Harvard 2Ls Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
delusional
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby delusional » Wed Dec 21, 2011 5:45 pm

Jake Barnes wrote:To the extent that the "80" number scares anyone, I should note that I did not begin outlining until the very end. In retrospect, this may not have been a great plan of action. You put the time in sooner or later, but spreading it over a longer period of time obviously has its advantages.

I literally would not have known what to do with 80 hours a week. I'm either gaining from studying or I'm not, and if I am, 9-5 for the study period is more than enough, if you read and went to class. It took me some time to get my legs under me, because I wasn't sure how exactly to study, but I am confident that for next semester, I will be taking practice exams the entire reading period because I'll be done the material.

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Sh@keNb@ke
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby Sh@keNb@ke » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:52 am

Posted this in another Harvard thread, but wanted to get some opinions here too.

Could someone be willing to explain how the grading system is viewed by employers. To my knowledge there is Honors, Pass, and Low Pass. Does 33% of the class get each of these? How bad would straight P's, for example, look for employers?

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:26 pm

Sh@keNb@ke wrote:Posted this in another Harvard thread, but wanted to get some opinions here too.

Could someone be willing to explain how the grading system is viewed by employers. To my knowledge there is Honors, Pass, and Low Pass. Does 33% of the class get each of these? How bad would straight P's, for example, look for employers?


Gave a somewhat thorough response in the other thread to try to keep it in one place lol.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby ph14 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:09 pm

Sh@keNb@ke wrote:Posted this in another Harvard thread, but wanted to get some opinions here too.

Could someone be willing to explain how the grading system is viewed by employers. To my knowledge there is Honors, Pass, and Low Pass. Does 33% of the class get each of these? How bad would straight P's, for example, look for employers?


There's also Dean Scholar, a discretionary grade for the top few exams in a class. Hs are something like 37%, LPs are discretionary and in the old curve the suggested percentage was something like 8%, and the rest are Ps.

Straight Ps isn't the end of the world. It doesn't look that great but you will still get a job, but perhaps not a V10 or anything.

rv11
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby rv11 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:27 pm

ph14 wrote:
horrorbusiness wrote:trivial, but im curious - whats the average harvard law student look like?


Overall, the student body is pretty attractive. You probably would be pleasantly surprised if you visited and sat in on a class. I'm guessing a combination of attractiveness correlating with intelligence, and the people here being hard working enough to take care of themselves.


This made me LOL.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Dec 23, 2011 4:51 pm

rv11 wrote:
ph14 wrote:
horrorbusiness wrote:trivial, but im curious - whats the average harvard law student look like?


Overall, the student body is pretty attractive. You probably would be pleasantly surprised if you visited and sat in on a class. I'm guessing a combination of attractiveness correlating with intelligence, and the people here being hard working enough to take care of themselves.


This made me LOL.


ph means it. One of his first comments during orientation to me was how surprisingly attractive the student body was. I'll +1 this, actually.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:52 pm

Random idle thoughts from a 1L who makes no effort at anonymity:

I studied nowhere near 80 hours per week around finals time. I started outlining in late September, because I was losing track of what was going on in the classes without it. It was mostly a way of going over my notes, though it was also useful to go over for finals and compress down even farther. I was pretty good about keeping up with the reading (most people did, but I know a few didn't) and updating my outlines with whatever we'd covered every couple of weeks or so, and as a result, studying for exams was pretty straightforward. I didn't study a million hours each day. I kept at a pretty good, steady pace of probably 50 or so hours per week through "reading week" (the week off before finals) and finals week. A lot of other people were pretty wiped out after finals, but I felt fine; it's a matter of pacing yourself throughout the semester, really. (And making good use of that reading week. I did a bunch of work at the front end so that the work I had to do at the back end was a lot less.)

One thing I wished I'd been told before we went in: Do some practice problems in hornbooks in each of the classes during the semester. Even the teachers who disparage hornbooks ask questions that seem to depend on the kind of grasp you'd get from reading hornbooks and working through their practice problems, not just familiarity with the cases and discussion from class. Well, with the one exception of Legislation and Regulation, where the teacher did an interesting job of making the exam depend almost purely on class discussion.

I felt that living in the dorms was helpful around exam time. The studying I did with other people during exams was almost entirely with dorm-mates. I know some other people in my section used Facebook to coordinate study sessions, but it was nice to be able to just go over to someone else's room and knock on the door (or walk out into the lounge, sit down, and listen to a discussion of exactly the class I was just studying for).

Now that I can look back on the first semester (mostly — still have to wait a month for grades before I can say my final word on it), I can say that it wasn't as rough as I was expecting. It was pretty hard, but (other than the hornbooks) they give you everything you need to do well. You just have to do it. (Well, except for the occasional professor who gives a crazy exam, which does happen.) And it was always interesting, which I wasn't sure was going to be true.

bogm2012
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby bogm2012 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:21 am

Thought I'd bump this thread with a question:

Background: HLS starts classes on 9/4/12, and no word yet on new student orientation dates. I am spending the summer abroad and would like to stay abroad as long as possible, but also don't want to give myself too little time to: move my stuff from the mid-Atlantic city to Boston; get situated in Boston; buy books/supplies, etc.

Can any HLS student comment upon what would be a feasible amount of time to allot for all of the above before classes start? I can get organized fairly quickly, but don't want to rush it.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby ph14 » Mon Feb 13, 2012 9:29 pm

bogm2012 wrote:Thought I'd bump this thread with a question:

Background: HLS starts classes on 9/4/12, and no word yet on new student orientation dates. I am spending the summer abroad and would like to stay abroad as long as possible, but also don't want to give myself too little time to: move my stuff from the mid-Atlantic city to Boston; get situated in Boston; buy books/supplies, etc.

Can any HLS student comment upon what would be a feasible amount of time to allot for all of the above before classes start? I can get organized fairly quickly, but don't want to rush it.


Glad someone bumped this thread :). You don't really need much time, the first few weeks aren't that much work so you will have plenty of time to get settled and stuff. That being said, I think getting at least the weekend before classes to get settled in would be nice. Orientation is probably in late August though and I think it's mandatory. As far as how much time to get moved that's kind of hard. I would recommend buying books on Amazon since they're cheaper, and you should be able to get prime with your @jd14.law.harvard.edu email address, so they will ship there quickly. If not, you can pick them up at the Law Coop (bookstore), which won't take long. The biggest time sink up there is moving, and it's hard to say without knowing your situation. Personally, I think moving is a huge pain in the ass. I would want to give myself a week or so before orientation to get moved in and settled probably. Orientation isn't that long though so you will definitely have time to do other things (and you can skip stuff as well if you like, as long as you go to the important stuff like getting your ID card, etc.).

bogm2012
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby bogm2012 » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:56 pm

ph14 wrote:
bogm2012 wrote:Thought I'd bump this thread with a question:

Background: HLS starts classes on 9/4/12, and no word yet on new student orientation dates. I am spending the summer abroad and would like to stay abroad as long as possible, but also don't want to give myself too little time to: move my stuff from the mid-Atlantic city to Boston; get situated in Boston; buy books/supplies, etc.

Can any HLS student comment upon what would be a feasible amount of time to allot for all of the above before classes start? I can get organized fairly quickly, but don't want to rush it.


Glad someone bumped this thread :). You don't really need much time, the first few weeks aren't that much work so you will have plenty of time to get settled and stuff. That being said, I think getting at least the weekend before classes to get settled in would be nice. Orientation is probably in late August though and I think it's mandatory. As far as how much time to get moved that's kind of hard. I would recommend buying books on Amazon since they're cheaper, and you should be able to get prime with your @jd14.law.harvard.edu email address, so they will ship there quickly. If not, you can pick them up at the Law Coop (bookstore), which won't take long. The biggest time sink up there is moving, and it's hard to say without knowing your situation. Personally, I think moving is a huge pain in the ass. I would want to give myself a week or so before orientation to get moved in and settled probably. Orientation isn't that long though so you will definitely have time to do other things (and you can skip stuff as well if you like, as long as you go to the important stuff like getting your ID card, etc.).


That was tremendously helpful, thanks!

You may have just given me a few extra weeks in paradise :)

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Onthebrink
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby Onthebrink » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:04 am

Thanks for the time everyone, could you talk a little more about the pro/con of on campus vs. off campus housing? Have to say still in shock that I get to join the class of 2015!

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ph14
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:17 am

Onthebrink wrote:Thanks for the time everyone, could you talk a little more about the pro/con of on campus vs. off campus housing? Have to say still in shock that I get to join the class of 2015!


Congrats on your acceptance!

On Campus
Pros: 9 month lease, convenient communit (you can get to class in minutes), easier to socialize with other people, more convenient to secure housing (no apartment hunting)
Cons: Gropius, while cheap, is not the nicest (pretty much like your typical undergrad dorm), always in the law school environment (or at least you have to make an effort to get out of it, even if it's not a huge effort)

Off Campus
Pros: can live in some cool areas (I know people who live all over, Porter Sq., Harvard Sq., Central Sq., Allston, Boston, etc.), more privacy, you can have pets, out of the law school environment, have to do apartment hunting and figure out where you want to live and possibly obtain furniture if it's unurnished
Cons: generally 12 month leases, may be a bit more isolated, more effort to socialize, less convenient most likely (although there are some apartments really close), may be more expensive (definitely more expensive than Gropius at least)

Also, keep in mind there is Harvard owned off-campus housing, which I think also has the benefit of 9 month leases.

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crystalized
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby crystalized » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:16 am

I know this is a bit of a vague question, but what are Harvard students like? In what ways are they similar or different from other T14 students? I'm a little apprehensive about joining a community full of people who have been gunning for Harvard since they left the womb, are there are lot of people like that?

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Onthebrink
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby Onthebrink » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:23 am

How difficult are places like North Hall and the Harvard owned off-campus places to get into?

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ph14
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:25 am

crystalized wrote:I know this is a bit of a vague question, but what are Harvard students like? In what ways are they similar or different from other T14 students? I'm a little apprehensive about joining a community full of people who have been gunning for Harvard since they left the womb, are there are lot of people like that?


Well, I think they are pretty normal people, albeit very smart people. In what ways are they similar or different from other T14 students? I'm not sure, I'd imagine they'd be very similar. You shouldn't worry about joining a community "full of people who have been gunning for Harvard since they left the womb." I mean there are a handful of people like that, but it's not a big deal and even those people are fine.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby ph14 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:27 am

Onthebrink wrote:How difficult are places like North Hall and the Harvard owned off-campus places to get into?


I don't think it is too difficult. It goes by lottery though so anything could happen.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby tomwatts » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:34 pm

There's a bunch of housing information starting around page 15 of the other topic.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:33 pm

crystalized wrote:I know this is a bit of a vague question, but what are Harvard students like? In what ways are they similar or different from other T14 students? I'm a little apprehensive about joining a community full of people who have been gunning for Harvard since they left the womb, are there are lot of people like that?


There's 550 per class and a corresponding wide variety of personality types.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby ph14 » Thu Mar 08, 2012 4:47 pm

acrossthelake wrote:
crystalized wrote:I know this is a bit of a vague question, but what are Harvard students like? In what ways are they similar or different from other T14 students? I'm a little apprehensive about joining a community full of people who have been gunning for Harvard since they left the womb, are there are lot of people like that?


There's 550 per class and a corresponding wide variety of personality types.


Agreed, that's one of the benefits of Harvard's large class size.

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DoubleChecks
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:53 pm

ph14 wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:
crystalized wrote:I know this is a bit of a vague question, but what are Harvard students like? In what ways are they similar or different from other T14 students? I'm a little apprehensive about joining a community full of people who have been gunning for Harvard since they left the womb, are there are lot of people like that?


There's 550 per class and a corresponding wide variety of personality types.


Agreed, that's one of the benefits of Harvard's large class size.


lol +1

And I really doubt that many people have been gunning for HLS haha. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the LACK of cutthroatness at HLS. At least in my year, I have virtually never experienced it. People are competitive with themselves, sure...and there are a few gunners here and there as there are at any law school, but everyone is genuinely friendly, nice, and helpful.

Now can I say that for Northeasterners in general hmm.. :roll:

oregon000
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby oregon000 » Tue May 15, 2012 12:01 am

Any one know what courses we take 1L and better yet, what textbooks/ supplementals are useful?

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Tue May 15, 2012 12:05 am

oregon000 wrote:Any one know what courses we take 1L and better yet, what textbooks/ supplementals are useful?


--LinkRemoved--

Depends on the prof.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby ph14 » Tue May 15, 2012 12:06 am

oregon000 wrote:Any one know what courses we take 1L and better yet, what textbooks/ supplementals are useful?


Contracts
Torts
Crim
Civ Pro
Property
Legislation & Regulation
International Law elective
Elective
Legal Research & Writing

The only class you will for sure have in fall is Civ Pro, and the E&E is great for that.

kemmek
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby kemmek » Tue May 15, 2012 11:11 pm

Aside from finals period, is there any time of the year that's particularly busy/stressful?

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acrossthelake
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Re: Harvard 1L Taking Questions

Postby acrossthelake » Wed May 16, 2012 12:03 am

kemmek wrote:Aside from finals period, is there any time of the year that's particularly busy/stressful?


The law review competition. FML. Way worse than finals.




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