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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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Law School Admissions / Re: LDAS Transcript Questions
« on: January 29, 2014, 10:15:14 AM »
Hi Tom, I'll try to answer your questions.

1. LSAC will consider all grades earned, and you will have to provide actual transcripts from all institutions attended even if you took only one class there. So, no, I don't think you get a clean slate because all grades are factored into your GPA. On the other hand, if you get a 4.0 GPA from now on, that's obviously going to offset the lower grades.

I think you will have to disclose the suspension to LSAC, the law schools, and your state bar. You will likely have to write an addendum.

2. I'm not sure what you mean. All grades earned prior to obtaining your first bachelor's degree are counted.

3. As for LSAT prep, just do as much as you can between now and the actual test to keep yourself familiar with the material. Take a prep course if possible, and try to get in as much time as you can in the months leading up to the exam. You have lots of time, and I'd focus more right now on getting the highest possible GPA.

Hope that helps.

Online Law Schools / Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« on: January 28, 2014, 08:14:28 PM »
I think you're probably right Jonlevy, but doesn't that mean that the DL schools should be implementing somewhat more stringent admission standards?

Online Law Schools / Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« on: January 28, 2014, 01:53:27 PM »
Very interesting results.

I agree with livinglegend that personal motivation is a huge factor. But when I see the incredibly low pass rates of many of the unaccredited and CBE schools it makes me think that they are simply admitting too many people who should not be in law school. A significant number of unaccredited schools had zero first time passers, and that's after the FYLSE has weeded out quite a few. I don't know if the problem is with students, the program, or both but having consistently low pass rates indicates a problem.

I also think it's interesting that many lower ranked CA schools have significantly better pass rates than much higher ranked out of state schools. For example, La Verne beat schools like Boston College, Minnesota, and Notre Dame. Golden Gate beat American, ASU, and many others. Southwestern beat Vanderbilt!

I don't accept that this is necessarily due to the advantage of being able to study CA law. When I was in law school in CA I think I took one CA specific class (community property). All of the other CA law I learned in BARBRI along with the out of staters. Considering how difficult the CA bar exam is, I think it's pretty impressive that a school can take students with lower GPA/LSAT numbers and still beat top ranked schools on the bar exam. Maybe the well known difficulty of the CA bar makes the CA schools strive harder? I dunno, but it's interesting.   

I have no idea what the legal market is like in Scranton specifically, but here are some general rules that are applicable to just about everyone.

If you are realistic, motivated, and flexible you will likely find work. If you are unrealistic, inflexible, and feel entitled to a high starting salary you will unemployed for a long time.

It seems like many of the people who can't find work are unrealistic and inflexible. To them being a lawyer means working at a firm and making a big starting salary. They think that taking nickel and dime civil cases or DUI cases is beneath them. They don't realize that the litigation experience is invaluable and makes them far more marketable. They will be unemployed for a long time.

A lot of people also think they can rely on their pedigree to open doors. If you graduate from a truly elite school this is true. But don't be fooled into thinking that the #84 ranked law school is going to give you a significantly better shot at employment than the #103 ranked school. Once you get away from elite national schools, you really need to consider local reputation and local connections.

So, if you seek employment in a smaller market you have to understand that you will not be making big money (at least initially), and you will likely be doing stuff like child support modifications, possession charges, and DUIs. If you're OK with that, then it may be the right move.

You need to contact the individual schools you're applying to and ask them. If you voluntarily withdrew, as opposed to being academically disqualified, then there may be no issue. It might be just like transferring. However, each school will have it's own deadlines. Again, contact the schools for the best information.

The real question you need to ask yourself is whether you're ready to get back into law school. Are the obstacles that you faced resolved, or will they create problems at the new school, too? Only you can answer that.

Good luck with your decision!

Most law schools today do not offer minority scholarships.

Do you have any evidence to back that up? Or evidence that URM status is not considered when awarding merit scholarships? 

Take a look at the profiles on LSN. A URM applicant with a around a 3.5/165 can expect big $$$ at many T1 schools, and possibly even full rides at many others. Unless the people on LSN are lying, this seems to be the case. If students, URM or non-URM, lose their scholarships later that's their problem.

They are using minorities to fund the merit scholarships. This is racial exploitation.

They are using anyone who doesn't earn the scholarship to fund it, minority or otherwise.

You're making three huge assumptions: 1) The people receiving merit scholarships don't need them,  2) URM applicants aren't getting them, and 3) tuition for minority students would be lower absent merit scholarships. 

BTW, how do you suggest that lower ranked schools attract highly qualified applicants without merit scholarships? If it's going to cost the same to attend Columbia as it is to attend St. John's or CUNY, what high achiever will choose the lower ranked school?

URM applicants with even moderately impressive numbers are eligible for tons of financial aid, as well as admission to schools that non-URM applicants with similar numbers can only dream about. Most law schools will bend over backwards to attract qualified URM students with significant scholarship offers. Many of the people who receive those scholarships aren't exactly poor either, but qualify based purely on URM status.

Merit scholarships are different. They are available to anyone, regardless of race, as long as they have the numbers. I think you're probably right that many of the recipients of merit scholarships are from well-off backgrounds, but plenty of regular joes benefit from these scholarships too. And yes, attracting highly qualified students is a legitimate goal of any law school.

I was raised poor as hell by a single mother, and never had any educational advantages. I went to crummy, gang infested schools where nobody cared, and had to work at crappy jobs and go into debt to get through college. Because I'm white I couldn't qualify for AA or many scholarships even though I was poorer than many of the URM students at my college. (Poor white students get really screwed this way.)

The only way I was able to attend law school was because I scored well on the LSAT and obtained a merit scholarship. Even then, I had to attend a lower ranked school in order to maximize the scholarship opportunities.

My point is that it's not as simple as you'd like to believe, and it certainly isn't "racial exploitation". If you don't have the numbers to merit a scholarship and you're afraid of accruing debt, then drop out. No one forces you to go to law school.   

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: European LLB...what now?
« on: January 21, 2014, 10:42:02 AM »
I think it is most likely I get into schools around the level of UIUC and UConn. Do you think these schools are still high enough in the rankings for my personal case?

I don't know enough about your personal case to make a determination. It's impossible to say "If you go to School X you will work in international law, and if you go to School Y you will not." I'm sure that there are graduates from just about every law school who work in international law, so I'm speaking in general terms only.

That said, there are some things to keep in mind, and which are applicable to any applicant.

1) Big Firms
Much of the international law market involves big firms with offices in LA, NYC, London, Shanghai, etc. These jobs are highly, highly competitive, and if you look at the firm profiles you will see that many of the lawyers are graduates of elite law schools. They like to hire graduates of internationally recognized schools like Harvard and Stanford because it impresses their international clients.

2) International Organizations/NGOs
Pretty much the same story. Highly competitive, lots of applicants, and a preference for elite pedigrees.

Now, does this mean that you can't practice international law unless you graduate from an elite school? Of course not! I know a woman who graduated from a lower tiered school here in CA and who is practicing internationally helping a foreign government to organize their own legal system. However, I think her case is exceptional. My point is simply that in any highly competitive market where the employer has the luxury of choosing from among many highly qualified applicants, pedigree can matter. As far as I can tell, this seems to be truer for some jobs than for others, and international law is one of those jobs.

I would contact the law schools you are interested in attending and ask them directly about international employment, internship opportunities, etc. Ask about alumni working internationally. Also research and contact firms and organizations that you are interested in, ask where they hire from and what they look for in applicants. Don't rely on anything you read here or elsewhere from me or anyone else, it's just our personal opinions. Get the information straight from the source. Your European LL.B is probably considered a very positive asset, and may give you a better chance of getting into international law than the average student.     

Hi Alex,

Don't sweat the LOR portion of your applications too much. Yes, they are a necessary part of the application but in reality they will probably play very little role (if any) in the admission process. The decisions will be based almost entirely on LSAT and GPA. Many applicants are in the same situation as you are, and don't really know their professors. As a result, most applicants get very generic LORs which don't offer any real insight as to the applicant's abilities. "So-and-so will be a valuable addition to your law school, blah blah blah." The LORs that you receive will probably be very similar to what the vast majority of applicants submit.

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