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Messages - livinglegend

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151
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.

152
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.

153
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Suffolk Law
« on: March 11, 2013, 08:50:11 PM »
Maintain gives some great analysis U.S. rankings as a whole are not very important in the real world and specialty rankings are even less important. Remember that U.S. News is nothing more than a for profit magazine offering an opinion. They are entitled to their opinion, but I will never understand why OL's make life altering decisions based upon it.  U.S. News ranks more than law schools 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 (there is the link.

South Dakota is in the top 10 of 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. I imagine you are nobody with common sense is going to move to Alberqueue based soley on what U.S. News say or start retiring in 2032 soley because U.S. News says so. They have reasons for their ranking, but to many OL's blindly look at this magazine and make life altering decisions based on it, which is a terrible idea.

The reality of law school is that whether an individual succeeds or not is far more up to them than the name on their degree. I went to a mediocre school at best then passed the bar and got a job as an attorney, which I love. The name of my law school never comes up in court, when I am in meetings, etc it is up to me to get stuff done. That is the job of an attorney and ABA school will get you a law license. It is an uphill battle to start a career in any profession and law is no different.

As for lawschooltransparency and their stats I am all for their mission, but you have to realize the statistics are not that accurate and they have an agenda. For example when I graduated, passed the bar, and was employed as a lawyer I never felt out my school's survey because I just didn't get around to it. So I was listed as an unreported and by LST's logic means I was unemployed, which was not the case I was just lazy as many people are. I imagine if your undergrad wrote asked you to fill out a survey giving all your personal information etc you might not fill it out either because you were busy or just didn't feel like sharing that info. That is assuming you maintained the appropriate contact information with the school.

On top of that it takes a long time to find a job as an attorney. One thing to realize in California for example is that you graduate in May, but you get bar results in November this means you cannot possibly find a job as a licensed attorney until 6 months after graduation.  Realistically most people do not hire during November or December either so you really cannot start looking for a job until January, which is 8 months after graduation. That is assuming you pass the first time and even schools like UCLA had 60 people fail the first time so those people cannot find jobs as attorneys period.

The bottom line is LST's mission is great, but the numbers are flawed. On top of that it does not account for the numerous personal situations that people encounter. For example in my class one guy's dad died during the bar exam he had to postpone until the February bar to get his estate in order etc. He found a job, but not until May of the next year when he passed the February bar. Another example is one guy I know passed the bar and got offered a job as a D.A., but he smoked pot and failed his drug test. Another girl was just exorbitantly rich and was never going to work period and another person just went to law school and had no intention of taking the bar. Those are just a few examples and LST does not account for those factors.

The bottom line is if you get licensed as a lawyer you CAN find a job as a lawyer, but it is hard. It was not easy for me I probably sent out 400+ resumes and got 4-5 interviews 3 rejections there and 2 job offers when I got bar results. It sucked to find a job, but I did it and almost everyone of my law school friend's did. This can occur at Suffolk, Western New England, Harvard, whatever it may be.

So bottom line if you really want to be a lawyer then Suffolk can work, but law school is nowhere near as glamorous or lucrative as T.V. makes it out to be. I personally love my job as an attorney, but I am not making a ton of money. Law school is not a great financial investment there are much lucrative paths to take, but if you really want to be a lawyer then it can be a great gig.

154
Well first thing to realize is that when making a life altering decision as to whether or not to attend law school do not take advice from anonymous internet posters on this board or others myself included to seriously. Furthermore, websites on the internet have little credibility as well. I think Michael Scott from the Office does a good job of explaining why this is true (a little humor  :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFBDn5PiL00

With that said I will you I went to law school passed the bar and love my job. I did not go to a top law school and got a 157 on the LSAT, but your LSAT score has no indication on whether you will enjoy being a lawyer.

From your post it sounds like you are going to law school, because you think no other options exist. I will tell you that is a bad idea starting any career is difficult right now you have a B.A. in History it will be difficult to find a job, but you can find one. When you graduate from law school the same thing occurs people don't actively recruit you it is hard to start a career as a lawyer, businessman, history professor, etc. There is no route to a golden ticket so do not attend law school simply because you do not know what else to do. You will simply pay 100,000+ and spend three years of your life to be back in this same situation you are now having to look for a job, which sucks no matter what field you are in.

With that said if you want to be a lawyer and are capable of pulling a 170+ on the LSAT you can get a great scholarship at numerous schools.  I know plenty of lawyers myself included who are very happy and plenty that are absolutely miserable and whether you will enjoy it is a highly personal decision.

What I would recommend in your situation is to try and find a job at a law office. Be a paralegal or legal assistant for a year.  If your busy running the family business see if you can volunteer at a legal-aid clinic or possibly work part-time for a lawyer.  There is always work in a law office that can be done and you can talk to lawyers and see what the profession is about. I will tell you it is nowhere near as glamorous or lucrative as T.V. makes it out to be, but it can be a very rewarding career if you know what you are getting into.

Conclusion

In my anonymous internet poster opinion I recommend taking the LSAT seeing what score you get. Until you have an official score you cannot get into any law school. Once you have the LSAT score you don't need to enroll in law school right away and you can work for a law office or legal clinic and try it out. If you love it and want to pursue a legal career you have the LSAT score and can proceed. If you find being a lawyer is not for you then you are not obligated to enroll you will be out $100 for the LSAT fee and you will have saved yourself 3 years and 100,000 + dollars.

However, DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT go to law school simply because you do not know what else to do. No matter what profession you are in finding your first job is really difficult and starting as a lawyer is no different. Good luck.


155
I think there are many OL's and I always encourage anyone on this board or others to not take what they read from anonymous internet posters like ourselves seriously as we can write anything we want.

With that said I think plenty of people are happy with law school and plenty are miserable. I believe Maintain hit the nail on the head when he said that law students have unrealistic expectations. First if your goal is to work in Big Law then go to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, or bust and even then there is no guarantee it will happen. I will say that I went to a mediocre law school, but had realistic expectations. I got a large scholarship to keep my debt low, worked in government positions during law school, and got a job as a City Attorney after passing the bar. I love my job as a lawyer, but I am not ever going to be driving a Ferrari or own a beach house in Malibu. I do get to bust crack houses, be in the paper, and do exciting stuff that I enjoy and I am very glad to have attended law school, but I was realistic with my expectations.

OP also makes a great point that everyone in law school is smart and do not count on being in the top 10% of your class. 100% of people cannot be in the top 10%, but I know everyone on my first day of law school thought they would be in the top 10%, but you don't need to be math major to see how that works out. I think you can apply the same logic to big law only about 5% of lawyers work in Big Law as OP does and therefore if as a OL it is your job to work in big law there is a 95% chance it won't happen. However, if you really want to be a lawyer and have some cause you believe in that law school can be a great career, but one thing law is NOT is an easy way to get rich. If money is your main goal law school is not a good choice.

156
Law School Admissions / Re: Law school projections?
« on: March 09, 2013, 10:12:09 PM »
To the OP I highly recommend taking the LSAT and getting an official score before considering law schools. I cannot tell you how many people I know who get 170 on their practice LSAT's, but somehow the test never gets taken. Whatever you do on the practice doesn't really mean anything I hope you get a 170 hell a 180, but the odds of that happening are low.

Take the LSAT get a score and see what your options realistically are. Right now you are putting the cart in front of the horse so take the LSAT get a score and know what your options are. Good luck on the LSAT.

As for your work experience that means very little it doesn't hurt, but law school admissions is a numbers game first and foremost. Maybe if you had done something like been a professional athlete, a Navy Seal, or something else that would get you in the headlines it might matter, but almost every OL has worked in a law firm in some capacity. It doesn't hurt obviously, but Stanford is not going to go oh my goodness look at this applicant 4 years at a law firm we have to let him in. There are thousands upon thousands of applicants it sounds like you are doing the right things, but your numbers will be what gets you into law school.

157
Brianlee


First thing to understand when making the life altering decision of whether to attend law school and where to attend it is that everything you read from anonymous internet posters on this board or others including my post should be taken with a major grain of salt. Nobody knows your situation or what is best for you and what law school you choose is a highly personal decision. With that said I will offer the following advice when choosing a law school these are the factors you should consider (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feeling About the school (4) Understanding the reality of legal education (5) if all else fails use U.S. News ranking. I will analyze these factors below.

Location
When choosing a law school particularly in the vastly different areas you are considering this is very important. Law school does not exist in a vacuum and you are going to live in the City you attend law school for three years and you will likely end up taking the bar in the state you attend law school. As I hope you are aware there is a vast difference between South Bend, Indiana and Boston for example. If you want to live in small college town and enjoy Football then ND could be for you. However, if you are a city person then Boston might be a better fit. Remember law school will be three years of your life and you are going to get an apartment, make friends, etc. Although law school is difficult you will have time to live life and your experience will be vastly different in South Bend Indiana or Boston.

On top of that you need to consider where you want to end up after graduation. If you attend law school in Notre Dame you will get internships in the Midwest not the East Coast. There are 6 or 7 law schools in Boston so employers there will have no reason to recruit outside of the area. Same with UCONN for example if you want to be in Connecticut then Quinnipac and Connecticut will be in the best position to get you a job in Connecticut.

2. COST
UConn Law gives me free ride.
W&L gives me 30K per year
Emory: 20K,
Notre Dame: 15K,
BU:15K,
BC 20K.

Those scholarships are great, but one thing to really look into is the conditions of these scholarships. Often they will say something along the lines of you need to maintain a 3.0 or be in the 25% of the class etc.  To have gotten these scholarships you obviously got a 3.0 in undergrad with ease, but law school is much different based on the curve and the intelligence and work ethic of those in law school. First off to get a 3.0 at most schools you need to be in the top 35% of the class. I know you believe that you will of course be in the top 35%, but 100% of people on the first day of law school are convinced they are going to be in the top of the class, but you don't have to be a math major to see how that works.

If it is a 3.0 requirement there is a 65% chance you will lose your scholarship nothing against you personally, but everyone in law school is smart, hard working, and motivated and there is a good chance you will lose the scholarship. Here is a NY times article explaining how this system works http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

BOTTOM LINE CHECK THE CONDITIONS ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT RETAINING THE SCHOLARSHIPS.

3) Personal Feelings about the School
Aside from location and cost each school has a culture to it. When I was a OL and in mock trial competitions I interacted with a number of different schools some I liked others I didn't. However, that is my personal feeling I have visited Notre Dame and love the tradition there and the whole University, but that is just me. You might hate sports etc and be much more into what W & L has to offer. It is a highly personal decision and I highly recommend visiting the school to get a vibe from the school and see if it fits your personality it is a 3 year commitment and if you don't like the professors, students, admins you meet during a visit you won't like the school.

4. Reality of Legal Education
An important thing to realize is that at every ABA school the education is the same. Your first year will consist of Torts, Contracts, Con Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Property.  In these courses you will read Supreme Court Cases that are exactly the same no matter where you read them. In Torts you will read the Palsgraf case to understand Proximate Cause, in Hadley v. Baxendale you will learn contract remedies, Criminal Law you will learns mens rea and the elements for burglary, etc. It is all the same no matter where you learn it.

5. U.S. News
If after you analyze the factors above and you still cannot make a decision then use this as a guide, but realize this is nothing more than a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion and should not be the basis of a life altering decision.

Conclusion:
Please take my advice and other advice you read on anonymous internet poster boards with a grain of salt. I highly recommend when making a 3 year, 100,000 dollar commitment, that will determine the future of your career that you meet with people from these schools and visit the schools personally. I have been to Notre Dame for a few days, but have never even set foot on the campus of the other schools or even been to the Boston, Georgia, or Connecticut so I have no understanding of the legal markets there so get information directly from the source and if you want use the factors I listed above in your decision.

Good luck in your legal career.

158
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
« on: March 04, 2013, 11:17:18 PM »
You win I am going to live and enjoy life continue ranting anonymously on the internet I really don't care that much. I really can't believe I spent this much time arguing frivolous stats with some random anonymous Internet poster.
To the OP remember take everything you read on here with a grain of salt. This is a life altering decision so opposed to listening to people who have never been to the school get first hand knowledge from people with direct experience. However, I am hopeful you had enough common sense to stop paying attention to all the ranting on this thread days  ago.

Anti if the job market is really as bad as you say I would spend a lot more time studying to get some kick ass grades opposed to ranting on here as much as you do. Good luck finding a job and passing the bar you will need it.

159
OP visit the school yourself, talk to alumni, and get those who have direct experience with it. There are plenty of successful graduates from this school and plenty of people who struggled. The statistics do not mean a whole to since any educational opportunity has a lot more to do with the individual than the school, but do not take any anonymous internet posters advice to seriously any on this board or others is nothing more than that and Michael Scott explains why that is a bad idea. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvZBg7qLzU8

Visit the school, talk to people with direct experience, etc whether you attend or not is a life altering decision. I realize looking at stuff on the internet is easy to do, but the information is often highly inaccurate and skewed. Mainly because for all you know myself or Anti could be homeless guys in a public library and just read the comments under any Yahoo News story and see how retarded they become anonymous internet poster advice is just not very good before making a 3 year 100,000 commitment visit the school and get information from people with direct experience in the local legal market.

American could be a great choice for you or a terrible one, but you need to do some real investigation before making such a big commitment.

160
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
« on: March 02, 2013, 05:58:33 PM »
@Jack I know February statistics are inaccurate, but it is more of a dig at Anti to show that stats can often be misleading. I mean using February Bar Statistics an a non-ABA approved law school Santa Barbara had a better bar passage rate than University of Michigan. http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/4/documents/Statistics/FEBRUARY2012STATS.pdf and they had the same amount of test takers 15. I could find any statistic to support my argument I wanted as could you or Anit and it will be an endless cycle.

Santa Barbara College of law had 15 takers 13 passed http://learn.collegesoflaw.edu/welcome (there is the website and it is not even ABA approved.

University of Michigan allegedly one of the top law schools in the world had 15 takers and 12 passed. As a result Santa Barbara must be a better school because statistics don't lie. However, as Jack and I know having taking the bar exam the July test is the real indicator, but in the bar exam administered in February 2012 Santa Barbara did better than Michigan that is a statistic.

Georgetown another top law school only has a 62% rate and 13% are school funded so only 49% of Georgetown grads are actually working in the legal field. http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=gulc&show=chars

However, I am sure within 5 years most people from Georgetown who stick to it to fine.

Anti why as a law student you don't know what the real world is and whatever stats LST shows regarding a school do not guarantee you a job or even that you will pass the bar. (Unless you attend Marquette or Wisconsin, which grant you automatic admission. On the bar exam you will not be able to say I went to X school so let me pass and when your applying to jobs you won't be able to say my school had x employment rate so you must higher me. Soon enough you will be in the real world and see these statistics mean very little.

Message to the OP
I am sure your aware that TJSL is not a world renowned school and the low bar passage rate is something to consider. However, this is your personal life decision visit the school and talk to alumni and those actually working in the San Diego Legal Market. Meet people face to face to judge their credibility I am in California, but in the Bay Area and I haven't been to San Diego since I was in high school I have no knowledge of what the legal market is like there or what TJSL's reputation is in San Diego.  People who actually live there, work there, and particularly those that attended TJSL will give you insight.

The random internet banter of three anonymous internet posters really shouldn't influence your decision that much whether you attend TJSL will be a life altering decision and you should get information from sources with direct experience. I know on the internet information is easily accessible, but it is often highly inaccurate or doesn't paint a full picture. Honestly, for all I know TJSL really is a terrible school I have never been there and only know a handful of lawyers from there and I don't know any of them that well. The few I have interacted with were fine enough attorneys and people, but it is a small sample size.

Bottom line just really do not make a life altering decision based on anonymous internet posters it is a terrible idea. Visit the school and see it for yourself it may be a great fit or you will know instantly it is not for you.  Good luck whatever you decide.

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