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Author Topic: Advice for a 2L on picking classes  (Read 1401 times)

trialdawg26

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Advice for a 2L on picking classes
« on: July 07, 2005, 01:04:22 AM »
I'm picking my classes for fall of next year and there are two electives I am really interested in taking - american indian law and environmental law.  However, I am curious if taking classes such as these will hurt me in anyway in the future - such as a prospective employer looking at one's transcript.  While American Indian Law is an area I am fascinated about, I realize that most prospective firms won't specialize in it, and I am wondering if this will hurt me in anyway.  Is it safer to just go with traditional broad electives like family law and estates and trusts?

JD_MSA

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Re: Advice for a 2L on picking classes
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2005, 09:23:50 AM »
When I was choosing electives, I would look for bar courses first and usually take anything that fit into my schedule.  After that, I took whatever I wanted.  Honestly, I don't know what employers think, but there is a major advantage to taking courses you are interested in: you are more engaged in class, which leads to better learning, which (hopefully) leads to better grades.  So maybe it's a trade-off--a prospective employer may not care that you took American Indian Law, but, hey look, you got another A.  Also, I think interesting courses give you something to talk about during job interviews. 

alb

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Re: Advice for a 2L on picking classes
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2005, 11:27:07 AM »
Several firms that have come to my campus have expressed that a background in American Indian law is very valuable.  There are big firms that specifically recruit people to develop that area of their practice.  There is a big financial aspect to American Indian law (as there is to environmental law). Even if they don't "specialize" in AIL, they will still want to have associates with a background in it.

I have received a lot of advice NOT to take bar classes - you will cover the info in your bar prep class. You may as well take advantage of your electives to learn something you won't otherwise learn about, and/or to develop a specialty.

If you are planning to interview for summer associate positions in corporate law, I would advise you to take at least one course that fits in with that - at least before interviews.  They may not look at your transcript, but they may ask you what courses you like. If all you have to choose from is: international human rights law, poverty law, workers rights clinic, etc., you may not be able to talk about something that demonstrates you have an interest in the kind of things they do.

Esq

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Re: Advice for a 2L on picking classes
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2005, 09:38:52 AM »
I disagree with "advice" that advises against taking ANY bar classes because you cover them in bar review courses.  Surely, they didn't mean don't take ANY course covered by your bar review course.  I don't know about the state where this advice was offered, but in many states, the bar exam covers subjects such as wills and trusts, business associations, secured transactions, commerical paper.  It's really hard to "learn" a course such as secured transactions in the three hour lecture that, say, BARBRI offers.  That's all you get--about three hours of lecture for secured transactions and then they send you off to study the 80 page outline.  The very next day, BARBRI moves on to the next topic like commerical paper with another three hour lecture and another 80 page outline.  You do that for about six weeks.

Now, I don't think it's necessary to take ALL bar classes in law school. But you should take a good number of bar classes so you won't have to kill yourself studying in the bar review course.   

I'd check to see what topics are covered on your state's essay portion of the bar exam and make sure you've taken a good number of those topics in law school.  BARBRI says you don't need to have taken all the bar courses to learn in BARBRI what you need to pass the bar.  But BARBRI is also the first to point out that BARBRI is a REVIEW course.   It's hard to review the difficult concepts when you haven't learned them in the first place.


   

lawgirl

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Re: Advice for a 2L on picking classes
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2005, 11:42:15 AM »
I disagree with "advice" that advises against taking ANY bar classes because you cover them in bar review courses.  Surely, they didn't mean don't take ANY course covered by your bar review course.  I don't know about the state where this advice was offered, but in many states, the bar exam covers subjects such as wills and trusts, business associations, secured transactions, commerical paper.  It's really hard to "learn" a course such as secured transactions in the three hour lecture that, say, BARBRI offers.  That's all you get--about three hours of lecture for secured transactions and then they send you off to study the 80 page outline.  The very next day, BARBRI moves on to the next topic like commerical paper with another three hour lecture and another 80 page outline.  You do that for about six weeks.

Now, I don't think it's necessary to take ALL bar classes in law school. But you should take a good number of bar classes so you won't have to kill yourself studying in the bar review course.   

I'd check to see what topics are covered on your state's essay portion of the bar exam and make sure you've taken a good number of those topics in law school.  BARBRI says you don't need to have taken all the bar courses to learn in BARBRI what you need to pass the bar.  But BARBRI is also the first to point out that BARBRI is a REVIEW course.   It's hard to review the difficult concepts when you haven't learned them in the first place.


   

I agree.