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Messages - UnbiasedObserver

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21
General Board / Re: UF 2L Taking Questions
« on: February 01, 2010, 09:58:42 PM »
Awesome! How's UF?   My question is a bit unorthodox..so hope you can give it a go..HOW is the student life there, for grad students?  How has your experience been like?  Do you go to football games, what does the grad body do for fun, is there always stuff to do, etc. Do you recommend?  And what's the age range in your law school class?  How are the teachers?  thanks

The student life is great here.  Keep in mind that I came from a small undergrad., but the law school is nice, because you get the "small-town" atmosphere, but you can take advantage of the larger campus functions.  (The law school, even though it is by "frat row" and the sports complexes such as the golf course, track, and football field, is on the edge of campus, so it's quieter there.)  Many law students play basketball, tennis, etc. at the sports facilities, and many play intramurals.  Also, many play in the Grad Cup, which is a competition between the graduate schools. 

Most law students go to the football games if they win the lottery (and many do).  There's a downtown, which has its upscale (and downscale) bars/clubs.  And there's plenty of other stuff to do, such as hiking (seeing wild alligators/etc.). 

Most law students are young, although UF values diversity.  I don't just mean ethnic and racial diversity, but UF law students come from all walks of life.  That's something I really enjoy here. 

The professors are solid, although I think sometimes they dwell too much on the theoretical.  Again, though, they're top-notch.

If you have any other questions or need clarifications, feel free to ask.  I don't come on here too often, but I try to check this site daily. 

22
General Board / Re: UF 2L Taking Questions
« on: January 28, 2010, 10:31:53 PM »
When you transfer, do you get an official ranking at the end of it all? How does that work? Just a personal ranking for the 2 years you were at the place you finally get teh JD at?

That's a good question, and I don't really know.  UF only ranks those in the top 15%, and even then they only rank at the end of your 1L year, and then don't do it until you graduate.  It's an odd system, IMHO....

23
General Board / Re: UF 2L Taking Questions
« on: January 27, 2010, 12:31:10 AM »
Do you know about the grading policy UF has? Do professors who teach the first year courses have to give out C-'s to a certain percentage of the students?

Check out this link:

http://www.law.ufl.edu/students/transfer/policies.shtml

For classes of 26 or more, the curve must be between 3.15 and 3.25 (and UF's law school just instituted minus-grades to its grading system).  If there are 25 or fewer people, "there is no minimum and the maximum is 3.60."

It seems that normally, a vast majority of people here land B's.  It's hard to say the distribution of A-minuses and B+, due to the change in grading this past semester.  However, in previous years, it was thought that C's aren't extremely common. 

24
General Board / Re: UF 2L Taking Questions
« on: January 08, 2010, 11:35:53 PM »
I was thinking about transferring to UF.  Do you know any transfers?  If so, how difficult/competitive was it for them?  Thanks.

That's a good question.  I know of people who transferred, but they're "merely" people I have met maybe once or twice ever.  Now that I think of it, two UF law students who transferred into UF, in fact, wrote a book about the transferring process that may (or may not) help you:

http://www.law.ufl.edu/flalawonline/2009/08312009/transfer.shtml

(I never read the book and don't really know them, so I cannot vouch for the book's accuracy.)

I can think of approximately half-a-dozen people off the top of my head that are transfers, so my guess is that UF accepts many of them.  (Also, UF is large for a law school, and transfers don't figure into the USNWR rankings, so normally schools are more lenient with transfer admissions.) 

The link on the website doesn't give much information wrt transfer admissions (http://www.law.ufl.edu/admissions/transfer.shtml); there are no statistics or guidelines for the most part.  My guess, based on what I've heard, is based on common sense and what I've heard: if you went to a lower-ranked school, you probably better be in the top of your class (at least 1/3rd or so).  This is a very rough approximation, though, based on the very limited anecdotal knowledge that I have. 

25
General Board / UF 2L Taking Questions
« on: January 04, 2010, 10:07:56 AM »
Hello again!  I see that this place is dead now; what happened?  With the small likelihood that there is anybody here, I'm willing to take questions about UF.  Shoot them if you have them!

26
Where should I go next fall? / Re: FSU 2L Taking Questions
« on: December 26, 2009, 08:57:25 AM »
As for summer work, yeah, people are finding work. Most people have something lined up, and I think most of the rest will get squared away soon.

Really?  Here, nobody is finding work.  I find that hard to believe, my friend....

And Merry Christmas by the way!   :)

Seriously, a lot of our people have something lined up, based on my observations.

And a merry day-after-Christmas to you. :)

Hmm.  That's interesting.  I really can't say the same here.  Sure, people have jobs, but it's bad out there.

And thanks!

27
Where should I go next fall? / Re: FSU 2L Taking Questions
« on: December 25, 2009, 01:09:08 PM »
As for summer work, yeah, people are finding work. Most people have something lined up, and I think most of the rest will get squared away soon.

Really?  Here, nobody is finding work.  I find that hard to believe, my friend....

And Merry Christmas by the way!   :)

28
Where should I go next fall? / Re: FSU 2L Taking Questions
« on: December 25, 2009, 01:07:47 PM »
I've heard rumblings about it becoming much more difficult for out of staters to get residency at FSU and Florida after 1L.  True?

Partially true. It's not that it's becoming more difficult so much as that it is already fairly difficult and the schools don't really attempt to tell anyone about what's required.

In addition to standard requirements (get a driver's license, register to vote, etc), the tricky things about Florida residency are that you have to:
  • Fill out a declaration of domicile form and file it with the county clerk (I think that's the office...).
  • Have EVERYTHING you need for residency dated before the start of your first year so that you can show you have been living in Florida for more than a year by the time 2L starts. This one trips up a lot of people and can be very difficult if you arrive only a few days before school.
  • Fill out your bar application, and according to some of the staff at FSU this year, fill it out before the start of 1L. I say the FSU part because the 1Ls this year were told several conflicting things and I expect it to be a problem next year when they're trying to reclassify. But whatever the case, if your bar app is filled out before 1L starts, you're cool.
  • As of this year, write out a statement of your intent to remain in Florida and have it notarized.
  • Live off campus. This is required at FSU at least and is legally debatable, but it's a requirement right now.

Section 1009.21 of the Florida Statutes covers everything in particular, if you're interested. It was just updated this summer, so I'd guess it will be stable for at least a few years, but you never know. And that update also seems to have caused some confusion at schools in Florida, so the requirements might be reinterpreted in the future.

Like I said, it's really just that it's hard to get residency in Florida, not so much that it's getting harder. That said, I think Florida the state probably would eliminate the ability to reclassify if they thought they could get away with it.

I don't know if I see it the way that I do.  UF law (for those of you who don't know me, I'm a UF 2L here) has always, before this year, advertised on its website that a vast majority of out-of-staters get in-state tuition after their first year.  So I wouldn't characterize Florida as a tough state to get in-state tuition in previous years. 

However, it is hard to see how this is going to play out in the future.  They changed the statute, particularly with the burden of persuasion for out-of-staters.  They changed it to a "clear-and-convincing" standard.  Nobody knows necessarily how that is going to play out in the future, but it seems based on this changed burden, among other changes, that they want to restrict those who could take credit of the previous lax standards.

(An aside: Florida for the first time since [I think] WWII is actually losing a net amount of people.  Do they really want a brain drain by being stingy in a tough economy?  Expediency to solve a short-term problem isn't smart when you exacerbate a long-term problem.) 


29
Law School Applications / Re: FSU/UFL
« on: December 23, 2009, 05:31:43 PM »
How do you find the atmosphere at UF?

Well, what do you mean by "atmosphere?"  :)

You know, how people act towards each other, how competitive it is, how the professors are, how useful the admin is, that sort of stuff.

Well, you're a little late in clarifying!  :P

I was actually surprised in coming to law school at how nice people are.  Most people are very friendly--and UF, to be sure, lives up to its reputation as a party school wrt the law school as well as the undergrad. 

OTOH, it is competitive, as any law school is.  When you are the top law school in the state (just messing with you ninja!), you're bound to have many smart kids here.  One person from my class transferred to Harvard, and two had the opportunity to transfer to Columbia.  But it's normally a friendly competition; however, there are unfriendly people as there are at any school.

Most of my professors have been great.  Few play "hide the ball," although it happens at times.  My complaint is that UF proudly trumpets the fact that they don't teach to the bar.  Then, when we had a poor Feb. passage rate, they placed the blame solely on the students.  The point of education is (at least partially) to give a practical education.  Don't get me wrong, I like the theoretical education, and it's an integral part.  But don't be overly proud that your students are smart enough that you don't need to focus on the Bar.  That has nothing to do with you as a school, and there should be a higher focus on proper educational outcomes.

The administration is helpful, but I always find administrations to be too slow to adjust with the times.  When the economic problems hit, the CSO tried its best but didn't really know what to do.  Many students complain about it, but when there are no jobs, it's hard for them to do anything! 

I find UF to be a great place.  I recommend it, if one has thought carefully about going to law school and he/she wanted to practice in Florida!

30
Law School Applications / Re: FSU/UFL
« on: December 18, 2009, 08:59:31 AM »
Thanks for the discussion.  I am looking to work in the federal government as an attorney, and I am almost 100% sure of my choice based upon my 10+ years of federal work in the military.  I think FSU would be a better match for me since I'm already not too far from Tallahassee now.  I guess we'll see how I do on the LSAT.  I'm almost done with my BA and I think I'll end up with a 3.7 or so UGPA.

Thanks!

If you can save substantial amounts of money, and you want to stay in that area, FSU is a great choice.  Keeping costs down will be key, as the economy may not make a full recovery for quite some time.  That includes the legal market. 

Good luck!

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