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Messages - zilla

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Current Law Students / Re: Sage advice for soon to be 1L's
« on: June 03, 2005, 02:29:06 PM »
everyone has a different law school experience I guess, but I happened to find several classes where professors had valuble things to say, or useful hypos were presented.
As for the worth of LEEWS, i know many people who found it extremely valuable. The seminar offered tips on exam taking and efficient class note taking that I used throughout law school. There is some indepth discussion regarding this point on another section of this board.
I do agree that commercial outlines are a valuable resource, but I truly believe creating your own outline is a worthwhile exercise, especially when you have closed book exams. For me at least, it helped with the memorization process.
Most importantly, everyone learns and studies in a different way. One key to sucess in law school is trying out different approaches and seeing what works best for you.

Current Law Students / Re: working during law school?
« on: June 03, 2005, 02:17:42 PM »
For full time students, i'm told first year should be no-work time. I was a part-time student (average of 12 credits per semester). I worked a full time professional job and went to school at night. If you are very committed to a part time program, it is possible! And as for what schools firms hire from: don't fall prey to the idea you must go to a Tier 1 to get a job. A lot depends on market factors. I went to a Tier 3 as a part time student, and had offers from 3 large firms in our market (cleveland). something around 96  percent of our grads were employed within 6 months of graduation.
I also know several full time students who after their first year took part-time work as law clerks or research assistants/tutors etc. I wouldn't suggest taking a serving job to earn money, but the clerking experience is so valuable to your training as a lawyer, not to mention it leads to jobs, that I think it is worth the extra hours of work required on your part. Anything is possible if you put the effort in. Good luck!

Current Law Students / Re: LEEWS--when to start?
« on: June 02, 2005, 01:42:27 PM »
just wanted to add my thoughts on LEEWS: do it. sign up and take it your first semester if possible. I took it, made law review and was #3 in my class. The seminar itself was the most valuable -- i didn't practice the method as much as the course recommended, but just by learning the techniques in the seminar I came out ahead.
i just pulled out my book from the course to refresh now that i'm studying for the bar. I took the course with about 5 other people in my section, and all of us wound up in the top 15% of the class first year.

i'm going into litigation (after I get past that pesky bar this summer). I think the law school process will do a lot to help you. you have no choice BUT to talk when it comes to the socratic method.  The key is to know you will at some point say something entirely wrong or ridiculous in class. just accept the fact and be ready to laugh it off. Nobody will think any less of you, because it will happen to them.
One practice point though: if you have a study group, really work on talking to them. You'll find that discussing points of law in front of just a few people is a good way to train yourself for litigation. Make an effort to respond to the questions of your group in a thoughtful manner. Keep in mind, most of the time you spend in court is with the parties and the judge, and a jury in the rare case. So start with the small groups and think of the room as chambers. 
Also, get in a trial advocacy class or some sort of trial tactics class: you'll do a lot of talking and the practice helps. even goofy things like karaoke can help you: if you can make a fool of yourself on that level, talking about law suddenly carries a much lesser chance of embarrassment.
Anyway...i clerked in the litigation group of a big firm, and most of the work you do involves hours on lexis and quality time writing!

Current Law Students / Re: Grading Curves
« on: June 01, 2005, 04:09:28 PM »
i just graduated from cleveland-marshall.

Current Law Students / Re: Anyone doing barbri this summer?
« on: May 31, 2005, 11:17:38 AM »
i'm doing barbri and pmbr as we speak. I'd highly recommend a prep class. If not barbri, take something. from what everyone has told me, you cannot study for the bar without some type of class. There are all internet based and DVD programs that are cheaper, and I've heard good things. I'm doing my Barbri on DVD: it is the exact same lecture offered to the people who attend in person.

Current Law Students / Re: Grading Curves
« on: May 31, 2005, 11:15:07 AM »
i agree, zemog. when I went through on-campus interviewing, everything was a question of rank rather than GPA.  some firms would only accept bids if rank was top 10 to 20%. GPA wasn't really an issue. And for grade inflated top tiers, I don't think GPA is a big factor on the mind of employers either, for the same reason: most employers know how the system works and understand GPA has little facial value.  I found in my interview experience, part time students working professional jobs, or full timers with professional background did far better in the employment game, even where they weren't the very top of the rank list. It did seem like rank/gpa was only a question at the very outset. Beyond that, writing samples, background and personality made the big difference. And that impression was just dealing with the large firms in our market...i know plenty of students who were middle of the road that landed excellent jobs with smaller firms and government, etc. after working as clerks during summer and the school year. 

Current Law Students / Re: Grading Curves
« on: May 31, 2005, 08:22:20 AM »
i went to one of those not-tier-one schools. the curve was basically a forced bell curve. Though I wouldn't say 10% failed each class. I think professors were more likely to give more Ds and a spare few Fs. Other than that, pretty strict curve, at least for first year courses and upper level courses with more than 15 people.
...the theory that everyone throws out to justify the curves are that the lower tier schools want to weed out the underachievers to try to keep them from taking and failing the bar, which then in turn lowers the school's pass rate. i don't know if that is true or not. Grade curves do spur competition, but the upside is your class rank reflects your standing anyway. I clerked with a person from a tier 1 school that didn't rank at all. I guess it would be nice to avoid the competitive aspects of ranking, but at the same time, i found that competition to be a big motivating factor to study.

my advice: write on if you don't grade on. My school's law review is almost all grade on. We have a writing competition, and I think many people just don't take advantage of that method of joining. There have been years that our law review could have picked more write-ons, but didn't take as many as planned because the pool of applicants was small. Had a few more people entered a quality product, they would have been invited to join. Usually the write on process will span a week or two of your time. The payoff makes that time worthwhile.
Law review can be a lot of work, and the hours spent with your Blue Book can be oppressive, but overall, I found the experience to be the very best thing I did in law school. Employers definetly look for law review on the resume, but more importantly, you will learn to research at a level far beyond what most students learn from their legal writing courses. You will be an expert at citation form, and your writing will improve dramatically.

Current Law Students / Re: Sage advice for soon to be 1L's
« on: May 30, 2005, 09:10:40 PM »
I just graduated last week, and am now in the hell known as bar prep. I can't help but throw in my two cents for all you soon-to-be 1Ls:
1. Start preparing for your finals the first day of school. Seriously. finals are everything, and most first years (including myself) spend more time worried about looking like a fool in class. You will look like a fool in class at some point, learn to enjoy laughing at yourself. The perfect case brief may give you the appearance of a superstar in a class discussion, it won't necessarily prep you for the final. Get old exams if possible, work on IRAC, start outlining!
2. Take the LEEWS class. Look it up online. I did it first year, and it was worth every penny. They guarantee if you take the one day seminar you will get As and Bs on your finals. It worked for me. It was one of the most valuable things I did as a law student. Everyone will learn the law, not everyone will learn how to take an essay exam. This class will give you a leg up.
3. Don't take all of your class notes on a laptop. If you hand write your notes, you then have to type them in. It forces you to review, to create more concise statements of black letter law, and better organize for outlining purposes. Plus you get the added benefit of working out those hand muscles, which have to be in top shape for the hours of writing on the bar.
Law school is a marathon, don't get too caught up in the rat race aspect. Try to enjoy the law in between the drudgery!

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