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Messages - livinglegend
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« on: January 21, 2013, 10:37:03 PM »
I think a lot of that advice is correct, but for now I woudl really focus on getting your LSAT Score and GPA in order. I am not sure how stringent Memphis is in admissions, but getting a 165-170 on the LSAT is not going to be a cakewalk. I would really focus on getting your LSAT Score and GPA to know what your options really are. If your numbers get you into Memphis then the above posters are right. Remember U.S. News is nothing more than a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion. I am a lawyer in California and I have absolutely no idea what Memphis is ranked furthermore I don't care to know there are a few schools that catch your attention i.e. Harvard, Stanford, Yale, but if a resume from Memphis or Michigan State or Florida International etc etc I wouldn't care I would look at the class rank, writing sample, work experience etc.
One other thing to realize is that education at every ABA school is essentially the same. Your first year will consist of Torts, Civil Procedure, Property, Contracts, and Criminal Law. Or they may give you Con Law and Criminal Procedure in your first year opposed to Criminal Law, but you will end up taking all those courses along with Evidence, Corporations, and Wills & Trusts. In those courses you will read Supreme Court Cases and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for Tier 1 v. Tier 3 law schools. Bottom line you learn the same thing and I wouldn't recommend moving cross country or paying 50-100k more to attend some school that is slightly better according to a magazine.
Remember U.S. News ranks more than just law schools they also think New Mexico is the best place to live and South Dakota will be the best in 2032 (not making this up) here are the links http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/the-best-life/2012/08/07/here-are-the-best-places-to-livein-2032
. The U.S. News opinion makes me think New Mexico might be more interesting than I thought, but I am not packing my bags to move there because U.S. News said so. I highly recommend applying the same logic to selecting a law school. Good luck on the LSAT and law school in general.
« on: January 21, 2013, 10:26:57 PM »
@Jack I would say I put in 50 if you include in class-time no more no less and you are correct you can certainly overstudy. Furthermore, I don't know if the hours count so much as your effiency in studying I am sure plenty of people set in a library for 60 hours, but if your on facebook the whole time in a library it is going to improve your performance.
So that is something I think any law student should realize the amount of time you put into studying does not matter it is the quality of your study habits. If you are organized, outline properly, etc you can really shorten the amount of time you spend studying and do all the extracurricular things jack mentioned in the prior post. I remember in 1L many people going hours upon hours, but when the final comes all that matters is your performance not the amount of time you spent studying.
« on: January 19, 2013, 05:06:13 PM »
I have posted on this forum many times regarding this topic and one thing to remember above all else is everyone posting on this form or others myself included is nothing more than anonyomous internet poster that knows nothing about you, your situation, or what is best for you. With that said I have gone through law school so I can offer my experience and what I think is important for anyone in your position to consider, but again I am just some guy posting on the internet so take my advice with a grain of salt.
You have already recieved some solid advice above, but I am going to add onto it. I think for any 0L these factors in this order should be considered when choosing a law school. (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feelings about the school (4) Reality of Legal Education (Speciality Programs) (5) and as a final factor the least important in my opinion U.S. News I think many 0L's mistakenly put this at the top of the list when it should be at the bottom.
Here is some analysis regarding the factors I mentioned.
It looks like your options right now are the Midwest and Florida, which are two different places entirely as I imagine you know. Whereever you end up going to school in all likelihood is where you will end up living. Furthermore, I noticed you have a girlfriend living near SLU I don't know how serious that is or not, but I would beat a significant amount of money that if you attend law school in a different city than her that relationship is ending. If you attend FIU while she is in St. Louis you will not see eachother you will be extremly busy and broke throughout law school, which is not a good combination for a long distance relationship.
Aside from that Miami is going to have far different weather & culture than Michigan State. I personally went to law school in a place that has pretty cloudly weather and it made studying a lot easier. Studying the Rule Against Perpetuities when it is 90 degrees and a beach with a bunch of beautiful girls on it would have made me drop the book and likely fail out. I know myself and how I would have handled a town like Miami or a school like Pepperdine in L.A. it would have ended with me rarely crackign a book. So that was a factor for me, but you might be entirely different.
Aside from that Michigan State (East Lansign) is a lot different than Miami as I am sure you are aware and law school does not exist in a vaccuum. There is not a whole hell of a lot to do in East Lansing if your not into the Frat Party, College Football, College Basketball, etc scene. Again something to consider I went to law school in a pretty metropolitan area which was good for some extra activities and making connections during law school.
Furthermore, three years is a long time you will get an apartment, make friends, etc and that will be difficult. Also whatever school you attend will have connections locally and you will only be able to intern at places near the school during the academic year. If you want to work for the Miami D.A. you cannot do that from August until May when if your in Michigan. If you wan to work for the Lansing D.A. you can't do that if your in Miami. So I really cannot stress the importance of location.
This is a huge factor and it looks like you are considering it. There are a few schools like FIU that offer in-state tuition which is awesome. CUNY, North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota, and a few others offer tuition which is about 10-15k per year, which is very reasonable for an ABA education. Many schools even with a half-tuition schoalrship will be more expensive than those schools. Many people see a 25,000 scholarship and think damn that is amazing, but if the law school is 50k per year you are still paying 25k per year while FIU or one of the other state schools is 10-15k per year over 3 years that adds up to 30k of savings.
You also seem aware of the scholarship conditions, which many people don't understand. These are of the utmost importance 100% of incoming 1L's are certain they will be in the top 10% of the class and maintain their scholarship, but 90% of people can't be in the top 10%. Once that is not achieved you lose your scholarship for years 2 & 3 then your paying 50k a year opposed to the guaranteed 15k per year at FIU or the other state schools I mentioned.
3) Personal Feelings About the School
Every school has a culture to it when I was a 0L I visited multiple schools and also did mock trial competitions so I interacted with even more. Many of the schools had a fell to them and there were some schools I loved others I hated. However, just because I didn't like one school doesn't mean you won't like it either. My reasoning was very subjective as I mentioned Pepperdie is a beautiful campus and it seemed great, but it was a little religious or that was my impression and I coudln't hanlde the beach, beautiful weather, etc while studying Torts. That might sound ideal for you and that is your personal opinion. So visit these schools interact with professors, talk to students, etc. At the end see what feels right for you remember this is a 3 year 100k commitment make sure it fits your style because nobody knows what is better for you than yourself.
4) Reality of Legal Education
In reality every ABA school teaches you the same exact thing. Your first year will consist of Torts, Contracts, Property, Civil Procedure, Criminal Law, and likely Con Law in 1L. They might mix in Criminal Procedure or Con Law in 2L, but you will take those courses. What you will do is read Supreme Court Cases like Pennoyer v. Neff in Civ Pro, Palsgraff in Torts, etc. These cases are exactly the same whether you read them in Michigan or Miami. Some professors are more engaging than others, but at every school you will have good and bad ones.
At the end of your three years you will pay BarBri or Kaplan to help you study for the bar and once you pass that with an ABA law degree you are a licensed lawyer and can take the bar in any other state.
However, if there is a speciality your are interested in which very few 0L's seriously are then you might want to look at a school's course schedule and again consider location. For example if you want to work for the Miami Dolphins then go to law school in Miami. Or if you want to do entertainment law go to law school in L.A., but if you want to help farmers patent corn or something then go to Nebraska. Just apply common sense there and also look to see if they offer what your interested in. Even if htey do specialities are not that big of a factor, because in reality you will take Evidence, Wills & Trusts, Coroprations, a writing course, trial advoacy, LRW to round out the rest of your 2L & 3L to prepare for the bar. You might get between 3-5 courses that will help focus on a specific area, but they will only give you an overview.
(5) U.S. News
If after all those factors are considered you can't decide then look to the rankings as a tiebreaker, but remember it is nothing more than a for-profit magazine offering an opinion. U.S. News has also ranked New Mexico the best state to live, but I don't see you applying to University of New Mexico to live there. I certainly would not make a life altering decision such as moving to Alberque because some magainze said to so use the same logic when deciding where to attend. Don't go to a school because it was ranked 84th opposed to 99th nobody cares. If you were deciding between Harvard and FIU then the rankings might be the number one factor and you should attend Harvard, but nobody cares about whatever difference exists between Depaul and FIU the factors above will be much more important.
In the end I am nothing more than an anonymous internet poster that knows nothing about you, your situation, or what is best for you. For all you know I am a bum in a public library strung out on H rambling on the internet with all the typos I have made rushing through this post you might be right : ) , but I can't stress enough consider location and your personal feelings when making this life altering decision. Good luck.
« on: January 19, 2013, 12:39:06 AM »
What are you talking about?
Anybody with reasonable focus and intelligence can reach 95% of their potential in law school by dedicated 50 hours (real hours) a week. After my first semester, I probably spent about 35 hours a week for 12 weeks and then 80 hours a week for 3 weeks. A lot of that time was spent for law review, moot court, and writing papers.
I was almost always over-prepared for exams.
Really, every hour over about 50 per week will be next to useless. It would be much better to spend that extra time to work out, watch movies, take your spouse on dates, or have sex.
As far that goes I don't know if that is true just because you did it one way does not mean it is the same for everyone. I guarantee you I could do everything Lebron James does and I will not be half the basketball player he is. Some people are just naturally better at understanding the law and I think that is what the LSAT does. A person with a 142 LSAT score is probably going to have to bust their ass 10x as hard as someone who got a 175 to pass the bar.
For some people RAP, negligence, IRAC jsut clicks others it does not. So I think the poster you responded you made a good point it will be hard partiuclalry if you go to a CBA school to succeed. So for anyone considering law school if you got a 141 on the LSAT it means you probably don't understand the nuances or handle the pressure of a test that well. Those are things you will need to do in law school and you will need to work harder to succeed than someone that gets it.
« on: January 19, 2013, 12:32:55 AM »
I personally law schools look as in depth as people suspect. They will look at your numbers, letters of rec, resume, personal statement, etc and realistically they are unlikely to review that in to much depth. The numbers determine law school admissions a few items on your application really won't make that big of a difference. Remember these people are reviewing thousands of applicants and realistically most of them look the same everyone graduated from college with good grades, showed up to the LSAT, got a professor or boss to write a letter, then some personal statement explaining what drew them to law school. After looking at thousands of those that essentially look the same they just go with the numbers.
As the above posters said that is a common question to ask, but I don't know how much of a difference it will make in your applications.
« on: January 19, 2013, 12:28:16 AM »
I know nothing about Western State as I said before or their grading system. As for the bar stats the February results are not as accurate for schools since those are generally repeaters, but the point is taken their curriculum improves bar passage. I couldn't imagine a school wanting students to fail out they are paying exorbiant amounts of money and if a professor truly believes they could pass the bar I imagine they would not force them out, but if that is the system that is the system. I know at my school everyone said the bottom 10% failed out, but that wasn't true it was just a rumor.
However, I never set foot on the Western State campus and if they in fact are forcing paying students that could pass the bar out of school then it is a stupid system.
« on: January 18, 2013, 02:15:19 AM »
I really doubt Western State or any other school is doing anything to force students out. Remember all law schools are businesses first and foremost they want money, but I imagine these foundation points relate to bar performance and if you spend 100,000 and years of your life to get a J.D. and can't pass the bar that is tough.
I had a few friends in a law school that dominated mock trials, were great people, but never passed the bar. I imagine they woudl be great lawyers, but without passing the bar it all goes to waste. Western State does take in a lot of people that aren't great standardized takers and if it appears they can't handle these foundational classes they probably won't be able to pass the bar and the right thing to do is let someone go opposed to continuing to take their money when it seems quite likely they will be unsuccessful.
« on: January 16, 2013, 12:31:44 AM »
Well first off realize that most people that spend time knocking things anonymously on the internet are really not worth listening to and realistically anything you read on boards such as this or others coming from anonymous internet posters myself included should be taken with a grain of salt. Michael Scott gives a good explanation of why that is true a little humor for you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFBDn5PiL00
In regards to the specific situation if you want to be a prosecutor in New York I think CUNY is your best bet. They are one of the few schools that offer in-state tuition and as Jack mentioned the best thing you can do is get out of law school with minimal debt. CUNY is only about 10,000 per year or so and you don't have to worry about scholarship conditions.
There are also other factors to consider when choosing a law school and I have posted these factors in other threads in more detail, but my two cents is these are the factors you should consider (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feelings about the school (4) The reality of legal education & specialty programs. (5) U.S. News Rankings as a tie breaker these is something to consider, but don't let a for-profit, unregulated magazine, be the basis of a life altering decision.
Another thing I think you should also realize many of the numbers produce from law schools are not very in depth and should not really be considered. Employed what does that really mean furthermore the reality is a reason for a lot of people not obtaining employment is not passing the bar, which many people even from Harvard don't do the first time around. As Jack mentioned Federal Clerkships will be damn near impossible to get, but to be a D.A. in some county somewhere if that is your goal and you pass the bar it can certainly happen.
Here are the reasons why the factors I mentioned above should be considered.
As others have stated and you seem to realize it is extremly important you go to law school in the area you want to live in after graduation. Law school is three years of your professional life and during that time you will likely make many friends, enter into a romantic relationship, get an apartment you like, and more importantly most of the internships etc you obtain will be in the area you attend law school.
This is extremly important and the best thing to do is get out with as little debt as possible. State schools offer that and I know CUNY in New York, Florida International in Miami, Univeristy of North Dakota, University of South Dakota, Wyoming, and a few others are less than 12k per year.
You may also get a huge scholarship from various other schools, but pay attention to the conditions on these often they will require you to obtain a 3.0 at the end of your first year and almost anyone that is offered a scholarship at an ABA school likely could get a 3.0 in college with minimal effort, but that is not the way law school works because of the curve. Generally speaking only 35% of the class can have a 3.0 at the end of first year and believe me 100% of people on the first day of law school are convinced they will be in the top 10% of the class, but as a finance major I imagine you can do the math and see what happens when 100% of people think they will be in the top 10%. If you lose that scholarship then you pay full price for years 2 and 3 which can be a lot I think Brooklyn for example if 40k or so per year so just be wary of any conditions on scholarships you recieve.
3) Personal Feelings about the school
I was accepted to numerous schools and visited them all prior to attending there were some I liked some I didn't and those were my personal feelings. You should visit all these schools and see the facilities, talk to professors, talk to the students, just get a sense of the place and see if it is a fit for you. This is very important because nobody knows what you like better than yourself. So make sure the school is a fit for you personally.
4) Reality of Legal Education & Speciality Programs
Every ABA law school teaches you the same exact thing first year is Torts, Civil Procedure, Property, Contracts, Criminal Law, and Constitutional Law. You will probably get use the Contracts book written by Eptsein a The Con Law Book written by Chemerinsky etc and in Torts you will read the Palsgraff Case, Civil Procedure Pennoyver v. Neff etc and what you learn will be the same.
You want to be in Public Interest and there are some schools that specailze in that, but realistically as a lawyer I still don't necessarily know what specializing in public interest means. They might have clinics etc, but to be a D.A. the best thing to do would be mock trial competitions so I might check out what schools are active in mock trial competitions, because that is some of the best stuff you can do in law school if you want to be a litigator.
5) U.S. News
So many 0L's take these way to seriously and don't realize it is a magazine offering an opinion nothing more. U.S. News also ranks Alberquue New Mexico as the best place to live, but you wouldn't move to New Mexico just because U.S. News says to. There may be numerous reasons for this ranking New Mexico might be a great place, but I am not going to make a life altering decision such as moving there because U.S. News said so. The same logic should apply when choosing a law school consider the rankings, but make it a minimal priority.
Knowing nothing about you other than a few paragraphs on the internet I think CUNY would be the best school, but I know nothing about you and I certainly couldn't say what is best for you and neither can any other anonymous internet poster.
Also you are only in undergrad it sounds like your grades are good, but next is the LSAT before really considering any law schools I would take that test and see what your options are. You can think about different options all day and night, but until you have an LSAT score you don't really know what your options are.
« on: January 13, 2013, 04:52:32 PM »
What is it that the ABA has done wrong would be my question. There are only 200 ABA schools in a country of 300,000,000 people that doesn't seem to be excessive. Perhaps the cost of legal education is high, but there are numerous state schools that offer extremly low tuition. South Dakota, North Dakota, Florida International, CUNY, North Carolina Central, District of Columbia, West Virginia, University of Wyoming, University of Montana, to name a few all of which are under 12k a year with in-state residency.
There are quite a few law schools that charge far more in tuition, but nobody has a gun to a 0L's head requiring them to attend these schools. There are also plenty of jobs out there if one knows where to look for example the BYU Intercolegiate Job Bank has 1000's of job postings for recent grads and it is open to everyone username jobfind password fall2012 they change the password every few months, but if you e-mail them directly they gladly provide it for you.
I know numerous people who graduated from law school, passed the bar, and got jobs. I also know plenty of others who did not and for the most part it has a lot more to do with the individual than the school. One classic example is one guy got offered a job as a district attorney, but he failed his drug test is it is law school's fault that he was using drugs? To me that is the individual your law school does not control your personal life and if you want to be a D.A. and have a drug problem then it is up to you to fix it. A law school gets you a license to practice law what you do with that is up to you.
« on: January 13, 2013, 04:38:10 PM »
I don't think the ABA has as much control as you think you should probably be sending your message to the various state bars if all 50 states allow non-aba grads to take the bar exam then the ABA won't have much stay they are just what the state bars recognize as an accrediting agency.
As for the overall message I think there is a lot of good served by the traditional brick & mortal schools. Making friends in law school, having a centralized place for speakers, learning how to use traditional practice guides in real law libraries etc is often far superior to spending exorbiant amounts of money on Westlaw or Lexis. However, I am just some guy on the internet.
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