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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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11
Law School Admissions / Re: URM African American Male
« on: January 31, 2017, 10:16:47 AM »
You might be able to get into a Tier 3 school, Tier 2 seems unlikely (though not impossible). Of course, there is significant variation even among schools in the same tier. You need to look at the admissions criteria for the specific school(s) you are considering. 

URM status will definitely give you a boost at most law schools. You mentioned the legalities of affirmative action. Here in California, the public university cannot admit students based solely on race, but they can still consider diversity as a factor and allow diversity statements. I believe the vast majority of law schools will at least allow a diversity statement as part of your application package, even if they don't follow the traditional affirmative action model.

Here are a couple of additional points I think you need to consider:

Retaking the LSAT

140 is a fairly low score. Did you prepare? Take a prep course? Devote serious time to studying? If the answer is no, then I'd seriously consider retaking.

If the answer is yes, then you need to consider whether law school is the right choice. Scoring 140 does not mean that you can't get through law school and become a lawyer, but it is an indicator of aptitude. Law school is far more demanding than undergrad, and a 3.1/140 indicates that you need to really consider if this is the right path.

Geography

You need to think about where you want to live. When you're considering the schools that might accept you with a 3.1/140, you're talking about schools with a local reputation/local appeal. These are schools that are going to present you with local job opportunities (if any). I'd worry less about what tier the school is in and more about where you want to live and work.

In other words, if you get admitted to Arizona Summit or Whittier don't plan on moving to New York City.   

12
It's OK to admit you were wrong, French Fries.

Concentration and clinics (which usually comprise no more than three or four individual classes) are not majors. We know that, you know that, even 0Ls know that. And yet that's the word you used, "major", and that gives me mirth, good sir.

13
Here's what you said, French Fries:

Not true, MANY have majors as options, and without question concentrations on the rest, and different quality of clinics for options (if any at all in those specific areas)

You still haven't given a single example of a law school that offers "majors as options", and you never will. So absurd.

14
Ha!

Perfect troll logic.

Claim: law schools totally have majors.

Obvious reality: no, they don't.

Troll response: well, uh, where's the links to the law schools showing they aren't offering what they aren't offering!

In other news, law schools don't offer concentrations in watermelon law. Kinda hard to post that link, because ... wait for it ... it doesn't exist. Like a law school major.

Exactly.

If some dope told me that he majored in crim law, or con law, or whatever, I would literally toss his resume in the trash and tell him to take a hike.

So, French Fries/Tree whatever your name is, where is YOUR link showing a law school that offers majors?

15
Why don't you offer one single link to a law school talking about what "majors" they offer? Julie, is this you again?

16
Law School Admissions / Re: Will i get in
« on: January 19, 2017, 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.

17
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! 

18
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.

19
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. 

20
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.   

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