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Messages - livinglegend

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Online Law Schools / Re: California to tighten bar admission rules?
« on: May 06, 2013, 05:56:24 PM »
I think the ABA school has definite benefiets over a CBE school for job prospects, getting licensed, etc, but I have known successful CBE grads, but the grind from an ABA school is tough enough if your looking for a job. If you want to be a solo then CBE is the better way to go since all you need is a law license.

As for Maintain's statement about the bar I agree many of the CBE schools seem to prey on people who were not qualified to get into ABA schools, but there are many CBE schools that are great options. I think CBE schools should require some minimum LSAT score for consumer protection purposes. I think to many people are drawn by being attorney, but if you can't get at least a 150 on the LSAT that is probably an indicator you are not a great standardized test-taker and the bar is about 100x times harder and more pressure than the LSAT.

As for Cher if you were admitted to an ABA school and have been there a few years you have already given so much money it is probably better to stay to have an ABA degree. You will probably only save 30,000 in tuition or so and there will be some doors closed without an ABA degree. If you were a 0L and it was going to be $200,000 in savings it might be different, but you have gone so far down the path you might as well finish it off.

Another issue with CBE schools is I believe (without about 51% certainty so take it with a grain of salt)  Barbri does not offer their services to non-aba students, but I am sure CA Law Dean will interject if that is incorrect. BarBri or Kaplan is really what prepare you for the bar law school builds the foundation, but those courses get you the license. If those courses are available from a CBE school and you do what they say you are likely to get that law license whether from a CBE or ABA school.

I think Duncan and Cher make some good points, but if you read Duncan posts you can see part-time law study is not for most people and I personally don't agree with it since it ends badly for most people, but there are plenty of exceptions and people who succeed as part-time students, but as Duncan indicates more than half fail out.

The "All-In" approach Cher describes is something people think they are ready for, but I do not know how anyone could be All-in with law school and a full-time job so I commend both of you for doing that. However, to the OP it is a grind if you are going to work and if your not going to work then you should go full-time and get it done as quickly as possible.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Never too late
« on: May 03, 2013, 01:24:35 AM »
Having an individual state bar exam is a great money maker for each state. I think that is the real reason for the system clearly the MBE is basically a national bar exam, but I think big states i.e. Califronia really enjoy the revenue of a $500 moral character application and an $838 bar exam fee from 10,000 or so students every year. Not to mention the annual $410 bar member fee they receieve where would all that money go if there was a national bar exam? :)

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: UC Davis
« on: May 03, 2013, 12:25:51 AM »
UC Davis is a fine school, but it should be noted Davis is not exactly a "fun" or "beautiful" town it is way up in Northern California Sacramento is close, but still it is pretty "white" and "small town" so it may be tough if you are from more urban environment.

As for how "good" the school is I am sure Davis is good, but every ABA school will offer you a quality education and if your an international student the real reason to take the LLM from my understanding is to be able to take the bar exam. As for international recognition I don't think Davis offers that most people in California don't know where Davis is although the school is fine remember U.S. News is nothing more than a for-profit unregulated magazine do not make a life altering decision based on it.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« on: May 03, 2013, 12:21:41 AM »
He is the dean of Monterrey College of Law my two cents as a Bay Area attorney is that employment "stats" are highly inaccurate and do not reflect the reality that no matter what school you attend if you pass the bar and use common sense and have a modicum of social skills you can have a career as an attorney at least in California. It difficult to start out and I think without getting into costs, location, etc even CA Law Dean would agree having an ABA degree would be better than a CBE one, but CBE schools are great for certain people.

Overall are CBE schools a joke? They can be if your trying to get hired at Cravath or Latham, but so is a degree from a the 47th ranked ABA school. There will also be people out there who think CBE schools are a joke and plenty that don't. I have interviewed and hired CBE students for internships etc some were good some were not the same can be said for students at every law school I have dealt with in the Bay area GGU, Hastings, USF, etc. Whether a person is a good attorney has a lot more to do with the individual than the school they attended.

Online Law Schools / Re: California to tighten bar admission rules?
« on: April 29, 2013, 11:32:06 PM »
The bar exam is insane particularly the California Bar, which I did take and pass. I personally do think it is up to the individual as there are graduates from Harvard who never pass and graduates from CBE schools that do. It really comes down to your focus, ability to handle pressure, and a little bit of luck.

On the California Bar you are required to study 14 subjects in extreme depth, but half the stuff you study is not not on the test. There are 6 essay questions, 200 multiple choice questions, and 2 practical essay tests, which each test different skills.

I think if you received a 180 your ability to handle pressure and thrive on a standardized test have been displayed and that is why Harvard grads typically pass in my opinion. Someone who choked on the LSAT is likely not a good test taker and the bar is one big standardized test, but it is different from the LSAT.

 The education you receive at a CBE school or an ABA school is the same I would imagine. Your first year would consist of Torts, Criminal Law, Civ pro etc and you would read Supreme Court cases. Perhaps CBE schools have a different setup, but I do not imagine they would.

One disadvantage to CBE schools is that I believe most are part-time and part-time law study is not what you need for the bar exam. It may lead you into a false sense of security and having only 3 exams spread out over a few days in law school is a cakewalk compared to what you are required to do on the bar.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: What are my chances?
« on: April 29, 2013, 10:58:19 PM »
Well first off if you really are interested in Patent law and you have an engineering degree you may be able to avoid law school all together and take the Paten Bar here is the link for it . You will be able to do engage in patent law disputes, but not licensed to practice in other areas, but if you truly are interested in patents law and nothing else this may be a way to avoid spending a lot of time & money unnecessarily.

In regards to your specific question you can get into a number of law schools with a 2.86 and there is no "required" GPA, but a 1.2 is not going to cut it. You can see where you stand a chance at certain schools by looking at a 2.86 and a 160 LSAT will provide you with plenty of law school options, but Harvard and Yale will not be on the list, but you can have a successful legal career from any ABA law school.

Good luck.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: U. San Francisco vs Golden Gate
« on: April 28, 2013, 03:51:45 PM »
As a bay area attorney I think I can give you a little insight, but also realize that I or anyone else on this board is nothing more than an anonymous internet poster that knows nothing about you, your situation, or what is best for you so take my advice and anyone else's with a major grain of salt.

With that intro I think you have the most important equation of selecting a law school down, which is selecting the location. If you want to live in San Francisco or the Bay area then attend these schools I know plenty of successful grads from both Golden Gate and USF.

One thing few 0L's realize is that what you learn at an ABA school is exactly the same. Whether you attend USF, Golden Gate, Stanford, Harvard, your first year will consist for Torts, Contracts, Civil Procedure, Property, Criminal Law, and Con Law. In these courses you will read Supreme Court cases and those justices do not write separate opinions for different schools you will read Pennoyer v. Neff for example in Civil Procedure a case from the 1800's and you will learn about Notice. In Torts you will read Palsgraf to learn proximate cause, Contracts Hadley v. Baxendale for contract remedies, etc etc.

You will have the opportunity for a few electives here and there, but those courses will make very little difference in your career. The location is what really matters and there are no shortage of human rights and other public interest legal jobs in the Bay Area which are open to both GGU & USF students. The Human Rights element means very little and you will realize law school is quite generalized you can't really specialize until you have been out in the legal world for a few years and you usually end up in something you never would have thought.

Keep your goal of Human Rights, but realize a schools' reputation for a specialty program means very little since at absolute most you could take 3-4 courses in the area. So there really is NO IDEAL program they are all the same particularly USF & Golden Gate they have many of the same professors.

Having a 30k a year scholarship from GGU is awesome and getting out with as little debt as possible is the ideal situation. However, you need to pay close attention to the conditions of these scholarships. Typically they will require you to maintain a 3.0 GPA. As an undergrad I imagine you achieved a 3.0 without trying, but law school is a whole different ball game. First off there is the curve typically only 35% of the class can have a 3.0 at the end of first year and you lose the scholarship for 2L & 3L this is common at law schools throughout America.

However, like 100% of law students you will think your special and will work really hard and easily finish in the top 35%, but at every ABA school students are smart, hard-working, and motivated, which means there is a 65% chance you will lose the scholarship.

I do not know the specific requirements of your GGU scholarship, but it is very important that you ask. If you have essentially a full ride and all you need to do is maintain good academic standing then GGU might be the way to go, but really grill them on the conditions.

Personal Feelings About School
I have been to both campuses multiple times and think they are both fine schools, but they give off a different vibe.  I personally like GGU a little more since it is in the heart of downtown and students tend to be friendlier, but USF is a beautiful campus and in far less crowded area of San Francisco. Many of the professors you have will be the same whether you attend GGU, Hastings, or USF the same people teach Sylvester for Contracts, Keane for Con Law, etc so again the academic quality will not be much different, but the administration, buildings, general feel are unique to each schools.

I highly recommend visiting both schools a few times and really seeing, which one feels right nobody knows better than yourself what suits you best so really listen to yourself. Do not listen to anonymous internet posters, or a for-profit, unregulated magazine offering an opinion like U.S. News.

I know nothing about you or what the best decision is and no right answer will pop up. Both schools are ABA accredited and will allow you to sit for the bar exam and give you a solid education, but whether you succeed in the legal profession will be up to you.

If you have more detailed questions about either school feel free to PM me.

It certainly doesn't help anything, but I have known people who got DUI's and arrested for assault who went on to become attorneys. As Jack Stated each state is different and some schools may care more than others, but I imagine if you apply to a law school in Colorado or Washington where Pot is legal now it won't be much of an issue. California it is basically legal and you I live in San Francisco and openly see people smoking pot in front of police so I don't think schools in any of those states will mind much as long as YOU DISCLOSE WHAT HAPPENED.

Just stay out of trouble and report your incident fully when you apply. The only way this will really impact you is if you don't disclose, because then you will be in trouble for lying not the original offense.

On top of that you are only 19 and may never end up going to law school as a great deal may change for you during your undergrad years. For now stay out of trouble, get good grades, participate in school activities, then when the time comes take the LSAT. Hopefully you do well enough to get in, but really what you should be most concerned about is getting the most out of your undergrad experience.

I think there are plenty of misreable lawyers and plenty of happy ones. Just as their are misreable cops, firefighters, building inspectors, architects, salesman, paramedics, etc. There are also plenty of happy cops, firefighters, building inspectors, architects, salesman etc.

The reality is working is tough you meet very few people who in any profession who say I am overpaid, get to do  I want, and never have an issue with my job. Is law school hard? Yes. Expensive? Yes. However, I meet people from all walks of life who complain and hate their job or love their job. Therefore, whether you succeed as an attorney in any profession are far more up to you than any number, school, etc.

Jack is right that if you want to be a lawyer then you should go to law school, but there is always the paradox of you cannot possibly know if you will like being a lawyer until you are a lawyer. However, you will not really know if you like being a cop until your a cop so on and so on, but life is trial and error. I think law school is like anything else and you will get what you put into it.

Being a lawyer is nothing like T.V. makes it out to me you will not be recruited wined and dined and yes there will be numerous applicants for any attorney job, but there are numerous applicants for every position out there and whether you go to law school or pursue some other profession starting out will be tough.

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