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Messages - Janna116

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Current Law Students / Re: President of my Law School student senate?
« on: July 28, 2005, 10:27:59 PM »
Mary, it would help if we knew which school you were admitted to as it is probably different at each school.  Since we don't know, I'll answer you like you're going to my school,

At Wake we don't have a "Senate", the student government is called the Student Bar Association.  1Ls are elected to the SBA in the fall but only as class reps, (now I'm thinking and I think there are two per class year, can't remember for sure though.) Anyway, the rest of the positions are elected in the spring, so 1Ls run twice in the same school year.  Only 2Ls and 3Ls can hold officer positions, which a 1L can run for in the spring to hold office the following fall.  I don't know anything about the personal background of our officers.  I'm sure some of them held offices in undergrad or HS but then again, maybe some of them didn't.  In my opinion, running for any kind of class office is pretty much a popularity contest, but that isn't much different than State and Federal offices. (No I didn't run and lose, I am just stating my opinion.)  Good or bad, make enough friends and you'll probably get the votes.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Competitiveness?
« on: July 28, 2005, 10:07:04 PM »

is known to be the most uncompetitive LS. The students all help eachother and the profs dont try the bait and switch as they do at most other schools. The students are much more willing to help out and to hang out on weekends. It is the only LS that I have heard Alums call fun.

Which school are you talking about? Just curious.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Competitiveness?
« on: July 27, 2005, 09:28:50 PM »
I can't offer you advice about any of the other schools but I go to Wake and I find that everyone is very friendly and helpful.  The first week of class, 2nd year students, who noticed we were in a line of first years offered advice for the best study guides for classes.  Yeah, I know, they aren't in my class but still, they had no reason to want to help us.  I've heard that at other schools people don't even stop and say hi to people in the halls; they're just too busy and absorbed in their own world.  Within the class everyone seems to be willing to give notes and advice and talk about study tips.  Wake is so small, only 40 people a section, we really are all family.  The only time it got really tense was the morning of exams, and I'm talking less than half an hour away. People tend to get snippy and may answer questions in a way that makes them feel better for knowing more than you.  You can't fault people for that though, at that point we may have been up for 48 hours, on our 14th cup of coffee, and happy that someone asked a question we could answer.  Trust me, no matter how nice you are you'll probably be a little snippy too during exams.

If you want to know anything more about Wake, I'd be happy to answer.  Are you applying for the following year or making last minute decisions?  Just send me a PM, or reply to this message, I'll check back later.


Choosing the Right Law School / Re: left leaning law schools?
« on: July 04, 2005, 10:08:51 PM »
If you don't want a right-leaning school (students), I'd stear clear of places like..

Wake, SMU, Baylor, Ole Miss, Vandy, Bama, UGA, UF.

As far as Wake goes, I strongly disagree.  I could see how the undergrad might be more conservative but the law school or at least the majority of the vocal people in my class are liberal, some of them are extremely liberal and I am a moderate conservative (conservative on fiscal issues - small goverment...,liberal on social issues - support gay marriage and abortion rights.)  And the faculty (for the most part) are very liberal and vocal about their opinions. But I imagine the faculty pretty much anywhere are vocally liberal.  Just my 2 cents.

Law School Admissions / Re: How hard is it to get into Wake?
« on: July 04, 2005, 09:18:31 PM »
Hi all, I just finished my first year at Wake a few months ago. 

My stats were right around yours.  I had virtually no EC's.  The best thing I could add was a foreign language award from undergrad.  What I did have was work experience.  I worked between 25 and 40 hours a week throughout undergrad.  I also worked full time for three years post grad.  All of this landed me on the waitlist until July when I was accepted. 

I think your stats would land you on the waitlist, especially since the schools all tend to up their stats a wee little each year.  But your EC's and personal extras might push you over.  Growing up in Europe is not "pretty average" to me.  It's pretty neat.  Think of the admissions staff as a bunch of chefs creating a new delicious dish.  If they only put in meat and potatoes it will not win any awards.  They need to add spices.  So they find someone who's family fled Cuba when she was a baby, they add someone else who taught English in a remote party of Russia, they throw in some PhD's and a few people with Masters, they add a pinch of foreign language proficiency and a dash of volunteer work and finish it up with a handful of just graduated's and another handful of worked for a few years post grad and you have a 1L class.  I would emphasize what makes you diverse.  I know it sounds cheesy and I think it is cheesy but if you don't emphasize what is different about you, you might not be the potato they pick.  How do you stand out? Your PS.  I look back on my PS and think it was pretty dry.  Write a PS that you would want to read.  Think of it this way, the admissions staff has to read thousands of PS's.  At Wake they actually read these at home on their time off and not while in the office.  Make em laugh, make em cry, make them forget that they are spending their nights and weekends reading admissions essays.  Don't just talk about what you want to do with a law degree (save the world, make a million dollars, make orphans and widows cry) this is what they can do for you.  You can talk about why you want to go to law school or what you want to do with a law degree but throw in enough spice so they can see what you will do (think add diversity to the class) for the law school. 

As far as letting them know that Wake is your first choice.  Nothing says you respect the school like applying early. (Wake doesn't have an Early Decision or at least it didn't when I applied, so apply as soon as you can.) This means you need to have your LSAC account and all of you letters of rec ready.  Applying early shows you are eager to start law school and you are eager to start law school there.  Applying in February says, eh, law school shmaw school, I guess I'll apply or I applied to a bunch of other places first and then decided to add Wake when I didn’t like the responses I got in January.  You should call them soon after you apply to get an idea of when they think they might make decisions if that isn't listed.  (I can't remember if Wake is rolling or set date.) You should let them know by phone how eager you are and check in periodically but not every day (that makes you seem crazy).  If you are borderline, a school might be more apt to offer you a spot if they know you will take it rather than sit on it.  I know that admissions gets tapes and videos and music composed or books written by the people applying.  I don't know if they look at any of this.  Some of the Deans frown on any additions because they feel that if you can't follow the app rules then you don't belong in law school.  This is a little harsh but they do get a lot of applications and they just don't have time to read your Masters thesis or listen to your album along with 1000 others. 

As far as adding a letter of intent to make Wake your first choice or any school for that matter, I would contact the admissions office and ask what their stance would be on such a letter.  If they say they would consider it, then I would add it, if they would not or if they say they really frown on additions to the app then don't anger the admissions gods. 

Obviously this is unofficial advice so take it or leave it at your own peril. Sorry the post is so long, hope this helps.  Good luck.  Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions about Wake life etc… - Jen

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: USC or W&L ($)
« on: June 12, 2005, 09:32:18 PM »
I don't know much about either school but I am familiar with the Lexington area and there is not much there.  Some people may take offense by your "much lower quality of life" statement but what I took from that is that you are used to LA and NYC and you would be unhappy or at least you think your quality of life would be lower if you were stuck in a small town.  Also, I'm not sure about W&L placement but I would check to see if many grads go to LA or NYC, they probably stay in the northern VA/ DC area.  One of the most important things in choosing a law school is choosing where you think you'd want to practice and if VA is not on that list then I'd pick USC.  I've also heard that it is easier to transfer from one big city to another such as LA to NYC rather than from a smaller city to a bigger city.  Something like: you can always move down or laterally but it's hard to move up, not from law school but from practice. 

I wasn't offered any money when I started law school last year so I can't imagine what you're struggling with but if you would really be unhappy you should go to USC.  Just like some people say that rankings and potential salaries should not affect your school choice, potential debt shouldn't either, particularly based on your posted choice of practice.  With a job in LA or NYC you probably won't have a problem paying off that debt. 

You never know, you might like a small town but if you just can't stand the idea of mountains and sheep, skip VA and stay in CA.

This is my humble opinion so please don't base your decision on my post, just something to think about.  Hopefully someone from USC or W&L will chime in and be more helpful.


(Disclaimer: I grew up in VA, I like VA and I am thinking of moving back to VA but it didn't sound like mcgrohan would be very happy in Lexington.  If you're from W&L and you disagree, chime in and lure mcgrohan to VA.)

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Wake Reviews
« on: June 06, 2005, 09:43:03 PM »
My first year:My main observation, "Law School is hard." You may have been in the top of your classes and you may have always received A's but now that describes everyone surrounding you and everyone can't be number 1.  Don't stress, you got into law school, that's hard; you got into Wake, that's harder.  We'll all be lawyers when we finish school or at least we'll be writing the case headnotes for Westlaw or Lexis (you'll get that after school starts); either way we'll still have a job.  Some other observations: 1) Don't turn on the internet on your laptop in class, it's too distracting, 2) Do give any "secret" study aids you happen to have to the rest of the class, things work better this way and you never know if someone else will have something you'll want to borrow or copy, 3) There always seems to be free food, from a full barbecue or boxed lunch to pizza and subs to cookies and candy and sometimes even beer but oddly almost never water; bottom line, you won't be able to use the excuse, "I'm sorry, I didn't read that case, I have no money and was forced to eat my text book.", 4) Seriously, everyone really does care about you, from the faculty and administration to the students, it's a great atmosphere, 5) 2L'S and 3L's are a great source of information. Don't be afraid to approach us and ask for advice, it wasn't too long ago we were in your situation and someone showed us the ropes or at least told us which study aid to buy for Civil Procedure and Torts.

Workload:Obviously you will be overwhelmed at first.  You will be reading and preparing material that is unlike anything you have ever read before even if you took a law class in undergrad.  Don't worry, aside from the first week or weeks of school you won't be spending hours and hours preparing for class.  Eventually you will get the hang of class preparation, you will realize that the amount of work you put into a class is not proportional to the return you get out of the class, you will realize that you don't care or some combination of all three.  You won't be staying up until 1 or 2am to finish your class work unless you start at 10pm.  Keep in mind that the class preparation and studying that you will be doing is so that you can follow along in class and answer questions if you're called on by the prof.  Your only grade comes from your final exam even though some profs claim that they add participation points, rumors persist that those points may or may not exist.  The only class that you will have graded assignments in is Legal Writing.  The workload depends on the prof you get.  I had a great experience and learned a lot but I had a lot of drafts and outlines due throughout the semesters.  The good news is that no matter who you get for Legal Writing, the class ends about a month before the semester ends so that's less work to worry about. Also Wake used to require 6 rather than 5 classes a semester for first years.  They changed this policy two years ago after a study about the moral of the student body.  So you will have less of a workload first year than the students who just graduated.

Toughness of classes:This one really depends on which profs you get.  Some profs are known for being really difficult to understand or for talking too fast or too slow.  Other profs are known for being great lecturers (a rarity in the Socratic world).  It is the rare lecturer that often has what are considered the easier classes.  The profs at Wake use the Socratic method.  Don't worry, if you've read OneL or The Paper Chase our prof's aren't that bad.  Only one of my profs had us stand up to recite.  As time moves on most of the classes turn into 50 minute discussions with the profs asking questions and the students volunteering answers.

Amount of free time:Many students treat law school like a job.  They arrive to school before classes start to study, attend class, study and eat between classes and study after class until they are done or until about 6 or 7 and then they go home.  Following this plan, if possible, you would have a lot of free nights and weekends.  Theoretically, since, except for LRW, you won't have any assignments to turn in, you could simply not study or read anything and have lots and lots of free time; I really don't recommend this.  I usually took the afternoons off and started preparing for class around 5pm.  I recommend taking one day off a week, I always took Saturday off to go to the mall, watch mindless TV, or read a non-law related book. 

What do 1Ls do when they aren't studying or in class:The same thing you non 1Ls do when you aren't at work or otherwise engaged.  But seriously, there are a lot of school functions, speakers and even parties where there is almost always free food and sometimes free beer.  Don't want to hang around school? truth many students go out to bars a lot.  The SBA (student government) has a weekly get together called "Bar Review" where the president picks a bar and wrestles a drink special out of the manager.  It's a nice way to meet people at the beginning of school. If drinking or hangout out in bars is not your thing there are lots of volunteer opportunities like Big Brothers/Big Sisters, tutoring or reading to elementary students, The Children's Museum, or Guardian Ad Litem, to name just a few.  The undergrad has an annual volunteer fair in the fall if you are looking to give back to the community and put something on your resume.  Law students also occasionally leave town to visit friends or relatives. I highly recommend leaving town at least once a semester.  It's good to get away from the legal scene.

Places you should not live:If you are asking about area, I am really only familiar with the area around school, about a 5 mile radius and that seems safe.  Of course I have traveled beyond this but am not familiar with the other areas enough to advise you to live or not live there.  If you are asking about apartments, I have heard that Northcliffe is a little sketchy and I was specifically advised not to live there.  On the cheaper side are The Trails and The Corners, they have all you need without the frills and a lot of students live there.  On the more expensive side are The Pines, Crowne Oaks, Crowne Polo, and Crowne Park, they have the nine foot ceilings and the crown moldings if your looking for that sort of thing; again, a lot of students live there.  There is also Deacon Ridge which are condos not apartments but they are the closest place to campus and a lot of people buy those condos and rent them to students. Some students (or their parents) even bought condos there.  Of course there are other apartments but these are the ones where the majority of students live.  For example, as I was moving in last August I met the guy moving into the apartment next to me who, as it turned out, was also a new law student.  There were a total of at least 9 1Ls living in my apartment complex and a few other upperclassmen. 

Well sorry this email is so long, hope that answered your questions. Post back if there's anything else you want to know or if I hit on something on which you want me to elaborate.  - Jen

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Wake Reviews
« on: June 05, 2005, 09:27:00 PM »
Not sure how I'll fit in with a bunch of guys in half-tucked pastel polos since I'm a jeans and t-shirts guy from Jersey, but I enjoyed four years at U of South Carolina, so I think I'll be OK.

Hey all, I stumbled onto this board and thought I'd poke around and I found this post.  I just finished my first year at Wake and have really enjoyed it.  Those people in pastel shirts and khaki pants might have been MBA students, believe it or not, they have a dress code.  We (law students) don't have any such code and while we do have some khaki wearing folk, for the most part everyone wears jeans or whatever they want.  As far as the school I will try to give you as brief a glowing review as possible.  It's small, it's not competitive, unless it is 10 minutes before an exam, the teachers are approachable, the town is small but not too small, overall the school has a personal feel and everyone is very friendly, 2L's and 3L's are more than happy to give you advice, whether it's outlines for a class or advice on a teacher or even advice on the best bar in town... the upperclassmen are great (of course they're even greater now that I'm among them, JK) Anyway if you're looking for a small school where you won't get lost both literally and figuratively, if you'd like to be able to actually approach your professors and even your Deans, if you'd like a student body that doens't take itself too seriously then Wake is great. We do have people from all over the country and even the world and unlike most other law schools the LLM's are in a few of our first year classes with us. Yes Wake's in the south and they do serve barbecue at school functions but that's part of the charm. So don't fear the south...join usss....join usss....

Feel free to post here or PM me if you have any specific questions or concerns or if you want to talk about apartments, sorry, can't help much with houses. 

...and, in true lawyer fashion, just in case anybody is looking - "I do not work for nor do I represent the Wake Forest University School of Law in any official capacity. The statements above and any sucessive statements are my opinions alone." (yes you will think like this after your first year or maybe even your first week of law school)

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