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Messages - FalconJimmy

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I'm wirriting a paper on should government astrict constitutional basic rights when there is a big activity( for example, London will hold the Olympic games next year) ?

Their constitutional rights won't be affected, in all likelihood.

1. Do the police have the right to define high-risk people ?

Why wouldn't they?

I'm not a Harvard or Yale graduate, so I will never get to clerk for a Supreme Court justice.  It sucks, but in the end, I just wasn't good enough.  I'm not going to discredit the work those Yale and Harvard grads put in to get there to make myself feel better about myself. 

In a way, that's where I'm coming from on this.  Honestly, if I were to say that the top grads of my school are equal to the top grads at Harvard, that's just silly.  Yes, the profs all came from the same schools.  Yes, we use the same materials.  But frankly, the classes at Harvard are a lot smarter than the classes where I go.  I'm not trying to disparage my school in any way.

It is what it is, and it produces competent attorneys.  I would wager that once in a while, when the hiring market is good, maybe the top grad out of my school or any other 4T gets a shot at biggish law.  Meaning, the biglaw firms, but outside the biglaw cities.  That's about it, though.

So, hey, I give the T14 guys their due.  They did what I couldn't or didn't do.  Life isn't about what you coulda done or shoulda done.  It's about what you did.  Most people have the potential to run a marathon.  However, only a small number put in the miles and hours and months required to ever do it.

I'm not going to say that a person who COULD have run a marathon, but who ran a 5K, is the same thing.

Nor am I going to say that your typical 4 hour finisher is in any way the same thing as an elite who finishes in a little over 2 hours. 

Run/walking a 5K, running a marathon and WINNING a marathon?  In a sense, they're all made of the same stuff.  However, there's a chasm of difference.

So, just as I think it'd be ridiculous to think that my school produces the same caliber of graduates as Harvard, seriously, the possibility of a school that doesn't even meet the ABA's minimal standards producing an attorney the caliber of a typical ABA school graduate? 

How many indications do we need before we can put this thing to rest?  I mean, the bar passage rate alone should end the discussion once and for all. 

So, could a DL or unaccredited school produce a great attorney?  Sure!  Why not?  What makes a great attorney is largely individual.

However, being resentful that for the most part, unaccredited law school students are regarded as a cut below or that their education is regarded as being lesser, or bemoaning that there are fewer employment opportunities?  Seriously, come on. 

I'm far from the world's most successful person.  However, I've never been resentful of those who achieved more than I did.  I always chalked it up to them doing things that I couldn't or that I wouldn't.

The stuff I couldn't do?  Doesn't bother me a bit.

The stuff I could have done?  But just chose not to?  Bothers me a lot.

Maybe that's where this all comes down.  Most of these DL students probably COULD have gone to an accredited law school, but just didn't make the sacrifices necessary.  Seriously, there's a law school somewhere that will accept nearly anybody.  I swear to god, some of the guys in undergrad who went on to law school (and graduated AND passed the bar), I would have thought were borderline mentally retarded back in the day.

Hey, that's fine if you chose not to do what it takes.  There's a path for them to become attorneys.

But it's not the same.  And insisting that it is really doesn't make sense.

As for not "cutting it" at a big firm, anyone with any common sense would flee any job that requires one to work more hours than they humanly want to and induces highter than average rates of sleep deprivation, stress, and substance and alcohol abuse.

I don't think he's talking about the biglaw refugees.  It's common for folks to punch their ticket in biglaw, then go for more reasonable hours in a corporate or government setting.  I imagine quite a few also hang out a shingle and establish successful practices.

What he's talking about, and what I think most people agree with him on, is that the biglaw hiring process screens out a lot of bad and quite a few pretty good attorneys in the search for great ones. 

If I had to hire an attorney, I know who I'd hire if it came down to a guy who graduated top of their class at a competitive school, versus somebody who graduated mid-pack at a 4T.  Not to say that this will always mean that I'll be selecting the better attorney.  Just that most of the time (meaning, pretty much nearly all the time), going with the one who was a badass in school is probably going to be a good indication of who is a badass after school.

The only exception I contend is that someone with excellent mnemonic skills can pass the California bar by simply memorizing all the outlines, Blacks law dictionary, nutshells, past bar questions and Flemings or something similar. Of course once they get their law license, they will need to learn how to practice law by hanging out with attorneys and attending court everyday for a few months.

That's the main drawback to not-having an education requirement.  If you could become an attorney by doing this, I probably could have been an attorney straight out of High School.  It's not like I'm the only one, either.  There's a lot of folks who are pretty good at taking tests.  I don't think that indicates that they're ready to practice law.

I do have a problem with any system that only admits you to the bar after you've "studied under" somebody, such as what we have in the UK.  That just smacks of insulating the industry to only those few people who are connected.  That may jibe well with UK society, but not so much, here.

some of the best attorneys work for free

I imagine some do.

or on a contingent fee basis

And you equate 1/3 of a settlement as working for poor wages, I take it.

the hourly guys who work for big firms, are usually good at one thing - billing their clients for every nanosecond spent on a case.

Ah, yeah, I forgot.  They couldn't possibly be good attorneys. 

Good attorneys work for people and causes not corporations and insurance companies.

Morally good?  Eh, I have no quibble with you there.  at the very least, they would appear to be altruistic and willing to work for what they consider to be causes with some social benefit.

Or to put it another way, an attorney who represents SSI claimants...

Let me finish that sentence for you:  "... got appointed as an appointed representative and is getting an hourly fee from the federal government."

if they're poorly paid, its because they're just stupid, not-very good at being an attorney, not very good at running a practice, or some combination of the three.

Therefore, I disagree, we need far fewer indebted attorneys who paid big law school tuition and are more concerned with paying off their loans than helping clients.

Or perhaps what you mean is, we need more competent attorneys working for the public interest, even if the field is not very lucrative.  There are other ways to handle that.  These days, heck, we could provide student loan repayment and a modest paycheck and a lot of attorneys would jump at the chance.

If someone has a bachelors degree and training and can pass the bar, why shouldn't they be an attorney?

I agree with you there.  If it were my world, there would be no law school requirement or maybe not even any education requirement at all, but the bar would be much tougher.  Given that unaccredited schools have, what, about a 20 or 30% Bar passage rate, I'd say that any tougher bar would make the proportion of their graduates who eventually practice law a statistical rounding error.

However, what would that do to the legal industry?  How would people get jobs in the law?  By their bar score alone?  There's a purpose for the educational component involved in being an attorney. 

In England, an undergrad degree, a one year conversion course, and two year training contract at a law firm are all that is required with no bar exam at all to become a solicitor (which is a lawyer).

You may have me at a disadvantage, here, but isn't a solicitor the equivalent of an attorney who handles transactional law, exclusively?

To actually practice in court, you need to be a barrister, which is a different thing, entirely.

Or do I have that wrong?

+1 for Zepp.  Great points. 

If I understand the gist, what they're saying is that if you dropped all standards, then people could become "attorneys" without having to attend a real law school.  Sort of like what happens in California. 

Then, since you really didn't make them do anything to become attorneys, they'll give their services away nearly for free.

Is there a glut of inexpensive attorneys in California?  Seems to me that good attorneys are as expensive in CA as anywhere else in the country, if not moreso.

Good attorneys will always be expensive.  You can hire cheap attorneys right now.  Chances are they're inexperienced, graduated from lesser schools and aren't at the top of their profession.

People don't want attorneys who don't know what they're doing.  That's why attorneys who know what they're doing can charge what they charge.  I am willing to bet that in CA, the guys who went to unaccredited schools who kick ass don't charge $20 an hour.  I bet once they establish a professional reputation, they charge what any other comparably competent attorney charges.

Which means that you will only create cheap attorneys by creating bad attorneys.

Law School Admissions / Re: Do Fee Waivers mean anything?
« on: December 19, 2011, 04:25:17 PM »
Well... yeah, it means you don't have to pay a fee.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Law school questions
« on: December 19, 2011, 02:46:20 PM »
Wow, thank you for the feedback.  I notice that you write in a lot on these forums, and I am sure a lot of people are appreciative.  I do have one further question.  The geographical region of one's school of choice seems to be important.  It would seem that schools tend to be relative heavyweights in their surrounding region (although I would imagine a top 14 school is a heavyweight anywhere).  That, coupled with the variances in each state's legal codes and bar exams seems to limit one's options for traveling.  So my question is this, if I was to attend a law school in Arizona (ASU/UofA) would I have a difficult time branching out of the state during the course of my career?  Because, to be frank, I don't want to live in Arizona (and I certainly don't want to live in the Phoenix metro area) for the rest of my life.  However, I don't know exactly where I want to live, and I will most likely move to several different states (predominantly west coast) at different points.  Thank you for any advice you may be able to provide!

The very, very top schools aren't regional.  Meaning, if you graduate from Harvard, and you go to Portland OR, the degree is considered just as much of a badass degree as it is if you apply for a job in Boston.

Once you get out of the top 10 or so, that starts to fray.  On another discussion thread, a person was trying to weigh the merits of Cornell vs. UCLA.  Those schools, though clearly they have top national reputations, are at the cusp of where regionality carries some weight.  For southern california, you'd be better off with UCLA.  For something in New England, probably better off with Cornell.

As you go farther down, the schools can get really limiting.  For instance, I live in Ohio.  If you go to, say, Cleveland State, and you get a top class rank, you can do very well in the Cleveland market.  Enough people have that degree and have attained a high position that it isn't held against you.  However, go to Columbus?  Pittsburgh?  Detroit?  It's held against you.  It's just regarded as being a not-very-good law school.

ASU and UofA are both regarded as being very good.  Obviously, they will give you an advantage in the State of Arizona.  However, you'll notice when you're in school that other than the Federal Government, most of the recruiting on campus will be regional.  If you go to Harvard, the region just happens to be pretty much most of the developed world.  ASU and UofA will largely be recruited by firms in the area.  Maybe some in New Mexico and I bet some SoCal firms are going to be there. 

If you tried to apply for a job in Dallas, you'd have an advantage over a Cleveland State grad.  They know that ASU is a better law school than CSU.  However, you'd be behind the SMU grads.  You'd be way behind the UT grads.  And frankly, you'd probably be behind all the Texas Tech, UofH and Baylor grads, too.

So, once you leave the top 10 or so (I've heard people refer to the "top 6" and maybe that's the good guidance, here), the reputations start becoming regional.  You can practice anywhere in the country with an ASU or UofA law degree.  Thing is, you give away home-court advantage if you look for work anywhere outside of AZ.

Not sure if that helps, but hey.  Besides, PHX market is growing like crazy.  If you have to be stuck somewhere, there are worse places to be stuck.  (I look in a mirror as I say this.)

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Cornell vs. UCLA
« on: December 19, 2011, 02:38:36 PM »
Being from that same region in New York myself, the weather/location of UCLA is definitely the major draw over Cornell.  I'm just trying not to throw away a T-14 option for a few years of sunshine. Unless the two are comparable.... in which case I'll see you in Cali.

I think, honestly, that although Cornell is a T14, that it is still going to be mostly portable in the NE of the US.  Which is great if you want to work in any of the big cities there like NY, Philly, Boston, etc.

However, I would be willing to bet that UCLA is the bigger dog in Southern California and in California overall.

I don't think the difference in reputation between the two is significant at all.  Really.  I wouldn't chose Cornell JUST because it was a couple of places higher in the US News rankings.  Other factors like your extracurriculars during Law School and your class rank will have far more weight than a 3 place difference in the rankings.

If you'd ultimately like to live in SoCal, I'd say UCLA is the place to go.  If you want to work in Boston or NYC, then Cornell.  Even though the very top ranked schools are not really regional, these schools are sort of in the area where geography has an impact. 

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Cornell vs. UCLA
« on: December 19, 2011, 08:44:51 AM »
I've heard about those suicide rates.

What about Winter Sports?  Is there skiing and such there?

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