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Messages - nate

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111
Current Law Students / Re: legal academia...too difficult?
« on: August 28, 2005, 06:25:18 PM »
thank you both. your answers are very helpful and inspiring. i'm a 1L at GW, so while i have always realized that academia is possible, i didn't know if it was only possible for the best students, law review members, etc.

the concept of "feeder" schools really bothers me, so it's nice to hear that hard work and a strong resume can get someone to the same place. while i realize that the top five are great schools, and would attend any of them in a split second, the idea that their grads automatically make the best law professors puzzles me. it almost seems to mean that a law professorship is dictated by one's ug gpa and lsat score, which of course have nothing to do with legal research or teaching ability.

112
Current Law Students / legal academia...too difficult?
« on: August 28, 2005, 04:36:03 PM »
it's a little early to be thinking about it at this point in my legal career, having just started my first year, but i was wondering if anyone had any opinions on exactly how difficult it is to break in to this field. i ask because i've always had an interest in academia in general, and i've seen that many professors around the country have "joint appointments" between one school within an university (ex. history, political science, business, education, etc.) and then act as adjunct faculty, or even resident faculty, at the university's law school.

but i've heard many people suggest that legal academia is basically reserved for those from YHS-CNC, and perhaps a few others. i've even heard that one might as well forget hoping for this type of job if they attend a school at the bottom of the top 14. so, should someone like me, attending a top 20 school, completely forget about it? do i basically have to rank first in my class if i ever hope to find a job as law professor?

i do plan on doing future graduate studies, and am quite familiar with the fact that there are many "alternative" ways in to the field nowadays, whereas it used to be reserved only for the best students from the best schools. but when looking at the faculty lists of those at even third tier schools, it seems that the best portion are from the top 10 or so schools. though, on the other hand, i also see that people from third or fourth tier schools do have these jobs as well.

so does anyone have any idea as to how difficult it is to get a job at a tier 3 or 4 law school?

113
Current Law Students / tell me about law school cliques...
« on: August 27, 2005, 11:35:50 PM »
alright, it's hard for me to envision them, but they existed in my undergrad university. this was especially true within the small public affairs school that i belonged to, which was a small part of the larger university and was therefore, in many ways, like a law school... so it's almost hard for me to see my current law school not being the same. though i know law students tend to be more mature, and have more real life experience, etc., do cliques form in the average law school, or does it entirely depend on the school that one attends? if so, do they form among those who are on law review, leaders of students organizations, the best students, etc., or just among people who happen to know and like one another? i truly hope that it's the latter, but if it is the former, i might have to take action quickly. i really hate cliques, and i did all through undergrad, but i also know the importance of getting to the point where you are cool with the people who are in them. i'm wondering what some current 2L's or 3L's might think about this. thanks!

114
Current Law Students / Re: please advice on study technique
« on: August 26, 2005, 11:37:06 AM »
Hmm. These questions are always difficult because everyone has their individual method for studying. I can only share my experience:

1. Generally, I get all of my reading done for the week, brief cases and take reading notes. The setup will usually look like this: reading notes on the subject in general (for example, for duty in torts I might have notes on the definition of duty, etc...whatever is in the casebook). Underneath that, I have my class briefs for that particular section.

2. In class, I rarely take notes but when I do, I add the notes to my reading notes section in a different color ( it is much easier to do this on a laptop).

3. After the end of each section (try to refer to syllabus to get a general outline of the course), I outline the section using a combination of my reading and class notes. I may use the case brief as an example but usually I do not.

4. About a month before final exams, I make sure that my outlines are current (sometimes I get behind), start making flashcards and start looking at practice exams.

I really would not worry about practice exams this early on in the game. You'll only confuse yourself. At this point, concentrate more on making sure that you understand the material, the rules, etc.


good advice SassDiva. i just started a pt time prgoram, and am taking contracts and civ pro, in addition to my legal writing class. contracts seems pretty straightfoward. we have three cases to read for every class, which i brief and take notes on in a matter similar to what you're talking about. however, for a class like civil procedure, i've sort of been at a stand still. for instance, we had 20 pages of reading for the first class in our course book, in addition to having to read a novel and about 10 rules. i got some good advice on taking notes on the rules in another discussion, but i'm still unsure as to what kind of notes i should be taking for 20 pages of procedure. should i just be underlining/highlighting the book, or is it better to also take notes on what i read? if so, how much is a good amount of notes to take on a reading, and how much is too much? any advice?

i think much of my problem comes from the fact that i lack a basic understanding of civil procedure, what it will cover, and in what format it will be (ex. cases, rules, text book format, etc.).

115
Current Law Students / reading notes for civ pro
« on: August 25, 2005, 10:30:22 PM »
can someone who has done well in civil procedure please explain their study techniques to me? how did you read, take notes on the reading, take class notes, outline, etc? i'm worried about it because studying for other classes seems so straight forward, while it's really frustrating me with this one. any help would be greatly appreciated.

116
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: NYU vs Georgetown
« on: April 16, 2006, 03:24:11 AM »
if money is not an issue, there is no logical reason that anyone should choose GULC over NYU.

117
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Fighting Irish Pre-laws?
« on: March 15, 2006, 02:03:02 PM »
this is a good topic. thank you thehardestpart.

walshie-

you mentioned that you are a conservative catholic and that you fit in well at notre dame. what would you say to a more liberal catholic? if a catholic student is an economic and foreign policy liberal, but not too excited by liberal social issues such as abortion, gay marriage, etc., would they have a problem at notre dame? i've heard that many students feel this way there, but would love to hear an opinion from someone who actually goes there.

it always seemed to me that it would be a benefit in attending a catholic school as opposed to a hardcore evangelical christian one. not only do i have much more respect for catholicism, but it always seems that catholic schools are much more open to important issues (war, welfare, healthcare, etc.) than the evangelical schools, which seem to blindly towe a partisan line.

118
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Fighting Irish Pre-laws?
« on: March 15, 2006, 12:54:42 PM »
pardon my confusion, but what exactly are notre dame's politics? i was under the impression that the school was mostly liberal, spare a few social issues (abortion, gay rights, etc.). i read an article about how involved the students have been in the social justice and anti-war areas, but how many students feel torn when it comes to the two major political parties simply because of the abortion issue.

that being said, if notre dame is socially-conservative and fiscally-liberal, then a few of those who have posted here will probably feel out of place, considering that runs completely opposite of your own views.

119
Politics and Law-Related News / Re: Moderates v. Liberals
« on: February 01, 2006, 12:13:27 AM »
just wanted to post this on the minimum wage. i'm not hugely partisan, and don't really understand the whole "bush rocks" v. "bush is the devil" argument. but i do apologize for posting this in the middle of one of those debates.

nonetheless, i am fairly liberal when it comes to economic issues. when it comes to social issues i suppose i prefer a more moderate stance. i guess that part of the midwest just never left me.

whether this is entirely right or wrong, i can't really say, but it does contain decent reasoning and arguments. and i do also know that there is quite a bit of evidence to back up the idea that an increased minimum wage does not necessarily increase unemployment. unfortunately the debate arena on the issue seems to be dominated by the somewhat oversimplified formulas that explain why an increased minimum wage automatically --> increased unemployment.

so take it for what it's worth. i apologize for it taking up so much space.

and also, enjoy your partisan politics. ;)


----------------------------------
"How Minimum Wage Increases Employment", by Nathan Newman

Here's the problem with the simplistic argument that minimum wage laws automatically cut jobs. It's based on Economics 101 for commodity markets that says if prices rise, demand falls. But labor markets are not like commodity markets for a number of reasons:

1) When demand falls for one item, the demand shifts to other items, which in commodity markets inevitably hurts the item where demand falls. Not necessarily so for labor markets. If apples get too expensive, you can't convert them into more appealing oranges. Workers can shift into different jobs, so a fall in demand for one kind of work can still lead to the workers getting jobs in a new venue.

2) More importantly, labor is not a static commodity-- it's human beings whose skills on the job improve over time, so substituting new workers for old has far more serious costs. There is a real tension betweeen looking for the cheapest labor and paying a premium price to reduce turnover and maintain skills.

3) Since the minimum wage applies across the labor market, there is by definition no alternative low-wage labor to substitute for the now more expensive labor. To assume lost employment, you have to assume an overall drop in consumption across the whole population or the substitution of capital for labor costs in that particular industry -- which in turn drives new employment in other sectors to produce the needed capital goods.

4) Crucially in thinking about the minimum wage, work is not done in a single system of production, even when producing the same goods, so raising the price of labor may cut production in a low-wage version of production but increase it in a higher skill, higher-wage version of production for that same commodity.

5) Labor is the one commodity that in turn consumes itself-- ie. workers go home and buy other goods which in turns drives demand for more labor. So raising the minimum wage puts money in the pockets of consumers living in low-wage communities, thereby driving employment through worker consumption, a kind of localized Keynesian expansion of jobs in the low-wage sector.

The Debate: The empirical case for the minimum wage is best argued in David Card and Alan Krueger's Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage. The classic response is by Neumark and Wascher who argue for the more classic effects of decreased employment. Folks should wade through the literature to be convinced one way or the other on the empirical results, but the key is to understand why the Econ 101 simplistic model does not necessarily hold or why other factors partly or fully counterbalance the effects of classical models.

The key here is to understand that the minimum wage very well may at times decrease employment IN PARTICULAR FIRMS using PARTICULAR SKILL MODELS-- but don't mistake the loss of jobs in particular firms for loss across the economy. Further, because of incomplete information, search costs and other imperfections in the labor market, even individual firms won't always follow classic responses to rise in costs of labor.

Card & Krueger model: Card & Krueger illustrate a more complex understanding of labor markets that I can only roughly describe here (read the last chapter of their book), but the key is based on the heterogenity of labor in the market indicated above. Rather than decreasing employment, a rise in the minimum wage encourages the substitution of higher-skilled labor for lower-skilled labor.

Further, even many particular firms have large "sunk costs" of capital that will be wasted if employment is reduced. For such firms, it is irrational to cut employment since they would lose more profits by cutting production than they lose from increasing the wages.

Card & Krueger also discuss the problem of turnover in low-wage labor markets, which prevents employers from being assured of being able to buy labor in the marketplace on demand in the same way as other commodities. The implication of this, counterintuitively, is that a modest increase in the minimum wage will INCREASE overall employment because employers will be able to fill vacancies that had been left open due to the churn of turnover.

Other models: Other models look at workers' willingness to take jobs from a bargaining viewpoint which implied that most workers are more productive than their initial wage, so an increase in the minimum wage will not lead to cuts in employment but in fact will often lead to some increase in employment because of better matching of employee productivity to wage, thereby reducing turnover.

All of these alternative models imply a better job situation for moderate minimum wage increases, although the employment losses do start to occur with large increases in the minimum wage.

So the point is not that some debate on the proper level of the minimum wage is not warranted. However, the simple equation that raising the minimum wage inevitably leads to some loss in employment is disputed both empirically and theoretically.

Increases in demand: It's also worth noting that these models look at particular industries, so the overall effects of the minimum wage on the larger economy may be even more positive. While particular low-wage industries might lose out from a rise in the minimum wage, the boost in worker income may drive expansion of other low-wage sectors. If wages increase more than any wages lost to unemployment, then this will often feed expansion of jobs that service those low-wage workers, often themselves staffed by low-wage employees. So again, the effects of the minimum wage need to account for more than the classic microeconomic models but recognize that employees are not typical commodities but integral parts of a more complex set of economic relationships.

And my bottom-line is this-- as long as the evidence is ambiguous, I go with raising the minimum wage, since the obvious empirical benefits for the workers effected are clear while the supposed downside is unproven and disputed theoretically.

120
General Off-Topic Board / Re: State of the Union
« on: January 31, 2006, 11:31:55 PM »
many said he was simply a wise pick on the democrats' part, since he's more moderate than many in the legislature and thus less controversial.

but as i also wondered above, he might also be the way that many would prefer to see the democratic party go with their platform. i'm actually quite excited by his recent rise in popularity.

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