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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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1
Law School Admissions / Re: Personal Statement
« on: Today at 10:03:03 AM »
Hi Maddawg, a few thoughts:

Student Loans
Your law school will have a Financial Aid center that can answer specific questions, but here is the thumbnail sketch. There are subsidized and unsubsidized loans. The govt pays the interest on the subsidized loans while you're in school, interest accrues on the unsub loans. There are also private loans.

Off the top of my head I don't know what the total amount you can borrow is now, but you can pretty easily borrow enough to cover tuition and living expenses. Many people also take out a bar study loan after graduating.

This is where you need to be careful. It is very easy to accept 20k per year for living expenses when it's being offered, but much tougher to pay back.

Loan Forgiveness
You may or may not be able to take advantage of such programs. My wife, for example, is a govt attorney and was told no, while other govt lawyers have qualified. But it usually works like this: you pay your loans for a number of years (10-25) and as long as you are a qualifying govt/public interest lawyer for that period, the remaining balance is forgiven. There are MANY variations on this, so don't take what I say as gospel.

Jobs/Starting Salary
It is awesome that you have contacts and a soft job offer, but I can tell you as someone who worked in govt that there is no way they can definitively tell you that they will be able to hire you in three or four years. If the economy dumps, they won't be hiring anyone. Govt hiring is very different from private firms, who can pretty much hire and fire at will. For govt jobs, the funding has to be in place, the job has to be posted, and lots of people get a say in the decision.

I'm not saying it won't happen, I'm just saying keep an open mind because you may need to look elsewhere for employment depending on circumstances.

Which brings me to my next point: don't go to law with unless you are willing to practice whatever kind of law you can get a job in. If the DA isn't hiring, be prepared to defend DUIs, or write wills or petition for child custody modifications. I would say that 75% of the people in my graduating class started off wanting to be local prosecutors/US Attorneys/Biglaw, whatever. Maybe 10% got those jobs. The rest took whatever they could get.

Geography

You mentioned that one of the schools you are looking at is out of state. In my opinion, when you are looking at non-elite schools geography is everything. I would definitely look first at schools located in the state/city in which you want to live. You will find it much easier to get internships, to make connections to the local bar, and set yourself up for employment if you are physically there. In addition (and I have no idea what state you are in), there is the issue of the bar exam. It is generally better to go to school in the state in which you plan to take the bar.

Part Time Programs
I am a fan of part time programs for non-trad students. I know a lot of people aren't fans because it takes four years instead of three, but I am. First, you can work (even if only part time) and avoid racking up debt. Second, the students tend to be a little more mature. I think it's an easier transition than being plopped into a class full of 22 year olds. Just a thought.

Hope that helps!

Hope that helps!

2
Law School Admissions / Re: Personal Statement
« on: Yesterday at 09:02:34 PM »
I agree with everything Loki said, it's good advice.

And yes, a high LSAT score is worth more than a high GPA. I'll take a 170 over a 4.0 any day. Of course, if I could have both...

Just a few things to add:

Most people score lower than they expect on the LSAT. Until you get an actual score, don't fret too much. See how you did and if you really, truly have a good reason to believe that you will do better on a retake go ahead and do it. A higher LSAT score can help with scholarships.

Which brings me to my next point. Do everything possible to avoid racking up a huge debt. It looks like the jobs you're shooting for are great, but won't start you off at six figures. You don't want a $150k debt in that situation. Let's say you score 157, and have an offer of admission from your top choice with a 25% scholarship, and from the 150 school with a 75% scholarship. In your situation I would seriously consider the 150 school.

3
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: LLM, JD
« on: December 02, 2016, 09:21:34 AM »
I think most European universities offer a bachelor's degree in law (LL.B) as the first degree, not an LL.M. As far as JD programs in Europe, I don't know but probably not.

Here is the bigger question: where are you from, and where do you want to live?

If you are planning in living in the U.S. after law school, I wouldn't bother with a European degree. The systems are VERY different, and you'd be much better off studying in the U.S. Also, depending on the school, you may have to complete an LL.M in the U.S. before you can take the bar.

If you plan on living in Europe and are NOT an EU citizen, then I suggest looking into immigration policies. Many EU countries are pretty closed door about inviting in professional competition. I personally know folks who completed graduate degrees in Europe and then were promptly told to leave. It's a different system. If you are an EU citizen, of course this doesn't matter. 

4
Law School Admissions / Re: Military/WE Friendly Schools?
« on: November 29, 2016, 09:15:01 PM »
I agree with Loki, your GPA/LSAT profile will account for 95% of the admissions decision. That said, a military background and interesting work experience plus maturity will help a little.

I went to law school in my early thirties, and attended a part-time evening program. If you are older than the average student, I would at least consider this option.

Lastly, consider the possibility that a solid local/regional school located in the geographic area in which you want to live may be a better option than a far away school with a higher ranking (especially if it's cheaper).

For example, if you wanted to live in Georgia or Texas (as you indicated) then a degree from UGA or SMU may be more valuable than a degree from UCLA even though UCLA is higher ranked. Of course, a degree from Harvard trumps them all but that's a different story.

In any case, 166 is a great score but it's fairly average for the T14. 3.49, OTOH, is a somewhat low GPA for the T14. I would think about where you really want to live, what you really want to do, and let that guide your decisions.   

5
Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: November 15, 2016, 10:20:51 PM »
You fool.

Trump has indeed blown up the Republican party, and he will try to remake it in his own image. Anyone who opposes him will be destroyed by Breitbart and the rest of the alt-right media, and primaried out of existence. They will be replaced with loyalists who look to the man more than any policy.

Even better, there will be no Supreme Court to check his excesses, as he will likely replace at least two justices with his handpicked cronies.

And when he fails? No problem, plenty of scapegoats to blame. Mexicans, Muslims, Republicans. Whatever.

Listen Julie, I understand that you're ignorant and uneducated but it is pretty amazing to think that you went from a Democratic Socialist to an authoritarian mega-capitalist without even realizing the irony.

Oh, but I forgot! She had bad emails. Yes, a police state run by a Putinista will be much better.

6
Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: November 15, 2016, 01:40:17 PM »
Please with your bull$#%t.

You guessed tails on a coin flip and got it right. You're not Nostradamus.

But yes, he won (although Clinton actually got more votes). I believed the polls and the polls were wrong.

And now we are stuck with a petulant know-nothing, a thin skinned ignoramus. Was Clinton a good choice? No, she was a train wreck. But Trump presents a risk (especially in terms of foreign policy) that is difficult to quantify.

I can understand being furious at the corruption, at the graft, at the nepotism, etc. I can't understand thinking that Trump is the answer. This was a monumentally bad choice.

And, ironically, Trump's election probably spells demographic doom for the Republican party. Between deporting people's parents and appointing justices who will overturn Roe, Republicans will lose millions of votes from women and Latinos.

Trump got 60 million votes (roughly the same as Romney), and Clinton will end up with something like 62 million. Obama got 65 million, and that is the real story here. Clinton was so compromised and unlikable that people simply didn't turn out.

Imagine Trump having to run against someone like Cory Booker in four years after driving away even greater numbers of voters.     

7
Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: November 10, 2016, 10:09:30 PM »
Congratulations! Well done!

In order to let an otherwise fairly well functioning government know that you're not entirely pleased with the service you're getting, we all get to die in a nuclear holocaust!

Yay!

Petulant children. So determined to stomp your feet and let mommy and daddy know that you're upset, you miss the anvil that's about to fall on your head. So, so stupid.


8
Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: November 07, 2016, 09:43:12 AM »
Too bad he's behind in Michigan, Florida, and Pennsylvania.

No Cinnamon, this race will be called pretty early. He'll lose Florida. Not by much, but he'll lose it. After that, he's done. He'd have to pull off an upset in Michigan and Pennsylvania, something like that. Not gonna happen.

Just curious, what will you do when HRC becomes POTUS? I'm not exactly happy about it myself, but what will your narrative be then? Let me guess, it was rigged?

9
Law School Admissions / Re: Any good ideas for my undergrad?
« on: November 03, 2016, 12:34:31 PM »
I agree with Loki.

For patent law, yes, of course your undergrad major matters. Maybe for tax law, too. But that's about it. The vast majority of practicing lawyers have degrees in English, History, Poly Sci, whatever.

I have never once had an employer ask me ANYTHING about undergrad. Certainly never had to provide transcripts. In fact, four years out of law school I don't get asked about law school grades much either.

10
Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: October 22, 2016, 12:26:52 PM »
I chose the name since I'm a long-distance runner (and also a conservative who's NOT voting for Trump!)

Which makes sense, since Trump is NOT a conservative. Policy wise, he and Clinton have more in common then they'd like to admit.

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