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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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I agree, it is not an automatic block to becoming an attorney but it will require you to answer a bunch of questions. How you answer is very, very important.

In CA this would slow down your bar application. You have to provide an addendum explaining the whole sordid affair, they would take extra time investigating, and you may be asked to attend an committee review. But, assuming that you have otherwise kept your nose clean, you'd probably be admitted.

Each state has it's own rules. Some are stricter, some are easier. Check with your state bar.

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?

There are a few things to address here.

Right off the bat, you're going to have a hard time getting admitted. Getting suspended for cheating puts a big red flag on your application.

The likelihood of your being readmitted to any school is based on many variables. How you did gradewise while you were in law school, the seriousness of the academic dishonesty, and what you've done since then. Can you somehow demonstrate that your circumstances have changed?

In my opinion, unless you can clearly identify the problems that lead you to plagiarize AND convincingly demonstrate that those problems are behind you, it's going to be tough. I mean, why admit someone who you think will repeat the same behaviors?

You mentioned "external circumstances". I'm telling you right now that nobody, not the law schools and definitely not the bar association, want to hear lame excuses for cheating. It will not help you. You need to own up to your actions if you want a chance at being a lawyer.

You also need to check with your state's bar regarding the Character and Fitness application. Getting suspended for cheating is a big deal, and even if you are readmitted to law school you will definitely have to answer a lot of questions from the bar. This will hold up your admission, at the least. Make sure that you can actually get admitted to the bar before spending the money on a JD. If and when you apply to law schools and the bar it is imperative that you be absolutely 100% honest. You must disclose your cheating with total candor.

Job Search / Re: Re: Testing Period
« on: January 28, 2016, 05:28:39 PM »
I assume you're talking about a probationary period?

It's simply a specified period during which the firm is trying you out, seeing if you're a good fit. During the probationary period they can let you go if it's not going to work. 

Also, do you mean as a lawyer, or as a law student? The expectations will vary accordingly.

As far as expectations, they should be pretty clear on what experience you have and what your capabilities are based on the interview and resume. They'll probably ask you stuff like "Ever written an MSJ?", so there should be no surprises.

The level of guidance and help you'll get varies (unfortunately). I had a great experience as an intern during law school. The attorneys were awesome about really teaching me something. I got to write MSJs, make appearances, lots of good stuff. My wife had the opposite experience. She was stuck in an office and told to do stuff with almost no guidance, "Go figure it out." It just depends.

By the time you are a lawyer (even a brand new one working at your first job) you will be expected to perform most basic legal tasks with little or no supervision. When something is more complicated, you will seek advice from other lawyers. Again, the level of help you'll get varies widely. Some offices are great and have good training, others have a sink or swim attitude.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« on: January 28, 2016, 05:15:08 PM »
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.

No, no. Quite the opposite. I have no doubt that the average HLS student is a very hard worker. I don't think anyone can earn the numeric qualifications to get into HLS without being a hard worker.

And I definitely understand your point regarding competition. A Harvard student is going to be graded in comparison to other very high caliber students.

But, I do wonder. If you are T14 student who doesn't care about law review, or gunning for some prestigious clerkship, is it really more difficult to get Cs at HLS than at the University of Kansas? I don't know, maybe it is. Maybe the competition is so talented that even getting a C requires far more work and intellectual acumen.

I know someone who graduated from Harvard and now teaches law. I'll ask what he thinks.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« on: January 28, 2016, 02:44:06 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.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« on: January 27, 2016, 01:48:54 PM »
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.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Who would you hire?
« on: January 27, 2016, 01:34:29 PM »
Yes, I would agree that the Valedictorian vs. T14 scenario is not common. I mean, there are only so many valedictorians in the world, right?

But depending on where you work, similar matchups are not that uncommon. In large markets like LA it's not unusual for Biglaw and federal offices to get average ranked T14 applicants who are simply trying to trade on the name versus top 10% from say, Loyola or Pepperdine. 

General Off-Topic Board / Who would you hire?
« on: January 26, 2016, 06:03:14 PM »
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?

Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: January 22, 2016, 12:16:26 PM »
Call me old fashioned here...............but "Better Dead Than Red" Mr. Sanders (all I am willing to say on the matter)

I don't necessarily disagree with Sanders on certain issues, and I don't think he's "red". For example, I think it's absurd that the richest country in the world doesn't have a comprehensive public healthcare system. We have a patchwork of policies and agencies that sort of form a national healthcare system. Seems silly.

But he is very much like modern European democratic socialists, which is fine as long as you're realistic about the costs and limitations.

The countries which have successfully adopted this model tend to be very small (5-20 million) and have very high taxes. I don't know if people like Sanders have ever really considered the implications of trying to establish such a system in a diverse nation of 350 million. To my knowledge, it has never happened.

Another point that I think American socialists don't realize is this:

The European welfare state system did not create the high standard of living that many enjoy, so much as it preserved what was already in place.

For example, Sweden already had a very high standard of living and a highly educated, mostly middle class, populace by the time the welfare state really kicked in (1960s and 70s). That's not the case in America. We have poverty and socio-economic disparity totally unlike anything Scandinavia can imagine. People like Sanders are expecting an American welfare state to fix that, but I'm not sure how realistic it is.

Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: January 21, 2016, 05:42:39 PM »
Yeah, I more or less agree. Sanders is an honest guy, and his heart is definitely in the right place. But as you say it's not very realistic at this point.

For example, I constantly see people posting stuff on social media about the awesomeness of the democratic socialist EU countries (Finland, Ireland, Denmark, etc). "In Denmark the minimum wage is $20 an hour and universities are free!" Well, I actually know something about these countries (I'm a dual citizen with one), and here's the point the memes always omit: the average joe in those countries pays 50% in taxes.

Not millionaires, not CEOs with yachts, but average people. Bernie says he can do it by just taxing the rich, but I don't buy it. Sweden wasn't able to sustain the welfare state by only taxing ABBA, and neither will we. Sooner or later, the kinds of programs that Bernie wants will require the average middle class American to pay much higher taxes. And at that point, he will be the most unpopular man in America.

Also, they have rather draconian immigration policies which are designed to limit the number of people who can access the welfare state. Try emigrating to Norway sometime and let me know how it goes. I assume this is not something Bernie is interested in emulating.

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