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Messages - GlenRPierre

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LSAT horror stories / Re: LSAT means nothing in the big picture
« on: June 20, 2012, 04:43:38 PM »
As with anything, it probably depends on what factors you are looking at to make a determination of what constitutes a "successful" attorney.    I'll take my two brothers, both attorneys, as examples.

 One did decent on the LSAT (170 range) and, after a stint in "big law", decided to go the solo route.  His goal was never "money-oriented" and his practice is focused on what he loves doing, which he describes as "helping people."  He still makes decent money, around $120k/yr and has flexible hours.  Now, did his fabulous LSAT score matter? I think most would probably say no.

My other brother didn't have a great LSAT score, but did well in a T2 law school and still practices in a "big law" shop.  He's commented many times that one of his weaknesses, even 5 years in, despite his other formidable strengths that have allowed him to propser, is the fact that he sometimes gets caught up and takes longer to analyze statutes.  For him, this mostly arises when he's working on securities matters and he's often said that if it were the "older brother" reading the same statute, the older brother would probably take half the time because he does better with logical reasoning, as evidenced by his LSAT score.  So, from his perspective, although he does not believe his LSAT score has hampered his career in the "big picture" he admittedly feels like he is at a disadvantage for certain areas that require an immense amount of logical thinking. 

LSAT scores might also matter more if they were actually closely correlated to law school success.  I understand that they're "supposed" to be, but once you figure out the law school "game" most people can probably excel, regardless of LSAT scores (for the most part).  Frankly, I think that if you're smart enough to cut through the typical law school BS and understand what to focus on to be in the top of your class, then "big picture," you'll be in a good position to succeed.  But, if you can't make it in law school, regardless of LSAT score, you may have a more difficult time succeeding as an attorney.  Exceptions always exist and my points above admittedly fall prey to one's mental bias to use specific anecdotes to form opinions even with more general, statistically sound evidence available, but that's my two cents.

I'll also note I've heard plenty of stories of brilliant attorneys who aced the LSAT and law school and end up in top law firms, but don't end up "succeeding" in the big picture because their personalities make business generation and client service difficult...they can end up as the attorneys who do all the work but never get client face time.  Again, all comes back to what your yardstick is in measuring "success"

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General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Solo Practice Advice
« on: June 18, 2012, 05:01:10 PM »
I'll start with the caveat that I'm not an attorney (yet!), BUT I come from a family of attorneys and have watched the evolution of their practices.  So, FWIW, here are two thoughts:

1.  Once you figure out how to get clients (which is the hardest part, although turning out quality work is the foundation), don't get bogged down in the small details.  As soon as your practice has legs, consider purchasing some basic software that can help you keep all the balls in the air.  That way, you can spend more time on client pitches and delivering great work product as opposed to figuring out invoices (of course, invoices are also a part of a business, but a part that eventually shouldn't need as much focus).   Here are some software resources: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/tech/ltrc/charts/pmtbchart.authcheckdam.pdf

2.  Consider office-sharing arrangements so you can keep your overhead low until your practice is established.  My brother shared office space, legal secretaries, and even research associates with other solos.  I'm in SV, so maybe more "technologically progressive" on the start-up front but odesk.com can be good for small administrative tasks. 

3.  Don't try to be everything to everyone.  If your practice includes (for example) intellectual property litigation and divorces, would-be clients would likely question your competency at either.  Thus, a carefully-edited website is part of the "credibility calculus"  (although, you can always tell clients in person that although your practice is focused on "Area X" you also work on "Area Y" in consultation with other colleagues--that way you're telling them that you can still service them in Area Y without making them think "Yeah, right."  They appreciate the sincerity...)

Hope that's somewhat helpful.  Good luck!

3
Hi Nor-Cal

I majored in Electrical Engineering.  Emergency Management sounds interesting--is that from your military background?  Sounds like you could probably make a lot of money doing corporate consulting with that type of experience!

Cheers!

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General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Baby Bar
« on: June 18, 2012, 02:54:12 PM »
Quote
That said, Falconjimmy, Fortook, Cerealkiller, Roald, and a couple of others on this forum are very capable of holding intelligent conversations about issues without telling you to stfu just because they disagree.

Thanks for the heads up, Duncanjp.  I'll look forward to future conversations with them (and you), and see where the road takes me. 

Incidentally,  I completely agree that it would be great if all law students, from elite traditional law schools like Harvard, to mid-tier B&M law schools like  Hastings, to online law schools were required to take the Baby Bar.  With all the emphasis on rankings, one would assume the Baby Bar passage rates would be a great proxy for other criteria currently used to determine the best law schools.  Also, it would give students an early "heads up" about their prospects for passing the CA bar exam early in their educations, before incurring large amounts of debt. 

And, although the performance tests are a good start, it would also be great if there were some measure of graduates' ability to handle the basic blockling & tackling of being a practicing attorney (i.e. can you draft an engagement letter, do you really understand how to avoid co-mingling funds, etc.).

cheers!

5
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Baby Bar
« on: June 13, 2012, 12:12:47 PM »
I also am new to posting here, but have been quite disappointed with the negativity on these boards.  I'm exploring law school options (in fact my wife is as well), and as a "non-traditional" applicant (ie older working person) I thought it would be beneficial to others to share my experiences as I think through my options.    Assuming I attend a school that requires the Baby Bar, I don't need to re-hash the whole debate about CA distance schools, etc., or hear the whole "all distance law schools are bad" game and dance over and over. 

Maurader, I have two close friends that passed the Baby Bar on their first try and also have two family members who are CA-barred attorneys.  Now, I don't purport that this makes me an expert, but in both cases, the friends who took the baby bar studied independently and did tons of practice essays.  When they did the practice essays, they literally took their answers and compared them to the model answer line by line to see the differences between their answers and the sample answers.  They used the resources on CA's website.  Another trick they used was to use actual bar questions.  Now, the regular bar questions are cross-overs, but it made the "issue spotting" piece even more challenging once they got the basics--then they only analyzed the isues that were contracts, torts or crim.

There's also a service where students who fail the bar submit their answers to this website that aggregates answers from all of the different administrations of the bar.  Sometimes people fail by only a few points, but when you fail, you get your essays back with a SCORE, so that service is great because a single essay question has a variety of real anwers with real grades.  I think it's for the regular bar only--not sure. That's how my youngest brother studied a few years back.  PM me and I'll see if I can track down the name of the website--don't know what it is off the top of my head.

6
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Cooley vs Capital
« on: June 12, 2012, 01:22:12 AM »
Whoa, with those options you might consider one of the online law schools.   I think the quality is improving and the stigma is slowly disappearing.  My wife is going through the process now, and I'm learning a lot along the way. In addition to considering what you want to do long-term, think about the school's reputation in the local community.  They say the legal field is small, and boy does my wife have the stories to support that proposition after working as a biglaw paralegal for 6 years.

If you go the online route, check out Concord, St. Francis, and ALU. 

7
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Taft or Concord Law School
« on: June 12, 2012, 01:14:40 AM »
Aside from the typical caveats regarding practice limits that come with an online JD, consider what your'e looking for in terms of post-law school experience.  If you're interested in practicing law immediately as a solo practitioner, or even with a law firm, make sure you're getting the skills you need.  From what I understand, even ABA law schools have finally "received the memo" that the case method is worthless and the smart ones are moving towards practical programs.  www.stfrancislaw.com  seems to have a program that is focused on teaching the actual practice of law.  Makes sense to me--after all, law was taught through apprenticeship years ago.

If you're looking for something that's just for knowledge, I suppose taft might be decent, but I would't expect to walk out with an ability to actually practice unless you self-teach (again, a consistent theme on these boards is self-teaching when you're at an online school).

8
An EJD is the biggest crock of s*** out of Concord yet.  Don't waste your time--employers will probably laugh you out of the room (or not, because they probably won't even call you for an interview with that "degree.")   If you're going online, try to find an online program of a REPUTABLE institution.  Much safer.

9
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Baby bar exam question
« on: June 12, 2012, 12:50:16 AM »
they certainly are for the regular CA Bar, but not sure about the baby bar.

10
I think you did the right thing by doing all the research before taking a leap.  I, too, have been contemplating the same question.   These were good starting resources for my investigation: 

https://www.stfrancislaw.com/pdf/bar-exam-eligibility-by-state.pdf

http://www.ble.state.tx.us/Rules/NewRules/rulexiii.htm

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