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Messages - Groundhog

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: USD vs. Pepperdine
« on: August 04, 2014, 06:32:53 PM »
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.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Finding the "Perfect Fit"
« on: August 04, 2014, 06:22:10 PM »
It might be a little colder, but San Francisco is still nice most of the year.

You might have a shot at UC Hastings if in-state and USF is a possibility.

Pursuing an LLM / Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
« on: August 04, 2014, 06:17:52 PM »
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 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.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT prep and family
« on: August 04, 2014, 06:14:22 PM »
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.

Law School Admissions / Re: Looking for Advice, Please
« on: July 29, 2014, 05:49:53 PM »
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.

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.

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.

Law School Admissions / Re: Looking for Advice, Please
« on: July 25, 2014, 10:00:12 PM »
In general, the prestige of your undergrad matters very little. Getting a solid GPA and good soft factors matters a lot, so you should go somewhere you will be happy. The price can matter too.

Furthermore, it appears that at least by US News general rankings, UC Santa Barbara is much higher ranked(#41 vs. #91).

In the end, you have to go with the school that feels right or works for other reasons. It will matter very little from a law school admissions perspective.

Current Law Students / Re: Academic Dismissal
« on: July 23, 2014, 09:13:49 AM »
Good work!

Won't hurt, probably won't help much.

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