Thursday, August 10, 2006

有關申請JD的碎碎唸

這是我欠葉狀師許久的文章,給台灣想申請JD的朋友們參考。不過先說,只是我的個人經驗跟想法囉。

LSAT
我在台大法律系大三那年決定畢業後出國唸JD,於是春假就開始去東區的普林斯頓補LSAT。當時只有普林斯頓一家有開課,所以算是別無選擇,學費有點貴,但我是抱著有補有保庇的心態報名的。老師是美國人,所以上課都是用英文。一起上課的同學約十五人左右,有一半是台灣人,一半是在台灣的外國人。上課的內容主要是針對各題型的考試技巧,每兩週一次模擬考,所以課程其實滿短的。最重要的就是得自己計時練習,然後檢討答錯的題目,確定自己弄清楚題目的邏輯。

申請JD,最最最最重要的就是LSAT要考高,大學GPA,課外活動,工作經驗,相對而言沒那麼重要。LSAT不好考,但是大家從小身經百戰,有決心就免驚!

選校申請
不過,現實是殘酷的,我的LSAT分數還滿低的,只有一百五十初頭,所以知道進不了First Tier 的學校,但因為太天真,所以還是申請了十四間中上排名的學校,加上一間當時還是Third TierPenn State—Dickinson School of Law. 於是,我被十四間學校拒絕,唯一收我的學校是Penn State。不過算是押對寶,Penn State在我入學第二年就進了前百,全校歡欣鼓舞。

如果可以重新選擇申請的學校,我會先決定未來想要就業的地點,然後在地理位置接近的地區選校,能夠進排名好的學校最好,但就算進不了top的學校,法律事務所就地緣之便,還是會跟鄰近學校的Career Service Office建立不錯的關係,未來找工作會比較容易

其他選校的考量,如果不打算買車,選大城市裡的學校,生活上方便很多。如果已經有明確想要從業的領域,確定學校師資跟開課符合你的需求。如果未來想回台灣,最好選台灣人聽過的學校。

選課上課
Law School
一年級都是全年級必修課程,所以沒什麼好選的,但一年級的成績很重要,一開始上課也會比較辛苦,所以要有努力唸書的決心跟心理準備。二三年級之後,就看個人興趣跟未來想進入的法律領域選課。我的建議是,每學期都選一門跟寫作有關的課,還有跟教授建立良好的互動關係。

美國Law School最著名的就是蘇格拉底式的教學,教授點名在座同學回答,然後引導課堂討論。不過,並不是每個教授都喜歡這種方式,有些教授只會問一些基本的問題,然後開始講課,或是自問自答。當然也有教授會烤問同學,如果準備不足,當場會粉難看。不過如果把該唸的assignment都唸好,其實不用太擔心,絕大部份的教授是不會故意為難學生的。

美國生活
除了學校課業之外,適應美國生活,了解美國文化,以及建立良好的人際關係,都是很重要的功課。就我自己的經驗,因為Penn State的法學院不在總區,而是在賓州首都Harrisburg鄰近一個叫Carlisle的小鎮,整個鎮上根本沒幾個亞洲人,加上我同屆只有我一個人會說中文,所以剛開始很不習慣。一年級的時候,別人去酒吧是放鬆,對我反而是難以形容的壓力。不過漸漸的,總是會交到志同道合的朋友,英文也不知不覺的進步許多。

我唸JD的最大心得,就是不要自己嚇自己,有決心就去做。有志唸JD的台灣朋友們加油吧。

9 Comments:

Anonymous 葉狀師 said...

謝謝!可以轉貼在我的部落閤嗎?

10:35 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

About LSAT preparation, I heard from a friend from China that she did not take any class or program. She just found a exam data which people memorized the question from the real exam. She got 165 first time. M........mm those people from China really know how to take exam.

11:07 PM  
Anonymous colleen said...

pssst...i can't read anything :( do we get a short english-version summary, or is it too private to share in english? if that's the case, no worries! :)

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