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Topics - OConnorScribe

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1
... it seems like a good idea to open new schools at Binghamton and Stonybrook. It's unbelievable to me that with all the private schools in the state that there still is only one state school (well, two if you include CUNY, but they're very low on the totem pole). That seems wrong when we're talking about the second biggest state in the U.S. I got waitlisted at Buffalo; I'm sure there were lots of others in the same boat, since the school (smartly) keeps its yearly enrollment to 250 students. It would have nice to put apps into a couple of other state schools as other lower-cost options. How state-run law schools are there in California? UCLA, Boalt, Cal-Davis, Cal-Hastings ... at least those four, and probably one or two I've overlooked (USC uis private, right?). Granted, all of those are mid-T2 or higher, but the options are there. For New York residents, the best hope to save on tuition besides Buffalo is to apply to the other states' schools and hope to to gain residency by 3L.

This state doesn't need 14 private schools, really. Wondering what others think ...   

2
General Board / IP in Brazil?
« on: July 22, 2008, 01:35:21 AM »
Anyone know the lay of the land in Brazil? I'm specifically interested in copyright and licensing, and in general IP litigation, including patent infringement.

I've been researching the growth of English in world markets -- and the concurrent growth of the BRIC world -- all summer for a major e-commerce and business-methods player working on a major new international Web launch. The experience has me convinced that I'd be foolish not to consider casting my gaze internationally.

So I'm wondering if any regular posters could point me in a direction as I research. Thanks.

3
General Board / Any value in looking internationally for 2L summer?
« on: July 16, 2008, 04:11:51 PM »
Or would that be a waste of time -- or perhaps a major risk?

I ask because for a couple reasons:

1. My 1L summer gig in IP research has morphed, for the time being, into one in market research, specifically on the worldwide demand for English instruction and the players in fostering that instruction on the Web (the company I work for is launching an ambitious Web start-up). In performing this work, I now realize that the BRIC world is coming on stronger than I previously imagined. This, I have to believe, means there is an awesome opportunity for the expansion of not only IP law, but also health and safety regulations and litigation, land use, anti-money laundering, public interest, criminal law (as urbanization increases and common sense erodes) and other specialties.

2. I'm in the middle class of my class (literally at the median) at my T3 in suburban New York City. While the proximity to the city and the growth out here in the sticks puts me in a pretty good spot, my underwhelming performance has me inclined to expand my search to cover broad terrain. Seems smart.

Any thoughts? 

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General Board / Why I think 2L might be more important than 1L.
« on: July 08, 2008, 11:40:04 AM »
I posted this on another thread but felt it was worth its own discussion:

I'm quickly discovering, from the feedback I'm receiving and in analyzing the tricky path ahead of me, that 2L could actually more important than 1L. Questions to ponder: If you did really well during 1L, will you get cocky and screw things up? Will you get overwhelmed by bluebooking hell and start to hate the whole deal? How will you maintain your energy and edge and focus and growth curve? Will you make a toolish misstep that costs you a summer associate job, and will that prospect produce its own angst?

For folks like me, who botched a couple of classes and finished at the median at a B/B- curve school (in my case literally; median here is 2.91), the questions become: How do you respond to this reality and what sacrifices are you willing to make to prove your worth as an actual legal worker and potential practitioner? Also, how much are you willing to eschew challenging classes in favor of one or two designed clearly to lift your GPA? Are you ready to network your way into your local bar associations and legal hotspots, even if this is an uncomfortable necessity?

In the first instance, arrogance is not an option. In the second option, crippling despair and depression is not an option. Hence, 2L is where the real fight lies, I would argue. Too many people succumb to the fishbowl mythology offered by boo-birds, trolls and law school deans. It's ridiculous, because $155-$170K in debt out of Harvard is the same as $155-$170K out of Pace. Removed from the top of the class at each (Pace gets Vault 50 placements in our top 5%), it'll be a struggle those first few years for both populations, whether we're talking LRAP gigs or $80-$100K entry-level firm jobs. So really, for rising 2Ls, it's all in how we position ourselves over the next 10 months.

Feel free to disagree.

5
So thanks to bad Civ Pro grades (yes, my school goofily divides it into two semesters), I finished right in the middle of the class (2.91; ranked three spots away from the statistical top half, but I have to think 2.91 is the median when rounded up -- or down). The curve here is B/B-, which explains the number. I feel like Jimmy Cagney: "Made it Ma! Top of the bell curve!."

Jokes and verbal elixir aside, this puts me in a genuine pickle moving forward. I have numerous positives I can sell -- a previous 10-year-career in print and online journalism; early internship (solo med mal attorney) and moot court experience (team witness and researcher in regional NTC competition); 3.35 average in my 4-credit courses (include A- in both Contracts and Con Law, which my peers seemed to think were the toughest classes); co-organized two animal law discussion events that packed the house (unheard of otherwise at my school); working plum patent research internship now at company owned by inventor of priceline.com and Synapse (while I can't prosecute, this will be invaluable in case I pursue IP litigation), have a Family Court externship lined up for the fall where I'll be representing DV victims in protection and emergency custody hearings; have a beat on being the IP guru's research assistant in fall (guy is ex-White & Case); scored 85% on my appellate brief (near tops in that class). Plus, I have some writing/research ideas I hope to pursue independently.

All of that being said, will respected law firms and/or corporations looking for in-house assistance give a crap about these positives. Or am I screwed by the numbers game purely? I realize I can pretty much forget fall OCI. Yet I also fear finishing below 3.0 and standing at mid-class, will close a lot of other doors, too, and that even if I score a 4.0 in the fall, I may not be able to land anything good with a February push with improved metrics. Or even if I solidify these potentially great references and contacts. I may just be a dude with C marks on his transcript and average metrics, even to a public interest hotbed like the Legal Aid Society in the Bronx, which I would consider an excellent opportunity.

So the past few weeks have been this odyssey of confusion, depression, hurt pride, dented confidence (I mean, I finished in bottom four in a 64-person Civ Pro II class. Ouch. Guess that's a long-term education), self-reflection, acceptance and strategizing -- and persistent anxiety. I'm looking at perhaps $170K worth of debt, which is a nightmare. But I'm not a quitter, and an $80K starting salary is still a goal (Insert laugh track here. Stranger things have happed though).

This question is for the lawyers who frequent the site and to older, wiser rising 3Ls: How to synthesize this and come out the other side in good shape? I need the dose of hope to balance out the dose of reality. T14s -- take it easy on me. I'm well aware I ain't you as a student. :-)

Thanks.

BTW -- School also splices Crim Law and Legal Research and Writing in the same two-semester suite, so that the appellate brief is under the umbrella of a mediocre overall grade because of a subpar Crim final. Yet another frustration -- class structure meant that we didn't learn Crim or LRW with any real focus or continuity, and one component was bizarrely and unfairly tied to the other. I get the desire to test the concept -- but it's better education model theory than actual practice.

*** A long-ass OP, I know, but a lot to share.***

6
So while I did well in all my other courses this year (B or higher), I tanked both Civ Pro I and Civ Pro II (yes, my school splits it into two semesters). Got C+ and then C-. The C- is particularly mortifying, since 1. I learned a hell of a lot from my school's best professor and worked really hard and 2. C- just LOOKS and FEELS like a dumb-ass grade, doesn't it? :-[ A lot of it had to with testing format that speaks to weaknesses of mine(convuluted multiple choice and restricted-word short answer), but some of it probably had to do with my comfort working on test time with the rules, i.e. focus. This worries me, as the NY bar exam, from what I understand, draws on the same kinds of questions. I'm not one to stew in my tragedies, no matter how much they hurt.

So to 2Ls, 3Ls and grads on this board, what do you think I can do to make the best out of repairing my evident weakness with civ pro? Are there exercises or research techniques or courses I can take/use? Do I just need to get into court and much as possible (ex: I'll be doing a family court externship and, hopefully, moot court in the fall)? Should I start studying the Federal Rules of Evidence now (yeah, sounds ridiculous, but evidence seems pretty tied to civ pro)?

On a related subject, I'd like to do my own writing and research projects, even though I won't be doing LR (decided not to try write-on; my school ranks third tier, and while it's highly regarded locally, I don't see the advantage of doing LR over gaining real-world experience and skill-building, especially since I''ll likely only ever piss on BigLaw's doors at closing time or work there as a janitor). Are there good outlets for publishing independent student works? And is that a good way to build the skills I need to build upon?

Thanks. It's hard living with the knowledge that this one particular area has screwed me, especially since I've never gotten grades like that before now. At least I'm at 3.0 and am in the top 40% and have a good internship at a big IP player. Plus, there's always the 10-year career I left behind ... or hoped to, anyway. So looking forward now. Any advice would be appreciated. Sorry if this is long-winded ...   


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Wait List / Oh great, deferred at Chicago-Kent
« on: May 14, 2007, 10:17:18 PM »
In mid-May. A little late, guys. Wondering how to play that one? And if I do, wondering how I can get a quick turnaround.


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General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Housing search, soon-to-be Pace 1L
« on: April 21, 2007, 12:16:19 AM »
I'm planning to attend Pace in the fall, and suddenly, I find housing issues becoming incredibly stressful? How do I go about finding adequate housing? And how the heck will I pay rent during the summer -- do summer gigs after 1L pay worth a *&^%? Will I even be able to stay in the same place year round?

Wow, the stress of the whole thing is brutal ... housing+150K worth of impending debt+prospective 1L workload+figuring out graceful way to leave job and not get shown the door beforehand+being 32 years old and tossing one life out for another without a net=AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

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General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Housing at Pace
« on: April 13, 2007, 10:15:01 AM »
Anyone else on here planning to attend Pace in the fall? Any notions of how to go about a housing search. I'm considering the dorm but would like to explore off-campus situations -- though not too far off, seeing as I won;t have a car. Feel free to share notes here, or if anyone's interested in searching together, contact me off thread.

10
Where should I go next fall? / Decided on Pace.
« on: March 30, 2007, 09:16:06 AM »
So I've made the decision to send a seat deposit to Pace University School of Law. The more I researched and learned about the place, the more I came to feel as if the place is underranked and a real under-the-radar find. In building itself up, it seems to have done something clever: It chose to forge an identity as an environmental-law academy. By doing that, that enabled them to attract a pretty impressive faculty (Harvard/Yale types, former regulators, BigLaw stars) and gain strength in related areas such as property, regulation, commercial law, negotiation, white collar crime and science/tech IP. The dean is a former SEC commissioner; an alum is the senior partner in DC for Thatcher, Proffitt and Wood; and RFK Jr. runs an environmental clinic. So I feel as if I can come out of the place with a thorough theoretical training and some well-developed skills.

Makes me feel better about getting a 155 on the LSAT. :-) Only issue really is how I'll be able to infiltrate the job market from Pace -- it appears that most of the placements are in Westchester and the Bronx and at small and mid-sized firms. Manhattan is still possible. We shall see.

Anyone else headed to Pace? Anyone choose not to? Wondering what others' impressions are. 

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