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

Postby concurrent fork » Sun May 20, 2012 11:53 am

DoubleChecks wrote:There are also a number of V10 schools that do not care about your prior pre-lawschool work experience (assuming you have SOME sort of work experience like interning at x). Plenty of friends got V10 and V20 jobs with median grades, K-JD. I'd focus some on not being a horrible interviewer. I apologize for the anecdotal evidence -- I just wouldn't start worrying if you don't have real work experience.

I wouldn't say these firms don't care about work experience just because they hire K-JDs (as every big firm does). It's by no means a necessary requirement, but I think it's almost universally seen as a plus. That said, I completely agree that at a school like HLS there's no need to worry about a lack of FT work experience (with EIP success rate being so high).

slsorhls
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby slsorhls » Sun May 20, 2012 11:54 am

Two questions:

#1. What is the schedule like for a 1L--how many classes does one usually take on Friday and till what hour?

#2. How best can you get a spot in a reading group?

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Sun May 20, 2012 1:15 pm

slsorhls wrote:Two questions:

#1. What is the schedule like for a 1L--how many classes does one usually take on Friday and till what hour?

#2. How best can you get a spot in a reading group?

The 1L schedule varies across sections. Usually, there are two classes for an hour and twenty minutes on M, T, W, one morning and one afternoon, and two classes on T, F, two hours each, one morning and one afternoon. The latest 1L doctrinal classes end at five, if even that late, although elective seminars end later. PM me if you are concerned about Shabbat.

I don't know much about reading groups, since I didn't go for anything extra first semester. But if I remember correctly, they sent around an email with a link to the available groups, and most people got what they were interested in. I was in a reading group second semester, but that was highly informal, and anyone with interest in the topic could have just shown up, and brought a friend too. I don't know if most are like that.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sun May 20, 2012 2:51 pm

slsorhls wrote:Two questions:

#1. What is the schedule like for a 1L--how many classes does one usually take on Friday and till what hour?

#2. How best can you get a spot in a reading group?

On 1, see above, but they managed for my section to give us one 2-hour and one 1:20 class each day (except Wednesday, when we had two 1:20 classes). Ending at 5 on Friday is pretty unusual (though possible); you're likely to end at 4:40, 4:20, or 3.

On 2, just sign up. There's a random selection process for some of the more popular ones. I signed up for one that was not popular ("Contemporary Legal Scholarship"), so I just got it without trouble.

slsorhls
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby slsorhls » Sun May 20, 2012 3:05 pm

tomwatts wrote:
slsorhls wrote:Two questions:

#1. What is the schedule like for a 1L--how many classes does one usually take on Friday and till what hour?

#2. How best can you get a spot in a reading group?

On 1, see above, but they managed for my section to give us one 2-hour and one 1:20 class each day (except Wednesday, when we had two 1:20 classes). Ending at 5 on Friday is pretty unusual (though possible); you're likely to end at 4:40, 4:20, or 3.

On 2, just sign up. There's a random selection process for some of the more popular ones. I signed up for one that was not popular ("Contemporary Legal Scholarship"), so I just got it without trouble.


So do some people end up even missing some Friday classes in order to travel for a long weekend/that sort of thing? I assume you can get notes from someone else/it's not a big deal?

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Sun May 20, 2012 4:32 pm

slsorhls wrote:
So do some people end up even missing some Friday classes in order to travel for a long weekend/that sort of thing? I assume you can get notes from someone else/it's not a big deal?


Yeah, it's whatever. You can miss a fair number of classes, not get notes, and still do well.

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Mon May 21, 2012 10:51 am

acrossthelake wrote:
slsorhls wrote:
So do some people end up even missing some Friday classes in order to travel for a long weekend/that sort of thing? I assume you can get notes from someone else/it's not a big deal?


Yeah, it's whatever. You can miss a fair number of classes, not get notes, and still do well.


one caveat. a few professors are still hardcore socratic and might get pissed off if they call on you and you are not there (some have a random calling system). I have even heard of one professor who took points off final grades for missing cold calls. That said, you should be able to feel it out early on in the semester and its pretty rare.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Mon May 21, 2012 11:02 am

englawyer wrote:one caveat. a few professors are still hardcore socratic and might get pissed off if they call on you and you are not there (some have a random calling system). I have even heard of one professor who took points off final grades for missing cold calls. That said, you should be able to feel it out early on in the semester and its pretty rare.

I don't think that's possible in a 1L class. You can't award or deduct points for class participation in a class above a certain size. One of my profs, a visiting prof, wanted to, but he asked the administration and they said he couldn't. I heard a rumor about a class that had a very minor midterm (10% of their grade or something), but I never did verify that this in fact occurred, and that's the only deviation from 100% blind grading based on the final exam that I've ever heard of here. I would be curious to know if there is variety with respect to this, though. There are a lot of sections, and I don't know about all of them.

Either way, though, I'd strongly advise against planning to miss more than 1 or 2 classes before you've been in the class for a few weeks. You just don't know until about a month into the first semester what you're learning and how helpful the class is in learning it.

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Mon May 21, 2012 12:34 pm

tomwatts wrote:
englawyer wrote:one caveat. a few professors are still hardcore socratic and might get pissed off if they call on you and you are not there (some have a random calling system). I have even heard of one professor who took points off final grades for missing cold calls. That said, you should be able to feel it out early on in the semester and its pretty rare.

I don't think that's possible in a 1L class. You can't award or deduct points for class participation in a class above a certain size. One of my profs, a visiting prof, wanted to, but he asked the administration and they said he couldn't. I heard a rumor about a class that had a very minor midterm (10% of their grade or something), but I never did verify that this in fact occurred, and that's the only deviation from 100% blind grading based on the final exam that I've ever heard of here. I would be curious to know if there is variety with respect to this, though. There are a lot of sections, and I don't know about all of them.

Either way, though, I'd strongly advise against planning to miss more than 1 or 2 classes before you've been in the class for a few weeks. You just don't know until about a month into the first semester what you're learning and how helpful the class is in learning it.
I had two classes that had such a policy. One of them implied that he was allowed to count attendance/preparedness as long as he warned us in advance (he did, and also had very clear rules about how it would work). The other was a visiting professor who gave four small non-blind assignments over the semester, and explained that she could tally up the points, and then the registrar would add them to the blindly graded final scale.

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Sh@keNb@ke
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Sh@keNb@ke » Wed May 23, 2012 10:53 pm

Currently a senior in UG and have about a 3.9 GPA. In my last quarter at a UC, but not doing so well this quarter due to some family financial troubles (pretty much requires me to work a lot of overtime). Would a 3.0 for my last quarter be possible grounds for rescinding an acceptance? Thanks in advance.

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed May 23, 2012 11:14 pm

Sh@keNb@ke wrote:Currently a senior in UG and have about a 3.9 GPA. In my last quarter at a UC, but not doing so well this quarter due to some family financial troubles (pretty much requires me to work a lot of overtime). Would a 3.0 for my last quarter be possible grounds for rescinding an acceptance? Thanks in advance.


I had a pretty weak GPA my last semester (took harder classes to challenge myself, thesis, personal stuff, etc.) Nobody cared or mentioned it.

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MissElphaba
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby MissElphaba » Sun May 27, 2012 10:29 pm

Sorry if this has been asked already, but what do dorm people typically do for meals? I will be living in North, and I was wondering if I should be planning on making most of my meals in the communal kitchen. Also, are they strict about the no refrigerator or microwave in your room rule? Thanks!

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Sun May 27, 2012 10:48 pm

MissElphaba wrote:Sorry if this has been asked already, but what do dorm people typically do for meals? I will be living in North, and I was wondering if I should be planning on making most of my meals in the communal kitchen. Also, are they strict about the no refrigerator or microwave in your room rule? Thanks!


Hark, takeout, some cooking. It really depends on the person, though most that I knew didn't cook that much. The whole grocery shopping and storing it in a shared communal kitchen thing stops most people.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Mon May 28, 2012 1:06 pm

There's a lot of free food available every day at school. The student organizations put on talks with free lunches every school day, and there are dinners many nights as well. You probably can't go to all of them, because they do take more time than just eating a quick meal by yourself would, but I typically got 3-4 lunches a week and 1-2 dinners a week for free.

I cooked most of the rest of the time, though I was unusual in this regard. You can get groceries from a number of smaller markets a few blocks away and from Shaw's a little farther.

Unless they've changed the rules or have different rules for North, you can have a mini-fridge in your room that will store most of what you'd need. Even then, I didn't, because communal storage worked just fine for me. You're not allowed a microwave, but there are enough in the communal kitchen that you don't really need a microwave (at least in Gropius, less sure about North).

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nixxers
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby nixxers » Mon May 28, 2012 8:50 pm

edit: nm figured it out!

roranoa
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby roranoa » Tue May 29, 2012 10:01 pm

Simple question:

Is law school fun? Or at least enjoyable?


I heard many anecdotes from people at "lesser" schools and the majority of what I heard was very negative overall. Maybe it's different for those in YHS?

But then again, someone I know who graduated from CLS was very against my plans on becoming a lawyer.

What makes someone already in this career path (Law) make them hate it? All that reading and the type of work?

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue May 29, 2012 10:52 pm

roranoa wrote:Simple question:

Is law school fun? Or at least enjoyable?


I heard many anecdotes from people at "lesser" schools and the majority of what I heard was very negative overall. Maybe it's different for those in YHS?

But then again, someone I know who graduated from CLS was very against my plans on becoming a lawyer.

What makes someone already in this career path (Law) make them hate it? All that reading and the type of work?


I like my summer job A LOT more than I like law school. I think law school can be enjoyable *despite* law school, but I found law school itself to be a very meh experience. I like things like the people, and a lot of my problems with it are def. not specific to Harvard, but more generalized. My major beef with it is that law school is the weird bastard child of academia & trade school that didn't necessarily inherit the better strengths of either parent. It's not really theoretical enough to satisfy intellectual curiosity, nor is it practical in terms of teaching you any relevant skills. Some people think it teaches you to "think like a lawyer", but meh most people I know came in already knowing how to. Law school to me sorta functions as signalling and funneling, but not really as an educational institution. Most 1Ls who just finished up could probably study to take the bar now (with barbri, of course) and do about as well as they would do after 3L. This isn't to say that law school must be always practical and teach to the bar (I actually disagree with that stance), but in general I feel like profs are trying so hard to satisfy both aspects that the course ends up being sorta mediocre in both regards. I mean, there are exceptions...here and there there are some professors who manage to make a class enjoyable despite this, but eh. I enjoyed the academic aspect of undergrad a lot and found it really rewarding, but find law school to be a relatively dull grind.

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arkansawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby arkansawyer » Wed May 30, 2012 5:49 pm

Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone has had any experience living in Allston or Brighton? How's the commute? Thanks for any input.

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Wed May 30, 2012 8:14 pm

arkansawyer wrote:Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone has had any experience living in Allston or Brighton? How's the commute? Thanks for any input.
We do this every few pages. The bus from Brighton is about 18-40 minutes, depending on when you go and where in Brighton you are. The buses go pretty regularly, and it is also possible to bike. Do not, under any circumstances, drive. On the rare occasions that I do, I invariably regret it. Allston buses are somewhat more frequent than Brighton for some reason.

slsorhls
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby slsorhls » Thu May 31, 2012 2:01 am

acrossthelake wrote:
roranoa wrote:Simple question:

Is law school fun? Or at least enjoyable?


I heard many anecdotes from people at "lesser" schools and the majority of what I heard was very negative overall. Maybe it's different for those in YHS?

But then again, someone I know who graduated from CLS was very against my plans on becoming a lawyer.

What makes someone already in this career path (Law) make them hate it? All that reading and the type of work?


I like my summer job A LOT more than I like law school. I think law school can be enjoyable *despite* law school, but I found law school itself to be a very meh experience. I like things like the people, and a lot of my problems with it are def. not specific to Harvard, but more generalized. My major beef with it is that law school is the weird bastard child of academia & trade school that didn't necessarily inherit the better strengths of either parent. It's not really theoretical enough to satisfy intellectual curiosity, nor is it practical in terms of teaching you any relevant skills. Some people think it teaches you to "think like a lawyer", but meh most people I know came in already knowing how to. Law school to me sorta functions as signalling and funneling, but not really as an educational institution. Most 1Ls who just finished up could probably study to take the bar now (with barbri, of course) and do about as well as they would do after 3L. This isn't to say that law school must be always practical and teach to the bar (I actually disagree with that stance), but in general I feel like profs are trying so hard to satisfy both aspects that the course ends up being sorta mediocre in both regards. I mean, there are exceptions...here and there there are some professors who manage to make a class enjoyable despite this, but eh. I enjoyed the academic aspect of undergrad a lot and found it really rewarding, but find law school to be a relatively dull grind.


Not very encouraging. Isn't it a strength of Harvard that you have a number of different courses to choose from covering different ground?

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Thu May 31, 2012 7:54 am

I really, really enjoyed my first year, particularly first semester. I (mostly) enjoyed reading cases and working out the relevant issues in class. It might've helped that my section had some pretty talented teachers and a good balance of interesting classes in the first semester (and some really great students, too); I loathed LRW, so I don't like absolutely everything.

I think that living in Gropius significantly affected my view of law school. I really liked the people I met there, and I was able to break away from studying and class to talk with people about, well, anything whenever I wanted. That helped a lot in those moments when I was just mentally exhausted.

I don't know exactly what the difference is between people who like law school and people who don't. I've found it really enjoyable, and I suspect that in my case the time that I took off between undergrad and law school helped. I was away from school for just long enough (3 years) to miss it, so it's been great to come back. If I had gone straight through I would've been so burnt out on school by the time I got here that I would probably hate it.

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

Postby concurrent fork » Thu May 31, 2012 8:54 am

slsorhls wrote:Not very encouraging. Isn't it a strength of Harvard that you have a number of different courses to choose from covering different ground?

I agree with a lot of what acrossthelake said. 3L year is extraneous and most people have checked out by that point. Also, sitting through doctrinal, socratic classes after 1L is absolutely mind numbing. This is not specific to HLS.

That said, I think the experience at HLS is better than most because there are so many alternatives to get your 2L/3L credits. Clinics for every interest, cross-reg at HKS/HBS, reading groups, supervised writing, etc. If you take advantage of these options they really help to break up the grind.

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

Postby Lovely Ludwig Van » Thu May 31, 2012 8:55 pm

I apologize if this is a silly question, but is there any kind of social stratification that goes on amongst students who went to elite undergrads (i.e. Ivies, Stanford, UChicago, MIT, etc.) and those who didn't (state universities and obscure liberal arts colleges)? From the very brief impression I got at ASW, it did seem like there was a little bit of that going on where people self-segregate into groups they feel most comfortable/share the most in common with. If anybody can comment on that that'd be great.

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nixxers
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby nixxers » Thu May 31, 2012 10:00 pm

tomwatts wrote:I really, really enjoyed my first year, particularly first semester. I (mostly) enjoyed reading cases and working out the relevant issues in class. It might've helped that my section had some pretty talented teachers and a good balance of interesting classes in the first semester (and some really great students, too); I loathed LRW, so I don't like absolutely everything.

I think that living in Gropius significantly affected my view of law school. I really liked the people I met there, and I was able to break away from studying and class to talk with people about, well, anything whenever I wanted. That helped a lot in those moments when I was just mentally exhausted.

I don't know exactly what the difference is between people who like law school and people who don't. I've found it really enjoyable, and I suspect that in my case the time that I took off between undergrad and law school helped. I was away from school for just long enough (3 years) to miss it, so it's been great to come back. If I had gone straight through I would've been so burnt out on school by the time I got here that I would probably hate it.


I would cosign almost all of this, except that I live with non-law students about a mile from campus, which i think significantly helped my experience. I also took only a year off, but it was better than nothing.

I'm also a joiner and I was heavily involved in a lot of student groups, as well as making time to work out most days, go out regularly and cook when possible. maintaining a happy life/school balance made me happy overall and, I think, allowed me to appreciate school (mostly). I also despised LRW and I'm in tomwatts's section, so maybe we just had a sweet section and an all-star professorial lineup. but I still know lots of people that hated it, or at least hated first semester.

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nixxers
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby nixxers » Thu May 31, 2012 10:01 pm

Lovely Ludwig Van wrote:I apologize if this is a silly question, but is there any kind of social stratification that goes on amongst students who went to elite undergrads (i.e. Ivies, Stanford, UChicago, MIT, etc.) and those who didn't (state universities and obscure liberal arts colleges)? From the very brief impression I got at ASW, it did seem like there was a little bit of that going on where people self-segregate into groups they feel most comfortable/share the most in common with. If anybody can comment on that that'd be great.


not that I've noticed, though most of my close lawl friends went to elite schools, so i dunno.




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