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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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Law School Applications / Re: QUICK READ! PLEASE RESPOND!
« on: December 17, 2014, 12:15:40 PM »
That's true, but it is possible to quantify the effect of URM status vis a vis LSAT scores. The tough part is that it varies based on whether we're talking a 140, 150, or 160 as your base.
It always kind of bugs me how people who go "race is a social construct and we are all just humans and need to stop treating eacother different by race" still call people racist if they ask for that same thing to be applied to college admissions.

Don't get me wrong, if you can use a tool, use it. It just is interesting to me since White Males are NOT the majority of law students anymore and a VAST minority in some other fields such as veterinarian medicine.

These are among the many reasons that race/ethnicity-based AA has been slowly dying for the last fifteen years. Look at the decision in Grutter, then consider that even California has rejected race based AA in it's public universities.

The issues are complex, and AA offers an overly simplistic solution. One of the Ivies (can't remember which one) did a study a while back and found that although AA had increased ethnic diversity at the Ivies, it had not increased socio-economic diversity at all. In other words, the URM child of a heart surgeon benefits from AA while the white kid who grew up in a trailer in Appalachia gets told that he's privileged.

I think some form of AA should exist, but at this point it should based on socio-economic status. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Should I Cancel My LSAT Score?
« on: December 05, 2014, 11:42:33 AM »
First, there are plenty of law schools that will admit an applicant with a 2.9/160-something. You don't need a 170 to get into law school unless you're shooting for a top school, in which case your 2.9 is a problem regardless of LSAT score.

Second, this is just my opinion, but I don't see the point in cancelling a score unless you have a solid reason to believe that you will do better on a subsequent administration of the test. Most people don't do as well as they hope, and scoring a few points below your practice averages is common. If you can identify a particular reason (other than just hope) that you will score higher, then ok. Otherwise, at some point you  just have to jump into the water.   

Law School Applications / Re: Do I Have a Chance?
« on: December 03, 2014, 11:22:49 AM »
Citylaw has summed it up nicely, but just to expand on a couple of points:

So the definition of "good" is ABA?

I would say yes.

The entire point of ABA accreditation is to ensure that law schools which carry the imprimatur have met or exceeded a series of standards. This creates a predictable, reliable system of legal education which doesn't really differ much between schools.

The standards for accreditation require that the school not only offer an approved curriculum, but that it be financially solvent, have faculty hiring practices in place, offer academic support, meet bar passage standards, and about a hundred other criteria.

In other words, ABA accreditation tells the consumer that they will receive a "good" legal education subject to objectively verifiable criteria. And contrary to popular belief, it's not that easy to obtain ABA accreditation. It takes a lot of money, a lot of dedication on the part of the institution, and years of time. ABA site teams visit every year during the application period and report back to the committee on legal education. They stay on campus for about a week at a time interviewing students and faculty, going over finances and admission standards, sitting on classes and evaluating the academic program.

Prestige is an entirely different matter. Some schools have it and some don't, and it has nothing to do with ABA accreditation. I guarantee that Harvard and Yale were considered elite long before ABA accreditation was conferred. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Took 1st Practice LSAT Today
« on: December 02, 2014, 02:17:24 PM »
There's no way to predict what your LSAT score will be based on one practice test. There are too many variables at work: your own intellectual abilities, time, your approach, the specific test you get, etc.

Study hard, prepare as much as possible, take the test and get a real live score, then evaluate your options.

A word about specialty programs:

Put some serious time and effort into researching the international law field before you choose a school based on a sub-ranking. Although such course offerings may be helpful, you'd be surprised how little weight employers attach to such things.

International law is often the province of big firms, government agencies, and NGOs. They tend to want graduates of elite schools, regardless of the school's specific sub-ranking in international law. If you attend a non-elite school there is a very good chance that you will not end up working in international law. I'm not trying to be negative, but this is a possibility that should be considered when evaluating your options.

In other words, think about whether you would be happy working as a family law attorney or public defender in central California or suburban DC, in case the international law route doesn't work out.   

Law School Applications / Re: Do I Have a Chance?
« on: December 02, 2014, 12:02:31 PM »
Short answer: yes, you can get into a "decent" law school with a 3.27 GPA.

However, it depends on your LSAT score and your definition of "decent". Don't get too caught up in rankings when you evaluate schools. With a 3.27 places like Harvard are out of the picture anyway, so you're looking at local schools. Whether a particular school is right for you should depend more on finances, goals and location rather than USNWR rankings.

Secondly, without an LSAT score everything is speculation. The LSAT is such a huge part of the process that your score will basically determine where you can go. The difference in options between a 3.27/165 and a 3.27/155 is huge. Study for the LSAT, see how you do, then you can evaluate your options.

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: LLB (Graduate Entry)
« on: November 23, 2014, 10:57:51 PM »

I was under the impression that UK law degrees were generally accepted in CA without an LL.M. For example, a friend of mine has his LL.B from an English law school and qualified for the CA bar without having to take an LL.M.

Is the determinative factor whether or not you are already licensed in the UK?

58,000 minutes? Are they trying to be annoying?

Anyway, my school required 88 which was increased from 84 a few years before I matriculated. I think less than 90 is relatively common.

Law School Applications / Re: letters of recommendation
« on: November 12, 2014, 01:45:27 PM »
Don't stress about the LORs. They will likely have little (if any) impact on your chances for admission. LORs are one of those boxes you have to check, but they are of miniscule importance when compared to LSAT/GPA.

The vast majority of LORs will say the same thing: "So and so is a great guy, and will make a fine lawyer." Follow the rules, find acceptable people to write them, and don't stress. 

General Board / Re: Am I On the Right Track
« on: November 07, 2014, 11:05:10 PM »
No, a fifth year won't make any difference.

The single biggest thing you can now do to increase your chances of getting accepted is to focus on the LSAT. An extra few points on the LSAT is worth more than all the internships in the universe.

What about the Bar?

Indeed. The above post pretty much answers the law school portion of your question, but what about the bar? The moral character application (at least here in CA) involves a FAR more thorough background check.

The law schools pretty much take you at your word that you haven't done anything wrong. The bar does not. They will check your records, contact people, and note discrepancies. Also, I seem to remember that some states will ask a catchall question, something like "Is there anything else that you feel you should disclose?"

Remember, the bar will compare your law schools apps and your bar app.

The general rule is disclose, disclose, disclose. The bar can be forgiving of previous mistakes, but not of attempts to cover them up. Actions which indicate dishonesty are taken VERY seriously.

Nor will they have much patience for excuses. Lot's of people have a tough time at home, and yet they manage to get through college without cheating. As a bar applicant you are asking to be entrusted with people's lives and livelihoods, and they want to know that you are mature and honest.

Are you required to disclose? I don't know, check with your state's bar.

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