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Messages - Felsen

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U of Texas - Austin / Re: Class of 2010?
« on: July 15, 2007, 08:55:12 PM »
Wow, Felsen, great advice!  Especially to get started on cover letter writing.  I have to admit that I've reformatted my resume already for law school jobs, but hadn't thought about cover letters.  Since I'll be applying in a very limited Dallas-Austin-Houston area (family in Austin and all that), I really have my work cut out for me.

Here's a stupid question (but it's Sunday and I've somehow managed to start worrying about this) - do you think it's better to sit towards the front or the back of the room in class.  Why?  The thought of having the same seat for the whole semester is sort of weird - it's been a while, if ever, since I've had a class with assigned seating.

Half the time, you won't have the choice of where to sit.  Many professors create a seating chart before the first day of class.

Most people prefer to sit towards the back, as they want to blend in and not get called on in class.

I'd suggest either the second or third row if you'll be paying attention and want to be called on.  Some classes have a front row of like two seats, I'd suggest not sitting there.  I'd also not suggest sitting in the next row after that.  One of the problems with sitting way up front is that the seating is tiered so everyone can see.  The professor's area is a little raised above the first row of seats.  So sitting in the front rows, you have to look up to see the professor.  If you're up a couple of steps, you are actually around eye level with the professor, which makes it easier to pay attention and switch focus between him and whatever you are typing for notes.

I prefer a seat that is three or four from the top row.  I did choose one of the frontmost seats for one class.  Unfortunately, it was on the side of the document projector, so whenever it was used, I had lights shining in my eyes.  That's the only thing I'd say to absolutely avoid.

I would also suggest sitting along one of the two sides rather than the middle.  From there, you can see more of the classroom without having to turn your head as much.  That way you can actually see who is asking or answering what questions during class.

There is one very good reason to choose the back row, though.  If you're going to be playing computer games, browsing the web, or IMing throughout class, sit to the back.  Otherwise all the people behind you will see what you're doing.

U of Texas - Austin / Re: Class of 2010?
« on: July 13, 2007, 10:37:16 PM »
I don't know any words that wouldn't just be words of obviousness.  If you've got specific questions, I pop my head in here from time to time still.

If you've not gotten an apartment yet, get working on that.  The closer it gets to semester start, the more likely it is you'll get stuck with a crappy place.  If you are willing to commute to school, this is much less of an issue.

Your apartment choice can determing whether you'll be able to sneak home for lunch, or if you'll be bringing sack lunches every day (though there is now a food place in the basement: George's).

If you're buying used books, get to the bookstore as soon as you get the list.  You'll have your pick of used books, and they can sell out of them before everyone has a chance at them.

Don't bother starting to read the books till you get your first day's assignment.  Most of the professor's don't start on page 1.  They'll also skip around a lot.

Do read your assignments for the first day, and all subsequent days before they are discussed.

Go to the pre-start Mentor group activities, and get to know that small group of people.  You'll be with them for all but one class the rest of the year.  Get to know a few of them well enough that you can ask for notes on the days you miss class (almost everyone will sleep in late or have some other problem some time during the semester).

My first semester started off slower than I thought.  Mid-way through October was when professors picked things up, as they realized they were running out of time, and as I started formally studying for the finals.

If you'll be sending out resumes for summer jobs, you can actually write your cover letters now.  If you personalize the cover letters, it takes more time than you think.  Since the resumes can first be sent out as you are hectically studying for finals, I should have just written them all up way ahead of time.  You should basically know now everything you'll put in initial mailers, since grades won't come out till mid-January to mid-February.  If you wait that long, you'll miss out on some job possibilities.  So those who have great undergraduate GPAs end up with a bit of an advantage.

Don't expect to get a paying job first summer, though.  Supposedly almost everyone is able to get paid for their second summer, though.  Consider alternatives such as summer school or a semester abroad over the summer your first year.

That's enough rambling for now.  Ask questions if you have them.  Otherwise I'll see y'all in the hallways in a few months.

Job Search / Re: greenberg traurig meet and greet
« on: June 24, 2007, 10:36:32 AM »
Why would inviting the entire school make them look crummy?  I certainly remember there were at least half a dozen law firms that invited the entire 1L class to mass receptions this past spring semester.

It is advertising, pure and simple.  They want more people to recognize their name, which will lead to more 2Ls trying to get interviews, so they can have a better selection for next summer.

The only advantage I have as a high tech guy in law school is my typing speed.  Nothing else really helps.

I don't think a transcript of the entire class will actually help you at all.  At the end of the semester, you'll just have 20 times the notes to read through when making an outline for finals.  Your school probably uses exam software so even on open book finals, you'll have to print out your notes.  I've not had an open book final yet where I've had time to do much more than a quick scanning of my outline.  Maybe a full transcript will help you personally.  You'll still have to pare it down to a manageable set of notes for studying anyway.

U of Texas - Austin / Happy Finals Day!
« on: May 02, 2007, 12:11:15 PM »
First one down, two to go.  I'm taking the rest of the day off.  :)

Current Law Students / Re: Property Question
« on: May 01, 2007, 07:08:17 PM »
On the easement implied by necessity.  As long as there wasn't a quick turnaround on selling the landlocked piece of land and then the other piece of land, you'll typically notice in the form of a pre-existing easement.  More specifically, if the necessity easment has been being used, there will be some visible form of the easement in the way of a paved/dirt/rock road, or tire ruts across the location of the easement.

The more interesting case is when the person is selling the two pieces of the land close together, so the necessity easement hasn't been used long enough yet to create a visible sign.  In that case, you should still have the necessity easement, as to take that away would be depriving the one person of a property right.  Even in the case of a bona fide purchaser, I doubt a court would take away the property right.  I'd view the court as more likely to hold that the second purchaser had some cause of action against the seller for not mentioning the easement by necessity.

If the necessity easement isn't visible because it hasn't actually been being used, then the easement may be declared abandoned.

Current Law Students / Re: Property question
« on: April 29, 2007, 09:39:16 PM »
It'll depend on case law and the opinion of the court.  In other words, it is a toss-up.

Yes, it violates the unity of possession, so the court can strike down a joint tenancy and have a valid excuse.  In that case a tenancy in common is the likely result.  Since there is the right of possession during the lifetime, that sounds an awful lot like an intent to create a life estate in Amanda.  So the life estate would be the current interest.  All three would have a future interest in a fee simple tenancy in common.  (Reversion/remainder/something else, I'd have to look up the term again).  The survivorship clause would then be ignored.

The court could also decide to make it a joint tenancy with survivorship as well.  The courts don't necessarily hold that tightly to the unity requirements anymore.  They could then decide to either "re-write" the will to ignore the life estate clause to meet the unity requirement, or just allow the life estate and not care about the unity.

Most likely, the court would decide it as a life estate followed by a tenancy in common.  It tends to be a nice default choice when there is ambiguity.  If A, B, and C are still alive, any of them can simply sell their interest in a joint tenancy during their lifetime anyway to defeat the survivorship requirement.

Job Search / Re: 1L Study Abroad - Am I shooting myself in the foot?
« on: April 23, 2007, 09:02:57 PM »
Very few people get a job their 1L summer.  Those who don't still have to do something.  There isn't really anything to "see through" about someone doing study abroad over the summer.  It is doing something productive, possibly getting some school credit.  Firms may ask what you did over the summer in the 2L interviews.  They'll certainly like the fact that you did study abroad over the guy who spent the summer playing computer games.

Current Law Students / Re: Let's Talk About Moot Court
« on: April 21, 2007, 12:15:27 AM »
Let's define and rank Moot Court:

Participated in intra-school Moot Court and survive the first round or two, would that be considered enough to put Moot Court on resume or does one have to be in Quarter Finalist or Semi-Finalist in order to put that on resume.

Or should Moot Court really mean winning the whole intra-school competition OR making it all the way to the traveling team representing your law school and compete against other law schools?

I'm still trying to figure this one out myself.  I've decided that making it onto a school team is good enough to go on the resume, since it is presumably fairly competitive to get on.  Making it to the Quarterfinals of an intramural team is good enough to go on the resume (I've heard octofinals is good enough too, but at that point it starts sounding a bit strange).  If I didn't have enough other things to put on the resume, I might even put down a competition I just participated in but didn't do well.  It at least shows a drive and interest, since you have to do extra work to even just compete.

Current Law Students / Re: cause of action against school?
« on: April 20, 2007, 10:43:44 PM »
You're out of luck.

You were admitted to a part-time program, not a full-time program.  They have different standards, so they can certainly keep you to the program you entered.  I'd guess that even before they formalized this rule you still had to apply to change from the part-time to the full-time program.  There was probably never any type of guarantee that you could change programs.

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