Law School Discussion

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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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11
You're a splitter, and that makes it more difficult to predict where you will or won't get into. That said, there are definitely law schools that will accept someone with your numbers based on your LSAT score.

You should narrow it down to a geographic region, specifically the state/city you plan to practice in. If you can score a scholarship, great, although it will be difficult with a 2.12 GPA (except at a few places like Cooley as Newly Minted mentioned).

I've only completed 6 classes that I received a letter grade for, this is the only reason I have a low GPA (which maybe I can explain in my PS). The rest of my classes are ALL pass/fail.


Just curious, was your undergrad at a traditional four year university? It's just that I've never heard of a program where almost all of the classes are pass/fail. That's very unusual.

You can definitely explain it in your PS, but it probably won't make much difference. Your GPA is what it is, and it's very low for the purposes of law school admission. Your best bet is to apply to schools for which your LSAT score is above average.

One last thing (and don't take this the wrong way): make sure that whatever obstacles resulted in a low undergrad GPA are resolved before you begin law school. Law makes undergrad look like a joke. It's very, very demanding and you won't get a passing grade just by showing up.

Your LSAT score indicates that you have the brains to succeed, but law school requires a huge investment of time and self-discipline. Something to think about before you write a check for $100K.


12
General Board / Re: JSM at Stanford as American JD grad?
« on: August 12, 2014, 11:06:14 AM »
I've never even heard of a JSM.

There are a slew of LL.M and non-LL.M legal grad degrees now (M.A. in Law, M.S., some funky doctorates). Other than an LL.M in Taxation or Natural Resources I'm not sure that any of them are worth the tuition.

13
Law School Applications / Re: Baylor Law Prospective Student!
« on: August 11, 2014, 11:22:39 AM »
Take a look at LSAC's Official Guide to U.S. Law Schools. They have grids which show how many applied within a certain GPA/LSAT rang and how many were accepted. It looks like with numbers similar to yours almost all were accepted.

Also consider using your numbers for a full scholarship somewhere else if necessary. Or maybe the Army covers it? 

14
General Board / Re: February California Bar Exam Stats are out...
« on: August 09, 2014, 09:24:03 PM »
I agree that July is the "gold standard" for bar results, the pool of first time test takers is much larger.

Nonetheless, these are first time results. Although the numbers are small, if a school has 18 out of 20 first timers pass that's pretty good. Too good to be accidental, IMO. 

That why I didn't mention schools like Irvine, which had a 100% pass rate, but only three test takers. I don't think anything can be gleaned from such a small cohort.

15
General Board / February California Bar Exam Stats are out...
« on: August 09, 2014, 07:41:38 PM »
Calbar has posted the stats for the last bar exam (Feb 2014). I couldn't link it here for some reason, maybe someone else can.

Here are a few highlights:

CA ABA first time pass rate: 68.6%
Out of state ABA: 44.3%
CA accredited 42.3%
CA unaccredited: 34.6%

Honorable mention goes to Pepperdine (92%) and La Verne (88%). A few other schools had 100% pass rates but only had a few students taking the bar. Both of these schools had decent numbers of test takers.

Among the CA accredited schools, Monterey had a 75% pass rate, and Ventura (67%) and Santa Barbara (69%) also did well. Others had much lower rates or only a few test takers.

Among unaccredited schools Concord (36%) beat the others by a mile, as most had 0% pass rates.

16
Law School Applications / Re: Student discipline problems
« on: August 09, 2014, 01:05:39 PM »
I agree with Citylaw, I don't think it's a big deal unless you fail to disclose it. Your applications to law school and the bar will ask about disciplinary actions and it's important to fully disclose everything.

I don't think this will have any impact on law school admissions, but the bar may require a more detailed explanation. They will probably require you to submit all paperwork associated with the action, so make sure you are 100% honest in your explanation. In law school you will learn that the bar is pretty forgiving, but they take even a hint of dishonesty very seriously. 

17
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Newest of the n00bs
« on: August 06, 2014, 04:21:59 PM »
Based on my background/profile, would it be a good idea to go to law school?

Well, not to sound snarky but it depends on whether or not you want to be a lawyer.

If you really want to be a lawyer, and are willing to make the necessary intellectual and financial commitment, then yes. If you are just trying to figure out what to do for the next few years and law sounds kind of interesting, then no.

Law school, the bar exam, and the job hunt are huge undertakings. You should only do it if you are sure you want to be a lawyer, an only you can answer that.

I would definitely take the time to find out what it's really like to be a lawyer (very different from TV and movies), and think about your long term goals. Law can be a great career but it's not for everyone.

I'm not sure what a 68% translates to in GPA, but if you want to go to law school start preparing for the LSAT as soon as possible. Your LSAT score is a huge factor in admissions, and a high score can help with obtaining scholarships.

Hope that helped!

18
L.L.M. Board / Re: we should replace the JD with an LLM.
« on: August 04, 2014, 11:38:56 PM »
At my school all of those classes (Evidence, Con Law, Wills & Trusts) were required. They added Community Property as a requirement in my last year.

The electives tended to be stuff like Water Law, Animal Rights, Women and the Law, Capital Punishment, etc. Not that those are meaningless, they're not. They do have value. I just question whether their value is greater than learning how to draft a review a contract or draft a prenuptial agreement. Most lawyers are far more likely to encounter those types of things in their practice.

19
General Board / Re: Changing from a medical career?
« on: August 04, 2014, 01:37:15 PM »
Without a real LSAT score everything is speculation. Not to sound rude, but there really is no point in assuming you'll get a 170+ unless you're consistently scoring in that range on timed practice exams. Even then, it's not guaranteed.

However, assuming you score well (160+) you'll have many options. Elite schools will probably be out because of your GPA. They want a high GPA and high LSAT. Many good regional and local schools may be a possibility, though. Focus on the LSAT and get the highest score possible, but don't put the cart before the horse.

Do you think my experience/credentials might help me as an 'ambulance chaser' or someone that might defend against 'ambulance chasing' claims?

Maybe a little, but not really. If you understand the medical field better than the average lawyer, then that's a plus. However, tort claims usually turn on whether a duty was owed, and whether that duty was breached. The applicable standards are set by statute, common law, and professional associations. Any lawyer, with or without medical knowledge, can research the relevant standard and argue for or against a breach.

20
General Board / Re: Touro Law School question
« on: August 04, 2014, 01:26:05 PM »
Check out LSAC's admissions profiles for Touro, it should give you a very good idea as to your chances.

Here's something else to consider: with a 148 LSAT law school may not be for you. If you had a bad day and would have normally scored higher, then I'd say retake. But if you put in your best effort and scored 148, just realize that law school and the bar exam are about a hundred times tougher than the LSAT.

It's good to consider this before dropping $100K on tuition.   

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