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Messages - mnewboldc

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Cornell vs GULC
« on: April 03, 2009, 01:43:55 PM »
I can't speak to GULC, and obviously have no basis for comparison with other schools, but as a Cornell 1L I can at least tell you this: the faculty are amazing. My civil procedure, property and contracts classes were taught by professors who had authored their casebooks, and enjoying congruity between what you learn in class and what you read at night is something you can't put a price on. Moreover, there's a close coordination between classes. For example, my property professor would mention a section of the UCC, and my contracts professor would then lecture on said provision the next day, with the end result that we were induced to think about attacking an issue from a variety of viewpoints. Many times a professor would call on one student, and if the response wasn't satisfactory the professor in our next class tended to call on that student. How much of all this is orchestrated is impossible to know, suffice to say that Cornell is not a place to come to if you want to be an anonymous face in a crowd. However, after almost a year of it I'm inclined to believe that the benefits of conspicuousness far outweigh the detriments, because the whole point of the Socratic method is that there's ultimately nowhere to hide.

Ithaca is a neat town, but it is small, and the lack of alternatives can lead to occasional claustrophobia. However, 1L year - by far the most important of a law school career - is all about burying yourself in the material whether you want to or not, and I imagine that being in a city - where most folks will wind up anyway - would exacerbate the "street urchin outside a restaurant" phenomenon.

Neither position confirmed, but both want to interview me. Both positions are in the same state and expenses are not material. Anyone have any thoughts as to which position would provide better experience?

Moreover, I'm worried about etiquette. I have an interview scheduled with the AG on Friday but have yet to set a date with the judge. Obviously I want to keep both doors open, and I've heard that if the judge offers me a position it's very damaging to say no. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to schedule an interview with the judge only to turn around and cancel. I'm sure many people out there are faced with this conundrum; thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Current Law Students / Re: Getting Ready
« on: April 01, 2009, 09:05:20 AM »
Officious Intermeddler's description of K's is a good illustration of my point. At my school K's is a two-semester class, and we didn't get parol evidence until the Spring. Moreover, there was a word limit on all final exam essays, forcing us to focus on only what was relevant to answering the question; we wouldn't earn any points for off-topic remarks. Your K's professor will view the course differently than either of ours did.

Current Law Students / Re: Getting Ready
« on: March 31, 2009, 05:47:07 PM »
I was you last year. Don't bother reading ahead. I know you are chomping at the bit but you don't know what kind of mule-driver your professor will be, and going forward when he's pulling back will just leave you tasting the whip. Law school is corporate zen and as such its goal is as much to crush the will as it is to learn the black letter. The more insulated you feel inside the various fonts of the black letter the more acute your disgrace will be, because the hypothetical is a vacuum which swallows even the blackest of letters, especially those typed by the unindoctrinated. It's not pretty.

Read Law School Confidential. Watch The Paper Chase. Wikipedia the major subject areas if you must, to get a "general" feel. But your goal should be to spend the summer doing all the things you enjoy, because come Fall the party comes crashing to a halt.

Success with law school exams is all about knowing how to mirror your professors' thinking. Study aids should assist this process while deviating as little as possible. Since you don't know how your professors think until you interact with them, you should wait to purchase study aids until you arrive.

This might be a little disconcerting, because you want to start studying now, and the first few weeks will probably be tough. Trust me, you're better served waiting until you arrive. But take care of the problem early. Ask your profs what they recommend. If they're vague, try to locate second-year students and get their recommendations. If you've been assigned a "mentor," this might be a good place to start.

Depending on what kind of schoolwide listserv you have, it will doubtlessly be inundated with messages from 2Ls and 3Ls selling casebooks and supplements early in the year. Check the name of each seller against the names of your school's law review masthead, and try to buy supplements from the names that match, provided these sellers had the same professor that you did.

Also, and I can't stress this enough: try to find outlines from 2L students that did well. Sometimes the folks you buy casebooks/supplements from will throw in their outlines if they like you. This doesn't mean you shouldn't write your own, but it can be an indispensible from an organizational standpoint.

Transferring / Re: Re-taking the LSAT while in law school?
« on: March 28, 2009, 03:55:15 PM »
The LSAT is used (theoretically) to gauge your potential for success in law school. After you've spent a semester and a half immersed in the study which the test is supposed to gauge, you'd probably do a lot better on it regardless of how well you did the first time. So I think that any school "comparing" your previous LSAT with the one you propose taking now would tend to discredit your second score, especially as you have grades which either prove/disprove the results of the proposed second test.

Transferring / Re: T4 transfer to T2/T1
« on: March 27, 2009, 02:03:28 PM »

I certainly agree with you that, once you get your foot in the door, experience should matter more. However, I did not agree with you that the cause of the problem is overextension in general, nor would I agree with you, because that explanation is quite broad, and thus is probably as false as it is true. All I said was that it was wrong for firms to assert a bias based on what I believe is an arbitrary ranking system. I did not agree to endorse the opposite of cronyism, because I do not think the world, insofar as it has been framed here, can be divided cleanly into night and day. I also said that "one" critique of the current firm system was that it took on too many lower-ranked students. By saying "one" I did not say that this is the way things actually are. There could be, and probably are, many other factors contributing to the current retraction of the legal market (popular sentiment against the billable hour, the recession, top-heavy partnership structures, etc.). The goal is not to figure out what reality is or what it should be, but to determine that policy consideration that firms will actually utilize in going forward that actually matters to us. What matters to us is getting jobs after we graduate. As far as that's concerned, I think firms will wind up hiring fewer first-year associates overall, and that students from lower-ranked law schools will bear the brunt of this retraction - as the phrase "hiring policies" suggested.

Transferring / Re: T4 transfer to T2/T1
« on: March 27, 2009, 08:15:34 AM »

I cannot speak to what you may have heard or not heard about the cause of industry-wide morass. However, I never sought to establish "logical justification" for the statement you mention, because that statement relies not on logic but on an industry-wide bias that someone who got lucky on one day (i.e., LSAT-taking day) and gained admission to a higher-ranked school as a result is somehow more capable, at least initially, of doing thousands of hours of work per year in actual firm practice. The justifiability of the "critique" is not the issue. The issue is whether or not law firm hiring personnel will actually take this bias into account when adjusting their policies for a tighter market, and deciding from which law schools they will choose their incoming associates. Given the rampant elitism of this profession, it is by no means a "stretch" to conclude that graduates from lower-ranked law schools will bear the brunt of the cost of downsizing, and that hiring personnel will employ backwards-looking "logic" (i.e., that it was the hiring from those lower-ranked schools that caused a detrimental swelling of the ranks) to "justify" their decision.

Current Law Students / Re: Screwed in Legal Writing
« on: March 26, 2009, 06:21:40 PM »
My first published novel was compared to the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I couldn't make the curve in legal writing. Legal writing, especially the "objective memo," is so far outside the sphere of what we consider textual reality prior to law school matriculation that everything goes up for grabs, and no one should rely on their prior writing "abilities" as an indication of their potential success in this medium. To be graded on a single assignment seems especially pathological. I feel your pain.

Current Law Students / Re: Crim Law Supplements
« on: March 26, 2009, 06:12:04 PM »
Another vote for Dressler, with the caveat that I am also using his casebook and my professor is cited in said casebook.

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