WUSTL Recent Grad (and others) Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Total Litigator
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Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:17 pm

Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby Total Litigator » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:38 pm

stratocophic wrote:
0LNewbie wrote:Wait, how many 1L profs give midterms?
It's all luck of the draw - none of my 6 professors this year gave midterms, other sections had like 3 or 4.


While midterms can be quite prevalent at the 1L level, and work well to both ease-in 1L's and act as a wake up call for some, they are basically unheard of during 2L and 3L year.

my is grammer was horrendous there, but I'm too lazy to make it better. You get what I'm saying tho lol

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JCougar
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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby JCougar » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:01 pm

840e wrote:For those who have already done 1L at Wash U, what was the most unanticipated hard thing about 1L? Obviously it is going to be a lot of work, lot of reading, exams are going to be hell, figuring out 1L summer work is going to be tough...

And on the flip side, any unexpected good surprises?

many thanks for all the help and insight that is provided on this board!


The hardest part about law school is realizing that law exams/grades aren't designed to mean much of anything. They're an incredibly crude, unsophisticated, and poorly-designed instrument and your grades are, for most people, pretty random. There are a few people who have the ability to beat the odds on the exams...if you're a left-brained incredibly smart person that has insane typing speed, you have the chance to do well.

The problem with law school exams is that the legal issues and "problems" are solvable by about 80% of the class...yet the professors are forced to curve them and only hand out a few top grades, etc. So your grade reflects very little about your ability to analyze legal issues or the work you put into the class. If you give a bunch of super-smart people an easy problem, they're all going to get it basically correct. But since there is a forced curve, the teachers have to differentiate the A's from the rest of the pack based on something. Figuring out what that "something" is is the big mystery about law school. Many of the professors won't tell you, and many of them don't even know. But because of this, your grade turns not on your skill in analysis, but on petty little things that make the teachers excited (and the fact that you get points for writing things the teachers like, but most professors don't take off points if you say something totally irrelevant).

I got my highest grade in 1L from the class I hated the most and studied the least for. All I did was bring in a bunch of handouts distributed in class and pretty much copied straight from them onto my exam...I didn't even try to answer the question honestly. But I got a great grade.

In my favorite class...the one I studied for more than all my other classes combined, I got a median grade. My answer looked basically like the model answer, except the model answer used twice as many words as I did in arriving at the answer.

Moral of the story: don't take grades personally. If you can ace law exams, that's great...and you should definitely use that to your advantage. If you can't, just remember that law exams don't really mean much. They don't measure any skills that might make you a good lawyer.

It's ironic and seemingly irrational that top firms care so much about grades that you get on a 3-hour typing race at the end of the semester that looks nothing like the practice of law. But it makes sense when you realize that billing out an Associate Attorney's hours when they graduated from the top of the class is simply a marketing opportunity, and nothing more. They don't even care whether you're a good lawyer or not...all they care about is their ability to bill you out at a higher rate, and "cum laude" after your name allows them to do that.

It's also frustrating when you realize that law school is not designed to teach you anything at all. People learn from feedback, trial, and error. You simply don't get that in law school. You can meet with your professor after your exams to ask them how to do better, but most professors don't even know what to tell you or why you got the grade that they did. So you never really learn any skills. With all the money you fork over, you'd think you'd get more one-on-one tutelage, but then you realize the truth: law school is simply a horrendous hazing ritual preventing lilly-livered people from entering the profession.

If I were to do it over again, I'd ignore all my black letter law classes and focus completely on legal writing and legal research, because even though those courses only make up 5 credits combined for your entire 1L year, they're the only classes in law school that actually teach you how to be a lawyer.

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nyyankees
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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby nyyankees » Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:50 pm

840e wrote:For those who have already done 1L at Wash U, what was the most unanticipated hard thing about 1L? Obviously it is going to be a lot of work, lot of reading, exams are going to be hell, figuring out 1L summer work is going to be tough...

And on the flip side, any unexpected good surprises?

many thanks for all the help and insight that is provided on this board!


"Unanticipated Hard"
Kids show up. You know how in your UG you could always bank on the curve being padded by X% of slackers/students who just wanted to pass/students who wont get it? You cant do that here. Everyone here is bright and driven. Outside of a small handful of people, i dont think i could say with any confidence who is in the bottom half of the class. The other side of that coin is dont understimate people. There are people who probably come across as slackers/dull/stoners/bros/ditzes who are in the top 10% of our class. I dont care if you went to Harvard or Milk Man University, you are all on the same playing field now.

"Unexpected good surprise"
It gets better. When you first learn how to read a case, brief it, pull out black letter law, write a memo, research for a brief, take an exam etc, it takes a LONG time. Just know that you are developing skills that will benefit you, and you'll get better at them.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:41 pm

JCougar wrote:
840e wrote:For those who have already done 1L at Wash U, what was the most unanticipated hard thing about 1L? Obviously it is going to be a lot of work, lot of reading, exams are going to be hell, figuring out 1L summer work is going to be tough...

And on the flip side, any unexpected good surprises?

many thanks for all the help and insight that is provided on this board!


The hardest part about law school is realizing that law exams/grades aren't designed to mean much of anything. They're an incredibly crude, unsophisticated, and poorly-designed instrument and your grades are, for most people, pretty random. There are a few people who have the ability to beat the odds on the exams...if you're a left-brained incredibly smart person that has insane typing speed, you have the chance to do well.

The problem with law school exams is that the legal issues and "problems" are solvable by about 80% of the class...yet the professors are forced to curve them and only hand out a few top grades, etc. So your grade reflects very little about your ability to analyze legal issues or the work you put into the class. If you give a bunch of super-smart people an easy problem, they're all going to get it basically correct. But since there is a forced curve, the teachers have to differentiate the A's from the rest of the pack based on something. Figuring out what that "something" is is the big mystery about law school. Many of the professors won't tell you, and many of them don't even know. But because of this, your grade turns not on your skill in analysis, but on petty little things that make the teachers excited (and the fact that you get points for writing things the teachers like, but most professors don't take off points if you say something totally irrelevant).

I got my highest grade in 1L from the class I hated the most and studied the least for. All I did was bring in a bunch of handouts distributed in class and pretty much copied straight from them onto my exam...I didn't even try to answer the question honestly. But I got a great grade.

In my favorite class...the one I studied for more than all my other classes combined, I got a median grade. My answer looked basically like the model answer, except the model answer used twice as many words as I did in arriving at the answer.

Moral of the story: don't take grades personally. If you can ace law exams, that's great...and you should definitely use that to your advantage. If you can't, just remember that law exams don't really mean much. They don't measure any skills that might make you a good lawyer.

It's ironic and seemingly irrational that top firms care so much about grades that you get on a 3-hour typing race at the end of the semester that looks nothing like the practice of law. But it makes sense when you realize that billing out an Associate Attorney's hours when they graduated from the top of the class is simply a marketing opportunity, and nothing more. They don't even care whether you're a good lawyer or not...all they care about is their ability to bill you out at a higher rate, and "cum laude" after your name allows them to do that.

It's also frustrating when you realize that law school is not designed to teach you anything at all. People learn from feedback, trial, and error. You simply don't get that in law school. You can meet with your professor after your exams to ask them how to do better, but most professors don't even know what to tell you or why you got the grade that they did. So you never really learn any skills. With all the money you fork over, you'd think you'd get more one-on-one tutelage, but then you realize the truth: law school is simply a horrendous hazing ritual preventing lilly-livered people from entering the profession.

If I were to do it over again, I'd ignore all my black letter law classes and focus completely on legal writing and legal research, because even though those courses only make up 5 credits combined for your entire 1L year, they're the only classes in law school that actually teach you how to be a lawyer.


Bleh. Thanks for the late night pick-me-up :)

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JCougar
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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby JCougar » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:22 pm

0LNewbie wrote:
JCougar wrote:
840e wrote:For those who have already done 1L at Wash U, what was the most unanticipated hard thing about 1L? Obviously it is going to be a lot of work, lot of reading, exams are going to be hell, figuring out 1L summer work is going to be tough...

And on the flip side, any unexpected good surprises?

many thanks for all the help and insight that is provided on this board!


The hardest part about law school is realizing that law exams/grades aren't designed to mean much of anything. They're an incredibly crude, unsophisticated, and poorly-designed instrument and your grades are, for most people, pretty random. There are a few people who have the ability to beat the odds on the exams...if you're a left-brained incredibly smart person that has insane typing speed, you have the chance to do well.

The problem with law school exams is that the legal issues and "problems" are solvable by about 80% of the class...yet the professors are forced to curve them and only hand out a few top grades, etc. So your grade reflects very little about your ability to analyze legal issues or the work you put into the class. If you give a bunch of super-smart people an easy problem, they're all going to get it basically correct. But since there is a forced curve, the teachers have to differentiate the A's from the rest of the pack based on something. Figuring out what that "something" is is the big mystery about law school. Many of the professors won't tell you, and many of them don't even know. But because of this, your grade turns not on your skill in analysis, but on petty little things that make the teachers excited (and the fact that you get points for writing things the teachers like, but most professors don't take off points if you say something totally irrelevant).

I got my highest grade in 1L from the class I hated the most and studied the least for. All I did was bring in a bunch of handouts distributed in class and pretty much copied straight from them onto my exam...I didn't even try to answer the question honestly. But I got a great grade.

In my favorite class...the one I studied for more than all my other classes combined, I got a median grade. My answer looked basically like the model answer, except the model answer used twice as many words as I did in arriving at the answer.

Moral of the story: don't take grades personally. If you can ace law exams, that's great...and you should definitely use that to your advantage. If you can't, just remember that law exams don't really mean much. They don't measure any skills that might make you a good lawyer.

It's ironic and seemingly irrational that top firms care so much about grades that you get on a 3-hour typing race at the end of the semester that looks nothing like the practice of law. But it makes sense when you realize that billing out an Associate Attorney's hours when they graduated from the top of the class is simply a marketing opportunity, and nothing more. They don't even care whether you're a good lawyer or not...all they care about is their ability to bill you out at a higher rate, and "cum laude" after your name allows them to do that.

It's also frustrating when you realize that law school is not designed to teach you anything at all. People learn from feedback, trial, and error. You simply don't get that in law school. You can meet with your professor after your exams to ask them how to do better, but most professors don't even know what to tell you or why you got the grade that they did. So you never really learn any skills. With all the money you fork over, you'd think you'd get more one-on-one tutelage, but then you realize the truth: law school is simply a horrendous hazing ritual preventing lilly-livered people from entering the profession.

If I were to do it over again, I'd ignore all my black letter law classes and focus completely on legal writing and legal research, because even though those courses only make up 5 credits combined for your entire 1L year, they're the only classes in law school that actually teach you how to be a lawyer.


Bleh. Thanks for the late night pick-me-up :)


:D

There's plenty of things to enjoy about law school. The subject matter is actually pretty interesting to me. I don't mind studying and reading and going to class (except early morning class). I even think exams are kind of fun. The problem is, the way they're administered makes the grading process almost completely worthless in the existential sense.

Most of the professors here are completely awesome, bright, warm-hearted people. I only had one that was incompetent (and this one was so fundamentally incompetent, she had no business teaching anywhere). But it was just one class, and she's gone now. I love being around intelligent young people...law schools was such a dramatic change from my prior cubicle job where really, you have to put up with a lot of boring old dolts and closed-minded people.

St. Louis is also an incredibly cheap place to live...you can have fun for practically free, the train is free if you're a WUSTL student, lots of bars with crazy drink specials and happy hours. You can get pretty wasted for $10-$15 bucks if you know the right places. I'm out in DC this summer, and I actually kind of miss being able to go to a swanky neighborhood bar and down four Schlaflys and have the tab come out to $10. In DC, you'd be lucky to get two beers for that price.

Enjoy the finer things in law school. But also, do your best. Even if your "grades" are mediocre, if you do your best, you won't feel bad. The only thing that makes law school suck is the forced curve. A lot of the professors don't believe in the grading system because they're forced to differentiate among exams that are basically the same. But they have rules to follow, too. It's such a stupid system, I can't believe no one has tried to change it yet. Law is so tradition-based, though, that I doubt anything happens.

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Rock Chalk
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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby Rock Chalk » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:26 am

.
Last edited by Rock Chalk on Thu May 24, 2012 7:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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nyyankees
Posts: 484
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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby nyyankees » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:01 am

Rock Chalk wrote:
840e wrote:For those who have already done 1L at Wash U, what was the most unanticipated hard thing about 1L? Obviously it is going to be a lot of work, lot of reading, exams are going to be hell, figuring out 1L summer work is going to be tough...

And on the flip side, any unexpected good surprises?

many thanks for all the help and insight that is provided on this board!

Most positive surprise = my classmates.


oh except for Rock Chalk, he sucks. avoid the shit out of him. though his girlfriends dog is very cute

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TatteredDignity
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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:51 pm

JCougar wrote:
0LNewbie wrote:
JCougar wrote:
840e wrote:For those who have already done 1L at Wash U, what was the most unanticipated hard thing about 1L? Obviously it is going to be a lot of work, lot of reading, exams are going to be hell, figuring out 1L summer work is going to be tough...

And on the flip side, any unexpected good surprises?

many thanks for all the help and insight that is provided on this board!


The hardest part about law school is realizing that law exams/grades aren't designed to mean much of anything. They're an incredibly crude, unsophisticated, and poorly-designed instrument and your grades are, for most people, pretty random. There are a few people who have the ability to beat the odds on the exams...if you're a left-brained incredibly smart person that has insane typing speed, you have the chance to do well.

The problem with law school exams is that the legal issues and "problems" are solvable by about 80% of the class...yet the professors are forced to curve them and only hand out a few top grades, etc. So your grade reflects very little about your ability to analyze legal issues or the work you put into the class. If you give a bunch of super-smart people an easy problem, they're all going to get it basically correct. But since there is a forced curve, the teachers have to differentiate the A's from the rest of the pack based on something. Figuring out what that "something" is is the big mystery about law school. Many of the professors won't tell you, and many of them don't even know. But because of this, your grade turns not on your skill in analysis, but on petty little things that make the teachers excited (and the fact that you get points for writing things the teachers like, but most professors don't take off points if you say something totally irrelevant).

I got my highest grade in 1L from the class I hated the most and studied the least for. All I did was bring in a bunch of handouts distributed in class and pretty much copied straight from them onto my exam...I didn't even try to answer the question honestly. But I got a great grade.

In my favorite class...the one I studied for more than all my other classes combined, I got a median grade. My answer looked basically like the model answer, except the model answer used twice as many words as I did in arriving at the answer.

Moral of the story: don't take grades personally. If you can ace law exams, that's great...and you should definitely use that to your advantage. If you can't, just remember that law exams don't really mean much. They don't measure any skills that might make you a good lawyer.

It's ironic and seemingly irrational that top firms care so much about grades that you get on a 3-hour typing race at the end of the semester that looks nothing like the practice of law. But it makes sense when you realize that billing out an Associate Attorney's hours when they graduated from the top of the class is simply a marketing opportunity, and nothing more. They don't even care whether you're a good lawyer or not...all they care about is their ability to bill you out at a higher rate, and "cum laude" after your name allows them to do that.

It's also frustrating when you realize that law school is not designed to teach you anything at all. People learn from feedback, trial, and error. You simply don't get that in law school. You can meet with your professor after your exams to ask them how to do better, but most professors don't even know what to tell you or why you got the grade that they did. So you never really learn any skills. With all the money you fork over, you'd think you'd get more one-on-one tutelage, but then you realize the truth: law school is simply a horrendous hazing ritual preventing lilly-livered people from entering the profession.

If I were to do it over again, I'd ignore all my black letter law classes and focus completely on legal writing and legal research, because even though those courses only make up 5 credits combined for your entire 1L year, they're the only classes in law school that actually teach you how to be a lawyer.


Bleh. Thanks for the late night pick-me-up :)


:D

There's plenty of things to enjoy about law school. The subject matter is actually pretty interesting to me. I don't mind studying and reading and going to class (except early morning class). I even think exams are kind of fun. The problem is, the way they're administered makes the grading process almost completely worthless in the existential sense.

Most of the professors here are completely awesome, bright, warm-hearted people. I only had one that was incompetent (and this one was so fundamentally incompetent, she had no business teaching anywhere). But it was just one class, and she's gone now. I love being around intelligent young people...law schools was such a dramatic change from my prior cubicle job where really, you have to put up with a lot of boring old dolts and closed-minded people.

St. Louis is also an incredibly cheap place to live...you can have fun for practically free, the train is free if you're a WUSTL student, lots of bars with crazy drink specials and happy hours. You can get pretty wasted for $10-$15 bucks if you know the right places. I'm out in DC this summer, and I actually kind of miss being able to go to a swanky neighborhood bar and down four Schlaflys and have the tab come out to $10. In DC, you'd be lucky to get two beers for that price.

Enjoy the finer things in law school. But also, do your best. Even if your "grades" are mediocre, if you do your best, you won't feel bad. The only thing that makes law school suck is the forced curve. A lot of the professors don't believe in the grading system because they're forced to differentiate among exams that are basically the same. But they have rules to follow, too. It's such a stupid system, I can't believe no one has tried to change it yet. Law is so tradition-based, though, that I doubt anything happens.


I appreciate your putting a good face on it. STL is definitely great for all those QOL reasons. It's hard to downplay the importance of grades, though. I get the ever-more ominous feeling that we can either have it made or be left scrambling, all based on grading whims.

On a related note, you guys are planning to share info about how OCI is going, right? As in, more or fewer firms, etc.?

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stratocophic
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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby stratocophic » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:02 pm

0LNewbie wrote:
JCougar wrote:
0LNewbie wrote:
JCougar wrote:
The hardest part about law school is realizing that law exams/grades aren't designed to mean much of anything. They're an incredibly crude, unsophisticated, and poorly-designed instrument and your grades are, for most people, pretty random. There are a few people who have the ability to beat the odds on the exams...if you're a left-brained incredibly smart person that has insane typing speed, you have the chance to do well.

The problem with law school exams is that the legal issues and "problems" are solvable by about 80% of the class...yet the professors are forced to curve them and only hand out a few top grades, etc. So your grade reflects very little about your ability to analyze legal issues or the work you put into the class. If you give a bunch of super-smart people an easy problem, they're all going to get it basically correct. But since there is a forced curve, the teachers have to differentiate the A's from the rest of the pack based on something. Figuring out what that "something" is is the big mystery about law school. Many of the professors won't tell you, and many of them don't even know. But because of this, your grade turns not on your skill in analysis, but on petty little things that make the teachers excited (and the fact that you get points for writing things the teachers like, but most professors don't take off points if you say something totally irrelevant).

I got my highest grade in 1L from the class I hated the most and studied the least for. All I did was bring in a bunch of handouts distributed in class and pretty much copied straight from them onto my exam...I didn't even try to answer the question honestly. But I got a great grade.

In my favorite class...the one I studied for more than all my other classes combined, I got a median grade. My answer looked basically like the model answer, except the model answer used twice as many words as I did in arriving at the answer.

Moral of the story: don't take grades personally. If you can ace law exams, that's great...and you should definitely use that to your advantage. If you can't, just remember that law exams don't really mean much. They don't measure any skills that might make you a good lawyer.

It's ironic and seemingly irrational that top firms care so much about grades that you get on a 3-hour typing race at the end of the semester that looks nothing like the practice of law. But it makes sense when you realize that billing out an Associate Attorney's hours when they graduated from the top of the class is simply a marketing opportunity, and nothing more. They don't even care whether you're a good lawyer or not...all they care about is their ability to bill you out at a higher rate, and "cum laude" after your name allows them to do that.

It's also frustrating when you realize that law school is not designed to teach you anything at all. People learn from feedback, trial, and error. You simply don't get that in law school. You can meet with your professor after your exams to ask them how to do better, but most professors don't even know what to tell you or why you got the grade that they did. So you never really learn any skills. With all the money you fork over, you'd think you'd get more one-on-one tutelage, but then you realize the truth: law school is simply a horrendous hazing ritual preventing lilly-livered people from entering the profession.

If I were to do it over again, I'd ignore all my black letter law classes and focus completely on legal writing and legal research, because even though those courses only make up 5 credits combined for your entire 1L year, they're the only classes in law school that actually teach you how to be a lawyer.


Bleh. Thanks for the late night pick-me-up :)


:D

There's plenty of things to enjoy about law school. The subject matter is actually pretty interesting to me. I don't mind studying and reading and going to class (except early morning class). I even think exams are kind of fun. The problem is, the way they're administered makes the grading process almost completely worthless in the existential sense.

Most of the professors here are completely awesome, bright, warm-hearted people. I only had one that was incompetent (and this one was so fundamentally incompetent, she had no business teaching anywhere). But it was just one class, and she's gone now. I love being around intelligent young people...law schools was such a dramatic change from my prior cubicle job where really, you have to put up with a lot of boring old dolts and closed-minded people.

St. Louis is also an incredibly cheap place to live...you can have fun for practically free, the train is free if you're a WUSTL student, lots of bars with crazy drink specials and happy hours. You can get pretty wasted for $10-$15 bucks if you know the right places. I'm out in DC this summer, and I actually kind of miss being able to go to a swanky neighborhood bar and down four Schlaflys and have the tab come out to $10. In DC, you'd be lucky to get two beers for that price.

Enjoy the finer things in law school. But also, do your best. Even if your "grades" are mediocre, if you do your best, you won't feel bad. The only thing that makes law school suck is the forced curve. A lot of the professors don't believe in the grading system because they're forced to differentiate among exams that are basically the same. But they have rules to follow, too. It's such a stupid system, I can't believe no one has tried to change it yet. Law is so tradition-based, though, that I doubt anything happens.


I appreciate your putting a good face on it. STL is definitely great for all those QOL reasons. It's hard to downplay the importance of grades, though. I get the ever-more ominous feeling that we can either have it made or be left scrambling, all based on grading whims.

On a related note, you guys are planning to share info about how OCI is going, right? As in, more or fewer firms, etc.?
Slightly better than last hear, 5-10 more firms thus far is my estimate. The real hope is that firms that hire more heavily from WUSTL like Bryan Cave will have expanded their class sizes, IMO

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stratocophic
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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby stratocophic » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:14 pm

Fwiw I don't know anything about how much hiring is actually done through OCI. #of firms can be misleading, depending on how many each takes (often 0). You'll want to be all about the mass mailing and off-campus interview programs either way.

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TatteredDignity
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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:58 pm

stratocophic wrote:Fwiw I don't know anything about how much hiring is actually done through OCI. #of firms can be misleading, depending on how many each takes (often 0). You'll want to be all about the mass mailing and off-campus interview programs either way.


So, does that mean that hard GPA cutoffs aren't as big of a deal as they would be if more hiring were done through OCI?

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fl0w
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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby fl0w » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:27 pm

0LNewbie wrote:
stratocophic wrote:Fwiw I don't know anything about how much hiring is actually done through OCI. #of firms can be misleading, depending on how many each takes (often 0). You'll want to be all about the mass mailing and off-campus interview programs either way.


So, does that mean that hard GPA cutoffs aren't as big of a deal as they would be if more hiring were done through OCI?


From personal experience:
Do not let hard GPA cutoffs stop you from applying to a firm that you are truly interested in. Other factors can make up for the fact that you don't meet the cutoff and get you that screening interview. Like yrs of work experience, demonstrated leadership, CALI awards, amazing writing sample, etc.

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stratocophic
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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby stratocophic » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:29 pm

fl0w wrote:
0LNewbie wrote:
stratocophic wrote:Fwiw I don't know anything about how much hiring is actually done through OCI. #of firms can be misleading, depending on how many each takes (often 0). You'll want to be all about the mass mailing and off-campus interview programs either way.


So, does that mean that hard GPA cutoffs aren't as big of a deal as they would be if more hiring were done through OCI?


From personal experience:
Do not let hard GPA cutoffs stop you from applying to a firm that you are truly interested in. Other factors can make up for the fact that you don't meet the cutoff and get you that screening interview. Like yrs of work experience, demonstrated leadership, CALI awards, amazing writing sample, etc.

Absolute truth. Also, 1st principle of GPA cutoffs is that every firm either has no idea what grades they want, or are lying through their teeth to try and get LR people. Every knowledgeable 3L on TLS would say the same

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TatteredDignity
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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:38 pm

stratocophic wrote:
fl0w wrote:
0LNewbie wrote:
stratocophic wrote:Fwiw I don't know anything about how much hiring is actually done through OCI. #of firms can be misleading, depending on how many each takes (often 0). You'll want to be all about the mass mailing and off-campus interview programs either way.


So, does that mean that hard GPA cutoffs aren't as big of a deal as they would be if more hiring were done through OCI?


From personal experience:
Do not let hard GPA cutoffs stop you from applying to a firm that you are truly interested in. Other factors can make up for the fact that you don't meet the cutoff and get you that screening interview. Like yrs of work experience, demonstrated leadership, CALI awards, amazing writing sample, etc.

Absolute truth. Also, 1st principle of GPA cutoffs is that every firm either has no idea what grades they want, or are lying through their teeth to try and get LR people. Every knowledgeable 3L on TLS would say the same


Can you explain what you mean by this a little more? They lie as in, they guess what GPA corresponds to what class rank to try to get the top 10% (and thus law review)? I know it's a little early to be worrying about all this, but that doesn't stop me from being curious.

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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby stratocophic » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:50 pm

0LNewbie wrote:
stratocophic wrote:
fl0w wrote:
0LNewbie wrote:
So, does that mean that hard GPA cutoffs aren't as big of a deal as they would be if more hiring were done through OCI?


From personal experience:
Do not let hard GPA cutoffs stop you from applying to a firm that you are truly interested in. Other factors can make up for the fact that you don't meet the cutoff and get you that screening interview. Like yrs of work experience, demonstrated leadership, CALI awards, amazing writing sample, etc.

Absolute truth. Also, 1st principle of GPA cutoffs is that every firm either has no idea what grades they want, or are lying through their teeth to try and get LR people. Every knowledgeable 3L on TLS would say the same


Can you explain what you mean by this a little more? They lie as in, they guess what GPA corresponds to what class rank to try to get the top 10% (and thus law review)? I know it's a little early to be worrying about all this, but that doesn't stop me from being curious.
It's mostly just that 3Ls on TLS have all seen instances of firms doing it. It really isn't all that mechanical for most firms - they're looking to fill specific needs. Lawfirmrecruiter's thread gives some insight into this kind of thing.

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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby Hannibal » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:54 am

Do you guys know anything about Barely Legal Theater and the Devil's Advocate (whether they actually exist/how one would join them)?

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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby fl0w » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:56 am

Hannibal wrote:Do you guys know anything about Barely Legal Theater and the Devil's Advocate (whether they actually exist/how one would join them)?


barely legal certainly exists. just sign up / audition.
I think devil's advocate does but i dunno anything about it.

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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby stratocophic » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:18 am

stratocophic wrote:It's mostly just that 3Ls on TLS have all seen instances of firms doing it. It really isn't all that mechanical for most firms - they're looking to fill specific needs. Lawfirmrecruiter's thread gives some insight into this kind of thing.
Just reread that and realized it wasn't actually an explanation sooo...

Basically what it means is that firms have varying degrees of honesty and realism when they select cutoffs. Some are...'overly optimistic'... when they pick theirs, and others list a minimum GPA where you get the feeling that you'd have to be a partner's child to have those grades and still end up at that type of firm.

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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:29 am

stratocophic wrote:
stratocophic wrote:It's mostly just that 3Ls on TLS have all seen instances of firms doing it. It really isn't all that mechanical for most firms - they're looking to fill specific needs. Lawfirmrecruiter's thread gives some insight into this kind of thing.
Just reread that and realized it wasn't actually an explanation sooo...

Basically what it means is that firms have varying degrees of honesty and realism when they select cutoffs. Some are...'overly optimistic'... when they pick theirs, and others list a minimum GPA where you get the feeling that you'd have to be a partner's child to have those grades and still end up at that type of firm.


Thanks for clarifying.

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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:45 pm

I agree with jcougar on just about everything he said (the profs here are great, STL can be fun if you make it fun, law school is a game and things can often happen that are just inexplicable, etc.). Law school exams can no doubt be silly at times and involve a lot of luck. But I just have to disagree with the notion that grades are "random" or meaningless. That view, IMO, is unfair to the people who rocked 1L and finished in the top 10% or whatever. Those people didn't get there because of some roll of the dice; they got there because they are very smart and worked hard, and they did something on the exam that others did not.

Are there some people who also are very smart and worked hard, and didn't do as well as they would have liked (or maybe even as well as they should have done)? Certainly. I know of quite a few people with mediocre grades who are incredibly sharp and worked really hard. I also know of a lot of people who had one inexplicable bad grade, or their grades sharply declined second semester for no apparent reason. There is a good deal of luck involved, and sometimes arbitrary things happen with grading. But I really have a hard time with people calling them "random," because almost every person I know at the top of the class deserves to be there. They often stood out during the year as being particularly insightful, or they took the lead during study groups, or they simply studied uber-hard. If you asked me to predict the top 10% midway through the year, I'll bet I could have spotted at least half of them (and I also probably could have told you, just based on observations in class and in conversations with people outside of class, a lot of the people who would wind up at median or below). There isn't a perfect correlation between smarts/work ethic/writing skills/etc. and grades, but it isn't random.

I also disagree strongly with focusing the most on LP. For one thing, the class is only 2 credits and the curve is very tight, so it won't really affect your GPA much. And I'm not even so sure I agree with jcougar that it teaches you how to be a lawyer. The memos and briefs I've written this summer are nothing like the ones I wrote in LP, and I've gotten good reviews of my writing by my supervisors. Almost any firm or agency you wind up with is going to teach you how to do it "their way," and every lawyer has a very different style. LP teaches you one rigid, uniform style, and that really frustrated me. It gave me a good baseline for legal writing and allowed me to practice skills like citation (which, as an aside, I've also found to be slightly overrated in terms of importance in the real world), but that's about it. I did love my LP Prof Jane Moul though, so those of you 0Ls who have her should be excited!

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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:50 pm

stratocophic wrote:On a related note, you guys are planning to share info about how OCI is going, right? As in, more or fewer firms, etc.?
Slightly better than last hear, 5-10 more firms thus far is my estimate. The real hope is that firms that hire more heavily from WUSTL like Bryan Cave will have expanded their class sizes, IMO[/quote]
And I know from good sources that they arent... :(

The problem with the STL market is that it just ain't big enough. There are some individual firms in Chicago with SA classes comparable to all the NLJ 250 or comparable firms SA classes in STL combined. There are only a few firms that hire more than 5 SAs, and a few hire only 1-2. For those firms with very small SA sizes, the average student (even with good grades) stands almost no shot. That position is probably going to somebody who knows somebody.

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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby fl0w » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:50 pm

In reference to LP
romothesavior wrote:I'm not even so sure I agree with jcougar that it teaches you how to be a lawyer. The memos and briefs I've written this summer are nothing like the ones I wrote in LP, and I've gotten good reviews of my writing by my supervisors. Almost any firm or agency you wind up with is going to teach you how to do it "their way," and every lawyer has a very different style. LP teaches you one rigid, uniform style, and that really frustrated me. It gave me a good baseline for legal writing and allowed me to practice skills like citation (which, as an aside, I've also found to be slightly overrated in terms of importance in the real world), but that's about it. I did love my LP Prof Jane Moul though, so those of you 0Ls who have her should be excited!


This will depend on your prof and your experience and what you end up doing for summer. Doing an externship for the court, my LP work is so so directly applicable. I read briefs that look exactly like what we wrote and I'm writing bench memos and court orders/opinions. LP is exactly the class that prepared me to do this job and the writing sample from LP is what got me the position.

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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby stratocophic » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:01 pm

Truth (re:STL). Glad I'm not dead set on staying any more :lol: I'm thinking Kirkland Chicago will be close to STL's combined number this year, and them plus Sidley will destroy it. I'm more hoping that BC picks some of us up through OCI for other markets, but I dunno whether they've got any preference for us because we're down the street and there are a lot of alums there (and they've got that One Office culture thing). One can hope.

Edit for cellphone quote fail

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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby TatteredDignity » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:41 pm

romothesavior wrote:I agree with jcougar on just about everything he said (the profs here are great, STL can be fun if you make it fun, law school is a game and things can often happen that are just inexplicable, etc.). Law school exams can no doubt be silly at times and involve a lot of luck. But I just have to disagree with the notion that grades are "random" or meaningless. That view, IMO, is unfair to the people who rocked 1L and finished in the top 10% or whatever. Those people didn't get there because of some roll of the dice; they got there because they are very smart and worked hard, and they did something on the exam that others did not.

Are there some people who also are very smart and worked hard, and didn't do as well as they would have liked (or maybe even as well as they should have done)? Certainly. I know of quite a few people with mediocre grades who are incredibly sharp and worked really hard. I also know of a lot of people who had one inexplicable bad grade, or their grades sharply declined second semester for no apparent reason. There is a good deal of luck involved, and sometimes arbitrary things happen with grading. But I really have a hard time with people calling them "random," because almost every person I know at the top of the class deserves to be there. They often stood out during the year as being particularly insightful, or they took the lead during study groups, or they simply studied uber-hard. If you asked me to predict the top 10% midway through the year, I'll bet I could have spotted at least half of them (and I also probably could have told you, just based on observations in class and in conversations with people outside of class, a lot of the people who would wind up at median or below). There isn't a perfect correlation between smarts/work ethic/writing skills/etc. and grades, but it isn't random.


This is a slightly more comforting view than Cougar's. So, basically, if you happen to be really smart and you work hard, you have a good chance of not getting unlucky and ending up median. Sweet.

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Re: WUSTL 2L Taking Questions

Postby fl0w » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:50 pm

0LNewbie wrote:
This is a slightly more comforting view than Cougar's. So, basically, if you happen to be really smart and you work hard, you have a good chance of not getting unlucky and ending up median. Sweet.


I really think you read some things into that which are not empirically true. Or at least may have overstated the confidence level, haha.

"Good chance" and "not getting unlucky" are both wide-range variables.
But, in the end... yes, it's possible to do well in law school. I would just leave it at that.

I lied. I would also remind you that 90% are not in the top 10% of the class.




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