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Messages - BigRig

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I am going, I actually arrive tomorrow morning and will be staying through the weekend. If you want, PM me and we can talk when we're down there.

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Toledo vs. Cincinnati?
« on: March 29, 2006, 07:43:11 AM »
I think it's a tough decision, don't just look at the rankings.  I have a h.s. classmate who had to make the same decision as you and she chose Cincinnatti. Partly because we are from Toledo and she really didn't want to be there -- I believe she got a 1/2 scholarship at Cinci although her numbers are pretty similar.  She was in the top 20% there her first semester and she has found a job working for some judge down in Atlanta after 1L.  It sounds like her experience has been great. Personally, I have never visited Cinci, but from what I gather from looking at the ABA data both are equally as regional (65% in OH) and bar passage rates are equally high (90% ish).  Of course, Cinci grads will dominate job market there, if that is where you want to live.  Both full-time programs are very small for a law school although Toledo's part-time program might make the school feel bigger.

Honestly, I don't think your employment prospects will be significantly improved by attending Cinci alone.  Top 20% @ Toledo and top 20% at Cinci will likely find the same opps. Check out facilities, visit with profs, examine what programs are offered and if they are of interest and see where you feel most comfortable.

I posted a review of my visit to Toledo under Review/Rankings section. PM me if you have any other questions.

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I believe business refers to those graduates who've found industry employment (e.g. general counsel for some firm, consulting, etc.) rather than in private practice law firm, government, etc..

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Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Univ. of Toledo Review
« on: March 27, 2006, 10:15:54 AM »
In the event that any LSDers are considering Toledo, I thought I'd share my experiences this past weekend at their Scholarship Reception and Admitted Students Day.

Overall, I must say that I was more impressed than I thought I would be. On Friday the College of Law wecolmed 10-15 students such as myself who've been offered a full scholarship.  There were at least as many professors and students in attendance to highlight the school, their experiences, and answer questions. Afterwards, we all went to dinner in downtown Toledo at one of the nicest restaurants in the city.  They really rolled out the red carpet, but were very honest at the same time.  Dinner conversation was great (I sat next to Professor Closius - the previous Dean of the College of Law).  I found him to be a very no nonsense, get'er done kind of guy, which I highly appreciate. He is very gung ho for pushing Toledo into a solid Tier 2 category (Median LSAT for full-time day is up to 159). There is a caveat to the whole full-scholarship offer that he was very candid about. Similarly to other schools, many of those scholarships extended for the first year will not be renewed (He seemed to believe 50-60% will hold on to it = maintain > 3.3 GPA). If you're in the top 20% at Toledo you'll have an excellent shot at finding placement in larger markets (Chicago, Atlanta, and Phoenix in particular). In Michigan and Ohio those in the top 50% will most likely find solid employment.  The College made it a point to make clear that it does not teach toward the Bar in Ohio and Michigan and will continue to push its graduates to seek employment outside of the Midwest (SunBelt in particular). The Career Services people seemed personable and involved.  About 40 firms recruit on-campus, >100 in their registry, and there are many efforts to coordinate alumni relations in 25 markets across the country.  Jobs seem abundant after 2L, less so after 1L with school's externship program with judges, etc. making up for it.

Overall, the professors appeared to be exceptional and very student-oriented and are the strength of the school.  The law school building itself facilitates for many encounters with faculty and it truly appeared as though the law students were friends with the professors as might be the case at a small liberal arts college.  I was highly impressed by this. On Saturday, Professor Ben Davis offered up a mock class on international law.  It was superior to the mock class that I sat in on at Villanova (which was very good).

The students also appeared to be quite intelligent, enthusiastic, involved, and excited to be there. Definitely not cut-throat but class rank is taken seriously by all.  I will say, however, some of the students that showed up on Saturday at the Admitted Students Day did not seem to be of the same pedigree as those that went to dinner with me. Also, the students on the student panel on Saturday didn't make the best impression.  I know that is judgmental but I am offering the honest feeling I got. From my experiences with students on Friday in combination with talking to a H.S. classmate who's a 2L, the student body nonetheless receives high marks. Guys...for the record, it might not have been a representative sample but the female law students that I ran into were quite hot. There were three at my dinner table alone. After meeting a girl named Tara, I find myself struggling to maintain objectivity. Seriously hot!

The facilities were a mixed bag. The school sits in a nice location, far removed from the undergrads and the exterior and surrounding grounds are nice. The law library is old, 70s-ish looking, with that pale yellow lighting -- this is a problem for me as I liked to study in the library during undergrad. One of two large lecture halls could be updated but all other classrooms, moot court, student lounges/offices are very nice/comfortable and updated with all technology. The student union (not a part of law building) is nice (has a starbucks too) and the athletic center is quite remarkable as well.   

If I were in a serious relationship and absolutely knew where I wanted to work and what I wanted to do, I'd have no problem taking Toledo over all my other admits while busting my ass to perform at the top of my class, get on law review, and gain admission to the Order of the Coif. I would feel very prepared and confident that I could begin my career in any market that I would want to enter. However, I grew up and went to h.s. in Toledo and was quite excited to get away for undergrad and career.  Coming back is a difficult choice as I've been away for 6 years and as an Economist realize the economic obstables in the Midwest and Toledo, in particular (although this is good for going to school there = cheap = more part-time work = $$ in law school). 

I actually grew up down the street from the University and was not aware of all that it had to offer, which is a lot. Nonetheless, I do not like the Midwest, except for the friendliness, the Pistons, and some of the girls, and have especially grown to dislike the cold.  As such, while I am confident that I'd receive as good of legal education/employment prospects as any other admit and would graduate with very little debt (assuming I perform at the top of my class which isn't going to be a cake walk), right now I cannot commit to attending.

75
Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: In at Villanova!
« on: March 23, 2006, 02:48:45 PM »
Congrats Matt!!  Awesome school- with you being from the NJ I cannot think of two better options for you.  I am glad everything worked out. In-state at Rutgers seems tough to pass up, but go where you think you'll have the better overall experience.

Brent

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The legacy should boost your lsat by a couple points for all intensive purposes.  It will still be a close call, however.  I would mtake your case as best you can either through a letter or interview (if they'll grant it which I would bet they will considering legacy). Explain your roots and exactly why Villanova is your dream school.  Also, make sure to demonstrate why you'll be an asset as a student and alumni for their institution.

77
Geoff,

I am speaking from my experience of sending a continuing interest letter stating explicitly why FSU College of Law is my top choice.  I don't think there's anything wrong with sending such a letter and, apparently, it worked for me as I was accepted yesterday. With that said I was told my app had not gone to committee at the time I sent my letter. I don't think you should address the financial aspect; the fact that you're in-state and that FSU is one of the better bargains is abundantly clear. As we'll all have to do once we become attorneys, one needs to plead their case. Don't let others influence your final decision.  Ass far as ass kissing; everyone likes to have their ass kissed so long as the message doesn't come across as contrived.  Producing such a message without coming across as contrived, again, is something we'll most likely have to do as an attorney to settle a disupte, what have you. I'll PM you the letter that I sent.  Go after it, you only have one shot and have to take risks.

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Pushing the envelope?
« on: March 22, 2006, 04:30:02 PM »
Congrats on being accepted to FSU!  If I may ask, when did you apply to FSU?

I went complete end of January.

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Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: FSU Law Visit HELP!!!
« on: March 22, 2006, 04:29:03 PM »
In @ FSU

Congrats BigRig!!!  I know how badly you wanted to go there.  That's great news!  Do you have a silly smile on your face?  btw, how did you find out?  It was only a couple hours ago that you called them.

Thanks Cay.  I am definitely excited, and am going to have some tough decisions to make. I will no more after I visit Toledo this weekend and FSU next. On paper I really like FSU (international law, business law, exposure to government, study abroad @ Oxford) and as an Economist know that Florida will be one of the best state economies during our professional years. I know the undergrad has a rep as a party school and less than stellar academic institution, which I don't think is fair, however, is the law school really viewed that way?  Looking at the new ABA numbers on LSAC, median lsat, gpa, acceptance rate, %employed, etc. are nearly identical. FSU's bar passage rate did fall this past winter, which I am not sure how to interpret.  Are FSU law grads really that far behind UF grads? Outside of Miami how do FSU grads compare against Miami Law grads? 

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Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: FSU Law Visit HELP!!!
« on: March 22, 2006, 02:12:28 PM »
In @ FSU, will be attending admit day next friday and spending weekend in Tallahassee to assess if it's the right choice. For anyone else who will be attending, do communicate. For those who are still waiting, be patient, but also stay on them.  If you haven't sent a letter detailing why it's your top choice, do so. Also, update with any significant academic/professional accomplishments and/or where you stand with respect to other admits/scholarships/etc.  On paper I really think this is my top choice and it would be much more affordable than Villanova.  Plus I miss the South (for many reasons not the least of which is the weather that allows for motorcycle riding year round).  I also know that if you're in the top your class (law review), it's not difficult to find employment in major markets in the SE (Atlanta in particular -- check out Alston & Bird or Jones Day).

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