missvik218 wrote:ALSO -- It may be too early to tell, but what sort of sense are you getting from 2L and 3Ls about their job placement and ability to get callbacks, etc?
How Socratic are your professors, what is the classroom atmosphere like?
The sense that I'm getting right now is chaos. I overheard someone in the career services area telling an upper-level student they were sure the student would've gotten more offers in a better year. Nobody is able to really predict what's going to end up happening to a lot of these kids or whether it'll still be like that by the time the Class of 2013 is job-hunting.
I only know a few 3Ls personally. A couple got several callbacks, a couple got none. I don't know them well enough to tell you exactly why, it's not like people walk around wearing their GPA and resume on their shirts or anything. I really wish I knew more, since I'm going to be up for interviews in a year myself.
Regarding professors... For the core classes I've got two that cold-call and two that don't. The ones that do, I would say definitely are very Socratic, they use cold-calling to push kids to reason through a case and different variations of it like you heard law school is like. One of my profs likes to use cold-calls to ask kids about random pop-culture trivia which he then works into one of his example stories, and it can be kind of frustrating or confusing because he's asking you stuff that has nothing
to do with the case or the law.
One of the profs that doesn't cold-call just uses volunteers when he asks questions, and goes on and explains the answer himself if nobody volunteers it. So it's kind of semi-Socratic, if nobody wants to participate it'd just turn into a lecture, but usually there's at least someone in class trying to answer.
They all have their strengths, and I love having a really energetic and fired-up professor for my 8:30AM class. If that prof were dry and boring I'd probably be falling asleep or missing classes by now. Later in the day it doesn't matter so much so it's not bad if a professor isn't that great. And, of course, what people consider "great" varies a little; I think everyone loves that 8:30 prof, but we're really more split about a couple of our other profs.
The classroom atmosphere really depends on the class and the professor. Each section has one "small section" class which is just their 30 kids and no other sections, and then the remaining core classes are in large classrooms bundled with other sections. For our section, we have Civ Pro as our "small section", Crim Law with one other section, and Contracts and Torts with two other sections. Being such a smaller classroom and only with your own section, I think there's a lot more open discussion in Civ Pro, and the prof gets to know everyone in there a lot quicker. The larger classes feel more like standard lecture classes, with 60 or 90 kids piled in and the professor possibly having a vague idea who you are a month in if you've already stuck your hand up or been cold-called.
The answers you get are going to vary somewhat, because the professors are all different and some folks in other sections have completely different sets of professors for every class. I know there's a couple TLS posters who share one class with me but they have different profs for all the others. But the general format is going to be the same, one 30-person class and then three larger 60 or 90 person classes. So you're going to have that one class where everyone knows each other and then those huge lecture hall feeling classes (plus LRW, which everyone has).