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Messages - vap

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ITT, I will respond to a question about the 2010 rankings, which were released in April 2009.

On second thought, no I won't.

The ranking will usually leak out late March or early April and the official magazine usually comes out mid to late April.
The grad school rankings will come out on April 15 according to the website.

Politics and Law-Related News / Re: xoxo defamation suit
« on: April 04, 2010, 07:21:25 PM »
Thanks for the update.  I remember hearing about that suit when it was filed, but I don't remember ATL or any other legal blog covering the settlement.  The story just seemed to fade away.

why??  I am getting smaller scholarships from the other two schools.

Because they are more or less equivalent schools. Might as well go where you can go for free.


Assuming this is a serious question, Brooklyn.

I've never known anyone in that type of situation, so feel free to disregard what I say here.  

It's been my observation that law jobs do not suit themselves well for set time commitments.  They are often unpredictable.  So although someone thinks they'll do doc review for 30-35 hours per week, it could end up being 50 hours some weeks and 0 hours other weeks.  And to the same degree, although someone commits to a minimum of 20 hours per week at a nonprofit, there may be days or weeks in which the employee will not be able to finish the amount of work expected within 20 hours (or at least the employee will not be able to do a good job in 20 hours).

Law jobs are often project-based and deadline-oriented.  That is, you are expected to put in however many hours are necessary to finish the project by a certain deadline.  You often can't just punch in and punch out and say "I'll finish it next week."

So, I don't think it would work out very well to have two law jobs and expect to put in a set number of hours at each.  I think the employee might be setting himself up for failure at both jobs.

But again, I stress that I've never been in that type of situation, so I don't know from firsthand experience.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: texas law schools
« on: March 24, 2010, 11:40:32 AM »
Yes, but the numbers I heard were higher.  I can't verify, but was told that up to 70% of San Antonio area legal community is made up of St. Mary grads.

I got the 45% number from the Texas Bar 2006-2007 statistical survey.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: texas law schools
« on: March 23, 2010, 04:41:40 PM »
Do you know that UT is 1.5 hour away?  And about 2.5 hours are three law schools. 

With about 45% of all lawyers in Bexar County being St. Mary's graduates, wouldn't a St Mary's grad do pretty well if he or she wants to stay in San Antonio?  (I'm not very familiar with St. Mary's or San Antonio, so I'm asking a serious question.)

Thought you had already graduated for some reason.

It's so close I can taste it.

Hi.  I'm a 3L at Mercer.  I'm happy to answer any questions about the school.  I posted some info about Mercer last year in this thread:,4017048.0.html

If you go there how do you like it overall?

Overall, I am very happy with my experience at Mercer.  Great classmates, great profs, excellent curriculum (including plenty of legal writing courses and practical skills-oriented courses) that won a professionalism award from the ABA.  

How is the career services department, do they help you find internships?

Career services does a decent job.  They review resumes and cover letters, and they bring employers to campus.  They keep us updated about career fairs and job postings.  They organize events to help with the job search.

They will help you find internships, but sometimes it's best to look on your own, as well.  Some internships aren't regularly advertised.  So it doesn't hurt to just send your resume out to a bunch of organizations/judges/etc. and see what comes back.

How are job prospects?

The downturn in the economy has significantly affected hiring.  A lot of my classmates have jobs lined up, and some of the smaller firms have started interviewing again.  But biglaw hiring went to hell.  If I had to guess, I'd say only 5% of the 2Ls are headed to biglaw.  Most of the people in my class who got biglaw summer associate jobs were either deferred or did not receive offers at the end of the summer. But as far as I can tell, that's been happening at most schools.

In most years, about 60% of the class is employed at graduation.  This year, I would expect closer to 50%.  Mercer will probably weather the economy better than schools that have historically depended on placing students in large firms.  Mercer has a lock on firms in Macon, and it has a decent reputation throughout Georgia.  Smaller firms in these cities have continued to hire.  Also, your marketability increases when you pass the bar.  A lot of state government jobs won't pay you until you pass the bar.

I'm happy with how things turned out for me.  I'm clerking for a judge next year.  Looking forward to it.

Do you like Macon?

I like Macon.  Some people don't.  Although it has a higher crime rate than the national average, it's still lower than Atlanta.  Just like any city, there are "good" and "bad" areas.  I live close to downtown (a relatively "bad" area), and I've never had any problems.

There are a lot of cool hole-in-the-wall places to eat.  Some decent bars, although I'm not a huge fan of the nightlife in Macon.  First Friday (downtown area is a big party) can be fun.  There are also some museums and historical sites.  This Washington Post article from last month talks about some of the historical sites in Macon: ("Macon is home to so many buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, you'd need 77 hours to visit each for just one minute ...."

There's also a nice state park at Lake Tobesofkee for outdoor/recreational fun.  A new mall was also built recently on the north side of town.

Before law school, I spent most of my time living in larger metropolitan areas.  I am mostly of the opinion that "quality of life" is what you make of it.  You can find stuff to do in Macon.  Of course, you'll also be pretty busy in law school.

Current Law Students / Re: Taxes on scholarships
« on: February 06, 2010, 06:28:08 PM »
1.  Ask your financial aid office financial aid questions.

2.  Loans are not income.  You do not report them on your taxes.

3.  Whether the scholarship is paid to you or merely reduces your tuition is of no importance.  

Here is a basic answer to your question:

In other words:
If for tuition or required books = no tax.  If for anything else = tax.

Some schools have scholarships that include living stipends.  Most of the stipend portion would be taxable income (less the cost of books).

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