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Share Your Experiences, Read About Other Experiences. Please keep posts organized by school and expected year of graduation.
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Doorkeeper
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby Doorkeeper » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:47 pm

hdivine wrote:I assume 1100-1200 per person, right?

Yes.

hdivine
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby hdivine » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:02 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:
hdivine wrote:I assume 1100-1200 per person, right?

Yes.


Yeah, for a second I thought all my housing research was way off, but that's because I'm married and tend to think of rent costs as the whole unit, not on a per-person basis.

kittonmittons
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby kittonmittons » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:03 pm

Do you know anything about the HLS apartments and what they're like to live in?
What are the dorms like around finals? I've heard the law library is a really tense place to be, is it like that in the dorms with all those stressed out law students, too?
Also, what have your experiences been like with noise? Is it ever a problem? I lived in a sorority house in college where girls came home drunk and screaming late at night a lot, and I would really like to avoid that in law school as much as possible.

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Blessedassurance
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby Blessedassurance » Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:12 am

kittonmittons wrote:Do you know anything about the HLS apartments and what they're like to live in?


I know there are HLS apartments pretty close to Gropius and at various locations scattered around campus. I however don't have any experience with what it is like to acually live in one of those. Maybe someone else could chime in.

What are the dorms like around finals? I've heard the law library is a really tense place to be, is it like that in the dorms with all those stressed out law students, too?


I was worried about this too but it didn't happen this year. It actually gets pretty quiet and deserted around finals. I think it might have to do with everyone expecting everyone else to be tense so in the end the tenseness (if any) is not visible. Most law students also try actively not to come off as intense insufferable gunners so that helps. Although there will definitely be insufferable gunners. It really depends on the people you end up on the same floor with. Your experience from year to year will vary and depends on your floor-mates (a large percentage are going to be 1L's). Some sections/floors are more gunnery than others etc. It varies from year to year. The big take-away really, is to avoid living close to where there is a lounge but that has more to do with the noise than tenseness.

Also, what have your experiences been like with noise? Is it ever a problem? I lived in a sorority house in college where girls came home drunk and screaming late at night a lot, and I would really like to avoid that in law school as much as possible.


This still happens but not at the undergrad level. Most students are mature etc., but there are always a couple of girls (and guys) trying to re-live the college experience in a very annoying way. The dorm experience overall is way better than undergrad as far as noise is concerned. Again, this will depend on your floor mates. The irony is that the noise usually comes from people who don't even live on the floor. Everybody buckles down come finals (or close to it) though.

There are RA's you can complain to if you have a serious problem with it though, or you could complain to the main person in charge of housing and they'll take care of the problem. People have complained in the past about one thing or another so don't feel like you have to tolerate it.

Overall, the dorms are pretty credited if you care about money or hate the hassle of finding an apartment. I'd generally recommend it with a few caveats. It's been a good experience as far as socializing is concerned and I don't have too many complaints.

JedBartlett
Posts: 272
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby JedBartlett » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:31 pm

Blessedassurance wrote:
kittonmittons wrote:Do you know anything about the HLS apartments and what they're like to live in?


I know there are HLS apartments pretty close to Gropius and at various locations scattered around campus. I however don't have any experience with what it is like to acually live in one of those. Maybe someone else could chime in.

What are the dorms like around finals? I've heard the law library is a really tense place to be, is it like that in the dorms with all those stressed out law students, too?


I was worried about this too but it didn't happen this year. It actually gets pretty quiet and deserted around finals. I think it might have to do with everyone expecting everyone else to be tense so in the end the tenseness (if any) is not visible. Most law students also try actively not to come off as intense insufferable gunners so that helps. Although there will definitely be insufferable gunners. It really depends on the people you end up on the same floor with. Your experience from year to year will vary and depends on your floor-mates (a large percentage are going to be 1L's). Some sections/floors are more gunnery than others etc. It varies from year to year. The big take-away really, is to avoid living close to where there is a lounge but that has more to do with the noise than tenseness.

Also, what have your experiences been like with noise? Is it ever a problem? I lived in a sorority house in college where girls came home drunk and screaming late at night a lot, and I would really like to avoid that in law school as much as possible.


This still happens but not at the undergrad level. Most students are mature etc., but there are always a couple of girls (and guys) trying to re-live the college experience in a very annoying way. The dorm experience overall is way better than undergrad as far as noise is concerned. Again, this will depend on your floor mates. The irony is that the noise usually comes from people who don't even live on the floor. Everybody buckles down come finals (or close to it) though.

There are RA's you can complain to if you have a serious problem with it though, or you could complain to the main person in charge of housing and they'll take care of the problem. People have complained in the past about one thing or another so don't feel like you have to tolerate it.

Overall, the dorms are pretty credited if you care about money or hate the hassle of finding an apartment. I'd generally recommend it with a few caveats. It's been a good experience as far as socializing is concerned and I don't have too many complaints.


Very helpful, thanks^

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englawyer
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby englawyer » Sat Jan 05, 2013 1:37 pm

Doorkeeper wrote:.
2. Only advantage of living on campus is that it's much more social, but there are other ways to be social. You can get 2BR apartments near campus for $1,100-1,200 per month, so it's not like it's a lot more expensive.


i have to disagree on cost. rent might be $1100 but then you have electric, gas, cable, heating. Heating bills in the area are very high. So let's say on average 150 a month for all that per person. so 1250 vs 697 for gropius, almost twice as much. A 1BR apartment is even more expensive...from personal experience I'd say it will get closer to $1800/mo for rent and utilities. That analysis also doesn't consider increased moving expenses, furniture, subletting (you might have to sublet to someone for less than you pay in rent. the Cambridge sublet market sucks for subletters).

assume worst case (no subletter) apt costs $15,000 a year. gropius is $6,272 a year (best case, living rent free over the summer) for 8.7k savings. If you can deal with gropius for 3 years that would be like 26k in raw savings, probably more like 30-35k with origination fees and interest.

for a 1BR it would be 15.2k a year, or like 45k raw savings and around 50-55k with interest/fees. that is basically saving a year of tuition by foregoing a 1BR for gropius.

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polareagle
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby polareagle » Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:12 pm

Has anyone admitted at the 21st received their mailing yet? (I wonder whether or not they mailed it right when they got back on Wednesday)

edamame
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby edamame » Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:58 pm

polareagle wrote:Has anyone admitted at the 21st received their mailing yet? (I wonder whether or not they mailed it right when they got back on Wednesday)


Haven't received it yet. I live in the DC area.

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2013hopeful:D
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby 2013hopeful:D » Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:59 pm

polareagle wrote:Has anyone admitted at the 21st received their mailing yet? (I wonder whether or not they mailed it right when they got back on Wednesday)


I haven't received mine. I am east coast though. So, I expect to receive it last.

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polareagle
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby polareagle » Sat Jan 05, 2013 4:18 pm

edamame wrote:
polareagle wrote:Has anyone admitted at the 21st received their mailing yet? (I wonder whether or not they mailed it right when they got back on Wednesday)


Haven't received it yet. I live in the DC area.


Me too! Haven't gotten the mail yet today--here's hoping today's the day.
Last edited by polareagle on Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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leebs2
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby leebs2 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:11 pm

Here's to keeping us on page 1

questcertainty
Posts: 37
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:39 pm

Re: In at Harvard

Postby questcertainty » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:17 pm

polareagle wrote:
edamame wrote:
polareagle wrote:Has anyone admitted at the 21st received their mailing yet? (I wonder whether or not they mailed it right when they got back on Wednesday)


Haven't received it yet. I live in the DC area.


Me too! (to both not having received it, and to living in the DC area). Haven't gotten the mail yet today--here's hoping today's the day.


Ditto -- living in the DC area, no packet. Has anybody who got the JS2 on the 21st gotten their HLS email account yet?

edamame
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby edamame » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:30 pm

questcertainty wrote:
polareagle wrote:
edamame wrote:
polareagle wrote:Has anyone admitted at the 21st received their mailing yet? (I wonder whether or not they mailed it right when they got back on Wednesday)


Haven't received it yet. I live in the DC area.


Me too! (to both not having received it, and to living in the DC area). Haven't gotten the mail yet today--here's hoping today's the day.


Ditto -- living in the DC area, no packet. Has anybody who got the JS2 on the 21st gotten their HLS email account yet?


I just got my packet today, but haven't received an email account. I live in the DC area and had my JS2 on Dec. 21.

For those who had their JS2s earlier, can you give us the admitted students' website address? For some reason, I can't find the URL in my packet.

questcertainty
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby questcertainty » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:36 pm

edamame wrote:
I just got my packet today, but haven't received an email account. I live in the DC area and had my JS2 on Dec. 21.

For those who had their JS2s earlier, can you give us the admitted students' website address? For some reason, I can't find the URL in my packet.


I was thinking the website was at http://law.harvard.edu/prospective/jd/index.html, under 'information for admitted students', but it requires an HLS account to access it. (Which is why I was wondering about the email address, actually.)

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edgeofthenight
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby edgeofthenight » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:05 pm

polareagle wrote:
edamame wrote:
polareagle wrote:Has anyone admitted at the 21st received their mailing yet? (I wonder whether or not they mailed it right when they got back on Wednesday)


Haven't received it yet. I live in the DC area.


Me too! (to both not having received it, and to living in the DC area). Haven't gotten the mail yet today--here's hoping today's the day.


Upstate ny (roughly 5 hours north of the city), just got it today!

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polareagle
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby polareagle » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:10 pm

edamame wrote:
I just got my packet today, but haven't received an email account. I live in the DC area and had my JS2 on Dec. 21.

For those who had their JS2s earlier, can you give us the admitted students' website address? For some reason, I can't find the URL in my packet.


Can't wait to get home!

Isn't there something in the packet called a "claim code" to set up your online account (I was looking through some old threads and this was referenced)?

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2013hopeful:D
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby 2013hopeful:D » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:17 pm

I heard in the past they used to send HLS hoodies in their acceptance packets. I am guessing this tradition has ended?

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Doorkeeper
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby Doorkeeper » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:23 pm

englawyer wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:.
2. Only advantage of living on campus is that it's much more social, but there are other ways to be social. You can get 2BR apartments near campus for $1,100-1,200 per month, so it's not like it's a lot more expensive.

I have to disagree on cost. rent might be $1100 but then you have electric, gas, cable, heating. Heating bills in the area are very high. So let's say on average 150 a month for all that per person. so 1250 vs 697 for gropius, almost twice as much. A 1BR apartment is even more expensive...from personal experience I'd say it will get closer to $1800/mo for rent and utilities. That analysis also doesn't consider increased moving expenses, furniture, subletting (you might have to sublet to someone for less than you pay in rent. the Cambridge sublet market sucks for subletters).

My apartment has gas and heating covered, and many other apartments that I looked at do as well. I pay $60 total per month for internet and electric. I also saw 2BRs under 0.5 mile from WCC for around $1,100-1,200 per month, so I think I was about right on my estimate. You're right though that $697 vs. $1,250 is a personal preference, but I'm very glad to be off-campus.

hdivine
Posts: 94
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby hdivine » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:33 pm

My email and access to Harvard email came about a week after I was admitted, and it came via my secondary email, not my primary one.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:30 pm

englawyer wrote:
Doorkeeper wrote:.
2. Only advantage of living on campus is that it's much more social, but there are other ways to be social. You can get 2BR apartments near campus for $1,100-1,200 per month, so it's not like it's a lot more expensive.


i have to disagree on cost. rent might be $1100 but then you have electric, gas, cable, heating. Heating bills in the area are very high. So let's say on average 150 a month for all that per person. so 1250 vs 697 for gropius, almost twice as much. A 1BR apartment is even more expensive...from personal experience I'd say it will get closer to $1800/mo for rent and utilities. That analysis also doesn't consider increased moving expenses, furniture, subletting (you might have to sublet to someone for less than you pay in rent. the Cambridge sublet market sucks for subletters).

assume worst case (no subletter) apt costs $15,000 a year. gropius is $6,272 a year (best case, living rent free over the summer) for 8.7k savings. If you can deal with gropius for 3 years that would be like 26k in raw savings, probably more like 30-35k with origination fees and interest.

for a 1BR it would be 15.2k a year, or like 45k raw savings and around 50-55k with interest/fees. that is basically saving a year of tuition by foregoing a 1BR for gropius.


I have to disagree with some of this analysis. It seems very biased toward dorm living. He gives you the best case scenarios for dorm living and the worse possible scenario for apartment living. Most people do find people to sublet or some work in the Boston area and keep the apartment; and most law students don't live free over the summer. I don't have a dog in the fight and I have lived in HLS apartments, Gropius, and another apartment not owned by Harvard. I enjoyed all of them but each does have their pluses and minuses.

First I will admit Gropius is cheap but you get what you pay for. You can always live in a shoebox forever if you want and it will always be cheaper than a nice apartment or house but at some point you want to live in a place that you can call home. I think each person has to decide how important comfort is to them. Gropius is allotted by lottery not everybody gets Gropius, but even if you do get Gropius the room rates are not the same. Depending on the room you get, you could be paying as much as 1223 (for 235 sq ft.).

Gropius

Pros:
1) on average cheaper than apartments, (although some rooms are very expensive) and you don't have to buy furniture.
2) Not as loud as you would expect during finals.
3) Lease ends with the school year.
4) Free basic cable, plus no additional bills (i.e heat, water, electricity).
5) Very very close to campus and easy to socialize.

Cons:
1) Can be very loud doing the school year. Very tempting to not study and hangout in the lobby.
2) Rules. Quiet hours during certain parts of the year, no smoking in rooms, no pets, long list of banned appliances
3) Shared bathroom, laundry room and kitchen (people are sometimes disgusting, and sometimes steal food).
4) You have to go into the lottery and move out and move in every year, plus it's hard to have a lot of your own furniture in the room.
5) No AC or central air.

HLS apartment

Not all HLS apartments are equal but if we are comparing them to Gropius I'd say you should look at studios or two bed rooms. The prices range from 992 to 1734 for a studio and 1030 to 1415 (per person) for a two bedroom. So Gropius is not always cheaper. The rent includes all utilities just like the dorms. Most also include internet and basic television channels (about 22 channels) in HD quality. You do have to apply for these just like the dorms but you can keep the apartment for three years once you get it. If you only live in the apartments for 1 year the lease is only about 10 months (from September to June). The best thing is you can have family come visit and have them stay with you instead of getting a hotel or having to share the bathroom with a bunch of law students.

Pros:
1) Much more space. I would guess studios average about 370 sq ft. and 2 bedrooms are about 750 sq. ft.
2) Freedom to decorate your apartment anyway you want.
3) Central air or the ability to get an Air conditioner.
4) Different types of apartments: some are in only law school blocks, some are smoking, some allow pets.
5) The ability to keep all of your stuff in the same place for years. Plus you also have secured storage in many apartments.

Cons:
1) The price can get expensive depending on where you live.
2) While most of the apartments are near the law school, some are about 20 minutes or so away. (There are Harvard buses that go to the apartments).
3) Having to sublet sucks. You may have to take a loss during the time you're away not to mention having someone using all of your stuff.
4) You have to put more effort into meeting people. Although some buildings do have events.
5) You do have more responsibilities, no one is cleaning your bathroom or taking out your trash.

Non-HLS apartments

Many of the same pluses as HLS apartments except that depending on the apartment you don't have all of your utilities paid. Although some do include utilities.

Pros:
1) Can be cheaper than HLS apartments. Depending on how far you move away from campus it could be a lot cheaper.
2) Away from law students. Which can be good sometimes. Helps you to develop a circle of friends outside of law students.
3) In my experience they also have less restriction than HLS owned stuff.
4) The bills are not connected to your HLS account and thus have no affect on your graduation or registration.
5) Can normally renew your lease for your entire time in law school.

Cons:
1) The building manager might not be like Harvard which is great at keeping the building up to code and responding to maintenance issues.
2) You may have to pay utilities.
3) Depending on the distance you may need a bike or car.
4) Like HLS apartments subleting may be difficult esp. if the apartment is not close to a school.
5) May have large security deposits or finders fees.


Like I said every place has plus and minuses. I came to law school a little older and I didn't want to do the dorm thing again. It was nice for the short time I was there but I really enjoy the space and comfort of having my own place. I think you have to see what you value the most weigh the pros and cons and then make the best decision for you. I will say this, I do think HLS apartments are great in comparison to many of the non-affiliated apartments, which can be hit or miss. No security deposit or finders fee (which is normally a month of rent) and the building management is awesome.
Last edited by unc0mm0n1 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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2013hopeful:D
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby 2013hopeful:D » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:42 pm

unc0mm0n1 wrote:I have to disagree with some of this analysis. It seems very biased toward dorm living. He gives you the best case scenarios for dorm living and the worse possible scenario for apartment living. Most people do find people to sublet or some work in the Boston area and keep the apartment; and most law students don't live free over the summer. I don't have a dog in the fight and I have lived in HLS apartments, Gropius, and another apartment not owned by Harvard. I enjoyed all of them but each does have their pluses and minuses.


AWESOME! Thanks for the info.

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vividviolin
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby vividviolin » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:16 pm

What do people usually do for food if they live in the dorms? Are the dining halls good enough to rely on for the most part for three years? Are the shared kitchens in Gropius usable/supplied with tools for actual cooking (not just pasta/cereal/sandwiches), or is that difficult?

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Blessedassurance
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby Blessedassurance » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:42 pm

vividviolin wrote:What do people usually do for food if they live in the dorms? Are the dining halls good enough to rely on for the most part for three years? Are the shared kitchens in Gropius usable/supplied with tools for actual cooking (not just pasta/cereal/sandwiches), or is that difficult?


The dining hall (hark) is good but expensive. They weigh the food and you have to pay according to the weight of the food. You can however rely entirely on that. There are tools in the kitchen to cook, if you want to do that. If you're into Chinese food there's a Chinese food truck pretty close to Gropius on Oxford street that's pretty cheap (like 5-6 bucks a plate or thereabouts). Most people in the dorms just eat out, or do a combination of eating out and cooking. The nearest eating places are concentrated around Harvard Square or towards the other direction on Massachusetts Ave.

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leebs2
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby leebs2 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:43 pm

East coaster: got my packet today. Pretty cool.

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ccook32691
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Re: In at Harvard

Postby ccook32691 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:08 pm

Thought I'd join the fun, admitted just before the holidays. Only thing that could keep me from coming is an admit at Yale (if I ever finish that 250). I'll be coming straight out of undergrad and bringing my fiancé. I'm looking forward to (probably) meeting all of you! Congrats to everybody!




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