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William Mitchell / Re: First Post
« on: June 23, 2006, 06:35:20 PM »
I'll give a few thoughts ....

(1) Don't waste time briefing the cases thoroughly ... there's just too much reading to do and not enough time to do it all.  Instead, either buy the commercial briefs from the bookstore or use your LexisNexis and/or Westlaw account (which you'll get for free) to get a summary of each case ... just ask the librarians how LexisNexis / Westlaw works.  Briefing the cases doesn't add much to your understanding, doesn't count for your grade, and simply wastes time.  I recommend reading each case only once ... and then just make a quick note of the "rule of law" from each case. 

(2) Do get study guides ... they are invaluable and help to explain the material in layman terms whereas the course texts are an exercise in futility for understanding what's really going on.  I've found the Gilbert's and Emmanuel's guides to be very valuable and easy to understand.  Gilbert's for Property (by Dukeminier) was very helpful to me.

(3) Check out the exam archive on the library website ... you can see what your exams are likely to look like for each class / professor.  Practice these exams starting 1 month prior to finals ... also ask your profs to "grade" your answers to these old exams.  Do practice, practice, practice exam writing.  It is a learned skill.

(4) Do get involved in MJF (MInnesota Justice Foundation) and get invaluable volunteer experience.  This will look impressive on your resume.

(5) Do try to write on to Law Review after your first year.  It is good to have on your resume.

(6) Do network with as many other students as possible.  You never know who you're going to be working for in the future ... maybe one of your classmates.

(7) Do get a parking pass for the Grotto parking lot ... parking on the street is a pain in the arse.

(8) Do spend lots of time memorizing and understanding the rules of law ... but DON'T spend lots of time obsessing about a particular case or cases.

(9) Do look up legal terms you don't understand while you are reading cases.

(10) Do prepare a resume and talk to the folks in career development early.

(11) Do take Professional Responsibility in summer after first year and then take the MPRE exam that August ... there are fewer people taking it in August and you'll have a better chance of passing easily.  I passed the MPRE on the first try with no problems and my grade in the Prof. Resp. class was not even that great.

(12) Do prepare for OCI (on campus interviews) in fall semester of second year.  These interviews are for next summer internships at the large firms ... and high pay during the summer internship ... and probable job offer after that making lots of money ... but all of this is dependent (unfortunately) on you being in the top 30% of the class.  This is why it is important to get good grades (A's and B's) your first year.  I signed up to interview with 20 large firms and only got 2 interviews ... but no offers for summer intership.  Unfortunately, I wasn't in the top 30% of the class and missed out.  There are small firms you can get an internship with ... but you'll have to do a lot of hunting around and interviewing out of the comforts of the law school.

(13) Don't obsess about the money you might get at big firms ... the folks that work at those places regularly put in 70 - 80 hours a week, including weekends.  The money is great and I'd do it for a year or two if I didn't have a family life ... but there are other things important in life as well.  Don't forget to spend time with your loved ones and to be satisfied with the type of work you're doing.   Even if you start off at a small firm you can still make good money in a few years ... or even tranfer to a large firm later.



Well that's about it.

good luck.

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William Mitchell / Re: First Post
« on: June 22, 2006, 01:44:26 PM »
I'm a current WMCL 3L.  I can give you the real scoop on any professor I've had or heard about from other here at WMCL.

If you haven't already been to the college website then check out the "Current Student" link.  There are links on this page for course schedule and grades.  Especially check out the "Grades" link ... you'll find some links for mean grades which will show the average grade for each class/section/professor.  You can gauge for yourself which profs you're most likely to get a better grade with.

My own experience is that you should try to NOT have Heidenreich for Contracts ... he has been at the college forever and seems to take delight in giving lots of C's and D's ... and since Contracts is worth 6 credits a "C" or "D" grade can really sink your GPA ... trust me on this.  If Prof. Hogg is still teachign Contracts then he would be worth considering ... he usually gives a take-home final.

The Civil Procedure professors are all probably about the same.

For Property ... I had Professor Roberts ... if you really want to learn the material then there is no better professor ... when I took the course she used a mix of online quizzes (M/C, T/F, Fill in Blank) and essay exams.  Other professors usually just go with one essay exam at the end of the semester ... not good in my opinion ... putting all your eggs in one basket ....

For Torts ... I think all the professors are about the same ... but Steenson is the master of Torts ... if you're really interested in Torts then take him.

For WRAP ... it doesn't matter which section you get it ... the class will just be a pain in the arse timewise ... but not difficult and you can generally get a decent grade.

After your first year you be able to take whichever classes you want ... I would recommend taking summer skills courses and trying to get your long paper requirement done in the second year ... then third year is a breeze.


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