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Messages - Carpe JDiem

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One thing about BU admissions:  Apply early.  BU's office of admissions is horribly unorganized.  They lose stuff, they take forever to get back to you, and they hardly look at apps they receive after January 15th or so.  I have a friend that applied in Feb with 166 and a 3.6 from a top undergrad and didn't get in, and another that is going there with a 164/3.6 (non-URM)from a SEC school, applied in November.  Weird stuff.

Oh, and their website is crappy and they are unhelpful over the phone. 

I got in and decided against it.  I figured that if the admissions office was representative of the schools administration, it was going to be terrible.

If I were you I would apply to schools like Minnesota, Ohio St and Illinois, if you're interesed in going to a Tier 1 in the midwest/north central.

If you want to go to Chicago, try DePaul, Chicago-Kent or Loyola. 

You could take a chance on schools like Wash U in St Louis, Emory, or Boston College, if you're interested in those places.

Buys $2 million dollar, five-year-old mansion, burns it down for better ocean view.  Discuss.

Burning down the house

Wealthy attorney buys Montauk homes, gives to firefighters to torch in drills so he can rebuild, have view

May 16, 2005

What does a wealthy homeowner do when he can afford a perfect hilltop property but it comes with an unimpressive house?

For W. Christopher White, a Manhattan real estate attorney, the answer was to burn it down to make room for a larger, more luxurious house.

And what does he do when a neighbor's roof is the only flaw in an otherwise unobstructed 180-degree water view? He buys that house for $2 million and burns it down, too.

White, a senior partner in the Wall Street law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, donated both houses to the Montauk Fire Department for training purposes.

Yesterday, firefighters torched the second of his acquisitions on the ridge above East Lake Drive. The 2,500-square-foot, two-story Tudor had a turret, stained-glass and mullion windows, a two-car garage, and a swimming pool. It was built just five years ago.

"It's mind-boggling to me that people have so much money that they can afford to burn down a perfectly good house," said Montauk Fire Chief Charlie Grimes. "But it's a good thing for us that they can."

James Kim, a partner in Men at Work, the Wainscott-based firm building White's home, stopped by to watch the blaze, but declined to be interviewed. White could not be reached for comment.

Neighbors said he recently won a bidding war on the Tudor house that was burned down yesterday. The first house was burned down two years ago.

In exchange for donating a house, an owner is eligible for a tax write-off equivalent to a portion of the house's market value - and a clean slate to build a new, usually larger house. White's latest write-off will be about $1 million, but he plans to plant only grass and shrubs there for now, Grimes said.

For the past month, Montauk volunteers have had the home at 26 Talkhouse Lane to re-enact emergency situations with a smoke machine. Yesterday, members of four neighboring departments joined them for drills involving real smoke and flames.

In room after room, they set fire to wooden pallets stuffed with hay, then practiced finding and rescuing "victims," dousing the flames and escaping from rooms filled with smoke.

Just after noon, they set the final blaze, watching as flames crackled across the roof, melting glass hung from the windows like tattered cloth and dense black smoke funneled upward.

Volunteers from South Fork fire departments often train together at a Yaphank facility that has only a concrete building. They also solicit donated houses so they can hone their skills in real-life situations. They find one every year or so, but unlike White's, those are usually uninhabitable or of little value.

"This is some country we live in; so many people can't afford to buy a house and we're burning down a perfectly nice one," said Dorothy Peel, an emergency medical technician in her 20th year as a volunteer. "Still, it's best if we can practice on something real."

As a pair of firefighters in a cherry-picker doused the nearby hillside to avoid setting fire to the bushes, a neighbor, Neil Kennedy, calmly pulled weeds from his gravel driveway.

"It's a shame because that was the nicest house on the hill," Kennedy said. "It's a free country, I guess, but he sure is dumping a lot of money into it."

Copyright (c) 2005, Newsday, Inc.


This article originally appeared at:,0,4634457.story

No prob.  I think having family around will be great for law school, there's alot to be said for having a support network.

If you choose public interest law, Hastings does have a good loan forgiveness program.

Good luck to you at either school!

After looking at my post, that last sentence would probably get me an F in high school English, not to mention law school. 

But I think you get my point :)

I ultimately decided OSU.  The scholarship $$ they offered is great, I do not think I am going to take out a single loan for law school, and I just like the feeling of knowing I'll have all options coming out.

100k is alot, but I think that if you see yourself in a California firm for the long term, I think Hastings is your best bet.  I personally am into money management and investing as a hobby, so avoiding debt for me was a big factor. 

Hastings definitely has positives to go along with the debt.  Beautiful surroundings (the Bay Area, not necessarily the Tenderloin), a good rep, good faculty, and a mature (albeit very competitive) student body.

I would look at some of the Cal firms and see if they have any OSU grads, I don't think you'll find too many.  That doesn't mean that you can't get a Cal job, especially if you do well, I know OSU grads who have gone to Seattle and LA, but there alot of Hastings grads in Cal firms and doing well there will be a good position to be in while looking for firm jobs and will probably be able to choose among jobs.

I actually had to make the same decision.  I looked at the financial aid "award" at Hastings and almost had a heart attack.  If you're getting in-state tuition it shouldn't be so bad, correct?

If you definitely want to be in Cali, then I think Hastings is the clear winner, on local rep and connections.  I think you can get a great education at either place.  Hastings facilities are kinda run down, and the fact that they are renovating their library next year (when we'll be 1Ls) really worried me.  I guess you've been there and can judge for yourself.  OSU has a really nice building, although it can feel a little high-schoolish because it's all one building.

I liked the environment at OSU more, people just seemed more content.  I think this has to do with the fact that OSU is the best law school in Ohio, and the top choice of alot of the students there, whereas UC Hastings definitely had a "I didn't get into Berkeley" vibe.  And that "beer on the beach" attempt to create community seemed a little hokey to me.  Drinking on a slab of concrete would not be my choice of activities if I lived in San Fran.

Overall, I can see why OSU is moving up in the rankings and Hastings down.  OSU is hiring great professors and offering alot of scholarship money to lure better students.  Money is what it came down to for me, not only would going to Hastings mean alot of debt, but the Bay Area housing market is really expensive.  Ironically, I thought the midwest would be a much less stressful place than northern Cali.

Also, I've visited a half dozen law schools, and OSU's professors are just incredibly accessible and friendly by comparison to all other schools.

But Hastings must be doing something right, their moot court team is exceptional.  So after alot of rambling, I'll come back to: if you definitely want Biglaw in Cali, go to Hastings.  But overall, I thought OSU had more intanglibles going for it and seemed like a happier place.

Did Hastings really give you loans only?  They gave me $$ after I had a short conversation with the dean.

Has anyone had any luck getting a deposit back from a school?  Is it a lost cause?

Anything that I could say to improve my chances?

An initial call to the office of admissions garnered a "you have to get that cleared with the Dean of Admissions" response.

I feel really bad in this case because this Dean had previously offered me a great scholarship and then upped it after I explained my financial situation.

I guess I just feel like an a**, but I had to go with the best option and I did give him a last chance to match and he said he couldn't.

Lemme know if you've had luck/what tactics you've used.

Yeah, that article is an interesting insight into what it's like in a boom market.  I think it was written around 2000, right?

I think that we'll be getting out of law school just when the market is turning around, building momentum before Hillary's election in the fall of '08.

Go Hillary!!

After rereading your post, I see that you said you prefer the east coast tremendously.  In this case, Penn is clearly the better choice.  Firms here are much more focused on traditional prestige and rankings than in the midwest.  Firms generally stick to the schools they know best: one of the NYU alums in my firm told me that she looked in Ohio for her 2L internship but didn't get an offer from Jones Day in Columbus, a firm that hires alot of OSU grads.  By contrast, I knew a friend at OSU that was at the top of his class and made it to final round interviews with Skadden in NYC but didn't get offered.

Personal experience again, I used to love the east coast, and I do find that people out here are more interesting and think more globally, but after working here for a year, I see that the legal community out here is not a very happy place.  The only thing that gets people up in the morning is the money, and even then the cost of living is ridiculously high.  Buying real estate is not a possibility for an associate out of law school for at least three years.  Contrast this with Ohio, where I'm buying a condo with my savings from one year in paralegaldom.

If you want a great article on practicing law on the east coast, check out this article from the New Yorker, it is really, really interesting.

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