Law School Discussion

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Messages - livinglegend

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61
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Advice
« on: August 18, 2013, 01:36:00 AM »
There are a lot of options to consider when choosing your school and it does sound like you are considering two of the most important, which are Location and Cost.

It sounds like your plan is to attend law school in California and if Cailfornia is where you want to be then that is a good choice. However, California Law Schools are essentially the most expensive in America and you indicate cost is an issue.

Now with a 170 LSAT a number of California Schools will offer you a substantial scholarship just look on LawSchoolNumbers.com and you can see the amount of money students get. However, if you get a scholarship BE CAREFUL OF THE CONDITIONS. This NY Times Article explains how the system works http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

There are some very cheap ABA schools in America, but you will need to qualify as a state resident. A few of the schools I know are Florida International, CUNY, a lot of schools in the South offer in-state tuition, which is very reasonable.

I imagine schools like Pepperdine, Southwestern, Chapman, or LMU would offer you substantial scholarships based on your numbers if you want to be in Southern California.

If you wanted to be in the Bay Area Santa Clara, University of San Francisco, or Golden Gate would offer you substantial Scholarships.

McGeorge in Sacramento would also offer you a scholarship.

Then every school in San Diego, which would include USD, Thomas Jefferson, or California Western would provide you with substantial scholarship money.

Hastings might give you a little money so would Davis. Then Boalt, UCLA, or USC you may or may not get in.

I would recommend coming to California and visiting all the schools as they each have a different culture. I am a California attorney and have been to the campuses of essentially every law school above and can tell you each one has a different feel and what a good fit for you is something only you can determine.

However, I do think you have the option to get substantial scholarship money with your numbers, but be very careful regarding the Conditions within the scholarship.

62
Agree with all the posters be sure you know what you are getting into the LSAT is a cakewalk prepared to 1L and 1L is a cakewalk compared to the Bar Exam.

Many people say they are not good and taking standardized tests as an excuse for their LSAT score, but all law school consists of is standardized tests and to become a licensed attorney you have to pass a standardized test. So even if you are admitted to Capital be sure you have the ability to study and do well in law school.

Raising a child will not get any easier while you are in law school and as the posters above have indicted the LSAT is the easiest thing there on the law school journey. I am not saying the LSAT is easy, but it really weeds people out.

You might want to try retaking the LSAT and seeing how you do when properly studying if you really can't get over a 140-145 when putting a good faith effort in there is a good chance you will not perform well in law school or pass the bar exam.

I wish you the best, but law school is a 3 year 100,000+ investment and not something you should pursue lightly.

Good Luck whatever you decide.

63
The reality is very few schools will consider that even if they allow you to write an addendum. Lawschooladmissions is 95% a numbers game if your on the fence your personal statement or addendum might be considered, but unless you have an extraordinary story i.e. you grew up in homeless in Somalia or something and found your way to the states and put yourself through college maybe they will go outside their numbers box, but even then they have standards for their numbers.


64
Then you will have many options as well and you not wanting to stay in L.A. shows how little rankings mean. If you don't want to be in L.A. then don't school to school in L.A. even if LMU is ranked 60th. I imagine living in Westwood for the last 4 years has left you whether it is good or bad living in Westwood will be a lot different than attending Michigan State in East Lansing even if MSU is ranked in the 70's the difference between Westwood and Los Angeles is very different. Bottom line don't worry about rankings to much.

Once you take the LSAT you will know your options good luck.

65
Maintain makes some great points and I am just going to add onto what he said.

First off the difference between a 3.14-3.29 does not mean much. .15 points on your GPA is not going to make or break you and more importantly there is nothing you can do about it anyways.

For now do everything you can to get the best LSAT score you can and once you have that score and your GPA you can realistically assess your options.

The real issue I see in your post is that you want to attend a school in the 70's and I see this mistake all to often from 0L's and I had the same mindset when I was a 0L, but I can tell you that the rankings mean very little remember U.S. News is a for-profit, unregulated, magazine offering an opinion do not make a life altering decision of where to attend law school based on it.

Remember U.S. News ranks more than just law schools and according to them Albuquerque New Mexico is the best place to live http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/best-places-to-live . I imagine you would not plan on moving to New Mexico because U.S. News said it was the best place to live use the same logic when choosing your law school as 1) Location 2) Cost and 3) Your personal feelings about the school are far more important than what a magazine says.

Since you are attending UCLA I assume you will want to attend law school in California  and with between a 3.1-3.3 GPA and a 147 diagnostic on your LSAT you are likely not going to attend law school at USC, UCLA, Stanford, or Boalt. There is no shame in that plenty of successful attorneys did not go to top tier schools.

With your GPA and assuming you get a 155-160 on the LSAT and you want to remain in L.A. you could attend Pepperdine, LMU, Chapman, maybe get a scholarship at Southwestern all of which are fine schools and I have worked with great lawyers from each of those schools. 

In the end you really need to not worry about the rankings they are arbitrary and nobody cares about them unless you are attending a school that is truly elite and just use common sense when considering your law school options and a key step in using common sense is not making a life altering decision based on a magazine. To further bolster this argument you can see how much the rankings change year by year and how arbitrary the 70th ranked school would be http://www.top-law-schools.com/rankings.html Loyola for example was in the 70's in 2008 shot all the way up to 51 in 2012 and last year dropped to 68 what happened at the school over that time you ask? Nothing same professors, campus, etc existed, but U.S. News is based primarily on people across the country filing out Scrantons from 1-5 that is 60% of a schools ranking if you think that is something you should make a life altering decision upon go for it, but odds are you will be disappointed.


66
I believe I responded to a post on a similar topic, but I am glad to hear you obtained scholarship money I hope this is a lesson to continue asking for more both schools want you get the best deal you can. Tell Brooklyn aobut your offer from BC and they will likely increase your scholarship amount or worse case scenario not grant you more money, but leave you in the same position. As a 0L you have tremendous bargaining power, but once your locked in to a school it is gone.

VISIT BOTH SCHOOLS
As for the actual question visit both schools and tour Brooklyn Law School and Boston College these are two very different styled Universities and Locations. Brooklyn Law School is a law school nothing else in a less than Ideal Part of Brooklyn and Boston College is a University with a Football Team, Basketball Team, all kinds of non-law students and just two very different atmospheres on top of New York being different from Boston.

COST AND SCHOLARSHIP CONDITIONS
Another point to address is the Conditions I am not sure if at Brooklyn you need to be in the top 20% or not be in the bottom 20% to maintain your scholarship.  Either way there is a chance the scholarship could be lost as there is a 20% chance you will finish in the bottom 20% of the class and then be stuck paying 48k in tuition for years two and three.

BC has offered you a good condition 2.0 GPA, which is good you would fail out if you didn't meet it so that is just something to consider. You may want to ask Brooklyn for a similar offer instead of requring you to be in a certain percentage of the class keep negotiating to get your way.

Big Law

Again, what is it about BigLaw you feel so enticed about what do you really know about it? Many 0L's come in with these delusions of Grandeur about it most people hate working in it. Additonally from either school it is unlikely you will obtain Big Law, but you can find a legal job.

Good luck in your decision.

67
Law School Applications / Re: 3.2 GPA LSAT???
« on: August 02, 2013, 11:19:56 AM »
You will get it done just focus on getting the highest LSAT score you can and worry about the Bills etc when you have realistic options. It is quite common to put the cart in front of the horse when thinking about law school, but there is really no point of thinking about the tuition, right school, etc until you actually have an LSAT score and know what your options are. Thinking of those things becomes more of a distraction to the LSAT just do your best if you do terrible then law school is not in the cards if you do alright you can get in if you do great you may get in with scholarship money. However, nothing is concrete until you have a score.

Good luck.

68
You can buy all those things, but there is no need to rush either you could simply take the December LSAT and have more time to prepare. The test isn't going anywhere and you can apply to schools you are interested in now and report you are taking the December LSAT to ensure you will have a spot for Fall 2014.

At least that was the situation when I was applying, but you may want to check with individual schools.

As for your cold tests those are great, but they really don't mean anything. Everyone I meet seems to get 170+ on their practice tests, but that does seem happen on the real test day. This is because the real test is a lot more presure than a practice, but it will be awesome if you get a 170+ I am rooting for you, but don't be discouraged if you don't get into Harvard.

However, if you just started 10 days ago and feel rushed you may want to fill out the apps and give you time adequate time to prepare. Just my two cents though.

69
Non-Traditional Students / Re: Should I proceed?
« on: August 01, 2013, 09:08:18 PM »
You absolutely have a chance at law school admission to either SMU or Texas Wesleyan the Dallas Schools with your GPA assuming your LSAT turns out ok, which I imagine it will.

Once you get your LSAT score you will be in a unique situation and if I was you, which I am not I might consider Wesleyan over SMU, because it is 14k per year cheaper resulting in a minimum of 42,000 in savings over three yeras. Additionally, you are much more likely to get a merit based scholarship from Wesleyan than SMU I know when I was a 0L I had a lower GPA than you, but a decent LSAT score and was offered a 15k per year scholarship so it would have only been 13,000 per year, which is not bad. SMU is 42k per year and your are less liekly to recieve scholarship money from there.

Money will be a big concern since you are starting at a later age and will have less time to recopu your investment and having to support two kids in College you will not want the money to dry up.

I also think you should know that at any ABA law school the education is identical, which I believe might differ from Medical School. In medical school there is equipment, labs, etc, which I believe would result in some schools clearly being better than others. However, in law school all you do is read Supreme Court Cases from a book there is no equipment etc you just read the same casebook written by the big time professors. At almost any law school you will read the Con Law book written by Chemerinsky and read the Marbury v. Madison, Lemon, etc cases, which all say the same thing.

At the end of your three years you will then sign up for BarBri or Kaplan and be in a room with law students from all the different schools again learning the same thing.

Additionally, with your desire to be in health law you would probably be a shoe in with an M.D. and J.D. that is very rare so I think your much better off going to the cheaper school.

However, you do want to visit the schools and see if they are a fit. Although the education is the same schools do have different cultures and you should talk to students, professors, admins, and walk around the school to see if it is a fit for you. If you really feel good about SMU and not Wesleyan then SMU may be worth the extra money.

Good luck whatever you decide.

70
First realize I or anyone else posting on this board or others knows nothing about you, your situation, or what is best for you take any anonymous internet poster's advice mine included with a grain of salt.

With that intro I am a lawyer that has gone through law school and think there are some factors any 0L should consider and it should be done in this order (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feelings about the School

It sounds like you are not taking rankings into consideration, which is good particular for schools of this caliber U.S. News is a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion which is not something you should make a life altering decision upon. I also hope you understand the education you receive at any of the three schools mentioned all of which are ABA approved will be similar. Legal education is pretty much the same across the board your first year will be Torts, Contracts, Civ Pro etc and whether your at New York Law School, Mercer, or Southern the Supreme Court will not have written a separate opinion. 

Below is an analysis of why the factors matter.

1) Location
It sounds like you understand the importance of location, which is good news. From your post I take it you have lived in Louisiana your entire life and I will you NY may be a bit of shock and difficult to adjust to. Additionally, you will not have your family or friends close by, which may result in homesickness and that combined with the rigors of law school can be a disaster. However, you may thrive in the new environment it depends on the type of person you are can you just go out and meet people or are you more shy and reserved. Those are things to consider.

From my post I also get the impression you want to be away from your family a bit and on your own and moving out of state for law school is a good way to do that. However, if you move to New York odds are you will remain in New York for the rest of your legal career. You will likely take the NY Bar,  obtain internships in NY, NY Law School will have NY connections not Louisiana ones so on and so forth. The same logic applies to Mercer.

I would visit all the Cities if you haven't already and see what feels right.

2) Cost
Southern is one of the Cheapest law schools in America at only 10k a year for resident and 18k a year in living expenses, which is a good thing at NYLS you will pay 47k for tuition which is nearly 5 times a much as Southern and 23K in living expenses and I imagine that will be a bit higher living in NYC. You spread that out over three years and from Southern you will graduate with approximately 90k in debt while 225k in Debt and this is accruing interest at a rate of about 8% so you will have about 8k a year in interest accruing from Southern and about 20k a year in interest accruing at NYLS.

If you really want NY I would look into CUNY as well since their tuition is only about 10k as well and it would be significantly cheaper than NYLS.

I believe Mercer is a little more reasonably priced than NYLS, but still nowhere near as Cheap as Southern. I also imagine you could live with your parents at Southern saving you even more money.

3. Personal Feeling about Each School
A final factor to consider is how you personally feel about each school. As a 0L I visited many different schools and visited several more for mock trial competitions. Each school has a certain culture to it and whether you like the particular culture or not is a personal decision.

I would visit each school talk to professors, students, walk around the campus, etc and listen to your gut feeling about each school. I know there were some I visited that I wanted nothing to do with and others I loved, but you may hate the schools I loved. The school you attend will be 3 years of your life, 100k of your money, and your legal career so visit the schools and see which one feels right.

Good luck. 

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