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

Postby lessthanjake » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:49 pm

kulshan wrote: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).


I did not know this. That's actually a pretty big deal. Getting academia is obviously pretty unlikely, so for most people this difference won't matter, but if you're set on academia, then Harvard and Stanford provide about equal chances of success at getting a job. With equal chances of getting a job, the fact that Harvard provides a better financial outlook for those who DO get a job seems to make it the better option for academia, right?

The only exception is if a student goes into academia more than 10 years after graduating. And while that does happen, my sense is that that's the exception rather than the rule.

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:53 pm

kulshan wrote: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).


correct me if wrong, but i thought entry lvl salaries for academia were the first yr associate salary in local law firms? IE you start tenure track at BU Law, you get paid 160k? if so, LRAP probably wouldn't apply to either school right?

Geneva
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Geneva » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:54 pm

lessthanjake wrote:
kulshan wrote: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).


I did not know this. That's actually a pretty big deal. Getting academia is obviously pretty unlikely, so for most people this difference won't matter, but if you're set on academia, then Harvard and Stanford provide about equal chances of success at getting a job. With equal chances of getting a job, the fact that Harvard provides a better financial outlook for those who DO get a job seems to make it the better option for academia, right?

The only exception is if a student goes into academia more than 10 years after graduating. And while that does happen, my sense is that that's the exception rather than the rule.

I feel like Harvard's LRAP is better for everything except standard PI work, in which case the two are comparable. This is actually a big deal for me, as I'm not pining after biglaw.

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kulshan
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby kulshan » Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:13 pm

englawyer wrote:
kulshan wrote: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).


correct me if wrong, but i thought entry lvl salaries for academia were the first yr associate salary in local law firms? IE you start tenure track at BU Law, you get paid 160k? if so, LRAP probably wouldn't apply to either school right?


I don't think so, but if that's the case, I'll take it ;). When I go on the academic job market, I'll probably apply to some jobs in philosophy departments, where the pay is much less (Harvard's LRAP will probably cover all my loans if I get one of these jobs). The pay is a lot higher in legal academia, but I was thinking starting pay is more like 80-100K.

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:17 pm

kulshan wrote:
englawyer wrote:
kulshan wrote: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).


correct me if wrong, but i thought entry lvl salaries for academia were the first yr associate salary in local law firms? IE you start tenure track at BU Law, you get paid 160k? if so, LRAP probably wouldn't apply to either school right?


I don't think so, but if that's the case, I'll take it ;). When I go on the academic job market, I'll probably apply to some jobs in philosophy departments, where the pay is much less (Harvard's LRAP will probably cover all my loans if I get one of these jobs). The pay is a lot higher in legal academia, but I was thinking starting pay is more like 80-100K.


not sure if its a t-14 specific phenomenon, but it seems true at least at U-Mich:

http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot. ... -goes.html

"In 2010, the highest-paid members of the faculty had base salaries of $286K, while the dean was paid $447K. Salaries for first-year tenure-track faculty were $158K. "

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:25 pm

Law professor salaries vary a lot. Michigan is pretty far out on the high end. Most others are more in the 80-120K range, with a good bump when you get tenure.

(The above is just the first listing I found that seemed reasonably reliable. There are probably better lists in existence.)

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kulshan
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby kulshan » Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:16 pm

tomwatts wrote:Law professor salaries vary a lot. Michigan is pretty far out on the high end. Most others are more in the 80-120K range, with a good bump when you get tenure.

(The above is just the first listing I found that seemed reasonably reliable. There are probably better lists in existence.)


Yeah, this is about what I'd been thinking. Contrast that with starting salaries for TT positions in philosophy departments, which are more like 35-65K.

ignatiusr
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ignatiusr » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:10 pm

kulshan wrote:
tomwatts wrote:Law professor salaries vary a lot. Michigan is pretty far out on the high end. Most others are more in the 80-120K range, with a good bump when you get tenure.

(The above is just the first listing I found that seemed reasonably reliable. There are probably better lists in existence.)


Yeah, this is about what I'd been thinking. Contrast that with starting salaries for TT positions in philosophy departments, which are more like 35-65K.


Since they're subsidized by the government, salaries at public universities are viewable via government databases. I checked the salaries at my local public law schools a few months ago; the school ranked ~90 started their professors out at around 80k, and the school ranked ~50 started them out at 100k.

Every article I've read about legal academia tries to terrify me into believing it's a virtually impenetrable market. I know there's a good reason for that-- it's clearly a very, very difficult path. However, the faculty bios I've read online don't seem to reinforce the notion that you must make law review and you must clerk for a high profile justice in order to be competitive, at least if you graduate from HYS. One of the young professors at the aforementioned top ~50 school, for example, is a recent HLS grad who worked at a secondary law journal, did not clerk at all, and has only one publication to her credit (she is an expert in tax law, though--perhaps that's a very marketable research focus?). I don't mean to underestimate the challenge of breaking into academia, but I also think it's reasonable for an HLS student to view it as a legitimate, achievable career goal, as long as you have a backup plan.

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kulshan
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby kulshan » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:41 pm

ignatiusr wrote:
kulshan wrote:
tomwatts wrote:Law professor salaries vary a lot. Michigan is pretty far out on the high end. Most others are more in the 80-120K range, with a good bump when you get tenure.

(The above is just the first listing I found that seemed reasonably reliable. There are probably better lists in existence.)


Yeah, this is about what I'd been thinking. Contrast that with starting salaries for TT positions in philosophy departments, which are more like 35-65K.


Since they're subsidized by the government, salaries at public universities are viewable via government databases. I checked the salaries at my local public law schools a few months ago; the school ranked ~90 started their professors out at around 80k, and the school ranked ~50 started them out at 100k.

Every article I've read about legal academia tries to terrify me into believing it's a virtually impenetrable market. I know there's a good reason for that-- it's clearly a very, very difficult path. However, the faculty bios I've read online don't seem to reinforce the notion that you must make law review and you must clerk for a high profile justice in order to be competitive, at least if you graduate from HYS. One of the young professors at the aforementioned top ~50 school, for example, is a recent HLS grad who worked at a secondary law journal, did not clerk at all, and has only one publication to her credit (she is an expert in tax law, though--perhaps that's a very marketable research focus?). I don't mean to underestimate the challenge of breaking into academia, but I also think it's reasonable for an HLS student to view it as a legitimate, achievable career goal, as long as you have a backup plan.


FWIW, I was told at ASW by multiple people that basically everyone with a serious application who wants a law teaching job out of HLS gets it (after a clerkship or fellowship, usually). They have some alums apply after practicing for awhile who don't have any publications, no job talk to give, etc. who don't do especially well. But if you can show that you have a research agenda, you can give a talk, and that sort of stuff, your odds are very good. I was shocked to discover that you don't even have to put together a teaching portfolio or anything, which makes sense since many people's first job teaching will be the one they have teaching at a law school.

Geneva
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Geneva » Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:29 pm

kulshan wrote:
ignatiusr wrote:
Every article I've read about legal academia tries to terrify me into believing it's a virtually impenetrable market. I know there's a good reason for that-- it's clearly a very, very difficult path. However, the faculty bios I've read online don't seem to reinforce the notion that you must make law review and you must clerk for a high profile justice in order to be competitive, at least if you graduate from HYS. One of the young professors at the aforementioned top ~50 school, for example, is a recent HLS grad who worked at a secondary law journal, did not clerk at all, and has only one publication to her credit (she is an expert in tax law, though--perhaps that's a very marketable research focus?). I don't mean to underestimate the challenge of breaking into academia, but I also think it's reasonable for an HLS student to view it as a legitimate, achievable career goal, as long as you have a backup plan.


FWIW, I was told at ASW by multiple people that basically everyone with a serious application who wants a law teaching job out of HLS gets it (after a clerkship or fellowship, usually). They have some alums apply after practicing for awhile who don't have any publications, no job talk to give, etc. who don't do especially well. But if you can show that you have a research agenda, you can give a talk, and that sort of stuff, your odds are very good. I was shocked to discover that you don't even have to put together a teaching portfolio or anything, which makes sense since many people's first job teaching will be the one they have teaching at a law school.

On the one hand, this sounds AMAZING and i wonder if is also the case at Stanford/Yale.
On the other hand, bolded text makes me hesitant to believe it is true. Why? Bc all the ASWs I've attended have inflated the reality of the job market in some way or another.

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kulshan
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby kulshan » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:03 pm

Geneva wrote:On the one hand, this sounds AMAZING and i wonder if is also the case at Stanford/Yale.
On the other hand, bolded text makes me hesitant to believe it is true. Why? Bc all the ASWs I've attended have inflated the reality of the job market in some way or another.


To be sure, people should not be going to any law school (even HYS) assuming that they'll get a job in academia. The odds are certainly better there than other law schools, and for people who can prove they can write for an academic audience, have some interesting research agenda, and want to do it, it's at least a reasonable ambition. Like you said earlier, it's good to have a backup plan and be open to doing other things.

phx
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby phx » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:40 pm

When's the best time to start a lease? I would imagine it's sometime before or after your SA position that way you can move apartments easily if you need to, and not have to put all your things in storage right after the spring semester if you're going to be out of town when your lease ends. When are those windows, typically?

Also, it looks like 1L orientation could be the last week in August this year.

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:07 pm

phx wrote:When's the best time to start a lease? I would imagine it's sometime before or after your SA position that way you can move apartments easily if you need to, and not have to put all your things in storage right after the spring semester if you're going to be out of town when your lease ends. When are those windows, typically?

Also, it looks like 1L orientation could be the last week in August this year.


may->may or august->august. most apartments are 1-year only, so it will be necessary to sublet. thus it doesn't much matter whether you want to sublet THIS summer (before 1L) or NEXT summer. i think the market is more robust in May, but you would basically have to look now (and line up a sublet) so you should probably aim for august->august lease. make sure its a place you can sublet or you might be looking at double rent between 1L and 2L if you don't work in boston.

phx
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby phx » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:32 pm

Awesome, thanks.

PKozi
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby PKozi » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:50 pm

Thank you guys for answering questions. Reading through all this has gotten me very excited about starting at Harvard next year.

I'm interested to learn if any of you have done (or know somebody who has done) legislative advocacy work as part of a clinic at Harvard. I spoke with someone from Clinical and Pro Bono Programs about this and she told me that while they do not have a clinic that focuses directly on this, some clinics do legislative work as part of their overall advocacy. I'm interested in a lot of the topics that the clinics deal with, but I tend to like advocating systemic change and think I would enjoy it more that a piece by piece approach with individual clients.

I suppose my question is what opportunities are there for guided application of law school learning to the lawmaking process?

It would be a shame if there weren't many since Harvard is one of the only top schools near a state capitol.

sarahh
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sarahh » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:20 pm

PKozi wrote:Thank you guys for answering questions. Reading through all this has gotten me very excited about starting at Harvard next year.

I'm interested to learn if any of you have done (or know somebody who has done) legislative advocacy work as part of a clinic at Harvard. I spoke with someone from Clinical and Pro Bono Programs about this and she told me that while they do not have a clinic that focuses directly on this, some clinics do legislative work as part of their overall advocacy. I'm interested in a lot of the topics that the clinics deal with, but I tend to like advocating systemic change and think I would enjoy it more that a piece by piece approach with individual clients.

I suppose my question is what opportunities are there for guided application of law school learning to the lawmaking process?

It would be a shame if there weren't many since Harvard is one of the only top schools near a state capitol.


None of the ones I looked at at the Legal Services Center seem to do advocacy. I think they are very client-focused. I seem to remember hearing something about the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau being involved in passing/pushing for foreclosure-related legislature, but HLAB is somewhat hard to get into. If there is a particular clinic that you are interested in, you may want to contact the instructor directly and see how much room there is to do advocacy.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:56 pm

If you can't do advocacy through a clinic, you can probably do it through a student organization, although not for course credit. I can't immediately think of anyone explicitly doing this, but it doesn't seem beyond possibility.

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Br3v
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Br3v » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:22 pm

kulshan wrote:
Geneva wrote:On the one hand, this sounds AMAZING and i wonder if is also the case at Stanford/Yale.
On the other hand, bolded text makes me hesitant to believe it is true. Why? Bc all the ASWs I've attended have inflated the reality of the job market in some way or another.


To be sure, people should not be going to any law school (even HYS) assuming that they'll get a job in academia. The odds are certainly better there than other law schools, and for people who can prove they can write for an academic audience, have some interesting research agenda, and want to do it, it's at least a reasonable ambition. Like you said earlier, it's good to have a backup plan and be open to doing other things.


I have read on tls that one shouldn't really advertise that they are interested in pursuing legal academia until later on. Is there truth to this? If so, why?

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:26 pm

Br3v wrote:
I have read on tls that one shouldn't really advertise that they are interested in pursuing legal academia until later on. Is there truth to this? If so, why?


I mean, if you want a biglaw job and they ask "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" don't reply "in academia". I think they might wonder if you have a PhD and you did academic work your 1L summer. But firms I've talked to have said that if you can actually manage to write & publish a relevant student note by the end of your 1L year (rare), they consider it a plus.

concurrent fork
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby concurrent fork » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:29 am

acrossthelake wrote:
Br3v wrote:
I have read on tls that one shouldn't really advertise that they are interested in pursuing legal academia until later on. Is there truth to this? If so, why?


I mean, if you want a biglaw job and they ask "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" don't reply "in academia". I think they might wonder if you have a PhD and you did academic work your 1L summer. But firms I've talked to have said that if you can actually manage to write & publish a relevant student note by the end of your 1L year (rare), they consider it a plus.

Agreed I would avoid saying anything to employers, but other than that I know several people that openly talk about wanting to be a law prof. I think there's even a seminar or reading group on the topic.

Edit: Yup here is the reading group http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/cu ... ml?o=39356

ignatiusr
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ignatiusr » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:47 am

concurrent fork wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
Br3v wrote:
I have read on tls that one shouldn't really advertise that they are interested in pursuing legal academia until later on. Is there truth to this? If so, why?


I mean, if you want a biglaw job and they ask "Where do you see yourself in 10 years?" don't reply "in academia". I think they might wonder if you have a PhD and you did academic work your 1L summer. But firms I've talked to have said that if you can actually manage to write & publish a relevant student note by the end of your 1L year (rare), they consider it a plus.

Agreed I would avoid saying anything to employers, but other than that I know several people that openly talk about wanting to be a law prof. I think there's even a seminar or reading group on the topic.

Edit: Yup here is the reading group http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/cu ... ml?o=39356


I've wondered about the advisability of taking a "become a law prof" seminar. If you're worried that firms will suspect you intend to use them as a stepping stone to academia, there really couldn't be a more inconvenient telegraph on your transcript.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:59 am

ignatiusr wrote:
I've wondered about the advisability of taking a "become a law prof" seminar. If you're worried that firms will suspect you intend to use them as a stepping stone to academia, there really couldn't be a more inconvenient telegraph on your transcript.


Just don't take it as a 1L. It won't be on your transcript during EIP. A lot of firms are concerned about having a 100% offer rate, and won't no-offer you because they see you took it 2L. I've heard enough people at firms talk about how they extend offers to even people whose work quality sucked. If you turn in good work during the summer, they'll just be glad you did a good job.

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cindypopper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby cindypopper » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:39 pm

What are the chances of getting a studio in terry terrace or 29 garden street in the Harvard university housing lottery. Can anyone speak as to how the process works and what happens if you get a later view and select window. Thanks.

sea15
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sea15 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:21 pm

So it looks like I'm going to have to commute to Harvard. Living 10 minutes from campus is just not going to be realistic. What time limit would you put on a commute for 1L? 30 minutes? 40 minutes? How much is this going to affect my studies and being part of the Harvard culture?

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The Gentleman
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby The Gentleman » Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:58 pm

sea15 wrote:So it looks like I'm going to have to commute to Harvard. Living 10 minutes from campus is just not going to be realistic. What time limit would you put on a commute for 1L? 30 minutes? 40 minutes? How much is this going to affect my studies and being part of the Harvard culture?


I have friends that commute in from Boston, so I don't think that will be much of a problem. In fact, I can see where living farther away from HLS would be a good thing. For one, you're drawing a clear line between work time and home time. I live on campus, so there's always the temptation to head back to my room in the middle of the day and chill out or whatever. If you live farther out, then coming to campus feels more like going to work, which keeps you both productive and sane. Also, it's nice to get away from the law school scene, and for that matter Cambridge. Don't get me wrong, HLS is a great place and the surrounding area is full of fun stuff. But it does get a bit old after awhile, especially if you don't venture outside of Harvard too much. Living farther out just gives you a better mix of things to do on a regular occasion. I guess the biggest downside to living farther away is that almost all of your section mates will live in Cambridge, so you'll have to stick around here to hang out with people.

As for what constitutes too much of a commute, I'd say that anything more than 30 min each way would really put a strain on you during 1L. But a lot of it depends on how much work you can get done on the commute. If you can read a casebook while standing up on the redline at rush hour, then you're good to go. :D




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