Law School Discussion

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Messages - Hamilton

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General Board / Re: 1Ls: How are you doing after the first month+?
« on: September 27, 2011, 03:04:15 PM »
Get your hands on the professors old exams and study them along with answer guide to show you best way to format essays.

How do you study for exams, what should I be doing in class, pre and post.

32
Good advice - do not go to law school unless you truly dream of being a lawyer and know that is what you want to do.  If the law is not your dream, find another graduate degree that will benefit you.

Yes, hard to find work in other professions, but what is worse, Scenario 1 or Scenario 2?
Scenario 1: Graduate college with moderate debt and have a hard time finding work.
Scenario 2: Graduate college with moderate debt, go to law school and take on anoth $100K of non-dischargable debt, burn 3 years of your life, have an equally hard time (if not harder) finding a job in a much narrower field.

May I make a suggestion? Don't go at all, and if you already there, cut your losses and quit. Any debt from either school is a bad idea. Jobs are hard to come by and it is not just because of the economy. There is simply a glut of law school graduates. The Dept of Labor estimates that the country will create about 100,000 legal jobs in the next decade, but remember over 40,000 people graudate law school per year. So you do the math (OK, if law students could do math they would be going into finance and not law).

33
General Board / Re: ABA Model Rule 5.5 And Prior non-Legal Experience
« on: September 22, 2011, 09:50:01 AM »
The intent of the rule is that you do not "practice" without a license - that is to protect you and the public.  You are not prohibited from having conversations or even exploring legal concepts with people so long as it is crystal clear to the folks you are talking with that (1) you are not a licensed attorney, and (2) you are not providing legal advice that they should rely upon.  Sounds to me like you have covered your bases.  I frequently had conversations, and still do now that I am licensed, where the discussion is prefaced a lot with "based on what I currently know," "I have not researched the issue, so this is just an opinion," or "I am not giving legal advice, but it sounds to me like..."  Always wrapping up with, "if you think this is an issue you should hire an attorney to handle this."

I think you could outline a whole case, develop the cause of action, etc., etc., so long as you did not get paid, the person knew he could not act on it, and that if he were to act on it, he would need to start from scratch with a licensed attorney - perhaps using your conversations as a basis for questioning his "real" counsel.

Of course I am not providing you with any legal advice here... I have not researched Kansas laws, so this is just my opinion. :)

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General Board / Re: Question for Law School Students!!! Please help!
« on: September 16, 2011, 11:53:23 PM »
Law students are FORBIDDEN from giving legal advice, you need to talk to a real attorney.

35
You boiled my ramblings down nicely.  My big question is whether that RN/Lawyer field exists, and whether it is feasible for an older established professional to shoehorn in with a new JD.  I don't know, but think thats the big question the OP, and folks in similar circumstances needs to vett.  Not get 'rah rah go for it' sunshine blown up their shorts, or get "sold" by some law school on the idea - but TRULY explore and vett the "plan" with several practicing lawyers and look for the cold, hard truth of the plan's feasibility.

My experience was that the professional experience was "interesting," but when push came to shove, was not a game-changer and I was just another freshly-minted lawyer who needed to learn the business of practicing law from the bottom up... and that in-house counsel jobs are largely held by folks who had a fair degree of private practice experience.

So if she plans to go become an actual RN/Lawyer (a real job with real demand and better pay) then she SHOULD get the JD.

If she wants to continue in a nonlegal field with a JD, not the best choice.

Good advice to live by. I support that too.

36
Comment question for the OP.  I was in a similar situation where it seemed very logical that I would be able to build upon my existing career and become a XYZ-lawyer.  Found that (1) they are already plentiful, and (2) having the established professional background does not necessarily translate over to that making you a superior XYZ-lawyer who can step into the game with these people who have been practicing law for 20+ years.  Is there something unique about "nurse attorney" that existing lawyers practicing in the field are missing?  I suggest really critically evaluating the decision from many sides before pulling the trigger.

I am being a wet blanket, I know.  You do not know me from Adam, so take anything I post with 10 grains of salt.  For all you know I am a 12 year old girl making stuff up (I'm not, but this is the internet).  But maybe use my comments and experience in formulating your own thinking, questions, and self-evaluation.

Part time: would that mean keeping your job?  Between work and school, your kids will largely be on their own - is that what you want?  We only get one bite at the apple when it comes to raising and spending time with our kids while they are still young.

Boil down my advice to recommending that you rethink this once the kids are gone to college.  Use this time to prep for the LSAT and max that score.

Hello,
I am new to this site. I am the single Mom of  teenagers and am presently an RN. My goal is to become a Nurse Attorney! I was wondering if there are any single parents on the site who attend school (Full opr Part) that have some words of wisdom to share with me. Thanks in advance ;D

LotusRN1972

37
The OP is a RN, does she NEED to go to LS or WANT?  RN is a good career, so I'm guessing it is a "want" (and that is not said in judgment) - one could argue that nobody needs to go to LS unless they are something like an 8-track tape salesman with no other career options.  I maintained my current career (which I have always loved) as a technical/regulatory manager throughout LS and hoped to build upon it with a law degree.  That always sounds good, but for established working professionals making a switch and taking a significant pay cut is not reality.  Generally, I think it is a myth that a JD can be used outside of being a lawyer.  Am I better at my job b/c I went to LS?  In some areas, but I did not need 3 years of LS to acquire the skills and knowledge.  Have any doors been opened?  Marginally, none worth taking.  Overall was it worth the time?  No, it is a tremendous burden to place on one's family.  I am lucky b/c I did not sacrifice my career to go to LS, and had most of it paid for with scholarships and by my employer.  I truly worry about people with families or decent careers who are thinking of sacrificing the career and taking on a tremendous amount of debt to go to LS, I think it is generally a bad plan unless they are fully prepared to hit the reset button and start over careerwise.

Hamilton-what lawyer does not "need" to go to lawschool?

What were you doing for work before lawshool? What would you be expecting to be doing now if you hadn't gone?
Are you a lawyer now or useing your JD in a nonlegal profession?

38
I cannot answer this question specifically - what it requires is a broad understanding of constitutional law, applicability of the court's jurisdication, and the matter at issue in the case.  Here it is the Commerce Clause (ugh).

Here, the end game is to get the law before the US Supreme Court for a final determination.  The process for doing that is, in a nutshell, to get different circuit courts to rule differently, thereby establishing a judicial conflict that needs to be finally resolved by the Supremes.

Hopefully reason will prevail and they will determine that the citizens of the US cannot be compelled to buy a product whether they want it or not.  I fear we will see some narrowly-tailored rule, however, when it comes to public interest, blah, blah, blah...

Finally, what can I read so I can get a thorough understanding of these types of jurisdictional issues and what rulings apply to what
states when a federal law is being challenged, when states are suing, etc?

39
I did it married with a supportive wife and kids - regret every minute of time it took away from me and the children, because it was a LOT of time.  Would not do it again and would advise any parent against it unless they NEEDED to go to law school.  Sad thing is, they get used to you not being around as much and they miss out on time together with their parent - not a good thing.  My 2 cents - it was selfish of me to go to law school when I did not need to and when I had kids at home who needed their father's time.

40
Law School Applications / Re: Think law school is right for me?
« on: September 14, 2011, 02:17:12 PM »
I would add to Falcon's post by suggesting that you should be asking yourself whether you SHOULD pursue it.  Just because you CAN does not mean you SHOULD.  What i mean is that I think you could easily get into a school like Cooley - and you will be on track to spend well over $100K on the education... SHOULD you?  It would not hurt to try so long as you kept your options open and recognize that you may be best served by dropping out and walking away at some point early on.  If you got great grades and finished first term with over a 3.5, then yea, you may have an aptitude for this and be able to transfer to a higher-ranked school.  OTOH, if you struggle, do poorly gradewise, you could be setting yourself up for long term failure by graduating from a low-tier law school in the lower percentile of the class, with more than $100K in non-dischargable debt - THAT is a formula for disaster.   In the second scenario your best bet might be to cut your losses and walk away... keep an open mind.

Your time and treasure may be better spent on some other advanced degree that could land you a decent job that you love.

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