ambivalent imbroglio home

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March 22, 2004

Get thee to the loo!

Speaking of scheduling, GW scans every written comment students make about their professors and then puts them online as PDF files so we can try to get an idea of who we want to take our classes from. crim law made me pee my pantsAs you can see, some of the comments can be quite humorous (click image for larger, more readable version). This was an actual comment about my very own ProfessorCrim last fall, and I really only agree with the last part—he kept us on our toes and was a terrific teacher. He was also rather stern most of the time, but scary? Not so much.

Posted 06:43 AM | Comments (1) | law school

Ambivalent Scheduling and Career Imbroglio

Hi. Now seeking any and all advice about "planning a balanced curriculum" for years two and three of law school. GW offers so many options that sound good, I really don't know how to choose.

That's right, no more will all my classes be chosen for me and handed to me on a silver platter schedule (or shoved down my throat, depending on how things go any given day); instead, I must figure out some plan that will get me from here to "public interest lawyer" in two years or less. Depending on many variables (whether I make journal, how many clinic hours I take, whether I do any outside placement at any time, whether I do mock trial for credit next fall, and probably other variables I'm not thinking of at the moment), I probably have 15-20 classes left to take over the next two years. So far, the classes that seem indispensable include:

  1. CrimPro
  2. ConLawII
  3. Evidence
  4. Labor Law
  5. Federal Income Tax
  6. Professional Responsibility (required)
  7. Admin Law
  8. Corporations
So, unless some of those are not as indispensable as I think, that leaves maybe ten or so "electives" left to fill. A few high priority ideas include:
  • Federal Courts
  • Secured Transactions (I was told by a trusted advisor I should take at least one course focused on the UCC)
  • Environmental Law
  • Negotiations and/or Mediation and/or Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Consumer Mediation Clinic
  • Employment Law and/or International Labor Standards and the Global Economy
  • Antitrust
  • International Law
Those alone would just about fill up the schedule but then I have a longer wish list that includes:
  • Public Justice Advocacy Clinic
  • Federal Criminal and Appellate Clinic
  • White Collar Crime
  • Race, Racism and the Law
  • Literature and the Law
  • Higher Education Law, Communications Law, Legislative Analysis and Drafting, Campaign Finance Law, Lobbying and the Law, Products Liability and/or Toxic Torts, Consumer Protection, Public Interest Lawyering, Legal Activism, and Housing and Community Development Law
See what I mean about lots of choices? I'm really just a dilettante who doesn't want to specialize -- at least not yet. At the moment I see about four different career possibilities that I might aim for:
  1. Public interest/non-profit work, possibly to include lobbying, for a group like MoveOn or Public Citizen. This would likely require a longer stay in D.C., at the prospect of which I'm not exactly thrilled. Also, a variation on this would be to work for a federal agency, such as the FCC or FEC, helping draft and enforce legislation.
  2. Becoming a public defender or legal aid lawyer in a small town somewhere (preferably or probably MI, MN, CA, or any of the "mountain" states).
  3. Becoming a general practitioner, either with a small *gasp* plaintiff's firm, or on my own, again in a small town in one of the above locations.
  4. Something completely different where my J.D. is only incidental, such as working as a legal journalist somehow. This is a pretty vague and unformed option, obviously. Getting away from direct practice of law, I could also see myself enjoying/being fairly good at career counseling for law students.
So there you go. The ambivalent scheduling and career imbroglio. Any tips, thoughts, or suggestions? Am I hopelessly misguided either in my scheduling or career thoughts, or do some of the above options sound more realistic than others?

Posted 06:23 AM | Comments (5) | law school

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