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Messages - Maintain FL 350
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« on: July 23, 2013, 08:57:22 PM »
This may sound overly simplistic, but it depends on whether or not you really want to be a lawyer.
Personally, I'd be wary of accumulating significant debt when you already have a very marketable degree. Law school and the legal market are very tough, and you'd probably have a much easier time getting a job in pharmacy. There is also a very good chance that you'll make less as a new lawyer than as a new pharmacist.
Would I have to get into T14 to land myself a decent job?
It really depends on what you want to do. Big firms, some federal agencies, and academic positions will often require an impressive pedigree. Smaller firms and local government jobs often won't.
Contrary to what you may hear, a degree from a non-elite school is not a death sentence. Even among the so-called T14, some are truly elite schools, like Harvard, and others that are basically strong regional schools. My point is that there is nothing necessarily magical about being in the T14. If we're talking about the T3 or T5, that's a different story.
A degree from a well-respected local school can be just as useful as a higher ranked out of state degree. For example, let's say you want to live in Milwaukee. Would a degree from Georgetown necessarily be a better investment than a degree from UW-Madison, simply because Georgetown is ranked in the mythical T14 ? I'm not sure, but I wouldn't make that assumption.
Rankings do matter, but try to keep perspective on how much
« on: July 23, 2013, 08:33:15 PM »
Yes, you definitely have a chance but it all depends on your LSAT score. the LSAT is such a major component to law school admissions/scholarship offers that without a real score everything is pure speculation.
Your undergrad GPA is the only one that law schools will pay much attention to, since it's the one that gets reported for statistical purposes. Your UGPA (3.46) is alright, but not exactly high for the purposes of law schools admission. Most applicants will have a similar GPA. In order to maximize your chances at scholarship offers you need to score very well on the LSAT. The fact that you did well on the MCAT or GRE is good, but it does not necessarily guarantee a high LSAT score. You'll still need to prepare as much as possible.
Law school admission is very numbers driven. Your med school experience/work experience will help, but your GPA and LSAT profile will still dominate the process.
I believe that SMU and Texas Wesleyan are the only law schools in the DFW area (might be wrong about that). Check out their admissions averages and you should get a good idea as to what LSAT range would make you attractive enough to offer significant money.
Current - working on Certificate in Public Health and will proceed to MPH or PhD if I'm not accepted to law school
I don't know you at all, but it sounds like you aren't sure what you want to do. Sort of like "Well I'd like to be a public health expert, but if that doesn't work I'll just go to law school." Or vice versa.
The type of work that you'll do as a lawyer vs. as a public health professional is very, very different. As a general rule, I'd say don't spend the considerable time and money on law school unless you really, REALLY want to be a lawyer.
« on: July 20, 2013, 10:21:12 PM »
If only I had known that maintaining an A average in social work school is not the same as maintaining an A average in law school. (I have an MSW.)
Many of my law school classmates had M.A./M.S./MBA degrees. They pretty much all agreed that master's level grad school was a joke compared to law school. Master's programs can be academically rigorous, but they aren't competitive like law school.
BTW, an A average? That's harsh. I assume you must have had good numbers to get scholarship to Mercer. Is it possible to use those numbers to get a large scholarship at one of the newer law schools in the area? Someplace like Elon or Charleston?
« on: July 20, 2013, 10:14:18 PM »
Thanks for the kind words.
I don't know where you're located, but maybe one option would be attending a local law school. That way you could still be around your family, stop by and visit, maybe even live at home. It could allow you to attend school and maintain a connection with your dad.
« on: July 20, 2013, 05:29:13 PM »
That's an incredibly tough situation to deal with, no matter what. I really feel for you and your family. My father died of bone cancer when I was 18, just as I was starting college, so I have some notion as to what you've got on your plate.
I don't know enough about your situation to feel competent to offer advice, but here are a few things to think about.
1) The first year of law school is very tough, tougher than you think it's going to be. You will have to be able to dedicate yourself to it 100% in order to pass. Law school is nothing like undergrad. You will be expected to digest voluminous amounts of very dense material every day, then turn right around and apply it to legal problems. That first year is difficult, confusing, and stressful.
2) As exams get closer you will be required to invest even more time into preparation. Unlike undergrad (where you can get away with cramming the night before), law school exams require practice to master. You will need lots of time.
3) Just based on what you've written, I think it would be tough to dedicate yourself 100% to law school and 100% to your family. Something is going to suffer. If you decide to wait a year, that's not the end of the world.
Lastly, don't take anonymous internet advice from me or anyone else too seriously. You know your capabilities better than anyone. Good luck!
« on: July 17, 2013, 12:20:55 AM »
Law school professors have to be licensed attorneys. This means they have to have passed a bar exam.
Is that an ABA rule? I've never heard that before.
I know that you definitely don't have to be a member of your state bar to teach. Several of my law school profs were not members of the CA bar, although they had passed another state's bar.
« on: July 16, 2013, 10:12:59 PM »
1...... where did I say it placed Syracuse "in the top 25 for attrition"?
You didn't. I'm merely making an observation.
2...... since you referenced the "the top 25 for attrition" please identify the law schools with the top 25 attrition ratehttp://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2008/04/law-school-ra-1.html
His numbers are a few years old, but if you check them against LSAC you'll see they haven't changed much. The precise order of schools may shuffle around a bit, but it's pretty much the same list.
BTW, I have no connection to Syracuse. It doesn't really matter to me if they have the highest or the lowest attrition in the nation. My only point is that if their "onerous" grading curve still allows 91% of the students to pass, well, that doesn't seem too harsh.
Check out this article if you get the chance. Law school attrition is actually at an historic low. Perhaps students are generally better, but I suspect this has to do with keep those student loan dollars rolling in. http://www.thefacultylounge.org/2013/02/what-has-happened-to-law-school-attrition.html
« on: July 15, 2013, 05:44:30 PM »
18.2% represents all attrition, including transfers, etc. Academic attrition at Syracuse accounts for less than half of that, about 9%. In other words, 91% of the students at Syracuse passed their classes and moved on to 2L.
Although 9% is still higher than many law schools, it doesn't even place Syracuse in the top 25 for attrition.
« on: July 14, 2013, 04:13:01 PM »
UW is very well respected in the Pacific Northwest, but I have no idea what the market is like for tax lawyers in Seattle. Although it's a well respected school, you still might have a hard time relying on a UW pedigree alone to land jobs outside of the western U.S.
I'd contact UW and ask about their placement for tax LL.Ms, and about the tax market in general.
« on: July 14, 2013, 04:09:01 PM »
For what it's worth, some of best teachers I had were adjunct faculty (prosecutors, public defenders, etc.) and some of the worst were tenured academics with impressive pedigrees.
Your point is well taken, though. The bar pass rate is just one of many factors the ABA considers. The entire institution is evaluated over a period of several years. The ABA looks at financial resources, bar support services, academic attrition, the physical plant, you name it. They even interview past and present students to get candid opinions on the school. This is why ABA approval is the gold standard for law schools, it's difficult to attain.
In order to have a shot at accreditation either the ABA or Concord will have to drastically change its current requirements. I don't see that happening anytime soon.
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