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Messages - Cicero

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Law School Admissions / Re: poor community college grades
« on: July 31, 2010, 03:15:33 AM »
The primary way that law schools determine whether or not to accept a candidate is the GPA & LSAT. Each school has a formula for how much weight it gives to the LSAT or GPA. LSAC will take your take your college credits and convert them into its system. Some people's GPAs go up a little bit and some go down based on the school, whether they were given some sort of grade forgiveness, averaging all of the grades, etc, basically making everything standardized. My GPA, for example, went up .01, so not much, and I have seen examples of GPAs going down two tenths or more. Anyway, yes, your 2.0 in community college will hurt your chances for law school. You need to do as well as you possibly can your last 2 years, and try to bring it up to at least a 3.0, which basically means all As for the last 2 years. Even with the 3.0 you are most likely looking at going to a T-3/4 school unless you do really, really well on the LSAT. However, you can still get into a T-4 with a little bit below a 3.0, maybe even a 2.5 or something. You should check out Law School Numbers and LSAC for more info on where you could get admitted with a low GPA. It'll show you which schools seem to care more about about LSAT scores than about GPAs. Good luck!  :)

Oh, as to why it has taken him 5 years. During the brief time I was a biochem major, I learned that 5 years was not uncommon for that degree. So, the fact that your brother was able to change majors so many times and graduate in 5 years with a biochem degree is actually pretty good. He must have already been taking a lot of the classes toward it because (at least where I went to school) you had to take through Cal III, chem, organic chem, biochem, other chem classes, lots of bio classes, etc, which can easily take 4 or 5 years when you already have a lot of other required courses for the university itself.

Yeah, people can go overboard exploring. I only switched majors one time. I graduated in 3.5 years and could have graduated earlier if I had wanted to do so. I wanted to get the minor and thought I'd be too young for grad school at 20. (I didn't have a bunch of AP classes or anything like that. I took classes in the summer.) I'm not saying you should change majors. I'm just saying you should allow yourself to have some fun with your electives and explore your interests.

I think you should pick whichever one (or even two) you find the most interesting and in which you can excel.  The specific major doesn't really matter that much. Your GPA matters a lot more. My BA was in Anthropology & Latin and I got a minor in Archaeology, so not exactly the typical kind of BA one gets before going to law school. Don't focus so narrowly on your end goal of going to law school that you don't take the chance to experiment with classes from different departments that sound interesting to you, even if they don't relate to your goal. I took a lot of electives that just sounded interesting to me like sign language and a class about juvenile delinquency. I actually started college as a Biochem/Latin major. I took Anthro my 1st year and found it much more interesting than Chemistry, and then switched majors. Anyway, don't box yourself in so much that you don't explore your options in college.

You can get a job if you are not in the T14. You may even be able to get a job as a lawyer if you graduate from a T-4 school, but yes, you should aim as high as you can based on your LSAT and GPA. That being said, you're a junior in HS. You still have a lot of time to make your decision about whether to go to law school. You may change your mind about what you want to do after your first year or two of college (changing majors is pretty common). Even if you want to do a 3/3 program you have some time to decide--you should have until next year's deadlines for ED programs at the earliest. Maybe you should try to volunteer at a law firm (especially if you're seriously considering a 3/3 program), so that you can get a more realistic feel for whether or not it's something you want to do. If that doesn't work as an option, you could probably find an attorney that would let you shadow him/her for a few days.

llsatt1, Bigs5068's writing bothered me a little at first as well, but then he explained (awhile ago) that he writes most of his posts on his phone. It can be a bit of a pain to write posts on a phone, so give him a break.

Transferring / Re: UNC transfer
« on: July 27, 2010, 11:14:53 AM »
Oh, I got my rejection letter last week. I was relieved to finally have an answer, so I could decide between the 2 other schools. Good luck! You should hear from them soon.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Tier 4 Law Schools
« on: July 26, 2010, 08:11:04 PM »
SOP, out of curiosity, based on your posts, I'm wondering: Are you a social darwinist?

You should find out whether it will be expunged after a few years and how your school handles it. When I was in college and was a dumb 18 year old, I was caught drinking on campus and briefly put on conduct probation. After 5 years, the record was expunged. When I applied to LS some schools wanted the information regardless of whether it was expunged and others only said to disclose it if it had not been expunged. When the 5 years were up, my school had completely destroyed the record, took it out of their computer system etc, so when one of the schools wanted a statement from the school, all the school could tell them was that I said something happened, because they didn't even know whether or not anything occurred. So anyway, you should find out what they do, and if you have trouble getting in the first time, maybe you could wait until it is off of your record and apply to more schools. For me, the underage drinking incident didn't affect my applications--I finished school in good standing and it was a dismissed misdemeanor. However, plagiarism is academic misconduct rather  than a conduct violation, so I guess it is possible that it might not ever be expunged, and it will likely be viewed very differently when you apply to LS.

You will need to make sure that you answer the fitness questions as honestly and openly as possible. If you don't, then you can you be kicked out of the program. You will also need to make sure that you disclose it to the Bar when you apply.

(It is possible to get into LS with this sort of thing on your record. We had 1 student my 1st year who was kicked out of an undergrad school for plagiarism. However, it didn't seem like she learned anything from that experience, and many of the people in our section saw her committing honor code violations throughout the year and had to turn her in. The LS I went to for 1L was for profit and didn't do anything about it. I hope you have changed since then. If you haven't, know that your classmates will likely notice if you are cheating, and you absolutely don't want to get a reputation for being a cheater in LS. If you do get that reputation, everyone in your section will know, people in other sections will know, etc. and it will very likely make it harder for you if you ever want to use your LS connections because your classmates will not recommend you when you apply to a firm where they work. Instead, they will likely remember that you are the class cheater and let their boss know. LS is a big competition since grades are determined by how well you do compared to your classmates, and law students do not take kindly to cheating.)

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Tier 4 Law Schools
« on: July 26, 2010, 09:47:21 AM »
Well, then his view of a good amount of money is really skewed based on not having much of a cost of living because he lives with his parents or it's a flame. You don't make much of anything off of dividends. To make $100 in dividends every couple of months off of my stock for example, you'd have to have about 250 shares, and to buy those shares on a low month you'd need $16,250. He'd make a lot more money than that if he put it in a CD.

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