Law School Discussion

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Messages - eric922

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1
Law School Applications / Re: What are your thoughts?
« on: January 30, 2013, 09:30:29 PM »
My advice in this case is don't get by USNews rankings, but you should look at employment rates of the schools you are interested in.  This site is a pretty good resource for that:  http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/

2
Personal Statement / Help with my PS, please.
« on: January 21, 2013, 12:14:18 AM »
I'm having a lot of trouble writing this so any help or feedback would be greatly appreciated it. 


Ever since I was young I've enjoyed controversy.  Not for its own sake, but rather because I've always liked looking at things from a different point of view and finding the shades of grey in issues.
   One of the earliest examples of this was when I was a junior in high school attending a private religious academy.  In my Bible class my teacher held open discussion days every Friday where he would choose a topic for us all to discuss and one day he choose the topic of abortion.  A few minutes into the discussion I noticed that everyone in the class was arguing against abortion so when it came my turn to speak I decided to go in the opposite direction.  I argued that abortion should remain legal because the Supreme Court had ruled that women have a right to choose and that the issue of when life begins was still a matter of debate amongst doctors.  I did not argue this way because I believed it, but rather because I wanted to understand both sides of the issue.
   During college my favorite courses were often the ones that required you not only to find the correct answer, if indeed there even was one correct answer, but to defend that answer.  One of my favorite courses was an ethics class where the professor would assign us various ethical dilemmas and  have us resolve them. 
   One of the dilemmas dealt with whether or not a journalist should reveal the names of rape victims in local newspapers.  I looked at the issue from two different viewpoints.  The first was a purely consequentialist approach. I looked at the harm it might cause the victims and their families in comparison to the potential good it might do to society as a whole.  Looking at it from that viewpoint I eventually decided that the harm it would do the victims and their families outweighed the potential good it could do simply because I felt that it would almost certainly cause the victims harm, but the chances of it benefiting society were less than certain. 
   The other approach I took was one concerned strictly with the journalist's duty to inform the public of events as accurately as possible. I didn't concern myself with the question of costs versus benefits, but only with the question of whether or not the journalist had a duty to report the name of the victims.  Looking at it purely from this duty oriented perspective I concluded that the journalist had an ethical responsibility to report the names of the victims because his duty was to inform the public as accurately as possible. 

3
Law School Applications / Re: Fordham asks for "additional law schools"?
« on: January 21, 2013, 12:13:07 AM »
Honestly, I wouldn't' worry too much. NYC has Columbia, NYU, and Cornell feeding into it.  I'm pretty sure Fordham is used to not being people's first choice. 

4
Law School Applications / Re: Am i on the right track?
« on: January 10, 2013, 10:18:54 PM »
From what I've read the only law schools that really care about "softs" are Harvad, Yale, and Standford simply because they are so competitive.  Even the other lower T14s don't care about softs that much.  Not everyone can be a the student body president, after all. 

5
I really don't have any softs to put on my application.  I have some work experience, but only fast food, grocery story and working for my parent's PI office which does work investigation for defense attorneys in my area.  Other than that I really don't have anything.  I'm never been big on joining clubs simply because I'm not the most social person.  The SGA at my school is pretty much a fraternity thing and I have neither the money nor the desire to be part of that.  The only club I've really been a part of is a campus activist club.  We basically would work with the campus union, go to their meetings and if they were having a rally or demonstration we would support them, but I'm not sure if law schools would look fondly on that or not.  So, I'm just kind of worried my lack of decent softs could hurt me

The general rule is that softs will only be used as a tie breaker.    What is your LSAT GPA range?   If you are trying to get into Harvard or Yale, I have no advice for you, but if you are looking at schools ranked from 15-100, don't worry too much.   As Groundhog said, make your resume look professional and get some good letters of recommendation.   I've had three admissions officers at law school tell me softs don't make a difference unless they are somewhat unique (i.e., NCAA Athlete, Olympian, Staffer for a Politician or Ambassador, etc)

Well my range really depends on my LSAT score.  My GPA will be around a 3.3-3.4.  I'm trying to get to at least a 170 on the LSAT.  I'm testing in the 160's right so I don't know if I will get there or not.  But if I do my ranger will be the top 20 not including Harvard, Yale, Standford, or Berkley(since I've heard they aren't very spilter friendly.)

6
I really don't have any softs to put on my application.  I have some work experience, but only fast food, grocery story and working for my parent's PI office which does work investigation for defense attorneys in my area.  Other than that I really don't have anything.  I'm never been big on joining clubs simply because I'm not the most social person.  The SGA at my school is pretty much a fraternity thing and I have neither the money nor the desire to be part of that.  The only club I've really been a part of is a campus activist club.  We basically would work with the campus union, go to their meetings and if they were having a rally or demonstration we would support them, but I'm not sure if law schools would look fondly on that or not.  So, I'm just kind of worried my lack of decent softs could hurt me

7
It isn't unrealistic at all.  I've read plenty of accounts of people improving from 150s to 170s or higher so yes what you are aiming for is certainly possible.  You will have to work at it, of course. 

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Law School Applications / Re: Law School
« on: January 02, 2013, 01:55:24 AM »
which Law Schools do I have a chance of getting accepted to.

Do you have an LSAT score yet, or at least a practice score?

Without an LSAT score it's impossible to say where you should apply to, beyond pure speculation. If you don't have a score yet, focus for now on keeping your grades up. Get the highest GPA possible. As soon as you can start practicing for the LSAT. Take a prep course if possible, and devote as much time to it as you can. Your LSAT score, in my opinion, is more important than your GPA. A very high LSAT score can work magic that a high GPA alone can't.

One thing I think you might want to consider is do you need that dual degree?  A lot of times dual degree programs aren't worth the extra investment for a lot of people. A lot of schools offer JD/MBA programs for instance, but the MBA isn't much help in the actual practice of law. 

I agree. An additional graduate degree is almost never worth the added expense if you want to practice law. There might be a few situations in which an M.A. or Ph.D might help, but I think that those benefits accrue to a very small number of people who are seeking very specific types of employment. For example, if you wanted to practice natural resources law I suppose an M.S. in environmental science or geology might help you understand the subject matter better, and therefore make you more marketable. Even then I'm not sure. The vast majority of legal jobs only care about the J.D., and an M.A. in some random unrelated field is unnecessary.

The only reason I can think of pursuing a dual degree is if you want go eventually go into academia.  According to my professor the days of law schools hiring retiring lawyers to teach is coming to a close.  Schools are starting to prefer academics who hold a P.H.D. as well as the JD.  He says he's the only professor at the law school who only has the JD.   Honestly, I'd rather have people who have practiced  law as opposed to pure academics, but that's not for me to decide.

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Law School Applications / Re: Study Aboard and Law School
« on: January 01, 2013, 10:58:26 PM »
I could be totally wrong here since this is just hearsay from another lawschool forum, but according to what I read a lot of firms do not like you to do study abroad. That didn't make sense to me when I heard about it so I'm inclined to think the poster was wrong, but it might be worth double checking on just to be sure.  One thing I think you might want to consider is do you need that dual degree?  A lot of times dual degree programs aren't worth the extra investment for a lot of people. A lot of schools offer JD/MBA programs for instance, but the MBA isn't much help in the actual practice of law.  Sorry if I seem pessimistic I just wanted to pass on those two bits of information since they may be relevant. 

10
From what you've said you seem to be fine with living and working locally in your region so for that the schools you mentioned would probably be fine.  I honestly don't recommend the T14 without scholarships unless you want to travel or are going for biglaw.  The debt simply isn't worth it if you plan on working in an area where a strong regional school will do you just as good for a much more affordable price.  In fact a local school might even be better for job prospects in your area simply because a lot of the lawyers there probably graduated from local schools and have some degree of loyalty. 

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