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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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Online Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: July 27, 2013, 03:15:08 PM »
IWhat is wrong with a mentoring in a top NY law firm .Read the rules about the NY bar.....

There is nothing wrong with it, but I believe the option is limited to applicants who have first completed at least one year at an approved school. I'm not familiar with NY's rules, but I know that here in CA the law office study method still has to meet some formal requirements. Reports of hours, subjects studied, etc. have to be provided to the bar and approved.

Getting accepted to any BAR is passing a test and convincing  the committee you are ready to be a lawyer.. 

In the most literal sense I suppose that's true, but it's overly simplistic. Before you can attempt to convince the committee of anything, you've got to pass the bar. Passing the bar isn't just about memorizing rules. It's about learning to recognize what the bar examiners are looking for, and how they want it presented.

Based on the incredibly low number of applicants admitted via the office study route, it seems that this method is not very good at developing those skills. It doesn't mean that it can't be done, but look at the numbers.

I'm going to answer your question, but let me first suggest another option: LSU.

LSU has a good regional reputation, cheap tuition, and the median LSAT score is 157. The great thing about in-state tuition is that, unlike scholarships, it can't be taken away. Something to consider.

As far as your other options, I'd probably just go for the cheapest one. If you can avoid racking up a huge debt by obtaining a scholarship and/or living at home, that might be a great choice. Graduating from any of these schools you probably won't be in the running for Biglaw and a high starting salary. Therefore, you really need to consider the implications of a huge debt.

If you are seriously considering NYLS, take the time to research the NYC job market as well as living expenses. NYC is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and you could easily rack up a six figure debt from living expenses alone. Additionally, you could end up as a small fish in a big pond. I don't get obsessed with rankings, but the fact is there is some heavy competition for jobs in NYC. You'd be up against NYU, Columbia, Cornell, and Fordham grads.

The same would go for Mercer or Texas, although to a lesser extent. Even if you score a substantial scholarship you will likely have to go into debt for living expenses. Also, it's very easy to lose most law school scholarships.

You should also consider where you want to live and what kind of lawyer you want to be. Are you comfortable with the idea of working at small office doing wills and trusts or being a public defender? Or do you want to live in Manhattan and work on Wall Street? If you go to school in Georgia, Texas, or NY that is likely where you will end up doing your internships, making connections, and getting your first job. Unless you graduate from a prestigious, nationally recognized institution it's difficult to attend law school in one region, then show up somewhere else and expect to find a job. It can be done, but it's tough.

Contrary to what you may hear elsewhere, going to a local, non-elite law school can be a good choice. The trick is that you need to get as educated as possible about the job market, the cost of attendance, and your realistic options after law school. (By realistic options, I mean don't assume you'll be the one person out of 500 who gets a federal clerkship or Biglaw offer).

What you want to avoid is a $2000 per month loan payment in a market where the median starting salary is $45,000.

Good luck with your decision!

Law School Admissions / Re: 3.2 GPA LSAT???
« on: July 25, 2013, 06:25:41 PM »
Take a look at the admissions info for Charleston on LSAC, it will give you a very good summation of the entering class profile. It looks like the median LSAT scores are 152 (full time) and 148 (part time).

Livinglegend offered good advice, especially regarding scholarships. Although you can probably get admitted with a low-mid 150s score, you should do everything possible to maximize your score and increase your chance of obtaining a sizable scholarship. The tuition at Charleston, like most ABA schools, is high. You could easily accrue $150K+ debt.

The problem is that smaller markets like South Carolina don't offer a lot of high paying jobs which will allow you to service that much debt. The few high paying jobs that are locally available probably go to UNC/Duke/Emory, etc grads. Going to a local school like Charleston can be a good choice, but you really need to be careful about the debt.

I would advise taking the time now to research the local legal market, talk to newer attorneys, etc. Get a feel for what kind of salary you can realistically expect to make, and go from there. Good luck! 

Online Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: July 25, 2013, 11:53:49 AM »
It is your knowledge of the law that will make you a lawyer; not the name of the school you graduated from.

I more or less agree with you. I meet people here in CA every single day that went to small, local, non-ABA schools and are successful attorneys.

That said, the chances of successfully challenging a state bar in court are nearly zero. Remember, state bars are allowed to set their own policies. They aren't obligated to admit anyone. That fact that one state has admitted a non-accredited student does not set a precedent for any other state.

Why choose the most difficult and uncertain path? I've asked this before, has any MASL student been admitted to any bar in the U.S.? Even in CA, which has the most open policies of any state, I don't think the MASL degree alone would qualify one to take the bar.

Law School Admissions / Re: Going to law after pharmacy school?
« on: July 23, 2013, 06:57:22 PM »
This may sound overly simplistic, but it depends on whether or not you really want to be a lawyer.

Personally, I'd be wary of accumulating significant debt when you already have a very marketable degree. Law school and the legal market are very tough, and you'd probably have a much easier time getting a job in pharmacy. There is also a very good chance that you'll make less as a new lawyer than as a new pharmacist.

Would I have to get into T14 to land myself a decent job?

It really depends on what you want to do. Big firms, some federal agencies, and academic positions will often require an impressive pedigree. Smaller firms and local government jobs often won't.

Contrary to what you may hear, a degree from a non-elite school is not a death sentence. Even among the so-called T14, some are truly elite schools, like Harvard, and others that are basically strong regional schools. My point is that there is nothing necessarily magical about being in the T14. If we're talking about the T3 or T5, that's a different story.

A degree from a well-respected local school can be just as useful as a higher ranked out of state degree. For example, let's say you want to live in Milwaukee. Would a degree from Georgetown necessarily be a better investment than a degree from UW-Madison, simply because Georgetown is ranked in the mythical T14 ? I'm not sure, but I wouldn't make that assumption.

Rankings do matter, but try to keep perspective on how much they matter.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Should I proceed?
« on: July 23, 2013, 06:33:15 PM »
Yes, you definitely have a chance but it all depends on your LSAT score. the LSAT is such a major component to law school admissions/scholarship offers that without a real score everything is pure speculation.

Your undergrad GPA is the only one that law schools will pay much attention to, since it's the one that gets reported for statistical purposes. Your UGPA (3.46) is alright, but not exactly high for the purposes of law schools admission. Most applicants will have a similar GPA. In order to maximize your chances at scholarship offers you need to score very well on the LSAT. The fact that you did well on the MCAT or GRE is good, but it does not necessarily guarantee a high LSAT score. You'll still need to prepare as much as possible.

Law school admission is very numbers driven. Your med school experience/work experience will help, but your GPA and LSAT profile will still dominate the process.

I believe that SMU and Texas Wesleyan are the only law schools in the DFW area (might be wrong about that). Check out their admissions averages and you should get a good idea as to what LSAT range would make you attractive enough to offer significant money.

Current - working on Certificate in Public Health and will proceed to MPH or PhD if I'm not accepted to law school

I don't know you at all, but it sounds like you aren't sure what you want to do. Sort of like "Well I'd like to be a public health expert, but if that doesn't work I'll just go to law school." Or vice versa.

The type of work that you'll do as a lawyer vs. as a public health professional is very, very different. As a general rule, I'd say don't spend the considerable time and money on law school unless you really, REALLY want to be a lawyer.

Online Law Schools / Re: Current ABA Response to Distance Education
« on: July 20, 2013, 08:21:12 PM »
If only I had known that maintaining an A average in social work school is not the same as maintaining an A average in law school.  (I have an MSW.)

Many of my law school classmates had M.A./M.S./MBA degrees. They pretty much all agreed that master's level grad school was a joke compared to law school. Master's programs can be academically rigorous, but they aren't competitive like law school.

BTW, an A average? That's harsh. I assume you must have had good numbers to get scholarship to Mercer. Is it possible to use those numbers to get a large scholarship at one of the newer law schools in the area? Someplace like Elon or Charleston? 

Thanks for the kind words.

I don't know where you're located, but maybe one option would be attending a local law school. That way you could still be around your family, stop by and visit, maybe even live at home. It could allow you to attend school and maintain a connection with your dad.

That's an incredibly tough situation to deal with, no matter what. I really feel for you and your family. My father died of bone cancer when I was 18, just as I was starting college, so I have some notion as to what you've got on your plate.

I don't know enough about your situation to feel competent to offer advice, but here are a few things to think about.

1) The first year of law school is very tough, tougher than you think it's going to be. You will have to be able to dedicate yourself to it 100% in order to pass. Law school is nothing like undergrad. You will be expected to digest voluminous amounts of very dense material every day, then turn right around and apply it to legal problems. That first year is difficult, confusing, and stressful.

2) As exams get closer you will be required to invest even more time into preparation. Unlike undergrad (where you can get away with cramming the night before), law school exams require practice to master. You will need lots of time.

3) Just based on what you've written, I think it would be tough to dedicate yourself 100% to law school and 100% to your family. Something is going to suffer. If you decide to wait a year, that's not the end of the world.

Lastly, don't take anonymous internet advice from me or anyone else too seriously. You know your capabilities better than anyone. Good luck!

Online Law Schools / Re: Current ABA Response to Distance Education
« on: July 16, 2013, 10:20:55 PM »
Law school professors have to be licensed attorneys.  This means they have to have passed a bar exam.

Is that an ABA rule? I've never heard that before.

I know that you definitely don't have to be a member of your state bar to teach. Several of my law school profs were not members of the CA bar, although they had passed another state's bar.

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