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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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:28 am

We often fail to talk about 1L summer incentives honestly in this thread, so let's do that real quick.

There are three main reasons you would want to summer at a firm during 1L:
  • You're genuinely interested in working at that firm after you graduate and want to secure it as an option.
  • You're risk averse and want to go into EIP with a possible offer.
  • You want the money.

The first two are pretty straightforward. The main counterpoint to those is that you could try government or public interest work for a summer to see what it's like. Working at a firm during 1L doesn't really give you an advantage in the EIP hiring process because some firms will be wary that they would spend a bunch of money training and wooing you in their 2L summer program only to have you decide to go back to your 1L firm. (Usually this plays out in reverse though, because you will probably get better firm offers 2L than 1L.)

The money point is different depending on who you are. If you do not receive financial assistance from the school then absolutely it makes sense. However, if you have an annual grant that is greater than the take-home pay of the firm, you'll find that working at a law firm 1L summer may be a financial wash.

In fact, when combined with SPIF and the way taxes and the financial aid formulas break out, it's actually possible to lose money by going to a law firm rather than working in a PI/gov position. And not small amounts either. I know of at least one person who, when they broke out all their financial aid changes, taxes, SPIF distinction, and added the summer firm pay, found that they had about $11,000 less coming out of 2L summer than 1L summer because they worked PI the first summer and at a firm the second. The financial aid reduction was more than the law firm's gross pay, so after taxes ($6.5k in this case, since financial aid isn't taxed but firm pay is) and removing SPIF ($4.6k) they got screwed.

In that specific case there may have been some other family change that affected the financial aid reduction (because I don't think it's supposed to be so much), but it is true that it's supposed to be a financial wash when deciding between PI and private work for your 1L summer if you are a grant recipient. If you're not a grant recipient, go work at a firm.

juzam_djinn
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby juzam_djinn » Thu Sep 24, 2015 3:37 pm

Anyone taken VC law with Fried before? Wondering how the exam looks, as we're covering a lot of the mechanics of deals right now as well as some of the basic math that's involved. Does anyone know if this is the type of stuff that is tested?

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:48 pm

pinkpanda wrote:Can anyone share thoughts on the Harvard Law and Policy Review vs. the Civil Rights - Civil Liberties Review? I'm especially interested to hear about differences in the journals' subjects of focus, types of work for 1Ls, and their cultures. Thanks!

There was some discussion of HLPR and possible CRCL earlier in this thread — searching will probably find it — but I'll add a little. I was on HLPR and don't know a ton about CRCL. CRCL is older than HLPR (by a couple of decades, if I remember correctly), so it's a bit more established, and I think I've heard that CRCL is on the whole more work than HLPR, but I'd defer to anyone else who knows better.

HLPR is one of three journals representing some variety of progressive/left-of-center viewpoints, together with CRCL and Unbound. (Unbound is much more extreme.) HLPR is also one of three journals with a policy bent, together with JLPP (conservative) and JOL (moderate). HLPR is the official journal of ACS; at first I thought this meant it was the official journal of Harvard's chapter of ACS, but no, it's the official journal of ACS National, which means there's a huge built-in audience in the progressive legal community. HLPR has occasional been handed around among Senators and the like; at one point, a member of Congress who wrote an article for HLPR and was pretty excited about it handed a copy to Obama and asked him to read it. This isn't ivory tower legal scholarship, at least not nearly as much as some other journals. It's intended to influence the actual conversation in Washington and elsewhere.

HLPR has junior editors (i.e., 1Ls) take part in two steps: a substantive edit and a technical edit. The substantive edit is aimed at providing feedback about content and structure to the author, so that the author can improve his or her argument and make more sense. The technical edit is aimed at mechanical accuracy (citation format, comma use, grammar, etc.). Most journals have 1Ls only do the latter; the former is one of the things that makes HLPR unusual.

After my first semester, I joined the Online team and starting writing the occasional blog post (e.g.) and editing other student's blog posts. (And also sometimes blog posts from, like, Chemerinsky.) The Online team also does some more extended student writing sometimes. The existence and reach of HLPR Online is a bit unusual; other journals have blogs or other such things, but HLPR Online is more active than most. There are also other teams: Policy does intake (submissions and solicitations), Tech does a final technical edit after everyone else has done their technical edit, and Managing does social events.

And that's basically HLPR. Lots of overlap between members of ACS and members of HLPR, generally.

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:44 pm

any opinions on HBLR?

throwaway_
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby throwaway_ » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:53 pm

TripTrip wrote:We often fail to talk about 1L summer incentives honestly in this thread, so let's do that real quick.

There are three main reasons you would want to summer at a firm during 1L:
  • You're genuinely interested in working at that firm after you graduate and want to secure it as an option.
  • You're risk averse and want to go into EIP with a possible offer.
  • You want the money.


Completely disagree here. Working at a firm is probably the best summer experience going into EIP. (1) You're presumed to be vetted, (2) you know what firms actually do, (3) and you're walking marketing material for your new firm.

To that I'd probably add that firm work is often more substantive than public interest internships (optionally so: there's so much going around, if you try seriously to get staffed you can probably get interesting work), and it's a fun social experience and possibly unique among internships in that regard.

- V10 1L SA

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radio1nowhere
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby radio1nowhere » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:14 am

Mack.Hambleton wrote:any opinions on HBLR?


All the kool kidz are doin it

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Fri Sep 25, 2015 4:29 pm

throwaway_ wrote:
TripTrip wrote:We often fail to talk about 1L summer incentives honestly in this thread, so let's do that real quick.

There are three main reasons you would want to summer at a firm during 1L:
  • You're genuinely interested in working at that firm after you graduate and want to secure it as an option.
  • You're risk averse and want to go into EIP with a possible offer.
  • You want the money.


Completely disagree here. Working at a firm is probably the best summer experience going into EIP. (1) You're presumed to be vetted, (2) you know what firms actually do, (3) and you're walking marketing material for your new firm.

To that I'd probably add that firm work is often more substantive than public interest internships (optionally so: there's so much going around, if you try seriously to get staffed you can probably get interesting work), and it's a fun social experience and possibly unique among internships in that regard.

- V10 1L SA

I don't think we disagree on everything. I don't think there's anything wrong with going to a firm 1L. It's a great experience and the pay is nice. I just wanted to talk openly about the incentives since they're not as clear cut as they appear to be from the outset.

You mentioned two main reasons that a 1L SA was beneficial to you: first in interviews and second because it was a substantive and interesting experience. Regarding interviews: you can be "vetted" by a USAO or a DA's office or an office of the ACLU, which is far more competitive than many firm jobs. For your middle point ("you know what firms actually do") I think you're absolutely right: this is a distinct advantage for 1L SAs.

Regarding the experience: the reason I didn't list that as an incentive is that your experience is wholly dependent on where you work. I worked on far more substantive legal projects at the USAO 1L than at a law firm 2L. But I recognize that my experience won't be true across the board, so I didn't include it.

lawlorbust
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lawlorbust » Fri Sep 25, 2015 5:48 pm

3Ls: How much time do people actually put in Ames? Is it actually competitive in the Q or does it heat up at Semis?

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:02 pm

lawlorbust wrote:3Ls: How much time do people actually put in Ames? Is it actually competitive in the Q or does it heat up at Semis?

Note that around 40 teams (varies from year to year) get narrowed to 4 teams in Q round. Q round is really competitive.

throwaway_
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby throwaway_ » Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:49 am

TripTrip wrote:
throwaway_ wrote:
TripTrip wrote:We often fail to talk about 1L summer incentives honestly in this thread, so let's do that real quick.

There are three main reasons you would want to summer at a firm during 1L:
  • You're genuinely interested in working at that firm after you graduate and want to secure it as an option.
  • You're risk averse and want to go into EIP with a possible offer.
  • You want the money.


Completely disagree here. Working at a firm is probably the best summer experience going into EIP. (1) You're presumed to be vetted, (2) you know what firms actually do, (3) and you're walking marketing material for your new firm.

To that I'd probably add that firm work is often more substantive than public interest internships (optionally so: there's so much going around, if you try seriously to get staffed you can probably get interesting work), and it's a fun social experience and possibly unique among internships in that regard.

- V10 1L SA

I don't think we disagree on everything.


You're right that we actually disagree about very little, that's poor phrasing on my part.

I think, ultimately, where some difference might remain is that of the common (read: attainable) 1L jobs, I think that going for a 1L SA at a V50 probably does the most to maximize your chances at EIP. You're vetted not in the sense that a USAO/ACLU job is less competitive, although I could argue that it often is, but more because you've survived a biglaw summer and presumably have a return offer. That's obviously an extremely low bar, but that's how firms seem to approach it even if doing so doesn't make a lot of sense.

On another note, although you shouldn't look at the 1L summer only as an opportunity to maximize EIP chances, having a return offer really does more to preserve your options than any other internship. I've been very fortunate to go through a lot of handwringing about accepting a PI gig with the intention of shooting for a full-time position, but being able to "touchback" is a game changer, at least in terms of my risk profile.

juzam_djinn
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby juzam_djinn » Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:43 am

throwaway_ wrote:
TripTrip wrote:
throwaway_ wrote:
TripTrip wrote:We often fail to talk about 1L summer incentives honestly in this thread, so let's do that real quick.

There are three main reasons you would want to summer at a firm during 1L:
  • You're genuinely interested in working at that firm after you graduate and want to secure it as an option.
  • You're risk averse and want to go into EIP with a possible offer.
  • You want the money.


Completely disagree here. Working at a firm is probably the best summer experience going into EIP. (1) You're presumed to be vetted, (2) you know what firms actually do, (3) and you're walking marketing material for your new firm.

To that I'd probably add that firm work is often more substantive than public interest internships (optionally so: there's so much going around, if you try seriously to get staffed you can probably get interesting work), and it's a fun social experience and possibly unique among internships in that regard.

- V10 1L SA

I don't think we disagree on everything.


You're right that we actually disagree about very little, that's poor phrasing on my part.

I think, ultimately, where some difference might remain is that of the common (read: attainable) 1L jobs, I think that going for a 1L SA at a V50 probably does the most to maximize your chances at EIP. You're vetted not in the sense that a USAO/ACLU job is less competitive, although I could argue that it often is, but more because you've survived a biglaw summer and presumably have a return offer. That's obviously an extremely low bar, but that's how firms seem to approach it even if doing so doesn't make a lot of sense.

On another note, although you shouldn't look at the 1L summer only as an opportunity to maximize EIP chances, having a return offer really does more to preserve your options than any other internship. I've been very fortunate to go through a lot of handwringing about accepting a PI gig with the intention of shooting for a full-time position, but being able to "touchback" is a game changer, at least in terms of my risk profile.


surviving a biglaw summer isn't particularly hard though. It is just a summer after all. Presumably, if you go do OCI/EIP with a 2L return offer to your 1L SA firm in hand, other firms won't think to themselves that you've proven you can go through the grind. I really think it's the cash that makes 1L SA noteworthy.

AmazingReadingRace
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby AmazingReadingRace » Sun Sep 27, 2015 12:47 am

2Ls/3Ls, a serious question: is it insane to do 3 SPOs in the same semester (2 of which demands big commitments)? Has anyone survived the year by doing that? I do not intend them to be resume builders. I am genuinely interested in each of them and I have been a good multi-tasker in the past.

robotrick
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby robotrick » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:01 am

AmazingReadingRace wrote:2Ls/3Ls, a serious question: is it insane to do 3 SPOs in the same semester (2 of which demands big commitments)? Has anyone survived the year by doing that? I do not intend them to be resume builders. I am genuinely interested in each of them and I have been a good multi-tasker in the past.

I wouldn't do it, and I don't know anyone who has. Doing that on top of the 1L workload seems like a recipe for a really hard semester.

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codyoneill
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby codyoneill » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:15 am

robotrick wrote:
AmazingReadingRace wrote:2Ls/3Ls, a serious question: is it insane to do 3 SPOs in the same semester (2 of which demands big commitments)? Has anyone survived the year by doing that? I do not intend them to be resume builders. I am genuinely interested in each of them and I have been a good multi-tasker in the past.

I wouldn't do it, and I don't know anyone who has. Doing that on top of the 1L workload seems like a recipe for a really hard semester.


I agree. I'm not sure if there's any way you can do three SPO's and really dedicate yourself to them.

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Nonconsecutive
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Nonconsecutive » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:40 pm

Yeah, don't do it. I had one time-consuming SPO and a journal and that was plenty. 3 SPOs would have just been a big pile of nope.

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ChemEng1642
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ChemEng1642 » Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:39 pm

Hopefully an easy Q to answer - are there microwaves on campus that can be used to warm up lunch and the such?

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mino
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby mino » Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:50 pm

ChemEng1642 wrote:Hopefully an easy Q to answer - are there microwaves on campus that can be used to warm up lunch and the such?


Yup! There are two in the Hark. There's also one in the journal area on the third floor. I'm sure there are other secret ones as well that others may be able to point to.

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Nonconsecutive
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Nonconsecutive » Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:19 pm

mino wrote:
ChemEng1642 wrote:Hopefully an easy Q to answer - are there microwaves on campus that can be used to warm up lunch and the such?


Yup! There are two in the Hark. There's also one in the journal area on the third floor. I'm sure there are other secret ones as well that others may be able to point to.


There's also at least one (if not two) down in the tunnels (no seriously).

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:30 pm

Nonconsecutive wrote:
mino wrote:
ChemEng1642 wrote:Hopefully an easy Q to answer - are there microwaves on campus that can be used to warm up lunch and the such?


Yup! There are two in the Hark. There's also one in the journal area on the third floor. I'm sure there are other secret ones as well that others may be able to point to.


There's also at least one (if not two) down in the tunnels (no seriously).


where by the vending machines?

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:32 pm

Mack.Hambleton wrote:
Nonconsecutive wrote:
mino wrote:
ChemEng1642 wrote:Hopefully an easy Q to answer - are there microwaves on campus that can be used to warm up lunch and the such?


Yup! There are two in the Hark. There's also one in the journal area on the third floor. I'm sure there are other secret ones as well that others may be able to point to.


There's also at least one (if not two) down in the tunnels (no seriously).


where by the vending machines?


Yup. I want to say one under Lewis (with the secret ICE CREAM VENDING MACHINE! SNICKERS ICE CREAM BARS WOO! There's also a fridge there).

There are also microwaves in the clinic kitchens.

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georgej
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby georgej » Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:02 pm

Has anyone ever successfully disputed a reduction in need aid?

lawlorbust
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lawlorbust » Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:36 pm

Does anyone know where to find OCS's timetable of how many weeks you can work in the summer? Or maybe they took it down and haven't put up 2016 yet?

More generally, I count 16 weeks in between 2L and 3L year (i.e. a split has to be perfectly timed). Anyone work that out differently?

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby foxes » Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:07 pm

despina wrote:Yup. I want to say one under Lewis (with the secret ICE CREAM VENDING MACHINE! SNICKERS ICE CREAM BARS WOO! There's also a fridge there).

There are also microwaves in the clinic kitchens.


omg what

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Pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:34 pm

lawlorbust wrote:Does anyone know where to find OCS's timetable of how many weeks you can work in the summer? Or maybe they took it down and haven't put up 2016 yet?

More generally, I count 16 weeks in between 2L and 3L year (i.e. a split has to be perfectly timed). Anyone work that out differently?

I think there are actually 17 weeks for 2L summer: May 09 - September 02 (assuming we start after labor day again). If your split involves a Texas firm, the minimum at that firm is likely 6 weeks rather than 8. I'm not sure about NY/LA/Chi.

I don't think I've ever seen a "timetable;" instead I usually just look at the HLS calendar and count the weeks myself.

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:59 pm

foxes wrote:
despina wrote:Yup. I want to say one under Lewis (with the secret ICE CREAM VENDING MACHINE! SNICKERS ICE CREAM BARS WOO! There's also a fridge there).

There are also microwaves in the clinic kitchens.


omg what


Isn't there also a second ice cream vending machine under Hauser? I could swear I've seen more than one in the halls

More generally, I count 16 weeks in between 2L and 3L year (i.e. a split has to be perfectly timed). Anyone work that out differently?


There's flexibility in splitting. Just talk to the firms. 10 weeks is standard but not the minimum (ie you can do something like 8/6)




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