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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Distance Learning
« on: October 20, 2013, 10:26:32 PM »
Depending on what country your degree is from, an applicant may not need the LL.M. I believe CA has a reciprocal agreement with the UK which allows LL.B holders to take the CA bar. I know an attorney from Ireland who got admitted without the LL.M.

Golden Gate / Re: In Vino Veritas Competition
« on: October 20, 2013, 01:26:07 PM »
You're assuming it's the responsibility of the law school to find jobs for it's graduates. Once a student leaves the school, isn't the responsibility of finding a job the student's? Law schools have very little (if any) control over what people do once they leave.

Law School Applications / Re: Undergrad institution
« on: October 19, 2013, 04:02:00 PM »
Citylaw's advice is essentially correct. The reputation of your undergraduate college usually won't make a difference unless you happen to graduate from an elite institution like Harvard. In that case, it is a soft factor and at least some preference will given based on pedigree. This is especially true at prestigious law schools, who like to admit students from peer institutions.

For example, I have a good friend who graduated from Yale undergrad and it definitely helped him get into a top ten law school. However, the vast overwhelming majority of law school applicants do not graduate from Harvard or Yale. They graduate from places like CSUF. In that case, your admission to law school will be based almost entirely on GPA and LSAT score. 

As far as online schools, however, I wonder of there is price to be paid in terms of admissions? I don't really know if there is, I'm just thinking out loud here. Generally, online education is considered somewhat inferior in quality and standards.

I agree with Citylaw's statement that an admissions committee would prefer a 3.8 from an online school vs. a 3.4 from a traditional college, but when you're talking about Tier 1 schools they won't really be forced to make such a choice. I think a more realistic scenario might be that both applicants have a very similar GPA and LSAT, but one went to an online school and the other went to UCLA, Berkeley, or a state university.   

Highly respected Tier 1 schools receive many more applicants than they have spaces open, and can afford to be very selective. If a school has enough applicants with high GPA/LSAT profiles from traditional universities to fill their class, I'm not sure if there is an incentive to accept the student with the online degree. I think it's possible that an online graduate could be at a disadvantage when they are competing against similarly qualified traditional applicants.

As Citylaw said, there are also other schools to consider besides UCD. Don't get too attached to the idea of one particular school, because the simple fact is that until you have a real live LSAT score you have no idea where you're going. The LSAT is hugely important.

If you do stay with the online school, I think your best bet is to hit the LSAT out of the park.

Hofstra U School of Law / Re: Paul Campos on Hofstra Law
« on: October 18, 2013, 12:15:32 PM »
Did you know that according to the latest ABA job placement statistics (for 2012), only 51.2% of Hofstra's graduates had long-term, full-time legal jobs? That means that 48.*% didn't. Almost half the graduating class []  Is this acceptable?

It's terrible, but it's not too different from most non-elite schools. This is what happens when you have a crappy economy, there are fewer jobs. In fact, many T1/T2 schools have similar (or worse) numbers. I just don't understand the particular gripe with Hofstra.

Law schools are not surrogate employment agencies. Their first duty is to teach you the law, and you may actually have to find a job on your own, believe or not. It's a harsh reality check for all the entitled special snowflakes who have lived off  mom and dad for 25 years and think they "deserve" a job. It is not, however, the school's fault that after you leave the school you can't get a job. The school may provide assistance with OCI, mock interviews, etc., but the ultimate responsibility lies with the graduate.

Is it acceptable that Hofstra only placed 4% in biglaw?

Yes, it's acceptable. In fact, it's acceptable if Hofstra places 0% in biglaw as long as they don't claim to be a biglaw feeder school. Biglaw represents a tiny fraction of all the available legal jobs, and is considered the most competitive. In a bad economy, this is even more pronounced. It should not be surprising that these handful of prestigious jobs go almost exclusively to elite law school grads, and it isn't a failing of a particular school if they choose to hire elite grads over non-elite ones. Does it actually surprise you that NYC biglaw firms prefer Harvard and Yale grads over Hofstra? This should be common sense.

Hofstra U School of Law / Re: Paul Campos on Hofstra Law
« on: October 18, 2013, 11:45:58 AM »
Not true. Compare the us news rankings to the placement outcomes on Law School Transparency.  There is a significant correlation between the us news rank and the placement outcome.

I think you misunderstood my point. Yes, there is a strong correlation between the rankings of elite schools and placement rates. NYU, for example, has a 91% placement rate. But elite schools like NYU, Stanford and Chicago were prestigious long before the current flawed rankings scheme came about. They always had a great placement.

My point is that once you get into the broad swath of non-elite schools reputations are local and specific rank matters a lot less. I looked at the numbers on LST and compared them to USNWR. Contrary to your point, there does not seem to be much correlation at all once you get away from the elite institutions. Hofstra's placement rate is right in line with the other schools you mentioned, and even better than some higher ranked NY schools.

How do you explain T1 schools (like Campos's employer, Colorado) that have placement rates similar to Hofstra? You yourself mentioned Washington and Lee having a low placement rate. Aren't they ranked higher than Hofstra?

My point is not to dispute that placement rates are low, they are. The point is that they are low across the board, unless you're looking at elite schools.

My point was that Campos had some interesting comments about Hofstra. You can agree with them or disagree with him but he is the expert. It seems to me that ""Hofstra’s law school is a classic example of an institution whose very reason for being has become at the least highly questionable." is a pretty harsh statement.

It's an utterly ridiculous statement. I would expect such snarky pap from a 0L, but not a professor. The purpose of any law school is to teach the law. As long as Hofstra is doing that according to the standards set forth by the ABA they are fulfilling their purpose.

Golden Gate / Re: In Vino Veritas Competition
« on: October 18, 2013, 11:26:58 AM »
That's good to hear. GGU ran onto some problems a few years ago (as law schools sometimes do) with the ABA. I think it had to do with their bar pass rate. Their bar pass rates now, however, look good so they seem to have corrected the issue.

As far as the mock trial competitions, it should be noted that students from lower ranked schools often beat the pants off elite schools. I think this has to do with the fact that students at elite schools tend to be eggheaded and nerdy whereas the lower tiered students might have the common touch, so to speak. I remember reading a couple of years ago that La Verne mopped up the floor with Berkeley and a few other T1 schools at some national competition, and I've also seen articles about places like Texas Tech having great  trial teams.

This is another aspect that USNWR does not take into account when they compile their rankings. Something to think about.   

Law School Applications / Re: LSAC help!
« on: October 15, 2013, 07:55:35 PM »
Check with both the school you're applying to and LSAC. They can give you far better answers than anyone here.

Hofstra U School of Law / Re: Paul Campos on Hofstra Law
« on: October 14, 2013, 03:03:58 PM »
gpa is important because gpa affects the us news law rank. Like it or not, law firms hire based on a schools us news rank. Hofstra fell from 89th to 113th last year.

Not at this level they don't. A firm that is willing to hire from the 89th ranked school is probably willing to hire from the 113th ranked school. Conversely, even if Hofstra shoots up in the rankings to 75th it will still make very little difference in terms of employment prospects. The big firms are still going to want NYU/Columbia, etc., and the small firms which are already populated with Hofstra, CUNY, and NYLS grads aren't going to make a huge distinction between 89 and 113.

Places that would never hire a Hofstra grad (or any non-elite grad) still won't, and places that do hire T4 grads aren't nearly as concerned with the rankings anyway. The employment prospects faced by Hofstra grads are not terribly different from those faced by most non-elite law school grads in major urban areas. 

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Distance Learning
« on: October 13, 2013, 10:10:44 PM »
New York will generally let English solicitors take the bar but the catch is they have to get licensed first which means a training contract in England first.

Does CA require that UK law grads first get licensed as solicitors before they can apply for CA admission? Or could a CA resident get an LL.B and immediately apply to take the CA bar?

Hofstra U School of Law / Re: Paul Campos on Hofstra Law
« on: October 12, 2013, 02:50:54 PM »
Paul Campos is the leading expert on the current law school crisis.

According to who? Himself?

Campos is just a guy with a blog who states his opinion, like the rest of us. The fact that he is a law professor does not automatically confer greater legitimacy upon his opinion. His blog entries are not scholarly articles published in the Harvard Law Review, they are just his subjective opinions and are based on data which is available to all of us.

If we were talking about a point of law which was the subject of Campos's scholarly research, then I would defer to his expertise. But that's not the case here. A statement regarding Hofstra's "reason for being" should tip you off to the highly subjective nature of the article. The argument that Hofstra has abdicated it's purpose only makes sense if you accept Campos's criteria. I could make up my own criteria and come up with a different conclusion. Why does Campos get to decide what Hofstra's "reason for being" is? Shouldn't that be decided by the students and faculty of Hofstra?

The "crisis" is one of a generally bad economy rather than a law school-specific problem. When the economy was good, law schools like Hofstra had significantly better employment rates. As the economy improves (slowly), so will employment rates. I would agree with Campos that tuition at most law schools is ridiculously high, however, and should be significantly lowered.

Bottom line: be skeptical of inflammatory opinion pieces, use your common sense, and don't assume that someone is right just because they're a law prof. I recently graduated from law school in California, and have worked at both private and government law offices. I don't take people very seriously who have spent the last few years hunched over a computer blogging and collecting a paycheck from the state of Colorado.

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