Law School Discussion

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Messages - OConnorScribe

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31
General Board / Re: One space or two spaces at the end of a sentence?
« on: July 22, 2008, 01:30:50 AM »
One is the industry standard, for the reason cited by mother in law ... or whoever. Cosmetically, the single space just looks better and less awkward. The style manuals (AP, Chicago and Words into Type) back this up. Yes, the two-space break is what we were taught in grammar school, but this is antiquated. I'm sure a lot of fuddy-duddy practicing lawyers would disagree\, but everyone makes up their own damn grammar rules. Just like everyone thinks they can do the lawyer's job better than the lawyer, so it is with grammarians and editors. :-)

And Eats, Shoots and Leaves is THE classic tome on all of these silly and wondrous conundrums of American English. 

32
General Board / Re: Acceptable Salary to Debt Ratio
« on: July 18, 2008, 06:18:28 PM »
Hey I'm gonna owe $160-70K when I get done ... I wish I was you. :-)

33
General Board / Re: moms and dads in law school
« on: July 17, 2008, 11:14:39 PM »
While I'm not a parent myself, one of my best friends at my school finished 4th out of 185 this year despite the fact she was raising a 3-year-old with hearing problems and attending sign language classes with him throughout the year. She also managed to join a roller-derby team. Plus, she went the second semester without buying textbooks, borrowing ours when possible. And yet she managed her time, stayed positive and did very, very well ... enough to transfer to a better school.

So yes, anecdotally, I can say success in such a situation is possible. 

34
General Board / Re: bad grades, GPA 3.03 law school hopeful
« on: July 17, 2008, 11:06:27 PM »
Agreed ... a 3.03 still ain't bad in the grand scheme of things, Plus, the F presaged a career change, and at least you had the self-knowledge an d the courage to overcome it. And lawyers are apt to claim superiroity over doctors.

Your GPA is low enough, though, that you'll want to aim for a good LSAT score ... that's was burned me ... for a long time a 155 could get you in to a mid-tier 2 like a St. John's or a SUNY Buffalo or a Chicago-Kent. But with more folks applying and attending school, and with all new school openings the past few years raising the reputational stakes (with more on the way -- possibly even three more in New York state, which already has 15!) , that doesn't quite get it done, no matter how strong your soft factors (transcript breadth and ambition, strong essay and recommendations, life or career history). I got waitlisted at all three of the schools I mentioned, whereas a 157 would have definitely gotten me into Buffalo and most likely into St. John's (the Chicago-Kent deferral was a surprise). My GPA at Syracuse was a 3.38. 

An obvious caveat: This is coming from a white guy. I don't know how much being an Asian American influences your chances (for what it's worth, Asian Americans are a strong faction in my class, whereas we have only a few African-Americans and one Ethiopian native -- not sure if the numbers game makes it slightly tougher for you). If you can, try to schedule a tour with admissions while your application is still pending. Often, that can lead to a de facto interview. My school actually offered interviews on a first come, first served basis. That mat well have had an impact on my admission to Pace, and I'm positive the scholarship money I received resulted directly from the interview (median was 156).

Good luck!! 

35
General Board / Re: Health Insurance
« on: July 17, 2008, 02:39:16 PM »
Responses here just show how much my university, overall, just sucks. If it wasn't for the law school, it'd be a glorified second-rate community college that can't or won't spend real money on students. We actually are offered the same plan as the undergraduates ... as if no one over the age of 25 and single attends law school.

Man ... NOW I'm just p'd off.

36
General Board / Re: Advice for prospective law student
« on: July 17, 2008, 02:34:37 PM »
I would definitely try working for at least a year if I was you. Don't take 10 years off like I did -- wow, was that a hard transition to make at this point in my life.

But if you take two years off, gain a small dose of word and life and personal financial experience, pay off some debt or save some money (I'd do the latter, personally, since grad interest is higher than undergrad interest) and, most importantly, give yourself a chance to make a buck in investment banking. Even if you hate investment banking a few years down the line, you'll perhaps be in an excellent position to run toward law genuinely in the plus category. A former co-worker stated to me well when I was applying to school: doctors and MBAs go to school to make a lot of money, while lawyers go to save the world, because chances are they won't save much dough. You have a chance to make a filthy amount of money. You have to take it, because you don't want to look back and see the folks you started with getting rich and quitting to pursue other goals. Some of the posters here might reply that money can't buy you happiness, but it *does* make finding happiness a heck of a lot easier to find.

37
General Board / Re: Health Insurance
« on: July 16, 2008, 04:16:18 PM »
Try not to go through the school ... mine, at least, offers base-level, gutter coverage. The cap for prescription drug spending is $750 annually, which considering I take several medications, is not good. Also, the "network" is not as broad as advertised, and the school requires us to start our health care search at the university NP's office, which is 10 miles north and very hard to access without access to a car -- or, giving the constraints on our time, with one.

There are organizations out there that could introduce you to a nice pool ... if either your wife or your freelance in any field, the Freelancer's Union is an excellent option (given my previous career in writing.editing, I may be able to get away with approaching them, but probably not, since I;ve made all of $1,700 freelancing in the past two calendar years).

Anyway, just some perspective to add to the discussion. Good luck!!

38
General Board / Any value in looking internationally for 2L summer?
« on: July 16, 2008, 04:11:51 PM »
Or would that be a waste of time -- or perhaps a major risk?

I ask because for a couple reasons:

1. My 1L summer gig in IP research has morphed, for the time being, into one in market research, specifically on the worldwide demand for English instruction and the players in fostering that instruction on the Web (the company I work for is launching an ambitious Web start-up). In performing this work, I now realize that the BRIC world is coming on stronger than I previously imagined. This, I have to believe, means there is an awesome opportunity for the expansion of not only IP law, but also health and safety regulations and litigation, land use, anti-money laundering, public interest, criminal law (as urbanization increases and common sense erodes) and other specialties.

2. I'm in the middle class of my class (literally at the median) at my T3 in suburban New York City. While the proximity to the city and the growth out here in the sticks puts me in a pretty good spot, my underwhelming performance has me inclined to expand my search to cover broad terrain. Seems smart.

Any thoughts? 

39
Just wondering -- why go back now that you've earned or will soon earn an MBA? Is there a goal in mind that would make doing both back-to-back -- and not simultaneously -- make any sense? Why put yourself that much further into debt when you could compete for a good job now, and one likely at a higher starting salary than you'd receive out of law school.

I hope you aren't doing it as a way of absolving yourself for past sins and finding redemption. Because, speaking from experience gained from my immediate non-law school past life, that's unhealthy.

Good luck, though, as you proceed. Go take a proctored practice LSAT at Kaplan. It's free, and it'll give you a great benchmark. And no, I don't work for Kaplan ... :-)

40
General Board / Re: Diploma Mills question
« on: July 14, 2008, 06:53:59 PM »
The term "diploma mill" refers generally to volume, not academic standards, as in Ohio State and Michigan State, which have enormous undergraduate populations, are diploma mills ... picture a paper pulp factory cranking out the rolls. :-)

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