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Messages - Cher1300

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Current Law Students / Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« on: October 09, 2011, 09:30:24 AM »
I do agree with duncanjp.  What I'm finding so far, is some of the ones looking for shortcuts are wasting a lot of time trying to figure out the short cuts.  There is a difference between being disciplined and reading and taking shortcuts to "how can I get through law school and do the least amuont of work possible."  It really hasn't been long enough for us 1Ls to be too condfident, yet I hear some students brag about how they only skimmed the case and got it, etc.   The fact is, it really doesn't matter until test time comes.  I'm not sure if they're just trying to psych people out, but as I said before, I really don't care this early on. 

There is also a difference depending upon your professors.  My torts professor is ADAMANT about briefing cases and having you rewrite and come up with the holding in your own words.  She badgered one student who didn't brief her case and reiterated that this is what she expects for first year students.  Our contracts professor, on the other hand, really doesn't care if we brief the case.  She does expect us to know the issue, holding, and rule, but said she would rather we spend our time doing our outlines and practice exams.  I have used canned briefs as a reference.  Especially for the older cases that have a lot of useless wording, but will continue to brief the cases myself for at least the first semester.  It has been easier already to spot the holdings, etc., and I'll probably do less as time goes on.  I wouldn't, however, just say brief or don't brief.  Maybe the ones who don't brief will do better on the exams than I will, but I will do my outlines and practice exams also.  I just think there is a fine line between being efficient by using shortcuts and just being plain lazy.   

Current Law Students / Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« on: October 03, 2011, 10:04:00 AM »
So far so good, but it's really hard to tell until exam time comes.  I'm going at night, and it's been helpful for me to keep a schedule for studying.  As tired as I might get, I'll put on a pot of coffee and just sit and do it.  There are people in my class who don't brief and are taking the short cuts people suggest, but I'm avoiding all of that.  Frankly because I don't care if someone "never briefed a single case."  If they don't have to then good for them.   I, however, prefer to brief because it helps me understand the law and cases a bit better since I'm writing it in my own words.   I've been out of school for a long time, so I don't want to mess with short cuts.
I try to work on my outline once a week.  The practice exams have also been helpful.  I just started doing them, but think it's an invaluable way to study for your classes.  Our professors are really good about going over our practice tests during office hours also - so the feedback is important.  Lastly, I am using the law in a flash cards and find those to be a nice break from regular studying. 
If I can keep this up, I'm hoping it will pay off.  A's will be difficult on a C curve, but I want to at least be comfortable taking my exams when they come around.     

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: UMass Law
« on: August 22, 2011, 03:37:23 PM »
U-Mass is considered a good school and just as the above poster stated, I'm sure they will do whatever is necessary to keep up their own reputation.  Even if it takes a couple of years to get it right, I believe they'll get the school ABA approved sooner rather than later. ;)

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: UMass Law
« on: August 10, 2011, 03:09:05 PM »
I did my undergrad at U-Mass years ago, but I believe this is the first year they have been approved for a law school.  So there probably aren't any statistics for it other than undergrad.

Ranking does NOT matter.

This is as objectively false of a statement as you could have made.

The two best ways to get a job:

1. Go to a higher ranked school.
2. Get better grades (and achieve a higher class rank).

Ranking is pretty much all that matters.

Any thoughts on your school getting sued by some former students?

I have to say you are both a bit correct.  Over the years, I've noticed that networking is really key to getting a job - no matter what your profession.  If you go to law school just out of undergrad with no work experience and don't know a single attorney, then yes, it is necessary to go to a great school and get better grades.  The desparation is greater when you have undergrad debt in addition to law school debt and no way to pay your bills.  The only way you can get a job and meet attorneys is through law school.  So yes, your school ranking would matter more.

However, if you're like me, older, working, and already have connections set up, then it really doesn't matter which school you go to.   I have no desire to work for big law, and I'll have a job waiting for me when I graduate.  But let's say that job doesn't pan out.  I know numerous attorney's from work - including our own legal department - that will help when it comes time to find a job.  One of these attorneys has already told me to let him know when I'm ready to intern with his office.  I also know an attorney who got a 143 on her LSAT, went to Cooley, and has a successful solo practice she inherited from her father.  Do you think her clients ask her where she went to law school? 

Employment boils down to much more than rankings, I can assure you.  Networking is everything, and rankings are important when you have no network.  So I believe you both have point, it just depends on where one is at in their life. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: I'm giving up on Law School....
« on: July 27, 2011, 09:57:55 AM »
I almost gave up on law school too last year.  My LSAT score was 147 and I had a 3.2 gpa.  I applied to 6 schools in California and was rejected by everyone.  It wasn't until my friend suggested I re-apply the following fall that I did because I figured I had nothing to loose.  I didn't want to retake the LSAT because I had already taken it twice and was so depressed about my score, but I redid my personal statement and re-applied to two schools that had rejected me the year before.  To my surprise I was accepted to both.  I was only sorry I hadn't applied to more early on. 

The fact is, you were accepted to a law school.  I'm older, I won't have much debt, and I have a job waiting for me when I graduate.  However, the bottom line is I've wanted to go to law school since I graduate from college almost 20 years ago.  FalconJimmy is right when he says that you'll only regret things you didn't try as you get older.  Failure, many times, is part of success.  I read a quote once that summed it up nicely, "Some succeed because they are destined to, others succeed because they are determined to." 

Just keep in mind, law school will always be there if you decide to try again.  Good luck.

Current Law Students / Re: Live Alone or Roommate for 1L?
« on: July 18, 2011, 08:38:43 AM »
I'd have to agree with falconjimmy.  If your roommate is a fellow law student, you should be okay.  Otherwise, I'd say live by yourself.  You don't want to end up with an undergrad, or anyone who has lots of time to stay out and/or have friends over.  Good luck.

I have to agree with what has been said here.  I live in California and will be going to a school that wasn't ABA approved until 2009.  However, the alumni of working, successful attorneys and judges are numerous. 

At 41, I considered a state approved school, but wanted one with an ABA accreditation because I want to take the bar in another state where all my family and long time friends live.  This decision was also made because I'm considering moving back to my home state in the future. 

Choosing a law school really depends on your needs, age, and drive.  There are many people who really just want to work for someone else and can't imagine working out of their home or starting a general practice.  Many want to work for "big law."  Most of them are younger people who haven't worked professionally and will have three-figures in debt to pay.  For older students, they are more financially set.  Undergrad debt is paid, there is money in the bank, etc.  People working full-time and going part-time in the evening still have a job if they can't find a legal job, etc. 

If you want to be a lawyer, and you love what you do, you will be successful.  We are in a recession, so there are not many jobs out there.  You have to find a way to make your way no matter what your profession.

I'm not sure how much debt you have from undergrad, but it sounds like quite a bit since you keep deferring your loans.

I'm also starting law school at 41.  I didn't score high on my LSAT either and am going to a tier 4 school.  Financially, however, I am in a much better position and will be working with an attorney that already has a practice - so I know I have a job.  I'll be working full time and going to school at night so my debt when I graduate should be between 50 and 60K campared to 150K that many kids coming out of undergrad going straight to law school will face.

That being said, you'll need to have a high LSAT score to obtain scholarship money.  Since you are low income, there are grants you may qualify for that could help you, but I think the real issue is that you already sound defeated.   If taking the practice LSAT has you discouraged, I don't know if you'd be up for the challenge and stress of three years of law school and the bar exam. 

If you are determined to be a lawyer, keep practicing on the LSAT.  You should find a study group for it.  Many times working with other people can help you with the issues you are having.  Mastering the LSAT doesn't happen overnight - I certainly didn't MASTER it and have never been good at standardized tests.  However, you should be comfortable taking the test before signing up for the real thing.  Try to have fun with it and don't sign up for the LSAT until your practice test scores are consistently better. 

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Holy Frick, it's the middle of July!
« on: July 10, 2011, 02:44:55 PM »
Yes, very surprised.  I thought I'd be relaxing more before school but there's so much to do before I start.  My list is getting smaller though, and I plan on taking a nap every Sunday until then.  Best of luck to all the future 1L's. 

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