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Messages - smujd2007

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Everyone who got into a top tier law school has displayed some critical thinking or reasoning ability for the adcomms to take a risk on that person.

Take the legal reasoning class.  Be happy that you school actually cares about you making it through.

I have found this information to be true.  Knowing how to do legal reasoning is best done by seeing lots of practice tests and answers.  You can learn a lot by reading and outlining practice tests and answers.  However, it is still not a bad idea to take the class. 

And, legal reasoning is not innate-- not by a long shot.  The truth is, after three years of law school, if you can't do legal reasoning, something is wrong.  But in reality, grades are a test of who figures out how to do it first. 

if you're grasping the material and ur profs are saying ur reasoning and organization are bad then you need to take more practice tests....i did ok but i know that i would have done better had i not concentrated so much on making the perfect outline just took practice tests. the A+ students don't know more they just got the info down on paper better. the only way to master this is to take practice tests....ur limited by time and you feel anxiety and ur rushed so w/o proper practice ur answers are disorganized and piece mail and u forget simple stuff that loses changing my study approach this year and gearing everything towards the exam....some of the people who got A+s did not know the law better than me, did not know the cases as well as i did, and some were complete idiots all class, but they practiced taking exams and got the better grade.

Current Law Students / Re: cost/benifit of working hard
« on: January 22, 2008, 08:39:38 AM »
The game is not over after the first semester.  Figure out what you did wrong and apply it to this semester.  Talk to your professors about your grades--trust me, take it from someone who's done it.  Its painful to take a C or B- paper and have your prof dissect it and rip it to shreds, but that's what law school is about.  Breaking you down to build you back up. 

Best of luck to you.

Being near the middle of the class is much better than being at the bottom, IMO.  It's absolutely possible to get above the median from where you're at now with just one semester worth of good grades.

You seem set on sabotaging yourself by saying, "Oh, I can't do it" and "Eh, it's not worth the effort 'cause it won't make any difference anyway."

It will make a difference, and you just need to figure out where you went wrong and correct it.  It doesn't take much work.  Stop pushing yourself down and change your attitude.  Defeating yourself may soothe your pride a bit by lowering your expectations, but it will get you exactly no where in the long run.

The MPRE is straight black letter law.  I probably overstudied, but I passed the first time. 

Don't take this test too lightly, however, because I know a couple of people who had to take it more than once. 

If you had a rule based PR professor (like I did), I would recommend reading over the barbri long outline a couple of times, and taking all of the practice questions in the back of the book.  Also, make sure you review ALL of your answers, making sure you got questions right for the right reasons, and knowing why you got specific questions wrong. 

I studied for this exam on my lunch breaks during my second year second summer job. I walked out feeling like I failed, because the questions are tricky (not MBE tricky, but still, sometimes had to guess between 2 answers). If you read the barbri outline and work all of the practice questions, you should be in good shape. 

My friends that didn't have a rule based professor for PR also used the PR flashcards in the yellow box.  This gave them rules and hypos.  But be careful with the flashcards--some of the rules have changed slightly since they were printed.  Other than that, a good resource (if you are somewhat familiar with the rules you will be able to spot the inaccurate cards, they are pretty obvious.)

Good luck! 

I agree with the other posters, for the most part.  The best way to bring your grades up is to go see ALL of your profs and talk to them individually about your grades.  That way, you can see what mistakes you made all across the board, and then, see what mistakes you made by professor.  Some things are general, such as doing a lot of applying the law to the facts, and others, such as stating the rule, might be different (depending on the teacher, whether or not the test is open book, etc.) 

If you are at a top 20 school, it is also possible that everyone did well on the exams.  That is one of the drawbacks of going to a top law school--it becomes even harder to distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack.  Law school grades are tricky.  They mean everything right now, but in 5 years, no one will care what grades you made, except in 5-10% of jobs. Put the problem in perspective, but still attack it head on. 

Good luck!

Southern Methodist / Re: SMU part time scholarships?
« on: January 22, 2008, 07:13:30 AM »
I know several students in the SMU Part time program and none of them have scholarships.  I don't think that any scholarships are given to part time students, especially with the evening program in full swing.  There are a few evening program scholarships, but in terms of part time day program don't expect much, if anything.

Job Search / Re: State Attorneys Office vs. Paid Small Firm Position
« on: January 17, 2008, 08:49:11 AM »
Do the one that you are most interested in.  As a result, you will perform better and that makes it more likely that you will be able to get references from fellow co-workers. 

But yes, compared to grades, what you do your first summer is insignificant almost.  I have friends who vacationed first summer, clerked second summer, and had jobs after the second summer clerkship.  The second summer is a lot more important than the first.

Job Search / Re: Bad at Interviewing
« on: January 17, 2008, 08:45:22 AM »
I would recommend talking to career services and doing mock interviews with them.  Most law schools offer them.  With good grades, you should land something eventually.  Good luck!

Current Law Students / Re: Family Law is Depressing
« on: December 12, 2005, 09:11:26 PM »
Yay!!  Good to hear that, especially since I'm due to start working in a family law office soon.

I don't think it is depressing.  I have been interning for over 6 months in family law and it is far from depressing.  I had some very "interesting" cases and just being able to help someone is rewarding.

One thing about family law is that you will get a bit of everything from Civpro, contracts (prenups), trial advocacy (hearings), evidence and not to mention family law or community property.  Family law is a good way to get trial experience.

Current Law Students / Re: Family Law is Depressing
« on: December 11, 2005, 08:24:34 PM »
hey, me too!!

I want to practice family law, though.  :)  I know it will be hard, emotionally draining work, but I think in the long run it will be worth it.

I am studying for the final tomorrow.  Its closed book, and our professor expects us to know both national law and Texas law.  :-\

Current Law Students / Re: Evidence final
« on: December 10, 2005, 07:59:03 AM »
This is exactly why I hate closed book exams . . .and I have one on Monday!

My evidence exam was 60 multiple choice questions in 3 hours.  I think it was fair, I think I did okay, but you never know with multiple choice . .  . :-\

First of all, the point isn't that the professor is a male private part because the exam is totally closed book (although I think that's lame enough) - the prof is a male private part becaue he told the students throughout the sememster what would be provided, and students rely on that. Then he changes his mind a week before the exam.  That makes him a serious male private part.  The professor cannot be trusted - so OP has to think about if the prof continues to discuss anything about the exam.

Second of all, JoJo - have you even taken evidence?  It's about applying the Rules of Evidence - not general policies.  It's not Torts.  You have to know the rules and how to apply them.  If hearsay fits within an exception, you have to know the exception.  I could go on about how inane your comment about "arguing against every rule in the book" is, but I don't think anyone will take it seriously anyway.

Third, as to the supposed value of closed book exams.  I think my securities professor put it best: I've been practicing securities law for 30 years, and I always read the law.  Always.  And no client ever calls me and asks: 'I've got a problem, can you help me - but don't read the rules!' 

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