impressions so far:
Campus - smaller than i expected. the quad area is shared with engineering/science. overall the facilities were nice to decent. the library looks large and a great place to study. the dorms are literally RIGHT THERE, like a 1-2 minute walk to class. and there is also a tunnel from the dorms to the buildings...if I were single, I would live there for sure, but alas i am in a relationship.
Prospective Student Body - everyone seems generally pretty smart. there are a ton of people striving for something other than firm work. It doesn't add up that 80% of the people I talk to want to do PI/academia/etc and not corporate law, because somehow that's not the percentage breakdown of where the grads go
. Looks wise, I would say its around 1 standard deviation below normal looking. very few hotties of either sex, and people that would typically be avg looking seem above median.
Competitiveness/Workload (as assessed by a panel of current students) - kind of what you make of it. if you are gunning for a supreme court clerkship, they said you better bury yourself in the books, study etc constantly. if you want a firm job, you can take it easy to some degree. the student body president said he took it easy the whole time, didn't go for journal/law review/etc and is still headed for a firm job.
Mock Class (Terry V Ohio) - kind of hard to judge how this would match up with a "real" class. no cold-calling. it seemed like plenty of people liked to hear themselves talk (perhaps a lawyer quality?). i thought the professor was going easy on the class for obvious reasons.
HLS vs $$$ - i asked as many people as possible about this question. if they had the offer, they obviously went HLS. emphasized long-term brand, and recruitment power especially ITE.
Job Prospects - I attended the academia panel, and the panelists seemed happy w/ their opportunities. two of them were academia fellows at harvard, where they get paid for 2 years of doing legal research. this is supposed to help them publish and facilitate an academic job search. most of the current students (that they showed us prospective 0L's) seemed pretty happy with their opportunities.
Negotiation Workshop - Interesting thing where your team has to choose 3 of 7 to live. It was supposed to demonstrate how negotiation skills can be used/developed. A big course/aspect of HLS first year, and seems to be one of the key differentiators. My impression is that HLS is fairly dedicated to producing great law practitioners in addition to theorists.
Food - the breakfast in Harkness was pretty good. Lots of healthy options and was very tasty..not sure about the prices because it was free.
hopefully this is a good proxy for those who can't make it. i will be doing a class visit and other stuff tomorrow as well.