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.

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