Rising 3L

I officially completed my 2L campaign a few weeks ago, but I am just now taking to reflect on the semester. Even though the school classifies all evening students as “part-time,” I completed 12-semester hours in the spring, which when combined with working 40+ hours a week and tending to family needs, proved to be exhausting.

I took Con. Law, Professional Responsibility, Property II, and a course on negotiations/ADR. I felt Con. Law would be challenging due to the exhaustive nature of the cases, but I was especially surprised with how challenging my PR course proved to be. I think entering the semester, I thought of myself as both “professional” and “responsible.” Plus, I had twenty years of experience in the legal industry. How hard could the class be?

In all honesty, I feel like PR may have been the most challenging course, but as often the case, also the most rewarding class I have taken in law school. First, I feel fortunate to have taken the class from a professor so passionate about the subject matter, which when you think about it is probably one of the most important classes taught in law schools. Indeed, I am shocked that more schools don’t require the course for all students. Fortunately, UNT-Dallas College of Law does and we have one of the best professors in the nation teaching it in Mike Maslanka.

In our very first class, he reminded us that “thou art a priest who devours the mysteries of the sacrament of which others are ignorant.” When you think about it, this perfectly encapsulates the importance of the class.

Now, onto the MPRE in August!

While I am still waiting for most of my grades to post, I am fairly certain I will end the semester with somewhere around a 3.45 to 3.50 GPA–not perfect by any standards, but I am proud of it considering my  vocational workload and family obligations. I do regret not having enough time to devote to extracurricular activities like law review, but for the most, I have checked all the boxes I created for myself prior to starting law school.

Now onto year 3 (of 4)!

 

Outlining and Flash Cards in Law School

For many law students, the new semester starts Tuesday, if it hasn’t already. That means if you’re like me, you are probably spending the weekend knocking out the first week reading assignments. I notice that each semester I make some minor tweaks to my studying routine.

Some I soon shed (trying to keep notes in OneNote). While others prove so effective that I make them part of my permanent routine.

Two things I changed last semester that I intend to make part of my routine going forward are how I outline and the use of flash cards. These two are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, they work hand-in-hand.

First, the purpose of law school is not to memorize the law, but rather learn how to apply it. It’s imperative to keep this in mind as you study and work throughout the semester. I don’t know any attorney who trusts their memory enough to rely on it when dealing with statutes, laws, or case law. Instead, they rely on the skills they learned in legal research to look up these elements and then use the skills they learned in other law school courses to apply them.

With that said, the purpose of a law school outline is to compress a large volume of often dense material into something you can hopefully remember and apply come exam time. My 1L year, I used outlines provided by Barbri and Themis to form the skeleton of my outlines. I then supplemented these outlines with my notes from lectures and reading. In the end, my outlines felt very clunky and I found it difficult to really use the outline effectively for anything other than a simple list of elements. Knowing the elements is only part of the battle. A good outline should also help you remember how to apply these elements.

How do you accomplish this?

First, do the work. While you might be tempted to use a third-party outline, like I did my 1L year, I recommend that you do not, and instead build your outline from scratch. Open your textbook, look at the table of contents (law school and the practice of law might be the only two places where table of contents matter), use the chapter/section headings as your starting point. Then fill it in as you read.

Here is where my suggestions may veer from traditional law school blogs and books. You don’t have to brief all your cases, but instead figure out how each case fits into the section the editor has assigned it. Include a brief case summary in your outline and why that case fits in that particular section of the book.

At this point, you do not need to worry too much about applying the elements correctly. In fact, learning to correct your mistakes is one of the best ways to learn. Just get your thoughts down on the outline. Then use your outline to apply what you have learned to problems, either by using Q&A books or consulting supplemental materials. Personally, I am a big fan of the Glannon Guides, which provide a broad overview of legal topic and then test you with multiple choice questions. There are Glannon Guides for almost every 1L and 2L course.

If you find that your outline helps you answer the questions, then you probably have a pretty good start and just need to beef it up.

If you’re relying on your outline and missing questions, you probably need to do some more serious work. Again, we learn from our mistakes.

As the semester progresses, you can use your outline to help put together your flash cards. Again, third-parties, always eager to make a buck off law students, offer a wide range of flashcards for law students, priced anywhere from $10-150. Save your money! You can make your own flashcards with index cards.

A sample of the flash cards I created for my Crim Law class last semester.

If you look above at the cards I created for my Crim Law course last semester, you will see that I create my index cards with the application of various elements in mind. Specifically, I want to be able to IRAC each of these elements. For example, I have an index card that reads “Larceny.” On the back it reads:

In order to convict for larceny, the prosecution must establish five elements. There must be the (1) intentional taking and carrying away (2) of personal property (3) in the possession or presence of another (4) without consent (5) with intent to permanently deprive another of their property.

I then made similar cards for “Intentionally Took and Carried Away;” “Personal Property;” “In possession of another person;” “Without consent;” and “Intent to permanently deprive of property,” where I IRAC each of these subelements.

This proved extremely efficient for my Crim Law class, as I was able to quickly recall and apply all of the elements for crimes and defenses. As a result, I finished a 3 hour final in about an hour.

I cannot guarantee that these strategies will work for you, but they certainly helped me have a great Fall semester and I look forward to using them in my classes this spring and I begin my preparations for the bar exam.

Nontraditional Law Student Myth #2: The Curve

Prior to beginning my 1L year, our entire class participated in a week-long orientation program. We spent a lot of that time listening to other attorneys share stories about law school and how they managed to survive. Almost all of them talked about the difficulty of having one graded assignment and, if that wasn’t tough enough, battling “the curve.” Almost every law school prep book I have read spends a considerable amount of time tackling these two topics as well.

Fortunately for me, I haven’t had to deal with either. At UNT-Dallas College of Law, there is no curve. Instead, each student gets the grade her or she earns. If forty students earn an A, then all forty students get the A. In addition to promoting fairness, eliminating the curve also removes some of the drama that arises in other law schools.

It’s no secret that law schools are filled with a lot of Type-A personalities that are used to being the best in whatever they try. It should not come as a shock to anyone that when you mix these volatile personalities together and you ask them to compete with each other for a finite amount of “good grades,” that these same students will not also play nicely with one another.I have read stories of students at other law school sabotaging their fellow students in order to battle the curve. Unfortunately, it’s a hard habit to break and many attorneys continue to operate this way when they begin their practice.

We have none of that at UNT-Dallas.

More importantly, at UNT-Dallas, all classes have multiple graded assignments, so you if you happen to have a hiccup on your final, you are not doomed. Every class has a midterm and graded quizzes. In Torts, I made a C on my final, but still made ended with a B+ in the class because of my grades on the midterm and quizzes.

My Property class had a quiz every class. While not all classes have that many quizzes, every class I have taken so far has had at least 5 quizzes, which in the end account for about 10% of the final grade.

It’s just another way we are doing things differently at UNT-Dallas.

Non-Fiction Worth Reading

Even during breaks in school, I consider myself a voracious reader. The biggest difference is that on holiday, I read only fiction. God knows I get enough non-fiction reading in school and at work. Plus, most of the top-selling non-fiction falls into two categories I care little about: self-help or memoirs. I consider self-help books not written by my brother-in-law to be utter bullshit and we need more memoirists like I need another hole in my head. On the other hand, good fiction is the ultimate release, allowing me to escape from the realities of school and work.

A recent work of non-fiction has caught my attention, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Even if the “gorilla channel” story is “fake news,” there appears to be enough explosive truth bombs to draw a threat of litigation from Trump and conspiratorial speculations from members of the media.

This has to be non-fiction worth reading, right?

It also reminds me of some non-fiction I once wrote.

The day before I graduated from Lon Morris College (“LMC”), a friend and I took one final walk across the deserted campus. We completed finals on a Tuesday, graduation was held on a Saturday, so most students, even those taking part in commencement exercises, had gone  home in advance of the ceremony. Only a handful of students remained on campus.

The fact that we chose to stay on campus the entire week, should tell you a little about the impact the school had on our lives.

Dr. Frank Thornton, the vice-president of the school, spotted us and motioned us over to talk to him. We spent the next 30 minutes in his office discussing our future plans. Before leaving, he reached out to shake both of our hands and told me that considering all that I had experienced in the past two years, he was looking forward to one day reading my memoir.

Well, remember what I said about memoirists at the beginning of the post?

Even so, over the years, I have used this blog to write extensively about Lon Morris College. I was only there for two years, but a lot happened in those two years and it had a profound impact on my life. While I have talked briefly about the most seminal set of events during this two year period, I have never provided the complete oral history, so I thought I would take this opportunity to do just that.

On a cold, dark February evening in 1999, after a day of fellowship and libations at a friend’s house, a group of about six of us headed off to the Vivian and Bob Smith gymnasium to catch a little college basketball. We took our seats directly behind the bench of the visiting team and proceeded to root on our beloved Bearcats. Shortly before halftime, someone in our group remarked that the visiting coach resembled the NBA legend, Pat Riley, complete with the slick hair and slick suit, so in the second half we let him have it.

Even players on the bench were turning around laughing at our good-natured heckling. Unfortunately, not all were pleased. From across the gymnasium, we saw the President of our school motion to Lark, the elderly campus security guard, to have us removed from the game. Before we left, we turned to the stands, bowed, and walked out as we plotted revenge.

The next night, NBC launched their forgettable mini-series, The 60’s, which we found to be stop-down entertainment, which was indeed odd. With so many creative minds gathered in one spot, we rarely need to turn to artificial forms of entertainment for stimulation. Our group sitting around a living room with a guitar, a keyboard, and a laptop produced works far more clever and relevant than anything the networks ran out at the time, so I’m not even sure why we had the TV on, but the timing proved serendipitous.

As dramatized depictions of protests broke out on screen, I began to scheme. Never the one to eschew confrontation, I was no stranger to challenging those of apparent absolute authority. Once, in fifth grade, I stood in front of the bulldozer threatening to tear down part of the playground at my school. Sure, the head mistress threatened to expel me from the school, but I ended up saving the playground.

With the previous night’s events still fresh in our memory, and the hushed whispers of impropriety forever swirling about the school President, I floated the idea of anonymously publishing an underground newspaper to expose the misdeeds of the President, one that could potentially reach those in a position to institute change. Those gathered in my friend’s living room that night received the idea enthusiastically; my friend P.O. shared the story of the rag he published when he was a student at LMC and we had all the encouragement we needed, and a name–SMELLBREAD.

P.O. pulled out his girlfriend’s laptop and we started working.  We all had stories. Most of us worked in various administrative departments within the school as part of the work-study program. Some of the stories, like the President’s role in changing one of his son’s grades, were well-documented. Others, like those concerning the school’s finances, were shared in confidence. Smellbread aimed to shine a light on them all.

Within a couple of hours, we churned out roughly 1,000 words and the skeleton of what would become our little “piece of a dead tree.” The next day, we published, courtesy of the State of Texas, and made plans to distribute it on campus and within the surrounding community.

We felt we had created a masterpiece, complete with prose that would make the angels weep and the Buddha cry. Like poetry, I read aloud to those assembled in the living room, before turning the floor over to P.O.

To understand what transpired next requires some working knowledge of the campus layout and operating procedures.

The school consisted of eleven main buildings: four dorms, a humanities building, a science building, the chapel, the administration building, the cafeteria, the theatre, and the art building. The chapel sat at the north end of campus; the baseball field formed the southern boundary of campus. In between the chapel and baseball field, two dorms bookended each end of campus, each end featuring both a boys and girls dorm. The rest of the buildings were scatted in between.

Like a Baptist Sunday School class, the genders were not allowed to mix in the dorms, so I recruited one of the female members of our group to distribute the paper in the girl’s dorms. I put the rest of the copies in a purple folder and headed back to my dorm.

I waited until about 2:30 a.m. to ensure that the hallways were quiet.

Starting down my hallway, I proceeded to circle the dorm, sliding two copies under every door. Once I finished Fair Hall, I ventured out into the campus, visiting every building and making sure every office, classroom, and dorm room received at least one copy, and leaving a stack in all common areas.

Luckily, security left all of the buildings unlocked, so there wasn’t a single nook on campus I could not reach. I even managed to slip a copy under the President’s door, though the original plan called for a Luther-line nailing of the paper to his door.

When I got back to my room, I phoned my female counterpart to confirm her portion had been delivered. As I hung up the phone, my roommate rolled over in his bed.

“Dude, what the hell are you doing? It’s nearly 4 a.m.”

“Inciting the masses, my man. Inciting the masses.”

The next morning, we met in the dining hall for breakfast. We had hoped to find a packed cafeteria, full of students reading our paper, but it was empty. Briefly, we played out different potential scenarios, as toyed with our food, too nervous to eat.

Erin, KD, and I had 9 a.m. classes in the humanities building, so we walked out together. As we approached the building, Erin squeezed both of our hands and flashed a smile. I took a deep breath as I opened the door and walked into the lobby.

It was if we walked into a room frozen in space. No one moved. No one talked. No one made any noises of any kind. Instead, everyone stood reading Smellbread.

We split up and went to our respective classes–British Lit. for me. Our professor began the class by reading the paper to the class and devoted a good portion of the lecture to discussing the campus’s latest publication. While I certainly hoped to one day have English professors discuss my work in class, I can honestly say that the first time my writing was subject to lecture, it had quite the sobering effect on me.

Hearing someone else read your work aloud tends to be a lot like the moment a bar turns its lights on at closing time. For the first time, you get a good look at the person you’ve been drinking with all night. I squirmed in my chair as the Professor read each sentence, not because I regretted writing the things we did, but rather the way we wrote them.

The liberal use of both adverbs and passive voice violated the rules of writing I subscribed to and a couple of cheap ad hominem attacks threatened to void our more salient arguments. So much for creating a poetic masterpiece, but as I looked around the room and saw the faces of my classmates and heard the ring of approval in my Professor’s voice, I knew we had created a shared event that students and faculty would not soon forget. One we could use as an instrument for change.

After class, we met in our traditional spot in the quad. Erin and K.D. reported similar classroom reactions as mine. Like me, they had begun to notice some of the paper’s more glaring blemishes. I told them that in twenty years no one would remember the number of times we used “is” and “was,” but that they would remember the event–the fact that an anonymous group of students had the balls to question the authority of the President, the Board of Trustees, and the Methodist episcopacy.

Our group consisted of actors and writes, folks who though they may not admit it, seek out the spotlight at every opportunity. We agreed that in spite of the temptation to take credit for the publication, we must remind our group that it was imperative we remain anonymous for the foreseeable future. The classroom discussions produced a couple of points of potential liability that we would have to run from for a while.

We decided to grab some lunch and head to Erin’s to check the Smellbread Hotmail account we had created. As we walked towards the car, we walked passed a smiling Professor Hoeheisel. To this day, we continue to wonder what that smile meant. We he simply being pleasant? Did he know we were responsible? Did he approve?

The next few weeks the legend of Smellbread grew. Students continued to talk about it, while professors were increasingly cautious. Based on additional information we had gathered from the email account and members of the local community, we continued to plan a second edition. It seemed that everywhere we turned, people had stories to tell about the incompetency of the school’s President and the Board of Trustees.

Even so, not all in our group were on board with continuing the publication. At least one member of our group had been approached by a professor who warned him that if knew any of the responsible parties to distance himself from them immediately and to “deny, deny, deny,” if questioned. He continued to congregate with us, but made it clear he wanted no part of any future publications. In early March, we left for Spring Break with the intention of returning refreshed and renewed the next week for Round 2.

I returned to campus on a Saturday evening and sensed something was wrong when I saw Christine, the Director of Student Activities, running towards my car.

“You’ve got to come clean, Josh. They know.”

“What the fuck are you talking about? Who is ‘they’ and what is that they know?”

She explained that the Office of the President had evidence linking me to the publication of Smellbread. The President planned to pursue disciplinary action and litigation against all those involved, except me, assuming I cooperated with their investigation.

“Look, you tell the President that while I certainly empathize with the spirit of the publication, I would never allow such a poorly written work to see the light of day.”

Of course she knew. There was only a handful of people on the LMC campus brazen enough to pull off this type of student and they were all part of the same group of friends. I suspected they would come after each one of us trying to get us to turn on one another. Until they showed us some hard evidence linking us to the publication, we would simply deny all charges.

When I walked into my room, I could tell someone had been there during the break. Papers were scattered about and the panel covering the phone jack was hanging off the wall. I immediately packed a bag and headed off-campus to Erin’s house. Over the next few weeks, I would spend very little time in my dorm  as I was certain it was under surveillance of some sort.

The next day, I received a call from the school chaplain asking my to come by for a visit. I considered him a friend and mentor, so I consented. He informed me that he had learned that one of the members of the President’s staff had intercepted an email I had sent from my personal account to a friend at another university. Since this illegally-obtained document was the only evidence they had linking me to the publication, he advised me to not talk under any circumstance.

Other members of the LMC faculty and administration encouraged us to stand strong, while stopping short of endorsing our work. Everyone on campus knew who was responsible, but we were the only ones who could prove it. We held all the power, but that did not stop the President from trying to exert his own power.

Shortly before our Easter break, I began receiving personal emails from the President. In them, he pleaded with me to simply provide him the name of our sources. He assured me he had no interest in harassing any students involved. I ignored them all, except one to wish him a Happy Easter on Good Friday.

 

 

Nontraditional Law Student Myth # 1: “Part-Time” Student

The ABA recently released their digital awards for 2017, including awards to the best legal podcasts. One of the winners, Law School Toolbox, is a podcast and website geared specifically towards law students, so I have been going through listening to old episodes and scouring the companion website, trying to see if I could find any episodes relevant to my own experiences. The first podcast I downloaded concerned “nontraditional law students” and I was curious to see how they treated the subject.

A little background. The podcast founders and hosts, Lee Burgess and Alison Monahan, appear to have been “traditional” students in law school. They both attended day-time programs at top-tier law schools. Based on their bios, they both attended law school in their 20’s before firmly establishing a career or family. They clerked for federal judges and worked at large law firms, so I will admit I was a little curious what these two traditional attorneys knew about the “nontraditional” law student.

Turns out they have a very broad understanding that “nontraditional” law students exist. That is they recognize some law students attend class in the evening, work during the day, some may have families, and some may even put off law school until their late 20’s <gasp> (I’m sure it would really blow their mind there are folks like me, approaching 40 or even older, attending law school). For the most part, they fail to really provide any insight into the true value of a  “nontraditional” law student or give any feedback on how a “nontraditional” student can thrive in a law school environment. More importantly, they do little to eradicate any of the misconceptions about the nontraditional law student.

I point this out not to criticize Law School Toolbox–Alison and Lee have a great website and podcast worthy of all the accolades and awards–but rather as a reminder to myself that I need to do a better job with this blog of doing those very things, so let’s begin with busting myth #1 about “nontraditional” law students–the “part-time” student myth.

I will accept the label “nontraditional” student, but I will not accept the label “part-time” student. Yet, almost all law schools with an evening program refer to their evening students as “part-time” students. I get it. This for financial aide purposes, but it creates the myth that we are doing half the work or less of the traditional law student.

My 1L year, I completed 23 hours of credit. That’s nearly 12 hours a semester, while working 40+ hours a week and raising a family. There is nothing part-time about this schedule. We read the same amount of cases, write the same amount of papers, and take the same exams as day-time counterparts. Our classes just happen to be at night and spread across 4-years as opposed to 3-years. The ABA requires law schools to treat daytime and nighttime students the same, so please refer to us as such and not “part-time.”

 

 

 

 

Why We Outline

The word “outline” means something completely different when you are in law school. Before starting law school, “outlines” were the things I avoided in my writing classes because I thought I didn’t need them. In law school, outlines are what allow me to take information in the photo above and compress into the document below.

Think of outlines as a compression agent for all the information in your class. The outline condenses all the material from class into a single, easy to manage document. In most of my classes, mere construction of the outline was enough. Simply organizing the class information into “silos,” helped me to learn the information. Then, a quick read right before an exam and you’re good to go.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

On Wednesday night, a student expressed some concerns about the subjective nature of one our courses and how it could hurt his GPA. UNTDCOL does not rank students, but I know this particular student to be one of the top students in our class. The adjunct professor leading this particular session, but not the professor for the actual class, reminded us to keep grades in perspective. He used himself as an example and admitted to making three—that’s 3—C’s in law school. He still managed to land a good gig at a big time law firm.

It’s what the adjunct said next that really stuck with me.

He mentioned that in talking to people in the Dallas legal community, attorneys fell into two categories when it comes to UNTDCOL—either they would never hire anyone from our school (including the hiring manager at the adjunct’s firm) or they were completely supportive of our mission and want to ensure it succeeds, presumably by hiring qualified candidates from our institution.

This caused some alarm among my classmates. Many thought securing ABA accreditation would be enough to convince the local legal community of our legitimacy, but the fact this adjunct’s firm would not hire a UNTDCOL graduate seemed to rekindle that anxiety.

There is a lot to unpack here and I do not claim to be an expert on law school recruiting, but I have worked in this industry for the past eighteen years, so I think I can provide some insight and pull back the curtain just a little bit.

First, I accept that “big law” firms will not hire UNTDCOL students. I worked for a “big law” firm that was hesitant to hire attorneys from any Texas law school not located in Austin. “Big law” wants to know who you know. Put another way, what connections did you develop in law school that either (1) produced an alumni-based advocate for you from their partnership or (2) produced potential business leads.

The inaugural graduating class of UNTDCOL has yet to receive their bar scores, so the total number of law firms with partners from our school stands at 0. Likewise, since we just graduated our first class in June, there are not UNTDCOL-trained attorneys serving as GCs for any corporations.

Second, I get that some firms want to adopt a “wait-and-see” approach to our school. The bar results released in November will say a lot, but the results for the next three or four bar exams will say even more. If UNTDCOL can, as I suggested in an earlier post, graduate classes with a 70-75% bar passage rate, firms will begin to take note and recognize the legitimacy of our mission.

This, of course, does not excuse the outright dismissal of our school by some in the legal industry. No doubt the legal industry has a few pretentious practitioners who value the degree-granting institution over the person on the diploma. Take for example the crowd in our field who felt Harriet Miers was unqualified for the Supreme Court because of her SMU education.

Indeed, there are Dallas attorneys who dismiss us.  Like the attorney who asked me, “when are you going to take a real law school exam,” after I explained to him I was studying for midterms. Apparently, this attorney felt that a “real law school exam” could only be a one question essay administered at the end of a semester.

I decided to tune out the negativity and focus on what I can control and what matters.

We attend an ABA-accredited law school and, upon graduating, we are entitled to the same rights and privileges as graduates of every other ABA-accredited law school.

Just like a Harvard grad, we earn the privilege of practicing law by sitting for and passing the bar exam.

Just like a Stanford grad, we earn our client’s business by providing the best legal advocacy possible.

Just like a Texas grad, we do so ethically and responsibly.

Over time, our work will speak for itself.

Even then, there will be those who refuse to listen, but it’s nothing a few courtroom victories can’t help but fix.

Midterms

It’s hard to believe, but Midterm examinations are upon us. I know most law schools don’t administer Midterms, but UNTDCOL is among the minority that do. Most of our instructors weight the Midterm examinations in such a way that they usually account for roughly a third of our final grade, so it’s obviously important to be prepared.

I remember taking my first Midterm as a 1L last October. Contracts! It was unlike any exam I had ever taken. Even though I felt prepared going in, I found myself frustrated, especially with the multiple-choice questions, as most of them contained two or more “right’ answers. The trick, our professors told us, was determining the “most right” answer. I have encountered the need for this same type of precision in all of my law school classes so far and it’s the same type of precision a successful legal practice demands of an attorney.

Consider the following “real world” example I stumbled across recently.

Plaintiff A, domiciled in Texas, sues Defendant B in Texas state court. Defendant removes the case to Federal court for diversity. In their Notice of Removal, Defendant establishes its citizenship  through the following paragraph:

Accordingly, because Defendant B is a limited liability company whose citizenship is determined by the citizenship of its members, and because its sole member BBBA, a limited liability company owned by BBBB, a New Hampshire corporation with its principal place of business in Ames, Iowa, Defendant B is a citizen of New Hampshire and Iowa for diversity purposes and complete diversity exists between Defendant and Plaintiff.

A week later, the Judge enters an order finding that Defendant had established the citizenship of its shareholders, but not its members. Consequently, the Court found Defendant’s notice insufficient to establish the Court’s subject-matter jurisdiction, but allowed Defendant to refile. Defendant B changed this paragraph just slightly:

Accordingly, because Defendant B is a limited liability company whose citizenship is determined by the citizenship of its members, and because its sole member is BBBA, a limited liability company whose sole member is BBBC–and which is owned by BBBC–a New Hampshire corporation with its principal place of business in Ames, Iowa. Defendant B is a citizen of New Hampshire and Iowa for diversity purposes and complete diversity exists between Defendant and Plaintiff.

Both paragraphs reach the same conclusion–the “right” answer, so to speak–that diversity exists between the Defendant and Plaintiff, but only the second paragraph satisfies the statutory requirements of U.S.C. § 1332. Paragraph 2, as law professors like to say, is “more right.”

Remember this as your prepare for your Midterm exams, especially Civ. Pro.

The UNTD-COL Difference

This week, Hon. Royal Furgeson announced that he will retire from his position as Dean of the UNT-Dallas College of Law at the end of June 2018. The only dean our school has known in its short history, Dean Furgeson worked tirelessly to ensure its launch went as smoothly as possible, including navigating the rough-waters of the ABA accreditation process.

In June, the ABA granted UNTDCOL’s provisional accreditation, but Dean Furgeson continued his work. I have no doubt his work will continue well past his retirement and I would just like to say, “thank you.”

You see, Dean Furgerson reads this blog.

At least occasionally.

Ok, at least once.

How do I know?

He emailed me to thank me for a post I wrote right before I started my 1L year. Just weeks before class started, an advisory committee recommended that the ABA not grant our school accreditation. Dean Furgeson held a “town hall” meeting for all students where he explained the committee’s decision and laid out the school’s plan. Dean Furgeson’s courage and conviction convinced me that sticking with this school that believed in me was the right choice.

Dean Furgeson then thanked me for my words, because that is the type of Dean and person he is. He legitimately cares about his students and staff members and takes the time to get to know each and everyone of us. I feel confident in saying that not all law school deans function this way.

We will miss your leadership Dean Furgeson and while no one can replace you, we know that you will help to ensure that the next Dean of UNTDCOL will continue to carry on your work.