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Messages - jomolungma
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« on: April 06, 2005, 06:22:46 PM »
My name is Stu and I'll be at Pitt this fall as well. I'm actually from New York and I live in NYC with my wife right now. I work for a large landlord in New York, mostly in L&T court, and my wife is finishing her PhD in Art History from Penn. I graduated undergrad in '97 from SUNY Albany, though I carry undergrad credit from Penn, Pace University and Syracuse University. I've spent the last several years either teaching English, doing Internet development or in the Army (most recently in the Army). My wife spent some time in Pittsburgh when she was younger, studying with the Pittsburgh ballet and half of her family are lifetime 'burghers. We'll have lots of company around us as we struggle through law school but fortunately most of them are lawyers so they'll understand :-)
I chose Pitt over some other schools because we felt that Pittsburgh was where we wanted to live after school. I want to go into prosecution and most often you get a job with a DA local to your law school, so it made sense to come to Pitt. My uncle used to be an adjunct for the school as well and he did a lot of convincing :-)
I won't be at the open house, we'll be in Pittsburgh the weekend of April 22 to house hunt. But I hope to catch up with you all this fall.
P.S. This cycling thing seems to be catching - I was an avid cyclist for years in NYC, including competing in races in Central Park and Prospect Park. However, I've been mostly off the bike for the last three years. If I can get back in shape this summer I'd be happy to join anyone for a ride anytime.
« on: April 06, 2005, 01:18:01 PM »
I haven't started law school yet, so I know I'm not the best to answer this, but as someone who is 29 and is choosing to go into law school after a successful career in the military and private sector, I can say that I'm not going to school for money, prestige, grades, etc. I'm going to law school because I enjoy what in my not-so-informed mind is the law. I've worked with JAG attorneys and currently work everyday with L&T attorneys in NYC. While I don't want to be an L&T attorney, and JAG is no longer an option, I like what I've seen and learned about their daily work and the issues that they work on. My own personal reading into things like criminal prosecution and civil litigation has further enhanced my appreciation for lawyers and the work they do, and has influenced my decision to pursue a law career.
All this may, and probably will, change when I'm in law school. I fully expect to hate it at times, question my life choices and daily decision-making, and generally feel miserable. But I'm open to that and I think I want a law career bad enough to fight through it. If not, I'll move in a different direction. I think that knowing is half the battle, so we'll see.
« on: April 05, 2005, 07:22:16 PM »
I've heard this is exceedingly difficult in Pennsylvania. However, I was wondering if anyone knew for sure whether owning a house and having your wife work in Pittsburgh, in addition to being registered to vote, having your car registered in PA, your license in PA, filing taxes in PA and other little things, will guarantee residency by 2L assuming these were in place for a year by then. Anyone?
« on: April 05, 2005, 07:20:11 PM »
I just got back from Pitt, in fact. I picked out a really great apartment in the heart of Shadyside. But squirrel hill is really great too.
And I think Regent Square is really a great place to look for a house/condo. There's a decent amount of activity and shopping in Regent Square. And it's a really short hop to Forbes and Murrey in Squirrel Hill.
I personally think Greenfield is a little too boring, a little too far out, and a little too hilly (winter is probably hellish if you live in Greenfield) for my taste. I'm not sure I'd be too hot on buying there myself. And Lawrenceville and the strip district do seem a little shady. I think I'd be sketched out to have to walk there at night much.
Being from NYC has given me the false courage of being able to handle Pitt at night, that and a stint in Baghdad. But you're right, and that's why we've eliminated those two. As for Greenfield, it is quiet, but I'm not so sure it's far. It's really just on the other side of the park from the University, along the river southwest of Squirrel Hill. It would certainly be a big change from living in Manhattan but if we buy a house it will be with the intent of staying in Pitt after school and raising a family, so quiet and out of the way might be nice. We were up in Pitt in March visiting the school and family. My wife spent some time there as a kid and half her family is there, so she's much much much more familiar with it than I am. However, I'm learning via the web and a big map. We'll be up again in April and then probably a couple more times for housing related stuff. We intend to be in place by August 1 though so we both have time to get settled, my wife in her job and me in Pittsburgh proper.
« on: April 05, 2005, 07:02:35 PM »
Just so everyone doesn't think I'm a fuddy duddy, my anniversary is coming up this July and I will be doing lots of relaxing and partying with my wife. I won't have a single law-related book with me. But since I've known I was going to law school for the last year or so I had to do something with that time, right? I didn't have my senior year of undergrad to distract me.
« on: April 04, 2005, 11:31:15 PM »
I've read PLS II and was planning to get a couple of the others you mentioned.
What I was actually asking was what texts/supplementals would people recommend for all the 1L courses? e.g., Torts, Property, etc.
There is a list in Law School Confidential that's pretty good. I've found the Examples and Explanations for CivPro and Torts helpful, easy to read, but they aren't all by the same author so they differ...
« on: April 04, 2005, 09:25:49 PM »
Different things work for different people. I have done very well so far in law school, and did nothing to prep for it. If your goal is to get great grades and parlay that into a good attorney position, then I strongly feel reading excessive amounts of material before starting law school is superfluous. All law schools operate differently and all Profs teach different material in different ways and expect different things from exams. The best way to achieve this is simply doing the work while in law school. Many people I know suffered greatly because they relied too heavily on commercial outlines which generalize the law into black letter rules.
I agree with what you're saying, which is why I tried to make a point of stating that I wasn't studying, just reading. I read West Nutshell's on the subway. I've read an E&E or two and a couple of Law School Confidential type books. All of this reading was spread out over the course of 15 months. In addition, I work in NYC housing court everyday, with three law students and a group of experienced L&T attorneys. We talk, I learn. I'm not tied to any assumptions or principles of learning, and I'm completely open to the uniqueness of my professor's teaching. However, I know some of the issues involved with jurisdiction, and I can spell collateral estoppel. I know what the letter K refers to, what the MPC is, and the names of a bunch of different crimes. As a former English teacher and Internet developer that's more than I knew when I started and it can't hurt to know when I get to school.
« on: April 04, 2005, 09:14:11 PM »
ur burnout argument is baseless. obviously u have no idea what ur talking about. ur argument rests on the false assumption that law school is like the practice of law. the reason burnout happens is because law school is A LOT MORE INTENSIVE THAN THE PRACICE OF LAW. in law school, u have memos, outlining, oral arguments to prepare for, all while still preparing for class which takes 4 -5 hours a night. i could go on, but im just f'n beat from all the work law school is throwin at me.
dude, get over it... if it's that tough, leave... dropout... cry... do something other than be another one of the many whiners and complainers... i happen to work with lawyers everyday... i also have several in my family who come home late at night and are barely seen on weekends... but they do it because they accept the tradeoffs... you want a law degree, accept the tradeoffs...
i don't think how much someone studies has a direct correlation to how well they do... different strokes for different folks... i know quite a few students who studied themselves sick and then bombed due to test anxiety... i know others that took three-day weekends throughout 1L and made law review... i personally have no idea what will work for me, i'll figure it out... my previous post was simply stating that there are other options to blowing off your summer before school, and if you take what you are doing seriously, i would think you'd want to crack a book or two before day one
« on: April 04, 2005, 05:41:27 PM »
I honestly would be wary about heeding the advice of posters who say 'relax and have a good time'. It just goes to show where their priorities are. My guess is that these individuals went straight from undergrad to law school, but i can only speculate.
I have to agree with this. I've been out of school for 9 years and have been reading lots of law-related books this whole year. I'm not studying the law, I'm reading. I'm reading about the subjects, and the law in general, in hopes that I'll retain about 5-10% of the language and main ideas, something to help me up the learning curve when the ball drops. My uncle, a succesful lawyer in his own right, told me the biggest things for a 1L are learning to think like a lawyer and the language barrier. If I can tackle one of those even sllightly it's gotta help.
The main argument folks throw at me against what I am doing is burnout. Look, if you've spent the last 8-10 years of your life working and going to war like me, burnout is not gonna happen. I CHOSE TO GO TO LAW SCHOOL. If I get burned out it's my own fault and means I made a major mistake. I plan on doing this law thing for the rest of my life, wouldn't it suck to get burned out in one year? Give me a break. Suck it up. I'll tell ya this, while some of you bask your summer away on the beach others are reading and learning. When the first class starts, you'll know who is who. I'm not saying their grades will be different, but my guess is they will be. There are those that go to law school because they want to be lawyers and those who go because they can't decide what they want to be. Lawyers prepare.
« on: April 04, 2005, 10:47:57 AM »
I'll be attending Pitt this fall as well. My wife and I are probably going to buy a house or condo, we'll be up at the end of this month to start looking. Half of her family lives in Squirrel Hill and it's nice, but others are right - there's more life in Shadyside. The Southside can be difficult to commute from but seems to be lively and up and coming... of course the strip district has great life but not sure if it's where you want to be during school... we've looked a little at Lawrenceville but the commute would be difficult by bus and it's a little too rundown for us. Regent Square is an area we're looking in, as well as Greenfield, which is not the happening-est place in Pittsburgh but fits us nicely.
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