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Messages - rtqw

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Current Michigan students:  congrats on being done with finals.  What are your summer, etc (without being too specific of course)?

State Attorney General's office.

I thought MAP was great, and definitely better than actual orientation. With that said, for us introverted types, when you have basically two weeks of orientation, it can get really stressful. A lot of the events are optional, and if you want to, feel free to take some time out for yourself. It's more important to be relaxed and ready to go once classes begin than it is to meet every single one of your classmates by the end of orientation.

I would suggest - if possible - to try to move in a few days before MAP. I think MAP started on a Tuesday and I got into AA the Thursday before, and I was able to get mostly settled in by the time MAP started.

Purchasing Restatements now seems utterly silly to me. Your first year classes are not the entirety of property law, contract law, torts law, etc., they are what your professor teaches about those topics. Some classes your professor will recommend you purchase the restatement, but otherwise, you can look up Restatement provisions you cover on Westlaw or Lexis (for free). It's also worth noting that in some cases the 'Restatement' doesn't actually restate the law - it is what some law professors think the law should be.

However, I really think movement at this level of the rankings (including large drops and gains) doesn't mean a damn thing. I believe the movement at the top tier can actually force large adjustments at the bottom. These kinds of changes don't matter to the firms that are happy with their Miami alums.

The fact that the Miami Dean, who knows better and yet is still pandering to the mistaken concern of the students, decided to address the rankings this way is really too bad. A great opportunity to correct misapprehensions is being wasted.

Another important point that should probably be made is that especially in the bottom half of the top 100, there are tons of ties and such, and it really doesn't take that much to move up or down ten or so spots. With that said, if I'm a Miami student, I want my school to be ranked up there with UF and Florida State and would prefer my school to be heading in the opposite direction. That a year's drop in ranking is unlikely to impact any typical hiring decision doesn't mean it isn't relevant as one of many factors that go into a school's strength of reputation. And at least to me, it isn't very satisfying that the firms with Miami grads still like Miami grads. I'd want the firms without Miami grads to start hiring us too.

Most Miami grads will have to network, anyway.  At that stage, it depends far far more about the individual person.  No employer is going to say, "We'll hire top 20 percent at FSU but only top 10 at UM because of USNEWS."

This is a poor argument, and not really a response to what I said. Tier 4 grads have to network too, but the evidence generally suggests that in Florida and elsewhere, it's better to be a Miami grad than a tier 4 grad. I'm no expert on the Florida legal market, but I don't buy the suggestion that there isn't a relevant distinction in reputation between its regional schools. A year's change in US News ranking isn't going to change a firm's hiring cutoffs, but a general shift in reputation might.

Also, any thread about Miami should include this: :)

Who cares?  UMiami is a regional school.  If UM students care about their US News ranking, then they're caring about the wrong thing.

Can I throw out a conjecture?  You are overweight, lack meaningful friends, and use LSD/your law school acceptances to boost your self-esteem.

Listen, I know it sounds harsh, but I think that anyone would be hard-pressed to refute my statement.  UM places regionally, and local employers couldn't care less whether they're 70 or 82 or 115.  They look at the candidate in front of them, not the school's ranking in a third-rate news magazine.  If I'm incorrect, I would like to hear why, because conventional internet wisdom isn't always true.

For the record, I am slightly paunchy and I've been somewhat lonely since UG ended.   :(

Ha, that's great, coming from you.

But no, none of this makes any sense. The fact that schools in New Jersey or Washington might now be ranked higher than Miami doesn't matter, but Miami's reputation in comparison to schools like Florida or Florida State, or other schools in the region does matter. And those schools didn't fall 12 spots in the rankings this year. We can debate how much the drop in rank matters to employers, but to an extent, US News rank does play a role in general reputation - and it would be laughable for you of all people to suggest otherwise.

And of course, let's not forget that regional schools probably want to strive to become national schools (or increase the region they place well in). Also, justified or not, US News rankings play a significant role in recruiting prospective students, which in turn, improves the reputation of the school.

if you value your sanity, live a good distance from campus.

really?  most of the people i met at the asw (that i liked) were planning to live in the lawyer's club, so i figured i'd want to be close to these people. 

There's nothing wrong with the people that live/will live in the Lawyer's club, except that they are first year law students. How much you like being around first year law students (and their various anxieties and neuroses) is proportional to the length of time until exams.

Most people I know that live in the lawyers club seem to be okay enough with it, but I personally put a high value on having somewhere to go at the end of the day that doesn't involve lots law students. I also enjoy certain amenities such as a kitchen, a washer/dryer without having to walk across the quad, a bathroom I share with only one person, sleeping in past 6AM on football Saturdays, and my roommate's cat :)

So how screwed are fall starters in terms of housing if we're starting looking just now?

Not screwed at all.

0Ls need to remember that their free time is very valuable, starting now. This might be your last summer with a substantial amount of free time for awhile. No one is going to be able to prove that prepping can't possibly help, but really, the burden on you is to determine that spending all that time will help. In any other context, trying to prepare for an exam six to twelve months away, when you know nothing about the exam or the professor giving the exam, would be seen as really inefficient and unnecessary. 

Yup. There's no real reason to feel nervous (well, any more nervous than any other law student). Yes, the student body will be stronger than it was in college, but if you weren't equipped to handle it, they wouldn't have admitted you.

General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Study Skills
« on: April 07, 2008, 07:35:44 PM »
First and foremost, you shouldn't transcribe what is being said in class. Your final is typically 3 or 4 hours and is usually not going to detail with the minute topics in class. Taking notes is the first part of distilling the course materials. If you are transcribing everything that the professor says, you're not really going to be able to listen and process. My notes are rarely more than two pages for a class session.

I don't think I necessarily agree with not taking down things that students say. If you want to take down the basics of a case, you shouldn't ignore what a student says about it when asked, unless the professor indicates that they are wrong. Remember that what your professor says is not necessarily your professor's opinion. On exams you'll be expected to argue both sides, and if a student gives a relevant, good argument (and you're smart enough to filter out good comments from bad), I see no reason why you should refrain from putting it in your notes. If you need to omit student comments to avoid 'furiously scribbling', then you're taking too many notes.

You should also give some thought as to whether you want to take notes by laptop or by hand. I prefer laptop, as I can organize my notes easily, which helps me when outlining. Plus my handwriting isn't very neat. On the other hand, handwriting notes does have the advantages of being forced to distill your notes (most people can't write as fast as they can type) and avoiding distractions of the internet :) (as a side note, you may have some professors who ban laptops in class).

For any Mac users, I would strongly suggest looking into OmniOutliner. You should have it preinstalled on your computer. I use the Professional version for all my note taking and outlining and highly recommend it.

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