notanumber wrote:Can somebody give me a narrative rundown of how the admit weekend went? I wasn't able to fly out, but I'd love to know what people's general impressions were. How did the school compare to what your preconceived notions were? Did you enjoy yourself there?
Saturday started with registration, at which we were given HLS shirts. People who came early enough could get campus and or housing tours. The campus is fairly nice (keep in mind, my standards are low after years of seeing horrendous 1960s and 1970s architecture at my undergrad). A lot of red brick, as well as a nice neo-classical looking library. The housing was nothing much to look at, but seemed livable enough. Gropius is a fairly standard dorm, with single occupancy rooms and common bathrooms. North is a converted hotel (and an ugly one at that), with standard Holiday Inn style rooms (bed, desk, bathroom). Hastings has two bedroom suites, with what was called "Harvard style" decor, which apparently means lots of wood and old furniture.
After that there was a lecture by Professor Zittrain on the future of the Internet. Zittrain brought up some interesting points, and also referenced the Simpsons a good deal, which is always appreciated. Then there was a reception with current students, at which I met no current students but a good amount of cool 0Ls and talked to JR, who is a very nice guy. There was also free wine and Sam Adams.
Went bar hopping that night, but that was an optional activity.
Next morning there was a student life panel and a financial aid panel. I didn't find either of these too interesting, as there was not much new information (aside from the fact that HLS students are big on costume parties). General impression from student life: law school is hard, but fun. From financial aid: law school is expensive, but you'll either pay it off with a firm job or with LIPP. Either way, you should be done with your debt in 10 years. The exception to this is if you get a clerkship, which is not LIPP eligible unless you commit to a LIPP eligible job for the next year. However, you can get a forbearance and make interest-only payments for the year of the clerkship.
Lunch was with current students, who generally seemed to be a happy, intelligent bunch.
The afternoon included faculty speakers, a mock class, and Q&A with Dean Minnow. Can't tell you much about the speakers, because I used this time to take a much needed nap (red-eye flights are a bitch). I was in Professor Sullivan's mock class, on Terry v. Ohio. I found the class interesting and engaging. Sullivan is a humorous fellow, and unlike Warren he didn't cold call (though I hear Warren was absolutely awesome). During the Q&A, Dean Minnow rather politely argued that Stanford and Yale were inferior to Harvard based on size (the argument being that at Harvard you can study absolutely anything that interests you, and there will likely be a faculty member and other students with similar interests).
After 5pm, there was a student org. fair, followed by dinner with student orgs, and a party at Tommy Doyle's hosted by HL Central. There was a great variety of student organizations at the fair, including a good number of journals. I went out to dinner with the International Law Journal, who are a very nice crowd. One of the things that struck me about the weekend was the international feel. I met people from South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Ghana, New Zealand, Canada, and another Irishman (not from Dublin like me, but nobody is perfect). The party at Tommy Doyle's was fun. I got buzzed and discussed the repercussions of colonialism in West Africa. The prospect of three years of drunken intellectual discussions greatly appealed to me.
Monday included panels, a class visit (which I skipped due to exhaustion), and lunch with faculty. I attended the panels on private sector careers and clerkships, and had a friend sit in on the clinical programs panel. The private sector careers panel was nothing to write home about, but it was reassuring about the prospect of finding jobs in the current economy. Clerkships was interesting, as apparently clerking no longer requires stellar grades as much as a commitment to getting a clerkship. From what I heard, the clinics panel was interesting too. HLS has a lot of clinics, so gaining practical experience in an area you are interested in is definitely doable. Had lunch with a Professor Brewster, who focuses on International Law and International Trade. She came across as extremely knowledgeable and helpful, as did all the other faculty I had a chance to interact with.
Once all that was done, I hung out on the square for a bit and bought an overpriced Harvard shirt, then took the T to the airport. The T was pretty sweet. It made it very easy to get from my accommodations in downtown Boston to Harvard, and to and from the airport. My only complaint would be that you can't count on trains after 12:30am.