Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
tomwatts
Posts: 1607
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:03 pm

Dcc617 wrote:The real question is what do you hope to get from being at the top of your class? Do you want one of the handful of jobs that require it from Harvard (arguably just academia or super competitive clerkships)?

Well, people find competitive clerkships useful for lots of kinds of jobs. Basically any kind of appellate work, AUSA in some locations, and various other jobs are easier to get from competitive clerkships (or, lacking a clerkship, just with good grades) than not. So it's not just one or two things; good grades open up a lot of doors.

That being said, the overwhelming majority of jobs are fine with middle-of-the-road grades at HLS. There may some other reason you don't get the job, but it's not your grades.

smile0751
Posts: 418
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:40 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby smile0751 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:02 am

UVA law student here. A friend and I are looking for a summer sublet in Boston (ideally 2BR, but also looking for studios and 1BRs). If you are looking to sublet or know of someone who's looking to sublet, pm me. I'd very much appreciate it!

Thanks!

Chuck Rhoades
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:28 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Chuck Rhoades » Mon Mar 13, 2017 6:10 pm

Any current students here living in Terry Terrace or 29 Garden Street??

User avatar
Kinch08
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:52 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Kinch08 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:03 am

tomwatts wrote:
Dcc617 wrote:The real question is what do you hope to get from being at the top of your class? Do you want one of the handful of jobs that require it from Harvard (arguably just academia or super competitive clerkships)?

Well, people find competitive clerkships useful for lots of kinds of jobs. Basically any kind of appellate work, AUSA in some locations, and various other jobs are easier to get from competitive clerkships (or, lacking a clerkship, just with good grades) than not. So it's not just one or two things; good grades open up a lot of doors.

That being said, the overwhelming majority of jobs are fine with middle-of-the-road grades at HLS. There may some other reason you don't get the job, but it's not your grades.


Can you (or anyone) tell me anything about the different levels of "competitiveness" and what they mean? Obviously being a Supreme Court clerk is incredibly prestigious and opens up all kinds of opportunities, and then I've come to understand that clerking on the district level often isn't good for your career if you do it for too long. What does it look like in between those two relative extremes? How "good" is a clerkship with a mid-level federal judge, and how hard is it to go from H to one of those? Circuit court clerkships are probably really competitive, but does it depend on the Circuit just how competitive they are?

User avatar
jrf12886
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:52 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jrf12886 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:20 pm

Kinch08 wrote:
tomwatts wrote:
Dcc617 wrote:The real question is what do you hope to get from being at the top of your class? Do you want one of the handful of jobs that require it from Harvard (arguably just academia or super competitive clerkships)?

Well, people find competitive clerkships useful for lots of kinds of jobs. Basically any kind of appellate work, AUSA in some locations, and various other jobs are easier to get from competitive clerkships (or, lacking a clerkship, just with good grades) than not. So it's not just one or two things; good grades open up a lot of doors.

That being said, the overwhelming majority of jobs are fine with middle-of-the-road grades at HLS. There may some other reason you don't get the job, but it's not your grades.


Can you (or anyone) tell me anything about the different levels of "competitiveness" and what they mean? Obviously being a Supreme Court clerk is incredibly prestigious and opens up all kinds of opportunities, and then I've come to understand that clerking on the district level often isn't good for your career if you do it for too long. What does it look like in between those two relative extremes? How "good" is a clerkship with a mid-level federal judge, and how hard is it to go from H to one of those? Circuit court clerkships are probably really competitive, but does it depend on the Circuit just how competitive they are?


OCS actually has a handout they distribute at their clerkship events breaking clerkship down into different "competitiveness" categories, and what grades are generally needed to acquire one. I don't think they make it available online though. I would ask for a copy, but I'll try to break it down from what I remember, and from my experience clerking.

In general, SCOTUS is the most competitive, followed by COA, District Court, Magistrate Judge/State Courts. But, as with most things, there are exceptions. Clerkships in major legal markets (NY, DC, Chicago, etc) are often considered more selective. So a District Court clerkship in one of those markets could be considered more competitive than a COA clerkship in a rural area. (This is not addressing any personal reasons one might want a particular clerkship, and also disregarding the "experience" you would gain. Often a clerkship with magistrate judge would give you the best experience, but for whatever reasons, employers consider them less competitive than other federal clerkship).

As for your comment about clerking for too long, I think the usual rule is that 2 years of clerking is the most you would typically want to do. An exception would be if the third year is SCOTUS, or perhaps if you did a two-year district court clerkship followed by a year on the COA. It's not that employers don't like clerkship, its that by the time you finish three years, the firm is hiring you as a fourth year, and that's expensive for someone who doesn't have much/any experience in actual practice. I'm not sure how non-firm employers think on this issue.

User avatar
Kinch08
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:52 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Kinch08 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:23 pm

jrf12886 wrote:...


Thanks so much for the answer! I appreciate it.

Yeah, if anyone has any info on the kind of grades/connections that one would need to get (for example) a COA clerkship, I'd appreciate that as well... Sorry to bother.

User avatar
Pneumonia
Posts: 1671
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:27 pm

Kinch08 wrote:
jrf12886 wrote:...


Thanks so much for the answer! I appreciate it.

Yeah, if anyone has any info on the kind of grades/connections that one would need to get (for example) a COA clerkship, I'd appreciate that as well... Sorry to bother.

https://hls.harvard.edu/dept/ocs/jd-stu ... nav-grades

User avatar
Kinch08
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:52 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Kinch08 » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:36 pm

Pneumonia wrote:
Kinch08 wrote:
jrf12886 wrote:...


Thanks so much for the answer! I appreciate it.

Yeah, if anyone has any info on the kind of grades/connections that one would need to get (for example) a COA clerkship, I'd appreciate that as well... Sorry to bother.

https://hls.harvard.edu/dept/ocs/jd-stu ... nav-grades


Thanks.

I'll check it out when + if I get an ID, lol. Still waiting on the JS2. I'm a fraud and a pretender.

Goldie
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:41 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Goldie » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:20 am

As a data point, over 100 HLS grads/alumni will be clerking on federal courts of appeal next term. (There are less than 800 spots total.) There are 5-600 HLS students in every graduating class, so they're still somewhat competitive, but you're far more likely to get one from HLS than from most other schools.

User avatar
jrf12886
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:52 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jrf12886 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:28 pm

Pneumonia wrote:
Kinch08 wrote:
jrf12886 wrote:...


Thanks so much for the answer! I appreciate it.

Yeah, if anyone has any info on the kind of grades/connections that one would need to get (for example) a COA clerkship, I'd appreciate that as well... Sorry to bother.

https://hls.harvard.edu/dept/ocs/jd-stu ... nav-grades


Ah my mistake, it is available online, but only to current students/alumni!

User avatar
Kinch08
Posts: 309
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:52 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Kinch08 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:06 pm

Goldie wrote:As a data point, over 100 HLS grads/alumni will be clerking on federal courts of appeal next term. (There are less than 800 spots total.) There are 5-600 HLS students in every graduating class, so they're still somewhat competitive, but you're far more likely to get one from HLS than from most other schools.


Thanks, that's actually really helpful.

So, competitive, but definitely attainable with decent grades, especially when you take out all the people who didn't apply to any clerkships because they weren't interested in clerking. I'd need some letters, but I wouldn't need to be like the world's best networker and personal best friends with famous professors. That's good to hear.

User avatar
TripTrip
Posts: 2752
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:52 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby TripTrip » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:47 pm

Kinch08 wrote:especially when you take out all the people who didn't apply to any clerkships because they weren't interested in clerking. I'd need some letters, but I wouldn't need to be like the world's best networker and personal best friends with famous professors. That's good to hear.

This is an understatement. If you're not going into litigation, clerking is totally useless. Maybe even an active waste of time.

For the 250 students who do go into some form of litigation, as you alluded, many don't want to clerk. I've never met anyone at HLS that honestly wanted to clerk and couldn't get a clerkship. You have to hustle, jump through hoops, and submit a LOT of applications, but at the end of the day if you really want it you can get it.

Indifference
Posts: 540
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:01 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Indifference » Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:29 am

TripTrip wrote:
Kinch08 wrote:especially when you take out all the people who didn't apply to any clerkships because they weren't interested in clerking. I'd need some letters, but I wouldn't need to be like the world's best networker and personal best friends with famous professors. That's good to hear.

This is an understatement. If you're not going into litigation, clerking is totally useless. Maybe even an active waste of time.

For the 250 students who do go into some form of litigation, as you alluded, many don't want to clerk. I've never met anyone at HLS that honestly wanted to clerk and couldn't get a clerkship. You have to hustle, jump through hoops, and submit a LOT of applications, but at the end of the day if you really want it you can get it.


Here here. As someone applying, it seems like the majority of the process (once grades are in) is just paperwork and having the patience to deal with OSCAR.

User avatar
jrf12886
Posts: 247
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:52 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby jrf12886 » Fri Mar 17, 2017 10:38 am

TripTrip wrote:
Kinch08 wrote:especially when you take out all the people who didn't apply to any clerkships because they weren't interested in clerking. I'd need some letters, but I wouldn't need to be like the world's best networker and personal best friends with famous professors. That's good to hear.

This is an understatement. If you're not going into litigation, clerking is totally useless. Maybe even an active waste of time.

For the 250 students who do go into some form of litigation, as you alluded, many don't want to clerk. I've never met anyone at HLS that honestly wanted to clerk and couldn't get a clerkship. You have to hustle, jump through hoops, and submit a LOT of applications, but at the end of the day if you really want it you can get it.


Totally agree with your point that most HLS students who want a clerkship can find one (although it may not be in the preferred city). I wouldn't say only litigators benefit from clerking. In my experience, the only people who don't benefit from clerking are those going into corporate/transaction practices or who are not planning to practice law. But students pursuing litigation, academia, public interest, and (maybe) policy positions often find it beneficial to clerk.

Goldie
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:41 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Goldie » Sat Mar 18, 2017 1:14 pm

Kinch08 wrote:
Goldie wrote:As a data point, over 100 HLS grads/alumni will be clerking on federal courts of appeal next term. (There are less than 800 spots total.) There are 5-600 HLS students in every graduating class, so they're still somewhat competitive, but you're far more likely to get one from HLS than from most other schools.


Thanks, that's actually really helpful.

So, competitive, but definitely attainable with decent grades, especially when you take out all the people who didn't apply to any clerkships because they weren't interested in clerking. I'd need some letters, but I wouldn't need to be like the world's best networker and personal best friends with famous professors. That's good to hear.


Yeah, and I was only talking federal appellate clerkships. Add in Districts and a few State Supreme clerkships, etc, and you're over 200.

User avatar
nothingtosee
Posts: 883
Joined: Tue May 03, 2011 12:08 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby nothingtosee » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:56 pm

I just want to chime in for a word of caution to 0L's. My experience was not nearly as easy finding a clerkship. I think one thing that happens is there's a big sort after 1L where you have a big fat median, a lower end, and a high end (and higher end, and highest end). Getting a clerkship from the median tier (which could realistically be like 25-75% is tough. There are ~20-25% of HLS students who clerk. While there are top performers who don't want to clerk, the big majority of top performers do want to clerk. And many of the people who decide they don't want to clerk make that decision after they get (only) 1 or 2 H's during 1L (meaning, if you asked them coming into HLS do you want to clerk, they'd say yes).

So if you're in the top third-ish of HLS, then I do think you'll be fine for clerkships, but there are people in the middle of the pack who want one and don't get one.

User avatar
MyNameIsFlynn!
Posts: 798
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:29 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:00 pm

nothingtosee wrote:I just want to chime in for a word of caution to 0L's. My experience was not nearly as easy finding a clerkship. I think one thing that happens is there's a big sort after 1L where you have a big fat median, a lower end, and a high end (and higher end, and highest end). Getting a clerkship from the median tier (which could realistically be like 25-75% is tough. There are ~20-25% of HLS students who clerk. While there are top performers who don't want to clerk, the big majority of top performers do want to clerk. And many of the people who decide they don't want to clerk make that decision after they get (only) 1 or 2 H's during 1L (meaning, if you asked them coming into HLS do you want to clerk, they'd say yes).

So if you're in the top third-ish of HLS, then I do think you'll be fine for clerkships, but there are people in the middle of the pack who want one and don't get one.


As a mediocre candidate, I also struggled to get a clerkship. But I think the comments above are correct - anyone remotely around median likely can get an AIII clerkship, probably not in an ideal location and probably after putting a lot of work into the application process. A lot of people here neglect (or don't need) the legwork, like talking to former clerks and aggressively networking with former clerks at a summer job, but those little things will eventually pay off.

tomwatts
Posts: 1607
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:01 am

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:40 pm

I overestimated the relevance of grades and underestimated the relevance of networking with current/former clerks and professors, so my clerkship search was rather frustrating. Also, I was a bit impatient, and the process is insanely drawn out now. Some judges hire as much as 2 years out — 1L summer — and some don't hire until about 6-7 months out — spring 3L. If you're willing to just ride the process for as long as it takes, which can be literally up to 2 years, and if you're willing send 200+ applications, you can probably get something even if your qualifications are weak. But the process sucks if you don't know what you're doing (and I didn't).

Chuck Rhoades
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:28 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Chuck Rhoades » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:17 pm

Thoughts on the HBX Credential of Readiness (CORe) course?

acz26
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:37 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby acz26 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:09 pm

Does anyone have any information on what type of grades someone from HLS might need to work at Quinn Emanuel? I read somewhere that they only take the top 10% of most schools, barring HLS and Yale. How high up do you have to be at Harvard to have a shot working for them?

CenterFringe
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2016 7:30 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby CenterFringe » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:43 pm

Chuck Rhoades wrote:Thoughts on the HBX Credential of Readiness (CORe) course?

I got a buddy who's doing it (not as a law student) and he's a fan. My thought is it might be useful for transactional work, but I have no interest in double majoring. I also enjoy learning, so spending $300 to take 3 courses over the summer is probably a better use of time than what I'd be doing anyway.

User avatar
radio1nowhere
Posts: 373
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:01 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby radio1nowhere » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:58 pm

Chuck Rhoades wrote:Thoughts on the HBX Credential of Readiness (CORe) course?


From talking to friends who did it: it's not going to be a resume-booster, but it does teach you the business fundamentals it advertises. That makes it potentially worth it if you want the skills, though you might be able to gain similar basic skills by taking one of those "Analytical Methods for Lawyers" courses that actually count for class credit and don't cost extra money. Perhaps if you aren't confident in business or basic quant skills you might prefer CORe, since it won't result in a grade for your transcript. But — assuming you're a 0L — doing CORe comes at the cost of diluting enjoyment of your last summer of life unburdened by the chains of The Law™.

User avatar
Veil of Ignorance
Posts: 156
Joined: Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:22 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Veil of Ignorance » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:21 pm

Would it be possible to use the LIPP payments that Harvard provides to make the payments under PAYE, complete 10 years of service under PSLF, and therefore theoretically not make any payments whatsoever? I know this works for some schools, but I'd like to know specifically about Harvard.

User avatar
polareagle
Posts: 188
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby polareagle » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:36 pm

Veil of Ignorance wrote:Would it be possible to use the LIPP payments that Harvard provides to make the payments under PAYE, complete 10 years of service under PSLF, and therefore theoretically not make any payments whatsoever? I know this works for some schools, but I'd like to know specifically about Harvard.


I imagine not, but I don't have a particular cite to the LIPP website to show you. LIPP exists totally independently of federal PSLF. By the end of 10 years on LIPP, your loans will have been repaid in full (not forgiven). That's also why you can jump in and out of LIPP as you please.

User avatar
ScratchableItch
Posts: 210
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:10 pm

Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ScratchableItch » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:01 pm

polareagle wrote:
Veil of Ignorance wrote:Would it be possible to use the LIPP payments that Harvard provides to make the payments under PAYE, complete 10 years of service under PSLF, and therefore theoretically not make any payments whatsoever? I know this works for some schools, but I'd like to know specifically about Harvard.


I imagine not, but I don't have a particular cite to the LIPP website to show you. LIPP exists totally independently of federal PSLF. By the end of 10 years on LIPP, your loans will have been repaid in full (not forgiven). That's also why you can jump in and out of LIPP as you please.


LIPP requires you to be on 10 year standard repayment plan, which is why you can't also be on income-based repayment plans such as PAYE or IBR.




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], WheninLaw and 9 guests