Duke Law Class of 2014

(housing, friendships, future exams, all things 2014)
cavebat2000
Posts: 238
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby cavebat2000 » Mon Jun 27, 2011 1:43 am

thickfreakness wrote:Reedie and cavebat (who both are section-mates from last year) have provided excellent advice. I think law school is very much about working reasonably hard and sticking to what makes your life enjoyable. If your surroundings and non-law-life is as comfortable and enjoyable as it can be, you're going to have a much happier three years. Trust me, you have much much more time in law school than you will in practice. I'm working at firms this summer and the workload is pretty heavy. I've loved all my projects so far and work with brilliant people, but they all work very hard. You should try to enjoy your time in law school.

As for more specific school advice: I did worse second semester than I did first semester, and really don't have a clue as to why. I'm eager to return in the fall and get some exam feedback. Anyway, here are a few general pointers (probably hit above already, but what the hell):

1) Read your assignments before class. Do not get behind on your reading. Law school classes will make even less sense if you don't read (unless you get everyone's favorite worst professor, in which case you're better off taking a hit of PCP before class and never even cracking the casebook...).

2) Go to class. Missing class is tough. Class is usually a great opportunity to learn how the professor views the law and familiarize yourself with the kinds of arguments and styles the professor enjoys. This is important for exam-taking. "Kinds of arguments" and "styles" is not code for "learn the professor's opinion so you can regurgitate it on every exam question." That will not get you anywhere.

3) If you're confused at all, go to office hours. Most professors are great about putting things in plain english during office hours. Go to office hours before you start cracking supplements or hornbooks. You're not as busy as you think you are during 1L: you should have time to attend office hours if you're confused in a class.

4) Supplements: I didn't use them at all. I think they're good if you have a bad teacher, but probably bad if you have a good teacher. If you do feel the need to use them, use them in conjunction with your casebook and class notes. They will illuminate things, but they also won't always agree with what your professor/casebook says. And--big shocker here--if you follow the supplement on an issue but the prof/casebook says otherwise, it's probably going to burn you on the exam.

5) Legal writing: pray for a good draw and follow step 3 religiously (I didn't and it probably cost me some GPA points). Also, start writing ASAP on each project. Legal writing is a very recursive process. I like to spend a bunch of time "figuring it out" before I sit down to write and that's just not a very efficient way to write about legal problems. As you write you figure out more possibilities and trails you need to track down. You need to get comfortable with the idea that you could write a page, paragraph, or more and then just highlight it all and delete it if you find the right case or statute. I figured this out mostly this summer at the firm where I've been cranking out memos dealing with much more complicated issues than anything I wrote about in LARW (except for our bat-shit insane appellate brief problem).

I think that's all I've got for now.



You sir, are spot on. Especially where you agreed with me and Reedie. :)

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quakeroats
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby quakeroats » Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:29 am

thickfreakness wrote:Legal writing: pray for a good draw and follow step 3 religiously (I didn't and it probably cost me some GPA points). Also, start writing ASAP on each project. Legal writing is a very recursive process. I like to spend a bunch of time "figuring it out" before I sit down to write and that's just not a very efficient way to write about legal problems. As you write you figure out more possibilities and trails you need to track down. You need to get comfortable with the idea that you could write a page, paragraph, or more and then just highlight it all and delete it if you find the right case or statute. I figured this out mostly this summer at the firm where I've been cranking out memos dealing with much more complicated issues than anything I wrote about in LARW (except for our bat-shit insane appellate brief problem).


How you'll do in legal writing seems to have a lot to do with which professor you get. I got the wrong one, and spent too much time fighting her stylist requirements. Fortunately, 10% of our grade was based on her evaluation of our participation in class, general improvement, etc. I spent the last semester being as nice as possible, going to office hours, and asking helpful questions in class. It worked out well, but even if it didn't, LARW is only worth 3 credit hours--the rest of your 1L classes are 4.5.

TheFactor
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Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 3:12 pm

Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby TheFactor » Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:33 pm

Dropping in to say thanks to all the 2L's for the great advice! Also, I'm moving in to my apartment in Durham next week. If any of you guys wanna get drinks or something one night, let me know.

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TUP
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby TUP » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:36 pm

Thanks for all the advice. Is class attendance mandatory with any professors? How feasible is missing two days in September if you make arrangements for notes, keep up on reading, etc. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but with the previous post mentioning that missing class is tough I thought I'd ask.

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thickfreakness
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby thickfreakness » Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:40 pm

TUP wrote:Thanks for all the advice. Is class attendance mandatory with any professors? How feasible is missing two days in September if you make arrangements for notes, keep up on reading, etc. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but with the previous post mentioning that missing class is tough I thought I'd ask.


I don't know of professors who keep attendance for grade purposes, if that's what you're concerned about. I'd just make sure you let them know so you don't get cold-called when you're not there (happened to me this spring...). Just ask a classmate for notes and make sure you stay up on the reading when you're gone.

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Chairman
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby Chairman » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:52 pm

quakeroats wrote:
cavebat2000 wrote:Are you sure he's not teaching this fall? If so, you 1L's owe me for spending like 2 hours writing his eval.


One thing I enjoyed about his class was his often hilarious mispronunciation of student names.


Better yet was when he'd pick the wrong gender. I do know that he's teaching an upper level class this fall.

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Chairman
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby Chairman » Thu Jun 30, 2011 12:54 pm

TUP wrote:Thanks for all the advice. Is class attendance mandatory with any professors? How feasible is missing two days in September if you make arrangements for notes, keep up on reading, etc. Maybe I'm overthinking this, but with the previous post mentioning that missing class is tough I thought I'd ask.


You'll be fine. Do reading, get notes. A lot of the classes are recorded as well (I found lectures better when played at about 1.3x speed)

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los blancos
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby los blancos » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:48 pm

5782 wrote:
Reedie wrote:
5782 wrote:[
That was my experience with basketball tickets. Not sure how Reedie wound up paying for tickets. You do pay for your season ticket if you go through campout. If not you can just show up.


Lol I'm outed. I thought you needed to pay a few dollars at the door. I didn't do that so I don't know.


Nope, totally free. Of course you may wait in line for hours, depending how big the game is. And forget about walking into the UNC game



Its possible. I showed up around 45 minutes before the game and was 10 people away from getting in.

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los blancos
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby los blancos » Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:53 pm

quakeroats wrote:
thickfreakness wrote:Legal writing: pray for a good draw and follow step 3 religiously (I didn't and it probably cost me some GPA points). Also, start writing ASAP on each project. Legal writing is a very recursive process. I like to spend a bunch of time "figuring it out" before I sit down to write and that's just not a very efficient way to write about legal problems. As you write you figure out more possibilities and trails you need to track down. You need to get comfortable with the idea that you could write a page, paragraph, or more and then just highlight it all and delete it if you find the right case or statute. I figured this out mostly this summer at the firm where I've been cranking out memos dealing with much more complicated issues than anything I wrote about in LARW (except for our bat-shit insane appellate brief problem).


How you'll do in legal writing seems to have a lot to do with which professor you get. I got the wrong one, and spent too much time fighting her stylist requirements. Fortunately, 10% of our grade was based on her evaluation of our participation in class, general improvement, etc. I spent the last semester being as nice as possible, going to office hours, and asking helpful questions in class. It worked out well, but even if it didn't, LARW is only worth 3 credit hours--the rest of your 1L classes are 4.5.



LARW totally fucked my GPA and basically dragged me down almost .1 by itself. It really does depend on which prof you get and ours apparently felt the need to give some people 2.5s. I know this because I know I wasnt at the bottom of the class and I almost got that.

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quakeroats
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby quakeroats » Thu Jun 30, 2011 5:17 pm

Chairman wrote:
quakeroats wrote:
cavebat2000 wrote:Are you sure he's not teaching this fall? If so, you 1L's owe me for spending like 2 hours writing his eval.


One thing I enjoyed about his class was his often hilarious mispronunciation of student names.


Better yet was when he'd pick the wrong gender. I do know that he's teaching an upper level class this fall.


The cap on his class is over 100, but there's still room if you're interested.

minxthecat
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby minxthecat » Thu Jun 30, 2011 7:47 pm

Is the West Village worth the price ($1200 for a 2 bedroom plus utilities)? I know they have a pool and gym. I figure its close to downtown which is great in terms of bars, etc. But it seems to be quite a lot for Durham (I paid about the same for a place right outside Boston). I have a car so distance isn't too much of an issue. What do you guys think of Pinnacle Ridge (2 bdr for $820 plus utilities)? Or should I look at renting a room in a house off of craigslist (400-500)? I know its late in the year to be asking this but I'm just off the wait list. Thanks.

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Chairman
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby Chairman » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:21 pm

quakeroats wrote:
Chairman wrote:
quakeroats wrote:
cavebat2000 wrote:Are you sure he's not teaching this fall? If so, you 1L's owe me for spending like 2 hours writing his eval.


One thing I enjoyed about his class was his often hilarious mispronunciation of student names.


Better yet was when he'd pick the wrong gender. I do know that he's teaching an upper level class this fall.


The cap on his class is over 100, but there's still room if you're interested.


I'm in it already. :shock: Me and 7 others or so.

johndh
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 7:20 pm

Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby johndh » Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:01 pm

Chairman wrote:
I'm in it already. :shock: Me and 7 others or so.


I am one of those 7 and I am seriously reconsidering it

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poprox
Posts: 247
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby poprox » Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:51 pm

A lot of first years I know had a great time at Pinnacle, and met most of their friends there.
Last edited by poprox on Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

fwaam
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby fwaam » Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:22 pm

minxthecat wrote:Is the West Village worth the price ($1200 for a 2 bedroom plus utilities)? I know they have a pool and gym. I figure its close to downtown which is great in terms of bars, etc. But it seems to be quite a lot for Durham (I paid about the same for a place right outside Boston). I have a car so distance isn't too much of an issue. What do you guys think of Pinnacle Ridge (2 bdr for $820 plus utilities)? Or should I look at renting a room in a house off of craigslist (400-500)? I know its late in the year to be asking this but I'm just off the wait list. Thanks.


Well, you know your budget and priorities better than anyone on this forum. Living in West Village vs Pinnacle, Alexan, etc. is a wash as far as distance from Duke is concerned, and almost any apartment complex will have a pool and an exercise room.

The West Village apartments aren't a bad choice if being within walking distance of bars is a priority for you. Most places law students live are not walkable from bars so you will have to think about cabs/DDing. As far as Pinnacle, lots of law students live there, and I know some people who say they met all their best friends there and others who say it wasn't the social experience it's made out to be. I personally would be concerned about all the property crime since there have apparently been a lot of house and car break-ins this year. If you do live there you should avoid the first floor.

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DallasCowboy
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby DallasCowboy » Thu Jul 07, 2011 6:17 pm

Go to office hours. The 4 classes i went to office hours (and probably only once or twice each) were my 4 highest grades. Easier said than done if/when you get into a routine focused on short-term reading. Get into the professors' heads and figure out what they want- it makes all the difference.

two
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby two » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:16 am

Might be a silly question, but do I need a NC driver's license? Or can I get by with my out-of-state license while I'm at school?

jrose5
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:54 pm

Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby jrose5 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:12 am

Does anyone know anything about the Belmont Apartments? I could easily find some reviews online but thought that getting some opinions from fellow Duke students might be nice.

Thanks!

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quakeroats
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby quakeroats » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:13 am

two wrote:Might be a silly question, but do I need a NC driver's license? Or can I get by with my out-of-state license while I'm at school?


You won't need an NC license.

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ObviouslyMasochistic
Posts: 92
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby ObviouslyMasochistic » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:48 pm

thickfreakness wrote:Reedie and cavebat (who both are section-mates from last year) have provided excellent advice. I think law school is very much about working reasonably hard and sticking to what makes your life enjoyable. If your surroundings and non-law-life is as comfortable and enjoyable as it can be, you're going to have a much happier three years. Trust me, you have much much more time in law school than you will in practice. I'm working at firms this summer and the workload is pretty heavy. I've loved all my projects so far and work with brilliant people, but they all work very hard. You should try to enjoy your time in law school.

As for more specific school advice: I did worse second semester than I did first semester, and really don't have a clue as to why. I'm eager to return in the fall and get some exam feedback. Anyway, here are a few general pointers (probably hit above already, but what the hell):

1) Read your assignments before class. Do not get behind on your reading. Law school classes will make even less sense if you don't read (unless you get everyone's favorite worst professor, in which case you're better off taking a hit of PCP before class and never even cracking the casebook...).

2) Go to class. Missing class is tough. Class is usually a great opportunity to learn how the professor views the law and familiarize yourself with the kinds of arguments and styles the professor enjoys. This is important for exam-taking. "Kinds of arguments" and "styles" is not code for "learn the professor's opinion so you can regurgitate it on every exam question." That will not get you anywhere.

3) If you're confused at all, go to office hours. Most professors are great about putting things in plain english during office hours. Go to office hours before you start cracking supplements or hornbooks. You're not as busy as you think you are during 1L: you should have time to attend office hours if you're confused in a class.

4) Supplements: I didn't use them at all. I think they're good if you have a bad teacher, but probably bad if you have a good teacher. If you do feel the need to use them, use them in conjunction with your casebook and class notes. They will illuminate things, but they also won't always agree with what your professor/casebook says. And--big shocker here--if you follow the supplement on an issue but the prof/casebook says otherwise, it's probably going to burn you on the exam.

5) Legal writing: pray for a good draw and follow step 3 religiously (I didn't and it probably cost me some GPA points). Also, start writing ASAP on each project. Legal writing is a very recursive process. I like to spend a bunch of time "figuring it out" before I sit down to write and that's just not a very efficient way to write about legal problems. As you write you figure out more possibilities and trails you need to track down. You need to get comfortable with the idea that you could write a page, paragraph, or more and then just highlight it all and delete it if you find the right case or statute. I figured this out mostly this summer at the firm where I've been cranking out memos dealing with much more complicated issues than anything I wrote about in LARW (except for our bat-shit insane appellate brief problem).

I think that's all I've got for now.


Atta boy, mentee. Think you nailed it.

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quakeroats
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby quakeroats » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:55 pm

ObviouslyMasochistic wrote:Atta boy, mentee. Think you nailed it.


Where have you been?

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stewie27
Posts: 149
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby stewie27 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:42 pm

Anyone else living in Colonial Village at Deerfield? (Probably a long-shot).
Also, it seems like a lot of people are already there/moving there soon. Anyone else just planning to get there a week or so before orientation?

Tarheel10
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Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby Tarheel10 » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:46 pm

Can anyone comment on the social life at Duke? Obviously, I´m not going to choose Duke or not based on that, but I am curious to hear if Durham is as bad as they say, if people feel isolated, if anyone makes friends outside of the law school, if people regret turning down schools in places like, say, DC or Chicago. Also, is there much support for people interested in public interest, government work, and environmental law? Thanks.

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ObviouslyMasochistic
Posts: 92
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby ObviouslyMasochistic » Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:48 pm

quakeroats wrote:
ObviouslyMasochistic wrote:Atta boy, mentee. Think you nailed it.


Where have you been?


Working! Before that, attempting to handle 18 credits without failing out. Ah, the joys of a dual degree. Looks like you guys have things covered here though. :)

Oh! And to you incoming 1Ls, I hope I get some of you in my LEAD group. I'm not sure if the LEAD week schedule has been published to y'all yet, so if not, bam: http://www.law.duke.edu/students/orientation

fingersxd
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Re: Duke Law Class of 2014

Postby fingersxd » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:02 am

ObviouslyMasochistic wrote:Ah, the joys of a dual degree. Looks like you guys have things covered here though. :)


JD/MBA?




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