Law School Discussion

FSU 1L notes

Re: FSU 1L notes
« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2006, 03:24:38 AM »
I think I got my schedule at orientation. You don't get to pick your professors or your schedule for your first year. It's like high school. Legal Writing is "home room;" the people in LWR class will be in all of your classes. There were three sections for each class except LWR, with a different professor for each section. I think one professor taught two sections of Civ Pro last semester though.

Re: FSU 1L notes
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2006, 08:11:50 AM »
I see.  That's what I figured.

Perhaps you could demand to pick your 1L professors before admission while leveraging your yield.  This might work with schools who are offering you a scholarship, or who are inclined to match other schools' $, or who seem desperate to raise their yield.  (We all know who some of these schools are.)  You have something they want--numbers--so why can't you make demands?

I think knowing your professors a summer before (or, in case of deferral, a year before) would give you a distinct advantage.

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Re: FSU 1L notes
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2006, 03:19:14 PM »
I see.  That's what I figured.

Perhaps you could demand to pick your 1L professors before admission while leveraging your yield.  This might work with schools who are offering you a scholarship, or who are inclined to match other schools' $, or who seem desperate to raise their yield.  (We all know who some of these schools are.)  You have something they want--numbers--so why can't you make demands?

I think knowing your professors a summer before (or, in case of deferral, a year before) would give you a distinct advantage.

Um, no.  The reason you can't use your "numbers" assets as leverage is because 1) it just does not work this way, ALL law schools will choose your first year classes and professors for you, so you really don't stand to gain anything by accepting from somewhere else (except a CHANCE at having professors you MIGHT prefer to the ones they'll give you) and the schools know this; and 2) there's a reason law schools have waitlists.  It's no skin of their nose if you turn them down; they'll just go down the list and extend an offer to someone else with numbers and soft factors similar to your own.

Re: FSU 1L notes
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2006, 07:58:55 PM »
Ditto this. Plus, I was a spring entering student so they only had one section of all the doctrinal courses (torts, contracts, property) multiple sections of Crim Law (for the 2nd years who hadn't taken it yet since they changed Civ Pro from being a 1st year to 2nd year, so they actually had like 5 sections of crim law, but one specifically designated for spring entering, though there are non spring engtering students in our class) and our equivilant of Legal Writing. There are 5 sections of that with 20 students each. We were all assigned to the same spring entering courses and to our legal writing section. There were some moves at the beginning of the semester due to people having work obligations, family , etc, that conflicted but becasue we didn't get our schedules until orientation, the dean actually had to make the changes (which is quite a process if they want it to be) so basically unless you have a super valid reason for needing a particular section (at my school that would be a family ro work need) you don't have a say. Flal entering students, I don't know, even though they have at least 4 sections to every one of ours.

I see.  That's what I figured.

Perhaps you could demand to pick your 1L professors before admission while leveraging your yield.  This might work with schools who are offering you a scholarship, or who are inclined to match other schools' $, or who seem desperate to raise their yield.  (We all know who some of these schools are.)  You have something they want--numbers--so why can't you make demands?

I think knowing your professors a summer before (or, in case of deferral, a year before) would give you a distinct advantage.

Um, no.  The reason you can't use your "numbers" assets as leverage is because 1) it just does not work this way, ALL law schools will choose your first year classes and professors for you, so you really don't stand to gain anything by accepting from somewhere else (except a CHANCE at having professors you MIGHT prefer to the ones they'll give you) and the schools know this; and 2) there's a reason law schools have waitlists.  It's no skin of their nose if you turn them down; they'll just go down the list and extend an offer to someone else with numbers and soft factors similar to your own.

Re: FSU 1L notes
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2006, 10:43:16 AM »
I see.  That's what I figured.

Perhaps you could demand to pick your 1L professors before admission while leveraging your yield.  This might work with schools who are offering you a scholarship, or who are inclined to match other schools' $, or who seem desperate to raise their yield.  (We all know who some of these schools are.)  You have something they want--numbers--so why can't you make demands?

I think knowing your professors a summer before (or, in case of deferral, a year before) would give you a distinct advantage.

Um, no.  The reason you can't use your "numbers" assets as leverage is because 1) it just does not work this way, ALL law schools will choose your first year classes and professors for you, so you really don't stand to gain anything by accepting from somewhere else (except a CHANCE at having professors you MIGHT prefer to the ones they'll give you) and the schools know this; and 2) there's a reason law schools have waitlists.  It's no skin of their nose if you turn them down; they'll just go down the list and extend an offer to someone else with numbers and soft factors similar to your own.

I realize that not letting students select their courses is an entrenched practice.

However I object to "there's a reason schools have waitlists" as a reason why a students don't have any leverage.  Schools generally waitlist/ding people with inferior numbers, and give $$ to people with superior numbers.  Schools who particularly want to game the rankings (WUSTL, anyone?) will accept students with 168+ LSATs even if they have horrible GPAs because USNews computes LSAT as a higher factor.  If USNews changed their formula, the school would change its formula too.  Schools don't give away money for no reason, or because they think a particular student is "impressive."  They give away the money to get that student's numbers, therefore improving their rankings!  Clearly, most schools view numbers as a commodity.

Sure, if your numbers are not at the high end for a particular school, you don't have any sort of leverage--that's why the school didn't give you any money.  This is also why many schools accept autoadmits first before sorting out the rest.

For that matter, some schools will take your scholarship away if you don't stay in the top 25%, and this is rational too.  This has absolutely nothing to do with the normative value of being a "good student."  The school already got what it wanted from you--you accepted admission with good numbers--so why should it pay you anymore?  They probably put you in a section full of other scholarship kids to pay as little as possible.

Schools will do all kinds of crazy things to improve their ranking--building new libraries when they wouldn't otherwise, accepting unimpressive students who are solely good test-takers, etc.  Why wouldn't they give in to equally weird demands from students they want?

Re: FSU 1L notes
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2006, 07:19:00 PM »
My understanding of the way that the rankings work is that once they've accepted you, they've already won the right to say that they accepted someone w/ your numbers as opposed to enrolled someone w/ your numbers. So by telling them that you won't attend won't be so bad. The scholarship $ is just an attempt to lure students in an area that they are lacking, e.g., racial diversity or smarter studetns who will likely increase their bar passage rate.

Correct me if I'm wrong. That's just my understanding of it.

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Re: FSU 1L notes
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2006, 07:34:14 PM »
Besides, I doubt they only waitlist those with numbers inferior to those they've accepted.  More likely, they waitlist candidates with numbers and qualifications in the neighborhood of what they're looking for, but who don't otherwise stand out.  Though many schools don't see a lot of movement from their waitlists, they do have to plan for the possibility that they have to draw from it due to unexpected events (like an unanticipated number of admitted students declining the offer).

And I'm not sure about the extent to which they can do this, but if I were an admissions officer and a student was insistent on trying "leverage" his way into getting to choose his professors or his section, solely because he has good numbers (yeah, him and thousands of other people whose apps I've seen, so what?), in a desparate effort to get a virtually non-existent advantage over his classmates, I'd call his bluff and revoke the offer: I probably wouldn't want someone like that at my school anyway.

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Re: FSU 1L notes
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2006, 07:40:00 PM »
I see.  That's what I figured.

Perhaps you could demand to pick your 1L professors before admission while leveraging your yield.  This might work with schools who are offering you a scholarship, or who are inclined to match other schools' $, or who seem desperate to raise their yield.  (We all know who some of these schools are.)  You have something they want--numbers--so why can't you make demands?

I think knowing your professors a summer before (or, in case of deferral, a year before) would give you a distinct advantage.

Um, no.  The reason you can't use your "numbers" assets as leverage is because 1) it just does not work this way, ALL law schools will choose your first year classes and professors for you, so you really don't stand to gain anything by accepting from somewhere else (except a CHANCE at having professors you MIGHT prefer to the ones they'll give you) and the schools know this; and 2) there's a reason law schools have waitlists.  It's no skin of their nose if you turn them down; they'll just go down the list and extend an offer to someone else with numbers and soft factors similar to your own.

I realize that not letting students select their courses is an entrenched practice.

However I object to "there's a reason schools have waitlists" as a reason why a students don't have any leverage.  Schools generally waitlist/ding people with inferior numbers, and give $$ to people with superior numbers.  Schools who particularly want to game the rankings (WUSTL, anyone?) will accept students with 168+ LSATs even if they have horrible GPAs because USNews computes LSAT as a higher factor.  If USNews changed their formula, the school would change its formula too.  Schools don't give away money for no reason, or because they think a particular student is "impressive."  They give away the money to get that student's numbers, therefore improving their rankings!  Clearly, most schools view numbers as a commodity.

Sure, if your numbers are not at the high end for a particular school, you don't have any sort of leverage--that's why the school didn't give you any money.  This is also why many schools accept autoadmits first before sorting out the rest.

For that matter, some schools will take your scholarship away if you don't stay in the top 25%, and this is rational too.  This has absolutely nothing to do with the normative value of being a "good student."  The school already got what it wanted from you--you accepted admission with good numbers--so why should it pay you anymore?  They probably put you in a section full of other scholarship kids to pay as little as possible.

Schools will do all kinds of crazy things to improve their ranking--building new libraries when they wouldn't otherwise, accepting unimpressive students who are solely good test-takers, etc.  Why wouldn't they give in to equally weird demands from students they want?

First of all your continued arguments about rankings just show your ignorance on how lawschools in general function. This will only be solved once you actually attend lawschool. Lawschools aren't going to just let you pick who your first year Legal Writing or Torts Professor is months in advance. Why is that? Because at this point, you really don't matter. You've been accepted there, and they could really care less if you even attend. If you don't attend then it actually saves them the hassel of more paperwork. If you do attend, then that's great too because they have one less spot to fill. Also, once you've been accepted, then your use as a boost to their rankings has been filled to because your acceptance was placed in their USNWR numbers already.


Finally, what does it really matter anyway as to who you get to teach your 1st year Torts class anyway? Its not like you have taken prior classes with this Professor. You don't know how he/she teaches or have some type of special rapport with him/her. And anyway it's not like you'd even have that big of a selection of professors to choose from. At FSU, where I attend, there was only 3 differt Professor teaching Tor. If you recieved the one I had, (or FSU granted your "wish" and you picked him) a certain Canadian Professor, then it would have did you no good because it was the first semester he taught Torts.

But lets say you did pick a Proffessor who had taught Torts before. To be quite honest with you, studying someone elses outline without actual class time won't do you any good. Neither will reading Prosser's Torts text book without class time. You won't even know how to read a case unless you've had some sort of training. Do you know how to spot issues? What is comparative negligence? Is it in every jurisdiction? Have you ever heard of Proximate Cause?

Anyway....do you get what I'm trying to say? You're basically just wasting time....

Re: FSU 1L notes
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2006, 07:41:21 PM »
I think the purpose for not allowing you to choose professors and classes is something completely different that nobody on this message board has hit on. You will soon see after starting law school that the first year experience is structured to be a course in endurance in and of itself. You will do more reading in one semester than you probably did all four years of undergrad...you will be placed on the spot to answer the most minute of details about your reading...and you will end your day on campus only to face a mountain of work off campus. The POINT is to put you in an environment completely unfamiliar, completely uncomfortable, and to teach you to think, read, reason, and function in an entirely new way. If you were able to control all of the factors in this process (i.e. picking the professors you proferred, eliminating the courses you had a distaste for, be called on only when you are most prepared) you'd be a less apt advocate at the end of your education. It is from the most difficult and least desirable instructors that you must hone your study skills on your own, and be the most prepared to be called on in a minutes notice. By NOT allowing you these choices, the school is able to ensure you get a mix of backgrounds both somewhat comfortable, and others that really challenge you. And you are better for it.

With that being said...I would advise you to not waste your money or time on notes to "prep" in advance. You will learn everything you need to learn during the semester. It won't give you an edge...and may give you a false sense of security that you "know this stuff" causing you to not pay as close attention in class...and thus causing you to miss the minute details.