Ask a Harvard 1L 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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iagolives
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby iagolives » Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:52 pm

Hey, one more question: When approximately is/are the ASW?

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brokendowncar
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby brokendowncar » Sat Nov 29, 2008 11:20 pm

iagolives wrote:Hey, one more question: When approximately is/are the ASW?

Last year they had one in March and another in April.

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JackieTreehorn
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby JackieTreehorn » Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:51 pm

Hey, thanks for answering questions. I received a TS2 and I'm really excited! A few questions of my own:

Knowing what you do now as current HLS students, what are your thoughts on the trade-off between going to Harvard at sticker versus a T10 school with a full ride? I imagine that Harvard opens a lot of doors (academia and clerkship stats are pretty resounding), but so does an absence of debt. Free 3L for public interest employment is incredible, but there's still a lot of money to be paid.

I've heard whisperings that OCI didn't turn out too well for some folks at Harvard this year. What's the impression people have on campus about this?

How difficult is it to actually take classes with superstar professors and/or enroll in some of the popular small seminars? Are there too many visiting professors for your tastes?

Have your impressions on work/life balance or the collegiality of the student body shifted now that finals are on the horizon?

Again, thanks for answering questions. I apologize if my questions seem borderline antagonistic--I'm unbelievably excited about HLS and will very likely attend, I just want to do my due diligence before jumping into such a big decision.

gcf3f
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby gcf3f » Mon Dec 01, 2008 6:56 pm

does harvard ever give merit based scholarships? im in at harvard but im also nominated for full ride scholarhships at duke and uva. if i end up getting the scholarhships (obviously a big if) it will make my decision about where to go pretty tough. any thoughts?

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Haribo
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby Haribo » Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:04 pm

I've lived in the Cambridge/Somerville area for more than six years, so I can also help answer general housing questions. :) I don't know about HLS specifically, but lots of Harvard (and MIT) grad students live in the Davis Square area. Really nice, laidback area! Another option is Porter Square - I lived there! - and it's a little cheaper and less crowded than Davis. Also, it's closer to Harvard. The square doesn't have nearly as much to do as Davis, although it does have the best burger place in Boston (O'Sullivans.)

You can also live in between Harvard and Alewife - it's a little more north, more residential, nicer, more family-oriented housing. At least, that's my opinion :P It's also pretty cheap there. East Cambridge is where a ton of my friends live. Lots of grad students and immigrant families here, without the "cooler" vibes of Davis Square. It's also veering onto MIT territory, and slightly more inconvenient regarding public transportation and getting to HLS.

As far as prices go, it depends on what you want. If you don't mind sharing an apartment with others, you'll probably be in the $600-1000 per month range. I paid $800 for a room in a really nice 2 bedroom with all the extras in Porter Square. I'd say most people share apartments, because it's just so much more economical. If you want your own place, maybe $1200 at the lowest end? I'm just guessing because I don't actually know anyone who has their own place - even though all my friends are 27+! One of the negatives for living in Boston I guess...

Obviously the more you pay the more you get - laundry, parking, etc all increase the price. Also, it's dependent on location of course - proximity to the T making everything more expensive. Just spend some time surfing around on craigslist to give you an idea of what's out there - when I checked in January of last year there were tons and tons of apartments every day, so maybe just wait a few weeks?

Anyway, it's still pretty early for this sort of thing! Hope that helps, even though it just came down to "Have fun with craigslist!"

1004LSAT
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby 1004LSAT » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:56 pm

Other than university housing, are there off campus apartments a short walk from the law school?
Last edited by 1004LSAT on Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PinkTiki
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby PinkTiki » Tue Dec 02, 2008 9:51 pm

1004LSAT wrote:Other than university housing, are their off campus apartments a short walk from the law school?


Yes. There are some that are literally across the street.

1004LSAT
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby 1004LSAT » Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:21 pm

Are they high rises or garden apartments? Do you know the names of any of the complexes? I'd definitely prefer to be right across the street :lol:

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Objection
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby Objection » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:40 pm

I am very interested in the answers to all of these questions, as well. Great qs. Tiki or bdc? Thanks guys.

JackieTreehorn wrote:Hey, thanks for answering questions. I received a TS2 and I'm really excited! A few questions of my own:

Knowing what you do now as current HLS students, what are your thoughts on the trade-off between going to Harvard at sticker versus a T10 school with a full ride? I imagine that Harvard opens a lot of doors (academia and clerkship stats are pretty resounding), but so does an absence of debt. Free 3L for public interest employment is incredible, but there's still a lot of money to be paid.

I've heard whisperings that OCI didn't turn out too well for some folks at Harvard this year. What's the impression people have on campus about this?

How difficult is it to actually take classes with superstar professors and/or enroll in some of the popular small seminars? Are there too many visiting professors for your tastes?

Have your impressions on work/life balance or the collegiality of the student body shifted now that finals are on the horizon?

Again, thanks for answering questions. I apologize if my questions seem borderline antagonistic--I'm unbelievably excited about HLS and will very likely attend, I just want to do my due diligence before jumping into such a big decision.

JackieTreehorn wrote:Hey, thanks for answering questions. I received a TS2 and I'm really excited! A few questions of my own:

Knowing what you do now as current HLS students, what are your thoughts on the trade-off between going to Harvard at sticker versus a T10 school with a full ride? I imagine that Harvard opens a lot of doors (academia and clerkship stats are pretty resounding), but so does an absence of debt. Free 3L for public interest employment is incredible, but there's still a lot of money to be paid.

I've heard whisperings that OCI didn't turn out too well for some folks at Harvard this year. What's the impression people have on campus about this?

How difficult is it to actually take classes with superstar professors and/or enroll in some of the popular small seminars? Are there too many visiting professors for your tastes?

Have your impressions on work/life balance or the collegiality of the student body shifted now that finals are on the horizon?

Again, thanks for answering questions. I apologize if my questions seem borderline antagonistic--I'm unbelievably excited about HLS and will very likely attend, I just want to do my due diligence before jumping into such a big decision.

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brokendowncar
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby brokendowncar » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:08 pm

Knowing what you do now as current HLS students, what are your thoughts on the trade-off between going to Harvard at sticker versus a T10 school with a full ride? I imagine that Harvard opens a lot of doors (academia and clerkship stats are pretty resounding), but so does an absence of debt. Free 3L for public interest employment is incredible, but there's still a lot of money to be paid.
Money is honestly among my smallest concerns here. I turned down $90k at a t10 to come here and I have not regretted it for a second. The difference is absolutely in the attitude of the students and quality of the faculty. Essentially, everyone is absolutely happy to be here and feels as though there are not better opportunities anywhere. I am not saying it is the only place in the country where that is true, but there aren't a whole lot of places like it. The faculty is filled with amazing professors who are genuinely approachable and happy to help you(at least the ones I have tried. I went to lunch with Sunstein the other day and talked with him one on one for a while about being Obama's adviser. It is hard to beat that.). Additionally, the administration is amazing. It is the only place I have ever been where I felt like those in charge wanted me to succeed and be happy more than I want myself to.


I've heard whisperings that OCI didn't turn out too well for some folks at Harvard this year. What's the impression people have on campus about this?
I have not really heard any specifics other than it was a hard market. Harvard unfortunately held their OCI after the great stock market crash of '08 while many of its "peer" schools held them before. Due to this, many firms anticipated full classes and made offers accordingly to the first set of interviewees from other schools, leaving them short on offers once Harvard OCI rolled around. Completely unfortunate timing that is unrelated to the ability of HLS to place students. That being said, people still got offers, just not as good as my class will likely get next year.


How difficult is it to actually take classes with superstar professors and/or enroll in some of the popular small seminars? Are there too many visiting professors for your tastes?
My leg/reg teacher is visiting and is wonderful. She brought in Scalia to teach us about textualism. Her visiting status does not bother me at all. It is essentially luck of the draw with superstar professors though. The good news is that there are about 25 superstars here, so you're mostly guaranteed to get one of them if that is your concern.

Have your impressions on work/life balance or the collegiality of the student body shifted now that finals are on the horizon?
People are going out a little less, but no less collegial. If anything people are starting to come together to be more cooperative due to the impending time crunch. I have grown to like my classmates even more as the semester has passed, which is something to say considering how well we get to know all of each other's quirks. This seems to reflect their desire to work together to learn.

Again, thanks for answering questions. I apologize if my questions seem borderline antagonistic--I'm unbelievably excited about HLS and will very likely attend, I just want to do my due diligence before jumping into such a big decision.
It was undoubtedly the right choice for me and probably is for most people who get the opportunity. I promise you will not regret putting yourself into a position to take advantage of the unbelievable opportunities that Harvard offers.

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JackieTreehorn
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby JackieTreehorn » Wed Dec 03, 2008 4:17 pm

Brokendowncar: thanks for the thorough answers! I imagine you're probably pretty busy right now, and I appreciate it.

EDIT: btw, you advised me to retake my 170 despite the risks, which I also now appreciate! I think your very words were "a ~175 could take you from MVPB to HYS."

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brokendowncar
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby brokendowncar » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:16 am

JackieTreehorn wrote:Brokendowncar: thanks for the thorough answers! I imagine you're probably pretty busy right now, and I appreciate it.

EDIT: btw, you advised me to retake my 170 despite the risks, which I also now appreciate! I think your very words were "a ~175 could take you from MVPB to HYS."

I am pretty busy, but I really do love this school and want to do what I can to help the people end up here who need to.

I am really glad my advice helped you. It was tough for me to actually type it out, but I could totally sympathize with someone in your position. You knew you could do better, but you needed someone to let you know you weren't crazy for trying.

Send a message my way when you're headed to Cambridge for your ASW visit. I'll try to prepare you for the things to check out and the things to skip. Best of luck with finals.

-Brokendowncar

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ndnlawdc
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby ndnlawdc » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:05 am

Thanks, BDC, for answering all of our questions.

One more: how does the clerkship process work at Harvard? That is, are there info sessions or resources to help folks who want clerkships? How hard is it to get Court of Appeals for a HLS student?

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brokendowncar
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby brokendowncar » Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:54 am

There are tons of information sessions from students with clerkships, Harvard's career office, and even actual judges. Getting students clerkships seems to be a pretty big priority for career services. I can't specifically give you percentiles, but I have been told that grades are fairly important. Something like a third of the class got one last year though, so the grade requirements can't be too strict. I wish I could tell you more, but it isn't something I have looked into closely.

Esc
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby Esc » Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:21 am

.
Last edited by Esc on Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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pinkflamingo
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby pinkflamingo » Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:23 pm

Does anyone know what kind of laptop/software requirements Harvard has? I didn't want to have to purchase one right now, but my current laptop is dying...quickly.

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brokendowncar
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby brokendowncar » Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:53 pm

The exam software is the only thing that would have requirements outside of what you want from it. Here are the specs. https://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/registrar/exams/exam4-faqs.html

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pinkflamingo
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby pinkflamingo » Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:01 pm

Thanks!

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Haribo
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby Haribo » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:56 am

I have a few questions :)

How does the gym work? Is it expensive, nice, big enough? Are there fitness classes for those of us to lazy to go there on our own? (I'm mostly interested in yoga.)

Do you know anything about the joint JD/LLM program with Cambridge? How hard is it to be selected for the program? Would missing a 3rd year at Harvard significantly impact your ability to get involved with clinics/centers/journals? Does graduating in December rather than June make it more difficult to find employment afterwards?

What kind of student group activities are 1L's involved with?

littleboyblue
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby littleboyblue » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:00 pm

Do you have any friends or know of anyone who lives in the burbs? If so, where do they live? I am married with young children and trying to figure out where the heck I would live. Worried about schools (for the kids) but also my commute. Thanks and I know this question may be difficult for you guys to answer.
Last edited by littleboyblue on Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

race64
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby race64 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:44 pm

I am a freshman in PSU (PENN STATE) dont worry i will transfer to PENN during junior year
I reaaally wanted to get into HLS or CLS since I can remember
I know it dosen't matter which major one chooses but which one seems to do better your classes?
I am debating between history, pre-pharmacy and international relations i am posive i will minor in econ

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silver11
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby silver11 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:46 pm

race64 wrote:I am a freshman in PSU (PENN STATE) dont worry i will transfer to PENN during junior year
I reaaally wanted to get into HLS or CLS seen I can remember
I know it dosen't matter which major one chooses but which one seems to do better your classes?
I am debating between history, pre-pharmacy and international relations


The easiest one unfortunately.

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PinkTiki
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby PinkTiki » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:24 pm

Haribo wrote:I have a few questions :)

How does the gym work? Is it expensive, nice, big enough? Are there fitness classes for those of us to lazy to go there on our own? (I'm mostly interested in yoga.)

Do you know anything about the joint JD/LLM program with Cambridge? How hard is it to be selected for the program? Would missing a 3rd year at Harvard significantly impact your ability to get involved with clinics/centers/journals? Does graduating in December rather than June make it more difficult to find employment afterwards?

What kind of student group activities are 1L's involved with?


The law school gym is pretty nice and with the student ID you can go to the MAC which is bigger. There are some different group exercise classes, including yoga.

I don't really know much about the JD/LLm program. Sorry.

1Ls are involved with lots of different things. A lot of people join journals. Some people do intramural sports, some join political clubs, it all really depends on what you interests are.

littleboyblue wrote:Do you have any friends or know of anyone who lives in the burbs? If so, where do they live? I am married with young children and trying to figure out where the heck I would live. Worried about schools (for the kids) but also my commute. Thanks and I know this question may be difficult for you guys to answer.


I don't really know too much about this. I know someone who has a two year old and lives in Somerville, but I'm not very sure about schools or anything.

race64 wrote:I am a freshman in PSU (PENN STATE) dont worry i will transfer to PENN during junior year
I reaaally wanted to get into HLS or CLS since I can remember
I know it dosen't matter which major one chooses but which one seems to do better your classes?
I am debating between history, pre-pharmacy and international relations i am posive i will minor in econ


I would pick the one you'd get the best grades in. Pre-pharmacy wouldn't be helpful for anything law school related, I can see how history or international relations might be helpful depending on your interests.

And something else I think you guys might find interesting which I just found out from a professor. Under the new grading system, professors are required to give out low passes. A high pass is what was a A+ to an A-, a pass is a B+ or a B, and a low pass is a B- and below.

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yme16
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby yme16 » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:52 pm

which one seems to do better your classes

I heard econ majors do.

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rolandtrouble
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Re: Ask a Harvard 1L Questions

Postby rolandtrouble » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:26 pm

General questions:

I'm sure a lot of you sacrificed greatly to get into HLS, do you have any general advise for those headed down the same road?

How often do you frequent the "city" ?

Just for fun, Is Bartley's as good as I've heard? :D

Thanks for the time.




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