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Messages - fllaw

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1
General Board / Re: A typical law school class session?
« on: July 23, 2010, 05:21:15 AM »
I'll add that Professor John Delaney's Learning Legal Reasoning: Brieifing, Analysis and Theory provides a great introduction to what law and legal reasoning is all about. He teaches case dissection and gives examples of good and bad briefs. This book is given to all 1Ls at my school and is the textbook for orientation.

Also, check out Delaney's web site. He now uses it to supplement his books and provides tons of great information for free!
Here is a link: http://www.johndelaneypub.com/catalog/index.php

You can also get a feel for his teaching methods on YouTube. His a retired Crim Law professor at NYU Law School and CUNY.
Here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/user/ProfessorJohnDelaney

Also, if you have not read Thane Messinger's Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold please do so. It is one of the best books for getting an idea of how to do law school (the Getting Good section).

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...In point of fact--as long as we're there--the law school classroom has been essentially unchanged since the 1880s, with the exception that competition is much higher today than then.  Well, that and the nagging detail of student loans.  But of course Thelo knew that, and was perhaps getting to a different point?

...
Again, thank you,

Thane.

Getting to the issue of finance, oppotunity costs and debt, I think everyone going to or planning to go to law school should consider this:

The Next Bubble: Law School Tuition

By Elie Mystal
http://abovethelaw.com/2010/04/the-next-bubble-law-school-tuition/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+abovethelaw+%28Above+the+Law%29

Quote
Itís one thing when I write about how crushing law school debt  has impacted the value proposition of going to law school. Iím just repeating what every jobless 4L already knows. And prospective law students, 0Ls, have already proven that are too full of themselves to take out a calculator before they commit to three years of debt financing.

Because new students canít seem to act in their own self-interest, itís unlikely that change will come from below. Despite the proliferation of blogs by recent graduates trying to educate others about the danger of going to law school, new students keep signing up in record numbers. Law schools are not under any pressure to control tuition hikes when the demand for legal education is higher than ever.

Besides the study techniques that Thane advises against, the other way to do law school "wrong" is to find yourself with over $100K in debt and without a job that brings enough income to service that debt. That is, if you are fortunate enough to have a job!

3
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: FAMU Law School Status Checker
« on: June 17, 2010, 06:18:27 PM »
I attended "Entering Students Day" today. Dean Pernell gave a nice and enthusiastic welcome. There were presentations by Student Bar, Academic Success, Financial Aid and the international program. We did a mock class with Prof. Washington on the Palsgraf torts case. Then we had a Q&A with 2L and 3L students. Overall they gave the standard spiel about working hard, be prepared, brief your cases etc.

Orientation is August 9 - 13.

4
My situation exactly, stayed in my well-paying career after passing the bar 2 years ago, and thank God I did not jump into this field..  Job market is horrible, pay is not that great - especially if you take on a crushing debt to get the JD. 

Yes, I know other non-trads who are happy they did not quit their day jobs to go full time. The problem many young folks have is a lack of experience in debt management and unrealistic expectations. I know us old guys are often chided for offering "back in the day" advice. However, debt can and will ruin you life. I am not quite as fanatical as Dave Ramsey about debt, but this is serious. If you are a recent college grad with little real world experience in a tight job market then taking on $150K in debt is, frankly, insane.

One book I recommend to people caught up in the latest fad is:

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds
by Charles Mackay

Quote
Why do otherwise intelligent individuals form seething masses of idiocy when they engage in collective action? Why do financially sensible people jump lemming-like into hare-brained speculative frenzies--only to jump broker-like out of windows when their fantasies dissolve? We may think that the Great Crash of 1929, junk bonds of the '80s, and over-valued high-tech stocks of the '90s are peculiarly 20th century aberrations, but Mackay's classic--first published in 1841--shows that the madness and confusion of crowds knows no limits, and has no temporal bounds. These are extraordinarily illuminating,and, unfortunately, entertaining tales of chicanery, greed and naivete. Essential reading for any student of human nature or the transmission of ideas.

In fact, cases such as Tulipomania in 1624--when Tulip bulbs traded at a higher price than gold--suggest the existence of what I would dub "Mackay's Law of Mass Action:" when it comes to the effect of social behavior on the intelligence of individuals, 1+1 is often less than 2, and sometimes considerably less than 0.

One might add taking on absurd levels of debt to go to law school to the above list.

5
Before going into massive debt in an industry that may not offer the rewards you anticipate, you might want to read this:

Effects of Being in Debt

http://www.ehow.com/about_4602144_effects-being-debt.html

and this:

The Next Bubble: Law School Tuition

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/04/the-next-bubble-law-school-tuition/

Quote
By Elie Mystal

Itís one thing when I write about how crushing law school debt has impacted the value proposition of going to law school. Iím just repeating what every jobless 4L already knows. And prospective law students, 0Ls, have already proven that are too full of themselves to take out a calculator before they commit to three years of debt financing.

This is very important information. You may believe that this happens "to the other guy" but don't be so certain.

  College Grad Exposes Everything Thatís Wrong With 0Ls 

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/06/college-student-exposes-everything-thats-wrong-with-0ls/

Quote
By Elie Mystal

We spend a lot of time telling prospective law students to carefully consider the decision to go to law school. And still they come. We tell prospective law students that law school is expensive and the job market is weak. But still they come, in record numbers.   

6
Beware of Crushing Debt

I am a "non-trad" student with a good job and am going part-time. I will have NO debt upon graduation because going to a state TTT school with low tuition makes that so. Even if I graduate at the absolute bottom of my class I still graduate, still get a JD and don't have to worry about a job, cause I already have one. This profile is not typical; however, you folks need to face the reality of the market, which is not going to get any better for many years.

Be very careful about taking on massive debt with the dream of six figure salaries. Not going to happen for most. If you are not at HYS then maybe never. Make sure you know why you are going to law school. If its for money only, you will be disappointed. For me, it is something I wanted to do for a VERY long time and just got around to it. If it yields a fun "retirement job" cool, if not, I learned how to write my own will, cool.

I cannot overemphasize the crushing load debt will put on your young life. Be sure you know what you are doing. You might want to read this article:

The Next Bubble: Law School Tuition


http://abovethelaw.com/2010/04/the-next-bubble-law-school-tuition/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+abovethelaw+%28Above+the+Law%29

7
Thane,

As a follow-up to our discussion on the Non-Trad forum I have taken the time to read your book and other posts. I felt the PLS approach a bit too much for now. But I did follow your advice and setup my initial outlines in Microsoft OneNote. I also went through John Delaney's Learning Legal Reasoning. This is an excellent primer on what learning the law is all about.

I think your approach provides a good balance between walking in cold, and doing massive substantive study as recommended by Mr. Falcon. I cannot understand those who say do nothing, have a fun summer and get drunk a lot. For me, reading the major concepts about civil procedure, for example, means when the prof starts talking about personal jurisdiction, I will know about International Shoe and the minimum contacts test. Sure, I won't know all the rules, but it will know the highlights so as not to feel totally lost.

One of the arguments against doing prep, especially on the TLS board, is "you won't know what to study" or "your prof will teach you what you need to know they way you need to know it." This is pure bull. For example, in Civ Pro, there are rules you need to know and major cases about the rules. Unless you are going to law school in Mongolia, the same rules apply, at the federal level, in every state and every law school and every bar exam is going to require you know them.

Thane, once again, thanks for your sage advice. I recommend your book, GGG, to everyone I know who is thinking about law school or starting in the fall. In fact, based on other threads on this forum, there are many 1Ls who need your advice even after finishing their first semester!

I am going to do LEEWS in July and then go through the CDs again in October.

Regards,

8
Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: FAMU Law School
« on: June 12, 2010, 06:09:57 AM »

I am glad people attending the school are having a good time, and that they are appealing to people from around the world.  I do hope they rise, and that their graduates give back by providing opportunities for internships and post-grad employment to the ones behind them.  And I can see there was a real need for folks in Orlando to have a law school accessible to them (plus, unlike many of the rest of non-Miami Florida law schools, it's actually located in a city with an international airport).  UF and FSU might be the highest ranked, but they really do not have any curb appeal being in rather racist small town locations.

I wouldn't consider it because of previous experience with FAMU's administrative side...(and not wanting to live in Orlando). 

How have you found the experience with financial aid and such?

I am not a native Floridian, but have lived in various part of the state. When my wife and I moved to Miami in the 80's we never experienced any issues at all. We both are from NYC and harbored some stereotypical thoughts about how an interracial couple would fare in the South. So anyone concerned about going to the either of the top ranked law schools in Florida should not use the poster's comments as a factor in their decision.

I think generalizations about a city or town being "racist" are uncalled for. Tallahassee and Gainsville in 2010 are not the same as the "old South"

9
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: What does a model answer look like?
« on: April 05, 2010, 05:14:55 AM »
Just got back my midterm and I was really disappointed about how bad I did on it. I still do not understand why. I feel like I still dont know what exactly my teacher wanted to see. Since it was only an hour long test, I was very pressured and probably wrote very wordy because I felt like I had to write something down. My question to you who did well in your first year is, what does a model answer look like? Do you have to IRAC every essay question? How long do you have to write for each part of the IRAC process? Would one or two sentences for rule be enough? I am so clueless. Please help me out. Thanks for any advice in advance.
p.s. I just feel like the amount of info I have to study is so overwhelming, but I also realize you can only write so much in one hour, so there has to be somethings the teacher really wanted to see, which means we didnt really have to memorize everything we learned or read. I just dont know what those are...

Find a copy of "How to Do Your Best on Law School Exams"
# Publisher: John Delaney Publications; October 2006 edition (November 2006)
# Language: English
# ISBN-10: 0960851453
# ISBN-13: 978-0960851454
# Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 8.2 x 0.5 inches

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Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: FAMU Law School
« on: April 02, 2010, 07:41:04 PM »
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