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Messages - Miche

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Law School Admissions / Re: Writing addendum for prior arrests
« on: November 01, 2009, 11:33:33 PM »
I can't speak to the effect that your prior arrests will have on your application. However, some good advice about submitting an addendum: don't think of it as a burden, a kind of tap dance to explain away negative elements of your application. Think of an addendum as a positive thing: another way to get your voice and yourself before adcomms, a way to highlight your achievements and positive elements of your application.

I don't know the details of your alcohol + autumn events, but you should generally be angling your explanation so that it demonstrates *positive* personality traits. Your loyalty, courage, commitment to your goals, etc. Then, after painting a heroic picture, you confess that in THIS PARTICULAR situation, you were too young/immature/careless. And thus, you were arrested/convicted. You repent and have never committed X act again; moreover, here are some tangible examples of how you're very responsible.

One of my friends had to explain breaking and entering. The story revolved around being bored in a small town -- seeking all kinds of challenges -- and then being dared by a friend to commit a crime. Of course, he acknowledged how dumb his actions were, and how he learned from them, and how he never did it again, and how X, Y, and Z all served as proof positive that his former transgressions were in no way indicative of who he is now. However, the critical part is that he went into the "apology, swear to do better, give me a chance!" portion of his addendum after first describing his many positive traits and how those traits had generally served him well. It puts his arrest and indiscreet actions in a better light, without detracting from his sincere remorse.

Good luck!

Cheesefist, did you take your initial test under timed conditions? With your starting point, it's definitely possible to be in the 170+. Since you have almost 9 months to prepare, start with self-study and then see if you want/need a commercial program after you've evaluated your progress.

Note that even with a self-study program, you should still have a structured plan for studying, learning, reviewing your work, taking timed tests at regular intervals, etc. The difference between self-study and commercial programs isn't the difference between more or less work/'s just the difference between paying someone for their insights or "paying yourself" by scouring the web, books, etc. for the same insights. In both programs, there should be a lot of work!

I self-studied and saw a very big increase. Nothing wrong with commercial programs; I just find that I usually learn better if I do the legwork myself.

And yes, being a nontrad can be a nice assist in terms of personal statement, even if it sometimes comes along with a few addenda explanations.

Good luck!

Job Search / Re: Advice for Entry-Level Attorneys
« on: November 01, 2009, 11:10:42 PM »
Two of my friends are volunteering at law clinics while waiting. I know a few people working in government agencies. Their goal is to network while waiting for their results.

For my part, I did apply to a few jobs before I received my results; mostly, though, I traveled and took care of the myriad details that had fallen through the cracks until that point. My theory was that I would be looking for work and then working basically non-stop once the results came in. (I had some savings, which I used to pay bills during that time.)

Job Search / Re: What exactly are admission ceremonies
« on: November 01, 2009, 11:04:25 PM »
Many congrats on passing! In most states, there are a number of ways to be sworn in. A common way is in a mass swearing-in ceremony. The ceremonies are usually held in hotels, convention centers, etc. Hordes of newly admitted lawyers hear some speeches, beam foolishly at one another, and then stand and repeat in unison, "I promise to faithfully uphold the laws of the Constitution and this great state, to the best of my abilities, even if my client forgets to pay me." Or something like that. :-)

I don't know where you live, but I highly doubt you're *required* to attend a mass swearing-in ceremony. Many of my friends across the nation were sworn in by judges, notaries public, and others with official standing. I was sworn in at the law office where I worked at the time; it was a quick and informal matter.

Concerning an applicaiton: you fill out a simple application so that the state bar association knows who you are, where you live, where you work, and how to contact you in order to harass you to pay your bar dues every year. :-)

I don't know, off-hand, of any states that require an attorney to vouch for a newly admitted lawyer. Perhaps you're thinking of the moral character fitness application? Those applications almost always require personal recommendations.

Since I don't know what state you're practicing in, I can't give more specific answers. The easiest way to sort this out is to call your state bar assocation and ask them.

'Grats again!

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