Age of Harvard LLMs


Hi there!

I know (mostly hearsay) a couple of people who went to Harvard to do their LL.M. Of all the people I heard about, it strikes me that they were all relatively young (23-28) and had no professional work experience.

I therefore wonder if it is fair to say that the Harvard LL.M. has a focus on academic training and offers less practcal courses than Columiba/NYU?

What is your take on this?
Hi there!

I know (mostly hearsay) a couple of people who went to Harvard to do their LL.M. Of all the people I heard about, it strikes me that they were all relatively young (23-28) and had no professional work experience.

I therefore wonder if it is fair to say that the Harvard LL.M. has a focus on academic training and offers less practcal courses than Columiba/NYU? [I did not apply to HLS so no hard feelings here]

What is your take on this?
yasminm
My take on this is that it's true that a decent number of people who get admitted to HLS are fairly young; it's not fair to say that it has a focus on academic training though since most of the people even at that age already have practical training (though from my unscientific calculation pooled from my own pool of contacts from HLS, I would say about 15%-20% or so of HLS students don't have more than 2 years work experience); especially if the aim is to contrast them to CLS/NYU (which I should stress, are similarly wonderful institutions in their own unique ways) since the latter two institutions do, in fact, take in a fair number of young ones as well (once again, unscientifically, it's about the same numbers with less than 2 years experience). In any event, whenever people raise this issue (this issue tends to be raised with much lower-ranked universities than CLS/NYU, by means of contrast with a top-5 university), I can't help but think that appellations such as "practical courses" (and for that matter, statements such as "the school that I am going to gives due weight to work experience compared to [insert name of top university here]") are often used as a convenient shorthand or a euphamism to legitimize the running of "less academically rigorous" courses or the usage of "less strict" admission criteria, none of which should really be seen as a positive.

People should be there on merit, not on seniority, and an LL.M. student shouldn't be credited purely for spending more years at work than someone else who clearly has achieved more in a shorter period of time. Merit has, in my view, no link to age.
My take on this is that it's true that a decent number of people who get admitted to HLS are fairly young; it's not fair to say that it has a focus on academic training though since most of the people even at that age already have practical training (though from my unscientific calculation pooled from my own pool of contacts from HLS, I would say about 15%-20% or so of HLS students don't have more than 2 years work experience); especially if the aim is to contrast them to CLS/NYU (which I should stress, are similarly wonderful institutions in their own unique ways) since the latter two institutions do, in fact, take in a fair number of young ones as well (once again, unscientifically, it's about the same numbers with less than 2 years experience). In any event, whenever people raise this issue (this issue tends to be raised with much lower-ranked universities than CLS/NYU, by means of contrast with a top-5 university), I can't help but think that appellations such as "practical courses" (and for that matter, statements such as "the school that I am going to gives due weight to work experience compared to [insert name of top university here]") are often used as a convenient shorthand or a euphamism to legitimize the running of "less academically rigorous" courses or the usage of "less strict" admission criteria, none of which should really be seen as a positive.

People should be there on merit, not on seniority, and an LL.M. student shouldn't be credited purely for spending more years at work than someone else who clearly has achieved more in a shorter period of time. Merit has, in my view, no link to age.
I agree with yasminm. You get a stellar education whether you go to Harvard or Colombia or New York U. There are differences (the former is more prestigious than the latter two) but all of them offer a wonderful education and none of the distinctions you proposed of it being 'more practical' or 'less practical' is quantifiable. You mentioned you have no axe to grind: you did mention in previous posts that you regretted not applying to Harvard because you think you would have gotten in and thus now find yourself going to NY. Under those circumstances, your post seems to stem from a desire to seek an ex post facto justification for not applying to Harvard. I'm not a student in any of these institutions btw
I agree with yasminm. You get a stellar education whether you go to Harvard or Colombia or New York U. There are differences (the former is more prestigious than the latter two) but all of them offer a wonderful education and none of the distinctions you proposed of it being 'more practical' or 'less practical' is quantifiable. You mentioned you have no axe to grind: you did mention in previous posts that you regretted not applying to Harvard because you think you would have gotten in and thus now find yourself going to NY. Under those circumstances, your post seems to stem from a desire to seek an ex post facto justification for not applying to Harvard. I'm not a student in any of these institutions btw
@ mrfantastic:
I do not need ex post justification of my decisions.
I have accepted my place at CLS but I still have the possibility to defer to next year which is not so unreasonable in light of the economic crisis and the possibly mediocre job prospects in Europe and the US in 2010. I therefore wondered - purely theoretically for now -, if, in case i would decide for a referral, it would be worthwhile to consider an HLS application for next year.

Of course I recognise the superior reputation of HLS. But it should be understandable that I would like to study within my peer group. I already have 3 years of practical experience and I would like to be in an environment of "young professionals", if you so will. However, the HLS LLMs I have heard of had all close-to-zero practical experience (except for internships).
I did not study the HLS curriculum closely, but I did peruse the CLS curricilum and I was impressed by the great number of courses of practical impact.

@ yasminm:
I venture to disagree in part with your assessment. Whilst I would never doubt the intellectual ability of anyone admitted to the HLS LLM, I am also convinced that professional experience is a most valuable asset to every lawyer, even every jurist. I definitely will return to practice after my LL.M. But even for people who strive to become professors I am confident that a hands-on experience would prove useful to them.

After 1 or 2 years of work the perspective on legal questions changes. Other questions become more important than those when you were a student. New questions arise which even the most brilliant student will not think of because he had not been exposed to this set of problems yet.

Therefore, I am positive that a certain number of "professional" students - say for the sake of argument 50% - will enrich every law course. (BTW: This is why I did not consider Oxbridge: The curriculum in the UK is much more academic).

I am enquiring if HLS would provide this experience. In my view this would be the case, if for example at least 50 % of students have at least 2 years of work experience.
@ mrfantastic:
I do not need ex post justification of my decisions.
I have accepted my place at CLS but I still have the possibility to defer to next year which is not so unreasonable in light of the economic crisis and the possibly mediocre job prospects in Europe and the US in 2010. I therefore wondered - purely theoretically for now -, if, in case i would decide for a referral, it would be worthwhile to consider an HLS application for next year.

Of course I recognise the superior reputation of HLS. But it should be understandable that I would like to study within my peer group. I already have 3 years of practical experience and I would like to be in an environment of "young professionals", if you so will. However, the HLS LLMs I have heard of had all close-to-zero practical experience (except for internships).
I did not study the HLS curriculum closely, but I did peruse the CLS curricilum and I was impressed by the great number of courses of practical impact.

@ yasminm:
I venture to disagree in part with your assessment. Whilst I would never doubt the intellectual ability of anyone admitted to the HLS LLM, I am also convinced that professional experience is a most valuable asset to every lawyer, even every jurist. I definitely will return to practice after my LL.M. But even for people who strive to become professors I am confident that a hands-on experience would prove useful to them.

After 1 or 2 years of work the perspective on legal questions changes. Other questions become more important than those when you were a student. New questions arise which even the most brilliant student will not think of because he had not been exposed to this set of problems yet.

Therefore, I am positive that a certain number of "professional" students - say for the sake of argument 50% - will enrich every law course. (BTW: This is why I did not consider Oxbridge: The curriculum in the UK is much more academic).

I am enquiring if HLS would provide this experience. In my view this would be the case, if for example at least 50 % of students have at least 2 years of work experience.
Engineer
corpusiuris,

To provide you with at least one data point -- I am in my early 30s and have 5+ years of professional experience as an attorney (as well as some previously as an engineer), and will be at HLS this fall.
corpusiuris,

To provide you with at least one data point -- I am in my early 30s and have 5+ years of professional experience as an attorney (as well as some previously as an engineer), and will be at HLS this fall.
I did not study the HLS curriculum closely, but I did peruse the CLS curricilum and I was impressed by the great number of courses of practical impact.

After 1 or 2 years of work the perspective on legal questions changes. Other questions become more important than those when you were a student. New questions arise which even the most brilliant student will not think of because he had not been exposed to this set of problems yet.


I definitely did not intend to insult and am sorry if that was the message I conveyed. But really, if your point was that interaction with your peers is important and that you want to be exposed to the multi-jurisdictional thinking of your fellow students who have been exposed to the law, then I don't see how you could be "impressed by the great number of courses of practical impact" since the academic courses themselves should be of subsidary concern to you. In any event, what could the course description have provided that would have given you an insight into the perspectives that the student body would be able to offer? That therefore almost sounds like you want to use this opportunity to trump up the school you are going to and it almost seems like you want to use the opportunity to denigrate the credentials of the people who got in because you failed to apply in time. Just my opinion and i might be wrong.

But nonetheless, so that I can assist and to provide you another reference point like Engineer did, almost every person I know who went to Harvard went after two to three or so years of professional experience (about 10 people with this sort of experience). I'm not saying that's the norm, and it may just be peculiar to my country, but people who apply with no professional experience almost invariably fail to get in (with only one that I know who successfully got in and another getting in after one year of work). Put differently, if the experiences of the people I know are indicative, and they might not be, then yasminm and Engineer are probably right. I hope that helps.
<blockquote> I did not study the HLS curriculum closely, but I did peruse the CLS curricilum and I was impressed by the great number of courses of practical impact.

After 1 or 2 years of work the perspective on legal questions changes. Other questions become more important than those when you were a student. New questions arise which even the most brilliant student will not think of because he had not been exposed to this set of problems yet. </blockquote>

I definitely did not intend to insult and am sorry if that was the message I conveyed. But really, if your point was that interaction with your peers is important and that you want to be exposed to the multi-jurisdictional thinking of your fellow students who have been exposed to the law, then I don't see how you could be "impressed by the great number of courses of practical impact" since the academic courses themselves should be of subsidary concern to you. In any event, what could the course description have provided that would have given you an insight into the perspectives that the student body would be able to offer? That therefore almost sounds like you want to use this opportunity to trump up the school you are going to and it almost seems like you want to use the opportunity to denigrate the credentials of the people who got in because you failed to apply in time. Just my opinion and i might be wrong.

But nonetheless, so that I can assist and to provide you another reference point like Engineer did, almost every person I know who went to Harvard went after two to three or so years of professional experience (about 10 people with this sort of experience). I'm not saying that's the norm, and it may just be peculiar to my country, but people who apply with no professional experience almost invariably fail to get in (with only one that I know who successfully got in and another getting in after one year of work). Put differently, if the experiences of the people I know are indicative, and they might not be, then yasminm and Engineer are probably right. I hope that helps.
'hedek' - why this new handle - mrfantastic.
I can sense you love corpusiuris's queries/comments so much that you can't resist making some awkward observations, but hey you don't have to hire a hunchman like - mrfantastic to this. I guess corpusiuris can handle your criticism or observations with your old nic.
BTW, I must say you made somewhat good observations in your last post.

corpusiuris...I am aware of atleast 7- 8 friends who went to Harvard LLM just after their first degree in law, ofcourse without any professional experience.
'hedek' - why this new handle - mrfantastic.
I can sense you love corpusiuris's queries/comments so much that you can't resist making some awkward observations, but hey you don't have to hire a hunchman like - mrfantastic to this. I guess corpusiuris can handle your criticism or observations with your old nic.
BTW, I must say you made somewhat good observations in your last post.

corpusiuris...I am aware of atleast 7- 8 friends who went to Harvard LLM just after their first degree in law, ofcourse without any professional experience.
I'm not going to justify your baseless association of me with another poster with an answer either way - you don't deserve that courtesy. What the hell, since you're starting it, I'm surprised you even have friends, let alone 7 - 8 friends. You should not be talking out of your realm of expertise anyway - you should spend your energies hoping that the outside-top-five school that you have been waitlisted for gets back to you though if your facile comments are any indicator.......

On a serious note though, I do have those friends. Like I said, I don't know if my own experiences are representative though and that's the caveat I would put to that. Give it the weight that you want (or don't want).
I'm not going to justify your baseless association of me with another poster with an answer either way - you don't deserve that courtesy. What the hell, since you're starting it, I'm surprised you even have friends, let alone 7 - 8 friends. You should not be talking out of your realm of expertise anyway - you should spend your energies hoping that the outside-top-five school that you have been waitlisted for gets back to you though if your facile comments are any indicator.......

On a serious note though, I do have those friends. Like I said, I don't know if my own experiences are representative though and that's the caveat I would put to that. Give it the weight that you want (or don't want).
What can i say you just sounded like a loser, do you know that? And ofcourse I am not day dreaming like you and changing nic to comment, and don't tell me you have no prior association with this forum and any old handl/nic which you waana play with hide and seek and suddently come here pick a topic among hundreds and make 3 comments including last one and expect people to believe that you're the smart prick out here and some understanding and sensibility to comment like an expert who has some knowledge and was not even aware of any of these posts before and just found out and making his observations on empirical data like bunch of friends (which I don't want to doubt, you may have , as I don't distrust people in first impression but you should be ashamed of yourself considering the fact that you've to change your ID to make a comment here as you're so scared using your old one that people will judge you and know where you come from and whats the credibility of your comments) going to harvard, just joined the forum and picked one thread like some Harvard LLM age. I mean what do you think except you everybody is idiot here..jesus give this guy some break, I don't have to prove to you who all are and where'll I go because I don't live on this forum like you and about my friends because tone of every comment you make is a sheer reflections of either you didn't make it through those walls or just not an accomplished fella. Feel free to say or do watever you want to but facts will not change because the entire rationale reflects your identity like a loser and atleast you sound like one at the end. So chill and try next time, what a moron you're kid.
What can i say you just sounded like a loser, do you know that? And ofcourse I am not day dreaming like you and changing nic to comment, and don't tell me you have no prior association with this forum and any old handl/nic which you waana play with hide and seek and suddently come here pick a topic among hundreds and make 3 comments including last one and expect people to believe that you're the smart prick out here and some understanding and sensibility to comment like an expert who has some knowledge and was not even aware of any of these posts before and just found out and making his observations on empirical data like bunch of friends (which I don't want to doubt, you may have , as I don't distrust people in first impression but you should be ashamed of yourself considering the fact that you've to change your ID to make a comment here as you're so scared using your old one that people will judge you and know where you come from and whats the credibility of your comments) going to harvard, just joined the forum and picked one thread like some Harvard LLM age. I mean what do you think except you everybody is idiot here..jesus give this guy some break, I don't have to prove to you who all are and where'll I go because I don't live on this forum like you and about my friends because tone of every comment you make is a sheer reflections of either you didn't make it through those walls or just not an accomplished fella. Feel free to say or do watever you want to but facts will not change because the entire rationale reflects your identity like a loser and atleast you sound like one at the end. So chill and try next time, what a moron you're kid.
Tsk tsk, such a foul mouth on an experienced poster....of seven posts. Which, with this post, I am all of three posts shy of. So I'm really inexperienced compared to you because I might have to take....errr....a few more hours - if I so wish - to chalk up your astonishingly abundant number of entries. Obviously, I touched a raw nerve - hence your facile-and-shallow-tirade - though from your lack of self-restraint it is self evident who is the kid or at the very least the more immature amongst the two of us.

I guess living up to your own nick is not something I should expect you to be able to do. Have a great day ahead 'mate!
Tsk tsk, such a foul mouth on an experienced poster....of seven posts. Which, with this post, I am all of three posts shy of. So I'm really inexperienced compared to you because I might have to take....errr....a few more hours - if I so wish - to chalk up your astonishingly abundant number of entries. Obviously, I touched a raw nerve - hence your facile-and-shallow-tirade - though from your lack of self-restraint it is self evident who is the kid or at the very least the more immature amongst the two of us.

I guess living up to your own nick is not something I should expect you to be able to do. Have a great day ahead 'mate!
'hedek' - why this new handle - mrfantastic.
I can sense you love corpusiuris's queries/comments so much that you can't resist making some awkward observations, but hey you don't have to hire a hunchman like - mrfantastic to this. I guess corpusiuris can handle your criticism or observations with your old nic.
BTW, I must say you made somewhat good observations in your last post.


Please don't make false claims based on speculation or suspicion. We don't have any indication that there's a connection between the users "Hedek" and "mrfantastic".
<blockquote>'hedek' - why this new handle - mrfantastic.
I can sense you love corpusiuris's queries/comments so much that you can't resist making some awkward observations, but hey you don't have to hire a hunchman like - mrfantastic to this. I guess corpusiuris can handle your criticism or observations with your old nic.
BTW, I must say you made somewhat good observations in your last post.</blockquote>

Please don't make false claims based on speculation or suspicion. We don't have any indication that there's a connection between the users "Hedek" and "mrfantastic".

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