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Author Topic: anyone attending?  (Read 26472 times)

onepoint

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Re: anyone attending?
« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2005, 08:48:36 PM »
i've actually been scratching my head a little lately, i haven't heard a thing besides stafford loan info.  i would appreciate some info on .. you know .. when we start?  meet-n-greet day?  anything?

i was also told to make sure i get a parking garage spot, though i'm sure by the time i get any info regarding that, they'll be gone.  this is starting to worry me a bit, not a good first impression.

milan said that they'll decide in august if they're going to offer the mac version of securexam.
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Benjamin

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Re: anyone attending?
« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2005, 10:31:12 PM »
You might as well get a parking pass first chance you get, because you are going to want one for sure.  I doubt you will get shut out, I didn't hear of anyone who was last year, but no reason to chance it. 

As for them not being sure whether to support Macs, I would suggest that this is exactly the time to take a proactive approach, for two reasons.  First, the laptop test taking at Duquesne is in its infancy, so it is more likely to be influenced by strong demand from the students.  Although some people had glitches, tons of people far and away preferred the laptops.  I know that I was able to do better than I otherwise would have.  They have every reason to expand the program.  Second, we are getting a new Dean this year, and he espouses himself to be concerned about increasing our appeal to, and accommodation of, the students.  This is exactly the sort of thing that he might make the executive decision to mandate if he is informed about the effect it will have in a) saving students money if they already have Macs; b) helping encourage students to attend who would otherwise change their minds if they realize they can go to a comparable school that does allow Macs for exams; and c) immediately helping make exams, an already hectic and stressful experience, more convenient for current and incoming students. 

As for your impression of Duquesne so far, everything is going to be relative to where you came from before.  I myself went to Ohio State as an undergrad, so I was used to a lot of bureaucracy; Duquesne hasn't been perfect in that department, but it has been much better than OSU. 

The nice thing about Duquesne, at least for my class last year, is that there was an atmosphere of encouragement and assistance for your fellow classmate.  People were competitive, and cared where they finished, but not at the expense of being cooperative and good-willed.  I doubt most schools were similar.  I think that, as a result, our whole class benefited psychologically and educationally. 

I donít know if they will keep the instructors the same for the different sections, but I can give a little background on them.  They will soon rule your world, so you would be justified if you are curious.

Professor Strieb is the Torts professor.  He went to school at the same time as one of the Criminal Profs, Mistick.  I think he was a prof when Professor Rago, another Crim prof, was a student at Duquesne.  He will probably intimidate students the most at the beginning of the year, but he is very good.  He has a very organized and effective way of teaching, he knows how to do the Socratic method correctly.  He is also the trial advocacy coach (along with Professor Antkowiak who doesn't teach first years), so if think you might be interested in being a trial lawyer, keep that in mind.  His grading is 50% midterm, 50% final.  His tests are 50% weighted for multiple choice, 30 questions, -2 for a wrong answer, +5 for a right answer, and 0 for an unanswered question.  50% essay.  The final is comprehensive.  He does not keep any exams on file.  His counterpart is professor Brown-Barbour, a female.


Professor Jordan is the Property Professor.  People are very love/hate with her.  I got along very well with her, she is also not afraid to tell you exactly how she feels in class.  The thing to keep in mind with her is that she actually cares how you do, even though she might try to tell you otherwise, so make the most of it.  She will use index cards and call on people based on the cards.  Both of Streib and Jordan will call you out early on if you are unprepared.  Her grading is 1/3 mid-term, 2/3 final. The Property final is not comprehensive.  There will be multiple choice, and essay, and some problems that in a format unique to property law. Her counterpart is Professor Spyke, a female. She does not keep any exams on file.  She also teaches Tax (so the 2Ls will have her again this year). 

Professor Pelaez is the Contracts professor.  He is involved with the China study abroad program.  He is about 70yrs old, he went to Yale, and I think he might have studied under Arthur Corbin, who you will learn was a major player in the world of contracts about 50yrs ago.  He will go very very slow at first, but he will start moving through the material at quite a clip after the first few months.  He wont call on anyone unless they are volunteering, and he will have all sorts of humorous characters to explain the law.  His midterm from past years is on file, it will vary in a few details each year, but will be essentially the same scenario each year.  The mid-term counts very little, he has said that if you do better on the final that he will disregard the mid-term, and if you do worse on the final, the midterm will not help much.  His counterpart is Professor Murray, a male, who is a major player at the school, and in the world of contracts.  He (Murray) has a treatise, and is cited by a lot of the study aids used by students around the country, such as Emmanuelís. 

Professor Hirsch is a crim law professor, I think he was an instructor at Duquesne when Profs Streib, Mistick, and Rago were students.  Hirsch is the most methodical speaker and thinker of all the professors.  He talks very slowly, and his voice modulation is kind of dry at first.  However, more than any other professor, he listens to what you say very very well, and doesnít say anything by accident.  If you have a question or a comment, you can rest assured that he will give the question serious thought before positing an answer.  He is pretty understanding if a student is unprepared.  His midterm is worth about 1/3, the final about 2/3.  It will be all essay questions, and you will get a copy of several Pennsylvania statutes, you are supposed to only use the statutes given to answer the questions.  A lot of students say you cant really study for his exam.  I think that is sort of true, but you can practice for his exam.  If you listen to him, he will tell you exactly how he thinks a law exam answer should be laid out.  If you use that format, and if you are able to master statute interpretation, and you are able to recognize that each fact is in his hypothetical for some particular reason, then you can do well on his test.  His counterparts are Professors Mistick and Rago, both males. 

Professor Rodes was the editor for Harvard Law Review mentioned by an earlier poster.  She taught (not sure if she is returning) one of the 8 (I think) sections of research and writing.  The grading is comprised of a number of assignments.  The professor are supposed to have a similar syllabus in that class from section to section, but there is a lot of concern among students that the writing profs do not all stick to the same rules.  Rodes will make you do a lot, lot, lot of work.  In the end you are probably better off, but it will be a test, especially early on.  Rodes will give you much more feedback than other professors, and she will not sugar-coat her criticism, which is also probably better in the end, but difficult at first.  She will get you back your assignments promptly, unlike many of the profs.  Kwisnek, who doubles as a the head of career services, also has a reputation for being somewhat difficult, and a tough grader.  Pelligrini has the reputation of being the easiest grader, but gives, so I am told, the least useful criticism.  Even though there is a point value attached to each assignment, one way or another, the final assignment, an appellate brief, seems to determine the grade. 

The former Dean, Cafardi, taught me legal process and procedure.  He was excellent, but will not be there for next year (but I think he will return to teach in 2006).  The other legal process and procedure professor is Barker, he has a reputation as being very hostile to students, but I have never spoken to him, or heard him say anything.  I think a lot of the 2Ls will have him for Constitutional Law.  Legal process is 1 semester, first semester.

Professor Krasik was my Civ pro professor.  She will pick one student each class to talk to for the whole class.  This makes it very hard to pay attention in her class.  Civil procedure is one semester, second semester.  Professor Barker was her counterpart also. 

So much for this long long post

onepoint

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Re: anyone attending?
« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2005, 02:30:31 PM »
first off, thanks for all the great info.  it's really appreciated!

and second, i guess i spoke too soon.  i just got a packet today describing registration, etc.  looks like it's august 19th.  and my mom already grabbed my 'duquesne law school' window decal.
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rpplvc13

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Re: anyone attending?
« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2005, 06:31:35 PM »
I also just finished my first year at Duquesne.  Here's my two cents.

Get commercial outlines.  At orientation the professors will tell you that they are unnecessary.  From my experience, they are essential.  I think Emanuel's Law Outlines are the best.
 
If you can afford a laptop, get one.

Good professors-Streib, Cafardi, Pelaez, Rodes.  Streib will challenge and entertain you, Cafardi wrote his own textbook which he uses to teach his class (which makes the material must easier to get ahold of), and Rodes will drastically improve your writing and speaking skills.  Pelaez is like a walking textbook.  Listen in class and take good notes and you should do well.

Bad professors-Krasik, Jordan.  Krasik's class is a complete waste.  Jordan is confusing and most of the time seems like she would rather be anywhere besides teaching your class.

Most students seem to live in either South Side or Shadyside.  South Side is closer (I knew some students who walked to class regularly) and has a bit more going on socially.  However, parking is tough, and apartments can be expensive.  Shadyside is a little farther (10-15 minute commute) and seems to be the place where most law students live.  South Side is definitely Duq. undergrad territory.
Lastly, take advantage of the friendly atmosphere at Duquesne.  I was able to make friends with a nice group and we were able to get together for some fun activities outside of school, which was healthy.  Go to the picnic, and establish a good relationship with your Big Brother/Sister.

Good luck.

sunny478

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Re: anyone attending?
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2005, 02:47:59 PM »
Thanks for all the great information guys - I'm sure we'll all be seeing each other around campus this fall.  I'm definitely going to call Duquesne and push them to get the Mac version of Securexam for tests because the theories on the new dean being proactive are probably right and everyone with a Mac should put in a quick friendly call.

I also just got my information packet, but unlike onepoint's mom, mine refused to stick it on her back windshield - which is depressing, because my brother's college sticker is proudly displayed on her car.  Hmmm.

Shadyside seems like a great area and I'm so happy I got a great apartment there.  Hanging around undergrad kids doesn't seem like fun at all (not to mention the bad influences...) so it's nice to hear that the area has a lot of law students.

How late are the libraries open... are any 24 hour?

onepoint

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Re: anyone attending?
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2005, 09:33:26 PM »
i guess i'll be living in the north hills now, on mcknight road.  i was told it will be about a 15-minute commute to class in the morning, though i'm doubting that will hold true.  traffic on mcknight + 279 in will probably be at least 25-30 minutes if i'm lucky.  better start burning some cd's to listen to.

this loan stuff is clogging my head.  i went ahead and applied for my federal money through duquesne, and now have to secure some private loans.  i need to make some phone calls tomorrow and learn what this is all about.

and that packet duquesne sent said i'd be receiving info on a parking spot in the mail.  they better not screw me :)
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enjoydavid

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Re: anyone attending?
« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2005, 09:22:33 PM »
Hi...Im a 2L at Duquesne.

I agree with most of what my classmates have posted.  I am having a great experience so far. 

I would disagree with one post...the suggestion that you should use emaneuls study guides.  I think they short cut a great deal and do not provide a comprehensive approach to helping you learn the law.  I would suggest the following:

1. Contracts - Examples and Explanations by Blum
2. Torts - Flashcards, Prosser on Torts, Understanding Torts - Lexus.
3. Property - Use Gilberts - its keyed to the casebook or Lexus understanding property, is great.
4. Civ Pro/LPaP - Examples and Explanations - Glannon
5. Crim - Understanding Crim Law - Lexus. 

Other then that study hard and dont be one of those over competitive people - it ruins the experience.  Go to law school to learn the law and enjoy it, everthing else will work out fine...trust me. 

Also listen to Benjamin...sup man...how summer...lol! 

rapunzel

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Re: anyone attending?
« Reply #37 on: June 28, 2005, 09:51:58 PM »
The library in the law school is open til midnight I belive, with extended hours near finals.  People tend to leave Duquesne's general library to the undergrads.

I'll second the comments on the profs.  Altough I came to dislike Prof. Jordan very much.  Her strategy is to bully and threaten on the theory that everyone will work harder.  The thing is,from my observation at least my class already works very very hard.  So it tends to backfire and people just get apathetic or pissy with her.  Plus if she is having a bad day she honestly doesn't teach- she just curses at the class a bit, tells everyone they are idiots about to fail, and leaves.  She told our class that she didn't put practice exams on file because then "the stupid students would come and bother her."  She also told me to drop dead in one class after I sneezed.  The week before she told me to go to hell when I told her I was going to reference a section of the tax code in order to answer her questions.  We call her Big Martha J.  I figure she must have heard, because she really came down on our class.  But some people do seem to find a way to click with her, and she has been very helpful to her select favorites.

For Contracts you also might get Fisfis, he's in the rotation.  He's old school ineffective socratic method and some people can't stand him.  I found him to be excentric and funny in a dry little old man sort of way.  Plus his practice exams are on file and he will just tweak a few party names and give the same exam.  

Krasik is a pedagogical train wreck.  Sit in the back and IM your friends or read cases for other classes.  Start a betting pool about what odd places she'll manage to get chalk on herself.  (We are not sure how she does it really, it's everywhere by the end of class).  The last day of class she will tell you exactly what will be on the test, so studying is pretty focused, not need top tune in until then.

I imagine everyone will get Barker for Legal Process b/c Cafardi is on sabatical.  There is nothing to say but sorry.  I didn't have him, but if I had I would have loved to be the first person to smile politely and pass when you get called on.  The first year prof depend on the class being overwhelmed, cautious and even scared shitless.  This keeps everyone briefing for a while.  Then one day some confident person will just look him in the eye and non-challantly pass (if you squeak and stammer or try to do a case even though you haven't read it, they will smell blood in the water and the frenzy will begin- you have to be brave upfront).  The sooner the better, it begins to drain their power like garlic to vampires.  You think I'm kidding, just wait to see how relaxed you'll all get 2L.  

I had Mistick for Crim Law.  He is extremely entertaining if nothing else.  My friends all hated Rago for being an ideologue and Hirsch for being a bore obsessed with sodomy.  The trick with all three is to learn their personal point of view on any given subject and parrot it back on the test (this is good with any prof, but egos are especially high with Mistick and Rago, and Hirsch is just a bit confused).  Do not go maverick convinced you can defend a conservative (or even independent) position with Rago especially.  A few friends tried that and suffered mightly.

I had Browne-Barbour for Torts.  For god's sake find the 1st person in the alphabet in your class (last name) and warn them they go first.  Be able to give the legal definition of a tort and state the first case if you are this lucky person.  (It was me, my year and I didn't even have the text book- sold out.  It might have been one of the more inarticulate moments of my life and was not the first impression I was looking to give my fellow classmates or my prof).  She's like Jeckle and Hyde.  Her out of class demeanor is warm to the point of being maternal.  In class, especially the first month, is a different story.  

If Rodes is nice enough to come back and teach and you get her, you are very lucky.  Her students never seem to think so, but trust me it's the best thing that could happen to you.  Regardless- your legal writing class is th emost important class you will take.  Success on the exams means learning how to write like a lawyer.

DO NOT buy the legal research text book.  Take something to that class to entertain yourself.  (It's not on your schedule, it's a special surprise where librarians will show you blurry pictures of the spines of books for 6 weeks).  A complete answer key will be circulated informally before the "test"  Memorize the answers and pass.  This is a time drain, get it over with as quickly as possible and try not to give it any of your focus.  You will learn how to research writing your papers.

If your big brother/sister likes you they will share their westlaw password with you and life will be easier.  

Disclaimer- all opinions are my own and reflect what worked for me.  Except the one about legal research- but waste your money on that book if you really need to feel secure.
  

rapunzel

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Re: anyone attending?
« Reply #38 on: June 28, 2005, 10:18:52 PM »
Onepoint-
McKnight Road won't be bad- you can really avoid the traffic. If your classes start at ten and you want to leave your house after 9:30, traffic will be gone.  Or get on before 8.  Afternoons aren't bad, most people either clear out of school well before rush hour or they like to stay late and miss it on the back end. 

I do tease my friends who live up there though.  There are so many neat neighborhoods to leave in in Pittsburgh, but McKnight is your standard shopping strip.

onepoint

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Re: anyone attending?
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2005, 03:28:24 PM »
you guys are great, i can't thank you all enough.  this is the kind of advice/opinion that 99% of incoming law students must wish they could get.  i owe you all a cold one (or four, or five) for the help  8)

again, it seems my housing situation may be changing.  i'm coming in tomorrow to meet up with my roommate-to-be to check out some apartment complexes around the city.  the woodhawk club (north hills) is gradually turning into our backup.  then, of course, it will be thursday night @ margarita mama's or matrix.. :-\

has anyone else shot an email or phone call to the university about mac testing software?
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