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Messages - loki13

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Where should I go next fall? / Ponies!
« on: March 30, 2006, 11:11:21 AM »
I call thinking about transferring the 'pony option'.

What do I mean by this?

Practice by saying whatever you're going to do today, then add, "and I'm getting a pony!"

Now say to yourself... "I'm going to xyz law school, and I'm getting a pony!"

What does it all mean? Wishing to transfer is like wishing for a pony. It sure sounds great, but I wouldn't count on it. Pick a school that you'll be happy at for three years. And if you're lucky, a year from now, you'll be looking at stables for your pony.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: RE: Florida...
« on: March 30, 2006, 10:56:28 AM »

Regarding your international/corporate finance questions...

I realize that Miami is a major metropolitan area, while Gainesville is not.

However, do you think many people who are planning on practicing in those areas and are admitted to, say, Suffolk (in metro Boston) and Cornell (in Ithaca, NY... which is close to the middle of nowhere), think they'll land a better corporate job by going to Suffolk?

Admittedly, I'm giving you an extreme example (Top 14 v. T4 school) but the analogy holds. The small advantage Miami has in location and (perhaps) focus does not outweigh the perception among employers. UF is considered top dog in the state. The alum network is mighty and impressive. Graduate top of your class there and you have your pick of jobs within the state.

Now, all of that said, and before I am called a UF troll, let me say the following. Miami is ranked 65th in th nation. That's not too shabby. But... Florida is 41, FSU is 53. So they are not only fighting the fact that they're #3 in the state, and that they're competing with out of state competition, they're also also competing against the larger and more well-entrenched alum networks of UF and FSU.

None of this should dissuade you, however. Miami is a very good school. It is next to the beach (UF is two hours from Daytona, 1 1/2 from anything else decent IMHO). You do well there, you will get a good job in the state. Do what you think is right. If you really like Miami, you should go there. But if you're in-state, you it's hard to justify shelling out the extra $$ for the tuition for Miami. And if you're financially independent of your parents, you should qualify for in-state for 2L and 3L anyway. Something to consider... 

I've been ruminating on this topic for a while, and it was recently exacerbated by the Franklin P v. UF post. Most of us have perused the 25th-75th percentile starting salaries. Some people are even unwise enough to make decisions based on them. So here's my question. How wrong do you think they are? Why are they wrong? My answers:

1. For the most part, very wrong in particulars, somewhat wrong in general. You can get an idea for the general idea of where a school is (starting salaries of the T10 schools v. the tier 4 schools) and where they place with BigLaw in BigCities, but that's about it. And they tend to get more wrong the lower ranked you go.

2. Why? Many reasons...

a. They're self-reported. Let that sink in a second. While there are fewer abuses than there were during the mid-90s (when Suffolk reported much higher salries than BU and BC), it's still pretty bad. It's almost like when you give Cooley a chance to create their own law school rankings... things get a little wonky.
b. No COLA (cost-of-living-adjustment). Graduates from BigCity U will earn more than grads from CornField St. Why? Because it costs more to live in a big city! Seems obvious, huh? A school near Boston is going to have higher starting salaries than a school in near Birmingham. But you can actually afford a house in Birmingham (not saying you want to live there... just using it as an example). Median salaries measure the average cost of living of the area the school places more than they measure the desirability of the jobs the school places.
c. They're too round. Yes, 50k-70k looks good, and they're obviously rounding. But to what? Do they always round up? It doesn't look like to the nearest k... the neares 10k? Does every school do it differently? If one school is 41k-61k, and another school is 55k-75k, do they both report the figures as 50k-70k, or, if they're in Lansing, do they just report it as 60k-100k?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Where should I go next fall? / Easy call, Easy rider
« on: March 30, 2006, 08:34:03 AM »
As someone who has an opinion on everything, and the facts on nothing...

at first I thought this might be a troll post.

Then I decided I would read it. Maybe the poster has some outstanding reason to choose Pierce instead of UF, like they know that they will be going into IP (and they have an engineering background, not just some vague *wow that sounds cool* notion) or they will definitely be practicing in New England... probably New Hampshire. Because if their scores were good enough to get into UF, they could have been accepted into a much better New England or New York-area school.

But the poster didn't write anything about that. Instead we only read about the starting percentile salaries for graduates. A little education for your edification:
 1. Lies, damn lies, and statistics.
2. You say that you don't trust the USNWR, which is statistically based. Yet you trust this statistic. Re: the USNWR. Is it completely correct? No. The methodology is flawed in many ways (just one example- discriminates against larger schools), but taken as a whole, it is reasonable accurate. Is the difference between #40 and #60 that great? Probably not. Is the difference between #41 (UF) and tier 4 (FP this year) that great? You betcha. They must be something right, as every year the schools that most people would reasonably assume are the best manage to be in the 20, and most schools that are generally the worst (*cough* Cooley *cough*) are in the bootom tier.
3. Re: starting salaries specifically, as other posters have pointed out, this is a horrible statistic to go by. Assume, for a second, that the top grads in FP graduate in IP. IP Grads have to work in major IP hotspots- 128 corridor, SanSan, etc. Have you seen the COLA there? 125k/yr gets you an efficiency.

UF is the highest ranked school and the jewel of the university system in a growth state. FP is a tier four program competing in an overcrowded legal market with many competing legal schools (not NH, but New England), with one outstanding program.

In short, unless you already have a plan and a good reason for attending FP, the decision should be a simple one. If you have to ask the question, you shouldn't be asking it.

Where should I go next fall? / Ah... the Orange and the Blue!
« on: March 29, 2006, 09:37:13 PM »
I have lived in Gainesville for two years (2003-2004) and still have family residing there, and as I'm in NY now, I don't think I'm going to be able to make it down since I don't think I need to get a feel for the school- I used to bike by the building every day.

It all comes down to finances for me. If I can make it work financially, I could use the sunlight. I have more Gator paraphenalia than you can imagine. You cannot possible live in the Gainesville area and not become a Gator fan. My family has been there since 1988.

ps- confidential to FSU: suck it.

Where should I go next fall? / Followup
« on: March 29, 2006, 09:31:28 PM »
I was writing when you posted...

Those are good intangibles.

However, of the people self-reporting last cycle at LSN with scores below 160:

5 accepted.
46 declined.
23 'pending' (I assume most of these were declined and didn't bother to update their records)

Scores of 153-155
1 accepted
10 rejected
5 'pending', given its nature, will have skewed numbers as a self-selecting group. But I think its relatively accurate. UNC is a serious reach for you. I assume you knew that going in to the process. And what people say about intangibles are true- it takes a LOT of intangibles to make an admissions office overlook a low score. Because many of the people you're competing against have much, much higher scores, and they'll get in on their indexes alone. Intangibles are usually only looked at for marginal candidates, unless they are REALLY compelling.

Where should I go next fall? / Sorry Charlie
« on: March 29, 2006, 09:23:05 PM »
Check out 2004-2005 cycle.... doesn't look so good.

Every application is different. You could be an under-represented minority*, you could have overcome the loss of four limbs to get where you are today, your school may have grade deflation with an average GPA of 2.1 making yours that tmuch more impressive, you may have channeled Faulkner when writing your personal essay, or your parents may have just given a 20 million dollar endowment to the school.

But usually, numbers don't lie. You are not a unique or beautiful snowflake. Your LSAT is well below the school's 'acceptance line' (in 2004-2005, around 160).

I hope this doesn't sound harsh- I do not mean it to be. Please look at the data and draw your own conclusions. I wish you the best of luck and hope you gain admittance. But I would not wager my own money on your chances.

Good luck!

*This is not a perjorative statement. I am a proponent of affirmative action, and it goes without saying that being an underrepresented minority at a school is an intangible that boosts your chances, either officially (UMich) of unofficially.

I can only tell you this:

I am an applicant to UFla.

I have heard that they were supposed to process all of their applications and send out letters this week.

I received an email today with the news that I had been acccepted and that the letters were sent out yesterday, and it contained information for an accepted students day.

Did every acccepted student get one? I don't now. What does it mean? I don't know- but you can draw your own conclusions. I wouldn't give up hope despite the dark portent given the carpiciousness of the system, and from the email, everyone should find out by Monday at the latest.

Where should I go next fall? / I feel ya...
« on: March 29, 2006, 08:30:29 PM »
Would this mean, for example... oh.... say... most schools (rank individually) v. UBuffalo (rank as a percentage)?


The employers in upstate NY are very familiar with both UB's ranking system and its merits as a school, so it will be no problem if you're looking to get hired in upstate NY.

If you finish in top 10% of you class, and you're looking to get a job in NYC, many of the employers have, at one time or another, encountered UB applicants, so it shouldn't be too much of a disadvantage there either.

Other than that, if you want job elsewhere (say Florida), you may have some explaining to do. It shouldn't harm you too much, unless, of course, you end up as #1 in your class and you can only report that you were in the top 10%. But, as the old saw goes, 90% of incoming law students will finish in the top 10% of their class. So I wouldn't worry about it too much.

In short- is it odd? Yes. Is it a disadvantage? If it were that large a disadvantage, then the student outcry during hiring would have ended the practice.

Where should I go next fall? / Question about residency at Florida
« on: March 29, 2006, 04:53:54 PM »
Hmmmm... so now I'm mulling over Florida.

I haven't seen the official packet yet, so I don't know if I received any sort of monetary incentive, but I know the following:

1. In-state tuition rocks!
2. Out of state.... uh.... not so much.

Here's the ish... I am, in many ways, a Florida native. I was born in Florida. Spent time overseas, but my US state residency was Florida from birth through the end of high school. Also lived in Gainesville in 2003-2004. (sound of world's smallest violin playing...)

But this all means zilch because I moved out of state in 2005. So here's my question... my reading of the Fla. residency rules seems to imply that if you move there to attend school, you cannot qualify for in-state. I have seen other posters who write that you *can* qualify for 2L & 3L, however. So which is it? If I attend school there, will I get in-state for 2l & 3L, or will I be paying OOS all three years? I will be contacting the admissions department separately, but I'd like to hear any personal knowledge on this problem.

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