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Author Topic: Harvard Masters/J.D.  (Read 782 times)

AdHaq

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Harvard Masters/J.D.
« on: April 03, 2007, 12:02:35 AM »
I have a peculiar situation on my hands. I'm a graduating senior at USC, with a 3.8 LSAC GPA, planning to go to law school soon. Last semester, however, a professor of mine convinced me to pursue a Masters in Islamic Studies at Harvard, and surely enough, after applying to the Divinity School at Harvard, I received an acceptance letter. I'm very excited at the opportunity, but my situation is this:

The Harvard Masters in Islamic Studies is a 2 year program. This means I wouldn't enter Law school until Fall 2009 (hence I would be class of 2012) after I complete the program at Harvard. I am young (21), but I've always wanted to set on my career at around 25. Besides this, I couldn't really find any negatives.

The positive side to this is that HALF of my Masters degree at Harvard can be fulfilled through classes taken at ANY Harvard graduate school. Of course, this means I can take classes at Harvard Law School, which means I can obtain a letter of recommendation from a Harvard Law faculty member, and then possibly apply for a Joint Degree program (Masters + J.D.), or even if I was to complete my full 2 years, I could still apply to HLS or any other law school for that matter (my preference is to come back to California and go to either UCLA or Boalt Hall).

What do you all think? Harvard for 2 years and then law school, or take a year and go to LSE (spend LOTS of money) and obtain a Masters in Political Theory, after which I enter law school in 2008? Any help is appreciated!

Nimmy

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Re: Harvard Masters/J.D.
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2007, 01:57:01 AM »
I would go to Harvard and drop the H-bomb at every opportunity for the rest of my life.

Benefactor

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Re: Harvard Masters/J.D.
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2007, 11:17:15 AM »
I have a peculiar situation on my hands. I'm a graduating senior at USC, with a 3.8 LSAC GPA, planning to go to law school soon. Last semester, however, a professor of mine convinced me to pursue a Masters in Islamic Studies at Harvard, and surely enough, after applying to the Divinity School at Harvard, I received an acceptance letter. I'm very excited at the opportunity, but my situation is this:

The Harvard Masters in Islamic Studies is a 2 year program. This means I wouldn't enter Law school until Fall 2009 (hence I would be class of 2012) after I complete the program at Harvard. I am young (21), but I've always wanted to set on my career at around 25. Besides this, I couldn't really find any negatives.

The positive side to this is that HALF of my Masters degree at Harvard can be fulfilled through classes taken at ANY Harvard graduate school. Of course, this means I can take classes at Harvard Law School, which means I can obtain a letter of recommendation from a Harvard Law faculty member, and then possibly apply for a Joint Degree program (Masters + J.D.), or even if I was to complete my full 2 years, I could still apply to HLS or any other law school for that matter (my preference is to come back to California and go to either UCLA or Boalt Hall).

What do you all think? Harvard for 2 years and then law school, or take a year and go to LSE (spend LOTS of money) and obtain a Masters in Political Theory, after which I enter law school in 2008? Any help is appreciated!

Unless you wanna be on the history channel, what the hell is the purpose of a masters in islamic studies?

AdHaq

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Re: Harvard Masters/J.D.
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2007, 02:11:26 AM »
Funny, maybe I will some day? Who knows how much they pay you?  :)

Actually, I have a personal interest in pursuing a Masters in Islamic Studies. As a Muslim, I'm interested in combining my legal education with a more in depth understanding of my faith, particularly when it comes to public service. UCLA and Yale law school have incredible Islamic Legal Studies programs, and many top institutions with law schools also have great PhD programs in Islamic Studies. So in a way, I'm trying to keep my options open for a Joint J.D./PhD in Islamic Studies. I feel this Masters is more of a platform for the sort of work I wanna do in the future (whether it be in academia or anywhere else).

The huge plus about this is the opportunity to take classes at Harvard law and then possibly pursuing a joint degree at HDS and HLS. But here's the biggest question I have now: will it negatively affect my law school application if I take classes at HLS? Moreover, would the classes I take at HLS count towards the elective units at the law school I am admitted to once I complete the Masters? (For instance, would it cut off, say, 1 or 2 semesters of law school if I had already taken the equivalent amount at HLS as a Masters student?)

Thanks.

moonpie

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Re: Harvard Masters/J.D.
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2007, 03:00:00 AM »
er, you're probably saving more time if you apply for a joint degree...

AdHaq

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Re: Harvard Masters/J.D.
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2007, 05:51:23 AM »
Yeah, you're right. I guess its not a bad strategy any how, and even if it doesn't work, a year's delay isn't so bad as a Harvard Masters graduate. I'm banking on the fact that my Masters will give me an edge over those with similar stats.

genericlawschoolapplicant

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Re: Harvard Masters/J.D.
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2007, 06:08:38 AM »
Yeah, you're right. I guess its not a bad strategy any how, and even if it doesn't work, a year's delay isn't so bad as a Harvard Masters graduate. I'm banking on the fact that my Masters will give me an edge over those with similar stats.


If you are really interested in Islamic studies, it seems like this is probably the right choice. I was in a similar position as you last year (although not with the option of a Harvard MA), and chose to come to the LSE instead. I think prestige-wise, I don't know whether either one will bolster your app more than the other, but the Political Theory MSc here is very abstract and theoretical, so probably less what you're looking for.  Also, if you go to Harvard, you'll have graduate school grades when you apply (here you don't get grades until December after you finish, so gradewise it doesn't add anything to your application). While the MSc programs here are amazing, they are incredibly intense (especially compared to USC...don't know about what subjects you took, but mine were fairly laid back) and stretch out over the summer, so even if you're planning on entering in 2008, you may be relatively worn out. Plus London is very, very expensive. At least with Harvard, you'd have the entire summer after you finish to rest up for 1L...

BTW, were you an IR major?
"Mr Bhagwati has ample reserves of academic eminence: he is a pioneer in trade theory and the author of numerous scholarly works...Until further notice “In Defence of Globalisation” becomes the standard general-interest reference, the intelligent layman's handbook, on global economic integration."

AdHaq

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Re: Harvard Masters/J.D.
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2007, 03:18:48 PM »
Wow, that is a very similar situation. I've heard many things about the "pretentious" character of LSE as well, along with of course the rigorous nature of the MSc in Political Theory. Initially, I was more interested in pursuing the MSc at LSE so that it would take up just about the "year off" after which I would enter law school in Fall 2008, but when this opportunity came up, I realized how well this fits with what I want to do in the future. I'm actually a Political Science major, and in all honesty, I found the program at Cal State Fullerton to be more intense than here at USC. I guess its all up to personal choice now of whether I want a degree in Islamic Studies or Political Theory.

Thanks for all the help.