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Messages - westcoaster

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Some PT programs don't have great reputations. For example, at some schools the PT classes are taught primarily by adjuncts, not by the regular faculty.  98% of the time though, it won't make a difference, so long as you are able to get some legal experience by the time OCI rolls around (either after your first year if you transfer to the FT program, or otherwise after your second year).

Nothing you can do now except focus on getting good grades.  Also, try and get to know a professor well-enough that they will write you a very good letter of recommendation.  It's not worth spending energy thinking about transferring unless you get those two things to work out well for you.  And unless Hastings has an early admission program for transfers, you won't be applying until late in your Spring semester anyway.

Job Search / Re: Sacramento firms
« on: November 13, 2008, 08:46:17 AM »
for a regional firm in a laid back city, DB has a reputation of having all the traditional biglaw downsides (very formal, stuffy atmosphere)

Job Search / Re: What is my best option at this point?
« on: October 04, 2008, 06:43:29 AM »
Don't wait on gov't positions.  Positions in the well respected gov't honors programs will hold up at least as well as a mid-size firm during 3L OCI and when applying for clerkships.  But deadlines are quickly coming up... DOJ was over a month ago, FTC was last week, and I believe the SEC is next week.

Job Search / Re: Do big firms hire from their support staff??
« on: September 12, 2008, 06:09:50 PM »
for what it's worth, we had a student who had worked as a paralegal at a very well known V25 firm, had medicore grades T1 school, and rec'd a callback from the firm at OCI b/c of his past experience.  I'm not sure if they have made him an offer or not, but it got his foot in the door at a firm he never would have gotten a screening interview at normally.


I do have one question, though. Do you feel like you could have achieved the same standing at another school? In other words, did you benefit from the relative lack of competition at your academic level?

I was magna cum laude in my Master's program. My UGPA was low b/c I didn't take school seriously at first, but I think I am poised to do well in law school and have thought going to a lower ranked school might be a good choice if I could perform similarly to you.

In my experience, there's some correlation between law school performance and LSAT, but it's not absolute.  I would hesitate to say that I've benefited from a lack of competition.  A couple of people who outperformed me had much lower LSATs.  On the other side, I work with someone who is now on law review at a top 3 school and, though smart, I would not be academically intimidated by her. 

My theory is that your 1L grades probably involve some combination of (1) LSAT indicator, (2) willingness to put the work in (not procrastinate), and (3) ability to maintain your composure under stress.  There's no way to guarantee you'll finish in the top % of the class, but an honest self-assessment along those lines should roughly give you an idea of what to expect.

I normally don't chime in on these debates, but since I had nearly identical numbers last year when I was applying, I'll throw my two cents in.

- If you didn't take a testmasters course or something similar for your LSAT the first time around, you may want to consider doing that and re-taking.  I did some independent studying for a couple months (while I was working full-time), and ended up with a 165.  I was also scoring 170-175 on my practice tests right before the real thing.  If I had been a little more flexible with my law school time table, I would probably have taken TestMasters and retaken the test.  A T14 education certainly makes you more flexible and provides a good deal of security.

- That said, I ended up choosing between a bunch of schools ranked in the 30's with scholarships.  I didn't apply to schools in the 15-30 range because of personal preferences, so I can't tell you what your chances there are.  My current mid 30 school gave me a substantial scholarship.  I ended up top 3-4% at my school, on LR, and am now getting interviews from Vault top 40 firms on both coasts.  In short, I am able to do everything I personally would have wanted to do had I got into a T14, at a fraction of the price. (side note: a few people in my class that were similarly ranked ended up transferring to schools like Yale, Chicago, Georgetown, etc, so that option is there as well)

Of course, the downside of going to the mid 30's school is that had I struggled, I'd be in a very different employment situation, so there is/was increased pressure to do well.  It pretty much comes down to your risk tolerance, and how much work and effort you expect to put in during 1L, and what your career goals are.

Transferring / Re: GULC Status Checker -- Anyone Go Decision?
« on: April 08, 2008, 12:19:47 PM »
And so it begins. What were your stats, if you don't mind my asking?

3.69 GPA on a 2.95 curve, which is top 8%. School ranked in the mid 30s. Very low UGPA, very high LSATs.

out of curiousity, plan on accepting?

How much does your current school's tier come into play in that calculation?  Or does it not matter, you should go for the higher ranked school (say T14) no matter what?

Curious what the consensus is.  Assume you are footing the bill, and that you are in the top 15% or so at the current school.

(lets also say per year, not total)

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