BC 1L taking questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
eagles_4
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BC 1L taking questions

Postby eagles_4 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:01 pm

New thread for any potential students with questions about Boston College law. I'm a 1L, worked for two years after UG before law school, ended up top ~10% last semester with a 3.7. Feel free to ask away!

l3g@l33s3
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby l3g@l33s3 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:05 pm

eagles_4 wrote:New thread for any potential students with questions about Boston College law. I'm a 1L, worked for two years after UG before law school, ended up top ~10% last semester with a 3.7. Feel free to ask away!


Can You give us your typical day?

How many hours do you spend studying a week?

What do you do to study?

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lawof11
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby lawof11 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:14 pm

What was the most unpleasant surprise you found--compared to your perceptions or expectations---once you began your year at BC?

What was the most pleasant surprise?

Thanks for doing this.

eagles_4
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby eagles_4 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:41 pm

l3g@l33s3 wrote:
Can You give us your typical day?

How many hours do you spend studying a week?

What do you do to study?


I generally treat school like a work day, meaning I'm on campus from roughly 9-5 (even if I don't have class until the afternoon). Typical day would involve 2-3 classes that are 1.5 hours each, and before/in between/after class I am in the library doing my reading for upcoming classes. I was surprised to find that I am working/studying less than I was when I had a job after UG. Of course, I'm on campus studying more leading up to finals than I am at the beginning of the semester. Overall the workload is very manageable as long as you are smart with how you spend your time and have good organization.

Last semester I really didn't focus on my outlines until Thanksgiving, and didn't finish them until a few days before each final - I definitely wouldn't recommend this, but it turned out fine for me. I just knew coming back from Thanksgiving break that I would need to work really hard, and ended up studying about 10 hours a day, 7 days a week until exams were over. Considering I had a decent amount of free time at the beginning of the semester, this was not unmanageable. I'm planning on starting them earlier in the semester this spring so the backend is a little better.

In terms of studying - I started off this fall by taking notes/briefing all of the readings but slowly moved away from that. When I was first figuring out law school it was helpful because it made me proactively engage in the material and really think through what I was writing down, but I eventually got frustrated with how long it took. Now I just highlight and take notes in the margins as I read. If I know I'm likely to be called on in class I'll read the cases over a second time to make sure I really get it. I actually did better on cold calls once I stopped briefing because I wasn't fumbling through my lengthy notes to find an answer.

eagles_4
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby eagles_4 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:58 pm

lawof11 wrote:What was the most unpleasant surprise you found--compared to your perceptions or expectations---once you began your year at BC?

What was the most pleasant surprise?

Thanks for doing this.


It's hard to think of a most unpleasant surprise. This is something I was obviously aware of before starting at BC, and it's true at most law schools, but first semester I struggled with the idea of having one exam count for my entire grade. Law school is such a unique academic experience and it was definitely hard to not receive tangible feedback on my progress. I genuinely had no idea how I was doing or how I stood next to my peers for most of the semester, and came out of finals expecting to be right at median. I was very pleasantly surprised to get my grades back and see that I did well, especially after being a mediocre student in undergrad. I think I succeeded because I was able to focus on the end goal and not let the long arc of the semester bring me down.

Most pleasant surprise was definitely the community/environment. A lot of people talk about higher ranked law schools being super cutthroat and intense, but BC provides a really great balance. Of course, people work hard and can be competitive, but they still genuinely want you to succeed as well. My peers are friendly and frankly enjoyable to be in class with. The professors are very supportive and approachable, and also extremely intelligent - half of my professors last semester clerked for a SCOTUS judge. People often describe BC law as collegial, and I have absolutely found that to be the case.

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lawof11
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby lawof11 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:16 pm

Thanks!

l3g@l33s3
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby l3g@l33s3 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:51 pm

eagles_4 wrote:
l3g@l33s3 wrote:
Can You give us your typical day?

How many hours do you spend studying a week?

What do you do to study?


I generally treat school like a work day, meaning I'm on campus from roughly 9-5 (even if I don't have class until the afternoon). Typical day would involve 2-3 classes that are 1.5 hours each, and before/in between/after class I am in the library doing my reading for upcoming classes. I was surprised to find that I am working/studying less than I was when I had a job after UG. Of course, I'm on campus studying more leading up to finals than I am at the beginning of the semester. Overall the workload is very manageable as long as you are smart with how you spend your time and have good organization.

Last semester I really didn't focus on my outlines until Thanksgiving, and didn't finish them until a few days before each final - I definitely wouldn't recommend this, but it turned out fine for me. I just knew coming back from Thanksgiving break that I would need to work really hard, and ended up studying about 10 hours a day, 7 days a week until exams were over. Considering I had a decent amount of free time at the beginning of the semester, this was not unmanageable. I'm planning on starting them earlier in the semester this spring so the backend is a little better.

In terms of studying - I started off this fall by taking notes/briefing all of the readings but slowly moved away from that. When I was first figuring out law school it was helpful because it made me proactively engage in the material and really think through what I was writing down, but I eventually got frustrated with how long it took. Now I just highlight and take notes in the margins as I read. If I know I'm likely to be called on in class I'll read the cases over a second time to make sure I really get it. I actually did better on cold calls once I stopped briefing because I wasn't fumbling through my lengthy notes to find an answer.


Thank You!

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dannij
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby dannij » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:36 pm

Thanks for doing this! I recently put my deposit down at BC and I've been trying to figure out the general attitude towards having pets in law school. I know law school (particularly 1L) is a huge adjustment and super time consuming, but I have a 2yo lab who I'll have with me in the fall. I know you said you spent a full day on campus, but it sounds like you had time for a life outside of school too. Basically my question is: am I nuts? Do you feel like the workload at BC makes any additional responsibilities fall to the wayside?

eagles_4
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby eagles_4 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:08 am

dannij wrote:Thanks for doing this! I recently put my deposit down at BC and I've been trying to figure out the general attitude towards having pets in law school. I know law school (particularly 1L) is a huge adjustment and super time consuming, but I have a 2yo lab who I'll have with me in the fall. I know you said you spent a full day on campus, but it sounds like you had time for a life outside of school too. Basically my question is: am I nuts? Do you feel like the workload at BC makes any additional responsibilities fall to the wayside?


I wouldn't say its impossible, but will definitely depend on your living situation and studying style. For me, it would be tough - I have a 15-20 minute commute so I wouldn't be able to get home to let a dog out during the day. Also, I am much more productive if I study in the library compared to at home. But if you live closer to school, have a car, and maybe roommates who are willing to help out then it may be do-able. One other consideration is whether you can find an apartment that allows bigger dogs. That will likely make your housing search a bit more complicated. Overall, I'd say that having a dog (especially a bigger one who needs more exercise) may just add to your stress during 1L. I think this would be true at most schools.

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tuesdayninja
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby tuesdayninja » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:15 pm

Were you able to negotiate any scholly bump? BC has a rep for being stingy apparently.

What's the IP contingent look like at BC? Are there a decent number?

What do you like to do with free time if you have any? Are there IM sports teams?

What does your typical weekend look like?

Thanks for doing this!

eagles_4
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby eagles_4 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 3:18 pm

tuesdayninja wrote:Were you able to negotiate any scholly bump? BC has a rep for being stingy apparently.

What's the IP contingent look like at BC? Are there a decent number?

What do you like to do with free time if you have any? Are there IM sports teams?

What does your typical weekend look like?

Thanks for doing this!


You're welcome! Happy to help.
I asked for an increase to my scholarship ($16k/year), but was denied. I haven't discussed negotiations with anyone so can't confirmed if they are a possibility or not. Also, I didn't apply until late January and was accepted in late February with a below median GPA - not sure if that played a part or not.

Definitely a decent number of IP-focused students. There's an IP student organization that puts on interesting events and seems to have a nice network in Boston/other markets.

In my free time I spend time with friends (a good number of my friends from UG are in Boston), go to different events (sporting games/concerts), or work out/play sports. There's a softball league that is pretty popular in the fall, and a few other IM teams (like hockey) that are active. Also, BC is a really fun sports school in general - law students will end up going to some varsity hockey/football games when we can. Based on my study schedule, I'm able to get my work done M-F so my weekends are pretty much free at the beginning of the semester. I try to organize weekend trips during this time before it gets busy. About halfway through I was studying for a few hours one day of the weekend, and then the last month and a half leading up to finals I was in the library all day Saturday and Sunday.

bceagle_4
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby bceagle_4 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:19 am

Another BC 1L here to answer questions. I finished first semester at the top of my class with a 4.0 (probably thanks to a healthy amount of good fortune) and hope to help others do similarly well as well as answer any questions about BC, Boston, or law school in general. Fire away!

mrtux45
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby mrtux45 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 12:32 pm

Appreciate this!

-What made you pick BC over other Boston schools?

-What's the general attitude about doing internships after 1L summer/are there resources that'll help you find something?

-Do a lot of students commute from outside Boston? Considering it to save $$ but don't know how that may impact my academic and social experience.

-What are you goals after BC?

bceagle_4
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!

Postby bceagle_4 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:41 pm

mrtux45 wrote:Appreciate this!

-What made you pick BC over other Boston schools?

-What's the general attitude about doing internships after 1L summer/are there resources that'll help you find something?

-Do a lot of students commute from outside Boston? Considering it to save $$ but don't know how that may impact my academic and social experience.

-What are you goals after BC?


-I'm assuming by other schools in Boston, you mean BU and not Harvard. Because you should always pick Harvard over BC. But I picked BC over BU for a variety of reasons. The first thing to note is that some rankings have BU listed above BC. However, in the Boston legal market, BC statistically places more people into Big Law jobs than any school. This is because Harvard people, for the most part, leave Boston. And BU people want to go to New York (and are also perceived as kinda stuck up). The number one reason I chose BC was the friendly environment. Law school is a very stressful and exhausting experience on its own, without having to deal with the gunner-ish mentality and the uber competitiveness that is found at many other schools (I've heard that this happens at BU quite a bit). Almost without exception, everyone at BC is someone I want to be friends with. And certainly without exception, every time I have asked someone for help understanding a topic or getting notes from a class I missed (or maybe didn't pay too close of attention in), everyone has been more than willing to help! That doesn't happen everywhere and should be taken into consideration.

-Internships after 1L summer are important. Lots of people want big firm paying jobs after 1L, but the reality is those just don't happen (unless you are a diversity student and then you can get those). Otherwise, you're looking at doing mostly public interest work; i.e. working for a DA's office or the Attorney General's office. At BC, the Career Services Office is excellent at assisting you in finding these positions. There are people who are always available for appointments to discuss job applications generally, go over cover letters and resumes, or do mock interviews. It was a pretty painless process to find a job (disclaimer: I did well and also do not get stressed out at all). Most people I know have been able to find a job, or at least have had several interviews at this point in the job search and will likely find a legal job. The key to summer 1L jobs is to do something law related so you can get a writing sample, references, and have something to take about in your OCIs to get the big firm job your 2L summer.

-As for commuting, I'm not sure how far away you're talking about. I know people who live in cities like Holbrook who commute every day. They just get up early to deal with traffic and arrive at school every day by 8/8:30 and then don't leave until 7/7:30 during the week. It hasn't seemed to affect the academics or social life that much. I live in Brighton and have a 10-15 min drive to campus, so I'm not the best authority on this. But I know it can be done, it's just a little different.

-My goals for after BC are to stay in Boston and work for a big firm doing corporate litigation work. Like I said above, BC is the best school to place you into the Boston legal market, which is one of the major reasons I chose it.

If you have anything else or need me to clarify, let me know! Hope that helped!

Augy1
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby Augy1 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:09 pm

Thanks for this!

- I have ties to NYC but not to Boston but would be interested in working there after graduation. Is attending BC enough to establish ties to Boston in the eyes of employers?

- What is your impression of how well BC performs in NYC with big firms and legal employment in general? I am interested in both Boston and NY.

bceagle_4
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby bceagle_4 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:16 pm

Augy1 wrote:Thanks for this!

- I have ties to NYC but not to Boston but would be interested in working there after graduation. Is attending BC enough to establish ties to Boston in the eyes of employers?

- What is your impression of how well BC performs in NYC with big firms and legal employment in general? I am interested in both Boston and NY.


-I am from Iowa and went to college in MN, so prior to law school I did not have any ties to Boston. From everyone I've talked and everything I've heard, going to BC is enough to establish ties to Boston. You chose to come to a law school in this city because that's where you want to practice law. I do know that Boston tends to be one of the more insular markets and difficult to break into if you don't come to law school here. It's a big city with a kind of small town feel when it comes to employment, if that makes sense.

-I haven't looked much into NYC because I'm not interested in working there. However, I do know that a fair amount of people from BC end up working in NYC. Particularly if you have ties to that area, it shouldn't be too difficult. Assuming your other criteria (grades, law review, etc.) are up to par, you should be able to find a big law job in NYC!

eagles_4
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby eagles_4 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 2:22 pm

mrtux45 wrote:
-Do a lot of students commute from outside Boston? Considering it to save $$ but don't know how that may impact my academic and social experience.



I live about 15-20 minutes away from school. When I was trying to figure out housing, I was really nervous about how this would go, but it turned out to be a non-issue. My housing situation is great (living with non-law school friends) and the commute is not bad. When I first visited school, I realized that I would probably need a car if I wanted to live anywhere outside the immediate neighborhood so as long as you are realistic about the cost/realities of that then it should be fine. Of course, I miss out on some social events closer to campus, but a lot bar reviews/other events are in Boston itself so it works out fine.

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jstans
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby jstans » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:51 am

I've been looking around a lot, but can't find any consistent answers to this: how hard is it to have a car in Boston? Do all apartments charge for parking? I'm looking around the Brighton/Allston/Brookline area at apartments and am not getting many straight answers. Some places say street parking, but I also saw something that said street is free for Mass license plates (I am very out-of-state) so what does that mean for me? Thanks for doing this, I know this question is kind of out of left field.

bceagle_4
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby bceagle_4 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:46 pm

jstans wrote:I've been looking around a lot, but can't find any consistent answers to this: how hard is it to have a car in Boston? Do all apartments charge for parking? I'm looking around the Brighton/Allston/Brookline area at apartments and am not getting many straight answers. Some places say street parking, but I also saw something that said street is free for Mass license plates (I am very out-of-state) so what does that mean for me? Thanks for doing this, I know this question is kind of out of left field.


I'm actually an out of state student with a car, so I've got some expertise in this area. I don't think it's very difficult to have a car in Boston. Some apartments charge for parking. Some places have street parking, but you may need to purchase a permit for the city you're living in to park on it. Other places are completely free street parking. And there are places that also have parking spaces that are available/reserved for a specific apartment. When you're looking at housing options online, it will often tell you "1 off-street parking space" or something like that. My best advice is to find a place that has an off-street parking spot because it makes things much easier. But I know plenty of people who don't have off-street parking and they get by just fine. Hope that helps.

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jstans
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby jstans » Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:08 pm

bceagle_4 wrote:
jstans wrote:I've been looking around a lot, but can't find any consistent answers to this: how hard is it to have a car in Boston? Do all apartments charge for parking? I'm looking around the Brighton/Allston/Brookline area at apartments and am not getting many straight answers. Some places say street parking, but I also saw something that said street is free for Mass license plates (I am very out-of-state) so what does that mean for me? Thanks for doing this, I know this question is kind of out of left field.


I'm actually an out of state student with a car, so I've got some expertise in this area. I don't think it's very difficult to have a car in Boston. Some apartments charge for parking. Some places have street parking, but you may need to purchase a permit for the city you're living in to park on it. Other places are completely free street parking. And there are places that also have parking spaces that are available/reserved for a specific apartment. When you're looking at housing options online, it will often tell you "1 off-street parking space" or something like that. My best advice is to find a place that has an off-street parking spot because it makes things much easier. But I know plenty of people who don't have off-street parking and they get by just fine. Hope that helps.


Thanks!

eagles_4
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby eagles_4 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:11 pm

bceagle_4 wrote:
jstans wrote:I've been looking around a lot, but can't find any consistent answers to this: how hard is it to have a car in Boston? Do all apartments charge for parking? I'm looking around the Brighton/Allston/Brookline area at apartments and am not getting many straight answers. Some places say street parking, but I also saw something that said street is free for Mass license plates (I am very out-of-state) so what does that mean for me? Thanks for doing this, I know this question is kind of out of left field.


I'm actually an out of state student with a car, so I've got some expertise in this area. I don't think it's very difficult to have a car in Boston. Some apartments charge for parking. Some places have street parking, but you may need to purchase a permit for the city you're living in to park on it. Other places are completely free street parking. And there are places that also have parking spaces that are available/reserved for a specific apartment. When you're looking at housing options online, it will often tell you "1 off-street parking space" or something like that. My best advice is to find a place that has an off-street parking spot because it makes things much easier. But I know plenty of people who don't have off-street parking and they get by just fine. Hope that helps.


I'm also an out-of-stater with a car. My apartment has street parking, which requires a city permit that cost me $25 for the year. I had to spend half a day in August at the RMV transferring my driver's license to my new address and getting new plates, but in the grand scheme of things it wasn't terrible. Plus, now I have everything transferred in-state and don't need to worry about it if I move apartments etc.

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circle.the.wagons
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby circle.the.wagons » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:52 am

BC estimates col is 20k per year. Do you find this to be accurate?

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Hand
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby Hand » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:36 am

is this a blue lotus alt

helpmedecide222
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby helpmedecide222 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:23 pm

I'm seriously considering committing to BC Law for the upcoming fall. My question geared toward the academics. If I wanted to go into civil litigation/con law type field is BC a good fit? I know they have specialties in clinical and tax law but I can't find much about anything else.

Would love to get your input on the variety of types of law that you see BC students going into.

Thanks for doing this!

bceagle_4
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Re: BC 1L taking questions

Postby bceagle_4 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:32 pm

helpmedecide222 wrote:I'm seriously considering committing to BC Law for the upcoming fall. My question geared toward the academics. If I wanted to go into civil litigation/con law type field is BC a good fit? I know they have specialties in clinical and tax law but I can't find much about anything else.

Would love to get your input on the variety of types of law that you see BC students going into.

Thanks for doing this!


BC students go into all different types of law. Everything from civil litigation at a big law firm to a public defender job to legal jobs that have absolutely no relation to litigation. I think it's important to note that law school isn't necessarily about focusing in on a specialty. What I mean by this, is that it's not really your course work that is going to directly teach you how to do your job. Most of that experience will come from your summer positions and particularly in your first few years after law school. Everyone I have talked to who is doing any sort of litigation, or transactional for that matter, legal work has said that it's a lot of on the job training and learning.

The point of law school is to teach you how to think like a lawyer, not teach you how to be a tax lawyer/public defender/prosecutor/etc. BC is a great school because it teaches you how to think, write, and speak like a lawyer. What you do with those skills is up to you. But I don't want you to have this misconception that you need to go to a law school that is top 20 ranked in civil litigation/con law in order to do that type of work. Because that is not true at all. You'd be much better off going to a law school that is well respected and where you feel like you can be comfortable learning and growing.

Hope that helps!




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