Question for 2Ls and 3Ls--determining factors- class choice

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totalidiot
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Question for 2Ls and 3Ls--determining factors- class choice

Postby totalidiot » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:39 am

I was hoping to get some insights from the 2Ls and 3Ls regarding this question:

Obviously, most don't get to choose any of their 1L classes. But when you're a 2L and a 3L, what factors should play into which classes you take? I mean, obviously employers would like to see a ton of rigorous classes with stellar grades, but when you're scheduling does it behoove you to choose for one quality, say, the difficulty of the class or its relevance to corporate law (or whatever sector you plan on entering) or level of interest, or should you just always give a great deal of deference to taking classes that you feel pretty confident that you will ace?

Thanks in advance for any input you guys might have. I feel like there is a relative dearth of talking about class choice on this forum, but if there are past threads (I've looked around and haven't found anything particularly helpful), please direct me to them :) !

gollymolly
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Re: Question for 2Ls and 3Ls--determining factors- class choice

Postby gollymolly » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:59 am

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Last edited by gollymolly on Sat Dec 11, 2010 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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totalidiot
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Re: Question for 2Ls and 3Ls--determining factors- class choice

Postby totalidiot » Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:53 am

I hope it's not too annoying that I bump this....I feel like this is an important and interesting question that a lot of people on this board would have some excellent insight regarding....but maybe I'm mistaken in thinking this to be that interesting a question...?

It definitely seems important. It would be great if some of the 2Ls and 3Ls could either mention classes they took or discuss their general strategy for class choice.

Also, how important are 2L and 3L grades in the first place? All this weight is given to 1L grades and classes...but what about subsequent performance?

twistedwrister
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Re: Question for 2Ls and 3Ls--determining factors- class choice

Postby twistedwrister » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:39 am

totalidiot wrote:I hope it's not too annoying that I bump this....I feel like this is an important and interesting question that a lot of people on this board would have some excellent insight regarding....but maybe I'm mistaken in thinking this to be that interesting a question...?

It definitely seems important. It would be great if some of the 2Ls and 3Ls could either mention classes they took or discuss their general strategy for class choice.

Also, how important are 2L and 3L grades in the first place? All this weight is given to 1L grades and classes...but what about subsequent performance?


Here is a list of factors that probably should play a role in your choice of classes, listed in order of importance (in my opinion, of course)

(1) Take classes that look interesting and relevant to the kind of law you want to practice. If you want to be an IP lawyer, take patent/trademark/copyright. If you want to be a prosecutor, take criminal procedure, and so on.

(2) Some profs are amazing, no matter what class they teach. Find out who they are and perhaps consider taking one of their classes. Also, if you had a prof who you loved during 1L, take another one of his/her classes as a 2L or 3L. You will probably like it, and it may help you build a relationship with the prof that could be useful later on (e.g., if you need a letter of rec, etc.)

(3) Most people consider a few classes to be "foundational," even if they are not strictly required by your school. These classes include corporations, evidence, tax, and a few others.

(4) Check out the exam schedule. You don't want to end up taking 3 exams on 3 consecutive days, for example.

I don't think it's a good idea to take a class just because you think it will be easy. If you don't enjoy the class, you probably won't put in the work to get a good grade regardless of the curve. I realize other people will probably disagree with this point. Of course, if there are multiple sections of a course in which you are interested, and one of the sections is taught by a prof who typically gives 50% of the class an A, you should seriously consider taking the course with that prof.

Re the importance of 2L/3L grades, I think they are less important than 1L grades, but they do matter in some cases. For example, if you are applying to clerkships, 2L grades certainly matter. If you summer at a "prestigious" firm, that firm may take 2L grades into account when deciding whether to give you a permanent offer.

Hope this helps.

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totalidiot
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Re: Question for 2Ls and 3Ls--determining factors- class choice

Postby totalidiot » Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:45 am

Thanks for that response!

Is Evidence considered to be foundational? I've sort of heard that Evidence is best for people who want to be litigators, and even in that case I've often heard that taking a class on it isn't useful because you pick up what you need to know when working. I've heard that the foundational 4 classes are: corporations, property (property isn't required at my school), tax, and administrative law. Are there any other 'core classes' that you guys would say need to be taken? I know crim procedure is talked about a lot regarding clerkships. My school actually requires very little courses and doesn't give us a ton of guidance as regards 'pathways to XYZ career' or whatnot, so any comments on this would be excellent.

twistedwrister
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Re: Question for 2Ls and 3Ls--determining factors- class choice

Postby twistedwrister » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:15 am

You're right. Most people consider Property and Admin to be foundational as well. I didn't list them in my previous post because they are required courses at my school (NYU). Evidence is certainly more important for future litigators than it is for those who plan on practicing corporate/transactional law. However, if you decide to clerk, many (if not most) of the issues you will deal with will be evidentiary. Therefore, some background in the laws of evidence will be useful. Most people who want to clerk also take Federal Courts, or so I've heard.

Alexandria
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Re: Question for 2Ls and 3Ls--determining factors- class choice

Postby Alexandria » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:43 am

1. What would I enjoy, taking into account the subject matter and how good a teacher the prof is.

2. What knowledge do I think would help me in my career?

That's pretty much it. I don't worry about which subjects will be on the bar, since that's what bar review is for. And I don't really worry about what employers will think about my transcript. First, I like to think that I have done well enough in the more traditional classes that an employer would see that I am smart/capable. Second, no one has looked at my transcript since I started getting upper level grades. I got an offer from my 2L summer firm, and they never asked to see a transcript again (after the one they saw during interviews). I figure by the time I am in the job market again, the work I've done at my firm will be much more important than my transcript. And my GPA will be much more important than my course selection.

Alexandria
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Re: Question for 2Ls and 3Ls--determining factors- class choice

Postby Alexandria » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:52 am

Btw, I am all about not taking courses just bc everyone takes them, if they sound awful to you. You have a limited time in law school, and if you love a particular area, spend your time learning that instead. I have taken 5 million Con Law classes and not EO, Evidence, etc. A lot of the "foundational classes" are on the bar, so you will learn them then. Others (tax was mentioned above) I don't think are truly foundational, in the sense that you really do not need to know them unless you will be practicing in that area.

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steve_nash
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Re: Question for 2Ls and 3Ls--determining factors- class choice

Postby steve_nash » Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:40 pm

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Last edited by steve_nash on Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

legends159
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Re: Question for 2Ls and 3Ls--determining factors- class choice

Postby legends159 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 11:24 pm

totalidiot wrote:Thanks for that response!

Is Evidence considered to be foundational? I've sort of heard that Evidence is best for people who want to be litigators, and even in that case I've often heard that taking a class on it isn't useful because you pick up what you need to know when working. I've heard that the foundational 4 classes are: corporations, property (property isn't required at my school), tax, and administrative law. Are there any other 'core classes' that you guys would say need to be taken? I know crim procedure is talked about a lot regarding clerkships. My school actually requires very little courses and doesn't give us a ton of guidance as regards 'pathways to XYZ career' or whatnot, so any comments on this would be excellent.


Don't you go to SLS? Property is required. All us 1Ls are taking it right now. Unless you're taking about IP? I hope you didn't just miss the first week of property classes.

edit: nm I guess you chose YLS.




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