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Messages - LawSchoolAuthority

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Job Search / Re: Any part timers?
« on: March 09, 2009, 05:46:08 AM »
How does summer employment work for people in part time programs? can you get a job after your first year in part time? I'm trying to decide if I want to go to American part time or not. Thanks!

Depends on if you’re working FT or not. If you’re just going PT you can get a job anytime and work year round if you wish. Many of my classmates took law related jobs FT or PT after the first year (some after the first semester) to get experince and make $. Many of them have gotten permanent offers from the jobs they took while in law school. Some have stayed with their old jobs (non law related) they had before law school, and will look for law jobs after they graduate or wait to retire then practice law.

Nice...good info...well the other thing I've been wondering is how class rank pans out in part time programs. I know it has so much to do with employment prospectives. Are you just ranked within the part time division?

It depends.  You should check with each school to determine how their part time students are ranked.  My impression is that for the most part, part time students are eventually ranked with their full time counterparts, however some schools wait to compile rankings until the part time students acquired a certain number of hours to put them on par with the rest of the full time class.  Also, some schools keep the part time and full time rankings separate, which might hurt during the employment search. 

Current Law Students / Re: Practice exam questions
« on: March 08, 2009, 10:24:24 AM »
Before taking exams prepared by other professors, I would ask your current professor if he can provide you with any additional fact patterns or past exams.  Also, ask her/him if s/he can provide you with any best student answers from the past or a model answer that the professor has prepared.  Worst case scenario, your professor says no.

Law School Admissions / Re: W on transcript
« on: March 08, 2009, 10:20:46 AM »
I aggree with Johnny Cash, you should call LSAC (215.968.1001 and press 0 to speak to a representative)to see how this will be calculated when you submit your undergrad transcripts to them.

Generally speaking, and aside from LSAC policies, if your undergrad school has a policy whereby withdrawing from a class does not have a negative effect on your gpa, and is therefore not reflected on your transcript, it does not seem like this will have any ramifications on for your law school applications.

Before withdrawing, you should double check with your registrar to make sure that this will not have any gpa penalty and ask her/him how it will be reflected on your transcript. If it will merely show  "W" for withdraw, as opposed to "WF" for withdraw fail, I do not see this causing any problems.  Many undergrad schools allow for a certain number of withdraws late in the semester without any sort of gpa ramification.  

Also, make sure you get confirmation that you have in fact withdrawn from the class, so as to prevent a surprise down the road.  If you search through these threads, you will find a number of students who thought they had withdrawn from a class, but in fact did not, which of course had a negative effect on their gpa.

Law School Admissions / Re: Resume
« on: March 08, 2009, 09:27:25 AM »
An effectively written resume is a very important aspect of your law school application.  Accordingly, merely having great credentials is not enough to "wow" an admissions committee with your resume. 

You might find a number of commercial websites that list examples of resumes, but you may find that many of these are very rudimentary and not tailored for law school applicants.  If you are looking for free and reliable advice on how to go about writing your resume, I think your best resource is to visit the career planning section of a reputable law school's website.

Most of the time, a law school's career services office provides detailed information regarding resume writing to their students to aid them in the employment process.  Since this information is directly tailored to law students, you may find this much more useful than the sample generic resumes you find on any give commercial website.

For instance, Washington and Lee offers a guide to effective resume writing along with a number sample resume tailored to students with different levels of legal experience.  Here is the link -  If you do not find the W&L website helpful, you may wish to search other law school's career websites for resume guides and examples. 

Law School Admissions / Re: Visiting Law Schools
« on: March 08, 2009, 09:16:47 AM »
Visiting a school can serve two important purposes: (1) it can give you a general feel for what a particular school environment is like that you can't necessarily obtain from the school website/message boards, and (2) it can show the school that you are interested enough to make a trip to the school/sit in on classes/meet with admissions officers etc...

If you are planning on visiting a school, you should contact the admissions office before visiting.  It's probably ideal to visit the school when classes are in sessions (as opposed to vacation) so you can experience a typical day of law school.  Inform the admissions office that you would like to (1) schedule a meeting with someone on the admissions to learn a little bit more about the school, (2) sit in on a 1L class, (3) meet with someone in the financial aid department to discuss scholarship opportunities and programs, and (4) meet up with a student(s) to show you around the school/tour the campus and answer any questions that you may have. 

You will likely find that most schools are pretty receptive to students interested in visiting their campus, and they might even have a program set in place for such students, or you might be able to meet with individual people.  Again, in order to have the most effective and efficient law school visit, contact the school beforehand so they have the time to set things up for you. 


You should take advantage of your LOR writers asking you what you would like them to discuss in your letter, especially if you believe your particular schools will look favorably on strong LORs. 

Since you have individuals who know you in a variety of capacities, you should reflect on your relationship with each individual and what qualities of yours s/he is in the best position to comment about.  For example, if one of your LORs is coming from an employer, you may wish to ask her/him to discuss characteristics related to your employment, i.e.) dedication in the workplace, desire to assist co-workers, effectively balancing work and school, punctuality, etc...  Next, you will benefit the most if you can provide your LOR writers with specific qualities and/or instances that your LOR writers have witnessed.  There is no need to be modest in this regard.  If you have worked your way up from dishwasher to sous-chef, ask your employer to discuss how your motivation to excel at work, as exemplified by ability to stand out in the workplace, will translate into motivation to excel in law school.  Giving your LOR writer tangible examples in which your writer has been personally involved or has personal knowledge will serve you much better than requesting a generic recommendation.

The key to an effective LOR is to give your LOR writers specific personal traits and examples that they have personally witnessed in their relative capacities in order for them to truthfully, effectively, and most importantly, enthusiastically recommend your acceptance to law school.

Job Search / Re: Any part timers?
« on: March 06, 2009, 09:24:15 AM »
I was in the part time program during my 1L year, and I did not have trouble obtaining summer employment after my first year due to my part time status. 

One issue may be your summer class schedule. Fortunately, my part time program held evening classes during the summer, so working was during the day, just like the rest of the year, was not a problem. 

Another issue may be what to do with your current employment.  If you are planning on working your current job during the academic year, but obtaining legal employment, i.e., SA, during the summer, you will need to figure this one out.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Seattle University
« on: March 06, 2009, 09:15:59 AM »
I'd even be curious to hear that one. How did they stack up to each other? Was it what you expected? Do you wish you had stayed? I have much confidence in everything about SU except for employment prospects outside of seattle and moreso the northwest. You read what I wrote below. Did you come back to Seattle to work? If so, how difficult was it?

First, I think SU is a top-notch school.  I agree with some of the earlier posts regarding SU faculty; my experiences with faculty during my 1L year were great.  As far as faculty comparison between SU and W&L, I think there are distinct differences.  W&L attracts quite a few visiting professors, for a number of reasons not discussed here, who are very well established and distinguished scholars in their respective fields.  While SU has a great faculty, it does not seem to attract the same sort of visiting professors, many of whom stay, others who use W&L as a launch pad for more prestigious opportunities down the road. 

Honestly, I was not sure what to expect when I transferred, but I am happy that I did.  I did not transfer merely for a ranking increase; I transferred because my wife and I are from NC/VA and that is where we wanted to end up.  I will be staying in VA after graduation, and I did not try to obtain employment in Seattle.  Which brings me to your employment prospects question.  As you are aware, the vast majority, I believe around 95%, of SU grads stay in the greater Seattle are upon graduation.  I had no doubt that it would be difficult to obtain east coast employment as an SU grad, which is why I transferred.

If I had anything negative to say about SU, unfortunately, it would probably be about the career services office and general career prospects coming out of SU. I think LawDog mentioned that if you are top 1/3rd you should be alright obtaining decent Seattle employment.   I would generally agree (well, maybe not in the current market), but also add that contacts are important too.  I think the Seattle legal market is very tightly knit, as are SU law grads.  But, without connections and grades, you are just one of the ~350 grads/year coming out of SU. 

As far as attending SU versus W&L and wanting to work in Seattle post graduation, that is a tough call.  Assuming you're not in the top at SU, you'll have to get creative with Seattle employment; assuming you're not in the top at W&L, you'll still have to get creative with Seattle employment. All things being equal, I would recommend going to SU if you want to work in Seattle.  But, if you have the opportunity to attend a T14, I think the equation changes.  I honestly do not think that W&L carries the necessary prestige weight (and probably does not have that many grads in Seattle) that will easily land you a job when you return to Seattle. 

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Seattle University
« on: March 05, 2009, 12:08:00 PM »

Oh...for what it's worth, my personal experience with UW Law students is that some (not all) can have real attitudes or lack people skills. And, even those who enter law school with a modicum of charisma can have it sucked out of them by the bland and sometimes negative energy in the school. SU students are smart, yet humble (again, not all) and more collegial. They have people skills...this is one of the most important things the SU adcom looks for, and not all schools do. They want evidence that they are not admitting some stiff who will lack the people skills to fish for himself and make connections. As for the administration's impact on a school, I believe in top-down influence; as goes a school's administration and faculty, so goes the student body.

That's interesting. I had an hour-long interview at SU and was admitted very quickly afterward. I'm a good interview in that I'm gregarious and have a scintilla of charisma/people skills, and general really enjoy interviews. After I'd exhausted my questions we ended up chatting for 40 minutes about tangential issues, like travel, other law schools, etc. I have a relatively unorthodox application and she seemed to appreciate that I wanted to come in in person to discuss it.

I'm gunning for some top schools - GULC, NUSL, Vandy, UVA, Cornell - but I don't think I'm going to be admitted to any. W&L and W&M are more likely, and I'd be really inclined to go to one of them. From what I've read, it seems unlikely to me that if I went to W&L and did well that I'd have a horrible time finding employment in Seattle.

I transferred from SU to W&L; if you're interested in a comparison, let me know.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Non-trad Resume
« on: March 01, 2009, 02:56:53 PM »
I would be happy to take a look at your resume for you if you would like to PM it to me.  Or send me a PM and I'll reply with my email address. 

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