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Messages - FalconJimmy

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671
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / How do you get old exams?
« on: March 15, 2011, 10:51:05 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?

672
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:

RANK:
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

just TERRIBLE!

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.

673
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:

http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2008/07/marine_officers_072008/

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.

674
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.


675

You would have to be beyond retarded to go into the military as an E-4 with the level of education a law school grad has.

I'd say it's an unusual choice, but not necessarily a bad one.  It does help you get rid of debt.  If you've just hung out a shingle and are starving while trying to establish your own firm, it would give you a way to get health benefits. 

The other thing is that some people sincerely enjoy it.  I joined the reserves after 9/11 because I felt the need to do something to serve the country.  However, I am doing it today because I genuinely enjoy it so much. 

Granted, if you get that biglaw job at $160,000, they're not going to be very tolerant of you having a part-time job, regardless of what it is, but I don't think the OP is in that boat.

Also, let's be frank, here.  There are a lot of law schools out there and a lot of folks who attend will NOT be working in the law.  The military is a viable and relatively well-paying career.  It doesn't pay what biglaw pays, but frankly, your garden variety logistics officer probably has far greater earnings potential, a monumentally better retirement system, and considerably better benefits than a person who graduates in the bottom 3/4 of their class from a T2 school or worse.

Granted E-4 pay isn't that great, but an E-4 will still make about $3,000 a month, (1/3 of which is allowances, which are non-taxable) with excellent benefits and 30 days a year off.  Plus, he'll be getting a heck of a lot of his federal loans forgiven.

I would venture to guess that 1/4 to 1/3 of the brand-new attorneys graduating this year won't do much better.

676
Also, in my not so expert opinion, the one area of business that corresponds best to a law degree is human resources.  That area is full of regulatory compliance and labor law type issues.

That having been said, it's going to be sort of hard to frame your law degree that way.

Also, there are drawbacks to HR.  For one thing, most companies use it to advance URM and females to executive ranks so they can brag about more URM and female executives.

Also, starting pay is low, but frankly, I don't think the competition is that tough.  You can advance quickly in a big organization.

677
I wouldn't make a lot of decisions in your current state.  Sounds to me like you're stressed and worn out.

Get your degree, then go be a park ranger or something.  Clear your head.

Whether you accept it or not, a degree from a T10, even if you're dead last in your class, is a great credential that most people in society wish they had. 

I'd do something that lets you relax for a while.  You may see things differently after a little time away from the grind.

678
Personally?  I'd say OSU.

For one thing, they have a better football team.

j/k

I know that being in the top 1/3 of your class sounds like a modest goal, but honestly, who knows?  If you go to a school that fits your academic profile, the reality is that pretty much everybody there will be roughly as smart as you are.  So, being in the top 1/3?  I can pretty much assure you that every single person who got accepted thinks they're top 1/3 material.  2/3 of them are wrong.

Ohio State's requirements to renew the scholarship seem much, much more reasonable, IMHO. 

If you take the Pepperdine scholly, you may find yourself having to pay sticker price for 2 or even 2.5 years of your degree.

Plus, frankly, OSU is a better school.  Will it open doors to a totally different strata of jobs than Pepperdine?  Personally, I doubt it, but it is the better school, which means that all other things being equal, a degree from OSU will carry slightly more weight than a Pepperdine degree.

Now, that having been said:  time is the stuff life is made of.  If you want to spend 3 years in a dreary midwest city, versus perhaps the coolest part of the world, that's a real factor and I think you're right to consider it.

And when you graduate, yes, OSU and Pepperdine grads practice law all over the world, but OSU grads are going to be geographically concentrated in Ohio and the midwest.  Pepperdine grads will be concentrated in California.

Where do you want to live?

Personally, I don't consider those silly questions.  You don't want to be 70 years old thinking, "Man, I've had to waste my life with these corn-fed midwestern trogs, when I could have been at the beach checking out scantily clad waitresses waiting for their big break into the movie industry".  Or, if you're a woman, put in the appropriate gender-based generalities in there, too.

Personally, I love Ohio.  Lived here 3/4 of my life.  I'm not an OSU grad, but the ones I know are really happy that they went there.  Sports teams may seem like a frivolous reason to go to a school, but OSU grads party their asses off when the football season rolls around and now, they party when the basketball season comes, too.  They not only enjoyed their time at OSU, but it enhanced their enjoyment of life afterwards.

That having been said, the industrial midwest is a dreary-assed place to be.  It's friggin' depressing, here.  California is in the toilet right now, too, but I guarantee, they'll be recovered and wiping their asses with C-notes a loooong time before the industrial midwest recovers. 

So, basically, from a law-school/lawstudent perspective, you should go to OSU.  But I wouldn't blame you if, from a quality of life perspective, you picked Pepperdine. 

679
U of Toledo / When did you get notified about scholarship?
« on: March 14, 2011, 11:27:43 AM »
When did you get your scholarship notification?  Did you get it with your acceptance letter or did it come later?

I'm not that optimistic for one, myself.  I have a 159 LSAT (yes, I know... I blew it on the logic questions portion), but a UGPA of only 3.03.

Personally, I don't think I'm that deserving of a scholarship, but if I got one, it would be a huge help and I certainly wouldn't turn it down.

I only got my acceptance letter last week.  Is there a lag between that and the scholarship notification, or do they usually come together?

680
<<, when you run your own business you are able to form a llc and pay yourself a very small salary which will allow you to pay the minimum amount on student loans. Eventually the debt will be forgiven and all will be good. >>

Hmmm... just to pick a nit, here, but if you form an LLC, than any income of the LLC is considered your personal income.  It's not like a Chapter C corp, where the corporation, itself, can retain earnings.

If your LLC makes $100,000, then you, personally, have $100,000 in earnings, or if you have partners in the LLC, you split up the income and everybody pays their share of taxes.

It's what's called "fall through" taxation.  Meaning all the income falls through to the income of the individual partners.

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