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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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It will matter, and you'll definitely have to explain it in your applications to both law school and the state bar, but it is NOT an automatic barrier to entry. They will want to see that your academic problems are behind you, however, since law school is about a hundred times more demanding that college. Make sure that you have figured out the problem and have a new plan in place before you drop lots of time and money on law school.

The single biggest factors will be your LSAT and cumulative GPA, however. The degree to which this issue will matter is going to fluctuate based on A) your numbers, and B) the level of admissions competition at each school.

At this point all you can really do is get the highest possible GPA and LSAT, which will help to mitigate the academic dismissal.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Chosing a School
« on: February 09, 2016, 05:02:34 PM »
Lastly, I would like to live and work in the mid-atlantic, actually more like Philly even though there's probably to much competition to land there from PSU. Realistically what placement look like from Penn state to Philly or the rest of PA, NJ, DC, MD

Just by researching scholarship retention rates you're already ahead of most 0Ls, and that's good.

If you really want to be in the Mid-Atlantic/Philly area, then I would definitely be looking at law schools out there. Chapman, Seattle, etc are not going to be very helpful with landing a job in Philly.

One question: have you ever lived back East? It's really, really different from CA. The winters suck. It's fun for about a week, and then digging your car out of snow and slogging through frozen mud loses it's charm. Seriously, this is something to consider if you're from OC. If you go to law school in PA, it will be difficult to return to CA.

Let's say you get a job in PA, then decide a couple of years later that you want to be around your family. This means that will have to take the CA bar and start looking for a job with no local experience. This may not seem like a big deal now, but it is. Really think this one through.

As far as Penn State's placement in Philly, I don't know. I would imagine that it's OK but not great. Philly is pretty well stocked with Temple, Penn, and Villanova students. Rutgers and Widener are not too far away. A large part of landing an internship and later a job is your own moxie. If you are a motivated go getter you'll probably be alright. If you're relying on your school's career services office and/or the school's name, you're going to be disappointed. I would check with PSU and see how many students end up interning and working in Philly.

If you're really sold on Philly, check out Drexel's scholarship retention rates and see what Temple offers. Being in Philly would be a huge bonus.

If you are open to other states like MD, NJ, DC etc, then I would apply to schools there, too. See what happens. Even if it means waiting a year, it may be worth it if you can score an awesome offer.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Chosing a School
« on: February 09, 2016, 12:32:30 PM »
Regarding GPA stipulations:

You need to find out what the curve is like at each school. A 2.9 GPA could be fairly average or it could be quite difficult to attain.

As a general rule law school (especially the first year) is very demanding. Getting a 2.9 is much more difficult than it would be in undergrad. Find out what percentage of students manage to retain their scholarships.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Chosing a School
« on: February 09, 2016, 12:27:15 PM »
When you're talking about non-elite schools I think it all comes down to money and location. Personally, if it were me making this decision, I would simply go with the cheapest option in a city that I would like to live in.

Geographically you're all over the place, which leads me to believe that you're applying based on rankings. At this level, I think that's a mistake. These schools all have good local reputations but none of them are going to open up doors outside of their immediate region. If you go to Syracuse or Penn State, for example, you will almost certainly end up working in NY or western PA. It would very difficult to obtain internships or job interviews in CA if you're on the other side of the country. So, you need to be REALLY sure that you're cool with living in that area for a long time.

Secondly, the less debt you accrue the better. You asked whether De Paul or Loyola-Chicago is worth $120k.

Well, have you looked at the average starting salaries from those schools, and then factored in living expenses, a car, etc? In my opinion, no schools outside the T14 are worth six figures of debt. Even the T14 aren't really worth it unless your goal is Biglaw, a federal clerkship, something where pedigree really matters.

Again, this is only my personal opinion, but if I had a choice between Chapman for free or a similarly regarded school at $120k, it's a no-brainer. Your employment options are going to be very similar coming out of any of these schools, the primary difference being location. 

Law School Admissions / Re: Considering Law School - mid 40's
« on: February 08, 2016, 09:03:34 AM »
I wasn't asking for a summary, I was trying to figure out what you meant. You're reading comp needs work.

I assume you mean that only crappy lawyers go to part time programs? Yeah, I remember all those loser part timers at Georgetown. They were going nowhere.

Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: February 07, 2016, 10:29:59 AM »
...or perhaps some of us have actual experience with federal investigations and understand the process beyond wishful thinking.

Law School Admissions / Re: Considering Law School - mid 40's
« on: February 07, 2016, 10:27:21 AM »
Meaning what, exactly?

Law School Admissions / Re: Considering Law School - mid 40's
« on: February 05, 2016, 03:02:33 PM »
Part time programs are four years, including summers.

Politics and Law-Related News / Re: POTUS
« on: February 03, 2016, 10:04:23 AM »
Hillary Clinton IS the subject of a criminal FBI investigation regarding mishandling and gross negligence regarding classified information.

See? This is why I hate the interwebs. It makes me have to defend people that I don't even particularly like, such as Hillary Clinton.

Cinnamon: there is an FBI investigation into how classified documents were handled at the State Dept, Clinton's emails have been looked at as part of that investigation, but Clinton is NOT the subject of the investigation.

This may sound like I'm over-parsing my words, but that's how law works! If you're NOT the subject of the investigation your chances of being indicted are nil unless the focus of the investigation switches to you.

Could that happen here? Possibly, but other than Tom DeLay claiming that he has "sources" who warn of an impending indictment, there is no evidence to support the claim.

I know that you want very badly for Clinton to be the subject of the investigation and to be indicted, but wishing won't make it happen. So far, they have found no indictable offense.

Law School Admissions / Re: Considering Law School - mid 40's
« on: February 02, 2016, 10:35:26 AM »
I started law school when I was about thirty. I had a wife, kid, mortgage, etc. I did the four year part-time evening thing. Here are my thoughts, hopefully you will find them useful.

Time Commitment

I assume that you will be working during law school. Working and going to law school is a GRIND. Law school is far more demanding than undergrad. Most people I know who had an MA/MBA felt that law school was more demanding than their grad program, too.

There is really nothing part time about a part time JD. Instead of five classes per semester you will take three or four plus summer school, all while working. My first semester I took Contracts, Torts, Legal Writing/Research. The next semester Criminal Law was added. I would go straight from work to law school, classes from 6-9:30, (sometimes later) M-TH. Every lunch break, weekend and holidays were spent reading and briefing and preparing for exams.

If you allow yourself to fall behind in law school it is very difficult to catch up. The volume of information that you will be required to ingest, and the speed with which it comes at you, requires constant preparation. 

I don't know if you have a family, but for four years you will have to make significant compromises with family time. Even if you're single, your social life will be on hiatus at least for the first two years. 


I have no idea what your financial situation is, but in your forties you should be looking to avoid any new debt.

I would suggest that you seriously consider making your decision based on scholarships. If you do well on the LSAT and can attend a local school for very cheap as opposed to a big name school for $150K, I'd take the cheaper route.

If you don't do well on the LSAT, retake. Minimizing debt should be a top priority.


I always tell prospective law students to be realistic in their expectations. Law is more boring than you think, and you will almost certainly not get a great, interesting, high paying job fresh out of law school. Unless you graduate from Harvard, you're going to have to slog through some crap in order to get experience.

It sounds like you want to be a solo practitioner, which is great. You already have corporate/business experience which puts you ahead of the average 25 year old new grad. But, even so, you're going to have to learn labor/employment law somewhere. It is very difficult to go solo straight out of law school. Law school teaches you the law in an academic manner, but doesn't really prepare you to practice. The people I know who went straight into solo practice and were successful were already paralegals, law office managers, that sort of thing. The already knew the ropes. You will need to learn the ropes from someone else, so be prepared to work for a firm or govt office for a while.

Which brings me to my next point: hiring sucks right now. Research your local market, be realistic about the options.


Are you too old? No, but be sure to look at ALL of the attendant facts (not just your subjective hopes and desires), and make an informed decision.

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