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.
Wedge Antilles
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Wedge Antilles » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:41 pm

Corporate lab is probably the biggest sham at the law school. This can either disproportionately benefit you, or it can disproportionately screw you as seen from the post above-I know of plenty of other people who received low grades undeservedly. I hated almost every minute of my time in corporate lab and didn't receive bad grades. Hopefully something changes in the future because the program could be awesome but the professors are terrible and student directors are almost universally the worst, both because they have been chosen by the professors and because they grow to enjoy exerting power over others.

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elterrible78
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby elterrible78 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:44 pm

WheninLaw wrote:
CorporateLab wrote:Words about Corporate Lab


I disagree, though not surprised since bad grades in non-exam classes often provoke a visceral response.

Anyway, I had a great experience in the Lab, and am happy to discuss via PM. Seems pointless to argue about this here.

edit: being less of a jerk


I got a good grade, and I think the post was pretty on point. Also happy to discuss with anyone at all via PM.

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Rahviveh
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Rahviveh » Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:51 pm

Wedge Antilles wrote:Corporate lab is probably the biggest sham at the law school. This can either disproportionately benefit you, or it can disproportionately screw you as seen from the post above-I know of plenty of other people who received low grades undeservedly. I hated almost every minute of my time in corporate lab and didn't receive bad grades. Hopefully something changes in the future because the program could be awesome but the professors are terrible and student directors are almost universally the worst, both because they have been chosen by the professors and because they grow to enjoy exerting power over others.


If you don't care about your grades the solution is to just not take on responsibility or any leadership positions. That way you can avoid dealing with those people.

CorporateLab
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby CorporateLab » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:12 pm

WheninLaw wrote:
CorporateLab wrote:Words about Corporate Lab


I disagree, though not surprised since bad grades in non-exam classes often provoke a visceral response.

Anyway, I had a great experience in the Lab, and am happy to discuss via PM. Seems pointless to argue about this here.

edit: being less of a jerk
I got good grades each quarter in the Corporate Lab. I did not take on any leadership positions. However, I had friends who did more (and probably better) work than me get destroyed when it came to grading.

Thanks for the assumptions though!
Last edited by CorporateLab on Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

secadc11
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby secadc11 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 6:13 pm

Anyone mind sharing perspectives on the pros/cons of the quarter system?

random number
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby random number » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:08 pm

secadc11 wrote:Anyone mind sharing perspectives on the pros/cons of the quarter system?


1L here.

Pros:
- The first quarter only has two exams, each worth 7.5% of your total 1L grades. These low stakes let you ease into law school, giving you a sense of how to study, take exams, and deal with pressure. I can't overstate how relieving it was to know that half of my 1L performance didn't hang on my first shot at a law school exam (which is a learned skill in and of itself).

-The low-stress first quarter provides you with a good amount of free time, meaning that you have time to socialize with classmates and take advantage of school activities.

- Rather than taking two sets of four exams, you will take two exams 1st quarter, two 2nd, and four 3rd quarter (but one of these is a one-quarter elective exam that is held a week prior to the other three). This means that you have fewer exams to study for at one time (compared to your peers at most other law schools who take 4 exams a semester). I found that this helped me focus more on the material, as I didn't have to divide my attention between as many subjects.

- Both first quarter exams, and two of the four 3rd quarter exams, only cover one quarter (10 weeks) of material. This lets you put more time into studying for the more intense two-quarter classes

Cons:
- Having three, instead of two "exam periods."If you find exam time particularly stressful, having an extra round of tests might be overwhelming. However, this is counterbalanced by point 3 above, for you have less material to learn in each exam period.

- Getting done late. We don't finish until the first week of June, while other schools finish nearly a month earlier. However, we also don't start until late September.



On the whole, I really really like the quarter system. Again, I can't emphasize enough how nice it is to have your first experience with law school exams be a low-stakes endeavor rather than something that dictates 1/2 of the critical first year. Also, I didn't mind starting/ending late.
Last edited by random number on Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

WheninLaw
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby WheninLaw » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:08 pm

CorporateLab wrote:
WheninLaw wrote:
CorporateLab wrote:Words about Corporate Lab


I disagree, though not surprised since bad grades in non-exam classes often provoke a visceral response.

Anyway, I had a great experience in the Lab, and am happy to discuss via PM. Seems pointless to argue about this here.

edit: being less of a jerk
I got good grades each quarter in the Corporate Lab. I did not take on any leadership positions. However, I had friends who did more (and probably better) work than me get destroyed when it came to grading.

Thanks for the assumptions though!


Your anecdote is sure worthwhile!

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elterrible78
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby elterrible78 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:22 pm

WheninLaw wrote:Your anecdote is sure worthwhile!


At the risk of winding up what is almost surely going to devolve into a silly pissing contest, three other people just in this thread basically said the same thing: we got good grades, but found that post about corp lab to be largely accurate. It's not just one student's anecdote, but a fairly common experience. Obviously, there are some people who enjoy corp lab and find it worthwhile, but there is a pretty large contingent of students who think it's a joke, and it's not just sour grapes.

CorporateLab
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby CorporateLab » Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:46 pm

WheninLaw wrote:Your anecdote is sure worthwhile!
If I had to take a guess, you fell into one of the categories I mentioned on the previous page, didn't you? If not, I apologize for being pretentious and am glad that you were able to enjoy your time in the Corporate Lab. However, if you did, then this conversation strongly supports the point I was trying to make about the personality types that will probably enjoy the Corporate Lab.

secadc11
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby secadc11 » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:16 pm

random number wrote:
secadc11 wrote:Anyone mind sharing perspectives on the pros/cons of the quarter system?


1L here.

Pros:
- The first quarter only has two exams, each worth 7.5% of your total 1L grades. These low stakes let you ease into law school, giving you a sense of how to study, take exams, and deal with pressure. I can't overstate how relieving it was to know that half of my 1L performance didn't hang on my first shot at a law school exam (which is a learned skill in and of itself).

-The low-stress first quarter provides you with a good amount of free time, meaning that you have time to socialize with classmates and take advantage of school activities.

- Rather than taking two sets of four exams, you will take two exams 1st quarter, two 2nd, and four 3rd quarter (but one of these is a one-quarter elective exam that is held a week prior to the other three). This means that you have fewer exams to study for at one time (compared to your peers at most other law schools who take 4 exams a semester). I found that this helped me focus more on the material, as I didn't have to divide my attention between as many subjects.

- Both first quarter exams, and two of the four 3rd quarter exams, only cover one quarter (10 weeks) of material. This lets you put more time into studying for the more intense two-quarter classes

Cons:
- Having three, instead of two "exam periods."If you find exam time particularly stressful, having an extra round of tests might be overwhelming. However, this is counterbalanced by point 3 above, for you have less material to learn in each exam period.

- Getting done late. We don't finish until the first week of June, while other schools finish nearly a month earlier. However, we also don't start until late September.



On the whole, I really really like the quarter system. Again, I can't emphasize enough how nice it is to have your first experience with law school exams be a low-stakes endeavor rather than something that dictates 1/2 of the critical first year. Also, I didn't mind starting/ending late.


Very helpful; thanks a lot!

WheninLaw
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby WheninLaw » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:19 pm

elterrible78 wrote:
WheninLaw wrote:Your anecdote is sure worthwhile!


At the risk of winding up what is almost surely going to devolve into a silly pissing contest, three other people just in this thread basically said the same thing: we got good grades, but found that post about corp lab to be largely accurate. It's not just one student's anecdote, but a fairly common experience. Obviously, there are some people who enjoy corp lab and find it worthwhile, but there is a pretty large contingent of students who think it's a joke, and it's not just sour grapes.


Fair enough. I will say that it very closely mirrored a law firm, and I think it does a huge service by indicating to a lot of students that they lack skills they need to develop (interfacing, personality, writing, etc.). Whether the Lab teaches those skills - reasonable minds can disagree.
Last edited by WheninLaw on Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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skers
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby skers » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:20 pm

secadc11 wrote:Anyone mind sharing perspectives on the pros/cons of the quarter system?


Good: I think it's pretty great to ease into the law school process and get what's kind of a trial run w/ the fall q exams. You get to take more classes and experience more profs and that variety is really rad. There are classes I probably wouldn't have taken if we'd had just a semester system. The extra time in the summer is fantastic. I got to just play for two months before 3L.

Bad: spring q really blows. I really hate how they do finals for it, especially for 1Ls (you take your elective exam, then have another week of class, then take exams). There are times you feel like you're basically always taking finals.

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skers
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby skers » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:32 pm

On the corporate lab stuff, I don't think it's even slightly a secret that your grades are in no way related to the work you put in. Your grade will be based on some vague idea of how much the faculty likes you. I kind of black letter law classes and get really bored, didn't ever want to take 4 exams again after spring quarter, and really hated writing papers. Corp lab got rid of some of that, so dealing with the bullshit was worth it to me. That's going to depend on the person.

There definitely needs to be a better process for picking the team leads, since it often leads to hilarious and sad attempts to be dicks unnecessarily. I had a pretty obnoxious situation with a team lead , but the other members of the team and I just broke shit down w/ faculty and didn't have problems from there. Idk if other people did something similar, but worked for us.

WheninLaw
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby WheninLaw » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:41 pm

skers wrote:On the corporate lab stuff, I don't think it's even slightly a secret that your grades are in no way related to the work you put in. Your grade will be based on some vague idea of how much the faculty likes you. I kind of black letter law classes and get really bored, didn't ever want to take 4 exams again after spring quarter, and really hated writing papers. Corp lab got rid of some of that, so dealing with the bullshit was worth it to me. That's going to depend on the person.

There definitely needs to be a better process for picking the team leads, since it often leads to hilarious and sad attempts to be dicks unnecessarily. I had a pretty obnoxious situation with a team lead , but the other members of the team and I just broke shit down w/ faculty and didn't have problems from there. Idk if other people did something similar, but worked for us.


I think your earlier suggestion (don't bother doing this here) is right, because we're not going to agree. The grades are absolutely related to the work. In addition, you're correct that the grade depends on how much the faculty likes you, but: (i) a huge chunk of that is based off the quality of the written work and (ii) advancement in life, especially at a law firm, is often based on how much others like you. People need to realize that performing well on a 3 hour exam doesn't mean jack shit once you're practicing.

It would blow my fucking mind in Lab when students would give shitty presentations and otherwise be complete hermits. In the end, I think it's easy to do well, most people don't try, and then are surprised with poor grades.

Agree on team leads though. 100%. Ours was just LOL.

CorporateLab
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby CorporateLab » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:03 pm

WheninLaw, sorry, but no, grades in the Corporate Lab are not mainly tied to work quality. If you did well in there and you want to believe that it is because your work product was exceptional or because you're a likable person, go ahead. However, from my experience and the experience of almost everyone I've talked to who took that class (and wasn't in the categories I mentioned on the previous page), assignments and grades in that class are literally a crapshoot. Anyway, my main issue with the class wasn't even grades because, as I mentioned, I was lucky enough to do well in there. Instead, it sucked having people who have only been at a law firm for one summer (the student directors) being put in a position of power because, well, we all know about the Stanford prison experiment.

WheninLaw
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby WheninLaw » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:17 pm

CorporateLab wrote:WheninLaw, sorry, but no, grades in the Corporate Lab are not mainly tied to work quality. If you did well in there and you want to believe that it is because your work product was exceptional or because you're a likable person, go ahead. However, from my experience and the experience of almost everyone I've talked to who took that class (and wasn't in the categories I mentioned on the previous page), assignments and grades in that class are literally a crapshoot. Anyway, my main issue with the class wasn't even grades because, as I mentioned, I was lucky enough to do well in there. Instead, it sucked having people who have only been at a law firm for one summer (the student directors) being put in a position of power because, well, we all know about the Stanford prison experiment.


Look, lets just agree to disagree. People should PM us for our relevant experiences if they want.

Florence Night
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Florence Night » Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:01 am

secadc11 wrote:Anyone mind sharing perspectives on the pros/cons of the quarter system?


I generally did not like it. My friends didnt either. (TLS is full of homers.) Having three finals periods instead of two each year sucks. Being behind everyone else (finishing in late May - or June your 1L year) sucks because taking a final one day and starting work on one of the coasts the next sucks. Having 0 days between finals and the beginning of your bar prep course sucks.

For me, the only real positive is it's definitely nice to not have class going on in the September of your 2L year when you're flying around interviewing. I don't buy into the "ease into law school" line everyone feeds prospectives because whatever benefit you get from 2 finals the first quater is crushed by 6 finals, a graded memo, and a graded brief between Christmas break and summer. Finally, I think the law school would probably change off the quarter system if the University would let them, if that tells you anything. But as I understand it, their hands are tied.

Overall, the quarter system is a negative.

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2014
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby 2014 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:47 am

Quarter system is a benefit 1L year. I understand the other perspective above, but I think the pacing outweighs the stress of spring quarter. Plus, with the exception of the 10-15% of people who get firm jobs their 1L summer, whatever you do for a job is usually more than happy to have you start mid-June.

That being said, as an upperclassman the quarter system blows and I've come full circle on it. It costs you literal money your 2L year as you can't start your job on time. At a certain point your grades don't matter and yet you have to go through the pageantry of exams and papers 50% more than peers at other schools. Plus, as a 3L I can't properly quantify the angst that comes from seeing friends at other law schools start posting graduation pics the first weekend in May and saying to yourself "great, only 6 weeks to go".

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Mad Hatter
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Mad Hatter » Tue Jun 09, 2015 11:14 am

2014 wrote:pageantry of exams

This is amazing. I hope you made it up.

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Mad Hatter
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Mad Hatter » Tue Jun 09, 2015 10:15 pm

Good news for current and incoming transfer students: apparently you guys are eligible for order of the coif (notwithstanding statements in this thread and the student handbook to the contrary).

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=140165&start=2250#p6930759

WheninLaw
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby WheninLaw » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:45 am

Mad Hatter wrote:Good news for current and incoming transfer students: apparently you guys are eligible for order of the coif (notwithstanding statements in this thread and the student handbook to the contrary).

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 0#p6930759


Which seems sort of bullshit, but after thinking about it for 10 seconds, who cares.

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Emma.
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Emma. » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:03 am

Mad Hatter wrote:Good news for current and incoming transfer students: apparently you guys are eligible for order of the coif (notwithstanding statements in this thread and the student handbook to the contrary).

http://top-law-schools.com/forums/viewt ... 0#p6930759


Is there something in my post that makes you think this?

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Mad Hatter
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby Mad Hatter » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:05 am

Emma. wrote:
Mad Hatter wrote:Good news for current and incoming transfer students: apparently you guys are eligible for order of the coif (notwithstanding statements in this thread and the student handbook to the contrary).

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=140165&start=2250#p6930759


Is there something in my post that makes you think this?

No, it's the one below yours (a transfer who seems confident that "we're not eligible").

Edit: or did you mean the fact that they are in fact eligible? That I got from the graduating honors list circulated yesterday, which included a number of transfers with coif.

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zhenders
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby zhenders » Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:56 pm

I don't know if these questions have been put to you all this year (I don't believe so):

1. Knowing what you know now, if you could go back in time and give your 0L-summer self some advice about what to do differently from how you actually did things 0L-summer/1L, what would that advice be?

2. Were there any non-recreational things you feel you spent too much time on 1L? Too little?

Thanks in advance and for everything else so far.

random number
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Re: UChi Current Students Taking Questions

Postby random number » Thu Jun 11, 2015 3:49 pm

zhenders wrote:I don't know if these questions have been put to you all this year (I don't believe so):

1. Knowing what you know now, if you could go back in time and give your 0L-summer self some advice about what to do differently from how you actually did things 0L-summer/1L, what would that advice be?

2. Were there any non-recreational things you feel you spent too much time on 1L? Too little?

Thanks in advance and for everything else so far.


1. Treat the summer as you'd treat any summer. If you want to work and save up money, do that. If you want to travel, do that. If you want to sit around and do nothing, do that. There really isn't anything that you can do to substantively prepare for law school. Some people suggest reading Getting to Maybe. I skimmed it, but it wasn't super helpful as the strategies in it aren't fully applicable to the style of 1st quarter exams. Still might be worth the $15 and 4 hours though.

I would recommend making any practical preparations that might otherwise arise after you move/during the year. Make sure that you have a good working laptop that isn't going to quit on you during finals, get new glasses/contacts if you need them, figure out if you want to bring a car.


It's hard to give advice for 1L because every person does it a little bit differently. I think I know what I would tell myself to do, but I am almost certain that this advice would be useless for other people. I'm also pretty sure that I would have ignored my own advice, because it probably wouldn't have made sense to me when I was just starting school.

Really, the best preparation for law school is just doing law school. The tips, tricks, and other advice you'll hear isn't what made people successful; it was the time that they put into learning what worked for them that made them successful. It really is a trial and error game, so I think the best thing to do is to study/work/prepare in the way that you feel that you need to. If that consists of buying every single supplement, do that. If it means studying in a group, with one other person, or by yourself, do that. However, once you get a sense that whatever you're doing isn't working out, don't be afraid to stop doing it and try something else. If it is working, feel free to adjust your strategy to cut out inefficient practices. Don't worry about what other people are doing either; they're in the same process of figuring out what works for them.

Sorry that this sounds like non-advice, but I really don't believe that there is a single right way to do law school. Don't be afraid to try different strategies or ignore advice that isn't working for you.

2. I didn't really regret anything that I spent time on. Try to do most of the school-sponsored events during orientation/at the beginning of the year. It's a good way to meet people outside of your section with similar interests. Also, try to find a student group or two. Again, it all comes down to what works for you. Some people find outside activities distracting. Others find them necessary to give themselves a break from work. Don't be afraid to try both approaches.




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