October 2, 2009 - I am officially in law school! The first acceptance came today, while I was in California to visit Stanford. Duke did wonder to my mind with its 2 weeks turnaround decision. The JD/LLM looks quite good, including a 1L summer head start and a 2L seminar in HongKong or Geneva. The degree focuses on comparative and international law, with a language component. I'm still waiting on other schools (1 more application to go!) but it certainly feels great to have a fallback option. And even better to have a fallback option that is a top 10 law school in the US.

I met Dean Hoye, Duke's Dean of Admission at the LSAC Forum in New York. The man is super nice, and said he remembered my name from the application pile. He was also quick to assure that after the 1L summer seminar, Duke will help place the JD/LLM students in organizations in Hong Kong and Switzerland. Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? I've started to like Duke more and more after each encounter.

The big question for the next 11 months of 0L is: to read or not to read? The 'gunner's route', as recommended on TLS, has comprised of a series of books - which I immediately obsessed over:

1. Law School Confidential - done reading. a good overview of the time line for law school. The lag time is amazing. According to the book, to secure a judicial clerkship after graduation, I will need all materials ready at the end of 2L year. And to be competitive for the crucial 1L internship, I should be arriving on campus armed with a polished resume and 6 volumes of study aids. Good to know.

2. Getting to Maybe - bought, but haven't touched yet. A must-read by everyone.

3. Delaney's Legal Reasoning - bought, but haven't touched yet. Recommended as a good peek into 'thinking like a lawyer'.

4. Planet Law School - hmm maybe?

5. Commercial outlines - 6 volumes for all the common legal topics. I need to research more the edition and the price before getting them used off Craiglist's. Each book is huge (300 pages) and dense, but it would be a good idea to skim over the big picture of the law, given my limited knowledge of the system here.

6. 'For-me' books: several that I want to read just because the topics are interesting
- Letters to a Young Lawyer by Alan Dershowitz (crim law prof at HLS, and defense attorney in the OJ Simpson trial)
- Law and Society in Vietnam by Mark Sidel (leading legal scholar on Vietnamese law, according to the coolest law prof I've met - Bill Alford at HLS)
- Raising the Bar: Legal Profession in East Asia by Bill Alford (Chinese legal prof at HLS)

It will be a full summer!
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