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Messages - Duncanjp

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Hi Nicole. My morning commute is an hour to get to work. Three nights a week I head downtown after work to law school. Then I drive a little over an hour to get home. I leave at 7 a.m. and I don't get home until 10 p.m. on school nights. As a law student, I have only two lives: I am either at work or I'm studying law, whether in class or out. I'm winding up my second year of this and while I love law school, it's hard on my wife, although she's supportive. You are going to have to REALLY want to become an attorney to get through it. Part-time law schools usually take four years, and it's a huge grind if you have to work at the same time. If I lived two hours away from school, but I didn't have to work, then I wouldn't bother getting a room. I'd just drive home. Commuting is a great opportunity to listen to law CDs. After you listen to them over and over, some of it actually sticks.

Good luck!

That article certainly makes a case for not going to law school until a person has spent some time in a given industry and can state with specificity why he or she wants to attend law school, what law school can do for that person, and what that person can do for the legal profession. Too many people attend law school with no greater sense of purpose than "I want to be a lawyer," having no clear idea of what that really entails or why they think they want it.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Best Law-Related Movies
« on: February 19, 2012, 11:33:23 PM »
Dirty Harry is the best law movie of all time. Bar none.

Inherit The Wind was also pretty cool, dramatizing the 1925 Scopes monkey trial (so-called), in which a teacher in Tennessee was convicted of teaching evolution in a high school science class. I don't think it's entirely true to history, but it's a pretty good flick for 50 years ago.

I liked the Paper Chase TV series, but I've never managed to stay awake through the movie.

Carry on, bud. My crim pro final is looming and I've got work to do. Best of luck with your studies.  :)

What is a blue collar attorney exactly? I work in shorts and a t-shirt most of the time.

You won't appear in court like that. And I doubt you'll be allowed to dress like that during business hours working even for a small law firm. But if you're going to hang your own shingle outside your door, dress the way you want. If you feel you will be taken just as seriously by your clients, your employer, your opponents at law, and society at large, do it. It's your career.

8. Most CBA schools with which I am familiar take four years to complete. ABA schools usually take three, unless they're part time.

true, the extra year is likely an edge in passing the bar.

This is not borne out by the pass-fail statistics, Jon. Part-time law students fail the bar in substantially greater numbers than full-time ABA students. There is doubtless much to be said about the focus that full-time students give to their bar preparation versus part-timers, who are holding down full-time jobs and fitting study in where they can. What gets overlooked by strictly-ABA advocates, however, is the extraordinary drive, energy, and exceptional ability that it requires of a person to attend an evening law school and then to pass the bar while holding down a career position. Show me somebody who can do that and I'll show you somebody who could waltz through an ABA program one-handed. Yet one cannot say, "Show me any ABA student and I'll show you somebody who could hold down a career position AND make it through evening law school." The proof here is only in the doing.

That said, it's gratifying to note that several of my company attorneys have observed that they Do recognize and appreciate this. But the fact remains, state-accredited schools are working class schools. You can have a rewarding, satisfying legal career, and you may be just as skillful in your practice as any Harvard graduate, but you'll always be a blue collar attorney.

This isn't really a DL post I'm about to write, but it may add some food for thought. I'm a 2L at a California-accredited law school. There are advantages and disadvantages of a CBA school to any ABA school in CA.

1. The tuition is about one-third the cost of the cheapest ABA school in California, which means you don't graduate owing the equivalent of a 30-year mortgage to a lender. I won't owe anybody one thin dime when I graduate.
2. If you maintain at least a C in all core 1L classes, you don't have to take the baby bar.
3. CBA schools allow you to hold down your current career while attending law school at night.
4. The quality of the classroom sessions and the coursework equate to what you'd get at an ABA school. My property professor got his J.D. from USC, and that's what he said, anyway. (I would know if I were being dealt a bill of goods on this point. The quality of the education is excellent, in my opinion.)
5. CBA schools are sometimes found in locales where the closest ABA school may be 200 miles away or more, depending on the circumstances.
6. Even if you barely speak English, they'll probably give you a chance to take a stab at 1L. So if you were an average student in college or got an average score on the LSAT, you have a good chance of getting accepted. And if in fact you can't handle it, see No. 1.
7. CBA graduates who pass the bar are found practicing law and sitting as judges all over California.
8. If you're already experienced, connected and successful in a field that you do not intend to leave, and a law license could enhance your existing career, then a CBA degree will take you to the next level. After all, you're successful already, yes? The goal here is singular: get the license. The prestige of the J.D. here is of little worth. Just get the license. Mission accomplished. The world is your oyster. As long as you're somewhere in California.

1. Oh Lord, you're stuck in Lodi. Forever. There are some exceptions, e.g., in-house counsel seem to have some freedom to move around the country after a few years of practice, but for the most part, if you don't intend to stay in CA, a CBA school is a total waste of money.
2. Forget Biglaw. Period.
3. As a direct result of Advantage No. 6 above, a percentage of people in 1L courses probably shouldn't be there. We lost more than a third of our class going into 2L, although in fairness, there were many reasons why people didn't return besides just grades.
4. A number of ABA students who have never done a tour of duty in the military, nor gone anywhere or done anything in life except attend school, are convinced that they are inherently superior to everything that walks and talks. Especially to the lowly CBA graduate. This character trait attaches to the personality profile and unships with great reluctance. Deal with it. This cannot be changed.
5. You'll have fewer career options.
6. You will have less prestige among other attorneys. You are not at all among the elite. This is the social and professional "relation back doctrine." See Disadvantage No. 4.
7. Unless you have the experience mentioned in Advantage No. 8, you're very likely to end up in criminal law if you make it all the way. I don't know the stats, and this isn't absolute. But I would risk five bucks I'm right.
8. Most CBA schools with which I am familiar take four years to complete. ABA schools usually take three, unless they're part time.
9. Statistically, your odds of passing the bar on the first try are only 50-50. This bears some discussion. I do not believe that this has anything to do with getting a J.D. from a CBA school. It goes to the average academic abilities of CBA students taken as a whole. The A/B students who make it through a CBA education are highly intelligent, highly motivated, and would do just fine in an ABA school. And they tend to pass the bar on the first try. However, the other half of the CBA bar candidates who graduated with a C average have much greater difficulty passing the CA bar exam, which is well established as being one of the hardest bar exams in the country.

The practical upshot is, there are advantages and disadvantages to attending a CBA school. The same can be said for ABA schools, as shown by all the scambloggers across the internet screaming bloody murder about the size of their debt and the lack of jobs to be had. Whichever course you take, you need to weigh the decision carefully and pragmatically, taking into account the totality of your circumstances. (I just had to say that. I have my crim pro final in two weeks. This thread is a #$%&! distraction.)

Current Law Students / Re: Civ Pro Hypo - Please help!
« on: January 06, 2012, 09:25:45 PM »
LOL. Okay. Well said, Julie.

Current Law Students / Re: Civ Pro Hypo - Please help!
« on: January 02, 2012, 10:43:37 PM »
Okay, "Julie." I'll bite.

Are for what you purpose here?

Current Law Students / Re: Civ Pro Hypo - Please help!
« on: January 02, 2012, 02:38:01 PM »
Thanks for your help, guys - very much appreciated!

I apologize for the holes in the facts...I'm doing this from memory because we had to turn back in the fact pattern from the exam. Basically if I read it right the big thing was that there was no diversity on the counterclaim b/c of a diversity spoiler, so you had to look at other potential methods of SMJ.

Thanks again, especially to Julie.

LOL. What a total head-scratcher. This whole forum owes Julie a standing ovation for posting some of the most puzzling time wasters in the annals of internet trolls.

Ayn, since you did not have complete diversity between all of the plaintiffs and the defendant, the only way you would have gotten the counterclaim in would be to find that the district court had original jx in the first place under a federal question. If you established that the issue was in fact a federal question, and the counterclaim was so related to the main claim as to form a part of the same claim, then the court would have SMJ over the counterclaim.

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