HLS Orientation Schedule?

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hlsadmittedstudent
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:40 pm

HLS Orientation Schedule?

Post by hlsadmittedstudent » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:42 pm

Hi,

I was recently accepted to HLS, and I am pretty sure I'm going to commit. I was wondering if anyone had last year's Orientation schedule so I could see it? Just curious what orientation looks like there.

Thanks,

hlsadmit

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HelloYesThisIsDog
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Re: HLS Orientation Schedule?

Post by HelloYesThisIsDog » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:50 am

Bumping for you, but I'm sure some Harvard 1Ls are busy at the moment. Is orientation really going to be your deciding factor? You'll get a schedule of your own in due time.

hlsadmittedstudent
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Re: HLS Orientation Schedule?

Post by hlsadmittedstudent » Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:45 pm

HelloYesThisIsDog wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:50 am
Bumping for you, but I'm sure some Harvard 1Ls are busy at the moment. Is orientation really going to be your deciding factor? You'll get a schedule of your own in due time.
Definitely not the deciding factor--waiting on some other stuff--but most of the other schools have their Orientation schedules available, and it'd be nice to compare.

Also, generally, I'm just nervous because I don't know how to, say, brief a case at all or make a solid outline, and I definitely don't know how to do legal citations. Looks like a lot of places have Orientations geared towards helping you learn a lot of that and was wondering if Orientation @ HLS was the same.

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HelloYesThisIsDog
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Re: HLS Orientation Schedule?

Post by HelloYesThisIsDog » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:19 pm

hlsadmittedstudent wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 1:45 pm
HelloYesThisIsDog wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:50 am
Bumping for you, but I'm sure some Harvard 1Ls are busy at the moment. Is orientation really going to be your deciding factor? You'll get a schedule of your own in due time.
Definitely not the deciding factor--waiting on some other stuff--but most of the other schools have their Orientation schedules available, and it'd be nice to compare.

Also, generally, I'm just nervous because I don't know how to, say, brief a case at all or make a solid outline, and I definitely don't know how to do legal citations. Looks like a lot of places have Orientations geared towards helping you learn a lot of that and was wondering if Orientation @ HLS was the same.
I would be shocked if those aren't some part of orientation. And even if not, you will be learning those things as you go. Orientation won't teach you how to do law school. Law school will teach you that. Your legal writing class or its equivalent will cover citations, and outlining is so individualized - you will look at commercial outlines, outlines passed down to you, group outlines, and synthesize your own way of doing it. There's no standard formula. Briefing a case is similarly very individualized. There are basic things to look for but you'll learn as you go, and you'll look at similar resources as you would for outlines.

Orientation doesn't matter that much beyond the administrative tasks of meeting people, familiarizing yourself with school policies and procedures, learning about opportunities at the school, and maybe a few very small substantive things (like briefing a case) to whet your appetite.

piggy11
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Re: HLS Orientation Schedule?

Post by piggy11 » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:28 pm

I don't have a copy of the orientation schedule, but it was pretty standard fare: check-in and pick up ID one day, campus and library tours (optional) a second day, then I believe two days of full-on scheduled activities with your section (there are 7 sections of 80 people and most of your 1L will be spent with your section). Some of the stuff I remember involved a welcome speech by the dean, a section photo, some "get to know the person next to you" activities, some inclusion/sensitivity/diversity workshops, a fireside chat between the Dean and Justice Kagan that 1L's were invited to attend, a "mock class" with our section leader that included discussing a case we received before hand, another law school type exercise involving applying a "no vehicles allowed in the park" type rule to a set of facts, small group lunch with our BSA, QandA with a BSA panel, a barbecue dinner, and optional BodaBorg.
Harvard does have an online 0L course that they recommend everyone completes before beginning of school. They say it takes about 10 hours to complete, and they are not kidding. That had some useful stuff about the court system, reading cases, a mock class video and some other topics I cannot recall right now. I would say it was useful for someone like me who didn't know much about the legal system coming in, but some of my section mates with more exposure to legal practice found it less helpful.
It won't teach you to brief cases or outline or anything like that. I don't think any course could, especially since you're not going to read cases the same way for the professor that assigns 12 cases per class and the professor that assigns one, and you might not outline the same way for a 3 hour closed book exam and an 8 hour open book one. During the first semester the BSA's have Q and A sessions where they share their experiences and advice, but they all emphasize that what worked for them might not work for you.
Don't worry too much about it. Everyone in your section is in the same boat, and you'll all learn together. Orientation is a nice opportunity to get to know some people so you don't feel so alone and new.

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