Law School Discussion

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Messages - smujd2007

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61
General Board / Re: What do I tell the judge?
« on: January 29, 2008, 09:06:11 AM »
This person said they were interviewing with a federal judge, not a firm.  Everything is not about what a firm would ask or do. Legal jobs are different, so interviewers in different areas ask different kinds of questions. There is life outside of the law firm track. 

Of course, you don't want to be prepared to the point where you sound over reahearsed.  But preparation is the key to confidence, for some.  I would agree with Peaches, too, that researching your interviewer is a must.  And yes, they want to see if you can carry on a conversation, but you are also selling yourself as well. If the interviewers starts talking about client intake, and you have done client intake at 2 different summer clerkships, you are CRAZY if you don't take that opportunity to discuss that with the interviewer, even if its is on your resume. When it is time to make the decision, will the interviewer remember the person who merely smiled and nodded, or the person who was able to relate what they have done in the past to the position they are seeking? Yes, you are having a conversation where you are trying to give as much information, but your underlying goal is to say as much about your education and experience (and how it relates to the job) as possible.   


I was joking, obviously, although I'd think less of an interviewer who asked that question.  I wasn't asked that question from any firm, and the associates at two career panels with top firms all said they never ask that question because it's a stupid question.
The biggest complaint from interviewers at the panels was that students come in with a list of things they'd planned on saying and try to make sure they get through the list.  Everyone I interviewed with seemed like they were mainly in seeing if you are good at conversation and quick on your feet.  I didn't really talk about the law much or my resume much.  My biggest suggestion is to research your interviewers so you know the things they're interested in.

62
General Board / Re: What do I tell the judge?
« on: January 28, 2008, 11:48:15 PM »
Take it from someone who has been on interviews where this question was asked and got hired.  You need to be prepared with at least one weakness, and be able to spin it in a positive light. It is a common interview question.  And walking out makes no sense.  You will be asked things that you don't think are relevant all the time.  It doesn't matter if you think it is stupid. You have to answer if you are asked.  And if you say you don't have any weaknesses, you appear to be arrogant.

63
General Board / Re: Should I drop out?
« on: January 28, 2008, 09:49:31 PM »
This is the credited response.

Yes, the job market is not great, but that's for everything.  You are probably much better off staying for the next 2 years and doing the best that you can than dropping out now and have to worry about finding a job, etc.  I was in a similar situation after my first semester of law school (except at a lower tier 1 school), but I decided to stay.

Lots of legal jobs (and those related to law) don't ask for transcripts, especially once you graduate and pass the bar. Don't offer it unless they ask for it--its not being deceitful, its being stragetic.  They have a strategy, why shouldn't you?  But you can't expect to make 6 figures right off the bat either. You might have to be creative in your job search--try some paralegal positions, teach at a technical school/ community college, do temporary agency work, work at a smaller firm, or even for a nonprofit to get some experience. 

I would advise you not to make the decision about dropping out until you totally finish the first year.  It could get a lot better. If you do stick it out, use second and third year to make some meaningful contacts, get some part time jobs (paid or unpaid) so that people can get to know you--great references are always good to have, and depending on who you know, can make a world of difference.

Also, in terms of paying back loans with a low salary, there are some programs in some states that assist with loan repayment while you work in government or with a nonprofit.  You should check those out as well.

Its not the end of the world, it just requires a change in perspective.  And, if you really want to work for a firm, get to know some people and you may be able to lateral in after practicing for 2-5 years.

Good luck!


$40k debt isn't bad. Lots of people graduate undergrad with that kind of debt. If you lost your scholarship though...you may want to seriously reconsider law school. Paying full price for a T3 would be rough.

At the very bottom of a T3 I'd still say the options are broader than roy is making them out to be. Assuming you're in a small or midsize market where your school is respected, and if you're not shy about getting your name out there, I'm sure you could get an associate position and eventually rise through the ranks of a respectable local firm.

Government work, on the other hand, might require more than a JD and a pulse, depending on local supply and demand.

Don't lose hope. It's only the first semester. Figure out what happened and do it better next time.



64
General Board / Re: What do I tell the judge?
« on: January 28, 2008, 09:25:31 PM »
Make a list of all the great things about yourself.  Make a list of things that may be weaknesses, and figure out how to approach them if they come up. Also, be able to answer the "Tell me a little about yourself." question as well.  Those two are popular.  Knowing those answers (memorize about 3 things you want to say for each one) will make you feel more confident almost immediately.   

Make sure you can answer the question:  Why should I hire you as an intern?  Talk about your experiences, your desires, and what skills and interests you have that will actually benefit the judge. You are selling yourself.  Don't forget that.

Make sure you have everything ready to go before you go to bed tonight.  Clothes, directions, etc.  Having to rush or running late will make you even more nervous.

At the end of the day, everyone gets nervous before interviews.  The key is not to let your nerves keep you from showing the interviewer how great you are. 

Hope this helps. 

Good luck. 


65
General Board / Re: Which bar review course?
« on: January 28, 2008, 09:21:17 PM »
I took BarBri and the 3 day and 6 day PMBR.  I signed up with PMBR before they started limiting the discounts, so I got $200 off because of the ABA and signing up early.  So it cost me 795 for both courses.  I figured, if it will make me feel more confident, I'm up for it.  I don't plan on taking the Texas bar more than once. 

I thought the 6 day course was good, because it wiped out cobwebs from first year, and shows you where your weaknesses are from the start.  You learn a lot by doing the questions and going over the answers. 

The three day course is necessary.  I know I saw some very similar fact patterns in the 3 day as on the exam.  I recommend going and taking the practice test, at the site (some people picked it up and went home.)  I think doing it there, under simulated conditions, gives you a sense of what it will be like on test day.  I also recommend forcing yourself to sit there and go over all the answers. A lot of people only came back for the second day. 

BarBri lectures are pretty good as well.  But I don't feel like barbri's questions or lectures prepare you that much for the MBE.  I think BarBri is better for specific state essays and the MPT.

I think its important to do what makes you feel comfortable.  I think if you work hard at it, no matter what courses you take, and stay persistent and diligent about studying in an organized fashion, you should be fine.

At any rate, good luck with whatever you decide to do!

66
General Board / Re: 0L with question about financing law school
« on: January 25, 2008, 08:15:44 PM »
Private loans is probably the only option.  I would say go to the highest ranked school that gives you the most money. Also consider what you have to do to keep each scholarship.  For instance, some schools require you to keep a 3.0 or even higher GPA to maintain a scholarship.  Lower guaranteed scholarship money might be a better bet. 

Also, if you perform at the top of your class and work summers, that will help out some, as long as you don't blow your earnings.  I have a couple of classmates who did that and saved about 20-25 in debt, which is substantial.


67
2L job search / Re: Want to get Job Out of State Need Advice
« on: January 24, 2008, 11:38:58 PM »
Try the intercollegiate job bank through BYU.  Ask your schools career services for the username and password. 

I am going to school on the east coast but am a CA native and the West is the Best. I was lucky to get a summer position in CA but it was difficult getting my foot in the door. I sent out around 50 resumes and cover letters to LA and SF firms in August. Nobody was interested even though I had good grades and law review. I think it was because in August I only sent stuff to vault 1-30 firms and I think they hired mostly from OCI. In Dec. I sent about 30 resume and cover letters to small and medium sized firms and government organizations (all unsolicited-I don't know who was hiring) and only heard back from 1 government organization which looked like a god job, but didn't pay so I had to ding it. I ultimately found the job I had because my career services offices tipped me off about a firm that was hiring. The hardest thing is finding firms that are hiring because I can't access the local schools job boards.

P.S. does anyone know how to access local schools job boards?

68
2L job search / Re: Bad at Interviewing
« on: January 24, 2008, 11:35:21 PM »
Congrats. Just remember that always, and you'll be fine!

69
General Board / Re: cost/benifit of working hard
« on: January 23, 2008, 12:38:16 PM »


I didn't assume anything . . . you said it.  There was no other reason for you to say that you got a high LSAT score in that context than to say that you thought that your high LSAT score would correlate to law school "success." Its a valid point, given your statements here. Also, your mentality sometimes can be your worst enemy.  If you psych yourself into believing that you have acheived something, or will achieve something, you may jeopardize it by not working as hard, or as effectively, as you would if you knew that you were working from the bottom up.

Also, as I think I said earlier, if you are at a T1 and you have some soft factors (personality, get good work experience, networking), it won't matter what your grades are for jobs.  If you want a big firm job, you will have to work a little harder on the soft side to make up for the difference-- have a decent personality, networking, etc.  And, still the higher your GPA given your own personal circumstances, the better. 

Plus, you said something about not being able to get above median in your class.  You have no idea what the median will be at graduation.  What normally happens is that everyone slacks off, even if just a little, after the first year, and the percentages fall slightly, even by a tenth of a point or more.  For instance, the cutoff for top 10% first year may be 3.7, but by the time graduation hits, it might be 3.5. So, you don't know where the middle will be.   

I suggest that you remember the real reason you came to law school--it wasn't to graduate summa cum laude in your law school class. Stay focused on that reason, and get advice from those in your field about what to do given your GPA and other factors. As a 1L, grades seem so important now, but as you get down the line (and see people who were in the top half of the class fail the bar and lose job offers), you will see that its not as bad as it seems. If you work hard, it will pay off.  It just may take you a little longer, or you may have to work a little harder, to reap the benefit.  But, that's life. 


"Nothing you have done before, not even the LSAT, is like law school.  You have to distinguish it and treat it accordingly."

while its not stated explicitly here..this indicates another strong assumption about people who get poor grades that may not be true..I.e that they thought it would be like before or that they have never faced defeat before..neve faced a curve before etc.

actually i went to an undergrad school with a curve as well..set at 3.0 i believe.

further.  i read PLS before school and did practice exams/used supple mets etc.  this is not somebody who didn't know what he was getting into.  its someone who didn't do well on exams.

not ebery person who gets bad grades needs the exact same kneejerk speech about how they arn't special and they must not understand law school is different.

if i gave a guy in the middle of his class that speach becuase he didnt wind up in biglaw..would that be appropriate?

i started this thread as a statement of the futility of caring about grades if they are below a certain point becuase they mathematically cant get much better.  a lot of assumtions have been made..many of them are factually wrong.

70
General Board / Re: cost/benifit of working hard
« on: January 23, 2008, 08:44:00 AM »

LSAT's are worthless after you are admitted to law school. It seems that you were focusing on the wrong things to determine your success, not the actual task of law school that is before you.  Nothing you have done before, not even the LSAT, is like law school.  You have to distinguish it and treat it accordingly.

As for being a "gunner" that is "now at the bottom of the class," you were never at the top of the class.  Remember that. GPA and LSAT are used to get you into law school.  After you are admitted, they mean nothing.  Like I said, you presumed your success before you had it.

My recommendation is that you swallow your pride and do whatever you can to figure out what went wrong--don't feel sorry for yourself. Determine what you really want out of the experience, and go after it.

Good luck.

oh another thing i forgot to mention just to add insult to injury: im was/am irrepressible gunner who is now at the bottom of the class...oh and i entered with an LSAT at over the top 75%

well, lsats dont mean anything... the grades were probably karma if you that bad of a gunner, lol, jk :)~

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