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Messages - Denny Shore

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21
John Marshall / Re: JMLS(Chicago) Housing
« on: August 24, 2010, 02:35:04 PM »
No sweat!
Good luck.  See you on campus!

22
General Board / Re: does anyone have any essay exam writing help/advice?
« on: August 23, 2010, 02:43:49 PM »
IRAC is a good start.
You could invest in LEEWS - some find that helps too.
A simple outline of your answers prior to writing your actual answer help - that way you don't skip something or jump around.  Also, if you can't find an exam by YOUR professor, try taking one from another professor that IS on file.  It will help you to practice while testing your knowledge.
And test vary at my school.  Some are 50/50 MC and essay, some are straight essay, some are short answer/essay, etc.  My Con Law I final was 5 essay questions and the prof said that he doesn't expect anyone to answer all of them (he intimated that anyone who did so would get extra points, provided they were legitimate attempts).  I managed to answer all of them, but I was alone.
Essay exams are all about issue spotting.  If you miss the issue, you cannot properly answer - so practice issue spotting.

23
John Marshall / Re: JMLS(Chicago) Housing
« on: August 23, 2010, 02:31:08 PM »
PT is okay, if not just a bit too far to comfortably walk.
Most students stay near the school, but some just seek out apartments near the EL so they can get to school quick.  For my first year, I lived near Grand and Ogden and had easy access to the blue line, which drops you a block away from school.
My advice is to search craigslist chicago and the chicago reader for apartment listings, then cross-reference it all with train access.  Both the blue and red lines drop you within 2 blocks of school, so living near one of those lines is generally going to make your life easy.  JMLS doesn't have any real student housing, so there is no real concentration of students living in any one place.
I have friends who live in the River North area who overpay for their space, but live by the red line.  Apartments in PT are expensive, but (I believe) come furnished.  If you want to save some dough and have stuff to move, River West, Bucktown, Wicker Park, Lincoln Park, and River North are some good options.  PT is in the heart of the business district, so there isn't much going on in the neighborhood late night or on weekends (which is good and bad).
Here's a link to craigslist: http://chicago.craigslist.org/apa/
Here's the link to the reader: http://classifieds.chicagoreader.com/chicago/

24
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Class Statistics?
« on: August 23, 2010, 02:14:18 PM »
The irony of a guy who thinks he is smarter than everyone else, better than everyone else, and above law-school, yet hasn't even applied or taken the LSAT is probably the funniest part of this whole thread.
Like I said, good luck to you.  May all of your dreams come true.  I invite you to come back after your 1L to update us on your inevitable great success. 
I stand by my statements.  While I realize that this is a forum, everyone is anonymous, and you have been attacked since your first post, you seem to be unable to recognize your own arrogance.  Not to worry - that will change.  Your posts reek of the typical know-it-all.  By your own admission, you have violated your own standards - specifically only speaking about that which you know.  Since you haven't been accepted to law school, haven't attended a law school course, and haven't taken a law school exam, you DON'T know anything about law school, save for what you've heard.  I'm trying to help you avoid what appears to be an imminent rude awakening.  I can read books quickly too, but that doesn't mean I understand them.  Nor does it mean I have a mastery over the material.
For your own sake, you may wish to tone down the arrogance a bit and try (just try) viewing the world with a little humility.  While I am sure you have every reason to be proud of your accomplishments, it doesn't mean that everything moving forward is going to be easy OR that you have a greater understanding of anything you have yet to experience.
That said, I'm sure you are contemplating a furiously worded response and have decided to ignore all the voices around here who, through various methods, are trying to get you to understand two simple things: 1) your visualization of how difficult law school is going to be for you is inherently flawed, primarily because you haven't had a single day of it (yet) and 2) you exude arrogance, not intelligence, cockiness, not confidence, and elitism, not humility.  Those traits will not serve you well (based on your telling, people like you, which means you either don't act like this in the real world or you hang out with a-holes).
I know plenty of smart lawyers.  None of them have gone so far out of their way to prove they are better, smarter, or more accomplished than others.  You certainly have.  Your credentials are meaningless on this forum because none of what you say is provable.  Lawyers deal in proof and you cannot provide any without exposing too much personal information.  You want us to show you respect, to defer to you, to listen to you yet you have no expertise, no record, and no experience.  You are just another undergrad student who believes, with unusual certainty, that everyone else is a moron but you.
As I said - best of luck.  Please come back and let us all know where you got into school, and then after a year, if you still believe that law school is easy.

25
There should be some regulation, but if someone graduates from college with around a 3.0, scores a 150 or so on the LSAT, can write a coherent personal statement, and get a few letters of recommendation then they should have a chance at law school. Honestly, the system is not to bad as it currently is, but LSAC listing attrition rates without indicating that a number of the attrition is based on transfers seems wrong to me.  I don't know if any ABA school has more than 20% academic attrition and if a school does then there is a problem. However, at almost every school including tier 4's it seems to be around 10% attrition for academic reasons. Honestly, after going through the first year at a tier 4 the majority of people that failed out truly did not put in sufficient work. They had the ability to do well, but the ones I know failed out did not seem to put an adequate effort in. I am sure there are some exceptions to that, but most of the academic dismissals just did not put the work in plain and simple. If you want to be a lawyer then you need to be able to get down to business and focus a little bit. It is not rocket science and it can be done, but it takes time and effort to succeed in law school.

A great point.  I was academically dismissed after one semester, but it was do to being willfully untreated for my ADHD.  When I left, I went to my doctor and, after trying several different medications, got on treatment that is extremely effective.  I was readmitted and did very well.  2L starts Monday.
Most of the students who were academically dismissed fell into that situation because they treated law school like college, tried to cram, blew off classes, didn't participate in classes, or thought they were smarter than everyone else.  At least one student talked a great game - how smart he was, how he was on the dean's list in college, how he understood everything....  It was the same guy who would find our little study group during finals prep to ask us questions that made us all slap our foreheads (i.e. - What is consideration in a K between A and B when A offers to sell his car to B for $5000? and What's the difference between a unilateral contract and a bilateral contract).  He was also infamous for raising his hand to provide his insight on a case, only to make a fool of himself by summarizing for the class what everyone else had said and sitting next to smart students, reading off of their laptops, asking them a question, then raising his hand to give the professor an answer.  Guys like him don't belong and, as a result, he was dismissed.
The problem with reading a generalized attrition number and then drawing a conclusion is that it doesn't take into account the number of transfers out.  As we all know, students usually transfer out of schools because they were accepted to a better school.  This is not indicative of a problem with the lower ranked school.  If anything, it speaks to the quality of their education (under the theory that if their program was terrible, there would be no way a higher ranked school would accept a transfer student, no matter how good the transcript read).
The John Marshall Law School in Chicago academically dismisses more students every year than every other law school in Illinois combined.  1/5th of all of the sitting judges in Illinois attended JMLS.  Those two facts seem to be contradictory, yet are illustrative of the fact that despite its reduced applicant requirements and reprehensible grading curve policy, they still provide a decent education.
We appear, in this country, to be outpacing demand for attorneys.  However, it may be informative to understand that a good portion of graduating JD's will never practice law.  Another chunk will practice law, but never be successful.  Many, however, will find their niche and fill a need.  My personal theory is that if you want to graduate fewer JD's, the key isn't to limit access to law schools or limit the number of law schools.  Instead, we need fewer stupid people.  Since my observation is that there are more and more morons doing stupid things, the need for lawyers continues to grow.  We haven't hit critical mass yet and we are nowhere near the tipping point, so I don't worry that future attorneys won't be able to find work.  It may take some time, but lawyers are still in demand.

26
Since these attrition rates likely include transfers, I don't get the issue. 
Some people aren't meant for law school, yet they still want to give it a try.  Why not let them?  It's their money and limiting access to an education only makes it harder for people who are smart enough but maybe didn't work hard enough in undergrad.  If a student goes to, as an example, Cooley because that's the only school that will take them, then after 1L transfers to a much better school, didn't Cooley do their job?  That guy would be counted in the attrition rates...
All I'm saying is that it isn't always a bad thing to "dumb tax" certain things.  We teach our kids that they can do anything they want to if they apply themselves, so we shouldn't be lying to them on account of some attrition rates that don't necessarily reflect academic dismissals only.

27
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Class Statistics?
« on: August 18, 2010, 05:41:55 PM »
I am wondering why people believe law school is hard? I read some of the editions of books students read in law school and was thinking, "this is rather easy to not only grasp but remember as well." People are just making law school seem hard when it is actually like an undergrad history course. Grasp and retain most of the information and get an easy A. Try completing any mathematics beyond linear Algebra and applied mathematics and then tell me how hard it is to stay at an A average in law school.

Reading and memorizing aren't what law school teaches you, so whatever dude.  Your assessment that law school is like an undergrad history course is inaccurate and, frankly, irresponsibly dangerous.  It is nothing like history class.  The ability to read and digest complex material is great - but, correct me if I'm wrong, you haven't sat for a single law school exam and are therefore completely ignorant and out of line for pretending you know better.
Since you are such a genius, why not tell us which law school you got into?
Math is easy for some and difficult for others.  Law is, by and large, difficult to master for all.  From your posts, you appear to be applying to law school.  Let us all know how easy it is after you complete your first year.  I have some advice for you - drop the superior attitude now.  Your future classmates will resent you, your teachers will think you are an arrogant a-hole, and you will run into problems all day long.  Professors don't like to help the know-it-alls.  Students don't like studying with the guy who treats them like they are stupid.
I can tell you from personal experience working in an actual law firm that attorneys that display your attitude are generally not among the list of respected attorneys.  As a matter of fact, people who display arrogance are generally regarded as foolish, disrespectful, and not trustworthy in the profession.
Do yourself a favor.  Be a quiet genius, not a guy who disrespects the profession, the education, the difficulties of others, and the complexities of law.
Again, I would love to hear if your impression changes after you actually sit in law school classes.  Right now you are just another cocky kid with a bachelors degree who thinks, while acknowledging his complete and total lack of actual experience in law school classes, that he is smarter than everyone else and knows more than the rest of us.  With a little luck, life will teach you humility and you will have a change of heart.  Otherwise, you'll make a wonderful law professor....
Best of luck to you.  I hope you get into Harvard.

28
Non-Traditional Students / Re: How do you get back into law school?
« on: August 07, 2010, 03:45:28 PM »
As a side note, when I was readmitted, I was very open about the fact that I was a readmit.  I didn't hide it from my classmates.
And I didn't succeed in my coursework because I remembered everything.  I made a very serious attempt to learn everything I could as if it was fresh information.  My second semester (which was made up of coursework I hadn't seen before) was more successful (in terms of grades) because I carried that drive forward.
So to all those students who get readmitted:  work twice as hard as you ever thought you could.  Don't think that since you've been through it once, you'll do better automatically.  I learned the repeated material far better the second go through because I treated it all as brand new material.  I didn't look once at old notes. 

29
Non-Traditional Students / Re: How do you get back into law school?
« on: August 07, 2010, 03:42:19 PM »
Hey Denny, do you happen to attend evenings at UDM?  Your story seems vaguely familiar.

How did you manage to get readmission without waiting 2 years?  Perhaps, this could help the OP.

Nope, sorry.  I go to JMLS and am in the day division.  My story can't be that unique.

The ABA has two sets of rules regarding readmission, as I understand it.
Rule #1 is that a student who has been academically dismissed may reapply no earlier than 1 semester after dismissal.  Readmission is at the discretion of the school, and if readmitted, the student may return no sooner than 1 year after dismissal.
Rule #2 is that any student dismissed who is denied readmission may apply to any law school after 2 years from the dismissal.
I met with the readmission coordinator at my school after meeting with a dean.  We met several times prior to filing my petition and she reviewed and gave feedback on my multiple drafts.  As a condition of readmission, I have higher requirements than other students for completion.
1) for the first semester, I was required to have regular meeting with the readmission coordinator (who is also the director of academic achievement).  Most of these meetings were 'check ins' to see if I had questions, was experiencing difficulties, provide outlining advice, etc.
2)  My GPA cannot fall below 2.25 cumulative, I am not eligible for academic probation, and if I fall below 2.0 cum, I am dismissed and not eligible for readmission at JMLS.

So far, so good.  I am not close to 2.25 and don't see any reason why, moving forward, I would run into that problem.
Thanks for the kind words (all).  My attitude comes directly from my drive.  I have always been a driven person, which has helped me attain success to this point.  I am a non-trad student (I turned 35 this year - just after completing my 1L) who has had 2 successful careers (one in the restaurant business and one in healthcare focused technology sales).  I honestly believe that my life experiences give me an advantage in terms of work ethic and, well, life experience.  However, there is no reason that I can understand why someone who experiences difficulty and is dismissed can't return with success, assuming there was something identifiable and correctable that contributed to their difficulty.  It does not mean they should give up, it does not mean they should find something else to do, and it does not mean they can't do it.
I'm happy to be living proof that most of the bashing I endured on message boards proved to be nothing more than nonsense spouted from the mouths of people who think they know it all.  The most important lesson I learned through all of this is to not beat myself up too badly.  And that's what I try to impress on others who are going through the foggy darkness that seems unavoidable and can be oppressive. 
Stay positive, work hard, be honest with yourself.  Don't be afraid to fail. 
"Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently." - Henry Ford


30
Non-Traditional Students / Re: How do you get back into law school?
« on: August 06, 2010, 06:00:47 PM »
Hey all, thanks for replying. Well there is an petition process which the school allows and I did do that but unfortunately they still found no reason to let me back in. I was not trying to make excuses during the meeting but I did tell them that I had to deal with unforeseen family problems which kept me traveling every weekend. I really do feel that this hampered my ability to study during the weekends and because of this I tried cramming as much as I could during the week. I even got letters from doctors and witnesses stating the situation I was in but I guess the appeals board didnt think I deserved another chance =/. And the sad part about all of this was that I literally had a 1.99 and the requirement was a 2.0.

So at this point I'm just trying to get a job and get experience and maybe do my masters or take some classes. But nothing is set in stone because this is all a very confusing time for me right now.

I have some personal experience with this, so I feel compelled to help.
First of all, unless otherwise stated, you should be allowed to petition for readmit more than once.  Most schools don't consider petitions for readmission until the student has sat out at least one semester, with the earliest a readmitted student could begin classes being one full year from dismissal.  Are you sure you didn't have a hearing for reconsideration?  If you were dismissed after the end of the school year, this may not have been a petition to readmit, but rather a hearing as to the decision of the school.
When I was dismissed in 08, I talked to the Dean and he put me in contact with the person who handles readmission counseling.  I worked with her for about 6 months, formulating my essay, my readmission petition, and discussing strategies that would show the school that things had changed, that there was an explanation for my poor performance, and that I was committed to making the necessary changes.  Try to seek that person out.
Furthermore, if you were denied readmission, the ABA requires that you take 2 years off then you can apply to any law school as a new admit.  Naturally, you will have to discuss the fact that you were dismissed. 
I recommend you take some time to think about what happened that caused you problems and be honest with yourself.  If this is what you really want, there should be no doubt in your mind that you can do it, and do it better the second go around.  I didn't like people telling me that it was for the best, nor did I care to hear people tell me to do something else.  For me, it was law school.  If I couldn't get back in, I'd have to find something else.  Until I did everything I could, I wasn't willing to quit.
If you really did get denied readmission (and didn't mistake a petition for reconsideration for a readmission procedure), you have two years to kill while waiting for the ABA requirement to pass.  That's a long time, for sure, but also plenty of time to explore other opportunities.  For example, my plan, if I had been denied readmission, was to get my masters degree (either an MBA or something in marketing) in the interim.  You could accomplish this in two years with little problem.  Plus, then if you don't get admitted for some reason, you have another potential career just waiting for you to go kick butt at!  Truth is, an MBA or masters can get you a job with less work, less responsibility, less hours and similar pay.
Here's some basic stuff I learned that might be helpful:
1)  stay involved in the law.  Clerk, paralegal, volunteer - anything is better than nothing (even volunteering a few days a month at a free legal clinic is better than ignoring the field completely).  It shows you are dedicated, interested, and engaged despite any issues that should, if you didn't care, have made you disconnect from the law.
2)  let it go.  The most successful people have failed many times before they succeeded.  Think of it this way: thousands apply to law school every year and only a small percentage gain acceptance.  Hundreds of students 'fail out' of law school.  It doesn't make you stupid or worthless, nor does it signify that you are incapable.  We all run into periods of time in our lives that prevent us from attaining our goals.  Its what you do when you fail that makes you who you are.  Get over the pain and confusion and try to remember that you were smart enough to get in.  That automatically puts you in a category of intelligence and capability that exceeds a huge portion of the population.
3)  be honest with yourself and figure out if law school is right for you.  If you are readmitted, you are held to a higher standard.  People will be watching and the pressure will be higher than the average student.  Do you want to be a lawyer?  Did you apply to law school because you thought it was a big bucks profession?  Did you just want a degree?  I've met too many people who went to law school for the prestige, the title, or the money who quickly learned that none of it was worth it.  There is nothing sadder (to me) than when someone spends six figures to get a degree that they never use or use for a while only to realize that they hate it.
My story is simple.  I have ADHD and had major test anxiety, both of which contributed to me getting a B, a C+ and 2 D's.  I was dismissed.  I went to see my doctor, got rediagnosed, got properly medicated, and got readmitted.  I worked my ass off and got one C, a B-, and 2 B's first semester.  Second semester, I got one C and three B+'s.  The two C's were from the same professor, who I was forced to take twice, that writes terrible tests full of confusing wording, misspellings, and a total lack of clarity (he tought us general measure of damages so poorly that using the way he taught us, I was unable to answer a GM question using the choices provided).  At this point, I am in no danger of being dismissed again and look forward to a more successful 2L.
It can be done.  If you really want it, and for the right reasons, nothing can stop you.

Anyway, good luck to you.  Keep your head up. 
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” -  Arnold Schwarzenegger (it's better if you say it with his accent)

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