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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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Current Law Students / Re: Use of a mall as a public place for protests
« on: December 22, 2015, 06:00:47 PM »
The case will turn out badly for the protesters.

They can protests outside the mall (so long as it is far enough outside to be public property). But the mall itself is private property. They can no more chose to protest there than they can in your house - they'd be subject to the same laws (trespass, etc.). Minnesota has no analogous laws to California.

I would also note that while this Court is, arguably, at the apex of Free Speech protection, it is close to the lowest in terms of protecting public forums (vis-a-vis the distinction between state and private actors). This doesn't seem very interesting from a ConLaw perspective- maybe back in the 60s.

Yes, that sounds right.

I'm drawing on conlaw that I haven't studied in several years, but I seem to remember that the "mall case" had to do with an outdoor, uncovered shopping center. An indoor covered mall is significantly different, if for no other reason that it's more difficult for shoppers to avoid noisy protestors if they don't want to be subjected to obnoxious chanting and ridicule.

The parking lot and sidewalk in front of the mall may be different, but inside is clearly private property.

Current Law Students / Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« on: December 02, 2015, 10:04:23 AM »
I think it all traces back to your point about opacity (great word). If people actually knew what lawyers did for a living, there would be less law school applicants hence less supply.

I think the point that Citylaw is making isn't so much "Hey, anybody can be a successful lawyer!", so much as if you possess certain attributes and skills you can succeed regardless of the statistical averages. In other words, you will be in that 50% of employed lawyers.

The problem that I see again and again, however, is that 22 year olds are very poor judges of their own capabilities. I'm sure that 100% believe that they will be successful, without a serious objective evaluation of their own strengths and weaknesses. How can that be instilled in them? I don't know. Special snowflakes don't like to hear that stuff.

4. And they should never, ever, ever go with the vague idea that "A JD can be used for all sorts of things," or "I'm not sure what I want to do, so I might as well go to law school."

This point in particular is noteworthy. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard this from undergrads or even law students. People greatly overestimate the value of a JD outside of the legal market. I mean, it is a useful degree and people usually look upon it favorably (in my experience), but unless you have other job-specific experience a JD alone is not going to land you a gig as Human Resources Director or Amnesty International Spokesperson, or Congressman.

Current Law Students / Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« on: December 01, 2015, 05:23:56 PM »
I essentially agree with you Citylaw, nothing worth doing is easy. I know people who have struggled for years to become firemen, airline pilots, etc.

There is one difference though: the cost. Most of them (with maybe the exception of pilots) won't take on the equivalent of a mortgage to take a stab at the dream. The debt that many law students will accrue in pursuit of their dream is staggering. That has to be taken into account, and makes it a different discussion than cops, firemen, etc.

I wonder if the issue is not so much that aren't job opportunities in law, but that there aren't enough of the right kinds of jobs for inexperienced new grads. PD and DA hiring (at least here in CA) is pretty damn competitive. They don't necessarily care about pedigree, but you better have some experience and connections. Those used to be relatively safe bets for new grads. Same with big firms. There are opportunities in my area for a new grad who has serious previous work experience and wants to strike out as a crim defense/family law/whatever lawyer, but as Loki stated that is VERY daunting for most new grads.

I think you also get a lot of people going to law school because they aren't really what else to do. They have a degree in History or Poly Sci, and law school sounds vaguely interesting. Besides, it's three more years of getting to be a student (no work!), and it's sort of prestigious.

Those people would be better off doing something else for three years. Getting a real estate license. Becoming a financial planner. Becoming a building inspector, you name it. I suspect that they make up large portion of the 50% who don't get jobs.   

Current Law Students / Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« on: December 01, 2015, 01:54:24 PM »
I'm going to get all wishy washy and agree with both of you. Citylaw and Loki both bring up relevant truths.

Clearly, the legal job market is bad. There are too many law grads for too few jobs. No question about it.


I meet people literally every single day who graduated from schools that you've never heard of, and are successful PDs, DAs, small firm lawyers and solo practitioners. In that sense, Citylaw is right. A highly motivated graduate of a T4 who knows how to hustle and is willing to take some risks will probably do better than a T1 grad who says "But I went to a good school. Give me a job befitting my prestigious education."

The problem I often see is that 25 year olds who have no meaningful real world experience simply cannot navigate the job market effectively, let alone possess the skills to strike out on their own.

This is purely anecdotal (so take it for what it is), but the somewhat older part time students at my non-prestigious law school had better employment stats than the younger full time students. They already knew how to navigate the job market, and were perhaps more realistic about their options.

Law School Admissions / Re: International student and financial aid
« on: December 01, 2015, 01:43:14 PM »
I agree with Citylaw, an LL.M may be a good option. I've known plenty of students from Italy, France, Germany, etc who received LL.Ms in the United States. Keep in mind, however, that you would still have to pass the bar exam which is no small feat.

Lastly, I don't know your specific situation but I generally believe that you should go to law school in the country in which you intend to live. If you want to live in France, a French law degree I probably more useful than an American degree (unless it's from someplace like Harvard). It sounds like you may be sing the degree to gain admission to another graduate program in France, though, so maybe this point is irrelevant.

Anyway, I love France. If you want to trade, you can have my California law job and I'll take your French job. Better vacation benefits!  ;)


Law School Admissions / Re: International student and financial aid
« on: November 30, 2015, 12:10:15 PM »
I will try to answer all of your questions to the best of my knowledge. First, however, understand that until you have an actual LSAT score this is all speculation. The LSAT is such an important part of obtaining scholarships and admissions that without a score it is hard to do much more than guess.
How the scholarship system works for international applicant ?

I think it works the same as for a U.S. student. You simply apply to schools, and they will offer scholarships based primarily on your GPA and LSAT. There may be some special applications required for international students of which I am unaware. Check with each individual law school to find out.

Is it possible for an international applicant to have scholarships that cover the entire tuition and fee ?

Yes, but again it depends on your GPA and LSAT score. The higher your numbers, the better chance you have of obtaining a full scholarship. You may also be able to apply for specific scholarships for international students or scholarships from private organizations.

If I apply to a law school requiring an LSAT score that is actually below the score i'll have, can i get a better scholarship ?

Generally speaking, yes. The amount of scholarship you receive, however, will depend on how far above the school's average score you are. For example, let's say you score 160 and apply to a school with an average LSAT score of 147. You would likely receive a very large scholarship, maybe a full scholarship. If you apply to a school with an average of 155, you will likely receive some scholarships, but not a full scholarship.

If you score around 150 it will be difficult to get a full scholarship. There may some schools that will offer one, but they will be smaller, lower ranked schools. This leads me to my next point:

It is fine to go to a lower ranked school as long as you understand the possible limitations of the degree. I don't know if you plan to move back to France after school or to stay in the U.S., but most graduates of these schools will find work in the immediate location of the school. So, if you go to a lower ranked school in San Diego it would be very difficult to then move to New York or Washington D.C. and to find a job. It may also be difficult to move back to France, since no one will have heard of the school.

Do you know what you want to do with the degree? Where you want to practice?

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Need advice, please
« on: November 25, 2015, 09:29:31 AM »
Hi Michelle,

I'm going to come at this from a different angle, since I didn't see it addressed in your original post. Before you even spend five minutes on the LSAT, have you identified why you ran into serious problems in law school, and are you confident that you have developed a plan to deal with them the second time around?

Remember, your low LSAT score was not the reason that you were dismissed. Something else happened once you got to law school that you were not able to effectively manage. Perhaps it was time constraints, financial worries, test anxiety, I don't know. The point is that law school has not gotten easier since 2010, and if you have not addressed the "why?" issue, then you're setting yourself up for another hard time. It is critical that you identify the problem and figure out how to deal with it first.

Please understand that I'm not trying to be overly harsh, but getting academically dismissed is a big deal and it indicates that you are gong to need to make MAJOR changes to your entire approach, not just a higher LSAT score. After law school you're going to have to face the bar exam, which makes the LSAT look like kindergarten. Get this issue figured out first.

If you score 165+, that's awesome. It will give you some options. With an academic dismissal, however, I don't know if you will be eligible for scholarships. Thus, you need to decide whether or not you are willing to accrue more debt to get a JD. That's a question that only you can answer, but be realistic about your goals and earning potential and let that guide your decisions.

Current Law Students / Re: 1L First Semester Grades
« on: November 24, 2015, 09:32:49 AM »
It depends on the particular job. Some places, like big firms, care A LOT about grades, others are more concerned with relevant work experience. A few years out of law school, however, nobody will give a crap that you won Best Brief in Trial Advocacy.

People pretend it doesn't matter at low ranked schools since they all plan to "go solo" and know that the average GED American client doesn't check. Truth be told, even then, any client who can pay up front still cares.

I dunno. Maybe my experience is atypical, but I've never had an employer pay much attention to grades during an interview. I once got asked about class rank, and the guy just sort of nodded and moved along. As long as I wasn't in danger of failing out he didn't seem to care. At other interviews it never even came up.

As far as clients, my experience at a small boutique firm was that most clients did not know the difference between a T4 and Harvard and did not care.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: 2.05 GPA/163 LSAT?
« on: November 10, 2015, 12:04:16 PM »
So if I'm reading it correctly, it looks like you take two or three classes per night? That's a very demanding schedule, but so are all JD programs. Good luck with your future studies, law can be a very rewarding career.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: 2.05 GPA/163 LSAT?
« on: November 09, 2015, 10:07:10 AM »
Thank you for the advice. Like I said before my cumulative GPA is not my degree GPA. There are numerous hiccups from when I first attended college close to ten years ago, as opposed to when I finally graduated last year. There is almost a gap of 7 years.

My transcript reflects an uphill evolution and not a down-whirl spiral towards the more 'difficult', senior classes.

And the night school that I will be attempting to go to only meets two nights a week, it is geared towards working adults.

That's good, it means you've already modified your approach to school.

Just curious, what is the schedule at your school like? My part-time program required classes four nights a week, with a different class each night, in order to finish in four years. So a typical first year might look like:

Monday: Contracts
Tuesday: Torts
Wednesday: Criminal Law
Thursday: Legal Writing/Research

You had to maintain a similar load all four years plus take one or two summer courses to graduate on time. Usually one of the classes was a two-unit class, and not as demanding, like "Mediation and Arbitration Skills" or "Juvenile Courts".

Again, just curious, how do they do it with classes only two nights a week? Do you take two classes per night? Or maybe TN requires fewer units to graduate?

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