Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

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Baskin
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:27 pm

Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby Baskin » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:48 pm

+1. I am going into corporate (I think, at any rate), and I want to end up at USAO or in some other gov't position down the line and am worried that a lack of litigation experience will prevent this from happening.[/quote]

I share your concerns. I think it's important to choose a firm where, if you do corporate work, you won't necessarily be pigeon-holed into doing corporate pro bono work. You should have the freedom to pursue litigation pro bono work that will enable you to run your own cases and, if you're fortunate, get good courtroom experience. Lets say you aren't thrilled with corporate work after giving it a good shot (one or two years). Well, with good litigation pro bono experience and a good law school record, maybe you can then apply to clerk and from there, make your way into government (as a prosecutor) or into litigation before jumping into USAO. Alternatively, there are kinds of government work such as SEC, Treasury, state and federal commissions, work on capital hill, diplomatic work and others that don't necessarily require litigation experience and take lots of people who come from corporate law backgrounds. That's what I tell myself, but yes, the litigation-government route is certainly more clear. What bothered me about it; however, is that I wasn't sure I'd enjoy practicing biglaw litigation and I DO want to have a fulfilling private legal practice. By the time I ended my time as an SA I was tired of the mantra that we must put off what we want to do today for what we want to do tomorrow. I felt unsure that I wanted to put in a few years in NYC litigation biglaw, try to clerk for a year and then make my hail mary attempt to become an AUSA. I found myself much more intuitively attracted to corporate practice and also saw some alternative avenues I could pursue eventually in the non-legal private sector. I went with my gut, but yes, to reiterate, I share your concerns and do not want to close off the AUSA/government lawyer route this early in my career.

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facetious
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Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby facetious » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:36 pm

Thanks so much. That's something I hadn't really thought about re: pro bono litigation. When it came down to corporate work, did relevant experience matter for much or was your firm pretty open to you picking between corp and lit based on your preference? And how did you explain this preference to your firm? Sorry for all the questions, but you've been a great resource (particularly since, as you know, we're foreclosed from going near CSO for another month).

Baskin
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Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby Baskin » Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:51 pm

facetious wrote:Thanks so much. That's something I hadn't really thought about re: pro bono litigation. When it came down to corporate work, did relevant experience matter for much or was your firm pretty open to you picking between corp and lit based on your preference? And how did you explain this preference to your firm? Sorry for all the questions, but you've been a great resource (particularly since, as you know, we're foreclosed from going near CSO for another month).


My pleasure. As for your question, my firm respected my preferences, but of course they also had the work and room to fulfill my request. In my experience firms and partners in particular don't believe law school provides practically useful experience in corporate work so they want to teach you the right way to do it. If you have an offer and those who decide practice groups think you learn quickly, are hard-working and motivated, then it'll be up to you to make the most of corporate legal practice if you want it.

Anonymous User
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Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:50 pm

When did you begin taking practice exams? Did you use only your professor's past exams or those of other profs? Any thoughts on the usefulness of E&E supplements?

Anonymous User
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Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:51 pm

What is your advice for landing a 1L summer gig? Is it even possible anymore? I'm in my first month of law school at NYU/Columbia (don't want to specify) and I'm wondering if it'll be possible at all to score a 1L firm job? How and when do you go about applying for these without any grades under your belt? I'm also a black male so I'm not sure if that helps with any diversity programs.

Baskin
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Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby Baskin » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:18 pm

Anonymous User wrote:When did you begin taking practice exams? Did you use only your professor's past exams or those of other profs? Any thoughts on the usefulness of E&E supplements?


Anonymous User wrote:When did you begin taking practice exams? Did you use only your professor's past exams or those of other profs? Any thoughts on the usefulness of E&E supplements?


I'll take your last two questions first and your first question last.

The best rule of thumb I learned to doing well in law school is deceptively simple: Do only what will prepare you well for your professor's exam. For any study technique that you consider, ask yourself if doing that technique will prepare you well for the exam and what your justification is for your affirmative answer. If you feel unsure about that justification, perhaps you could be using your time more efficiently.

For instance, most professors create their own exams and base at least some of their fact patterns and questions from themes they've stressed in class. Even if their tests don't reflect what they've said in class (those professors are frustrating) you can bet their past exams are similar to the one they'll give you. Professors may test the same themes, but their exams are certainly different. Will you hurt yourself by studying other professor's exams? Probably not. Is it the best use of your time? Definitely not. It makes most sense to study only from your professor's past exams.

Studying mainly from E & E supplements will not prepare you well to ace your own professor's exam; however, I would use them to understand concepts that your professor will test and that you do not understand well. For instance, if your professor has a confusing style and you just do not get Erie doctrine, by all means get Glannon civ pro guide. Just keep in mind what my 1L civ pro professor told us: "If I wanted to teach you on how well you know the law, I would give you a book filled with black-letter law and say 'see you at the end of the semester.' I know you all know how to memorize well, but that will not enable you to do well in my course."

By the time you take your civ pro exam, everyone in your section will know how to do answer an Erie question. Everyone (or practically everyone) will know the precedents and how to apply them. Most people will spot most of the major issues on an issue-spotting question. How will you distinguish yourself from those people? You need to practice applying law to a complicated set of facts. Your professor's questions will challenge you with a complicated set of facts that concern a grey area of law for which multiple holdings could apply. The best way to learn how to do this is to do practice exams as early as you can and to refine your answers many times over.

Okay, so when do you begin doing practice exams? The answer is really up to you. Most people at NYU aimed to finish their outlines by the end of Thanksgiving break and then do practice exams. The conventional wisdom was to begin doing practice exams only after finishing your outline. I did this and finished at the median after first semester. Again, go back to the rule of thumb: will finishing your outline first before doing practice exams - or having the world's best outline - prepare you well for your specific professor's exam? Well, it won't hurt you, but starting to look at practice exams and model answers in the week before Thanksgiving break is a better use of your time. Doing that will prepare you better than having the world' greatest outline. Resist the nagging feeling you have that says you can't start doing practice exams until you finish your outline or until you understand a concept better. This nagging feeling comes from feeling insecure about how you'll do on the practice exam. Ditch this feeling. Of course you're going to do crappy the first time you write a practice exam (when you compare your first draft answer to the model answer); that's the whole point! Embrace your sorry first excuse for an exam answer as an integral part of the learning process. Lets say there is an exam question that asks you about material you haven't covered yet? No problem, just skip it and return to it when you have covered the material. To start looking at exams before thanksgiving will require you to read ahead a bit in the casebook and for you to feel comfortable with analyzing cases and the material. There are no shortcuts. I would go to your student government association website and get an outline for your course (taught by your specific professor!) that covers the material in a well-organized way (trust your judgment). You can use that outline to help you as you move ahead with the material. If you can do this, you'll be experienced at writing exam answers while most of your classmates will still be perfecting their too-long outlines.

Hope that helps.

Anonymous User
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Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:32 pm

Baskin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When did you begin taking practice exams? Did you use only your professor's past exams or those of other profs? Any thoughts on the usefulness of E&E supplements?


Anonymous User wrote:When did you begin taking practice exams? Did you use only your professor's past exams or those of other profs? Any thoughts on the usefulness of E&E supplements?


I'll take your last two questions first and your first question last.

The best rule of thumb I learned to doing well in law school is deceptively simple: Do only what will prepare you well for your professor's exam. For any study technique that you consider, ask yourself if doing that technique will prepare you well for the exam and what your justification is for your affirmative answer. If you feel unsure about that justification, perhaps you could be using your time more efficiently.

For instance, most professors create their own exams and base at least some of their fact patterns and questions from themes they've stressed in class. Even if their tests don't reflect what they've said in class (those professors are frustrating) you can bet their past exams are similar to the one they'll give you. Professors may test the same themes, but their exams are certainly different. Will you hurt yourself by studying other professor's exams? Probably not. Is it the best use of your time? Definitely not. It makes most sense to study only from your professor's past exams.

Studying mainly from E & E supplements will not prepare you well to ace your own professor's exam; however, I would use them to understand concepts that your professor will test and that you do not understand well. For instance, if your professor has a confusing style and you just do not get Erie doctrine, by all means get Glannon civ pro guide. Just keep in mind what my 1L civ pro professor told us: "If I wanted to teach you on how well you know the law, I would give you a book filled with black-letter law and say 'see you at the end of the semester.' I know you all know how to memorize well, but that will not enable you to do well in my course."

By the time you take your civ pro exam, everyone in your section will know how to do answer an Erie question. Everyone (or practically everyone) will know the precedents and how to apply them. Most people will spot most of the major issues on an issue-spotting question. How will you distinguish yourself from those people? You need to practice applying law to a complicated set of facts. Your professor's questions will challenge you with a complicated set of facts that concern a grey area of law for which multiple holdings could apply. The best way to learn how to do this is to do practice exams as early as you can and to refine your answers many times over.

Okay, so when do you begin doing practice exams? The answer is really up to you. Most people at NYU aimed to finish their outlines by the end of Thanksgiving break and then do practice exams. The conventional wisdom was to begin doing practice exams only after finishing your outline. I did this and finished at the median after first semester. Again, go back to the rule of thumb: will finishing your outline first before doing practice exams - or having the world's best outline - prepare you well for your specific professor's exam? Well, it won't hurt you, but starting to look at practice exams and model answers in the week before Thanksgiving break is a better use of your time. Doing that will prepare you better than having the world' greatest outline. Resist the nagging feeling you have that says you can't start doing practice exams until you finish your outline or until you understand a concept better. This nagging feeling comes from feeling insecure about how you'll do on the practice exam. Ditch this feeling. Of course you're going to do crappy the first time you write a practice exam (when you compare your first draft answer to the model answer); that's the whole point! Embrace your sorry first excuse for an exam answer as an integral part of the learning process. Lets say there is an exam question that asks you about material you haven't covered yet? No problem, just skip it and return to it when you have covered the material. To start looking at exams before thanksgiving will require you to read ahead a bit in the casebook and for you to feel comfortable with analyzing cases and the material. There are no shortcuts. I would go to your student government association website and get an outline for your course (taught by your specific professor!) that covers the material in a well-organized way (trust your judgment). You can use that outline to help you as you move ahead with the material. If you can do this, you'll be experienced at writing exam answers while most of your classmates will still be perfecting their too-long outlines.

Hope that helps.


Your comments are very helpful. My situation is complicated only by the fact that one of my professors is visiting (so I don't have access to his exams) and another has only two available on the SGA website and they are over ten years old. Hence my question re: other professors' exams. I will take your advice to heart. Thanks!

Baskin
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:27 pm

Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby Baskin » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:What is your advice for landing a 1L summer gig? Is it even possible anymore? I'm in my first month of law school at NYU/Columbia (don't want to specify) and I'm wondering if it'll be possible at all to score a 1L firm job? How and when do you go about applying for these without any grades under your belt? I'm also a black male so I'm not sure if that helps with any diversity programs.


The best advice anyone can give you to landing a 1L summer gig at a firm is to focus for now on your classes and to doing the best you can on your exams. After that you need to seize initiative and apply as early as you can, keeping in mind that you will get rejected from most firms. It can't hurt for you to apply as early as you can, even before grades come in. Many firms may tell you, "contact us after you've got your grades," but at least you've established initial contact with them and can follow-up. Yes, the fact that you're a black male is absolutely helpful and you should definitely take advantage of diversity programs. I would talk to career services where they should have a list of firms where recent NYU'ers/Columbia folks who did diversity programs have gone. I would also talk to members within your school's black law students association as that group will very likely contain people who got 1L law firm gigs. They can direct you to apply at those firms. In addition, those students will have contacts at their firms, mentors who helped them out. See if you can arrange an introduction with those mentors, a hiring partner or with the firm's recruiting staff. If you are at NYU, get to know Irene; she can be overly pessimistic at times, but she has also been an advocate for those who have needed it. If you are at Columbia, see if their career services is helpful in providing a list of firms who have hired 1Ls for summer gigs. Once you get a list of those firms, target them more narrowly for diversity programs. Go to the vault rankings and use them to find firms (not to rank firms, but to find them). Go on their websites and see if they have diversity programs. Take advantage of them. Being a black male law student at NYU/Columbia is a big advantage when applying to New York firms and I believe, if you do well enough academically that you'll definitely be in play. All you need is one offer. Have confidence, take initiative and take advantage of any networking opportunities available, particularly with black law student association alumni from your school. Good luck and hope this was initially helpful.

Baskin
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:27 pm

Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby Baskin » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:23 pm

Your comments are very helpful. My situation is complicated only by the fact that one of my professors is visiting (so I don't have access to his exams) and another has only two available on the SGA website and they are over ten years old. Hence my question re: other professors' exams. I will take your advice to heart. Thanks![/quote]

Glad to be helpful. I would ask the visiting professor for access to his previous exams and for the other professor to provide students with copies to exams that are more recent. I had professors at NYU who were visiting and who only had old exams posted; when they were asked to provide more recent copies of their past exams, they were willing to do it for the class. Good luck.

charliebear
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:28 pm

Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby charliebear » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:20 am

Are there old outlines floating around somewhere?

frost
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Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby frost » Fri Oct 01, 2010 9:02 am

Thanks for taking questions.

What classes do you think are helpful for 2Ls and 3Ls to take, in preparation for being an SA, taking the bar, or post-graduation?

Baskin
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:27 pm

Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby Baskin » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:37 am

charliebear wrote:Are there old outlines floating around somewhere?


I don't know how it works at your school, but at NYU outlines for most of the classes (and all of the 1L classes I believe) were posted on the Student Bar Association website for specific professors and courses. They vary in quality, but after reading a bunch of cases, briefing them, and attending class for a few weeks you'll have an idea of what outlines will be useful for you. If your school does not have those outlines available, hit up smart 3Ls or 2Ls you know for their outlines (as long as they can provide you outlines for your specific course and professor).

Baskin
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:27 pm

Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby Baskin » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:33 am

frost wrote:Thanks for taking questions.

What classes do you think are helpful for 2Ls and 3Ls to take, in preparation for being an SA, taking the bar, or post-graduation?


I don't mean to be flippant, but law school classes do not teach you a lot of practically useful information in preparation for being an SA, taking the bar or for post-graduation. Nevertheless, it is important to get a head-start on your legal writing, case analysis and statutory interpretation skills. In that sense, you can take a variety of law school classes and clinics that will be helpful for you in developing those skills.

In preparation for being an SA: Eh, chances are that if you can secure an SA position that you'll be fine with the standardized curriculum you took 1L year and the one you're taking 2L year which should have some black-letter law courses (i.e. non-seminar type classes). I found evidence and corporations to be fairly useful. In fact, your legal writing course 1L year is probably your most helpful class that you've taken throughout law school (and yes, ironically it's the class students value the least when they're taking it). Brush up on what you learned in that course (how to write a proper legal memo, etc.) Brush up on your research skills by taking a lexis or westlaw tutorial if they're offered at your school; that will come in handy as well.

In preparation for taking the bar: I wouldn't stress it now. You'll learn most of what you need to take the bar over the summer after graduation. Regardless, a lot of what is on the NY Bar you cover 1L year (property, torts, crim law, contracts, and con law). You'll have to review it and learn it all over again for the most part for the bar. The one course it would be helpful to take, whether as an SA, taking the bar or post-graduation (particularly if you do litigation) is evidence. Focus on taking classes that interest you.

For post-graduation I guess it depends what you want to do. If you would ever be interested in clerking at the federal level, it is very important to take fed courts. If you ever want to do trial work, it would be useful to take evidence. I would also take classes that interest you or may expand your horizons. As unlikely as it may have seemed to them originally, many tax and bankruptcy lawyers discovered they loved tax or bankruptcy after they decided to take it in law school. If you want to do corporate litigation, well, you may find that you'd get something out of securities regulation. Explore your interests and you'll discover more about yourself and what areas of the law you may be interested in learning once you do start your career.

democrattotheend
Posts: 429
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Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby democrattotheend » Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:41 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Baskin wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:When did you begin taking practice exams? Did you use only your professor's past exams or those of other profs? Any thoughts on the usefulness of E&E supplements?


Anonymous User wrote:When did you begin taking practice exams? Did you use only your professor's past exams or those of other profs? Any thoughts on the usefulness of E&E supplements?


I'll take your last two questions first and your first question last.

The best rule of thumb I learned to doing well in law school is deceptively simple: Do only what will prepare you well for your professor's exam. For any study technique that you consider, ask yourself if doing that technique will prepare you well for the exam and what your justification is for your affirmative answer. If you feel unsure about that justification, perhaps you could be using your time more efficiently.

For instance, most professors create their own exams and base at least some of their fact patterns and questions from themes they've stressed in class. Even if their tests don't reflect what they've said in class (those professors are frustrating) you can bet their past exams are similar to the one they'll give you. Professors may test the same themes, but their exams are certainly different. Will you hurt yourself by studying other professor's exams? Probably not. Is it the best use of your time? Definitely not. It makes most sense to study only from your professor's past exams.

Studying mainly from E & E supplements will not prepare you well to ace your own professor's exam; however, I would use them to understand concepts that your professor will test and that you do not understand well. For instance, if your professor has a confusing style and you just do not get Erie doctrine, by all means get Glannon civ pro guide. Just keep in mind what my 1L civ pro professor told us: "If I wanted to teach you on how well you know the law, I would give you a book filled with black-letter law and say 'see you at the end of the semester.' I know you all know how to memorize well, but that will not enable you to do well in my course."

By the time you take your civ pro exam, everyone in your section will know how to do answer an Erie question. Everyone (or practically everyone) will know the precedents and how to apply them. Most people will spot most of the major issues on an issue-spotting question. How will you distinguish yourself from those people? You need to practice applying law to a complicated set of facts. Your professor's questions will challenge you with a complicated set of facts that concern a grey area of law for which multiple holdings could apply. The best way to learn how to do this is to do practice exams as early as you can and to refine your answers many times over.

Okay, so when do you begin doing practice exams? The answer is really up to you. Most people at NYU aimed to finish their outlines by the end of Thanksgiving break and then do practice exams. The conventional wisdom was to begin doing practice exams only after finishing your outline. I did this and finished at the median after first semester. Again, go back to the rule of thumb: will finishing your outline first before doing practice exams - or having the world's best outline - prepare you well for your specific professor's exam? Well, it won't hurt you, but starting to look at practice exams and model answers in the week before Thanksgiving break is a better use of your time. Doing that will prepare you better than having the world' greatest outline. Resist the nagging feeling you have that says you can't start doing practice exams until you finish your outline or until you understand a concept better. This nagging feeling comes from feeling insecure about how you'll do on the practice exam. Ditch this feeling. Of course you're going to do crappy the first time you write a practice exam (when you compare your first draft answer to the model answer); that's the whole point! Embrace your sorry first excuse for an exam answer as an integral part of the learning process. Lets say there is an exam question that asks you about material you haven't covered yet? No problem, just skip it and return to it when you have covered the material. To start looking at exams before thanksgiving will require you to read ahead a bit in the casebook and for you to feel comfortable with analyzing cases and the material. There are no shortcuts. I would go to your student government association website and get an outline for your course (taught by your specific professor!) that covers the material in a well-organized way (trust your judgment). You can use that outline to help you as you move ahead with the material. If you can do this, you'll be experienced at writing exam answers while most of your classmates will still be perfecting their too-long outlines.

Hope that helps.


Your comments are very helpful. My situation is complicated only by the fact that one of my professors is visiting (so I don't have access to his exams) and another has only two available on the SGA website and they are over ten years old. Hence my question re: other professors' exams. I will take your advice to heart. Thanks!


LOL, I am pretty sure you are in my section. Are you in section 2?

If so, if it makes you feel any better, the visiting professor said he would post past exams at some point in the semester, if that's any consolation.

Care to PM me who you are? If not, I totally understand. I'm just curious if we know each other in real life.

00TREX00
Posts: 117
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:41 pm

Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby 00TREX00 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:43 am

-
Last edited by 00TREX00 on Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Baskin
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:27 pm

Re: Recent NYU Law Grad Taking Questions

Postby Baskin » Mon Oct 04, 2010 1:34 pm

00TREX00 wrote:Do you feel lucky that you were a part of C/O 2010 instead of 2011?


Not really. That is, I do not go around thinking that I am fortunate to be part of '10 in contrast to '11. If you were to ask me which class I'd rather be a part of, yes, I'd absolutely be a part of '10 over '11. Hindsight is 20/20. Yes, my class had it easier than the class of 2011, but my class had it much tougher than previous classes. One's natural instinct is to compare his/her position to those who have had it easier; however, I'm a big believer in playing the hand you're dealt and in making the most of it. We're only human, but it's not constructive to play the "if only" game in your mind so I try to avoid going down that path.




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