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Messages - philosophia
« on: June 16, 2008, 02:04:24 PM »
Is anyone else concerned that this whole Law School and the Legal System class at orientation will end up being a crash course in Socratic Method mayhem? I did that brief and feel like I got it all wrong...
And, I'm a parent, so this case really got me scared in more ways than one!!!
« on: June 16, 2008, 01:52:23 PM »
I am in the EXTREME minority, and will be undoubtedly flamed up and down this board, but I turned down a T-14 spot for a T3 full ride. However, I had some unique factors in that I am a bit older, had a wife that could not easily move and I would be fine ending up in the small state that my school is in. Also, my school has a strong specialty program that I was also very interested in. Now that 1-L is over, I am at the very top of my class and am beginning to start my job search. I found the single largest factor in doing well on 1-L exams was writing ability. The best writers in my class are all at the top of the class. It may not be fair, but when a prof sits down and starts reading a well-written exam, there is a strong bias toward that student - small mistakes are overlooked and positive assumptions made. There is also a very strong correlation at my school between LSAT and class rank. I don't know if this is common at other schools, but it is a clear delineating line here.
It will be interesting to see how my job prospects shake out, but I am not overly concerned. I have little debt and will have a lot of flexibility as a result. I am very happy with my choice and urge everyone to take into account all the various factors that should go into a serious decision such as school choice.
For many students, "take the top ranked" is the answer, but that is largely a function of the relatively homogenous pool of this forum. If you are young, dead-set on BigLaw with few obligations and willingness to follow the money wherever it may lead, that advice is often solid. But for those of us who don't fit the mold, the decision is more nuanced.
Thanks for your story. It seems to me that you have hit the nail on the head re: the types of people on this board, and even with regard to how you chose your school. I think that for many non-traditional students (myself included) the idea of a T14 and BIGLAW isn't all that glamorous. This is especially true if you have a spouse and/or children. Sometimes, people honestly just want to be lawyers no matter the path to getting there.
On another note, I hope that you are right when it comes to the correlation b/t writing, LSAT scores, and being at the top of the class. Like most people here (even though I am not aiming for BIGLAW and am not at a T14), I would still like to be at the top of my class. I guess I can post back here next summer and let you know how that all panned out for me!!! hahaha
I just want to shout out to all the MILS and DILS out there, too. It takes courage to take on law school and be a parent all at the same time!
« on: June 11, 2008, 10:39:53 PM »
Yeah, I am going to GSU and am in-state, so no big budget buster there. My scholarship is only contingent on remaining in good standing each year- there's no gpa or rank cutoff from what the Dir of Admissions told me. (It's a fellowship award from an outside institution given to students at GSU that have strong merit, need, and fit a certain "profile", i.e. non-traditional types, if that makes any difference.)
I really am not too worried about the debt load from GSU (even considering my debt from undergrad). What worries me is that I also went to GSU for undergrad. Most people gawk at that, but my personal situation has dictated that I stay put for at least another year (I have an infant). I considered applying to UGA and Emory (although I probably wouldn't have gotten in ELS), but have an uncle who went to GSU Law and does well for himself in private practice, so I thought "what the hell?" Plus, it is conveniently located for federal courts, capital work, many different sized firms, etc.
I'm going to see how it goes this fall. Worst case scenario, I end up making $40-50K in public interest... That's better than what my philosophy degree will get me. Plus, I am licensed in Real Estate and have some commercial RE experience, so we'll see.
« on: June 11, 2008, 09:38:44 PM »
Right on. I definitely have things in perspective; I just tend to be really neurotic at times. I appreciate you sharing, though. Before this summer, I really wanted to go into public interest and haven't ruled it out. Somehow I have let some dimwits on this board scare me into thinking it's BIGLAW or bust. I know that isn't true, of course, but I get caught up in the hype. Plus, like most people going into LS, I believe I will be in that small percentage of super-geniuses that lands an awesome job... hey, one can dream, you know!!!
Actually, if you care to know, yesterday I finally had to let some frustration out on this board and try to refocus myself (and hopefully a few others) re: school prestige vs. scholarship $$ and all the elitist comments that take place in some of the dicussions here. Some people are so hell bent on BIGLAW and big salaries that they can't see past their own aszes. Hope I can keep my perspective through this next year.
« on: June 10, 2008, 11:55:38 PM »
I think we'd all agree that the moral of this whole thread is:
Weigh your options and consider the market/debt/prestige ratio when deciding where to go. If you want to stay in Cleveland, or MidWest I guess, then maybe Case is a better choice. Otherwise, though, save your purse and opt for the $$!
« on: June 10, 2008, 11:50:34 PM »
so i haven't read all these posts, but I want to put my 2 cents in
going to a higher ranked school over money is, in my opinion, ONLY worth it if the higher ranked school is in the top 30. if you are choosing between a school ranked 75 and a school ranked, say, 50 and the 75 one gave you money i would say take the $$. schools are done by ranges and outside of the top 25 or so the odds of you getting "big law" are quite low unless you place high in the class. even in a top 25 you still need to do top 1/3 at least. its only once you get to T14 that you can relax a little. Consequently, I really do believe you are screwing yourself if you choose a T2 with money over a tier one. b/c this is your JOB. sure you will have debt, but you will have much much more opportunity. and yeah, its just a first job. but its a pretty huge first job. you can start your first year with 160,000 in your pocket and prestige and the ability to do wonderful things. not having that firm job (and wanting it- this doesn't go for public interest) means you will have to work ever so harder to achieve it. this is your career. this is your life, money and education. i'd say what job you get is pretty damn important..
Isn't "the cutoff" for T1 and T2 at like 50? So, your logic doesn't add up anyway b/c you claim there is no difference in 50 or 75, but then claim one is screwing him/herself by choosing T2 even with $$. But, assuming you didn't contradict yourself, I'd agree and say that anyone was a fool for passing up $160K. The only problem is only a handful of people get those gigs even coming out of T1. Anyway, half a year's salary in debt versus 60-75% of an annual salary in debt seems like better odds to me. And, most 1 year BIGLAW associate positions hover around $125K or so I believe. Then odds get even slimmer...
« on: June 10, 2008, 11:16:40 PM »
Thanks for the advice and encouraging words... sometimes this board amps my anxiety level!
« on: June 10, 2008, 11:06:06 PM »
Anyone still reading this thread?
I wanted to comment on the housing situation: I was an undergrad in ATL and lived off campus all but the first year. Definitely look into apartments in Little Five/East Atlanta area. I now live in Midtown and pay a great rent for a two bedroom townhouse that is convenient TO EVERYTHING!!! If interested, PM me and I'll share.
Re: the assignment, I have no clue, but I would bet it has to do with briefing a case. Seems that briefing is one of the key skills to learn in the beginning. Who knows, though... could be to list your likes, dislikes, feelings, fears, dreams, etc!!! I hear they are doing some studies on law students and depression around the nation. Maybe we are the next specimen group.
« on: June 10, 2008, 10:47:54 PM »
Just to clarify, DC... My school isn't necessarily the top dog, as there are two other reasonably ranked (higher than mine) schools in my state and some very competitive schools in neighboring states. But, you are right: everyone should consider ALL factors, not just which school gets ranked highest.
« on: June 10, 2008, 10:36:09 PM »
I totally agree with the last two posts. And a big "Thanks" for sharing your daughter's success story.
It is so frustrating to see that even on a board that should be littered with intellectuals, most people still get caught up in social hierarchies and the sayings of the elite.
Since I have joined this board, I have found myself slipping further into this oblivion. I have asked questions about transferring to a better ranked school and I haven't even started yet!!! It can be demoralizing, I admit, but I almost feel fortunate that I haven't taken the other path.
I CERTAINLY WILL NOT ARGUE THAT PRESTIGE DOESN'T MATTER, but I just can't help but think, "Who gives a sh!t what a bunch of liberal elitists think about my resume anyway?!?!"
Now, I'm prepared for the attacks that my comment is sure to evoke and I realize that I may not get some BIGLAW salary, but my debt load certainly won't dictate that I need one either. I have a child, which makes the idea of accumulating debt even more scary, but I challenge anyone to tell me that having $100,000+ in loan debt isn't a HUGE heartbreaker even when you make 6 figures.
I have a scholarship to a regional school in a very large city that typically places its students very well. It also boasts the highest bar passage rate in my state. USNWR ranked it one of the best values in the nation, and I feel confident that even without a T1, Top 15 logo, I will be just fine, even in this economy. Making $60K-$80K with less than $40K in debt doesn't sound too bad to me.
By the way, we haven't even hit recession yet... so who knows how easy it will be to get a job in 3 even if you are lucky enough to be at a top school?
Here's to the rest of us!!!