Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

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SHANbangs
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Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby SHANbangs » Fri May 25, 2012 4:46 pm

Just finished Cornell 1L, including writing competition. Feel pretty worn out and empty, to be honest. Hopefully there's a reward at the end of the tunnel come OCI. In any case, I thought I'd answer any questions about law school/Cornell/1L. I'm going to be pretty honest and specific as I can. I'd like to think I have an unique perspective on things, given how much I did not enjoy this year in almost every way imaginable. Have a friend who can also comment.

The reason I'm starting this thread is because I'd like to give back to TLS. For all obnoxious snark and ego-tripping on this board, TLS has actually done a lot for me and continues to provide valuable information as I prepare for OCI. My purpose for writing this thread, however, is to dissuade people from 1) coming to law school and 2) coming to cornell law. I genuinely believe that not attending will, in the long run, be in the best interests of any person contemplating enrollment.

Ask away.

Golden Bear 11
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby Golden Bear 11 » Fri May 25, 2012 4:49 pm

Why did you not enjoy 1L at Cornell?

lawschool?s
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby lawschool?s » Fri May 25, 2012 4:50 pm

Do you have a scholarship?

Whats your rank?

Realistically what do you think your chance of getting a six figure job is?

Are you from the Northeast?

How cut throat is the law school? Time spent studying? I am pretty laid back and this is rather important.

Sorry, I was just accepted at sticker and it seems rather scary, but if I can get a decent job it might be worth it.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri May 25, 2012 4:52 pm

Curious as to why you dislike Cornell & why you dislike law school. Thanks !

psm11
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby psm11 » Fri May 25, 2012 4:53 pm

No 1L summer job?

MrAnon
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby MrAnon » Fri May 25, 2012 5:05 pm

How excited as a 0L were you to be attending Cornell and law school generally?

MrAnon
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby MrAnon » Fri May 25, 2012 5:07 pm

At what point did you realize the odds were truly stacked against you.

SHANbangs
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby SHANbangs » Fri May 25, 2012 5:23 pm

Okay, I'm on a bus, so I might be slow to reply. I'll try to address as many points as possible.

1. Why did I not enjoy Cornell 1L?
Probably a majority of the reason is that I just did not enjoy law school very much, regardless of the location. Academically, it's a bastardized/compromised hybrid of practical and theoretical learning. Pretty much anyone at any law school will tell you that professors teach to their intellectual interests but test entirely on application of black letter. What this meant for me was that I had to sacrifice most of my intellectual curiosity, such as the policy and theory behind the law, for the sake of outlining, learning the black letter, and applying it. This is not to say everyone took my approach. I think a considerable minority of people can sit at their desks and meticulously brief 8 hours worth of cases and come away learning both the rule and engaging in the material on a much more rewarding level. But I don't think I have the mental stamina for that, and I don't think most people do. Even if there didn't exist this dissonance between what is taught and what is tested, I still think most of the material in the 1L curriculum is not very interesting or worth learning. I liked con law and property kind of need. Civ pro just seemed to me like arbitrary rules and doctrines masqueraded in post-hoc rationales of "fairness, judicial economy, and power." Most of the material just seemed like fluffed up common sense and mental masturbation. Case in point: Learned Hand's famous BP>L formula is really just basic statistical analysis (value x probability). That it took so long to come up with this formula, and that it is celebrated so much, speaks volumes about the intellectual bankruptcy of law.

Now, onto the more practical aspects of law school. This might be cornell specific, but I found most people had an inflated sense of themselves, were very fake, and were obsessed with prestige. I made friends, and there are a lot of people who aren't this way, but the overall tone of 1L was like this. Cornell specific: I don't mind the winters since I'm used to northeastern areas, but they are pretty harsh. It also rains a lot here. Yes, there are gorges and nice scenery, but even the natural attractions are nothing unique to upstate new york. There is also nothing here. Food and rent are inflated because of the student population. If you don't have a car, you're left with few dining or shopping options. In collegetown, there are no good restaurants, no reliable fast food chains, no cheap grocery stores, etc. Even if you have a car, all you are left with are some over-priced thai restaurants, the overrated wegmans, and Ithaca mall (which has... a target?)

2. I have a summer job.

3. No scholarship, from the northeast. Cornell is not cut-throat in the sense that nobody is going to do anything to sabotage your success. There is a small group of socially challenged obnoxious gunners. Most people maintain a sense of civility and fair play. I would say on a given day, if class ended at 3 and i worked out until 5, I'd probably work from 6 to 1 AM. If class ended at 11 or 12, same schedule, but add on maybe 2 or 3 more hours of studying. This is not to say that I was productive during all the time I was studying. But I pretty much spent every hour of my time, taking out working out and lunch and dinner, mentally occupied by school. I'm still waiting on spring grades. Won't disclose any more information pertaining to grades/chances at big law because I think some of my peers can already identify who I am. PM me if you'd like.

SHANbangs
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby SHANbangs » Fri May 25, 2012 5:38 pm

Mr Anon:

1. I was marginally excited to come to cornell. I knew law school would be tough but I expected to have a more well-rounded life here.

2. What do you mean by odds are stacked against me? If by getting a job, I don't think your description fits my situation (at least not yet lol *knock on wood*). I will say that for me, the odds of achieving happiness in law school truly are stacked against me. I think fairly early in 1st semester - maybe Mid-october - I realized the next 3 years would be a long slog.

I want to mention that law school is uniquely demoralizing. I once asked my friend why I was always tired, despite getting enough sleep? His answer: "because you have nothing to look forward to every day." This is true in the sense that in law school, unless you are part of the minority who just "get it" from day one, you are largely left in the dark about where you stand and what you know and how well you are doing. In fact, up until grades come out, you truly don't know where you stand. I think knowing that you are achieving things on an evenly doled out basis across time is pretty integral to happiness, and I think the situation I just described does not allow for this kind of incremental success.

Oh and i forgot to mention that cornell has a graded legal writing class. This should be enough incentive to not attend if you have offers from other T-14s (this does not include georgetown).

PMan99
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby PMan99 » Fri May 25, 2012 5:56 pm

How pissed will you be if you make law review but your grades come back and you would've been biglaw secure without it?

spyke123
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby spyke123 » Fri May 25, 2012 5:56 pm

What percentage of current 2L and 3L would you say have biglaw lined up? Is the overall mood gloomy? or do most people have biglaw lined up?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby CanadianWolf » Fri May 25, 2012 5:56 pm

Do you miss Toronto ?

Seems like you may have overworked yourself. Also, it's clear that you don't work for the Ithaca Chamber of Commerce. :D

What were your other law school options ? Did you apply to any Canadian law schools ?

SHANbangs
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby SHANbangs » Fri May 25, 2012 6:14 pm

I know who pman 99 is :D. No guarantees when georgetown is ranked higher than your school lol.

SHANbangs
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby SHANbangs » Fri May 25, 2012 6:26 pm

spyke123 wrote:What percentage of current 2L and 3L would you say have biglaw lined up? Is the overall mood gloomy? or do most people have biglaw lined up?


I think all 2Ls I've spoken to have big law, save two. People seem to be optimistic - maybe a little over 60% have big law jobs? Not too sure.

Asleep
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby Asleep » Sat May 26, 2012 4:08 am

Thank god that writing competition is over. I'm beat. Law school has defeated me.

orderofthings
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby orderofthings » Sat May 26, 2012 6:49 am

Man that writing competition fucking killed me. Sorry to hear you hated 1L so much. FWIW, I had a good time. I found, like anything else, cramming is possible with decent results if you can content yourself with that, thus freeing up a lot more time during the semester. I disliked the material but I'm banking on practice being at least slightly more interesting. If not, it's not like I had anything else lined up out of undergrad.

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msblaw89
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby msblaw89 » Sat May 26, 2012 12:51 pm

Are the professors helpful outside of class?

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lowry99
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby lowry99 » Sun May 27, 2012 5:30 pm

redacted
Last edited by lowry99 on Thu May 31, 2012 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun May 27, 2012 7:26 pm

@lowry: Why not name the slightly lower ranked law school, your goals & your total COA at each law school ?

SHANbangs
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby SHANbangs » Sun May 27, 2012 10:52 pm

professors are pretty helpful, though I've only had experience with two professors' after hours. Johnson is a really nice lady who cares a lot about her students. Alexander is very helpful, though i've heard stories about him...

I second canadian wolf's suggestion about revealing some details. Though I'd like to point out that a nicer location has its downsides, as you will be tempted by the distractions.

John Denver
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby John Denver » Sun May 27, 2012 11:31 pm

SHANbangs wrote:3. No scholarship, from the northeast. Cornell is not cut-throat in the sense that nobody is going to do anything to sabotage your success. There is a small group of socially challenged obnoxious gunners. Most people maintain a sense of civility and fair play. I would say on a given day, if class ended at 3 and i worked out until 5, I'd probably work from 6 to 1 AM. If class ended at 11 or 12, same schedule, but add on maybe 2 or 3 more hours of studying. This is not to say that I was productive during all the time I was studying. But I pretty much spent every hour of my time, taking out working out and lunch and dinner, mentally occupied by school. I'm still waiting on spring grades. Won't disclose any more information pertaining to grades/chances at big law because I think some of my peers can already identify who I am. PM me if you'd like.


You really spent that much time studying? I think the amount of effort you put in might be part of the reason why you hate law school so much. As tempting as it may be to try to outwork all of your classmates, I don't think it's worth three years of your life grinding it out that hard. I definitely understand your frustration with how ad hoc/circular civ pro is, and how law school generally is mostly just an extravagant game of hide-the-ball, but if you don't take it so seriously it won't get on your nerves as much.

SHANbangs
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby SHANbangs » Sun May 27, 2012 11:40 pm

I did mention that not all of that time was spent studying productively, no?

John Denver
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby John Denver » Sun May 27, 2012 11:43 pm

SHANbangs wrote:I did mention that not all of that time was spent studying productively, no?


Didn't catch that. I think it's being up studying until 1 that seems over the top to me, but some people do their best work late at night. IDK after a semester of relying on supplements and getting the same grades as I got by reading all of the cases, I can say confidently that I am finished with putting effort into law school (aside from the last few weeks before finals, and any clinics).

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moneybagsphd
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby moneybagsphd » Sun May 27, 2012 11:50 pm

tag

SHANbangs
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Re: Bitter But Hopeful Cornell Rising 2L Taking Questions

Postby SHANbangs » Sun May 27, 2012 11:53 pm

John Denver wrote:
SHANbangs wrote:I did mention that not all of that time was spent studying productively, no?


Didn't catch that. I think it's being up studying until 1 that seems over the top to me, but some people do their best work late at night. IDK after a semester of relying on supplements and getting the same grades as I got by reading all of the cases, I can say confidently that I am finished with putting effort into law school (aside from the last few weeks before finals, and any clinics).


i am not gunning 2L and 3L unless i have to (though i'd like to lateral to asia one day, and I hear they do care about your law school cumulative gpa). Ironically, I think i'll enjoy 2L classes a lot more, which might translate into better grades anyway.




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