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Messages - aleutian

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: Iowa - Don't Go There
« on: November 25, 2007, 01:44:20 AM »
I'm sorry, but as an Iowa law student I have to disagree with this post (rant?).  It is true that Iowa is not the right fit if you intend to seek employment in New York , but that should have been obvious when researching law schools before applying.  Why go to Iowa when you could attend a law school in the northeast with much stronger recruiting prospects?  The starred assertions are all subject to attack.  The most obvious question to ask the poster is:  what are you comparing your experience to...your experience as a law student at other law schools? 

Professors out of touch with the "real world"?  This is the common complaint that the professor is not spoonfeeding the answer and the student is either lazy or simply incompetent.  The value of a legal education is in the law professor's ability challenge your mind to learn to think like a lawyer (yes, really, this is not simply a cliche).  I agree there is a difference between the inept professor and the capable professor who is able to teach by challenging your mind and simultaneously guiding you through the fog. However, what do you expect law faculty to teach--vocational skills?  You are learning theory that is applicable to an innumerable number of situations. I would be much more concerned if I was handed all the answers and spent the rest of my time learning "real world" skills like...er...writing memos?

The critique on the study body is completely unsubstantiated.  A blanket statement such as "passive, unengaged, unmotivated, students. more interested in being mindless, robotic, automatons" ought to raise the eyebrows of any critical thinker.  How did you perform the assessment?  What are you comparing your results to?  Is your sample representative of the whole?  The natural progression of critical questioning continues.  I agree there are a few dim lights in every class, but I suspect this condition is true of almost all law schools and other posters seem to agree.

Who cares about the administration as long as they don't get in the way of your studies?

Finally, the profession is tough in general for many reasons and the market for jobs is not any easier.  It's competitive and unforgiving and also enormously rewarding (though not always financially) at the same time.  This is the reality of being a law student/attorney.  The cited news articles and my comments about the job market apply to law students from almost all law schools.  It is patently false that Iowa law grads have no legitimate job prospects or that the difficult job market is unique to Iowa students.  Check out who is recruiting in the NALP directory and other sources--Iowa law grads do have opportunities from recruiters.  The more I read this post the more I sense that this is a jaded sub-performer or a disillusioned first year student panicking before finals. 

Although my experience at Iowa has been favorable (though exhausting), I would simply caution the reader to think critically about what is being said both in my post and the original author's post and come to your own conclusion.  Visit the campus, talk to people, research Vault, NALP, etc--this is true when researching any law school. 

My personal advice to any prospective law student is to think very, very, very hard about making the commitment to law school.  Push the delusions of grandeur aside including the 160k salary, etc.  Ask yourself if you really enjoy intense analytical thinking.  Can you handle working in a competitive environment?  Do you see yourself genuinely caring about the issues of your client or are you simply looking for a payday?  Time for me to get back to finals studying...

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Financial Aid / Re: Stafford loan rate of %4.55 too good to be true?
« on: July 12, 2007, 01:16:16 PM »
I have to follow up here with some potentially useful information for others.  Wikipedia has a list of the biggest lenders for Stafford loans:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stafford_loan
so I went through that list and did a brief inspection of the interest rate reductions for ontime payment.  After a quick glance, the greatest reductions in interest rates for ontime payment were the following:

Wachovia - http://www.wachovia.com/personal/page/0,,325_496_8292_8315,00.html
Wells Fargo - http://wfefs.wellsfargo.com/jump/i_stafford_fee.html
US Bank - Must call for information

Hopefully someone will post a reply with even better rates.

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Financial Aid / Stafford loan rate of %4.55 too good to be true?
« on: July 12, 2007, 12:46:41 PM »
I've been searching for lower Stafford loan rates and came across National Education.  They offer all kinds of fee reductions and lower interest rates.  Does anyone have experience with National Education? Anyone aware of any risks with this lender?  It seems too good to be true vs the %6.8 standard Stafford rate.

http://www.nationaleducation.com/winning_combination.html

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We all know law school is competitive by its very nature (as is the profession), and therefore we expect it as part of the culture.  However, some schools are known to be extremely cutthroat while others tend to be much less competitive and more collegial.  Cutthroat here is defined as limited outline sharing, books missing, attempts to psychologically rattle peers, grades posted publicly, etc.  For those who have done their homework on various schools, toured the campuses, and obtained a sense of the "atmosphere", I'm curious to know, based on anecdotal evidence, reputation, and observations (i.e. completely unscientific approach), which schools are/seem to be the most Collegial and most Cutthroat?

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Law School Applications / School Decisions and FAFSA Priority Date
« on: February 11, 2007, 03:06:56 PM »
Perhaps someone can provide clarification for me on this issue.  The FAFSA priority dates for financial aid at law schools are in early to mid March.  I noticed when filling out the Internet FAFSA application that a maximum of six schools can be specified.  I have not heard back yet from a number of law schools and I have applied to more than six schools which I think is typical for most applicants.  To complicate matters, I've been waitlisted at my top choice.  It's not clear to me whether or not I'll hear back from all the law schools by early/mid-March.  I'm interested to know how people are going about selecting which schools they select for the priority date given the fact that you may not have heard from every law school by the FAFSA priority date.  If I'm just totally missing something here please let me know.

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To include or not to include: that is the question.  There are varying opinions on the subject of whether or not the name of the law school should be included in the personal statement to "personalize" it.  I'm not referring to writing about a law school's specific details, rather, just including the law school's name in the text of the personal statement at some point.  Some argue that law schools frown on this because it appears as though the applicant is sending a general purpose statement and copy-pasting the school names.  Others argue that law schools recognize students are likely to be sending the same personal statement to multiple schools and therefore the inclusion of the law school name is not a detriment.  An argument can be made that a law school statement with no reference to the law school is lacking a significant piece of the essay while others will say that placing the law school name in generic text can make the applicant look superficial.  So what do you think?  Does including the law school name in a generic context improve, detract from, or not make a difference  in the personal statement?

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