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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Burberry by Burberry
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby Burberry by Burberry » Sat Nov 21, 2009 4:46 am

I'm just tagging this so I don't forget about it.

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JazzOne
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby JazzOne » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:18 am

Burberry by Burberry wrote:I'm just tagging this so I don't forget about it.

Epic quote

yournamehere
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby yournamehere » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:52 pm

The "Freeing the Innocent" event about the exoneration of Claude Simmons and Christopher Scott was absolutely amazing and moving. The speakers were Mike Ware, who is the head of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit, and Tiffany Dowling, who heads up the Actual Innocence Clinic at UT Law. Ms. Dowling spent some time talking about the process by which the AIC figures out which cases to handle, and what the role of students is. The students in this case went back and interviewed witnesses. They found that word around the neighborhood was that two other men had committed the crime. They interviewed one of these men in jail (he was serving time for another crime) and he essentially admitted to committing the crime. This individual was interviewed on two more occasions and told essentially the same story. From there, students worked on briefs, etc. towards the exoneration of Mr. Simmons and Mr. Scott.

Mr. Ware spent some time on the background of what his unit does, which is essentially look at past convictions in Dallas County and see about getting them overturned. He said that Dallas County has the largest number of convictions out of any county in the United states that have since been overturned by DNA evidence. Because of this issue, the DA created his office and gave Mr. Ware the keys to look at previous convictions and make sure that they were credible. Mr. Ware said that this case was a landmark one for his office, because it was the first exoneration he had won that did not rely principally on DNA evidence. Instead, it relied on countering the eyewitness claim. There were a number of inconsistencies that Mr. Ware was able to investigate with the help of the Dallas Police, and along with the testimony of the actual murderer, was able to get Mr. Simmons and Mr. Scott exonerated.

There were a number of practitioners and local defense attorneys who showed up, and both Mr. Ware and Ms. Dowling were going to head to a local bar afterwards with members of the Criminal Law Association to talk further about the case. Didn't get a chance to go because I had to go to the library and study, but it would have been an amazing experience and opportunity to network.

Sorry for the length. If there's anything else you want to know about the event let me know and I can try to answer questions.

Snooker
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby Snooker » Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:26 am

Good post!

here is also an article that I suspect has a relation to this case. it's an atlantic article about the Conviction Integrity Unit they clinic worked under:
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200911/b ... inkers2/12

They worked with the DA's office right? So that means they were basically working with this guy. The Actual Innocence Clinic apparently isn't just your ordinary clinic; it's linked up with a movement in the law that has grabbed national attention. There's a discovery channel special on Watkins; maybe they'll do something on the actual innocence clinic.

yournamehere
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby yournamehere » Mon Nov 23, 2009 3:26 am

i didn't know about the Discovery Channel documentary, but a quick search turns up a couple trailers. Mr. Ware is featured in this video:

http://investigation.discovery.com/vide ... -ware.html

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adrib
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby adrib » Mon Dec 28, 2009 3:23 pm

i couldn't find anything in search--did anyone write a Why UT?

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OperaAttorney
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaAttorney » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:21 am

adrib wrote:i couldn't find anything in search--did anyone write a Why UT?


Didn't write a WHY UT essay. Don't know anyone who did. (Not sure we had the option last cycle.) Applied on Feb. 1st. Now a 1L at UT.

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catharsis
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby catharsis » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:24 am

perhaps a silly question, but how easy (or difficult) is it to make friends at UT? are the students pretty warm and welcoming or do you find everyone in their own little world.. just curious.

thanks guys!

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OperaAttorney
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaAttorney » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:49 am

catharsis wrote:perhaps a silly question, but how easy (or difficult) is it to make friends at UT? are the students pretty warm and welcoming or do you find everyone in their own little world.. just curious.

thanks guys!


Newsflash: The great thing about being a member of a large entering class (ours numbered 385, I think) is that there many different types of people. LOL

Seriously, I've had no problems getting to know people at UT even though (1) I don't drink alcohol, and (2) I'm über-picky about the people with whom I spend my time when I'm off duty (that is, when I'm not in class). When you arrive at UT, you are put in a small group of ~ 25 students. 2 small groups comprise a society. 2 societies comprise a section. 4 sections comprise an entire class. There are tons of social events to attend and affiliate organizations to join. If you do the legwork, you will meet people with whom you share interests.

Here's how things turned out for me:

Most of the people I hang out with are not in my small group. In fact, my best friend in the law school is not even in my section. I met her on the UT Class of 2012 Facebook page.

M workout partner is a 3L. We met while passing each other on a flight of stairs--because he accidentally spilled coffee on my left arm. LOL

I met one of the coolest 1L's I know--I love the guy!--through the journal I'm on.

5 fellow section members (1 from my small group and 4 from other small groups) and I have an ongoing Scrabble tourney. Next semester, I hope we play at least once every other week.

For me, I focus on quality, not quantity. In law school you need only a handful of TRUE friends.

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adrib
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby adrib » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:02 pm

OperaAttorney wrote:
adrib wrote:i couldn't find anything in search--did anyone write a Why UT?


Didn't write a WHY UT essay. Don't know anyone who did. (Not sure we had the option last cycle.) Applied on Feb. 1st. Now a 1L at UT.

yeah, i didn't see the option, either. i was hoping maybe there was a secret way to tell them i will give them my firstborn if they let me in. thanks, OA!

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OperaAttorney
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby OperaAttorney » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:10 pm

adrib wrote:
OperaAttorney wrote:
adrib wrote:i couldn't find anything in search--did anyone write a Why UT?


Didn't write a WHY UT essay. Don't know anyone who did. (Not sure we had the option last cycle.) Applied on Feb. 1st. Now a 1L at UT.

yeah, i didn't see the option, either. i was hoping maybe there was a secret way to tell them i will give them my firstborn if they let me in. thanks, OA!


You can always discuss your particular interest in UT in your personal statement. I know people who added school-specific paragraphs to their personal statements. I did no such thing, because I knew I could get everything I wanted from the law schools on my wish list.

law vida loca
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby law vida loca » Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:14 am

Question for current UT-ers and anyone who just knows more about the school than i do...

I know that it's a big school so attracts a lot of different kind of folks, but how would you describe the student body politically? what about the professors?

i'm interested in public interest law (mainly immigration related stuff and have heard rave reviews about UT prof Barbara Hines) ... how would you describe the community of students at UT who are interested in public interest law? how hard is it to get funding for summer externships at nonprofits, etc?

Esc
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby Esc » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:19 am

law vida loca wrote:Question for current UT-ers and anyone who just knows more about the school than i do...

I know that it's a big school so attracts a lot of different kind of folks, but how would you describe the student body politically? what about the professors?

i'm interested in public interest law (mainly immigration related stuff and have heard rave reviews about UT prof Barbara Hines) ... how would you describe the community of students at UT who are interested in public interest law? how hard is it to get funding for summer externships at nonprofits, etc?


Politically there are all stripes here, all across the spectrum. ACS and FedSoc are both active. Many professors are liberal, unsurprisingly, but there are several notable conservative profs, and a fair amount of moderates.

There seem to be quite a number of students interested in PI, and there is a general Public Interest Society along with more specifically focused groups. I'm not sure about funding - a lot of people used to get funding for summer PI work through the Texas Law Fellowships, but because of the economy the fundraising has decreased. I think they gave out 22 summer stipends last year. I think there are some other funding sources available as well.

86revolt
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby 86revolt » Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:45 am

yournamehere wrote:The "Freeing the Innocent" event about the exoneration of Claude Simmons and Christopher Scott was absolutely amazing and moving. The speakers were Mike Ware, who is the head of the Dallas County District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit, and Tiffany Dowling, who heads up the Actual Innocence Clinic at UT Law. Ms. Dowling spent some time talking about the process by which the AIC figures out which cases to handle, and what the role of students is. The students in this case went back and interviewed witnesses. They found that word around the neighborhood was that two other men had committed the crime. They interviewed one of these men in jail (he was serving time for another crime) and he essentially admitted to committing the crime. This individual was interviewed on two more occasions and told essentially the same story. From there, students worked on briefs, etc. towards the exoneration of Mr. Simmons and Mr. Scott.

Mr. Ware spent some time on the background of what his unit does, which is essentially look at past convictions in Dallas County and see about getting them overturned. He said that Dallas County has the largest number of convictions out of any county in the United states that have since been overturned by DNA evidence. Because of this issue, the DA created his office and gave Mr. Ware the keys to look at previous convictions and make sure that they were credible. Mr. Ware said that this case was a landmark one for his office, because it was the first exoneration he had won that did not rely principally on DNA evidence. Instead, it relied on countering the eyewitness claim. There were a number of inconsistencies that Mr. Ware was able to investigate with the help of the Dallas Police, and along with the testimony of the actual murderer, was able to get Mr. Simmons and Mr. Scott exonerated.

There were a number of practitioners and local defense attorneys who showed up, and both Mr. Ware and Ms. Dowling were going to head to a local bar afterwards with members of the Criminal Law Association to talk further about the case. Didn't get a chance to go because I had to go to the library and study, but it would have been an amazing experience and opportunity to network.

Sorry for the length. If there's anything else you want to know about the event let me know and I can try to answer questions.



great post! i just got into UT, so i'm seriously considering the school. i'll be visiting the school (hopefully when they make final four--that would be awesome) and it would be cool to meet up with some of you current 1Ls for a drink or something to get a feel of the town and the school environment. i hear i definitely have to check out 6th street. we'll see how the rest of my cycle goes, but UT is very impressive.

somebody asked earlier if anyone has written a why UT essay. as a 0L (i guess i can officially count myself as one now), i did write a why UT but not sure how much it influenced the outcome.

and as for this innocence clinic project that led to the exoneration, the law school is making a huge deal of it. the leading story on my packet was about the clinic's work on that case. very cool stuff.

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dancinginseptember
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby dancinginseptember » Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:17 pm

UT people: please weigh in here!

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=107245

Thanks :)

bmontminy
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby bmontminy » Tue Feb 09, 2010 6:50 pm

A bit more specific question regarding scholarships/the matching program...Need a bit of reading comprehension help here.

"Merit-Only Scholarships: Criteria for selection include standardized test scores, cumulative grade point average, leadership, extracurricular activities, and other performance criteria, i.e., leadership positions in student organizations, etc.

Need, Disadvantage, or Adversity Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded using a variety of factors that include financial need, demonstrated commitment to public service, history of overcoming economic or other disadvantage, overcoming disability, service in the armed forces, and other factors, including standardized test scores and cumulative grade point average.

Merit and Need Scholarships: Criteria for these scholarships include merit criteria and financial need. For academic year 2009–2010, 80 percent of scholarship aid was merit/need-based."

quoted from UT Law schools sholarship link. From what i gather, these are three distinct categories: merit, need, and merit/need. I was told that a 167 LSAT was required by a financial aid rep. for merit scholly's, when i asked if this 167 requirement counted for the 80% of scholarships that were given out that were merit AND need based, she seemed to not really know what I was talking about...

Am I reading the site wrong??

jelizabeth88
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby jelizabeth88 » Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:59 pm

So a bit off topic but I'm interested in pursuing a dual degree with the department of geography. It's not one of the degrees listed on the website but I know a lot of schools will allow you to set up your own if you are accepted into both schools. Does anyone know how this works at UT?

Esc
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby Esc » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:36 am

jelizabeth88 wrote:So a bit off topic but I'm interested in pursuing a dual degree with the department of geography. It's not one of the degrees listed on the website but I know a lot of schools will allow you to set up your own if you are accepted into both schools. Does anyone know how this works at UT?


The Dean has said that they will try to work with all the schools to set up something; Sager is always really keen on emphasizing the dual degree programs and how eager they are to work with students to set up such plans.

jelizabeth88
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby jelizabeth88 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:10 am

Esc wrote:
jelizabeth88 wrote:So a bit off topic but I'm interested in pursuing a dual degree with the department of geography. It's not one of the degrees listed on the website but I know a lot of schools will allow you to set up your own if you are accepted into both schools. Does anyone know how this works at UT?


The Dean has said that they will try to work with all the schools to set up something; Sager is always really keen on emphasizing the dual degree programs and how eager they are to work with students to set up such plans.


Thanks esc! UT is looking sweeter every day.

wannabealonghorn
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby wannabealonghorn » Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:40 pm

Hey guys. I am a 1L at another T1 school in Texas.
I am thinking about applying to UT as a transfer student.
Do you guys know any information about transferring to UT such as:

1) How many students apply/get accepted.
2) Typical stats (class rank, schools)
3) In-state/Out-of state?

I know that this topic might be better answered by 2Ls who are likely taking classes with transfer students but I wanted to give it a try here.

Thanks.

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doppelganger
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby doppelganger » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:39 pm

Not sure if anyone has answered this question, but I'm wondering what a typical day and week looks like for you all as far as hours in the classroom/on campus and hours of homework. :roll:
Last edited by doppelganger on Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

yournamehere
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby yournamehere » Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:19 pm

Fall semester:

3 doctrinal classes, each with total of 200 minutes per week of class meetings.
1 legal research & writing seminar, with just over an hour of week of class meetings.

Spring Semester:

Same class commitments as fall semester plus an elective, meeting for either 2, 3, or 4 hours per week.

No classes on Friday (unless your elective meets on Friday).

On campus and hours of homework really come down to the individual IMO. There are people who are efficient, and there are people who are inefficient. There's no way to predict it.

Esc
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby Esc » Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:19 am

yournamehere wrote:Fall semester:

3 doctrinal classes, each with total of 200 minutes per week of class meetings.
1 legal research & writing seminar, with just over an hour of week of class meetings.

Spring Semester:

Same class commitments as fall semester plus an elective, meeting for either 2, 3, or 4 hours per week.

No classes on Friday (unless your elective meets on Friday).

On campus and hours of homework really come down to the individual IMO. There are people who are efficient, and there are people who are inefficient. There's no way to predict it.


Everyone I've talked to agrees that the Spring semester is way more work because of the elective :(

86revolt
Posts: 124
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby 86revolt » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:55 pm

Esc wrote:
yournamehere wrote:Fall semester:

3 doctrinal classes, each with total of 200 minutes per week of class meetings.
1 legal research & writing seminar, with just over an hour of week of class meetings.

Spring Semester:

Same class commitments as fall semester plus an elective, meeting for either 2, 3, or 4 hours per week.

No classes on Friday (unless your elective meets on Friday).

On campus and hours of homework really come down to the individual IMO. There are people who are efficient, and there are people who are inefficient. There's no way to predict it.


Everyone I've talked to agrees that the Spring semester is way more work because of the elective :(


don't you also secure a 1L summer position in the spring? what is your understanding of how successful you and other 1Ls have been in locking down a position? do you know anyone who was able to get a paid position? also, how generous is UT's public interest 1L summer stipend?

NN4
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Re: University of Texas 1L Taking Questions

Postby NN4 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:01 pm

Esc wrote:
yournamehere wrote:Fall semester:

3 doctrinal classes, each with total of 200 minutes per week of class meetings.
1 legal research & writing seminar, with just over an hour of week of class meetings.

Spring Semester:

Same class commitments as fall semester plus an elective, meeting for either 2, 3, or 4 hours per week.

No classes on Friday (unless your elective meets on Friday).

On campus and hours of homework really come down to the individual IMO. There are people who are efficient, and there are people who are inefficient. There's no way to predict it.


Everyone I've talked to agrees that the Spring semester is way more work because of the elective :(


Is there a general time when classes start in the morning for 1L and end in the afternoon? Or does it vary widely by section?




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