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
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:22 pm

tomwatts wrote:At some point, I should write up all the quirks of the housing scheme in the Holmes-Ames-Dane complex. It's not intuitive at all how it ends up playing out.

And now, after procrastinating on a problem set that I don't really want to do, here it is:

YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO HOLMES, AMES, AND DANE (PART OF THE GROPIUS COMPLEX)
Holmes, Ames, and Dane are three connected parts of the Gropius complex, such that you never have to step outside to go from one to the other. (Shaw and Story are connected to the three by a roofed but open walkway.) Ames is in the middle and is 4 floors tall. Holmes and Dane are on the sides and are 3 floors tall, but Holmes 1 doesn’t have residences. The doors connecting Ames and Holmes are unlocked and open, but the doors connecting Ames and Dane are locked and closed, so you have to use a key to get from one to the other. You also have to use a key to get to a floor above or below yours.

The basic amenities on a floor are the bathroom, possibly a lounge, and possibly a kitchen. The floors alternate male/female bathrooms, starting with Ames 1 female and Dane 1 male. Thus, Ames 2 has a male bathroom, and Holmes 2 and Dane 2 have female bathrooms, and so it alternates all the way up. The floors are generally coed, but they tend to segregate partially by the type of bathroom nearby. Ames also has lounges on every floor; Dane 3 is the only non-Ames floor with a lounge. Kitchens are placed apparently randomly: Dane 1, Dane 2, Holmes 2, and Ames 3. Ames has a few much larger (and more expensive) rooms as well as the regular (small) rooms that the other buildings have.

Some people want to live near a lounge, and some don’t. Ames 1 tends to be pretty active every year; the other lounges vary. If you’re living right next to the lounge, you can hear everything that goes on in it. If you’re living down the hall a ways, you hear it if it gets loud, but not otherwise. If you’re around the turn (e.g. Holmes 2, around the turn from Ames 2), you don’t hear anything.

Also, if you care about how much traffic goes through your bathroom or kitchen, then you probably want Dane. Because Dane is locked off from the other two, it tends to get less use for its facilities. Dane 1 and Ames 1 also have nice, large shower stalls intended for (I think) handicapped students but available for anyone’s use.

Short version: If you’re female and want to be near a lounge, you probably want Ames 3 or possibly Ames 1. If you’re female and don’t want to be near a lounge, you probably want Holmes 2 or Dane 2. If you’re male and want to be near a lounge, you probably want Ames 2, or maybe Dane 3 or Ames 4. If you’re male and don’t want to be near a lounge, you want Dane 1 or maybe Holmes 3. Wanting large rooms, larger stalls in the bathroom, a less busy bathroom, or other things may change your calculation, and being right at the end of Ames closest to Holmes or the end of Holmes closest to Ames is basically equivalent.

Here’s the floor by floor breakdown:

Ames 1: This is probably the best floor for a female who wants to be near a very social lounge and doesn’t care about being near a kitchen. Amenities: Female bathroom (not busy, large stalls). Nearest male bathroom is either Dane 1 (through a locked door) or Ames 2 (through a locked door). Lounge (fairly busy, general meetup place for most Gropius gatherings). Nearest kitchen is either Dane 1 (through a locked door) or Holmes 2 (through a locked door). Large rooms available.
Dane 1: This is probably the best floor for a male who wants to be near a kitchen and not near a lounge. Amenities: Male bathroom (not busy, large stalls). Nearest female bathroom is Dane 2 (through a locked door). Nearest lounge is Ames 1. Kitchen (not busy).

Holmes 2: This is one of the best floors for a female who doesn’t want to be near a lounge. Amenities: Female bathroom (somewhat busy? Not sure). Nearest male bathroom is Ames 2 (through an open door). Nearest lounge is Ames 2 (through an open door). Kitchen (somewhat busy).
Ames 2: This is probably the best floor for a male who wants to be near a lounge. Amenities: Male bathroom (somewhat busy). Nearest female bathroom is either Holmes 2 (through an open door) or Dane 2 (through a locked door). Lounge. Nearest kitchen is either Holmes 2 (through an open door) or Dane 2 (through a locked door). Large rooms available.
Dane 2: This is one of the best floors for a female who doesn’t want to be near a lounge. Amenities: Female bathroom (not busy? Not sure). Nearest male bathroom is a floor up or down or in Ames 2 (any of which is through a locked door). Nearest lounge is either Ames 2 (through a locked door) or Dane 3 (through a locked door). Kitchen (somewhat busy).

Holmes 3: This is an okay floor for a male who doesn’t want to be near a lounge and doesn’t mind sharing a kitchen with a lot of people (or going through a locked door to get to one). Amenities: Male bathroom (not very busy — Ames 3 males for some reason use Ames 4 a lot). Nearest female bathroom is Ames 3 (through an open door). Nearest lounge is Ames 3. Nearest kitchen is Ames 3 (very busy), though Holmes 2 (through a locked door) is also an option.
Ames 3: This is the best floor for a female who wants to be near a lounge and wants a kitchen nearby. Amenities: Female bathroom. Nearest male bathroom is Holmes 3 (through an open door), Dane 3 (through a locked door), or Ames 4 (through a locked door). Lounge. Kitchen (very busy). Large rooms available.
Dane 3: This is an okay floor for a male who wants to be near a lounge and doesn’t mind going through a locked door to a kitchen. Amenities: Male bathroom (not busy? Not sure). Nearest female bathroom is Ames 3. Lounge. Nearest kitchen is Dane 2 or Ames 3 (both through a locked door).

Ames 4: This is a good floor for a male who wants to be near a lounge and doesn’t mind going through a locked door to a kitchen. Amenities: Male bathroom (somewhat busy). Lounge. Nearest kitchen is Ames 3 (through a locked door). All-male floor. Large rooms available.

pinnipotto
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby pinnipotto » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:14 pm

Thanks for this analysis! I'm pretty interested in Gropius and while you can see the lounge/kitchen/bathrooms on the floor plan it is great to know a little more about which ones tend to be busier and where you need a key, etc.

094320
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby 094320 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:23 pm

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kulshan
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby kulshan » Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:05 pm

I applied for fin aid last year, but ended up deferring. I am starting the process of applying this year, and I don't see anything about the NeedAccess form, which was required last year. Did HLS stop using it? Or maybe I'm mis-remembering and I filled out the NeedAccess form for other schools, but not for HLS?

waters
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby waters » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:18 pm

delusional wrote:Well, parental contribution can be tricky to work out. But they'd only be counting 75% the first year, going down over the next two. The maximum expected parental contribution your first year would be like $39k and your expected COA would be something like $100k, resulting in a grant of around $10k. But by 3L year you would probably qualify for close to a full tuition grant (although a summer job would affect that). Would you choose UT with a full scholarship over Harvard with a half scholarship? Consider also LIPP, whether you plan to have another child during law school, and whether your wife would work in either TX or in MA. It might also be worthwhile to defer for a year so you can get a larger grant.


Could someone confirm this? If one is borderline (eg. 25-28 years old), would a year's deferral add an extra 25% deduction in parental contribution?

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yarsten
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby yarsten » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:38 pm

waters wrote:Could someone confirm this? If one is borderline (eg. 25-28 years old), would a year's deferral add an extra 25% deduction in parental contribution?


Yes, the following ages and parental contribution reductions apply for each year (age is determined as your age by 9/1 of that school year):
26- 25% reduced
27- 50% reduced
28- 75% reduced
29 and up- no expected parental contribution

waters
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby waters » Thu Feb 14, 2013 6:53 pm

yarsten wrote:
waters wrote:Could someone confirm this? If one is borderline (eg. 25-28 years old), would a year's deferral add an extra 25% deduction in parental contribution?


Yes, the following ages and parental contribution reductions apply for each year (age is determined as your age by 9/1 of that school year):
26- 25% reduced
27- 50% reduced
28- 75% reduced
29 and up- no expected parental contribution


Do many students defer for this reason?

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:29 am

waters wrote:Do many students defer for this reason?

No. Deferring a year to be $20,000 less in debt (or whatever) is a pretty terrible idea when you're going to be making $160,000 on the other end. (Or, if you're going into public interest, if you're not going to be paying back your loans anyway on the other end.)

094320
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby 094320 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:43 am

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AllTheLawz
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby AllTheLawz » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:12 am

waters wrote:
yarsten wrote:
waters wrote:Could someone confirm this? If one is borderline (eg. 25-28 years old), would a year's deferral add an extra 25% deduction in parental contribution?


Yes, the following ages and parental contribution reductions apply for each year (age is determined as your age by 9/1 of that school year):
26- 25% reduced
27- 50% reduced
28- 75% reduced
29 and up- no expected parental contribution


Do many students defer for this reason?


It only makes a difference in very particular circumstances w/ the base loan already being some $42k+. So, for instance, if your original parental contribution was $50k a reduction by 25% drops it to $37.5k and makes no difference. The subset of people for which it would matter has to be miniscule. Plus, assuming you worked during your late 20s, you risk making enough money to increase your student contribution significantly and if you get a 2L SA your 3L year destroys finaid anyway.

Mista Bojangles
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mista Bojangles » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:19 pm

if i do something that reeks of PI in my 1L summer, will it hamper me significantly at EIP? assuming grades are fine

094320
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby 094320 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:29 pm

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Mista Bojangles
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mista Bojangles » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:32 pm

acrossthelake wrote:Most ppl can only get pi, so it's nbd.


i get that very few 1Ls work at firms, but i feel like a lot of people i know are working at attorney's office-type positions. what i had in mind was something more like an overseas human rights NGO. still not an EIP eyebrow raiser?

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:42 pm

Mista Bojangles wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Most ppl can only get pi, so it's nbd.


i get that very few 1Ls work at firms, but i feel like a lot of people i know are working at attorney's office-type positions. what i had in mind was something more like an overseas human rights NGO. still not an EIP eyebrow raiser?


No.

Mista Bojangles
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Mista Bojangles » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:45 pm

ph14 wrote:
Mista Bojangles wrote:
acrossthelake wrote:Most ppl can only get pi, so it's nbd.


i get that very few 1Ls work at firms, but i feel like a lot of people i know are working at attorney's office-type positions. what i had in mind was something more like an overseas human rights NGO. still not an EIP eyebrow raiser?


No.


excellent, thanks :mrgreen:

arez
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby arez » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:55 pm

A variation on Mista Bojangles' question: If I work for a V20 firm in my midwestern-ish hometown this summer (1L summer) will I be stuck explaining during EIP why I don't want to work for them again next summer? I want to accept the offer but at the same time I don't want to be stuck with awkward EIP interviews!

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Fri Feb 15, 2013 5:55 pm

arez wrote:A variation on Mista Bojangles' question: If I work for a V20 firm in my midwestern-ish hometown this summer (1L summer) will I be stuck explaining during EIP why I don't want to work for them again next summer? I want to accept the offer but at the same time I don't want to be stuck with awkward EIP interviews!


You can probably just return for 2-4 weeks at the end of your 2L summer. That is, you can split between a firm at EIP and your 1L firm.

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englawyer
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby englawyer » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:08 pm

bernaldiaz wrote:Hey guys, I'm trying to decide between H and S. I'm shooting for Boston biglaw (I'm a native Bostonian). Do you guys get the sense that Harvard owns the Boston market and that it would be stupid to go anywhere but Harvard for boston biglaw, or is Harvard's reach so national/international that there isn't enough of a local concentration to make Boston its home market? Are any of you Harvard people shooting for Boston? What have your experiences been?

From the Stanford POV, I've had people tell me that firms want a sampling from the top law schools, so coming back to Boston will a breeze from Stanford since I'd only be competing with 2-5 people in all likelihood, especially with my ties.

Thanks! I really appreciate your input.


I was a multi-city applicant, including Boston. If you are aiming for the top firms in Boston (Ropes, Wilmer, Goodwin), median at H is far from a lock, at least if you consider median in a broader sense (interview skills + personality + background + grades). Boston is a fairly popular market for H, even for people not from MA. It's lower cost-of-living, its convenient for HLS students (some move into their "real" apartment during school), and its a reasonably interesting/fun city.

About 100 bid on Boston each year (using the # applying to the Boston firms as a proxy), yet those three firms collectively took 25 summers. EIP stats say its roughly a 50% chance for Ropes and 25% for Wilmer (from screening to offer), and those stats are correlated (some people clean up, while some virtually strike out).

No firm wants a summer program filled with HLS students, so I agree w/ Delusional that Stanford probably has an employment advantage in Boston. There are probably less people aiming for Boston from S (and less people period) but S is just as valued as H. However, there are definitely benefits for H. It is a nice that you would not have to sublet over the summers, and interviews/networking will be easier. Overall, I would go for Stanford. S seems to have less competition, more faculty attention, great weather, and the rare-factor will help in the Boston market.

mommalee
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby mommalee » Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:25 pm

Are there any current students who can comment on elementary schools and decent places to live with small children?

brownpride
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby brownpride » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:20 pm

0L here choosing between Gropius and North. A couple of questions:
- Is Gropius as shitty as they say it is? I want as cheap as possible, but are the tiny/cheapest rooms terrible?
- Are the Gropius dorms loud, with a lot of partying? I prefer a quiet atmosphere where I can work and sleep without much noise.
- How are the Gropius bathrooms?
- How far of a walk is North from the law school campus?

Thanks.

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ph14
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ph14 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:21 pm

brownpride wrote:0L here choosing between Gropius and North. A couple of questions:
- Is Gropius as shitty as they say it is? I want as cheap as possible, but are the tiny/cheapest rooms terrible?
- Are the Gropius dorms loud, with a lot of partying? I prefer a quiet atmosphere where I can work and sleep without much noise.
- How are the Gropius bathrooms?
- How far of a walk is North from the law school campus?

Thanks.


I would pick North. The walk is not far, a few blocks, maybe 5 minutes north of campus.

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BelugaWhale
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby BelugaWhale » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:47 pm

ph14 wrote:
brownpride wrote:0L here choosing between Gropius and North. A couple of questions:
- Is Gropius as shitty as they say it is? I want as cheap as possible, but are the tiny/cheapest rooms terrible?
- Are the Gropius dorms loud, with a lot of partying? I prefer a quiet atmosphere where I can work and sleep without much noise.
- How are the Gropius bathrooms?
- How far of a walk is North from the law school campus?

Thanks.


I would pick North. The walk is not far, a few blocks, maybe 5 minutes north of campus.

If youre gonna go for North might as well try to get an apartment (either HLS Terry terrace or garden st) or 1600 Mass ave right across the street.

A little shorter and probably around the same cost. Most of the HLS apartments go for around 1100 per person with all utlities included. I think thats in the range of North.

tomwatts
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby tomwatts » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:57 pm

brownpride wrote:0L here choosing between Gropius and North. A couple of questions:
- Is Gropius as shitty as they say it is? I want as cheap as possible, but are the tiny/cheapest rooms terrible?
- Are the Gropius dorms loud, with a lot of partying? I prefer a quiet atmosphere where I can work and sleep without much noise.
- How are the Gropius bathrooms?
- How far of a walk is North from the law school campus?

Thanks.

You can find a lot of this on the last couple of pages.

The first question is absolutely impossible to answer without knowing what you're looking for. I love my room in Gropius. It's pretty small, but it fits my computer, my books, and my clothes. I don't have tons of stuff; I moved cross-country to get here. There's no peeling paint or bugs or anything. The desk is a little scratched up, but it's perfectly serviceable. They refurbished half of Gropius last year and are refurbishing the other half (the part that I live in) this year, so the rooms will probably look better next year than my room does.

If you're next to a lounge, the Gropius dorms can be loud, but otherwise usually not. And I mean literally next to it; if you're down the hall, you can hear some but not very much unless something really loud is going on, and there are quiet hours, so you can shut people up if it's too loud at night. This is not usually a problem. Also, some lounges are much busier than others; Ames 1 tends to be a main gathering place. I'm on Ames 4, and I never hear much of any lounge noise from our floor, though that may vary from year to year. If you're on a floor without a lounge (Dane 1 and 2, Holmes 2 and 3), it's pretty quiet unless something unusual is going on or unless the person next to you is particularly loud (and again, you can remind people of quiet hours if necessary).

The bathrooms are dorm bathrooms. The janitorial staff cleans them every day, so they're in pretty good shape. So think of well maintained dorm bathrooms, and you've got the picture.

North is not far from campus. It's a couple of blocks.

Law dorms are, in general, tamer than undergrad dorms.

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Yukos
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Yukos » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:10 pm

tomwatts wrote:
Law dorms are, in general, tamer than undergrad dorms.


:(

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby bernaldiaz » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:23 pm

With regards to housing, would you guys rather live in a nice condo half a mile to a mile from the law school or live in the student housing and have the conveniences that offers?




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