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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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1
Law School Admissions / Re: Will i get in
« on: Yesterday at 10:05:27 AM »
A couple of points:

Can you get into any top twenty school? Yeah, it's possible if you can increase your LSAT by at least 3-4 points. UCLA's 50% LSAT is 167, so to have a real shot you'd need to really bring that 159 up.

More importantly, I think that maybe you are already making a common mistake. You're focusing on rankings instead of looking at the bigger picture, of which rankings are only a component.

Certain schools are inherently prestigious, and their reputations speak for themselves (Harvard, Yale, etc). There is nothing automatically magical, however, about a school being included in the top 20. Boston U, Iowa and Emory have all been in the top 20, and although they are all good schools, I promise that law firms in LA and San Francisco are not falling over themselves to snatch up Iowa grads.

So, if you have the numbers to get into someplace like Harvard, awesome. You will do great. But if you are trying to decide between Iowa and Loyola-LA for example, and are inclined to go to Iowa because Hey, it's Top 20!, then you need to step back at look at the whole picture.

You need to think about where you want to live and work, what you want to do, how much debt you can handle, etc. If your goal is to be a prosecutor in LA, for example, a big scholarship from Pepperdine or Loyola could be a better bet than a huge debt from an out of state school.

2
That's a tough situation. I went through law school with a wife and kids, and it is no walk in the park. My wife was already a lawyer, so I was lucky that I had a spouse who understood the time commitment involved.

I can understand your desire to reduce the distance as much as possible. I would only add that it's important that your wife be on board with the decision, and that she truly grasps how much time you will need to devote to law school. It's a grind, but people make it work. Best of luck to you! 

3
Law School Admissions / Re: Will i get in
« on: January 17, 2017, 09:39:38 PM »
Depends on what exactly you mean by "top law school", but if you mean T14, then no, probably not. Your GPA is very good, but average for top schools. Your LSAT, however, is significantly lower than any T14.

Resume, extracurriculars, etc won't make much difference.

That said you can either retake the LSAT and shoot for a higher score, or apply as is. Plenty of schools with good local reputations would happily accept a 3.85/159 applicant, and many will come with scholarship offers.

To an extant, this depends on what you want to do and where you want to live. If you want Harvard and Biglaw, you need to increase your LSAT, period. If you're looking to be a prosecutor in Peoria, a scholarship to a good local school might be just fine.

4
I agree with Loki. The USNWR rankings do provide a rough idea of the national profile, if you will, of each school. My point is simply that when you are talking about schools which place almost exclusively locally, that national rank is of limited value.

Example: If you want to practice in Portland, a degree from Lewis & Clark is probably far more useful than a degree from Washington & Lee even though W&L is ranked higher. A degree from the University of Oregon would be even better, and a degree from Stanford would beat them all. So yes, rankings matter, but context is necessary. Don't just go by the numbers alone.

Question for Loki:
Is a degree from UF a better bet even if the OP is focused on Tampa? It seems like you can't really go wrong with UF if you intend to stay in FL. 

5
I have been trying to figure out why Stetson is ranked so lowly. The US News and World Report explanation of scoring is a cobbling of numerous items that do not seem to relate to the quality of education directly. Is there a reason that you view them in lower regard?

Hi OP.

Don't get caught up in the USNWR rankings. There are a million threads on this which you can explore, but in short I think most lawyers are skeptical of these rankings. This skepticism is especially true when you're talking about schools like Stetson, which are low(er) ranked.

Here's the thing: everyone already knows that Harvard and Yale are prestigious, we don't need a magazine to tell us that. Once you get outside of the elite schools (say, top 10 or so), then get past the non-elite but still nationally recognized schools (top 25 or so), the rankings are pretty useless.

There is no meaningful distinction between a school ranked 67 versus a school ranked 89. At this point, you need to look at LOCAL reputation, placement, alumni networks, etc. These schools place almost exclusively within their immediate geographic regions, so who cares whether or not USNWR says that a school in Oregon is ranked higher than a school in Delaware?

This would be true for Stetson. Look at it's in-state reputation and placement.

Additionally, the education you receive at any ABA accredited law school (apart from a few elite schools with highly qualified student bodies) will be substantially similar. I seriously doubt if a Torts class at Stetson is distinguishable from a Torts class at UF.

That said, UF is definitely the big dog in Florida and a UF degree will open more doors than a Stetson degree. I live and work in California and neither degree would be sufficient to land you job here based on pedigree alone, but in-state I suspect that is a different story.

UF has a good regional reputation and if you can make it happen it would be an excellent choice.

Last point:

Are you prepared to not see your family for three years? Obviously, I know that it's not an absolute, I doubt if you fully understand how intense law school is going to be. It is nothing like undergrad, and will require a far greater time commitment. Your spare time will not be spent driving between home and law school. It will be spent reading, briefing, and preparing for exams from day one. It is a stressful experience without having to work in trips to visit the family. If there is any way that you can convince your wife to join you, I would make the effort.   

6
Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT tips
« on: December 16, 2016, 07:07:27 PM »
Dumbass, Cin and Julie are one and the same troll.

7
Law School Admissions / Re: Military/WE Friendly Schools?
« on: December 14, 2016, 07:13:31 PM »
I have a buddy who went the JAG route. Prior-enlisted/active duty personnel get a big boost.

8
Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT tips
« on: December 14, 2016, 07:11:37 PM »
You lose track of lots of things, Julie.

9
Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT tips
« on: December 13, 2016, 07:21:49 PM »
No, you will continue to lose.

10
Law School Admissions / Re: Personal Statement
« on: December 13, 2016, 11:50:34 AM »
We had a couple of law enforcement folks in my section, and they were frustrated with the crimpro/conlaw rules. They felt that the rules impeded their ability to make arrests/gather evidence (which is true), but they didn't seem willing to entertain the notion that a greater good is being served by limiting police power. They come at it from a different perspective.

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