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Current Law Students / Re: Who else is getting a gut?
« on: January 01, 2007, 10:05:08 PM »
Losing weight through calorie control and a little bit of exercise is completely possible, no matter WHAT specific food those calories come from.  There are important reasons to consider whether your calories come from carbs, fat, or protein, and what kind of carbs or fat you eat, but weight loss (or gain) can happen regardless of where the calories come from.

Exercise is good not only for burning calories but also for curbing your appetite and giving you something to do in your spare time that is incompatible with eating.  I have also heard that exercise improves concentration, and I suspect that may be true, since my best grades in law school came in the only semester when I was working out regularly.  My new year's resolution is to start exercisig again.

The US Dept of Health and Human Services uses a statistic called a BMI to determine whether a person is an appropriate weight for their height.  A calculator is located here:  Use this to get a rough idea of what weight you should aim for, but remember that (1) even a skinny person isn't healthy if they're sedentary, and (2) an extremely muscular person may be healthy and yet have a BMI that indicates they're overweight.

Good luck!

Current Law Students / Re: I just got finished with LEEWS
« on: October 25, 2006, 10:28:54 PM »
I did LEEWS before my 1L year, and it was helpful, but it wasn't a magic bullet.  Breaking things down systematically is important, and writing in a way that makes it easy for the professor to find all the items he's looking for is equally important.  I disagree, though, with his narrow focus on black-letter law.  Professors really do care about all that other "fluff" they talk about in class, and it comes up in subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle ways on exams.  LEEWS teaches the elementary technique, but to do really well, you have to pay attention to what kind of analysis interests your individual professors.  I learned that after my first semester and got significantly better grades my second semester.

While we're on the subject of exam strategy aids, I also recommend the book "Getting to Maybe."  It helped me with my writing style on exams and helped me to come up with arguments during exams.  The book is focused on law school exam-taking, but in a way it's also a nice introduction to thinking like a lawyer.

I've got flashcards just for future interests, but I'm saving them for bar preparation because my property class wasn't big on future interests.  That said, though, future interests seems like a topic especially suited to flashcards.

« on: October 25, 2006, 10:05:07 PM »
Get Glannon's Examples and Explanations.  Read it and do the problems.  Also, check out for a few extra civ pro exercises.  Meanwhile, make your own outline.  If it doesn't cause an honor code problem, ask a 2L or 3L who had that professor last year for theirs and use it as a reference.  (Professors vary widely about what they let students take into the exam.)

Current Law Students / Re: Which is better JD/MBA or LLM
« on: October 25, 2006, 10:00:42 PM »
Do you have to do a joint degree at all?  Save your money and time, and get a regular JD.

Current Law Students / Re: Intellectual Property
« on: October 25, 2006, 09:54:48 PM »
It depends ...

To be an attorney who writes patent applications, you have to take the Patent Bar in addition to your state bar examination.  To sit for the Patent Bar, you have to have majored in certain subjects as an undergraduate, or you must have taken a lot of classes in certain subjects.  For specifics, see the "General Requirements Bulletin" at

You do not have to be eligible to sit for the Patent Bar to work on copyright, trademark, trade secret, or right of publicity cases.  You also do not need to sit for the Patent Bar to do patent litigation.

Some law firms hire only Patent-Bar-eligible attorneys for their IP practices.  Others are more flexible, but most still strongly prefer applicants with "technical" backgrounds.  I don't know enough about your background to judge how technical you are, and while I have seen a lot of interview solicitations from firms hiring for their IP practices and have known a number of students taking jobs in IP, I am only a 3L and honestly don't know enough to gauge your chances.  If there is any possible way you can discuss this with experienced IP attorneys, they are likely to be much more helpful.

Current Law Students / Re: Best Professor Lines This Year
« on: October 19, 2005, 06:15:51 AM »
“You’re throwing darts at all the right dartboards, but you’re not quite hitting the bullseye.”

Yes, knowing the BLL is essential.  I think we would all agree on that.  You can't even begin to argue a case without knowing what the law is.  But the "law" may be "A when fact X happens, B when facts Y and Z both happen, and we haven't yet decided what to do when X, Y and Z happen at the same time, or when only Z happens."  Or it may be "A in Oklahoma, B in Wisonsin, and we haven't yet decided what the rule is in Idaho." In situations like that, you are trying to get a court to adopt or modify a rule, or set a new precedent, if only a very minor one.  The policy behind the existing rules can help explain why the current case should be settled the way you want it to be.

I had 6 substantive classes last year.  In every single one, I had to have thorough knowledge of the BLL in the areas that the reading had covered.  BLL is first priority, and in some classes, it's the whole game.  But I learned that to score above the median, I had to do 2 things: (a) be attuned to what my individual professor cared about teaching us, and (b) explain my answers clearly on the exam in very structured writing that covered all of the "points" the professor was trying to check off -- and for some professors, a good number of the points are policy points.  

The good news is that deeply original thinking was not required.  My friends and I worried about that first semester, but no ... the profs wanted to see that we had grasped the policy arguments laid out in class, not radical fresh ideas to revolutionize the field of law.  This came as a relief to me, as I do not have any brilliant ideas.  

Sometimes professors' previous exams are on file in the library.  That's the best possible indicator of what they'll do.

I think if you're matching the professor's answers on the hypos in class, that's a lot more important than matching CALI.  The professor is going to do the grading :)

Jacy is right about going to talk to your professor.  That's a great thing to do.  I recommended Chirelstein (aka "The boat book" -- it has a sailboat on the cover) because it's short and helpful.  Outside reading is good, but true, don't go overboard.

In a policy-heavy course, when you learn each rule, also pay attention to:

(a) The values underlying the rules, and how each rule furthers those values
 - Protecting vulnerable people from harm
 - Maximizing individual freedom
 - Providing predictability in the rules
 - Simplifying the process of engaging in a transaction
 - Encouraging parties to hammer out good agreements up front instead of coming running to the courts afterwards
 - Avoiding economically inefficient allocations of society's resources (efficient breach comes in here)
 - Promoting ethical behavior and fair dealing
 - Avoiding paternalism -- letting parties decide what is best for themselves
 - etc.
(b) Whether the rules sometimes have counterintuitive consequences
For example, placing a significant burden on someone who wants to make a contract with a vulnerable party might actually make it harder for that vulnerable party to get anyone to do business with him, and therefore it might mean that the vulnerable party gets even less favorable terms.

Be able to spot the issue and apply the facts.  Then, if the facts could go either way on one rule, or if there are multiple possible rules you could apply, explain what values that underlie each of the possible ways the judge could decide.

P.S.  Even if it isn't actually assigned for your class, you should definitely read Chirelstein's paperback book on Contracts.  It was written very clearly, and reading it took me one day.  No one should ever take Contracts without it.

Actually, I did want to add that I do little briefs for Con Law and for the Antitrust class I'm taking this semester.  Those are so incredibly heavily dependent upon the development of a line of cases that I need to see a summary.  However, I do these briefs several weeks after class, by synthesizing my notes and my book briefs.

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