Law School Discussion

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Messages - Kelly

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41
General Board / Re: Advice for New Law Students
« on: April 19, 2005, 09:50:02 PM »
LawGirl, you're so awesome!  Not to sound like a little girl in candy store, but I'd love to meet you! ;)

Reputation: basically, just be professional. I don't think there is anything wrong with having fun while you are in school, as long as it is legal and not something that could come back to bite you later during the character and fitness review. You would have to ask the other poster about his/her thoughts on what they wrote.

Lexis points: I really only use Westlaw but the concept is probably the same. Using the services gives you a chance to earn points that they keep in an account for you. Once you have enough points accumulated, you can cash in the points to purchase things from them. Westlaw lets you choose from housewares, electronics, books, etc. You can earn points by researching, entering contests, doing extra learning tasks, etc. You will be introduced to both services when you get in law school and the representatives will explain the program then.

As for the question about motivation, I love law school most of the time so that keeps me motivated. Honestly, as much as I want to be out there in practice, I also wish I had more time to take more classes. There is so much more I want to learn, but I will just continue learning on my own. When I do have those times when I am feeling lazy, I tend to think about the result I would get if I let that feeling take over. I realize that letting it take over is just short-changing myself and my education, I try to remember why I fell in love with the law in the first place, I imagine how I would feel if I ended up getting a bad grade in a class and, if all else fails, I tend to think about how much I am paying for my education and how much it would suck if I wasted my time and money by being lazy. Above all else, I try to remember why I am here. As dorky as it might sound, when I finish, I want to be the best attorney out there. I don't want anything to get in the way of that.


As for finals, things are going pretty good. I'm just about done with all of my outlines and I'll have an extra week to study so that is what I will be doing for the next few weeks. I'll be around after that. I am doing some extra research this summer and I still have two semesters left. I'll be around for anything you guys need.

42
General Board / Re: Advice for New Law Students
« on: April 19, 2005, 07:52:50 PM »
In regards to #3, what else can "hurt" our reputation? I'm sure there are people who smoke/drink, etc., so are we suppose to stay away from these people?
Silly question but I have to ask! :-\

Basically, seeing the forest for the trees means being able to see the big picutre (the forest) while understanding the specifics (the trees).

When you are in the beginning stages of learning a topic, you are at the tree level. This basically involves understanding a specific element for a cause of action, reading cases that explain that one element and reading other cases that explain the other elements that make up a single cause of action (for example: you will read a case that explains what a harmful touching is for the tort of battery. Each case that you read will explain a specific aspect of an element in detail, and the argument in the case will usually come down to one small piece that is involved in a cause of action).

In the later stages of learning, you need to put everything together and understand it from the "big picture" perspective (the forest). This involves understanding battery on a larger level, understanding how all of the cases you have read explain all of the elements of battery, and understanding how battery is just one tort under the topic of intentional torts. Additionally, intentional torts is just one category of claims while other torts include negligence, strict liability, etc.

The best way to do this is to get a broad overview of the material (Torts) at the beginning of the course (for example, by looking at the table of contents in your casebook). Keep the broad overview in mind as you go deeper into the material and study the specific causes of action and their specific elements. Understand where you are in the big picture (the forest) while you are learning the specifics (the trees).

If you keep this in mind while you study, it helps to keep everything in perspective and helps when you start outlining for a class. More specifically, it helps when you are studying for exams because you need to be able to see how everything in and of itself is important, but also how everything works together as a whole.

Keep this in mind for all of your classes. During 1L, I noticed that when people were freaking out at the volume of information you are expected to study and understand, some of it was because people were lost (in the trees) and forgot to look at both the specifics and the big picture.

What else were you interested in asking about?

LawGirl 

43
General Board / Re: Social life in law school
« on: April 19, 2005, 07:48:37 PM »
So I guess the name of your law school is a secret, huh?

Haha, this is where you say that since I'm not in a T14 school that I don't know what law school is REALLY like...

I go to a second tier state school.  It's the only school I applied to and is a great school for people who want to practice in the Midwest, which I do. 

44
General Board / Re: Advice for New Law Students
« on: April 17, 2005, 11:40:31 PM »
Very helpful!  Thanks for the insight!


#1?  Are you joking?  If not, how come you're here then?

Please explain #2.  What is all these points I hear about?

#3?  I highly doubt (but maybe I live a sheltered life) that this stuff happens.

#4?  Are all school's honr codes about the same?

#1.I'm happy to be in law school, MANY people I know are not. Lots of people make the decision ffor the wronog reasons, or without really thinking about it. The most common thing I heard when I was thinkingn abouut coming was "dont go." Got it from lawyers, former lawyers, and law students. After beinng here, i understand completely. I will always tell people not to go, because I dont think law school is a place most people should be encouraged to go. They should only go if even after beinng told its a bad idea, they can still put together good reasons annd ovvercome their doubts and go.

#2 Electronic research will be done on westlaw and lexis, two competing legal researchh services for which law firms pay ennourmous ammounts of money to use. Law studennts get to use them for free. To encourage you to use their systems (and get used to it so you pay for it when you start practicing) they give you points for doing searches, completeing quizzes, taking advanced research classes. Westlaw Trivia is the best way to get points, do your daily trivia question and you get bonuses that increase exponnentially. Lexis points are better because of the wide variety afforded by teh tie in with amazon, but westlaw points are easier to get and still have pretty good things to buy.

#3. What do you mean you dont think it happens? You dont think classmates will sleep around? You dont think there will be a drug crowd? You donnt thhink there will be not so nice persons in your class? You dont think law school is every bit as gossip filled as juniior high? If you dont, yes, you live a very sheltered life. Your law school will likely be quite small, anythingyou do will likely make its way throughout the entire school in a matter of days, and people will remember those things down the road. Your classmates may end up at a firm you want to work at and will asked for an opinion of you. They might be less likely to offer you a job they heard out because of something you did while drunk one night.

#4 Honor codes are all different, but presumably similar. If they say talkkingn abouut writing assignments is a violation of the honor code, dont talk about writing assignments. Presumably everyone here is smart ennough to know not to outright cheat on an exam, or do the really blatant violations, but even things you might consider minor can get you in trouble, and other law students WILL turn you in, even if you dont think someone would actually turn a fellow student in for a violation.

45
This is great advice!! Thank you for this!  I do hope I get over it quick! :-\

the best advice i can give is the same thing one of my professors told the class on the first day: "don't like speaking in front of people?  Get over it."  you'll get plenty of practice in your first year, and if you want to be a litigator you're going to need it.
At the very least, you're going to have to answer your prof's questions while the rest of your class listens.  We also do alot of oral advocacy at my school, if yours is anything like it, at some point in your first year you'll be performing oral arguments in front of a panel of judges.  never in front of crowds, though.   
The easiest way to get over it, is to realize that it's not a big deal, even if you think you sound stupid.  most people do, when asked to answer without preparing a speech.  go to class prepared, but understand that your teacher will likely ask you questions that can't be answered by looking it up in your book or notes, and also it's better to pause and think about it for a second than to be halfway through an answer, and realize you don't want to go that direction. 
don't throw your money away on a class for this.

46
General Board / Re: Social life in law school
« on: April 17, 2005, 06:56:29 PM »
Where do you go to law school?

I vote for having fun and making money rather than preparing for exams right now.  You'll have plenty of time to do that when you get to school--and not so much for the other stuff.

Of course, I'm just one of those weird law students who hate being miserable.  ;)

47
yup! :-\

You don't like public speaking but want to be a litigator?  That's interesting...

48
General Board / Re: Advice for New Law Students
« on: April 17, 2005, 06:55:30 PM »
This is something you become certified for?

Can you elaborate on point 2?  Thanks! :D

1. Dont go to law school, its not too late to withdraw.

2. Start collecting lexis and westlaw points right away. That stuff adds up. 10,000 westlaw points and those are almost all from this semester. If I'd been getting them last semester I could get a set of golf clubs or a nice Calloway driver right now. The bike is tempting but I dont think I'll use it so i'll probably just keep collecting points.

3. You will be at school with these people for 3 years, you'll be working with them for the rest of your life, DO NOT do anything you wouldnt want a judge or opposing counsel or a client to know about you. Do not be a feminine hygiene product bag, do not sleep around with students of the opposite sex.

4. DO NOT TALK ABOUT GRADES. The better you do, the more this applies. Thats great if you got #1 in the class, but you cant tell anyone. Do not wander around the class rank list with a finger up in the air announcing your rank to everyone walking by.

5. Respect your school's honor code. You never know who might report something you might consider minor. A mark on your transcript will be seen by any employer, and being named as a defendant in an honor code proceeding (even if acquitted) must be reported to the Bar when you apply.

LexisNexis and Westlaw are online research tools that you'll use through out law school. Your school will probably hold intro sessions and you can later become certified. Anyway, the points are accumulated by researching on Lexis or answering questions on Westlaw....there are other ways of getting points too.  On Lexis you can redeem your points for just about anything that's available through Amazon.  Westlaw lets you choose from a number of things from study aids to sporting goods. 

49
For people who do not like public speaking (like myself) yet still want to get into litigation and are nervous about the whole speaking in front of crowds (like myself)- do you recommend a course like ToastMaster's or something along those lines?

Thanks all!

50
General Board / Re: Advice for New Law Students
« on: April 17, 2005, 02:20:17 PM »
Can you elaborate on point 2?  Thanks! :D

1. Dont go to law school, its not too late to withdraw.

2. Start collecting lexis and westlaw points right away. That stuff adds up. 10,000 westlaw points and those are almost all from this semester. If I'd been getting them last semester I could get a set of golf clubs or a nice Calloway driver right now. The bike is tempting but I dont think I'll use it so i'll probably just keep collecting points.

3. You will be at school with these people for 3 years, you'll be working with them for the rest of your life, DO NOT do anything you wouldnt want a judge or opposing counsel or a client to know about you. Do not be a feminine hygiene product bag, do not sleep around with students of the opposite sex.

4. DO NOT TALK ABOUT GRADES. The better you do, the more this applies. Thats great if you got #1 in the class, but you cant tell anyone. Do not wander around the class rank list with a finger up in the air announcing your rank to everyone walking by.

5. Respect your school's honor code. You never know who might report something you might consider minor. A mark on your transcript will be seen by any employer, and being named as a defendant in an honor code proceeding (even if acquitted) must be reported to the Bar when you apply.

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