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Messages - NeverTrustKlingons

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Current Law Students / Re: Structure of judge decisions
« on: February 02, 2009, 01:25:14 PM »
The US doesn't have the formal structure that you'll find in some continental systems (and, apparently, Brazil).  Some judges may use a formal sub-heading structure as personal preference, but that's all it is.

As to your question about dicta / holding, the entire case is binding (judges don't write things without a reason), but if you want to ignore something you classify it as 'dicta' when you write your brief or opinion.  In my opinion it's not a very useful way to look at things, and some law students try to trim every decision down to holding vs. dicta which is usually useless.

To avoid this some judges/courts use WE HOLD THAT _____, WE DO NOT HOLD THAT or WE DO NOT REACH THE ISSUE OF to simplify matters and avoid the problem of others classifying things as "dicta."

Transferring / Re: Transfer Personal Statements
« on: January 29, 2009, 06:21:59 PM »
[1] Do not belittle or minimize your current school, they know you want to leave.
[2] Link school's strengths and goals to your interests.
[3] Tell a provocative story, highlight academic success but be honest about past shortcomings.
[4] Understand the school, ideally better than something you pasted off the website.  e.g., I referenced a speech given at the T14 school I transferred into.

Current Law Students / Re: bottom 10%, really bummed
« on: January 29, 2009, 05:43:48 PM »
Just like in undergrad, if you can make this a first-semester anomaly then it can be seen as an unfortunate period of adjustment.

If not, different story.  But even then, there is some truth to the notion that you just have to get your first job out if law school and then move on from there.

Current Law Students / Re: What does my B mean DAMNIT!?
« on: January 27, 2009, 03:02:28 PM »
My serious advice is that if you don't enjoy writing about issues you're interested in, you should leave law school.  Even the most flamboyant trial lawyer will be asked to write a good motion and so on.  If you're talking about using the JD to get into law enforcement jobs, that can work but it's a whole lot of over-kill when you could just get MA Criminal Justice for the same result (bonus pay for an advanced degree).

I have seen people struggle with this and the reality is that writing, as a lawyer, is not going to go away.

Current Law Students / Re: Grades - Arbitrary? To a Degree?
« on: January 27, 2009, 02:47:47 PM »
Grades are arbitrary.  So are 5-4 Supreme Court decisions.  This profession is partly about knowing how to maximize your chances to INFLUENCE THE DECISION-MAKER TO RULE IN YOUR FAVOR.  That can mean playing to politics (slanting 'the law' the way your professor likes), using good grammar/structure if it's important to the professor, citing her favorite case even though you personally think it's bonkers, or writing a Brandeis brief because this particular class turned out to be more of a humanities seminar. 

Those at the top know how to play the game - complaining about your result is not part of the game, nor is arguing with the decision-maker post hoc.

Current Law Students / Re: 2L 1st Semester Grades...
« on: January 14, 2009, 01:56:39 PM »
After high school, no one cares you were head cheerleader / Model UN Master of the Universe.
After college, no one cares you saved developing countries single-handedly.
After law school, you do the math...

Caveat: academics are very important in clerking (unless you have connections), academic jobs (although funny how 'academic success' non-professors aren't top-qualified people), and FedGov Honors Programs (unless you're being hired by Monica whoever and you love Bush, the President not the vagina.  That route, however, expires on Tuesday.) 

Job Search / Re: Political Jobs
« on: December 26, 2008, 08:02:03 PM »
I suppose, but my advice is still not to let any of this prospective rejection stop you or anyone else from doing what you want.  There are countless judges, all the way up to the Supreme Court, whose legal resumes leave very little doubt about which way they vote in elections.

Job Search / Re: Political Jobs
« on: December 26, 2008, 07:51:21 PM »
My point is that you will always run the risk of running into those petty little people like whatever the name of Bush's idiot from Regent University at DOJ was... you don't let them stop you from doing what you want to do in life.  You certainly don't alter your plans or beliefs for them.

If we're talking about private law firms, it's not like the idiot who throws you out due to the color of your politics is the only guy on the block with some vacancies for corporate lawyers.

If we're talking about government, discrimination based on political beliefs that don't affect job performance (and aren't based on violently overthrowing the government) is against policy and, in the Federal government, can land you in front of a Congressional committee like the aforementioned idiot from Regent.

Job Search / Re: Political Jobs
« on: December 26, 2008, 07:47:16 PM »
Hiring people are just people, like anyone else.  Is there a chance you will get dinged due to divergent political beliefs?  Of course.  Should that stop you from pursuing something you're interested in, that aligns you with a political viewpoint?  No.  Would you want to work for that person anyway?

Transferring / Re: Transfering from cooley any advice
« on: December 22, 2008, 07:07:07 PM »
I think transferapps suggests that GW loosened up its transfer policies this past cycle.

Honestly, it holds that you only have NO CHANCE when you DO NOT APPLY.  I weaseled my way into the T14 from a T3 transfer, I was within top 10% and my school had a better reputation than Cooley, but if we're just talking about objective metrics (e.g. median LSAT, bar passage rates...) then it was basically the same quality of academic institution.

With top 15% at Cooley and wanting to go to a DC school, I would cross my fingers and write a good application to all of them.  My pure speculation is that you have a very good chance at UDC, a good chance at Catholic, an alright chance to American, a possible shot at GW, and a shot in the dark at GULC. 

UMD, Baltimore and GMU are in there somewhere too... good luck.

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