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Messages - livinglegend

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131
Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Are CBA schools a joke?
« on: May 14, 2013, 11:53:06 PM »
I don't know if there is really an ABA bubble it is more of a California law school tuition bubble many ABA law schools outside of California have very reasonable tuition rates I.E. Florida International Law School, CUNY, South Dakota, North Dakota, all are $10,000 or less per year in tuition.

However, California law schools can charge as much as they do because people keep enrolling and many students nationwide want to live in California so the tuition keeps getting hiked up. With that knowledge perhaps to graduate with an ABA degree you might want to consider a law school with cheaper tuition rates outside of California. I don't know if that is a possibility, but I think having an ABA degree is better than a CBA one all things considered.

Right or wrong there will be doors closed to you without an ABA degree it doesn't mean you can't succeed, but many firms, agencies, etc will only consider ABA grads at a minimum. On top of that if you go into private practice or start your own firm potential clients will look you up and if they see you went to an unaccredited school they probably won't choose you. I personally know the educational difference is minimal, but when selecting an attorney people like hear the word accredited. On top of that if your a Solo you will be competing for clients and other attorneys from ABA schools to help themselves may say oh she went to an unaccredited school. Kind of shady and certainly many lawyers do not do that, but it is a competitive business and something to consider.

By analogy if you were choosing  a doctor to perform you surgery and you heard one of them went to an unaccredited Medical School you would be more hesitant to choose them over other doctors that went to an accredited law school. Does that mean you can't succeed from a CBA school?  Absolutely not the Mayor of L.A  graduated from a law school that was not even CBA accredited and he is bossing around Harvard Grads.

In the end since your halfway down the ABA path I think your better off staying there, but I am just some guy anonymously posting on the internet. Also on the flip-side when you pass the bar whether from a CBA school or ABA school you are a lawyer in California with the same rights, responsibilities, etc that a California Lawyer from Harvard has.

132
There are several things to consider when choosing a law school and it is a life altering decision, but one thign to really understand is that every ABA school will provide you with roughly the same education and job prospects. There are a few that will truly open doors i.e. Harvard, Yale, Stanford, but other than that it is much more up to the individual what they do with the degree with that said I think any 0L shoudl consider the following factors when choosing a law school. (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feelings about the school (4) Understand the reality of legal education and a distant (5) U.S. News.

1) Location
As shoreman mentioned if you want to live in Boston go to law school in Boston at a minimum you will be in the city you attend law school for three years and realistcally you will get an apartment, friends, internships, likely a romantic relationship, and take the state bar of the state you attend law school in.

Also what kind of person are you would you prefer living in a big city like Boston during law school can you handle the distraction, will you enjoy it, etc. Or will a smaller town be more your style only you know the answer to that, but really consider the location.

2) Cost & Scholarship Conditions

Tuition

Suffolk 41k per year
Northwestern 49k per year
Seton Hall 45k per year

I noticed the 30k scholarship at Seton Hall, but what are the CONDITIONS? Typically it will say something along the lines of maintaining a 3.0 GPA. As a 0L this sounds like a piece of cake, but typically schools require you to be in the top 35% of the class you have a 3.0 GPA that is the "curve" you will hear so much about. The reality is everyone at an ABA school is smart, hard working, and motivated and 100% of them are sure they will be in the top 35%, but 65% won't be, which means there is a 65% chance you will lose your scholarship for years 2 & 3.

Every schools conditions differ, but ASK what they are and negotiate for better terms this NY times article does a better job explaining the scholarship conditions than I can http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

3) Personal Feeling About the School
When I was a OL I visited many schools and as a law student I participated in mock trial competitions. I can tell you some schools I liked others I hated, but that was my opinion. It is very possible you will like what I hated and love what I hated. To determine YOUR personal feelings I highly encourage you to visit both campuses, interact with students, talk to professors, admins, etc. You will get a gut feeling about each and maybe you will like both schools equally, but you may also hate one and love the other, but really listen to that gut feeling where you attend law school is three years of YOUR life, $100,000 of YOUR money, and YOUR legal career and don't let a magazine or anonymous internet poster overrule your gut feeling.

4) Reality of Legal Education

The realty is what you learn at an ABA school is pretty much identical. Your first year will consist of torts, civil procedure, property, contracts, and criminal law. In these courses you will read Supreme Court cases and they do write separate opinions for different schools. You will read Palsgraff in Torts for proximate cause, Pennoyer v. Neff in civ pro to learn about notice etc .

You might have a few electives here and there, but the majority of your legal education will be identical no matter where you go. As for your IP courses I know in the Bay Area where IP is everything schools over a few IP courses, but realistically you can only take 4-5 specialized law school courses based on availability, scheduling, etc.

On top of that you can't really know what you want to do until you start law school. I honestly though IP was what I wanted when I started, but after the one course I dropped it and really liked trial advocacy, which all schools offer.

Bottom line is at any ABA school you will learn the same thing.

5) U.S. News Ranking
You are making the common mistake that many 0L's myself included make by basing a life altering decision on a magazine. It is very important to realize that U.S. News is a for-profit, unregulated, magazine offering an opinion. Furthermore, their opinion changes from year to year

As you can see from 2009 until 2013 Kansas has gone from 65 to 86th and if you had been a 1L in 2009 you would have been attending the 65th best school, but somehow by the time you graduated in 2012 it became the 86th best. There is no rhyme or reason for this and review this chart to see how drastically schools change from year to year http://www.top-law-schools.com/rankings.html . You can see Depaul is 80th then in the 90s, then back to 80's and this year in the 100's nothing has changed there over the last few years.

To further illustrate this point U.S. News ranks more than law schools New Mexico is the best place to live http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/real-estate/articles/2009/06/08/best-places-to-live-2009 . Are you going to move there because U.S. News says so? I imagine not surely there is something good about New Mexico, but I would not alter my life because U.S. News says New Mexico is a great place to live. Similarly I would recommend not making the life altering decision on where to attend law school based on this magazine.

You can certainly use it as a tiebreaker and if you were debating Harvard or St. Louis then it might be a different story, but truly nobody cares about the ranking difference between the 65th or 80th best school especially since it is very possibly St. Louis could be ranked higher than Kansas by the time you graduate.

Conclusion:
I cannot possibly tell you what is best and neither can anyone else on this board. However, your main question is the difference in rank worth it I really do not think so. Really consider the location, cost, and your personal feelings about each school. It will be a life altering decision and some magazine writers in Pennsylvania should not be the basis of it.

Congrats on getting into law school and good luck in your legal career.

133
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: SLU or KU?
« on: May 06, 2013, 08:05:30 PM »
First off please realize advice from anonymous internet posters on boards such as this mine included should be taken with a major grain of salt.

With that said I have gone through law school and can tell you some very important things to consider when choosing a law school and one of the LEAST important considerations is what "U.S. News" a for profit-unregulated magazine thinks.

In my opinion these are the factors any 0L should consider in this order. (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feeling about the school (4) Understanding the reality of legal education (5) Last AND Least U.S. News Ranking. I will analyze why this factors are important below.

1) Location:
This is far and away the most important factor when choosing a law school. Whether you attend law school in Lawrence Kansas or St. Louis, Missouri will change your life. You will spend a minimum of three years in either of these places and make friends, get an apartment, find restaurants, likely enter into a romantic relationship, etc. On top of that if you go to law school in Kasnas you will likely take the Kansas bar if you go to school in Missouri you will take the Missouri Bar so your career will be in that state. On top of that if you attend law school in Kansas 9 months of the year you will be located in Kansas and only able to do internships in Kansas so all your legal connections will be in Kansas.

I have never been to either Lawrence or St. Louis, but I am guessing Kansas is much more of a college town and St. Louis is a bigger city, which will make for a different experience over three years. Just really understand the importance of location in this decision you may also want to consider any personal connections you have if your from Kansas leaving your friends, family, etc during law school will be tough.

I also emphasize that while law school is difficult you will still have free-time so live in a location that suits you.

2. Cost & Scholarship Offers
Next thing to consider is cost whatever school you attend you will leave and whether you attended Harvard or Cooley the creditors will want their money make this number as small as possible. With that there are two factors to consider in your decision.

A) Scholarship conditions
I noticed you stated you had "similar" scholarships at both schools, but pay attention to the CONDITIONS of the scholarship. Typically it will say something along the lines of maintaining a 3.0 GPA. As a 0L this sounds like a piece of cake, but typically schools require you to be in the top 35% of the class you have a 3.0 GPA that is the "curve" you will hear so much about. The reality is everyone at an ABA school is smart, hard working, and motivated and 100% of them are sure they will be in the top 35%, but 65% won't be, which means there is a 65% chance you will lose your scholarship for years 2 & 3.

Every schools conditions differ, but ASK what they are and negotiate for better terms this NY times article does a better job explaining the scholarship conditions than I can http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

B) Tuition differences between KU & STL
I noticed that Kansas offers in-state tutiion of 15k per year. I don't know if you have residency or can obtain it, but this will be significant savings with or without the scholarship over STL, which charges 35k per year.  That is a savings of 60k over three years in tuition so if you can obtain in-state tuition and you don't mind living in Kansas that may be the better option.

3) Personal Feeling About the School
When I was a OL I visited many schools and as a law student I participated in mock trial competitions. I can tell you some schools I liked others I hated, but that was my opinion. It is very possible you will like what I hated and love what I hated. To determine YOUR personal feelings I highly encourage you to visit both campuses, interact with students, talk to professors, admins, etc. You will get a gut feeling about each and maybe you will like both schools equally, but you may also hate one and love the other, but really listen to that gut feeling where you attend law school is three years of YOUR life, $100,000 of YOUR money, and YOUR legal career and don't let a magazine or anonymous internet poster overrule your gut feeling.

4) Reality of Legal Education
The realty is what you learn at an ABA school is pretty much identical. Your first year will consist of torts, civil procedure, property, contracts, and criminal law. In these courses you will read Supreme Court cases and they do write separate opinions for different schools. You will read Palsgraff in Torts for proximate cause, Pennoyer v. Neff in civ pro to learn about notice etc .

You might have a few electives here and there, but the majority of your legal education will be identical no matter where you go. As for your IP courses I know in the Bay Area where IP is everything schools over a few IP courses, but realistically you can only take 4-5 specialized law school courses based on availability, scheduling, etc.

On top of that you can't really know what you want to do until you start law school. I honestly though IP was what I wanted when I started, but after the one course I dropped it and really liked trial advocacy, which all schools offer.

Bottom line is at any ABA school you will learn the same thing.

5) U.S. News Ranking
You are making the common mistake that many 0L's myself included make by basing a life altering decision on a magazine. It is very important to realize that U.S. News is a for-profit, unregulated, magazine offering an opinion. Furthermore, their opinion changes from year to year

As you can see from 2009 until 2013 Kansas has gone from 65 to 86th and if you had been a 1L in 2009 you would have been attending the 65th best school, but somehow by the time you graduated in 2012 it became the 86th best. There is no rhyme or reason for this and review this chart to see how drastically schools change from year to year http://www.top-law-schools.com/rankings.html . You can see Depaul is 80th then in the 90s, then back to 80's and this year in the 100's nothing has changed there over the last few years.

To further illustrate this point U.S. News ranks more than law schools New Mexico is the best place to live http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/real-estate/articles/2009/06/08/best-places-to-live-2009 . Are you going to move there because U.S. News says so? I imagine not surely there is something good about New Mexico, but I would not alter my life because U.S. News says New Mexico is a great place to live. Similarly I would recommend not making the life altering decision on where to attend law school based on this magazine.

You can certainly use it as a tiebreaker and if you were debating Harvard or St. Louis then it might be a different story, but truly nobody cares about the ranking difference between the 65th or 80th best school especially since it is very possibly St. Louis could be ranked higher than Kansas by the time you graduate.

Conclusion:
I cannot possibly tell you what is best and neither can anyone else on this board. However, your main question is the difference in rank worth it I really do not think so. Really consider the location, cost, and your personal feelings about each school. It will be a life altering decision and some magazine writers in Pennsylvania should not be the basis of it.

Congrats on getting into law school and good luck in your legal career.




134
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.

135
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.


136
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? :)

137
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.

138
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.

139
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.

140
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 http://www.uspto.gov/ip/boards/oed/exam/registration.jsp . 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 lawschoolnumbers.com 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.


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