Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Discuss comparisons of various school choices and the various metrics that inform them, including rankings, student life, location, etc.
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metroidbum
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Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by metroidbum » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:49 pm

If you've ever wondered how it feels to have six figure debt, myself and others will be happy to tell you! :D

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KaleApple
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by KaleApple » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:57 pm

I have a couple questions!

1. Do you feel like your debt was worth it? Would you do it again if you could rewind and pick a school again?

2. Where do people live...? It seems like housing is really expensive for... not the best options. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places.

Thank you!

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metroidbum
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by metroidbum » Fri Jan 26, 2018 3:11 pm

1. Do I feel like my debt was worth it? I was an immature idiot who had no real ambition or career focus going into law school, and partly because of that (combined with my general inexperience at formal interviewing) under-performed at EIP despite having reasonably good grades (roughly median). Under-performing at HLS meant still getting a market-paying big law job in a non-NYC market, and I there is a real chance that I would have struck out at lower T14 schools.

What I REALLY wish I had done was worked for 2 years before going to law school. No one should ever go to law school as a K-JD. That being said, if I could rewind and do it again with the knowledge and maturity I have now, I probably would pick UChicago with the 20k per year scholly that I had, or UMich with the 30k per year scholly that I had. I'm paying down loans aggressively on a 180k salary and I still won't be rid of the debt for three years. My fellow first years have far less or no debt because they took they money.



2. Yeah, you are not wrong about housing being expensive. I like Boston/Cambridge quite a bit, but it is hilarious how people pat themselves on the back for not paying as much for rent as NYC, when Boston is probably the third or fourth most expensive city in the country. If you can stomach the tiny rooms, the smaller gropius dorms go for like 800 a month last I checked, but their kitchens are a nightmare to try and prepare anything in, doubly so if you don't live on a floor with a kitchen. As for off campus options, try and find roommates. You can likely find some reasonable ish two or three bedrooms if you are willing to have a 15 minute walking commute to work. I actually lived in a rather nice Harvard owned apartment 3BR my 3L year, and for about 1100 a month it was a steal for the neighborhood, and only a 10 minute walk to class.

But yeah, finding anything below 1000 is tough, even with a roommate or two.

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pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by pneumonia » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:13 pm

Tag

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Joscellin
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Joscellin » Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:58 am

KaleApple wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:57 pm
I have a couple questions!

1. Do you feel like your debt was worth it? Would you do it again if you could rewind and pick a school again?

2. Where do people live...? It seems like housing is really expensive for... not the best options. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places.

Thank you!

(1) I do, but I'm also a transfer who got their first year free.

(2) Boston is fucking expensive. I live with my SO off campus in a nice 1BR, but we pay around 2500 for the two of us. To be fair, we had to be picky since laundry was a dealbreaker for her and we needed pet friendly, but good luck finding anything under 1k/pp.

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xdocs
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by xdocs » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:55 am

KaleApple wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:57 pm
I have a couple questions!

1. Do you feel like your debt was worth it? Would you do it again if you could rewind and pick a school again?

2. Where do people live...? It seems like housing is really expensive for... not the best options. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places.

Thank you!
For number one, I will also back metroid on the buffer at EIP. Pretty far below median 1L and got multiple market paying firms in Boston with minimal ties (which is a small market). In New York, people kill all the time with median grades. But, I don't think that any of the t-6 is much different. I do know that people at places like UVA get nervous before EIP, which doesn't happen here.

for two, also the same as everybody else of campus is expensive, and if you care about finding a cheap place Gropius is the place to be.

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walks
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by walks » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:17 pm

Can anyone tell me about the dual degree program with the GSD? I have a background in architecture and I'm really interested in housing policy, but I can't find any useful information about the program online. Would having a MUP open up unique and interesting career possibilities or is it just a fourth year of Harvard tuition?

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xdocs
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by xdocs » Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:39 pm

walks wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:17 pm
Can anyone tell me about the dual degree program with the GSD? I have a background in architecture and I'm really interested in housing policy, but I can't find any useful information about the program online. Would having a MUP open up unique and interesting career possibilities or is it just a fourth year of Harvard tuition?
I've only met one person doing this, and I didn't talk to him to much about if he thought it was a useful degree or not. However, I imagine that the normal critiques to dual degrees applies, if you want to do design go to the GSD if you want to do law go to the ls. There might be some specific career paths that this could help with, but it is more likely that you will end up just doing one or career or the other and paying more for no reason.

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dm1683
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by dm1683 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:09 pm

How does H place in the Chicago market? Chi biglaw lit is my ultimate goal (although if I can swing a clerkship that would be great). Assuming I have deep Midwest ties (born raised and went to UG in SE WI) should Chi biglaw be a slam dunk or will I have to be above median?

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Rowdy
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Rowdy » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:14 pm

dm1683 wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:09 pm
How does H place in the Chicago market? Chi biglaw lit is my ultimate goal (although if I can swing a clerkship that would be great). Assuming I have deep Midwest ties (born raised and went to UG in SE WI) should Chi biglaw be a slam dunk or will I have to be above median?
+1 but for secondary markets

ticket
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by ticket » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:19 pm

walks wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:17 pm
Can anyone tell me about the dual degree program with the GSD? I have a background in architecture and I'm really interested in housing policy, but I can't find any useful information about the program online. Would having a MUP open up unique and interesting career possibilities or is it just a fourth year of Harvard tuition?
Same question but about the MPH - is it a degree worth pursuing?

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xdocs
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by xdocs » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:22 pm

You don't have to be above median to get biglaw anywhere from H. Secondary markets generally care less about grades and more about ties. DC and places in California (idk which I didn't focus on California at all in EIP prep) are generally said to be the toughest markets for grades, but I know people who were k-jd with only 1H who got biglaw in DC. Having good grades will make EIP a lot easier, but all of my friends were below median, and we all had at least one offer at market paying firms, although it took a while for some of us (including myself).

ibnukhaldun
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by ibnukhaldun » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:57 pm

Hi there, thanks for doing this! 0L accepted at H and pending at the rest of the T5 here.

1. How hard (ideally in hours/wk, but by whatever metric you feel comfortable with) does an averagely smart person have to work to be above median? To be in COA clerkship range?
2. If any of you are on quite large aid packages (I certainly would be), do you have any advice? There seem to be a lot of moving parts, e.g. tuition increases and summer employment, that make it hard to game out how good a deal a max aid package really is.

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xdocs
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by xdocs » Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:23 pm

ibnukhaldun wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:57 pm
Hi there, thanks for doing this! 0L accepted at H and pending at the rest of the T5 here.

1. How hard (ideally in hours/wk, but by whatever metric you feel comfortable with) does an averagely smart person have to work to be above median? To be in COA clerkship range?
2. If any of you are on quite large aid packages (I certainly would be), do you have any advice? There seem to be a lot of moving parts, e.g. tuition increases and summer employment, that make it hard to game out how good a deal a max aid package really is.
1. everyone works hard during 1L here. You will likely not be able to get above median just by outworking people.

2. I have the full aid package, if you don't do big law it is basically a half scholarship, for each summer you do big law I've heard it reduces your aid by about 10-15 grand. I am in my second year and have a about 90K in loans, so basically exactly half for my first two years. But I expect to end up at around or a little over 150K when I graduate.
Last edited by xdocs on Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by tomwatts » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:51 am

KaleApple wrote:
Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:57 pm
1. Do you feel like your debt was worth it? Would you do it again if you could rewind and pick a school again?

2. Where do people live...? It seems like housing is really expensive for... not the best options. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places.
1. I 100% would do it again. My choices came down to full-tuition scholarship at NYU or H at sticker. I knew I was probably going to do something sort of niche in California (although I didn't know quite what), so the NYU name wasn't going to take me nearly as the HLS name. I liked Harvard a lot, too, just in terms of school culture. Ended up doing a joint degree with HKS and teaching at the College, so I got a pretty full experience.

2. Lol, I'm from San Francisco, so it didn't seem that expensive. I lived in Gropius for most of the time, but you can live with roommates a little ways off campus (like, Somerville or something) for fairly cheap.
ibnukhaldun wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:57 pm
1. How hard (ideally in hours/wk, but by whatever metric you feel comfortable with) does an averagely smart person have to work to be above median? To be in COA clerkship range?
1. Law school grading is too random to give an answer to this. Also, it's not about how hard you work — it's about how effectively you work, given what your classes will ultimately require.

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fozzie
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by fozzie » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:55 pm

Is there any information at all about what grades it takes to be around the top 5% after 3L, rather than 10%? tomwatts has done good work documenting that magna tends to take ~3.93-3.97. But where would 4.05 put you? 4.20? I wouldn't bother to speculate at all, except some people (e.g., the SCt clerk on TLS) suggest that 5% is a significant threshold for some opportunities. Maybe in that context 5% just means something like "safely inside the top 10%"?

Username
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Username » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:01 pm

Question about 1LSA / EIP and grades.

For midlaw 1L SA opps:
Is 3P 1DS 1LP better than 5P?
What about 2P 1DS 2LP?

I know you’re thinking “who the hell gets both a DS and an LP in the same semester?” but it does happen. I didn’t get 2LP but curious to see how much people think the DS makes up for the LP, if at all. I hadn’t planned on 1L SA but a family friend is a partner at a v60-v80 firm that is still taking 1L SA applications and can at least get me an interview before I have to show my grades.

For EIP:
Is 4H 4P 1LP 1DS better than than 4H 6P? Assume the LP was in the fall.
What about 3H 3P 2LP 2DS? Assume the LP were all in the fall, the DS’s were in both semesters (one in each) and either 2 or all 3 of the H’s were in the spring.

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pneumonia
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by pneumonia » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:20 am

Username wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:01 pm
Question about 1LSA / EIP and grades.

For midlaw 1L SA opps:
Is 3P 1DS 1LP better than 5P?
What about 2P 1DS 2LP?
I think that (PPPPP) vs (DS PPP LP) are the same. To the extent they're different, it will be interviewer-dependent. It could matter what classes you got the LP/DS in, and whether you have a good explanation for the LP. If the LP is in a black letter class, that's usually better than an LP in LRW. My personal view that an LP in Property/Torts/Contracts/Crim is preferable to an LP in Civ Pro or Leg Reg, but I doubt everyone feels the same about that.

However, since neither of these grade combinations are would make you competitive for a 1L SA spot, there's little point in parsing the distinction between them. Focus on your connections and on applying and preparing for interviews.The thing an LP is that it's new and crazy for you, but not for firms. All firms have given callbacks to people with an LP. All firms have given offers to people with an LP.

Two LPs are much harder to explain. Don't get any more.
Username wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:01 pm
For EIP:
Is 4H 4P 1LP 1DS better than than 4H 6P? Assume the LP was in the fall.
What about 3H 3P 2LP 2DS? Assume the LP were all in the fall, the DS’s were in both semesters (one in each) and either 2 or all 3 of the H’s were in the spring.
Again, your first set are likely the same. For the second set, an upward trend in your second semester looks great, but 2 LPs are much more than 2x worse than 1 LP. In your second comparison, I think 4H/6P would win every time.

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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by tomwatts » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:11 am

fozzie wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:55 pm
Is there any information at all about what grades it takes to be around the top 5% after 3L, rather than 10%?
I don't know how anyone would know, including people reviewing an application. As far as I can tell, very few people actually see the entire grade distribution for a class year. It's like a couple people in the Registrar's Office and that's about it. You have to actively make your grades available to professors, or else they don't know what your grades are, so I don't think that very many profs know.

I think the top 5% thing matters a lot more at a place where people are expressly ranked with a number (e.g., you are 25th in your class).

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icechicken
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by icechicken » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:50 pm

fozzie wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:55 pm
Is there any information at all about what grades it takes to be around the top 5% after 3L, rather than 10%? tomwatts has done good work documenting that magna tends to take ~3.93-3.97. But where would 4.05 put you? 4.20? I wouldn't bother to speculate at all, except some people (e.g., the SCt clerk on TLS) suggest that 5% is a significant threshold for some opportunities. Maybe in that context 5% just means something like "safely inside the top 10%"?
The same person said that you want basically straight H's, at a bare minimum, to be competitive. This isn't purely because of class rank; I've heard elsewhere (I forget where) that Roberts in particular really doesn't like hiring people with B's or P's. My personal read on that thread is a whole is that, if you're gunning for SCOTUS, you should be nailing basically every single one of your classes, which at Harvard would mean straight H's with some DS's thrown in, getting a 4.00+ and (connecting the dots here) placing in roughly the top 5% of the class as a result.

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fozzie
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by fozzie » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:11 pm

icechicken wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:50 pm
fozzie wrote:
Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:55 pm
Is there any information at all about what grades it takes to be around the top 5% after 3L, rather than 10%? tomwatts has done good work documenting that magna tends to take ~3.93-3.97. But where would 4.05 put you? 4.20? I wouldn't bother to speculate at all, except some people (e.g., the SCt clerk on TLS) suggest that 5% is a significant threshold for some opportunities. Maybe in that context 5% just means something like "safely inside the top 10%"?
The same person said that you want basically straight H's, at a bare minimum, to be competitive. This isn't purely because of class rank; I've heard elsewhere (I forget where) that Roberts in particular really doesn't like hiring people with B's or P's. My personal read on that thread is a whole is that, if you're gunning for SCOTUS, you should be nailing basically every single one of your classes, which at Harvard would mean straight H's with some DS's thrown in, getting a 4.00+ and (connecting the dots here) placing in roughly the top 5% of the class as a result.
Thanks! Yeah, that was about my read too. I was just curious to know whether there was anything more to be said.

jake2123
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by jake2123 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:23 pm

Do people tend to do better in sem 2 than sem 1? Lots of people say that, but of course statistically, it's unlikely.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by tomwatts » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:41 pm

jake2123 wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:23 pm
Do people tend to do better in sem 2 than sem 1? Lots of people say that, but of course statistically, it's unlikely.
I did much, much worse (3 DS/H/P to 2H/3P). The grade distribution is still the same in each class, so it must be that some people do better and some people do worse.

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Joscellin
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by Joscellin » Sun Feb 04, 2018 5:07 pm

jake2123 wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:23 pm
Do people tend to do better in sem 2 than sem 1? Lots of people say that, but of course statistically, it's unlikely.
Given the way the curves work and the element of randomness, there's some reversion toward the mean involved here for some folks.

I will say that some who do better than average the first semester due to "figuring it out" faster than their peers may see slippage as the rest of the class catches up. But then there's the outliers who manage to excel with remarkable consistency.

Altogether, there's really no good way to predict this.

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xdocs
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Re: Harvard Students and Grads Taking Questions

Post by xdocs » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:46 pm

I also think that performance can be dependent on professor styles, and it is a luck of the draw whether in your first year you get professor's who match your style or not (ie. a professor might be very technical and focus on restatement or code professions, and another might be very high level and want policy arguments which can favor different students). Also, to a certain extent the line between an H and a P is blurry (ie. there might be a clear 25% on the top and the bottom and then in the middle 50% students produce pretty similar work product but the professor has to make a line somewhere).

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