Law School Discussion

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Messages - BikePilot

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31
Temple has one of the best international law professors in the world(literally, he visited at HLS and was truly awesome both in the class room and as an academic) teaching  there.  I don't know anything about the rest of their faculty though. At any of these schools it will be critical to get top grades, make law review and get to know well connected faculty members while you are there to maximize your chances of getting a good job out of school, particularly in the non-PA markets.  I know one guy in big law in DC who went to a lower-ranked PA school so it can be done, but its uncommon.


32
General Board / Re: MPRE
« on: March 04, 2011, 09:35:07 AM »
I studied a free barbri/kaplan (don't remember which one it was) handout for half a day, got a 140 I think it was. Like everyone said, the test is a joke and as best I can tell serves no purpose but to extract a few bucks from you and waste our time - it certainly isn't rigorous enough to verify that you know anything.


33
Acceptances / Re: No Loans vs. The Best Law School I Get Into
« on: March 04, 2011, 09:33:12 AM »
The world has changed a lot for federal loans since undergrad (for most of us).  My undergrad loans were fixed at 2%, my fed loans now are more than triple that.  The market for student loans sucks now, the interest rates are insane and consolidation options aren't what they used to be.

34
UCSD is a nice place.  Don't bother retaking unless you honestly think you'll do a lot better, otherwise you are just waisting your time.  If you were seriously sick, didn't study much etc for the test then retaking could make sense.  If you studied and nothing really bad happened to impact your performance then it isn't likely you'll do a lot better the second time around. Your lst and gpa are pretty equivalent indicating that the lsat is probably pretty representative of your general test taking results. 

imho UC Irvine might be worth a look, they've been aggressively hiring up great academics to build a top notch faculty. I think their tuition is/was free/cheap as well.   
 

35
Where should I go next fall? / Re: What to do in the fall...
« on: March 03, 2011, 11:22:12 AM »
First, biglaw is a long shot at either of those schools.  Some BC and Hastings grads make biglaw, but its a pretty small percentage.  If thats your goal you need to go into law school prepared to work your butt off, get on law review, make top grades and network with everyone you can.

Next, if you want to end up in NYC you are probably better off starting there.  From what I've seen its easier to nabb a NYC Biglaw job than a SF or Boston Biglaw job.  NYC hires a huge number of new associates and compared to how many it hires it doesn't generate a huge number.  You've basically got NYU and Columbia.  In Boston you've got HLS, BC, BU and probably a dozen more lower ranked schools with students contending for a dramatically smaller market.  If you do go to Boston or SF right out of law school try to go to a firm with a big NY office as that'll make the transfer much easier.

good luck!


36
Acceptances / Re: No Loans vs. The Best Law School I Get Into
« on: March 03, 2011, 11:14:50 AM »
As a rule of thumb I'd say don't get into debt for law school unless its HYS.  That said, $25k isn't much debt and if you like the school better it might be worth that.  I definitely wouldn't get into big debt for American. Penn State seems like a nice school from what little I've heard about it.  Temple might also be worth a look -  I had a visiting professor at HLS from Temple and he was absolutely awesome.  He's probably not representative of the faculty in general but there will be at least one world-class proff and that's something  ;)

37
General Board / Re: MPRE Questions?
« on: March 03, 2011, 10:59:00 AM »
First, the MPRE is stupidly easy, you could probably pass it just based on a little common sense.  It is nothing like a law school final - it is all multiple choice.  There's not a penalty for getting questions wrong and the required scores are so low that I think you only need to know 25% of the answers and you can guess on the rest (check the math, but its something like that).  Make sure you do the basic administrative stuff right and observe all the rules (filling in the boxes, spelling your name correctly etc) - this is probably the hardest thing about the test.

As for studying it is helpful to know the model rules half-way well, hopefully you've learned about conflicts and stuff in professional responsibility.  Barbri and Kaplan were handing out free materials at my law school before the MPRE.  I grabbed one of their books and spent half of the day before the test studying it and doing some practice questions and that was way too much studying as it turned out (needed 80 points or something like that, got about 140 iirc).  I think I used the free kaplan book, but don't remember for sure.  It was purple and about 3/8" thick.

Don't be surprised if some questions are poorly written and have no correct answer or two correct answers.  I found it not to be the highest quality test in the world, but it doesn't matter really as the standards are so incredibly low, just don't let it blow your concentration.

Unlike the lsat and to some extent the bar exam, there isn't much time pressure.  I don't remember the number of questions and time allotted right now, but I'm not a fast test-taker and I finished way, way early - I want to say in about half the time allotted and the room was half-empty by then so I wasn't anomalous (though admittedly the sample was not normal as the test was on campus and there were a lot of students from my school there who are all generally good test takers).

Two rules of thumb that were suggested to me and seem generally correct are
1. when it doubt, screw the lawyer
2. pick the second-most ethical answer.

38
Non-Traditional Students / Re: No LSAT
« on: March 03, 2011, 10:55:11 AM »
I think one or two schools might allow you to apply to their law schools without the lsat if you graduate from their UG with a gpa > x.  I want to say that Michigan might be one of these but don't remember for sure.

39
Talk to partners (ideally hiring partners) at firms that might interest you  - find some with military backgrounds, else they might not have a clue what you are on about :)  Hopefully you already know some partners or people who can give you an introduction. 

In general my guess is that as long as you can pass character and fitness with no problems the firm won't care in the least.

40
Personal Statement / Re: Are contractions acceptable?
« on: February 25, 2011, 08:54:08 AM »
You shouldn't use contractions.  You should actually start sentences with And/But despite what the above poster might have learned in elementary school.  Justice Roberts does it all the time and done properly it can be quite useful.

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