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71

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 annualcreditreport.com 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.

72
Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: Dear URMs (from the LSAC)
« on: May 15, 2010, 07:01:30 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 http://lsac.org/SpecialInterests/minorities-in-legal-education-faq.asp

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

http://lsac.org/SpecialInterests/minorities-in-legal-education-min-enroll.asp


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.

73
Personal Statement / Re: Diversity Statement
« on: May 15, 2010, 06:50:20 PM »
Does a traumtic brain injury and overcoming its effects warrant a diversity statement?

No it's a great personal statement.


74
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.

75
I see someone said something about gettinjavascript:void(0);g an MBA and becoming an entrepreneur if one wants to make millions.  MBA and start a business in what?  Question what if one wants to become an entrepreneur by opening a solo practice?  It does not take years under someone else's tutelage to handle, for example, immigration law and family law cases.  Especially if you've handled them already through personal experience or will handle them through pro bono law student clinics or externships.

Law is THE fastest way to working for yourself, if you plan it before you even get there and play your cards right.  There is no other graduate degree that you can get done in 3 years and be eligible to go out on your own the second you meet licensing requirements.  PharmD is 7 years including undergrad and you can't get a bachelor's in one thing and go back and get the PharmD, and you certainly can't go open your own pharmacy the way you can go open your own law practice.  Even if you work for someone else two years, four years, and then go on your own, if you made sure to get the fundamental business administration skills such as accounting, marketing, basic finance, and keep up with the trends in your field and develop some mentors and resources before you set up shop...it's a concrete plan.  Opening one's own business is very risky when you don't know exactly what you plan to do.  Technically one should be able to open one's own business with a business degree...but in what if you have no specific qualification and don't want to do something involving products to make or create?  My talent is inside my skull, I can't bottle it, sew it, or jar it and sell it.  An MBA is VERY EASILY a bull generic degree because it does not tell you exactly what you can do, and being able to become ANYthing is not such a blessing, that's like looking for one piece of information on Google using a general search phrase: the possibilities are too endless and the right answer for you personally could be so far down the list of options that you don't get to it in time to make use of it.

Some say the problem is getting clients to pay...that is easily an issue in any entrepreneurial endeavour unless you run a retail store where the payment has to be made right then and there.  Look at all the real estate investors who got screwed when the market tanked and houses couldn't close.  I see plenty of so-called poor immigrants, construction worker day laborer types, who FIND the hundreds or thousands they need for their immigration case to pay the lawyer.  And then people who don't have those kinds of obstacles who try to stiff their lawyer because they are sneaky bastards.  It's not always those who look like they don't have money that are going to be a problem client.  Sometimes they are the ones that don't have time to b.s. around because they are trying to get ahead in life versus people who feel they have already arrived and can treat people however.

I think there are plenty people out there who need a lawyer and can't afford one.  Plenty out there who should not be obligated to pay whatever is enough to cover one's student loan bill but instead a reasonable rate based on their income or a flat fee or such.  This of course means since going to a high priced law school forces you to need biglaw type of pay, if you really want to keep the option open to go solo out of law school, you have to be committed to go somewhere that pays for your schooling and strategizing ahead of time to graduate as close to zero additional debt as possible. That would actually skew in favor of going to the cheapest school you can find in an area in which you want to live and work (since you need to develop contacts in the legal world if you hope to have resources and contacts and your name already out there for that solo).

It takes research and planning but I think it can be done.  And if you position yourself right you give yourself the option of both the midlaw/smalllaw jobs AND to go solo straight out if you wish to or find the need to.  If you don't plan a strategy to make certain options open up for you and really plan it before you get to law school, as part of deciding what law schools to even apply to...you are going to have to follow the default path and try to outclimb everyone to the Biglaw exit.  Since biglaw is where all the blood and carnage is coming from, why aim for it if you are not in the very top schools?

Too many cooks trying to stir the biglaw pot.

Entrepreneurs can exist in law too.  If you going to be broke and unemployed and on food stamps you can use that time to get your practice off the ground and actually have a way out of the brokeness, unemployment, and welfare dependence.

And yes I'm an 0L.  I fully intend to ask BEFORE I start law school what I need to do to make sure the option of solo the day I pass the par is a viable and realistic option for me.  Of existing solos out there now.  Nobody is going to be able to fire me forever.  If anything I would even try and keep some of my financial aid aside towards investing in things such as malpractice insurance and access to westlaw/lexis-nexis and such...or to sublease access to an existing practice's law library of these materials.

I think people cannot think of these things when they are in the middle of the crisis and their student loans are upon them.  So clearly the time to think about all your options on the other end and how best one should get TO them is now, before one starts the journey.  How will you get where you are going if you don't know what it takes to arrive at any of the possible destinations?

76
I see someone said something about gettinjavascript:void(0);g an MBA and becoming an entrepreneur if one wants to make millions.  MBA and start a business in what?  Question what if one wants to become an entrepreneur by opening a solo practice?  It does not take years under someone else's tutelage to handle, for example, immigration law and family law cases.  Especially if you've handled them already through personal experience or will handle them through pro bono law student clinics or externships.

Law is THE fastest way to working for yourself, if you plan it before you even get there and play your cards right.  Even if you work for someone else two years, four years, and then go on your own, if you made sure to get the fundamental business administration skills such as accounting, marketing, basic finance, and keep up with the trends in your field and develop some mentors and resources before you set up shop...it's a concrete plan.  Opening one's own business is very risky when you don't know exactly what you plan to do.  Technically one should be able to open one's own business with a business degree...but in what if you have no specific qualification and don't want to do something involving products to make or create?  My talent is inside my skull, I can't bottle it, sew it, or jar it and sell it.  An MBA is VERY EASILY a bull generic degree because it does not tell you exactly what you can do, and being able to become ANYthing is not such a blessing, that's like looking for one piece of information on Google using a general search phrase: the possibilities are too endless and the right answer for you personally could be so far down the list of options that you don't get to it in time to make use of it.

Some say the problem is getting clients to pay...that is easily an issue in any entrepreneurial endeavour unless you run a retail store where the payment has to be made right then and there.  Look at all the real estate investors who got screwed when the market tanked and houses couldn't close.  I see plenty of so-called poor immigrants, construction worker day laborer types, who FIND the hundreds or thousands they need for their immigration case to pay the lawyer.  And then people who don't have those kinds of obstacles who try to stiff their lawyer because they are sneaky bastards.  It's not always those who look like they don't have money that are going to be a problem client.  Sometimes they are the ones that don't have time to b.s. around because they are trying to get ahead in life versus people who feel they have already arrived and can treat people however.

I think there are plenty people out there who need a lawyer and can't afford one.  Plenty out there who should not be obligated to pay whatever is enough to cover one's student loan bill but instead a reasonable rate based on their income or a flat fee or such.  This of course means since going to a high priced law school forces you to need biglaw type of pay, if you really want to keep the option open to go solo out of law school, you have to be committed to go somewhere that pays for your schooling and strategizing ahead of time to graduate as close to zero additional debt as possible. That would actually skew in favor of going to the cheapest school you can find in an area in which you want to live and work (since you need to develop contacts in the legal world if you hope to have resources and contacts and your name already out there for that solo).

It takes research and planning but I think it can be done.  And if you position yourself right you give yourself the option of both the midlaw/smalllaw jobs AND to go solo straight out if you wish to or find the need to.  If you don't plan a strategy to make certain options open up for you and really plan it before you get to law school, as part of deciding what law schools to even apply to...you are going to have to follow the default path and try to outclimb everyone to the Biglaw exit.  Since biglaw is where all the blood and carnage is coming from, why aim for it if you are not in the very top schools?

Too many cooks trying to stir the biglaw pot.

Entrepreneurs can exist in law too.  If you going to be broke and unemployed and on food stamps you can use that time to get your practice off the ground and actually have a way out of the brokeness, unemployment, and welfare dependence.

And yes I'm an 0L.  I fully intend to ask BEFORE I start law school what I need to do to make sure the option of solo the day I pass the par is a viable and realistic option for me.  Of existing solos out there now.  Nobody is going to be able to fire me forever.  If anything I would even try and keep some of my financial aid aside towards investing in things such as malpractice insurance and access to westlaw/lexis-nexis and such...or to sublease access to an existing practice's law library of these materials.

I think people cannot think of these things when they are in the middle of the crisis and their student loans are upon them.  So clearly the time to think about all your options on the other end and how best one should get TO them is now, before one starts the journey.  How will you get where you are going if you don't know what it takes to arrive at any of the possible destinations?

77
yea goood point. i am getting one from a manager at my workplase that ive been in contact with for 3 years. its a restaurant though, not really anything law related.. my father is a lawyer, and has lawyer friends, none of whom i know now, but i could meet them i suppose; doesnt really sound like a great chance there though. i hear that it is really important to get at least one if not two from teachers though, maybe one work related, and two from teachers total. especially if your not  a major with a lot of writing reqs like i am (studio art)

Get the art teacher to write you one, and professional recs for the other two.

Get some articles published about art in the op-ed section of the school newspaper, the local paper, start blogging...anything to add writing experience to your resume.

BTW what was your original plan with that art degree?  What were you going to do with it upon graduation?

78
http://www.newyorkpersonalinjuryattorneyblog.com/2009/08/10-tips-for-laid-off-lawyers.html

Hope to stem the tide of hopelessness I am seeing on the net. Good luck!

79
It is law school discussion I am not spending hours on my punctuation. I have a job for summer paying me pretty well, which is what I wanted after my first year of law school and I did it going to a T-4.  All half the people do on here is criticize lower ranked schools when they go to what the 83rd best school in U.S. news instead of the 114th really get over yourselves. Law school will work out if you put in the work and don't waste your time on law school discussion trashing other schools.  I am not trying to argue that I will have the same opportunities as a Harvard Grad, but T-4's are not cesspools there are smart people there and the professors went to Harvard or Yale and no matter what school you go to the rules and law are the same.  A tort is a tort whether you go to Harvard or Cooley.  Waste your time criticizing the punctuation of my two second rant if you want.   

I am just writing on this board to let people know the horrible things they hear about T-4's are not true. I almost made the worst mistake of my life by believing that people on this board said about T-4's being cesspools and going to a higher ranked school in a place that I had no desire to live. Had I done that it would have screwed up my family and relationship. Instead I went to a T-4 and my family, relationship, and educational career are going fine. THE END


You make some good points. 
But statistically, if you are going to go to school outside the top 14 or 20 or whatever, your best chance for flexibility (or landing a job at all) is to go to the most well respected law school in the geographical area you want to work in.

Half of the students at T4s graduate in the bottom half of their class (groundbreaking idea right?)
If you don't have a full scholarship or a job lined up, then it would be better to avoid law school altogether than graduate in the bottom half of a T4.

This is it for me basically. End of the day if I don't get a full scholarship somewhere, (or close to it if it's a school with great employment prospects ITE), I will go ahead and say to goodbye to lawyer dreams and get on the healthcare wagon.  I WANT to become a practicing lawyer, but I do not like being broke and in debt for dumb reasons, and I already have loans to repay from undergrad so I damn sure won't be racking up any loans for anything other than living expenses for further education. 

With or without the lawyer status I intend to get certified in something in healthcare anyway because it's always good to treat your skill set as an investment.  Just like the stock market, one should be invested in things that do well in an up economy AND invested in things that do well in a down economy...diversified!


80
Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: Dear URMs (from the LSAC)
« on: May 14, 2010, 03:42:06 PM »
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 http://lsac.org/SpecialInterests/minorities-in-legal-education-faq.asp

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

http://lsac.org/SpecialInterests/minorities-in-legal-education-min-enroll.asp


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.

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