Harvard LLM 2017-2018


nink
Hello to those applying to the LLM programme of Harvard Law School for the 2017-18 academic year.

This can serve as a thread for queries related to the application process for HLS.

For those who have already submitted their application- when does Harvard request for the LSAC report? Because as I see it, if I am to make the December 1st deadline for the application and ensure that my LSAC report and documents (transcripts, TOEFL scores) reach Harvard before December 1st, then I must submit my application latest by 21st/22nd November so that they may request LSAC for the report by end November and receive it immediately (assuming that the report will be sent electronically). I intend to submit it as soon as possible, but I just wanted to understand the timelines nevertheless. Is it possible for Harvard to request LSAC for the report shortly after the application is submitted rather than waiting for 8 days. Perhaps if I follow up with them and provide them with with my LSAC number again in an email ( I would have already provided it in the application form), they could hasten this process up?

I'm just trying to understand how much time I can buy. :)
Hello to those applying to the LLM programme of Harvard Law School for the 2017-18 academic year.

This can serve as a thread for queries related to the application process for HLS.

For those who have already submitted their application- when does Harvard request for the LSAC report? Because as I see it, if I am to make the December 1st deadline for the application and ensure that my LSAC report and documents (transcripts, TOEFL scores) reach Harvard before December 1st, then I must submit my application latest by 21st/22nd November so that they may request LSAC for the report by end November and receive it immediately (assuming that the report will be sent electronically). I intend to submit it as soon as possible, but I just wanted to understand the timelines nevertheless. Is it possible for Harvard to request LSAC for the report shortly after the application is submitted rather than waiting for 8 days. Perhaps if I follow up with them and provide them with with my LSAC number again in an email ( I would have already provided it in the application form), they could hasten this process up?

I'm just trying to understand how much time I can buy. :)
quote
Hello to those applying to the LLM programme of Harvard Law School for the 2017-18 academic year.

This can serve as a thread for queries related to the application process for HLS.

For those who have already submitted their application- when does Harvard request for the LSAC report? Because as I see it, if I am to make the December 1st deadline for the application and ensure that my LSAC report and documents (transcripts, TOEFL scores) reach Harvard before December 1st, then I must submit my application latest by 21st/22nd November so that they may request LSAC for the report by end November and receive it immediately (assuming that the report will be sent electronically). I intend to submit it as soon as possible, but I just wanted to understand the timelines nevertheless. Is it possible for Harvard to request LSAC for the report shortly after the application is submitted rather than waiting for 8 days. Perhaps if I follow up with them and provide them with with my LSAC number again in an email ( I would have already provided it in the application form), they could hasten this process up?

I'm just trying to understand how much time I can buy. :)

They are always too late, submit it ASAP. In my case, it took them a week and half to request my LSAC report, and a month to process its contents after multiple annoying emails to get them to do their homework.
[quote]Hello to those applying to the LLM programme of Harvard Law School for the 2017-18 academic year.

This can serve as a thread for queries related to the application process for HLS.

For those who have already submitted their application- when does Harvard request for the LSAC report? Because as I see it, if I am to make the December 1st deadline for the application and ensure that my LSAC report and documents (transcripts, TOEFL scores) reach Harvard before December 1st, then I must submit my application latest by 21st/22nd November so that they may request LSAC for the report by end November and receive it immediately (assuming that the report will be sent electronically). I intend to submit it as soon as possible, but I just wanted to understand the timelines nevertheless. Is it possible for Harvard to request LSAC for the report shortly after the application is submitted rather than waiting for 8 days. Perhaps if I follow up with them and provide them with with my LSAC number again in an email ( I would have already provided it in the application form), they could hasten this process up?

I'm just trying to understand how much time I can buy. :)[/quote]
They are always too late, submit it ASAP. In my case, it took them a week and half to request my LSAC report, and a month to process its contents after multiple annoying emails to get them to do their homework.
quote
nink
Thank you so much for the heads up. Though I'm a little bummed out now. :( Would have preferred the extra time to review. Wonder how much of a competitive disadvantage it would be if they received the materials after Dec 1.
Thank you so much for the heads up. Though I'm a little bummed out now. :( Would have preferred the extra time to review. Wonder how much of a competitive disadvantage it would be if they received the materials after Dec 1.
quote
grumpyJD
Thank you so much for the heads up. Though I'm a little bummed out now. :( Would have preferred the extra time to review. Wonder how much of a competitive disadvantage it would be if they received the materials after Dec 1.


If it's any consolation, I think that your grades matter more than anything else. A few of my classmates were admitted to Harvard despite applying very late. Others who applied early were rejected. The decisions seemed to be entirely based on grades. I didn't bother applying because it seems like a real hassle and I wonder whether they even read the applications.
[quote]Thank you so much for the heads up. Though I'm a little bummed out now. :( Would have preferred the extra time to review. Wonder how much of a competitive disadvantage it would be if they received the materials after Dec 1. [/quote]

If it's any consolation, I think that your grades matter more than anything else. A few of my classmates were admitted to Harvard despite applying very late. Others who applied early were rejected. The decisions seemed to be entirely based on grades. I didn't bother applying because it seems like a real hassle and I wonder whether they even read the applications.
quote


If it's any consolation, I think that your grades matter more than anything else. A few of my classmates were admitted to Harvard despite applying very late. Others who applied early were rejected. The decisions seemed to be entirely based on grades. I didn't bother applying because it seems like a real hassle and I wonder whether they even read the applications.

Grumpy - could you perhaps elaborate on this? From your observations, what makes you think that all other factors are not sufficiently considered by Harvard?
[quote]

If it's any consolation, I think that your grades matter more than anything else. A few of my classmates were admitted to Harvard despite applying very late. Others who applied early were rejected. The decisions seemed to be entirely based on grades. I didn't bother applying because it seems like a real hassle and I wonder whether they even read the applications.[/quote]
Grumpy - could you perhaps elaborate on this? From your observations, what makes you think that all other factors are not sufficiently considered by Harvard?
quote
Hi All,

Thank you for your interest in the Harvard LL.M. program. We’re always happy to respond directly to inquiries about the program, and we can provide the most accurate answers about our admissions process. Please feel free to email us at gpquery@law.harvard.edu with any questions you may have.

In the meantime, we want to provide some additional information about our admissions process that may help to address a few of the misconceptions that appear to be floating around on this site. First, our process is not a casual process. We do not make admissions decisions based on grades or GPAs alone. In fact, we do even not look at GPAs as numbers; rather, we carefully evaluate each transcript, looking not only at the grades received in each course, but also taking into account other details like the rigor of the course, the rigor of the curriculum overall, and any relevant trends in grades over the duration of an individual degree and/or across all academic work. In evaluating an applicant’s academic record, we try to assess whether the academic work to date indicates that an applicant is likely able to succeed in Harvard’s intensive and academically rigorous program. We have a very strong applicant pool, and most of our applicants do satisfy that requirement. That is why we look carefully at the other components of the application as well. We do not have a formula for admission and we do not admit by the numbers. Instead, we look at each applicant’s full application holistically. The entire process involves several levels of review, beginning with careful evaluation of materials by processing staff for authenticity, accuracy, and completeness, and then involving review by senior administrators, area and subject matter experts, and multiple faculty members. Each year, 30-40 members of the Harvard Law School faculty participate in the application review process and yes, they do bother to read the applications.

This multi-part, multi-level review takes a lot of time, and the different steps in the review process can’t be completed in parallel but must be done in sequence. We process applications for review over a period of several months. Applications completed and/or evaluated at the beginning of the process do not have a higher or lower chance of admission than those completed and/or evaluated at the end of the process. All admissions decisions are made at the same time, shortly before they are released in March. We have a small staff, and the same staff members who process applications also respond to inquiries about the processing. When applicants contact us repeatedly to ask us to process their application materials more quickly, it diverts staff attention from processing and slows down our entire process. It will not result in an earlier decision for that applicant, nor will it benefit that individual.

As to how applicants who subscribe to LSAC should proceed, we always recommend submitting your application well before the deadline. If most applicants wait until the deadline to submit their applications (as they typically do), then we will have a bottleneck of applications to process in early December. If applications come in more gradually, then we can process them a bit more efficiently. In any case, if you wait until the deadline to submit, we will request your LSAC application materials as quickly as we can and, assuming there are no issues with LSAC’s processing of your materials, you will not be at a disadvantage at all. We do find, however, that LSAC can take much longer than two weeks to process materials on its end. If you plan to use LSAC’s service, you should make sure to submit your materials to LSAC from four to six weeks in advance of our application deadline to ensure that the LSAC Report is ready to send to us when we request it. Keep in mind that we will be processing application materials for some time; our processing schedule depends on the availability of administrators and faculty members involved in the review process. For example, if your application is not processed until February, that is due to reviewer schedules. Conversely, if your application is not complete in mid-December (i.e., after our application deadline of December 1) and our reviewers are ready for it at that time, then your application will be reviewed as it is, and you may very well be at a disadvantage. That is why we ask for materials by no later than December 1.

We hope this additional insight into our process allays any concerns you may have. We look forward to receiving your applications over the next few weeks (and again, earlier is better!).

Kind regards,
Harvard Law School Graduate Program Admissions
Hi All,

Thank you for your interest in the Harvard LL.M. program. We’re always happy to respond directly to inquiries about the program, and we can provide the most accurate answers about our admissions process. Please feel free to email us at gpquery@law.harvard.edu with any questions you may have.

In the meantime, we want to provide some additional information about our admissions process that may help to address a few of the misconceptions that appear to be floating around on this site. First, our process is not a casual process. We do not make admissions decisions based on grades or GPAs alone. In fact, we do even not look at GPAs as numbers; rather, we carefully evaluate each transcript, looking not only at the grades received in each course, but also taking into account other details like the rigor of the course, the rigor of the curriculum overall, and any relevant trends in grades over the duration of an individual degree and/or across all academic work. In evaluating an applicant’s academic record, we try to assess whether the academic work to date indicates that an applicant is likely able to succeed in Harvard’s intensive and academically rigorous program. We have a very strong applicant pool, and most of our applicants do satisfy that requirement. That is why we look carefully at the other components of the application as well. We do not have a formula for admission and we do not admit by the numbers. Instead, we look at each applicant’s full application holistically. The entire process involves several levels of review, beginning with careful evaluation of materials by processing staff for authenticity, accuracy, and completeness, and then involving review by senior administrators, area and subject matter experts, and multiple faculty members. Each year, 30-40 members of the Harvard Law School faculty participate in the application review process and yes, they do bother to read the applications.

This multi-part, multi-level review takes a lot of time, and the different steps in the review process can’t be completed in parallel but must be done in sequence. We process applications for review over a period of several months. Applications completed and/or evaluated at the beginning of the process do not have a higher or lower chance of admission than those completed and/or evaluated at the end of the process. All admissions decisions are made at the same time, shortly before they are released in March. We have a small staff, and the same staff members who process applications also respond to inquiries about the processing. When applicants contact us repeatedly to ask us to process their application materials more quickly, it diverts staff attention from processing and slows down our entire process. It will not result in an earlier decision for that applicant, nor will it benefit that individual.

As to how applicants who subscribe to LSAC should proceed, we always recommend submitting your application well before the deadline. If most applicants wait until the deadline to submit their applications (as they typically do), then we will have a bottleneck of applications to process in early December. If applications come in more gradually, then we can process them a bit more efficiently. In any case, if you wait until the deadline to submit, we will request your LSAC application materials as quickly as we can and, assuming there are no issues with LSAC’s processing of your materials, you will not be at a disadvantage at all. We do find, however, that LSAC can take much longer than two weeks to process materials on its end. If you plan to use LSAC’s service, you should make sure to submit your materials to LSAC from four to six weeks in advance of our application deadline to ensure that the LSAC Report is ready to send to us when we request it. Keep in mind that we will be processing application materials for some time; our processing schedule depends on the availability of administrators and faculty members involved in the review process. For example, if your application is not processed until February, that is due to reviewer schedules. Conversely, if your application is not complete in mid-December (i.e., after our application deadline of December 1) and our reviewers are ready for it at that time, then your application will be reviewed as it is, and you may very well be at a disadvantage. That is why we ask for materials by no later than December 1.

We hope this additional insight into our process allays any concerns you may have. We look forward to receiving your applications over the next few weeks (and again, earlier is better!).

Kind regards,
Harvard Law School Graduate Program Admissions
quote
chicken so...
We do not make admissions decisions based on grades or GPAs alone. In fact, we do even not look at GPAs as numbers; rather, we carefully evaluate each transcript, looking not only at the grades received in each course, but also taking into account other details like the rigor of the course, the rigor of the curriculum overall, and any relevant trends in grades over the duration of an individual degree and/or across all academic work.

That's helpful information, but what would be even more helpful to many potential applicants is if you could provide some concrete information about how this plays out in reality. For instance:

The average GPA of incoming Harvard LLM students is xxx, or:
80% of our incoming LLM students have GPAs in this range: xxx

We all understand that this is a holistic process, but let's be honest with ourselves: GPAs are indeed numbers. So having a concrete understanding of your expectations would go a long way to helping people realistically evaluate their chances at such a competitive school.
[quote]We do not make admissions decisions based on grades or GPAs alone. In fact, we do even not look at GPAs as numbers; rather, we carefully evaluate each transcript, looking not only at the grades received in each course, but also taking into account other details like the rigor of the course, the rigor of the curriculum overall, and any relevant trends in grades over the duration of an individual degree and/or across all academic work.[/quote]
That's helpful information, but what would be even more helpful to many potential applicants is if you could provide some concrete information about how this plays out in reality. For instance:

The average GPA of incoming Harvard LLM students is xxx, or:
80% of our incoming LLM students have GPAs in this range: xxx

We all understand that this is a holistic process, but let's be honest with ourselves: GPAs are indeed numbers. So having a concrete understanding of your expectations would go a long way to helping people realistically evaluate their chances at such a competitive school.
quote
nink
Hi All,

Thank you for your interest in the Harvard LL.M. program. We’re always happy to respond directly to inquiries about the program, and we can provide the most accurate answers about our admissions process. Please feel free to email us at gpquery@law.harvard.edu with any questions you may have.

In the meantime, we want to provide some additional information about our admissions process that may help to address a few of the misconceptions that appear to be floating around on this site. First, our process is not a casual process. We do not make admissions decisions based on grades or GPAs alone. In fact, we do even not look at GPAs as numbers; rather, we carefully evaluate each transcript, looking not only at the grades received in each course, but also taking into account other details like the rigor of the course, the rigor of the curriculum overall, and any relevant trends in grades over the duration of an individual degree and/or across all academic work. In evaluating an applicant’s academic record, we try to assess whether the academic work to date indicates that an applicant is likely able to succeed in Harvard’s intensive and academically rigorous program. We have a very strong applicant pool, and most of our applicants do satisfy that requirement. That is why we look carefully at the other components of the application as well. We do not have a formula for admission and we do not admit by the numbers. Instead, we look at each applicant’s full application holistically. The entire process involves several levels of review, beginning with careful evaluation of materials by processing staff for authenticity, accuracy, and completeness, and then involving review by senior administrators, area and subject matter experts, and multiple faculty members. Each year, 30-40 members of the Harvard Law School faculty participate in the application review process and yes, they do bother to read the applications.

This multi-part, multi-level review takes a lot of time, and the different steps in the review process can’t be completed in parallel but must be done in sequence. We process applications for review over a period of several months. Applications completed and/or evaluated at the beginning of the process do not have a higher or lower chance of admission than those completed and/or evaluated at the end of the process. All admissions decisions are made at the same time, shortly before they are released in March. We have a small staff, and the same staff members who process applications also respond to inquiries about the processing. When applicants contact us repeatedly to ask us to process their application materials more quickly, it diverts staff attention from processing and slows down our entire process. It will not result in an earlier decision for that applicant, nor will it benefit that individual.

As to how applicants who subscribe to LSAC should proceed, we always recommend submitting your application well before the deadline. If most applicants wait until the deadline to submit their applications (as they typically do), then we will have a bottleneck of applications to process in early December. If applications come in more gradually, then we can process them a bit more efficiently. In any case, if you wait until the deadline to submit, we will request your LSAC application materials as quickly as we can and, assuming there are no issues with LSAC’s processing of your materials, you will not be at a disadvantage at all. We do find, however, that LSAC can take much longer than two weeks to process materials on its end. If you plan to use LSAC’s service, you should make sure to submit your materials to LSAC from four to six weeks in advance of our application deadline to ensure that the LSAC Report is ready to send to us when we request it. Keep in mind that we will be processing application materials for some time; our processing schedule depends on the availability of administrators and faculty members involved in the review process. For example, if your application is not processed until February, that is due to reviewer schedules. Conversely, if your application is not complete in mid-December (i.e., after our application deadline of December 1) and our reviewers are ready for it at that time, then your application will be reviewed as it is, and you may very well be at a disadvantage. That is why we ask for materials by no later than December 1.

We hope this additional insight into our process allays any concerns you may have. We look forward to receiving your applications over the next few weeks (and again, earlier is better!).

Kind regards,
Harvard Law School Graduate Program Admissions



I cannot thank you enough for taking out time to respond here!
[quote]Hi All,

Thank you for your interest in the Harvard LL.M. program. We’re always happy to respond directly to inquiries about the program, and we can provide the most accurate answers about our admissions process. Please feel free to email us at gpquery@law.harvard.edu with any questions you may have.

In the meantime, we want to provide some additional information about our admissions process that may help to address a few of the misconceptions that appear to be floating around on this site. First, our process is not a casual process. We do not make admissions decisions based on grades or GPAs alone. In fact, we do even not look at GPAs as numbers; rather, we carefully evaluate each transcript, looking not only at the grades received in each course, but also taking into account other details like the rigor of the course, the rigor of the curriculum overall, and any relevant trends in grades over the duration of an individual degree and/or across all academic work. In evaluating an applicant’s academic record, we try to assess whether the academic work to date indicates that an applicant is likely able to succeed in Harvard’s intensive and academically rigorous program. We have a very strong applicant pool, and most of our applicants do satisfy that requirement. That is why we look carefully at the other components of the application as well. We do not have a formula for admission and we do not admit by the numbers. Instead, we look at each applicant’s full application holistically. The entire process involves several levels of review, beginning with careful evaluation of materials by processing staff for authenticity, accuracy, and completeness, and then involving review by senior administrators, area and subject matter experts, and multiple faculty members. Each year, 30-40 members of the Harvard Law School faculty participate in the application review process and yes, they do bother to read the applications.

This multi-part, multi-level review takes a lot of time, and the different steps in the review process can’t be completed in parallel but must be done in sequence. We process applications for review over a period of several months. Applications completed and/or evaluated at the beginning of the process do not have a higher or lower chance of admission than those completed and/or evaluated at the end of the process. All admissions decisions are made at the same time, shortly before they are released in March. We have a small staff, and the same staff members who process applications also respond to inquiries about the processing. When applicants contact us repeatedly to ask us to process their application materials more quickly, it diverts staff attention from processing and slows down our entire process. It will not result in an earlier decision for that applicant, nor will it benefit that individual.

As to how applicants who subscribe to LSAC should proceed, we always recommend submitting your application well before the deadline. If most applicants wait until the deadline to submit their applications (as they typically do), then we will have a bottleneck of applications to process in early December. If applications come in more gradually, then we can process them a bit more efficiently. In any case, if you wait until the deadline to submit, we will request your LSAC application materials as quickly as we can and, assuming there are no issues with LSAC’s processing of your materials, you will not be at a disadvantage at all. We do find, however, that LSAC can take much longer than two weeks to process materials on its end. If you plan to use LSAC’s service, you should make sure to submit your materials to LSAC from four to six weeks in advance of our application deadline to ensure that the LSAC Report is ready to send to us when we request it. Keep in mind that we will be processing application materials for some time; our processing schedule depends on the availability of administrators and faculty members involved in the review process. For example, if your application is not processed until February, that is due to reviewer schedules. Conversely, if your application is not complete in mid-December (i.e., after our application deadline of December 1) and our reviewers are ready for it at that time, then your application will be reviewed as it is, and you may very well be at a disadvantage. That is why we ask for materials by no later than December 1.

We hope this additional insight into our process allays any concerns you may have. We look forward to receiving your applications over the next few weeks (and again, earlier is better!).

Kind regards,
Harvard Law School Graduate Program Admissions
[/quote]


I cannot thank you enough for taking out time to respond here!
quote
The average GPA of incoming Harvard LLM students is xxx, or:
80% of our incoming LLM students have GPAs in this range: xxx

We all understand that this is a holistic process, but let's be honest with ourselves: GPAs are indeed numbers. So having a concrete understanding of your expectations would go a long way to helping people realistically evaluate their chances at such a competitive school.


We understand your wish for concrete information about GPAs, but that truly is impossible to provide. First, there is little consistency among GPA scales across (and sometimes even within) the 100+ countries from which we receive applications. Second, even if we were to try to provide that information by country, it would certainly violate the privacy of the individuals who are the only ones (or only few) from whose countries we have admitted applicants. Third, even if we were to try to provide that information by school, it would be meaningless because we would not necessarily consider two applicants with the same GPA from the same school to be equivalent because we consider the type and rigor of each applicant’s courses in evaluating academic records.

What we can say is that we do not have a cutoff for GPAs. Specifically, we have accepted people on the UK honors scale (from countries around the world, including the UK) with 2:2 and even Third Class honors. We have accepted people with undergraduate GPAs in the 2.0-3.0 range on the 4.0 scale, etc. Of course, we are a competitive and incredibly rigorous program. When we do accept people with lower grades or GPAs, it is because there are other indicators of intellectual ability and/or likelihood of success, like work experience, subsequent academic performance, and/or some other achievement(s) that set those applicants apart and give us some confidence that they are likely to make a difference in whatever career path they choose.
[quote]The average GPA of incoming Harvard LLM students is xxx, or:
80% of our incoming LLM students have GPAs in this range: xxx

We all understand that this is a holistic process, but let's be honest with ourselves: GPAs are indeed numbers. So having a concrete understanding of your expectations would go a long way to helping people realistically evaluate their chances at such a competitive school.[/quote]

We understand your wish for concrete information about GPAs, but that truly is impossible to provide. First, there is little consistency among GPA scales across (and sometimes even within) the 100+ countries from which we receive applications. Second, even if we were to try to provide that information by country, it would certainly violate the privacy of the individuals who are the only ones (or only few) from whose countries we have admitted applicants. Third, even if we were to try to provide that information by school, it would be meaningless because we would not necessarily consider two applicants with the same GPA from the same school to be equivalent because we consider the type and rigor of each applicant’s courses in evaluating academic records.

What we can say is that we do not have a cutoff for GPAs. Specifically, we have accepted people on the UK honors scale (from countries around the world, including the UK) with 2:2 and even Third Class honors. We have accepted people with undergraduate GPAs in the 2.0-3.0 range on the 4.0 scale, etc. Of course, we are a competitive and incredibly rigorous program. When we do accept people with lower grades or GPAs, it is because there are other indicators of intellectual ability and/or likelihood of success, like work experience, subsequent academic performance, and/or some other achievement(s) that set those applicants apart and give us some confidence that they are likely to make a difference in whatever career path they choose.
quote
grumpyJD
The average GPA of incoming Harvard LLM students is xxx, or:
80% of our incoming LLM students have GPAs in this range: xxx

We all understand that this is a holistic process, but let's be honest with ourselves: GPAs are indeed numbers. So having a concrete understanding of your expectations would go a long way to helping people realistically evaluate their chances at such a competitive school.


We understand your wish for concrete information about GPAs, but that truly is impossible to provide. First, there is little consistency among GPA scales across (and sometimes even within) the 100+ countries from which we receive applications. Second, even if we were to try to provide that information by country, it would certainly violate the privacy of the individuals who are the only ones (or only few) from whose countries we have admitted applicants. Third, even if we were to try to provide that information by school, it would be meaningless because we would not necessarily consider two applicants with the same GPA from the same school to be equivalent because we consider the type and rigor of each applicant’s courses in evaluating academic records.

What we can say is that we do not have a cutoff for GPAs. Specifically, we have accepted people on the UK honors scale (from countries around the world, including the UK) with 2:2 and even Third Class honors. We have accepted people with undergraduate GPAs in the 2.0-3.0 range on the 4.0 scale, etc. Of course, we are a competitive and incredibly rigorous program. When we do accept people with lower grades or GPAs, it is because there are other indicators of intellectual ability and/or likelihood of success, like work experience, subsequent academic performance, and/or some other achievement(s) that set those applicants apart and give us some confidence that they are likely to make a difference in whatever career path they choose.


Thank you for taking the time to post such a thorough response on this forum. My previous comments were based on anecdotal evidence and I did not mean to mislead anyone. My point was simple-- the success of my fellow classmates when applying to HLS correlated exactly with their GPA and class rank. Of course, I formed this opinion based on a very small sample. Your comments are very helpful and leave some space for hope for applicants who aren't in the top 10% of their class.
[quote][quote]The average GPA of incoming Harvard LLM students is xxx, or:
80% of our incoming LLM students have GPAs in this range: xxx

We all understand that this is a holistic process, but let's be honest with ourselves: GPAs are indeed numbers. So having a concrete understanding of your expectations would go a long way to helping people realistically evaluate their chances at such a competitive school.[/quote]

We understand your wish for concrete information about GPAs, but that truly is impossible to provide. First, there is little consistency among GPA scales across (and sometimes even within) the 100+ countries from which we receive applications. Second, even if we were to try to provide that information by country, it would certainly violate the privacy of the individuals who are the only ones (or only few) from whose countries we have admitted applicants. Third, even if we were to try to provide that information by school, it would be meaningless because we would not necessarily consider two applicants with the same GPA from the same school to be equivalent because we consider the type and rigor of each applicant’s courses in evaluating academic records.

What we can say is that we do not have a cutoff for GPAs. Specifically, we have accepted people on the UK honors scale (from countries around the world, including the UK) with 2:2 and even Third Class honors. We have accepted people with undergraduate GPAs in the 2.0-3.0 range on the 4.0 scale, etc. Of course, we are a competitive and incredibly rigorous program. When we do accept people with lower grades or GPAs, it is because there are other indicators of intellectual ability and/or likelihood of success, like work experience, subsequent academic performance, and/or some other achievement(s) that set those applicants apart and give us some confidence that they are likely to make a difference in whatever career path they choose.[/quote]

Thank you for taking the time to post such a thorough response on this forum. My previous comments were based on anecdotal evidence and I did not mean to mislead anyone. My point was simple-- the success of my fellow classmates when applying to HLS correlated exactly with their GPA and class rank. Of course, I formed this opinion based on a very small sample. Your comments are very helpful and leave some space for hope for applicants who aren't in the top 10% of their class.
quote
Hi All,

Thank you for your interest in the Harvard LL.M. program. We’re always happy to respond directly to inquiries about the program, and we can provide the most accurate answers about our admissions process. Please feel free to email us at gpquery@law.harvard.edu with any questions you may have.

In the meantime, we want to provide some additional information about our admissions process that may help to address a few of the misconceptions that appear to be floating around on this site. First, our process is not a casual process. We do not make admissions decisions based on grades or GPAs alone. In fact, we do even not look at GPAs as numbers; rather, we carefully evaluate each transcript, looking not only at the grades received in each course, but also taking into account other details like the rigor of the course, the rigor of the curriculum overall, and any relevant trends in grades over the duration of an individual degree and/or across all academic work. In evaluating an applicant’s academic record, we try to assess whether the academic work to date indicates that an applicant is likely able to succeed in Harvard’s intensive and academically rigorous program. We have a very strong applicant pool, and most of our applicants do satisfy that requirement. That is why we look carefully at the other components of the application as well. We do not have a formula for admission and we do not admit by the numbers. Instead, we look at each applicant’s full application holistically. The entire process involves several levels of review, beginning with careful evaluation of materials by processing staff for authenticity, accuracy, and completeness, and then involving review by senior administrators, area and subject matter experts, and multiple faculty members. Each year, 30-40 members of the Harvard Law School faculty participate in the application review process and yes, they do bother to read the applications.

This multi-part, multi-level review takes a lot of time, and the different steps in the review process can’t be completed in parallel but must be done in sequence. We process applications for review over a period of several months. Applications completed and/or evaluated at the beginning of the process do not have a higher or lower chance of admission than those completed and/or evaluated at the end of the process. All admissions decisions are made at the same time, shortly before they are released in March. We have a small staff, and the same staff members who process applications also respond to inquiries about the processing. When applicants contact us repeatedly to ask us to process their application materials more quickly, it diverts staff attention from processing and slows down our entire process. It will not result in an earlier decision for that applicant, nor will it benefit that individual.

As to how applicants who subscribe to LSAC should proceed, we always recommend submitting your application well before the deadline. If most applicants wait until the deadline to submit their applications (as they typically do), then we will have a bottleneck of applications to process in early December. If applications come in more gradually, then we can process them a bit more efficiently. In any case, if you wait until the deadline to submit, we will request your LSAC application materials as quickly as we can and, assuming there are no issues with LSAC’s processing of your materials, you will not be at a disadvantage at all. We do find, however, that LSAC can take much longer than two weeks to process materials on its end. If you plan to use LSAC’s service, you should make sure to submit your materials to LSAC from four to six weeks in advance of our application deadline to ensure that the LSAC Report is ready to send to us when we request it. Keep in mind that we will be processing application materials for some time; our processing schedule depends on the availability of administrators and faculty members involved in the review process. For example, if your application is not processed until February, that is due to reviewer schedules. Conversely, if your application is not complete in mid-December (i.e., after our application deadline of December 1) and our reviewers are ready for it at that time, then your application will be reviewed as it is, and you may very well be at a disadvantage. That is why we ask for materials by no later than December 1.

We hope this additional insight into our process allays any concerns you may have. We look forward to receiving your applications over the next few weeks (and again, earlier is better!).

Kind regards,
Harvard Law School Graduate Program Admissions


Thank you Harvard Law School Graduate Program Admissions for taking this forum to the next level of supporting applicants who almost have no clue how the admission process takes place. We really appreciate it.

I really would like to recommend something that might be very helpful to you to cut off most of the inquiries we send regarding applications' materials. Psychologically speaking, informing students not to send inquiries about their applications would only leave them and you in a paralyzed state of action. They will keep worrying that their applications' materials might not be processed before the deadline, and thus they might lose all their efforts. And you won't be able to do your job adequately because they will keep sending inquiries to feel safe about their applications.

My idea is that you can provide a timeline in that part above the application materials checklist in embark, estimating exactly when should the students be worried (e.g. Please note that applications' materials are being processed until the end of December, if any of your materials is still marked as awaiting by the first of January, you should contact the admissions office).
Just a recommendation that might ease the process for both of us =)
[quote]Hi All,

Thank you for your interest in the Harvard LL.M. program. We’re always happy to respond directly to inquiries about the program, and we can provide the most accurate answers about our admissions process. Please feel free to email us at gpquery@law.harvard.edu with any questions you may have.

In the meantime, we want to provide some additional information about our admissions process that may help to address a few of the misconceptions that appear to be floating around on this site. First, our process is not a casual process. We do not make admissions decisions based on grades or GPAs alone. In fact, we do even not look at GPAs as numbers; rather, we carefully evaluate each transcript, looking not only at the grades received in each course, but also taking into account other details like the rigor of the course, the rigor of the curriculum overall, and any relevant trends in grades over the duration of an individual degree and/or across all academic work. In evaluating an applicant’s academic record, we try to assess whether the academic work to date indicates that an applicant is likely able to succeed in Harvard’s intensive and academically rigorous program. We have a very strong applicant pool, and most of our applicants do satisfy that requirement. That is why we look carefully at the other components of the application as well. We do not have a formula for admission and we do not admit by the numbers. Instead, we look at each applicant’s full application holistically. The entire process involves several levels of review, beginning with careful evaluation of materials by processing staff for authenticity, accuracy, and completeness, and then involving review by senior administrators, area and subject matter experts, and multiple faculty members. Each year, 30-40 members of the Harvard Law School faculty participate in the application review process and yes, they do bother to read the applications.

This multi-part, multi-level review takes a lot of time, and the different steps in the review process can’t be completed in parallel but must be done in sequence. We process applications for review over a period of several months. Applications completed and/or evaluated at the beginning of the process do not have a higher or lower chance of admission than those completed and/or evaluated at the end of the process. All admissions decisions are made at the same time, shortly before they are released in March. We have a small staff, and the same staff members who process applications also respond to inquiries about the processing. When applicants contact us repeatedly to ask us to process their application materials more quickly, it diverts staff attention from processing and slows down our entire process. It will not result in an earlier decision for that applicant, nor will it benefit that individual.

As to how applicants who subscribe to LSAC should proceed, we always recommend submitting your application well before the deadline. If most applicants wait until the deadline to submit their applications (as they typically do), then we will have a bottleneck of applications to process in early December. If applications come in more gradually, then we can process them a bit more efficiently. In any case, if you wait until the deadline to submit, we will request your LSAC application materials as quickly as we can and, assuming there are no issues with LSAC’s processing of your materials, you will not be at a disadvantage at all. We do find, however, that LSAC can take much longer than two weeks to process materials on its end. If you plan to use LSAC’s service, you should make sure to submit your materials to LSAC from four to six weeks in advance of our application deadline to ensure that the LSAC Report is ready to send to us when we request it. Keep in mind that we will be processing application materials for some time; our processing schedule depends on the availability of administrators and faculty members involved in the review process. For example, if your application is not processed until February, that is due to reviewer schedules. Conversely, if your application is not complete in mid-December (i.e., after our application deadline of December 1) and our reviewers are ready for it at that time, then your application will be reviewed as it is, and you may very well be at a disadvantage. That is why we ask for materials by no later than December 1.

We hope this additional insight into our process allays any concerns you may have. We look forward to receiving your applications over the next few weeks (and again, earlier is better!).

Kind regards,
Harvard Law School Graduate Program Admissions
[/quote]

Thank you Harvard Law School Graduate Program Admissions for taking this forum to the next level of supporting applicants who almost have no clue how the admission process takes place. We really appreciate it.

I really would like to recommend something that might be very helpful to you to cut off most of the inquiries we send regarding applications' materials. Psychologically speaking, informing students not to send inquiries about their applications would only leave them and you in a paralyzed state of action. They will keep worrying that their applications' materials might not be processed before the deadline, and thus they might lose all their efforts. And you won't be able to do your job adequately because they will keep sending inquiries to feel safe about their applications.

My idea is that you can provide a timeline in that part above the application materials checklist in embark, estimating exactly when should the students be worried (e.g. Please note that applications' materials are being processed until the end of December, if any of your materials is still marked as awaiting by the first of January, you should contact the admissions office).
Just a recommendation that might ease the process for both of us =)
quote
Thank you for your suggestions. We did have some of that information above the application materials checklist in the online application system, but it appears that applicants weren't reading it. We've recently edited that section to make it stand out a bit more (we hope), and will continue to refine our communications as best we can.

We should note that if any of your materials are still marked as awaiting by the first of January, you should *not* contact the admissions office. It could simply mean that we haven't been able to update your checklist (due to the order in which we process applications). We will contact applicants if and when there are any issues with their applications - we promise! Moreover, in some cases, we may need additional or different materials, even when materials have been received.
Thank you for your suggestions. We did have some of that information above the application materials checklist in the online application system, but it appears that applicants weren't reading it. We've recently edited that section to make it stand out a bit more (we hope), and will continue to refine our communications as best we can.

We should note that if any of your materials are still marked as awaiting by the first of January, you should *not* contact the admissions office. It could simply mean that we haven't been able to update your checklist (due to the order in which we process applications). We will contact applicants if and when there are any issues with their applications - we promise! Moreover, in some cases, we may need additional or different materials, even when materials have been received.
quote
rdlbaere
Thank you for your suggestions. We did have some of that information above the application materials checklist in the online application system, but it appears that applicants weren't reading it. We've recently edited that section to make it stand out a bit more (we hope), and will continue to refine our communications as best we can.

We should note that if any of your materials are still marked as awaiting by the first of January, you should *not* contact the admissions office. It could simply mean that we haven't been able to update your checklist (due to the order in which we process applications). We will contact applicants if and when there are any issues with their applications - we promise! Moreover, in some cases, we may need additional or different materials, even when materials have been received.


Thank you very much for all of the helpful additional information!
[quote]Thank you for your suggestions. We did have some of that information above the application materials checklist in the online application system, but it appears that applicants weren't reading it. We've recently edited that section to make it stand out a bit more (we hope), and will continue to refine our communications as best we can.

We should note that if any of your materials are still marked as awaiting by the first of January, you should *not* contact the admissions office. It could simply mean that we haven't been able to update your checklist (due to the order in which we process applications). We will contact applicants if and when there are any issues with their applications - we promise! Moreover, in some cases, we may need additional or different materials, even when materials have been received. [/quote]

Thank you very much for all of the helpful additional information!
quote
Schmelzer
Dear All,

I submitted my application on 3 October and my LSAC Report is yet to be requested by HLS ( circa 8 weeks). Given the message on the application status page, I opted not to contact HLS directly. So hopefully it'll be OK.
Dear All,

I submitted my application on 3 October and my LSAC Report is yet to be requested by HLS ( circa 8 weeks). Given the message on the application status page, I opted not to contact HLS directly. So hopefully it'll be OK.
quote
Thank you for your suggestions. We did have some of that information above the application materials checklist in the online application system, but it appears that applicants weren't reading it. We've recently edited that section to make it stand out a bit more (we hope), and will continue to refine our communications as best we can.

We should note that if any of your materials are still marked as awaiting by the first of January, you should *not* contact the admissions office. It could simply mean that we haven't been able to update your checklist (due to the order in which we process applications). We will contact applicants if and when there are any issues with their applications - we promise! Moreover, in some cases, we may need additional or different materials, even when materials have been received.


Thank you for accepting my suggestions with big heart. I think all the misunderstanding used to lie in the big distortion between the estimated timeline and reality.

On a more important note, I have a question that only you can answer adequately; I have not agreed to surrender my rights of inspection of the LoRs, not for any reason other than that I did not think it would have any effect on considering my LoRs. Also, because I felt it is the normal course of action that we should not surrender our rights haha. Does waiving or not waiving such rights bear any effect upon considering LoRs?
[quote]Thank you for your suggestions. We did have some of that information above the application materials checklist in the online application system, but it appears that applicants weren't reading it. We've recently edited that section to make it stand out a bit more (we hope), and will continue to refine our communications as best we can.

We should note that if any of your materials are still marked as awaiting by the first of January, you should *not* contact the admissions office. It could simply mean that we haven't been able to update your checklist (due to the order in which we process applications). We will contact applicants if and when there are any issues with their applications - we promise! Moreover, in some cases, we may need additional or different materials, even when materials have been received. [/quote]

Thank you for accepting my suggestions with big heart. I think all the misunderstanding used to lie in the big distortion between the estimated timeline and reality.

On a more important note, I have a question that only you can answer adequately; I have not agreed to surrender my rights of inspection of the LoRs, not for any reason other than that I did not think it would have any effect on considering my LoRs. Also, because I felt it is the normal course of action that we should not surrender our rights haha. Does waiving or not waiving such rights bear any effect upon considering LoRs?
quote
Hi,

I am from India and intend to apply to HLS this year. I graduated in 2015 and have been working for over a year.

I had a question about the number of recommendations. I believe I have four strong recommendations (one from my supervising partner at my law firm, and three from professors)

But the HLS website says: "Most applicants provide three, and there generally is no benefit to providing more than three. We will not accept more than five."

Should I eliminate one and only submit three, or go ahead with all four. It seems like three is rule of thumb for Harvard. I do not want any disadvantage or to dilute my application by submitting four. Although, I feel all four showcase different strengths and are strong recommendations.

Your help would be appreciated!
Hi,

I am from India and intend to apply to HLS this year. I graduated in 2015 and have been working for over a year.

I had a question about the number of recommendations. I believe I have four strong recommendations (one from my supervising partner at my law firm, and three from professors)

But the HLS website says: "Most applicants provide three, and there generally is no benefit to providing more than three. We will not accept more than five."

Should I eliminate one and only submit three, or go ahead with all four. It seems like three is rule of thumb for Harvard. I do not want any disadvantage or to dilute my application by submitting four. Although, I feel all four showcase different strengths and are strong recommendations.

Your help would be appreciated!
quote
On a more important note, I have a question that only you can answer adequately; I have not agreed to surrender my rights of inspection of the LoRs, not for any reason other than that I did not think it would have any effect on considering my LoRs. Also, because I felt it is the normal course of action that we should not surrender our rights haha. Does waiving or not waiving such rights bear any effect upon considering LoRs?


It is entirely up to you as to whether to waive your right to access recommendations. Recommendations for which the access right has not been waived are considered non-confidential and therefore potentially less candid.
[quote]On a more important note, I have a question that only you can answer adequately; I have not agreed to surrender my rights of inspection of the LoRs, not for any reason other than that I did not think it would have any effect on considering my LoRs. Also, because I felt it is the normal course of action that we should not surrender our rights haha. Does waiving or not waiving such rights bear any effect upon considering LoRs? [/quote]

It is entirely up to you as to whether to waive your right to access recommendations. Recommendations for which the access right has not been waived are considered non-confidential and therefore potentially less candid.
quote
Hi,

I am from India and intend to apply to HLS this year. I graduated in 2015 and have been working for over a year.

I had a question about the number of recommendations. I believe I have four strong recommendations (one from my supervising partner at my law firm, and three from professors)

But the HLS website says: "Most applicants provide three, and there generally is no benefit to providing more than three. We will not accept more than five."

Should I eliminate one and only submit three, or go ahead with all four. It seems like three is rule of thumb for Harvard. I do not want any disadvantage or to dilute my application by submitting four. Although, I feel all four showcase different strengths and are strong recommendations.

Your help would be appreciated!


Four is fine - don't worry about it!
[quote]Hi,

I am from India and intend to apply to HLS this year. I graduated in 2015 and have been working for over a year.

I had a question about the number of recommendations. I believe I have four strong recommendations (one from my supervising partner at my law firm, and three from professors)

But the HLS website says: "Most applicants provide three, and there generally is no benefit to providing more than three. We will not accept more than five."

Should I eliminate one and only submit three, or go ahead with all four. It seems like three is rule of thumb for Harvard. I do not want any disadvantage or to dilute my application by submitting four. Although, I feel all four showcase different strengths and are strong recommendations.

Your help would be appreciated!
[/quote]

Four is fine - don't worry about it!
quote
Dear All,

I submitted my application on 3 October and my LSAC Report is yet to be requested by HLS ( circa 8 weeks). Given the message on the application status page, I opted not to contact HLS directly. So hopefully it'll be OK.


Could you check your application status page again? It appears that your LSAC Report has been (requested and) received.
[quote]Dear All,

I submitted my application on 3 October and my LSAC Report is yet to be requested by HLS ( circa 8 weeks). Given the message on the application status page, I opted not to contact HLS directly. So hopefully it'll be OK.
[/quote]

Could you check your application status page again? It appears that your LSAC Report has been (requested and) received.
quote
It is entirely up to you as to whether to waive your right to access recommendations. Recommendations for which the access right has not been waived are considered non-confidential and therefore potentially less candid.


What a bad news. Is there anything that I can do now to reduce such risk?

Also, what if two of these letters were written months before the request for a LoR was sent to recommenders. As they were just uploaded at a later date after the request, but they were originally written in the past ( with the date provided above in the letter head) ? would they still be disadvantaged?

I never thought that one day using my right would place me at a disadvantage position :( In addition, its the recommender's duty to provide candid evaluation and be honest whether I waive my rights or not.. I had no idea that my actions would have any effect on people's morality..

I hope there might be any solution to this problem.

Thank you.

[Edited by The will of fire on Nov 21, 2016]

[quote] It is entirely up to you as to whether to waive your right to access recommendations. Recommendations for which the access right has not been waived are considered non-confidential and therefore potentially less candid. [/quote]

What a bad news. Is there anything that I can do now to reduce such risk?

Also, what if two of these letters were written months before the request for a LoR was sent to recommenders. As they were just uploaded at a later date after the request, but they were originally written in the past ( with the date provided above in the letter head) ? would they still be disadvantaged?

I never thought that one day using my right would place me at a disadvantage position :( In addition, its the recommender's duty to provide candid evaluation and be honest whether I waive my rights or not.. I had no idea that my actions would have any effect on people's morality..

I hope there might be any solution to this problem.

Thank you.
quote

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