Yale 2L taking questions

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oso84
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Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:30 pm

Happy to answer whatever I can.

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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby 062914123 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:35 pm

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Last edited by 062914123 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Curious1
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby Curious1 » Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:38 pm

Do law students go to Toad's?

More seriously...does not having grades really help with quality of life? How about the small class size?

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:58 pm

Do you know any transfer students? If so, how do they seem to be doing (jobs, integrating, grades, etc.)?

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oso84
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:47 pm

bee wrote: Saw that you did TFA. Do you think that helped your chances?


Really tough to say, given the admissions process is so dependent on chance. Unclear if one factor "put me over the top," and, if so, which one. (I also have a masters degree). But I'd say in general, they're looking for pretty well-experienced (or absurdly brilliant) people. I'm not the latter, so I'm sure the intangibles helped my application.

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oso84
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:53 pm

Curious1 wrote:Do law students go to Toad's?

More seriously...does not having grades really help with quality of life? How about the small class size?


Toads: Yeah, some people go. Definitely not all.

There are two versions of "not having grades" at YLS. First, there are literally no grades during the first semester (credit/no credit and everyone gets credit). Second, there are only honors, pass, and low pass during semesters two through six. Hs and Ps are not curved, unlike at other schools "without grades," where H=A, HP=B, and P=C on a curve. Virtually everyone's transcript is a mix of Ps and Hs. LPs are rare.

No grades first semester makes a tremendous difference. It establishes a friendly, supportive, and collaborative student body. We all share notes. We study for exams together. We proofread each others' papers. The attitude carries over to the "graded" semesters.

Some say having no grades pushes competition to other areas like professor recs, etc. There's probably an element of truth to this, but I don't see it truly hurting anybody.

It's law school, and so there will always be competition. But I imagine we have a less competitive environment than any other school in the country.

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oso84
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:57 pm

TatteredDignity wrote:Do you know any transfer students? If so, how do they seem to be doing (jobs, integrating, grades, etc.)?


We have a robust transfer class, and they all seem to be doing just fine. No discernible difference on jobs, though I imagine OCI (called FIP here) is a bit weird since it happens before the transfers have taken a class. (But note: our incoming transfers partake in our OCI, not their initial schools'). There are transfers on the flagship Journal (there's a dedicated admissions process for transfers), they run student organizations, etc. Professors probably don't know if a student is a transfer or not, though students know because of the small class size. No clue on grades; we don't really have grades (see post above) and it's taboo to talk about Hs and Ps.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby yngblkgifted » Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:10 pm

How low can someone's grades be at your school and they still get a big law job? (Very serious question out of curiosity)

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carvedinstone
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby carvedinstone » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:03 am

How is life outside of studying?

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oso84
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:45 pm

yngblkgifted wrote:How low can someone's grades be at your school and they still get a big law job? (Very serious question out of curiosity)


You only have one semesters grades when you interview for firm jobs. As long as you don't have an LP, you're fine. And you have to really screw up to get an LP.

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oso84
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:47 pm

carvedinstone wrote:How is life outside of studying?


New Haven isn't the greatest, but the YLS community is really tops. I'm constantly amazed at how nice people are. I went to a west coast public school for college, and I was a bit afraid of what "Ivy Leaguers" would be like. Turns out, they're just fine. The school is full of smart, funny, and fun people.

People go into NYC a lot, especially if they have a SO or friend base there. Other than that, law school involves a lot of studying and/or clinic and then whatever you do for fun. Most people are pretty happy to leave New Haven when it's over, but it's tolerable for three years.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:04 am

oso84 wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:Do you know any transfer students? If so, how do they seem to be doing (jobs, integrating, grades, etc.)?


We have a robust transfer class, and they all seem to be doing just fine. No discernible difference on jobs, though I imagine OCI (called FIP here) is a bit weird since it happens before the transfers have taken a class. (But note: our incoming transfers partake in our OCI, not their initial schools'). There are transfers on the flagship Journal (there's a dedicated admissions process for transfers), they run student organizations, etc. Professors probably don't know if a student is a transfer or not, though students know because of the small class size. No clue on grades; we don't really have grades (see post above) and it's taboo to talk about Hs and Ps.


Thanks for this. If I could delve further, do you know of anyone in the transfer class who is trying to clerk? I've heard one of the main drawbacks is that the students who were there 1L year have already established relationships with the well-connected profs for recommendation purposes, and it's hard to break in.

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oso84
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:19 am

TatteredDignity wrote:
oso84 wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:Do you know any transfer students? If so, how do they seem to be doing (jobs, integrating, grades, etc.)?


We have a robust transfer class, and they all seem to be doing just fine. No discernible difference on jobs, though I imagine OCI (called FIP here) is a bit weird since it happens before the transfers have taken a class. (But note: our incoming transfers partake in our OCI, not their initial schools'). There are transfers on the flagship Journal (there's a dedicated admissions process for transfers), they run student organizations, etc. Professors probably don't know if a student is a transfer or not, though students know because of the small class size. No clue on grades; we don't really have grades (see post above) and it's taboo to talk about Hs and Ps.


Thanks for this. If I could delve further, do you know of anyone in the transfer class who is trying to clerk? I've heard one of the main drawbacks is that the students who were there 1L year have already established relationships with the well-connected profs for recommendation purposes, and it's hard to break in.


There are a handful of profs who are critical to feeder judges. Relationships with those profs are key for feeder judges. Some of those relationships start 1L year and deepen during 2L year; other relationships begin 2L year. I don't think being a transfer is disqualifying for feeder judges, though perhaps you'd have to be purposeful about where you develop faculty relationships once 2L starts.

For the 99% of the federal judiciary who aren't feeder judges, being a transfer is not a problem at all. The key for clerking is just to have someone in your corner, and you can easily develop two or three faculty relationships over the course of 2L year.

More and more, people clerk after a year or two of practice. This means transfers would have two full years at YLS to build faculty references before applying to judges.

Of possible relevance: There are several transfers in top jobs on the Yale Law Journal.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:27 am

oso84 wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:
oso84 wrote:
TatteredDignity wrote:Do you know any transfer students? If so, how do they seem to be doing (jobs, integrating, grades, etc.)?


We have a robust transfer class, and they all seem to be doing just fine. No discernible difference on jobs, though I imagine OCI (called FIP here) is a bit weird since it happens before the transfers have taken a class. (But note: our incoming transfers partake in our OCI, not their initial schools'). There are transfers on the flagship Journal (there's a dedicated admissions process for transfers), they run student organizations, etc. Professors probably don't know if a student is a transfer or not, though students know because of the small class size. No clue on grades; we don't really have grades (see post above) and it's taboo to talk about Hs and Ps.


Thanks for this. If I could delve further, do you know of anyone in the transfer class who is trying to clerk? I've heard one of the main drawbacks is that the students who were there 1L year have already established relationships with the well-connected profs for recommendation purposes, and it's hard to break in.


There are a handful of profs who are critical to feeder judges. Relationships with those profs are key for feeder judges. Some of those relationships start 1L year and deepen during 2L year; other relationships begin 2L year. I don't think being a transfer is disqualifying for feeder judges, though perhaps you'd have to be purposeful about where you develop faculty relationships once 2L starts.

For the 99% of the federal judiciary who aren't feeder judges, being a transfer is not a problem at all. The key for clerking is just to have someone in your corner, and you can easily develop two or three faculty relationships over the course of 2L year.

More and more, people clerk after a year or two of practice. This means transfers would have two full years at YLS to build faculty references before applying to judges.

Of possible relevance: There are several transfers in top jobs on the Yale Law Journal.


All of that is good to hear. Thanks!

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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby annyong » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:46 am

Thanks for answering Qs!! How are clinics at Yale? I know you can participate after your first semester, do a lot of students do this? How much time do they take up and how much of a variety is there to choose from?

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oso84
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:52 pm

annyong wrote:Thanks for answering Qs!! How are clinics at Yale? I know you can participate after your first semester, do a lot of students do this? How much time do they take up and how much of a variety is there to choose from?


I LOVE our clinical program. I honestly believe we have the best clinical program in the country. (And I'm not just saying that, I'll fess up to the things we don't do well. Like [ahem] 1L writing instruction). I also think clinics are extremely difficult for incoming students to evaluate. Here are my thoughts on what 0Ls (I hate that term, but whatever) should be considering in terms of clinics, then my thoughts on how YLS stacks up.

Incoming students should be evaluating different schools' clinical programs based on accessibility and whether the clinics present actual opportunities to practice.

All the T-14 schools have well-developed clinic programs, but here are the questions to ask about accessibility. How many people get into clinics? When are students able to start clinical work? How long can students stay in a clinic? Many schools will trumpet their clinical offerings, but fail to tell you that it's damned near impossible to get accepted into the clinics. Many schools say 2Ls can participate in clinics but restrict (either formally or functionally (see below)) the clinical experience to 3Ls. And most importantly: many schools permit students to take one maybe two (but almost never three) semesters of clinic. These are questions to be asking as you compare clinical programs.

On opportunity to practice: Many schools offer clinics where students don't actually practice. A bunch of "clinics" open to 2Ls are really simulations. Others require a full semester of simulation before letting students *actually* practice (under supervision). This is super sneaky, and admitted students should be asking about it.

How does YLS compare? Wonderfully on each metric. Not only can second semester 1Ls join clinics, you can stay in them ask long as you want. This is key: other T-14 schools kick you out after your second semester. Moreover, at YLS you can easily move around from clinic to clinic. Someone I know has actually been in four clinics (that's a bit extreme), but two is not at all uncommon. The comparison is five semesters of clinic for YLS students to two (max three) for nearly everyone else.

What's more, first semester 1Ls can do substantive (but limited) quasi-clinical work. This is available at a lot of places (I have a friend at Berkeley who did an asylum case as a first semester 1L through some program), but I enjoyed having client contact immediately after starting law school, and I think it's discouraged elsewhere.

It's also pretty easy to get into our clinics. I'd say most people get into the clinic they want on the first try; all students get into a clinic on the first try; all students get into their first choice clinic by their third try (one try a semester). And when you don't get your first choice, you basically get your second, so it's not like they'll take someone who wants to work with immigrants and stick them in the environmental clinic (unless the person wants to go to the environmental clinic).

In terms of opportunity to practice, we have ZERO simulations. You just practice after joining. My second week in the clinic, I was meeting with clients and talking to state legislators about a bill pending on the Connecticut state legislature. I've been in clinic for 2.5 semesters now, and I've appeared in court five times (and was lead counsel at 3 of those appearances). So you get on your feet quickly.

Finally, I should mention variety. We have somewhere between 12-15 clinics. Bigger schools (read: NYU and HLS) have somewhere between 20-30. We do not, for instance, have a dedicated tax clinic. I actually think number of clinics is a total red herring, and 0Ls shouldn't be distracted by this. At big schools, you're limited to one clinic; it's not like you're going to do all 20. Here, you can realistically do 2-3 clinics, and I don't think you'll get to do that anywhere else. As I said above, I'd wager that a good portion of the "clinics" at big schools are actually simulations. And several of our clinics are incredible broad. For example, Legal Services for Immigrant Communities helps immigrant families with almost any legal need. So while we don't have strong transactional offerings here, if you really wanted to do contracts work, you could join LSIC and try to take all the contract disputes that came up, i.e. you can make a clinic fit a seemingly unmet curricular need if you want. (You can also do transactional work in CED, and both the housing clinics are basically litigating over contracts; leases and mortgages are special types of contracts, but the work is the similar). We also have a bunch of clinics that aren't called clinics but really are, for example, SFALP and IRAP.

You also asked how much time clinics take. Here there's a lot of variety as well. I'm in a super-intense clinic that takes up all my time. There are some that are relatively chill. Most are somewhere in between. You can't figure out which is which from the website, but by the time you apply as a 1L you know which is which. You also asked how many people do clinics. The admin is fond of saying 90% of students do a clinic at some point before graduation. I think that's probably overstating it a little bit, but it is fair to say that the vast majority of students do something clinical while they're here. (I just don't buy that it's 9 out of 10, it's probably more like 7 out of 10 and they're using an overbroad definition of "clinic" to get to 90%).

So, as you can probably infer from the length of this post, this is an area I'm extremely passionate about, and I'd be happy to talk about clinics to anyone.
Last edited by oso84 on Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby annyong » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:22 pm

Thanks so much!! That was super helpful and encouraging, and managed to make me even more excited about YLS :D

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arewehavingfunyet
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby arewehavingfunyet » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:50 pm

Hey, do you know how YLS deals with financial aid negotiations? Is it even really worth it to try and get more money? I just got my award info and it was, let's just say, a bit unsatisfying.

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oso84
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:51 am

arewehavingfunyet wrote:Hey, do you know how YLS deals with financial aid negotiations? Is it even really worth it to try and get more money? I just got my award info and it was, let's just say, a bit unsatisfying.


No harm in asking, I suppose. My sense is that YLS finaid doesn't negotiate in the same way other schools do, but I really don't know.

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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:59 pm

edit
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oso84
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:07 pm

jimmierock wrote:do you know anyone that came from a Canadian university? if so, did they say anything about special difficulties? thanks for answering bro


The Canadians are a small but hearty group. They've organized reading groups focused on Canadian law and some of the comparative classes have Canadian law in them. The Canadians at YLS are a force to be reckoned with.

As to your question, most of the Canadians I know went to American universities. I do know one guy who went to York. PM me for contact info.

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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby lawschool2014hopeful » Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:37 pm

edit
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oso84
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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:14 pm

Still here for anyone still deciding!

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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby jd5 » Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:22 am

How much more would you, or did you, choose to pay for YLS over CCN?

I'm very much on the fence between YLS and a Hamilton Fellowship at Columbia. I received about $20k in financial aid from YLS, so my back-of-the-envelope calculation is that I would graduate YLS with $160k-ish in debt. I would graduate CLS with $80k-ish in debt (just for cost of living) -- $40k if I work at a firm my 2L summer, practically nothing if I snag a firm job for my 1L summer.

I'm not entirely sure what I want to do with my J.D., but I know I want to end up in New York -- ideally, a (2nd Circuit) clerkship followed by BigLaw litigation followed, perhaps, by a transition to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. I don't think I'm interested in academia (and in any case, I think at least part of Yale's large placement advantage here is due to self-selection).

With those (somewhat vague) goals in mind, do you think YLS is worth $80k more than CLS (with Hamilton on the resume)? $120k more? I'm having a lot of trouble quantifying Yale's added value. At sticker, I don't think Yale is worth it over the Hamilton, especially for someone who wants to work in New York. $20k in YLS aid seems to me just enough that the Hamilton is no longer the easy answer, but also not enough that Yale is the obvious right choice.

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Re: Yale 2L taking questions

Postby jd5 » Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:48 pm

oso84 wrote:Still here for anyone still deciding!


...? Heeeeellllppp.




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