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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Joscellin
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Joscellin » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:35 pm

Oskosh wrote:What would you consider an acceptable used textbook? Asking because there are a lot of textbooks that are listed as having substantial highlighting, etc. Would you consider that an impediment? Should I buy the slightly more expensive case books that have only minimal highlighting?

Thanks in advance! Trying to buy these within the next week.


Highlighting and underlining drove me nuts in my textbooks during 1L. I personally spring for the minimally highlighted books (or even new), but this is an intensely personal thing.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:42 pm

I think that's just a personal preference thing -- you probably already know from college whether you can ignore marks from prior students, or whether marking it up yourself is a big part of your active reading / study routine.

1234HLS19
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby 1234HLS19 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:51 am

Is the most recent edition of the textbook/case book worth it? For example, can I purchase the 8th edition at a steep discount if the 9th edition is required?

This worked well for me in undergrad, but I can see law school being very different. I'd appreciate any advice you may have.

despina
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby despina » Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:10 am

1234HLS19 wrote:Is the most recent edition of the textbook/case book worth it? For example, can I purchase the 8th edition at a steep discount if the 9th edition is required?

This worked well for me in undergrad, but I can see law school being very different. I'd appreciate any advice you may have.


Generally, no. Often a syllabus will say a general topic, then just "pages 120-200." So you have to figure out what that corresponds to in your book, and whether it's the same cases or if you need to go on Westlaw to look up a missing case. At that point you might as well have just gone to the library and taken out the book. All the coursebooks are usually available for short-term loan (2 hours) at the circulation desk.

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:05 am

despina wrote:
1234HLS19 wrote:Is the most recent edition of the textbook/case book worth it? For example, can I purchase the 8th edition at a steep discount if the 9th edition is required?

This worked well for me in undergrad, but I can see law school being very different. I'd appreciate any advice you may have.


Generally, no. Often a syllabus will say a general topic, then just "pages 120-200." So you have to figure out what that corresponds to in your book, and whether it's the same cases or if you need to go on Westlaw to look up a missing case. At that point you might as well have just gone to the library and taken out the book. All the coursebooks are usually available for short-term loan (2 hours) at the circulation desk.

+1.

That's why we list multiple versions of the E&E on Dope, but only the professor's version of the casebook. Sometimes they also change which parts of the cases are printed, or which casenotes are included. It's just not worth the discount, because you would end up spending so much more time figuring out what you are supposed to read.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:22 am

TripTrip wrote:
despina wrote:
1234HLS19 wrote:Is the most recent edition of the textbook/case book worth it? For example, can I purchase the 8th edition at a steep discount if the 9th edition is required?

This worked well for me in undergrad, but I can see law school being very different. I'd appreciate any advice you may have.


Generally, no. Often a syllabus will say a general topic, then just "pages 120-200." So you have to figure out what that corresponds to in your book, and whether it's the same cases or if you need to go on Westlaw to look up a missing case. At that point you might as well have just gone to the library and taken out the book. All the coursebooks are usually available for short-term loan (2 hours) at the circulation desk.

+1.

That's why we list multiple versions of the E&E on Dope, but only the professor's version of the casebook. Sometimes they also change which parts of the cases are printed, or which casenotes are included. It's just not worth the discount, because you would end up spending so much more time figuring out what you are supposed to read.

To be clear, Despina and TripTrip are both saying that you should purchase the newest edition. So the answer to your first question is "yes," and the answer to your second question is "no."

And I agree. In addition to the reasons they mentioned, some profs tend to use page-number references in class. Maybe that isn't likely to happen to you, but it's worth buying the newer edition to ease the worry. It's also nice if everyone is on the same page for study groups, outlines, etc.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:36 am

By the end of law school, I actually preferred casebooks that were marked up with highlighting and notes--someone has already done a first draft of what they thought was important, etc., and I could build on that. Of course, the trick is to ensure that the highlighting and notes are actually thoughtful/worthwhile. I would usually not buy used casebooks on Amazon but instead just go to the Coop and flip through casebooks until I found a used one I liked.

1234HLS19
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby 1234HLS19 » Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:21 pm

Pneumonia wrote:
TripTrip wrote:
despina wrote:
1234HLS19 wrote:Is the most recent edition of the textbook/case book worth it? For example, can I purchase the 8th edition at a steep discount if the 9th edition is required?

This worked well for me in undergrad, but I can see law school being very different. I'd appreciate any advice you may have.


Generally, no. Often a syllabus will say a general topic, then just "pages 120-200." So you have to figure out what that corresponds to in your book, and whether it's the same cases or if you need to go on Westlaw to look up a missing case. At that point you might as well have just gone to the library and taken out the book. All the coursebooks are usually available for short-term loan (2 hours) at the circulation desk.

+1.

That's why we list multiple versions of the E&E on Dope, but only the professor's version of the casebook. Sometimes they also change which parts of the cases are printed, or which casenotes are included. It's just not worth the discount, because you would end up spending so much more time figuring out what you are supposed to read.

To be clear, Despina and TripTrip are both saying that you should purchase the newest edition. So the answer to your first question is "yes," and the answer to your second question is "no."

And I agree. In addition to the reasons they mentioned, some profs tend to use page-number references in class. Maybe that isn't likely to happen to you, but it's worth buying the newer edition to ease the worry. It's also nice if everyone is on the same page for study groups, outlines, etc.


Thank you!

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mdnyc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby mdnyc » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:11 pm

Hey 2L's and 3L's!

What office software do you find yourself using on a regular basis? I'm assuming a word processor and presentation software, but I'm not sure how sophisticated they need to be. For example, do you find yourself using advanced footnote and bibliography creation in Word? Or does Google Docs work fine for you?

ETA: Also, do prof's ever require submission in docx format so they can comment as they grade?

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:20 pm

mdnyc wrote:Hey 2L's and 3L's!

What office software do you find yourself using on a regular basis? I'm assuming a word processor and presentation software, but I'm not sure how sophisticated they need to be. For example, do you find yourself using advanced footnote and bibliography creation in Word? Or does Google Docs work fine for you?

ETA: Also, do prof's ever require submission in docx format so they can comment as they grade?

You need Microsoft Word. But don't buy it; once you get to campus go to IT and they'll install the fully licensed version for free.

To answer your specific questions: yes, you need all the advanced footnote features in Word. No, Google Docs isn't enough (but it's useful for group projects anyway). Yes, LRW professors comment .docxs as they grade.

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mdnyc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby mdnyc » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:09 pm

TripTrip wrote:
mdnyc wrote:Hey 2L's and 3L's!

What office software do you find yourself using on a regular basis? I'm assuming a word processor and presentation software, but I'm not sure how sophisticated they need to be. For example, do you find yourself using advanced footnote and bibliography creation in Word? Or does Google Docs work fine for you?

ETA: Also, do prof's ever require submission in docx format so they can comment as they grade?

You need Microsoft Word. But don't buy it; once you get to campus go to IT and they'll install the fully licensed version for free.

To answer your specific questions: yes, you need all the advanced footnote features in Word. No, Google Docs isn't enough (but it's useful for group projects anyway). Yes, LRW professors comment .docxs as they grade.


Thanks for the heads up!

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le6f
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby le6f » Fri Aug 26, 2016 11:50 am

Anyone know whether there's a max number of pass/fail credits upperclassmen can take -- regarding both graduation requirements and any latin honor considerations? Can't find anything in the academic handbook...

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:02 pm

le6f wrote:Anyone know whether there's a max number of pass/fail credits upperclassmen can take -- regarding both graduation requirements and any latin honor considerations? Can't find anything in the academic handbook...

I don't know of a rule specifically restricting CR/NC credit counts, except that you need to take 36 classroom credits and of classroom credits only reading groups can be taken CR/NC.

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leslieknope
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby leslieknope » Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:58 pm

I'm 20ish on the WL for a BLL multisection class. Any shot at getting in at this point? This class was in the fire sale last year and I started out in the 40s, FWIW.

Also, how much does an SA take out of gift aid? Should I assume all of it? I got the max amount last year and am near it this year.

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TripTrip
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Sat Aug 27, 2016 11:16 pm

leslieknope wrote:I'm 20ish on the WL for a BLL multisection class. Any shot at getting in at this point? This class was in the fire sale last year and I started out in the 40s, FWIW.

Also, how much does an SA take out of gift aid? Should I assume all of it? I got the max amount last year and am near it this year.

You can still get in, but FYI classes are firesaled when they are overbid, not underbid. The point of a firesale is to clear waitlists which are unlikely to naturally clear by the end of the add period. If they do firesale it, it's a great opportunity to jump in front of other people. If they don't but did last year, it's probably tough to get into.

My SA took out all my aid. I would have been better off spending another year at the USAO and getting SPIF. But YMMV!

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Pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:30 am

Does anyone know when the 1L first-drafts are due for the closed memo?

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radio1nowhere
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby radio1nowhere » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:14 pm

Pneumonia wrote:Does anyone know when the 1L first-drafts are due for the closed memo?


Closed Memo Draft due 5 p.m. Tuesday, September 20

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mdnyc
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby mdnyc » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:24 am

Is anyone on the Harvard Slack team? If so, could you PM me the contact info of the Team Admin? You can find that by going here: https://my.slack.com/account/team

I'm trying to get access expanded to 1Ls, but HUIT and HLSIT keep giving me the runaround.

Lfo166
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Lfo166 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:17 am

Any intel on whether 15-16 Sears prize winners have been notified?

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed Sep 07, 2016 3:42 pm

Lfo166 wrote:Any intel on whether 15-16 Sears prize winners have been notified?


I'm sure they have been long since notified.

petitprince
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby petitprince » Mon Sep 12, 2016 8:11 pm

Hi there!
I am not quite sure how this thread works - would it be not welcome to ask for PS advice/review here?
I am aiming for 2017 entry and currently working through my applications. Would really appreciate if someone can offer some advice on my PS/other materials, or is willing to have a chat - please write me a private message!

Thanks a ton, :)

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heythatslife
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby heythatslife » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:01 pm

leslieknope wrote:Also, how much does an SA take out of gift aid? Should I assume all of it? I got the max amount last year and am near it this year.

The formula is as follows:
Grant aid reduction = (summer income) - (tax) - (summer living allowance of $7800) - (10% of post-tax summer income above $7800). Assuming 35k income over summer and no change in other personal financial circumstances, you'll probably see your grant reduced by an amount somewhere in the region of 16-18k.

Notice that the income reduced by tax and living allowance amounts are the same for everyone (not sure if the reduction for tax varies by marital status at all; can confirm that living allowance does not increase for students with dependents). So depending on how you handle summer expenses such as housing, you could come out on top, end up neutral, or in the hole. As far as I can see, the formula is great for people doing their summers at non-NYC/SF locations but financially disincentivizes working for more than the 8 week minimum unless you can keep your summer expense under $350/week.

http://hls.harvard.edu/dept/sfs/student ... gAllowance

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schocolate
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby schocolate » Wed Sep 14, 2016 9:59 pm

Does anyone have advice or info about doing the Advocates and/or Mississippi Delta SPOs?

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radio1nowhere
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby radio1nowhere » Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:33 pm

schocolate wrote:Does anyone have advice or info about doing the Advocates and/or Mississippi Delta SPOs?


I did MDP as a 1L. They're a really friendly group and the time commitment is very manageable, maybe 15-20 hours per semester on average. I mainly did legislative and policy research for my team, and also got the chance to conduct some interviews with stakeholders—culminating in writing a section of the white paper our team was putting together for our NGO client. If you're at all interested in policy advocacy it's a great gig, but note that you won't get any litigation or transactional experience.

The substantive experience may differ a little bit based on which team you're on. Last year the four teams were: (1) economic development; (2) food policy; (3) child & youth; and (4) health initiative (for more description, see https://orgs.law.harvard.edu/deltaproject/). You get to preference the teams, but you may not get your first choice if there are too many people applying for the same team. That being said, I got my second choice and had a good time anyway.

EDIT: Also, many of my EIP interviewers were interested to hear about my experience with MDP. Of course, they're probably just as interested in any other SPO (or other interesting student org) experience, so don't force yourself to do something you're not that into just for the resume line. But it does help to have something to put on the resume line!

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schocolate
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby schocolate » Thu Sep 15, 2016 9:00 pm

radio1nowhere wrote:


This is super helpful, thank you!




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