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Messages - USC313

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Is it me, or does that sound like a major plug for Law Preview?

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General Board / Re: Suggested reading prior to law school?
« on: June 15, 2010, 07:27:53 PM »
My advice is to read nothing before you begin law school since after you begin you'll see that most of your advance "preparation" was essentially useless. That being said, if you insist on getting some sort of pseudo-headstart then read the E&E on Torts. You'll be taking that course in the fall semester, it's by the same author of the Civ Pro E&E (Glannon) and is considered to be nearly as good. Also, disregard the previous poster.


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General Board / Re: Why is Cooley the only real lawschool?
« on: May 31, 2010, 10:34:20 PM »
Cooley is not the only one. See http://www.nesl.edu/.

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This Wednesday (May 19th) NPR's news program "All Things Considered" will feature a discussion with graduating law students on the current (deplorable) state of employment prospects for graduating law students. I think its good that this issue is garnering attention outside of legal circles, the NY Times, and various law school blogs.

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on how to market yourself better to employers. The school also places well within the Delaware legal community (at least the Wilmington campus does; I'd think that HSB tends to place well in central PA). On a more general note I think there is a lot of of academic "life" to the campus. Students seem to get involved in things, and the school sponors a lot of interesting events. For example, we just had the Delware Supreme Court hear oral arguments on campus the other day. All that makes for a better school experience in my opinion, and I appreicate the school affording students such opportunties.

In the end, I think it's what you make of it. The school provides students with a lot in terms of assisting them in finding employment. The hinderance comes in the form of bad grades and the fact that the school is lower ranked. I think if you're persistent and do well in school, you can find the job you like. Just be aware of the shortcomings I've mentioned.

Anyways, I hoped this helped.

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Moreover, the 50% private practice rate also isnt very telling. Law firms are NOT all equal. Working at small firm doing personal injury law or insurance defense, you're bearly going to be making more than a teacher's salary. But the school hasn't posted salary statistics, and I'm not suprised given the fact that most of students probably are NOT making great salaries.

Sorry if i sound a litte jaded. I've probably been reading "jdunderground.com" too much. What I've said isn't anything new though. If you look at other law school type forums you'll see many of the same issues about lower ranked schools being addressed.

I realize I'm a bit off topic, so I'll try to emphasize what Widener CAN do for you employment-wise should you attend. The school has fall and spring "OCI"--on campus recruting--where employers are invited to campus and student's bid on interview slots. Fall OCI is pretty much reserved for the top 15% of the class if your trying to get in with one of the more prestigious firms; spring OCI is more low key. There are less employer's that come and those that do are not necessarily from the "better" firms.

OCI really isn't the key to getting a job though. The school supports various "networking" events which gives students the change to interact with local attorney's and other Widener-law alum. The career development office also hosts various types of workshops

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Admittedly, this is not just a Widener issue. The legal job market took a serious beating in 2008/9. If you want to get a sense of how bad it is, take a look here: "http://www.nationaljurist.com/content/national-jurist" That's a link to a montly magazine thats geared to law students, and many schools, Widener included, have it available to student's on campus.

But, the fact the legal market is in bad shape right now tends to expose why going to a lower ranked school may not necessarily be in a person's best interest. Honestly, I tend to think that the kids who are ranked in the bottom half of the class, particularly lower then 70%, are basically F-ed come graduation time. Where i think the disconnect between these facts and Widener's "silence" on the issue is especially exposed is on their career development statisics. They have the class of 2009 at a 95% employment, or advanced degree rate (whatever that means) within 9 months of graduation. Only 50% of students went into private practice, and a full 25% are employed as judicial law clerks. That is an astounding number. While clerking following graduation is a great opportunity, I tend to think that 25% of student's doing it, assuming all students reported WHAT they are doing, is not a good indicator. If I were to guess, I'd say employment as a law clerk was really a "fall back" choice for a number of these students, since they couldnt find employment at a firm. I could be wrong though.

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...prove yourself more worthy for legal employment in a way. The sad thing is I'm not sure how many students at Widener, at least at the Wilmington campus, are even aware of this. I've never had a discussion with a student, or heard any member of the administration or professor, discuss the fact that Widener's no-so-spectacular ranking will have a direct effect on a student's ability to find employment. This may just be because it's not necessarily in the school's interest to discuss this dilema with the students, since all law schools (lower ranked or not) want to retain and attract students rather than seeing them choose other law schools to attend or transfer out after the 1st year.

In any event, I'm not trying to knock around Widener too much. But the fact of the matter is that a person considering attending law school really needs to consider whether or not its even a good investment. For starters, you'll be losing 3 years of potential income AND Widener is a private school (with pretty hefty annual tuition). Moreover, unless you're in the top 5% of the class, you probably will NOT land that $100K + a year job right out of school. So, all in all, you should consider what type of debt-load you're going to be looking at following graduation, and think hard about whether or not you'll be able to afford repayment given the fact that the average student's salary likely isn't very spectacular.



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Hey dxg41, sorry my response was not forthcoming sooner. I've been busy with a lot of school work this week. As to your question about the legal job market, it really is a mixed bag. There's a lot of considerations that go into whether or not a given student will be able to get the kind of lawyering job they want.

First and foremost, you have to try and get the BEST grades you possibly can in law school, particularly in 1L. Unfortunately, grades and your indivdual ranking within your class are probably the single most important predictor of what kind of job opportunities you'll have during the summer months and post-graduation. Bad grades during 1L really forecloses many opportunity with some of the more reputable firms and/or judges during 1L summer, and even if dig yourself out of that hole during 2L and 3L, it's still a strike against your GPA and, consequently, your employment outlooks.

You should be aware that Widener's status as a "Tier 4" school among the U.S. News and World Report rankings also will affect your ability to find employment. Law schools and law firms, for better or worse, take these rankings seriously. You're chances of finding employment as a student in the top 35% of the class are worse than a student at say Villanova, or Temple. This fact basically compounds the necessity of performing well academically. Because you go to a "lower-ranked" law school, you have to  

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Fourth, there is no use in thinking about electives at this point. Electives don't enter the picture until the second year anyways, and by that point you'll have a much better idea of what area of the law you may wish to pursue via electives. What you might think you like now you might hate by the end of your first year, and vice versa. Electives are the last thing to worry about prior to the start of 1L.

Fifth, in terms of your summer following 1L, I recommend you try and take on an internship with a judge. A number of students I know worked with judges at their local county courthouse. I even knew a few of the better students who were able to get in with federal bankrupcy judges. Either way, working with a judge will give you the opportunity to meet other lawyers (i.e. network), as well as apply whatever skills you hopefully learn in your classes to real world legal problems. Also, a number of the positions are paid (albeit poorly).

Finally, don't stress out too much. Don't try and read any law books prior to the start of the fall semester or take any pre-law school classes that are supposed to prepare you for your first year but are really just designed to rip you off. I recommend enoying your summer, because once law school begins, you will find that it essentially becomes the number one priority in your life for the next three years.

Anyways, I hoped this help answer some of your questions. If you have others, feel free to continue the thread.

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