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Messages - FalconJimmy

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A few of the top students in my class got excellent paying jobs, but they hate their life right now... those jobs will keep you extremely busy and away from your family.

The only thing I'll add there is that we're talking what, maybe $80,000 or $100,000 a year?  First year out of law school? 

If you go into any other field, there are jobs that pay $80,000 to $100,000 a year.  And if you work those jobs, you probably aren't punching a clock.  You're probably working until 6:30 or 7:00 every night and putting in a half day on Saturday morning. 

It's hard to find a high paying job that you will be able to do on a 9 to 5 basis with plenty of time left over for the family.  Any job that involves travel?  Zero time with family when you're on the road. 

It's just not that easy to make six figures, regardless of what you try.  Chances are you'll have to put forth some extraordinary effort.

1. how is the job market for lawyers these days? is it true that things aren't really good for even those who graduate from top universities?

I would say that's grossly overstating the problem.  Top graduates do well.  Even at my 4T, it seems like the top quarter or maybe even the top half seem to be having success finding good work.

The only reason I was considering the full-time job is maybe to relieve some of the debt I've incurred due to graduate school. Also, I was thinking that if I had a full-time job, I can focus on starting my career at a company in the unfortunate event I don't get into any law schools.

I would find it unlikely that you'd be unable to get into any law school at all.  Apply at a few, have a safety or two.

The only reason I was considering the full-time job is maybe to relieve some of the debt I've incurred due to graduate school. Also, I was thinking that if I had a full-time job, I can focus on starting my career at a company in the unfortunate event I don't get into any law schools.

The research route is definitely compelling, and I know that nothing I do in the next year will affect my law school admissions, but how about employment after law school? Or will it be negligible based on how I perform in law school.

The only thing you want if you hope to work in the law, is a high class rank from the best school you can get into.  Most other factors will be negligible at best.  Though, if you hope to work in IP law, a master's in engineering (especially EE) is a big plus.

F., as well as completing a 0L study program in anticipation for your 1L year.  You can find out more about what you can study in books like Planet Law School and Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold, etc. 

Current Law Students / Re: ???
« on: December 25, 2011, 09:46:11 AM »
Seasons Greetings!

You will find by and large that almost all law schools teach exactly the same courses (especially during the first year), use all the same textbooks and the professors all come from the same schools (usually Harvard and Yale).  This is true from the best schools in the country all the way down to the least-regarded.  Any ABA accredited school allows you to sit for the bar and practice law in all 50 states.

What I would advise is that when you start Law School, to keep an open mind.  You can do your research and figure out everything you can, but you'll learn more in your first year in Law school about the jobs and options available than you could learn in 5 years of trying to ferret out the information on your own.

All schools teach constitutional law and criminal law.  Those both seem to be closely related to what you're interested in.  (Criminal law may seem an odd fit at first glance, but remember, half of criminal law is the people saying, "this person is NOT a criminal.")

Other than that, not a lot of specific guidance, but if you ask me, one aspect of the law that is not given enough attention is the ability of people to change our country for the better using the law.  When I think of the civil rights struggles in the mid 20th century, it's obvious that a great deal of that progress was made by attorneys in courtrooms.  I am a firm believer in the majesty of the law and the fact that all men are equal before the law.  It can truly be a force for good.

Best of luck in your pursuits!

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Securities Law
« on: December 24, 2011, 05:30:04 PM »
So you guys are saying that one shouldn't go to law school unless they have top grades from the top schools, much less even begin thinking about getting a job as a lawyer.

I would say for certain jobs, the hiring environment is exceptionally competitive.

If you said that you wanted to practice family law or crimlaw or PI or something like that at graduation, and you have a 153/3.0 I'd say go for it.  That's a reasonable aspiration.  You can get into those fields without graduating from the very top schools.  In fact, those are areas where sometimes a person with really good interpersonal skills can do well.  Sometimes being able to play to / read a jury is more important in PI or crimlaw than being a top go-getter, ultra-detail-focused person.

Securities law?  Exceedingly competitive.  Every aspect of it.  If you want to work for the SEC, I hope you can afford 2 Summers paying rent in DC because the SEC internships are unpaid.  And they're competitive as hell.  Lots of top school students go there because they want to save the world (and/or get a job on wall street at $300,000 after a few years working for the SEC).  Want to work on Wall Street?  I don't even think those guys are aware that schools outside the Ivy League exist.  Want to work in securities litigation for a firm in private practice?  You may not need to graduate from ivy league schools (though you probably should), but you need to graduate from a top program in the top of your class.

With 153/3.0 you're looking pretty much exclusively at 4th tier schools.  You can take a flier and there's probably a 3T somewhere that will take you, but there won't be many.

There are various sites where you can plug in your numbers to get your idea of acceptance at various schools.  This is one:

With your scores, you're looking at schools like Akron, Albany, Arkansas-Little Rock, etc.  Don't take my word for it.  Go visit one of their campuses or get in touch with some alums.  Ask them how many of their graduates got placed on Wall Street last year.

As for whether or not to go to law school, only you can decide that for yourself.  I'm not saying you shouldn't go.  I have no doubt that you can get into a law school, you can probably graduate, you can probably pass the bar, and if you work hard enough, you'll eventually probably be a damned fine, well-paid attorney.

I just don't think you stand a snowball's chance of working in securities.

As you consider whether law school is for you or not, I'd ask myself:  what has changed since the 3.0/153?  Not trying to kick you when you're down, but those scores suck.  Seriously.  I have a 3.0.  It sucks.  It's a terrible undergrad GPA. 

What will be different this time for you?  Why will things be different?

Because the hiring picture is awful right now, and it's especially awful if you are an average student, or worse, at a 4T.  I ascribe no negative or positive value judgement at all when I say this.  That's just the way it is.

As for me, my money has largely been made.  I have a source of income that doesn't require me to earn anything in the law.  I attend a 4T.  My goal is to start a PI practice at graduation.  I have the luxury of not needing an income while I establish my practice.  Even so, it's a hard slog out there.  Lots of attorneys.  Only so much work. 

But you don't have to be a 4T student to know what's happening.  You also don't have to be a Yale grad, either.  Unless you're the type of person who has to get burned by a hot stove to figure out it's hot, you can figure all this stuff out just by talking to folks and doing a minimal amount of reading.

I wouldn't say to avoid going to law school.  If you want to go, like I said, I figure you stand a shot at success. There are a lot of reasons to go to Law School.  At least half my motivation is that I want to be able to say I am an attorney before I die.  At least 50% of my reason is pure bucket-list, alone.  I don't know what your reasons are, but if the reason is because you want to work in securities law,  I sense that you really haven't researched this at all.  You might want to look into things a bit more before you jump onto this ride. 

Oh sweety, my first lang is the lang of love.  I will teach it to you.

I dunno, bud.  I suspect Julie is a 400 pound bald guy who posts in his BVDs.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Securities Law
« on: December 24, 2011, 11:01:49 AM »
I appreciate your honesty, but I have the motivation and I think correct expectations.

I don't mean to be cruel, but IrrX posted exactly what I would have posted (but much nicer.)  I thought better of it, but let's be frank for a moment.

153/3.0?  You're not getting into a good law school.

Securities law is complicated and competitive and very difficult to get into.  You won't get in.

You should probably think about a different way to apply your interest in securities.  153/3.0?  You might want to think about being a stockbroker. 

I know you don't want to hear this, but IrrX is trying to do you a favor.  You really need a reality check, here.  Even in 4T schools, 153/3.0 puts you in the pretty much in the bottom half of the incoming class.  Odds are if you do that, you're going to spend 3 years getting your clock cleaned, graduate with average grades at best, and then end up bearing a six figure student loan debt without prospects for a job.

I'm sure you're great, great, great at a great many things.  The odds of you being great at law school are remote, at best.  Find something you will be good at.  You would be lucky to be an average student in a 4T.

I know that sounds cruel, but it's a lot less cruel than letting you "follow your dream" then end up feeling totally screwed over after 3 years of this.  There are a lot of very lucrative jobs in Securities.  You should pursue them.  However, securities law?  I don't see how you can make that happen, unless your Dad is the senior partner of a securities law firm.

One way to lessen the power of the ABA would be to start a "competing" accreditation body and then LOBBY hard all the states to have members of schools that received their stamp of approval to take their state's bar.  This body would accredit online/distance learning schools - in my dream world :) 

That's really the only way you can "break" the ABA stranglehold.

However, keep in mind, as many DL advocates point it, the ABA's accreditation standards are currently under fire from congress.

But not for the reasons you think.  For the most part, congress wants the ABA to accredit FEWER schools.  So far, the ABA's position is that if you meet the standards, you should be accredited.

A similar battle was fought by DOs against MDs a while back.  That's your model.

Here's the problem, though.  If your argument is that DL and various unaccredited schools are just as good at educating students as ABA schools, the one area where this demonstrably falls flat is on bar passage rates. 

It's not enough just to say, "this education is every bit as good."  Unless you can show it somehow, it's not unreasonable to dismiss such assertions.

Already, the unaccredited schools have a foot in the hole.  They don't have the library facilities.  Not sure what they do as far as classroom hours.  So, a lot of things the ABA says are necessary for a good legal education are missing.

It is perfectly valid to counter, "Well, the ABA is wrong, those things are NOT required for a good legal education". 

Trouble is, when time comes to take the bar, the ABA schools are in a completely different universe than the schools that claim to be "just as good."

Close that gap on bar passage rate, and I think an alternative accrediation body would have a very, very legitimate argument. 

I think there's a lot of improvements that could be made.  I think a large library is a great resource to the legal community and others who need access to legal research material.  However, I think for the purposes of education, you could get everything you need via your laptop and you'd be just fine.

Ultimately, though, the argument for alternative accreditation standards should be, "it is just as good".  Right now, at best, the argument is, "once in a while, an exceptionally bright person choses to get their legal education this way... that person is by far the exception."

Yawn. Yawn + 1 for my pal Falcon Jimmy. You make your argument well, but I'm beginning to think it's the only argument you know how to make. We get it-- you don't like digitally delivered law education. So, why do you bother to post here? No one else will let you play in their sandbox?
 ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)

Yes, your aversion to anything that doesn't reinforce your fantasy is well documented and noted.  However, others may not be quite as willing to embark on a likely frutiless endeavor if they have enough information.  If it isn't for you, it isn't for you.  Ignore it and live long and prosper.

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