Law School Discussion

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Messages - wakaranai

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21
Once you get your first bachelor's degree, your LSAC GPA is locked in at that number. There's no point in going back to get a second bachelor's degree because it will do nothing for your LSAC GPA. Right now you just have to focus on getting the highest score you can on the LSAT. I don't think being immature and doing poorly in undergrad is something to address in a personal statement ever. It's so common it's a nonissue.

22
Book Sales and Trades / Re: how much do 1L books cost?
« on: July 18, 2007, 07:38:47 AM »
I spent $550 first semester and significantly less second semester ($200?). I did not buy any of the recommended texts. If you know your book list beforehand, do yourself a favor and buy them on Amazon or B&N because it will save you quite a bit of money. You can also buy them from your bookstore and return them within a week or two if you find them cheaper somewhere else.

23
General Board / Re: Possibiility of working with FBI?
« on: July 10, 2007, 08:19:13 PM »
I recently got roped into an FBI recruitment and the people who did the recruiting said that for special agent the process can take up to 10 years. However, there are plenty of positions in DC that do not require you to go through special agent training and with the additional Arabic ability you might be able to move into those more quickly.From what I was made to understand, people who start out as special agents have to go through years as actual agents in the field before they can transition into general counsel positions. The woman in charge at my FBI office (a smaller one) was a field agent for 8 years before she could do any sort of legal work. At that point, you have to go back into a training program to reteach you all the law you've forgotten in the 5+ years you've been working as a field agent.

24
General Board / Re: Law review surprises
« on: July 06, 2007, 07:52:13 AM »
I think people who aren't at the top of the class have more vested in making it onto LR and the other journals, so they may put more time and effort into the competition than those who are already at the top of the class and taking it for granted that they'll automatically grade onto LR. That, combined with the need for different skills to do well on a cas note/write-on competition, make it unsurprising that you see a slightly different group writing onto LR than you'd see if it were purely grade-on.

25
General Board / Re: Law Review Write-On Competition: What is it?
« on: June 30, 2007, 08:52:41 AM »
From what I understand, it varies dramatically by school. I know my school tries to make it as easy as possible for people to complete it because there are enough spots on journals for almost half the class. We get 5 weeks to do a 12-page note. Other schools may have a bluebook test, a longer note, or no note at all. Whether you can finish it over a long weekend probably depends on how long they give you to do it and how much reading you get. Some schools give more than 400 pages of reading and it may take them a solid week of work to finish their note. I can't really say how long it took me to do my note because I worked on it a little bit each day over the course of 3 weeks.

I haven't heard of any school that publishes a write-on piece either.

26
General Board / Re: Clerkship Advice
« on: June 28, 2007, 08:18:47 PM »
Another thing to find out is how loyal your alumni are. I know the one appellate judge where I live is from my school always has 1-2 clerks from my school each year. Considering only 1-2 students every year have any connection to the area, I seriously doubt he takes that into consideration. There's a district court judge who only takes interns and clerks from his school. If you can find information on who these judges are (if there are any from your school), you'll probably have an edge over other applicants, especially if it's not in an area that's popular with people from your class.

27
Gwiz- some people work their asses off and don't do as well as others during 1L. That's because there is one type of class and not everyone is equally successful in that type of learning environment. While it's partially a matter of perseverance, it's just as much a matter of luck. In 2L/3L you can pick whether to take a paper class/seminar or lectures so people are better able to improve their grades by picking classes in which they'll do better.
I agree in whole. That "perserverance variable" (which may be a small part of the whole package) starts before classes start.  If you begin everything thinking you are in the middle or at the end of the pack, then that is where you will probably be.  It is giving up before you have started.  I've seen it before.  People, who are perfectly capable, destroying thier chances because they never believed they could do it in the first place.  It's a psychological challenge too.  For alot of people that is the their weakness.

Yes, there is the chance that you could be the worst student in your class. You should prepare for that as well.  ;)


Some of us on here are not OLs. I am not the worst student in my class by far, but even though I worked insanely hard to do well, the lecture style, timed exam class is not my best method for me to learn. I can get around that 2L/3L by picking other paper classes, but in 1L you really have no choice. I know a few of my friends and I tried our hardest to move up in the class but ended up in approximately the same place.

28
The Tier 2 in my area is up in the 70s now for a median private sector salary and it is not a high-paying region.

NEVER rely on salary stats the school, or USNEWS provides. Those numbers are not representative for a number of reasons. Look closely at the numbers and the response rate. Anyone who has taken a entry level stats class should be able to tell that these numbers are not trustworthy.

From a school like Case, you'd need to be at least top 15%, maybe higher to get a job with a big firm. After the big firms, pay drops off considerably. Most smaller firms do not pay 70K to start. The starting salary is more like 40-55K depending on the type of firm and where it is located. If you are average gradewise, you probably won't even qualify for on campus interviews. At my tier 2, the cutoff for OCI is top 1/4. At Case, it might be 1/3 or so, and that's being generous. However, many OCI jobs are not big law. These are small and medium, regional firms. The big firms want people on law review and who are in the top 10-15%. That is the REALITY.

Talk to recent grads of schools like Case. Most law grads with average grades (who are not at top schools) do not find work until after bar passage results are in. Don't think for a second that because Case is ranked #53 and not #75-100 that you will be immune to this.

I heard it from a current 3L, not from USNWR. The best way to get accurate information is by talking to students who are about to graduate. I don't think he got his information from USNWR.

Gwiz- some people work their asses off and don't do as well as others during 1L. That's because there is one type of class and not everyone is equally successful in that type of learning environment. While it's partially a matter of perseverance, it's just as much a matter of luck. In 2L/3L you can pick whether to take a paper class/seminar or lectures so people are better able to improve their grades by picking classes in which they'll do better.

29
I never understood that attitude.  Why don't yout think you can make top 10%? ???

Everyone around you is trying to make top 10%, and actually believe they can.  If you don't have that drive You may be destined for bottom 10%.  What's wrong with aiming for #1?  If you don't make it at least you make a good run at it.  Maybe the guy that makes #1 had a hard time getting there, and holding that place. 

Sound to me like you've already given up.


The OP is just trying to be realistic about his/her job prospects. It's stupid to go into a school thinking you'll be top 10% because the chances are high that you will be in the bottom 90% or around the middle of the class. Planning for that possibility just makes more sense than planning that you'll be in the top 10%. People who think they'll be in the middle probably make more efforts from the start to network and look more well-rounded for employers. I think 60-75 is probably a reasonable expectation. The Tier 2 in my area is up in the 70s now for a median private sector salary and it is not a high-paying region.

30
General Board / Re: Is life as a 1L really that difficult?
« on: June 21, 2007, 11:56:19 AM »
1L is the h4rd35t EVAR.

Actually not really, it was even fun for me.  Although maybe I would've have less fun if I had done poorly.

Also you should recognize that law school likely will affect your interaction with non-law school friends.  Why?  Well, in many respects, you'll just have less to talk about unless you're going to regale them with wonderful tales of torts.  I found that the weeks around finals there was no use talking to non-law school people that much - all you're thinking about is finals and they don't care THAT much.

I don't know what I would have done without my non-law school friends. I think they're critical to helping you keep a grip on reality.

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