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Messages - Thane Messinger

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General Off-Topic Board / Re: What literature do you recommend?
« on: May 06, 2011, 01:58:48 PM »

Wow! Thank for the advice. That what my pops keeps telling me. It is nice to hear it from someone else. Yet reading the WallStreet Journal does not sound like a bad idea.

It's not a bad idea.  I also love the Economist.  I had to subscribe for a class way back when. 

Just saying that if you read it because you WANT to, that's awesome.  If you read it believing it will impact your future as an attorney, the amount of effort involved, versus the amount of benefit you derive, makes this a bad idea.

A slight modification of Falcon's take:  It will make you a better attorney, and, carefully used, it will make you a better law student.  Note the qualifier as to the latter:  this is one way most law students go wrong.  It's natural to think that "literature" (or grand thinking, etc.) will be rewarded.  The way most of us are taught to use it, no. 

The deeper point is that if you LIKE reading these, that is a very good sign . . . because it shows a mental fluidity and acuity and lots of other positive -ities.  More importantly, it shows that mental work is you.  Focused correctly, this is law, and focused even more, it is law school.

The opposite point is equally true:  if you try reading these for a month (every one, every day/week/month), and you're thinking "This is soooo boring!" . . . stop.  Ask what it is that bores you.  If it's learning, reading, thinking . . . stop again.

Chances are, however, that nearly everyone taking the LSAT will find it interesting, and will learn, and will improve--even if tangentially.

See?  We can too have fun.

= :  )

Studying for the LSAT / Re: I'm giving up on Law School....
« on: May 06, 2011, 01:45:50 PM »
My biggest regrets?  The ones where, after decades, I sit there and think, "WTF?  Why didn't I...?"  They're the ones where I wanted to do something and didn't try because I was afraid of failure.

*  *  *

Either decision is fine.   

It's what YOU can live with.  That's what you should be thinking about right now.

Everyone should read FJ's words, twice. 

Think very, very, very, very, very seriously about what you will look back on. 

Will you say "I am SO glad I did ...x." or "Why in the...did I do y?" or "Why the &^%$ didn't I do z?"

What do you REALLY want?  What do you really not want?  This is not about an interview, or even an acceptance.  It's about the real you.  (Hint:  Chances are your parents and grandparents and family and friends will be able to help.  They know you better than you sometimes.)  But what you're looking for is the real you behind the many yous you try to be.

Go forth and seek the inner truth!

= :   )

PS:  Even if Fritos does work out, think about doing something crazy.  Now is the time.  Join the Navy.  Join the Peace Corps.  Go teach English somewhere.  Start a business.  Live!

General Off-Topic Board / Re: What literature do you recommend?
« on: May 05, 2011, 10:08:29 PM »
What if I wanted to read more to increase my reading ability and vocabulary for the LSAT. Then what would you recommend? Any good novels?

Not novels (or not just novels), but periodicals.  And not just any periodicals.  The Atlantic Monthly, The Financial Times, The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal.  (Note that two of the five are English.)

If, by the way, you find those interesting, that's a very good sign.  = :  )

Current Law Students / Re: Worth Going to LS If...
« on: May 05, 2011, 10:04:02 PM »
Looking for some advice to see if it's worth the plunge. Any advice would be helpful.

*  *  *

In addition to the above advice, a question:  What do you love?

Studying for the LSAT / Re: I'm giving up on Law School....
« on: May 05, 2011, 10:01:03 PM »
Moreover.... I give up.... I don't want it badly enough anymore...... They say I'm too stupid..... Maybe I am? Maybe they are wrong? In the end we will never know for sure. Case and point as to why the LSAT cannot accruately predict law school success. People with low LSAT scores simply aren't given the opportunity to fail.  If getting into law school is this difficult, I can't imagine the struggle it must be to get a job. It just seems like the cards are stacked against you.

At this point I am going to begin to re-test the job market, in the hopes that I can land a position that leads to a successful and satisfying career. It's been an awful first year out of college that has featuerd rejection from both the workforce and academia. Perhaps the rejections have been blessing in disguise. Eventually if I live long enough someone is going to give me an opportunity, and when they do, I will not take it for granted...

*  *  *

We don't often know whether a decision is a good one or a bad one until much later.

One question, relating to finding a successful and satisfying career, is this:  What do you like?


General Off-Topic Board / Re: Best way to Stay up late studying?
« on: May 04, 2011, 01:27:34 PM »
Thank for the advice, I will have to order that book on amazon this weekend.

Amazon now closed on weekdays?

Nap first!

= :  )

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Best way to Stay up late studying?
« on: May 02, 2011, 11:21:47 PM »
What is the most effective way to stay up late and study? Simply caffeine?

As someone who's always been a night owl, try this:  Go to sleep.  Work intensively in the morning, parts of the afternoon, and early evening.  Then relax.

Don't cram.  It doesn't work, and it's an awful way to pretend to learn.  There's an excellent book that goes into detail on this.  It's short, and focuses on effective learning:  Law School Fast Track.


PS:  Yes, I know, many of us stay up late.  It's cool, it's fun.  I wrote books late at night.  (Early in the morning, really.)  But still, I have to support the author of Law School Fast Track on this.

Job Search / Re: getting into biglaw a year after graduating???
« on: May 01, 2011, 03:41:30 AM »
Biglaw isn't the place you "go to".  It's the place you "come from".  Although I have no legal experience, I do have a lot of corporate experience and there are some companies like this.  Some consulting firms, P&G, IBM, General Electric, etc.

This is generally right, but the market for laterals is, in its own way, a bright spot for the right candidate.  The essential trick is to be independently valuable.  Usually this is through a proven skill, such as x area of law.  Occasionally it can be specialized connections, but most often it is simply--well, not simply--an expertise.  If you can show that expertise to the right partners, you might just be in.  Paradoxically, the level of the hiring biglaw firm isn't all that important.  In fact, they're usually the ones on the hunt. 

As a lateral, you'll usually work with a recruiter.  If you've not yet had the experience to develop that area-specific expertise, such as just a single year, that should be the focus--but it's still possible to develop contacts with recruiters, and it's possible a position will open up and, if the stars are properly aligned, that could be that.

In terms of approach and interviews (and an excellent set of excerpts by a biglaw hiring partner), check out Insider's Guide to Getting a Big Firm Job.  Valuable for small law too, but especially important for the former.

Best of luck,


Studying for the LSAT / Re: How much studying should I be doing a day?
« on: April 25, 2011, 01:57:15 AM »
Anyway, I think at this point, I've got a dead horse too, and I'm flogging it for all I'm worth.  I'll just close by saying to the OP, 1 hour a day seems fine.  Take the danged LSAT and get into Law School, then work like a mutha to be first in your class.

Dear Horse -

Glad to see you're still breathing.  Where's that bat?

For the OP (and everyone else contemplating law school), how about this . . . reverse those.  Work hard on the LSAT.  Very hard.  Very, very hard.  Way more than an hour a day.  Give yourself options like you've never had before.  Give yourself not just options, but money . . . scholarship money that is reserved for those the schools want.  With a sufficiently high LSAT, at most schools, you'll be amazed at just how nice it is to be attractive.

Then, in law school, do NOT go crazy like everyone else.  Great grades do not follow mere "work."  This, in my view, is where so many law students go so wrong . . . and why so many are so unhappy.  Law school should be fun.  Really.  Done right, it is.  (And, psst, this is how the best students do it . . . and they're not always the hardest-working students.)

The relationship between effort and result is clearer with the LSAT.  And it too should be fun.  Really.  If not, go back to the initial questions.  Do you really want to do this?  Three years and a quarter of a million dollars?


Studying for the LSAT / Re: How much studying should I be doing a day?
« on: April 24, 2011, 03:26:49 AM »
See my point, here?  There are a lot of things where, sorry, but "good enough" is good enough.  I just brought up an excellent point of perhaps the nation's most successful trial lawyer and not only didn't he really give a crap about getting a maximum score on the BAR EXAM (and I love how the weasly rationalizaions started about that one... give it a rest.  If you have to give 100% to ANYTHING related to the law, you sure as hell would have to give 100% on passing the damned bar. 

Had to chuckle here. Once upon a time I knew someone who seemingly spent as much time calculating the lowest score he could get in each section of the bar exam to pass with the absolute minimum total score as he actually spent studying.  He did manage to pass on the fourth go.

If you're saying that if you don't study a gozillion hours, then you're a slacker who will never make anything of yourself in the law because a lawyer does everything he ever does at 100%, then all I gotta ask is, what year did you win the Heisman?

As to slackers, there's a book out (Slacker's Guide to Law School, by Juan Doria) that speaks to this as well.  I liked Doria's book as it was funny and at times poignant, but more to the point here, his epilogue makes plain just why this is important.  It's not that one cannot be successful (as that term is usually defined)--although the odds are increasingly against it--but rather that there are deeper questions.  Among them, chances are if one is to do well *and* to be happy, one should choose a vocation that at least somewhat comports with a true interest.  Lacking that, the odds of a successful career are diminished, and the odds of a happy one are all but vanquished.

If one begins to study an LSAT book and realizes it's dreadful, that's not a good long-term indicator for the "L" part.  If one is spending just an hour a day, one question is "why?"  Is it boring?  If so, back to part one.  Is there not enough time?  Is it still the eighth grade?  And so on.  If, however, one finds the patterns in the LSAT interesting--fascinating, even--well, one hour is just too short, yes?  So, quite apart from a smart investment, it's also a fair sign.

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