Law School Discussion

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Messages - cerealkiller

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51
Non-Traditional Students / Re: I have a documented Learning disablity
« on: March 08, 2012, 11:06:17 AM »
I realize that but I had a question of my own.

52
Non-Traditional Students / Re: I have a documented Learning disablity
« on: March 07, 2012, 11:42:45 PM »
Just curious as to how a well-documented learning disability may affect one's perceived fitness for state bar "fitness and character" considerations? 

53
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Cooley Review
« on: January 20, 2012, 09:48:53 PM »
Flame!!!!

54
Well, it's obvious that a virtual cottage industry has grown up around legal education which profits handsomely off the fears and uncertainties of countless law students. Yes, cvargas, you could spend a small fortune and the next 7 months locked in your room consuming 0L books until you turn blue in the face. But the truth of the matter is these books will only nominally improve performance, at best. They're certainly not going to magically pour more brain matter into your skull.

Law school exams are speed tests. Typing tests to be more accurate. The faster you type, the more issues you can analyze, and the more issues you can analyze, the more points you're likely to get.

If you really want to excel on law school exams, put down the 0L books and work on your typing speed and accuracy. Ideally, you should be above 60 wpm and as close to 100 wpm as possible.

55
First and foremost, relax! If you're starting classes in the fall, it's far too early to be sweating this stuff right now. Enjoy your break. Visit friends and family. Just relax.

Law school is hard but, let's face it, it's not rocket science. I think people make far too much out of the perceived intellectual intensity of law school. At the end of the day, it's all about reading and thinking about what you've read. Once you've mined the legal rule out of a particular case (or series of cases), you'll need to know the rule(s) for the exam where you will be asked to apply the rule(s) in a unique (and somewhat puzzling) issue-spotter exam question.

Here's my advice. Most certainly stay current with your class readings. As for class notes, there's no one-size-fits-all model. Every class and professor is different. Because most 1L courses utilize a heavy dose of Socratic method, you may not want to write down every utterance by your professor and classmates. More often than not (especially for the first few weeks of class), your classmates are wrong, or at best, only partially right. Thus rather than passively filling your computer with copious notes, you want to be actively listening and thinking through both the professors questions and the students answers. This is your first opportunity to attempt "thinking like a lawyer."

Where most 1Ls go wrong in the first few weeks of class (or, for some, months), in my opinion, is they harbor the belief that the professor is going to teach them the law. No, no, no. You, my friend, will teach yourself the law. This notion evades some students longer than others. They leave each class with random notes and more confused than ever. Some will even become angry at the professor for not being a better teacher.  What they fail to understand is that the function of class is not to teach you law but merely demonstrate how you may or may not apply the rule(s) to particular factual situations. The same rule(s) you should have distilled from your assigned readings for class.

As for briefing cases, all you need to know is you should do it. I believe most schools cover this topic in student orientation. However, even if it is discussed in orientation, the required format still may change from professor to professor. If your professors don't specify what they want, you'll want to development something that works insofar as it allows you to answer any questions your professor may ask during class--as well as possible inclusion into your final outline.

56
Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: Accepted at Touro...
« on: January 06, 2012, 07:59:12 PM »
You should only attend a school at which you would be happy finishing your JD. Transferring sounds easy in theory, but it's extremely difficult in practice. Obtaining top 15% is next to impossible. The odds are stacked against you. In fact, you have an 85% chance of finishing outside of the top 15%. Your competition isn't your run-of-the-mill undergraduate. Most everyone in law school are intelligent, motivated, and determined to do their best. That fact coupled with the 1L forced curve makes achieving your goal very difficult, indeed. Even if you meet your goals, there are a lot of school administrations that are reluctant to allow their "best and brightest" from transferring out. They can't stop you from transferring, of course, but many schools will make the process unnecessarily difficult and troublesome for you. A gentle nudge to dissuade you from your pursuits.

Again, only attend if you'd be happy finishing your degree at a particular school. 

57
Now, for my diatribe –


You'll have to excuse me for not copying your whole diatribe, but I'll try to hit all the points.

I don't hope to convince you of anything.  I think that would be a lost cause.  I'm just defending what I find to be very reasonable standards for admission to the practice of law.  I have never said they are the only reasonable standards, nor that there can be no alternative to the ABA standards.  I have also never said that states that don't accept ABA standards don't know what they are doing.  Personally, I believe the ABA standards are far too liberal.  I also don't believe that the lower tiered ABA approved schools should be charing the same tuitions as those at the top of the list (and the non-accredited schools shouldn't be anywhere near the price).  But those arguments are neither here nor there.  The pro-se arguement has popped in and out for different reasons.  Sum up to say, someone claimed that they were being unconstitutionally denied access to the courts.  That's a non-starter.  You have no constitutional right to practice law, and it has nothing to do with access to the courts.  I'll leave it at that.

Charing? Arguement? Really?

58
You're right I am a feminine hygiene product. You're also correct in noting that I haven't finished my first year of law school, or even started to be precise. That fact alone, however, doesn't preclude me from asserting my opinion on this board. If I am wrong in my assumptions, and I very well may be, instruct me on where and how I went wrong. The personal insults get us nowhere fast. When can, I think--and certainly hope, agree to disagree in a civilized manner; we are the future generation of legal minds in America after all. A bit of professional courtesy seems to be in order. Anyway, take care.   

59
i didn't expect this one to turn into a conversation about human nature and the way people interact in society.  it's not that complicated. 

You must be kidding me! You want to have a conversation about the law in which concerns about human nature and the way people generally conduct themselves in the current social order are completely removed from the equation. Good luck with that. Law doesn't exist in a vacuum. Human affairs should never be looked upon (especially by budding lawyers such as yourselves) as something that merely muddy up the waters of the legal sea. In fact, understanding the social, psychological, and economic dynamics (all of which, I may add, are human endeavors) prevalent in which ever legal system one happens to be analyzing is fundamental to fleshing out a non-rudimentary conception of the law.

60
You posed quite a few thought-provoking questions, and made some very interesting points here. I'll try to respond to most of them, if not all.

1.Why not encourage people to not hesitate to "police" their littering fellow citizen, instead of passing a ban further limiting their liberty to engage in legal behavior?
Asking people, or encouraging them as you put it, to police their fellows citizens would be quite a stretch. Most people, especially given our self-centered culture, don't take kindly to other "ordinary" citizens telling them what or what not to do. I think that if the city of San Diego encouraged its citizens to "police" their fellow citizens by politely asking them to dispose of their cigarette butts in the proper recepticles, this would only end in disaster. We must realize that we live a rude and notoriously unconcerned--i.e., people being concerned about anyone else than just themselves--society. Given this sorry state of affairs, I think your proposal would only result in a number of unwanted conflicts between environmentally concerned citizens and those who are not so much. Namely, smokers who litter indiscriminately.

2.Don't you think any legislation passed should be a fine for littering with butts, rather than banning smoking which is legal?
This would be the ideal solution, even in my opinion. However, I would offer one caveat--the problem of enforceability. It certainly would be easier for an official to glance down the beach and see if someone is smoking in violation of a non-smoking ordinance rather than try to watch each and every smoker to see how she disposes of her cigarette butt after she has finished with it. This may not be fair. I can hear your rebuttal now: "well, that isn't fair. Just because enforcing a fine is more difficult than locating smokers who are illegally smoking--because of a ridiculous law--doesn't make it right". No, it certainly doesn't. But the fact remains that cigarette butt litter is a real problem which calls for a real solution. And, quite simply, a law that cannot be properly enforced is no law at all. Thus, it is necessary to take the more drastic approach because it provides the most realistic opportunity for success, at least a modicum of success.

3.There has not been one legitimite scientific study which shows any hazard from outdoor smoking on others. Yet, part of the "reason" given for the ban is non-smoker's health. This creates a certain "hysteria" where people "hate" smokers and look at them as bad people.You're right there has not been one legitimate scientific study which shows conclusively that smoking outdoors causes harm to non-smokers. In a similar vein, however, the scientific community has failed to prove unequivocally that cigarette smoking causes cancer, particularly lung cancer. What they and subsequently we--the community at large--do know is that cigarettes contain dangerous carcinogenics which lead to the mutation of healthy human cells which, in turn, can and often does lead to cancerous cells. Futhermore, it has been proven, by the scientific community, that the smoke which the non-smoker inhales is twice, if not more, dangerous than that taken in by the smoker herself. This, as you probably are already aware, is because the smoker by inhaling through the charcoal filter is able to dramatically reduce the effectiveness of a significant amount of deadly toxins contained in the smoke itself while the non-smoker is primarily inhaling the smoke in its purest and most deadly form. Now as to whether or not this proves that outdoor smoking is as dangerous to non-smokers as is indoor smoking remains to be seen. However, I will argue this: there would seem to be, at least to my mind, a positive correlation between proximity to smoker and/or smoke itself and the potential for health-endangering exposure.

4.Furthermore, as has happened in San Francisco, the city council is contemplating exempting city golf courses from the ban, since it has been found that about half of golfers smoke on the course. Isn't there a bit of elitist hypocricy here?  So I can't smoke on the free beach or park but if I pay to go golfing, ok?At first blush these two situations do seem similar enough to warrant a critical investigation into, as you call it, the likelihood of an "elitist hypocrisy". However, upon further introspection, I believe we can adequately distinguish these two policies enough that the idea of "elitist hypocrisy" will come to be viewed as needlessly hypercritical and unflatteringly suspicious of our local legislators. I think the first distinction that can be made is between public and privates interests. Secondly, a diligent consideration of this issue must put forward the matter of "free" access as opposed to "paid" access, and how the proposed legislation will or will not affect (in terms of 'economics') the parties involved, namely, owners of private property vs. owners of public goods--which is all of us. Admittedly, both of these issues are invariably connected--for that I'll apologize, I'm not intentionally attempting to bombard you with sophistry, but rather I'm thinking this out while I write. With regards to the first issue, the vast major  of golf courses are privately owned and operated while public attractions such as beaches and park are owned, even if only abstractly, by the all of us within the community. This fact is obvious as is its consequences, therefore I’ll quickly move on to my second point. You argue that because it has been found, so you claim, that fifty percent of golfers smoke that the city is considering exempting golf courses from this legislation for that reason alone. And this fact has somehow led you to believe that there is some sort of  elitist agenda taking root in the city council as its decisions pertain to golfers. (First of all, purely as an aside, I would argue that there is a common misconception that golf is a game for the “elites” of society to the exclusion of all others. I myself play golf, and trust me I’m the farthest thing away from an elitist--as determined by social status or ideology--as one could possibly get).  Given the fact that most golf courses are privately owned, and thus operate beneath the profit-generating business paradigm, I think the council members would have done a grave disservice to these owners if they had arbitrarily--in the name of fairness--applied the smoking ban to include golf courses.  Think about it, if you’re correct and some fifty percent of golfers smoke and smoking is banned on all golf courses, what your talking about is potentially artificially decreasing the revenue of said owners by fifty percent. This would be manifestly unjust, and an affront to the free market. And it is with regard to interfering with the market, that I most desire my government to not intrude.  A thorough consideration of proposed legislation cannot be accomplished by downplaying or avoiding the very serious and likely economic ramifications of said proposals will have on businesses. This is not to say that market considerations are more important than, say, you’re alleged right to smoke. I’m merely arguing that the city council more likely than not gave some forethought, and rightly so, to how a smoking ban would affect golf course owner’s bottom line. Plainly put, I believe their decision had little if anything at all to do with “elitist hypocrisy” and everything to do with economics. The same economic considerations aren’t necessary when it comes to public goods such as beaches and parks.  

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