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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Nova Law School- Any good??
« on: May 17, 2010, 08:19:01 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.

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.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: spouse and kids
« on: May 16, 2010, 11:00:06 AM »
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.

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 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.

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. 

Black Law Students / Re: Early Preparation for law School
« on: May 15, 2010, 05:09:44 PM »


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

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 (, 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 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 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.

Black Law Students / Re: Early Preparation for law School
« on: May 15, 2010, 05:08:55 PM »

Everything they said, plus, you're not early, if you're right on time, so get on it...

It is spring '10 now. If you want to attend law school the Fall '11, you need to get your application and alllllllll the related and required materials in to the schools by November 15 (because you need to take the LSAT in October).

In the meantime, go ahead and get professors you were star student with to write you letters of recommendations NOW, not when school starts back in the fall NOW, because they always take 2-3 months to do it (and make sure to give them a one month deadline when you talk to them and explain to them about the letter and what it needs to say...because I have the feeling that had I told them a 2-3 month deadline they might have taken 4-6 months to actually get it in to the LSAC).  The professors you ask should be asked by phone with details sent in email, or in person if you are still in their town.  Send them or take them your resume, a writing sample from a project, case study, or term paper you did in their class (or someone else's class if needs be), your unofficial transcripts, and the LSAC cover sheet for the LOR signed by you.

Buy the bibles mentioned and 30 tests books if you can't afford the prep courses...and take them all. Order the bibles and books now, spend a month or so on the bibles and the drills in them, then another 2 months or so on the timed practice tests.

Write your personal statement and try not to read anyone else's statement before you begin yours, that way you come original.  brainstorm from every angle (why you want to practice law, what you think makes you good enough/talented enough for law school/being a lawyer, what type of law you are attracted to, why, what makes you different from most people you know, what drives you to succeed in life, what experiences made you see the world or yourself in a new way, what terrible things happened to you or people close to you that you had to get past and succeed in spite of, etc.).

From the brainstorm (words, phrases, concepts, anything, write them all down) make an outline or a few outlines so you have options.

You can piece that together into one cohesive story, or have a personal statement and a diversity statement arise out of it all.

After you are done writing them, edit and rewrite and get input from lawyers in the area or professors or english majors etc.  It needs to be original, the first paragraph needs to grab the reader's attention and encourage them to keep reading (they are reading THOUSANDS of these things a month!)...only after that would i say to look at any sample essays. That way the writing style and content of others' essays won't influence (or worse, intimidate) you.

Get a copy of your criminal record from all states you have lived in (i.e., do a background check on yourself to make sure nothing pops up you are unaware of) and check your credit, you are entitled to one free copy of your credit report every year from and there CAN be errors you want to fix!

Get a Dean's letter from the dean of your department certifying that you are in good standing.  Some schools will want this you don't want to wait on ANYthing when October gets here except your LSAT score.

Anything abnormal in your academic or criminal records including a semester of withdrawals, write a very short and brief addendum for, like bullet points that get to the point explaining and get out.  Avoid having an addendum if possible, it's not something that looks good to have if there are no glaring issues they will wonder about.

Oh yeah: diversity statement does not have to have ANYTHING to do with race.  Socio-economic background, extracurricular standouts like being a star athlete or a study abroad IN AN UNUSUAL COUNTRY (Europe is out, english speaking countries where the majority population is white...they're out...better to have done a French study abroad in Guadeloupe and actually contributed something to the community than to have been on the beaches of the French Riviera)...what else...foster child (that remained a ward of the state til emancipation), published work, etc.  Whatever is different about you that adds to the perspectives in their class and/or relates to the interest you have in the law.

Black Law Students / Re: Dear URMs (from the LSAC)
« on: May 15, 2010, 04:01:30 PM »
"you think" being the operative part of that.

You're just a racist and you know it, they're all just yellow-n-word's to you ain't they? >:(

Love it! Just recently some idiot on this forum tried telling me that asians weren't URM's.

Frequently Asked Questions
About Racial and Ethnic Status
 Don’t be afraid to dream about going to school—whether it be college or law school. You have as much right to be there as anyone else.

Why am I considered a minority applicant?
Law schools consider your ethnic or racial status to be whatever you indicate on your LSAT registration forms. This factor alone is not a guarantee of admission, but it helps admission committees form a more complete picture of who you are. They are interested in how your individual history has affected your life, including whatever disadvantages you may have overcome.

Is the LSAT biased against minorities?
The passages and questions on the LSAT go through a rigorous screening and pretesting process to make sure that the individual test items are not biased. The primary reason that minority test takers perform less well on the LSAT is lack of preparation. In addition, research indicates that minority group members, particularly African Americans, are more vulnerable to test anxiety than other test takers. The best way to avoid test anxiety is to prepare thoroughly for the LSAT by familiarizing yourself with the types of questions on the test and by taking disclosed (previously administered) tests. Take the entire test—not just a few sections at a time—under actual timed conditions.

more at

Those wondering what's considered a URM for law school purposes...I would guess it's the minorities they track, as shown here:

Well, I think what they mean is Asians are the LEAST sought after URMs because there are actually a high number of them, relative to the other minorities, enrolled in law schools.  But, they are still part of the minority count at these schools and yes, still URMs.

Yes, I think. Just like what you just posted is what you THINK.  I don't KNOW why those people said Asians are not really URMs, so I am not going to pretend I do.

I don't use the n word unless you meant negro. Bye.

Does a traumtic brain injury and overcoming its effects warrant a diversity statement?

No it's a great personal statement.

Hello everyone! I have one LOR already from someone in my current city. For him, I just printed off the completed LOR form and handed it to him. Then he wrote it and sent it and it was received by LSAC. Pretty standard. These are the instructions from the LSAC website:

"Print a completed LOR form by clicking on the letter description link under My LORs and Recommenders, and give it to each recommender."

However, I am about to ask two former UG professors for a LOR. They are both out of state. In this case, do I print the LOR form, sign it, and fax it to the recommenders? I could mail it I guess, but that would take too long. Any suggestions be very appreciated. Good luck to everyone! We can all do this!

You're asking this Feb. 10. It's too late to be applying to schools THIS cycle whether their deadline passed or not, so how is it too late to mail the LOR cover sheet?  You'll be right in time for the coming Fall cycle, which is the cycle you should be aiming to apply in if you hope for your application to be at ALL competitive.  Get it on your LSDAS now and be sitting pretty to hit submit for September 1, 2010, Sept. 15, and Oct. 1 as the windows for various schools open up.

I assumed from the wording of the LSAC instructions they want an original signature on the form they receive.  And if you fax it to the man he is mailing in a copy not an original.  Mail it.

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