Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Cicero

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 ... 21
1
If you look at LSN 2009-2010, you can see even lower LSATs with medium GPAs--lowest LSAT appears to be 139. As for low LSAT & GPA, it shows a 142/2.35 acceptance for 2009.

2
Studying for the LSAT / Re: 55,000 ppl took Oct. LSAT
« on: October 15, 2010, 12:56:23 PM »
I hope so. 55,000 is still way too many people.

3
Where should I go next fall? / Re: How much should scholarships matter?
« on: September 21, 2010, 07:37:12 PM »
[EDIT: talking about FCSL since that is the paragraph Bigs commented on in my post] As to whether they "HAD" to cut people. They may not explicitly say they have to cut people, but they plan to cut a certain number of people. The reasoning behind my saying that is (1) forced attrition through a mandatory curve requiring 15-25% of students fall below the 2.0 that is required to remain in good standing and (2) they want to weed out those they are less certain will pass the bar because they need their bar passage stats to stay high. Supposedly the academic attrition rate has been as low as 6%, but it is generally more in the 10-15% range. You can say all you want that they don't have to kick people out, but that is the effect of the mandatory curve. As to your comment that "if every student does well on exams...", it is impossible for every student to do well on the exams because of the curve. If you had 100 students and they all would have made grades ranging from 95-100 before the curve, you still have to fit in the mandatory curve, so the 100s will be your As and 95s will be you Fs (maybe Ds if the prof can get the curve to work that way). That is the result of the curve. It is impossible for everyone to do well and graduate. And at some schools like FCSL, you can be cut after the 1st year. FCSL does not give an academic grace semester after your 3rd semester, so if you get grades back semester 5 that put you at 2.98, you are out and lose 2.5 years. I'm not really sure what you mean by attrition rumor. Attrition is a fact at T4 schools.

The issue you are really trying to get at is that people lump academic and general attrition together into 1 heading and freak out about it. The ABA splits them so you can see the difference, and yes, some schools do have high academic attrition, and those schools tend to have high general attrition as well from transfers and dropouts. So schools like Cooley that are closer to 40% attrition (also FCSL as of this year) have a high academic attrition rate compared most school + a high dropout/transfer rate. While people may freak out more than they need to about attrition rates, it affects the law school's student culture and the general attrition can tell you a lot about the school--namely that a lot of students don't want to be there (high transfer & drop out rates).

As to why people would pay them money knowing about the attrition...well, you are planning to pay them money for the next 3 years without any guarantee that anything will come out of it. People pay a lot of money just to have the chance to be a lawyer. A lot of people also don't know anything about the curve before they start law school.

I agree that most schools are regional, but there is a ranking within each region that is important. In FL (in order): UF, FSU, UM, Stetson, T4s (total of 11 ABA approved law schools). UF/FSU can also do well in the bordering states and SE generally. The regional rankings do not change as often as the T2 rankings in USNWR. It is important to know where your school stands because employers to care. (I don't necessarily agree that it should be a big factor because I agree that people at T1s & T4s have both the potential to be great attorneys and the potential to be terrible attorneys, but unfortunately school reputation carries a lot of weight.)


4
Where should I go next fall? / Re: How much should scholarships matter?
« on: September 21, 2010, 10:53:00 AM »
A scholarship that large at Stetson is unlikely. If we are looking at FL, for example, because that is the area I know the most about. Say you go to Nova, FCSL, or one of the other T4s, the average scholarship is only around $7-10K, leaving you with the other $35-45K/yr (cost of living and tuition), so yeah, you could save a little, but then if you lose it, you aren't really saving anything, especially in comparison to lost job prospects. Ok, so then, what if you some how manage a full ride from one of these schools (highly unlikely), and then you lose it because you were top 25% rather than top 20%,  you are still out almost $100K. Now, I know FL is kind of different from some other states in that we have 2 decent schools that are cheaper than state law schools in other areas, but in FL, I don't see where it's a good gamble if you get into UF or FSU. You are looking at $15K/yr + cost of living at UF or FSU without scholarship compared to a possible $100K+ gamble at any T4/T3 in FL. Let's face it, it's impossible for everyone to be in the top 10-20%, and it doesn't mean you aren't smart if you don't make it into that group. In FL, I just don't see how it's worth it in terms of the gamble or the lost job opportunities. Now, if we are talking big scholarship at a T4 v. Stetson (expensive T3), I think it would be worth it, or maybe even verses Miami (expensive T2), but definitely not against FSU or UF.

You have the same situation in NC--where UNC is pretty cheap at $16K/yr. (Though you could go to NCCU, a T4, for $4-8K/yr, but UNC  would still be the obvious choice if it is an option). SD/ND also have cheap state schools that place well regionally or in their state, as do a number of other states.

Another issue to consider, is location. If you go to one of these smaller schools, you are going to be pretty limited at first. Say you go to FCSL or Nova, you are going to be limited to jobs in those areas. You may be completely shut out from other parts of the state. You're also going to potentially have a lot of trouble finding a job in general. So, if you want to work in NY, for example, you're basically SOL.

Another factor could be earning potential. Ok, so you say, well I'll go for the gamble of a full ride at FCSL versus pay $45K to UF/FSU. Well another consideration is earning potential, and this can theoretically counteract some of the short term "cheaper is better" line of thinking. Just starting out as an attorney, if you can get a job, you are looking at 45k-50k (middle) from FCSL versus $80-85K from UF (middle).

Next is jobs (flowing off of the previous factor). Jobs are a lot harder to get these days. The school you go to can open or shut doors. Your school is a brand name, and the employer may or may not like it, and yes, they do care what your brand is. You will have a lot more doors completely closed to you from T4s, especially if they have a bunch of T1 grads vying for those spots that they wouldn't have glanced at 2 years ago. If you want to do big law or medium law, or maybe anything actually having to do with law when you graduate, you need to think about what brand you are buying into. Look into the school's reputation in that area.

Do you like the school and the city?  You've got to live there for 3 years. Those are still going to be 3 hard years if you like the school, but if it sucks whether it is the administration or the students, those 3 years will be a lot harder to handle. Along with this line of reasoning is stress. T4 schools have high attrition rates compared to T1/T2 schools. I know people like to talk about it not being that bad, but as someone who started out at a T4, I can tell you it does really suck and it adds a lot of stress. I know quite a few people who didn't make it the 1st year, and they were very intelligent people who worked hard, but the school must cut about 10-15%  of the people. My class was nearly halved between people being academically dismissed, quitting, or transferring. The environment just isn't very positive. Almost everyone wants to leave after the 1st year, but most are stuck. Now, I'm at a T1 where like 1 out of 400 flunks out, and there is an entirely different student culture. We are able to just focus on learning the law without the fear of failing out.

I'm sure there are other factors I've missed that may pertain specifically to you. It might also help if we knew what state you were looking into or where you wanted to end up. (For example, if you are in CA, it sounds like things are very different there from many other areas of the country) Saying "just take the money" is short sighted and could be a huge gamble that you may lose. Remember, your higher LSAT at a T4 doesn't mean you will be at the top. My comments aren't meant to say the money is important, just that it isn't the only consideration. Law school is a huge investment of your time and effort, so make the decision wisely. Good luck!

5
Where should I go next fall? / Re: How much should scholarships matter?
« on: September 21, 2010, 02:19:35 AM »
I don't think it's quite as easy as "take the money." You have a number of variables to think about. The scholarship money would definitely be a big factor. Realize that T-4 scholarships come with a gamble--gamble being that you may have as low as a 1/5 or 1/10 chance of keeping it. Make sure you find out what GPA you must maintain to keep it and what that translates into in terms of class rank. (FCSL, for example, used to require a 3.0 to keep it, which meant top 20%.) So, you need to think about whether you would still want to go to the school if you lose the scholarship, which is pretty common at T4s. If you wouldn't still want to go there, then that pretty much answers your question. Also note, that if you lose your scholarship you won't be in a position to transfer (except maybe to another T4 if top 30-40%), so you would be stuck there for all 3 years. You also want to consider your desired type of employment after graduation since that can be important to the decision. If you want to do big law, then you need to go to a top school. Anyway, think about the things that are important to you. Money is a huge factor, but you need to consider other factors as well.

6
General Board / Re: Avoiding Burnout
« on: September 20, 2010, 05:28:02 PM »
It seems a little early in the law school season to be feeling burned out. Feeling tired might be expected, but not burned out yet. You need to examine what you are doing--how much time studying? sleeping? etc, what your goals are, what realistic goals should be, etc. and come up with a flexible plan (because you probably won't really adhere to it when you get busy). Anyway, evaluate what you have been doing for the 1st 1/3 of the semester to see if you need sleep, need to eat better, need to find time to exercise (which will boost your energy), need to have more fun time. You need to stop feeling burned out at this stage because the bad times haven't even come yet--the 3 weeks leading up to finals and then finals. During that time, you will need to pull from your energy reserves to work even harder in order to be able to finish the readings, papers, etc. and seriously work on your outlines and other study aids, so that you will be prepared when you meet your exams. The few days you will have as the "study period" or whatever they call it are not enough for a great outline and to practice testing your comprehension, if you want sleep, and you will want to be well rested when you face those finals. Even if you aced the final, there is a good chance you will feel like you have been put through the ringer and will be really tired. You don't want to have to scramble to put together the outline for the next final right afterward.

7
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Tier 4 Law Schools
« on: September 17, 2010, 11:20:59 PM »
T14= top 14 schools, T1= 1-50, T2= 51-100, T3/4 above 100 and designated as T3 or T4 (not as clearly defined) by US News & World Report

8
General Off-Topic Board / Student v. School
« on: September 15, 2010, 07:58:59 PM »
Have you all heard about this lawsuit?

http://abovethelaw.com/2010/07/student-v-school-charlotte-school-of-law-sued-by-student-seeking-admissions-for-bankruptcy-proceeding/
(this article didn't transfer very well)

    * 22 Jul 2010 at 10:09 AM
    * Posted in:
      Bankruptcy, Charlotte, Law Schools, Lawsuit of the Day, Student Loans

Student v. School: Charlotte School of Law Sued by Student Seeking Admissions for Bankruptcy Proceeding
By Elie Mystal


Iím surprised this doesnít happen more often. A student is demanding that his law school admit to scamming him out of money in open court.

And why? The student isnít trying to recover tuition dollars directly from the school. Instead, the student is involved in the arduous process of trying to get his debts discharged through bankruptcy. As weíve mentioned repeatedly, you canít discharge student loans through the bankruptcy process absent a showing of undue hardship.

The student is named Kenneth Desormes. The school is Charlotte School of Law. And he wants Charlotte to admit what they did to himÖ

Desormes filed a request for admission from Charlotte in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Connecticut. The first few requests read like a standard ďscamblogĒ type post:

    REQUEST FOR ADMISSION

    1. Admit that your business targets young, ambitious, and naÔve individuals to enroll into an inferior legal education program.

    2. Admit that your business lures these individuals through a very lucrative scholarship incentive program.

    3. Admit that your business fails to fully disclose its accreditation status to prospective enrollees.

    4. Admit that your business discourages and in fact inhibits the transfer of current students to other institutions.

Iím not sure how this helps the kid show undue hardship, but itís pretty funny.

The next section gets into the studentís personal issues:

    5. Admit that your business did not provide adequate accommodation for students with learning disabilities until the Spring of 2009.

    6. Admit that not all the students who attend your business meet the legal requirements for employment as attorneys due to a mental condition or criminal records.

    7. Admit that the Plaintiff may have possessed either or both of these conditions at the time of enrollment.

    8. Admit that your business received privy information in the Fall of 2008 that Plaintiff did not meet the legal requirements for employment as an attorney based on the conditions discussed in question 6.

    9. Admit that your business ignored that information and persisted on originating several loans on behalf of the Plaintiff thereafter.

These questions get a little complicated. Surely Desormes isnít arguing that law schools should discriminate against people with mental conditions and criminal records? We donít want law schools to be de facto character and fitness review boards, do we? Itís not like Charlotte was targeting students with mental disabilities, right?

Desormes didnít respond to our request for comment. The papers were filed last week and we havenít been able to locate a response from Charlotte School of Law at this time.

The student does end with a classic closing request:

    10. Admit that your business knew or should have known that Plaintiff would be in no position to repay those loans.

Ha. Itíll be a cold day in hell before any law school admits to that.

9
General Off-Topic Board / How Much Sleep Do You Get a Night in Law School?
« on: September 15, 2010, 03:55:37 PM »
I was sitting here sleepy from several nights in a row of less sleep than I would like, and it seems like everyone I talk to is in the same boat, so I was just curious. (And I haven't seen a poll in awhile.)

10
LSAC and LSDAS / Re: When do I send in my transcript LSAC?
« on: September 15, 2010, 11:48:39 AM »
The answer to the second question may depend on 2 things. 1. Will you be applying to law school before or after you graduate? If it is after you graduate, then yes, you should send LSAC an updated version. If you're applying prior to graduation then, it goes to question 2. 2. Will the school(s) you're applying to accept the final official transcript directly from your school or must it come from LSAC? You will have to find that out from the school's website or admissions department. I would lean very heavily toward them wanting it from LSAC though because LSAC goes through your credits and adjusts your GPA.

If this question is about money, they will want the final transcript for sure and I don't think LSAC charges for a second review and report. If it is about time, I don't think that matters much either. LSAC takes longer, but the school will probably accept you before your grades for the final semester come out and just want the final transcript prior to your matriculation in Aug/Sept.

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 ... 21