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Messages - aryeal

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1
Law Firms / Re: Do big firms hire from their support staff??
« on: December 17, 2005, 01:09:29 PM »
I would say it depends on the firm. 

My situation is very lucky.  I've worked for a partner for years who worked up from staff.  She had to fight tooth and nail to be accepted, developed her own lucrative practice within the firm, and made partner early.  Because I've been trained by this very hard-act-to-follow, her endorsement of me alone has a lot of weight. Plus, she already did all the groundwork for me by showing them the positive aspects of hiring in the firm.

My advice is to be proactive and tell the decision-makers you want a shot at working as an associate, you intend to apply for an internship, blah blah blah.  If they are lukewarm or you don't get an internship, get on the OCI train and put yourself out there in volunteer clinics, etc.

In other words, don't wait until you've graduated clinging to hope the firm is going to keep you on.  My firm makes offers to interns they like before the interns return to their third year.  If I don't have an offer by that time, I'm going to scramble!

2
General Board / Re: First Law School Final
« on: December 15, 2005, 11:00:32 PM »
It's not unusual at all not to answer all the questions - especially if the prof has jam packed the exam.  I can almost guarantee a portion of your section did not finish all the answers. 

3
General Board / Re: Girlfriend Problems
« on: December 15, 2005, 10:57:40 PM »
After finals and after you've had a chance to unwind, it's time for a serious sit down if the relationship has any hope.  Law school priority isn't going away.  You can't go through this every exam or every research memo.  Plus, imagine the horrors of the bar exam!  And, as a practicing attorney, you won't be available at a moment's notice.

So, this is who you are - a law student and a future lawyer.  You can compromise during downtime, but you absolutely have to be selfish about law school when the chips are down.  She obviously feels insecure about the relationship.  If the insecurity can only be resolved by sacrificing your commitment to law school, then it's over.  If her insecurity is related to other issues, then maybe it can be worked out.

Sorry to be doom and gloom, but a high maintenance partner paired with a law student is not going to work out. 

4
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: How to recover from my first final?
« on: August 26, 2005, 09:51:17 AM »
Relax, relax, relax.  Move onto the next one and don't panic until you get your grade (and even then don't panic).  Remember the curve.  Your classmates probably feel as dismal as you do. 

And welcome to the world of law school multiple choice!  Don't feel like an idiot.  Multiple choice questions in law school are not what you are used to at all.  They are shades of gray and meant to test whether you can spot the "hook".  They are sneaky and insidious.  You aren't stupid, and chances are you did better than you think.

5
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: please advice on study technique
« on: August 26, 2005, 09:43:34 AM »
No matter your method of study, do not forget policy.  In your exam the prof is going to expect to see why you argue one way or the other.  You need policy to do that. I learned this the hard way.  I ruthlessly memorized the rules and and argued the facts against the rules and unwittingly plugged in a teensy bit of policy along the way.  When the profs were going over the exams in class, the word "policy" kept coming up and I thought "uh oh".  Sure enough the midterm grades were not pretty.   

6
In my opinion, canned briefs and outlines aren't necessary to prepare for class.  They can be helpful during your own outlining to check out an alternative layout of the key points.   

Read your cases, brief, and take notes in class even if you think you "know" the material.  It's amazing how panicky you can be prepping for finals worrying that you aren't picking up the important stuff - this is where taking notes in class comes in.  It gives you a clear (well as clear as it can be LOL) idea of what your prof thinks is important.

If you are a 1L, ditch those canned briefs now.  It's too tempting to let them do the analysis for you.  It's fine to grab one from the library reserve desk (if they have them) if you are really struggling with a case or if you are in a temporary time crunch. 

7
General Board / Re: internet surfing during lectures
« on: August 26, 2005, 09:21:38 AM »
I remember a 1L student who played solitaire literally through all of the lectures.  These weren't necessarily boring lectures, in fact, they were quite intense.  But, this girl sat there through the entire class looking bored and "above it all" playing solitaire.  I was baffled.  Was she really that freakin' brilliant?  She seemed to know all the right answers when the prof called on her and she did have briefs in her notebook.  I was fascinated.

My question was answered after mid-terms.  She didn't return to school. 

There was another student who was on shopping websites non-stop (she had designer handbags she rotated weekly and a jaguar-obviously she had the means to shop).  Another fascinating subject for me to study.  So far I haven't seen her on campus this year.  Hmmm.

8
General Board / Re: To Brief or Not To Brief???
« on: August 26, 2005, 09:11:08 AM »
I agree with Lawgirl.  Brief your first year as much as you can.  It gets faster as you get better at it.  I switched to book briefing and did not retain nearly as much material.  In fact, as a 2L I'm now briefing the major cases (when you get past 1L you learn which cases are the set-ups and which cases are the meat).  The set up cases get a brief-brief consisting of a one or two liner on the facts, the rules, and a note on what counted in the reasoning.  The major cases get a full-on brief. 

Highlight and margin note as you read. You'll find during the Socratic method the prof will ask pointed questions on details that aren't necessarily in your brief.  Notes and highlights will help you find the answers quickly.

For the sake of time you'll be tempted to skip briefing.  But I noticed that the students who did better in my classes always had a case brief up on their laptop screens.

Another point in favor of briefing is the immense help it will give you when you outline.

Some students can get by just fine with book briefing.  Unfortunately, you won't find out if you are one of those students until your first exam!     

9
Gonzaga / Re: Gonzaga 1L
« on: August 26, 2005, 08:56:28 AM »
Paikea, I haven't had any of your profs besides Williams and Flood.  You will enjoy Williams.  She has very prepared lectures and a great sense of humor. Her exams are tough, but they are open book (at least it was last year).  Your rule book is the most important book for the exams.  Highlight the key points in the rules, the places where they "turn", and tab.  She also lets in outlines, so a concise outline as well as a more thorough outline are very helpful. 

I was a overly tough on Flood in my description.  In fact, I seriously considered editing my post.  She's very in tune with property law and will happily answer questions and go into more detail if asked.  I think part of my problem was we were a dead group of students.  Since she doesn't push on the Socratic method my class quickly learned that staying silent usually resulted in her going through the cases herself.  Of course, that's not nearly as helpful or entertaining as having the class participate so I got bored.  I don't know how to avoid the problem without being a gunner, but if you volunteer from time to time, perhaps your other classmates will jump in.

My last tip for survival at GU.  The LRW class will suddenly kick into gear and you'll find yourself overwhelmed.  Get into the habit of reading a little ahead in your other classes as a buffer.  LRW is tough as far as being a time hog, but well worth it.  Most of my classmates worked over the summer and were on par with the 2L interns from other schools.

Good luck! 

Good luck! 

10
Gonzaga / Re: Gonzaga 1L
« on: July 09, 2005, 01:28:55 PM »
I'll give you the rundown on the profs I had last year:

DeWolfe (Torts):  Knows his stuff, I mean really knows his stuff.  His exams are difficult but he has tons of practice exams up on his website.  I didn't appreciate how spoiled we were by the material on his website until class was over.

Vache (Criminal Law):  Policy fanatic.  Don't give him huge dissertations on the rules in exam answers.  Mention the rule and move onto policy arguments.  His classes are pretty free form and he likes creative arguments.

Keller (Contracts):  I love her.  She's a master of the Socratic method, but once you settle in, she's not so scary.  Pay attention to the notes in the case books - she loves the notes.  She gives multiple choice/essay exams.  Her multiple choice questions are tricky but if you've studied carefully, you'll see the "hook" pretty quickly.  She has a lovely opt out system for class participation.

Williams (Civ Pro):  Awesome professor.  Her lectures were by far the best organized.  Her exams are killer.  99% of the students are still typing when they call time. 

Flood (Property):  My least favorite.  Her classes are like watching paint dry.  She basically regurgitates the case book at you (once she figures out what reading she assigned).  Another policy hound.  Also, her exams have quite a few sub-issues.  Get as many as you can quickly because she places a lot of importance on some of her sub-issues.

Because GU is ranked so high in their writing program (in the top 12 nationwide I think), be prepared for your LRW class to suddenly swoop down and take over your life.   

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