Yale 1L taking 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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oso84
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Yale 1L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:02 pm

Fire away, I'll check a few times a week.

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Veyron
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby Veyron » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:04 pm

At what age did you realize that you wanted to be a professor? What brought about this realization - a love of tweed? Books? How can you justify teaching law if you've never practiced it?

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Sentry
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby Sentry » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:17 pm

Can you explain YLS's grading system to me? Is a gold star better than a rainbow or worse?

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oso84
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:38 pm

So actually, the double rainbow is way better than the gold star, but they only give out a few of those per term. And you're always looking to avoid the dreaded frowny face.

And like many of my classmates, I intend on practicing and not teaching.

At any rate, if any applicant or admit has a real question, I'm more than happy to try to answer or put you in touch with someone who can.

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Knock
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby Knock » Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:58 am

#'s? What schools did you choose Y over? What do you think pushed you over the edge to be accepted at Y?

slacker
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby slacker » Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:00 am

Do people at Yale worry about the possibility of being jobless?

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abitaman6363
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby abitaman6363 » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:11 pm

Any recommendations for living accommodations your during the 1L year? I've heard a lot about different neighborhoods and apartment complexes but am unsure of what really differentiates them. Also, can you give me an idea of pricing?

Do most people attending YLS own a car? If so, any major drawbacks?

Thanks for the help! Yale threads are somewhat barren these days, and I have several questions regarding YLS and New Haven.

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Nogameisfair
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby Nogameisfair » Thu Feb 03, 2011 7:13 pm

slacker wrote:Do people at Yale worry about the possibility of being jobless?


This is something I'm really curious about too. Did the economic downturn enter Yale students' general consciousness?

delusional
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby delusional » Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:32 pm

Can you crack the black box for us a little? Obviously, there is no numerical formula that works for Yale admissions, so what is it that they are interested in? Educational pedigree? Work experience? Work experience that would look good on their class profile page?

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dbrddr
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby dbrddr » Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:44 pm

Kind of a weird question, but can YLS students help out with the Avalon Project?

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oso84
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:03 pm

slacker wrote:Do people at Yale worry about the possibility of being jobless?


The question is legit, and I'm not going to pull punches answering it.

I'm a 1L, so I'm still largely isolated from the job search (that may be telling, I don't know). My sense of firm jobs is that since we're so small, and since something absurd like half the class clerks, there isn't a huge problem getting a firm job at graduation. The refrain I've heard from 2/3Ls and Career Services is that people need to be a bit more flexible (i.e. not everybody can go to New York) than in the past, but that jobs are still "gettable." I think this is a function of size more than the brand name.

As for PI jobs, there is an acute awareness that they are hard to get, period. YLS does do a good job with fellowships for PI people, so there is a soft cushion there for people.

Clerking is generally getting tougher at graduation because more people 1-3 yrs out of law school are going back to clerk, but I don't know the specific impact at YLS, nor have I seen the stats from this year.

If there are any specific questions, post and I'll try to find out more info. But the short answer is yes, we're very aware of what's going on (we read ATL, too) and yes, people's plans are altered because of the economy, but our small size leaves almost everybody with employment at graduation.

twistedwrister
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby twistedwrister » Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:50 pm

OP - sorry for jumping in, but you mentioned that it's getting more difficult to clerk immediately after school. I just went through the clerkship hiring process, and I can confirm that this is undoubtedly true. I posted the following info in another thread some time ago:

From Yale's employment stats (http://www.law.yale.edu/studentlife/cdo ... tstats.htm):

Graduating Class / % of students clerking
2007 - 41.4%
2008 - 35.1%
2009 - 30.6%

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oso84
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:46 pm

abitaman6363 wrote:Any recommendations for living accommodations your during the 1L year? I've heard a lot about different neighborhoods and apartment complexes but am unsure of what really differentiates them. Also, can you give me an idea of pricing?

Do most people attending YLS own a car? If so, any major drawbacks?

Thanks for the help! Yale threads are somewhat barren these days, and I have several questions regarding YLS and New Haven.


This is a critically important consideration, especially if you have no prior experience with the Northeast and may not have easy access to New Haven to look at housing.

Probably about 40% of people live in downtown New Haven, 40% live in the adjacent neighborhood of East Rock, 10% live elsewhere in New Haven (usually Wooster Square), and the final 10% commute into New Haven (a very few from New York, these people must love trains). This final group is usually people who are married and/or have kids and so they're dealing with a different set of considerations than the typical 24 year old.

Downtown - the most expensive option, close to the law school (an important consideration for the carless), this is where the NH social scene (such as it is) is located. There are some pretty nice buildings, some dogs, and a lot in between. Rent will run probably 700/room on the low end on up to truly extortionate prices. 800-900 is probably more realistic. People will give you varying answers on how safe downtown is, but I'd say it's generally fine so long as you understand your surroundings and don't go stumbling home alone drunk at night. A ton of people live in the Towers, which are large apt buildings located about 3 blocks from the law school. I'm not a fan myself, but some people like them.

East Rock - cheaper than downtown, but more removed from "the action." A quieter neighborhood with a more suburban feel. Depending on where you live, you can be a 15-30 minute walk from the law school. There are free Yale shuttles that run back and forth, but there's a pretty big gap in bus coverage from 11am - 4pm. I live in East Rock and I sometimes feel marooned at school during those hours, particularly if the streets aren't cleared of snow. Rent is more in the 600-800 area, but you get MUCH more for your dollar. My kitchen is the size of some people's studios (though my kitchen is inordinately large). East Rock is generally perceived to be safer than downtown, and I am more comfortable walking around this area at night.

Wooster Square - I don't know too much are WS, it's about a 20-30 minute walk from the school. The few people I know who live here are in love with the area and can't stop talking about the farmers market they have here on the weekends.

If I had to give a generic person advice not knowing anything about their preferences or budget, I'd say live downtown and not in the Towers.

On cars: Probably just fewer than half the people have cars. The major advantage is that these people can go shopping and get out of town more easily. The major disadvantage aside from cost is that you have to park somewhere, which can get pricey, and of course you have to dig your car out of the snow and now the ice. Nobody uses a car to commute, people walk or use the Yale shuttles. The law school has an awesome shuttle that drops you off at your door starting every day at 6pm, so getting home is never a consideration. Yale also offers point to point shuttle service after dark, which makes getting around much easier.

Hope this is helpful.

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Knock
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby Knock » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:47 pm

Thanks so much for answering my questions via PM!

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oso84
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:59 pm

delusional wrote:Can you crack the black box for us a little? Obviously, there is no numerical formula that works for Yale admissions, so what is it that they are interested in? Educational pedigree? Work experience? Work experience that would look good on their class profile page?


The best source of info on this is Asha's admissions blog. Asha is a very straight shooter and if you follow the advice she gives, you'll definitely know how to put your best foot forward. http://blogs.law.yale.edu/blogs/admissions/default.aspx

I entirely believe Admissions when they say it's a complete crapshoot. From what I understand, and I could be wrong, the vast majority of applications go through faculty readers. There are literally no objective criteria that the faculty use when looking at applications. They score based on whatever their person criteria happen to be. Because the process is completely ungoverned, it's impossible to say who "they" are, let alone what they're interested in.
I know this answer is totally unsatisfying, but it's all I've got. There is a large element of chance involved, and I'm sure that my application might not have been accepted had to been read by different readers.

Returning to the question, I think educational pedigree can be helpful. Work experience can be helpful. But I think the crazy process that I described above is so holistic that it's impossible to say that one factor is more important than another. Though I'm almost certain that they aren't concerned with what the class profile page looks like. It really isn't hard to make those things look good after a class is assembled.

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oso84
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:20 pm

dbrddr wrote:Kind of a weird question, but can YLS students help out with the Avalon Project?


This was a real curve ball, as I had to look up what the Avalon Project is. There's just so much stuff here I've never heard of.

I checked with a librarian, who told me that the Project is essentially finished, in that they are no longer adding documents to it, so at this point the Project basically consists of maintaining the website. So the direct answer to your question is no.

There was, however, a substantive library job that was posted earlier in the year for students interested in library sciences. (I say substantive to distinguish it from circulation desk type jobs, of which there are some). The job had something to do with scanning documents and preparing an archive. I imagine that there are also non-paying opportunities (potentially for credit) available for people interested in becoming legal librarians, almost all of whom seem to be lawyers. Our librarians are among the nicest people on earth (really), and I'm sure they would reply enthusiastically to an email from an admitted student interested in legal librarianship.

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby pride09 » Sat Feb 05, 2011 11:13 pm

Does everyone at Yale try to make the Law Journal? It sounds like competition for LR is tough everywhere, but at a school with no grades and high proportion of people hoping for clerkship/academia, I wonder if Law Journal is viewed by many as a must-have on the resume. Does Yale's reputation for non-competitive students hold in this regard?

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby notanumber » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:06 pm

oso84 wrote:
abitaman6363 wrote:Any recommendations for living accommodations your during the 1L year? I've heard a lot about different neighborhoods and apartment complexes but am unsure of what really differentiates them. Also, can you give me an idea of pricing?

Do most people attending YLS own a car? If so, any major drawbacks?

Thanks for the help! Yale threads are somewhat barren these days, and I have several questions regarding YLS and New Haven.


This is a critically important consideration, especially if you have no prior experience with the Northeast and may not have easy access to New Haven to look at housing.


Thanks for answering these questions. Regarding housing, how far in advance can/should one sign a lease? Do students get housing during the ASW? Should one do any prep work before ASW to set up showings etc...?

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby oxford_don » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:15 pm

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Last edited by oxford_don on Mon May 12, 2014 5:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby notanumber » Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:35 pm

oxford_don wrote:Thanks for answering our questions. This has been very helpful.

Speaking of ASW, it is pretty late in the game (mid-April) for those of us who are not committed to a school yet. Do you get the impression that everyone at ASW is a committed Yalie or are there holdouts still evaluating the school? I don't mind waiting to make the H v. Y decision, but don't want to get shut out of good housing options, etc.


FWIW, last year it seemed as though there were a good number of people deciding between Yale and one or two other schools during the ASW and I know several people who ended up at Stanford after the ASW.

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oso84
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:10 pm

pride09 wrote:Does everyone at Yale try to make the Law Journal? It sounds like competition for LR is tough everywhere, but at a school with no grades and high proportion of people hoping for clerkship/academia, I wonder if Law Journal is viewed by many as a must-have on the resume. Does Yale's reputation for non-competitive students hold in this regard?


Because I'm a 1L, all I can really do here is speculate and repeat what I've been told by others. First, our law review is big and our classes are small, so a larger proportion of a given class makes the YLJ than, say at Harvard or Columbia. (I don't know anything about Stanford and its Journal, but I suppose the same logic would hold for them). Second, I have not perceived significant angst regarding the YLJ. Most people "bluebook on" (as opposed to writing on), and my sense is that anyone who REALLY, REALLY REALLY makes it their life's mission to get onto the Journal can do so. This could well be pie in the sky, however, and I won't have a better sense of it until April. Oh, and I do know that not everybody tries to make the Journal. Many, many people are interested in other things and focus on those (read: clinics).

I suppose that I should add that I want to clerk, and so I will apply (though I might try to write on). YLJ and clerking do seem to be pretty linked.

Re: the non-competitive nature of the school. It's very, very, very true and it's absolutely wonderful.

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oso84
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:18 pm

notanumber wrote:
oso84 wrote:
abitaman6363 wrote:Any recommendations for living accommodations your during the 1L year? I've heard a lot about different neighborhoods and apartment complexes but am unsure of what really differentiates them. Also, can you give me an idea of pricing?

Do most people attending YLS own a car? If so, any major drawbacks?

Thanks for the help! Yale threads are somewhat barren these days, and I have several questions regarding YLS and New Haven.


This is a critically important consideration, especially if you have no prior experience with the Northeast and may not have easy access to New Haven to look at housing.


Thanks for answering these questions. Regarding housing, how far in advance can/should one sign a lease? Do students get housing during the ASW? Should one do any prep work before ASW to set up showings etc...?


I didn't attend ASW, but since almost everybody else did I feel like I can speak to the question. It feels like a bunch of people at ASW found their future roommates, but perhaps not necessarily housing. The housing market is a bit tough, particularly downtown, so people did start to look that weekend, and I get the sense that most people downtown wound up signing a lease or somehow coming to an agreement in April or May. East Rock housing starting in August was available in June and early July.

If you aren't at least semi-local (read: living in New York), then you might want to set up appointments to look at housing during ASW. On the other hand, if you're going to have roommates, at least one of the people you track down at ASW will live in New York (seriously, it's like it's the only place people live before coming here, aside from maybe DC), so they'll be (sorta) around to do some legwork. I wouldn't sweat it too much, but I'm not a Type-A.

Also, admitted students will at some point get access to a list of housing current students are turning over. It's helpful.

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oso84
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:20 pm

oxford_don wrote:Thanks for answering our questions. This has been very helpful.

Speaking of ASW, it is pretty late in the game (mid-April) for those of us who are not committed to a school yet. Do you get the impression that everyone at ASW is a committed Yalie or are there holdouts still evaluating the school? I don't mind waiting to make the H v. Y decision, but don't want to get shut out of good housing options, etc.


I didn't attend ASW, so I don't know about the proportion of people who were still deciding relative to those who were certain to come. But waiting until ASW will NOT in any way shut you out of good housing options.

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oso84
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:23 pm

Also, I should say for any applicant reading this thread - most people who are admitted to this school are admitted in March or April. YLS really admits a huge batch at the end. So stay strong.

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zabagabe
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby zabagabe » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:14 am

Hey y'all,

Twice deferred here, which means I've been to ASW twice (and, haha, going a third time - for real this time - in April...) and also know a fair number of 2Ls from my original admit year.

Oso84 is right on about getting on YLJ. Not impossible, and if you are truly determined, very realistic for anyone to think they can make it on. That said, I don't think YLJ is as big of a deal in terms of "standing out" at Yale. Since more than 50% of people who apply get on the journal, and something like 30-40% of a class gets onto the journal, it's not THAT elusive or special. Certainly doesn't hurt, but I don't think it's a game-changer the way it is at HLS, NYU, or other places where ~10% are on the journal. This is probably less so if you want to clerk or go into academia, but I don't think it will decide whether you get callbacks, etc.

In terms of ASW, I got the sense that about 2/3 of people had decided on YLS by the time they attended (which is in line with the usual 80% yield of all admits). In fact, usually people are more interested in finding roommates and signing leases than in deciding on Yale vs. everywhere else (which, of course, makes it even more stressful if you're still trying to decide...). I do think a substantial number of people are still trying to make up their minds (such as myself, the first time around), but since the ASW comes very late in the cycle, you pretty much have 4 days after it's over to turn in your decision. This year may be different since they moved the ASW up a week.

That said, don't sweat the housing. I've been on two (and now three) year's worth of YLS Class of 2012/13/14 facebook groups and really great housing options will pop up right into early August. One of my best friends, who is a 1L now, found her apartment and roommate via facebook in JULY and literally couldn't be happier with her living situation. So my advice would be not to jump at the first thing you see or the first fellow future 1L who says 'hi'. A lot of people seem to stick with the same housing sitch for three years, so if you want to do that too, I would say hold off until you think you have something you're really excited about.
Last edited by zabagabe on Tue Feb 08, 2011 3:57 am, edited 1 time in total.




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