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Messages - loki13

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Where should I go next fall? / Know what you're doing
« on: April 11, 2006, 10:05:59 PM »
You're sure you want to go into IP?

This is something you've researched? You know what it is like? You know what's involved? Do you know what area within IP law? Do you have a science (pref. Engineering) background and what to go into patent law, or do you have other interests?

I apologize if these seem like basic questions to you, but the two common responses I hear from people when asked what branch of the law they wish to study are Corporate Law and IP Law, not because they have any real understanding of what would be involved in those areas, but because they heard you might be able to make some $$$.

If IP Law is absolutely what you want to practice, FP is a good bet. If it is something you might want to practice, but you're not sure, I wouldn't make that commitment to the school if you were accepted into a much higher ranked program in an area you'd rather live in.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: University of Florida Residency
« on: April 11, 2006, 07:24:23 AM »
Notice I said *requests*, as in students who have already accepted hoping that they could defer enrollment to next year. If it's possible. In my case, *if* the law passes, I would have to do this and hope they allow me to defer as I would have enough trouble covering the first year's... three year's I just couldn't do even w/loans.

And yes, I did mention changing diapers. Have a three week old right now. FarmerMo, you're in for an adventure. And by adventure, I mean a long, sleepless, smelly, fluid-filled time.  ;)

Where should I go next fall? / Re: University of Florida Residency
« on: April 11, 2006, 07:19:03 AM »
If this is not a moot discussion (as in beyond the reach of the law, not as in open to further debate)....

I can imagine that the Fla. public schools might get more than a few requests for deferments come late June.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: University of Florida Residency
« on: April 10, 2006, 08:01:36 PM »
This is just such a massive headache.

When today began, I was 99% confident I would be attending UF, despite not having any financial information from them yet. Sure, I'd put down a deposit at another school, just in case, but still, Gainesville, here I come!

Now I feel like I've been sucker-punched. What other messed-up state does this happen in? Ever wonder why has its own Florida category? THIS IS WHY! You apply to any other state school, and they'll straight up tell you what you need to do to qualify for residency, or, in a few cases, just tell you that it's not going to happen.

But at Florida... allow me to quote:

"Your tuition bill will reflect the rate
you are charged. If it is non-resident at the first year, it very well
could continue to be non-resident for the next three years. It may not, but
it might. "

Umm.... yeah. Great. This helps me make a budget and take out loans HOW? They could tell me it's not going to happen- I'd be happy with that. They could tell me I'd have to go on a quest and bring 'em the Eye of Thiggor os something- sure, can do. They could tell me I become a resident after I've been trapped behind a senior citizen driving 15mph with their blinker on for 15 miles... not a problem! This uncertainty I CANT DEAL WITH.

*sigh* The sad thing is, I really, really want to go to UF. And the reason I want to go is so that I can practice in Florida. Go fig.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: University of Florida Residency
« on: April 10, 2006, 07:28:03 PM »
okay... from my reading of the bill, you have two (2!) options.

Either work FT (not an option).

Or, buy a house.

Does this seem like the correct reading?

Man, I hope this gets vetoed. This wouldn't be so obnoxious if I wasn't born in FRIGGIN' Florida and lived there until the end of 2004.

Must... control... fist... of.... doom....

Where should I go next fall? / Re: University of Florida Residency
« on: April 10, 2006, 03:19:08 PM »
Okay... so the bill last year (2264) was vetoed. But they have or have they not passed an identical bill this year?

*sigh* This seems to be a particularly unsettled time to be making a blind decision that could cost upwards of 40k.

Where should I go next fall? / University of Florida Residency
« on: April 10, 2006, 01:52:48 PM »
Well, I thought my mind was made up on UF. While I have lived out of state since the end of 2004, I am a Florida native, lived in Gainesville 2003-2004, and plan on moving back there for good. Also, another poster said 90% of out-of-staters get Florida residency for 2L and 3L.

Here's the rub. I finally got around to calling the registrar and spoke to the residency expert. After listening to me, all she said was that all applicants are decided on a case-by-case basis and that people from out-of-state should plan on paying out-of-state tuition for the duration of their stay. I spoke to the Director of Admissions at UF and he was, well, a little vague. As in, he KNOWS NOTHINGK, and couldn't comment, and yeah, better budget on full freight.

Huh? So, anyone have the real scoop on this? I've heard that it's relatively easy for law students. But now everyone in an official capacity at UF is putting the fear o' Mammon in me, because I can't afford to pay full freight for three years. So what is it? Is it easy? Is it hard? Is officialdom just being squirrely so they can cover their collective behinds (never promise anything) and dissuade freeloadin' out of staters from coming to UF?

Where should I go next fall? / Re: *ahem*
« on: April 09, 2006, 09:36:28 PM »

There are also probably a huge number of HYS grads (actually most of them) who never, in their wildest dreams, could get onto the Supreme Court.

True. Ummm... more than 99.9% of living ones, in my quick statistical estimation. That wasn't really my point. The most desirable of all the top level positions (judgeships, white shoe firms, academia) are populated by T20 grads. Lets look to the US Court of Appeals- Fed. Circuit.
P. Michel- UVa. JD
P. Neman- NYU JD
H Mayer- W&M JD
A. Lourie- Temple JD (BA Harvard, PhD UPenn)
R. Rader- GW JD
G. Schall- Tulane JD (BA Princeton)
W. Bryson- UTexas JD (BA Harvard)
A. Garjasa- Georgetown JD
R. Linn- Gerogetown JD
T. Dyk- Harvard LLB
S. Prost- American U JD (Cornell BS, GW LLM)

...and it goes on. There's a few anomalies... but once again, no Coolies. But we have a chicken/egg question going on here. Do these individuals succeed so well because of the school they chose, or did they get into that school because, well, they'rer good at succeeding? You also can't discount the alum networking factor you get from going to certain schools.

None of this is to say you cannot succeed in certain fields with, say, a Cooley degree. One of their grads is a former governor of Michigan. However, the attitude that many incoming applicants have that they'll make the easy bucks with any old JD is a patently false and absurd one. A T4 degree does not destroy your career chances, but it does make life a lot more difficult.

Where should I go next fall? / GW
« on: April 09, 2006, 06:43:44 PM »
If it was me, this would be my thought process.

1. All things being equal, I'd go to GW.

2. Employer paying for law school? Wow, that's great!

3. I would never go to law school PT, esp. first year. Many have done it. Many have succeeded. I completed my last year of UG while working 60 hrs/wk. Best grades I recieved *grin* Still, it was pretty hellish. I want to be able to eat, breathe, and sleep law for the first year, to totally immerse myself, and I'm willing to go into debt the first year to do that. I do not want to have to worry about balancing my work schedule with my law school schedule, and prioritizing between the two.

4. That said... and since you're already in PT... GW with your employer paying for it or a good scholarship at Pitt is a no-brainer.


Where should I go next fall? / *ahem*
« on: April 09, 2006, 05:03:42 PM »
John Roberts: Harvard JD
John P. Stevens: Northwestern JD
A. Scalia: Harrvard LLB
A. Kennedy: Harvard LLB
D. Souter: Harvard LLB (Jurisprudence A.B. Oxford)
C. Thomas: Yale JD
R. Ginsburg: Harvard JD, Columbia LLB
S. Breyer: Harvard LLB
S. Alito: Yale JD
S. O'Connor: Stanford LLB

Don't see Cooley here.

Now look at the faculty listings of the schools you've applied to. Notice how it lists where they went to school? Where did the professors go to school? Was it a T20 school? Or was it Cooley?

Final exercise. Look at the bio data for the partners of a random BigLaw/white shoe firm in NYC or Boston. Where did the partners get their degrees? Did they get their degrees at Cooley?

This is not an exercise in elitism. It is wonderful to follow your dream. Is it possible to go to Cooley, get a degree, go into private practice, and earn yourself millions in fees through hard work with your JD because in a courtroom the jury doesn't care where your degree is from? Sure, it's possible.

But if you have dreams of certain post-career options, a Cooley degreee won't help you. On this board, we often see two types of blindness, neither of which is helpful:

1. Snob myopia: The "If you don't get into a T14 school, you'll die alone & broke with a venerel disease" syndrome. These are the individuals who will advise you, if you received a 164 on the LSAT, to take the cycle off and study real hard and apply again next year, because nobody gets a job from a school ranked outside of the top 20. This is elitism at its worse. A T14/20 school will certainly give you more options, especially if you fall into the bottotm half of your class... but there are many success stories out there (Supreme Court excluded) outside of the T14/20.

2. The "Go get 'em tiger" fallacy: these are the posters who write that, well, if you just put enough elbow grease into it, you'll succeed no matter where you go.
Sorry, bucky, that's just not true.
For starters, some people have, for lack of a better word, some natural talents that others do not. Let's take me (because it's alwaqys about me). I went very far in math in high school and college. High level calculus, linear algebra, etc. And then I hit the wall. No matter how hard I worked, I just couldn't wrap my head around some concepts as well as other students could. That was the point when I realized I wouldn't be a math major. Was I good at math? Yes. But was I good enough to go on to grad school? No way. Not even close.

So it is with law school. If the only school you're getting into is Cooley, if you scored a 148 LSAT and had a GPA of 2.9... well, maybe you won't be the next Johnny Cochran. Maybe you won't even survive Cooley's notorious attrition rate. Or the attrition rates of many T4 schools. This could be an incorrect assessment- you could be a great natural orator who doesn't test well AND goofed off in college and now you have your life together. But maybe you should think about it...

And that's what it comes down to- thinking about law school. Far too many applicants want to go to law school... well... because. Because they heard you can make money. Because they want to go to school for three more years instead of entering the work force. Because they saw Matlock one night on TV. And if you get into a great law school, it doesn't really matter what your reasons were- you're going to do fine. But if you go to a T4, you could graduate in serious debt (more than 100k) AND have no job options that require your JD or pay well.

>Yes, the success stories are more frequent (sometimes a LOT more frequent) the higher up you go in the USNWR. But, no >one can stop you from being the anomaly at a lower ranked school. You gotta have a dream.

Dreams are wonderful. But realism is nice, too. If you *know* law school is what you want to do, because you love the law. or because there's something you need a JD to do, and you can only get it from a T4 school, then more power to you. But if you just think it's a spiffy way to make money for people who are bad at math, well, remember this:
-You're going to a T4 school.
-You could graduate (after living expenses) more than 100k in debt.
-If you're expecting to work hard and finish in the top 5% of your class, guess what? So is everyone else who was admitted. And 95% of them are wrong. In addition, all T4 admit 'high performers' on full or large scholarships- if you are not one of them, they will be your competition.

Allow me to finish with this- despite everything I have written, I feel stongly that for those who truly wish to become lawyers, a T4 school is a perfectly reasonable option. There is far too much USNWR ratings obsessions going on. Some T4 schools place well in their own region for graduates who do well. Some have specialties (Pace in environmental law) worth considering. This post has more to do with applicants who blindly believe that the cost of a JD will take care of itself...

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