Law School Discussion

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Messages - CJScalia

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: Go or re-apply
« on: April 26, 2010, 03:20:40 PM »
That's true, my advice is more in the lines of don't go to law school if your only intention is to become a professor, I guess. Sort of like, don't go to a law school if you're only going there to transfer out. Chances are slim.

That being said, I've also had professors who graduated lower ranked schools, so I guess it's all about working for it. At least one of my professors graduated Rutgers Newark, and if you can survive 3 years in Newark, you're pretty damn hardcore in my book.

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If the flame war does not stop immediately, this thread will be locked. Personal attacks cross the line.

Yo momma so short you can see her feet on her drivers license!

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General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: cooley in the fall
« on: April 26, 2010, 03:17:38 PM »
Well the implication was that there was some sort of "smack talk" -- but I agree with your revised approach. However, I do disagree with you in regards to firms not considering anyone from 150 schools because of their ranking/prestige. Take Texas Wesleyan, in Ft. Worth, Texas, it is a 4th tier school.  You are telling me that if I were to graduate -- lets say 4th overall in my class -- that Jones Day, Thompson & Knight,  Baker Botts, Vinson & Elkins, Fulbright & Jaworski, and Hughes & Luce wouldn't consider me at all?  I have a very hard time agreeing with that.

To be a bit philosophical today; Reality does not care whether you agree with it or not.

And most of those firms are TTTs anyway ;)

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Additionally, my final term at Cooley, I was able to receive academic credit for a full-time and unpaid externship with a firm in my home state.  I never even had to interview for a job because the firm was able to see how sharped my skill set was and how ready I was "out of the box" that they didn't give a damn where I went to law school.  I think it is something that Cooley does mainly because the majority of the students that graduate don't practice in Michigan.  Everyone attorney that I have explained the process to, including my uncle who is a partner at a "BigLaw firm", has claimed that all school should adopt a externship/clinical program like Cooley's.

Funny how none of the "BigLaw firms" actually give a rats ass about that when recruiting people then.

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The great thing is that when you are offering 40/hrs a week of unpaid slave-labor -- you can get your foot into just about any door you can imagine, and for myself, and my close friends that went to Cooley, that is all we needed to get jobs.

No, you really can't. Try getting your foot inside the door at Cravath, SullCrom or the USAO?

Mind you, it's not my argument that the current hiring model (AKA the Cravath model) is a good one, nor a fair one. I simply report what reality is, flawed as it may be.

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apparently how to pass them.  ::)

What the @#!* would someone who's 25 years out of law school know about law school exams?

Yeah, because nothing at all has changed in the last 25 years. Oh wait, what is this computer thing we're using now? Interesting machine, this is.

More importantly, everyone that isn't a dribbling retard can pass a law exam. In fact, if you manage to fail one, you should probably save all of us the trouble, and just kill yourself.

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General Board / Re: POLL - Better career earnings - MBA or JD ?
« on: April 26, 2010, 03:08:36 PM »
If you are JD working in non-law, Congrats, you are an exceptional person, and my advice, targeted at the average person does not apply to you.  But know that most people are average, not exceptional.  Don't misguide them.

This seems to be a rather peculiar statement to make, since the share of JD graduates ending up working outside of strictly legal positions is very high, compared to graduates of other professional schools.

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Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Another Criminal Record Question
« on: April 26, 2010, 03:02:05 PM »
@CJScalia:
The bar association lawyer's job is to give advice to his or her client. The potential conflict of interest here is quite clear & should be clear even to a non-lawyer such as yourself.

1) The members of the Committee on Character and Fitness do not have clients.
2) Their job is to advice people, including prospective bar applicants on their status.
3) Yes, they will answer this question
4) There is no conflict of interest here (read the f-ing RPC, nitwit)
5) I've been a lawyer since 1998
6) You're an idiot.

37
General Board / Re: policy question on exam
« on: April 26, 2010, 02:55:43 PM »
Common sense, coherently and rationally. There's no "IRAC" alternative for a policy question, if that is what you're looking for. What the professor is looking for when asking a policy question is your ability to communicate and be persuasive for your point of view. Don't try to copy what you believe (or even know) that the professor thinks about the issue, it's just going to piss him off. He didn't spend a semester to make you a copycat.

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General Board / Re: How do you think like a lawyer?
« on: April 26, 2010, 02:53:29 PM »
Thanks for giving your insight. Even though I am hesitant to believe people about whatever GPA they say they got(not saying you are lying, but i find it quite funny how nearly every 2L and 3L I talked to said they got 4.0 and told me so much useless stuff), I still think you are right on many points, especially, importance of trying to find as many issues as you could and casebook method being seriously flawed. I also think your exam approach (trying to find relevant case, and distinguish it from facts at hand) to be very good. But, isn't this only one way to approach law school exam (analogy reasoning, which could be a form of a legal analysis)? Sometimes, finding relevant cases isn't easy. Professors of course know this when they make exams, and deliberately try to create difficult fact pattern that doesn't relate to any cases we've learned. Any insights regarding this matter would be very much appreciated. (Thane, Please help!)

On the issue of grades, you're right, law students use that as a "mind game" of sorts against each other, I don't generally talk about grades with anyone at my law school simply because 1) I don't want them to know my GPA and 2) I wouldn't trust them on what they claimed to be their GPA. Everyone is looking for an advantage of sorts, however unrealistic that is. The only one I actually discussed grades with was at-the-time my girlfriend, so wasn't really any point hiding it. I know she told other people at law school her GPA was actually lower than it was in reality, because she didn't want to be a "target". Yes, law school can really be that immature.

As for exams, I'm guessing this is extremely school / professor dependent. I'd say less than half of my exams have been essay exams at all, short-question exams seems to be getting more and more popular. Even had a few multiple choice ones. As for the essay exams I've had, they have all been somewhat related to the cases we've used, typically the professor has taken some cases from our readings and modified them to add a few twists and turns to see how students deal with that. Again, I'm sure this can be very different from school to school, but I've never had an exam where I feel like the professor has deliberately tries to be deceptive or played "hide the ball" with us.

To Thane;

as for borrowing outlines, I guess the student should ask themselves how they best learn. Some people learn best for listening; get CD-based audio-files, some students learn best from writing; make your own outlines, some students learn best for reading (me); just copy it.

I'm not saying there isn't value to writing your own outline, it very clearly is. But to me it just wasn't worth it considering how much time it actually takes. I am a student after all, I do need to be drunk at least 3 days a week.

As for spending every hour and day productively; that's not realistic at all. I agree that just running through case after case isn't good allocation of your time though, and I'm sure you're not saying that a law student should study 24/7. My only point is that you shouldn't give up on having a life just because you're in law school. I do understand that you have a book to sell, and I don't have a beef with that though. Although I do consider anyone buying a book about "how law school is going to be" to be a complete idiot :p

I will concede however that I used the work legal analysis very narrowly. Yes, the I in IRAC is also a part of analysis. My point is; if you have the choice between identifying every issue, but doing poor analysis section or identifying just one issue, but analysing the hell out of that one; you'll get a better grade for option 1.

If you can do amazing at all parts of the IRAC, then by all means, that's of course the best solution.

Couldn't agree more with you on that whole look outside just the case part, I can't begin to describe how much I hate case law (I already have a law degree from a civil law country where the case method isn't used). It's just consuming so much time learning so little it's beyond ridiculous.

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Transferring / Re: Hopeful HYS Transfer
« on: April 26, 2010, 02:36:36 PM »
Contrary to popular belief, I'm fairly sure that Harvard does not consider UGPA/LSAT for transfer admissions.

Considering that Harvard is one of the few schools that say straight out that they do consider it, that seems like a peculiar position to take. Moreover, they also say they prefer transfer applications who were waitlisted during ordinary admission.

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General Board / Re: How do you think like a lawyer?
« on: April 23, 2010, 04:41:10 AM »
To Thane, a question...

I know I'm not Thane, but my experience is quite different than his so I want to add my perspective too. Not saying I'm right, he's wrong - people are different, that's all.

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So I understand what lawyers do is to try to establish each element of a claim, and since casebook (which is largely appellate decisions clarifying/explaining each element in detail) focuses on how each element should be applied under detailed circumstances, it alone wouldn't be effective in learning the BLL.

The case-book method of learning the law is horribly f-ing flawed. The only reason we're sticking with that method is because it allows professors to create a 1100 page book by 97.5% copy/pasting legal opinions, but still charge $175 for it.

There's a reason why the case-book method isn't used most over the world.

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1.Would you say using someone else's outline (instead of creating your own) could actually hurt you more than help you? I already have an outline for the class I'll take next semester. I plan to use the headings and title of cases as guidance as to what I need to read on E&E. Do you think this is ok?

I did not write a single outline myself, 1L or later. (My GPA is currently 3.9, was 3.65 after 1L). Get outlines, either online or from friends, and use them as guidelines for your studying. A few weeks before exams, print out your class notes, take the outline and write up a 5-10 page note sheet for your exam. Focus on getting the BLL and put down any buzzwords and major case names, since professors are often lazy slobs and just give +1 point for words mentioned (I wish I was making this *&^% up).

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2.This girl I got the outline from claims to have gotten an A. When I looked at her outline (about 40 pages) it was filled with case briefs and bunch of rules. (Promissory estoppel, ___ v. ____, rule) If what I understand is correct, these rules (40 pages of info) are mainly to clarify/explain the elements of each law. So if I added information about the BLL (general rule about other elements of each law, history, rationale etc) I assume that will be A LOT of information. Considering what I need to do on an exam is legal analysis (prove each claim/ argue against it), making such outline is essential right? (I will of course try to trim it down and make it as set of applicable rules containing elements to be proven)

Law exams involve very little legal analysis. 90% of the exam question is actually identifying the issues, 9% is remembering the correct rule, 1% is putting the facts given to you into the IRAC pattern. Your conclusion generally doesn't matter much, unless you're ending up on stuff totally batshit crazy.

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3.This may be a stupid question, but... does every law have its own elements? I figure primary purpose of most lawsuits is to recover and what lawyers do is proving each element of the law/doctrine. Could there be any doctrine/law that has no elements? or to put it more correctly, can a lawyer do something else in a courtroom other than proving elements? (please understand this question comes from a (legally) uneducated lay person  :()

I don't know what elements mean (and I only got 1 week left of law school!). Being a lawyer is about selling analogies and distinctions. You have an issue (i.e. negligent infliction of emotional distress), you have a set of facts, and you have black letter law. You look to case law to see what the black letter law is (or just Google it tbh), and then you match your facts to those in those cases. You draw analogies to the cases that are in your favor, you find the distinctions in the cases that don't support you.

Short example; case for NIED (as mentioned above), mother hears her daughter get hit by a car and killed in the drive-way, immediately after she left for school. Case law supports recovery for NIED when parent has seen that accident, but there is no case law supporting "other sensory observation". There is case law saying no recovery when parent heard the accident, but did not have any reason to know it was his daughter until he went into the street and saw the scene.

Neither cases are directly on point, you'll be trying to explain why case 1 is relevant because it had a sensory perception of the accident, and seeing something isn't inherently different than hearing it. You'll make sure to explain why case 2 is not relevant, because that parent had no idea their child was in the street in the first place, so the immediate knowledge of the victim isn't present. 

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4.What sources of CO would you suggest? What is good for laying out elements of each doctrine?

CO == Commercial Outlines? If so; get the "Crunchtime" series from Emmanuel. They are invaluable for exam preparation. As for just getting normal class outlines; www.outlinedepot.com


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