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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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You can always write a diversity statement and make your case, but I doubt if it will make much difference. My understanding is that it's not just about whether there are few lawyers from your specific group, but lots of sociological and historical factors weigh into the equation. For example, there probably aren't many white South African lawyers in the U.S. either, but a white South African isn't considered URM.

I don't think being Jewish/Russian/Persian is going to make any difference, as none of those groups are underrepresented as compared to their percentage of the population.

Current Law Students / Re: Why Go?
« on: July 22, 2014, 06:17:30 PM »
what is their average rate of pay? Are they actually taking cases or just doing office manager/paralegal work at a higher billable hour?

Honestly, I don't know what the average pay is for my former classmates. Some are doing just fine and others are probably struggling. If I had to guess (and this is just a guess), I'd say that most who went to small/mid sized firms are now in the $60-80,000 range. About the same for those in government.

As far as the solo practitioners, the ones I'm in touch with say that it was tough at first but has gotten steadily better as they get more experience. I know one solo practitioner who did very well right off the bat, but I think that's the exception rather than the rule.

Current Law Students / Re: Why Go?
« on: July 19, 2014, 11:34:37 AM »
Two years later, I'd say it's close to 100%.

It is  not very common for any job industry to have close to a 100% employment rate. I just have a hard time believing it is that good in a highly saturated field in the midst of a huge recession. Wow, I'd say that is pretty impressive if it is actually true....but what kind of employment is it? If a lot of those are unpaid internships, then no, I don't consider that real employment - no matter how great someone thinks their chances are of someday being hired permanent. Employment = paycheck.  Unpaid internships are a huge problem today, not just in law, but in other careers.

It's an estimate based on anecdotal evidence, I don't know what the specific number is. But two years after graduation, yeah, the vast majority of my classmates are employed as attorneys.

That doesn't mean that they're all making great money or working at swanky firms, but they are employed as attorneys (not LL.M students or unpaid interns).

Remember, I'm talking about two years after graduation. It took some people a long time to find a job, and for many they're certainly not working at their dream job. Some have great job that they love, some are slogging through insurance defense. Others tried to get hired at firms, had no luck, and hung out their own shingle. 

One thing that is different about law from many of the other fields mentioned is that you can always open your own office and start taking cases. Will it be hard to find clients? Yes. Will there be a learning curve? Yes. Will you make big money immediately? No. But it can be done, and you get better with time. If you know how to hustle and are willing to work hard, you can build up a nice practice. 

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: FIU VS FSU LAW
« on: July 15, 2014, 02:59:17 PM »
Congratulations, FSU has a good regional reputation and the debt won't be too bad (comparatively).

I used to be on the other camp on this, but you know what, debt sucks.
If you can get into any Michigan school other than cooley odds are you have a 160 lsat. That is a free ride at cooley. Take the zero debt.
Employers may laugh at the degree, but you will have a spotless creditscore.

Seriously. I really don't think the average 0L has any idea what it means to be $150,000 in debt, or how low the chances are of scoring a high paying Biglaw job as a new graduate.

The fact is, the vast majority of even T1 law grads will not be making all that much more than their T3-T4 counterparts to start. I know tons of T1 grads who work at small firms and govt offices and are saddled with huge debt. Several of them have told me that they wish they had just taken a full ride another school. 

Current Law Students / Re: Why Go?
« on: July 09, 2014, 01:46:36 PM »
I don't think the stats are lying, I just think you have to understand how they're derived in order to make sense of them.

For example, my class graduated in May and began immediately preparing for the July bar exam. No one was looking for a job between May and August. Bar exam results are not released until November, and most grads aren't very employable until they have a license to practice law. So when the employment surveys were sent out in January, people had only had 7 or 8 weeks to really look for a job. As a result, the employment stats didn't look too good. I can't remember exactly, but I think something like 60-70% were employed as attorneys.

Two years later, I'd say it's close to 100%.

Not all attorneys are making big money, but they aren't exactly the working poor either. Based on purely anecdotal evidence I'd say that most attorneys I know/work with who have 10+ years experience are earning an upper middle class income. A few are rich, and I don't really know any who are struggling. Again, I'm talking about lawyers with experience, not new grads.   

Current Law Students / Re: Why Go?
« on: July 09, 2014, 10:27:25 AM »
Troll? Maybe. I'll answer anyway, maybe someone will find the information useful.

Yes, the legal job market is tight but plenty of law grads find decent employment. Your first job straight out of law school may not be so great, but as Citylaw said it gets much better after you have a couple of years' experience under your belt.

Employment statistics have to be viewed in context. They are usually a snapshot taken nine months after law school graduation, when most grads have only just passed the bar a couple of months earlier and are looking for work. It's not a very good metric for gauging long term prospects.

I graduated in 2012 from a non-elite law school in a very crowded market (CA). Two years after graduation, the vast majority of my classmates are gainfully employed as attorneys. Some are with big firms making big money, some are prosecutors and public defenders, and some are solo practitioners.

If someone is a disciplined, motivated, and knows how to make connections they can absolutely have a successful career even if they don't graduate from Harvard. However, if someone is unrealistic, entitled, and doesn't know how to hustle they're going to have a hard time finding a job. I would imagine that this is true for all fields, not just law.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Thoughts? Where should I go
« on: July 06, 2014, 09:14:20 PM »
You need to think about where you want to live after law school, because your employment opportunities are going to be very different depending on which school you attend. None of these are elite schools which are going to land you a job based on pedigree, and you'll most likely end up working in the immediate geographical region.

Really think about this, because it's going to have a big impact on your future. When you're looking at regional/local schools, local reputation and connections matter more than national rankings. Don't get too caught up in rankings at this level, look for a good school in an area in which you would be willing to stay.

As far as the MA in Intl Relations, it may or may not be worth the expense depending on what you want to do. Big firms, NGOs, and intl organizations (which dominate the intl law field) will want an elite pedigree. Competition for those jobs is intense, and the applicants have amazing credentials. Keep that in mind before dropping tens of thousands on an MA.

Online Law Schools / Re: Did you apply to ABA and CBE?
« on: July 02, 2014, 11:32:30 AM »
I think the averages provided by CA Law Dean are a better indication of MCL's student body than whatever the minimum acceptable standard is.

For example, ABA schools don't necessarily require a bachelor's degree (I think 90 units is minimally acceptable at some ABA schools), and there is no official minimum LSAT score. However, an applicant without a degree and a 140 LSAT is not going to stand  chance at the vast majority of schools. 

I'm sure that MCL has some minimum acceptable standard, but that most admitted students are qualified beyond that standard. I'm also pretty sure that the LSAT is required for CA accredited schools.

Online Law Schools / Re: LLB (Graduate Entry)
« on: June 23, 2014, 04:52:25 PM »
It depends, and you'll have to check with the California state bar to  find out.

California does allow LL.B holders from the UK to sit for the California bar, but there are some additional requirements. I think you have to be admitted in the UK and have a certain number of years of experience, for example.

An LL.B holder from another country, however, like India or Pakistan might not qualify without first obtaining a U.S. LL.M. I'm not sure what you mean by "two year LL.B". If you mean that the degree was only a two year program, I doubt if California would accept it without and LL.M. Again, check with the California bar, as they can give you the best information.

There are a ton of threads on here which discuss the impact of rankings. I would take a look at some of those.

But to address your question specifically, WF ranks #31 and FSU ranks #45. Both have good regional/local reputations, but neither is an elite institution. Whichever one you choose, you won't really be able to rely on your pedigree to land a job the way you would if you attended Harvard or Yale.

I don't live in south Florida, but I doubt if most employers are going to give a serious edge to a WF grad over an FSU grad based on rankings. Between these two schools, you should focus on which one has the best alumni connections and internship opportunities in south Florida. The ability to make personal connections within the local legal market will probably matter a lot more than the school's specific rank. 

You should also be looking at U Miami, Florida Intl, and Univ of Florida.

As far as OSU, I don't think that would be a very good option if you intend to live in south Florida. It will be very difficult to gain internships and make connections if you're in Columbus, and I doubt if many Florida law firms recruit on campus.

When you're talking about non-elite schools things like location, alumni connections and local reputation matter a lot more than national rankings. Be sure to take those things into consideration along with rankings. 

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