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Topics - loki13

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Where should I go next fall? / UF 3L - Will Answer Questions
« on: January 04, 2009, 08:47:45 PM »

I am the few, the proud, the jaded, the bored. I am a 3L with a job lined up and not a whole lot to do this coming semester. I remembered this board provided some solace back in the day, so I thought I'd give a little back before the 2100+ billables kick in, and/or I get occupied by the Gators in the BCS championship.

Some quick preliminaries:

1. Yes, I am a 3L at UF.
2. Yes, I was at the Ol' Miss game, and that missed extra point haunts me to this day (although I guess it ended up okay).
3. Yes, the economy is really, really bad, and I still feel lucky to have hitched on with a great firm after 2L. It has been pretty brutal for 3Ls who didn't have a position or 2Ls this year.
4. If you are in-state for tuition, UF is a great school to go to. They are cutting their student body (total number of incoming students) which means they will be more selective.

Okay- I'm open for other questions.

General Board / ConLaw Question
« on: February 08, 2007, 07:44:00 AM »
I have a question-

I looked at my syllabus the other day and noticed that we had a ConLaw writing assignment do on how the different parts of the Constitution work together. Boy, good thing i picked that up the first day of class! Anyway, it was really hard to look at the Constitution and read cases and things, but I thought about how the Constitution impacts my life, and it all became clear to me.

The Second Amendment protects our right to Bear Arms. Then there's the First Amendment right to free speech. Finally, I once heard a classmate remark that the Supreme Court had expanded the Bill of Rights with the Incorporation doctrine and made it apply to more than just the Federal Government.

So I wrote that the interplay of these differerent areas of the Constitution gave rise to the following: giant mecha robots are allowed to have Bear Arms (and if you're a commie activist judge that legislates from the bench, Lion Arms and Rocket Arms and Ab0rtion Arms) and then corporations are allowed to broadcast footage of their battles to me without government regulation. Which means that I can watch japanime on the cartoon network! I threw in some opinions, including some dissenting ones by 'Learned Hand', but I wrote that the 'Learned Hand' ones didn't mean as much because it was a pseudonym judges use when they are embarrassed by the opinion they wrote (like 'Alan Smithee' for directors).

When I was leaving class, I told a classmate about what I wrote. The classmate told me he was the TA (who knew?... I guess I should show up for more classes) and that 'drunk and stupid is no way to go through ConLaw'. I don't get it. Do you think he hates me because in the other class I showed up for I said I was a Federalist and because the Constitution doesn't specifically enumerate the Democrat party in Article I, they should be banned by the Supreme Court, like they did with the Whigs?

Anyway, I have three questions?
1. Did I pwn the paper?
2. Do you think I'll book the class?
3. If not, should I have written about the 4th Amendment and epilepsy instead?


Where should I go next fall? / UF (jacked) v. Albany (stylin')
« on: June 14, 2006, 10:14:10 PM »
So, here it is.

I've pretty much made up my mind, but I wanted any imput y'all might have. I have two options.... somehow, through very poor planning, I managed to leave myself with deposits at the University of Florida and Albany Law School. No Brainer, right?

Okay... let me add in the following: Albany will be free. Free is good for me, as I am poor. Not poor as in, "Daddy can only buy me a Ford SUV, not the Porsche SUV" poor. I mean poor as in, "I don't know if I'll be able to afford a new computer for school" poor. As for UF.... well, they kinda screwed me. Long story short- they classified me as out-of-state for tuition, and in-state for financial aid. By the time they realized their error, all the need-based grant money was gone. So, they've given me some Stafford loans, and basically told me to suck it.

I want to go to UF- I am a Floridian at heart. But I could live in NY (I've lived in upstate New York for two years). Will anyone argue that the prospects at UF are *so* mich better than Albany that I can justify that kind of debt for myself and my family?

Where should I go next fall? / UF FinAid
« on: April 27, 2006, 04:11:08 PM »

Wondering if anyone else accepted in UF's mass-email before the end of March has heard about their FinAid status and/or any awards yet. I've been checking ISIS on a regular basis, but so far, no dice. I *want* to commit, but cannot until I make sure they're offering some $. Anyone else in the same boat?

Where should I go next fall? / University of Florida Residency
« on: April 10, 2006, 01:52:48 PM »
Well, I thought my mind was made up on UF. While I have lived out of state since the end of 2004, I am a Florida native, lived in Gainesville 2003-2004, and plan on moving back there for good. Also, another poster said 90% of out-of-staters get Florida residency for 2L and 3L.

Here's the rub. I finally got around to calling the registrar and spoke to the residency expert. After listening to me, all she said was that all applicants are decided on a case-by-case basis and that people from out-of-state should plan on paying out-of-state tuition for the duration of their stay. I spoke to the Director of Admissions at UF and he was, well, a little vague. As in, he KNOWS NOTHINGK, and couldn't comment, and yeah, better budget on full freight.

Huh? So, anyone have the real scoop on this? I've heard that it's relatively easy for law students. But now everyone in an official capacity at UF is putting the fear o' Mammon in me, because I can't afford to pay full freight for three years. So what is it? Is it easy? Is it hard? Is officialdom just being squirrely so they can cover their collective behinds (never promise anything) and dissuade freeloadin' out of staters from coming to UF?

I wanted to start a thread for anyone who wanted to let off a little steam at a school, or the whole process.

'Cuz it's that time of year, that's why.

So, in order to kick it off, here's my gripes....

1. The process. So right now I'm juggling multiple schools, since not all schools are in, and other schools haven't sent in their financial packages to me, and other schools that have are reconsidering, but won't reconsider until a date after April 15th. Which means that I could possibly, at this late date, end up at one of five schools.* All of which angers me. And you wouldn't like me when I'm angry... LOKI SMASH! This whole process reminds me of a 30 car pileup on a freeway in the fog. A lot of cussin' and cryin' and pain without the ability to see jack.

2. The school. As you might have noticed from my previous posts, Syracuse is on my shhhhhh....  hit list. I won't bother recapping the abysmal way their admissions department has treated me when I've contacted them on routine matters, or that they're one of only 2 schools that haven't gotten back to me (out of 14), even though they were the first I applied to (and they're one of the lower ranked schools). Instead, I'll just write this: they slid back into tier 3. Revenge is a dish best served cold.
How do you spell withdraw before decision? S-Y-R-A-C-U-S-E

Okay, I feel better now. Anyone else?

*Nevertheless, expect to see me in Gainesville next year.

I've been ruminating on this topic for a while, and it was recently exacerbated by the Franklin P v. UF post. Most of us have perused the 25th-75th percentile starting salaries. Some people are even unwise enough to make decisions based on them. So here's my question. How wrong do you think they are? Why are they wrong? My answers:

1. For the most part, very wrong in particulars, somewhat wrong in general. You can get an idea for the general idea of where a school is (starting salaries of the T10 schools v. the tier 4 schools) and where they place with BigLaw in BigCities, but that's about it. And they tend to get more wrong the lower ranked you go.

2. Why? Many reasons...

a. They're self-reported. Let that sink in a second. While there are fewer abuses than there were during the mid-90s (when Suffolk reported much higher salries than BU and BC), it's still pretty bad. It's almost like when you give Cooley a chance to create their own law school rankings... things get a little wonky.
b. No COLA (cost-of-living-adjustment). Graduates from BigCity U will earn more than grads from CornField St. Why? Because it costs more to live in a big city! Seems obvious, huh? A school near Boston is going to have higher starting salaries than a school in near Birmingham. But you can actually afford a house in Birmingham (not saying you want to live there... just using it as an example). Median salaries measure the average cost of living of the area the school places more than they measure the desirability of the jobs the school places.
c. They're too round. Yes, 50k-70k looks good, and they're obviously rounding. But to what? Do they always round up? It doesn't look like to the nearest k... the neares 10k? Does every school do it differently? If one school is 41k-61k, and another school is 55k-75k, do they both report the figures as 50k-70k, or, if they're in Lansing, do they just report it as 60k-100k?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Where should I go next fall? / Link to 2007 USNWR + Syracuse Dis
« on: March 28, 2006, 07:37:26 PM »

Scanned... apparently someone bought it from a bookstore and posted it on rapidshare. Thanks xoxo. I will not vouche for its veracity myself, but you have a look and judge.

My two cents:

Cent one:
Cooley did not, alas, crack the top 100.

Cent two:
Syracuse fell out of the top 100. For anyone following my continuing odyssey with their friendly admin dept... heh. Couldn't happen to nicer people.

Financial Aid / Selling the house- how will it affect FAFSA 2L & 3L
« on: March 28, 2006, 12:36:21 PM »
Okay... here's a question I just thought of.

I (by *I* in this post I mean my family) qualified for maximum FA at all the schools I applied to because, well, we have no money. We will need this.

We will also be selling our house in order to move to the city (not sure which one yet) where the law school is.

After we pay down mortgage etc., and due to appreciation, we should clear 50-70k. I had thought about renting an apartment with this money for the next three years...

BUT I just realized that if we do this, that money will have to show up as assets in next year's FAFSA declaration, lowering the amount of total aid (current house does not count as assets).

Does this mean I have to roll it over into a house in order to make the FAFSA numbers work? I assume there is a huge difference between a large family with few assets and one low earner and a large family with 50-70k in the bank and one low earner.

Where should I go next fall? / What are YOU looking for in a visit?
« on: March 25, 2006, 11:41:51 PM »
So, like many of you on this board, I need to make a decision fairly soon. And I always thought that my visit to a school would play an important part in the decision making process. But after a few visits, and a little thinking, I'm beginning to wonder- what use are school visits?

They can tell you one thing- boy, I don't want to go to school in THIS city. But can they tell you anything else? If you attend a school-sponsored Open House, you're basically attending a dog-and-pony show. It *should* be a good experience. And if it isn't, it probably says more about the relative incompetence of the admissions department than anything else.

I've been looking through my notes from my various school visits... and my great realization is that the University of Buffalo's architecture can best be described as early-50s brutalist. But I'm not going there for the architecture. And maybe the ugly buildings scare off of the snow they get. The rest of the schools are a blur of smiling admissions folk and contracts classes. The one advantage of the school visits was my ability to scope out the surrounding area and see if I liked the community.

Occasioanlly, I've gotten a 'vibe' from a school visit, but as someone with a science background, I know better than to trust a one-day sample size. I can get a better feel for the student body by contacting current students over the internet than the artificial conversations you get during a tour. I can understand the academics and the teaching styles better by doing a little bit of research about them than by attending one sample class. And I can find out a lot more about my post-graduation employment prospects by looking at the statistics than by hearing yet another admissions Dean tell me the story of the student last year who used alum connections to land that job in Hawaii, showing that StateU really isn't a regional school.

So... other than the, "Wow, I could never go to school here!" realization you might sometimes get with a school visit, of what use are school visits? And what do you look for in a school visit? Ice cream? Novelties? Party Tricks? Clean Bathrooms?

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