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Messages - Benjamin

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Duquesne U / Re: duquesne - commuters and where to live
« on: February 19, 2006, 09:13:28 AM »
Last year I lived in a dormatory, there were approximately 8-10 first year students who lived on campus last year.  There is also some (expensive) housing available just off of campus where some students live.  I believe the names of those places are Washington Plaza and Chatham Tower.  There is also a quasi-dorm apartment building on campus called Brottier Hall. 

All in all though, most students are commuters.  There are two predominate parts of town where students live; Southside and Shadyside.  Southside is a 10 - 20 minute walk from campus.  You cross a huge bridge and then walk up several flights of stairs cobbled together up the side of the bluff.  Most people nevertheless opt to drive from the Southside.  Southside has the most bars of any part of the city, a lot of Bohemian types.  There are always a lot of people out in the Southside, at all hours; it is the more "edgy" part of town.  The Southside is divided into the flats (which are nearer to the river and the ground is flat) and the slopes (which are homes built into the side of the slopes going up the hills facing downtown).  Parking can be a female dog.

Shadyside is not within walking distance of campus.  Shadyside is a little ways past Oakland, which is the campus area for Univeristy of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon.  It is the more yuppie/trendy part of town for young professionals.  People seem a bit more pretentious on the whole compared to most other parts of town.  Social activity centers on Walnut Street where there are a number of stores, restaurants, and bars.  Specifically, people frequent Doc's, The William Penn Tavern, the Shadyside Saloon, and the Shady Grove; you can find a place within walking distance of all of these.  Shadyside has no real hills.  Parking can be a female dog.

People also live in Squirrel Hill, which is near Oakland and Shadyside.  Squirrel Hill is home to a large Jewish community. 

People also live in Mount Washington, which is the top of the cliff overlooking downtown. 

Perhaps I can tell you more later.

Using black letter outlines in conjunction with the the "Understanding" series is a good approach.  Black letter will tell you what needs to be memorized.  Understanding will help you to understand what you are memorizing.  Then you will have it memorized, and understand it.  After this point, the black letter outline format will help you to think about it all in a more organized way.  Then, you can confront new hypotheticals (such is the purpose behind Examples & Explanations, among others), if a question pops up that doesn't fit into your new mental framework, you can consult the "Understanding" book (or other hornbook/treatise style aid of your choice) for a more thorough discussion.  I think this technique will suit you well when you try to "IRAC"; organized outline structure helps you spot issues, memorization helps you dissertate the rule, a solid understanding of the framework, development, and rationales behind the law will help you with your analysis.  The whole combination will help you with confidence and a clear/concise presentation. 

As for the other study aids, many serve a separate purpose.  For example, High Court saves you time by getting you prepped for class in about 1/5th as long as regular briefing; time that can be used more effectively with other study aids.  It is true that you might buy some and not use them, or you might buy some and use them only a little bit.  But you do not have to read a study aid cover to cover in order to make it worthwhile. 

Anything that saves you time, helps you understand a concept, or makes studying a little less boring, is probably worth it.  Don't try to budget the bare minimum on aids, you are going to spend a lot of time studying, give yourself plenty of options on how to spend that time.  Sometimes all it takes is a new turn of phrase by a new author to make the lightbulb go off.  I promise you, when the year is over you will not curse yourself too much for spending a few dollars on an aid that ultimately was not used, but if on a test you misunderstand a concept unnecessarily, your frugal approach to study aids will haunt you. 

As far as canned briefs, High Court are the best.

The Lexis "Understanding" series is very good for teaching the big picture.

The "Examples & Explanations" series are good because they pose, and work out answers for, hypotheticals.

Emmanual's or Gilberts are almost a must for black letter law outlines.  I prefer Emmanual's for most subjects.

Each of these belongs to a substantially different catagory of study aid.  I found each to be useful in its own way.  The combination provides better overall perspective.  Plus, having a variety of types of aids helps to make studying a little less boring; any changeup that helps you keep your interest also helps your retention of the law, which is, after all, the point.  So, if you see a study aid and it looks interesting enough, why not buy it?

Current Law Students / Re: RomLaw
« on: August 09, 2005, 01:47:28 PM »
I thought Romlaw was crap.  I tried it out for a little while the first few weeks, but noticed a number of errors in the briefs.  I would stay away from it.  Go with the High Court series if you want canned briefs.

Current Law Students / Re: What would you do?
« on: August 08, 2005, 10:16:30 PM »
What would you do if your son was at home
Crying all alone on the bedroom floor 'cause hes hungry
And the only way to feed him is to sleep wit a man for a little bit of money
And his daddy's gone
Somewhere smoking rock now
In and out of lock down
I ain't got a job now
So for you this is just a good time
But for me this is what I call life, mmmm

Is that how you feel?

Probably not, but her question started off the same.

Was this comment, that you failed to submit, part of a competition, or was it something that was merely a formality that guaranteed law review admission for anyone who was invited to submit?

Anyways, what would be so complicated about the story you would need to tell people?  "I didn't accept."

I guess that explains why I have a -2 rating.

In all seriousness, there is no trick to that class.  You cannot spend to much time on it.  It is the most fundamental to what law school is all about; teaching you to think and communicate like a lawyer.  The harder your professor is, the harder you work, the better it will make you at the essential skills, and the better you will do in the class, in school, and in practice.  Figure out a way to keep from burning out, writing class is where a lot of the heavy lifting takes place. 

Plus, doing well in any class is largely about efficient use of study time.  Lots of people will be working all the time, you probably will be too.  But try to make your use of time as efficient as possible.  For legal writing, you are trying to find the most efficient way to incorporate criticisms about how to make your writing more clear, concise, and persuasive. 

Also, if your professor is any good, expect some tough love.  If you can't swallow your pride, you're a gonner.   

Well, my way got me an A.

Its all about learning how to either relax your jaw, or hold your breath, as the case may be.

Duquesne U / Re: anyone attending?
« on: August 02, 2005, 01:04:46 PM »
Can we call you Petey?

Duquesne U / Re: anyone attending?
« on: August 01, 2005, 07:36:06 PM »
Nah, i got a haircut.  These nerdy law chicks will sweat me.

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