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Messages - Top Cat

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11
General Board / Re: Critique my brief
« on: July 30, 2009, 09:33:21 AM »
Thanks for all of the great advice.  I have one question- how are we, as beginning students in the law, actually supposed to be able to figure out why the law was included?  To me, all I see in this case is that airplanes aren't considered motor vehicles.  Is that really the big picture I am supposed to get out of this case?

12
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: An idea for U.S. News rankings
« on: July 30, 2009, 07:47:37 AM »
Defining best is not too hard actually.  The rankings refer to what schools are expected to produce alums who, on aggregate, will be the most effective lawyers.  In other words, if you were hiring an attorney, which school would you most prefer this lawyer earned his degree at if this was to be your only indication of ability.  Therefore, one could determine that Yale is "better" than Memphis.  Maybe Memphis provides an excellent education in terms of helping its students best reach their potential.  However, I'd still take the Yale student.

Wow!  You responded without berating The Good Teacher?  Thanks for sparing me of more insults.

On a different note… :-\ You've got to be kidding me...that's your definition? 

Well I’ll give you credit for mentioning something about gauging which schools produce the most effective lawyers.  However, this is still vague since there will varying opinions on what it means to be an “effective” lawyer.  For instance, it could refer the number of cases one wins, the position one holds in the judicial system or in business. 

Still I ask, why would you choose Yale over Memphis?  I could assume you have more faith in Yale because of its position in US history or its record of being highly selective but do those things indicate that their alums will be more effective than a Memphis grad?  Frankly Cool Beans, you haven’t provided enough proof to persuade an intelligent lady or gent.


First off, no one has berated you.

The U.S. News rankings don't rank lawyers- they rank schools.  Part of ranking a school (maybe the only important part in this economy) is job prospects coming out of the school.  It is absolutely, 100% possible that the number 1 student out of Memphis is more brilliant than the number 1 student out of Yale.  Yet Yale will have much better job opportunities anywhere in the country... therefore, at least in career prospects, Yale still beats Memphis.  Not because the lawyers coming out Yale are better, but because Yale provides a better service (through better career prospects).

There is no way to have a perfect system.  My original idea (which we seem to be drifting away from) was not to perfect the U.S. News rankings.  It was to take the existing U.S. News rankings, keep their current formulas and calculations, and improve on them. 

13
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: An idea for U.S. News rankings
« on: July 29, 2009, 02:04:14 PM »
To elaborate on the sports analogy, I propose that instead of using win/ loss records as your support, you use a gambling metaphor instead.  Which is the better team- Michigan or Appalachian State?  Vegas odds are going to say that Michigan is... and the gamblers (especially gamblers who are fans of the Big 10) are going to bet on Michigan.

The gamblers are your potential employers.  Appalachian State may have had a better team- however, if you are the bookie that year taking bets in the Midwest, which team do you place the odds on? 

Your argument actually allows me to expand on my own.  If you, the bookie, went down to Boone, North Carolina, that year, I can promise you that the money would have still went with Michigan.  Why?  Because the disparity in perception was so large that even local fans were not convinced that the local school was more talented than the top 5 powerhouse.  However, if you would have asked fans in LA and fans in Michigan that season who was the better team between UMich and USC, you would probably have received a higher proportion of USC gamblers in LA and vice versa in Michigan.  Again, talent doesn't matter in this analogy- we are not measuring who is the better team (or law school); we are measuring perception (or hireability).  Thus, it is essential that regional bias is factored in. 

I grew up in SEC country, and if there is an SEC team in the championship game, I will always pull for them over a Big 10/ Pac 10 team.  Likewise, it is reasonable to expect that employers are likely to root for (hire from) schools they are more familiar with, all other things equal.

14
General Board / Re: The crock that is the law school scholarship
« on: July 29, 2009, 11:14:43 AM »
Suck it 0L. I submit our little debate to a jury of our peers.  I think you'll find our fellow forumers will agree with me that you are a jackass.  Have a nice day. :)

PS: I am not the OP. I actually have a nice schoolership.


15
General Board / Re: The crock that is the law school scholarship
« on: July 29, 2009, 10:13:51 AM »
I have an agenda, which I poorly attempt to mask as cynicism. It's as old and conservative as the Book of Ecclesiastes or as liberal and eccentric and the teachings of Diogenes of Sinope.

I believe you'll make more friends and convince more people of your point of view if you avoid ad hominem attacks, yet I wonder at night why I have no friends  It couldn't be because I make illogical jumps and assume that because someone holds the viewpoint that scholarships are fine the way they are, as opposed to a more socialist viewpoint like the one I have, they are right-wing fundamentalists who oppose all things good in the world.  I have poor logic abilities, which is the primary reason I was unable to get a good scholarship- I am therefore bitter at the entire system.  (Re-read the thread carefully, starting with my response, and you'll see my bitterness and ideology bleeding through everything that I say.)

Wow.  I would respond, but I don't think I could say it any better myself.

16
General Board / Re: The crock that is the law school scholarship
« on: July 29, 2009, 09:51:09 AM »
Quote by Advocate: I never advocated socialism.
Your law school education would be almost free if you lived in Europe. Socialized education! But Americans prefer this Ayn Rand, Wild West, Personal Autonomy nonsense :P

It seems that someone has an agenda.  :o

My logic skills are simply not up to your obviously high standard.  I am not creative enough to come up with middle school-level names such as baffoon to throw back at you and prove my superior intellect.  In short, you have proved your case completely by using the clever and under-utilized skill of name calling.

Life isn't fair.  You said it yourself.  Embrace the system, use it to your advantage, overcome your disadvantages, and quit assuming that everyone who opposes socialism is automatically a left-wing fundamentalist (or even a Republican, for that matter).  Oh... and learn better insults.  kthxbai. ;)

17
General Board / Re: The crock that is the law school scholarship
« on: July 29, 2009, 09:27:26 AM »
I'll share a secret: I'm bitter because I didn't get a scholarship that I felt I earned, so I am crying to everyone that LIFE ISN'T FAIR!

Try to think like good old Judge Posner. Schools give out Schoolerships in their own self interest.  1L scholarships are distributed to entice high LSAT scoring students to matriculate in order to benefit the school's ranking.  2/3L scholarships are given to entice good students to stay at the school so that the school will have impressive graduates.  It is not necessary to give such a large scholarship to 2/3Ls because they basically already own you.

I know it's total bull, but that's how America rolls. Your law school education would be almost free if you lived in Europe. Socialized education! But Americans prefer this Ayn Rand, Wild West, Personal Autonomy nonsense :P


I disagree with pretty much everything you said.  You say that life isn't fair, then you advocate socialism?  Since you are on a law school thread, I am assuming you want to be a lawyer.  Since you are in a position that you can be a lawyer, I am assuming that your education and intellect is at least above average (maybe a stretch, but let's work with it).  Pure socialism would say that, even though you are more educated and intelligent, you should not receive more payment and reward than someone less educated and intelligent.  I guarantee you that if you were forced to receive the median national salary, as opposed to whatever you are expecting by becoming an attorney, you would still be complaining that it was unfair.

Capitalism works because it tends to reward those who should be rewarded.  Unless you are going to law school solely to become a public interest attorney (by doing so, forgoing the above-average salaries typically associated with law), you are being entirely hypocritical by saying that socialism is in America's best interest.  Kind of like saying that all people are equal... but some are more equal than others. 

You don't want to "be owned" by a law school- get a guaranteed full ride for the entirety of law school.  If your numbers aren't good enough to do that, then maybe you should drop your sense of entitlement and feelings that just because you don't have a full ride, life isn't fair.

18
General Board / Critique my brief
« on: July 29, 2009, 08:17:51 AM »
My law school has sent us a case to brief before orientation, and I went ahead and played around with it.  I'm hoping that some of you guys with more experience can tell me what I did well and what would make my brief better.  Thanks for any comments... here it goes:




McBoyle v. United States, 283 U.S. 25 (1931)
U.S. Supreme Court No. 552


- Supreme Court overturned lower court conviction, finding McBoyle not guilty under the Motor Vehicle Theft Act.
   
- The Supreme Court heard an appeals case by McBoyle, who was originally convicted under the Motor Vehicle Theft Act for transporting an airplane that he knew to be stolen from Illinois to Oklahoma.

- Petitioner argued that an airplane does not fall within the definition of "motor vehicle", under the Act of October 29, 1919, c.89, 41 Stat. 234, U.S. Code, Title 18, 408 which provided that a motor vehicle  includes "an automobile, automobile truck, automobile wagon, motor cycle, or any other self-propelled vehicle not designed for running on rails.  Futhermore, the Tariff Act of 1930 defined a vehicle as: "any contrivance capable of being used as a means of transportation on land."

-The Supreme Court overturned the lower court conviction.  Justice Holmes delivered the opinion, stating that:
   
"When a rule of conduct is laid down in words that evoke only the picture of vehicles moving on land, the statute should not extend to aircraft just because it seems that a similar policy applies or would have had it been thought of."

-With his statement, Holmes concluded that it is inappropriate to make a jump from a clearly defined statute, just because the jump seems logical.  Even though an airplane seems to be a "motor vehicle", the Motor Vehicle Theft Act did not define it as one; therefore, the jump cannot be made that it is one. 

19
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: An idea for U.S. News rankings
« on: July 29, 2009, 07:15:46 AM »
But we already have determined what schools are "better" using a statistical model... the question isn't whether Yale really is better than Harvard or whether Georgetown is T14 and UCLA isn't- they are.  At least according to this model.  And when you pick up the US News rankings, you know what you are getting- an evaluation of who is the best using a statistical model that they have developed.

My idea isn't a radical change at all from the US News- it is just a way to refine it.  To put it into perspective, I feel that if I am interviewing in Kentucky/ Tennessee/ the northern-Southeast, my UK degree will be better than the 55 US News indicates.  I would venture to say it would be the equivalent of a top-30 degree.  HOWEVER, if I take my UK degree over to California, my degree may not even be top-75; pretty much every Pacific coast law school will be better-considered because of alumni and attorneys who are more familiar with their reputation (reputation scores- sounds familiar, eh?).

I am not arguing for the downfall of the US News rankings.  They are here to stay, and they give us as law students a peak into our future employers minds by showing us how well schools are actually thought of.  I think, however, that if you can tweak them to account for regional bias, which is what my proposal is all about, you develop a tool more useful to both employer and employee.

20
Where should I go next fall? / Re: University of Kentucky or NKU
« on: July 28, 2009, 01:25:11 PM »
For those of you who ended up going to UK, have you gotten your class schedules yet?  I received mine on Saturday... we may have a class/ entire section together.

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