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Messages - BigRig

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Villanova vs. Richmond
« on: April 05, 2006, 01:16:29 PM »
Go where you'll feel most comfortable and proud of upon graduation.  Be careful of scholarships with contingencies as Toledo (slightly higher ranked, but similar to Albany) offered me a full scholarship but about 1/2 who enter with such a scholarship, lose it. If you want to be in NYC, DC, or Philly you'll be able to get there from Albany but with a lot more work on your part (not nec. a bad thing).  You'll be more apt to take a job you like too because you won't be saddled with big debt of Nova and Richmond. If scholarship has no contingencies and you feel comfortable at Albany I don't think it's a bad option.  With that said I've opted to pass on the full scholarship and have chosen FSU as my debt burden (while still high) will be significantly less than Villanova, it has stronger programs in my areas of interest (international, business, and environmental law), it's located in a state capital with great access to judicial/government opps, and I don't want to work in the Northeast (too expensive, cold, and economic growth will lag the South signficantly over the course of our professional lives). Go where you're comfortable.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: oh man i'm scared
« on: April 05, 2006, 12:49:07 PM »
Depending upon why you bombed the LSAT, significant improvement is a real possibility.  Where were you scoring on practice tests before taking LSAT? I, too, bombed my first attempt at the LSAT as my self-esteem and concentration were handicapped by factors that I wouldn't accept at the time.  While, surely, deciding to take the test and keep my score reflects upon poor judgment, in now way does it reflect upon true ability or aptitude.  I myself scored 12 points higher the second time around, which is an absolute statistical difference. Nonetheless, most schools take the straight average (this is what factors into their rankings) so your choices will be somewhat limited to those schools that will take the higher score. In sum, if you were scoring much higher before bombing, def. study and retake again.  If you weren't scoring much higher, you'll need to really bust your ass to change the result. It can be done and don't listen to anyone who'd suggest otherwise.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: WSJ Article re: biglaw salaries
« on: April 05, 2006, 08:31:58 AM »
unfortunately, it boils down to supply/demand fundamentals gentlemen, which do not bode well for the old put my time in and make partner track.  With that said, making money and finding success really comes down to whether or not you are able to demonstrate that you add value in a meaningful = profitable way.  The associates that make partner (whether it's Big Law or at a medium-sized firm) are the ones that form relationships and bring in business.  Much of this component involves sales/people skills, which, frankly, are skills that a T14 law degree won't teach you.  Those who go to the best schools and never learn to pair this top legal training with the skills required to build relationships/business will find themselves stuck as senior associates.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: WSJ Article re: biglaw salaries
« on: April 05, 2006, 07:39:52 AM »
not only is it taking longer to become a partner, the percentage of associates becoming a partner has continued to dwindle since the 70s as senior associates are just too profitable.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: The Official I'm Going to X School Thread
« on: April 04, 2006, 02:05:13 PM »
FSU, Go Noles!!

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Top Environmental Law Programs
« on: April 04, 2006, 12:14:23 PM »
Thanks a lot moonchigger!  Are you seriously considering environmental law?  Where are leaning toward attending?  Where do you want to practice?

Choosing the Right Law School / Top Environmental Law Programs
« on: April 04, 2006, 08:36:46 AM »
Anyone have the comprehensive list from premium US News edition?

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / FSU Law Admit Day
« on: April 03, 2006, 01:51:23 PM »
I definitely give FSU College of Law strong marks for its Admitted Students Day and rank it highly in general as well. The admit day was highly organized and there was strong faculty, administration, and student representation. Facilities were excellent for the most part (wired and good technology throughout) although the library wasn’t anything to write home about.  Classrooms were rather new, well lit, and comfortable.  Student lounge was very nice and has a Starbucks in it (which is huge IMHO).  Exterior of building is pretty with the rotunda and green serving as the most beautiful part of the school.  The buildings surrounding the green (Law Review, Children’s Advocacy Center, Alumni Bldg., ..) offer nice southern charm as well.

There were about 50 students that attended (much less than Villanova which had over 100 for sure) and most of them seemed undecided (surprisingly, quite a few were from out of state). Overall, it seemed like a collegial, professional group with a southern edge that I’d enjoy going to school with save for a guy who asked the most ridiculous questions and made some very stupid comments on a tour. Apparently, FSU has over admitted in the past so the low number could be a result of their effort to cut down admits (I def. expected more admitted students). This bodes well for those who are borderline applicants or on the waitlist.

After a full day’s worth of activities I left feeling highly informed.  I was very surprised to see such strong representation by current students; they set up tables outside on the green to discuss their many different student orgs and co-curricular activities.  Activities seemed to be a very big deal here; Moot Court, Mock Trial, Law Review, Journals, and SBA all come to mind. 

Being located in the state capital is a bigger deal than I had imagined. The Court of Appeals is across the street and Supreme Court judges interact with the College of Law quite frequently.  I find this to be a huge advantage as I am interested in government/politics work at some point in law school.  Many current students I talked to had taken advantage of this.

Professor Gey, who ran the mock class, was unbelievable in my opinion.  I could have listened to him lecture for hours as he offered that unique mix of being informed and witty at the same time. Some older professors seemed a little more separatist but the faculty receives high marks overall.

The administration was the best I’ve encountered.  All were highly professional, prepared, and accommodative.  In particular, the career services lady seemed awesome.  She offered a demonstration of their career services online database/application that seemed very cutting-edge.  I am sure this is a reason their employment numbers look so good.  The alumni network looked to be very strong not only in Florida, but the SE as a whole.  New York, D.C. aren’t represented strongly, however.  Also, Sharon Booker (dean for admissions) was great.  She invited me into her office to discuss my options and basically assured me that the law school will do everything it can for its students if a problem arises (e.g. students coming from out of state who face uncertainty regarding residency transfer).

Their emphasis on “we’re competitive but not cut-throat” seemed a bit contrived, however, and students did not hesitate to explain their dissatisfaction with the curve (C-based).  Nonetheless, it seemed like everyone really does work together to help each other out, which I appreciated.

The law school is completely self-contained except for financial aid, which is on main campus.  Overall, I thought the campus was rather nice for a state school especially if you get out and walk around rather than drive by on Tennessee St.  Parking looks to be a bit of a problem, but less so for law students owing to it’s proximity on the edge of campus. The Leach Center (gym/workout center) is really nice (although busy) and is about the only place I could see myself going on main campus. For the record, the women of FSU really are that good looking and friendly and needless to say, there’s not a lack of motivation at the gym or anywhere else for that matter.  Thanks to Geoff for showing me around town and telling me places to go. He, myself, and several students I met at admit day def. had a great weekend partying.

Housing is very affordable in Tally although the closer one goes to campus the less nice are the options. I personally did not like the apartments across the street from the law school and will most likely be living in Polo’s on the Park – a 10-minute drive.

All current students I talked to seemed to have found summer opportunities although there were more students taking class over the summer than at Villanova, which is debatable as to whether that is a good idea or not.

All in all, FSU beat my expectations and is where I’ll be attending in the fall (barring any change to state law regarding residency transfer).  While it might never fully escape the shadow of UF, I strongly believe FSU will continue to rise.  And for those of us who are interested in more options than Big Law, I think it’s the best school in the state.  I am excited to become a Nole and look forward to trouncing Miami on opening day.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Toledo vs. Cincinnati?
« on: March 29, 2006, 08:24:47 PM »
Yes, I was at the admit day and there Friday as well when they took out students who were receiving the full scholarships. Yes, after 1L the scholarship recipient needs to have above a 3.3 to keep it going forward.  Toledo knowingly gives out more of these full scholarships than will be renewed. The estimated % that will keep the scholarships (accounting for aptitude and what's at stake) is 50 - 60% according to Dean Closius.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Toledo vs. Cincinnati?
« on: March 29, 2006, 06:39:52 PM »
I don't remember the exact details on the curve, just that they don't adhere to a strict curve. I think median grade in a prof's class is supposed to be around a 2.8. When a prof deviates too far from it, they need to offer an explanation. The Dean was very candid about the fact that all of those entering with a full scholarship will not keep it.  He said he expected about 50-60% of those 1Ls on a full-ride to retain it for 2L. Hope this helps a bit.

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