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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: 153 LSAT 3.7 GPA - What do I do now?
« on: October 26, 2015, 03:51:42 PM »
Usually, I think re-taking is a waste of time because people are pinning their hopes of a higher score on nothing more than wishful thinking.

Your case may be different, however. If you were consistently scoring in the high 150s-low 160s, I would retake. As Citylaw said, it is very common to score lower on the actual LSAT than on the practice tests. However, if you can raise that score to even four or five points you're probably looking at much better scholarship options.

Is DU worth it?
That depends on what you want to do. For many jobs DU is just fine. These would include small to mid sized local firms, DA, public defender, etc. If you're gunning for big firms, federal jobs such as DOJ, or out of state employment, it may not be sufficient.

You mentioned something about wanting to practice criminal or Constitutional law. Depending on what precisely you mean by Constitutional law, it can be VERY competitive. You're talking about federal agencies, a few specialty firms in DC, and some fairly prestigious non-profits (think ACLU). Most of the lawyers working at these places are T14 grads, former judicial clerks, etc.

Criminal law in Denver is a different story, and I would think DU would be fine.

To the OP:

Why do you want to drop out?

Is the curriculum more difficult and time consuming than expected?

Are you worried about post-grad employment prospects?

As Loki pointed out, the curriculum will be practically interchangeable at an ABA or provisionally accredited ABA school. It will be difficult, frustrating and time consuming no matter where you go. If you're unhappy with your classmates, well, that may also be the same wherever you go. Law school is vastly different from undergrad, as I'm sure you're finding out. I would at least wait and see how you do on the first round of exams before deciding to drop out.

As to your specific questions:

Can you transfer? You can drop out now (without grades), and reapply as a new student. It will take nearly a year (unless you find a school with Spring admissions), and you will absolutely have to inform the schools that you attended and dropped out of law school.

With that adversely affect your chances of admission? I don't really know. I would think it would because it makes it look like you can't cut it, but maybe of you can explain your position with great articulation... 

Where should I go next fall? / Re: 2.05 GPA/163 LSAT?
« on: October 24, 2015, 03:53:46 PM »
Loki and Citylaw have already answered your specific questions, but I want to point out a couple of things.

I was a non-trad student, had a job, mortgage and family. I graduated from a part time evening program, so I have some experience with this issue.

Here's the deal:
Law school is about a hundred times more demanding (of both your time and intellect) than undergrad. Undergrad is easy. You can pretty much show up and be reasonably assured of getting a "C". Not so with law school. The amount of work that would have easily landed you a solid "A" in undergrad will get you a barely passing grade in law school. Your fellow students will be far more motivated and competitive, and the slackers from undergrad will have been largely weeded out.

I say this because your LSAT indicates that you have the intellectual potential to succeed, but your GPA indicates a lack of motivation and discipline. I'm not saying this to be a jerk, it's just something you need to consider before dropping a ton of time and money on law school. You will need to recalibrate your entire approach to studying and time management if you want to succeed. 

Going to law school at night is very, VERY demanding. All of your spare time (weekends, lunch breaks, etc) will be spent prepping briefs, reading cases, and getting ready for exams. You really need to mentally prepare for a four year long break from your normal life. Again, I'm not trying to be overly dramatic, I'm telling you the truth. I had no life outside of school and work for four years, and it was the same for all of my classmates. Seriously consider this before jumping in.

Lastly, think about what you want to do after law school and let that inform the process. If your goal is to hang out your own shingle in Nashville and do criminal defense, then Nashville School of Law may be fine. But be careful about moving away from your intended place of practice to attend a non-elite out of state school. Once you get away from the prestige institutions, law is a very local business. If you want to live in TN, I wouldn't go to law in school in Texas, for example.

You can PM me if you need to.

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: NOVUS LAW SCHOOL?
« on: October 16, 2015, 03:57:08 PM »
That's interesting, I'm not surprised the suit was tossed.

If Touro didn't bother to check up on NOVUS, that's a failure on their part. As long as there was no fraud or deception, I don't see where they had a leg to stand on. If anything, the dismissed NOVUS grad probably has a better case.

As Loki stated, the rankings do provide a sort of rough guide for 0Ls who can at least make a distinction between Northwestern and Appalachian. The problem, however, is that the vast majority of 0Ls aren't trying to choose between Northwestern and Appalachian. They're more likely to be choosing between Appalachian and Samford, or Appalachian and Capital.

In that scenario, I think the rankings are probably more harmful than good as they give 0Ls the false impression that there is a definable, concrete "Better" or "Worse" school based on prestige.

Once you get away from the top 20 or so schools, it would make far more sense to break the rankings down geographically. For example, most people in Southern California would consider Loyola a "better" school than Whittier, and that has some utility to a kid who wants to stay in the LA area. But what usefulness is there in comparing Loyola to say, Touro? They are in completely different markets and their grads are not in competition with each other.

This is something 0Ls simply don't get yet, and I think the rankings can mislead them in this way. 

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: NOVUS LAW SCHOOL?
« on: October 15, 2015, 10:27:06 AM »
Just curious, but how did Touro even have standing to sue Novus? What harm were they suffering due to Novus?

Personal Statement / Re: Anyone want to swap personal statements?
« on: October 11, 2015, 05:23:09 PM »
Just to echo Citylaw's comments a little bit:

Do a good job on the PS. Make it a tight, concise document that tells the committee something about you that they won't get from your numeric qualifications.

But at the end of the day, the admissions process is dominated by numbers. Your LSAT/GPA will pretty much determine where you get in. Your PS is of significantly lower value. So, do a good job, but don't stress over it.

A couple of points:

1) Don't stress too much over the essay. It should be well organized and clear, but it pales in comparison to your GPA/LSAT.

2) This essay needs a lot of work. I agree with Miami, see if your college has a writing center that can give you feedback and guidance.

They want to see that you can write a coherent paragraph and get your point across while learning a little something about you. This essay is too long and rambling, and doesn't seem to have a main point that you're driving home. Maybe try to pick one area, whether it be your military service or your interest in international law, and stick with it. (Keep in mind that half the essays they read will be about the applicant's "passion for justice").

The writing itself needs work. Sentences are too long, and the syntax is sometimes confusing. Again, your university writing center can help here.

Yeah, I know what you mean and I agree. Pass rates for ABA grads tend to be significantly higher, with a few exceptions. For example, we have a couple of Calbar accredited law schools whose pass rates are pretty much equivalent to T3/T4 ABA schools. Also, out of state ABA grads tend to have relatively low pass rates, even from respected schools.   

This is something I've wondered about:

In my graduating class, I think probably 95% of the class took a bar prep course. Maybe even 100%, I'm not sure. But in someplace like, say South Carolina or Arkansas where the pass rates are higher and the exam is shorter, do plenty of folks just study on their own? Or at this point does pretty much everyone at least take an online BARBRI course?

Not sure if that is true, but honestly most ABA grads could sit it with a 12 hour prep the week before and pass it IMHO.

Really??? Not in CA. Look at how many ABA grads who took BARBRI and other prep courses fail.

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