Law School Discussion

Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - loki13

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 9 10 11 ... 58
Job Search / Re: 2L Summer Job Offers - Choosing One - Advice?
« on: February 24, 2016, 02:43:15 PM »
Basically, I'm concerned about whether or not I should hedge my bets on this unofficial possible post-grad employment chance. Because if hedging my bets on that is unrealistic (as some people say hiring decisions are usually hinging on bar results these days) then I'm not as certain about the appeal of one versus another.

There's no single answer to this question you posed. It appears that you currently have one position, with two in-house offers.

A lot of it depends on the nature/reputation/work environment of the places. What is the better opportunity? I honestly don't know. You gave us a laundry list of what the job provides, but nothing about what the job *is*, or what you *want*.

You have to look at yourself. What do you want? Look at job 1- they offer what appears to be a path to a job. But do you want that job? Will you be happy if you graduate and work there? If not, then why are you thinking about it? If yes, then the answer should be simple.

And job two- does it provide skills and networking opportunities in addition to the money?

Not to be too ... easygoing about it, but the money you make your 2L summer isn't going to amount to a whole hill of beans compared to your career. Make the decision based on where you want to be 5 and 10 years down the road.

I started undergrad in 2010. After 3 years of poor performance I left school for a couple years and worked and reevaluated my life. Because I was on probation this counted as an academic dismissal. I have since returned to school at a different University and have maintained a 3.5 GPA for the last two semesters and hope to so so for this one and the next, after which I'll graduate. If I do well on the LSAT, how much will my earlier performance affect law schools' decisions?

I agree with MaintainFL, and will add a few notes. First, the good news. You're not screwed. Now, the less good news.

You have *two* separate issues. One is poor uGPA (undergraduate GPA). The other is the academic dismissal. They are not the same issue. Let me explain why.

The overall bad uGPA will, in and of itself, be a reason that you will not get into some schools. This is a numbers game, and schools use a matrix with your uGPA and LSAT score. In other words, below a certain (combined) level, your application may not get looked at with some schools. On the other hand, this should give you a very good incentive to do well on the LSAT. Since you, um, took a break, you are technically a non-trad (non-traditional student) and if you do really well you would be a "splitter" (high LSAT, low uGPA) that schools will admit a percentage of to boost their numbers. But, in short, it's not the death of you- and, given that you have a record of doing better academically once you came back, it's not too bad.

The other issue is bigger. You will need to explain the academic dismissal. This is (for lack of a better word) a "big deal" for law school and the Bar. Not that it happened- but that you can explain it with candor. Were you unready? Didn't take it seriously? Had a family issue? Had a medical issue? You will need to explain this openly and honestly, and, just as importantly, without excuses. Own it, whatever it might be.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Chosing a School
« on: February 09, 2016, 01:50:06 PM »
The advice you have been given, so far, is good. But I need to add a few pointers. The only two things to considers, for the schools you have listed, are cost and location. Period. Unlike Citylaw, if you are young and relatively mobile, I would consider cost to be at least as, if not more, important than location. Let me explain why-

Location (other than the T14) matters an incredible amount. Yes, it is possible to get a degree at Penn State and then a job back on the West Coast. But it is very unlikely. You should realize that it is much more likely than not that you will be practicing in the same area as where you went to school.

...but think of the cost. Seriously. It's not just the cost of tuition. It's the books. Fees (there will be fees). Cost of food. Drink. Rent. Living. You need to minimize those costs. If you are young and mobile, it is likely that your geographic preference isn't worth $100-$300k of debt.

Now, I would like you to look at this article-

This is from 2013, but I think it should shed a little light on one issue. Chapman is one of those schools that are *notorious* for yanking merit-based scholarships. I believe their curve is set *under* 2.9 (2.8?), so that, in a certain way, many students are set up to fail. Well, pay.

Other things-

Penn State took over Dickinson in order to get a law school, but my understanding is that they "de-merged" recently; now there is Penn State Law (regular campus) and Penn State Law (Dickinson). I'm unfamiliar with how that has affected anything.

If I were in your shoes, I would seriously consider the PSU offer, and then look into DePaul and Loyola (Chi). But I'm not you. Remember that you will likely end up practicing in the general location of where you went to law school - east coast/mid-Atlantic (PSU) or Midwest/Chicago.

Law School Admissions / Re: Considering Law School - mid 40's
« on: February 02, 2016, 10:37:52 AM »

I've always had an interest in law.  I certainly would like to own my own firm and practice employment law - utilizing my corporate experience.

I'm just wondering if I'm too old for this task - 4 more years of school.  I currently have a Master's Degree in another field. 

Any feedback from anyone in their mid-40's who started law school later in life would be awesome!


You are a non-traditional student. I don't normally think much about it, provided we're talking mid-30s or younger, but you present some additional issues.

In your favor, you will likely have several advantages that many other law students lack. A consistent work ethic. Life experience. The ability to treat law school like a job. This gives you a leg up.

Against you is that as you get older, it does get somewhat harder to unlearn things that you know- and law school is both about learning the law and unlearning things you think are true about the law (but aren't). You may also have family or other obligations that make it harder to participate in the full law school experience (extracurriculars and other non-class offerings).

What it comes down to is this- cost and opportunity. You say "four years." Do you have a particular part-time program in mind (that will allow you to work) that takes four years (full time is usually 3 years)? How much will it cost? Do you have connections that you will be able to use when you graduate to build up a client base?

This transition is possible, but it's hard. I know a practicing attorney that went to law school after a successful (unionized) position. He had an affinity for the law, and in his md-40s, went to law school. He's now a successful union attorney, utilizing all of his old union connections. But he's the exception.

There's no generic advice that can be given- it's going to depend on you.

Job Search / Re: Testing Period
« on: February 01, 2016, 02:53:24 PM »
I have an internship thing. Not really sure if it's considered a gig especially with this testing period thing as it's sounding like I have to prove myself before they'll hire me based on what I'm hearing here? Not a big full blown summer associate gig or anything like that though if that's what you were wondering.

Yeah, no idea based on what you've related. Haven't heard it referred to as a "testing period," but a probationary period is common.

Kinda weird if it's just a summer gig.


My question is how likely would it be to be re-admitted in a situation like this, if I had a external circumstances which contributed to my failure the first time around, how should I present these on the application, and would I be eligible to apply to other law schools as well?


What MaintainFL wrote is correct. I am going to slightly (just slightly) temper his comments. A one semester suspension for plagiarism is not the death-knell for an application and the Bar, but it is a very serious matter. You do not have to disclose to us what the "external circumstances" were, but you have to understand and take responsibility for them.

The issue with getting the prior credits in could be a huge one, cost-wise (that's a full year of tuition). Unfortunately, there's not enough information here to go on, and there's too many factors to really analyze. If you really want to be an attorney, then you should follow up on this. Just make sure you're completely candid during the application(s) process.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« on: January 28, 2016, 03:00:04 PM »
Yeah, I essentially agree. I would never dismiss the accomplishment of getting accepted to a T14. These are the superstars among superstars. Anyone can have a bad day and get a 150, but nobody accidently gets 175.

Here's what I'm getting at:

I have no doubt that the "average" Harvard student is anything but average. I understand that they are very, very smart. But, as I get further into my career I see that lawyers who are smart enough + VERY hardworking are typically more productive employees than those who are VERY smart + average work ethic.

I've worked with T14 grads who sucked and non-ABA grads who kicked ass. Some T14 grads I've known were very smart but were not necessarily good employees. They were entitled, bored, felt that some work was beneath them, complained a lot. Of course, I've worked with other T14 grads who were excellent, dedicated, and put most of us to shame. It depends on the individual, I suppose.

So if the issue is who would make a better employee, I tend to think that the one who has shown exceptional motivation and discipline would be my choice, regardless of pedigree. I've never met a top 10 percenter from any school who wasn't insanely motivated.

But ... it depends. That's why your question is, essentially, unanswerable without more information. What position are they applying for? What other information do you have about the candidate? Was the top 5% (I wouldn't necessarily go top 10%) on law review or moot court, and if not, why not? What about the position?

See, that's the difference in expectations and even teaching styles. But here's the salient difference- you're assuming that the average HLS grad isn't a hard worker. That's the opposite type of bias.

What I'm saying, instead, is that to finish at the very top of their class (remember, a lot of the top law schools aren't grading any more in a traditional way - see, inter alia, Yale) in that environment is different. You are determining that someone who is just an average HLS student is necessarily not a hard worker- instead, however, it might be the case that this student is an incredibly hard worker, and incredibly smart, but is competing against other incredibly hard workers who happened to score 178-180 on the LSATs (if you catch my drift).

The level is different. Go back to the football analogy. You need more information when make those types of comparisons. Or, put a different way, is that just because one can rightly say that a top 5% finish in a T4 school is meaningful, doesn't mean that one can turn around and say that an average finish in HLS is necessarily because they have an average work ethic.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« on: January 28, 2016, 11:38:08 AM »
On the other hand, it is so difficult to get in, and the overall level (of instruction and peer level) is so high, that there are students that are average at a T14 that would have finished at the top of a T4 school.

To me that's the real issue. Is the overall quality of T14 students so high that an average-ranked T14 grad is essentially equivalent (or even superior) to a T4 valedictorian?

For example, I didn't attend Harvard so I have no idea what is required to earn a C in torts at HLS. But, is getting an A in torts at the University of New Mexico going to require a degree of intellectual firepower, discipline, and writing ability that would only get you a C at HLS? I understand that the pool of peers to which the Harvard student is being compared is of a very, very high caliber. But again, is it really that difficult to get Cs at HLS?

I really don't know, but I sort of doubt it. I have a suspicion that the student who consistently gets As at New Mexico is probably a harder worker and has more self discipline.

I think that to answer this question, you have to first think of the overall barriers to entry and how that affects the overall makeup of the student body. The 25th percentile LSAT/GPA for Harvard is 170/3.75. The 75th percentile for Florida Coastal (Tier 4) is 152/3.42.

So, the worst students at HLS score 18 points higher on the LSAT and .33 higher in their GPA than the best of Florida Coastal. Something to think about. Why? Because that means the pool of students you are competing with, studying with, learning with, and achieving with is very different. You also have to factor in transfers- some of the very best students at T3/T4 schools transfer to higher-ranked schools.

This is not to disparage the truly gifted. But here's the thing. You won't find many (if any) Harvard-types at a Florida Coastal, because if they were that capable, they would be capable of getting a free ride at a T1-T2 school. This isn't to disparage the students who do well; in practice, there are dud HLS grads, and there are amazing grads from T4 schools. But it's a huge difference, because the pool is so different.

TLDR; what you have to remember is that any single HLS grad could easily have gotten into the T4 school and likely would have excelled. Credit should be given to the T4 top 5% for actually doing it, but you shouldn't unnecessarily demean a student for just being at the half-way mark in an exceptional class. It's like comparing a football player who's just "eh" at Alabama vs. a standout D2 player.

Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: January 28, 2016, 11:25:58 AM »

As was explained to you, the initial leaked reports that Clinton was being investigated were incorrect. That the FBI is conducting an investigation into the overall matter is correct, but she is not the target of an investigation; that was a retracted story. I realize that you don't have the time or energy to get these basic facts correct, even when it was explained to you over five weeks ago, but it is what it is.

And, as I explained to you before, I am not a fan of Clinton. You may find that you will be less disappointed with reality when you base your opinions on what is occurring, as opposed to what you want to believe.

Believe what you want to believe as well, but admit that maybe you drank the koolaid. Admitting you are not a Clinton fan is the first step.

We probably wont be hearing from this poster again since it is now obvious that Hillary, herself is the "subject" of the FBI criminal investigation.

This poster was wrong and misguided.

I don't keep posting here because it just keeps the troll (you) alive. You have nothing to say about any legal issue, and your knowledge of the law, or politics, or of anything barely rises to the level of the average youtube commenter.

But to accept your challenge, again, my original post was correct. The story you kept citing was retracted. Moreover, the original contention was correct. Clinton is not the subject of any investigation. The investigation is into the overall matter. There was a Fox News report, citing "sources," but nothing else, and you've misconstrued that as well.

As for hearing from me, I continue to be active commenting on legal topics. You, on the other hand, continue to occasionally troll here with bad information. So I'm not going to bother posting again, other than noting that you refused my bet because you don't actually believe the BS you are peddling.

So go peddle it somewhere else, where people are gullible and you might come off as knowledgeable. Well, I don't if there is any place that the second criterion would be met, but you get the idea. Wait ... you probably don't.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« on: January 27, 2016, 10:25:08 AM »
Had lunch with a group of attorneys today, and this hypothetical came up (as it has before).

Lets say you were in charge of hiring a new associate. Who would you be more inclined to interview: a T14 grad ranked in the middle of the pack, or a T3-T4 valedictorian?

Our group was pretty academically diverse. We had T14 grads, T4 grads, and everything in between. Interestingly, the T4 grads seemed more likely to hire the T14 grad and the T14 guys were like "No way, take the higher ranked grad!".

One guy (a T14 grad) summed it up like this (I'm paraphrasing): the average T14 student and the T4 valedictorian are probably more or less intellectually equivalent. The difference is that the valedictorian works harder, and will probably be a more productive employee.   

I realize that there are many variables, but I think I agree with his assessment. It's far more competitive to get into a top school, but once you're there is it really that much more difficult to get average passing grades?

Oooh..... that's actually a hard one. Without knowing more, I'd be inclined to go with a T3-T4 valedictorian. But (speaking in aggregate) I don't think you're giving a fair shake to the "average" T14 grad. Let me explain-

This decision is more premised on the fact that anyone who graduates as the valedictorian of a T3-T4 school is likely to be very, very special. They had to work hard, be smart, and be amazingly consistent. Without knowing anything else, I would be inclined to hire the top student from one of those schools, simply because of that achievement.

....but, I think we often both overestimate and underestimate T14 grads. There is a sometimes-unfortunate deification ("I went to Harvard") going on. The name, alone, is nothing. I've met T14 grads that couldn't litigate their way out of a paper bag. On the other hand, it is so difficult to get in, and the overall level (of instruction and peer level) is so high, that there are students that are average at a T14 that would have finished at the top of a T4 school. So it's not that clear cut.

What I think the salient fact is, unfortunately, is this- no matter where you finish, you're going to get a look from a T14 school. OTOH, you have to finish in the top 5% to get that same look from a T3-T4 school.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 [6] 7 8 9 10 11 ... 58