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Messages - Cher1300

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Law School Admissions / Re: Help! I need motivation!
« on: June 08, 2012, 01:01:45 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!

+1  Absolutely!

Law School Admissions / Re: Help! I need motivation!
« on: June 08, 2012, 10:09:36 AM »
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.

Law School Admissions / Re: Addendum question
« on: June 08, 2012, 09:45:18 AM »
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. 

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. 

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?

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.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: The Big Decision
« on: May 23, 2012, 03:22:45 PM »
Fortook is right.  No one can really help you with your decision, but there are some things to consider.  Less debt will give you more freedom to decide the type of work you want to do when you graduate.  What if you absolutely hate big law?  What if during your three years in law school you want to do public service?  This might sound crazy because that is all law students ever talk about - must get a job with big law.  However, I know a couple of attorneys who hated their big law jobs after just a couple of years.  The money was great but the hours were awful and the type of work they had to do was just not worth it.  One guy quit to become a police officer, and another woman quit to work for a smaller firm with lesser hours.  Do some research and talk to some lawyers.  Find out exactly what big law entails and then make your decision because you could burn out very quickly with a lot of debt - especially if you have undergrad debt.  Also consider that you may change your mind while in law school as to the type of law you want to practice, which happens a lot.  Just my two cents. 

Financial Aid / Re: Working PT at TSU Law School
« on: May 22, 2012, 10:39:53 AM »
This may be a late response, but I wouldn't recommend working at all if you are going full-time your first year.  I don't know if TSU has a part-time evening program, but if they do, you can work and go part-time.  The first year really is all-consuming and in order to make it to 2L, you'll need to work your @$% off.  A job will just add more stress.  I suggest looking into work study program so you could work on campus and be able to study.  Hope that helps. 

General Off-Topic Board / Re: mittster: satan?
« on: May 21, 2012, 02:23:49 PM »
Not sure about being satan.  However, he was Governor of Massachusetts where my parents still live (I was born and raised there but now live in California,) and he was less than impressive.  Ironically, the "Health Care Reform" act he passed in Mass is almost identical to the one Obama passed on the federal level that will probably be overturned.  He lasted for one term only because he was too wishy washy and too moderate.  Otherwise, like any other politician, dem or rep. he spends a lot of money and raises taxes.  No more evil than the rest...

Incoming 1Ls / Re: When will schools be stopped from doing this?
« on: May 21, 2012, 12:52:09 PM »
Add to that the fact that subsidized loans for graduate schools have been cut which makes us even more screwed.  I go to school parttime evening and was thinking about quitting my job - won't happen this year.  I honestly can't imagine how difficult it will be for students coming out of law school with undergrad debt on top of their graduate debt. 

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