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Messages - jazzyslim

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Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: Thoughts on Schools
« on: December 15, 2009, 06:04:36 PM »
I'm sorry, I guess my post was a little ambiguous.  The original poster said she had a recommendation from her professor not to apply to HBCU's. I was wondering if her professor explained why.

But your insight is definately useful for her so she could make a well informed decision. I attended an HBCU for undergrad, so I am kinda biased in supporting HBCU's at all levels.

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This is a topic that can go whichever way the wind blows...depending on what people place value on in terms of their choice of law school. I attend a third tier law school, and I had the choice to attend a higher ranked school. But rankings and/or prestige was not the top of list of priorities, rather I based my decision on affordability (I got scholarships), student's satisfaction, faculty support, reputation, and bar passage rates.

Even though my school is in the third tier, it wonderful and expansive placement of graduates beyond the state and region (most lower ranked schools are regional in the sense of job opportunities and usually do not extend outside the state), and bar passage rates are very strong and are on the rise. This may even be good for those that are looking to go into practice for themselves or running for office if they attend a school in the state they wish to practice. The familiarity of the state's school may be home field advantage. But you cannot underestimate the power of a degree from a Top law school as well for those same endeavors, they may hold more weight, but it does not effectually make the 3rd tier JD holder weightless. Experience and skills you acquire after law school is really what sets you apart, not which school you attended, because eventually it becomes irrelevant (told to me by a former supreme court judge in GA).

Many people get caught up in the rankings so much because they feel like the education at higher ranked law schools are substantially better (or they insecure). This is def. not always true, the advantage of a JD from a top tier school means more (or easier) opportunities for a acquiring a job and the prestige. There are many comparable lower tier schools that can match or beat the bar passage rates of higher ranked schools or the curriculum are just as challenging, or even more (some tier 4 have a very harsh grading curve). To me there is no disadvantage of attending a lower ranked school as long as they meet your needs and their bar passage rates are strong, because that is what matters in the end. But again, that is very subjective and others may state that going to a lower ranked school is a waste of time and money. But those are also individuals that may have never attended a lower ranked school so their opinion may be unjustified (I see that a lot on these boards where people bash lower tiered schools but never attended one, but just going off the presumption that they are inferior since they are not ranked).
I do not know what I plan to do when I graduate, but I imagine that I would work for a law firm. And based on my school’s placement success, I feel like I would have a great job upon graduation (provided that the economy is booming by 2012 lol). So, do not get caught up in lower tier= inferior because that is simply not true. Determine what your must haves are for your potential law school and make an informed decision based on that, not on rankings. : )

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Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: Thoughts on Schools
« on: December 14, 2009, 09:01:31 PM »
I was curious why the recommendations against HBCU's?

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Thank you Isis!
Law school is really straight-forward..I was disappointed when I did not encounter the craziness or the brutality ppl make it  ;)

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Hey!

I do not know if I "count" in terms of attending LS in NY b/c I plan on doing an exchange w/ New York Law School next yr and I am taking the NY Bar.


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I personally have not had this situation, but I have a couple of friends who did. She has a little one herself and after graduating last may from college she decided to wait a year to apply to law school b/c she did not get the score she wanted. So, what she's doing is doing a 1 yr program at Tulane (I forgot what she is studying, but I believe it's paralegal studies) and she also considered getting a real estate license. So I guess my point is that if your schedule permits, it may be advantageous for you to take a 1-2 year program of study (Maybe a certificate program or masters). That way you would have something meaningful to add to your application when you are ready to apply for law programs. Or if you can land some legal experience (volunteering) that would not only look good on your resume, but help establish some contacts you can use to find your first legal job the summer after your first year of law school. I have another friend who waited a year, but did not retake the LSATs (did not get the score he wanted), he just kept the same scores. But he strategized in applying very early and applying to some prelaw programs like the LEO, Indiana CLEO, CLEO to up his chances and he is now at a Tier 1 school on scholarship.
So waiting may be very advantageous, you just gotta strategize.

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I am only distinguishing Mohawks and crazy hair colors in the same way people would categorize dreadlocks as an extreme or unprofessional style. Yes I agree that the choices we make in how we wear our hair is based on our personal, cultural, or religious lifestyles. But I call hair colors and mohawks extreme in the same way many people label dreadlocks as an extreme hairstyle.  I do believe that whatever you want to do with your hair, you can do it, by all means (Hell I’ve worn dreadlocked Mohawks to work b/c there’s a way to make them look sophisticated and chic, like curling the hair into a frenchroll, and undo the curls at the top and down the middle for a nice cascade, but I know ya’ll would not know nothing about that).  But this society have boundaries about grooming standards in the legal profession…and all I’m trying to get across is that dreadlocks can satisfy those grooming standards IF they are well kept and tidy, clean and sophisticated. And let’s be real, dreadlocks may be a bit easier to get into the door than a person show up at an interview with blue hair dye or Mohawks (in the traditional sense). And also, some of ya’ll may agree that you wouldn’t want an attorney representing you with rainbow colors in their hair, and that’s the same way someone said they wouldn’t prefer someone with locks represent them in court. If people take issue with what I said, you have every right to; everyone is entitled to their opinion. It just seems like the tone of some of the messages in response to mine does not seek to dialogue, rather, it seems to undermine what I tried to bring forth or criticize for the sake of being critical, rather than exchanging knowledge. My whole point in even engaging in dialogue in this thread is to educate people that have what I call the one-dimensional view about dreadlocks in the legal profession.  Just perusing the board on what was said, I did not get a sense that those who were posting comments in the direction against dreadlocks actually realize that dreadlocks are becoming more and more acceptable in corporate America/legal profession. And who on this board has dreads or used to have dreads can speak of the validity of what I put forth? Cuz to me, many people who are posting don’t fit either category, never personally had the experience of working in corporate America with dreads (I have), or never just had them at one point in their life. But these same individuals feel like what I am saying is either stretching the issue or just frivolous. Either way, those are the people I AM MOST TALKING TO. The one dimensional view.  Plus, dude that started this thread probably already acted on his decision on what to do with his locks…I just wanted to share my knowledge/experience in case someone else in the future in his same predicament can read a differ perspective to this question than was already available on this board b4 I responded…

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Unfortunately people fail to realize that dreadlocks is more than a hairstyle for many people, it is a lifestyle. Lifestyle choices are constantly being questioned, challenged, and unacknowledged by people who may not have an appreciation or tolerance of one's choice. And that's the only basis I would compare one's choice in how they wear their hair to one's choice of who they want to marry. No I would not condone crazy hair colors and Mohawks as a professional way of wearing one's hair. One should not compare those extreme styles to dreadlocks, because there are so many ways one’s hair could be locked and acceptable, such as Sister/Brother locks, interlocks, palmrolled locks, etcs. Do not generalize all dreads as the kind you used to seeing in Hippies and Rastafarians.  (And I’m not saying anything is wrong with that either). But I am in agreement that all types of dreadlocks are not acceptable in a professional environment, hence there are ways to maintain dreadlocks that would make it an acceptable. Yes, I am not oblivious to the prevailing norms and grooming standards, but because people normally have a one dimensional perspective of dreadlocks, yes it would be very difficult for one to conceive that dreadlocks are anything more than a hairstyle.

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As a black female with dreads (I understand the gender bias for women with dreads) I am all for black men keeping their hair neat and professional. In order for the powers that be to be tolerant of other cultures, it may require black men with dreads to refuse to cut them if that's not their desire. I know a couple of my good friends who cut their dreads for a job they ended up hating anyway, and it was evident from the outset. If an employer has a problem with your hair during the interview process, best believe that's only the tip of the ice berg. That employer may STILL discriminate against you until you realize it wasn't ur dreads at all, its just the culture of that job does not embrace the diversity they may be advertising.

I personally cannot stand it when people only see dreads in the limited sense, the big Rass dreads that grow out like tumble weeds. There are a variety of ways dreads can be kept, and if you ever seen a professionsl man or woman with dreads, it adds a polish and poise to their look and demeanor.

Since we live in a tight job market, I understand the consequences of a man who refuses to cut his dreads for a job, we simply do not have the luxury right now. But, this problem will not go away once the economy gets better, you may still be confronted with individuals (black or white) who cannot get over your dreadlocks or have negative, LIMITED, connotations about it. My lil bro will be growing his dreads soon, my mom has dreads, and so do I. Just like gay rights and women's reproductive rights, people need to learn to accept and embrace individuality and its up to US dreadheads out there to demand our respect too.

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Hello everyone!

I'm a newbie in a sense that this is my first official posting. I am currently a 1L at Vermont Law School (I know ya'll like, Vermont? Yea me too lol) I went to Spelman and although I was studying along the lines of health science/public health, I always had a desire to attend law school. My law interests are corporate, public interest, international, and health law. I know I'm all over the place! But I feel like I want to definitely focus my time, attention, and resources to utilizing my law degree to help minorities and marginalized individuals. That is my ultimate goal b/c i do not know what opportunities may be thrown my way in the next coming years, and I am definitely making that an integral part of my life, whether its pro bono in a law firm, working at a non-profit, or offering free legal services on my own twice a month to those classes of people.

I was always checkin the boards last yr as I was applying to law achool. I never posted anything b/c i found that most of my questions were answered by doing a quick search. I guess I will be actually part-take in discussions on these boards now since I feel like the sense of community is returning.

And for all those who are applying to law school this cycle, I want to offer my words of encouragement and best of luck! And for the record, law school aint bad at all! Its definitely doable once you get a firm foundation in ur doctrinal courses.

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