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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Georgiana
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Georgiana » Thu May 13, 2010 9:54 am

lostmyname wrote:
secretsmoker wrote:Although this was directed at Georgiana I thought I would write a response because I also took conflicts with Roosevelt, and I liked the subject matter a lot. He came out with a thin book on the subject last semester, which will make a great supplement (or perhaps replacement) for the readings next year. However, I have never heard that Conflicts is "essentially the same class." Granted, I have not taken Fed Courts yet, but I'm pretty sure they don't overlap to the point of redundancy. Nor did I really get the impression that conflicts was "gunner-heavy," which is a label I might only reserve for Wachter's Corps course my 2L year (which, by the way, is nevertheless the Corps course you should choose). Conflicts, and almost all of the other classes I took, were gunner-light. Of course, Georgiana may have a very different viewpoint.


Georgiana wrote:Conflicts CERTAINLY does not overlap with Fed Courts. And its not a gunner heavy class at all. It's one of the few classes I recommend from this year.


Cool, thanks guys! OK, I guess I have more questions. What was the final for Conflicts like? I ask because this year's Con final was killer and very swear-inducing among most of my section.

secretsmoker, why do you so strongly suggest Wachter? I mean, I know he's the more intense teacher, but would taking Skeel really be such a bad move?

I thought conflicts was a fine exam and was very much like his con law exam. I actually preferred the con law exam to all of my other 1L exams so I'm not sure if its just me or he made it harder this past year. I didn't really study more than a day or two for either exam and did well in both classes. If you hated the style of his take home though I don't recommend taking conflicts since its pretty much identical.

As far as Skeel goes, I had him this semester and regret taking that class more than anything. He isn't clear at all and the only thing that happens during class is him continuously answering unimportant, unrelated questions. It was a horrible class and the exam was 46 MC questions. Worst decision ever. TBF I don't think I would have liked corps no matter who I took it with, but at least with Wachter I may have learned something.

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Veyron
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Veyron » Thu May 13, 2010 12:33 pm

Thanks for all this info, I think I'm going to save this thread to my hard drive.

krj02004
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby krj02004 » Thu May 13, 2010 1:43 pm

I'm currently WL at Penn... really hoping to get in because it was originally my 1st choice. I have a family (2 toddlers) and was wondering, in addition to the COL, what the atmosphere is like for people with kids? Any places you suggest to live with kids that isn't over-the-top expensive?

Currently, I'm deposited at Vanderbilt, and they didn't give me much money at all (basically enough to cover childcare expenses). So if I get into Penn, regardless if they give me scholly money or not, I'm thinking I should go if the environment is as family-friendly as Nashville. It is certainly ranked higher than Vandy. The tuition costs are not that much different as well... maybe Penn costs $1500 more per year. And when I was looking at apartment prices on CL for University City, they didn't seem that much more expensive than Nashville (maybe $100-200 more per month). Is it OK to assume I can get a decent 2-bdr apartment for $1000-1300/month?

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DelDad
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby DelDad » Thu May 13, 2010 7:50 pm

Core wrote:http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/article_iii_clerks

Question about the content above: Am I missing something about Penn's clerkship placement? There seems to be a pervasive notion that YHSCC > all for clerkships, but Penn seems to be right up there with them.


Happily the new numbers are even better than they were in 2008: At a reception for people who got clerkships today, Dean Fitts said that 76 students (Which works out to 27.64% of the class of 2010) will be clerking next year. Don't know how those numbers break down federal vs state clerkships, though.

It is fair to say HYS get more clerkships that are considered the "best" clerkships nationally (feeder judges, more COA judges vs District judges, and the like), but I was very happy with the support I got from the school in my search for a clerkship.

Edit: Fixed math; had erred on class size.
Last edited by DelDad on Fri May 14, 2010 11:56 am, edited 3 times in total.

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DelDad
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby DelDad » Thu May 13, 2010 7:54 pm

krj02004 wrote:I'm currently WL at Penn... really hoping to get in because it was originally my 1st choice. I have a family (2 toddlers) and was wondering, in addition to the COL, what the atmosphere is like for people with kids? Any places you suggest to live with kids that isn't over-the-top expensive?

Currently, I'm deposited at Vanderbilt, and they didn't give me much money at all (basically enough to cover childcare expenses). So if I get into Penn, regardless if they give me scholly money or not, I'm thinking I should go if the environment is as family-friendly as Nashville. It is certainly ranked higher than Vandy. The tuition costs are not that much different as well... maybe Penn costs $1500 more per year. And when I was looking at apartment prices on CL for University City, they didn't seem that much more expensive than Nashville (maybe $100-200 more per month). Is it OK to assume I can get a decent 2-bdr apartment for $1000-1300/month?



I have kids, but didn't leave near enough to campus to give you good advice. Some of my friends with kids did, though, and I will ask them where they lived and what they paid.

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secretsmoker
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby secretsmoker » Thu May 13, 2010 8:33 pm

DelDad wrote:
Core wrote:http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/article_iii_clerks

Question about the content above: Am I missing something about Penn's clerkship placement? There seems to be a pervasive notion that YHSCC > all for clerkships, but Penn seems to be right up there with them.


Happily the new numbers are even better than they were in 2008: At a reception for people who got clerkships today, Dean Fitts said that 76 students (Which works out to 29.8% of the class of 2010) will be clerking next year. Don't know how those numbers break down federal vs state clerkships, though.

It is fair to say HYS get more clerkships that are considered the "best" clerkships nationally (feeder judges, Southern District of New York and the like), but I was very happy with the support I got from the school in my search for a clerkship.


Wow, 29.8%?! That means we have almost doubled the percentage of our graduating class going into clerkships from 2008 to 2010? I'm guessing the economy was the driving force behind this.

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DelDad
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby DelDad » Thu May 13, 2010 9:00 pm

I agree that the economy is behind most of the shift. I think the school's emphasis on the value of clerking played a role too. I think it also shows that the clerkship numbers at top schools are largely a matter of self selection: when students at Penn or another top school want clerkships (whatever their motivation for going that direction), they get them.

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secretsmoker
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby secretsmoker » Thu May 13, 2010 9:10 pm

DelDad, care to post any information on the kind of clerkship you got and your credentials? Unless I missed something I assume you just graduated and are starting your clerkship now. I'll be applying for clerkships this summer, and it is somewhat hard to gauge how competitive I will be in either District or CoA. I can PM too if you'd rather not share here.

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DelDad
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby DelDad » Thu May 13, 2010 9:21 pm

I'll be clerking in Delaware Court of Chancery, which was my top choice for family and professional reasons. I'll discuss credentials by PM if you'd like.

RPK34
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby RPK34 » Thu May 13, 2010 9:45 pm

29.8%? I think I remember seeing Leiter rankings saying Yale sends 34% of its grads to clerkships (and Harvard was around 20%).

Not saying you're wrong, but I wonder how correct that is.

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DelDad
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby DelDad » Thu May 13, 2010 10:00 pm

Actually just checked our class size - with transfers in, the class size is now 275. So, 76 clerkships/275 student = 27.64 %

Sorry about that :) (Fixing the post above)

RPK34
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby RPK34 » Thu May 13, 2010 10:04 pm

DelDad wrote:Actually just checked our class size - with transfers in, the class size is now 275. So, 76 clerkships/275 student = 27.64 %

Sorry about that :) (Fixing the post above)


Still, unless those I misremembered Yale and Harvards clerking data, or their data has bumped up in this economy, that is damn impressive.

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DelDad
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby DelDad » Thu May 13, 2010 10:19 pm

It's impressive, but I bet Harvard's and Yale's clerkship numbers, as well as other top school's numbers have gone up for this year too: more of the the top schools' students wanted clerkships. I have a couple friends who had offers from big firms, got deferred, and then got clerkships for their deferral periods when they never would have chosen to clerk otherwise. One still got the deferral stipend, too. Best of both worlds.

krj02004
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby krj02004 » Fri May 14, 2010 12:37 am

DelDad wrote:
krj02004 wrote:I'm currently WL at Penn... really hoping to get in because it was originally my 1st choice. I have a family (2 toddlers) and was wondering, in addition to the COL, what the atmosphere is like for people with kids? Any places you suggest to live with kids that isn't over-the-top expensive?

Currently, I'm deposited at Vanderbilt, and they didn't give me much money at all (basically enough to cover childcare expenses). So if I get into Penn, regardless if they give me scholly money or not, I'm thinking I should go if the environment is as family-friendly as Nashville. It is certainly ranked higher than Vandy. The tuition costs are not that much different as well... maybe Penn costs $1500 more per year. And when I was looking at apartment prices on CL for University City, they didn't seem that much more expensive than Nashville (maybe $100-200 more per month). Is it OK to assume I can get a decent 2-bdr apartment for $1000-1300/month?



I have kids, but didn't leave near enough to campus to give you good advice. Some of my friends with kids did, though, and I will ask them where they lived and what they paid.



I'm curious... where did you live? Why did you decide to commute?

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DelDad
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby DelDad » Fri May 14, 2010 7:09 am

For family reasons (spouse's career, mostly) we need to contintue to live in Dover DE (About 80 miles from Penn) throughout law school. I shared an apartment with two other 1Ls my first year, but found I was only staying there about 3-4 nights per month, so I stopped renting after that and concentrated instead on getting all my classes to fall on 2-3 days per week. That worked well throughout 2L and first semester of 3L, but I was back to driving five days a week this semester because of the way things fell. Not a plan I'd recommend to anyone with a choice.

krj02004
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby krj02004 » Fri May 14, 2010 9:54 am

DelDad wrote:For family reasons (spouse's career, mostly) we need to contintue to live in Dover DE (About 80 miles from Penn) throughout law school. I shared an apartment with two other 1Ls my first year, but found I was only staying there about 3-4 nights per month, so I stopped renting after that and concentrated instead on getting all my classes to fall on 2-3 days per week. That worked well throughout 2L and first semester of 3L, but I was back to driving five days a week this semester because of the way things fell. Not a plan I'd recommend to anyone with a choice.



Wow...that's some commute. Yeah I won't be doing that :). But any info on family-friendly housing around the law school would be helpful.

AdmitMePls
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby AdmitMePls » Fri May 14, 2010 11:10 pm

hey all--

can someone shed some light on the penn shuttle? where and when does it run? trying to figure out how useful it may be for apartments in Center City/general shopping and fun in CC.

thanks!

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lostmyname
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby lostmyname » Sun May 16, 2010 8:38 pm

Every 20 minutes from Penn campus after 6pm. I'm not sure if it runs on weekends. It crosses over to CC on Chestnut, goes south on 23rd, east on South, then north on 20th, then back to campus on Walnut. Even without the shuttle, though, it's a decent walk from CC -- 25-30 minutes. Lots of people do it. It's an even faster bike ride.

http://www.business-services.upenn.edu/ ... tion/maps/

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lostmyname
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby lostmyname » Sun May 16, 2010 8:58 pm

Georgiana wrote:
lostmyname wrote:secretsmoker, why do you so strongly suggest Wachter? I mean, I know he's the more intense teacher, but would taking Skeel really be such a bad move?

I thought conflicts was a fine exam and was very much like his con law exam. I actually preferred the con law exam to all of my other 1L exams so I'm not sure if its just me or he made it harder this past year. I didn't really study more than a day or two for either exam and did well in both classes. If you hated the style of his take home though I don't recommend taking conflicts since its pretty much identical.

As far as Skeel goes, I had him this semester and regret taking that class more than anything. He isn't clear at all and the only thing that happens during class is him continuously answering unimportant, unrelated questions. It was a horrible class and the exam was 46 MC questions. Worst decision ever. TBF I don't think I would have liked corps no matter who I took it with, but at least with Wachter I may have learned something.


Thanks guys! Sounds like you're right -- Skeel wouldn't be a good move for me. I guess I'll wait til my grade comes back from Con before I decide anything about KR. That final was pretty miserable...but I can handle a miserable final as long as the result comes out well.

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lostmyname
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby lostmyname » Sun May 16, 2010 9:05 pm

krj02004 wrote:I'm currently WL at Penn... really hoping to get in because it was originally my 1st choice. I have a family (2 toddlers) and was wondering, in addition to the COL, what the atmosphere is like for people with kids? Any places you suggest to live with kids that isn't over-the-top expensive?

Currently, I'm deposited at Vanderbilt, and they didn't give me much money at all (basically enough to cover childcare expenses). So if I get into Penn, regardless if they give me scholly money or not, I'm thinking I should go if the environment is as family-friendly as Nashville. It is certainly ranked higher than Vandy. The tuition costs are not that much different as well... maybe Penn costs $1500 more per year. And when I was looking at apartment prices on CL for University City, they didn't seem that much more expensive than Nashville (maybe $100-200 more per month). Is it OK to assume I can get a decent 2-bdr apartment for $1000-1300/month?


I think that's about accurate, although the quality of the apartment may vary. But depending on the part of UC you live in, it can be pretty sketchy: OK for young people who aren't too personal safety conscious, but maybe not for someone with kids. Not all parts are sketchy, however, and some areas have a fair concentration of young urban families. If you do move to UC, I would strongly suggest taking a trip to get a feel for each individual block; but in any case, don't live north of Walnut. There are places further out from school that are safer, but then you'd have to add the hassle of a non-walking/bike commute into the equation.

There is a group called the Joint Tenants' Society at Penn Law that would be able to address your questions in much better detail: http://pt-br.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5576723283

krj02004
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby krj02004 » Mon May 17, 2010 11:38 am

lostmyname wrote:
krj02004 wrote:I'm currently WL at Penn... really hoping to get in because it was originally my 1st choice. I have a family (2 toddlers) and was wondering, in addition to the COL, what the atmosphere is like for people with kids? Any places you suggest to live with kids that isn't over-the-top expensive?

Currently, I'm deposited at Vanderbilt, and they didn't give me much money at all (basically enough to cover childcare expenses). So if I get into Penn, regardless if they give me scholly money or not, I'm thinking I should go if the environment is as family-friendly as Nashville. It is certainly ranked higher than Vandy. The tuition costs are not that much different as well... maybe Penn costs $1500 more per year. And when I was looking at apartment prices on CL for University City, they didn't seem that much more expensive than Nashville (maybe $100-200 more per month). Is it OK to assume I can get a decent 2-bdr apartment for $1000-1300/month?


I think that's about accurate, although the quality of the apartment may vary. But depending on the part of UC you live in, it can be pretty sketchy: OK for young people who aren't too personal safety conscious, but maybe not for someone with kids. Not all parts are sketchy, however, and some areas have a fair concentration of young urban families. If you do move to UC, I would strongly suggest taking a trip to get a feel for each individual block; but in any case, don't live north of Walnut. There are places further out from school that are safer, but then you'd have to add the hassle of a non-walking/bike commute into the equation.

There is a group called the Joint Tenants' Society at Penn Law that would be able to address your questions in much better detail: http://pt-br.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5576723283



Awesome... do they have a link that is in english? :)

AdmitMePls
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby AdmitMePls » Wed May 19, 2010 12:21 am

lostmyname wrote:Every 20 minutes from Penn campus after 6pm. I'm not sure if it runs on weekends. It crosses over to CC on Chestnut, goes south on 23rd, east on South, then north on 20th, then back to campus on Walnut. Even without the shuttle, though, it's a decent walk from CC -- 25-30 minutes. Lots of people do it. It's an even faster bike ride.

http://www.business-services.upenn.edu/ ... tion/maps/



thanks that is really helpful!

Another question-- how much can we reasonably expect to pay for books each semester of 1L year? Especially if we go the Amazon/half.com route (if you can even go that route for law school books)?

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underachiever
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby underachiever » Wed May 19, 2010 7:51 am

AdmitMePls wrote:
Another question-- how much can we reasonably expect to pay for books each semester of 1L year? Especially if we go the Amazon/half.com route (if you can even go that route for law school books)?


I spent $980 my first semester b/c I bought every book at the bookstore. My second semester I spent like $300 using the Amazon/half.com route. This is also due to the fact that all 4 of my first semester books were 2009 copyrights & I was new to the whole law school thing, lol. I didn't want to mess it all up by being cheap with text books.

The equal justice group has a HUGE book sale, be ready for it b/c u can get books and supplements reallllllly cheap from it during orientation. Just figure out ur book list before u go to school and carny the list with you, b/c they didn't tell us when the book sale would be, it just happened one afternoon and I was too slow to get in on it.

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Georgiana
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby Georgiana » Wed May 19, 2010 9:12 am

AdmitMePls wrote:thanks that is really helpful!

Another question-- how much can we reasonably expect to pay for books each semester of 1L year? Especially if we go the Amazon/half.com route (if you can even go that route for law school books)?

My first semester was $777 but I only buy new books. After that I started buying through B&N with the membership and it saves me at least $100-200 every semester. Don't buy supps until you know for sure that you need them and which ones are the best. They tend to be a waste of money.

LaurenforLaw
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Re: Penn Students Taking Questions

Postby LaurenforLaw » Wed May 19, 2010 1:42 pm

So, I just found out that if I freeze my tuition for my bar review program with SPAM, I receive course-guided materials while I'm still in law school.. How awesome is that!? :P




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