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Messages - jack24

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You have always been in the bottom 1/3 of LSAT takers.  Your worst score put you in the 13th percentile.  140 is like 37/100 on the test.   People should be able to get 50% by process of elimination and coin-flip luck.

So rather than bash you, I'll tell you what I've learned.   You can go to a Cal-credited school, pass the bar and get a job if you have a little luck and some serious networking game. 

You should really start meeting family law attorneys.  These people often work at smaller firms, so the job potential isn't great, but you can learn alot about what they are looking for.  Your background in social work will help you to navigate a lot of legal issues in juvenile cases, so you'll need to lean heavily on that. 

You are fighting against a stereotype that might be true.  You look dumb on paper.  7-8 out of 10 people did better than you on the LSAT.  So you have to make up for that with connections, heart, and a sincere desire to practice a certain type of law.  Lawyers focusing on family, criminal, and public interest law really love dedication and interest. 

Honestly, if you can't figure out a way to meet with ten lawyers in areas you are interested in in the next month, you don't have the tools you need. (unless you just don't have any time).

Law School Admissions / Re: Just looking for feedback
« on: July 23, 2012, 05:02:10 PM »
On paper, You are a moderately qualified regional candidate.   You'd probably fit in very well at some flyover schools like Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, or New Mexico.  Those schools are all fairly strong in their respective medium/small markets.

What region are you looking for?

I have no idea how to answer your question, but if you aren't a flame, I'd like to know more about your situation.

Why did you do so poorly in the second semester?  One D pulling you down can be written off to a really bad day, but you must have had something like a 1.5 gpa the second semester.   Any explanation?

I really don't mean this to be harsh, but in order to return to school (don't know why you would) you'll need to convince an admissions person that you've changed.  What can you change?  Were you incredibly lazy (tough to change)?  Suffer from debilitating anxiety (maybe some meds?)? or are you too dense for law school (tough/impossible to change)?

If you really want to go back to law school, I hope you have some story about tremendous personal loss, paralysis, or a healing medical condition.

Current Law Students / Re: Going Back to Law School.
« on: July 23, 2012, 09:13:44 AM »
Hi there. I was academically dismissed after my third semester in my prior law school. The two year ABA requirement period of staying out will soon lapse and I was wondering if there is a chance to get back into law school. During my time off I overcame health issues and personal issues as well. I applied to an ABA approved paralegal program and did well in it. I want to complete my legal studies and become a lawyer, but will I be given a chance to accomplish that? I am starting to apply law schools that have a spring start date, but do I need to get a letter of good standing even after sitting out 2 years? Thank you for your insight.

What level of Law School will you be applying to?

Legend: Look at the data in my link if you haven't already.

99% of Cornell grads who took the NY exam passed it.  77% of the Cornell grads who too the Cali exam passed it.  Are you saying the discrepancy might be caused by the individual effort of the grads?

Can you give me some weight on the "might".   You have a group of very intelligent, hard working law students who all had similar LSAT scores and were educated at the same school.  I think the exam is the cause for the discrepancy, not the individual effort.

The data easily meets the probable cause or preponderance standards.  I'd say it's clear and convincing, if not beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Incoming 1Ls / Re: T Minus 4 Weeks
« on: July 19, 2012, 10:55:52 AM »
Will your prep be helpful? Sure, assuming you can remember it, or assuming you made outlines you can use.

But the next question is now what?  You'll learn thousands of pages worth of nonsense in your classes and you'll have a lot of hours throughout the semester to prep.  Are you going to brief all of the dissents for every supreme court in alphabetical order?

I think people mistakenly say that 0L prep isn't worthwhile, but what they mean is that it isn't really necessary.  If you are diligent from day one of law school, you have plenty of time to learn what you need to learn to do well.   If your 0L prep gives you more free time to spend with your family and on your hobbies, then fantastic.

I estimate a common law school semester consists of:

2000 hours awake
225 hours in class
45 hours actually taking finals.
500 hours of actual class prep (overkill, in my opinion)

That leaves 1230 wakeful hours to do everything else.

So you have around 10.3 hours a day to spend on extra studying, exercising, eating, playing, etc.

Time ain't the problem.

My suggestion to most 0L's is to work on their typing speed, read a lot of whatever you like, and read some books about how to write well.

Learning future interests or the erie doctrine in the summer before law school is probably a waste of your damn time.

Yeah, I don't know that it has harder content, but I think it's probably harder to pass.  Maybe due to protectionism.

Harvard graduates 560 students a year. (
The first time bar passage rate is between 97.1 and 98.5% ( ;
This means that between 8 and 16 out of 560 Harvard grads fail the bar from each class (all jurisdictions combined)
8 Harvard grads failed the California bar in July of 2011.

I love Legend's disclaimers.   It's like his state bar has a professional responsibility section about full disclosure during online career advice discussions.


If you apply to a joint degree you may get some preference.  I only say this because I know my school said so.  I knew a JD/MBA, a JD/MD, a JD/Masters in Econ, and a JD/Masters in Journalism.

Surprisingly, my school didn't seem to have any JD/MAC students.  Maybe I just didn't know them.

I think you need to consider, more so than the admissions benefit, the utility of having a joint degree after graduation.   I believe there is some benefit, but it is pretty limited unless you have some specific goal that requires it. (Maybe getting a masters in computer science would qualify you for the patent bar or something like that).

Is a JD/CPA more valuable than a JD/Bachelors in Accounting?   I used to think so, but my two buddies in tax law say nobody cares.  Maybe they are wrong, I don't know.

One more thing, if you end up on the waitlist somewhere, I think pushing the joint degree possibility could help you get accepted off the waitlist.

California is not that hard?  Look at the data.  I'm not saying other places like DC and Nevada don't have difficult bar exams as well, but California's must be much harder than average.  (Even the format is very different)

A Sampling:

George Washington, 82% in California.  Overall = 93.9
Cornell has a 77% pass rate in california.  Overall = 92.1
Brigham Young University, 61% in California.  Overall = 96.2
University of Oregon, 37% in California.  Overall = 85.4
Syracuse, 29% in California.  Overall = 79.6

I'm sorry to reiterate what I've already said a few times, but passing a bar is so much more about the student than the school.  Can I know that for sure?  Absolutely not!  But I have gone to law school and taken the bar exam.   

Granted, the California bar is really hard.  The best school in my state has a 92% in-state passage rate, but only 12 of 25 passed the California bar.   So it is possible that certain schools can give you an edge in terms of strategy, but I find it very hard to believe that a student's choice between distance schools A, B, and C will have much of an impact on his bar passage unless one particular school did a better job of motivating you to prepare more or less.

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