« on: August 05, 2014, 04:27:22 PM »
Julie isn't a troll. She's an institution.
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Messages - Groundhog
Water law seems pretty essential these days in California...but I digress.
My 1L year consisted of the following:
Law & Ethics
Legal Writing & Research
Con Law I
Legal Writing & Research
Adding all the CA bar subjects but skipping Cal Courts/Procedures as you can learn that in a couple days, you'd add Con Law II, Remedies, Gifts/Wills/Trusts(may be more than one class), Evidence, Community Property, Business Associations(I forgot I took that!). That's pretty close to a full second year and it doesn't include any specialized classes like finance, securities or real estate that one can take as early as first semester of 2L year.
I also see the benefit to the profession and student to having a 2nd summer that isn't dedicated to studying for the bar that can be used for internships. Rising 3Ls are much more knowledgeable about the law than people who just finished 1L year and have had a chance to take electives that might be much more relevant to where they're working.
Perhaps reducing the requirement to 2 1/2 years and allowing students to sit for the February bar exam would be a reasonable compromise. That way, you get to take electives, do a 2nd(or 1st) internship, still get out of school and take the bar six months earlier. Thoughts?
I would give USD the slight edge because it is the best law school in the city, if you're interested in practicing in San Diego. Going to law school locally can count in both the public and private sectors. In LA, Pepperdine is up against Loyola, SW, USC and UCLA.
I agree. Electives at the graduate/professional level are an absurd waste of time. Just a way to get more tuition. Most students would be far better served spending that time learning how to draft a will or living trust, review a contract, or filing a motion. Our legal education is almost entirely academic, and needs more practical training.
To play devil's advocate here...you mean electives like Gifts/Wills/Trusts, Community Property (if applicable), Evidence, more Constitutional law? All of those are on the California bar exam and while my classes weren't bar prep, it certainly helped taking them. On the other hand, some people might consider their elective in secured transactions essential to their career, but I didn't take it and it'll never come up.
That is a tough situation. If your family is generally supportive of your desire to attend law school, perhaps you should explain it to them as an investment. The time you take studying well for the LSAT can make a huge difference in your score. The LSAT is very learnable, although not absolutely.
Treating the LSAT, law school, and your time as an investment: Each point on the LSAT opens up additional admissions opportunities and scholarship money worth potentially tens of thousands of dollars and give you additional freedom in career choice.
Soft factors are generally anything that can't be reduced to a number for LSAC and ranking purposes. They can usually be improved upon significantly with some effort, but don't matter as much as hard factors. GPA and LSAT are the two main hard factors, plus URM status, if applicable; pretty much everything else is a soft factor, i.e. major, extracurriculars, etc.
« on: July 28, 2014, 07:50:12 PM »
Keep planning on attending med school. Law school will always be there, and requires significantly less preparation than medical school; just the LSAT, really. Similarly, the LSAT is an aptitude test—while you can study for it, it isn't the same as a test that requires scientific knowledge, like the MCAT. Being naturally good at it doesn't mean you need to go to law school. Chances are you're better than 80% of your peers in writing, math, and science, but the math and science classes tend to weed people less dedicated or skilled out.
Your major doesn't really matter for law school, and, if you meet the pre-med requirements, doesn't matter so much for med school either. 't you can, take only the minimum pre-med classes. It's not actually more than a couple years in each subject, so if you want to switch or double major in something, you can still do it and meet med school requirements.
It's unlikely that switching majors and classes at this point could improve your GPA *that* much, so I would only switch completely if you're absolutely sure you'll never want to go to medical school and are 100% positive you want to do law school.
There's nothing wrong with having law as a Plan B, as long as that's not the only reason you decide on it. Don't decide to do it just because med school doesn't work out the first time around or seems hard. Remember, it will always be there, and admissions requirements are getting easier, not harder, right now.
One thought: Don't work and attend school, especially with difficult classes. I know this may be financially difficult(I had to work through school as well) but it inevitably hurts GPA. After a JD or MD, you won't be sweating an extra couple thousand in loans, but during admissions you might sweat that .1 or .3 GPA difference it could make. Just a thought.
« on: July 28, 2014, 07:40:06 PM »
Foreign applicants absolutely do not get any kind of boost in JD acceptances. Think about it—they've most likely received their entire education in another country, another legal system. On top of that, there are potential English issues.
The one exception could be if your race is considered a true URM in America and the law school needs to check more boxes of that type.
But in my experience, foreign applicants are evaluated separately, and somewhat less favorably, than U.S. candidates. That doesn't mean that a 4.0/180 from Oxford is any less good than the same from Yale, as both are English-speaking, but going to a top university in Japan, for example, isn't the same.