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Messages - bigs5068

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121
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Choosing between T4's
« on: May 14, 2011, 05:00:06 PM »
Law school was the rage in 2006 now it is not. All professions have ups and downs including the law right now is not a great time, but all industries swing and the beauty of having a law degree is it lasts for a lifetime. My dad was an aerospace engineer for example and during the 70's & 80's building missles and jets was all the rage this thing called the cold war was going on. When that ended in the early 90's basically his entire department was laid off and nobody was getting hired. It was difficult there was Iraq I which improved business a little, but after 9/11 missiles were in again and the government contracted with Boeing, Lockheed Martin etc a lot more than they had been.

That is just an example of an industry having an up and down the legal field is down right now. Main reason is people are reluctant spend money there was this whole GLOBAL recession and lawyers get involved when people make deals etc. That is slowly coming back, but over the last few years it has been bad. Graduating from law school in 2008-2009 was like graduating with an aerospace engineering degree after the cold war ended it was a bad time, but military spending increased and the people that graduated in the early 90's did find jobs, but not as soon as they woudl have liked. The legal field is not 100% recovered by any means and this moment in time the most guaranteed way to make money is to be a U.S. Citizen and know Arabic, but in a few years that is likely to be in demand.  The whole point of the rant is that all industries have their ups and downs and the law is no different. If you want to be a lawyer then you have that option for the rest of your life and in a 40 year career the industry is certain to have ups and downs and so is any other profession.

As far as choosing between the two schools I have no idea about east coast schools so I won't pretend to have a "right" answer. I suppose RW might be better because it is the only law school in Rhode Island, but I know it is a very small state so I have no idea how big the market is. I can't imagine that many people have a strong desire to pass the Rhode Island bar so you might have less competition than in Massachusetts where this school called Harvard exists along with Boston College, Suffolk, Boston University, Northeastern, Western New England, and I feel like there is another school there. The competition will be more fierce and Western New England falls well behind Harvard, Boston College, etc. You can find a job, but it will be a lot more competitive so based on those reasons I would choose RW, but I am a random person on the internet in San Francisco who has never been to Rhode Island or Massachusetts.

122
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Choosing between T4's
« on: May 13, 2011, 12:53:49 PM »
There are a lot worse ways to spend time and money than education. You learn things in education that you might not even realize. I am sure what you learned in law school helped you in some way shape or form to your current career. Those lessons were money better spent than the millions of people that  lost well over 100k in the stock or housing market. The people that lost 100k there have nothing to show for it. At least you have a law degree and if you want you can become a lawyer whenever you want. Education lasts a lifetime and the things you learn in any form of education often can't be measured in dollars and cents. It sounds like you regret going to law school and that is the way it goes. I am sure somebody in your class is glad they went and again it is largely up to the individual. There are huge risks in any form of education, but if you want to be a lawyer and yes people really do want to be lawyers then you HAVE to go to law school.

I think we both agree going to law school because you want to get rich or don't know what else to do is a bad idea, but there are some people that want to be lawyers. I personally remember my reason basketball had ended and I was not going to the NBA and not going to make any long-term living playing basketball, but I had to do a mock trial to get a paralegal certificate and being in a courtroom and arguing and the competitiveness was the same kind of feeling I got playing basketball. I said to myself well there are a lot more jobs for lawyers than professional basketball players out there. Up to this point I have really enjoyed law school and working in law firms so far. I think the main reason for this is I wanted to be a lawyer and I didn't do it because I had nothing else to do. If you do something because it is what you really want to do whether it turns out great or not then it is probably a good use of time and money. Some people go to law school for the completely wrong reasons and it doesn't work out. To say going to a tier 4 school is ALWAYS a waste of time and money is just unfounded. It sounds like it didn't work out for YOU, but that doesn't mean it can't work out for others. It can and often does, but law school is NO guarantee. It is hard, time consuming, expensive, and if you don't really want to be a lawyer then there are much better ways to spend 3 years of your life and 100k.

If you want to be a lawyer then the time, cost, and difficulty are worth it. It should noted that anything in life worth doing does not come easily and nothing in life is guaranteed. To the OP and anyone choosing a tier 4 or any  law school for that matter know what you are getting into. Getting a J.D. doesn't entitle you to anything if get a law degree you will join the other 1 million or so American's with a J.D. From that point you will have to work your ass off to succeed and it is very possible things will not work out for you despite your best efforts. On the other hand it is possible things will go great. You don't know unless you try, but as you stated you should assess the risks and rewards for anything you do. So go to law school if you REALLY WANT TO BE A LAWYER. Then the time and expense will probably be worth it. If your doing it because you liked an episode of law & order, graduated from college and feel like putting off job hunting for more years then you are not making the best use of 3 years of your life & 100k.

123
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Choosing between T4's
« on: May 13, 2011, 11:23:29 AM »
They are not horror stories they are REAL life the same would be true if you graduated from college or an MBA program or any form of higher education getting job and starting a career will be difficult in any field period. In the legal field going to a tier 3/4 school  doesn't make the road easier, but no law school  guarantees you anything not even Harvard. If you want to be a lawyer you should take responsibility and accountability for yourself.  The guy who posted and deleted talked about his class rank and working for some judges in law school and apparently people are supposed to be lined out the block to hire him? Uh no that is not the way it works. The one thing anyone that complains about law school employment etc on sites like JDunderground never seem to do is take any accountability for themselves. If you are sitting on an internet website complaining about how unfair everything is for you then you are going to be a shi**y lawyer, because if you can't handle your own problems how can you expect someone else to pay you to handle their problems?. The legal profession is intense it is not sitting around talking about how smart you are. People don't go to lawyers to talk about their law school experience they go to get problems fixed. Whether it be a murder, foreclosure, bankruptcy, divorce, whatever it might be these are not trivial things in these people's lives. If you tell them well I went to U.S. News 48th best school they probably aren't gonna give a sh**.  Instead they want to know how their problem can be solved and if you can solve . If you things don't go your way on a step they don't hear you complain that the other attorney is being nice, or the judge is making it difficult, they want a result. If you want to be a successful lawyer whether you went to Harvard or Cooley you have to get results and if you do then you will be a good lawyer. If you don't you will be a sh**y lawyer.

Honestly,  the lack of accountability law students have for themselves is simply astonishing. Any law student that graduated from an ABA school made the decision to go to law school after doing reasonably well in undergrad probably 3.0 or better. Then they do reasonably well on the LSAT at least in the top 50 percentile of people that actually took the test and this means they are reasonably intelligent people. They write a personal statement describing how successful, ambitious, and resilient they are. A law school admissions committee then says ok you can come to our school and as far as I can tell law schools don't threaten you into attending. They say you seem to be an intelligent and motivated person and if you want to pay us to educate you then we will let you. We will not guarantee a successful legal career or even that you will graduate. They assume that you have a ounce of common sense and a shred of accountability for yourself and if that is an outrageous expectation then I guess law schools are terrible evils places, but I guarantee you no law school anywhere says we guarantee you will pass the bar and get a great job. Not even Harvard would guarantee that hence Harvard does not have a 100% bar passage or employment rate. How well you do in a profession is largely up to YOU. If you want to be a lawyer then you really need to be accountable for yourself and the fact that people bi**h and moan on internet forums about how unfair it is likely the reason they are not finding employment and not their school. I would never want to hire someone to handle something important like defending my kid from prosecution, handling a divorce, suing a doctor that cut my leg off,  so and so on the law is SERIOUS s***. Nobody sees a lawyer for shi** and giggles they come to get a problem solved and if an obstacle like applying to jobs is to difficult how can you EVER expect to be a competent attorney. Finding jobs happens everyday, but it is HARD! to find a job and it sucks to look for work. Looking for a job is more than sending out a few resumes a week. Anytime I have looked for a job I have been at a computer 10 hours a day applying to anything I am remotely qualifed for. I have found work in a week before, but I remember when I first graduated from college with my prestigious no name undergraduate degree it took me 8 frustrating and scary weeks, but I eventually got a good job. I never blamed my school for anything it was my responsibility to figure my own life out and I did. When I graduate from law school and hopefully pass the bar the same obstacle will be present, but it will be a little easier because if you think there are to many people J.D's out there well the amount of people with B.A's in political science is SIGNIFICANTLY higher. If you think there are no jobs for lawyers the amount of jobs looking for recent college grads with an emphasis in political science is not exactly staggering. 

The OP seems to get that going to a tier 3/4 school is not going to be an easy road. Common sense tells you that and I can't imagine RWU or NESL of law saying all your dreams will come true as soon as you get a J.D. from our university. My school told me when I "asked' nobody is going to roll out the red carpet for you, but you can get a job. That seems to the case for my friends that are 3L's graduating right now. Many got jobs many did not. I am not surprised that the people that found jobs did and the people that haven't found jobs haven't. Whether or not YOU succeed is up to YOU not your school. A law degree gives you the bare minimum qualification to be a lawyer, but what you do from there is up to shockingly YOU.

To the OP one thing to be careful about is the conditions on the scholarship you have been offered. I asked questions about the conditions unlike these people at my school http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html. Wanting to go law school and realizing schools probably just hand out 50,000 dollars without some strings attached I asked questions and they told me to keep a 3.0 you need to be in the top 35% of the class in your first year. This meant I had a 65% of losing the scholarship, but I asked that question and found out. Unlike the people who again as college graduates who wrote personal statements outlining how great they were take no accountability for themselves. The law school tricked them, but explicitly saying you need to a keep 3.0 in their scholarship letter, which is what mine said. Through the grapevine and again common sense I had heard grading is different in law school and I figured keeping a 3.0 in law school is probably not the same as undergrad seeing that only 35% of the class can keep a 3.0 made that quite clear. I took accountability for myself and asked a question. So I urge you to do the same and make sure you fully understand the conditions of the scholarship and if only 35% of the class can keep a 3.0 there is a 65% chance you will lose and this is because anyone at an ABA law school is intelligent. You will need to work your butt off to keep it and even if you do work your but off you might fall short. Again that is life you take a risk and even if you work hard things might not work out perfectly.

I suppose you could go work at McDonalds never fail at anything because you never took a risk and that is the safe route. Or you can take a risk law school might be yours and it might go horribly wrong or it might go wonderfully nobody can really say, but YOU can make a big impact on how it turns out. Good luck to you!

124
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Choosing between T4's
« on: May 12, 2011, 05:37:05 PM »
Of course you did everything you could do.. We have all heard it from everybody poor you. Go to law school if you want to be a lawyer, but as the poster above said doing well doesn't guarantee you a job YOU have to look for it and I don't think any school except maybe Harvard or Yale has job offers thrown out them. Minimize your debt because the school you attend outside of the ELITE schools doesn't matter. YOU will have to go out and apply to hundreds of jobs even if you are Order of the Coif top 10% etc. Nobody hands out jobs to anyone at any level you have to go out and find it.

To the TTT graduate you have a lot of nice accomplishments and I am sure you will get a job in time, but YOU have to look. No law school guarantees you a job even if you are the top performer and certainly not a tier 3 school it is an uphill battle and with all your accomplishments I imagine you were smart enough to realize that when you started. You will also have to work your ass off and make sacrifices to start a career just like any other field. I know tier 1 graduates that have not even passed the bar yet after 4 tries so it is not your TTT school's rank. The legal profession is hard to get into and getting a career started takes a LONG time. It is not graduate 100K a year job and judge in one year.

125
Law School Admissions / Re: How are remedial classes known?
« on: May 11, 2011, 07:12:03 PM »
It doesn't matter if it counts towards your UGPA they will use it. I played college basketball and got 40 units of free A's in rigorous classes such as see piece of transcript below. Thanks to the ridiculousness that is U.S News rankings I got a scholarship to law school and someone that got B's in molecular biology did not.

   Spr 2004    PEMA 25    THEORY OF BASKETBALL    1.00    A         
   Spr 2004    PEMA 5    VARSITY CONDITIONING    1.00    A         
   Spr 2004    PEMA 6    MEN VARSITY BASKETBALL    1.00    A         
       
   SPR 2004    PEFI 2    CIRCUIT WEIGHT TRAINING    1.00    A         
C   SPR 2004    PEAC 4    BASKETBALL BIA *V*    1.00    A         

Anything a school can report to U.S. News as UGPA goes and they will report it. If you get a 4.0 in an MBA or Phd program they won't. So to answer your question if your classes were part of your Undergraduate work whether they were remedial basket weaving or advanced nuclear physics the grades count equally. Maybe if your apply to a t14 school they will look at the transcript otherwise it is likely to count the same and whether it was remedial or not won't matter.

126
I really think it matters where you want to live. Washburn will work fine in Kansas and Ave Maria will probably work fine in it's location. lawschooltransparency.com is a pretty good site where you can see actual salary numbers of graduates, which is far more than U.S. News provides.

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

http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/clearinghouse/?school=avemaria&show=flow Ave Maria

It seems like the schools you are applying to are all over the map and the most important thing to consider when choosing a law school that is not T14 is the location. Don't take U.S. News seriously for schools of this caliber the whole system is a joke and adamanatly disapproved by the ABA and AALS. See this article from LSAC. http://www.lsac.org/JD/Choose/deans-speak-out-rankings.asp and http://www.lsac.org/LsacResources/Research/GR/GR-07-02.pdf

It is a little strange that Ave Maria moved across the country I have never heard of a University doing that, but it might be a good school I have no idea. If I was choosing I would probably go with Washburn it has been around since 1923 and Ave Maria since 2002 so I Washburn is likely to have more of a name and alumni willing to help you, but probably only in the Kansas mid-west area. It is impossible for Ave Maria to have anyone influential at this point since they have only been around since 2002. If you want to be in Florida though and you are very Catholic then it might work out for you.

Nobody can really tell you what the "right" law school is for you it is highly subjective, but location in my opinion should be your number #1 consideration unless you are going to Harvard, Yale etc. The odds are whatever low tier 1, tier 2, tier 3, tier 4 you attend is where you will end up.

127
That is a tough choice.

http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/clearinghouse/?school=westernstate&show=flow Western State Salary Numbers

http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/clearinghouse/?school=loyola&show=flow Loyola Salary Numbers

If it was between Western & Chapman then Western might be there, Loyola is pretty well respected in L.A and Western does have the stigma of trying to get accredited for 30 years or something like that. A free J.D is nice though. Just though those salary numbers might be of additional help. You should also e-mail some recent grads of the school or people currently attending. You can go on lawschoolnumbers.com and attempt to contact some people that were accepted and are currently attending each school.


128
I'm not putting a lot of stock in superlawyers it is a circle jerk system that sounds basically identical to U.S. News. They are both based on very little, but of the course they have some value and tier 2 will be a slightly easier road than a tier 4, but depending on the market if you are in L.A. for example and Chapman is the tier 2 you are considering it is well behind UCLA, USC, Loyola, and Pepperdine, it is on par with Southwestern, and then you have Western State & La Verne in the immediate area then Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Berkeley, grads want to move to L.A. If you go to Chapman, Southwestern, La Verne, Western State I don't if an employer will care that much about the difference in rank. If they do care the amount the care probably won't be worth $120,000 accruing 8% interest. However, if the tier 2 you are choosing is Nebraska and you want to be in Nebraska then the extra cost will probably be worth it since Nebraska is number one in Nebraska. If you go to a tier 2 in San Francisco, L.A, or New York and the tier 2  is the 4th or 5th place in it's own market the additional cost might not be worth it. This is how I have justified my decisions and I didn't transfer to Hastings a tier 1 based on it. So far everything has worked out fine, but only time will tell and I could be 100% wrong.

As to Hamilton's point if you could go to a tier 2 and rank in the top 10% then I guess that would be better especially if it is an order of the coif school, but there is a 90% chance you won't finish in the top 10%. The same logic applies is it worth paying 120,000 accruing 8% interest to have a 10% chance at something. The answer again is maybe.  There are plenty of successful tier 4 grads and plenty of unsuccessful ones and what it really comes down to is YOU. There is also a good chance that the tier 2 school you end up at could be tier 3 or even tier 4 by the time you graduate. On the flip side it could be tier 1 in 3 years. Look at what schools have been ranked over a 5 year period and you will see the whole landscape changes drastically in a few years time. Literally by the time you graduate the tier 2 could be a tier 4 or it could be a low tier 1. My friend went to Suffolk 5 or 6 years ago and it was low tier 2 then we graduated it was tier 4. Nothing changed at the school same professors etc worked there, but some judge in Oregon decided to mark a 3 instead of a 4 and that is what happens.

I am sure the tier 2 is "better" than the tier 4 whatever "better" means and if all things were equal going to the tier 2 would be better. As a result of this be very, very, adamant about the conditions on the scholarship. Ask a LOT of questions it is a LOT of money and don't be an idiot like those people in the N.Y. times article I cited and just assume you will keep it. If the money is not there then the tier 2 is definitely the better choice. If only 35% of the class can have a 2.6 then go to the tier 2, because there is a 65% chance you will lose the scholarship and if you are paying the same amount obviously a tier 2 is better than a tier 4.

One caveat to that though is if the tier 2 is in Michigan and you want to be in California then don't go to a tier 2 in Michigan. I almost feel for that trap and that would have been the DUMBEST move of my life. Location with schools ranked tier 2,3,4 should be your number #1 consideration.


129
I don't think there is any question the tier 2 would be better, but the question becomes is it 120,000 with 8% interest better. The answer is maybe. The legal profession is a mystery to everyone and nobody has all the answers. Employment networking all of that is very subjective and different people have completely different attitudes. If your desire is to be a Big Law associate then I guess the tier 2 would be better, but go to any big law firm website and you will see Tier 2's are as represented as tier 3 or 4 schools. No ABA law degree is a waste of time. If you graduate and pass the bar whehter you went to Harvard or Cooley you are an attorney and there are SuperLawyers from any ABA school. From your post I am assuming the school offering you the scholarship is Western State. They have 139 Super Lawyers. http://www.superlawyers.com/lawschool/Western-State-University-College-of-Law/fad6f45a-84c4-102c-aca4-000e0c6dcf76.html.

Tier 2 Chapman only has 21 http://www.superlawyers.com/lawschool/Chapman-University-School-of-Law/fad62048-84c4-102c-aca4-000e0c6dcf76.html?l_uuid=a075a50f-1e0c-4a83-b672-0e66edf2764f . This does not mean Chapman is worse Chapman is just a newer school and I don't think it has even been around for 10 years so the most experienced alumni only has 10 years of experience and it is hard to be Super when you are rookie.

You can type any school super lawyers and see how many superlawyers there are. It will range from 100-500 for the non-elite schools then you go to Harvard and it is 3,612 http://www.google.com/search?q=Harvard+Super+Lawyers&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Granted Super Lawyer rankings don't make a school and they are probably as baseless as U.S News rankings, but you can see plenty of people succeed from low ranked schools.



If they were equal costs the answer is pretty obvious the school with the higher admission standards, but is it worth paying 120k more? I will give you an analogy of a similar situation I faced when I played basketball.  I was recruited by a couple low division 1 schools and a d2 schools. The division 1 schools were private schools and the tuition there was 40,000 they offered me a partial scholarship, but I would still be paying a LOT. The D2 schools offered to pay for everything. I was probably not going to go the NBA from a low D1 or D2 school and I didn't. I did get some offers to play overseas, but I didn't take them. My friends that played D1 got the same offers because if you play at University of the Pacific (D1) or UC San Diego (D2) there is about a 99% chance you are not going to the NBA. I would have incurred 60k more in debt to play at a D1 school, which would have been cool to say, but not 60,000 dollars accruing interest cooler.

Same logic applies to law school. If you attend a tier 2 like Gonzaga or Chapman the odds of you becoming a Big Law Partner or Judge are minimal maybe 5-10% chance you would need to rank in the top 5 or 10% of the class. If you attend a tier 4 you would probably need to be in the top 1%-5%. The odds of achieving that from either school are minimal, but technically they are higher at the tier 2. Is that small percentage worth 120,000 more? Maybe.

The other consideration is where the tier 2 school is located. If it is the only school in it's market then that changes things drastically. In San Francisco Hastings is a tier 1, but it is 3rd place in it's own market FAR behind Stanford & Berkeley not to mention many Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, and other T14 grads  want to move to the Bay Area so Hasting's 48th or whatever is best ranking is not that impressive. If on the other hand you want to be in Nebraska then Nebraska a tier 2 is probably great I think that is the only school in the state and not many T14 students aspire to move to Nebraska. The schools rank in it's individual region is really something to consider. Again I am only a second year law student and this is just speculation based on what I have observed so far and I might be way off base.


130
That site works and lawschoolnumbers.com is also a great place to look at what schools you can get into. This also shows you how much scholarship money certain people got and what "soft" factors they had.

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