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Messages - FalconJimmy

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Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Is Pepperdine Worth It?
« on: March 18, 2011, 12:09:40 PM »
Why do you say that Jwebony956?

If she really looks like the picture, my guess is that she's just used to saying that to every man she meets.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Wayne State: Worth it?
« on: March 18, 2011, 07:50:32 AM »
Toledo fell into T4.  (I'll be curious about that story--big fall in 3 years)

It's a pretty straightforward story.

Toledo was gaming the system with the US News numbers.  Basically, if you had poor GPA and LSAT, they put you in the transitional program, or only admitted you to the part-time section.

Now, US News includes part-timers in their ranking data.  So, Toledo lost an advantage there.

Also, these things snowball.  To a degree, the US News rankings become a self-fullfilling prophecy.  If your school makes it to, say, #23, students who weren't interested when it was #49 are now taking a look.  When Toledo was 2T, some folks who would not have otherwise considered it started thinking about it.  When they slid to 3T, fewer people considered it.  Dropping into 4T is really bad. 

The rankings are imperfect, but any time you fall into a group that includes all the very worst law schools in the country, that's going to look bad. 

A 2nd tier school usually draws folks from all over the country.  The 4th tier schools are going to basically be commuter schools.  Figure OSU and Cinci are better and are also state schools.  CWRU is better, and only 2 hours away.  Almost nobody is going to leave, say, the Cleveland metro area to go to Toledo since they can go to CWRU, and if they can't get in there, they can just go to CSU. 

Even Akron is ranked higher than Toledo, now.  This is bad and the Law School really needs to get a hotshot dean to pull them out of this death spiral.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Disability Law
« on: March 17, 2011, 04:04:33 PM »
California has a unique system with disability law that involves its own set of damages, etc.  Might be something you could figure out by taking a CE, but seems to me that you'd be foolish to go to a school outside California.

Just my barely-informed opinion.

Job Search / Re: Insurance Defense Work
« on: March 16, 2011, 10:19:30 AM »
At least at this firm - it's 2000 hr requirement for the firm, and hours get kicked back ALL the time!  It seems really stressful since the clients are pretty sophisticated.

Wow, I don't have direct experience in insurance defense, but this is so familiar it actually is giving me chills. 

I have heard that the upside of insurance defense work is that you're essentially guaranteed a nonstop stream of work. 

On the flip side, I've heard that they negotiate lower rates for the hourly billing rate (totally consistent with what I see insurance companies do every day.)

Then, to add the point you made: that they kick back on the billed hours is also absolutely consistent with what I've observed with the way they do business, everywhere. 

They're essentially negotiating thousands of transactions every day.  They know how far they can go when pushing a relationship and they're darned sure going to do it.

Now, in the final analysis, nobody is forced to work for them.  I know of one person in particular who specialized in insurance defense a long time ago and he's truly wealthy, now.  Works long hours, earns every penny, but never has to wonder where his next billable hour is going to come from.

However, I can see how this could be horribly frustrating work.  You're representing Goliath, trying to help him beat the snot out of David, and when you succeed, he quibbles about your bill after you already gave him a discount on the rate to begin with.

I'm really glad you guys brought this up.  It would never have occurred to me how unappealing this sort of work can be if you had not. 

Not saying I wouldn't do it, or that I'd rule it out, but just saying I'd examine any prospects in this line of work with my eyes wide open.

Job Search / Re: Insurance Defense Work
« on: March 15, 2011, 10:02:53 PM »
From what I've seen most ins companies are quite fair and do pay out when they should - most of the litigation ends up when someone wants a benefit they never paid for is is doing something shady like burning their own house down for the ins payout. Also there's a huge range of ins defense from auto liability to D&O to general commercial liability.

I work with property and casualty companies every day.  I can't divulge much given that I still make my living this way, but suffice to say that my impression of property and casualty insurers is 180 degrees different than yours. 

I also am a person who was against litigation most of my life until I was hit by a woman in an SUV who made a left turn while oncoming and knocked me from my bike.  The insurance company was so uncooperative and unwilling to offer a reasonable settlement, I ended up hiring a PI firm. 

I think a lot of people have good interactions with insurance companies that pay fairly and promptly.  However, there are enough cases that I've personally witnessed where nothing of the sort happened, that I absolutely don't look down at PI attorneys anymore.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: How do you get old exams?
« on: March 15, 2011, 09:49:07 PM »
It completely depends on the school and professor.  At HLS exams for most professors were available for download via the school's intranet.

Thanks, I will see if there are copies in the law library or whether I can download them somehow.  The school I'm going to is considerably less prestigious than HLS.

Incoming 1Ls / How do you get old exams?
« on: March 15, 2011, 08:51:05 AM »
Does anybody have advice on how to get old exams?

I take it you can't ask your prof for them.  Is the only way to get them to ask students if they still have theirs?

What about commercially available stuff?  I know there are E&Es and outlines you can buy.  Are there sample exam questions and answers, too?

Job Search / Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« on: March 15, 2011, 07:36:56 AM »
By the way, that same poor dude who lowered himself to join the JAG Corps (of any branch) after about 10-12 years or so service:

O-5(Lt. Colonel/Commander) 10-12
Base Pay: $81,500
BAS/BAH: $30,000 (NON-taxable)
tax advantage: $10,000

TOTAL COMPENSATION:  $122,000/year


You could then resign your commission, join the Reserve (to keep earning points for retirement), and take
that opportunity to join your hometown firm as a partner.

To pick a nit, after 10 years of service, a person would likely be an O-4.  O-5 promotions typically happen around the 16 year mark.  Maybe 14 for a JAG since they are considered to have two years of constructive service.

Still good money, though.

As for leaving to go reserve, no, you don't resign your commission.  The day you resign your commission, you cease to be an officer.  The commission is what makes you an officer.  If you resign it, you're done.  Game over. 

Again, picky, but just trying to keep the discussion factual.

As for being an officer while establishing a law practice, that's a good idea and a path I may pursue.  At that point, your drill pay (for the one-weekend a month) is starting to get considerable.  An O-4 over 10 makes about $850 a month just from drill.  The main reason some might want to consider it is the inexpensive (currently $200 a month for full medical coverage) health insurance you can get.  Health insurance is a beeyotch if you're self-employed.  (Hell, it's a beeyotch no matter what, but at least when you work for somebody else, some poor employer is usually paying part of it.)  Also, as a drilling reservist, you can earn a military retirement.

Job Search / Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« on: March 15, 2011, 07:28:32 AM »
I don't think going the officer route has as much to do with an "ego stroke" as it does with the fact that a 1st Lt. makes more in their first year than an E-4 makes after 30 years in service, and almost double what an E-4 makes in their first year. Big deal if they don't pay off as much of your debt, you'll make so much more money as an officer it won't be a problem to pay the difference. And if you join the military, I'm fairly certain you can get in on a federal loan forgiveness program. Not to mention the quality of life differences between officers and enlisted.

I'm only aware of one college loan repayment programs for officers outside of medical fields. 

It's this one:

Air Force?  Navy?  Army?  I'm not aware of any college loan repayment.

A new O-2 makes about 60% more than a new E-4.  I'm sure you were just exaggerating for effect, though.

And this comparison is only meaningful if a person is able to get a slot as a JAG.  They're very competitive.

Job Search / Re: Studying for the BAR, huge DEBT, no JOB, WHAT DO DO?
« on: March 15, 2011, 07:05:04 AM »
For those of you in the Silver Spoon crowd who look down your noses on JAG (military service) as a fallback: "Oh my GOD!"

The harsh awakening for them will come when they realize that the military doesn't just give these jobs to anybody.

Their selection rate is highly competitive. 

The reality is that an O-3 makes about $7,500 a month.  ($1,500 of which is non taxable because it comes in the form of allowances.) 

30 days off per year.  50% retirement after 20 years of service.  75% retirement after 30 years of service.

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