The Evidence law in a flash cards are really helpful. That's the only secondary source I needed. Just be sure to read the FRE very carefully, and also read the commentary for every rule you study.
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It's the basic rule of diminishing marginal returns. A certain amount of studying is necessary. Beyond that, you get very little improvement per hour (or whatever unit of time you want to use) of studying. At a certain point, it would even become counterproductive, as you would be too tired to remember things. The cliche "work smarter, not harder" seems appropriate -- although, you have to work pretty hard too!
Not just T14 -- my T2 school doesn't require bar classes either. However, they do recommend that students take things like Com Trans, Evidence, etc. I really enjoy classes like that because the knowledge carries over to other areas of the law. For example, any case makes much more sense when you understand the rules of evidence that provide the framework for trial. It doesn't seem to be hurting my GPA to take harder classes; although, the curve is somewhat lower than for silly 2 credit classes like law and literature.
I agree that it is artificial, somewhat unfair, and not truly indicative of a person's potential. However, I guess there has to be some sort of a system. At least there is due process in the sense that everyone has to take the same LSAT, etc. The main criticism I have of the system is that (like much else in our society), it tends to favor persons coming from a wealthier background. That problem is forgivable and unavoidable. Of course, someone whose parents are professionals will be pushed, given good tutors, expensive SAT/LSAT prep, expensive private schools/universities (rather than public schools and state colleges). The system doesn't so much reward a wealthy background as it rewards being precocious -- and, of course, wealthier people are more likely to be precocious for the reasons stated above. Nonetheless, a poor bloke who is razor sharp can still ace the LSAT and go to Yale. No system is perfect, but ours is transparent and about as fair as it could be under the circumstances of modern America. : )
« on: May 29, 2009, 02:33:32 PM »
Journalism might be fun. You get to see things other people only read about. The job requires lots of writing, and no math. Journalists consider themselves to be a sort of public servants. Investigative journalists have to be very smart to get the "real story" when everyone lies and says only self-interested things. Finally, you don't really need any more education to do it (although a Master's would help).
« on: May 29, 2009, 01:26:37 PM »
If you definitely want to be a lawyer, then yes. Otherwise, absolutely not. Law school is 3 miserable years long and can cost $150,000 in debt. Also, you have the opportunity cost of not working for the three years. In your case, that would be $180,000. It may take 15-20 years to pay back the debt, which would have you paying off your education until age 60. Finally, the life of new lawyers can be pretty rough. They tend to work ungodly hours. Also, if you don't go Big Law, you might only make $60,000 per year again upon graduation (for example if you have a state government job). Finally, you mentioned that you did not want to relocate. Unless you live in a big city, you might have to relocate for law school because you might not get into your first couple of choices. In conclusion, go to law school if you definitely want to be a lawyer and it is worth the cost that you will need to pay in time, money, and stress. On the other hand, if you are just having a midlife crisis, then take a year off and travel or move to Hawaii to take up surfing. There's a lot to be said for freedom, adventure, and the North Shore. : )
in my con law studies, i never liked SDP that much as I thought there were too many value judgements in there. It's a tug of war between liberals and conservatives ..what it all comes down to...
SDP makes for rather sloppy jurisprudence, but it's absolutely necessary. It gives us things like the "right to privacy" within intimate relationships, and a parent's right to raise his/her child. I'm sure glad the state legislature can't limit my right to birth control -- even if that means I have to read a bunch of trippy opinions in Griswold!
Actually, there is one book you should read this summer: "Mastering the Law School Exam" by Suzanne Darrow-Kleinhaus.
Good writing makes a big difference on law school exams. The profs have to grade dozens of exams, and then curve them based on small differences in quality. You definitely want your exams to be as clear as possible. Anyway, that's something content-neutral that you could work on over the summer.
There seems to be some general internet consensus that it is a waste of time to take "bar classes" like Crim Pro, Evidence, Com Trans, etc. Are the people who say such things smoking a crack pipe? How could Bar Review possibly teach Article 9, the hearsay exceptions, and 4th Amendment law in a month? Seriously? I mean its one thing to "review" all that stuff. It's quite another to be learning it for the first time!