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Messages - Alamo

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1
You sound like Milton from Office Space.

"Excuse me . . . I was told that I would be warned approximately five minutes before the time was up . . . and . . . and . . . I was expecting the warning but . . . but . . . but it never came . . ."

2
Where should I go next fall? / Re: T1 non T20 Law Schools - Worth it?
« on: February 21, 2010, 02:58:25 PM »
But there are times when the ability to come up with solutions quickly is important.  You don't always have control over your own timeframe unless you're the judge or something.

Very true (except the idea that judges don't have to think quickly on their feet).  Speed of thought is essential to many types of legal practice.  Even in having dialogue with clients, they're not looking for someone who is going to say "Let me think about that and I'll get back to you."  You need to know what follow-on questions to ask right away if you don't want to be horribly inefficient in your job.

3
Well, you've got at least 3 strains of conservatism fighting for the national platform:

Fiscal conservatism (e.g., Romney), that may be flexible on some social issues
Social conservatism (e.g., Huckabee), that may have a populist economic bent
Tea party conservatism (and Palin is their self-appointed leader), that hates wall street, but hates government intervention enough to probably not be too keen on the entire social conservative agenda.

Throw foreign policy into the mix, and you have both hawkish neoconservatives and Heritage society relative isolationists in all three groups, all at odds with one another.

How these factions agree on one candidate for president is beyond me.  In 2008, they went with the least objectionable candidate and got creamed.  Romney will fare no better this time around; he has no cred outside of fiscal conservative circles.  So, who do you have?  Pawlenty?  Huckabee again?  McDonnell, the new VA governor?  Jindal?  The pickins are slim.  

But to get back to Palin, what she's good at is bashing Obama.  That will score her a lot of points with pissed-off conservatives.  But if the republicans actually want to win an election, they've got to do more than put forth a candidate that the small-town red-staters (mostly social conservatives and tea-party types) can get behind.  They've got to run a candidate that won't scare off independents, and I don't know if the far right wing is going to let one of those candidates get out of the primaries, especially after the McCain debacle, and, after the 2010 midterms in which conservative candidates in this slowly-recovering economy will do very well.  But by 2012, I think the economy will be a lot stronger, and Obama will be in position to take the credit.

Should be an interesting next few years.

one thing you missed is that in naming your candidates for conservatives...you only suggested republicans...conservatism lives on both sides of the aisle...


palin, plain and simple... is a celebrity..she's going to sell books, give speeches and that is about it.  why the ad lib media is so obsessed with her is silly...but it does sell light bulbs for g.e. and they in turn make her a great deal of money...got to love capitalism.

True, but I wasn't really thinking beyond 2012.  Do you really think Obama is going to get a primary challenger from his right, or that a Democrat is going to start a centrist third party?  In 2016, I could see a guy like Mark Warner getting the democratic nod, and he's a business-savvy moderate, if not a conservative.  I'm not sure who really fits in the category of "conservative democrat" anymore.  You might have Democrats who take a conservative position or two (2d Amendment, "family values," or something), but I can't think of any Democrats who fit the "preservation-of-the-status-quo" definition of conservatism, other than perhaps Arlen Specter, who seems to have switched parties out of short-sighted political expediency (I'm sure you'll LOVE running as a Democrat in 2010, Arlen); I'm not sure if he counts.

And the fascination with Palin is not just on the liberal side.  Living in rural Virginia during the 2008 election season, I saw "I'm voting for the chick" signs on lawns all over the Shenandoah Valley -- the locals were much more excited about her than McCain.  Plus, she's on Fox News, and headlining the Tea Party Convention, for crying out loud!  The main liberal fascination is -- "Wow, are there really that many ignorant morons in this country?"  I know the left has its share of fools as well, but even Nader couldn't crack 3% in 2000; I bet Sara would get 20% as an independent in 2012, in Ross Perot territory, without having a single defining idea.  What would her platform be, beyond a collection of trite anti-Obama one-liners (which, I must say, she executes well, and I think is the real reason for her stardom:  her channeling of the anti-Obama rage)?

4
General Board / Re: A Letter to my classmates
« on: February 14, 2010, 06:48:28 PM »
I hope it will still be funny when I rank higher than you guys.

Pride cometh before the fall.  Underestimate the complexity and difficulty of law school exams at your peril. 

Also, I rarely used hornbooks or supplements, and never relied on them in lieu of going to class or reading the textbook.  I never trusted them.  I worked very hard, but I knew that the work I was doing related to the class as my professor taught it, not the subject as some other professor phrased and organized it.  The one time I did rely on a supplement, in criminal law, I think it really hurt me, because I didn't learn the subject in the way that the professor taught it.  Perhaps in other classes I might have been luckier, but I never tried it again.

Also, the guy with a 4.0 is either an extraordinary legal genius or full of sh!t.  Getting a 4.0 in one's first semester is a rarity; the idea that it can be done without ever cracking a casebook or a supplement strains credibility.

5
Well, you've got at least 3 strains of conservatism fighting for the national platform:

Fiscal conservatism (e.g., Romney), that may be flexible on some social issues
Social conservatism (e.g., Huckabee), that may have a populist economic bent
Tea party conservatism (and Palin is their self-appointed leader), that hates wall street, but hates government intervention enough to probably not be too keen on the entire social conservative agenda.

Throw foreign policy into the mix, and you have both hawkish neoconservatives and Heritage society relative isolationists in all three groups, all at odds with one another.

How these factions agree on one candidate for president is beyond me.  In 2008, they went with the least objectionable candidate and got creamed.  Romney will fare no better this time around; he has no cred outside of fiscal conservative circles.  So, who do you have?  Pawlenty?  Huckabee again?  McDonnell, the new VA governor?  Jindal?  The pickins are slim. 

But to get back to Palin, what she's good at is bashing Obama.  That will score her a lot of points with pissed-off conservatives.  But if the republicans actually want to win an election, they've got to do more than put forth a candidate that the small-town red-staters (mostly social conservatives and tea-party types) can get behind.  They've got to run a candidate that won't scare off independents, and I don't know if the far right wing is going to let one of those candidates get out of the primaries, especially after the McCain debacle, and, after the 2010 midterms in which conservative candidates in this slowly-recovering economy will do very well.  But by 2012, I think the economy will be a lot stronger, and Obama will be in position to take the credit.

Should be an interesting next few years.

6
If you were set on living in Chicago or NYC, you'd pick the closer school.  If you really value freedom of mobility, Cornell, as an Ivy, is probably worth the price.

If you're set on doing public interest work, you'd be silly to pay full ride anywhere.  If you're set on a big firm, your odds will be much better from Cornell, and paying off loans would not be too much trouble for you (if you do decently well at Cornell).

One other thing to keep in mind--according to the Princeton Review, Cornell Law students spend more hours per day studying than at any other school.  Kinda scary.

I don't think it's a no-brainer either way.  Good luck.

7
Where should I go next fall? / Re: T1 non T20 Law Schools - Worth it?
« on: February 07, 2010, 02:42:39 PM »
Sure, if you've got the work ethic and the right attitude, you can absolutely make it work.  It will just be brutal, particularly your first year, and it will make it harder to to extracurriculars, and harder to have a social life there, but having a social life in Richmond, you'll be fine.  And, around exam time, you'll probably be better off staying away from the chaos that envelops the 1Ls around campus. 

8
Where should I go next fall? / Re: T1 non T20 Law Schools - Worth it?
« on: February 07, 2010, 07:04:26 AM »
Thanks for the input simon.  I guess it makes me feel a little better.  But Richmond, Virginia overall is not a holly-roller city as many people come to believe or perceive it to be.  Agreed, there is a lot of bigots, inbreds and old money KKK legacy, but increasingly people from the NE are immigrating to Richmond for more job opportunities, milder climate, light traffic, higher real wages and reasonable cost of living.
I went to a northern college and University of Richmond undergrad class is probably 80% students from CT, NY, PA and NJ.  While in school most of these people fall in love with what Richmond has to offer and stay here for life.  All our friends here are from the NE and they fn love it (maybe because locals dont wanna be friends with us at all, lol).

Considering local reputation, I think you might be right that I should be looking out for what local people think is good.  Interestingly, when I told our friends I was applying to UVA, W&M and University of Richmond, everyone thought that University of Richmond was the best.  When I told them I was likely turning down UofR near full ride for W&M 25% scholarship they thought I was insane. When I told people that I got into W&M they also thought I was going there because I could not get into UofR.  So even though local reputation might differ from USNWR,  I want to find a good balance that would leverage both local reputation and national acclaim, since you never know what will happen years down the road and where one will end up.

Do any of "your friends" know anything about the law?  UofR has a decent rep in the city (and not much of any rep outside it), but nobody who knows anything about law schools would mention it in the same sentence with UVA or W&M (other than "UVA & W&M are clearly superior to UofR.").  Perhaps these friends went to UofR, or know one or two people who went to the law school and "got a good job" (there are a lot of UofR grads at the top Richmond firms and clerking), or simply don't know anything about W&M or UVA.  But even in the city UofR does not compare to the other two schools (especially UVA). 

Also, the commute from Richmond to Williamsburg would definitely wear on you, and would hurt your chances of doing well at W&M.  Not saying it can't be done, but your schedule would be pretty brutal.

If you're really committed to Richmond, I'd take the full ride here, but realize that not many UofR grads get good jobs outside the city -- at least probably not anywhere a yankee type such as yourself would want to live.

Also, "inbred" is not the politically correct term; we prefer "person from a close family."

9
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Big Law Job after T2 Law School
« on: January 31, 2010, 11:56:50 PM »
Depends who you knew there, and the impression you made.  If you worked for the hiring partner and he loved you, you've got a great shot with above-average grades.  If you made a bad impression on anyone who interviews you, you've got no chance.  If you made no impression, you've got a slightly better chance of getting a screening interview, but are probably no more likely to get a callback.

And honestly, your "research" is probably worthless now, or perhaps worse.  The only data that would be the least bit likely to indicate future prospects in the legal market going forward, which would be data from 2009 grads, is not yet available.  Thus, doing research is probably worse than worthless, because it will mislead you into thinking that you've got a much better chance than you do.  Just because W&M has a better reputation than UofR means very little if grads from both schools are climbing all over each other for jobs.

10
Law Firms / Re: Insurance Defense Work
« on: January 31, 2010, 11:32:38 PM »
I haven't practiced with such a firm, but clerking, I've seen a few cases come through.  My impression is that the typical car/fire/life insurance gig pays well, and the work is complex enough to make it somewhat intellectually engaging, but it can be soul-crushing. 

Sometimes, you're probably fending off frauds who are looking for a quick payday; that would be gratifying.  But most of the time you'll be across the table/aisle from someone who just had something terrible happen to her -- and you'll be telling her that, for X reason, you're not going to pay.  And, before that, you'll have searched through her policy to find any clause, and and her file to find any action, that would render your client's coverage inapplicable.  Sometimes, you might even string her along for a while, making her think you'll settle, then, as soon as the statute of limitations runs, you either hang that over her head and make her settle for a fraction of what her case would've been worth, or litigate and pray the judge doesn't find a way around enforcing the time bar. 

Thus, my impression is that it's "make you feel like *&^%" law.  But to each his own.  I'd take it over domestic relations work any day of the week.

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