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Messages - mudcat

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1
Pittsburgh / Re: How do you all like Pitt?
« on: July 13, 2008, 12:39:23 AM »
Is it still true that Pittsburgh has too many lawyers?  Absolutely.  Is is still true that major corporations are leaving Pittsburgh?  Well, Mellon just moved corporate to NY this past year, for starters...

The more important point for incoming students is that Pitt won't give you access to the firms that service these corporations.  K&L Gates, for example, has 20 summer associates this summer...only ONE goes to Pitt. ONE. 

I'm taking the bar in two weeks.  I can't tell you how many of my friends are still unemployed.

2
Pittsburgh / Re: Housing
« on: May 03, 2007, 09:39:06 PM »
I am a current 1L.  Rent is cheapest in Oakland, but you DO NOT want to live there.

There is a huuuge difference between north and south oakland.  North oakland: safe, within walking distance of the law school, and much cheaper than shadyside.  Shadyside is overpriced but is clearly the popular choice.  If you see an advantage at living next to Sephora you should move there

edit: and a lot of people live in north oakland, but more drinkers live in shadyside (near the bars)

3
Pittsburgh / Re: Grading at Pitt
« on: May 03, 2007, 09:25:06 PM »
Dooder, that chart couldnt be any easier to read. The horizontal axis is the letter grade, and the vertical axis is the number of students who averaged that grade. 

4
Pittsburgh / Re: Grading at Pitt
« on: May 02, 2007, 08:00:30 AM »
Can you explain how to read that chart to me.

OK, what the chart means is that out of 250 people in the class, 35 people received an A- average, 90 people received a B+ average, 50 people received a B average, 50 people received a B- average, 15 people received a C+ average, and five people received a C average, after first year.  So its a ~3.1 curve.  Another way to understand the curve is that out of 250 people, about 40 people get A's, 40 people get C's, and the rest get B's.  Its kind of sad that I just had to explain that to you

5
Pittsburgh / Re: Grading at Pitt
« on: May 01, 2007, 07:53:17 PM »
From the charts on their website it seemed that quite a few students got A's and am trying to figure out the grading method they use there.  Thanks for the help.

Wtf are you talking about?  look at the chart again - for 2008, about 10-15% average an A-. 

http://www.law.pitt.edu/career/ChartGradeDistribution2008.pdf

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Pittsburgh / Re: How do you all like Pitt?
« on: May 01, 2007, 07:31:55 PM »
"Mr. Blaner attributed part of the mobility to the "economics of the legal market." Pittsburgh has the nation's second-highest number of lawyers per capita -- yet it has lost several big corporate headquarters, which once generated a lot of legal work for law firms."

http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/stories/1998/02/09/story8.html

I am not saying you wont be able to find a job - many do.  But if you are interested in a big firm job, you should definitely retake the lsat and try for a better school, unless you are really confident that you will perform better on exams than 90% of your classmates. 

7
Pittsburgh / Re: How do you all like Pitt?
« on: May 01, 2007, 07:25:15 PM »
Its hard to believe that the legal market there is so saturated.  How can this be? 

Pittsburgh has lost half its population since 1960.  Its the only town other than NO to have lost population since 2000.  But all the lawyers stay because most lawyers dont want to take another bar exam.  so you have a situation where the lawyer population has grown (enrollment at piTTT and duquesne has gone up dramatically (more $$ for schools)) and the need for services has dropped significantly.  And yes, this takes urban flight into account, im talking about allegheny county in general. 

PiTTT is a gamble that worked out for me, but many of my classmates are pissed that PiTTT is permitted to misreport employment statistics to the lsac so that it seems like everyone is employed at graduation, which is not an accurate representation of the class.  However, many of those who are unemployed do not deserve to be employed, so the school should not bear all the responsibility.   

8
Pittsburgh / Re: How do you all like Pitt?
« on: May 01, 2007, 01:26:18 PM »
I was accepted to start next fall and was wondering how everyone was doing.  Impressions, advice, if you are happy with your decision, etc. 

I would consider retaking the lsat if you are going to take out a lot of money to come here.  The professors are great.  That being said, few people in my 2l class have jobs that will offer them permanent positions (I do have one); I have never heard ANYONE ever say anything good about cso; the registrar's office doesnt use computers; and pittsburgh has more lawyers per capita than any other metro other than Minneapolis (crowded market).  Only 3 Pitt 2l's got SA positions at reed smith for this summer.  You will strike out at cso if you arent on law review.   

9
General Board / Re: Starting your own solo practice after law school
« on: October 20, 2005, 04:44:42 PM »
LAW 312: Starting a Solo Practice

CORSE PREREQ: (1) please submit a bank account statement from the last three months reflecting a balance of $300,000+.  (2) familiarity with swear word formatting on internet message boards will be helpful.

good job lip!  pass/fail?

10
General Board / Re: Starting your own solo practice after law school
« on: October 20, 2005, 02:42:41 PM »
EDIT: your negative to posting ratio is better than mine, so I AM worse than you... sorry.

EDIT: heres some constructive criticism.

I just helped a lawyer create a new solo practice.  Here are some things to consider.

1.  applying for a license as a corporation.  P.C.?  L.L.C.?  do you need a consultation to figure out which is better? ($$)

2.  do you have to carry malpractice insurance ($$$) in your state?  And god forbid you do muck up a case up with your ZERO experience- are you prepared to watch your premiums jump 10x?  and never go down?

3.  are you going to pay an accountant ($$), or do it yourself?  do you have an accountants license or background?

4.  taxes ($$)- have you ever run a business before?

5.  Rent- are you prepared to sign a 5 year lease?  15-75$/ square feet ($$$$)? do you have collateral, equity, own a home? 

6. do you have excellent credit, or are you going to purchase all infrastructure yourself up front ($$$)?   

7.  westlaw accounts can be 5,000/person, due up front ($).  or you have to buy books.  or you could walk to the library...

8.  do you have a mentor?  what happens if your ZERO experience in your field puts you in a malpractice/disciplinary situation?  who do you turn to?

9.  are you going to advertise, ($$$) or just rely on cases fed to you?  are you at lease going to pay for a martindale-hubble entry ($)?  What happens when clients look you up and realize that you dont even have a C- martindale grade? 

10.  bar fees, subscriptions, CLE classes, all of this adds up over time.  And you need to throw down for it too ($).


granted, this guy was probably the premiere med mal attorney in my state, but it was hard even for him.  Lots of planning, consultations, and OVERHEAD.  He had the cash to pay for it out of pocket.  Do you?  he ran a 1.3 million dollar bill before he opened his practice...granted, you dont need to purchase a 400,000$ medical library, or oil paintings... but you should still think about this before putting yourself into much more debt than law school ran you.

or maybe my boss just did things right, im sure you can cut every corner i just mentioned.  except the malpractice one, which is deadly for solos. And if this all fails, you think a firm/agency/judge will hire you after you tell them that you started off solo, got sued, and declared bankruptcy?

just a bit of reality.  Solos are running businesses, and the business world can be cruel.

though im sure they cover all of this in your solo practice seminar. 

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