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Messages - Burning Sands

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Current Law Students / Re: I failed the bar by 2 points
« on: November 26, 2007, 05:25:03 PM »
Should I take it again?  :-[

I don't plan on practicing and the first time sucked wicked hard

First of all, sorry to hear that.  Especially such a close margin. That's literally one question on the MBE.

If you are 100% certain that you will NEVER practice law then don't sweat it.  There would literally be no need for you to repeat that horror.

So the question is will you ever desire to practice?

Current Law Students / Re: Anyone taking the MPRE tomorrow
« on: November 06, 2007, 04:33:02 PM »
It is def up there.  The first thing you will be told to do when any client approaches you for representation -

conflicts check

conflicts check


conflicts check

Ethics/Prof. Conduct plays a huge role in the practice (as it should).

Current Law Students / Re: I Need Civ Pro Studying Advice Please
« on: November 05, 2007, 12:39:25 PM »
Absolutely concur in the judgment - Glannon's Examples & Explanations for Civ Pro is a must have.  His break down of subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, and venue will turn you into a Civ Pro guru in no time.

In addition, you may also find the Flash Cards helpful since Civ Pro is very rule based.  The repetition from the cards does a lot to put all of the rules into context.

Current Law Students / Re: 1L summer job, IP law
« on: November 05, 2007, 10:44:57 AM »
Thanks for your responses. It's encouraging to hear that it's probably easier to get an IP summer job than a non-IP firm job. Oscars, thanks for your offer to help. However, I'm on the East Coast, and I'd prefer a job on the East Coast also. (Although "beggars can't be choosers" does perhaps apply here.)

What do they look at besides degrees; research experience, publications?

Also, how does it work in IP -- are (e.g.) mechanical engineers also supposed to work on biochemistry problems and vice versa?

If your degree is in Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical or Computer Engineering then you are in the door with most of the Patent/IP Boutiques.

I'm an engineer myself and I do some IP work now (among other things) for biglaw. 

There are not too many of us (engr's) in law school, so it is definitely easier for those majors listed above.  I have an Architectural Engineering degree, which is along the lines of Civil, and I had a very very very very very tough time getting in with any patent boutiques where they have very specific specialty groups within IP (Chem., Mech. EE), but I was loved by the general practice/biglaw firms who also happened to have an IP group so that's where I am now.  I came to find out this was due to the particular nature of the boutiques - many of them would specifically look for Mech. E's to work on their mechanical patents, Chem. E's or Chemical PhD's to work on their drug patents, etc.   General practice firms, by contrast, tended not to be that picky.  Any science background and you're good to go.

Either way, if you're looking at IP and you have a science background you're in good shape.

Current Law Students / Re: Anyone taking the MPRE tomorrow
« on: November 05, 2007, 10:23:51 AM »
I was with a lot of fellow post MPRE-ers at a party last night. There was not a single person who felt good about that test. If I pass, I will be just at that 80 cut off. Thank god my state is not an 85.

LOL.  I'm sure most law students would agree that the topic of Ethics is not a hard subject at all, but the way it is tested on the MPRE without a doubt makes it one of the most difficult tests you will have to take in law school.   But the NCBE knows it is hard so you can take solace in the fact that it has a somewhat generous curve. 

So you didn't do as bad as you may think.

Current Law Students / Re: Easy Bluebook Question
« on: November 05, 2007, 10:13:06 AM »
Black's Law Dictionary [page number] (8th ed. 2004).

Current Law Students / Re: POLL: How important is reading for class?
« on: October 30, 2007, 09:21:58 AM »
As a 1L, it's important.  As a 2L and 3L not so much.

Current Law Students / Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
« on: October 30, 2007, 09:12:38 AM »
However, don't forget that juries usually make the decision for proximate cause.

My bad if that's not clear.  When I said:
"...if the aforementioned "but for" cause is found to be reasonably foreseeable by the court"

"by the court" here should be understood as either judge or jury.  Either one of these court entities can find proximate cause.

And Palsgraff was very much about a lack of duty, as well (according to Cardozo)

Even though there was a discussion by both the majority and minority opinions of the duty owed (or lack thereof) between the guard and Ms. Palsgraf, the Palsgraf case is better known by every law student and lawyer from coast to coast to stand for the proposition of proximate cause.  That is its claim to fame, so to speak.  If there were some huge "Eyes Wide Shut"-type party thrown for all the lawyers in the nation at some hideaway mansion, the secret password at the door would invariably be Palsgraf.  (with International Shoe being a close second)

But you are right that there is a discussion on duty but the case is moreso known for the proximate cause issue that was announced by Cardozo. 

An attorney that my family retained did this. He graduated in 2006 and has a solo practice in lower Manhattan. I am considering maybe going this route as well. Anyone else know of anybody who did this? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

I know several attorneys who have started their own practices in NYC and in DC.  In fact, the majority of attorneys practicing in the State of New York are in solo practice according to the NY Bar statistics.  I imagine this holds true in most other states as well.

What the other posters mentioned is on point re experience.  None of the individuals that I know who have successful solo practices did so immediately out of law school for all the reasons that have been touched on above.  Law school simply does not prepare you for the "practice" of law.  Client connections, referrals and most importantly knowledge of the court system are a practitioner's bread & butter.  Unfortunately those tools are rarely acquired while one is still attending law school since practicing the law without a license is prohibited.

If you are considering solo practice as an option, you should also consider working for somebody else for a short period of time (any sized firm will do) until you get the nuts and bolts of the practice down.  This will also allow you time to develop a book of business hopefully that you can take with you to your own practice.

Current Law Students / Re: Cause in fact vs. Proximate Cause
« on: October 29, 2007, 08:20:08 PM »
Maybe it's me being dense - maybe it's because it's late - but I still don't get it.

Maybe a different example will help if anyone has one.


Simply put...

"Cause in Fact" = the actual cause

"Proximate Cause" = the foreseeable cause

To elaborate "cause in fact" is literally the event or action that one can point to as being responsible for bringing about some result.  For example - hitting somebody, firing a gun, driving your car into a pedestrian, etc.  This is often referred to as the "but for" cause because "but for" this event taking place, there would be no tort.

Proximate cause, on the other hand, is a way to classify the "but for" cause in terms of its reasonable predictability.  Often referred to as the "foreseeble" cause or the "legal" cause because if the aforementioned "but for" cause is found to be reasonably foreseeable by the court, then causation is satisfied and the actor is liable for the tort.  If the "but for" cause is not reasonably foreseeable (like in Palsgraff) then the causal connection between the actor and the victim is too distant, and as a matter of policy, the actor will not be liable for the tort.

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