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Messages - lp4law

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741
Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
« on: August 11, 2003, 07:17:20 AM »
In my case, I never really intended to be an engineer.  I was originally planning on going back into the Marine Corps as a pilot.  I knew I needed a degree in order to earn my officer's commission and fly; and it had to be a technical degree if I wanted to qualify later for test pilot school.  Since I loved airplanes so much, I chose aeronautical engineering as my undergrad major.

Toward the end of undergrad I completed part 1 of a two-summer Marine Officer Candidateís School program.  When I graduated from undergrad I started working as an engineer with the intention of working for less than a year, then going back and finishing up OCS.  Instead I became involved in some entrepreneurial activities locally.  I enjoyed the challenge of managing both technical and organizational issues under pretty extreme pressures.  For about 4 years, all of my time and money went into business development and cost of living.  The day job paid for all of this along the way.

Over the past few years I've formed associations with inventors, patent attorneys, business people, and more.  We've recently consolidated all of our intellectual property into one company and are in the process of soliciting investors to help get the products to market.  Until this phase is complete, and the big money's in the bank, I'm holding on to my day job as an engineer.

I developed the desire to go to law school for two reasons.  First, I've learned that business can be a legal minefield.  You have to know where to step, and if you get into trouble, you usually have to pay someone to get you out safely.  I don't like relying on others to protect my interests.  I believe I have the intellect and aggressiveness to do that on my own, as long as I possess the applicable legal knowledge.  

Second, I don't want to be an engineer for another 30 years.  Itís been great as a source of economic support for my outside ventures.  But working in a cubicle 8 hours per day for someone else doesnít allow me to exploit my full potential.  And although the progress of my outside business venture is encouraging, there are never any guarantees.  If I don't make enough to retire for good within the next couple of years, I want to be set up to do something more appealing to me for the long term.  Iíve always enjoyed debate and the analysis of issues; and Iíve always sought out opportunities to help others resolve conflicts, prevail in disputes, or achieve a sense of justice when they are unable to do this for themselves.  Being an attorney will allow me to pursue these activities and get paid in the process.

Hope this answers your question (I know it was quite a ramble).  It sounds like you're well on your way.  What area of aerospace do you work in?  What's your location?  Are you looking to go full-time or part-time?  Good luck to you.

Lance

742
Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
« on: August 08, 2003, 08:31:35 AM »
In consideration of their recent comment concerning your odds, and the fact that time is so short, I would be very aggressive about following up in person with the school. Obviously this is no time to be passive as a strategy to appeal to their admissions process.  I'm confident that they still have your waitlist letter in their file/computer system.  You just need to go "motivate" them.

I hope this works out for you.  What other school(s) did you apply to?  Evening or days?  

Good luck,

lance

743
Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
« on: August 08, 2003, 06:26:35 AM »
I got my rejection letter from Loyola just a couple of weeks ago.  I had already been accepted to Southwestern by then, so I wasn't too concerned.  

My co-worker got into Loyola.  My getting into Loyola would have been nice for both of us because we're going to be carpooling from our work up in the Ventura area each evening down to LA (~60 miles each way) .  It would have been nice to have been in the exact same classes so that we could use the drive time to review class material with each other.

In any event, our first year classes are nearly identical (torts, contracts, etc) and the cases studied within those classes tend to be nearly the same from school to school, with a few variations.  If this holds true, one could argue that an advantage is to be realized by discussing the same cases, not just with a study group from my own class, but with someone from another school altogether.  So with the exception of the schools being 1.5 miles apart, it should work out well.  

How about you?

lp

744
Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
« on: April 25, 2003, 03:10:52 AM »
Wait list: Loyola (Fall 2003 evening)
No word yet: Southwestern (Fall 2003 evening)
Presently attending: Ventura College of Law

UGPA: 2.61 (Aeronautical/Aerospace Engineering)
LSAT: 156
Military: 8 years in Marine Corps Reserves
Work: 6 years as spacecraft engineer for General Dynamics
Other: extensive experience in business development; owned a sole proprietorship, a corporation, and participated in the formation and operation of two technology LLCs.

745
Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: getting off "the list"
« on: June 23, 2003, 05:36:37 AM »
Hey Nima.  What section are you applying to at Southwestern (day/evening/pleas/scale)?  What other schools did you apply to?  I applied to Southwestern and Loyola for Fall '03 evening.  I got accepted to Southwestern, but I'm still waitlisted at Loyola.  Loyola says they're supposed to be "re-evaluating" the waitlist in a week or so.  Good luck to you.

lp

746
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: LSAT score distribution
« on: March 13, 2003, 02:05:58 AM »
If you've actually taken the LSAT, the LSAC should have provided you both your score and your percentile for that test.  You can get this information either over the phone (if you called in for your score), or on the score sheet that they send you in the mail.  If you've just taken a practice test, a score vs percentile table should have been provided at the end of the test section.  If you're just trying to get a general idea of typical score vs percentile, you can check out an LSAT practice test book at Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc.  These books have several practice tests with score/percentile tables for each test.

I'm not sure if I've addressed your question sufficiently, so let me know if you need any more detail.

lp

747
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: writing out of state bar exams
« on: March 26, 2003, 04:20:54 AM »
It depends in large part on what point in your career you expect to pursue an "out of state" job.  If you want to be able to take the bar exam in any state immediately upon graduation from law school, then you will need to attend an ABA (American Bar Association) accredited law school (See LSAC.org for a list).  If you go to a state-accredited law school, you are only guaranteed to be able to take that state's bar exam upon graduation.  Regardless, most states still allow you to take their bar exam once you have practiced law 3-5 years in any other state.

Most people will tell you that you should always go to an ABA accredited school if you can get into one.  This is not necessarily true.  Such a claim seems to rely on two fallacies:  the "quality of education" fallacy and the "bang for your buck" fallacy.  

One of the primary assumptions relied upon is that you will always get a better legal education at an ABA school than a state-accredited school.  This assumption apparently ignores the relatively undisputed fact that the quality of your legal education relies primarily upon how well you absorb and apply legal concepts and case law.  Legal concepts and case law are generally presented to you from the same books and in approximately the same manner from one school to the next.  

As far as the "bang for your buck" issue is concerned, consider the following example:  Going to a good Los Angeles ABA school part-time (4-year program) will cost about $18,000/year; whereas a nearby state accredited school would cost about $5,500/year.  Over 4 years, that comes out to a $50,000 cash difference.  Granted, by graduating from a non-ABA school you'll be essentially forced to work in-state for the next 3 years; but that's like an recruiter coming up to you on graduation day, handing you an $84,000 bonus check (pre-tax) for agreeing to work in-state for the next 3 years.  Most people would willingly grab that check and accept those terms on the spot.

So there are a number of things to consider.  This commentary is by no means a complete analysis of the options, nor is it intended to argue against pursuing an ABA accredited law school.  There are certainly advantages to ABA schools that I have not addressed here.  I just want to give the other options their due consideration, and encourage further input from all sides of the argument on this issue.

748
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Southwestern's SCALE program
« on: July 28, 2003, 11:33:49 AM »
I know that Southwestern does offer scholarship money, but I didn't apply for any because I felt that my incoming numbers didn't warrant the attempt.  My numbers/background were as follows:

LSAT: 156
UGPA: 2.61 (aerospace/aeronautical engineering)
Work:  6 years as spacecraft engineer for General Dynamics
Business:  Several years experience in the formation and operation of small start-up technology companies.
Military:  8 years Marine Corps Reserve
3 Letters:  Lead engineer, business associate, patent atty.
Other:  Father graduated from Southwestern

I listed all of these factors for you because any of them could have contributed to my chances.  As competitive as things are right now, and the fact that my LSAT wasn't stellar, I'm sure my GPA was rather deficient for me to be considered competitive for admissions on numbers alone.  So I would have to believe that one or more of the other factors came into play.

Southwestern has been around since 1911.  I believe they became ABA accredited around 1969.  Their website, www.swlaw.edu, gives you a good overview of their background, faculty and facilities.  In addition, they list some of their alumni, which include a mayor of Los Angeles, members of the U.S. House of Reps and U.S. Senate, General Counsel for Miramax Studios, an LA District Attorney, owner of the Clippers (NBA team), lots of judges, VPs and CEOs of companies, etc...The list goes on.

As far as identifying the firms that hire from Southwestern, I started by going to Findlaw.com and looking up the top law firm salaries for Los Angeles.  From the full list I was able to visit most of these firms through their individual web links.  Once you get to their websites, most of these firms allow you to search their attorneys by name, school attended, specialty, office, etc...

I haven't done an exhaustive trend analysis of Southwestern's ranking per U.S. News.  But everything that I've seen, read and heard convinces me that the school is a good fit for me in that it carries a solid reputation in Southern California, has a strong and diverse faculty, and top-notch facilities.

I've already completed a semester at a local California Bar Accredited law school, and was impressed with the quality of instruction I've received so far.  This school is right around the corner from my apartment and would only cost me a projected $25k over 4 years.  So if I'm going to spend the extra $75k and drive an extra 600 miles per week to switch to an ABA school, I need to feel that it will be worthwhile.  My research has convinced me that switching over to Southwestern will be worth the additional investment in time and money.

Lance

749
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Southwestern's SCALE program
« on: July 25, 2003, 11:49:32 AM »
I live and work up in Ventura, California, and was looking for an ABA school that I could attend in the evening.  The closest possible options for me were Southwestern and Loyola.  I was well aware of the fact that Loyola had a longer-established reputation and was placed a good deal higher than Southwestern in the U.S. News rankings.  I applied to both, but only got accepted at Southwestern.

I wanted to be sure I was going to a law school that would be worth my $100k (and the crazy drive), so I did some general research on the school and the alumni.  Ultimately I verified that most of the local law firms, even some of the biggest, recruited at and hired from Southwestern.  In LA, the school seems to have a good reputation across the board.  My father was a 1968 grad from Southwestern (before it was ABA), and he and most of his classmates did very well for themselves, both in the public and private sector.  Additionally, Southwestern specializes in entertainment law.

I developed a personal appreciation for the school when I visited recently for an open house.  The library was gorgeous, being housed in the historic Bullocks Wilshire Building.  On the bottom floor of this building, construction of a state-of-the-art courtroom and conference area is nearing completion.  The older parts of the campus have been or are in the process of being modernized and upgraded, including the classrooms.  

With great schools like UCLA, USC, and Loyola in the L.A. area, it's easy for Southwestern to look like the little guy.  But I'm impressed by the fact that the school has worked consistently and aggressively to further develop its already very respectable reputation.  As a new Southwestern student, I'm looking forward to contributing to this effort.

Good luck.

Lance

750
Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Loyola (CA) or Univ. San Diego
« on: July 18, 2003, 07:00:54 AM »
I'm still waitlisted at Loyola (fall, evening) with a 2.61 (engineering), a 156 LSAT, 6 years as an engineer, and lots of outside business development experience.  I'm in at Southwestern (but my Dad is alumni -- not sure how this effected my chances).

My coworker is in at Loyola (fall, evening) with 3.3 (engineering), 166 LSAT, 2 years as an engineer, and 1.5 years working with the US Patent Office.

Hope this gives you a couple of useful data points.  Good luck.

Lance

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