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Messages - livinglegend

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Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Baltimore
« on: November 19, 2012, 03:57:14 PM »

5) What are your expectations with a law degree

I think this is why so many people are unhappy with their law school decision they have unrealistic expectations. When you graduate law school you are not going to be recruited from every firm you are likely going to be stressing out about passing the bar exam and hopefully you get through that there are no guarantees on that no matter what school you attend. Harvard does not have a 100% passage rate.

If you get through that experience you will be a licensed lawyer, but will have little experience and will have to do some unglamorous work and pay your dues for a few years. Once your attorney with a few years of experience under your belt though some opportunities will come your way, but with a degree from Baltimore you probably will never work at the megafirms like Covington or get a Federal Judicial Clerkship. There are plenty of other jobs for lawyers though you could be a D.A, Public Defender, working in a mid-size firm, City Attorney, or simply start your own practice. There will be some doors closed, but you would need to be doing to Harvard, Yale, etc for those doors to be open in the first place and most people aren't qualifed for that.

All I can say is just be realistic with your expectations I'm sure if you put the work in Baltimore will get you a license to practice law and whether you succeed as a lawyer will be up to you. As I mentioned the beginning of your legal career will be tough, but if being a lawyer is really what you want it can be a great experience. However, if your attending law school to make a ton of money and fly on private jets to do depositions in exotic locations around the world it probably isn't going to happen. The law is not as exciting at T.V. makes it out to be.

6) Specialty Programs
This is a minor factor, but if there is some area of the law your TRULY interested in it may be worth looking at Baltimore's course schedule to see if they offer the classes. For example if you wanted to do Entertainment Law you shoudl attend law school in New York or L.A. pretty obvious why that is the case and if you wanted to do Maritime law you should not attend law school in Nebraska.

If you have some passion for a certain area of the law then see if Baltimore offers it. If you don't have a passion for a certain of the law yet that is not a major problem as most law students and lawyers still don't know the answer to that. When I started I remember thinking IP law sounded fascinating one class into it I realized it was not for me, but I ended up doing a lot of mock-trial stuff which I ended up loving I was terrified of public speaking prior to law school so it was not something expected to enjoy so much, but it just shows how unpredictable what you will really enjoy is.

7) Rankings & Anonymous Internet Posters

U.S. News rankings has created a racket that so many 0L's take so seriously myself included until I graduated. I came to realize that U.S. News is a for-profit magazine offering an opinion and you shouldn't make a life altering decision based on what they think.

For example U.S. News has ranked Alberque, New Mexico as the best place to live and in 2032 South Dakota is the best place to live because there will be easy access to dental vists. I am not making this up either (Albuquerque) (South Dakota)

Are you going to move to Albuquerque because U.S. News said it was the best place to live? I would imagine not it would be kind of stupid to make a life altering decision based on what a magazine says. However, for some reason that same logic does not apply to OL's and they will make life altering decisions based on what a magazine says. Sure you can consider it, but most people myself included have no idea what the 48th best law school is or the 148th. I know Baltimore is not Harvard, but I wouldn't be shocked if it was the 84th best school or the 168th and realistically I wouldn't care and I don't care enough to Google it because it doesn't matter much.

If you were choosing between Harvard and Baltimore then Harvard is a school that everybody knows is amazing, but outside of the top 15-25 schools people really don't know or care. You graduate you pass the bar your a lawyer sure it would be better if Baltimore was 84th opposed to 124th, but it doesn't really make that big a difference.

I went to law school and passed the bar. I enjoyed my experience and wouldn't change it, but there are plenty of people that did not enjoy their law school experience. What I came to realize is that you play a much bigger role in how your law school experience/ career goes than anything or anyone else. If you love the law and what to be a lawyer go for it! If your not really sure what to do with your life and are just thinking this is something to do then don't make a 3 year 100k commitment there are less expensive ways to deal with a life crisis.

I know nothing about you, your situation, or what is best for you, but I am sure you have some ideas and for all I know law school may be the best or worst decision of your life, but consider what I said above in your decision and good luck.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Baltimore
« on: November 19, 2012, 03:56:30 PM »
First off Congrats on getting into law school. I can't tell you how many people I have known who said they would take the LSAT or want to go to law school etc, etc, but very few people actually follow through with it and you did. Baltimore is not Harvard as I'm sure you are aware, but it is still an ABA approved school and Baltimore rejects thousands of applicants each year.

With that sure I'm sure Baltimore is a perfectly fine school if you are realistic with your expectations. Also remember when your reading things on the internet including my post it is coming from anonymous internet posters and whatever you read on this board or others should be taken with a grain of salt.

With that said I will give some things to consider that any OL should consider before making the life altering decision to attend law school. Consider these factors 1) Location 2) Cost 3) Reality of Legal Education 4) What you hope to accomplish with a law degree 5) How you personally feel about the school 6)Specialty Programs (if applicable to you) and 6) You can consider the rankings as a final factor.

1) Location
When choosing a law school the location is the most important thing for the majority of people. If you attend law school in Baltimore you are going to live in Baltimore for 3 years at a minimum and likely the rest of your life. During your law school experience you will get an apartment, make friends, probably start a romantic relationship, get internships in the area, and Baltimore will prepare you more for the Maryland Bar than other states. So if you want to live in Baltimore then Baltimore is a good place to go to school.

If you have never been to Baltimore and know nothing about it I would highly recommend visiting the area before moving there for 3 years. Remember that law school does not exist in a vaccum you will be have a life deal with commuting, living in a city, east coast weather, etc none of that stuff stops for law students. Simply put if Baltimore is where you want to be then Baltimore law school could be a good fit.

2) Cost

This is a really big concern I took scholarship money and attended a "lower ranked" school which I am happy about, because the law school rankings change year to year your student loan debt stays with you period.

Baltimore actually allows for in-state tuition at 25k a year which isn't terrible for an ABA school a lot of places are charging 40-50k per year so that is a plus for Baltimore and that money is guaranteed you can't lose the tuition rate like you can with law school merit scholarships. That is a pro to the school.

3) Reality of Legal Education
It may surprise you to hear, but every ABA law school essentially teaches you the same exact thing. Your first year will consist of Torts, Contracts, Property, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, and Criminal Procedure or some variation on that. You will also take Evidence and all of these are bar tested subjects that every school requires there students to take. In Torts you will read the Palsgraff case and Justice Cardozo did not write different opinions for the top schools it is literally the same case whether you read it at Harvard or in Baltimore.

Almost every school uses the same textbooks and the law is the same no matter you learn it so there really isn't a "better" school. There is no question the people at Harvard Law School are probably more intelligent as a whole than those at Baltimore, but if you want to learn the law Baltimore will teach you the law and realistically whether your a good lawyer or not will depend a lot more on you than anything your school does.

4) Personal Feelings About the School
This is a very important factor everyone gets so caught up in the rankings, but they are a for-profit magazine that knows nothing about you or what you like. I visited a lot of law schools back when I was applying and when I was a law student participated in a few mock trial competitions so I have seen and interacted with a number of law schools and I can tell you each one has their own culture to it.

The school I eventually ended up attending made me feel comfortable it simply fit my personality, but it wouldn't be for everyone. There are some schools I simply did not like and others I did, but you may love the schools I hated and hate the ones I loved you are your own person with your own experiences and nobody will know better if a law school is that fit for YOU than YOURSELF. Never lose sight of that don't listen to what some magazine or anonymous poster on the internet says because they know nothing about you.

I.E. If you are a hardcore conservative do not go to law school in San Francisco it probably won't go well or if you are an ultra-left wing, gay activist, etc do not go to law school in Alabama or an extremely christian school like Regent it just won't work out.  Odds you probably don't fit into either of those categories, but you may want to attend a school that is in a college town or go to a school that is in the heart of city different people like different things and you know what you like better than anyone so visit Baltimore see how you feel about it.

When your there talk to professors, administrators, students, etc going to law school is a 3 year 100,000k commitment you should definitely make sure it fits your style. If it doesn't apply elsewhere if it does then go for it.

Online Law Schools / Re: What to expect the first year of DL law school
« on: November 15, 2012, 11:23:08 AM »
No problem happy to help I think law school is manageable, but it is just staying consistent unlike undergrad you can't cram this stuff, but if you stick with it do a review and practice problems you will do fine.

Treat it like a job never miss class, when not in class study from 8-6 then live life as normal. Law school is manageable, but you just have to stay consistent and on top of it. I would say the biggest problem is once you fall behind coming back is pretty tough as you can't understand some parts until learn what you learned before.

If you don't know what the different forms of property ownership i.e. Fee Simple Absolute, Life Estate, blah blah you won't be able to begin to understand the Rule Against Perpetuitites, but if you stay on top if it things should go alright. Good luck!

Online Law Schools / Re: What to expect the first year of DL law school
« on: November 14, 2012, 07:32:44 PM »

Below is a copy paste of my Contracts Syllabus for fall semester the page numbers don't look like much, but they are pretty dense. You will also need to do this for three other courses first year is fairly manageable if you keep your composure, but I would highly recommend doing practice problems. Learning the concepts of consideration, offer, acceptance, parol evidence, etc is not complicated, but the nuanced multiple choice questions are very tricky and probably the hardest part of the bar.

I would recommend using CALI lessons and also has some free multiple choice questions and I used it a lot to fully understand cases. I just looked through this school's catalog and they offer all the typical first year courses property, contracts, civil procedure, etc. I personally hated property the most learning the rule against perpetuities is AWFUL! , but you will get through it. Just do the work stay focused get out of school, pass the bar, and be the best lawyer you can be. Good luck wherever you start law school.

Fall Semester 2012
Monday August 13 1 14
Wednesday August 15 14 29
Monday August 20 29 45
Wednesday August 22 46 55
Monday August 27 56 72
Wednesday August 29 72 88
Monday September 3 Holiday
Wednesday September 5 89 105
Monday September 10 105 115
Wednesday September 12 TBA
Monday September 17 116 130
Wednesday September 19 130 146
Monday September 24 147 167
Wednesday September 26 167 188
Monday October 1 Handout
Wednesday October 3 220 238
Monday October 8 239 256
Wednesday October 10 TBA
Monday October 15 Meeting Reserved
Wednesday October 17 257 277
Monday October 22 277 297
Wednesday October 24 297 309
Monday October 29 TBA
Wednesday October 31 310 321
Monday November 5 322 340
Wednesday November 7 340 352
Monday November 12 352 364
Wednesday November 14 TBA
Monday November 19 Meeting Reserved

Black Law Students / Re: Academic Dismissal
« on: November 14, 2012, 11:24:48 AM »
It might be, but one thing to know is that education at every ABA school is essentially the same. Hopefully you improve on the LSAT, but what you did in law school the first time around will need to be evaluated when you get back no matter where you attend.

No school has a mandatory kick out rate many people claim they do, but it makes no sense for a school to kick out paying students unless they believe the student will not be capable of passing the bar.

I wish you luck on the LSAT and getting into whatever school you aspire to get into.

I think typically a non-traditional student is someone who is older generally in their 30's or older and have had a career for sometime. The traditional law student usually comes straight out of undergrad or 1-3 years after.

However, having a disability could be worth mentioning in your personal statement particularly if it has had a significant impact on your life and perhaps explaining how you have overcome the challenge. Being middle class, white, and deaf in one ear is probably not going to jump out of the page to an admissions committee unless it you do an excellent job explaining how it has adversely impacted you.

One thing to know is that your personal statement etc doesn't really mean that much law school admissions is a numbers game first and foremost. In most instances the decision is probably made before they even read the personal statement.

Black Law Students / Re: Academic Dismissal
« on: November 11, 2012, 10:43:04 AM »
Sorry to hear about the dismissal, but if you have been working in the legal field and want to go back to school then go for it. I guess the only thing to be wary about is the bar exam if you struggled in law school, but you will probably do a lot better in 1L having gone through it once before, but there are no guarantees.

There are all kinds of prep-courses, but none of them will guarantee you a good result. I self-studied personally and improved my score significantly without a review course, but I have improved more if I used a course like Kaplan or Princeton Review hard to know.

Good luck on the retake and getting your J.D.

Just go with what you identify if you know you are gay then come out and say it. It probably won't make much of a difference in your application at all. They will care about your test scores, GPA, just go with your gut. If you are still concerned call the admissions department from an anonymous phone number, don't identify yourself, and ask the question. They will know the answer better than some anonymous internet poster like myself.

Schools are likely going to look at your GPA because that is the number reported to LSAC and U.S. News, but maybe some of these schools will consider class rank over GPA however a 3.7 is pretty good so it won't make much of a difference.

I heard a lot of schools are doing away with the averaging of LSAT scores, but I am just some guy on the internet. I would recommend contacting the schools you are truly interested in and see whether they simply accept the highest score or average scores. I am sure each school has their own policy on this and nobody knows these policies better than the admissions workers of each school.

As to Eric's post a lot of people say it is a learnable test and it may be I never took a prep course or anything, but I did a lot of self-study and got my score up 11 points from my initial diagnostic test. You may be able to get it up, but you may not.

I knew a few people in undergard who took the LSAT so many times and continually thinking they would get a better score or cancelling their score everytime. One girl I knew was doing it for 3 years and she could have graduated school school in the amount of time she spent studying for the LSAT. With a 156 you have options, but if you truly think there is a room for improvement then go for it, but if you did everything you can do a 156 is a respectable score.

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