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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Perspective Law Student at 32 years old
« on: April 09, 2009, 11:21:23 PM »

Here's my situation: I recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice. My cumulative gpa was 3.75. Unfortunately, I don't have a squeaky clean background (nothing too serious) and many jobs within law enforcement are not an option for me. So I figure grad school or law school are my only logical options.

i'm assuming you've already confimed it's nothing too serious as to give you issues with character and fitness?  It'd suck to go through law school to find out you can't legally practice.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: How difficult can it really be... seriously?
« on: April 08, 2009, 03:46:16 PM »

And I am well spoken, and generally no one in my school would suspect that this is my position in the class. I got a C- in a 5 credit property class 1L year (the prof said "I probably would have given you a B if I had graded this early, but it must have been one of the last exams I looked at.").  My confidence was shaken by being in the middle of the class (literally a B average) after the first semester, so my grades kept falling. 

If that was indeed written on your exam, then you should argue that you do indeed deserve the B.  This is basically the professor stating that people may have, and probably were, given better grades and you given a worse one for the wholly arbitrary fact of in what order the exams were graded.  Such an admission makes not only your grade suspect, but calls into question the fairness that the professor gives to each and everyone of the papers he grades. 

The only reason these organizations aren't being taxed like they should, is because of their 'religious' foundations. 

I'm sorry, but that's false. Read the tax code- even without the religious organization exemption, churches would still be tax exempt organizations under IRC 501. Many churches could probably get 501(c)(3) status even if they became atheist's clubs because of their charitable activities. If they couldn't do that, they could get 501(c)(7) status (which applies to community organizations and clubs).

Additionally, simply holding on to a sum of money does not eliminate non-profit status. Assuming a normal economy, the university you attended probably operated at a substantial profit. That does not mean it's taxed as a for-profit enterprise.

BTW: I strongly recommend taking tax while in law school (especially if you plan on having strong tax policy opinions).

Many? Some.  Many churches are shams founded and run by con-artists to get rich.  Their charitable activities are about as charitable as when the pilgrims gave the indigenous folks some blankets. Claiming 501(c)(7) is even more laughable considering how many of these con artists sponge off the donations to fund rather extravagant life styles.  Although they may not take a salary, some of them live pretty damn well, and the principal purpose of the organization isn't to do charitable activity but to market and promote themselves to recruit more sucker... sorry "faithful". 

I applied in my 30s with an existing masters.  My UGPA and GGPA were worse than yours.  I had a fairly decent LSAT (160-165).  I only applied to one T1 and was rejected, but got accepted to three of the four T2 schools that I wanted to go to and all three of the four T3/T4 schools.  Also picked up varying degrees of merit scholarships. 

Being female probably isn't going to help you, but minority status may assuming you're an under-represented minority. Military service and distinction should definetly help you.

Ultimately your LSAT score is going to make or break you however.  If you score high (165+) you may have a shot at Fordham.  Score low and you can forget about the T2 choices as well.


It matters because, as an atheist who abhors that religious organizations are tax-exempt

I think there are good tax-policy reasons why religious organizations are tax-exempt independent of their status as religions. There are many, many, tax exempt organizations out there with often contradictory policy objectives. I think if you make the policy decision that one non-profit org is tax exempt, you need to apply that status to all of them. The income tax is fundamentally a tax on profits- a group that has none wouldn't pay much tax anyways. You would also into a ton of problems RE business expense deductions if you tried to tax religious orgs. For example, IRC Section 162 sets forth a deduction for "ordinary and necessary" business expenses. You would end up with constitutionally dubious cases where the government had to decide if buying things like holy water are "ordinary and necessary" to the functioning of the church. Therefore, those who support a separation between church and state should support tax-exempt status for religions.

Note that there is a difference between merely tax-exempt organizations and tax-exempt organizations that you get a tax-deduction for donating to. They actually fall under different provisions of the tax code. I think there are better arguments for why religious groups should not receive that status.

Well first let's be clear that we're talking about 'charitable not-for-profit' organizations, and not 'non-profit'.  As one IRS agent once told me, 80% of all businesses are non-profit.

I have no issue with charitable not-for-profit organizations who perform service for the public good, except a lot of religious organizations aren't exactly charitable not-for-profit engaged in services for the public good.  The Roman Catholic and Mormon churches are the two examples that pop first into my mind, both with enormous coffers of wealth. The money that these organizations receive isn't being returned 100% (minus administrative expenses) to causes for the public good such as finding a cure for cancer or clothing the poor.  The only reason these organizations aren't being taxed like they should, is because of their 'religious' foundations.  

I firmly believe in a separation of church and state, and for that very reason state shouldn't give church a tax exemption.  It's bad policy since it encourages religious beliefs (which is nothing more than a poor man's old-school social service) over substantiated, researched, and modern science.  Religious organizations are welcome to use those funds they receive for the public good and not be taxed on such, just as a psychiatrist is allowed to write-off funds they give to qualified charitable organizations for the public good (such as the National Autism Association).  Religious service however should be considered just like any other service and taxed just as a psychiatrist has to pay taxes on the profits they make and property taxes on buildings they own to provide those services.    

And yes, I'll be the first to admit that my ultimate goal in these policies is to see that the silly institution of religion disappears in this country because religion has proven time and again to do nothing but harm and hold humanity back from progress.

why? does it matter  ::)

It matters because, as an atheist who abhors that religious organizations are tax-exempt, it would be an issue of principal to me if one school was given a financial advantage over another because of its foundations in a mythology.  I'm not, however, entirely disinclined to attend a religious affiliated school so long as they don't infuse their mythology and morality into the curriculum, and that they have a diverse faculty and student body. 

Doing some research, it appears the that universities (at least the ones I looked at) are given tax-exempt status however.

This is something that's been bothering me for a while, I'm hoping one of you accounting/tax-nerds might have an answer.

Are there any tax-advantages given to schools that have religious foundations over those who do not?  Since churches are tax exempt, whereas private organizations are typically not unless given charitable tax-exempt status,  does this extend to private educational institutions? Or are secular private schools also given tax-exempt status?  For instance, Chicago has six law schools: Loyola, DePaul, NW, UofC, Kent, & JMLS.  The first two both have Roman Catholic affiliations, whereas the latter four have no religious affiliations.  Does this status provide DePaul/Loyola any sort of tax advantage over the other four? Or is it the case that although the latter (and even former) schools are private, they are also given non-profit charitable status due to their educational objective so that they have the same tax status regardless of any religious affiliations.

And I'm not referring to tax-advantages to the consumer/students, but rather to the organization itself in terms of having to pay taxes on property owned, monies received, or 'profits' earned. 


The dean made note during the ASD that even though they are from a catholic founding, the school itself is... well he didn't say non-religious but open to people of all beliefs.  The school did have a good handful of various icons that reminded me of it's catholic beginnings however. 


Why would you base it on four know I am talking full time....hmmm...wonder if this is more of his ploy to convince me not to go to DePaul. 

Naaa, this is a classic case where you shouldn't attribute malice where stupidity suffices.

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