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Messages - midjeep

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Law School Admissions / Re: Aiming High & Intimidated
« on: December 13, 2006, 04:48:39 PM »
Don't let members of this or any other board intimidate you. This is a self-selected group that in no way reflects the majority of law school applicants applying to top 50 law schools. Most people here are obssessed with their intellectual image and are looking to the only place where people might actually care about what law school they are going to.

I am a 2L at SMU and had similar issues before applying. I didnt go to an Ivy and I worked all through undergrad AND participated in a number of extra-curriculars. My gpa was slightly higher at a 3.7 but my LSATs stunk at a 150 and 158 (back then schools averaged the score so I had a 154). I was mainly interested in schools in the south and got accepted at SMU and Baylor; additionally I was WLed at George Mason, W&L, and Vanderbilt. All in all, just apply to where ever you want to go and dont think that every single law applicant will have a 175+, 4.0 at an Ivy who speaks 20 languages and spends weekends at the local YMCA teaching inner-city kids how to use sign-language. Good luck, Iknow how much the application process sucked.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: SMU 1L up for questions
« on: December 12, 2006, 08:00:45 PM »
Look to east of I75 when looking for a place...generally rent will fall between $500-$800/month. My apt complex is very pet friendly...they even have xmas day photos for pet owners and their pets in the common room and it is across the street from a vet clinic.

The SMU Law students are different than the SMU undergrads but there are a lot of similarities. Many of the students here come from money and have job guarentees from their family or family's connections. You will see many BMWs, Benzs, and Range Rovers in the law school parking garage. There are a bunch of ex-frats and soroity types here too, but not as prelevent as I thought there would be. Most students here are from TX and OK, and mostly though conservative are not too bad generally. All that said, this school is pretty much a high school...there are clicks, there is drama, and there is gossip. However, that is the case for most if not all law schools, but that is something to keep in mind.

I like SMU overall but I think the administration is run by a closeted twit who seems to only work here for an extra bullet point on his resume. The rest of the staff seem to purposely try to be as inefficient as possible regarding the most simplest of tasks. I only rant because this school is private with excess tuition rates that doesn't reflect the kind of service that is provided. Although I am impressed with the faulty here as well as the potential job placement this school "should" offer (I think the next few years will be more difficult for law students to find jobs in the DFW area). 

Incoming 1Ls / Re: First day reading?
« on: August 24, 2006, 06:01:25 AM »
I am not very big on raising my hands in classroom discussion.  Should that in anyway hurt my performance on law school exams? I do go to classese and pay attendtion and do the readings.

For the most part no. Some profs I had had a 10% class participation requirement. All it meant is that you had to be prepared if you were ever called on. Your classes are too large for the profs to except you to actively participate without solicitation. I did have a class this summer that actually required daily participation, but there were only 18 students in that class.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: briefing a case
« on: August 20, 2006, 06:57:32 PM »
There is no right or wrong way to brief a case. During your first classes, you should have lots of content in your brief b/c you don't know what the profs are looking for (if you can remember all the specifics in the case, then brief what you need). For example, in Civ Pro you will almost always need to know how the case got into what court (since this what civ pro is all about). Some profs LOVE facts, others want you to be well versed in all dissents and concurrences (especially con law). Eventually the briefs will get shorter, with info that is actually useful.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Retake and Apply procedure?
« on: August 17, 2006, 04:35:04 PM »
When the law schools pull your application from LSAC, there will be a notice on there indicating that you are scheduled to retake the LSAT. However, some on here in the past have had experiences where the school either didn't care or didn't get notified that the student was going to retake the LSAT. In either event, you should simply add an addendum to your application indicating that you are planning to retake the LSAT and WHY you are retaking the LSAT. If you know you will kill it the second time, let the ad comm know why the first score was a fluke.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: First day reading?
« on: August 16, 2006, 11:37:19 AM »
If you buy a Black's law dictionary, get a used pocket edition.  Don't spend a lot of money on it.  I was told the same thing last year, but was insistent that I should have one, so I got the nice black hardcover edition.  I used a few times last year, but not a ton.  I would have been just as well off not wasting the cash and getting a used one.

I agree...I have the pocket version and it was pretty pricey too = $25.00. Also, if your prof. is open book and note for your exam, a law dictionary is a must!

Incoming 1Ls / Re: First day reading?
« on: August 16, 2006, 08:00:50 AM »
Would it be worthwhile to run out and grab a used copy of Black's Law Dictionary?

If you have Rogers for Contracts, definitely get a dictionary. He will look for the most obscure words in a case - both legal and non-legal - and expect you to know what the words mean.

If you have Dorsaneo for Civ Pro...just be prepared. Know what the procedural posture of the case is (his words) and be ready to be wrong. This guy actually wrote the book and Texas Civil Procedure and actually has a link on Lexis Nexis. But the class is really entertaining....especially when he goes on a rant.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: First day reading?
« on: August 15, 2006, 06:38:06 PM »
I think I have about 40 pages to read for the first day as well as a four page paper due next thursday. Haven't even started class yet  :P

Dont stress on that "paper." Don't waste more than 30 minutes on that paper either (I'm assuming it is the Legal Writing Paper regarding ethics). Also, don't worry about citing anything either. The profs supposedly use those papers to "gauge" their class, but you will never hear back regarding the paper. You will learning quickly what the term "for credit" means in legal writing....

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: My turn for a list of schools
« on: August 14, 2006, 02:55:28 PM »
You should keep at least one safety school since the gap between your "likely" schools and your "safety" schools is pretty wide. Not sure if you wanted to work while in law school, but look into part-time/night school if you dont mind graduating in 4 years. I know SMU has a good night program and you will be in classes with more nontrad students as opposed to the day time. Also, look into Vandy if you dont mind the Nashville area. If you know what area of Texas you want to live in, then go to a school in that area if you dont get into UT.

SMU is BIG in Dallas.
Houston is BIG in Houston.
Tech has a decent presence in Fort Worth.
St. Mary's is OK for the San Antonio legal market.
South College is getting better in Houston.

Since you have a high LSAT and low GPA, you must widen your applications. I got rejected at a tier 4 school, accepted at a top 40 school and waitlisted at a top 20 never know what to expect. Plus, pay attention to scholarship offers, rankings are one thing, but getting out of school as an older student debt free is quite another. Good luck!

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: LORs
« on: August 14, 2006, 02:45:09 PM »
Depends...if a lot has changed in your life (ie accomplishments, jobs, etc) then you should get LORs. While I think its OK to use one of your old LORs, I think you should strive for another one from a boss or someone else. When I reapplied, I completely changed my application and had new LORs written. Not sure what made the difference at the schools I got rejected at first and then admitted, but it worked.

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