Law School Discussion

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Messages - the white rabbit

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91
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Is There A Point?
« on: July 14, 2010, 06:52:12 AM »
Is there even a point in going to a T3 or T4 school? I see people and have friends that are applying to them but I also keep seeing many ex-law students saying the market sucks and that firms only really hire from T1 and sometimes T2 schools.

I don't think the rankings make a huge difference below a certain level (say, the top 25 schools in the country).  I have friends who went to T3 or T4 schools who did pretty well for themselves.  That said, the real problem is the amount of debt people take on to attend these schools.

92
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Is Cooley Law School That Bad?
« on: July 14, 2010, 05:58:50 AM »
Your career whether you are a plumber or a newly BAR admitted Attorney your job prospects are based on your ability to sell yourself! I am a firm believer in the power of Networking, and honestly the saying its not WHAT you know, rather than WHO you know is the supreme truth!!

Networking only works when you have something to offer the people with whom you're rubbing elbows.  Unfortunately, most aspiring young lawyers don't have much more to offer than thousands of other aspiring young lawyers.

And as for money, it's one thing to want to get rich.  It's another thing to be able to dig out from one's student debt load.  You can talk about wanting to make a difference in your community all you want.  If you're buried under so much debt that you need to take short-term but high-paying document review gigs just to service your payments, well you're probably not making much of a difference in your community, at least not as a lawyer.

If you've already made the kind of money that you can pay for most of law school yourself without having to borrow money, well the concern about student loans doesn't apply to you.  For a large number of students, this is not the case.

93
Awesome. Yea if the OP has a 2.0 and a 160 they can probably get into law school and crazy facts are that if you go to law school you learn to become a lawyer. Plenty of tier 3/4 students find jobs in fact well over 50% of students at any ABA school find employment.  Law school is what you make of it and jackasses like mdf1960 probably have never even set foot in a law school classroom, yet criticize something they know jack sh** about.

Just becoming a lawyer is usually not worth $100k+, however.

94
Transferring / Re: Wisconsin to Michigan
« on: July 14, 2010, 05:42:44 AM »
Baby Lawyer:  What do you mean by additional assistance?  I'm not sure I follow.

Eh, I was mostly rambling.  I didn't have anything specific in mind, but I thought maybe if you talked to the school they could give you reasons why it would be easier to reach your goal by staying where you are.

95
Transferring / Re: Wisconsin to Michigan
« on: July 11, 2010, 09:53:54 AM »
I am in dire need of some advice here.  I just finished year one at Wisconsin and ended up in the top 15%, and I then reapplied to my dream school--Michigan.  To my great surprise, I got in.  So my question is whether it is worth it to transfer, but the specifics are important.  My goals are to first be a clerk at the federal appellate level and then become a law professor.  At Wisconsin, I'm enrolled in a joint PhD program in political science, and my understanding is that having a PhD might have made up for the lower ranking of the law school in getting a lawprof job.  On the other hand, it seems clear that Michigan produces more clerks and more teachers (much more) than Wisconsin.  But Wisconsin was free (so long as I stayed in the PhD program) since I could be a teaching assistant in political science classes.  Michigan will be about 48k in out of state tuition and fees alone for each year, not to mention the living expenses.  I'll therefore have to take out massive loans to cover all of that--somewhere in excess of 100k.  I should add that I may return to Wisconsin to finish the PhD after law school if I decide to go to Michigan.

So, given my goals, does it make sense to take advantage of this opportunity or stick it out at Wisconsin?  My family is telling me to choose Michigan since I've always dreamed of going there and because of its reputation, but I'm afraid that that is easy to say when you aren't the one about to incur that kind of debt.  Thanks in advance for your help!

With that kind of debt to payoff ratio, I would probably stick with Wisconsin.  I mean yes your chances at appellate clerking and law prof gig are higher at Michigan, but they're not so great that I think they're worth an extra $100k in debt (calculus changes if your family happens to be loaded).

Maybe something to explore is talking to folks at Wisconsin, explaining to them your goals and your choice here, and seeing if they'll be willing to provide you with any additional assistance in terms of attaining those goals?  I mean it's a longshot but doesn't hurt to ask.

Good luck with your decision and let us know what you end up doing.  :)

96
Oh Canada! / Re: undergraduate institution
« on: July 11, 2010, 09:49:44 AM »
I probably spoke a little to broadly, but odds are the OP is not going to get into a top 3-5 school. Nothing against them, but there is a 90% chance they won't score on the 90% of the LSAT, which is the prerequisite to having a top 3-5 school even consider your application.

If the OP gets a 172 awesome! However, I am not betting on him/her or anyone to bust a 172 out on the LSAT. So the best thing to do when going into undergrad with the ambition of going to law school is to first choose a respectable major that you enjoy, because there is a strong chance that after 4 years you might not even want to go to law school anymore. The differences between when you are 18-22 are DRASTIC. However, if they maintain the goal they should get a decent degree and throw in a few free A's in weighlifting, basket-weaving, etc. That is just playing the game a little bit having a 3.6 instead of a 3.4 because you throw in some Free A's along the way is just smart and it certainly won't hurt you.

Playing the game a little bit is probably okay.  I have to admit I grabbed an easy A or two in college.  Not that it helped or anything.

97
I didn't say it doesn't make sense. I just meant it was kind of messed up that the associates wanted to help their colleagues, but the higher ups did not respect it. However, the higher ups are running a business and it makes sense that they would want to pay one person 160,000 that was really productive and then keep 128,00 for themselves by laying off a guy that wasn't worth the money. It's business and why keep someone around that isn't pulling their weight and the answer is you shouldn't.

A lay off just means you are not worth keeping around. It is not like you did some horrible thing, but if you cost more to keep around than you are making you get laid off. So it makes perfect sense that this firm let people go that were not meeting the billable hour requirements.

I see.  So what you mean is:

1. It makes sense from a business perspective, but
2. It's still kind of messed up.

So we're on the same page I guess.

98
Law School Applications / Re: undergraduate GPA
« on: July 11, 2010, 09:45:11 AM »
Figured this was a good place to ask this.  I interned at a district court for 6mos a few years ago.  If I was able to get an LOR from the judge would it matter that it wasn't written when I was actually an intern?

No.

99
Oh Canada! / Re: undergraduate institution
« on: July 10, 2010, 09:55:29 AM »
I'm not saying anything Morten hasn't already said, but schools at the top of the food chain don't care so much about their ranking and more about putting together a good law school class.  Good grades in underwater basketweaving will not impress in that regard.

So I guess it comes down to where in the food chain an applicant is targeting.

100
Law School Applications / Re: 175, 3.3, non-URM. Chances @ T14?
« on: July 10, 2010, 09:50:37 AM »
Title sort of says it all. 175, 3.3 LSAC GPA.

Not a URM or non-traditional student or foreign student.

Mediocre softs. Some leadership positions on campus. Enough work experience to fill a resume.

Average to good LORs (none from T14 alumni).

Trying to decide where/if to ED/EA. Thoughts? Also, chances @ T14, in general?

Thanks!

I'd say your chances of getting in somewhere Georgetown or higher is pretty good, though you're probably not going to make it above UPenn.  I'd say everything below HYS is worth shooting for though.

ED only if you're sure where you want to go.  EA always.  (EA is non-binding and ED is binding, right?  That's how I remember it.)

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