Yale 3L taking questions

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tinman
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Yale 3L taking questions

Postby tinman » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:46 pm

many of you will be wondering whether to chose Yale over scholarships, the Palo Alto sun, or the lay prestige of Harvard. I'm happy to share my thoughts. Yale turned out to be much better than I expected in some ways, and worse in others.

Overall, I'm happy I chose Yale. I think Stanford would have been cool too, especially if you can rock it there (do their S. Ct. and win some book prizes). Yale is a much safer option for most people, I think.

Let me know if you have questions.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby Tiago Splitter » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:51 pm

Is Yale as morally repugnant as we have been led to believe?

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tinman
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby tinman » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:00 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Is Yale as morally repugnant as we have been led to believe?


Yay is a mixed bag, like everywhere. Some of the people here are super down-to-earth. Many are highly competitive. It's easy to find like minded people, however your mind happens to be.

spek
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby spek » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:03 pm

Thanks for being willing to answer questions! Can you expand on why Yale was better than you expected in some ways but worse in others?

countercouper
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby countercouper » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:23 pm

Thanks for doing this. How's the social life at Yale? Does the class size ever feel a bit claustrophobic?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:49 pm

What were your law school options ? Your career goals ? How is Yale worse than you expected ? Thanks !

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lovejopd
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby lovejopd » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:34 pm

What's Yale's grade system?~Is it different from other law schools?

lessthanjake
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby lessthanjake » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:42 pm

I have heard that, because there is no mandated curve, it is basically impossible to use grades to determine who the better students at Yale are. Is that true? Are there not a bunch of kids who have distinguished themselves above the pack in terms of grades? If it is true, how is it determined who gets the extremely prestigious jobs out of Yale (I'm talking like CoA/Supreme Court clerkships, Wachtell/Williams and Connolly, etc)? Is it just interview skills, prior work experience, etc?

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tinman
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby tinman » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:00 pm

countercouper wrote:Thanks for doing this. How's the social life at Yale? Does the class size ever feel a bit claustrophobic?


I think the class size is great for making close friendships, especially with the no-grades-first-semester thing. But New Haven can feel a bit claustophobic, and I think it is a harder place to be single than Cambridge MA.

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tinman
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby tinman » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:13 pm

spek wrote:Thanks for being willing to answer questions! Can you expand on why Yale was better than you expected in some ways but worse in others?


Yale is more competitive than I thought, or even realized my first year. Lots of people stress about clerkships. And grades do matter for some things.

lessthanjake wrote:I have heard that, because there is no mandated curve, it is basically impossible to use grades to determine who the better students at Yale are. Is that true? Are there not a bunch of kids who have distinguished themselves above the pack in terms of grades? If it is true, how is it determined who gets the extremely prestigious jobs out of Yale (I'm talking like CoA/Supreme Court clerkships, Wachtell/Williams and Connolly, etc)? Is it just interview skills, prior work experience, etc?


It's stupid to use Yale grades as a determinant of anything, but the clerkship process is proof that judges are stupid sometimes. Grades definitely matter for some clerkships and jobs, especially when you are applying straight from school. It's easy to game the grading system by taking professors that give more H's. I think people do this with feeder clerkships in mind. I think you also probably need strong grades for Wachtell, but even easier to game on account of it being only 1L spring that matters.

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tinman
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby tinman » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:19 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:What were your law school options ? Your career goals ? How is Yale worse than you expected ? Thanks !


I got into everywhere I applied. I am going to a firm next year. I've been able to write a lot of papers at Yale and I think research/academia could be fun, though I definitely want to give working at a firm a chance.

lessthanjake
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby lessthanjake » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:45 pm

tinman wrote:
lessthanjake wrote:I have heard that, because there is no mandated curve, it is basically impossible to use grades to determine who the better students at Yale are. Is that true? Are there not a bunch of kids who have distinguished themselves above the pack in terms of grades? If it is true, how is it determined who gets the extremely prestigious jobs out of Yale (I'm talking like CoA/Supreme Court clerkships, Wachtell/Williams and Connolly, etc)? Is it just interview skills, prior work experience, etc?


It's stupid to use Yale grades as a determinant of anything, but the clerkship process is proof that judges are stupid sometimes. Grades definitely matter for some clerkships and jobs, especially when you are applying straight from school. It's easy to game the grading system by taking professors that give more H's. I think people do this with feeder clerkships in mind. I think you also probably need strong grades for Wachtell, but even easier to game on account of it being only 1L spring that matters.


Similarly, because of the lack of meaningful grades, can anyone get a BigLaw job if they want (assuming they don't interview completely horribly or have some other unique red flag)? I know that it is said that the bottom 10-20% of the class at Harvard will have trouble getting BigLaw, but there is no legitimate way to determine who is bottom 10-20% of the class at Yale. Combined with the fact that so many Yale students self-select out of BigLaw (leaving firms competing to get the students that remain), I imagine getting a market-paying BigLaw job at a relatively prestigious firm is an option for anyone. Is that the case?

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tinman
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby tinman » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:42 pm

lessthanjake wrote:
Similarly, because of the lack of meaningful grades, can anyone get a BigLaw job if they want (assuming they don't interview completely horribly or have some other unique red flag)? I know that it is said that the bottom 10-20% of the class at Harvard will have trouble getting BigLaw, but there is no legitimate way to determine who is bottom 10-20% of the class at Yale. Combined with the fact that so many Yale students self-select out of BigLaw (leaving firms competing to get the students that remain), I imagine getting a market-paying BigLaw job at a relatively prestigious firm is an option for anyone. Is that the case?


Yes. Pretty much every one can get a firm job. People still find plenty of things to compete over though

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TatteredDignity
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:00 am

I've asked this in another place, but I'm curious about your take as a 3L.

How do transfers generally fare in obtaining prestigious (by which I guess I mean feeder) clerkships? I'm in a great position at my current school, and I'm not all that interested in academia, so my only reason to move would be so I could get a "better" clerkship. I understand a few specific profs are probably key in this process... is it possible/likely to be able to develop relationships with them as a transfer?

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arewehavingfunyet
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby arewehavingfunyet » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:10 am

I hate to be this person but I visited YLS not too long ago and I have to say while I was impressed with the school New Haven was...different. How have you found the safety level and if you could expand on the social situation a little.


icpb
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby icpb » Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:31 pm

It seems that the grading systems at both Yale and Stanford protect students from downside risks. Do you feel that Stanford's grading system (with book prizes, ~1/3 H each class with 2/3 P, protection from downside risks due to no LP) to be more fair/desirable than Yale's? Did you ever feel pressured to take classes with high H proportions because other students were gaming the system that way at Yale?

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AntipodeanPhil
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:18 pm

How difficult is it to get a paid position working for a law firm during 1L summer? Do most people who get those positions get them through SIP or mass mailings?

Similarly, how difficult is it to get a paid position working with in house counsel for a corporation during 1L summer?

anstone1988
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby anstone1988 » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:45 pm

icpb wrote:It seems that the grading systems at both Yale and Stanford protect students from downside risks. Do you feel that Stanford's grading system (with book prizes, ~1/3 H each class with 2/3 P, protection from downside risks due to no LP) to be more fair/desirable than Yale's? Did you ever feel pressured to take classes with high H proportions because other students were gaming the system that way at Yale?


A Yale 2L that I often talk with said that students at Yale are very competitive for highly-sought-after positions: academia, CoA clerkship, top firms, etc. She said that she dislikes the grading system at Yale for two main reasons. First, she often feels compelled to take classes in which professors give out high proportions of H instead of classes that genuinely interest her because so many other students aiming for highly-sought-after positions game the system that way. Second, she said that although not gaming the system would put her at a disadvantage for highly-sought-after positions, gaming the system is stressful because high proportion of H (up to 50%) makes getting a P feels like a low pass. She also said due to the high proportions of H given out, employers don't treat a P from Yale the same as a P from Harvard and Stanford, which means that Yalies are competing more with each other than with students at Harvard and Stanford, and that sometimes made her feel that there are only two grades at Yale: ~50% high pass and ~50% low pass.

chiwachiwa
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby chiwachiwa » Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:49 pm

anstone1988 wrote:
icpb wrote:It seems that the grading systems at both Yale and Stanford protect students from downside risks. Do you feel that Stanford's grading system (with book prizes, ~1/3 H each class with 2/3 P, protection from downside risks due to no LP) to be more fair/desirable than Yale's? Did you ever feel pressured to take classes with high H proportions because other students were gaming the system that way at Yale?


A Yale 2L that I often talk with said that students at Yale are very competitive for highly-sought-after positions: academia, CoA clerkship, top firms, etc. She said that she dislikes the grading system at Yale for two main reasons. First, she often feels compelled to take classes in which professors give out high proportions of H instead of classes that genuinely interest her because so many other students aiming for highly-sought-after positions game the system that way. Second, she said that although not gaming the system would put her at a disadvantage for highly-sought-after positions, gaming the system is stressful because high proportion of H (up to 50%) makes getting a P feels like a low pass. She also said due to the high proportions of H given out, employers don't treat a P from Yale the same as a P from Harvard and Stanford, which means that Yalies are competing more with each other than with students at Harvard and Stanford, and that sometimes made her feel that there are only two grades at Yale: ~50% high pass and ~50% low pass.

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Geneva
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby Geneva » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:50 pm

I applied to Yale right before deadline and sent in the wrong addendum:( How risky would it be to send in a polite email with the addendum I would like to be considered? This isn't an essential change, but I basically turned in the draft form of my diversity statement rather than the stronger final version. Also, there's an accidental semicolon hovering in the middle of the page. Hopefully this error won't be dispositive, but Yale is a stretch for me to begin with, so I'm concerned. My application has yet to be designated as "complete", so my hope is that an administrative aid might be willing to insert the correct version of the addendum before Asha reads my application? Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you! Also: congratulations on attending the best law school in the world:)

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tinman
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby tinman » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:58 pm

Geneva wrote:I applied to Yale right before deadline and sent in the wrong addendum:( How risky would it be to send in a polite email with the addendum I would like to be considered? This isn't an essential change, but I basically turned in the draft form of my diversity statement rather than the stronger final version. Also, there's an accidental semicolon hovering in the middle of the page. Hopefully this error won't be dispositive, but Yale is a stretch for me to begin with, so I'm concerned. My application has yet to be designated as "complete", so my hope is that an administrative aid might be willing to insert the correct version of the addendum before Asha reads my application? Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you! Also: congratulations on attending the best law school in the world:)


This is a tough question. I guess it depends on how big the change is. You may consider calling the office to see if it's gone to faculty review yet. For what is is worth, I had what seemed to me as an egregious typo in my resume in my Yale app. It bothered me, but I just let it go. Not sure whether it hurt my chances, and I'm sure I would have always wondered whether the typo was my downfall if I had not been admitted. But I think I did the right thing by doing nothing.

Geneva
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby Geneva » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:07 pm

tinman wrote:
Geneva wrote:I applied to Yale right before deadline and sent in the wrong addendum:( How risky would it be to send in a polite email with the addendum I would like to be considered? This isn't an essential change, but I basically turned in the draft form of my diversity statement rather than the stronger final version. Also, there's an accidental semicolon hovering in the middle of the page. Hopefully this error won't be dispositive, but Yale is a stretch for me to begin with, so I'm concerned. My application has yet to be designated as "complete", so my hope is that an administrative aid might be willing to insert the correct version of the addendum before Asha reads my application? Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you! Also: congratulations on attending the best law school in the world:)


This is a tough question. I guess it depends on how big the change is. You may consider calling the office to see if it's gone to faculty review yet. For what is is worth, I had what seemed to me as an egregious typo in my resume in my Yale app. It bothered me, but I just let it go. Not sure whether it hurt my chances, and I'm sure I would have always wondered whether the typo was my downfall if I had not been admitted. But I think I did the right thing by doing nothing.

Thank you! Please see PM if you get a chance:)

abacus
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby abacus » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:10 pm

tinman wrote:Overall, I'm happy I chose Yale. I think Stanford would have been cool too, especially if you can rock it there (do their S. Ct. and win some book prizes). Yale is a much safer option for most people, I think.

Let me know if you have questions.


.
Last edited by abacus on Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Geneva
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby Geneva » Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:11 pm

abacus wrote:
tinman wrote:Overall, I'm happy I chose Yale. I think Stanford would have been cool too, especially if you can rock it there (do their S. Ct. and win some book prizes). Yale is a much safer option for most people, I think.

Let me know if you have questions.


Thanks for answering questions. This is a selfish question and is likely very much off-topic, but I'm curious: if you hadn't gotten into Yale, would you have chosen SLS over HLS? Why?


ha, i dont think it is selfish as it probably is relevant to many readers that will not gain admission to yale




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