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

Postby PriOSky » Mon May 07, 2012 3:23 pm

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Last edited by PriOSky on Fri May 03, 2013 12:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nom Sawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Nom Sawyer » Mon May 07, 2012 3:47 pm

PMan99 wrote:
Nom Sawyer wrote:
If you're referring to the laundry machines for the HLS dorms, these can be operated with your HLS ID (money u use for food/printing/ etc.)... Quite convenience in that you don't need $4 in quarters every time


I dunno about acrossthelake, but I was poasting disputing the "operate" part, not what they operate on. I think my dorm has had a full set of working machines for like one week out of the year.


lol yeah i heard about that... Mine worked fine though. I think if things break down you have to notify fac. manag. and they'll handle it pretty fast. If nobody tells em though they're never fixed

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Nom Sawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Nom Sawyer » Mon May 07, 2012 3:47 pm

PriOSky wrote:With a lottery # in the 220s for 1L, is it possible to get a cheaper Gropius room? Is Hastings popular with 2Ls and 3Ls? I'm going straight through, so I'm used to dorms and don't want to be stuck with something fancy & expensive.


Hastings: Fancier and DEF more expensive.

The majority of Gropius rooms are of the cheaper variety so even with a high lottery number you should be fine getting a very inexpensive room (by Cambridge standards of course).

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echamberlin8
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby echamberlin8 » Mon May 07, 2012 3:56 pm

Hello, current and future Harvard Law students! I'm just popping in to say hi, since Harvard Law is my #1 dream school for my upcoming 2012-2013 admissions cycle.

I'm putting in 6 months of LSAT prep so I can get as high as possible, with hopes of a possible 175+, which I think gives me a chance at Harvard, which is in itself probably my only school that is achievable out of the Holy Trinity of law schools (I have a 3.73 GPA). I saw someone on LSN get in with my same GPA and a 176. He is also a white male and from the DC area, and has been out of undergrad for 1-2 years.

One of my questions actually has to do with being out of undergrad. From what I've read in various sources, especially the interviews of Harvard Law's dean (Josh Rubenstein?), Harvard in recent years especially likes candidates with some work experience, as opposed to K-JDs. I was just curious if you guys know what the work background for most of the current students is like. Do most of the students at Harvard seem to be a little bit older than K-JDs? What kind of jobs did you guys have before going to HLS?

I only ask because I'm hoping that working at a (big) law firm as a paralegal will help give my application to Harvard some focus and show clearly my reasons for going into law school, especially at a law school which pumps out some of the biggest numbers into the BigLaw arena. I actually work at a law firm that employs 175+ HLS grads, so I know we have some ties with the school itself. (It's a Boston firm originally, although I work in the DC office, which is now our biggest.)

Where do most of you guys live? Is there an option for on-campus housing, and, if so, do most 1Ls take it? Does anyone know anything about the JD/MBA program there? It seems like a cool idea, but it also seems next to impossible for someone like me (work experience as a paralegal and at a federal government contracting/proposal-writing office) to get into the HBS, even with a stellar GMAT. Does it help at all if you are already in at their law school?

Mostly I just wanted to say hi, and I plan to keep in touch and keep reporting in here as motivation to study my ass off for the LSAT. It also helps that my brother, sister-in-law, and two nieces live in Boston, and I love the city itself. I will be up visiting them next month, and I will probably drop by the law school to check it out. I've been to Harvard several times, but I haven't specifically looked at the law school yet.

Thanks, guys!

1988AndX
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby 1988AndX » Mon May 07, 2012 4:43 pm

What are the most popular dorms among Gropius, North, and Hastings? Is Gropius mostly 1L and North&Hastings mostly 2L/3L/SJD/LLM?

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Mon May 07, 2012 5:22 pm

Lovely Ludwig Van wrote:My question is, how much partying goes on during the school year in Gropius/Hastings/North? I like to drink and screw around as much as the next guy, but this is law school and I don't want to have the same level of distraction I had in undergrad. It seems from visiting during ASW that the walls in those facilities aren't exactly sound-proof, so I would definitely consider other more expensive options if it would make a difference.

PMan99 wrote:Don't live on a floor with a lounge and you'll be set

This is by far the best answer. There's a fair amount of partying, but you will never hear it if you're not on a lounge floor. (And it's not bad if you're far away from the lounge even on a lounge floor, as I am.)
Lovely Ludwig Van wrote:Also, I was wondering where most students prefer to do their studying. It seemed like a lot of students hang out in Wasserstein during the day as opposed to going back to dorms. Is that generally the case most of the time?

The library and Wasserstein/the Hark are both quite popular. I tend to study in my room, and this is also not unusual.

Re: the various questions about dorm populations, I'm led to believe that there's a slightly higher percentage of LLMs and SJDs in North than elsewhere, but otherwise you'll always see a mix of years/programs in each dorm. I think there are more 1Ls than anything else in Gropius, but there are plenty of others. If you want a cheap Gropius room, you can probably get it, no matter where you are on the waitlist.

PKozi
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby PKozi » Mon May 07, 2012 5:26 pm

And another dorm question (Jeez, you'd think lottery numbers came out today or something):

I'm looking for cheap and convenient, so I've settled on Gropius. I have a pretty good lottery number, so I'm wondering about how to choose from within the Gropius complex. Anything to consider other than renovated/not renovated, gender of bathroom, and whether there's a lounge?

Any floors/buildings to avoid?

Thanks

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Mon May 07, 2012 5:32 pm

echamberlin8 wrote:I was just curious if you guys know what the work background for most of the current students is like. Do most of the students at Harvard seem to be a little bit older than K-JDs? What kind of jobs did you guys have before going to HLS?

Roughly 3/4 of students work at least a year (usually 1-3) before coming to HLS, in a very wide variety of jobs. Teach For America is pretty common, as are various consulting jobs. But you'll find a whole lot of variety. Being a paralegal before law school is not unheard of but tremendously common.

echamberlin8 wrote:Does anyone know anything about the JD/MBA program there? It seems like a cool idea, but it also seems next to impossible for someone like me (work experience as a paralegal and at a federal government contracting/proposal-writing office) to get into the HBS, even with a stellar GMAT. Does it help at all if you are already in at their law school?

It does help (a lot) if you're already in the law school. I think they also look on reapplicants favorably, so if you apply to both simultaneously and don't get into HBS, you can reapply during your 1L year (kind of a pain) and have a good shot. JD/MBA is good (though not necessary) for corporate law; it helps to know how the business people are thinking about a deal as you're working on the legal end of it. It's also good if you think you might want to become a CEO someday; there is a possible path in-house through Legal to General Counsel to CEO, though it's somewhat uncommon, and other potential paths, too.

PKozi wrote:I'm looking for cheap and convenient, so I've settled on Gropius. I have a pretty good lottery number, so I'm wondering about how to choose from within the Gropius complex. Anything to consider other than renovated/not renovated, gender of bathroom, and whether there's a lounge?

Any floors/buildings to avoid?

Well, there are no elevators, so you can consider whether you want to walk up flights of stairs. Obviously, alongside lounge existence is kitchen proximity. Maybe a view; I bet some of the higher floors that face in certain directions have cool views of things. (Though those things might just be Hauser.)

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echamberlin8
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby echamberlin8 » Mon May 07, 2012 6:12 pm

tomwatts wrote:
echamberlin8 wrote:I was just curious if you guys know what the work background for most of the current students is like. Do most of the students at Harvard seem to be a little bit older than K-JDs? What kind of jobs did you guys have before going to HLS?

Roughly 3/4 of students work at least a year (usually 1-3) before coming to HLS, in a very wide variety of jobs. Teach For America is pretty common, as are various consulting jobs. But you'll find a whole lot of variety. Being a paralegal before law school is not unheard of but tremendously common.

echamberlin8 wrote:Does anyone know anything about the JD/MBA program there? It seems like a cool idea, but it also seems next to impossible for someone like me (work experience as a paralegal and at a federal government contracting/proposal-writing office) to get into the HBS, even with a stellar GMAT. Does it help at all if you are already in at their law school?

It does help (a lot) if you're already in the law school. I think they also look on reapplicants favorably, so if you apply to both simultaneously and don't get into HBS, you can reapply during your 1L year (kind of a pain) and have a good shot. JD/MBA is good (though not necessary) for corporate law; it helps to know how the business people are thinking about a deal as you're working on the legal end of it. It's also good if you think you might want to become a CEO someday; there is a possible path in-house through Legal to General Counsel to CEO, though it's somewhat uncommon, and other potential paths, too.

PKozi wrote:I'm looking for cheap and convenient, so I've settled on Gropius. I have a pretty good lottery number, so I'm wondering about how to choose from within the Gropius complex. Anything to consider other than renovated/not renovated, gender of bathroom, and whether there's a lounge?

Any floors/buildings to avoid?

Well, there are no elevators, so you can consider whether you want to walk up flights of stairs. Obviously, alongside lounge existence is kitchen proximity. Maybe a view; I bet some of the higher floors that face in certain directions have cool views of things. (Though those things might just be Hauser.)


Hmm...I did not know that they looked on re-applying positively. That's good to know. And the reason I would consider a JD/MBA in the first place would be because I'm not completely sure of what I want my long-terms to be beyond BigLaw/clerkship coming out of law school. I could possibly be interested in consulting or other types of MBA-friendly jobs, so that's why I thought an MBA might be useful. Plus, like you said, it helps when entering into corporate law. Thanks for the answers.

I'm not sure if I'd have a shot at HBS, though. I don't really have any "business-related" work experience, and I've never even taken too many (read: none) business classes before. It's always good to try, though. Have a nice day!

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Lovely Ludwig Van
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Lovely Ludwig Van » Mon May 07, 2012 6:26 pm

tomwatts wrote:
Lovely Ludwig Van wrote:My question is, how much partying goes on during the school year in Gropius/Hastings/North? I like to drink and screw around as much as the next guy, but this is law school and I don't want to have the same level of distraction I had in undergrad. It seems from visiting during ASW that the walls in those facilities aren't exactly sound-proof, so I would definitely consider other more expensive options if it would make a difference.

PMan99 wrote:Don't live on a floor with a lounge and you'll be set

This is by far the best answer. There's a fair amount of partying, but you will never hear it if you're not on a lounge floor. (And it's not bad if you're far away from the lounge even on a lounge floor, as I am.)
Lovely Ludwig Van wrote:Also, I was wondering where most students prefer to do their studying. It seemed like a lot of students hang out in Wasserstein during the day as opposed to going back to dorms. Is that generally the case most of the time?

The library and Wasserstein/the Hark are both quite popular. I tend to study in my room, and this is also not unusual.

Re: the various questions about dorm populations, I'm led to believe that there's a slightly higher percentage of LLMs and SJDs in North than elsewhere, but otherwise you'll always see a mix of years/programs in each dorm. I think there are more 1Ls than anything else in Gropius, but there are plenty of others. If you want a cheap Gropius room, you can probably get it, no matter where you are on the waitlist.


Awesome, thanks for the answers. Much appreciated.

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echamberlin8
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby echamberlin8 » Tue May 08, 2012 10:10 am

Ah, I love Clockwork Orange. 8)

splbagel
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby splbagel » Tue May 08, 2012 10:35 am

Another housing question. I have a great view and select window for HUH (I think I get second pick, right after students with families). I'm looking for a pet-friendly one-bedroom or studio under $1600 to share with my boyfriend and cat, preferably with a dishwasher and access to laundry.

It looks like the best options are Holden Green and Shaler Lane. Any insight on which one of these options is nicer, or what to look for when choosing units within them?

Also, has anyone seen 5A Sacramento St and have any comments? They don't have laundry or dishwashers, but it's super close to campus and it seems like it would be nice to live in a house (and maybe save some cash on a studio).

Thanks again to all the HLS folks answering questions! This thread has been very helpful.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue May 08, 2012 11:54 am

I didn't do the dorms(just have friends who have talked about laundry in passing) and haven't heard of the places splbagel and nothing to offer re: that.

I think the stat is that 50% took 2+ years off, 25% took just one year off, and 25% went straight through. That about reflects what I encounter. Another good reason for WE is not just for admissions--it's for the job search. They love it.

Places to study varies by ppl. People generally do what they did in undergrad (library/more social common space/home). I've never liked the library & live close enough not to have to settle for Wasserstein unless I'm intentionally studying with others.

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20121109
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby 20121109 » Tue May 08, 2012 12:00 pm

acrossthelake wrote:Places to study varies by ppl. People generally do what they did in undergrad (library/more social common space/home). I've never liked the library & live close enough not to have to settle for Wasserstein unless I'm intentionally studying with others.


+1

Seriously, I don't even touch the library anymore now that Wasserstein is open. That building is just stunning...and there are so many places to study. I am quite fond of the first floor study rooms that allow you to link your laptop to the big screens on the walls. Very cute.

Geneva
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Geneva » Tue May 08, 2012 12:35 pm

acrossthelake wrote:I didn't do the dorms(just have friends who have talked about laundry in passing) and haven't heard of the places splbagel and nothing to offer re: that.

I think the stat is that 50% took 2+ years off, 25% took just one year off, and 25% went straight through. That about reflects what I encounter. Another good reason for WE is not just for admissions--it's for the job search. They love it.

Places to study varies by ppl. People generally do what they did in undergrad (library/more social common space/home). I've never liked the library & live close enough not to have to settle for Wasserstein unless I'm intentionally studying with others.


As a 0L, i have the travel bug, but do not feel the need to spend an entire year traveling or teaching english. how would it look to employers if i take a semester off/leave of absence (2L spring, for example) to go abroad and do something interesting (more than just travel, but not necessarily law related)? if i get some type of unpaid internship (e.g. nonprofit, UN) or volunteer longer term through a program like alternative spring break, will i put myself at a disadvantage for later interviews and offers?

some TLSers have expressed concern that a leave of absence will seriously undermine job prospects, especially at firms--is this true? if so, is this the case mainly for medical leaves, or are leaves in general(w/o some specific, career related purpose) a bad idea?

Thanks so much!

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Tue May 08, 2012 12:40 pm

Geneva wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:I didn't do the dorms(just have friends who have talked about laundry in passing) and haven't heard of the places splbagel and nothing to offer re: that.

I think the stat is that 50% took 2+ years off, 25% took just one year off, and 25% went straight through. That about reflects what I encounter. Another good reason for WE is not just for admissions--it's for the job search. They love it.

Places to study varies by ppl. People generally do what they did in undergrad (library/more social common space/home). I've never liked the library & live close enough not to have to settle for Wasserstein unless I'm intentionally studying with others.


As a 0L, i have the travel bug, but do not feel the need to spend an entire year traveling or teaching english. how would it look to employers if i take a semester off/leave of absence (2L spring, for example) to go abroad and do something interesting (more than just travel, but not necessarily law related)? if i get some type of unpaid internship (e.g. nonprofit, UN) or volunteer longer term through a program like alternative spring break, will i put myself at a disadvantage for later interviews and offers?

some TLSers have expressed concern that a leave of absence will seriously undermine job prospects, especially at firms--is this true? if so, is this the case mainly for medical leaves, or are leaves in general(w/o some specific, career related purpose) a bad idea?

Thanks so much!

Why don't you defer for a year? You previously expressed similar sentiments in other threads, I believe.

Geneva
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Geneva » Tue May 08, 2012 12:50 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
Geneva wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:I didn't do the dorms(just have friends who have talked about laundry in passing) and haven't heard of the places splbagel and nothing to offer re: that.

I think the stat is that 50% took 2+ years off, 25% took just one year off, and 25% went straight through. That about reflects what I encounter. Another good reason for WE is not just for admissions--it's for the job search. They love it.

Places to study varies by ppl. People generally do what they did in undergrad (library/more social common space/home). I've never liked the library & live close enough not to have to settle for Wasserstein unless I'm intentionally studying with others.


As a 0L, i have the travel bug, but do not feel the need to spend an entire year traveling or teaching english. how would it look to employers if i take a semester off/leave of absence (2L spring, for example) to go abroad and do something interesting (more than just travel, but not necessarily law related)? if i get some type of unpaid internship (e.g. nonprofit, UN) or volunteer longer term through a program like alternative spring break, will i put myself at a disadvantage for later interviews and offers?

some TLSers have expressed concern that a leave of absence will seriously undermine job prospects, especially at firms--is this true? if so, is this the case mainly for medical leaves, or are leaves in general(w/o some specific, career related purpose) a bad idea?

Thanks so much!

Why don't you defer for a year? You previously expressed similar sentiments in other threads, I believe.


I decided against a deferral because I want to travel for a few months, not an entire year, and I am pretty eager to start school. Since schools tend to be generous with leaves (especially planned leaves), I figured a LOA might be a good alternative?

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue May 08, 2012 12:54 pm

Geneva wrote:As a 0L, i have the travel bug, but do not feel the need to spend an entire year traveling or teaching english. how would it look to employers if i take a semester off/leave of absence (2L spring, for example) to go abroad and do something interesting (more than just travel, but not necessarily law related)? if i get some type of unpaid internship (e.g. nonprofit, UN) or volunteer longer term through a program like alternative spring break, will i put myself at a disadvantage for later interviews and offers?

some TLSers have expressed concern that a leave of absence will seriously undermine job prospects, especially at firms--is this true? if so, is this the case mainly for medical leaves, or are leaves in general(w/o some specific, career related purpose) a bad idea?

Thanks so much!


For firm jobs, you interview before you start your 2L to work the summer before your 3L and then ideally come to work once you graduate at the end of 3L. If you randomly take a semester off, you won't graduate on time, and won't graduate on time to work with your cohort. This seems unwise. The time for these sorts of plans is before law school, not during. If you want to travel during law school, try to go abroad for your 1L summer job, study abroad your 2L or 3L years, and plan for your bar trip.

Geneva
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Geneva » Tue May 08, 2012 1:11 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
Geneva wrote:As a 0L, i have the travel bug, but do not feel the need to spend an entire year traveling or teaching english. how would it look to employers if i take a semester off/leave of absence (2L spring, for example) to go abroad and do something interesting (more than just travel, but not necessarily law related)? if i get some type of unpaid internship (e.g. nonprofit, UN) or volunteer longer term through a program like alternative spring break, will i put myself at a disadvantage for later interviews and offers?

some TLSers have expressed concern that a leave of absence will seriously undermine job prospects, especially at firms--is this true? if so, is this the case mainly for medical leaves, or are leaves in general(w/o some specific, career related purpose) a bad idea?

Thanks so much!


For firm jobs, you interview before you start your 2L to work the summer before your 3L and then ideally come to work once you graduate at the end of 3L. If you randomly take a semester off, you won't graduate on time, and won't graduate on time to work with your cohort. This seems unwise. The time for these sorts of plans is before law school, not during. If you want to travel during law school, try to go abroad for your 1L summer job, study abroad your 2L or 3L years, and plan for your bar trip.


Thanks! If I defer to travel, does it look bad to employers to have a gap year on my resume? Thus far, I have some work experience, but nothing remotely helpful or relevant. Would it be smart to take half of my time off to work as a paralegal (I can't afford to travel the entire time), or is waitressing/any job comparable? Finally, if I use my deferral year to do international development work abroad (applied for some volunteer positions but not optimistic), will the experience provide a boost for OCI? I have heard that prior work experience plays a role in hiring decisions, but have no idea how this works in practice. I imagine it varies based on duration/type of experience/age/etc., but haven't seen any data on the subject...

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue May 08, 2012 1:19 pm

Geneva wrote:
Thanks! If I defer to travel, does it look bad to employers to have a gap year on my resume? Thus far, I have some work experience, but nothing remotely helpful or relevant. Would it be smart to take half of my time off to work as a paralegal (I can't afford to travel the entire time), or is waitressing/any job comparable? Finally, if I use my deferral year to do international development work abroad (applied for some volunteer positions but not optimistic), will the experience provide a boost for OCI? I have heard that prior work experience plays a role in hiring decisions, but have no idea how this works in practice. I imagine it varies based on duration/type of experience/age/etc., but haven't seen any data on the subject...


They'll probably ask you what you did with your time off if there's nothing on your resume to specify, and you'll say you took time off to travel because you thought it was an ideal time in life, and they'll probably smile and ask where you went. Work whatever job you need in that time. The biggest boosts at OCI go to people who worked in finance(Goldman Sachs) and/or consulting (MCKinsey, Bain, BCG). I've seen ppl with that background do exceptionally well at legal hiring. Other than that, I think they're just happy to see you took time off to do something worthwhile. The concern with people who went straight through is that one is still stuck in a "school" perspective.

Geneva
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Geneva » Tue May 08, 2012 1:34 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
Geneva wrote:
Thanks! If I defer to travel, does it look bad to employers to have a gap year on my resume? Thus far, I have some work experience, but nothing remotely helpful or relevant. Would it be smart to take half of my time off to work as a paralegal (I can't afford to travel the entire time), or is waitressing/any job comparable? Finally, if I use my deferral year to do international development work abroad (applied for some volunteer positions but not optimistic), will the experience provide a boost for OCI? I have heard that prior work experience plays a role in hiring decisions, but have no idea how this works in practice. I imagine it varies based on duration/type of experience/age/etc., but haven't seen any data on the subject...


They'll probably ask you what you did with your time off if there's nothing on your resume to specify, and you'll say you took time off to travel because you thought it was an ideal time in life, and they'll probably smile and ask where you went. Work whatever job you need in that time. The biggest boosts at OCI go to people who worked in finance(Goldman Sachs) and/or consulting (MCKinsey, Bain, BCG). I've seen ppl with that background do exceptionally well at legal hiring. Other than that, I think they're just happy to see you took time off to do something worthwhile. The concern with people who went straight through is that one is still stuck in a "school" perspective.


HUGE RELIEF. Thanks so much for the speedy responses:)

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue May 08, 2012 2:05 pm

Geneva wrote:
HUGE RELIEF. Thanks so much for the speedy responses:)


Yeah deferring is wayyy better than just going and trying to take a leave.

acappella
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acappella » Wed May 09, 2012 2:44 pm

Do any current students have input about doing summer research as a 0L? Admissions just sent out an email about available positions and since my lease starts in June, I was thinking it might be worth applying. Would it be a helpful talking point during interviews for 1L summer jobs? Is it helpful/interesting otherwise?

Also, any opinions on the professors they list?:
https://www.law.harvard.edu/prospective ... earch.html

Thanks!

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echamberlin8
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby echamberlin8 » Wed May 09, 2012 5:19 pm

Question: On one of the other forums I heard that Harvard still has a policy that for JD/MBA dual-degree students, that once you got into HLS, that it made getting into HBS slightly easier. Does anyone know anything about this?

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Thu May 10, 2012 11:17 am

acappella wrote:Do any current students have input about doing summer research as a 0L? Admissions just sent out an email about available positions and since my lease starts in June, I was thinking it might be worth applying. Would it be a helpful talking point during interviews for 1L summer jobs? Is it helpful/interesting otherwise?

Also, any opinions on the professors they list?:
https://www.law.harvard.edu/prospective ... earch.html

Most people who RA find it a good experience. You get to do research (often a good thing to say that you can do when talking to employers) and get to know a professor well (good for when you need references/recommendations). If you have an interesting topic, it can be fun, and if the professor actually assigns you substantive work, you can really dig into something. Every now and then someone has a bad experience because they're only asked to do menial things; you have to talk to someone who RA-ed for the professor before to know what it'll be like.

Those profs generally are rock stars, but I don't know any of them personally.

echamberlin8 wrote:Question: On one of the other forums I heard that Harvard still has a policy that for JD/MBA dual-degree students, that once you got into HLS, that it made getting into HBS slightly easier. Does anyone know anything about this?

It's true. Analogously, I applied to HLS and HKS at the same time a year ago, got into HLS but not HKS, and reapplied to HKS this year. I met with someone in admissions at HKS, and she said that I had three things going in my favor that I didn't last year: I was accepted to HLS, which means that I passed through another rigorous screening process and now HKS thinks that it doesn't have to scrutinize me as closely; I'm attending HLS, which means I could be successfully without the second degree and the fact that I'm applying even so means that I really want it; and I'm a re-applicant, which they view favorably because it again means that I've seriously thought about it and really want the second degree. Nothing had changed between last year and this year except my being at HLS, but I got into HKS this time.

I gather that the same sort of thing applies at every other Harvard grad program.




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