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Topics - fall07

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Choosing the Right Law School / Law School and Math Combo?
« on: November 16, 2007, 11:11:45 AM »
I posted a few weeks ago with my situation and got some great guidance.  I have a new question for you well-informed, reasonable individuals.

Quick recap, I'm 24 now, I graduated 2006 with a Psych degree, took time off and applied while starting an internet company.  Got full scholarships to my choice schools in Florida and in Canadian weather so long kinda gets to you.  However my corp was doing well, so I took more time off, and now, I want to keep riding out what I'm doing until about 27, I picked that age because 3 more years will be more then enough time to really see how my future in internet entrepreneurship may look.  Also, if I want to go to law school, I can be out of there by 30, which is still a fine age to begin...I think/hope, maybe younger is better I don't know. 

Here's the thing, I will be taking this time to work on my business, however, I miss school.....a lot....a lot a lot.  I've always liked math, not just studying it, but there are a lot of careers that look pretty dam interesting too, like statistical arbitrage, behavioral finance, and a host of others that combine quantitative sciences with my psych.  So, I think, I want to study a math field at U of T this september.  Some sort of econ/stats combination, or, well I haven't decided exactly yet...but, I'm now basically just confused.  Questions going through my mind 24/7 as I live with my neurotic self.

Would it be better to just keep establishing the business for 2 years and head straight to law school, get out by 28 and start the career, when established, I probably wouldn't care about my interest in math, if it is really there...?

If I do the math, then decide to go to law school, or work in the math field and do law school part time and get the it foolish to think that more doors would be open for math fields give a crap about you having a law degree, and more importantly, do legal jobs give a crap that I can work with market derivatives etc...I'd assume they'd have the cream of the crop for each if needed, not a jack of all trades I just basically "wasting time" by doing this then if I go into law, the math studies would have been basically just a potential addition to my working with my personal finances and not utilized in my future law career?

Finally, I'm sure most of us have/had this...growing up I wanted to be a hotshot lawyer as early as possible, raise capitol blah blah, of course when we grow up, the dreams might not change but we realize we have other interests and it's not just as simple as go as quick as possible...however, not sure if it's my conditioning or actually grounded in reason...but I can't help but feel a little depressed about the fact that if I take this entrepreneurship/math path until 27, and then graduate law at 30...I will be around young twenty somethings, and firms may look more kindly on them...or I will have to start at a similar salary to them at 30...of course if all goes well I'll have capitol saved up from my business...still though, if the math won't really add anything potentially to my salary as a lawyer through some sort of interdisciplinary position that pays more...then well that kinda stinks.

Basically, lots of questions, confused as hell...please help...I know most of you are not even in law school yet, but if I know anything about pre-laws, you're more dilligent then 95% of the population and know more about your future career then pretty much everyone else...thanks for any thoughts/kindness.


Choosing the Right Law School / What are your thoughts...?
« on: October 09, 2007, 10:14:44 AM »
Hi everyone, in a little bit of a pickle here and would appreciate some wise input from all of you as to what you would do in a similar position.

My name represents the fact that I was intending on going to law school this year, however, things changed.  After getting some scholarhips at lower ranked schools and some acceptances to alright ones, I decided to hold off from making a decision, especially considering a huge aspect of my situation.

After graduating undergrad a year and a half ago, I entered the world of internet entrepreneurship, it's always been something I wanted to do, and after graduating I finally had the time to dig in.  So I figured, wait on law school a year, make my mind up calmly as to where to go, and exhaust the potential of the opportunity in front of me with the internet.

Now, to give some important info, I am 23 turning 24 this year, live in Canada, and will most likely be attending school in either Florida or California with a scholarship...I simply don't want the debt and have looked into the niched markets of the relevant schools etc etc so that is not really an issue...what is an issue, is what you would do in the circumstances I will illustrate now.

I am now generating about 4k/month, more then half of which is passive income from is just the beginning, I have only started to realize the fruits of my labor, and the concrete is only now solidifying.  I expect in a few months time to be up to at least 6k/month, again half of which will be passive.  Further, I only need a laptop...thus, I can live...anywhere, I can travel the world, making money in the process, experiecing, adventuring, living a life, that when I am 45, I can only look back on and smile.  Or....I can close the door on everything and attend law school this upcoming August 2008.  Although this would not be the end of the world, it be very foolish.  I get the impression, from my own thoughts, that my propulsion to attend law school this August is merely emotional, I really..really wanna start, it has been my dream for so long, ridiculous or cliche as it may sound...I love school, if it were up to me, I'd spend my days travelling the world getting PhD's in every subject that interests me...which are quite a few.  Nevertheless now, well...what would you do? 

Although attending law school is not necessarily locking the door on the opportunities I have created for myself now online, the door will definately at least be closing, because I have no intentions of going to law school for a degree so I can "call myself a lawyer" etc...I want to excel, I want to moot, I want to sponge all that law school has to offer...and so the confusion grows...I really don't know what I should do.

The internet situation is slightly risky, but honeslty, not sure if any amount of reasoning can accurately assess the risk differential between the likelihood of spontaneous failure in these online ventures and the probability of relative lower-end "success" as an employee of the legal marketplace.  I could, take this next year away from formal studies (...I say formal studies because I am always studying, I keep myself busy with languages, and any and all information I can take in about all subjects, as well as possibly taking real estate courses should I take another year off)...and fail at generating more income, my website could die out, etc etc etc...most likely will only get better, which arouses the next fear...what if it goes very well and I decide not to go to law school at all...which would be very unfortunate, although I doubt that will happen since I am sincerely interested in working with the law...if anything, the more capital I possess..the more likely I am to do pro bono work...

Anyway, the bottom line is, I would be taking another year to explore all this opportunity has to offer, as a potentially short-term endeavour with a small shelf-life, adding one more year to my age, looking back when I'm 45, realizing how meaningless another one year really is in the grander scheme of things...or, I could go this August, hastily and more assuredly complete the goals I set for myself a long time ago, become 45, and...perhaps...question what would've huge fear, is that this year-off, year-off mindset becomes a perpetuating practice, which again would be unfortunate, although, again, with all honesty I don't think that will happen to me...I sincerely do like school and want to be there...all emotion tells me to start, to go, I really can't wait to begin...all rationale tells me that although slightly more risky...the potential of what is in front of me is too great to not squeeze with all my strength...because when it comes down to it, law school isn't going anywhere...the legal practice is not going anywhere, and..I am not going anywhere...whether I graduate at 27, or 28...if things don't work out next year with the entrepreneurship...well then...that sucks...I brush it off and start school 2009...

This is my reasoning, this is the way I see it, of course...I could be unreasonable...I could be immature, I don't know, and so I pass it on to you, I genuinely care to hear your opinions and what you think, and thank you for it.

This is the time for tough decisions, hoping I could make use of your expertise for this one.

I've been accepted to USF, Loyola, Southwestern, Chapman, Miami.......after the research I personally like Southwestern most out of these and would almost surely choose it.

Problem is I'm from Canada and thus cannot apply through FAFSA for any sort of aid, and most schools have told me that I am not eligible for any of their scholarships as such. 

So I decided to take a year off because I simply cannot afford school this august, even with the max private loan afforded me.  I've decided on a year off to save up more money, which would also give me a chance to work something out with deferred acceptances to get an ssn and perhaps obtain some scholarship money...although by that time it wouldn't even be an aboslute necessity.

Here's the thing, I just received word from Nova Southeastern that they are giving me a full, I'm sure most people's first reaction will be ummm so what....right, it is a T4, but my pros for potentially accepting that are also the reasons I applied there in the first place.

I have an immediate family member in Ft. Lauderdale who is an alumni of Nova law and is doing quite well.  Nova does have a strong alumni presence in Southern Florida.  When you factor in the doors that would be open to me because of my family relation, it does get a little more attractive. 

So here it is, free Nova, or full loans in one of those cali schools, most likely Southwestern.

Do I mind working in Florida for a couple years to establish professional presence? No
Do I think I will be making the top 10% of the student body? Yes
Do I realize that the above could quite easily not happen? Yes

Bottom line is this:

1)  Attend Nova now for free and graduate at 26 still single (eye on the prize) with no debt.
2)  Wait another year, save up, graduate at 27 still single with at least 100k debt.

The still single part is mentioned to highlight that decisions would be easier later on etc and that certain other factors need not be considered.

Lets say I, for whatever reason, get a job making an average salary.  At Southwestern, that's 80k, at Nova, that's 50k.  But that's not all, I'd have to consider how quickly the salary could grow, all things being equal of course?...And, lets say I do make the top portion of my class, or, start average but accelerate in the profession well, where would I have more financial potential?

I would be happy in both areas, and am leaving aside other considerations, I'd just like to know what everyone thinks, mainly about the two last questions, and in general, what you would do.

Thank you very much for reading.

Financial Aid / Entering from Canada
« on: April 10, 2007, 06:44:48 PM »
Without an American SS number I cannot apply through FAFSA and thus am not eligible for scholarship etc.  Does anyone know any sources of funding other then private bank loans for Canadians?  Further, is obtaining an SS number merely a matter of moving there and obtaining an address with a Student Visa, or is there more to it?  I'm looking into it but if anyone has gone through the process or has information it would really speed things up and perhaps include things I've overlooked.


Just wondering what types of credentials individuals who received scholarship at any of these schools possess, to get a rough idea of my chances.


Hi, been trying to collect as much info on these schools as possible but a more personalized session may prove worthwhile.

I have a 3.3GPA with a 159 LSAT and some nice awards and undergraduate championships.  Wondering if those well-read on california schools could help me out.

I applied late, so I am currently waiting on Loyola, Southwestern, Chapman, am on the waiting list for USF, and got accepted to California Western.

So I have a couple questions.  At first glance, how would you rate my chances at the schools I am waiting to hear from and the USF waiting list?...(from what I've seen here there are some higher numbers also on the list but you never know).

I think it's safe to assume that my chances at Loyola are slim, Chapman good, and Southwestern really good.  Bottom line though is that I am honestly most interested in Southwestern.  USF is a "better" school rankwise, entrance standards yadda yadda, don't really care though.  Living in San Fran would be nice but I'm wondering what type of influence USF's religious affiliation imposes.  I assume it's more of a traditional underpinning which may still have formal application, maybe still funded etc?...But does it weave into the student body and is the material skewed as such...Not saying there's anything wrong with that...just would rather be in a neutral atmosphere etc.

The main concern is, how am I looking for Southwestern, and do any others have relevant opinions about it and the area?

I guess I should mention I'm from Canada, but would like to actually settle in Cali afterwards and am not simply looking for a vacation school. As long as the school knows what it's doing, reasonably friendly student body, is located in a comfortable and safe general environment that provides some great job opportunities if I excel, then that's fine with me.

Thanks for reading.


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