Friday, September 22, 2006


Busy Busy

Sorry I haven't been able to post in awhile - between law school and college football I have basically no time.

First off I want to congratulate the Michigan football team for the huge win at Notre Dame. I was in South Bend for our last two losses, and although I'm jealous I missed our first win there in a long time (1994 I believe), I'm extremely happy (I hate Notre Dame). We are now considered a legitimate national title contender. Just imagine if Michigan and Ohio State are undefeated playing at the Horeshoe at the end of the year ... wow.

Anyways, as much as I wish this was a sports blog, it's not, so back to school. School is kicking into gear right now, and the pace and difficulty have picked up a bit since the first two weeks. One of the important topics I want to point out that is essential to success in law school is OUTLINING.

The tricky part about law school is there are no graded assignments or projects throughout the year. Your grade is based on ONE final exam - basically, all your eggs are in one basket. It is very intimidating at first (and still is), but that's how it's done so you have to deal with it.

The key to succeeding on these exams is to keep a detailed outline going throughout the semester. Many students will be tempted to put off making an outline till the very end of the semester. Trust me - this doesn't work well (I know from experience). Usually, you will finish the outline, and then it will be time for the exam, and you will have no time to actually STUDY using it. On top of that, most of the older material that you are looking back to (trying to summarize) has been forgotten, and you will do a poor job of covering that material.

This is why you need to keep your outline updated throughout the semester. Some students will update it once or twice a week, but I've found that to be a bit too time consuming and stressful. I've found that once every two weeks works well. Personally, I update half of my outlines (half of my classes) each weekend, and then do the other half the next weekend, and repeat. I've found this works well, but to each his own.

Anwyays, that's one topic I feel is important to touch on for this considering law school.

Don't forget that I'm also a recently graduated Electrical Engineer. If anyone has any questions about Engineering - school, job hunting, internships, or working - please ask. If I can't answer them I will talk to my friends who are now working as engineers so I can answer your questions better.

I'm sure I will write some blogs about engineering in the future, but I just wanted to reiterate the point that I'm not just a law student.

GO BLUE! Beat Wisconsin!

Monday, September 04, 2006


2L vs. 1L

I thought I'd take this chance to note the differences I've seen through the first week of classes between being a first year law student (1L) and a second year law student (2L). I think it's worth noting because of the horror stories you hear about the first year of law school - and of course the famous quote referring to law school: "All you need to do is get through the first year."

Classes: Half of my classes are electives, and half are required upper-level courses. The electives tend to be much smaller, ranging from 30-50 students, compared to a required course which can have more than 100 students. It's nice to have room to spread out your things, and not have to sit in the last row (unless that's your thing). It is also nice to see that the students in the elective classes are actually interested in the material (possibly wanting to practice in that area of the law).

Professors: All of my professors this semester seem much more laid back and less "hardcore Socratic method." In case anyone doesn't know, the Socratic method is a teaching style used in most law classes (especially 1L classes) where the professors will randomly call on someone, and usually grill them for awhile (not quite a book definition, but it will suffice). Basically, it's scary at first, but after a few weeks it gets easier (unless you don't read). Two of my professors are older, and would prefer lecturing and open discussion rather than harrassing students. The other two still randomly call on people, but are much more laid back about it.

Reading: I didn't think that the length of reading assignments would vary between years, but so far I've noticed that I'm actually reading less. With 1L classes such as Torts and Criminal Law, reading assignments were sometimes 60+ pages for each class, and you would burn through about 20 cases in that assignment. The reading assignments I've had thus far have been much shorter and more focused, which makes life much more enjoyable.

Overall, I think it is going to be a smoother, less stressful (but not necessarily "easier") year. I'm not jumping to any conclusions though, since it's only the first week.

If there is anything people want me to talk about, concerning either Engineering, Law School, Patent Law, or general Intellectual Property Law (copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets, etc.), feel free to leave me a post/comment. Otherwise, I'll just try to keep these posts as informative as possible on topics I think you all might want to read about.

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