Law School Discussion

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61
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.

62
The rankings are obviously somewhat accurate yes Harvard is better than GGU they got it right! I already knew that the sky is blue maybe someone should pay me for that statement.

The rankings are not worthless I just think outside out of the elite schools they are. Like the example of a football player transferring from San Jose State to Florida International University because FIU was 68th in the nation and San Jose State was 92. At either school you are going to play football and you tackle people, lift weights, run, play games, have coaches etc. If the player wanted to be in San Jose from reason he should football at San Jose if the guy wanted to live in Miami he should play at FIU.  The rankings of 68 and 92 are irrelevant the guy will be good at football, but not an elite athlete that got recruited by USC or something.

Just like at any law school you are going to read, get called on, take exams.  At Santa Clara or Hofstra you will do those exact things. If the person wants to live in San Jose go to Santa Clara if they want to live in Long Island go to Hofstra if Santa Clara is 72 and Hofstra is 92.  Now if the person gets into Yale then f'it go to New Haven that will open unlimited doors.  The difference between Santa Clara and Hofstra though doesn't really matter.

Regional rankings they might matter, but even then they screw people I know 3 people that transferred from GGU to USF and Santa Clara technically higher ranked, but they are working with their people from their 1L section from GGU. They lost scholarship money they could have kept had they stayed at GGU.  Santa Clara and USF got them the same places that GGU got the transfers, except the people at GGU have less debt.  The transfers can say they graduted from the 88th best school instead of the 111th, but at the end of the day who cares. If you transferred into Stanford or Berkley then yea do it, but even regionally the rankings are pretty irrelevant.

Fact is Pepperdine is a highly rated undergrad and a not so highly rated law school.  That could have been any of the top schools.  Not everyone is aware of who the top 10 -20 law schools are until they start researching law school options, and that is why Harvard and NYU and UVa etc have to be ranked.  It's not "sky is blue" type information.  You are really grossly generalizing to the point you make it seem unimportant what the top schools are.

The problem becomes when everyone wants their school to have the same impact and sex appeal as when people say the word Harvard (and there are 9 other top notch law schools, why do you always use Harvard?).  And the Ivy Leagues in general is instantly known worldwide (even Cornell).  There are people from backgrounds other than yours that do need to have some sense of the law school pecking order (at the top) because it matters to the biglaw recruiters and to any other firm or agency that can manage to get a top law school's graduate.

And the further one goes down the the USNews list, the lower the middle 50% GPA range gets.  That is obviously a major basis for the rankings, and gives people a pretty good idea of where they should be aiming with the exception of having uncommon softs.  Someone with a 147 and half a brain should be able to gather from US News that they do not have a significant chance of getting into Vanderbilt.  Which is not Harvard but is certainly not a low-LSAT law school.  Prior to looking at the rankings they easily might not know that because they might not have even heard of Vanderbilt before.

What the rankings won't tell them that they need to do further research and find out, is where Vanderbilt graduates tend to place.  And that would not be New York.

People simply need to do a lot of cross-referencing and not rely on one source for all their answers.  If some of these folks I see on the net (speaking in general here) are so terrible with research and due diligence into their own fates...why should the public bring them any business and let them help determine its fate?  I can understand that schools put out misleading salary info, but in the age of Salary.com, Careerbuilder.com, and the jobs section of Craigslist and LinkedIn, it's very alarming that people who should have learned basic research and objective skepticism in science classes from primary through tertiary can't cross-reference what the school's brochure said with the going rate any given minute that you run a search for associates and attorneys with 0-2 years experience.  In any state.

Hell they can go on careerbuilder and sort the search for lawyer or attorney by state to see which state needs them most these days, among other sorting tools.

The schools shouldn't have to tell people to do this. They spend half their lives online and only waste their lives on it instead of making it work for them. 

63
Thank you very much for the replies.  I am actually thinking about applying to DU and SD is my next choice if I don't get accepted to DU.  To tell you the truth I have no clue where I would practice.  I live in Denver but if there are better prospects in SD, I am willing to relocate. 
The tuition is also much cheaper than DU.   I will definitely do more research and find out a bit more about the school.

But that the thing you have to find out if the CURRENT 2009-2010 market in SD has better prospects than Denver.  And in what fields of law.  And if those fields, if any, are fields you would be interested in.

Where you would practice = where you would love to live for 40 years.  Go by that.  Picture what you like doing in your spare time and where in America you can best/easiest/cheapest get that done.

That area or areas is where you want to practice law, so when you get home from work you can do what you want to do.  And that area is where you should attend law school, or whatever school has a strong feed into that area, unless you are in a T14.

Some people leave the east coast and go to school in Cali for that reason.

64
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Nova Law School- Any good??
« on: May 17, 2010, 11:19:01 AM »
not spending 30k a year to go to any school

have other options

thanks for the general input, i would add every law school has a lot of people that are kicked out/drop out from the first year.

if it was easy everyone would do it...

1. Contract did not say the other schools turn out un-successful people, he said going to any Florida school other than the big 3 and Stetson would give yourself and uphill battle in the Florida legal market. 

The market is already an uphill in itself so he was simply trying to get you the easiest way into it as possible, when limiting oneself to Florida schools only.

2. There is a distinct set of schools that have benchmark-worthy attrition rates and bar passage rates.

I do a lot of research on these schools from every angle (since the prestige angle is the only one READILY available without some legwork)...and its a minority of schools that have less than 5% average attrition AND greater than 90% bar passage rates.

Log into your LSAC account, do a school search "Detailed Search" in the ABA Guide, and only change the attrition rates you are looking for (once for <1% and once for 1%>attrition rate<5%) and for bar passage.  Don't change anything else, and hit search.

Then go back and add the search parameter for those whose tuition is less than $20,000 a year (returns instate results, out of state is often right back at $30k).  Those with these attrition and bar passage and price results are most likely the BEST bets for which schools to bother with at sticker price if not accepted to the T5.  (I said most likely, don't stop here keep researching...yes, this has become like a full time job for me). And this does not take into account their prestige rankings (US News).  Nor the cost if you are out of state and not getting a scholarship.  Nor the location in which you prefer to live and work after graduation (a high priority in choosing schools if you simply can't live in certain states for the rest of your life or are not attending a T10).

So evaluate Nova against things that matter (attrition, bar passage, where you wish to practice and which schools' grads are most prevalent in practice there, etc.) and make a decision from there as to whether its any good.

Or you can just go with the US News' easy answer which outside of the T14 is "not really" and past the T1 (first 50) is "no."

I suggest doing more research than that though because it necessarily has a Northeast corridor bias.

And there will be schools that have "softs" that outweigh these hardcore metrics, depending on what matters to you.  A school that is the only law school in your state is one obvious exception to all the rules. Howard law if you want biglaw access outside the T14 and are black or other URM is another.

65
Is anyone thinking about applying to USD for next year? What are your thoughts? Is it worth it?
I currently reside in Denver, Colorado and USD is my second choice after DU but I haven't read many reviews regarding it here.
I know it is located in a smaller town but I believe for me it would be a benefit since I would concentrate on my studies.  Besides, tuition and living expenses are cheaper than in other towns.  Other than that, I am not sure what other benefits USD offers.
Would I be able to find a job in Colorado after passing the Bar?

Research what schools place into the denver market.  I believe Denver, CU Boulder, Arizona, Brigham Young...these are better choices than North Dakota.

And research the attrition and bar passage rates. as well as your costs for leaving the state, if if it's a public school.

I wouldn't go to South Dakota unless my goal was working in South Dakota.

Boulder is also a small town and would allow you to focus on your studies, not to mention hop the express back to Denver if that's where you're from.

Do lots of research on where SD students tend to go.


66
Non-Traditional Students / Re: spouse and kids
« on: May 16, 2010, 02:00:06 PM »
yeah, during finals this Spring, I fought with my wife daily. I got four night classes and 30 hours/week of work. School is 1 hour away from my home. No energy! If I had kids too... I don't even know. (my wife is 19, so its like dealing with a kid sometimes, but don't tell her  ;)).

I mean, youve just gotta flow with it as best you can. You can't schedule with all these responsibilities unless you're some sort of control freak, and if you are, then you're dying inside with all of this. You just have to take some time here and there to give them love and attention. Also, talk to people in law school. Sometimes it makes you feel lonely and drains your motivation that no one in law school knows what you're going through at home, and no one at home knows what you're going through at law school. You've gotta talk to other lawyers and law school students, and you've gotta deliver some love to your family members.

Its hard, but find some motivation within in you for both family and law school, and keep going

Wow why the one hour commute? Ouch.

67
Roger Williams / Re: The WORST law school period!
« on: May 16, 2010, 01:55:49 PM »
Bigs you got it wrong man, (unless she's a dike, albeit possible) since how did this person know that it was a "she" unless of course, its her doing it. Like looking through a glass window.

LOL at your implicit assumption that referring to someone as male in the absence of evidence otherwise is somehow "normal."

No bone in this fight, but in grammar, "he" ...male...is the universal gender.

It was a lot simpler to read things and make hypothetical arguments when people didn't start requiring you to include both genders in the one sentence.  People need to grow a thicker skin unless the sentence is directly about them and the person mistook them for the opposite gender.

Even in the French language, he is the universal gender when one is needed and no specifics are known.


68
Honestly in the health care education you think you will not rack up debt either? I don't know the numbers of what you are trying to do, but in Health care or any other certification it is expensive. Law School is up there price wise as is an M.D. or nursing maybe you are trying to do something other than that I am not a medical expert, but education is expensive and a risk no matter what type of certificaiton you get.

 Also there are elite schools in every profession and Harvard Grads and Ivy league students are going to have a benefit over you in the health care industry or the legal world. Harvard and Yale have more than just law school and they hand out degrees in everything.

You have already said you racked up debt in undergrad and I imagine it is difficult to find a job with a bachleor's and it will be difficult with a J.D., M.D., Clincial Psychology whatever you have, because people don't hand out jobs.  Education you are paying to be there and in the real world they are paying you so it is a lot more stringent just something to consider.

If you want to be in the healthcare field by all means go for maybe it will work out better than the law, but I don't think any field has a guaranteed money or job prospects.

Oh and my previous response was based on the last paragraph in my post before that.

Far as saying goodbye to the law if my plans cannot happen without significant debt at a non-T-10 (or T-5) law school...you cannot judge my decisions on debt without knowing my life.  If you feel it's worth it to pay full price for a low-prestige school, do it and be happy.  I cannot afford 30,000 a year ANYWHERE. Period.  I will do nursing if I can't go to law school.  And it will not be what i first wanted to do, but there are places paying for people to go to nursing school, not a scholarship but a payment to anyone who gets accepted.  And nursing school even on full out loans costs a hell of a lot less then a JD 9 times out of ten, so what are you talking about "it's just as expensive"? 

You are not researching you are just speaking in defense of your personal decisions in every thread where these things come up, and that's fine, you bring up good points to consider, but for my personal purposes if I don't get a significant scholarship to somewhere I can actually attend given MY life, I WILL NOT BE GOING.  Maybe if more folks made the hard decisions there would not be such a glut of daydreamers bawling on the internet now.

I have no problem attending ANY tier of school.  Just not at full price.  I have decent PT scores, excellent writing, research, and analytical skills, and know exactly what I want to do with my law degree.  I also know my situation and am not about to think what worked for you will work for me.  I am not one of those people that thinks a non-T-14 is a waste of time, but ANY school that costs me more than half the maximum the federal government will give me each year is not worth it for me.  FOR ME.


69
Honestly in the health care education you think you will not rack up debt either? I don't know the numbers of what you are trying to do, but in Health care or any other certification it is expensive. Law School is up there price wise as is an M.D. or nursing maybe you are trying to do something other than that I am not a medical expert, but education is expensive and a risk no matter what type of certificaiton you get.

 Also there are elite schools in every profession and Harvard Grads and Ivy league students are going to have a benefit over you in the health care industry or the legal world. Harvard and Yale have more than just law school and they hand out degrees in everything.

You have already said you racked up debt in undergrad and I imagine it is difficult to find a job with a bachleor's and it will be difficult with a J.D., M.D., Clincial Psychology whatever you have, because people don't hand out jobs.  Education you are paying to be there and in the real world they are paying you so it is a lot more stringent just something to consider.

If you want to be in the healthcare field by all means go for maybe it will work out better than the law, but I don't think any field has a guaranteed money or job prospects.

No I don't want to be in the healthcare field or I'd be in it.  I believe in diversifying my basket of talents because if education is an investment, it makes sense to treat it to the same commonsense investment rules I learned in my business undergrad.

And the problem with people is they can't humble themselves when covering their economic bases.  I WANT to be a lawyer, and I see the SENSE in having a CERTIFICATION (not a whole degree program) in a field that is fast growing and facing a shortage.

You seem to think I am talking about getting a JD and an MD or nursing degree as well.  No sir I meant something as simple as the JD and a CNA certification.  CNA takes a month if you have a few hundred bucks or a government program sponsorship for the course, includes what is basically an apprenticeship, and is in demand, I can see for myself even outside the hospital people want someone with basic certifications to help care for their old relatives at home or what have you.

In this day and age putting all your eggs in one basket is not smart, but neither is wasting the one and limited life you have to live pursuing every hot degree under the sun.

Someone else might want to hedge their bets with a JD and a computer tech or other certification, or have success as a blogger or SOMETHING else outside the field of law.  It doesn't change their desire to be a lawyer but it can often mean the difference between always having a quick stable way to earn some money and being one of these JDs who have NO game plan for a long-haul job search.  If you are busy looking for work as a lawyer you still have to eat, and can't use the JD to do so until you get the job that requires one.  But if you have a certification in something else it can provide a source of income from another field.

People, everybody better have a side hustle these days, aka diversified investments of their time and talents, because as we can see, ITE not even partners are safe from the axe, and not everyone is like me and will research solo practice ahead of time to actually be able to do it as a viable alternative...and if you haven't passed the bar yet you can't do that and still need to eat.

You are rushing to defend and I am not even attacking, I am simply saying people who want to diversify to keep their pockets safe are well advised to do so, savvy investors do it every day.  People who can't decide between two twin time drains as all-consuming ways of making money though, don't really know what they want and need to do more specific self-evaluation to see what it is they really want to do.  There is a difference.

And, you need to stop getting militant on every post and jumping to shoot down every other option as having the same risks and rewards as law.  You are over-generalizing.  Healthcare has different risks and rewards, and more to the point, different BARRIERS TO ENTRY and SKILL SET requirements.  Not everybody has the patience or humbleness or work ethic to clean some old person's sh*t or whatever to make ends meet, so they can't jump up and make the same decisions as me to keep life rolling while I pursue my dreams.

My undergrad degree can also help me get a job, but not as fast as a CNA can find one because it doesn't take multiple interviews over a few months to get a simple job, and quite frankly, everybody these days thinks they are too good to do some manual labor or get their hands dirty.  I don't particularly relish the thought either, but I have more at stake than just my own wants, and know how to make some sacrifices for the greater good.  Plus, I am not a fan of being broke, and some people, a lot actually, apparently rather be broke than either re-evaluate or increase their options. If what you are doing or what you already have isn't working, don't keep doing it or relying on it, try something new.  And if the skill set or experience level you have is not one employers in the current market are willing to pay for...either decrease your pay expectations, change or increase your skill set, or both.  Or if it's an option move to where what you bring to the table already is valued enough for you to actually live off it. 


70


Hello,

I am sending you this email because i am seriously interested in continuing on to Law School once I graduate College. I am rising Junior at Tuskegee University, majoring in Political Science. I am currently researching Law Schools and any other things that may  aid me in my quest to Law School.

 

I was wondering if you could help me in any way that you can. If you could provide your expertise or any advice that you feel will be helpful to me. I am trying to learn more about the LSAT and LSAT Preparation. How to make myself a more desirable Law School Candidate, How can I get into a Top Law School, Early Admissions, Intersnhip Oppurtunities, How to pick a Law School that is suitable for me and any helpful websites, books, or programs that I should look into.

 

Thank You,

I really appreciate it.

 

Please feel free to contact me






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Evaulation of where you eventually want to practice:
***best school in that area
***legal market there now and expected trend for the future
***legal market there for the area of law you wish to practice
***any geographic locations off the beaten track you want to consider? (Beaten track is any state that touches a coastline or has a high URM count...New York metro, DC Metro, Texas, Cali, Tennessee etc.)

Sources to use for research include the ABA's and that state's (and city's, if it has one) bar's websites
*************************************************************
Evaluation of the field in which you eventually want to practice:
***best geographic locations to get jobs in it
***best schools in said locations
***legal market for this field now and expected trend for the future
***any fields off the beaten track you want to consider? (Beaten track is anything trendy that people are rushing like lemmings, or anything bleeding jobs right now, such as biglaw, international law, environmental law, intellectual property (IP) law, insurance defense law.  There are fields that are always solid streams of work, such as criminal defense, immigration law, family law, and public interest but the public interest budgets are limited and the applicants are UNlimited).
**************************************************************
Evaluation of the schools you are thinking look good to attend
***T-14s (you will need to write a targeted paragraph into the PS you send to these schools that shows you know the school, researched the school, and know how it can help you achieve your particular goals/how you can add to the quality and diversity of its student body)
***schools located in the geographic areas you wish to or are considering to live and practice in.  This is not a small item here.  Where you go to school, if not a national (T-14, and in this economy, more like T-10) school, determines where you will most likely be able to get hired and therefore where you will practice for probably the rest of your life.  Lawyers don't move around state to state when they feel like uprooting like in other professions, at least not from what I can see.  You can't go to a regional school in the Southeast and expect to get someone to even look at your resume in the Pacific Northwest.  If you want to live in the Great Lakes region and did not get into a T-14, you must go to a school located in or very near the Great Lakes region.  This also makes sense as far as working on contacts outside of class your 1L year to develop a network that will help you get that 2L summer job and that first job after passing the bar. Can't work on a Great Lakes network when you are down in Florida somewhere.  Lawyers like to help out their alma maters apparently and most of them tend to work near their alma maters, and this subtle nepotism is rampant and ingrained nationwide.

Sources include the LSAC website, the ABA guide to the schools (also found on the LSAC site), the schools' websites, many schools' online prelaw handbooks (even schools you don't plan on attending have interesting and informative reads), LSD (this site), TLS (top-law-schools.com), etc., AND to get the flipside of what happens to those who don't make it or went into law and did not get what they wanted out of it...above the law website, big debt small law website, etc.  Always good to know the heights of heaven and the depths of hell possible in your future profession.  If nothing else it allows you to learn from the right choices AND the mistakes of others, including their attitudes.

You should have about 15-20 schools on your list by the time you are done evaluation and research as to what suits your goals and needs (and wants)...4 reaches (you are below their 25th percentile numbers), 4-6 average matches (you fall within their middle 50% of scores), and 4-8 safeties (you are above their 75th percentile numbers).

Numbers/scores = GPA and LSAT.

So as you can see, you have PLENTY to do just this year alone.  And once you get accepted somewhere(s) hopefully by this Christmas, you will have the joys of FAFSA and scholarship hunting to afford the portion of law school the school itself and the federal government's less than $20,000 MAXIMUM budget doesn't cover.  (Yes, getting accepted is one thing, affording it is another.  If the gov't provides less than $20,000 max to any student per year, and the law schools cost an average of $30,000 per year...you see the disconnect there?  Scholarship hunting and getting schools to pay for your schooling will need to be a priority if your parents can't foot that bill.  I don't suggest anyone use any private loans to finance this given the state of the legal market...unless you get into Harvard, Yale, or Stanford).

Oh, and apply for an LSAC fee waiver.  Getting that one means an automatic fee waiver from most schools (have to write to Yale to get them to give you theirs).

And, attend the nearest LSAC Law Forum.  I have read that schools will give you waivers there too, plus you can ask your questions (if you research the schools ahead of time and walk prepared with them written down) to the people who might best be able to answer. Just don't expect them to be a real source of truth on employment stats and pay stats upon graduation.  They only know what the graduates who responded to the surveys tell them, and graduates who have terrible news are not likely to broadcast it.

Best way to look up how the graduates of that school are doing is to the check each state (that you are interested in living in) bar's website, look up grads for a particular school, and call them and ask! Do your own fact-finding.  I plan on doing this soon as I am done with my LSAT.  Call a bunch of them and find out what I want to know from the horse's mouth.  

*******************************************
Anna Ivey's guide to getting into law school is a good book to read
So is the guerrilla guide to getting a job in law (after you get accepted you can read that so you know what to do BEFORE you have to start doing it)
I have heard good things about cracking the lsat.  I just borrowed one from the public library so I will soon find out if it's up to the hype.

Look up these books on Amazon.com and you will see the reviews and what other books in this category people who checked out that book also liked, and that will give you an idea of books to help you through this process and through law school.

Get into top law schools by having a banging LSAT score and personal statement.  And above all by applying the DAY THEIR APPLICATION WINDOW OPENS.  Do not even look into what schools' deadlines are, because that will give your mind a false sense of time.  MANY, MANY people who want your spot are taking the June LSAT in less than month intending to have everything ready to go by September 1 when the first set of schools start taking applications.  That is what I am doing unless my LSAT score is ridiculous (then I retake in October and will still be otherwise complete).  YOUR deadline is when the window OPENS.  Have your stuff done and sitting in the LSAC's LSDAS records ready to go 2 weeks before that if at all possible (however you will take the October test so aim to have all else done by then except the test).

Most minorities apparently do not bother applying til the last minute and that is good for you if you know that and take advantage of it, bad for them because seats are filled as soon as applications start rolling across the admissions committee's desks.

If your LSAT and/or GPA are not above the 25th percentile score for the T-14 you want to get into, please make up for this with an even more perfect and engaging personal statement and super-early application.

Also pick one of them to apply Early Decision (ED) with the understanding NOT to do this if you are not prepared to find a way to afford it and put your ED deposit down if they say yes!  EA is great if the school has it because they don't require a binding automatic yes from you.

And, keep a chart of these schools, how many LORs each requires, what types of essays (anything optional, treat it like it's required, the other overachievers are treating it that way), and anything unusual required like a Dean's certification form.  Put it in excel or on paper but keep one folder or notebook with all your law school info.

And keep a chart of your lsat practice scores and how many errors you are getting on each section type. Helps you see trends so you can figure out where to focus your energy and not waste time blindly.  Write down anything unusual that affected you positively and negatively such as construction starting up outside during the LG section or having drank coffee before starting that test.

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