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Messages - Jennings7

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Thanks for all the great advice legend and roald. The stuff you guys are contributing is exactly what I was hoping for when I created this thread.

That being said, I shouldn't have called out "bottom feeder" schools. I should have been more eloquent in what I was trying to say. What I meant was I'd probably not settle for going to an expensive school that also has little or no prestige. I understand prestige is super subjective when it comes to law schools, so I'd have to be careful in my assumptions. My goal is to get 160-165 on the LSAT and get into a school ranked anywhere from 75-125. I'd be just as likely to go to a school ranked 115 as I would the 76th ranked school if the cost, tuition, or location were better. I'm not overly picky on rankings. I just have a very broad range. I'd rather not go out of that range if I can help it.

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ADMISSIONS
As for the soft factors there really isn't much you can do. Law school is basically about the numbers this website does a better job showing your chances than LSAC in my opinion. lawschoolnumbers.com (you can scholarship money and so forth when decisions came). When I applied I got into Marquette with a 3.2 159 I didn't end up going, but I had roughly the same GPA granted that was years ago. Also like you I took a raw test with no concept of what was going on and got a 145 (I studied pretty regularly no class, but I got it up 14 points and I was working full-time while studying it, but any spare moment I had I would take a practice test. A course might be helpful I never took one maybe I could have done better, but whether you take a score or not you can certainly improve your score. I think most people improve my 10-15 points based on just a blanket practice test like you did.


SPORTS LAW  AND REALITY OF LEGAL EDUCATION
As Roald suggested the specialty programs are a factor to consider, but the reality of legal education is that you learn the same thing everywhere.

At any ABA school from Harvard to X school your first year courses will be Property, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Contracts, Torts, Con Law, and LRW, or at least some variation on that. In Civil Procedure you will read Pennoyer v. Neff, Contracts Hadley v. Baxendale, Torts Palsgraff, the first year curriculum is simply the same at every school you read Supreme Court cases that is law school and you learn the same thing school to school. Those are the MBE subjects, which is National Bar Exam Multiple Choice test, which I think all 50 states use on their state bars so everybody learns in.

In year 2 and 3 you will have some leeway in your course schedule, but I can't imagine to many sports law classes will be offered. Although I think Bud Selig teaches a class at Marquetee, which is awesome. However, I am sure it is extremely difficult to get into the class and Bud Selig's schedule will control he might teach the same time your internship wants you in or some required class for 2L's. Also even if you enroll in Bud Selig's class and get an A+ you probably won't get a job in Sports law or at least not right out of the gate. I personally got the Book Award in Sports Law at my school 2nd highest grade in the class, which is great. However, I was not immediately recruited by NFL, NBA, or MLB teams and I have still never worked a sports law case even though I graduated some time ago.

LOCATION, COST
These are really the most important factors to consider in your education. It sounds like your from Wisconsin and therefore Marquette is a great choice.  No matter where you end up the reality is that where you live will play a bigger role in your law school and legal career than anything else. In law school you will have time to be a human being and you miss family, friends, and so forth. I imagine your experiencing that right now being Active Duty. Those emotions will be there during law school and it looks like you are looking at schools in a general location. Many incoming OL's don't think that through, but military service has probably opened your eyes a little bit.

COST:
Scholarships are plentiful if your above the numbers at certain schools. Lawschoolnumbers.com will give you some insight on what you need to get for scholarships at particular schools. Your military service might help you in that department as well, but I am not an admissions officer so I can't say. Pay attention to the amount your incurring I know my friends in undergrad that served got a lot of tuition you could probably figure out if that applies for law school. (If so that would be phenomenal the outrageous costs are one of the few things I did not enjoy about law school.

PERSONAL FEELINGS ABOUT THE SCHOOL:
Also visit the schools your interested in. When I was a OL I visited a lot of schools and doing mock trial competitions I went to schools I never even heard of or considered and each place had a culture to it. Some I liked and some I did not. Those were my own personal  feelings and you will have your own opinions. What I liked about school X you may have hated Vice Versa. To figure out if a school is for you visit obviously, schedule office hours with a professor, sit in on their class, talk to admins, and see how students interact with eachother. Remember it will be a three year commitment if your turned off by a place during a day visit it will be a long three years.


GREAT THING ABOUT MARQUETTE DEGREE PRIVILEGE

Marquette and Wisconsin boast a 100% degree bar passage rate in Wisconsin. I am sure the faculty would like to say it is due to their tireless efforts, but the Wisconsin State Bar allows you to pass Wisconsin bar without taking it if you graduate from those two schools. This is the only state that does this I believe and when I was shelling out thousands of dollars for ruining an entire summer studying for BarBri I was really kicking myself for not going to Marquette. That is just a real pro about Marquette specifically ( I am almost positive this still exists, but again check it out the law school knows better than I do.)

ONE WAY TO SAVE 1,000 OR SO DOLLAR ON APPLICATION FEES WHEN YOU GET BACK:
I remember when I was applying LSAC held forums that each law school attended. I honestly just went to about every booth the Harvard, Yale, Stanford booths were packed full of people, but the other 197 or so booths were wide open and having a 3.2/159 I knew Harvard, Yale, Stanford were out of the question I talked to a bunch of schools Marquette included and many gave me fee waivers there, or sent me an e-mail (mass generated to anyone taht wrote their LSAC number down on the sign-in sheet) and I applied to 25 schools and didn't pay for a single application. I also wrote down that I visited their school at the forum in their applications, which may have given me a brownie point (and I got into almost all the schools I applied to even a few that were slightly above my range, but I was realistic with my applications.) If those are still around they are great way to save money on application fees. (Maybe the military will pay for those though and no need to worry just some extra advice)

CONCLUSION:
With a 3.2, military service, and a 144 (raw test) you can probably get into Marquette if you prepare for the LSAT. I am also pretty sure they have done away with averaging LSAT scores and even if you don't do as well as you want when you get back you can re-take even while your application is pending. Check with Marquette and the other schools you listed.

Hopefully some of this info was helpful, but everything I said could be 100% wrong my intent on here is good, but I can't possibly know all the variables in your life or what is best for you and neither can any other anonymous internet poster. Furthermore, anyone posting on this board or others (myself included) could be full of it (there are no repercussions for making stuff up on this board or others, or giving horrible advice, etc, etc. Always remember your law school decision is 3 years of YOUR LIFE, 100k or more of YOUR MONEY, and YOUR LEGAL CAREER. Use your gut and common sense when making this decision.

Good luck and thank you for your service.

Thanks for the great and detailed reply legend. I'll stay objective about the advice I'm getting, and make my own choices in the end.

As far as tuition and cost consideration go, I'm extremely conscious of that. I have a wife (no kids), and I do not under any circumstances want to saddle us with 100K or more in debt. 60-70K is pretty much my cut off when it comes to how much debt I'm willing to incur. Marquette is the exception simply because it's in the state I want to practice in, AND has the program I'd like to study (regardless of career relevance).

I'm less concerned about regional considerations. I absolutely would prefer to stay in the Wisconsin/Michigan/Minnesota/Illinois area, but I'd definitely consider a different area if the tutition and program were right. I very much want to be a lawyer, but I'm probably not going to allow myself to incur 100K in debt or attend a bottom feeder school like Cooley to do it. I'm not going to be super picky, but I do have certain standards I won't drop. More and more I'm leaning toward the University of Kansas. The admission standards are roughly the same as Marquette, Michigan St, Wayne State, etc...but the tuition is insanely reasonable. I believe it's something like 15-17K a year for resistents. Since I'm stationed at Fort Riley, KS when I'm not deployed, Lawrence is only 45 minutes away. I could be insanely familiar and comfortable with the school by the time I'd actually attend, and would only have to move myself and my wife a few miles down the road. Kansas is almost neck and neck with Marquette as far as where I'd prefer to go.

That being said, would you recommend my traveling to Kansas and meeting with any staff/admissions people, etc? It seems like it would be easy to do and may even increase my chance of admission if I turn out to be a marginal candidate.

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Jennings7,

Much like you I took a diagnostic test, although my test environment was more accommodating than your was. I ended up with a 153, but more important (in my mind) than the score was that I seemed to score fairly closely across the various sections.

With this in mind I have started off with two task. Going over the diagnostic test at a very leisurely rate, trying to  understand why the right answers are right and why the wrong answers are not right (or not the best answer...). Also I am starting to work on my skills related to the Logical Reasoning (LR) section. I picked this section because the test will have two LR sections, so improvements in this section will pay bigger dividends than that of the other sections. To help me in this effort I am reading the PowerScore LR Bible.

Once I have completed the LR Bible, I plan to try another practice exam to see where I stand and then evaluate from there. Given that I work full time (in a job that requires a considerable amount of additional training performed mostly on my own time), spend about three hours a day commuting and have a family, this process is going to take longer than I want it to. Currently I am aiming to take the LSAT either June or October of 2013, so I do have some time to work with.

Good luck with your test prep, please keep us informed of how things are progressing for you.

Thanks for the reply haus. I'm not putting to much stock in my pre-test. I couldn't have screwed myself any more than I did on it. I ended up guessing on the last 5 questions in at least 2 of the sections due to poor time management. I also found I was rushing through the first 20 questions because I had no idea how long to spend on each in relation to the whole. I also read the directions of the sections during the 35 minutes.

I did notice a trend on my sections though. In at least 3 out of the 4 sections I noticed I was getting something like 13/15 12/15 for the first 15 questions and then getting a ton wrong the last 10 or so questions when I started getting nervous about the time or just anxious to finished. I'm going to take another p-test when I get home from Afghanistan under optimal conditions to get a true baseline. It's comforting knowing 144 is my absolute worst baseline. I essentially couldn't score lower than that other than flat out guessing the whole test.

Keep me updated on what works for you study wise and I will do the same. I plan on taking the LSAT in early 2014, so I'll probably start prepping on a weekly basis around a year before that, and heavily 6 months prior. Have you found the studying you've done so far to be beneficial? Do you feel like it's noticably improved your ability to do better on the LSAT? I ask this because although I know I'm a fairly smart guy, and usually a far above average test taker when it comes to ability to do well with natural intelligence alone, the LSAT is somewhat intimidating to me. It's an odd feeling I haven't felt before in regards to any standardized test. I suppose it's self doubt.

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First and foremost, thank you very much for your service to our country.  I can not imagine the set of big brassy ones it takes to volunteer to be an infantryman at a time when our nation is fighting two wars at once.  So, thank you.

Second, I really can't address the meat of your question, but just wanted to point out that you may wish to look at University of Toledo.  I think, in the scheme of things, it is considered a half-tick below Wayne, but pretty darned close.

The reason I say this is that we have internships with the University's sports department.  One recent grad went straight from law school to work for Ohio State's NCAA compliance department.

Just a thought.  Best of luck to you.  I think if you can get in to Marquette, that's worth it.  All things being equal, I'd probably pick Wayne over Toledo, but you may be able to get some big scholarship $$$ that would make Toledo more attractive.  If you come here, I'll be the first to buy a veteran a drink.

Thanks for the great answer Jimmy. I'll definitely look into Toledo more. Wayne State is near the top of my list because it's within my regional comfort zone, tuition is reasonable, and it's about in my range of target schools statistically. Toledo may actually meet a lot of those same standards. I'll definitely take a look. That's the great thing about planning this in advance. I can sit here and make the best possibe decisions, get great advice, and set a long-term plan. The next step is obviously prepare for and then take the LSAT. Obviously that's going to clarify my situation MUCH further. Thanks again.

5
Maximizing the LSAT

Resume

I don't think there is anything you can do that will make your resume look better than it already does. You have great "soft factors", and that will help you. Nonetheless, admission to law school is based almost entirely on GPA/LSAT, so you should focus on scoring the highest possible LSAT.

One last point, OP. I don't know you or your situation, but I think that there are broad general concepts which are applicable to just about everybody when it comes to law school admissions. Among those broad generalities, I believe, is a need to be flexible and realistic. I noticed that you stated that if you don't get into one of three specific schools you just won't go at all. That's fine, but understand that such rigidity will severely limit your choices both during and after law school.  Also, you may want to think about whether or not you really want to be a lawyer after all. Law school is a difficult, expensive, life changing experience. If you really want it, then you may have to make some sacrifices in terms of geography. You might want to check out Detroit-Mercy, Michigan State, and maybe some Chicago schools as well.

You also mentioned that Marquette has a sports law program. One of the funny things I've noticed about law school is that specialty programs usually matter less than you think. The fact is, if you go to Marquette specifically for sports law, there is still a very good chance that you won't end up practicing sports law. My guess is that the sports law market in the midwest is pretty limited (I think most jobs are probably in LA and NYC), and you may have to take another job. I'm not bringing this stuff up in order to be difficult or critical, it's just based on my experience.

Thanks for the great reply Roald! Am I basically maxed out on "soft factors" with the military service and the Master's? If so, then I will just focus on the LSAT and not worry about boosting my resume further. I assume with a good effort in prepping for the LSAT starting about a year out from when I want to take it should yield anything from a 155 and up.

As far as the sports law field, it's important to me that a college such as Marquette would offer it, or else I'd look elsewhere for a school as prestigious but far cheaper that does not offer it. I definitely understand what you're saying as far as not using that specialty even if I do earn it. It just seems to fit perfectly with my Master's in Sports Admin, and would really make the education part of my resume pop. That being said, I'm mainly looking at the 3 schools I mentioned above because of the proximity they offer to family and friends. I'm married, and it's important to my wife we stay within a certain distance of her comfort zone. Michigan St is definitely a school I should have listed. Detroit Mercy...probably not. Any of the Chicago schools minus DePaul would be good. I've also thought about Indianapolis. Seems to be in my range of target schools. Thanks again.

6
Law School Applications / Re: 3.34 GPA/150 LSAT Chances?
« on: July 10, 2012, 02:50:49 AM »
I noticed you haven't gotten any replies. It's been over a month since you took the LSAT. What did you get?

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OK. I have quite an odd situation. As the population of this forum seems to be quite knowledgable about all things law school, I figure I'd throw out my odd circumstances and see if I can't get some good guidance.

First, my vitals:
-26 year old male
-UG in Political Science and Public Admin from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (Dec-2009).
-3.18 UG GPA
-Will complete my Master of Science in Sports Administration from Western Kentucky University by early 2014.
-LSAT not taken or prepared for yet.
-I will be applying to law school while still Active Duty in the Army. I'm an infantryman.

It's July 2012 and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I want to go to Marquette University Law School. They have the exact program I'm looking for (Sports Law) and are located within 2 hours of where I'm from (Green Bay, WI). The only other schools I'd even consider are Kansas (Lawrence, KS) and Wayne State (Detroit, MI). Kansas because it's 45 minutes from where I currently live, and Wayne State because it's 30 minutes from where a large chunk of my family and friends live. All 3 schools have similar admissions standards.

My questions of you:

1) Knowing I have roughly 2 years before I even have to start working on admissions paperwork, how do I go about boosting my chances of acceptance at these 3 schools? Keep in mind that if I don't get into 1 of the 3, I simply won't be going to law school. Also keep in mind that I'm active duty Army infantryman until the day I attend law school in Fall 2015, so time restraints come into play.

2) How do I go about making sure I max out my potential on the LSAT? I took a practice LSAT I printed from the LSAC website under the worst possible conditions to establish a baseline. I took the test having exactly NO concept of what the questions were like, how to budget my time, or how long each section was question wise. All I knew is I had 35 minutes to complete each section. I also took it while sitting in bed with no writing surface while various soldiers were making noise within the building and distacting me throughout. Also, did I mention I'm in the middle of Afghanistan in a heavy combat zone? In these terrible conditions, I scored a 144. Median to get into Kansas, Wayne State, and Marquette is 157.

Please give me ANY advice you can on improving my LSAT and boosting my resume so I can maximize my chances of getting into 1 of these 3 schools. Thanks a lot.

8
OK. I have quite an odd situation. As the population of this forum seems to be quite knowledgable about all things law school, I figure I'd throw out my odd circumstances and see if I can't get some good guidance.

First, my vitals:
-26 year old male
-UG in Political Science and Public Admin from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (Dec-2009).
-3.18 UG GPA
-Will complete my Master of Science in Sports Administration from Western Kentucky University by early 2014.
-LSAT not taken or prepared for yet.
-I will be applying to law school while still Active Duty in the Army. I'm an infantryman.

It's July 2012 and I know beyong a shadow of a doubt that I want to go to Marquette University Law School. They have the exact program I'm looking for (Sports Law) and are located within 2 hours of where I'm from (Green Bay, WI). The only other schools I'd even consider are Kansas (Lawrence, KS) and Wayne State (Detroit, MI). Kansas because it's 45 minutes from where I currently live, and Wayne State because it's 30 minutes from where a large chunk of my family and friends live. All 3 schools have similar admissions standards.

My questions of you:

1) Knowing I have roughly 2 years before I even have to start working on admissions paperwork, how do I go about boosting my chances of acceptance at these 3 schools. Keep in mind that if I don't get into 1 of the 3, I simply won't be going to law school. Also keep in mind that I'm active duty Army infantryman until the day I attend law school in Fall 2015, so time restraints come into play.

2) How do I go about making sure I max out my potential on the LSAT. I took a practice LSAT I printed from the LSAC website under the worst possible conditions to establish a baseline. I took the test having exactly NO concept of what the questions were like, how to budget my time, or how long each section was question wise. All I knew is I had 35 minutes to complete each section. I also took it while sitting in bed with no writing surface while various soldiers were making noise within the building and distacting me throughout. Also, did I mention I'm in the middle of Afghanistan in a heavy combat zone? In these terrible conditions, I scored a 144. Median to get into Kansas, Wayne State, and Marquette is 157.

Please give me ANY advice you can on improving my LSAT and boosting my resume so I can maximize my chances of getting into 1 of these 3 schools. Thanks a lot.

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