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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zot1
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby zot1 » Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:09 pm

I'm not trying to "shit" on Yale students. I think it's awesome people go there, and I'm happy they're succeeding.

I'll show myself out.

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PeanutsNJam
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby PeanutsNJam » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:22 am

Is biglaw considered a back up for people who "strike out" at prestigious/unicorn post grad jobs? Are there Yale students who want to work in biglaw? I only ask because if your goal was biglaw, it seems a better deal to take a full ride at a T6, since you'd be ending up at the same firms, doing the same work, making the same money anyway (with the exception of like Wachtell, Susman, etc.).

What are the general aspirations of Yale law students?

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Vursz
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby Vursz » Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:36 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Is biglaw considered a back up for people who "strike out" at prestigious/unicorn post grad jobs? Are there Yale students who want to work in biglaw? I only ask because if your goal was biglaw, it seems a better deal to take a full ride at a T6, since you'd be ending up at the same firms, doing the same work, making the same money anyway (with the exception of like Wachtell, Susman, etc.).

What are the general aspirations of Yale law students?


The big thing at YLS is clerking (and the school has an overwhelming advantage in landing prime placements). Also, I daresay it's significantly easier to get spots at excellent firms than it is elsewhere (because of an incoherent grading scale that doesn't really communicate much information, if any).

Without going into too much detail, it's also safe to say that there are a non-zero number of boutiquey firms/internship opportunities/fellowships that place a very high premium on the HYS brand. I know TLS says ad infinitum that this is flame, but it really isn't.

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby Nebby » Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:39 pm

Vursz wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:Is biglaw considered a back up for people who "strike out" at prestigious/unicorn post grad jobs? Are there Yale students who want to work in biglaw? I only ask because if your goal was biglaw, it seems a better deal to take a full ride at a T6, since you'd be ending up at the same firms, doing the same work, making the same money anyway (with the exception of like Wachtell, Susman, etc.).

What are the general aspirations of Yale law students?


The big thing at YLS is clerking (and the school has an overwhelming advantage in landing prime placements). Also, I daresay it's significantly easier to get spots at excellent firms than it is elsewhere (because of an incoherent grading scale that doesn't really communicate much information, if any).

Without going into too much detail, it's also safe to say that there are a non-zero number of boutiquey firms/internship opportunities/fellowships that place a very high premium on the HYS brand. I know TLS says ad infinitum that this is flame, but it really isn't.

Feel free to name them and douse the flame with truth!

dizzying
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby dizzying » Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:01 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Is biglaw considered a back up for people who "strike out" at prestigious/unicorn post grad jobs? Are there Yale students who want to work in biglaw? I only ask because if your goal was biglaw, it seems a better deal to take a full ride at a T6, since you'd be ending up at the same firms, doing the same work, making the same money anyway (with the exception of like Wachtell, Susman, etc.).

What are the general aspirations of Yale law students?


i know many people (myself included) who are planning on working in biglaw. YLS made sense for me because i wasn't sure what i wanted to do, if i would be good at law school, etc.--the grading system and COAP are great security blankets in that regard. the clerkship numbers are comparatively high, but at the end of the day the majority of YLS grads will end up working at firms.

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superpatton
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby superpatton » Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:43 pm

PeanutsNJam wrote:Is biglaw considered a back up for people who "strike out" at prestigious/unicorn post grad jobs? Are there Yale students who want to work in biglaw? I only ask because if your goal was biglaw, it seems a better deal to take a full ride at a T6, since you'd be ending up at the same firms, doing the same work, making the same money anyway (with the exception of like Wachtell, Susman, etc.).

What are the general aspirations of Yale law students?


While a huge part of the law school is chasing unicorn public service jobs, there are plenty of people at Yale who want to end up at a law firm (myself included). I think there are still a couple of good reasons to choose Yale for firm work. Yale's repayment program (COAP) is fantastic, and will provide repayment regardless of what kind of job you want to go into, legal or nonlegal. This helps ease some of the concern about taking out lots of student loans, and makes me much less concerned about potentially burning out at a firm.
Additionally, if you want to do litigation, then Yale seems to be by far the best school for clerkships. According to LST, 1/3 of grads had a federal clerkship 10 months after graduation, I believe that within a few years of graduation 40+% of students will end up clerking (I can't remember the exact number it was quoted in some event I went to).
Additionally, having an ungraded semester was incredibly nice last year. Firms get no records from your first semester (your transcript just shows credit), so students can relax and actually just try to learn how to succeed in law school. Your second semester, you choose your own courses, so you can actually take things that interest you. Almost everyone who goes through FIP gets at least one offer, so even when grades were given second semester, there wasn't much of a reason to stress.
Finally, Yale's financial aid actually does a decent job in helping students pay for school. After my financial aid package, it would have been slightly more expensive to go NYU or Colombia, and Chicago would have only been a 40k or so discount. Harvard would have been much more expensive.

Didn't mean to write so much, but hopefully this helps.

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby SamuelDanforth » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:38 pm

I also think that a significant number of YLS students think that they'd like to spend a few years at a firm, and then make the transition to another industry/field, and they suspect that the YLS name/network will be useful in that regard. So my sense is that for many students, the hope is clerkship -> firm for 3-5 years -> something else of interest (teaching, business, policy, etc). How helpful YLS is in making that transition is obviously a point of debate.

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby landshoes » Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:26 pm

It's also true that there is a prominent professor here who rejects state school students because he feels they need too much remedial help.


I know this is old but what? wow. remedial help? who is this?

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landshoes
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby landshoes » Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:29 pm

also, I don't think rich kids are bad or anything, but there's a real loss of creativity and diversity of experience that comes from having such a uniform student body (in terms of educational and socioeconomic background) and it can't help but contribute to the sort of echo-chamber feeling of much of that faculty's scholarship.

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby Nebby » Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:45 am

Nebby wrote:
Vursz wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:Is biglaw considered a back up for people who "strike out" at prestigious/unicorn post grad jobs? Are there Yale students who want to work in biglaw? I only ask because if your goal was biglaw, it seems a better deal to take a full ride at a T6, since you'd be ending up at the same firms, doing the same work, making the same money anyway (with the exception of like Wachtell, Susman, etc.).

What are the general aspirations of Yale law students?


The big thing at YLS is clerking (and the school has an overwhelming advantage in landing prime placements). Also, I daresay it's significantly easier to get spots at excellent firms than it is elsewhere (because of an incoherent grading scale that doesn't really communicate much information, if any).

Without going into too much detail, it's also safe to say that there are a non-zero number of boutiquey firms/internship opportunities/fellowships that place a very high premium on the HYS brand. I know TLS says ad infinitum that this is flame, but it really isn't.

Feel free to name them and douse the flame with truth!

That's what I thought. Smoky the Bear is sad

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby lawlorbust » Sun Dec 04, 2016 2:12 am

Nebby wrote:
Vursz wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:Is biglaw considered a back up for people who "strike out" at prestigious/unicorn post grad jobs? Are there Yale students who want to work in biglaw? I only ask because if your goal was biglaw, it seems a better deal to take a full ride at a T6, since you'd be ending up at the same firms, doing the same work, making the same money anyway (with the exception of like Wachtell, Susman, etc.).

What are the general aspirations of Yale law students?


The big thing at YLS is clerking (and the school has an overwhelming advantage in landing prime placements). Also, I daresay it's significantly easier to get spots at excellent firms than it is elsewhere (because of an incoherent grading scale that doesn't really communicate much information, if any).

Without going into too much detail, it's also safe to say that there are a non-zero number of boutiquey firms/internship opportunities/fellowships that place a very high premium on the HYS brand. I know TLS says ad infinitum that this is flame, but it really isn't.

Feel free to name them and douse the flame with truth!


Hahahaha! It'd be pearls before T6 (or worse!) swine!

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:27 am

Vursz wrote:
PeanutsNJam wrote:Is biglaw considered a back up for people who "strike out" at prestigious/unicorn post grad jobs? Are there Yale students who want to work in biglaw? I only ask because if your goal was biglaw, it seems a better deal to take a full ride at a T6, since you'd be ending up at the same firms, doing the same work, making the same money anyway (with the exception of like Wachtell, Susman, etc.).

What are the general aspirations of Yale law students?


The big thing at YLS is clerking (and the school has an overwhelming advantage in landing prime placements). Also, I daresay it's significantly easier to get spots at excellent firms than it is elsewhere (because of an incoherent grading scale that doesn't really communicate much information, if any).

Without going into too much detail, it's also safe to say that there are a non-zero number of boutiquey firms/internship opportunities/fellowships that place a very high premium on the HYS brand. I know TLS says ad infinitum that this is flame, but it really isn't.


Its flame

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby kellyfrost » Fri Dec 30, 2016 2:04 pm

kellyfrost wrote:Have you had a lot of sex with other Yale Law students or is the student body at the law school not sexually active?


It is weird this post never got more traction. I think one poster replied with some information. There has to be more to share.

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby lawlorbust » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:43 pm

kellyfrost wrote:
kellyfrost wrote:Have you had a lot of sex with other Yale Law students or is the student body at the law school not sexually active?


It is weird this post never got more traction. I think one poster replied with some information. There has to be more to share.


That's because people are understandably hesitant to indulge a fucking creepster?

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby Nebby » Tue Jan 03, 2017 2:47 pm

lawlorbust wrote:
kellyfrost wrote:
kellyfrost wrote:Have you had a lot of sex with other Yale Law students or is the student body at the law school not sexually active?


It is weird this post never got more traction. I think one poster replied with some information. There has to be more to share.


That's because people are understandably hesitant to indulge a fucking creepster?

Kellyfrost is a troll so people rightfully ignore his dumb posts

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ReeseWitherspoon
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby ReeseWitherspoon » Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:26 pm

Thanks for volunteering to help! Would you mind sharing how you made your decision to attend Yale over H/S? Were there particular advantages that you felt strongly about/how helpful were the ASW's in making your decision?

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WinterComing
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby WinterComing » Fri Jan 06, 2017 2:48 pm

ReeseWitherspoon wrote:Thanks for volunteering to help! Would you mind sharing how you made your decision to attend Yale over H/S? Were there particular advantages that you felt strongly about/how helpful were the ASW's in making your decision?


I'm not OP, obviously, but I am a Yale 1L who has some downtime over break, so I can give you my two cents. S wasn't on the table for me, but I can answer Y v. H. Of course, that question has been addressed a zillion times before on TLS, so I probably won't add anything that hasn't been said before. But I suppose it never hurts to give an extra perspective.

Ultimately, choosing Yale over Harvard felt pretty obvious. For me, the decisive factors were size and employment outcomes (which I think are directly related). Harvard presents the small school vs. big school thing as just a matter of preference and comfort, but all else equal, I think a small law school has an easier time placing its graduates. And presumably the reason you're going to law school is to get a job. Demand is high for both HLS grads and YLS grads, but the supply of YLS grads is much lower. With fewer Yalies to go around, your chances of getting prestigious jobs are higher. This difference is most pronounced for things like clerkships or academia, but probably matters even for Big Law. Plus, the credit-fail first semester is a godsend.

As for ASWs, they did not make any difference in my decision. I didn't even go to Yale's. It just seemed kind of insane to me to base such an important decision on one unrepresentative weekend. But I have friends here for whom the visits were decisive because they felt like one school was a better fit than the other for whatever reason. To each his/her own.

Hope that helps. Feel free to follow up.

P.S. Happy to answer any other questions if people have them—about admissions, life at YLS, or, to continue the conversation above, how annoying it is that some people are rich.

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby ReeseWitherspoon » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:19 pm

Thanks! Pass/fail first semester certainly seems helpful, but it also makes me wonder how you distinguish yourself as a rising 2L applying to clerkships over the summer. Presumably you only have one (spring) semester of grades, and most of what I've read emphasizes the importance of grades for a lot of judges. Obviously with its clerkship placement rate, Yale doesn't have a problem with this but it makes me wonder how judges differentiate between Yale clerk applicants? Is it mostly getting profs willing to go to bat for you? Or are there just few enough Yale applicants (even to feeders?) that they don't need to compare Yale applicants and don't care about grades much for your application?

Thanks again!

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby KissMyAxe » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:57 pm

Winter obviously did awesome in this post, but I'll put in my 2 cents too, though I don't know how much value I'll add. I can't speak about the ASW program, but I hear they're all excellent.

I can speak a little on this subject, as I was extremely fortunate in my admissions cycle (which you can see on my profile). For me, Stanford was never even on the table. I'm sure it's a really great school, but ultimately YLS beats them in pretty much every category. Yale is obviously considerably richer than Stanford, with a similar sized student body. This allows them to spend more money per student than any other school. The student groups are insanely well-funded, and that is why they are able to put on so many fantastic events. They also have the benefit of being a bit more well-known name worldwide (where I come from no one is aware Stanford is a great school), which makes YLS outperform them in a lot of ways on the employment front. At Stanford, you can be at the bottom of the class and be just fine. You will find Biglaw employment. But at YLS, your worst case scenario is to go work for a V10 firm and maybe do a district clerkship instead of the dream of 2nd, 9th, or DC circuit. Relatedly, the guaranteed pass first semester and the lack of a curve afterwards was a huge sell. Finally, I have no desire to be out in California.

Harvard was much more difficult. I was admitted into HLS about a month before YLS, so I was sure I'd be a Crimson. However, when you sit down and look at it, there are just very few reasons to go with HLS over YLS. I can think of one scenario where HLS made more sense (a friend of mine already had a house in Cambridge, though he came to YLS as well). If any of the three is considerably cheaper, going with them is very justifiable, though Yale was cheaper for me my far. The two schools do very similar things, Yale's just a little better at it, since most employers like equal amounts of HLS and YLS students, and there's a third as many of us. Its small size also gives you the opportunity to get to know your classmates and your professors much better if you want. I think Winter can confirm how much of our class I know. The small group system, while it is random in how you will like it, fosters that, since you typically will have a well-known professor whom you've already done an exam for, taken a seminar with, written two papers for, and performed oral arguments in front of before you enter your second semester. Harvard definitely has more professors of wider ideologies and more varied subjects. For example, YLS pretty much only has liberal and left of liberal professors (I think there are 2 conservatives on faculty), and YLS hires professors who are at the forefront of their field, rather than looking at what particular gaps in legal theorem need to be filled. However, while HLS has more professors, it can also be insanely difficult getting into some classes. On the other hand, here, I think there is only one class that is really hard to get into (appellate advocacy with Guido Calabresi, it's done in chambers and only 6 students are allowed in). The lack of curve tends to make YLS students very laid back, at least compared to my friends at HLS. Which brings me to the students. I have friends at all three schools, and they all strike me as very intelligent and deserving to be at one of HYS. However, I do think YLS students tend to have a little more interesting and varied backgrounds.

However, with all three of these schools, it's ultimately a question of fit and what you want to do. You're very lucky to get into any of three as they're all excellent. However, while there is no wrong option, I would argue there is a best option, and 80-85% of crossadmits typically agree. If you want additional info, just reply or PM me.
Last edited by KissMyAxe on Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby KissMyAxe » Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:12 pm

ReeseWitherspoon wrote:Thanks! Pass/fail first semester certainly seems helpful, but it also makes me wonder how you distinguish yourself as a rising 2L applying to clerkships over the summer. Presumably you only have one (spring) semester of grades, and most of what I've read emphasizes the importance of grades for a lot of judges. Obviously with its clerkship placement rate, Yale doesn't have a problem with this but it makes me wonder how judges differentiate between Yale clerk applicants? Is it mostly getting profs willing to go to bat for you? Or are there just few enough Yale applicants (even to feeders?) that they don't need to compare Yale applicants and don't care about grades much for your application?

Thanks again!


Good question. Obviously, I'm a 1L, but I'm friends with a lot of people who have feeder judges lined up (and a couple of SCOTUS). There is a complaint that the ungraded first semester seems to add a degree of arbitrariness to the hiring and that previous connections/pedigree matters more because of it. That's probably accurate. However, you can still strengthen your chances in different ways.

First, your first semester is almost certainly a guaranteed pass. Some professors will not even read your exams unless you ask them to. However, some professors will shadow grade exams despite that. So while you can't fail an exam, you can ace one your first semester. Obviously you can also get grades your second semester. And you mention a good point. There are judges who hire so early that students do not have a single grade on their transcript at the time. Those people typically have very strong professor recommendations. You get those by RA'ing and doing really good work, and by destroying exams (you can also be very well-connected). This mainly applies to feeder judges. Most YLS students are only interested in clerkships on the 2nd, 9th, and DC circuits. It seems that for the superfeeders, you need all H's your second semester, as well as a connected professor going to bat to you (there are feeder professors at YLS just as there are feeder judges). Now, because there are so few conservative students at YLS (less than 5% I believe), they can bypass the professor recommendation if the judge is connected to FedSoc or the Yale Law Republicans. Winter was at the same talk as me about clerkships, but I believe that is the general consensus.

Now, all that applies to feeders. Outside of those three circuits and a handful of other judges, it's much easier to get a clerkship. The professor giving the aforementioned talk told us about her receiving constant emails from judges begging her to send them someone. Basically, if you're not picky about where you want to clerk, you can get a clerkship, in either a district or a COA depending on your choice. For those, grades don't really matter.

Also, caveat, don't necessarily think you need a clerkship. A real problem is that many people at Yale are hypercompetitive and always chasing gold stars of prestige. They went to the best prep schools, competed for a spot at HYP, then competed for a spot at YLS, and once they get here, they begin looking for the next shiny gold star to pursue. They try to get a feeder judge, then SCOTUS, and then end up at a V5 for years absolutely miserable. The problem is, a clerkship is only valuable to a small subsection of the legal profession. You need to find what makes you happy and shoot for that. A clerkship may very well not help you in that regard.

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WinterComing
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby WinterComing » Sun Jan 08, 2017 5:35 pm

ReeseWitherspoon wrote:Thanks! Pass/fail first semester certainly seems helpful, but it also makes me wonder how you distinguish yourself as a rising 2L applying to clerkships over the summer. Presumably you only have one (spring) semester of grades, and most of what I've read emphasizes the importance of grades for a lot of judges. Obviously with its clerkship placement rate, Yale doesn't have a problem with this but it makes me wonder how judges differentiate between Yale clerk applicants? Is it mostly getting profs willing to go to bat for you? Or are there just few enough Yale applicants (even to feeders?) that they don't need to compare Yale applicants and don't care about grades much for your application?

Thanks again!


As a 1L, I really can't speak authoritatively about clerkships. Most of what KissMyAxe said above is more or less in line with what we've been told by professors and the career development office regarding clerkships. (I do disagree with what he said about most classes at YLS not being hard to get into; from what I can tell from the bidding process for this coming semester, there are several classes that are in high demand.) He makes a good point about the ungraded first semester: There's no downside to doing poorly on those ungraded exams, but there can be an upside to doing well. If you write the best exam, the professor will remember and will gladly sing your praises to a judge friend, which is probably just as good or better than a letter on a transcript. That's one way to stand out, if stand out you must.

I really have no idea how judges who hire after 1L differentiate between Yale applicants, when they have only one semester of grades to go on, but it's probably some mix of who made YLJ, who has recommendations from famous professors, and some other somewhat arbitrary sorting criteria. That said, I'd just like to point out that the only way to run into this problem is if you go to Yale in the first place. If you go to Harvard or Stanford, you will absolutely have more grades on your transcript. If you do well (a big IF), then that will help you stand out from your classmates and will put you in a wonderful position to do whatever you want to do in your career, right up to SCOTUS clerkships and the like. But if you're gunning for the most competitive clerkships (something you maybe shouldn't do) you'll still be up against all the same Yale applicants, and their transcripts will say "Yale" in big letters and yours won't, and as best I can tell from the all of the clerkship data I've seen, judges seem to care about that on some level, even though they probably shouldn't. Lawyers tend to be risk averse people, and maybe judges feel like it's less of a risk to hire from the top school. I know of one Yale professor who supposedly tells judges that the No. 1 student at Harvard is the No. 201 student at Yale. That's ridiculous of course, but there is a perception that Yale has the best talent. I don't think the ungraded first semester changes that.

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ReeseWitherspoon
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby ReeseWitherspoon » Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:36 pm

Thanks for the thorough answers! PMs in your inbox. :)

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freakingoutlalala
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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby freakingoutlalala » Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:33 am

anyone have an outline for Con law with Christina Rodriguez?

If you do, please PM me.

Thank you!

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby pandaaa » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:40 am

If I am looking for housing in New Haven, what part of downtown New Haven is generally the safer area?

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Re: Yale 1L taking questions

Postby KissMyAxe » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:20 am

pandaaa wrote:If I am looking for housing in New Haven, what part of downtown New Haven is generally the safer area?


Downtown New Haven is pretty safe in general, as there is a large police presence, many lights, and constant foot-traffic. I think the New Haven stigma is really overblown. I think it's more that many students go to college at Yale from extremely wealthy backgrounds and were largely insulated from the world. Then they get to New Haven, and for the first time in their life, see poverty, and are terrified. Now, I would not recommend living very south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, or much further west than Dwight Street. But I would say other than that, New Haven is pretty safe. Even the hill is safe during the day. We get told of crimes, and they invariably involve students (not law students to my knowledge) walking alone at like 3 am in rougher areas.

But a lot of students live in the Novella, 360 State, and The Taft and all are happy with their choices. East Rock is a bit of a further walk, but a lot of people live there as well and like it (and most professors live in that area). I would not live in the Towers, as some students in my class have had some serious issues there.




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