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Messages - livinglegend

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191
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: I can't decide!
« on: February 11, 2013, 10:13:42 PM »
I don't think I am saying rank doesn't matter I list it as a factor to consider, but the last factor. Certainly if OP was deciding between Harvard and Cooley the rank should play some factors, but Temple, Drexel, and Alabahma are not schools that have any particularly prestige to them. It really sounds like the OP could stay at home saving thousands on living costs and being in an area where he is comfortable if he choose a school in Philadelphia.  Whatever rank Alabama has well not be worth moving away from family, friends, and losing on tens of thousands of dollars for living costs.

As for your sampling of Gibson Dunn the reality is you have almost no shot at BigLaw from any of the schools OP is considering 1 person from Alabahma works there "1" and if you read his profile he was not hired right out of law school he worked in London first.

The schools you listed BYU, Boalt, Duke, Chicago, etc give you a shot at Biglaw and schools of that caliber the rank matters, but at some point nobody really cares. I honestly have no idea what any of the schools OP is considering is ranked and remember schools change drastically year by year http://www.top-law-schools.com/rankings.html Alabahma was 38th two years ago now it is 29th. It coudl very easily be 50 or 60th by the time OP graduates or stay at 39.

It is also important to realize that LSAT/GPA make up only 12% of a law school ranking there are plenty of schools "ranked" lower with higher admissions standards than Alabama, which kind of makes you realize how absurd the rankings are.

I.E. William Mary ranked 35 3.46-3.82    161-167 (this school is 6 spots lower despite having higher GPA and LSAT standards)

BYU Ranked below Alabama at 39th their GPA & LSAT 3.51-3.87    160-167

Alabama ranked 29th 3.42-3.94 158-167

So my point is the rankings don't mean that much because they are very flawed, which is why I bring up the fact they rank New Mexico as "THE BEST PLACE TO LIVE" I mention nothing about law school there just the fact that U.S. News ranks everything and I don't agree that New Mexico is the best place to live, but whatever formula they use decided that it is.

I imagine most people are not going to move to New Mexico, because U.S. News said it is the best place to live. However, for some reason law students make life altering choices based on a magazine. It is something to consider I am more interested in New Mexico it is place I never thought of, but hell maybe I will take a vacation there now, but I am not going to make a life altering decision based on what a magazine says, which is my overall point.



192
Transferring / Re: Admitted to Appalachian but I want to go to Uconn
« on: February 11, 2013, 09:32:38 PM »
Well one thing to realize is that law school and the bar is one big standardized test. When you enroll in law school you will have one final for each class that is it a 3 hour test for your entire Contracts Class and what you do in those 3 hours will be your entire grade for that course. There is usually no midterm, no h.w. assignment, just one 3 hour test, which is essentially standardiezed. Your first year contracts exam for example will generally involve identiyfying whether it is UCC or Common Law Contract, then whether there is an offer or acceptance in the contract and they will combine some nuances like was it a firm offer (bla bla), then there will be an issue of whether or not the contract was formed with consideration, and what remedies the parties had. That is typically the formula for a contracts questions and it is a high pressure standardized test that you need to not miss any issues and do better analysis than the guy or girl next to you. Honestly your law school exams will make the LSAT seem like a piece of cake.

When your done with three years of law school you get to take arguably the hardest standardized test in the world a Bar Exam and if you don't pass this you can't be a lawyer.

Bottom line is I would recommend getting good at standardized tests before enrolling in law school and if your goal is to be an attorney in Connecticut then go to law school there. No guarantee you will do good enough to get into Quinnipac, but you will spend 100 bucks and have your life if you don't get a 155. If you go to Applachian there is realistically you will probably have to be in the top 15-20% of your class to transfer out and there is an 80-85% chance you won't be. Then you will pay 30,000-40,000 and be in Grundy, Virginia for the next two years and if you go to Appalachian that is probably where you will graduate you from.

My post is not meant to knock Applachian it is an ABA school, but it is in a very small town in Virginia and this will probably be a big culture shock to you. If you visit and think it is a good fit for you then great, but it is ALWAYS A BAD IDEA TO GO TO LAW SCHOOL COUNTING ON TRANSFERRING.

193
Law School Admissions / Re: Best work experience prior to law school
« on: February 11, 2013, 09:22:47 PM »
I will agree with Jack and the reality is law school admissions care very little about work experience unless it is something impressive i.e. NBA basketball player, Navy Seal, Founder of a Multi-Million Dollar Company, etc. Working as a paralegal won't hurt you and it may be a good idea to expose yourself to what the legal profession really is before making a 3 year 100,000 commitment, but it will be of marginal value for law school admissions.

Realistically the most important thing you can do for law school admissions is nail the LSAT. Your post does not indicate whether you have done that yet or not, but knock that out and have a score if you have a 155 Northwestern is just not going to happen.  You need to score in the top 5% of test takers to get into Northwestern and there is a 95% chance you won't be in the top 5% I hope you are, but take the rest and see what your options realistically are.

I guess if your goal is to work in BigLaw then be a paralegal for BigLaw if you want to be a D.A. after law school work for the D.A. etc, etc. 

One thing I caution 0L's about in your position is how long are you going to be a paralegal 1 year very quickly turns into 3-4 and then you don't have time to take the LSAT and you never end up going. The longer you wait to enroll in law school the likelier life is to get in the way. Maybe you will meet a girl/guy, maybe some issues will arise in the family, maybe you will get sick, the list is endless and the longer you wait the less likely law school is to happen, but if you have 0 experience in the legal field I think a year or so as a paralegal can be helpful.

CONCLUSION

If you haven't already take the LSAT so you know what your options truly are. If you are going to be a paralegal really set a date for when you are quitting the job if you don't have that or an LSAT score when you start as a parlegal your first day of 1L will probably never come. Good luck to you.

194
Transferring / Re: Admitted to Appalachian but I want to go to Uconn
« on: February 07, 2013, 10:48:24 PM »
Congrats on getting into an ABA school. However, as KJW says odds are against you for transferring do NOT go to a law school if you will be disappointed staying there all three years. You need to be in the top 10-20% of the class to transfer up and 100% of 1L's at Appalachian or any ABA school are convinced they will be in the top 10%, but 100% of people will not be in the top 10% and there is a 90% chance will not be in the top 10%.

If you want to go be a lawyer in Connecticut then I would strongly encourage you to retake the LSAT and go to Quinnipac or UConn. The odds of you being in the top 10% at Appalachian are much lower than you improving your LSAT score. Opposed to spend 40,000 and a year of your life to transfer to these schools spend 100 dollars to retake the LSAT if Connetticut is where you want to be a lawyer.

If you want to be a lawyer in Virginia then Appalachian might be fine.

Good luck

195
Good luck one website that really helped me 1L was http://www.casebriefs.com/ just type in the case and it gives you a good analysis I would usually read this then read the textbook in the case it worked for me, but you fill figure out your own system.

One thing that also helped me were CALI lessons

Again good luck at NWCU it is not Harvard, but the law is the law.

If anyone says otherwise I always think this is a great quote

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor de

196
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: I can't decide!
« on: February 07, 2013, 10:37:00 PM »
You are the classic example of someone I think needs to be reached out to regarding rankings. I am a lawyer and can tell you the rank of all the schools you mentioned means very little. There are a few schools such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, that if you have the chance to get into go for it. However, the rest simply don't matter remember that U.S. News is nothing more than a for profit magazine offering an opinion and it is not something you should make a life altering decision on.

What any OL should consider are the following in this order (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feelings about the school (4) The realities of legal education and (5) Iif all else fails use the rankings as a tie breaker do not put what a magazine thinks number one when making a life altering decision.

Analysis of these Factors:

1) Location
This should be the NUMBER 1 PRIORITY first of realize that law school does not exist in a vacuum if your from Philadelphia which I am assuming is the case if you live 5 minutes away then Alabama is going to be a huge culture shock.

Also it sounds like Temple has your family which you appear close to if your in Alabama it will drastically effect these relationships.  I can tell you during 1L you will not want to be all alone in a new city it is a very stressful time.

So from my impression, which shouldn't mean that much since I am anonymous internet poster that knows nothing about you I predict Alabama will be a bad fit based on a big city kid going away from his family who he is close to in a small country town where you don't know anyone while dealing with the stress of 1L. I don't think it is a good combination despite what a private magazine says.

Furthermore, wherever you go to school is where you are likely going to spend the rest of your life. If you attend Alabama you will get an apartment there, possibly enter into a relationship, have your internships, etc. If you want to in Philadelphia you will not be able to work internships in Philadelphia 9 months out of the year if you are in Alabama.

2) Cost & Scholarship Conditions
Cost is real and it sounds like you are getting scholarships, which is great. However, most law school scholarships attach conditions that are hard to maintain. The common condition is you must maintain a 3.0 to maintain your scholarship as someone who got into law school a 3.0 sounds very easy, but law school is graded on a curve and only 35% of people can get a 3.0.  100% of 1L's are convinced they will be in the top 35%, but you don't need to be a math major to see how that goes. Here is an article from the NY times that explains the conditions in a little more detail http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Just CHECK THE CONDITIONS before making a decision based on the scholarships there is a strong chance you will not have it for years 2 & 3.

3) Personal Feelings about the School
It sounds like you are doing this properly visit the schools and get a vibe from them. It appears you have a good feeling about some schools and go with your gut instinct here. I know when I was a OL I visited multiple schools and during school I did a lot of mock trial competitions so I saw a lot more. Some schools I really liked others were not my cup of tea and that is my own personal opinion and you will have your own. So take these feelings of where you comfortable very seriously the law school you attend will be three years of the prime of your life make sure it is a good fit for YOU.

4) Reality of Legal Education
One thing I don't think OL's realize is that the education at any ABA school is the same. Your first yer will consist of Torts, Civil Procedure, Property, Contracts, Criminal Law, and Con Law. A few schools might put Criminal Procedure in 1L and Con Law in 2L or vice versa, but you will take those courses. In those courses you will read Supreme Court Cases usually the first case you read is Pennoyer v. Neff in Civil Procedure and probably the Hairy Hand case in Contracts I forgot the name. Then Marbury v. Madison in Con Law. The Supreme Court did not sit down and write separate opinions for different ranked schools you will literally be reading the same cases no matter what school you attend.

As for specializations this usually is not a big deal in law school. Your first year will consist of the courses I mentioned above and then you will take Evidence, Wills & Trusts, Corporations, Remedies, and a few other courses that will be in the bar. You might take 4-5 courses in a specialty area assuming class schedule works right and that is assuming you keep the specialty interest. When I was a OL I really thought IP law sounded great, but I had 0 experience in it and after taking 1L class I knew IP law was not for me. Now if you have some undying passion for this subject area then maybe consider it, but if it is just an area of law you think sounds cool don't make a life altering decision based on it.

5
U.S. News Ranking

Now I may have been to harsh consider it, but remember it is nothing more than a magazine that ranks more than law schools. According to U.S. News New Mexico is the best place to live right and South Dakota will be the best place to live in 2032.

Not making this up either http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CDYQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmoney.usnews.com%2Fmoney%2Fpersonal-finance%2Fslideshows%2Fbest-places-to-live&ei=2o0UUc0IsdmKAoe3gYgL&usg=AFQjCNGK6xJtfB_hioG9fOauleV13BPcTg&bvm=bv.42080656,d.cGE   and http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/the-best-life/2012/08/07/here-are-the-best-places-to-livein-2032

I imagine you are not planning on moving to Albuquerque because U.S. News says it is the best or setting up a retirement home in South Dakota because U.S. News says so. There is some research into these rankings, but I am not packing my bags based on what some magazine says, which to me makes sense, but somehow 0L's lose their common sense when it comes to this. Use the rankings, but do not make a life altering decision.

Conclusion:

My opinion as an anonymous internet poster who knows nothing about you and has never met you is you should attend Temple. Your parents are Alums, it is five minutes from your house which will save you money on food etc, and you have sister that works there. You will be comfortable in that environment and be setup in the location you want to live assuming Philly is where you want to be.

I would also really discourage you from going to Alabama, but again I am anonymous person on the internet who for all you know could be high on crack in a public library or I could be the Valedictorian of Harvard.

Well enough of that and I apologize for the typos don't feel like editing this. Congrats on the acceptance and good luck in your legal career!

197
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Advice on Deciding Where to Attend
« on: February 07, 2013, 09:40:35 PM »
I think your post is exactly why so many people end up disappointed with their law schools when they look at rankings. Miami is not Harvard and I am sure it is a fine school as any other ABA school is. At every school you learn the same exact thing, but the culture & location of the school will make a major impact on your experience.

From what I read you saw Miami and didn't like it. I am sure there are plenty of people that love the Miami Law School, but it doesn't fit your personal preference. To the OP don't let a magazine make a life altering decision for you visit the schools and make sure first hand it is the right fit for you.


198
I can also tell you being a lawyer in the Bay Area Santa Clara, USF, Hastings, McGeorge, GGU, and UC Davis are more or less the same in the eyes of most SF employers. They are all fine schools with a lot of successful alumni, but they defeinetly take a back seat to Stanford and Boalt not to mention plenty of Harvard & Yale people move to S.F. Then there are people from UCLA & USC just a few hours away as well. A degree from Hastings won't make thing easy write now I have an intern from Hastings and one from GGU working for me they are both great and I really don't care where either one went to school. So I would really recommend getting out of any of these schools with as little debt as possible. If any of the non Top 10 law schools offer you a lot of scholarship money take it employers here will not care that much if you went to the 48th opposed to the 78th best school.

Also if you are not from the Bay Area one thing to know about Hastings is that it is in the worst part of San Francisco. People get shot every few weeks blocks from the campus if you can't handle crackheads being all around you don't go there. During the day it is as bad since the courthouse and City Hall are right there, but if you ever plan on studying late, taking a night class, or living in the Tower 1L make sure you know what you are getting into.

As for the actual question you might get in, but a 2.72 might keep you out. As the above poster mentioned if you want to be in San Francisco look at all the schools they mentioned and don't forget UC Davis & McGeorge really are not that far away either. Good luck.

199
Law School Admissions / Re: GPA: 3.82 LSAT 169 URM Chances Anyone?
« on: February 06, 2013, 12:27:00 AM »
Absolutely, but I think often when you spend 3 years somewhere life gets in the way and if you meet a girl in Boston while attending Harvard even if you get offered a great job in L.A. you might end up in Boston. Not to mention law school is three years in the prime of your life so you should attend school in a location you enjoy, but I don't think attending any of the schools mentioned will limit your potential employment, but I personally think there is a lot more to life than potential job propsects, which is something I think many OL's don't consider until it is to late.

200
Current Law Students / Re: How freaking long .... ?
« on: February 06, 2013, 12:17:26 AM »
You probably didn't screw up and I imagine some acceptance letters will be coming your way. You are correct to do the best financial option, but I don't know you are aware there are several schools that offer in-state tuition which is very cheap I know CUNY, Florida International, South Dakota, North Dakota, and a few others I believe Idaho might be one charge only 10-12,000 per year just something to think about.

Some other things to think about are visit schools you are interested in each school has a culture to it and make sure you fit in with it. I did mock trials and was accepted to quite a few schools as a OL and there were some schools I really liked and others I hated, but those are my own personal opinions make sure the school is a fit for you.

Also as you appear to realize wherever you end up is likely where you will spend the rest of your life. The locations you mentioned are very different and if your an Ultra Liberal person I wouldn't recommend going to Texas Southern for example. Just really consider the different locations because law school does not exist in a vacuum for example if you go to Idaho you will be covered in Snow 6 months of the year, but you could be suntanning in Florida.

In the end I am sure you will be getting into some of these schools and I hope you choose the right one good luck to you.

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