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Messages - Refused Party Program

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Law School Admissions / Re: UChicago 3L taking ?s
« on: October 17, 2008, 02:51:57 PM »

to be fair, as much as socratic can be scary at times, i've discovered that i absolutely hate classes that don't have it.  i need some pressure to keep up with the reading, or to not zone out.  and, oh yeah, it's good for learning.  being able to think quickly on your feet is something people should, in my opinion, be interested in perfecting.

While I don't go to Chicago, I will say that I 100% agree with this statement. The good thing about socratic is that it can really help you think about things a little differently. You will find after your first year that straight lecture classes can really but you to sleep.

I don't know if its pessimistic, its just reality. Law school applications are expensive. I don't know what extra value there is in sending an application before you know where you stand. I could have saved myself a few hundred dollars. I was speaking from personal experience.

Plus, what if they are higher? Then you lose nothing because the higher than expected LSAT score should compensate for your application being reviewed a few weeks later. This is of course assuming getting your application reviewed 2-3 weeks later in January is a disadvantage which I am not sure I would concede.

I asked admin officers if I should do it, and most said it didn't matter. One (UChicago) said I ought to send it in early. After I got my score, I had no business applying there.

All my experience. Do with it what you will.

You can do this, but I'm not sure if it is a good idea. I did that thinking I was going to get a "leg up" but in fact I ended up applying to a bunch of schools to which I had no business applying. I'm not sure if it is going to do anything to make your life easier other than you might go complete a few weeks early. But, in my experience, it was unlikely to make up for a lack of numbers or soft factors.

Learn from my mistake: apply once you have a score in hand. Don't count the chickens before they hatch ...

Job Search / Re: Help me pick between 2 firms PLEASE
« on: October 15, 2008, 08:20:59 PM »
Hmm ... I'm not sure what you are interested in, but now that I think about it, maybe the opportunity to explore many practice areas is a better option?

If you are really concerned about 1) stability or 2) practice areas, maybe you could ask someone at B if they had plans to expand practice areas and what there strategy is to keep the firm going in such trying times. Something to think about. Also, if you can, try and meet more people from both firms and see if something all of the sudden clicks.

As I said, tough choice, good luck, but you are probably OK either way.

Job Search / Re: Torn between a few options
« on: October 15, 2008, 08:08:35 PM »
I think unless you really want to be in Chicago (and honestly, I can understand, wonderful city), I would throw all of that Vault crap away. If you think you are wanted and will thrive, and you like the place, I think there is no reason for you to change. It actually sickens me sometimes how much weight people put in rankings sometimes, especially with a career. Who cares if you are at a top Vault X firm and what your exit options are if you like where you are? (BTW, I'm not saying that is what you are doing, I'm just saying people put more weight in Vault than I do).

If you want to be in Chicago however, then you have a real choice on your hands.

I'm considering a split and have the same concern about damaging reputation, however, if the small market firm is interested in offering you a split, that is a good thing for them. As for the other firm, I understand your pain.

Job Search / Re: Bias against part time/"second career" (older) students
« on: October 15, 2008, 07:59:38 PM »
I actually think it depends on the firm.

I think for sweatshops, BIGLAW, "prestigious" firms, there may be something of a bias against older students that expect to be treated like a human being in their office. This is just my speculation, but I think someone who has been out in the "real world" a little might have a tendency to buck the billing machine mentality.

On the other hand, there are some firms that really like it for several reasons. I have been told in several interviews that the interviewer was "bias in favor of people with real work experience."

So, some value it, some don't. I actually think the OPs bad luck has more to do with the crappy market than anything.

Job Search / Re: Help me pick between 2 firms PLEASE
« on: October 15, 2008, 07:53:19 PM »
If you like the city, and don't want to go elsewhere, I would just take the one with the lower hours and call it day. Here are somethings that are nice about Firm B:

1) Lower hours
2) Young firm + good rep = potential to grow.

Throw the Vault stuff out the window. If B is a "top 5" for the area, and you like the area, I think that shouldn't make a difference.

I guess the only downside after that is practice areas. While A may have more practice areas, are they well developed? I sort of think its better to be excellent at 3 than good to very good in 10. (Not sure if that is the case, but something to think about). One caveat: if Firm B's PAs are cyclical or volatile (real estate for example), if they all hit a rough patch you might be in trouble.

However, if you step back for a second, I think you may be in a "can't go wrong situation." What is the downside to picking the "Wrong" firm? Doesn't seem like there is one. Good luck.

I'm sort of in the same boat, although, not married, no plans for kids. I'm basically between a good firm with a non sweat shop rep in a big market and a lifestyle firm in a smaller market. It is good that we have choices, but it doesn't make them any easier.

Honestly, if you decide on the secondary market, I think option 3 is better than option 2. You feel like you will fit in. You liked everyone you met. You have a family and they have less of a sweatshop reputation. The layoffs are scary, but if they are in a practice area that is cyclical and you don't have interest in (real estate for example) then you might be OK.

If you have real trouble, you can try what I did. Make a list of things that are important to you in your job. Weight each one so the sum of the weights is 1.00. Then, for each firm give a score of 1 - 10 for each category. Multiply each score by the weight for that category. Sum each category for each firm. Highest score wins. For example:

QOL (.5)
Like People (.25)
City (.25)

Firm A:
QOL 7, 7*.5 = 3.5
Like People 7, 7 * .25 = 1.75
City 10 * .25 = 2.5
Total = 7.75

Firm B:
QOL 10, 10*.5 = 5
Like People 8, 8 * .25 = 2
City 5 * .25 = 1.25
Total = 8.25

Firm B wins.

This is a technique we used a lot in my old job when we had to make important decisions. They were much more complicated, but the process was the same. It sounds like a lot of work, but it can really help put things in perspective. You might even make a decision while you are making up the list as to what is important to you.

Of course, when I did this, the scores came out exactly the same.

I think, in your situation, the last thing you should be thinking about is firm "prestige." While it may be a factor, I think you and your family's happiness ought to come first.

Current Law Students / Re: Mock Trial Team
« on: October 09, 2008, 06:30:45 PM »
I think if you want to be a trial attorney, its a good way to get some sort of practice and begin to develop trial skills (different than appellate argument skills). I agree that doing for a resume bullet is not the right way to go. You don't want to litigate. You are already on a journal. If I were you, I would just focus on enjoying your journal experience and getting the most out of it. I think if you get your comment published, that would be a better resume bullet anyway. Mock Trial takes up a lot of time.

As for "prestige" I think your list is probably correct. As a moot court person as well, I think its crap because Moot Court should be at the top (not so subtle Moot Court trolling). As for why it is the way it is, my guess is that for Mock Trial, you don't have to do any research or writing (generally) because the problem is closed, where as in Moot Court/Journal you need to do research. Also, I think tradition plays a role: journal is more prestigious now because it was more prestigious when partners were in law school. Not sure when all of that started. Also, and I'm bias, but Moot Court is more fun, and fun things can't be prestigious. 

Transferring / Re: IP Electives or Bar related courses?
« on: October 09, 2008, 06:01:53 AM »
jacy makes a good point, one that I overlooked.

I guess at some point I would like to think (perhaps naively) that at some point I could take some classes in school for pure academic pursuit, not to satisfy some other motive.

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