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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Sheffield
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Sheffield » Wed May 01, 2013 5:29 pm


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PennBull
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby PennBull » Wed May 01, 2013 6:00 pm

Sheffield wrote:Check this out . . .

Above the Law - UPENN #5

Also Good!---#4


Best employment score. Might as well be #1.

SportsFan
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby SportsFan » Thu May 02, 2013 4:40 pm

Is there anything I should (or can, practically speaking) do this weekend to prepare for the writing competition? I'm not trying to be a writing competition gunner haha but I've barely even touched my blue book all semester.

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OutCold
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby OutCold » Fri May 03, 2013 9:59 am

SportsFan wrote:Is there anything I should (or can, practically speaking) do this weekend to prepare for the writing competition? I'm not trying to be a writing competition gunner haha but I've barely even touched my blue book all semester.

First, there's no shame in prepping for the writing competition. If you are going to be stuck in a room for 16 hours over two days, and then writing for several more, you might as well try to do your best.

My advice is to read through the white pages of the Bluebook. Since you've written purely legal documents up to this point, you probably haven't had any experience with that section. If you can memorize basic rules before you get in there, you'll save loads of time and allow yourself to look up the harder rules. At the very least, by looking through the Bluebook maybe twice, you'll come away with some familiarity of the organization. Also, memorize some of the common word abbreviations--it'll save you time. For everything else, you'll be using the index, but if you are flipping to the index for everything, you won't get far enough. Remember, you don't have to finish (I only geto through 10/15 pages), but you need to be quicker and more accurate than most other people. The person with the most Bluebook familiarity will win 9 times out of 10 just because he or she knows where to look without flipping through the index.

For the written portion, interesting is always better. The longer you keep the grader's interest, the higher your chances will be. Also, personal statements do matter.

Edit: You should also be comfortable with the editing symbols beforehand.

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JamesDean1955
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby JamesDean1955 » Mon May 06, 2013 10:57 am

How much additional loan $$ will Penn allocate for students who need new computers? And how much did y'all pay for yours?

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PennBull
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby PennBull » Mon May 06, 2013 2:26 pm

JamesDean1955 wrote:How much additional loan $$ will Penn allocate for students who need new computers? And how much did y'all pay for yours?

Are you really going to scratch the upper limit of the maximum loan amount? If so, yeah, a computer is something they'll probably raise your maximum for.

I have a $350 refurbished laptop from newegg.com. It's great.

Most people here have Macbooks for whatever effing reason, I don't know. I'd rather take the extra $1000 it would cost to get a Macbook Pro and buy beer and rent.

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JamesDean1955
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby JamesDean1955 » Mon May 06, 2013 2:27 pm

PennBull wrote:
JamesDean1955 wrote:How much additional loan $$ will Penn allocate for students who need new computers? And how much did y'all pay for yours?

Are you really going to scratch the upper limit of the maximum loan amount? If so, yeah, a computer is something they'll probably raise your maximum for.

I have a $350 refurbished laptop from newegg.com. It's great.

Most people here have Macbooks for whatever effing reason, I don't know. I'd rather take the extra $1000 it would cost to get a Macbook Pro and buy beer and rent.


I was afraid of this - Mac hater here, lol.

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bluepenguin
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby bluepenguin » Mon May 06, 2013 11:01 pm

I'm going to GSE and thinking about taking Ed Law (or Race, Ed, & the Law, or whatever). Anyone taken that?

Do you see a lot of people from other grad programs in your classes?

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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby SportsFan » Mon May 06, 2013 11:51 pm

bluepenguin wrote:I'm going to GSE and thinking about taking Ed Law (or Race, Ed, & the Law, or whatever). Anyone taken that?

Do you see a lot of people from other grad programs in your classes?

Just curious, are you going to GSE instead of law school or are you planning on taking classes there once you're in law school?

I haven't seen non-law students in any of my 1L classes, but maybe its different for 2L's and 3L's.

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PennBull
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby PennBull » Mon May 06, 2013 11:52 pm

SportsFan wrote:
bluepenguin wrote:I'm going to GSE and thinking about taking Ed Law (or Race, Ed, & the Law, or whatever). Anyone taken that?

Do you see a lot of people from other grad programs in your classes?

Just curious, are you going to GSE instead of law school or are you planning on taking classes there once you're in law school?

I haven't seen non-law students in any of my 1L classes, but maybe its different for 2L's and 3L's.


We get them occasionally.

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bluepenguin
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby bluepenguin » Tue May 07, 2013 10:10 am

SportsFan wrote:Just curious, are you going to GSE instead of law school or are you planning on taking classes there once you're in law school?


I'm going to GSE instead of law school.

PennBull wrote:We get them occasionally.


Do elective classes have a curve? I doubt I would, but I wouldnt want to pull a C or something.

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PennBull
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby PennBull » Tue May 07, 2013 10:14 am

bluepenguin wrote:
PennBull wrote:We get them occasionally.

Do elective classes have a curve? I doubt I would, but I wouldnt want to pull a C or something.


Depends on the size of the class. Small classes don't, larger classes will. I can't imagine any class you'd want to take that isn't a small seminar, though.

Education law is a small seminar.

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JamesDean1955
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby JamesDean1955 » Tue May 07, 2013 11:13 am

PennBull wrote:
JamesDean1955 wrote:How much additional loan $$ will Penn allocate for students who need new computers? And how much did y'all pay for yours?

Are you really going to scratch the upper limit of the maximum loan amount? If so, yeah, a computer is something they'll probably raise your maximum for.

I have a $350 refurbished laptop from newegg.com. It's great.

Most people here have Macbooks for whatever effing reason, I don't know. I'd rather take the extra $1000 it would cost to get a Macbook Pro and buy beer and rent.


As a follow up question to this: are you only allowed to ask for the one-time raise for the computer before the start of 1L year? I ask because I honestly don't know if I will scratch the upper limit or not. TBH, I still don't see how the estimated COA is "generous". And $4k for 1L summer and a job in NYC would probably put me in the red. If we're talking about $150k in loans vs. $155ish k at graduation, it's not a life changer.

If I could just buy the computer myself, and then ask for reimbursement at any time during 1L year (if I ended up needing it), that would be preferable.

I realize this is best asked of the fin aid department, and I will, but they are working on something else for me at the moment and I'm waiting on the other thing to get taken care of first.

ETA: Also, is there a grace period where you can return your loans and not accrue any interest? This is also something to consider - if that's the case, I would max out now and worry about it later (but obviously before finals, lol).

SportsFan
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby SportsFan » Tue May 07, 2013 7:44 pm

JamesDean1955 wrote:
PennBull wrote:
JamesDean1955 wrote:How much additional loan $$ will Penn allocate for students who need new computers? And how much did y'all pay for yours?

Are you really going to scratch the upper limit of the maximum loan amount? If so, yeah, a computer is something they'll probably raise your maximum for.

I have a $350 refurbished laptop from newegg.com. It's great.

Most people here have Macbooks for whatever effing reason, I don't know. I'd rather take the extra $1000 it would cost to get a Macbook Pro and buy beer and rent.


As a follow up question to this: are you only allowed to ask for the one-time raise for the computer before the start of 1L year? I ask because I honestly don't know if I will scratch the upper limit or not. TBH, I still don't see how the estimated COA is "generous". And $4k for 1L summer and a job in NYC would probably put me in the red. If we're talking about $150k in loans vs. $155ish k at graduation, it's not a life changer.

If I could just buy the computer myself, and then ask for reimbursement at any time during 1L year (if I ended up needing it), that would be preferable.

I realize this is best asked of the fin aid department, and I will, but they are working on something else for me at the moment and I'm waiting on the other thing to get taken care of first.

ETA: Also, is there a grace period where you can return your loans and not accrue any interest? This is also something to consider - if that's the case, I would max out now and worry about it later (but obviously before finals, lol).

I'm pretty sure you'd still be accruing interest, but you can drop out any time during 1L before your first final and they'll refund your tuition. Not sure if thats true for the spring semester, but it was for fall.

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JamesDean1955
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby JamesDean1955 » Wed May 08, 2013 1:19 pm

^ Good to know, thanks!

So I found an apartment I like, but it doesn't include any utilities - not even hot water. Everything runs on electric. Wondering what sort of average electric bill I'd be looking at if I am paying for hot water (year round) /air conditioning (summer)/heating (winter)? Anyone else in a similar situation?

Landlord said $100-$150 would be the high end.

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Mr. Frodo
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Mr. Frodo » Wed May 08, 2013 1:32 pm

PennBull wrote:
JamesDean1955 wrote:How much additional loan $$ will Penn allocate for students who need new computers? And how much did y'all pay for yours?

Are you really going to scratch the upper limit of the maximum loan amount? If so, yeah, a computer is something they'll probably raise your maximum for.

I have a $350 refurbished laptop from newegg.com. It's great.

Most people here have Macbooks for whatever effing reason, I don't know. I'd rather take the extra $1000 it would cost to get a Macbook Pro and buy beer and rent.


I can attest the Mac fanboy-esque nature of University City schools (Penn's the worst but Drexel seems to be a close second).

I'm happy with my $500 HP that I got in 2008. Still runs everything great.

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JamesDean1955
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby JamesDean1955 » Wed May 08, 2013 1:56 pm

Mr. Frodo wrote:
PennBull wrote:
JamesDean1955 wrote:How much additional loan $$ will Penn allocate for students who need new computers? And how much did y'all pay for yours?

Are you really going to scratch the upper limit of the maximum loan amount? If so, yeah, a computer is something they'll probably raise your maximum for.

I have a $350 refurbished laptop from newegg.com. It's great.

Most people here have Macbooks for whatever effing reason, I don't know. I'd rather take the extra $1000 it would cost to get a Macbook Pro and buy beer and rent.


I can attest the Mac fanboy-esque nature of University City schools (Penn's the worst but Drexel seems to be a close second).

I'm happy with my $500 HP that I got in 2008. Still runs everything great.


As pretty as the Macbook Air looks, I don't feel like learning how to use a mac/run bootcamp/risk exam software not working. Plus, yeah, so expensive...

I already have a large laptop I use for movies/music/games/applications, basically anything that takes a lot of processing/storage power. I just want to get a lightweight 13" laptop for bringing to school and taking notes/web browsing, with decent battery, under $600.00. I really liked the Acer Timelines but I think they stopped making them or something. I hate computer shopping...

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PennBull
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby PennBull » Wed May 08, 2013 1:58 pm

JamesDean1955 wrote:^ Good to know, thanks!

So I found an apartment I like, but it doesn't include any utilities - not even hot water. Everything runs on electric. Wondering what sort of average electric bill I'd be looking at if I am paying for hot water (year round) /air conditioning (summer)/heating (winter)? Anyone else in a similar situation?

Landlord said $100-$150 would be the high end.


This sounds about right. We had a gas stove and heating, so I can't attest to the price differential. We obviously paid a shitload more in winter months than the summer because of the heating.

You should be around $100 on average, I think.

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PennBull
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby PennBull » Wed May 08, 2013 2:00 pm

JamesDean1955 wrote:I already have a large laptop I use for movies/music/games/applications, basically anything that takes a lot of processing/storage power. I just want to get a lightweight 13" laptop for bringing to school and taking notes/web browsing, with decent battery, under $600.00. I really liked the Acer Timelines but I think they stopped making them or something. I hate computer shopping...


I have a 18" laptop, and I bought a Netbook for 1L year. Was a pretty good tradeoff. This year I got a 15.6 inch laptop for all-purpose use.

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JamesDean1955
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby JamesDean1955 » Wed May 08, 2013 2:23 pm

PennBull wrote:
JamesDean1955 wrote:I already have a large laptop I use for movies/music/games/applications, basically anything that takes a lot of processing/storage power. I just want to get a lightweight 13" laptop for bringing to school and taking notes/web browsing, with decent battery, under $600.00. I really liked the Acer Timelines but I think they stopped making them or something. I hate computer shopping...


I have a 18" laptop, and I bought a Netbook for 1L year. Was a pretty good tradeoff. This year I got a 15.6 inch laptop for all-purpose use.


Should I go with a 14" to be safe? Just worried about keyboard size come exam time.

ETA: How many of your 1L exams were "racehorse" exams?

SportsFan
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby SportsFan » Wed May 08, 2013 2:53 pm

JamesDean1955 wrote:
PennBull wrote:
JamesDean1955 wrote:I already have a large laptop I use for movies/music/games/applications, basically anything that takes a lot of processing/storage power. I just want to get a lightweight 13" laptop for bringing to school and taking notes/web browsing, with decent battery, under $600.00. I really liked the Acer Timelines but I think they stopped making them or something. I hate computer shopping...


I have a 18" laptop, and I bought a Netbook for 1L year. Was a pretty good tradeoff. This year I got a 15.6 inch laptop for all-purpose use.


Should I go with a 14" to be safe? Just worried about keyboard size come exam time.

ETA: How many of your 1L exams were "racehorse" exams?

I'd go with a 13" minimum (most 13" laptops have a full size keyboard), and a 15" maximum (unless you really don't mind carrying around something big and heavy). I saw a few people in my section taking exams on 11" laptops, which I always thought was a bit weird (I could never type that much on such a small keyboard), but I guess it worked for them.

First semester, all 3 of my exams were unlimited word count. Second semester, none were (though property was pretty crazy despite the relatively strict word limit, and most people had time issues).

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PennBull
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby PennBull » Wed May 08, 2013 2:56 pm

I used my netbook for class and notes, and my big laptop for exams.

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JamesDean1955
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby JamesDean1955 » Wed May 08, 2013 7:21 pm

Any trouble finding outlets to plug in your laptop in classrooms or the library? Should I care at all about with battery life?

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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby SportsFan » Wed May 08, 2013 7:52 pm

JamesDean1955 wrote:Any trouble finding outlets to plug in your laptop in classrooms or the library? Should I care at all about with battery life?

Every seat in the classrooms has an outlet, and basically everywhere in the library does too. If you don't mind bringing your charger to the law school every day, it's not something to worry about. I normally bring mine if I have more than 1 class, or if I'm planning on staying 2+ hours in the library (even though my battery life is usually 5+ hours, I just like to not have to worry).

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Georgiana
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Georgiana » Sat May 11, 2013 5:09 pm

JamesDean1955 wrote:
PennBull wrote:
JamesDean1955 wrote:How much additional loan $$ will Penn allocate for students who need new computers? And how much did y'all pay for yours?

Are you really going to scratch the upper limit of the maximum loan amount? If so, yeah, a computer is something they'll probably raise your maximum for.

I have a $350 refurbished laptop from newegg.com. It's great.

Most people here have Macbooks for whatever effing reason, I don't know. I'd rather take the extra $1000 it would cost to get a Macbook Pro and buy beer and rent.


As a follow up question to this: are you only allowed to ask for the one-time raise for the computer before the start of 1L year? I ask because I honestly don't know if I will scratch the upper limit or not. TBH, I still don't see how the estimated COA is "generous". And $4k for 1L summer and a job in NYC would probably put me in the red. If we're talking about $150k in loans vs. $155ish k at graduation, it's not a life changer.

If I could just buy the computer myself, and then ask for reimbursement at any time during 1L year (if I ended up needing it), that would be preferable.

I realize this is best asked of the fin aid department, and I will, but they are working on something else for me at the moment and I'm waiting on the other thing to get taken care of first.

ETA: Also, is there a grace period where you can return your loans and not accrue any interest? This is also something to consider - if that's the case, I would max out now and worry about it later (but obviously before finals, lol).

They'll raise it as much as you can show them it "could" cost. When I did it, they told me to just print off a quote for a computer and send it in with my request (also made a request for other monthly bills that weren't really included in the budget, cell phone, internet, etc). I don't like to live in fear of the budget, and I didn't make much of anything during my first summer, but I managed to pay my rent and buy food because I went in thinking about what I would need for 12 months, not 9, and asking how I could get to that number.

Little known fact, they'll also increase it for interview expenses up to 1k (i.e. buying a suit, traveling for 1L interviews etc).

As far as paying them back goes, there is an origination fee that they take up front that you won't get back, and without deferment while in school, you'll accrue interest once its disbursed.




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