Whoever Came Up With . . .

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Whoever came up with the saying “First year, they scare you to death; Second year, they work you to death; Third year, they bore you to death” obviously wasn’t on the Editorial Board of the Law Review. Even though I am only taking eight credits this semester, I’ve been unbelievably swamped.  I can’t believe I haven’t posted since early February. Yikes!

Kudos to Bowen Administration

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I realize I haven’t posted much since finals began last semester. Perhaps this is because I found the finals much more difficult than I anticipated. But I’m here now . . . so quit your complaining. GOSH!

I was inspired to write this blog post to give a big kudos to the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law administration for publishing employment data from the Class of 2010. With more and more law schools being sued because of employment data, this was probably a wise decision.  Of course, as mentioned on Bowen’s Employment Data page, this information has been posted on Symplicity, which means that students have had access to this information for quite some time even if they didn’t realize it.

My one complaint about this data is that it is from the 2010 class and there is no information about when it was collected. For all we know this data was collected yesterday and represents the employment data for folks who graduated twenty-one months ago. I would like to think that 100% of law school graduates are able to find employment of some sort in twenty-one months. However, my suspicion is that this data was collected some time ago.

In any event, I sing Kudos to the administration for making this information so publicly available and easy to understand.

 

Dear Help Me God

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Dear Help Me God! T-minus 55 minutes until the start of my first exam of the semester: Conflict of Laws. This one may be the end up me. I haven’t been this scared of an exam since first semester of 1L. If anyone has an extra time machine just gathering dust in the garage, now would be the time to loan it to me so I can go back and not enroll in this one.

Here goes nothing!

Best. Email. Ever.

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In one of my classes today, the professor suddenly asked everyone in the class to pull out a sheet of paper and write their name at the top of the paper. The professor then had us write the holding of a specific case that was in our reading. We only had about forty-five seconds to write our answer and turn it in.

About twenty minutes ago, that professor sent the following email to everyone in the class:

The class stats show that
  • 17 students admitted that they did not read [the case].
  • 9 students said that they read, but did not remember, [the case].
  • 5 students attempted to answer the question, but none did so correctly.
  • 3 students responded “?”
It will be difficult to fit these figures into the mandatory grading curve, primarily because I am not exactly sure whether it is better to be wrong, suffer memory collapse, or admit dereliction.  Also, I am not certain what grade should be assigned to “?”

[professor’s name], apparently not your teacher

Best. Email. Ever.

In our defense, today is the last time this class will meet before the final. Heck, it wasn’t even held on the normal day. I realize that this doesn’t excuse our lack of preparedness, but… well… just… but. *shrugs*

Guerrilla Tactic Time!

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Okay…  STOP!  If you are a law student and have not at least skimmed Guerrilla Tactics For Getting The Legal Job Of Your Dreams by Kimm Alayne Walton, J.D., then you are doing something wrong.

Before the Thanksgiving break last week, I made an unannounced visit to Career Services. To date, I have always been satisfied by the services offered by  the William H. Bowen School of Law Career Services. Personally, I think a many more people would be satisfied with their services if they didn’t expect CS to actually find a job for them. CS is there to help YOU find a job.

Anyways… during my visit with CS, the Assistant Dean recommended that I read Guerrilla Tactics. I was able to check out the nearly 1400-page book for a few days. Technically, I think know I was supposed to turn it back in on Monday, but  I still have it. (Don’t worry, I’ll turn it in today.) Due to the holiday, I didn’t get to read as much of it as I wanted, so I went ahead and bought a used copy from Amazon. This will give me a (hopefully) fresh copy that I can highlight, tab, and markup to my hearts desire.

My only regret is not finding this book earlier. This would be the perfect reading for a 1L during the Christmas break. Still, I think this (hand)book will prove well worth the $30 investment. So, go get yourself a copy!

Narrowing It Down

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I updated my Metablog #2 post with new information regarding the *rumors* I’ve heard about salaries for new attorneys in Little Rock, Arkansas.

HAPPY 11/11/11!!!

With that out of the way, this post is an update to my October 28, 2011, post titled Decisions, Decisions. In that post, I listed the Spring 2012 courses I was considering. Those courses were the following: Litigation Clinic, Mediation Clinic, Externship, Sales Transactions, Law and Economics, Arkansas Criminal Trial Practice, Law Practice Management, Jurisprudence,  and Law & Psychiatry.

By not submitting a timely application for clinics, I have ruled out Litigation Clinic and Mediation Clinic. As much as I liked the idea of not having any normal courses, the courses that are being offered are too tempting to pass up.

I did decide to apply for externships and I am quite confident that I’ll be given one. I interviewed with the head of externships on campus and all went well. Not necessarily in this order, I applied for a few judicial externships, and an externship in a mayor’s office, a city attorney’s office, the Federal Public Defenders office & the Arkansas Public Defender Commission. I should know soon which, if any, position I will get.

I also found more information about two courses: Arkansas Criminal Trial Practice & Law Practice Management. The following is a description of those classes:

Arkansas Trial Practice Management (Written in the first person by the professor teaching the course.)

 ArCrTrPr is a problems based course that will incorporate some skills training this spring. The problems include facts and directed readings (statutes, procedural rules, evidentiary rules and cases) that provide the basis for class discussions. Students are paired as prosecutors and defense counsel for each problem and the discussion typically begins when I ask the prosecutors what charges they intend to bring based on the facts. I may also ask for a theory of the case supporting the charges they will bring. Then I usually turn to the defense counsel and ask what options they have in terms of statutory affirmative defenses and defenses and non-statutory theories of defense based on the facts. I then will ask the prosecutors who they will call as witnesses and in what sequence to prove their case. Defense counsel are then likely going to be asked what pre-trial motions they expect to follow. If the defense will move to suppress evidence, I will inquire as to the theory for suppression, then ask the prosecution how they will respond. This continues in a back and forth exchange until I suggest the court’s ruling and ask how this will impact the party losing on the motion. 

All of this is to say that you have to prepare for each class and prepare with your assigned partner. Students will not be permitted to use laptops in this class and will only be allowed four absences. A student who is absent when they are scheduled to discuss a problem must provide a medical or family emergency excuse since their absence will leave the partner assigned for the problem without benefit of help in responding to my questioning. 

I anticipate that [another professor] and I will integrate skills training and some practical observation in the course. For instance, I think I would like to have students observe a guilty plea proceeding conducted by a judge and practitioners so that you will know what occurs during a guilty plea. I expect that we will conduct jury selection exercises that will require each student to voir dire other members of the class on a discrete set of facts. If this works, we may develop some motions practice exercises to get you before the Bench and in front of the class.

 Law Practice Management

Involves the creation of a simulated law office. The students will confront issues of corporate structure; staff management; accounting; budgeting; billing; advertising; client relations; case management; conflicts of interest; confidentiality; time management and other issues. The grade will be based on class presentations, class participation, and written proposals.

 This is our most recent description of the class. It is a 2 hour class. It is open to students who will graduate in May or December. There is a day section and an evening section. Students will have to register for the section in their division.

Currently, it looks like I’m going to take both of these courses and an externship. Combined with my one credit of law review work, this will be enough credits to graduate. If you ask me, and I realize that you haven’t, this looks like a nice light load for my final semester of law school. Hopefully, this light load will allow me to focus more of my energy into ensuring that the symposium goes smoothly.

Applying for law school?

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If you will be applying for law school—either at UALR’s William H. Bowen School of Law or somewhere else—you should be aware that law school admissions folks around the nation are using the internet to research applicants. For more information take a look at this ABA article.

Metablog #2

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It’s time for another installation of Metablog! The first installation was back in March. Here is a description from that post:

Even though I check the statistics of this blog on a somewhat regular basis, I would hardly consider myself obsessed. Site statistics can tell me how many visits UALR Law Student gets, what websites are linking to my pages, what links are directed to specific posts, what posts are most popular and the terms people searched for to arrive at this blog.

Typically, I examine the site statistics out of curiosity, but sometimes it gives me insight into the questions people have. For example, when I saw a trend of search phrases revolving around grade distributions, I made a post on grade distributions.

But today I want to go ahead and answer some of the questions people have asked Google that led them to find my blog:

Well . . . today I am again responding to phrases that people used to find the UALR Law Student Blog.

  • how much do ualr law alumni make

In my opinion? Not enough. But, seriously, I recently heard *rumors* that the bigger law firms here in Little Rock pay $70,000 – $80,000 starting out. This number seemed higher than the previous rumors I had heard, which put the salary at these bigger firms at $60k – 70k. It should be pointed out that these positions are few and far between. On the other hand, I’ve heard of folks starting at smaller firms with a salary closer to $35,000. Also, it’s my understanding that many local and state agencies pay starting attorneys somewhere in the range of $45,000 – $55,000.

[UPDATE 11/11/11: I’ve been digging around a bit to see what more I could find regarding starting salaries. It looks like those *rumors* I mentioned are somewhat correct. From what I can tell, some bigger law firms in Little Rock start first-year associates in the $65,000 – $75,000 range on the high-end. On the other hand, I know at least one first-year associate started at a mid-sized firm with a salary for around $52,000.]

 According to the NALP information on the class of 2010:

Of the 122 people who filed out the survey, only 45 were working full time with a salary. Of those 45, 24 were women and 21 were men. For women, the median income was $48,765, the mean was $52, 897, the 25th percentile was $42,000, and the 75th percentile was $58,704. For men, the median income was $48,000, the mean was $53,005, the 25th percentile was $40,000, and the 75th was $67,500.

*I believe these numbers are from nine months after graduation. The actual numbers make those rumors I’ve heard seem a bit abnormal.

**Also, the unofficial numbers I mentioned in the first paragraph are my best guesses based on what I’ve seen or the rumors I’ve heard. Please do not rely on those numbers too heavily.

 

  • ualr law, six figure salary

 Wouldn’t that be nice?

  • how busy are law students?

Pretty busy. It’s not the end of the world though.

 

  • law school is secured transactions really difficult?

 I refer you to my May 12, 2011, Thought of the Day


  • bowen school of law blog, pray the devil

 Bowen School of Law Blog? Yup, you’ve found the right place!

Pray the devil!?!?!?! No, No, NO, do NOT pray the devil!!!

 

  • ualr uams halloween party

 One of the best events of the year!

 

  • are Arkansas law students required to practice here

 No. Go away!

 

  • homer simpson belly face

 This one showed up on the last Metablog (asdfeasdfsalkflawkejfsdf.com), no idea why it has resurfaced TWICE! I don’t even know what “homer simpson belly face” means. I’d google it, but it’ll probably bring me right back to my own blog! Doh!

 

  • Jacob Long ualr bowen facebook

 Mr. Jacob Long, I don’t know who you are, but someone out there is stalking you!

 

  • how much does one semester at ualr cost when studying law

 UALR’s William H. Bowen School of Law is actually quite the bargain compared to other law schools around the nation. I recently calculated tuition and fees (https://ualrlawstudent.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/laptops-banned/) for a three-credit class to be $1100.85. Take a look at the schools tuition and fees page. http://ualr.edu/law/tuition-and-fees/

 

  • ualrlawstudent.wordpress.com

 Awwww. It always makes me feel tingly inside when people ask Google for me by name. Of course, it’d probably be a little quicker if you just typed that in the URL bar.

 

  • how many people are admitted to bowen school of law each year

 I don’t know how many are admitted, but I know that the starting class is usually around 100 full-time students and 50 part-time students.

 

  • Caleb Norris, Santa Monica

 This type of asking Google for me by name gives me a different sort of tingly feeling. I haven’t lived inSanta Monicasince 2003, so this search always puzzles me. This search has been showing up since I started this blog. *shrugs*

  • 2.45 1L gpa

 So let me see if I understand this right. You go to Google and type in “2.45 1L GPA” and Google sends you my way. I’ll have you know that my 1L GPA did not have a “2” a “4” or a “5” in it, though, admittedly, it did have a “.” That’s one out of four, Google. You lose!

 

  • can i get into bowen law with a 148 lsat and 2.45 gpa

 I don’t know if YOU can get into Bowen with a 148 LSAT and a 2.45 GPA, but I fully believe that someone could. In a recent Law Review article titled LOOKING THROUGH THE CLASS AND WHAT ALICE FOUND THERE: A FRUSTRATED ANALYSIS OF LAW SCHOOL ADMISSIONS POLICIES AND PRACTICES, a Bowen professor gives a table showing that in recent years Bowen has accepted people with a 140/2.61, a 144/2.24, and 147/2.82. The real question you need to be asking is not whether you can get accepted, but whether you can pass the classes, pass the bar, and get a job.

  • did you make mock trail team

 No, I can’t say I made the mock trail team. Nor did I make the Mock Trial Secret Society.

  • phillip underwood ualr law

 Phillip, you have a stalker also.

 

  • hopefully i’ll can be full time next sem

 Hopefully, you’ll can. Hopefully, you’ll can.

 

  • benefits of laptops in the classroom quotes

 Fight the good fight! I wrote two posts that may help you convince your professor to allow laptops: Laptops in the Classroom and Laptops Banned?

 

  • ualr law school elevator lobby

 It’s not the elevator in the lobby I’m worried about, it’s the one in the library. Somebody needs to check that thing.

 

  • can you go to ualr law school free

 Sure! All you need is a scholarship.

Decisions, Decisions

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It’s about time for me to register in classes for the last time at Bowen. In fact, in all likelihood it will be the last time I ever register for classes. A couple weeks ago, I turned in my graduation application. This means that I will have top priority in registration for my final semester, so I should be able to get into any class that I want to. 

The problem (and I use this term loosely) is that, presuming I passed all my classes this semester, I only need eight more credits to graduate. I guess all those summer classes I took in between my 1L and 2L year are really paying off. Because I’ll get one credit for Law Review work, I only need to take seven more.

 Before the spring class schedule was released last night, my goal was simply to take a clinic (four or six credits), a two-credit externship, and perhaps the passing the bar course. In fact, all I really needed to take was a six-credit clinic and the passing the bar course. Unfortunately, after seeing the spring schedule, I found many classes I want to take. It’s now or never!

 Here are the classes I am considering:

  • Litigation Clinic (4 or 6 credits)
  • Mediation Clinic (4 credits)
  • Externship (2 credits):  As of now, I don’t have a spring clerkship lined up, so an externship would keep me working. If you know anyone hiring a clerk for the spring, let me know!
  • Sales Transactions (3 credits):  I’m not exactly excited about this one, but it is being taught by my 1L torts professor. Also, it’s a bar course, so . . .
  • Law and Economics (2 credits):  This class is made for me. I ❤ its subject matter. Unfortunately, it’s a writing class and I’ve already met my writing requirement, so . . . yeah. On the upside, it’s taught by the same professor that I had for Evidence and Business Associations—that’s a definite positive.
  • Arkansas Criminal Trial Practice (3 credits):  This sounds like it’d be an interesting class. From my understanding, it takes a more skills-based approach. So far, I’ve really enjoyed the skills classes, so it is tempting. Plus, this class will be taught by the same professor who is teaching my Criminal Procedure Trial Process and Criminal Law and Film classes. The professor alone probably makes this class worth taking.
  • Law Practice Management (??? credits):  I don’t know much about this class and it is not listed in the school’s Course Descriptions. However, I’ve been quite interested in the business aspect of the practice of law, so this one may be worth it.
  • Jurisprudence (3 credits):  This may be an interesting class, but my current experience in another Policy and Perspectives class is discouraging. On the upside, it is being taught by my Contracts and Secured Transactions professor.
  • Law & Psychiatry (3 credits):  This sounds moderately interesting and is taught by the same person teaching the Ark. Crim. Trial Practice class.

 As you can see, these classes come to slightly more credits than the seven I need to graduate. I guess only time will tell which ones I decide to go with.

Decedents’ Estates

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The big surprise this semester is Decedents’ Estates. I came to law school with an interest in property law, but taking Property I & II quickly dissuaded me from a following this path. As I mentioned when I first posted about my Fall 2011 classes

I am taking [Decedents’ Estates] for one reason and one reason alone: the bar exam. Coming into law school, I thought I was interested in property law. After taking property, however, I was far less interested. I’ve been dreading this class, but so far the professor has made it pretty interesting. We’ll see how long my interest in this class lasts. (Feel free to hold your breath.)

Well… Decedents’ Estates is turning out to be an interesting class. I think it has a lot to do with the professor teaching the class. So, it looks like my initial fear of this class was unfounded. Yay!

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