Question about law school path towards CrimLaw - help!

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sethc09
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Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:50 am

Question about law school path towards CrimLaw - help!

Postby sethc09 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:08 pm

OK, I have a question that is probably best suited towards those who have completed law school or at least a fair majority of it.

Right now, I am first-term 1L and started out with 5 classes (plus a retarded 0-credit intro course) ConLaw, Ks I, Prop I, Crim, and Torts I. About 5-6 weeks in, I dropped ConLaw in the interest of having a 3-day weekend and more time for rest and also just having less to focus on for my first term. So, I'm down to 4 and I have not regretted that decision.

At any rate, I knew well before entering law school that my ultimate goal was to do criminal law (defense, particularly) and that rings true now, nearing completion of my first term. My favorite class is certainly Crim, even with a so-so professor. I also like Torts, I think because a lot of the laws/rules are similar or at least comparable. But, I definitely have a very clear understanding of everything covered in CrimLaw, and about 85% of Torts and I enjoy it probably the same ratio.

Now, Ks and Prop = nightmares. My Prop prof is the son of the school's founder (hello, nepotism) and though an awesome dude all-around, he's not that great of a lecturer. The good side is that he knows this and, as such, his curve for the final is very generous. I worry I'll fail, but that's another matter. I just HATE reading the cases.. I understand at least a good deal of the concepts.. but future interests (HATE/RAGE!!!), mortgages, wills, deeds, marketability.. all that stuff puts me to sleep.

Ks is similar for me, except the prof is AWESOME. He's very nice and very clear about what he expects us to know. But, that doesn't help too much. I generally have a very poor understanding when I read my assignments the night before, but feel better about them after he lectures. Despite even that, I can't stand Ks. The UCC confuses me, calculations for damages/remedies is often hard for me, and just the concepts are dry to me like those in property.


So, having said that, I arrive at my final question to you guys. I obviously have Ks II and Prop II and Torts II still to take. Torts, as mentioned, I won't mind at all. But, the other 2 are awful and another term of that stuff is depressing.. plus the class that will replace Crim is CivPro, which I am not that excited about at all. I mean, I know there are still courses left REGARDING criminal law like drunk driving, federal criminal law, crimpro, etc but it seems like there are way more courses geared towards and lean upon Ks, Prop, and Torts. I guess my question is if this is a bad sign for me or not? I'm only interested in the criminal (and to some degree Torts) stuff, but I know the rest of law school is very important to know in order to be a lawyer and, of course, material to passing the bar.

I'd really, REALLY appreciate it if any of you could give me some feedback and opinions on this. I mean, if this is indeed a loud warning siren to GTFO, then it'd be good to figure that out sooner rather than later.

Thanks VERY much in advance. Enjoy the weekend all.

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ChattTNdt
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Re: Question about law school path towards CrimLaw - help!

Postby ChattTNdt » Fri Nov 19, 2010 6:42 pm

I didn't know 1Ls could drop classes... :o

sethc09
Posts: 4
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Re: Question about law school path towards CrimLaw - help!

Postby sethc09 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:32 pm

ChattTNdt wrote:I didn't know 1Ls could drop classes... :o


Well, at most "normal" law schools (i.e. ones that some people on here get flamed for not being able to get admitted to) I guess that might be the norm. But, I attend a law school that allows flexible scheduling options so that students can take 3, 4, or 5 classes (5 = full load) per term..

Not trying to come off as rude towards you, so I apologize if it sounds like I did.

jdhonest
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Re: Question about law school path towards CrimLaw - help!

Postby jdhonest » Fri Nov 19, 2010 8:46 pm

1) Stop using the word "retarded" as an adjective for stupid
2) If you want to do defense crim law, you need to take as many classes regarding trial techniques as possible. You need to learn to become a good advocate. The other classes may be a pain, but just get as good a grade as you can in them and focus your energy in other directions (see #3)
3) Get involved in mock trial (and just for practice, moot court).
4) If your school has a clinic, do it.
5) Look for summer jobs at a DA's office. Know thine enemy.
6) Network. Crim defense lawyers know each other and tend to help each other out (in my experience). Join the club asap.
7) If you're considering dropping out of law school because of classes you don't enjoy, you may not have the stones for crim defense work. (not to sound harsh or anything)
8) Study and take a bar prep class and you will pass the bar. It's not that hard*, just a lot of work for a few months of a year.

*unless you're in NY or CA

sethc09
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:50 am

Re: Question about law school path towards CrimLaw - help!

Postby sethc09 » Fri Nov 19, 2010 9:14 pm

jdhonest wrote:1) Stop using the word "retarded" as an adjective for stupid
2) If you want to do defense crim law, you need to take as many classes regarding trial techniques as possible. You need to learn to become a good advocate. The other classes may be a pain, but just get as good a grade as you can in them and focus your energy in other directions (see #3)
3) Get involved in mock trial (and just for practice, moot court).
4) If your school has a clinic, do it.
5) Look for summer jobs at a DA's office. Know thine enemy.
6) Network. Crim defense lawyers know each other and tend to help each other out (in my experience). Join the club asap.
7) If you're considering dropping out of law school because of classes you don't enjoy, you may not have the stones for crim defense work. (not to sound harsh or anything)
8) Study and take a bar prep class and you will pass the bar. It's not that hard*, just a lot of work for a few months of a year.

*unless you're in NY or CA



Thanks for the perspective. The clinics are for 2Ls+ only, but I definitely intend to get on board as soon as I possibly can to get my feet wet in that area. Same with mock trial, essentially. I could do it right now, but I decided not to do it this term because I was afraid it would interfere with the effort needed for my classes.

I only have 1 question, with regard to #7. What do you mean that I may not have the stones/courage/guts (or however you define it) for criminal defense if I don't enjoy other classes? I'm not following you there. I didn't take offense to it or anything, I'm just wondering what being bored to tears by contracts and property have to do with the ability to do criminal defense? Also, just as a technical note.. it's not that I *am* considering dropping out as of right now at all, my question was *should* I consider that in light of the fact that I can't stand them?

Like for example, I think I grasp enough of the stuff to pass the final and the bar (eventually) as well as answer relevant questions/hypos in a class context. But, as it stands, I do not feel knowledgeable enough nor can EVER see myself doing work as an attorney with regard to deeds, mortgages, titles, foreclosures, contracts, wills, real estate transactions, brokers, etc. In other words, I know enough to do a final/answer class Q's about O+A+C or title defects/marketability etc. but, as a practical matter, I do not feel comfortable enough in using what I have absorbed so far as an attorney representing someone else. Should this type of thing be a red flag insomuch as concluding something like "Hey, you suck at fundamental contract and property concepts and the only thing you know/like is criminal law and torts. There's no point in spending more time/$/effort on law school because it would be a waste." ?

Thanks!

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Grad_Student
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Re: Question about law school path towards CrimLaw - help!

Postby Grad_Student » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:43 pm

Me personally:

1. Hate law school ... finals time is ok but I like the pressure.

2. Love being a prosecutor... trials are a lot like finals pressure wise.

Law school blows, it's a right of passage. You spend 3 years learning shit that in no way prepares you for the legal world. Suck it up, get through and do something interesting when you graduate.




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