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Messages - livinglegend

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141
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: UCLA, Texas, GW or Arizona?
« on: March 27, 2013, 09:50:01 PM »
3) Personal Feelings About School
This is also important visit these schools and see what fits. You attended Undergrad at Maryland if you enjoyed your time there then staying for law school could be a good choice. However, if you hated your experience there then why stay. You will also realize that each school has a culture to it just like undergrads do and some will fit your personality others will not. 

For example I love Notre Dame University I am catholic, I love football, and I have a lot of Indiana roots. For all I know you are a fan of the opera and ballets Notre Dame would be a terrible choice for you and UCLA would have those options that also goes to location. You know far better than anyone what suits your style. Also speak to the professors, students, admins, and see if the school feels right for you. This is your life remember and I can tell you when I was visiting law schools there were some I liked and others I hated, but that was me you may very well love what I hated and hated what I loved. I cannot stress enough this is your life altering decision listen to your gut as well as your own experiences when making the decision.

4) Reality of Legal Education

I will let you in on a secret at any ABA school you learn the same thing. Whether you attend UCLA, Arizona, Maryland, etc your first year will consist of Torts, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Property, Criminal Law, and Con Law. Then in year 2 and 3 you will take Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Wills & Trusts, Corporations, Remedies, and some writing courses such as Legal Writing & Research or Appellate Advocacy. You might get to take an entertainment law course or two at UCLA and maybe an agricultural class or two at UT. Perhaps some maritime courses at Maryland, but none of these electives make much of a difference in your legal career.

The reality is in Torts you will learn Proximate cause in the Palsgraff Case Justice Cardozo in 1930 didn't write a seperate opinion for all the different law schools there is one opinion and here is the citation for it     248 N.Y. 339 and no matter what school you attend you will probably use an online resource such as ecasebriefs where they will break down the case for you http://www.casebriefs.com/blog/law/torts/torts-keyed-to-dobbs/negligence-the-scope-of-risk-or-proximate-cause-requirement/palsgraf-v-long-island-r-co/there you go students from every ABA law school Harvard to Cooley use this site to breakdown the cases they read.

So there really is no "BETTER" education on top of that after three years of law school you will take Barbri or Kaplan to assist you in passing the bar and join students from every law school in some lecture hall. On the first day of Barbri you might see some sweatshirts from different schools, but those slowly go away as you study for the bar and freak the f*** out praying you can pass along with everyone else around you.

5) U.S. News Ranking
When I was a OL I though this was the gospel and should be the basis of any decision I made, but now I realize this is nothing more than an a for profit, unregulated magazine offering an opinion. This should not be something you base a life altering decision on you can use it as a factor, but it is literally a magazine nothing more.

To illustrate this point realize U.S. News ranks more than law schools for example New Mexico is the best place to live according to U.S. News http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/real-estate/articles/2009/06/08/best-places-to-live-2009

South Dakota is one of the best places to retire in 2032 http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/the-best-life/2012/08/07/here-are-the-best-places-to-livein-2032 One of the factors in making this decision is access to dental visits. Really read the formula U.S. News used to make this determination and you can realize how little research goes into their rankings.

I imagine U.S. News saying New Mexico is the best place to live is not going to inspire you to pack your bags and move there or even apply to New Mexico Law School. Furthermore, I think you would question anyone who opened a retirement account in South Dakota based on this magazine alone. Are their legitimate points made by U.S. News sure, but where you attend law school will impact the rest of your life what some magazine thinks should play a very minor role in your decision and not be the basis of it.

On top of that I can tell you when we hire interns or attorneys the name of the school really doesn't matter that much. Does that apply to every single law firm? Absoulely not and as Jack24 says what are your goals? If your goal is BigLaw then the only one that gives you a realistic shot at that is UCLA, but you probably will need to be in the to 15% of the class and there is an 85% chance that won't happen you will then incur outrageous amounts of debt and be away from your family. That is assuming you even want to work in BigLaw many people have no desire to do that. If you want to work as a government attorney in Maryland then go to law school in Maryland just really apply common sense.

Conclusion
As I mentioned all along take any advice from anonymous internet posters mine included with a major grain of salt. However, so many OL' s leave their common sense behind when choosing a law school I know that I did, but some real lawyers talked some sense into me before I moved to Michigan for law school and not UM by the way  based on rankings when I wanted to live in San Francisco. I can tell you my law school experience dealing with Michigan winters, away from my friends, my girlfriend now wife would have been a lot more different.

Just really remember where you live, what you like, and your opinion is what is most important for you. What a magazine or internet posters say shouldn't mean that much just really consider all the ramifications of your different choices and BTW congrats on all your acceptances. I wish you the best of luck as you pursue a legal career.

142
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: UCLA, Texas, GW or Arizona?
« on: March 27, 2013, 09:28:46 PM »
First thing to realize is that anyone on this board myself included is nothing more than an anonymous internet poster that knows nothing about you, your situation, or what is best for you. Furthermore, there is no qualification to type on this board for all you know I am the Dean of Harvard Law School or some crackhead in a public library so please take all advice you receive on this board or others with a major grain of salt. Michael Scott does a good job of explaining why this is a good idea a little humor for you http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvZBg7qLzU8 . Remember the law school you choose to attend will be a life altering decision.

I have gone to law school and work as an attorney now and I think any OL should consider the following factors in this order when choosing what school to attend (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feelings about school (4) The reality of legal education (5) Consider U.S. News Rankings last not first. I will analyze these factors below.

1. Location
Based on your post this is a MAJOR thing for you to consider you are all over the map and the area where you attend law school will have a tremendous impact on your life. It is important to realize law school does not exist in a vacuum if your in L.A. particularly Westwood where UCLA is located you will be dealing with traffic, outrageous rent, you will need a car, everyone you meet will attempting to be an actor or model (I am from L.A. so I can attest to all of that. Conversely Austin Texas and Tucson are college towns and are a completely different environment.

You also mention that you are from Maryland and attended Undergrad there. If you have friends, family, and our comfortable at Maryland then Maryland might be a good choice. If you are attending law school at UCLA, Texas, or Arizona, you will not to visit your family when you want or see your friends from back home. I know during my 1L many people came from across the country and got very homesick combine that with the stress of 1L it went poorly for some. However, other people thrived with being in a new city away from everything they knew. It is a highly personal decision if you have a lot of family and love Maryland then stay there. If you are really outgoing person that has always wanted to live in L.A. then UCLA is the place. If you love the Longhorns and want to be in Texas then UT is the place for you. However, you know yourself far better than any anonymous internet poster here and this is your life you will really need to consider what location is best for you.

I want to stress this point further. My law school was located in San Francisco people from around the Country wanted to live in S.F. for three years and many people from Florida, Texas, Washington State, Vegas, etc enrolled in my school fully expecting to return home after three years. However, it didn't happen for the majority of them. During three years of law school you will get an apartment, probably enter into a romantic relationship, and just generally get comfortable where you are. On top of that you will need to pass a state bar if your at UCLA you will probably take the California Bar, UT you will take the Texas bar, so and so forth. When your in law school everyone is certain they will find time to get licensed in another state, but trust if you take a bar exam assuming you pass the first time there will be no hurry to take another one. If you attend UCLA you will probably take the California bar and end up there the rest of your life. Are their exceptions? Absolutely, but you can see how all these factors pile up.

2) Cost
This is also important, but you need to assess the reality of the costs I can tell you the UC system in California has been jacking their tuition up year by year.

For example UCLA was 26,000 for a non-California Resident in 2009 in 2012 it is $40,000 for a non-resident this is nearly doubled in tuition. Also add on to that fact you will be paying Non-Resident Tuition at UCLA, which will be $50,000 a year and the way it is going this is going to go up. So assuming tuition increases continue at the same rate for UCLA and you do not establish residency in California you will pay $200,000 in tuition alone not to mention UCLA is in one of the most expensive part of L.A. a studio apartment runs about 2,000 a month not to mention living expenses which will add up realistically to another 100,000 over three years. I will tell you California is extremely expensive so it is something to consider.

Conversely, Maryland your home state is $25,000 a year for tuition this is half the cost of UCLA and you might be able to live with your parents or at least get more support from them if your in Maryland.

You also mention scholarships and those are great, but what are the CONDITIONS of these scholarships? Often they will require you to maintain a 3.0 or be in the top 35% of the class and I will tell you a 3.0 in law school is nothing like it is in undergrad. Schools have a curve and usually only 35% of the class can have a 3.0. I know every OL thinks there are special, but 100% of people can't be in the top 35% and in law school everyone is smart, hard-working, and motivated so there is a 65% chance you will lose your scholarship for years 2 & 3. This N.Y. Times article does a good job explaining this system. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 . So just be careful about the conditions and really look at the actual tuition costs of each school. This table http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/publications/official-guide-archives.asp shows the tuition of each school and how much it has gone up over the years check out the University of California schools i.e. Hastings, Davis, UCLA, and see how much these numbers have skyrocketed over the last three years.

143
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Drexel or Loyola LA
« on: March 25, 2013, 09:49:10 PM »
Getting back to my update

First off as I always say remember that everyone posting on this board or others is nothing more than an anonymous internet poster that knows nothing about you, your situation, or what is best for you so take anything you read with a grain of salt. Particularly when you consider that anyone can post on this board and claim to be whoever they want I could say I am the Dean of Harvard Law School, a Big Law Partner, a law student, etc I or anyone else can claim to be anything and whatever bad advice or lies I tell will not result in any sort of repercussion against me. Therefore I cannot stress enough the importance of taking all advice mine included on boards such as this with a major grain of salt.

With that piece of information I will give the following advice, which I think is helpful for OL's when choosing a law school. I believe any OL should base their decision on the following factors in this order (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feelings about the school (4) The Reality of Legal Education (5) Lastly and truly lastly U.S. News rankings. I will analyze these reasons below.

1. Location
Realize that law school does not exist in a vacuum although you will be busy in law school life still happens. From your post it sounds like you do not know a soul in Los Angeles other than your boyfriend who may or may not end up moving out to California with you.

Therefore, you are going to be in an all new City in law school away from your family and there is a high likelihood your boyfriend may not end up moving out with you and there is a potential for dealing with a breakup, in a new city, away from everything you know, and dealing with the high stress of 1L. Some people can handle that, but others cannot you know yourself far better than I do.

Then it is also possible your boyfriend will move out with you, but if he does he will find a job and it will be unlikely you will ever leave L.A. During three years of law school assuming you stay together he will build a career that will be difficult to leave, you will make connections in L.A, get an apartment, make friends, etc. In the end you will probably not move back to Philadelphia, which if family is important to you is something to consider.

On top of the Los Angeles and Philadelphia are very different cities. I am from L.A. and have been to Philly a few times for one thing you will need a car if your living in L.A. can you afford that on law school loans? I don't know maybe your parents will help or your boyfriend has money saved up you know the situation better than I do.

On top of that really consider your relationship with your boyfriend how important is that to you? I saw plenty of people in my 1L think they could manage the long-distance relationship during 1L, but it almost never worked out. If this is a serious relationship just realistically think how it will work out. Your boyfriend will be moving to L.A. I don't know if he has a job now or something waiting for him in L.A, but when push comes to shove will he really leave everything in Philadelphia behind to follow you across the country for you to attend law school and him to struggle to find a job in the highly competitive marketplace that is L.A?

As for your uncle's advice he is right if you attend any law school you will not be stuck in a market, but the reality is if your in L.A. you will take the California Bar and get a job in L.A. you will be busy and you will probably never getting around to taking the Pennsylvania Bar and even if you do it will be very difficult to find employment across country when there are numerous schools in Pennsylvania already why would they fly someone out from L.A? Conversely why would someone in L.A. want to hire someone from Philadelphia when there are 7 law schools in L.A. already. Maybe if you were attending Harvard, Yale, Stanford, or a school of that caliber cross-country recruiting would make sense, but an L.A. firm is not looking to hire Drexel Grads and a Philadelphia firm is not looking to hire Chapman grads.

Just really consider the realities of location when choosing your school particularly when moving cross country I cannot stress how important this is.

2. Cost
You mentioned scholarships and that is great, but what are the conditions attached to them? Often times a law school will say maintain a 3.0 to keep your scholarship and most OL's naively believe it will be a cakewalk to get a 3.0, but that is NOT how it works. Law school grading is much different and the curve is strict generally only 35% of the class can have a 3.0 and I know like 100% of OL's you will believe your special and will certainly be in the top 35%, but in law school everyone is smart, hard-working, and motivated so there is a 65% chance you will not be in the top 35% and lose your scholarship for year 2 and 3. I think this NY times article does a good job explaining the conditions. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

3 Personal Feelings About School

This is important and it sounds like you are visiting the campuses to get a feel for the schools. As you have probably noticed the culture of schools feel a little different I know when I was a OL there were some schools that felt like a fit and others that didn't. These were my own personal feelings though for example I really liked Chapman and Pepperdine, but didn't like LMU. This was my own personal opinon and you may have felt the opposite I like the smaller towns of Malibu and Orange opposed to being in the heart of L.A. I also loved the beach view of Pepperdine and I could go on and on, but it is important to realize I am NOT you. Just because I liked Pepperdine doesn't mean you will. I know it is a religious school and maybe your atheist, maybe you have very sensitive skin and the malibu sun will burn you alive, the list goes on and on so it is very important to feel out these schools talk to professors, admins, and see what school feels right. Remember this is a life altering decision and opposed to letting internet posters tell you what is good for you consider your own experiences it is you who will be living with the decision and nobody knows better than you what works best for yourself.

4. Reality of Legal Education
I will let you in on a secret the reality is all legal education is the same. Your first year at any ABA school will consist of torts, civil procedure, contracts, property, and criminal law. They may offer criminal procedure or con law in year 2 or move one of the other classes to year 1. You will also take Evidence, Wills & Trusts, Corporations, Remedies, in your later years.

The reality is the law is the same in your first year you will read Palsgarff in Torts and Justice Cardozo in the 1930's didn't write separate opinions for each law school.  Instead proximte cause is established, which every lawyer nation wide knows about. In Civil Procedure you will read Pennoyver v. Neff again the court in the 1800's didn't write a separate opinion for different caliber law schools instead the notice requirement is established.  So there really isn't a "better education" there may be some professors that are more engaging than others, but the reality is you will do most of the studying and be learning the law through supplemental resources like Barbri, Emmaneul's Outlines, etc.

This is why it is so important to consider location, cost, and personal feelings about the school as these will make far more of a difference than alleged difference in the quality of education. If you are homesick in L.A. after breaking up with your boyfriend in a school you are uncomfortable with the most lively professor won't be able to knock negligence into your head.

5. U.S. News Ranking
Realize that this is a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion and should NOT be the basis of a life altering decision. They also rank more than law schools for example New Mexico is the #1 place to live (link) http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/real-estate/articles/2009/06/08/best-places-to-live-2009

Are you going to move to New Mexico because U.S. News says so? I hope not although there are likely some great reasons for their ranking packing your bags solely because U.S. News ranked something #1 doesn't make a lot of sense, but for some reason law students literally make life altering decisions and attend law schools based on this magazine DO NOT BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE. If this were U Penn v. Chapman then rankings might make a difference, but nobody cares about the difference between Chapman and Drexel in the rankings they are both fine schools, but Chapman is probably 90th and Drexel 105th nobody cares at that point.

Conclusion:
This is literally a life altering decision particularly whether you move across country or not. Law school is difficult and if you are person that can pop into a new area and make friends easily then L.A. might be a great fit. Conversely if you are a shy reserved person that is very concerned about maintaining your relationshp with your family and boyfriend then L.A. might end up being a disaster. I don't know you and neither does anyone else offering advice anonymously on the internet so really consider all your personal attributes and what you want as you know better than anyone else.

The education for all intensive purposes is the same and not worth your personal happiness whether you attend Drexel, Chapman, Loyola, or Pepperdine you will learn the same exact thing then take Barbri when you graduate and hope to pass the bar. Good luck whatever you decide.

144
One thing to realize is statistics are highly flawed particularly when it comes to all the numerous factors that go into calcualting employment statistics of each individual with their own unique situations. I know looking at a quick stat sheet is easy and it sounds like a good idea, but I can tell you in court I see two experts say the exact opposite things using charts etc.

For example according to USF's LSAC profile 93% of their grads are employed. This is a high number, which is not surprising since it is reported by USF itself they manipulate the stats in their favor nothing illegal it is more puffery, which is a term you will learn in law school.

Conversely lawschooltransparency whose agenda is to discourage everyone from attending law school reports 20% of people are employed with salaries.

What is the right answer I know more than 20% of the graduating class is employed and 93% of their grads are not working as lawyers either neither is right.

To give some context to this you can see on the law school transparency reports 55% simply didn't report. This could mean the person never filled out the survey, which is quite common. When I graduated, passed the bar, and got a job I never filled out the information or reported. I probably should have, but i just didn't there is no penalty for not reporting and once you have graduated your not eager to spend anymore time dealing with your law school. Just imagine if your undergrad asked for a bunch of salary information and wanted you to submit all your personal information assuming they even still knew where you lived. Would you take time to fill it out? Would you just forget? the list goes on and on so these stats are very inefficient based on that alone.

Then you delve a little deeper and realistically 50% the students at every law school finish in the bottom half of the class. There is a 50% chance you will as well and if that is the scenario it will be harder to find a job conversely if you are in the top 10% it will be easier to find a job. I imagine the bottom 50% of the class at each of these schools struggled to find employment.

Then delve even deeper I know plenty of people who went to law school with 0 intention of being a lawyer or ever working. One girl in my class had a rich husband and she just wanted something to do so she went to law school. She never intended to work and is an unemployed grad, but she is doing fine.

Another guy I know got offered a job as a D.A., but failed his drug test they revoked his offer that has nothing to do with the law school it has to do with his drug problem. Yes many lawyers do not find work because they abuse alcohol, drugs, or other things and no matter what law school you attend this will impact your job search.

Still others are lazy or do not know how to conduct themselves in a job interview. I knew plenty of people in law school who simply didn't apply to jobs or failed to show up to job interviews. These are highly unique situations that U.S. News, LSAC, and Law School Transparency don't account for. There is much, much, more to succeeding as a lawyer than some blanket number I cannot stress that enough.  You can certainly look into the numbers and if one school has a higher employment number that's great, but that doesn't guarantee you will find a job. When you take the bar you might be comforted by your schools 80% bar passage rate, but that by no means guarantees you will pass. Watch the movie "LAWYER WALKS INTO A BAR" you will see the UCLA Grad discuss how great her bar passage rate was and then watch how she personally handles the bar exam her results are not surprising. -Furthermore, you can really see the individuals in this and I imagine once you see the personalities you would be more eager to hire some people over others and they went to a range of different schools.

-Specific Questions-
If you attend Santa Clara are you relegated to the South Bay? No, but practically speaking the San Francisco District Attorney is going to interview in San Francisco there is USF, Hastings, and Golden Gate 2 miles away they always do OCI's there. Why would they drive down to Santa Clara to do an OCI when there are three schools in their backyard.

Conversely the Santa Clara D.A. will do OCI at Santa Clara for the same reasons. I knew plenty of people from Santa Clara who did internships in San Francisco and people in San Francisco that did internships in Santa Clara, but it is not the best solution as gas is expensive and your in law school so money is not flying in.

You are smart enough to get into law school so just think of the practical aspects of attending school in San Francisco v. Santa Clara no right or wrong, but they are two very different areas.

--Alumni Networks--

All the alumni networks are good I know I always interview people from my law school, other people interview from their law school. There are lawyers from Boalt, Stanford, Santa Clara, USF, Hastings, and Golden Gate all over the Bay Area. The Santa Clara Grad will likely give a little favoritism to a Santa Clara applicant, a Hastings grad favoritism to Hastings so on and so on.

For example I know professors and admins at the school I attended if a potential employee lists someone I know as a reference I take their word more seriously than from a professor at a school I don't know. Each alumni Network is strong at my job there are grads from Santa Clara, Hastings, Golden Gate, McGeorge, University of San Francisco, and one from University of Oregon. We all occasionally do things for our particular law school and I will always give a slight bump to someone from my school, but the reality is we have a job to do and we want the right person. We interview plenty of people and there are lot more factors than the name of a school on a piece of paper that go into hiring someone.

Conclusion
Each school is fine and can result in obtaining employment, but as I mentioned there is a 50% chance you will end up in the bottom half of your class if that occurs it will be a lot harder. Furthermore, even if you are in the top half of your class NO SCHOOL guarantees you a job at graduation or that you will pass the bar. Getting through law school, passing the bar, and then finding a job is extremely difficult. I know I must have been rejected by over 400 employers when I was starting out, but it was pretty much the same when I started out of college no matter what career path you take getting your career started will be tough.

Therefore, it is imperative you are truly interested in the legal profession. It is not anywhere near as lucrative as movies make it out to be. However, it can be a very rewarding career I personally love my job as an attorney, but I could have made more money doing something else. At the end of the day this is a highly personal decision and don't let some numbers based on inadequate data be the basis of a life altering decision. Good luck to you.


145
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Drexel or Loyola LA
« on: March 20, 2013, 01:37:54 AM »
Maintain just ignore Anti (somehow it always gets off point and stats get discussed, which have no bearing to the actual question being asked by the OP). Maintain you have offered good advice, which I will elaborate on

First off as I always say remember that everyone posting on this board or others is nothing more than an anonymous internet poster that knows nothing about you, your situation, or what is best for you so take anything you read with a grain of salt. Particularly when you consider that anyone can post on this board and claim to be whoever they want I could say I am the Dean of Harvard Law School, a Big Law Partner, a law student, etc I or anyone else can claim to be anything and whatever bad advice or lies I tell will not result in any sort of repercussion against me. Therefore I cannot stress enough the importance of taking all advice mine included on boards such as this with a major grain of salt.

With that piece of information I will give the following advice, which I think is helpful for OL's when choosing a law school. I believe any OL should base their decision on the following factors in this order (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feelings about the school (4) The Reality of Legal Education (5) Lastly and truly lastly U.S. News rankings. I will analyze these reasons below.

1. Location

(I need to go, but I will update this later)

146
First off realize that any information you receive from anonymous internet posters on boards like this should be taken with a grain of salt my post included. For all you know I am a crackhead in a public library with an internet connection that is all the qualification you need to post on this forum or other boards. Michael Scott from the Office also does a pretty excellent job of driving this point home a little humor for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvZBg7qLzU8

With that said if you want to believe me I am an attorney in the Bay Area and am quite familiar with both these schools I may have even attended one of them. So I will offer the following advice, which I think applies to all OL's in your position, but I can elaborate on it more since I am from the Bay Area. Every OL should consider their law school decision on the following factors in this order (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feelings about the school (4) Reality of Legal Education. (5) and a DISTANT FIFTH U.S. News Rankings particularly for mid-level schools nobody cares about whether Santa Clara is 84th and USF is 99th. I will explain all these factors in more detail.


1) Location

I love the Bay Area so I am biased, but every OL needs to consider location above all else. Law school does not exist in a vacuum and you will deal with ramifications of the area you attend law school. Like you I think Sacramento Sucks and if you attend McGeorge you will live in Sacramento even if it were ranked #1 in the world you would still be in Sacramento for a minimum of three years, eventually you would make friends in sac during law school, get an apartment, plus Sacramento employers would hire you as an intern etc you simply couldn't intern at the San Francisco City Attorney's Office during the school year if you attended McGeorge nothing against the school just simple geography. Conversely you couldn't intern for the Sacramento City Attorney's Office at Santa Clara or USF. Remember that the location you attend law school is where you are going to spend 3 years of the prime of your life and more than likely where you will end up living post-graduation.

In regards to Santa Clara and USF both are in the Bay Area, but they are an hour apart and I currently live blocks from USF and love the location and living in San Francisco, but that is just my personality. Santa Clara I am not as impressed with the location, but it is more low key, suburuban, etc nothing wrong with that while USF is in San Francisco and there is a lot more going on good and bad what you like is your decision.

2) Cost
The scholarships are great, but really dig into the conditions it sounds like you are doing that, but if USF has a condition that you need to be in the top 10% there is a 90% chance that will not happen. Being in the top 1/3 of the class means there is a 66.3% chance it won't happen. This is nothing against you personally, but trust me on the first day of law school 100% of students are convinced they will be in the top 10% of the class and everyone is really smart, hard-working, motivated etc. In undergrad there were quite a few idiots who simply would not turn their paper in or something like that, but in law school everyone shows up and is smart you have gotten to an elite level of education each student is fully capable of doing better than you.

If 27K is being offered at McGeorge and the Conditions are not to strenuous it may be something to consider an essentially free law degree is pretty appealing.

3) Personal Feelings about the School
Another thing to realize is that each school has a culture to it and you might like one over the other. This is a highly personal decision and I know when I was a OL I visited many schools and many others when I competed in mock trial competitions. I really liked some schools and disliked others, but you may like the ones I hated and hate the ones I loved. I personally love the USF Campus I think it is beautiful and the students I have interacted with there. I cannot say the same for Santa Clara in my opinion, but I AM NOT YOU you may really like Santa Clara and this is a highly, highly personal decision so I recommend visiting the schools talking to professors, current students, admins, and getting a feel for the campus.

Listen to your gut on these visits some schools will feel right others will not, but NOBODY KNOWS BETTER THAN YOURSELF WHAT A GOOD FIT IS FOR YOURSELF.

4. Reality of Legal Education
It is all the same there is no better or worse education at any ABA school your first year will consist of Torts, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Property, etc. In the Bay Area the same professors teach at the different bay area schools as well so you really are getting the exact same education.

Furthermore, in law school all you do is read Supreme Court Cases and in Torts you will read Palsgraff to learn proximate cause, Pennoyer v. Neff in Civ pro to learn notice, Hadley v. Baxendale in contracts to learn about contract remedies etc. Believe it or not the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different ranked law schools instead the law is the law. In the Bay Area you are literally reading Supreme Court Cases from the same professors. Jon Sylvester teaches contracts at Golden Gate, USF, Hastings, and has done it at Santa Clara, but I guess techinally he is mainly at Golden Gate, but he is awesome.

A better example of this is Lois Schwartz
http://law.scu.edu/faculty/profile/schwartz-lois.cfm (Santa Clara Profile)
http://law.ggu.edu/law/faculty/bio/lois-schwartz (Golden Gate Profile)
http://www.uchastings.edu/academics/faculty/facultybios/schwartz-lois/index.php (Hastings Profile)

I could go on with endless examples of this, but the reality is particularly in the Bay Area whether you attend Hastings, Santa Clara, University of San Francisco, Golden Gate, even Boalt or Stanford you literally will have the same professors in multiple classes and you will read Supreme Court cases so there really isn't a "BETTER" education it is quite literally the same. That is why location, cost, and personal feelings about the school are so much important than any "alleged claim of better education"

5. U.S. News Ranking
When I was a OL I thought this was gospel, but after going through law school I realized this is quite literally nothing more than a for profit magazine offering an opinion. Furthermore, the rankings change drastically year by year particularly with schools like USF, Santa Clara, and McGeorge. For example last year Santa Clara was in an 11 way tie for 84th place. (So was it 95th or 84th?) we will never know.

This link also does a good job of showing how drastically the rank changes year by year. http://www.top-law-schools.com/rankings.html

in 2009 it was in a tie for 85th place, 2010 in a tie for 93rd place, 2011 in the 11 way tie for 84th place, and now it is 95th I guarantee you nothing of any consequence happened at Santa Clara to improve or worsen the school during those three years.

To really drive the point home realize that U.S. News ranks more than law schools according to them Albuquerque, 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

South Dakota is in the best places to retire in 2032 http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/the-best-life/2012/08/07/here-are-the-best-places-to-livein-2032

Now are you going to move to New Mexico because U.S. News said it was the best or open a retirement account in South Dakota because U.S. News says so? I hope not it might make you think, but making a life altering decision of moving across country based on what a magazine says is probably not a good idea. However, for some reason law students myself included when I was a OL do not use common sense and make life altering decisions based on a magazine. (DO NOT MAKE THAT MISTAKE). You can use the rankings as a tie breaker, BUT DO NOT AND I REPEAT DO NOT make it the main basis of your decision.

Conclusion:
I love the Bay Area and San Francisco in particular I know successful attorneys from each of these schools and the reality is whether you make it in the legal profession is far more up to you than the name of the school on your degree. Visit the schools see what feels right, consider the costs, and think about where you want to live.

No anonymous internet poster or magazine knows anything about you and this is your life so really use common sense and your own experiences when choosing what school to attend. Good luck to you.



147
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: UW, BC, Fordham, USD, where to go?
« on: March 13, 2013, 09:01:46 PM »

First off realize whether you attend law school and where you attend it is a life altering decisions and anything you read from anonymous internet posters on this board or others should be taken with a major grain of salt my post included.

With that disclaimer I will give you some insight about choosing a law school. I think any OL should consider these factors in this order. (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feelings about the School (4) Reality of Legal Education (5) U.S. News (last NOT first)

I will analyze these factors below.

1) Location
Realize law school does not exist in a vacuum and the City you attend law school in will have a tremendous impact on your law school experience as well as your legal career. NY, Seattle, Boston, and San Diego are all very different cities. San Diego is perfect weather year round beaches nearby etc, but it is more a less a small town compared to the other cities you listed. NY has great history, but is crowded, expensive, and not a fit for everyone. Boston same as NY. Seattle is a unique city it rains constantly, but is clean and has some very successful industries, but it has nowhere near the culture or history of NY or Boston. The City you attend law school in will have a drastic impact on your life.

Honestly, if you love Seattle then you should probably go to law school at UW. You will be in the area of your law school for a minimum of three years during which time you will get an apartment, make friends, possibly enter into a romantic relationship, and build a life. 90% of law students end up working in the area they went to school alumni from UW will be in Washington State predominantly while alumni from Boston College will be in Boston etc. Employers in Seattle will hire from UW and you will get internships in the Seattle area. If you are attending Boston College you can not intern in Seattle during for 9 months out of the year and practically it will be difficult to get a place to live in Seattle during the summer or get out to Seattle for an interview so if you attend Boston College all your internships will be in Boston.

Aside from that you may decide being a lawyer is not for you a few years into your career, but you could establish a life in Seattle and maybe move onto something else. The area you live in is one of the most important factors in your life so don't forget that when choosing a law school.

2 Cost
Cost is something to consider as well and if you have a scholarship at USD then that is great.BUT beware of the scholarship conditions. Often there will be some condition of mainOn top of that graduating with 0 debt is awesome,taining a 3.0 or something, which is very difficult to do in law school. I am sure in UG you got a 3.0 with ease, but law school is very different. There is a curve and generally only 35% of students can have a 3.0. 100% of 1L's are convinced they will be in the top 35% of the class, but you don't need to be a math major to see 65% will be disappointed. So if there are conditions be ready to lose the scholarship it is always a possibility, but you can negotiate for better terms.

3. Personal Feelings About School
Each school has a culture to it and make sure it fits your style. When I was OL I visited numerous schools and while in law school I participated in multiple mock trial competitions. Each school had a culture to it and there were some I liked and others I didn't, but that is my personal opinion. For example I loved Notre Dame University I am a huge Sports Fan, I like College Towns, I am Catholic, etc. Loved the culture there, but you might be Mormon and love BYU, just on and on. The only person that can determine whether YOU will like a school is yourself. So I highly recommend visiting the schools talking to professors, admins, current students, etc.

If you visit Fordham and love it then that is something to consider if you visit USD and hate it then it will be along three years. However, the person that knows what you like best is yourself so trust your own gut instincts it is your life.

4. Reality of Legal Education
This may come as a surprise, but the education at every ABA school is the same. Your first year will consist of Torts, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, Property, and Contracts. You might get Con Law & Crim Pro in Year 1 or Year 2 or some slight mixture of those courses, but you will take all of them. In these courses you will read Supreme Court Cases and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different law schools. Instead whether you are at Denver or Washington & Lee you will read Palsgraff in Torts to learn proximate cause, You will read Pennoyer v. Neff in Civil Procedure to learn notice, You will read the hairy hand case in Contracts, so on and so forth.

So wherever you attend you will learn the same thing, which is why location and personal feelings about the school are so important.

5. Rankings
This is very important to realize and U.S. News is nothing more than a for profit magazine offering an opinion. They are more than welcome to offer an opinion, but they are not regulated by anyone and the formula used to rank schools make little to no sense. Furthermore, U.S. News ranks more than law schools for example they say Albuquerque, New Mexico is the best place to live. (link http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/real-estate/articles/2009/06/08/best-places-to-live-2009 )

South Dakota is one of the top 10 places to retire in 2032 http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/the-best-life/2012/08/07/here-are-the-best-places-to-livein-2032 .

Are you going to move to New Mexico right now because a magazine said so? I hope not. Or are you going to start looking into property because U.S. News says it is the best place to retire in 2032? I hope not. They have reasons for the rankings, but making a life altering decision based on what a magazine says doesn't make a lot of sense. If had no desire to live in New Mexico I imagine this link did not push it to the top of your list. Therefore, use the same logic for law school. It is something to consider, but DO NOT make it the main basis of your decision.



CONCLUSION:
Neither I or anyone else can tell you the right decision. If you had a crystal ball to know how it would turn out it would be easy. Maybe Fordham will be an awesome experience for you and USD will be awful, but all you can do is really look into the situation and get information from people with direct experience with the school. However, I strongly encourage you to not make a life altering decision based solely on what some unregulated for-profit magazine thinks.

148
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Suffolk Law
« on: March 13, 2013, 08:46:28 PM »
Jojo if you go to law school one think you will learn is you can manipulate statistics anyway you want. Lawschooltransparency wants to make law schools look worse and NALP & LSAC wants to make schools look good. You see drastically different numbers, but neither of them are very accurate. I cannot tell you how many times in court I have seen two experts on opposing sides say the exact opposite thing and the reality is you cannot get a solid stat on what your law school employment options will be it depends on countless factors.

I suppose if a real survey wanted to get done they would poll every single student at each law school, interview them, see what their class rank was, whether they passed the bar, do they have a criminal charge, did they pass their moral character check, how many internships did they have during law school, did they participate in extracurricular activiites, did they hold internships during law school, have they ever held a job or did they never work in undergrad or law school, did they have a personal trajedy which impacted their employment, after the bar exam did they decide to travel around the world for a year, the possibilities are quite literally endless, but if there was a survey that asked all those questions then you could have a real idea of the odds, but that would be an insane amount of work. You would need everyone to answer all those questions as well and just finding the contact information for everyone would be nearly impossible yet alone getting them to answer those detailed questions.

I will tell you these wherever you attend law school there is a 50% chance you will finish in the bottom half of the class. Nothing against you, but that is simply the reality if you are in the bottom half of the class it will be harder to get your first job. If you are in the top 10% it will be easier, but there is a 90% chance you won't be.  Now even if your grades aren't great in law school you can get internships, do mock trial, etc. However, you need to hustle to succeed in the legal profession and there is no guarantee of success it is hard work to be get a job as a lawyer and even harder to be a lawyer.  Even if you make it the pay for attorneys is nowhere near what T.V. makes it out to be. I do not make over 6 figures, but I absolutely love my job as an attorney. I could have made more different fields, but I am excited to go to work everyday it is fun, but if you are someone who really cares about money then law school may not be the best investment.

I am getting off track for original question and the answer to that is that if you want to find stats that show Suffolk is a good school you can and if you want to find stats that say Suffolk is a bad school you can. I imagine you watch the news see the disparity between Fox News and National Public Radio on the same issue Obama is a Mulsim Terrorist on Fox and a godsend that is dedicated to fixing the world on NPR. In reality I think he is alright he is not trying to destroy America single handedly nor is he going to fix every problem in America.

Suffolk is the same it is an ABA school that will provide you an education and get you a law license. How successful you are with that license or if you pass the bar to obtain depends a lot more on you than the school's reputation.

149
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Suffolk Law
« on: March 12, 2013, 11:07:24 PM »
It is true some employers will look at the rankings, but some will care less. I have hired attorneys and interns I always just hire from my alma matter and I am sure plenty of employers do that. Others may want someone from a T4 school who they think will have a positive attitude. Plenty of others will want the Harvard grad the possibilities of what employers want are endless. At the end of the day employers are people with their own likes, dislikes, etc.

One time a guy applying for an internship at our office went to a CBA school, but he went to my undergrad so I interviewed him. He did a great job in the interview and we gave him an internship. My undergrad is not highly ranked or world renowned, but I picked him ahead of others because he went to my undergrad.

So again the possibilities just endless, but that is why it is so important to want to work in the location you attend law school in. I am sure there countless numbers of employed lawyers in Boston from Suffolk who would love to help someone from Suffolk out. Same goes for Western New England Law, Boston College, etc. However, there will not be many alumni from Santa Clara law school in Boston. Furthermore, nobody in Boston will know anything about Santa Clara law school they will just pass over it more than likely.

I realize there are some firms out there that have detailed hiring standards, but the vast majority of law firms, government agencies, etc just hire locally it is just so much easier especially because you will know the professors, admins, etc from the schools. If a professor from my Alma Matter calls me and says John Doe (3L) is a great kid and looking for help I will see what I can do. If some professor in Florida calls me to help out a (3L) I would not know who they were, not have any opinion of them, and likely would say I am just to busy to deal with it.

Bottom line is people in the legal profession and employers are people. Use your common sense and insight to think about how human beings work and you will get a lot of answers as to what law school to choose. I know as a City Attorney I have never looked at the U.S. News rankings when shifting through 100+ resumes.

I first look at their address to see if they live in the Bay Area. If they don't I pretty much toss it I don't want to deal with flying someone in or having that conversation about will you pay my costs etc. Furthermore, I work for the government I want to help local people out they are ones paying taxes, which fund my salary so we look local.

Bottom line use common sense not the U.S. News rankings.

As for people that fail the bar most simply take it again. It sucks, but almost everyone I know who failed the first time passed the second time. If you never pass then it sucks and you cannot be hired as an attorney. However, you can possibly apply for the F.B.I, to be a cop, or some other law enforcement profession. However, the reality is without a law license there isn't a lot you can do with a J.D. The bar exam is an extremely high pressure test and your entire career rides on it. You can retake, but you only get to do it twice a year and you do NOT want to fail it. It is very scary to deal with and one of the major obstacles of the legal profession if that scares you to much then don't go to law school that obstacle will be there.

150
There are numerous options and I won't sugarcoat starting out as a solo practioner is difficult, but what in life isn't.

However, if you go to law school it is intense! You will not be able to juggle all these different businesses as a 1L you will need to put the brakes on those businesses or find someone to run it for you.

If you want to be a solo CUNY is one of the best options out there. It is CHEAP one of the few schools to offer in-state tuition and if you qualify for that you have options.

As for respect that is something you do get as a lawyer. You know a lot of things and people will seek your advice it is one of the things that employment statistics don't show, but one of the things I truly love about being an attorney.

Nobody can say what the right choice is, but first step is to get an LSAT score and see if law school is even an option. If you end up with a 142 then the options out.

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