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Messages - legalese_retard

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21
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: commercial outlines - WHICH ONE?!
« on: August 07, 2008, 05:49:43 PM »
Wait until class begins and start asking 2Ls and 3Ls who took the same class. Sometimes commercial outlines are pointless, especially if you have a professor that takes the "it's my way or the highway approach" to the law. These professors will doc you points if you fail to give a verbatim definition of the law as she/he explains it in class or if you restate the law in a different order presented in class. There might also be commerical outlines that you can tell the professor actually refers to, so it would benefit you the most to find out which outlines 2L and 3Ls found most useful.

Personally, I think you are better off with outlines created by previous students. Don't rely on these outlines, but use them and try to make them your own by adding or redacting stuff in those outlines.

22
As a 1L, you should use a laptop during your first semester. It is a lot easier for you to create shorter outlines, shortsheets, or charts when you are getting ready for finals. In order to keep up with the pace of the lecture, you are going to have to limit yourself to writing the "big picture" stuff. In undergrad this kind of approach is recommended; in law school (especially during 1L year) professors are known for testing some obscure point he/she spent a nano second covering in class. If you failed to copy down what the professor said or thought it was some dicta added to the lecture, you might miss out on a test question. Now you don't have to transcribe the entire lecture during class, but you need to get enough stuff down for you to look over while you are consolidating your notes.

Personally, I study better when I handwrite my notes. What I found most effective when studying is that I would condense my class notes (which can be anywhere from 50-100 pages long) to a very short outline of 15 pages. I would then go back through the short outline and handwrite, underline, and highlight additional points. For example, in property I would have a bullet point for the Rule Against Perpetuities and have the definition typed out. I would then handwrite the various approaches a jurisdiction might deal with the RAP like the wait and see approach, cy pres, or voiding the entire future interest.

So in short, use a laptop to take notes in the beginning. If worse comes to shove, you can simply shut down your laptop and start handwriting. But do whatever is comfortable for you to do.

23
Where should I go next fall? / Re: SMU v. Baylor v. Tulane
« on: July 20, 2008, 06:27:36 PM »
I think SMU is definitely a better option if you KNOW that you want to practice in Dallas. I went to Tulane because I didn't know if I wanted to practice in Texas or elsewhere. I decided to move back to Dallas after graduating from Tulane in January and I have still been looking for a job (however I know that it is more economically driven than anything else). Just want to forewarn you that there is a lot of blatant Tulane trolling on this board with many posters who will try and convince you that Tulane is the golden ticket to biglaw in any legal market in the world no matter what your ranking - even in the cities where similarly ranked schools are situated. Tulane is a great school, but all things being equal (like scholarship money and tuition costs), I think SMU would be the better option if you are absolutely certain that you want to remain in Dallas.   

24
Denials / Re: University of Houston
« on: June 27, 2008, 06:22:13 PM »
Long story short, I had a job lined up before I graduated, but because of the mortgage financial crisis, the firm rescinded my offer. I probably would have been more competitive had I been applying during 3L OCI, but I though I had a job secured. Since the period between now and November is a "lull" when it comes to law firm hiring, my prospects are bleak at the time being. But if you want more detailed info, I started a thread a while ago where I got thoroughly castigated: http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,4010697.0.html. But as I said in that thread and I will say it again here, my intend is to not lambast lower tiered schools or disuade people from attending these law schools all togeither; but rather provide some additional insight into my situation and the situations of several law students who are blindly choosing law schools. Maybe I am the only one here who went to law school with dollar signs in my eyes or felt more secure by having a JD along with my associate degree, but I hope people will really weigh their options before going to any law school with significant debt (especially in this economy).   

Wow...that was a pretty harsh thread.  I think part of the problem is that most of us are 0L's who don't want to hear that a T1 isn't a ticket to a good job with benefits (even if it's not BIGLAW), and some others are still in LS and don't want to hear it because they're closer to the possibility of facing this scenario.  It sucks that the firm rescinded the offer, sorry about that.  But, you could look at it this way: you graduated with honors, had a job lined up and the economy screwed you out of it.  You got one offer, you'll get others when firms start hiring again.  As for the Starbucks thing, maybe you should consider substitute teaching (obviously, when school's in session) or tutoring.  You wouldn't have to pour tall, double caff, skim, cinnamon-topped lattes (or whatever the hell they are- I only like the Christmas coffees @ SB  ;)).  In my state all you need is a bachelor's and it pays decently- around $80/day- and you could keep pouring lattes at night if you needed to. 
I think you're absolutely right about making sure to plan for the worst case scenario and stories like yours are probably more valuable than the "I have a friend who went to Cooley and makes $300k at a NYC BIGLAW firm."

Yeah, I know something will come it. It is just annoying knowing that most of my friends who are similarly situated class and ranking wise are making tons of money and paying off their loans, while I am struggling to make ends meet AND working more hours then they are. Plus the fact that I can't even get a job interview at small firms let alone get a job at the firms my friends landed. On the bright side, I got a loan deferral since my income could no way support my loan payments. I also got my loans consolidated with another loan company since Fannie Mae is in the consolidation business - the key is getting a bar loan from another loan company and then consolidating the other loans with them.

25
Denials / Re: University of Houston
« on: June 27, 2008, 05:26:44 PM »
Long story short, I had a job lined up before I graduated, but because of the mortgage financial crisis, the firm rescinded my offer. I probably would have been more competitive had I been applying during 3L OCI, but I though I had a job secured. Since the period between now and November is a "lull" when it comes to law firm hiring, my prospects are bleak at the time being. But if you want more detailed info, I started a thread a while ago where I got thoroughly castigated: http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,4010697.0.html. But as I said in that thread and I will say it again here, my intend is to not lambast lower tiered schools or disuade people from attending these law schools all togeither; but rather provide some additional insight into my situation and the situations of several law students who are blindly choosing law schools. Maybe I am the only one here who went to law school with dollar signs in my eyes or felt more secure by having a JD along with my associate degree, but I hope people will really weigh their options before going to any law school with significant debt (especially in this economy).   

26
Denials / Re: University of Houston
« on: June 27, 2008, 04:42:24 PM »
I know I will get flamed for saying this, but I don't think you should go to law school if you don't get a scholarship from a school like Texas Tech, STCL, or St. Mary's. I graduated from Tulane with honors in Jan. and already passed the Texas bar and I am still looking for a job. Hopefully the economy will be getting better in three years from now, but I wouldn't risk it. If you are not in it for the money or are OK with a $40K/year salary and loan payments of up to $2K/month, then by all means go for law school. Just consider the worst case scenario BEFORE taking out tens of thousands of dollars in loans.

BTW, here is a good blog from a Texas Tech law student that has decent info on Texas law schools in general: http://resipsablog.com/

27
Agreed, this scenario should not be the nail in the coffin in determining whether or not to go to Tulane or any other school for that matter. Stuff like this happens all the time at all law schools. If it is not grading, it is other issues like who gets into Clinic, or who got an OCI bid, or which students ended up in what first year section, or who had a better write-on application for law review. I was pissed my 2L year because I was in a class filled with 3Ls about to graduate and the professor used two different curves (one for the 2Ls and one for the graduating 3Ls). I am guessing that the 3Ls were on a B+ curve and the 2Ls were on a B curve even though the 3Ls stopped caring at that point. I have my beef with Tulane's admin too, albeit the focus is on post-graduation jobs and assistance, but I am still glad I went to Tulane. There is no such thing as a perfect law school - once you realize that, it makes picking a law school a lot easier. 

28
So if you could go back in time, would you still go to lawschool?

Probably. I know in the long run it will pay off. My family situation threw a curve ball that was unexpected and I wasn't financially prepared. I might have gone to a lesser ranked school with a scholarship or tried to retake the LSAT to get a better score.

29
This just keeps getting better.... now you're making your parents mortgage their home. hahaha!  What's next?  Are you going to start donating plasma?
It's kind of loud here at work, but I think I can hear a tiny violin in the background playing your sad sad song.

Let's skip all of this garbage and get to the advice.  What are you saying?
Don't go to law school?   Don't go to law school in Texas?  Only go to law school if you have a scholarship? 
Do you think that people on here don't know the risks? 

I'm sorry that you're life hasn't turned out the way you wanted, but you're honestly not helping anyone.  Why don't you tell us what you would have done differently?


As I said before, my original posting was a rant. I also wanted to point out that even grads from higher ranking schools are struggling to find jobs in this economy. Hopefully the economy will be better in 3 years. I'm not telling people who are going to lower ranked schools not to go or that shouldn't take out loans - just to make sure that they make an informed decision. I had the misguided assumption that going to law school would provide me a golden ticket to a 6-figure job as long as a graduated with decent grades from a decent school. I went to Tulane because I didn't know if I wanted to practice in Texas or a different state and I figured that Tulane would open more doors to other states in addition to Texas. But honestly, Tulane is not the problem, it is the economy and lack of job opportunities. It was poor judgment on my part when I didn't research the fact that most law grads do not make more than $100K/year (even when going to tier 1 schools). 

30
Unfortunately this is correct, however I was not a biglaw firm but at a specialty boutique firm. I only applied to Starbucks in addition to my bartender job because I thought it would only be temporary (plus I could work part-time while I was studying for the bar). No job materialized since the bar, so I am sticking with Starbucks until something comes up.

This is why you don't have a job.

Not necessarily.

Also, this same sort of thing has happened to three people I know that recently graduated (and passed the bar). There's a lot of luck and timing involved in finding a legal job.

OP should look into unpaid clerkships or internships, perhaps.

I am actually starting to look for unpaid legal jobs so I can build up some legal experience in the meantime. I just know it is going to look bad if I go in an interview and when asked what I have been doing since graduation, and all I can say is that I have been a bartender and Barista, rather than actually using my bar license and being a Barrister. Luckily my parents are going to take out a mortgage on their home and pay off my loans at a better interest rate. The monthly payment will be closer to $1000/month, so it is a lot more manageable. It just sucks knowing that I still have to get money from my parents at age 26.     

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