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Messages - BoscoBreaux

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Oregon Law Schools
« on: August 06, 2005, 03:42:33 PM »
Does anyone have any feedback on University of Oregon in Eugene or Lewis & Clark in Portland?  I am mostly applying to schools in my home state, but I can't say the idea of selling my place here and using the equity to buy a mini-mansion in Eugene, OR isn't vastly appealing  ;)

And, just to circumvent any replies about them not being good schools if I plan to go into BigLaw...I don't plan to go into BigLaw :)

Both U Oregon and Lewis and Clark are equally good, with the former more devoted to public interest and envirnonmental law (think Eugene) and LC more corporate and business oriented (think Portland). As for the legal scene, salaries are low in Oregon, and this is likely to continue since more and more folks are moving to Oregon from CA, only increasing the competition for good jobs.

I have had a lot of bad experiences and so have my friends [we are asian, black, and hispanic].  The atmosphere is horrible, and although everyone CLAIMS to live by "Minnesota Nice," it is just a shill.  BEWARE!

I love how people misunderstand the term "Minnesota Nice". It doesn't mean that people from minnesota are nice. It means being civil but cold. Nothing to do with being "nice".

You are correct. Many of its descendents come from Scandinavia, which is not only known for cold weather, but for icy personalities. Generally speaking, Scandinavians are not encouraged to show warm emotions in public. (Ever see the Fins dance? Yikes!)

Incoming 1Ls / Re: What about the FBI???
« on: August 05, 2005, 08:45:50 PM »
Hey guys, I've been reading a lot of the posts on this board, and what kind of surprises me is that no one ever mentioned the FBI as a career choice. I mean, sure they don't pay as much as the firms in NYC, but as a special agent with a law degree, it would be a pretty exciting and rewarding job. Has anyone looked into it? Any other similar gov positions that you guys would recommand? (JAG does not count because it is still being a lawyer, Federal agents are not lawyers)

FBI, sounds glamorous huh? In reality, an FBI agent 's work is identical to that of a detective for your local police department, although the subject matter of their work is a bit different. A law degree is only tangentially related to police work, but certainly the FBI would love to have someone who has something more than a mere B.A. Few persons go to law school to be detectives or to go into law enforcement generally.
Also, the agents that I have known also have military experience, which in many ways is more relevant to their recruiting needs than a law degree would be. Also, the culture resembles the Marine Corps more than a law firm. This may be for you, I don't know, but few folks in law school would fit in with their culture, even if they accepted the work and the low pay.

That's why I liked the version of the USNR ranking that someone did by grouping the Peer Assesment Ratings... I think THAT's probably more indicative how they are really regarded... (Of course, it's not perfect either, because it's not a scientific poll, but I figure that the opinion of judges and lawyers--the people who end up doing the hiring--is worth a good look...)

Besides, it shows that regional schools are just that--regional.  So if you live in Georgia and want to stay there, pick Emory over University of Washington, or even Notre Dame... 

I dont' think peer assessment would be particularly helpful. Not only are the ranking already embedden in everyones mind even before they attend one law school or see one school's graduate in action (just look at LSD--not one class under our belt and yet and everyone knows whether Texas is better than UCLA). 
Also, there is an inherent bias. In New York, if you go to Cardozo, you trash Brooklyn Law. If you go to NYU, you are firmly committed to the notion that it is better than Columbia. And even without these biases, the fact that judges in megalopolis' like New York, LA, and Chicago see more lawyers from around the country give their opinions more weight--an opinion which would be of little value to someone who wants to practice in Salt Lake City.
Your advice, however, is sound. If you want to practice in Georgia, go to Emory--unless you can get into a Top 15 school. Don't merely pass Emory by for a school that is a few slots ahead of it in the rankings.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Howard University
« on: August 05, 2005, 08:29:05 PM »

Well that's even better then.  Goes to show even further that the LSAT scores required by the most elite law schools do not lead to a "better" student body when scores they would deem unadmissable are A or even high B level achievements. 

Makes you wonder how John Kerry got into Boston and George Bush got into Harvard Business both with around 2.75 GPAs. Wait, I was under the illusion that elite schools only accepted person who truly merit admission. My bad!

I have had a lot of bad experiences and so have my friends [we are asian, black, and hispanic].  The atmosphere is horrible, and although everyone CLAIMS to live by "Minnesota Nice," it is just a shill.  BEWARE!

Perhaps you can be more specific. More accurately, maybe you can be even remotely specific! ( I find it interesting to note that you say your friends are all Asian, Black, and Hispanic, which at first blush, tends to suggest that maybe you are the one being racist. Maybe inviting someone to be your friend who isn't a minority would help?)

Yeah, state schools are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to boosting GPA/LSAT averages which are vital to rising the ranks of USNWR.  Their only hope is if they follow in the footsteps of UC-Hastings, which does not give any additional preference to in-state residents and has no in-state resident quotas.  Currently, by law, Austin has to have at least 75% of its student body be Texas residents.  By contract, Hastings has no such obligation, and Berkeley and Michigan only have to have about 25% of of their student bodies be in-staters (Michigan's quota might also be lower, in fact).

I'm not sure I'd use CA's state schools as a measure of anything. All of them tend to draw applicants heavily from outside the state of CA in a way I am not sure Texas does.  Thus, while Texas MAY increase its numbers by taking more "out-of-staters," it may not as much as a school in San Francisco would. CA has always been murder on its "In Staters," (having half of the school resting in the Top 25 doesn't help) and I don't think that is a particularly good thing. There is something to be said for a state school, taking state taxpayer money, giving residents of the state a break on admission to the school they are supporting.

S.J. I'm going to have to pick on you for the "most Texans aren't that smart" rationale.

There is nothing inaccurate about the statement. Judging from educational attainment and quality, the Bible Belt is at the bottom of the barrel, the Northeast and Far West is at the top. Similarly, the most highly competitive state schools tend to be in similar areas of the country, and the least competitive, as a general rule, tend to be at the bottom. Nothing is absolute, which is why I am sure he used the term "MOST Texans."

Politics and Law-Related News / Re: Another Scalia...or another Kennedy?
« on: August 05, 2005, 08:05:56 PM »

I'm sure that I will gain a much greater understanding of the Constitution in the next few years. I guess in defending "original intent" the main point I'm trying to make is that by attempting to follow the intent of the founders to the degree that they can be identified is far preferrable and far more honest than the idea of a "living Constitution" which has become a codeword for "The Constiution means whateverthehell I want it to mean."

To use the Big Mac analogy (flawed as it may be), people who seek to understand the Constitution by Original Intent might end up with a turkey club instead of the Big Mac intended by Madison which was intended to be a Whopper by Washington. Those using the philosophy of the "living Constitution" often come up with Chili Mac, or even a 3-piece suit.

Many of those who endorse the "living Constitution" really just want to change the Constitution. This should be addressed through the Amendment process, not by judicial fiat.

Your concerns are well taken. However, I'd caution you from getting caught up in the political debate about what is a legal, not political, issue. "Original Intent" is rather neutral when it comes to judical activism, which is what I think you are concerned about. Actually, judicial activism is a political term nowadays, bearing no resemblence to the accurate definition of the concept. Originally, and most accurately,  judicial activism isn't "legislating from the bench," but rather encapsuled the belief that no law should stand as valid if it is Unconstitutional , regardless of precedent. Thus, Clarence Thomas probably would be considered the most activist judge on the SC, since he holds strongly to this belief and strikes down laws with unbridled glee. But in today's political climate, filled with incessant Right Wing media talking points and pundits, a "judicial activist" is a judge who interprets the Constitution in a way that yields what is considered a "liberal" holding. This fiction seems to be taking hold, which is why Bush can say he would never put an "activist judge" on the bench, and yet names Thomas, the most activist (correct definition used) on the court, as an example of the type of judge he'd rather put on the bench. But, who says politicians were honest?

Perhaps some who hold the "living constitution" view do wish to use creative interpretation to "change" the Constitution. Similarly, some "original intent" advocates want to roll back a century's worth of what are now deemed by the majority of America to be fundamental rights, taking us back to the days when women couldn't vote, Blacks were still property, children could still be forced into labor, and workers as a group had next to no legal rights so that they can benefit from such injustices.  That makes neither doctrine inherently wrong. I, like the vast majority of the legal community, acknowledge the limitations of "original intent," but can also acknowledge that BAD INTEPRETATION in the name of modernism is equally bad. Let's not, however, throw the baby out with the bath water!

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Howard University
« on: August 05, 2005, 12:30:22 PM »
I think the point is that Howard is unique among comparably ranked schools because there are so many recruiters on their campus.  This does not mean that their students are recruited however; it simply means that many employers interview there.  So one should not be so presumptuous as to assume that going to Howard would give you same opportunities as going to Harvard. 

You are correct. These firms aren't looking for "Howard graduates," they are looking for the cream of what is a reliable place to go if you want to hire a black person. Those firms are there to convince law review editors and other star students to come to their firms, and they aren't at all concerned with the other 95% of the students.

This reminds me of an interview with an unnamed Top 15 school. When the dean was questioned why there weren't any Blacks with above average LSATs admitted that year to the school, the dean candidly, but off the record, lamented that "Harvard and Yale" get all of the really smart Blacks; we are competing for the rest. Law firms, however, aren't interested in "the rest," and instead fight for the cream. When they can't get them, and they rarely do at Howard, they move on. But, in their wake they leave the impression that the students are in high demand.

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