« on: May 22, 2010, 06:19:09 AM »
any ABA school from Harvard-Whittier will teach you the skills to pass the bar .
This, OP, is NOT true.
The top 3 schools, and possibly the entire T14, are well known to teach more theoretical approaches to law and you are expected to cover the black letter law on your own.
The state schools in particular and, if I remember right, all non-T14 schools cover much more black letter law in their teachings, and that black letter is geared towards the state they are located in. Therefore a state school teaches with more of a slant towards what's covered on their bar exam.
All ABA-approved schools from Yale to Appalachian will, if you pass their courses, grant you a JD from an ABA-approved law school, and for most states that is the first requirement to be able to sit the bar.
It is worth it to go to Whittier if it is the only school you got into, if it is the best quality school you got into (and how you determine that is up to you, for me it's feeder market, attrition rate, bar passage rate, and on a lesser note, customer service up to that point), and if it is the best financial aid package you got.
My feeling is people should have more than one two acceptances though to be able to even make a choice. If it's the only school it's not a choice is it cause you have no other option.
You can also consider retaking the LSAT (using improved study methods) in October of this year and using the better score to aim for a school with lower attrition and higher bar passage rates.
But even if you decide to attend this year, Whittier is a regional school and you need to be sure that where the majority of it's students end up practicing is somewhere you are willing to live and work for likely the next 40 years after you pass the bar. If not, don't go, because where most of its graduates feed is where your potential Whittier jobs are. Only nationally known schools can place virtually anywhere (except perhaps really small towns that they are not from, who won't trust the extent of their commitment/connection to the area).
If you would like to live and work in a certain area go to a law school that feeds most of it's graduates into that area. If you KNOW where you want to live and work, you could even move there this year, take the test this fall and apply to schools for that area this fall, and be classified in-state by the time 1L rolls around.
For example, if you live in Cali there may be no cheap schools instate, but if you are classified as a Georgia resident Georgia State's law school is only about $10,000 a year...and if you go parttime it's less.
That's the other thing, make sure even if you decide to attend Whittier that you consider going part time so you can work, otherwise go get a McDonald's job if you have to in order to save up money this summer for your books (which, unlike undergraduate, you will need, from what I read, before the first day of class hits, and which are SEVERAL books not just one textbook per class). Save up money for your first month or two of incidentals and the move itself if you will have to leave the state.
Cheer up, you sound a little depressed about the job/financial situation, I know that feeling, but as long as you have a plan to change your status, there's a way out of the mess.
And PD offices are more popular options with unemployed students, and are also on constrained budgets due to the economy, so if you know you want to be a PD, get off the law school campus and get involved in local PD associations, get connected in the PD world, talk to people writing PD blogs about how to get a job, talk to PDs in the PD offices of the state(s) you want to live and work in about the pros and cons of their job and the best ways to get a job in a PD office in this economy...get out there, and remember to smile and not sound depressed and don't tell them how broke you are.
Good luck whatever you decide! Also asking the career center at Whittier (now, before you get there) for names of grads who went into public interest/PD work, and contacting them (if you can find out what state they went to, look it up on their state's bar's website), is a good way to get the truth about Whittier for people with your interests...straight from the horse's mouth, instead of from us who never been there. Make sure to ask them about their experience with Whittier.
Hope this helps.