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Messages - mtfbwy

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Kudos to Mr. Henry. This deserves wider coverage, and tremendous support. 

General Board / Re: Character & Fitness
« on: October 27, 2007, 01:17:06 PM »
You'll be fine. My only advice would be to use "IL" henceforth. 

General Board / Re: Advice on succeeding Torts??
« on: October 24, 2007, 01:30:54 PM »
For super bonus points on your essays, be sure to contrast the Cardozo v. Andrews view from Palsgraf (even if you sight no other case the entire exam, which you probably won't).  Torts professors eat that up (as do bar examiners).

2L job search / Re: Denver and San Francisco
« on: October 20, 2007, 04:55:03 PM »



I lived in Colorado for many years and spent a good bit of time in SF.

Denver is on the smaller side of "mid-market." There just aren't that many big offices (or branch offices of big firms), the summer classes of which are quite small compared to NY, Chi, LA, DC or Boston (smaller, actually, than Atlanta, Dallas, or Houston).  They tend to give many spots to top students at CU and DU (to a lesser extent).  But, it never hurts to try (your school rank/class rank, of course, are paramount).  The Front Range (Denver and its burbs, Evergreen, Boulder, Fort Collins) is a highly desirable place to live and, as such, there are a lot of people gunning for a relatively small number of professional jobs.  Cost (i.e. housing) of living isn't bad (though Boulder and the best hoods in Denver are pretty expensive). If your student loans aren't too much, there are actually quite a few good small to mid-size (non-Nalp) firms along the Front Range where you could happily start a career (and either stay and become a partner or lateral to a branch office of a big firm). A personal connection to the area might be important to many firms in CO.

SF is of course a much bigger city, but its legal market is small relative to its size. Much of what gets done at SF firms involves venture capital (Silicon Valley tech and bio work), plus ever-expanding work out of Asian markets.  The Bay Area is an extremely expensive place to live.  It always was, then the 90's (during which hundreds of thousands of people in SF/SV got rich quick) really pushed real estate prices through the roof.  It's a great area, though, if you can swing it.

As for SA positions, on the one hand, the show is over and most firms are nearly done with call-backs.  On the other hand, circumstances sometimes force firms to interview people after the fall recruiting seasons ends (e.g. they were too conservative in their initial hiring needs calculations, too many people declined offers, etc.).  You should get your resume (and a letter expressing your specific interest in that market and that office, especially in the case of Denver) to the recruiting director of every firm you can find right away - then hit them again in January (even if you get rejected right now).  Failing that, if you are able (i.e. if you have a SA position in another city already, e.g. NY or Chi), contact the firms again over the summer and shoot for a 3L fall call-back.

Good luck.

Transferring / Re: Whent to Apply?
« on: October 20, 2007, 02:25:54 PM »
I'm sorry to say, but your LSAT score(s) will have no bearing on your transfer prospects. (Yes, your first LSAT got you into your current school, the ranking of which may affect your transfer prospects, but your LSAT score, even your new one, will have no impact at this point.)  FORGET about the LSAT and start focusing on the only thing that actually counts - final exams. You're obviously a hard worker (if a bit crazy - I've never heard of anyone preparing for and taking an LSAT as a 1L), so just focus that energy into studying for (i.e writing out practice answers) finals.

You need to (1) determine the schools to which you would like to transfer and (2) contact each of those schools and inquire as to deadlines, requirements, etc. (most schools' sites will have a tab/page for "Transfer Applicants").  Some schools might accept applications after the first semester, others (as does the school to which I transfered) require spring semester grades as well. 

Good luck.

General Board / Re: Where to take your SA position
« on: October 10, 2007, 07:45:40 AM »
V80-100 firms are never the first to raise salaries.  That doesn't mean they're not good firms - they're just not "market" leaders.  In general, it's V5 firms in NY that lead the NY market, which then sparks raises in LA, Chi and DC, which lead to raises in Boston, SF/SV, and TX, which (eventually, reluctantly, and with an insulting degree of compression) lead to raises in Atlanta, etc. 

Outside of NY, it's important to look at the rankings in a particular city. There is usually a "top tier" of firms in a given market, and so on.  The top tier firms lead on raises (and bonuses) in that market, the next tier (eventually and reluctantly) follows, and then the tier after that (eventually, reluctantly, and with an insulting degree of compression) follows. 

Congrats to you, especially given the determination you've shown by going back to school. I finished my undergrad in my late twenties as well.  But germane to this thread is the fact that I, too, was dinged by (almost) every school to which I applied - except for JMLS.

You have every reason to be excited about your acceptance.  20% of IL judges attended JMLS, including two of the current seven on the IL Supreme Court. There are partners who attended JMLS at every prestigious big firm in the city, many JMLS alumni have started their own successful firms, and others are doing everything in between. The professors at JMLS, at least for the first year courses, are excellent, and provide a very practical (and often "bar-oriented") legal education. 

The top 10% of your class will be comprised of smart, extremely hard-working students, who will eventually get great (biglaw, or top government) jobs (the top 5% sooner; the next 5% might take a while).  The next 10% (i.e. top 20%) down will be fairly smart, pretty hard-working students, who will eventually get decent (midlaw, or midling government) jobs.  The bottom 80% (not all, but most) will be a rather unimpressive bunch, and I really have no idea what they end up doing for a living.

I jumped ship after my 1L year at JMLS for a top 30 school and summered at at V30 firm, to which I will return after graduation. However, please know that I was very lucky. Everyone starting law school assumes they'll be at the top - but most are profoundly disappointed.  Hell, I was only in the top 15% after 1L at JMLS; I know people who were higher ranked than me who chose not to transfer out, and do not have a post-graduation job lined up. 

Now is the time to seriously ponder what it will be like to take on more than $100k of debt. I have two bits of advice:

1) Do your very best in your first semester (of course, this advice applies to any law student).  If you rank very high (i.e. no lower than top 10%), appeal to the school for a generous (or increased) scholarship.  Whether or not they agree to give it to you (they offered me an extra $1,000 per semester to stay!), you will have a serious choice to make: to transfer or not to transfer. I would strongly recommend UIUC, if you are able (that's not where I go).  It will cost you a lot less, and give you vastly better opportunities than Loyola, Kent or DePaul.  (For that matter, don't even consider DePaul - it's only marginally better than JMLS for job prospects.) I don't know if Northwestern takes transfers after only one semester, but in any event, you would need to be the top student in your class to have a shot. 

2) I firmly believe that JMLS is superior to Northern IL University (the other school that admitted me on the first go around).  However, given its low cost, you might want to give NIU some serious thought. 

Again, congrats.  Don't let people online get you down about attending a Tier 4 school. You are going to a law school, you will graduate and pass the bar, and become a lawyer.  Just don't lose sight of the fact that you will be paying at least $1,000 per month on your student loans after graduation, a burden which only the top 10% of JMLS grads (speaking optimistically) will be able to shoulder with ease.  Best of luck.

1L job search / Re: Chicago Illinois, CPA, 1L and confused where to start
« on: September 28, 2007, 07:58:29 AM »
I don't know if there's much of a "social aspect" to any particular area of law, except for perhaps estate planning. (Of course, when up for partner at some firms, and once a partner at any firm - whether your own or a big firm - your social skills will be important.)  

The tax groups at most large firms tend to get work in two ways: 1) they have their "own" clients, i.e. the client comes to that firm for tax work, or 2) they are called upon by other groups in the firm when something they are working on involves tax (which, it should please you to know, is almost every matter).  With the exception of small to mid-size "tax firms," the latter is far more common.  (I was a summer at a large Chicago office this year, to which I will return after graduation, and saw first-hand how integral the tax lawyers are - even though I didn't have any tax assignments.)

You don't need me to tell you that your 1L grades are of paramount importance. Your grades this semester determine your 1L summer job prospects, and your grades for 1L will determine your 2L summer, which is the most important three-month experience/step/opportunity of your career (at least at the start).  Your CPA will indeed give you an advantage (stress your CPA and your interest in tax, corp, etc. in your letter), but you must first meet the grade cutt-offs in order to get screening interviews (during 2L recruiting).  

As for your 1L summer, it's extremely hard to get a summer associate position at a big firm and, unless you're near the top of your class at Chicago or Northwestern, forget about it.  But that doesn't mean that you can't find something worthwhile for next summer. The advice Jacy85 has given you is good and should be followed as well.  If you haven't done so already, join the student division of the CBA.

Good luck on your CPA test, and on exams this semester.

P.S. If your 1L grades are a disappointment, you might want to look into completing an LLM in tax (assuming your school offers one).  This would add another year to your education (assuming your school allows law students to complete an LLM that way), which means another year of loans.  But it might allow you to salvage things.  If you do very well this year, an LLM won't be necessary (and, except for tax, LLM's are basically pointless).

2L job search / Re: Scheduling Callback
« on: September 03, 2007, 07:35:42 AM »
Good luck to you as well.

2L job search / Re: Scheduling Callback
« on: September 02, 2007, 12:13:11 PM »
In your very first post, you sought opinions about scheduling call-backs; a few hours later, you stated that you had scheduled a call-back.  It seemed like you were looking for support of a decision you had already made.  In any event, this reader's impression was that you were spending considerable time thinking about call-back scheduling, between consultations with your CDO and this board.

The opinion that I offered was to schedule your call-backs for the earliest possible dates, which means prioritizing them over everything else in your life, including school, personal commitments and your current job. In other words, to start treating this like the most important thing in your life (not forever, just for the few days it will take to complete the call-backs), or, more bluntly, to quit jerking around.  

Your response: "I posted for opinions, not "quit jerking around."  Not all of us are unemployed 24 year olds."  

Obviously, where you come from "quit jerking around" is "nasty," yet "Not all of us are unemployed 24 year olds" is considered charming.  

The fact that you "lol-ed" (in light of your already having a "career") at thorc954 for his or her view that OCI is the reason we are in law school seemed "nasty," to say the least.

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