« on: April 14, 2011, 04:14:37 PM »
I pretty much agree with MikePing. Some additional thoughts/observations:
- Take the LSAT very, very seriously (I know Mike said that, but it bears repeating a few times).
- I wouldn't sweat the live LSAT course too much. If you are good at standardized testing, a course may not add much, and you may be better off studying on your own. But do study. A lot. And practice. There are tons of books and practice exams out there - I suggest reading/doing as many as you can.
- As to which school to attend, it is impossible to tell until you get your LSAT score, since this will define which schools are available to you. Your target area is chock full of law schools across the full quality range, so your main focus should be the LSAT.
- If you do very well on the LSAT, your GPA puts you in the "maybe" range for Yale/Harvard/Stanford, and if you get in to one of those, you should go. In addition, many of the next tier of schools are in your area, including Columbia, NYU, UPenn, Georgetown, Princeton, etc. - either way you should have a decent set of options. But LSAT first.
- Be prepared for the sucky part: graduating from law school at 33. Most law jobs take a serious plebe view of beginning lawyers (and justifiably so). It can be very difficult for second-career lawyers to adapt to being at the bottom of the ladder again. Second-careerers tend to do well and advance quickly (as one would expect), but you still start at the bottom, and the bottom sucks double when your boss is five years younger than you.
- Don't sweat the blue-collar bit. Yes, law school will at times feel like high school, with stupid clique-based drama, and yes, some things will initially be harder for you than for the guy whose father and grandfather are lawyers, but law school isn't rocket science. You'll be fine if you take it seriously.
- In fact, a few years working "on the rig" will make you attractive to many employers, and there are many practice areas (including mine) where the clients come from that same background - and clients like lawyers who understand their business. If you aren't adverse to working in the oil industry after law school, you will likely find that your experiences are valued highly there. If you don't want oil, there are plenty of other lawyer-intensive industries that will value whatever you did in the oil business.
Either way, good luck.