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Preview of my 3L Fall schedule

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 22, 2011 in The 3L Life

Welcome to the very first entry in the new “The 3L Life” category! :D

True, I’m not technically a 3L for another 1.5 months yet. But since I’m now all signed up for 3L classes I figured this would be as good an entry as any to make it official on the blog ;)

As you could probably guess from yesterday’s entry on my Summer 2011 classes, Monday was registration day for the 2Ls here at NCCU Law. It was also the first semester the 3Ls did not register, and it showed in the course availability — while 3 seconds last semester was all it took for me to get frozen out of several classes I wanted, I overslept yesterday, logged in to the registration system about 5 minutes late, but still got everything I needed :spin:

Fall 2011 Schedule: almost done!

It’s also shaping up to be a dog of a semester as I knock out more of my required courses :crack:

I’ll be starting my Tuesday and Thursday mornings with our Fundamentals of Income Taxation class. Just about every 3L I’ve talked to has told me to stay far away from Professor Tax, some heatedly so,1 but this is the only Tax section I could take that would fit with the other classes so I’m rolling the dice.

On the opposite end of the day, the earliest Sales and Secured Transactions class I can take that doesn’t conflict with something else starts at 6:00pm M/T/H :beatup:

Sales has a reputation as one of our hardest 3L classes, so combining that (I subject I already know I don’t like) with Professor Tax (who will already be teaching another subject I already know I don’t like) is going to make for interesting / stressed out times.

The rest of my classes are all electives though, and split to complement the similarly-competing interests in my summer schedule. Employment Discrimination is taught by MDG and will cover the Equal Employment Opportunity Act and related hiring issues that might come up if I went the in-house counsel route with a tech firm. The class also goes toward our Civil Rights & Constitutional Law concentration that I’m working to knock out.

Appellate Advocacy is a class I originally planned to take this Spring, but dropped when I realized 2L trial team was going to be running my life. I’m going to give it another shot in the Fall because it’s a required co-requisite in order to participate in our annual moot court competitions, which I’ve developed a small but persistent interest in trying.  Professor AppAd spent most of his legal career working for the Attorney General’s Office on both trial and appellate cases so it should make for an interesting class.

The last course on the list is our Criminal Prosecution Clinic class, which is the prerequisite for our field clinic in the Durham County Courthouse next Spring. It’s also taught by Professor AppAd, and it’s a course I’ve been planning to take this class ever since the 1L trial team last year. I’m not sure if I’ll be keeping it though — for some reason it’s not included among the clinical programs that apply to the Civil Rights & Constitutional Law concentration, so if I can’t petition successfully to have it apply I’ll have to look for something else.

The biggest upshot to the schedule is that I’ve got no classes at all on Fridays along with a huge gap in the middle of the day for SBA business.2 At the very least I’ll never have an excuse to fall behind on classwork ;)

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From the schedule-related archives:

  1. Apparently she failed a handful of 3Ls last semester, not only requiring them to re-take the course but nuking some GPAs in the process :surprised: []
  2. Or an internship if I lose this election :beatup: []

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Quick look at Summer 2011 classes

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 21, 2011 in The 2L Life

One of the downsides to still having no clue what I want to do after I pass the bar is that I’ve got a long list of classes I’m still interested in taking and not enough time to actually take them.

Summer 2011: A little bit of everything

Soooo I decided to sign up for my 6th consecutive year of summer school classes :beatup:

You can get a sense of my indecisiveness just from the course subjects:

  • Plea Bargaining: Taught by the same professor who taught my ADR Practices course (and from whom I earned my first bona fide A in law school), I’m taking this class to complement the other coursework I’ve already knocked out if I end up going the criminal prosecution route.1 My uneducated guess is that this will be functionally similar to the other ADR courses I took last year, but with a negotiating eye focused more toward evidence and admissibility issues to provide the leverage in negotiations.
  • Intellectual Property: On the other end of the “what am I going to do with my life?” spectrum, this class will be my first dip into the intellectual property side of things to see if I’d actually like it. NCCU Law has a fairly wide array of IP-related courses — in addition to this one and the USPTO Clinic below, we’ve got courses on patents, licensing and technology transfers, bioethics, and several others — that I never really considered taking until I got an internship in the tech arena. So I’m figuring I need to perform some due diligence and see if this could be an enjoyable option for me ;)
  • U.S. Patent & Trademark Office Practice & Procedure: Since my undergrad degree was in computer science, I’m able to sit for the patent bar without any further technical education if I decide to take it. This course is the classroom prerequisite for anyone taking our USPTO Clinic in the Fall/Spring, so I wanted to get some exposure to how the USPTO works just in case I decide to dabble in IP. It’s only 1 credit and taken pass/fail but will (hopefully) provide some useful insights.
  • Civil Rights: Like my Race & the Law class last summer, this is one of those courses I’m taking just because the subject matter is interesting to me. Where Race & the Law focused on the modern Constitutional implications of our country’s historical race-centric jurisprudence, Civil Rights takes a look at the Constitutional questions surrounding federal civil rights litigation.2 It’s definitely a hot topic here in North Carolina, from the new school assignment policies of the Wake County School Board, to upcoming legislative redistricting by the state’s first Republican-led legislature since Reconstruction, and a variety of other issues in between. It’s actually got me thinking about pursuing our law school’s concentration in civil rights and constitutional law. Should be fun :)

Time-wise, the schedule is somewhat similar to what I took last summer with late afternoon and night classes on Monday / Tuesday / Thursday. The upshot is that there’s no Friday or weekend classes like I had with ADR last year, so that gives me time to catch up on anything I need to catch up on. It also leaves me free during the day once I figure out what I’m going to do internship-wise, be it heading back to I-Cubed or working pro bono for a local DA’s office (or something else entirely).

It should be an interesting summer :D

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From the schedule-related archives:

  1. Already taken CrimLaw and Evidence, in CrimPro now, and will be taking our Criminal Prosecution Clinic in the Fall and Spring. []
  2. Causes of action, jurisdiction, standing, class actions, and so on. []

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A sneak peek at 2L Spring

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Oct 27, 2010 in The 2L Life

Good evening y’all! :)

This morning was class registration day for the 2Ls at the N.C. Central University School of Law, meaning all of us were up at the crack-o’-dawn with fingers curled over the keyboard frantically refreshing a TWEN page around 8:00am.

Different from undergrad,1 where we got our PIN numbers weeks in advance and our custom-built registration system was inaccessible until a certain day/time, the Banner registration system at NCCU is up for everyone and instead the PIN numbers get automatically posted at 8am via the Registrar’s TWEN page. So folks have realized the most efficient way to snag classes involves a bit of computer know-how:

  • Look them up in Banner in one browser window
  • Click the “Register” button (which takes you to the PIN screen)
  • Then in another browser window open the Registrar’s TWEN page
  • Hit refresh until the PIN spreadsheet link appears
  • Open the attachment within TWEN as an HTML preview
  • Use Ctrl/Cmd+F to find your Banner ID
  • Highlight and then copy your PIN
  • Alt/Cmd+Tab to go to the other browser window with Banner in it
  • Then paste the PIN in the box and click “Register”.

The whole process from start to finish takes maybe 5 seconds at most.

And people have gotten very good at it…

Last time around that included me. It’s why my Fall 2010 schedule only included 1 elective, as I tried to knock out as many required courses as possible so I could spend 3L year learning interesting stuff.

But this morning I made a fatal mistake :beatup:

After opening the PIN window and clicking the spreadsheet attachment, I accidentally clicked the “Download spreadsheet” link instead of the “Open as HTML preview” option. In the less-than-3-seconds it took me to (i) realize wtf I had done, (ii) frantically click back to the browser, and (iii) open the HTML preview instead, I had given up priceless registration time.

By 8:00:xx, three of the classes I had planned on taking were filled :cry:

So now my 2L Spring schedule is an inverse of the 2L Fall schedule: only 1 required course this time around, with a boatload of electives to go with it.

< 3 seconds == near-total schedule change :cry:

Business Associations is the required course and will be taught by Professor Ks. After my poor showing in both semesters of Contracts last year I’m a little terrified of taking another class with him, but every 3L I’ve talked to has told me he’s better than our other BA professor so I’m gonna try again ::fingers crossed::

Trial Practice I isn’t required but just about everybody takes it, given NCCU Law’s reputation in North Carolina for producing top-rate trial attorneys. I haven’t had this professor before so I have no clue how that’s going to turn out. If I’m lucky enough to make it onto one of our trial teams I’ll be using the class to prep for competition.

Scientific Evidence is taught by Professor DVLaw, which is actually the only reason I’m taking it because I hate pre-9am classes :beatup:  It goes into deeper and more-practical detail on some of the CSI-esque forensics that lawyers see in a courtroom nowadays (DNA, emails, digital photos, etc) which should be cool to learn. But the main motivator is the professor: like MDG she’s tough on the workload and grading, but you leave her classes actually knowing stuff and how to apply it.

Criminal Procedure is a prerequisite for both our Criminal Prosecution and Criminal Defense clinics that folks can take their 3rd year, so I signed up for it now instead of taking Taxation like the vast majority of 2Ls. The downside is that I’ll be stuck taking both Tax and Sales & Secured Transactions during 3L Fall — too many #s in one semester for my taste — but it should give me a leg up in snagging an ADA-ship after graduation. It’s taught by Professor CrimLaw so at the very least it should be entertaining :)

And then Appellate Advocacy I is my throwaway class. The Professor teaching it is the same guy who runs the Criminal Prosecution Clinic during 3L, and it’s a required course if for some reason I decide to try Moot Court in my 3rd year despite my total lack of current interest. Most of the 3Ls have told me taking App Ad and Trial Practice in the same semester is suicidal, so I’m fully prepared to drop it and take it next year if it gets too burdensome.

So that’s what next semester is going to look like :) I’m excited! :D

And the crazy part? I only register for classes 2 more times before becoming an attorney… :surprised:

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From the schedule-related archives:

  1. Not sure about other law schools — how do your schools handle registration? []

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Summer 2010 Class Schedule!

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on May 26, 2010 in The 2L Life

So I’ve been talking with y’all about my summer classes, but just realized I never got around to actually telling y’all what they were :beatup:

The Summer Class Schedule -- Nights and Weekends :beatup:

This is the first time I’ve taken night classes at the NCCU School of Law, and it’s also the first time I’ve had regular classes on the weekend. Both of them require some mental adjustment — reminding myself to get work done during the day Tuesday-Thursday that I’d normally save for the weekend — but being able to squeeze all this into just 5 weeks is worth it.

The Superior Court Mediation class isn’t pictured because it’s already done :spin:  That was a 5-day, 40-hour beast that seemed ridiculously long at the time but taught me quite a bit of info.

The ADR Clinic tied in with the Mediation class will continue all summer long, where I’ll be in court on Mondays helping to mediate cases in District Criminal Court and on Fridays get to observe other ADR programs like Wake County’s Drug Treatment Court.

I’m also taking a course titled ADR Processes and Practice, which covers the same basic types of Alternative Dispute Resolution methods but focused specifically on the role of the attorney (as opposed to the mediator). After having these 3 courses knocked out, I’m now thinking about going ahead and getting the law school’s Certificate in Dispute Resolution — but we’ll have to see what happens over the next few semesters first :)

Then the last class I’m taking is Race and the Law, which essentially looks at how American jurisprudence has developed vis-à-vis the various ethnic groups in the country (e.g. things like property law and American Indians, or the entire legal apparatus developed to sustain slavery and later segregation). The professor has a reputation as an excellent instructor that extends well beyond NCCU Law, and the topic itself is fascinating — especially compared to the watered-down history we learn in K-12, coupled with folks’ general aversion to talking about race at all.

But that’s something for a later post ;) It should be a fun semester :D

That’s it for tonight — hope all of you have a great evening!

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From the archives:

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Fall 2010 Schedule Preview :)

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Mar 31, 2010 in The 1L Life

Fall semester of your 2L year at the N.C. Central University School of Law is when students get to take their first batch of elective courses.

In general they also end up choosing between two different “tracks” of classes, taking Evidence and Constitutional Law together or taking Business Associations and Federal Income Tax together.1

Classes for 2L Fall

Given my affinity for mock trial, I decided to go the Evidence+ConLaw route so I’m better prepared for competition next year :angel:

That left me with ~3 elective spots to fill in. In an effort to get as many required courses knocked out as early as possible — so I can spend 3L year studying stuff I enjoy — I decided to sign up for both Decedents’ Estates I and Legal Letters.

Honestly, I’m not looking forward to DE. When I worked for the Wake County Clerk’s Office back in 2003/2004, my office was on the 12th floor of the Courthouse on the edge of the Wills & Estates section. It was a very drab and somber atmosphere since it pretty much exclusively deals with… well… dead folks and their stuff. I know it’s an important area of the law but seeing folks in tears while trying to partition a loved one’s property isn’t really my cup of tea :beatup:

Not sure what to think about Legal Letters. From the course description it deals with crafting demand letters, responses and such, which was one of the things I did as a paralegal. Hopefully that means it’ll be easy, but also probably as exciting as watching grass grow :(

So my only “true” elective is Domestic Violence Law. One of the 3Ls I frequently hit up for advice suggested avoiding the class because it gets very intense/emotional. But if I’m going to make a living throwing people in prison, I figure I should start delving into the intense/emotional stuff sooner rather than later.2

Beyond the actual classes I’m taking though, do you know the highlight of this semester? The one perk that outshines all others?

No Friday classes! :D

I’m looking forward to having a 3-day weekend every single week of the year. Haven’t had a class schedule like this in years :)

That’s it from me tonight, have a great evening everybody!! :D

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From the archives –

  1. On an unrelated side note, how sad is it that our tax code is so complex you can teach an entire law course on it? :crack: []
  2. And my preexisting philosophy on people who commit domestic violence is to strap their ass to a chair and flip the switch. I doubt the course will change that. []

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A preview of Spring 2010

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jan 11, 2010 in The 1L Life

First day of classes ended a couple hours ago :) So I’m currently hanging out in the Fishbowl waiting for 1L Trial Team practice to start @ 12pm and then the Client Counseling Competition to start @ 4pm.

My schedule for Spring 2010

NCCU Law schedules the 1L Spring semester so it’s more intense than the Fall.  The number of credit hours only goes up by 1 (from 14 to 15) but we tack on a 6th class — and the difference in workload between a 2-credit class and a 3-credit class is negligible.

But even with the added work, and even though last semester’s grades were an unmitigated disaster (more on those in an upcoming post), I’m cautiously optimistic about how things are going to turn out.

Several of the 2Ls and 3Ls I hit up for advice have favorably compared Professor CrimLaw to MDG: sardonic wit, merciless grader, excellent instructor.  And now that we’ve covered service and jurisdiction in CivPro, MDG will finally be teaching us the nuts and bolts there too; we’re starting with the Erie Doctrine this week, then delving into the complaint and other pleadings.  Plus I’ll have a chance to start fresh in Ks… and hopefully figure out wtf is going on this time :beatup:

Off to practice.  Have a great day everybody! :D

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