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Messages - FalconJimmy

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^^ Lol, everyone from Ohio, hates Ohio. Ha, :).

you speak the truth, young jedi...

None of those schools are earth-shattering.  I'd advise to go where you hope to someday practice.

Lived here most of my life.  I love Ohio, but you'd have to be delusional not to see that the state is in decline.  Even when times are good, they're usually much better somewhere else.  When times are bad, they're worse here than most places.

I'm here until my son graduates High School, then I'm off to Dallas or Phoenix.  Somewhere with an economy.  My son desperately wants to go to OSU, and that's fine, but I'm going to tell him that when he graduates, he needs to leave. 

I am looking into Concord since it is regionally and nationally accredited.  Since that is all I need to get a teaching job, is it a good choice?  Is the E/JD Criminal Justice Track considered a doctorate for professor position standards or must I go for the extra year and get JD?     

There's no real way to say this without coming across as a jerk, but just bear with me:

1.  Most schools do not consider a JD to be on par with a Ph.d. as far as being a terminal degree for the purposes of a professorship.  Sometimes you see adjuct positions in, say, business law or maybe criminal justice that will accept it.  Of the postings I've seen, all of them require an ABA accredited JD. Not sure if Concord is or isn't.  totally unfamiliar.

2.  Of all the instutitions in the universe, colleges are more degree-conscious than most.  Maybe to teach at some distance learning college, they won't care.  Real colleges and universities almost certainly will. 

3.  It is very, very, very, very, very, very difficult to get a teaching position at a college or university with an ABA accredited JD as your academic credential.  If you didn't graduate from Harvard or Yale, it's an uphill fight and you'd better have nailed a high class rank from a T14, at a minimum, if you want to teach law.  Not sure about other disciplines, but if they're outside of the law, usually they want indications of high academic achievement.  Draw your own conclusions about the academic achievement involved with the degress you're talking about.

Don't know the particulars of what you're talking about getting, but it seems like it is considerably less than an ABA accredited JD.

I don't mean to discourage, but what I wouldn't put a lot of faith in your chances of success on this plan. 

could be charged with faking a resume,

Even though you say you'd never do it, I don't understand how this would be faking a resume.  If a person puts "J.D.  Joe Blow College" on their resume, how is that faking anything, regardless of accreditation?  This, of course, presupposes that the person did actually earn a JD from Joe Blow College.

I guess my question is:

Is your priority to earn $65,000?  Or is it to be an attorney?

I would hope as an attorney you could earn that sort of money, or much more.  (And frankly, I'd be leaning towards the "more" side of the equation.)

However, if what you want to do is to earn $65,000, as others have pointed out, there are easier ways to do that.  There are quite a few schools that offer an associate's degree RN program, for instance.

I disagree that your intellect is a non-factor.  One thing that stands out pretty readily is that the folks in Law School are smart.  You will occassionally run into a person who is not on Law Review and not in the top 10% who will tell you that Law School success has nothing to do with intellect.  Although they're not entirely wrong, they're probably 90% wrong, at least in my opinion.  Yes, being the smartest person in the class is no guarantee that you'll make law review.  However, for the most part, smarter people do well.  There's no magical aptitude that allows a person who isn't that bright to make law review.

This is very analytical work.  Contrast to business where, frankly, most of the work for most of the people isn't analytical at all. 

If you want to be an attorney, here's what I'd advise:

1.  The name of the game is getting into the best law school you can find. 

2.  To get into the best law school you can find, you need the highest GPA you can get.  That A you got in a government class at a community college counts the same as an A in quantum mechanics for most intents and purposes. 

3.  You also need the highest LSAT you can get.  If you can't afford a prep course, get some books.  Make sure you blast that thing out.  If you can crush the SAT, you can crush the LSAT.

As for the difficulty of your circumstances, who knows, maybe back in the 60s and 70s, that would have drawn a lot of attention.  These days, frankly, the people who DON'T go to school without having to work a job, etc., seem to be becoming the rarity.

When you apply you can use your circumstances as a soft-factor, but frankly, those soft-factors are probably, at most, about 2% of the admissions decision at all but maybe the top 10 law schools.  (My non-expert opinion, only.)  Admissions officers will always say they take a wholistic approach, etc, but when they're being candid, they'll usually admit that given the amount of applications they have to deal with, they don't have time to look at much more than easily quantifiable data.  In the case of law school, that means GPA, LSAT and yes/no on being a URM.

So, get a monster GPA and go from there.  Best of luck. 

It can be done.  Our backgrounds are remarkably similar.  (13 year IT career, worked full-time or more during undergrad.)

I'm in my 2nd semester of a full-time program.  I can still coach/assist my son's various teams.  I still have business interests outside of school.  I'm divorced, and my ex has a schedule that means I've got my kid more days than not.  My grades?  I thought I worked pretty hard for them, but they're pretty unremarkable.  (3.088 on about a 2.8 curve.)  I do think that the time I spend with my son is part of the reason why I'm not closer to the dean's list, but that's a tradeoff I'll take any day.  We went to Disney for Thanksgiving, for instance, instead of me using that precious time to prepare for finals, which is what I should have been doing from a Law School perspective. 

Personally, I don't think it's that hard to graduate from law school.  It's very hard to graduate from the top of your class, though.  So, it sort of depends.  If you really want to set the curve, you're going to have to put in more time and effort than I did. 

Personally, I feel like I've got 17 years with my son, then he's off to college and off to make his way in the world.  I want to make the most of every single year.  Even if I could get top 10% (which is debatable and maybe even doubtful), would I give up 3 of my remaining 7 years to do it?  Then plug away 60-70 hours a week as a new associate in a big-money job for 5 years afterwards?   

Been there.  Done that.  Made a good amount of money working in a corporate career.  Made just as much, with less effort, and a lot more enjoyment, having my own company.  I'm not eager to return to a desk for 60 hours a week.

Money isn't everything and I think there are plenty of ways to make a lot of money in the law without selling your soul and giving up your family life.  In fact, if family is a priority, the law allows you to have a career with flexible hours where you're well compensated for the hours you work.  It can be the worst thing that ever happened to your family life, or the best.  I think which one it is is entirely up to you.

I say go for it.  You seem like a smart, focused, capable person.  Maybe give it 110% for the first semester.  If you place top 10%, you can assess what to do from there.  If you are, say, in the middle of the pack, frankly, you can probably stay there with a lot less effort. 

I don't think you're selfish or crazy, but if you are, so am I.  So, maybe I can't recognize it.

Thanks for that post.  It didn't even occur to me that if you can follow one average semester with 5 excellent ones, that you'd have an extraordinary GPA.


My question to you all is this: Is the conventional wisdom correct? Do grades effectively determine your destiny? Do they tell everyone in hi-res letters just how good at the law you are? Do they predict what kind of attorney you'll be?

Wow man, relax!  I'm not in that different a boat than you.  I have about a 3.1, and my school has roughly a 2.8 curve.  If your school has a 2.8 or 2.9 curve then fully half your class is in worse shape than you are. 

Yes, you are no longer in the running to transfer to a better school.  You are completely out of the running for biglaw.  Most of the midlaw firms in your area are not interested in you.

However, you can still earn a few hundred grand a year as an attorney if you pursue this career.  If you need a job, then go out and network like crazy.  Join the local bar, the state bar and the ABA.  Attend all the events.  Get to know people.

If you're going to hang out your own shingle in areas like labor (plaintiff side), family law, criminal law, and other areas like bankruptcy and personal injury (which you'll have to work simpler cases/clients until you know what you're doing), then your grades, frankly, are immaterial.  No clients in those areas ask your GPA and in your town, most of the attorneys in those areas didn't graduate from a T14 school. 

Chin up.  Yes, your grades are destiny for a lot of things, but not really for most others.  Keep plugging away.  Don't be discouraged.  You can still make a bundle and have a great career in the law.

Wayne, Michigan State, Penn State, Villanova, John Marshall, DePaul, Richmond, American, Pitt.


Wayne and MSU are about the same as UT for admissions.

The others will be a reach.  Best of luck.

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