Friday, August 19, 2005

What To Do? A Plea For Advice

As I've mentioned, I made the Minnesota Law Review, and as everyone tells me "You've got a lot of work ahead of you." As I've also pointed out, my current schedule is very busy. So, I'm in the process of trying to trim back my schedule to make it more managable, and to give myself time to do Law Review, work, and my "presidential" duties. So, here are my two options, and I would appreciate any advice anyone has.

Option 1
Take 4 classes (Patents, Antitrust, Pretrial Skills, and International IP), all of which are 3 credits each, plus Law Review (2 more credits), for a total of 14 credits.
- No one class will be overwhelming (except maybe Antitrust).
- All but one of my classes will be done by Wednesday every week (and the remaining class is a Thursday evening class).
- More credits out of the way, so I can take lighter loads for my remaining 3 semesters
- I will be taking Antitrust and International IP (both courses I want to take) during my 2L year, when I will probably care about them more and will thus actually learn more.
- My Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays (especially Mondays) will be crammed with classes, with few breaks in between
- Less time to work on law review stuff (and since this is my first semester of cite checking, and I have to do most of the work for my article during first semester, that loss of time could hurt)
- Most likely, grades for each of the classes will suffer, because I will have less time to dedicate to each class.

Option 2 (The one I am currently leaning towards)
Take 3 classes (Patents, Pretrial Skills, Evidence), 2 classes being for 3 credits each (Patents and Pretrial skills), and one for 4 credits (Evidence), plus Law Review for a total of 12 credits (the minimum allowed)
- Signigicantly lighter course load (1 less class, only 2 finals, 2 less heavy substantive courses, 2 less class meetings per week) which will (hopefully) give me more time to work on law review stuff and to work and make a little $$$ during the school year.
- More breaks between classes on days I have to be at school (for finishing reading I couldn't get to, etc.)
- Get evidence out of the way (so I can take a trial practice course in the spring or next fall)
- Only 12 credits this semester, meaning I will have to have higher course loads (at least 14) for each of my last three semesters
- I will have to put off taking International IP for a year (or completely), and Antitrust for at least a semester, probably a whole year (May not be a huge deal, but I do want to take these courses).
- I'm sure there are other cons in there too.

So, what do you think? I'm leaning toward the 12 credit option, because I think that 3 courses instead of 4 will give me more than a 25% increase in free time (even with the additional class meeting for the 4 credit class, I will have fewer finals to study for, and significantly less reading to do). Anyone have a similar dilema they have to (or had to) deal with?

I will be gone for the weekend going to my cousin's wedding, and then it is back in Minnesota for one day before I leave for my vacation to Mexico... and then it's "Hola maragarita y cerveza, bienvenidos a mi estomago" and "Donde esta la playa?" Mucho Gusto!


At 9:42 AM, Anonymous m&m mini said...

I would definitely go with 12 credits (probably because I am only taking 12 credits, including Law Review). But can't you make those 12 credits more enjoyable? Why drop the classes you're interested in in favor of Evidence? Also, I would keep in mind that Evidence will be a lot of even if you're taking one less class, I'm not sure you'll gain THAT MUCH extra time. Dunno...just something to think about. I'm taking Wills & Trusts (4 credits), PR (3 credits), Employment Law (3 credits), and Law Review. I'm sorry you won't come and have fun at the PARTY 2nite. I'll say hi to everyone for you...although I guess not many people are coming :o( Have you chosen your LR topic yet? I'm having a hard time narrowing :(

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Unreasonable Man said...

I don't think Evidence would be that bad. Sure, It's a ton of rules, and a lot of work. But I have to take it at some point. Plus, the only other 4 credit courses still available are Tax (which I can't imaging being any more fun than Evidence... or any less work... although I still want to take it) and Environmental Law (which I have no interest in). And Wills & Trusts would be torture to me. No, no more rule against perpituities until the Bar Exam.

At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Cathy said...

I like option 2 because of the Evidence, but only for that reason (because it makes other courses and jobs possible later on).

Otherwise, if there are classes you'd really like to take, I tend to think you should not delay in doing so. Faculty can change or go on sabbatical, courses might not be offered, etc., so you might find that if you don't take the classes now you might never get to.

Also, for cite checking, I found that large blocks of time were better for dealing with it. Trying to cram it into the gaps in my schedule wasn't really viable, but having an available block of hours was.

Of course, I also took 18 units Fall Semester 2L year, so you can see my thinking generally aligns with the "cram in as much as you can" rule of thumb...

(And in the interest of full disclosure, I did my cite checks for a twice a year journal, not law review.)

At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Option 2. Maybe b/c that's what I am doing! Anyway, 12 credits this fall seems to be a very smart thing to do to keep your sanity. Law school just isn't worth killing yourself and never seeing your wife. I say take the 12 credits and do a good job with them. More time for life that way.

At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take 12 without question. I did that last year and as fall term went along, I realized how good a deal I had compared to other people.

P.S. you made LR without knowing about the word "fewer?"


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