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Career Services 2006 September 27

Posted by queencru in Uncategorized.
2 comments

This board has been dead for a while, so I figured I’d liven it up. I have a friend who alleges that every student thinks his/her career services office is crap. I know I’ve definitely heard that here, and heard that about multiple other schools, but is anyone at a school where people give rave reviews of their career services office?

What do people really expect from career services? Is it that people go in expecting career services to find them a job? Or that the OCI process sucks? What would a career services office have to do to be considered good?

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Finally getting into the swing of things… 2006 September 18

Posted by nicolasix in 1L.
3 comments

I’m eons behind you US folks; I just finished my first week of law school. So…pardon the pun…what’s the verdict?

I started on Monday by freaking out. And the rest of the school week was very similar: feeling stupid, inadequate, and doubtful of my abilities. I got called on a few times by profs to answer questions, and was forced to go to the front of the class to pretend to be a party in a case. Man oh man, am I glad that I have the gift of gab.

After classes, I read like a demon on Ritalin. For hours on end – average about 6-7 hours of reading a day. I couldn’t decide what material was important, so I read every damn thing assigned to me. Well…I did decide to omit reading parts of the “history of” bits. Meeh, I’m not perfect.

At night, I dreamed about law school. Nightmares, perhaps. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well. I would wake up every few hours in a panicked state, wondering if I’d ever understand anything the profs were saying to me.

The preamble is necessary for me to get to the surprising verdict: law school is not that hard. I agree with Queencru. Yes, the readings can be a bit irritating – especially for me, an English major who has fits at the sight of a misplaced comma. And yes, sometimes the issue and ratio is obscure. But heck, we JUST started school. Relax! Legal reading and analysis is a skill, and danged if we already know it all. We might as well not waste 3 years and already get our degrees.

Anyhow, this weekend I had a brainwave: I can do this. And I started reading more quickly, reading more critically, reading in that special lovely way pertinent for law. I must say…I’m having fun. What a concept!

People who annoy me 2006 September 9

Posted by queencru in 1L, Rants.
3 comments

I may be a complete bitch, but I have to admit that people who go on and on about how 1L is the hardest thing you’ll ever experience really get on my nerves. I am not going to go so far as to say that it’s easy, but it’s certainly not all that. Yes, you get graded on one exam for the entire semester and really have no clue how you are really doing until that time. It’s also graded on a curve and it’s competitive. We get the point.

Ultimately the experience is going to vary from person to person. Many people have other life experiences which make law school pale in comparison, while many are going into law school without having really done anything to challenging themselves. Some people have advanced degrees and have left demanding jobs, while others are coming out of undergrad with no work experience of note. Even though it seems like a lot of law school is based on whether you’re able to guess what one person thinks or is looking for, what in life isn’t like that? Many times, you’re not just trying to find what one person wants, but trying to balance what two, three, or even 350 people want and need, and the feedback may be rare or nonexistent until you find that you’re out on the curb with no job.

We have a lot more control in law school than we have in those other situations. It’s up to us how much time we spend studying and how we study. If you don’t do well because you have poor time management skills or are busy going out all the time, it’s not law school’s fault, it’s your fault.

Of course, my absolute favorite is how after you’re in 1L and not feeling so bad, everyone makes sure to tell you that it pales in comparison to 2L…

Law school has made me… 2006 September 8

Posted by stephaniesays in 1L, Party.
7 comments

1) an alcoholic. well, and one of those people who believe a tuesday night is just as great as a friday night for going out. did i do this in undergrad? no. why do i do it now? because there is nothing to do here but drink, sleep, eat, and watch tv/movies.

2) a dork. a big dork. my friends and i have entered the realm of law dork. we make jokes about torts (battery and assault, tortfeasors), argue about whether or not it was actually a tort we just committed (intent? offensive? apprehension?), sit in the commons and discuss the cases we read. hell, we even quote the great lines and words from cases we read. we do this at school, at home, online and in bars. we are THAT ridiculous. but it is so much fun!

3) more social than i have ever been in my life. i am not kidding, either. i am nearly never home except to sleep, shower, and sometimes eat. i go out a lot, stay and study with people a lot, etc. this is really odd considering that law students by default have some social defects.

4) highly paranoid. i want to kick anyone talking about me. this is a reversion to (junior) high school mode.
um, what is my point? my point is that life is good! law school, minus a psycho professor, is hilarious. once you find the people that you get along with, things begin to pick up pace and life gets to it. i will probably be singing a different tune in a few weeks when my second writing assignment is due, but that is okay. right now i am enjoying myself and my peeps. 🙂

but i do miss my dog.

Canada is a little late… 2006 September 6

Posted by nicolasix in 1L.
9 comments

In Canada, orientation for all law schools (if I am not mistaken) began this week. So while most (if not all) of the contributors to this humble blog have began writing briefs (a word to me that still connotes visions of underwear) and actual reading of textboks, I have been relaxing. Sort of.

I confess that I haven’t been following this blog closely as a result of excessive schmoozing, consumption of free food and beverage, and all out enjoying myself. Before this week, I scanned the blog and read a few entries about the students in law school. From those horror stories, I became wary of meeting my future colleagues. What if they were all gold-digging valley girl types? Or snotty preternatural suit-wearing idiots?

Thus I am thrilled to report that my classmates seem pretty damn amazing. The calibre of these people is off the chart. I’ve met so many interesting personalities with equally interesting histories and ideas. And everyone appears incredibly intelligent, laid-back, and mature. I was marvelling over the chances of everyone being my long-lost soulsister/brother…when I discovered the admissions process.

Voila, the answer.

The adcom consists of 15 people. Every application – all 3500 or so – has been ready over by at least three people on adcom – in some cases, all 15 review the application thoroughly – personal statement (very important), CV, LSAT, GPA, the whole nine yards. A big discussion ensues, and then they decide whether the applicant should be granted one of 210 positions in the program. I’m glad that Ottawa has this holistic approach to admissions that strays from the traditional LSAT/GPA marriage; I think it makes for a diverse and strong class.

Although…I might change my mind when I get to know these people better. Haha 🙂

Altogether, I’m having a wonderful time. Let the studying begin! Well, at least after pub crawl. Woohoo!

Sleep! Crazy People! Checking in from the frozen north… 2006 September 6

Posted by nearlyclever in 1L, Randomness.
3 comments

…okay, it’s not quite frozen yet. Eighty degrees and sunny, actually, but I’m sure we’ll get there in no time.

Anyhow, class just started for us on Tuesday, and because of the way my schedule shakes out, today was just absolutely brutal. I didn’t get nearly enough sleep Monday night because I was unproductive basically all weekend, and then Tuesday night, same problem (owing to having all four classes today, spanning from 8:45 until 3:45). On my way home today after class the phrase “cause of action” popped into my head, unsurprising since it came up repeatedly in Contracts and/or Torts. The surprising part was my reaction: “I have no idea what a ’cause of action’ is.”

Lesson learned. Not only does sleep make schoolwork such as briefing cases take longer (I have not timed myself, but I am fairly certain of this), it also effectively shuts down your brain. I’m thinking weekends are going to be a bit on the important side — not for catching up on sleep and relaxing (although those things, where possible, would certainly be nice), but rather for getting enough work done so that it’s possible to maintain a reasonable sleep schedule throughout the week.

I don’t know, maybe that’s just me. Can other people function normally when sleep-deprived?

And, random thought because I just now briefed this case for Torts: McGuire v. Almy is by far the worst case I have read in my (very) short career as a law student. If anyone else has read that, I’d be curious to know if you had the same reaction. While I dislike the outcome, it doesn’t help that the case is terribly reasoned, and that the court admits that no law exists on the matter (insanity as a possible defense for liability on torts of intent) and it’s just inserting the policy it deems “best” (or at least, it thinks it is — I think it is not applying that policy to the facts of the case).

More on section three 2006 September 5

Posted by Lily in Uncategorized.
14 comments

I know e-mail replies to comments can be flaky, but I figured it should be posted anyway.

I honestly don’t know the specific employment placement statistics for Section Three and Section Other students. Entering Section Three students definitely seem to be more public interest and government oriented. However, I know most law students who want to do PI change their minds once they sit down with a financial aid counselor, and I’m not sure whether Section Three students do the same thing. The ones I know feel compelled to take this convoluted path. I hate to say it, but my fellow liberal hipsters have a noticeable lack of financial common sense. LRAPs sound great, but they’re all bad — it’s just a question of degree. (Yes, even Yale’s.)

In the interests of full disclosure, I have to tell you that the section three alumns I knew before entering G’Town were all on the Law Journal — and now they’re are all currently doing federal clerkships. Furthermore, they intend to work for V50s in order to pay off their debt before going back into public interest. I only knew a handful, though, so it’s definitely not a representative sample. They said Section Three was over-represented on LJ, but I can’t confirm whether that’s true.

The thing I’ve heard — which I believe because it came from a legal clinic professor — is that some clinics heavily favor Section 3 students because they think more creatively. However, I’m not sure whether how much of the “increased creativity” stems from analytically unorthodox students self-selecting into the program, or whether it’s because the structure of the curriculum really does encourage students to think in more unusual ways.

I also have no idea why they go out of their way to obscure what it’s about. A Yale 2L told me that some of his professors derided the minimal use of case law, so part of it may be to save face among the law professors with more moderate pedagogical philosophies.

It could also be that it’s hard to explain how it’s structured without a background in legal history and philosophy. I have the former, but not the latter. In fact, I think that’s why I can’t explain it very well yet. I’ll start working on a longer post on this topic when I can.

However, knowing how universities work, it’s probably something far more mundane. I’d imagine that, at some point, the law school communications director asked for a paragraph on the program, and someone gave her the original grant proposal. Chances are, she didn’t really understand what it was about, and the blurb reflects her flawed interpretation.

But I’m a cynic that way.

I’m pretty sure I didn’t sign up for this… 2006 September 2

Posted by queencru in Rants.
7 comments

When I picked my school, I was assured that it was an open and welcome environment for people from all faiths and backgrounds. While people are open to discuss morality and religious issues in class, it wasn’t something that was going to be shoved down your throat. Apparently my fellow students didn’t get the memo.

Yesterday, we were having a class discussion about a fairly innocuous topic that had two options from which to choose, and one woman explained that since this is a Catholic law school, we should all be thinking about sin. In that case, no one in their right mind would choose one of the options. The professor tried to clarify her position and she actually went so far as to talk back to him! Another student entered the conversation and prefaced his statement by saying, “I’m a good Christian…” and making some sweeping generalizations about how you should think if you, too, are Christian.

I found both students’ comments relatively offensive, in that they implied that people who aren’t Catholic or “good” Christians are somehow less moral than everyone else. I spoke to a few people who agreed with me, and I am sure there were others in the class that were equally unenthusiastic about the turn of events. To me, it just seemed like they were so out of left field and that people who really understood what they read would not have made those comments. While I think it is great that people can talk about their religious/moral views in class, I think it is wholly inappropriate to share your opinions in a judgmental and exclusive way that makes other people feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. One person I spoke to who went here for undergrad said that he never saw such behavior in his classes and that it probably would not have been tolerated. I’m just crossing my fingers that this is just a one-time or rare occurrence or I may be filling out a transfer application.

Update: The same student went way off on a religious tangent today and the prof more or less quashed it by saying that certain language was not meant to be taken literally and that anyone who did use the defense in the literal sense of the word was probably insane. Maybe the student has gotten the idea that no one is really interested in her queations that go way beyond the scope of the class.

Score! 2006 September 2

Posted by Lily in Uncategorized.
4 comments

So Section Three is, um, weird. Part of the weirdness is that we have two classes that no one else in the country does: a “Legal Justice Seminar” (aka, Introduction to Philosophy of Law) and “Government Processes.”

Government Processes is essentially Introduction to Administrative Law. Now, this sounds vaguely boring, but word from the upperclassmen is that it isn’t. Why? It’s taught a bit differently than its 2L and 3L counterparts at other law schools. Instead of an overview, they ask a question, and look at the various ways legislators, exeuctives, lawyers, and regulatory agencies have addressed the question during the twentieth century. (The emphasis, of course, is on the “regulatory agency” component.)

This year’s question? “How should our society manage health risks?”

Squee!

Also, I think this may be part of the reason why G’Town sends so many more people into government than other schools. Part of it is self-selection: people who choose Georgetown over higher-ranked schools do so because they want to work in government. (And despite what you may hear on various internet discussion forums, I’m not the only one: during orientation, I ran into a bundle of people who I originally met at NYU and Michigan’s admit days.)

Now, if you really want to work in government, chances are you know that regulatory agencies are where all the real power is these days. However, if you don’t know this, Georgetown makes damn sure you understand it by the time you graduate. I’m just wondering when they point out that a) the DOJ’s pay scale doesn’t apply to many of these agencies’ lawyers, making entry-level salaries only slightly lower than private practice and b) the DOJ’s normal hiring policies and practices also don’t apply. Instead, many agencies are allowed to have their own, which ultimately gives D.C.-based students a huge advantage.

Even if they don’t, the numbers of Georgetown students who go work for these firms leads me to believe that they figure it out for themselves.