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Messages - contrarian

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One nice thing about Kent too is that if I want to live farther outside the city, I can take the Metrarail commuter everyday and they are right next door to union station.

Admittedly, this is a factor for myself as well between Kent/Depaul/JMLS since I currently do take a train in and out of Union Station each day. 

A block north of Depaul is Adams which has buses that run regularly down the 5-6 blocks to union station.  To and from Union Station, it is about a 15-25 minute walk.  In the spring/summer/fall it's a nice walk.  Dec/Jan/Feb it SUCKS!  If you catch a bus right outside union, it's 4-5 minutes to the Depaul stop.  You can use the cta bustracker website and a mobile device to find out when they are coming and going to various stops.

Depaul posts their historical class ranks and associated GPA here.  3.3 will be in about the top 30% of the class.

Choosing the Right Law School / Real-estate law
« on: February 26, 2009, 08:12:42 PM »
Present economic conditions aside...

I'm looking at the schools that I'm closely considering, and notice that they offer only a few courses in real-estate law when the entire field seems rich for course content.  Real-estate transactions, litigation, zoning, environmental, issues with common-ownership owned real-estate (condo's and townhouse associations), leasing, etc. 

One of the schools I'm considering (JMLS) is one of two in the country that have specialized programs for real-estate.  While looking at the breadth of courses available at the three other Chicago part-time schools their real-estate focused courses seems rather sparse. 

Your thoughts?

I'm embarrassed to post this: would donating $20k to a law school in tier 2 or better make an impact on admission?

My LSAT is mid 160s but grades were poor in undergrad, I have strong work experience since undergrad.  Could that size of a donation buffer the poor GPA?

Thank you and please be gentle.

If you've been out for a few years and have solid career experience, then your undergrad grades will mean considerably less.  And a mid-160 is good enough to get you into Tier 2 schools.  I speak from first-hand knowledge.

You might be better off speaking with an admissions person, and letting them know you have cash and are willing to pay full tuition.   That alone, given the current economic climate, might help sway them significantly.   

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: T1 v T2
« on: February 18, 2009, 11:40:45 PM »

And how does this play out 5-10 years into your career? Once I saw a recruiting ad for a law firm that said "Tier 1 JD's only" or something to that effect.

Ten years into a career, if any graduate needs to go to the funny papers to find a job because they haven't networked themselves sufficiently, then they are probably damaged goods somehow.  And frankly, ten years into a career if the hiring boss is still more interested in what you did ten years ago rather than what you've done in the ten years since then, you probably don't want to work there.

Just my personal belief. 

I do not understand how with a 161 LSAT I did not get into Franklin Pierce, and with a biomedical M.S. and strong letters...ugh@!

Right now I am trying to figure out which is better in Chicago, DePaul or Loyola and if either would be better for me than Rutgers in Newark, Penn State, or IU-Indy. Since IU-Indy has the higher ranking, it should be the choice, but I think for job prospects in Chicago, DePaul or Loyola is best. I have not been accepted to any Tier 1 schools, at least not yet, and it doesn't look good. I am trying to find out where are the IP firms that specialize in biotech and then see where they tend to recruit from. Any thoughts or opinions about any of the schools mentioned would be most appreciated.

I got dinged by FP too and with a slightly higher LSAT.  Honestly the chances of my attending were slim to none, I had no real desire to move to NH.  They are well regarded in IP law however so I included them.

If you have a background in, and want to focus on IP law in Biotech, I'd recommend Kent.  If that's not an option, I'd go with DePaul over Loyola if you want to go with IP.  Generally I'm a bit more partial to Depaul over Loyola, most of which I think is based on personal warm & fuzzy over any real substantiated reasoning. Loyola does seem to give slightly better opportunity in job placement and starting salary.  However I've not seen much in terms of merit or other financial incentives, and they do cost more.   

Even as a PT option, Kent is widely considered much better than those other schools. And it's not even a knock on the others; it's just that Kent is close to UIUC in terms of prestige...not quite there, but well-respected. And it is ranked much higher than its USNWR ranking in almost every other poll (about top-30!)

It shouldn't even be a hard choice. Take Kent PT. You can transfer to FT after a year, if that's the way you want to go. Plus, more and more students are going BigLaw from Kent if that's your goal. More top Chicago firms employ kent grads than those from any other school, including U-Chicago or NU. This is not to say Kent is better than NU or Chicago, because those grads tend to leave Illinois at a higher rate. But with so many Kent grads at the firms, the networks will be there. It's a great education: tops in IP and writing.

Sorry for using you as a punching bag but...

I'm sick of seeing schools recommended on the sole basis of their rankings.  It's an appeal to authority, which is an inherently flawed ranking to begin with.  50-75% (depending on your P.O.V.) is based on the  quality of the entering class and the opinion of the school's graduates, and the best students go to the highest ranked schools because the highest paying jobs cherry pick from those schools because they get the best students... it's a self-fulfilling circle jerk and the rankings have very very little to say about the acqual quality of the schools themselves.  Yale could physically beat it's students on a regular basis but as long as the 180 LSATs with 4.0 GPAs go there to get the 150k/yr jobs on graduation it'll get ranked highly by the USNWR.

I'd like to see more substance to these recommendations.  You're lawyers (or wanna-be lawyers for Christ sakes).  Back it up with something more quantifiable. Kent is highly regarded for IP, so is Depaul and John Marshall.  For Kent being so highly regarded in IP/IT law, their website is rather anemic in playing this up.  Whereas at least DePaul has a fairly impressive entry with their CIPLIT program and JMLS puts in an effort with their CITPL program. One thing I've noticed is that Kent seems to be far more into the Bio- area of IP law, and focused more on technology in IP law.  Whereas DePaul is more into IP law regarding creative works and information technology issues, whereas JMLS is more focused (and judging by their past two years of class offerings) much more in information technology issues.  I see the OP has a biotech background so that would be a strong reasoning for me to look into Kent over the other schools.

I have acceptances to the four Chicago part-time schools, with varying scholarships.  My initial reaction to Kent was one of joy.  But, I'm finding it hard to justify, in my position as a non-trad, to take on additional 50k debt & interest over and above the base amount of debt I'd take on to cover that which I won't pay out of pocket during the year, when all I get is prestige.  Especially since I am interested more in IT law than IP law, and privacy issues and Cybercrime.  I'm not convinced the school offers me anything more than a designer-brand law degree, when I can pass the bar and practice law and even get a more focused education in my desired area of specialty for a far more reasonable cost.  And frankly, looking at the employment prospects of the four schools, Kent doesn't seem to offer a significant enough bonus.  Perhaps if I were 21, an additional expectation of a 10-15 thousand a year would be worth while over the course of a career, but that is also going to largely even out after 5-10 years and salary will become largely dependent on skill and ability than school. 

Sadly though I am also caught up in the whole rankings game.  I'm having a tough tough time convincing myself that these lower ranked schools really are the better solution for me, when I too want to wear that designer-label on my diploma.

I completely agree with this post! There are schools out there that are just accredited lawyer factories, if you will. You can pay $150,000 over the course of 3 years and have a law degree in the end...doesn't mean you'll pass the bar though! As a former student at florida coastal school of law, I saw the ugly side of privately-owned, for-profit law schools. They ONLY CARE ABOUT MONEY! While I knew that going into it, I could have never imagined how horrible it would be once I got in there. I regret everyday not re-taking the LSATs and applying to other schools.
I wish I could start a blog warning people about this?

Perhaps the problem isn't the school, the problem is you.  The school gave you a chance, and you paid to take it.  You wanted the school to reject you, and for the school to tell you that you weren't cut out for it.

Sorry, life doesn't work that way.  Welcome to the grown up world where we don't have our parents telling us what we can and cannot do. 

If you can't figure out how to start a blog, and if you don't know the difference between a sentence and a question, then stop blaming the law school for your own problems.

  For you cynics that don’t want to believe this is the case (regrettably I was a cynic too),

Wouldn't that be an optimist?  An optimist would hope for the best, whereas a cynic would be what you are being right now.

And another thing, you're a second year student... and we're suppose to value you're seemingly advanced insight into the state of the legal market?  You're a f-ing student. 

There seems to be a distinct inverse relationship to the time you spend speaking and your credibility.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: LSAT Writing
« on: December 07, 2008, 11:27:55 PM »
I'm hardly an expert and I'm sure someone more qualified to give you an answer will reply after me, but I have mostly gotten the impression (from other posts on LSD, opinions of previous test-takers and profs, etc.) that the writing sample probably won't matter.  It seems to only matter in "close call" situations.  As for the handwriting issue, I'd like to hear the answer as well.  I know they scan the writing sample, but I'm not sure if it's just scanned and available to view with your handwriting intact, or if it's converted to Times New Roman or whatever.

The most reasonable assumption would be that they scan and provide the digital image as is.  Handwriting recognition simply isn't that sophisticated to generate a reliable script-to-text representation, especially absent a sample set of your writing to familiarize their recognition engine with your style of writing.  The resulting text would be riddled with spelling errors and words used in the wrong context (if they used an algorithm that attempted to correct those words).

That said, my handwriting is also a mess.  I haven't written anything at length for decades.  Even the signed statement at the start of the test cramped my hand midway through.  I'm sure this is a known factor and probably would be the least of your worries. 

Unless you're up against someone with the exact same LSAT, GPA, extracurricular history, work history, school and undergraduate degree, personal statement. 

I think you can take it again after Feb. '09 if your first test was on or before Feb. '07.  It all depends how they count the two years, and it seems that the LSAC counts an LSAT administration year from Feb. to Feb.  You might want to call them to be sure, though.

Hmm, so if you took it in Jun 05, Sept 05, and Dec 05 then you would not be eligible to take it again till Feb 07, Jun 07 or Feb 08?   

They say "two year period" on the FAQ which would make me think Jun 07.

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