UChi Students & Alumni Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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PopTorts13
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby PopTorts13 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:15 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:Gunners flocking IN DROVES to Richard Epstein's class.


Definitely not a gunner, but knowing this makes me second guess bidding on this class. Gunners absolutely ruin my education and I prefer to pick a class with as few of them as possible. My current courses have a few that run wild in contracts and crim.

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Xifeng
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Xifeng » Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:50 pm

The only reason I'd err on the side of not taking evidence is it might be covered on the bar, and so you might remember less.

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Rahviveh
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Rahviveh » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:26 pm

I think I'm leaning towards Leiter's class right now. In my limited experience at this law school the d-bags make for great professors. Does anyone know if he's known to dish out B-'s? (a hot topic on TLS as of late, so maybe someone could comment on this in general).

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PopTorts13
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby PopTorts13 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:35 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:I think I'm leaning towards Leiter's class right now. In my limited experience at this law school the d-bags make for great professors. Does anyone know if he's known to dish out B-'s? (a hot topic on TLS as of late, so maybe someone could comment on this in general).


You must be in a different group than me because Henderson and Strahilevitz are a couple of my favorite professors and they are absolutely not "d-bags".

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Rahviveh
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Rahviveh » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:38 pm

PopTorts13 wrote:
ChampagnePapi wrote:I think I'm leaning towards Leiter's class right now. In my limited experience at this law school the d-bags make for great professors. Does anyone know if he's known to dish out B-'s? (a hot topic on TLS as of late, so maybe someone could comment on this in general).


You must be in a different group than me because Henderson and Strahilevitz are a couple of my favorite professors and they are absolutely not "d-bags".


LS is boring to me but I think I just don't like property. I can see why other people like him.

WheninLaw
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby WheninLaw » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:08 pm

ChampagnePapi wrote:I think I'm leaning towards Leiter's class right now. In my limited experience at this law school the d-bags make for great professors. Does anyone know if he's known to dish out B-'s? (a hot topic on TLS as of late, so maybe someone could comment on this in general).


Leiter is not afraid to give out very low grades for 1L electives.

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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby WheninLaw » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:09 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:
WheninLaw wrote:As a general comment - y'all are way too fixated on how professors hand out grades. The best advice I received last year, on picking my elective, was from a 3L with insane grades. He said "take what interests you." People tend to do better in classes they care about (which should seem obvious). It makes me laugh when people take X class, that they could care less about, because Y professor gives a lot of median grades. Really?

It depends on the firm practice area, but I doubt many of these would help (maybe Evidence?) and the firms certainly do not care. Maybe they might ask why you took Crim Pro if you want to do transactional work, who knows. Seriously though, this is your one opportunity all year to take the class you want to take. Do it.

2014's assessments sounded spot-on to me. FWIW, I loved the Hammer for Property. Buss is great. Epstein will not teach you law, but it will be entertaining. Leiter is a good professor. Nou is intense and new. Fennell is clear, though dry at times.
Although I understand where you're coming from, I think you're misunderstanding the reasoning here. Approximately 0 of the classes being offered as electives interest me or have much to do with what I want to do after law school. Accordingly, since I cannot pick a course based off interest, I want to base it off "easiness" so that I can spend time doing more things outside of school that actually interest me. :P


Fair enough. I'd figure out if any are offering your preferred style of final (take-home? paper? 3 hour? 2 hour?) and prioritize those. Otherwise, Legislation is widely assumed to be the most difficult.

Frozen98
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Frozen98 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:32 pm

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Last edited by Frozen98 on Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

20141023
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 20141023 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:39 pm

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Last edited by 20141023 on Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PopTorts13
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby PopTorts13 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 10:04 pm

Does anyone have insight on how they format their notes/outline so that it is a useful tool on exams? I made my own last quarter and felt as if I understood the information, but my grades were horrendous.

I'm curious to read what some of you did and it seems like most of you did well in at least one of your classes.

Thanks for any help; we're at the half-way point of our first year and I am hoping to bounce back strong on this quarter's exams!

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2014
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:08 am

kappycaft1 wrote:
AspiringAcademic wrote:If the list of electives is getting you down about this law school business, there does appear to be some progress in alternate career paths:
http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-a ... cafe/8200/
Let's just say that this might be my backup plan just in case the whole biglaw thing doesn't work out. I might even go in house at one of the cafes if they're up and running by 2016.

Thank you, 2014, for the detailed info about each teacher / class. There is no way in hell that I am voluntarily subjecting myself to "The Hammer" before OCI.

I am leaning towards Foreign Relations Law with Abebe or Jurisprudence I with Leiter. When you say that Abebe "didn't add much value," do you mean that if you read stuff for class there was basically no reason to attend because he just covered the material, or the entire class in general was a waste? Also, of these two professors, which one is more generous with grading (as in they don't have the huge spectrum of grades the Hemtoltz supposedly has)?

The knock I heard on him was that he didn't seem to actually know much about the class, he was just regurgitating notes which came straight from the book/previous teacher's syllabus which made the class feel like a waste. In terms of "easiness" it might not be the worst idea if that criticism of him is true though.

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2014
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:16 am

PopTorts13 wrote:Does anyone have insight on how they format their notes/outline so that it is a useful tool on exams? I made my own last quarter and felt as if I understood the information, but my grades were horrendous.

I'm curious to read what some of you did and it seems like most of you did well in at least one of your classes.

Thanks for any help; we're at the half-way point of our first year and I am hoping to bounce back strong on this quarter's exams!

The good news is you can definitely do it, first quarter was my worst as well and it's the least important one. It's important to remember that Elements is a unique class and the take home structure of Civ Pro 1 is rare as well.

In my opinion, the outlines are just a tool to internalize massive amounts of information. Both in my experience with classes I did better in and from people who I know did well in those and other classes, usually you basically don't reference them at all on finals. The ones you do the best on are the ones you know cold and can just sit there and answer without pause. The people who can best do this are often the ones who produce the best outlines but it's not a causal thing imo, it's a correlation thing influenced by work ethic and the ability to distill information down into something readable.

Have you had the academic counselors or either first quarter teacher go through your exam with you? It's not something I ever did last year, but in hindsight I think it would have been useful to have someone make suggestions about ways to better organize my exams because in reality you probably had basically all of the right information in there, you just organized it less successfully than others.

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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Xifeng » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:21 pm

I always use my outlines on exams, but I also always know where to look when I see an issue (like I'm not reading through my outline to see what the problem is, just to get more details and cover everything). But other than that, I second 2014's recommendations. How you write the exam is really key.

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PopTorts13
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby PopTorts13 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:02 pm

Xifeng wrote:I always use my outlines on exams, but I also always know where to look when I see an issue (like I'm not reading through my outline to see what the problem is, just to get more details and cover everything). But other than that, I second 2014's recommendations. How you write the exam is really key.



With that being said, what is a generally safe way to format answers? I was going with the: 1) spot the issue and say what it is; 2) state the rule; 3) give an argument and counter argument and 4) come with a conclusion.

I'm guessing that diving into some of the spotted issues more than others helps too? Consensus from my profs was that I spotted the issues but that I need to improve the structure. They both said they didn't want to recommend a certain way to format because every prof looks for something different.

Just wondering if there is a general format that if followed could help me steer clear from another quarter of low grades?

I usually don't study in groups because things tend to get off track; perhaps I wasn't with a study group that would work best for me. Also, I met with an academic counselor and they helped me lay out a plan for when I should have my outlines done and basically gave me a pep talk saying that things will improve and that taking law exams is a skill in its self, not always a reflection of who understands the information the best and that the fall quarter is worth as much as one of the Torts or Property finals. Although it did give me a warm and fuzzy, I'm ready to make my numbers rise.

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Crowing
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Crowing » Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:43 pm

PopTorts13 wrote:
Xifeng wrote:I always use my outlines on exams, but I also always know where to look when I see an issue (like I'm not reading through my outline to see what the problem is, just to get more details and cover everything). But other than that, I second 2014's recommendations. How you write the exam is really key.



With that being said, what is a generally safe way to format answers? I was going with the: 1) spot the issue and say what it is; 2) state the rule; 3) give an argument and counter argument and 4) come with a conclusion.

I'm guessing that diving into some of the spotted issues more than others helps too? Consensus from my profs was that I spotted the issues but that I need to improve the structure. They both said they didn't want to recommend a certain way to format because every prof looks for something different.

Just wondering if there is a general format that if followed could help me steer clear from another quarter of low grades?

I usually don't study in groups because things tend to get off track; perhaps I wasn't with a study group that would work best for me. Also, I met with an academic counselor and they helped me lay out a plan for when I should have my outlines done and basically gave me a pep talk saying that things will improve and that taking law exams is a skill in its self, not always a reflection of who understands the information the best and that the fall quarter is worth as much as one of the Torts or Property finals. Although it did give me a warm and fuzzy, I'm ready to make my numbers rise.


The top three exams from Hubbard's civ pro last quarter are on the library site now. You could compare those to your own to get an idea of structuring.

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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:33 am

I did bolded sections for issue spotters, it helps to spoon feed the teachers. Rambling is a risky and probably losing strategy. Breaking things into paragraphs instead of word blocks is key too, especially if you can convey in the opening sentence where the paragraph is going. Makes it easier for them to give you the benefit of the doubt. No professor sans Baird reads every word so the idea is to help draw their eye to the areas that are most persuasive and have the most points possible.

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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Xifeng » Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:21 pm

I'd compare your exam to the model answers (the memos cover way more than you'd be expected to), perhaps go over the exam with an academic counselor, and definitely go over the exam with the professor. The latter two can show you where, even when you thought what you were saying was clear, it wasn't, or the professor can give you insight into what they were looking for (and how yours differs).

And headings are great.

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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby funkyturds » Sun Feb 09, 2014 3:46 pm

Epstein is entertaining and his tests are always just black letter law. Ignore the gunners, enjoy the class, buy a good supplement, and you're good for at least a 177 in my experience.

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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 20141023 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:16 pm

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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Xifeng » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:25 pm

kappycaft1 wrote:How is Fennell in terms of grading for a 1L elective? I have her right now for property and am considering taking her again since her class seems pretty straightforward, but the one thing that I don't know yet is whether she is one of "those professors" who likes to give a big spread of grades. :P


I haven't heard of her having that reputation. For 1L electives I'm pretty sure that's just Helmholz.

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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:27 pm

I'd be stunned if Fennel's curve was anything other than a perfectly moderate one. She doesn't seem like a ruffle feathers type.

My grade on her half of torts correlated very well with how I perceived my effort and understanding if that helps at all.

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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Optimist Prime » Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:47 pm

Hi guys, 0L here. I've been admitted to HLS and am going to have my U Chicago interview in the next few weeks. My goals for law school are biglaw --> corporate council and on paper Chicago and HLS look very similar for this outcome, with the largest difference being that U Chi might give me a scholarship whereas at HLS I will get $0 in aid. I was wondering if anyone could offer a student (or graduate) perspective on what you view as differentiating the U Chicago experience from HLS?

If this question is too broad and needs clarification please let me know. Thanks in advance,

Optimist

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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Fri Feb 14, 2014 1:57 pm

Our class size is half of Harvard's which means here you will know a larger portion (or even all) of your classmates. It's likely easier to develop mentor relationships with faculty here because of the student body size coupled with a still robust faculty. We likely offer less electives, but the other side of that is that you can basically get into every class you want here whereas I imagine limited enrollment classes are more likely to quickly be over subscribed at H. It's likely there are some classes that H offers regularly that we only offer once a year or every other year though. Because we are on the quarter system you will have more opportunities to take more electives too since you pick classes 3x a year.

The quarter system w/ grades probably produces a marginally more challenging experience here first year when it matters the most, but the difference is overstated. If you put our grading system on top of the HP/P/LP scale, it's basically the same deal. Most people "pass" or end up at median, everyone tries hard hoping for HP, and a few end up at LP. Just subbing in numbers really only matters if you care about the minutiae but employers don't seem to care much. When you take your first set of exams here only 15% of your first year grades are on the line which allows you to grow and adapt better than having 50% at stake before you know what you are doing.

It really comes down to career goals, cost, and geography though. If you just want biglaw and want to work in NY/Chicago/DC, then we place as well if not better than HLS and will do so for less debt. If you want a smaller market where networking might matter more, H might give you an advantage. I think H likely gives you a clerkship advantage, but I don't know how much since clerking is largely self selection. If you have a preference or aversion to Boston or Chicago that factors in as well.

Feel free to ask specific questions for clarification. FYI at equal debt even I, the biggest of Chicago shills, would take HLS, but it wouldn't take much in the way of cost differential for that to shift to Chicago, especially with generic big law ambitions.

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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby beepboopbeep » Fri Feb 14, 2014 2:11 pm

2014 wrote:Our class size is half of Harvard's which means here you will know a larger portion (or even all) of your classmates. It's likely easier to develop mentor relationships with faculty here because of the student body size coupled with a still robust faculty. We likely offer less electives, but the other side of that is that you can basically get into every class you want here whereas I imagine limited enrollment classes are more likely to quickly be over subscribed at H. It's likely there are some classes that H offers regularly that we only offer once a year or every other year though. Because we are on the quarter system you will have more opportunities to take more electives too since you pick classes 3x a year.

The quarter system w/ grades probably produces a marginally more challenging experience here first year when it matters the most, but the difference is overstated. If you put our grading system on top of the HP/P/LP scale, it's basically the same deal. Most people "pass" or end up at median, everyone tries hard hoping for HP, and a few end up at LP. Just subbing in numbers really only matters if you care about the minutiae but employers don't seem to care much. When you take your first set of exams here only 15% of your first year grades are on the line which allows you to grow and adapt better than having 50% at stake before you know what you are doing.

It really comes down to career goals, cost, and geography though. If you just want biglaw and want to work in NY/Chicago/DC, then we place as well if not better than HLS and will do so for less debt. If you want a smaller market where networking might matter more, H might give you an advantage. I think H likely gives you a clerkship advantage, but I don't know how much since clerking is largely self selection. If you have a preference or aversion to Boston or Chicago that factors in as well.

Feel free to ask specific questions for clarification. FYI at equal debt even I, the biggest of Chicago shills, would take HLS, but it wouldn't take much in the way of cost differential for that to shift to Chicago, especially with generic big law ambitions.


TCR. Only addition I would make* - from a couple conversations with people in the know, HLS's big advantage is getting you a job in an area where a non-lawyer is making a hiring decision. Lawyers know how good our school is; some rando in BigGov/Corporate in-house HR might not. If your long-term goal is corporate counsel, this probably swings against us a bit given the gap in lay prestige. Though TBH having attended UC for undergrad, that gap is narrowing (though it will probably never disappear - the layman's view tends to put Harvard at the top for everything even when it's not). And mileage will vary w/r/t who does the hiring for in-house at different companies.

*take this with the necessary grains of salt given that I'm a 1L

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Optimist Prime
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Optimist Prime » Fri Feb 14, 2014 3:43 pm

beepboopbeep wrote:
2014 wrote:Our class size is half of Harvard's which means here you will know a larger portion (or even all) of your classmates. It's likely easier to develop mentor relationships with faculty here because of the student body size coupled with a still robust faculty. We likely offer less electives, but the other side of that is that you can basically get into every class you want here whereas I imagine limited enrollment classes are more likely to quickly be over subscribed at H. It's likely there are some classes that H offers regularly that we only offer once a year or every other year though. Because we are on the quarter system you will have more opportunities to take more electives too since you pick classes 3x a year.

The quarter system w/ grades probably produces a marginally more challenging experience here first year when it matters the most, but the difference is overstated. If you put our grading system on top of the HP/P/LP scale, it's basically the same deal. Most people "pass" or end up at median, everyone tries hard hoping for HP, and a few end up at LP. Just subbing in numbers really only matters if you care about the minutiae but employers don't seem to care much. When you take your first set of exams here only 15% of your first year grades are on the line which allows you to grow and adapt better than having 50% at stake before you know what you are doing.

It really comes down to career goals, cost, and geography though. If you just want biglaw and want to work in NY/Chicago/DC, then we place as well if not better than HLS and will do so for less debt. If you want a smaller market where networking might matter more, H might give you an advantage. I think H likely gives you a clerkship advantage, but I don't know how much since clerking is largely self selection. If you have a preference or aversion to Boston or Chicago that factors in as well.

Feel free to ask specific questions for clarification. FYI at equal debt even I, the biggest of Chicago shills, would take HLS, but it wouldn't take much in the way of cost differential for that to shift to Chicago, especially with generic big law ambitions.


TCR. Only addition I would make* - from a couple conversations with people in the know, HLS's big advantage is getting you a job in an area where a non-lawyer is making a hiring decision. Lawyers know how good our school is; some rando in BigGov/Corporate in-house HR might not. If your long-term goal is corporate counsel, this probably swings against us a bit given the gap in lay prestige. Though TBH having attended UC for undergrad, that gap is narrowing (though it will probably never disappear - the layman's view tends to put Harvard at the top for everything even when it's not). And mileage will vary w/r/t who does the hiring for in-house at different companies.

*take this with the necessary grains of salt given that I'm a 1L


Thank you both, for those very helpful and even-handed responses. I'm in that middle class valley where I won't get any need-based aid from HLS, so I expect that the cost difference will be around 90K if things play out according to LSN data. Only having 15% of your first year grades on the line during your first exam because of your classes being spread vs. 50% is an interesting perspective that I had not thought about. I dislike how much of your future is determined by first semester exams, but had expected it was just something I would have to come to terms with.

Class size and collegiality is another thing I'm very interested in. I know this is subjective, but how is the student atmosphere at U Chi? Also, I'd be very interested to hear what people love about going to school there. I'm sure all of you had amazing options, was there anything about U Chi that wowed you?




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