DC Law Schools

February 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Georgetown Law and George Washington Law were the two schools I focused on visiting during my trip to the D.C./Maryland/Virginia (DMV) area. I could’ve gone west and taken the DC Metro Orange line towards Vienna until I hit the Virginia Square/George Mason University/Law stop. I could’ve gone east taken the Metro Red line towards Glenmont until I hit Union, where I would transfer to the Maryland Area Regional Commuter train up to West Baltimore to visit the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. However, I chose to spend the weekdays of my trip in the area checking out the two DC law schools.

I would probably have an easier time getting out of a first-round armbar applied by UFC women’s champion Ronda Rousey before I get into Georgetown Law. Oh, what the hell, why not visit the campus anyway?

I'd tap out. My arm hurts thinking about it.

I’d tap out. My arm hurts thinking about it.

Georgetown Law

It was a short visit, shorter than Alfred Hitchcock’s Academy award acceptance speech. Georgetown Law doesn’t do official visits and tours Monday through Friday, opting to choose specific day(s) each month for tours. Unfortunately, they’re doing info sessions only and not any tours in February or March. Their next two dates for campus tours are 4/12 and 4/26, 12:15pm EST. You may find the RSVP links and the information here. As for sitting in and auditing a course while class is in session, that privilege is available only to those recently admitted to Georgetown Law. But the buildings sure are beautiful.

Georgetown Law is not located on the Georgetown University undergraduate campus. You’ll save some embarrassment by not ending up on the wrong campus. In case you do show up on the undergraduate campus, I suggest heading over to Baked & Wired Bakery for a delectable cupcake (or twelve).

Wash it all down with milk after.

Wash it all down with milk after.

A short word

On one side, there’s the private sector of law, solo practices in the shadow of national firms like Morrison Foerster, Perkins Coie, and WilmerHale. On another, there’s the public side, from clinics like Bread in the City to government positions located on Capitol Hill. You could be working with your local assemblyperson from back home or you could be clerking for a justice from a District Court, Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces or the highest court in the country, the Supreme Court of the United States (basketball court located on the 4th floor). The location of these law schools afford current JD students and recent JD graduates ample opportunities to gain experience in their fields of interest.

George Washington Law

If you know a friend currently attending GW Law, maybe they may have the time to show you around the six buildings that make up the school. If not or you want to RSVP for the guided tour and in-class visit, then that’s a fine choice as well. Located in the southeast corner of the George Washington undergraduate campus, you meet at the admissions office located at 20th and G Streets, in the lower level of the building. There is a Starbucks a few blocks away, but do yourself a favor and get a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich from GW Deli. You’re never going to work off all that bacon you just ate.

Tours are provided in the morning, Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 11 AM. In-class visits are open to visitors from 11 AM to 12 PM. If you can’t make the morning times, the school offers tours on Monday evenings, from 5 PM to 6 PM, followed by an in-class visit from 6 PM to 7 PM. The classes you’ll sit in on depends on the day and time you tour the campus. This semester’s offerings include Dean Morrison’s Constitutional Law, Professor Turley’s Torts, and Professor Kerr’s Criminal Procedure. Chances are, you’ll get to sit in the Raymond Niro Amphitheater, which seats ~100-110 students for larger classes. Class offerings and professors vary by semester so RSVP and keep an eye on this page when scheduling your visit (link here) to George Washington Law.

Why do you want to go to law school?

Why? Why do you want to go?

Why? Why do you want to go?

I flew into DC not knowing why I want to go to law school and I flew out of DC still not knowing why. It’s an innocent question asked with good intentions by friends and family, it’s mentally overwhelming if you haven’t really thought about it, let alone where or when you may pursue your JD degree, but it matters. For some people, they knew immediately why they want to go to law school and if you can identify with that, congratulations and godspeed. But if you’re not immediately sure why, it may be wise to find out quickly if you decide to make the time and financial investment and go right into law school. There will be challenging times brought forth by classes and assignments that will remind you of times when people ask why you want to go to law school. You will question yourself as to why you put yourself through such rigors of a legal education.

Why do you want to go? Huh? Huh? Huh?

Why do you want to go? Huh? Huh? Huh?

For JD students who have a solid reason as to why they go to law school, it may help them overcome the reading, the production assignments, and the overall onslaught of information being crammed into your brain.

You should know, man.

You should know, man.

But if you don’t have the grade point average, the >90th percentile LSAT score, let alone a significant reason to go to law school that overcomes scrutiny, it’s best to figure out with some soul-searching whether law school is right for you. From some initial looks, it’s not really helpful how Diane Neal, Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams or Meghan Markle describe it at USA Network. Make some friends. Network. Meet some people stressing out the rolling admissions right now. Those doing the admitting and those being admitted. Maybe take some time off between getting your BA/BS/both and going for further education. Do whatever it takes to make things happen, or realize that you need to be in a different industry to make things happen.

thefigureskatinglawyer

Moves Other Than Axels: Landing That First Jump

August 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

In a really disorganized series, if you have not seen the first post about other moves besides axels (salchows), you need to go here: http://wp.me/p2DAkf-2P. There’s going to be those of you who hate the shameless plugging of links from other posts of my blogs. Oh well. Then there’s the other group of rebels who do not like being told what to do. Instead, they choose to read (or skim) and look at the upcoming funny pictures of a waltz jump and our friend, Louis Litt, an avid fan of ballet and I will presume figure skating as well. For those who rebel… I think we will get along very well. Cheerio.

Waltz Jump

thefigureskatinglawyer feels like an idiot for starting off this series with an intermediate level jump that people do not have an easy time pronouncing (“Is it Sow cow? Sal cow? Does it chow like chow mein?”) So he would like to apologize to those who are wondering whether beginner skaters actually start off with an intermediate jump.

Crude illustration. There’s no need to do the extra revolution in the axel just yet.

The illustration does not list the waltz jump in the list of jumps because the highest levels of figure skaters do not use a beginner’s jump. It limits how high they can score in their program. However, everyone started off learning the waltz jump. Hopefully, you are getting support from people around the rink, your coach, your parents, everyone except for those expecting axels right when you start. They are just asking to get Litt up. There are a lot of Harolds out there who think figure skating is just about twirling through life, skimming the surface, gliding where turf is smooth.

Gotta have this confidence off and on the ice to land this jump.

Louis, I’m going to say this only a few times. You’re the man.

A note about the axels. An axel, a jump that requires 1.5 revolutions is slang for “It usually takes me four years to muster the need to watch figure skating, but when I do, I only ask about axels.” As a beginner skater, I still have a hard time recognizing what an axel is sometimes. I think those who usually do not skate or vicariously live through little Michelle and Michael Kwan Juniors recognize what an axel looks like either. Oh well.

Back to the actual jump itself. It is the only jump other than an axel where you throw yourself forward instead of backwards. The waltz jump requires a half revolution after you take off on your left foot, requiring you to land on your right foot and check out (nope, not what you do at the end of your online shopping spree, the finishing pose).

Laff out loud, Microsoft Paint.

Though you time your arm positions and the leg scoop to come forward at the same time, it’s a little less exaggerated like the girl in the middle, farthest to the left. She is getting ready for an axel, whereas the girl on the top left is over her left leg, ready to throw her arms and legs through together and float in the air before you land.

Where Things Can Go Wrong:

lol, it’s been almost a year since I got back to skating and only now, after an ankle injury (a blessing in disguise and a subsequent trip back to the basics with edges and pre-preliminary testing) do I have a passable, not so graceful waltz jump. Things can go wrong just about anywhere:

  • Shoulders are not square
  • One shoulder is dipping
  • You are not quite over your skating leg
  • Instead of a forward outside edge, you are trying to jump on a flat
  • You find something interested on the ice even though you should not be looking at the ice
  • You are not actually jumping
  • You land on two feet
  • Your arms do not coordinate with the leg scoop and they are flying everywhere
  • You do not check out of the jump, leaving you to spin out of control and unable to check out
  • You do not believe you can land this jump, thinking you will die

It takes some time to learn the waltz jump and believe that you can do it. It is some scary stuff, right after learning how to skate around the ice without recklessly destroying five-year olds who do not know how to turn left or right. Really, this jump will feel much easier after you land it. You will tell yourself, “Holy, it wasn’t that bad. Why was I freaking out about it?” It may be tough trying to perfect all the little things, like the check outs and trusting your edges.

When you land it though and you get that thumbs-up approval from your coach whether you are a six year old or a twenty-something year old like me, shoot, that feels good.  Celebrate a little. Dougie in your snuggie.

Get that first jump acknowledged by your peers.

Yeah, buddy.

Heck, get a hug from a friend or your coach.

Hit a 3-run homer? Get a hug. Landed your first jump? Get a hug.

Above All Else

Celebrate it with yourself. You landed it. This jump just got Litt up. THIS JUMP JUST GOT LITT UP, like someone will on this season’s second to last episode. Oh my.

You are awesome. What’s that? Couldn’t hear you. You are awesome.

thefigureskatinglawyer

Costs of Taking the LSAT

August 13, 2012 § Leave a comment

Reyhan Watson, J.D. candidate at New York University and author of http://watsonism.wordpress.com/, used his Sherlock-esque analyzing skills to break down the cost of going to NYU Law (http://wp.me/p2EyhJ-l). As a person thinking about going to law school and signed up to take the upcoming October LSAT, Watson has inspired me to break down the “costs” of taking the LSATs.

Borrowing from Watson’s analysis, it is wise to break down this simple question: What is cost? It’s merely the amount of money it requires to take preparation classes and the LSAT itself, no? No. The previous detail only describes the monetary cost and end results of your decisions to take a preparation class or to buy books and study on your own.

Monetary Cost

As I was alluding to earlier, this is the price tag that is attached to which way you decide to prepare for the LSAT and the decision to take the test itself. thefigureskatinglawyer leaves the research up to you in order to decide which class or set of books is really best for you. But whether you work to pay for these costs or mom and dad help out in some way, let’s break down the various prices* of the most well-known LSAT prep classes in the San Francisco Bay Area:

  • Kaplan online course: $649
  • Kaplan online course (logic games only): $299
  • Kaplan online course (logical reasoning only): $99.67
  • Kaplan online course (reading comprehension only): $99.67
  • Kaplan on-site course: $1,399
  • Kaplan LSAT prep books (most recent year): $60-75 depending on the bookstore/dealer
  • Princeton Review on-site course (84 hours of instruction): $1,449
  • Princeton Review on-site course (35 hours of instruction): $1,249
  • Princeton Review books: $20-37.99 ($14.99 for eBook version)
  • Testmasters Live Course: $1450
  • Testmasters Online Course: $950
  • Testmasters Weekend Course: $450
  • Blueprint Live LSAT prep: $1,299
  • Blueprint Online LSAT prep: $799
  • LSAT: $160

Left to right, top to bottom, Ryan Theriot agrees: These classes are expensive.

* These prices are updated as of August 13th, 2012 and are subject to change at the discretion of these companies.

But to break down the word “cost” associated with preparing and taking the LSAT, it begs the question: what other cost(s) are there?

Actual Cost

For a lack of a better phrase, the actual cost of preparing for and taking the LSAT is difficult to calculate beyond adding up the monetary costs. What other investments are you making as a person trying to attain not a good LSAT score, but a great one? The investment of time and focus.

  • Getting enough sleep to have the energy to focus during class and homework (you don’t pay for sleep but you do pay for caffeine)
  • Having enough energy to work on LSAT homework after working a full-time job
  • Taking less time to catch up on your favorite TV shows and going to every event your friends are going to
  • The time it takes to commute to and from class and be there on time
  • Taking your test prep (class or no class) seriously in class and at home (how you practice the LSAT is how you are going to take it on the real thing)
  • Taking the time to finish a good amount of the homework
  • Taking the time to figure out why you are not only right but why the wrong answers are wrong (and why people pick them)
  • Taking the time to address your weaknesses while still working on the strengths

It is a lazy comparison of monetary and actual cost but it gets you thinking about what it means to take this investment in yourself seriously. Getting a great score on the LSAT is something you would want to do only once so you do not need to pay for more prep and another test. Even if the money being spent is not money you earned, at least respect where it came from and the people who are there emotionally and financially supporting your dreams from day one. I am certainly not advocating that you become a recluse when you are not working a job and working on LSAT stuff instead. But if the pursuit of going to law school means something to you, keep that in your sights and do not take the test lightly. If you score really high, then catch up on all those missed episodes of Harvey, Donna, Can Openers and Thumbtacks and responsibly drink a celebratory beer. But now is the time to ensure that you can do nothing but achieve that score.

Unlike Sergio Romo, your great test score doesn’t appear out of nowhere.

You may or may not consider one or a combination of these actual cost factors at the time you decide when to prepare and when to take the test. But with that in mind, I hope this post serves as a head start towards achieving something rewarding and satisfying.

thefigureskatinglawyer

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