Law School Discussion

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Messages - NATUREBOY

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General Board / Re: Fifth Tier Toilet
« on: July 11, 2008, 01:01:47 AM »
Anyone who passes the bar can go out and hang up a shingle.
This is what most law students fail to realize.  The vast majority of lawyers are self-employed.

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General Board / Re: Attire for EIW
« on: June 15, 2008, 11:16:39 PM »
Your first suit should be a basic 2-button, solid black.  Its conservative and matches everything.  You should have a couple of white shirts, but it isn't written in stone that lawyers need to look like undertakers.  You can wear pretty much any color as long as its conservative and paired with a nice tie.  You will also need a nice pair of black leather dress shoes and a black leather belt.  $400 should be more than enough, if you shop smart.  Make it a point to buy at least 1 or 2 new suits every semester.


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St. Marys / Re: San Antonio, St. Mary's and general info
« on: May 09, 2008, 01:12:15 AM »
The curve is pretty brutal.  My class started with 260 students and we’re down to about 200.  The required median is C+, which translates to a 2.33.  Additionally, at least 10% of the class must get a C- or worse (which is below a 2.0) and only 20% of the class can get a B+ or better.  It’s really difficult to break a 3.0 GPA. 

The professors have an open door policy.  You will rarely need to schedule an appointment.  Most are pretty good.  Some aren’t.

The top 5% have a shot at biglaw.  Of the remaining 95%, the upper half typically take jobs with the DA or JAG, or with a small firm; and the bottom half start up their own firms.

There is pretty cheap housing close to campus.  They also set aside on campus housing for law/graduate students.

Good info.  I'm starting this fall, and I got a small scholarship, that is renewable if I keep my grades in the top 25% of my class.  What's the ballpark range for the top 25%?

Thanks-
JJ
1L scholarships at St. Mary's are NOT renewable.  You have to reapply each year through the financial aid office.  Currently the requirement is that you be in the top 10% of your class.  Below that, don't expect anything.  (Sorry, you were misinformed.)

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I strongly recommend that everyone take a full load of classes during their first summer.  1L jobs are usually non-paying, do not provide you with any substantial legal experience, and do not give you an advantage during your job search later down the line.  The only people I'd recommend take one of these jobs are 20-somethings with zero work experience.

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General Board / Re: Curve? What does that end up meaning?
« on: March 28, 2008, 01:40:45 AM »
Yes, in your happy little dream world, on AVERAGE, the T3 and T4 grads will do as well or better than the Top 25 grads...... That's not reality though.  Sure, there are EXCEPTIONS, but they are just that.....

In my happy little dream world there are unicorns and people can ride them and they give you free icecream.
I'm pretty realistic about the fact that people from better schools have better odds at better jobs, and I don't think I've ever said otherwise.

I am just curious to see how it plays out in ten years.  I am curious whether the "oh wait we're just as good" group faces a harsh reality, or if the "oh no, I am so much better because of my school" crowd finds out that it doesn't make as much of a difference as they thought.

I'm interested in public interest law and government work, so all the bickering about the top of the food chain is really abstract for me.
There are 2 types of lawyers.  Keanu Reeves from Devil's Advocate and Rudy Baylor from the Rainmaker.  90% of law students are going to end up being Rudy Baylor.  I have several friends that graduated from very highly-ranked schools (T25 or better) that are making less than $50k/year.  All of them had summer associate gigs and thought they were superior to everybody else when in law school.  People overestimate how much a school's ranking helps.  All it does is give you better odds.  Wanna be Keanu Reeves?  Here's your odds: T1 (20-30%), T2 (15-20%), T3 (10%), T4 (5%).  The rest of us are all in the same boat and if you disagree, PM me in 10 years.

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1L job search / Re: funding sources for unpaid summer?
« on: March 18, 2008, 12:47:05 AM »
I received an offer for an unpaid internship for the summer in DC. I'm self-supporting (no family) and paying out of state tuition at my school in FL. Any recommendations on places to look for summer funding? I will probably take some kind of PT paid job, but if there are any stipends or grants out there whose deadlines haven't popped up yet, I'd appreciate any suggestions! I'm a female non-minority student in FL. My school isn't cooperative about creating your own externship programs, either.

Thanks!
Just take a full load of summer school and graduate a semester early.

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1L job search / Re: Job offer but pay is low...should I counter?
« on: March 04, 2008, 09:25:40 PM »
I was offered a job in a city about 35-45 minutes away. Small firm, salary is 10 per hour. I'll be taking over for the paralegal (and his duties) all summer long (leaving to take the bar)he does all the paperwork for immigration, juvenile court, etc. I'll also be translating at court on certain days, and some other clerk work. They've offered 10 dollars per hour w/ a review at 90 days for a possible raise. The owner guaranteed position when I graduate and pass the bar (salary unknown). I'll also have work on a p/t basis during the fall of next year and whenever I'm free. I'm top 25% at T4. The salary is imo insanely low and I'm wondering if I should counter, further is it appropriate to make a counter offer at this stage in the game. I think I'm probably the top candidate from either of the two schools near the firm because I can speak and write in Spanish which is the firms main clientèle and really no one in these area seems to speak or write spanish. Advice appreciated.
Let me comment on something I think everybody else missed.  You are not taking the bar, right?  The paralegal is, correct?  You are a 1L, right?  OK, then.  Let me give you my standard advice regarding summer jobs.  Unless you get an offer from one of these big firms paying you $2k a week or something comparable, at least for your first summer, you should just go to summer school.  Get ahead in your hours.  Try to graduate a semester early.  Whether your attend summer school or take a $10/hour job will have ZERO bearing on your interviews as a 2L.  Trust me!  A lot of people here will say I'm full of *&^%, and I myself would had told you the exact opposite of what I'm telling you now when I was a 1L, but it's true!  2L OCI is all about grades, grades, grades.  What you did the summer before is just something to talk about during the interview.  If you choose NOT to believe me, do so at your own risk.  I don't care.  I'm going to get totally scoffed at for even posting this.  I don't care; in my experience it's the truth. 

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St. Marys / Re: San Antonio, St. Mary's and general info
« on: March 04, 2008, 09:04:24 PM »

The top 5% have a shot at biglaw.  Of the remaining 95%, the upper half typically take jobs with the DA or JAG, or with a small firm; and the bottom half start up their own firms.


Really? How many law students are capable of starting their own practice right after graduation?  Doesn't it require start up costs, experience, etc.? 
It's not that difficult if you go into criminal law and hustle to get court appointments.  For that you really don't even need an office.  Just make friends with the court coordinators and they'll feed you 2-3 appointments per day.  At $100 for each plea you take (you get more if the case progresses past the guilty plea stage) X 2-3 appointments per day, you're looking at $50-$75k per year just in appointments.  I have friends that have literally zero clients (all they take is appointments) and they're making $100k or more.  Yeah, I know...it sounds like pure bull, and I know it sounds totally TTT not to have an office, but I see it done everyday in court.  For anything other than criminal law it will be very hard to start up your own gig, because there are no court appointed lawyers in civil matters.

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St. Marys / Re: San Antonio, St. Mary's and general info
« on: February 29, 2008, 08:32:53 PM »
I hear it is decent since St. Mary's is the only law school in the South Texas area.  Good luck!

This is definitely true.

Oh, except SOUTH TEXAS College of Law, University of Houston, and TEXAS SOUTHERN University...All of those are equal or better than St. Marys.

Oh, and an hour and 20 minutes north is the University of Texas, which is unquestionably the best law school within 900 miles, and you have to go at least 1,300 miles to find a legitimately better law school.
None of those schools are in south Texas.  Houston is a good 5 hour drive EAST of San Antonio.

The downtown San Antonio legal market is about 70/30 St Mary's/UT (excluding biglaw).

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St. Marys / Re: San Antonio, St. Mary's and general info
« on: February 29, 2008, 02:11:29 AM »
So overall, would you say you like it at St. Mary's?  What are some other pros/cons?  Does it have a nice campus, cool people, etc.?
Yeah, I like it.  The weather's always nice, there's an outdoor swimming pool, the people are friendly, there's lots of good Mexican restaurants nearby.  It's a nice place to go to school.

What I was trying to get at with my other post is that this is a "working man's" law school.  You're not going to get B's just for coming to class and breathing (like at many other schools).  You really have to work hard to get decent grades.   

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