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Messages - Cicero

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I was trying to find an area where my husband and I could both go to school and we looked at Charlotte because UNC-Charlotte was close by. If you are not married and not tied to an area, I would advise against going to Charlotte. I actually chose to go to CSL's sister school Florida Coastal (ABA accredited) instead, and am transferring to a T-1 (so transferring is an option from the Infinilaw schools, but don't go there expecting to transfer). If CSL is anything like FCSL, which I'm pretty sure it is, your 1L curve will be really bad. Ours was 2.5 1st semester and 2.7 2nd semester. The curve, while completely passable, adds an element of stress to law school that T-1/2 students don't have to deal with. Also, if Charlotte isn't giving you a scholarship, then you will be looking at $150K debt (tuition + living expenses) when you graduate, unless your parents are helping you, and coming from a provisionally accredited program is going to make it a lot harder to find a job to repay the loans. (Especially since you will be graduating at a time when the legal bubble has burst and jobs are hard to come by in general.) Another thing to think about is whether you are willing to take the gamble because it is possible that the school won't get accreditation, though highly unlikely because the other 2 infinilaw schools got it pretty quickly.

On the positive side, if it is anything like FCSL, the teachers will be excellent and will be helpful outside of class if you have questions, give lots of examples of what you are up against on the final, and hold review sessions. The school will have you take a PASS class to help you figure out how to prep for finals, and this class is extremely boring but very helpful. They will also give you midterms the 1st semester so that you can be more prepared for what you will face at finals time. If it is anything like FCSL, the career services department will be excellent. They also have a number of other programs to help you succeed like mentors, the shadow program, and bar prep counselors & weekly free lunches with other students studying to take the bar. One last positive thing is that you will often find free food at club meetings and lectures, generally pizza, and a lot of students take advantage of it (myself included) as a way to cut down costs.

Some people on this site will tell you not to go to CSL and that you should retake the LSAT and try again because of the cost and the fact that the amount of available legal jobs has shrunk. Other people on the site will tell you that if you are willing to work really hard and really want to be a lawyer then you should go. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what is best for you. Just make sure that you consider all of your options and their potential consequences.

I looked into going to a school with provisional accreditation because of the need to live in a particular area, but I decided against it. Why are you considering going to to a provisionally accredited school? If it is because of a scholarship, then you need to look carefully at the GPA requirement for you to keep it. These schools tend to have extremely steep curves to make it very hard to keep the scholarship.

From Charlotte School of Law (
“A student at a provisionally approved law school and an individual who graduates while the school is provisionally approved are entitled to the same recognition given to students and graduates of fully approved law schools.” Graduates from an ABA provisionally approved law school are qualified to sit for the bar examination in nearly every state.

“An individual who matriculates at a law school that is provisionally approved . . . and who completes the course of study and graduates from that school within a typical and reasonable period of time is deemed . . . to be a graduate of an approved law school, even though the school loses its provisional approval status while the individual is enrolled in the school.”

Florida Coastal / Re: Entering in the Fall '10
« on: July 08, 2010, 06:05:43 PM »
On a positive note not having to do with employment, most of the profs at FCSL are excellent. The teachers seem to bend over backwards trying to help the students succeed. If you have questions or trouble with any of the class material, they will meet with you or answer e-mail. Many of them hold review sessions or get TAs to hold them. It is pretty common for profs to give example multiple choice questions in classes to help you better understand the material (these teachers will require you to buy CPS clickers). A lot of the profs will give out sample final exam essay questions and some will let you attempt an answer that they will critique for you.

It's not just the profs that seem to be that helpful. The school itself seems to have a "hold your hand" attitude the 1st semester. During your 1st semester, you will also have to take a course called PASS (no credit). This course is extremely boring at times, but you should go to all of the classes, even the ones that are not required (which were actually the most helpful classes) and pay attention. In PASS you will learn how to craft your final exam answers.

Another positive thing about FCSL is the student culture. There may be some cutthroat sections, but most of the students in my section weren't like that. Most students are willing to help each other out and you won't see a bunch of missing books or books with pages torn out.

Florida Coastal / Re: Entering in the Fall '10
« on: July 08, 2010, 05:47:13 PM »
I'm afraid I can't really give you a complete answer to your question. I don't know that you will get one until the new stats come out, since the previous ones were from before the law bubble burst.

I will say that the Career Services Department at FCSL is excellent. I've talked to students at other schools and it sounds like the people in the FCSL CSD are willing to work with students much more than other the CSD at other schools. The CSD will go over your resume with you, give you helpful links based on your legal interests, give you contact info if they have it, do mock interviews with you, etc. You will also be able to look for jobs through Symplicity, and they will have another set of videos for you to watch after the 1st semester that walk you through how to use it.

As to 1L summer jobs, there are some out there; however, I only know few people who have paying jobs. A lot of the people from my section are volunteering at the PD's office or elsewhere or are taking summer classes. I personally chose to volunteer (after talking to career services) this summer because I'm transferring out and didn't want to start work during finals time or burn any bridges when I left. I think that if you want to find some sort of summer work, that you will be able to find something, but there is a good chance that you will be a  volunteer.

Where I volunteer, there are also some 2Ls volunteering, but they didn't get any legal experience their first summer. From what I understand, you will not likely find a 2L summer job through OCI because the few employers that come to FCSL almost exclusively interview the top 5-10% and prefer people who are going to be or are part of moot court & law review. The school will tell you themselves that only 5% or less (I don't remember the exact percentage) will get jobs through OCI, and that most students find employment through Symplicity, personal connections, networking, etc.

As to 3L jobs, I'm not sure. That answer would go back up to the 1st paragraph. It may also depend on the bar passage rate. The July passage rate should be a lot better than December (60%). They usually get about 82-85% in July. I doubt the outlook for job hunting is good in Jacksonville. I did get a chance to talk to former FCSL students who found employment after graduation during a round table dinner the school provided for certain students. These students seemed very happy with their FCSL experience and were able to find jobs quickly. These were also the students who were in LR/MC/top 10%. They did say that many of their class mates weren't faring so well.

I think that jobs are going to be hard to get for awhile (and not just for students graduating from FCSL), but if you make sure that you get good experience while in school, network, do very well in your classes, etc., you will have a good chance of finding some sort of legal job when you graduate. Do realize that the class sizes at FCSL keep getting bigger and bigger and the number of jobs in Jax and elsewhere is shrinking, so you may want to try to get experience in other cities like Tallahassee or another state if you are planning to leave FL. FCSL is flooding the FL market with more lawyers than it can support. (It is a for profit law school.) Finding a job when you graduate will ultimately be on your shoulders.

ROFL! I had forgotten about that monologue.

Speaking from personal experience, I think it is entirely possible to be a competitive student and do well in law school without screwing people over. If someone has a question or needs help, I have no problem helping them. Sometimes I have questions too and need a little help. LS is a much better place when everyone works together and you don't have to worry about the cutthroat students. I think these cut throat students are just worried about how well the really know the material. If they knew the ins & outs of it, then they'd have no problem working with others because they'd be confident in their own abilities. Of course, there are other cut throat people who are just jerks, but I think most are probably insecure.

Florida Coastal / Re: Entering in the Fall '10
« on: July 08, 2010, 02:31:53 PM »
I just finished my 1L year at FCSL and am willing to try to answer any questions you all have.

If your orientation is like the one last year, you'll watch a bunch of videos on youtube at home and then meet at FCSL for a 1 day orientation where they will give you a tour, the heads of the different sections of the school will give presentations, etc.

Transferring / Re: T4 to T1
« on: July 06, 2010, 08:10:17 PM »
I'm not sure how rare it is for someone to be rejected by schools in the 80s/90s and be accepted by the T20. Honestly, I didn't even apply to anything above T55 because I didn't feel it was worth losing the scholarship and law review at my T-4 unless I could get into a T-1 or a nearly T-1 (also because I was able to choose 3 state schools that fit this description where I could get instate tuition if accepted). The 90+ school may assume it's your last choice and may have chosen a student the admissions committee thinks will actually attend. Otherwise, I don't know why they would be reject you.  The only other things I can think of that could cause problems would be a professor purposely giving you a bad recommendation or that your PS had a bunch of errors, and I doubt these could be true based on your rank.

Don't worry too much. You were top 3%, so you should get an acceptance letter soon from one of the schools.

Transferring / Re: T4 to T1
« on: July 06, 2010, 07:50:30 PM »
Don't give up hope. There could be many reasons why this happened. It could be that they rejected you assuming one of the higher ranked schools would accept you or that they prefer instate and you are out-of-state. Do either of these things apply to you?: 1. criminal record or serious conduct violation, 2. currently go to a non-ABA approved law school.

I'm not sure how it works at other schools. My school that I attended for 1L had  scholarship increases after the first year based on rank. Unfortunately, there was no rank that could get a full ride. It was a new scholarship program that they started this past year, and I think before they started it students basically had to go meet with the Dean and threaten to transfer in order to get more money.

From what I understand, part of why there has been more change recently in the rankings and why schools like Stetson have gone from about 100 to tier 3 is because they now take into account full time and part time students. The ranks for a lot of the schools don't change very much--maybe 5 spots. Schools that have been kicked out of T-2 to T-3 were already at the very edge of the T2. A school isn't going to go from T-3/4 to #50 in 2 years or in the reverse unless there is some major change to it, like they decided to throw out the LSAT all together from their admissions decisions or something. Schools generally creep up and down the rankings slowly and good schools respond to the problems if their rankings get worse.

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