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.
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vamedic03
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby vamedic03 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:18 am

olive16 wrote:What exactly is your point? That Ruth Payne might have helped a few people during her career?

Unlike you, my friends and I have been through the clerkship application process. I haven't surveyed the entire 3L class, but I haven't encountered a single person who thought Ruth Payne was helpful. What's more, her advice has actually harmed several people (told them they weren't competitive for clerkships they eventually got, told them a particular judge wasn't hiring when she was, etc.).

Feel free to respond with more delightful generalities like, "Just because your personal experience was bad doesn't mean others didn't find her helpful." But until you and your friends have been through the CS application process, stfu.


This is a bit overly harsh, and I disagree with y'all's take on Ruth. Unlike you and your friends, I have been through both sides of the clerkship hiring process. Although Ruth may occasionally have some misses with her advice, I think her advice was pretty good. And, a lot of her job is (a) coordinating the process and (b) giving advice.

A couple thoughts about your specific complaints:
(1) "they weren't competitive for clerkships they eventually got" - Look, it costs nothing to apply, so you should apply to any judge you're going to work for, but its helpful to know who you're competitive for. Guess what, the only thing that anyone on the outside can use to gauge whether someone is competitive is past placement data for a particular judge. Sometimes things will work out such that someone who is radically outside of a judge's typical clerk profile will get hired... But, you can't blame Ruth for that happening. On average, I think her advice (at least in the past) is pretty spot on.

(2) "told them a particular judge wasn't hiring" - It's hard to get information from chambers, and sometimes (a) chambers lie and (b) chambers end up being wrong about whether a particular judge is hiring. Outside a couple judges who always hiring UVA clerks (e.g. Wilkinson, Ellis), it can sometimes be really hard to determine when a judge is hiring. And, even among clerks, advice differs as to when and whether to send an application. There are nearly 1000 Article 3 judges, you can't expect Ruth to be right 100% of the time. And the past year was quite confusing given the collapse of the plan.

I'm just a '12 grad with no skin in the game, but I think UVA as a whole, and Ruth specifically, does a far better job at shepherding students through the clerkship process than most other T14 schools.

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vamedic03
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby vamedic03 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:22 am

sundance95 wrote:
5ky wrote:The fact that you seemingly made a profile - or an alt - to complain about a staff member doesn't reflect well on you.

And yet he is 100% correct. There are numerous--numerous--anecdotes of Ruth Payne actually being counter-productive to UVA students' clerkship efforts, including discouraging individuals from applying to clerkships that they actually received. In another instance, she failed to simply talk to a federal judge alum at a law school event who had made overtures indicating that he wanted to start a pipeline. The judge was understandably confused and offended. I am not aware of a single member of the clerkship-competitive segment of the class that has a positive view of her. They feel they got clerkships despite her, not because of her.

These are the reasons that the law school should move on from her--not this unfortunate mistake. But as has been said, if this is the catalyst, then so be it. The major profs can continue to serve as the CoA/scotus pipelines, but we need a vague-add at that position for district judges and the like, not just someone who is good at spreadsheets.


The story about the visiting judge sounds apocryphal: Most judges want expect to talk to the dean and professors, not admins, and would be miffed talking to an admin instead.

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sundance95
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby sundance95 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:51 am

vamedic03 wrote:
sundance95 wrote:
5ky wrote:The fact that you seemingly made a profile - or an alt - to complain about a staff member doesn't reflect well on you.

And yet he is 100% correct. There are numerous--numerous--anecdotes of Ruth Payne actually being counter-productive to UVA students' clerkship efforts, including discouraging individuals from applying to clerkships that they actually received. In another instance, she failed to simply talk to a federal judge alum at a law school event who had made overtures indicating that he wanted to start a pipeline. The judge was understandably confused and offended. I am not aware of a single member of the clerkship-competitive segment of the class that has a positive view of her. They feel they got clerkships despite her, not because of her.

These are the reasons that the law school should move on from her--not this unfortunate mistake. But as has been said, if this is the catalyst, then so be it. The major profs can continue to serve as the CoA/scotus pipelines, but we need a vague-add at that position for district judges and the like, not just someone who is good at spreadsheets.


The story about the visiting judge sounds apocryphal: Most judges want expect to talk to the dean and professors, not admins, and would be miffed talking to an admin instead.

Not apocryphal at all. Have direct knowledge of the incident.

dixon02
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby dixon02 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:52 am

vamedic03 wrote:
sundance95 wrote:
5ky wrote:The fact that you seemingly made a profile - or an alt - to complain about a staff member doesn't reflect well on you.

And yet he is 100% correct. There are numerous--numerous--anecdotes of Ruth Payne actually being counter-productive to UVA students' clerkship efforts, including discouraging individuals from applying to clerkships that they actually received. In another instance, she failed to simply talk to a federal judge alum at a law school event who had made overtures indicating that he wanted to start a pipeline. The judge was understandably confused and offended. I am not aware of a single member of the clerkship-competitive segment of the class that has a positive view of her. They feel they got clerkships despite her, not because of her.

These are the reasons that the law school should move on from her--not this unfortunate mistake. But as has been said, if this is the catalyst, then so be it. The major profs can continue to serve as the CoA/scotus pipelines, but we need a vague-add at that position for district judges and the like, not just someone who is good at spreadsheets.


The story about the visiting judge sounds apocryphal: Most judges want expect to talk to the dean and professors, not admins, and would be miffed talking to an admin instead.


I similarly have no skin in the game, as I had minimal contact with her during my time. She was useful in those interactions, but I they were very basic inquiries. But I have to disagree with pretty much all of this.

-First, the story about the judge is 100% true. It occurred at the Lile dinner reception. There were first-hand accounts.
-I know several dozen people who are clerking. I've never met anyone who had positive things to say about the clerkship office's support. Some people don't have negative things to say about her. That's a pretty low bar. I know some people who grew so frustrated by her that they just started going straight through various faculty members like Schwartzman, Heytens, or even someone who's not officially involved in the process.
-I don't buy your point about excusing the inability to know when chambers are hiring. Yes, it's hard. It's also her job. Like, that is the bread and butter of what she is supposed to do. She should know who is hiring, who is not hiring, and who she can't get a read on. It should be a rare instance when she says someone is not hiring when they actually are. Nothing wrong with hedging and saying "I don't know."

The general concern is that she has lousy people skills and is overly pessimistic. I, like the above poster, know several people, including one who got a feeder clerkship, who were told that they were not competitive for their clerkships. That's silly. There's nothing wrong with being realistic, but discouraging people from applying is stupid since, as you said, the costs to apply are very minimal.

The one thing I will agree with you on is that despite all of this, UVA still does a far better job than most schools. The fact that we even have someone whose full-time is to work on this stuff distinguishes us from many of our peers. The truth is that every summer associate I worked with last summer bitched about the clerkship support at their T14, including (and especially) Harvard. In the grand scheme of things, we do very well in the clerkship race for our ranking and better than most of our peers. So the school is trying, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be better.

daleearnhardt123
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby daleearnhardt123 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:52 am

Professors like schwartzman and Heytens are really the entire reason for UVAs success. I'd go as far as to say that the school would do better with clerkships than it currently does by replacing Ruth with a manual that outlines the process for lower-tier clerkships, and a procedure for students to talk to professors like Heytens and schwartzman about the more competitive ones. In fact, that's basically already what happens . Ruth is at best a non-factor in this game. Having a truly competent clerkship office would really put the school over the top.

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pertristis
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby pertristis » Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:24 pm

On a completely different note, how long after graduation can we keep our UVA email addresses?

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Doritos
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Doritos » Fri Jun 06, 2014 2:26 pm

pertristis wrote:On a completely different note, how long after graduation can we keep our UVA email addresses?


I am under the impression you get to keep them until the end of time.

albanach
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby albanach » Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:17 pm

Doritos wrote:
pertristis wrote:On a completely different note, how long after graduation can we keep our UVA email addresses?


I am under the impression you get to keep them until the end of time.


Yes, I'm pretty sure you keep your abc123@virginia.edu address, but if you have an alias like firstname.lastname@virginia.edu it may expire.

persia1921
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby persia1921 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:50 pm

This might seem like a bit of a stupid and presumptuous question, but are there a lot of really wealthy kids at UVA when compared to similar schools? When visiting I could not help but notice kids driving around some pretty nice cars. Not that this is necessary a sign of wealth, but it was noticible.

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First Offense
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby First Offense » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:00 pm

persia1921 wrote:This might seem like a bit of a stupid and presumptuous question, but are there a lot of really wealthy kids at UVA when compared to similar schools? When visiting I could not help but notice kids driving around some pretty nice cars. Not that this is necessary a sign of wealth, but it was noticible.

I have no idea to be honest, but there are a fair number of well-to-do types. At the same time, there's a fair number of salt-of-the-earth types. I doubt UVA would be any different than most T14s in any real sense outside of the number of softball games played per week.

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kingjones59
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby kingjones59 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 12:27 pm

There are people here whose families are worth $100 mil+ and people here that drive cars 50 key turns away from blowing up. No different than other t14s. Nobody makes sure everyone knows it, and even the super rich kids I know still drink from kegs of natty light

albanach
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby albanach » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:31 pm

kingjones59 wrote:There are people here whose families are worth $100 mil+ and people here that drive cars 50 key turns away from blowing up. No different than other t14s. Nobody makes sure everyone knows it, and even the super rich kids I know still drink from kegs of natty light


Indeed. The pitiful beer that is sometimes on offer should be a much greater concern than how wealthy your classmates are.

Fortunately these days there are plenty of places you can get decent beer.

playpowerball
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby playpowerball » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:08 pm

It would be nice to get some grades back. Do they come out on the 9th or is that just a deadline for submission, and thus we have to wait even longer?

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PepperJack
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby PepperJack » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:51 pm

It's just a deadline. Also, never underestimate the power of tenure. A month used to seem like nothing till you work alongside other law students, and learn that only T-14's are >2 weeks out. Granted, I'm sure 1/2 the class at some of these places is just totally off base, but it certainly makes one less patient.

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North
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby North » Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:03 am

So here we go. OGI season begins Monday I think. 3Ls/alums, feel free to pop in and share wisdom.

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Yardbird
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Yardbird » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:11 am

PepperJack wrote:It's just a deadline. Also, never underestimate the power of tenure. A month used to seem like nothing till you work alongside other law students, and learn that only T-14's are >2 weeks out. Granted, I'm sure 1/2 the class at some of these places is just totally off base, but it certainly makes one less patient.
Is it just me, or have no 1L grades been posted except for Bowers' ConLaw? This is pretty frustrating because bids for some job fairs are happening right now.

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First Offense
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby First Offense » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:27 am

shadowofjazz wrote:
PepperJack wrote:It's just a deadline. Also, never underestimate the power of tenure. A month used to seem like nothing till you work alongside other law students, and learn that only T-14's are >2 weeks out. Granted, I'm sure 1/2 the class at some of these places is just totally off base, but it certainly makes one less patient.
Is it just me, or have no 1L grades been posted except for Bowers' ConLaw? This is pretty frustrating because bids for some job fairs are happening right now.

I've only received my S from LRW. Guessing today is the day though.

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kingjones59
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby kingjones59 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:31 am

Gotta be grade day. My understanding is most profs have had grades done for some time, but they hold onto them until the last minute for whatever reason. Here's to hoping they submitted this past weekend and they show up today.

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Yardbird
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Yardbird » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:12 am

kingjones59 wrote:Gotta be grade day. My understanding is most profs have had grades done for some time, but they hold onto them until the last minute for whatever reason. Here's to hoping they submitted this past weekend and they show up today.
If they submitted over the weekend we would have gotten those nice 10AM emails. Bowers submitted over Memorial Day weekend, and grades were up on SIS that Sunday and emails went out on Monday. I'm assuming they'll either get posted to SIS today with emails tomorrow if today truly is the "hard deadline." They might also just wait and not tell us for shits and giggles. Who knows.

olive16
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby olive16 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:57 am

For whatever reason, it can take days (weeks, even) for a grade to show up on SIS after the professor submits it to SR. The discrepancy between when a prof submitted the grade and when it shows up on SIS is befuddling.

playpowerball
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby playpowerball » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:59 am

SIS gets updated 7am/5pm right?

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pertristis
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby pertristis » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:03 pm

7pm. Probably also 7am.

olive16
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby olive16 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:10 pm

playpowerball wrote:SIS gets updated 7am/5pm right?


Nah, 7pm.

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pertristis
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby pertristis » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:14 pm

olive16 wrote:For whatever reason, it can take days (weeks, even) for a grade to show up on SIS after the professor submits it to SR. The discrepancy between when a prof submitted the grade and when it shows up on SIS is befuddling.


Since my fiancée was an adjunct on main grounds last semester, I got to see the other side of posting grades. I assure you, it's even more of a clusterfuck than what we see on our end.

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Yardbird
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Re: UVA Law Students Taking Questions

Postby Yardbird » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:39 pm

pertristis wrote:
olive16 wrote:For whatever reason, it can take days (weeks, even) for a grade to show up on SIS after the professor submits it to SR. The discrepancy between when a prof submitted the grade and when it shows up on SIS is befuddling.


Since my fiancée was an adjunct on main grounds last semester, I got to see the other side of posting grades. I assure you, it's even more of a clusterfuck than what we see on our end.
I'm going to interpret this as "the system is overly difficult and mistakes can easily happen"




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