« on: June 23, 2005, 08:31:12 PM »
You might as well get a parking pass first chance you get, because you are going to want one for sure. I doubt you will get shut out, I didn't hear of anyone who was last year, but no reason to chance it.
As for them not being sure whether to support Macs, I would suggest that this is exactly the time to take a proactive approach, for two reasons. First, the laptop test taking at Duquesne is in its infancy, so it is more likely to be influenced by strong demand from the students. Although some people had glitches, tons of people far and away preferred the laptops. I know that I was able to do better than I otherwise would have. They have every reason to expand the program. Second, we are getting a new Dean this year, and he espouses himself to be concerned about increasing our appeal to, and accommodation of, the students. This is exactly the sort of thing that he might make the executive decision to mandate if he is informed about the effect it will have in a) saving students money if they already have Macs; b) helping encourage students to attend who would otherwise change their minds if they realize they can go to a comparable school that does allow Macs for exams; and c) immediately helping make exams, an already hectic and stressful experience, more convenient for current and incoming students.
As for your impression of Duquesne so far, everything is going to be relative to where you came from before. I myself went to Ohio State as an undergrad, so I was used to a lot of bureaucracy; Duquesne hasn't been perfect in that department, but it has been much better than OSU.
The nice thing about Duquesne, at least for my class last year, is that there was an atmosphere of encouragement and assistance for your fellow classmate. People were competitive, and cared where they finished, but not at the expense of being cooperative and good-willed. I doubt most schools were similar. I think that, as a result, our whole class benefited psychologically and educationally.
I donít know if they will keep the instructors the same for the different sections, but I can give a little background on them. They will soon rule your world, so you would be justified if you are curious.
Professor Strieb is the Torts professor. He went to school at the same time as one of the Criminal Profs, Mistick. I think he was a prof when Professor Rago, another Crim prof, was a student at Duquesne. He will probably intimidate students the most at the beginning of the year, but he is very good. He has a very organized and effective way of teaching, he knows how to do the Socratic method correctly. He is also the trial advocacy coach (along with Professor Antkowiak who doesn't teach first years), so if think you might be interested in being a trial lawyer, keep that in mind. His grading is 50% midterm, 50% final. His tests are 50% weighted for multiple choice, 30 questions, -2 for a wrong answer, +5 for a right answer, and 0 for an unanswered question. 50% essay. The final is comprehensive. He does not keep any exams on file. His counterpart is professor Brown-Barbour, a female.
Professor Jordan is the Property Professor. People are very love/hate with her. I got along very well with her, she is also not afraid to tell you exactly how she feels in class. The thing to keep in mind with her is that she actually cares how you do, even though she might try to tell you otherwise, so make the most of it. She will use index cards and call on people based on the cards. Both of Streib and Jordan will call you out early on if you are unprepared. Her grading is 1/3 mid-term, 2/3 final. The Property final is not comprehensive. There will be multiple choice, and essay, and some problems that in a format unique to property law. Her counterpart is Professor Spyke, a female. She does not keep any exams on file. She also teaches Tax (so the 2Ls will have her again this year).
Professor Pelaez is the Contracts professor. He is involved with the China study abroad program. He is about 70yrs old, he went to Yale, and I think he might have studied under Arthur Corbin, who you will learn was a major player in the world of contracts about 50yrs ago. He will go very very slow at first, but he will start moving through the material at quite a clip after the first few months. He wont call on anyone unless they are volunteering, and he will have all sorts of humorous characters to explain the law. His midterm from past years is on file, it will vary in a few details each year, but will be essentially the same scenario each year. The mid-term counts very little, he has said that if you do better on the final that he will disregard the mid-term, and if you do worse on the final, the midterm will not help much. His counterpart is Professor Murray, a male, who is a major player at the school, and in the world of contracts. He (Murray) has a treatise, and is cited by a lot of the study aids used by students around the country, such as Emmanuelís.
Professor Hirsch is a crim law professor, I think he was an instructor at Duquesne when Profs Streib, Mistick, and Rago were students. Hirsch is the most methodical speaker and thinker of all the professors. He talks very slowly, and his voice modulation is kind of dry at first. However, more than any other professor, he listens to what you say very very well, and doesnít say anything by accident. If you have a question or a comment, you can rest assured that he will give the question serious thought before positing an answer. He is pretty understanding if a student is unprepared. His midterm is worth about 1/3, the final about 2/3. It will be all essay questions, and you will get a copy of several Pennsylvania statutes, you are supposed to only use the statutes given to answer the questions. A lot of students say you cant really study for his exam. I think that is sort of true, but you can practice for his exam. If you listen to him, he will tell you exactly how he thinks a law exam answer should be laid out. If you use that format, and if you are able to master statute interpretation, and you are able to recognize that each fact is in his hypothetical for some particular reason, then you can do well on his test. His counterparts are Professors Mistick and Rago, both males.
Professor Rodes was the editor for Harvard Law Review mentioned by an earlier poster. She taught (not sure if she is returning) one of the 8 (I think) sections of research and writing. The grading is comprised of a number of assignments. The professor are supposed to have a similar syllabus in that class from section to section, but there is a lot of concern among students that the writing profs do not all stick to the same rules. Rodes will make you do a lot, lot, lot of work. In the end you are probably better off, but it will be a test, especially early on. Rodes will give you much more feedback than other professors, and she will not sugar-coat her criticism, which is also probably better in the end, but difficult at first. She will get you back your assignments promptly, unlike many of the profs. Kwisnek, who doubles as a the head of career services, also has a reputation for being somewhat difficult, and a tough grader. Pelligrini has the reputation of being the easiest grader, but gives, so I am told, the least useful criticism. Even though there is a point value attached to each assignment, one way or another, the final assignment, an appellate brief, seems to determine the grade.
The former Dean, Cafardi, taught me legal process and procedure. He was excellent, but will not be there for next year (but I think he will return to teach in 2006). The other legal process and procedure professor is Barker, he has a reputation as being very hostile to students, but I have never spoken to him, or heard him say anything. I think a lot of the 2Ls will have him for Constitutional Law. Legal process is 1 semester, first semester.
Professor Krasik was my Civ pro professor. She will pick one student each class to talk to for the whole class. This makes it very hard to pay attention in her class. Civil procedure is one semester, second semester. Professor Barker was her counterpart also.
So much for this long long post