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Messages - Texas2L

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1
General Board / Re: No grades, no rankings
« on: April 17, 2009, 09:00:01 PM »
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.2 is big, man.  3.5 vs. 3.7

Less than .2 :)  It is like 3.45 for top 1/3 here and 3.6 for top 10%.  Sorry, but this is not a big difference, especially when you are at like 3.55 and can't say that you are in the top 10% and some firms have flat cut offs. 

If my school didn't do % reports, a borderline case like this would likely get an interview because there is no arbitrary line drawn in the sand.

3.45 to 3.6 covering 23% of the class is insane, also those GPA's seem very high - our top 33% is like 3.21 and top 25% is 3.32 and top 10% is 3.46?  Seems as if your school hands out too many A's.

2
Law School Applications / Re: Part-Time @ SMU?
« on: April 17, 2009, 08:56:38 PM »
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While theoretically this is true, I wouldn't imagine it's a good idea to attempt to work while taking classes, unless your load is quite light.  As critical as grades and class rank are, anyway.
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Just FYI SMU ranks you against the full-time class.  You have to compete with them.  You're not ranked against the class that enters the same time you are;  you're ranked against the next class.
Ok, just perusing old topics and this caught my eye.

I'm a mech engineer w/ 6 years of experience living & working in Fort Worth, and I've got a PT app pending to SMU (3.13/165).  If accepted (Anyone want to take a stab at my chances?), I plan on continuing to work full time while going after my JD at night.  Seeing this recommendation against working while going to school and the fact that I'll be ranked against full timers who don't have the burden of work has me concerned.  After all, I'll be working at least 40 hours a week, and I'll have an hour+ commute from FW to Dallas at the end of each work day.

Is this unworkable?  Will my grades/ranking be such that I can't get a job after going through all of this?

Probably unworkable, even part time students have a few hours of reading per day, and you'll be in class until 9pm+.  FWIW I also live in fort worth and attend SMU but I don't work.  I'm in the full-time program.  After your first year, all of the elective upper-division classes you take make no distinction between PT and FT for grading.

That said unless the reqs have gone up considerably I think you'll easily be admitted to the PT.

3
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: Screwed in Legal Writing
« on: April 17, 2009, 08:54:10 PM »
I too had a somewhat negative experience in legal writing.  I found that they weren't too concerned with the substance of your writing, if you got all the legal points; my instructor was really looking for things like strong topic sentences, clean transitions, and above all, proper citation form.  The actual legal analysis wasn't very important to them, nor was the completeness of your legal research or explanations of it.  I realized this when I read some of the "A" papers of my friends which missed critical points of law and omitted some of the important cases.

It's just one class, get good grades in the others and provide a writing sample to employers so they know your legal writing profs are just full of it.

So...as a first semester 1L, you had already developed an excellent grasp of which points of law are critical and which aren't?  You seem to be ahead of the curve, at least from my experience.

I also just have to point out that legal writing is all about the transitions, the topic sentences, the excellent organization and flow.  If the main focus was somewhere else (like which cases are critical), it'd be legal analysis (that's not to say that if you completely strike out and make a nonsensical legal argument that you're getting an A). 

It doesn't matter how much of a genius you are in terms of analyzing cases, distilling the critical points, etc., if you can't write a well organized and easy to read analysis.

Lets just say that one of the "A" papers I read which was discussing how the 11th circuit should rule (appellate brief) on a 1985(3) class issue neglected to include the case (or any case which included) the test for determining if the class is covered by 1985(3). 

It is very easy to make flowery and complete transition sentences and make well organized and easy to read analysis when you effectively have double the space to do it in because you've omitted half the critical law.

Silly me, I thought when they call a class Legal Writing, Research & Analysis I thought they wanted you to do research and analysis.  My bad.

4
Southern Methodist / Re: What happens if you fail a citation quiz?
« on: April 09, 2009, 07:00:51 PM »
???

I think they lower your letter grade by 1 if you fail it.  But don't worry - it's quite easy, if you did your citations for your memo and brief and put any effort into it, the citations will seem like second nature for the quiz.  Also, do the review they give.

5
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: Screwed in Legal Writing
« on: January 21, 2009, 11:04:28 PM »
I too had a somewhat negative experience in legal writing.  I found that they weren't too concerned with the substance of your writing, if you got all the legal points; my instructor was really looking for things like strong topic sentences, clean transitions, and above all, proper citation form.  The actual legal analysis wasn't very important to them, nor was the completeness of your legal research or explanations of it.  I realized this when I read some of the "A" papers of my friends which missed critical points of law and omitted some of the important cases.

It's just one class, get good grades in the others and provide a writing sample to employers so they know your legal writing profs are just full of it.

6
2L job search / Callback 5 hours after the interview? Whats this mean?
« on: September 09, 2008, 11:00:31 PM »
I got a callback literally 5 hours after the interview, although we did have a reception the night before where I spoke with a few partners and had a good time. 

What does this mean as far as my chances for getting an offer out of the callback?  This is a V50 firm.

7
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Textbooks
« on: August 11, 2007, 09:27:40 AM »
I did a lot of checking on the 5 expensive books for my 1L year on campusi and half, and noted only very marginal savings when buying new books.  If you're buying used, yea you can probably save quite a bit of money.  I figured I'm going to be spending a lot of time with these books over the next 9 months, so I'd like them to be in good condition so I went ahead and bought new.  I'm writing it off as an insignificant expense next to the cost of tuition and the cost of not working.  :)

8
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / What are all of you doing right now?
« on: August 09, 2007, 12:26:20 PM »
Posts have slowed down on the board greatly, so I assume you're all busily doing something.  What is it?

I've been:
  • Waiting for my property prof to specify a book so I can go buy it and officially check off that I've got all my books.
  • Casually reading hornbooks at night since it's either that or world of warcraft and I figure now is a good time to phase out warcraft.
  • Working on the intent to study law form, for non-trads this is non-trivial and looks to be a real pain in the ass.
  • Setting up my OneNote with various tabs and sections for each class, questions, misc notes, etc.  Yes I'm bored.  Shutup.
  • Thinking about getting my casebooks unbound and separated into sections so they aren't 10lb monstrosities.

What about all of you?

9
I got the 14.1" widescreen T61.  It's not ridiculously small but it's fairly compact.

10
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Lenovo vs. thoseotherguys
« on: July 14, 2007, 12:14:30 AM »
Yea if you're installing XP you can just nuke that partition and get your space back.  I'm fine with Vista as it is right now though.  It's pretty snappy actually.

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