Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Site Notices
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 6/12/2005 10:25:29 PM EDT
I start this fall.
Link Posted: 6/12/2005 10:31:58 PM EDT
Well, you see, the first thing you have to do, is either kick someone's ass or become someone's bitch.


Link Posted: 6/13/2005 11:49:54 AM EDT
Sounds like a life lesson, but applicable nonetheless.
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 11:51:25 AM EDT
Why would anyone want to be an amoral, unproductive, parasitic member of society?
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 11:57:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2005 12:00:32 PM EDT by Aimless]
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 12:06:15 PM EDT
Correct, aimless. We practice the civil code here, but the irony is that passing the LA bar exam qualifies lawyers to practice in TX & TN. I thought that was a bit limiting until I came to discover that there is zero reciprocity whatsoever if you take the bar in most other states. Thanks for the pointer on the bar prep course. I wonder what those go for these days.
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 12:09:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2005 12:10:13 PM EDT by SC-Texas]
What Aimless said.

What school are you attending?

Kiss your life goodbye for the first year. Develop a good and reliable stuydy group, read your shit before class and learn it.

also, figure out what subjects are on teh bar exam for your state and be sure to take each and every one of them.

Also, and this is VERY important: Get the notes from your professors classes for the previous couple of years.

Good luck ya poor dumb bastard!
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 12:10:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2005 12:12:41 PM EDT by Aimless]
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 5:04:14 PM EDT
I just finished my first year at the University of Memphis Law School.

First year is a bitch, sure 'nuff. It's the hardest thing I've ever done, including USAF pilot training. Plan on spending 4 - 6 hours a day reading, which will be mostly cases. I took 15 hours first semester and 16 the second, while running a business, which almost went under from lack of attention - this year I'm going to part-time status until I can sell the store. Oh, and I'm 46 years old. If I have the energy for it, I'm sure you do, too.

Someone else said it, and it's true: you need to know how to read cases (and brief them for class, especially in Civ Pro) but the case study method does not teach you the nuts and bolts - although that is on the exam! That was the thing that gave me fits. Go get yourself a set of Gilbert study guides and read them along with your assigned cases, and you'll understand it much, much better.

I did the first semester without getting a laptop; I took notes on paper and put them into outline form on my PC at home. I finally broke down and got one second semester, but that was mainly because I had to run back and forth so much between school, work and home, and had to do my schoolwork when and where I had time. I took much "better" notes 2nd semester, but my grades stayed about the same. So I'd say that if you have a PC at home and aren't going to have to work the first year, you don't need to rush out and buy another computer to lug around.

I chose this school because I live in Memphis, own a home and a business here, etc.
Fortunately the law school here is a good one; it's been rated one of the best values in the country for a legal education. Yes, TN is starting to pop, especially around Nashville. Memphis is not gross, but it is a bit different because of the demographics, which I won't go into here, suffice to say that this corner of the state is the part that is the most "liberal" but that has a lot more to do with government handouts than actual political beliefs. But it's a great place to practice criminal or bankruptcy law.

Oh, and amazingly, the professors at U of M are completely apolitical, at least in class. After talking to them, it seems to be a pretty even split, the ones who've been in something like contracts are usually conservative while the ones who have had academic careers tend to be liberal. But I really respect the fact that I don't have to deal with their personal politics in class.

Just as an aside, my class is probaby 70% white, 25% black and 5% other, and is pretty evenly split male/female.
Link Posted: 6/13/2005 5:14:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Rodent:
Why would anyone want to be an amoral, unproductive, parasitic member of society?

Lawyers can't do anything unless someone hires them to do it. If people weren't suing at the drop of a hat, there would be a lot less lawyers.

Lawyers as a whole aren't at fault, but it's really two different classes of people:

First, it is the lawyers in congress who pass new laws instead of enforcing existing ones just so they can say they're doing something. And it seems that the legislators write statutes that make it easier for other lawyers to make money in litigation.

Second, our current culture uses litigation as an easy and an acceptable way to solve all sorts of real and imaginary problems. The legal system, at least for civil suits, is like a lottery and treated as a means of income redistribution by both opportunistic litigants and emotional juries.
Link Posted: 6/15/2005 11:44:23 PM EDT
The suggestion that you get the Bar Review materials early on is excellent advice. These materials tend to vastly simplify the subject matter and allow you to study it in an organized fashion. Simple is better, because it allows you to do the classic identification of issue, statement of the rule, and application of the rule to the facts. Relying on Gilberts, etc. is less helpful, because quite frankly there is too much detail in the canned guides. I hated Sum & Substance (and even Gilberts) when I was at Columbia in the late-70s to early-80s. Using other student's notes is dangerous, because you don't know the quality of their work and it's difficult to assimilate someone else's thoughts.

Also, do look over the professor's old exams and model answers. Professors are like anyone else - they sometimes get lazy and reuse questions. I'm speaking from experience, since I've taught as an Adjunct Law Professor at three of the local law schools over the past 10 years. Each time I teach, I change the order of the answers in those multiple choice questions I recycle, so even having the old exam and an answer key wouldn't help very much. Essays, however, tend not to change much from year to year, since there are basic issues in each subject area we expect you to be able to recognize and analyze. Practicing doing essays under time pressures will help ease the pain when exam time hits.

Do keep up with the reading. Trying to do everything at the end (like we all did in college) is impossible in law school. Good luck!
Link Posted: 6/15/2005 11:47:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Rodent:
Why would anyone want to be an amoral, unproductive, parasitic member of society?

So we lawyers can afford to buy more guns....Duh!
Link Posted: 6/16/2005 12:23:44 AM EDT
Look hard, VERY hard at what you can do with the degree BESIDES the practice of law. Some of the most rewarding things aren't related to bar admission.

Austrian, Esq.
Link Posted: 6/25/2005 11:54:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2005 11:58:12 AM EDT by dbrowne1]
1. Sign up for BARBRI immediately. This locks in the price for your prep course 3 years in advance (saved me $700 or so), and you get the first year review and upper level review books that give you the basic, no BS version of all your subjects.

2. Don't waste your time on superfluous activities. If it's not law review, a respected specialty journal, or moot court, it's probably not going to help you get a job.

3. I disagree strongly that the first year is the hardest. It is really should be the easiest. Unless you went to a joke of an undergrad, it's actually easier than undergrad, as you have nothing to worry about except classes. One exam at the end of the semester per class, and nothing else to worry about, really.

4. Second and third year are harder, as you are now (hopefully) spending a lot of time on a journal and/or moot court, interviewing, job searching, etc. Much more demand on your time. Higher pressure.

5. Your GPA/Class Rank is the trump card. It is the most important thing. Learn how to write good exams, and listen to the advice of highly ranked 2L and 3L students. Read their old exam answers if you can get them, get your professors' old exams and grade distributions if possible. Go talk to your professors in their office and gather intelligence. See what is on their bookshelf (especially if they have any commerical outlines or nutshell-type books). Read those books and commercial outlines - many professors pull exam hypos right out of them.

6. You don't have to worry about career just yet, but just remember that if you see big firm private practice salaries and get lured, there is a price to pay. They expect a lot of time out of you and you stand only a small chance of making partner, after 7-8 years of toiling. I went right into small firm practice after clerking, and it was definitely the best choice for me.
Link Posted: 6/25/2005 12:03:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/25/2005 12:04:29 PM EDT by medicmandan]
Link Posted: 6/25/2005 9:01:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/26/2005 5:39:52 PM EDT
get ready to start reading!
Link Posted: 7/24/2005 8:32:03 PM EDT
I thought that the old adage was, "First year they scare you to death, second year they work you to death, and third year they bore you to death."
Link Posted: 7/25/2005 5:44:25 AM EDT
I like that: Yep, law school is the easiest part of the whole thing. Its also the most boring.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 2:14:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/28/2005 2:15:29 PM EDT by Amicus]
I agree with the notion that bar review courses can supplement your book learnin'.

When you take your exams, remember: IRAC, IRAC, IRAC. (Issue, Rule, Apply Rule to Issue, Conclusion.)

Learn how to touch-type and ask to take your exam on a typewriter (greater clarity and output for those issue-spotting exercises).

If you are going to make an outline of the courses, transcribe your lecture notes to a computer file every night (or, on a regular schedule). It's a good way to review and your outline only needs editing at the course conclusion.

Also, your peers know no more than you do.
Link Posted: 8/1/2005 12:57:18 PM EDT
First year sucks for sure.

Second year is much easier, but only because you learn how to study better - and what to ignore.

Third year actually seemed easy to me - until finals.

Taking the bar exam really sucks because you have so much riding on it.

It may seem wierd, but try to enjoy it. The friends you make there are for life. The intellectual debate is great, but then you graduate and have to get a real job.

Have fun.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 9:47:44 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pulpsmack: I start this fall.
Find another major, preferably in some sort of difficult field (math, science, etc).
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 10:28:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:

Originally Posted By pulpsmack: I start this fall.
Find another major, preferably in some sort of difficult field (math, science, etc).

I don't know if you were trying to be helpful by suggesting I add the to the path that I am already on to make my degree more marketable (if so disregard), or if you were intentionally earning the award for most boneheaded post by telling me to change career paths. If the latter, understand this is education at the graduate/professional level. Majors are for undergrad. By this time in life people (should) know what they are going to do in life and their training is exact and specialized. You don't go for a Masters in History and take engineering courses, nor would you concentrate in computer programming in Med School. In law school you take law courses. At best you can earn a dual-degree in something completely relevant to law (i.e. business, political science), but rarely if never does a school offer such a tangent for a dual degree (like Math, or Anthropology).
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 12:40:28 PM EDT
I agree with the BAR/BRI idea -

Half the battle at the end of my first year was outlining my notes for the finals-

After your first year is over, and you can start taking electives, don't take BS courses like "race and the law" or 'feminist jurisprudence" - take the hard stuff - UCC, trusts and estates, tax - stuff like that..

Look at other areas aside from the profession where you could put your J.D. to work. You may decide that you don't want to practice when you get out. You may not be able to practice when you get out, considering the number of attorneys out there...competition, at least in the Northeast, is cut throat...

I went into something else.
Top Top