Northwestern 1L/2L/3L/Grads Taking Questions and Challenges

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
Bumi
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Bumi » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:03 am

lgleye wrote:
franklyscarlet wrote:If you want to apply for clerkships, being a TA is a really great way to build a relationship with a professor as a recommendation.

Yeah, but that’s only if the prof is a heavy-hitter (like Radish, etc.) who has contacts and even judges who were former students. Cookiejar’s talking about a CLR prof, and most of them are transients. Remember that if you’re like most people, you’ve also got journal during your 2L, and diverting even a few hours a week to grade papers will be painful. I'd invest that effort toward enhancing your journal contribution.

Igleye did you apply to clerk? The advice I got from the clerks in the class of 2013 and from Kadens was the opposite of this: a clerkship recommendation is great from anyone who knows your work well (say, a prof you TA for), no matter whether they are famous or teach CLR. I followed that advice and got recommendations from people who aren't even remotely "connected," and when my judge offered me my clerkship she commented on liking my recommendations. I remember 2Ls who struggled to think of profs who even knew who they were when it came time to work on clerkship applications, which is not how you want things to be.

Relationships are really important. It is good to build them with anyone you can. Not pursuing a stronger relationship with a professor because you are worried about your 2L journal contribution seems backwards to me, especially when 1Ls don't even know what journal they are on yet.

captainplanet
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby captainplanet » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:24 pm

Is the Chemerinsky supplement useful for Con Law with Redish (also known as Radish, apparently)? Are any supplements useful for that class or is it like his Civ Pro class where all supplements are useless?

Snape
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Snape » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:32 pm

The only possible correct answer is in Redish's head and thus no supplement will help.

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jn7
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby jn7 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:22 pm

Along the same lines as what others are saying about Redish--what about Calabresi for Con Law? A lot of people in our section seem a bit thrown on how to approach his class.

whereskyle
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby whereskyle » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:44 pm

Question about work experience. Do you think that NU students with significant work experience in a particular field sweep the floor in comparison to students with more varied work experience. I did 2 years in small law as a paralegal and a year with Habitat thru AmeriCorps as a crew leader. Housing law is an interest of mine, and I'm glad that I've done my year with AmeriCorps. I'm just wondering if this work experience strikes you all as "lightweight", or if you think its just up to students to interview well and use their prelaw resumes to their advantage.

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feralinfant
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby feralinfant » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:49 pm

Really hoping four people decide to drop local gov today...

Pokemon
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Pokemon » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:50 pm

whereskyle wrote:Question about work experience. Do you think that NU students with significant work experience in a particular field sweep the floor in comparison to students with more varied work experience. I did 2 years in small law as a paralegal and a year with Habitat thru AmeriCorps as a crew leader. Housing law is an interest of mine, and I'm glad that I've done my year with AmeriCorps. I'm just wondering if this work experience strikes you all as "lightweight", or if you think its just up to students to interview well and use their prelaw resumes to their advantage.


That is decent enough work experience, especially when considering that the school is no longer dedicated to work experience as it was in the past.

Pokemon
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Pokemon » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:52 pm

jn7 wrote:Along the same lines as what others are saying about Redish--what about Calabresi for Con Law? A lot of people in our section seem a bit thrown on how to approach his class.


Tough call. I think the paper does not matter as much, though I might be wrong. I think like 90% of the class gets all the case id/ tell me what it is about questions, so really the big difference here is that 1hour and 15 minutes issue spotter exam. Usually, he puts tons of issues that it is impossible to get all on paper. I think he is particularly looking for what he has told you.

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Kikero
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Kikero » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:54 pm

whereskyle wrote:Question about work experience. Do you think that NU students with significant work experience in a particular field sweep the floor in comparison to students with more varied work experience. I did 2 years in small law as a paralegal and a year with Habitat thru AmeriCorps as a crew leader. Housing law is an interest of mine, and I'm glad that I've done my year with AmeriCorps. I'm just wondering if this work experience strikes you all as "lightweight", or if you think its just up to students to interview well and use their prelaw resumes to their advantage.


Are you talking about getting into NU or performing well at OCI?

To get into the school, you'll be just fine (at least on the WE front). You've got 2+ years of experience (which NU prefers to 1 year) and a paralegal job and AmeriCorps are easily comparable to or superior to what the majority of the class are going to have.

If you're talking about OCI, again, I think you'll be fine. Your experience isn't going to wow recruiters, but it's not going to hurt you either. As with 95% of people, your experience will be as valuable as you can relate it in interview questions. If you had leadership/challenge-overcoming experiences/etc. at your job you'll have something to talk about.

LRGhost
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby LRGhost » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:03 pm

Pokemon wrote:
jn7 wrote:Along the same lines as what others are saying about Redish--what about Calabresi for Con Law? A lot of people in our section seem a bit thrown on how to approach his class.


I think he is particularly looking for what he has told you.


Well, fuck.

whereskyle
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby whereskyle » Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:06 pm

Kikero wrote:
whereskyle wrote:Question about work experience. Do you think that NU students with significant work experience in a particular field sweep the floor in comparison to students with more varied work experience. I did 2 years in small law as a paralegal and a year with Habitat thru AmeriCorps as a crew leader. Housing law is an interest of mine, and I'm glad that I've done my year with AmeriCorps. I'm just wondering if this work experience strikes you all as "lightweight", or if you think its just up to students to interview well and use their prelaw resumes to their advantage.


Are you talking about getting into NU or performing well at OCI?

To get into the school, you'll be just fine (at least on the WE front). You've got 2+ years of experience (which NU prefers to 1 year) and a paralegal job and AmeriCorps are easily comparable to or superior to what the majority of the class are going to have.

If you're talking about OCI, again, I think you'll be fine. Your experience isn't going to wow recruiters, but it's not going to hurt you either. As with 95% of people, your experience will be as valuable as you can relate it in interview questions. If you had leadership/challenge-overcoming experiences/etc. at your job you'll have something to talk about.


Already admitted, so thanks a lot for the OCI advice. Word from my friend who does recruiting for firms is it doesn't matter if all you have is public service work, so long as you know what you want to say about yourself and "you understand that firms are in the business of making money". Thanks for the reassurances!

captainplanet
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby captainplanet » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:50 pm

whereskyle wrote:
Kikero wrote:
whereskyle wrote:Question about work experience. Do you think that NU students with significant work experience in a particular field sweep the floor in comparison to students with more varied work experience. I did 2 years in small law as a paralegal and a year with Habitat thru AmeriCorps as a crew leader. Housing law is an interest of mine, and I'm glad that I've done my year with AmeriCorps. I'm just wondering if this work experience strikes you all as "lightweight", or if you think its just up to students to interview well and use their prelaw resumes to their advantage.


Are you talking about getting into NU or performing well at OCI?

To get into the school, you'll be just fine (at least on the WE front). You've got 2+ years of experience (which NU prefers to 1 year) and a paralegal job and AmeriCorps are easily comparable to or superior to what the majority of the class are going to have.

If you're talking about OCI, again, I think you'll be fine. Your experience isn't going to wow recruiters, but it's not going to hurt you either. As with 95% of people, your experience will be as valuable as you can relate it in interview questions. If you had leadership/challenge-overcoming experiences/etc. at your job you'll have something to talk about.


Already admitted, so thanks a lot for the OCI advice. Word from my friend who does recruiting for firms is it doesn't matter if all you have is public service work, so long as you know what you want to say about yourself and "you understand that firms are in the business of making money". Thanks for the reassurances!


I think that there can be such a thing as too much public service WE (like more than 3 years) for OCI though, because firms can start to question whether you'd actually want to work in BigLaw or just move back to PI after the summer or after a year or two at the firm. That said, I don't think that applies to your situation and that your paralegal experience and public service work will look good, but you should have an answer for why you want to work in BigLaw.

captainplanet
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby captainplanet » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:51 pm

Snape wrote:The only possible correct answer is in Redish's head and thus no supplement will help.

+1

LRGhost
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby LRGhost » Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:59 pm

captainplanet wrote:
I think that there can be such a thing as too much public service WE (like more than 3 years) for OCI though, because firms can start to question...


Obviously I'm just a 1L and I'm speculating, but I highly doubt they give a fuck. They know you'll likely be gone by choice or otherwise within three years.

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Blumpbeef
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Blumpbeef » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:02 pm

LRGhost wrote:
captainplanet wrote:
I think that there can be such a thing as too much public service WE (like more than 3 years) for OCI though, because firms can start to question...


Obviously I'm just a 1L and I'm speculating, but I highly doubt they give a fuck. They know you'll likely be gone by choice or otherwise within three years.


They want to make sure you don't just get an offer from there and then flake after clerking/graduating to work at either another firm or PI/Gov.

LRGhost
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby LRGhost » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:16 pm

Pokemon wrote:I think like 90% of the class gets all the case id/ tell me what it is about questions, so really the big difference here is that 1hour and 15 minutes issue spotter exam.


Just reread this and am a little unclear. Does this mean his exam is just an hour and fifteen minutes outside of the book assignment? Or are there questions like 'what's the case about'?

whereskyle
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby whereskyle » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:21 pm

captainplanet wrote:
whereskyle wrote:
Kikero wrote:
whereskyle wrote:Question about work experience. Do you think that NU students with significant work experience in a particular field sweep the floor in comparison to students with more varied work experience. I did 2 years in small law as a paralegal and a year with Habitat thru AmeriCorps as a crew leader. Housing law is an interest of mine, and I'm glad that I've done my year with AmeriCorps. I'm just wondering if this work experience strikes you all as "lightweight", or if you think its just up to students to interview well and use their prelaw resumes to their advantage.


Are you talking about getting into NU or performing well at OCI?

To get into the school, you'll be just fine (at least on the WE front). You've got 2+ years of experience (which NU prefers to 1 year) and a paralegal job and AmeriCorps are easily comparable to or superior to what the majority of the class are going to have.

If you're talking about OCI, again, I think you'll be fine. Your experience isn't going to wow recruiters, but it's not going to hurt you either. As with 95% of people, your experience will be as valuable as you can relate it in interview questions. If you had leadership/challenge-overcoming experiences/etc. at your job you'll have something to talk about.


Already admitted, so thanks a lot for the OCI advice. Word from my friend who does recruiting for firms is it doesn't matter if all you have is public service work, so long as you know what you want to say about yourself and "you understand that firms are in the business of making money". Thanks for the reassurances!


I think that there can be such a thing as too much public service WE (like more than 3 years) for OCI though, because firms can start to question whether you'd actually want to work in BigLaw or just move back to PI after the summer or after a year or two at the firm. That said, I don't think that applies to your situation and that your paralegal experience and public service work will look good, but you should have an answer for why you want to work in BigLaw.


Haha, anyone want to throw out a clever response to "why biglaw?"

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Flips88
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby Flips88 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:23 pm

LRGhost wrote:
Pokemon wrote:I think like 90% of the class gets all the case id/ tell me what it is about questions, so really the big difference here is that 1hour and 15 minutes issue spotter exam.


Just reread this and am a little unclear. Does this mean his exam is just an hour and fifteen minutes outside of the book assignment? Or are there questions like 'what's the case about'?

I think Redish's is the same as Koppelman's where he has 10 case IDs where you have to say what the holding is or why it's important then there's an issue spotter. Since there's a closed universe of cases, pretty much everyone will get those right* so the only way to distinguish yourself is on the issue spotter.

*unless you're Koppelman and you put a case on there that we didn't read

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feralinfant
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby feralinfant » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:38 pm

LRGhost wrote:
Pokemon wrote:I think like 90% of the class gets all the case id/ tell me what it is about questions, so really the big difference here is that 1hour and 15 minutes issue spotter exam.


Just reread this and am a little unclear. Does this mean his exam is just an hour and fifteen minutes outside of the book assignment? Or are there questions like 'what's the case about'?


dude look it up on the library site. If its like the newest test on there itll literally just be 45 minutes for 11 cases and say "explain the significance of these" and then an hour fifteen for the issue spotter :(

LRGhost
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby LRGhost » Tue Jan 21, 2014 5:18 pm

feralinfant wrote:
LRGhost wrote:
Pokemon wrote:I think like 90% of the class gets all the case id/ tell me what it is about questions, so really the big difference here is that 1hour and 15 minutes issue spotter exam.


Just reread this and am a little unclear. Does this mean his exam is just an hour and fifteen minutes outside of the book assignment? Or are there questions like 'what's the case about'?


dude look it up on the library site. If its like the newest test on there itll literally just be 45 minutes for 11 cases and say "explain the significance of these" and then an hour fifteen for the issue spotter :(


Forgot I could go on the library :(

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feralinfant
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby feralinfant » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:37 pm

Haha I wasn't trying to chastise you. Just more exasperated by how stupid that final is going to be.

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franklyscarlet
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby franklyscarlet » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:50 pm

whereskyle wrote:
captainplanet wrote:
I think that there can be such a thing as too much public service WE (like more than 3 years) for OCI though, because firms can start to question whether you'd actually want to work in BigLaw or just move back to PI after the summer or after a year or two at the firm. That said, I don't think that applies to your situation and that your paralegal experience and public service work will look good, but you should have an answer for why you want to work in BigLaw.


Haha, anyone want to throw out a clever response to "why biglaw?"


My resume is fucking littered with PI stuff, so I definitely ran into this problem (a few firms, chicago firms especially, asked me outright if I really wanted to work at a firm after looking at my resume). I think there's a few ways to approach it:

1) Develop a really specific answer for why you want that firm in particular. Good to do in any case, but it's particularly helpful in combatting the image that you're just in it to jump ship in a few years. It's especially helpful to look to the kind of work they've done that speaks to your skills/interests so you can say "I want to come to a place that does things like X and I know a firm is where I'm going to get that."
2) Don't ask about Pro Bono in your interview, or if so, do it in a way that plays to the firm. For example, I asked about it at the one firm that I knew had a legitimate committment to it and often sent attorneys to PD offices for rotations, because I wanted to relate my experience to the culture of the firm.
3) Being into a practice area that doesn't scream PI doesn't hurt. Firms had no problem believing I wanted them when I told them right off the bat that I was interested in a pretty corporate area.

All in all, there's no one good answer on this. Brush up on your acting skills. Be convincing no matter what. It may matter to firms, it may not.

whereskyle
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby whereskyle » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:23 pm

^^^^^^

Thank you for sharing your experience!

whereskyle
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby whereskyle » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:25 pm

I'm very interested in clerking. Are fewer students pursuing clerkships at NU, or are more students striking out compared to peer schools? Also, what exactly is a GPA floor in the clerkship game? Does Career Services set it, or do judges set it?

captainplanet
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Re: Northwestern 1L/2L/3Ls Taking Questions and Challenges

Postby captainplanet » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:35 pm

franklyscarlet wrote:
whereskyle wrote:
captainplanet wrote:
I think that there can be such a thing as too much public service WE (like more than 3 years) for OCI though, because firms can start to question whether you'd actually want to work in BigLaw or just move back to PI after the summer or after a year or two at the firm. That said, I don't think that applies to your situation and that your paralegal experience and public service work will look good, but you should have an answer for why you want to work in BigLaw.


Haha, anyone want to throw out a clever response to "why biglaw?"


My resume is fucking littered with PI stuff, so I definitely ran into this problem (a few firms, chicago firms especially, asked me outright if I really wanted to work at a firm after looking at my resume). I think there's a few ways to approach it:

1) Develop a really specific answer for why you want that firm in particular. Good to do in any case, but it's particularly helpful in combatting the image that you're just in it to jump ship in a few years. It's especially helpful to look to the kind of work they've done that speaks to your skills/interests so you can say "I want to come to a place that does things like X and I know a firm is where I'm going to get that."
2) Don't ask about Pro Bono in your interview, or if so, do it in a way that plays to the firm. For example, I asked about it at the one firm that I knew had a legitimate committment to it and often sent attorneys to PD offices for rotations, because I wanted to relate my experience to the culture of the firm.
3) Being into a practice area that doesn't scream PI doesn't hurt. Firms had no problem believing I wanted them when I told them right off the bat that I was interested in a pretty corporate area.

All in all, there's no one good answer on this. Brush up on your acting skills. Be convincing no matter what. It may matter to firms, it may not.


The career services office suggested focusing on skills rather than the job itself, as in, "What I really enjoyed about my PI job is writing and research, experience I would be able to bring to a firm." Not sure if it works ... but it's one way to pivot back to why you want to work at a firm.




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