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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Moxie
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Moxie » Thu May 12, 2011 3:29 pm

CryingMonkey wrote:so i'm planning on living on-campus in North but it's not quite too late to find other options...kind of interested on if any of y'all know if there's a glaring reason not to live there.


I can't think of a glaring reason, everyone I know in North loved it! (Although it's more expensive than the Gropius Complex halls) Living on-campus was convenient and enjoyable this year, and I'd recommend it to future 1Ls.

rv11
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby rv11 » Thu May 12, 2011 3:30 pm

What's the typical schedule for 1Ls (particularly on Fridays)? There is a weekend I already know I have to travel in the fall and am curious at what time it would be safe to book a flight.

Also, do you feel that living off-campus alone as a 1L can be difficult socially?

Finally, how would you describe the difficulty of obtaining a NYC SA as a 1L and 2L?

Thanks in advance!

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Moxie
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Moxie » Thu May 12, 2011 3:35 pm

rv11 wrote:What's the typical schedule for 1Ls (particularly on Fridays)? There is a weekend I already know I have to travel in the fall and am curious at what time it would be safe to book a flight.

Also, do you feel that living off-campus alone as a 1L can be difficult socially?

Finally, how would you describe the difficulty of obtaining a NYC SA as a 1L and 2L?

Thanks in advance!


I think it depends where you're living off-campus. I assume you'd be decently close to HLS, and therefore you'd be near your friends who live on-campus. It's going to take some effort on your part to stay socially engaged, but you're also lucky that you can avoid constantly being around 1Ls during exam periods.

I was fortunate enough to get an NYC 1L SA (although I am a URM), and while they are definitely not easy to get for non-URMs, the Harvard Law name makes it significantly easier. Most of my friends who got 1L SAs in the Northeast sent letters and resumes around December 1st, and many of them didn't even have to send in grades before getting offers. As a 2L, it's going to be a lot easier than 1L, although I can't speculate too much since I haven't been through that process yet.
Last edited by Moxie on Thu May 12, 2011 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Thu May 12, 2011 3:36 pm

rv11 wrote:What's the typical schedule for 1Ls (particularly on Fridays)? There is a weekend I already know I have to travel in the fall and am curious at what time it would be safe to book a flight.

Also, do you feel that living off-campus alone as a 1L can be difficult socially?

Finally, how would you describe the difficulty of obtaining a NYC SA as a 1L and 2L?

Thanks in advance!


schedule for 1Ls varies by section; but you will have friday classes...id assume prob done by 3 ish on fridays generally? but once again, section dependent (tho i dont know of a section w/o friday classes 1L yr...2Ls and 3Ls often opt for none but thats later on). classes do generally end before 5 though 1L first semester. some may be unlucky and get 8 am classes (my section never really did :P)

off campus but close to the law school not that difficult socially. you'll miss out on some things, but i mean you could just hang around the campus. if you mean really far, like not walkable off campus...that may be more annoying of a commute. i lived 20min off; i could have attended a lot of the social events, and i did attend some, but sometimes i just wasnt in the mood to go up 20 min, then down 20 min late at night (im also pretty boring though lol).

NYC SA as 2L prob pretty doable. i mean, i heard last yr's OCI (data not out) was much better than 2009's, and 2009 2Ls who accepted OCI offers were like 75%+? so id imagine at least 80%+ last yr, with each yr getting better. most 2L SAs are obviously in NYC. for 1L yr, doable but not super easy (i do know of a number of 1Ls with V5, V10 1L SAs) -- no idea on the stats for 1L NYC SA...but difficulty is more a product of firms just plain not hiring 1L SAs than HLS students not being able to get them.

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Moxie
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Moxie » Thu May 12, 2011 3:40 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:schedule for 1Ls varies by section; but you will have friday classes...id assume prob done by 3 ish on fridays generally? but once again, section dependent (tho i dont know of a section w/o friday classes 1L yr...2Ls and 3Ls often opt for none but thats later on). classes do generally end before 5 though 1L first semester. some may be unlucky and get 8 am classes (my section never really did :P)


Whoops, I just realized I ignored the first question, but DC's post ^ pretty much sums it up. I wouldn't recommend booking a flight before 3pm, but you could always skip the one or two classes you have that day if it's that important.

rv11
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby rv11 » Thu May 12, 2011 3:45 pm

Moxie wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:schedule for 1Ls varies by section; but you will have friday classes...id assume prob done by 3 ish on fridays generally? but once again, section dependent (tho i dont know of a section w/o friday classes 1L yr...2Ls and 3Ls often opt for none but thats later on). classes do generally end before 5 though 1L first semester. some may be unlucky and get 8 am classes (my section never really did :P)


Whoops, I just realized I ignored the first question, but DC's post ^ pretty much sums it up. I wouldn't recommend booking a flight before 3pm, but you could always skip the one or two classes you have that day if it's that important.


Thank you both. Yeah, I wouldn't do before 3 but I saw on the block schedule that there is a 3-5 block for make-up LRW or something and I didn't know if that was utilized often or not.

mildlyironic
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby mildlyironic » Wed May 18, 2011 2:20 am

Stupid question - What's an SA?

Also, how is the career/summer employment advising? Should we be listening to all the TLSers who are compiling huge databases of clerkships, firms, non-profits, and government positions, and seeking them out ourselves or will they help us out in finding/preparing for the positions we want and having a good resume/cover letter for it?

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Moxie
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Moxie » Wed May 18, 2011 9:18 am

SA = Summer Associate, a ten-twelve week long summer position (usually in the context) of working at a Big Law Firm. Highly coveted for their high pay (>$3000 a week in many instances)

Career and summer employment advising were very helpful, I had great experiences going to the OCS (http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/careers/ocs/) with any questions I had, and they helped me navigate the search for a 1L summer job. Harvard has an incredible network of alumni in influential firms, government positions, and judges' chambers.

I came into 1L having updated my resume beforehand, but OCS helped me make it perfect, and they gave me great advice for cover letters. You need to be active in searching for a job (it's not going to fall in your lap), but OCS will be a great asset in complementing your job search.

butterfly007
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby butterfly007 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:28 am

Are any transfer students interested in sharing your stories? How difficult is it to transfer to HLS?

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:38 pm

Moxie wrote:SA = Summer Associate, a ten-twelve week long summer position (usually in the context) of working at a Big Law Firm. Highly coveted for their high pay (>$3000 a week in many instances)

Career and summer employment advising were very helpful, I had great experiences going to the OCS (http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/careers/ocs/) with any questions I had, and they helped me navigate the search for a 1L summer job. Harvard has an incredible network of alumni in influential firms, government positions, and judges' chambers.

I came into 1L having updated my resume beforehand, but OCS helped me make it perfect, and they gave me great advice for cover letters. You need to be active in searching for a job (it's not going to fall in your lap), but OCS will be a great asset in complementing your job search.


When do you recommend going into OCS for perfecting of the resume?

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Moxie
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Moxie » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:50 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
Moxie wrote:SA = Summer Associate, a ten-twelve week long summer position (usually in the context) of working at a Big Law Firm. Highly coveted for their high pay (>$3000 a week in many instances)

Career and summer employment advising were very helpful, I had great experiences going to the OCS (http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/careers/ocs/) with any questions I had, and they helped me navigate the search for a 1L summer job. Harvard has an incredible network of alumni in influential firms, government positions, and judges' chambers.

I came into 1L having updated my resume beforehand, but OCS helped me make it perfect, and they gave me great advice for cover letters. You need to be active in searching for a job (it's not going to fall in your lap), but OCS will be a great asset in complementing your job search.


When do you recommend going into OCS for perfecting of the resume?


I had already re-done my resume before the semester started, but then I went in on September or early October and got their input. I'd recommend that timeline, it's one less thing to worry about when December 1st rolls around.

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D-ROCCA
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby D-ROCCA » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:07 pm

This may be impossible to answer, but how difficult is it for a 1L at H to find a market paying SA in DC? I know the market has been brutal there and SA's are difficult to come by even for 2L's, but do you know of anyone that has done this? If so, what kind of grades/type of law/firm range? Is it still the case that only a small minority of students get SA's at large firms for their 1L summer?

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Moxie
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Moxie » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:20 pm

D-ROCCA wrote:This may be impossible to answer, but how difficult is it for a 1L at H to find a market paying SA in DC? I know the market has been brutal there and SA's are difficult to come by even for 2L's, but do you know of anyone that has done this? If so, what kind of grades/type of law/firm range? Is it still the case that only a small minority of students get SA's at large firms for their 1L summer?


I tried, very hard (and I'm a URM). I sent out a lot of mailings to DC on December 1st, but only got one interview. I eventually interviewed with very good 1st semester grades and got an offer at a V50 firm, but all the most respected DC firms shut me out. Hopefully it's a bit better through bidding in August! Anecdotally I know of a few (non-URM) people with 1L SAs in DC, but not W&C/Covington/Wilmer level firms and I don't know of grades.

I'm not sure what percentage get Biglaw SAs 1L summer but I think it's more than a small minority, but probably not a majority. Grades sometimes matter, but people often get offers without the firm even seeing them.

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D-ROCCA
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby D-ROCCA » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:27 pm

Moxie wrote:
D-ROCCA wrote:This may be impossible to answer, but how difficult is it for a 1L at H to find a market paying SA in DC? I know the market has been brutal there and SA's are difficult to come by even for 2L's, but do you know of anyone that has done this? If so, what kind of grades/type of law/firm range? Is it still the case that only a small minority of students get SA's at large firms for their 1L summer?


I tried, very hard (and I'm a URM). I sent out a lot of mailings to DC on December 1st, but only got one interview. I eventually interviewed with very good 1st semester grades and got an offer at a V50 firm, but all the most respected DC firms shut me out. Hopefully it's a bit better through bidding in August! Anecdotally I know of a few (non-URM) people with 1L SAs in DC, but not W&C/Covington/Wilmer level firms and I don't know of grades.

I'm not sure what percentage get Biglaw SAs 1L summer but I think it's more than a small minority, but probably not a majority. Grades sometimes matter, but people often get offers without the firm even seeing them.


Any idea why grades don't seem to be as important? Is previous work experience the determining factor? I can see how someone with a finance background has a leg up for transactional/corporate work, or an engineer is more sought after for IP work, but what about for general litigation?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat Jun 18, 2011 12:23 am

D-ROCCA wrote:
Moxie wrote:
D-ROCCA wrote:This may be impossible to answer, but how difficult is it for a 1L at H to find a market paying SA in DC? I know the market has been brutal there and SA's are difficult to come by even for 2L's, but do you know of anyone that has done this? If so, what kind of grades/type of law/firm range? Is it still the case that only a small minority of students get SA's at large firms for their 1L summer?


I tried, very hard (and I'm a URM). I sent out a lot of mailings to DC on December 1st, but only got one interview. I eventually interviewed with very good 1st semester grades and got an offer at a V50 firm, but all the most respected DC firms shut me out. Hopefully it's a bit better through bidding in August! Anecdotally I know of a few (non-URM) people with 1L SAs in DC, but not W&C/Covington/Wilmer level firms and I don't know of grades.

I'm not sure what percentage get Biglaw SAs 1L summer but I think it's more than a small minority, but probably not a majority. Grades sometimes matter, but people often get offers without the firm even seeing them.


Any idea why grades don't seem to be as important? Is previous work experience the determining factor? I can see how someone with a finance background has a leg up for transactional/corporate work, or an engineer is more sought after for IP work, but what about for general litigation?


Grades arent as important for students coming out of HLS because 1) it's HLS and 2) most people can't really make sense of the grading system here lol.

WE though would be very helpful, though not necessary. I have none and got a 1L SA. And while DC is tough to crack as a 1L (even as 2L in a way), it is not impossible, even for W&C/Covington level. One of my friends got into one of those firms, 1L SA, in DC. tbf, he's a bit older and has a lot of great WE.

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

Postby concurrent fork » Sun Jun 19, 2011 9:47 am

butterfly007 wrote:Are any transfer students interested in sharing your stories? How difficult is it to transfer to HLS?

Depends largely on: (1) the school you are transferring out of; and (2) 1L grades. The ranges given in this post are fairly accurate viewtopic.php?f=27&t=82937. I can also PM you my stats/background if interested.

jonfen
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jonfen » Thu Jun 23, 2011 11:58 am

During spring semester of LRW, are you graded on the oral portion of the Moot Court Program, or just on the written brief? Will it adversely affect you if you have terrible public speaking skills? lol

Also, the LRW website says that it is graded on a mandatory curve. Is that still true?

Thank you!

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Thu Jun 23, 2011 12:05 pm

LRW is curved. Oral argument is not graded/factored in. The standard for oral argument is "dont embarrass the school in front of the visiting judge/prof/etc"

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat Jun 25, 2011 2:43 pm

englawyer wrote:LRW is curved. Oral argument is not graded/factored in. The standard for oral argument is "dont embarrass the school in front of the visiting judge/prof/etc"


hm curious, do you know what the curve is for LRW? pretty sure it is NOT ~36% get Hs and rest Ps (least in my LRW)

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sayan
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sayan » Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:41 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
englawyer wrote:LRW is curved. Oral argument is not graded/factored in. The standard for oral argument is "dont embarrass the school in front of the visiting judge/prof/etc"


hm curious, do you know what the curve is for LRW? pretty sure it is NOT ~36% get Hs and rest Ps (least in my LRW)


Our instructor said she adhered to that curve. It's possible yours may have deviated downward (perhaps 30% get Hs), but not upwards.

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ebeth
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ebeth » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:31 pm

So according to the academic calendar, 1Ls don't have classes from October 5-10. Would that be a decent time to leave town (I know I'll have to take my reading with me)? Or is there some crazy big assignment due right afterwards?

Also, do we have access to free software (such as Office) through the university?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:42 pm

ebeth wrote:So according to the academic calendar, 1Ls don't have classes from October 5-10. Would that be a decent time to leave town (I know I'll have to take my reading with me)? Or is there some crazy big assignment due right afterwards?

Also, do we have access to free software (such as Office) through the university?


you can probably leave town, though there might be something due around then for LRW...like your closed memo draft or something. maybe it's before, maybe it's a week after, i dont remember -- i just know first semester you do a closed memo and an open one, and that time seems to be around when a closed is due (if not the draft, at least an outline).

you do get free access to microsoft office, i think 2003 (at best), but you have to bring your comp to their IT and let them install it for you. once you leave, you have to uninstall it or something.

ps - IT at HLS kinda sucks, you'll see what i mean lol

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ebeth
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ebeth » Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:54 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
ebeth wrote:So according to the academic calendar, 1Ls don't have classes from October 5-10. Would that be a decent time to leave town (I know I'll have to take my reading with me)? Or is there some crazy big assignment due right afterwards?

Also, do we have access to free software (such as Office) through the university?


you can probably leave town, though there might be something due around then for LRW...like your closed memo draft or something. maybe it's before, maybe it's a week after, i dont remember -- i just know first semester you do a closed memo and an open one, and that time seems to be around when a closed is due (if not the draft, at least an outline).

you do get free access to microsoft office, i think 2003 (at best), but you have to bring your comp to their IT and let them install it for you. once you leave, you have to uninstall it or something.

ps - IT at HLS kinda sucks, you'll see what i mean lol


Oh wow. That really sucks. I had direct access to hundreds of dollars of free software from my undergrad. And every drink was $3 at all the bars on Thursdays. Just a few things that I'll miss.

But anyway, thanks for your quick reply :)

WhatWouldHolmesDo?
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby WhatWouldHolmesDo? » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:06 pm

DoubleChecks wrote:
englawyer wrote:LRW is curved. Oral argument is not graded/factored in. The standard for oral argument is "dont embarrass the school in front of the visiting judge/prof/etc"


hm curious, do you know what the curve is for LRW? pretty sure it is NOT ~36% get Hs and rest Ps (least in my LRW)


You think your section got more than 36% H's or less? I'm also unaware if DS's are available in LRW or not.

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sayan
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby sayan » Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:08 am

WhatWouldHolmesDo? wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:
englawyer wrote:LRW is curved. Oral argument is not graded/factored in. The standard for oral argument is "dont embarrass the school in front of the visiting judge/prof/etc"


hm curious, do you know what the curve is for LRW? pretty sure it is NOT ~36% get Hs and rest Ps (least in my LRW)


You think your section got more than 36% H's or less? I'm also unaware if DS's are available in LRW or not.


DSs are available in LRW.




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