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Messages - Jets

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Current Law Students / Re: Grades: Better or Worse Than You Expected?
« on: January 09, 2009, 10:36:53 AM »
I'm totally behind on the 1L summer job thing.  I don't think I have time to look for a job in another field right now.

I think if I need to drop out I'll just start a rock band.

What about the OP?  I'll bet he started this thread because he was pleasantly surprised.

We don't get ours for a few more weeks.  That way, all of the checks for spring tuition have cleared by the time the grades are reported.

OP doesn't have grades yet.

The bolded certainly did not escape my notice, and it consistently makes me angry.

My school did this 1L, too, and I was upset at the time as well. On balance, though, it makes good sense; dropping out because of a bad first semester is really not worthwhile. People rebound second semester all the time, and--depending on the circumstances--you'll often be in far better shape with the ("bad" grades) JD than without it.

Law School Admissions / Re: GW Law 1L ... taking questions
« on: January 03, 2009, 05:15:13 PM »
Are there quite a few students at GW going into patent law? I plan to go into patent law (Electrical Engineering undergrad), so would this "diversity" advantage actually be a disadvantage at GW?

Thanks in advance.

Due to the large size of the school, and the fact that GW is known for patent law, there's a lot of IP/patent law students.  However, it's not everyone, and this is still an advantage.  Remember you are competiting with different schools for jobs, not just your classmates.  The strength of the program at GW means there's a lot of IP alum - this will only help you.  From what I hear from the career center, students with science backgrounds concentrating in IP still have a leg up in the job search.

I think this is generally true but two of my 2L (IP) buddies there are still looking for work there (and they did have good grades). I think that, as with everything, jobs are just a mixed bag.

And with regards to 1L SA jobs, I knew four (non-IP) people besides myself in my section alone who had firm jobs...three were at V50s in DC. So even non-IP people do get 1L jobs (at least before the economy tanked).

Current Law Students / Re: Closed Book Exams
« on: December 04, 2008, 03:38:15 PM »
Nice any idea, how I would do this for torts? Unlike civ pro, there seems to be no fine  rules just a lot of common law.

My torts exam was a closed-book multiple choice exam. However, this can be done for every class. And I agree with the advice above that--if you have an essay exam (even closed book)--it's a worthwhile exercise anyway.

Here's how I'd do it for Torts (roughly)

P will sue D for [BATTERY: battery. To establish a prima facie case of battery, [NAME GOES HERE] must show that (1) there was x, (2) there was y, (3) there was z. (ELEMENT X: First, the plaintiff must show x. This Court views JKL behavior to constitute x. See CASE GOES HERE. Other courts disagree. See CASE GOES HERE (disagreeing))..

Get the idea?

ETA: Torts is, on balance, probably the easiest class to do it for. But, ultimately, it's a winning strategy for any law school exam and you'll be shocked at how much easier it makes exam taking.

Transferring / Re: GW Transfer Registration
« on: December 04, 2008, 01:31:39 PM »
just had the evil banzhaf final today.  talk about demoralizing as the first final...

Don't get discouraged. I did it last year, and did well despite thinking I flunked--the curve was probably very sharp. PM me if you have any questions about specific questions on that test...I'm curious if he recycled our test.

Current Law Students / Re: Closed Book Exams
« on: December 04, 2008, 01:29:51 PM »
How did you write "canned answers"? How did you know what the question was going to be?

I didn't (with the exception of the class where I knew we would have a policy question and wrote a general answer along the lines of what I thought would be asked). I wrote the rules--the rules are always the same. Granted, certain facts call for different standards (e.g. in personal jurisdiction analysis, it's relevant whether there's a contract/general jurisdiction/etc.) but these "forks in the facts" can be easily accounted for. So can forks in the law.

Example (Erie):

In Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins, the Supreme Court held that there was no “federal common law” and that federal courts are to apply state law whether declared by the legislature in a statute or by the state’s highest court when sitting in a diversity jurisdiction suit. As such, when dealing with different state and federal practices, the first question is whether the two practices clash such that there is a direct conflict between the state and federal rule. Often times, the federal rule is narrower in its coverage than the state rule and – as such – courts can apply both the state and federal rules concurrently. See Ragan v. Merchants Transfer & Warehouse (holding that Rule 3 – which notes that an action is commenced by the filing of a suit – does not conflict with state law that permitted tolling of the statute of limitations until service was rendered); Cohen v. Beneficial Industrial Loan Corp. (federal rules do not conflict with state law requiring bonds to be issued for shareholders in shareholder derivative suit because federal rules do not require or prohibit bonds). A federal rule directly conflicts with a state law, however, where the two cannot be applied together. See Burlington Northern R. Co. v. Woods (holding that 10% appeals charge cannot coexist with federal rule). When there is a direct conflict between federal and state law, which law governs depends on the nature of the federal rule.

[CONSTITUTIONAL RULE: If the federal rule is predicated on the Constitution, the federal law always prevails under the Supremacy Clause in Article VI of the US Constitution.]

[FEDERAL RULE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE/APPELLATE PROCEDURE: If the federal rule is predicated on a federal rule of civil (or appellate) procedure – the Rules Enabling Act, rather than the Rules Decision Act of which Erie was based – governs, and courts engage in a two-step inquiry. First, the rule must be Constitutional such that it could rationally be thought of as a procedural rule. This is a very deferential test. Second, the rule must be consistent with the Rules Enabling Act such that it does not modify, abridge or enlarge any substantive right – that is, it must not relate to the enforcement of a right or define a right itself. If a rule is consistent with both the Constitution, and the Rules Enabling Act, it is valid and is to be applied in favor of state law. See Hanna v. Plummer (federal rules on service of process prevail where state law requires in-hand service because federal rule is 1) arguably procedural and 2) does not modify, abridge or enlarge a substantive right).]

[STATUTE: If the federal rule is predicated on a procedural statute, the statute must be such that it could rationally be thought of as procedural. This is a very deferential test. See Stewart v. Ricoh (holding that Alabama’s refusal to enforce forum selection clauses cannot coexist with 28 U.S.C. 1404(a) which provides broad discretion to consider such items and that the statute is valid and superseding).]

[UNCODIFIED FEDERAL JUDICIAL PRACTICES/COMMON LAW: If the federal rule is predicated on an uncodified judicial practice or common law practice, the choice of law depends on whether the practice is “substantive” or “procedural.” Procedural rules promote efficiency, are a means for the enforcement of a right, apply inside the courtroom and are generally applicable. Substantive rules, on the other hand, embody a policy choice, govern conduct, define a right and are applicable to a particular type of case. If the conflicting state rule is substantive, the Rules Decision Act requires the federal courts to apply state law. See Erie R. Co. v. Tompkins. If the conflicting state rule is procedural, the federal procedural rule should generally apply. A state procedural rule may supersede a federal rule, however, if 1) the use of the federal rule is “outcome determinative” or 2) the use of the federal rule in favor of the state rule goes against the “twin aims of Erie.” If the difference in law would lead to a different outcome, the outcome determinative test suggests that the state procedural law should apply. See Guaranty Trust Co. v. York (state law prevails where federal “laches” doctrine would keep suit open while state statute of limitations would bar it); Woods v. Interstate Realty (Tennessee corporation unable to file in Mississippi state courts may thus not bring suit in Mississippi federal courts under diversity jurisdiction). Additionally, if the application of the conflicting federal rule would go against the twin aims of Erie by 1) encouraging intrastate forum shopping or 2) encouraging the inequitable administration of law, state procedural law should be used. See generally Hanna v. Plummer. However, even if either the outcome determinative test or the twin aims of Erie suggest that state procedural rules should apply in the face of a conflict, the court will apply federal law if a countervailing federal interest exists. See Byrd v. Blue Ridge Rural Electric Cooperative (balancing the extent to which the outcome of trial by judge or trial by jury differs – if at all – against the importance of the federal interest in trial by jury).]

Current Law Students / Re: Closed Book Exams
« on: December 01, 2008, 12:17:30 AM »
Yikes.  Was that particularly helpful?

It's hard to answer this without seeming boastful, but I promise that's not my intention--I got multiple A+'s, and only one grade lower than an A (there was a strict word limit in that class, and my canned answers were really wordy). I attribute all success to the system, and none of it to innate knowledge, exam taking ability or excellent understanding of the material. Mostly, I was just writing long articulations of the "rule" for the "R" part of the IRAC, but I did also correctly guess (and write) a policy question for one of my exams. We were supposed to allocate 30 minutes to said question, but I was able to type it over in about 5 short, I highly recommend doing this.

Current Law Students / Re: Closed Book Exams
« on: November 29, 2008, 09:00:46 PM »
Most professors allow material into exams with the intention that it's just a security blanket.

Which is to say, if you're well prepared, you're not going to look at your outline anyway.

Definitely not true. I devised a system that allowed me to literally type one of my "outlines" into my exam.

Current Law Students / Re: Sample Contracts Exam
« on: November 27, 2008, 07:24:38 PM »
S probably has a promissory estoppel claim if you find there's no K. L would raise a SOF claim as a defense if there's found to be a K b/c K can't be performed in a year. S could come back with an SOF exception b/c L undertook partial performance when they made timely payments for 10 years with the correct amount. S would also point to the letter as irrevocably referrable evidence of their agreement. Obviously, you need to analyze whether there was a K first before you start addressing the above. You also need to raise the enforceable agreement issue before you address the P/E  and SOF claims. I would approach it like this:

Is there a K b/w S&L?
A. Offer (IRAC)
B. Acceptance (IRAC)
C. Consideration (IRAC)

If you conclude there's no K, move to P/E, then damages if P/E found.
If you conclude there is a K, move to damages.
I would address both possibilities.

Then I would raise L's defenses.
Then I would hit a C/A for S with what I mentioned above.
Go through an enforceble agreement analysis also.

There may be other stuff, but that's off the top of my head. Also, I'm a 1L who's yet to take an exam, so take everything I just said with a grain of salt.

This is actually a rather good approach. Just to add my two cents in (and probably just repeat what EY already said:

Use headings as follows:

I. Contract Formation--no matter what, proceed to #2
II. Bases for Enforcement--no matter what, proceed to #3
III. Defenses
IV. Remedies

Prepare to say a lot of "assuming the Court holds," etc. The important point is you want to say EVERYTHING you can. Literally everything. No one will really tell you this, but a lot of law school success boils down to typing speed.

ETA: Another important thing to note re: exam taking is that there's really not all that much difference between a good exam and a great exam. That means little things--using case citations, headings and generally good writing--make a big difference. The importance of organization, in particular, cannot be understated. You need to break everything down into headings and subheadings and treat this like you're explaining it to a (smart) three year old.

What would be the difference between litigating for the DoJ and, say, litigating at Cravath?

It sounds like he actually gets to be involved in the litigation at the DOJ, rather than just watch a partner do everything important, at Cravath. (Which isn't really a firm I personally would want go to, if I was hoping to do litigation, which I am. They're known more for their corporate work, I think.)

I'm not going there, but CSM actually has a very strong litigation department.

Current Law Students / Re: Strange Transferring Question
« on: November 14, 2008, 09:22:31 AM »
I also felt this way 1L year, and finished top 1%. Every time I spoke, I sounded like a moron--believe me, it's totally irrelevant to law school performance. I have tons of friends who sound inarticulate in class who are in the top 5-10% of their class.

Hang in there.

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