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Messages - aryeal

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Job Search / Re: Do big firms hire from their support staff??
« on: December 17, 2005, 10:09:29 AM »
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!

Current Law Students / Re: First Law School Final
« on: December 15, 2005, 08:00:32 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. 

Current Law Students / Re: Girlfriend Problems
« on: December 15, 2005, 07:57:40 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. 

Current Law Students / Re: How to recover from my first final?
« on: August 26, 2005, 06:51:17 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.

Current Law Students / Re: please advice on study technique
« on: August 26, 2005, 06:43:34 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.   

Current Law Students / Re: Briefing method - HELP CLEAR UP CONFUSION!!
« on: August 26, 2005, 06:29:31 AM »
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. 

Current Law Students / Re: internet surfing during lectures
« on: August 26, 2005, 06:21:38 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.

Current Law Students / Re: To Brief or Not To Brief???
« on: August 26, 2005, 06:11:08 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!     

5-10 hours in a job you can walk away from may work out fine.  For financial reasons, I kept my paralegal job and cut back to 20 hours.  And, yes it hurt me grade-wise although I pretty much expected the result.  In my line of work as the "case manager" I actually put in more than 20 hours monitoring my email and answering phone calls, etc. 

This term we've restructured to the better.  We hired a legal assistant who is a DOLL and really knows her stuff (we had a disaster working for us the first year).  I can now unplug when I leave.  Also, in the first year I had classes scheduled each day and had to work on top of going to class every day.  I was left with the weekends only to study and was pretty much exhausted and stressed out. This fall I have class three days a week and I will spend two days at the office (plus two hours one morning before class).

Oh yeah, and I took out private loan money so I can cut back a couple hours a week if needed.  Love it now, will hate it later!

The only reason I wasn't totally freaked at the propect of having less than stellar grades the first year is because I had my summer job lined up (continuing my present position full time).  This would have been a serious situation had I been depending on my 1L grades for a summer internship.

Give it a shot.  You'll have a good idea a couple months in whether it's working and plenty of time to recoup any time you've lost.  Good luck. 

Again, thanks for the advice.  Would you mind giving us/me a rough idea of how you ended up placing in your class and what type of school you go to (T1, 2, 3, or 4)?

T3 although I should qualify that by saying it dumped in the Tier system because it built a new law school and went through a phase of lowering admission standards to pay for the freakin' building.  As a result, the bar passage rates sunk dismally.

I have no idea of my exact placement - didn't really want to go there LOL!  I'd say in the middle of the pack.

Actually I should qualify my opinion on study aids with it depends on the person.   I learn better by working with material on my own and teaching myself.  Some people do fine with more use of study aids.  I think the best approach is to try what feels right and see how the first batch of tests goes (assuming there are mini exams or mid-terms). 

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