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Messages - WhiteyEMSR

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Incoming 1Ls / Re: Long-distance relationship during law school
« on: February 28, 2007, 11:21:59 PM »
I go to school in South Bend, Indiana. My gf lives in Detroit. It's about a 3.5 hour drive, and we see each other at least 3 days a week. I drive to Detroit friday night and study saturday while she's at work. We hang out in detroit until Sunday when we drive to South Bend together (she drives, I study in the car). She then takes the train back to Detroit on monday or tuesday (her job is very flexible). It's a lot of driving, but we prefer it to not seeing each other. We lived together for a few years before law school, so we were accustomed to seeing each other every day. I say with a 2.5 hour drive, you'll be fine. Good luck.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Notre Dame 2L Taking Questions
« on: February 25, 2007, 10:53:17 PM »
"Are law students involved in student government or other ND, non-law student groups?"

Don't think so.

"Are there any camping/kayaking/outdoor sporting opportunities in the area around ND?  Not that I'll expect to have time for it, but a weekend once in a while might be nice."

Nope, not that I know of. Camping in the hood might be fun though. And adventurous.

"How important would it be to have a car?"

I know there are buses that go around the downtown area. Not sure where the closest stop to the school is. Grad housing is right on campus, a quick walk from the law school. If you lived on campus, being without a car would not be a problem. Midwest winters are bitterly cold, but if you lived off campus close enough to the school you could walk.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Notre Dame 2L Taking Questions
« on: February 25, 2007, 08:43:40 AM »
"What is the social scene like?  If South Bend is kinda lame, where do people go to relax/have fun/let loose on the weekends or slow weeks?"

A lot of people get involved in the school activities such as bowling, soccer, football, basketball. There are a couple of bars that people seem to like. CJ's is known for great hamburgers and good drink specials. The Linebacker is a retro 80s bar that gets packed and is pretty crazy. There are always events and fundraisers going on.

"On a completely different note, how do ND students compare to students at your former law school?  Are they challenging/engaging/inspiring you to be a better law student and future lawyer?"

The students are very much the same as the students at my first law school. This may seem surprising as my first school was a tier 4. The questions are the same, the comments in class are the same, and they work about the same. Although I have noticed more people on the internet at ND during class. Maybe this is because they are so smart they don't need to pay attention, I don't know:)

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Notre Dame 2L Taking Questions
« on: February 24, 2007, 10:57:27 AM »
"How detached is the law school from the undergrad campus?"

Well, the law school isn't detached at all. It's right on the main campus. You can check out its location on the website (maps of campus).

"Do you know any students who had 1L summer jobs?"

The 1ls just went through this process. I don't know how successful they were in obtaining summer jobs. I'd be surprised if there wasn't something for everyone though. I'll ask around.

"Are football games big social occasions for law students, or is everyone too chained to their library cubicle to go?"

Football is huge with everyone. You put off studying to go to football games. Law students are involved just as much as everyone else.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Notre Dame 2L Taking Questions
« on: February 24, 2007, 09:36:49 AM »
"I'll be visiting for the Accepted Students Day next week...what are some must see things on campus?"

Well, I'd focus on the law school as that is where you'll be spending most of your time. Keep in mind, construction on the new building begins soon (I think this week), so it's going to be updated quite a bit. The library will be important to you; take a walk through all of the floors.

Also, the main campus library is pretty cool. Check that out. Grad housing, if you'll be staying on campus. Maybe check out the eating halls. If you're into exercise, check out the facilities. They are nice. Check out the Grotto and the church, it's immaculate. Walk around the main building, it's the famous domed one with the huge staircase. Check out the bookstore, it's huge and has a Starbuck's cafe, a clothing store, and a Barnes and Noble type bookstore.

Some students like to head over to the bar in the Morris Inn (right next to the law school) to get beer or appetizers or watch various games.

"How helpful are professors and how accessible are they?"

Professors are very approachable and very accessible. They all are available after class and keep relatively strict office hours. Some professors can be intimidating for 1Ls. Some are absolutely laid back.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Notre Dame 2L Taking Questions
« on: February 24, 2007, 06:51:55 AM »
"Is there a competitive atmosphere at all (obviously beyond everyone trying to do well)?"

Well, of course it's competitive. It's law school. I don't think anymore than anywhere else though. I didn't do my first year there, so I might not have a full feel for this. I don't hear people bragging about their grades or anything.

"How do you like South Bend?"

South Bend isn't the best college town. There are a couple of popular bars and the law school has lots of events (various sports, bowling, get togethers). The city does have plans for an "Ann Arbor" like setting in the future, but I don't know when this big project will be undertaken. There are a bunch of houses in a ghetto neighborhood a block from the school that are all condemned and boarded, and I think there are plans for strip malls and other cool stuff. An atty from the law firm handling the development came in and talked in my Real Estate class, but I skipped that day.

Lots of South Bend is kind of bad, but the downtown area is all right. There are some nice restaurants and the like, and there are some good walking spots along the river.

"Any good looking female students?  Grin   Wait, better not ask that at Notre Dame  Wink"

Unfortunately, there are not a lot, but there are a few. It must depend on the class. If I were you, I would either turn gay or check out the undergrads.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Notre Dame 2L Taking Questions
« on: February 23, 2007, 10:25:41 PM »
"With regard to job prospects: how national do you consider ND in comparison to lower T14 schools like Duke, Cornell, or Georgetown?"

It's really hard to say. The most obvious situation, if you're talking about D.C., then Georgetown will probably beat out ND. If you're talking about the Midwest, I think ND wins the battle. If you're talking about a more objective location, then I'm not sure. You'd have to consider the firm, where the firm likes to hire, where the firm interviews, where the lawyers in the firm went to school, etc. etc. The best way to get this information would probably be to go to the firms' websites and do an attorney search by school. See where the most recent attorneys are coming from. I don't think there are general answers like people on these forums like to give. People are ALWAYS going to talk up the school that they have decided on.

I'd say that on a general firm-wide basis, not considering individual offices, the higher ranked the school, the more attorneys hired out of that school.

"Also, do you know if class rank is a major factor in OCI success?"

I think class rank will be important wherever you go. I know that at ND firms go pretty deep into the class, but the top firms are always going to be competing for the top students. I mean, of course Skadden wants someone on law review over someone not on law review, it's just common sense. I don't think Skadden caters to the bottom of the class at most t-14 schools. Again, if you check out new associates' profiles on firms' sites, you'll see many have Greek recognition after their names, moot court, journal experience, etc. I didn't have moot court or journal on my resume, but I was ranked very high out of the school from which I transferred. ND doesn't even rank its students, by the way, for whatever this is worth. Of course, GPA is a factor considering the curve.

Again, probably the higher ranked the school, the deeper into the classes firms will go, but I really don't think by all that much. 

"I would be very interested in any knowledge you can offer about the clinics: how competitive it is to participate in one, how worthwhile they are, etc."

Sorry, don't know much about them. I'd check the website.

"I'm also very interested in trial advocacy and know that ND is especially highly regarded in this area of law.  Do you or your friends have any experience with or opinions about the trial advocacy specialty at ND or the moot court team?"

Trial Ad is big at ND and very well respected. Anyone can take one semester of moot court (requires an appellate brief), but it's also a competition for who stays on for the following semester and following year. I know there are a few different moot court teams, maybe four? It is competitive. Out of a class of probably 40+ students, I think 10 were selected based on their briefs and oral argument.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Notre Dame 2L Taking Questions
« on: February 23, 2007, 06:06:46 PM »
"Is your name Jon Schoenwetter?"


"Will Brady Quinn fall to the Dolphins at #9?"


"Will Brady Quinn be another Rick Mirer in the NFL?"


"How has the quality of the professors/classes been so far compared to where you spent your 1L?"

My 1L professors were very good as are ND's, but ND's professors seem to have a lot more prestige under their belts (fancier firms, top govt. jobs, more publishings, etc.)

"How helpful did you find OCI?  And where are you looking to practice?"

Not sure what you mean by helpful, but OCI presents are far greater chance of getting a firm job than sending resumes out on your own. To give some comparison to you, I'll compare the 1st law school I attended to ND. At the first school, to get an interview with a reasonably good-sized firm, students probably had to have law review or moot court and be in the top 10-20% of students, depending on the firm. At ND, you are pretty much guaranteed initial interviews at most of the firms you apply to (it is based on a lottery, so if a lot of students are bidding on the same firms, you have less of a chance), and the firms interview a great many more students. Jones Day ran interviews all day in a few different rooms, for example. Also, all the big firms come to ND: Skadden, Kirkland, Sidley, Shearman, White, and on and on, and they do take ND students. I think I did somewhere around 20 interviews and received around 8 call-backs. I interviewed primarily in the Midwest and took an offer in Chicago.

OCI is helpful in other ways too. Sometimes you can know instantly that a firm is not right for you. For example, when I asked a partner what kind of assignments they usually give summer associates, he responded, "Well, there's not really much you can do. One of the more interesting assignments I had an associate do was get a secretary out of a traffic ticket. The assignment involved a good amount of research, and the secretary got the fine reduced." Other firms definitely have strong preferences for law review or moot court, and as I was not on either (seeing as I was a transfer student), this put me at somewhat of a disadvantage, but hey, I got my first pick so I'm happy. Not everyone gets jobs exactly where they want, but I can't think of any student that didn't get an offer. Keep in mind I am not too sociable and I didn't know many students (outside of the transfers) during OCI, but I heard a lot of people talking about their options. The worst I have heard is from a student who had trouble getting call-backs and ended up landing a job in Indy for $900 a week. Not great, but not Wal-Mart either.

"And are the rumors of ND's overrated alumni network true?"

I've only heard the rumors about how great the network is, but this is mostly from other students at ND and faculty at ND, so maybe the info I'm getting is biased. I guess I don't have any proof or any way of getting proof. However, most of the interviewers that come from the big firms are ND grads, and they are definitely loyal to the school and pushing for more ND lawyers. While ND may only be ranked in the 20s, it seems highly competitive in the big firm market. For example, and I hate to keep giving you JD facts, but the other summer associates I will be working with are from much higher ranked schools (Harvard, Columbia, Northwestern, Virginia, etc) and there are two ND students. I know this is similar at some of the other top firms, but whether this is relative to the school's overall prestige or its presence in the Midwest, I'm not sure. I am sure that I had many options and would have been happy with a number of them.

Oh yeah, I know of some students who are going to D.C. as well, along with Texas. These two seem like pretty hot spots around here.

Anyway, sorry I can't be more specific. It's hard to answer things about reputation and national reputation as far as firms are concerned, because nobody can really know unless you get hiring lists from all the big firms year after year. I have learned that lots of people on these boards throw out inaccurate information, things they couldn't possibly know. There really is more to law school than ranking, although it is a huge factor, too huge in my opinion.

One more thing. Check out It shows a lot, but not all, of the firms that interview at law schools, and it also shows where the firms interview, how many students they take, pay, etc. This will mostly be helpful to you your 2L year in the fall.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Notre Dame 2L Taking Questions
« on: February 23, 2007, 02:24:57 PM »
"Religious affiliation? (yours)"

I'm not religious, not really anyway. Many students are. (This past Wednesday was the first time I've see people smear ashes on their heads). I get along just fine. Students don't seem judgmental, and if they are, I don't notice, or care. The only way I know that some professors are Catholic is actually because of the "ash on the forehead" thing. Some profs do prayer before class, but that's about it. Tradition obviously is largely Catholic, but that's alright for me as long as nobody pushes it on me, and nobody does.

" i've heard that nd is primarily white/conservative... will a jaded liberal/minority feel out of place?"

White? Well, primarily students are white, but I suspect not any less typical than most other schools. I have a black professor, if that helps. Nobody throws things at him. Not really sure about the conservative aspect. I don't really ask people their social or political leanings, but I suspect more are conservative than not? I would say that there is definitely a good mixture though. I don't think a liberal would be out of place (I am probably one if you force me to choose), and I know a minority would be just fine.

"Construction on campus next year?"

There are plans for an addition to the law building. I'm not sure when it will start, but I think pretty soon. I can't imagine the school would allow it to be disruptive to the students, though, if that's your concern. Any, it's going to be awesome. I've seen the plans, and I think it will be worth a little noise.


Choosing the Right Law School / Notre Dame 2L Taking Questions
« on: February 23, 2007, 02:05:14 PM »
Hey guys, I'm a Notre Dame 2L. I did my first year at another school, but I did go through OCI (on-campus interviews) at ND. I have had a couple of 1L professors. Fire away.

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