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Just a bit of additional, helpful info applicants may want to consider when deciding on a school.

Berkeley and Texas have matching programs with all other T-14 schools, guaranteeing that accepted students at those schools would pay the same amount or less to attend Berkeley or Texas. This, no doubt, provides extra incentive for students to choose Texas or Berkeley.

Financial aid awards at all of the above schools will be automatically matched by Texas or Berkeley, and Berkeley's awards will be matched by Texas, but not vice versa.

UCLA and Northwestern are both matched by Texas but neither is matched by Berkeley

Did you know that not all schools approach summer earnings in the same way? Some schools will count 1L summer earnings when considering your 2L financial aid package, and some will not.

Schools that consider summer earnings in financial aid are all of the above, plus Vandy, USC, and GWU.

Columbia and Georgetown reduce grant AND loan amounts (the only elite schools to do this), while all of the others reduce only the loans. Georgetown reduces loan and grant after the first $3,200 in earnings.

Also, be careful about transfering if you are going into public interest and/or will need loan repayment assistance. The loans you take out at the first school are rarely, if ever, qualified for the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP) at another.

Good luck everybody. And wish me luck at Stanford, Yale or Harvard...Not that I got into those schools yet, but it just sounds good. lol. 

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Why Rankings Remain Stable OverTime
« on: February 05, 2009, 02:40:32 PM »
I was looking at the USNWR Website today and read an explanation of why the rankings do not change. It discusses market forces and law school culture that stabilizes the rankings, but makes a really bad assumption: that such stability is indicative of a lack of improvement in the schools, when it could be that many schools are improving, but "comparative improvement" is stable. Hence, many schools are unfairly characterized as not making substantive changes to the educational quality of their programs, and it could very well be that the quality of legal education, overall, is better than it has ever been. 

It also cops out on the topic of (what I believe to be) arbitrary metrics used by the rankings, by not discussing them - avoiding the much larger issue of whether rankings should exist until more research, surveys and planning are done.

For what it's worth, it does offer some good insights.

Black Law Students / A Funny Story
« on: February 01, 2009, 09:34:41 PM »
This is a true story.

The following scene took place on a flight between Johannesburg and London:

A White woman, about 50 years old, was seated next to a Black man.  Disturbed by this horror, she called the flight attendant.

"Madam, what is the matter?" the stewardess asked. "You obviously do not see it, then." she retorted. "You placed me next to a Black man. I do not agree to sit next to someone from such a repugnant group. Give me an alternative seat."
"Be calm please, the Hostess replied. "Almost all of the seats on this flight are taken. I will go to see if another seat is available."

The Hostess went away and then came back a few minutes later. "Madam, just as I thought, there are no other available seats in the Economy Class. I spoke to the Captain and he informed me that there are no seats in the Business Class, either. But, we do still have one First Class seat left."

Before the woman could say anything, the stewardess continued: "It is not usual for our company to upgrade someone from Economy Class to First Class; however, given the circumstances, the Captain feels that it would be scandalous to make someone sit next to someone so disgusting."

She turned to the Black guy, and said, "Therefore, sir, if you would like you to please collect your hand luggage, a seat awaits you in First Class."

At that moment the other passengers, who were shocked by what they had just witnessed, stood up and applauded.  ;) ;D

Black Law Students / A World Without Black People...
« on: February 01, 2009, 08:51:07 PM »

A very humorous and revealing story is told about a group of white
people who were fed up with African-Americans (all Blacks, really), so they joined together and
wished themselves away.

They passed through a deep, dark tunnel and emerged in sort of a
"Twilight Zone" where there is an America without black people.

At first these white people breathed a sigh of relief. At last, they said,
no more crime, drugs, violence and welfare. All of the blacks have gone!
Then suddenly, reality set in. The "NEW AMERICA" is not America at
all, only bare land.

1. There were very few flourishing crops because
the original nation had been built on a slave-supported system.

2. There were no cities with tall skyscrapers because Alexander Mills,
a black man, invented the elevator. And without it, they could not reach higher floors.

3. There were few, if any, cars because Richard Spikes, a Black man,
had invented the automatic gearshift; Joseph Gambol, also Black, invented
the "Super Charge System" for Internal Combustion Engine Technology, and Garrett
A. Morgan, another Black man, had invented the traffic signals still in use in the "old" America.

4. Furthermore, one could not use the rapid transit system because
its procurer was the electric trolley, which was invented by another
Black man, Albert R. Robinson.

5. Even if there were streets on which cars and a rapid transit
system could operate, they were cluttered with paper because an African
American, Charles Brooks, invented the street sweeper.

6. There were few, if any, newspapers, magazines and books because
John Love invented the pencil sharpener, William Purveys invented
the fountain pen, and Lee Barrage invented the Type Writing Machine.
W. A. Love invented the Advanced Printing Press. They were all,
you guessed it, Black.

7. Even if Americans could write their letters, articles and books, they
would not have been transported by mail because William Barry invented
the Postmarking and Canceling Machine, William Purveys invented the
Hand Stamp (when he was inventing the fountain pen) and Philip Downing invented the Letter Drop.

8. The lawns were brown and wilted because Joseph Smith had invented the
Lawn Sprinkler and John Burr, the Lawn Mower.

9. When they entered their homes, they found them to be poorly
ventilated and poorly heated. You see, Frederick Jones invented the
Air Conditioner and Alice Parker the Heating Furnace. Their homes
were also dim. But, of course, this was to be expected, as Lewis Lattimer invented the Electric
Lamp, Michael Harvey invented the lantern and Granville T. Woods invented
the Automatic Cut off Switch. Their homes were also filthy because Thomas W. Steward invented the Mop and Lloyd P. Ray invented the Dust Pan.

10. Their children met them at the door-barefooted, shabby, motley
and unkept. But what could one expect? Jan E. Matzelinger invented the
Shoe Lasting Machine, Walter Sammons invented the Comb, Sarah Boone
invented the Ironing Board and George T. Samon invented the Clothes

11. Finally, they were resigned to at least have dinner amidst all of
this turmoil. But here again, the food had spoiled because another
Black Man, John Standard invented the refrigerator.

Now, isn't that something? What would this country be like without
the contributions of Blacks, as African-Americans? Martin Luther King, Jr.
said, "by the time we leave for work, Americans have depended on the
inventions from the minds of Blacks."

Does all of this go to say that whites have not invented anything great? Preposterous! blacks understand this. But do whites know of, understand and value OUR many contributions to history and human progress? 

Black Law Students / Best Speed-Reading Techniques
« on: January 21, 2009, 12:23:53 AM »
Just looking to pass receive and pass around the techniques. What are they? This would help a lot of people.

Current Law Students / Law Preview, does it work?
« on: January 16, 2009, 10:48:09 PM »
I am thinking of taking a pre-law bootcamp course. Law preview makes some strong claims, and I have looked at their materials. Is this the best such one-week program? Which of their techniques work and which do not? Can you recommend a better program? I attended Charles Hamilton Houston Pre-Law at Georgetown University Law Center (CHH) a few years ago, so I do not need another six-week program (like CLEO, etc).

In fact, I still have all of my exams, essays and briefs, and I earned A's in all of my courses (Torts, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Appellate Advocacy, Legal Writing, and Legal Research), except for one B+. I need to find the best brushup course that will tell me how to approach/organize my studies (for the best time-management, etc). CHH did everything but that. 

Also...Read and brief every case? Or no? I have heard conflicting advice.

How frequently do you think law school admissions committees cruise these boards? At least a few admit they do it to get a feel for what their public image is, but I suspect their motives may be more insideous: Getting additional info on applicants by extracting writing samples and other information for use in their admissions decisions.

This is why I do not list the schools I have applied to and refuse to post excerpts from my essays; I think schools can identify students with just a little work. Am I wrong?

Politics and Law-Related News / U.S. News may go under
« on: January 10, 2009, 11:52:13 PM »
Like several media outlets, U.S. News Magazine is struggling financially, and there are rumblings that it may not survive the current economic crisis. If U.S. News was no longer a player in the rankings game, what effect(s) would it have on the way schools operate? Would the effects be positive or negative? Which ranking(s) would be the "go-to" source? 

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