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Current Law Students / Best wishes!
« on: September 04, 2007, 04:12:59 PM »
My thanks to all of you who have responded nicely and respectfully, or will, to naive questions. Karma. Twelve days in and I'm excited and buried. I may not make the time to visit this site for a long while.

Good luck to all who care about the world and their fellows.

Hey all,

I have been assigned to Section One, with Richard Murphy for Civ Pro, Phebe Haugen for Contracts, Marcia Gelpa for Property, Michael Steenson for Torts, and Deborah Schmedemann plus an adjunct for WRAP. I am also curious about Jane Evans, WMCL Staff Attorney for the Minnesota Justice Foundation. MJF seems to be a pretty established and respectable place to get some experience.

Any advice about these people or about MJF would be welcome. I have heard that Haugen has been around for a few decades and is well-liked, though her close coordination with Heidenreich concerns me. Someone recalls that they share materials and styles. I have heard good things about Steenson from a State of MN attorney (my sister-in-law).

I also welcome constructive criticism of my first attempt at case briefing, available at I know that the CAPTION needs adjustment, but the rest of it? I plan to brief in Google Docs so I can quickly bounce back and forth between a Mac and Windows, and to use a website of my own for notes and such.


Hey former participants of this or similar programs,

My school, William Mitchell, offers a 3 or 4 credit summer option to study law in London and, optionally, Edinburgh. This is offered jointly with Case Western, New England, and South Texas. I do not currently plan to do International, but I could be very interested in Criminal, and the four London courses focus on that. Another option is a 3-credit internship there. In either case, the cost per credit is hundreds below what William Mitchell normally charges.

Have you done this? Housing costs may be unusually high for me if my wife and son come, but I imagine that it would be not be much more expensive than what we've paid for other vacations. Does the Acorn work for small families? Is there a famliy-friendly (and pet-free) hotel close by? We could rent a home. It may not really be a vacation for me, per se, but for my family it would be, and might coincide nicely with seeing a nephew in grad school at Oxford.

I am eager to plan finances and family time for next year. My main question is this: if I blow an extra few thousand next summer on this, will those 3 or 4 credits help later? Could I then take fewer credits in my third year and work more? Working my first law school summer may earn me little, but working that third year with a potential future employer would be different, right? I don't mean that pay would be great, but for well-invested time.

Hey all, I start in August (section one),

Please disregard this if you don't talk to newbies. According to Westlaw, the elements listed below in BOLD are essential to law school case briefing. Is this true at William Mitchell? If not, why, and for which courses? I hope to be very prepared for class. This is kind of a one-way street for me, giving up a career in IT and borrowing six figures to start over.

The [line maximum] notes are rough estimates from other sources, my goal being to become concise where it counts, e.g. in Certiorari briefs. Not that I know anything about all that. WRAP scares me as much as the next guy.

The stuff below the line is output from a web service I have in which I can fill in fields, then hit submit and have the results emailed to me and concurrently stored in a database. I think it's slick, but is there anything I might miss (other than in the event of an Internet failure)? I'd only use this approach for briefing. I might favor OneNote for outlining and WordPerfect for longer writing (that's a separate discussion).

Advice welcome.

---- partial results of a test submission ----

CAPTION: Case, Court, Year of decision, Page in casebook
FACTS: [67 lines max] Legally relevant
PROCEDURAL HISTORY: From filing of suit to case's appearance in the
 court that wrote the opinion
ISSUES: [23 lines max] Factual and legal questions, broken down into
HOLDINGS: For each issue a "yes" or "no" then the legal principle on
 which the court relied
RATIONALE: For each issue, describe the court's chain of reasoning
DISPOSITION: Who won? What remedy? If appellate, did the court affirm
 in whole or in part?
CONCURRING and DISSENTING OPINIONS: Included in a casebook [for]
 interesting alternative analysis

St. Thomas (Minnesota) / U of Saint Thomas vs. William Mitchell
« on: March 12, 2007, 04:50:01 AM »
It's down to two private schools for me - or not going at all. I got no scholarships.

St. Thomas is a good school, on a par with other 3rd/4th-tier Minnesota schools and slowly climbing (I think). How far it will climb is an unknown I cannot bank on. Otherwise, location may be the big differentiator for me, and William Mitchell is much closer to my St. Paul home. An hour in traffic is an hour lost.

I am ambivalent about the Catholic orientation of St. Thomas and not yet convinced that it churns out attorneys who are more ethical, vs. drawing students who already consider themselves ethical and behave nicely. Feel free to share any relevant stats about graduates. It's not like other schools encourage bad behavior.

Beyond encouraging grads to play nice, one way St. Thomas could promote social justice would be to lower barriers (financial) to public sector work. I cannot pay off $100k+ in school debt plus cover family needs on a token salary. Short of a scholarship, tied if necessary to doing good, I anticipate having to start in a local firm doing whatever clients need, a mercenary, and I doubt that the average client rewards niceness in a lawyer. Professionalism, sure, but that's universal. I don't see how my attending a Catholic school changes this. St. Thomas students may be nicer, but law school isn't summer camp. It's boot camp.

Sounds like I'm talking myself out of the profession, to which some may say good riddance. More to ponder, and two weeks to ponder it. Thanks, everybody, for the advice. I will read Scott Turow's "One L" before deciding on this.

I know this is sort of a pre-law question (except for transfers), but readers of the pre-law board would not necessarily know any more than I do. You would know, so... which Minnesota school would you pick and why? I have been dinged from U of MN so it's down to those three.

It appears that 1Ls study Civ Pro, Contracts, Torts, and another subject or two. Have any of you used AspenLaw study aids, Sum & Summary audio books, or any other supplements to help you master the material? I am interested in the relative merits of Sum & Summary, Emanuel, Casenotes, Law in a Flash, and StudyDesk for these subjects.

St. Thomas (Minnesota) / Accepted! Now, can I head home before rush hour?
« on: February 16, 2007, 06:15:41 PM »
Got my acceptance and a school T-shirt. The shirt clinches it. :)

If I can get assigned to Lawyering earlier in the day, is there any reason I could not head out by mid-afternoon on most days and beat rush hour? The Fall 2006 schedule shows that Civ Pro, Contracts, and Torts were all done before 3 pm. The only big downside of St. Thomas in my mind would be fighting i94 traffic from Minneapolis to Saint Paul, or crawling down University Ave or Summit, to make dinner with family. We live south of Saint Paul, across the High Bridge. If I can beat eastbound traffic and study at a West Side coffeehouse, that's moot.

Yah, I know 1Ls face a boatload of work, but we do have libraries in St. Paul. I could even sometimes pretend to be a Mitchell student and sneak into their library, use their books. With four sections, they may never notice. :) I could also sometimes get back to Minneapolis after our 3-year-old is asleep. It's just that evening rush hour.

Hey St. Thomas folks!

I have been accepted at William Mitchell for the Fall of 2007, and hope to be accepted here. I live and will remain in Saint Paul, and may pursue a career in Criminal, IP, or Business Law. The U of MN probably won't admit me with a 157 LSAT, so... If I am wait-listed at the U of MN, and accepted to every other Minnesota school, should I attend your school?

If so or if not, why?

Hey William Mitchell folks!

I was just accepted for the Fall of 2007. I live and will remain in Saint Paul, and may pursue a career in Criminal, IP, or Business Law. My deadline to accept is in early Spring. The U of MN probably won't admit me with a 157 LSAT, so... If I am wait-listed at the U of MN, and accepted to every other Minnesota school, should I accept this offer?

If so or if not, why?

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