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There must be some easily applicable standard for judging applicants. Academic excellence seems as good a measure as anything else.  I disagree with your opinion about those tests being meaningless.  The ability to issue spot and apply the law under time constraints is a skill that should be useful to a new associate with a busy caseload, or to a litigator who must be able to immediately understand when it makes sense to stand up and object.  But, yes, I agree--the way employers judge applicants isn't totally fair. Maybe you'll come up with your own, better, system when you're a managing partner somewhere someday.

Certificate programs are probably not too valuable in themselves, but sometimes there are special internships (or hiring contacts) available for certificate program students. The communications law and securities law certificate students at my school seemed to have an inside track into internships at the FCC and SEC, respectively.  I would guess the highly technical certificates covering administrative subjects like tax, securities, and communications would be more valuable than a more generalist certificate program for something like international law.

Good luck with your project. Dean Veryl Miles at CUA law is one of the first female African-American law school deans.

Work harder. Maybe some geniuses can graduate Summa without becoming a law troll, but normally they do live in the library (if not under a bridge somewhere). The same principle should hold all the way down the curve. Don't believe the nonsense about working smarter, not harder. You need to work smarter and harder.  I suggest watching Full Metal Jacket. Then imagine that drill Sergent screaming at you, in very colorful language, demeaning your value as a human being, every time you even think of doing something slackerly like going home early or surfing the web during class!  Now close the internet browser and get your momma's boy backsides into the law library, maggots!

Current Law Students / Re: Denied for the Bar Study Loan...
« on: June 16, 2010, 12:39:35 PM »
Wow, that's terrible. How much student debt do you have?  Can't you save money by moving onto a buddy's couch for a bit?  Many bar prep students work part-time (or even full-time) jobs and still pass the Bar. So, it's not that bad. Also, I wonder if your local bank would be amenable to sitting down with you and working something out?

Current Law Students / Re: Suggested reading prior to law school?
« on: June 16, 2010, 07:17:27 AM »
I suggest the Dummies Guide to Law School or something like that. Yes, I'm serious.  It will give you a sense of law school lore, such as: "the curve," whether to try out for law review or moot court, how many hours you should study per day, whether you should form a study group, briefing cases, the Socratic Method, etc.

I also suggest a book entitled "Mastering the Law School Exam" by Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus -- because law school ultimately judges you on your ability to efficiently and effectively write down whatever your professors want to read on your (3-4 hour) exams.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Tier 4 Law Schools
« on: June 14, 2010, 06:31:40 AM »
Barbri does help you significantly, but law school gives you the basics of what you need to know about how to pass the bar. Basically like teaching you to ride a bike before doing the tour de france. I imagine at Georgetown your first year you learned about consideration in a contract, the elements of negligence, easements, personal jurisdiction am I right? 


I think most smart people could pass the bar with a few months pre-study + Barbri.

Sure, I learned the things you mentioned in law school, but the following is a list of subjects I did not take in law school (but are on the bar exam):
Conflict of Laws
Criminal Law
New York Procedure
Secured Transactions/Commercial Paper
Domestic Relations
Worker's Comp
No-Fault Insurance

The chances of me ever needing to know anything about the above subjects is close to 0 (secured transactions excepted), but I've got to learn them for the bar. By contrast, the bar exam does not test on a ton of classes I did take in law school. For example, I'm 8 tax credits short of an LLM, but the bar exam does not test federal taxation.

I agree with nealric. Most law schools are absolutely not designed with a mind to bar preparation. But, to be honest, bar prep isn't that hard. It's just tedious memorization of clear-cut, black-letter laws. Then, the bar exam is like a super-charged high-school test -- multiple choice or mindless essays to be written in cookie-cutter (IRAC) fashion. A (relatively intelligent) parrot could do that!

I think it's a good thing that most law schools emphasize teaching students how to "think like lawyers" and understand the traditions of the law, rather than teaching to the bar. The JD is a professional doctorate degree after all! As an aside, my understanding is that some of the lower ranked schools (which generally have students who are comparatively worse at standardized testing) have more required "bar courses" and generally focus more on bar preparation in law school.

Current Law Students / DE Bar Exam Courses?
« on: January 23, 2010, 09:52:59 AM »
Is there a viable alternative to the BarBri course for the DE Bar? The $2,400 price tag seems a tad Fing excessive to me. And it's apparently only offered at one location, which is rather out of the way.  What a bother. Barbri is running a total Fing racket. :(

Current Law Students / Re: Advice Needed
« on: October 18, 2009, 11:13:26 AM »
I think you should be able to score a paralegal position. Emphasize your strengths.  Acknowledge, but do not dwell on your weaknesses. Your biggest strength is that you have a law degree. Most paralegals do not.  Obviously, don't tell prospective employers that you remember nothing from law school. Get back up to speed a bit before applying. Why don't you review basic legal research and writing techniques? You can look over course outlines to refresh your memory of substantive law.

I recommend that you contact your school's career services office and ask for help. They may be able to help you get in contact with Alumni or with lawyers who have struggled with their own substance abuse issues and thus may be happy to help you out. Some sort of organization dealing with substance abuse might also be able to help -- for example AA, or whatever.

As to taking the bar and whatnot . . . why not just go one step at a time? Refresh your memory and get a job as a paralegal. Then you can think about becoming an attorney.

Current Law Students / Re: Psychiatric Disability Right in Law School
« on: September 25, 2009, 06:44:19 AM »
What kind of psychiatric disabilities are you talking about?  I know that persons with documented (serious) learning disabilities can get extra (sometimes double) time on exams. Accommodations in law school are tricky though because there is no law that will ever make an employer give an associate extra time to finish a memo -- regardless of whether the associate has a learning disability. So I am a little cynical about the value of accommodations that could lull a person into spending lots of money on school and then being unable to actually work with the degree after graduation. It seems like a "bait and switch."

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