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Messages - loki13

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lets just say that loki didn't cite his sources for a reason

I didn't need to cite sources because it's self-evident to (1) any attorney, (2) anyone in law school, and (3) any one that has a passing familiarity with higher education. It's a /facepalm along the lines of asking, "What was your major in medical school?" You get an M.D., and then you get a residency in a certain area. Well, in law school, you get a J.D. Full stop.

There are schools that like to offer "concentrations" or "specialties" in certain areas. If you do certain required courses (and/or clinics) you can get a nice, wonderful, piece of paper that has no relevance whatsoever. It's not a major. It's the school saying, "Yep, he took some environmental law courses." If you write that you have a "major" in law school on your resume, you will quickly get it discarded.

Once you get your J.D, you could get a Master of Laws (a further graduate degree) in a particular subject. You know- L.L.M in taxation. Finally, you can get a doctorate in law. But "majors" is an undergraduate concept.

That said, given your responses for some time, I have to assume you only troll on legal subjects.

The wife is set on staying in her home town for her support network. I cannot change that. I am not expecting to commute either. I don't have direct experience, but I expect law school to eat away at me (especially since I am a perfectionist and will be looking to be the top in my class, on the trial team, etc.). I hope to travel home on the weekends, or maybe twice a month if I need to do additional school work.

That's why distance factors so heavily in the conversation, and why I dismissed the idea of William and Mary even though they are offering me $10k a year and the GI Bill would pay for all tuition. I have no love of Tampa, but it seems hard to turn down the money offered by Stetson even if UF is going to make getting a job easier later. The problem is that the two considerations are so different that it is hard to compare them.

First, stop stressing and concentrate on the positives. You have been accepted to the good law schools in the state you want to practice in. Congratulations! There is no truly "bad" option between UF, FSU, and Stetson. Instead, you're making a positive choice as to which of the schools best fits your needs.

So let's look at some factors-
1. Your wife and family live in Vero Beach and want to stay there. First things first- is this going to be your permanent home after law school? If so, then, well, the Ft. Pierce/Lucie legal market isn't that large, and I wouldn't recommend the commute to Orlando or W. Palm (yep!). But it's doable- there are jobs. Just not ... your pick of jobs, or "BigLaw" jobs.

2. If you're not willing to relocate, Stetson's relative advantage in Tampa doesn't mean anything, and you'd be better off with UF or FSU's overall advantage. Ideally, given what you have written about costs, I'd recommend FSU. However ...

3. There's no way you'd be regularly, or semi-regularly, visiting your family from FSU. Not going to happen. Weird fact that you may (or may not) be aware of, but because of the road set up and E/W travel in Florida, UF and Stetson are about the same distance from Vero Beach. Go fig.

4. Given your military background, and non-traditional status (that's fancy talk for, "taking time off between UG and law school") I expect that you will treat law school like a job, and put the time in. So I'm going to be honest with you- if you want to place at the top of your class, and you want the prestigious extras (law review, moot court, trial team), you will be a ghost to your family for a good part of your first two years. I was a non-trad with a family, and I did the work to place at the top of my class and get law review, and I was effectively a stranger for the first two years ... and I lived with them.

In the end, you need to make the decision that is best for you, and I can't answer that. I can tell you that if everything else is equal, I would go UF > FSU .... > Stetson. But I would also say that the difference between UF and FSU is negligible. The most important thing is to graduate with little debt.

I will add this; where you graduated from will not matter after several years of practice, other than alum networks. It will help with your first job (or jobs, if you get a new job early in your career). But debt ... that can haunt you.

But for your family, given what you wrote about the costs, I would choose FSU. If your family is a concern (as in regular visits) then you should choose between UF and Stetson.

What MaintainFL wrote is mostly correct, with some caveats. The USNWR can tell you two things-
1. The things you already know (hey, Harvard is a good school!).
2. A rough idea of the relative "merit" (using the term loosely) of various schools, in general.

The second point is a difficult one to understand. The difference between a school ranked #35 and a school ranked #75 isn't as great as the difference between a school ranked #3 and that ranked #20. Nevertheless, it gives you a good idea both of where schools place (T14 = national, rest of "T1" = regional, T2 = state (usually) T3 = state or local (usually)) as well as, roughly, how the schools compare to each other.

In this case, I can tell you that USNWR does a good job at ranking the Florida legal market. UF is a little better (at most) than FSU- people aruge round and round, but either they are equal, or UF is slightly better (most people would say it is top in the state). Miami is just a little bit below them (but has a slight advantage in SE Fla.). And then there is a significant reputation drop before Stetson (Tampa market) and FIU (SE Florida). And then there is a big drop before the rest.

That said, given you have a generalized preference for either criminal or family law, I don't think it really matters. There are no special degrees, and all the schools offer clinics that allow you to either clerk with a judge or work in a local office. The more important issue is lowering your total cost of attendance; while you might be set on family law/criminal law now, that opinion might change (or might not).

Finally, if you are set on Tampa, Stetson is a fine choice and provides the best way to network while in-school (UF is second, FSU is a distant third due to distance). If you're not certain that you want to practice in the greater Tampa area, then you should consider your options.


I appreciate your response, and being as close to home as possible is definitely a strong consideration.

Just to clarify though, I do not plan to stay in the house with my wife. Even with Stetson (the closest) being three hours away, there is no way that I could commute there. My wife wants to stay where she is so that she has support while I go through the stresses of law school. I would be looking to commute only on the weekends two or three times a month.

I could still do this at UF, being four hours away, but they would be more expensive since there is no scholarship.

I was hoping to hear from some lawyers or other interested parties in Florida weigh in on whether the UF was worth the drawbacks. Or if I am stupidly underestimating a great opportunity at Stetson. I feel like it is the latter, but there are three good options overall.

When I applied to all three, I expected to only be accepted by one. Lucky me. I guess this is a good problem to have.

So here's the gist- Stetson is a good school, but is decidedly "less good" than UF and FSU in Florida, and while both UF and FSU can place regionally (Atlanta, etc.) Stetson doesn't.

Now, let me be more specific. Stetson does have an excellent advocacy program (trial team, classes). But that's ... not a whole lot. Florida basically has the following legal markets-
Tampa (incl. St. Pete, Clearwater)
Other S. Fla. that is not Miami (think W. Palm Beach, Boca, etc.)
Tallahassee (esp. for government jobs)
SW Florida (Naples, Ft. Myers)
Every where else (from Daytona to Lakeland).

UF and FSU both have excellent reputations throughout the state. They place everywhere. You can't go wrong with either. I'd give a slight edge to UF, for reasons, but it's slight enough that money, etc., could easily make FSU a better option.

Stetson is much more of a gamble. Ignoring the GPA requirements (but don't ignore them completely; Stetson, IIRC, curves on a 2.9-3.0 scale, so there isn't the GPA inflation you might remember from undergrad), I would still view Stetson as a distant choice. IMO, it's only a good choice for the following reasons-
1. You have money to burn and you didn't get into UF or FSU. Yes, a rich kids school.
2. You already know that you will be going into advocacy.
3. You want to practice in the Tampa market.

I say this not to slight Stetson, but to be realistic. There are Stetson grads that are some of the finest advocates that I have met. Stetson has great connections in Tampa, and there are some Stetson grads throughout the state. But the simple fact of the matter is that you have to do better at Stetson do get an equivalent chance for a job than you would at UF/FSU. If you don't have a particular reason to go there, don't.

I would finally add (pace what I wrote above) that if you ever hope to practice out-of-state, then UF/FSU are known, if for no other reason than the rankings and the football teams. People will assume (out of state) that Stetson is a hat.

Law School Admissions / Re: Personal Statement
« on: December 08, 2016, 02:54:53 PM »
Hi all,

Just background so I can hopefully get solid answers.  3.63 LSAC gpa and I just took the LSAT a couple of days ago. Not a URM.  I was practicing in the 155-162 range and my goal was 155+.  I am a military veteran and was a police officer for around ten years (patrol and detective), which piqued my interest in practicing criminal law.  I was fortunate to obtain an offer for employment at both a private firm and a DA's office in my area (assuming all goes well and I make it through ok). 

After sitting for the LSAT a couple of days ago, I am near certain that I will be lucky to have scored a couple of points below my target school's 25th%, and my GPA is above their 75th%.  Without discussing the contents directly the last two games killed me.  What has been everybody's experience with reverse splitters?

Is the low'ish LSAT worth an addendum?  I do not have a good excuse, I simply had to pee like crazy during RC and bombed the last two games.  I already signed up to retake in Feb however, I know from studying since August and taking a prep course that my absolute maximum potential right now is a 162 on a great day.

I have an insecurity about the process, but I am wondering if many schools will even care.  I completed my first two years of undergrad at a community college because it was the cheapest option.  I then did a semester in person at a large state school while employed as a police officer, and quickly figured out that finishing online was the way to go due to me having on-call requirements as a detective.  I finished online at a large state school's online arm.  Will they care?  Should I explain in my ps or an addendum why it was necessary to finish online instead of in-person?     

So, some basic facts.

Being a reverse splitter is worse than being a splitter. Let me explain why-
As a general rule, the law schools are fully aware of the amount of grade inflation that goes on in UG. So it's (harder) to impress them with a great UG score. On the other hand, they can understand that someone had (insert excuse here) a bad uGPA, but the "objective and national" LSAT score shows that they will succeed in law school. More importantly (and to the point!) good uGPAs are a dime a dozen, good LSAT scores aren't. When it comes to the USNWR rankings, they are willing to accept that "hit" (really, it's not a hit, but a certain amount of low scores that don't count because they are below the threshold) in the uGPAs to get some sweet, sweet high LSATs. You don't get that same phenomenon in reverse.

That's the bad news. The good news is as follows:
1. You're non-traditional, so your life experience will count a (very) little. So there's that!
2. You already have soft offers of jobs ... and really, that's awesome! Seriously. Unlike 95%+ of applicants, you already have a light at the end of the tunnel that isn't just the train of student debt coming to hit you.

Okay, so with that in mind, keep plugging. Don't be insecure. Re-take the test. And whatever you do, don't make excuses for your performance. It is what it is, and whatever awesome life experience and maturity you bring to the table and will be shown in your application will vanish if you are saying that your LSAT score was a few points lower than you had hoped because you didn't time your bathroom breaks correctly. Seriously.

You should be fine. You might want to apply to more than one school (if possible). Other than that- good luck!

Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT tips
« on: December 02, 2016, 11:19:46 AM »
any tips for studying for the LSAT? This will be my last time taking it. I have 30 practice tests (I'm doing one a week) as well as the LSAT trainer and the logic games bible, the logical reasoning bible, and reading comprehension bible. I'm a little bit of a perfectionist and I'm kind of freaking out... So, any tips would be helpful  :D

My background- I've taken the LSAT, graduated from law school, tutored individually on the LSAT, and I'm a practicing attorney.

My advice- the best place to improve your score is logic games. Period. The next best area is "overall test taking," in other words, understanding when to guess, how to maximize your time, and how to deal with standardized tests in general.

If you've done the work, at a certain point, you're going to plateau. Make sure you know where the test will be administered, if possible get a hotel room near the test (so you don't have to stress travel the day of), and take a break for a few days before the test to recharge.

Good luck.

Law School Admissions / Re: Military/WE Friendly Schools?
« on: November 30, 2016, 07:54:08 AM »
Thanks for the response, brother.

I'm not dead set on the T-14 or anything as I don't really care that much for prestige. I do care where I want to practice and the practice area (public sector) which is why the T-14 plus regional schools offer me the most options.

Live in NC and would like to practice in NC, GA, or TX.  Almost every school I am applying to will have tuition paid for as I don't have any really no aspirations on having a six figure salary or selling my soul to big law.

The key phrase here is "almost every school ... will have tuition paid for[.]" Given that I assume you are early in the admissions process, and that you haven't received admissions + financial offers yet, you must be discussing some other package, such as aid to military vets, that I am less than familiar with. Good for you!

MaintainFL has excellent advice. As you want to practice in the public sector, you should make sure that your total cost of attendance is zero (or close to it). Do not depend on loan forgiveness programs for working in the public sector- allow me to explain.

At this point, you have the same vague desires that most people have when they start law school, "I want to work in M&A." "I want to work in the public sector and do good." "I want to work in international law." There's nothing wrong with that- most applicants have that feeling, and, by far, the three most common motivations are:
1. I want to make money.
2. I don't know what to do with my life after undergrad.
3. I want to help people/do good/work in the public sector.

Here's the thing- the practice of law is very different than the ideals, and you might end up with very different ideas as to what you find appealing after you encounter actual practice during your first two years in law school, during summer jobs, and in clinics. The best way to make sure you keep your options open are to graduate law school with little to no debt.

With that in mind, understand the following-
1. T14 schools are national. Harvard, Yale, etc.? You can pretty much practice in any part of the country that you want to begin with. You will get the interview. However, when people discuss this, they are usually talking about BigLaw or prestigious public sector. They aren't discussing local PD in Montana.
2. Other schools in from 14-100, roughly, or state/regional schools. Your degree and connections will help you in the state, and perhaps the region. But if you want to practice far outside of it, you need to make your own connections and do really well.
3. Past the top 100, you start looking at state/local schools. Schools that place in the state, or the locality (city) of the school.

In law, geography matters. The state that you first practice in has a very good chance to be the state that you always practice in. Bar admissions are not portable. This isn't a hard and fast rule; I've practiced in more than one state. But you should pay attention to it.

Hello my name is Paul, I am taking a Law class at the Univ. of Bridgeport working on an EdD in Education Leadership. We have to come up with a case and do a write up on it. This is within the context of education. I am not a law student, nor do I desire to become one. I just need help with a paper.

Last week the horrible school bus crash in Tennessee happened. I ask if I could use this for a case study. Prof said, 'Yes'

1) What Constitutional Laws apply to this incident?

2) Who might be taking who to court? Under what legal reasons?

3) Who is liable? The driver? The Bus Company? The School district?

4) What cases might I use to support some of the above?

5) Where does seat belt law in school buses fit in?

6) What other issues or topics might I consider?

Thank you anyone for some input. I have a week to write my paper.


My first piece of advice- don't do this topic. Seriously.

This particular topic is a minefield, and I wouldn't give it to anyone in their first year of law school.

You'd have to find out the following-
1. Was this a private bus company, or was it owned and operated by the school district?
2. Would 1983 (federal law?) apply?
3. You could get the driver for negligence (of course) and the company that employed him for negligent training, policies and practices, supervision etc. - assuming private.
4. Was this a non-delegable duty (from the school district)? If so, what is the standard?
5. What state, municipal, and federal laws may have been observed/broken?
4. Seriously, don't do this.

Law School Admissions / Re: Military/WE Friendly Schools?
« on: November 28, 2016, 10:02:09 AM »
A search turned up a couple of threads but most seemed to be 5+ years old and I was wondering if anyone had more recent experiences with the admissions process.

I am in my early 30's, with 12 years military experience (4 in intelligence as a linguist and 8 years in the Army Special Forces as an 18D).  My numbers are a bit below the medians for T14 but I've had a couple buddies go through years back and they all said just apply for all the T14 schools, especially since many would give you a fee waiver if you ask.

I have a 3.49 GPA and a 166 LSAT.  I do believe I have some unique softs and life experience that set me apart from many of my younger, more energetic applicants but it doesn't change the fact many adcoms don't care.  Apart from NU and Georgetown, what schools would seem to value work experience more than others?

Looking at UVA, Michigan, UNC, Penn, and UT in addition to NU and GU.

I assist occasionally with my law school's admissions department, and I had somewhat similar circumstances to yours.

My quick advice-

First, you are a non-traditional law school student (that's the term they use when you take significant time off from ug - undergrad). As such, you are going to be at a slight advantage; law schools don't care at all about "soft factors" (everything except uGPA + LSAT), except they do care, a very very little bit, for non-trads. So you'll get a (very) slight boost from that.

Second, your LSAT is excellent. If you are set on T14s, apply to several. Also apply to some safety schools and/or a good state school in the state you live in. This is both just in case, and so you can get an idea of the comps for fees/tuition.

Good luck.

Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: November 15, 2016, 06:55:04 AM »

My hypothesis was that Clinton wasn't going to be president ultimately was correct and if you re read what i wrote...

Your "hypothesis" changed so many times that it's not even funny. The reason you're a troll, and people stopped discussing any serious matters with you more than a half a year ago, is because you kept spouting out nonsensical information and refused to listen even when your multiple incorrect predictions were "incorrect." Well, that and the fact that you've previously trolled here before under a different name.

But saying that X candidate will lose, in a two-party system, is similar to saying a year ahead that "The NFC will lose the Superbowl." You have a decent chance of being correct, regardless of the reason. As you would know if you bothered to look at facts, a replacement-level GOP politician given the current underlying fundamentals following a two-term incumbent would have out-performed Trump. Trump did not "energize" people- he underperformed both Romney and McCain (he received fewer total votes even as the population has increased). Clinton already has won the "silent majority" of votes, and as votes continue to be counted in California, New York, and Washington, her popular vote total will increase - and come close to Obama's 2012 results.

The issue isn't at all what you are (and some pundits) are making it; instead, it's a combination of a misallocation of voters (urban, coastal) for the Democrats, and a misallocation of resources from the Clinton campaign. Millions of wasted votes in California and New York (to list two), Georgia and Texas becoming a lot bluer (but not nearly close enough), and Trump using the electoral college's structural advantage. All the time spent expanding the map and attempting to turn Florida and North Carolina, while no time was spent defending the Midwest, where Trump eked out the win. C'est la vie.

But for what it's worth- there is no such thing as a "Reagan Democrat" anymore. We call those Republicans, now. There are many lessons that can be drawn from this campaign, but they will all be lost on you. Now that the election is over, go away. Given your track record, I won't waste any more time engaged explaining things to you. This post is for the two or three other people that still look into this thread.

Hopefully, once you are doing whatever it is you do (assumedly, collecting your SSDI benefits), people will go back to posting on law-related issues.

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