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An Update: Post-Graduation and the Bar July 17, 2012

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I’ve seen that this site still gets a small amount of traffic, despite not having really being used in the past two years.

A common problem with blogs that were put together to document the experiences of 1Ls is that they often lose their relevance in later years.  I used to always find it so sad that I never found out what these people ended up doing, because their sagas were certainly interesting up to the point I had read.

I guess going through the experience has made it make a bit more sense.  Let me give a VERY quick rundown of my 2L and 3L years and give a quick hint of what my future holds.


I found myself constantly busy.  I had the philosophy that if I’m offered the opportunity to do anything say yes.  I ran trips, organized events for my student org, was on a journal, was in a public policy clinic, took classes in corporations and the constitution.  I also started hanging out with my friends from before law school more, going out at night more, seeing New York more.  It was an extremely exhilarating and exhausting year.

Finally, I worked at a summer associate at a firm somewhere between BigLaw and MidSized.  I liked the environment a lot, everyone was friendly.  Most importantly the office was business casual, so I was rarely overheated, and got to sit at my desk with my sleeves rolled up.


3L year want from lazy, to even more lazy.  I basically spent the majority of the year playing video games, and hanging with friends in New Jersey.  I was kind of “over” law school by this point.  It all made so much sense there was hardly any need to worry.  If anything, my position on my journal was the primary causer of most of my stress.  I also learned to cook even more variety of stuff on account of me having a real kitchen because I finally moved off campus.



I’m studying for the Bar exam, which is a week away.  Its really the most terrible thing ever.  It makes 1L finals seem like a breeze.  After I take the bar I’m going on a longggggg vacation, and I’m going to start up work at my firm sometime in September or October.


So that’s that.  I might post a few random law school musings here and there and will check back occasionally to see if there are comments by freaked out 0Ls.




Lies they tell you at NYU Law September 8, 2010

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I got the idea for this post from Similarly Situated, a very great blog about two friends (one at Yale Law, one at Harvard Law) who both should be in their 3L year now.  I hope they’ll forgive me for borrowing their ideas.

  1. NYU is the ‘laid back’ law school.  There seems to be some stereotype in people’s heads that NYU is filled with a bunch of hipsters, who just got off the train from Williamsburg.  That we  just happened to be so tricky that we aced the LSAT, and now sit around all day drinking and talking about law.  Now we do have people (like IDWSJ) who despite themselves happen to be becoming increasingly more hipsterish by the day. However, this has very little to do with the work ethic.  People here are intense, they go 100% for everything, everyday, even the most minor things.  This isn’t to say people are over-competitive, everyone remains amicable, but don’t think that means people don’t work their ass off everyday they’re here in the pursuit of what will be (more than likely) a B (with the potential for an up or down modifier).
  2. NYU is for public interest, Columbia is for Corporate.  NYU is a great place to go if you want to get more exposure to public interest.  I think we have one of the greatest public interest programs that any school could possibly desire, but don’t let that fool you;  NYU is still a very corporate oriented school.  If I weren’t one of the people frantically running from callback interview-to-callback interview, I’d be distressed to see how many people came in wanting to do something public interest related, but recanted when they heard of how much money their friends at firms the previous summer.
Now what is one true thing I can say about NYU?  Well, I can say that maybe we aren’t the most prestigious, or even the most successful students.  However, I think I speak for the majority of students here when I say “we have more fun in law school than most.”
Any other thoughts about what lies you hear in law school?

Welcome to 2L September 2, 2010

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The thing with a blogging (blawing?) about law school, is no one cares much about what 2Ls and 3Ls actually do.

When we talk about people’s experience in lawl law school we tend to hear about the first year, and how that leads to a person getting on law review.  How often do we hear what it is exactly people do on law review?

Really, outside of the 1L year, the last thing people seem to care about is the disingenous nature of OCI.  “Oh my god, I’ve always wanted to do corporate law, that’s why I worked at Legal Aid for 3 years, and spent my summer working at the ACLU!”  But let’s be honest, they don’t care.  The partners need to hire associates, because they turn a profit off of us, and in the process we learn how to practice (corporate) law.

I’m struggling to think of what to write about.  I was hesitant to talk about my summer, mostly because I didn’t want to embarrass my employer.

So now it’s between talking about my clinic, my journal, my student organization, making observations about 1L behavior from the other side, talking about NYU and actually getting to see more of NYC.

So stay tuned.  I’ll be more awake later, and provide you with wonderful insights in the coming months.

Week 2 Thoughts June 16, 2010

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Thought #1

I can’t work in government.

Rather, I can’t work in government straight out of law school.

My mom went to law school in the 80s, the impression I get is that between working for a local bankruptcy firm (which she did) or working for the government was the better choice.  I don’t think she understands that the way things work has changed a bit in the intervening 20 years.

Anyhow, it’s not that I don’t like my job.  They do crazy work, things that are fascinating.  It’s missing the one thing most useful to a law student though, which is training.  I often get the feeling that being an intern is a nuisance to the attorneys.  They are understaffed, tend to stay on cases for years at a time, and don’t have the time to teach me to write or bring me up to speed on the local rules of procedure.

Thought #2

The types of people in the office is a bit odd.

You have the people who went to local law schools in the area, they tend to do most of the work.  They generally worked in local firms, or local judges before getting their jobs.

Then you have the people who tend to run things.  They tended to go to so-called ‘elite schools.’  Many of them passed up being partners in the firms, or in some cases stepped down from being partners to run departments.  They were generally appointed to their positions rather than hired.

This seems to cause little tension, because most lawyers apparently don’t use law school as their main topic of conversation.  These three years get forgotten so quickly?

Thought # 3

You really need to get a lighter suit.  My suits are designed for the winter so I don’t need to wear a coat (over my suit jacket that is) unless it’s bajo de 40 degrados.  So let’s talk mens style for a second.

See, we men have somehow avoided wearing uncomfortable clothes.  We’ve seen women squeeze into jeans, seen straps dig into their shoulders, and cringed seeing them walk miles in high heels.  As far as fashion goes, it seems we get off easily….. except when it comes to summer business wear.  For some reason us North Eastern men never figured it’d be a good idea to wear Seersucker in the office. So you need to make sure you have a suit or two that’s made of wool that you can still wear in the 85+ degree weather.

Although my friends who are still in Manhattan have it worst.  You don’t want to take the sauna subway in the summer.

An Invisible Summer June 10, 2010

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A note on my summer job.  I’m not going to be overly specific, just know that I’m interning at a government job, and I’m in the New York area.

Some thoughts on my first week of work (I guess it hasn’t been a full week, I still haven’t made it through Friday):

  • A 9 to 5 sucks. This is my first time working a normal person schedule.  I used to work more than 40 hours a week, but it was on a bizarre schedule, which included 4 hours on Sunday, and had me working till 9pm some nights.  Working a fairly unchanging schedule everyday is painful.
  • Documents. I don’t think I can describe the feeling of panic when an attorney dropped a whole case that had been on-going for seven years on my desk.  It was probably 500 pages of docs, and I had to get up to speed on it today.  It really wasn’t that bad, but when you first see it, it’s scary.
  • A law degree doesn’t make you smart.  I spent most of today pouring over a judges request for information on certain issues.  Her requests for information were not clear at all, I spent 6 hours today frantically researching the topic and came up fairly empty handed.  I go and tell the attorney I was working with that I had bad news, and hadn’t gotten much headway.  He laughed, and told me ‘Jesus Christ, isn’t she an idiot? She thought Hawaii was an island in Mexico.’  Clearly they deal with this judge a lot.
  • Wearing a Suit Sucks in the Summer. I work with a bunch of women who hate to have the A/C blasting, and most of the men in the office seem content to walk around all day with just their jackets off.  I overheat way too easily, so I have to roll down my sleezes, which no one else in the office seems to do.  Am I making a fashion faux pas?
  • I need to get my clothes game correct. I thought I was prepared to work a job where I wear a suit everyday.  I have three suits, only two of which I wear.  It ends up both of them are extremely heavy wool suits.  I bought a new designer wool suit that was lighter in weight, but heavier on my wallet.  I also realized I really only had four serious dress shirts.  I had a white one, a white one with blue stripes, a blue one, and a cream one.  You need way more dress shirts than this.  It ends up my wardrobe was perfect for going on interviews, but not working an actual job.

That’s it for today.  Hope everyone else is enjoying their summer internships or their last moments of being a 0L before they irreparably ruin their lives with law school.

Con Law Exam: Better Later than Never May 22, 2010

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I’ve been in a mix of a coma/the writing competition for the last week.  I think (based on my estimate) I’m not going to be done with the Comment until Tuesday, so my 1L year goes until then (essentially).  After that it’s vacation.

However, I thought it best to regale my dear readers of my tale of my first take home exam, the Con Law exam.

I had 8 hours to do it, and could basically start anywhere between 6am and 9am.  I choose 8am.

After downloading the exam, I glanced at the very short fact pattern, and walked down the street to get coffee and a sandwich.  Now maybe it was the gloomy weathers, or maybe it was the several weeks of only sleeping 4 or 5 hours, but I was tired when I sat down to dissect the exam.  It was a struggle to keep my eyes open, and I think I spent half my time outlining a very specific plan of attack (I have no idea how it took this long).  After awhile I realized the exam was more difficult than expected.

Then came the nightmare of writing, I started to feel the time crunch when I realized it wasn’t prudent to spend an hour on each of the five questions when I had three hours left.  I finish writing with a half hour to spare, so I hastily start editing hoping to reach the word count.  Ultimately I feel unsatisfied with the final product (a mix between satisfaction with how I wrote my crim exam, and fear for the massacre that was the admin exam).

To celebrate my finishing of finals (I was not particularly happy) I packed up some of my things since I’d be moving out in the morning.  Then I proceeded to go up to what I like to call ‘Mini-Soho’ (it probably has a real name), a strip of stores on 5th avenue between 17th and 20th streets (just north of beautiful Benjamin Cardozo School of Law).  I bought some clothes, and then proceeded to get (as they say) ‘bodied’ at the end of semester activities.

A fuller reflection of 1L year will follow in the coming week.

Hours Spent Studying During Finals May 10, 2010

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Someone searched ‘1L finals hours spent studying.’

For those who are curious, I would say that I spend maybe 10+ hours a day studying during finals.  I generally go to sleep some time after 2am, and am showered and working again by about 10am (sometimes a bit earlier).  Most of the day is spent studying, though I indulge in distractions like this blog every once and a while.  I don’t consider some studying activities studying either, I often meet with some people to ‘study’ even though we just socialize…. we’re not even in the same class.

This sounds absolutely brutal I’m sure, since I spend most of the day studying (or thinking about it), but honestly after the first semester it isn’t so unbearable.  I have two more days left of this, and can’t say that I’m burnt out yet.

It helps not to think too much about it ending.

Admin Final: Where I panic, and then calm down May 8, 2010

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So the Admin final.  If you’re at NYU you’ve heard of my Prof, because he’s famous for making a final that’s so difficult that everyone leaves looking on the verge of tears.

I have a few interesting observations to take away from the final:

  • Always keep track of the time independently.  I trusted what my professor wrote as keeping accurate time, and ended up doing 75% of the exam with maybe 40% of my time.  Needless to say, I had to avert panic.
  • The only reason I averted panic, was I realized going to a good school certainly makes a bad grade not seem as apocalyptic.

So here is the take-away point:  Go to a good law school.  Specifically, go to the best school you can get into (I suppose someone could ask ‘why are you not at Columbia then?’) because no matter how smart you were before law school, you’ll be surprised how stupid you’ll end up sounding on your exam.

No matter how hard you study, things often don’t go as planned during the exam. Your grade may be bad even though you essentially tutored your friends to great grades.  It’s unfair, but if you have a problem with that system there is an alternative….. just go to Yale and take every course pass/fail.

Crim Final: in which a comedy of errors occurred May 4, 2010

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I can’t claim to be as fatalistic as my compadre idwsj regarding finals.  I agree grading certainly does suck, and it’s moments like this that I wish I were at Berkeley Law (I don’t think think they go by Boalt anymore), or Harvard or Stanford, or Yale where they don’t (really) have grades.  They add a asymmetry to how people approach legal hiring, after-all a large number of the people getting the better grades plan on going into academia, we’re not even competing in the same spheres!

But enough of that.  Crim Final.  I studied my ass off for crim, and would say that I basically knew the subject inside and out. I sit down, take the final, felt plenty confident for the first 10 or so questions.  Imagine it, three hours to do 20 questions, 9 minutes a question, perhaps 200-300 word answers each.  I’m EXACTLY on time, and then as I finish question 11, I notice someone walk up to the front of the room, and ask the proctor about a question.  This confuses me.  I try not to get distracted, then another few people walk up, and presumably ask the same thing.  I’m confused, but then I read the next question.  The thing it references in our text book, doesn’t exist.  Hmmmm…..

Some people (being law students) decided to answer the question anyhow.  I’m not sure how that was possible, but then again a law student during finals is insane.

Anyhow, this threw off my groove.  I’m still typing away, and finished the exam JUST in time.  I literally typed a ‘period’ sighed a bit of relief and then the proctor called time.  So crim is done, now just for the impossible Admin exam, and the somewhat more relaxed Con Law exam.

Bring it! I’m not out of steam yet.

Thoughts on Classes April 30, 2010

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I realize this semester I commented significantly less on my classes.  I figured I’d do what IDWSJ did in highlighting what my general impressions of classes were.

Criminal Law:

The Professor completely made this class.  He is a relatively well known academic, if only because his research tends to be about the ‘cool’ aspects of crime.  Most people came into the semester hating him, but his attitude towards teaching (he has been teaching close to 30 years at NYU, and still beams when he teaches a class) and his general way of conducting the class led me to be a big fan.

My only complaint is that, like many professors, he leaves you to figure out the ‘simple’ stuff, and then challenges you with hardly answerable issues on ‘the edge’ of the doctrine.  This wasn’t exactly a problem if you were smart, and just learned the basic doctrine before the end of the semester, but if you were me you only realized how fascinating the issues in the class were at the end.  If I develop an interest in crim law this summer (my internship this summer straddles the line between civil/criminal law) I would certainly take another class with him.

Administrative, and Regulatory State

Without a doubt the most difficult class I have.  So difficult that the Law Revue comedy show did a whole skit about his very legendary 15 page SINGLE-SPACED fact patterns.  Now, don’t get me wrong, the guy is a genius.  He is also quirky enough to be an interesting professor for what would ordinarily be a terrible bore of a class.  It was hard to fully appreciate the scope of his genius until he clarified why he gives such a difficult exam.  He says “Look 10% of you will get As, 15% of you will get A-‘s, and 10% of you will get B-‘s.  The rest of you will be in the area of getting B+’s and B’s.  No matter how I make the exam this will be the case, but if I make the exam really difficult then it’ll be easier to differentiate, so I won’t be choosing between who has better grammar or something equally arbitrary.”   This wasn’t that reassuring, because believe me I took the practice exam this morning.  It was easily the most difficult test I have ever attempted (and this is counting Econometrics in college!).

However, he said something else, that was more fascinating.  He goes “Look, if you get a B- you might not be able to get your brass ring, and get to go work at Skadden or Akin [two big law firms].  I have plenty of friends who get to see the sun rise over the East River from their desk chair.”  He kind of told us ‘calm down,’and that our future isn’t certain, but we can get an *interesting* job, at the very least, with a degree from NYU.  Big words from a Yalie, but encouraging none-the-less.

Constitutional Law

I had this class along with IDWSJ.  I enjoyed it quite a bit.  It was certainly one of the most informationally demanding classes to sit through.  I had the good fortune to only get cold-called once (near the start of the semester), because when you were on call in that class you’d get grilled like a burger.

One thing I did like, unlike a lot of professor, our professor made no effort to hide his political views.  He was a moderate, so this worked out pretty well.  He also didn’t force his recently published book on us, though I will admit the excerpts he gave out (for free!), were a very fascinating view on the topic.

If anything, I think I learned the most practical ‘cocktail conversation’ from this class.  This class also fits well with the second semester 1L curriculum that NYU sets out.  Our first semester with Torts, Contracts and Civil Procedure largely revolves around the common law.  It’s a  much more mushy doctrine that largely exists ‘in the air.’ However, this semester was more about statutory interpretation, and tools of analysis.

Anyhow, I was going to give some more commentary, but I need to get back to studying.