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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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411
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Guidance Needed please 162 LSAT 2.58 GPA
« on: November 02, 2012, 03:45:26 PM »
I am wondering if it is worth retaking the LSAT when my average PT was a 168.

It's important to understand that practice tests simulate, but do not replicate, actual LSAT testing conditions. Practice tests cannot account for your mental state on test day, personal life circumstances, or even the scoring matrix which will be used to determine your percentile rank. For one administration of the exam a score of 160 might be the 80th percentile, and for another it might be the 85th percentile.

Retaking the LSAT is a calculated risk. Unless you have some very specific, identifiable reason which leads you to believe that you'll perform better the second time around, I'd be careful. There is a big difference between a 162 and a 168, and you could easily go a down a few points, too.

Honestly, I think the LSAT is a reality check for a lot of people. We all like to think that we're smarter than a standardized test would indicate. When we get a disappointing LSAT score we think "Oh, that's wrong. I must have had a bad day. I can do better." Maybe, maybe not. The fact is, your LSAT score doesn't just represent your individual aptitude. It measures your aptitude against thousands of other takers, and there are lots of very smart people in the world.

My view is that absent some catastrophic event on test day, the LSAT is fairly accurate at defining the outer parameters of the taker's abilities. I don't mean that to sound critical towards you personally, it's just my opinion. Try to critically, objectively evaluate your performance, and separate your hopes from your abilities. That will help you assess the overall probability of acheiving a higher score.

My objective originally was to attend U. of Minnesota if I had a 168-170, but due to this score my reach school is U. of Illinois. I have several target and safety schools: U. of Houston, Chicago-Kent IIT, U. of San Diego, Case Western Reserve, Loyola Chicago, U. of Tenn., LSU, Michigan State, and Seattle University.

All of those schools are in very different regions, and your opportunities at graduation will also vary accordingly. Generally speaking, I think it's a good idea to go to law school in the region in which you want to live. All of the schools you mentioned are good schools with good local/regional reputations, but none are so prestigious that you'll be able to land a job anywhere in the country based on pedigree alone. Your opportunities for internships/clerkships/summer associate positions etc. are primarily going to be within each school's immediate area. Unless you attend an elite school with a national reputation (Harvard, etc) most law schools are local institutions.

It's actually not very easy to go to law school in say, California, then show up in Minnesota after graduation and effectively compete for jobs with local students who have had three or four years to build up connections and experience. Also, you'll be better prepared to take the bar exam in the state in which you plan to live if you also go to law school in that state. For example, I went to law school in CA and had to learn the community property system, California evidence, California professional responsibility, and California civil procedure. Someone who goes to law school in Michigan and learns Michigan's property system and other rules is therefore going to be at a disadvantage taking the CA bar. Something to consider.

412
I hope to be licensed in 2 countries is my goal.  Once, I pass the bar in the United States, I plan to take the QLTT exams to become a solicitor in the UK. 

I think that's the biggest advantage to the LL.B. Once licensed in the U.K., you could probably get licensed in New Zealand, Australia, etc. Not bad at all.

413
Law School Applications / Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« on: November 02, 2012, 02:15:49 PM »
Yes, I agree with you. The LSAT measures your aptitude at taking the LSAT, as obvious as that may sound. It does not measure overall intelligence.

Nonetheless, we all probably have a plateau score beyond which extra studying becomes an issue of diminishing returns. This is true in every academic field, not just the LSAT.

The purpose of undertaking a critical, realistic analysis of your performance is to attempt to separate your actual abilities from your hopes. It's extremely difficult to ascertain the degree to which particular life circumstances impacted your LSAT score. It's a speculative undertaking at best, and there's no reason to assume that other unforseen problems won't arise the second time around. For example, the pool of test takers could be slightly better prepared during the next administration, which could result in a lower score even if the OP's personal problems are not a factor.

I'm not suggesting that the OP avoid retaking, I'm just suggesting that the OP carefully consider the probability of acheiving a higher score.

414
Law School Applications / Re: Should I take the LSAT again?
« on: November 02, 2012, 01:20:56 PM »
With a 3.4/165 you can into plenty of law schools, and even get full scholarships at many.

Retaking the LSAT is a calculated risk. Unless you have some very specific, identifiable reason which leads you to believe that you'll perform better the second time around, I'd be careful. There is a big difference between a 165 and a 170, and you could easily go a down a few points, too.

Honestly, I think the LSAT is a reality check for a lot of people. We all like to think that we're smarter than a standardized test would indicate. When we get a disappointing LSAT score we think "Oh, that's wrong. I must have had a bad day. I can do better." Maybe, maybe not. The fact is, your LSAT score doesn't just represent your individual aptitude. It measures your aptitude against thousands of other takers, and there are lots of very smart people in the world.

My view is that absent some catastrophic event on test day, the LSAT is fairly accurate at defining the outer parameters of the taker's abilities. I don't mean that to sound critical towards you personally, it's just my opinion. Try to objectively evaluate your performance, and assess the overall probability of acheiving a higher score.

415
That's good, always better to get your info straight from the source.

So, in other words, your foreign degree will be evaluated and a determination will be made as to whether it qualifies, it doesn't qualify, or if an LL.M is required. The point is, the bar does have latitude in accepting or denying a foreign degree (unlike an ABA/CBE degree, which is automatically accepted). Thus the degree evaluation form.

They lead me to the evaluation form online and said that you have to prove your LLB is a first law degree period plus you need  either ABA LLM or a state accredited LLM with the required Califorinia courses.

A U.K. based degree is obviously legit and should receive favorable treatment, in my opinion.

But would a six month-long online course from Jamaica or Uganda (also common law nations) be acceptable as long as it results in the first degree in law? I would be surprised if the evaluation ceases once it's determined that such a degree is the first degree in law.

I hope this info can be helpful to someone, because their are a lot of negativity on these boards, seek the knowledge for yourself and follow your dreams, when one door closes another open.

I agree, there is a huge bias against distance learning on these boards and in the legal profession itself. Some of the criticisms are fair, and others are based on ignorance. Here's what you have to understand, though: if you seek a path to bar admission which is somewhat circuitous and completely different from the path that 99.9% of your future colleagues follow, people are going to be skeptical. Maybe it's unfair, but that's the price of following such a route.

 

416
Like I said, I  might be totally wrong. Personally, I love the fact that CA offers alternatives to the traditional ABA-dominated route to bar admission. I think our state accredited schools are an especially good example, and one which other states would do well to emulate. I really do wish you the best of luck. 

Just curious, why not get a J.D. from one of the online or correspondance CA schools, which would definitely meet eligibility standards? The cost would probably be about the same if you factor in the LL.M, and some (like Taft) seem to have okay bar pass rates.

417
Law School Applications / Re: Expunged Records
« on: November 01, 2012, 12:41:05 PM »
Legend is right, the only thing that can really hurt you is if you don't fully disclose your past. Most law schools won't care too much as long as you're totally honest. State bars will let you in with certain past problems, but they have no tolerance for dishonesty. State bar associations have differing rules on these things, and you should contact the WV bar in order to understand any specific process they may require for bar admission. There might be hoop or two you have to jump through first.

Here's an example of why it is so important to be totally candid:
In some states an expunged record is not actually "clean". The prior charge is simply shown as "dismissed" rather than "convicted". Any background check is going to reveal that issue, and you don't want to look like you were trying to hide the fact.

418
Jon:

Whenever these threads about bar admission rules get going, I always remember something you once wrote regarding Novus. It was something like "Imagine a pro per plaintiff latching on to 2-207." That really stuck with me, and I think of it every time the discussion turns to statutory interpretations. It's a great comment, and really sums up the problem.

419
Sorry, I wasn't trying to be argumentative. The info you provided says absolutely nothing about foreign distance learning degrees. Since the rules appear to be silent on the issue, you shouldn't assume that a foreign distance learning LL.B plus an American LL.M will confer CA bar eligibility. I'm not saying it's impossible (or even unlikely!), it's just unclear.

Good luck with everything, let us know what happens!

420
General Board / Re: 2.9 GPA-Looking to get into ASU Law or USD
« on: October 30, 2012, 06:01:48 PM »
Within the SD market, USD probably has a reputational advantage over TJSL and Cal Western. The employment numbers and placement statistics are probably slightly better, too. Outside of SD, I'm not sure that any of the three schools has a significantly higher profile than the others.

In 2011 (I think) TJSL had a low bar pass rate, around 35%. I think a lot of the negativity you see is probably related to that issue. IIRC, though, Cal Western's recent bar pass rates are better than both USD and TJSL.

Small local schools like TJSL can be a good choice or a poor choice depending on what you want to do. If you want to work at a big national firm or a prestigious federal agency, then you need to go to a big name school and graduate top of your class. But if you want to work at a small firm, as a prosecutor, or as a solo practitioner, a school like TJSL can be just fine. In fact, for many people a scholarship at a small local school probably makes more sense than a huge six figure debt from a higher ranked school (unless that school is elite: Harvard, etc.) 

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