Law School Professor, Taking Questions

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
LawProfessor123
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby LawProfessor123 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:24 pm

1. I think a school's USNews prestige greatly influences the perceived prestige of its flagship law review, although some claim that W&L rankings are king. You can easily find threads on various law professor blogs about how to measure law journal prestige, if you have time to waste.

2. Again, I think people most commonly cross reference USNews in measuring journals. Thus, it's not unusual to hear someone mention that they've only received an offer from a Tier 3 journal and really want a Top 50 journal, and so on. I think it's generally understood that these references are to the USNews rankings.

This all sounds absurd, but you have to realize that many law review articles are not written for an audience of more than a dozen people or so and likely won't be read by much more than that. Thus, professors cling onto any credential they can get to obtain a sense of validation, and chief among them, insofar as their writing is concerned, is a placement in a Top 10 journal.

I'm of course in the minority in thinking this, and other professors would undoubtedly contend that their scholarship is super important and world changing. You can usually find some good debates on Prawfsblawg or similar blogs about the usefulness of legal scholarship and the differing academic views. As to the view of non-academics, the tables are largely turned -- I think most practitioners/policymakers/judges/legislators agree that most legal scholarship is useless, but there are definitely some in those camps who disagree.

3. "Successful" is a subjective term, but I think a professor who writes one solid article a year would be considered a reasonably productive scholar and would obtain summer grant money. Most professors don't write this much, especially post tenure. Additionally, some professors write books or book chapters (or, in one infamous case, a book about parenting) rather than law review articles. Determining how much these other materials weigh in measuring one's productivity is beyond me.

4. As a student, writing a note should be the main numerical goal, not cranking out 5 different articles. Anything you write as a student will likely be discounted when you apply for teaching gigs, so I don't see much of a point in publishing widely as a 2L or 3L. What would be more important is to make connections with professors, take seminars, read scholarship, etc., such that you can begin to develop your scholarly voice and research agenda. Then, in your first year or two out of law school, you can work hard to publish a full length piece or two and also have another draft to present at the meat market.

Corwin wrote:I've enjoyed this thread very much, thanks a lot for posting.

I have a few research-related questions:
  • Does the prestige of publishing in a law review roughly correlate to the prestige of the school?
  • Are there "tiers" of law reviews so to speak? In CS conferences tend to be informally divided up into tiers based on a combinations of factors like acceptance rates, the program committee, number of citations, etc.
  • How many publications a year does a successful law school professor put out?
  • What would be considered a "steller" performance by a law student in terms of research? Coauthoring an article or two?

Thanks :)

LawProfessor123
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby LawProfessor123 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:28 pm

I'm not involved in the adjunct hiring process, but my sense is that schools aren't particularly concerned with the scholarly endeavors of adjuncts. Rather, adjuncts are there to fulfill curricular holes and (we hope) teach the students well. If adjuncts become familiar with our students and improve the school's standing in the local community, that's also terrific.

I'm sure adjuncts "can" get hired full time, but simply being an adjunct professor will not in and of itself be a significant credential in the hiring process. However, being an adjunct can give you opportunities to meet full time professors, develop connections, get some teaching experience (which some schools actually care about), and so on.

As to how to become an adjunct, I'd think that would start by contacting a school in your area (or, better yet, getting to know someone at the law school who can pass along your resume to the associate dean). I've never looked into the adjunct teaching market and my impression is that it is wholly informal. Best to talk to adjunct professors and see how they ended up teaching. My guess is that everyone will have a different story.

Having a great publication record can of course help overcome a T50 degree, although the vast majority of hires come from a very small range of schools. Your competition will most likely be T10 students with strong publication records, not T10 students with no publication records. If any recent graduates from your law school went through the AALS, talking to them might be a great place to start.

quakeroats wrote:
Danteshek wrote:Can a good publication record overcome a degree from a school in the 50s? My goal is to teach securities regulation topics as an adjunct in 5-6 years. I am a rising 3L with a publication forthcoming in another law school's business law journal. Do publications even matter for adjunct spots? Or do they only care about experience? Can an adjunct ever get hired full time?


You might find this helpful: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm? ... id=1840785
Last edited by LawProfessor123 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

schooner
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby schooner » Sat Jun 11, 2011 9:53 pm

This is a fantastic thread. Thanks again for taking our questions!

By now, you must surely have written at least several recommendation letters for clerkships and transfer applications. (Are there other reasons why law students ask for rec letters? I'm familiar with only those two.) From your perspective, what's the best way for a student to approach you and obtain the most glowing letter possible? What was special about the student for whom you wrote the best letter?

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DocHawkeye
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby DocHawkeye » Sat Jun 11, 2011 10:55 pm

LawProfessor123 wrote:T50 students, though, tend to be more interesting that the T10 ones in some respects. Students here know that BIGLAW is a longshot and thus are far more proactive in developing career interests, networking with the state bar, seeking practice opportunities, and so on. T10 students can be lazy in this regard because the employers come to them and pay so much money that it almost makes sense to ignore other opportunities. But perhaps the economic malaise has changed how T10 students view things. . .

schooner wrote:I hope you're still taking questions, because this is a great thread.

Now that you teach at a ~T50 school after having attending a T10 (but not HY) law school, how would you compare the brainpower of your students to that of your former classmates? Clear difference? Or the top students at both aren't appreciably distinguishable (in terms of their work quality)?


Perhaps I'm reading this wrong but you seem to write off all students outside of the top 50. Do you really feel that this is the case? I was accepted to schools in the range of the top 50 but have elected to attend a T2 school for financial and geographical reasons. Am I making a mistake?

specialblend35
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby specialblend35 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 5:27 pm

schooner wrote:This is a fantastic thread. Thanks again for taking our questions!

By now, you must surely have written at least several recommendation letters for clerkships and transfer applications. (Are there other reasons why law students ask for rec letters? I'm familiar with only those two.) From your perspective, what's the best way for a student to approach you and obtain the most glowing letter possible? What was special about the student for whom you wrote the best letter?


Great question...I'm also interested in hearing your take on this.

LawProfessor123
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby LawProfessor123 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:21 am

It wasn't my intention to write off students outside of the T50. I spoke only of T10 students and T50 students because the person who asked the question asked me to compare those two groups. I'm sure there are excellent students to be found at any law school, although, again, it undoubtedly becomes easier to find the great ones as you move up the ranking/selectivity ladder.

DocHawkeye wrote:
LawProfessor123 wrote:T50 students, though, tend to be more interesting that the T10 ones in some respects. Students here know that BIGLAW is a longshot and thus are far more proactive in developing career interests, networking with the state bar, seeking practice opportunities, and so on. T10 students can be lazy in this regard because the employers come to them and pay so much money that it almost makes sense to ignore other opportunities. But perhaps the economic malaise has changed how T10 students view things. . .

schooner wrote:I hope you're still taking questions, because this is a great thread.

Now that you teach at a ~T50 school after having attending a T10 (but not HY) law school, how would you compare the brainpower of your students to that of your former classmates? Clear difference? Or the top students at both aren't appreciably distinguishable (in terms of their work quality)?


Perhaps I'm reading this wrong but you seem to write off all students outside of the top 50. Do you really feel that this is the case? I was accepted to schools in the range of the top 50 but have elected to attend a T2 school for financial and geographical reasons. Am I making a mistake?
Last edited by LawProfessor123 on Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

schooner
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby schooner » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:46 pm

Another question - last year (June 2010), you said --

I think the incoming class is in a far better position than the graduating class. I think (cross your fingers) that there is going to be a shortage of junior level lawyers by the time the classes of 2012-2014 graduate.

Do you still think the market for newbie lawyers will really have recovered by ~2014?

LawProfessor123
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby LawProfessor123 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:18 am

schooner wrote:This is a fantastic thread. Thanks again for taking our questions!

By now, you must surely have written at least several recommendation letters for clerkships and transfer applications. (Are there other reasons why law students ask for rec letters? I'm familiar with only those two.) From your perspective, what's the best way for a student to approach you and obtain the most glowing letter possible? What was special about the student for whom you wrote the best letter?


Apologies for the late response.

I have written recommendation letters for a variety of purposes (clerkships, transfers, study abroad programs, federal jobs, graduate programs).

I don't have a "best" way to approach, but I do know the worst way: Shooting a barren email to me and saying "Hey, I'd love it if you would write a recommendation letter for me. The deadline is X/XX. Thanks!"

That type of communication is worthless. I continue to be shocked when I receive bare emails from students whom I hardly know, asking me to write a letter of recommendation. How the $!#$!# am I supposed to know what to write?

That's not to say that I object to writing rec letters for students I don't personally know. Just the opposite, in fact. I fully understand that law school classes are generally large and I might not personally get to know all the students.

So what are you to do? I'd suggest a few key things:

1) Include information. When you make your request, attach the important materials to your email, including your CV, resume, transcript, cover letters, and anything else. There is no way I can write a rec letter without some or probably all of these things. .

2) Actively seek a meeting. Explain that you'd like to meet with me to discuss your career goals and why you are a good fit for the positions to which you are applying. Even if I have never met you and you were quiet in class, I can learn a lot about you in a 30-45 minute chat. Don't half-heartedly say you are available to meet with me; explicitly tell me that you want to do so. I don't want to write a rec letter for someone I've never met. And although the semester is very busy, I will never turn down a meeting with a student to discuss his or her career goals.

3) Handle yourself professionally in your request. I've requested transcripts from students and have been promised to have them sent to me "immediately." Sometimes these transcripts never arrive and I follow up with the student, who tells me s/he "forgot." When this happens, I wonder why I'm recommending the student to the judge/school/etc.

4) Focus on your strengths. I understand that half the students in my law school are in the bottom half of the class. That doesn't mean that you have to apologize for asking for a rec. It's our job to help all of our graduates, not just the top 10% (who probably need the least help, anyway). What you need to do is help me tell a good story about why you are a strong candidate for the position sought and how I can help you. Hiding your transcript from me won't help.

I imagine there are some circumstances where I would decline to write a letter (I'm not going to write Justice Scalia about a positively awesome C student). But whatever your class ranking, I'm glad to help you with your goals, *if* you handle yourself professionally and help me help you. You don't have to apologize (not to me, anyway) about a spotty academic record, but you do have to show me that you are motivated, capable, and professional.

LawProfessor123
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby LawProfessor123 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:21 am

Rather than directly answer that question, let me take the opportunity to emphasize that law professors are among the worst people to ask about the state of the legal economy. Better to ask a 3L who obsessively follows ATL/Vault/NYlawyer, etc., about hiring trends, rather than a gainfully employed law professor who (hopefully) never has to worry about finding a real job and thus has no interest in tracking hiring trends in the entry level legal market.

schooner wrote:Another question - last year (June 2010), you said --

I think the incoming class is in a far better position than the graduating class. I think (cross your fingers) that there is going to be a shortage of junior level lawyers by the time the classes of 2012-2014 graduate.

Do you still think the market for newbie lawyers will really have recovered by ~2014?

redfern86
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby redfern86 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:18 pm

Thanks for taking the time to answer questions!

I have two questions: I'm committed at a T20 school and waitlisted at a T10 school that I desperately want to attend. One full-time faculty member of the T10 is a large part of my desire to attend, because he and I have similar backgrounds and similar scholarly interests. He is the only law professor I have been able to find who specializes in the same area as my senior thesis for undergrad, an area of interest that I would like to continue to pursue in law school.

1) Is it silly to want to go to a particular school for a faculty member?
2) What are your thoughts on emailing my senior thesis to the law professor and CC-ing the director of admissions? Would it help get me off the waitlist or would it freak out the professor before we even met?

LawProfessor123
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby LawProfessor123 » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:00 pm

"1) Is it silly to want to go to a particular school for a faculty member?"

Yes. For all you know he is a complete jerk, or will be on a yearlong sabbatical during your 2L year, will visit another institution, won't teach his typical courseload, and so on.

It's great that you are interested in the potential resources of the law school (including the faculty), but you shouldn't necessarily focus on a single faculty member. That being said, any T10 school is likely a special place and you should be excited to attend such an institution.

"2) What are your thoughts on emailing my senior thesis to the law professor and CC-ing the director of admissions? Would it help get me off the waitlist or would it freak out the professor before we even met?"

I think there's a risk of freaking out or annoying the professor. Additionally, there's a significant risk that the professor will think your senior thesis is rubbish.

A more conservative approach might be to explain in your "continuing interest" letter that you are especially excited about school X because your senior thesis dovetails with the research strengths of the faculty, and leave it at that.

redfern86 wrote:Thanks for taking the time to answer questions!

I have two questions: I'm committed at a T20 school and waitlisted at a T10 school that I desperately want to attend. One full-time faculty member of the T10 is a large part of my desire to attend, because he and I have similar backgrounds and similar scholarly interests. He is the only law professor I have been able to find who specializes in the same area as my senior thesis for undergrad, an area of interest that I would like to continue to pursue in law school.

1) Is it silly to want to go to a particular school for a faculty member?

2) What are your thoughts on emailing my senior thesis to the law professor and CC-ing the director of admissions? Would it help get me off the waitlist or would it freak out the professor before we even met?

schooner
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby schooner » Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:31 pm

Thank you. I know, I ask a lot of questions :-)

You've had non-traditional (read: old) students in their late 20s, 30s, and even 40s, right? How well do they usually perform? Do you think the line about older students doing well due to their maturity and perspective is real, or just a lot of BS?

LawProfessor123
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby LawProfessor123 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 1:44 am

I really have never studied it closely, but my experience is that students in the 40-60+ crowd tend to fall on either end of the curve -- that is, they fall at the very bottom of the class or do exceptionally well, with few between.

I don't think that students in the late 20s have done generally any better or worse than students in their early 20s, although I've never really thought about it, and these students don't stick out in my mind the same way that the 40+ ones do. I will undoubtedly say that the late 20's+ students come across as much more professional than those fresh out of college.
--

schooner wrote:Thank you. I know, I ask a lot of questions :-)

You've had non-traditional (read: old) students in their late 20s, 30s, and even 40s, right? How well do they usually perform? Do you think the line about older students doing well due to their maturity and perspective is real, or just a lot of BS?

schooner
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby schooner » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:52 pm

Thanks again for doing this Q and A.

I have a question about publishing. What do you think about students self-publishing in their own blog? Does that carry any credibility? (Could they put that on their resume with a straight face?)

Or would it be better to try to publish in a journal somewhere or through one of the outside organizations (e.g., think tanks)? One factor there is that a student would probably have to share the byline with others, right?

LawProfessor123
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Laptop Question

Postby LawProfessor123 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:47 am

I've enjoyed answering questions and was hoping I could ask one of my own. Specifically, I'm looking for a laptop recommendation. I understand that this subject is frequently discussed and that my request would normally elicit a response along the lines of "use the search button," but I hope that I've generated enough goodwill for the crowd to entertain my question.

A relative is starting college (community college, to be exact) and would like a laptop, and I'd like to purchase one for him. He anticipates transferring to one of the local state universities (Cal State or UC) after two years. I anticipate that getting a Windows computer rather than a Mac would ensure the broadest compatibility with computer networks, especially given that it's not sure where he'll end up. (When I was in college, the IT department supported PCs across the board, and made no promises regarding Macs.)

My relative doesn't play video games (as far as I know), so it sounds like this is going to be a school-oriented machine. Thus, it should offer internet capability (duh), Windows 7, a 14 inch screen, and a DVD drive. Essentially, something basic, light, and durable (15 inch screen would be okay if the laptop didn't get too heavy).

I see some laptops in the $500-$700 range, which I'm eyeing (Dell, Toshiba, and Lenovo each offer computers in this range). I've personally owned Toshibas and Thinkpads in the past, and I also own an HP "all in one" desktop computer, which has worked well enough for me, at least. When purchasing a gift, I'd prefer to stick with something that has worked for me in the past, so recommendations for Toshiba, Lenovo, and HP laptops would be appreciated.

Also, if anyone can tell me what I am losing out by not focusing on $1000+ laptops, I'd appreciate it. The last few laptops I've purchased for my own use were each $1400 and above, but my last purchase was 7 years ago. It seems like the $500-$700 machines available today are quite powerful.

I'm also interested in where I should buy the device, with particular concern for easy returns. Amazon has good prices, but if I buy from Amazon and something goes wrong, what happens? Would I have to get involved in the return process, even though I've sent the computer to California? If so, I'd prefer to just buy from Best Buy so that he can deal with any needed return himself.

Last, am I off the mark in thinking that a good laptop can be found for $500-$700? The $1000+ laptops seem ridiculously powerful for a school-oriented computer, but I'm not familiar with the hardware requirements relating to things that young people like to use their computers for.

Thank you for your recommendations.

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snailio
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby snailio » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:29 am

LawProfessor123 wrote:I've enjoyed answering questions and was hoping I could ask one of my own. Specifically, I'm looking for a laptop recommendation. I understand that this subject is frequently discussed and that my request would normally elicit a response along the lines of "use the search button," but I hope that I've generated enough goodwill for the crowd to entertain my question.

A relative is starting college (community college, to be exact) and would like a laptop, and I'd like to purchase one for him. He anticipates transferring to one of the local state universities (Cal State or UC) after two years. I anticipate that getting a Windows computer rather than a Mac would ensure the broadest compatibility with computer networks, especially given that it's not sure where he'll end up. (When I was in college, the IT department supported PCs across the board, and made no promises regarding Macs.)

My relative doesn't play video games (as far as I know), so it sounds like this is going to be a school-oriented machine. Thus, it should offer internet capability (duh), Windows 7, a 14 inch screen, and a DVD drive. Essentially, something basic, light, and durable (15 inch screen would be okay if the laptop didn't get too heavy).

I see some laptops in the $500-$700 range, which I'm eyeing (Dell, Toshiba, and Lenovo each offer computers in this range). I've personally owned Toshibas and Thinkpads in the past, and I also own an HP "all in one" desktop computer, which has worked well enough for me, at least. When purchasing a gift, I'd prefer to stick with something that has worked for me in the past, so recommendations for Toshiba, Lenovo, and HP laptops would be appreciated.

Also, if anyone can tell me what I am losing out by not focusing on $1000+ laptops, I'd appreciate it. The last few laptops I've purchased for my own use were each $1400 and above, but my last purchase was 7 years ago. It seems like the $500-$700 machines available today are quite powerful.

I'm also interested in where I should buy the device, with particular concern for easy returns. Amazon has good prices, but if I buy from Amazon and something goes wrong, what happens? Would I have to get involved in the return process, even though I've sent the computer to California? If so, I'd prefer to just buy from Best Buy so that he can deal with any needed return himself.

Last, am I off the mark in thinking that a good laptop can be found for $500-$700? The $1000+ laptops seem ridiculously powerful for a school-oriented computer, but I'm not familiar with the hardware requirements relating to things that young people like to use their computers for.

Thank you for your recommendations.





Here ya go Professor


http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/toshiba ... ontentBody


This Toshiba is available at Best Buy for $729 and they love it, this should do nicely.

If you want to research your choices more thoroughly, I would not make the assumption that the Mac is not supported, they seem to be ubiquitous across all segments of society now, including schools and in fact many are switching to them.

I'm also a big fan of Lenovo ThinkPads, but haven't kept up with the latest versions. It may be that your young relative might think them a bit clunky, although they do have a new slim version with the caveat of poor battery life.

I would try to find out what he is using now as far as operating systems go and then move forward, either the Mac platform or the PC, both are acceptable on college campuses these days.

Not a big fan of Dell and HP is trying to sell their PC business, otherwise I would recommend them.

If you stay within these three I don't think you can go wrong, just remember the Mac's are very expensive.

Personally, if he uses a Windows machine, I'd get that Toshiba and be done with it and consider yourself lucky, if he uses a Mac, well be prepared to dig ...DEEP!

Good Luck

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SarahKerrigan
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby SarahKerrigan » Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:48 pm

snailio wrote:
LawProfessor123 wrote:I've enjoyed answering questions and was hoping I could ask one of my own. Specifically, I'm looking for a laptop recommendation. I understand that this subject is frequently discussed and that my request would normally elicit a response along the lines of "use the search button," but I hope that I've generated enough goodwill for the crowd to entertain my question.

A relative is starting college (community college, to be exact) and would like a laptop, and I'd like to purchase one for him. He anticipates transferring to one of the local state universities (Cal State or UC) after two years. I anticipate that getting a Windows computer rather than a Mac would ensure the broadest compatibility with computer networks, especially given that it's not sure where he'll end up. (When I was in college, the IT department supported PCs across the board, and made no promises regarding Macs.)

My relative doesn't play video games (as far as I know), so it sounds like this is going to be a school-oriented machine. Thus, it should offer internet capability (duh), Windows 7, a 14 inch screen, and a DVD drive. Essentially, something basic, light, and durable (15 inch screen would be okay if the laptop didn't get too heavy).

I see some laptops in the $500-$700 range, which I'm eyeing (Dell, Toshiba, and Lenovo each offer computers in this range). I've personally owned Toshibas and Thinkpads in the past, and I also own an HP "all in one" desktop computer, which has worked well enough for me, at least. When purchasing a gift, I'd prefer to stick with something that has worked for me in the past, so recommendations for Toshiba, Lenovo, and HP laptops would be appreciated.

Also, if anyone can tell me what I am losing out by not focusing on $1000+ laptops, I'd appreciate it. The last few laptops I've purchased for my own use were each $1400 and above, but my last purchase was 7 years ago. It seems like the $500-$700 machines available today are quite powerful.

I'm also interested in where I should buy the device, with particular concern for easy returns. Amazon has good prices, but if I buy from Amazon and something goes wrong, what happens? Would I have to get involved in the return process, even though I've sent the computer to California? If so, I'd prefer to just buy from Best Buy so that he can deal with any needed return himself.

Last, am I off the mark in thinking that a good laptop can be found for $500-$700? The $1000+ laptops seem ridiculously powerful for a school-oriented computer, but I'm not familiar with the hardware requirements relating to things that young people like to use their computers for.

Thank you for your recommendations.





Here ya go Professor


http://reviews.cnet.com/laptops/toshiba ... ontentBody


This Toshiba is available at Best Buy for $729 and they love it, this should do nicely.

If you want to research your choices more thoroughly, I would not make the assumption that the Mac is not supported, they seem to be ubiquitous across all segments of society now, including schools and in fact many are switching to them.

I'm also a big fan of Lenovo ThinkPads, but haven't kept up with the latest versions. It may be that your young relative might think them a bit clunky, although they do have a new slim version with the caveat of poor battery life.

I would try to find out what he is using now as far as operating systems go and then move forward, either the Mac platform or the PC, both are acceptable on college campuses these days.

Not a big fan of Dell and HP is trying to sell their PC business, otherwise I would recommend them.

If you stay within these three I don't think you can go wrong, just remember the Mac's are very expensive.

Personally, if he uses a Windows machine, I'd get that Toshiba and be done with it and consider yourself lucky, if he uses a Mac, well be prepared to dig ...DEEP!

Good Luck

/agree. That Toshiba would be nice, and yeah macs are WAY overpriced. If you compare a PC to a MAC with the same stats you will be paying a lot more for the mac.

Kimberly
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby Kimberly » Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:16 am

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Last edited by Kimberly on Thu Oct 06, 2011 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bandenjamin
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Re: Laptop Question

Postby bandenjamin » Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:00 pm

LawProfessor123 wrote:
Also, if anyone can tell me what I am losing out by not focusing on $1000+ laptops, I'd appreciate it. The last few laptops I've purchased for my own use were each $1400 and above, but my last purchase was 7 years ago. It seems like the $500-$700 machines available today are quite powerful.

I'm also interested in where I should buy the device, with particular concern for easy returns. Amazon has good prices, but if I buy from Amazon and something goes wrong, what happens? Would I have to get involved in the return process, even though I've sent the computer to California? If so, I'd prefer to just buy from Best Buy so that he can deal with any needed return himself.

Last, am I off the mark in thinking that a good laptop can be found for $500-$700? The $1000+ laptops seem ridiculously powerful for a school-oriented computer, but I'm not familiar with the hardware requirements relating to things that young people like to use their computers for.

Thank you for your recommendations.


On this part, I think the biggest thing you loose when you go with the lower end laptops (speaking about the average user here not superusers) is longevity. On the lower end laptop you'll be looking at replacing it in 4 - 6 years, whereas your $1400 laptop will still be viable for 7 - 10 years. Since it's a gift for a college aged person there is nothing major being lost on the 500-700 range. I bought a Dell Inspiron laptop 6 years ago for $600 and it's just about to die on me. The HP I bought 3 years ago for $800 is running great, though it's a little on the heavy side.

HTH

kirkm76
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Re: Laptop Question

Postby kirkm76 » Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:45 pm

OK, I have a question, but I will quickly chime in on the laptop issue here. I am an IT professional by the way and routinely deal with this sort of thing. I use a MacBook Pro in the 13 inch flavor. I do realize that they aren't for everyone though. However, the current generation with the Intel Processor powered Macs can run Windows in a virtual environment as well as any native Windows box. Dual boot solutions are there too, albeit less elegantly Then you don't have to give up Windows but you can enjoy the benefits of a Mac.

With regards to cheap laptops, it is all about battery life, longevity and weight. Some also have issues with the power connectors on the motherboard (HP). I have yet to buy a 700 dollar class laptop, or see one purchased in my enterprise that the battery would hold a charge after 2 years. HP laptops generally quit the battery after 3 or so years due to the aforementioned power connector.

My wife's dell is 3 years old and on its' second battery. Her new extended use battery gets her about 3 hours of use and is a heavy SOB. Also dells are plagued by the old rest your hands on the case and watch the cursor jump around issue.

My Macbook gets 6-7 hours per charge incidentally as do many of the higher end windows boxes. I'd at least give them a look.

Now on to my questions. I am an Army Officer and will retire in 6 years. I am considering an online degree. I know, I know, I will not be able to land a job and all that stuff, but I have some very specific goals here. First off, I do not need to make one red cent off of this. My retirement will be able to sustain me quite well. What I want to do for the most part is to help Combat Vets who got screwed up over there and are being jerked around with regards to VA benefits. I did a tour as a Combat Engineer and am passionate about this. Additionally I'd like to do research and help out some organizations I support. I am still on active duty and as you may have read, the Army is kind of busy of late so a traditional law degree is not going to hapen any time soon. So might this sort of degree work for my limited goals.

Thanks



bandenjamin wrote:
LawProfessor123 wrote:
Also, if anyone can tell me what I am losing out by not focusing on $1000+ laptops, I'd appreciate it. The last few laptops I've purchased for my own use were each $1400 and above, but my last purchase was 7 years ago. It seems like the $500-$700 machines available today are quite powerful.

I'm also interested in where I should buy the device, with particular concern for easy returns. Amazon has good prices, but if I buy from Amazon and something goes wrong, what happens? Would I have to get involved in the return process, even though I've sent the computer to California? If so, I'd prefer to just buy from Best Buy so that he can deal with any needed return himself.

Last, am I off the mark in thinking that a good laptop can be found for $500-$700? The $1000+ laptops seem ridiculously powerful for a school-oriented computer, but I'm not familiar with the hardware requirements relating to things that young people like to use their computers for.

Thank you for your recommendations.


On this part, I think the biggest thing you loose when you go with the lower end laptops (speaking about the average user here not superusers) is longevity. On the lower end laptop you'll be looking at replacing it in 4 - 6 years, whereas your $1400 laptop will still be viable for 7 - 10 years. Since it's a gift for a college aged person there is nothing major being lost on the 500-700 range. I bought a Dell Inspiron laptop 6 years ago for $600 and it's just about to die on me. The HP I bought 3 years ago for $800 is running great, though it's a little on the heavy side.

HTH

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YourCaptain
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby YourCaptain » Wed Sep 21, 2011 8:00 pm

Thoughts on splitters?

LawProfessor123
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby LawProfessor123 » Thu Jan 12, 2012 5:35 am

YourCaptain wrote:Thoughts on splitters?


I don't know what that is. People who eat banana splits?

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Perdevise
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby Perdevise » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:30 pm

Hello, thank you for this opportunity for TLS.

I am curious what you/the faculty at your law school/other junior professors you may network with think of Paul Campos, the scambloggers, and criticisms of legal academia. I completely understand if this is a little sensitive, but I would like to know what younger faculty think about the issue.

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YourCaptain
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby YourCaptain » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:58 pm

LawProfessor123 wrote:
YourCaptain wrote:Thoughts on splitters?


I don't know what that is. People who eat banana splits?


low gpa high lsat

Nate895
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Re: Law School Professor, Taking Questions

Postby Nate895 » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:44 am

First of all, I enjoyed reading through this thread since it was bumped, and I would to thank the professor for sharing his insights.

I have a question that concerns the prestige of third and fourth tier law schools. Particularly, how hard it is for a school to break out of those lower tiers once it has been there for quite some time. I know 25% of the USNews rankings are from how peer faculties assess other schools, and so that probably makes up much of the difference between the different tiers, and you might have some insight on how that works. How hard would it be for a fourth tier program to overcome and push itself into the T2 or lower T1?

The reason why I ask is because the UG I go to has an attached fourth tier program that was only recently accredited. Now, I have really enjoyed the experience I have had at my UG and have developed an affection for it, and I would have liked to go there for law school as well if it were not for the fact that job opportunities are exceedingly scarce for its graduates. I also find the quality of the faculty sub-par, and far too distracted with their political agendas (agendas which I happen to generally agree with, but that don't help their students find jobs). Therefore, I have decided to shoot for the top (or scholarship $, on balance) as far as law schools go in order to have more job opportunities.

I do also have some interest in academia. If I were to pursue a career in academia, it would probably be after several years of practice (which would, hopefully, be after a clerkship), and I might choose to go back home to my UG and help with their program. How feasible would it be to build up a program that already has a reputation as a fourth tier? It would seem to require a herculean effort, since all factors would seem to conspire against it.

Have you heard of any law school significantly improving its stature amongst law school faculties that wasn't at least somewhat respected to begin with? Would other legal academics notice if a lower-ranked school started hiring a respectable faculty, started attracting better quality students, and in turn started producing better quality lawyers? I am also interested in what your input might be on what makes a fourth tier law school a fourth tier law school and how such a school might go about legitimately improving its image and rising above.

These are just some things my fellow 0Ls at my UG and I have been talking about. I know it's a bit far-fetched, but I would like to know if it's at least possible to do that sort of thing.




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