Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

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utlaw2007
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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby utlaw2007 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:47 am

thatdude222 wrote:Students on every college campus in America will say that "parking sucks". But how bad is it really at UT? I'll have no choice but to make a 20+mile drive to campus my first semester. How early do you have to get to campus to get a spot close to the law school?

Are there any student activities/events do you think everyone should go to or participate in?

What has been your experience networking with or contacting UT Law alumni? Do alumni generally seem pretty helpful/loyal?


I can answer your first and last question.

OP is more recent so he/she can probably give you a more up to date situation with parking. But when I was there, you had to arrive before 9 to have a good chance at snagging a parking space in one of the student lots on campus by the stadium. There is the law school faculty lot right next to the law school. But you can never count on parking in that lot unless it's on the weekend. If you get there super early, you might be able to snag one of the spaces directly in front or behind the law school. But I think you may have to arrive before 8 just to have a chance. If you cannot find a space, you can always park in the garage right next to the law school. But that is going to cost you $9 a day. So that can get expensive. I was going to suggest living on the shuttle route, but you are living so far away from campus.

Needless to say, I received several parking tickets for being illegally parked all the time. There is always a gamble in arriving on campus ready to park but there being no free parking spaces available.

As to the alumni question, the fellow alumni that I have worked with, worked against as opponents, and others who I have met have been extremely cooperative and approachable. That's been my experience, at least.

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philosoraptor
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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby philosoraptor » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:02 pm

thatdude222 wrote:Students on every college campus in America will say that "parking sucks". But how bad is it really at UT? I'll have no choice but to make a 20+mile drive to campus my first semester. How early do you have to get to campus to get a spot close to the law school?

Are there any student activities/events do you think everyone should go to or participate in?

What has been your experience networking with or contacting UT Law alumni? Do alumni generally seem pretty helpful/loyal?
Oof, you say there's no choice but to drive >20 miles daily, but I'd say do everything in your power to get closer as soon as you can. This is going to suck and will drain a ton of time that could be spent studying or bonding with your classmates, and you'll never want to drive back to campus/downtown for anything but class. At the very least, get those Sum and Substance CDs and listen to them during your commute.

Parking totally depends on when the big classes meet. Play it safe early on, but you'll learn quickly when to expect availability on Dean Keeton St. I sometimes regret that I never got an SJG pass, but it is awfully expensive.

Definitely do the society events and small-section social events your 1L year, and go to bar review. I wouldn't recommend joining other organizations (like journals) until you know it's something you want to pursue. Plenty of time for that stuff later. It's likely you'll stop doing bar review and society things once you're a 2L, but by then you'll have a much better idea what you like to do and whom you like to hang out with.

Can't really speak to the usefulness of older alumni, but I've heard others say reaching out can be useful. I know once I start practicing this fall I would welcome inquiries from UT students, as long as they weren't annoying or pushy about it.

mrsmartypants
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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby mrsmartypants » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:47 pm

philosoraptor wrote:Parking totally depends on when the big classes meet. Play it safe early on, but you'll learn quickly when to expect availability on Dean Keeton St. I sometimes regret that I never got an SJG pass, but it is awfully expensive.


I don't know exactly when they changed it, but pretty much the entire length of Dean Keeton is now metered parking, maximum 5 hours.

Over the last decade, UT has steadily been eliminating free parking opportunities on campus. Some street parking is available in the neighborhoods immediately north of Dean Keeton, but increasingly, neighborhoods around campus are moving to limit daytime parking to residential permits only.

I copped a pass for SJG and always felt it was a good investment, but I was working the whole time, so the time vs. money case was easier to make.

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philosoraptor
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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby philosoraptor » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:02 pm

mrsmartypants wrote:I don't know exactly when they changed it, but pretty much the entire length of Dean Keeton is now metered parking, maximum 5 hours.
This is true, but keep in mind it doesn't take much to fill them all up anywhere close to the law school. It's a popular street for the music and engineering crowds especially. Many a time I've angrily circled the street waiting for the 1Ls to get to their cars and leave after their big classes. On the other hand, at least 60-70% of the time I found it easy to get reasonable parking on DK. YMMV.

Don't expect free parking near school, ever. And if you have to park on the street all day, you'll have to re-up the meter at least once. More than a couple tickets and you're looking at a good deal for that garage pass.

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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby mrsmartypants » Fri Jul 12, 2013 4:07 pm

philosoraptor wrote:
mrsmartypants wrote:I don't know exactly when they changed it, but pretty much the entire length of Dean Keeton is now metered parking, maximum 5 hours.
This is true, but keep in mind it doesn't take much to fill them all up anywhere close to the law school.


I wasn't thinking of it as a good thing, although on reflection I can see how the switch to paid street parking would increase turnover of spaces.

Even assuming no tickets, a 1L who has to be on campus five hours a day, four days a week is going to spend $20/week to park on DK. Looks like an annual permit for SJC is about $600, and I believe the permit guarantees a space (at least it used to; there was often a waiting list to get a SJC permit for the first time). Assuming 15 week semesters, it's almost exactly a wash financially, and no contest as far as stress/convenience.

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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby nonprofit-prophet » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:11 pm

mrsmartypants wrote:
philosoraptor wrote:
mrsmartypants wrote:I don't know exactly when they changed it, but pretty much the entire length of Dean Keeton is now metered parking, maximum 5 hours.
This is true, but keep in mind it doesn't take much to fill them all up anywhere close to the law school.


I wasn't thinking of it as a good thing, although on reflection I can see how the switch to paid street parking would increase turnover of spaces.

Even assuming no tickets, a 1L who has to be on campus five hours a day, four days a week is going to spend $20/week to park on DK. Looks like an annual permit for SJC is about $600, and I believe the permit guarantees a space (at least it used to; there was often a waiting list to get a SJC permit for the first time). Assuming 15 week semesters, it's almost exactly a wash financially, and no contest as far as stress/convenience.


If you get there before 8:45, you'll always have a spot right out front. No stress.

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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby AFS » Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:36 pm

StylinNProfilin wrote:
Apollo526 wrote:
StylinNProfilin wrote:
ajclark1992 wrote:Any decent restaraunts within walking distance of the law school?


Trudy's tex-mex. the Mexican martinis are awesome.


+1 for Trudy's but that's A) kind of a long-ish walk and B) not somewhere you want to go if you hope to get any work done for the rest of the night.

Plenty of stuff near by depending on what/when you want, but remember this is Texas so driving is often assumed for the better places.

If you are just looking for lunch between classes: George's (downstairs cafe, used to suck but has gotten a lot better in the past year); Jimmy John's (about a 7-10 min walk), fast food at the stadium (about a 5 min walk) including How do you Roll, Subway, and maybe 1-2 more?; food at the Student Activities Center on main campus (about a 7-10 min walk) including Chick-fil-a, Starbucks, Taco Cabana, and more.

If you are looking for somewhere after class, Trudy's is a great choice. I always enjoyed Sao Paulo for dinner and Crown & Anchor (pub) for drinks and some food. Both are next to each other and w/in easy walking distance.


how is JP java?



UT 2L here. JP's Java has pretty good coffee, but I've never tried their food. There are some good places to eat on the drag (within walking distance of the law school) like Halal Guys (get their chicken and rice plate). There's also a pretty good Tex-Mex place called El Chile that's walking distance in the opposite direction.

Apollo526
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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby Apollo526 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:24 am

StylinNProfilin wrote:
Apollo526 wrote:
StylinNProfilin wrote:
ajclark1992 wrote:Any decent restaraunts within walking distance of the law school?


Trudy's tex-mex. the Mexican martinis are awesome.


+1 for Trudy's but that's A) kind of a long-ish walk and B) not somewhere you want to go if you hope to get any work done for the rest of the night.

Plenty of stuff near by depending on what/when you want, but remember this is Texas so driving is often assumed for the better places.

If you are just looking for lunch between classes: George's (downstairs cafe, used to suck but has gotten a lot better in the past year); Jimmy John's (about a 7-10 min walk), fast food at the stadium (about a 5 min walk) including How do you Roll, Subway, and maybe 1-2 more?; food at the Student Activities Center on main campus (about a 7-10 min walk) including Chick-fil-a, Starbucks, Taco Cabana, and more.

If you are looking for somewhere after class, Trudy's is a great choice. I always enjoyed Sao Paulo for dinner and Crown & Anchor (pub) for drinks and some food. Both are next to each other and w/in easy walking distance.


how is JP java?


Honestly, I never went in 7 years. If you're looking for a coffee shop, Austin is a great place. We have the standard Starbucks, but there are also plenty of independent coffee shops ranging from library quiet to almost-a-bar.

Apollo526
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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby Apollo526 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:45 am

thatdude222 wrote:Students on every college campus in America will say that "parking sucks". But how bad is it really at UT? I'll have no choice but to make a 20+mile drive to campus my first semester. How early do you have to get to campus to get a spot close to the law school?


I moved every year. 1L, I lived on a shuttle route and w/in a 20 minute walk. I bought a bike from Target, which was a POS and broke within the first 2 months. I ended up either walking or taking the bus, depending on the weather. Hot or rainy = bus. I will say that catching the bus home sometimes could be frustrating. There is a bus stop right in front of the law school, but it seems the red river bus (the one servicing hyde park/north campus) would rarely come while the 40 acres (making a loop around the entire campus) would come every 3-5 minutes. When the red river bus did come, it was packed. But I learned if you let 1 pass, there was usually a second, nearly empty one, 2-3 minutes later. Public transportation in Austin sucks. City buses are even worse. 2L year I lived farther away, though technically on a shuttle line I just got a garage pass. Traffic was horrible at times and it often took me 30 minutes to drive from campus to Riverside. Though knowing I didn't have to find a place to park before a test or late at night was a blessing. Plus, the garage pass (SJC, roughly $600), was great for extra events like going to see off-broadway shows. Finally, 3L year I lived back north-east of campus, which was a 30 minute walk or a 6 minute city bus ride. The city buses are free for UT students, but the buses are notoriously bad. If you don't have the average homeless, crazy. or young self-entitled drag rat/person yelling obscenities, the bus would likely be late. Sometimes up to 20 minutes late. It made that 30 minute walk seem much more bearable. I was late to class a few times because I would wait on the bus, realize it was 10 minutes late (if it was going to come at all), and then make the walk.

thatdude222 wrote:Are there any student activities/events do you think everyone should go to or participate in?


As another poster said, society events and small-section social events 1L are a must. I also think bar review is a great idea, but people stop going as the year progresses. I personally only went to a handful of bar review events, but that was mainly because I went to undergrad here and lived with some friends that I already knew my 1L year, and then moved in with my fiancé my 2L year. Regardless of how many people you know going in or what your love-life situation is (also, don't date intra-small-section. Just a bad idea), go to section events. It sounds cliche, but friendships made know will pay off later.

As a side note, I also wouldn't recommend any journals or anything your 1L year, and most journals won't even look at you until you are a rising 2L. That being said, there are a few great organizations, such as the IP Law Society, that are geared toward 1Ls. They give you some networking, and I've even known a few students to get jobs from the contacts they've made, but the main purpose is to introduce you to an area of law you otherwise might not encounter until later.


thatdude222 wrote:What has been your experience networking with or contacting UT Law alumni? Do alumni generally seem pretty helpful/loyal?


+1 here. My experiences have been great, but not magic. Before I even started as a 1L, I had met a "mentor." UT gives you access to a list of mentors once you've been admitted. They are arranged by type of law and location, so if you have questions about a specific practice or location, they can be a great resource. (Note, UT's system is not perfect. I was once looking at JAG and contacted a person listed as with the Air Force. It turns out he had served in the air force pre-law school and had nothing to do with JAG. That was an exception to the rule though.) Anyway, my mentor invited me to lunch and remained a great contact. He got me an interview with a firm I likewise would not have had, but wasn't enough to get me past the firm's hard GPA cut-off. As I said, they are great, but not magic. I have countless other stories of UT alumni helping me get farther than I could on my own and without a doubt say this is one of the best parts of attending UT.

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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby dkb17xzx » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:01 am

philosoraptor wrote:
thatdude222 wrote:Students on every college campus in America will say that "parking sucks". But how bad is it really at UT? I'll have no choice but to make a 20+mile drive to campus my first semester. How early do you have to get to campus to get a spot close to the law school?

Are there any student activities/events do you think everyone should go to or participate in?

What has been your experience networking with or contacting UT Law alumni? Do alumni generally seem pretty helpful/loyal?
Oof, you say there's no choice but to drive >20 miles daily, but I'd say do everything in your power to get closer as soon as you can. This is going to suck and will drain a ton of time that could be spent studying or bonding with your classmates, and you'll never want to drive back to campus/downtown for anything but class. At the very least, get those Sum and Substance CDs and listen to them during your commute.

Parking totally depends on when the big classes meet. Play it safe early on, but you'll learn quickly when to expect availability on Dean Keeton St. I sometimes regret that I never got an SJG pass, but it is awfully expensive.

Definitely do the society events and small-section social events your 1L year, and go to bar review. I wouldn't recommend joining other organizations (like journals) until you know it's something you want to pursue. Plenty of time for that stuff later. It's likely you'll stop doing bar review and society things once you're a 2L, but by then you'll have a much better idea what you like to do and whom you like to hang out with.

Can't really speak to the usefulness of older alumni, but I've heard others say reaching out can be useful. I know once I start practicing this fall I would welcome inquiries from UT students, as long as they weren't annoying or pushy about it.


1L's can join journals?



Also, to the OP (and anyone with experience) - How does one get into "soft-IP" w/o a hard science background (aka humanities)?

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philosoraptor
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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby philosoraptor » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:21 am

dkb17xzx wrote:1L's can join journals?

Also, to the OP (and anyone with experience) - How does one get into "soft-IP" w/o a hard science background (aka humanities)?
Yes, 1Ls can join journals. I don't think it's the best idea, but a lot of people do it. If you do, I'd go with a chill one that does a lot of happy hours, such as TRESL (wasn't on it, but I hung out with them a fair amount). Most of your time 1L year should be spent focusing on your grades and taking advantage of the easy social opportunities such as section/society activities. Trust me, employers will not care if you wait until after 1L to join a journal. But do what you want; it won't hurt you unless it takes time away from more important things.

Probably the best way to get into soft IP is to get amazing grades and try to join one of the firms on this list. A lot of biglaw firms do that kind of work (copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets) as part of their regular lit and corporate practices.

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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby dkb17xzx » Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:30 am

Thank you for the response.

So joiningthe Oil and Gas Journal (assuming they take 1Ls) wouldn't be a good idea? I was thinking that joining something like that would demonstrate interest in a particular area which might help with employment. I'm not arguing with your suggestion...I'm just curious.

Apart from great grades, what else can one do for soft-IP? Would it mostly litigation focused? (and therefore take related classes / join mock-trial, etc.)

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philosoraptor
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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby philosoraptor » Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:00 am

dkb17xzx wrote:Thank you for the response.

So joiningthe Oil and Gas Journal (assuming they take 1Ls) wouldn't be a good idea? I was thinking that joining something like that would demonstrate interest in a particular area which might help with employment. I'm not arguing with your suggestion...I'm just curious.

Apart from great grades, what else can one do for soft-IP? Would it mostly litigation focused? (and therefore take related classes / join mock-trial, etc.)
I think TJOGEL does take 1Ls. I mean, sure, if you know you're interested in a specific practice area and want to start networking right away, go for it. Just don't lose sight of the fact that 1L grades trump everything else when it comes to employment. You can always do write-on at the end of 1L and join TJOGEL or whatever if you don't make Law Review or one of the other more selective journals. That should be enough to show interest to OCI employers.

As far as soft IP, just think about what interests you. IP can mean litigation (fighting over rights) or transactional work (preventing fights over rights). Take Bob Bone's intro IP class to get a sense of how the law works in those areas. If you're enthralled by something in particular, take a seminar and write a paper. But this stuff won't get you hired; it will show you whether you actually like the law. Before law school, I really liked reading about copyright and trademark issues, but once I took a couple classes in those areas, I realized that I would rather do almost anything else with my career. It's one of those areas where (IMHO) the policy debates are fun but the law sucks.

Incidentally, mock trial is unlikely prepare you for biglaw lit, which consists of a great deal of research, memo-writing, discovery (doc review, depositions, etc.), motion practice, and so forth. If you're shooting for biglaw, don't expect any classes to actually prepare you for what you'll do (except maybe LRW and transactional drafting).

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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby Holynorth » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:08 pm

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Last edited by Holynorth on Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Apollo526
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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby Apollo526 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:07 pm

Holynorth wrote:What is the stigma of transfers at UT? I understand that 1L does a pretty good job of helping the students make friends. Did you find that transfers were pretty outside of the social scene because of this?


I can't think of any that I knew... so that could be a problem. It either means there weren't that many of them or they really were outside of the social scene. But as I've said before, I didn't do bar review a lot and tended to stick to my small section/ law journal.

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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby Apollo526 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:15 pm

dkb17xzx wrote:Thank you for the response.

So joiningthe Oil and Gas Journal (assuming they take 1Ls) wouldn't be a good idea? I was thinking that joining something like that would demonstrate interest in a particular area which might help with employment. I'm not arguing with your suggestion...I'm just curious.


For the most part, I'd agree with other posters. Grades are THE MOST IMPORTANT THING 1L YEAR. If you have a 3.8 GPA, no one cares if you weren't on a journal. Likewise, if you have a 3.2, no one cares that you were. All of that being said, being on a journal will provide you with more editing practice, which will help you stand out if you do manage to land a job the summer following 1L year. So I wouldn't count on it to help you find one, but if you do, it will help you stand out. And if you have an interest in the area, it might be a good idea to check it out.

dkb17xzx wrote:Apart from great grades, what else can one do for soft-IP? Would it mostly litigation focused? (and therefore take related classes / join mock-trial, etc.)


Know that you are battling uphill to an insane degree here. You will get flat out rejections simply because you don't have X degree -regardless of your capabilities, experience with subject X, or whatever. You will get more rejections than most students send out offers.

If you are still head strong on that idea, my advice is that it honestly depends on the firm. There are a few soft-IP specific firms. When I say a few, I think there are literally 3 in the nation of any size. 1 in Austin, 1 in NY, and 1 in Chicago. Aside from that, some firms (i.e., Baker Botts) put you in a general litigation practice and you just hope for the occasional IP case. Others will put you with all IP litigation. If you don't have an engineering degree, you will not be doing anything with patents other than litigation. You may get some copyright/trademark work, but that really is the minority and they generally already have people doing it. Earn your stripes doing patent lit, then hope to later to make the move.

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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby Apollo526 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:20 pm

philosoraptor wrote:As far as soft IP, just think about what interests you. IP can mean litigation (fighting over rights) or transactional work (preventing fights over rights). Take Bob Bone's intro IP class to get a sense of how the law works in those areas. If you're enthralled by something in particular, take a seminar and write a paper.


+1 on this. Bob Bone is awesome. I was lucky enough to have him 1L for CivPro and later took 2 courses plus a directed research under him.

philosoraptor wrote:But this stuff won't get you hired; it will show you whether you actually like the law. Before law school, I really liked reading about copyright and trademark issues, but once I took a couple classes in those areas, I realized that I would rather do almost anything else with my career. It's one of those areas where (IMHO) the policy debates are fun but the law sucks.


I disagree with this somewhat. It may not get you hired, but it may keep you from not being hired. I've seen interviews fall apart when the interviewer asks why the applicant is interested in IP and the applicant can't give a sufficient reason. Being able to point to a class and show some investment in learning the area will help you stick out from those that just applied everywhere.

philosoraptor wrote:Incidentally, mock trial is unlikely prepare you for biglaw lit, which consists of a great deal of research, memo-writing, discovery (doc review, depositions, etc.), motion practice, and so forth. If you're shooting for biglaw, don't expect any classes to actually prepare you for what you'll do (except maybe LRW and transactional drafting).


Another half-agree, half-disagree. Walking into real-world litigation is going to be a night/day difference from law school, but that doesn't mean mock trial and stuff isn't helpful. I took evidence and studied my ass off. I barely remembered it by the start of next semester. In contrast, I took mock trial and can now lay the foundation for a photo or argue hearsay exceptions at the drop of a hat. That comes in handy with the bar exam and saves time when writing memos and stuff for actual work (no need to look it up, you know it by heart and can cite the rule).

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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby philosoraptor » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:34 pm

Apollo's absolutely right that you should take/do whatever interests you. My only point was that certain things (IP classes, mock trial) might be necessary but will rarely be sufficient to get hired -- assuming those are the things you want to hang your hat on in interviews. There are many good ways to sell yourself to employers, and it's never too early to start thinking about that.

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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby dkb17xzx » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:10 am

philosopraptor and Apollo - thank you for your responses. from what i gather:

- grades trump all
- it's a positive sign to show interest by joining journals / other extracurricular activities
- however no activity is worth a sacrifice in grades
- activities won't make up for low grades

philosoraptor wrote: There are many good ways to sell yourself to employers, and it's never too early to start thinking about that.


this is precisely what i'm trying to do. if i get the grades, fantastic. if that doesn't happen, then it's hustle time.

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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby Apollo526 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:40 am

dkb17xzx wrote:philosopraptor and Apollo - thank you for your responses. from what i gather:

- grades trump all
- it's a positive sign to show interest by joining journals / other extracurricular activities
- however no activity is worth a sacrifice in grades
- activities won't make up for low grades

philosoraptor wrote: There are many good ways to sell yourself to employers, and it's never too early to start thinking about that.


this is precisely what i'm trying to do. if i get the grades, fantastic. if that doesn't happen, then it's hustle time.


Great summary, and thanks to Philosopraptor for joining in.

Any other questions about my 3 years at UT Law or the 4 at UT undergrad preceding that?

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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby dkb17xzx » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:00 am

Apollo526 wrote:
dkb17xzx wrote:philosopraptor and Apollo - thank you for your responses. from what i gather:

- grades trump all
- it's a positive sign to show interest by joining journals / other extracurricular activities
- however no activity is worth a sacrifice in grades
- activities won't make up for low grades

philosoraptor wrote: There are many good ways to sell yourself to employers, and it's never too early to start thinking about that.


this is precisely what i'm trying to do. if i get the grades, fantastic. if that doesn't happen, then it's hustle time.


Great summary, and thanks to Philosopraptor for joining in.

Any other questions about my 3 years at UT Law or the 4 at UT undergrad preceding that?



Sure, I got plenty:

- Must drink at bars / coffee shops along w/ recommendations
- Must eat food trucks
- Bicycle safety tips (I plan on taking a shuttle from my apartment to the law school but the nearest stop will be Dean Keeton and the opposite side of red river - a 20 minute walk or so. I plan to ride that distance and have heard that bicycle theft is very common.)
- when should one reach out to potential 1L employers (non-NALP)
- any advice on contacting UT alumni / current students in one's city
- how are the UT study abroad programs?
- how many semesters can students be away from campus? let's say I wanna do one semester abroad and another one in DC/NYC, would that be possible?
- Are 2L's and 3L's able to find part-time semester jobs at Austin firms / corporations?


Thanks for doing this.

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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby philosoraptor » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:26 am

dkb17xzx wrote:- Bicycle safety tips (I plan on taking a shuttle from my apartment to the law school but the nearest stop will be Dean Keeton and the opposite side of red river - a 20 minute walk or so. I plan to ride that distance and have heard that bicycle theft is very common.)
Not sure I understand this. Shouldn't be a 20-minute walk from Red River and Dean Keeton. But if you're going to bike, get a solid U-lock and don't be an oblivious asshole to cars (i.e., don't wear headphones, wear a helmet, obey traffic laws). Bikers in Austin have a tendency to be arrogant and entitled while ignoring basic safety rules.
- when should one reach out to potential 1L employers (non-NALP)
Don't worry about this yet. Winter break after 1L exams will be fine. CSO will help with the timeline.
- any advice on contacting UT alumni / current students in one's city
Go on firms' websites and search their attorneys for where they went to school. If you reach out, be exceedingly polite and professional and don't even think about hounding people for jobs yet. If you get turned down for coffee or whatever, don't take it personally -- attorneys are busy. Again, CSO will have plenty of advice on this, and they will probably be able to make introductions in your area with alums who have volunteered to be available. Check with them (or maybe admissions, since school hasn't started) first.
- how are the UT study abroad programs?
Apparently they're fun. But unless you have extremely specific goals, I fail to see why study abroad would be a good use of your time and money. Law school is not the time for exploring the world; it's the time for preparing for a profession and making connections in the areas where you want to practice.
- how many semesters can students be away from campus? let's say I wanna do one semester abroad and another one in DC/NYC, would that be possible?
See above for my thoughts on study abroad. I don't think it's possible to do a semester in DC or New York. Also, why would you want to leave Austin for a semester?
- Are 2L's and 3L's able to find part-time semester jobs at Austin firms / corporations?
Yes, a lot of people worked during 3L year -- law clerks at large and small firms, judicial interns, nonprofit interns, legislative work, etc. Austin has many opportunities for work outside school, and UT obviously has a lot of connections.

BigZuck
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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby BigZuck » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:23 pm

You mentioned CSO a few times. Are they helpful? Seems like at a lot of other schools people say many of them are useless.

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philosoraptor
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Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby philosoraptor » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:55 pm

BigZuck wrote:You mentioned CSO a few times. Are they helpful? Seems like at a lot of other schools people say many of them are useless.
This is a tricky question, so I will tread carefully. Keep in mind your experience may differ.

First, they certainly have their uses. They're great at the stuff I mentioned in my previous post, things like providing overviews of the process and getting you in touch with alumni in practice areas you're interested in. Further, if you're interested in big firms in Texas, New York, D.C., and California (and elsewhere, to a lesser extent), they'll bend over backward to help you out. The mock firm interviews are great -- mine 1L year was with two associates from an elite firm who gave great feedback. I sought help from CSO when I had a sensitive situation about the timing of SA offers and acceptances, and their big-firm guy gave me good advice.

If you show an appropriate level of commitment to getting a federal clerkship, they will make sure you're on track, have every resource you need, and know everything there is to know about the process -- apparently to an absurd degree. If you want Texas state government, they know people and can point you in useful directions. Basic stuff, like editing resumes, generic career counseling, and providing general info about the ways to get a job are their strength. The career handbook they put out every year is useful.

A major flaw in their system is public interest. The public interest side of things appears to be dominated by TLF and the Justice Center, not CSO. From what I saw, if you're not in their little club, do all the right things, and kiss the right asses, you get shunned. Even if you do the right activities, if a few people don't like you, you're screwed. I hesitate to go into more detail than this, but I saw secondhand some bizarre, brazenly "political" behavior from the public interest leaders, who seem to go out of their way to lavish money and help on their chosen few. This is one of the reasons why I consistently urge 0Ls who want non-Texas BigPublicInterest or BigPolicy (especially D.C.) to stay away from UT -- those things don't fit the TLF/Justice Center mold, and the administration will be more of a hindrance than a help if you're shooting for that.

TL;DR: Use CSO for basic stuff like introductions to helpful alumni and timelines for job searches. Beyond that, it can get complicated, so keep your eyes open and use your judgment.

BigZuck
Posts: 10855
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Recently Graduated UT Law Student taking questions

Postby BigZuck » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:39 pm

Awesome, thanks man, super helpful as always!




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