Diary of a 1L
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Tuesday, September 21, 2004
8:44 AM

Appellate Advocacy: My Final Answer

I'm going to do it my way, not the way we're being taught. And I won't spend one second more on this class than it's worth to me and my goals. If I get a D, so be it. If I fail, so be it. But I won't be bullied into changing my personal priorities at the expense of my health and well-being.


Two for two! Something lit a fire under your ass and it is good to see.

I am of the exact same mindset. The worst part of app ad for me is that I have to take a position I do not morally support (deporting a permanent resident alien to the bastion of prosperity that is Haiti for driving drunk and causing an accident). Oral arguments should be a treat since my true disgust for the position I have been assigned will be on display for all to see.

My adjunct said lawyers are 'hired guns'; but I refuse to be one. I will not use my abilities for anything I do not find congruent with my values. I suppose this might mean that I won't be much of a lawyer, but lately that has meant less and less to me. I look to Abraham Lincoln as the model lawyer. This is what one of his associates said about him: "No man was stronger than he when on the right side, and no man weaker than he when on the opposite." It was written that he would never argue a case before a jury when he beleived he was wrong. Perhaps I am just some softy idealist without a clue, but this is how I wish to be.
Can we say "WORST CLASS EVER." There is NO need for App Ad. Everyone hates it and everyone thinks it's worthless - or at least most everyone anyway and why 2 credit hours if it must be mandatory??????? AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH
Listen to a 3L: ApAd is great but only so you get on moot court. It is essential to get on moot court if you want to learn the real skills behind appellate advocacy. For now, realize one thing: You are not as good a writer as you think you are. No matter how bad the issue or how poor the adjunct, they are better writers then you are, listen to them. When you get on moot court and Sutton gives you the real ApAd class, you will look back at Beazley and say, "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger."

And for the individual who disagrees that lawyers aren't hired guns, you better get a real good job with some public interest firm that suits your moral belief completely. Guess what, lawyers are hired guns. Lawyers protect the client's interest, not their own. Learn this now or get disciplined for it later. In short, grow up (aren't you in law school)????
Read closer.

I never said lawyers are not hired guns; I just said I refused to be one.

You would think someone such as yourself with all of your experience and know-how would be better at digesting text and meaning, especially text written by someone that has yet to 'grow up.'
Just like someone with high moral character to miss the point. All lawyers are hired guns. You have clients that give you work, even in your mythical world where you agree with all your client's complaints. Grow up, learn to read the message AND the words. Oh, and you are still not as good a writer as you think you are.

Actually, I understand your statement, even if you don't understand mine. It is just that you have the stench of never having worked in the real world. Even the greatest for cause organization out there deals with issues that some may find morally repugnant. I think you should re-examine your coneption of the practice of law. Maybe talk to someone who has practiced it. And don't try to denigrate unless you understand what you are denigrating, chump. (Mike, sorry for the chump line)
Nothing states that I have to be a lawyer once I finish law school. Plus, what of lawyers that take up a cause instead of those who passively stand by waiting for their employer to give them one? Would you consider someone such as that a 'hired gun?' I certainly wouldn't. To do so would debase their efforts. I personally want to champion causes, not take up whatever someone might put on my desk.

I don't know where you are coming from with your personal attacks and verbal barbs. When did I ever hint at thinking myself a good writer? I don't believe I have done anything of the sort. Further, I do not appreciate being told to 'grow up' nor being referred to as a 'chump.' If you intend to make a point, best not to talk down to your audience. Your message is diluted by your immature rhetoric.

Finally, I apologize if come off as smelling like an uncorrupted rose. I have worked in the real world. Aside from the work I have done prior to law school, I currently work for a legal service office in Columbus and have other legal experience. I know many lawyers; in fact, I am the offspring of one. My father is lead counsel for Ashland Chemical and I deplore his job even though it pays him very well and he travels all over the world. I could never do what he does, though many attending our school would jump at the chance.

Perhaps you should try not to denigrate unless you know whom you are denigrating. Just a thought.
Before you criticize and say that other people aren't as good of a writer as they think they are maybe you shouldn't spell conception "coneption"!!!!!

App Ad may be helpful for those wanting to be on moot court but it is a complete waste of time for people who do NOT want to be on moot court. Furthermore, it is possible to learn to write well without App Ad. Maybe a legal writing II class would be more appropriate.

Also it seems as if a trial practice and procedure class would be a more appropriate class to learn writing and oral techniques as many more students will go on to be trial lawyers than will become appellate attorneys
I really disagree with the chump comment, I think that this person is a chumpette. This idealist must be a girl (probably daddy's little girl) with an SUV and parent's that front all her law school bills (including those jaunts to Easton). I kid because I love (to kid).

Get use to denigration, it happens to us all. But I think that the chump person (not the chumpette) is really just saying, work hard at your writing skills. You can always do better. Yes, ApAd is a shitty way of teaching this skill, but it is pretty much the last chance you get. Moot court is great for some, not for others. Still, why would someone go to law school unless they wanted to be a lawyer? I too fell for this non-lawyer with a law degree myth and am pretty upset to know that real meaning to the whole "you don't have to practice law with a law degree" is that, "well, you don't have to practice law with your degree but you are going to have to find sometihng else to do alone because the Office of Professional Development sure doesn't know what to do with a law graduate who doesn't want to practice law."
lawyer offspring, yummmy! Fight the power!
Hey Mike, this is a tough topic. I think ApAd sucks. Good luck on the guitar! BTW, no one gets a D (well, no one who shows a modicum of effort). Who is your adjunct?

What lofty goals do you have, I mean, you can always come back to aikido........We practice three times a week: M 5-6:30, W 7:30-9:30 and Sun noon to 2. All in larkins hall rm 133, except on Sundays when we are in 136. For any blog readers out there interested in learning a fun martial art that will surreptitiously teach you a deadly skill, contact me at callander.3@osu.edu.
Wow, that's a very interesting debate. As a practicing attorney, I can say a few things about all this hubub:

1. Reducing the role of an attorney to "hired gun" completely diminishes the role lawyers play for clients, and also plays right into the public's general disdain for our profession. I truly hope the person arguing the hired gun side feels a greater sense of satisfaction from his/her work than implied by that statement.

2. There is nothing wrong with taking any kind of moral stance so long as the person doing so accepts whatever consequences come with that stance. One's moral view is their own and it is no one else's place to criticize. Same with making broad, sweeping generalizations about people who you only know through their writings/postings on a web site.

3. Where I attended law school, App Ad was not required and only taken by people on or wishing to be on Moot Court. I did not take it. I was, however, on Law Review (which I state only for fact, it is far from my greatest accomplishment in life)so I can appreciate the notion of a class being far more work than the school credits received.
I'm certainly looking forward to reading your paper, Mike.

Ok, so here's the thing, I don't feel sorry for any of you who are complaining about Appellate Advocacy. Everyone at OSU has to take it. Everyone will survive it. Yes it is a pain in the ass, but it is and was the same pain in theass for every other OSU law student or alum. You get assigned a side - you argue for that side. It's simple. It's a class. And a 2 credit hour class at that. There are things in life that no one enjoys - there are bad classes, and I am sure that you will not enjoy every aspect of your future career be it in law or something else. Deal with it, but don't complain all the time - it just annoys people, it doesn't make me feel sorry for you. By the way, I agree 100% that your writing will improve after this class. Not by virtue of the instruction or of the class, but because it is another opportunity to hone the skills needed for legal research and writing. It is also a chance to get more feedback from people you wouldn't get feedback from otherwise - accept it or reject it, but don't complain about it. Where ever you end up working this summer you will learn that there is a lot that you don't know, and then you will look back at Appellate Advocacy as a minor minor part of law school. Life's too short.
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