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Messages - Maintain FL 350

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641
Shameful, absolutely shameful. There is not one single affordable law school left in the entire state of California. Apart from Stanford, not one of them is worth 40k per year. (And Stanford is only worth it if you want to go into biglaw).

Scholarships over rankings, people! This is what I tell to any friend, family member or anonymous poster who says "I just got accepted to Random Non-Elite Law School #1 with a 50% scholarship, but I'm thinking about going to Random Non-Elite Law School #2 without a scholarship because it's ranked 87th instead of 94th". I really don't think most 22 year olds understand what 200k debt means.

I spoke to girl just a few days ago who told me that she began college a state school but transferred to an expensive private university because she thought it had a better rep and would help her get into law school. She didn't do very well on the LSAT and had to pay sticker price for law school (at a T3). Between undergrad and law school she has 300k of debt. If I had known her five years ago, I would've said stay at the cheap state school, take a year off to study for the LSAT, and crush it.

642
General Off-Topic Board / Re: mittster: satan?
« on: May 21, 2012, 12:06:17 PM »
Satan? Probably not.

 Clueless chump? Most definitely.

Like most rich kids MR is utterly clueless. His entire life has been socially, economically, and yes spiritually, removed from mainstream society. His words and actions leave me with no doubt that this guy has no idea what life is like for the vast majority of Americans, and that he probably doesn't care. For example, he's considering Marco Rubio for VP in an effort to sway the latino vote. He fails to realize that Rubio is emblematic of Florida Cubans, not latinos in general, and that a Romney/Rubio ticket won't mean a thing in LA, AZ, NM, CO, or any swing state other than FL.

The inability of the Republicans to capitalize on Obama's obvious weakness is astounding. In an age of extreme cynicism about corporate America's lack of ethics, they have nominated Monty Burns for president. Amazing. Obama's re-election is not guaranteed (as many Dems seem to think), but a look at the electoral college projections should scare the fancy pants off of Romney. Karl Rove's own electoral map projects Obama with approximately 290 votes currently, enough to win with 20 to spare. He projects that MR has about 160, with 87 up for grabs. (My numbers might be inaccurate, I'm going off of memory).

643
Your past performance will matter more or matter less depending on where you apply. Your LSAT score is key, and high score will give you much needed leverage.

When you apply you will have to write an addendum explaining why you were on academic probation, even if it was in 1996/2003. This isn't optional, as both LSAC and the individual law schools require it. Be honest and explain, but try not to make excuses. Your most recent grades and LSAT will be the main factors. Try to boost your GPA as much as possible and seriously, seriously study for the LSAT. A high LSAT score can do wonders for a lower GPA.

The law school admissions process is incredibly numbers driven. Issues like grade trend are not really primary factors if your GPA/LSAT profile is above a given school's average. Those schools will admit you on the strength of your cumulative numbers. Why? Because it raises their median numbers and makes them look better. If, however, you apply to schools where your profile is average or below average, it might become an issue. I would advise applying to schools where they want people with your LSAT score (whatever it ends up being) to make their numbers look better, you'll probably get in regardless. At more competitive schools, not so much. Those places have so many highly qualified applicants to choose from that you have less leverage.

I was in position somewhat similar to yours: I started law school in my early thirties and my GPA from 10 years past was mediocre. I focused on the LSAT, spent a couple of months preparing, took tons of practice exams, and got a great score. In my experience a high LSAT overcame an average GPA, and I received a 75% scholarship to my school of choice. 

Start preparing for the LSAT now. Buy some prep materials and familiarize yourself with the test. Identify your strengths and weaknesses early, and tackle them. The other factors you mentioned (veteran, WS major) are soft factors. Your numbers will determine your choices. I don't know if you want to remainin Sacto, but a mid 160's LSAT and a mid 3's GPA would probably get you a scholarship to McGeorge.

Good Luck!

644
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Orly Taitz for US Senate
« on: May 19, 2012, 11:15:06 AM »
I also love that she refers to herself as "a doctor" and "attorney doctor". Yes, I know, a D.D.S. is a professional doctoral degree. Whatever. She's a dentist and should refer to herself as such. In common parlance "doctor" means medical doctor. Like most dentists, D.O.s., and optometrists I suspect that she has a major inferiority complex.

I read that she was fined $20,000 by the district court in GA (failure to show good cause), and been accused of suborning perjury. How is it possible that she has not landed in hot water with the CA bar?

But remember, Obama or "someone connected to him" vandalized her car. He has Predator drones, but prefers to key her car. Maybe he'll TP her house later, or secretly place a hilarious sign on her back that says "kick me". Is there no end to this man's zany hi-jinx?

645
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Baby Bar
« on: May 18, 2012, 01:07:07 AM »
BTW Opie, I think that making the FLYSX mandatory for all law students isn't such a bad idea. There were several people in my section who managed to scrape by with barely passing grades, and will possibly never pass the bar exam. Weeding them out after 1L would save them tens of thousands of dollars and a lifetime of frustration.

646
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Baby Bar
« on: May 18, 2012, 01:01:01 AM »
My understanding was that the baby bar was only required for students who attend unaccredited schools, study in judges's chambers, etc. Who else would have to take it to continue?

647
You're already on the right path, Bob. You have a solid, workable plan in place before starting law school. That's a huge advantage. You will be amazed by how many of your classmates have no plan whatsoever, or are utterly unrealistic about their post-law school options. Your maturity and experience will likely be an asset when it comes to internships and job interviews. In my experience, law students with extensive employment histories tend to out perform their younger counterparts in real world settings.

A couple of points to consider:

1) Consider scholarships over rankings. Since you plan on solo practice, it might make more sense to graduate from law school owing as little as possible. Lack of heavy debt payments will give you considerable flexibility after law school. I don't know where you live, but a 3.7/160 is probably sufficient to obtain a sizeable (or full) scholarship to a tier 4 law school.

2) Do as many internships/clerkships as you possibly can. These are golden opportunities to gain experience and network. It's actually pretty tough to go solo straight out of law school (although  I have friends who have done it). You'll figure out quickly that law school and the actual practice of law are two very different things. You will do yourself a huge favor by learning as much as you can from internships.

3) You mentioned DA/Public Defender as a possibility. Great jobs, but they're far more competitive than they used to be. My local PD's office received 300 applications for 8 positions recently. Of the 8 who were hired, 3 were former/current interns. This goes back to point #2.

Good Luck!

648
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Orly Taitz for US Senate
« on: May 16, 2012, 05:38:29 PM »
My God, woman...

If you're going to run for Senate, take five minutes to correct the grammar on your homepage.

649
Law School Applications / Re: 3.16/160?
« on: May 16, 2012, 12:45:01 PM »
Where do you want to live after law school? The answer to that question should steer you towards a few law schools. With a 3.16/160 you can get into some good regional schools. Most of your internship/clerkship/summer associate opportunities will be within the school's immmediate region, and it's highly likely that your first job will be, too. That's just the way it tends to work. Think about where you'd like to live for three years, and likely practice for 3-5 additional years after school.

Lewis & Clark and Vermont have good enviromental/natural resources programs, and are probably doable with your numbers. I seem to remember that Houston has a good energy law program. My understanding is that natural resources law is one of the few areas (along with tax and maritime) where an LL.M is preferred and sometimes required. 

A note on specialty programs: very few law schools have the kind of national reputation that will land you a job based on pedigree alone. Apart from those few elite institutions, all law schools are regional. Some small regional schools which are not otherwise notable have very good specialty programs. It is important to understand, however, that regardless of specific programmatic rankings these are still regional schools. The big firms and federal agencies (like EPA) will still prefer grads from top ranked schools with bigger overall reputations.

Bottom line: if you really want to live in NYC, for example, you're probably better off going to a local NY law school than to a regional school in some other part of the country that happens to  have a specific high-ranked program. No matter what US News says about a particular program, local grads who have had the opportunity to network for three years will have a distinct advantage over an out-of-towner. I've personally witnessed this time after time.   

It's just my personal opinion, but I think that these categories of sub-rankings are a bit misleading. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't go a particular school, it's just something to consider when you're preparing to spend three years of your life and (probably) lots of money. With your numbers, though, you can get into some good schools. You'll be fine!

650
2L job search / Re: Do I have to be a US citizen to practice law?
« on: May 16, 2012, 12:00:47 PM »
You should contact INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) and ask them. On an issue like this you  really need to get the right information, not just what some anonymous poster tells you. If you get admitted to the NY bar, but are not authorized to work in the US, I imagine that you could jeopardize your bar membership by illegally working. Contact INS. 

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