Law School Discussion

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Messages - M112

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Transferring / What ranking cut-off is considered T1 and T2?
« on: June 30, 2010, 01:26:34 PM »
Is T1 considered top 50 or top 25?  Likewise, what is considered T2, top 25 to 50 or top 50 to 100?

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Transferring / What is considered T1?
« on: June 30, 2010, 01:25:31 PM »
Exactly what ranking is considered T1 as opposed to T2?

Is T1 top 50 or top 25?  Likewise, if someone could accurately label the ranking necessary to be included in the T2 it would be appreciated.  Thanks.

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The best way to successfully plan to transfer to another law school after your first year: do not "plan" anything. Believe me, whether you are at a T4 or a T1, one thing is certain, you will have A LOT of work to do. Transferring up a notch or two will hinge mainly on your ranking and first year grades. So, it makes sense to focus all of your energy on preparing for 1L classes and studying, not transferring. Further, your file will likely not be considered "complete" until the rankings have been released, which usually takes a month or so after your finals. The point: worry about your transfer apps after you take your finals.

Also, keep in mind that you should devote quality time to preparing your applications. Research the schools. Customize your personal/diversity statements to fit neatly with each school that will receive an application from you. Personalize yourself!

Last but not least, keep your head held high. There are many students, plenty to be found on this forum, who are quick to bash a particular school or a particular type of school. Remember, if you really want to transfer- then make it happen. 

This advice is coming from a T4 to T1 transfer student.

Thanks a million to you as well as everyone else that provided the thoughtful responses.  A few questions for you specifically' if possible, would you mind telling me which T4 to which T1 you transferred to (you can PM me that information if your willing to share it with me but not everyone else or not divulge it all if you don't feel comfortable doing so)?  Also, would you mind telling me about where you ended up at the end of the first year in your T4, the whole transfer application process and maybe just a summary of the events leading up to your successful transfer? 

Any insight, hindsight, or general advice that you might pass on to someone else looking to make a similar move outside of what you provided above would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks again.

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General Board / Suggested reading prior to law school?
« on: June 07, 2010, 08:55:32 PM »
I would appreciate a suggested reading list for practical application in law school.  In other words, I am not so much interested in reading any novel type books about a lawyer or anything of the sort but instead what I can practically use for law school in the fall. 

As an example, I recently picked up an E&E on Civil Procedure and have an understanding, admittedly rudimentary, but still a base level understanding of issues regarding personal jurisdiction, venue etc.  So much so that I was able to carry on an intelligent conversation regarding the topic with a legal professional regarding the topic and other related subjects.

In sum, any reading materials suggestions that would be beneficial for practical application for law school would be greatly appreciated.

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Thank you to everyone for the thoughtful responses.  I figure I will just write one long post to respond to the specific points of interest in each post. 

As someone who did exactly, what you're suggesting, I can give you the good and the bad. 

The good: it's entirely possible, and even reasonable, to work those hours during 1L.  If you can handle a 50-60 hour work week (which you should be ready for if you're going into this field), you can balance work and a 1L schedule. It's hard work, and you need to figure out how to take off work for at least 2 weeks during finals time, but you can do it.

The bad: kiss your fun and free-time goodbye.  Thinking of joining intramural teams, public service organizations or student government?  Forget it.  Happy hour on Thursday nights with your classmates? Not on your schedule.  Going to see that Supreme Court justice that's giving a speech at your school? You'll probably be working then. Work, class, study will pretty much be your life.  Law school has a lot to offer outside of class, and you will not be a part of it. 

I had a decent law school experience, and good grades, but it was a tradeoff.  It's possible, but you will have to decide whether it's worth it for the law school experience you want to have.   PM me if you have any other questions.

Great to hear from someone with a very similar situation as the one I will be facing.  Your response was incredibly beneficial.  To be clear, however, the hours you were employed while in school was part-time or full-time?  And if full-time, I assume you went part-time? 

I have actually decided to keep my part-time job and go to school full time (after making some calls to my school of choice, they would revoke my scholarship if I switched divisions so it made the choice very easy for me).

A follow-up question for you though, if it isn't too intrusive, would you mind telling me if you felt that at any point in time, that your employment at a part-time or full-time capacity made it such that you could not realize your academic potential?  If so, would you re-consider your hours of employment in hindsight?  Did it hurt or help your job prospects after graduation?


Part 4 is . . . are you sure you wouldn't want to wait a few years, retake the LSAT if necessary, and find a better fit?  (If, indeed, a different school would be a better fit.)  If it's an academic-related environment you're eventually interested in, academicians are even more status-oriented than firms.


Speaking to the above point, I already have a Master's Degree under my belt and with it am getting higher in age and resolved that it was either no or never for law school as I didn't want to get my career going much later than I already will.  So I probably will stay put at where I am and with that being said, have decided against accepting the position at my current employer.  My future job prospects, flexibility, and compensation cumulatively outweigh the benefits of the offered promotion. 

In terms of my hours of employment, unfortunately, because of my financial situation, I must work the 15-20 hours I mentioned earlier while staying in the full-time division.  There really is no other way I could support myself even with additional loans for a myriad of reasons.

And finally, academics is something I do want to get into eventually, but it is not the be all end all for me, being a practicing lawyer and just that would be okay with me.  However, with your observation regarding prestige and academic job offerings, transferring to a higher ranked school (if grades permit) is always an option.   

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I have recently found myself in a conundrum of sorts.  I was all set to go to law school (T4) in a few months with half of my tuition paid.  When school began, I planned to simply reduce my hours of employment to about 10-15 hours per week to pay for gas (commuting to school) and living expenses.   However, today, my current employer offered me a management position at the college based research facility I work at with a 40K per year (with benefits) compensation package. 

Now, I still want to go to law school and my intent is to be in the top 10% of my class-not just a straggler.  That being said, is there any way I could realistically accomplish this with a 40 hour work week?  I understand the part-time division is an option, but that also may jeopardize my financial aid and scholarship package if I were to switch from full-time day division to evening division.  However, assuming the switch doesn't impact my aid, is it realistic to stay within the top 10% of my class working a 40 hour per week job?

Also, if I were to go to law school in the full-time day division and just keep my part-time (20 hours) job as a researcher for the college, would even this amount of time committed to work allow me the time needed to be succesful in school (top 10% in my class being the goal)?

Any thoughtful responses, experiences, and other pertinent information is greatly appreciated.   

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I've only seen law students summering at firms listed as summer law clerks - they get the same pay rate as starting associates.  I've seen highschool and college kids listed as interns - they get paid hourly. My data sample is small though and its possible the only difference is semantic.  Few firms are hiring 1Ls these days - you are probably better off summering with a good judge, DOJ office, or public interest type organization.


Thank you for the response, very much appreciated.  SO as I understand it, a summer clerkship is what I would be doing as a 1L and would be paid same as a starting associate?  What would a starting associate be receiving in terms of pay?

Also, if I were to do an internship now, meaning before I begin 1L studies, what type of pay would I be looking at and where might I pursue those types of opportunities e.g. specific database, contacting local lawyers, etc?

You also mentioned that most firms are not hiring 1Ls these days so it might be in my best interest to work with a good judge, a DOJ, or public interest group, would all of the aforementioned be considered a summer clerkship or something else?

And finally, again speaking to the point about most law firms not hiring 1Ls, can I correctly assume from that that paid clerkships would become more readily available in my 2L and 3L years?

Your response is much appreciated.  Thanks again.

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What would be the major differences between a clerkship and an internship at a firm?  Meaning, is there any particular route one takes you versus the other or is the clerkship, depending on who you complete it with, provide you a recommendation holding higher clout when searching for a job? 

Also, are there any particular fields of law that are better suited for a clerkship versus a regular internship and vice versa?  Any pertinent information is appreciated.  Thanks.

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1L job search / How to land a paid internship?
« on: March 08, 2010, 08:58:58 PM »
I have heard about paid internships an dhow difficult they are to acquire, however, they do exist and was wondering if anybody had any information on what particular fields may offer the most paid internships, how to go about getting one, and any appropriate time-line i.e. after 1L, 2L etc. Thanks.

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For those already in law school, is there, more or less, a standard format in regards to tests and courses gradings or does it very dramatically from class to class?

For example, are most classes just one final exam and that is your grade for the course?  If so, how is the test broken down e.g. one essay question, several smaller essay questions, multiple choice, or a mix of essay and multiple choice. 

If no, how is the class grading broken up e.g. projects, case brief grades, discussion grades, tests, essays etc.?

Also, related to this, any tips on how to prepare for each class whatever the course grading scheme may be?  Thanks in advance.

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