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Topics - dbmuell

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Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Nay-Sayers
« on: June 08, 2007, 08:50:04 AM »
Okay, this is a bit of a rant, but hopefully it does generate useful discussion.  It seems that everywhere I go, some "helpful" person who is attending or graduated law school is telling me in condescending tones that my plan to continue working (only part time) and take a full course load in Law School will be "impossible."  The common theme seems to be that I will be so shell-shocked by the workload as a 1L that I will not have time to breathe, let alone focus on a job. Any attempt by me to rationalize my decision seems to be met with vague assertions of "what do you know, you're just a 0L" or "you'll understand when you get there."  The problem is, I just can't grasp the "impossible" nature that these people describe.  I know what my schedule will be, I feel that I have a good idea of what the work load will be, and I have made arrangements in my life to set a lot of things aside to make time for that work load.  Can it really be THAT bad?

This raises several questions that I would love to hear from other "non-trads" about.  Am I just being delusional in thinking that I can work this out without having to go without sleep for my first year?  Are the people that I am talking to just talking up the difficulty of the 1L experience to soothe their own egos?  Am I being real with myself in assuming that abilities like time management and priotizing that I have honed in my "real world" experience will give me the edge to pull this off and still be academically competitive? Could this just be a function of the "straight from undergard to 1L crowd" casting their experience on others in a different station in life?  I would love to hear from some other people that did this and can give me some reasonable assessment of what it's actually like to continue a career and be a law student at the same time. 

Okay, here's the situation that I am facing. I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced anything similar:

I applied and got accepted to the part time program of several T2 schools within a commutable range of my life/job.  I have pretty much decided 99% that I am going to accept one of the offers and have begun to rearrange my life (got a new apartment between school and work, began making arrangements with my job to reduce my hours by 50% in September, reducing my life expenses like crazy to account for the loss of income) and have contacted the admissions office several times to get more information about how to send in seat deposits, etc.

Yesterday, I receive an email from the Dean of Admissions offering me acceptance to the full time program and a (small but generous given my numbers) scholarship offer.  When I emailed back to ask if the scholarship offer was still on the table if I went part time, I basically got a reply of no, with a list of reasons why the part time program is a bad idea. The email basically insinuated that it would be unwise to enter the part time program and try to continue working part time, a plan that I had been assuming all along was fundamental to the purpose of having a part time program.  Most troubling was the warning that the schedule of classes for a PT law student would "make it difficult to find a block of hours for employment."

I'm not prone to the kind of panic that many over there on the traditional students board seem to exhibit, but I must admit that I'm getting kind of nervous.  I'm starting to get the impression that this school does not really want to have part time students, and if I do decide to go this route for a littany of personal reasons (not the least of which is the ability to continue supporting myself without cost-of-living debt while in school) the school will be unsupportive and inflexible.  I sense that this is all leading to a "we told you so" if they turn out to not be very accomodating of the needs of a part time student and this interferes with my ability to succeed. 

I could use some input here.  Has anybody else that is going this route felt that schools were actively discouraging part time attendance?  Is anyone out there currently doing the law school/work combination and finding that this Dean's comments about finding blocks of time for employment to be true?  Has anyone out there decided NOT to go part time as a result of these same concerns?  Just a little insight from the community would help. I thought I had a great plan worked out but the tone of this email gives me some concerns that I may not have made a wise choice...

Law School Admissions / Anyone heard from Penn State?
« on: January 05, 2007, 07:18:59 AM »
From the looks of the LSN profiles it looks like they seriously drag their feet on sending out decisions, and I never even got one of those little cards that other schools sent saying "You're complete."  Anybody heard a peep out of Penn State?

So far it has not.  If this is a leading indicator that scores are on their way tomorrow, it would seem that they probably are not.  Anybody have an wisdom on this?

Studying for the LSAT / What's with the people who can't follow directions?
« on: September 30, 2006, 12:33:46 PM »
Is it normal for the LSAT that some f**ktard that can't follow directions requires the rest of us to sit there while the proctor deals with them?  We had Ms. "Writing on the book when we've clearly been told we shouldn't have pencils in our hands," Mr. "My watch is beeping so now we all have to wait while the proctor puts it outside" and the killer duo of the anonymous "My cell phone is rining while the proctor reads the instructions" and Ms. "it couldn't be me because my cell phone is right here and it's not ringing."

Is it possible that this many people taking the LSAT are incapable of reading the simple, one-page directions that print right along with your admission ticket?  If you are one of these people, we all thank you dearly for extending our torture because you can't handle elementary directions...

Studying for the LSAT / Test Masters vs Testmasters?
« on: July 31, 2006, 07:21:01 AM »
Okay, I'm thoroughly confused.  After registering for a PR course in my area, I began reading up on this board and saw that everyone highly reccomended Testmasters.  I cancelled my PR class and was about to sign up for a Testmasters class, when I discovered that there are two companies doing business under this name.  It seems that one of them has a stellar repuration, while the other has a reputation for ripping people off.  Has anyone else made this mistake?  Can anyone point me to the URL of the real Testmasters site? 

I posted this on one of the other forums and really got no response, so I thought I'd try it here.  Basically, I'm 4 years out of UG in a fairly lucrative field that I'm positive I can levarage into an even more lucrative and rewarding law career.  The only thing that has been stopping me thus far is the massive debt load required to make it happen.  For me, part time law school with a part time work schedule (<20 hrs/week) seems like an ideal solution. I could make enough to live on and pay down some tuition and get out with a LOT less debt that if I went fulltime, allowing me to follow the law career that I want, not necessarily the one that pays enough for massive student loans. 

The question here is whether this is a good idea.  Are law schools more reluctant to admit someone if they are a part time applicant? Do potential employers after law school view part time graduates as "lesser" law students?  Is law school just so hard that, even with a part time schedule, holding down a job would be too much?  What am I missing that might make this a bad idea?

Being rather new to the "applying for law school" scene, I am finding it to be a refreshing surprise how many schools in my region offer an option to do law school on a "daytime part time" basis.  On the surface, this seems to me an ideal solution. I already have a career in a lucrative industry and going to law school "part time" while working "part time" (<20 hrs a week) would allow me to reduce my debt load coming out of LS by at least 60% and work to support my living instead of financing everything.  It would also serve to keep me sharp in my current skill set, which I hope to draw and extend upon in a future law career.

The question: Is part time law school a generally good idea?  Do the "part time" applications get sent right to the bottom of the admissions pile?  More so, do the "part time" graduates get sent right to the bottom of the hiring pile upon completion of law school?   Are there any considerations I'm missing here that make this a generally bad idea? 

(Note- I have a 3.08 and my practice LSATs are in the low-160s so I'm not taking T14 here.  I want to go to a respectable law school but I am by no means applying to Yale.)

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