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Messages - Cher1300

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Western State's bar passage rate for July 2010 was 83% and was among the top 6 schools and may have tied with UCLA.  From what I understand, the passage rate from February 2011 is also above the state average at around 76 - 78%, but I don't believe the formal numbers are out yet.  Don't know what Western State is doing differently, but it surpassed Whittier and even Southwestern that year.  If you google bar passage rates, you'll see where it ranked.  That was part of the reason I decided to go.  Not sure if it will stay that way.  Their history for bar passage rates was definitely horrid, but they appear to be overcoming this.  Just FYI.

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Hamilton, I absolutely agree that the job market is tough.  I'm not saying it's not and this is not a feeling.  What I have found in the working world is people are not willing to take a job for less than a certain amount of money no matter how long they have been out of work.   People will ask me all the time if there is a position available where I work.  When I tell them yes, and they find out it pays, say $14 per hour, they are not interested.  Even if they've been out of work for over two years, and had move back in with their parents, they can't see past the $14 an hour.  They just don't see it as an opportunity to get their foot in the door somewhere.  I'll typically hear, "I was making $40,000 at my old job" when they don't realize that companies are cutting back salaries in addition to jobs!!  Instead they'll stay unemployed and complain and keep telling me how much they need a job.

As far as the legal profession, I'm also very aware that the market is dismal especially if you are a tier 3 or tier 4 grad, but everyone has individual goals.  As an attorney, you can start working out of your home and put yourself on the public defenders list if you can't find a job.  It may not be what you want to do and it may not pay much in the beginning, but what else can you do?  At least you'll be out there meeting and working with other attorneys who may help you get a job in the future.   In addition, you can volunteer time or intern at other firms to learn what you need to learn.  That's what happened to my attorney friend who lost her job in Ohio as a real estate attorney in 2008.  She was let go after only six months because the market was about to take a dive.   What seemed like a horror story has turned into a successful solo practice.  She didn't make much money in the beginning, but when she decided to go to law school, there was no recession in sight. 

My point is, you never know what's going to happen when you graduate.  You could have a job for a year and be let go.  There is no such thing as job security no matter where you graduate from.  If I had to wait tables and work a few hours for free at a firm to get experience to help support my solo practice because I couldn't find a job to help pay my student loans, then I would do it. 

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I would avoid La Verne because they lost their ABA accreditation.  They won't be up for approval again until 2014 so I wouldn't risk it.  I'll be attending Western State part-time evening in the fall so I'm a bit partial to it.  I was also accepted to Whittier, but Western State has more alumni which would be more of a benefit when seeking employment.  Also, your scholarship is greater.  Just my 2 cents...hope that helps!

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I have to say I agree completely biggs!  I'll be going to law school part-time evenings in the fall to a tier 4, but I don't care because I'm older and just plan on a private practice.  I've been in the working world now for over 20 years and I know how important it is to network and bring as much experience to the table as possible.

I hear many people complain about the "world" not getting them a job and sadly, these same people will never ask, "what can I do better to get that job?"   As a director of a department, I've interviewed plenty of college grads who have maintained a 4.0 blah, blah, blah, but there was no work history, intership, or any other type of experience to let me know they can handle a job.  I don't care what type of job you've had, as long as I see that you can maintain one.   Sadly, I think parents are coddling their kids a bit too much.  It's okay to work part-time while you're in school.  I did and I still found time to get good grades and party.

The other problem I've found is people aren't willing to start at entry level.  If you have no work experience, you're not going to be making six figures a year on your first job - no matter what the profession - unless you graduate from Harvard Law School.   Just get in somewhere!  If you are like what you do and have a good attitude, you will advance.   

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Western State College of Law / oL at Western State
« on: June 20, 2011, 02:33:22 PM »
Anyone starting Western State in the Fall?  OL here starting part-time evening.   :)

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