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Messages - kenpostudent

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I've met good criminal attorneys who make a good living, as well.

Look, there is no doubt that a degree from a top school can pay dividends for life. However, I don't think it is a determinant or dispositive factor after your first job. I could be wrong in some specific cases. In most cases, I think I'm right. This is really a question that cannot be answered in this forum because it's simply too hypothetical. However, my main assertion is that tops school degrees are not the only road to success. I never said that they are not the BEST road. I would love to have a degree from a top school...just not the debt that comes with it.

I have never said that top schools don't give you better chances, just that there is life (good life) outside of that circle of top grads.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Cooley has a JINGLE
« on: June 30, 2008, 11:14:42 PM »
Would you care to elaborate or just level insults? Why is my reasoning flawed? I invite you to tell me all about why I am wrong. If you can only level insults, then shut your female dog ass up. See, I can level insults, too

General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Criminal Law - Stable Career?
« on: June 30, 2008, 11:01:12 PM »
My girlfriend works for a criminal defense firm. Her bosses make $80-$100k apiece. They typically work 40-50 hours per week. Sometimes more. I think it would be a good living. The problem with any firm, big or small, but especially small firms, is cash flow. You have to get money up front.

DUI cases are good money. Domestic violence are also money makers. Here in Las Vegas, the firm where my girlfriend works gets alot of solicitation cases. The working girls always have plenty of money to pay. Criminal defense can be a good living.

Securities defense is the best, but you really need to have experience with SEC trials to be effective. Most SEC enforcement actions are brought in a court before administrative judges. You really need to know the procedural ins and outs of that kind of trial to effective. Also, if you have ever seen an SEC reg book, it looks like a law school casebook... maybe bigger. The pages are razor thin (like a bible), and it's full of some of the most labrynthine regulations you have ever seen. It's a tough field to break into.

I think some state schools do. I know Texas law requires something like 75% of their medical school students to be in-state. I think UNLV has a policy (I don't think there is a statute) to admit 70% in-state students at their law school. It just depends on the state and the school. The UC system has no in-state preference. Call the admissions office. I would think that you could find that information on a school's website, though.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Columbia vs. NYU
« on: June 30, 2008, 08:12:38 PM »
I don't doubt that you are right. Unfortunately, I have no choice in paying taxes (if I wish to stay out of prison). I can choose not to attend CLS.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Cooley has a JINGLE
« on: June 30, 2008, 07:56:38 PM »
I actually base that assertion on posts that I have read on various forums and conversations that I have had with law school students and graduates. I don't know what percentage of top school applicants go to big firms and what percentage go to government, clerkships, ect. However, I have spoken a many 3ls that tell me that there are many grads that do not get biglaw jobs. Some who do want the positions don't get hired. They may be the lower third of the class, I don't know.

You have not addressed my question, though, besides prospects for your first job, how is someone worse off for going to a lower rated schools?  In fact, I will make this assertion: a graduate that works for a prosecutor's office for three years upon graduation will more than likely be a far better courtroom litigator than his peers at big law after three years. Since this is true, will the prosecutor who makes the lateral move to big law then move up the ranks faster than the associates who are nothing more than glorified clerks? I wonder.
I really don't know the answer to that question, but I suspect that the lower tier graduate who has spent time litigating will have a leg up on the top five grad who had done document review and research. Any thoughts?

I would bet my bottom dollar that the prosecutor will certainly mop the floor with the biglaw associate if they happened to meet in court (though that would never happen because only very experienced attorneys at biglaw go to court). So, back to my point, once both the top law grad and the T3/T4 grad get experience, how are they materially different?

I will concede that there are areas of law that do not involve litigation. I mention that only because that is what I want to do. I've done my time on mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs (as an accountant). If that is what you want to do, you probably will never see the inside of a courtroom either and may enjoy your job. I confess, this type of law requires a different skill set. From experience working with corporate, securities, and tax attorneys, they are a cut above the rest and mostly come from good schools (I have run across a few from lower tier schools, though). You have to be bright to do this work. Excluding this type of law, how is a top law graduate different from a lower tier graduate?

That may be a prevailing perception. I'm not arguing that point. I'm simply saying that there is life outside of big law firms and that plenty of jobs are available to those who are willing to look for them. I guess we would also have to define affluence. If by that you mean upper middle class lifestyle, then this is true. You can make a decent living as a lawyer regardless of what school you attend. If you define affluence as $500k per year plus, then no. Very few in ANY profession make that. According to IRS records, less than 2% of taxpayers have an AGI above $120k. Those are the facts. So, anyone who argues that law school is a ticket to that lifestyle is probably mistaken. It takes hard work and a little luck in any profession to break the $100k barrier (usually).

I believe it's possible to make an upper middle class living, though, in the practice of law regardless of the school you attend. That is my point. If you want to make big bucks, start a company and issue yourself stock options in a bull market. Sell out just after the 144 restrictions run out and just before the market takes a dive. That's how you get rich.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Columbia vs. NYU
« on: June 30, 2008, 07:06:08 PM »
He is more than a detractor. If he were simply that, then I would personally invite him to speak at any law school. However, he is much more. He is actively funding the militias that are fighting our troops. That makes him an enemy.

If someone speaks ill of my family, I don't care so much. We can chat over coffee. When someone dispatches hitmen to kill my family, well, we can have coffee only if I'm pouring boiling hot coffee over their genitals. That's the difference.

Now had CLS invited the jack-ass to speak only to have snipers waiting for him, then I would give the dean a medal.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Columbia vs. NYU
« on: June 30, 2008, 05:56:05 PM »
I wouldn't attend CLS if they gave me a full-ride and paid me a stipend. That is just me, though. I wouldn't quite fit in. I don't fault anyone who chooses to attend, though. I mean, patriotism isn't for everybody  ;).

Seriously, though, I wouldn't go to any NYC school. I'm from CA and can't stand the cold. Both are fine schools, though. It's like trying to distinguish between USC and UCLA (even though everyone knows USC is superior); they are ranked so close that there is virtually no difference... and they are about 20 minutes away from each other. Pick the one you like the best. Since you have to donate a kidney to afford the tuition at either, you might as well just roll the dice.

I would agree with you if you qualify your analysis to reference the first job out of law school. After two or three years of experience, where you went to school won't matter, except to maybe get an occasional interview. You rise and fall on your experiences after your first job. It's true in ANY profession. Clients and employers seldom care where you went to law school after your first job.

After my first accounting job, no one has ever asked me where I went to school. No one really cares. The trick is getting the experience fresh out of the gate. That can be tough. It's hard to find decent jobs outside the geographic area of your law school unless you happened to attend a national school. Sometimes you have to sacrifice for what you want. You may have to take a lower paying job out of the gate to get experience and move up. No one wants to start at the bottom anymore.

Most graduates can find a job that pays between $45k to $55k. It's not alot, but it is enough to live if you budget well, even with high debt. In a few years, you can up that salary to $80k to $100k if you network well and get some litigation experience. Hell, government jobs pay damn near $80k - $100k for experience attorneys. If you have say three or four years of litigation experience, you can start your own firm with a few peers. My mentor did that and made a ton of money doing family law. The divorce rate is at 50%. That should tell you what the income potential for family law is. Given that even an uncontested divorce runs at least $1,500 (done by an attorney and not a paralegal), there is plenty of money to be made.

There are attorneys in Las Vegas who make good money doing nothing but DUI defense and traffic tickets. It's not my cup of tea, but it's a living. There are jobs if you don't mind relocating and doing a thorough job search. I think the debate centers around what lifestyle you want. If your goal is to make big bucks, you almost have to go to biglaw. The only other way to make the big bucks is to become Johnnie Cochran, i.e. build a big name by winning important cases. If you practice law for the love of the profession, the money will follow as you get good at what you do. Granted, it takes hard work and patience. Moreover, you may never make $500k plus a year either; but, job satisfaction is a commodity that is hard to value in dollars.

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