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Messages - livinglegend

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: GGU Law vs. USF Law
« on: June 21, 2013, 05:49:49 PM »
Happy to help if you want to know more about either school feel free to PM message me and I can put you into contact with current students or alumni from either school. Or keep posting on this board to share the info with others. There is no wrong decision here, but law school is a huge life change and it could go great or terribly, but if being a lawyer is the path you want to pursue either of these schools will get you a ticket to the bar exam and  law license. What you do after that will be up to you.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: soft factors
« on: June 19, 2013, 03:43:05 PM »
Eagle Scout and 8 years of employment etc is not going to help much it won't hurt, but everyone in law school has done similar or more impressive things. Remember these admission committees are looking at 4,000-5,000 applications all from college graduates who performed quite well and are now motivated enough to attend law school. Being an Eagle Scout won't hurt you and may be of minor help, but that will just be seen as normal. 8 years working in a child-support office again it will not hurt, but it sounds you were employed for the last 8 years, which is great, but if the applicants are not coming straight from law school they are typically employed doing something.

Your URM status might help that is something an admissions committee can really look at just like GPA/LSAT. I know African America URM's get big jumps and I imagine Native American's would as well since they are so underrepresented in the legal profession, which is unfortunate and something schools are trying to remedy. If they see your GPA/LSAT and URM status that could help.

Just really put yourselves in the shoes of a member of the admissions committee who are looking at thousands of applications all with good grades, good stories, etc all of them tend to blend in unless it is a truly inspirational story or some huge accomplishment. Otherwise they just look to the numbers 161 LSAT is better than 156 a 3.4 GPA is better than a 3.1 they don't bother to look at majors, colleges, etc typically there is just an overload of information so they go straight to the numbers and they may look at URM Status as well, but working at a hospital for a few years, being an eagle scout, or getting a master's degree will not make you stick out from the crowd it will help you keep up with the crowd, but not catch anyone's attention.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: soft factors
« on: June 19, 2013, 11:12:41 AM »
To be frank law schools care very little about soft factors unless you have done something newsworthy i.e. been an NFL football player, Navy Seal, Astronaut, or something that the school could brag about.

Getting a higher GPA in a master's program is not newsworthy and more importantly would likely be a waste of time and money if your ultimate goal is to attend law school. Furthermore, your numbers in master's programs do not matter as far as I know, but check with any schools you are interested in. The reality is most graduate programs give very high grades and law schools know this.

I am a lawyer and I have friends who sit on admissions committees and they just look at undergrad GPA & LSAT since that is what they have to report to the ABA.

I would recommend taking the LSAT and doing as well as you can. If your still in undergrad then do everything you can to boost it, but if you graduated your UGPA is your UGPA.

Remember not everyone gets into Harvard, but you can still have a successful legal career no matter what school you attend. I would advice you to prepare for the LSAT get as a high a score as possible and go in with your UGPA.

I would highly advice you not to waste tuition money and a year of your life in a master's program in hopes that you will get into a better law school.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Lincoln Law School in San Jose
« on: June 19, 2013, 09:11:49 AM »
There are a lot of things to consider based on your post. First and foremost is your motivation for attending law school.

You say you have and a family and work 40+ hours a week if you are going to throw law school on top of that it probably will not go well. Having been through law school myself I saw the majority of part-time students not make it and if they did graduate they finish near the bottom of the class simply because they cannot compete with 25 year olds with no responsibilities who do nothing, except study. Not to mention many that made it through did not pass the bar and for the few that did graduate and pass the bar they obtained 0 legal experience while in law school and then compete with grads who  did better academically and did legal internships and so forth.

Do people manage law school, family, and working 40 hours. Yes it does happen, but I would not bet on it going well for anyone as the majority end up failing out or not making it through. I personally think part-time law school is a bad idea for anyone and if you want to do it go all in, but that is just me.

On to the next point Lincoln Law School, Monterey Law School, or any other CBA school will do enough to get you a bar admission ticket and the reality is at any law school whether it be CBA or ABA you will learn the same thing. In law school you read Supreme Court cases and your first year will be torts, contracts, civ pro, property, etc. At the end of three or four years of law school if you attend part-time you will then choose between BarBri, Kaplan, or one of the other bar tutoring companies to help you pass the bar. You then take the bar exam in a room of about 1,500 anxious people and you wait four months for your results. On your exam you do not list what law school you attended and if you pass you get a bar card and you can represent clients.

The only issue with CBA schools are you will have some doors closed you cannot take the bar in the majority of states without a legal battle and there are many employers that will only take an ABA grad particularly in government work. Also if you go into private practice or open up your own firm potential clients will look up the school you attended and unaccredited law schools do not instill confidence in potential clients even though the education is the same.

However, despite those obstacles plenty of CBA grads do quite well for themselves and the reality is whether you make it in the legal profession has a lot more to do with you than the name on your diploma, but a CBA degree will close some doors.

You then go onto mention Hawaii and UNLV as options. Those schools are great if you want to work in Hawaii or UNLV, but not if you want to live in California.  Also remember law school is three years of your life and if you have a family will they be able to handle living in Hawaii or Vegas? Will uprooting them be a strain on you? Could you live in Hawaii or Vegas?

These are all questions only you know the answers to, but Hawaii is literally an island in the middle of nowhere and living there is tough on people. It is beautiful, but you do not have access to a lot of things you do on the mainland. Furthermore, you will not be able to do internships in California or make connections anywhere other than Hawaii. However, if you want to live in Hawaii after graduation there is quite literally no better school to attend than University of Hawaii. as it is the only University there.

On the same note Vegas is a unique place to live for three years and probably the rest of your career. 100 degree weather, gambling, shows, drinking, there are a lot of distractions I know you have a family and probably will be better able to deal with those things, but I know several people that developed gambling addictions living in Vegas and particularly law students. You get $15,000 in your bank account on day one from Student loans and a few blocks away is a craps table it can go badly.

Furthermore, will your wife/girlfriend be able to find employment in Hawaii or Vegas? Will she be happy there? You will really need to understand law school does not exist in a vacuum and life happens so be careful when making this life altering decision.

As for Golden Gate, USF, Santa Clara, they are all fine schools. I am an attorney in the Bay Area and work with attorneys from these schools regularly and there is no prestige of one over the other. Remember U.S. News is a for-profit, unregulated, magazine offering an opinion nothing more. I look at resumes and treat all those schools equally.

If you are considering those schools I highly recommend you visit all three and see what school feels right for you. Each school has a culture to it and what feels right for you might be different for someone else. I personally do not like Santa Clara the location is isolated, they seem on a highhorse, etc, but that is me plenty of people like Santa Clara. Conversely, I think Golden Gate is great it is in the heart of San Francisco and everybody seems very friendly. However, the campus of GGU is pretty ugly same with Hastings, but this is all personal subjective feelings and you know better than anyone else what you will like.

I think if you want to stay in the Bay Area you should consider Lincoln, Monterey, JFK for CBA schools there might be others, but visit them all compare costs and see if any of them fit assuming you are ok with the limitations a CBA degree provides.

If you want an ABA degree, which you might as it will open more doors and you are willing to pay the money then visit those schools, compare costs, and see if any of them fit for you.

This is a highly personal decision and do not let rankings or anonymous internet posters such as myself make the decision for you. The reality of law school or any educational experience is that you will get out what you put into it and the same goes for your legal career it is a results driven profession and if you get results you will do fine whether you went to a CBA or ABA school.

However, you will have to fight harder from a CBA school than an ABA school, but you will still have to fight hard from an ABA school particularly when Stanford and Boalt are right here. Not to mention there is no shortage of Harvard, Yale, NYU, Columbia, etc grads eager to move to San Francisco.

Good luck whatever you decide.

Online Law Schools / Re: California to tighten bar admission rules?
« on: June 18, 2013, 01:39:31 PM »
Agree with CA Law Dean entirely. I took the NY bar while working, but I started the course months before I was supposed to. Remember BarBri is scheduled for recent law grads whose sole responsibility is studying for the bar and if your working there is no way you can keep up with the schedule.

I also would advise anyone studying for the bar to not work if it all possible. It is all consuming and if you don't give it your full attention you will likely spend a substantial amount of time only to not pass the exam. Plenty of people have passed without adequate preparation, but I know plenty of people  that worked while studying and never passed.

I think the perfect example of this is found in the movie Lawyer Walks into a Bar a documentary about several people taking the bar. One a part-time student at Western State who kept working and studying for the bar and failed 41 times and still never passed. I imagine he is intelligent enough to pass, but he needs a full-time commitment and by doing it half assed he has wasted 20 years of his life on that exam.

Just my two cents though.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Brooklyn Law vs. Fordham Law
« on: June 18, 2013, 01:08:42 PM »
In reality outside of TOP schools i.e. Harvard, Yale, Stanford whether you make it in the legal profession will be much more up to you than the name of the school on your diploma. I know there is a big movement for looking at statistics and I am all for lawschooltransparency's mission, but for the same reason choosing a law school is highly personal so is each individual's career success and goals.

I can tell you at my law school plenty of people went to law school with no intention of ever practicing law. Others got married and had children that happened to plenty of girls I knew and stayed housewives by choice. On top of that a substantial number of people simply do not respond to these surveys I am sure your undergrad sends you requests for information and more than likely you don't respond and wouldn't feel comfortable giving them your income, personal information, or you might be comfortable with it, but you simply forget to follow through.

That happens plenty I know when I graduated, passed the bar, and got a job I never responded to the survey, which they asked for in January or February well after I was into my job. I meant to respond, but I never did which I am sure happens in your day to day life plenty where you intend to do something and never get around to it.

In all honesty I believe any ABA school does s sufficient job to provide you the tools for success in a legal career. If your in the top of your class at Fordham you might have a shot at Biglaw maybe, but again 90% chance that won't happen at Fordham. On top of that the few that make into Biglaw generally hate it and leave, but if BigLaw is your goal then Fordham might be your best option.

Again, it really comes down to what you want out of your legal career. If you just want a legal job somewhere then any of these schools will suffice, but don't expect to be making $150,000 at graduation.

Typically to succeed as a lawyer takes a long time and when you first graduate and pass the bar you will not really know what you are doing and you generally aren't paid that well as an entry-level attorney. If you stick with it for a few years and learn the system you can do quite well from any school, which is why I think it is so important to keep debt down.

Good luck

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Brooklyn Law vs. Fordham Law
« on: June 18, 2013, 11:13:07 AM »
Happy to help, but again there is a 20% chance you will lose that scholarship this is nothing against you personally just the reality of law school. One your first day you will see everyone is convinced they will be in the top of the class and there is absolutely no way anyone believes they could possibly be in the bottom 20% of the class. However, it looks like Brooklyn has around 450 students in each year's class so that means 90 students will be in the bottom 20% of the class one of those 90 could easily be you.

Furthermore, law schools do what they can to make you lose the scholarship they do not do anything illegal, but I do not think it is uncommon to put all the scholarship students in one section to compete against each other or other tactics. Remember law school is a business first and foremost from Harvard to Cooley schools want tuition money and if they can find a way within the rules to have you pay another 90k for years two and three they will. Again they won't do anything wrong or illegal, but it is in their best interest to have you attend their school and lose your scholarship.

Once you enter the school unless you finish in the top 20% of the class and have the option to transfer up you will have no negotiating power and there is an 80% chance you won't be in that position. Therefore, I highly recommend you continue to negotiate the most favorable terms you can before committing to any school. As you saw by simply mentioning another school your scholarship money jumped try negotiating for more possibly as long as your in good academic standing at Brooklyn you will keep the scholarship.

This will also be a good lesson as to what being a lawyer is all about you fight for stuff and I know it is uncomfortable to negotiate for terms, but that is what you do in the real world. Try getting your feet wet with it and hopefully you will guarantee 90k for your law school career. In your current situation there is a a 20% chance you will lose $90,000 which is a substantial sum of money especially considering it will be accruing interest.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Brooklyn Law vs. Fordham Law
« on: June 18, 2013, 10:14:33 AM »
First and foremost remember to take anything you read on this board or others from anonymous internet posters should be taken with a grain of salt my post included. Remember this is a life altering decision and I like anyone posting on this board knows nothing about you, your situation, or what is best for you.

With that said I see the typical 0L logic in your post placing rankings above everything and I can tell you when I was a 0L I made the same mistake and now as a lawyer I realize how flawed that logic was.

I tell any 0L to consider the following when choosing a law school in this order (1) Location (2) Cost (3) Personal Feeling about the school (4) the reality of legal education (5) and last and certainly lease U.S. News rankings and these reasons are analyzed below.

1) Location
Thankfully you are not getting to crazy with this and all your schools are in New York However, having lived by Fordham and Brooklyn law school I know the areas are very, very different. Fordham is in a beautiful part of Manhattan and Brooklyn is in a less than ideal neighborhood. However, you might like it a little grungy and not enjoy being near the symphony and so forth that is your own call.

Since all your schools are in New York this is not that big of a factor, but for other 0L's considering attending school in California or New York, Washington or Arkansas  etc etc realize living in Arkansas will be much different than Washington

2. Cost
I see you have the foresight to realize getting a full scholarship is great. However, one thing to be very careful about are the conditions attached to these scholarships. Often there will be a requirement that you need to maintain a 3.0 GPA or finish in the top 50% of the class or some other restriction. It is usually the 3.0 GPA requirement, which is very deceptive and law students do not realize until it is to late.

Now as an incoming law student I am sure you got a 3.0 in undergrad without breaking a sweat and assume the same will happen in law school. However, in law school everyone is smart, hard-working, and motivated. Not only that law school grading is far different and generally only 35% of the class can have a 3.0 at the end of 1L. 100% of law students at any ABA school are convinced they will be in the top 10% and there is certainly no way they would finish outside of the top 1/3 of the class, but 90% of those people will not finish in the top 10% and 66% will not finish in the top 1/3.

If the typical conditions apply to this scholarship then odds are you will lose it year 2 & 3 and pay full price. This NY times article does a pretty good job explaining the system .

Bottom line pay attention to the CONDITIONS and continue to negotiate for the most favorable terms possible. As you saw by your scholarship increase you have the leverage as a OL and they want you in there, but once your enrolled you have no bargaining power left so do not be afraid to push for more.

3) Personal Feeling About the School

I can tell you having been a OL and visited various schools and competed in mock trial competitions that every law school has a culture to it. I know I hated some schools and loved others, but you may hate what I love and love what I hate.

This is three years of your life, your money, and your legal career so visit the schools, talk to professors, look at the neighborhood, talk to students, admins, and so forth and get a feel for the school to see if you fit in. You may love Fordham or hate it that is your personal decision and only you know what you enjoy.

So really listen to your gut when visiting these schools.

4) Reality of legal Education
Another important thing to realize is that any ABA school you learn the same thing. Your first year will consist of torts, contracts, civil procedure, property, etc. In these classes you will read Supreme Court cases Pennoyver v. Neff in Civ Pro, Palsgraff in Torts, and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for everyschool and neither do textbook publishers. Whether you attend Fordham, Cardozo, or Brooklyn you will likely read from a Contracts text book written by Epstein and read Hadley v. Baxendale, also the hair hand case and so forth.

The law does not change and you will learn the same thing at any school. After three long years you will then decide whether to pay for Barbri or Kaplan for your bar review course along with all the students at Cardozo, Fordham, Brooklyn, NYLS, Touro, Pace, etc and then you will all be in a barbri lecture hall for the next few months and finally all of you will take the bar exam and you will not list what school you attended and it will be up to you personally to pass the bar. That is the reality of legal education.

5 Rankings
Remember that U.S. News is a for-profit, unregulated, magazine offering an opinion. You can take it or leave it there is no authority and U.S. News has identified New Mexico as the best place to live. they have a balloon festival and the writers of U.S. News decide that make it the best place to live. Are you going to move to NM because these writers said so? I would hope not.

Use the same logic when choosing a law school the rankings system makes very little sense and clearly Harvard, Yale, Stanford etc have pedigrees, but none of these schools will have people falling over themselves for you.  New York has Columbia, NYU, not to mention plenty of Harvard & Yale grads want to come along with Stanford, UCLA, and USC, Cornell, so forth and so forth Fordham, Cardozo, and Brooklyn do not have that sort of pedigree.

They will jump around from year to year in the rankings between 30-70 I would imagine and there is a good chance Brooklyn will be higher ranked than Cardozo by the time you graduate or vice versa.

Use your common sense when choosing a law school to many law students myself included over think the decision and make U.S. News their deciding factor, but a magazine should not be the basis for a life altering decision your own personal likes, dislikes, goals, etc should guide your decision.

Good luck whatever you decide.

I see no reason to drop out if you are enjoying law school. The situation is pretty common for most 1L's as 50% of your class finished in the bottom half of the class and I know when you start as 0L you are convinced you will be in the top 10% and there is certainly no way you would finish below the median, but it happens.

Is finishing in the bottom quarter of the class the end of the world? No once your in the real world as a lawyer in front of a judge etc a judge will not care if you got an A or C in contracts. You would rather do well of course, but once you graduate and pass the bar you get a bar card from your respective state. The bar card does not list what school you attended, what your class rank was, or anything like that you will either be licensed to practice law or you won't. If you got through first year there is a good chance you will be capable of passing the bar and once that happens your a lawyer.

With your class rank the only door that will be closed is a biglaw associate job, which you probably wouldn't get even if you were in the top 20% of the class and it doesn't sound like you even wanted that.

The above poster gives good advice live life for the final two years, study, do your best, but all things considered getting a B or C in torts will mean little in regards to your legal career.

If you hated law school and everything about the law I would say drop out, but it sounds like you are just discouraged by not having done as well as you expected, which is what happens in law school. As you probably noticed everyone in law school is smart, hard working, and motivated and there was a 90% chance you were not going to finish in the top 10% and a 50% chance you were going to finish in the bottom 50% of the class and there is no shame in that you got through 1L so congrats!

Maintain's advice is spot on and I am just going to add a bit for to it.

First and foremost congrats on getting into an ABA law school. Having gone through law school myself I can't tell you how many people I know that continually put off the LSAT or are never satisfied enough with their score. Furthermore, graduating college and scoring well enough on the LSAT to get into an ABA law school is an accomplishment I know on a lot of these boards you read how awful everything is, but people that sit around attacking people on the internet are typically not who you want to listen to.

A 3.8 or 3.6 with a 158 will not change your options much at all. However, what do you really want to happen if your goal is Harvard, Yale, UCLA, USC and you won't take anything less then retake the LSAT and with a 3.8 you might have a chance. However, there is a 95% chance you won't score in the top 95% of LSAT takers so those schools are probably out of reach.

As Maintain says and I can tell you from being a lawyer nobody even knows let alone cares about any ranking difference between Loyola, Pepperdine, Southwestern, etc none of those schools have employers begging to hire grads through OCI instead you are going to have to make your own luck, but it can certainly be done.

--Main Consideration--
I think if your ready to go to law school then you should go putting law school of for a year usually results in people never attending. If you have some plan or some solid reason for putting law school off then that is understandable, but at this time next year you will probably be in the same spot of choosing between USD, Loyola, Pepperdine, etc and you you will graduate in 2017 instead of 2016 and be one year behind in your career. Assuming you even end up going to law school.

On top of that life has a way of throwing things in the way and a year is a long time to wait. You may get into a relationship, get a new job, get a promotion at your current job, have a family emergency, or simply think about waiting for the same reasons next year and you may never end up going.

I think if you wait for everything to be perfect you will never get anything done and you have put in a lot of work to get a law school admission ticket. If you have visited the schools and have a good feeling about them go for it, but don't put your life on hold in hopes of getting into the 48th instead of the 64th school according to  on  U.S. News a for profit and unregulated magazine.

If you cannot see yourself attending Loyola, USD, Pepperdine, and would be miserable there then don't go to law school just for the sake of going, but from your post it sounds like these schools sound like good options, but you might get something better next cycle. However, with a much higher LSAT you will have these same options next year and again there is 95% chance you won't score in the top 95% on the LSAT.

Good luck whatever you decide

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