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Topics - ZinnMaster

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Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / My Trip to Pittsburgh
« on: March 27, 2006, 04:19:32 PM »
So my trip to the University of Pittsburgh Law School exceded all expectations, here are a few notes that may be of interest:

The city is much more interesting and attractive then I expected. There are dozens of interesting coffee shops, book stores, and bars scattered throughout the city. I visited quite a few coffee shops and saw countless students with their laptops propped open. In addition, the coffee shops seem to stay open late (12am) which is nice. Many of the roads are a nice cobblestone and most of the buildings have a great deal of character. The city really didn’t seem at all “gray” to me.

The people were all friendly, this includes the citizens of Pittsburgh as well as the law students. Many students were gathered in the law school, joking and eating. All in all I got the impression that there was not the “cut-throat” attitude present at many schools.
   On a related note: my guide said that rankings were not made available to students and that you only knew if you were in the top 20%. Also, she said that although the profs. Use the Socratic Method, they do not make you run out crying. She simply said if you don’t know the answer then it is no big deal, just make sure that you don’t say “I don’t know” constantly.

The Law facilities were impressive and I thought they were much better then Syracuse (the other school I visited). The library is quite nice and although there are no windows, most of the walls have flat screens on them. The flat screens display the daily activities and the local weather as well as the news-which runs along the bottom. (This is apparently new this year).

The library is four floors and there appears to be plenty of places to park yourself. In addition, the bottom floor has tables, chairs, and a Starbucks. I saw many students hanging out and conversing while I was there.

Across from the school stands the University of Pittsburgh, which is actually quite nice. The campus has many buildings, all very pleasing to look at. This is nice because although the law school is essentially in the middle of the city, it still has that campus-intellectual feel, with many students walking around and many events going on.

In terms of jobs, my guide said that the Pittsburgh job market was a bit tight at the moment (she is a 3L). She did say that many of her friends landed jobs in DC. She also noted that the school has some interesting summer opportunities in places like Sierra Leone.

My guide also said that when she started law school someone told her to go out and buy a really nice and expensive laptop because she will be using it so much. She said that she thought this was bad advice. She said that you will be using it 8 hours a day and that it will brake. She noted that students should always get the warranty and that many of her friends are on their second and third laptops.

All in all I was very impressed with my trip.

Law School Admissions / Public Interest
« on: March 10, 2006, 07:45:31 PM »

I just wanted to start a thread that is strictly for those interested in Public Interest. There is a lot of information out there describing the "path to big law," but, in my opinion, there is a lack of information regarding public interest. Those of us interested in this field face many questions that differ from those interested in other fields. Often, a completely different set of criteria must be used when evaluating what law school to attend.
In addition, there are currently hundreds of organizations, all dealing with different aspects of public interest. Consequently, it can be difficult to determine what exactly a particular organization does, whether that organization would meet your needs, and how to land a job or an internship with that organization.
In short, this thread has been created so that those attracted to public interest can get together and share ideas and experiences. Ultimately, helping each other plan for the future.


Choosing the Right Law School / April is approaching
« on: March 10, 2006, 08:25:25 AM »
Sorry, yet another thread throwing my fate into the hands of LSD posters.

A little about myself: I am interested in public interest law. More specifically, I want to focus on international human rights. I could see myself working for a small organization for a while, traveling often, and then moving onto a larger organization like USAID, or some branch of the United Nations. Eventually I would like to end up in the northeast (Vermont or somewhere, when I’m old and gray), but until then it seems that DC and NY are the best options for the type of work I would like to do.

So where should I go? Here are a couple very brief pro/cons about the schools, in case any current students, or anyone in-the-know, wants to clarify or disagree with them:

   Pro: Strong presence in Washington and great employment in Pitt.
        Interesting clinical opportunities
        Interviewing trips to Washington, DC.
             International Law Certificate program
         Summer Internships in Kosovo, Belgrade, Kyiv, Sierra Leone, and The Hague
             Con: Doesn’t seem to have the quality of professors (in terms of professors 
                  who have worked with the UN, etc) that the other schools have.
             Doesn’t seem to have as many talks, lectures, speakers, as the others.
Case Western
   Pro: Many interesting clinical opportunities
        Two International Law Journals
        International Law Certificate
             International Law Center
             War Crimes Research Lab
             Strong public interest opportunities
             Michael P. Scharf
   Con: Cleveland scares the hell out of me
        Not as strong in DC
        High tuition
             Overall as good as PITT?

   Pro: A liberal, public interest dreamland for someone like me
   Con: No grades, which scares me in regards to employment
        The other con is that I haven’t been accepted yet :'( (waitlisted).

Incoming 1Ls / Learning French
« on: March 03, 2006, 07:39:29 PM »
Not sure exactly where to post this.

For the job I seek after graduation, it will be important to know French. Luckily UPITT has a french class for lawyers. Anyway, since I have some time off before 1L begins, I would like to get a step ahead and start learning French. Can anyone recommend a book or cd?


Choosing the Right Law School / Penn State
« on: March 01, 2006, 05:51:24 PM »
I am leaning toward the University of Pittsburgh, however, I am curious about Penn State. For some reason I have not even considered it over the past few weeks when thinking about which schools to attend. However, when I ask myself why, I think it is simply because of the 2 campus thing and the penn state affiliation questions. In a word, when I think "Penn State," I think "unstable." I'm willing to bet this is not a fair assesment, so could someone out there give me some information regarding Penn State? Anyone who has visited or is currently attending?


Choosing the Right Law School / For those considering Public Interest
« on: February 25, 2006, 05:33:04 PM »
Not sure where to post this...

For those considering making a career in public interest (such as USAID, UN, or some other organization), I was wondering the career paths you are considering. For instance, will you:

A: Graduate and take a public interest job you enjoy and suffer through the $30,000 salary.
B: Choose the school that offered you money so that taking the $30,000 job doesn't hurt so much.
C: Take a firm job that you despise for a couple of years while you pay back your loans and  then move into public interest.
D: Find that rare decent paying public interest job.

I, without question, want to eventually do some public interest work, so I am curious as to the various career approaches people are taking. Thanks!

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Case Western
« on: February 10, 2006, 01:31:36 PM »
I was just accepted to Case Western, and along with Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Depaul I am seriously considering it. I have never been to Cleveland, so I was hoping someone might be able to tell me a little bit about Cleveland. Has anyone visited Case Western? What do you think of the area? Thanks.

For those of us unable to make it into a "top" law school, it becomes increasingly important to decide where we want to practice law for the rest of our lives, or at least for the first few years after graduation. Of course, I understand that you are not made to stay in a certain state and plenty of people have moved around succesfully. But, for those of us trying to make a decision regarding where we want to practice (and I think there are many), I thought this might be a good thread to throw some ideas off of each other; maybe debate the pro's and con's of some states, debate the importance of practicing in the state in which you graduate, and perhaps discuss which "regional" schools allow you more flexibility in practicing "nationally."

As for me, I am currently deciding between Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Depaul, Penn State, and waiting on a few more. I think I would like to end up in DC, NYC, or Chicago, but I'm really not sure. Do I take Pittsburgh which will allow me to do better in Pittsburgh or Syracuse which might allow me more space to travel after I graduate?...hmmm...

Law School Admissions / Pittsburgh Tuition
« on: February 04, 2006, 12:54:57 PM »
Does anybody know if the University of Pittsburgh allows you to pay in-state tuition after your first year?


Choosing the Right Law School / Pittsburgh Vs. Syracuse
« on: February 01, 2006, 01:23:57 PM »
Well I am still waiting to hear back from a couple of schools, but it looks like it might come down to Syracuse ($17,000 scholarship) Vs. Pittsburgh (no news on scholarship).

I plan to work at a firm for 2-3 years after I graduate and simply make as much money as I can to pay off my loans.

Then, I want to work in the international law field or in Government (refugee law, UN, child advocacy, etc.)

I would like to eventually end up in DC or NYC.

Does anyone have any experience with either of these schools? All opinions apreciated, thanks.

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