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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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Current Law Students / Re: Perpetuities period
« on: February 18, 2014, 10:35:18 AM »
The RAP is a perpetual headache, and that's about it.

Law schools spend so much time torturing students with this medieval artifact, and the irony is that most states have simply enacted statutes to deal with the problem. My property professor and my wills and trusts professor were both obsessed with the RAP, and I spent countless hours trying to identify validating lives and pregnant octogenarians. Then, when I took the bar exam, the RAP came up a handful of times on a few MBEs and that was it.

This is a good example of what's wrong with a lot of legal education. It often has very little real world application.

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: Cornell or job?
« on: February 15, 2014, 11:00:56 AM »
If you have the numbers to get a scholarship to Cornell, then you might very well be able to get a full ride at many other perfectly respectable law schools.

I think your choice of law school really should take into consideration what you want to do after law school. Biglaw is a shrinking field, and won't be an option for the vast majority of law grads even from places like Cornell. For other jobs, you don't necessarily need a Cornell degree but at the same time, hell, it's Cornell!

There are very few schools that have truly national reputations and whose pedigree alone will open doors. Cornell is one of those schools.

However, if you are interested in jobs that don't necessarily require that kind of degree, then a degree from a very good regional school and without debt may be a better option.

Unless you're in a rush to start, I would at least apply to a few other places and see what happens. I understand the draw to someplace like Cornell, but having zero debt can be nice too!

Hope that helps, and Good Luck!

Law School Admissions / Re: 3.1...LSAT??? What are my chances?
« on: February 15, 2014, 10:49:49 AM »
Miami88 has already offered excellent advice, I just wanted to add that until you have an actual LSAT score everything is speculative. The LSAT is such a huge factor in law school admissions that without knowing exactly where you stand all you can do is guess.

With a 3.1 and a very high LSAT score (say, 170ish) you may be able to get into a few of the lower Top 25.

Here's something to consider, however. There is nothing magical about a school being in the Top 25. Some of those schools (like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford) are elite, internationally recognized institutions and the pedigree alone is a huge benefit.

However, not all Top 25 schools are created the same. Some, like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford are truly elite schools and the pedigree alone is a huge benefit. Others are more like very good regional schools. Regardless of their inclusion on a made up list of schools they will never have the same cache as the truly elite schools.

When it comes to those schools, I'm not sure that the employment outlook is necessarily all that much better than the next tier of schools. Also, look closely at the employment data. Schools at the middle to bottom of the Top 25 are likely to have employment prospects which are much more localized than the elite schools.

For example, I think Emory is now in the coveted Top 25. that does not mean that firms from LA, NYC, and Washington D.C. are flocking to Atlanta to hire graduates. I can tell you that in my hometown of LA, a Loyola or Pepperdine grad with good grades would probably have a better chance at getting hired than an Emory grad with average grades, maybe even with very good grades.

So, even if you're admitted to some school that is ranked somewhere in the Top 25, but it's not a Harvard/Yale type place, you still need to think about location and cost.

Hope that helps, and Good Luck!

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: South Florida law schools
« on: February 12, 2014, 08:19:37 PM »
Hi Tampadave,

First off, I'm not a Florida lawyer and I don't have any personal experience with the market, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

That said, if I were in your daughter's position I would seriously consider the FIU at a discount over UM at full price. UM does have a reputational advantage over FIU, but it's not exactly an elite school, either. So the question is, does the reputational advantage justify the additional cost?

My guess is that a top student from UM (law review, etc.) probably has a better shot at big firms in Miami than a top student from FIU, but that mid-low ranked students from both schools probably face similar job prospects. If your daughter ends up competing for jobs at small and midsized firms, the lower debt from FIU can allow more flexibility.

Best of Luck to her!

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Weighing TX law school options
« on: February 05, 2014, 07:30:28 PM »
What are your numbers (LSAT/GPA)?

Online Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: February 05, 2014, 04:12:43 PM »
Any law school that doesn't pick up the phone or respond to email should raise red flags.   

Online Law Schools / Re: American Heritage University College of Law
« on: February 05, 2014, 03:11:08 PM »
Yeah, many of the CBE and unaccredited schools in CA have very small numbers of people taking the bar. With such a small statistical sample it's difficult to draw any conclusions, positive or negative.

Online Law Schools / Re: American Heritage University College of Law
« on: February 04, 2014, 11:59:26 PM »

It appears that AHU had three first time bar takers for the July, 2013 bar exam, and one passer for a rate of 33%.

Online Law Schools / Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« on: February 04, 2014, 11:41:36 PM »
Low pass rates by DL applicants may have to do with:

1.  Poor performance on the essay questions.
2.  lack of preparation time due to employment and other responsibilites.

As far as the essay questions, why is that? Do most DL programs use the basic IRAC format, or are many DL students simply coming in to the program with less college level writing?

As far as employment, many ABA part time programs have employed/married, etc students, but still have decent pass rates. Do you think this is due to the more stringent admission criteria?

If DL students were allowed to take some of the easier bars like South Dakota with a consistent 90% pass rate - we would see those pass rates at least double or tiple.

I completely agree. If we required ALL law students to take the FYLSE, and allowed DL to take more than California's crazy bar, we'd see fewer ABA lawyers and more DL lawyers as a result.

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: Hamilton at CLS vs. SLS vs. HLS
« on: February 02, 2014, 10:19:13 PM »
Citylaw's post is comprehensive and excellent, so all I'll add is that with those options you can't go wrong. All three are excellent schools with huge reputations. That said, I've travelled quite a bit and I must say that Harvard has a certain, immediately recognizable prestige that is special. You can walk into a meeting in Cape Town, Rio, or Beijing and people will go "Damn, Harvard!"

Good luck and remember, even at elite schools your professors are just people and this is just their job. They don't know everything, and get a lot of stuff wrong! I had to occasionally remind myself of that during law school. 

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