Law School Discussion

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Messages - chi2009

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21
Don't get discouraged, it is very unpleasant but not the end of the world. Law school exams results are part luck, part knowledge and part just skill and what you know for exams. Exams did not have much to do with the textbooks I used, and I was really pissed off about it. I used certain techniques that helped me to get into upper half of the class. I can give you info of the tutor who helped me with this.

I don't entirely agree.  If you only read the casebook and take class notes, then you may find things on the exam you're not prepared for.  But if you outline, do practice exams, problems, read supplementary material, etc., then you'll have the knowledge and luck won't have much to do with it.  And the purpose of practice exams is to build your testing skills.  You obviously have an uphill battle, but it's not impossible.  But reading and going to class won't be enough.  You're really going to have to do all the extra stuff to give yourself an edge over the people who are already in the upper 50%.

22
General Board / Re: When to quit my job for a clerkship
« on: June 07, 2010, 10:36:54 AM »
Thane Ė

As usual, thank you for the advice.  That was kind of my instinct and what I was hoping for, and one of my profs recently told me something very similar.  I was just afraid of taking that too much on faith and then finding out I was completely wrong.  Luckily, I am very interested in tax or finance law, and I'm curious to learn more about administrative law.  I donít think I need to find something immediately, so I donít have to just take the first thing that comes along.  In the meantime, I think there are ways I can leverage my current position and resources, and I have already begun cultivating relationships through school that will help me in the job market.  Hopefully that will give me a leg up when itís time to make the transition.


23
General Board / Re: When to quit my job for a clerkship
« on: June 07, 2010, 10:26:27 AM »
cvtheis -

I understand where youíre coming from, and all of the concerns you mentioned are precisely why I started law school at the age of 31 instead of 22.  I always wanted to go to law school, but didnít want to incur the debt, especially since I already had undergraduate debt.  So I got a masterís degree (which wasnít worth the money either) and entered the job force.  Yes, I make a comfortable living, but nothing incredibly outstanding.  The idea of incurring much more student loan debt literally keeps me up at night, which is why I am going part-time Ė so I can continue earning an income and only take out minimal loans.  I also have a partial scholarship.  Bottom line, I realized that if I didnít go, I would always regret it, and Iím at the age where I better just do it or forget about it.  I know whatís happened in the job market the past couple years, and I have no illusions about what itís like now.  At the same time, several people who graduated from my school this year do have jobs.  Not the ones in the middle of the class or those who werenít extremely proactive.  I donít think itís easy, but I donít think itís impossible either.  I have good grades and Iím doing everything I can to keep all doors open and maximize my options.  Iíve also connected with some excellent people in the profession who are giving me good advice.  Iím looking into both the public sector to take advantage of the loan forgiveness program and the private sector, and Iím crunching the numbers to see which will be the best road to take.  I know itís all a gamble and Iím praying it pays off.  Itís just something that, after several years of serious research and contemplation, I decided I really wanted to do.

24
General Board / Re: to transfer or not to transfer
« on: June 06, 2010, 05:18:05 PM »
Is there a difference in the price tag?
[/quote]

Kent is about $100/credit hour more.  I'm waiting to find out if they'll give me any scholarships.  I have a partial scholarship to JM and I thought I'd try to get more from them based on what Kent says.  Any idea if Kent would be better even if I have to pay more?  I also need to find out what will happen to my class rank if/when I transfer.  I know I can still do law review, but I think it would be better to graduate at the top of my class from JM than lower in my class at Kent (though who's to say I wouldn't be at the top of my class at Kent by the time I graduate anyway).

25
General Board / Re: When to quit my job for a clerkship
« on: June 06, 2010, 06:17:20 AM »
Even though my current job is not law-related, I would think (or hope) that employers would realize that the process of going to law school while also working full time requires superb time management and organization skills.

Sorry I missed your earlier question - I'm most interested in finance or tax law.  I've done some networking in this area, and my tax prof has offered to give me a research assistantship on an article he's working on.  I know there are some internships with the IRS in town and I've just started looking into those.  I've looked generally at various firm positions, but the compensation for most of them is horrifying.  Alternatively, I could take something similar as an externship and get credit for it instead.

I currently work about 40 hrs/week, with 25 - 30 of those at an office job and 10-15 as an independent contractor.  I have much more flexibility with the latter.  I'm by no means wealthy, but I make a comfortable living with minimal student loans.  The good thing about my office job is that I fulfill a variety of functions, which has broadened my skill set.  It's a fairly small office, and I started out doing mostly PR/marketing and office management.  But because of a series of unforeseen events, including the sudden death of a coworker, I've taken over all the accounting/bookkeeping and the regulatory compliance stuff we have to do for state licensures.  And the company is highly flexible with my schedule.  My grades are fine (top 10%), but not sure how much that will actually matter in this situation.


26
General Board / Re: to transfer or not to transfer
« on: June 06, 2010, 06:02:15 AM »
John Marshall to Kent.  I'm in the top 10% of my class, but it's still JM.

27
General Board / to transfer or not to transfer
« on: June 05, 2010, 12:17:14 PM »
I've been accepted to transfer to a school that's ranked a little higher than the one I'm currently at, and it seems to be more highly regarded in the area.  It was also my #1 school when I originally applied, but got waitlisted last year.  I'm think I'm ultimately going to go wherever gives me the most $.  But here's my dilemma: at my current school, I'm on the exec. board of the  SBA.  I realize that in itself doesn't do much, but the networking opportunities are amazing.  I get free tickets to all kinds of events, and I've already met many judges, the state Atty Gen, and a candidate for Lt Gov, who immediately invited me out for lunch and looks to be a stellar mentor (and reference).  So I'm starting to think that my position may, in fact, open doors to me that I would not have if I transfer.  Is this alone worth staying where I'm at?  Or should I just stick with my plan of going where the $ is?

28
General Board / Re: When to quit my job for a clerkship
« on: June 05, 2010, 12:10:04 PM »
Even though my current job is not law-related, I would think (or hope) that employers would realize that the process of going to law school while also working full time requires superb time management and organization skills.

29
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Outlines
« on: June 03, 2010, 10:20:52 PM »
That means doing the reading before class every single time, showing up to class and NEVER screwing around on the internet in class, which is just retarded and I can't understand how people do that.

So true about the internet.  After a while, you'll think you really can surf the net and pay attention at the same time.  Trust me, you can't.  I thought I could, only to realize later that I couldn't remember anything that was discussed.  Thank god the prof didn't call on me.  Don't even allow yourself to get tempted.

Another thing I love are the Sum & Substance podcasts.  I listen to them constantly  - during commutes, the gym, whatever.  Before you know it, you'll start having dreams about the law.  Fun stuff.

30
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Outlines
« on: June 03, 2010, 10:46:08 AM »
Well, as my study group constantly reminds me, my brain sometimes works in odd ways  :)  I have a certain style that works for me, and I am in the top 10% of my class.  That being said, I agree that there are common elements that are required to succeed.  Consistent, sustained hard work is the biggest one.  The most common mistake Iíve seen people make is thinking that theyíll succeed by their intelligence alone.  Just being smart is not enough; everyone in law school is smart.  You have to put in the work.  What you did in college won't cut it in law school.  I went to graduate school, and even there the standards don't come close to what they are in law school.   

Also, I know itís become clichť, but law school really is a marathon.  Some of the people in my class who did well in their first semester thought they could relax in their second semester and still do well.  Many of them are very disappointed right now as grades are coming out.  Bottom line, there's no cutting corners.  And as you'll find out in your legal writing classes, sloppiness is death.  I find that itís essential to stay on top of the reading - and actually think about the rules and how they work, start outlining at the beginning of the semester, and, at least in your first year, do as many practice exams as you can.  That's my two cents, anyway.

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