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Messages - Leaf2001br

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Current Law Students / Re: Study time
« on: April 09, 2006, 11:15:44 PM »
to the last poster: where do you go to school?

LSU, why?

Transferring / Re: LOR's from College Profs
« on: April 09, 2006, 11:11:15 PM »
Didn't see that.  So, uh... Disregard what I said.

Current Law Students / Re: Study time
« on: April 09, 2006, 08:22:36 PM »
I think the OP is making the common mistake of being complacent about their intelligence and academic potential.  College, high school, middle school, etc. were completely different and here's why: If you have been admitted to law school you have probably spent your entire life being somewhat superior to your classmates.  You probably didn't have to work as hard as most.  General warnings and advice did not apply to you.  You could get good grades when you wnated and you knew what you had to do to get them unlike the rest of the poor saps in your classes.  You were special.  That's why you were chosen over hundreds of other college graduates who also felt good enough about their chances to feel it was not a waste of money to apply to law school.  So congratulations.  But that's all over now.

You are not special in law school.

Except for a very small minority that will sink to the bottom, everyone is as smart or smarter than you.  This will be refreshing at first, then kind of mind-boggling, then a little frightening.  This is not like college.  Those frat boys that sit at the back of the class in undergrad while making you look good are noticably absent.  There are no football players or cheerleaders in your classes. Your classmates came from colleges all over the country.  They graduated with honors and they came from ivy league schools.  They have interned with U.S. presidents and have graduate degrees.   You will have to resort to working your ass off just to stay competitive.  And that's the x-factor you have not considered.  You are only as good as your comparitive rank.  There are no objectively achievable criteria to check off to make good grades.  You are subjectively forced against  a curve with everyone else.  The odds are you will not be at the top of your class for the first time in your life.

It's a very humbling experience for people who are not used to being humbled.  But it is rewarding at the same time.  Once your ego has recovered from the initial shock of it all, you will realize that the only way to distinguish yourself is plain old hard work.  You will reach a point sometime in your first semester where perhaps you are faced with this crossroads for the first time ever.  Then its up to you.  I don't care how fast you have timed yourself reading a case.  You aren't graded on reading.  You're graded on your ability to apply the law in detail in every possible way while under pressure.

And you will be average.

Current Law Students / Re: Law School Prep Books
« on: April 09, 2006, 07:47:52 PM »
It really isn't going to help you at all.  Any edge that you think you'll get going in will evaporate very quickly.  Most law students come in knowing nothing at all about anything.  By the time exams roll around, the best students will be the ones that did the most of what their professors asked them to do.  The volume of assigned work and writing class obligations make this all but impossible.  You separate yourself at law school, you absolutely cannot do it beforehand.  I know this is hard to believe for many incoming 1Ls (I was no different) who are naturally driven and ambitious students, but it just doesn't work.    You may give yourself a little confidence, but that's about it.  You'll soon find out that it was a false sense of confidence.  There are no shortcuts and there are no headstarts.  Relax and enjoy this last summer.  You will have time to put your money where your mouth is soon enough and have an opportunity to prove what you are made of.  Your enthusiasm will be an asset, but revving your engine in the garage will get you no closer to the winner's circle.

My advice: Read something that isn't school-related.  You will soon long for the days you were able to do that.  Or maybe better yet, do as many things outside as possible!

Transferring / Re: LOR's from College Profs
« on: April 09, 2006, 07:30:08 PM »
   Most LORs are from undergrad professors, and usually at least one undergrad professor is required.  While an LOR can be from anyone at all, it is hardly the norm to have a law professor write one.  What would a LOR from a law professor even say about you?  I certainly think it would be a nice one to include, and one that most people don't have, but he is essentially recommending you based merely on your personality or or general competency.  While his position is noteworthy, it is also balanced with less relevancy.  It also has the appearance of being a recommendation from a "friend" and perhaps a little less than completely objective.  From an admissions perspective, who could be better to assess your academic capabilities than the professors who graded you and saw you in a classroom on a daily basis? 
    I would definitely include any LOR from a law professor, attorney, judge, etc. Of course the more important or respected they are the better.  This is a nice touch that will help to set you apart from many of the other applicants.  But the meat of your recommendations as far as adcomms are concerned are those that can testify first-hand on your study habits, attitude towards classwork, writing and discussion skills, and potential for academic heavy-lifting.

Put it this way:  If you were a law firm looking to offer a job to a graduating law student, would you value more what his law professors have to say, or a lawyer that he knows at another firm?

Current Law Students / Re: poor lawyers
« on: April 09, 2006, 07:02:14 PM »
How come I've never met a poor lawyer .. they all seem to be rich .. yet some people here say that many lawyers dont really make much money ??

I suppose the obvious answer to this is that it all depends on your definition of "poor".  The field of "Law" covers an immensely wide range of practices and careers that touch every aspect of society.  In this way it is unlike any other "specialized" degree.  Naturally, with so many different ways to practice law, the salaries are sure to vary greatly.  However, keep in mind that the upside of this is that a law degree provides a diverse menu of potential career paths.  Many lawyers who aren't making the big bucks  have chosen not to in favor of doing something they prefer applying their efforts to.  Also, most salaries do increase over time.  I will say that I don't know many old poor lawyers.

But again, it's all relative.  Are you considered a poor lawyer if you don't make $100,000 a year?  $75,000?  $60,000? Or if you don't drive a German car?  And are you really living luxuriously if you are working over 90 hours a week?  This topic is discussed as nauseum on these boards, so I'm sure you can look around and form your own opinion. There are also many objective salary surveys available on the internet if you'd like to try to draw your conclusions from somewhere other than know-it-all law students who have never practiced law a day in their life.

Current Law Students / Re: JD without going to law school
« on: April 09, 2006, 06:39:30 PM »
Is there any reason you have ruled out going to law school part-time, maybe at night?  I can't really see how you would have the time to practice law if you don't at least have the time to go to law school part-time.  I don't mean to sound rude, but you won't be able to practice law online even if you did pass the bar.  Not to mention the fact that passing the bar without going to law school would be extremely difficult.  If you have a very strong desire to practice law, perhaps you should consider other options like financial aid, daycare, and part-time law school. I imagine no parent wants to be told that they should rely on daycare, but if you feel that practicing law would be a positive thing for you and your family, you may want to consider the realities of achieving this end. Good luck with whatever you decide.

Current Law Students / Re: living with 3 other people 1L?
« on: April 06, 2006, 07:30:12 AM »
I think a general answer to your question is that living with 3 other 1Ls is not necessarily a bad idea.  As far as dealing with the pressures, new city, and maybe even studying etc.  Living with non-law school roommates could potentially be a nightmare in a new school/city situation like that.

HOWEVER, if they turn out to be the wrong 1Ls to room with you could be in trouble.  The fact that they are 1Ls could prove dangerous if you all lure each other into laziness or excessive recreation.  The fact that you are all law students could lend itself to a false sense of security about hard you are working compared to others. Everyone is different of course, but seeing others working hard is a motivator for me.

Current Law Students / Re: Your Typical Law Student Out There
« on: April 05, 2006, 11:46:31 PM »
Or the very close cousin of "Mr. Voluntary Commentary" mentioned above (quite possibly the same person):

When the professor attempts a thought-provoking question like, "So do you think Justice Brennan's argument was valid?"

The guy who blurts out, "No!"

Of course when the professor then feels obligated to ask the guy to elaborate, he just acts surprised, stammers, "uh"s, and fails to articulate any kind of reasoning to support his boldly vocal opinion.

Repeat this scenario several times a week.

Current Law Students / Re: What do grades usually mean?
« on: April 05, 2006, 06:59:27 PM »
I suppose it goes without saying that even with the curve, it depends on the professor.  Some will give almost no A's at all.  This is why ranking is a better assessment of performance, though rankings are quite flawed in their own right.  If my section has the professor who gives no A's, it has no relative bearing on my section rank, but my class ranking is against the other sections who may have a professor who gives A's more liberally.   I think this is the justification for having a curve.  But we hat 2 professors who just decided independently to set their curve median lower.  Very frustrating.

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