Law School Discussion

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Messages - Perversely

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21
Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: How Come...?
« on: June 06, 2006, 12:19:13 AM »

how come, "how come"?
how come why i ask "how come?"
how come i have nothing else unique to say?


don't answer that.


how come i've worked myself so hard and it's only monday?

22
Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: 1L's
« on: June 06, 2006, 12:12:45 AM »
Hate to hijack but since I have your brillant minds and experience. Prep or Chill out for the summer. I can't really chill but I have been reading LS Confidential and 1L. Anything you guys know now you wish you had known last year, Six months or so b4 school.

No this is what the board is for, to talk (or complain) about 1st year issues.

Ditto what LadyDay said.  Some idiots (mainly people who are planning on going to law school) really think that you should prepare BEFORE your 1st year.  Wrong.  I'll tell you why in a minute.

The only preparation you should be doing before your first year is general reading.  Books like Planet Law School give a good idea of what it is like to be in law school.  Of course, nothing prepares you for the experience like the experience itself, but at least you won't be walking in blind.

Now, the top 5 reasons on why it is a bad idea to "prepare" or study the law before you go to law school.


#5. You just flat out do not know what to look for. Even if you were to pick up an Examples & Explanations and read it cover to cover (which you won't even need to do once you get in law school) all the legal terms of art will fly past you b/c you've never heard of most of them, perhaps any of them.  You don't know what the difference is between Pleading, Impleading, Interpleading or Intervention and unless mom or dad are lawyers with a lot of free time, its just best to wait until you see these concepts within the context of actual cases.

#4. You need to have as much fun as you can BEFORE law school.    1st year is the hardest year of law school.  That being said, 1st semester is the hardest semester of law school.  You will learn the importance of Time.  It will be more valuable to you than you ever thought possible.  You will pass up more invitations to parties, send more phone calls to voicemail, and turn down more dates with supermodels than you ever thought possible. A social life is still possible during your first year, but when I say social life I mean you get to go out a couple times per month.  This is of course when you figure out that you just have to stop what you are doing and take a break, because there are not enough hours in the space-time continuum to finish the amount of reading that is about to be thrown at you in one semester.

#3.  You need as much MONEY as you can get your hands on before law school.    If mommy and daddy pay for everything, then discard this reason.  If you're not a silver spoon kid, pay special attention to this caveat.  For you working people who will be leaving a career, this is especially important.  You will be living off of one month's take home for 9 months straight. Start saving now.

#2.  You don't want to have to UNLEARN legal conepts.  Without the guidance of a law professor, the true meaning of many legal concepts is difficult if not impossible to ascertain.  Going back to reason #5, a particular concept itself may not be difficult to understand, but you may be learning it incorrectly.  For example, you might read a concept book that tells you about property obligations for tenants. It will more than likely tell you that a property owner is liable for all Invitees that are injured on his icy sidewalk but not for people who are Liscensees.  And then you carry this "understanding" with you into law school, where you may or may not discover before the exam that what you read during the summer before your first year USED to be absolutely true, however over the development of case law during the past 50 years, courts have done away with the distinction of liscensee/invitee and just hold land owners liable for anybody who is not a trespasser.  But the concept book is not going to tell you that because they are just trying to list all the basic concepts in as short amount of space as possible.

#1.  Law School is all about what your Professor wants. In the end, it is your professor who determines your grade.  It is the professor who separates the A's from the B's.  It is the professor who you have to please, and it is the professor who you have to listen to.  You can know ever law and legal concept ever created in the US, but if you do not know the type of analysis your professor is looking for, then you're f*cked.  This is also why 4.0 students are shocked when 1st year grades are posted b/c many of them get their first B or C ever in their entire academic lives in law school.  NOT because it is any reflection of their intelligence as a student.  Its because they didn't provide the analysis specific to thier professor.  I had 4 finals last semester from 4 different professors with 4 different styles.  My property professor just wanted to see both sides of each issue argued. She didn't want an answer b/c she feels there are no answers in the Law, just arguments. My torts professor wanted a strong analysis for one side, discounting the claims that the other side might make, with a definite answer at the end.  Now imagine if you did the exact same writing style for all of your professors.  You'd get a report card that looks like the scrolling ticker tape on the stock market.

Since you have no idea who your professors are, or more importantly, what areas they want to focus on and how they want their exams written, it is damn near pointless to spend the time during your summer trying to prepare for anything.  LadyDay's property professor harped on the Rules Against Perpetuities for 2 classes, my professor talked about that mess for 2 minutes and moved on.  Its all subjective.

Our advice on the summer before 1L...  Make lots of money, party till 3 am every night, have lots of sex, drink lots of alcohol, take a vacation in Hawaii and go watch the sunset or something like that.  Don't be one of these dillusioned cats who thinks that learning how to brief a case in June is going to make a damn bit of difference come August.

Yo

from what i've heard, your #1 is the single most important factor of them all....

and about the advice before 1L....well, let's just say "party" has been my middle name for the past 3 months. that will change come august.

thanks,

23
its too late

paymet/lease already on an apt in boston

and BU did give me twice as much and is 4k less a year to begin with..

so its not like im not saving money after all

i just wish i had the option

i just feel  really really

dumb

and feel free to swing cracks at my stupidity cuz i deserve it


you know, everything happens for a reason. maybe you were just meant to be in boston?

24
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Law School Midterms
« on: June 06, 2006, 12:04:30 AM »

I understand that many professors give midterms particularly to first year students, and I'm wondering if anyone knows whether these midterms are given during class time.  It's a  long story why I'm womdering this, but please give me any feedback you can. 

More specifically, I'm attending Seton Hall Law in the fall so I'm really wondering what goes on over there with midterms...thanks...

first of all, i need to say that i have no idea. this caught my eye because i had a dream the other night about exams. i dreamed i took an exam was wondering how well i did.

it's begun.

just imagine, we have 3 years of this.

after i dreamed this, i had fun with friends and had fun over the weekend.

our lives will change...how we study at least will change probably....hopefully.

don't sweat it.

just realize that now is the ONLy TIME we will have to procrastinate.

HOPE THIS HELPS,

25
Most of my deal breakers are a result of having dated people who did the deal-breaking actions and realizing that I have no desire to experience that nonsense again.

No one with substance abuse problems.

No one with kids (I don't really want any).

No one with multiple furry pets (I'm allergic).

sounds like a pretty sterile environment to me...i feel pretty much the same way. but, hey, i thought i'd never date someone who smoked either...the bastard tricked me!

26
Quality of life is definitely going to be a huge factor in my decision of which law firm I want to work at.  I don't want to be a miserable slave.  Thanks for the link.

i'm sorry, but from what i've been told all first-year associates are miserable slaves.

it's after a few years, you're upgrading to just slave and after a decade (if we make it this far) that we're promoted to pimp.

that's okay...i can TOTALLY live with this. i think. :D

27
yeah, i will kill myself if i don't get on :D

28
The avatar is me with the glasses. 

cool. they look like VR glasses. you know...the ones that vido tape stuff.

29
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: The "I Just Resigned" Thread
« on: June 03, 2006, 07:58:10 PM »
I haven't resigned yet, although in my mind I've picked the date for my last day of work. My situation is a little tricky, or at least it seems that way to me. I started working at my job in December, at which point I already knew that I was going to law school. In fact, I started working just days after taking the LSAT, and I finished my applications a couple of weeks after my first day on the job. I never told my employers about my law school plans, however. I'm fairly certain they never would have hired me if I'd told them before I started, and I'm guessing they would have been upset if I'd told them after I started. So they have no clue. Obviously, I have to tell them pretty soon, but I'm afraid that they'll deduce that I was headed to law school all along -- law school doesn't just pop up unexpectedly, after all, as another job offer might -- and be very mad at me for essentially using the job as a temporary gig. (Which is what it was, of course.)

Anyone have any advice on how to do this without causing a lot of friction or anger?

my advice is this:

they hired you because you "fit the bill." you did them a HUGE favor by taking the job, regardless of your other ambitions.

i don't think you should feel bad about letting them know.

i do think, however, that they WILL NOT be pissed to find out 2 weeks before you start law school.

the reason they won't be pissed: most people don't really care about anything but themselves.

this my sound really harsh, but it's really the truth.

give them a couple of weeks notice (this is the norm) and they'll understand. i can see if you waited a couple of days and resigned a couple of days before school started....THAT would be bad.

30
I came across this board while searching for something else and was amazed to see students obsessed by the same issues with which my friends and I were preoccupied when we were applying to law school. My two years working in the legal profession have enlightened me on several issues about which I was formerly misinformed. I regard it as a damned shame that students too often rely on the uninformed opinions of certain publications. I will set out my points below.

1) US NEWS & WORLD REPORT RANKINGS. First and foremost, it's imperative that people begin to understand that these rankings do not come down to us on tablets from God. Moreover, the ranking process  is hardly a science with the certainty of, say, mathematics. Some students applying to law school actually believe that there is some real and finite difference between the 80th-ranked school and the 100th-ranked school or between the 80th-ranked school and the 60th-ranked school. It's nonsense, and, in many cases, a school's ranking has as much to do with politics as with anything else.

2) THE TOP LAW SCHOOLS. Yes, there is, justified or not, a perception that a certain group of law schools is in a class by itself ("generally" the top 15-20 schools in US NEWS). And yes, if your desire is to work for one of the biggest and most prestigious law firms in the country, you will "probably" need a degree from one of these schools. That said, there are several caveats. The first, of course, is that there are exceptions. There ARE lawyers at the world's most prestigious firms who went to schools that US NEWS ranks in the 2nd and 3rd tiers.

3) BIG FIRMS AND MONEY. There is an absurd myth prevailing to the effect that the lawyers at the biggest and most prestigious firms make the most money. That is nonsense. They will make more money AT FIRST but, in many cases, will find themselves making less money than people who went to smaller firms in 5-10 years. In some cases, a LOT less. Why? Because, when you go to work for a law firm, you own NOTHING. You are a subcontractor for the firm and are at its mercy. The BIG FIRM bills clients $300-400 per hour for your work and gives you about $25-$40 an hour(based on a 70-hour week), keeping the other $250-$350 for itself. The ONLY way that you ever begin to exercise some degree of control is to become a partner---especially an equity partner. Very simply, you have a much greater chance of becoming an equity partner at a smaller firm, and if you do become an equity partner at a smaller firm, you OWN a piece of the firm. The business is yours. Don't fall into looking at ridiculous salary averages that are associated with degrees from certain law schools. You would be SHOCKED to learn that many of the lawyers who operate out of rinky-dink little offices on the side of a highway can BUY AND SELL many of the lawyers who work at the most prestigious firms. If your goal is to sit at a desk and have SOMEONE ELSE hand you work, you will NEVER be rich. Law firms are a stepping stone for 99% of lawyers. Sure, there is that 1% that will make equity partner at Cravath and make $2.5M a year, but the rest won't---even among the Harvard/Yale kids. For almost all lawyers, law firms are stepping stones meant to guide you closer to your OWN firm or your OWN business.         

4) IF MONEY IS YOUR GOAL, DON'T WORRY SO MUCH ABOUT TIERS. I am all in favor of going to the most prestigious law schools. If you are blessed to get into Harvard, Yale, Columbia, or one of the other top 15 or top 20 schools listed in US NEWS, go. But I find that students tend spend so much time obsessed with the criteria of academia (GPA, LSAT score, School reputation) that they often fail to realize that 95% of their potential clients don't give a damn about ANY of those things. I have found that the one overwhelming criterion is PERSONAL APPEAL. Are you a likeable person? Do you project confidence? Do you have a natural charisma? Do you inspire confidence on the part of the potential client? Does the client feel safe with you? THOSE are the questions that really matter. You could be the finest lawyer in the world from a technical point of view, but if you don't get clients, you're not going to make money. A good friend of mine graduated from a 4th-tier school, went to a small firm, and made over $125,000 in commissions in his FIRST year because he was such a likeable guy. He would meet clients in diners, restaurants, apartments, construction sites, bars, delis, parks, etc. He bent over backward for clients. Now, three years out of a 4th-tier law school, he's closing in on $200,000 a year and dusting 90% of the kids who went to Harvard.

 

thanks for putting "things" into perspective. i especially like the analogy from "God." That helps. :D

i have a question for you...you talked a lot about large and small firms...how about medium-sized firms? i TOTALLY understand that firms are a stepping stone. i have NO intentions of making partner OR owning my own firm for THAT matter....

i would like it if you would, if you can, provide SOmE insight on what happens to someone who goes to a medium-sized, yet extremely reputable law firm. what's usually the direction?s

ultimately, i want to work in the inside of a large corporation.

the aspiration sounds greedy, but it really isn't. especially if you knew the type of law i wanted to practice...

anywhos. let us know.

cheers!

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