Harvard 2011 Applicants

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slax
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby slax » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:16 pm

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Nulli Secundus
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby Nulli Secundus » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:31 pm

slax wrote:
slax wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:As someone who has attended both a lower T14 and Harvard, let me address a couple things:

1) No law school trains you how to work extremely hard. You're expected to bring that with you, or have some natural talent that enables you to live without it, or end up in the bottom of the class. In fact, that's a large part of the reason top schools are focusing so much on prior work experience now; it's a sign that you already know hard work. Getting into Harvard means essentially you've been pre-screened and deemed likely to have that quality already.

2) I think there may be a sense of entitlement among some Harvard students, but it's on an individual basis. If you're not entitled when you get here, it's not likely to make you that way. People who carry that sense of entitlement, I think, bring it with them, and it's more noticeable here because the Harvard name just feeds that already-existing trait.

3) You get roughly the same classroom training at Harvard and other law schools. The difference in classroom education is not, based on what I can tell, significantly different from what you'd get at a lower T14, or even a lower T1 school. You're learning roughly the same subjects, often from the same subject, and from professors who themselves learned at HLS/YLS and use that as a model for teaching. The reason professors at Harvard are impressive is typically their prior experience and knowledge, or their current scholarship and publishing, not that they're somehow magically better at teaching law than every other school out there.

4) You're responsible in law school for determining your own level of practical training, and this is true everywhere you go. I think a lot of people here just do three years of classroom study and don't take an interest in real-world legal training, so when they graduate they have little experience in practical application of law. But the school offers clinics, workshops, and student organizations that enable you to prepare yourself if you choose to do so. By now I've written dozens of motions, briefs, and letters used in actual litigation through the clinics, internships, and pro bono work that I've done.

It's just bad to assume that stereotypes are universal, in general. You can come here and do poorly. You can go elsewhere and do well. There's a definite name advantage to going to Harvard, but you shouldn't assume that coming here over another school magically means everything about who you are as an individual will be radically different when you graduate.


Not a student there, but from my experience at ASW, it seemed that clinics at Harvard, according to the presentations and literature, do lean towards theory over practice compared to other schools I visited.

I also asked the dean at the Q&A: We've heard so much about research opportunities and traveling abroad. To that point, one of the presenters stated that Harvard teaches leaders who need to know about the law rather than lawyers. So what is special about Harvard for someone who just wants to be a plain old lawyer?

She said that Harvard employs people to teach who are at the peak of the profession and that she promises that Harvard does in fact care about the actual practice of law. That's pretty much all she offered before returning to the idea of theory in her answer directly about practice.

Should a law school really need to convince people that they care about the practice of law? For someone like me who does not want to do public interest, research, academia, theory work, or work in NYC - why is Harvard worth the full price? I don't see a reason, but just my opinion.

I would love to know why you left UVa for Harvard, but that it a bit off topic and personal, so I understand if you don't want to answer in this thread or at all.


Yes, I already had a pretty good idea that I didn't want to go there. I don't think I'd be happy there, so it was an easy decision to be honest, especially after visiting. I deposited at UVa last night while waiting for my plane home in Logan Airport.

I just posted in the thread to share some advice I had received with others that might be interested.


I guess you held a grudge for making you wait so long with those numbers. No you do not fire me, I quit heh.

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slax
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby slax » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:37 pm

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neonx
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby neonx » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:41 pm

I am always very impressed by people who can look beyond rankings/prestige. I hope you enjoy your time (and thrive) at UVA, slax! They are so lucky to have you. =)

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vanwinkle
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:42 pm

slax wrote:Not a student there, but from my experience at ASW, it seemed that clinics at Harvard, according to the presentations and literature, do lean towards theory over practice compared to other schools I visited.

I don't even know what to make of this. Many of the clinics here actually put you into external PI organizations, and you answer to those attorneys and do work for them. It's hard to get something more practical than what I've done this past semester. It varies depending on the clinic, and there's certainly reinforcement that you're learning theory to go with your practice, but you get a lot of practical experience from them in my experience.

slax wrote:Should a law school really need to convince people that they care about the practice of law? For someone like me who does not want to do public interest, research, academia, theory work, or work in NYC - why is Harvard worth the full price? I don't see a reason, but just my opinion.

Well, since you've excluded most of the reasons people choose to attend Harvard... it may not be worth the full price to you, and you've already pretty much made up your mind, so I won't really argue. I will just say that most people come here wanting one or more of the things you just mentioned, so it makes a lot of sense for them.

slax wrote:I would love to know why you left UVa for Harvard, but that it a bit off topic and personal, so I understand if you don't want to answer in this thread or at all.

The short version is, because I wanted things that matter to me but apparently don't matter to you, given what you said above. Because of that, I doubt anything else I can say would convince you to come here.

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20121109
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby 20121109 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:48 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
slax wrote:Should a law school really need to convince people that they care about the practice of law? For someone like me who does not want to do public interest, research, academia, theory work, or work in NYC - why is Harvard worth the full price? I don't see a reason, but just my opinion.

Well, since you've excluded most of the reasons people choose to attend Harvard... it may not be worth the full price to you, and you've already pretty much made up your mind, so I won't really argue. I will just say that most people come here wanting one or more of the things you just mentioned, so it makes a lot of sense for them.


+1

So what exactly DO you want to do with your law degree? Because, if you don't want to do any of the above, not only is Harvard a poor fit for you, but also law school in general is a poor fit for you.

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slax
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby slax » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:49 pm

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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby slax » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:50 pm

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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby 20121109 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:57 pm

slax wrote:
GAIAtheCHEERLEADER wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
slax wrote:Should a law school really need to convince people that they care about the practice of law? For someone like me who does not want to do public interest, research, academia, theory work, or work in NYC - why is Harvard worth the full price? I don't see a reason, but just my opinion.

Well, since you've excluded most of the reasons people choose to attend Harvard... it may not be worth the full price to you, and you've already pretty much made up your mind, so I won't really argue. I will just say that most people come here wanting one or more of the things you just mentioned, so it makes a lot of sense for them.


+1

So what exactly DO you want to do with your law degree? Because, if you don't want to do any of the above, not only is Harvard a poor fit for you, but also law school in general is a poor fit for you.


Private practice not in NYC. I'm sure you know that there are law firms in city besides NYC, did you not?


But Harvard's name is truly national/international. If you don't want NYC work that's fine. But you should know that an HYS degree will give you the kind of mobility that is quite unparalleled. Many people at Harvard go back to their hometowns across America to practice all the time. The Harvard name will certainly give you a leg up wherever you decide to work.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:01 pm

slax wrote:I agree that Harvard is a good school, but that it doesn't offer anything superior for what I want to do. It is still a great school, especially for people who want to do the things I mentioned. I hope you are not upset by the lawyer's advice that I posted. I just wanted to share insight for the people who will likely not be attending school with you in the fall.

Dude, believe me, I'm not gonna be offended just 'cause some lawyer said something about graduates from my school. If I were that thin-skinned I doubt I would've made it this far in the first place. I'm just also trying to provide information as well, so people can make fully informed choices; that means hearing both your opinion and mine.

It sounds like you know what you're doing, and I wish you the best of luck.

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slax
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby slax » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:03 pm

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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby slax » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:04 pm

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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby sarahh » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:05 pm

My dad went to HLS, and when I told him I made my deposit there, he said he thought I made the right choice. I talked to several students, and they were all happy and liked the people there. I am sure there are some unpleasant, egotistical people, but I don't have to hang out with them. With the large class size, I would be surprised to not find people I get along with.

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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby slax » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:09 pm

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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby sarahh » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:16 pm

slax wrote:I think everyone is missing the point. The question is does Harvard make a difference once you are hired? The answer is no, and if anything it is a negative ONCE YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN HIRED.

This is not about students being nice and getting along. It is not about where Harvard grads can get hired. It is not about the unique opportunities Harvard provides.

The point is that being a Harvard grad does not help you be a better lawyer, even if it may help you get hired. RC people. RC.


A few quotes from people about slacker Harvard grads don't show that is true. Maybe the percentage of lazy lawyers is similar across schools, but the Harvard ones stand out more because people have higher expectations. Maybe 95% of law firms are happy with their Harvard grads, and you cherry-pick quotes from ones who are not. Maybe there are some Harvard grads are entitled and don't work hard, but they were like that before they went to Harvard. Maybe the ones who went in with a good work ethic found success and are valued by their firms. If you do good work, I find it very hard to believe that Harvard is "a negative ONCE YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN HIRED".

ETA: And in this economy, just getting the job in the first place is important. I would not discount the fact that Harvard can help you get the job.

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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby slax » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:19 pm

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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby mel2010 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:24 pm

The problem is you're trying to make a valid point (that being from Harvard won't make up for being entitled/lazy/etc, if you happen to be that kind of person) but interspersing it with strange critiques like "those who can't do, teach and those who can't do law, came from Harvard."

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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby Non-Chalant1 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:26 pm

slax wrote:I think everyone is missing the point. The question is does Harvard make a difference once you are hired? The answer is no, and if anything it is a negative ONCE YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN HIRED.

This is not about students being nice and getting along. It is not about where Harvard grads can get hired. It is not about the unique opportunities Harvard provides.

The point is that being a Harvard grad does not help you be a better lawyer, even if it may help you get hired. RC people. RC.

This seems to be a relatively pointless point to make. That's like saying getting a high LSAT score won't make you a better law student but it will help you get into a better school. The entire point is being put in the position in the first place.

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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby slax » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:27 pm

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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby sarahh » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:28 pm

slax wrote:I like that you cut out the if anything part. Did I say it is a negative if you do good work? No. No, I did not. Did I say it is neutral and if anything, negative. Yes, I did. What this means is that good work is good work no matter where you went to school. Bad work is bad work even if you went to Harvard. Oy. Vey.


This is implying that if the name came into play at all, firms would see Harvard as a negative. My point is that a few quotes don't show this is true. We get that you don't like Harvard. This is a thread for people who are interested in Harvard. People can make different choices without any of the schools being bad.

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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby 20121109 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:29 pm

slax wrote:Certainly not trying to get in an argument, but just wondering if you read the original post that started this conversation. If not, in summary: those who can't do, teach and those who can't do law, came from Harvard.


Um, my response had nothing to do with one opinion of Harvard students after they get the job. My point was directed to your reasons of choosing not to attend Harvard because you wanted private practice outside of NYC. I then argued this was a weird reason for not wanting to go to Harvard, because as we've all acknowledged, the name gives you an advantage wherever you decide to practice. If you truly believe that "if anything Harvard is a negative once you have already been hired," then that's your prerogative. But I fail to see how this in anyway factors into my response to you.

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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby thecynic69 » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:29 pm

slax wrote:I think everyone is missing the point. The question is does Harvard make a difference once you are hired? The answer is no, and if anything it is a negative ONCE YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN HIRED.

This is not about students being nice and getting along. It is not about where Harvard grads can get hired. It is not about the unique opportunities Harvard provides.

The point is that being a Harvard grad does not help you be a better lawyer, even if it may help you get hired. RC people. RC.


You say attending Harvard is a negative, as if Harvard makes you a bad lawyer. The only way I've ever heard the "bad Harvard lawyer story" told is that the people who attend Harvard (and perhaps even more so, Yale) are not the sort of people who make good lawyers; this is just to say that we are more likely to be ivory tower academics, self-entitled assholes, or insert trait here that makes you a bad fit at a firm. If you have good evidence that Harvard does something (or fails to do something) that results in bad lawyers, do tell. I'm a lowly 0L, but all evidence I've come across suggests that the coursework etc. at top law schools is very similar, and that there is ample opportunity to get hands on/practical experience while a student at Harvard (and Yale).

In short, if people responding to your post dropped the RC ball, you dropped the LR ball by ignoring the obvious selection bias at work...

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nihilism is key
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby nihilism is key » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:31 pm

All of the above is really interesting and peripherally on topic as you are discussing Harvard, but for those of us still waiting on application information and/or updates, not all that helpful. I think this discussion would be more beneficial for those in the "Choosing a Law School' Forum.

neonx
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby neonx » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:32 pm

thecynic69 wrote:
slax wrote:I think everyone is missing the point. The question is does Harvard make a difference once you are hired? The answer is no, and if anything it is a negative ONCE YOU HAVE ALREADY BEEN HIRED.

This is not about students being nice and getting along. It is not about where Harvard grads can get hired. It is not about the unique opportunities Harvard provides.

The point is that being a Harvard grad does not help you be a better lawyer, even if it may help you get hired. RC people. RC.


You say attending Harvard is a negative, as if Harvard makes you a bad lawyer. The only way I've ever heard the "bad Harvard lawyer story" told is that the people who attend Harvard (and perhaps even more so, Yale) are not the sort of people who make good lawyers; this is just to say that we are more likely to be ivory tower academics, self-entitled assholes, or insert trait here that makes you a bad fit at a firm. If you have good evidence that Harvard does something (or fails to do something) that results in bad lawyers, do tell. I'm a lowly 0L, but all evidence I've come across suggests that the coursework etc. at top law schools is very similar, and that there is ample opportunity to get hands on/practical experience while a student at Harvard (and Yale).

In short, if people responding to your post dropped the RC ball, you dropped the LR ball by ignoring the obvious selection bias at work...


Subtle Yale-dropping twice.

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slax
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Re: Harvard 2011 Applicants

Postby slax » Mon Apr 18, 2011 3:34 pm

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