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Messages - brightline

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Current Law Students / Re: What does it mean to get an OCI?
« on: August 17, 2007, 02:49:59 PM »
Look at the websites of the firms in question. If the associates who were actually hired from your school have "better" academic credentials than you it may be that your chances of getting hired are not good.

Also, ask your career services office about how many students from your school were hired. Depending on your school it may be that only 1 or 2 students were hired for that firm. Again, that would mean that your chances aren't that great even if your academic qualifications vs. your classmates' qualifications aren't an issue.

Bottom line: OCIs are just screening interviews. There is no guarantee you'll get a callback much less an offer from any given firm. This especially holds true if you're not at a top school.

Rather than speculating what may or may not be possible, or following the advice of some maybe half informed people on a message board you need to get out and conduct several informational interviews with people in the fields you're interested in and find out how they got there.

I would strongly recommend doing this before you even start thinking about law school. It may turn out that a law degree is a waste of time for what you want or that a law degree won't necessarily be the fast track to what you want.

I used Emanuels for all my first year courses. I used them more as a reference tool than anything else. I only looked things up when the prof was unclear on something or when I needed to get the black letter rule of something very quickly. Then I would go to the index of Emanuels and find exactly what I needed. I did not read the Emanuels cover to cover or even all of it for the sections that were covered in class.

I used casenotes heavily first semester and moderately second semester. Since I don't read cases much if at all anymore, I don't use them anymore. Casenotes are much more convenient and quick than reading the entire case blind. First semester, I would read the casenote, then skim the case. If there was something super important from a specific case, I would highlight my casebook during class.

It's important to note that cases are a very small part of the law school picture. If you waste too much time on them you will likely be in trouble when grades come back. What matters most is how to take exams and how to analyze fact patterns, not reading and briefing cases ad nauseum.

I only used Law in a Flash for Torts. They were good for a last minute quick review but not something I'd recommend as a primary method of learning. In general, I think flash cards can be very counterproductive. The law in the flash deck for Torts is decent though. I can't say much about the others because I never looked at them.

My favorite study aid by far is the aspen examples and explanations series. I would spend time reading these and doing the questions for the sections covered in class...during the semester, not at the end. The rest of my time was spent outlining and working practice exams.

I did well enough to transfer from a tier 2 to a T14.

Thanks brightline. I'm working on my first assignment for Civ Pro, and I'm tempted to just write down everything I read in my outline.

Can you or anyone else offer tips on the best way to outline? 

Nothing from the casebooks, except maybe the one sentence rule of an important/landmark case should go in your outline. Your best bet is to talk to upperclassmen and get outlines from them. Sometimes student organizations at your school will maintain databases of course outlines. Sometimes you can find them online - do a google search. Try to get four or five different Civ Pro outlines. Look for one that is only 25-30 pages long that is formatted the way you like. Then just copy that approach. Update your outlines once a week. After a couple weeks go back and review the previous pages of your outline when you update it. If there is anything extraneous, delete it. If there is anything that needs to be added, add it. Above all, remember that you only want bare bones black letter law in your outline.

I relied heavily on supplements for all my classes, but still made my own outlines for each course. I strongly recommend you make your own outline, even if you use commercial supplements.

The biggest reason: commercial outlines are unwieldy...they are too long to be useful just by themselves. Your best bet is to get only the law you need to know for the exam and boil it down to a 25-30 page outline for each course. Where you get it from is up to you. I used classnotes, E&Es (note that I still read the E&Es and did the questions), the FRCP, and a commercial outline, but then distilled everything into something a little more manageable for my own needs.

Current Law Students / Re: OCI and Night students
« on: August 05, 2007, 06:14:26 PM »
You need to find out how your school classifies you in the fall. If they classify you as a 2L come fall, then you might be able to do OCI even if you are a few credits short of the other 2Ls. If you stay on the four year part - time track, your big year for OCI should be 3L fall.

Both are expensive and have poor job prospects.

Whittier has a horrid bar pass rate and is on probation with the ABA.

FCSL is a relatively new school and doesn't really have an established alumni base.

I recommend against going to either.

Retake the LSAT and reapply. Shoot for a state school somewhere in your home state or one that will offer you in-state tuition for years 2 and 3.

Transferring / Re: Penn vs. Michigan
« on: August 03, 2007, 10:45:19 AM »
I don't think the Ivy League thing should be a consideration here.

Michigan is well known as a major research university and many of its graduate schools are highly ranked.

Further, Michigan Law has always been considered one of the top law schools, even before the U.S. News rankings existed.

Since job prospects are probably similar it's probably going to come down to personal fit for you.

Current Law Students / Re: E&Es
« on: August 03, 2007, 10:00:14 AM »
Editions that are a few years old are going to be just fine for Contracts, Crim, Torts, etc.

For Civ Pro, I would definitely go with the latest edition.

Transferring / Re: Go to GULC?
« on: August 01, 2007, 09:50:33 AM »
Why should clerking not be a factor? I know it's competitive, but in some ways I may have a better chance by staying in my current market to clerk.

I think you're relying on speculation here. I don't doubt that students in your position in years past did get clerkships, but given how selective clerkships are, there is no guarantee that you'll get one, plain and simple. Since clerking is a long shot anyway, I wouldn't include it in your factors of whether or not to transfer.

Sometimes I just wonder if it's worth it- I already have summer associate positions waiting if I stayed in this market. I think maybe long-term GULC is better, but short-term I just don't see much gain.

You should think more long term then. What if you don't like your firm after a couple of years and want to leave? Do you really think your T2 degree is going to let you switch markets or firms so easily if you decide to eventually?

If you really want to go back to the market your old school is in, with a GULC degree you can. Again, I agree with fortunebold on this one. I think you are "counting your chickens before they hatch". It sounds like you are comfortable at your old school and are just afraid to leave. Well, I don't think anyone can help you with that.

Good luck with your decision.

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