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Messages - mtfbwy

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Current Law Students / Re: How much do summer associates make?
« on: August 23, 2008, 07:40:45 PM »
1) Hmm..."1L" and "bored"...not two terms one normally thinks of at the same time.

2) As for summer associate $, as you obviously have Internet access, try this neat site called "Google."  (Enter "big law firm summer associate salary," or "NALP.")

3) If you remain in the state described in #1, and are unsuccessful at #2, just know that the going rate in the major markets is around $3,100/wk.  In secondary markets, (with some exceptions) it's around $2,800ish. 

The above assumes you're asking about the conventional definition of "summer associate," i.e., a law student working between 2L and 3L (or 1L summer if exceptional) at a major, multi-office law firm, or at least at a firm with a large office. 

Current Law Students / Re: The worst part of the bar exam....
« on: July 25, 2008, 08:36:11 AM »
Perhaps it is in your state (but note that, in the unlikely event you see an admin law question next week, "agencies," by and large, tend to be part of the executive branch).  In my state, the board of bar examiners (a non-governmental organization) "recommends" (to the court) the admission of applicants. 

Current Law Students / Re: Prayers for the Bar Exam
« on: July 25, 2008, 07:51:08 AM »
If tax comes up anywhere, it will be as a sub-issue; neglecting to properly address it won't blow the entire question (though if your answer is weak on the main issues, correctly addressing the tax issue might help to push your answer into passing territory). 

The likely sub-issue: in a family law essay, relating to divorce.  (i) Property settlement/division is a NON-taxable event (i.e., not income to the recipient). (ii) Child support payments are not tax deductible by the payor and are not income to the custodial parent. (iii) Alimony/spousal support (must be cash, not property) is income to the recipient and is deductible by the payor.

Current Law Students / Re: The worst part of the bar exam....
« on: July 25, 2008, 07:30:22 AM »
The government?

I'm sorry to hear about your dismissal, and the tuff circumstances you faced during your semester.  But please allow me to point a couple of things out.

Yes, JMLS dismisses more 1L's than all other IL schools combined (the number used to be much higher).  You know why?  Because JMLS was built on a policy that (almost) "everybody" should be given the opportunity to pursue a legal education (I believe it was the first in the city to admit African-Americans and women).  It maintains that policy today, opting to place the harsher "filter" on 1L grades than on the LSAT.  That's what law school comes down to: the top schools are filled with people who scored very well on a test; students at 4th tier schools (for the most part) did poorly on the LSAT, and a good 4th tier school like JMLS needs to rely on 1L exams as a type of "post admissions entrance exam." 

You say that you can "talk law" with lawyers, professors, etc., but have testing problems.  Well, it doesn't end with the LSAT or law school exams.  There is, unfortunately, a BIG test awaiting all law school grads, or at least those who want to practice law.  Imagine taking ALL of the exams you took during that one semester of 1L, but doing so in about ONE HOUR. That's what the bar is like, for twelve hours. 

JMLS might admit nearly everybody who applies, but there's a reason that 90% of its 2007 grads passed the bar last July.  Despite being a 4th tier school, JMLS grads account for 20% of IL judges, including 2 on the IL Supreme Court, they are partners at every major firm in Chi, have thriving solo practices, and everything in between.

Believe me, I'm not trying to knock you down.  I bombed the LSAT, and started at JMLS. I had serious doubts about whether I should attend, especially after getting a B- my first semester.  But by the end of 1L, I was in the top 12% or so, and transferred to a T30.  This in no way makes me any smarter than you - no more than a Harvard law grad who scored a 175 on the LSAT is "smarter" than me.  We just did better on a few exams.  If you decide to take another crack at it, remember that it's all about the exams - the law is the easy part.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do.

Transferring / Re: My Story
« on: May 16, 2008, 12:59:09 PM »
Started at a T4 (yes, Tier 4), transferred to a top 30, now heading to a V30. 

My personal results/situation aside, I completely agree with the OP's sentiments (especially the parts about receiving little-to-no help or respect from the school or the native students). 

However, I'm nonetheless glad that I transferred.  We'll have these degrees for the rest of our lives...and whereas I am quite content with my T30 degree (unlike the OP), graduation this month would have been an entirely different experience had I remained at my T4. 

Current Law Students / Re: Any UIUC students?
« on: May 13, 2008, 01:40:55 PM »
I didn't go there, but just graduated from one of its (roughly speaking) peer schools.  I did, however, work with/meet several UIUC students and alumni last summer (at a major firm in Chi), every single one of whom was both very smart/driven and very friendly/down to earth.

Transferring / Re: Are Transfers Happy?
« on: April 26, 2008, 07:19:50 AM »
There are a few good reasons to transfer, which can serve to make one "happy."  First and most importantly, one can transfer to a much higher ranked school.  Second, one might desire a particular job market, where the transfer school places better than one's 1L school.  Third, there might be some personal reason (e.g., spouse/partner gets job, etc. in new city, family hardship, etc.).  [I had a couple of those reasons; T4 to T30 to V30.]

The WORST reason to transfer: An improved social life.  I'm assuming your post was sincere, which is why I have taken the time to respond. There are two reasons why transfers face social challenges:

1) You will be hard-pressed to find a transfer who says, "oh boy, the natives have been so friendly, and I've made many more friends than I did at my 1L school."  Think about it: Cliques are formed and friendships are forged during 1L because (i) nobody knows anyone at first and (ii) everyone is suddenly thrust into a new world in which they all share similar stress, anxiety and demands, which are largely unique to the law school experience.  When you show up at your new school, you won't have attended those awkward first social mixers or shared in the (pointless) stress of getting called on, writing a brief, and studying for the most important finals of your life.  Even people who started at the same school, but were in different sections, might not have met during 1L, and are thus less likely to be friends the remaining two years.

2) Aside from those obvious social challenges, there is the fact that some (not all, but enough to make a difference) natives will look down on you.  They're usually of two types: natives who did poorly 1L and are thus without jobs (or with crappy jobs) and natives who were either just barely rejected from a far better school or who chose that school because of its generous scholarship assistance (and who, despite having good job prospects, still need to direct their bitterness at somebody).  Both types of natives harbor the view that "transfers didn't have to compete with us 1L and thus get to start out 2L with a clean slate GPA, while enjoying our school's better rank, and are simply inferior." 

The "bitter native" view described above is, of course, nonsense.  For what it's worth: (i) Transfers, in general, were highly ranked at their former schools, and are thus at least as cabable as the bottom half at their new school.  (ii) Transfer LSAT numbers have no impact on U.S. News rankings.  (iii) Transfers, who pay full tuition, bring in considerable additional revenue to their new school (and anywhere outside the top 25 or so, this is needed to replace revenue lost by students transferring up).  (iv) Transfers face considerable challenges during OCI and certainly don't make things any harder for the marginal natives.  (v) If transfers are in fact so "inferior" to the natives, this should only help the natives for grading purposes.  (vi) Many (though not all) transfers are quite determined (hence their decision to transfer) to succeed, and for those who become successful, that only enhances the school's reputation and widens its alumni network. 

Note: Though transfers generally face a chilly social reception by the natives (whether for the understandable and harmless reasons described in #1, or for the irrational and cynical reasons described in #2), many transfers form very close friendships with their fellow transfers. 

Current Law Students / Re: Can You Have A Life in Law School?
« on: April 24, 2008, 06:07:31 AM »
The last few comments sum things up pretty well.  All I would add is: If you can't manage to "have a life" in law school, you certainly won't have one as a lawyer. 

Most public interest, many plaintiffs', and many government lawyers work about as much as the typical 1L works throughout the semester who hopes to get at least decent grades (or the typical 2L on a journal, who still hopes to get at least decent grades).  In other words, work takes up roughly 40 hours a week of one's time, with few or no weekends or evenings spent working, and the ability to take plenty of long weekend trips (and/or actually use one's paid vacation weeks).

Most lawyers working in insurance defense (or at even at the rare full service midsize firm) work like a 2L during finals.  It's more like 50 hours a week, with only the occassional evening or weekend, the ability in general to take one's vacation time (if one is lucky enough to have much of a paid vacation benefit), at a high but tolerable level of intensity.

Most lawyers in biglaw work like a 1L during finals.  It's more like 60 hours a week, with frequent evenings and weekends and a greatly limited ability to travel for pleasure (despite having four weeks' paid vacation) and, depending on the firm and even more so on practice area, often at a stressful level of intensity (and if the work itself is not intense, the pressure of having one's Blackberry buzz at midnight, and the corresponding need to get up and check it for fear that some partner needs something, even though it's just some arbitrary anouncement regarding an IT update from the London office, is intense). 

In sum: ENJOY law school.  Take lots of trips.  Exercise a lot.  Spend time with your loved ones.  Lawyers work a lot - and it never ends, unlike the semester - and their asses (i.e., jobs, reputations, licenses) are actually on the line (whereas in class, professors merely cultivate the myth that one's ass is on the line).  (And if the work ever "ends," you're out of a job.)

Transferring / Re: From Tier 4 to Tier 3
« on: April 02, 2008, 03:41:46 PM »
psuisback05 has provided you with about the soundest and most comprehensive analysis and predictions that you are going to find.  Proceed accordingly.

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