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Messages - NeverTrustKlingons

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Current Law Students / Absurdity of Firm Bidding
« on: June 23, 2009, 04:01:00 AM »
Stats: T14 (like most people who say "T14," that means I'm at a school on the less elite end).  Top 10%, secondary journal.  BA from foreign institution but otherwise unremarkable.  Interested in litigation as opposed to transactional work.  Interested in non-NYC markets, from the East Coast originally but no ties other than those I buy at Macy's.

Typically I would be sitting pretty for OCI, but this year is really a guessing game for everyone.  My main problem is that I have zero experience with this, and I just feel like reading Abovethelaw and Vault can't possibly be the right way to determine who I should spend my career with.  I'm looking to at least get rid of my debt (luckily under $100k) but, like a certain Texan, I don't want to go in with an exit strategy.

Thoughts?  Even if you just point me to more websites, that's fine.  For those of you who are summer associates or at firms, how did you differentiate the mix?  Or will this year be a case of beggars not being choosy, and we're all beggars?

Current Law Students / Re: I HATE MY SITUATION!!!
« on: June 15, 2009, 10:38:46 PM »
This isn't a T1/T4 issue

Concur.  I met many more egotistical, unrealistic blowhards at the third tier than I have met at the T14.  Your mileage may vary, of course.  It is the case that students throughout the tiers have different concerns and gripes, e.g. getting $160k vs. getting a legal job at all vs. getting a job at all.

Current Law Students / US Immigration Firms in London
« on: June 11, 2009, 02:57:55 PM »
Here's the scoop: my dream is to live in London and I don't entirely care what I do there as a lawyer.  The bad news is that I have zero, zero, zero interest in transactional law.  All the big firm US JD's there are doing transactional law.  I have the grades and school to do it but not the interest.

There are several small firm US law shops doing immigration work.

Does anyone know where these guys and gals come from, how they hire or any scoop at all?

It really depends on your situation... I have heard at GULC some people are just in the program because it's slightly easier to get into, and are either not working at all or working a non-legal (or even retail) job.  I can't see any benefit to doing that unless you are really that set on GU.

But, if you are (1) gaining valuable employment experience and/or (2) providing for yourself and your family, taking on less debt against expensive tuition and expensive cost of living, it can make a lot of sense.

As you probably know there is some controversy about how the law schools sell these, since most use a very high percentage of adjuncts to teach the evening courses.  I think that point has its merits, but is ultimately not very important because no one knows or cares who taught the classes once you have the JD that says where you went to school.

Current Law Students / Re: Awful 1L year
« on: June 08, 2009, 03:46:23 PM »
For what it's worth, when I transferred out of my Tier 3 my writing fellow was graduating to work at the bar.  The booze bar, not the law bar.  That particular school lists a lot of students as going into "business," which does NOT mean in-house counsel jobs.  You do the math.

Current Law Students / Re: Awful 1L year
« on: June 07, 2009, 04:03:52 PM »
Degrees either have latin honors or don't.  You won't, but after your first job you will be indistinguishable from a peer who just missed cum laude.  Sort of not fair to him or her, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Current Law Students / Re: Bar/doctrinal classes?
« on: June 04, 2009, 09:27:02 PM »
Lower-ranked schools require bar courses because they need to improve bar passage rates.  The T14 has bare-bones requirements, if any, beyond 1L.

Speaking for myself, learning something a year or two before the bar exam is going to be worth about jack.  Since my GPA is what matters now, I am only taking a few bar courses in order to be literate (e.g. Evidence, Admin, Corporations?) 

Also, OP, unless your school offers state law courses you WILL be learning a whole lot of material for the first time at the bar course.  You might say "aha, this is one of the three approaches I learned for the division of marital assets!," but you will not be reviewing your law school courses verbatim.

Current Law Students / Re: Transferring from Cooley...any tips?
« on: June 04, 2009, 09:15:06 PM »
I transferred T3 to T14 - what worked for me may or may not work for you.  I will just list a few mental tricks that helped game me up to do well on exams.

1.  Identify two or three REALLY DUMB people in your classes.  Hold them in contempt and tell yourself that you do NOT want to graduate with them. 

2.  Recognize that the exam will be based on what the professor is teaching, not the rants s/he may entertain from students.  There are rants from students at the T14 too, but from my experience they are more common and less relevant in the lower tiers.  Do not let them confuse the issue and CERTAINLY DO NOT TAKE NOTES ON WHAT THEY ARE SAYING, GOODNESS.

3.  Recognize that the law is what the decision-maker (in your case, professor) says it is.  Never try to outsmart him or her, never try to make a novel argument on a 1L exam.  A substantial number of students seem to forget what class they're taking an exam in, and will answer a torts question based on contract law because they think that body of law fits better.  Don't do it.

4.  Understand that your 1L personal opinions are not asked for.  There is a real difference between an exchange of informed ideas  and the faux-intellectual arrogance, puffery, etc. displayed in many classrooms.  You will need a professor's recommendation; do not anger him or her with nonsense. 

5.  Frankly, it is too late to work on your English.  But if you have a good command of the language, I can say from experience you are better situated than at least a substantial number of your T3/T4 counterparts.  Nothing's more infuriating than the 1L question, "Does spelling/grammar count?"  All lawyers do is use language to convince others that what they say is law -- what do you think the answer to that question is?!

Good luck.

Current Law Students / Re: Law degree for career in politics?
« on: June 04, 2009, 08:59:08 PM »
"Politics" is not a career field.  The good politicians do well in their careers and are called to service.  The US does not really have "career politicians" in the sense that you start as a staffer and work your way up to POTUS.  If you want to be a staffer, yes there are plenty of those in the DC area law schools and with JDs.  Without an advanced degree, you may be able to get a Hill job but your chances of doing anything interesting (other than impressing guys/girls and riding the copy machine at a Senator's office) aren't stellar.

If your interest is in government service, meaning as a career federal employee, those people very rarely transition into politics. 

So in closing, good luck and slow down there, Sparky.

Transferring / Re: Will a single bad grade totally screw me?
« on: June 04, 2009, 08:52:26 PM »
I don't know what school you go to, but generally four credits of bad grades will NOT put you in the "top 2-3 percent."

Also, the writing grade is hardly "soft" and is, to many minds, one of the more important 1L grades.  It's what you do as a lawyer.

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