Law School Discussion

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Messages - BigRig

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21
Where should I go next fall? / Re: FSU- What do I need?
« on: June 29, 2006, 12:43:38 PM »
It's hard to give you an exact number here. Generally, I would say you need higher than 160 if you are not a URM. How much higher depends on several things. Here are the variables I believe you should consider in order to best assess your chances (at FSU or anywhere else):

1) Strength of undergraduate institution and/or curriculum. While I do not believe these factors are necessarily weighted fairly/objectively, you need to consider how they will be viewed by Adcomms in assessing your candidacy (especially if your GPA/LSAT index is on the border).

2) Regarding GPA, make sure to consider the GPA calculated by LSAC (could be higher or lower).

3) URM status or lack thereof. While I cannot be certain, I would estimate that a URM, with a 3.1 from a decent school, with a respected courseload, and no aberrations that would preclude admission might only need a 155.

Unfortunately, admissions decisions are largely a function of a GPA/LSAT weighted index (see law school numbers) and if there are any considerations that you believe need to be taken into account, they can be difficult hurdles (a hurdle I faced was a 12-point jump in my LSAT score -- people will no longer have this problems with the new reporting standard, however). Regardless, it's up to you to position all relevant facts to be considered in the most positive light (like an attorney).

I will answer any questions on the process, as I would have saved a lot of time and energy had I been more informed.

22
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: The "I Just Resigned" Thread
« on: June 26, 2006, 03:25:52 PM »
In right-to-work states such as PA, is an employer able to terminate the employee immediately upon becoming informed of his/her resignation even if thatemployee specifies a certain last day (e.g. two weeks from notice)? I want to get this monkey off my back and let my employer know now (currently would be 3 weeks in advance), but I also know that it will probably not be well received and I am not sure how they will respond.  The couple of weeks pay is important as well as resigning before being let go. To explain, I am somewhat nervous that they've already found out, are pissed, and could let me go before giving my notice after July 4 next Wed. Any suggestions?

23
Personal Statement / Re: Diversity Statement?
« on: June 21, 2006, 04:29:41 PM »
I don't mean to burst your bubble or come across as cynical, but the reality is that your Diversity Statement will likely not even be read (as you are not an URM). There are far too many applications for Adcomms to go through and they really only care about diversity as it pertains to shaping statistics they can report to the ABA/LSAC/US News/etc. By and large, their interest in the matter is solely for political/business reasons; none of which will benefit from your story.

I say this because I wasted far too much time putting effort into extra essays/statements (I wrote a Diversity Statement as an non-URM too) when people who'd been through it before plainly said "All that matters is your LSAT." This is largely true, of course, weighting GPA and strength of undergrad curriculum/school too.

If it makes you happy or feel as though you will not have put your best foot forward, then do it for peace of mind. Even if they read it, they will not care in your case (sorry). Extra essays and/or effort of the kind will go further once you've been accepted and are negotiating for any scholarships, aid, etc. so that you'll attend their school vs. another.

24
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Are you a caffeine addict?
« on: June 21, 2006, 12:14:28 PM »
Yes, I am a caffeine addict, or more appropriately, a Starbucks and Diet Coke addict. And, like a real addict who must resort to lower quality drugs when finances become tight, during law school I will need to substitute with the less certain street alternatives such as Maxwell House, Folgers, Big K, and Faygo.

Feed the Addiction!

25
While this post is likely to raise controversy and I'll agree that it is generalizing, I think it is worthy of at least some consideration. At least from what I've seen thus far, many of the minority scholarships, grants, aid that are supposedly allocated for minority groups that otherwise would have been excluded from a professional education seem to go to a cross-section of those minority groups that is actually upper-middle class, if not more well to do. It seems to me that these funds/aid should be more directly tied to one's socioeconomic status and particular background rather than stated race alone.  I say stated as I know several people who've essentially lied and gotten away with claiming minority status. I am surely in support of these programs, just pointing out what I perceive to be an increasing problem with these programs.

Also, in fairness just because one parent makes a lot of money, doesn't mean that a student from a divorced family has any financial access/ties to that parent. Of course, if he/she does and the connection is not taken into account, the system is being cheated.

I believe that affirmative action programs and scholarships designed to promote equal opportunity and address social inequality should require a needs assessment.  This isn't to say that wealthy or higher SES minorities won't or haven't encountered discrimination.  I just think that it would be lazy and wasteful public policy to not identify the most needy from underpriviledged populations and help them first.

From your post, it seems that the minority scholarships you are referring to are school based and not from outside organizations.  Is this a correct assumption on my part?  Most outside minority scholarships require lengthy essays and a demonstrated need. 

Schools utilize a number of different scholarship programs for a range of recruitment purposes.  Minority scholarships offered by schools, lacking any other stated purpose, are designed to attract and retain minority students.  If the purpose is simply representation and diversity, then I see no reason why these scholarships should have to have a need-based component.  For diverity purposes, a wealthy Ivy League black or Mexican student counts just the same as a black or Mexican first generation college graduate from a lower SES background. 

A definition of diversity that fails to consider personal background and only looks at race is admittedly superficial.  However, I don't blame schools for trying to attract and compete for the best qualified minority students even if they are disproprtionately from more priviledged families.       

Well said. In reality, law school is a business as much as it's an institution of education and they are free to build this component however they so choose, especially if using their funds. As you correctly pointed out, it's more a matter of public policy and shaping federal programs/funding that in fact promote equal opportunity for those coming from a disadvantaged situation. For me, I was hoping to see more minority groups from all walks of life, that's all. It has been my experience that an alarming majority of people (black, white, hispanic, etc.) in law school (I've visited many) are from well-to-do, suburban backgrounds (whether they admit it or not). This prob makes objective sense as getting into law school is much easier if you've had access to quality education and financial/familial support. I believe we need more socioeconomic diversity in law school.

26
While this post is likely to raise controversy and I'll agree that it is generalizing, I think it is worthy of at least some consideration. At least from what I've seen thus far, many of the minority scholarships, grants, aid that are supposedly allocated for minority groups that otherwise would have been excluded from a professional education seem to go to a cross-section of those minority groups that is actually upper-middle class, if not more well to do. It seems to me that these funds/aid should be more directly tied to one's socioeconomic status and particular background rather than stated race alone.  I say stated as I know several people who've essentially lied and gotten away with claiming minority status. I am surely in support of these programs, just pointing out what I perceive to be an increasing problem with these programs.

Also, in fairness just because one parent makes a lot of money, doesn't mean that a student from a divorced family has any financial access/ties to that parent. Of course, if he/she does and the connection is not taken into account, the system is being cheated.

27
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Working During 1L
« on: June 15, 2006, 02:12:12 PM »
Good point. I think I will try to score a job in the library or as a gym monitor. If anything, it sets time aside to study and if you end up having to do too much or not being able to accomplish anything, quitting is no big deal. I am sure most people are facing very tight budgets during first year and an extra couple hundred a month would surely help.

28
It is also my understanding that a lender (at least for GRAD Plus) will not let you borrow more than the estimated total cost of tuition (estimated, often cases way too low, by your institution) - aid/grants/scholarships, etc.  You can borrow up to the difference. I am assuming you can borrow more than this difference in private loans or through other debt instruments, but will not get interest rate/deferment perks associated with student loans.

29
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Working During 1L
« on: June 15, 2006, 11:57:28 AM »
Thanks guys. I worked 20-25 hrs/week as a server in fine dining during undergrad as it's evening/weekend schedule best accommodated classes and studying.  If anything, I am looking for the 5-10 hrs/week "get-paid-to-study" positions offered by the law school or university. It sounds like this might be an option.  Thanks!! Greengrl you've certainly been a wealth of knowledge for me on more than one occasion.

30
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Working During 1L
« on: June 15, 2006, 10:58:07 AM »
While it surely not adviseable during 1L, what exactly are the rules in this regard? I've not until after November. Does one sign some sort of binding contract that is enforceable? Who maintains oversight? Would those Westlaw/library jobs where you get paid to do your homework be available for 1Ls if not binding/enforceable?

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