Law School Discussion

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Messages - Connelly

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1
is a b- a poor grade?

It depends on the curve.  If 90% of students get B's or higher, then yes.  Our school has had a mandatory curve of 78-79, which is essentially a C+, so a B- is not bad.

2
This can definitely be done.  I am going PT, and many of my classmates have spouses, children, and full-time jobs.  You will have to find law schools that offer PT programs of course. 

I try to do most of my studying on the weekends.  It doesn't always work out that way, but there is enough time on the weekends to be able to get your work done.  A little review/catch-up during the week will be helpful as well, but there is not much time for that. 

Check with the schools you apply to about what it takes to get in-state status.  Since my employer transferred me from out of state to the state where the law school was, I have been in-state from day 1. 

3
General Board / Re: laptops
« on: March 11, 2009, 01:43:21 PM »
You could look into adding more RAM.  There's a lot of factors that are involved, but that could help a bit.

Agreed.  This is likely a cheap, quick way to improve performance. 

4
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Just a thought on law school...
« on: January 31, 2009, 11:05:30 PM »
As long as their moms are hot, I see no problem with this.

5
The best bet will likely be an in-state school.  If you're going solo, it doesn't matter to an extent, but also consider that most students at a local school will be staying local...and will thus be colleagues in the years to come.  It could prove to be very beneficial from a networking standpoint. 

You are also in direct control of the biggest factor in law school admissions and scholarships - the LSAT.  You have a great UGPA, and pairing it with a 165+ could easily equal good money at a T2.  Even a handful of points in the 160 range either way could make a big difference for you financially, so it is worth the time and money invested in getting the best possible LSAT score. 

Identify a few schools in the area, and then take a look at lawschoolnumbers.com to get a bit of a sense of what you need to do to get in and/or get money at those schools. 

6
General Board / Re: Grades: Better or Worse Than You Expected?
« on: January 09, 2009, 10:22:25 AM »
Much better than I deserved so far.  We'll see how the rest turn out. 

7
General Board / Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« on: January 09, 2009, 10:20:33 AM »
One other thing...are professors usually strict about the format of essays?  Our professors so far have kept things VERY loose (IMO).  They left things very open ended, allowing one a myriad of ways to convey their answers.  So "writing ability" would only be important in being able to get one's ideas across and not in a very specific manner.  The most important "writing ability" I have identified so far is the ability to get to the point clearly and in a hurry.  Elegantly, perhaps, would be a better word.  

8
Truth be told though, unless you want a chance to practice law, not to be a lawyer, but merely a chance at it, don't go to law school. If you want to make money there are better ways to do it,

Wisdom.  A JD is not a blank check.  If you are in it for the money and do not think you have a solid shot at getting hired by a good/big firm, you might want to consider other more lucrative endeavors. 

Quote
pharmacists and dentists are two easy examples that come to mind and both profession's average salaries are far larger than the average attorney's, and with better hours.

One thing I would note with respect to pharmacists is that it seems that their pay range is in a very tight (although high) band.  So perhaps 80% of them are in the $90-150k range, but very few make Biglaw senior associate or partner money.  This is one of the reasons given to me by the pharmacist in our law school class for why he is there.

9
General Board / Re: What has the biggest impact on 1L grades?
« on: January 09, 2009, 09:52:41 AM »
I am just a 1L that did way better than he deserved on the first exam he got back, but here are my two cents.

It's very difficult to pick out one thing that I feel was the most tested by our exams.  I felt they tested a balance of many of the things listed in this thread.  I think there is some very good advice on this thread.  As I was preparing for finals and going over practice exams, the process started to click a lot more.  I started to understand more of what we were supposed to be doing, and even before we took our exams, I resolved to change my approach to law school in several ways in the spring.  

The law school application process will generally select for classes that are relatively close in law school aptitude.  There will of course be outliers.  For the most part, though, competition seems increased due to the fact that most people have fairly similar abilities.  

Luck may have something to do with one's grade in a particular class, but one's grades for several courses will be much, much less affected by luck.  Over the long haul, you make your own luck by being prepared.  Yes, sometimes things will go your way and sometimes they do not, but welcome to life.  You need to be prepared for the worst going into an exam or anything in life.  Understand that you will get on the test and see something you hadn't planned for or that the professor will have just had an argument with his wife before grading your paper.  What you do control is your preparation.  If you have prepared thoroughly, "luck" will just be a trifle.

I also think people stress out over exams way too much.  Yes, they are important, but you should have known that from day one in law school.  The time to start "worrying" is the day of the first class.  Start preparing early, put in the best work you can, and let the chips fall where they may.  I went into all of this understanding that there was a chance I would suck at it.  If you aren't willing to risk that, I wouldn't go to law school.  If you can accept the worst outcome as a possibility, you will approach many things in life with much more vigor and will not be controlled by fear.

[/lifecoach]



Also...jack24 - are you the Jack Bauer that posts on Above the Law?  Whether you are or you are not, those posts are great.  


10
1L job search / Re: LSAT on resume
« on: December 29, 2008, 04:59:17 PM »
If you don't go to a school that usually attracts people with 179s, your LSAT score will put a red flag on your resume: why isn't this guy at Yale?  

I stopped reading the thread after this post, but I would agree with this concern. I have experienced similar problems in other arenas where the person making the decision does the math and realizes you probably didn't break a 3.0 in undergrad.  Just as they are free to infer that you are especially bright, they can also then infer that you are especially lazy, and there is no forum for you to explain that away until the interview stage (although an "Assumed GPA Discrepancy" addendum on a resume would be entertaining). 

Also consider who one would be separating themselves from with the inclusion of an LSAT score.  Take someone with a 179.  Who are they separating themselves from with that piece of information?  Those that scored 170-178?  Lawyers (people who have taken an LSAT) understand that the difference in the 170's is minimal and may be more tied to what one ate for breakfast that morning or 3 extra weeks of practice than actual intellectual ability.  Is it separating the person who scored a 179 from those that scored in the 160's or below?  If so, that has likely been demonstrated by school selection, or should be obviously demonstrated by one's performance in other arenas if the 179er is actually significantly beyond the lower scorers in the capacity to be an effective lawyer. 

This is a lot easier to see if one has been working before law school - especially if one has worked for a law firm before.  While it is not the end of the world to include this score, the risk will outweigh the possible reward in most situations. 

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