Law School Discussion

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1
Law School Applications / Re: Prestige of UG
« on: September 22, 2013, 02:17:44 PM »
I think depends on the specific law school as Maintain States Harvard or a more elite school has so many applications from top candidates that they will do an in-depth look at courses, school, GPA etc.

However, a schools like Marquette, University of San Francisco, New York Law School, Univeristy of Oregon on and on will simply look at GPA/LSAT and care very little about your undergraduate school.

Thane's points are true and he has some great books, but I think part of the problem with many of the law school books etc is that they are written by individuals like Thane who attended T14 schools and their advice and experiences describe what happens at T14 schools, but they are in the small minority of what law school is about.

Bottom line if your trying to get into Harvard, Yale, etc and went to an online school it will count against you.

If you want to attend a regional ABA law school it won't matter.

2
Law School Applications / Re: Printing LSAC'S LOR Form(urgent)
« on: September 17, 2013, 10:36:25 AM »
If you are still having issues contact LSAC directly they are quite responsive and it sounds like you have the recommendations etc, which is the harder part. The form will print out just a minor technical difficulty good luck with your applications.


3
I believe those are solid LOR's and I am not aware of many schools that allow more than 3 letters a few may allow 4, but some may only require 2. Read what each individual school wants and do not inundate them with more information than they are asking for. Remember these admissions counselors are reviewing 1000's of applications and one thing they will notice is someone who did not follow their instructions and submitted more LOR's than they asked for.

The other thing to understand is personal statements, letters of recommendation, etc mean very little. IF your on the cusp of admission they will be used as a tiebreak, but check out lawschoolnumbers.com and you will see how much numbers matter. You could have letters of recommendation from the President if you have a 3.0 and 152 LSAT your not getting into a top 10 school.

It honestly sounds like you have solid LOR's and what you should focus on is doing the best you can on the LSAT the other stuff doesn't matter at this point. Once your GPA and LSAT are set you will realistically know what your options are.

4
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Northeastern vs. American WCL
« on: July 23, 2013, 09:46:26 PM »
2. Cost
42,000 per year Northeastern American is 45,000 per year not a big difference, but I would try and negotiate a little scholarship money from each school. Both Boston and D.C. are expensive areas so again not a major factor, but if you have family and friends in Boston they may be abel to help you if you stick around the area. Just somethign to consider, but this looks like a draw.

3. Personal Feelings about the School
Each law school has a culture to it some you will like others you will not. As a 0L I visited multiple schools and while in law school I participated in multiple mock trial competitions and there really is a culture to each school. One thing I noticed is that American seems to have 3x as many law students as NorthEastern so will you like a larger more anonymous school or a smaller environment? Again neither is right or wrong it is just what suits you best. I personally liked the smaller schools, but that is me.

What I would recommend is visiting both schools, talking to professors, students, looking at the campus, and listening to your gut about which one feels right. I know I visited some schools and said no way and others I loved. It is personally possibly you will like the schools I hated and hate the schools I liked nothing wrong with it, but it is 3 years of your life, 100k of your money, and your legal career so take the time to visit the campuses and see what feels right.

4. Reality of Legal Education
It is all the same, which is why you shouldn't take U.S. News Rankings to seriously whether you attend Harvard or Cooley they are all subject to ABA regulations and your first will consist of Torts, Contracts, Property, Civil Procedure, and Criminal Law/Con Law/or Crim Pro in year 1 and the others in Year 2. In these courses you will read Supreme Court Cases and believe it or not they don't write sepearte opinions for different ranked law schools. In Torts you will read Palsgraf to learn Proximate Cause whether you attend American or Northeastern, Pennoyer v. Neff to learn Notice in Civ Pro, International Shoe for personal jurisdiction, so on and so on.

At the end of your three years you will then have to take a State Bar Exam and you will sign up for BarBri or Kaplan and be in classroom with law students from around the County after months of intense studying you will go into a room with Thousands of people and take the exam. If you pass your a lawyer if you don't your not and the bar graders don't know or care what law school you went to. Once you have a license to practice law it is then up to you what you do with it.

(5) U.S. News Rankings
You mentioned this in your post and I can't tell you how many 0L's myself included when I was your in shoes take this magazine way to seriously. Remember it is just a magazine and the methodology used to make the rankings makes little to no sense. There are some schools that have true prestige Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, etc, but nobody cares about the difference between American and NorthEastern I don't know what they are, but I am guessing these schools are somewhere between 50-150 and I can't remember the last time I cared about the 50th best anything.

Also remember U.S. News ranks a lot more than law schools Alberque is the best place to live according to U.S. News  cite provided http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/best-places-to-live . Our Balloon Festivals, Clear Skies, etc good things sure, but I don't think your going to pack your bags to move based on what U.S. News thinks. The same logic applies to law school don't make a life altering decision based on a magazine. I imagine you would think it was crazy if someone moved to New Mexico based on that ranking the same is true of law schools, but for whatever reason 0L's get enamored  by a magazine, but that is all it is a magainze. You should use it as a tiebreaker not a primary source of your decision.

Additoinally the rankings change year to year based on god knows what as you can see from this chart American has been as low as 56 and as high as 45 additionally there are an exorbiant number of ties 2 years ago there was a 13 way tie for 84th, which was pretty good. Northeastern has been as high as the 70's and as low as the 90's it is very possible by the time you graduate NorthEastern could surpass American it is all based on people filling out scantrons. So again don't make a life altering decision based on the rankings particularly with schools of this caliber. If you were debating Georgetown over Northeastern then rankings might play a factor, but nobody cares about the ranking difference between these two schools.

Conclusion:
There is no right or wrong answer it is up to you to analyze your unique situation. I have never set foot on either campus, but you will receive a solid education at any ABA school.

Also one other point of caution you mention transfering, but this is not something to bank on. The reality is you need to finish in the top 10-20% to transfer and everyone at an ABA law school is smart, hard-working, and motivated meaning there is 80-90% chance you will not finish in the top 10-20%. Nothing against you just the way it works you will see on the first day of class when everyone is convicned they will be in the top 10% and nobody could possibly imagine finishing in the bottom half of the class, but it happens. Bottom line don't attend a law school you won't be graduating from transfering is extremly rare so don't move to D.C. certain you will be able to transfer back for 2L to Harvard or something it is highly unlikely to happen.

Good luck and congrats on your acceptances.

5
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Northeastern vs. American WCL
« on: July 23, 2013, 09:23:19 PM »
First and foremost realize that anything you read on this board or others comes from anonymous internet posters and should be taken with a grain of salt my post included. What law school you attend will be a life altering decision and not one that should be based on anonymous interent poster advice or for profit, unregulated, magazines like U.S. News rankings.

With that said I am an attorney and do think there are some factors a 0L like yourself should consider when choosing a law school, but in the end there is no right or wrong answer both schools are ABA approved and will provide you with a solid legal education. The factors I believe any law student should consider are as follows (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feelings About the School (4) Understanding the Reality of Legal Education and (5) U.S. News Rankings. These are explained in more detail below.

1) Location
You have to ask yourself where you want to live for a minimum of three years D.C. or Boston and remember law school does not exist in a vaccuum there are good and bad things about each City, but which one suits you best? Also would you do better in your hometown or leaving if you have supportive netowrk of family and friends in Boston and are familar with the area that is something to consider. Law school is tough and many people do not adjust well to new cities so ask yourself if you can handle a move and the rigors of 1L. Many of my 1L classmates moved across the country and got homesick and depressed 1L which impacted their law school performance.

On top of that almost everyone I went to law school with works locally very few people moved. So where do you want to live after gradutaion D.C. or Boston? Almost every 1L assumes they will be able to move anywhere after graduation, but that is not how it works and even if you could move anywhere you develop a lot of relationships over 3 years of law school and get comfortable in an environmetn making it difficult to leave. The reailty is if you attend Northeatern you will get a job in Boston if you attend American you will get a job in D.C. of course there are exceptions, but as an attorney who reviews resumes I never interview out-of-state or out-of-area candiates. I live in the Bay Area and Golden Gate, USF, Santa Clara, Hastings, Boalt, etc are right here why would I interview someone from Michigan State and be asked if I would cover their travel, moving expenses, etc all in hopes that they would actually live where they currently live? The answer is I wouldn't and I don't it doesn't make sense. There will be many Northeastern Alumni in the Boston Area and American Alumni in D.C. and again exceptions exist, but odds are you will end up in the City you attended law school at.

2. Cost

6
Again tough situation and as Maintain says this all anonymous internet poster advice, but remember nobody knows yourself better than you. In your post you mention you fear falling into depression if you have to much time to think and that is something to consider. People deal with tragedy in their own way and it is helpful for some to sit around and mourn while others can literally go crazy by sitting around and reflecting about a tragedy. There is no right or wrong way, but it sounds like your not a person that does will by sitting and mourning.

It also sounds like your Dad wants you to attend law school and again I don't know him or you, but I could see from his vantage point that he would feel guilty if you didn't attend law school on his behalf. Or he may really need your help around the house it is just a case by case situation.

One other factor to realize is that if you don't attend law school now things will come up once your in you will probably finish, but if you put it off you may never attend, which is why I think your father would insist on you not putting it off. As you are learning life throws a lot of s**t your way and the longer you put off education the harder it is to get back into it.

If your going to put off law school for the year you should have a solid plan of what you are going to do. Sitting around dealing with your Father's disease, which you can't do anything about will be difficult. You should get some kind of job or possibly do part time.

One suggestion you may want to try is contacting the school and see if they could Tailor some kind of program for your situation. However, they may not and as Maintain states law school is much harder than undergrad, but it is not impossible. You could deal with law school and your father's situation if you are the type of person that can handle both those stresses properly and you will not feel regret regarding your father.

Again these are all personal decisions, but the sad truth is if you put law school off now you probably won't end up going, which again is why I imagine your father is so adamant on you staying the course, but I don't know you, your situation, or your father so I am just some guy speculating in San Francisco. Again the step I would take first is call Detroit Mercy and see if they can offer some assistance in the form of a special schedule or something. Many law schools can be very accommodating about these sort of situations.

Sorry to hear about your situation and hopefully everything works out for the best.

7
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: ANXIETY!!!!!
« on: May 22, 2013, 11:21:42 PM »
I think this is quite common for anyone attending law school or any new commitment. Whether to attend law school or not is a life altering decision and you there is no guarantee it could go great it could go terribly. When I was a 0L I can tell you I was freaking out the summer before I started it was a mixture of excitement, anxiety, hope, dread, and everything in between. However, most people in their mid twenties have the feeling of "what I am doing with my life" and if you attend law school you are taking a significant step in one direction it is a 3 year 100,000 commitment that will change your life.

It does sound like you have done a good amount of research into it and worked in a law firm and were not scared off. As for having a possible false vision you might have one, but there is no exact picture to being a lawyer it is a diverse field much like anything else really.

As for the JD/MBA what do you want to do with both of those? You shouldn't simply get more education because you don't know what to do and personally I think a law degree is far more valuable than an MBA, but I could be biased. You need to go to law school to be a lawyer you don't need an MBA to be a businessman.

I am sure you would like to hear everything will work out and this is a great decision or maybe it is horrible and you should not go, but this is your life and your decision. There is no way to know if law school is the right decision and like any big decision there is a bit of uncertainty. Whatever you decide I wish you good luck.

8
Groundhog is correct I have never heard of any law school looking at your high school transcripts. Your best bet is to get a high GPA at whatever accredited University you attend. Most law schools will simlpy care only about your undergrad GPA and if you get a 4.0 from X State opposed to a 3.4 from Semi More Respectable Private University X the 4.0 from X State will have more success getting admitted to law school.

The name of your Undergrad will make a difference if it is Harvard, Yale, maybe even UCLA, USC something of that caliber, but for the most part people have no idea what 90% of universities are doing or whatever proposed quality difference there is.

Also as GroundHog suggests it is probably to early to really be thinking about law school. Go to a university you enjoy, choose a major you enjoy, etc. You are only in high school and a lot of things can change I personally never in a million years that I would ever go to law school when I was in high school and now I am a lawyer. I know plenty of people in high school convinced they would go to law school and ended up succeeding in very different fields. 

Finally when you go to College a lot will change it is good to have a goal like law school, but keep your options at least for the first year or two as your goals may change.


9
Law School Applications / Re: To disclose or not?
« on: October 08, 2012, 05:12:23 PM »
For the French transcript I would call the schools you are applying to and check that might just confuse them or include it.

In regards to the arrest absolutely disclose that it is not a big deal and I have known people that got into law school with DUI's, some pretty hardcore misdemanors, and a lot worse things than shoplifting at 16. The only way it can really hurt you is if you don't disclose it, but if you disclose it and come forward you should be fine. 

Good luck.

10
Law School Applications / Re: Low GPA, Moderate LSAT...take 3rd time?
« on: October 02, 2012, 05:16:39 PM »
Roald's advice is a solid a 2.88 and 152 can get you into a few law schools and once your in an ABA school the LSAT will be a distant memory. However, as Roald suggests the LSAT is nothing compared to a law school exam and certainly not the bar and those are all standardized tests if you really hate doing that then you may not enjoy law school or at least not the first year.

I personally loved law school and although I had slighly better numbers than you they were not amazing and realistically very few people have 3.5 and 165 LSATS. Plenty of people claim to have amazing scores on anonymous internet forums such as this, but you can really say anything on here without repercussion. I could claim to the Valedictorian from Harvard, bench 400 lbs, have dominated Lebron James in basketball, and whatever else I feel like say without repercussion and many people on boards like this talk out of their a** so take everything you read on boards such as this one or others regarding law school, the legal profession, etc with a major grain of salt.

Hopefully you improve slightly to ensure your admission and possibly get some scholarship money. I really don't think there is any penalty for taking the LSAT multiple times anymore, but check with the schools if that is correct you have nothing to worry about on this test administration it is an everything to gain nothing to lose scenario good luck.

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