University of Texas 1L 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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kurama20
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby kurama20 » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:31 pm

Esc wrote:
kurama20 wrote:Wait so at UT first year is similiar to undergrad in that you are turning in papers every couple of days? I have to say I prefer the traditional 1l format.


No, it is traditional. Snooker was just laying out his image for improving the curriculum. The one small section doctrinal class will have either 1 or 2 papers, LRLW will have 1 or 2, and the other doctrinal classes won't have any.

I have to say that I think the current way that doctrinal classes are taught is fine. I don't think that doctrinal classes should involve a bunch of papers. Reading the cases and supplements and reviewing class notes is, IMO, the best way to learn the material. You don't need to write a paper to learn the theories that underlie torts, property, or Crim Law. Requiring a lot of papers in these classes would cause people to pontificate on different substantive issues without paying enough attention to the writing technicalities, just like the typical sloppy UG essay that doesn't teach anyone jack shit about writing.

I think the writing curriculum should be expanded through a 3 credit LRLW class requiring more memos, more research, and longer papers. Focusing on the writing itself, without needing to pay too much attention to the substance, will allow for better training and retention of writing skills.


OK thank God. For the first time I was getting a little turned off by UT! :D

Snooker
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby Snooker » Fri Nov 06, 2009 7:37 pm

Esc wrote:
kurama20 wrote:Wait so at UT first year is similiar to undergrad in that you are turning in papers every couple of days? I have to say I prefer the traditional 1l format.


No, it is traditional. Snooker was just laying out his image for improving the curriculum. The one small section doctrinal class will have either 1 or 2 papers, LRLW will have 1 or 2, and the other doctrinal classes won't have any.

I have to say that I think the current way that doctrinal classes are taught is fine. I don't think that doctrinal classes should involve a bunch of papers. Reading the cases and supplements and reviewing class notes is, IMO, the best way to learn the material. You don't need to write a paper to learn the theories that underlie torts, property, or Crim Law. Requiring a lot of papers in these classes would cause people to pontificate on different substantive issues without paying enough attention to the writing technicalities, just like the typical sloppy UG essay that doesn't teach anyone jack shit about writing.

I think the writing curriculum should be expanded through a 3 credit LRLW class requiring more memos, more research, and longer papers. Focusing on the writing itself, without needing to pay too much attention to the substance, will allow for better training and retention of writing skills.


The actual writing we've done doesn't seem to resemble your characterization of sloppy UG essays with pontification on substantial issues. Our contracts professor has focused on the writing technicalities - and for those of you who haven't gotten feedback yet - there's a lot of technicalities to be learned. The students with the best grades consistently recommend taking practice exams on your own, which is basically an exercise in substantiative legal writing, but this practice is lacking because the student is isolated from the professor's feedback.

I do agree expanding LRW would be better, but don't think that it's mutually exclusive from essays in substantial law classes.

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OperaAttorney
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaAttorney » Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:44 am

Snooker wrote:Also, has anyone noted Dean Sager's recent attempts to breathe some innovation into the curriculum? He has professors on board with providing practical training in the context of doctrinal courses with their approach to writing assignments. Perhaps assigning essays in a doctrine class is not revolutionary, but the sort of hands-on training you can get from it is top notch. It is amazing that, according to articles I've read, Professors at law schools have resisted this sort of thing. Sager seems particularly motivated to improve this part of the curriculum and the whole school is on board. We know that real lawyers need real skills.

If they can bring this to its logical conclusion - practical training of analytical legal problem solving skills and expository writing - I think they will have made a great achievement. I think that would involve increasing the writing component of doctrine classes and providing for more feedback and opportunities for students to go over their work with professors.

(this post may be a bit incoherent, I was on call today)


For now I'll reserve comments on my civ pro writing assignment. Our prof asked us to write an appellate brief for one of two current SCOTUS cases. We should receive feedback in about a week. I'm happy he's grading it P/F. Still, I enjoyed working on the assignment, but wish he had assigned it a few weeks earlier.

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Whats an URM?
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby Whats an URM? » Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:54 am

Capercaillie wrote:If I move to Texas, will my dick be perceived as larger than she currently is?




Your dick is a she?

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JazzOne
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby JazzOne » Sat Nov 07, 2009 1:57 am

OperaAttorney wrote:
Snooker wrote:Also, has anyone noted Dean Sager's recent attempts to breathe some innovation into the curriculum? He has professors on board with providing practical training in the context of doctrinal courses with their approach to writing assignments. Perhaps assigning essays in a doctrine class is not revolutionary, but the sort of hands-on training you can get from it is top notch. It is amazing that, according to articles I've read, Professors at law schools have resisted this sort of thing. Sager seems particularly motivated to improve this part of the curriculum and the whole school is on board. We know that real lawyers need real skills.

If they can bring this to its logical conclusion - practical training of analytical legal problem solving skills and expository writing - I think they will have made a great achievement. I think that would involve increasing the writing component of doctrine classes and providing for more feedback and opportunities for students to go over their work with professors.

(this post may be a bit incoherent, I was on call today)


For now I'll reserve comments on my civ pro writing assignment. Our prof asked us to write an appellate brief for one of two current SCOTUS cases. We should receive feedback in about a week. I'm happy he's grading it P/F. Still, I enjoyed working on the assignment, but wish he had assigned it a few weeks earlier.

I really enjoyed that assignment. I had a hard time keeping it under 10 pages.

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OperaAttorney
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaAttorney » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:20 am

JazzOne wrote:I really enjoyed that assignment. I had a hard time keeping it under 10 pages.


It was a delight. I appreciated having some autonomy for a change. I enjoyed reading the various documents, selecting sources, and constructing my argument (even though I think this part of my paper needs more work). But I think that I enjoyed bluebooking a little too much LOL.

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JazzOne
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby JazzOne » Sat Nov 07, 2009 2:28 am

OperaAttorney wrote:
JazzOne wrote:I really enjoyed that assignment. I had a hard time keeping it under 10 pages.


It was a delight. I appreciated having some autonomy for a change. I enjoyed reading the various documents, selecting sources, and constructing my argument (even though I think this part of my paper needs more work). But I think that I enjoyed bluebooking a little too much LOL.

Damn, I didn't even crack the bluebook. I just cited my cases the way they were cited in the briefs. I'd rather just have to correct my citations than the substance of my brief. Of course, Silver might not like the substance of my brief either. I just felt like 10 pages wasn't enough to address all the issues.

Snooker
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby Snooker » Sat Nov 07, 2009 11:12 am

Apparently the way things are cited in the sources we've looked at - cases, even the Lawyer's Craft textbook - differ from how the bluebook wants it. A creepy thing is that the bluebook made a pretty unnecessary change to the way cases should be cited for some of the cases in our paper this year. Some HLS law review people say that people over there sometimes recommend changing stuff in the blue book just to fuck with people. So some people had last year's bluebook, and some people new bluebooks, and everyone was confused as hell about the "proper citation".

As for the substantiative class papers, I think most people got a good amount out of them. I felt like we'd gotten more out of the contracts one than the legal writing one, because the legal writing assignment was on torts and we're not taking that class. I have a lot more intuitive sense of how to analyze contracts on paper than torts, and the Professor is a lot more adept at helping me structure the written argument properly. Proper use of apostrophes, case citation, and other technicalities are important, but the legal writing textbook emphasizes this "IRAC" thing, i.e. how to structure a legal argument. Both Professors commented about the substantiative argument more than writing technicalities, so I think the small classes are a good place to practice it.

The small papers from the legal writing class could probably be scrapped, and they could have us instead do 3-4 weeks of pretty heavy legal research practice and then work on putting together a big memorandum step-by-step and leave the small IRAC stuff to the small sections.

jms1987
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby jms1987 » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:53 am

Sorry if it was already asked, but what kind of gym do you guys get access too? Is it nice and not too overcrowded?

Snooker
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby Snooker » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:05 pm

We get access to the Gregory Gym:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/gregory-gym-austin

Rated 5-stars on yelp, it's the main gym on campus. There is a shuttle from the law school to there AFAIK or you can use a parking pass.

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OperaAttorney
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaAttorney » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:12 pm

I lift weights and use the Gregory Gym. I love this gym.

Pros
Big gym space
State-of-the-art weight and cardio equipment
Dumbbells that increase in 2.5-lb increments

Cons
Rush hour traffic can get bad

akowis
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby akowis » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:21 pm

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Last edited by akowis on Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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OperaAttorney
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaAttorney » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:32 pm

akowis wrote:
OperaAttorney wrote:I lift weights and use the Gregory Gym. I love this gym.

Pros
Big gym space
State-of-the-art weight and cardio equipment
Dumbbells that increase in 2.5-lb increments

Cons
Rush hour traffic can get bad


Gregory is definitely nice, but the Rec Center is superior

Pros
More space (weight room) than Gregory
More equipment than Gregory
Better barbell weights
Fewer people than Gregory
Heavy Bag
Easier access by car

Cons
Further if you live in West or North Campus

I worked out at the Rec all four years of undergrad and I highly recommend it.


Hmmm. I visited the Rec Center several weeks ago. I don't recall the Rec Center having better lifting equipment than Gregory. I do remember the Rec Center being "darker" and less lively than Gregory. In fact, I disliked my workout experience at the Rec Ctr--I haven't gone back. LOL

I guess it depends on what you look for in a gym.

akowis
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby akowis » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:36 pm

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Last edited by akowis on Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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OperaAttorney
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaAttorney » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:38 pm

akowis wrote:
OperaAttorney wrote:Hmmm. I visited the Rec Center several weeks ago. I don't recall the Rec Center having better lifting equipment than Gregory. I do remember the Rec Center being "darker" and less lively than Gregory. In fact, I disliked my workout experience at the Rec Ctr--I haven't gone back. LOL

I guess it depends on what you look for in a gym.


To each their own. You can't go wrong either way.


Agreed. One of my buddies likes the Rec Ctr because the weight room is always virtually empty. I prefer weight rooms with some action.

akowis
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby akowis » Thu Nov 12, 2009 4:43 pm

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Last edited by akowis on Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

86revolt
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby 86revolt » Fri Nov 13, 2009 3:04 pm

I know this says "Texas 1L Taking Questions" but have you heard anything about the clinics? UT has one of the most interesting clinical lineups I have seen. Legislative lawyering (which will begin in Spring 2010), national security clinic, supreme court. and the same goes for internships: prosecution, judicial, legislative.

It seems to be the best school after GULC for people interested in government work. Do you have any idea what people in the clinics do? Do you know any friends that are on them? if so, what are their overall opinions on the clinics?

thanks.

Snooker
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby Snooker » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:09 pm

The professor who does the supreme court clinic was a clerk for Justice Blackmun (notable for Roe v. Wade). She apparently spends all of her time working on the clinic, as opposed to doing academic research, and they have had notable wins recently.

UT Austin also has a community development clinic that has received lots of praise.

Esc
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby Esc » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:14 pm

86revolt wrote:I know this says "Texas 1L Taking Questions" but have you heard anything about the clinics? UT has one of the most interesting clinical lineups I have seen. Legislative lawyering (which will begin in Spring 2010), national security clinic, supreme court. and the same goes for internships: prosecution, judicial, legislative.

It seems to be the best school after GULC for people interested in government work. Do you have any idea what people in the clinics do? Do you know any friends that are on them? if so, what are their overall opinions on the clinics?

thanks.


I can't participate in clinics until 2L year, but everything I've heard about them has been good. I went to the Clinic open house day, and here's what I've heard on the two you mentioned by name:

A 2L in the Supreme Court clinic says they do intensive research and writing of appellate brief, and the school flies them to the oral arguments in D.C. He said it was quite a rush to see the Justices arguing over passages that he had written.

The National Security clinic does a lot of plaintiff side lawyering, writing briefs on cases (mostly for Federal district court I think) and representing Gitmo detainees, rendition victims, and other people whose access to justice has been denied in the whole "war on terror" shebang. Its some pretty intensive stuff.

The school administration is very, very heavily pushing for people to get involved in clinics in an effort to get more people in to public service/public interesst. Personally, I'm planning on taking as many clinics as possible - the clinical offerings were one of the main reasons I became interested in UT.

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OperaAttorney
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaAttorney » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:19 pm

86revolt wrote:I know this says "Texas 1L Taking Questions" but have you heard anything about the clinics? UT has one of the most interesting clinical lineups I have seen. Legislative lawyering (which will begin in Spring 2010), national security clinic, supreme court. and the same goes for internships: prosecution, judicial, legislative.

It seems to be the best school after GULC for people interested in government work. Do you have any idea what people in the clinics do? Do you know any friends that are on them? if so, what are their overall opinions on the clinics?

thanks.


The editor-in-chief for my journal has done the Domestic Violence Clinic twice. She speaks highly of the clinic, especially the breadth of litigation experience it provides students. My friend, a 2L and a Law Review member, is doing the Actual Innocence Clinic this semester. He's passionate about capital punishment issues and seems to have found fulfillment in his work with the clinic.

We 1L's can't do clinics until our 2nd year. Some of us are on journals right now, though. In my opinion, the experience is invaluable. I got over my bluebooking fears quickly. I had no choice :).

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OperaAttorney
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaAttorney » Fri Nov 13, 2009 4:21 pm

Esc wrote: Personally, I'm planning on taking as many clinics as possible - the clinical offerings were one of the main reasons I became interested in UT.


+1000000

86revolt
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby 86revolt » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:22 pm

Esc wrote:
86revolt wrote:I know this says "Texas 1L Taking Questions" but have you heard anything about the clinics? UT has one of the most interesting clinical lineups I have seen. Legislative lawyering (which will begin in Spring 2010), national security clinic, supreme court. and the same goes for internships: prosecution, judicial, legislative.

It seems to be the best school after GULC for people interested in government work. Do you have any idea what people in the clinics do? Do you know any friends that are on them? if so, what are their overall opinions on the clinics?

thanks.


I can't participate in clinics until 2L year, but everything I've heard about them has been good. I went to the Clinic open house day, and here's what I've heard on the two you mentioned by name:

A 2L in the Supreme Court clinic says they do intensive research and writing of appellate brief, and the school flies them to the oral arguments in D.C. He said it was quite a rush to see the Justices arguing over passages that he had written.

The National Security clinic does a lot of plaintiff side lawyering, writing briefs on cases (mostly for Federal district court I think) and representing Gitmo detainees, rendition victims, and other people whose access to justice has been denied in the whole "war on terror" shebang. Its some pretty intensive stuff.

The school administration is very, very heavily pushing for people to get involved in clinics in an effort to get more people in to public service/public interesst. Personally, I'm planning on taking as many clinics as possible - the clinical offerings were one of the main reasons I became interested in UT.


Sweet! Half of my "Why UT" essay is about the clinics I'm planning to work on.

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OperaAttorney
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaAttorney » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:38 pm

Awesome. I'll ask about the Actual Innocence Clinic and post some answers this weekend. Best of luck to you.

yournamehere
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby yournamehere » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:08 pm

The Criminal Law Association is holding an event on Nov. 19 where the head of the Actual Innocence Clinic and one of the Dallas County DAs are going to speak about some recent exonerations that UT Law students worked on. I'm planning to go and can definitely get back to you about what I learned.

http://www.utexas.edu/law/news/2009/111 ... ocent.html

Snooker
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby Snooker » Sat Nov 14, 2009 12:17 am

This moving photo was taken recently by the newspapers of the exoneration you mentioned. The man pictured was falsely convicted of murder, and UT Austin students overturned his conviction last month:

--ImageRemoved--


I've looked around, and I don't think this is something you really get at other law schools.




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