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Author Topic: At Which Schools Can I Specialize Most  (Read 731 times)

ptoomey

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At Which Schools Can I Specialize Most
« on: November 24, 2009, 01:12:44 PM »
I'm wondering if there are big differences in the number of required courses
vs electives at different law schools. So far, from the little bit I've looked
around, they seem pretty similar in this regard.

I have an interest in financial and estate planning topics, but not much interest
in the other areas. Let me rephrase that. I have an intellectual interest in the
other areas, but I don't plan to use much of the other material in any direct way
after I'm out of school.

I studied engineering. I probably write a little better than your typical
engineer, but my writing is probably far inferior to most people in law school,
and I'm a pretty slow reader. I'm guessing that I'll do best in law school courses
that are more technical, and that reward the ability to grasp concepts over the ability
to read through tons of material quickly, and memorize tons of information. I've found
that courses that require memorizing tons of information kill me and I have trouble
getting through it.

I realize that probably sounds kind of funny. I want to go to law school, but I really
don't want to be bothered with all that reading and memorization stuff. And I know that all
the courses in law school are very conceptual in addition to requiring tons of memorization,
but I'm guessing that there are some that are slightly heavier on difficult concepts, as opposed
to pure volume of information.

And that's what my question is. Are there any schools that allow you to really focus
on specific areas? I know I'll have to take plenty of courses that require tons of reading
and memorization, especially in the first year, but is it possible for a more technical type
to avoid some of the pain, and really pile up on more technical courses that are a little
lighter on the reading and writing, if such a thing exists?

I'm looking mostly at schools in New York and Arizona, but I'd be interested in hearing
about any schools that have a very open curriculum.

Thanks,
ptoomey


nealric

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Re: At Which Schools Can I Specialize Most
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 02:08:57 PM »
Most higher-ranked law schools have a  pretty open curriculum. This is usually due to bar courses required by lower-ranked schools to keep their pass rates up.
 
At Georgetown, there are no required courses after 1L year except for professional responsibility (legal ethics) and a writing intensive class (which can be on basically any subject).
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ptoomey

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Re: At Which Schools Can I Specialize Most
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2009, 04:49:36 PM »
Thanks nealric,

That's encouraging that there are open curricula. Two years of
electives is a lot of freedom.

Georgetown is definitely out of reach for me. I'm hoping for Brooklyn,
and even there, I might have to apply to the part time program to get in.

I'm going to check out all the schools in the NY area and see if they have
that same kind of freedom in years 2 and 3.

Thanks for the info.

ptoomey

taxguy

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Re: At Which Schools Can I Specialize Most
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2010, 06:24:08 PM »
Take a look at University of Miami, and Stetson University. Both aren't that hard to get into. Stetson also has a number of interest concentrations. Also, check out University of Baltimore. They have an estate planning concentration.

BikePilot

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Re: At Which Schools Can I Specialize Most
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2010, 07:35:23 PM »
You should check to make sure the school offers the courses that interest you and has good professors in that area.  Also check to how many of the required credit hours are elective credit hours (the more the better). 

Most higher-ranked law schools have a  pretty open curriculum. This is usually due to bar courses required by lower-ranked schools to keep their pass rates up.
 
At Georgetown, there are no required courses after 1L year except for professional responsibility (legal ethics) and a writing intensive class (which can be on basically any subject).

Dito for HLS, minus the writing course (there's a writing requirement though, sort of0.

Also, there's one semi-elective (pick one of several) and one open elective in 1L year.

You'll have to read and memorize a ton of stuff to pass the bar though.  At least if you don't do it in law school you've only got a couple of months of suffering (assuming you pass on the first try).
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