Law School Discussion

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Messages - carnodel

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11
Pre-Law in high school / Re: Paralegal vs. Lawyer
« on: February 18, 2008, 04:00:14 AM »
I realize this thread is very old now but maybe someone can still help me.  I'm an undergrad approaching my senior year and thinking about becoming either a certified paralegal or a lawyer.  The only thing deterring me from becoming a lawyer is the number of hours they work.  My impression is that attorneys spend an inordinate amount of time working, and I'd rather have a healthy work-life balance.  (I do not want to be one of those people whose work IS their life.)  Do paralegals work significantly less than lawyers?

Also, does anyone have any tips for becoming a paralegal?  What should I look for in a paralegal education?  I'm currently looking at the paralegal diploma offered by NYU, but the curriculum doesn't appear to include an internship.  How important are internships?  Any other tips?

Any and all advice is appreciated.

(EDIT:  I just realized this board was for high school students.  Sorry about that, but I'll leave this post up here anyway.)

you dont need a certificate to be a paralegal, just apply.  Countless firms hire tons of college grads every year.  that being said it sounds like the worst, most mindless job ever.  Go to law school and just don't work for a huge firm if you are concerned with hours.

I couldn't agree more.  It really has everything to do with the type of firm you work for and the type of legal work you are going to be doing.  My friend is a paralegal for a law firm that sues inaulation companies for asbestos-related illnesses.  His firm basically does no real work because every company in that industry knows not to take any lawsuits to court because they know they'll lose due to the taboo of the subject.  Basically, all he does it write out the paperwork for settlements and find new potential asbestos victims from lists of workers, contractors, and people that have been exposed or have been likely to have been exposed to asbestos in certain buildings and show signs of illnesses related to exposure.

Basically, it is simple and easy money for the law firm.  They barely do any real tough work.  Every company knows them and basically have trust funds setup for such settlements, which pay a set amount of money to the firm and to the victims.  Money in the bank.  Now, he tells me he likes the people, but he finds the work boring and repetitive but pretty simple to understand and do.  Nothing that technical, but there are days when he is doing a ton of laborious and monotonous work.  Consequently, he is applying to various law schools. He already took the LSAT, but he's not exactly sure if he is going to go because he is deep in debt and has other immediate opportunities. 

That's another thing you need to think about.  With being a paralegal, you only have to go to undergrad.  To become a lawyer, you have to go to law school and spend that extra $100 grand or more and waste a few years of not making any money, which if you already have student loans will set you back even more.  Think about what you want to do and the current position you are in and whether you want to deal with huge debt if that is something you know would be in your future if you went to law school.

12
He is applying to colleges for a dual MD/JD program.

Ummm, I don't even think that is physically possible, just kidding - here's a link to the Baylor and University of Houston's dual degree programs, which this is one of the available options among M.D./M.S., M.D./Ph.D., and  M.D./M.B.A:

 http://www.bcm.edu/education/dual_programs.cfm

It is, however, a pretty ridiculous and very ambitious plan.  Let me first ask - what does he plan to do with both degrees - medical/pharmaceutical law or medical malpractice?

First, I will address your first question.  No, you should be fine with the diversity you have in your academic career.  Law Schools might even view this as a plus, but will most likely just not count it against you.

Secondly, your friend is going to have to apply only to schools that have programs such as this.  He would be among a very select few specializing in both according to this site:

http://md-jd.info/jd-md.htm

Which, he may want to check out and contact some of those people to see what they did.  At the bottom of the page here - those are some of the select programs that actually do dual MD/JD degrees.  And I would assume that if he majored in something as difficult or at least thought of as difficult as biochemistry, these select programs would not hold it against him that he didn't have enough humanities if he does well on the LSAT.

If anything, he could take a few legal studies courses over the summer, but I would have to say that they wouldn't even really be worth it.  Humanities in undergrad are a well known joke - especially to law schools and "superspecially" (haha) to Dual MD/JD programs.

13
News Discussion / Re: huckabee!
« on: February 18, 2008, 03:24:16 AM »
yes, and new brain.

Agreed - if I wanted to live under a theocracy, I'd live in Vatican City.

14
News Discussion / Re: Mass Shootings
« on: February 18, 2008, 02:31:58 AM »
Oh, and to just rub it in a little more just so I don't get any snide retort:

Here's another one:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15111438/page/2/

Myth No. 10. “School violence is rampant.”

It may seem so, with media attention focused on a spate of school shootings. In fact, school shootings are extremely rare. Even including the more common violence that is gang-related or dispute-related, only 12 to 20 homicides a year occur in the 100,000 schools in the U.S. In general, school assaults and other violence have dropped by nearly half in the past decade.

15
News Discussion / Re: Mass Shootings
« on: February 18, 2008, 02:26:26 AM »
First link after I typed this into Google: "School shooting statistics"

http://youthviolence.edschool.virginia.edu/violence-in-schools/school-shootings.html

I think I proved my point.  Pretty simple to see and find out for yourself - don't trust everything that you feel in your gut just because your gut normally goes with what is on the news - which is usually blown way out of proportion.

I rest my case.

16
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Nightmare
« on: February 18, 2008, 02:13:01 AM »
I had a dream that the proctors let me have extra time.... I really thought it was real too :(

You actually can get extra time if you have a known and documented psychological disorder: severe case of ADHD, panic/anxiety attacks, OCD, dyslexia, or other pre-existing learning disorders.  Although I believe that you would need to give the LSAC a handful of documentation including affidavits from professors and school officials from your undergraduate to attest that you took other standardized tests in such extended time conditions.

So go to your psychiatrist/psychologist and demand them classify you as learning impaired immediately! haha

17
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Turn Down Harvard?
« on: February 17, 2008, 08:37:39 PM »
Relationships are really hard to maintain nowadays because everyone is going for their law degrees and PHD's.  What you should all be really discussing is not who should be the follower and who should be the decider - male or female in the relationship.

You should be really asking why everyone needs a PhD to pick up a pencil or to do anything in today's economy.  I mean if anything - just intellectual inquiry does not require a PhD or a law degree.  We all know this is about money and the piece of paper that grants you the ability to practice as a "professional". 

Realistically, you could find out everything in the each course syllabus and study and learn on your own, but that will not get you that piece of paper that you need to begin on that path to $$$$$$$$$$$$$$, right?

18
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Turn Down Harvard?
« on: February 17, 2008, 08:04:48 PM »
You'll have to post a photo of the girlfriend if you really want people to be able to give you a full analysis of the situation you face.

Agreed.  Definitely - turn down full tuition at Harvard for Duke?  Not a chance.

19
Law School Applications / Re: Yale Holds?
« on: February 17, 2008, 08:02:36 PM »
You guys were so great they had to invent a whole new admissions decision for you!  I'll be rooting for your acceptances.
me too!  Best of luck.

20
In what condition are your books?

Second that, are all the tests already taken in the Superprep and Actual, Official LSATs and other handful of PrepTests?

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