Penn Students Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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kurla88
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby kurla88 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:48 pm

1L here. Looking for the down-low on the following professors:

Klick (Law & Econ)

Lesnick (Legal Responses to Inequality)

Johnston (Climate Change)

Adler vs. Coglianese (Admin)

Adler (Con Law)

Morse (Crim)

Also looking for input in general on which 1L electives are best. Thanks!

~K

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DelDad
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby DelDad » Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:25 pm

Of the 1L electives being offered this year, I took Privacy and Legislation as a 1L, and I took Labor Law in Comparative Perspective when it was offered as an upper level seminar instead of a 1L elective.

Legislation was fantastic; one of the most practically useful classes I've had. The interpretive tools we learned in class were directly applicable in my summer work as well as in moot court competitions. Ruger is incredibly bright and very engaging. Treats students with respect.

Labor Law was also great. I'd had Bagchi for Contracts in her second year teaching, and she was still getting her bearings as a professor; she was *much* better in this class. Also an incredibly nice person. Readings were good (and not too heavy), and the class discussions were consistently interesting, and she was very good about eliciting different opinions from the class. If the class is bigger now that it's a 1L elective, I'm not sure how that particular strength of the course will translate. Still, I'd heartily recommend the class.

Privacy, less so.

I may take Admin this spring, just because I think it will be a very useful course; not sure which professor I'll go with if I decide to take it.
Last edited by DelDad on Fri Nov 13, 2009 7:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Georgiana
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Georgiana » Wed Nov 11, 2009 6:42 pm

Klick (Law & Econ) - I've heard good things about him but really don't know anything about it.

Lesnick (Legal Responses to Inequality) - He gives you a paper with specific guidelines. You don't have to go to class. Its very relaxed but not something I was every interested in.

Johnston (Climate Change) - I love Johnston and was considering taking this class. I just really don't have time next semester.

Adler vs. Coglianese (Admin) - Had C for environmental and don't think I'd take another class with him. He's nice/helpful but just very boring/dry. I've heard great things about Adler (also applicable for Con Law)

Morse (Crim) - Hardcore and the exam is entirely MC. People liked him though.

Also looking for input in general on which 1L electives are best.
I look Environmental and IP and enjoyed both topics. Admin will always be useful and I've heard really good things about Legislation. The guy teaching IP this year is teaching it for the first time (he sat in on my class last year). He seems like a nice guy though. People also enjoyed international last year but it was a lot of stuff to learn. Fink is supposed to be a lot better for Jurisprudence than she is for K's and the people who took it seemed to like the topic. Again it was something I have no interest in. I know one person who took Chinese law and she really liked it. It was a really small class I think. I would think the most popular classes will be Admin/Legislation and pub international for the regulatory classes and IP/Labor law for the perspectives class. I say that just because you may want to consider how many people will be in the class (do you prefer large v. small classes?). It's hard to really go wrong with the electives as long as its something you're interested in.

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DelDad
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby DelDad » Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:58 pm

Morse is very interested in competency and mental health as it intersect with criminal law as well (I believe he has a neuroscience background). I'm told he also approaches the subject more from the prosecutorial side of things (whereas Professor Rudovsky, for example, is a defense attorney.).

CCA
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby CCA » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:20 pm

I have Klick right now for torts. He is very laid back and doesn't do the Socratic method at all. I don't really like anything with econ involved, so I would never take that class, but otherwise he's fine.

Does anyone know about Roosevelt for con law or Robinson for crim?

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Georgiana
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Georgiana » Thu Nov 12, 2009 7:32 pm

CCA wrote:I have Klick right now for torts. He is very laid back and doesn't do the Socratic method at all. I don't really like anything with econ involved, so I would never take that class, but otherwise he's fine.

Does anyone know about Roosevelt for con law or Robinson for crim?

I had KR for con... it was ok. The exam was low stress and he's pretty laid back. He's not great with Socratic and a lot of people got annoyed with his rehearsed jokes and attempts to be funny. I find him rather endearing :) I also found that a lot of guys said he was much more helpful if girls asked questions. Not surprising given his background...

Long story short, I'd take another class with him but there were several people in my class that wouldn't take another class with him if you paid them.

Also, Con isn't *really* his thing. He's great at it and knows his stuff, but what he really likes is Conflict of Laws.

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underachiever
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby underachiever » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:24 pm

So any ideas for outlining?
I have (Sec 1):

Struve (Civ. Pro)
Johnston (Contracts)
Allen (Torts)
Wagner (Property)

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DelDad
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby DelDad » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:44 pm

Just collected a whole bunch of Wagner/Johnston/Struve outlines (still working on getting Allen ones) for my legal writing students. PM me your email address and I'll send them your way.

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Georgiana
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Georgiana » Thu Nov 12, 2009 10:46 pm

underachiever wrote:So any ideas for outlining?
I have (Sec 1):

Struve (Civ. Pro)
Johnston (Contracts)
Allen (Torts)
Wagner (Property)

Honestly I had NONE of those people. Section 1 was such an enigma last year... lol

I don't know if anyone who is regular here was in section 1...

Outlining (IMO) is a rather personal experience. You have to decide whether you want to start from scratch or use an old outline. I found no correlation between making my own and getting a good grade. I didn't outline classes where we wouldn't be able to bring our outline (Civ Pro) or classes with take homes (Con Law). Torts is pretty easy to outline because it really is such a shallow subject. It all comes down to negligence (+ prod liability) and intentional torts... a pointless class. Property is very rule oriented, its not wishy washy policy arguments but I've heard Wager's exam last year was just horrific. Not because it was hard but because it was stuff he didn't teach. Johnston seems to be a straightforward prof who is very clear about what he thinks is important. Keep that in mind for the exam.

Sorry I can't give more specific advice but if you want me to expand or have other questions feel free :)

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biggamejames
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby biggamejames » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:05 pm

CCA wrote:I have Klick right now for torts. He is very laid back and doesn't do the Socratic method at all. I don't really like anything with econ involved, so I would never take that class, but otherwise he's fine.

Does anyone know about Roosevelt for con law or Robinson for crim?

Robinson is all Model Penal Code/Statutory Analysis for crim. You won't do any common law stuff.

Also, he has a tendency to stand in a way reminiscent of the Captain Morgan guy when he lectures.

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Haven
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Haven » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:06 pm

Actually, I've been curious about Penn, as it seems to generate the least buzz on here out of all of the T14.

I have visited UVA (during the winter), and I'm not going to lie- I was really impressed. It has an academic attitude to it, and its such a beautiful campus. It also feels so... historical. Lots of wood and brick. A slightly-formal, intelligent feeling in the air.

I really loved UVA.

My question is this: How does Penn feel in comparison? What is the attitude like on campus?

(moved to this thread)

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Georgiana
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Georgiana » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:40 pm

Haven wrote:Actually, I've been curious about Penn, as it seems to generate the least buzz on here out of all of the T14.

I have visited UVA (during the winter), and I'm not going to lie- I was really impressed. It has an academic attitude to it, and its such a beautiful campus. It also feels so... historical. Lots of wood and brick. A slightly-formal, intelligent feeling in the air.

I really loved UVA.

My question is this: How does Penn feel in comparison? What is the attitude like on campus?

(moved to this thread)

I visited UVA when I was deciding and quite honestly hated it.

Don't get me wrong its pretty etc. but it is SOOOOOO undergrady. I couldn't get over it. I went to a big state school with a gorgeous campus for undergrad and didn't want the same thing.

Image

Thats my law school. Self contained. Not on a "campus." I don't have to go to the undergrad area unless I want to. And when I do want to, they have a great campus and I can get that feel.

I can't tell you how the school would make you feel, you'd have to visit and see what happens.
Last edited by Georgiana on Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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IAFG
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby IAFG » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:49 pm

Georgiana wrote:Image


Best picture ever. You just found me my new wallpaper, Georgiana.

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kurla88
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby kurla88 » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:05 pm

Haven wrote:Actually, I've been curious about Penn, as it seems to generate the least buzz on here out of all of the T14.

I have visited UVA (during the winter), and I'm not going to lie- I was really impressed. It has an academic attitude to it, and its such a beautiful campus. It also feels so... historical. Lots of wood and brick. A slightly-formal, intelligent feeling in the air.

I really loved UVA.

My question is this: How does Penn feel in comparison? What is the attitude like on campus?

(moved to this thread)


Never been to UVA, but I feel like the atmosphere here is plenty intellectual. We spend a lot of time talking about crap that has nothing to do with law school, just b/c we're so busy being "intellectual" all the time, but our nerdiness is strong, and we'll suddenly end up breaking into legal theory in the middle of a conversation about vampires or something... lol.

This really depends on who you choose to spend your time with. There's definitely people who love talking about law and philosophy all day, and then there's people who want to be done with law school when they're done with law school (aka me).

The campus is definitely pretty. Nice if you like old-fashioned, ivy-like buildings and cobbled pathways. I'm pretty oblivious to such things, though, and I don't go to much of campus outside the law school.

Thanks for your help re: 1L electives, 2Ls & 3Ls! I've been asking around and this was the fastest, most thorough response yet. :)

And that picture is gorgeous. Dude. I want to get up to that angle and see it like that... just not the same from the ground.
Last edited by kurla88 on Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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biggamejames
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby biggamejames » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:06 pm

Haven wrote:My question is this: How does Penn feel in comparison? What is the attitude like on campus?

It's okay, honestly. I have my issues with the atmosphere at all "elite" educational institutions, but Penn Law is better than most, I think.

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Georgiana
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Georgiana » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:40 pm

IAFG wrote:Best picture ever. You just found me my new wallpaper, Georgiana.

Hoorah! It is a pretty awesome pic :)

CCA
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby CCA » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:19 pm

Haven wrote:Actually, I've been curious about Penn, as it seems to generate the least buzz on here out of all of the T14.

I have visited UVA (during the winter), and I'm not going to lie- I was really impressed. It has an academic attitude to it, and its such a beautiful campus. It also feels so... historical. Lots of wood and brick. A slightly-formal, intelligent feeling in the air.

I really loved UVA.

My question is this: How does Penn feel in comparison? What is the attitude like on campus?

(moved to this thread)


Thanks to the 2Ls for the comments on professors.

To answer the question above, I think that you will probably also find a similar formal and intelligent feeling - many people are more businesslike and professional (especially compared to my UG). Everyone is always willing to discuss the material, share ideas, outlines, etc. Nobody seems competitive, although almost everyone seems to work very hard, even on the ungraded legal writing assignments.

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biggamejames
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby biggamejames » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:21 am

What's the court tennis scene like in Philadelphia?

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kurla88
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby kurla88 » Fri Nov 20, 2009 10:17 am

New question - there's this email with class reviews going around that says "Everyone is required to take this before graduation" re: Admin Law, so I thought it was a formal requirement but! It turns out it's not.

How necessary do you think this class is? Would you get a similar effect just from having a class in the administrative law category (i.e. climate change or legislation... those are now my #1 and #2 choices.)

I hear Admin is super-useful but a bit more difficult, so I'd rather not take it this year. But I guess if it's informally required I can always take it next year anyway. Hmm...

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DelDad
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby DelDad » Fri Nov 20, 2009 3:17 pm

Admin is neither formally nor informally required. It is extremely useful, but many fewer than half the people end up taking it. I was debating taking next semester but decided against it.

Legislation is very different from Admin, although some of the cases we covered in Legislation dealt with the conflicts that sometimes arise when administrative agencies interpret statutes in unanticipated ways. Several times during the semester, Professor Ruger said something like, "We aren't going to get too far into this because this isn't an Administrative Law class, but...."

Climate change might have more admin law in it (the EPA attempts to dea; with the problem, etc), but obviously not the formal treatment of the subject you'd get with Admin.

Sorry, no idea about tennis courts.

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Burberry by Burberry
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Burberry by Burberry » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:59 am

If I have never been to Philadelphia (or Penn, obviously) it is unreasonable to ED? Would anyone recommend EDing without visiting the school?

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James Bond
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby James Bond » Sat Nov 21, 2009 5:44 am

Burberry by Burberry wrote:If I have never been to Philadelphia (or Penn, obviously) it is unreasonable to ED? Would anyone recommend EDing without visiting the school?


Go there. Philadelphia in general is a shithole, but Penn's in a nice part of it.

Actually in general I'd recommend visiting ANYWHERE before you ED or accept.

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kurla88
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby kurla88 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:24 am

Burberry by Burberry wrote:If I have never been to Philadelphia (or Penn, obviously) it is unreasonable to ED? Would anyone recommend EDing without visiting the school?


I think the whole "feel" thing is kind of overrated. Maybe to some people it really matters whether you're in a city or college town or something... I'm kind of oblivious to that kind of thing, other than the cost of living, grr. Once law school really starts going, you won't spend any time anywhere other than the library and your apartment anyway. :roll:

Similarly, AGONIZING over school choices that are in the same range (not that I didn't do it myself) is kind of pointless. Law school is, ultimately, law school.

Questions:
1) Does Penn sound the best of MVPB to you?
2) Are your admission chances here a little less than borderline?
3) Have you really perused the website to make sure there's nothing that turns you off?
4) Are you willing to pay sticker if admitted?

If the answer to all those questions is yes, you can't really go wrong EDing here.

How much did you consider "feel" in undergrad choice? How much did it really matter? Were your initial feelings from a one-day visit accurate as to your four-year experience?

My impressions of Penn - the "collegial" thing really is true. As someone else phrased it, that mostly means there are remarkably few douchebags for a law school setting. :P It also means students reach out to other students they don't even know with offers of notes, Thanksgiving dinners, etc.
The professors are all geniuses, but not all of them can actually teach, but this is to be expected. (I think I had a better run at professors in undergrad, honestly, but I should probably give it more than one semester here before I make this pronouncement.)
There are tons of clubs and stuff to join, and if a club doesn't exist, you can make one. (I only joined a couple of things, and I regret it already...)

If you have more questions, feel free to ask! I would have thought the ED deadline's passed already...

rm21
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby rm21 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:01 pm

I have a hypothetical question: If accepted to both Harvard and Penn and interested primarily in working for a major law firm or the federal government, would it be crazy to go to Penn (if a number of personal factors point in that direction, i.e. originally from Philadelphia and family still there, significant other of six years getting a very lucrative job in Philadelphia, etc.)?

Are the job prospects similar enough to justify turning down the prestige of Harvard? I think I might be in this situation, as I received a JR1 very early (a good sign, though definitely not a sure thing). I am really interested in hearing the take of some Penn students.

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kurla88
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby kurla88 » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:05 pm

rm21 wrote:I have a hypothetical question: If accepted to both Harvard and Penn and interested primarily in working for a major law firm or the federal government, would it be crazy to go to Penn (if a number of personal factors point in that direction, i.e. originally from Philadelphia and family still there, significant other of six years getting a very lucrative job in Philadelphia, etc.)?

Are the job prospects similar enough to justify turning down the prestige of Harvard? I think I might be in this situation, as I received a JR1 very early (a good sign, though definitely not a sure thing). I am really interested in hearing the take of some Penn students.


If you're a Levy scholar, then yes. If not, I would have a really hard time advising you to choose Penn. The economy has hit us hard.

On the bright side, with Harvard-esque numbers and an admission to Penn, you have a good shot at Levy.




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