LawProf Taking Questions

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shortporch
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LawProf Taking Questions

Postby shortporch » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:15 pm

I've posted on XO before, but I thought I'd weigh in at TLS. You have no reason to believe me except to take my word. I'll be deliberately ambiguous on certain aspects of my background. Feel free to ask any questions you may have about law school, clerking, big law, or academia. Happy to help as I can.

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holydonkey
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby holydonkey » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:21 pm

Why in the world did you ever visit xoxo?

Should the ABA release a ranking of law schools? Can the ABA be successfully pressured to stop allowing new schools to open?

Did you like Yale?

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shortporch
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby shortporch » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:31 pm

holydonkey wrote:Why in the world did you ever visit xoxo?

Should the ABA release a ranking of law schools? Can the ABA be successfully pressured to stop allowing new schools to open?

Did you like Yale?


For XO, it's because it's the most realistic (and pessimistic) discussion of the legal profession. I think there's far too much optimism and "everyone can go to law school" attitude out there. Frankly, law school isn't for everyone, and most people don't treat the financial consequences seriously. This is, of course, taboo for me as a member of the academy, where very few professors (all tenured, a luxury I don't yet have) think that there should be fewer law schools or fewer law students.

I don't know what an ABA ranking would do. There are plenty of rankings out there. The ABA is more of a lobbying organization now that acts on behalf of the legal profession as a whole than anything else, and I don't really know what they would contribute.

The ABA has voluntarily constrained itself after the DOJ's '95 consent decree, and it now keeps the floodgates open. I don't think they'll restrict it because they don't really have an incentive to do so. The more lawyers, the more people they get to have a say over. I know that it may devalue the profession (as the AMA's model is more concerned about sustainability of the current profession), but the attitudes have dramatically changed, I think, since that '95 investigation.

I like Yale in some ways, sure.

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Cavalier
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby Cavalier » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:35 pm

Will Duke make the final four?

emoticons777
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby emoticons777 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:09 pm

LORs:
What is the most effective way to ask? What is the most helpful information you use in writing it? What about students who did well in class but you don't really know well? Anything else?

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nixxers
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby nixxers » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:15 pm

thanks for taking questions!


Should 0L's prepare before starting classes? If so, what methods do you think are effective?

Are law professors generally receptive to students seeking help outside the classroom (office hours visits, etc)? I ask because I go to a small LAC and am used to that, but am not sure it will carry over....

Besides getting good grades, what should students do to best position themselves for getting clerkships?

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shortporch
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby shortporch » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:19 pm

emoticons777 wrote:LORs:
What is the most effective way to ask? What is the most helpful information you use in writing it? What about students who did well in class but you don't really know well? Anything else?


I don't think I quite understand what you mean by "effective." You should have built up some kind of relationship with your professor, and then you go and ask them. In person is preferable.

I generally ask for a resume, but usually I know the person well enough that I really don't need more. I haven't been in a position yet where someone asks me for an LOR and I don't know them well enough. If that happened, I'd probably suggest that they might want to find someone else and that I might not be the best choice, and if they insist, write a fairly generic letter with what I know about them, as little as I may know.

buckley
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby buckley » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:21 pm

Do you know any students who pursue careers in business consulting?

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shortporch
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby shortporch » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:22 pm

nixxers wrote:thanks for taking questions!


Should 0L's prepare before starting classes? If so, what methods do you think are effective?

Are law professors generally receptive to students seeking help outside the classroom (office hours visits, etc)? I ask because I go to a small LAC and am used to that, but am not sure it will carry over....

Besides getting good grades, what should students do to best position themselves for getting clerkships?


0Ls should enjoy their time off. You'll have three years to study law, and a lifetime to practice it. If anything, you'll probably screw yourself up. You might think you get the law and have to un-learn it in class. You might focus on subjects that are irrelevant to the subject covered in courses. You might burn out early. If you were always passionate about some subject and want to read a book or two on it, or if you're interested in reading a book on the Supreme Court, or whatever it is, go for it. But don't "prep" for law school. I'm sure there are services that offer to "prep" you for thousands of dollars, but I would strongly discourage it.

I'm very receptive to student interaction, but it can vary wildly by school and by individual professor. Some schools are very student-oriented; some are not. And within schools, there's a spectrum of approachability for professors. There are no hard-and-fast rules, unfortunately, for me to offer you as perspective.

Apart from good grades, there's really nothing else. Get on law review, which is usually based on grades and how well you write (which relates to your grades). Summer at a good law firm, which is usually based on grades. Have a couple of professors willing to be strong LORs, which is usually based on grades. You can see how they fall into place.

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shortporch
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby shortporch » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:23 pm

buckley wrote:Do you know any students who pursue careers in business consulting?


Yes. Some people choose this. I don't think that law school is the most efficient route for this, but I know very little about consulting other than the fact that some people choose this.

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Knock
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby Knock » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:47 pm

Thank you for taking a questions. I have a couple:

Do law professors have any say in the admittance of an applicant?

What are some talking points a law professor would be interested in talking over lunch in regards to their school/ the admittance process?

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Dostoevsky
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby Dostoevsky » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:55 pm

Thank you for taking questions.
I agree that extensive preparation for LS as a 0L is probably not advantageous. I decided to use the time before LS to take the GMAT instead, to keep my options open for a joint MBA application after 1L.
My question is this: I grew up in a third-world country and don't really understand the structure of American Government. I thought I may take a PoliSci class my last semester as an undergraduate but took physics instead.
Do you think I could get enough of an idea to be able to frame the issues in lawmaking by reading a simple 'PoliSci for dummies' type book or do you think I'd be better served by an introductory summer class at a CC?

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Knock
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby Knock » Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:58 pm

Dostoevsky wrote:Thank you for taking questions.
I agree that extensive preparation for LS as a 0L is probably not advantageous. I decided to use the time before LS to take the GMAT instead, to keep my options open for a joint MBA application after 1L.
My question is this: I grew up in a third-world country and don't really understand the structure of American Government. I thought I may take a PoliSci class my last semester as an undergraduate but took physics instead.
Do you think I could get enough of an idea to be able to frame the issues in lawmaking by reading a simple 'PoliSci for dummies' type book or do you think I'd be better served by an introductory summer class at a CC?


Google it, it's definitely not necessary to take a class, and probably a complete waste of time.

Spend a day or two reading this over: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_go ... ted_States

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mikeytwoshoes
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:16 pm

Knockglock wrote:
Dostoevsky wrote:Thank you for taking questions.
I agree that extensive preparation for LS as a 0L is probably not advantageous. I decided to use the time before LS to take the GMAT instead, to keep my options open for a joint MBA application after 1L.
My question is this: I grew up in a third-world country and don't really understand the structure of American Government. I thought I may take a PoliSci class my last semester as an undergraduate but took physics instead.
Do you think I could get enough of an idea to be able to frame the issues in lawmaking by reading a simple 'PoliSci for dummies' type book or do you think I'd be better served by an introductory summer class at a CC?


Google it, it's definitely not necessary to take a class, and probably a complete waste of time.

Spend a day or two reading this over: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_go ... ted_States

Law school will teach you every thing you need to know about government in the first two weeks.

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Dostoevsky
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby Dostoevsky » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:00 am

Thank you!

Keile
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby Keile » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:09 am

1. What is your opinion of TLS? Are we nicer and more liberal than the dreary assholes who frequent XO?

2. Did you hold any other jobs before you were a law prof?

3. What was your UG major (liberal arts, science, etc; don't have to be specific)?

4. What were your LS grades and how did you end up in your current position (as far as the LS-->Prof progression)?

5.What advice can you give to people who want to enter academia?

6. Describe the difference between a C student and an A student.

7. Do you respect Canadian undergraduate institutions?
Last edited by Keile on Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:17 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PLATONiC
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby PLATONiC » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:16 am

Keile wrote:What is your opinion of TLS? Are we nicer and more liberal than the dreary assholes who frequent XO?

Did you hold any other jobs before you were a law prof?

What was your UG major (liberal arts, science, etc; don't have to be specific)?

What were your LS grades and how did you end up in your current position (as far as the LS-->Prof progression)?

What advice can you give to people who want to enter academia?

Describe the difference between a C student and an A student.

Do you respect Canadian undergraduate institutions?

edited: kids, remember it doesn't help to quote things that you want deleted.


What exactly is your problem dude?

Keile
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby Keile » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:17 am

PLATONiC wrote:
Keile wrote:What is your opinion of TLS? Are we nicer and more liberal than the dreary assholes who frequent XO?

Did you hold any other jobs before you were a law prof?

What was your UG major (liberal arts, science, etc; don't have to be specific)?

What were your LS grades and how did you end up in your current position (as far as the LS-->Prof progression)?

What advice can you give to people who want to enter academia?

Describe the difference between a C student and an A student.

Do you respect Canadian undergraduate institutions?

edited .... again


I'm sorry. I'll erase those ones. I should have had more tact. They were jokes.

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shortporch
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby shortporch » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:00 am

Knockglock wrote:Thank you for taking a questions. I have a couple:

Do law professors have any say in the admittance of an applicant?

What are some talking points a law professor would be interested in talking over lunch in regards to their school/ the admittance process?


I never have. I know that some have occasionally weighed in on a candidate they know (cross-teaching at the undergrad, etc.), but it's pretty rare in my view.

I don't think I understand the lunch talking points question. I don't think I've ever heard of a 0L contacting a law professor and asking to go to lunch to discuss the possibility of getting accepted at the law school. Profs aren't terribly involved in the admissions process. They're wheeled out once in a while by the adcom to discuss things with prospective students, and that's about it.

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shortporch
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby shortporch » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:01 am

Dostoevsky wrote:Thank you for taking questions.
I agree that extensive preparation for LS as a 0L is probably not advantageous. I decided to use the time before LS to take the GMAT instead, to keep my options open for a joint MBA application after 1L.
My question is this: I grew up in a third-world country and don't really understand the structure of American Government. I thought I may take a PoliSci class my last semester as an undergraduate but took physics instead.
Do you think I could get enough of an idea to be able to frame the issues in lawmaking by reading a simple 'PoliSci for dummies' type book or do you think I'd be better served by an introductory summer class at a CC?


A "Poli Sci for Dummies" would probably be just fine.

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shortporch
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby shortporch » Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:04 am

Keile wrote:1. What is your opinion of TLS? Are we nicer and more liberal than the dreary assholes who frequent XO?

2. Did you hold any other jobs before you were a law prof?

3. What was your UG major (liberal arts, science, etc; don't have to be specific)?

4. What were your LS grades and how did you end up in your current position (as far as the LS-->Prof progression)?

5.What advice can you give to people who want to enter academia?

6. Describe the difference between a C student and an A student.

7. Do you respect Canadian undergraduate institutions?


1. I haven't spent much time here. This site is nicer but more naive.

2. I clerked and worked at a firm.

3. Liberal arts UG.

4. Very high LS GPA. I got here primarily through a clerkship, working at an elite big law firm, and publishing a few pieces before hitting the market.

5. Publish, publish, publish. And develop relationships with professors who will be able to help you out in the future.

6. One probably shouldn't be in law school, or else had an extremely unlucky test; the other is a very bright student that understands the law and can write cogently, or else had an extremely lucky test.

7. I have no opinion.

solidsnake
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby solidsnake » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:22 pm

Have you ever had students that you felt were more prepared for class than you were?

How do you feel when students publicly (assuming that it's happened) poke holes in one of your in-class hypos? Proud? Envious? Intimidated? Spiteful? Vindictive?

Thanks~

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shortporch
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby shortporch » Wed Mar 17, 2010 2:41 pm

solidsnake wrote:Have you ever had students that you felt were more prepared for class than you were?

How do you feel when students publicly (assuming that it's happened) poke holes in one of your in-class hypos? Proud? Envious? Intimidated? Spiteful? Vindictive?

Thanks~


More prepared is a way of describing it. Occasionally, an over-zealous student will prepare extraneous or irrelevant material, then expect me to be prepared to discuss it. I'm always prepared to discuss the case law assigned. I'm occasionally intimidated by a thoughtful, and usually unanswerable, question posed by one of the most intelligent students in the classroom, but it's less to do with "preparation" (it's not as if a thrice-briefed case or six-colored highlighting system is going to help) and more to do with serious thoughtfulness and reflection of the material.

None of those. In-class hypotheticals are designed to discuss a narrow slice of the law and make a very specific point. Someone who tries to "poke holes" in a hypothetical doesn't understand the point of the hypothetical and is making childish debate tactics to one-up the professor in public. I'm not spiteful or vindictive about it. But if someone is fighting the hypothetical, it's just evidence that they don't get it, but they're deluded into thinking that they are so.

Bankhead
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby Bankhead » Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:27 pm

I read your thread on XOXO and noticed you have some unkind words about the people who post on top-law-schools. What is it about the posters on TLS that bore/disgust you? Is it a certain naivety? And do you notice the same thing in the students you teach?

I don't have a horse in this race and I'm certainly not offended. I'm just curious.

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mikeytwoshoes
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Re: LawProf Taking Questions

Postby mikeytwoshoes » Wed Mar 17, 2010 10:27 pm

You 0Ls so crazy!




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