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Messages - BikePilot

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51
Legal academia is ultra-competitive (way more so than biglaw).  There are sites with great breakdown's by school.  The most common path at the moment is to go to a fancy school and do a bunch of writing while you are there, then do a fancy clerkship and do a bunch of writing in your spare time, then do a fancy fellowship for a year or two and do a whole lot of writing (publish 2+ law review articles and write, but don't publish a 3rd for your job talk paper), then you go to the AAALS meat market in DC and hope to get picked up by a school somewhere.

Do note that when you look at the statistics there's a big sample bias in that students inclined toward legal academia tend to be nerds who tend to get accepted to fancy schools and especially tend to like New Haven (i.e., Y) for incomprehensible reasons. :P  I'm told that even so, legal academia is especially snobbish with respect to your school's brand name.  I have known some professors who went to UVA and similarly ranked schools and did really well.  Off hand I can't think of any young, well known professors who went to schools outside the T14. 

Note, this is mostly for academia in T1 schools, though I'm told that the market is quite tough at all levels, though as a general rule as you go down in the rankings practical experience starts to matter and school prestige and written work becomes less important.  At the T14 level you don't have to have practiced, passed a bar or done anything useful with your life as long as you've got a shiny diploma with lots of Latin and have written a bunch of papers that other similarly situated academics thought were cool.

I do think being a legal academic would be an awesome job and have seriously considered that as a career path myself (and have not completely given up on the notion).






52
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Need help ASAP please
« on: January 23, 2011, 08:20:44 PM »
FYI the study of law (or rather the process by which  you go about studying law) is very different from the UK to the US.  I'm guessing the OP is UK based, is so, the OP would be best served ignoring advice from US posters  I think.

53
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Part time Maryland or Full time Drexel
« on: January 23, 2011, 08:01:20 PM »
As far as I'm aware part time won't hurt your chances at biglaw so long as your gpa, class rank and all that is where it should be.  That said I can't think of anyone I know in biglaw from either of those schools so chances at big law might be so slim either way as to not matter.  I do have a good friend who was part time and is now doing well in biglaw.  Go to law firm websites and search their lawyers by school to get a feel for which firms are hiring from which schools.  Be sure to look for post-meltdown hires as firms were taking most anyone (relatively speaking) a few years ago.

54
Socratic Method / Re: Socratic method = russian roulette?
« on: January 23, 2011, 07:29:17 PM »
Maybe I'm a gunner, but I liked it and generally hoped to get called on - makes class a bit more interesting and I'd prefer anything over boredom.  Never really got the I-hope-I-don't-get-called-on mentality.  You'll be fighting for work, clients and tough questions as a lawyer, might as well grow to like it now!


55
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Engineering UG
« on: January 23, 2011, 07:27:37 PM »
The GPA is a little low by HYS standards (assuming you aren't a urm), but you've still got a solid shot.  Combine that with a mid 170's LSAT and you've got a decent shot anywhere in the country. 

I have a friend from HLS with similar stats who did well in LS and well again in the job market after graduating. HLS has some good environmental/ip/tech-related stuff going on and is longish walk/short bikeride/short T-ride from MIT and has an arrangement with MIT so law students can also take classes there as they like.  I'm told that HLS supplemented with MIT classes is about the best you can do for technology/patent/ip stuff.  I and my sources are probably biased :P

56
Really depends on where you want to work.  UC Boulder places pretty well in the Denver area (I worked in Denver for a summer so have a little exposure to that market) and I don't think being located in Boulder vs Denver is a big deal.  Its a 45 minute drive and you'll probably live/work/intern in Denver in the summers and study in Boulder during the school year.  Unless you plan to work during school, I don't see the location being an issue.  Boulder is an awesome location for fun outdoor activities.

W&L is also a good school and has been known to place in biglaw in DC.  Far from guaranteed, but if you manage to get on law review, graduate near the top of the class and don't make a fool of yourself in the interview process, you'd have a chance at biglaw.

I don't know anything about the others, though Pepperdine is doing fairly well in terms of legal academia.

Your chances at biglaw from any of these are probably <10% at any of these though, so best be realistic going in.  About the only way to essentially guarantee a biglaw offer is to graduate at the top of a T14 or graduate (anywhere in the class) from HYS.

You should also consider UT and GW - both place better in biglaw than their USNWR ranking might make some think. 
 

57
Non-Traditional Students / Re: US Law entry with UK LLB degree
« on: January 23, 2011, 07:14:29 PM »
I haven't looked into the details, but all of the foreign laws I know who practice in the states did LLM's here then took whatever bar they needed (nearly all are NY).  My guess, and this would be best confirmed by more serious research, is that your best bet is to finish your LLB as planned, practice for a bit in the UK, then come to the US and get an LLM at the best US law school you can find (HLS has an awesome LLM community 8) fyi... ).


58
GMU is a great school and places half-way well at biglaw firms in DC (at least for law review/top of the class students).  I don't think GMU has fantastic name recognition outside of the DC/VA area in general (it is fairly well recognized in legal academia though).  Safe bet that essentially everyone in the legal field in DC knows about GMU.  GMU recently sent its first student to clerk on the Supreme Court which I think also gave the school a moderate boost in recognition.  I don't know anything about UB.

You could perhaps defer your admission for a year, move to NoVA now.  Work for a year doing something interesting (probably in DC) and start after you've gained residency here.

You should also consider the differences in culture and style from one school to another.  GMU has a strong law and econ faculty that is probably bested only by those at HLS and Chicago (Stanford also has one truly exceptional L&E guy).  If you absolutely hate L&E GMU probably isn't for you though as I think its even a required course now (as it should be :P).

NoVA/DC is a fairly expensive place to live.  GMU's law campus is nicely located though and its a ~15 min metro ride to DC on the orange line.  Figure a minimum of about $1500 for a small apartment in the area (guessing - I live about 5-6 miles from GMU in a SFH).  There isn't a ton of parking at GMU and traffic around here is a mess so probably best to plan on living within walking distance of the school.

59
General Board / Re: Rising School Cost does the ABA regulate at all?
« on: January 20, 2011, 10:07:31 AM »
I don't think schools have to pay much if anything for students to have lexis/WL access - the providers want to get students hooked so they'll use their services as lawyers later on.

The problem isn't lack of ABA regulation, but that ABA regulation itself is (in large part) a cause of the high cost.  As best I can tell there's little practical value in a large hard-copy law library and it certainly isn't so critical that the ABA needs to require zillions of books per school.  Cynically, it is just a form of barrier to entry that the established schools want to keep in place to help prevent competition from new entrants.  After all, isn't that how we got ABA accreditation in the first place?

Another option for reducing cost would be to hire professors who can actually teach law and can teach subjects of value to students rather than focusing on hiring faculty for their ability to write law review articles that will get citied by other law faculty members.  The bulk of law faculty member's time is spent writing and researching, not teaching or preparing to teach.  Law students are paying for this and the recent trend in legal academia toward an academic/writing intensive culture and away from a practice-based, teaching culture is exasperating the problem.

60
General Board / Re: Rising School Cost does the ABA regulate at all?
« on: January 19, 2011, 09:54:06 AM »
As far as I'm aware they ABA doesn't directly regulate cost.  I suspect that the ABA's standards (library book requirements etc) are a large cost driver.  I have been told that for smaller and/or newer law schools, just maintaining the books required by the ABA and USNWR (effectively) is one of the largest expenses. I suspect that less ABA involvement would result in more competition between law schools and better value for the students. 

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