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Incoming 1Ls / Re: Is it worth it to go to Whittier?
« on: May 22, 2010, 04:19:09 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.

Affirmative Action does not do anything for black people but only hurt them. Affirmative Action reinforces racist notions, not decrease racist notions. If I were black and a company would not hire me, then I would not want to be in that company as even if I did get the job, the stress would not be worth it. There would be better, more friendly jobs out there for me. I think Affirmative Action is primarily for angry people who want to get back at the person not hiring them.

Also, sometimes an employer just does not hire you because your personality is not suited for the firm. That does not mean you go out and get AA. That just reinforces more racist notions. Your perception of why someone does not higher you is not providentially fact.

So it's this thread that started the love-hate (i keeed) relationship between you two.

Wow.  :o

Actually, going by your logic here, best thing for every black law student to do then is to only attend Howard or FAMU's law school and go to work for only themselves in solo practice or a black firm owner or a firm with majority blacks.

Hispanic ones to go to ones with highest concentrations of Hispanics...Asians go to that one in Cali that I think I saw was majority or significantly Asian.

Looks like segregation to me. Except small issue with that: the whites by virtue of historical advantage would then be the only ones with access to all positions of power since law is the biggest nepotism/legacy/ole boy network in the professional fields...and that means every other group would get marginalized.

And correction, as a white person (who is not an immigrant or first gen), there would be better more friendly jobs.  In your hypothesis, you forget that for blacks especially there many times IS no better or friendlier option.  Everywhere in this country the higher up you go in a career, the more white male it looks.  So scratch that. Imagine a world where you are not welcome ANYwhere if they can hire someone who does NOT look like you, and only when none of their own kind wants the job then they sigh and huff and take you, waiting to see you screw up like they expect you to. 

Toxic, ain't it?

But that's not the life of all minorities, nor is that the mindset of all whites.  Many minorities AND whites had working class families going way back, and many share the clean slate of the immigrant...
Law schools left to their own devices are not giving equal access to legal education.  Why should minorities be so accepting of your rather exclusive view yet you can't/won't accept that whites should be accepting of the opposite view?

I like the idea of running my own show versus kissing up to someone who doesn't want me there, actually, but for one, I like and need the option to work for someone else, for two, I am not willing to think that every white person would stay away from me given the choice, and the ones that actually care about life outside their own little world should be able to have a wellrounded higher learning experience, and for three with the increased earning power of the growing middle class of minorities, it is simply good business sense to be able to send representatives out at all levels and in all facets of the law that look like the newcomers and speak their language (culturally, linguistically, literally, figuratively, whatever).

It's not just the kindness of their hearts why they do it.  It all comes down to money...schools that don't take federal funds can be as racist prick as they feel like.

And for four, you can't assume that every minority in the class got in because of AA.  That's your thinking why you even say things like this.  What about the ones whose scores and whole app. package are equivalent to the white ones present in their 1L class?  They should miss the chance to attend a school possibly nearer to them or more geared towards their interests than an east coast school, for example, simply because the profs, admin, and students will not like the colour of their skin or the look of their eyes or hair or accent? 

I would think it's obvious then that the problem is in whoever thinks like that, not the URMs.  The world and people's hearts are not perfect, so adjustments have to be made for those known imperfections.

Think of it as a form of legacy admit.  From the legacy of injustice and prejudice against minorities as opposed to "oh my daddy went here."  There are many brilliant minorities whose daddies COULD have given them traditional legacy status, had they not been barred by law from attending the same school...had their ancestors not been penned up like goats instead of working to establish a future (Japanese)...the kids whose parents are not just rich but wealthy now did not get that way in one is a building up from subsistence level over time, over generations...think what happens when someone's family is actively prevented from getting past basic.  Their kids will be behind no matter how bright they are, same way a hurdler whose hurdles are nearly twice as high as the majority of runners' hurdles is THAT much more likely to hit one of the hurdles and fall.  They fail out of the race, their kid gets the crappy lane to start the race and the one whose parents had no such hurdles and won the race, that kid gets the nice inside track and normal hurdles.

And, people don't "go out and get" AA.  It's a federal mandate that businesses, esp. those with >50 employees, have to live by.  Often if you don't put your race down, some of them will note it for you when they see you.  It's supposedly optional and it's not suppose to be associated with identifiable info in your file, but it always is.

Anyway, I am going to give this a break cause this debate will never end as long as everyone has breath left in their body.

When I saw this thread, I immediately started to laugh. Employer: "well, I see we have more applications today. This one is interesting, nice, nice, nice, college of law... SOUTH DAKOTA!!! LMFAO!!!" That is exactly what an employer would do when seeing such a resume. Do yourself a favor and go to another University like Chicago, or something within the top 300.

ouch. Why so mean?

Current Law Students / Re: Is a JD Just another Humanities Degree?
« on: May 21, 2010, 07:21:26 PM »
I recently heard that unless you attend a top 10-15 law school, that the JD is just another humanities degree.  He said that many law grads just struggle to find any type of work if they aren't from the national schools.

This post was by someone on an education forum who had thousands of posts, so I took it he might know what he's talking about, but figured if he's calling it another humanities degree, he's improperly characterizing it.

Further, this person said that the JD is not that all marketable, unless you are a top grad from a top school.

Is this the undesirable truth when it comes to law school and job prospects and rankings? 

Thank you.

Um...I would say no since you can take a JD and go right into business for yourself with a specific product (legal counsel/contracts/doc review) whereas I have never heard of Johnny Q. Public being in the market for an hour of ...Humanities.

Law SCHOOL might seem like a humanities type thing after first year...but somehow, i don't like that either. lol But I don't know.

I sent my Student Aid Application, Federal Tax return and W-2 in early March of this year.  I finally got news back today from my law school saying that they received my Application and FAFSA but not my Tax Return or my W-2.  I do not understand how this could happen.  I sent all my documents in together and they obviously got my application just not the documents that were stapled to it?  On top of that, I have been calling the financial aid office all day and cannot get ahold of anyone.  I tried to find an e-mail for the financial aid office but was unable to.  My plan currently is to make copies of my W-2 and Federal Tax return and sending them a copy everyday until they admit that they have received them or tell me what is wrong with my application.
I am upset and frustrated.  Has anyone else had similar issues with their Student Aid Office?  This seems super fishy to me.

Um, I see you sent them a snowstorm of the white stuff...I was going to say a simple solution is to scan everything you mail to them, so you have a copy saved in a neat little folder called "Law School Fin Aid Docs"...and email them replacements when they try to act ignorant.  Or at least have them ready to print and mail.

Don't piss off people in the financial aid office.  People who handle/prepare your money and your food should always be treated VERY nicely. 

lol just fyi

You may want to look fairly closely at employment prospects.  I think you are probably a bit over-optimistic that landing a solid well paying job is easy if you do alright.  If you do extraordinarily well your shots aren't terrible, but anything less than that and I wouldn't count on being able to make much in the first few years. The legal market is just really lousy right now and there are enough unemployed or underemployed lawyers in the pipeline I don't see things turning around any time soon.

Legal academia can be a great life, but from all accounts most legal faculties are exceptionally picky about credentials and brand-name schools.  If you are serious about legal academia it may be worth doing whatever it takes to land HYS.  If your academic interests are other than legal, then focus primarily on that other field and pickup a jd if you've nothing better to do.  A PhD will help quite a lot with legal academia provided that it is related and you write something decent (particularly if you get your jd somewhere other than hys).  I'm also interested in legal academia and have been looking at this quite a bit - I don't argue that the current system is as it should be, just stating my observations of how things are.

1. Most important thing first: what kind of bike do you ride? lol

2. Tell us please how you got into Harvard.  Just want to know what you did for LSAT (how you studied, what your cold score was before studying), how you went about your PS, DS if you had one, which month you applied, how many rec letters you sent in, what made you choose them aside from the name, and how the prospects have changed there as far as jobs and the student body's morale since you started, given this economy.

(Sorry that was so long, had to get it all out).

Thank you Legalized.
I recently moved to Denver from Toronto and I live in a smaller town a bit outside of Denver.  In the beginning it was rather difficult to get used to a smaller town but I absolutely love it.  That is the reason why I would like to chose smaller towns versus bigger towns in California or New York.
I am interested in criminal law but the problem is that I do not have much experience in the legal field, therefore I am not sure if that is the field that I would like to get into after I graduate from Law School. 
After I take the LSAT I am planning on visiting the school in order to get a better idea.  Right now I am solely concentrating on getting a good score.

No problem.

Here's how you find out what the real criminal law is like without begging a job right now:  go to the Denver Bar's and the South Dakota Bar's websites.  Then do an Attorney Search (every attorney admitted to the bar is my state they are italicized -- but still listed! -- if they are deceased.

Search for criminal lawyers if it allows you to refine the search that much.  If you can, narrow it down to ones in your zip code. or in a downtown denver zip code or area like Cherry Creek or something.  If you like small town practice and living though it's best to search within your town.

If not, just head to the good old yellow pages, find the criminal law section, and "let your fingers do the talking!"  I've started my own mini-campaign to get it from the horse's mouth advice lawyers in the fields I am interested in--what they wish they had known when trying to get into law school and during law school, best things to do while in law school to get a leg up on the job thing, pros and cons of my field(s) of interest...I did one formal interview so far, but once I am done with my LSATs I'll be getting at least one done every week.   I will have them organized by what school they got their JD from.  I am tired of the lack of information in the news outside of "biglaw's sky is falling! RUN!" and "PD work has waiting lines a mile long; gov't wants to see biglaw exp. on your resume (loop back to the first quote)"...the minor percent of legal hiring sources are getting the major percent of news coverage. Over. and. Over.  Apparently if I want actual news I have to go get it myself. /sarcasm

The one poster talking about side hustles etc.  made some good points like I said I didn't understand all the details of financing  in whatever health field he is going into. If it takes a month to get that CN certificate and it only costs a few hundred bucks it sounds like a great plan. He is 100% right it is always good to have a side hustle without question. If you have a J.D. with some other tangible skill whether it be language or computer science I think it makes you a lot more marketable.

He is absolutely right 30,000 is an outrageous amount of money to pay for law school, but that is the way it is and I don't think it has ever been cheap. However, there are the CBA schools which offer a ridiculously cheap option or FIU, South Dakota, or North Dakota, CUNY, and maybe a few others that are nowhere near 30,000 between 6,000-12,000 a year which is a lot more reasonable. Had S.F. had an ABA school that offered the cheap tuition I would have gone there.  I know JFK is here, but I want an ABA approved school, because I may at some point want to leave California. However, in regards to your complaints about costs there are CBA schools and those 4 state schools which are a lot more reasonably priced if you really want to be a lawyer.

I never try to be militant maybe I came across that way and it seems you have thought outside the legal bubble but even nursing school is quite expensive or so I thought and I don't believe it is that much safer of a profession than the legal field. I imagine there are a lot of employed nurses and I imagine there are nurses looking for work just like any other profession.  People get the ax in healthcare industries etc I imagine, but again I have no idea about how hospitals run etc. 

All I was saying if you want to be a lawyer then you should go to law school, but if money is your main concern a J.D. is not the best bet and it sounds like you are more concerned with money than the profession you enter into which is completely fine.  In my opinion I would rather do something I like and struggle financially than do something I dislike or am indifferent about and have money, but that is just me and money is certainly is nice to have.  Your job is going to last a lifetime and nursing, J.D., M.B.A, whatever you choose to do you will be working in that field for a LONG time your entire working life which will probably be 30 to 40 years so I personally think it is best to choose a path you will enjoy the most.  Law school is ridiculously expensive and it really shouldn't charge as much as they do, but I want to be a lawyer so I have to deal with the outrageous price tag.

I understand your points.

Some cosmetic adjustments:

"He" is a "she" I'll forgive you this time.

I'm sorry it sounds like I am in for the money.  Money is, however, a legitimate concern for anyone who has ever experienced truly not having ANY, like I have.  My reasons for doing law have zero to do with money, cause I actually decided to go for it BECAUSE of the state of things: If times are so hard across the board, I might as well be having a hard time doing what I REALLY want to do with my life, and not having any regrets about it!

That said, I am not dumb enough to chase my dream in an impossible way.  I research a lot, as you can tell, and while I recognize the pros of each field, I recognize the cons.  But it's not shallow for someone to say if they can't afford to attend law school in the areas in which they are willing to live and work, they won't go.  People who don't have money HAVE to be concerned about money, it's disingenuous (and downright dumb of them) to pretend otherwise.

You are right though that should not be the ONLY reason someone considers a field.  They also need to consider what the downsides are to any field with a ashortage (the word shortage should be a big hint, but it seems to make people think more that it's automatically easier)...and whether they actually have the innate talents required.

Those last two people don't even bother thinking of after they have established the pay and the availability of jobs.  Just because people CAN get a loan and go study something doesn't mean they SHOULD.

People would be surprised to see the schools I find when I search the ABA guides that have an attrition rate less than 5% and a bar passage rate 90% or better.  Some of them are schools that get laughed at.

Which reinforces what you say about people not thinking T14 = God incarnate and what I say that people need to stop being sheep-like and put their research and analytical skills to use from now.  Maybe we should consider that the folks with 170s who got in somewhere and got duped due to lack of research are not quite so bright as the LSATs led them to believe. lol

Yea of course there will be a few people that don't make it who do put in the work. Even Hastings and I wouldn't shocked if Harvard, Yale had a few people that just don't make it. It is really sad, there is one kid in my section that does try really hard and he got a 1.9 first semester and may not be coming back depending on how he did. Who knows maybe I got straight D's second semester and will be kicked out. If I got straight D's after all the work I put in to studying then the law is not for me and they should kick me out.

Hastings as an example let two friends of mine stay when they should have been kicked out and now they have both failed the bar twice. They had horrible GPA's and were at the bottom of their class all 3 years, they should have dismissed them instead of collecting from them for two more years. I think tier 4's are a lot more honest and kick people out if they really don't think they are going to make it, which is the way it should be.

Yep, their attrition rate is .5% or so.

So even Yalies can fail out.  Just at a far...FARRRR lower rate than the folks admitted to a school like Cooley.

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