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Messages - MikePing

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Law School Admissions / Re: What LSAT score do I need?
« on: June 01, 2011, 01:28:04 PM »
Try to get a good idea. 

I would want to be in the 170's.  Regardless, I'm sure you will find a great school. 

Add to the previous post:

Take responsibility and don't give excuses.  I would do a 3-4 sentence addendum to your reach schools.  The schools will recognize that the classes were taken during high school.  For your safety schools, you should be fine on your credentials alone -- only prepare an addendum if the application directions suggest one. 

Law School Admissions / Re: Which universities do I list
« on: June 01, 2011, 01:20:30 PM »
Huge risk -- little or no reward.  Always be 100% candid with the law school and the bar. 

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: why do you want to be a lawyer?
« on: June 01, 2011, 01:18:13 PM »
As a former restaurateur, and current lawyer, I would say that owning a profitable restaurant is more likely than graduating top 10% from a Tier 1 school. 

If that is her dream, law school would be an expensive waste.  My advice to someone who wants to own a restaurant is to think either franchise, or find a motivated seller with an established restaurant.  Starting a restaurant from scratch is difficult even for someone with many years of experience. 


IMO I think that the rank would look something like this:

1. Texas
2.  SMU/Baylor/UH -- SMU does better in Dallas, UH better in Houston, Baylor probably better everywhere else.
4. South Texas -- does good in Houston -- solid litigation credentials if you are on the moot court squad.
5. Texas Tech -- does better in North Texas including Dallas
6.  St. Mary's
7. TSU --  by far the least prestigious; grads have tough time getting a job and low bar passage rate. 

Apply to all of them. 

I would also apply to the top regional schools where you want to practice.  For instance, if you want to work in Texas, UT might be a better option than other T14 except for HYS.  And, knowing that you could be at a better school may give you scholarship options at the top regional school. 

Incoming 1Ls / Re: am i screwed?
« on: June 01, 2011, 12:56:50 PM »
The good news is that you can overcome your UGPA with a great LSAT score.  Many schools weigh the LSAT at 60% or more.  You probably will not ever be an auto-admit student.  So, you will also need to focus on the other soft factors like resume, volunteerism, and personal statement.  BUT, YOUR LSAT IS GOING TO BE THE DECIDING FACTOR.  Realistically, you need to practice until you can score 165+.  Graduate level work, with stellar grades will also go a long way.  Schools want students who they think will succeed. 

Unfortunately, once you have received your degree its too late to change your GPA.  If anyone has a similar problem, and they wish to take more classes to increase their GPA, the only way it works is by taking extra classes before the first bachelor's is awarded.  Getting a dual bachelors could be an option for someone who can add more classes before receiving the first degree.   

You are not screwed.  Law school is still an option. 

Here's another perspective:

In many states, your juvenile record will be considered in your character evaluation.  Hopefully, you weren't too bad.  Typically resisting arrest is not going to prevent you from practicing law, but you would probably do better to call the state bar that you are considering taking and ask someone in the character/fitness section.  Often, but not always, law schools will allert you to potential problems (thats why they ask for the info on the application).  The biggest mistake you can make is not being 100% candid, accepting of responsibility, and contrite.

Most law schools will consider your diversity as a plus.  Not for "PR" or reporting reasons, but because of the way that law school is taught (here is an article on the Socratic Method).  Emphasizing the unique experiences and perspectives that you will bring to the class is a way to get a leg up from your background.  At any law school, however, non GPA-LSAT factors are probably seriously considered in only about 15% of the applications.  The rest of the applicants are either accepted or rejected on the GPA-LSAT combination alone.  There are many places that you can guage your chances online once you have your LSAT scores.  The GPA only considers undergrad.     

Good luck on the LSAT, and let us know how it works out for you! 

IMO, you should guage that by the progress you are making.  If you are consistently having the same results--and you want to do better--maybe forgo a couple of practice tests for additional studying. 

You have been working hard to prep.  Right now is your time to tweak. 

Good luck!!

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Top 6 vs. money
« on: May 16, 2011, 02:04:28 PM »
These have all been great responses. 

I would only add a couple of things:

If your son is talented enough that he believes he's a lock for big-law if he gets into a T6, he should seriously consider going to a lower-ranked school.  Here's why:  Scores that are high enough for T6 will yield some major scholorship money at other Top 50 schools.  If his scores are reflective of his intellect --they are not always-- he should have no problem finishing at the top of his law school class.  He can then be at big law, without being trapped by the loan if he gets burned out.  When you compare only the top 10% of any Tier 1 school, the big law placement is much higher than any of the Top 6 populations as a whole.  So, you could argue that being in the top 10% of a Tier 1 school is the surest path to big law.

He should also know that  there are many regional and mid-small firms in large cities that pay every bit as much as big law.  The smaller of these tend to be for big-law lawyers who took their clients and started their own firm.  I graduated in the top 5% of a school that jumps in and out of Tier 1, depending on the year.  I had a full range of options available to me, including big-law, federal clerkships, and other firms.  I went with a smaller high-stakes-litigation firm, and did much better than my big-law friends. 

Finally, your son should seriously consider where he wants to live/work.  Every region has a heirarchy of schools.  He should attend the best school that he can get into within the region he likes.  Big law is an option in many places, but quality of life is significantly different on the east coast, west coast, and the flyovers... 
In this economy, there are no guarantees.  If you son wants to be a lawyer, IMO,  he should quit waiting for things to be "perfect," and get to work.   

I wish him the best of luck.


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