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Messages - contrarian

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: December LSAT takers!
« on: December 07, 2008, 02:51:14 PM »
LG was ridiculously hard.  And after LG, I couldnt even think straight for the LR sections.  ARGH

I am hoping the second LR in the first half was experimental.

While doing the reading, I had the answer sheet partially under the booklet (I'm left handed) and the last 3 responses I put in section 3 rather than section 4.  I managed to erase and put them in section 4 before time was called, but I never got a chance to mark back in my final oval on section 3.  I wanted to try doing it stealthily during section 5, but got to paranoid. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Post December 08 Talk (no material talk)
« on: December 06, 2008, 03:38:20 PM »
not like I'm going to get a good answer with this...but any guesses on when we'll get our scores?  Will they make us wait til January, or be kind and give them out before Christmas?  Somewhere in between?

Last years came out on 12/20 in the afternoon (the test was on 12/1 so it was 20 days later), but they listed that it would come out in Jan after the break.  If I recall correctly, they were open on 12/21 and then closed for the holidays for the whole week.  They did the same in previous years from what others posted.  And last year, there was a major snow storm across much of the country which caused them to allow a lot of people to take the test later. 

This year they are closing on Dec 24th to the 26th, and 31-2.  Since there's really just two weeks between now and Christmas week, I doubt they'll be done with what they have to do and releasing them on the 23rd, but it's possible.  It might be more realistic to think the 30th. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Post December 08 Talk (no material talk)
« on: December 06, 2008, 03:23:16 PM »
Blllllllllllah.  I took a nap Thursday eve from 5-7p.  Ended up staying awake till 5am Friday.  Slept till noon.  Went to bed at 10:30p, 11:30 still wasn't asleep so I watched the last 45 min of Predator.  12:15 try to fall asleep to Predator 2.  Still awake at 1am, turn off TV, lay in bed.  2:15, still awake, watch the end of Mad Money with Jim Cramer. 2:30, try to sleep some more.  3:25, still awake.  Start to think about canceling.  Put on TV again, and 4:05 finally tired.  Last looked at clock at 4:10.  Alarm went off at 6:50.

For having about 3 hours sleep, I think I did pretty damn well.  Probably within 2-3 points of my last attempt, but certainly not the 3-5 point bump that I wanted.  I had a hard time concentrating on a few of the questions, and finishing the sections on time (whereas I usually finish sections on time except games). 

I'd really like to know how I did, however with very little chance of it actually being higher, I'm inclined to cancel. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Mechanical Pencils NOT ACCEPTED??
« on: December 06, 2008, 01:35:22 PM »
I'm glad they banned mechanical pencils. I took quite a few timed PrepTests at the public library; I kept my focus through little kids screaming in the youth zone, older kids skateboarding right outside the window, and the intermittant chatter at the reference desk. Then came the girl with the click-pen. She sat at the table directly in front of me, and it started within 60 seconds of her arrival:


***click-CLICK***   ***click-CLICK***


***click-CLICK***   ***click-CLICK***    ***click-CLICK***   ***click-CLICK***


My heart rate increased rapidly; I felt my blood pressure soar. I panicked as I imagined taking the LSAT while being pummeled by a sporadic set of percussive sound waves bent on preventing me from reading anything longer than six words. It was the only distraction able to break my concentration during my training; I wanted to beat the crap out of that girl and blow up her click-pen. I had to remind myself that no-one will have mechanical pens/pencils at the test, and I nearly fainted in relief as I got up to vomit in the restroom.

Good Luck on the LSAT; remember it's no harder than any Practice Test you've already taken!!!

Hmm, I was thinking it might be because it's possible the MIT folks would embed a CCD camera in it to transmit the images to someone who comes up with the correct answers and sends them over to the west-coast folks who paid them a lot of money to get a 3-hour head start on the test.

I kinda figured if you were able to get 2 sections done and a quick review of them, you might be able to get a handful of additional questions right, which could be enough to bump your score up 2-3 points or more, which might get you into a school that you wouldn't have otherwise, or a merit scholarship. 

Studying for the LSAT / Re: I Screwed Up
« on: December 06, 2008, 01:16:36 PM »
Attempted to take the LSAT this morning and stupidly decided to take antihistamine to fight the effects of my cold. Bad Idea; Left the test center before finishing the third section and canceled my score. If I decide to take the February LSAT do you think I will be in any position to be accepted or is that when they only accept the cream of the crop? I was scoring in the 164 range, so I do not expect that to decrease and I have a 3.25. The schools I am looking at are Seton Hall, Rutgers,Brooklyn, Cardozo, American, and my three reaches being Fordham, Georgetown, and George Washington.

Well it doesn't hurt to try.  However, I think you'll have to hope for some luck.  You may also get put on the waiting list and not know until summer for sure, as the game of the people who accept and later decline when they get offered acceptances at better schools.

You might want to consider waiting a year.  It's one year.  365 measly days.   Study up and take the test in June or Sep.  Put your applications in as soon as they start accepting.  On a plus side, if you do this you can spend that year learning on your own prepping for 1L, which might help boost your class rank and put you in a better interviewing position down the road.  Meanwhile, spend the year hitchhiking across the country. 

And yeah, as the other Non-trad pointed out... you're young... you've got plenty of more opportunities to totally @#!* things up in your life.  Don't let this one get you down too much.  You'll heal.

Probably anything pertaining to 'changing the world'.

Yeah, because no lawyer has ever done that  ::)

I want to be a lawyer so I can change the world.  What's wrong with that?  Why is everyone being so down on having hopes that one little person such as myself might be able to work hard, study had, get good grades, and then be able to apply this to changing the world?  It's a dream isn't it? It's a valid motivator, no?  It may not be what motivates you, but I have a strong desire that one day people will see me or hear my name, and know that I am the one who made everything change.  And what if I change the world for just a few people?  Is it so wrong to want to be the catalyst of change for even just a handful of people?

Of course, you probably assumed I want to change the world to improve it ... and that was false assumption number one.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Need advice re Chicago schools
« on: December 04, 2008, 11:22:23 PM »
Loyola/Kent/DePaul if you can get in.  If not Northern.  Graduating debt free vs. 30-60,000 in debt will make a big difference. 

It's unlikely from all of the schools that you'll be graduating into a $150,000/yr job.  Even from the K/L/D you'll need to be in the top 10-20% and judging by your LSAT you're going to be competing with people who've proven themselves better able to do well on test. 

I don't agree that with the previous poster to just give up if your options are JMLS or Northern.  Your goal is to go into solo practice in 5-10 years, and if you build yourself a solid reputation, are able to generate business for yourself then you can do pretty well for yourself, and you won't be working for someone else (always a ++, and for some people a willing trade off from earning $$).

Also, if you go into solo practice doing consumer law or small business, nobody really cares about your pedigree.  More often than not you get your business from referrals, so just doing well and having a solid reputation will mean much more than your pedigree.  Of course, doing well when your younger to get into a good school probably correlates highly to being able to perform well later in life.

The poster who just told you to give up made a pretty arrogant and ignorant statement, IMHO.  If you're not looking for big law, realize the law degree will not be the ticket to instant wealth for you but it's something you want to pursue then go do it. 

Incoming 1Ls / Re: PSA: How to Avoid Being "That" Guy
« on: November 26, 2008, 12:14:58 AM »
You shouldn't:

1. Raise your hand more than once per class period.  I know the rule sounds harsh, but, when you have 90 others and a professor with a plan, there's no need for your novice input.

Most of the LR people at my school, I've been told, were quiet in class.

2. Approach anyone at the library and begin a long conversation.  I can't tell you how many times I've been sitting at a desk, trying to work, when someone comes over to me like they're ready to shoot the breeze for an hour.  The library isn't a social scene.  It's a library.  Acknowledgements should be as limited as a funeral's.

3. Speak in publishable sentences.  Some people think that law school gives them license to throw out clunkers like "egregious recourse to deregulation."  Guess what?  Nobody thinks that you're intelligent because you can string together polysyllabic words.

4. Talk about how much or how little work you're doing.  Please, please, please don't do this.  Someone bragged to me about how they're working at least 8 hours a day, if not more.  Oh, really?  Well, none of the rest of us are studying at all, so that makes you very special.  Conversely, talking about your slacker tendencies is okay, but not as good as talking about something else.

5. Go around telling people how to avoid being "That Guy".

Fixed it for you.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Tough Times
« on: November 25, 2008, 11:16:08 PM »

I get really irritated at the whole thing. Alot of the problems are manufactured by people who put too much stock in the, pun unintended, stock market. The stock market is not the economy and when big banks like citi that were doing fine go under because a lot of people have all these irrational fears I just throw up my hands.

There are only two real problems with the economy: loss of home values (making it worthless for people to continue trying to make mortgage payments) and fear.
There is plenty of money changing hands out there for people to invest in the stock market, they are afraid. There is plenty of money for banks to lend, but they are afraid to do it because their investors are irrational. If their stock tanks they have to explain why even when it has nothing to do with their business practices.

Lindsey Graham, much though I loathe admitting it, was right when he said it is a "mental recession."


It's a little bit more complicated than that.  I had someone who works as a small business lender lay-it out for me a few weeks ago in a ten-fifteen minute rant he gave that was perhaps the most lucid explanation I've heard yet, since he has witnessed everything first hand as this mess unfolded starting in the early part of the decade. 

I wish I could be as succinct in my reply as he was, but in short it is not just the housing bubble with people who couldn't afford houses being granted loans that far exceeded their capacity to pay.  This is part of it, but it's also a massive scapegoat being used to obfuscate the greed and market manipulations that was happening elsewhere by people who should have known better. 

First off, in 1992 the deregulation of Fannie and Freddie led to less oversight, which should have stopped those loans from being made and ultimately sold on the open market.  This helped lay the foundation.  Secondly, when the banks wanted to be able to offer additional services and deregulation allowed them to do so - with the caveat that they also had to lend to higher risk borrowers as well (a Clinton add-on).  Here was a double whammy, banks having some of their restrictions loosened which put them into a riskier position and at the same time having to make more credit risky loans as part of the agreement.

I forget the exact impetus about 2002-2003 that started it (it was a government program to fix the economic downturn at the time), but because of the greater returns expected in real estate, massive amounts of credit was flowing into the real estate market from other sources looking to capitalize on the higher gains (this started about 2002 2003 when the small business lender I noted above noticed it was harder to secure small business loans), and banks were asking for adjustments in their lending ratios that put them all at much riskier positions while our democratic congress stood idly by and watched (well, not exactly idly, Dodd who sat on the Finance committee that was suppose to oversee these regulations enjoyed some dubious VIP loans from countrywide - go figure).  Then there were the credit default derivatives which added another layer of complexity to the mess which I don't feel capable enough to give a fully lucid explanation as to how they only compounded the mess we're in.

While the mortgage defaults on many of these homes started the process of the house of cards collapsing, lets not forget that it was that the house was already poorly build to begin with, which poor judgment and greed marring decisions throughout the entire framework. 

So all of this amounts to a sudden dramatic shortening of the available amount of credit (which brings us to about 2-3 months ago) - and this is where the person I mentioned earlier has seen first hand the *&^% we're in.  He can no longer get credit for businesses.  Don't think just home and car loans, but it became suddenly very difficult for him to secure loans for small businesses (that represent 70% of our businesses) so that they could stay open.  For instance, he had one client with signed government contracts in hand and needed financing to allow her to continue operating and he wasn't able to secure money for her.  So businesses which may have normally been sustainable are now finding themselves unable to continue operations, which is leading to more people who are out of work, which only compounds the problem further. 

So what did our government do? Well hey offered 700 billion to banks so they could continue lending.  That money was suppose to be used to provide credit for our country to continue operating.  And what did these assholes do with the money.... they want to buy other troubled banks and give themselves bonuses ("Well we have to retain the talent who screwed it all up in the first place").

And do you really think the slowdown in manufacturing and less people going out for sunday drives is the reason gas prices have dropped nearly 60% in the past few months?  These assholes manipulating the oil exchanges are getting screwed by this and the true cost of gas without their manipulations is becoming apparent.   

Think Enron and WorldCom, but across the entire financial sector.

I'll admit to only having a moderate understanding of this mess, but if the American population had a better idea of the *&^% that's been going on (instead of watching American-f-ing-Idol), I think we'd be in the middle of a revolution with regular public executions of some of these assholes.

Edit: Cleaned up a few items on second reading.  Also, I was harsh on some democrats and want to point out the republicans also had their hand in f-ing us as well, so don't think I was just being partisan.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Tough Times
« on: November 25, 2008, 10:46:16 PM »
A young president whose economic policies are dubious at best.

Yeah, and thank god he is getting his ass kicked out of office in a few months after eight years of his bull.

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