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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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Online Law Schools / Re: The World laughs at US Law School System
« on: May 03, 2013, 05:01:13 PM »
The world does not laugh at the US law school system, they flock to it in droves.

The US has more foreign law students than any other nation on Earth by far. Ask any lawyer in Hong Kong, Berlin, or Johannesburg to name the ten best law schools and the world and I'll bet they'll answer "Harvard, Yale, Columbia...", etc. The international competition to get into top US LL.M programs is intense.

US law schools definitely have problems with cost, lack of practical training, etc. But by and large, US graduate level education is considered to be very high quality internationally.   

Online Law Schools / Re: California to tighten bar admission rules?
« on: May 03, 2013, 04:45:24 PM »

If you do transfer to a CBE law school I hope you keep us updated with your observations. You'd have a unique perspective, and it would be interesting to hear how you compare the ABA/CBE programs.

For many jobs, I really wonder if a lower tier ABA degree is worth very much more than a CBE degree. If your interest is solo practice or small Main Street firms, saving money and gaining practical experience may be the best bet.

Good luck with whatever path you choose!

Online Law Schools / Re: California to tighten bar admission rules?
« on: May 01, 2013, 10:17:54 AM »
One disadvantage to CBE schools is that I believe most are part-time and part-time law study is not what you need for the bar exam. It may lead you into a false sense of security and having only 3 exams spread out over a few days in law school is a cakewalk compared to what you are required to do on the bar.

True, however if you look at first time pass rates for ABA approved part time programs they're roughly equivalent to the full time pass rates. No significant difference. I think this has to do with the greater admissions selectivity at ABA schools. Even lower tier ABA schools have far stricter admissions criteria than CBE or (especially) online schools.

I absolutely agree with Livinglegend that the individual's personal dedication and drive (combined with luck) are the biggest factors, regardless of where they went to school. If you graduate from Stanford but don't bother to hunker down and study for a few months, you will be included in that 9% of Stanford grads who fail.

However, if the CBE schools are accepting numerous students without strong academic credentials, then it shpuldn't be too surprising that the pass rates are comparartively low. Law school and and the bar exam are very demanding, and it seems that many students are admitted to online and CBE schools who simply do not possess the academic background to succeed.

It's also important to point out that just like ABA schools, some CBE programs have better reputations and pass rates than others. Some of the CBE schools are geographically isolated, and I suspect they are able to draw a better applicant pool as result of being the only game in town (no ABA school to compete with). Such schools produce a large percentage of the local bar and bench, and their grads can effectively compete with ABA grads. In large metro areas with numerous law schools, of course it's much tougher.

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. 

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