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Current Law Students / Swiss Gear backpacks- max weight?
« on: August 24, 2009, 03:55:40 PM »
For those of you who have experience, how good are Swiss Gear backpacks about holding up?  I have an expandable one that costs about $65... I was able to get two case books, a bluebook citation book, and two other thin books in it, as well as my laptop.  It all fits fine, but it weights close to 25 pounds.  Do I need to worry about putting too much stress on the straps (afraid it might break on me), or do those bags tend to be durable enough that I shouldn't worry about it.

Current Law Students / Critique my brief
« on: July 29, 2009, 05:17:51 AM »
My law school has sent us a case to brief before orientation, and I went ahead and played around with it.  I'm hoping that some of you guys with more experience can tell me what I did well and what would make my brief better.  Thanks for any comments... here it goes:

McBoyle v. United States, 283 U.S. 25 (1931)
U.S. Supreme Court No. 552

- Supreme Court overturned lower court conviction, finding McBoyle not guilty under the Motor Vehicle Theft Act.
- The Supreme Court heard an appeals case by McBoyle, who was originally convicted under the Motor Vehicle Theft Act for transporting an airplane that he knew to be stolen from Illinois to Oklahoma.

- Petitioner argued that an airplane does not fall within the definition of "motor vehicle", under the Act of October 29, 1919, c.89, 41 Stat. 234, U.S. Code, Title 18, 408 which provided that a motor vehicle  includes "an automobile, automobile truck, automobile wagon, motor cycle, or any other self-propelled vehicle not designed for running on rails.  Futhermore, the Tariff Act of 1930 defined a vehicle as: "any contrivance capable of being used as a means of transportation on land."

-The Supreme Court overturned the lower court conviction.  Justice Holmes delivered the opinion, stating that:
"When a rule of conduct is laid down in words that evoke only the picture of vehicles moving on land, the statute should not extend to aircraft just because it seems that a similar policy applies or would have had it been thought of."

-With his statement, Holmes concluded that it is inappropriate to make a jump from a clearly defined statute, just because the jump seems logical.  Even though an airplane seems to be a "motor vehicle", the Motor Vehicle Theft Act did not define it as one; therefore, the jump cannot be made that it is one. 

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / An idea for U.S. News rankings
« on: July 28, 2009, 09:11:31 AM »
I got to thinking about the controversy around the US News ranking and its faults.  I have an idea that would improve these rankings and make them (IMO) considerably more useful.  Instead of having a single overall ranking, divide the country into regions and have regional rankings.  Market the rankings to each region, and have them all available via internet.  The regions could be divided into things like the Pacific coast and the Southeast... New York would be its own region.  Rank the top 100 schools for each region.

For example, the top five in the Pacific may be 1. Stanford, 2. Yale, 3. Harvard, 4. Berkeley, 5. Columbia, where the top five in New York might be 1. Yale, 2. Harvard, 3. Columbia, 4. NYU, 5. Stanford.  This is just a guess, but it is possible to imagine that different regions are going to prefer different schools- therefore, one national ranking is insufficient.

The intentions of these rankings would not be to rank schools within regions- U.S. News already does this.  If you are applying in New York, a Stanford degree would still be more valuable than a Fordham degree, and a UPenn degree would still get you farther than a UC Davis degree- even in California.  The rankings would reflect this.  U.S. News could even still have their national rankings, and those could remain unchanged.  For example, if John Doe is positive that he wants to work in the Midwest after graduation, he would look at the Midwest rankings, which would probably place Michigan higher than Virginia and Penn.  However, if he is unsure where he wants to work, the national rankings would indicate that these schools are pretty much equal (as they already do).

I think that this could be fairly easily implemented and greatly increase the value of rankings for potential law school applicants.  Any thoughts?

Incoming 1Ls / Buying books from Amazon/
« on: July 27, 2009, 06:43:26 AM »
I know that when you ordered books in undergrad from an online source such as amazon, you ran the risk of being shipped an international edition.  Does anyone have any experience buying new casebooks from amazon or  I have my book list, and I am hoping to go ahead and get everything purchased... but, if I am going to spend close to $1,000 on books, the last thing I want is to end up with a bunch of international editions.

Anyone have any advice on ordering books online or from some other source?

Job Search / Targeting firms early
« on: June 12, 2009, 07:31:54 AM »
I am starting school at UK in August, and I hope to continue to practice law in Lexington.  I have begun researching firms in the area, and I have found three particular firms that interest me the most.  All three of these firms hire 1Ls for summer, and they all hire a majority of their associates from UK.  They also conduct 1L OCIs at UK.

I am curious as to whether there is anything in particular that I can do to ensure that I interview with these firms when 1L OCIs come around.  I understand that the main thing I can do is keep my grades up and get on Law Review.  But is this enough?  Is the interview process so reliant on numbers that if I get good grades, I should get an interview, or is there anything I can do to make myself more attractive to each particular firm?  I'm posting this here because I'm guessing most of you posting in this board is already looking at/ going through the process.

Thanks for any helpful responses.

Current Law Students / Perspective- RE: Salary/ Jobs
« on: May 13, 2009, 10:25:24 AM »
I think this is probably the best place to post this topic because the majority of you guys are in law school and looking at careers.  I'm not interested in Big Law in NYC or Chicago- I would be much more comfortable in a city such as Lexington, KY (where I am going to law school).  In a small/ mid-size town like this, what is the significant difference between the big law firms, as opposed to big city law firms?

For example, one of the firms that really appeals to me lists the following through the NALP:

Entry-Level Salary: $90,000
Average hourly billable associate hours: 1,596
Minimum billable hour expectation: 1,900

That salary for the area would be excellent.  However, I'm confused as to the billable hours statistics.  Does this mean that most of the attorneys are not making the cut, or is there some reason I'm not seeing for the disparity in expectations and actual hours?  Also, to achieve 1,900 billable hours, how much could one realistically expect to work?

Thanks in advance for any comments.

Job Search / Interesting analogy, re: summer jobs
« on: April 29, 2009, 06:23:02 AM »
One of my former professors, who is also an attorney, wrote a LOC for me.  The other day, I sent him an e-mail just catching up and asking for advice, and he sent a response that (I thought) was full of valuable information.  One of the things he wrote about was an analogy between summer associate positions and picks in sports drafts- I just thought I'd share for those interested.

Knowing a little bit now about how firms hire, at my old firm years ago, we'd always ask ourselves, for example, why someone from such and such a place would want to come settle in CITY X.  If we couldn't figure out a reason, then we wouldn't bother to interview them.  It's the same reason why teams have to think twice about trading away quality young players or draft picks for a player that they know they can't sign to come back for next year.  The mega firms might have lots of clerkships, but the smaller firms just have one or two.  We can't blow them on people who will work for a summer then seek permanent employment elsewhere.  We'd really have to be in a must-win pennant race in terms of needing top-notch clerk work now to justify hiring a summer associate who was headed to different places later.       

Maybe various people have already made this same comparison, but I thought it was a worthwhile insight from someone who would know what they were talking about.  It underscores the importance of emphasizing why you want to work for a firm when going through the application process.

Job Search / Any reason not to do this?
« on: April 22, 2009, 09:23:52 AM »
I am getting ready to begin law school this coming August.  While I would like to prepare for law school this summer, I have been told various times by various people that there isn't a lot you can do (re: reading cases, etc.).  Instead, I am thinking about going ahead and researching the firms that I would like to work for during my 1L summer, and type up cover letters and resumes for them.  The law school I am attending states that 1Ls can't send out letters to potential employers until Nov. 1st. If I went ahead and got this stuff ready, I could go ahead and send it off on that date and have one less thing to worry about.

Is this a good idea, or am I thinking way too far in advance?  Is there any reason to think that my resume would be drastically different in August than it would in November?  Any input would be helpful.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Just joking around...
« on: April 13, 2009, 06:28:24 AM »
Exciting news- Luke Winn, from, has released his preseason NCAA basketball rankings early!  Don't want to spoil it for anyone, but let's just say Harvard and Yale don't come close to this list...

Oh, and for those of you whose hearts just skipped a beat.... chill out.  The US News rankings aren't the end of the world. ;)

Incoming 1Ls / University of Kentucky, class of 2012
« on: April 04, 2009, 08:52:25 AM »
With this thread, I will reserve the unique distinction of having created the "Class of 2012" thread for two different schools.  Nonetheless, I have noticed University of Kentucky Law School getting quite a bit of discussion on these boards the past few days, and I don't think there is an official UK thread yet.

Anyone who has committed to or is strongly leading toward going to UK this August, this thread is for you (us).  Maybe we can get to know each other a little before classes actually start.

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