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Messages - bigs5068

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101
I must respectfully dissent. The rankings could be helpful and to some extent are, but what has happened is schools are focused on manipulating their numbers and not giving students a good education. An example is Villanova having recently been caught LYING to U.S. News for manipulating their stats. http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/02/09/villanova-law-school-admits-it-lied-to-boost-rankings-but-so/ .  The National Jurist did a great article on this and my post is not meant to knock Villanova they came clean and I am certain the majority of schools are doing the same things Villanova did.

Schools are literally putting significant amounts of money, resources, and time to boost the opinion of some magazine that has no authority and uses an absurd methodology to make their conclusions. It is so absurd that schools jump 20 spots any given year and they have 11 way ties in the rankings see the 11 way tie for 84th place. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings/page+4 .

All that being said I don't blame U.S. News for what has happened they are a private magazine making a lot of money for doing nothing. The sad thing is law schools have not banned together to focus on producing competent lawyers. Instead schools will discuss how high U.S. News ranked them in some speciality or my school for my example hired our Dean to boost our ranking. That was the reason and needless to say it didn't happen, because nobody can boost a ranking the system makes no sense. I just wish law schools would disregard U.S. News and ban together to stop it and focus on producing competent lawyers not lying to to get into an 11 way tie for 84th place. That kind of behavior is not good for anyone.

102
There are a few Charlotte, Phoneix, Florida Coastal, and Tulsa accepted me with a June application, Appalachian may also accept you and there might be others. That being said it is not a good idea to rush into law school. It is a 3 year 100k+ investment and it should be well researched and prepared for. Law school will be there next year and rushing into it is probably not the best idea.

103
Honestly if your in undergrad it wouldn't hurt to take some softball classes and boost your GPA through B.S. A's. If you have classes like weightlifting, basketball, anything like that you can boost your GPA and schools really don't care how you got your GPA they just care about the number. Don't manipulate it to much, but if your only a sophmore you can pick up 10-12 units of free A's.

In regards to your actual question this website does a GREAT job of showing you what type of numbers you need to get into certain schools. lawschoolnumbers.com. You can also see scholarship awards for certain numbers as well. It is a GREAT site for 0L's to look at in determining their admissions  chances.

104
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Notre Dame Law v. Fordham Law
« on: May 31, 2011, 05:04:28 PM »
Obviously both are good schools and congrats! Notre Dame will probably be better in the Midwest and Fordham better on the east coast, but I think you could consider the physical location. I had friends that went to Notre Dame and the school is great, but South Bend is not an exciting place and it is even a bit dangerous when you get away from the student area. Fordham is in Manhattan right next to some beautiful buildings etc and it would be a more exciting student life there I'm sure.

I don't think either school is a bad choice, but life in South Bend v. Manhattan for 3 years will be VERY different. If you are a guy/girl that loves sports and college town life then ND is probably the choice. If your a person that loves city life than Fordham is the right choice.

The rankings should play no part in this decision they are an absolute and utter joke. They are adamantly disapproved by the ABA and AALS.  It is a for profit magazine offering their subjective opinion based on lawyers filling out scantrons from 1-5. So a lawyer in L.A. marks a 4 for Fordham and is pissed of that Notre Dame beat USC in a football game so he gives them a 3.The methodology is literally a  joke this articles from LSAC explain it in more detail than I can  http://www.lsac.org/JD/Choose/deans-speak-out-rankings.asp http://www.lsac.org/LsacResources/Research/GR/GR-07-02.pdf .

The rankings also change 10-20 spots any given year for example last year. Notre Dame was 23 last year and Fordham was 30 in 2010. These two schools are in their same respective in 2011 actually, BUT Notre Dame is in a  4 way tie for 23rd with Davis, Illinios, IU-Bloomington and Fordham is in a 5 way tie for 30th with Washington, UNC, Emory, and Washingotn & Lee,

So is Notre Dame actually 23rd or 27th we don't know because they have a 4 way tie for 23rd. Is Fordham 30 or 35th we don't know because they have a 5 way tie. The schools in these ties show good examples of in the instalbity of the rankings. In 2010 Davis which is tied for 23rd with Notre Dame was 35th in 2010 the same professors, students, etc suddenly improved. While Emory was 20th in 2010 and now dropped to the 5 way tie for 30th. So if a 1L in 2010 literally made their decision based on rankings between Davis and Emory they would have chosen Emory, which was 20th instead of Davis, which was 35th. However, by the time they were a second year law student Emory is in a 5 way tie for 30th and Davis has moved to 23rd. Nothing changed for that student and nothing changed at either school. So don't make your decision based on a minuscule difference in rankings. Notre Dame & Fordham are very good schools and if you were saying Notre Dame v. Southwestern then the rankings would matter, but Notre Dame & Fordham will always be in between the 20's and 40's but they are on the same level so don't take the rankings for this decision.


105
Law School Admissions / Re: Why is Drexel Law so selective?
« on: May 24, 2011, 04:47:35 PM »
It is provissionally approved and not fully accreddited so I don't think it even has a ranking. http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings/page+8 . Yea it doesn't all the schools that say unranked are provisionally approved schools. A school like Drexel or UC Irvine assures applicants that they will be highly ranked if and when they receieve full accreditation, but of course the rankings are impossible to predict because the formula makes no sense.

It also looks like they are offering substantial scholarship money to applicants within the 156-162 range. http://drexel.lawschoolnumbers.com/applicants . All this is given in hopes that their rankings will improve based on LSAT scores and GPA, which are objective measureable factors that make up only 22.5% of a schools ranking. http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/2011/03/14/law-school-rankings-methodology-2012


106
Pretty much what he said. If you got into Tulane it is very possible you can get a full scholarship at a number of ABA schools and get out almost debt free. Do this only if you know where you want to live though. For example if you wanted to live in L.A. at graduation and you had good enough numbers to get into Tulane you could probably get a full scholarship at Southwestern and firms in L.A hire from Southwestern, but a getting job anywhere else would be difficult.

Your friend is right Louisiana is the only state that has Civil and not common law and this would be somewhat of a challenge. Although I imagine the first year curriculum at Tulane is the same as any other ABA school. When making your decision about a law school outside of the T14 i.e. Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc location & cost should be your number #1 concerns. If you have no desire to end up in Louisiana don't go to law school there. If you want to be in Louisiana then Tulane will probably work out fine.

107
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Wake Forest or Maryland
« on: May 21, 2011, 12:31:05 AM »
Far from an expert on any of the schools, but in regards to the scholarships be wary of the conditions imposed on them. Often it will say something alone the lines of you need to keep a 3.0. To anyone who was offered a scholarship at an ABA school maintaining a 3.0 sounds like an easy task, but many schools have a curve that only allow 35% of the class to have a 3.0 at the end of 1L and this results in a 65% chance of you losing the scholarship. Not all schools do this, but ask a lot of questions about any scholarship money you receive.

As far as Maryland or Wake Forest goes? They seem to be schools equal caliber and the links listed below are from a website called Lawschooltransparency.com, which unlike U.S. News or the ABA reports actual salaries so it is a little more useful when looking at employment prospects. You can see the prospect are about equal so it should probably come down to cost. Maryland is 10K a year cheaper with In-State tuition so a savings of 30k and since your a Maryland resident I am just assuming you want to practice in Maryland. It is always a good idea to go to school in the area you want to practice in so Maryland seems like the cheaper & more practical choice. Just my two cents, but you should visit the schools and really see what you think.

http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/clearinghouse/?school=wake&show=flow

http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/clearinghouse/?school=maryland&show=flow




108
Transferring / Re: Transferring out of Miami
« on: May 21, 2011, 12:15:56 AM »
Yea speciallity rankings are done with even less dilligence than the real ones and I cannot imagine anyone going to U.S. News to find what the best IP, Negotiation, whatever b.s. rankings they have put together are.

More importantly though is it is very possible IP Law might not be for you. It very well could be, but if you are a 1L I am guessing you have not taken any IP law classes. When I went into law school and even after the first year I thought IP law was what I wanted to do, but I took a class and did an internship in that area and it sucked. Then in Spring I did family law and that was never on my radar, but I really enjoyed it. I might have another change of heart, but the point is don't pigeon hole yourself into worrying about one small area of the law and don't move across country for to pursue some small area of the law you don't have much experience in.

If you have done a lot of IP law stuff before law disregard the above post, but it seems like a lot of people just say I want to do IP law because it sounds cool(myself included) in this category and don't really know what it entails. 

109
Transferring / Re: Transferring out of Miami
« on: May 19, 2011, 11:35:15 PM »
Well take any advice given from me with a major grain of salt. I wouldn't say there are NO jobs in California a lot of my friends that just graduated from Golden Gate -not an elite school got jobs and others that graduated did not. Finding a entry level professional job is always difficult and always will be during anytime and in any place.

I do have a friend that moved to Dallas for work and they don't have state income tax there which is awesome and it is a cheaper cost of living than California. Maybe it is booming out there, but I figure Houston's entire economy was rocked somewhat by the Enron Scanadal. Although I know absoultely nothing about Houston so that may be way off base. Remember even if it is booming in Texas now there is no guarantee it will be booming when you pass the bar in 3 years and California may be on the rise in three years there is simply no way to tell.

As far as the IP ranking goes the overall ratings are a joke and the speciality rankings make even less sense. Do not give that any consideration whatsoever in making your decision. The Bay Area has a lot of tech, medical, chemical, companies etc so there are IP opportunites here. I am sure Texas has plenty of things going on as well as does Miami.

Is it worth it to transfer?  Ask yourself why you are transferring do you like Miami? have you been to Texas, the Bay Area, any of these places will you be able to get set up there and realize that in the 2L nobody is looking to make new friends 1L is when all the relationships etc develop at least in my experience. You are going to move to a new city, new school, and not know a sole there and most of the 2L's will all be acquintead with eachother. This could really suck, but if you have a specific reason for leaving your school then maybe it is worth it, but if you like your professors, made friends, and are doing well academically what is the point of moving across country from one mid-level school to another? I don't think transferring is every a good idea unless you are going into the T14. I have had many friends that transferred from GGU to Hastings, Santa Clara, and USF and all have said it was the wrong decision. This is only a sampling of 12 people, but none of those schools are all that impressive. Houston, Miami, Santa Clara, if that is an option  they are not ELITE schools and nobody will really care. Certailny finding a job in the Bay Area will be easier from Santa Clara because of the location and people in the Bay have heard of Santa Clara. Houston same logic, but Santa Clara loses to Stanford & Berkeley and I am sure Houston loses to Univesity of Texas.

110
Pepperdine is better if you want to live in L.A. and Hastings is better for the Bay Area. When dealing with non-elite schools there is no "better" school. You should look at location, cost, course offerings etc when making your decision. I happen to know a little about each schools and I will try to give you some pros and cons, which might give you some insight, but you might already know all of this. 

Location
Pepperdine is in a MUCH MUCH better physical location it is beachside in Malibu, which is AWESOME. The con is that Malibu is not physically close to L.A. and to do any internships etc you would have to drive into the city in L.A. Traffic and that will be a b***h. The campus is absolutely gorgeous though.

Hastings is in the heart of the Tenderloin and I am 6'8 260 lbs and I am freaked out walking around there at night. They have hired a bunch of cops to be on campus at all times, but crackheads get arrested in front of the school basically once a week. However, Hastings is right across the street from several Court Houses, City Hall, and the Federal Building is not far either. As a result you can easily work in internship during the school year with no commute etc. The Hastings Campus is an unimpressive building in the heart of the ghetto though and Malibu is a much more peaceful environment. I work with a lot of interns at Hastings and a few have gotten their labtops stolen the tenderloin is a scary and weird place. San Francisco bums are so cracked out they don't even have any rhyme or reason to what they are doing they are mess.

Cost
Hastings if you are a California resident 28k if you are a non-resident 40k, but you can get residency for your second & third years.
Although Hastings is in a s***t area San Francisco is not cheap and your cost of living will be 20k.

Pepperdine 37K in Tuition which is more than Hastings and it is about the same cost of living, but you will live MUCH MUCH nicer area.

Education

As far as education goes any ABA law school is going to teach you the same thing. In your first year at Pepperdine or Hastings or any ABA school you will take Contracts, Torts, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, Property, and in these classes you will read Supreme Court cases and the Supreme Court does write special editions for different schools you literally learn the same thing at any law school. If you have a particular area of interest like employment law, family law, or something like that you can check the course schedule at each school and see the electives they offer.

You can also check out the curves at each prospective school in their student handbooks and see how competitive it is. Most Hastings students I have worked with told me the students are very competitive with eachother. I only have one friend that went to Pepperdine and I worked for an attorney and they gave the impression that the students got along with eachother better probably because they are beachside in a beautiful city opposed to surrounded by crackheads, but who knows.

Conclusion
There is no "better" school they are both good schools with different things to offer. Honestly if you want to be in L.A. then Pepperdine is the better choice and in S.F. Hastings is the better choice. Then the factors mentioned above may help you decide, which location is better.

Rankings Rant
Whatever you do don't make your decision based on the rankings here. Schools of this level low tier 1, tier 2, etc move 20 spots any given year. The reason for this is the formula makes no sense and as a result is adamantly disapproved by the ABA, AALS, and any organization. The system is this and this is not a joke judges/lawyers from across the country fill out a scantron from 1-5. A judge in Maine who has never been to Pepperdine or Hastings X-Wife moves to California so he decides to give all California schools a 2 that year that is how much thought goes into the rankings. Remember U.S. News is a for profit magazine with absolutely no authority or approval from anyone. These articles from LSAC do a good job of explaining it.  http://www.lsac.org/JD/Choose/deans-speak-out-rankings.asp  http://www.lsac.org/LsacResources/Research/GR/GR-07-02.pdf

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