(The following is stuff I pulled together for last year's thread. I've updated some of the information though.)
HLS Admitted Students Page: https://www.law.harvard.edu/prospective/jd/secure/admitted/index.html (Requires Login)
Housing Info: http://www3.law.harvard.edu/dos/hlshousing/
Ask a HLS student (2010-present): http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=141188
Custom background for your Harvard e-mail (I can make more if folks want): http://imgur.com/jiU6zNf
HLS Admin Updates (Mostly course and RA related stuff, but mildly interesting): http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/adup/
- HLS’s recommendations for local accommodations: https://www.law.harvard.edu/prospective/jd/secure/admitted/accommodations.html (May not be live yet)
- Hotels in the area tend to be $200-$250. The Sheraton Commander has some sort of special deal for pre-paid rooms. Hotel Veritas had rooms around $200. There may also be b&b’s in Cambridge for ~$125-175/night.
- Some posters recommend airbnb instead, as that tends to be much cheaper. Close to campus runs $80-$100. Further out will find $60/night.
- HLS will provide reimbursement up to $300, but seems to be tied to need-based aid.
Should I Bring a Car?
There is a mixed impression. Most people say don’t bring a car because parking is a nightmare. However, if you really do want a car, the process of getting a Cambridge parking permit is rather easy. You can usually get an uncovered parking spot near your off-campus residence for ~$150/month. Everett Street Garage (right next to campus) will cost you $2200/year (2011).
There are 3 types of options around HLS: dorms, Harvard apartments (HUH), and off-campus apartments.
Note: All dorms come fully furnished. They are available for 9-month leases, no extra fees, all utilities included.
Gropius (~$770-$1,260) all singles, shared bathroom and kitchens. No AC, twin beds. Was recently renovated, so may be nicer than the photos suggest. In-depth TLS analysis of the buildings and rooms.
Hastings (~$1,185-$15,30) studios, 1BR and 2BR suites, shared bathroom and kitchens. No AC, twin beds. Older rooms, but comfortable.
North (~$1,230-$1,600) hotel-style singles and 2BR suites, private baths, shared kitchens. AC included. Recently renovated, I haven't heard about too many complaints.
Harvard University Housing
Note: These rooms do not come furnished. They are available for 1-year leases, then 9-months when you’re a 3L. Subletting tends to be easy over the summer. No extra fees, all utilities included. More info here.
Terry Terrace (~$1,200-$2,100) Right across from the WCC, studios, 1BR and 2BR, private bathroom and kitchen.
29 Garden Street (~$1,000-$2,200) A few blocks west of the law campus, studios, 1BR, 2BR, and 3BR, private bathroom and kitchen. 5 min. walk to campus.
Botanical Garden (~$1,000-$2,000) 1BR, 2BR, 3BR with private baths and kitchen. Larger and nicer than 29 Garden. About 9 min. walk to camus
There are many other options around the campus, but the above three are the closest and most popular among law students. More HUH apartments can be found here.
Here’s HLS’s summary of the neighborhoods around Cambridge.
- Directly around campus: "Apartments around Harvard Square will be VERY expensive- $1600+ for a 1BR, $2400+ for a 2BR.” -jimbeam21
- Porter Square: North of campus (13min by foot, 8min by train)
- Davis Square: North of campus (24min by foot, 16min by train). "You can probably find a 1BR in Davis 5-10 min from the train around $1100; 2BR are even cheaper per room. Both areas are very student-dense, but very young-professional friendly.”-jimbeam21
- Inman Square: East of campus (10-15min by foot, 20 by train).
- Brighton: " while its cheap, you'll be stuck on the B train of the Green line- which is a nightmare. That area is also very student-dense, but in a trashy kind of way. The housing options are very run-down and it will be constantly loud.” -jimbeam21
- Allston- SW of campus, across the river (30min by foot, 60 by train). “A cheaper option that is bus-accessible to Harvard, but prepare to be surrounded by undergrads and bars. If you're not bus-adverse and you have a family or a spouse that commutes outside the city, you might consider some parts of Arlington. It's a suburb just north of Somerville/North Cambridge but has a few major bus lines.”-delilah88
Note that in Boston, you will often have to pay the first and last month’s rent as a deposit, plus a broker fee equal to month’s rent. Leases are 1yr, tend to start 9/1, and not all landlords will allow you to sublet over the summer.
When to look: Late May, June, or July. If you want to live off-campus, you will probably want to get a broker whose fees will usually be equal to the first month of rent. Some of the best apartments seem to get signed during ASW, so if you find something you like, jump on it quickly.
What price is right: You probably won’t be able to find anything for less than $1000/month unless you want to live underground or get a roommate. However, the further from campus you go, the cheaper it will be.
Renter’s Insurance: Policies were around $150 in 2011 for a 1 BR apartment.
From what I’ve gathered, there are three ways to look for apartments:
- Walk around, try to get lucky. Is difficult, but often nets the best results.
- HLS List: Current students are posting their flats here.
- Craigslist: Lots of postings, just watch out for scams.
HOW TO FIND A ROOMMATE
Harvard has a multitude of ways to find roommates, so I’ll list a few here.
- Post on TLS. Duh.
- HRES Roommate Click: Extremely cumbersome, but has the widest reach of any roommate service. Run by Harvard, this is available to all university students. Law students have used it in the past to find roommates, and this option is especially good if you would prefer to live with a non-HLS students.
Things to do over the summer
- Update your resume with HLS' help: http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/careers/opia/toolkit/resumes/resume-tips.html ACTUALLY DO THIS
- Fine tune diversity statements
- Write a cover letter
- Get some references ready
- Relax. This fall’s going to be hella fun/stressful.
Books to read (if you really want something slightly productive to do)
Getting to Maybe by Richard Fischl and Jeremy PaulDon't read this over the summer. You can if you really have nothing else to do, but you'll be better off reading it after you've settled into classes.
- Impeccable Research, A Concise Guide to Mastering Legal Research Skills by Mark Osbeck
- One L by Scott Turrow
- The Five Types of Legal Argument by Wilson Huhn
- DON'T READ BLUEBOOKS OR CASE STUDIES. Nobody recommends doing this.
Note: I compiled this information from the HLS website, the advice given in this thread, and in the 'Ask a HLS Student' thread. I did my best to be accurate, but shoot me a pm if anything seems wrong.
Which ASW are you planning to attend?
March 69% [ 27 ]
April 30% [ 12 ]
Total votes : 39
Yale 25% [ 27 ]
Stanford 18% [ 19 ]
Columbia 13% [ 14 ]
Chicago 14% [ 15 ]
NYU 11% [ 12 ]
U Penn 4% [ 5 ]
UVA 0% [ 1 ]
UC Berkeley 2% [ 3 ]
Duke 1% [ 2 ]
Other 5% [ 6 ]