Law School Discussion

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Messages - SwampFox

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: USF, Idaho: Public Defender?
« on: May 14, 2009, 12:31:50 PM »
I detected no hostility  :); I appreciate your courtesy in asking.

For my part, kudos to you folks for wanting to be public defenders.  It certainly has to be hard to work at such a thankless job knowing you're making a pittance of what you could earn.

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: USF, Idaho: Public Defender?
« on: May 13, 2009, 10:50:27 PM »
Public defender jobs are actually very competitive?  That blows my mind.  Certainly, the ones around where I live aren't.  The local district attorney once joked that "there's a reason they're called the 'lawyers of last resort.'"

Where do you live?  Public defender jobs in major cities are extremely competitive.
Mid-sized city in the Carolinas.  The two public defenders in the small town where I grew up (elsewhere) had awful reputations.  They both had degrees from "law schools of last resort," I think, too.
Again, I'm amazed to hear that it's different elsewhere, but you learn something every day, I guess.

13
Maybe it's just me, but I don't think any of those schools are going to be impressed.  They're top-of-the-line.  I'm firmly in the "it might backfire" camp.  Have you thought about getting another recommendation, or sending them some other impressive addendum or statement of interest (not that I've tried any of that)?

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: USF, Idaho: Public Defender?
« on: May 13, 2009, 10:23:17 PM »
Public defender jobs are actually very competitive?  That blows my mind.  Certainly, the ones around where I live aren't.  The local district attorney once joked that "there's a reason they're called the 'lawyers of last resort.'"
All that aside, I would say go to Idaho.  It's hard to justify 130k+ of debt for a job that pays, what, 45k/year out of the gate?  Even if you take 25 years to pay it off, you'll be paying over $900/month on it at 7% interest (almost $1200/month for only fifteen years).  At that kind of salary, you will lose half your take-home pay to debt service, leaving just about $1200 or so to pay rent, food, insurance, etc...in Southern California, of all places!  I wouldn't bank on the debt forgiveness program, either; a lot can happen in ten years.
Most people on this site will always tell you to go to the better-ranked school or the school located right next to where you want to live, but I think that's way overblown.  I've never seen the working world work that way for other professions.  Save yourself the years of misery and go to Idaho.

15
Financial Aid / Re: 2L scholarships
« on: May 13, 2009, 10:04:48 PM »
Suit yourself, I guess.  When I broached the question with various financial aid officers about getting additional scholarships after the first year, I always got the same answer:  "Sometimes, for someone really special."  I got the distinct impression the lion's share of the money went to people before they matriculated; after you've entered, good luck.
I do have to ask, though:  if you cannot get a grant or scholarship after the first year, are you comfortable with leaving school with three years' of debt, not just one?  It kind of sounds like you're already in dire straits financially, and all that debt waiting for you when you get out won't help if you have trouble finding a job.

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Financial Aid / Re: 2L scholarships
« on: May 12, 2009, 09:32:19 PM »
Why not wait until next year and apply early?  If you got a good scholarship, it could save you tens of thousands of dollars.

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Law School Applications / Re: Is being Adopted an URM?
« on: May 10, 2009, 10:39:47 PM »
I supposed being adopted is no more of an irrelevant criteria to law school admissions than all of the other "soft factors" currently examined:  URM status, type of extracurricular activities, "life experience," etc.  This one certainly might get some sympathy votes under the "I-had-a-%@$@-life-so-admit-me" heading.  It probably can't hurt.
This may be the single dumbest question I've ever read on LSD.
For the record, THIS topic seems to be even more brazen about such things:
http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,4019736.msg0.html

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Law School Applications / Re: Paying for Law School?
« on: May 07, 2009, 11:21:46 PM »
I'm planning on borrowing a boatload of money, and then putting off the lenders until the combination of the govt. mega-stimulus and the money-printing scheme by the Fed drive inflation into the stratosphere.  Then, I can pay off my loans with my pocket change.  Hooray!

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Law School Applications / Re: Suggest schools which fit my profile?
« on: May 07, 2009, 11:15:01 PM »
Although people say that "you might as well apply!" I really don't want to go through the whole process of blanketing every top-14 school if it's only going to stress me out.
Honestly?  If simply applying to law school is going to "stress you out" too much, then perhaps attending it really isn't a good idea.  Everything about law school, especially the grading system, is competitive.


I'm taking the June LSAT with a predicted score ~170 (I've taken three full-length test-prep-company diagnostic tests with my scores being 170, 175, and 176, so who knows how it's actually gonna turn out).
As TopCat said, MANY people score a heckuva lot less on the real test than the practice one.  This "I-scored-170-on-the-practice-test-but-scored-150-something-on-the-real-one" tale is one of the most common posts on this site.  The most common cause, in my opinion, is people not properly timing themselves during the practice tests.

At the risk of sounding snarky, I'm curious why you think you couldn't get into some really good law schools with a possible 99% LSAT and a 3.5+ GPA?  Surely you'd get into at least one top 20 school, probably several, and this information is readily available.  I would be more concerned about understanding why you really want to attend law school; it's definitely not something that should be done "on a whim."

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Law School Applications / Re: Should I drop econ?
« on: May 07, 2009, 10:48:36 PM »
Econ will get your brain sharpened for law school, and if law school doesn't work out, you might actually get a job with it.  With just a pol. sci. major, you might want to practice saying "Would you like fries with that?"

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