Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

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270910
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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby 270910 » Thu May 20, 2010 6:27 pm

romothesavior wrote:
disco_barred wrote:
People's exhibit A


Disco, you seem like you're a pretty knowledgeable guy who knows his shit when it comes to law school, study habits, exams, etc. I've found your posts to be very informative and helpful, and I'm sure I'll put some of your advice to use next year.

But at the same time, you need to come down from your high horse and stop acting like the czar of law school success. There are different strokes for different folks, especially when it comes to succeeding in LS. I know a few people who never took notes in undergrad and they don't take many notes in LS either, and they're all doing quite well. And TLS is full of all sorts of conflicting advice for success in law school, and some strategies work for some people and others work for other people.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I have greatly appreciated your insights and advice on law school success, but I think we could all use without the arrogance and the "I-know-more-than-you" attitude.


Eh.

If you're criticizing in a general way, I'll take it to heart - the law school process is a swirling mess nobody can claim to have completely figured out. It is not my intention to come across as arrogant or all-knowing in any situation (snarky is another matter).

If you're criticizing this post, I don't think I need to defend calling out a poster who spent the past 3 months talking about how his/her shit didn't stink, blaming others for shortcomings, plastering TLS with bravado about transferring, and claiming that TCR to studying was making recordings of lectures then outsourcing transcripts of them. I wasn't calling that stupid or inferior, I was quoting it because it was down right farcical :lol:

But modesty is one of the few always credited traits in life, and I apologize if my conduct in this thread or others has seemed lacking in it. To the extent I have failed in that regard, I'll try to do better going forward.

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romothesavior
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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby romothesavior » Thu May 20, 2010 10:07 pm

disco_barred wrote:
Eh.

If you're criticizing in a general way, I'll take it to heart - the law school process is a swirling mess nobody can claim to have completely figured out. It is not my intention to come across as arrogant or all-knowing in any situation (snarky is another matter).

If you're criticizing this post, I don't think I need to defend calling out a poster who spent the past 3 months talking about how his/her shit didn't stink, blaming others for shortcomings, plastering TLS with bravado about transferring, and claiming that TCR to studying was making recordings of lectures then outsourcing transcripts of them. I wasn't calling that stupid or inferior, I was quoting it because it was down right farcical :lol:

But modesty is one of the few always credited traits in life, and I apologize if my conduct in this thread or others has seemed lacking in it. To the extent I have failed in that regard, I'll try to do better going forward.


I think its more of a general comment. I've thought about saying it before, and I saw someone else say something similar in another thread, but I usually just let it rest and forget about it. Like I said, I generally really enjoy your posts... and I definitely don't won't you to tone down the snarkiness (snarkiness is one of the best traits a TLS poster can have). I just don't want myself or anyone else to be turned off by your otherwise very helpful comments.

engineer
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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby engineer » Thu May 20, 2010 11:39 pm

disco_barred wrote:If you're criticizing this post, I don't think I need to defend calling out a poster who spent the past 3 months talking about how his/her shit didn't stink, blaming others for shortcomings, plastering TLS with bravado about transferring, and claiming that TCR to studying was making recordings of lectures then outsourcing transcripts of them. I wasn't calling that stupid or inferior, I was quoting it because it was down right farcical :lol:


Ugh, I only did that with one class, though... and I still don't know my grade in that particular class. In the others, I had a much more conventional approach to taking notes. I was trying something different, but I didn't want to risk doing it for every class. In the rest of the classes, I ignored the casebook, took notes in class, and read two or three supplements. For legal writing, the class in which I'm hoping to have a really good grade, I read five books on legal writing. I think I read something like 4,000 pages this semester.

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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby engineer » Thu May 20, 2010 11:40 pm

A'nold wrote:Sorry engineer, it really seemed like you were going to own this semester. Good luck and don't stop posting on here. :)


Oh, I'll still come here. It's just another speed bump to sort through...at least now I'll have some more time to focus on some other ventures.

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A'nold
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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby A'nold » Thu May 20, 2010 11:50 pm

I never did get to read anything about the whole "outing" situation though........recap?

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romothesavior
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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby romothesavior » Thu May 20, 2010 11:51 pm

A'nold wrote:I never did get to read anything about the whole "outing" situation though........recap?


Someone was outed?

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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby traydeuce » Fri May 21, 2010 4:31 pm

I did Harvard's. I had planned to do Columbia's in the same week - interesting problem, although a little too policy-ish for me - but I wasted Sunday-Tuesday lazily flipping through the Harvard materials and didn't have the time. Harvard's was dry but not at all the terrifying ordeal it's cracked up to be, while Columbia's, I think you could argue, was actually tougher. Well, it depends. I read cases very well and very closely, so a case comment is a lot easier for me than a, "so, resolve a circuit split over the meaning of three words in two statutes," which is what Columbia's problem was. Obviously you can't stop at plain meaning, you have to largely go policy.

I didn't take notes from late-September on, the Internet got too distracting, but I don't at all recommend that to people. The whole "I'll just learn from the supplements" approach is idiotic to me. I bought a few E&E's for practice problems, and those things, while pretty good, often say more/less/different things than what you learned in class. Very dangerous to rely too heavily on them. Like a girl I knew who decided there was no constructive fraud in a question on our Contracts exam because of nuances of constructive fraud she read in her supplement, but in fact, the question was blatantly modeled on the one and only constructive fraud case we read. Stick to cases.

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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby engineer » Fri May 21, 2010 5:10 pm

traydeuce wrote:I did Harvard's. I had planned to do Columbia's in the same week - interesting problem, although a little too policy-ish for me - but I wasted Sunday-Tuesday lazily flipping through the Harvard materials and didn't have the time. Harvard's was dry but not at all the terrifying ordeal it's cracked up to be, while Columbia's, I think you could argue, was actually tougher. Well, it depends. I read cases very well and very closely, so a case comment is a lot easier for me than a, "so, resolve a circuit split over the meaning of three words in two statutes," which is what Columbia's problem was. Obviously you can't stop at plain meaning, you have to largely go policy.

I didn't take notes from late-September on, the Internet got too distracting, but I don't at all recommend that to people. The whole "I'll just learn from the supplements" approach is idiotic to me. I bought a few E&E's for practice problems, and those things, while pretty good, often say more/less/different things than what you learned in class. Very dangerous to rely too heavily on them. Like a girl I knew who decided there was no constructive fraud in a question on our Contracts exam because of nuances of constructive fraud she read in her supplement, but in fact, the question was blatantly modeled on the one and only constructive fraud case we read. Stick to cases.


Now that Columbia's is over, I guess we can comment a little on it. I think it was a little deeper than resolving a circuit split over the meaning of three words in two statutes. I actually thought a lot of the policy-based sources were superfluous and intentionally designed to throw people off--you could've resolved the case straight from the Circuit Court rulings by being a little creative. However, the policy-based sources did offer an appropriate vessel to briefly justify whatever conclusion you wished to draw. But that's just my opinion, and I could be wrong.

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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby traydeuce » Fri May 21, 2010 5:30 pm

^^

Yes, there's a very obvious narrow solution you can reach without going too policy-heavy, although our crack-dealing friend won't be too happy about it. Namely, you can say that (a) the plea bargain is binding, but (b) the plea bargain was a range, not a number, so (c) the judge is only bound to that range, not the number he picked out of the range, and since (d) the judge explicitly said that he was picking the high end of the recommended range due to its congruity with the Guidelines (the rest of the range was sub-Guideline), all the controversy about whether a sentence is based on the Guidelines if it's based on a plea bargain which is in turn based on the Guidelines is sort of irrelevant, and (e) we can happily conclude that the sentence was based on the Guidelines and allow a reduction to the low end of the plea bargain range. A big improvement for the defendant, although it now puts him at the high end of the new, reduced Guideline range, which is a little odd, since he did plead guilty after all. Nevertheless, it's some relief. Certainly if I were clerking for a judge deciding that case in real life, I'd write a very narrow decision doing just that, so I wouldn't have to get into the tougher cases, where people pick a number out of the Guidelines and then the judge approves that number.

That said, though I don't see how you can interpret the 'binding' language away (the courts that did so were in my view horribly unconvincing - come on, binding sentences can get pardoned so they can get reduced, that's your argument?), I do think you have to give some policy basis for declining to do so, unless you're working for Justice Scalia in which case you can just say, "well, it says binding," and that can be a little tough because the theory underlying the binding plea bargain seems to be this contractarian view of plea bargaining that may not be very realistic, where criminal defendants are bargaining away their shot at future appeals in return for a fixed, low, certain sentence (and lesser charges). It's a shame I didn't write anything because I obviously had some decent things to say.

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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby Bankhead » Fri May 21, 2010 6:01 pm

traydeuce wrote:^^

Yes, there's a very obvious narrow solution you can reach without going too policy-heavy, although our crack-dealing friend won't be too happy about it. Namely, you can say that (a) the plea bargain is binding, but (b) the plea bargain was a range, not a number, so (c) the judge is only bound to that range, not the number he picked out of the range, and since (d) the judge explicitly said that he was picking the high end of the recommended range due to its congruity with the Guidelines (the rest of the range was sub-Guideline), all the controversy about whether a sentence is based on the Guidelines if it's based on a plea bargain which is in turn based on the Guidelines is sort of irrelevant, and (e) we can happily conclude that the sentence was based on the Guidelines and allow a reduction to the low end of the plea bargain range. A big improvement for the defendant, although it now puts him at the high end of the new, reduced Guideline range, which is a little odd, since he did plead guilty after all. Nevertheless, it's some relief. Certainly if I were clerking for a judge deciding that case in real life, I'd write a very narrow decision doing just that, so I wouldn't have to get into the tougher cases, where people pick a number out of the Guidelines and then the judge approves that number.

That said, though I don't see how you can interpret the 'binding' language away (the courts that did so were in my view horribly unconvincing - come on, binding sentences can get pardoned so they can get reduced, that's your argument?), I do think you have to give some policy basis for declining to do so, unless you're working for Justice Scalia in which case you can just say, "well, it says binding," and that can be a little tough because the theory underlying the binding plea bargain seems to be this contractarian view of plea bargaining that may not be very realistic, where criminal defendants are bargaining away their shot at future appeals in return for a fixed, low, certain sentence (and lesser charges). It's a shame I didn't write anything because I obviously had some decent things to say.


You are kind of a douche, but that is definitely some solid analysis.

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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby traydeuce » Fri May 21, 2010 7:11 pm

^^

I agree on both points... it's a shame I didn't turn anything in. What if I don't get into Harvard? That said, there are about 400 students in their 1L class, and some transfers in the competition - getting one of the 15 highest scores merely on the strength of going the pretty, sorry, obvious statutory interpretation route wouldn't have happened, as surely the same thing occurred to at least a quarter of the people in the competition (there was even a case in the packet where there was a reduction within a plea bargain range). I'm pretty sure you had to delve into the policies behind the rules to win, and that's something I'm uncomfortable with, as my inclination is to always go the formalist route and say, "well, if the outcome sucks on policy grounds, I guess we're just interpreting a statute that sucks on policy grounds. Write to your Congressman." What I find surprising is that it was a bit of a trick question; surely a lot of people will think either the actual sentence is binding or nothing is.

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Matthies
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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby Matthies » Fri May 21, 2010 7:31 pm

A'nold wrote:On a side note, I would be absolutely finished if I did not take great notes from class. This is the way I outline: I have my class notes open, my class syllabus opened, and I scroll down accordingly while having an E&E in my hand. I go chapter by chapter, class by class, section by section. I take bits and pieces from my notes and an E&E, commercial outline, or another's outline, and try to use my notes and professor's own words (which I bold, underline, etc. during the semester when I think it is important) in making my own outline. Without the prof's. own words, I'd likely be a median or below student.


Different strokes for different folks. Arnold, Disco and Engineer all have their own styles, if it works for you, that's all the freaking matters, if it does not, try something different.

Me I never took notes, all the notes I took in law school and in the MLS/LLM would fit on five sheets of paper. I also did not listen in class, I went, but I have the attention span of a nat, I was on the internet before the prof hit the podium.

But I did read every single case, every note, and I briefed every single case all through law school. I read hornbooks (real ones, not supplements like E&E) I did research on my own in the libabary to understand subjects better.

I'm just not an auditory learner AT ALL. never have been, never will be. And my writing sucks donkey balls, I can't even read my notes if I tried to take them. Reading, active reading like briefing, is what works for me. I did really well in law school. Could I have done better if I listened in class to prof and took notes, maybe, but only 12 people did better than me. I did law school the way I best leanred the subject.

Point is there is no one way to "do" law school. The hardest part of law school i think is certainly not the law, but figuring out what way of doing law school works best for you. Once you get a system that works for YOU stick with it, if your current system is not geting you the results you want, try something new, but there is no one size fits all solution here folks.

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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby engineer » Fri May 21, 2010 8:02 pm

traydeuce wrote:^^

I agree on both points... it's a shame I didn't turn anything in. What if I don't get into Harvard? That said, there are about 400 students in their 1L class, and some transfers in the competition - getting one of the 15 highest scores merely on the strength of going the pretty, sorry, obvious statutory interpretation route wouldn't have happened, as surely the same thing occurred to at least a quarter of the people in the competition (there was even a case in the packet where there was a reduction within a plea bargain range). I'm pretty sure you had to delve into the policies behind the rules to win, and that's something I'm uncomfortable with, as my inclination is to always go the formalist route and say, "well, if the outcome sucks on policy grounds, I guess we're just interpreting a statute that sucks on policy grounds. Write to your Congressman." What I find surprising is that it was a bit of a trick question; surely a lot of people will think either the actual sentence is binding or nothing is.


I think that's a really arrogant approach. We don't know how they're going to grade their submissions, so I guess all we can go by is what they explicitly say. My personal belief is that they wanted us to persuasively argue our points, whatever they may be. I mean, if you could successfully argue that you want the defendant sentenced to ten years of stripper dancing on the moon, then go for it. That said, there's probably no "right" answer..just stronger and weaker ones.

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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby traydeuce » Fri May 21, 2010 8:27 pm

Yeah, stronger answers and weaker ones, but you have to think the straightforward statutory answer must have dawned on a lot of entrants, so I'm pretty sure a winner makes some kind of substantive argument, like, "in return for getting the lowest guideline sentence possible, AND for getting charges thrown out, he forfeited his chance of taking advantage of the guidelines getting reduced one day, so why should he get the benefits of his bargain and get to walk out of the costs? If we allow this, prosecutors may become less willing to even offer plea bargains, and that's not good, because, etc." Or, "no no, you can't compare this to your ordinary contract, these are uneducated people working from limited information, not making rational calculations, and besides, the public interest against wildly oversentencing crack dealers supersedes a 'binding' plea bargain made under the shadow of wildly out-of-whack, antiquated sentencing guidelines." That said, I really have no view either way.

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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri May 21, 2010 9:52 pm

traydeuce wrote:^^

I agree on both points... it's a shame I didn't turn anything in. What if I don't get into Harvard? That said, there are about 400 students in their 1L class, and some transfers in the competition - getting one of the 15 highest scores merely on the strength of going the pretty, sorry, obvious statutory interpretation route wouldn't have happened, as surely the same thing occurred to at least a quarter of the people in the competition (there was even a case in the packet where there was a reduction within a plea bargain range). I'm pretty sure you had to delve into the policies behind the rules to win, and that's something I'm uncomfortable with, as my inclination is to always go the formalist route and say, "well, if the outcome sucks on policy grounds, I guess we're just interpreting a statute that sucks on policy grounds. Write to your Congressman." What I find surprising is that it was a bit of a trick question; surely a lot of people will think either the actual sentence is binding or nothing is.


You know... there are very few people in general that I dislike/wish ill things on.

But goddamnit, I really, really, really hope that you don't get in to Harvard.

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A'nold
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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby A'nold » Fri May 21, 2010 10:08 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
traydeuce wrote:^^

I agree on both points... it's a shame I didn't turn anything in. What if I don't get into Harvard? That said, there are about 400 students in their 1L class, and some transfers in the competition - getting one of the 15 highest scores merely on the strength of going the pretty, sorry, obvious statutory interpretation route wouldn't have happened, as surely the same thing occurred to at least a quarter of the people in the competition (there was even a case in the packet where there was a reduction within a plea bargain range). I'm pretty sure you had to delve into the policies behind the rules to win, and that's something I'm uncomfortable with, as my inclination is to always go the formalist route and say, "well, if the outcome sucks on policy grounds, I guess we're just interpreting a statute that sucks on policy grounds. Write to your Congressman." What I find surprising is that it was a bit of a trick question; surely a lot of people will think either the actual sentence is binding or nothing is.


You know... there are very few people in general that I dislike/wish ill things on.

But goddamnit, I really, really, really hope that you don't get in to Harvard.


He seems pretty smart though, although his analysis isn't earth shattering.

Hijack time: How are you doing TTON? I was worried about you for awhile there man. :|

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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri May 21, 2010 10:18 pm

A'nold wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
traydeuce wrote:^^

I agree on both points... it's a shame I didn't turn anything in. What if I don't get into Harvard? That said, there are about 400 students in their 1L class, and some transfers in the competition - getting one of the 15 highest scores merely on the strength of going the pretty, sorry, obvious statutory interpretation route wouldn't have happened, as surely the same thing occurred to at least a quarter of the people in the competition (there was even a case in the packet where there was a reduction within a plea bargain range). I'm pretty sure you had to delve into the policies behind the rules to win, and that's something I'm uncomfortable with, as my inclination is to always go the formalist route and say, "well, if the outcome sucks on policy grounds, I guess we're just interpreting a statute that sucks on policy grounds. Write to your Congressman." What I find surprising is that it was a bit of a trick question; surely a lot of people will think either the actual sentence is binding or nothing is.


You know... there are very few people in general that I dislike/wish ill things on.

But goddamnit, I really, really, really hope that you don't get in to Harvard.


He seems pretty smart though, although his analysis isn't earth shattering.

Hijack time: How are you doing TTON? I was worried about you for awhile there man. :|


Yeah, guy seems like he is book smart (given the confirmation of his bakery story, anyway,) but christ :roll:

As for me, I'm doing slightly better now that I'm finished with classes for this quarter, even though I have exams that I am ridiculously unprepared for (I seriously have 8 weeks of reading/prep to do for two of the most difficult classes I've taken,) but eh. Probably no dropping out in my future, and the summer seems like it is going to be a good experience, so you just go from there.

You have your grades in yet to figure out where you're going to be aiming?

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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby Matthies » Fri May 21, 2010 10:23 pm

Just out of curiosity those that did the write ons do you think the point of the exercise was to come up the "right' answer, the most interesting or creative argument, or explain/contrast the circuit spilt? Or did they tell you what to write about and what stance to take?

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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby A'nold » Fri May 21, 2010 10:29 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
A'nold wrote:
ToTransferOrNot wrote:
traydeuce wrote:^^

I agree on both points... it's a shame I didn't turn anything in. What if I don't get into Harvard? That said, there are about 400 students in their 1L class, and some transfers in the competition - getting one of the 15 highest scores merely on the strength of going the pretty, sorry, obvious statutory interpretation route wouldn't have happened, as surely the same thing occurred to at least a quarter of the people in the competition (there was even a case in the packet where there was a reduction within a plea bargain range). I'm pretty sure you had to delve into the policies behind the rules to win, and that's something I'm uncomfortable with, as my inclination is to always go the formalist route and say, "well, if the outcome sucks on policy grounds, I guess we're just interpreting a statute that sucks on policy grounds. Write to your Congressman." What I find surprising is that it was a bit of a trick question; surely a lot of people will think either the actual sentence is binding or nothing is.


You know... there are very few people in general that I dislike/wish ill things on.

But goddamnit, I really, really, really hope that you don't get in to Harvard.


He seems pretty smart though, although his analysis isn't earth shattering.

Hijack time: How are you doing TTON? I was worried about you for awhile there man. :|


Yeah, guy seems like he is book smart (given the confirmation of his bakery story, anyway,) but christ :roll:

As for me, I'm doing slightly better now that I'm finished with classes for this quarter, even though I have exams that I am ridiculously unprepared for (I seriously have 8 weeks of reading/prep to do for two of the most difficult classes I've taken,) but eh. Probably no dropping out in my future, and the summer seems like it is going to be a good experience, so you just go from there.

You have your grades in yet to figure out where you're going to be aiming?


95% sure I got an A in a class that basically equals two classes worth of credits (LW). That REALLY helps my confidence, although I guess anything could happen still wrt grades. I had 2 new prof's. this semester so those two grades are big unknowns, even more than normal.

I'm almost positive I got A's in two other classes, but once again I could be wrong. I am sending my application into Berkeley over the weekend and then the rest around the middle of June when my rank comes out, although I'm toying with the idea of sending them out when I receive grades and no rank and just updating the schools. The problem with that though is that my school curves so low that the schools may be turned off by my GPA at first, so it may be beneficial to just wait for the rank.

I'm glad to hear that you're doing better. Are you still happy that you transferred or do you ever think you would have been happier staying? I mean, in my case it'd probably always be stupid not to transfer but your former school is pretty good in general.

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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Fri May 21, 2010 10:47 pm

Eh, the only reasons that it would have made sense to stay put are the following:

I really would have had the option to give up on this whole law thing, because my 2L and 3L years were essentially going to be free. I could have walked away, if I had the desire to. That choice is a lot harder when you're over $100k in the hole because of the transfer, particularly when you don't have much to go back to. In my rational moments though--and hopefully over the summer--I'll see that as a good thing, because the transfer forced me to stick with it.

I don't jive with the students or environment here too much. It's far too academic for my taste, and I just don't jive with the rich kid infestation around here. Wisconsin certainly was a better fit in that regard. Plus, I had a much broader survival net in Madison (I grew up there--lots of people outside of the law school to fall back on). That said, this is a fairly minor point compared to the professional opportunities I opened up for myself... plenty of people at the very top of Wisconsin's class are working for small firms this year, it's ugly there.

On balance, even for now it was a good decision. If I stay the course and stay in the law (as I hope to do) it will become a no-brainer good decision quite quickly. You always have your moments though. I obviously have my "what if Harvard" moments too, still--but I've 'taken off' about as well as someone can at Chicago, so eh.

Glad to hear that it seems like you're going to have good options on the table.


Getting back to the original topic of this post:

Don't underestimate how nice it can be to write "accepted to xx [old school] law review" on your resume. I didn't do Wisconsin's write-on, even though I would have graded-on (it's a "good faith effort for x% type school,) and I regretted it when OCI rolled around--even though I managed to get on to a secondary at my new school! Now, if you make Law Review at the new school, it's completely moot, but that doesn't happen in the vast majority of cases.

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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby A'nold » Fri May 21, 2010 11:09 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:Eh, the only reasons that it would have made sense to stay put are the following:

I really would have had the option to give up on this whole law thing, because my 2L and 3L years were essentially going to be free. I could have walked away, if I had the desire to. That choice is a lot harder when you're over $100k in the hole because of the transfer, particularly when you don't have much to go back to. In my rational moments though--and hopefully over the summer--I'll see that as a good thing, because the transfer forced me to stick with it.

I don't jive with the students or environment here too much. It's far too academic for my taste, and I just don't jive with the rich kid infestation around here. Wisconsin certainly was a better fit in that regard. Plus, I had a much broader survival net in Madison (I grew up there--lots of people outside of the law school to fall back on). That said, this is a fairly minor point compared to the professional opportunities I opened up for myself... plenty of people at the very top of Wisconsin's class are working for small firms this year, it's ugly there.

On balance, even for now it was a good decision. If I stay the course and stay in the law (as I hope to do) it will become a no-brainer good decision quite quickly. You always have your moments though. I obviously have my "what if Harvard" moments too, still--but I've 'taken off' about as well as someone can at Chicago, so eh.

Glad to hear that it seems like you're going to have good options on the table.


Getting back to the original topic of this post:

Don't underestimate how nice it can be to write "accepted to xx [old school] law review" on your resume. I didn't do Wisconsin's write-on, even though I would have graded-on (it's a "good faith effort for x% type school,) and I regretted it when OCI rolled around--even though I managed to get on to a secondary at my new school! Now, if you make Law Review at the new school, it's completely moot, but that doesn't happen in the vast majority of cases.


Thanks. Yeah, at my school the top 10 grade on (as in top 10 students) so I think I am pretty safe there. I will be able to put that on the resume I would think.

traydeuce
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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby traydeuce » Sat May 22, 2010 12:26 am

Someone wrote in to confirm the bakery story? That's hilarious. It was an easy exam, what can I say. The whole class knew he was going to ask us to pass judgment on Iqbal, and then he asked us two questions about sanctions. Pretty straightforward stuff (first you move, then they sanction, then...)

traydeuce
Posts: 680
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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby traydeuce » Sat May 22, 2010 12:31 am

Matthies wrote:Just out of curiosity those that did the write ons do you think the point of the exercise was to come up the "right' answer, the most interesting or creative argument, or explain/contrast the circuit spilt? Or did they tell you what to write about and what stance to take?


Harvard's was a case comment and, given the issue, it was pretty clear that there were about a dozen "right" answers, none of them terribly wonderful but all defensible. Some lend themselves more to creative arguments than others. I do think, though, that if you miss what's semi-subtly new about the case they give you/the part of their reasoning that's arguably flawed or at least debatable, you've missed the boat. Columbia's, similarly, didn't have a right answer, but there was, as alluded to above, a sort of trick question component to it as far as reading the statute that one could mess up. That is to say, given Reading A of one of the statutes, the outcome is X, not, as one might think from reading the cases a little too quickly, Y. So if you say, "yeah, I like Reading A, so that means Y," you'd be screwed.

engineer
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Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:51 am

Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby engineer » Sat May 22, 2010 2:02 am

traydeuce wrote:
Matthies wrote:Just out of curiosity those that did the write ons do you think the point of the exercise was to come up the "right' answer, the most interesting or creative argument, or explain/contrast the circuit spilt? Or did they tell you what to write about and what stance to take?


Harvard's was a case comment and, given the issue, it was pretty clear that there were about a dozen "right" answers, none of them terribly wonderful but all defensible. Some lend themselves more to creative arguments than others. I do think, though, that if you miss what's semi-subtly new about the case they give you/the part of their reasoning that's arguably flawed or at least debatable, you've missed the boat. Columbia's, similarly, didn't have a right answer, but there was, as alluded to above, a sort of trick question component to it as far as reading the statute that one could mess up. That is to say, given Reading A of one of the statutes, the outcome is X, not, as one might think from reading the cases a little too quickly, Y. So if you say, "yeah, I like Reading A, so that means Y," you'd be screwed.


As an additional note about Columbia's, there were a couple opinions written by the court that you were "advising" in your memo. Heavier reliance on those cases (or that case, I forgot if it was just one) would definitely be +EV

CMR
Posts: 130
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Re: Write-on competitions prior to admissions decision

Postby CMR » Sat May 22, 2010 1:31 pm

Matthies wrote:Just out of curiosity those that did the write ons do you think the point of the exercise was to come up the "right' answer, the most interesting or creative argument, or explain/contrast the circuit spilt? Or did they tell you what to write about and what stance to take?


I'd assume that the vast majority are looking for cogent analysis rather than a right/wrong answer. Most appear to leave a lot of room for policy, and in those cases while there may be arguments that are consistent with existing precedent, I'd assume you could go in a dramatically different direction and still come out ok if your arguments were compelling.

By the way, Matthies, did you ever post at another forum? I think I remember you from when I started last year - I asked for tips for success, you were pretty helpful and encouraging. Thanks, man - first two terms went pretty well.




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