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Messages - MikePing

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Your qualifications look great for all but the top 14 schools.  But, even some of those are a legitimate reach for you. 

IMO, the analysis of what school to attends begins with a determination of where you want to live/practice after graduation.  Once you know that, identify the top feeder law schools for that market and check your chances at the best ones. 

Sometimes a strong regional school gives you better opportunities than anything other than top 5.  Spend some time chekcing it out, and then go to to get an idea about your chances. 

Your next big hurdle will be to decide whether to attend a lower-ranked school for cheap, or attend a higher-ranked one with debt.  The answer to this question will also depend on where you want to live/practice.

Good luck!! And, please let us know what you decide.  (it helps future readers of your post) 

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: T2 Schools Worth It?
« on: April 19, 2011, 01:38:29 PM »
T1 (top 50) and T2 (51-100) schools are usually solid choices.   Each place you want to live/practice has its own law school ranking in the opinions of local lawyers, and I don't know the Portland market.  But, you can get a feel for it by researching the bigfirm websites and seeing where they are hiring from. 

At either school, IMO, you will have little trouble finding a job if you can get into the top 25% of the class and get a little bit of law clerk experience under your belt (if you can make top 10%, your life will be much more easy).  Your dilligence thus far suggests to me that it is an achievable goal. 

The lower your class rank, the more important local contacts will be.  If you find yourself outside of the top 25% consider working at a local law firm during school as well as the summer.  I think that being in the top 25% of a top 100 law school, with legal experience, gives you solid odds in any economy.   

The big caveat is that everyone thinks they will be at the top of the law class.  But, you are light years above the average applicant.  If you apply the same diligence to figuring out how to do well in law school as you have to admissions, I think you will do fine. 

Law School Admissions / Re: And we'll have fun fun fun
« on: April 19, 2011, 01:22:35 PM »
It looks like you probably have what you need to get into school right now.  Scholarship would be a stretch (probably always will unless you are high 170's).  Typically law schools put much more weight on the LSAT than the UGPA. 

Plan on spending a lot of time getting your applications perfect.  Even if you retake the LSAT and score a 180, I think you will be a discretionary applicant because of your UGPA.  That means that the admissions committees will carefully look at your whole application. 

But, that works in your favor due to the change of family status, realistic knowledge of law practice, and UGPA trend.  Nail your PS, resume, and get at least one decent recommendation letter, and you should be fine. 

Good luck!  Let us know how it works out for you.   

It also depends on what part of the country you want to settle down in.  The top 5 do well anywhere.  IMO, the next 9 don't fall regionally by thier ranking.  For instance NYU will not do as well in CA as Berkely.  If you want to live in TX, UT (#15) is better than 5-14. 

Unfortunately, you will not get much advice here.  Most of the posters on this site are either law students or people thinking about becoming a law student. 

To give advice would be to practice law without a license, which could prevent them from ever becoming an actual lawyer.  I doubt many people want to that kind of risk for you. 

You should talk to a local lawyer about your rights. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT score
« on: April 19, 2011, 09:47:58 AM »
You guys that have been responding:  please let us all know where you end up after TM.  There are a bunch of us who are interested to see what kind of improvement they can help you make. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT: Mixing Study Material
« on: April 18, 2011, 12:20:28 PM »
The experience here is with EarlCat.  If you are paying money for someone to get you ready for the LSAT, don't sabotage yourself by learning bad habits.  They will have a study program that will get you where you need/want to be if you put in the effort. 

I agree with FalconJimmy that Penn will probably give a better shot on the east coast, but I don't think it will be huge.  While Penn is ranked higher, they are roughly analogous prestige schools.  The edge for Penn is that you are already in the NE; more east coast firms will be travelling to Penn to look for talent.  Whether that is worth 100K is the decision that you need to make. 

Being gay, you might consider surfing the net for discussions of the gay scene in each city.  That may give you an idea of the culture to expect in each place.  Austin is a hell of a lot more liberal than the rest of Texas.  My gay friends love Austin.  I don't know about the scene in Philly, but I know the climate is as liberal as Austin. The weather is a lot better in Texas. (btw I am a lawyer who is licenced in both PA and TX).

Good luck!  Please let us know what you decide.

Current Law Students / Re: Felonies & Bar Admittance
« on: April 15, 2011, 08:10:00 AM »
Yea, those will probably give you trouble.  Fitness committees are generally tough on any crime that will question your honesty or trustworthiness.  The link in the post above will get you to the LSD post that details state-by-state. 

The things that will be considered will be the circumstances surrounding your crimes, your age at the time, the time that has passed, your candor regarding the events, the seriousness of the crime, the reliability of the information that they can find, evidence of rehabilitation, and the great things that you have contributed to the community since the crime.   

Things that will kill you will be trying to offer excuses, minimize the seriousness, or hide details of the crimes. 

IMO, if the crimes were recent, you should wait at least 3 years to apply to law school. Good luck.

Law School Admissions / Re: When to Apply
« on: April 14, 2011, 08:12:53 AM »
Taking a year off doesn't--by itself--make your application stronger or weaker.  But, if you need the time to study harder for the LSAT, or get your life in order, it certainly can make a difference.

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