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Messages - kmpnj

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All of this talk about T14s and T3s or 4s, at the end of the day, is a big bunch of crap.  People go to different schools for a variety of reasons.  I went to a T4, admittedly, because its where I got in.  However, I know have the GPA to go pretty much anywhere I would want to, with the exception of Penn (and, really, who wants to hang out for two years in Baghdad West anyway).  But, for the kind of law I want to do, it makes no sense for me to transfer.  The bottom line is that I love my school, have received an excellent education and feel qualified to compete in court with my colleagues from the other, bigger name schools.  I also believe in our new dean.  The changes she has implemented at our school, in just her first year, have been remarkable.  Finally, I do believe that there is such a thing as loyalty.  Widener took a chance on me, that my LSAT wasn't a true indication of my ability.  Now that I have achieved a degree of academic success, it would just be disrespectful and disloyal to go to a bigger name school, especially when the quality of education at Widener is just as high.

As for not being able to find a job, this summer, as a first year, I had offers from 5 different agencies, including the DE Dept. of Justice (their AGs office) where I was one of only three out of state people offered a position with that agency.  In addition, I have had the opportunity, through my 'rinky-dink' T4 law school to network with judges, politicians and various other members of the Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware Legal communities, all of whom have encouraged me to come and see them if I'd like to work for them.  Ultimately, I was able to choose the agency that fit best for me and what I wanted to accomplish.  I'm at an agency that, as long as I do a decent job, I will probably be invited back.  When I'm invited back next summer, I will get to argue domestic violence hearings, juvenile hearings and arraignments.  The summer program at the prosecutor's office where I'll be working is the feeder program through which they hire their attorneys.  So, it would seem that I have an inside track on becoming a prosecutor immediately upon graduation.  Seems as though going to a T4 hasn't really hurt me too much.

« on: April 07, 2007, 02:39:17 AM »

General Board / Re: Anyone do law preview?
« on: April 07, 2007, 02:28:05 AM »
I did law preview last year.  I took it right before the fall semester and found it helpful in getting my brain back in working order after the summer off.  The professors were fantastic.  It is expensive, but its an opportunity to sit in on lectures given by some of the best law professors in the country and to get your brain working in the type of way that it needs to in law school.

I can't impress upon you enough that law school is completely different than anything I've ever done.  Different from undergrad, the military or law enforcement.  Its not necessarily more stressful, just stressful in a different way.  Any tool that you can use to get your brain working in that kind of way, take it.  Think of law preview as a kind of law school boot camp.  You can start to work in that different kind of way there, where there are no grades so you can make as many mistakes as you want and it doesn't cost you.

One caveat though, for exams I would use "Getting to Maybe."  That book is awesome.  It really breaks down the exams and was helpful to me.

Good Luck in whatever you decide.

General Board / Re: Word Limits
« on: April 07, 2007, 02:17:58 AM »
Word limits, unfortunately, are a necessary evil.  I'm doing the revisions on my brief now and, probably like most super-egotistical law students, have fallen in love with what I've written.  But its good because it really forces you to choose the very best language of your argument and ditch the rest.  It forces you to edit yourself even though, of course, what you've written is perfect.

Fortunately for my class, my prof. said she'd much rather have us go 50 words over and make our argument clear than conform to the word limit and lose points for not making sense.

Widener U School of Law / Re: 2007 Widener TAP program-DE?
« on: April 07, 2007, 02:12:24 AM »
I am a 1L at Widener-DE and, although I didn't attend TAP, I have a couple of friends who did and they are all in the top 20-30%.  From what I understand, its pretty hardcore, much more so than the classes you'll attend in the fall.  But, if you do it, you'll find yourself ahead of those who didn't.

Good Luck

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: William Howard Taft University
« on: February 07, 2007, 01:43:41 PM »
If you already work for the DOJ and you're in DC, why not just go to UDC?  Its probably cheaper, its accredited and they cater to working professionals.  Its a Tier 4, but at least its on a Tier.  I just think that its too risky to gamble all of that money on a school that's unaccredited.

1L job search / Re: Interview question
« on: February 03, 2007, 01:01:22 PM »
My biggest weakness is looking down on shitheads that ask me what my biggest weakness is...

Seriously, I got that question yesterday and I pulled "Sometimes, I expect people to care about the job as much as I do and I don't make allowances for the fact that they might have other things going on in their lives" out of my ass.

The lady smiled when I said that, so I think she liked that answer, but who the hell knows

Law Firms / Re: Would PA firms be interested?
« on: February 03, 2007, 12:55:08 PM »
I'm in a similar situation.  I am 33 and in my 1L year as a career change after being a corrections officer.  My grades, overall, were ok (some great, some average), but I have had a few interviews in the Philly/NJ/Del area and have a few more set up in the next few weeks. 

Based solely on my experience over the past few weeks, I have found that every interviewer (except one, who had no interest in anything I had to say) wanted to talk about working in a jail and how I was able to go to undergrad full-time, make dean's list throughout and still work 50 hours per week in a jail.

Bottom line is should be fine either way you go.  You're background makes you interesting and, at the end of the day, most summer employers will want to talk to someone with a background that is a bit different than the usual 23-25 year old who went to law school straight from undergrad with no life experience.  As long as your grades are not in the toilet, no one will care.  I've had a total of 7 interviews and was asked about my grades ONCE.  Again, this is just my experience and, to be fair, all of these interviews were with government agencies and public interest organizations, but still only one out of seven asked me about my grades.  For you, as long as you get the interview, you'll probably be fine.

Now, how to get the interview.  I can only tell you what's been working for me.  I have been on the phone since finals ended last fall, calling different firms/gov't offices/public interest groups, and asking if I can send a resume.  What has happened is that they ask me a bit about myself (Name, where I go to school).  Then they ask me to send a resume or they tell me that they've hired enough summer interns this year.  If they say "send me a resume" then you're sending your resume to someone who is looking for YOUR resume.  I think that makes it a little bit less likely that your resume will end up in the circular file.  Also, utilize your career services office.  When I got to my school, all the 2Ls and 3Ls bitched about how bad career services was.  I have been riding their ass like the Lone Ranger and I have to say that they've been very helpful.  Basically, take advantage of all of your school's resources and you should be fine.

Good Luck

General Board / Am I Screwed?
« on: January 22, 2007, 03:53:36 PM »
Just got grades today.  I got a B+ in Civ Pro, B in Property, C+ in Methods and a C in Torts.  I go to a T4 and my cumulative GPA is a 2.673 on a 2.5 curve.  Am I completely screwed or can I turn this around in the Spring? Any thoughts would, as always, be appreciated.

General Board / Re: Law School Prep Courses.....lame or essential?
« on: January 18, 2007, 04:20:22 PM »
I took one right before school started in August.  I found it helpful mainly because it served as a warm-up to the real thing.  As far as imparting any great wisdom, some tips they gave I still use, some I don't.  I think the bottom line is finding what formula of study works for you, which will take time.  I will say that, if the program uses socratic method, then its useful, if you've never had it before because it takes away some of the shock value. 

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