Law School Discussion

So who is going to Hofstra?

Re: So who is going to Hofstra?
« Reply #40 on: May 02, 2005, 11:11:35 AM »
Sometimes i feel like im the only creative input for our show...

I personally am torn about putting the window sticker on my car.  I'm not sure why, but i suppose it doesnt really matter since i dont have my car in brooklyn.  Maybe i should put it on the 2 or 3 train i commute into manhattan with.

Re: So who is going to Hofstra?
« Reply #41 on: May 04, 2005, 07:54:41 AM »
Creative input currently stifled by the hell of computer programming...but let's see here...

Instead of having someone sleep with a professor, we could have a student who is paying his/her way through law school by stripping (this is kept a secret from all his/her roommates, as well).  This student has a bad first few classes with one of her professors, and later, as it turns out, s/he ends up running into said professor in the stripclub (as the professor is one of the regulars at this club).  Ensues lots of awkward class conversations between the student and the professor. 

Also, we could have one of those parent/child conflicts, where a father pushes his child to go to the same law school that he went to, and that his grandfather went to, so on and so forth, and then to work at the same firm that generations of his family has worked at, but the child wants to go into something like public interest law or something less prestigious, in the father's eyes. 

Re: So who is going to Hofstra?
« Reply #42 on: May 10, 2005, 10:57:05 AM »
No posts in a few days, just wanted to make sure everyone was still OK and excited as the countdown continues...

Re: So who is going to Hofstra?
« Reply #43 on: May 10, 2005, 11:15:22 AM »
I've been busy working on our show, so excuse my absence.  This is going to be one of those dead periods for me, just riding out my stint at the firm (last day: july 29th, huzzah).  I'm honestly so bored at work that ANY change of pace is more than welcome...if it wasnt for pick up soccer and kickball ( i'd probably have so much pent up office rage that i'd chew someones head off.  Fortunately i have yet to do so. 

Re: So who is going to Hofstra?
« Reply #44 on: June 21, 2005, 10:06:02 AM »
hello all,

i'm really glad to see a lot more incoming 1Ls on this board.  if you check one of the threads from last year, it was only me and Ken B. (who's now my buddy.  i read the person from CA's posts and while i don't agree with most of what he/she said, i think there is room for a lot of improvement at hofstra. 

besides that, i'm just posting here because i wish i had an upperclassmen do the same for me when i came in. 

i can give you insights on a couple of things like:

- professors
- pre-law school courses and books like PSII
- methods of studying
- jobs
- surrounding area
- dorm life

let me know if there is anything specific you would like to know...i'll try my best to respond in a couple of days.

best of luck and welcome,


Re: So who is going to Hofstra?
« Reply #45 on: June 21, 2005, 10:34:01 AM »
God bless Canuck!

Thank you for posting and offering your wisdom.

I've got TONS of questions, but to start, are you glad you ended up going there?  Was 1L year as bad as everyone says it is? And how tough is the grading system?  And how were summer job prospects?

Re: So who is going to Hofstra?
« Reply #46 on: June 21, 2005, 02:06:58 PM »
hey JD4Me,

i have to say that i really enjoyed my first year.  i don't regret my choice of coming to Hofstra, but my opinion may have been different if my grades were really disappointing.  i just got my spring semester grades back and but for property, it would have been a great year. 

that being said, i know a lot of people trying to transfer...two people i know of got early admissions into Georgetown.  lots of people are trying to go to NYU and Columbia (but that's extremely difficult).  fordham seems like a hot destination to improve their employment prospects.  and handfuls of people are trying to transfer back closer to home.  i, myself put in an application back to Canada...but only because my family, friends, and girlfriend are back there...and i'm not receiving any financial aid from Hofstra.  i doubt i'll get in, but i look forward to my next two years here.

i really like most of the faculty here.  the building itself is not the greatest and i think that really prevents Hofstra from making a big jump in the rankings.  we're really pushing to move although we dropped from like 87 last year to 95 this year.  before that, i think we were in tier 3.  most of that had to do with the former Dean, Dean Yellen, who had really lax admission standards.  proof of that being the drop in our bar passage rates (no offense to any alum reading this).  the 3Ls this year are pretty much the last of the "Yellen" years so i expect the 2Ls who are now 3Ls are gonna push those rates back up again.  Hofstra is really pushing hard to get extremely bright students by dolling out a lot of cash in scholarships.

i also like my classmates.  all of them are bright and i've made some really good friends.  although competitive, and it may be getting more competitive, you will also find a good group that you'll brave the trenches with.

my first year was the most intellectually challenging, emotionally draining, and personally rewarding year of my life.  law school isn't rocket science, but the amount of work makes it feel overwhelming at times.  especially if you really want to cover all your bases.  the second semester really is much better and you begin to enjoy yourself more (although you always have finals hanging over your head).  i could go on and on, but the bottom line is that you get as much out of law school as you put in.  and if you're as excited as i was to come to law school and start becoming an attorney, i'm sure you'll enjoy it too.

how tough is the grading curve?  well, all the classes follow a bell.  which means professors usually first assign a raw score to your exams and then slot which papers receive A's, B's, C's, and D's.  most of the classes i've seen on previous grade distributions are set at a B or B-.  an "honor" grade as one prof calls it, which is above the bell, is any grade of B+ or higher.  and unlike undergrad, it's really hard to gauge how well you did after you wrote the exam.  sometimes you feel like you got destroyed, and you'll end up with a good grade.  sometimes you feel good about it and your grade turns out lousy.  that's because you're marked in relation to everyone else, so it really depends on how well everyone else did.  all you can do is your personal best.

as the person from CA said, Hofstra 1Ls are divided into two sections, A and B.  so the incoming class is usually 300 persons, and you'll have two sections of 150 each.  there will be a few part-time day students or LLM students in your class, and while they factor into the grade distribution, they are ranked separately (which i find unfair).  in each section, you have a small section in the fall.  so one of your subjects in first year, crim, civ pro, torts, contracts, or property, will have a class size of around 20-35 people.  the people in your small section will be in all your classes, while the other four subjects will generally have the same people minus the small section for that subject.  you'll get to know most of the people in your section by name and face.  and be a stranger to other section people unless it's through an extracurricular activity or through sharing residence. 

then in the spring, the small sections from each side (e.g. small section Crim A, and small section Crim B) combine.  so you get to meet a few B people.  but all your other classes stay the same.  in the Spring, you take civ pro, torts, contract, property, lawmaking (legal methods), and legal writing.  the people that were in the small section for crim now become the combined section for lawmaking.

i found that the workload and evaluation methods were more demanding for my section (section A this year) than section B.  i know the B-section people will probably vehmenently disagree, but i have various reasons.  for one, all my professors were tenured much longer than the other professors.  they were much more set in their ways, and had quirkier exam styles.  while the other section had younger professors who offered mid-term grades during the semester that were worth a percentage of your final grade.  also, in my fall semester, only one of my exams were open book, while B section had an average of 4 open book exams (say what you want about open book exams being harder, in law school it's much harder to learn the black letter law and apply it instead of being able to reference the rule from your notes).  lastly, i found my professors much more demanding in class than the other professors, thusly affecting the actual preparation most of my sectionmates would put in.

you might want to know why i'm elaborating on this...that's because at the end of the year, all the first years are ranked together, regardless of which section you were in.  so a good GPA in my section seemed to be more deserving than a good GPA from the other section.  the rankings also factor into law review and other journal competitions.  the bottom line to all this is that certain professors are more demanding than others, and it will do you good to talk to as many upperclassmen as you can who had those professors.  especially for past outlines and classnotes as well as what to expect on their finals.

as for summer job prospects, i'm sort of outing myself, but i'm working at the law school clinic right now and i also volunteer at a firm out here in long island.  paid jobs are extremely difficult to get after your first year.  but here's a small sample of what most of my classmates are doing:  working for a firm in korea, going on international exchanges to france and italy, interning for the department of justice, interning for the department of labor, someone was offered a summer internship with JAG, lots of summer judicial internships, working at small/medium/big firms...although the big firms were mostly through minority fellowships or fellowships through the school that are extremely hard to get, and lastly i know of a few students researching for professors.

what career services doesn't tell you is that many of the exciting internship opportunities (some paid, most volunteer) have early fall deadlines.  i would recommend getting a resume together in September, having career services look over it, doing some mock interviews, and begin to apply in October or November.  you won't have any grades yet, but it can't hurt.  especially during your winter break, you should be applying to as many places as possible.  anything law-related will be an asset, but aim high cuz you never know what you'll hit.

although your first summer is the last opportunity to really relax and enjoy yourself, it's getting more and more competitive in the legal marketplace.  we have to distinguish ourselves in some way and if that's some good, relevant, law-related experience in your first summer, then that's what we have to do.

i'm really sorry this post has gone on so long.  i would be more than happy to meet up with any of your personally if you're coming to long island this summer.  if not, please post any questions here and i'll try to get back to you within a day.



Re: So who is going to Hofstra?
« Reply #47 on: June 21, 2005, 03:54:32 PM »
Oh wow! You have been so informative, you should definitely not be sorry.
Now i got a question regarding the new dean- Aaron Twerski. How is he liked by the students and is he really making the school better. I'd really appreciate if you can answer me this.

Re: So who is going to Hofstra?
« Reply #48 on: June 21, 2005, 11:06:10 PM »
hey schnorer,

most of the students don't really have an opinion on Dean Twerski because he didn't take over his official duties until the beginning of this month.  however i can tell you that all of the faculty i have spoken to are extremely high on him.

Dean Twerski used to be a professor here and i think that he served as a Dean before.  let me say that he is brilliant.  i don't usually label people as such, but he is deserving.  besides being a great scholar (he has been published like crazy) i hear that he is a an excellent attorney.  one of my classmates has told me that he has never lost a case.

Dean Twerski is also a reporter for the American Law Institute (ALI).  the ALI is composed of attorneys, scholars, judges, and is an honor society for the best and brightest in the legal world.  you can only become a member after you are invited, which means you are nominated and you can't apply.  the ALI also publishes Restatements.  these are exactly what their title says: restatements of the law.  all these bright minds get together and attempt to formulate a general rule for all aspects of law.  the criticism is that sometimes the ALI attempts to persuade the legal rule to adopt rules which the Institue thinks is correct.  this is not mandatory authority like a federal statute or a precedent case.  but they are highly persuasive authorities.  you will come across their use in almost every course you take in the first year.

the reason that being a reporter is so prestigious, as Dean Twerski is, is because the reporter gathers all the ideas of the Institute on a certain subject of's like being editor-in-chief.  this is a once-in-a-lifetime honor because the Restatements aren't published every year.  in fact, some are published many years after.  i believe Dean Twerski is the reporter for the products liability section of the Restatement of Torts.  for this accolade to be bestowed on him means that he has reached one of the highest pinnacles in his field.

just as a side note, to plug Hofstra, i think there are 4 or 5 professors who are also members of the ALI.  i believe Prof. Eric Freedman is a member, as well as the former interim dean, Dean Resnick.

besides that, Dean Twerski is also the first Orthodox Jew to hold the post of Dean for a law school...which is surprising when you think of all the great Jewish legal scholars in American and World history.  one of my classmates told me that his family is well-known in religious circles.

i have been introduced to Dean Twerski.  i would not say he's an extrovert and from first impression he seems to prefer his solitude.  but that's just MHO.  in fact, i think he's one of those off-the-chart smart people that most would find a bit difficult relating to.  that being said, the notoriety he brings with him will really help our school.  i think the jury's still out as to whether this will result in additional funds being raised or the possibility of any dramatic change.  in short, he's a thinker.

i think that this post wouldn't be complete without mentioning Dean Resnick.  he's a national authority in bankruptcy law.  he did a very commendable job as interin dean and it is reflected in our class this year...many of the faculty have commented on the noted difference in our year.  the fact that your year is suppose to be even better is exciting for everyone here at hofstra.

again, this post has carried on waaaay too long, especially in response to a simple question.  i apologize.  i just want the incoming class to feel good about their choice and not like they're getting a "second tier" education.  we are admittedly not Harvard, Yale, or Stanford.  but we are a good school, with outstanding faculty, and the quality of the student body seems to be improving with each new year.  the fact that there are more than two of you posting on this board (like there was last year) in prepartion for the coming fall is testament to that. 

again, good luck and i hope to meet some of you in person next year. 


p.s. i just noticed that i was worried about outing myself by saying where i worked this summer, when i think i've identified myself on LSD before.  also, there aren't a lot of Canadians in section A so i'm pretty sure everyone knows who i am.  i've been writing my brief to get into the moot court association next year and i think my lack of sleep has started to take it's toll.  but humor me as i try to continue to maintain my anonymity!   ;)

Re: So who is going to Hofstra?
« Reply #49 on: June 22, 2005, 07:26:11 AM »
Thanks again Canuck for the great information!

What are your thoughts on law school prep courses?  Did you take one? Know anyone who took one?  I've heard mixed reviews.  Most of the people I've spoken to who said it was worthless, are not the actually people who took a course, but heresay and a friend of a friend type thing.  From first hand accounts everyone I know who took one found it very helpful.  I've also heard of some people liking PLS II a lot as well.

Also, have you had any interactions in study groups? Helpful/harmful?

And did you use and commercial outlines or primers that you found very helpful?

Hopefully you stay at Hofstra because I think you are a great resource for incoming students as well as a testament to the institution.