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Messages - Citylaw

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1
Law School Applications / Re: 2.39 GPA 151 LSAT Should I even try?
« on: January 27, 2015, 04:47:01 PM »
Excellent advice and "lower ranked" schools can open many doors, but many law students go to them with highly unrealistic expectations, which lead to disappointment.

If you attend Touro, Roger Williams, UMass-Dartmouth etc you are not going to be flooded with Biglaw job offers and if you attend Roger Williams your first job will probably be in a small firm or government agency in Rhode Island. That would be a fine job, but with a 2.39 GPA and 151 LSAT don't expect the legal world to be your oyster at least not right out of law school.

With your numbers you can be a lawyer and if that is what you want to do go for it, but it is very important to have realistic expectations.

2
General Board / Re: How Serious Is My Situation?
« on: January 27, 2015, 11:39:06 AM »
Happy to help and for anyone else that may read this do not get to caught up in your grades.

As long as you graduate and pass the bar doors will be open. Obviously, do well in school, but 50% of all law students in America finish in the bottom half of their class, but many go on to be far more successful attorneys than those in the top half of the class.

I was near the top of my class academically and have a good job, but some of my classmates that didn't even pass the bar first time around have gone to be far more successful than me.

Grades are grades they don't make or break you. The purpose of law school should be to get a license to practice law first and foremost the more you do in school the better, but you can get a 2.0 graduate and pass the bar and you are a licensed to practice law and what you do with that license is 100% up to you.

3
General Board / Re: How Serious Is My Situation?
« on: January 27, 2015, 01:52:20 AM »
Yes you will still have a ton of options assuming you graduate and pass the bar. Obviously, it is better to have straight A's, but you could have a 4.0 GPA if you don't pass the bar your not a lawyer.

Additionally, a number of my classmates struggled first semester, but went on to do very well once they learned IRAC etc. However, eventually some students did fail out as well. A 1.4 GPA is not good, but you are not the first and you will not be the last person to get their ass kicked by the first semester of law school.

For the time being I would focus on improving academically and do not even worry about internships etc. Step 1 is improving once that is accomplished worry about the bigger picture.

If you want to PM me for more details feel free and good luck next semester.

4
Law School Applications / Re: 2.39 GPA 151 LSAT Should I even try?
« on: January 26, 2015, 12:47:29 AM »
There are a number of schools you could get into with those numbers. Here is a LSAC Link that allows you to plug in your GPA/LSAT and get a look at your options. https://officialguide.lsac.org/Release/UGPALSAT/UGPALSAT.aspx . I plugged in your numbers and there are about 15-20 schools that you have a 75% chance getting into.

A 151 LSAT is not that bad. It is not amazing either, but you score in the top 50% of test takers. When you are 145 or under is when there is little hope, but 150 or above you will have some options, but Harvard or Yale will not be on the list.

From your choices it looks like you want to be on the East Coast and one school that is an option with your numbers is UMASS-Dartmouth. These are two quality universities that just formed a law school and are seeking applicants, but overtime I imagine it will become a solid school. For your purposes it will get you a bar exam ticket.

Here is a great article about how to choose a law school.
http://www.legalmatch.com/choose-the-right-law-school.html

5
Well your first year and the majority of your law school education will cover more than criminal law.

Your first year at any ABA school will be Torts, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Property, and likely Criminal Law. You will also later take Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Constitutional Law, which will deal with criminal law issues, and you will likely know some of the material from your experience as a police officer.

I imagine a career in criminal law would be good to pursue, but to pass the bar you will need to know all of it.

Good luck in your legal career and thank you for your service as an officer.

6
One of my law school classmates came from Canada and went back to practice there not sure the specifics of how she did it,  but it was done. However, laws are Country Specific becoming an expert in American Constitutional Law, will not do much good in Canada as it has a different constitution. Tand purposes it is unwise to study law in a Country you do not plan on studying in. Therefore, I think for all intents it is wise to attend law school in the Country you want to practice in and if there are states as in the U.S. in the state you want to practice in.




7
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Input on JD vs MBA for retiring veteran
« on: January 15, 2015, 11:54:45 AM »
To sum it up I think a J.D. is the better degree, because you cannot be a lawyer without a law degree, but you can be a businessman without an M.B.A.

There are also many schools that offer joint J.D./M.B.A. programs and most schools will give you a huge discount on the M.B.A. if you are in the J.D. program.

Also with your background and a 3.3. and assuming you get a 160+ on the LSAT there will be a number of law schools that would offer you substantial scholarship money and if that is the case use the G.I. Bill for the M.B.A.

Essentially, if you have an interest in both there is no reason to not pursue both there is a lot of overlap between them and you can typically finish a J.D./M.B.A in four years. However, if you have to choose one do the J.D., because you CANNOT be a lawyer without a law license, and to get a law license you need a J.D. (I know there are a few crazy exceptions to this, but they are unlikely to apply.) 

Additionally, this is a great article that points some great points about how to choose a law school. http://www.legalmatch.com/choose-the-right-law-school.html


8
Where should I go next fall? / Re: A WARNING about Phoenix School of Law
« on: January 14, 2015, 07:31:59 PM »
Appropriate expectations is what I meant.   Again there are plenty of satisfied graduates from Tier 4 Schools and dissatisfied students from Tier 1 schools. Many people often assume going to law school means you will be paid substantial sums of money for getting a degree, but that is not the case and if you go to non-prestigious school you really better not have that expectation that anything will be handed to you, but I think the problem is that often at Tier 4 schools you have students with very unreal expectations, which leads to disappointment.




9
Where should I go next fall? / Re: A WARNING about Phoenix School of Law
« on: January 14, 2015, 12:12:59 PM »
Outstanding post Maintain and that is precisely at the end of the day unless you got into Harvard, Yale, or Stanford there is a school that probably rejected you.  Additionally, not everybody wants to go to Harvard, Yale, or Stanford even if they had the opportunity.

If you attend Phoneix Law School you are probably not going into BigLaw or going to be sitting on the U.S. Supreme Court and realistically neither is someone from ASU, but you can have a great legal career if you are a licensed attorney.

I agree the tuition is expensive, but it is realistically that amount at any law school that doesn't offer in-state tuition. If you can get into a school that offers in-state tuition do it as that can save substantial sums of money, but for various reasons people attend other schools and may not be a resident of a state with a school that offers in-state tuition.

Not everyone can have a 4.0 and 180 on their LSAT and there are plenty of people out there that need lawyers for basic legal services and do not need the Valedictorian from Harvard to help them with a child custody case, but they need someone.

Phoneix law school can be great for the right person, but as with anything you need to have appropriate expectations.

 

10
Thanks for the kind words.

I am not sure where you live now, but San Francisco is in actuality a very small city only 7 square miles and for all intents purposes pretty small geographically.

USF is about 1-2 miles away from Downtown San Fransico and parking is not bad for San Francisco in that area. However, that area is not near Bart or Caltrain or Muni Line. There are buses everywhere though and you can get around.

I think the University of San Francisco is one of the most beautiful places in San Francisco and it is only a few blocks from Golden Gate Park, which is awesome.

What I recommend you do is come to San Francisco and visit USF to see how you personally feel about it. You might also want to apply to Golden Gate and Santa Clara and visit those campuses as well. I know when I was choosing schools it was stressful, but when I visited and talked to professors, students, walked around the campus etc, I loved some and disliked others, but again that is totally subjective. Santa Clara for example gave me a bad vibe as did Hastings, but I loved USF and Golden Gate, but you might love Santa Clara and Hastings and hate USF and Golden Gate it is your 3 year $100,000 commitment so make sure it works for you.

As for the LSAT retake you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by retaking. If you nail it on the next try you can expand your options or other schools might offer you substantial scholarship money and my two cents is unless you are going to a "TOP" school, which would be Stanford or Berkeley in San Francisco get out as cheaply as possible.

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