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Messages - FalconJimmy

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631
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Law School at 52
« on: March 29, 2011, 03:45:36 PM »
Your 52 and don't start school until Late August.  Withthe 4 year plan -you won't be practicing law until age 57ish. 

In a different day and age, this might be a good reason not to attend.

These days, people stay healthy much, much longer.

They also intend to work much, much longer. 

It's not uncommon to see people practicing law past their 70th birthday. 

The law is one of the few professions where it's probably feasible to be long in the tooth, yet still be able to function at a high level, provided your mind stays sharp.

632
Not to burst the OP's bubble (I would still apply), however, I don't believe that attending a top 10 school - in itself - will help too much with JAG.  It is my understanding that JAG typically selects the top performers at any given law school, regardless of the school's rank.  I believe JAG prepares a document every year showing the respective schools of its hired classes.  From what I recall, regional schools fared quite well in the selection process.

That really makes a lot of sense.  It isn't generally the military's practice to differentiate much between schools.  Basic accreditation is usually all they look for.  Their policies tend to be a one-size fits all approach with a broad policy that leads to consistent decision making that can be delegated down to a relatively low level.



Nevertheless, the economy does seem to be picking up for entry-level and lateral hiring.

That's good news.  IT's an (almost imperceptibly) slow economic recovery, but it is still a recovery.

633
Taking labor or employment wouldn't have really helped you much for HR, the law is simple.  You can pick it up very quickly.  Basic employment law is that you can't discriminate based on race, sex, color, national origin, religion, disability or age if over 40.  Basic labor law is that if the employer violates collective bargining laws, there isn't much downside for them.   

I agree that taking labor law isn't a make or break, here.  Hiring issues are one facet.  However, HR people are dealing with regulatory compliance nearly every day.  Not just hiring decisions and union contracts, but everything from HIPAA to OSHA to everything in-between.  They're interacting with the law to a very high degree on an almost daily basis.

As for JAG, good recommendation.  A top 10 school will undoubtedly help. However, keep in mind that JAG positions are extremely competitive right now.  This is not a refuge for people with no other options.  I wouldn't say it's as competitive as biglaw, but probably on par with trying to get a federal position.

634
Law School Applications / Re: Messy Application and Need Advice
« on: March 29, 2011, 10:04:30 AM »
Hmmm... not sure what to say, here.  It's going to be a fight for you, especially right now.

My first choice school is a 4T (due to location and my personal circumstances), and I was accepted with a 3.01/159.  However, they were wait-listing other applicants.  So, it's competitive now, even for T4s. 

Your GPA is really going to be a hindrance.  Your only shot is to beat the living snot out of the LSAT.  I mean, you will probably need to pull down like a 165 or better unless you can find a place that will read your personal statement.

I wouldn't count too much on that, though.  Admissions is pretty much all based on LSAT and GPA.  The US News Rankings have really reduced it to that and very little else.

As a side note, I applied to a T2 and just got my rejection notice.  I think during other times, I would have gotten in.  (I actually got into the MBA program at the same school, and at the time, the MBA program was #47 in USN&WR.)  However, with the crappy economy, EVERYBODY is applying to law school.  Not just all the recent baccalaureate graduates, but folks with 2 years worth of unemployment benefits, folks who just got let go but have a severance package, etc. 

Down economies produce an abundance of applicants to schools. 

There are certainly schools that will take a chance on you, but they're way down in the 4T.  If you're determined not to go to a 4T school, I don't mean to discourage you, but I don't think you have a realistic shot.

Now, that being said, 4T has a few things going for it.

First, if you graduate first in your class from any school, you will get opportunities.  Might even be able to work biglaw. 

Thing is, you need to graduate maybe 1st, 2nd or 3rd in your class to get those opportunities from a T4, where you might be able to get them with a top 10% from a T2 or a top 20% from a T1.

Second, you CAN transfer.  If you do well in 1L year, there is some T2 school, somewhere, that will let you transfer in.  For transfer applicants, LSAT and GPA are very small factors and sometimes they are complete non-factors.

Now, this only applies if you show up to your T4 school and kick some major butt.  However, if that's not what you're planning on doing, then it won't matter what school you graduate from:  you will not get a job in the law unless your dad's name is on the letterhead of the firm. 

Right now, Law School is a really dog-eat-dog proposition.  Graduate at the top? You'll do well.  If you skate on through and graduate middle of the pack, you're going to be screwed.  It'll basically much worse than a graduate degree in the humanities, because at least with a Ph.D. in Humanities, you can teach somewhere.

635
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Law School at 52
« on: March 29, 2011, 09:51:05 AM »
So, I got accepted into a top 100 law school at the tender age of 52. I am excited in that I always wanted to be a lawyer, took my first lsat back when dinosaurs walked the earth, but other priorities prevailed.  Will start fall 2011; but have a question...... how will my "classmates" view me?  really don't want 4 years (going part time due to job) of being alienated.... just curious.

I'm not quite in your boat, but I'm not that far from it.  Let's just say we're rowing in the same lake.

I think they're going to view you as old.  However, I think there are two things that will impact this:

1.  Is it near the top?  Or more like 80-ish? 
2.  Is it full-time or part-time?

Frankly, a lot of the schools lower down the pecking order have quite a few non-traditional students.  It's not that we old folks can't go to schools like Harvard and Yale, but frankly, if we were the types who could nail down a 179 LSAT and a 3.92 GPA, we wouldn't be looking for a career change in our 50s.  We'd be pondering retirement after shooting out of the cannon at full speed when we were youngsters.

I think a lot depends on your personality.  If you act like "the old guy" and want to talk about a bunch of stuff that isn't interesting to anybody, then they're going to find you annoying and generally avoid you.  However, if you have a good personality, can recognize group dynamics and are not a chore to be around, it shouldn't be that bad.  I struck up a conversation with a few "kids" on preview day and if they were put off by my age, they sure didn't show it.

Of course, I was talking to them about things they were also concerned about:  the job market, job prospects, what law school will be like, where are the good places to live near campus, etc. 

So, I don't think being old will be that big of a deal at a lot of schools. 

The folks who are going to have trouble will be the old guys who go in thinking that they have a bunch of wisdom to impart on young people and who never shut up about how they did this, or that, or whatever.  The other law students aren't your kids, they're your peers.  If you show them that respect, they will likely reciprocate.

636
Non-Traditional Students / Re: CPA and Law school
« on: March 29, 2011, 09:39:03 AM »
Hey guys,

I'm graduating this year and will work Big 4 accounting (audit) for 2-3 years.  I will get my CPA this summer.  I've always wanted to be a lawyer, and am really working as an accountant to learn business.

What is the value of a CPA for law firm recruiters?  I don't think it counts for much in law school admissions, but my goal is to go into an area where accounting will be useful, such as corporate or tax.  Are there other legal specialties where accounting will be helpful?  How much does the CPA count for BigL?  I would like to make more than 70-80K per year after graduating law school, because if I stay with Big 4 accounting, my salary would be 80-100K anyways (less law school debt). 

Does anyone have experience or know of people in this situation?

Thanks in advance.

Just wanted to throw a couple things in the mix, here.

First, you could look for a Masters of Taxation degree.  That will get you somewhat into the sphere of tax law.

The other possibility, if you go to law school, is that you could get an LLM in Tax after finishing law school.

The value of the CPA?  If you go to law school, who knows.  The most important factors will be your school and GPA, but maybe if all other things are relatively equal, a background in accounting could help you get a job on Wall Street or with a federal regulator.

However, I think most folks will agree:  once you start down the JD path, your job prospects down the road will depend on your school and your class rank.  Really, anything else is a secondary consideration of very little importance.

Best of luck.  Being a CPA is a good thing to be right now.

637
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
« on: March 29, 2011, 09:25:10 AM »
I think everything you say makes sense, but there's one distinction I think needs to be made.

The guys who graduate when the job market picks up aren't going to be behind the backog of other years' grads.  I've seen this play out time and time again.  I'm older.  So, I've seen a few booms and busts. 

What happens is that people who graduate during a bust cycle almost always have their career ****ed for good.  They never, never make up the ground that they lost.  I've seen numerous articles and studies on this, but the basic gist is this:

Some guy graduates during a bust.  He's #15 out of a class of 100.  Can't find a job.  Ends up working odd jobs, eventually gets some job at a title company.  His career is pretty much forever defined by this starting point.

The guy who graduates during a boom?  He's #15 out of a class of 100, gets a job offer of $65,000 at some midsize firm.  His career continues on a trajectory from there.

This is just one of the first that turned up on a google search, but the effects of graduating in a downturn are long-lasting.

http://www.doublex.com/blog/xxfactor/recession-has-really-screwed-recent-college-grads

The effects of graduating in a boom?  It would seem only fair that the new guys should have to wait after all the old guys, but that just isn't the case.  Training pipelines that want recent grads want exactly that:  recent grads. 

I graduated high school during a recession.  Went in the military.  Got out, went to college.  Right when I needed a job, another recession.  In '93, I was able to find a good job that lasted a while.  Completed a graduate degree.  Finished it just before... yep... another recession.  Was sorta stuck, instead of being able to use my degree to vault to the next level. 

In the mean time, timing is everything.  People who graduated just 2 or 3 years before or after had multiple job offers, higher salaries, etc. 

I remember when I got my first management job, I needed to hire a LAN administrator.  The market was so hot, I ended up hiring a kid who had completed only a year or so at a community college.  I paid him over $40,000 to start.  Just 7 years earlier, I'd taken my first job at 27K and didn't mkae that kind of money until 3 promotions and a relocation later.

I do agree with what you have to say about the economy.  I live in SE Michigan / NW Ohio and this place is just depressing.  It's hard to stay encouraged around here. 

Did you know many/any people who transferred out of Wayne?  Was anybody able to get to U Mich,  Notre Dame, Case or Ohio State? 

638
You're already taking Kaplan, so you should be able to improve.  I did well on everything except the logic games.  Don't have time or $$$ for Kaplan.  So, I'm getting one of the prep bible books and will probably re-take in June.

639
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
« on: March 26, 2011, 01:23:35 PM »
"Wayne State: Worth it?"  Probably not.

Wow, no matter how many law grads I see saying things like this, it always sorta strikes me as one of those, "oh wow!" moments. 

Thanks for your candor.  I hope at least that you've been able to do okay.

640
You can get in somewhere, somehow.  Do you have geographical restrictions? 

I don't know that 3rd tier is realistic, but there's probably a school somewhere in the 4th tier that will take you.

I could even envision a scenario where your previous grades are acknowledged, but not transferred to your new school's transcript since most schools don't include other schools' grades on their class rankings, etc.

Just keep applying.  You may have to move to a new part of the country, though.  Use your personal statement to explain what happened.  You're not the first person to have a difficult time due to health issues of a relative.  In a somewhat related way, I left school one semester when I found out a relative, who had raised me, had only a couple of weeks left to live.  I asked all my profs if they would give me their final exams early.  They were all very kind and obliged, but since I took the exam with 3 weeks to go, I got straight Cs that semester.

You're not the only one this happened to, and the admissions committee has seen it before.

Fortunately for you, 4T schools need to put butts in the seats.  If your UGPA and LSAT are good (and I presume they are if you were previously admitted to a 2T), then you can probably find a school that will take you.

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