June 1 — Looking Forward

Looking Forward to the Into to Law School Class

If our August Intro to Law School class is as great as the May one was, I'll be thrilled.

  • We began by watching an actual shooting of a local man by a police officer on You Tube.
    • We read the Coroner's Inquest report, the District Attorney's statement, the Washington State law giving police officers immunity.
  • Then we learned enough case law to look at it as lawyers.
    • We studied definitions of reasonableness and malice, the defense of immunity, and the burden of proof in defenses.
  • We created an outline of the law and wrote an exam question based on the local shooting.
    • We listened to oral arguments in a Supreme Court case, to see what issues concerned them in deciding policy as well as to see how prepared you have to be to win a case or get an "A."
  • We studied how to write exam answers in the famous "IRAC" method.
  • And wrote the exam answer to our original case as our final!

Going from a very "real live" event to the abstract analysis of case law, watching as the facts got molded by decision-makers, and looking at the social issues that legislators must consider in deciding what limits to place on police officers, we got to study the law from the point of view most often forgotten: here is a dead man. Why did he die? What should we do?

And my clients really came through for me. They read; they asked questions; they cared. And they all left learning something important, not only about the law, but about the way they study and process information, so they can use their time more effectively in law school. So thank you, Danny, Nick, Sandra and Sal, for making this course a real pleasure to teach.

And apparently the students felt the same. Sandra wrote,

"May you enjoy many more years of your obvious passions -- the law and helping people to find their personal pathway to success."

Looking Forward to More Acceptances?

Maybe. The overlap report naming names was released May 15th, a month earlier than last year, but no great rush to wait lists has begun. In fact, several of my clients got "we're still waiting, so you'll just have to wait too" letters. The word on the street is that with a 20% decrease in applications at even the top east coast schools, there may be a mass movement to limit the size of the 1L class and offset it by taking transfer applicants. That way, the school gets the income, but doesn't lower their median LSAT in the USNews ranking.

There's also talk of concern about declining minority populations: fewer are applying, and even fewer are being admitted. But thus far I don't see the concerned conversations turning into actions to admit more minority students, or those with lower LSAT scores.

Looking Forward to NAPLA

And that's why I can't wait to get to the Northeast Association of Prelaw Advisors' Conference next week. Sessions on financing a legal education and overcoming barriers for disadvantaged minorities promise to teach me a few new things, and the sessions on bad advice from prelaw advisors and outrageous stunts by applicants promise to enliven my June 15th update.

See you then!


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