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Messages - livinglegend

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281
Law School Applications / Re: GPA padding.
« on: December 18, 2012, 04:36:30 PM »
I believe Bobol makes a good point get your LSAT score and see what your options are. You can putz around getting A's in frisbee golf for years and end up wiht a 3.8,  but with a 154 LSAT or something NYU is not accepting you.

In regards to your specific situation I don't think schools look down on GPA padding I inadvertently did it myself playing sports in college and my numerous A's in the sports I played got me a lot of scholarship money to law school, but to spend a year of life your doing that without even knowing your LSAT score is probably not a good idea. If you come away with a 170 then it might be a decent plan, but as Bobol says your putting the cart before the horse it will truly be a waste if you spend a whole year in college getting A"s in joke classes and come away with a 154 LSAT and end up in the schools you would have ended up in anyways.

Also you do not have to go to NYU to succeed as a lawyer. I myself did not go to Harvard or a T14 school, but I passed the bar and work as a lawyer now it happens.

A final thing I noticed is that your dream is to live and work in NYC. Now I might be reading into this, but have you ever lived in NYC? I have personally and there was a lot of great things about it, but a lot I did not like and if you have not lived there I think you would be much better served spending a year living in NYC getting the lay of the land and seeing if you can handle it before making a 3 year commitment in the most expensive city in the world.


282
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Should I go for a better school
« on: December 18, 2012, 04:19:55 PM »
Before anything is said realize that I or anyone else posting on this board or others are nothing but anonymous internet posters that know nothing about you, your situation, or what is best for you so and if anyone on this board or others is 100% wrong there is no repercussion. Therefore,  please take any advice you get on these forums with a major grain of salt particularly when making a 3 year and $100,000+ commitment. 

LSAT SCORE
 I think you need to wait until you have a real LSAT score before you can really start considering where to attend law school. Many people tell me they are getting 170's-160's on the practice exams, but for some reason they never end up taking the test. I also know when I was studying there were some practice tests in books that I scored much higher on than others. Not to mention the pressure of the real thing is not the same as practice and many people myself included tend to not keep of time as accurately as possible in practice situations. I personally scored in the upper 160s on several practice tests, but also had numerous scores in the 150's and in the end my official score was 157 with that I went to an ABA law school, passed the bar, and work as a lawyer now. I accomplished this without going to a T14 school so despite the ramblings of certain anonymous internet posters you can be hired as a lawyer without going to Harvard. However, it would have been great if my LSAT would have been 180 and I went to Harvard. At the moment you don't really know what your numbers will be, but when you know check out lawschoolnumbers.com it is a great site to let you know what your options are and what scholarship money might be available.

In regards to the specific question I think any potential OL should consider the following factors (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal feelings about the school  (4) The realities of legal education (5) Any specialty interest you might have 5) If all else fails then use U.S. News rankings. I will elaborate on these points below.

1 Location

I think your situation is a perfect example of why this is so important your a single mom with two kids. Uprooting them out of your current location to attend law school away from everything they are familiar with might be a lot on them. Particularly if they are attending school taking them away from their teachers, friends, etc will be a lot and I imagine it is easier to stay in your current location with the current support structure you have.

Not to mention whatever law school you attend you will be there for 3 years and moving to a new location, with kids, while adjusting to a new apartment, being away from friends, family, etc is a lot to handle. You know better than anyone else how well you could manage that and how well your kids can handle it, but really think about that before choosing your school. Furthermore, odds are wherever you attend law school is where you will end up living again 3 years is a long time and you will make friends, possibly enter into a romantic relationship, etc during these years and transitioning to a new location will be tough.


Cost
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Again you have kids if you end up getting a 170 with a 2.61 odds are Cooley will give you a full scholarship. Michigan State might give you a lot of assistance as well and clearly raising 2 kids with $150,000 in debt accruing interest is not ideal and I will tell you from personal experience money does not come flowing in right when you graduate law school it takes time to build a career and that is assuming you pass the bar on the first try which many people do not.

One thing to consider in regards to the scholarships you may get are the conditions attached. Many schools will say something such as you need to maintain a 3.0 or be in the top 35% of the class and as a motivated law student everyone who attends an ABA school is pretty certain they will be in the top 35% of the class, but 100% of people cannot be in the top 35% of the class. Also it is important to know that law school grading is very strict and generally to maintain a 3.0 you need to be in the top 35% of the class. So if scholarships end up coming your way pay EXTREMELY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE CONDITIONS.

Personal feelings about the school

Another thing few people consider when making this life altering decision is how they personally feel about the school. I was accepted into many different law school and participated in a lot of mock trial competitions nationally so I have seen quite a few different schools and interacted with the students, faculty, etc. I can tell you I loved some places and hated others, but that was my personal feeling. You may have loved the places I hated and hated the places I loved you need to visit the schools, interact with professors, and just get a sense of what you personally think about each individual school because nobody knows what a good fit for you is better than yourself.

4) Reality of Legal Education
I will let you in on a big secret it is all the same. Your first year of law school will consist of torts, civil procedure, contracts, property, and criminal law. Then you might have Con Law and Criminal Procedure in your first year or possibly second year, but you will take all those subjects. In these classes you will read Supreme Court cases that are exactly the same whether you are reading them in the Harvard library or Cooley's. In the famous Palsgraff case the firecrackers still get dropped nothing changes. Then at the end of three years you will pay a company like BarBri or Kaplan to help you pass the bar.

There are some minor differences by school such as course selection, quality of professors, etc, but the substance of what you are learning is literally identical.

5) Specialty Programs
This is something worth considering for some and is one of the differences I mentioned above. Some schools have more course selections and experienced professors often based more on location than anything else. For example if you wanted to be an entertainment lawyer then go to law school in New York or L.A. that is where entertainment law happens. Even if U.S. News says South Dakota Law has the best entertainment law program I can assure you not many actors, movie studios, etc are located there.

However, if you have a particular interest in something family law, litigatin, etc check the school's course schedule and see if they offer the non-mandatory courses. Granted you will probably only take between 2-4 classes in a particular area since almost everyone takes the courses I mentioned above combined with the highly suggested courses and often required courses such as Evidence, Wills & Trusts, Corporations, Trial Advocacy, Remedies, and a few others that are on almost every state bar exam. If you don't have a particular interest then don't worry about it most law students and lawyers don't really know what they want to do either.


6) U.S. News

If after all that research you don't know the best way to spend 3 years and 100,000+ of your money then consider the rankings, but remember it is a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion nothing more. You would also be wise to look up how often school rankings change year by year for no apparent reason. Granted there are schools such as Harvard, Yale, and yes Michigan that are nationally known schools and will open more doors, but I don't know how much of a difference Cooley v. Michigan State would be. If cost, location, etc is the same then why not go to the higher ranked school, but uproot your kids and spend 100,000 more dollars because some magazine said X school is 29 spots better than the school that is cheaper and more convenient for your personal situation.

I apologize for the multiple grammatical errors in this post, but I didn't have much time and wanted to convey as much info as possible. Good luck on the LSAT
 



283
Law School Applications / Re: Resume
« on: December 12, 2012, 09:22:40 PM »
That is not a bad of way doing it and as we all know there is never a right way to do a resume. X guy might want bullet points, Y girl may want paragraph format, Z guy might be upset if you use 11 font to save space, W girl might think it is clever to use 11 point font to save space it is all very subjective.

With that said law school admissions is pretty much all numbers and as long as the name on your resume is spelled right and not in crayon it probably won't make much of a difference.

284
I think that is all good advise I hope you get into Stanford, Duke, etc truly do, but about 1% of people accomplish that. You blew off a semester and you can't predict what else life will throw your way since your only a sophmore in college. For example you may get a girlfriend/boyfriend and blow your studies off for another semester, a close friend could get cancer, the list of possibilities are endless so don't just assume you will get a 4.0 the rest of the way.

Also don't assume you will get a 175+ on the LSAT again 1% of people accomplish that. I know when your 18-19 your pretty sure you will be a millionaire by the time your 25, graduate valedictorian from Harvard Law School, and be choosing which celebrity your going to be taking to the Oscars, but sadly that is not the way it works.

More power to you if you accomplish it I sincerely root for you to have the life I describe above when your 25. However, as the above posters suggest if you want to be a lawyer you don't have to go to Stanford to succeed. However, you need to ask yourself why you want to go to law school in the first place I can tell you from first-hand experience the legal field is not quite as glamorous or interesting as movies and T.V. portray it.

I highly recommend you do the following since your only a sophomore. First work in a law office see what it is all about before making a 3 year and $100,000 commitment. To boost your GPA take some fluff classes nothing wrong with getting an A in frisbee golf or basket weaving. Admissions officers will typically just look at the numbers and if you can boost your GPA with a few fluff classes go for it.

Again good luck and I will root for you to get a 4.0 the rest of the way in undergrad and get a 180 on the LSAT, but I wouldn't bet on that happening. If it doesn't and you have worked in a law office and know law is what you want then enroll in law school even if you have a 3.3 and 157 LSAT there are plenty of ABA schools that will accept you.

285
Awesome good for you and hopefully that scholarship money will be coming as well.

286
It is always best to be responsible and admit what is going on and as long as you do that on your application to law school as well as the moral character application there will be no issue.

I am licensed to practice law and did a few things myself there was no issue. There are also numerous people I have known the received DUI's, been arrested for bar fights, blah blah, you don't need to be a saint to be admitted to the bar. The only real way to get in trouble is if you commit a felony or lie/fail to disclose. You didn't commit a felony and as long as you don't lie or fail to disclose it should all work out.

287
Transferring / Re: Transferring from lower to tier to top 15?
« on: December 09, 2012, 08:55:48 PM »
Thane's point is also a good one be sure to continue excelling in your second semester of law school. Many people improve significantly their second semester so you may not get the highest grade or perform quite as well next semester.

Before you focus to heavily on transferring get the best grades possible and see if it is even an option. It is not uncommon for people to excel first semester and decline. In my class a few people were in the top 10-15% after first semester and dropped into the bottom half of the class by the time we graduated.

It is awesome you performed so well up to this point and odds are you will continue to perform well, but stay focused there will be nothing to consider if you don't maintain the grades.

288
The California Bar Moral Character application does ask about any mental health treatment or diagnosis, but again I think the only way you can get in trouble is by not being candid. To get closure on this call your state bar and ask them. I remember being scared about a few moral character issues, but I simply called the bar and the person on the other line was very friendly and said I would be fine, but they know more than any anonymous internet poster.

Again good luck as you start law school.

289
Yes I also think a state bar would legally have a tough time preventing you from practicing law based on you receiving professional treatment. It sounds like you had a problem and you treated it, which the state bar should be encouraging.

I truly think the only way something like this could get you in trouble is if you lie about it. Lying to the State Bar can get you in trouble, but being candid and telling them when you were 17 you had depression issues and received treatment should not be something that bars you from the practice of law. I imagine if it comes to that you could have a lawsuit on your hands so just be honest and disclose.


290
Well said Maintain simple fact is I imagine nobody that works for the State Bar is posting on here and even if they were they probably won't be working for the state your interested in. Nobody knows better than the people who make the decision and remember to take everything written by anonymous interent posters with a grain of salt.

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