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Messages - Maintain FL 350
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« on: September 22, 2014, 09:45:17 PM »
Yes, rules definitely vary state to state. My point was just that I doubt that "lots" of law students have felony convictions. A few, yes. And of those few some will get admitted and some won't depending on the nature of the felony, how much time has passed, etc. My understanding is that most states will pretty much automatically reject a felon, period.
The reason I brought up CA's disbarment proceedings is to illustrate that even in one of the most liberal jurisdictions felonies are taken very seriously. If they're going to disbar a lawyer who gets a felony, then I doubt they'll admit a new member with a felony absent extenuating circumstances.
« on: September 21, 2014, 09:37:47 PM »
LOTS of JD students have felonies who later get licensed just fine as well.
I don't think lots of JD students have felonies, and then get licensed. Misdemeanors , yes, but not felonies. Even in CA (which is pretty lax) a felony conviction results in disbarment proceedings.
If someone has a felony they better check with their state bar before spending three years and $100k on law school.
« on: September 18, 2014, 11:55:38 AM »
The key is full, complete disclosure. Be completely honest, and you should be alright.
I don't know if you obtained your J.D. in the U.S., but if you did then you have already reported this to your law school and state bar (hopefully). I imagine the process is similar for LL.M programs.
Definitely check out the rules for admission to each individual state bar you plan on applying to, however. Some states are much stricter than others and you don't want to spend a couple of years on an LL.M only to be denied admission to the bar. Be sure to look into this.
« on: September 17, 2014, 06:35:11 PM »
There's a lot to address here, but I'll try to keep it short.
Extracurricular "soft factors"
Do they matter? Yes, but not nearly as much as your numbers. These kinds of factors are taken into account in addition to, not in lieu of, a good GPA/LSAT.
I don't know what your GPA actually is, but at T14-T20 (and many schools ranked lower than that) you will need a high GPA and high LSAT, period. Those schools have so many well qualified applicants with high numbers and impressive soft factors that there isn't much incentive to take someone who is lacking in any area.
Lots of applicants, especially at top schools, have impressive soft factors. Pretty much everyone who applies to non-T14 schools, too, does some volunteer work or gets a little experience at a law office, or gets a letter of recommendation from some lawyer. The admissions offices are very used to this. Unless you have truly unique and outstanding experience it will not matter too much, and certainly won't overcome a lack of numeric qualifications.
I'm not saying this to be rude, but depending on how low your GPA is the T14 might be a pipe dream regardless of soft factors or LSAT score.
URM status can be a significant factor, but I'm not sure if Palestinians receive much of a boost. It may help a little, though.
Lastly, until you get a real LSAT score everything is pure speculation. I would advise preparing for the LSAT as much as possible. Do the extracurricular stuff too, but really focus on the LSAT. And remember, the T14 are not the only law schools out there. If you get in, great. If not, think about your goals and see if another school can help you achieve them.
« on: September 11, 2014, 01:02:33 PM »
My much more realistic, but still reach, schools are what you recommended: Vandy, Texas, UCLA, and Georgetown, with my target schools ranging from George Washington, Minnesota, Notre Dame, USC, and Boston University to Boston College and Fordham.
Keep in mind that (with the exception of Georgetown) these are basically highly respected regional schools. Your employment opportunities are still going to be somewhat limited to the immediate region.
Does that mean that a UCLA grad can't get hired in NYC? No, of course not. It just means that they're going to compete against many local grads, and won't really be able to rely on the reputation of the school to open doors. In California it's a different story. A degree from UCLA will open doors. For example, ask Minnesota how many Los Angeles firms interviewed on campus last year. Probably very few, if any.
Unless you attend a truly national school with a strong enough reputation to open doors automatically, I would really consider going to law school in a city/region in which you would be comfortable staying.
« on: September 09, 2014, 01:15:33 PM »
Congratulations on a great LSAT score!
As a splitter it's hard to predict where you will get into. All you can do is apply and see what happens.
The truly elite schools (Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc) are probably out based on your GPA. For those schools a 171 is pretty average, but your GPA is low. For some of the still very respected but not exactly elite schools (UCLA, Texas, Vanderbilt, etc) a 171 may be enough to get in even with a lower GPA.
Here's one other option to consider: using your LSAT to obtain a full scholarship somewhere. I don't know where you are located or where you intend to practice, but this might be a really good option. For example, I live and work in southern California. If I had a choice between a $150,000 debt from UCLA or a free degree from Loyola, I would seriously consider the free degree. You have to consider your long term goals and whether or not a T14 degree is necessary to accomplish those goals.
« on: September 08, 2014, 12:14:54 PM »
The previous posters have pretty much nailed it. You need to consider not just rankings but your long term goals.
If you want to live in Manhattan and practice corporate law at a big firm, then RWU is probably not a great choice. If, however, you plan to live in RI or MA and don't mind practicing at a smaller firm or working in local government (prosecutor, public defender, etc) then RWU is probably just fine.
If you had a good feeling about the school that means more in my opinion than what other internet posters think. One thing to consider is the cost. If you can get a scholarship at another school, or cheap in state tuition somewhere, that could be a huge benefit.
« on: August 22, 2014, 09:16:43 PM »
I'm amazed the dean actually wants to speak with you. This is not a big deal, no one is going to get kicked out of school or reported to the bar for using a naughty word once. I had a professor drop an f-bomb in class and everyone just laughed.
I imagine you'll be told not to do it again, professionalism, etc.
« on: August 21, 2014, 03:27:43 PM »
Good writing skills, including grammar, are a big plus too!
I agree, and it's especially true when it comes to taking the bar exam. Those graders are blasting through hundreds of essays. If you can't state the answer in a clear, concise manner you're in trouble.
« on: August 20, 2014, 11:01:11 PM »
I think the seven points you listed are right on point. Distance learning and non-ABA law schools can be the right fit for the right student. It all depends on your goals, where you want to live and practice, and whether you are a highly motivated self starter. If so, I think it can work.
In fact many personal friends of mine completed their law degrees by working directly underneath a Judge or already practicing attorney.
CA is one of the few states that allows study in a judge's chambers or with an attorney, but very few people go this route. The number of individuals sitting for the bar exam via this method is usually in the single digits, and of those only a few pass.
Most people need the experience and structure of a law school (either brick and mortar or DL) to adequately prepare for the bar.
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