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Messages - Duncanjp

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There is not one single affordable law school left in the entire state of California. Apart from Stanford, not one of them is worth 40k per year. (And Stanford is only worth it if you want to go into biglaw).

Your advice in that post was pretty sound (I'm not quoting all of it here). But a little clarification is in order as to your first point. It's true that there is not a single affordable ABA law school in California. You're SOL if you want an affordable ABA education in this state. However, it's not true that there are no affordable law schools in the state. What ABA students with $100,000 - $200,000 of debt after law school do not want to hear is that a large number of law students are attending state-accredited schools in the evening and are getting their law degrees, passing the bar, and becoming gainfully-employed attorneys in California for a fraction of the cost of an ABA degree. I say this conceding immediately and without equivocation all of the disadvantages of getting a J.D. from a state school versus any ABA school. The prestige and superiority of an ABA degree cannot be denied. But the fact is, when you survey the room in a state school, most of the students are slightly older, extremely driven, and they're often well-entrenched already in career positions, either in the legal field or a closely-related one. Getting the license is their only objective, not biglaw. If I were 25 with no meaningful experience in the real world to place on my resume, then I would not settle for anything less than the best ABA school that would accept me. But if a person has established credentials and contacts by working in a given field for a respectable amount of time, I honestly do not see the point of spending the kind of money that the ABA requires for a law degree unless your only goal is to leave your current field to obtain biglaw employment. A lot of my classmates are getting great experience working full-time in law firms and business while paying their way through law school at night. Most of my classmates and I will graduate with little or no student debt and will probably continue working happily in small to medium law firms or in government or finance after passing the bar. Having an ABA degree may not matter that much one way or the other once we've gotten the license. That said, the principal disadvantage to getting a J.D. from a state school is that the holder has a greater burden of showing credentials beyond the mere prestige of the law school he attended when competing against ABA grads. And of course, biglaw is out of the question. But from what I hear, biglaw often chews young people up and spits them out like peanut shells. No, thanks. I have no problem working late and on weekends when duty calls, but I'm not going to squander my life ignoring my wife and family. I need balance.

It boils down to this: California-accredited schools are an affordable option to ABA schools. For the right people, they're an excellent option. Regardless of where you attend law school, you must make of it whatever you can after graduating. You can bet big: big risk, big reward. Or you can bet small: less risk, smaller reward. State schools have plenty of success stories: judges, district attorneys, partners, and so forth. And there are miserable failures as well the 2.0 students who can't pass the bar. Juxtaposed against the biglaw success stories of ABA grads and their unemployed classmates burdened with crippling debt, opting for an affordable and accredited, but non-ABA legal education can be a reasonable choice. It just depends upon the person and his or her goals.

I'd say the way to go is to go to law school if you must.  Do your best.  Then vote Democrat until the day you die because Republicans are the a-holes who made student loan debt non-dischargable in bankruptcy.

Yeah, those a-holes. The very idea of thinking that the government shouldn't let intelligent adults blithely off the hook after they have signed contracts to pay a price they agreed to pay in exchange for something they wanted. Fuckers.

General Board / Re: 1L Legal Writing Prep
« on: May 20, 2012, 04:49:17 PM »
Get a copy of The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. It can be found on Amazon from $3 to $10. It's not long and it's easy to read. Study it. Make certain you understand it. It will help you all through law school.

General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Baby Bar
« on: May 19, 2012, 04:06:43 AM »
My understanding was that the baby bar was only required for students who attend unaccredited schools, study in judges's chambers, etc. Who else would have to take it to continue?

First-year students who don't achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the core subjects of criminal law, contracts and torts can be required to pass it before being allowed to continue.

General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Baby Bar
« on: May 18, 2012, 12:27:35 AM »
I have no doubt that most of the people who pass 1L with more or less good grades would also pass the baby bar without much more difficulty.

Subjective, at best.  I would really like to see if it would be true.  I say ALL 1L students should have to pass the Baby Bar to proceed on to the next levels, no matter which school you attend.

Fair enough. The sad thing for me is that some of my best friends in 1L had to take the baby bar to continue, and I understand that passing it has been pretty difficult for them.

General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Baby Bar
« on: May 17, 2012, 12:03:51 AM »
The thing about the pass/fail ratio of the baby bar is that a substantial percentage I would assume the majority of the people who take it are former law students who struggled to get satisfactory grades on ordinary law school exams. If this assumption is correct, then most of the people who take the test go in the door with trouble applying the law to fact patterns. So of course, the test seems hard. But I've seen some baby bar fact patterns. They didn't look any harder to me than the final exams I took at the end of 1L. I have no doubt that most of the people who pass 1L with more or less good grades would also pass the baby bar without much more difficulty. (This may not be true for those who passed with only marginal grades.)

That said, a certain percentage who fail the baby bar probably don't prepare properly for it. Whichever category you fall into, if you need to pass the baby bar to continue your legal education, I would recommend paying for a personal, professional tutor who will keep you focused on a program of study that works, which means that you will write practice exams over and over until you're dizzy, and who will give you feedback and instruction on what you're doing wrong.

Job Search / Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
« on: May 15, 2012, 12:26:29 AM »
Nicely said, Cher. You're the first person I've ever seen on the internet who has said that a 4.0 isn't that impressive. I couldn't agree more. People who don't have to work while they attend school ought to be getting a 4.0, or something awfully close to it. I mean, good grades are child's play when work doesn't stand in the way. Anything over a 3.0 gpa that a person can manage while holding down a job to pay one's own way is infinitely more impressive than a dorm student getting a 4.0.

I can get on board with that, Holmes.

Fortook, yes, I watched every episode. The one about asking Anderson for his daughter's hand was hilarious.

Okay, Fortook, I just have to weigh in here. Beavis & Butt-head is definitely an epic show! Those were some of the funniest things I ever saw, bar none. B&B don't get the credit they deserve for being two of the best actors ever to hit the big time.

I agree with Nova. I love studying law, but as a law student, TV shows about lawyers are mostly unbearable. It's the same when I watch movies about the Marine Corps. I can't sit there without noticing every little thing that the actors do wrong like when the officer salutes the enlisted man instead of the other way around, or when the private talks back to a captain. This does not happen in real life. Ever. TV makes being an attorney appear glamorous, but in my experience, most attorneys are rather ordinary, if bright, people.

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