VERY different from the other end of the spectrum imo, and can be great for those that really seek that sort of environment.

Geneva
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Geneva » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:39 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:Just commenting on the bolded: for the most part I agree, but it sort of depends what you're looking for. For those that are more interested in practical solutions (i.e. just not that into academia), I think the profession itself is great for that and provides a lot of intellectual challenges/interesting perspectives to solving real issues. For those that are more interested in academia, a lot of professors are very theory-oriented...with some courses being a lot better at it than others. If you want to go down that rabbit hole lol, it is VERY different from the other end of the spectrum imo, and can be great for those that really seek that sort of environment.


For those of us interested in academia and a more theoretical approach, would you recommend Harvard over Stanford? I go the impression that most top schools are pretty theoretical. Is it possible to break into academia if we don't get a Phd in another field or have a particular area of expertise?

Also, any more general feedback about the pros and cons of Harvard vs Stanford would be greatly appreciated:) Thanks so much for taking questions!!!

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:01 pm

Geneva wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:Just commenting on the bolded: for the most part I agree, but it sort of depends what you're looking for. For those that are more interested in practical solutions (i.e. just not that into academia), I think the profession itself is great for that and provides a lot of intellectual challenges/interesting perspectives to solving real issues. For those that are more interested in academia, a lot of professors are very theory-oriented...with some courses being a lot better at it than others. If you want to go down that rabbit hole lol, it is VERY different from the other end of the spectrum imo, and can be great for those that really seek that sort of environment.


For those of us interested in academia and a more theoretical approach, would you recommend Harvard over Stanford? I go the impression that most top schools are pretty theoretical. Is it possible to break into academia if we don't get a Phd in another field or have a particular area of expertise?

Also, any more general feedback about the pros and cons of Harvard vs Stanford would be greatly appreciated:) Thanks so much for taking questions!!!


It's going to depend on which profs you get by chance your 1L year and those that you target 2L & 3L year, not whether you go to HLS or SLS.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:47 am

acrossthelake wrote:
Geneva wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:Just commenting on the bolded: for the most part I agree, but it sort of depends what you're looking for. For those that are more interested in practical solutions (i.e. just not that into academia), I think the profession itself is great for that and provides a lot of intellectual challenges/interesting perspectives to solving real issues. For those that are more interested in academia, a lot of professors are very theory-oriented...with some courses being a lot better at it than others. If you want to go down that rabbit hole lol, it is VERY different from the other end of the spectrum imo, and can be great for those that really seek that sort of environment.


For those of us interested in academia and a more theoretical approach, would you recommend Harvard over Stanford? I go the impression that most top schools are pretty theoretical. Is it possible to break into academia if we don't get a Phd in another field or have a particular area of expertise?

Also, any more general feedback about the pros and cons of Harvard vs Stanford would be greatly appreciated:) Thanks so much for taking questions!!!


It's going to depend on which profs you get by chance your 1L year and those that you target 2L & 3L year, not whether you go to HLS or SLS.


Right. This gets tough. Lots of variables. What field are you interested in? Particular topic? Is the pre-eminent professor at HLS or SLS? Heck, is that pre-eminent scholar personable (or else second best may be better as an academic mentor)? Kind of a crapshoot in reality lol.

Pros and cons of HLS vs. SLS...tough for me since I have only attended one :P Don't think you can really go wrong with either.

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:47 am

acrossthelake wrote:
Geneva wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:Just commenting on the bolded: for the most part I agree, but it sort of depends what you're looking for. For those that are more interested in practical solutions (i.e. just not that into academia), I think the profession itself is great for that and provides a lot of intellectual challenges/interesting perspectives to solving real issues. For those that are more interested in academia, a lot of professors are very theory-oriented...with some courses being a lot better at it than others. If you want to go down that rabbit hole lol, it is VERY different from the other end of the spectrum imo, and can be great for those that really seek that sort of environment.


For those of us interested in academia and a more theoretical approach, would you recommend Harvard over Stanford? I go the impression that most top schools are pretty theoretical. Is it possible to break into academia if we don't get a Phd in another field or have a particular area of expertise?

Also, any more general feedback about the pros and cons of Harvard vs Stanford would be greatly appreciated:) Thanks so much for taking questions!!!


It's going to depend on which profs you get by chance your 1L year and those that you target 2L & 3L year, not whether you go to HLS or SLS.


it is by chance, but i have also heard that they try to make sure every section has at least one or two popular/good professors. i highly doubt anyone in the administration would ever confirm that though.

at either school it will come down to killing it 1L year, law review, faculty connections and recs, clerkship, publishing, etc. a tough path at either school. law school, even HYS, might not be the right choice if you are exclusively interested in academia because you have to assume you will be median-ish which would leave you with only a small or no chance at academia.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:46 pm

englawyer wrote:at either school it will come down to killing it 1L year, law review, faculty connections and recs, clerkship, publishing, etc. a tough path at either school. law school, even HYS, might not be the right choice if you are exclusively interested in academia because you have to assume you will be median-ish which would leave you with only a small or no chance at academia.

Just adding texture to the above...

At least legal academia is hiring. There might not be more than a couple of professorships of, say, anthropology available in the entire US in any given year. There are usually a fair number of law professorships.

The single most important thing is publishing. Getting a good faculty mentor or two usually is part of that process and is also pretty important. Law review at HLS is helpful but not necessary for academia, and a clerkship is sort of assumed, but it doesn't have to be a Supreme Court clerkship. (One of my profs clerked in Alaska, I think for the state supreme court.) Good grades are helpful for all of the above but not strictly necessary otherwise.

Harvard produces more of the law professors in the world than Stanford does, but only because it's several times as large. Still, that can be useful. I suspect you'd be hard-pressed to find a law faculty anywhere that isn't a good percentage HLS alums.

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kulshan
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby kulshan » Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:54 pm

If you're considering academia, you should also keep in mind that Stanford's LRAP doesn't cover academic jobs, like Harvard and Yale's programs do. So if you are planning on (or thinking about) going into academia within 10 years of graduating law school, you'll be paying for it (literally).

Geneva
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Geneva » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:34 pm

Thank you for all the thoughtful responses about academia! Even outside of academia, Stanford's LRAP strikes me as one of the biggest drawbacks of choosing SLS instead of HLS. I'm currently on hold at HLS and may not have a decision to make, but want to be prepared in case I am lucky enough to get a KB1.




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