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Messages - FalconJimmy

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U of Toledo / Re: I wouldn't choose Toledo again
« on: March 17, 2011, 06:19:49 PM »
"Now that just sucks.  I know these rankings are, to a degree, rather arbitrary and they probably signify less than people think, other than It is pretty demoralizing because I never intended to practice up here. I had an opportunity to go to a 4th tier school in my preferred area of practice, and if I had known Toledo was going to be 4th tier when I sat for the bar, I would have just stayed put.

Ouch!  Now that stings.

If you want to practice in NW Ohio, then even though I gripe about them, Toledo is probably your best bet. Your regional options probably suck worse than Toledo. Cooley is a sweatshop, and I would avoid that place if I could. They set their curve ridiculously low and have very high attrition rates.

Yeah, I am a little astounded at the vehemence that people express against Cooley.  And this is coming from other 4th tier law grads. 

Thanks for the advice.  Personally, my goal is to open a PI practice right in Toledo.  So, it sounds like UT is a good way to get there. 

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: Disability Law
« on: March 17, 2011, 06:04:33 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.

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U of Toledo / Re: I wouldn't choose Toledo again
« on: March 17, 2011, 04:04:52 PM »
First, thanks for sharing your perspective.

I started when the school was Tier 2 and have seen it descend into the 4th tier first hand (mainly because I am taking my sweet time graduating).

Now that just sucks.  I know these rankings are, to a degree, rather arbitrary and they probably signify less than people think, other than giving a person just a general ballpark of where a school is at, but I graduated from a school (not law) that was 47th in the country when I started and I think it's around #80, now.  That's really demoralizing.  It doesn't just hurt your immediate job prospects, but it hurts it down the road, too.  For better or worse, most people will not have any dealings with most schools, other than what they see in the rankings and they'll base their entire opinions on them.

1. The quality of student attending now is much worse than when I started. I can see it in class discussion and class ranking.

That is stunning.  For some reason, I guess I presumed that the caliber of law student, nation-wide would be vastly improved during this economic downturn since so many talented people are having difficulty finding jobs and are electing to ride out the storm by getting another degree.

Do you feel the grading curve is similarly impacted?  Is it that much easier to place higher in class rank or get one of the better grades on a test?  ( I see you already mentioned class rank, but is this what you meant?  Easier to get higher up in the rank?)


2. The previous dean, Doug Ray, was not very good. He left last year.

3. The interim administrators have not been very good either.

I get that impression. I  guess the good news is that a hotshot dean could turn the boat around just as quickly as the last captain was sinking it.

4. The Career Services Office is terrible.

Yeah, I don't particularly hold that against them.  I hear that from people attending all strata of law schools these days.


My recommendation is that unless you want to stick around Toledo metro and practice law, go somewhere else. You would be much better off attending school in an area you wouldn't mind living in.

Thanks.  That's sound advice.  Personally, I want to practice in NW Ohio upon graduation and actually intend to start my own practice as soon as possible.    Toledo can get me there, but Cooley might be able to, too, and with the 75% scholarship, they're less than half the cost of Toledo.  I don't think Toledo will offer me any scholarship money.

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U of Toledo / Re: I wouldn't choose Toledo again
« on: March 17, 2011, 02:10:26 AM »
I'd argue that falling from a ranking in the high 80s to the third tier isn't so much a dramatic decrease in rank as a return to historical norms. Toledo is what it is - a third tier Midwestern law school that gives out a ton of scholarship aid.

2011 rankings just came out.  4th tier.  Honestly, that makes me question whether I want to go to this school.  I mean the rankings are flawed, but to be grouped with the absolute worst law schools in the country?  Even Akron fared better.

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Thomas M. Cooley / Re: Cooley Scholarships?
« on: March 16, 2011, 05:12:45 PM »
You only lose you're scholarship if you drop below a 2.0.  Doing so will also place you on academic probation.

Seriously?  That's friggin' amazing!

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Thomas M. Cooley / Cooley Scholarships?
« on: March 16, 2011, 05:07:51 PM »
It seems that Cooley has some generous scholarships. 

The school I thought I was going to attend just dropped into the fourth tier.  So, frankly, the idea of paying a LOT more to go to a school that's really not perceived as being that good is starting to not make any sense.

However, I've heard that some schools hook you with an initial scholarship, but then nail you with the renewal criteria. 

What are the renewal criteria at Cooley?  How hard is it to do?  If you stay in the top 1/4 of your class are you going to likely get your scholarship renewed?

Thanks to anybody who knows the deal on this.

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Thomas M. Cooley / Re: Starting Cooley in May
« on: March 16, 2011, 12:38:36 PM »
Honestly,  that is  a very good question!  Unfortunately, for me, I really messed up during my UG.  My LSAT score is high enough to get a 50% merit scholarship at Cooley, but I honestly feel that I wouldn't have a chance at acceptance from UM or MState. 

Why don't you think you'd get accepted at State?  What about Wayne State?  Detroit Mercy?

Cooley's sticker price is right there with the very best schools in the country.  So, a 50% scholarship doesn't really make them much more affordable than Wayne State.

In any event, best of luck.  I'm going to a T4, so I have no room to bag on anybody else's school.

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Law Firms / Re: Insurance Defense Work
« on: March 16, 2011, 12:19:30 PM »
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.

669
Law Firms / Re: Insurance Defense Work
« on: March 16, 2011, 12:02:53 AM »
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.

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General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: How do you get old exams?
« on: March 15, 2011, 11:49:07 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.

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