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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Nonconsecutive
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Nonconsecutive » Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:15 pm

Question re: HLS Dope. Does it automatically nom' the Course Catalog, or is that all done manually?

Also, any hints as to what the post-Dope name is going to be? :mrgreen:

inpersonam
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby inpersonam » Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:17 pm

Indifference wrote:Would applying for the USAO clinic be a waste of a bid? I see it's been discussed previously as being a "lottery" due to its small size. Or does it not matter, since Clinical/Multi-section/Electives are split into different preferencing windows?

ETA: If anyone has done it and has feedback, that would be great, too. :)


This year they changed it to an application thing, so you won't need to waste a bid on it, but you will have to write up a little thing about why you want to do it and send your resume in. Just some things to know about it: you must do 20 hours a week (for 4 credit hours, which is probably not a great time trade-off compared to a 4 credit hour class, if that's a concern) and you have to pass a federal background check (which tbh was onerous, and I at the time I was doing it, it didn't seem worth it).

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lawstud24
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby lawstud24 » Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:23 pm

Would anyone be able to speak to the decision between public interest law or corporate law? I'm really passionate about a particular field in public interest law, but I also find it really difficult to hypothetically turn down a 160k starting salary in corporate law, especially given the immigrant, "every penny counts" mindset I was raised with.

If anyone has faced the decision between corporate law then public interest, or public interest with LIPP right off the bat, I would love to hear your thoughts. For context, I'll likely be taking out full loans, with very little (if any) need-based aid. Thanks in advance, and feel free to PM as well :D

Indifference
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Indifference » Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:20 pm

inpersonam wrote:
Indifference wrote:Would applying for the USAO clinic be a waste of a bid? I see it's been discussed previously as being a "lottery" due to its small size. Or does it not matter, since Clinical/Multi-section/Electives are split into different preferencing windows?

ETA: If anyone has done it and has feedback, that would be great, too. :)


This year they changed it to an application thing, so you won't need to waste a bid on it, but you will have to write up a little thing about why you want to do it and send your resume in. Just some things to know about it: you must do 20 hours a week (for 4 credit hours, which is probably not a great time trade-off compared to a 4 credit hour class, if that's a concern) and you have to pass a federal background check (which tbh was onerous, and I at the time I was doing it, it didn't seem worth it).


Pretty sure it's one credit for every four hours now (starting with Class of 2017), so it would be 5 credits I think. Would that change your opinion?
Also, did you mean the background check wasn't worth it, or the clinic wasn't worth it, or both?

Thanks for the info on the application. :)

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Fri Mar 25, 2016 9:44 pm

ValeVale wrote:If I ranked Fallon for 14th in my 3rd/4th slot, any chance I get in his class?

I would expect so, even with a #4 bid. The waitlist on Fallon for 14th will probably move a good deal. (More than Klarman or Feldman will.) Be aware that Fallon more frequently teaches 1st, so you may have a shortage of outlines and old exams to work from, but that's probably not a big deal.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Fri Mar 25, 2016 11:45 pm

lawstud24 wrote:Would anyone be able to speak to the decision between public interest law or corporate law? I'm really passionate about a particular field in public interest law, but I also find it really difficult to hypothetically turn down a 160k starting salary in corporate law, especially given the immigrant, "every penny counts" mindset I was raised with.

If anyone has faced the decision between corporate law then public interest, or public interest with LIPP right off the bat, I would love to hear your thoughts. For context, I'll likely be taking out full loans, with very little (if any) need-based aid. Thanks in advance, and feel free to PM as well :D

It depends a little on the area of public interest that you're interested in — some areas are much more of a financial sacrifice compared to biglaw than others are, and some much harder to go into after biglaw than others are — but my rule of thumb is that you should do what you're interested in. If you do biglaw, biglaw is your life. You do it all day every day. If it's not what you really want to be doing, it's rough. If there's something that you really do want to do, do that. Depending on what it is, you may never get to do it if you go into biglaw first.

So, in general, don't wait; do what you want to do as soon as you can do it.

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EnderWiggin
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby EnderWiggin » Sat Mar 26, 2016 8:54 am

edit
Last edited by EnderWiggin on Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Indifference
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Indifference » Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:36 am

Possibly a stupid question, but oh well. I know preferencing is for the whole year, but when you go to do it is it split by Fall/Spring/Winter, or do you have to ration a single #1 bid between your choices for all three?

Related: Debating between Evidence (Whiting) for the Fall and TAW for J term as #1 bid. Which do you think is more likely to get at #2?

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:38 am

Indifference wrote:Possibly a stupid question, but oh well. I know preferencing is for the whole year, but when you go to do it is it split by Fall/Spring/Winter, or do you have to ration a single #1 bid between your choices for all three?

At least as of a couple years ago, the clinical bids and the multi-section bids were for the full year, but the elective was by semester. So Fall Evidence and J-Term TAW would be in the same set of bids, but Fall Evidence and (for example) J-Term State Con Law would be in different sets of bids.

inpersonam
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby inpersonam » Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:14 pm

Indifference wrote:
inpersonam wrote:
Indifference wrote:Would applying for the USAO clinic be a waste of a bid? I see it's been discussed previously as being a "lottery" due to its small size. Or does it not matter, since Clinical/Multi-section/Electives are split into different preferencing windows?

ETA: If anyone has done it and has feedback, that would be great, too. :)


This year they changed it to an application thing, so you won't need to waste a bid on it, but you will have to write up a little thing about why you want to do it and send your resume in. Just some things to know about it: you must do 20 hours a week (for 4 credit hours, which is probably not a great time trade-off compared to a 4 credit hour class, if that's a concern) and you have to pass a federal background check (which tbh was onerous, and I at the time I was doing it, it didn't seem worth it).


Pretty sure it's one credit for every four hours now (starting with Class of 2017), so it would be 5 credits I think. Would that change your opinion?
Also, did you mean the background check wasn't worth it, or the clinic wasn't worth it, or both?

Thanks for the info on the application. :)


Hmm, well being 5 credit hours would make it a bit better. If possible, either way, I'd recommend front loading some credits so you can minimize the classes you take during the clinic semester. Not that it's a huge time suck beyond the 20 hours and commuting time, but you're basically looking at 3 days of the week full. The background check was annoying, and if I'd known how much work it'd be, I wouldn't have done the clinic. On the other hand, I'm kind of lazy, so ymmv. I don't want to be a prosecutor, so if you do, it's probably worth it. The clinic is great either way, but to avoid the work I might have just taken another 4 credit hour class instead.

ValeVale
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ValeVale » Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:22 pm

This is a pretty random question along this line of qs, but if I wanted to work at a USAO for J-Term is that possible? How would I go about making that happen...

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby leslieknope » Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:26 pm

Dumb basic question, but if you're taking all BLL classes, how many classes do people usually take in a semester? 3? 4? What about clinic+2 BLL?

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:47 pm

leslieknope wrote:Dumb basic question, but if you're taking all BLL classes, how many classes do people usually take in a semester? 3? 4? What about clinic+2 BLL?

It depends, but you basically have to average at least 12 credits per semester and 2 credits per J Term during 2L and 3L in order to graduate. You can do more or less in any semester (within reason — there are various requirements), but that's the average you have to maintain. So three classes of 4 credits each will do it, for example.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby mimiquestionmark » Sat Mar 26, 2016 4:36 pm

How difficult is it to get into the negotiation clinic after having taken the workshop? Is it possible to participate in the clinic for more than one semester?

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:08 pm

mimiquestionmark wrote:How difficult is it to get into the negotiation clinic after having taken the workshop? Is it possible to participate in the clinic for more than one semester?


1. Not super difficult, but you might not get in the first time you apply.
2. Yes.

Indifference wrote:Debating between Evidence (Whiting) for the Fall and TAW for J term as #1 bid. Which do you think is more likely to get at #2?


Definitely rank TAW first. Plus... TAW is TAW, you don't want to miss it. Evidence is just Evidence, and it's not the end of the world if you have to take it from somebody less awesome than Whiting.

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby wwwcol » Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:49 pm

ValeVale wrote:This is a pretty random question along this line of qs, but if I wanted to work at a USAO for J-Term is that possible? How would I go about making that happen...


Possible in theory but not likely. You have to go through a background check and the USAOs will probably conclude its not worth the HR hassle to have you there for 3 weeks (this is a recurring problem for many potential J term placements, not just USAOs)

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:38 pm

Fun classes to take at the college/HBS? Can we take anything?

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby mdnyc » Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:43 pm

Mack.Hambleton wrote:Fun classes to take at the college/HBS? Can we take anything?
Also, the Kennedy School?

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:34 pm

mdnyc wrote:
Mack.Hambleton wrote:Fun classes to take at the college/HBS? Can we take anything?
Also, the Kennedy School?

I think you can take anything at HBS except the core first-year classes, and I'm pretty sure you can take almost anything at the College. (There's a limit on how much you can cross-register for, but it's several classes.)

I know a bit more about HKS because I was a JD/MPP. It's hard to take the good HKS classes, because they're packed with HKS students and HLS students are at the back of the line. And I don't know the entire HKS course catalog. But here are some thoughts.

Just about everybody likes Arts of Communication (especially with McCarthy, but really with anyone), the "Leadership" classes with Heifetz, and anything with "Negotiation" in the title (especially with Mandell — note that these are similar to Negotiation Workshop at HLS). David Gergen is also a great lecturer; I'd take pretty much any class with him as the teacher. Some of these classes are easier and some are harder; look at syllabi and class schedules before signing up.

On the more practical/quantitative side, if you want something that doesn't require a lot of prior background but will give you some financial knowledge, Bilmes's budgeting classes and Chodos's State and Local Financial Policy are highly regarded. People who were undergrad Econ majors and liked it might enjoy Zeckhauser's Analytic Frameworks for Policy, but this is a hard class with a lot of work (but people love it). Pretty much anything with Amitabh Chandra (an expert on health policy and econometrics) is probably a good class.

On the more political side, Steve Jarding's classes are good for pretty much anyone interested in (ever) being involved in politics, or even just in understanding the actual political communication process better. David King's Congress and Lawmaking class is fun, although it's no joke; you read a bunch of theoretical and practical pieces on the legislative process and legislatures and run an elaborate simulation of a legislature that people get really worked up about.

On the lighter side, Chris Robichaud's Economic Justice is probably a fun class. Robichaud is an unabashedly nerdy philosophy guy who looks at moral/ethical issues through comic books and contemporary politics as well as the classic philosophical works. If the notion of starting a sentence with Wolverine, ending it with Paul Ryan, and having Rawls in the middle sounds appealing to you, then you should probably take this class.

This is not by any means a complete list. But these are some classes I'd suggest considering as you look at the course catalog.
Last edited by tomwatts on Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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mdnyc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby mdnyc » Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:44 pm

tomwatts wrote:
mdnyc wrote:
Mack.Hambleton wrote:Fun classes to take at the college/HBS? Can we take anything?
Also, the Kennedy School?


I know a bit more about HKS because I was a JD/MPP.



This may be a topic by itself, but do you feel the MPP portion of the degree has been worth it for the extra year/money you spent? I'm considering applying as a 1L, but I'm not sure of the marginal benefit it would give me over just having a JD.

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foxes
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby foxes » Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:06 pm

dumb q, but how exactly are we supposed to figure out what we want to take for the whole of next year? feeling a bit overwhelmed that we have to preference so far ahead :shock:

also, any comments on human rights clinic?

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:28 pm

mdnyc wrote:This may be a topic by itself, but do you feel the MPP portion of the degree has been worth it for the extra year/money you spent? I'm considering applying as a 1L, but I'm not sure of the marginal benefit it would give me over just having a JD.

I've talked about this before, probably more than once, but the short answer is, for me, yes. It depends on what you want out of an HKS education, though. I liked the experience and learned a lot at HKS, and I managed to find a term-time job (Teaching Fellow at the College) that made it not a significant financial hardship, but I'm not going to be "doing" anything with the MPP immediately out of law school. (Although if I had gone into what I had originally been interested in — legislative/policy work — I would have.)

Feel free to follow up, either in this topic or by PM. I can probably give more specific guidance if I know more about what your current thought process is like. (When I was a 0L, my thought process was something along the lines of: "Kennedy School of Government! That sounds cool!" So I count myself lucky that it worked out, given how little I knew.)

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mdnyc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby mdnyc » Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:41 pm

tomwatts wrote:
mdnyc wrote:This may be a topic by itself, but do you feel the MPP portion of the degree has been worth it for the extra year/money you spent? I'm considering applying as a 1L, but I'm not sure of the marginal benefit it would give me over just having a JD.

I've talked about this before, probably more than once, but the short answer is, for me, yes. It depends on what you want out of an HKS education, though. I liked the experience and learned a lot at HKS, and I managed to find a term-time job (Teaching Fellow at the College) that made it not a significant financial hardship, but I'm not going to be "doing" anything with the MPP immediately out of law school. (Although if I had gone into what I had originally been interested in — legislative/policy work — I would have.)

Feel free to follow up, either in this topic or by PM. I can probably give more specific guidance if I know more about what your current thought process is like. (When I was a 0L, my thought process was something along the lines of: "Kennedy School of Government! That sounds cool!" So I count myself lucky that it worked out, given how little I knew.)


Awesome. Thank you!

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby boslaw56 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:45 am

Does anyone have any tips for cheap monthly parking in the area? I live in somerville, but not in an area where taking the T is convenient (would have to take 2 different buses, 40min+ vs. <10min driving).

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Pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:51 am

boslaw56 wrote:Does anyone have any tips for cheap monthly parking in the area? I live in somerville, but not in an area where taking the T is convenient (would have to take 2 different buses, 40min+ vs. <10min driving).

It isn't unheard of to drive and then park on the Somerville side of the Somerville/Cambridge border. From the border, it's about a 10–12 minute walk.

ETA: Another idea is to find someone from the residential building that is directly across from WCC to rent you a spot.




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