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Messages - Cher1300

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Online Law Schools / Re: American Heritage University College of Law
« on: December 20, 2012, 09:43:30 AM »
I have an A.S. Degree in Paralegal Studies, A Bachelors Degree in Business and a I just completed a Master's Degree in Law & Public Policy.  The only reason I am looking at online law schools is that I am 44 years old so a traditional school won't work.... there are not many law schools in Georgia anyway. 

Is it just your age that is preventing you from going to law school?  Because I'm 42 and just finished the first semester of my second year part time.  One of my study buddies is over 50 and was in the top 5 of our class.  Just want to be sure you are not underestimating your ability to do well in an ABA school.  I didn't do that well on my LSAT either, but had a higher gpa.  If you are within relative distance of an ABA, why not just go ahead and apply?  Many ABA's offer part-time evenings.  Although I'm not familiar with GA law schools, you really should look into GA bar requirements before doing on-line to be sure you can practice there if that is your plan.  Good luck!

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Greece takes on the LSAT
« on: September 19, 2012, 12:46:22 PM »
Take a timed practice test first from one of the books you can get at just about any book store and see what score you start with.  From there, you'll be able to determine how much more work you'll need to do to increase your score.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Novus Law School
« on: September 06, 2012, 03:19:58 PM »
They're not breaking any laws.

They are not.  Just like any other scam, however, they are counting on the few people who won't do their research.  You really can't blame the school.  Some responsibility needs to taken by the people giving these institutions money.  I really think some people view these schools as the "easy" way to become a lawyer not realizing how much more difficult it will be fore them later on.  Then again, maybe not since they still won't have a job but will have less debt? 

Law School Admissions / Re: DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL!!!
« on: September 05, 2012, 11:57:04 AM »

I find your (relative) support for night school to be an interesting angle (disclaimer: I am a non-trad considering a night school program, because I am finding my job/career/field is getting moving into an era where law/policy/contract details are becoming more important factors). I am a big fan of the idea that many of the great opportunities in the near future (e.g. next 30-50 years) will be an the intersection of multiple disciplines, and those people that find successful combinations of skills across disciplines can be in a nice position to capitalize.

An obvious downside to this is the amount of time and effort this takes. Not only does one need to develop skills in multiple fields, be prepared to stay relevant in these area, and the need to make and maintain contacts across said fields. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

One generic modification I would suggest to your career advice would be for those people who are starting out to consider things outside their region. There is no reason to limit your opportunities due to happenstance of your current residence.

Yes, I absolutely agree.  It seems like you have a solid plan and are looking into law school with a clear objective of enhancing your earning prospects within an existing career while not quitting work for 3 years.  MBA programs cater to people like you.  I think the night law "stigma" if there ever was one is largely gone and people view it as a smart way to get ahead.  It is only an extra year if you can hack working and studying.
the night law people I've met have always seemed to be a bit extra bright and motivated as a group. 

I would add to my original advice that you could talk to lawyers and find out what their bread and butter business clients do.  Typically, there are far less outside lawyers than people working for the client directly as business people.  Often those business jobs are easier to get and possibly pay the same or more.

Now that subsidized loans are no longer given to graduate students, keeping your job and going to school at night seems more and more practical.  It takes only one year longer, and the debt will be far less.  I currently go at night and although I was worried my job might interfere, I'm so glad I did it especially because most of us didn't know the subsidized loans were going to be cut this year.  There are a few recent undergrads that decided to go the same route.  I was able to pay for about half my tuition the first year and about a third this year in addition to not taking out additional credit-based loans for living expenses.   Although this may not seem ideal for everyone, even working just part-time to pay for living expenses will help.  $150k in debt is not joke when there are very few job prospects out there.  If your job is not law-related you can quit your fourth year to get your intern/externship experience.  You will be busy.  There will be times where you feel like you are busy every minute of everyday, but it can be done if you have the right mindset.  Good luck with whatever you decide haus.

Law in a Flash cards are also great for learning the rules in addition to some silly hypos to help re-enforce the material.   I didn't take the FYLSE, but they really helped with first-year exams and I've purchased them for second year also.

Job Search / Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
« on: August 30, 2012, 11:07:46 AM »
So in short what types of work experience would you say help give an applicant an edge, and which don't?

I'd think someone with a decade of fast food experience would mean less than even a month unpaid internship at a legal aid clinic as far as relevancy goes.

Most weekend and nights Cooley students are on the part time plans and tend to be around 40 some even with a pension from their old jobs. Would you give them priority over a Harvard grad due to that?

To answer your first question, it really depends upon the job someone is applying for.  My fast-food analogy mostly applied to young college graduates applying for entry level positions, etc.   So of course, 10 years of fast food experience compared to a legal internship for a legal job is not going to look so good.  The DA I mentioned was responding to a person who asked if it was okay to put any other experience on their resume if the intership experience was limited.  They were concerned that any other experience may not be relevant, which was not necessarily the case. 

In terms of your last question, however, you're now talking about school rankings which affects job prospects much more than work experience.  A 40 year-old T4 student doesn't hold a candle to a Harvard law graduate.  Since I am a 40 year old at a T4, I can say that with some certainty.  Any ivy league grad will generally be sought after by big law firms and making over six figures their first year.  A 40 year old T4 grad won't even be looked at for that same position.  On the other hand, if the 40 year old is competing with a younger T4 grad for the same job, it could go either way depending upon grades, experience or even an employers perception.  Some employers may look at the 40 year old as someone who will hate doing document review work or any other type of entry level law work because of their experience, etc.   An employer might think the 40 year old is more set in their ways whereas a younger grad may be more eager to please and the employer can shape them the way they want.  It all depends upon the employer really.  But if the 40 year old has a history of insurance experience and is applying as an attorney for an insurance company, then that will give them an edge, etc. 

Job Search / Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
« on: August 29, 2012, 09:35:21 AM »
It's not that I don't think someone with a 4.0 has no talent.  The reason I'd hire the person with work experience at BK with a 3.2 instead is because they probably could have gotten a higher gpa if they didn't work in addition to doing a crappy job that gave them some additional skills dealing with people. 

Unless you are a rock star, I don't know of a single profession where someone doesn't dislike doing a part of their job.  Whether that's mopping a floor, dealing with angry customers, or even a judge that doesn't like you and embarasses you in a court room.  Unfortunately, that is life in general.  Of course some managers are lazy and maybe they make people do stupid things.  Usually it's because they are on a power trip.  But how much training, feedback, and assignments with explanations are managers supposed to do?

All of the things you mentioned were discussed in a seminar one of my coworkers went to.  It was focused on the newer generation of grads coming in to the work force and how companies are changing their management styles to help them succeed.  It was explained that they were raised by helicopter parents who were "hyper-present, but psychologically MIA."  The new grads don't take initiative because they are used to being told when to do everything.  When to wake up, when to do their homework, in addition to watching their parents blame teachers for the their bad grades, etc.   Yet, the psychological absence has also made them more sensitive.  The paperwork on this seminar actually describes the kids as spoiled.  While I agree that a manager needs to give feedback, assignments, and training, etc., there is also overkill through micro managing.  Does your boss have to explain every single assignment he gives you and if you don't like it, do you tell him you're not going to do it?  I mean, I have no problem telling someone why they have to do something, but if I have to stand there asking them and smiling at them and cheering them on to get them motivated, then I will absolutely feel like a babysitter. 

My definition of a drone is someone who mindlessly does things.  I don't believe taking some initiative is mindless.  No one wants to work for a manager that doesn't care or makes them do non-sensical taks just because they are on a power trip.  However, no manager wants to be someone's helicopter parent at work all day either. They should be able to handle some situtations without constant guidance, and some history of work experience usually indicates they've acquired some skills.

Job Search / Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
« on: August 28, 2012, 09:49:29 AM »
What is personal litigation?  Does that mean non-business litigation.  Couldn't you just say, "Litigation"

Anyway, I'm glad this thread was resurrected.  I remember reading it a while back.

Cher1300, if you are reading this, sorry to be sassy:
1) What type of work experience do they need?  What if they move bricks for a living or work at the school library?  I worked my way through school, and I learned a lot.  But I don't think you need to work through school to know how to handle stress and show up on time.  Additionally, work ethic changes depending on the job.  A salesman who makes commission by selling mortgage products might have to go to luncheon's and play golf a lot and he has to be self-driven and commit to the sale.  A grocery store clerk basically just has to work at a high level and stay put.  Those are two wildly different skill sets.

2) The second paragraph of points you make sounds like someone who only likes to manage one type of person.  Maybe a college student who was involved in several campus activities and frats and partied all the time will actually have a wildly different skill set than someone who worked the window at the movie theater.   Your post implies (not insinuates, since that's different) that you want to hire drones. 

Also, a 3.0 and a 4.0 are miles apart, Duncanjp.  At most state universities, a 3.0 in a liberal arts degree doesn't require hardly any effort.  Maybe some 4.0's aren't "that" impressive, but a true 4.0 shows dedication.    That said, a 3.6 and holding down a job is pretty dang impressive. A 3.0 and holding down a job shows you have the skills of a highly functioning primate, at least.

ANY type of work experience.  My point wasn't so much that they have to have a crappy job to get hired.  My point was that the college students entering the work force these days have NO work experience, won't do an entry level job, and complain that they can't get a job.  I went to college too.  I worked, did activities, and still had time to party.  Campus activities are pretty easy - at least the ones I was involved in.   So was partying.  Most people do campus activities and go to parties they enjoy.  Going to work and dealing with a difficult public or difficult coworkers or boss isn't always enjoyable.   Maybe you haven't had to deal with that on your job, but I found work to be very different than academia, parties, and activities.   Of course you need different skill sets.  Most of the sales people I work with that do those lunches or golf outings, however, are working their @$% off to meet a quota and get the sale even if that means working nights and/or weekends.

The kids coming out of college now are very bright and probably much smarter than my generation.  However, they are having a difficult time making it in the work force and I believe it has more to do with an unwillingness to do an entry level job than the recession.  They are competing with others who will do those jobs and don't care if they have to do it.  Entry level positions and admin positions can turn into management or higher level jobs.   So when someone complains that they aren't making 40K right out of college with no work experience when they've had opportunities for entry level positions, it's hard to feel sorry for them.
Lastly, Im curious as to why you think my second paragraph implies that I hire drones.  Is it because you think working at Burger King while going to college makes a person a drone?  It implies the exact opposite to me, but may explain why high school and college kids won't do those jobs.  Perceptions vary widely. 

Over the years, many employers - including a DA that recently spoke at our school - mentioned that working in the food industry was a plus on a resume when someone didn't have a great deal of experience.  They explained that those jobs dealt with a high amount of stress and involved a great deal of interaction with the public.  Does every employer feel this way?  Probably not.  Does this job require an education?  No.  But it does require a skill set that an employer may be looking for.

Honestly, what these kids do or don't do isn't going to hurt me in the long run, so what do I care really?  It's just some issues I've noticed over the years.  My main point was that you have to start somewhere - even if it is as a drone at BK.

Job Search / Re: Interview Questions
« on: August 27, 2012, 03:25:38 PM »
As someone who runs a department and conducted my fair share of interviews over the last several years, I'd have to say that interview question is much more of a "goal" oriented question, which really could be anything you hope to accomplish as a lawyer.  Of course, our main goal is to have a job, but add something like you want to be published in a law journal, or the managing partner of a small firm, etc. 

Try to make the goal match where you are being interviewed so you don't tell the medical malpractice lawyer that you see yourself fighting crime with the District Attorney's office in five years.   Sounds like common sense, but you'd be surprised as to the many interview mistakes people make without even realizing it.   

So just evaluate some of your goals as an attorney, and add them to your five-year plan.  You should also do some practice interviews with a friend.  It might sound a bit overboard, but jobs are very competitive.  So when you actually get an interview, you want to make sure you get the job.  If it's a temporary job, tie in the work as a stepping stone for your goal, etc.  Hope that helps.   

Can you provide a link to the article?

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