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Messages - taplinb

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Thank you for those helpful tips. I will shorten my entry fields.

I am using Insite Creation 2007 to build and maintain the form, an ASP.NET web system (about $80) that stores data in SQL Server 2005. That probably sounds more complicated than it is. Unfortunately, it doesn't let me specify other recipients of the output, only my database and one email address. That precludes sharing my form with others. I instantly get emailed a copy of whatever I enter, which may prove handy on my Blackberry during (or en route to) class the next day.

It's for my own use, but anybody could duplicate this with a good web provider and some effort and know-how. I'm using, which is affordable and OK, though setup took extra effort. Luckily, the support guy(s) at Insite Creation have been very helpful, and I don't need the features that I had trouble with, like Newsletters. All I want for this is online briefing, a forum for my study group, a blog that lets me upload files, and somewhat granular user security. Got all that.

If you want to see it, email me.

Hey all, I start in August (section one),

Please disregard this if you don't talk to newbies. According to Westlaw, the elements listed below in BOLD are essential to law school case briefing. Is this true at William Mitchell? If not, why, and for which courses? I hope to be very prepared for class. This is kind of a one-way street for me, giving up a career in IT and borrowing six figures to start over.

The [line maximum] notes are rough estimates from other sources, my goal being to become concise where it counts, e.g. in Certiorari briefs. Not that I know anything about all that. WRAP scares me as much as the next guy.

The stuff below the line is output from a web service I have in which I can fill in fields, then hit submit and have the results emailed to me and concurrently stored in a database. I think it's slick, but is there anything I might miss (other than in the event of an Internet failure)? I'd only use this approach for briefing. I might favor OneNote for outlining and WordPerfect for longer writing (that's a separate discussion).

Advice welcome.

---- partial results of a test submission ----

CAPTION: Case, Court, Year of decision, Page in casebook
FACTS: [67 lines max] Legally relevant
PROCEDURAL HISTORY: From filing of suit to case's appearance in the
 court that wrote the opinion
ISSUES: [23 lines max] Factual and legal questions, broken down into
HOLDINGS: For each issue a "yes" or "no" then the legal principle on
 which the court relied
RATIONALE: For each issue, describe the court's chain of reasoning
DISPOSITION: Who won? What remedy? If appellate, did the court affirm
 in whole or in part?
CONCURRING and DISSENTING OPINIONS: Included in a casebook [for]
 interesting alternative analysis

Thank you cheesie for the note on distance. It matters, though. I have taken the city bus, the St. Thomas shuttle - which is very nice, and the highway home from St. Thomas. In each case, it takes me at least half an hour more during rush hour than getting home from William Mitchell (only 2.5 miles, with no highway or downtown).

Not to whine. I realize that most law students, especially non-trads, have to deal with traffic. I'm just trying to offset some of the time it will take to help raise our preschool son while the competition sits in the library.

One thing I like about St. Thomas is its proximity to Minneapolis firms and courts. That could prove very handy when I'm a second and/or third year. Park once for both school and part-time work in the skyway. That would sure beat a mid-day commute to 2L/3L work from William Mitchell plus fighting for parking. I also like the proximity of St. Thomas to both the YMCA and YWCA, making a morning workout convenient. There aren't any full-featured health clubs within walking distance of William Mitchell.


St. Thomas (Minnesota) / U of Saint Thomas vs. William Mitchell
« on: March 12, 2007, 04:50:01 AM »
It's down to two private schools for me - or not going at all. I got no scholarships.

St. Thomas is a good school, on a par with other 3rd/4th-tier Minnesota schools and slowly climbing (I think). How far it will climb is an unknown I cannot bank on. Otherwise, location may be the big differentiator for me, and William Mitchell is much closer to my St. Paul home. An hour in traffic is an hour lost.

I am ambivalent about the Catholic orientation of St. Thomas and not yet convinced that it churns out attorneys who are more ethical, vs. drawing students who already consider themselves ethical and behave nicely. Feel free to share any relevant stats about graduates. It's not like other schools encourage bad behavior.

Beyond encouraging grads to play nice, one way St. Thomas could promote social justice would be to lower barriers (financial) to public sector work. I cannot pay off $100k+ in school debt plus cover family needs on a token salary. Short of a scholarship, tied if necessary to doing good, I anticipate having to start in a local firm doing whatever clients need, a mercenary, and I doubt that the average client rewards niceness in a lawyer. Professionalism, sure, but that's universal. I don't see how my attending a Catholic school changes this. St. Thomas students may be nicer, but law school isn't summer camp. It's boot camp.

Sounds like I'm talking myself out of the profession, to which some may say good riddance. More to ponder, and two weeks to ponder it. Thanks, everybody, for the advice. I will read Scott Turow's "One L" before deciding on this.

Thank you, VitaminE, vercingetorix, and others.

I have now been dinged by Hamline and the U of MN, but am in at William Mitchell and St. Thomas. Go figure. Maybe my personal statement to Hamline was not enthusiastic enough.

It is a relief to have the decision simplified. My big question now is whether St. Thomas will be so much better than William Mitchell that I can justify driving up to an extra hour per day for three years, pending traffic. The costs of attendance are comparable, meaning I must borrow $100k+ to attend either. The jury is out on whether St. Thomas will rise as far as some predict. I have seen little evidence thereof, and the respective entering classes sport very similar stats. I do know that most William Mitchell grads ultimately land jobs.

St. Thomas feels friendlier and very supportive, but this is about a career decision, not summer camp.

I need to chew on it more.

Thanks, bigfatbox. In response:

> Try talking to local attorneys and see what they have to say.
I've done so, and they mostly seem to agree that Mitchell is the most established.

> What other schools are you looking at?
All in MN, but the U of MN dinged me (though I am employed there now).

> Have you visited any of these schools?
Took the LSAT at Mitchell, have seen them all. I plan to attend a St. Thomas "admitted students" day on March 2nd. I think it's a good school, whether or not one is Catholic - a bit equivocal about religion, but who better to equivocate than lawyers? Not dogmatic, more into social justice. Eager to be inclusive. The parent institution is massive and growing, with a new business school next to the law school. I like that the law school is a fifteen minute skyway walk from Minneapolis courts and most Minnesota law firms. My concern is that St. Thomas is over ten miles from my St. Paul home, whereas Hamline is half the distance and Mitchell a quarter the distance.

Rush hour traffic between Minneapolis and St. Paul gets bad, and downtown parking near St. Thomas, even when subsidized, is expensive, whereas Hamline and Mitchell are in/near residential areas where street parking is free. The Hamline neighborhood is kind of mixed - not deadly, but a bit risky a night. Mitchell's neighborhood is tony Summit Avenue, near restaurants and century-old mansions, brownstones, victorians, many churches. I like the idea of studying in a coffeehouse above Garrison Keilor's bookshop or having a beer at W.A. Frost, etc. Those are a bit north of Mitchell on Selby, a bit west of the Cathedral. I love Saint Paul.

Ambience aside, time is the concern. I must cross the Mississippi (twice from Minneapolis) to get home for dinner with my wife and preschooler, then hit the books again when he's down around 8 pm. From what I hear, most of you youngsters will be in the library (or bar) while I'm playing hide and seek or teaching my son to swim.

> What are your career goals?

That's the tricky part. I will stay in MN. I'd like to be a prosecutor, or something public, but the pay isn't so great and it's looking like I'll have to borrow $100k+. I may litigate or whatever to get established. IP looks interesting, and I know that Mitchell has a few respected profs in that, but Criminal and IP are very different tracks. I guess that is not something I must decide until mid-2008. I imagine that many folks in Criminal started in the trenches handling DWI and traffic ticket or juvenile cases. Nobody hands a baby lawyer a major felony.

As to scholarships, none yet, but I have not yet heard from Hamline. If they offer me a nice one, that could be enough to swing me over from St. Thomas and Mitchell.

I know this is sort of a pre-law question (except for transfers), but readers of the pre-law board would not necessarily know any more than I do. You would know, so... which Minnesota school would you pick and why? I have been dinged from U of MN so it's down to those three.

Didn't realize that cross-posting would be seen as obnoxious (or even noticed). Learning. Dupes deleted.

As to your remark about STUDENTS, I am one, now that I have been offered admission and plan to accept it, and my questions pertain to success during law school, not before. Everything I have heard suggests that it's best to hit the ground running. You may know how. Posting to a board of fellow newbies would strike me as a waste of time.

Thanks for the substantive responses. Always good to learn from one's elders.

It appears that 1Ls study Civ Pro, Contracts, Torts, and another subject or two. Have any of you used AspenLaw study aids, Sum & Summary audio books, or any other supplements to help you master the material? I am interested in the relative merits of Sum & Summary, Emanuel, Casenotes, Law in a Flash, and StudyDesk for these subjects.

St. Thomas (Minnesota) / Accepted! Now, can I head home before rush hour?
« on: February 16, 2007, 06:15:41 PM »
Got my acceptance and a school T-shirt. The shirt clinches it. :)

If I can get assigned to Lawyering earlier in the day, is there any reason I could not head out by mid-afternoon on most days and beat rush hour? The Fall 2006 schedule shows that Civ Pro, Contracts, and Torts were all done before 3 pm. The only big downside of St. Thomas in my mind would be fighting i94 traffic from Minneapolis to Saint Paul, or crawling down University Ave or Summit, to make dinner with family. We live south of Saint Paul, across the High Bridge. If I can beat eastbound traffic and study at a West Side coffeehouse, that's moot.

Yah, I know 1Ls face a boatload of work, but we do have libraries in St. Paul. I could even sometimes pretend to be a Mitchell student and sneak into their library, use their books. With four sections, they may never notice. :) I could also sometimes get back to Minneapolis after our 3-year-old is asleep. It's just that evening rush hour.

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