Law School Discussion

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Messages - Cher1300

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101
While I'm no expert but upon reading ps, I find myself wanting to know more about why you want to go to law school.  The paragraph about overcoming disability and fighting for our country is great and demonstrates the tenacity and determination needed for law school.   That being said, try to avoid writing anything the admissions committe will already see in your transcripts or resume like your minor or your electives.  They'll see that and are probably more interested in hearing more about what is motivating you to become a lawyer.  You mention being african american and a low percentage of minorities in law school.  Try expanding on that a bit more in the first paragraph.   Do you want to become a lawyer to help african american business owners, or vets, or help the disabled?  You have an interesting history to draw from and only a few pages to really tell your story so I would recommend less about your academic acheivements since they are already visible and more about your goals as a lawyer.   Hope that helps! 

102
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Civil disobedience and the age of consent
« on: November 22, 2011, 01:13:14 PM »
Well it's pretty obvious Beppo is making a justification for pedophelia.  The "don't be silly" argument for their predatory nature and me being "hysterical" because I'm a woman is a pretty clear indication.  As Chuck said, there is no merit to the argument.

That being said, I do think everyone agrees that underage sex between teenagers is different than pedophelia and does not justify a felony conviction.  However, I don't think the OP was talking about that.   I should have known better than to give him a reply at all.   

103
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Civil disobedience and the age of consent
« on: November 11, 2011, 02:35:36 PM »
I think the problem there is that there is a difference betwee underage sex and pedophila.  Sex between a 15 and 18 year old is different than underage sex between a 40 - 50 year old and a 15 year old.   So you really need to ask yourself what you mean by "no harm done."  Does that mean no harm in the eyes of the victim because they didn't fight it?   Does it mean a 14 year old can consent to sex because they can be convicted as an adult for murder?   
Here's the reality:  If you are a 40 - 50 year old man and think a 14 year old boy or girl really wants to sleep with you, then you are probably a pedophile trying to rationalize your actions.  Although this may not be true for everyone, I have to say the when I was a teenager I never looked at guys over 25 as a potential love interest.  For most teeangers, that is probably gross. 
So ask yourself, is the person trying to gain trust of the underaged person just to hurt them later on? There is a predatory nature to pedophelia:  you have to gain a child's trust, rationalize hurting them in addition to threatening them from telling anyone.   If a person approaches a child under the guise that they are "helping them," but later on threatens them for telling about what happened, then they are wrong and know they are wrong.  Consent doesn't include threats and most teenagers - even if they want to have sex - don't want to have it with old people.   And, of course, younger children probably don't even know what it is.   

104
General Board / Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« on: October 17, 2011, 02:43:37 PM »
1.  Reading the cases just reinforces the doctrine for me.  Maybe I learn differently, but it is where the law comes from and I like to know the "why" of it.  Why did a judge or jury decide this way on this case, but another court decided differently on another case, etc.   The decisions reinforce the black letter law and, for me, makes it easier to apply when given a scenario.  I remember the cases, which is required for our torts class on an exam.  She wants us to analyze and compare a case we read to the scenario given in some detail.  If you don't have to do that, then you probably could spend your time doing other things.  Again, a student should be prepared for what is expected by the professor and I'm sure you agree with that.

 2.  You are probably correct that one will get extra points for things not mentioned in class.  One of my professors says we don't have to use policy arguments in our answers, but based on many 2L's experience at my school, it will get you additional points.   So definitely add it if you have the time.   

Again, I really won't know how I'm doing til I get my grades.  But for now, I really don't mind putting the time in.  It's not overbearing or killing me or depriving me of a social life.  It's all good right now.


First:  What benefit do you get from reading the cases? (I'm not implying there isn't any)

Second: Yes, in most cases you absolutely will get extra points for mentioning things not covered in class.  Professors pretend that their test grading is so accurate and particular.  They claim that they will only give points for things covered in class.  However, I got plenty of points for public policy and logical arguments that weren't covered in class.  I brought my professional experience into finals all the time and got a lot of points.  Professors also warned against using commercial supplements because they would include information that wasn't covered in class.  I relied on these all the time and got points because the law was correct.  Law school grading is about organization, black letter laws, exceptions, good logic and application, and then interesting points that the teacher likes.  I took a risk one time and went off on how the fact pattern in a final would never happen, and it wouldn't be in the business' best interest to sue.  I said if they did sue, the issues and likely outcome would be _____, but the first question is whether a law suit was even a good idea.   I got the book award in that class even though the teacher had professed that he would not give points for anything that wasn't covered in class.

Finally, I don't think anyone is saying you shouldn't read the cases. However, don't think that it's the most effective method just because that's what you are "supposed" to do.  For every minute you spend reading the book you could be doing something else.

105
General Board / Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« on: October 10, 2011, 12:04:42 PM »
Falconjimmy, I hear you on the "old" person enthusiasm.  I think you are correct that it goes beyond briefing to just not putting the work in.  Most of the people not doing the work tend to be the younger students just out of undergrad.  Not all - but many.  Although it does take a chunk of time to read the cases, it's really not that bad.  As time goes on it takes less and less time to get through them.   At least read the cases if you don't want to brief them or don't feel like you need to.
I spoke to a 2L last week who did really well last year and he credits a big part of it having to do with not being young and not feeling like he needed a social life.  One guy complained that reading the cases is confusing and it's stupid to make law students brief cases because he's going to be a rainmaker.  LOL  And he was dead serious. 
As justanothersucker says, you won't get additional points for citing elements of the restatements.   The practice exams we've been given so far are scenarios similar to that of the cases.  As time goes on and we read more cases, it will be essential to at least have notes if not briefs. 
For most of us, however, we are putting the time in and I'm hoping it will pay off if we can keep it up.  Good luck!

106
General Board / Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« on: October 09, 2011, 12:30:24 PM »
I do agree with duncanjp.  What I'm finding so far, is some of the ones looking for shortcuts are wasting a lot of time trying to figure out the short cuts.  There is a difference between being disciplined and reading and taking shortcuts to "how can I get through law school and do the least amuont of work possible."  It really hasn't been long enough for us 1Ls to be too condfident, yet I hear some students brag about how they only skimmed the case and got it, etc.   The fact is, it really doesn't matter until test time comes.  I'm not sure if they're just trying to psych people out, but as I said before, I really don't care this early on. 

There is also a difference depending upon your professors.  My torts professor is ADAMANT about briefing cases and having you rewrite and come up with the holding in your own words.  She badgered one student who didn't brief her case and reiterated that this is what she expects for first year students.  Our contracts professor, on the other hand, really doesn't care if we brief the case.  She does expect us to know the issue, holding, and rule, but said she would rather we spend our time doing our outlines and practice exams.  I have used canned briefs as a reference.  Especially for the older cases that have a lot of useless wording, but will continue to brief the cases myself for at least the first semester.  It has been easier already to spot the holdings, etc., and I'll probably do less as time goes on.  I wouldn't, however, just say brief or don't brief.  Maybe the ones who don't brief will do better on the exams than I will, but I will do my outlines and practice exams also.  I just think there is a fine line between being efficient by using shortcuts and just being plain lazy.   

107
General Board / Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« on: October 03, 2011, 01:04:00 PM »
So far so good, but it's really hard to tell until exam time comes.  I'm going at night, and it's been helpful for me to keep a schedule for studying.  As tired as I might get, I'll put on a pot of coffee and just sit and do it.  There are people in my class who don't brief and are taking the short cuts people suggest, but I'm avoiding all of that.  Frankly because I don't care if someone "never briefed a single case."  If they don't have to then good for them.   I, however, prefer to brief because it helps me understand the law and cases a bit better since I'm writing it in my own words.   I've been out of school for a long time, so I don't want to mess with short cuts.
I try to work on my outline once a week.  The practice exams have also been helpful.  I just started doing them, but think it's an invaluable way to study for your classes.  Our professors are really good about going over our practice tests during office hours also - so the feedback is important.  Lastly, I am using the law in a flash cards and find those to be a nice break from regular studying. 
If I can keep this up, I'm hoping it will pay off.  A's will be difficult on a C curve, but I want to at least be comfortable taking my exams when they come around.     

108
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: UMass Law
« on: August 22, 2011, 06:37:23 PM »
U-Mass is considered a good school and just as the above poster stated, I'm sure they will do whatever is necessary to keep up their own reputation.  Even if it takes a couple of years to get it right, I believe they'll get the school ABA approved sooner rather than later. ;)

109
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: UMass Law
« on: August 10, 2011, 06:09:05 PM »
I did my undergrad at U-Mass years ago, but I believe this is the first year they have been approved for a law school.  So there probably aren't any statistics for it other than undergrad.

110
Ranking does NOT matter.

This is as objectively false of a statement as you could have made.

The two best ways to get a job:

1. Go to a higher ranked school.
2. Get better grades (and achieve a higher class rank).

Ranking is pretty much all that matters.


Any thoughts on your school getting sued by some former students?

I have to say you are both a bit correct.  Over the years, I've noticed that networking is really key to getting a job - no matter what your profession.  If you go to law school just out of undergrad with no work experience and don't know a single attorney, then yes, it is necessary to go to a great school and get better grades.  The desparation is greater when you have undergrad debt in addition to law school debt and no way to pay your bills.  The only way you can get a job and meet attorneys is through law school.  So yes, your school ranking would matter more.

However, if you're like me, older, working, and already have connections set up, then it really doesn't matter which school you go to.   I have no desire to work for big law, and I'll have a job waiting for me when I graduate.  But let's say that job doesn't pan out.  I know numerous attorney's from work - including our own legal department - that will help when it comes time to find a job.  One of these attorneys has already told me to let him know when I'm ready to intern with his office.  I also know an attorney who got a 143 on her LSAT, went to Cooley, and has a successful solo practice she inherited from her father.  Do you think her clients ask her where she went to law school? 

Employment boils down to much more than rankings, I can assure you.  Networking is everything, and rankings are important when you have no network.  So I believe you both have point, it just depends on where one is at in their life. 

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