Saturday, October 28, 2006

Courses, Classes, Professors, Clinics

This is a perment thread dedicated to discussions and recommendations of the above.

Moved up by request. Also, updated Shawn Bayern website for enrollment: http://www.essentially.net/misc/boalt/index.jsp.

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107 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone have favorite, must-take classes or professors to recommend? I would say Judge Fletcher's Fed Cts is pretty high on that list. Other good ones? Or terrible ones to avoid at all cost?

7/24/2006 2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

erin murphy's crim pro. AMAZING. best class i've had at boalt. learn the stuff from someone who did it, and recently.

7/24/2006 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Avoid anything with Talley.

7/25/2006 11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

contracts with Talley was pretty good, though its not like you have the option to avoid it...

7/25/2006 2:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree about Crim Pro with Murphy. She's a born teacher.

7/25/2006 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the word about Weisselberg and Crim Pro? Is he a good prof? He's the only one teaching in the fall...when does Murphy usually teach crim pro?

7/31/2006 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

last year she taught fall.... seems like this year she's teaching spring is the word on the street. weisselberg is a good guy and i'm sure he teaches a fine class, but if you can do it with murphy, i would definitely choose to take it with her. i too agree with the other two posters that it's a wonderful class.

7/31/2006 1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone have input on the clinics, specifically the Samuelson Clinic? What kind of time committment does it entail? Would it be manageable to do a clinic + 2 classes?

8/01/2006 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which one do you learn more skills in, Evidence Advocacy or Criminal Trial Practice?

What about Federal Courts? Should one always take it with Fletcher?

8/01/2006 2:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard anything about Robert Cole's classes?

8/02/2006 1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have heard that you should always take Federal Courts with Fletcher.

8/02/2006 1:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took both fed courts from fletcher and Murphy's crim pro class, and both are great. Fed Courts is a tough substantive class, but it's well worth it. Class sometimes bears some resemblance to storytime with Judge Fletcher lecturing off the cuff about random, but fascinating topics.

Erin Murphy is a star. She's a great teacher, and puts a lot of effort into preparing for each class and making the class interesting even for those not naturally drawn to the material.

These two classes have been my Boalt favorites.

8/03/2006 5:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Human Rights clinic is a huge obligation but amazing and worthwhile. though, as a grad of a couple years back, i've now heard that roxanna, the 2nd in command, is something of a wacko and doesn't treat students very well, so i'd watch out and see if more recent clinic students than my contact say the same thing.

8/06/2006 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you do anything that Richard Curtis is associated with, you will be sorry. Unless you don't mind that he doesn't even try to teach. And that when he does try he gets it wrong. And then there's his issues with women, but he probably doesn't mean anything by it so it's probably okay, right? On the other hand, if you are looking forward to a future in teaching it might give you hope.

8/09/2006 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Weisselberg was good. He seems like a good person too, for whatever that's worth. I've heard from lots of people that that both Murphy and Sklansky are great, and I would guess from meeting them that they are more dynamic.

8/09/2006 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who should one take con law with? do the basic issues classes and structural classes actually differ that much?

8/11/2006 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amar is decent for the basic issues class. I haven't heard great things about Haney-Lopez, but somebody who's actually taken him should comment.

I agree with the above posters: Fletcher's Fed Courts and Murphy's Crim Pro are both excellent. I'd also add Joseph's Admin Law to the list.

The worst advice I've ever received about classes is not to take any bar classes, because BarBri covers all the necessary material. BarBri will teach you everything you know, but it's a thousand times easier to learn if you've already taken the relevant classes. I found Evidence and Wills and Trusts to be the most helpful for bar purposes.

8/13/2006 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just noticed that we got our exam schedules for the fall. In a time where we take these exams online in rooms with proctors, the idea of an exam schedule seems outdated. Why not let Johnny 3L choose when he wants to take his Securities Regulation exam during the 10-day or 12-day period (or whatever the length of the exam period)? Giving students freedom to choose would allow them to avoid having a Corporations exam on one morning and a Civil Procedure II exam the next afternoon, which many students will face next fall. The exam policy reschedule doesn't cover that situation, so you're stuck taking exams back to back, and then you have a wasted week where you could have been studying (especially troubling for those who like to live their lives all semester and then study hard at the end).

8/15/2006 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone else notice the lacking of ethics / professional responsibility classes for the Spring Schedule, as in only 1 class with a 30 student enrollment limit?

How real is the requirement to take the ethics course during the 2nd year, as opposed to the 3rd year? Who can I complain to about the lack of enough ethics classes? What can you do if you don't get in it?

10/28/2006 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

9:58 - Unfortunately for the rest of us, there are some major a-holes out there who cheat (is anyone besides me really annoyed by the fact that some people take speed or other uppers during finals week - I think that is cheating). That is why we all have to sit in the room at the same time to take tests.

10/28/2006 4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Halo's con law class was great. He seems to really love teaching. But, he has his opinions. The only people that I have heard disrespect his class are people that are resistant to his ideas, aka their ideas of liberal are stuck in 1967 along with Dick Cheney and the rest of the neo cons. wow. fun.

um.

Denton is a good trial practice class teacher. I've heard from multiple sources that women feel uncomfortable with Curtis as a teacher.

10/28/2006 5:11 PM  
Blogger Tom Fletcher said...

Dear 2L re: ethics. It's not an issue. I'm in Ethics right now as a 3L, as are a few more of my 3L companions.

Re: Halo. "The only people that I have heard disrespect his class are people that are resistant to his ideas, aka their ideas of liberal are stuck in 1967 along with Dick Cheney and the rest of the neo cons. wow. fun."

On the contrary, I've heard from people who disliked Halo's classes, none of whom I'd classify as "Dick Cheney and the rest of the neo cons." Their comments all ran in the vein of the class being too one-sided, too ideological, etc. I have nothing but their comments to go on, but Anonymous 5:11 makes me feel more confident in their perspective.

10/28/2006 5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you take a clinic I think that the seminar component of the clinic counts for the ethics requirement (I know it does for the EBCLC clinic but not sure about the rest).

Also as for HaLo -- he's actually flunked students in the past (and I don't mean sub-P). Just something to keep in mind.

Take a class with Swift if you can. She's amazing.

10/29/2006 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Avoid Amar if you can. His lectures consist of discussing one case on the assigned reading then moving around to cases you haven't read yet. Incomprehensible. Wait and take it with Liu.

10/29/2006 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1L here-- several of us have been warned that WOA is a lot of work and we should try to take "easy" classes 2nd semester. Any thoughts on the truth of this (and what "easy" classes are)?

10/29/2006 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOA is more work than LRW, but I wouldn't say "a lot" more. The best advice is to take one substantive class (Con. Law., Civ Pro II, Crim. Pro., Intro to IP, Int'l Law., etc.), and one seminar (basically anything with 2 units, or 3 units and small class zie).

Aim for 5-6 units, no more than 7. I'd recommend that you avoid a class that requires a series of papers, rather than a single paper, because that is more likely to interfer with WOA.

Also, if you feel like you are having trouble keeping up with the rest of your classmates this semester, it's probably better to take a lighter load next semester. Or, if you find out that you tanked your finals, you can switch electives before / during the beginning of next semester.

10/29/2006 3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd agree with the poster above... can someone comment about the difference between Evidence Advocacy (not with Curtis) and Crim Trial Practice? Is one easier to get into as a 2L?

10/29/2006 4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for classes with a paper and not a final, how long do those papers usually have to be?

10/29/2006 5:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone know if secured transactions with Kosel is good? Is there a prof that is known to be good that teaches that class? What about employment law with True? I have never heard of that person and would welcome any insights. Thanks!!

Also, I have the following PSA: DO NOT TAKE REGULATING PUBLIC INTEGRITY. That class was horrible.

10/29/2006 6:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberal here who had Ha-Lo for con law. I HATED the class. I only learned about the 5th and 14th amendments, and know nothing about the rest of the constitution. Oh yeah, don't ever be late to his class (pay him $$ or be on call) or ever have a cell phone ring (he will answer it).

Hold out to take it with someone else--like Goodwin Liu--who is amazing by all accounts.

10/29/2006 6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does Liu always teach Con Law in the Fall? And is there any reason why waiting until 3L year to take it would be a bad idea?

10/29/2006 7:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For 7:05--I took Con Law w/ Liu as a 2L, and I'm really glad I did. First, he's brilliant and a fabulous teacher. Second, the topics covered in Con Law will be assumed knowledge in many other classes. If you plan on taking Admin or any environmental law classes, having Con Law as background is extremely helpful. If you want to take Fed Cts as a 3L, I think it would be really hard to do them concurrently. However, if you're mainly interested in business law classes or IP, I don't think it would be a problem to wait on Con Law until 3L year since I haven't found that those classes require as much familiarity w/ con law stuff.

10/29/2006 7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:26, did you get to switch your elective?! I wanted to but was told 1Ls were stuck with what we got.

10/29/2006 7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Halo, who I consider to be one of the most gifted, caring, and provactive teachers at the school, is obviously not a professor that everyone loves.

I would suggest asking people you know and respect.

There are a lot of people running around this campus claiming to be liberals. There are Angela Davis liberals. And then there are Dick Cheney liberals. And people in between of course. =)

10/29/2006 8:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are into IP or business classes, I would recommend taking con law the last semester of you 3L year. Then it will be fresher while you are doing bar review and the bar exam.

10/29/2006 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For those 1Ls considering doing an externship this summer, I would recommend Civ Pro II. It's just easier to know about jurisdiction and venue before starting an externship because a lot of what externs do involves these issues.

Also, chalk up another point for Halo, because I really enjoyed his class.

10/29/2006 9:06 PM  
Anonymous Caliboy said...

7:27

Registrar's office will tell you that you're stuck with the classes you get from the bidding process, but like many administrative matters at Boalt, a little whining and permission from a prof to get into another class should be enough to get your schedule changed when the semester starts.

I successfully switched a class 1L spring and I'm sure if need be, you'll be able to too, as long as the class you want to change into has open spots.

10/29/2006 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1L public interest type here very confused about what to choose. Anyone have any insight on Representing Low Wage Workers w/Rosenfeld, Local Govt. Law w/Strauss or Intl Trade w/Guzman?

I heard Local Govt Law is a lot of work (paper = grade). Anyone have the scoop?

10/29/2006 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Professor Haney Lopez is a challenging and provocative teacher. It is true that his class and style is not to everyone's liking. But, of course, most good things aren't. A couple things worth noting are that Haney Lopez teaches "Constitutional Law: Liberty & Equality" as opposed to "basic" or "structural" issues. But, contrary to what some people on the board seem to think, the curiculum is not all that different from any other introductory con law course. The course is taught from a very widely used con law case book and you'll read the paradigmatic cases.

I also think that taking con law with Haney Lopez is a unique oportunity to see one of Boalt's finest intellectuals in action. I don't really know all that much about Amar, and I have tremendous respect for Liu, but niether of them have had the kind of intellectual impact that Haney Lopez has had.

As far as ideology is concerned, it is true that Haney Lopez is upfront about his ideological views in the class. But, I found his forthrightness refreshing, and he allows for vigorous and open class discussion. I know liberals and conservatives who have thrived in his classes. Ideology is obviously deeply entangled in any con law course (including more so-called "structural" courses like fed courts), such is the nature of the material.

10/29/2006 10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get one of the big ones out of the way early - Con Law & Civ Pro II are implicated in many other courses and your life will be easier and classes will be better if you take these foundational courses early on. Fed cts is best taken after having at least one of these two big courses (don't necessarily need both though), but I also recommend taking it as early as you can.

10/29/2006 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haney Lopez is awesome for Con Law - sparks a lot of debate & exchange of ideas and always keeps the material interesting. He tries to be scary at first but it's mostly an act and I generally found him very respectful of the students. (He only flunks people who never come to class or do any work, like most prof's would.) If you miss him for Con Law, he also teaches several interesting seminars specifically focused on race...Fletcher is amazing for Fed Cts. Lots of work but it's worth it....I was very disappointed with Amar....

10/29/2006 10:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone know how Shelanski is as a prof?

10/29/2006 11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible to take a class pass/fail?

10/29/2006 11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if we can expect to see Vetter teaching Civ Pro II most of the time?

10/30/2006 12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:44, Sure, you can take a class P/F, just tell the instructor that you'd rather have a P than an H or an HH and you'd rather have an NC than a SP.

10/30/2006 1:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Halo is fine if you're looking for vigorous discussion and a class on the 14A. The problem is, he's not very intellectually honest in his constitutional interpretation; basically, he feels that his entire radical-left political agenda is there in the Constitution for courts to enact, if only they'd read it properly. (I would think the mark of a honest theorist would be to occasionally come to constitutional conclusions that don't comport with your politics; this has never happened to Haney Lopez in his life.) That said, he encourages people to push back in class, and if you're even a little bit more moderate than him, its valuable to contemplate where you draw the line in your own thinking about, say, how expansively to read the 14A or what a fundamental right is, etc.

10/30/2006 1:35 AM  
Blogger Tom Fletcher said...

Shelanski gets the Nuts & Boalt seal of guaranteed quality approval (I'm proxy voting for Armen too). See you in Antitrust.

10/30/2006 8:01 AM  
Blogger Armen said...

I'm pissed off that the SCOTUS seminar conflicts with Antitrust. But yes, Shelanski is great. I just hope the Great Cornholio makes a cameo to explain the Sherman Act.

As a side note, why the hell are people enrolled in the SCOTUS class? You can't be in it unless you took it fall semester. And if you took it fall semester why are you wasting your phase I on a class that you are guaranteed to get into?

10/30/2006 9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took Civ Pro II and ConLaw spring semester of 1L. It was tough but manageable, and Civ Pro II w/Vetter was extremely useful for an externship. Extremely. Just sit close to the oracle so you can hear what it says.

RE Liu: I thought he did a fine job, though his style can be grating at times--arrogant & smug. But he is a law professor, so it goes with the turf.

Liu's Con Law class was, to my recollection, mostly Equal Protection. We covered other stuff fleetingly, but it was either too superficial or I was too retarded for any of it to stick. All I recall of Liu's Eleventh Amendment analysis vis-a-vis the Fourteenth Amendment: "Fourteen is greater than Eleven." Ergo sovereign immunity is more or less a dead letter.

Only now, under Fletcher's tutelage, do I see the error of that thinking.

The lesson of this rambling? Boalt is a buffet, so dabble. And try to relax.

10/30/2006 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10:04--Local Gov Law is not a lot of work. At all. The paper does not have to be very long, and you can write about whatever you want. However, if you're planning to wait until the last second to start it, though, it will feel like a lot of work. It's a good class.

10/30/2006 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never heard anything about Richard Curtis, can people expand on what was said earlier, particularly about his issues with women.

10/30/2006 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take Civ Pro II. It is absurd that it isn't required in the first year. I am taking it now as a 3L becuase I've been scheduled out of it or didn't get off the waitlist every semester until now. I hate that it isn't a mandatory 1L class.

10/30/2006 2:47 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

Where have I read this before?

Whatever Boalt's rankings are, somebody at our school has to get course selection and scheduling under control. We cannot be competitive if we cannot get into Civ Pro II until our 3L year because we are either waitlisted and don't get in or conflicted out by other classes that we must take. This is not only true of Civ Pro II. It's true of a huge number of core classes here. The school does not run its course offerings well and, until it does, students will continue to be disgruntled. Unhappy students don't help the school, make its ranking go up, or make it more competitive with Stanford et al.

1/29/2006 9:03 AM


There can't possibly be two of you, can there?

10/30/2006 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re:Kosel -- I didn't take her class but I know someone who did a couple of years ago and said it was really good. I believe she's the only one to teach it.

I have not heard good things about True's labor law class, although again, I did not take it.

10/30/2006 5:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are two of us - and probably more. Armen's repostsing isn't me (anonymous 2:47). I don't care what Boalt's ranking is. My only point is that I wish someone had told me as a 1L that I should have taken Civ Pro II.

10/30/2006 6:00 PM  
Blogger Isaac Zaur said...

A Few Notes on Jan Vetter (with whom I've taken Evidence and two semesters of Civ Pro)

Professor Vetter is possessed of an extraordinary intellect, an encyclopedic knowledge of legal academic research, and what can only be described as a Victorian sense of language. He frequently speaks in long, logically complex, and grammatically impeccable sentences. If you appreciate the late novels of Henry James for their flawless periodic syntax and the works of Dickens or Thackeray for their irony, you will appreciate Jan Vetter’s lectures.

The drawback, of course, is that if on any given day or week or semester or lifetime you don’t appreciate Professor Vetter’s explication for the sake of its aesthetics, you may well feel frustrated by your time with him. This man has dwelt so long in the shadow of the rules he describes that it sometimes seems he appreciates the gaps and interstices between them better than he understands the need for a law student to learn the rules themselves. It is as if, as Harold Bloom may well have said in one of his innumerable books, there really are no Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, just spaces in between those rules where the anxiety of influence is felt.

Another important note: Professor Vetter does not always enunciate well. And he does not speak loudly. He can be downright hard to hear. So sit close. Concentrate. Listen carefully. And an intricate and beautiful world will be revealed to you. Because that’s what it feels like to hear this man explain the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or the Federal Rules of Evidence. What you might once have taken for the merest handbook of procedure becomes a web of sublimest irony, a logical jungle gym where every bent or missing bar has its peculiar history.

10/30/2006 6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i heard vetter sucks

10/30/2006 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone have thoughts on whether its better to wait and take Civ Pro II with Bundy rather than Vetter?

10/30/2006 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bundy is out of this world. But it is nice to get civ pro II out of the way (i.e., take it before fed courts). Maybe try Vetter out for a couple of days to see if you're among that rarified group that digs him.

Sklansky is very good for evidence, and so I imagine, also for Crim Pro.

What do folks think of Menell for Intro to IP?

10/30/2006 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does ganyone know who Greg LeBlanc is? He's teaching Corporations next semester.

Menell was good but he does not engage the class - it is 100% lecture. He also provides all his slides so you don't have to take notes (or for that matter, read the book) and he provides optional problem sets along the way if you want to really nail down the material. Non-IP 1L's be warned: that class is full of 1L IP gunners who will snap up all the H's and HH's.

10/30/2006 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had Greg LaBlanc for a mini accounting course at Haas. He was terrific. Very clear, organized, funny, energetic. I'm planning to take Corps in part because he's teaching it.

10/30/2006 10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1Ls have their own curve. don't worry about them.

10/30/2006 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My warning was to other 1L's precisely because they do have their own curve.

10/30/2006 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some people really like vetter, though they are definitely in the minority.

I don't think that Swift is particularly amazing. Sweet. A good teacher, probably better than average at the law school, but not amazing.

1L's i'd take con law classes this coming semester.

10/31/2006 12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Swift is amazing and she's one of the most dedicated professors at Boalt. She actually likes to teach and her teaching style is engaging and smart without being impossible to understand.

I'll chime in about HaLo too--he's brilliant. He'll spend a whole class arguing the Rehnquist position, so while he does have a point of view on the law, he gives you both sides. By the way, Con Law I is not supposed to be about every aspect of the constitution. In HaLo's class, you hit on all the major cases...First Amendment is left to Con Law II. His style does not suit everyone but its not because he's ideological. It's because he does not feed you the answers, he makes you sweat it out, and yeah, he doesn't let it pass if students are rude by being late or leaving their cell phones on. You shouldn't do that anyway! His class involves a lot of reading, but I think he makes up for it by actually giving a damn whether you understand it.

Liu is beyond smart, so you really have to pay attention in class. I didn't find him smug, on the contrary, he challenges you to rise to a higher level of understanding. He's another professor who actually likes to teach and makes time for students.

10/31/2006 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About Menell for IP...

does he really not call on people? And does he really give you notes so you don't have to read the book? If so, that sounds like a welcome break.

10/31/2006 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Menell calls on people on a volunteer basis. Not that you shouldn't show up or ever raise your hand. He does give you his slides, but I would still recommend reading the book if you want to keep up, as he goes over cases quickly.

10/31/2006 2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1L here. So should I be shooting for 15 units total in spring?

10/31/2006 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:58 -

for your electives, plan on taking one important course (con law, civ pro II, etc, which are 4 units) and one other course that interests you that is 2-3 units). for what it's worth, i took 17 units and got the same grades as 1st semester, but it was more work

10/31/2006 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Menell's IP class is excellent. Don't expect the guy to sing and dance for you and spur you out of your seat. Also, it's a fast course. He doesn't dwell on any one case that long. This is a survey. He is very clear, very thorough, and has a great gameplan for marching you through ALL of IP. And many of his slides and video clips are quite funny. He has a light touch.

It has been said that he covers the fields of IP in more depth than you get in the specialty IP courses (patents, copyrights, etc.).

And, a message to all you IP hotshots who think you'll smoke the course: Those without a technical background have been known to do extremely well in the course. They aren't afflicted with the hubris that may come with an advanced technical degree.

10/31/2006 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not only isn't CivPro II a required 1L class, some of us CAN'T take it because of scheduling conflicts.

11/01/2006 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you can't take it your first year, just take it the next. I externed my 1L summer without CPII and survived to tell the tale.

11/01/2006 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, not taking Civ Pro II 1L year is not fatal to your career at Boalt. My 1L year, several mods (including my own) didn't take Civ Pro I until 2nd semester. I didn't end up taking it until end of 2L year with Bundy (who is excellent).

So don't stress about not taking Civ Pro II as a 1L. On the other hand, I would strongly recommend that everyone take Civ Pro II before graduating from Boalt. It's pretty fundamental stuff, and is knowledge you should have, even in a transactional practice.

11/01/2006 2:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only 10 1L's get into Civ Pro II...just bid on it and see if you're one of the lucky winners.

11/01/2006 7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the most ridiculous discussion ever! How the hell has a seat in Jan Vetter's class been made into a hot commodity for 1Ls! I think it must be other 1Ls who don't want you to bid on classes from professors who are actually good.

11/01/2006 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So about this theory about 1L IP gunners ruining the curve in Intro to IP....sounds semi convincing. People really think this is a big enough problem to warrant waiting till next year? Is mennel proferable to another prof. to the extent that its worth it to take it with all the IP 1L's, or wait till next year?

11/01/2006 10:30 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

People who make their course selections based on the likelihood of getting a particular grade are far more worrisome than gunners.

Take the class that teaches something you want to learn about. I didn't take Civ Pro I until spring semester but managed to write a memo and an order on an improper venue motion (CP II). I'm taking IP as a 3L with MSVH instead of Menell, the sky is still above.

From now on, I'm going to label this sort of discussions as "Boalt Hall Strategery."

11/01/2006 10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

IP w/ Van Houweling is great. She's very energetic and there's lots of interaction (to me, that's a plus over Mennel) but she does cold call and doesn't let people pass (probably a negative over Mennel). If you want to go into IP, I don't know why you'd wait if you can get into it now so you can start taking the upper level classes earlier. If you just want to take the intro class to get a general overview, I think the approachable and peppier style of Van Houweling would be a good fit.

Not only should you heed Armen's advice above to take classes that teach something you want to learn about, but also don't be afraid to step outside what you think interests you to take classes with good professors. If you aren't interested after a class or two you can always drop it, but the adage to "take the prof, not the class" has merit.

11/02/2006 12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some Notes on Elizabeth Cabraser

Elizabeth Cabraser is a Boalt alum and one of the most successful and well-regarded plaintiff’s attorneys in this country. She and her firm, Lieff Cabraser, have participated in many of the most important developments in complex tort litigation since the seventies. She has had her hand in everything from an attempted global settlement of the asbestos litigation to the so-called Swiss Bank cases (involving the attempt to recover Nazi money on behalf of Holocaust victims and their descendants). She is deeply involved in the VIOXX Multi-District Litigation, as well as the Bextra and Celebrex MDL. I have had the opportunity to discuss her lawyering with several judges in Northern California as well as with defense lawyers on both coasts: she is universally acclaimed.

In my view, what sets Cabraser apart from other practitioners (as well as other law teachers, actually) is her respect for and interest in the judicial process as a collaborative endeavor. She spends a lot of time in class discussing the challenges facing the judiciary, ways that practitioners can be sensitive to the needs of judges, and what she genuinely seems to see as a shared aspiration to justly compensate victims of wrongdoing. She is very attuned to the sense of loss experienced by tort plaintiffs, and the compounding effect of alienation that can accompany litigation.

I have also observed Cabraser in court, and she is among the best I’ve seen at mastering the administrative details of a gigantic nationwide complex tort case and communicating effectively with the court and the many dozens of lawyers on each side. Her manner is modest and even self-deprecating, but she is obviously running the show in these matters, co-ordinating an army of egotistical plaintiff’s lawyers and quietly conversing with opposing counsel, laying the groundwork for her matters to proceed.

Unfortunately, Cabraser has serious shortcomings as an instructor. She does not appear to plan lessons with care, and is a highly disorganized lecturer. She is successful in communicating her general view of complex litigation, and she has some outstanding anecdotes to share, but her use of class time is sometimes spectacularly inefficient. My strong impression (in her Spring '05 class) was that she was too busy with her practice to spend much time thinking about how to teach each week’s three-hour session. The predictable result was a lot of meandering lecture and aimless class dialogue. One additional criticism I have is that although she frames the biggest issues (fairness, efficiency) with remarkable even-handedness, the discussion of certain more specific topics was clearly colored and sometimes distorted by her orientation as a plaintiff’s practitioner. Her discussion of the term “junk science” was particularly defensive and confused.

The course being offered this spring has a different title than in years past ("complex litigation" as opposed to "mass tort litigation"), and Francis McGovern is listed as a co-instructor. I don’t know much about him, his bio on the Duke law faculty website suggests that his view of complex civil litigation is a lot like Cabraser’s. It is certainly possible that these two superstars working together will put together a more coherent class than Cabraser has recently done on her own. It might be worth taking the class anyway, just to be able to say you studied with these two.

11/02/2006 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must respectfully dissent from the claims of Cabraser's "bias." I had her last fall and her discussion of the origins and initial use of the term "junk science" was spot-on and I think most of the class found it quite illuminating. She was nice enough to pay out-of-pocket for our readers and I found class to be very interesting most of the time. I think it is harder, but not impossible, to follow the class if you haven't had civ pro II, evidence, federal courts, etc., and that might be the source of the above poster's confusion. Overall, I would say her class was one of the best learning experiences I've had at Boalt. Also, even if you think she is biased, it is probably worth it for most Boalties to hear from the "other side" since so many go into defense-side law firms where I am sure most talk is much more slanted.

11/02/2006 8:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon. 2:35 here. I just wanted to correct a technical mistake in my post on Cabraser above: I was in her class during the Fall '05 semester, not, as I erroneously wrote, in Spring '05. Thus, Anon. 8:03 and I observed the same discussion of expert testimony and drew differing impressions.

11/03/2006 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Boalties- Any info on Krieger? She is visiting at my school next semester and teaching a class on problem solving & decision making.

Thanks!

11/04/2006 3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:49 PM: I haven't had Krieger, but I looked up her teaching evaluations on the Boalt website. For the most part, the feedback is very positive for her Civ Pro and Employment Discrimination classes from years past. A lot of students reported that the workload for Employment Discrim, given the unit weight assigned, was "heavy." There's one class she taught in Spring 1999 - "The Lawyering Process" for which she got worse reviews.

But otherwise, her students have given her high marks.

11/05/2006 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks! You're awesome. If you ever feel like freezing your ass off and being surrounded by pretentious new englanders- consider visiting. But if it were me I would stay in Berkeley :-)

11/05/2006 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had Krieger for Civ Pro and I loved her. She is a bit disorganized, but her passion more than makes up for it.

11/06/2006 12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Linda Krieger is among the awesomest of the awesome. She is warm, kind, witty, and funny. She loves teaching, cares deeply for students, and maintains a high degree of hope in the law. I have not had her as a professor but know her through campus activities. My only negative comment about her is that she is teaching at Harvard, a questionable choice at best in itself, and worse yet during my third year so I won't have the chance to study with her.

11/07/2006 3:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Judge True" is teaching Employment law next semester (Thursday 6:20-9 pm, yuck), and I know nothing about him. Anyone ever take him? Will he know what he is talking about in Employment? Will he be interesting so late at night? Should we all shoot ourselves now and get it over with?

11/10/2006 2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aside from Kreiger, Judge True probably knows more about employment law than the rest of the Boalt faculty combined. He only recently became a judge and before that he worked at the NLRB, the Employment Law Center and in private practice at several plaintiff-side employment law firms.

11/11/2006 11:31 AM  
Blogger Isaac Zaur said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/15/2006 8:28 PM  
Blogger Isaac Zaur said...

Once upon a time, Judge True was also the main attorney supervisor for the East Bay Workers' Rights Clinic--approximately the role Mike Gaitley now holds, for those who have participated in that program.

Another buried treasure of employment law expertise at Boalt (at least if you consider organized labor law as part of the mix) is Jan Vetter, who taught courses on labor law for years and remains a bit of a legend for a whole generation of Boalt-grad labor lawyers.

11/15/2006 8:29 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

Is there anything that Isaac can't relate back to Jan Vetter?

11/15/2006 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just had an interesting chat with someone who's in Talley's corp class with me. It seemed to encapsulate the divergent views on his classrom style.

Me: Love his teaching style! I find his lectures to be extremely straight-forward. He doesn't hide the ball - he makes it very clear what the law is, why it is so, clearly outlines where the gray area is, and presents hypotheticals that highlight the boundaries of the principles/laws. No other professor I've had makes it more obvious what you should know, how to learn it, and then tests you on the material covered in class (Moran was close, though).

I find his rockstar approach engaging. No professor I've had has a better grasp of PowerPoint and the possibilities of interesting and clear presentations. He adds enough little gimmicks to make dry material fun - plenty of pictures of Simpson characters, etc. I would never have thought that I'd enjoy Contracts and Corporations, but they have been two of my favorite classes.

The other student I spoke with really doesn't like his style. She found his lectures confusing and found reading the textbook to be a better way to learn. She also found his running around class annoying, his slides too confusing or cluttered, etc., etc.

I don't know if this is helpful, but I've heard similarly strong and divergent opinions from others. I think you could get a sense of his style very quickly by sitting in on a class (with 100+ students, noone would notice...).

-Talley fan

11/16/2006 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know a lot of other 1Ls have been asking about getting out of their electives, so here is my question about that (and sorry if it was answered somewhere above and I overlooked it):
Do we have to wait and get permission somehow to enroll in something else even if the elective is a 1L elective and has open spots in it now? Or can we go ahead and enroll in something different than what we were assigned? Thanks everyone!

12/04/2006 4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any insight on what professors might be good to avoid/seek-out to oversee my Con law/Crimlaw related writing requirement project?

I'd love someone who will actually work with me to create a decent end-product, but also don't want to get stuck with such high standards that the project runs past one semester.
Thanks for the input.

1/02/2007 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the board outside the registrar's office the only way to get your first class reading assigments?

Also, what's the protocol on wait lists? Do people generally wait to buy books until they are off the wait list (and in the class)?

Thanks.

1/04/2007 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any suggestions about study aids for contracts (Eisenberg) or property (Van Houweling)? Thanks.

1/07/2007 2:02 PM  
Blogger tatiana said...

Armen, I had six rice crispy treats today, just thought you should know.

3/10/2007 12:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Family law guru Professor Murray is FABULOUS. Never a dull moment. Plus, she is a quiz bowl champion!

4/13/2007 7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm an exchange student coming to Boalt this Fall and I have to register this Thursday...I noticed a comment by Armen above that talks about "wasting your Phase I" on a particular class.

Is there any place I can look to see which classes are tough to get into and which aren't? I wouldn't want to make that mistake above and get screwed with a bad schedule. Some classes I have been looking at are:

Intro to IP
Negotiation
Law in American Film
Legal Profession
Securities Regulation
Immigration Law
Bankruptcy
Accounting
Administrative Law

Any thoughts? I'd really appreciate it...thanks very much!

4/15/2007 4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would like to hear opinions about Caron's 'Resolution of private international disputes' and Lazerow's 'International Business Transactions'. Thanks

4/15/2007 8:15 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

Hey guys, please post questions in one of the newer threads re fall courses. No one really checks the permanet threads. Enrollment counts are posted on the "course enrollment count" page (link on sidebar).

Caron wrote the book on RPID. Great course if you're interested in the area of int'l arbitration and litigation. Be forewarned, the class is easier if you have civ pro II under your belt.

In re 4:16, about 10 minutes before your enrollment time, look at th enrollment counts and decide. That's what I did.

4/15/2007 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for the info, Armen...

4/15/2007 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Hey guys, please post questions in one of the newer threads re fall courses."

Sorry. Where is this newer thread?

4/16/2007 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Jenna said...

I don't know if anyone is reading this post anymore, but since it's still the one linked in the permanent threads column, I'll add a comment here.

I highly, highly recommend Eric Biber's public lands class. It was my favorite class at Boalt. If you are mildly interested in Admin but don't want to take Admin, you can take this class. If you are mildly interested in Fed Cts but don't want to take Fed Cts, take this class. In Public Lands, you'll learn a huge chunk of Admin and Fed Cts as well as a substantive area of law at the same time. Plus we went on a field trip. Who doesn't love a field trip?! Mean people, that's who. He was also the best prof I've had at Power Point w/o it ever being a distraction or a crutch.

4/24/2007 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad to see Biber did well w the Public Lands course...had him for Property and it was a bit rough at first - it was his first large lecture class at Boalt - but you can tell he is going to be a great prof one day.

5/01/2007 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

administrative law with anne joseph. AWESOME class. by far my favorite class at boalt.

also--antitrust with shelanski.

12/05/2007 5:08 PM  
Anonymous Emily said...

I'm a 1L thinking about taking Civil Rights with Ana Henderson next semester. She doesn't have any evals (it looks like she recently joined the Earl Warren Institute--maybe this is her first time teaching?), so I was wondering what y'all had to say about her and/or the course.

Thanks@

12/17/2007 9:19 AM  

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