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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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By "traditional law school", I assume you mean ABA approved. My understanding is that the vast majority of ABA schools will not accept credits from a non-ABA school. A few of the ABA schools in California will accept credits from Calbar accredited schools, but not unaccredited schools. Just check the transfer applicant info on each school's site, and it should list their policy.

As far as other criteria (LSAT, etc), transfer applicants still have to meet the normal requirements for admission. This means taking the LSAT, holding a bachelor's degree, registering with LSAC, etc.

It's possible that some of the Calbar accredited schools might accept unaccredited coursework, I'd check with each school individually. No school, however, is required to accept such credits even if their policy allows for it. You'd probably have an uphill battle no matter what. 

The bottom line is, don't attend a school you aren't prepared to graduate from. I think this is especially true of unaccredited programs, since transferring will likely be very, very difficult. I would contact each school you're considering and ask if they have ever had a student transfer to an ABA or CBE accredited school. That should give you a good indication.     

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Drexel or Loyola LA
« on: March 22, 2013, 10:37:35 AM »
What is your point?  Are you just arguing that it may not be as bad as law school transparency says?   

Yes, that is my only point and nothing more (or less) should be read into it. Employment statistics, like all raw data, should be viewed critically and within context. I come from a scientific background, and learned a long time ago that your final results are only as accurate as the data you collect. It's difficult to account for all variables, but this particular variable might affect the accuracy of the results. That's all.

My broader point, and the reason I responded to Anti's claim, is that the purpose of the data can be misunderstood. The numbers are based on voluntary self-reporting nine months after graduation. As far as I know, the numbers are not subsequently revised to reflect those who obtain employment after the reporting date.

This leads me to believe that the statistics are not designed to provide a platform upon which future projections of employabilty can be divined. Absent some evidence to the contrary, these numbers appear to have limited durational value and their accuracy probably diminishes the farther you get from the reporting date. This is not a flaw in the model. It's simply not intended to produce long term prognostications.

The statistics are accurate as far as they reflect the employment of participating graduates at that point in time. That is, X% of reporting grads were employed/unemployed at the time they voluntarily responded, period. But people should make an effort to understand the purpose, methodology, and inherent limitations of data collection before attempting to extrapolate these results beyond their intended parameters. It's a huge mistake to do so.

For example, if School X has a nine month employment rate of 50%, that does not mean that you automatically have a 50% chance of ever becoming a lawyer if you attend that school. No model can account for the personal attributes that greatly affect an individual's probability of securing employment. Some people have a 100% chance because they're brilliant and personable, and others have a 0% chance because they're immature fools. By making such claims, one is attributing characteristics to the model which it was never intended to address. Such conclusions will almost always be wrong.

As far as the overall employment outlook, I agree with you, Jack. It's bad, especially for those who have just graduated and are looking for their first job. I graduated from a non-prestigious law school in the state with the worst legal employment market (CA) within the last couple of years. Trust me, I don't need anyone to tell me how bad the market is. I also know, however, that those who continue to develop their skills and connections after law school, are willing to be flexible, and don't waste time pursuing jobs for which they're unqualified stand a good chance of eventually finding employment. 


Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Drexel or Loyola LA
« on: March 21, 2013, 01:03:55 PM »
One other factor that has to be taken into account when evaluating employment statistics:

My law school, like many law schools with large part time/evening programs, had a significant number of people who graduated in December. The employment surveys for the December grads were collected in February, at the same time as the May grads. Most (if not all) of the December grads spent December, January, and February studying for the February bar as opposed to looking for a job. Their post grad employment data, however, gets counted with the previous academic year in which they graduated.

Considering that only two and a half months pass between graduation and data collection, this could significantly affect the statistics for the entire year's graduating class.   

All of the schools you've been accepted to have good reputations, but you need to be very realistic about your options.

1)Career prospect
As an international student, if I want to practice law in US after graduation, I have to go to those biglaws sponsoring H1B visa. So employment rate at biglaws is one of the most important factors for me to make decision.

Hiring at the big U.S. firms is extremely competitive. You will most likely need to be ranked near the top of your class, which is no small accomplishment in law school. Your classmates will be just like you: disciplined, motivated, and smart. Everyone will be striving to reach those coveted few spots, and you simply can't assume that you'll be at the top. Before you commit yourself to law school, understand that there is a very good chance you will not get hired at a big firm.

I'm not sure what (if any) effect your immigration status would have on getting hired, but it may complicate the matter further. I'd ask other foreign law graduates directly about their experiences, as well as the law schools themselves.

I'm seriously considering about transfer to T6 after 1L. Will any of these schools give me some advantages for transfer? I heard that ND and W&M have good academic reputation, but Washington U & GW have higher ranking, which will help?

The general rule is that you should not attend any law school which you are not prepared to graduate from. As I said above, all of the schools you've been accepted to have good reputations. Transferring to a T6, however, is very competitive. Many people attempt to transfer to higher ranked schools, and very few succeed. You will most likely need very high grades and a high class rank by the end of 1L. Like getting hired at a big firm, you need to understand that while it's possible it's easier said than done.

You've set some very difficult to attain goals for yourself. Be realistic about your chances of attaining these goals, and evaluate whether you still want to attend law school even if you don't get hired at a big firm or if you don't get to transfer.

Good luck!

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: UC Davis
« on: March 21, 2013, 11:03:51 AM »
Let me first say that I am not a UCD graduate, and I can't really speak as to what connections or opportunities a UCD LL.M will offer internationally. You may want to direct your questions to UCD, and ask them about the post-graduation employment outlook for their international students.

To a large extent, I think the answer to your question depends on whether you plan to rely on the prestige of your degree to obtain employment internationally, or whether the LL.M is simply a means to qualify for taking the California bar exam. Like I said above, UCD is a well respected school in California. Internationally, however, I don't know how recognizable it is. I would suggest trying to contact graduates of the program as well as UCD and ask about their experiences.

As far as getting hired at a large U.S. firm, undertsand that hiring is very, very competitive. The entertainment industry in particular is highly competitive. Top UCD graduates do get hired at big California firms, but the prospects for a foreign applicant with a U.S. LL.M may be different. It may be more difficult to get hired, especially if there are any visa/immigration issues. Again, I'd contact Davis and ask them directly about how many of their foreign LL.M grads were hired by U.S. firms.

Good luck!

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: UC Davis
« on: March 20, 2013, 10:12:10 AM »
I have been accepted to UC Davis law school LLM program and was wondering how good the law school actually is?

It depends on what you mean by "good". Davis has a solid, well established reputation in California, but it's not nationally elite like Harvard or Yale. All of the UC law schools, however, are considered "good". As far a LL.M programs, I don't know how Davis compares to other schools. I think that depends on the specific concentration of the program.

When evaluating whether a particular school is the best choice you should consider your post-LL.M goals. Are you attempting to land a job with a large U.S. firm, or do you plan on returning to your home country? All of these factors have to be taken into account.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Drexel or Loyola LA
« on: March 20, 2013, 09:25:36 AM »
Jack and Legend both make good points.

None of the schools discussed here are nationally elite institutions, and you won't get a job based on pedigree alone. Minimizing debt should be a major factor in your decision. Also, you should be realistic about your chances of landing a biglaw position, and be prepared to take a lower paying job. Remember, even if by some chance you get into Penn you're not guaranteed a biglaw position.

Anti did provide one good piece of advice: consider retaking the LSAT and getting a scholarship at Temple. I'd add to that, and say if you can get a full ride with reasonable stipulations at any local school (Widener, maybe some of the NY/NJ schools) it might make more sense than a huge debt from Drexel or LLS. 

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Drexel or Loyola LA
« on: March 19, 2013, 05:41:55 PM »
Oh right, I forgot that 40% employment 9 months after graduation is totally acceptable.  OP, I retract my statement - feel free to attend either of these top notch legal institutions.

You're attempting to obfuscate the argument by attributing to me a point that I never made. I am making no claims whatsoever about the acceptability of employment trends for either school. I think we'd both agree that 42.7% is low.

I am simply pointing out that a very specific claim made by you (that it is more likely than not that a LLS grad will never work as an attorney) is unsupportable. The raw data required to substantiate such a claim does not exist. Unless you can provide at least some evidence to support your claim, it makes more sense not to believe you than to believe you. 

You're correct that some inferences can be drawn from the existing data. Clearly, the job market is bad, and people are having a hard time finding work. This data has to viewed in context, however. Most people, especially from non-elite schools, are not truly competitive in the job market until they pass the bar. This means that many grads have only been seriously competing for three months when the employment data is collected. In this market, that's nothing.

You're looking at one snapshot in time, nine months after graduation, and assuming that it will never change. I, too, am making assumptions, but my assumptions are based on experience in the Los Angeles market. It's not far fetched to assume that some people will obtain employment more than three months after passing the bar.

Here's why:
42.7% does not represent the total percentage employed. It only represents those who have passed the bar on their first attempt, and are in fulltime, long term positions. Others who are employed in short term or part time positions are still practicing law and building up experience. Some of those positions will mature into job offers, and others will act as a platform for the new attorney to network and gain experience, thus increasing their chances of securing long term employment.

To your point regarding those who have not found employment within a year, there is a huge difference between someone whose resume has a year-long blank spot and someone who has, say, worked as a volunteer at the DA's for a year and has done a dozen trials. That person has a decent shot at getting a job, but shows up in the LSAC report as unemployed.

Since many people use part time and volunteer positions to gain experience and improve their overall marketability, it's not a stretch to assume that they will gain fulltime employment or go solo. It just may not happen within three months of passing the bar. It's a reasonable assumption based on experience, and I see it happen all the time.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Drexel or Loyola LA
« on: March 19, 2013, 01:33:08 PM »
It is more likely than not you will never work as a laywer coming out of either school. 

What an utterly absurd claim. Either your lack of critical thinking is appalling, or you find it necessary to exaggerate to make your point. Either way it diminishes your credibility.   

Your statement is based solely on LST's data, which is nothing more than a regurgitation of LSAC's data for the most recent year available (2011). This data was collected nine months after graduation and has not been updated.

Most LLS students will graduate in May and pass the bar in November. The employment data is collected in February, only three months after bar results are released. At that point, 42.7% were employed in fulltime, long term legal jobs, and something like 56% overall. There is no data available for the subsequent months and years. 

Think about it: if only an additional 7.4% of the LLS class of 2011 gains long term legal employment, then the number becomes 50.1%. At that point it is in fact more likely than not that a LLS grad will work as an attorney, and your claim is refuted. I think common sense dictates that far more than an additional 7.4% will eventually find legal employment.

Can you provide data which proves that more than 50% of LLS grads will never be employed as attorneys? Of course not.

Does any of this mean that the LA market is in great shape, or that people won't struggle? No, not at all. It's a difficult market and it's tough to find your first job.

This is, however, a great example of how people misunderstand employment statistics. You can't use such scant data to extrapolate years into the future and support your claim that most LLS will "never" work as attorneys. It's an unsubstantiated claim, at best.   

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Drexel or Loyola LA
« on: March 18, 2013, 11:06:47 AM »
I can't really tell you what to do, per se, because where you choose to attend law school is a highly personal choice. Nonetheless, I live in LA, went to law school here, and worked in the entertainment industry for a while. Perhaps I can offer some insight on the local market.

Generally, you should go to law school in the area in which you want to live, unless you have the opportunity to  attend a highly prestigious national school. It is much easier to obtain internships, clerkships, and other positions locally. If you have the reputation of an elite national school behind you, like Harvard, well, that's different. But if you attend a local/regional school like Drexel it might be very tough to land entertainment related internships in LA. Conversely, if you want to live in Philly, it might be difficult to make connections if you attend an LA school. 

Even in a big metropolitan areas like LA and Philly, law can be a very local, insular business. I've seen tons of examples of students from small, locally reputable (but not nationally known) schools easily beating out applicants from higher ranked out of state schools. The ability to make connections and to network is highly valuable, and it's tough to do that from three thousand miles away.

Loyola and Pepperdine both have good reputations in CA, with an advantage to Loyola, in my opinion. Lots of attorneys in the entertainment field are Loyola and Southwestern grads, as well as UCLA/USC and Pepperdine. All of these schools offer various internship opportunities and alumni connections with the studios or firms, and offer courses in entertainment law. If you attend school in Philly, you will have to find a way to compete against the local talent from these schools, which may be difficult.

Your uncle is right, in that attending Drexel will by no means permanently prevent you from practicing elsewhere. Drexel is ABA approved, and qualifies you to take the bar in any state. The question is simply one of difficulty. No matter what city we're talking about, whether its LA, Philly, Dallas, whatever, it is very difficult to show up after graduation in a new city in which you have no connections and to compete for jobs against local students who have had three years to develop a network and gain experience. This is especially true if you are not graduating from a prestigious national school, as you won't be able to rely on your pedigree alone to open doors. That doesn't mean it can't be done, but be realistic about the obstacles you may face.   

Additionally, if you really are interested in entertainment, you will need to pass the CA bar exam. This is no small task, as it's considered the toughest in the nation. Take a look at the CA bar pass rates from out of state schools, and take that into account.   

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