Friday, March 30, 2012

Law School Alternatives to Final Four Madness

Louisville has succumbed to basketball madness this weekend due to the Final Four matchup between U of L and UK in New Orleans. Plenty of law students have made the trip south for the game, and those who are staying here are taking a siesta from final exam preparation. This got me thinking: what are the best ways to pass the time for a Louisville law student outside of spectator sports? Lately, the options seem bountiful. I won't list them all, but if you're thinking about going to law school here in the River City, you can rest assured there will be plenty of diversions. I'm focusing on recreation in this list, since I've written about local nightlife in this post and this one and this one in the past.

1. Join a team. For a small law school, we have a bunch of intramural teams and other athletic clubs. I recently took a spot on the law school's IM soccer squad, cleverly named Brandeisliga. We've also had basketball and football squads (my all-time favorite name: "The Bottom 90 Percent"), and our school's softball team left today for a national law school softball tournament at the University of Virginia.

2. Toss a disc, play some pong. The school hosted a fun Frisbee competition this week on the lawn in front of the law building. Teams of students and professors (including the dean) participated, with the winners getting gift cards. Another perennial favorite if your free time is limited (always the case for law students) is the ping pong table in the law school's basement (see my amazing photo, above, of actual U of L law students playing actual pong).

3. Watch the ponies. The spring meet at Churchill Downs is less than a month away, and the track itself is just a few blocks from the law school.

4. Walk, run, or bike. I've been trying to ride a bike to class lately (I live about five miles from campus) and it's been surprisingly easy. Louisville is not always the friendliest place to be a cyclist, but there are a decent number of bike lanes. This also is the running season for the city, with the Papa John's 10-Miler coming up tomorrow and the city's miniMarathon taking place in late April. Louisville also plays host to the Ironman in August (well beyond my capacity as an athlete, but fun to watch).

5. Parking it. Spring is the best season of the year in our neck of the woods. Redbuds and cherry trees are blooming, and unless you have allergies the city's many parks are a great place to spend time. My favorites: Cherokee Park in the Highlands, Jefferson Memorial Forest in the south end, and Waterfront Park downtown.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Louisville jumps in latest law school rankings

If you are interested in a deeply flawed and mostly meaningless measuring stick for law schools, check out the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings, which have Louisville pegged at 89 this year, a significant improvement over the prior year. We actually bumped up 11 spots compared to 2012, which I suppose is a good thing, because like it or not many people put a lot of weight on this kind of stuff.
You can read about which schools did well and which ones fell at this link or this one. I've also written about the rankings in the past, so I'm not going to dive into the issue again. Suffice it to say that if you are going to make a major life decision based on a magazine survey you may want to think a little deeper. Especially when the magazine doesn't know how to break a seven-way tie. Then again, the rankings are a reality that is here to stay. Either way, congrats to U of L for scoring a higher number this year. Go Cards!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Top 10 things to do on spring break if you're a (current or future) Louisville law student

The vagaries of my final semester in law school, and my part-time job as a law clerk, have forced me to be MIA from the blog recently. To make up for the absence, I offer you a list of things to do over spring break if you are a law student (or an applicant) at the Brandeis School of Law.

1. Start spring break early at tonight's Med Mal mixer, a joint event for students of U of L's law, dental, and medical schools. You'll get a chance to meet the people you will be suing (or defending) in a few years. There's free food and drink specials. The fun starts at 7:30 and runs until 11 p.m. at Howl at the Moon, at Fourth Street Live!

St. Patrick's Day parade in the Highlands
2. Attend the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in the Highlands neighborhood on Saturday. The parade takes place in the heart of the area's Irish bar district.

3. Hoist a pint at one of the same Irish bars the following weekend, when another series of St. Patrick's events unfolds in the same area. Not to lose out on a chance to earn some green, some of these bars at holding events all week long. My favorite: O'Shea's on Baxter Avenue.

4. Indulge in Kentucky's hoops obsession by catching a few basketball games. Louisville is the nation's hottest television market for college basketball. Louisville plays tonight, and Kentucky plays Friday. March Madness follows for both teams.

5. Volunteer! The deadline for graduating law students to complete their 30-hour public service requirement is March 26. It's a great way to help people, meet people, and learn a little law.

6. Pay off the balance on your Barbri account by March 15 and take a spin on the company's new AMP bar prep software, which apparently leads to higher scores on simulated MBE tests.

7. Take another look at my list of the Top 10 Things to do on Winter Break in Louisville, including museums, bourbon distilleries and more.

8. Take a lawyer out to lunch. If you are still looking for a summer job, or even if you already have one, it's hard to underestimate the importance of making connections with members of the local bar. I try to have lunch with an attorney at least once a week.

9. Apply for a job. Lately, it seems like the clouds are parting a bit when it comes to local law firms looking for associates. The latest edition of Bar Briefs has a few options, and there have been announcements about personal injury and other law firms looking for new hires. Joining groups such as the Louisville Bar Association or the KJA also can be useful.

10. Stretch your legs. Studying law all day can wreak havoc on your fitness. Sign up for one of the races in this spring's Triple Crown of Running, or take a spin through Cherokee Park. I'm setting my signs a bit higher for the last spring break as a law student: spring skiing in Bozeman, Montana. Got a spring break idea of your own? Post it in the comments field below.