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Messages - mnewboldc

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I'd like to augment what I already learned from con law, but am unsure where to start.

I don't have a great deal of time; something in the 300-page range would be ideal.


Go to Indiana. In this economy, choosing a T3 over a T1 is suicide.

Current Law Students / Re: Screwed in Legal Writing
« on: April 19, 2009, 06:21:01 PM »
Changed Name,

As I said not all honor codes are treated alike, and enforcement would ultimately depend on whether the professor says outside help is available. I grant you, hiring a dominatrix who forces you to stand with your feet in a bucket of icewater while singing Milli Vanilli songs might help cleanse you mind and might make you a better writer. I imagine that most honor codes don't contemplate, let alone proscribe, that activity. Ditto with closed-book exams: I doubt I'd report someone who brought a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel to their Constitutional Law final and transcribed it (though I'd probably ask to look at the pages they'd been looking at just to make sure). Those situations are like the "innocent slobberor" exception to offensive battery. What I was discussing, and I think what most honor codes contemplate, is getting outside help on the assignment that's actually been given - or one distinctly similar.

So, to take your hypothetical a step further, suppose this purportedly innocent tutor gives a research/writing assignment that deals with the same federal statute that's the subject of the student's law school open memo. The student also knows that he may be corrected if he misapplies the statutory scheme, and that he'll receive these corrections before his open memo is due. The tutor may have no way of knowing that there's a potential conflict. But the student does have that knowledge, and thus even if he might have begun the class without knowing that a potential conflict might arise, he has the duty to excuse himself.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Wally's 1L Tips
« on: April 19, 2009, 05:55:41 PM »
Agree with everything in the OP except the "make love, not law review" part. I would strongly advise 1L's to make allies, not friends.

Lawyers as a whole might be mildly interesting/entertaining people, and I grant that finding a few great folks in any sampling of 200-300 people is virtually a mathematical certainty. But far too often law students turn into cardboard jackals who will sell you out for a marginally better opportunity to acquire a condo and a swimming pool. It's all well and good for the first few weeks of school, but things like "I'm glad X is having family problems and missing class because that will lower the curve for the rest of us" become more the rule than the exception as the semester winds down. Why waste your time and energy forming substantive bonds with people like this? Divulge enough of yourself at mixers to ensure that you're not bored on Saturday night and will be able to garner business referrals in the years to come. Respect the fact that everyone else is working hard and that everyone will need a helping hand once and a while. Know that your classmate's attitudes will likely improve as time goes on. But anything beyond ally-forming is a waste of time, especially during the first semester, unless you're lucky enough to find the handful of people who you somehow know won't succumb to the anxiety of competition.

Current Law Students / Re: Screwed in Legal Writing
« on: April 08, 2009, 06:51:56 PM »
Not sure that memo-writing and the process of doctrinal study are synonymous. In the case of doctrinal classes, it's pretty clear that you *should* be discussing the material with people outside your class in an attempt to understand it. Moreover, some professors do allow you to "bring" the words of others into finals in the form of outlines, hornbooks, etc. The trouble there is that everything is timed and you can't spend forever looking at sources, because that would trade accuracy for the ability to discuss issues, which is what matters. The assumption here is that you're providing a finished product.

The goal of legal research is different, because the advice you get is more directly related to the final product, and the product is static - you can look at it one day, then leave it, then go back to it. Compounded with this, what's being graded is not necessarily your thought process - which is ultimately intangible and unknowable - but your ability to perform more nuts-and-bolts tasks. Even conduct outside of this is suspect. Asking an employment attorney where to start an employment-related memo research contravenes the principle of the assignment, because the goal is to furnish all of your own research so that you'll be able to duplicate it one day.

I tend to view legal writing assignments as more similar to "closed book" final exams. Clearly bringing anything into the final exam besides your laptop and a can of red bull would be a violation of the honor code. Accordingly, if the honor code says not to talk about the problem or share your work with any legal professional, I think enforcement of the letter of the law would be appropriate. I agree, though, all honor codes are different and there's an exception to every rule. Moreover, sometimes profs will say it's okay to ask for outside help. If that's the case, get help from wherever you can if it would be useful. Though I guarantee you that if I saw someone looking at their outline during a closed-book, closed-note final exam I would report them.

Transferring / Re: T4 transfer to T2/T1
« on: April 08, 2009, 06:33:03 PM »
All things equal, think about it this way: #1 in a T4 class might get you into Cornell/GULC. #1 in a T2 class might get you into HYS.

Current Law Students / Re: Screwed in Legal Writing
« on: April 06, 2009, 08:50:47 PM »
Um... doesn't getting advice from outside folks (especially those who are practicing professionals) violate the honor codes of most schools?

Black Law Students / Re: No shot at Yale?
« on: April 04, 2009, 09:12:44 AM »
There's an enormous difference between testing at 175 and scoring that highly. Even if you're hitting that number with some regularity, there's no guarantee that you'll walk away with a score that high. In fact, I don't know anyone who scored at their upper practice range on the actual test.

If you do score that highly, the challenge then becomes to effectively express to YLS why your circumstances warrant consideration when your GPA might otherwise foreclose it. The YLS personal statement is still capped at 250 words. A tall order.


Choosing the Right Law School / Re: GULC vs Vandy($)???
« on: April 03, 2009, 01:50:39 PM »
With that kind of money, Vandy in a heartbeat

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