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Messages - Morten Lund

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Incoming 1Ls / Re: law school grades
« on: October 11, 2010, 02:51:05 PM »
Option 1 is more or less how it works now, except that we don't to step 5 (unless you consider a summer clerkship a "face-off").

For the "battery of aptitude tests" we use writing samples if available - otherwise we use (you guessed it) grades as a proxy, which is part of the pre-screening.

I wouldn't be opposed to your battery of tests, I just can't figure out what it would look like.  Actually, I can take a guess:  it would look a lot like a summer clerkship.  If there were a series of aptitude tests that could predict workplace success I would be greatly in favor, but what would these tests test that isn't already tested by high school, college, and law school exams, or the LSAT?  Those various tests cover a variety of relevant subject matters, and I am not sure what I could add to that with another test.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: law school grades
« on: October 06, 2010, 11:43:43 PM »
Adding more anecdotal evidence:  I have personally recommended against hiring many candidates from YHS, and recommended in favor of hiring several candidates from Marquette Law and similarly ranked schools.  There is certainly no rule that being from a higher-ranked school means you get the job.

At the same time, however, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the quality of the average candidate from YHS far exceeds the quality of the average candidate from Marquette.

But at the same same time, however, some of the finest lawyers I know graduated from Marquette, or schools ranked well below Marquette (such as the GGU graduate I mentioned in a prior thread).

Are top-ranked schools "better" than low-ranked schools?  From my perspective that is the wrong question.  What I do care about, and what is absolutely true in my experience, is that, statistically speaking, the graduates from top schools tend to be better candidates than graduates from schools with a significantly lower ranking.

Hiring associates is a bit of a crap-shoot, and fishing in the top schools will on the average yield a better crop.  Therefore firms prefer to hire from well-ranked school.  There are other factors, of course, but simple statistics will take you most of the way there.

Law School Admissions / Re: 2010-2011 Application Cycle
« on: October 06, 2010, 03:47:11 PM »
Agreed on all fronts.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Before you go to law school...
« on: October 06, 2010, 12:22:14 PM »
Medicine is a broad filed to and they managed to figure it out.

Well, part of the way medicine provides better training is by requiring specific undergraduate studies.  Med school isn't a two-year program, but a six-year program.  You can't even start the "official" medical school unless you spent your college years studying relevant subject matters.

I am not sure exactly what the law school analog would be, but my point here is that nobody enters med school without a solid foundation in biology and chemistry.  Most 1Ls have no relevant knowledge at all when they show up.

So maybe we should make law school a six-year graduate program instead of three, or have specific undergraduate admission requirements - with an LSAT that tested substantive knowledge rather than general smarts.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Before you go to law school...
« on: October 06, 2010, 08:31:50 AM »

See the misconception is that it is  200k right out of school. As the poster above me said they need to do residency for 5-7 years in places like Weed, California making 30-40k. If and when they finish the residency the money comes, but I don't even know if that is guaranteed. You might need to still go out and find a job after completing the residency I am not sure .

No misconception, but I should have been clearer.  All my hypothetical physicians are fully licensed, residenced, and specialized.  No doubt - at 26 years of age JDs make more than MDs.  I am moving a few more years ahead, since frankly the first few years after law school are basically an overpaid residency anyway.

But after the residency, frankly, the minimum doctor income is pretty close to guaranteed.  This is in no small part to what Megan explained - actually GETTING to that point is harder for the physicians.  It doesn't take a rocket scientist to get a law degree from some random law school.  Getting the MD is much harder.  The MCAT requires more preparation, specific undergraduate studies are required, med schools do flunk people out, and there aren't as many med school spots available.  The supply of physicians does not meet the demand, whereas the supply of JDs exceeds the demand.

I wouldn't say the grass is greener - there are many reasons why I am glad I went law instead of medicine - but one of the indisputable benefits of a medical license in the US is near-guaranteed income at a very comfortable level.

(Roughly half my family is medical, and I have seen the process play out countless times over the years.  Doctors are a funny bunch.)

Incoming 1Ls / Re: top law school vs national law school
« on: October 06, 2010, 08:19:42 AM »

If you mean that the choice is a highly individual thing, I absolutely agree with you.   Making a knee-jerk pick based solely on USNWR is ludicrous.

Situations are different.  For me, an acceptance letter to Yale would mean very little other than a pat on the back.  I am debt averse at my age and assuming a $150K debt is absolutely not an option.

That was indeed more or less what I meant, but I must admit I had a more limited application in mind (choosing between schools ranked 15 and 23, for instance) - and you have just shown that my limit was inappropriate.

My often-repeated advice to everyone I meet is that if they get into YLS (or even, I guess, HLS/SLS) to go no matter what - the value of a JD from those schools cannot be underestimated.  And in general I stand by that advice.

BUT - as you demonstrated, even that rule is too firm.  I agree that for you, in your situation, attending ANY expensive law school (including, gulp, YLS) could be a bad idea. 

Every decision should be approached with your (general you, not you you) goals and limitations firmly in mind.  What (get used to hearing this from me) are you trying to achieve?

And apologies for the excessive parentheticals.  I must be hanging out with Thane too much.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: For Current Law Students
« on: October 06, 2010, 06:36:38 AM »
Pretty much.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Before you go to law school...
« on: October 06, 2010, 12:42:13 AM »
I don't think that is true I imagine many people find WORK as doctors. However, many J.D. could also find WORK in Timbuktu places instead of bi**h ing and moaning. I am sure many physicians fight for spots in areas they want to work, New York, San Francisco, etc. However, the competition for those jobs is fierce and they get stuck in places like Weed, California.

But here's the difference:  The young MD with a small family practice in Weed, CA, is making $200k a year with excellent job security.  The young JD in a small general practice firm in Weed, CA, is making between $30k and $60k in any given year, with no job security whatsoever.

Hmm...  I'm not helping make the case for law school here, am I.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Before you go to law school...
« on: October 05, 2010, 10:04:26 PM »
I really don't think med school is anymore of a guarantee. I was at a friends wedding these weekend and there were a lot of med students and they were saying oh it must be so nice to know you are going to make a ton of money as a lawyer. I thought ok well you don't know what you are talking about. I assumed med students would make a ton of money, but there situation is almost worse. They go in as much debt and get locked into things for 5 years. People think Med or Law school is a golden ticket, but it is simply not. There is NO golden ticket. No school can guarantee anything they just can't.

At the risk of hijacking...

It all depends on what you mean by "guarantee," of course.  Medical school is difficult, long, and painful, and the post-graduate training requirements are onerous.  Many fail along the way.

BUT - upon completion of all requirements for the practice of medicine, you will find that there is virtually 100% employment rate for physicians, and (with some exceptions) the income curve is quite different from the lawyer income curve.  No bi-modal distribution there.  Unless you do out of your way to find a low-paying job, you will have a hard time making less than $100k, and probably well beyond that.  You can ambitious and shoot higher, but the "just hanging out" income level for physicians is very respectable.

And, unlike law school, this applies almost universally across school rank and class rank.  Ask your doctor sometime where (s)he went to med school, and about class rank.  You may be surprised (or frightened).

Hence the old joke:  "What do you call the guy who graduates last in his class from HLS?  'Waiter!'  What do you call the guy who graduates last in his class from HMS?  'Doctor'."

All that said, I ultimately agree that there is no golden ticket, and there are no guarantees.  But in terms of income security and job security, a medical license may be the closest thing

Incoming 1Ls / Re: fyi-LOR
« on: October 05, 2010, 09:54:00 PM »
While I have no idea exactly why various accepted me, I have to believe that letters of recommendation counted in my favor.  I say this because I attended a small school, so I got letters from professors I knew well - VERY well - and who were able to write letters that reflected this.  I also knew for certain that the letters were favorable, because I was given copies of each.

While there are many advantages to attending large schools for college, I suspect that graduate school applications may be an area where small school applicants have an almost unfair advantage, due simply to the potential strength of their letters of recommendation.

I have no statistics to back up my claim, and therefore rest my case entirely upon my own anecdotal data.

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