Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Exams aren't fun

So I'm struggling with coming up with something interesting to blog about. Not because I'm busy studying for finals, but because I have nothing interesting to say. I'm doing a little studying, working on papers due in a couple of weeks and still working at my job, which I still like, at least for now, but I suspect something will change this week or next. This semester is the least stressful finals period I've had, which is good, but it kind of makes me wonder if I'm missing something - like if I should've taken harder classes with harder finals. Nah, not really. Anyway, so I added some new blogs to the blogroll on the right of this page. Maybe they will be more entertaining than me...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Come to Miami and work hard! Or not!

Forget about the football team. If you wonder why this school (although not necessarily the law school) has the reputation that it has, check out Sports Illustrated’s Road Trip to Miami, especially this line:

Best place to study: The law library. The med students are far and away the smartest folks on campus and this is where they go. Maybe just being there will help your grades by osmosis.

Yeah, I know it's tongue-in-cheek but it doesn't say much about the quality of the undergradute student body here.

Then there’s this one, which is kind of funny, although I have to admit that I have no clue where this is because my universe on this campus consists of the law school, Wellness Center and about three other buildings:

Best place to see UM athletes: Between the Memorial Building and the Learning Center classrooms. The football players congregate on the benches and the baseball team is nearby at the tables. If you want a high school flashback, try sitting on the benches and see how long it takes an athlete to pick you up and move you.

Monday, November 20, 2006

go to class. win money

So the final trial came and went. It was fine. I still have no idea how to use exhibits. Not surprisingly to me (or, presumably, anyone who knows me) I didn't win one of the huge monetary awards or scholarships they gave out today. That must be nice though -- show up in class and win a $10,000 scholarship or $1,000 cash or a $2,000 scholarship and nice pen. Imagine going to class and leaving with all that money. That doesn't happen often -- or to too many people.

Now it's that time. Classes are pretty much over except for one more on Wednesday (after all that moaning in class professor Employment Discrimination cancelled the post-Thanksgiving class). But that means it's time for exams. I've long sinced figured out that there is little to no correlation between grades and intelligence and job prospects, so I'm not sure how hard I have to work. Answer: not very, I guess. I have three papers and two exams, although one exam is next Monday in class (for two hours in mediation - but it's only one-third of the grade). My GPA can't change too much, and it's not like I'm going to fail, so I guess I'll just see what happens.

My only complaint is that (not including the mediation exam which is technically on the last day of classes and not during the exam time) I only have one real exam. And it's on the absolute last possible day of exams, Dec. 16. Sure would've been nice to make it on the first day rather than the last day...

Friday, November 17, 2006

trials and jobs

The Lit Skills final trial is tomorrow. I’ll be glad when it’s over. I don’t know if I’m dreading it or excited about it. Maybe both. It’s not quite like getting ready for a final exam because although it takes the place of this class’s final exam, it’s only pass/fail and I couldn’t possibly fail. I think the thing I’m most worried about is looking like an ass in front of the jury and introducing exhibits. I really have no idea how to introduce them. Well, I have an idea and I know what the book says but how and when do you introduce Henry’s hospital records under the business records hearsay exception to show that he was drunk but without the doctor or records clerk who prepared the records? I don’t know.


Did you get the e-mailed word document in which the Career Placement Center at this school sent out a list of recent job postings? I got it today for the first time this semester which made me wonder if they’ve stopped sending out that monthly newsletter. Remember the old monthly newsletter? Did the CPC give up or just stop caring about me?

I’m still not stressed about the job search but I managed to back out of my clinical for next semester so I could continue with my job. Although it would be technically possible to work at my job for 16 hours a week and the clinical for 16-20 hours a week and take two classes, it just seemed like too much to take on. Fortunately Prof. Lit Skills was accommodating.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

the time of your life

You know what’s not fun about the end of the semester?

When professors go nuts.

I’ve had it both ways – sometimes they assign hundreds of pages for each class and even hold extra classes (I’m looking at you, Professor Property) just to cover all the material. Other times they rip through 25 cases that weren’t even on the syllabus just because they can – because they finished the syllabus a week and a half early (Yeah, you Professor Con Law I). Unfortunately Professor Employment Discrimination has taken a cue from Prof. Con Law I and is assigning additional work. Awesome! Maybe the best part is that because of those built-in hurricane make-up class days after Thanksgiving, he feels he can cram in yet another class, even though we missed only two days for hurricanes this semester. And another class means even more extraneous reading! Hooray! We finished all the material but we still technically have class on the day before Thanksgiving and the Monday after Thanksgiving. Come on. Give it a rest.

The cherry on top is that he’s assigning cases printed out straight from Westlaw so we don’t get to read the abbreviated version. Rock on! Eh. Whatever. Who cares. I’ll skim the headnotes. Maybe….

Monday, November 13, 2006

running out of time

Only a week and a half left of classes. So that’s good, right? But it’s not so good if you’re a 3L and you didn’t do so much work this semester – well, you read most of the cases and you went to most classes but you’re not nearly as prepared as you were at this time in all previous semesters. I think by this time I was usually almost done with all my outlines. This semester I haven’t even started outlining anything. Maybe I just won’t bother, although outlining as actually been good for me in the past. I know some people don’t like to outline but it helped me figure things out.

Now I guess it’s time to do some actual work. Fortunately I have only one official final exam (but I also have three papers to write) so that means really only one outline to make. But unfortunately, in my mediation class, we’re voting today on whether to change the final from an in-class final on the last day to a take home that would be during the reading and exam period. Wouldn’t that be great if people voted to do more work? (the professor said, as if we didn’t already know, that the take-home would be more work because, it’s a take home). I’m voting for the in-class exam.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

all hail the chief, I guess

Someone asked in a comment whether I'm excited that Chief Justice John Roberts is coming to speak on Monday. I don't know. If he' s as drab as Breyer was last spring, it'll be uh, as dull as Breyer. I guess because this is billed as "a conversation" rather than a lecture or speech maybe it has the potential to be more interesting, but I'm sure he won't say anything remotely interesting. Still, although it's not like we're required to go, it feels almost like a necessity. I mean he's the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He's the one who makes all the laws, pretty much, right? So I'll go. I'll see what he says. I submitted two questions. This is the one I hope he answered: When you guys shoot hoops, who gets chosen first and why?

Friday, November 10, 2006

not much going on here

Sorry, been busy, so that's why no updates.

I registered for six classes totaling 16 credits. Needless to say, I'll be dropping a few. I just can't decide what to take so I'll postpone the decision for a while...

My iPod that I got from all my westlaw points finally came in the mail. Cool. It may be my only tangible legacy from my three years of law school...

Final Lit Skills trial a week from tomorrow. It seems overwhelming. There's just too much there. Our judge, assuming we have the same guy for trial that we had at the pre-trial conference, is cool. And he said we'd be done with trial by noon and out of there around 1 or so. So that's good. But there is just so much to worry about. Too much to get too stressed about for a pass/fail class, if you know what I mean...

Heading out of town this weekend but only for two days. I don't think I've been in any temperature below 50 degrees since I moved to Florida. Nah, that's not true. As a 1L we had a few days where it was in the 40s early in the morning, but that's about it. Eh. I'll live...

Hopefully next week will bring something interesting to blog about because I know this wasn't much of a week...

Friday, November 03, 2006

How to choose wisely

So with one semester left in law school (after this one, obviously), my GPA can't change much. And that's even more true for me because I'm taking my Lit Skills clinical next semester, which is six credits and is pass/fail. And I haven't taken any pass fail classes so I can take both of my other classes pass/fail, although I'm not sure I will.

Having said that, I can't quite figure out if I should take a class with an adjunct and if I do, if the adjunct curve is a good thing or a bad thing for me. This is what the student handbook says about the adjunct grading curve:

Upper-class course offerings taught by adjunct
professors must be graded to an average or mean in the
range of 3.000 and 3.150. Upper-class seminar and
workshop offerings taught by adjunct professors must
be graded to an average or mean in the range of 3.000
to 3.350. It is the responsibility of the Office of the
Associate Dean to interpret the proper implementation
of the Upper-class Adjunct Professor Grade

I know there is no curve for other upper level classes although it's my understanding that all professors curve the grades based on how everyone does on the exam. I guess as with anything, there are pros and cons. Most people will get about a B, which means it's harder to get an A if there are several top students and you are among them. But it also means it's tough to get a C and virtually impossible to get below a C, right? (I'm presupposing, of course, that you do most of the reading and at least go to more classes than you miss and don't bomb the exam).

I don't know. I guess it doesn't matter much anyway but I'm wondering how to take advantage of this - especially because I'm thinking of taking the three-hour Admin Law class with the adjunct on Mondays. I can't seem to find two classes to meet my requirements at times that are convenient that don't have final exams, so finding a way to manage the curve is the next best thing, I guess.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

file your complaints here

It’s that time again: Time for some complaints!

1. They released all the information we need to register for classes next semester today. The only problem is that there is no description for three of the classes I’m interested in. Does this school have any ability to force its faculty to turn in a description of classes? Seriously. How am I supposed to know what Privacy Law consists of without a description. Oh yeah, and of course I also want to know the method of evaluation. Is it too much to ask that the course description book includes course descriptions of all courses? I guess so.

2. Is it too much to ask for an e-mail when a professor cancels a class? On Monday Prof. Employment said he might cancel today’s class because he had to go out of town for a seminar on Thursday but had not yet bought his tickets. He said his assistant would send out an all-class e-mail. No e-mail yesterday. Nothing today. Show up at class and whaddaya know – a sign on the door saying class is cancelled. It’s not like this was an emergency cancellation, right? Some students have lives and would like to be able to make plans for other things (like, uh, work, for example?) so a little common courtesy would be nice. While I have spent enough time in the working world to know that common courtesy can also be missing from real life interactions, the one thing I won't miss at all once I graduate is how so many faculty assume that the entire world revolves around them and that the students are along for the ride no matter what policies or schedule changes the faculty make.