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Messages - Miami88

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Pre-Law in high school / Re: Undergrad Internships
« on: May 28, 2015, 06:19:51 PM »
1) I agree with Maintain - connections (and your persona) are going to be more important than anything else. Further, music and other arts degrees are not highly represented in the legal profession. This doesn't mean that people can't get work, it just means that, compared to other degrees like political science, those who have a BM or a BFA are not as likely to go into law. That said, from my network, the people that do go into law with those degrees do rather well. Several use their arts degree as a vehicle to get into the entertainment industry (look up entertainment lawyers working in LA) or use law school as a vehicle to transition into a different industry (look up those degrees in mega big law firms in NY). I know of an attorney who has a BM and a JD, and President Obama recently nominated her to be a federal judge. Most of my friends from music school that decided to go into law have attended a top 30 school. I view it as a double edged sword. On the one hand, you will be viewed as a bit of an outcast because you have different background. On the other hand, you will be able to bring a unique perspective to collective, creative problem solving. In other words, the degree itself is not inherently bad. Whether it is positive or negative is going to really depend on you and the narrative you present to future employers/law schools. Heck, if Reagan (an actor-turned-politician) can become President - you can get into law school. :)

2) A lot of people (most people) don't end up practicing law. I agree with Maintain - in most situations, you should only go to law school if you actually want to practice law. Of course, there are exceptions. If your family has enough money to pay for it all and going to law school (and working) is more so something to keep you occupied as opposed to a necessity, and you have a deep desire to go to law school... well then, by all means. That said, tons of politicians have law degrees. The training you'll receive will be useful, but by no means necessary. If you are asking whether a law degree will hinder your chances at politics - I would say it would likely not. I mean, it will likely take to time to pay it off - and if you start a family and have kids to attend to, it might hold you back from fully pursing your interests.

3) Lawyer.

4) Maintain answered it.

5) You shouldn't. You'll have interests between now and law school (music), but other than that, you should enter law school with an open mind. That said, if you do have a demonstrated expertise going into law school, you will have a leg up to your peers. Employers do like it if you can say: this is what I have done with my life, this is what I loved about it, this is why I am going to law school, and therefore I obviously want to do transactional work. On the other hand, if you don't have a demonstrated interest and you randomly say the only thing you want to do in life is working on M&A deals (i.e. you are not being sincere), employers will see through you. It would be far better in that situation just to say something like: you really enjoyed your contracts class, property class, and drafting contracts in legal writing, and think you would enjoy working in that, but that you are eager to see what other practice areas are like.

6) I'd say GPA and LSAT amount to about 2/3 or 3/4 of your chances in law school admissions. If you are an underrepresented minority, you will likely get a solid boost there. So your "soft factors" will likely only tip you (or not) over the edge. Generally, the more unique your background, the better (i.e. the more diversity of experience you bring). So an arts background (assuming you tie it into your narrative appropriately) would likely help you out a bit. But again, this is not going to overcome a lousy GPA or LSAT. This is why people say to do an undergrad degree that you enjoy as opposed to one that you merely think will "help you" get into law school. If you actually enjoy what it is you are studying, you are likely to do better in school. The better you do, the better you chances are at getting into a better law school.

7) Straight economics - no. But depending on the school you go to, you might talk about law and economics quite a bit. Usually, the more theory based the law school (which tend to be the higher ranked schools), the more you'll talk about this. The more practice based the law school (which tend to be the lower ranked schools), the less you will talk about this. But even then, law and economics is just a theoretical explanation for making policy decisions or anticipating a holding's practical implications on society. In other words, it is not the primary focus (or even secondary focus) of law school.

8) The LSAT tests two primary skills: reading comprehension and logical/critical thinking. The LSAT tests these skills in three forms: logic games, reading comprehension, and logical reasoning. Logic games present a factual scenario and ask you intricate questions about logical conclusions. Reading is a relatively non-factor in these sections. By contrast, reading comprehension sections present a few paragraphs worth of jargon filled, detailed, complicated text and ask you rather basic questions like what the main point is. Logic plays a real but minor role, it is highly subservient to being able to comprehend what the heck you just read. Finally, logical reasoning is somewhere in-between. It presents you with a paragraph of rather complex text and asks you intricate questions about logical implications that are based on your ability to discern nuances in the text. It tests logical reasoning and reading comprehension about equally. Note reading comprehension and logical/critical thinking is the basis for law school, but not the only thing. Doing well in law school tests your dedication to work hard and your ability to manage your time independently. Things that are sort of but not really tested on the LSAT.

9) I don't see why taking either the ACT or SAT at least four years before you take the LSAT would be of any help on the LSAT. As you saw in question 8, the LSAT is nothing like any standardized test you will have taken up to that point. There is no math, no verbal, nothing really substantive. It just measures your ability to read and reason. In other words, it is a performance as opposed to a knowledge based exam. You don't "study" for the LSAT, you practice. So taking the ACT over the SAT (both knowledge based exams) is a non-issue. Honestly, I wouldn't think about the LSAT or law school much between now and your junior/senior year of college. Right now, just focus on getting into a school and a major that you will enjoy. In undergrad, focus on getting the best grades you possibly can get while doing extracurricular that you genuinely enjoy. Expand your mind, become a cool individual, learn to love life, etc. That is what undergrad is for.

Good luck!

Pre-Law in high school / Re: Upcoming Undergrad-- Law???
« on: May 27, 2015, 11:16:00 PM »
I did a BM (bachelor of music) and a MM (master of music) prior to law school. I ended up getting accepted into several of the T14 law schools, including University of Michigan (where I am now), with significant scholarships. In other words, study what you love. Undergrad is merely a time to expand your mind and learn how to become a competent, insightful adult. With exception of professional degrees (i.e. accounting, engineering, etc.), the name on your degree will mean relatively little in the long run.

Also note that studying and loving some theories and tid bits of con law in high schools is likely not what law school of the legal profession is exactly like. That's not to say you won't like law school - it's just not a sufficient reason to change life plans.

Good luck!

Studying for the LSAT / Re: HELP:(
« on: May 11, 2015, 09:57:26 PM »
I'll second what Citylaw said.

First, I'm of the view that it is not in anyone's interest to take the LSAT before they are 100% ready. No one can to tell you when you are ready - only you can. And it is clear that you feel like you are not going to be able to showcase the best of your abilities for xyz reason. That is fine - really. Just don't waste your time, money, and psychological fortitude by throwing yourself under the bus before you can bring it. My suggestion is that if you are honestly serious about law school, invest 100% of your energy the 3-6 months before a LSAT exam in preping for it. It's not necessarily about getting X score - it's about getting the best score that you can possibly get.

Second, and as an extension from my above comment, don't fret about a particular score. Yes, you want to sort of keep track of your progress to improve and, yes, you want to aim for that 180. But one thing is having positive mental ambition; it is an entirely separate thing to cripple your progress by obsessing over numbers. Dream big, play (err... prep) hard, and let one come come.

Third, mid 150s is where it's at for most schools. Keep it up and you will have very strong options. My baseline score before I started peeping was around the high 140s and my real LSAT ended up being in the high 160s. A 20 point increase is not impossible - it's just difficult. Again, don't go crazy about trying to get xyz number - your goal is to gain the skills necessary to showcase your fullest potential on the LSAT. That might be a 160 for you or a 170 or a 155. You will know when you are fully prepared.

Good luck!

LSD ftw.

Helped me study for the LSAT and pick my law school. But as a current 1L, I, sadly, have more pressing things that take my time.


I was going to concur with Maintain. My only added notes-

Watch out... Scalia in the house!!!

For all you know we are all using the same screen name and hired by Law School Discussion to disagree to generate content.

...exactly what a Law School Discussion employee would say.... MARTHA MINOW!!!!

But no, I'm not the Dean of Harvard Law School.

... precisely what the Dean of Harvard Law School WOULD SAY, MARTHA MINOW!!!

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Need help making a decision
« on: March 24, 2015, 01:08:39 AM »
This depends on how committed you are to working in Texas. If that is where you really want to live/work in afterwards... go to the best/least expensive school you can in that region. With exception of UH, none of these schools are going to do much of anything for you (and maybe even hinder you) getting a job in TX. I'm not knocking the other schools... just saying that you will be fighting an uphill battle trying to find a job in TX while going to law school in Penn State.

When it comes to law school, you can't look at ranking as an absolute spectrum. The T14 are going to have national pull, T100ish will have regional pull, T100+ will have city pull. Even that is not firm, but a general guide. In other words, a school ranked 75 in TX is going to be way better for you than a school ranked 40 in New York. That that range, you are going to find a job by your networking and alumni base, not so much by your school's inherent clout.

All that said, if TX is where you are going to be living... the answer is pretty clear on a TX school (only UH and Baylor for you). I would just go to the least expensive of the two.

Have you negotiated for more $ with the schools?

Law School Applications / Re: a bit of variance; seeking guidance
« on: March 23, 2015, 08:00:35 PM »
1) Is the 179 a practice exam score/projected exam score/ or a real exam score?

2) Assuming that is your real exam score (damn!!!) - what was the avg. GPA for your undergrad? If it was below a 3.0, then you should be pretty much set.

3) Regardless, you are going to be a crazy splitter for every school you apply to. I would apply to all of the top 14 schools and any other school that is in the region you would like to live/work in after law school.

Honestly, I would be surprised if you didn't get accepted at least into one (if not several) of the T14 schools. you will almost surely get mad money from a lot of very strong schools as well. Use that to leverage money at higher ranked schools. Your LSAT should be strong enough to off-set the 3.0. That huge boost to the school's LSAT avg. will likely be attractive enough to forgive the GPA.

Good luck!

2. I think that UPenn should be a slamdunk decision. But it is still a risk-reward scenario. I have had friends who can't hack BigLaw. Who burn out after one or two years (which can be a lot of due diligence / doc review type tasks, depending on your litigation/transactional slant). It's said that the law is a lot like a pie eating contest, where the prize is that you get to eat more pie. Go to UPenn, and you will have a career, but you'll need to plan around that debt (with the benefit being that UPenn is one of the very few schools that graduates people to jobs that can take care of the debt). OTOH, go to another school *and you may never have that BigLaw job or clerkship you dream of*. But if you find out that what you really wanted was to be a public defender, or some other job that doesn't provide great remuneration, then you have a very manageable debt load. Of course, there's the possibility you can't find a job if you don't do well (something that is exceedingly unlikely if you go to UPenn).

But if I were in your shoes, I would go to UPenn.


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