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Current Law Students / Anyone Use BarBri Outlines?
« on: May 15, 2009, 05:12:30 PM »
These things are for real.  I think I can learn the overwhelming majority of what law school teaches me by perusing them.  I skimmed the Civil Procedure one and feel 100x better about my understanding of Personal Jurisdiction and Erie issues.

Being from the Midwest, I've always been surprised to notice a cultural difference on the East Coast.  I shouldn't generalize, but I find that, on average, young people are more concerned about social mobility, status, and speed of living.  People go out more than their Midwest counterparts, stay out later, work until they're actually tired.

Then again, I mostly see an old friend of mine from my home state, and maybe many of her friends are like that.  She lives in Washington Heights.

Is it just me?  I've been thinking slightly more about where I want to go -- perhaps hopelessly ambitious, in this economy -- and I'm mulling over the cultural difference I noticed a year ago.

Current Law Students / Can anyone explain Venue?
« on: May 08, 2009, 08:57:15 PM »
Just don't get it.

And what's the difference between that and forum non con.?

Current Law Students / Rate My Finals Exit Strategy
« on: May 05, 2009, 08:35:47 PM »
Instead of reading my casebooks this quarter, I've reverted to looking at full-color prints of Winslow Homer paintings and reading Wallace Stevens's poems.  I still attend classes, and try to pay attention whenever I'm there, but I distract myself with pool or solitaire as well.  After classes, my loitering around the undergraduate campus evokes Morales.  I go out three, even four, times a week.

But I have an exit strategy . . . and I'm curious whether it's worked for anyone else:

There is finite law to learn.  Once you learn the BLL and the policy, you go home; anything more is overkill.  In that spirit, I've hit the Chirelstein hard, and I have old outlines to get the gist of my other classes -- Jurisdiction, Int'l Law, and Crim.

So, during the last two weeks, I plan to:

1. Cram using old outlines, including class notes.  I'll re-read these until everything makes sense.
2. Re-read all the cases for how the law applies to the facts in one crazy caffeine binge.
3. Take old practice exams.  Study model answers very carefully for what the prof wants, but not overdo it.
4. Meet a giant fish, @#!* its brains out.
5. Do a ton of relaxing.  Just keep my brain in this really loose, really playful way that I get when I've had a few drinks.


Just kind of curious whether slacking produces results.  I think I will do better by studying less, but has my lifestyle worked for anyone else?

General Off-Topic Board / Why Does Torture Bother So Many People?
« on: May 04, 2009, 11:02:11 AM »
I'm not flaming.  I don't see the issue with detention and torture, so long as it's done in rational state interest, and I don't see why it wouldn't be.  I realize that these aren't the greatest ways to extract information, but I assume that state actors are smart, and they know better than me when it's necessary to detain someone without habeas corpus.

I went to an ACLU talk today and the former Reinhardt clerk seemed to presume that "torture is bad, hence torture must be stopped," but I didn't have the guts to ask him why.

Current Law Students / What Do "Soft" IP Lawyers Do?
« on: May 02, 2009, 12:59:00 PM »

I know it's copyright and trademark work, but do they just litigate infringement claims all the time?  Send out surveys to determine whether trademarks were violated?

Incoming 1Ls / Wally's 1L Tips
« on: April 17, 2009, 01:51:42 PM »
As my 1L year draws to a close, I've found myself often staring out into space, wondering what it all means.  Why do we go to law school?  What have I learned?  Where can I go from here?  I feel like Dustin Hoffman's character in the Graduate as I walk around Hyde Park aimlessly, looking at the homeless people, including the colorful character who always asks me for the time.

Around this time last year, UVa_2L was nice enough to compile some tips, and I thought I would do the same for the n00bs about to embark on their legal adventure.  All abroad the Erie!

1. Professors spend an average of 10-15 minutes on any given exam.

This is the dirty little secret of law school.  The truth is that grading 90-100 of these repetitive, poorly-written clusterfucks means that you will be evaluated very quickly, often with a checklist.  Most exams also look something like this:

There could be murder.
There could be conspiracy.
There could be an attempt.

Then your peer's exam might look like this:

There could be murder. 
There could be conspiracy.

It's hard for many 1Ls to realize, but no matter how smart you are, how much you studied, or how intelligent you sound in class, your grades will depend on these quick evaluations.  You must identify as many issues as possible and write about them as clearly as possible, with the periodic policy argument.  And always tie it back to the facts!  Respect the exam, and, most importantly, respect the way in which it's graded.

2. Grades don't matter.

Well, they do, and they don't.  They do in the sense that they are everything to your early career.  The problem is that it's easy to engage in path dependency and determinism with them, and that's wrong.  They're such a crude metric, it's silly to say things like, "Ah, well, I shouldn't pursue transactional work, because I got a middling grade in Contracts."  The best advice I can give incoming students is to set realistic grade measures.  Ask yourself: would I be happy at the median?  If the answer is no, do yourself a favor and avoid law school.

3.  Realize this is a game.

This ties into my earlier points, but I think I'm at my happiest now that I realize it's a game, and playing it like one.  This is a full court press.  This is not about intelligence (not entirely, anyway), or oral advocacy, or learning.  This is one of the dumbest, most irrelevant games you will ever play, although your entire career depends on it.  But that is life.

4. Make love, not Law Review.

This is a stupid slogan, but, really, my biggest regret is not getting to know more people.  I didn't even realize one of my section-mates was married, or that he liked lizards, or that he wanted to work overseas.  Law students are every bit as neurotic, smart, and interesting as you, and take advantage.  Be kind and courteous, and don't let your neuroses show, you should be fine.

5. You don't know what you want.

When I came to law school, I was obsessed with prestige and clerking.  Obviously, all of the super-prestigious people land on 9th circuit.  The truth is that I don't like appellate research at all.  I find discursive discussions of the law to be boring.  I'm trying to write a brief right now and every moment is pure "meh."  I also dislike legal academia.

On the other hand, I think I would love transactional work, because I love shallow, repetitive tasks repeated for hours.  So keep an open mind.  And good luck.

Current Law Students / Anyone Else Worried about OCI?
« on: April 14, 2009, 09:42:05 PM »

Only time will tell whether . . . time will tell.  But this looks like some serious pwnage, considering the never-ending stream of bad news on ATL.

Anyone have good back-up plans?

Current Law Students / Cake is great.
« on: April 10, 2009, 02:36:42 PM »
Cake is great.

Current Law Students / Is International Law a Real Practice Area?
« on: April 05, 2009, 03:14:02 PM »
I can't imagine that international war crimes is a big money-maker for the average lawyer.

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