Any current Harvard law students that can describe experience there? Would like to know what classes online were like as well as the student culture at the school. Is the atmosphere very competitive, stressful?
It's pretty competitive (but so is any T14 I imagine). I would not say it's the most collegial law school. It's big enough that there are lots of wonderful folks to meet, but there is certainly a gunner-ish culture since lots of people come in thinking SCOTUS is a possibility--and statistically speaking, there is a good chance that someone in your section will get it.
Online school was mediocre but many of the profs tried their best; my issues with that are not HLS-specific.
Harvard profs take teaching duties pretty seriously (its not like some graduate programs where teaching is very obviously secondary to research). They seemed to really put effort into the online transition, and I am sure they will do so for next year too. With that said, they had like 3 days to prepare for the transition to online last semester, and a lot of them are old and not great with tech. So there were some hiccups in the beginning, that were mostly solved by the end of the semester, and which I'm sure will be solved by start of Fall (seeing as how they have months to prepare). Classes that were lecture style were basically the same online or in person. Classes that were socratic were different, but in my opinion often were better online because it forced more organization and there was less likelihood of rambling way off topic. I'd say on average, classes online were the same or slightly better. There is one professor whose energy really didnt come through online, for whatever reason, though he was great in person.
The switch to pass/fail made people stop trying as hard, so learning was down but that was because of pass/fail, not online courses.
Culture is largely what you want it to be. The class size is huge, you dont have to hang out with the people you are randomly assigned to, and you can basically ignore almost anyone you want. There is kind of a weird insecurity throughout that results in competitiveness, but you can ignore it if you want.