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Messages - livinglegend
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« on: February 18, 2013, 10:53:16 PM »
I will have to rebut Anit's statement and remember law school transparency is not exactly gospel. Furthermore, it only reports attorney salaries right after graduation and although it is true most lawyers start out making 40-60k, after a few years of experience this number jumps significantly.
As for the 50% chance of working as a lawyer there are number of reasons for these numbers. One being not everyone reports all their info to their school when I graduated, passed the bar, and was working I simply never filled out the survey. I should have filled it out and meant to do it, but I didn't. There is no penalty for not submitting your paperwork it is completely voluntary and I think I like many people I didn't feel like spending my free time filing out an employment survey.
On top of that there are a number of people who do not pass the bar, which often has a lot more to do with the individual than anything related to the school. If you don't pass the bar you can't work as a lawyer and even schools like Harvard do not have 100% bar passage rates. Even further still there a number of people who won't get hired because of their personality or other issues. For example I knew a guy in law school who got hired as a D.A, but he failed his drug test. The guy had a cocaine problem, which not the school's fault he. The guy graduated, passed the bar, but had a substance abuse problem. He couldn't get a job because of his personal cocaine problem and it was noting related to the school. Further still there are number of people who go to law school and simply don't want to be lawyers. Some people are extremely wealth and just want the intellectual challenge or want to go into business etc.
Bottom line is these employment numbers should be considered, but you have realize there are far from full-proof. I went to a mediocre school and was offered a job right the day after getting bar results. This was not that long ago and I know plenty of people that also got jobs. However, I can tell you I was stressed out for 3 years about finding a job during law school and in California you wait 4 months for bar results so after graduation I went 3 months of studying for the bar and another 4 months of waiting for results before I could work. Not to mention you get your results the week of Thanksgiving and realistically most employers do not hire around the Holiday season and the majority of my classmates did not get jobs until January. This was more than 9 months after graduation, but you can see why this 9 month number is flawed, because almost jobs depend on bar results, which you don't have until 7-8 months after graduation. Once you receive those results it will generally take a month or two to find a job.
I could go on and on, but the reality is many people do find legal jobs, but like any profession finding a job is difficult & stressful. If you really want to be a lawyer then go to law school, but realize it is not a guarantee of success, but the numbers you see from a lot of these places have a major agenda and are very skewed. I would highly recommend going to these different schools and contacting recent alumni. Many alumni are happy to talk about their experiences and you can gauge the credibility of the individuals yourself.
Good luck on your legal career should you choose that path.
« on: February 18, 2013, 06:17:20 PM »
Then that sounds good and you also have to realize when listening to anonymous interent posters like myself or Jack you cannot gauge our credibility. In your own life experience I am sure you have encountered people that will complain no matter what happens and others that will find a way to succeed.
Law school and starting a legal career is not easy, but plenty of people have done it. I actually just read this quick story http://www.jmlba.com/?q=history
and it was pretty inspiring. This guy John Mercer Langdon was a black man in the 1850's he was not allowed to even attend law school, but he got a judge to let him study in there and eventually passed the bar. He then ended up arguing in front of the Supreme Court and becomming a congressman.
Point being there is adversity and I guarantee you a Tier 4 grad does not face any obstacle nearly as great as a black man in the 1850's did. Life is not easy, but if you really are wiling to overcome obstacles things can be done, but if you are one that sits around complaining about how unfair life is then don't go to law school. I know far to many law students that complain about everything and lo and behold they are unemployed.
You will have opportunity to attend an ABA law school most likely and there are literally billions of people around the world that would love to switch places with you if you don't forget that and have a good head on your shoulders you will probably do fine.
Good luck to you in your legal career.
« on: February 18, 2013, 06:11:06 PM »
I think the best thing to do is visit the school for yourself. In reality every student has their own experience and I am sure you can find 50 people that hated their time at American Law School and 50 others that loved it. However, none of these people are you before making a 3 year, 100,000 commitment visit the school, talk to professors, talk to students currently enrolled in the school and reach out to alumni from the school.
A lot of times on boards like this you get a lot of bad information from anonymous internet posters often who have not even taken the LSAT, but somehow think they know everything about the legal profession. Take any advice you recieve on this board or others with a grain of salt based on that.
I can tell you that typically speaking law school is competitive, but not outwardly at least from my experience. Perhaps back in the day people hid books etc, but now everything is online and you really can't do anything to interfere with what another student is doing. However, one thing to realize is that at pretty much every ABA school on the first day 100% of students will truly believe they are going to graduate in the top 10% of the class, but you don't have to be a math major to figure out that 90% of people in this scenario are going to be disappointed.
« on: February 18, 2013, 01:45:13 AM »
First thing to realize when reading things on this forum, TLS, or others is that everyone posting is an anonymous internet poster that knows nothing about you, your situation, or what is best for you so take it with a grain of salt. With that disclaimer I will follow up on what Irrx said.
As Irrx suggessted location is the most important thing to consider particularly if you have a partner, which from your post appears you do. Not only will the area you reside in have a significant impact on your experience in law school your partner will be moving to a whole new city without any structure in place. The reality is wherever you go to law school is where you will end up for the foreseeable future after law school there are exceptions, but all your internships will be local and schools have connections locally. If you attend Brooklyn Law School nobody outside of New York is going to go out of their way to hire you. Law firms, government agencies, etc tend to recruit locally it just makes sense. A firm in Miami is not going to fly up to interview people at Brooklyn Law School and they are not going to pay to interview you when there is Miami Law School, FIU, in Miami and Florida and Florida State it just does not make sense.
So just based on the schools you listed really think about where you want to live aside from the job aspect each city has a culture. I am also assuming you are gay based on your reference to your partner and sadly these type of relationships are not as accepted in some parts of the country as others. This goes to a bigger point that law school does not exist in a vacuum if you are going to school in the South it may be a lot difference experience for you and your partner than in San Francisco. COST
You definitely need to pay attention to this and it appears that you are, but remember some schools offer in-state tuition. I noticed you mentioned Florida might be a place you have connections and FIU offers in-state tuition at 12k a year, CUNY does as well, and Buffalo might also. You can have a 20k scholarhsip at a school that costs 50k per year you are still going to spend 90k in tuition assuming you don't lose the scholarship money. While you would spend only 36k in tuition at FIU, CUNY, or some other school. I cannot stress to you the importance of minimizing your debt. PERSONAL FEELING ABOUT THE SCHOOLS
Another thing that is important is for you to visit the schools and see if it is a fit for you. You will have your own personal opinions regarding this and I know I had mine. When I was a 0L I visited a number of schools some felt right others felt wrong. Visit the different schools and see what fits for you. REALITY OF LEGAL EDUCATION
I will let you in on a secret at every ABA school the education is the same. Despite U.S. News giving these b.s. rankings what you learn in law school is the exact same. Your first year will be torts, contracts, civil procedure, property, criminal law, and con law. Or some slight variation that and in these classes you will read supreme court cases where you will learn personal jurisdiction, the elements of negligence, consideration in a contract, etc etc. The Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different law schools so you learn the same thing and furthermore once you are a practicing lawyer you go into court and argue. You don't get to say I went to X school, which is ranked 9 spots higher than opposing counsels school so I win.
I strongly encourage you to go into a courtroom and see what being a lawyer really is if you haven't already. You will see the name of law schools does not come up, but some lawyers are great others are not. It often has very little to do with their school.
To many OL's take this way to seriously. Remember U.S. News is a for profit, unregulated magazine, offering an opinion nothing more. Do not make life altering decisions based on what a school is "ranked". Nobody really cares I noticed you might consider moving to Minnesota because it is the highest ranked? Do you have any desire to live in Minnesota? Does your partner want to live in Minnesota? If the answer to both of those questions is no then do not make a life altering decision by spending three years of your life and 100,000 because a magazine said to.
If you have connections in Minnesota and want to be there then Minnesota is a solid school and will open doors in Minnesota, but employers in NY or Florida are not going to heavily recruit in Minnesota it just doesn't make sense for them to do so.
One point to really drive this home is U.S. News ranks more than law schools according to the same Magazine New Mexico is the best place to live right now and South Dakota will be the best place to live in 2032. I am not making this up here are the links. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/real-estate/articles/2009/06/08/best-places-to-live-2009http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/the-best-life/2012/08/07/here-are-the-best-places-to-livein-2032
I highly doubt you and your partner are going to pack your bags and move to New Mexico because U.S. News ranked it #1 or plan on retiring in South Dakota because U.S. News said so. I am sure there are valid points to the ranking of these areas, but making a life altering decision based on these reports would not make a lot of sense. Apply the same logic when choosing a law school I cannot tell you how many 0L's make the mistake of putting rankings first and foremost in their decision process and it is 100% the wrong thing to do.
My response is a little scattered, but I think it is important to understand that you know better than anyone else what is best for you. Furthermore, if you go to law school and pass the bar you will probably succeed. It will be difficult and none of these schools will result in employers begging you to work for them, but with some perservancer & dedication you can succeed as a lawyer.
I went to a mediocre school and found a job I love as lawyer right after getting bar results. However, for three years of law school and 4 months waiting for results I was scared sh**less it was stressful and these are generally the people who post online when they are scared, but after they move on to succeed they never rescind their posts so it often scares 0L's like yourself.
Just bottom line if you want to be a lawyer go to law school. The best choice in my opinion is to attend law school in a location you want to live in that works for your partner and minimizes your debt. Good luck to you .
« on: February 16, 2013, 01:45:54 AM »
Every story is different OP. I went to a mediocre ranked law school and did pretty well academically. I got a job right after getting bar results it wasn't high paying, but it was exactly what I wanted to be doing working as a City Attorney. I got to organize inspection/abatement warrants to take down drug houses, take down drug houses in litigation under the drug abatement act, and I never had to prosecute someone I just went after the properties civily. It was awesome I would go bust into places with Cops and I loved doing that stuff and being a lawyer. Furthermore, I still do and do not regret my decision to go to law school or becoming a lawyer.
It sounds like Jack had a tougher time and I know plenty of people that had difficulty finding a job. I will say this go to law school if you really want to be a lawyer do not go if you think it is a quick way to get rich. Being a lawyer gives you power & a license to go to court and get things done, which I think is awesome, but I am not driving a beamer and probably never will be. It really is personal, but do not think being a lawyer is as high paying as T.V. makes it out to be only about 1-2% of people work for BigLaw firms and most of them hate it.
I really hate to see people be discouraged from being lawyers if it is what they want to do and there is so much negativity regarding law school, but I think that has a lot more to do with law students expecting things based on what U.S. News says about their school and people having unrealistic expectations as law students.
Bottom line if you really want to be a lawyer and know what that entails then go to law school. If you think law school sounds interesting and it is a quick way to get rich then you are going to be very disappointed.
« on: February 16, 2013, 01:36:05 AM »
Listen to what you want Applachian is not going to make employers jump after you, but the reality is in the law whether you succeed or not is a lot more up to you than anything to do with your school. Furthermore, in response to Blue54 102 resumes for one spot is quite common for any position worth having. For any nurse, pilot, architect, doctor, cop, firefighter, sales, etc job there will usually be 100 or more applications sent in for one position that is just the way it goes. Finding a job is tough.
Now OP Applachian is an ABA school and it will teach you the law. However, it is located in Grundy, Virginia and it will be difficult to get internships etc during school since it is in such a remote location and employers are not going to do OCI there it is out of the way and not Harvard. However, that doesn't mean you can't succeed and if being a lawyer is what you want to do then Applachian can make you a lawyer if you graduate and pass the bar.
There are people from every law school that find jobs and others that don't I can tell you from personal experience when I went to law school there were people that I knew would be fine and others I knew would not ever get hired. There was one guy in the top 20% of our class he was smart, but he would wear baggy stained clothes, he smelled, and he was a weirdo nobody was going to hire him until that stuff changed, which he never did and has not found a job despite passing the bar.
Another guy I knew got offered a few jobs, but he kept failing drug tests and getting his offers rescinded he has a problem with drugs. Both of these guys are listed as unemployed grads, but it has a lot more to do with them than anything related to our law school.
Bottom line if being a lawyer is really what you want then go to law school, but do not expect anything to be handed to you. Like anything worth having you will need to fight to succeed and it will not come easy. I wish you the best of luck in your legal career should you choose to go down that path.
« on: February 16, 2013, 01:28:08 AM »
First thing to realize is that whatever you read on this forum or others from anonymous internet posters regarding a life altering decision should be taken with a grain of salt.
One thing you really need to consider is location above all else your schools are all over the place NY, Maine, Washington State, and Arkansas. These are wildly different areas and realize that law school does not exist in a vaccuum if your in NY it will be an entirely different than years than being in Arkansas. Furthermore, wherever you attend school is where you will make friends, get an apartment, work internships, etc and is likley where you will end up for the rest of your life. People do move away from their law schools, but when I graduated I ended up staying in the City of my school as did most of my classmates. So really consider where you want to live above all else.
Also consider the costs and scholarship conditions that are attached. It appears that all the schools are roughly the same price except for Arkansas Little Rock, which is only 11,000 for residents not bad at all. As for the schoalrship offers you recieve one thing many 0L's don't pay attention to is the conditions attached to them. Often times you will need a 3.0 to maintain your scholarship as someone admitted to an ABA law school you likely got a 3.0 with minimal effort and assume the same will happen in law school. This is rarely the case as law school is graded on a steep curve and generally only 35% of the class can have a 3.0. 100% of the students your first day will truly belive they will be in the top 35%, but if 100% of people think they are going to be in the top 35% you can see what happens then you lose the scholarship for years 2 and 3. I just can't stress enough paying attention to the overall cost and any scholarship conditions.
Another thing to consider is your personal feelings about these schools. Each school has a culture and feel to it I have personally visited Gonzaga & Hofstra for mock trial competitions I didn't like Hofstra much, but liked Gonzaga. However, that is my personal feeling I liked the small town feel of Gonzaga, but that is me big cities get on my nerves, but you may be a big city person so it is just highly personal and you need to visit these schools to determine what is best for you.
Another thing to understand is that the education at any ABA school is basically the same. Your first year will consist of torts, contracts, con law, criminal law, property, and civil procedure. Year 2 you will probably take Evidence, Corporations, and some other bar related classes. No matter what school you attend you will read Pennoyer v. Neff in Civil Procedure, Hadley v. Baxendale in contracts, etc. These are all Supreme Court cases and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different schools the law is the same no matter where you learn it.
As for Public Health Law if you really are into that see if they have any course offerings, but even if they do really consider where public health is and what exactly that means to you. I personally don't know what you mean by public health or public interest. If you want to be a City Attorney or something the odds of getting hired in the New York City Law Department are low if you attend Gonzaga, but if you want to work for a City Attorney in Arkansas going to Little Rock would probably be your best bet. The smaller the town the less the competition same goes for Gonzaga I am sure most prosecutors, public defenders, and city attorneys in Spokane went to Gonzaga, which is why location is so important to consider in your choice. There are 0 other schools in Spokane so if that is where you want to live competition will be minimal in that area.
Rankings do not take these to seriosuly especially with schools of this caliber. To many 0L's make life altering decisions based on what this magazine thinks and although you can use it as a guide remember it is a for profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion nothing more. Do not move to Arkansas because U.S. News says it is the 65th best school when you want to live in Spokane, but somehow think it being the 86th best school will give you a leg up anywhere. If you had Harvard on your list then consider the rankings, but all the schools you mentioned are fine, but employer will really care much about the rankings of any of these schools.
Good luck to you.
« on: February 12, 2013, 12:13:42 AM »
I don't think I am saying rank doesn't matter I list it as a factor to consider, but the last factor. Certainly if OP was deciding between Harvard and Cooley the rank should play some factors, but Temple, Drexel, and Alabahma are not schools that have any particularly prestige to them. It really sounds like the OP could stay at home saving thousands on living costs and being in an area where he is comfortable if he choose a school in Philadelphia. Whatever rank Alabama has well not be worth moving away from family, friends, and losing on tens of thousands of dollars for living costs.
As for your sampling of Gibson Dunn the reality is you have almost no shot at BigLaw from any of the schools OP is considering 1 person from Alabahma works there "1" and if you read his profile he was not hired right out of law school he worked in London first.
The schools you listed BYU, Boalt, Duke, Chicago, etc give you a shot at Biglaw and schools of that caliber the rank matters, but at some point nobody really cares. I honestly have no idea what any of the schools OP is considering is ranked and remember schools change drastically year by year http://www.top-law-schools.com/rankings.html
Alabahma was 38th two years ago now it is 29th. It coudl very easily be 50 or 60th by the time OP graduates or stay at 39.
It is also important to realize that LSAT/GPA make up only 12% of a law school ranking there are plenty of schools "ranked" lower with higher admissions standards than Alabama, which kind of makes you realize how absurd the rankings are.
I.E. William Mary ranked 35 3.46-3.82 161-167 (this school is 6 spots lower despite having higher GPA and LSAT standards)
BYU Ranked below Alabama at 39th their GPA & LSAT 3.51-3.87 160-167
Alabama ranked 29th 3.42-3.94 158-167
So my point is the rankings don't mean that much because they are very flawed, which is why I bring up the fact they rank New Mexico as "THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE" I mention nothing about law school there just the fact that U.S. News ranks everything and I don't agree that New Mexico is the best place to live, but whatever formula they use decided that it is.
I imagine most people are not going to move to New Mexico, because U.S. News said it is the best place to live. However, for some reason law students make life altering choices based on a magazine. It is something to consider I am more interested in New Mexico it is place I never thought of, but hell maybe I will take a vacation there now, but I am not going to make a life altering decision based on what a magazine says, which is my overall point.
« on: February 11, 2013, 11:32:38 PM »
Well one thing to realize is that law school and the bar is one big standardized test. When you enroll in law school you will have one final for each class that is it a 3 hour test for your entire Contracts Class and what you do in those 3 hours will be your entire grade for that course. There is usually no midterm, no h.w. assignment, just one 3 hour test, which is essentially standardiezed. Your first year contracts exam for example will generally involve identiyfying whether it is UCC or Common Law Contract, then whether there is an offer or acceptance in the contract and they will combine some nuances like was it a firm offer (bla bla), then there will be an issue of whether or not the contract was formed with consideration, and what remedies the parties had. That is typically the formula for a contracts questions and it is a high pressure standardized test that you need to not miss any issues and do better analysis than the guy or girl next to you. Honestly your law school exams will make the LSAT seem like a piece of cake.
When your done with three years of law school you get to take arguably the hardest standardized test in the world a Bar Exam and if you don't pass this you can't be a lawyer.
Bottom line is I would recommend getting good at standardized tests before enrolling in law school and if your goal is to be an attorney in Connecticut then go to law school there. No guarantee you will do good enough to get into Quinnipac, but you will spend 100 bucks and have your life if you don't get a 155. If you go to Applachian there is realistically you will probably have to be in the top 15-20% of your class to transfer out and there is an 80-85% chance you won't be. Then you will pay 30,000-40,000 and be in Grundy, Virginia for the next two years and if you go to Appalachian that is probably where you will graduate you from.
My post is not meant to knock Applachian it is an ABA school, but it is in a very small town in Virginia and this will probably be a big culture shock to you. If you visit and think it is a good fit for you then great, but it is ALWAYS A BAD IDEA TO GO TO LAW SCHOOL COUNTING ON TRANSFERRING.
« on: February 11, 2013, 11:22:47 PM »
I will agree with Jack and the reality is law school admissions care very little about work experience unless it is something impressive i.e. NBA basketball player, Navy Seal, Founder of a Multi-Million Dollar Company, etc. Working as a paralegal won't hurt you and it may be a good idea to expose yourself to what the legal profession really is before making a 3 year 100,000 commitment, but it will be of marginal value for law school admissions.
Realistically the most important thing you can do for law school admissions is nail the LSAT. Your post does not indicate whether you have done that yet or not, but knock that out and have a score if you have a 155 Northwestern is just not going to happen. You need to score in the top 5% of test takers to get into Northwestern and there is a 95% chance you won't be in the top 5% I hope you are, but take the rest and see what your options realistically are.
I guess if your goal is to work in BigLaw then be a paralegal for BigLaw if you want to be a D.A. after law school work for the D.A. etc, etc.
One thing I caution 0L's about in your position is how long are you going to be a paralegal 1 year very quickly turns into 3-4 and then you don't have time to take the LSAT and you never end up going. The longer you wait to enroll in law school the likelier life is to get in the way. Maybe you will meet a girl/guy, maybe some issues will arise in the family, maybe you will get sick, the list is endless and the longer you wait the less likely law school is to happen, but if you have 0 experience in the legal field I think a year or so as a paralegal can be helpful.
If you haven't already take the LSAT so you know what your options truly are. If you are going to be a paralegal really set a date for when you are quitting the job if you don't have that or an LSAT score when you start as a parlegal your first day of 1L will probably never come. Good luck to you.
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