I'm full of "I wish I would have known that" type of advice that I would love to share with you all. Feel free to ask me any questions..
how bout an elementary 0l-1L rundown:
When to start outlining / what to use when creating outlines / what techniques work for study groups (do you go over outlines or do stuff that's more interactive like hypos, etc) / most helpful primers and study aids / What's a hornbook? (sorry its killing my little brain) / how to approah that 2 hr writing class as a 1L / any intanglibles with classes and professors at loyola worth considering / is it worth studying abroad if you can find a good reason to? ...
if you can address ANY of that it would be a big help, thanks!
I'll be a 3L in a few weeks. Here's my take:
I outlined my first semester of 1L. I pretty much stopped after that. I never joined a study group, with the exception of having 2-3 people to meet up with before exams to do a 30 minute sanity check. Basically, we wanted to make sure we didn't miss anything big. I used Emanuels like it was my job during 1L. It basically taught me what I needed to know. I came out of 1L in the top 20%. If you're not top 15% for OCI as a 2L, it's pretty much a waste. There are not many jobs out there to be had from OCI. I have friends in the top 5% who went 0/15 at OCI. No callbacks. There are a handful of people in our class at big firms. Not many more than that. I also know a couple of people who ended up at mid-sized firms through OCI. They are litigators, though.
I did not study abroad b/c I did that in undergrad and also lived abroad for work after undergrad. People who went to Rome loved it. But it's more money to shell out.
They have changed 2L so it's now electives. We had mandatory courses. I highly recommend taking Fed Tax. Tax law will be present almost no matter what type of law you practice. Even if it's not, it's good personal knowledge. You do no get to choose 1L professors, so I won't go there. As you schedule for 2L, I recommend classes with actual practitioners teaching. I found those to be the most rewarding classes I've taken. I also highly recommend getting a job somewhere during 2L. I got incredibly bored during law school and especially fall of 2L. It hurt my grades b/c I am not productive when I have little to do. Getting a job was a great way to be productive, learn what the practice of law is actually like, and make some money.
Honestly, I think most people vastly exaggerate how bad law school is. I don't think it's that difficult at all. You just have to know what sh*t is important and what's not. You also have to not freak out. Everyone will start to go somewhat crazy at a few points during the year. Especially 1L. When you feel like doing so, get away from all other law students and remind yourself that it will all be OK. Remember, you've got your Emanuels, which will show you the light.
Write-on to Law Journal to prove to employers that you can do so. Beyond that, I believe it's a big waste of time. I did it for 2L and promptly quit for 3L. I found no value added by wasting my time reading a million articles and cite checking them. Instead, I went to a law firm and worked.
The Loyola administration lacks . . . competence. The new Dean seems good and is slowly but surely eliminating almost the entire staff that was here when he arrived, but the leftovers are awful. They generally do not do their jobs and leave you hanging. Never take them at their word. Always check and double-check anything they tell you. Never trust them to do what they say.
More on jobs. Work your ass off to send out resumes to every employer you can think of. I have sent a couple hundred resumes out over 1L and 2L. I got one job at a firm through a posting on our job site. The job I am currently in came from sending out resumes cold to people. On average, if you send out 100 resumes, expect 3-5 responses. Don't limit yourself to law firms. Look at corporations and accounting firms (for tax folks). Prepare for lots of unprofessional behavior by employers. Many will never reply. Some take months to send a rejection letter. But you only need one job.
Loyola is getting better at giving its students employers' names and contact information. But don't stop there. Put together your own lists. Network. And work harder than everyone else to find the job you want.
I know this has been mostly rambling, but a few closing thoughts. Settle down. It's not that difficult. Remember, hundreds of people at Loyola and thousands throughout the country do this every year. You'll make it. Find your own style. Just b/c I stopped outlining and rarely briefed cases doesn't mean that you shouldn't. I have friends who spend 10 hours a day in the library. I haven't studied in the library in over a year. We each have our different styles.
OK, feel free to ask any questions. I'll actually check back in here. Lastly, Chicago is the greatest city in the world to live in.
A couple other questions:
1. Good s/n. Are there excessive amounts of Cub-fans up there? What type of repellent should I wear or will they pretty much let me be?
2. I didn't understand the bit about writing onto Jaw Journal--- was this the flagship law review and you couldn't get a "good" spot by writing on (rather than being there to begin with)?
3. Is there any print-out for the grade distribution for electives, just for kicks?
Kent had one on their site...
4. How to find the "actual practicioners" for profs? By this do you mean ad-junct ppl or just ppl w/ experience that you'd presume to be helpful? Do you need to find bios er just find a list?
or one more thing... BOOKS --- They sent home flyers to us for Beck's Bookstore to pre-order. I'm guessing I'll check prices for both that and the university. Or is there a way to get a list of the books for each course from the university, and then check through amazon, half, etc. for cheaper deals?