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Messages - JimmyO

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Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Debt Level Going In
« on: November 20, 2007, 09:26:06 PM »
Excellent thoughts. Thank you all.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Debt Level Going In
« on: November 14, 2007, 01:56:45 PM »
OK, so like a lot of other Americans, my wife and I have managed to get ourselves into a consumer debt (read: credit card) pickle.

We're on a strict budget though, and are on pace to have it almost completely gone by the time I'd start school next fall. The fact that I'm looking at public schools in lower-cost cities coupled with my wife's job which allows her to make decent money just about anywhere should help us continue to pay bills while I go to school. I will need loans (don't have the numbers for scholarship $), but won't let that stop me.

Is anyone else facing a similar situation?

Ideally, our credit card debt will be gone by the time I start, but we'll still have a car payment, rent, my wife's student loans, the usual stuff. I'm completely ignorant about financial aid constraints - I was fortunate enough to have my UG paid for. In the event my wife's income isn't enough to cover all expenses, can loans be applied to help cover living expenses? Would my wife's income adversely affect the amount of aid available to me?

Any other thoughts about debt and beginning LS are welcome, of course.

Thanks, all... A lot of this is encouraging to hear - that options are possible at all when it comes to "salary" vs. "lifestyle." The dichotomy makes total sense, and is one of those things I'm glad my eyes are open to, unlike many who think JD = automatic six figure income.

As someone else said, it's why I want as little debt as possible, to keep options open.

The transition to law school also makes sense, the first year being the toughest, the second and third marginally less so, and I'm totally prepared for that. My concern is sentencing myself to no enjoyment of other things at all until I retire, and it sounds like that doesn't have to be the case.

4 this is what I've been wrestling with. I'm not sure where best to post it, but I figured the place where most people could relate to my situation is here on the Non-Trad board.

I'm nearly 30, have been working for 7 years, and am applying for admission to LS in Fall 2008.

I hear everything about how time-consuming law school is, and I also hear how even more time-consuming being an attorney is. I get it. Besides, to get just about anywhere in any profession, you need to work long-ass hours. I get that, too.

But in starting law school will life as I know it really be over? I have other pursuits in life necessary for my happiness. Playing music, mountain-biking, spending time with my wife and dog. Is that seriously all going to end if I get into law?

With my background and abilities, I genuinely feel pointed towards a legal career. More than anything, I feel I have some good and interesting work to do. But is giving up everything else I love necessary to doing that good and interesting work?

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: PS for Non-trads
« on: October 07, 2007, 08:27:04 PM »
I've worked in higher ed in a few different capacities over my 7 years since undergrad, along with a little work in radio and music on the side. What I'm doing with my PS is tying together all my experiences and how they have pointed me in the direction of a legal career. In fact, I come right out and say being an attorney has not been a lifelong goal of mine, but one I've come to after much thought.

Well, it ended up being a non-issue.:) He was kind enough to show me a final draft, and it's a very thoughtful, well-written letter. He was clearly very careful, or had someone proof it for him.

Law School Admissions / Re: Does time heal a wounded GPA?
« on: September 30, 2007, 07:22:25 PM »
Whatever you end up doing, do not address your GPA in your DS/PS.

Sounds like you feel pretty strongly about this... How did you come to this realization?

Someone once gave me this advice as an undergrad: Get in your professors' faces (in a good way). 

Faculty have office hours, take advantage of them. Hang out after class to further discuss something in that day's lecture that interested you. Befriend department secretaries, they're the gatekeepers. Get involved in the department outside of the classroom. My undergrad department had clubs, mixers, etc. No, you don't have to be "researching hepatitis" to get on a prof's good side, but showing an interest in their field of research doesn't hurt.

I'm not sure where you're at in your career and LS application process, but I'm 7 years out of my undergrad and had two former profs I was close to and kept in touch with who were happy to write me LoRs. And I could have easily asked two others.

Bottom line, it's all about networking, which is a skill all law school aspirants (presumably) have.

Law School Admissions / Re: Does time heal a wounded GPA?
« on: September 18, 2007, 09:03:16 AM »
This is an excellent question, and at the risk of being lost in the thread here, I have an additional question:

My UGPA started at a 2.5 and after a much-needed switch in majors, I was pulling 3.5-3.6 my last 4 semesters. It all came out to a 2.95 (3.0 as my undergrad calculates it... GR!). There is a steady upward progression in my UGPA, and it's plain as day on my LSAC transcript report.

Now, my question is: Does the transcript summary speak for itself, or do I need to address upward movement in GPA in my PS or an addendum? If the adcomm sees a subpar GPA, do they see it as a reason to reject me right away, or do they look for a reason this nitwit is applying in the first place?

No, my LSAT isn't stellar either (158), but I'm not shooting for the moon here.

I guess it's an overall philosophical question on law school applications. Do they want to hear why I am a good fit for their school even if I'm well below the median in my numbers, or does it come off as whiny?

I'm in a somewhat similar boat as a 2000 grad... But fortunately I do have a few professors I kept in touch with and are willing to write a LoR (sent them the forms yesterday in fact).

I have one professional reference, but I'm wondering if that's enough?

Is having one (professional) recommender to sum up the last 7 years of my life enough? What does an adcomm care more about in the LoRs? Academics explaining what I was like almost a decade ago or a professional who can attest to how I am now? Or will my resume speak for itself? (Increasing responsibility, management, etc.)

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