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Hello All,

Back when I applied to law school, I was on this board too much for my own good.  I had a lot of questions, and the answers always seemed to be coming from other people like myself, i.e., people who had not gone to law school yet, were not lawyers, had never been on an interview with a big law firm, had not interviewed law students for a job at a big law firm, and generally had no idea about the profession.  Thus, I thought I would "give back" and see if any of you have questions that I could answer.

I'm currently a third year associate at a regional office of an AM Law 100 firm.  I went to a top 25 law school and graduated in the top 10%.

Here is some general advice, for what its worth:

(1) Don't go to law school: Law school is probably for about 5% of the people that go.  Really.  While I'm not a huge fan of Tucker Max, his thoughts are pretty spot on: http://tuckermax.me/why-you-should-not-go-to-law-school-3/.  If you are itching to go to school, I would suggest an MBA.

(2) 90% of you will not be in the top 10% of the class.  Accept this now. 

(3) If you do go to law school, I would starting thinking about a career path outside of an AM LAW 200 firm RIGHT NOW.  I have friends that have started their own practice and they love it.  While the first year to a year and a half were rough, they now make about the same amount as I do.  They have also created jobs, don't have to answer to partners, probably learned more, and are generally very satisfied with their choice in life.

(4) I would strongly recommend that you apply/attend a school in the area where you want to practice that is (1) cheap and (2) has a good (or better) reputation locally.  Keeping you debt down should be your #1 priority.  I think most of you haven't faced down $150K+ in debt.  I have about half of that and its miserable.  I can't imagine what its like to pay $1500 a month for the next 25 years for the privilege of working 60+ hours a week.

(5) On a related note: if you don't get into Harvard, Yale, Stanford, or Chicago you are going to need good grades.  Yes, that includes other "T-14" schools that report grades.  Time and time again, at the two firms I have worked, life experience plus good grades at a well respected school trumps (on paper) a straight out with no experience, that did mediocre or worse at Georgetown or Cornell.

(6) If you are going to do well in law school, you are going to do well regardless of what school you go to.  I have nothing to back this up other than experience, but doing well in law school is not something that comes naturally to most.  If you are able to figure out the secret sauce, it will probably put you in the top 25% of most law schools.  Thus, if you see (4) and (5) above, go to where school is cheapest and reasonably respected.  If you do well, you will have opportunities at a "market pay" job.  If you don't, then you should start your own practice and have as little debt as possible.

(7) Finally, you are all smart.  I don't know any of you, but if you did well enough on the LSAT to go to any law school, and have good enough grades to consider going to law school, you are smarter than the vast majority of people.  Guess what: EVERYONE IN LAW SCHOOL IS SMART.  Understand that and check your ego at the door.  You cannot go into this thinking you are going to be the exception because, odds are, you are not.

If you have specific questions, fire away.  I'm happy to answer.

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Law School Applications / Emory 1L taking questions
« on: November 08, 2007, 03:47:11 PM »
If you want to know what it's like outside the totally awesome t-14. I'm killing a little time I don't have.

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Law School Applications / Are schools watilisting more this year?
« on: April 24, 2007, 05:52:14 PM »
UPDATED April 26, roughly 9:30am EDT

I have read this numerous times on this board, so I decided to crunch some numbers:

School   2006 total WL   2007 total WL   2006 WL%   2007 WL%   WL change
Penn   135   235   19.71   30.92   11.21
UVA   176   241   26.35   33.33   6.98
UCLA   103   171   19.92   26.76   6.84
Fordham   61   83   13.26   18.28   5.02
GW   124   176   16.49   21.6   5.11
Michigan   225   231   28.7   27.93   -0.77
Vanderbilt   127   159   31.2   33.47   2.27
Duke   137   180   23.1   22.22   -0.88
Emory   43   51   13.23   14.61   1.38
USC   65   53   13.63   10.77   -2.86
Texas   44   51   10.95   11.36   0.41
Boalt   42   51   5.74   6.94   1.2
Columbia   226   154   24.73   17.76   -6.97
Chicago   118   80   17.61   12.76   -4.85
Cornell   90   62   16.48   11.81   -4.67
Harvard   81   51   9.74   6.46   -3.28
Georgetown   181   126   17.14   11.72   -5.42
NYU   104   58   11.98   7.31   -4.67
Yale   53   12   11.42   2.92   -8.5
Stanford   108   17   18.75   3.41   -15.34
Northwestern   173   26   30.84   4.54   -26.3


Acceptance table:

School   2006 accepted   2007 accepted   2006 accept %   2007 accept %   Accept Change
Penn   229   209   33.43   27.5   -5.93
UVA   290   287   43.41   39.7   -3.71
UCLA   188   169   36.36   26.45   -9.91
Fordham   180   170   39.13   37.44   -1.69
GW   324   271   43.09   33.25   -9.84
Michigan   290   291   36.99   35.19   -1.8
Vanderbilt   171   173   42.01   36.42   -5.59
Duke   210   341   35.41   42.1   6.69
Emory   158   135   48.62   38.68   -9.94
USC   171   136   35.85   27.64   -8.21
Texas   154   157   38.31   34.97   -3.34
Boalt   171   154   23.36   20.95   -2.41
Columbia   256   249   28.01   28.72   0.71
Chicago   184   197   27.46   31.42   3.96
Cornell   204   200   37.36   38.1   0.74
Harvard   174   162   20.91   20.53   -0.38
Georgetown   443   460   41.95   42.79   0.84
NYU   365   335   42.05   42.24   0.19
Yale   56   61   12.07   14.84   2.77
Stanford   73   68   12.67   13.63   0.96
Northwestern   198   181   35.29   31.59   -3.7

Updated comments (4/26):

I included accepts and also included raw numbers as somone in the thread requested. I also rolled up the WL'accepts and WL/Rejects as well as they are not included under the category "Waitlist" on LSN. Interesting to note that there were a lot of waitlists at Yale and Stanford this week. Also, Georgetown had many WL/Accepts.

Orginal comments:
Now of course, this is just LSN data so it isn't perfect, but it's all I have to work with. Also, there are still pending apps out this cycle which would affect the numbers, especially for schools with lots of pending applications (like say USC or UCLA). Also, I'm not sure that if someone gets a decision on their waitlist if they are still counted in the waitlist category (For example, someone was on the waitlist, then got accepted, changint their status to WL/Accpeted, how is indicated in the summary numbers for each school), and this would affect the percentages also. However, this isn't a thesis, its just for fun.

Looking at this though, I'm not certain the claim that schools are tending to waitlist more this year holds. Some may be, but I think anything within a 5% change could be considered just a normal variance, or due to data issues. Only a few of the schools I collected data on are above a 5% change in more waitlists this year.

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Law School Applications / are schools waitlisting more this year?
« on: April 24, 2007, 05:31:21 PM »
I've read on this board a lot that idea that schools are waitlisting more students due to low application volume. I decided to use what data I had to investigate this further and I got the following results for the top 18ish schools plus a few others:

School           2006%   2007%   change
Penn           16.64   31.05   14.41
UVA           22.75   33.61   10.86
UCLA           16.44   26.29   9.85
Fordham           8.26   17.4   9.14
GW           12.5   20.61   8.11
Michigan   21.94   27.57   5.63
Vanderbilt   27.76   33.05   5.29
Duke           19.39   21.98   2.59
Emory           12.62   14.61   1.99
USC           8.6   10.16   1.56
Texas           9.7   11.14   1.44
Boalt           5.33   6.39   1.06
Columbia   18.71   17.42   -1.29
Chicago           14.03   12.44   -1.59
Cornell           13.92   11.62   -2.3
Harvard           6.49   4.18   -2.31
Georgetown   13.26   10.79   -2.47
NYU           9.56   5.93   -3.63
Yale           8.62   0.49   -8.13
Stanford   14.93   1.8   -13.13
Northwestern   27.09   4.54   -22.55

Of course there are tons of caveats. First, these are LSN numbers. Second, they are still several pending applications out for this cycle and for some schools (like UCLA, USC) there are a large number of pending apps. I think what I found interesting is that 3 of the top 4 here are schools that waitlisted me, when they should have probablly just rejected me based on my numbers alone.

Here is how i calculated the percentages:

For the year in question:
% = # Waitlisted/(#Visible apps-#not applied)

change = 2006% - 2007%

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Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Emory ASW this weekend, lets party!
« on: March 31, 2007, 08:51:31 PM »
For those that are travelling in for the ASW and will be around Friday night (the night before) I think we LSDers should meet up and get some drinks. I can take the lead on this and you can PM me to exchange numbers or what not. I guess we can figure out where to go after we know where everyone is staying and when they might get in.

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Law School Applications / Emory Scholarship Update
« on: March 20, 2007, 02:08:24 PM »
I just e-mailed Emory about their ASD and asked about scholarship information. They told me I would be notified via e-mail by Thursday at the latest. I don't know if that means I will get one, but I figured others might be interested in the information.

I would have attached this to the other Emory Scholarship thread, I just didn't feel like digging for it without the search button.

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Where should I go next fall? / Loyola LA reputation in southern cal
« on: March 20, 2007, 11:32:25 AM »
When I first started thinking about law school, I was interested in doing Entertainment Law, specifically music industry related law. As a result, I was originally looking at schools in LA (primairly), NYC and Nashville. While my interests have broaded, working in entertainment is still something I'm very interested in.

I have yet to hear from USC or UCLA, but I'm expecting at best waitlists. Loyola gave me a nice scholarship where I can graduate from law school debt free using the scholarship and money I have saved. My only concern is Loyola's reputation. Are their any Loyola students out there that care to offer opinons? I'm sure most of the people on this board are going to say "go to X because it is ranked higher" but I'm curious about Loyola's rep/job propects IN LA. It seems from their web site that students do ok. Thanks.

BTW...i know it will be asked, scholarship is renewable if i keep a 2.6 which they estimate as top 2/3 of the class. I feel that is a resonable request.

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Law School Applications / Anyone get a fee waiver AFTER they applied?
« on: January 10, 2007, 10:21:05 AM »
One of the schools I applied to granted me a fee waiver via snail mail which I received a day after I applied electronically. Has this happened to anyone and if so, did you do anything about it? (Like ask for a refund...).

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Studying for the LSAT / It's like Christmas morning...
« on: December 21, 2006, 12:56:52 PM »
I am completely guilty of this as well, but I think its funny:

All of this "My box is filled." "my reports are no longer R7, they have been sent..." talk is like Christmas morning when you couldn't open up your presents, so instead you picked them up, shook them and took a guess at their contents based on size, weight and shape. You are just waiting to tear open that paper and finally find out what you got...

I haven't been excited about Christmas like that in a long time, however, I'm feeling that rushy, woozy, feeling now. Its fun.

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Studying for the LSAT / To those who took Sept LSAT and cancelled...
« on: December 02, 2006, 03:41:39 PM »
Do you guys feel a lot better with your desicion cancel? I felt i did much better on this test that the Sept one. I was less nervous and the only section I had a hard time with seems to be my experiemental, and even that wasn't to0 hard (Games, section 1). At this point, my only concern is the scale. I wouldn't be surprised if it was rough (like Dec 05). Even so, I think I did about as good as I could do. I'm VERY glad I cancelled my Sept score on the off chance that a school or two I'm looking at still averages.

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