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Messages - vuarnet

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General Off-Topic Board / Re: Should I go to law school?
« on: May 22, 2013, 06:44:47 PM »
Thanks for qualifying your lack of sarcasm :) and I would say your second representation of what lawyers "do" is probably more descriptive than your first... but perhaps that's just my interpretation. To an extent, all service-oriented professionals serve (or represent) a client. I do that in my current occupation, but I am not an attorney.

If I was forced to define what lawyers "do" I would probably end on the classic answer of "it depends". On what? The discipline of law you plan to practice. And ideally (depending on time, which I am somehow always short on...) include an example or two. Just like not all engineers use CAD and create schematics -- some advise design teams on what is feasible from an engineering standpoint for manufacture or service delivery and they may never directly engineer at all. Our general counsel does that. He advises us what we can and can't do, and rarely creates anything on our behalf (such as a service agreement) -- he mostly just documents his recommendations and their legal substantiations in order to make his recommendations defensible. Meanwhile, friends of mine who are attorneys spend their time buried in paperwork, research or else living from courtroom to courtroom. So, in sum, it depends.

But yes, you are correct -- I did originate the concept that perhaps you were being sarcastic. Much like I hope that a dangerously reckless driver is drunk in hopes that his/her wanton disregard for human life is not 24/7 status quo but instead the product of alcohol and an isolated event (overall reduction in risk exposure). Often I wish people *were* sarcastic, because it would offer an excuse for their otherwise poor reasoning and restore some fraction of my faith in humanity (yes, some sarcasm there...).

Your answer did not convey (in my opinion) an understanding of the intent behind asking the question to begin with. I don't want to speak for IrrX, but it would appear to me that s/he asked the question to hopefully guard against the increasingly myopic tendencies of many law school students and hopefuls. And to instead elicit some forethought into the post-law-school workload (ask yourself -- What would I be doing everyday? Would I like that? Would I like it enough to want to spend 80+ hours a week doing it? Is it worth sacrificing my hobbies or even family time? What would my long-term career path be? How would a law degree catalyze that or not?) All of those questions are questions that hopefully you've already asked yourself.

It's unfortunate, but many people today have an entitlement mentality. They think A-->Z (where "A" is go to law school and "Z" is get rich). And forget to include the hard work and sacrifice it takes to make it through the necessary steps of B through Y (where "B" is go insanely into debt, "C" is work like I'm insanely in debt [oh wait!] ... etc ... intro to formal logic, right?).

Finally, please don't misconstrue my generalizations about the naivete of *many* (e.g. "not all") students as an assertion that they necessarily apply to you. Simply those who feel a sense of personal responsibility to help guide others to help them make good decisions often try to help them think of the less favorable aspects of a decision, in order to better help them weigh the pros and cons.

In the end, it's all your decision. Regardless of your choice, I wish you the best of hard work (there is no luck!), commitment and sacrifice. And above all, the courage to make the difficult choices to succeed in whatever way you define it. (And there is not a hint of sarcasm in that! :))

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Diving-in, head first!
« on: May 01, 2013, 01:47:36 PM »
I have to agree here. Just because one CAN do something does not mean that one SHOULD. So far, and to the extent I'm qualified to judge having not yet taken the LSAT, I think the PowerScore materials are solid. Combined with the LSAC/T practice test books I think I have a solid chance of cracking 170.

And plus... considering I want to specialize in cybercrime / computer laws... something tells me that's a bad precedent to set! :)

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Diving-in, head first!
« on: April 20, 2013, 01:02:39 PM »
Thanks to you both for responding! I figured I would check into alternatives before posting back so that I would have at least something to report...

@HYSHopeful, I completely agree with your assessment of Princeton Review materials being sub-par. They are. Simple as that. I blew through the material and got VERY frustrated (ask my wife!) with the difficulty of the questions (now apparent that they are not real LSAT questions), and even more frustrated with the degree (or lack thereof) of deconstruction of the problems. All in all, it's a waste of time. It doesn't sufficiently challenge someone who intends on CRUSHING the LSAT. Last time I checked, no one *aims* for an average score. At least the logic section in the PR material should teach its readers enough logic to understand that with only moderate preparation one should not expect an exceptional result. I anted up, joined Amazon Prime, forked out some cash for overnight shipping and did the right thing.

I bought the suite of PowerScore materials (workbooks and "bibles"), and they are MUCH better. Far more intensive in terms of deconstruction, explanation of logic, attention to detail... it's all about gaining a marginal edge... and another marginal edge... etc. Very impressed. After a few days I'm about 1/4 of the way through the Logical Reasoning Bible and I must say it's a GREAT resource.

The logical reasoning section of the Princeton Review book is around 100 pages of moderately challenging (about a 1.5-2 out of 5), the PowerScore Logical Reasoning Bible is over 550 pages. I'm all for brevity and conciseness of language (not so much on the forum, apparently?) but that's an irreconcilable difference.

Since I haven't taken the LSAT yet, my score is yet to tell the true efficacy of the "Bibles" but I am getting noticeably faster and more accurate. And for someone like me, that is MUCH more motivating than a false sense of confidence doing lesser difficulty questions.

And all-in-all, I shelled out about $240 bucks for overnight shipping and all the "Bibles" and workbooks. Considering the impact of the LSAT on school admissions and thereby long-term earning potential, it's a worthwhile expenditure.

I hope this helps others from making the same mistake.

HYSHopeful, and thank YOU for being up-front and helping to catalyze my decision to jump ship sooner rather than later on the PR materials. I'm taking the LSAT in June so a few days waste can be VERY significant.

All the best!

/v

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General Off-Topic Board / Re: Should I go to law school?
« on: April 11, 2013, 04:45:44 PM »
1) Can you explain to me what lawyers do?

1) Lawyers practice law.


This brief response conveyed far more than I'm sure even you wanted it to. Don't go to law school.

As a prospective student, I see the same thing you do here... that's like saying "engineer's engineer". I'm hoping this is yet another case of mistaken sarcasm, as I've already fell victim to once today. And, as well all know, sarcasm on the Interwebs is a piece of cake to detect :P

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Meanwhile, I put stock in my contrarian perspective. With all of this terrific rhetoric of dismal job prospects and oversaturation and hyper-competition (overblown if you ask me, ALL jobs are competitive), my thought is that a decrease in law school graduates in the next couple years will create a relative stagnation / deficiency that will work well for my timing (applying this year, to graduate about 4 years from now).

Just in time for me to hit the market.

"When there is blood on the street, buy real estate."
Do you seriously think your situation is going to be so rosy?   If you think there will be a shortage of attorneys, you are just being intentionally naive.

Oh heck no! I am fully aware that I'm walking into the lion's den.

I didn't intend to imply that there was going to be a shortage of attorneys, I just don't believe the doomsday speak is unique to law. And I also don't believe that's a good enough reason to not pursue law as a career if you're sufficiently motivated. I do, however, expect that the surplus will thin by 2017/8, and that's at least a marginal advantage over current conditions.

To clarify, my prior post was, since it was apparently not obvious, with tongue firmly planted in-cheek :). To me, a contrarian perspective is motivating and encouraging, not discouraging. If it doesn't recover and instead worsens, and I have to spend some time underemployed, I will do the same as any self-respecting human would do -- do whatever it takes to survive. But that's a risk I am comfortable taking. Risk nothing, gain nothing.

I appreciate you taking the time to share those numbers. If applicant numbers continue to drop without a corresponding drop in admissions, your may well be right that we could see a decline in the quality of law school graduates over the next few years. The indicator would be if law schools are lowering their admission criteria or not, and I don't have a clue about that one.

Hopefully, an alternative speculation might be that the (now foreseeable and formidable) challenge of finding a job in a more competitive market has discouraged some of the fair-weather law school applicants from pursuing it as career and the real quality of graduates won't decrease, but maybe even increase. Whether that's the case or not, your guess is probably better than mine.

I'm new here, so next time I intend on making a joke over the interwebs, I'll remember to use emoticons to give said joke emotional context. :P

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Meanwhile, I put stock in my contrarian perspective. With all of this terrific rhetoric of dismal job prospects and oversaturation and hyper-competition (overblown if you ask me, ALL jobs are competitive), my thought is that a decrease in law school graduates in the next couple years will create a relative stagnation / deficiency that will work well for my timing (applying this year, to graduate about 4 years from now).

Just in time for me to hit the market.

"When there is blood on the street, buy real estate."

7
Recommendations / Out of school for 4-1/2 years... where to get LOR?
« on: April 11, 2013, 11:06:12 AM »
My question is fairly straightforward. In terms of my letters of recommendation having maximum impact, should I include one from my professional history and one from academic? I am confident I can meet with a past professor or two and get one to write a good letter (I think I was a memorable student in these classes... but it WAS 4 or more years ago).

I also know I can get one or more excellent LOR from professional sources.

What are your experiences with a significant time (4-5 yrs) post-grad on academic LOR?

Thanks in advance!

/vuarnet

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Studying for the LSAT / Diving-in, head first!
« on: April 11, 2013, 10:33:21 AM »
Good morning -- I have registered for the June LSAT and I'm ready to DO THIS. I've got 20 preptests from LSAC and the Princeton Review book for a start. I've taken my first practice test and will be analyzing my weaknesses tonight (have not scored it yet as I was still taking the test at around 11pm and hadn't eaten ... haha).

I'll be self-studying, so unfortunately I have to rule out the more intense / beneficial Princeton Review courses... but does anyone have experience with the Self-Study PR course? It's like $500, and that seems reasonable if it's truly worth it. Thoughts? Or any other advice you'd like to offer?

My GPA from undergrad isn't stellar [2.8] so I really need to bank on an excellent LSAT to get into a good school. I've been in the professional world for about 5 years now, so perhaps that will help me out. No idea what that counts for tbh, but hopefully it's a positive and not a negative.

Just wanted to introduce myself. So HEY! And ... LET'S DO THIS!

Thanks in advance!

/vuarnet

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