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Messages - Thane Messinger
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« on: January 15, 2012, 03:29:45 AM »
And yet another book that's available for free, this one on getting a law job, of obvious importance now especially: http://www.amazon.com/Insiders-Guide-Getting-Firm-ebook/dp/B002RWJ72Q/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2
There is a new program on Amazon, where one can "borrow" a Kindle book, at no charge and with no time limit. When getting the next book, you "return" the prior one. (This is for "Prime" members, but, happy day, there's a special deal for students for Prime membership.)
There are two free books you might find useful:
« on: January 15, 2012, 03:24:05 AM »
I was admitted to all three law schools that I applied to, and I'm pretty sure where I will be going. I've started reading some of the 0L books (GTM, 1L of a Ride, etc..) and I'm freaking out a bit. I did fine in undergrad, but to be very honest, it wasn't outrageously difficult. (or even "very", if I am totally honest.) I know law school will be different. My worry is mainly getting on a study "system", one that will work for me and that will be effective. I am prepared to study a lot, but I'm worried that I won't know "how" to properly study in the beginning, and then I'll be trying not to sink by the end of the semester when exam time comes. I know this is probably premature, but can anyone tell me where I can find an idea of how to start my 1L year right? Most texts, posts, tell you to "outline", "take notes", "brief cases", but no one tells you exactly how to do it in the most effective way possible. Is there a prevalent method to 1L studying? a recommended method, or schedule of how much time to devote to each class and avoid time traps (excessive briefing that is unnecessary after covering the basic information that "is" necessary, etc..)?
Aloha, cvargas -
In the interest of kicking things up a bit, I disagree with much of the conventional wisdom. Now *is* the time to worry. Not "worry" in a useless, fretful way, but worry in a focused, careful, directed way. It is not the time to "relax"; such a word is not heard in halls of law. For reasons I spell out, this is a recipe for disaster (and not just because of preparation, which is often done poorly in any event).
It would be easy to recommend my own book, of course, but I would suggest a few others, including Hibbard's Law School Fast Track and Professor X's Law School Undercover. Hibbard focuses on achievable habits; X focuses on what profs are really thinking. Both are quite helpful.
Best of luck!
« on: December 28, 2011, 10:37:25 PM »
« on: December 25, 2011, 10:24:54 PM »
Oh that's great! Thanks for sharing this
You are most welcome,
« on: December 23, 2011, 11:24:44 AM »
I'm not a current law school student so I was wondering if anyone could help me by clarifying the difference between business law and transactional law? I know what transactional law is but is it the same as business law or related. What about corporate law? Also, would I say I want to specialize in transactional law or just become a transactional lawyer? Or am I just totally wrong altogether? Please help, thank you very much!
These terms are often used somewhat interchangably, and, in some ways, imprecisely. "Business law" is a broad category that includes numerous other areas of law (contracts, property, torts, etc.) relating to commerical enterprises, as well as to non-commercial endeavors such as employment law issues in non-profits. So, this is really quite broad. "Transactional law" is generally distinguished from litigation. But within practice there are dozens if not hundreds of sub-areas each.
Prior to (and, to a large degree, in) law school, it is not necessary to "specialize." The first-year curriculum is universal, and to a large extent, even second- and third-year courses are irrelevant for most purposes, with the general distinction between transactional and litigation work (although even there there's no strict line between the two, and there's absolutely no limit on employers to have junior associates tackle any and all issues.
For now, don't worry. Focus on why you're interested in the law and on how to do well in your LSAT, applications, and then first year.
« on: October 12, 2011, 07:28:24 PM »
1: Cut Professor Pay
This comment is being sent to your faculty.
The real problem isn't so much that only Ivy graduates are hired (Top 5 mostly, and Top 2, really), but that most law faculty have precious little practice experience. Many things can be said about this (and have been said). As you mention, the pedagogical effect for the bulk of students (say, 99.5%) who will not be professors is, at best, mixed.
2: Cut The amount of professors by 75%
Deans don't often dirty themselves with the messy world of evidence and private-investigation ID gathering, but in this case they might make an exception.
4: Teach bar prep the last semester of law school.
Did you take this from a certain book? = : )
« on: October 12, 2011, 06:48:16 PM »
An interesting article, as always. The challenge comes in separating the general from the personal. There is, too, the self-interest among the law school professoriate to see the world rather differently than do their students. Not wrong, but different.
For all, there are numerous posts and sites on law jobs and on student loan burdens, and both sides of the pragmatic equation should be considered with genuine seriousness--even if one is "destined" to the law. What no one should do is to fall into law school.
For those who are inclined toward military service, consider serving (whether or not as a JAG officer). The educational benefits are tremendous, and the vocational, leadership, and personal boosts will be as well. Search in the respective services' recruitment sites for specialty areas; if you take and pass the various tests and receive a set "job," that can make a tour very productive indeed. Best of all, you can work your way into a law or other professional or graduate degree and, likely, graduate debt-free.
« on: October 01, 2011, 04:08:23 AM »
Agree with yourself to work twice as hard and confer as often as you can get away with and network like crazy and live on peanuts for a year or three, and . . . maybe.
I think you're 100% on the mark, Thane. However, the "work twice as hard" part? Twice as hard as whom? Probably not twice as hard as new biglaw associates.
Some excellent points, Falcon, as usual. To add to those and address the above point, for exactly the reasons you state, the solo should work twice as hard on each case
as does the opponent. Since most solos will have precious few cases, initially, part of the key is to mimic the sort of network and weight behind more experienced and more supported opponents.
You're quite right as to the business side, but for many this becomes a professional deadweight. Once you figure you can "get away" with mediocre performance, and perhpas even get paid, why bother? The problem is that much of law practice is cumulative: good results, over time, lead to better results. Once one has a poor reputation, conversely, the repeat business starts to drop away. Or, more correctly, the hapless attorney looks around and wonders where the clients are. Chances are, the clients were there . . . but not anymore. So rather than seeing "sudden" success, the poor practitioner seems to stumble and scrounge. At best, they're one or two or a handful of clients away from that. This is the life of many solos.
Also, the initial challenges are often not between a wet-behind-the-ears newbie and a biglaw superstar. Chances are, the opponent will be a modestly experienced attorney from a smallish firm, or perhaps solo, or perhaps an overworked one from the DA's office.
To the point of early mistakes, even curt judges will usually cut junior solo some slack. Or, to a lesser degree, junior biglaw. As long as the clients are not obviously in peril (usually), one's courtroom appearance, while embarrassing, is pretty much like first year. The challenge is, first, not to be insufficiently prepared so as to completely flub the law, and, second, to actually learn from one's mistakes. Both are part of the "work twice as hard" part.
"Insufficiently prepared," by the way, means anything less than a mastery of the facts and relevant law. Just like first year. Only this time, it counts.
Go get em.
= : )
« on: September 29, 2011, 09:44:02 PM »
Bottom line is that you can start a solo practice straight out of school, but the conditions have to be near-perfect and you have to be a special person. If I lived in an urban area that was saturated with lawyers, it would have never worked. If I didn't have the personal connections with mentor attorneys, I would have never made it. If I wasn't involved in politics, it would have never worked. If I didn't have a large family feeding me clients, I would not have survived. Finally, if I didn't have some ready made talent, I would have sunk. So, be cautious.
Thank you, Strictly. If Robert's Rules are in order, I'll second the motion.
To be honest, I'm coming around on this a bit, in part because the job market is so dismal for new graduates. But to re-emphasize the above points, it's hard to overstate just how blank a slate the new solo will have. Agree with yourself to work twice as hard and confer as often as you can get away with and network like crazy and live on peanuts for a year or three, and . . . maybe.
Paradoxically, this can be just as valuable for new associates to read, as it's common to hear complaints from those quarters as to just how underappreciated, etc., etc., they are.
Again, excellent post.
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