Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses => Topic started by: sno on May 08, 2009, 10:54:51 AM

Title: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: sno on May 08, 2009, 10:54:51 AM
A little background: 3L, attending USD (for another week), have been using LSD since before I took the LSAT. Now, the things you should know:

1. DO NOT attend unless you're about as sure as you can be that you want to be here. A LOT of people attend primarily because they don't know what else to do and end up not liking it. It's a HUGE investment of time and money. Taking some time off and working after ug is definitely recommended if you're not so sure.

2. Rankings matter little. If you care about rankings (most do), don't consider the exact number, consider the number range (e.g., 1-25, 25-50, t2, t3, t4). That's really all that matters. Don't pick one t2 school over another t2 school you like better because the former is ranked 15 spots higher. When I started here, we were somewhere in the mid-60s, I don't remember exactly. The two years after we dropped to somewhere between 80 and 90, again, I think. Now, we're back up at 61. How did all this movement affect my experience? It didn't. At all. The only thing that happened as a result of the drop, as far as I can tell, was the dean held "meetings" to discuss and a decision was probably made to play the U.S. News game better. My experience did not change. My job prospects didn't look dimmer those 2 years and they don't suddenly look brighter now because we're back up in the 60's. Administration didn't suddenly get worse and then better again. Attorneys didn't suddenly stop saying "USD is a good school" those 2 years.

3. Ok, rankings don't matter. What does as far as job prospect goes? REPUTATION. Reputation in the market you want to be in. Generally speaking, yes, rankings tend to correspond to reputation, BUT (by way of example), don't sit there and think that your getting a Hastings or Davis degree will make it easier for you to break into the San Diego market than if you had just attended school in SD in the first place (even Cal Western...TJ's rep isn't as strong). Yes, Hastings is ranked quite a big higher, but they don't have much of a reputation here. Notice I said "they don't have much of a reputation" not that they "have a bad reputation." Attorneys base their judgment of schools on people they've worked with. As "better" of a school as Hastings might be than USD, if I find an employer who's never dealt with a Hastings grad and has mainly good experiences with USD grads, he'll probably choose me over the Hastings grad (all else equal).

4. If you don't want to graduate from the school you plan on attending your 1L year, DO NOT GO. I know, I know, "but I 'plan' to transfer." Most people here have it right. If you're going to a school where your first thought is "I plan to transfer," then assume that's also what 90% of your classmates are planning. DO NOT think "I plan to work my ass off" will mean a thing. Working your ass off doesn't say a thing about whether 1) you'll understand the material or 2) whether you'll know how to put what you know on paper. I don't care how brilliant you think you may be.

5. 1L is NOT the time to slack. 3L is  ;D. In gang speak, 1L is getting jumped in, 2L is earning respect, and 3L is running the cell block, not doing as much work yourself and just waiting to get out.

6. 1L may not be the time to slack, but you should still enjoy it. As much work as it may have been, I could say my first year was probably the most fun.

7. If you're going to do anything or tell anyone anything, be prepared for the entire school to know about it, even if you think the person you're telling is one you can trust. Don't not tell anyone anything, but if it's something you REALLY don't want people to know, then keep it to yourself. Got gonorrhea from that random chick you met in the bar and don't want people to know? SHUT YOUR MOUTH. Even people who don't ask or look for gossip (e.g., ME) will somehow hear about it. Hell, a lot of times, even admin will hear about it.

I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can think of for now.

Additions:

8. Supplements are your friend.
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: Shake Zula on May 09, 2009, 02:15:17 PM
Great post. I agree 1L year is akin to getting jumped in but year 2 is more akin to running a fortune 500 company with 10 dollars. 2L year they will work you until you cry or shot yourself.

I also agree supplements are the end all be all. They are the single most important resource in law school. Professors will tell you not to get them, other students may scoff at you....GET THE SUPPLEMENTS. I use Emmanuals and Crunchtime they are pretty much worth their weight in gold.

Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: Manwithaplan on May 17, 2009, 11:29:10 PM
isn't it a bit soon to impart your wisdom? we've been out of school for only a day man!
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on May 17, 2009, 11:37:56 PM
Really?  I had planned on doing very little as a 2L and 3L.  I mean, I have the 3L attitude pretty much down already.  I don't read the cases, sure as hell don't brief, and barely pay attention in class.  I spend my nights trying to get down the solo from "Sweet Child O' Mine."  Slash is a sweet guitarist.
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: dashrashi on May 18, 2009, 06:49:09 AM
I thought 2L was hard as *&^%. More stress-crying than last year, definitely. Part of this may be because I got a dog who is neurotic and exceedingly difficult to deal with, and I only have a limited tolerance for piss and *&^% all over my kitchen (which he exceeded by Day 3), but I also thought that my classes were hard (expecting both breadth and depth of knowledge, boo), in addition to journal and other extracurricular responsibilities, which REALLY kicked up this year.
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on May 18, 2009, 08:23:37 AM
I thought 2L was hard as poo. More stress-crying than last year, definitely. Part of this may be because I got a dog who is neurotic and exceedingly difficult to deal with, and I only have a limited tolerance for piss and poo all over my kitchen (which he exceeded by Day 3), but I also thought that my classes were hard (expecting both breadth and depth of knowledge, boo), in addition to journal and other extracurricular responsibilities, which REALLY kicked up this year.

 :(
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: goaliechica on May 18, 2009, 09:26:57 AM
I thought 2L was hard as *&^%. More stress-crying than last year, definitely. Part of this may be because I got a dog who is neurotic and exceedingly difficult to deal with, and I only have a limited tolerance for piss and *&^% all over my kitchen (which he exceeded by Day 3), but I also thought that my classes were hard (expecting both breadth and depth of knowledge, boo), in addition to journal and other extracurricular responsibilities, which REALLY kicked up this year.

Yah. The whole "1L they scare you to death, 2L they work you to death" adage turned out to be pretty accurate for me. I found 2L WAAAAYYYY more stressful than 1L. But now it's over! Wheee!

<----looking forward to being bored to death
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: goaliechica on May 18, 2009, 10:20:34 AM
<----looking forward to being bored to death

<---was bored to death.

<---now dead.

 :(

Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on May 18, 2009, 11:15:10 AM
But WHY?  I thought I would be taking joke classes like Admin for which I could study three days before the Final, and, assuming I don't do LR, what else is there?
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: goaliechica on May 18, 2009, 11:49:23 AM
But WHY?  I thought I would be taking joke classes like Admin for which I could study three days before the Final, and, assuming I don't do LR, what else is there?

1. Admin is a joke class?

2. It varies from person to person, but for me it went like this: OCIP meant I was very busy and tired and behind in all of my classes from the beginning of the semester onward, so I spent most of the semester trying to dig myself out of that hole after already feeling burned out from the whole interview process. I was also taking hard classes. Journal work kicked up for me on my subject journal. If you do any extracurriculars whatsoever, 2Ls are generally the ones organizing and being in charge of things, which is always more work than it sounds like. Participation in clinics, moot courts, organizing banquets, bringing in speakers, law review, secondary journals, organizing a symposium, etc. It just seems that almost everyone does something (or should, at least), and it all really kicks into gear during 2L, right when you are most exhausted and behind in your classes because of all the interviewing.  Second semester was better, but that's also when a lot of people decide to take a lot of hard/substantive classes (I took way too many classes this semester).

3. Since when are you not trying to do LR?
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: Matthies on May 18, 2009, 12:02:02 PM
I thought 1.5 -2.5 (part time 4 year plan, so bacislly my 2L year)   was the most hectic as well. Not so much because of the classes or anything but just because I had so much outside stuff on my plate. This last semester was the “hardest” - one class – its was so hard to stay even remotely motivated at all. I did next to nothing for that class. Thank god I was skiing at least once a week to keep me sane. Now I don’t know what to do with myself since I graduated. Guess I could start bar study. Although A-basin is still open with a 60 inch base…hmm skiing or bar study?

BTW I agree with everying OP said.
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on May 18, 2009, 12:02:47 PM
It's not considered a hard class here, but we're on the quarter system, and the prof who teaches it is incredibly systematic.  If Epstein teaches it, however, I have no idea.

That makes sense.  Our OCI will be in late August/early September, before classes start, so I don't think I'll have that problem.  Also, I submitted a letter of intent to the LR but not the secondary journals, so, as long as Moot Court doesn't take up much time, I'll be fine.

Thanks for the long explanation.  I hope you're not too tired for the summer work.  :)
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: mugatu on May 18, 2009, 01:36:15 PM
I thought 2L was hard as poo. More stress-crying than last year, definitely. Part of this may be because I got a dog who is neurotic and exceedingly difficult to deal with, and I only have a limited tolerance for piss and poo all over my kitchen (which he exceeded by Day 3), but I also thought that my classes were hard (expecting both breadth and depth of knowledge, boo), in addition to journal and other extracurricular responsibilities, which REALLY kicked up this year.

Yah. The whole "1L they scare you to death, 2L they work you to death" adage turned out to be pretty accurate for me. I found 2L WAAAAYYYY more stressful than 1L. But now it's over! Wheee!

<----looking forward to being bored to death

That was my 2L too.  3L got interesting!
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: OingoBoingo on May 23, 2009, 08:14:16 AM
Yeah, 2L year was the hardest. I had some pretty long days (12-15) hours 6 days a week, 7 during exam period. 3L was sooo slack - I only got mildly irritated at the end b/c of conflicts with job interviewing.

OIngo
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: ,.,.,.;.,.,. on May 23, 2009, 04:16:48 PM
Is it necessary to call 1Ls and 2Ls morons because they don't know the law yet?  I don't mean to make an example of you, but I think that many 1Ls and 2Ls have a general sense of what the law may be in a few fictional jurisdictions, and it's not their fault that LS isn't "bar exam prep."

I agree with number 2.  I'm always surprised by the cliques and gossip.

I disagree with study hard.  I think that, for some people, grades inversely correlate with effort.  Why?  Because the less time you spend studying, the more efficient you are when you DO study, and the more time you spend grappling with the hypo the prof gives you, rather than regurgitating the endless bull spewed.
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: jillibean on May 24, 2009, 02:31:35 PM
Another thing- law school is just like high school
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: TruOne on May 28, 2009, 07:49:06 PM
Is it necessary to call 1Ls and 2Ls morons because they don't know the law yet?  I don't mean to make an example of you, but I think that many 1Ls and 2Ls have a general sense of what the law may be in a few fictional jurisdictions, and it's not their fault that LS isn't "bar exam prep."

Uh. . . nobody in Law School knows the law. That's why we have to shell out an extra $2,400 to TEACH US how to take the Bar Exam.

3L year is pointless unless you are doing a clinic, journal, or trial advocacy. The classes that remain are utterly pointless.

What can i possibly learn from taking Military Law if I don't intend on joining JAG?

3L year exist so the school can justify paying Professors 6 figures to research and publish "scholarly" books and articles.
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: Contract2008 on May 31, 2009, 11:14:01 AM
sno, do you have a job offer ye?  Do most of your classmates have job offers?
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: Contract2008 on May 31, 2009, 11:21:38 AM
A little background: 3L, attending USD (for another week), have been using LSD since before I took the LSAT. Now, the things you should know:

1. DO NOT attend unless you're about as sure as you can be that you want to be here. A LOT of people attend primarily because they don't know what else to do and end up not liking it. It's a HUGE investment of time and money. Taking some time off and working after ug is definitely recommended if you're not so sure.

2. Rankings matter little. If you care about rankings (most do), don't consider the exact number, consider the number range (e.g., 1-25, 25-50, t2, t3, t4). That's really all that matters. Don't pick one t2 school over another t2 school you like better because the former is ranked 15 spots higher. When I started here, we were somewhere in the mid-60s, I don't remember exactly. The two years after we dropped to somewhere between 80 and 90, again, I think. Now, we're back up at 61. How did all this movement affect my experience? It didn't. At all. The only thing that happened as a result of the drop, as far as I can tell, was the dean held "meetings" to discuss and a decision was probably made to play the U.S. News game better. My experience did not change. My job prospects didn't look dimmer those 2 years and they don't suddenly look brighter now because we're back up in the 60's. Administration didn't suddenly get worse and then better again. Attorneys didn't suddenly stop saying "USD is a good school" those 2 years.

3. Ok, rankings don't matter. What does as far as job prospect goes? REPUTATION. Reputation in the market you want to be in. Generally speaking, yes, rankings tend to correspond to reputation, BUT (by way of example), don't sit there and think that your getting a Hastings or Davis degree will make it easier for you to break into the San Diego market than if you had just attended school in SD in the first place (even Cal Western...TJ's rep isn't as strong). Yes, Hastings is ranked quite a big higher, but they don't have much of a reputation here. Notice I said "they don't have much of a reputation" not that they "have a bad reputation." Attorneys base their judgment of schools on people they've worked with. As "better" of a school as Hastings might be than USD, if I find an employer who's never dealt with a Hastings grad and has mainly good experiences with USD grads, he'll probably choose me over the Hastings grad (all else equal).

4. If you don't want to graduate from the school you plan on attending your 1L year, DO NOT GO. I know, I know, "but I 'plan' to transfer." Most people here have it right. If you're going to a school where your first thought is "I plan to transfer," then assume that's also what 90% of your classmates are planning. DO NOT think "I plan to work my ass off" will mean a thing. Working your ass off doesn't say a thing about whether 1) you'll understand the material or 2) whether you'll know how to put what you know on paper. I don't care how brilliant you think you may be.

5. 1L is NOT the time to slack. 3L is  ;D. In gang speak, 1L is getting jumped in, 2L is earning respect, and 3L is running the cell block, not doing as much work yourself and just waiting to get out.

6. 1L may not be the time to slack, but you should still enjoy it. As much work as it may have been, I could say my first year was probably the most fun.

7. If you're going to do anything or tell anyone anything, be prepared for the entire school to know about it, even if you think the person you're telling is one you can trust. Don't not tell anyone anything, but if it's something you REALLY don't want people to know, then keep it to yourself. Got gonorrhea from that random chick you met in the bar and don't want people to know? SHUT YOUR MOUTH. Even people who don't ask or look for gossip (e.g., ME) will somehow hear about it. Hell, a lot of times, even admin will hear about it.

I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can think of for now.

Additions:

8. Supplements are your friend.

I agree with 1.

I disagree with 2.  There is a huge difference between number 30 and number 45.  There is a gigantic difference between number 3 and number 20. 

I disagree with 3.  Especially when we're dealing with schools in the same state or surrounding states.

I agree with 4.

I partially agree with 5.  First year is not the year to slack off, but neither is 2nd and 3rd year, unless you're at the top of the class and have several offers already.  Even so, you still want to get involved in other activities, moot court, trial court, internships, leadership, etc.  I worked harder during my 2L/3L years than I did during my 1L year and I have a resume to show for it. 

I agree with 6

I agree with 7, especially if your school entering class has less than 300 people. 

I agree with 8. 



Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: Matthies on May 31, 2009, 01:23:00 PM
A little background: 3L, attending USD (for another week), have been using LSD since before I took the LSAT. Now, the things you should know:

1. DO NOT attend unless you're about as sure as you can be that you want to be here. A LOT of people attend primarily because they don't know what else to do and end up not liking it. It's a HUGE investment of time and money. Taking some time off and working after ug is definitely recommended if you're not so sure.

2. Rankings matter little. If you care about rankings (most do), don't consider the exact number, consider the number range (e.g., 1-25, 25-50, t2, t3, t4). That's really all that matters. Don't pick one t2 school over another t2 school you like better because the former is ranked 15 spots higher. When I started here, we were somewhere in the mid-60s, I don't remember exactly. The two years after we dropped to somewhere between 80 and 90, again, I think. Now, we're back up at 61. How did all this movement affect my experience? It didn't. At all. The only thing that happened as a result of the drop, as far as I can tell, was the dean held "meetings" to discuss and a decision was probably made to play the U.S. News game better. My experience did not change. My job prospects didn't look dimmer those 2 years and they don't suddenly look brighter now because we're back up in the 60's. Administration didn't suddenly get worse and then better again. Attorneys didn't suddenly stop saying "USD is a good school" those 2 years.

3. Ok, rankings don't matter. What does as far as job prospect goes? REPUTATION. Reputation in the market you want to be in. Generally speaking, yes, rankings tend to correspond to reputation, BUT (by way of example), don't sit there and think that your getting a Hastings or Davis degree will make it easier for you to break into the San Diego market than if you had just attended school in SD in the first place (even Cal Western...TJ's rep isn't as strong). Yes, Hastings is ranked quite a big higher, but they don't have much of a reputation here. Notice I said "they don't have much of a reputation" not that they "have a bad reputation." Attorneys base their judgment of schools on people they've worked with. As "better" of a school as Hastings might be than USD, if I find an employer who's never dealt with a Hastings grad and has mainly good experiences with USD grads, he'll probably choose me over the Hastings grad (all else equal).

4. If you don't want to graduate from the school you plan on attending your 1L year, DO NOT GO. I know, I know, "but I 'plan' to transfer." Most people here have it right. If you're going to a school where your first thought is "I plan to transfer," then assume that's also what 90% of your classmates are planning. DO NOT think "I plan to work my ass off" will mean a thing. Working your ass off doesn't say a thing about whether 1) you'll understand the material or 2) whether you'll know how to put what you know on paper. I don't care how brilliant you think you may be.

5. 1L is NOT the time to slack. 3L is  ;D. In gang speak, 1L is getting jumped in, 2L is earning respect, and 3L is running the cell block, not doing as much work yourself and just waiting to get out.

6. 1L may not be the time to slack, but you should still enjoy it. As much work as it may have been, I could say my first year was probably the most fun.

7. If you're going to do anything or tell anyone anything, be prepared for the entire school to know about it, even if you think the person you're telling is one you can trust. Don't not tell anyone anything, but if it's something you REALLY don't want people to know, then keep it to yourself. Got gonorrhea from that random chick you met in the bar and don't want people to know? SHUT YOUR MOUTH. Even people who don't ask or look for gossip (e.g., ME) will somehow hear about it. Hell, a lot of times, even admin will hear about it.

I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can think of for now.

Additions:

8. Supplements are your friend.



I disagree with 2.  There is a huge difference between number 30 and number 45.  There is a gigantic difference between number 3 and number 20. 

I disagree with 3.  Especially when we're dealing with schools in the same state or surrounding states.


I agree with the OP over this issue. The big caveat that it applies if your looking local, not so much if your trying to go out of state. 45  mins north of here is a school ranked in the 40’s, my schools is ranked 77, has the presence of the other school impacted my job search/results? Not at all.

I’ve never lost a job to a CU student. The point in which is matters is when your mass mailing for a job, which in my view you should never be doing in the first place. Here there is not difference in view of local employers as to which school you went to. All things being equal one student is not going to get a local job over another student just because he went to the 45 school rather than the 77 school. Moral of this story? Go to school where you want to work unless it’s a T25 school.
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: Alamo on May 31, 2009, 01:50:14 PM
I'm probably in the minority, but I disagree with 8.  The few times I tried to use supplements I did poorly; when I didn't, I did well.  Every professor covers different material, with different points of emphasis.  When you use a supplement, you may learn a lot of the material, but there will be parts of the professor's class you won't learn, and there will be parts of the supplement you'll learn that are not relevant to the class.

I also feel like supplements seem to short you on case facts.  These can be very important come exam time.

I think supplements are OK if you're going for a B or B+ as opposed to an A, and I also think they're helpful if you genuinely don't understand an issue (though hornbooks are probably better).  But overall, I found them to have negative value--they don't teach you much you couldn't learn from reading the case, they take up valuable time, and they can be misleading as to what matters for the exam.   
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: dashrashi on May 31, 2009, 09:45:20 PM
I don't think law school is much like high school at all. Then again, I don't have to take Bible and Jewish Ethics in law school, so that could be the big difference.
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: Donnie Jeffcoat on May 31, 2009, 10:01:12 PM
I'm probably in the minority, but I disagree with 8.  The few times I tried to use supplements I did poorly; when I didn't, I did well.  Every professor covers different material, with different points of emphasis.  When you use a supplement, you may learn a lot of the material, but there will be parts of the professor's class you won't learn, and there will be parts of the supplement you'll learn that are not relevant to the class.

I also feel like supplements seem to short you on case facts.  These can be very important come exam time.

I think supplements are OK if you're going for a B or B+ as opposed to an A, and I also think they're helpful if you genuinely don't understand an issue (though hornbooks are probably better).  But overall, I found them to have negative value--they don't teach you much you couldn't learn from reading the case, they take up valuable time, and they can be misleading as to what matters for the exam.   

Strongly agree with this post.  Trust me: if you are trying to skate through law school, supplements are your friend.  If you are trying to graduate with honors, STAY AWAY from supplements.  There was a HUGE difference in the grades I got when I used supplements versus the grades I got in classes in which I didn't.  You should be focusing on what your professor is focusing on so unless your prof wrote the supplement (and maybe not even then), stay away from the supplements.
Title: Re: A graduating 3L's things you should know before you go to law school.
Post by: Good Teacher on June 01, 2009, 08:28:47 PM
Thanks for posting this sno!  Your insights are great and your delivery is hilarious. :-)