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Topics - "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application"

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Financial Aid / Borrowing from the bank of Mom & Dad
« on: May 03, 2006, 12:30:58 PM »
Interesting article for those of you thinking about doing this:

Gen-X Investor
Borrowing from 'the Bank of Mom and Dad': Best to get terms of intra-family loans down on paper
By Boyd Erman
Financial Post
29 April 2006
National Post

There's a lot of talk these days about the growing number of adult children borrowing from the so-called "Bank of Mom and Dad."

If this borrowing takes the form of loans, and not gifts, those loans often look a lot like the ones some chief executives get from their companies -- low interest and easily forgiven. But that kind of wealth transfer, with few or no strings attached, raises hackles among those Horatio Alger-loving parents who believe kids should make it on their own.

So, how to help the kids without resorting to out-and-out charity? The answer may lie in an intra-family loan in which mom and dad act like a real bank -- the kind that charges interest.

Everybody can win with this type of loan: Parents and their offspring can split the difference between the interest rate that parents are getting on their savings and the higher rates that their kids must pay the banks to borrow.

The rate on a five-year GIC stands at about 4.7%. Many parents are seeking ways to eke out a little more income, while the prime rate -- the best many young adults can hope to get on a loan -- is 5.75%. Split the difference and there's no downside, right?

Except for the fact that, done wrong, an intra-family loan "can result in unintended and untenable financial hardship for older adults, and strain family relationships to the breaking point, even where all parties have the best of intentions." Those words of doom and gloom are brought to you by the British Columbia Law Institute, which took a look at the issue.

To do it right, you have to treat borrowing from the Bank of Mom and Dad just like getting a loan from any other financial institution: There are rules, deadlines and consequences for missed payments.

The key is in the paperwork. A proper contract will set out the terms of any loan, such as interest rate, payment frequency and punishments for default. The main tax consideration for a private loan is that the lender has to declare any interest income, but the paperwork will help to prove to tax authorities, if necessary, that the money has been loaned and not given.

Contracts can also outline the punishments for missing a payment, which must be negotiated ahead of time. Parents likely aren't looking to ruin their kids' credit, or their kneecaps, but there are ways to make things painful (Try this: "You're out of the will, Sonny!").

A contract can also help avoid sticky family situations. Should the parents pass on while the loan is outstanding, a written record will provide the estate with evidence of the loan so that the kid who owes the money doesn't end up with an outsized share of the inheritance.

In the United States, loans from friends and family are so prevalent -- an estimated 10 million people have them -- that a company called CircleLending has carved a niche as a middleman for lending and even mortgages. The company will act as a third party in a parent-to-child loan, providing standardized contracts and services such as direct-debit transfers from the kid's bank account to the parents'. The company boasts that its services lower the default rate on intra-personal loans to less than 5% from 14% for more casually set up private loans.

In Canada, no similar service exists on a large scale. But would-be Banks of Mom and Dad can draw on basic contracts that can be customized to reflect the terms of the loan. The B.C. Law Institute's study, available at Financial_Arrangements_CP.pdf, provides a model document, and standard contract forms are also available in some stationery and bookstores.

I have no idea what the Canadian Press is.


3 May 2006

Broadcast News
(c) 2006 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

Not all the students typing on laptops are taking notes.

Some are surfing the net or even playing online poker while in class.

University of Memphis law prof June Entman is tired of the distractions, so she's banned laptops in her classroom.

And she's not alone.

University of Pennsylvania law professor Charles Mooney hasn't allowed a laptop computer in his classes for two years.

He says there's been a lot of grumbling and some students have even dropped his course.

But Mooney says the students perform better when they have to take notes the old fashioned way.


General Off-Topic Board / The "I'm Addicted to eBay Thread"
« on: April 30, 2006, 10:22:14 PM »
My ebay addiction totally comes in waves... I order a bunch of stuff, then get fed up with it ruling my life and erase my watch list.  But this time it's really bad, I think because I know I won't have money in a few months (so I feel like I have to buy everything I want now... I'm aware that that's irrational).

Last week I told my coworkers we had to wait 40 minutes to go out to lunch, because a dress I was bidding on was ending (and ps, the dress came, and it's super cute--brand new Rebecca Taylor sundress for $48!!!).

I'm giving myself one more week before I'm cut off.... it's becoming really obvious, too, because I have to get packages sent to work due to a sucky mail system at my apartment.  The enormous box with my new tennis racquet came to my desk and everyone was asking what it was (and another ps, my new tennis racquet rocks!  and it was brand new for half the retail price!).

Ugh.  At least I'll be cutely dressed in law school.  And did I mention how totally awesome my new tennis racquet is?!

I think I would start with a numerical analysis, and sort into three piles based on an LSAT/GPA index number.  Then I'd look at the following factors, and rate them for each applicant:

15-writing ability
15-quality of UG school
15-transcript shows challenging courses, honors classes and/or a difficult UG program
15-background of the applicant would lead to intellectual diversity of school
10-applicant shows understanding of/desire to be a law student
10-applicant shows understanding of/desire to be a law student at the given school
10-applicant has challenged self outside of the classroom/workplace (inc. interning, volunteering) (EDITED)
10-breadth and leadership positions in extracurricular activities (EDITED: including post-UG activities)

(the points in this section are the maximum an applicant could receive, so if an applicant had okay writing ability, he/she might get 10 points out of a maximum of 15)

20-applicant has held high-ranking position in the public sector
15-applicant has held high-ranking position in the private sector
Up to 15-applicant has overcome significant challenges (ex. poverty, racism, disabilities)
10-work experience in a legal field
10-worked more than 20 hours/week while in school
5-work experience post UG (more than one year)
EDIT: per Maggs, add 5 points for each year you graduated early
EDIT: per Hooray4, add up to points for graduate work (5 for masters, 15 for Ph.D)
EDIT: per Queen (kinda), add 5 points if you've held a job in public service for more than 1 year
EDIT: also per Hooray, add 5 points if you've written something for a peer-reviewed journal, and 15 points if you've published in a law review

So the people with great scores would only need a certain amount (60 pts?) worth of "soft factors" to gain acceptance; the middle pile would need about 80 pts, and the bottom pile would need 100.

Feel free to critique, or make up your own system.  :)

General Off-Topic Board / How many pairs of shoes do you own?
« on: April 20, 2006, 10:33:08 PM »
So tonight I did my summer/winter shoe switcharoo, and I thought to ask myself that question.  The answer?  56 pairs, including about ten pairs of flip flops.

I'm both mildly amused and disgusted--where did all these shoes come from?   ???

General Off-Topic Board / Scalia Just Yelled at Me
« on: April 10, 2006, 10:32:38 AM »
So I work at a law school where Scalia is speaking today, and one of my jobs, often, is to photograph events.  I'd taken about 20 shots of him--crawling over people on the staircase to try to get a decent angle--when he just stares at me and goes,"You get one more, and then STOP."

I just got yelled at by a Supreme Court justice, and I'm not even in law school yet!  ;D

Incoming 1Ls / How Well Did You Guess Your Decision?
« on: April 08, 2006, 04:50:45 PM »
So I was looking at an old thread in which us LSDers guessed our decisions before we heard back (,47227.0.html). 

For me, I guessed:

Columbia: WL, Rejected
NYU: WL, Rejected
Penn: WL, Accepted
G'Town: Accepted
Fordham: Accepted

My actual decisions were pretty close:

Columbia: WL, Withdrew
NYU: WL, Rejected
Penn: Accepted
G'Town: Accepted
Fordham: Accepted

A few people told me I'd get accepted to Penn outright, but I didn't dare to believe--so thanks all!   :)

Incoming 1Ls / The Official "I'm Going to Penn!" Thread
« on: April 06, 2006, 11:00:36 PM »

And this concludes a nail-biting admissions season.

What a relief!  :)

General Off-Topic Board / Since we're sharing relationship stuff...
« on: April 05, 2006, 09:50:43 PM »
... an ex-boyfriend of mine just got into town and wants me to come to a concert he's working at on Friday.  As I mentioned elsewhere, I have NO interest is seeing ex-boyfriends, and this one was a particularly bad choice of a guy on my part... it was a three-and-a-half-year relationship that went on three years too long.

Unfortunately, I have to maintain niceties because we once had a joint credit card, which he ran up without my knowledge and ruined my credit rating... he completely ignored paying it for like a year or two, but eventually did start making payments of the minimum variety.  My goal is to save enough to pay that off completely to help my credit score before I take out loans, but then I want him to make payments to ME. 

Sooo.... issues:

-want to talk to him about making payments to me
-want to yell at him for f*ing up my credit
-don't want to see him
-sister is in town that night
-concert has free food and open bar for two hours
-I have a current bf that may be the One, who I don't want to make uncomfortable

What to do?

General Off-Topic Board / Who here has a BlackBerry?
« on: April 04, 2006, 09:32:59 AM »
I just got my first one today  :)

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