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Current Law Students / Re: CPA after Law School
« on: February 05, 2009, 12:46:31 PM »
Some of the advice on here is crap, so don't listen to it. 

My wife only got a Master's in accounting and she is eligible to sit for the CPA; in fact, she is preparing for it right now.  There's also a strong demand for attorneys who have accounting backgrounds.  She works for one of the Big Four accounting firms, and she has often told me that the attorneys there don't advance as quickly because they don't understand rudimentary accounting issues.  At the same time, attorneys have many skills that the average accountant doesn't have, so if you combine the two, I think you'll definitely have the potential to be in high demand; and after working a few years, you'll have a lot of opportunities for advancement.

Congratulations!  That sounds like a great assignment.  I'm sure you guys will have a good time traveling around Europe on your off time. 

I got my assignments today too.  None of them were on my preference sheet, but it still turned out well.  One is in Mississippi and the other is in Spokane Washington.  My wife and I decided to go to Fairchild in Washington.  We've both been there and like the location.  We actually didn't want to go overseas on our first assignment because our son is still so small we probably wouldn't have that much fun traveling, and he would definitely appreciate it more when he gets older anyway.

Good luck with all your preparations over the next several weeks.  Congratulations again. I guess I'll see you in Montgomery.

Congratulations on getting your assignment choices.  I still haven't heard anything.  Hopefully I will very soon! I'm guessing you guys are going to pick the "very cool overseas choice," over the "desolate U.S. choice," but that's just a hunch.

As far as deployments go, I'm sure the AF will be far different; especially now.  I deployed in 2003.  We didn't have much email.  I slept on a cot the entire time, and mostly lived in tents.  We didn't have AC or heating most of the time.  As far as the work hours, we either had tons and tons of downtime, or basically no spare time at all.  There wasn't much in between.  But like I said, that was during the chaotic time right after we went into Iraq, so I'm sure it's vastly different now.

Will do.  I'm sure COT won't be that bad.  I'm actually looking forward to it.  I'm sure it would be difficult to adjust to military life without something like that.  I was even in the National Guard for eight years, and still feel like I need an adjustment period to get back into the 'military mode.'

It sounds like you'll be bringing in a lot of good experience.  I did just graduate; well, it's been almost a year now, so maybe not "just."  But yeah, that's why the waiting seems so long.  I had a pretty good job offer at a small securities boutique, where I was a law clerk for awhile, but after I found out I passed the bar I was honest with them and told them that I would be joining JAG.  They wanted somebody to stay around awhile, so I've just been waiting around for a couple of months now.  I'm excited about starting.  I went into law school already intending to apply, having already served in the military for awhile, but I really made up my after 1L year. It just seems to be a far better fit for me than working in a big law firm.   Even though the pay is not as good, I'm sure a typical JAG's quality of life is a lot better, not having billable hours to meet, and what not.  Even moving doesn't bother me much, since I've always had a bit of wanderlust.  The only hard part was talking my wife into it.  I was deployed to Iraq for a year so she was really hesitant at first.  But after seeing how much I really wanted to do it, she's really supportive now.  Plus, I'm sure any deployment will be far better as a AF JAG than what I experienced as a part-time soldier in the Guard; which actually really put my civilian career behind.  At least deploying this time, if needed, will advance my career if anything.

Thanks for the information.  I agree.  That guy is pretty lucky.  At this point, though, with how the economy has been going, I'm not too concerned about the location of my first assignment.  I'll feel better after I get it though, because it'll be more real in my mind.  This 13 month wait has been tough.  Hopefully we'll both hear something soon.

End of January huh?  That's interesting.  I was first told the first or second week of January, but I haven't received word yet.  I'm sure I'll be getting it soon, though.  I guess with all the holidays and election, the process has been going a bit slower than last year.  Hopefully I'll know sometime before the end of next week.

When did you get selected?  I've been waiting for over a year now.

Good luck on your assignment choice. 

Current Law Students / Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« on: January 08, 2009, 10:29:03 PM »
I think you are actually right.  There are most likely numerous factors that lead to success, and those CAN be labeled as types of intelligence.  In fact, as I mentioned in my post (even if I didn't call it this), I strongly believe that "Emotional Intelligence" is also crucial to academic success in law school.

Current Law Students / Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« on: January 08, 2009, 10:01:42 PM »
Putting in the "Right Effort" is by and large the most important factor in determining good grades, not intelligence, work ethic, or any of the other factors necessarily.

I know that people will say, "well, you have to be intelligent to know what is the "right effort" to begin with."  That may be true to some extent, but personality is a big factor in discovering the right effort.  Some people think that they are so intelligent that they can bulldoze their way through the material.  The problem is that there is far too much material assigned in law school to do this.  And even if they can get a pretty good understanding with the "bulldozing method," they are putting themselves at a severe disadvantage with their peers who are using better methods to study.

For example, one can be naturally gifted at running, but if he chooses to run on the side of the road with loose sand, rocks, litter, etc. instead of running on the clear pavement just to show how good of a runner he is, he will surely lose to the ones who are running on the pavement, even if he is slightly better than the other runners (and in law school I would posit that there is not too much difference in the students' intelligence).  Then when he loses the race the psychological blow of it will most likely put him at a disadvantage for the next race (i.e., the next semester). 

Some may ask, "Ok then, what is the 'right effort?'" 

IMHO, there are several things that go into this.

Try to be as emotionally balanced as possible. The ability to filter out the noise and one-upsmanship concomitant to law school and just focus on what is important in class is crucial.  Most of the stuff you read in cases is crap. It's important to read it so that you can pass the "Socratic Method Test."  Yes.  This is another test in law school.  It is just a very unimportant one considering that it will not effect your grades, only the way you look to your peers.

I know the "Socratic Method Test" is important to 1Ls.  It's really terrible to look bad in front of your peers.  That's why you still need to read through the material assigned.  Just try to do it quickly.  You don't need to make huge briefs of every case.   And no matter how much time you spend, you will still not know all of what the professor is asking you.  Most professors, unlike a lot of students think, do not massage all the things they mention in class out of every sentence of those cases. They instead use the cases as a guide to get across the material they think is important, which they have learned from years and years of study of this material.  The professors will give you almost everything you need in class to succeed on the exam; so it is really important to try to write down everything they say, and not to worry if you didn't know many of the things they are asking. If you can handle speaking in front of your peers, and are not the type who always wants to chime in to show how "smart you are," then you'll be able to focus on learning what the professor is trying to teach, and the material will sink in far better.

It is also vitally important that you continually review the material actually given in class.  Don't worry about time.  You'll have plenty of time to do this since if you're not WASTING so much time briefing every worthless sentence in the cases (i.e., you are not "running on the sand"), due to fear of the useless "Socratic Method Test."  Also make sure to make outlines so that you can see how the material fits together.  You have to know the outline down pat, because that is how to maximize your points on the tests when the professors throw the kitchen sink of facts at you. 

What law students should be spending MOST of their time and effort in is practicing how to apply the facts, even if they don't know a lot of the substantive law at that point.  Most students, however, do not do this nearly enough.  When you see a fact, it should evoke one or more rules (from the outline that you have memorized cold); these rules are often inconsistent with each other (professor's love to do this), and showing that you know that they are inconsistent is one of the best ways to take yourself to the A pile.  You can do this with almost every fact in most law professors' exams.  If you practice application enough, with the law you do know as you learn it, at the end of the semester you'll be able to APPLY all the law you learned throughout the semester.

In summary, learning to run on pavement instead of on the sand is the best thing one can do to make sure they are successful in law school, not intelligence or pure work ethic or whatnot.

I was just looking for information about when to expect to be notified about my assignment and saw a similar post last year.  It seems like they got their assignments the first or second week of January.  Has anybody who is going to the March COT already gotten their assignments?

Loved it. My only complaint would be the structure of legal writing. It would not be so bad if all the assignments were not given and due right before finals. I don't buy into the group study thing either. I went to a one-hour review session with a friend the night before a final and it was scary to see that everyone was either still working on their outline or abandoned the idea of an outline weeks ago. Even scarier than being the only one prepared in that group was that I was the only non-Ivy undergrad in the room. Go figure.

The only adjustment I am going to make is to begin doing hypos on a daily basis 3-4 weeks before the finals.

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