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Messages - Cicero

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Well, if you have taken the LSAT 3 times already then it will not likely improve by much if you take it again. If you really want to be a lawyer, then you should look at the pros and cons of the schools where you've been accepted and determine which one is the best fit for your needs. I don't know if there is a difference in the cost of living between Charlotte & Jax, but you could apply to FCSL. If you got into Charlotte, then you would most likely get into FCSL since they are sister schools. FCSL is accredited and is more generous with money than CSL. It's still T-4, but it's a little bit better than Cooley (and it's right by the beach). FCSL tends to still accept people much later than most other schools. It is also possible that you will still be accepted where you are waitlisted. Sometimes those decisions are made right before school starts.

Canadian Law Students / Re: undergraduate institution
« on: July 10, 2010, 09:02:46 AM »
The formula for how much weight is given to the LSAT or the GPA depends on the school. Some schools are more open about the formula (and you will be able to find it or plug your stats into LSN and see where you fit in their scale) and others hide it.

(from Bigs) "Almost an entire law school admissions decision is based on your index number, which is the pure number of your UGPA x. Your LSAT score.  I think the formula is on LSAC somewhere, but your UGPA NUMBER nothing else matters in determing your index number. "

Canadian Law Students / Re: undergraduate institution
« on: July 09, 2010, 08:08:58 PM »
Actually, coming from CAD might actually help you at some schools because your international student status would help fulfill their diversity requirements and it might set you apart from other applicants.

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.”

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.

Transferring / Re: T4 to T1
« on: July 06, 2010, 07:10:17 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, 06:50:30 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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