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Messages - jollyrog

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1
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Law School at 52
« on: August 05, 2011, 09:20:02 PM »

I am wondering if you could comment on your decision tree and
career path.
...


Although I had dedicated my life to being a surgeon, the climate in clinical medicine is dismal..

I know the time and expense that law school would involve...med school, internship,
residency and fellowship have topped all of that...

I just want to take my life into a better direction and get back to the east coast,
specifically washington dc area where my husband has just taken a  high level
govenment job.


For starters, it sounds like you're considering this with your eyes open, and have pretty compelling reasons for a geographical - not to mention professional - change.

From my perspective, with the idea of leveraging my engineering experience in law practice, I'll give you the only advice I can offer is the bottom-line answer I gave myself after all of the soul-searching and evaluating: If I didn't do it, I knew I'd go to my grave regretting it. My first year has validated my decision.

We get one life, kiddo. My feeling is let's not hate what's left of it.

Best of luck to you, and let us know what you end up doing!

2
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Law School at 52
« on: July 05, 2011, 12:17:05 PM »

The folks who are going to have trouble will be the old guys who go in thinking that they have a bunch of wisdom to impart on young people and who never shut up about how they did this, or that, or whatever.  The other law students aren't your kids, they're your peers.  If you show them that respect, they will likely reciprocate.

To the OP, I am pretty much in your boat/have a very similar backstory, except I'm headed into year two. Falcon is correct; treat the kids as your peers, and you'll get plenty of respect.

In my case, I've got young twenty-something kid, was around a lot of younger guys when I was in the Navy, and work in a "young" industry, so I'm a bit more up to speed with some of what the kids watch/listen to/think is important, etc. than a lot of 50-somethings, and I'm more tech-savvy than even most of my younger classmates. I don't know your situation, but all of that helps me.

At my school I am The Class Old Guy, and I've discovered that there's a combination of respect, intimidation (I found out via the grapevine that I intimidate a lot of them - and I'm a very friendly guy, so it's not intentional), and what-is-he-doing-here?, and genuine friendship among my classmates. Being part-time, I miss out on a lot of the social stuff, but mainly because I'm not available - I get invited to parties/functions/bars,etc. which I find gratifying and attend when time permits - but I'm also spared a lot of the "kiddie" drama that goes on, for which I'm grateful.

I've never heard a disparaging remark about my age (except for obvious, good-natured jokes), either directly or via the grapevine, but then again, my school is one of the most cordial/least cutthroat in the country, so your experience may differ. Then again, don't forget, your experience will intimidate some of these kids and some may resent the competition. I still anticipate as we get closer to graduation and it dawns on some that they are, on balance, at a competitive disadvantage (in some cases - in others, e.g. biglaw, we geezers have basically no shot) because of our experience, some of it may manifest itself that way.

I suspect your experience will be similar. But, congratulations, and good for you!

3
Thanks for agreeing with me.

 I think the real cesspool is US News Rankings. Realistically, how do they determine between the 73rd and 104th ranked school?  USF for example was a T-3 last year and then all the sudden became 82 or something. What in gods name did they do to jump 30 spots in one year?  The year before being dropped to T-3 they were somewhere between 70 and 90, but appaernlty they did something so attoricous that it dropped them 30 spots.  What in gods named changed there so drastically between those two years to drop 30 stops and then come back immediatly? Bottom line is ABA means ABA and granted everyone will agree on the top schools Harvard, Yale, Standford etc. However, can you really distinguish between Mercer and Williamette does an employer really care that Williamette was ranked numer 113 while Mercer was 92 that is just stupid.  I don't even know what the rankings of either school are honestly and I don't think it matters.  Do you really think an employer is going to interview someone from Mercer and then Williamette and then open the U.S. News magazine and decide who to hire based on obscure rankings that distinguish between 70 and 102.  The reality is I am sure money is changing hands between schools and U.S. News and that is how you get your ranking boosted, which is a ridicluous and would be the defintion of a cesspool organization to me. The ABA specifically mentions on their website not to take the rankings seriously and I will trust what they say as opposed to some private magazine company, who is likely getting some type of compensation for putting people where they do.

The only way U.S News rankings would even make sense is if they went the NCAA route and ranked the top 25 schools, because then it would be an honor as imposed to an insult to lower schools. I think anyone will agree that determining between 88 and 109 does not make sense and does not matter.

My biggest beefs with the rankings are that so much is subjective, and with Lexis and Westlaw, does the size of your library really matter that much?

As far as employers, exactly; 20 places in the rankings won't mean a thing. But, one lawyer I've known for about 20 years told me that if you go to a really low-ranked school, employers will assume that was the best you could get into. If that's the case, well, you do what you can. But we all know that all things being fairly equal, go to the best school you can. Would I go another $80K in debt than I will anyway to go to GULC? Hell, yes.

But then again, since I'm a Non-trad, I'm not a biglaw candidate, anyway, so T3 or T4 will probably work out.

4
Sorry my punctuation offends you so much I come on this website when I am on the train to and from school to kill time and I'm using my I-phone so my grammars not great. I was in the top 10% of my class and did fine in LRW thanks for the advice though.  

I completely agree that someone at a T-14 school is a better student and standardized test taker than you or me and that is why they are there. One of my best friends goes to Standford and he is brilliant and will more than likely be a better attorney than I will ever be. So I think we agree T-14 students are smarter than us. My whole point is that I don't think my T-4 is a cesspool and I imagine you don't feel your school is either.U

The reason I brought up the bar is that not everybody passes no matter what school they go to. Harvard does not have a 100% bar passage rate so someone there didn't pass and is probably having a hard time finding a job and is pissed off. So is Harvard a shady school bent on stealing everybody's money? I don't think so. My whole point was that you should go to the law school that works best for you and do not take posts titled 1L attrirtion rates Beg the ABA to do away with All these Cesspools seriously, because the OP themselves probably has not yet taken the bar or done anything significant in the legal world and therefore has no right to criticize other schools.

As a sidenote the reason for the high attrition rates at these schools is transfers they didn't fail out 25% of the class. 15% of last years 1L's at GGU transferred to Hastings, USF, Santa Clara or some other school at the end of the first year and they were not kicked out as the attrition rate percentages make you believe. The other 10% include people that quit law school and those who didn't put in the work.

The LRW line wasn't directed at you, unless ; )- is your alter ego, and I'm not offended. The iphone explains quite a bit, but I just saw some humor in somebody defending T4 schools with a bunch of errors in the defense, nothing more. I wasn't busting your chops, but if I get called a prick, I'm going to return fire, fair enough?

IMO, so much of the USNWR rankings are self-perepetuating, that it stigmatizes SOME T3 & T4 schools. Then there are those that are truly rotten, but you're right, we agree that one can get a good legal education and have a nice career coming out of a lower-ranked school, provided you rock the place. It's no news to anybody here that graduating in the bottom 50% from GULC will put you ahead of somebody in the bottom 50% from Whittier. (Now, here come the flames from the Whittier people...)

Dude, you made a good case for T4s, and I agree with you. It just struck me as funny at the time. No harm intended. Good points here, as well.

Continued success to you.

5
Prick, they dont grade on spelling at the bar. It ain't the third grade.

Who said anything about the bar? Granted, this is only an internet forum, but failing to catch words obviously left out, wrong word form usage, not to mention the spelling and punctuation, still tend to indicate how well one writes.

All I'm saying is that it's one pretty large factor that separates the T14 types from the rest of us.

Try using your rationale in LRW and see how that works out for you.

I'm going to a T3 or T4 myself, for cripes' sakes, but I know it's not Harvard.

6
Well going to a T-4 I will tell you the curve does not force anybody out. Golden Gate allows for up to 90% of the class to get an A or B and only 10% are required to get a C and there is no mandatory D's at all. GGU's bar passage rate was 77% compared to UC Hastings 80% and they are ranked number 38 or something like that in U.S..  Tier 4's are not cesspools like the ignorant idiots on this board who have no experience with them say they are.  There are people there that don't put in the work and fail out, but if you get through you get through it. Consideration in a contract is the same whether you learned it Harvard or Cooley, we are learning the same things.  Obviously, someone at Harvard will have more opportunities,but location has something do with it also. I can say confidently that I will have a better shot at getting a job in San Francisco than a guy going to Florida State will. There are numerous alumni of GGU in the bay area and T-4's place will in the location they are in.  I probably won't be living a jet-setting lifestyle upon graduation, but I have already found a good summer job I am happy with and hopefully it will work out and turn it to something permanent. The attorney's there are not millionares and I never expected that lifestyle from going to a T-4. However, I find the law interesting and have always wanted to be a lawyer and so I am in law school. Stop bashing T-4's when you no nothing about them.

Call me crazy, but I think spelling, punctuation, and correct homonym usage might separate T4 students from Harvard's, as well.

7
Non-Traditional Students / Re: FAMU Law School
« on: October 27, 2009, 08:43:18 AM »
Don't go to FAMU. Just don't. It's arguably the worst law school in Florida.

Trust me, I know, and it's a shame. I'm just wondering if they've managed to get their poo together compared with a couple of years ago. I figure Barry has been around long enough that they should have gotten better if they were ever going to. (Contrast them with FIU, which is roughly the same age.)

FWIW, I did find out at the LSAC forum that there's a steady stream of transfers from the place, so it's become almost a "prep school" for the top performers to move up & out, especially to UF & FSU.

8
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Military
« on: October 27, 2009, 12:19:59 AM »
USMC vet.  still undergrad.  Trrying to save up GI bill eligiblity.  Do you think its worth it?

It depends on which GI bill you have. I don't know where you are, but Ohio grants in-state tuition to all veterans (and their kids), so that's something to consider. Depending how recently you got out, other schools have special "deals" for vets, some related to the 9-11 GI Bill/Yellow Ribbon program, some not.

9
Non-Traditional Students / Re: FAMU Law School
« on: October 27, 2009, 12:10:36 AM »
I'm a NT, going to go PT, and I'm still looking at FAMU as a safety, but I'm still a bit concerned. I went to the LSAC forum in Atlanta over the weekend, and was far more impressed by the FAMU people than the guy from Barry. For the money, I can't see Barry, unless you get a scholly, which they do hand out fairly liberally.

Do you hear from the 3Ls who have seen the before/after that the difference is that pronounced? I've heard from many lawyers around town to avoid the place like the plague. Even if their opinion is based on old info, perceptions can be slow to change.

Keep in mind, I'm a very experienced professional earning a very nice living, so going through a four-year slog, just to fight for a job paying $60-70K (which seems like FAMU's high end) isn't my idea of time and effort well spent. So, should I still check out the open house in November?

10
Busy schedule + short-term pre is a formula for disappointment.  I understand scheduling conflicts, but I'm also concerned about the overall amount of time you have to dedicate to studying the LSAT.  If the problem is truly scheduling, and not an overall lack of time, you should consider hiring a tutor.  That'll give you more comprehensive prep and a flexible schedule.

Re: Courses
While I'm a strong advocate for taking prep courses, but I'm not a big fan of taking abbreviated courses.  I've taught Princeton Review's accelerated course, and I'm not a big fan.  The course simply moves too quickly to get into any real deep discussion of the materials.  The longer Hyperlearning course is gold.  Unfortunately I don't know anything about Powerscore's virtual course, but it appears to have just as few hours as TPR Accelerated.  Again, tutoring is probably a better option.

Earl, you've swerved into my thinking. I got so buried at work (50+ hour weeks/only one day off all of August), that my prep really suffered. My planned 20+ PTs became 7. I could never get past the 160 wall, including on the real thing. Considering I have a train wreck GPA (although it's decades old), I really was hoping to get into the 170s, so I was thinking I might get more benefit from the same (or even less) amount spent on tutoring vs. an online course (no live courses available in my area). What are your thoughts?

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