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Messages - dorsia

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General Board / Re: Once you are on law review
« on: July 11, 2007, 10:49:00 PM »
I think it matters.  If you do well, you should have a better shot at getting a clerkship (if you're interested in one, that is).  And if you are on the editorial board, you may have more options after you graduate as well.  Not all summer associates are enamored of their current firm; being an editor can put you in a position to change firms after you graduate.

And if you put in little to no work, other law-review members will remember.  So work hard.  Plus, Bluebooking is fun!

2
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: Books to help with Brief Writing?
« on: March 12, 2007, 10:06:57 PM »
I like Bryan A. Garner, The Winning Brief (2d. ed., 2004) for brief writing.  The author does some things differently than others, such as his issue statements and his preference of using footnotes rather than textual citations, but the book is very good.  For style, few books best The Chicago Manual of Style.

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General Board / Re: Attendance- How strict are your professors?
« on: February 19, 2007, 08:35:28 PM »
In general, I think that the better professors are the ones with greater class discipline in that regard.  I was a teacher for a few years before law school and in my opinion, classroom discipline is as much of a problem in law school as it was when I taught seven and eigth graders. 

I generally don't care whether students return to class after a break.  I do care, however, when students come to class late by walking through the front doors, or when students leave and then return through the front doors.  Besides being disrespectful to the professor, it is a huge distraction.  And it only happens in classes taught by professors who let it happen.  I have generally enjoyed and have better paid attention to professors who prohibit students from entering the front doors of the classroom after class starts and who prohibit students from entering and leaving.  Emergencies exist, but somehow they happen with greater frequency in classes taught by teachers with little to no discipline.   

I don't think it works that way in law school. I've been a teacher as well and I think at the law school level it's more about gaining the respect from your students than treating them like they are not adults. None of my profs had an attendance policy last year and because they were all well-liked, engaging, and exerted enough authority that students came on time, didn't leave class in the middle, and rarely skipped even when the prof was teaching material that wasn't going to be tested. The professors who have a more juvenile style of discipline tend to need it more because the classes aren't engaging enough to get people to come in voluntarily or on time. However, discipline at my school is nowhere near the problem it is in middle school.

Don't get me wrong, students hardly act up or are overtly disrespectful.  I was exagerating.  But, I appreciate professors who do not allow students to walk in the front doors of the classroom after class starts, and who don't allow students to leave through the front doors during class.  I find that most well-liked professors are stricter when it comes to this issue.  At least the ones I have liked. 

And further, not all professors are the same or have the same command of the class.  It is often the nice or younger professors, I have found, that benefit greater when they have a policy.  These are professors, not middle school teachers, and few have ever had training or given great thought to the virtues of consistent classroom policy.  Some of them feel uncomfortable calling out students midway through the semester for coming to class five minues late every class.  If they have a policy from the outset, those problems can be avoided. 

4
General Board / Re: will i go to hell if i don't try out for a journal?
« on: February 19, 2007, 08:10:36 PM »
I would try as well.  Being at a top ten school, you will have tons of opportunities regardless of whether you are on a journal.  Cite-checking and editing can be enjoyable and a rewarding learning experience and, in my opinion, no better way to learn the Bluebook exists.  You also may develop new friends from your time working on your journal.  Overall, it has been a good experience. 

I second Jacy's point.  If the journal is not for you, get involved in other activities, clinics, or projects.  I think that students who only take classes miss out on a lot that law school has to offer.

5
General Board / Re: Attendance- How strict are your professors?
« on: February 19, 2007, 08:00:32 PM »
In general, I think that the better professors are the ones with greater class discipline in that regard.  I was a teacher for a few years before law school and in my opinion, classroom discipline is as much of a problem in law school as it was when I taught seven and eigth graders. 

I generally don't care whether students return to class after a break.  I do care, however, when students come to class late by walking through the front doors, or when students leave and then return through the front doors.  Besides being disrespectful to the professor, it is a huge distraction.  And it only happens in classes taught by professors who let it happen.  I have generally enjoyed and have better paid attention to professors who prohibit students from entering the front doors of the classroom after class starts and who prohibit students from entering and leaving.  Emergencies exist, but somehow they happen with greater frequency in classes taught by teachers with little to no discipline.   

6
Justice Harry Blackmun is probably best known for his "Poor Joshua" dissent in DeShaney.

7
General Board / Re: Calif Supreme Ct v. Fed. Dist Ct
« on: February 11, 2007, 11:36:00 AM »
I think the OP should listen to ronjeremy.

While everyone--including the OP--seems to be focusing on the prestige factor, the OP states that he or she wants to enter academia one day. 

A federal district court is a trial court.  You are going to see a lot of pretrial practice--disco, joinders, class action certification, etc.  You will generally assist a judge or a group of judges writing orders and researching the law.  You may see some very interesting trials. 

The Supreme Court of California is an appellate court, the highest court in California and--whether you agree with its decisions or not--one of the most influential state supreme courts in our country.  Just look at any casebook.  Many opinions come from that court.  I don't think anyone would say that a clerkship there is not prestigious. 

Further, at an appellate court you will witness some of the brightest judges and attorneys arguing why law should change or stay the same.  You may see issues of first impression.  Regardless, you are going to see big-time policy issues being debated. 

To me, if the OP wants to enter academia, the Supreme Court of California is the way to go.  I think the trial/appellate distinction is of greater relevance than the state/federal distinction.

8
General Board / Re: Re-thinking summer plans... help...
« on: February 04, 2007, 03:54:32 PM »
One last point.  Some firms that hire 1L summer clerks do not rehire them for 2L summer.  Matter of policy, I guess.  If you interview, I would ask.


9
General Board / Re: Re-thinking summer plans... help...
« on: February 04, 2007, 03:49:47 PM »
I have to go with loki13 and midjeep on this one.  While I do think that doing a law related job your 1L summer is important, I don't think that working for a firm will make you more desirable to law firms when you interview next fall. 

Your grades will determine your law firm prospects for 2L summer; to be sure, they are nearly dispositive.  If anything, working for a judge will give you something nice to talk about in interviews, a point many people overlook.  Employeers know what working for a firm is like, so talking about all that cool Westlaw research that you did may not interest them as much as discussing your experience helping a judge with a class action or other interesting lawsuit. 

I worked at the public defender's office after 1L year and worked for a few years prior to entering law school.  Talking about those experiences during interviews was a big plus and made the interviews go relatively smoothly.  Again, employeers can infer a lot from your grades.  I think it is best to get a different experience your 1L summer for the reasons midjeep states and because it will give you something--law related, but different--to talk about during interviews. 

10
General Board / Re: Law Review Managing Editor - worth the time or not?
« on: February 01, 2007, 11:24:51 AM »
"Needing it" is not a great reason to be managing editor.  You should run because you want that position, because you like others on the editorial board or on law review, and perhaps because you want to help your law review become better. 

Lenny makes good points.  Most associates' bios state honors earned (including book awards or Order of the Coif or both), law reviews or journals, positions on law review, and articles published.  A place on the editorial board stays with you. 

Also, positions usually pay.  Managing editor is not too much work--at least on mine--but has a nice ring to it. 

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