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Messages - Harrison

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Incoming 1Ls / Re: What to say when you are quitting?
« on: May 13, 2009, 10:06:04 PM »
As I see it, you have three choices:

i. Tell the truth;
2. Continue to obfuscate;
c. Lie like hell.

If you pick 1, they may decide to terminate you immediately, or to replace you sooner.

If you pick b, they will probably continue to pressure you about your plans.

If you pick iii, they may assume the risk is over.

So, for 3, I'd suggest saying something along the lines of, "I didn't get in anywhere good;  it's a really competitive year with the economy sucking so bad."  You could add, "but I got waitlisted at Harforlumbia" if you want to give yourself an easy back-story in a few months when you tell them that you got your acceptance.

My experience with employers has been fairly bad.  If you have a good relationship with your manager and don't think the company would (or could) terminate you early, telling the truth is obviously the best solution.  If your manager is like most of mine were, it's a recipe for 2.5 extra months of unpaid vacation.

Good luck.

Current Law Students / Re: Flood Gate Status: Open
« on: March 22, 2009, 09:42:51 PM »
Sorry, botbot.  While I'm hoping that wasn't specifically directed at my post, it very well could be.  I get really, really pissed about this stuff.  I've been following it for two years, long before most people even guessed anything was wrong, and I've been gaming it out with a lot of folks (admittedly, with them doing most of the talking, since they have more time to research it than I've had;  I just kibbitz and get my ass handed to me on a regular basis, then laugh at them when they make a mistake).  The guy who's mostly been getting it right (although he keeps hoping Bernanke will make the smart choice next time, when Bernanke's track record indicates just the opposite;  just means it moves down a worse path on the decision tree, though) thinks all hell will break loose any time within the next six months.  Last Wednesday's Helicopter Ben Moment might have been the final shove off the ledge.

A point that I'm trying to make in the above is that there is more than enough blame to go around.  The roots of this go back well over a decade;  in fact, some of the more hardcore people think a heavy burden of responsibility goes to Japan for failing to deal with its own economic problems.  Japan hid its banks' losses (just as Bernanke is doing now) and went on a monetary "printing" spree (Bernanke last Wednesday).  Trillions of yen ended up being exchanged for U.S. dollars via the "carry trade".  That money flooded into U.S. debt markets, driving down yields on securities thought to be especially safe, such as residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS).  The low interest rates contributed to the housing bubble, which drove up prices far in excess of normal standards of affordability, which blah blah blah splat.

Obama is handling it badly;  see his interview with Steve Kroft on "60 Minutes" for an example:
“You're sitting here. And you're— you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, "I mean, he's sitting there just making jokes about money—” How do you deal with— I mean: explain. . .” Kroft asks at one point.

“Are you punch drunk?” Kroft says.

Bernanke is handling it horribly.  Geithner is botching his end of things.  Congress is knowingly giving out contractual bonuses to workers at AIG, then when the public hears about the payments, is savaging AIG for giving out the salary payments Congress authorized in its bailout bill.

Nobody knows what the rules are any more in any of the markets.  This is squarely the fault of our government, especially the people above.  Bush wasn't personally involved in destroying the market's ability to set prices;  that fell to Bernanke and Paulson, whom he was dumb enough to nominate to their posts.  Obama, on the other hand, still thinks he's trying to defeat Bush for the presidency, which is hilarious, because Bush wasn't even in the race, the campaign is long over, and Obama now owns the problem, and he's making it worse with his chatter.  The only thing he's campaigning for right now is impeachment, if enough of Congress decides that he's too incompetent to hold the office any longer, precisely because of laughing it up while people lose their life's savings.

Me?  I'm just hoping for spare change.

Current Law Students / Re: Tough Decisions : Which Law School?
« on: March 22, 2009, 09:15:41 PM »
I think there are a lot more factors at play than the relative strengths and weakness of the respective schools with your husband going to Tulane for med school. While Fordham places better, I don't see that difference justifying 3 (And probably) more years of separation.

Keep in mind that Fordham places mostly in NYC- so you won't necessarily be able to join your husband after you graduate unless you forgo getting a job. Job prospects out of either are largely going to be a matter of class rank and will largely be centered around the respective regions the schools are located in.

Frankly, I'm not sure Columbia is worth going to in your situation unless your husband is willing to forgo Tulane for med school for it.
The medical residency placement system is nationwide.  My understanding is that it is a unified system;  everyone finds out on the same day where they will end up after med school.  One resident, one placement, no choices once assigned.

Columbia places nationally.  Your husband would be able to request residencies only in the region in which you get a job.  The main constraint would be finding someplace that has residencies available for him a year later, since you'll graduate (and most likely get a job) a year before he gets out.

If you go to law school at Tulane, you will face a similar decision;  you could both stay in LA, or you could both decide to go somewhere else after graduation, but wherever you choose, your law job will settle where you're moving a year before his residency placement will kick in.  Note also that once he gets a residency, he'll be in training for three more years.  More if he goes for a heavy specialty like cardiology.

Better look into how the residency system works, because the above is not authoritative by any means. :)  I have family who went through medical school, and the above is what I gather from what they've said.

Good luck.

Current Law Students / Re: Flood Gate Status: Open
« on: March 22, 2009, 04:47:55 PM »
0bama promised to bring "change"  I thought that meant the economy would get better.  Your President is a failure. 

Loser (sorry, that was immature, I should have used something equally demeaning--like "Big Guy" in the tone that you would to a 3 year old),

I can see why you say that.  He's had all of 38 days to fix 8 years of policies from the worst administration in history.  There's a FAIL somewhere in there, but it's not Obama's.   
Bush screwed up royally by failing to fix the economic problems that he inherited from the Clinton era, such as the CRA and various banking "reforms".  In particular, Bush wimped out on reforming Fannie, Freddie, and Sallie.  Bush also put pressure on Greenspan to keep rates too low for too long after 9/11.  Greenspan's lack of spine (adequately demonstrated over many years -- he never should have been given another term by Bush after his pathetic showing under Clinton) allowed the bubble to build.  Bush's second-biggest mistake was in picking Bernanke, whose response has been a series of utterly wrongheaded moves.  Every single thing Bernanke did has made the situation worse.  Bush's worst mistake was in allowing Paulson, a Wall Street insider, to run with the early bailouts;  Paulson strongarmed somewhat safe banks into taking over total failures, force-fed many good banks the TARP program so that the firms that needed it would not be "stigmatized", and wasted in excess of a trillion dollars on bailouts that did nothing useful and only served to drive the nation further into debt.

Obama, on the other hand, has been utterly incompetent at appointing people to Treasury jobs.  Geithner is not only a bad choice, he's also running the whole show without a staff to handle things and prevent him from screwing up.  The result is that Geithner, who isn't exactly the sharpest gummi worm to begin with, is thrashing around like a bull in a china market.

Obama's biggest failing is that he seems to think he's still campaigning against Bush.  For the longest time, Obama kept talking about how bad things are, and how we'd be totally screwed unless his pork-laden stimulus bill was passed immediately.  It passed, and he instantly segued to how we need ANOTHER huge pork bill because the first one isn't going to do enough.  Pelosi had to talk him down from that one.

Bush tried to talk up the economy too much, lying about how everything was just fine.  Obama has destroyed confidence by telling everyone we're totally screwed.  Somewhere in between there is a happy middle ground, but frankly, Bush's Pollyanna act was a hell of a lot better for the U.S. economy than Obama's incompetent ravings.

In short, while Bush was bad, Obama is showing every sign of being far more incompetent and far worse at solving the problems.

Obama needs to shut his damn fool mouth, tell Bernanke to announce that he's resigning to "spend more time with family", hire on some competent underlings to keep Geithner in line, find a Fed chair who isn't an ivory-tower dolt, and cut federal spending down to the barest of bare bones.  Failure to do ALL of these is going to result in a collapse sooner rather than later.

In the meanwhile, I'm advising my clients to put everything they've got into canned food and shotguns.

Jake, there's absolutely nothing we as students can do about the economic meltdown, other than to study and learn as much as possible, network hard, do well in school, maybe even get on Law Review, and generally make ourselves as attractive as possible to future employers.

For those who have jobs or savings, better get your heads out of the sand and figure out how to salvage what you can.  For those with nothing but debt, good luck;  depending on how things fall out, you'll either be home free or totally screwed.

I assume you're in economic meltdown mode?  Relax, there's nothing you can do about it anyway.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: An Illinois (UIUC) 1L answers your questions herein
« on: March 22, 2009, 03:28:18 PM »
Nothing yet?

Well, let's see.  For starters, the roughly 180 students admitted in each class year are put into three sections of 60 each, which in turn are divided into two subsections of 30 each.  There are also around 10-20 LLM students, visiting students/scholars, and others who are divided among the sections.

Each semester, you get two doctrinal classes with your full section, one with your subsection, and then the legal research and writing and advocacy classes are done with your subsection.  The sizes seem pretty good, and the instructors make themselves readily available for questions after classes.

We also get free beer on Thursday afternoons.  And cookies!

Current Law Students / Re: Crim: Worst Subject Ever?
« on: March 22, 2009, 03:25:48 PM »
Yes, I hate Crim. I tuned out long ago. The way our class is run, they might as well have us watch COPS for 55 minutes and then discuss possible violations of the law that occurred during the episode.
Yeah, it's amazing and ridiculous how many crimes the cops get away with. :D

The case studies book we used had one where some sailors were supposed to take a "drunk" woman home from the disco, and instead took her to a beach and raped her.  Well, sort of raped her.  Problem was, she hadn't passed out from drinking too much, she'd died from a heart problem, and they'd been screwing a corpse.  So, was it rape, or was it abuse of a corpse, or what?

I swear, nearly every crim class made me want to go home and shower afterwards.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: How difficult can it really be... seriously?
« on: March 18, 2009, 12:04:37 AM »
Law school is not hard. Doing well in law school can be quite difficult and time-consuming. This is a function of a grading curve, and other students also putting a lot of time into the material.

This is more or less credited.

Because you're already taken CivPro, you have a general idea of the material -- and, indeed, the material is not hard.  The problem is that it's hard on a curve.  Imagine your best college classes, and now imagine your grades in those classes if you were evaluated entirely relative to your peers.
And further imagine that these "peers" truly are your intellectual equals, all studying as hard as they can stand.  At least for the good schools, everyone has gotten high grades and is smart.  The party-hearty and slacker types don't last.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: How long are law school classes?
« on: March 17, 2009, 11:57:17 PM »
At Illinois, usually 1:15 to 1:20 three days per week for the doctrinal classes, 0:50 to 0:55 two days per week for the writing and research classes.  We also have a couple of upper level classes, taught by adjunct professors who also work a regular job, which run as long as 3:00 either one or two days per week.

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