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.
jbs017
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jbs017 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:43 pm

acrossthelake wrote:I've actually heard several profs say to leave Evidence till whatever bar prep course you take. About every prof recommended corporations and tax.


Even if you're not going corporate, i.e. doing PI/government? What I'm getting at, apropos of the discussion of whether law school is intellectually satisfying, is that I want to take a metric fuck-ton of academic-y, historical, sociological kind of classes, and do clinicals. I don't want to waste time (although I realize many people think what I'm describing is a huge waste of time) unless people are going to say "WTF you went to law school and didn't even take X, Y, and Z."

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:57 pm

jbs017 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:I've actually heard several profs say to leave Evidence till whatever bar prep course you take. About every prof recommended corporations and tax.


Even if you're not going corporate, i.e. doing PI/government? What I'm getting at, apropos of the discussion of whether law school is intellectually satisfying, is that I want to take a metric fuck-ton of academic-y, historical, sociological kind of classes, and do clinicals. I don't want to waste time (although I realize many people think what I'm describing is a huge waste of time) unless people are going to say "WTF you went to law school and didn't even take X, Y, and Z."


The profs I talked to said to take corporations even if you have no intent for ever working in the service of one...if you're doing PI/govt. focus you'll want to take Hanson's section as he's very a lot more PI-savetheworld-oriented and I hear he teaches his class in a very "here's what you need to know if you're not doing biglaw" sort of perspective.

I think academic-y, historical, sociological kind of classes are a good use of your time if it interests you and I think you can still fit them in around some of the core. My personal opinion, which is just one person's opinion, is you should take Admin Law, 14th, Corporations, and Tax. FedCourts if you want to clerk. Evidence should be left to prepping for the bar unless you're just trying to fit credits to graduate with. Clinicals are very hit/miss, don't sign up blindly, some ppl (profs included, privately) think that some of the clinicals actually teach you bad habits.

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

Postby concurrent fork » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:25 pm

I'm glad I took evidence. I'm going into a transactional practice, but it was great background for my summer jobs.

Also credited: Corporations, Federal Income Tax, Admin, and some exposure to Con Law.
For transactional focus I would add: M&A, Securities, one of the valuation or accounting seminars, and maybe corporate reorganization

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iThwl
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby iThwl » Thu Jun 07, 2012 11:39 pm

concurrent fork wrote:I'm glad I took evidence. I'm going into a transactional practice, but it was great background for my summer jobs.

Also credited: Corporations, Federal Income Tax, Admin, and some exposure to Con Law.
For transactional focus I would add: M&A, Securities, one of the valuation or accounting seminars, and maybe corporate reorganization


Great insights. Thanks!

fishdude
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby fishdude » Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:45 am

How much of the "don't bother with evidence" advice is due to the reputation of a certain evidence prof?

Lysis
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Lysis » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:06 am

fishdude wrote:How much of the "don't bother with evidence" advice is due to the reputation of a certain evidence prof?


I think about half. I've had 2Ls/3Ls specifically tell me not to bother with evidence if I can't take it with certain (other) professors. But when professers say it's a subject best left for bar review, I think that reflects an attitude toward the subject generally, not just you-know-who.

delusional
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby delusional » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:19 am

fishdude wrote:How much of the "don't bother with evidence" advice is due to the reputation of a certain evidence prof?
I'm torn between taking it because of him and not taking it because of him.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:47 am

So I saw Covington & Burling DC posted that they want candidates to be in the top 10-15% of their law school class. Was wondering if they were strict about that? and if Covington is that selective, what do you need for Williams & Connolly?

thederangedwang
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby thederangedwang » Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:31 am

I have an account with Chase...did a search and according to chase, there isnt a chase bank within 80 miles of HLS.....

thats seems hard to believe...can somebody confirm this and/or suggest what banks are closest there/most convenient? I would prefer a major bank branch

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:07 pm

thederangedwang wrote:I have an account with Chase...did a search and according to chase, there isnt a chase bank within 80 miles of HLS.....

thats seems hard to believe...can somebody confirm this and/or suggest what banks are closest there/most convenient? I would prefer a major bank branch


There's a Bank of America in Harvard Square, as well as the Harvard University Employees Credit Union.

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Blessedassurance
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Blessedassurance » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:18 pm

NB: --LinkRemoved--

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bedefan
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby bedefan » Thu Jun 14, 2012 4:10 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
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?

"Isn't it a strength of minimum-security prison that you have more freedom on the grounds during your three-year stay than at other detention centers?"

Law school sucks. Harvard gives you more chances to choose your flavor of suck, but studying the law is horribly boring in general. (One true exception that I have greatly enjoyed is clinical work, which is more engaging and gives you practical experience that's generally useful even if you work in a field you'll never practice in.)


I know I'm a couple weeks late responding to this, but I figure it might help somebody considering HLS.

I think that, if what you're interested in is "what the law is," you'll find the HLS 1L classes extremely interesting. This was my experience.

If you're more interested in a philosophical/liberal arts approach to law ("what law is ideally" or "whose will to power does the law-as-it-is mask?" or similar) you'll find 1L at HLS boring. From what I'm told, if you want to focus on this kind of thing in your 1L classes, go to Yale. Not having attended Yale, I have no idea if this is true.

If you're a 100% hands-on learner, 1L anywhere will be a drag, and as vanwinkle's comment suggests, your best bet at HLS will be volunteering with the student practice organizations during 1L and otherwise looking forward to 2L, when you can do a clinical or two.

Personally I did a student practice organization this past year, liked it a lot, and am registered for 2 clinicals for next year (my 2L year). But like I said, I also really liked my 1L courses.

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GeePee
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby GeePee » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:24 pm

thederangedwang wrote:I have an account with Chase...did a search and according to chase, there isnt a chase bank within 80 miles of HLS.....

thats seems hard to believe...can somebody confirm this and/or suggest what banks are closest there/most convenient? I would prefer a major bank branch

Truth. Bank of America and Citi are the big banks that will have branches in the area, but even with Citi, the only one I'm aware of is near Porter.

You could do Citizen's Bank, too, but that's not an option everywhere either, especially depending on where you're from and where you're going.

ignatiusr
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ignatiusr » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:08 pm

GeePee wrote:
thederangedwang wrote:I have an account with Chase...did a search and according to chase, there isnt a chase bank within 80 miles of HLS.....

thats seems hard to believe...can somebody confirm this and/or suggest what banks are closest there/most convenient? I would prefer a major bank branch

Truth. Bank of America and Citi are the big banks that will have branches in the area, but even with Citi, the only one I'm aware of is near Porter.

You could do Citizen's Bank, too, but that's not an option everywhere either, especially depending on where you're from and where you're going.


Is it absolutely necessary to switch to a Cambridge-area bank? Apart from the ATM fees, are there other compelling reasons to switch?

acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:19 pm

ignatiusr wrote:
Is it absolutely necessary to switch to a Cambridge-area bank? Apart from the ATM fees, are there other compelling reasons to switch?


I mean other than ATM fees, is there ever a compelling reason to switch to an area-specific bank? I suppose there's also the added feature that you can go in person if there are issues instead of dealing with telephone customer service.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:05 pm

Just got in via WL and had been avoiding this thread like the plague beforehand, so apologies if my questions have been brought up before:

1. How easy is it to take classes in other departments as a 2L, especially Philosophy or Government? Do they count towards law school? Related, do Phil or Gov professors often teach in the law school?

2. Any advice on finding housing this late in the game? Any buildings I should be targeting? I really want to be as close to the law school as possible.

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manofjustice
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby manofjustice » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:31 pm

As a 0L, how can you approximate your place in the class after your first year. It is not all random, of course...

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:57 pm

manofjustice wrote:As a 0L, how can you approximate your place in the class after your first year. It is not all random, of course...


People have figured out very, very roughly where you are in the class. 3Hs is median or so, ~3.9-4.0 "GPA" is thrown around as the cutoff for Magna Cum Laude after your 3L year, which is top 10%, so probably it's a little bit lower than that after your first year (maybe closer to 3.9? students don't really have a way of knowing).

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:58 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:Just got in via WL and had been avoiding this thread like the plague beforehand, so apologies if my questions have been brought up before:

1. How easy is it to take classes in other departments as a 2L, especially Philosophy or Government? Do they count towards law school? Related, do Phil or Gov professors often teach in the law school?

2. Any advice on finding housing this late in the game? Any buildings I should be targeting? I really want to be as close to the law school as possible.


1. As for the first part not sure. As for the second part, not really, but a lot of law professors have a Ph.D in addition to their J.D. and teach classes that are interdisciplinary (ie, a philosophical look at the law or something).
2. It's not that late, it's definitely still possible to secure housing at this point. You should get on the lottery for dorms, you could probably get something in Gropius.

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

Postby concurrent fork » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:01 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:1. How easy is it to take classes in other departments as a 2L, especially Philosophy or Government? Do they count towards law school? Related, do Phil or Gov professors often teach in the law school?

Easy. You cross-register at HKS. The credits count toward your JD, but I think you can only take a max of ~3-4 cross-reg classes. Sometimes HKS/HBS profs actually teach a course at the law school, but it's not that common.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:07 pm

Thanks for the responses!
ph14 wrote:1. As for the first part not sure. As for the second part, not really, but a lot of law professors have a Ph.D in addition to their J.D. and teach classes that are interdisciplinary (ie, a philosophical look at the law or something).
2. It's not that late, it's definitely still possible to secure housing at this point. You should get on the lottery for dorms, you could probably get something in Gropius.

Re 1: Yea, I know a lot of HLS faculty have dual graduate degrees, but there are certain profs in the Phil and Gov departments that I really, really want to take classes with, if it's possible. I know Sandel taught a course recently in the Law School, but I'm not sure how often it's done, generally speaking.
2. Good to hear about housing. I'm sure I'll get more info soon about Harvard dorm stuff. Is Gropius the very college-y dorm with shared bathrooms and such? I'm hoping to avoid that, if at all possible. Do you know about off-campus options at all? Anything you would recommend?

concurrent fork wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:1. How easy is it to take classes in other departments as a 2L, especially Philosophy or Government? Do they count towards law school? Related, do Phil or Gov professors often teach in the law school?

Easy. You cross-register at HKS. The credits count toward your JD, but I think you can only take a max of ~3-4 cross-reg classes. Sometimes HKS/HBS profs actually teach a course at the law school, but it's not that common.

Is this only for HKS classes though, or do you cross-register at HKS and that gives you the opportunity to take classes in the Graduate School?

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

Postby concurrent fork » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:26 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
concurrent fork wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:1. How easy is it to take classes in other departments as a 2L, especially Philosophy or Government? Do they count towards law school? Related, do Phil or Gov professors often teach in the law school?

Easy. You cross-register at HKS. The credits count toward your JD, but I think you can only take a max of ~3-4 cross-reg classes. Sometimes HKS/HBS profs actually teach a course at the law school, but it's not that common.

Is this only for HKS classes though, or do you cross-register at HKS and that gives you the opportunity to take classes in the Graduate School?

I assume you can cross-reg at any school if you get approval, but I don't know any HLS students that have taken pure philosophy courses at the grad school. This is probably because there are already several squishy "Kant and the Law" type classes at HLS. I would check out the registrar's website or just contact them directly to make sure.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:35 pm

concurrent fork wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:
concurrent fork wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:1. How easy is it to take classes in other departments as a 2L, especially Philosophy or Government? Do they count towards law school? Related, do Phil or Gov professors often teach in the law school?

Easy. You cross-register at HKS. The credits count toward your JD, but I think you can only take a max of ~3-4 cross-reg classes. Sometimes HKS/HBS profs actually teach a course at the law school, but it's not that common.

Is this only for HKS classes though, or do you cross-register at HKS and that gives you the opportunity to take classes in the Graduate School?

I assume you can cross-reg at any school if you get approval, but I don't know any HLS students that have taken pure philosophy courses at the grad school. This is probably because there are already several squishy "Kant and the Law" type classes at HLS. I would check out the registrar's website or just contact them directly to make sure.

Thanks for the information. There are a few faculty members in the Phil and Gov departments doing work related to the law, so I definitely want to take classes that they teach if it would be possible for HLS students to do so. I'll contact the registrar then to find out how this is done.

Lysis
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Lysis » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:54 pm

You can cross-register directly into any class at FAS, the school containing the Gov and Phil depts. If a class is really law-related, it's often cross-listed at HLS so you don't even need to crossregister (e.g. like you mentioned, Sandel often teaches joint Gov/HLS classes). Of course, most graduate-level courses require prereqs and/or the professor's permission--this could be the more significant barrier if you want to study with certain superstar (read: very oversubscribed) profs at FAS.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:00 pm

Lysis wrote:You can cross-register directly into any class at FAS, the school containing the Gov and Phil depts. If a class is really law-related, it's often cross-listed at HLS so you don't even need to crossregister (e.g. like you mentioned, Sandel often teaches joint Gov/HLS classes). Of course, most graduate-level courses require prereqs and/or the professor's permission--this could be the more significant barrier if you want to study with certain superstar (read: very oversubscribed) profs at FAS.

Awesome! Thank you very much for this information! I just used Sandel because I remember seeing his name in the HLS course catalog, but this is very encouraging to hear overall. The strength of the Gov and Phil departments in law-related areas is definitely something I'm excited to take advantage of at Harvard.




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