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Messages - AtlantaSteve

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1
Both those schools are in the same tier, so it's not like a situation where you're comparing an awesome school against a terrible one.  I mean, when in doubt it's fairly obvious that more choices are better than less... but some other factors have to be in play or else the prestigue of the two schools wouldn't be so comparable.  Maybe the school with fewer electives does a better job in teaching the classes it does have.

Do you have any idea what area of law you want to practice in?  I know that's a silly question, since you'll probably waffle back and forth between different paths while you're in school.  However, if your 0L plans are for some incredibly specialized and narrow niche, I could see greater choice in electives carrying SOME weight.  I suspect your success in a narrow specialty has a lot more with seeking out the right internship than anything you're doing in class though.

Ultimately, I'm just rambling here.  I don't want to be dismissive toward your question, but if you work in a law firm right now you should really seek out the advice of the lawyers there, rather than us law students and pre-law students on LSD who probably have less knowledge of real legal practice than you do at this point.  Best of luck to you!

2
This is absolutely NOT true.  You cover more areas of law on the bar than you take courses in law school, unless you try to tailor all of your courses toward the bar exam (this may be true if you go to a lower tiered school, which seem to be geared more toward bar passage).  Barbri is a review for subjects you've already taken, but for many areas of law, you're learning things for the first time.

(Shrug)... well, I guess my school's just not elite enough to skip areas covered by the MBE.  Either way, I presume we can both agree that you should have taken first-year Contracts prior to Barbri or the multi-state bar.

3
I'm a first-year student, so I've never applied for a legal position before.  However, I am a 30-something part-time evening student who has been out in the workforce in business consulting for a little over 10 years.  I've never had a job where I wasn't required to submit to an extensive background check of my criminal record, finances, sometimes drug testing.  The more money the job pays, and/or the more upscale the clientele being served, the more incentive employers have to cover their ass.

Your situation depends on what the misdemeanor was.  If you had a DUI/DWI, or something along those lines, then hell... just admit it.  If the Bar didn't find that it was a matter of moral turpitude that should bar you from practicing, then 99.99% of employers wouldn't have a problem with it either.  If it's something more serious to a professional environment, such as embezzling funds from a previous employer, then yeah... probably best that you feign moral outrage and look for a job offer from someone who does less due dilligence.

It all depends on what the alleged crime was, and how you got it expunged.  If it was truly a false arrest, or something along those lines, then why try to cover it up?  People will find out eventually, and that kind of thing will only hurt you if it looks like you're hiding something.  If it was something you really were guilty of, but got it expunged as part of a court agreement (rehab, counseling, etc), such that your good name was restored in the eyes of the law, then don't be so ashamed about that either.  However, if it's apparent that the misdemeanor was expunged solely because you had a well-connected lawyer, or you turned 18, or something like that... then it's hard to draw too much sympathy.  Catching a lucky break doesn't mean that you've completely dodged a bullet altogether, or even that you should.

4
General Board / Re: Political Science Advantage...
« on: March 31, 2007, 04:43:22 PM »
I wouldn't worry about your degree at all, no matter what it is.  I've noticed a SLIGHT advantage for hard-science majors, but I think that's only because... and I'm not trying to stir up any fights here... because they're accustomed to having a more difficult course load than humanities majors are used to.  Still, one of the top-most ranked students in my section was a philosophy major.  People from ALL walks of life stumble into law school, and where exactly they came from doesn't seem to matter as much as you might think.

At the end of the day, in today's environment of grade inflation and slipping standards, a Bachelor's Degree is a glorified high school diploma.  We all had more or less the same core classes... don't think that having four or so semesters of material that was different from the person sitting next to means that your brain is hard-wired differently for life.

5
If you remember enough from your FIRST YEAR contracts course to not take BARBRI for the bar exam, then you are incredibly amazing. Your first year is about figuring out how the law works, not remembering anything substantive.

Wow... I don't think I could possibly disagree more.

I certainly don't mean to imply that good class performance as a 1L will eliminate the need for a bar review course after graduation.  However, Barbri is just that... it's a "review" course, not a "learn it for the very first time in a couple of weeks" course.  The idea for a contracts review is to jog your memory on, for example, the rules for excluding parol evidence.  If you've never even heard of "parol evidence", or never gained clarity from multiple contradictory explanations, how is a "refresher seminar" supposed to bail you out?  It seems to me approaching 1L as just a time to practice IRAC writing would be awfully short-sighted.

6
I would definately not be shy about complaining, and I wonder what school you go to where the students would be intimidated or reluctant to do so. 

I don't agree with the attitude that everyone is in the same boat, so it doesn't matter since you're all graded on the same curve.  That's fine as far as competition, but for purposes of the bar exam (not to mention general practice) it would be nice to actually LEARN STUFF rather than just sit through a few months of class and collect your ranking number.  How are the students supposed to master the material to their full potential if there is a dramatic change to the teaching style and curriculum emphasis every few weeks?

If this were mid-terms, I could understand throwing the original professor back into the mix.  However, what on earth is the point of bringing him back in just to teach the final 3 weeks of class?  The semester is essentially over at this point!  There has to be some kind of political consideration there, because there certainly doesn't seem to be any consideration being given to the students.  I wouldn't raise hell in an unprofessional manner, as life certainly isn't always fair... but I wouldn't hesitate to pass around a petition and take it to the administration if a sizable portion of the class signs.

7
General Board / Re: John Marshall - Atlanta v. South Texas
« on: March 30, 2007, 06:48:09 PM »
Yup, if you go to any lower ranked school and place in the bottom 20%, you're going to have to hustle harder than everyone else until you get a real resume established.  Still, unless you're heading to Yale on a full scholarship, there will ALWAYS be people on LawSchoolDiscussion.org to tell you what a loser you are.  These boards are definately not for the thin-skinned.  Ultimately, you just have to visit as many schools as possible in person, and not be shy about asking as many questions as possible at each.

8
General Board / Re: John Marshall - Atlanta v. South Texas
« on: March 30, 2007, 04:23:38 PM »
AtlantaSteve

If i do decide to go to JMLS-Atl then I'll be living with my parents at least for the first year to cut down on living costs, but the bad part is they live about an hour northwest of Atlanta, in Ellijay. So I'll be commuting. Do you live close by the school or do you commute as well? I know Atlanta traffic is a nightmare, however I'm willing to make the truck to save $10,000+ in rent, utl., food, etc. for the first year. I'm considering getting a place the second and third year more near the school but by then I may be able to find a roommate and be able to work some during the summer to save up.

I live out in the suburbs, but still it's a lot closer than Elijay.  It takes me about 20-25 minutes to get to school on the weekend, maybe an hour or more in Mon-Fri heavy traffic.  I've met some students with crazy commutes, though.  One of my classmates lives on the other side of Lake Lanier and drives an hour and a half each way for class, that's about as far as your haul.  I know several students who live in the Carolinas, yet stay with family or roommates during the week and drive home every weekend.

Atlanta traffic is nasty... but unless there's a major event going on (like basketball March Madness), it's generally predictable.  If you leave very early, or a lot later than the normal 9-to-5'ers, you can miss most of it.  It all depends on your class schedule.  Maybe another option is to drive until you get to the northside of town, then ride a MARTA train the rest of the way through the really congested parts (students get discounted fares, and the train stations have free parking).  I would start putting the feelers out early on about wanting a second-year roommate, though.  Lots of other people will be in the same boat... and if you DO decide to get an in-town roommate, the best situation would be with a fellow law student who's under the same workload as you.

9
General Board / Re: When are Thank You notes crass or inappropriate?
« on: March 30, 2007, 03:18:08 PM »
You should stalk them.  Follow them around town, show up at their house.  They like that.

Are you sure?  That wasn't very effective when I was single...

10
General Board / Re: John Marshall - Atlanta v. South Texas
« on: March 30, 2007, 03:16:37 PM »
Don't forget to mention that John Marshall won the regional mock trial competition last year and will have a law review next year.

Huh, not even I knew about the Mock Trial thing... I haven't done much looking into it yet because it will be a year or so before I'm eligible to participate.  However, I did know that we won the regional championship for the ABA Client Counseling Competition last year.  The winner always hosts the following year's regional championships, and I volunteered to help out.  I was only supposed to be a door greeter or something like that.  However, the attorney set to be the mock "client" in the championship round ended up being ineligible due to how the brackets played out (I believe that he had already judged one of the finalists in an earlier round).  As a result, I got thrown into being the "client" for the 3-hour final round, which was probably almost as stressful for me as it was for the competitors.  I learned a hell of a lot, though.

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