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Messages - livinglegend

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I have read many of your posts and agree with what you have had to say so I am going to go deep into my pockets and spend the $2.99 on your new book. Hopefully you will start posting on this site again as well.

First please please do not take the rankings seriously on top of that just because one person had a bad experience at a law school does not mean everyone did. I am an attorney and can tell you there are successful grads from all level of law schools and there are people from Harvard that never pass the bar.

Remember U.S. News is a for-profit unregulated magazine and the rankings change drastically year to year. University of San Francisco was top 100 last year and now they are 145 what happened at the school over one year? Nothing I guarantee you and I worked alongside several people who attended USF, Golden Gate, Santa Clara, Hastings, Davis, etc and the name of our school never comes up getting our job done does.

As to your question where do you want to live Nebraska or Denver? If you want to live in Nebraska then Nebraska will be a good fit and if you want to live in Denver that will serve your purpose. If you do not want to live in Denver or Nebraska do not go to school to either of those places.

I was a OL once and like you took the rankings far to seriously, but now realize what absolute B.S. they are. It is a magazine nothing more who has ranked Albuquerque, New Mexico as the best place to live. Will you move to Albuquerque, because U.S. News says it is #1 probably not same logic applies to law school.

I will also tell you what you learn at an ABA law school is exactly the same you will take torts, contracts, civil procedure, property, and you will read Supreme Court Decisions and believe it or not they do not write seperate opinions for Harvard v. Dayton it is the same you will then graduate and take Barbri or Kaplan to pass the bar and if you pass your an attorney. There is no Tier 4 law school license they are all the same.

I see a lot of the mistakes I made as a OL in your post so I apologize for my rambling, but just use common sense when choosing your school and do not use U.S. News as the main factor for your decision especially when dealing with schools of this caliber. If it were Harvard or somethign it would matter, but I guarantee you nobody knows what these schools are ranked.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: NYLS or Retake??
« on: May 30, 2013, 08:47:50 PM »
This is a complicated decision and I am an attorney, but take anything I say with a grain of salt along with anything else you read on anonymous internet poster boards. With that said I would like to make a few points.

1) First your 149 LSAT you say you took a course, but were not as dedicated as you could have been. I will tell you that almost every LSAT taker thinks they could have done better and were somewhat disappointed with their score after all 90% of people that take the test do not finish in the top 10%. I don't know how seriously you took the test, but even a 149 is tough that puts in the 50th percentile of LSAT takers and that is from a pool of college graduates that were motivated enough to take the LSAT. A 149 is not going to get you into Harvard, but it is good enough to get you into an ABA school, which is an accomplishment. 

If you went to the courses did what you were supposed to do etc and 149 is what you got that is probably what you will get next time around. Or maybe you just didn't stay focused enough, but will you be focused enough the next time around? I think all of us when we join a gym say we will go everyday, but that doesn't happen. I am sure you are telling yourself if you study for the LSAT again you will dedicate yourself and take a practice test everyday, etc but the reality is you probably will put in about the same effort you did previously.

2) Sitting out a year is a big decision realistically if you have been working in a legal environment and enjoy it and have a law school admission ticket you might want to go to school now. Life has a way of getting in the way and if you wait for a year of law school what is going to stop you from waiting again next year. Or perhaps you will get into a relationship, have a family issue, etc and I think if you wait for everything to be perfect you will never get anything done, but that is just me.

3) I also want to point out to you the fallacies of law school rankings etc. I can tell you the education at Rutgers is no different than NYLS, CUNY, Brooklyn Law, etc your first year will consist of Torts, Contracts, Property, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure and you will read Supreme Court cases from a textbook written by Epstein whether you are at Harvard or Touro. Then you will graduate and take Barbri or Kaplan once you graduate and pass the bar your a lawyer period.

Remember that U.S. News is nothing, but a for-profit unregualted magazine offering an opinion and do not make life altering decisions based on it. I can tell you I worked for a government agency in New York and there were lawyers from NYLS, CUNY, Columbia, Penn, Yale, Harvard, etc all working side by side a lawyer is a lawyer. I cannot tell you how many 0L's myself included as a 0L take that magazine way to seriously.

On top of that you mention Rutgers as a better option than NYLS I can tell you nobody cares about whatever difference there is between Rutgers and NYLS I have no idea what there rankings are, but I know they are both well outside of the top 25 and nobody says Rutgers here is a job. If it were Harvard, Yale, or something like that it might make a difference, but nobody cares about the difference between T2-T3 schools particularly in a market like New York.

4) Transferring DO NOT GO TO LAW EXPECTING TO TRANSFER. To transfer you essentially need to be in the top 20% of the class at a minimum and no knock on you, but there is an 80% chance you will not be in the top 20%. Everyone at an ABA law school is smart, hard-working, and motivated and 100% of people on the first day are certain they will be in the top 10%, but you don't need to be a math major to see 90% of people will be wrong.

5) 15k a year scholarship at NYLS there is a 50% chance you will lose that scholarship as an FYI for the reasons mentioned above nobody on the first day of law school could fathom they would be in the bottom 50% of the class, but 50% of the students at every law school finish in the bottom half so be prepared to lose that.

6) I would also add you should look into CUNY they offer in-state tuition at only 10k a year or so, which would be cheaper than NYLS even with a 15k a year scholarship that you could lose years 2 and 3. Just an FYI.

7) I also strongly encourage you to visit any school you are interested and see how you feel about it. I used to work right by NYLS and I didn't like the vibe of it, but that doesn't mean you won't I know plenty of people that enjoyed their experience there and law school is a highly personal decision so visit NYLS and WNEC and see how you feel about the school.

8) Finally just go into law school with the appropriate expectations I think many people go into law school for the wrong reasons and with ridiculous expectations. You are working in a legal environment and it sound like you enjoy it and are seeing what lawyers do first hand, which is important to understand. Many people belive you graduate law school and automatically get handed a 6 figure job, which is just not true.

NYLS, WNEC, CUNY or many schools will give you a legal education and get you a law license what you do with it will be up to you. As far as retaking if you sincerley think things will be different then I guess go for it, but generally people do not improve that much and you will lose a year of your career as a lawyer. I knew many people that kept waiting for a better LSAT or better acceptances etc, but they never ended up going. I know one girl that kept retaking the LSAT for 5 years I graduated and passed the bar and she was still trying to get a higher score and as far I know she never went to law school.

If I was you, which I am not I would go for it if you really want to be a lawyer, but you know your personal situation and ability to improve far better than I or anyone else on posting anonymous on the internet.

Good luck to you whatever you decide.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Barry or Coastal?
« on: May 29, 2013, 11:43:25 PM »
As I mentioned before take all anonymous internet poster advice with a grain of salt mine included.

With that said I think you really need to listen to your gut when choosing a law school and if Barry struck you as a place you wanted to be listen to your gut. Many 0L's try to make the law school decision much more complicated than it needs to be I know I did when I was a 0L thinking there was something I was missing and some right answer I would be pointed to, but it really isn't that complicated.

At any ABA law school Barry, Coastal, Harvard, Stanford, etc you will learn the law your 1L will consist of Torts, Contracts, Property, Civil Procedure, and you will read Supreme Court cases like Palsgraf in Torts to learn proximate cause, Pennoyer v. Neff in Civ Pro to learn about notice so on and so forth. What really makes a difference in your educational experience is the location of the school and the culture of the school and whether it is a fit for you or not.

If you have visited both schools and Barry felt right then Barry is probably the right fit. As for the T4 bashing take it with a grain of salt what law school boils down to is your expectations and I imagine you have the common sense to realize that if you attend these schools you will probably not be sitting on the Supreme Court or end up as a Partner at Cravath. However, you can be employed as an attorney, which can be a very rewarding career.

I can tell you I did not attend Harvard or a Top 25 school, but I graduated, passed the bar, and work as a City Attorney and I love it. I do occasionally work with the Attorney General and Harvard Grads who frankly are smarter than me, but I play a role in it and if you know what you are getting into with these schools it can be great experience.

The internet bashing comes from people who impose their expectations on others when I went to law school I had no ambition of being a big law partner or Supreme Court Justice and frankly I don't think I am smart enough to do it. Same as when I got a scholarship to a division II school for basketball I knew I was not going to the NBA and Lebron James would have laughed at a D II scholarship, but I am not Lebron James. However, I enjoyed my college B-Ball experience and could have played in European leagues etc not the NBA though.

I am kind of rambling, but I just want you to go into law school with the appropriate expectations, which is where I think all the confusion about T4's and law school in general comes up. As for the actual question if you liked Barry then go to Barry good luck.

Law School Admissions / Re: Chances of Acceptance?
« on: May 29, 2013, 11:31:49 PM »
I recommend you use it is probably the best site for this type of question. I am guessing South Texas College of Law, Texas Wesleyan, or St. Mary's would be your best bet.

Well remember Giove to take anything you read on these forums with a major grain of salt my posts included. Anonymous internet advice is the easiest to obtain, but the least reliable form of information as anyone can post anything they want without repercussion.

If you want to attend law school speak to real life attorneys, visit schools you are interested in, etc and see first hand what the situation is and if it works for you.

I do a lot of ridiculous statements on boards like top law schools by people just bashing on school after school, but you have to question the credibility of people who spend all day on the internet attacking people anonymously.

Law School Admissions / Re: Chances of Acceptance?
« on: May 22, 2013, 08:45:52 PM »
I see this question posed by many prior to taking the LSAT and I think you are putting the carriage before the horse.  There really is no point on wondering what your options are until you have a real LSAT score.  Once you have that score it is real and you will know what your options are. Therefore, I recommend you do everything you can to succeed on the LSAT and once the results are in then you can realistically weigh your options. Thinking about what law schools you can get into prior to having a score is frivolous in my mind.

If you really are curious about what numbers will get you into what school websites or simply using the LSAC website are great resources.

Not to discourage you, but I am an attorney and worked briefly in law school admissions and  I cannot tell you how many people tell me they score between 165-175 on the practice LSATs, but somehow they never end up getting a real score. I do not know what the reason for this is I know when I was doing practice LSAT's I gave myself a little leeway maybe gave myself an extra minute or two or who knows what else. Not to mention the real pressure of test day makes a significant difference on performance. Therefore, even if you do not get a 165 it is not the end of the world if you can get into an ABA school you have a chance at a successful legal career.

With that said I sincerely hope you get a 180 that would be awesome.

Good luck on the LSAT.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Advice
« on: May 21, 2013, 11:39:29 PM »
I don't know if the world is exactly your oyster when you are a recent grad and realistically you will be confined to the region you attend law school most likely. Even if you had opportunities arise elsewhere you would have to take another state bar and over 3 years of law school you develop many connections in the area you attend law school making it hard to leave. Are there exceptions of course, but I would bet substantial sums of money that if you attend law school in Kansas you will end up living in Kansas

With that said there are numerous things to consider when choosing a law school and please, please, do not use U.S. News Rankings as the primary reason for choosing a law school remember this is nothing more than a for-profit, unregulated magazine, and whatever difference there is between any of these schools does not matter and I have no idea and don't care, which of these schools are better. I know Kansas blew my NCAA tournament pool and I know nothing about the other two schools.

I would recommend you consider the following things when choosing your law school.

1) Location: I realize these are all in the Midwest, but I imagine Lawrence, Kansas is obsessed with College Sports while Topeka, Kansas might be more low Key and UMKC might be a bit more of a bigger city. I no nothing about you, but whatever town you live in will be your home for three years so make sure it is a good fit.

2) Personal Feelings About School: It is also important to realize each school has a vibe to it when I was a 0L some schools I liked others I didn't just my own personal opinions and you might like what I hated and vice versa. I would encourage you to visit the schools, talk to professors, the dean, admins, students, and just see if it is a fit. If any of these schools give you a bad feeling cross them off if you feel good about it listen to your gut.

3) Reality of Legal Education:
Realistically whatever school you attend you learn the same thing your first year is Torts, Contracts, Property, etc and you read Supreme Court Cases and they do not write separate opinions for different law schools.

There is no "right" school and certainly no anonymous interent poster can tell you what is best. It appears you are considering the costs, but really think about what school and city suits you best it will be a life altering decision. Good luck.

If you have done everything you can and it sounds like you have taken the Kaplan course etc take the test. A 155 will get you into an ABA law school and a 165 puts you in the top 15-20% of LSAT test takers who were all motivated enough to get a bachelor's degree and show up for the LSAT.

Most people do not get into Harvard and even when you attend law school there is a 50% chance you will be in the bottom half of the class. A 155 is not a bad score and you will likely be able to pass the bar with a score like that. Once you graduate from law school and pass the bar you are a lawyer so if that is your goal take the test and see what happens.

I was a OL once and certainly believed I was smart/special etc and I came away with a 157 I went to law school with that passed the bar and now love my job as a lawyer. I did not attend Harvard or Yale either and I am guessing you will not either, but if you want to be a lawyer the first hurdle is taking the LSAT.

I also have to point out if you put off the test it you will probably never take it. Life has a way of throwing surprises at you and odds are in October you will think you could do a little better and just keep putting it off. It sounds like your as ready as you can be so I would advice you to take the test and see what happens. Once you have the LSAT score combined with your GPA you will know what your options really are.

Good luck whatever you decide.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« on: May 21, 2013, 11:08:10 PM »
I don't think my prior posts ever sought to credit or discredit CBA schools. I can tell you there are many CBA grads doing in the legal profession below are a few examples.

1) Head D.A. of Fresno CBA grad.
attended San Joaquin College of Law 

2) The Mayor of Los Angeles
Antonio Villaigosa
Attended People's College of Law and never passed the bar, but is doing well.

3) San Francisco Head District Attorney
George Gascon
Attended Western State prior to it becoming ABA approved and I think currently it is only provisionally accredited (Here is his bar information)

Do most CBA grads experience this success? No. Does attening an ABA school give you an advantage of a CBA school? Yes. Does going to Stanford give you an edge over a Tier 4 school? Yes.

Does the school you attend determine your legal career? no.

Are employment statistics important? Not really.

First the statistics reported by ABA schools are highly flawed and manipulated for multiple reasons.

1) Most people simply do not fill out the surveys. Realistically you graduate from law school in May then you study your ass off for the bar from May until the end of July and then in California you wait for bar results for months. Many people go on vacations, start working, etc and do not want to fill out any paperwork from their law school that is not mandatory.

I personally passed the bar started and got a job right the day after results were released. I was nervous about starting a new job and then was busting my ass the thought of filling out an employment survey never even crossed my mind so I guess technically I was unemployed grad according to my law school and these "stats"

2) Many people in law school particularly CBA schools have no real desire to be lawyers. I knew plenty of night students at my ABA school that simply wanted a law degree to help them in their non-legal jobs, wanted an academic challenge, god knows what and not everyone in law school has the same exact goal.

3) You are also correct that many people attending CBA schools do not pass the bar, but the bar is a standardized test and people from Harvard fail the same as people from CBA schools it is much more up to the individual than the school.

The overall point of my post is that people can succeed in the legal profession from CBA schools. Furthermore, being an attorney I can tell you what school you went to means almost nothing once your in the mix of the legal profession and your work ethic, ability to relate with people, handle pressure, etc will make or break you not the name on your diploma.

With that there are obviously drawbacks to CBA schools and some doors will be closed, but Cravath is just as likely to hire a Monterey College of Law Grad as they are a Santa Clara, USF, or Golden Gate grad which are all ABA schools.

Are CBA schools elite institutions? No. Do people succeed from CBA schools? Yes. Will it be an uphill battle especially starting out from a CBA school? Yes.

Anyone considering a CBA school should use their common sense and if they know what they are getting into it can be a good decision, but manage your expectations if you plan on attending a CBA school.

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