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Messages - canuck
« on: July 01, 2005, 01:35:11 PM »
the place i was living at fell through since we couldn't get enough people (i sort of screwed my buddy over). but if you're looking for off-campus housing, the best thing to do is contact ResLife and get them to email you their off-campus housing list. do it once a week as it updates all the time. if not, i suggest craigslist.com. great cite but beware of "owners" that are really "realtors" that ask for a month's rent for a realtor's fee. some of them aren't even realtors but people doing it on the side. they're not allowed to get a commission, but they do so anyway. best of luck, but it's hard to find something decent around hofstra for $500-$700. If you're willing to pay $700+, you can find really nice places. also, if you have a car, try the towns of Westbury, East Meadow, Uniondale, West Hempstead...and a bit further out is Hicksville. the further out you go, the nicer and cheaper the places are.
yes, i've been accepted to the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. one of the best law schools in Canada. i'm still planning on writing the NY bar to keep my options open, but it's mainly a financial decision. i really didn't think i would get in because although i did well this year, it wasn't top 5%. i'm still deliberating whether to ask Hofstra for financial aid now that i have an offer from another school...but i'm almost positive i'm going to back home.
thanks a lot everyone and keep the questions coming! start a new thread!
« on: June 29, 2005, 11:28:07 AM »
i hope you don't find me disingenious since i've been promoting Hofstra, but i am transferring to another school. it strictly is for financial and personal reasons tho, since i am going back to Canada.
Hofstra is a good school and it becomes great with the students that go there. i wish all of you the best of luck and hope that you enjoy your time as much as i did. i'm going to be busy with preparing to go back home, but i'll try my best to keep on answering questions for you all.
« on: June 24, 2005, 08:46:36 PM »
hey all. i may get in trouble for doing this, but i found a copy of the first year orientation schedule at school. you guys should be getting the same thing in the mail. here's what it looks like:
2005 JD ORIENTATION SCHEDULE
TUESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2005
Pre-Orientation Jury Trial Experience
Location: Law School, Room TBA
8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. – Students with last names beginning with A-M
12-1 p.m. – Lunch for student jurors
1:30-5 p.m. – Students with last names beginning with N-Z
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2005
Photographs for Student Directory
Location: Leeds, Morelli & Brown Atrium, Law School
Registration and Coffee: Pick up Orientation packets and name tags
Location: Outside of Monroe Hall (rain location: Leeds, Morelli & Brown Atrium, School of Law)
Opening Program: Welcoming Address by Dean Aaron Twerski and Faculty Members
Location: Monroe Hall
Panel Discussion: Welcome to the First Year of Law School with Members of the Administration, Faculty and Student Body
Location: Monroe Hall
11:30 a.m.-12 p.m.
Pick up box lunch
Location: tented area behind Roosevelt Hall
Concurrent Sessions: Information Systems at Hofstra; Financial Aid & Responsibility for Law Students
Location: Law School, Room TBA
Introduction to Legal Methods, Class 1
Location: Law School, Room TBA
4:45-7 p.m. First Year Kick-Off BBQ and Student Club Fair
Location: Memorial Quad
THURSDAY, AUGUST 25, 2005
“To-Do” List (Please see last page.)
9:30-11:30 a.m. Welcome to the Legal Profession: Ethics, Professionalism and the Law School Community
Location: Monroe Hall
11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Location: tented area behind Roosevelt Hall
Introduction to Legal Methods, Class 2
Location: Law School, Room TBA
“Ask Anything” – Small Group Discussions with 2Ls and 3Ls
FRIDAY, AUGUST 26, 2005
Note: Please use the time before and after classes for your “To-Do” List.
Campus Tours – TBA
Check Reading Assignments – Anytime, at your convenience
Location: On the Web at www.hofstra.edu/law
. Click on “Current Students,” then Assignments/Booklists,” and then “Class Assignments.”
HofstraCard (Student ID Card) – 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Room 104, Student Center, North Campus
Law Library Tours – TBA
Locate Mailfolder – Anytime, at your convenience
Location: Student Lounge, 2nd Flor, Law School
Locker Assignments – 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Location: Office of Academic Records, Room 114, Law School
Open Computer Hours (set up e-mail and network accounts) – TBA
Location: Room 202, Law School
Parking Permits – Open 24 hours
Location: Public Safety, Hofstra Information Center
Photographs for Student Directory – Wednesday, 8-9 a.m.
Location: Leeds, Morelli & Brown Atrium, Law School or submit via e-mail to email@example.com
Pick Up Westlaw (TWEN) and Lexis (Webcourse) ID Numbers – TBA
Location: Book Store, Student Center, North Campus
Submit Immunization Record Form
Location: Health Center, North Campus
Submit Transcript – Arrange for your undergraduate institution to send your transcript directly to the Law School’s Office of Enrollment Management.
Veterans Service – If you are a veteran, please contact Joan Awai or Stacey Becker.
Location: Office of Student Accounts, Room 021, Memorial Hall, 516-463-6838 or 516-463-6840.
« on: June 24, 2005, 08:44:57 PM »
regarding laptops, 99% of the students use them to take notes. it's almost essential for some profs that you need to have verbatim lecture notes for. the bad thing is that it provides a distraction like e-mail, espn.com, or IM. sometimes it's not such a bad thing when the lecture is boring.
i got used to taking notes very quickly. i really like microsoft onenote, because i can label the lectures and have instant access to them. most people just keep notes on one word document and section it off the dates. there are some law school applications out there, but they're sort of tedious and not as flexible.
you have the option of taking all your exams on our notebook or on paper. i'd say 80% of students take their exams on their notebooks. come exam time, some just prefer to write and actually for some professors, writing is advantageous. that is, some profs have short answer exams, that consist of three lines. it's easier to fit more in when writing.
i didn't find the adjustment hard at all, and actually enjoyed taking my exams on computer. you get the software early so you can practice, but it's really just Word. you have ample time to practice because most of the profs offer practice midterms in mid to late November.
congrats on renting out your place!
all the best,
« on: June 24, 2005, 12:06:32 PM »
just to add,
i'm actually looking for 1-2 people to live with us next year...and preferably guys. i have a six-bedroom house that is a 10 minute walk from campus in a good neighborhood.
the rooms are big, and so is the kitchen.
if you would like to live with 4-5 2Ls with good sense of humor and laid-back attitudes, i need you to act fast. the first month's deposit is due on monday...$650. that includes everything except cable/internet/etc. there's also no washer and dryer but a coin laundry with drop off service really close by.
then the last month and safety deposit of one month is due on August 1st. if you're interested, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
. okay, i definitely outed myself now.
anything for a decent place to live...
« on: June 22, 2005, 04:45:35 PM »
sorry for the vague post. i'm actually not that familiar with Judaism but i've made many Jewish friends this year and learned a bit about the culture. there are some groups that are moderate and you wouldn't classify them as Orthodox. then there are those that are Orthodox and the men usually wear yamakas/kippahs. and then there are very traditional Orthodox Jews, where the men usually grow beards and dress formally. hope that clarifies things a bit.
there's also a Jewish Law Students Association and many of our faculty are Jewish as well. our school observes most of the major Jewish holidays like Yom Kippur. it's been a great experience for me as i've learned about another culture - i didn't have many Jewish friends growing up. it really adds to the diversity at the school which i find refreshing...many different groups all in the pursuit of a legal education.
keep the questions coming and i'll try and be more specific!
« on: June 22, 2005, 01:04:10 PM »
yes, there are other orthodox jewish students at the law school although the groups vary within their affiliation.
« on: June 22, 2005, 01:02:05 PM »
these are great questions to ask. i already know this is going to be a long post so here's some headers to split the material up. it's great to see students taking ownership of their legal education. i've seen a lot of the discussion on LSD about these topics this year and last year. there's a lot of varied opinions so i guess adding mine in won't hurt.
LAW SCHOOL PREP COURSES.
i did not take any prep courses before coming to Hofstra. but i do know of several people that did. so this is also going to be a second-hand account.
1. they are cost prohibitive. i am ghetto poh so it really wasn't an option for me. i had to settle for buying used books on how to succeed in law school.
2. if it's a two-day course, i don't know how much help it will be. i know some courses offer a simulated class and you write class notes. however if you're a good note-taker and an active listener, i don't think that this course would help you a lot.
3. it may reduce your anxiety. since it's all new and different, it may be good to get a taste of law school. paying for peace of mind is always a good thing.
4. it may give you a jump start. the first couple weeks of school is getting used to taking notes and briefing cases. if you already know how to do that, then you can spend your time starting to prepare your outlines which you should definitely begin early.
bottom-line, i knew of 3 students that had taken law school prep courses. they followed the suggested regime exactly. i didn't find it helped them excel over others because it really comes down to how you take an exam...which most of these courses don't teach. you could be a mess all year, but if you're able to write a law school exam, you may find yourself at the top of the class.
PLANET LAW SCHOOL
i read this book but got it late in July before i started. so i really didn't have the time to prep the way that it suggests. there's a ton of discussion on this, and the big criticism is that they are going to teach it to you differently anyway once you get there, so might as well not learn it wrong. this criticism is a complete fallacy and for most of the people who read PSII, they can attest to that. also, although there is a fear of burnout, for committed students who treat law school like a full-time job, i don't see their love of learning being halted anytime soon.
that being said, Atticus hits the nail on the head when he emphasizes that all that counts are final exams (with the rare exception of profs who give out mid-terms that are worth 10-30% of your final fall grades). your first focus as a student should be doing well on your finals, and nothing else. of course in order to do well, you have to have a mastery of the substantive law, but a bigger part of it is learning how to play the game of law school exams.
i suggest you get Delaney's two books: learning legal reasoning and how to do your best on law school exams. they are easy to read, and it really took the fear out of the great unknown of first semester.
the other one i suggest is LEEWS. although i didn't take it my first year, i'm living with a 3L right now who is on law review and the board of the moot court association (yes, he's my hero). he swears by LEEWS and i plan on getting the tapes for the coming fall because i'm always looking to improve my test-taking skills.
PSII's advice isn't exactly on point at Hofstra. first, it's not as competitive as the book makes it out to be. second, if you get my first-year profs, many of their exams aren't conventional issue spotters. i had multiple-choice this year, an entire exam of short answers, and take homes. hence this is where learning how to play the game of law school is key.
you have to get past exams for professors. some have them online through the law library website. others circulate through the hands of upper-years...although they are very hard to get. what you can always do is ask your professor what format they are going to use and then use exams from other professors to prep. i don't suggest starting to work on them as early as PSII does, i think by end of October through November is fine.
also, PSII is right on about starting your outlines early (after the second week). it is great to have a good past outline from an upperclassmen as a reference. but making your own really does help you digest the law better. if you guys want, i can get a group together after the first week of school and we can go over how to do it. Hofstra offers seminars on how to outline, but they are held in late September and by then, you want to be in full-swing.
i did very informal ones, where a group of friends would get together and discuss cases and rules. i know of several friends who had formal ones that would meet once a week and go over the material. i found that it did help when preparing for exams to have study groups just so that you can test your memory of rules and in case you didn't understand a concept. but there are several people i know who did it solo...buried themselves in the library or their rooms, and did extremely well. here's my thoughts on study groups:
1. everyone needs to pull their own weight. of course there will be those that understand the subject matter better than others...and find themselves teaching the group. this is always a good thing b/c by teaching others, you are honing your knowledge even further. but if members are coming unprepared and are looking at the stuff for the first time, they are dead weight. sorry to sound cold and callous, but there are many people in law school who want to ride on others coattails. i suggest that you feel out your classmates first. get a sense of who you feel would fit personality wise. make it an odd number. and every two weeks, someone can nominate to oust a non-performing member from the group, and you take a vote. it seems harsh, but having that enforcement provides an incentive for everyone to contribute. and if the study group is good, everyone will want to continue its success.
2. they make you understand the law, but that doesn't necessary translate into doing well on exams. it's great to hash out the rules of law, and play with hypotheticals, but since law school exams are written and not oral, it would be better to practice writing out answers to problems and having each other evaluate it.
3. do them during finals. especially if you have past exams available. then you can all answer them and try to see what everyone else came up with...b/c most of them do not provide answer keys.
i have to go do some errands right now, so i apologize for cutting this message short. i'll definitely try and post later about commercial outlines and primers i found useful.
all the best,
p.s. you guys are making me embarassed with all the thank yous. it's my pleasure! i just hope you guys come up with anything else you would like to know and i'll try my best to answer.
« on: June 22, 2005, 01:06:10 AM »
most of the students don't really have an opinion on Dean Twerski because he didn't take over his official duties until the beginning of this month. however i can tell you that all of the faculty i have spoken to are extremely high on him.
Dean Twerski used to be a professor here and i think that he served as a Dean before. let me say that he is brilliant. i don't usually label people as such, but he is deserving. besides being a great scholar (he has been published like crazy) i hear that he is a an excellent attorney. one of my classmates has told me that he has never lost a case.
Dean Twerski is also a reporter for the American Law Institute (ALI). the ALI is composed of attorneys, scholars, judges, and is an honor society for the best and brightest in the legal world. you can only become a member after you are invited, which means you are nominated and you can't apply. the ALI also publishes Restatements. these are exactly what their title says: restatements of the law. all these bright minds get together and attempt to formulate a general rule for all aspects of law. the criticism is that sometimes the ALI attempts to persuade the legal rule to adopt rules which the Institue thinks is correct. this is not mandatory authority like a federal statute or a precedent case. but they are highly persuasive authorities. you will come across their use in almost every course you take in the first year.
the reason that being a reporter is so prestigious, as Dean Twerski is, is because the reporter gathers all the ideas of the Institute on a certain subject of law...it's like being editor-in-chief. this is a once-in-a-lifetime honor because the Restatements aren't published every year. in fact, some are published many years after. i believe Dean Twerski is the reporter for the products liability section of the Restatement of Torts. for this accolade to be bestowed on him means that he has reached one of the highest pinnacles in his field.
just as a side note, to plug Hofstra, i think there are 4 or 5 professors who are also members of the ALI. i believe Prof. Eric Freedman is a member, as well as the former interim dean, Dean Resnick.
besides that, Dean Twerski is also the first Orthodox Jew to hold the post of Dean for a law school...which is surprising when you think of all the great Jewish legal scholars in American and World history. one of my classmates told me that his family is well-known in religious circles.
i have been introduced to Dean Twerski. i would not say he's an extrovert and from first impression he seems to prefer his solitude. but that's just MHO. in fact, i think he's one of those off-the-chart smart people that most would find a bit difficult relating to. that being said, the notoriety he brings with him will really help our school. i think the jury's still out as to whether this will result in additional funds being raised or the possibility of any dramatic change. in short, he's a thinker.
i think that this post wouldn't be complete without mentioning Dean Resnick. he's a national authority in bankruptcy law. he did a very commendable job as interin dean and it is reflected in our class this year...many of the faculty have commented on the noted difference in our year. the fact that your year is suppose to be even better is exciting for everyone here at hofstra.
again, this post has carried on waaaay too long, especially in response to a simple question. i apologize. i just want the incoming class to feel good about their choice and not like they're getting a "second tier" education. we are admittedly not Harvard, Yale, or Stanford. but we are a good school, with outstanding faculty, and the quality of the student body seems to be improving with each new year. the fact that there are more than two of you posting on this board (like there was last year) in prepartion for the coming fall is testament to that.
again, good luck and i hope to meet some of you in person next year.
p.s. i just noticed that i was worried about outing myself by saying where i worked this summer, when i think i've identified myself on LSD before. also, there aren't a lot of Canadians in section A so i'm pretty sure everyone knows who i am. i've been writing my brief to get into the moot court association next year and i think my lack of sleep has started to take it's toll. but humor me as i try to continue to maintain my anonymity!
« on: June 21, 2005, 04:06:58 PM »
i have to say that i really enjoyed my first year. i don't regret my choice of coming to Hofstra, but my opinion may have been different if my grades were really disappointing. i just got my spring semester grades back and but for property, it would have been a great year.
that being said, i know a lot of people trying to transfer...two people i know of got early admissions into Georgetown. lots of people are trying to go to NYU and Columbia (but that's extremely difficult). fordham seems like a hot destination to improve their employment prospects. and handfuls of people are trying to transfer back closer to home. i, myself put in an application back to Canada...but only because my family, friends, and girlfriend are back there...and i'm not receiving any financial aid from Hofstra. i doubt i'll get in, but i look forward to my next two years here.
i really like most of the faculty here. the building itself is not the greatest and i think that really prevents Hofstra from making a big jump in the rankings. we're really pushing to move although we dropped from like 87 last year to 95 this year. before that, i think we were in tier 3. most of that had to do with the former Dean, Dean Yellen, who had really lax admission standards. proof of that being the drop in our bar passage rates (no offense to any alum reading this). the 3Ls this year are pretty much the last of the "Yellen" years so i expect the 2Ls who are now 3Ls are gonna push those rates back up again. Hofstra is really pushing hard to get extremely bright students by dolling out a lot of cash in scholarships.
i also like my classmates. all of them are bright and i've made some really good friends. although competitive, and it may be getting more competitive, you will also find a good group that you'll brave the trenches with.
my first year was the most intellectually challenging, emotionally draining, and personally rewarding year of my life. law school isn't rocket science, but the amount of work makes it feel overwhelming at times. especially if you really want to cover all your bases. the second semester really is much better and you begin to enjoy yourself more (although you always have finals hanging over your head). i could go on and on, but the bottom line is that you get as much out of law school as you put in. and if you're as excited as i was to come to law school and start becoming an attorney, i'm sure you'll enjoy it too.
how tough is the grading curve? well, all the classes follow a bell. which means professors usually first assign a raw score to your exams and then slot which papers receive A's, B's, C's, and D's. most of the classes i've seen on previous grade distributions are set at a B or B-. an "honor" grade as one prof calls it, which is above the bell, is any grade of B+ or higher. and unlike undergrad, it's really hard to gauge how well you did after you wrote the exam. sometimes you feel like you got destroyed, and you'll end up with a good grade. sometimes you feel good about it and your grade turns out lousy. that's because you're marked in relation to everyone else, so it really depends on how well everyone else did. all you can do is your personal best.
as the person from CA said, Hofstra 1Ls are divided into two sections, A and B. so the incoming class is usually 300 persons, and you'll have two sections of 150 each. there will be a few part-time day students or LLM students in your class, and while they factor into the grade distribution, they are ranked separately (which i find unfair). in each section, you have a small section in the fall. so one of your subjects in first year, crim, civ pro, torts, contracts, or property, will have a class size of around 20-35 people. the people in your small section will be in all your classes, while the other four subjects will generally have the same people minus the small section for that subject. you'll get to know most of the people in your section by name and face. and be a stranger to other section people unless it's through an extracurricular activity or through sharing residence.
then in the spring, the small sections from each side (e.g. small section Crim A, and small section Crim B) combine. so you get to meet a few B people. but all your other classes stay the same. in the Spring, you take civ pro, torts, contract, property, lawmaking (legal methods), and legal writing. the people that were in the small section for crim now become the combined section for lawmaking.
i found that the workload and evaluation methods were more demanding for my section (section A this year) than section B. i know the B-section people will probably vehmenently disagree, but i have various reasons. for one, all my professors were tenured much longer than the other professors. they were much more set in their ways, and had quirkier exam styles. while the other section had younger professors who offered mid-term grades during the semester that were worth a percentage of your final grade. also, in my fall semester, only one of my exams were open book, while B section had an average of 4 open book exams (say what you want about open book exams being harder, in law school it's much harder to learn the black letter law and apply it instead of being able to reference the rule from your notes). lastly, i found my professors much more demanding in class than the other professors, thusly affecting the actual preparation most of my sectionmates would put in.
you might want to know why i'm elaborating on this...that's because at the end of the year, all the first years are ranked together, regardless of which section you were in. so a good GPA in my section seemed to be more deserving than a good GPA from the other section. the rankings also factor into law review and other journal competitions. the bottom line to all this is that certain professors are more demanding than others, and it will do you good to talk to as many upperclassmen as you can who had those professors. especially for past outlines and classnotes as well as what to expect on their finals.
as for summer job prospects, i'm sort of outing myself, but i'm working at the law school clinic right now and i also volunteer at a firm out here in long island. paid jobs are extremely difficult to get after your first year. but here's a small sample of what most of my classmates are doing: working for a firm in korea, going on international exchanges to france and italy, interning for the department of justice, interning for the department of labor, someone was offered a summer internship with JAG, lots of summer judicial internships, working at small/medium/big firms...although the big firms were mostly through minority fellowships or fellowships through the school that are extremely hard to get, and lastly i know of a few students researching for professors.
what career services doesn't tell you is that many of the exciting internship opportunities (some paid, most volunteer) have early fall deadlines. i would recommend getting a resume together in September, having career services look over it, doing some mock interviews, and begin to apply in October or November. you won't have any grades yet, but it can't hurt. especially during your winter break, you should be applying to as many places as possible. anything law-related will be an asset, but aim high cuz you never know what you'll hit.
although your first summer is the last opportunity to really relax and enjoy yourself, it's getting more and more competitive in the legal marketplace. we have to distinguish ourselves in some way and if that's some good, relevant, law-related experience in your first summer, then that's what we have to do.
i'm really sorry this post has gone on so long. i would be more than happy to meet up with any of your personally if you're coming to long island this summer. if not, please post any questions here and i'll try to get back to you within a day.