Law School Discussion

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - ryanjm

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 ... 31
Studying for the LSAT / Re: what to do?
« on: December 02, 2009, 09:41:05 AM »
I would suggest working out, but it's probably a little late to be starting a new exercise routine. Nevertheless, your body released a ton of chemicals that help with focus/concentration after you do a hard cardio workout.

That, and green tea is a nice little antioxidant/caffeine boost to further improve mental clarity.

It was my understanding that they don't want you to take more than 3 tests in any 2-yr period. It's been more than 2 years since you took the first 2 tests, so I don't see why it would be a problem.

I have to disagree with Inherit saying the lsat doesn't test your reading ability. You will need to be able to read quickly and at a high level since there is so much time pressure. Also, the reading is not light, as you found out. If you aren't already, I would read books for pleasure to help increase reading speed. Pick up something you like and just read every night before you go to bed.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Who's in for February 2010?
« on: December 01, 2009, 03:58:31 PM »
Might be taking Feb test as well in order to get a score needed to teach for PowerScore or similar test prep.

Current Law Students / Re: How Many Hours Do You Study Per Week
« on: November 28, 2009, 01:08:12 PM »
Yes, some people are workaholics and will put in ridiculous hours in order to get that top 10%. Yes, the legal practice is a grind that requires a ton of hours if you want to work at a big firm. Yes, I graduated and am not practicing law for this very reason. Yes, 90% of the people I know who are working at law firms hate it. Yes, you should find another career. HTH

Just to update, I did indeed pass the bar 1st try w/o taking the BarBri class, or any other class. It can be done, and it's not really that difficult. Just get all the BarBri materials, plus a few other books, and study on your own.


The problem I have with you giving this advice is that you seem to have not been "anywhere but law school" yourself.

Full disclosure though, I am not in law school yet, so I don't have a direct comparison.

I'm not trying to make a comparison to engineering. Maybe engineering sucks even more, I don't know. All I'm doing is relaying my experience and those of my classmates. I don't really know why it would be a problem for me to give advice having graduated from law school, taken the bar exam, and worked summers as a law any qualms with my experience doesn't negate what my friends thought. Yes, it's true I haven't worked in every profession ever created, so I can't say with 100% certainty that law is any worse than "X" profession, but I've worked for over a year now outside of law school and much prefer my job now.

It's not just me saying this. Look up some job satisfaction numbers. Lawyers have the lowest job satisfaction out of just about everyone.

well, first off i am a 0L.  I am pushed towards law because i have always felt like it's something i was meant to do.  for whatever reason, i just have that gut feeling. 

That is exactly the type of thinking I'm trying to help people avoid. If you just "feel it's the right choice for you," stop feeling and start thinking. If you want to "help people" do it as a volunteer. Or make a lot of money and donate some of it. I know it's easy to just put the blinders on and sort it out after you start law school rather than make a U-turn partway through the process, but believe me, the law takes idealism, chews it up and spits it out as disillusionment. I actually had a laugh looking at some of my posts from 5 years ago. I specifically said that I needed to look into why so many lawyers dislike their jobs before I started law school, but I never did it. I thought "well I'll work at a small firm and won't fall into the biglaw trap. Or I'll work for the state." I wish I had done more research into what lawyers do on a day to day basis, and what they think about their job.

^True and ^^True. But nealric, the fact that _none_ of them like legal work at firms is telling. No doubt the work environment has something to do with it, but the raw numbers of lawyers who dislike their jobs is staggering. You can hope that you're one of the few who will like this work and find an awesome work environment, but if I was placing a bet on it I wouldn't give you good odds.

And Contract, I don't remember who was on law review (I wasn't), etc...but they are all smart people and the one clerking for the judge probably had a very high class rank.

I graduated last year from law school (T50 if you think rankings other than T14 are important), and yesterday at a wedding I saw quite a few of my old law school classmates. Here is what they had to say:

"Sam" - Works at biglaw litigation firm downtown. He's at the office around 8:30, leaves around 6:30. Usually does an additional hour or two of work at home. Says "it's a grind" and generally dislikes his job. The partners work late as well, so there's little hope in sight. Wishes he had been a businessman or some kind of entrepreneur.

"Stefan" - Works at small firm doing tax law. Also considers it a grind, but hasn't worked there as long so he's still adjusting and doesn't have the same perspective as Sam.

"Wallace" - Worked for a few months as an attorney and hated it so much he went back to school for early education.

"Bram" - Didn't want to practice law and went into federal law enforcement.

"Lefty" - Clerks for a state sup ct. judge and likes it, but his 2-years are up soon and then he starts to work at a biglaw firm.

"Me" - Didn't want to practice and went into family business.

...and on and on. Point being, I don't know more than 1 or 2 of my classmates who are practicing law who actually like their job. No one at the wedding did.

I would really encourage all of you considering law school to actually go and speak with lawyers practicing in whatever area you think you want to work in. Ask 3L's at your local law school what they think of it. Just talk to as many lawyers as you can about their job. Figure out what their schedule is like. I think more than a few would be willing to give you 5 minutes of their time to help you get an idea of whether or not this is a career you really want to get into.

It's worth doing some serious research in order to avoid a six-figure mistake and 3 years of your life. So many people, including myself, had a vague picture of the realities of being a lawyer, and what the work is really like. You like to argue using logic? You like reading and writing, and you're interested in justice? Go join a debating club, create a blog, and read some legal books on your own time. Every lawyer likes to read and write and argue. But do you like working 10-12 hour days at a desk in front of a computer by yourself? Do you like doing tedious research on minute details of the law? Do you like doing tons of paperwork for partners? Do you want to deal with clients who are invariably stressed and upset because they are coming to you only with a serious problem, and you cannot offer them much consolation besides 'we think you have a good case,' or 'we think we have a good argument.' And that's not even touching on the whole billable hour problem which incentivizes working slowly and padding.

The money is nice if you can find a job, but do you want to hate getting up in the morning? These are the realities of legal work. Good luck to you guys, I was in your shoes 4 years ago on this very same board.

I think that approach is a bit too tedious. First, you have to read the cases in the casebook because that's what you're going to discuss in class, and you must be prepared to answer questions on the cases. Second, reading a hornbook + your casebook is a LOT of reading. From what I remember of classes, a lot of time is spent expounding on every little detail of a particular piece of law. What would be helpful is something that condenses the law, not expands and discusses every little detail. You will do enough magnifying of each tiny piece of law in class.

Of course, everyone says "Do what works for you," but I think that there are certain methods which are much better than others, and if someone did well using another method, perhaps they just got lucky, or were much smarter than their classmates, or spent a huge amount of time studying every day. Whatever the case, I still think that BARBRI outlines + BARBRI class notes = win. With those two resources, you could cover an entire subject in a day, have examples to look back on (with the notes), and clear definitions of every important bit of law. While I'm sure the hornbook will explain the law magnificently, when it comes exam time, that's just too much information to go through and distill into something you can remember.

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 7 ... 31