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Messages - gzl

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31
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Ranking California Law Schools
« on: June 06, 2009, 02:27:08 AM »
The list seems pretty accurate, but also highlights the weakness of rankings.  Santa Clara is a good example.  Outside of the Bay Area, a JD from there doesn't mean much.  Within the Bay Area though, it's a different story.  Santa Clara alum are close-knit and look out for each other, a lingering affect of its jesuit roots.  The connections made there often get students into positions they have no "right" being in, if you're just looking at the school's ranking... positions a Stanford grad would be more than happy to have.

32
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Why Does Torture Bother So Many People?
« on: June 02, 2009, 01:41:02 AM »


"believe it or not but some laws come out of moral standards..and some things which are morally questionable may not be considered legal or illegal...until they come up...prostitution is a victimless crime...but it is illegal...morally questionable...perhaps...but as far as "Waterdunking" or "waterboarding"...eh? prosecution is a waste of time...aye think if you spent some time in a nicaraguan jail for something miniscule...and were tortured...really tortured...you would think how wonderful our country is that the usa does not torture prisoners...however if one or two dangerous prisoners were tortured so that american lives were saved along the way...then you would be able to sleep at night..."

My argument isn't that the U.S. is as bad or worse than X.  My argument is simple and straight forward.  Maybe reading it again will help.

"we are still bound by our laws...and if the usa sometimes has to bear down and do some dirty work once in a while to save lives...so be it...we can go back to being principled...and aye think it naive to think that there aren't other prisoners in our recent past who were tortured."

Fine, maybe it's even a moral imperative to torture under certain circumstances.  That doesn't mean that it's a) legal or b) should not be prosecuted, for the reasons given above.  It's like quixote took a tab... tilting at invisible windmills and non-existent straw men.


"khmer rouge...ha ha ha..you mean "kilo romeo??"....good comparison...yes...usa is like "charley".ha ha ha..."

The point is that one of the factors that keeps governments from devolving into that type of regime is being bound by the rule of law.

"the waterboarding question is not going to be prosecuted and "waterboarding" is not necessarily the method where k.s.m. gave useful information...sometimes laws come out of moral concepts...so...morally aye think it is questionable to have waterboarded k.s.m...but if lives were saved then who cares? they essentially tricked this guy into giving information which helped to save american lives...so? so what?..k.s.m is still alive...right?...who cares..no...really? who cares?...those who are sore over bush being in power for eight years?...obama doesn't even care...he wants to move on...and our economically hampered country needs to move on...as far as my concerns as a taxpaying citizen aye think it is a waste of time and money to go back and rehash...just like aye thought it was a waste of time and money to go back and rehash the monica lewinsky lie."

I care. People who think that rule of law should mean something in fundamental areas like war crimes care.  Next question...

"aye believe in the death penalty as a form of retribution...and to be applied in certain cases.."

And that's precisely why I don't believe in it.  It moves beyond punishment to state-enacted revenge.  That's one of the fundamental purposes of Law: to curtail the cycle of revenge and the "accursed share" of violent vengeance.

"aye am glad you understand the point of morally questionable decisions...and their consequences..."

No, not really.  You don't want there to be consequences.


"...aye think aye am right that we will move on beyond this...and sorry if that is cold...but rehashing is a waste of time..."

I think we'll brush it under the rug as well.  Like I said, I don't see you as a cynic though.  More a wide-eyed innocent who trusts institutions of power far too much.

"our new democracy will continue and other nations will continue to torture their citizens...in this case aye am a cynic."

Like so.





"um...and you might want to check those cases..."waterboarding" is gray area?  because dunking a guys head in a toilet is assault...but is it torture? is it "waterboarding"?"

Maybe you should read the cases more closely.  Here's a start:

the water cure, "a specie of torture well known to the bench and bar of the country" is described reasonably explicitly citing another case:

"he was laid on the floor, and a white man stood on his body and they administered to him the “water cure,” which consisted in pouring water into his nose,"

Sound familiar?

33
Current Law Students / Re: Are study groups worth the trouble?
« on: May 30, 2009, 11:55:51 PM »
The best study groups are those made up of people who generally don't need a study group.  Those same people tend to get frustrated in groups that actually do need the study group, and so leave after the first time.  Which means that you usually have a good study group that's unnecessary for its members, or a bad study group that doesn't have the members necessary to make it good. 

34
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Must be true? Inferred?
« on: May 30, 2009, 11:46:30 PM »
I seem to get must be true, inferred, main point questions wrong the most.  Are there any efficient ways to go about this?


must be true = cannot be false  (I know that's obvious, but sometimes that formulation helps clarify what you're supposed to be looking for.)
Most "must be true" questions are looking for an assumption (assuming you're talking about the arguments section and not the games section).  An assumption is just an unstated premise.  "Must be true" assumptions are assumptions that, if they are untrue, make it so that the premises given don't work together to reach the conclusion.  So, pretend te nswer choices aren't true and see if the argument still works.  f it does, eliminate the answer choice.  If you mean "must be true" for the logical games section, first look at any previous work.  Then, instead of plugging in the answers and seeing which one is true in every case, set up scenarios where the answer choice is false/not the case.  If you find even one instance of it being false and the "puzzle" still works, then you can eliminate it.

The answers to "inferred" question stems can always be grounded in the text.  They aren't asking you to make anything up.  You should be able to say something like "because X (some line from the text), it must be that Y (some answer choice.)"

Main point questions can be a pain.  The most common mistakes are choosing answers that don't include enough about the passage.  Be careful of answers that address some aspect of the passage but not the whole thing.  You should be able to narrow it down to 1 or 2 choices, see what is different about them, and see how that difference makes one of them wrong.

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: A if, but only if, B
« on: May 26, 2009, 07:07:24 PM »

here are my thoughts ... in 'a if, and only if, b' makes sense because it's both 'a if b ... if b then a' and 'a only if b ... if a then b' ... can someone break 'a if, but only if, b' down for me like that? Thanks!

Think of "but" as just giving the contrapositive of "and". "if not b then not a"

36
consider yourself lucky, eddie. This will give you more time to do research about how there are far fewer jobs that applicants for them and how there is far less work for all the solos than there are solos.

Don't do it. Just don't do it.

Your logic does not make sense. There are always fewer jobs than there are applicants for them, which is why there will always be a positive unemployment rate. If we followed your logic, then nobody should complete any level of education.


well, seeing as how I am a practicing lawyer and you are a law school applicant, guess which one of us is more knowledgeable about the facts on the ground?



And being unable to fit known facts into simple elementary logic, I'd be worried about your ability to fit them to the law.  If this level of thought is the competition out there, the OP has little to worry about.

37
"thank you...aye am glad you get the underlying logic...at least aye think you do."

The lack thereof is certainly clear.

"this non sequitor is to illustrate a point about morally questionable decisions...and intentional...try to use imagery...k.s.m. was tortured...morally questionable...but lives were saved.  he was not just anybody...this is k.s.m. we are talking about...so what if they tortured him?  was he tortured or coerced...does it really matter if lives were saved?  what is the precedent for coercing someone like k.s.m? bombs were dropped on japan...morally questionable...but lives were saved...and we know how prosecution of that ended."

A) I'm not talking about moral standards, I'm talking about legal standards and whether our government is going to be bound by the rule of law.  B) Never mind it being morally "questionable" even if it is morally right (which I don't accept) that does not mean it should not be prosecuted, nor does it mean that it should not be illegal.  I am perfectly willing to accept that some illegal actions may be morally right or even obligatory given certain situations, and yet remain illegal and punishable, as (for example) the wider ramifications of legalizing torture by statute or by simply not prosecuting it are unpalatable: we cease to be a nation bound by the principles that are the foundation of our constitution.  Speaking of bombs being dropped on Japan, what do you call a weapon specifically designed to kill large numbers of civilians? (I'll give you a hint, by definition it's a T...... weapon)


"if k.s.m. was tortured or tickled... congress knew about it...nobody wants to dwell or dig up the past...and if digging up the past that k.s.m. was tortured and congress was briefed...then they are all responsible..."

Yep.  And should all suffer the consequences.

"now, if we found out info which saved lives...then getting the info out of k.s.m. however they got it is fine with me...because if they saved lives...the ends justify the means...we don't need anymore airplanes crashing into buildings...or did you forget..."

No, I haven't forgotten.  I also haven't forgotten the Khmer Rouge or any number of other images of government that ceases to be bound by its own laws.

"...sorry if my cynicism is too tough for you to handle..."

In my mind, you aren't cynical enough.  Rather, a bit wide-eyed and innocent in trusting ends-justify the means arguments when we're talking about the concentrated power of government and betrayal of its own laws.

"face it...obama won and we have some tough times ahead of us...so sorry if aye don't feel that our gov. should waste dollars on a backward...sore sported witch hunt...spending money on investigations and prosecutions is a waste of time and money..."

I'll refrain from bringing up the investigations about stains on a blue dress and comparing the severity of the two issues... oops, guess I didn't.  Guess we just have two very different ideas about what constitutes a waste of time and money.  I personally don't see holding our own officials to our own laws in fundamental areas like war crimes as such a waste, and in fact think that it's the very root of our democracy remaining just that.




"and obama has a huge agenda...we elected him to get things done in the present...now lets move forward...

here is one for you...is waterboarding torture?  that was still under debate up until about two years ago...

this is media driven tripe because the election season is over...smokescreen..."

Actually, it wasn't "still under debate" up until about two years ago.  Wing-nuts made it a debate about two years ago.  Our own courts called it torture as far back as 1926 (look up U.S. v Lee 744 F.2d 1124, Fisher v State 110 So. 361) Even back then "the water cure" was "a specie of torture well known to the bench and bar of the country."  We've prosecuted other country's officers for using it and our own.  Maybe you just mis-spoke and meant to say "That wasn't under debate until about two years ago."  A simple typo perhaps.  No worries, I'm a clumsy typer as well.


"as a side note...what are your thoughts on the death penalty...for or against?"

Against.  As another side note, considering your argument is one based on its effectiveness, how effective can it be if ya need to do it 183 times?

38
So I am considering law school but I was convicted of a drug posession felony 10 years ago, I wasn't selling just simply in posession of a the wrong substance. I did no time for this but served one year probation. Since then I have had to deal with a series of doors being closed in my face because I made a stupid mistake at a party.

From what I understand and according to my state's board of bar examiners the felony conviction does not prohibit me from practicing law but it may prevent it.

When I apply this fall would it be detrimental to bring this to prospective schools attention in my personal statement? All of that is behind me and I have been concentrating on doing good works in the world. Second, if anyone has any firsthand experience about how the bar generally deals these issues it would be appreciated.


The length of time since the conviction is a good thing.  The conviction itself wasn't a breach of trust issue, which is in your favor (relatively speaking, of course)  You should definitely disclose it on any admissions app that asks, as not disclosing it could make the matter worse when the Bar reviews your moral character evaluation.  As far as addressing it in our personal statement, that's a judgment call.

People have done worse and gotten through.

39
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Logic games strategy
« on: May 12, 2009, 11:51:07 AM »
What is the best strategy for the logic games?  I am aware that practice makes perfect, but more specifically, is it more beneficial to examine each game/game types, or do sections as one would with RC and LR?  I've made copies of some of the games because sometimes I just stare off into space when I see a game in which I have no clue what is going on.  Thanks.


How you approach the LG section on the LSAT depends on what your target score is.  Alot of people shooting for something like 160 would do better if they just totally ignored one of the games, and spent the full 35 minutes maximizing their effort on the other three.  Especially those who are completing all four games ad only getting 50-60% right.  As for strategy w/in each game... best thing I can suggest is do the questions that give you specific new information first (they usually start with "if")  The work you do in answering those will often help answer the others.

40



k.s.m was not a gutshot...they knew they had the hand...and he is the reason that this thing will not get prosecuted...

...lives were saved.


and if they tortured k.s.m...so what.

This thing will not get prosecuted because no one in the positon to do anything has the stomach for the divisiveness of the issue.  Which is a shame.  Divisiveness be damned, confronting these kind of issues and holding our government and ourselves  to account for our actions determines whether we're a nation of laws or a nation of gawdknowswhat.

We've prosecuted others in the past for torture, and torture of this type specifically.  I don't care about k.s.m..  I care about whether our government tortured him.  When a government ceases to be guided by its own laws, we cease to have officials and have, instead, thugs running a fundamentally lawless organization.

if you don't care about k.s.m...then you have answered your own ponderings...if lives were saved...then whether we found out aout it or not is a side dish...

...this thing is not going to be prosecuted...

...aye don't care that k.s.m was tortured or tickled...that's a "woops" for me...

so what aye say...

havent' we dropped nuclear bombs on innocent people???


[/quote]

A brilliant series of non-sequiturs.  Well done.


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