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Messages - Cher1300
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« on: June 16, 2012, 10:11:11 PM »
That is true - it doesn't matter in the big picture. Most of the students that did well my first year weren't necessarily the smartest ones, they were the ones that worked their @$$ off. While the LSAT may predict how well one will do in law school, it is a test that can be mastered through practice and prep courses. It really has no bearing on a student that doesn't want to work while in school or in the real world. Academia and the real world are so different in any profession. Unfortunately, standardized testing is the only tool available to determine a student's aptitude for undergrad or graduate schools.
« on: June 15, 2012, 06:33:40 PM »
Just finished 1L and am looking to get my gpa a bit higher next year. I did practice exams provided by the professors, which were definitely helpful but I'm not thrilled with my cumulative. Has anyone had any experience with Flemings study guides? Are they any more helpful than any other practice exams, or are they about the same? Thanks for the input.
« on: June 14, 2012, 12:38:07 PM »
Congratulations! I think all 1Ls have this fear at some point or another. This is especially true when a class mate who appeared to "get it" doesn't return after the first semester or first year. Your thread should inspire those who really want to be lawyers that despite all the hard work, couldn't make it on their first try. Some of the most successful people are ones that overcome obstacles and negativity, and I'm glad to see one of them on this forum. Good luck on the bar exam!
« on: June 11, 2012, 01:01:29 PM »
I go to an ABA in California, but know many practicing lawyers who went to a CBE school. Most of them are solo practitioners, but no less successful than other solo practitioners from ABA schools. I looked into CBE first because it was so much cheaper and you don't have to sit for the baby bar. However, I want to take the bar in Massachusetts right away, so I decided to go ABA.
Generally speaking, if you are young with no work experience/contacts and lots of undergrad debt, then CBE should never be an option. On the other hand, CBE can be better option for older students that have a full-time job, or have a job waiting for them when they graduate or for those planning to be solo practicioners. The other benefit is the cost.
Since you plan on staying in California, and the ABA school is too far, CBE might be a better option for you. Most states will allow you to sit for their bar after three-five years of practice. Just be advised, as the other posters have said, that you will be competing with ABA grads for jobs and the bar pass rates for CBE schools are pretty low. However, I believe the rate is better than the online schools. There's always Barbri, etc. to help you with the bar exam if necessary. Take your time and weigh your options. Good luck with whatever you decide.
« on: June 08, 2012, 04:01:45 PM »
Generally speaking, I encourage people to at least make an attempt at acheiving their dreams. If your dream is to be a lawyer, then the time to make that leap is probably when you're young, single, and don't have too many other distractions.
However, you should also be fully informed as to what acheiving your dream entails. If you go into law school unprepared for what lies ahead, you will likely end up frustrated and disappointed. Here's the deal: law school, for the most part, is not any more interesting or inspiring than economics. If you were bored as an econ major, you will likely be bored with most of the law school curriculum. Sure, you'll get to take interesting classes like criminal law, constitutional law, and maybe moot court. But you'll also have to slog your way through contracts, corporations, property, and civil procedure. In undergrad you can get through boring classes with a C by pretty much showing up and putting in some minimal pre-finals study time. You will not get a passing grade in law school with the same study habits. The amount of effort that got you an A in undergrad will get you a barely passing C- in law school. Seriously.
If you want to follow your dream of becoming a lawyer, go for it. But understand that much of what you think you will like about law is probably not quite right. A love of arguing, interest in social justice issues, etc., will not really help you too much. What you need to get through law school are discipline and focus. Law school is a marathon, not a sprint, and you'll need to commit yourself to becoming more disciplined about your study habits. Force yourself to go to class every single day, study every single day, and do all the reading. You can do it, you can get into law school and make it through law school, but you've got to reset your mind.
Incidentally, the vast majority of people in law school were not pre-law majors. I'm not even sure if most colleges offer such a major. Most law students majored in history, poli sci, english, etc. Most of your classmates will be high acheivers, and you'll have to compete with them for grades. The people I knew in law school who brought bad study habits with them from undergrad, those who procrastinated, and those who didn't pay attention in class were usually gone after the first year. Those who succeeded weren't always the smartest, but they worked incredibly hard.
Law school is doable, but you've got to force yourself to make an effort if you're going to do this. Good Luck!
« on: June 08, 2012, 01:09:36 PM »
IMHO, and I really don't mean to be harsh, but if you can't finish simple assignments in undergrad, you'll never do it in law school. Undergrad is a breeze comparatively speaking. I just finished my first year and can tell you that you will be working your @$$ off your first year just to get a C or to pass in some cases, and you will also find certain professors/classes you will not like in law school just like undergrad. It is tedious reading case after case after case in addition to outlines and practice exams that you have to do on your own time in addition to all the research and reading. Those additional steps are not assigned, so if you don't have enough motivation to do it on your own, you won't pass. People make it through their first year of law school. However, I have a feeling law school is probably not what you think it is going to be.
I know people are told all the time they should be a lawyer because they love to argue, but that really doesn't help in law school because that is not what you are tested on. You are tested more on your ability to analyze a hypthetical situation and presenting both sides of the argument under the elements of the law.
That being said, some people who did poorly in undergrad end up doing well in law school because they really want it. So you need to realize that your undergrad is a means to an end and if you don't change your bad habits now, you won't make it in law school if you get accepted. My best advice would be to work your @$% off this year and increase your gpa so you can show the admissions committee you've grown up and are ready for law school. Otherwise, doing the same thing your senior year will only re-inforce their decision not to accept you. Lastly, talk to other 1Ls so you get an idea of just how much work and how competitive law school can be before you spend your money. Good luck.
« on: June 08, 2012, 12:45:18 PM »
Well, I'm no expert but I would focus mainly on number 3 and how it relates to your decision to go to law school. You can include a short paragraph of 1 and 2, but keep it brief as to the details of the set up, etc. You just want to let the admissions committee know what it is without going into a whole lot of detail. They are mostly looking as to how your special major relates to law school or how it would help you as a law student or lawyer.
« on: June 07, 2012, 02:54:23 PM »
Go with the money. Less debt will give you a lot more freedom and less stress if you can't find a job right away.
« on: June 07, 2012, 02:49:23 PM »
Have you applied to any other online schools? If you don't get in, why not just take the LSAT and go to a CBE accredited school? Although you travel, you will have to be in California to take the baby bar after your first year. If you go to a CBE, you won't have to do that. The reason I recommend it is because roughly 20% of online 1Ls pass the baby bar. Out of that percentage, only about 30 - 50% pass the bar. I think it would be easier for you to score a minimum of a 140 - 150 on the LSAT required for most CBE's, than it will be for you to pass the 1L bar. Is there a reason you didn't want to take the LSAT?
« on: May 24, 2012, 12:28:23 PM »
The biggest issue really is the debt versus job prospects. So you need to ask yourself what you would be willing to do if you can't find a job in six months with 150K in debt or more if you have undergrad debt still. I know a lot of lawyers and am going to a tier 4 at night, but I'll have a job waiting for me when I get out. However, if that job doesn't pan out, I need to have a plan B. I'm older and will able to finance about half of my education and won't be stuck with 100K in debt. The woman I'll be working for/with, graduated in 2007 - right before the recession hit. She worked for a title company for about 8 months when she was let go because the real estate market took the first dive. She was forced to hang her own shingle because her only experience was in real estate. So she put her name on the public defender list and started doing crappy work like traffic violaions and other misdemeanors. She only made 28k her first year. However, through those low paying assignments, she also met other attorneys and started networking. They would refer clients to each other in other areas like bankruptcies, guardianships, divorces, etc. It took a while but she is now established and going on her fourth year in private practice and loves it. She was lucky because she only had 50K in debt because she was able to get scholarships, etc.
There are other things you can do if you don't get a job right away, but you need to be prepared. Obviously, the less debt you have, the more freedom you have to explore other choices. But the debt is very real when compared to job prospects and I don't think people really take into account just how much 150K can weigh you down and scare the #$%* out of you if you find you can't get a job in six months. That's what people are trying to advise against. Especially 22 year olds with undergrad debt on top of law school debt. Now you are talking 200K in school loans, and it seems those students are thinking the debt is not that big a deal. I can assure you that it is a big deal when you can't get a job and this is an important thing to consider. Good luck.
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