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Messages - Bulldog86

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Mercer questions
« on: July 01, 2008, 01:38:39 PM »
Sounds reasonable to me. You might want to give Mercer's career office a call and see if they have any information on alumni that have done similar things. I would suppose (and this is just talking out of my ass, but based on what I've heard here and other places, for whatever that's worth) that if you made an effort to network in places you wanted to practice, that a Mercer JD would suit you just fine.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Mercer questions
« on: July 01, 2008, 12:27:12 PM »
They are not based on the perceived quality of academic programs.
Right. Whether that makes a lick of sense is up to you to decide.

Also, I believe I've read that the way they do the specialty rankings is they send a survey to certain professors at various schools and ask them to list the top programs in (whatever). Then they're ranked based on who gets the most nominations. Some schools send out fancy brochures touting their excellence in Specialty X, and so if you're a voter, trying to think of who has a good program in some random area (when you likely spend most of your time dealing with your program at your school), it's plausible you might think, hey, I heard all about Mercer's LW program somewhere, I'll put them.

That said, I have NO idea whether Mercer plays that game or not, nor would I judge them for it, but that's why the specialty rankings (to me) have always seemed a little... let's say less than scientifically accurate. (Not that the main rankings are much better!)

As for Mercer, search this site and TLS for Mercer threads and then duck...
This is true, though I don't know how deserved/accurate those threads are. I'm from Macon originally and know and worked for some very successful Mercer Law grads. But it's one of those things where, if you want to work in Macon or South Georgia or thereabouts, Mercer is probably a good choice (maybe UGA or even GSU would be better, I don't know, but MU would be fine given that the vast majority of the Macon legal market is their people). But there are no doubt people who want to go biglaw in Atlanta or DC or NYC or somewhere, go to Mercer, then find out that it's not all that accessible to them... and those people get on message boards and leave a steaming pile of feces behind.

As is often (always?) the case with lower T2 type schools, you have to know what you're getting into, and it's too bad people don't.

My favorite was "Do I need to buy a suit?... I'll be attending a T5" ... obnoxious to say the least.

The disclosure guy, not so much.

Current Law Students / Re: LRAP Strategy Question
« on: June 28, 2008, 02:27:41 PM »
How much money are we talking about spending here? Full-price, $150-200K level? Do you want to work an LRAP job or would you just be getting it to get your loans forgiven? If you do want that job, how confident are you that you will still want that job in three years, even while your classmates are (maybe) drawing six figures?

That said, student loans are relatively cheap money. And if you (evidently) have hundreds of thousands of dollars laying around (or something like that?), couldn't you get loans now and if the LRAP doesn't pan out, just pay them back when you graduate? The interest accrued in 3-5 years wouldn't be too terrible, would it?

Law School Admissions / Re: What schools are in my reach?
« on: June 28, 2008, 02:19:48 PM »
I really can't imagine a school preferring a 178/179/180 to a 177 in any significant way. The higher score would not do any more to help their median/quartiles, and the number of people scoring above 177 is so small, there is 0 chance that one of them pushes you out. I guess it might help you with a school's "index" formula, but seriously, with splitter stats like yours, I doubt that holds much weight.

Plus, not all schools take the highest, and even among those that do, if you retake and somehow screw it up (or even just drop a few points), it makes your 177 look like luck rather than as impressive as it does on its own. I suspect your application will get a lot of individual attention due to uniqueness, so give them as few reasons as possible to turn you down.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: LinkedIn: Networking as a Law Student?
« on: June 27, 2008, 10:56:15 AM »
I signed up forever ago, and never did much on my profile. What did y'all put as your "industry"? I'm straight from undergrad with a lib arts degree... i.e., no industry at all yet.

Law School Admissions / Re: HELP where can i get in??
« on: June 26, 2008, 08:01:05 PM »
But doesn't Grutter say that (public) schools can't arbitrarily add weight for being of X race, and have to view the candidate holistically, contribution to diversity, etc? Isn't that why they ask candidates to write diversity statements?

(Of course, for private schools, that decision is irrelevant, but good luck getting a private school to say, "Sure, we give bonus points for being __!")

That aside, are you saying that Hondurans (for example) are NOT under-represented in the legal community? I'd be surprised if that was the case.


Personal advice to OP: Don't count on being 1/4 Hispanic to get you in, but certainly do spend some time on the diversity statement and make it sound compelling. Your GPA is very good, so I would also second the advice to re-take in October if that seems feasible. I wouldn't be surprised if you got in some really top schools with money if you had an LSAT score that matched the rest of your profile.

Don't give up hope! I think you're in decent shape...

I'm curious what your overall LSDAS GPA will look like; from the sound of it, you had three years at 4.0 and one (?) year of crap grades, so you're at least a 3.0, likely (a little) better, right? So that's something.

If LSN is to be believed, people with 3.0s are getting into your target schools with 150-160 or less... granted, the LSN sample size for those schools is incredibly small. The LSAC calculator concurs, though: a 3.0/155 candidate is quite likely to get in.

Now it's possible that you didn't say, or I misinterpreted, something that would change that. If your GPA is much less than 3.0, or if "academic probation" means dishonesty as opposed to flunking out, then you might have issues -- but, with those target schools, I think you're in good shape.

That said, a couple thoughts:

--What do you mean "public interest"? Are you talking about criminal defense or prosecution type stuff, or like "I want to work for the ACLU"? The latter type of job would be pretty competitive, on par with major firms. Don't assume public interest = easy to get.

--You seem awfully self-defeating w/r/t the LSAT. I feel like (in my experience) a lot of people are so ready to say "I don't test well" that they end up blowing off prep, having lots of anxiety, and --gasp!-- fail to do well. Now, it looks like you're not going to need to ace the thing to reach your goals, but I really urge you to take as positive an attitude as possible, for two reasons: First, if you go in thinking your cap is a 160, you probably end up in the low 150s, and while that might be enough, why add risk? Second, the better you do, the more likely it is that you will get scholarships, which means you can take home a lot more of your (likely meager) public interest paycheck. A few more correct multiple choice questions on one exam could mean thousands of dollars... not the best system, perhaps, but the one we've got, so make it work for you.

Good luck!

Job Search / Re: 16 yo wants a job, please review my letter!
« on: June 26, 2008, 06:10:03 PM »
In the meanwhile, I want a job at a law firm. I just want to be a file clerk, something on that level, since anything beyond that would be above my realm of knowledge.

Please please PLEASE don't do this.  Every other f'ing law school application is from a paralegal.  Do something interesting that will make your application unique.

I agree and disagree with this advice. I personally did pretty much this job (not really "paralegal", more like "intern" -- less substantive work) after both freshman and sophomore year of college. On the one hand, I do wish I had done something a little more interesting and branched out; BUT on the other, I'm very grateful to have had the experience of working in a law firm (even if not doing "real" legal work) so I could confidently say, yes, this is the career path I want to follow. While the office/firm that employed me was a good bit smaller than I hope my next employer will be, it still makes me feel a heck of a lot better about spending the time and money to go to law school.

So, rube, I say go for it. But also be on the lookout, in the upcoming years, for other experiences outside of an office.

Financial Aid / Re: Shopping for loans
« on: June 26, 2008, 02:24:51 PM »
It looks to me like a lot of the good deals I was seeing a couple months ago are gone. That said, while you may consolidate later, why not get the best deal you can now? Unfort., there aren't many...

From what I gathered, and this excludes state-govt backed lenders, school-specific plans and credit unions (since none of those options worked for me -- they might for you!), nearly all banks are offering a .25% rate reduction for auto-debit. The only (!) bank I can find that offers more right now is Citi (, which also gives you a .5% rate reduction when you enter repayment.

This is true for both Stafford and GradPLUS loans. All rate reductions are off of the federal max. In other words, a Stafford with no discounts is 6.8%; most banks will do it at 6.55%; Citi is 6.05%. Discounts generally are revoked if you don't pay each payment on time.

I went ahead and applied with Citi, although I'd be interested to see if anyone has found any better deals...

(Oh, and the rate for everybody is still 6.8 while in school, which makes a difference on the Unsubsidized Stafford and PLUS loans. The reductions all take effect on repayment.)

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