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Messages - livinglegend

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181
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Where should I go?
« on: February 20, 2013, 09:06:49 PM »
As I stated before nobody knows better than you how you will handle moving away from home etc. Remember if you attend Syracuse you will be there for 3 years of your life. You will be stressed out as a 1L unable to make a quick trip home, you will not be able to just visit your friends, etc. Wherever you attend  law school will have a major impact on your experience and if you don't like Syracuse, NY I would highly recommend you do not attend law school there.

As for employment prospects none of these schools are going to result in employers tracking you down. They are all fine, but realistically I am sure the majority of lawyers in Syracuse, NY attended Syracuse Law School. The majority of lawyers in Harrisburg attended Widener, etc. I know Drexel is basically brand new, but again I am sure the majority of graduates are in Philadelphia. The reason for this is simple the professors live in these locations and have connections locally. A professor in Syracuse, NY is not going to Philadelphia Bar Association meetings to mingle with lawyers they are in Syracuse NY. Furthermore, employers in Harrisburg or Philadelphia are not going to send people to upstate New York to interview when they have law schools in their backyard. I could go on and on, but just apply common sense location matters above all else in this decision.

 If you were debating between Stanford and Widener then maybe location could take a back seat, but even then I would encourage you to think about it, but these are all mediocre schools. Nothing wrong with them they will give a license to practice law and it will be up to you to succeed as a lawyer. So many 0L's and law students think the name of their school means so much, but realistically being a lawyer is much more art than science. You will need to persuade people and get a result. There are numerous ways to get the result you want and if you are good at getting sh** done you will be a good lawyer no matter what school you attend. The name of the school on your diploma won't really make that big of a difference.

If you don't believe me then go into a courthouse and watch some hearings. You have a constitutional right to do so and watch the attorneys go. Some will be amazing, others ok, while others will be terrible. You will never hear a law school name be mentioned in court either there will be millions of dollars on the line, someone possibly going to prison, or some serious sh** going down. Some lawyers will persuade you and others you will think are idiots that is it.

One other thing really look at the scholarship offers and conditions as I suggested before. I also encourage you to negotiate for more money or better scholarship conditions.  Even if you don't get anything you have nothing to lose the law schools want you to enroll and you are in a everything to gain nothing to lose situation. It will also be a good exercise in negotiating and seeing your ability to get sh** done, which is the skill you will need to be a lawyer.

Alright enough out of me, but being someone who has never met you and knows nothing about you other than a few posts on the internet if you want to take my advice on a life altering decision I would rule Syracuse out, but I am some guy on the internet so take my advice or anyone else on this board or others with a grain of salt.

182
Statistics are not people so you are right they cannot lie, but they can be highly inaccurate. However, 50% of the time statistics are right every time :) . Lets take law school statistics for these schools and see how two different reports on the same school for the same year show entirely different results. 

Hofstra's LSAC reports indicates their 2012 class had  a 94% employment rate that is a statistic http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/publications/2012og/aba2295.pdf

Law School Transparency says 75% are employed http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=hofstra&show=chars

Which one is right? Both of these sites have agendas and it is not surprising the numbers slide in their favor. If you actually become a lawyer and litigate a case you will see two "experts" say the exact opposite thing using statistics.

With that said I am a fan of law school transparency and shedding some reality, but as I stated above their report is not Gospel. Furthermore, finding a job is very personal to the individual I can tell you there were some people that were complete morons at my school who I would not trust to feed my cat and certainly would never want to be my lawyer.  One guy just didn't show up for interviews he would get and if he did show up he wouldn't bring in a resume or dress for the job. If you went to Harvard and conducted yourself in that manner your not getting hired.

I could continue discussing it, but the bottom line is if you go to law school, graduate, and pass the bar you are a lawyer. What you do with your license to practice law and how successful you are depends a lot more on yourself than any school name printed on your diploma



183
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: I can't decide!
« on: February 20, 2013, 08:24:24 PM »
Could not agree more the rankings hold some weight, but if someone wants to live in New York then go to law school in New York. Attending BYU even if it is a top 50 something school is not going to do you any favors getting a job in New York. You would honestly be better off attending New York Law School, Brooklyn, or another mid level school if you wanted to be in New York.

The same applies nationwide it is really quite simple go to law school in the location you want to live. Somehow 0L's make it so much more complicated than that and make life altering decisions based on a magazine.

184
Law School Admissions / Re: What are your thoughts?
« on: February 18, 2013, 09:35:32 PM »
Happy to help what schools are you considering? I am a lawyer in California and am pretty familiar with most schools in the area if you want any specific information regarding individual law schools feel free to personal message me or post here again. Good luck in your legal career.

185
I will have to rebut Anit's statement and remember law school transparency is not exactly gospel. Furthermore, it only reports attorney salaries right after graduation and although it is true most lawyers start out making 40-60k,  after a few years of experience this number jumps significantly.

As for the 50% chance of working as a lawyer there are number of reasons for these numbers. One being not everyone reports all their info to their school when I graduated, passed the bar, and was working I simply never filled out the survey. I should have filled it out and meant to do it, but I didn't. There is no penalty for not submitting your paperwork it is completely voluntary and I think I like many people I didn't feel like spending my free time filing out an employment survey. 

On top of that there are a number of people who do not pass the bar, which often has a lot more to do with the individual than anything related to the school. If you don't pass the bar you can't work as a lawyer and even schools like Harvard do not have 100% bar passage rates. Even further still there a number of people who won't get hired because of their personality or other issues. For example I knew a guy in law school who got hired as a D.A, but he failed his drug test. The guy had a cocaine problem, which not the school's fault he. The guy graduated, passed the bar, but had a substance abuse problem. He couldn't get a job because of his personal cocaine problem and it was noting related to the school. Further still there are number of people who go to law school and simply don't want to be lawyers. Some people are extremely wealth and just want the intellectual challenge or want to go into business etc.

Bottom line is these employment numbers should be considered, but  you have realize there are far from full-proof. I went to a mediocre school and was offered a job right the day after getting bar results. This was not that long ago and I know plenty of people that also got jobs. However, I can tell you I was stressed out for 3 years about finding a job during law school and  in California you wait 4 months for bar results so after graduation I went 3 months of studying for the bar and another 4 months of waiting for results before I could work. Not to mention you get your results the week of Thanksgiving and realistically most employers do not hire around the Holiday season and the majority of my classmates did not get jobs until January. This was more than 9 months after graduation, but you can see why this 9 month number is flawed, because almost jobs depend on bar results, which you don't have until 7-8 months after graduation. Once you receive those results it will generally take a month or two to find a job.

I could go on and on, but the reality is many people do find legal jobs, but like any profession finding a job is difficult & stressful. If you really want to be a lawyer then go to law school, but realize it is not a guarantee of success, but the numbers you see from a lot of these places have a major agenda and are very skewed. I would highly recommend going to these different schools and contacting recent alumni. Many alumni are happy to talk about their experiences and you can gauge the credibility of the individuals yourself.

Good luck on your legal career should you choose that path.

186
I will have to rebut Anit's statement and remember law school transparency is not exactly gospel. Furthermore, it only reports attorney salaries right after graduation and although it is true most lawyers start out making 40-60k,  after a few years of experience this number jumps significantly.

As for the 50% chance of working as a lawyer there are number of reasons for these numbers. One being not everyone reports all their info to their school when I graduated, passed the bar, and was working I simply never filled out the survey. I should have filled it out and meant to do it, but I didn't. There is no penalty for not submitting your paperwork it is completely voluntary and I think I like many people I didn't feel like spending my free time filing out an employment survey.

On top of that there are a number of people who do not pass the bar, which often has a lot more to do with the individual than anything related to the school. If you don't pass the bar you can't work as a lawyer and even schools like Harvard do not have 100% bar passage rates. Even further still there a number of people who won't get hired because of their personality or other issues. For example I knew a guy in law school who got hired as a D.A, but he failed his drug test. The guy had a cocaine problem, which not the school's fault he. The guy graduated, passed the bar, but had a substance abuse problem. He couldn't get a job because of his personal cocaine problem and it was noting related to the school. Further still there are number of people who go to law school and simply don't want to be lawyers. Some people are extremely wealth and just want the intellectual challenge or want to go into business etc.

Bottom line is these employment numbers should be considered, but  you have realize there are far from full-proof. I went to a mediocre school and was offered a job right the day after getting bar results. This was not that long ago and I know plenty of people that also got jobs. However, I can tell you I was stressed out for 3 years about finding a job during law school and  in California you wait 4 months for bar results so after graduation I went 3 months of studying for the bar and another 4 months of waiting for results before I could work. Not to mention you get your results the week of Thanksgiving and realistically most employers do not hire around the Holiday season and the majority of my classmates did not get jobs until January. This was more than 9 months after graduation, but you can see why this 9 month number is flawed, because almost jobs depend on bar results, which you don't have until 7-8 months after graduation. Once you receive those results it will generally take a month or two to find a job.

I could go on and on, but the reality is many people do find legal jobs, but like any profession finding a job is difficult & stressful. If you really want to be a lawyer then go to law school, but realize it is not a guarantee of success, but the numbers you see from a lot of these places have a major agenda and are very skewed. I would highly recommend going to these different schools and contacting recent alumni. Many alumni are happy to talk about their experiences and you can gauge the credibility of the individuals yourself.

Good luck on your legal career should you choose that path.

187
Current Law Students / Re: How freaking long .... ?
« on: February 18, 2013, 04:17:20 PM »
Then that sounds good and you also have to realize when listening to anonymous interent posters like myself or Jack you cannot gauge our credibility. In your own life experience I am sure you have encountered people that will complain no matter what happens and others that will find a way to succeed.

Law school and starting a legal career is not easy, but plenty of people have done it. I actually just read this quick story http://www.jmlba.com/?q=history and it was pretty inspiring. This guy John Mercer Langdon was a black man in the 1850's he was not allowed to even attend law school, but he got a judge to let him study in there and eventually passed the bar. He then ended up arguing in front of the Supreme Court and becomming a congressman. 

Point being there is adversity and I guarantee you a Tier 4 grad does not face any obstacle nearly as great as a black man in the 1850's did. Life is not easy, but if you really are wiling to overcome obstacles things can be done, but if you are one that sits around complaining about how unfair life is then don't go to law school. I know far to many law students that complain about everything and lo and behold they are unemployed.

You will have opportunity to attend an ABA law school most likely and there are literally billions of people around the world that would love to switch places with you if you don't forget that and have a good head on your shoulders you will probably do fine.

Good luck to you in your legal career.

188
I think the best thing to do is visit the school for yourself. In reality every student has their own experience and I am sure you can find 50 people that hated their time at American Law School and 50 others that loved it. However, none of these people are you before making a 3 year, 100,000 commitment visit the school, talk to professors, talk to students currently enrolled in the school and reach out to alumni from the school.

A lot of times on boards like this you get a lot of bad information from anonymous internet posters often who have not even taken the LSAT, but somehow think they know everything about the legal profession.  Take any advice you recieve on this board or others with a grain of salt based on that.

I can tell you that typically speaking law school is competitive, but not outwardly at least from my experience. Perhaps back in the day people hid books etc, but now everything is online and you really can't do anything to interfere with what another student is doing. However, one thing to realize is that at pretty much every ABA school on the first day 100% of students will truly believe they are going to graduate in the top 10% of the class, but you don't have to be a math major to figure out that 90% of people in this scenario are going to be disappointed.


189
First thing to realize when reading things on this forum, TLS, or others is that everyone posting is an anonymous internet poster that knows nothing about you, your situation, or what is best for you so take it with a grain of salt. With that disclaimer I will follow up on what Irrx said.

As Irrx suggessted location is the most important thing to consider particularly if you have a partner, which from your post appears you do. Not only will the area you reside in have a significant impact on your experience in law school your partner will be moving to a whole new city without any structure in place.  The reality is wherever you go to law school is where you will end up for the foreseeable future after law school there are exceptions, but all your internships will be local and schools have connections locally. If you attend Brooklyn Law School nobody outside of New York is going to go out of their way to hire you. Law firms, government agencies, etc tend to recruit locally it just makes sense. A firm in Miami is not going to fly up to interview people at Brooklyn Law School and they are not going to pay to interview you when there is Miami Law School, FIU, in Miami and Florida and Florida State it just does not make sense.

So just based on the schools you listed really think about where you want to live aside from the job aspect each city has a culture. I am also assuming you are gay based on your reference to your partner and sadly these type of relationships are not as accepted in some parts of the country as others. This goes to a bigger point that law school does not exist in a vacuum if you are going to school in the South it may be a lot difference experience for you and your partner than in San Francisco.

COST
You definitely need to pay attention to this and it appears that you are, but remember some schools offer in-state tuition. I noticed you mentioned Florida might be a place you have connections and FIU offers in-state tuition at 12k a year, CUNY does as well, and Buffalo might also. You can have a 20k scholarhsip at a school that costs 50k per year you are still going to spend 90k in tuition assuming you don't lose the scholarship money. While you would spend only 36k in tuition at FIU, CUNY, or some other school. I cannot stress to you the importance of minimizing your debt.

PERSONAL FEELING ABOUT THE SCHOOLS
Another thing that is important is for you to visit the schools and see if it is a fit for you. You will have your own personal opinions regarding this and I know I had mine. When I was a 0L I visited a number of schools some felt right others felt wrong. Visit the different schools and see what fits for you.

REALITY OF LEGAL EDUCATION
I will let you in on a secret at every ABA school the education is the same. Despite U.S. News giving these b.s. rankings what you learn in law school is the exact same. Your first year will be torts, contracts, civil procedure, property, criminal law, and con law. Or some slight variation that and in these classes you will read supreme court cases where you will learn personal jurisdiction, the elements of negligence, consideration in a contract, etc etc. The Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different law schools so you learn the same thing and furthermore once you are a practicing lawyer you go into court and argue. You don't get to say I went to X school, which is ranked 9 spots higher than opposing counsels school so I win.

I strongly encourage you to go into a courtroom and see what being a lawyer really is if you haven't already. You will see the name of law schools does not come up, but some lawyers are great others are not. It often has very little to do with their school.

RANKINGS:

To many OL's take this way to seriously. Remember U.S. News is a for profit, unregulated magazine, offering an opinion nothing more. Do not make life altering decisions based on what a school is "ranked". Nobody really cares I noticed you might consider moving to Minnesota because it is the highest ranked? Do you have any desire to live in Minnesota? Does your partner want to live in Minnesota? If the answer to both of those questions is no then do not make a life altering decision by spending three years of your life and 100,000 because a magazine said to.

If you have connections in Minnesota and want to be there then Minnesota is a solid school and will open doors in Minnesota, but employers in NY or Florida are not going to heavily recruit in Minnesota it just doesn't make sense for them to do so.

One point to really drive this home is U.S. News ranks more than law schools according to the same Magazine New Mexico is the best place to live right now and South Dakota will be the best place to live in 2032. I am not making this up here are the links.

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/real-estate/articles/2009/06/08/best-places-to-live-2009

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

I highly doubt you and your partner are going to pack your bags and move to New Mexico because U.S. News ranked it #1 or plan on retiring in South Dakota because U.S. News said so. I am sure there are valid points to the ranking of these areas, but making a life altering decision based on these reports would not make a lot of sense. Apply the same logic when choosing a law school I cannot tell you how many 0L's make the mistake of putting rankings first and foremost in their decision process and it is 100% the wrong thing to do.

CONCLUSION:
My response is a little scattered, but I think it is important to understand that you know better than anyone else what is best for you. Furthermore, if you go to law school and pass the bar you will probably succeed. It will be difficult and none of these schools will result in employers begging you to work for them, but with some perservancer & dedication you can succeed as a lawyer.

I went to a mediocre school and found a job I love as lawyer right after getting bar results. However, for three years of law school and 4 months waiting for results I was scared sh**less it was stressful and these are generally the people who post online when they are scared, but after they move on to succeed they never rescind their posts so it often scares 0L's like yourself.

Just bottom line if you want to be a lawyer go to law school. The best choice in my opinion is to attend law school in a location you want to live in that works for your partner and minimizes your debt. Good luck to you .

190
Current Law Students / Re: How freaking long .... ?
« on: February 15, 2013, 11:45:54 PM »
Every story is different OP.  I went to a mediocre ranked law school and did pretty well academically. I got a job right after getting bar results it wasn't high paying, but it was exactly what I wanted to be doing working as a City Attorney. I got to organize inspection/abatement warrants to take down drug houses, take down drug houses in litigation under the drug abatement act, and I never had to prosecute someone I just went after the properties civily. It was awesome I would go bust into places with Cops and I loved doing that stuff and being a lawyer.  Furthermore, I still do and do not regret my decision to go to law school or becoming a lawyer.

It sounds like Jack had a tougher time and I know plenty of people that had difficulty finding a job. I will say this go to law school if you really want to be a lawyer do not go if you think it is a quick way to get rich. Being a lawyer gives you power & a license to go to court and get things done, which I think is awesome, but I am not driving a beamer and probably never will be. It really is personal, but do not think being a lawyer is as high paying as T.V. makes it out to be only about 1-2% of people work for BigLaw firms and most of them hate it.

I really hate to see people be discouraged from being lawyers if it is what they want to do and there is so much negativity regarding law school, but I think that has a lot more to do with law students expecting things based on what U.S. News says about their school and people having unrealistic expectations as law students.

Bottom line if you really want to be a lawyer and know what that entails then go to law school. If you think law school sounds interesting and it is a quick way to get rich then you are going to be very disappointed.

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