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Messages - christianlawyer09

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You can say retards all day, some people with MBA's still did it. There's nothing wrong with the officer route either. I take it that you served as an officer? Which branch?

Yes, but if they got their MBAs from Troy University, Capella, American Military U.,ect., then their degrees don't really mean much.  You're using "MBA" to imply that these people are well-educated and well-credential and are still choosing to enlist instead of becoming officers.  But MBA programs are everywhere and anyone who wants to sign up can get into at least 1.  Thus, these people of whom wou speak, it's fair to say, are probably not representative of the best and brightest our country has to offer.   

2
Socratic Method / Re: soc. method advice
« on: December 05, 2008, 11:12:17 AM »
femmelawren,
I can totally relate to your experience.  I too chose a scholarship at a low-ranking school for undergrad.  I was a National Merit Scholar and had options at a lot better schools, but my family did not have the means to pay for them.  I'm attending a T-20 for law school, and it's a completely different world.  But here's something I learned about myself that you might need to consider as well.

Like you, I was bored in undergrad.  My classmates were also either not interested in studying hard or were not capable of learning some of the class material.  However, many of my classmates in law school are Harvard and Yale grads.  They spent their undergrad years being motivated and sharpened by their peers.  Thus, I felt they had an edge on me during 1L year as I struggled to digest the sheer volume of info as carefully and as quickly as I could.  I'm a 3L now, and looking back, I can definitely tell how my thought processes and analytical skills have been enhanced by all these brilliant students. I wish I had had those skills in 1L, but I'm glad I've got them now.  So, to me, that's the biggest weakness of not attending an intellectually rigorous undergrad program - there's just no substitute for the synergy created by groups of great thinkers.

Having said that, it's not hopeless for you to ace 1L.  Just be aware that most of your classmates have had more intellectually rigorous educations and you will need to work very hard to train your mind to compete against them.  I agree with the above posters that gunning is irrelevant and I'll add that if you focus too much on prepping for or worrying about in-class discussion, you'll be missing out on the most important part - exam prep.  Learn the rules, and practice applying them to different hypothetical situations - and practice explaining this completely out on paper - and you'll ace exams. 

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Non-Traditional Students / Re: Sell the house or try to keep it?
« on: May 31, 2008, 09:59:29 AM »
my husband and I are selling our place... and we'd be willing to take just enough so that we don't LOSE money on the condo.  yeah it sucks to lose on an investment, but law school is another investment, so we're moving from one to the next.  some people rent and some people sell, it's a personal decision.

But see, you're not going to lose money on an investment.  You're going to lose money on the sale of your home.  Housing is not an investment.  That's the lesson that everyone needs to take away from the last few years.  Historically, bank CDs offer about the same rate of return as a house - just above inflation.  And if you are like most people, you spend more "fixing up" and decorating their home than you realize, and so whatever gain you make from a sale is greatly eaten up by that excess spending.  You just don't realize or feel it because you spent the money over a long period of time. 

beach bum, I feel for you, but sometimes you just have to cut your losses and move on.

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They didn't let me know I had been accepted until well into May, and my numbers were way above their median.  I had already accepted GW's offer and moved to D.C..  I had forgotten all about U of A until they called me one day in May.  So hang in there, they are just ridiculously slow.

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Again, you're not actually responding to my argument, you're trying to define the argument on your terms.  Since I'm actually in law school now, I don't have time to get into it with you.  Good to luck to you.  Hope it works out for you.

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Obviously there are no guarantees concerning our decisions in life.  However, statistics are incredibly useful in helping us make fairly accurate predictions about the future.  We can use statistics to help us shape our decisions with a reasonable amount of accuracy, while also gleaning a very good sense of how inaccurate those predictions are.

If you don't agree that you can make sound financial decisions based on statistics and financial theory, I can not fathom how you make your financial decisions.  The use of financial leverage and portfolio diversification is part of what makes the economy go 'round.  Accepting those premises does not entail the endorsement of imprudent/lavish spending or poor debt managment. 

I certainly do NOT agree that it is 'sophistry' to believe that you can use the tools of statistics, investment theory, prudent budgeting, and wise debt management to justify forgoing immediate debt retirement in lieu of greater growth of personal wealth. 

I never said a word on statistics, investment theory, etc.  You're creating a strawman.  What I said was essentially that risk management (what you call debt management) is very hard and most people suck at it.  Including sophisticated investment banks.  Most people overspend, do not plan for every variable, do not know how to react when things don't go as planned, etc.  I can read into your words that you think you are so sophisticated and intelligent that you've got it figured out.  I bet you don't, and i bet in 20 years you'll regret it.  Sorry man, I've been around the block a few times.  True wisdom comes from knowing this: if the smartest people in the country at Bear Stearns, Goldman Sachs, etc. can't manage risk well, what makes you think you can?  And as a subpoint, I'd like to remind you that debt in personal finance is inherently more risky than corporate debt because individuals don't have the ability to absorb losses and seek bailouts like corporations do. 

Good luck to you though....

7
DCLabor is spot on.  It's hard to take that advice in this culture, but it is absolutely true.  In the past decade people have been operating in their personal finances as if they had the risk management expertise of investment banks.  Turns out even investment banks can't manage risk very well.  Why? Because risk management is hard.  It's sophistry to think that you're going to come out ahead by borrowing all that money and "investing" it.  All the variables that DCLabor pointed out are real.  Can it work? Yes.  Does it work for most people?  Nope. 

For the record, I'm a bit older, so I've learned from experience.  Listen to experience - that will make you truly wealthy. Also, for the record, I will graduate next year from GW with only $12k in debt.  It's great to be a mostly cash buyer.

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: What about government jobs?
« on: March 15, 2008, 03:10:04 PM »
2L is tricky. I ended up splitting the summer with a DC firm and DOJ SLIP. I think spending part of the summer at the firm actually helped in my case, since I didn't go to a great school. In every office there are going to be some prestige whore types who may end up reviewing part of your app. If you went to a Harvard they're going to know you're smart enough. Splitting with a firm is a good way to get that BIGLAW stamp of approval but show that you're really committed to working after grad in the public sector.

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Actually, this is completely wrong.  I actually have been selected for DOJ SLIP for this upcoming summer, and everything I know about the process so far is that a demonstrated committment to public service is of the utmost importance.  They do let you split summers because they know there is no guarantee that you'll get a funnel offer for DOJ Honors and they also recognize that a lot of students need money.  But it has nothing to do with getting a "BIGLAW seal of approval".  This guy is pretending to be somebody he's not and doesn't know what he's talking about. Best advice would be to find someone on your faculty that has DOJ experience (bound to be at least 1) and see what insight they can give.  They'll likely be able to put you in touch with someone who knows even if they don't.

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Where should I go next fall? / Re: What about government jobs?
« on: March 15, 2008, 02:57:37 PM »
What about NYC DA? I think I read somewhere about it being 2000:1 or 200:1??? Anyways, it being ridiculously super competitive but I could be recalling a bad dream ;)

I received offers from the Manhattan DA and the DOJ HP, but ultimately decided to defer the decision and do a clerkship. I did not go to a T14 but had pretty good grades.

The Manhattan DA is highly competitive, but I think people have a misguided sense of what competitive means in the government/prosecutorial context. While some agencies are really hung up on School/GPA (DOJ, FTC, etc.), most, including the Manhattan DA, aren't so. They are competitive in the sense that they're looking for people with great judgment, courtroom presence and trial skills in addition to intelligence. To steal a quote from someone, they are looking for lawyers who are just as good handling a 4th amendment suppression motion at 2pm as they are interrogating a murder suspect at a local precinct at 2am. It's one of the best jobs out there, but also one of the toughest. Manhattan ADAs often have 175-200 cases, and when they start out it's not uncommon to do several minor trials a week. It's very different from the typical fed or state job that involves more writing and research. One former ADA said he never wrote more than 5 pages during his 3-year tenure at the office.

Obviously the better the school and grades, the better your chances (The DA himself is a yale grad). Obviously a C+ in Crim Pro or Evidence is going to sting you, but they won't get hung up over a low grade in Trusts & Estates or something. Above all they're looking for smart people who have a fire in their belly but an even keeled head. They recognize that school and GPA aren't dispositive of that.

Hmmm...your previous posts indicate that you are currently a 2L at Fordham.  Seems like you're not being truthful somewhere.

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