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Messages - bigs5068

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Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Top 6 vs. money
« on: May 18, 2011, 09:11:11 AM »
Yea there is definitely consistency in the T14, but they might move up a spot or even 3 or 4 in one year, but Columbia & NYU will always be at the top rightfully so. However, it is ridiculous to me that they have ties in the top 14 at least make distinctions there and the OP saying he only wants to attend #6 and having that line is misguided because 6 could very easily be 9th next year and 9th or 10th could be 6. Nobody would be blown away if Virginia moved to 6 and NYU was number 9 and to set an arbitrary line on the rankings is probably the wrong thing to do. The T14 schools are going to move within the T14 and Harvard, Yale, Stanford have the top 3 locked up. After that Berkeley could be anywhere between 4 & 14 by the time a Berkeley 1L graduates.

I have heard the term 1L they scare you to death, 2L they work you to death, and 3L they bore you to death and I have found that to be true so far, but since I will be bored in my 3L what are the best things I can do to get the most out of it? This is a very general question, but if any graduates regret not doing something their 3rd year or did something they found very beneficial during their 3rd year I would love to hear it.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Top 6 vs. money
« on: May 17, 2011, 12:54:31 PM »
Thank you. I probably go a little overboard and there is some value to them, but as you can see from reading posts from 0L's people put way more stock in the rankings than they should. The OP's son thinks he needs to go to the 6th best school, but 6th best is basically illusory there are ELITE schools, which are the T14 and I am not saying GGU, Gonzaga, Maine, Florida International etc are anywhere close the caliber of school that Columbia is, but you simply cannot distinguish between NYU & Columbia or Michigan and Penn. They are GREAT schools. If U.S. News simply used LSAT test scores then that would be an objective category and could be measured. Or if they only measured the top 25 or something along those lines it would make some sense. There are obviously classes of schools, but within the same class of schools there is no way to distinguish between them. There is no way to tell if Golden Gate is better than Toledo or if Columbia is better than Stanford it just can't be keep done and they shouldn't claim to have an answer.

The really sad thing is that schools focus on these rankings much more than providing a quality education and schools are literally lying. Villanova was caught most recently for doing this, but I am sure it happens. The National Jurist wrote a great article on it calling all schools out. I mean the employment rate of law school graduates has steadily climbed over the last decade, but all schools acknowledge employment is more difficult now so how has the employment for grads increased? It is obvious by them lying to U.S. News who doesn't verify the facts and offers a subjective opinion and can't get in trouble for misreporting data. The National Jurist Volume 20 No. 6 has some great articles about it. Unfortunately I can't post the links, but it goes into more detail and is written very well.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Top 6 vs. money
« on: May 17, 2011, 10:22:19 AM »
I would discount any discussion of how much the top six are going to change from year to year.  While the USNWR rankings are totally flawed, they're actually pretty consistent toward the very top. 

Also, there's a significant element of chance involved in law school performance; a 50% student at Stanford probably has a higher likelihood of performing better at a lower-ranked school, but there's definitely not enough of a guarantee that I would put any faith in it.

Finally, I question whether any law school is worth the sticker price--not so much because I don't think law school is worthwhile for some, but because even the top six schools are, in my opinion, seriously overpriced.

Everything FalconJimmy sad is 100% accurate law school never guarantees anyone anything and as far as I know no degree guarantees you anything. If a degree that guarantees me a cush 100k a year job at graduation exists I want to know about it. As FalconJimmy said it is a 3 degree that is the first baby step to a LIFE-LONG career. Education is a LONG-TERM investment although law school price tags do arbitrarily rise every year based on what? Who knows just look at the LSAC data.  . My school for example was 29k in 2007, 31k in 2008, 33k in 2009, and 35k in 2010. This is pretty much the trend for every school 2k a year tuition increases. I looked at Georgetwon because it is right above my school and the same thing. Nobody is regulating these cost increases which is the ABA's fault, but law school is still a long term investment, which is sadly being made worse by these arbitrary tuition hikes.

In response to White Rabbit even T14 schools jump there is no consistency even there that is how bad the U.S. News ranking system is.

T14 Schools that did move from 2010-2011
1.   Yale
2.   Harvard
3.   Stanford
4.   Columbia
13. Cornell
14. Georgetown, but they are now in a tie for 14th with Texas Georgetown was alone in 14th last year.

T14 schools that moved from 2010 to 2011
Chicago was tied for 6th in 2010 so it might have been 7th in 2010 anyways they are no soley in 5th.
NYU went from 5th in 2010 to 6th in 2011
Penn went from 8th to a tie for 7th so maybe they are 6th or 7th this year they are tied for 7th after all so hard to say.
Michigan went from 9th in 2010 into the tie for 7th with Penn.
Duke from a 3 way tie for 10th in 2010 to 11th in 2011
Northwestern part of the 3 way tie for 10th in 2010 moved to 12th.
Virginia from part of the 3 way tie for 10th in 2010 moved to 9th

Biggest Jump in the T14 schools from 2010 to 2011 this strongly proves my point
Berkeley was tied for 6th in 2010, which is the number the OP wants and in 2011 Berkeley is now tied for 9th with Virginia. Had the OP said I can only go to a school ranked 6th when his second year started he would be 9th.

To simply add some icing to the cake there are 15 schools in the top 14 because of their ties. Before writing this post I thought U.S. news at least distinguished between T14 schools and did not have ties there, but they do. Nothing surprises me with them anymore they have about as much journalistic integrity as the National Enquirer.

Point being even in the Top 14 schools there is movement every year and the T14 schools will always be in T14, but where who knows and some might even slip out I am sure UCLA and USC have been in the T14 before, but UCLA is tied for 16th and USC tied for 18th. You can see the ties in the T14 here

Transferring / Re: Transferring out of Miami
« on: May 17, 2011, 09:34:22 AM »
The reason Villanova dropped is because they provided false information about their LSAT scores and GPA's to U.S. News it was a big article in the National Jurist, but I am sure every school does this. Nobody verifies the information or even reports it accurately to U.S. News and I am sure many schools engage in the same behavior Villanova did and  lie to please a unregulated for profit magazine offering their subjective and unfounded opinion to earn some money. As a result of it schools are not focused on teaching students the law or practical skills and most of the schools efforts go to pleasing this magazine that has no authority. It is really sad what it has done to legal education.

The articles from LSAC above describe the system a little better. Although it is really sad in the national jurist article a lot of the Deans 173 of them said the rankings are a joke, but when some of their schools improved in the rankings they used that on their websites to attract new students. It was pretty cowardly of all of them and legal education continues to suffer because schools are focused on pleasing a magazine not providing a solid education for law students.

To the actual point of transferring I think moving to the Bay Area if you want to do IP law is a good move regardless of a schools rank. The Bay Area is where a lot of software companies are based and software companies need IP lawyers it is simple supply and demand. I guess I know nothing about Miami, but I don't think of Miami as a place where technology is booming. Miami and Santa Clara are mid level schools in two years it is very possible Miami could be behind Santa Clara or vice versa there is no rhyme or reason to the rankings especially with regional schools. 

I might have been wrong on where Santa Clara was ranked, but my point is they move every year and they are currently in a 11 way tie for 84th so they might be 84th or 95th and probably somewhere in between nobody knows because 11 schools are tied for 84th place this year. Right now schools tied for 84th drum roll Depaul, Hofstra, LSU, Rutgers-Camden, Rutgers Newark, Santa Clara, Seattle, Buffalo, Arkansas, Nebraska, and Villanova, which as you mentioned dropped 20 spots into this 11 way tie so maybe they are actually 96th (that would result in a drop of 30), but we don't really know if they are 84th or 95th because they are making 11 way ties.

So to the OP don't base your decision to transfer or not transfer based on a dip in the rankings there is literally no way to tell where Miami well be next year. Your school could improve tremendously based on some judge in Oregon being upset if the Heat win the Championship and giving Miami a 3 instead of a 4 next year. Or maybe this Oregon judge will be happy if the Heat win the championship and give them a 4 instead of a 3. They do not need to give any facts to support why they think a school is a 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, they just check a number. I simply don't know how you could measure anything subjectively as 84th I do not have an 84th favorite restaurant, an 84th favorite city, an 84th favorite sport team, an 84th favorite friend, the list of that could on forever. Nobody cares bout 84th it is 84th and not only 84th an 11th way tie for 84th so it is simply mind boggling that this system over the last 20 years has transformed legal education in such a negative way.

Current Law Students / Re: Any evening student working full time.
« on: May 16, 2011, 12:41:38 PM »
I think going part-time is a mistake, but that is my second year law student opinion. Unless you have something specific you know a J.D. can will do for you then a part time law degree makes sense. Otherwise getting a J.D. seems like a lot of time and money spent, but you don't get the full experience. For law school you should go all in or don't go. If your balancing a full-time career  your probably not going to rank highly, you won't be able to do clinics, externships, internships, etc and you are paying the same amount of money and spending as much time as a full time student, but getting half the experience. Odds are you will finish in the bottom half of the class, get no legal experience in law school, and pay 100,000 to get a J.D. When you graduate you are likely to have a low class rank,  no extracurricular activities, and no legal experience and with those credentials your current career will probably be better than any entry level legal job you can get. As a result of this you will probably stay in your current career and have 100k more in debt to deal with. You will learn the law and some cool stuff and it COULD work out for you, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Point being I don't think you should go to law school unless you are ALL in or your current employer specifically wants you to get a J.D. . Most of the attrition at my school is from PT students that try to balance work and law school and many fail out. Even if they make it the odds are you will not perform as well academically as the full-time students, be unable to write on a journal, do law review, be on a moot court team, or do any kind of legal work.

If your current employer is a law firm then forget everything I said, but generally doing anything important Part-Time is a bad idea. I could be 100% wrong though I am a 26 year old second year law student that has a lot to learn about everything, but I know it doesn't work out for most part-time students at my school.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: lsat scholarships
« on: May 16, 2011, 11:32:13 AM »
Check out and you can see what numbers are getting how much money. With a 157 depending on what your GPA is if it is over a 3.0 then I would say basically a full ride at Western State or La Verne. Half tuition at California Western, Thomas Jefferson, and Golden Gate. Then you might get a few thousand from  Southwestern or UOP.

Be careful of the conditions on these scholarships though. They will generally require you to keep a 3.0 and most law schools only allow for 35% of their first year class to have a 3.0 and this results in a 65% chance of any scholarship 1L losing their scholarship. The 3.0 number is very deceptive because anyone that is able to receive a ABA law school scholarship earned a 3.0 in college fairly easily and they assume the same will happen in law school, but 99% of ABA law students at any school are fairly intelligent and hard working and there are only so many A's and B's that can be given out. That is the way the law school curves work and I don't think this exists in any undergraduate major I am aware of.

Transferring / Re: Transferring out of Miami
« on: May 16, 2011, 10:23:53 AM »
Schools rise and drop 20 spots any given year. The rankings are an absolute joke see LSAC's articles . The system is literally this judges/lawyers across the country mark a scantron from 1-5. Some guy in Spokane Washington was pissed of that Lebron James went to Heat so he marked Miami a 3 instead of a 4 this year. Obviously don't have any proof this, but that is they system people who have no experience or even knowledge of the 200 schools in the country mark a scantron. Schools drop and rise 20 spots any given years a result of this.. You are in a tie with Denver for 77th. Most of their rankings havae between 4 and 6 way ties, but there is a 12 way tie for 84th look through the rankings and you will see they just tie every school. There is a 5 way tie for 79th and a 12 way tie for 84th. Don't leave Miami because of the rankings unless you can get into Stanford or Berkeley, but you will need to be in the top 5% for that.

If you are really into IP law then coming to the Bay Area is probably better and I know Santa Clara is great for IP law especially because it is the only ABA school in the Silicon Valley next to Apple, Google, Cisco, the list goes on. They were 74th last year, but they are in a TWELVE yes TWELVE way tie for 84th place now in U.S. News questionable system. . Still if you REALLY want IP law then going to school in the Silicon Valley and being in the Bay area is probably the best place to do it.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Choosing between T4's
« on: May 16, 2011, 10:02:50 AM »
Thane is always reasonable. The simple fact is go to law school if you want to be a lawyer. It sounds like you do and if you graduate from an ABA school and pass the bar you can represent a client and get a result. I have never once heard someone mention the name of their school in a courtroom or on any motion or pleading I have ever seen. Still a J.D. from Harvard is probably going to open more doors, but Harvard & T14 schools are not the right fit for everyone. The further I can get into legal education the happier I am with my own choice to attend a tier 4 school because my school works for "me", but what works for me does not work for everyone. What anyone wants out of law school is highly personal and subjective and I can never understand why people would go on an internet website and say unless x happens in law school it is utter waste of time and money. People have completely different expectations and want completely different things so when making this decision think about what "YOU" want. Use common sense of course there are people at my school who were shocked that numerous top 100 law firms were not coming to recruit for OCI and I don't what to say that. GGU is never going to have White & Case, O'Melveny & Myers, etc begging GGU career services to let them participate in OCI.  Just like when I played D II basketball I wasn't expecting NBA scouts to attend every game. Common sense can really take you a long way and it is something many law students seem to lack. Use it wisely when making your decision and get first hand facts when making it. I am sure it will work out.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Top 6 vs. money
« on: May 16, 2011, 07:50:59 AM »
Those were all great responses. The only thing I wanted to add is that in the original post you said your son is going to put off attending law school "another" year so I am unsure if he has put it off multiple years or just one time. Going to a great school is great, but if he puts off attending for 5 years so he can get into a top 6 school instead of a top 10 he will be 5 years behind in his career.  Once you have been a lawyer for 5 years your school probably won't matter as much it is your talent as an attorney that will get you where you want to go.

I have noticed a lot of people put off school to get into the "better" schools and I know one girl who is still retaking LSAT again and it has been 5 years now. She could have graduated from law school and passed the bar by now instead she hasn't attended her first law school class. You can put off doing things until it is everything is "perfect", but the longer you wait to do anything the more life gets in the way. Attending any T14 school will open a lot of doors and as Thane said aspiring only to be Big Law can be a mistake. Not to say your son wouldn't love Big Law, but he won't know if he likes being a Big Law lawyer until he is a Big Law lawyer. It is very possible he may hate the outrageous billing hour requirements maybe he will meet a girl in the next year and the long hours won't sound as appealing.

On the same token it sounds like your son has a goal and he wants to be Top 6 although it should be noted the U.S. News Rankings system is an absolute joke. . These are articles written by the law school admissions council. The rankings are not approved by the ABA or AALS or any legitimate organization. The system is literally judges from around the country marking a scantron from 1-5. Some guy in Maine will check a box for UCLA and have never been to UCLA or met a UCLA grad and based on this flawed system the rankings fluctuate significantly year by year. With T14 schools they are all solid and will always be in the top 20 or so schools, but by this time next year school #6 could be school #14 and school #14 could be #6. Schools drop and rise 20 spots every year so being this concerned with 8 spots in the rankings is somewhat futile. By the time he graduates it is almost certain the school he attends will either rise or fall based on the system. Basically any T14 school will open a LOT of doors.

Point of this rant is that if he is overly concerned about the rankings he might be misguided. If there is a particular school he wants to get into because he likes the history, professors, location, etc then it might be worth it. However, to simply say I am attending number 6 or bust is futile because whatever number 6 is this year won't be number 6 next year. I think Harvard, Yale, Stanford have the top 3 spots locked up permanently outside of that Michigan could be anywhere between 4th or 15th same with Columbia, NYU, Berkeley, etc they are all GREAT schools, but they always fluctuate especially because U.S. News uses a very questionable methodology.

Here some of the most significant jumps from 2010-2011

Here are just a few of the biggest jumps from 2010-2011 that I noticed. .

Nebraska went from unranked tier 3 in 2010 to #84 in 2011, but not just any #84 rank a TWELVE way tie for 84th place. I donít even know how you can have a twelve way tie for 84th place, but they managed to do it.

LSU went from 75 into this twelve way tie for 84th place. So it is not clear if LSU went from 75th to the 96th or 84th best school because there is a twelve way tie for the prestigious honor of 84th place.

Kansas went from 65 in 2010 to a 5 way tie for 79th place.

Catholic went from a 4 way tie for 94th place in 2010 up to a 5 way tie for 79th place in 2011.

LMU from #71 in 2010 to #54 in 2011.
Emory from #20 to a 4 way tie to #30.

I guarantee you nothing of any significance changed at any of these schools over a one year period. The 1L's and 2L's that were at Emory when it was ranked #20 are still there and so are the same professors. The building is in the same location etc, etc, it somehow dropped 10 spots. LMU the same thing the same 1L's and 2L's that were there in 2010 along with the professors, building, etc are the same. Yet it improved 17 spots how you ask? Some judge in Miami checked a 4 instead of a 3 because the Lakers lost or god knows what his reason for 3 or 4 was. They don't make them state any reasons just check a box.

The monetary concerns mentioned are legitimate and most law school grads don't make a lot of money starting out. Neither do doctors they are locked into a residency for 5 years making between 40-50k, but after 5 years of doing that then you know what you are doing and can make a lot of money. Same is true of law school the first few years no recent law grad really knows what they are doing. They cost more than they earn and as a result the salaries aren't as high, but once you have been an attorney for 5 years you know what you are doing and can do pretty well for yourself. That is basically the same for any profession, but lawyers have a lot of room for growth, but is a SLOW process.

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