Harvard 2011 Applicants

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bleedblue
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby bleedblue » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:36 am

Ok, lets get on these JR1s now that he has cleared out a lot of those phone calls he had to make.

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src42
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby src42 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:00 am

bleedblue wrote:Ok, lets get on these JR1s now that he has cleared out a lot of those phone calls he had to make.

+1

juliachild-ish
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby juliachild-ish » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:33 am

Okay, so don't jump on me, but I really didn't enjoy my ASW at Harvard, this past weekend. But I think that was just me realizing that it wasn't a good fit for me in any way. The good news for the people still waiting is that I'll probably withdraw in a couple weeks, thus potentially freeing up a spot for someone who really wants to go! Best of luck to everyone!

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SubwaySandwich
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby SubwaySandwich » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:37 am

juliachild-ish wrote:Okay, so don't jump on me, but I really didn't enjoy my ASW at Harvard, this past weekend. But I think that was just me realizing that it wasn't a good fit for me in any way. The good news for the people still waiting is that I'll probably withdraw in a couple weeks, thus potentially freeing up a spot for someone who really wants to go! Best of luck to everyone!


I'm currently choosing between Harvard and some other schools, but am abroad and don't think I'll be able to attend ASW in April. If you have time, do you mind posting impressions of the ASW and the reasons for the non-enjoyment? Thanks!

Peg
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby Peg » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:44 am

Hey guys, I'm going to interrupt you all for a second to ask a question. I have no chance in hell of getting into Harvard (3.1/168) but I applied anyway because I figured, "At least once in my life I should apply to Harvard, no matter what!" So it's totally an idle fantasy that I didn't take too seriously. I had gotten a bunch of fee waivers and had nothing better to do with that $100 bucks but to spend it on a fantasy.

I'm getting worried now, though, because they haven't rejected me yet. I've been under review since February 1st. I've gotten swift and cold rejections from various other schools, like GULC, so I don't know why Harvard hasn't said no yet. Realistically my status should've gone: "2/1, Under Review ; 2/2, Decision Made." Is it normal for auto-rejects to be kept hanging?

And now we return to whatever you were all chatting about before.

speakandspell
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby speakandspell » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:51 am

Is it normal for auto-rejects to be kept hanging?


Not sure, but I am in a similar boat with slightly better numbers (170/3.6 in electrical engineering). And have been UR since 1/31 with no word. I'm with ya on the "worth a shot" approach. I have been stalking these forums for a while, hopefully I can make some useful contributions soon.

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dot
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby dot » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:55 am

Peg wrote:Hey guys, I'm going to interrupt you all for a second to ask a question. I have no chance in hell of getting into Harvard (3.1/168) but I applied anyway because I figured, "At least once in my life I should apply to Harvard, no matter what!" So it's totally an idle fantasy that I didn't take too seriously. I had gotten a bunch of fee waivers and had nothing better to do with that $100 bucks but to spend it on a fantasy.

I'm getting worried now, though, because they haven't rejected me yet. I've been under review since February 1st. I've gotten swift and cold rejections from various other schools, like GULC, so I don't know why Harvard hasn't said no yet. Realistically my status should've gone: "2/1, Under Review ; 2/2, Decision Made." Is it normal for auto-rejects to be kept hanging?

And now we return to whatever you were all chatting about before.


LSN from last year: http://harvard.lawschoolnumbers.com/app ... order=desc

Most of the applicants going complete around 2/1 who didn't get in heard back at the very end of March or in April. For now, sit back and see what happens. Maybe you get a surprise JR1 :)

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dot
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby dot » Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:57 am

SubwaySandwich wrote:
juliachild-ish wrote:Okay, so don't jump on me, but I really didn't enjoy my ASW at Harvard, this past weekend. But I think that was just me realizing that it wasn't a good fit for me in any way. The good news for the people still waiting is that I'll probably withdraw in a couple weeks, thus potentially freeing up a spot for someone who really wants to go! Best of luck to everyone!


I'm currently choosing between Harvard and some other schools, but am abroad and don't think I'll be able to attend ASW in April. If you have time, do you mind posting impressions of the ASW and the reasons for the non-enjoyment? Thanks!

+1

jrose5
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby jrose5 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:08 pm

dot wrote:
Peg wrote:Hey guys, I'm going to interrupt you all for a second to ask a question. I have no chance in hell of getting into Harvard (3.1/168) but I applied anyway because I figured, "At least once in my life I should apply to Harvard, no matter what!" So it's totally an idle fantasy that I didn't take too seriously. I had gotten a bunch of fee waivers and had nothing better to do with that $100 bucks but to spend it on a fantasy.

I'm getting worried now, though, because they haven't rejected me yet. I've been under review since February 1st. I've gotten swift and cold rejections from various other schools, like GULC, so I don't know why Harvard hasn't said no yet. Realistically my status should've gone: "2/1, Under Review ; 2/2, Decision Made." Is it normal for auto-rejects to be kept hanging?

And now we return to whatever you were all chatting about before.


LSN from last year: http://harvard.lawschoolnumbers.com/app ... order=desc

Most of the applicants going complete around 2/1 who didn't get in heard back at the very end of March or in April. For now, sit back and see what happens. Maybe you get a surprise JR1 :)


Thank you for brightening my day... 8)

bhan87
Posts: 850
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby bhan87 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:13 pm

jrose5 wrote:
dot wrote:
Peg wrote:Hey guys, I'm going to interrupt you all for a second to ask a question. I have no chance in hell of getting into Harvard (3.1/168) but I applied anyway because I figured, "At least once in my life I should apply to Harvard, no matter what!" So it's totally an idle fantasy that I didn't take too seriously. I had gotten a bunch of fee waivers and had nothing better to do with that $100 bucks but to spend it on a fantasy.

I'm getting worried now, though, because they haven't rejected me yet. I've been under review since February 1st. I've gotten swift and cold rejections from various other schools, like GULC, so I don't know why Harvard hasn't said no yet. Realistically my status should've gone: "2/1, Under Review ; 2/2, Decision Made." Is it normal for auto-rejects to be kept hanging?

And now we return to whatever you were all chatting about before.


LSN from last year: http://harvard.lawschoolnumbers.com/app ... order=desc

Most of the applicants going complete around 2/1 who didn't get in heard back at the very end of March or in April. For now, sit back and see what happens. Maybe you get a surprise JR1 :)


Thank you for brightening my day... 8)


+1. My number twin from last year's cycle got accepted in April. Here's to keeping the dream alive!

juliachild-ish
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby juliachild-ish » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:29 pm

Well, I will say that March is definitely the worst month in New England...gross dirty snow everywhere, lots of gray and brown. That certainly didn't help my overall impression of the school. But I went to UG in MA, so I knew that going in, and tried to remind myself that the campus is often much prettier, at other times of year. Still, though, the vibe I got from the campus was cold and unfriendly. Not very scientific observations, I know, but part of the reason for visiting a school in person is to get the intangible "feel" of the place, am I right?

I think the ASW organizers did a great job convincing us that Harvard is an academically amazing place. The professors I met or heard speak blew me away (with one notable exception): they were funny, intelligent, engaging, and quite friendly.

But they really didn't do anything to convince me that Harvard is a place I want to spend three years of my life. By that I mean, there was really nothing fun scheduled (and no, the "pub trivia night" and "mingling at the Kong" events did not count as fun; they reminded me of the start of college, just a lot of socially awkward freshmen trying to impress each other). There was nothing that I encountered that made me excited to go there in any real way.

The other admitted students that I met there were, with a few exceptions, kind of boring and immature. Now, this is unfair because I'm a couple years out of school and have followed a very untraditional path through life, but still, they lived up to my stereotype of the Harvard student: driven, uninteresting, and smart in a very narrow way. For the most part, I didn't feel they were the kind of people I wanted to be surrounded by for three years. This is the first law school I've visited, so maybe I'm discovering something about the kind of people who go into the legal profession. I think that's partially true, but my parents are lawyers who I think lead interesting lives, as do many of their lawyer friends. So I would hope that doesn't necessarily have to be true about everyone at every law school. And also, I acknowledge that many of the older and more interesting applicants probably self-select away from attending these sorts of events. But most of the current students I met there fit that model as well. It's said on TLS that Harvard places much more emphasis on numbers and much less on softs than many of its peer schools (Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, etc.), and it seemed to me that the people I met at Harvard proved that to be true.

Despite Harvard's impressive emphasis on public interest advising and funding (which I was pleased with), many current students admitted that people ended up in private firms regardless, since finding public interest jobs is a lot of work and very competitive. They said private firms seemed to be the path of least resistance, and that the culture of the school still kind of pushed people in that direction. Working in BigLaw is kind of my idea of hell, so that wasn't encouraging.

I was also dismayed by the housing situation. Everyone seemed to agree that the dorms weren't very nice and weren't even much of a bargain, and that the same was true of most of the apartments near campus. Current students told me I would have to choose between living someplace nice and affordable far from campus, and therefore being sort of cut-off from student life, or paying a lot of money for a not-great option near campus. I have a large dog (see avatar), so the options for me seemed particularly limited, pricey, and far away.

As I mentioned, I went to UG in MA, and being at Harvard reminded me of many of the things I disliked about living in New England, but again, that's a personal reaction coming from a native WestCoaster.

Also, as I was walking around on Monday, a group of three or four students shouted at some of the other admitted applicants (we had folders and lanyards, so we were easily identifiable), "I wish I could just tell all of the admitted kids to NOT COME HERE! Don't do it!!" I know there are malcontents everywhere, but for me personally, it finished off what was already a mostly negative impression.

Overall, I am still impressed with Harvard as a school. Clearly, its academic power is undeniable, as is the intelligence and drive of its student body. I think it's a fantastic option for most people, but not for me. I guess that, in the end, I care less about prestige and more about quality of life and being around people who interest me.

Hope that's at least a little helpful!

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ChriLa425
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby ChriLa425 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:34 pm

Thanks for the post, very interesting info. Although all I ended up thinking at the end was "that dog is so cute!"

Interesting to hear about the smart in a narrow way vibe, my sister went to Harvard UG and she told me pretty much the same. Hopefully not true for all law schoolers :?

bob77
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby bob77 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:40 pm

juliachild-ish wrote:Well, I will say that March is definitely the worst month in New England...gross dirty snow everywhere, lots of gray and brown. That certainly didn't help my overall impression of the school. But I went to UG in MA, so I knew that going in, and tried to remind myself that the campus is often much prettier, at other times of year. Still, though, the vibe I got from the campus was cold and unfriendly. Not very scientific observations, I know, but part of the reason for visiting a school in person is to get the intangible "feel" of the place, am I right?

I think the ASW organizers did a great job convincing us that Harvard is an academically amazing place. The professors I met or heard speak blew me away (with one notable exception): they were funny, intelligent, engaging, and quite friendly.

But they really didn't do anything to convince me that Harvard is a place I want to spend three years of my life. By that I mean, there was really nothing fun scheduled (and no, the "pub trivia night" and "mingling at the Kong" events did not count as fun; they reminded me of the start of college, just a lot of socially awkward freshmen trying to impress each other). There was nothing that I encountered that made me excited to go there in any real way.

The other admitted students that I met there were, with a few exceptions, kind of boring and immature. Now, this is unfair because I'm a couple years out of school and have followed a very untraditional path through life, but still, they lived up to my stereotype of the Harvard student: driven, uninteresting, and smart in a very narrow way. For the most part, I didn't feel they were the kind of people I wanted to be surrounded by for three years. This is the first law school I've visited, so maybe I'm discovering something about the kind of people who go into the legal profession. I think that's partially true, but my parents are lawyers who I think lead interesting lives, as do many of their lawyer friends. So I would hope that doesn't necessarily have to be true about everyone at every law school. And also, I acknowledge that many of the older and more interesting applicants probably self-select away from attending these sorts of events. But most of the current students I met there fit that model as well. It's said on TLS that Harvard places much more emphasis on numbers and much less on softs than many of its peer schools (Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, etc.), and it seemed to me that the people I met at Harvard proved that to be true.

Despite Harvard's impressive emphasis on public interest advising and funding (which I was pleased with), many current students admitted that people ended up in private firms regardless, since finding public interest jobs is a lot of work and very competitive. They said private firms seemed to be the path of least resistance, and that the culture of the school still kind of pushed people in that direction. Working in BigLaw is kind of my idea of hell, so that wasn't encouraging.

I was also dismayed by the housing situation. Everyone seemed to agree that the dorms weren't very nice and weren't even much of a bargain, and that the same was true of most of the apartments near campus. Current students told me I would have to choose between living someplace nice and affordable far from campus, and therefore being sort of cut-off from student life, or paying a lot of money for a not-great option near campus. I have a large dog (see avatar), so the options for me seemed particularly limited, pricey, and far away.

As I mentioned, I went to UG in MA, and being at Harvard reminded me of many of the things I disliked about living in New England, but again, that's a personal reaction coming from a native WestCoaster.

Also, as I was walking around on Monday, a group of three or four students shouted at some of the other admitted applicants (we had folders and lanyards, so we were easily identifiable), "I wish I could just tell all of the admitted kids to NOT COME HERE! Don't do it!!" I know there are malcontents everywhere, but for me personally, it finished off what was already a mostly negative impression.

Overall, I am still impressed with Harvard as a school. Clearly, its academic power is undeniable, as is the intelligence and drive of its student body. I think it's a fantastic option for most people, but not for me. I guess that, in the end, I care less about prestige and more about quality of life and being around people who interest me.

Hope that's at least a little helpful!


lol @ both my parents are lawyers but i followed a very untraditional path through life...

jrose5
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby jrose5 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:41 pm

juliachild-ish wrote:Well, I will say that March is definitely the worst month in New England...gross dirty snow everywhere, lots of gray and brown. That certainly didn't help my overall impression of the school. But I went to UG in MA, so I knew that going in, and tried to remind myself that the campus is often much prettier, at other times of year. Still, though, the vibe I got from the campus was cold and unfriendly. Not very scientific observations, I know, but part of the reason for visiting a school in person is to get the intangible "feel" of the place, am I right?

I think the ASW organizers did a great job convincing us that Harvard is an academically amazing place. The professors I met or heard speak blew me away (with one notable exception): they were funny, intelligent, engaging, and quite friendly.

But they really didn't do anything to convince me that Harvard is a place I want to spend three years of my life. By that I mean, there was really nothing fun scheduled (and no, the "pub trivia night" and "mingling at the Kong" events did not count as fun; they reminded me of the start of college, just a lot of socially awkward freshmen trying to impress each other). There was nothing that I encountered that made me excited to go there in any real way.

The other admitted students that I met there were, with a few exceptions, kind of boring and immature. Now, this is unfair because I'm a couple years out of school and have followed a very untraditional path through life, but still, they lived up to my stereotype of the Harvard student: driven, uninteresting, and smart in a very narrow way. For the most part, I didn't feel they were the kind of people I wanted to be surrounded by for three years. This is the first law school I've visited, so maybe I'm discovering something about the kind of people who go into the legal profession. I think that's partially true, but my parents are lawyers who I think lead interesting lives, as do many of their lawyer friends. So I would hope that doesn't necessarily have to be true about everyone at every law school. And also, I acknowledge that many of the older and more interesting applicants probably self-select away from attending these sorts of events. But most of the current students I met there fit that model as well. It's said on TLS that Harvard places much more emphasis on numbers and much less on softs than many of its peer schools (Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, etc.), and it seemed to me that the people I met at Harvard proved that to be true.

Despite Harvard's impressive emphasis on public interest advising and funding (which I was pleased with), many current students admitted that people ended up in private firms regardless, since finding public interest jobs is a lot of work and very competitive. They said private firms seemed to be the path of least resistance, and that the culture of the school still kind of pushed people in that direction. Working in BigLaw is kind of my idea of hell, so that wasn't encouraging.

I was also dismayed by the housing situation. Everyone seemed to agree that the dorms weren't very nice and weren't even much of a bargain, and that the same was true of most of the apartments near campus. Current students told me I would have to choose between living someplace nice and affordable far from campus, and therefore being sort of cut-off from student life, or paying a lot of money for a not-great option near campus. I have a large dog (see avatar), so the options for me seemed particularly limited, pricey, and far away.

As I mentioned, I went to UG in MA, and being at Harvard reminded me of many of the things I disliked about living in New England, but again, that's a personal reaction coming from a native WestCoaster.

Also, as I was walking around on Monday, a group of three or four students shouted at some of the other admitted applicants (we had folders and lanyards, so we were easily identifiable), "I wish I could just tell all of the admitted kids to NOT COME HERE! Don't do it!!" I know there are malcontents everywhere, but for me personally, it finished off what was already a mostly negative impression.

Overall, I am still impressed with Harvard as a school. Clearly, its academic power is undeniable, as is the intelligence and drive of its student body. I think it's a fantastic option for most people, but not for me. I guess that, in the end, I care less about prestige and more about quality of life and being around people who interest me.

Hope that's at least a little helpful!


My goodness... well, that was very insightful. You're just being honest, which I appreciate. I hope you hear back from schools you prefer, since 3 years in a place that doesn't make you happy would be too much.

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ChriLa425
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby ChriLa425 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:45 pm

Just mailed the LOCI...fingers crossed!!

123kl
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby 123kl » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:51 pm

ChriLa425 wrote:Thanks for the post, very interesting info. Although all I ended up thinking at the end was "that dog is so cute!"

Interesting to hear about the smart in a narrow way vibe, my sister went to Harvard UG and she told me pretty much the same. Hopefully not true for all law schoolers :?


I was a bit skeptical about HLS after Saturday, but after Sunday and Monday, I'm really excited about attending next year. There seem to be great options (and $$$$$$$$$) for public interest work. I think the network of HLS will really help me in terms of this kind of work.

All of the people seemed down to earth, but they've all done really amazing things. There are douchebags everywhere, of course, so there was also a handful of them as well As for housing, I'm definitely not living in a dorm, but the off-campus housing options don't seem that bad. It seemed like most people paid around $1500 for a one-bedroom which is dirt-cheap to me compared to NYC. Martha Minnow is also quite impressive, as are the professors who did mock classes. I really enjoyed my Crim Law class.

juliachild-ish
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby juliachild-ish » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:06 pm

bob77 wrote:lol @ both my parents are lawyers but i followed a very untraditional path through life...


Haha, fair enough, although neither of them have practiced in 15 years. I resisted going to law school for the longest time because I wanted to do my own thing...only decided to apply this past October. And I may not end up at law school in the fall, since, as you imply, it's pretty boring and expected.

juliachild-ish
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby juliachild-ish » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:09 pm

123kl wrote:I was a bit skeptical about HLS after Saturday, but after Sunday and Monday, I'm really excited about attending next year. There seem to be great options (and $$$$$$$$$) for public interest work. I think the network of HLS will really help me in terms of this kind of work.

All of the people seemed down to earth, but they've all done really amazing things. There are douchebags everywhere, of course, so there was also a handful of them as well As for housing, I'm definitely not living in a dorm, but the off-campus housing options don't seem that bad. It seemed like most people paid around $1500 for a one-bedroom which is dirt-cheap to me compared to NYC. Martha Minnow is also quite impressive, as are the professors who did mock classes. I really enjoyed my Crim Law class.


I'm glad you enjoyed it! I hope I didn't come across as being too down on the school in general. I just don't think it's right for me. It's obviously an amazing and incredible place to study law.

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Non-Chalant1
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby Non-Chalant1 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:29 pm

Nah you just came across as someone who likes only a certain subset of people and you didn't find them at Harvard so it turned you off. Which is fair, but I think unrepresentative. You actually sound half-hearted about the entire legal profession. As far as kids yelling, "Don't come here." I had friends of mind jokingly say that to people looking at OUR school....can't put too much stock in something like that.

123, good to know about the public interest stuff.

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mcweanis
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby mcweanis » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:31 pm

1500 for a one bedroom??? jeeez. makes me want to stay in philly where you can get that for 600-700 or get a two or three bedroom for under 500 each!

Peg
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Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 4:32 am

Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby Peg » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:37 pm

bhan87 wrote:
jrose5 wrote:
dot wrote:
Peg wrote:Hey guys, I'm going to interrupt you all for a second to ask a question. I have no chance in hell of getting into Harvard (3.1/168) but I applied anyway because I figured, "At least once in my life I should apply to Harvard, no matter what!" So it's totally an idle fantasy that I didn't take too seriously. I had gotten a bunch of fee waivers and had nothing better to do with that $100 bucks but to spend it on a fantasy.

I'm getting worried now, though, because they haven't rejected me yet. I've been under review since February 1st. I've gotten swift and cold rejections from various other schools, like GULC, so I don't know why Harvard hasn't said no yet. Realistically my status should've gone: "2/1, Under Review ; 2/2, Decision Made." Is it normal for auto-rejects to be kept hanging?

And now we return to whatever you were all chatting about before.


LSN from last year: http://harvard.lawschoolnumbers.com/app ... order=desc

Most of the applicants going complete around 2/1 who didn't get in heard back at the very end of March or in April. For now, sit back and see what happens. Maybe you get a surprise JR1 :)


Thank you for brightening my day... 8)


+1. My number twin from last year's cycle got accepted in April. Here's to keeping the dream alive!


+1 again. =)

meryl
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:30 am

Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby meryl » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:42 pm

juliachild-ish wrote:Well, I will say that March is definitely the worst month in New England...gross dirty snow everywhere, lots of gray and brown. That certainly didn't help my overall impression of the school. But I went to UG in MA, so I knew that going in, and tried to remind myself that the campus is often much prettier, at other times of year. Still, though, the vibe I got from the campus was cold and unfriendly. Not very scientific observations, I know, but part of the reason for visiting a school in person is to get the intangible "feel" of the place, am I right?



I went to the ASW also and I agree with your impression of people there -admits & current students. I was impressed with the academic quality and international opportunities though. It is only a school after all and you can easily have a life outside it. It looked like you can work really hard if you choose to do so, but you can also do relatively little and still have great employment prospects.

Oracl3
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby Oracl3 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:50 pm

.
Last edited by Oracl3 on Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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tgir
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby tgir » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:50 pm

juliachild-ish wrote:Well, I will say that March is definitely the worst month in New England...gross dirty snow everywhere, lots of gray and brown. That certainly didn't help my overall impression of the school. But I went to UG in MA, so I knew that going in, and tried to remind myself that the campus is often much prettier, at other times of year. Still, though, the vibe I got from the campus was cold and unfriendly. Not very scientific observations, I know, but part of the reason for visiting a school in person is to get the intangible "feel" of the place, am I right?

I think the ASW organizers did a great job convincing us that Harvard is an academically amazing place. The professors I met or heard speak blew me away (with one notable exception): they were funny, intelligent, engaging, and quite friendly.

But they really didn't do anything to convince me that Harvard is a place I want to spend three years of my life. By that I mean, there was really nothing fun scheduled (and no, the "pub trivia night" and "mingling at the Kong" events did not count as fun; they reminded me of the start of college, just a lot of socially awkward freshmen trying to impress each other). There was nothing that I encountered that made me excited to go there in any real way.

The other admitted students that I met there were, with a few exceptions, kind of boring and immature. Now, this is unfair because I'm a couple years out of school and have followed a very untraditional path through life, but still, they lived up to my stereotype of the Harvard student: driven, uninteresting, and smart in a very narrow way. For the most part, I didn't feel they were the kind of people I wanted to be surrounded by for three years. This is the first law school I've visited, so maybe I'm discovering something about the kind of people who go into the legal profession. I think that's partially true, but my parents are lawyers who I think lead interesting lives, as do many of their lawyer friends. So I would hope that doesn't necessarily have to be true about everyone at every law school. And also, I acknowledge that many of the older and more interesting applicants probably self-select away from attending these sorts of events. But most of the current students I met there fit that model as well. It's said on TLS that Harvard places much more emphasis on numbers and much less on softs than many of its peer schools (Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, etc.), and it seemed to me that the people I met at Harvard proved that to be true.

Despite Harvard's impressive emphasis on public interest advising and funding (which I was pleased with), many current students admitted that people ended up in private firms regardless, since finding public interest jobs is a lot of work and very competitive. They said private firms seemed to be the path of least resistance, and that the culture of the school still kind of pushed people in that direction. Working in BigLaw is kind of my idea of hell, so that wasn't encouraging.

I was also dismayed by the housing situation. Everyone seemed to agree that the dorms weren't very nice and weren't even much of a bargain, and that the same was true of most of the apartments near campus. Current students told me I would have to choose between living someplace nice and affordable far from campus, and therefore being sort of cut-off from student life, or paying a lot of money for a not-great option near campus. I have a large dog (see avatar), so the options for me seemed particularly limited, pricey, and far away.

As I mentioned, I went to UG in MA, and being at Harvard reminded me of many of the things I disliked about living in New England, but again, that's a personal reaction coming from a native WestCoaster.

Also, as I was walking around on Monday, a group of three or four students shouted at some of the other admitted applicants (we had folders and lanyards, so we were easily identifiable), "I wish I could just tell all of the admitted kids to NOT COME HERE! Don't do it!!" I know there are malcontents everywhere, but for me personally, it finished off what was already a mostly negative impression.

Overall, I am still impressed with Harvard as a school. Clearly, its academic power is undeniable, as is the intelligence and drive of its student body. I think it's a fantastic option for most people, but not for me. I guess that, in the end, I care less about prestige and more about quality of life and being around people who interest me.

Hope that's at least a little helpful!


What exactly do you mean by "immature"?

I noticed that a lot of people had that timid, awkward, insecure look that you experience with college freshman, but I imagine that a lot of that can be explained just by the discomfort of traveling to a new place and suddenly being thrown in with a bunch of strangers and expected to simultaneously enjoy yourself and also scope out where you may be living and working for 3 years. That's gonna be the same at most, if not all, ASW's.

And by "boring," do you mean not entertaining in person, or lacking interesting life stories? I'd buy the former, but there were plenty of people with interesting life stories. If you thought otherwise, either you must not have asked or you must have a very high threshold for what you consider interesting.

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law_monkey
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby law_monkey » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:52 pm

juliachild-ish wrote:
123kl wrote:I was a bit skeptical about HLS after Saturday, but after Sunday and Monday, I'm really excited about attending next year. There seem to be great options (and $$$$$$$$$) for public interest work. I think the network of HLS will really help me in terms of this kind of work.

All of the people seemed down to earth, but they've all done really amazing things. There are douchebags everywhere, of course, so there was also a handful of them as well As for housing, I'm definitely not living in a dorm, but the off-campus housing options don't seem that bad. It seemed like most people paid around $1500 for a one-bedroom which is dirt-cheap to me compared to NYC. Martha Minnow is also quite impressive, as are the professors who did mock classes. I really enjoyed my Crim Law class.


I'm glad you enjoyed it! I hope I didn't come across as being too down on the school in general. I just don't think it's right for me. It's obviously an amazing and incredible place to study law.


I think a lot of points you made were extremely valid. A lot of people say that if you get into Harvard you go to Harvard no matter what, but fit is important to some people (as it clearly is to you) and you need to do what's best for you. Thanks for the detailed review!




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