Is it true that it's all about the "packaging" at Harvard LLM?


A friend of mine encouraged me to apply for LLM at Harvard. She advised me that it's all about the 'packaging.' I don't know the truth behind this info but I know someone who got in who wasn't among the top whatsoever-percent of his graduating class so I feel that it could be partly true.

We all know the prestige of Harvard. Everybody knows it's the best school in the entire world so I think that it must be very hard to get accepted to its LLM program. What are their parameters though? What matters do they consider?

A little background about myself may be worth looking into...

I went to 3 law schools. The first one was the top/most prestigious law school in the country. I left that school because their system doesn't work well with me. I got low grades and two failing marks. In the second school I transferred to, I was literally at the top of the class. I would have graduated valedictorian if I finished my degree there. However, for health reasons and after an advice from parents, I transferred to a third school, which I chose due to its proximity to my home. I also did very well in the third school and my grades were literally higher than those of the valedictorian's but, unfortunately, the third school doesn't grant honors to transferees and they didn't compute my grades to determine where I rank in my class.

I really wish I can be enlightened as regards my queries here. I want to pursue an LLM degree and, although my chances of being accepted to Harvard may be low, I still would like to know what matters they consider and if the advice of my friend was really true. Thanks in advance to any advice any of you will give me.

A friend of mine encouraged me to apply for LLM at Harvard. She advised me that it's all about the 'packaging.' I don't know the truth behind this info but I know someone who got in who wasn't among the top whatsoever-percent of his graduating class so I feel that it could be partly true.

We all know the prestige of Harvard. Everybody knows it's the best school in the entire world so I think that it must be very hard to get accepted to its LLM program. What are their parameters though? What matters do they consider?

A little background about myself may be worth looking into...

I went to 3 law schools. The first one was the top/most prestigious law school in the country. I left that school because their system doesn't work well with me. I got low grades and two failing marks. In the second school I transferred to, I was literally at the top of the class. I would have graduated valedictorian if I finished my degree there. However, for health reasons and after an advice from parents, I transferred to a third school, which I chose due to its proximity to my home. I also did very well in the third school and my grades were literally higher than those of the valedictorian's but, unfortunately, the third school doesn't grant honors to transferees and they didn't compute my grades to determine where I rank in my class.

I really wish I can be enlightened as regards my queries here. I want to pursue an LLM degree and, although my chances of being accepted to Harvard may be low, I still would like to know what matters they consider and if the advice of my friend was really true. Thanks in advance to any advice any of you will give me.
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chicken so...

In general, LLM degrees are a way for schools to sell their brand-name to a wider variety of students than just JDs.

That's not to say that a degree like the Harvard LLM lacks value - you will learn a lot of specialized legal knowledge from some world-class experts. Harvard looks great on a CV and you will be let into one of the vastest, deepest legal networks on the planet.

It's competitive, no doubt. One of the most competitive in the world. You are also paying for the name - keep that in mind. 

In terms of your competitiveness as a candidate, it's hard to say. I find it sketchy that you don't have grades from your third law school. This will undoubtedly be a big red flag, so you'll want to do everything in your power to explain / massage this, and make sure the rest of your profile - work experience, TOEFL / IELTS scores, publications, and especially letters of recommendation, paint you in the best possible light. 

You might also want to check out the LLM class profile, which they have posted on their site. You can compare your profile to those of admitted students (for example, did you know that 82% of the LLM class has two or more years of work experience?)

Also, consider applying to one or two less competitive safety schools, to hedge your bets. 

In general, LLM degrees are a way for schools to sell their brand-name to a wider variety of students than just JDs.<br><br>That's not to say that a degree like the Harvard LLM lacks value - you will learn a lot of specialized legal knowledge from some world-class experts. Harvard looks great on a CV and you will be let into one of the vastest, deepest legal networks on the planet.<br><br>It's competitive, no doubt. One of the most competitive in the world. You are also paying for the name - keep that in mind.&nbsp;<br><br>In terms of your competitiveness as a candidate, it's hard to say. I find it sketchy that you don't have grades from your third law school. This will undoubtedly be a big red flag, so you'll want to do everything in your power to explain / massage this, and make sure the rest of your profile - work experience, TOEFL / IELTS scores, publications, and especially letters of recommendation, paint you in the best possible light.&nbsp;<br><br>You might also want to check out the LLM class profile, which they have posted on their site. You can compare your profile to those of admitted students (for example, did you know that 82% of the LLM class has two or more years of work experience?)<br><br>Also, consider applying to one or two less competitive safety schools, to hedge your bets.&nbsp;
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^^Hi. Thank you so much for your advice. Really appreciate it.

I talked to my school's registrar and she told me she's willing to compute my grades to determine my ranking. Based on the GPA translator available online, my GPA might be 3.0+ but I'm not sure if that's the correct computation because I got plenty of 93 and above grades in my second and third schools which are equivalent to 4.0. My general weighted average is at the very least 83 but I don't know if my grades in the individual subjects will be translated first before arriving at the GPA.

As regards my work experience, I already have 3 years of experience as trial lawyer and tax consultant, 1 year and 8 months experience as tax professor, and 1 year experience as director of the mandatory lawyers' organization in the country. I also founded a tax and accounting firm in January 2020. 

Do undergrad grades matter too? 

^^Hi. Thank you so much for your advice. Really appreciate it.<br><br>I talked to my school's registrar and she told me she's willing to compute my grades to determine my ranking. Based on the GPA translator available online, my GPA might be 3.0+ but I'm not sure if that's the correct computation because I got plenty of 93 and above grades in my second and third schools which are equivalent to 4.0. My general weighted average is at the very least 83 but I don't know if my grades in the individual subjects will be translated first before arriving at the GPA.<br><br>As regards my work experience, I already have 3 years of experience as trial lawyer and tax consultant, 1 year and 8 months experience as tax professor, and 1 year experience as director of the mandatory lawyers' organization in the country. I also founded a tax and accounting firm in January 2020.&nbsp;<br><br>Do undergrad grades matter too?&nbsp;
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