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I am an attorney that has been licensed for a few years and I remember when choosing a law school how important I thought rankings were. However, I have watched the rankings both during and after law school. It is shocking to see how much the rankings of each school I was considering  changed over the past 5 years.

I entered law school in 2008 and was living in New York.  I applied all over the place and was offered a full scholarship to University of Tulsa  and Michigan State.  At the time under the rankings both schools were considered Tier 4. The rankings used to be Tier 1 (top 50) (Tier 2 Top 100) Then they stopped ranking and made an arbitrary ranking of Tier 3 and Tier 4.  Now they simply rank to 150 and then do a RNP for the final 50.

At the time I didn't want to go to a Tier 4 school (A Tier 4 School Doesn't even exist now), because I thought the rankings mattered, but for reasons unknown  Tulsa is now in a 4 way tie for #82 and Michigan State University is in an eight way tie for 94th. (Yes eight way tie for 94th place not making that up. (Direct from U.S. News- .

I am originally from California and applied to several California Schools, which included University of San Francisco, McGeorge and Chapman.

When I was applying McGeorge was barely in the top 100, but now for reasons unknown and under the new changes it is not in the top 150.

San Francisco was 84th, but now 138th.

Chapman was 100th now it is 127th.

The reason for these mass fluctuations is that U.S. News formula is based on nothing really just honestly unidentified people ranking schools on a scantron from 1-5. There is really no tangible way to compare University of Tulsa v. University of San Francisco. They are both ABA schools and will provide a quality education, but Tulsa and San Francisco are different places.

World renowned schools like Harvard, Yale, Stanford are at the top and that doesn't change, but to any 0L choosing a mid-level school please do not use the rankings.  Nobody cares whether a school is in eight way tie for 94th or 4 way tie for 82nd.

I am always thankful to an attorney that talked me out of going to Michigan State, because despite my love of College of Sports I am from California and would have died in Michigan winters. Furthermore, I had no desire to live in Michigan and wanted to live in San Francisco. He told me if you want to be a lawyer in San Francisco go to law school in San Francisco. I was like many 0L's and overthinking everything and putting substantial stock in the opinion of a for-profit unregulated magazine known as  U.S. News to make life altering decision. (Not a good idea)

There is nothing wrong with U.S. News offering an opinion and they can rank anything they want, but making a life altering decision based on a magazine's random opinion is not a good idea.

As I now see  by the time you graduate the school you choose based on rankings will have changed substantially.

In my scenario the schools I turned down raised significantly and the schools I attended declined, but nobody cares. 

End of rant.

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Touro College vs. Novus
« on: Yesterday at 12:51:05 PM »
They won their lawsuit good for them if the case was dismissed with prejudiced NOVUS couldn't ask for a better result.

I don't care enough to look up the merits of the case, but if a school wants to offer a degree let them.  Novus does not claim to be ABA approved or approval of any state bar that I know of.  Therefore, I wouldn't recommend the school from what I know, but people can choose to enter a law school that is not approved as long as the school informs them of that fact.

If a school is bragging about winning lawsuits against its legitimacy I think that shows the school is not an ideal place, but they should allowed to keep their doors open.

If NOVUS starts claiming it has ABA approval and completely misleading people that is another story, but it doesn't do that from what I know.

A list of practicing attorneys from NOVUS would be interesting to see.

Excellent critique and solid start, but when you are writing something important it needs to be shortened and edited countless times to make it shine.

As Miami states you want make your point with as few words as possible. 20-25 word sentences are to long, it is important to remember that an admissions committee is reviewing thousands of personal statements and although everyone assumes their statement will be reviewed in detail after the sentence or two if it doesn't grab their attention it is likely to be skimmed and do little to help or hurt your application.

Referencing law & order in the all important first sentence is likely to get an eye roll.  Remember it is a personal statement about you, not a T.V. show. It is also possible you are not referencing the T.V. show I can't really tell from the opening sentence. You say simply be saying your passionate about justice, but many lawyers hear about law & order all the time from non-lawyers so that is where my head went.

Even the opening statement is what Miami is referencing shorten it. 

that is your opening,
I have always since I was a youngster been passionate about Law & Order

I am passionate about justice,

(it says the same thing in 4 words instead of 11.) Eliminating unnecessary words is important (the "since I was a youngster" adds nothing.) the word "always" puts it all in one.

With all that it is also worth nothing that in reality the personal statement means very little, your LSAT-GPA are the crux of your application. Of course you want to have a nice personal statement, but unless you have some amazing story i.e. were the Navy Seal that took down Osama Bin Laden, or were the Mayor of a City or something truly newsworthy it is not going to help your application that much. Conversely, if you do a terrible job in your essay and go on some racist rant or god knows what it can hurt.

From reviewing your statement I wouldn't say there is an amazing story nor is it terribly done.It is a fine statement that can be edited, but remember your numbers make up 90-95% of the decision.

Good luck!

I assume most people even in "easy" states take a prep course. After spending that much time and money getting a J.D. selling a "bar-prep" course that each school recommends, because of course why would they tell you not to do everything you can to pass is a pretty easy market to sell to.

I personally feel like schools should pay for Bar-Bri or Kaplan and that would probably bring the costs down. It is a genius marketing scheme film Chemerinsky talking for a few hours and sell those lectures for $5,000 or so a pop per student.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: 162 to 170 before October LSAT?
« on: September 29, 2015, 01:42:35 PM »
I think that is right on point.

At some point there is limit to what an individual can achieve.

For example I don't think anyone questions that Tim Tebow works his ass off and Jay Cutler is a lazy-ass bum, but Jay Cutler is a better QB based on natural ability. 

Or take Shaq he was not known for an amazing work ethic, but he was 7'1 350 lbs and extremely agile. There were many NBA players that worked way harder than Shaq, but had nowhere near his natural talent.

Same with the LSAT there are people that can work their ass off and not break 150, and others are capable of getting a 170 with a half-ass effort. It isn't "fair" per se, but neither is life.

I think most people can take the diagnostic and improve by 10-15 points. I got a 147 on my diagnostic and got up to 157. I didn't take a course or anything and had I done that maybe, I could have gotten to the low 160's, maybe. However, I am not a genius and could probably study from now until the day I die and not break 170. Literally 97%  of lawyers did not get a 170, so that appears on point.

However, many 0L's and even law students don't like to hear they are not a special snowflake, but that reality hits 99% of us sooner or later

To the OP maybe you will get a 170, and in fact I hop you get a 180, but take the test. A 162 is a solid score and nothing to hang your head at, in fact you will have a better score than 86% of lawyers. .

General Board / Crazy how numbers have changed
« on: September 23, 2015, 06:18:02 PM »
In a complete procrastination move I was curious to see what schools my numbers from years ago would get me into so I check out the old LSAC Law School Predictor.

It is crazy many schools I was rejected from, which I expected I know have a more than 50-75% chance of admission.

Perhaps there is something to this law school application number dropping. The data out there is lacking best I found was this graph from LSAC, but I would be interested to know how many applicants there were in 2008, 2009 and 2010 compared to 2013, 14 and 15.

I imagine this change has something to do with the the bar decline.

Well I should do actual work now.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: 162 to 170 before October LSAT?
« on: September 18, 2015, 03:23:59 PM »
Excellent point Miami.

If you really want to work Biglaw, Clerkship etc then don't go to law school outside of T14.   If your goal is to be a District Attorney then go to law school in the area you want to live and get out with as little debt as possible.

I am close friends with a lot of Harvard, Boalt Stanford, etc law grads. Many of them work at huge firms and really enjoy the prestige, money, etc and don't mind the long hours. That is great for them.

I have other friends from these schools that ended up working for Public Interest Groups, Starting their own firms, etc and they could have easily gotten full scholarships at a school like Hastings, or Boston University, and been in the same position they are without law school debt.

So as Miami says ask yourself what you want. If you want a Federal Clerkship and Biglaw Career then strive to get a 170 and with a 3.93 and great GPA you have that option open to you.

If that is not what you want then take the LSAT and get your legal career started.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: 162 to 170 before October LSAT?
« on: September 18, 2015, 12:59:55 PM »
I think everyone is different for many I imagine the second time would be easier, just because the pressure is off and the mystery of the LSAT etc is taken away.

Once you go through the process once the nerves are gone and that would probably help on a retake.

I often think about taking the LSAT now for sh**s and giggles just to see how I did with no studying or pressure whatsoever.  The score would be meaningless, but I imagine anyone that has gone through law school would do quite well and have no test anxiety whastoever.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: 162 to 170 before October LSAT?
« on: September 18, 2015, 12:32:40 PM »
Yea there is no harm in retaking it, but you have to take it the firs time to retake.

To the OP take it and apply and retake it while your application is pending. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose in that scenario, but if you take it two or three times and do not end up with a 170 don't be surprised.  99% of people don't get a 170 or higher and there is a 99% chance you won't either. I hope you get a 180, get into Harvard and finish Valedictorian then get directly appointed to the Supreme Court.  However, I would not  bet a cent on that happening, but hey it could happen, but don't sit around waiting for that scenario, because odds years will pass and you will not have taken step 1.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: District of Columbia Bar Admission
« on: September 18, 2015, 12:00:49 PM »
Its about 10-15 and who knows what if anything will be required once they obtain my records. I also know if approved I need to go to D.C. to swear in and then also take a Mandatory CLE Course in D.C. so that will be at least two trips to D.C. from California and tack on another 10-20 hours for that plus airfare, hotel, course fees etc it adds up.

Out of curiosity did you get licensed by this other jurisdiction or just transfer your score?

Again is it possible to do? Yes of course, but its work.

I have been meaning to do this paperwork for 2 years, but I only now got around to it. People procrastinate that is what we do and everything technically is easy instead of writing this post I could be finishing up some work, I could call my mom, buy flowers, god knows if every minute of everyday was used productively we would all be millionaires, no relationship problems, etc essentially perfect lives, but humans don't operate that way.

People love to say and think they do, but us debating on an anonymous internet board only proves my point. This is all ofr s**ts and giggles and I enjoy it, but there is nothing productive about it.

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