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Messages - Hamilton

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Law School Applications / Re: General discharge from Army (misconduct)
« on: September 14, 2010, 11:00:22 PM »
While I agree with this assessment that it is NBFD, there are very explicit questions on the bar app and maybe LS app that will require explanation.  Who knows how the sanctimonious hypocrites at the LS or bar will view the explanation.

I have a difficult time getting excited about your shameful past.  Everyone else on these boards seems to be a convicted felon with three DUIs and a history of plagiarism.

Seriously - as these things go, this is no big deal.  Sure, some stiff-backed vets might give you crap, but most people in hiring positions just won't care.  Your first addendum comes across as defensive, and still gives the impression that you are hiding something bad.  I would go with this one:

"Resigned from the service and departed 'under honorable conditions'" and leave it at that.

Then you can tell the Korean hostess story over drinks, where it will score you points instead of costing them.

Non-Traditional Students / Re: Is law school possible at 62?
« on: September 14, 2010, 10:46:53 PM »
I think john4040 nailed it.  You could use your time, energy, and money in a way that (1) actually benefits society, and (2) is fulfilling for you.

General Board / Re: These discussions are killing me....
« on: September 14, 2010, 10:43:38 PM »
From my perspective, the lack of enthusiasm is the bad job market, ever increasing supply of JDs, dishonest emplyment stats from the law schools, and tuition that can cause financial ruin for many people.

Law School Applications / Re: Best Law school or best school for you
« on: September 14, 2010, 12:50:06 PM »
I'm not sure that is true regionally.  Folks still look at how LS stack against one another in a region, so by proxy those rankings matter.  I am in MI where there is clearly a pecking order observed when looking at the schools: obviously U of M stands alone at the top, next you have MSU, U of Detroit, and Wayne State running as a pack and generally seen as equivalent by firms, then you have Cooley which clearly stands alone as the bottom of the pecking order.  Fewer law schools in a state or region - matters less, but there is still a pecking order based on the tiers and rankings.  So to one extent, whether Wayne State ranks higher or lower than Michigan State matters less; however, comparing Wayne State to Cooley definitely matters.

BTW... what the heck is MI doing with 5 (8 counting Cooley's other campuses) law schools?  Declining population and one of nations top unemployment rates... madness

... but as I said a million times once you go outside of the top 25 and maybe top 50 schools the U.S. News Ranking means basically nothing. That is based on my limited experience up this point though.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Help! What bar exam self-study to use?
« on: September 14, 2010, 10:23:34 AM »
I used Micromash and it worked well -- passed first time.  Has on-line or non-online option, track progress, real-time tests, identifies areas of law you are lacking, and good study manuals, plus.  It is about $1,600.

Non-Traditional Students / Re: January start
« on: September 14, 2010, 10:13:32 AM »
start date is no basis to use when choosing a law school.

Law School Applications / Re: General discharge from Army (misconduct)
« on: September 14, 2010, 09:30:16 AM »
Your stats should get you in a decent school.

Before you leave the country, I think it would be worth (1) talking to the state bar about it, (2) talking to the law school about it, and (3) MAYBE some lawyers you know.  This should only be an issue getting into LS and passing the bar.  I dont know how deep an employer will probe into the particulars of your discharge, so perhaps an opinion or 2 there would be useful.  They may say that they do not even look at that or might say that unless the reason was fraud or criminal activity, they do not care about some rule infraction that was not criminal... I do not know.  Also, 3 years of law school, exemplary performance, and perhaps some community service would go a long way toward erasing the stain and showing growth beyond the incident along the lines of your explanation of the incident.

General Board / Re: Law and life advice
« on: September 14, 2010, 09:04:03 AM »
One more thought - and this is not a criticism - but you say you got no callbacks, maybe it is your appearance or demeanor.  Perhaps you need to evaluate your style and demeanor while working and interviewing.  Not being critical, but maybe there is something that you are not aware of setting folks off (e.g. sloppy, poor communication, no eye contact, mumbling, nervousness, appearing disinterested, etc.).  Perhaps an honest and critical evaluation with friends, family, or career services is in order.

General Board / Re: Law and life advice
« on: September 14, 2010, 08:55:21 AM »
Some tough decisions to make, but I think most people go through this when faced with sudden uncertainty.  Life is too short to not do what you love - when you are in your 40s, you do not want to look back and say 'I should have pursued my passion, instead I am stuck here.'  You are in a T10, so that bodes very well for you in a good law career - if that is what you want.  All you need to do is pursue it.  OTOH, if you now know that you do not want to be a lawyer, then sinking yourself in debt for the JD is not the answer.  Hard to believe that you have no interests or desires - perhaps this is a short-term crisis of vision where your eye has been on the law ball and you have not really thought about anything else or let that interest develop - you may need to give yourself that time.  Perhaps the first decision is (1) do I want to be a lawyer?  If the answer is a definite "no," then you know what you need to do and let the chips fall.  If the answer is something other than "no," it may be best to finish your 2L and see where you are mentally at the end of the year.

This can all just be the normal wear-and-tear of LS stress excacerbated by the disapointment of no call backs.  Man plans and God laughs.  You will always have curve balls thrown at you and few things go as planned.  When that happens, you adapt and overcome.

While outside counsel from an outside perspective can be helpful, ultimately the decision on what you want and where you need to be is yours.  You got into a T10, so you are obviously very intelligent.  You will figure it out, just dont get beat down, tired, and quit on yourself.

Law School Applications / Re: Best Law school or best school for you
« on: September 14, 2010, 08:31:31 AM »
As i have said before, school ranking matters when it comes to landing interviews and getting a job - and that is not just for biglaw, it is for anylaw.  If you must go to law school, go to the higher tier and work your tail off.  Personally, I think the top 30-40% at any T3/4 would do just fine at a T1.  The real distinction for the T1s are that they do not admit the lower percentiles that the T3/4s do.  GENERALLY speaking.

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