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Messages - VTMercutio

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Incoming 1Ls / Re: Miami 2L Taking Questions
« on: May 24, 2008, 05:02:13 PM »
1) I did most everything I wanted to do before law school in the year I took off after undergrad. The best thing to do is seriously just relax and hang out with family and friends as much as possible before law school. Once you get to law school, it envelopes you and sometimes it gets hard to find time for them when you are at your busiest. If you are really dying for something to get you ready for law school at UM, read the Buffalo Creek Disaster and A Civil Action. You may get Professor Alfieri for Civil Procedure (I had him) and you will need to read both of these before the first class. You'll be ahead of the pack if you read these and have him; I didn't know I had to read these books before the first class and didn't find out until 8am on a Friday, Monday was the first class. Professor Alfieri is a pretty intense professor who makes you stand up when you are called on, but he is a great professor at the same time. Other books that may be a bit more general but good to read are Law School Confidential and Getting to Maybe.

2) As far as places are concerned, try and be as close to school as possible. A house might be hard to come by this year unless you are a local. The houses generally speaking don't advertise and are pretty difficult to find. I found my duplex, which also has a backyard, on craigslist. Don't freak out too much about finding a place ASAP, I didn't sign my lease until the middle of July and that isn't at all odd. I was used to signing a lease in my college town and you had to sign for a place as early as January for the next year. The opposite is true in Miami; most of the places are incredibly reluctant to have the place sit on the market at all. Then again the market has gotten much worse, and a great deal of condos are coming on the market in Miami, so that will give you some wiggle room to haggle prices. I have a few friends with pets, and most places I have seen allow you to have pets, but some may have a weight limitation below 40 pounds. If that was the case...I would just say that your pet is 40 pounds...

That is a good place to start if you are looking at the apartments around UM. A good deal of first years live in the University housing or the Valencia. Like I said I got a 1000sq/ft 2 room duplex for 1100 a month, so there are places you can find if you look hard enough. If you are looking for more specific information, just ask, I feel like I've already babbled on too much on housing

3) As far as a summer job is concerned, I decided to study abroad this summer. The summer abroad program is amazing and I couldn't resist. Other people seem to have gotten jobs if they were flexible, a few got paying, most non-paid jobs. Miami has a pretty amazing career services center and if you are flexible you'll get a good job.

4) My debt is going to be pretty hefty, but thats a fact of life if your family isn't wealthy, or you had an amazing GPA and LSAT. The good news is last I heard the average starting salary out of Miami was around 105k a year...which also includes those public sector jobs that make much less than the private sector.

Anything else? I'm happy to lower the stress a bit for anyone if I can.

Incoming 1Ls / Miami 2L Taking Questions
« on: May 23, 2008, 07:45:10 PM »
This board was always helpful for me, so I figured for anyone who has decided to attend UM I could give advice/steer you in the right direction.

Anything I can help with, just ask, where to live, reading over the summer, etc.

BTW Congrats on getting in to UM  ;D

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Recommended Reading List?
« on: May 23, 2008, 07:29:29 PM »
Coming from a new 2 L  ;D

Law school confidential to teach you to highlight with multiple highlighters...and to scare you and your loved ones...

OneL to scare you and your loved ones...

and...drum roll please...

A Civil Action and Buffalo Creek Disaster for all those attending the University of Miami next year...if you get professor Alfieri for Civil Procedure you will be given this assignment and have two days to read over 1000 pages before the first day of class. WOOT

Oh...and Getting to Maybe get to it... ;)

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Help! UF vs. UM
« on: May 23, 2008, 07:12:34 PM »
So just because everyone has an opinion, I figured I would put in my two cents about each school. I just finished my first year at University of Miami, and my best friend is a 2L at University of Florida. I'll break down my experience and insight from both

Professors: UM has great professors that are arguably better than any other other school in FL. I tend to think it has something to do with professors finding Miami as an extremely agreeable place to retire and teach. Thats not to say that the other schools in FL don't have great professors, but I have yet to take a class at UM that isn't taught by someone that went to a top 14 school. In all truth though, don't let the faculty push you one way or the other, those same Ivy professors suck sometimes more than someone who went to a lower ranked school.

Administration: I can't speak too much about UF, my friend has yet to have a problem, but here is one area I would tell anyone to strongly think about between making a decision. The first year curriculum at UM is nonsensical in areas compared to other schools. For example, your one credit writing class is graded. This may sound minor, but it is a huge amount more stress you are placing on yourself your first year of law school. Most schools (UF included) make this course pass/fail recognizing the difficulty in standardizing the grading process. At UM, you quite literally are at the will of your writing professor as to whether they like your writing style or not. I had my professor outright say that style is essentially what she determined grades on. To have your paper you spent countless hours on, checking for relevant law, to be graded on absolutely maddening. Second, as a UM 1L you have to take Elements your first semester. Anyone else ever heard of this? The only other school that USED to teach this course was Chicago, but they dropped it. What is elements about you ask? Well, I just finished it...and I have no idea...ask another alumni...and they will have the same answer.

Cost: If cost is the same...that raises an issue...if you are faced with a decision between spending 35k a year and 8k a year for instate tuition...we just seriously need to stop talking now.

Placement: UM places better in South Florida...Period. UM has direct access to Miami and a strong network in Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm. A UF grad can get a job in Miami, it is idiotic to say otherwise, but at the same time a UM grad can get a job in Tampa or Jacksonville. If you want to go out of FL, UM is the way to go. UF places largely in FL and Atlanta. UM has great ties to NYC, Chicago, and California. It is one of the only schools on the east coast, out of the t14 I know of that has a California job fair. UF may have a HUGE alumni network...but UF Law Alumni is no bigger than UM Law Alumni. Since we are hopefully talking about getting a law job after law school, I highly doubt a UF alumni that didn't go to law school is going to help you out in any way that is really worth talking about. I'm having trouble finding numbers for UF Law Alumni, but the website states "More than 16,000 alumni have graduated since the college's founding in 1909..." At the same time, UM's alumni lists 17,434...just more numbers that are all probably skewed as much as the numbers in the Rankings, but UM has just as big an alumni network as UF.

Rankings: They don't mean crap. They make good money for US News, may be a good place to start the search, but not the place to end. I'm much happier attending a lower ranked school in FL because I want to practice her than a higher ranked place in the Midwest. IMHO there isn't much of a difference between #21 and #100. Those top 20 will always be considered head and shoulders above everyone else, and the rest of the schools will be battling for regional dominance. UF and UM place differently in FL and that is something to think about. 

Conclusion: You can probably find someone from any school with qualms about the administration at any school, but it is something to take into account. Your friend needs to really think about where they want to live as most don't get very far away from the law school they attend.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Univ. of Miami anyone?
« on: June 08, 2007, 03:25:31 AM »
The middle of UM campus  :)

Master Debator

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Univ. of Miami anyone?
« on: May 07, 2007, 02:17:54 PM »
This Just In!!!!

Miami is Sweet!!!

Oh Yeah...TAG

General Off-Topic Board / Re: The Truth about the Pay Gap
« on: April 30, 2007, 06:23:34 PM »
I suppose another thing to keep in mind, is that this supposed pay gap is a vicious cycle once again propagated by society as a whole, not just men.  To illustrate, my girlfriend is following me to law school for essentially two reasons:

1) She loves me  ;D
2) It makes more sense to move with me (becoming a lawyer) than to follow her (social worker)
So in itself, this constant moving for a significant others career negatively affects the womans career.  While the man of the house is moving for a better job, the woman will at best lateral somewhere else where she still loses all seniority she had in her first job.

So while this may be a bit different than most; the woman follows the man because the man has a higher earning potential, thereby hurting the womans earning potential even further.

Now I'm not making any of these arguments because I am a huge supporter of the feminist movement, but I also try my best to look at the situation and understand it as I can.

P.S.  Before anyone says I am a huge male private part for making her move...I did in fact offer to take a year off law school so that I could follow her where ever she did her dietetic internship, where then she would move after that where ever I went to law school.  She choose to follow me because she wasn't certain she wants to even become a dietitian.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: The Truth about the Pay Gap
« on: April 30, 2007, 04:25:34 PM »
Perhaps I am not seeing the big if I am not...please educate I am sure everyone will be willing to do  :), but paralleling this situation to the civil rights act is a bit wrong.  I suppose that the only way to deal with the pay gap could be the same way that the civil rights act dealt with the past discrimination...aka affirmative action, but it just isn't quite the same.

Discrimination used to take place based solely on the color of ones pay someone less when they do less work...just isn't wrong in the same sense.  Perhaps as I said the only way to deal with this would be something akin to Affirmative Action, however, I believe it is somewhat already in place.  When a woman applies to an engineering school...I hate to say it, but she will have a much easier time to get in, thus schools are attempting on their own to bolster the amount of women represented in the scientific fields.  Perhaps not enough for some, but what we are talking about her is sweeping societal change.

Instead of watching mommy cook, perhaps if we want more women in scientific fields, we watch our moms come home and do our algebra or show us some kind of science project.  Typically, these are the things that our dads show us.  The pay gap is a lingering negative effect of essentially a world society that used to have women stay home and make babies...that is changing, slowly, but surely it is changing.

I suppose to close it up, this pay gap is a product of society, not piggish men.  Women currently propagate this just as men.  I hate to say it, but I have met a few women at college that actually said that they just wanted to graduate, get married, and have career goals; I'll give a quarter to the first man I hear actually say that and mean it.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Univ. of Miami anyone?
« on: April 29, 2007, 04:22:01 AM »
Perhaps run around yelling that you have no clue what to do with all of the money in your wallet at 3am could be the gold standard?  Someone try that and get back to us?  ;D

On another note; I don't think that the summer movie list is going to have any bearing on our studies, but has anyone else started watching these movies?  I've watched Brazil, The Sweet Hereafter, and Double Indemnity; I have and am planning on watching The Thin Blue Line; Lastly, I've seen A Civil Action, Twelve Angry Men, and Bladerunner.  The last one is The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence; anyone seen this yet?

As far as the movies I'll assume most haven't seen before.  Double Indemnity was a great 40's flick (try and make a drinking game out of taking a shot everytime the main character says 'Baby''ll die trying...), The Sweet Hereafter was really a great movie about how if you become a lawyer everyone will hate you and your life will be in ruins (Speaking of which...isn't it great that everyone...even the law schools tell you not to go to law school...and yet you take out a billion dollars in loans and still go...I wish I could come up with a product to sell that easily...), and lastly Brazil (extremely Kafkaesque, and if you don't know what Kafkaesque is...that is why the law school has put this on the list).

Lastly, I'm headed down to Miami earlier now...start of May; I'll make sure and give everyone my impressions of the different areas around the school to look for housing.

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