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Messages - livinglegend

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I think I responded to another post of yours, but to sum it up there is so such thing as a "best" school. There are a few schools that have a national reputation for being outstanding Harvard, Yale, Stanford, but that has more to do with the difficulty of being admitted opposed to the actual education. Simply put at any law school you will learn the law and read Supreme Court Cases the ABA has certain requirements that must be met and there will be required courses to take, which will include Torts, Civil Procedure, Property, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, and a few others. Then odds are you will take the electives that will be on the bar Wills & Trusts, Corporations/Business Associations, Evidence, Remedies, Family Law/Community Property (whatever the indiviudal state deems it.

At the end of your three years of law school you will then signup for BarBri or Kaplan to as a bar course and be in the same course as law students around the Country. So there is no "Best School" and remember that U.S. News Magazine is nothing more than a for-profit, unregulated, magazine offering an opinion. U.S. News has also ranked Alberquue, New Mexico as the best place to live 1. (A major reason being the hot-air balloon festival this is obviously important to the U.S. News magazine writer, but I have no interest in Hot-Air Ballon Festivals or living in New Mexico so it is not the "Best" place for me and I imagine you will not having post graduation plans of living in New Mexico because U.S. News says it is the best.

Use that same common sense when choosing a law school so many 0L's myself included when I was a 0L overthink the law school process, but thankfully I had practicing attorneys talk me out of moving to Michigan for law school when I wanted to work in the Bay Area. My reasoning was Michigan State was the 84th best school and that would obviously open far more doors than attending the 108th best school, but low and behold the School I attended is now ranked higher than Michigan State again showing the arbitrariness of the rankings.

What you need to do is choose the "Best" law school for you and it sounds like that may be South Carolina. You should also look into costs and potential scholarships, but also look at the conditions of any scholarship you receive often it will require something like maintaining a 3.0 GPA, which every 0L thinks they will achieve with ease. However, law school is nothing like undergrad and typically only 35% of the class can have a 3.0 this means there is a 65% chance you will not be in the top 35%. Again, 100% of law students at every ABA school are smart, hard-working, motivated and absolutely certain they will finish in the top 10% of the class and there is absoultey no way they will finish in the bottom 65% of the class, but you don't need to be a math major to see what happens when 100% of people think they will be in the top of the class. I think this New York Times Article does a good job of explaining the system . This is implemented by law schools nationwide so when considering costs and scholarship options look at the CONDITIONS.

In the end there is no "Best School", but there will be a best school for you. Consider what City you want to live in for three years, how much each school will cost, and visit the school to see if it is a good fit for you although the education is the same at each law school the culture is different and you want to be at a school you will feel comfortable at. I know there were some schools I hated others I loved, but that was my own personal feeling and nobody knows better than you what will work best for you so visit the schools, talk to professors, students, admins, etc and listen to your gut to determine what feels right.

Do not and I repeat do not use U.S. News Rankings as anything other than a tie-breaker for schools when making life altering decision of where to live for the next years, how much money to spend on school, and what school culture works best for you. The system U.S. News uses to rank law schools makes little to no sense as it is primarily based on lawyers filling out scrantons from 1-5 about schools they have never heard of. Certainly, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia etc are nationally known schools, but like 95% of all other practicing lawyers you ill not be attending a top 10 school with a 155 LSAT, but you can have a successful legal career just make sure you go to the "Best School for you" good luck.

Law School Admissions / Re: Chances for these Law Schools
« on: July 03, 2013, 10:27:29 AM »
I agree with Maintain you really need to understand that law school does not exist in a vaccuum and the location you choose will be where you spend a minimum of three years of your life and most likely the entirey of your legal career. If you attend Syracuse you will take the New York bar and after you take one bar you will not be anxious to take another.

Additionally, three years is a long time and while in law school you will likely enter into a realtionship and if you already have a spouse they will build roots over three years as well you. Picking up and moving after three years is tough especially since all your legal connections will be local and if you attend Syracuse all your connections and your school's connectiosn will be up in Upstate New York and all the Law Students that attended South Carolina will have a significant advantage over you.

I am an attorney and I just reviewed a number of resumes and frankly people applying from out-of-state or out of area law schools I didn't want to bother with. I am in the Bay Area and there is Hastings, Golden Gate, USF, Santa Clara, Davis, and McGeorge applicants who live close enough to actually move. I received resumes from Michigan State, Gonzaga, Florida State etc and just practically I don't want to have the conversation of them asking we will fly them in and I imagine they are more likely to take a job in Michigan, Washington, or Florida so if we even offered it to them there is a good chance they won't take it.

The name of the school is not that impressive and at any ABA school you will learn the same exact thing if a Harvard or Yale resume came across my desk then maybe I would consider flying them out, but if I saw any of the schools you are considering for a job in the Bay Area I would not take it seriously. Not that these are bad schools if I had a firm in South Carolina I would actively recruit from University of South Carolina and not look at resumes from Bay Area Schools.

Also remember that U.S. News should be taken very seriously particularly with schools of this caliber it is a magazine nothing more and at any ABA school you will learn the same thing and your first year will consist of Torts, Contracts, Property, etc and you will read Supreme Court cases the Supreme Court does not write seperate opinions for different law schools and in your first year you will read Palsgraff to learn Proximate Cause, Pennoyer v. Neff to learn about Notice, Hadley v. Baxendale for Contract Remedies so on and so on.

One final piece of advice is to visit each of these schools and get a sense of how you fit in. Although, the law is the same each school has a culture to it and I know as a 0L and having competed in a lot of mock trial competitions different schools have very different cultures some I liked others I didn't. Maybe as analyogy I see your a Marine and in the armed forces and the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force are also armed forces, but have different cultures I would imagine. Same for law schools I know there were some I liked and others I hated, but you probably think much differenlty than I do. So visit the schools talk to professors, walk around the campus, talk to students, and talk to administrators and see how you feel about the school. After visiting some schools I knew I did not want to attend school there and others I loved, but that is me and this your life altering decision don't let a magazine make it for you.

Good luck in legal career and excuse the typos sneaking in a little Law School Discussion Post at work doesn't allow me much time to edit.

Job Search / Re: Power of connections versus GPA in OCI job prospects
« on: July 01, 2013, 09:16:37 PM »
First off realize I along with anyone else posting on this board is nothing more than an anonymous internet poster so take anything I or anyone else on this board says with a grain of salt.

With that said I am an attorney and can tell you law school grades/rank of law school etc doesn't mean all that much. I graduated in the top 10% of my class, but people were not begging to hire me, but I applied places and got offers. Some of my friends in the bottom 25% of the class and went through the same situation and all the grades, U.S. News law school rankings etc seem like a big deal when your in law school, but in the real world they don't matter much.

What really matters is you passing the bar and having a law license once that is done it is up to you what you do with it. Remember you bar card doesn't say what your Contracts grade was and frankly a judge won't care if you got the highest grade in Contracts or not. Just don't over think grades etc there a few firms and federal clerkships that might care about that, but only 2-3% of grads nationwide work in BigLaw or get Federal Clerkships so don't stress there is plenty of legal work out there.

Now in response your question about dropping out I don't see why that is necessary. It sounds like you enjoy the law and if that is the case you will likely enjoy being a lawyer. However, like any other profession out there starting out is tough whether you continue your legal education or go into some other field you will start with an entry level position and have to work your way up, but it sounds like you enjoy law school so stay.

Good luck!

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Which is better?
« on: July 01, 2013, 07:10:20 PM »
Again, there is no better school it is all up to your GPA and how well you do on the LSAT. So you have to ask yourself what environment well you do better in academically Miami or Canada? It is a personal choice, but I would imagine partying in Miami would be much more temping than sub-zero temperatures in Canada, but the actual institution itself will make little to no difference.

The other thing you may want to check is the grading system if one grants slightly higher grades then that may be option. The bottom line is it doesn't really matter what school you attend you have to have an excellent GPA and LSAT to attend an Ivy League Law School and if you have a 3.8 and get a 175 on the LSAT from either University you have a good shot at admission.

With that said I will say you should not put all your eggs in one basket. I know as a 18 year old kid you think getting a 4.0 will be easy and scoring in the top 5% of test takers on the LSAT is a given, but odds are you won't get a 4.0 or score in the top 5% of LSAT takers. Nothing against you personally, but just the reality of the situation.

The reason I say that is you are still quite young and there is a good chance by the time your a junior in college you will have no desire to attend law school so choose the college you think will be the best experience for four years don't base this life altering decision on the remote chance of possibility of attending an Ivy League school.

Law School Admissions / Re: 146 LSAT score and 3.56 gpa
« on: July 01, 2013, 07:00:41 PM »
Probably not great unless you are a URM law schools typically go by the numbers, but there is no harm in applying. You may also want to apply early, but retake the October or February LSAT and if you get a higher score great if not you may still get accepted. The majority of schools no longer average scores so you probably have nothing to lose, but I would check with University of Mississippi first.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Which is better?
« on: June 30, 2013, 09:49:04 AM »
To get into an Ivy League Law School you will need outstanding grades and an outstanding LSAT score. Whether you attend York University or Miami won't make much of a difference as long as you perform well.

With that said attending College in Canada or Miami will be a very different experience sub-zero temperatures or 100 degree days on the beach will be two very different environments on top of the fact you will be attending schools in different countries.

I also don't know what the tuition difference is between the two schools, but that will be worth looking into.

Finally not sure what your citizenship is, but I knew a few people that had issues with getting students Visas in law school along with trouble regarding their international transcripts. I would contact any schools your interested in and see if they have issues with processing international transcripts.

With all the negativity on various law school boards it is very easy to get demoralized and be scared away from law school or allow current law students or new attorneys struggling to get wrapped up in the negativity and feel sorry for themselves. However, I have been doing research for regarding various legal figures in history. During this project I often read about the first African American attorney in a state and I just learned about the first women to argue in the Supreme Court Belva Ann Lockwood

The things these people had to overcome is truly inspirational and as many are aware women were not allowed to vote or often even attend law school. African American's were not allowed to do a number of things as well and you read about people like   John Langston the first ever African American admitted to the Ohio State Bar who could not attend law school, but got a law license because one Judge would let him use his law library after hours.

What people can accomplish when they don't sit around and feel sorry for themselves is amazing. To any current law student or recent graduate who is sitting and complaining on sites like JD Underground,, toplawschools, about how unfair the system is needs to wake up. Maybe you didn't attend Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and people are not lined up the block to hire you, but if you want to succeed as a lawyer you don't just see a door closed and walk away you have to fight to kick it down. That is what Langston and Lockwood did they didn't say how unfair it is for women and leave it at that they did something about it. If your in some scenario where all you are doing is complaining get out and do something about it make a change, but sitting in front of computer complaining is only going to demoralize you and prevent you from accomplishing anything.

If are lucky enough to have had the opportunity to attend a law school you should consider yourselves very fortunate.  Having lived in China and other countries I know that many people simply want to get a job permit or to attend some form of education. You are not banned from applying for jobs and there are student loans available additionally the vast majority of law studnets I know did not come from Compton or some other adverse area typically you are rich, white, and have very few obstacles stand in your way. You have not need  nor  in at night to study for the bar exam or be turned away based on the color of your skin or gender.

 The amount of opportunity available to everyone today is unbelievable and when anyone has had the good fortune of being able to attend law school and sits around and feels sorry for themselves remember people like John Langston or Belva Lockwood who did not sit around and feel sorry for themselves, but overcame tremendous odds. The ball is in your court and a law school gives you a ticket to a law license do something with it other than complain on the internet.

Additionally, if anyone was intelligent enough to get into an ABA law school and pass the bar they are intelligent enough to figure out the problems they are facing. However, nothing will be handed to you and there are flaws in a number of systems today, but go out and do something to change them don't sit on an internet discussion board saying how hard it is to find a job. Lockwood petitioned the Supreme Court to simply be allowed to argue she did not sit in her home or a coffeshop complaining to anyone that might listen.

I hope this post will encourage young attorneys to realize how lucky they are to have had the opportunity to attend law school and encourage OL's who really want to attend law school to not be scared of all the negativity you read. The truth is you make your own luck and create your own path do not be discouraged by the incessant ramblings of anonymous internet posters about how hard everything is just use your common sense if you choose to pursue a legal career and realize it will be a challenge, but if your up for the challenge it can be a very rewarding career.

Stepping off Soapbox. :)

Law School Admissions / Re: SMU Law Applicant- Chances of Getting in?
« on: June 24, 2013, 01:25:16 PM »
The reality is until you have an LSAT score you cannot really know what your chances are.  Law School Admissions is 90% about the numbers all the other things you mention are good, but they are similar to what every other law school applicant has to offer. The thing to realize is that law students were the stars of undergrad and they all want to attend law school. The great equalizer is the LSAT and until you receive a real LSAT score and not a practice one it is pure speculation.

I also want to let you know as an attorney myself that you should not get to hung up on law school rankings or a particular school. Remember that at any ABA school you will learn the same exact same thing whether you attend SMU or South Texas your first year will consist of Torts, Contracts, Property, etc and you will read Supreme Court cases and the Supreme Court doesn't write different opinions for different law schools.

I wish you the best of luck getting into the school of your choice, but do not get to hung up rankings. Additionally it is a waste of time to speculate whether you can get into a school without having an LSAT score. If you get a 170 with a 3.8 your in a 150 with a 3.8 probably not. Additionally do not be discouraged if you do not score a 160 on the LSAT that puts you in the top 80% of LSAT takers and there is an 80% chance you will not finish in the top 80%. Also remember that people who show up for the LSAT are college graduates who were motivated enough to take the LSAT and the people taking the test are smarter than the general population.

If you score a 150 or above you have a chance at getting into an ABA school, which is an accomplishment and something that majority of people can't do. Again, good luck and stay focused on getting the highest LSAT you can.

Happy to offer some insight and remember whether you re attend or not is a highly personal decision and you have to really ask yourself what you plan on doing differently this time around and whether you really want to be a lawyer.

Online Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: June 23, 2013, 11:11:59 AM »
I don't think CBA schools are a scam and they implement more or less the same program as an ABA school. I also think the FYLSE is a good idea for all law schools as I know many ABA grads from various school that never passed the bar being exposed to the pressure of a bar exam early on would be a good idea.

Additionally ABA schools never tell you how much to study having been through a an ABA J.D. program I imagine a CBA school is more or less the same. If you want to be a lawyer you have to use judgment and common sense and be realistic about your workload. If you attend an ABA or CBA school you will have to bu** your ass to get through school and more importantly the bar exam.

I do not know anything about this Mid-Atlantic School of Law, but I think any school that is purely online is a scam that is not the case with CBA schools. My point is that CBA schools are not the best option, but they are certainly better than a online school and for the most part if you want to only be in California they will likely provide the same educational program as an ABA program.

Additionally whether you make it in the legal profession will be much more up to you and your dedication than the school you attend.

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