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Messages - Thane Messinger

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21
General Board / Re: What's the point?
« on: November 24, 2012, 04:47:29 AM »
law what help keep us out coliseum.


Given our fancy new stadiums (stadia?) dotting the cities, do you think they can install trap doors under the astroturf for the lions? 

22
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: To Prep or Not To Prep
« on: October 31, 2012, 01:56:58 AM »


6.  Briefs are mostly a waste of time, how they're usually done.   


Thane.

While I agree that case briefs can be a waste of time, I think it is useful to be able to summarize a case into bullet points, or a sentence or two.  Otherwise, how will you remember the case and refer to it on an exam.  Some of my professors did not care whether or not cases were referred to on an exam so long as black letter law was applied.  However, some professors required thoughtful examination of cases and direct fact-to-fact comparisons on exams to get above a B.  So, I don't know of any way to summarize the relevant facts and holdings of cases than to brief them.  Albeit, my case briefs were always very short.


Quite right.  This depends, of course, on the subject.  Civ Pro or Constitutional Law will involve cases more extensively than other subjects, and of course some professors want more cases while others want a case name + an analysis that shows you know why that case name should be there.

One key is to think of case "briefs" in the same way that attorneys do.  These are not 1-2 page monstrosities that law students are told to do, but are *very* short statements of the legal rule of the case.  Wentworth Miller, of LEEWS, has written about the "2-4 line case brief," which he graciously allowed me to include in Law School: Getting In.... 

Actually I think it *is* good at the beginning of first year to spend 1-2 hours on a case brief . . . to understand how pointless it is.  From there, move to a statement of the legal rule, asking "why is this case here?"  If you can answer that, you'll understand why it's important and be able to use that to practice your exams (which you should do much, much more extensively than briefing).

Thane.

23

There are the usual suspects, of course--Oxbridge, Paris, Tokyo--usually because the competition is so fierce (with Tokyo and other Asian schools making Yale look a bit tepid by comparison).  The Gourman Report is (or was) the reference for international comparisons--loose as those necessarily are--for those blue-bloods out there.  I've no idea if there's a link, as they are (were) an old-fogey reference, long since overtaken by US News. 

More to the point, anyone attending any Top 5 law school in the U.S. or any Top 2 law school anywhere else can get a cappuccino with surprising efficacy.

Thane.

I went to the University of Southern California Gould School of Law and I can make tons of money.  That was ranked 17 back then.  I am thinking about going back to law school to finish, although I have my doubts that I'll return to USC.


You might check out a reference as to finishing at a different school:  Art of the Law School Transfer.

The process is quite detailed and filled with its own dramas.  It is also quite deadline-focused.

Thane.

24
General Board / Re: What's the point?
« on: October 21, 2012, 12:43:57 AM »
Yes, a legal education will help in these ways, but so too will training in mathematics.  One question not always asked is whether one actually wants to do what law school is the prerequisite for: law practice.  I strongly suggest the work of Morten Lund in this area.  He's written three books on the realities of law practice.  They're short, and a (very) real-world look at what law school leads to.  I know everyone nags about reading this or that, but Lund's books really are important to see.  If you read those and still agree, you're in much better position to carry on.  If not, it's a cheap lesson.

Thane.

If I go back to law school, then I am going to be geared towards starting my own private practice.  Law firm, shmall firm.  Big law, shmig law.  I think it's about private practice. 


If you do go the solo route, reading Lund's (and other) work will be three times as important.  This is because associates and ADAs and PDs will get an intense training via their residencies/hazings that most other graduates simply do not get.  There's not a judge out there who will give a new graduate the same treatment as an experienced practitioner.  (And the same, to a large degree, between solos and biglaw attorneys.)   

This is one reason non-big-firm associates are so often dismissed within the rarified world of the bar.  If you can, take clinics in law school (and take them seriously), take appointments once admitted, work or volunteer for the PD, or some such, volunteer elsewhere (good for contacts), and more.  The experience will make a difference.

Thane.

25
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: To Prep or Not To Prep
« on: October 21, 2012, 12:35:51 AM »
As for basic class prep, just read your cases.  I always did briefs, but they where very short by my third year, maybe a few sentences, mostly bullet points.  Don't be afraid to interact in class.  The most important thing is that you must condense the universe of information down regularly.  I never took copious notes in class.  My goal was to continually reduce my briefs and notes into an outline on a weekly basis, so by exam week, all I had to do is focus on practice exams and memorizing an attack outline.  Less is more.


A few thoughts, in reverse order:

1.  Outlines are crucial, and should follow a constant condensation of secondary sources, cases, and class interactions (in that order).

2.  Outlines *must* be personal.  You cannot prepare for a law exam in first year by using someone else's outline.  (Second and third year, yes, because the task is different then.)

3.  Do not take copious notes in class.  They're a waste of time and a distraction. 

4.  You should already know what the professor will say, before it is said. 

5.  Don't be afraid to interact in class, but don't get anxious (or too anxious) about it.  Classroom performance does not matter.

6.  Briefs are mostly a waste of time, how they're usually done.   


Thane.


26
General Board / Re: What's the point?
« on: October 17, 2012, 03:43:31 AM »
What's the point of all this law stuff?  I mean, is it really about becoming a servant of the court or is it more about getting better at reading and writing for other things?  For example, I use the skills I have developed by going to law school for other things, like gaming.  By going to law school I have improved my reading and writing abilities, and I have improved my critical thinking and logical reasoning abilities.  And that comes in handy on www.gsn.com.


Yes, a legal education will help in these ways, but so too will training in mathematics.  One question not always asked is whether one actually wants to do what law school is the prerequisite for: law practice.  I strongly suggest the work of Morten Lund in this area.  He's written three books on the realities of law practice.  They're short, and a (very) real-world look at what law school leads to.  I know everyone nags about reading this or that, but Lund's books really are important to see.  If you read those and still agree, you're in much better position to carry on.  If not, it's a cheap lesson.

Thane.

27
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Best tips?
« on: October 04, 2012, 05:57:30 AM »
Hello!

I'm Sophie, I'm a law student in Assas (Paris), and I didn't do very well this year.. a lot of pressure, and couldn't keep up health wise... Anyways, I'm waiting for my 2nd semester results, and in case I have to repeat my 1st year, i wanted to know if you had any good advice to start fresh?

Thanks :)


Sophie -

The best advice for day-to-day tips is in Derrick Hibbard's Law School Fast Track.  He was raising a young family (three children, I believe) *and* attending law school, and so he had no choice but to be organized.  His book focuses on building good habits, and is excellent.  (He adopted this for college students in College Fast Track, so for those not yet in law school you can get double duty with the college version.) 

Hope this helps,

Thane.

28
Where's the best law school in the world?  The first time I attended a law school I went to the University of Southern California.  I dropped out and now I want to go back somewhere.  So, where is the best law school?  Here, in the states, Harvard, Stanford, and Yale are kings; but what about elsewhere around the world.  For example, if I want to focus on international practice, should I stay in the states or go to law school overseas?  Is there a law school in Europe that is more prestigious than Harvard, Stanford, or Yale?


There are the usual suspects, of course--Oxbridge, Paris, Tokyo--usually because the competition is so fierce (with Tokyo and other Asian schools making Yale look a bit tepid by comparison).  The Gourman Report is (or was) the reference for international comparisons--loose as those necessarily are--for those blue-bloods out there.  I've no idea if there's a link, as they are (were) an old-fogey reference, long since overtaken by US News. 

More to the point, anyone attending any Top 5 law school in the U.S. or any Top 2 law school anywhere else can get a cappuccino with surprising efficacy.

Thane.

29
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Greece takes on the LSAT
« on: September 22, 2012, 02:14:13 AM »
Thank you for you encouraging words, that is exactly how I regard this entire LSAT process and how I act, seriously and above all I believe that dedication is the key. I have seen great improvement after the first 15+ hours of studying and I will agree with you the most important part is to take your time and look back, make sure you understand each and every question, why they are not correct and why the correct one is not wrong. However, I have two exams on the 26th and 28th of September and I am confused as I will have to skip studying for the LSAT for 6 whole days - that leaves me exactly 2 months for the December LSAT.

The truth is that I have not considered the MBA. I will definitely look into it at some point. If I may ask, I have the two bibles for the Logic Games and the Logical Reasoning, what should I look for concerning the Reading Comprehension?


You're most welcome.  I wouldn't be worried about a temporary break.  In fact, it might be helpful in terms of allowing your mind time to regroup.  What's important is not time, per se; what's important is focus.  So disengage, without guilt, for that period; take and ace your tests; and re-engage when you can.  (And don't try to do both.  Multi-tasking is bad.  Do one thing at a time and do it well.)

As to the theologically jurisprudential references, the true answer is "either and all"--the specific reference is less important than the actual focus.  If a specific reference suits you better, great.  But even there it's probably better to use the other resource(s) as a counterbalance and a way to make sure your mind is truly focusing on the substance rather than the particular style.  The actual LSAC structure is not identical.

Go get 'em.  = :   )

Thane.

30
General Board / Re: Two Questions - What is realistic?
« on: September 22, 2012, 02:06:23 AM »
1.   LSAT: 149   GPA: 3.17   Is Law School realistic?

2,   If I choose to obtain a Paralegal Certificate from an ABA school - what are my odds of obtaining meaningful employment?


Also agreed.  A law professor has written a book that includes some behind-the-scenes input in terms of how admissions committees actually make their decisions.  Your GPA is set and a stronger LSAT *will* be important for most law schools, but the analysis doesn't end there.  Depending upon your personal cirsumstances, "never say never" seems appropriate here too.  The book is Law School Undercover.

There's a more important question, perhaps:  what would you look back on in 20 years and say either "I'm sure glad I did this!" or, conversely, "Why oh why didn't I . . . ?"  You want to be on the right side of that answer.  There's another book, Slacker's Guide to Law School, that has an excellent section on "Should I go?"  (I might also suggest, ahem, mine, but I do like Slacker's Guide for this reason.)

Being an attorney or a paralegal, while seemingly similar, are truly different worlds . . . depending upon the answer--your answer--to the above question. 

Best of luck,

Thane.

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