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Messages - Burning Sands

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Current Law Students / Re: Contracts
« on: September 06, 2007, 01:24:48 PM »
Does anyone have any advice for Contracts? I think that of all of my classes, this will be the one to give me the most problems. I have a copy of the hornbook keyed to my text, as well as the E&E. I guess my biggest concern is knowing what will be relevant... Are requirements K's really going to come up on an exam, or is it more the principle of good faith? Hope this makes sense! Thanks!

I can honestly say that Contracts made no friggin sense until I studied it for the bar exam.  It was one of those classes that never really quite "came together" at the end like people said it would.  At the end I was still like "OK so what is a contract?"

The E&E is great for Contracts.  It is probably the reason why I didn't fail the class during 1L.  But what really brought it all together were the multiple choice questions in the PMBR book for bar review.  If you have a chance, I would HIGHLY recommend getting your hands on the big red PMBR book, and the blue book that is about 1/2 the size of the red book.  You get both if you sign up for PMBR and put down your deposit. If you know somebody who just took the bar, they'll probably give it to you for free just to get it out of their sight. 

There are 200 multiple choice questions on each subject (property, torts, contracts, etc.) and the questions are crafted in a way that test the nuances of each subject, so that by the end, you will actually understand contracts (or whatever subject you're trying to learn for that matter).  I wouldn't use it to learn the material (should learn from your professor & the E&E) but rather as a clarifier for when you have actually covered the material at least once.

Like I said, I didn't quite understand Contracts 100% after I took my Contracts exam, but after going through the bar prep multiple choice books, it has become very clear.

Interesting. So you think it would turn out to be one of those "Damnit I guess I have to do it, but I'm not gonna like it" type situations? 

Current Law Students / Re: Living alone vs living with roommates
« on: May 11, 2007, 04:47:50 PM »
Funny, I just went through this situation with my roommate (a 1L) so I can see it go either way. 

You already know the benefits from living alone, so no need to expand on those.

I will say that as a graduating 3L, I was both a blessing and a curse to my 1L roommate.  On the one hand, whenever he didn't understand something, which by law school's very nature happened quite often, I was there to be able to say "oh proximate cause?  No problem, that's where...."

But on the other hand, there's an old saying about law students that goes like this:

1L they scare you to death
2L they work you to death
3L they bore you to death

Well let me just tell you that 2L and 3L are nothing like 1L.  1L's are actual students.  2L's are learning how to maximize slack-off-ness, minimize actual study time so that they can go hunt for jobs, and all the while, maintaining somewhat of a decent GPA. By the time you get to 3L forget about it.  And don't let it be a 3L with a job already lined up!  Such a creature couldn't give a rat's azz about law school anymore.  Unfortunately for my 1L roommate, I was one such rat bastard.  So even though I was able to break down the concepts of substantive property law or the federal rules of civil procedure for him (which I gladly made time for whenever he asked) I was also watching episodes of Entourage on HBO, inviting chicks over to the house, and saying to him "hey, we're about to go out to [fill in the blank] you wanna roll with us?"

So there are pro's and con's either way. If you do choose to live with the 3L and the graduate, milk them for all their knowledge and then immediately go to your room and shut the door, lest you get sucked in to the outside world. :P

Did you just use "safe" and "the bronx" in the same sentence?   ;D

I agree though, there are definitely plenty of places to live outside of Manhattan while still working for a Manhattan law firm.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York)
1st year: $125,000
2d year: $135,000
3d year: $150,000
4th year: $165,000
5th year: $190,000
6th year: $205,000
7th year: $215,000
Bonuses in all classes

Since we're law students who will enter the workforce in 2007-2010, I don't see how salary figures from five years ago are relevant.  I'm not bored enough to go find all the problems with your numbers, but suffice it to say that your numbers for Weil are way off, so whatever your source is, it is unreliable.

Next time try this, NALP, or the company's own website, all of which indicate a starting salary of $160k for Weil.

Nearly every BigLaw firm in NY, and many in other markets pay these rates.  If you would have paid attention, we were discussing the value of the degree from top schools:  If you go to a top school and then take a job in Newark with hideously below-market pay, that is your own fault and you are not permitted to complain.  It is not relevant to the positive value of the degree.

Edited to Add: Just checked Covington and Jenner, both are also at $160k to start. 

Hey hey hey, not so fast. I feel that I must speak up for the Newark market since I currently live here because they don't have hideously below-market pay.  The average for Newark firms is about $135,000/yr (see Latham & Watkins, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, etc.), which, when you consider the hideously below-market cost of living for NJ when compared to the hideously above-market cost of living for NY, you are actually saving a bundle.

But you are absolutely correct about those figures being 5 years old.  Market rate in NY is a standard $160,000/yr across the board.

i think your calculations are pretty good for the most part except that they ignore interest on your loan (not that high if you truly pay it off in three years, and assuming interest was deferred until graduation):

year 1: salary 160K + 30K bonus = 190K - 40% tax = 114K
year 2: salary 180K + 30K bonus = 210K - 40% tax = 126K
year 3: salary 200K + 30K bonus = 230K - 40% tax = 138K

Total earnings [3yrs]............................. .378K
Total [3 yr] interest accrued on a 180K loan......(~30K)
Living expenses [3yrs]*...........................(~150K)
Principal.................... .....................(~180K)
                                      remaining    ~48K

The $160k is taxed about about 35% to 37%
The bonuses (of which there are potentially more than just one per year) are taxed at 40% like you show them here.

Other than that, your numbers are fairly close to real life.

At my firm we can get up to $50k in bonuses the first year on top of the $160k salary.  At others, like Wachtell for example, they get an additional $160,000 bonus (no that's not a typo) on top of their $160,000 salary, for a total of $320,000 (three hundred twenty thousand dollars and 00 cents) in their first year (before taxes, of course).

EDIT: and YES I'm glad that I went to law school.  Although I admit that I may be singing a different tune if I was unemployed.

Current Law Students / Re: poor lawyers
« on: May 11, 2007, 07:30:21 AM »
I just thought I'd mention that I know a guy that went to a 4th tier in Boston, is $100,000 in debt from law school, has his own practice, but has to wait tables FT at night just to make ends meat. He has 2 kids he never sees.

Well that just sucks.   :P

Couldn't agree more.

When you go out into practice, there are 2 questions that you will get asked everywhere you go:

1. where did you go to law school?
2. did you make law review?

Irrespective of the field of law you plan to go into, these two things will follow you around and, as many people have noted here, will open doors for you that are not open to others.  It is definitely worth the 1 or 2 weeks of aggravation that you will have to put up with right now when you consider the benefits you will receive for years to come once you start practicing.

Totally disagree.  You will get asked those questions during an interview but, as a practicing attorney, I can tell you I rarely get asked where I went to school and I NEVER get asked whether or not I was on law review.  Both are largely irrelevant when you're "in the trenches."  It's all about your lawyering skills, your work product, and your performance in the courtroom.  Believe me, you tear it up in court and no one gives a crap where you went to school..... 

Well no kidding. I had to go back and look at how I worded that and I see I may not have been very clear.  So let me clarify by saying WITH RESPECT TO YOUR LEGAL EDUCATION there are generally only 2 things employers are concerned with...

Of course when you are practicing the most relevant question is "so...where did you last work and what did you do there?" or something to that effect, and during your time of employment I couldn't agree more with what jd06 said here. No matter what school you came from or what law review or moot court you made or didn't make, if you can't produce results its game over.

Let's see what we can expect from the next great leaders of our Court.  Which judicial philosophy do you ascribe to?  Are you 100% behind Justice Thomas and support Originalism, and, if so, why???  (Scalia is faking!!)

Do you think we should have a living constitution?  Why?

How about some other choice?  Any takers?

Scalia takes it step further.  Instead of applying Intentionalism ("originalism") he is a textualist, which is sort of a break off from the Intentionalists like Thomas.  Textualists, of course, focus less on the original intent of the framers and focus more so on the actual words used in the text.  A "Garbage In = Garbage Out" philosophy.  Some think this is exactly the type of restraint that judges need to exhibit at all times. Although I believe in judicial restraint to a degree, I don't think you can do so as blindly as Textualists would have it. Especially when it would create absurd results that clearly go against the purpose of a statute or constitutional provision in question.

And for some strange reason, Textualists always seem to be from the conservative right.  Coincidence?

So my question is this: if the 28th Amendment to the US Constitution was adopted tomorrow, and it clearly said that "There is a Fundamental Right to Privacy guaranteed to the citizens of the U.S. and the Right to Abortion will, from this day forward, be understood by all states to be included within that Right" would Scalia and Thomas still believe in and apply Textualism/Originalism with respect to that amendment? 

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