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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Pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:18 pm

Indifference wrote:Are LRW brief grades done for our individual part of the brief? I assume that isn't the case, right?

I think it depends somewhat on the Climenko. For mine, and for the other half of my section, the default was that both partners would receive the same grade (my Climenko told us this outright). Unless your partner just leaves the country or only turns in an outline, then you should expect the same grade.

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polareagle
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby polareagle » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:26 pm

Pneumonia wrote:
Indifference wrote:Are LRW brief grades done for our individual part of the brief? I assume that isn't the case, right?

I think it depends somewhat on the Climenko. For mine, and for the other half of my section, the default was that both partners would receive the same grade (my Climenko told us this outright). Unless your partner just leaves the country or only turns in an outline, then you should expect the same grade.


Yeah, it really does vary by Climenko. I believe most have a default presumption in favor of the same grade. Some are stricter about that presumption (i.e., no exceptions) than others.

Indifference
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Indifference » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:40 pm

Ah ok. That's what I figured. Thanks guys.
:(

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

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:31 am

Indifference wrote:Ah ok. That's what I figured. Thanks guys.
:(


Don't sweat it. My partner was a dipshit and so his work was predictably shit, but we still did fine.

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:48 am

For the record, I know at least one partner pair where one partner got a DS and the other a P.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Feb 28, 2016 12:35 pm

The person who graduated 1st my year went to a whatever state school for undergrad (sorry, bro, you know it's true), so people really shouldn't worry about that sort of thing. For 2L and 3L, at least a quarter of the student body is checked out academically and barely trying, so transfers tend to do pretty well because they still try. Hard work goes a long way in law school; those who coast on smarts tend to do mediocre. So I wouldn't worry about whether you think you're smart enough; just work hard if you're so concerned and you'll probably do well.

lunixer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lunixer » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:05 am

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my prole called life
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby my prole called life » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:45 am

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

Postby Mr. Elshal » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:37 pm

lunixer wrote:Is the Harvard campus conservative-friendly? I'm thinking about the general tone of many colleges that are unfriendly to conservatives. If, for example, I chose to join the Federalist society, would I find other doors closed to me or would funding for that org be more likely to be cut than liberal-oriented org (sthis was the case at my undergrad and grad institutions)? Or would other avenues on campus be closed to me?

Eta: this is kind of what I'm worried about and I'd be interested in hearing how true or untrue this article is
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2015/ ... -oct-2015/


Definitely an unfriendly tone, but not as bad as many other schools. You may have classmates that treat you poorly because of your political views, but you'll build up your own group of friends and ignore those other people. HLS is pretty well-stocked with hyper-liberals, which does provide an interesting counterpoint for the moderate conservatives. I think that the liberals are significantly ore vocal, so that's the viewpoint that pervades the school. I would guess that they're also the majority, but it really might only look that way because of how loud they are.

I don't think you'd find doors closed to you for joining Federalist (except obvious ones, like you might be questioned about it if you apply for a job in the Hillary campaign), and I don't think the school would be likely to cut that org before any other because of its political leanings.

lunixer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lunixer » Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:42 pm

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despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:23 pm

As I understand it, major national orgs like FedSoc have their own funding and do not depend on HLS.

If you join FedSoc, yes, some doors will close for you - at HLS just as anywhere else. Whether you care will depend on whether those are doors that you want to walk through.

lunixer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lunixer » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:42 pm

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earthabides
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby earthabides » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:54 pm

despina wrote:As I understand it, major national orgs like FedSoc have their own funding and do not depend on HLS.

If you join FedSoc, yes, some doors will close for you - at HLS just as anywhere else. Whether you care will depend on whether those are doors that you want to walk through.


What do you mean by doors closing? What doors are we talking about here? I'm a conservative Canadian which I'm not sure is even conservative in the US but this concerns me.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:16 pm

I don't think that institutional bias, as you put it, is something you would much need to worry about here. And in general, the people most likely to ostracize you for your views would be your fellow students, not professors or the administration (although, I'm sincerely unsure about what the administration's response would be if Fed Soc were to occupy WCC). There is a fairly strong conservative presence on campus, so you'd find a place to be at home if that's your thing.

Hardly anyone will shun you simply for membership or participation in any of these orgs, at least not socially. However, if you need to be the guy in class that constantly forces the "conservative counterpoint," or if you're a single-issue guy that's gonna spout something wild about how women "maybe shouldn't be allowed to vote, you know, for their own protection," then you'll feel some social backlash for that. I will say that one of the most well-liked people in my section is a staunch conservative on what seems like almost every issue. This person is very kind, and doesn't raise their hand in every single class to point out "blah blah blah states' rights." I think that demeanor and overall approachability contribute to their popularity.

Obviously, political affiliation can matter for jobs and clerkships that are politicized. I don't see it being a big deal for non-political RA's topics (maybe corporate finance or something?), but you might be surprised how much of the law—and how much a professor's research—has a political valence. In other words, the most interesting research appointments or whatever will probably driven to some degree by the professors ideology. But you seem to be aware of that. With regard to doors closing, I think that every door closed by membership in a conservative has an equal and opposite door that would be closed by membership in a liberal org. I don't think that there are any structural biases against run-of-the-mill conservatives.

There is a very vocal presence on campus that advocates for things like hiring more Critical Legal/Race scholars, reforming the curriculum to include marginalized narratives, and removing past symbols of slavery from the institution's crest. Maybe you know about this. Perhaps it motivated your question. I don't think it should be something that should concern you. I'm sure that it could be really easy for any conservative to get riled up about this group's activities. But it is just as easy to attend class and learn the material as you normally would. Apart from that group in particular, there are various "causes" and social justice campaigns that are ongoing. These all have an undergrad feel to them, and I'm sure that this is something you'd encounter at almost any law school.

It is certainly and interesting time to be at the school. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.

lunixer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lunixer » Wed Mar 02, 2016 3:27 pm

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robotrick
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby robotrick » Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:59 pm

I'd say the conservative student base at HLS is relatively large compared to similar law schools. We have a big FedSoc membership and a number of student orgs which cater to "conservative" interests even if they aren't explicitly political. I don't see how one's political ideology would affect their ability to get a RA job either - don't announce that you're a Republican (or whatever) on the top of your resume and the professor will have no idea what your political leanings are.

But yes, overall, the student body here is quite liberal. There will be some eye rolling at the guy/gal who says "let's leave this to the legislature" on every new topic, and there may even be some students who are more openly hostile... I have no experience with that. You'd be able to find your group just like anyone else. Frankly, my advice would be not to let this factor into your decision.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:16 pm

lunixer wrote:Eta: this is kind of what I'm worried about and I'd be interested in hearing how true or untrue this article is
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2015/ ... -oct-2015/

It's worth noting that that article is about Harvard College, which is only tangentially related to Harvard Law School. The culture at each campus is at least somewhat different; the median student at HBS is probably a good deal more conservative than the median student at HLS or HKS, for example. So news about the College isn't necessarily reflective of other campuses.
lunixer wrote:I think my question may be a little bit misinterpreted. I think it's more about institutional bias. For example, suppose that I really really want to work with professor X to study something completely non political -- say administrative procedure. Or librarianship. Whatever.

In general do you think that X will care about my outside political views if they are irrelevant to the topic of study? Would it reflect negatively on me?

Even if it did (and it probably wouldn't, unless you were trying to work for Duncan Kennedy or something), there are sufficiently many conservative profs at HLS that it wouldn't preclude you from working with someone excellent on something of interest to you.

More generally, I agree with others that there is a significant conservative community at HLS. I didn't have a lot of direct experience with the conservative community as a community (just with individual conservatives), but I was a hanger-on to ACS, and ACS and Fed Soc have events together pretty regularly, so I had at least some interaction with the conservative community as such. They didn't seem isolated or as though they were struggling (like, at all — they looked more like they had taken classes on how to present themselves exceptionally well).

It's also of some significance that "liberal" and "conservative" are pretty broad brushes, as far as legal scholars (which the profs who run the school are) go. I can think of a few profs who are more or less on the same side of the liberal/conservative line and work on the same topics but still are not particularly close in their core legal philosophies. (Adrian Vermeule and John Manning — two of my favorite profs in law school! — come to mind.)

lawlorbust
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lawlorbust » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:31 pm

Pneumonia wrote:Obviously, political affiliation can matter for jobs and clerkships that are politicized. I don't see it being a big deal for non-political RA's topics (maybe corporate finance or something?), but you might be surprised how much of the law—and how much a professor's research—has a political valence. In other words, the most interesting research appointments or whatever will probably driven to some degree by the professors ideology. But you seem to be aware of that. With regard to doors closing, I think that every door closed by membership in a conservative has an equal and opposite door that would be closed by membership in a liberal org. I don't think that there are any structural biases against run-of-the-mill conservatives.


To kind of emphasize and expand on this point: social consequences of being conservative in law school aside, my friends who are clerking and I have talked about how there is a significant advantage to applying to clerkships as a conservative.

And obviously, this advantage persists if after that you're interested in jobs with politicized hiring.

tomwatts wrote:It's worth noting that that article is about Harvard College, which is only tangentially related to Harvard Law School. The culture at each campus is at least somewhat different; the median student at HBS is probably a good deal more conservative than the median student at HLS or HKS, for example. So news about the College isn't necessarily reflective of other campuses.


True, but I'd think that HLS is probably even more left than the College is (and more filled with people willing to take offense at your political views ...)

lunixer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lunixer » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:34 pm

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lawlorbust
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lawlorbust » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:41 pm

lunixer wrote:
lawlorbust wrote:To kind of emphasize and expand on this point: social consequences of being conservative in law school aside, my friends who are clerking and I have talked about how there is a significant advantage to applying to clerkships as a conservative.

And obviously, this advantage persists if after that you're interested in jobs with politicized hiring.


I had no idea. Is that because judges want someone who shares their affiliation?


Yes + supply/demand. I'd maybe hedge by saying that this "discussion" is by nature quite anecdotal. I don't know whether this preference runs throughout the federal judiciary, but it's easy to come up with a large list of conservative feeders who end up with conservative clerks.

And of course, self-selection plays a large role. But hard to argue that ideological affiliation isn't at least a soft plus.

wwwcol
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wwwcol » Wed Mar 02, 2016 6:31 pm

lawlorbust wrote:
lunixer wrote:
lawlorbust wrote:To kind of emphasize and expand on this point: social consequences of being conservative in law school aside, my friends who are clerking and I have talked about how there is a significant advantage to applying to clerkships as a conservative.

And obviously, this advantage persists if after that you're interested in jobs with politicized hiring.


I had no idea. Is that because judges want someone who shares their affiliation?


Yes + supply/demand. I'd maybe hedge by saying that this "discussion" is by nature quite anecdotal. I don't know whether this preference runs throughout the federal judiciary, but it's easy to come up with a large list of conservative feeders who end up with conservative clerks.

And of course, self-selection plays a large role. But hard to argue that ideological affiliation isn't at least a soft plus.


I agree about FedSoc being a big plus for clerkships purposes. There is a huge mismatch between the number of conservatives from top schools versus the number of conservative federal judges. And the advantage doesn't apply just to feeders. There are a ton of federal district and non feeder circuit judges who like FedSoc but rarely get HYS FedSoc apps. By contrast, HYS ACS people are a dime a dozen.

As to tom watts point about just RAing with a conservative professor, it's literally a running joke among FedSoc that you have taken classes with all the conservative faculty if you take Manning and Goldsmith. That's a slight exaggeration, but the reality is there are somewhere betwen 5 and 7 comservatives on faculty depending on your definition of conservative. But this isn't a problem since most RA positions are non ideological (let's be honest, the profs don't care if their cite checking monkey is a democrat or republican).

The way I think about the atmosphere towards conservatives is this: there is a strong dislike of conservative positions but not necessarily conservatives. You'll only get hate on the basis of ideology it you're constantly a consevative sock puppet (ie people think of you as "that annoying conservative"). Your questions show enough self awareness that I don't think you have to be worried about this though.

lunixer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lunixer » Wed Mar 02, 2016 7:46 pm

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Last edited by lunixer on Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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EnderWiggin
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby EnderWiggin » Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:48 pm

Per the SFS e-mail that went out to 0L admits this week:

Unlike many schools that reduce grants for recipients of outside resources, HLS policy allows a student to accept an outside award in its entirety as long as it does not exceed the standard student budget. If the budget is exceeded, we must reduce a student’s loans (starting with the least favorable) first and grants last.


Not expecting a ton (maybe no) outside scholarship $, but this policy seems almost too good to be true. Do any current students/grads have any direct experience with this?

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:00 pm

EnderWiggin wrote:Per the SFS e-mail that went out to 0L admits this week:

Unlike many schools that reduce grants for recipients of outside resources, HLS policy allows a student to accept an outside award in its entirety as long as it does not exceed the standard student budget. If the budget is exceeded, we must reduce a student’s loans (starting with the least favorable) first and grants last.


Not expecting a ton (maybe no) outside scholarship $, but this policy seems almost too good to be true. Do any current students/grads have any direct experience with this?

It's true.

I'm not really sure how to expand on this. They do that thing that they say they will do. Yes.

Oh, but it only applies to scholarships. If you happen upon a chest of gold, they'll find a way to take that out of your need-based grant.

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EnderWiggin
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby EnderWiggin » Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:29 pm

all chests of gold must be reported to SFS, got it. Thank you!




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