UVA Law Students Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
User avatar
North
Posts: 4190
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:09 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby North » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:57 pm

Don't forget craigslist. I don't think I got any of my LS furniture from an actual store.

User avatar
cvillain
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:49 am

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby cvillain » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:25 pm

I got my furniture at Havertys. It wasn't cheap, but I'm also not going to toss it in 3 years.

thebrownnote
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:17 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby thebrownnote » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:42 pm

This is undoubtedly an obnoxious question, but if I'm just trying to get my grades up 2L, what are some good classes to take? Public service employers like the DOJ apparently care about 2L grades as well, so I need to actually try this year too.

I've gathered so far I should stay away from small classes with tight curves like seminars, especially if I'm not interested in the topic. Beyond that, does anybody have advice on what courses to target? I'm thinking larger classes are probably a good bet, since 2L's with firm jobs lined up may start slacking, but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

On a related note, is it true that the "curve" point moves up in courses with higher average gpa's after 1L year?

asundialwatch
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby asundialwatch » Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:50 pm

thebrownnote wrote:This is undoubtedly an obnoxious question, but if I'm just trying to get my grades up 2L, what are some good classes to take? Public service employers like the DOJ apparently care about 2L grades as well, so I need to actually try this year too.

I've gathered so far I should stay away from small classes with tight curves like seminars, especially if I'm not interested in the topic. Beyond that, does anybody have advice on what courses to target? I'm thinking larger classes are probably a good bet, since 2L's with firm jobs lined up may start slacking, but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

On a related note, is it true that the "curve" point moves up in courses with higher average gpa's after 1L year?

Larger classes will generally be better on the curve. More people means more grades on the high end. The curve does move up with higher average GPAs, so sometimes a class full of law review types isn't a "must avoid." You will probably benefit a little bit too from 2Ls and 3Ls caring less.

User avatar
rhododactylos
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:35 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby rhododactylos » Sun Jul 09, 2017 5:43 pm

asundialwatch wrote:
thebrownnote wrote:This is undoubtedly an obnoxious question, but if I'm just trying to get my grades up 2L, what are some good classes to take? Public service employers like the DOJ apparently care about 2L grades as well, so I need to actually try this year too.

I've gathered so far I should stay away from small classes with tight curves like seminars, especially if I'm not interested in the topic. Beyond that, does anybody have advice on what courses to target? I'm thinking larger classes are probably a good bet, since 2L's with firm jobs lined up may start slacking, but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

On a related note, is it true that the "curve" point moves up in courses with higher average gpa's after 1L year?

Larger classes will generally be better on the curve. More people means more grades on the high end. The curve does move up with higher average GPAs, so sometimes a class full of law review types isn't a "must avoid." You will probably benefit a little bit too from 2Ls and 3Ls caring less.


That's good advice. The other key thing to consider is what grades you need to get your grades up. If your GPA is below 3.2 or so, taking B+-heavy classes like seminars, clinics, skills courses, paper courses, and short courses is a great way to get your grades up to median. Best case scenario you're one of the top students in the class and get an A or A-, worst case scenario is a B+ unless you completely mail it in.

If you're above median the above advice is spot on. Large exam classes without 1L's and with at least a few VLR types are a great recipe for an A- and a shot at an A if you put the work in, especially since people will start slacking off.

Also, think about doing independent research with a professor. The grade for that is usually an A assuming you meet deadlines, etc.
Last edited by rhododactylos on Sun Jul 09, 2017 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

asundialwatch
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:48 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby asundialwatch » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:03 pm

rhododactylos wrote:
asundialwatch wrote:
thebrownnote wrote:This is undoubtedly an obnoxious question, but if I'm just trying to get my grades up 2L, what are some good classes to take? Public service employers like the DOJ apparently care about 2L grades as well, so I need to actually try this year too.

I've gathered so far I should stay away from small classes with tight curves like seminars, especially if I'm not interested in the topic. Beyond that, does anybody have advice on what courses to target? I'm thinking larger classes are probably a good bet, since 2L's with firm jobs lined up may start slacking, but maybe that's just wishful thinking.

On a related note, is it true that the "curve" point moves up in courses with higher average gpa's after 1L year?

Larger classes will generally be better on the curve. More people means more grades on the high end. The curve does move up with higher average GPAs, so sometimes a class full of law review types isn't a "must avoid." You will probably benefit a little bit too from 2Ls and 3Ls caring less.


That's good advice. The other key thing to consider is what grades you need to get your grades up. If your GPA is below 3.2 or so, taking B+-heavy classes like seminars, clinics, skills courses, paper courses, and short courses is a great way to get your grades up to median. Best case scenario you're one of the top student in the class and get an A or A-, worst case scenario is a B+ unless you completely mail it in.

If you're above median the above advice is spot on. Large exam classes without 1L's and at least a few VLR types are a great recipe for an A- and a shot at an A if you put the work in, especially since people will start slacking off.

Also, think about doing independent research with a professor. The grade for that is usually an A assuming you meet deadlines, etc.

Yeah, my advice kinda assumes that you're above median and looking for As and A-s. If you're looking for B+s, then take more seminars and such.

Take an independent research. With almost any professor it's a guaranteed A and it's much less work than a class, especially if you take three credits. You can spread the work over multiple semesters and as long as you're either disciplined or willing to do some work over a summer or winter break then working on it won't conflict with your work in other classes.

User avatar
VirginiaFan
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:16 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby VirginiaFan » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:37 am

.
Last edited by VirginiaFan on Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
UVA2B
Posts: 2934
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby UVA2B » Mon Jul 10, 2017 8:32 am

VirginiaFan wrote:When and how do we buy parking passes? Is it worth it if you live nearby?


There will be an email when you get closer to the year telling you how to purchase a parking pass. But if you're living within walking distance (Pav, Ivy, Jeffersonian, etc.), it'll be a waste of money. Only purchase a parking pass if you're commuting from outside of North Grounds.

User avatar
philawsopher
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:18 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby philawsopher » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:48 am

VirginiaFan wrote:When and how do we buy parking passes? Is it worth it if you live nearby?


Also, there's a myth out there that if you get the cheapest permit--blue--that you're chancing it in the lot by The Park (farthest lot east of the law school) because it'll fill up with Jag people. I had a blue permit all year and never had that happen--always had my choice of spots. The D3 lot is about 3 mins closer (i.e. 3 mins less walking to get in the building), but to me not worth double the price or whatever it costs.

User avatar
UVA2B
Posts: 2934
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby UVA2B » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:55 am

philawsopher wrote:
VirginiaFan wrote:When and how do we buy parking passes? Is it worth it if you live nearby?


Also, there's a myth out there that if you get the cheapest permit--blue--that you're chancing it in the lot by The Park (farthest lot east of the law school) because it'll fill up with Jag people. I had a blue permit all year and never had that happen--always had my choice of spots. The D3 lot is about 3 mins closer (i.e. 3 mins less walking to get in the building), but to me not worth double the price or whatever it costs.


Those stairs before an 8:30 AM class tho... :mrgreen:

UVA2018
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:54 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby UVA2018 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:12 am

NorthGroundsRat wrote:
UVA2018 wrote:I'm a rising 3L at UVA who failed to get an offer from any law firm last year. I've accepted that I have almost certainly missed the boat for working at a firm when I graduate, especially given my low class rank. Case in point: the 3L OGI bid list on symplicity right now is a joke for anyone not already on law review with SA experience.

Can those who have graduated recently from UVA share what jobs out of law school they and/or those they knew ultimately ended up with? Where can bottom rung grades realistically take you during the 3L job search?



I know this must be a stressful and discouraging time for you, but hang in there. I know one person who did not get any offers through OGI and did not work at a firm the summer after 2L. That person ultimately worked on Capital Hill for a year, then moved to an agency for a couple years, and is now at a big law firm in DC. Another person I know worked at an agency for a couple years, then clerked and is now in big law in DC.

There are a lot of different paths to big law, and you may ultimately decide that big law is not what you really want to do after getting some different experience. What are you doing this summer?


Argh I was really hoping for more than just anecdotal Cinderella stories from you guys, but we don't really have any statistics or probabilistic information available to answer my question so I guess that's to be expected. Every law school withholds such info about the extent to which underemployment occurs so as to keep enrollment up and to trick lemmings like me into turning down scholarship offers at lower-ranked schools. And students who are jobless or underemployed will naturally want to suffer in silence rather than speak up about what ultimately became their fate. So anecdote is all I have to go on until I find a job.

Let me rephrase the question: a) >75% of the Class of 2018 has already secured jobs in the large firms, federal clerkships, and prestigious govt positions we were all promised and expected before we agreed to borrow >$300k to go here; b) the large firms and federal judges have finished hiring, excepting a few openings for 3Ls with stellar grades and connections (aka not me); c) if a & b are true, what does the damaged goods like me end up with? UVA's ABA employment data doesn't say, and the Career Services Office can't be trusted for honesty about this.

P.S. I'm sick of students attributing some sort of talismanic power to Kevin Donovan. [I counted to ten and erased what else I had to say about that]

User avatar
anon sequitur
Posts: 600
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:14 am

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby anon sequitur » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:26 am

I was a pretty low ranked, but without firm aspirations. I took a Kennedy fellowship and then got a non article iii federal clerkship, now am looking for fed gov jobs. I think I ended up okay, but my career isn't really set yet so probably too early to say. Pm for more details if interested. (sorry this is not a general invitation for prospective students to pm about UVA)

sprezz
Posts: 466
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 5:54 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby sprezz » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:51 am

there are less sinister explanations for the lack of probabilistic data that frustrates you. there are people that come to law school that never have, and never develop, interest in the conveyor belt employment model law firms (whether biglaw or whatever other size/region based label you want to slap on it). once you remove the chunk of the class that gets their first job through that conveyor belt, it's really hard to draw systematic conclusions about success rate of the remaining group because success from the perspective of that group is less homogeneous than success from the perspective of the entering class. sure, most people at UVA want biglaw 2L summer. but that's less true once you filter out all the people who targeted biglaw and got it. and a law school that sent out surveys to everyone without a job to see what kind of job they wished they had so the law school had better data on this issue would be, justifiably, massacred for it.

plus, the whole reason the probabilistic data arises is that the hiring practices of the conveyor belt model firms are so systemic and predictable. the firms and the school are fairly sophisticated and give offers with yields in mind or arrange interview systems with firm hiring target estimates in mind. once you're outside of that construct, job availability is subject to more specific and niche market forces and trends. who knows what's going to happen. on the bright side, if you get one of these jobs you're more likely to be filling an actual need.

so to answer your two implicit questions..

1. how to get data on what jobs are out there? use the internet. linkedin UVA law group has an alumni feature now. click that and filter by people who graduated in the past whatever years — maybe 2014 thru 2016? — and you'll see some headlines that aren't "Associate at Dead, White & Man LLP". some of these will be people that bounced out early and some will be people that killed it at OGI and bailed for whatever reasons, but for the most part, this is as good a sample of jobs that may have been available to applicants without the summer 2L experience as you're going to find.

2. how to position yourself to get something you want without grades or connections? time to try to market yourself as a specialist. can you spin experience in a field or an industry? did you take a class in some niche field? find places that do that work and shoot your shot. i don't have a great idea of what UVA people tried and how many succeeded/failed from your position. not anyone's favorite conversation topic at the time or now. but i have a number of colleagues at my firm that got their job after graduating yet still started at the same time as their classmates that did summer. and i think literally every single one of those people targeted niche groups with some prior exposure to the subject matter.

User avatar
VirginiaFan
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 4:16 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby VirginiaFan » Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:13 am

.
Last edited by VirginiaFan on Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
OtterLaw
Posts: 616
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2016 3:50 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby OtterLaw » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:41 am

VirginiaFan wrote:Are you allowed into the library 24/7?


No. The library has hours. I think it's 5:00 AM to midnight every day during the semester and during finals it's open until 2:00 AM. You can access the law school 24/7 with your ID though and there are a bunch of places to study that are always open.

User avatar
RParadela
Posts: 858
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:04 am

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby RParadela » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:15 am

For the rising 2Ls ITT.. What did you guys do this summer? And when should you start focusing on your 1L-2L summer job search?

User avatar
UVA2B
Posts: 2934
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby UVA2B » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:21 am

1L SA in a secondary market. You should be thinking about what you potentially want to do from the very start of the semester. But you shouldn't realistically start job hunting until you're in the days or weeks leading up to December 1st when you can start applying (go ahead and look at job postings on symplicity when they go live in mid November, but you can't apply until December 1st). Depending on what you want to do and what market you're gunning for, you might need to be applying on December 1st, while others you can safely wait until finals are finished before you start heavily applying.

Just realize 1L job hunting is a bit of cluster because you have a ton of people simultaneously trying to figure out what they want to do, where they want to do it, and what it'll take to get there. Plus you have zero idea how you're going to do. So be proactive in your job hunt, send out a ton of resumes and cover letters, and pray that one of them bites. And be prepared to take unpaid work or low paid work, because that's where the majority of 1Ls will end up. The important thing is just getting good legal experience.

User avatar
Nagster5
Posts: 722
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:28 am

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Nagster5 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:31 am

UVA2018 wrote:
NorthGroundsRat wrote:
UVA2018 wrote:I'm a rising 3L at UVA who failed to get an offer from any law firm last year. I've accepted that I have almost certainly missed the boat for working at a firm when I graduate, especially given my low class rank. Case in point: the 3L OGI bid list on symplicity right now is a joke for anyone not already on law review with SA experience.

Can those who have graduated recently from UVA share what jobs out of law school they and/or those they knew ultimately ended up with? Where can bottom rung grades realistically take you during the 3L job search?



I know this must be a stressful and discouraging time for you, but hang in there. I know one person who did not get any offers through OGI and did not work at a firm the summer after 2L. That person ultimately worked on Capital Hill for a year, then moved to an agency for a couple years, and is now at a big law firm in DC. Another person I know worked at an agency for a couple years, then clerked and is now in big law in DC.

There are a lot of different paths to big law, and you may ultimately decide that big law is not what you really want to do after getting some different experience. What are you doing this summer?


Argh I was really hoping for more than just anecdotal Cinderella stories from you guys, but we don't really have any statistics or probabilistic information available to answer my question so I guess that's to be expected. Every law school withholds such info about the extent to which underemployment occurs so as to keep enrollment up and to trick lemmings like me into turning down scholarship offers at lower-ranked schools. And students who are jobless or underemployed will naturally want to suffer in silence rather than speak up about what ultimately became their fate. So anecdote is all I have to go on until I find a job.

Let me rephrase the question: a) >75% of the Class of 2018 has already secured jobs in the large firms, federal clerkships, and prestigious govt positions we were all promised and expected before we agreed to borrow >$300k to go here; b) the large firms and federal judges have finished hiring, excepting a few openings for 3Ls with stellar grades and connections (aka not me); c) if a & b are true, what does the damaged goods like me end up with? UVA's ABA employment data doesn't say, and the Career Services Office can't be trusted for honesty about this.

P.S. I'm sick of students attributing some sort of talismanic power to Kevin Donovan. [I counted to ten and erased what else I had to say about that]


I don't remember being promised anything when I signed up, and certainly did not expect any given outcome. Some practical advice: take ownership of your situation. The system isn't out to screw you. If you attributed "talismanic power" to CSO that's on you, they can only work with what you give them. Don't ignore career services just because you're not happy with your performance/outcome at this point in the process. It only hurts you.

User avatar
Nagster5
Posts: 722
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:28 am

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Nagster5 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:40 am

RParadela wrote:For the rising 2Ls ITT.. What did you guys do this summer? And when should you start focusing on your 1L-2L summer job search?


In addition to what UVA2B said, keep in mind you won't know your grades until late in the 1L hiring process. You basically have to apply to firm jobs knowing that there's a chance you get crappy grades and just wasted all that time. Although some jobs hire before grades come out. Also remember that the scrambkle after December 1st is during the finals study mayhem. If you're not diverse (defined more broadly for legal hiring than for law school apps) then there are very, very few 1L jobs at major firms.

The vast majority of people work at small firms, government, public interest, etc. Many people also RA over the summer, which pays decent and you don't have to move, but CSO recommends against this unless you're set on academia or you have significant work experience. With a few exceptions, 1L jobs are basically conversation fodder and employers expect that you learned nothing as a baseline.

Caveat: if you're interested in public service/government, it can be important to demonstrate interest in their work. Working for a small insurance defense firm over 1L will not help your application to the innocence project. CSO/your PAs will give you more information than you wanted about this when the time comes. Don't stress.

User avatar
RParadela
Posts: 858
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:04 am

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby RParadela » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:50 am

I have a very good in for a 1L SA position at what would probably be defined as Midlaw in a secondary market. Is it worth it to gun for something bigger and better? The job is in the market I want to practice (but not the firm I want to practice at unless my grades sucked 1L)

User avatar
Nagster5
Posts: 722
Joined: Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:28 am

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Nagster5 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:57 am

RParadela wrote:I have a very good in for a 1L SA position at what would probably be defined as Midlaw in a secondary market. Is it worth it to gun for something bigger and better? The job is in the market I want to practice (but not the firm I want to practice at unless my grades sucked 1L)


Great position to be in. Being in your target market is also a huge plus for hiring. I would definitely still apply to other places you'd rather work, and treat this as a fall back. But make sure it's a real "in" and not just something where someone says they'll vouch for your app.

User avatar
UVA2B
Posts: 2934
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby UVA2B » Wed Jul 12, 2017 11:02 am

Nagster5 wrote:
RParadela wrote:I have a very good in for a 1L SA position at what would probably be defined as Midlaw in a secondary market. Is it worth it to gun for something bigger and better? The job is in the market I want to practice (but not the firm I want to practice at unless my grades sucked 1L)


Great position to be in. Being in your target market is also a huge plus for hiring. I would definitely still apply to other places you'd rather work, and treat this as a fall back. But make sure it's a real "in" and not just something where someone says they'll vouch for your app.


Agreed. Make sure your "in" is someone who can affect hiring, and then apply broadly in that market if you have bigger firms you'd rather work at.

One caveat though: being in your target market is a big plus for hiring, as it shows a commitment to that market, but be careful about taking this too far if you end up at the midlaw firm. You do not want to be networking, etc. at other firms unless you're really not expecting an offer to return for 2L year at the current firm. One of the primary advantages to being at a firm 1L summer is getting an offer in hand before hiring takes off so that the pressure to land something significantly decreases. That means showing commitment to the firm you're working with all summer long.

User avatar
jaekeem
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:05 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby jaekeem » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:24 am

RParadela wrote:For the rising 2Ls ITT.. What did you guys do this summer? And when should you start focusing on your 1L-2L summer job search?

I ended up double RAing.

I would recommend getting all your docs in order well before the deadline for a lot of the better public service opportunities (which is early December, iirc).

I did not do that. I tried to do the whole 1L summer job search thing during the rush of 1L spring (which is substantially more work than fall imo, due to job search + journal tryouts + class).

I'm happy with how things ended up though. I ended up with more substantive legal work as an RA than I expected, and it's an opportunity to get to know certain professors better (which helps for recommendations/clerkship dreams). But I also do think that my laziness on the 1L job search kind of locked me out of the majority of the public service opportunities in DC/NY, and Cville is a little lonely/boring during the summer.

I would (if I could go back in time) have tried to do public service in DC + 1 RA part time gig. Makes it much easier to go to receptions, and summer in DC or NY just seems more fun than a summer in cville (if you enjoy going out).

also, please for the love of GOD check your 1L OGI docs over multiple times

I didn't start working on them until the night they were due

no surprise, I had a typo in the first sentence of each of my cover letters :lol: :lol: :lol:

uvalaw19
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:37 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby uvalaw19 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:49 pm

Hi guys! I managed to dl the Excel file from UVA law website which has all the courses from Fall 2014 to Spring 18. Some of the course for this year (fall and spring) are already showing students enrolled. Do 3L's get to enroll in classes for both spring and fall at this time of the year? I just want to make sure I have the correct list. Thanks!

User avatar
jaekeem
Posts: 65
Joined: Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:05 pm

Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby jaekeem » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:52 pm

uvalaw19 wrote:Hi guys! I managed to dl the Excel file from UVA law website which has all the courses from Fall 2014 to Spring 18. Some of the course for this year (fall and spring) are already showing students enrolled. Do 3L's get to enroll in classes for both spring and fall at this time of the year? I just want to make sure I have the correct list. Thanks!


I believe 3Ls are already enrolled in their graduation requirement courses for fall/spring (seminar/writing req/prof skills)

2Ls are presently doing the same

I don't think anyone can sign up for any courses outside of those yet




Return to “Ask a Law Student / Graduate”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests