Law School Discussion

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Messages - livinglegend

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231
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: License Lawyers Without JDs?
« on: February 05, 2013, 02:29:32 AM »
The California Bar is considering a similar option http://www.calbarjournal.com/February2013/TopHeadlines/TH1.aspx . I don't know how I feel about any of it even with all the restrictions there are definitely plenty of attorneys with severe problems if they make the lessen the screening process I think it would get much worse.

The expense is tough, but there are plenty of schools you can attend and pay only in-state tuition, which is often quite reasonable. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out, but since I have gone through all the hurdles it would be frustrating to watch it become easier for others, but that is me being selfish.

232
I am a lawyer and on Friday I was at a bar association dinner in a town an hour outside of San Francisco where they hand out the Attorney of the year award. I was not a nominee nor was I selected however they kept a record of the recipents for the few years and out of curiosity I wanted to see where they went to school and here is the list.

1. University of Oregon Law 2012
2. Hamline Law 2011
3. Mcgeorge 2010
4. McGeorge 2010
5. Golden Gate 2009
6. Golden Gate 2008
7. Ohio State 2007 

None of these are T14 schools but these attorneys are employed and doing quite well. Many of these are Tier 4 schools, which allegedly you cannot get a job out of, but even when I was there I met one guy right out of law school from Golden Gate and another from University of San Francisco who just passed the bar and were hired. The point is there are jobs out there and you can succeed no matter what law school your from, but you have to work at it.

233
General Board / Re: Terrible Business Actions
« on: January 26, 2013, 05:04:00 PM »
If it was an official summons then go to court and fight it. If you lose you lose and pay, but until a judgement is entered you don't owe anything.

Furthermore, it really depends on how much he owes if this is a small claims action then he should just show up and argue it himself no need for a lawyer there. If this is a 100,000 credit card bill then he should get a lawyer.

If the card expired in 2010 the statute of limitations might have expired or they may not have. Some states have a 4 year limit others one I don't really know. I would say if the summons is a small claims form no need for a lawyer if it is a civil action for more than 10,000 talk to a lawyer.

Your friend can use sites like http://www.legalmatch.com/ , your state bar, or a local bar association to find an attorney.

234
Law School Applications / Re: What are your thoughts?
« on: January 26, 2013, 03:28:14 PM »
Yes people really get lost in the rankings particularly 0L's who listen to things from anonymous internet posters on site like TLS or even this one. 1L's also have the same insecurities then in you first year summer you are working with people from all different law schools and you start thinking it really doesn't matter. Then your 2L summer comes up and again your with people from different law schools and doing assignments and your employer will want stuff done and care very little about what school you went to. If they happened to attend your school they might like you a little more, but that is about it. Then you study for the bar with Barbri or Kaplan side by side with people from Harvard, Cooley, Santa Clara, etc etc all learning the same thing then you are in some bar testing center with everyone and praying to god you pass. Once that is over your a lawyer and you can represent clients once you start filing things and arguing in court you will see the name of your law school never comes up.

You got to get stuff done and if your capable of doing that you can succeed from any law school. Good luck.

235
Job Search / Re: Big Law GPA Cutoff
« on: January 26, 2013, 03:18:42 PM »
Well I don't know if many big law firms are to active for 1L's and you have a whole other semester to go up or down. In regards to the specific question you should look at NALP to look for the firms your interested in and what they require http://www.nalp.org/ there is the link you may already know about it, but it lists salaries, class rank requirements etc.

With that said welcome to law school I am sure on the first day everybody was convinced they were going to be Valedictorian or at the very least in the top 10% of the class. However, 100% of people can't be in the top 10% and not everyone gets a job in Big Law. It is good to know what you want, but very few people actually end up in Big Law and I know plenty that did who were absolutely miserable at Cravath, O'Melveny, and other big firms. Plenty of people love working at those firms as well, but if your goal is to just get rich then law is not the best way to go about it.

I guess what I am trying to figure out is what about Big Law is so appealing. What firm are you interest in? Why are you interested in it? If you have solid reasons for wanting to work at X firm and are attending Duke Law you have a decent chance of doing it, but if you are solely seeking Big Law for money then you might be disappointed.




236
Going to up on this one as well as everyone suggested your odds of getting into a Top 20 school with a 3.25 & 161 are quite low. However, believe it or not 90% of successful practicing lawyers did not go to the top 10% of law schools. I think OL's and those in law school think rankings mean far to much.

When your start practicing law you will need to file a complaint, argue in front of a judge, and get a result period end of story. If you don't get a result your client is not pleased and won't care that you went to Harvard. It is serious stuff when your out in the real world and saying I went to the X ranked school means very little. It would be cool to go to Harvard law of course, but only about 1% of the people in the world are even capable of graduating college with a 3.8 and scoring in the top 5% of LSAT takers.

So to OP just use your common sense when applying to law school think of where you want to live for three years and start your career. If you want to work in L.A. go to law school in L.A. don't go to Michigan State because it is "ranked higher" than Chapman. Also don't spend 100,000 more dollars to go to the 84th best school opposed to the 114th nobody cares. Furthermore, legal education is the same everywhere you will take Torts, Civil Procedure, Con Law, Crim Pro, and learn IRAC. What some for profit magazine thinks is better or worse really doesn't make a big difference in your ability as a lawyer.

Good luck to you.

237
Law School Applications / Re: What are my chances?
« on: January 26, 2013, 03:01:52 PM »
I also noticed Thomas Jefferson dropped their tuition significantly this year I believe it is only 19k a year I know they have had problems with bar passage, but realistically whether you pass the California Bar has a lot more to do with you than the law school.

If you want to be in San Diego then I highly recommend going to any of the ABA schools in San Diego it is a smaller market and most lawyers/judges, etc in the community went to law school at Cal Western, Thomas Jefferson, or University of San Diego. Good luck.

238
Both posters are correct and Maintain puts it quite while there is no major in law school. About 60 of your 88 or so units will be bar subjects Torts, Civ Pro, Contracts, etc.

If you really are interested in environmental law then look for schools that have an environmental law journal or environmental law clinic those are the guaranteed ways to get assistance. Also as Jack points out location will be important as for agricutural law go to a state with a huge farming community. I wouldn't recommend going to law school in New York City or L.A., but a school in the midwest or something might be better.

Also your from Idaho and if you want to remain there I imagine University of Idaho would suit your needs quite well. I believe it is the only law school in the State and I don' t think many people are activitly seeking to get licensed in Idaho. As a result I would be willing to bet University of Idaho has a great reputation in Idaho, because everybody in the state went there, but that is pure speculation.

239
Law School Applications / Re: What are my chances?
« on: January 23, 2013, 10:49:19 PM »
Maintain is correct you can look on lawschoolnumbers.com to see how much URM status helped individuals at certain schools. I would predict Cal Western and Southwestern would come through the rest a crapshoot.

From the schools you listed I speculate you are from California and you may want to simply apply to schools there. If your goal is to work as a lawyer in California then attending school in Albany or Quinnipac will not be a good decision.

As Maintain said location will matter more than anything in your decision. There are 20 or so ABA schools in California and plenty of people from Harvard, Yale, NYU, Columbia, and other elite schools want to work in California. If you come from a decent school like Albany or Quinnipac with no connections in California you probably won't be in a good situation. However, if you want to work in Albany then Albany law school is probably the best school you could go to and if you want to be in Connecticut then Quinnipac would be one of the best schools you could attend.

240
Law School Applications / Re: What are your thoughts?
« on: January 22, 2013, 11:54:57 PM »
Congrats on your acceptance very few people actually end up showing up for the LSAT and going through the application process and getting admitted. Although you might read a bunch of things saying otherwise on the internet getting into an ABA law school is an accomplishment. I am a licensed employer lawyer that did not go to a T14 school and believe it or not 90% of lawyers did not go to top 10 schools.

With that said before I give any advice realize that anything you read from anonymous internet posters on this board or others my post included should be taken with a grain of salt. Some of the advice might be helpful, but nobody posting anonymous on the internet knows anything about you, your situation, or what is best for you. Furthermore, there is no license required to post on this board or others for all you know I could have been valedictorian at Harvard law or be some bum in a public library shooting up heroin so take anything you get from sources such as this with a major grain of salt.

In regards to choosing a law school I have posted some factors I think any 0L should consider and they are in this order (1) Location (2) Cost (3) personal feelings about the school (4) Reality of Legal Education (5) Lastly use the rankings member it is nothing more than an for profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion you might want to use it, but don't make a life altering decisoin based on it.

I will break down the factors quickly.

1) Location
This is the most important thing in my opinion wherever you attend school is where you will spend 3 years of your life and more than likely where you will end up living at graduation. Law school is a life altering event and during your time you will make friends, enter a romantic relationship or maintain a current one, get an apartment, a routine etc and at a minimum you will be there for 3 years. Furthermore, all your internships will likely be in the area because 9 months out of the year you will need to be in the location school is. 

Also realize that law school does not exist in a Vaccuum I know nothing about you personally, but if you are a Conservative Mormon I would not recommend attending law school in San Francisco and if your a gay rights activist don't attend South Texas. There are also concerns of weather, culture, and so forth. If you are a person that loves living in a big city go to law school in a big city if you want the college vibe then attend a school in a college town. Although law school is time consuming the outside world still exists so consider where you want to live.

2) Cost
Scholarships are great and getting out with as little debt is ideal. However, pay close attention to any conditions you see on scholarship oftentimes it will be something along the lines of maintaining a 3.0 or being in the top 35% of the class. Now as a 0L I am sure you assume you will be in the top 35% of the class especially at Tier 3/4 school. However, that is not the case 100% of people at any ABA school are smart, hard-working, and motivated and if 100% of people think they will be in the top 35% you don't need to be a  math major to see what happens.

That same logic applies to the 3.0 schools have stringent curves and generally only 35% of the class can get a 3.0 so pay extremly close attention to any conditions applied to your scholarships. Also look at the actual cost of tuition I know there are schools like FIU, CUNY, South Dakota, North Dakota to name a few that offer in-state tuition. You will only pay 12-15k per year and most schools charge 40k per year. So even if you got a 50% scholarship at some school that was 40k per year you would still be paying 20k opposed to 12-15k and there is a strong possiblity you will lose the schoalrship for years 2 and 3 so pay attention to all of that.

3) Personal Feelings About the School
When I was a OL I was accepted to numerous schools and in law school I participated in a lot of mock trial competitions. As a result of this I saw quite a few schools and learned that each had a culture and feel to it. There were some I liked and others I didn't, but what I liked you may hate and vice versa. I highly recommend you visit any school your serious about attending talk to professors, students, admins etc and see how they make you feel. I definetly left with a sour taste in my mouth at some schools and feeling really positive about others, but again that is my own personal feeling and there is a strong likelihood you and I don't have the exact same likes/dislikes. Remember nobody knows what is best for your better than yourself.

4) Reality of Legal Education
One thing I think few law students realize is that at any ABA school the education is almost identical. Your first year will consist of Torts, Property, Contracts, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law and you may have Criminal Procedure & Con Law in year 2 or those might be in year 1, but you will have all those courses. In these classes you will read Supreme Court cases Pennoyer in Civ Pro, Palsgraff in Torts etc. Believe it or not the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different schools the law is literally the same and once your 3 years is up at whatever law school you attend you will pay a company like BarBri or Kaplan to help you pass the bar and so will the kids at Harvard.

There are some schools that offer a few extra courses and if you have a particular area of interest you may want to check the course schedule, but even if that is the case most of your law school days will be spent studying the core subjects.

5) U.S. News
So many 0L's make life altering decisions based on this magazine, but remember that is all it is a magazine. U.S. News ranks more than law schools and they claim Alberqueu New Mexico is the best place to live and South Dakota will be the best place to live in 2032 . Not making this up either http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/real-estate/articles/2009/06/08/best-places-to-live-2009  and http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/the-best-life/2012/08/07/here-are-the-best-places-to-livein-2032 I imagine your not packing your bags to move to New Mexico right now or moving to South Dakota in 2032 because U.S. News said so. It makes me slightly more interested in these places, but I am certainly not going to make a life altering decision based like move to these areas because they said so. I encourage you to apply the same logic to law school use them as a basis, but don't make the decision of whether or not to go to law school because U.S. News says X school is 110th.

I can tell you these rankings change drastically year to year and outside of the top schools nobody knows or cares what certain schools are ranked. However, if you are expecting a 300,000 a year job right out of law school then go for Harvard or bust. However, if you really want to be a lawyer any ABA school will do.

Well that is it sorry for any typos I am rushing through this post hopefully some of that info is helpful and I wish you good luck if you decide to attend law school.


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