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Messages - livinglegend

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91
Law School Admissions / Re: SMU Law Applicant- Chances of Getting in?
« on: June 24, 2013, 02:25:16 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.


92
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.

93
Online Law Schools / Re: Mid-Atlantic School of Law
« on: June 23, 2013, 12:11:59 PM »
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.

94
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: GGU Law vs. USF Law
« on: June 21, 2013, 06:49:49 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.

95
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: soft factors
« on: June 19, 2013, 04:43:05 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.

96
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: soft factors
« on: June 19, 2013, 12:12:41 PM »
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.


97
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Lincoln Law School in San Jose
« on: June 19, 2013, 10:11:49 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.

98
Online Law Schools / Re: California to tighten bar admission rules?
« on: June 18, 2013, 02:39:31 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.

99
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Brooklyn Law vs. Fordham Law
« on: June 18, 2013, 02:08:42 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


100
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Brooklyn Law vs. Fordham Law
« on: June 18, 2013, 12:13:07 PM »
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.


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