Stanford 1L taking questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
HuckFinn587
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby HuckFinn587 » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:14 pm

straight forward question:

truthfully would either looking back rather you had chosen harvard?

legends159
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby legends159 » Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:51 pm

HuckFinn587 wrote:straight forward question:

truthfully would either looking back rather you had chosen harvard?


didn't apply to Harvard

I'm not sure if anyone can answer that question though because no 1L here has ever been a 1L at Harvard.

It's like asking what it's like to be a bat

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ndnlawdc
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby ndnlawdc » Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:53 pm

HuckFinn587 wrote:straight forward question:

truthfully would either looking back rather you had chosen harvard?


I feel especially able to answer this since HLS (in the end) matched my SLS financial aid, making the choice the same from a financial perspective.

The answer is NO. Though I would much prefer to live in Cambridge over Palo Alto (that comment about Palo Alto being an "adult Disneyland" in the profile is mine), even with the weather, the schools are completely different. I have absolutely no regrets about choosing SLS as a school, and I can't think of a school where I would find a better environment for me to study. I'm sure some people will enjoy Harvard, especially if they are overbearing and competitive. It wasn't the environment for me. The whole "small and collegial" thing fits my personality perfectly.

That said, I probably would have been quite happy at Harvard. Just not as happy as I am at Stanford.

legends159
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby legends159 » Tue Oct 06, 2009 10:57 pm

Haribo wrote:Hello! What's your average daily schedule like? How are you finding the classes? What's your favorite and least favorite thing about Stanford?

I'll be there next year - looking forward to it :)


I usually leave the library at 8-9. i guess i'm a much slower reader. the workload is what you make of it. I know people who work extremely hard and then others who take it a bit easier. It's all personal preference.

I find the classes good for the most part. The reading is challenging and we move at a fast but comfortable pace. My least favorite thing about Stanford, shock shock is the weather. It's freezing in the morning and at night and yet they wont turn on the heat at my apartment so I have to sleep with a hoodie and long pants on.

legends159
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby legends159 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:24 pm

bumping cause i'm bored

jms1987
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby jms1987 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:01 pm

This may be a difficult to answer question, but I'll ask anyways: Do you think I stand a chance at getting in to SLS with a 3.5 GPA if I end up with a strong LSAT score? (lets say 175 or so) I know Stanford tends to be unpredicatable, so I guess there's always a chance. Realistically I think 3,5 is the highest I'll get, unless I manage all A's until I graduate.

legends159
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby legends159 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:11 pm

with a 3.5 probably not unless you have hard science background and even then it's going to be tough to pull. Do you have any outstanding softs?

You'll have a decent chance at CCN though with a 3.5/175

but get your lsat score first.

jms1987
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby jms1987 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:26 pm

Yeah I figured it would be a long shot. In a year I'm going to study abroad at Cambridge for 2 months...would that count for anything? I have work experience FWIW, a couple years at a 9-5 office job from before I started UG stuff
Stanford has just always been a school I really wanted to go to, and I'd much rather live in Cali vs the midwest

legends159
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby legends159 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:31 pm

jms1987 wrote:Yeah I figured it would be a long shot. In a year I'm going to study abroad at Cambridge for 2 months...would that count for anything? I have work experience FWIW, a couple years at a 9-5 office job from before I started UG stuff
Stanford has just always been a school I really wanted to go to, and I'd much rather live in Cali vs the midwest


i'm not sure about the Cambridge thing. If you're hoping to get in on some prestigious university on your resume it's not happening. I'd say 80% of the people here have top 5 universities in their resume in some form. There's plenty of people here with Phds in hard sciences from Harvard, Stanford, MIT...it really runs the gamut (good thing they're doing IP cause I'd never be able to compete with their resumes).

jms1987
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby jms1987 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:34 pm

Dang...unless I got lucky it really sounds like I should look elsewhere, being that Stanford is so science oriented sounding. I have no background in sciences like that, I'm a poli-sci major with minors in sociology and religion.

edit- Thanks for answering my questions, its putting things into perspective for me

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GeePee
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby GeePee » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:46 pm

A couple of questions from a Stanford hopeful:

- What, in your opinion, is the real advantage to such a small class size? I understand that student/faculty ratio is good for approaching professors, etc. but do the benefits go deeper?

- Harvard, Yale, and Columbia are all within an easy day's drive of my current location. Why should I consider a move out to the Bay Area, to a lifestyle I'm unfamiliar with, when there are top schools close by?

- Oh, and just for the record, on a scale of 1 to Awesome, please rate Stanford's ASW.

EDIT: And Legends, how are you bored on TLS with finals around the corner?

legends159
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby legends159 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:55 pm

GeePee wrote:A couple of questions from a Stanford hopeful:

- What, in your opinion, is the real advantage to such a small class size? I understand that student/faculty ratio is good for approaching professors, etc. but do the benefits go deeper?

- Harvard, Yale, and Columbia are all within an easy day's drive of my current location. Why should I consider a move out to the Bay Area, to a lifestyle I'm unfamiliar with, when there are top schools close by?

- Oh, and just for the record, on a scale of 1 to Awesome, please rate Stanford's ASW.

EDIT: And Legends, how are you bored on TLS with finals around the corner?


-advantage to small class size? Well it's not small class size it's small student body which is very important especially ITE for job prospects. Class sizes are about the same, we usually have 1L classes with 60 students and small sections with 30. That's typical of other schools

-HYC are all great schools and if you can get into any of them you should definitely go instead of coming out west especially if you want to remain in the east coast and/or can save money by living where you are now instead of moving.

any advantage of Stanford over the other schools? I'm not sure...maybe the weather? I'd definitely pick SLS over Harvard and Columbia though b/c of the smaller student body. But Yale has all the benefits of SLS (except it's in New Haven)

-Stanford ASW was AMAZING. it's well worth the $75 in application fee.

-in re: finals. No ones really feeling the pressure of finals yet. No one even talks or thinks about it at the moment. Maybe in two weeks everyone will start to panic. I'm not sure, all the 2L and 3Ls say that the 1Ls this year seems so relaxed and chill.

I think that a bunch of ppl here will end up with prestigious jobs even with straight Ps based simply on their resume. About 20% who will do IP work have Phds from top 5 universities so they're basically a lock. Then there are some here who have come from illustrious careers, and a couple who are so well connected that they can't hep but succeed. Finally, I can imagine about 10% will only aim for PI work and not even consider doing firm OCI.

So for the rest of us who don't have killer resumes or connections, we're not really competing with that many people for jobs so maybe that's why no one feels super pressured.

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kurama20
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby kurama20 » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:37 pm

The TLS profile says that 20 people transferred in to Stanford this year. Why did SLS accept so many transfers? Will this trend continue and do transfers seem to do as well as other SLS students? How hard is it to get onto law review at Stanford? I heard it was easier than at most other schools.

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GeePee
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby GeePee » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:40 pm

legends159 wrote:
GeePee wrote:A couple of questions from a Stanford hopeful:

- What, in your opinion, is the real advantage to such a small class size? I understand that student/faculty ratio is good for approaching professors, etc. but do the benefits go deeper?

- Harvard, Yale, and Columbia are all within an easy day's drive of my current location. Why should I consider a move out to the Bay Area, to a lifestyle I'm unfamiliar with, when there are top schools close by?

- Oh, and just for the record, on a scale of 1 to Awesome, please rate Stanford's ASW.

EDIT: And Legends, how are you bored on TLS with finals around the corner?


-advantage to small class size? Well it's not small class size it's small student body which is very important especially ITE for job prospects. Class sizes are about the same, we usually have 1L classes with 60 students and small sections with 30. That's typical of other schools

-HYC are all great schools and if you can get into any of them you should definitely go instead of coming out west especially if you want to remain in the east coast and/or can save money by living where you are now instead of moving.

any advantage of Stanford over the other schools? I'm not sure...maybe the weather? I'd definitely pick SLS over Harvard and Columbia though b/c of the smaller student body. But Yale has all the benefits of SLS (except it's in New Haven)

-Stanford ASW was AMAZING. it's well worth the $75 in application fee.

-in re: finals. No ones really feeling the pressure of finals yet. No one even talks or thinks about it at the moment. Maybe in two weeks everyone will start to panic. I'm not sure, all the 2L and 3Ls say that the 1Ls this year seems so relaxed and chill.

I think that a bunch of ppl here will end up with prestigious jobs even with straight Ps based simply on their resume. About 20% who will do IP work have Phds from top 5 universities so they're basically a lock. Then there are some here who have come from illustrious careers, and a couple who are so well connected that they can't hep but succeed. Finally, I can imagine about 10% will only aim for PI work and not even consider doing firm OCI.

So for the rest of us who don't have killer resumes or connections, we're not really competing with that many people for jobs so maybe that's why no one feels super pressured.

Thanks for the answers. For clarification I meant size of the student body rather than individual class sections, but you answered well for both anyway.

ninjagirl
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby ninjagirl » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:53 pm

There's plenty of people here with Phds in hard sciences from Harvard, Stanford, MIT...it really runs the gamut (good thing they're doing IP cause I'd never be able to compete with their resumes).


So according to your impression of admissions, how much of a boost would someone with a PhD in a hard science from one of those schools get? (And by "hard science" are you only referring to physics/engineering/chemistry?) Since I went to school with others exactly like me, I don't see having a science PhD from a top university to be that special, and people on this forum have tended to back that up by implying you need to be a Nobel Laureate to really get a boost.

And I'm imagining that SLS gets plenty of applications from scientists with PhDs from top schools.

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ndnlawdc
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby ndnlawdc » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:55 am

legends159 wrote:bumping cause i'm bored


You don't have enough to do with the LRW assignment -- not loving SFG enough? ;)

kurama20 wrote:The TLS profile says that 20 people transferred in to Stanford this year. Why did SLS accept so many transfers? Will this trend continue and do transfers seem to do as well as other SLS students? How hard is it to get onto law review at Stanford? I heard it was easier than at most other schools.


I assume Stanford took the transfers for the money. I know SLS does need-blind admissions, but I'm not sure that's the case for transfers. Furthermore, I'd rather them take more transfers than cut the financial aid budget -- which was quite generous for me.

I don't know anything about how the transfers do -- everything is quite class-segregated, in the sense that I don't interact with 2Ls/3Ls that much outside of extra-curriculars.

Law review is apparently hard to get on, but it seems easier than other schools. I think both HLS and SLS take about 40-45 people, but the class sizes are so different it helps to be at SLS. About a third of those who do the candidate exercise are invited to join. There's no grading on -- it's just based on bluebooking.

jms1987 wrote:Dang...unless I got lucky it really sounds like I should look elsewhere, being that Stanford is so science oriented sounding. I have no background in sciences like that, I'm a poli-sci major with minors in sociology and religion.

edit- Thanks for answering my questions, its putting things into perspective for me


I wouldn't say SLS is incredibly science-oriented. It's just that the classmates I know with lower GPAs all tend to come from science backgrounds. I wouldn't be surprised if the admissions formula became a bit more LSAT-sensitive, as it seems like SLS lags a bit behind there.

GeePee wrote:A couple of questions from a Stanford hopeful:

- What, in your opinion, is the real advantage to such a small class size? I understand that student/faculty ratio is good for approaching professors, etc. but do the benefits go deeper?

- Harvard, Yale, and Columbia are all within an easy day's drive of my current location. Why should I consider a move out to the Bay Area, to a lifestyle I'm unfamiliar with, when there are top schools close by?

- Oh, and just for the record, on a scale of 1 to Awesome, please rate Stanford's ASW.

EDIT: And Legends, how are you bored on TLS with finals around the corner?


- The small class size is awesome. I feel quite close to my section and a lot of my classmates -- I'm not sure I'd be as connected at a larger school. Not only is it easy to approach professors, but they make a big effort to get to know you. We had gelato at a professor's house at the beginning of the quarter, and another professor is taking us all out to lunch in small groups throughout the quarter. I think it's going to be easy to get really good recommendations.

- The lifestyle isn't really that different out here (other than suburban vs. urban). Things are a bit more laid back (sometimes uncomfortably so) and the weather is awesome, but you're going to be at a huge research university at any of those schools. Maybe the student body is a bit more skewed to the West Coast, but the people you spend the majority of your time with (classmates) will be more or less the same mix of people. The typical student at SLS (despite its relative diversity) is politically liberal, fairly-to-very wealthy, and went to one of America's best undergraduate colleges. That said, when you visit law schools, you will notice how different the atmosphere is at different schools. If you find that you fit in at SLS, come here. If not, go somewhere else. I would rather have been back East too, but I fit in better at SLS.

I don't know your stats at all, but law school admissions can be such a crapshoot. I was admitted to Harvard and Stanford, waitlisted at Yale, and deferred at Columbia. You might get into SLS but not get in anywhere else, etc. Especially SLS -- it's the black box, along with Yale. Maybe you get in here but not anywhere else -- or get in everywhere but here. It's all very hard to predict.

- Awesome. It was a great time -- it really gives you a taste of the school. I was about to sign on the dotted line for Michigan or Harvard, and Admit Weekend totally changed my mind.

legends159
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby legends159 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:09 am

ndnlawdc wrote:
legends159 wrote:bumping cause i'm bored


You don't have enough to do with the LRW assignment -- not loving SFG enough? ;)



I'm actually working on it right now. But that's why I'm bored.

In re: transfers, I actually know 3 transfers and they went to T25ish schools and had stellar grades. They all transferred because of the huge bump in job prospects. Two of the three will be working at V20 firms in the summer and I didn't ask the third person. One guy told me that those who didn't transfer to higher ranked schools struck out at their school's OCI.

SLS takes transfers because even with the extra 20 students (is it really that much each year?), there will still be more jobs than students even ITE. Things were scary when OCI first started because none of the 2Ls knew what was going to happen, but almost everyone has a job now.

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GeePee
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby GeePee » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:42 am

I won't quote due to length, but thanks for the advice, ndnlaw! My numbers shouldn't be what keep me out of any law school, but my less than-stellar UG (top 100 or so) and lack of WE might be. I understand the unpredictability of SLS admissions, but it is certainly one of my top choices.

I'm not sure that I or anyone else knows exactly what Stanford is looking for, but I think I have a few things on my resume that will be fairly unique this cycle.

End of thread-hijacking rant. Thanks again.

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Ken
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby Ken » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:06 am

Dear Legends and ndnlawdc,

Thanks for taking questions on SLS, very valuable. I have had the honor of meeting Legends in person and Legends is a super cool person.

Personally, I would choose SLS over HLS but I know several SLS professors and they all care about teaching and the students and it seems a very collegial environment. Converseley, colleagues of mine who attended HLS liked it but it seemed like there was less interaction amongst the students and professors and even amongst the students themselves.

Next week (the 18th) I will be at Stanford on a small panel with Dean of Admissions Faye Deal taking questions from Stanford students interested in law school. Faye is quite nice and in past seminars (this is my 3rd with her) she implies that she looks beyond numbers and wants applicants with diverse backgrounds who ideally did something unique between college and law school. It seems that SLS may be focusing more on the LSAT this year than in the past, but I still think applicants would want to highlight any unique experiences they have in their personal statement for Faye finds this interesting and of value when composing the class.

The panel this year will supposedly have a current SLS law student on there, perhaps a TLSer. I will try to update TLS members on the highlights of what Faye says at the seminar.

Legends and ndnlawdc, please keep up the great work and I appreciate your giving back to TLS by answering questions on SLS.

Best,

Ken

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joshikousei
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby joshikousei » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:15 am

i love it when ken steps in.

please tell dean deal that she is the nicest dean ever. :mrgreen:

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ndnlawdc
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby ndnlawdc » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:26 am

Oh, and I wanted to differ a little bit from legends re: stress level.

Apparently last year, the 2Ls told the 1Ls they had absolutely NOTHING to worry about because of the grade reform. Consequently, many of the now-2Ls slacked off a bit, and a significant number got no Hs whatsoever.

This year, with the economy, a lot of the 2Ls were super-stressed at the beginning of the year, during OCI when the 1Ls were just starting school. So I feel like a lot of my classmates were really very stressed during that time. It almost feels better now, because the 2Ls all have summer jobs and are finally telling us not to stress out about stuff, which is the opposite of what they were saying earlier. Essentially, the message was "Get a bunch of Hs or you won't get a job!" That doesn't seem to be the consensus now.

This was all compounded by a couple of drop-outs from the class (not sure the reasons -- I had Torts with one), the fact that a lot of folks have had the flu this fall, and a series of "please don't freak out" emails from professors and Cathy Glaze, the dean of students.

All that said, the 1Ls have a big LRW deadline this week and folks are starting to outline. I feel like the library has significantly more people (though that may be because people aren't studying outside because of the weather) later at night now, and people seem to be a bit more on edge. But it's certainly not (at this point) unmanageable. I certainly am relieved by the grading reform. I think I would be going nuts if I was at HLS, where the LP grade is on the mandatory curve. Our professors have all emphasized the fact that they do not fail people -- you have to absolutely try to fail.

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ndnlawdc
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby ndnlawdc » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:28 am

Oh, and Faye Deal is absolutely the reason I'm at SLS. She completely dispelled a couple of financial aid rumors, corrected an error in my package, and generally encouraged me and my wife to come to SLS. She's awesome. Dean Deal and Sarah Z. at Michigan are tied in my opinion!

GeePee wrote:I won't quote due to length, but thanks for the advice, ndnlaw! My numbers shouldn't be what keep me out of any law school, but my less than-stellar UG (top 100 or so) and lack of WE might be. I understand the unpredictability of SLS admissions, but it is certainly one of my top choices.

I'm not sure that I or anyone else knows exactly what Stanford is looking for, but I think I have a few things on my resume that will be fairly unique this cycle.

End of thread-hijacking rant. Thanks again.


So here are my admissions pros:

- Median LSAT (170)
- High GPA
- American Indian (which I know helps a ton)
- Three years work experience in government -- and it DOES seem like many more people at SLS have worked than at other schools I visited.
- Truman

Cons:
- My undergrad is unbelievably crappy. I didn't have to apply. Anyone with a 20 on the ACT who is a state resident gets in.
- My coursework wasn't particularly hard. PoliSci major, Spanish minor. I even dropped College Algebra my last year (with a W on my transcript) and picked up the dummy math requirement.
- No real thesis
- Relatively generic student activities -- student government, honors, etc. Nothing that stood out.

I guess my message is to emphasize that which makes you unique. My classmates have all done so much that's unique -- I can't imagine a class more homogenous. That said, it still bugs me when I get lectured on poverty by someone who grew up privileged in the suburbs. ;)

Also, I can't emphasize enough that you should choose SLS if you fit in here. Pick whatever school you feel has the right "fit." I didn't fit in at Harvard. I fit in here -- and at Michigan. You'll know when you visit.

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ndnlawdc
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby ndnlawdc » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:29 am

Case in point: If you come to Stanford, you'll figure out that you know the other "taking questions" poster from Contracts class and a student organization. That's the benefit of a small school.

legends159
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby legends159 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:32 am

actually you would've never guessed who I was cause I'm more inconspicuous.

and I know i'm in the minority, but I really love our K's professor. By the way, if you read his model answers for an old exam, the class will make so much more sense and you'll realize why he teaches the way he does.

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joshikousei
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Re: Stanford 1L taking questions

Postby joshikousei » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:32 am

ndnlawdc wrote:Case in point: If you come to Stanford, you'll figure out that you know the other "taking questions" poster from Contracts class and a student organization. That's the benefit of a small school.


... i'm going to start shutting up about myself now.




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