Law School Discussion

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Messages - jack24

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131
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: T Minus 4 Weeks
« on: July 19, 2012, 12:55:52 PM »
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.

132
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. (http://www.law.harvard.edu/about/faq.html)
The first time bar passage rate is between 97.1 and 98.5% (http://www.ilrg.com/rankings/law/index.php/1/desc/Bar ; http://www.admissionsdean.com/law_schools/harvard-law-school/bar-exam-performance)
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.

133
I love Legend's disclaimers.   It's like his state bar has a professional responsibility section about full disclosure during online career advice discussions.

bsktbl:

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.

134
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)
http://blurblawg.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54f871a9c88330168e56bcf99970c-pi

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

135
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.




136
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Eternal Life
« on: July 16, 2012, 06:54:31 PM »
What about those who don't find/receive/earn/create eternal life?  What happens when they die?

137
L.L.M. Board / Re: LLM in tax without a JD
« on: July 16, 2012, 06:29:02 PM »
I don't think you need an LLM.  I think a JD would help you more with your career.  I know a couple CPA's who got JDs and now do a combination of estate planning and tax.  Both of them had opportunities to do LLM's but their prospective employers recommended against it.

If you have a passion or a desire to practice tax law, bankruptcy, family law, or criminal law, you can do so as long as you OK in school.  (By contrast, it takes a ton of talent, skill, and luck to be an entertainment lawyer or a BigLaw M&A guy).

I don't usually tell anyone to give law school a second look (Statistically it's not a great decision for a large minority of students). In your case, I think you should really think about doing a J.D. if you can get into a school in the area you want to work.  Tax and Estate law are more predictable, your clients are likely to pay, and most of your clients will be happy.   If you stay on the transactional side, you'll have less emergencies than most other practice areas.  However, if you work on estate litigation (will/trust contests and probate) you'll get emails from the occasional pissed of client at night or on the weekend.

Beware of law school, unless you are a science rock star and want to do IP, or unless you are a Tax rock star and want to do Tax/Estate.

My four cents.





138
I don't know what you will get on the actual LSAT, so lets just assume you kill it.

I scored 160 with a 3.3 gpa adjusted down by LSAC to 2.99 (Damn you .01 percent!)   I was blown away that 159 was in the 80th percentile in my year.  A ton of T3 schools were willing to take a gamble on me because I scored better than 4/5 LSAT takers.  I got amazing scholarship offers, but I went to a respected T2 public school with no scholarship instead.  Probably a bad decision, in retrospect, but oh well.

Take a look at this http://www.alphascore.com/resources/lsat-score-conversion/

scroll down to the chart at the bottom.   A 170 is usually in the 97th percentile.   People who score 170+ are freaks.  You might be a freak.   You'll have admissions people dying to bring you in because the LSAT is king.   Get in that top 1 percent of test takers and you'll be able to go to a decent school for free.

140
Pre-Law in high school / Re: DO NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL!!!
« on: July 12, 2012, 02:54:58 PM »

Jack, love the analysis, but the opportunity cost element of this equation is overstated if you ask me.

The reasons are:
1.  You will not save any of that money.  You'll consume 100% of it by living day-to-day.
2.  The day-to-day living is already accounted for in loans on the other half of the equation.

So, this is really taking the same variable and working against law school on both sides of the ledger.

Now, what is more accurate to say is that by working, you'll eat a little less ramen.  At the end of both periods, though, you won't have anything to show for it.  In the work case, you will break-even, in the LS case, you will have debt.  Once you account for the debt, you account for the entire impact of not-working.

Also, I am one of the majority of law students who, no way, no how, will get a lucrative job offer upon graduation.  Just won't happen.

I'm already resigned to starting my own practice, and I already know that's a road fraught with pitfalls.

Seems like the law is a great career for people who are either ultra-brainy (can pull a high class rank) or highly entrepreneurial.  It is not necessarily a great move for people who are merely moderately bright and get a minimal set of credentials.  (Unremarkable class rank and bar passage.)  Those folks might have had a great career in the law 50 years ago.  Not so much today.

It is probably overstated, but opportunity cost should at least include any money you could have saved, any assets you could have developed, and any interest you accrued during law school that I didn't include in the calculation.  Plus the better lifestyle during those years counts for something, at least.

Either way, over the long term, law school can make financial sense.

Legend makes some great points as well, but I'm not so sure people can identify whether they are right for law before trying it.   I love going to court as well.  I did it all the time during my internships, but I don't get to in my current job.
I have a good job for a fair wage doing assignments that bore me to tears.   If I wanted to be bored all day long I would have been a pharmacist.

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