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General Off-Topic Board / Re: Add a word
« on: January 12, 2007, 07:20:02 PM »

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Add a word
« on: January 02, 2007, 01:53:11 AM »

Incoming 1Ls / Re: questions about 1L LIFE
« on: January 02, 2007, 12:34:00 AM »
1) 5 hours of reading/studying outside of class, 7 days/week.  Less in 2L and 3L years, but then job search and extracurriculars start to demand a lot.
2) yes, but in 1L year, getting to know the other students in your classes is really important (sharing information, networking, avoiding loneliness, helping each other out in a jam).  So you MAKE time to spend with them in social activities and extracurriculars.  Law school devours your time, but you don't spend it all hiding in a library carrel.
3) yes and no.  It's a lot of work, and you spend a lot of time with the same people.  But the stories about mean professors and uber-competitive classmates are highly exaggerated.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Suggested reading prior to law school?
« on: January 02, 2007, 12:19:36 AM »
One L scares a lot of people, so I didn't read it until after my first semester.  I found it entertaining and recognized some aspects of the narrator's experience, but I'd advise you that even if you read it, don't take it too seriously.

Getting to Maybe is a great book.  I recommend it to 1Ls (I'm a 3L), and one of my professors also recommended it, but I don't think it's nearly as widely read as it should be.

The most important book for me was (and is!) Law School Confidential.  Many other people read Planet Law School.  Some read both.  Both books describe law school life and provide specific advice about how to handle it.  Both books are scary, intense, and somewhat negative (esp. Planet Law School).  I do not find law school nearly as unpleasant or as overwhelming as Law School Confidential implies it will be (in fact, I generally enjoy law school), but the book's advice has proven invaluable.

If you want to read more, Bramble Bush is advice from a Columbia law professor to new law students.  It was written in 1930, but it's still a great perspective on learning law.

You don't even need to look at a casebook or a study aid until you get your first homework assignment the week before classes start.

I'm a Duke 3L (and yes, I am hanging out on this board so maybe I'm not exactly overwhelmed with school work right now).  I'm not a joint degree student, but of course, I know a pretty good number of people who are.

On the plus side:  Those I know who started joint degrees have continued to pursue both degrees, so joint degrees are entirely doable and the joint degree students appear to be satisfied with their decision.  Also, as I sit here thinking about it, they have had particularly good employment opportunities, but that may also be because they are some of the smartest students in the law school.

On the minus side:  Pursuing a joint degree requires more time in law school--maybe just a semester, maybe more, depending on the degree.  Therefore, it costs more and requires more endurance (it's hard to do 3 semesters in a row).  Joint degree students have less flexibility to take all the law classes that interest them.  Despite the law school's best efforts, there is still some administrative confusion because you are likely to be one of a very few students doing your particular joint degree.  And on top of all that, the joint degree gives you little if any advantage when you apply for a job as an associate at a law firm.  The plain-old JD students do just fine.

Bottom line:  Don't take on a joint degree lightly.  Do it because you really want a masters degree for your own personal edification, consciously sacrificing time and money to explore something that you personally care about.  Or, do the joint degree because you have unusual career goals, and you have carefully thought out how your joint degree will contribute to achieving those goals.


Law School Admissions / Re: Duke Academic Essay
« on: October 25, 2006, 08:13:56 PM »
Pick a current debate, take a side on it, and explain your point of view.  That's what I did, and I got in.  Or, skip it entirely -- that's what several of my Duke law classmates have told me they did.

I am a 3L at Duke, so I can only speak to Duke.

Duke places students all over the country. Lately, DC and NY have been the most popular destinations, but firms come to interview from all the major markets, and students from my class worked all over the country last summer (and a few worked abroad).  In particular, firms in Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Charlotte, Raleigh, Dallas, Houston, and Chicago all hired significant numbers of Duke students, but students worked everywhere from Stamford, CT to Phoenix, AZ.

Law School Admissions / Re: Work Experience
« on: October 18, 2005, 10:22:16 AM »
"Start up firm" sounds better to me.  But that's just me.

I agree -- nothing unethical about having him write the letter.

Law School Admissions / Re: Work Experience
« on: October 18, 2005, 09:53:46 AM »
If, however, you co-founded the business and are on an equal organizational footing with your other friends, it still makes sense for your friend to write you a recommendation -- just acknowledge truthfully that he is a business partner rather than the boss. 

I am assuming you will get your other a letter of recommendation from an academic source -- the law schools want to see that too.

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