Law School Discussion

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Messages - Denny Shore

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51
General Board / Re: FBI background checks
« on: January 22, 2010, 01:12:48 PM »
I'd say that if you think this is necessary, you might be in trouble getting in to law school.  Seriously - what possible information could be in your background that the FBI would have that you wouldn't already be aware of?
If you want to see what is on your record, find an attorney and ask him to pull your records - where I live, most of the information can be pulled off a computer at the county clerks office.  Of course, most students' records include nothing more than a few speeding tickets or accidents, which wouldn't show up on an FBI search.
What would a person be concerned could show up on an FBI background check?

52
General Board / Re: Are other 1Ls still waiting on grades?
« on: January 14, 2010, 01:33:48 PM »
We don't get grades until January 25 which I find to be wholly ridiculous.

Welcome to law school :).

You misunderstand. It's not that professors aren't done grading, it's that the school doesn't release them until January 25. In theory, all our grades could be in to the registrar by now.

According to my school, all grades are posted THE SAME DAY they are received from the professors.  Maybe your school is different.  Maybe not.  In my case, it IS in fact the prof's fault.

53
General Board / Re: Are other 1Ls still waiting on grades?
« on: January 12, 2010, 08:23:07 PM »
For what it is worth, I JUST got my all of my grades back.  My first exam was 12/10 and my last exam was 12/18.  I didn't get my writing course grade until last week, which is especially frustrating because we turned in our final memo on 11/23 and took a short (and annoying) final exam on 11/23.  It took that prof close to 2 months to get us our grades.
It is asinine that law schools take so long to get the grades to the students, especially since my finals were all scantron based with, on two exams, 2 essay questions each.....
As best as I can figure, there is no accountability at the school for deadlines.  Granted, a monster essay exam takes longer to grade, but then maybe the prof's shouldn't give monster essay exams....
I'd like to shove my foot up the school's collective ass about it, but I'd like to actually graduate. ::)

54
Where should I go next fall? / Re: How important is family background?
« on: January 11, 2010, 11:52:16 PM »
First off, I am not aware of any source that makes a claim that she had a low UGPA or LSAT score.  What I am aware of is that prior to law school, she had some serious jobs with serious credibility.
She "worked for the State Department for five years and the U.S. Agency for International Development between 1989 and 1993."
That probably helped some as well.  Plus, when she went to college, she wrote a senior thesis.  Did you?  I sure didn't.
That said, yes - being the child of an influential person can help get a person into good schools.  It makes sense that prestigious schools would want prestigious alumni. 
Of course being Cheney's daughter gave her more of a boost than being a woman would.  As to the speculation that she was a C student, that's likely pure exposition based on political affiliation more than proof, logic, or reason.  The University of Chicago is a fine law school and I don't think she would have graduated and been able to do so much if she was marginally acceptable, despite her famous father.  Try to remember that for as many people who might consider the Cheney name an asset, there are also plenty who would see it as a liability. 
For the record, I'm sure Bill Gates' children will be able to get into whatever school they want as well.

55
Whatever.
When you find out what you scored, meet with your professors to do an exam review.  Ask good questions (like "What were you looking for there?", not "How do I write good answers?") and you'll probably figure out where you went wrong (either with prep or execution). 
For what it's worth, after two of the three exams I took this semester, most folks thought they bombed.  Try to bear in mind, your raw score isn't as important as what other people did in relation to your old score.  It is not uncommon for students "raw" score to be below 70% and still get B's based on the curve...

Good luck!

56
It happens.  Usually, it can be traced back to one of two things: studying badly or over-studying.
I've known people who have blanked, but that's always been temporary (a few minutes).
I found that when I studied with serious, focused students that kept it short to be most beneficial.  There was a study group member who was a distraction because she kept asking questions about issues or elements unrelated (confusing restrictive covenants with negative easements for example) and changed hypos to fit the answer they want.
Prepare intelligently, do what brings you the most success, and don't be afraid to take a break.  I saw far too many students transform from normal, intelligent individuals into manic, jumpy loons who couldn't string together complete sentences.  I also saw far too many people "taking it easy" and ending their study sessions by closing a few bars.

57
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: How Many Hours Do You Study Per Week
« on: December 26, 2009, 02:51:03 AM »
The standard answer I've received on this question from professors and 2 and 3 L's is to expect to study about 2 hours per hour of class time.  It was not uncommon or unusual to study 8 hours a week, for example, for Torts alone.
All told, including class, my average week was between 46-50 hours per week of total work.  Memo's add to the fun and when you have a test coming off, all bets are off.
There were some weeks when I put in closer to 60 hours and rare weeks when I had less than 40 hours (including class time).
During finals, I studied 40-50 hours for Contracts, 55 hours for torts, and 50 hours for Property.
During the semester, I wrote 3 memo's, the first being 10 pages long, the second being 14, and the third being 12.  The memos soak up a lot of time as you have to research, plan, write, edit, double check, and finalize. 
The roughest weeks were when memo's were due and the two times our professors scheduled make up classes, which happened to coincide with the heaviest reading (by chance - no one is that cruel).
I also carefully tracked my reading.  The average reading weeks was between 90 and 120 pages, with the heaviest week requiring close to 200 pages.
Law school requires a major investment of time and effort.  Expect to work harder than you ever have.  If you've come from the "real" world and worked a job with real responsibility, the workload is manageable.  If you are used to college course work and "cramming", you may struggle to adapt to the workload.  I still don't think you can cram for law school with the success it can be done in college (just my opinion).

58
I realize my anecdotes don't hold much water amongst the naysayers, but the truth is there are plenty of stories of people "beating the odds".
It also depends on what you want to do with your life.  You can either go into things expecting the worst or you can remain optimistic and plug away.  I choose to remain optimistic and plug away. I know far too many people who went to low ranked schools who make a terrific living, just like I know too many people who went to high ranked schools who landed six figure jobs out of law school, worked 80 hours a week, and burned out.  I've heard LOADS of stories about people who burned out within 2 years of leaving law school and left the profession.
Also, it might be helpful to remember that the boomers are starting to retire.  As they leave the work force, there will be openings and someone will have to fill in the gaps.
It might also behoove people to think about this:  people have been trashing low ranked schools for decades and insisting that people who graduate from them will never find work and drown in debt.  Oddly enough, they were mostly wrong then and I believe are mostly wrong now.
At my low ranked law school, we have a wall of fame of sorts.  Graduates include current and former State's Attorney's, politicians, judges, principals at major law firms, prominent businessmen and women, and a surprising number of US Attorney's.  All from a law school that most posters claim leaves graduates destitute and without job prospects.
Sure, folks who graduate from high ranked schools have some great opportunities, but don't count out those of us who go to lower ranked schools either.  I've literally witnessed lawyers with degrees from "TTT" schools wipe the courtroom floors with lawyers from UCLA, Georgetown, Harvard, and Yale (admittedly, I've also seen the reverse).
My dear old dad always says: "You know what they call the guy who graduated at the bottom of his class from the worst ranked law school in the country?  Attorney at law."

59
First year commitment is at least 8-10 hours a day with one day off for me.
Figure on an even wash if you work 55 hours a week right now - not much will change.  Second and third year supposedly takes less time studying, but more time on other stuff (moot court, law review, memo's, research, panels, externships, etc).
Treat it like a job and you'll do fine.  Treat it like a return to undergrad and you will have major problems.  Each week is a little different, especially when PRof's change things up.  I've never had to put more than 55-60 hours in yet and I'm doing just fine (actually, I'm ahead).

60
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Is it too late!!!
« on: November 09, 2009, 02:34:17 PM »
Yes, I decided to go to law school just in the last week, long story.  A little background: I'm 51, graduated from med school in '84, practiced until '93 when I decided to stay home with the kids.  Going through a divorce and see this as a great time to get a fresh start on life. Don't want to practice medicine, but rather do advocacy work.  Kaplan starts a course on 11/8, and I still have time for late registration for the Dec LSAT. Since I'm not working, can devote lots of time to study.  Kids will graduate from college may 2010.

thanks for any feedback

Go for it!  Us non-trads have to stick together.  It is NEVER too late to invest in yourself.  So you may never be a partner.  Who cares?  You may not make $160k the year you graduate - is that why people go to law school?
Do what makes you happy.
Good luck!

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