Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 273216
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:26 am

Can those who have completed a SA program comment on whether there any courses that a 2L really should take before their 2L summer? Particularly if they're interested in litigation vs. transactional? I know the common rule of thumb is that we learn very little in courses, and almost everything is learned on the job - what about a course like Evidence for those who want to do litigation?

More specifically, I want to do only so much litigation as I need to get a good writing sample, and spend the rest of the summer working on transactional work. For those few litigation assignments I do get assigned, will I be at a disadvantage not taking Evidence until 3L year?

pasteurizedmilk
Posts: 460
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 8:12 pm

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby pasteurizedmilk » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:29 am

I talked to a few career counselors and 3Ls w/ a 2L SA position under their belt, and they categorically said it doesn't matter at all what courses you take.....

I'm sure there are opposing views out there, but that's what I've heard. Personally I'm taking Ev., Corp., Con Law II, Sec. Reg., Sec. Trans., Trial Practice and Tax I. Figure if there's any benefit to be derived from 2L classes, that schedule should nail it.

User avatar
nealric
Posts: 2391
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:53 am

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby nealric » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:31 am

Nothing is really "must take"

I found evidence helpful, but not crucial for SA assignments. Tax I isn't all that useful. Corp tax (may be called tax II) is crucial if you want to do tax- but you can do it 3L year.

User avatar
lsat_fear
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 2:58 pm

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby lsat_fear » Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:34 am

If you're doing litigation of any kind, then you should definitely take evidence. I also found admin and fed courts helpful, but you could do without them. I'd imagine if you're doing corporate (which I haven't done), then bus orgs, sec reg, and tax would all be very useful.

User avatar
Bosque
Posts: 1585
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:14 pm

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby Bosque » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:46 pm

Also, if you are doing IP, I have been told it is helpful to take patent law before the 2L summer. Not crucial (no class is really crucial), but it helps you hit the ground running.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273216
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:52 pm

Corporations. I've heard from several 3Ls that people at SA positions who hadn't taken Corporations occasionally ended up embarrassed by their lack of understanding of basic corporate concepts relative to their peers. And whether you're doing transactional or litigation work it's going to be corporate work.

Aqualibrium
Posts: 2011
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:57 am

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby Aqualibrium » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:44 pm

Litigation or Transactional Drafting?


When I worked as a 1L, the classes that helped me the most were civ pro and evidence. If you're doing anything litigation, a knowledge of those is essential. Those are both required fare in most law schools though, so I'd say you're set.

User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby underdawg » Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Corporations. I've heard from several 3Ls that people at SA positions who hadn't taken Corporations occasionally ended up embarrassed by their lack of understanding of basic corporate concepts relative to their peers. And whether you're doing transactional or litigation work it's going to be corporate work.

i agree with this. if you don't know anything at all about patent law, people won't think you're dumb. but if you have no idea what a controlling shareholder is or an IPO and other stuff like that is, people might think you're dumb. i had no idea how businesses were run before corps. the actual law from that class didn't really help me out at all as SA though

goody687
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:16 pm

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby goody687 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:28 pm

I'll be doing an externship in the Spring and only have room for one course. Would you take evidence or corporations to prep for the Summer?

User avatar
DoubleChecks
Posts: 2333
Joined: Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:32 pm

so consensus is corp is good to get a basic background on businesses and structure

evidence is a must if you're doing litigation

sounds like for transactional work, it pretty much doesnt matter what you take lol

Sup Kid
Posts: 557
Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:49 pm

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby Sup Kid » Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:46 pm

goody687 wrote:I'll be doing an externship in the Spring and only have room for one course. Would you take evidence or corporations to prep for the Summer?


Take evidence and buy yourself a short commercial outline on corporations. You can teach yourself the basics of corporations in under a week, and can always dive deeper into the subject if need be depending on what case/deal you're working on. Definitely should take it for real next fall though.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273216
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:05 am

No course is necessary, but:

Litigation: Evidence, Corporations, Securities Regulation
Corporate: Corporations

These are helpful. I think corporations should pretty much always be taken in the 2L curriculum. Try to fit in one of evidence and securities regulation as you can if you're doing litigation. At a big firm, most of your litigation caseload will be about securities stuff, so SecReg is probably the more useful of the two. Evidence is more for trial stuff, and you won't have any meaningful role at trials to be able to use the rules of evidence, so I don't really think it matters.

midwestls
Posts: 79
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:46 am

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby midwestls » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:19 am

In addition to corporations, anything that will help your writing is a really good idea (i.e. advanced legal writing, seminars etc). Your writing is more important than any substantive course IMO.

Trusts & estates and, oddly enough, a labor arbitration seminar I took both ended up being fairly useful for me. Kinda random.

User avatar
underdawg
Posts: 1131
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:15 am

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby underdawg » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:06 pm

goody687 wrote:I'll be doing an externship in the Spring and only have room for one course. Would you take evidence or corporations to prep for the Summer?

corps, at least if you don't currently know how corps work. that kind of knowledge is used daily.

as a SA, you'll do very little that will involve evidence. maybe you sit in on a depo once, or your firm might have a mock trial type thing. also, this stuff isn't really stuff that people might expect you to know without taking the class. i have the feeling that people expect you to know a little bit about corporations, because a lot of people DO know this stuff before coming to law school. maybe just reading WSJ once in a while will work tho.

Anonymous Loser
Posts: 568
Joined: Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:17 am

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby Anonymous Loser » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:40 pm

underdawg wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Corporations. I've heard from several 3Ls that people at SA positions who hadn't taken Corporations occasionally ended up embarrassed by their lack of understanding of basic corporate concepts relative to their peers. And whether you're doing transactional or litigation work it's going to be corporate work.

i agree with this. if you don't know anything at all about patent law, people won't think you're dumb. but if you have no idea what a controlling shareholder is or an IPO and other stuff like that is, people might think you're dumb. i had no idea how businesses were run before corps. the actual law from that class didn't really help me out at all as SA though


I also agree with this: I went into my 1L SA knowing nothing at all about business associations, and as a result I spent a ridiculous amount of time researching basic partnership/corporation concepts. I also made a lot of foolish research mistakes, such as failing to include Delaware courts in my searches. No matter what sort of practice you are going into, you will almost certainly run into a question that requires some basic knowledge of partnerships and corporations.

goody687 wrote:I'll be doing an externship in the Spring and only have room for one course. Would you take evidence or corporations to prep for the Summer?



I agree that evidence is also useful, but I think that the average 2L is highly unlikely to be involved in an assignment where evidentiary issues are at the forefront. If such issues do arise, I think it is much easier to research a discrete question about an evidentiary problem than it is to effectively wade through a bunch of Chancery court opinions without knowing if an LLC and a closely-held corporation are the same thing or not. Stated differently, evidence law is not really very difficult to understand, and briefly skimming a treatise will usually point you in the right direction.

The only evidentiary issue I've seen come up regularly over 1L/2L summers was the admissibility of opinion testimony: it might be helpful to understand when a witness can offer a lay-opinion, as well as the scope of opinion testimony available to a witness qualified as an expert. You can probably figure this out in about ten minutes on Wikipedia.

Edit: Now that I think about it, I did also have a few assignments involving Daubert issues. Might be helpful to at least understand the basics of Daubert and FRE 703.

User avatar
vamedic03
Posts: 1579
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:50 am

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby vamedic03 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:08 pm

Anonymous Loser wrote:
underdawg wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Corporations. I've heard from several 3Ls that people at SA positions who hadn't taken Corporations occasionally ended up embarrassed by their lack of understanding of basic corporate concepts relative to their peers. And whether you're doing transactional or litigation work it's going to be corporate work.

i agree with this. if you don't know anything at all about patent law, people won't think you're dumb. but if you have no idea what a controlling shareholder is or an IPO and other stuff like that is, people might think you're dumb. i had no idea how businesses were run before corps. the actual law from that class didn't really help me out at all as SA though


I also agree with this: I went into my 1L SA knowing nothing at all about business associations, and as a result I spent a ridiculous amount of time researching basic partnership/corporation concepts. I also made a lot of foolish research mistakes, such as failing to include Delaware courts in my searches. No matter what sort of practice you are going into, you will almost certainly run into a question that requires some basic knowledge of partnerships and corporations.

goody687 wrote:I'll be doing an externship in the Spring and only have room for one course. Would you take evidence or corporations to prep for the Summer?



I agree that evidence is also useful, but I think that the average 2L is highly unlikely to be involved in an assignment where evidentiary issues are at the forefront. If such issues do arise, I think it is much easier to research a discrete question about an evidentiary problem than it is to effectively wade through a bunch of Chancery court opinions without knowing if an LLC and a closely-held corporation are the same thing or not. Stated differently, evidence law is not really very difficult to understand, and briefly skimming a treatise will usually point you in the right direction.

The only evidentiary issue I've seen come up regularly over 1L/2L summers was the admissibility of opinion testimony: it might be helpful to understand when a witness can offer a lay-opinion, as well as the scope of opinion testimony available to a witness qualified as an expert. You can probably figure this out in about ten minutes on Wikipedia.

Edit: Now that I think about it, I did also have a few assignments involving Daubert issues. Might be helpful to at least understand the basics of Daubert and FRE 703.


I'd argue that Corporations is easier to pickup from a treatise that many Evidentiary issues - I think, conceptually, hearsay, and its exceptions, is a far more difficult concept to understand than the basics of corporations.

Regardless, both are important classes that you should take.

Another consideration, research your state's rules on 3d year practice and take whatever you need to take if you want to be able to get a 3d year practice certificate or do a clinic that involves in-court representation.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273216
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:43 pm

I'd argue that Corporations is easier to pickup from a treatise that many Evidentiary issues - I think, conceptually, hearsay, and its exceptions, is a far more difficult concept to understand than the basics of corporations.


As a summer associate, you will encounter hearsay issues approximately zero times.

While it's a good class to have under your belt while in law school (say, something you can take 3L year), and is downright essential for clerkships, the intricacies of hearsay will not be debated during your first, your second, your third, your fourth, or your fifth appearance in court. What you need to know for the purpose of practice can be learned very easily on the fly.

Again, I think the class is helpful, but an associate will encounter corporations issues thousands of times more than he will encounter evidence issues.

sk95
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 5:12 pm

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby sk95 » Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:12 pm

Try to get into courses that aren't curved. If you're gonna let your gpa tank, do it your third year, not right before you SA position.

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:45 am

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sat Oct 30, 2010 8:56 pm

I did a lot of bankruptcy work during my SA; as a result, the fact that I took Secured Transactions and Bankruptcy proved really invaluable.

If you're focused on tax, then you really should take the tax classes.

Basically, while I don't think any classes are extremely helpful for the actual work, there is a signaling effect - if you've taken relevant courses, the people in practice area X are going to be more prone to knowing that you're interested in the work. This is obviously more important for smaller groups, not general litigation or corp/finance.

User avatar
edcrane
Posts: 322
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:28 pm

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby edcrane » Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:06 pm

If you're doing transactional, corporations and sec reg. If you're doing tax, federal income tax and corporate tax. If you're doing lit... I have no idea.

Gooner
Posts: 24
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 1:42 pm

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby Gooner » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:52 pm

I'm not so sure Evidence is important for lit as an SA. You need to take it at some point and it's probably not the sort of course you should take as a disinterested 3L, but I didn't once use anything taught in my Evidence class last summer doing IP lit.

Fed Courts, on the other hand, is very useful for lit (particularly the standing and jurisdiction bits). If you can get into a class on pre-trial civil litigation (motions, discovery, etc.) take that too.

Renzo
Posts: 4265
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:23 am

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby Renzo » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:16 pm

Reiterating that the only "must" is Corporations. After that, this thread contains a lot of useful "highly suggesteds"

User avatar
RVP11
Posts: 2774
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:32 pm

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby RVP11 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:19 pm

Can anyone suggest a good Corps hornbook? I won't be able to take it until 3L and don't want to seem like a dummy next summer.

imchuckbass58
Posts: 1245
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:24 pm

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby imchuckbass58 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:50 pm

When people say that Corporations is useful/necessary, do you mean it's necessary to actually take the class, or to be familiar with basic concepts that can be picked up through the class?

underdawg wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Corporations. I've heard from several 3Ls that people at SA positions who hadn't taken Corporations occasionally ended up embarrassed by their lack of understanding of basic corporate concepts relative to their peers. And whether you're doing transactional or litigation work it's going to be corporate work.

i agree with this. if you don't know anything at all about patent law, people won't think you're dumb. but if you have no idea what a controlling shareholder is or an IPO and other stuff like that is, people might think you're dumb. i had no idea how businesses were run before corps. the actual law from that class didn't really help me out at all as SA though


It seems to me that you don't really need to take a class to know how IPOs work, the general idea of what fiduciary duty is, or the basic difference between different ownership structures (partnership, LLC, c-corp, etc). That's something a lot of people pick up, especially if they've worked in business before.

I guess what I'm asking is if you really have to know the law you learn in Corps, or if it's fine if you have a general knowledge of the key concepts from previous experience.

User avatar
vamedic03
Posts: 1579
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:50 am

Re: Any "Must-Take" Courses Before 2L SA?

Postby vamedic03 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:52 pm

RVP11 wrote:Can anyone suggest a good Corps hornbook? I won't be able to take it until 3L and don't want to seem like a dummy next summer.


Bainbridge's Corporate Law (Concepts & Insights) is good.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.