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Messages - reverendlex

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Current Law Students / Re: A Linux geek's law school computer set up
« on: July 23, 2007, 04:40:55 PM »

Now my practice sometimes requires that I have a Windows machine for testing and forensics...

Now that sounds cool.  What kind of practice are you doing?

I hadn't thought about going to Defcon - maybe I should go to one.

I work for an e-discovery vendor as a litigation consultant. Some forensics and investigation. Traditional pro bono work to feel like a 'real' lawyer.

As for hacker cons- they can be a lot of fun if you like kicking ideas around while drinking heavily. Presenting papers & talks at one will exercise your public speaking skills.

Current Law Students / Re: A Linux geek's law school computer set up
« on: July 22, 2007, 08:07:18 AM »
I used a dual boot Kubuntu/XP on a Winbook X540 my last year of law school and for the PA bar exam. For note taking, I used Kate, and papers and presentations were written using OpenOffice. Pretty much everything else you need works in Firefox- Blackboard/Westlaw/Lexis.

ExamSoft checks its environment for virtual machines, so VMware or Virtual PC won't work, which is why I had to dual-boot.

Remember that 'support' from the school means handholding. I'm sure you're bright enough to translate the setup instructions.

Now my practice sometimes requires that I have a Windows machine for testing and forensics, so I have a spare XP box just for that purpose. Most of my real work gets done on my Mac and the same Kubuntu box.

Keep on hacking. See you at Defcon?

I'm not too sure you're going to find what you're looking for. Law schools are professional schools- to prepare you for a career. Underlying theories of human nature are interesting, but not really relevant to understanding how a judge is likely to rule.  A heterodox view of law isn't going to serve you too well. Of course, there may be the individual professor in a philosophy of law class that has some interesting views, but the real purpose of law schools is to train you for the profession, not to let you question too much of it.

Not to make fun of dentists, but there aren't Platonian vs Hegelian views on the causes and cures of gingivitis, either.

If you're looking for schools that may have a more leftist or rightist view on advocacy, then you might consider Pepperdine or Liberty on the right, and perhaps Peoples' College of Law for a really left wing school. I'm fairly liberal, but many of my fellow students were far to the left of me when I went to Temple, but I don't think it's considered particularly liberal.

If you're looking for alternative theories of law, I might consider a legal studies degree instead of a JD.

Actually, an ABA accredited (but not AALS) school may accept the A.A in lieu of the B.A. if the state bar also allows it.

Bar Exam Preparation / Re: Taking Two Bar Exams
« on: August 02, 2006, 08:01:14 AM »
it helped that the NJ bar is not too difficult.  the girl next to me in the NJ exam had just taken the Delaware exam (a three-day exam from Mon-Wed), so it could have been worse.

I took both PA and NJ and I have to say- NJ was much more straightforward than PA. That freakin' UCC/sale of defective bulldozer question I know I screwed up on.

Current Law Students / Re: Crappy Grades/Strong LSAT
« on: July 05, 2006, 03:19:20 PM »
I'd add the possibility of doing a split LL.B/J.D. program (I think Osgood Hall offers one with Columbia)- that way you can practice law either in the US or Canada.

Also, if you have a high LSAT & GPA, I'd consider applying to tier 2/3 schools unless you can afford to fund your own tuition/living expenses- schools here are really expensive here compared to, well, the rest of the world. Without a scholarship (which schools will offer if you have significantly higher LSAT/GPA scores than their usual admits), you're looking at $100,000 in debt when you graduate. Many of the lower-interest loans available to U.S. students won't be available to you as well.

And if you worked on a trading floor, I'm sure you can handle stress.

Good luck.

Current Law Students / Re: Public Defender Work
« on: June 29, 2006, 04:39:15 AM »
A few of my graduating friends got hired by the Philly PD this year, and the NJ OPD encouraged me to apply. If I remember my conversation with the recruiting attorney, they are looking for dedication, good litigation & people skills. Additional languages are a bonus.

Both the Philly and NJ OPD prefer previous interns- it both shows dedication and knowledge about what goes on. All of us had worked our 2L summer with a PD's office.

One other useful fact- the larger offices do OCI and are more competitive. Smaller PD offices don't have the time to go to schools to get people, but if you take the initiative to contact local offices you can get  a summer clerkship if they like you. If you offer to work for free (ot them), you're even more interesting. Your school may offer to pay the contribution so you can get work-study funds (not much, but it can cover some expenses).

After graduation, smaller, more rural offices are less competitive, but generally prefer to hire after you pass the bar. Larger offices hire before the bar, but either give you one chance or walk you out if you fail.

I really value my experience with the OPD. I learned more there than anywhere else during my law school  career.  Unfortunately, I got an offer that I couldn't refuse, so I'll be working elsewhere.

Current Law Students / Re: Urgent Cite Question
« on: June 26, 2006, 12:42:32 PM »

I like to think of these cases as a lump sum payment of stupid tax. I worked on one of these when I summered with the PD. One of the reasons they're so popular with law enforcement is that they're simple and they make their own evidence. A couple pages of chat logs will get you enough PC to subpoena the ISP and get a search warrant, which often turns up kiddie pr0n.

If done right, the entrapment defense goes away, since the defendant usually pursues the target.

Defendants go for the plea since the evidence is so damning. Like the Dateline episode, it's pretty easy work for a bunch of convictions.
The case I worked on, the police got the defendant to initial each page of the logs. On tape. What made it better was that he was ex law enforcement himself. Our major concern was making sure he survived his sentence.

Current Law Students / Re: how much drinking?
« on: June 19, 2006, 06:09:58 PM »
I found my cohort to be a pretty hard drinking crew, or at least my friends were. By 2L, we calmed down a bit. I think it goes with the territory. Lots of the adjuncts that taught litigation related skills were friends of Bill W.

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