« on: January 13, 2009, 08:04:57 PM »
Naw- just start in on an 8-ball. You'll be good to go through tomorrow. That's how the law review gunners roll!
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Messages - loki13
So here's my story about how I got my first kick-azz book award in my ConLaw class. Read it weep while I bring the pain. It seems like only yesterday . . .
I looked at my syllabus the other day and noticed that we had aour ConLaw take-home exam due today on how the different parts of the Constitution work together- something about separate powers of civil federalism or something. Boy, good thing I picked that up the first day of class! Anyway, it was really hard to look at the Constitution and read cases and things, but I thought about how the Constitution impacts my life, and it all became clear to me.
The Second Amendment protects our right to Bear Arms. Then there's the First Amendment right to free speech. Finally, I once heard a classmate remark that the Supreme Court had expanded the Bill of Rights with the Incorporation doctrine and made it apply to more than just the Federal Government.
So I wrote that the interplay of these different areas of the Constitution gave rise to the following: giant mecha robots are allowed to have Bear Arms (and if you're a commie activist judge that legislates from the bench, Lion Arms and Rocket Arms and Ab0rtion Arms) and then corporations are allowed to broadcast footage of their battles to me without government regulation. Which means that I can watch japanime on the cartoon network while eating fruity pebbles in my pajamas instead of going to class! I threw in some opinions, including some dissenting ones by 'Learned Hand', but I wrote that the 'Learned Hand' ones didn't mean as much because it was a pseudonym judges use when they are embarrassed by the opinion they wrote (like 'Alan Smithee' for directors).
When I was leaving class, I told a classmate about what I wrote. The classmate told me he was the TA (who knew?... I guess I should show up for more classes) and that 'drunk and stupid is no way to go through ConLaw'. I don't get it. Do you think he hates me because in the other class I showed up for I said I was a Federalist and because the Constitution doesn't specifically enumerate the Democrat party in Article I, they should be banned by the Supreme Court, like they did with the Whigs?
Anyway, remembering that made me think about the following three things in retrospect:
1. Man, I pwned that exam! Stupid TA! Don't worry about that fancy book-learnin'- the cartoon network is much better than the Chemerisnky supplement.
2. The less you show up for a class, the more likely you are to BOOK IT (booking is just all legal like for PWNAGE). If professors get to know who you are, they'll learn to dislike you, and they'll blind grade your sorry, snivelling gunner azz down. Be anonyomous and all hidden and stuff and those books belong to you!
3. If I had written about the 4th Amendment and epilepsy instead, do you think I could have gotten two book awards from ConLaw? Like, serious pwnage?
Hope this helps. All ur law schools r belong to me!
« on: January 13, 2009, 02:25:12 PM »
There's an old joke about UF OCI (that's the office that helps place students with jobs)- they can place you as far south as Miami, as far east as Orlando, as far west as Tampa, and as north as Atlanta!
That's not really true any more. I would say that they remain incredibly strong in Florida and Atlanta (Atlanta is practically a secondary market). We have also begun to place increasing numbers of students in the DC area and, to a lesser extent, in some Charlotte firms. I think the DC emphasis largely arises from the great admin/environmental programs UF has and he number of students who go to DC to work for the firms doing government and regulatory work. I know a large number of my classmates that are working in DC.
I believe that you if you do well at UF, and work at it, you have a good shot at the at DC market. We have an increasing number of alums in the area. BUT- remember it is not a primary market for us; you have to do reasonably well. If you know you want to practice in DC, you might be better served at a different school.
In addition, if you want to work in NYC/LA/Houston, you will need to make you own opportunities. Every year we have several students who go to those markets, but they made it on their own.
« on: January 12, 2009, 09:02:49 PM »
If you can't be a part of the solution, become a lawyer.
You are correct. My points apply to BigLaw, and, to a lesser extent, MidLaw. If you go to work for a much smaller law firm, they will not have the luxury of paying you to research.
However, unless you work for an ID firm (or some other niche, like a divorce/family law boutique) it is true that civil litigation is very rare.
Why is there this perception that litigation actually involves courtrooms?
Wow, tm, your brilliant powers of insight have foiled me! Since you appear to want to highlight a small part in order to miss the larger point, let me make this simple for you:
1. The vast majority of civil litigation settles before trial. That means that all the work that is done in a "litigation" case is work to improve the posture of your client to get a settlement on better terms.
2. If a case does actually make it to trial, it often is an incredibly lengthy process. The vast majority of the time you'll be doing research. If you're lucky (starting out) you'll be taking depos. You'll be writing motions and responding to them.
3. As a starting atty, you will not be conducting a trial. If you firm is smart, they'll try and find a few pro bono cases so you can argue a case or two in your first years. Otherwise, you'll be a part of a team -- you'll be doing the all-night research after each day to better position your side for the next day.
4. Of course, 3 only happens if your firm takes cases to trial. Most large firms don't do much trial work; they manage cases for clients.
Why is there this perception that litigation actually involves courtrooms?
If you want to do real litigation (aka speaking in courtrooms) I have a few recommendations for you:
1. Public Defender
3. Uh... that's about it.
Wait, you say, I want to do CIVIL LITIGATION!. Hmmm... well, if you want to do civil litigation in terms of trials, you can always go to an ID firm. Or a smaller firm and hope for some opportunities.
But even there, most cases are decided far before trial. You're talking about litigation management, not litigation. Your public speaking will be confined to arguing pre-trial motions before a judge (if that) to better position your client for a settlement.
The number of lawyers who are get JDs > the number of lawyers who are practicing > the number of lawyers who do civil work > the number of lawyers who do "litigation" (as opposed to transaction) work > the number of lawyers who are will do more than depos/motions > the number of lawyers who have more than the very occasional trial > the number of lawyers who do appellate work.
Do it because it's fun, not because it's that useful.
what about at a school where they are very good? does it mean more there?
No. Unless you're interviewing with an alum who was in the program.
LR (or most prestig. journal) > Moot Court > Secondary Journal > Trial Team > Other Stuff School Makes Up.
It's that simple.
I disagree with Matthies 100%. To put on my *serious* hat for a while (take it while you can), allow me to relate the following pieces of advice:
1. The information you learn in law school has a low correlation, and sometimes no correlation, to what you actually practice. With the exception of a *very* few specialized classes, there are almost no subjects that you will not be able to pick up on the fly if you have a decent background.
2. Given 1, you should try and take classes with professors that are good and will engage you, not classes with a subject matter that you think some future employer might find relevant. As with all advice, there is some limit to this- if you want to do commercial litigation, it would help if you took something other than criminal law classes.
3. Given 1, it is also irrelevant what you 1L experience is so long as you gain something from it. I clerked for a state judge in family law division; I'm now doing BigLaw.
4. The relative focuses of the extracurriculars do not really matter for most jobs; they are signals. Law Review (or most prestigious journal) > Moot Court > Secondary Journals > Main Trial Team > Other Stuff Schools Make Up (other moot courts, intramural stuff, yada yada yada). Guess what? If you're applying to be a "litigator" at Skadden, they don't want need to see Trial Team- they want to see Law Review (although you can also be on trial team). There's many reasons for this, starting with the likelihood of seeing the inside of a courtroom your first year.
5. Look, many people's ideas of what they want to do changes during law school. The best advice is real simple- get the best grades you can. Take classes with the best professors your school has. Get on the most prestigious extra/co-curricular organization your school has. Do some interesting things so you don't seem like a dud during your callback interviews and have a few anecdotes to tell. Accumulate credentials (signals) for future employers. But most firms realize that you have a general education, and that you first six months - year will be ramping up on learning the difference between law school and law practice.