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Messages - loki13

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41
Current Law Students / Re: Use of a mall as a public place for protests
« on: December 28, 2015, 01:51:34 PM »
Supreme Court? Maybe not. But you know there are a few steps inbetween right?

Of course you're right, and I should have been clearer in my approach.

... [snip] ...

Could a lower court do whatever it wants and ignore the law? Sure, and they'd be quickly smacked down on appeal.

I think you were perfectly clear. Now, I completely agree that lawyers should always couch there answer in terms of probabilities (like the guy who wanted a one-armed attorney, because he was tired of hearing, "But on the other hand..."). But when we're discussing issues here, it's not very helpful to state things, when they are as definitive as this, with the constant caveat, "Well, sure, a trial court could completely ignore Supreme Court precedent that is 100% on point, and that was from a much more liberal time, and just decide to stick it to the Mall, 'cuz."

Not because that's impossible (every good attorney knows a few cases where judged have ignored, forgotten about, or disregarded binding precedent), but because of the extreme unlikelihood. It's hard enough to have a decent legal conversation without trying to account for crazy trial court judges. ;)

42
Current Law Students / Re: Use of a mall as a public place for protests
« on: December 24, 2015, 07:33:03 AM »
If it was ANY USUAL mall I'd be more inclined to believe that, BUT they are assuming the "regular state duties" in a lot of ways. Remember the cases with the privately owned towns? This is pretty much that. The place is HUGE, with full time residents living inside of it, STATE PAID police/post office/etc. It feels like a private town to me.

Let's not get lost in the weeds here.

There is NO WAY that the current Supreme Court is going to consider the Mall of America as a company town or state actor. Not even close. The company town cases are fairly old and obscure, and the level of control exerted by the parent corporation was far, far beyond anything that Mall of America is engaging in.

The mall is simply private property, open to the public for commercial retail purposes. Can you really imagine that there are five justices who will say "Yeah, we think that the mall is essentially a state actor even though it's private property, and BLM has the right to disrupt commerce." Who would be that fifth vote? Kennedy?

No, as Loki stated, this will end badly for the protestors.
Supreme Court? Maybe not. But you know there are a few steps inbetween right?

Wait. I just want to make sure I understand your position from a practice perspective.

You think that a trial court, and then a CoA, is more likely to follow a 1940-something case that is not on point, and represents the (arguably) largest expansion of the state-actor doctrine, and which has since *not* been followed by the lower courts in similar situations, over more recent Supreme Court precedent which is *directly* on point, on the subject of malls, and specifically states that they are not state actors? And they would do so in an environment which, overall, is incredibly hostile to *any* expansion of the state actor doctrine?

This is (roughly) analogous to someone, today, arguing that despite the caselaw, they believe that the Flast standing exception would likely be expanded to a different area of the law to allow taxpayer standing for any type of suit, despite the fact that Flast has been whittled away (see, inter alia, Valley Forge).

There is something, also, to be said for reliance issues; those states (California, and, I believe, maybe New Jersey?) that want to specifically enact laws regarding malls have done so. But private actors are not state actors for a reason. If the state wants to regulate a private actor, it can easily do so- but private actors are, by an large, not subject to the same rules as a state actor vis-a-vis the Constitution (with exceptions, such as the 13th Am.).

43
Current Law Students / Re: Use of a mall as a public place for protests
« on: December 23, 2015, 08:17:25 AM »
The case will turn out badly for the protesters.

They can protests outside the mall (so long as it is far enough outside to be public property). But the mall itself is private property. They can no more chose to protest there than they can in your house - they'd be subject to the same laws (trespass, etc.). Minnesota has no analogous laws to California.

I would also note that while this Court is, arguably, at the apex of Free Speech protection, it is close to the lowest in terms of protecting public forums (vis-a-vis the distinction between state and private actors). This doesn't seem very interesting from a ConLaw perspective- maybe back in the 60s.

Yes, that sounds right.

I'm drawing on conlaw that I haven't studied in several years, but I seem to remember that the "mall case" had to do with an outdoor, uncovered shopping center. An indoor covered mall is significantly different, if for no other reason that it's more difficult for shoppers to avoid noisy protestors if they don't want to be subjected to obnoxious chanting and ridicule.

The parking lot and sidewalk in front of the mall may be different, but inside is clearly private property.
If it was ANY USUAL mall I'd be more inclined to believe that, BUT they are assuming the "regular state duties" in a lot of ways. Remember the cases with the privately owned towns? This is pretty much that. The place is HUGE, with full time residents living inside of it, STATE PAID police/post office/etc. It feels like a private town to me.

Doesn't matter. You have to look at the arc of ConLaw. The case you're thinking of was from the 1940s, and it involved a corporation owning all aspects of a town (a town being the quintessential example of an accountable state actor) . The state-actor doctrine is a confused mess since then, but has been steadily whittled away (see the contrasting decisions in Tarkanian and Brentwood). Moreover, there is precedent from a much more sympathetic Supreme Court that is directly on point.

To be honest, I don't even know that company towns, to the extent that they exist, would be labeled as state actors- there was litigation over Disney's "ownership" of towns and political subdivisions in Florida (pursuant to deal with the state, Disney and its employees control all political decisions) that determined that the corporate entity was not a state actor.


44
Current Law Students / Re: Use of a mall as a public place for protests
« on: December 22, 2015, 01:28:48 PM »
The case will turn out badly for the protesters.

They can protests outside the mall (so long as it is far enough outside to be public property). But the mall itself is private property. They can no more chose to protest there than they can in your house - they'd be subject to the same laws (trespass, etc.). Minnesota has no analogous laws to California.

I would also note that while this Court is, arguably, at the apex of Free Speech protection, it is close to the lowest in terms of protecting public forums (vis-a-vis the distinction between state and private actors). This doesn't seem very interesting from a ConLaw perspective- maybe back in the 60s.

45
Current Law Students / Re: Use of a mall as a public place for protests
« on: December 22, 2015, 12:51:39 PM »
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2015/1221/Why-the-Mall-of-America-is-suing-Black-Lives-Matter-protesters-video


Its been a few years since I was in conlaw, but weren't there cases that already said malls are defacto public places??

No. See, inter alia, Hudgens v. National Labor Relations Board. But see California (which has a specific protected right for malls, because of course California does). 

46
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: BU v. GW v. Fordham
« on: December 22, 2015, 08:19:23 AM »
I just got three waitlist offers and am having a hard time making a choice in a short amount of time. I'm between BU v. GW v. Fordham.  I want to do the biglaw thing on the East Coast.  Maybe become involved in politics much later in life.  Career prospects and starting salary are my main priorities.

My gut tells me all 3 schools are fairly comparable, and I should go with the one I like the best.  Do most people agree?   If that is the case,  BU is an easy choice. It's closest to my family, my favorite location, and was the only school to give me $. 

If GW or Fordham will give me a significant advantage over BU I would reconsider, but from what I've heard I think I will have a similar experience at any of them.  I know GW is ranked slightly high, but rankings only tell so much.

I also got into W&M with 10k but am not considering it, as I want to be in a city.  I am waitlisted at UMich, UVA and GTown.  Obviously, if I get in to any of them, I will go.  But I am not holding my breath and need to make a choice!

These are pretty comparable schools. Throw in BC which has better placement in Boston, and you have a fantastic list.

Go with GW if you want to wrok in DC;

Go with Fordham if you want to work in NYC; and

Go wtih BC/BU if you want to work in Boston.

Like many 0Ls, I would note that you don't have a fully-informed opinion of your likely prospects. GW, Fordham, and BU are all roughly similar (Tier 1, not T14). Which means that the main factors are cost and location.

So, ask yourself this- where do I want to live/practice? Just assume, for a minute, that you will not get a BigLaw job, or that (after exposure to law school and practice) that you do not want a BigLaw job. Where do you want to live and practice? New York, DC, or Boston/New England?

Then, look at the total cost (including cost of living -rent, etc., and assuming you aren't working) of attending for three years.

BU is offering you money. You seem agnostic as to location, but given your family location as stated, I would assume that Boston is a better fit (in terms of connections). BU should be the right choice given what you've stated. If you don't have a strong preference for NY or DC, *lower your total cost of attendance*.

47
Current Law Students / Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« on: December 18, 2015, 10:52:46 AM »
No what do you tell the college grad that says I have 80k in debt and cannot find a job. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/felix-w-ortiz-iii/college-grads-are-still-hurting-over-debt-and-joblessness_b_7449460.html

This kid goes on the internet and warns everyone college is a scam and to avoid it all costs, because you will accure debt and be unable to find a job at graduation.

What do you tell that kid?

I would tell that kid- hey, look at the bright side. You could spend three more years out of work, be $340,000 in debt, and have even worse employment prospects.

Then again, since we are doing anecdotes, what are you telling the "kids" (you know that they're not kids when they graduate, right?) that have followed your advice, gone into over $300k in debt, wasted three years, can't find a job, and now have to omit their JD from their resume and explain away those three years to potential employers?

All because they believed that, well, if you want it bad enough, it will work out, even if you scored a 145 on your LSAT to pay 50k a year for a degree you'll never use?

48
Current Law Students / Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« on: December 18, 2015, 08:36:22 AM »
I assume you would tell him look for jobs eventually he/she will find one.

It is unlikely that person will be unemployed their entire life, but will have struggles getting their first job.

What is different for a lawyer?

What is different for a lawyer? Let's see-
1. First, many (not all, but many) lawyers will have the undergrad debt (which may be considerably more than $40k) PLUS their law school debt (let's say $260k) and not be able to find a job. Math says that one number is bigger than the other.

2. Second, a college degree is the new high school degree. Many entry-level jobs require a college degree, period. What kind? Who cares! Business, hotel management, Russian studies. Whatevs. You can use that college-level business degree to get a job, or to go to any number of different grad schools, or anything. And you're *only* 40k in debt.

3. A law school degree, on the other hand, is just a degree to practice law. Really. And what's worse is that the value diminishes the longer you don't have the initial job. Which is to say, you become *more* unemployable the longer you wait because of your JD. And with more debt.

So are they different? Yeah, you can say that.

Which goes back to the important point- is law school a bad decision for everyone? No. But is it probably a bad decision for those paying full freight at bad schools? Probably, yes.

49
Current Law Students / Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« on: December 11, 2015, 07:54:30 AM »

It is far from perfect and by no means a guarantee, but again neither is anything else.

One more time- you are making the wrong comparisons. If you just look at the numbers (actual numbers) you will see that even with the market correction, there are too many law school, admitting too many unqualified people, with too few jobs available. This is not a matter of opinion- these are facts.

Saying things like, "Don't worry, you can be the guy (or girl) that spends $260,000, and then doesn't work for five years, but, dadgummint, you can persevere and after five years, you too might get your entry level job in the law" just isn't correct.

Do you know how long five years is? More importantly, would *you* hire someone that is five years out of law school and has no legal experience? I know I wouldn't. That's the killer. The longer you don't work in the law, the worse it becomes- it's a spiral of doom. The hardest job to get is the first- and the longer it takes, the harder it becomes. Just toss in the added factor that if you were one of the people that didn't get a job to begin with, it is likely for a reason (didn't pass the bar, didn't do well at a lower-ranked school) - and those reasons aren't going to get much better.

So we start with those base propositions; there are too many law schools, with standards that are too lax, admitting too many students, with too few jobs. Which means that if you are a student admitted to a law school with extremely law standards (that's a good way to put it, right), and that school is not offering you a scholarship ... don't become one of the statistics. We have enough of those.

Yes, there are different cases. Someone might want to practice in Maine and go to UMaine Law School. But for generic advice, it's best to tell a person to run ... not walk ... away.

50
Current Law Students / Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« on: December 10, 2015, 12:45:14 PM »
This is why you are unnecessarily optimistic. You post that there are jobs, but you fail to note the vast number of people applying, and the lack of jobs. To put it in more perspective- it's one thing to get a job as an attorney when you are already a practicing, employed attorney. It's entirely different when you are unemployed and have no experience.

So when you offer generic, "You can do," advice, you are actively hurting people. It's this same advice that was given out (wrongly) before the legal market crash, and it's just wrong to offer it now.

So, for anyone still paying attention in a thread nominally about 1L First Semester Grades ... if you have scored so low on your LSAT/uGPA that you have to pay full freight to go to a school like GGU or Cooley or *shudder* an unaccredited law school, don't go. Really. There is no possible world in which the risk-reward ratio can possibly make sense, absent some unusual circumstances (your grandfather's will states that you will get ONE BEEELEON DOLLARS when you get the JD). Just look at the numbers. Look at the debt.

Now, if you're looking at scholarships (and pay attention to the terms of the scholarship!) that advice may change. But for generic advice- there's a metric ton (or imperial ton, if you prefer) of attorneys applying for every job opening. The employment rate for newly-minted JDs is *worse* than that of English undergraduates. So, please consider things very carefully. Many people believe that they are the unique and special snowflake that, despite the cruddy GPA and LSAT score, will make it on to a journal and/or moot court, and graduate at the top of their class. But the past is prologue.

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