Yale 3L taking questions

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oso84
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Yale 3L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:11 pm

As I did last year and the year before, happy to take questions about YLS. Disclaimer: I don't know anything about the admissions process (no one does, it's a total black box).

In YLS news today: Moot Court finals and a clinic launches a class action on behalf of disabled veterans.

I'll try to check the thread weekly. In the meantime, good luck everyone!

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Barack O'Drama
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby Barack O'Drama » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:28 pm

Hey I'm new here at TLS forum. I'm a 0L and just wondering what your U.G major was/where you attended? Your LSAT score? and just overall any unique advice or perspectives you may have now that you lacked during your undergrad studies.

Appreciate your time and insight

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby analytic_philosopher » Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:59 pm

Do you know any international students at your law school? How did they fare in the legal market (summers, OCI, jobs, etc.)? Do you think they faced any special challenges?

Thanks in advance!

iii
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby iii » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:25 pm

Are there professors who give a lot of/very little H's?

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jrsbaseball5
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby jrsbaseball5 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:07 pm

What is the experience like at OCI? Do most people have a handful of interviews and are able to have multiple options or are there those who still are struggling to find jobs?
Last edited by jrsbaseball5 on Sat Dec 22, 2012 10:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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oso84
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:59 pm

GregoryADevine wrote:Hey I'm new here at TLS forum. I'm a 0L and just wondering what your U.G major was/where you attended? Your LSAT score? and just overall any unique advice or perspectives you may have now that you lacked during your undergrad studies.

Appreciate your time and insight


Numbers here. I came to law school four years after I graduated, and in general I think gaining some life experience outside of college/university life makes you a better law student. I also think it makes you a stronger applicant.

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oso84
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:20 pm

analytic_philosopher wrote:Do you know any international students at your law school? How did they fare in the legal market (summers, OCI, jobs, etc.)? Do you think they faced any special challenges?

Thanks in advance!



There are many, and I know/am friends with several. Getting work for the summers, including FIP (which is what we call OCI) has not been a problem as far as I can tell. I do know of one foreign student who had a problem with one firm—they didn't want to hire him because of all the paperwork it would require—but my sense is that it was an isolated incident. (That guy went on to get his dream job in his dream city).

I think this is slightly more complicated for foreign students who want to do non-firm work immediately after graduation. For those students, their permission to remain in the United States is often tied to their employment. Obviously, all of this will depend on your particular context.
Last edited by oso84 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Skye
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby Skye » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:59 pm

Has the recession had an effect on Y at all?

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:44 pm

iii wrote:Are there professors who give a lot of/very little H's?


We don't have a strict curve like most other places, including (I think) HLS. (They've gone back and forth on this, not sure what the deal is now, I'm sure it's easy enough to find out). This leaves grading entirely in the discretion of the professor. It depends quite a bit on the class. In the large lecture classes, my sense is professors decide before grading that some portion of the class that will get Hs and some portion that will get Ps. What the ratio is for a given professor is, generally, mysterious, though a few disclose after the fact how they graded and where the cut-off is. For seminars, I think the grading policy is substantially looser, with more of a "if you earned an H, you get an H" mentality.

There are a few people out there with all Hs (but not too many), meaning most people have a mix of Hs and Ps.

It probably is worth mentioning that there's another grade—LP. Virtually no professor gives them out. The only professor known to do so (and to be fair, he warns people on the first day of class) is phasing into retirement and is easily avoidable if you're truly risk averse.
Last edited by oso84 on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:50 pm

jrsbaseball5 wrote:What is the experience like at OCI? Do most people have a handful of interviews and are able to have multiple options or are their those who still are struggling to find jobs?


OCI is called FIP here for probably pretentious reasons. I didn't participate, so I'm not the ideal person to ask. Here's my sense of what happened from watching friends go through it: most people have a bunch of initial interviews and a handful of callbacks. I don't know of anyone who struck out entirely, though probably someone did. My sense is that—so long as you bid widely—you're going to get interviews and some number of callbacks. Many people didn't end up at their first choice firm, but I think in general people landed at a firm in their top 3.

During the recession, CDO was telling people they might not be able to go to the city they wanted to (read: NYC or DC). That's no longer true, I think. People seem to have landed where they want to, which is almost always NYC, DC, SF, LA, or Boston.

To give you some sense of this: of my small group (what we call our 1L sections), 15 of 16 are employed at graduation and the one person who isn't is applying to PhD programs and did not seek employment. (These aren't necessarily firm jobs, in fact, most aren't). So 15/15 of people who looked for jobs got them. And everyone in my small group who wanted a firm job got one in the city they most wanted.
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:04 pm

Skye wrote:Has the recession had an effect on Y at all?


Yes, but only marginally. At the most implosion-y moment of the crisis (like 2009), YLSers had a tough time landing biglaw jobs, from what I hear. That's all passed; my sense is that nearly everyone who did FIP (which is what we call OCI) got a job. Someone got no offered from their firm this summer, I'm sure, but I can't name someone who is in that position. (Of course, that isn't exactly something people would run around bragging about). In other words, it's not a big problem. The short version of it is that people who do FIP get biglaw jobs. Full stop. If your singular goal is to get a biglaw job and if you are paying a little bit of attention to what's going on, you will get one.

Of course, there have been other direct effects of the recession. Our loan repayment program, COAP, was made less generous last year for future classes. This is partially due to the endowment's loss of value, though it's probably mostly due to the fact that an increasing percentage of YLSers skip biglaw and head into government/public interest/foreign work.

Perhaps the most lasting, if indirect, effect of the recession is the changed market for clerkships. The crisis really screwed up the clerkship market. My sense is that ten years ago, everyone who went to clerk did so immediately after graduation. I.e., graduate in May and start sometime between June and September. Judges hired further out during the downturn because people were floating around, they got a taste of having clerks with a year or two of experience, and many (most?) are sticking with that model. Consequently, a lot of people in my class who are clerking are doing so in 2014 or 2015, meaning they have a year or two to kill in the meantime. In the end, all of this is probably good in the long run, but it compounds the insanity of the clerkship process.

So long story short, yes, there were effects. They aren't a big deal. The legal profession changed a lot. Going to law school isn't necessarily a winning ticket at most law schools. But it still leads to good employment if you go to YLS.

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby analytic_philosopher » Tue Dec 11, 2012 5:25 pm

Do you know any graduating YLS students who are going into non-legal careers, e.g. consulting or ibanking? How did they end up getting there?

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:41 pm

analytic_philosopher wrote:Do you know any graduating YLS students who are going into non-legal careers, e.g. consulting or ibanking? How did they end up getting there?


Yes, there are a few people in my class going into consulting or ibanking. Most are returning to jobs or firms they were at prior to going to law school (I believe these folks are having their firms pay their tuition). A smaller group of people are headed to new jobs. Some in this latter group are in the joint JD/MBA program, in which both degrees are completed in the normal 6 semesters of law schools (two degrees for the price and length of the JD, basically). Others were recruited by consulting firms, which have a relationship with YLS.

I also have the sense that the career choice is well-supported at YLS. The Center for the Study of Corporate Law (or something like that) is always pulling in great speakers, which I'm sure are also pathways into summer jobs and jobs at graduation, and the course offerings in corporate/financial are robust.

Overall, my sense is the number of students headed to consulting or ibanking is small-I'd estimate something like 5% of the class and no more than 10%. But I think the small number is a function of lack of interest (i.e. people wanting to be lawyers, not bankers or consultants) and not lack of opportunity, especially if coming from those sectors and/or getting an MBA while here. (Though, admittedly, our BSchool isn't exactly HBS or anything, but the YLS brand likely compensates).

Edit: just saw that consulting and ibanking were "e.g." and not "i.e." Other non-legal jobs: the most common is academia, with some portion of the graduating class (traditionally around 2-3%) going onto PhD programs with an eye toward becoming a law professor. Similarly, some move directly onto legal academia without the PhD (or they came with a PhD). Some number of people try to get a start-up off the ground; there's a Silicon Valley, VC-esque vibe around a small community of folks interested in that kind of thing. And, of course, a lot of people move into non-legal jobs that do not involve litigation, such as policy work (think: think tank), government work (not government lawyers, but policymakers), etc.

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby pacifica » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:53 am

This may be an over-specific question, so no worries if there isn't a pertinent answer. I've read many financial aid offices claim along the lines that "don't worry if you didn't qualify for finaid as undergrad, we calculate parental contributions differently, so give it a shot." Would you happen to know how Yale does it roughly? Is Yale's expected parental contributions usually more or less than FAFSA's federal expected parental contribution estimates?

Thanks a lot!

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:21 pm

pacifica wrote:This may be an over-specific question, so no worries if there isn't a pertinent answer. I've read many financial aid offices claim along the lines that "don't worry if you didn't qualify for finaid as undergrad, we calculate parental contributions differently, so give it a shot." Would you happen to know how Yale does it roughly? Is Yale's expected parental contributions usually more or less than FAFSA's federal expected parental contribution estimates?

Thanks a lot!


That is a specific question, but I think I can help at least a little. I should preface everything here, though, by saying "I think this is how it works," not "I know this is how it works."

My sense of the FAFSA is that it's mostly irrelevant to law school financial aid at most schools. I suspect its only importance is to make ensure students are eligible for federal loans. When I applied, every law school I was actually interested in required some form in addition to the FAFSA and seemed to rely more heavily on the second form.

At YLS, the supplemental form is the Need Access application, which I believe a lot of law schools use. The Need Access form is far more detailed (i.e. invasive) than the FAFSA, so, compared to most public universities (which use just the FAFSA), a law school financial aid office has a lot more of your and your parents' financial information when it makes its calculation. This is probably why law school FAOs say something like "we calculate parental contributions differently."

Also, keep in mind that your law school tuition is likely substantially higher than your undergraduate tuition. Even if your parental contribution is the same in undergrad and law school, it's possible that you'll be eligible for some financial aid in law school. Example: say for an undergrad the parental contribution is 50k and tuition is 40k so you're ineligible for FA as an undergrad. Tuition + living expenses at YLS at something like 75-80k, so in this scenario you're eligible for FA on 25-30k. That FA is probably going to be loans, but they're loans with (marginally) better terms that ones you'd be eligible for without filing out all the FA paperwork.

YLS starts to phase out the parental contribution around age 27 or 28.

Our FAO is pretty tops in terms of giving you information, and I'm sure they'll talk directly to any admitted student about their specific situation.

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby Ling520 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:27 pm

Are there many/any military veterans attending YLS? and any support programs for veterans? I noticed that unlike most of the other t14 schools YLS has nothing on their site aimed toward military veterans, and I've heard of no outreach by YLS toward vets. Also, YLS only contributes $5000 toward the yellow ribbon program which combined with the GI bill doesn't come close to covering tuition (for comparison, HLS's program fully covers tuition for an unlimited number of vets and SLS's yellow ribbon almost completely covers tuition). Is there any plan by YLS to increase financial aid for vets on the GI bill or any other sort of support aimed towards vets coming in the future?

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:50 pm

Ling520 wrote:Are there many/any military veterans attending YLS? and any support programs for veterans? I noticed that unlike most of the other t14 schools YLS has nothing on their site aimed toward military veterans, and I've heard of no outreach by YLS toward vets. Also, YLS only contributes $5000 toward the yellow ribbon program which combined with the GI bill doesn't come close to covering tuition (for comparison, HLS's program fully covers tuition for an unlimited number of vets and SLS's yellow ribbon almost completely covers tuition). Is there any plan by YLS to increase financial aid for vets on the GI bill or any other sort of support aimed towards vets coming in the future?


These are great questions, but I fear the answers I can provide won't be all that helpful...

There are veterans at YLS. I've probably known or known of about a half dozen throughout my three years. I imagine there are a few more I don't know. I can name two in my class, though I have a nagging suspicion that there's a third I just can't recall off the top of my head. Those numbers sound pretty low, I'm sure, but with an entering class of about 200 people, that's 1-2% of a class. Most veterans were officers, though I know of classmate who enlisted, then went to college after being discharged. I can also name about a half dozen spouses/partners of veterans or active duty military.

As for support programs, there is nothing in particular that I can name. This, though, is not unusual—I actually can't name a single specialized support program in the law school. Nearly all support work is done 1-on-1, which I suspect is a function of the small school size. Put another way, I think that for the most part the administration tracks and supports students individually and not by group. There may be larger, graduate school-wide programs geared toward veterans.

As for financial aid, I don't know anything about any of financial aid's plans with respect to anything, veterans or otherwise. In general, the school's approach toward funding is, again, individualized. Financial aid is need-based, there are not merit scholarships. (The yellow ribbon funding appears to be a Yale initiative, not a YLS initiative). So, while a veteran might not automatically receive substantial financial aid of the type available at HLS or SLS, an individual veteran may receive grants that significantly add to the GI bill + yellow ribbon funding. I suspect the question to ask is how the GI bill and yellow ribbon funding interacts with the overall development of a financial aid package. I assume a phone call or email to the admissions office would yield relevant information. (I would also point out to them that peer schools have web pages geared toward veterans and YLS does not. This strikes me as something admissions should change).

The school's financial aid approach also emphasizes post-graduation assistance over traditional (i.e. while enrolled) financial aid. Here, I'm referring to COAP, the loan repayment program. Of course, COAP is generally available, so it doesn't directly speak to the unique considerations a veteran may have.

In terms of curriculum (which I know you didn't ask about but, hey, I'm trying to fit something more positive into this post), there are a few things to mention. First, Gene Fidell is a veteran and a regular lecturer at YLS who teaches military law. Second, there is a clinic dedicated to assisting veterans. Of course, I'm not saying or assuming that all veterans will be automatically interested in the military law class or a clinic focusing on veterans; I do not mean to imply that in the least. But to the extent someone is looking for a community around military and/or veterans issues, these are places to start.

This is probably not all that helpful, but, unfortunately, it's all I know about veterans issues at YLS.

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby Ling520 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:51 am

Thanks for the great response. It’s still hard for me to get sold on YLS, however.

YLS does have organizations for a bunch of different groups like LGBT, minorities, etc., just not for veterans. It sounds like you have a few officers that are attending while on active duty (not strictly speaking, veterans) who have the military paying their full tuition. The other stuff sounds good but the problem is that veterans have unique circumstances that often cause them to fall through the cracks when it comes to admissions and financial aid. When I left the military I couldn’t qualify for need based aid as an undergrad because my school counted my previous year’s military income against my need for aid. For veterans leaving the military with savings and significant financial obligations (especially if they have families) it is difficult to qualify for need based aid without first going unemployed for a year and depleting savings; this is why programs like the gi bill and yellow ribbon are so important for veterans. Given YLS’s endowment size and prestige its comparatively small, token yellow ribbon contribution really stands out in a negative way.

The impression I get is that YLS is neutral toward military veterans, and because few veterans attend, YLS is not aware of issues veterans face and is inadvertently discouraging veterans from attending. Even though I’m interested in legal academia it would be difficult for me to justify attending YLS over Harvard or Stanford or even NYU because unlike these schools YLS has done nothing to indicate to me that veterans are welcome there. It might sound lame that I need that sort of reassurance, but I’ve run into unexpected obstacles as a veteran (and I imagine other vets have similar experiences) that make me less eager to try to fit into a community that is not trying to encourage participation by veterans.

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby alexb240 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:50 am

Is the Unaffiliated Yale Journal of Space and Robot Law as awesome as I hear it is?

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:33 pm

Ling520 wrote:Thanks for the great response. It’s still hard for me to get sold on YLS, however.

YLS does have organizations for a bunch of different groups like LGBT, minorities, etc., just not for veterans. It sounds like you have a few officers that are attending while on active duty (not strictly speaking, veterans) who have the military paying their full tuition. The other stuff sounds good but the problem is that veterans have unique circumstances that often cause them to fall through the cracks when it comes to admissions and financial aid. When I left the military I couldn’t qualify for need based aid as an undergrad because my school counted my previous year’s military income against my need for aid. For veterans leaving the military with savings and significant financial obligations (especially if they have families) it is difficult to qualify for need based aid without first going unemployed for a year and depleting savings; this is why programs like the gi bill and yellow ribbon are so important for veterans. Given YLS’s endowment size and prestige its comparatively small, token yellow ribbon contribution really stands out in a negative way.

The impression I get is that YLS is neutral toward military veterans, and because few veterans attend, YLS is not aware of issues veterans face and is inadvertently discouraging veterans from attending. Even though I’m interested in legal academia it would be difficult for me to justify attending YLS over Harvard or Stanford or even NYU because unlike these schools YLS has done nothing to indicate to me that veterans are welcome there. It might sound lame that I need that sort of reassurance, but I’ve run into unexpected obstacles as a veteran (and I imagine other vets have similar experiences) that make me less eager to try to fit into a community that is not trying to encourage participation by veterans.


My goal in posting is never to sell anyone on YLS; my hope is that everyone winds up at a school where they feel comfortable and supported. I'm writing only to clarify a few things from my first post:

* There are no active duty personnel attending (to my knowledge). When I drew the distinction between officers and enlisted personnel in my initial post, I was referring only to the fact that nearly all (but not all) veterans at YLS had been officers while in the military. (Sorry for the sloppy wording: when I said veteran, I meant veteran, not active duty, not reservist). That said, I have no clue how any of those folks (or anyone else, for that matter) is funding law school. Making tuition is just something very few people talk about.

* The groups you mention are student groups, very bottom-up organizations, and I wasn't thinking of those when I answered about support in place for students. I was thinking of support as "stuff the administration does," and those groups are most definitely not run by the administration. True enough, though: there are several students groups organized around identity, and the most prominent among them are Outlaws (LGBT) and for students of color. There is not a veterans group of which I am aware.

All that said though, if YLS isn't your (or anyone else's) vibe, then that's the most important observation to be had. Everyone who is fortunate enough to be admitted to a school where they feel comfortable should go to that school. Law school is tough enough; going somewhere where you won't feel at home will only make it tougher. Good luck with your cycle, and if I'm ever in a position to mention your concerns to an administrator, I will. (The yellow ribbon thing, of which I was totally unaware until you brought it up, certainly looks bad by comparison).

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:39 pm

alexb240 wrote:Is the Unaffiliated Yale Journal of Space and Robot Law as awesome as I hear it is?


Along with the Gournal, the UYJSRL is one of our top publications, and loads of fun to work on. SO GLAD recent alums are trolling TLS! :lol:

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby alexb240 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:49 pm

Not that recent anymore, as I don't even know what Gournal is. Don't tell me that's a T(U)YJSRL competitor? How's Law Revue these days?

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby Ling520 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:32 am

Thanks for the responses about veterans at YLS. I appreciate it.

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oso84
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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby oso84 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:38 am

If I remember right (and if things haven't changed since 2010), I think the admissions calls start around now-ish. Still here if anyone has questions, etc.

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Re: Yale 3L taking questions

Postby fluffythepenguin » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:47 am

Is the intellectual climate at YLS for someone who isn't liberal really this suffocating, or did something else happen to make this student fly off the handle?

http://abovethelaw.com/2013/01/student- ... ates-them/




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