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Messages - OConnorScribe

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Current Law Students / Re: Law Review Blues
« on: July 13, 2008, 07:50:20 PM »
I agree that a percentile-restriction system in allowing students to write onto LR could work ... but only, I think, once grades and ranking for the year are known and a smaller pool of contenders competes against one another. That way, you eliminate the possibility of a fluke write-on by someone whose academic performance would otherwise make the administration wince and also ensure that the competition plays out at the highest level. With a wide-open, rank-unknown competition, you may inevitably get folks who did well in the first semester who think they can coast and others with dented confidence who are participating on a just-in-case basis. Of course, the counterargument to that is that the people who *do* give it their all under such a system deserve our respect and the subsequent invitation. However, I would respond it would benefit the LR  more to be more sure they are recruiting the right people.

Again, though, it's probably best to just open it up from the get-go.

Current Law Students / Re: Does this offend anyone else????
« on: July 10, 2008, 04:32:21 PM »
I'll grant you, though, that the AJC piece is amusing and ridiculous. Men at Work still better than Schlongs at Work, correct? :-)

Current Law Students / Re: Does this offend anyone else????
« on: July 10, 2008, 04:30:24 PM »
Wow, just wow.

You need to be more black men named Andrew and Matthew, dude, because they're out there (like mayors and scientists and even some murderers and burglars). I say that even if you are being sarcastic, because, man, that list of first names is just tacky and unnecessary. Why not just put icons of a watermelon, fried chicken, the Puerto Rican Flag and Osama bin Laden while you're at it.

Current Law Students / Re: Law Review Blues
« on: July 10, 2008, 04:24:59 PM »
I've heard numerous times that moot court may be a much more valuable activity depending of what route you want to take in your career (for civil litigation, it may be essential). I've actually heard this as well from a few students who are on our LR. Besides, consider two factors -- 1. I've been told by several of my school's alumni that past a certain point down the school rankings, LR is of marginal value in hiring and 2. LR is a giant pain in the butt, in which you cite and edit professors' poorly written screeds and become consumed with writing your comment. Granted, if I'd made the grade, I would have done LR myself, but this offering is just something to chew on.

For what it's worth, I think it stinks that you did that well grade-wise and didn't make the cut. At my school, the top 15% automatically make LR and get to choose which of the three journals they want to do (though most everybody picks the main one). This system is fair, since the top academic performers probably should be reward for their efforts.

But the write-on competition here is ridiculous. It extends only to the top 40%, which since no one knows their ranking during the competition means that nearly everyone submits the damn thing. This year, our class size was 185 -- that means the top 28 are in the clear and Nos. 29 through 74 are the only ones whose submissions matter, and out of those 46 perhaps only 20 to 25 will make it, depending on the need (a lot of PT, 4-year students were on the journal staffs this year). To me, they ought to open it up, because my gut feeling is that, at least this year, the most talented researchers and appellate briefers in the class finished mid-class or lower. Notice I didn't say writers, since there's no such thing as good *writing* in law school -- I was a journalist who either wrote or worked with text everyday for 10 years, and it's really amazing how stilted, according to fourth-grade Hoyle and patchwork it all is (i.e., you can just quote from other cases for miles and miles and use only a few of your own words and be declared a genius). Maybe it's just that the LRW program at this school itself stinks, but that's my impression. Disclosure: I didn't submit a competition paper because I instinctively knew I had bombed one of my exams (I was right -- knocked me from 37% all the way down to the median).

Perhaps there's no perfect method for selecting students for law review. The top 10% or 15%, though, should get a bite of apple, because getting up there is hard, hard, hard -- and admirable. If I was you, I'd turn tragedy into a circulated petition to change the criteria. 

Current Law Students / Re: 1L grades/Rank out...advice
« on: July 10, 2008, 03:44:31 PM »
I appreciate NoUserName's response. :-)

I'm basically in the same boat ... hovering 'round the median at T3 that's the only game in town and is highly regarded within certain specialty areas in the nearest metropolis. I'm not giving much credence to OCI as a result (though I may have an outside chance of landing spots with a couple of participants), so I'm definitely on board with the rock Evidence/network like hell/moot court/externship 'n' part-time firm job itinerary.

Matthies is right ... CLE events are great places to meet local players/panelists. Keep in mind, however, that a lot of people who attend aren't experts on the subject, are there for the free drink and the points and will leave immediately afterwards. The one I've been to so far sponsored by my bar association was a good event, and I did make a couple of nice contacts. But most people there didn't give a crap that I was a student. I learned that the best strategy to employ at these CLEs is to target actual participants, listen to the beginning announcements (because the emcee may mention a project or upcoming event that may need volunteer assistance) and pay attention to the Q & A session to determine whether specific questioners may be of value. Otherwise, blend in and contain your hard sell.     

Current Law Students / Re: good class ranking at 2nd Tier?
« on: July 09, 2008, 09:47:37 PM »
Well put, brasky. I've heard enough about the monolithic paragons of legal virtue to be perfectly okay to not even being remotely close to infiltrating their forts. That said, my goal is to still make $75-80K following graduation. Possible, but will take some work.

Current Law Students / Re: Fifth Tier Toilet
« on: July 09, 2008, 03:54:30 PM »
Matthies has a good point. I'll be interested to see how many of my peers female dog about the lack of OCI opportunities -- when we're just 25 miles north of Grand Central, 8 miles from Yonkers and three blocks away from the county courthouse and the row with all of the respected regional firms. :-)

YellowBrickRoad wins best comment on entire thread ... the LSD looney bin in full effect, yo.

Of course I knew about the clerkships being top prize ... I just didn't consider that it runs as deep down the list as the OP in the other thread suggests.

Thanks, also, for the info on the T14 process. Wow, that's actually kind of weird. I'd feel a little betrayed if I were an employer using OCI to recruit, had no control over who gets to interview and wound up with a dud of an associate. Heck, I'd feel betrayed if I were a better student and got passed over due to some mysterious unknown criteria or circumstance.

I'm actually more annoyed now that I'm enlightened about T14 culture than I was upthread. Maybe being in the dark and on the outside is a better spot to occupy. :-)

A final thought: I'm never afraid to start threads and engage folks on this board when I may only have marginal facts or preconceived notions (this isn't court; who prepares to female dog online in their spare time?). This board is a very good learning tool ... even when I'm getting marauded by learning tools ...

Current Law Students / Re: No Ticket No Exam ?!
« on: July 09, 2008, 03:37:36 PM »
Not true. I had printer problems both at home and at Kinko's the night before and morning of my LSAT (f'n aggravating), and the head proctor guy waqs cool enough to pull me aside and fill out information and give me a generic ticket. A week later, I had to return a verification notice to the LSAC people that it was indeed me who took the test.

Granted, that probably doesn't happen much, but tis possible.

Current Law Students / Re: Fifth Tier Toilet
« on: July 09, 2008, 10:45:23 AM »
Schools are definitely there because of the demand, but many of them, I think, are there to exploit the demand nefariously. I know John Marshall Law School is not new, but a JMLS who didn't make minimum grade started a thread on here a while back in which he cited an astonishing stat: More people either left or were flunked out of JMLS than all the other Illinois law schools COMBINED (I think the number was 36). I think the fact that there is such a demand for law school attendance, and that there are so many schools, threaten to take the instructional element of the profession down a dark path. The "we'll take anybody" approach to 1L admission, couple with a minimum grade requirement, is repugnant.

I'm proud that my T3 school, at least, is maturing. They lowered the cutoff GPA to 2.0 from 2.3. Part of this is tied to a desire to grow class sizes to roughly 250 from the current 180+. But I think another part of it is an effort to cast the school as a teaching institution. The school's new dean has been there for 21 of the 32 years since it opened ... and she built the academic support and legal writing programs and had a large role in making Civil Procedure a two-semester suite (I think that last move is dumb, because while they might want to be serious about teaching the practice of law, breaking it down to that level -- a month on discovery? pleadings and appeals tackled from every angle? nearly a month on Erie doctrine? -- is asking a lot of students who won't step inside a courtroom for at least a year. (Of course, my average for this suite was a C, costing me a scholarship, so maybe I'm biased ... :-)). Previous dean -- now the university president -- was an SEC commissioner and senior partner at Debelevoise & Plimpton. So her hiring is pretty bold. 

Point there is I think the opening of all these new toilets seems to be putting pressure on established schools to think and grow in creative, proactive ways. My hope is that an emphasis on better teaching across the board at T1 through low high 2/high T3 results from this movement.   

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