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.
mn40

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby mn40 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:21 pm

Nevermind - saw in past threads that borderline for cum laude is ~3.6. That's 6H/4P (when abstracted onto 10 equal-credit courses). I thought the number would be lower, especially since people always say 3H/7P = the median. I guess you need the equivalent of 7H/3P to be comfortably in cum laude range. Magna is closer to 10H than 9H/1P.

Not that people should get caught up in this, but was curious.

ez.ra.a

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ez.ra.a » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:05 pm

Anyone have any info on either Michael Stein or Steve Churchill? Thoughts on teaching style, grading, workload would be especially appreciated. Thanks.

Lolstudent

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Lolstudent » Sat Jan 26, 2019 11:28 am

Grades on Monday?

ez.ra.a

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ez.ra.a » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:29 pm

Lolstudent wrote:Grades on Monday?


For last year at least, I think they were released on Friday. But spring semester is starting later this year, so maybe?? I think it's usually somewhere around Tuesday-Thursday.

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april_ludgate

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby april_ludgate » Sat Jan 26, 2019 1:31 pm

Lolstudent wrote:Grades on Monday?


God I hope so. All I have now is tentatively LRW

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cannonballer

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby cannonballer » Sat Jan 26, 2019 2:59 pm

Grades should come sometime next week for sure.

Lalalsat96

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Lalalsat96 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:47 pm

Does anyone know what time grades are released ? Would it be at 9 am monday for instance or the afternoon?

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cannonballer

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby cannonballer » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:12 am

Lalalsat96 wrote:Does anyone know what time grades are released ? Would it be at 9 am monday for instance or the afternoon?


Last year they came out around noon. I wouldn’t necessarily expect them Monday, though.

LawSchoolGeek2

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby LawSchoolGeek2 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:42 pm

Does anyone have insight into how rare it is to get an F or even an LP for that matter?

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QuentonCassidy

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby QuentonCassidy » Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:52 am

LawSchoolGeek2 wrote:Does anyone have insight into how rare it is to get an F or even an LP for that matter?


I have absolutely never heard of anyone getting an F. I don't think an F is ever given except in truly outstanding circumstances, like not even showing up for the exam, or taking the exam but writing something completely irrelevant (not "getting the answers wrong" irrelevant or "focusing on issues that aren't there" irrelevant, but "typing out the screenplay of Inception" irrelevant). LPs on the other hand are fairly common, at least in comparison with Fs. People have conjectured that different professors/classes give out anywhere from 0 to 10% LPs. This is definitely specific to the professor though. I have had one prof say that he has only ever given out 1 LP in more than a decade of teaching and that the student was truly "asking for it." I have had others that treat the LP as just another part of the curve and routinely give them out to the 5 or so lowest exam scores.

ez.ra.a

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ez.ra.a » Mon Jan 28, 2019 4:34 pm

Ugh, looks like no grades today.

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april_ludgate

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby april_ludgate » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:38 pm

I'm still waiting for one of my grades. this is tortureeee

Lolstudent

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Lolstudent » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:37 pm

When do J term grades usually come out?

ez.ra.a

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ez.ra.a » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:24 pm

What kind of grades do you need to be competitive for the Legal Aid Bureau (assuming demonstrated commitment to public interest, relevant softs, so on).

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby QContinuum » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:41 pm

ez.ra.a wrote:What kind of grades do you need to be competitive for the Legal Aid Bureau (assuming demonstrated commitment to public interest, relevant softs, so on).

Public interest employers like the Legal Aid Bureau primarily want to see a demonstrated commitment to PI work, as evidenced by relevant 1L/2L summer employment, relevant courses, and (preferably) relevant clinics/term-time internships. Personal/family ties to the relevant geographical area are also important. Grades are not really much of an issue, especially for T13 students; short of a truly unusual transcript, e.g., straight LPs, you should be fine.

ez.ra.a

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby ez.ra.a » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:04 pm

QContinuum wrote:
ez.ra.a wrote:What kind of grades do you need to be competitive for the Legal Aid Bureau (assuming demonstrated commitment to public interest, relevant softs, so on).

Public interest employers like the Legal Aid Bureau primarily want to see a demonstrated commitment to PI work, as evidenced by relevant 1L/2L summer employment, relevant courses, and (preferably) relevant clinics/term-time internships. Personal/family ties to the relevant geographical area are also important. Grades are not really much of an issue, especially for T13 students; short of a truly unusual transcript, e.g., straight LPs, you should be fine.


Thanks, I think I meant HLAB? Also curious about BSAs.

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cannonballer

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby cannonballer » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:09 pm

ez.ra.a wrote:What kind of grades do you need to be competitive for the Legal Aid Bureau (assuming demonstrated commitment to public interest, relevant softs, so on).


If you're talking about HLAB, grades don't matter at all.

Igloo2022

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Igloo2022 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:39 pm

What percentage of the class comes from elite undergrads, like HYPS? I'm going in the fall, and a bit intimidated by my future classmates. (I didn't go to HYPS).

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby QContinuum » Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:17 am

Igloo2022 wrote:What percentage of the class comes from elite undergrads, like HYPS? I'm going in the fall, and a bit intimidated by my future classmates. (I didn't go to HYPS).

Elite undergrads/prep schools are indeed overrepresented, but not to the point where you'd feel like a fish out of water. There are plenty of "no-name" state school kids at H (as at the other T13s) who got in because they had great GPAs and LSATs.

Don't psych yourself out. You'll do great! An elite undergraduate background does not come anywhere close to guaranteeing good law school grades.

LHS17

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby LHS17 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:41 am

How did people like Venture Law and Finance? Fried has good reviews for Corps, but I thought class was incredibly slow / boring (though the readings were well distilled and concise).

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby hatelawandgoinghome » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:24 pm

UpstairsNapkin wrote:
Splurgles23 wrote:
khaosan17 wrote:Dear 2Ls and 3Ls,

How wide would you say is the range in intellectual capacity within a section?

Are you bound to have 2~3 students in the section who just stand out and you know you can never outperform them?

Even at HLS, are you bound to see “smart” kids who are just in a league of their own?

Thanks.



The law is not like math, or physics (or even creative writing): being in a "league of their own" is a thing in terms of work ethic and perseverance. It's not a coincidence that some kids will have almost all H's and DS's and almost no P's, but it also won't be a matter of some intrinsic intellectual brilliance: it will be a combination of intelligence, work ethic, and access to resources. But yes, it's true that some kids will outpace the others in their overall combination of this package.

The other thing I will say (as a transfer to HLS) is that it's true that, unlike my other school (a lower T-14), *no one* at HLS is not smart (ie, someone who just worked hard to get to law school).


The bolded is just not true. To the extent that you are just drawing a generalization that overall, people at the top of the class will tend to have gotten there through hard work and perseverance, then sure. But, it really seems like you are making a blanket statement that law school is not something that one excels at through sheer brilliance (unlike, in your opinion, math/physics).

I don't share this stuff lightly, and I'm posting this from a burner account because I'm pretty sure a couple people on this forum could identify me and/or this person from this info, but I wanted to speak up because over the past couple years I have seen quite a few posts asserting this (or very similar) viewpoints, and they never go unchallenged, and I can tell you with complete certainty that law school is something that can be excelled at simply through having outlier intelligence (I'm talking about true outlier intelligence, not just "oh i score in the 99th percentile" intelligence).

A good friend of mine has a GPA above 4.5 (mostly DS's, smattering of Hs), although only attending approximately 10% of all of their law school classes, with most of that attendance coming from the first semester of law school (for instance, this semester they just took an exam for a class that they literally never attended once; they wouldn't have been able to pick the professor out of a random lineup). They spend their time throughout the whole semester playing videogames and generally just hanging out, and then during reading week they learn the entirety of the class material and ace all their exams. For example (and the way I found out about all this), 1L year I went over to their apartment soon after classes let out to talk about a property practice exam with them. They were completely useless--knew next to nothing about the subject. They said they needed some time to learn the material and proposed we meet up again in two days. We did, and it was like a completely different person; they seemed to have complete mastery of the material. Our exam was a few days later and they ended up getting a DS in the class. Note that this was 1L year, so they also had 3 other exams that they had to be doing this for as well.

Furthermore, this doesn't just extend to exam-based classes. I have taken paper-based classes with this person and seen them write the entirety of their term paper the day it is due; I was even their partner for 1L Ames and they did basically the same thing for our brief (although modified somewhat to accommodate working with me), which, yes, they got a DS on.

To get the best idea of this person, you should basically imagine Good Will Hunting, both in terms of intellect and (especially) attitude. They legit just don't care about law school (or seemingly any kind of career ambitions) and seem to be getting these top grades because somehow it is actually the path of least resistance for them. They did not do law review (or any journal for that matter), are not a part of any student org, and aren't clerking. In fact, people from HLS contacted them early on about placing them into feeder clerkships, and they straight up brushed those people off completely: not interested. This included our Climenko Fellow who straight up told my friend they could give her/him a great shot at clerking with the SCOTUS Justice that our Fellow had previously clerked for. This person just legit doesn't give a shit.

Another reason I bring up the comparisons to Good Will Hunting is specifically because of what you said about law school not being like math/physics, which I took to mean that it doesn't lend itself to the same kind of savant-type ability to excel. But here is the thing: I have actually talked about this quite a bit with my friend, and they think there are actually substantial similarities. First of all, my friend is undoubtedly what we would consider a math savant. I'm trying not to identify this person too closely, but suffice to say that they have some connection with people in the physics grad department at Harvard and I have been around them speaking together and heard him talk with ridiculous authority on some of the stuff. They clearly have a very advanced understanding of math despite not having ever taken advanced classes (their undergrad degree is not in STEM). I have seen a number of varied examples that make me supremely confident that they are a math savant, including them being given a math problem from a field that they had no knowledge of, and then essentially teaching themselves the math through solving the problem itself. To this day, that is one of the more ridiculous things I have seen in my life. Also, almost as an aside, they almost certainly have a photographic memory. I thought they probably did, and so one time I gave them 30 seconds to memorize the first fifty digits of pi, which they recited back with ease.

They have noted many times before that math problems and law exams are really not fundamentally different to them, that they are both (in their words) very formulaic and at their core just require simple parsing and logic gates to solve optimally. Furthermore, from what I have seen, I think grades in law school are exactly the kind of thing that plays into the hands of these types. Blind-grading: to the extent this person even does go to class, they never participate; I don't recall them ever volunteering any comment or question for the entirety of 1L (we were in the same section). Entirety of grade based on one single exam: lends itself to the "slack-off then cram" mindset; if grades were more project-based or reliant on things turned in throughout the semester they probably wouldn't do as well (they told me they failed some of their high school classes simply because homework and various assignments were weighted heavily and they never did them). Exams themselves: very formulaic, don't require much (if any) creative thinking.

All this to say, there is a major tendency to think that everyone struggles with law school, and that even those who are excelling are having a hard time, and are probably excelling in major part due to hard work rather than simply being smarter than the average HLS student. There also seems to be a common conception that most law students who act like they aren't studying/working hard are some sort of "secret gunners" who are really just concealing the extent to which they work. I'm not saying that these generalizations don't hold true for the most part, but that they are certainly not absolute, which is why it irks me a bit when I see people throw out these ideas as absolute all the time. For instance, I remember a while back in this thread (right after exams, when everyone was worrying and trying to predict grades) someone said that "literally no one knows how they did when they walk out of a law school exam," as if it were some absolute truth. That cracked me up because I remembered talking with my friend after 1st semester of 1L exams had just finished. We were talking about how we thought we did and my friend said that they knew that they got a DS in 4 specific classes, but in one class they thought they could have gotten anything from an LP to a DS because the exam was too ambiguous or something like that. When grades came out it turned out they got 4DS and 1H, with the H coming in the class they admitted to having no idea as to how they performed. Now, I understand that you may argue that this is confirmation/hindsight bias, but with everything I know of this person, I think it is much more likely that (contrary to the absolute "truism" stated on these boards) my friend just legitimately knew exactly how they did on the exams.

As to OP, I would say that the range of "intellectual capacity" in a section is really not meaningful at all. For the most part people fall into a completely undifferentiated mass of "fairly smart" to "quite smart" and there are probably a handful who will tend toward the upper end of the grading distribution through some combination of hard work, "intelligence," and other factors. And there is some small chance that you may have someone who is "in a league of their own" (to use your words), but honestly you shouldn't worry about that at all because chances are you will never even know it. I would honestly think that my friend was likely a slacker who was getting grades near the bottom of the class (which wouldn't even be a bad thing) if I didn't know them so well, and I imagine that most of the people from our section think that about this person.


I'll have what this poster is having when s/he was writing this. What this sound to me is more like the "friend" is the poster himself who actually acted this way during 1L, but unsurprisingly had mediocre grades (at best), then decided to write this Mittyesque piece of fan fiction about himself for whatever the reason.

Back to the original question - no, law isn't quantum mechanics or artificial intelligence. There is no Will Hunting in law. The information is static; you will be tested on the basic application of a fixed number of rules you learn to a predictable set of facts you are given on exams.

LHS17

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby LHS17 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:58 pm

LHS17 wrote:How did people like Venture Law and Finance? Fried has good reviews for Corps, but I thought class was incredibly slow / boring (though the readings were well distilled and concise).


Bumping this only because I got trumped by a massive thread within minutes of posting.

Stacy Engelrad

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Stacy Engelrad » Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:50 am

Hi All,

Have anyone here taken Advanced Corporate Transactions? If so, could you please send me a private message.

Thanks!

Stacy Engelrad

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby Stacy Engelrad » Fri Apr 12, 2019 4:40 pm

Stacy Engelrad wrote:Hi All,

Have anyone here taken Advanced Corporate Transactions? If so, could you please send me a private message.

Thanks!


Just learned the pm function is disabled--please send me a message to [email redacted] if you can help. Thanks!

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Re: Harvard Student(s) Answering Your Questions

Postby QContinuum » Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:40 pm

Stacy Engelrad wrote:
Stacy Engelrad wrote:Hi All,

Have anyone here taken Advanced Corporate Transactions? If so, could you please send me a private message.

Thanks!


Just learned the pm function is disabled--please send me a message to [email redacted] if you can help. Thanks!

You can still receive PMs, but will not be able to send PMs to other users until you've made at least 5 posts. Accordingly, since you can still receive PMs, I've redacted your email address from your post above for now, to protect you from spam. If you would prefer to publicly post your email address, please feel free to edit your post to re-include your email address.



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