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Messages - jeffislouie

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471
Law School Applications / Re: 166 is the worst LSAT score. Discuss.
« on: January 30, 2008, 08:25:22 PM »
From my discussion with admissions committee members, they are aware when LSAT tests fluctuate in difficulty.
As to the law school ranking system, of course they are flawed.
Ulitmately, the difference between graduating from a school in the T14 and a school T15-T30 is minimal at best.  Do as well as you can and you will be fine.
I have serious doubts that a person who graduates in the top 10% at Georgetown has any real advantage over a student who graduates in the top 10% at, say Boston College.
Try not to get too wrapped up in this BS.  It means less than you might think.  The distinction between schools ranked 1-25 is minimal at best.  I'll give you that a degree from Harvard, Yale or Stanford has an advantage over a degree at DePaul, but if you are talking about the difference between Georgetown and Vanderbilt, you are probably over thinking things (which as a law student, you will undoubtedly find yourself doing regularly).
I guess it depends on what your goals are.  If you desperately want to work in biglaw, focus more on going to a school where you think you can land in the top 10% of your class.  It means more than where you attend, especially if you are talking about the difference between a degree from the 14th bull ranked school and the 20th bull ranked school.
I know plenty of lawyers who graduated in the top 10% at Kent (60th ranked) that work in big law and a few lawyers who went to U of C (6th ranked) that graduated in the bottom half of their class and couldn't get hired in big law.
Then again, I know some very happy lawyers who attended DePaul and found jobs in smaller firms that are very happy driving their porsche's and living in their sweet condo's.
Either way, obsessing about it is not the best of ideas.
And if you do retake it and jump a point or two, it is meaningless and you will have to explain why you retook the test, why your score varied, etc.
God forbid you get a lower score - you will have to explain that as well....
A 166 is a very good score.
If you ask me, the worst scores are the sub 150 scores, which leave you fishing for a spot at a bottom of the barrel law school.  That's no fun.
I still haven't met anyone who was satisfied with their LSAT score.  I do know lots of people who simply found a way to accept it.
That said, a 166 puts you in a much better position than most test takers.
Your time and effort would be better served if you were to focus on the other aspects of your admissions file.
Just my opinion...  meaningless, just like everyone elses.  Do what you think is right.

472
Law School Applications / Re: 166 is the worst LSAT score. Discuss.
« on: January 30, 2008, 11:36:12 AM »
Okay, first of all a 166 IS a good score.
Period.
It may not get you into T14, but that isn't likely because of your LSAT score.
That said, there are other factors that are more likely to stand in your way than a 166, especially as a 166 puts you in the top 6% or so of test takers...
If you have a 166 and are experiencing difficulty getting in where you want, you need to review your PS very, very carefully and see if your letters of recommendation could be improved.
As to why T14 schools are so picky, it appears to me that is completely reasonable.
There are too many lawyers and too many people in law school.  Requirements MUST go up.  Tuition MUST go up.
Otherwise, we'll all graduate with our JD's and there won't be any jobs.
We'll be lawyers who clean carpets.
Essentially, I would offer this advice:
a 166 is a good score and one you should be proud of.  You outscored over 90% of test takers.
If you are experiencing issues getting in where you want, consider the reasons why that might be.
If your PS isn't where it should be, you might be overlooked.  Simply put, the LSAT is only one piece of the admissions puzzle.  A 166 is a pretty nice piece.  A good GPA is another.  A mediocre PS can hold you back.  I've seen it happen.
My friend and I met at the same company.  We both had planned to take the LSAT and apply to law school.  His grades and LSAT score were higher than mine.  Significantly so.  We shared our personal statements in an attempt to help each other out.  We applied to the same schools.  He got rejected and I got accepted.  With lower grades and a lower LSAT.  He ignored my constructive criticism of his personal statement and didn't change it.  It was dry, didn't focus enough on the positive things he had accomplished, and had spelling and grammatical errors.  Admissions deans hate that.  I spoke to one who told me that it automatically knocks someone down the list if they show that they don't care enough to make sure the ps is perfect.
HTH.
Don't sweat it too much....

473
Law School Applications / Re: THE LAWYER JOB MARKET IS FLOODED.
« on: January 27, 2008, 02:59:27 PM »
When's the supply/demand going to work itself back to some sort of equilibrium? I'm sure the coming recession will only push more people into graduate schools to avoid the unemployment lines....so it doesn't look like it's going to get better for newly minted lawyers any time in the next 5-10 years...
short answer?
Probably never.
There have been more lawyers in law school that lawyers practicing law for the last few decades.  Until that stops, don't expect any sort of relief.

The truth is that law school for some is nothing more than a way to extend living a students life.  For others, they simply believe that getting a JD will result in them earning lots of money.
That's why I think they need to institute candidate interviews.  It's easy to make up a laod of crap in a PS.  It's not easy selling BS to a admissions panel.  It's unrealistic, but it would stop a portion of people who don't really want to practice law.
Law schools are trying to attack this problem by raising standards and tuition, but it isn't working (mainly, i believe, because our society doesn't exactly frown upon incurring massive debt loads).
When people tell me they are interested in attending law school, I always try to make it clear that there are realistic challenges involved and encourage them to explore other avenues unless they REALLY want to practice law.
For example, I spoke to a guy I knew from undergrad.  He's about 10 years younger than me and he wanted to ask me about law school.  The only reasons he gave me that drove him to go to LS were: 1) my folks want me to and 2) I can earn a lot of money.
If you want to make bank, go work in i banking, go learn to sell stuff (I know sales reps who out earn most lawyers and got to that income level in under 3 years while incurring no debt), go get a masters or MBA, but don't go to law school to make money.  No matter how delusional you may choose to be, the money CAN be great, but those sweet jobs are few and far between.
Unless you are at the top of your class and attend a good law school (and, not or), you aren't likely to land a job that pays $150k a year, and even if you do you will have to bill 2500 hours a year and work like a dog.  Sounds glamorous, no?  You might be driving a BMW and own a house, but your off time is going to be scarce.
And that doesn't stop in a year.  That takes between 3-5 years to get over, and then you still have to bill 2000 hours a year to make $180k.
Want to be partner?  Great!  Better log more than the minimum billable hours.  And you better be willing to wait 7-10 years.
Do you get what I am saying?  A JD isn't a key to a sweet, carefree life.  You are guaranteeing yourself a life of long hours and very little social life.  Want to go on vacation when you feel like it?  Well, you've chosen the wrong career.
If you are after cash, go be an ibanker, go work on the floor of the markets, go sell real estate or technology or pharma.  Those jobs require far less money, time, and effort to acheive success.
My gf's brother in law works at a fortune 500 as a sales rep.  He's been there 10 years.  For the last 5, he hasn't earned less than $300k a year.  I used to work at the same company.  Within 3 years, I was making 60k and heading in the right direction.  Had I stayed at it, I'd have cleared $100k next year, easy.  All that with a 45 hour work week, never taking work home with me, never going in on the weekends, and never having to worry.  I showed up, make 80 calls a day, developed a successful way of pitching solutions, and raked in cash.
One reason for the relatively high drop out rate in ls is that people have no idea what it is really like.
HTH.

474
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: 3rd tier schools
« on: January 10, 2008, 02:49:36 AM »
Excellent!
Good luck.
A T3 public with half tuition will definitely make it more difficult to get a fancy biglaw gig, if that is your aim, but unless you are top 15-20% at a T2, it's not likely to matter all that much anyway.
For me, it is about the opportunity to practice law when I pass the bar and I am not super concerned about biglaw to begin with.  It seems like a rough way to practice to me.  Some, I'm sure, will find it challenging and rewarding.  I see myself going public law for a few years or straight to some sort of smaller, specialized firm.
The average law student graduates with around $80 grand in debt, so half tuition sure sounds like a good deal! 
$40 grand in debt is much more manageable than $80....

475
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: I could REALLY use some help
« on: January 04, 2008, 11:03:06 AM »
With those numbers, you can get into a law school.
Check this out:
http://officialguide.lsac.org/UGPASearch/Search3.aspx?SidString=
If you are willing to leave Cali, there are plenty of schools you can go to....
I would make sure your personal statement is strong and tells a compelling story - the admissions people I met with (all three of them at different schools) all told me that a good personal statement can swing applicants in who have sub-standard numbers.
That's how I got in.
Remember, of the three major factors (gpa, lsat, and PS) the PS is the only one that you can have any real control over.
Your GPA is done.  You've already taken the LSAT (and I don't blame you for not wanting to retake it).  Make sure your PS is as strong as can be and you should do pretty well.
Good luck!

476
Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: 3rd tier schools
« on: January 04, 2008, 10:54:49 AM »

...

The best t3 school is the one you pay the least to go to IMO.

As someone that is probably T2/T3 bound, I think that TITCR. Though I'd also say that in addition to cost, the best T3 is the one that is in the area that you want to practice in for at least a few years. Your school won't have as much clout/as many contacts in the area outside of your general region as a "better" school will. As a result, it might be harder to escape your law school's region for a few years. And I think this probably applies to most schools outside of the top 20-30. Even most T2 schools seem to be fairly limited to the state that they're in.

If cost is a major concern, I'd encourage you to look at some of the public T3s in the South. Even if it comes from a T4, I think that a JD would be well worth it if it costs you <$30k, something that is viable with some of the Southern schools.

You could also consider NIU law.
To get in-state tuition of around $10,500 a year, all you need is six months in state prior to application...
Plus, living there is cheap.
You could graduate with less than $50k in debt and have the chance to make your bones in the public sector for a few years.
Truth be told, state schools (even lower ranked ones) provide an excellent value and allow you some easier choices after graduation.
Graduating with less than $60k in debt makes things way easier than those who end up $120k in debt - they HAVE to land big law jobs and run the very real risk of burning out a lot faster.....
Truth be told, if you do well anywhere, you can transfer to a higher ranked school and if not, well, you are still a lawyer but with far less debt.
I recommend creating 3 goal categories -
1) Wish schools that you probably wont get into
2) Stretch schools that you might get into, but are higher cost and higher tier
3) Cheap, easier to get into schools.

Apply to schools in all 3 and roll the dice - your acceptance letters ease the decision making.  If you get into a T1 or T2 and a few T3's, look at cost and weigh your options.
The major advantage to a lower cost, lower ranked school is that you leave with a JD and a lower debt load, allowing you to make choices that are much harder when you have massive debt (like becoming a public defender for 5 years or working as a ASA).
The reality is that I know a few guys who went T1 and then biglaw and a few guys who went T3 and worked at boutique firms or as public attorneys - the funny thing is that given enough time, the T3 small firm guys are making almost as much 10 years out and no one gives a crap about what school they went to anymore, yet they work less hours and have more normal lives....

477
Law School Applications / Re: THE LAWYER JOB MARKET IS FLOODED.
« on: December 29, 2007, 02:40:29 PM »
Wow thats kind of sad.  Not everything has been great, but on the whole things are better in this world because of the past 7 years.

We definitely disagree about that.  But that's cool.

Fair enough, you are entitled to your opinion as long as you do not post like that Jeff kid.  I might have actually sided with him, if I could read his posts.

Lol.
Hilarious.
Not a kid.
Do my posts come up as mandarin chinese?


Nope, it's all english.

Hmmm.
Interesting.
Yet my posts are unreadable by all but you.
You must be a genius!
:-)
Oh well, my 'formatting' must be the issue.


I'm no genius, though I appreciate the compliment.

I never questioned your intelligence.
Your opinion is just as valid as mine and we each have our reasons for thinking like we do.
It's pretty clear you aren't a dummy....
:-)
Enjoy the day

478
Law School Applications / Re: THE LAWYER JOB MARKET IS FLOODED.
« on: December 29, 2007, 02:35:24 PM »
Wow thats kind of sad.  Not everything has been great, but on the whole things are better in this world because of the past 7 years.

We definitely disagree about that.  But that's cool.

Fair enough, you are entitled to your opinion as long as you do not post like that Jeff kid.  I might have actually sided with him, if I could read his posts.

Lol.
Hilarious.
Not a kid.
Do my posts come up as mandarin chinese?


Nope, it's all english.

Hmmm.
Interesting.
Yet my posts are unreadable by all but you.
You must be a genius!
:-)
Oh well, my 'formatting' must be the issue.

479
Law School Applications / Re: THE LAWYER JOB MARKET IS FLOODED.
« on: December 29, 2007, 02:30:19 PM »
Wow thats kind of sad.  Not everything has been great, but on the whole things are better in this world because of the past 7 years.

We definitely disagree about that.  But that's cool.

Fair enough, you are entitled to your opinion as long as you do not post like that Jeff kid.  I might have actually sided with him, if I could read his posts.

Lol.
Hilarious.
Not a kid.
Do my posts come up as mandarin chinese?

480
Law School Applications / Re: THE LAWYER JOB MARKET IS FLOODED.
« on: December 29, 2007, 02:23:34 PM »
"Congress is run by democrats and has been for a while now.
Did you miss that election?"

It's been 12 months after 7 years of unmitigated disaster. Not only that, the democratic majority amounts to a handful of votes.  You can hardly undo the damage done to the country over the better half of a decade with that.

I'm not a democratic supporter.  All I'm saying is that Republicans are morons and incompetent.  That's not a controversial viewpoint.  It's been proved repeatedly.

And the discussion, once again, degrades to being silly.
Yeah.  ALL republicans are incompetent morons.
Logical fallacy anyone?
Come on.
This discussion is effectively over.
I'm out.

Cool.  You lose.

Think so?
Usually the person who speaks in absolutes loses.
My bad.

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