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Messages - phosita

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Current Law Students / Re: case briefing
« on: May 24, 2006, 10:20:49 AM »
The ultimate case brief looks something like this:

Hadley v. Baxendale

You can get "special damages" for consequence of breach which were reasonably foreseeable at the time of contracting. (Shaft broke- delay cost Hadley money- not foreseeable)

Any more than that and you're wasting time and becoming an inefficient writer.

In my opinion, you're not wasting time if adding more details to your brief will help you remeber important information (whether it's because you have it written down or just because you went through the act of writing it). Also in my opinion, since briefs are entirely for your own benefit, it doesn't matter if you're being an efficient writer (aside from it being good practice). I don't think it's fair to say that a one sentance summary of the rule demonstrated by a case is necessarily the ultimate brief that will be adequete for everybody in every situation.

I agree with most of the other posters - there's no one right way to brief cases and finding the style that works best for you will probably take a couple of weeks of experience. It will vary based on your learning style, the complexity of the case, whether the case demonstrates a key concept or just an obscure exception to a key concept, the amount of detail a particular professor wants to hear about a case in class, etc.

Current Law Students / Re: hour billing rate
« on: May 24, 2006, 09:01:22 AM »
i recently finished my 1L year and working at a small firm.  I was just wondering the difference in what lawyers charge per hour, average at least, well like a solo guy, small firm, med, and large.  Also I always hear that Patent atty can make bank, my question was then do they charge more per hour to compensate?  just curious,

I don't know what a non-patent attorney charges so I can't really compare, but I work at a small, two attorney, IP firm in what's probably a mid-sized legal market but with a larger than average number of high-tech companies and the attorney's billing rate seems to be between $250 and $350 per hour depending on the type of work and the client. However, both attorneys have around 20 years experience and are good at what they do and I think their rates reflect that.   

Current Law Students / Re: PATENT BAR
« on: May 24, 2006, 08:46:33 AM »
From the "General Requirements Bulletin" (
An applicant applying for the examination must demonstrate that he or she possesses the
scientific and technical training necessary to provide valuable service to patent applicants.
Applicants bear the burden of showing the requisite scientific and technical training. To be
admitted to the examination, each applicant must demonstrate possession of the required
scientific and technical training.
A. CATEGORY A: Bachelor's Degree in a Recognized Technical Subject. An applicant will be
considered to have the necessary scientific and technical training if he or she provides an
official transcript showing that a Bachelor's degree was awarded in one of the following
subjects by an accredited United States college or university, or that the equivalent to a
Bachelor's degree was awarded by a foreign university in one of the following subjects:
Computer Science*
Electronics Technology
Food Technology
General Chemistry
Marine Technology
Molecular Biology
Organic Chemistry
Textile Technology
Aeronautical Engineering
Agricultural Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Ceramic Engineering
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Computer Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Electrochemical Engineering
Engineering Physics
General Engineering
Geological Engineering
Industrial Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Metallurgical Engineering
Mining Engineering
Nuclear Engineering
Petroleum Engineering
*Acceptable Computer Science degrees must be accredited by the
Computer Science Accreditation Commission (CSAC) of the Computing
Sciences Accreditation Board (CSAB), or by the Computing Accreditation
Commission (CAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and
Technology (ABET), on or before the date the degree was awarded.
Computer science degrees that are accredited may be found on the Internet

There are two other categories, B) having a certain number of semester hours in subjects like physics, chemistry, microbiology, etc.  and C) practical experience. You can find the details on the PTO website.

Current Law Students / Re: Law School Prep Books
« on: May 23, 2006, 02:41:41 PM »
Also, are there any PT students out there who also work full-time? If I wasn't working full-time this fall, I wouldn't even consider prepping over the summer. But since we have much less free time than full-time students, I'm wondering if there is some value in reading the E&E's in advance.

There's probably some value - but not much. Not enough to be worth spending your summer reading something you'll have to re-read later.
If you do any prep, I'd recomend what was suggested earlier - look at the syllabi for your classes or look a summary of the topic (wikipedia has good ones for all the 1L classes) and get a good grasp of what appear to be important terms. Besides, if you have any friends or loved ones, you should be enjoying what time you have with them now. I literally spent more time with my legal writing partner than I did my wife during the spring semester. Don't waste your summer doing something that will be, at best, only marginally beneficial.

As a compromise between recreational and educational reading, I'd suggest The Brethren by Bob Woodward.

If you're really curious, give the E&E's a shot but I wouldn't put too much effort into it (or at least, I wouldn't get stressed about it). I read PLS right before classes started last fall and got all freaked out that I hadn't spent the last 3 years preparing for my first week of law school. Turns out, it wasn't too big a deal.

It's true that as a part-time student working full-time you'll have much less free time than the day students, but it's still managable. Plus you and your fellow evening students can all bond by rolling your eyes at each other when the day students complain about how busy they are.


I agree with the poster that suggested reading Law School Confidential. That will probably give you a better idea than these posts (I'd written out a fairly long explanation of why regular text books wouldn't really work in law school then realized it probably wouldn't make any sense to someone who wasn't already in law school). For an alternative view, you could try Planet Law School, but, comparted to my experience, it's not very accurate (although I'm sure others would disagree).

As to the amount of work it takes, that really depends on the individual and how he or she learns (and how good their time management skills are). I'm an evening student so I took one less class each semester of my first year than a full-time day student but I didn't spend anywhere near 40 hours/week studying outside of class (on average - some weeks, for instance around finals and the due date of the big legal writing project, I definitly exceeded 40 hours). But I also didn't formally brief cases or outline my courses which I could see being very time consuming. The bulk of the semester I generally spent 1 to 1.5 days/weekend doing my reading assigments for the upcoming week and my free weeknight working on legal writing and that was about it (which was plenty).


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