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Messages - FalconJimmy

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101
I will take that under advisement.  What I really want is a way to start a network of contacts and to get advice from practicing lawyers (in tech) so that I know what I am getting myself into before I apply to law school and switch careers.

So you don't really want to volunteer anywhere.  You just want to pick people's brains.  Just pick up a phone and call around. 

As I said, you can pass the patent bar without being in law school.  When did you think you were going to "volunteer"?  6:00 p.m. to midnight?  Saturday and Sunday?  Attorneys frequently work late and on weekends, but they tend to do that to make $$$ or catch up on projects.  Doing it so they can just give a tire-kicker a flavor for what a law firm is like is going to be a tough sell.

The reality is, if you want to "volunteer", you're going to have to get into a situation where you are showing up on a regular basis so they can teach you, but also get some productive use out of you, too.  Their time is valuable.  They're not eager to just waste it every time somebody shows up and says, "hey, I might like the law, I might not... why don't you guys go to the trouble of helping me decide?"

If you passed the patent bar, you wouldn't necessarily have to be enrolled in law school.  You could tell them you intend to start in the Fall or whatever.  But you still need to show up, preferrably during normal work hours.  If you won't make that committment, you're not "volunteering" and they're not interested.

And before you say you have some plan of "volunteering" that is somehow short of being an intern, that's highly unlikely.  Keep in mind that even unpaid internships turn down far more candidates than they accept.  A productive lawyer does not have that much time to spend on a person who knows nothing about the law.  You may think you'll be helping, but if you can't put in regular hours on a consistent basis, you're just wasting their time.

Best of luck. 

102
Where should I go next fall? / Re: LSAT 158, GPA 3.75
« on: January 10, 2012, 02:06:14 PM »
Generally speaking, I'd think you stand a shot at various 2T schools.  Just apply and see what happens. 

As for scholarship money, you're probably looking at 4T to get any significant scholarship.

103
1.  I presume you are interested in IP law related to the tech industry.
2.  You can take the patent bar exam RIGHT NOW if you want.
3.  If you have that under your belt, I would think it'd be easy to get an internship once you're accepted to a law school.

Best of luck.

104
There may be only one or two at a time who succeed through those programs, but to deny those ones or twos the opportunity spits in the face of our whole national concept of anyone can do anything if they set their minds to it.

Ya know, if the Miami Dolphins allowed just anybody to show up to training camp, then I bet once in a while, somebody would make the team.  Thing is, they don't do that, knowing full well that every now and then, it will cost them a player who might actually be pretty good. 

Almost anybody can be an attorney, but let's be srious.  Not just anyone can do just anything if they set their minds to it.  For instance, there are some stupid attorneys out there but I sincerely doubt that you could pass the bar exam if you were of below average intelligence.  So, right off the bat, 50% of the population just got denied an opportunity by nothing more than an accident of birth.

Do you believe in ANY education requirement?  Because if you believe a bachelor's degree is a nice thing to have, there goes another half of the remaining 50%. 

Life isn't fair and it's naive to think that everybody can do anything they set their minds to.  It's a nice thought and folks should certainly try, but it's just not the way the world works.  I'm not sure there's a set of plausible circumstances that would have ever allowed me to become an MD, for instance.  I just wasn't that good in science courses.  Oh well.  Too bad.  So sad.  No matter how I put my mind to it, I doubt I could ever be a doctor.  That's just the way the world works.

OTOH, I don't see that attending an ABA law school is some horrible requirement.  Honestly, it's probably an order of magnitude easier to be a JD where I live than it is to be a plumber, if you do not have family connections.

What you're saying, though, is that it's either too expensive or too much trouble, or both.  The only person who is excluding you is yourself.  You know what you have to do.  You probably can do it.  You don't want to do it.  It'd be no different than me demanding to be a fireman, but saying that I don't need any of the formal training and that I know a guy who knows a lot about being a fireman and he trains me in my back yard.  I don't need the certifications, I don't need any of that.  The guy in my backyard prepares me well enough.

I would like to pursue those and can with an online law degree, thanks to those states who allow for alternatives.  Life is about success and failure – if someone wishes to pursue a path, the person should allowed to opportunity to succeed or fail based one his/her own volition – not some entity’s sanctioning.

States regulate all sorts of things, including where you can get your hair cut.  I used to get an occassional haircut from a neighbor girl who had never attended cosmetology school, wasn't licensed by the state and who worked out of her home. 

Nothing bad ever happened to me, other than perhaps a wonky haircut now and then.  Again, though, I don't see how this is an argument that the state should get out of the licensing business.  The state can't build a rule around an exception. 

You know what you have to do to attend an ABA school.  If you chose not to do it, you know the consequences.  If you accept that, then good for you.  However, railing that schools that produce 20% bar passage rates should be considered the same as schools that produce 90% bar passage rates is a tough sell.

105

Which supports my main principle – it’s NOT the school that makes the attorney, it’s the students in how s/he applies themselves – the school provides the direction.

I agree with you there, to a degree.

The thing is, with ABA approved schools, we literally use exactly the same books.  We all cover exactly the same subjects.  The 1L sequence, at virtually every ABA accredited law school, is essentially identical.  Our professors come from exactly the same schools.  Yes, the class at Harvard probably does dig a little deeper into topics. Maybe they cover a little more material, but not much.  Their Torts course and the one at a 4T aren't really that different.

Their students are, but the courses aren't.  Their library is probably worlds better than the library at my school.  So, maybe they have more resources, and that justifies saying that the experience is better.  The classrom experience, though?  Probably not that different.

With an unaccredited school, it's possible that you're using all the same materials and you have profs from all the same schools.  Trouble is, that's not generally what I've observed.  If you do, then great.  I agree.  It's entirely likely that the very best student at an unaccredited school is every bit as good as the very best student at a 4T or 3T.  Heck, probably in the ballpark of what the very best students would be like at a 1T or 2T.

Thing is, there seems to be a pretty big difference between what is taught and how.  For instance, a while back one poster commented that she was covering 300 cases or somesuch, in one of her classes.  That would be an astronomical number of cases.  However, she later revealed that her textbook was Legalines or something of the sort.  She wasn't even actually using an actual textbook.  She was using a study aid.  I find it very, very hard to believe that a person who was going through law school this way would have had the same educational experience (or approximately the same educational experience) as a 1L at Harvard.

A crappy 1T/2T student will be just as “uncompetitive” as someone in the lower 90% of a 4T school, I suspect.

Probably

 
I have said the school attended will have an effect on job competition – that’s reality – I understand even though I don’t agree, but to say just because someone opts for an alternative approach (online, law clerk program, apprentice with a judge/lawyer) to studying the law makes them less capable and should be disqualified from taking a bar exam – even when heir are those who have do so and practice successfully – is shortsighted in their view and elitist in their thinking. 



Yeah, I see your point and to a degree, I agree with you.  Face it, the law is a profession and one aspect of a profession is always to try to limit the number of people who practice that profession.  Heck, you can't even be a plumber in my neck of the woods unless you're connected, probably by blood. 

My full opinion on this is that anybody who can pass the bar should be an attorney.  However, in my world, the bar would be a lot harder to pass.  Here's the difficulty:  as a thumbnail, it appears that bar passage rates for nontrads is pretty poor.  Might be on order of only 10 or 20% of people who graduate from a nontrad program can pass the bar. 

So, if the world were what I envision, with a much harder bar exam, who knows, maybe folks at 4Ts like me would see that only 40% of the class would pass the bar, but then, what, 5% or 10% of the folks from the nontrad programs?

To me the problem isn't that a person from a nontrad program can't be a good attorney.  Heck, Abraham Lincoln is one of the most famous attorneys in the history of the nation and he never once set foot in a law school as a student.

It's that we shouldn't encourage people to embark on programs of study where there is, at best, a minimal chance of success. 

Granted, some people will still want to fight the odds, but when you're talking about such a low percentage of people being able to even meet minimal demonstrated knowledge on the bar, I don't see how it's unreasonable for states to close this door.

For instance, if there were a medical school where only 10% of the grads could pass state boards, would it be unreasonable for a state to shut down the medical school, or if they couldn't, to say that graduates from that school are not allowed to practice in a state?

It's hard to build a rule around an exception and the nontrad law student who can pass the bar is an exception.

Also, education is not entirely about education.  In fact, it's probably equally about credentialing.  (Some would argue that it's not about education at all, and is almost entirely about credentialling.)

Society really can't individually evaluate people so we use processes to stand in the stead of individual evaluation.  To me, the low bar passage rate of nontrad programs is probably somewhat due to an inherently inferior educational process, but is probably more largely related to the fact that entrance standards aren't very rigorous.  (I think at some of the California schools, all you need is an associate's degree, for instance.)

Basically, when the ABA accredited schools accept somebody, they're accepting a person with a 90% chance of passing the bar, after a program of study.

When a nontrad accepts somebody, they're accepting a person with a 20% chance of passing the bar, after a program of study.

Again, when states try to make a rule, do they really want to build it around an exception?  Heck, I bet a lot of former combat medics could easily step into a hospital and do absolutely everything an RN could do.  Are states wrong to require that a person complete an RN program of study before being allowed to be an RN?

Some people are really safe drivers at 80 mph.  Some are unsafe at 45.  Still, we have speed limits and we expect all of society to adhere to them. 

That's the crux of the matter.  It's not that anybody wants to be unfair or discriminate.  It's that there are standards, and frankly, I don't see how the standards are unreasonable.  They're not perfect, but they're not unfair. 



106
i spent so much money for 3 years i would hate for it to go waste.

First, not to kick you while you're down, but you're only thinking about this, now?

I feel bad that you got suckered into the "We're pursuing accreditation" scam.  In all seriousness, most schools that say "we're pursuing accreditation" are not actually pursuing anything.  What "pursuing accreditation" means is "not accredited".  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  It's just that "pursuing accreditation" sounds so much better than, "we can't meet basic minimal standards".  They know darned well that when they say they're "pursuing accreditation" that hopeful students think, "Oh, so they'll probably be accredited before I graduate".  Trouble is, generally, they aren't really trying that hard to pursue accreditation.  It's not like accreditation standards are secret.  They know if they meet them or not.  However, once in a while, they re-submit an application and are rejected and that allows them to maintain the illusion of trying.

At this point, I don't mean to be harsh, but your degree, as a credential in the law, doesn't appear to be of any value at all.  I can only hope that the things you learned while getting that degree are worth it.  It may be valuable to you if you pursue non-law related work.  You can, truthfully, claim that you hold a JD.  Lots of folks in all walks of life work in various fields with a JD and they are not attorneys.  So, you have a somewhat impressive graduate degree that you can put on a resume. 

If you are intent on practicing the law, one option is to live in one of the states that will allow you to sit for the bar without going to law school.  Usually to do this, you have to study under an attorney or judge for a few years.  Your JD may be of some value.  I would hope it is, at a minimum, viewed as being on par or perhaps superior to a parallegal degree.  Who knows.  This might let you work for a few years under an attorney as either a legal secretary or parallegal and complete your study requirements that way, allowing you to sit for the bar.

If you're not leaving KY, you're pretty much stuck, though.  I do notice that KY allows you to sit for the bar exam if your school is accredited by the Association of American Law Schools.  So, if that describes your school, you should be good to go.

http://www.kyoba.org/rules/scr_2.014.pdf

Another option is to simply enroll in an ABA accredited law school.

I wish I had been around to advise you when you were contemplating going to a non-accredited school.  I think some folks here think I'm overly harsh about them, but I fear that some people, like you, don't fully realize what they're getting into.

107

julie bet you really crack up everyone in community college.

Pretty much.  I was once voted 4th funniest person in my pottery class.  Try not to be jealous.

108
This is really a foolish line of discussion in a DL forum, if you have a DL degree you are not going to work for anyone unless it's your father in law. It's a given you are going to go solo like 47% of attorneys in California.

http://www.calbarjournal.com/January2012/TopHeadlines.aspx

Jon, is that what most of the incoming students think?  (Not trying to be smarmy, here.  Sincerely curious.)

I doubt very many of the people in my 1L class think they're going to work solo.  Most of them want jobs.  Personally, it was my goal to hang out a shingle at graduation, but at this point in time, I'm wondering how feasible that is.  Not from a financial standpoint.  I'm fine, there.  More from a standpoint of knowing what the heck I'm doing. 

109
As I read more of these “interesting” forums, I saw references about 1T, 2T, 3T, & 4T schools.  Not knowing what that was all about, I researched it and find it interesting how not only is there a line of thought about how one learns the law and if they should be allowed the opportunity to sit for a bar exam, but there is even a debate amongst ABA school students/grads as to how one’s school is better than another’s, which raises the question – if a school is in a lower tier than another implying it must be substandard in it’s curriculum or teaching methodology, should it’s grads be disallowed to sit for a bar exam since the school will probably have a lower passage rate?  A bunch of subjective BS to keep that competitive edge going, as I see it. 

Gonna pick a nit, here.  I go to a 4T school.  It's just a fact.  I probably could have gotten into a 3T somewhere and who knows, with a little luck, maybe even one of the lower ranked 2Ts.  Do I resent that my school is considered a 4T and that people from 1Ts and 2Ts have better job opportunities?  No.  Why would I?  Those people didn't get into those schools by blind luck.  They got better grades than I did.  They got higher LSAT scores.  Frankly, I think it's a truly pathetic loser who comes up short, but then says the game is rigged.  If you want what the 1T law students have, you needed to do what they did.  If you didn't, too bad, so sad, life sucks sometimes, especially when it's your own doggone fault for the predicament you're in.

Generally speaking most employers know that a top graduate of a 4T is not totally out of the ballpark of a top graduate from, say a 2T.  Top 10% is a hell of a thing, even in a 4T school.  (And based on the grades I have, so far, I'm nowhere near the top 10%.)  You can compete for the very best law jobs in most cities, if you're a graduate of a 4T, but only if you're at the very top of your class.

Where the comparison becomes important is that the average student at a 1T is considerably higher caliber than the average student at a 4T.  The worst student at a 1T might still have the potential to be a good attorney.  The worst student at a 4T?  That's a frightening thing.

You can argue that it's a bunch of BS, but I honestly have to wonder, what universe do you live in?  Are you basically trying to assert that no school is better than any other?  I've attended quite a few schools in my day (let's just say I give Sarah Palin a run for the money in terms of the number of transfers it took for me to get a Bachelor's degree).  You can see radical differences in the quality of the student body.  Generally speaking, the profs can only go as fast as the typical student can follow.  The tougher the school, the faster they're moving, the more material they cover, the more stuff you have to know and do to get a good grade.

Honestly, most jobs just aren't that analytical.  You just don't have to be that bright to, say, sell cars, or whatever.  Not trying to bag on car salesmen, here, but high academic achievement probably isn't in the top 5 most necessary traits for success in that field.  Stock brokers, too.  The success traits in those fields have more to do with a competitive, goal-focused personality and a desire for wealth.  However, if you want to put a satellite into orbit, you don't hire a bunch of communications majors from a barely accredited regional liberal arts college.  You hire Ph.D.s from MIT.

There are parts of the law that, frankly, aren't that analytical.  Really, probably any person of average intelligence could do them if they tried hard enough.  However, the more complex the issue, the harder it gets.  The more that's at stake, the more important it is to have a serious detail-orientation. 

Legal employers want to know who they're hiring and they use academic credentials to weed people out... pretty much like... oh... pretty much everyone who hires a recent graduate of an academic program.  If you're recruiting people out of school, any school, it would be unusual, indeed, to see a hiring manager saying, "Hey, you know who I want to hire?  Give me the guys who barely graduated.  I want to talk to the ones who really didn't do what the successful ones did.  My ideal candidate is one who cut every corner, couldn't be bothered to do what the top graduates did, and who tried to find a shortcut."

There are rewards for being a top graduate of a top school.  You can argue that we should live in a kumbaya universe where it shouldn't matter what school you go to, what grades you get, etc.  That's just not reality. 

110
that's great info.  thanks.

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