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Messages - jack24

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Suffolk Law
« on: March 14, 2013, 08:37:05 AM »
Again, it won't hurt to look up some law firms (or whatever type of employer you are interested in) in the area you want to work and see if there are any suffolk grads.  Then call them up and ask them if you can take them to lunch (or just talk on the phone if you aren't in the area).

For example:  This firm
has about 37 boston lawyers who went to Suffolk for either undergrad or law school.

For example, you could email this lady   and ask her some questions.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Suffolk Law
« on: March 12, 2013, 10:58:35 AM »
Don't forget the basics about the rankings.

First, employers do care about the rankings.  Why do they care? Because they believe the highest ranked schools attract, on average, the most intelligent, hardest working students.  Most legal employers suck at interviewing, so they will either hire someone they have a personal relationship with (or a friend recommends) or they will hire based on a combination of personality and statistics.   

Say I'm looking at two resumes.  Author of Resume A went to an out of state school ranked 40, was ranked just outside the top 20%.  Author of Resume B went to an out of state school ranked T4, was ranked just outside the top 20%.  Assume I don't have a personal preference on the schools and I don't know either person.   I'd be an idiot, all other things being equal, to choose B.   The students at School A are of a much higher caliber.  Its average LSAT and UGPA are much higher, and the competition to be in the top quarter would be more difficult.

In a lot of cases, the hiring attorneys will be sifting through hundreds of resumes, and they'll have to make first cuts without doing much analysis. 

The best advice I can give is for you to pick a few employers in the city you want to work, and ask them where (and if) you should go to law school.  See if their hiring partners care about US news rankings.  See if they prefer local schools.  If you want to work in Boston, it's probably a better bet to go to Suffolk than Alabama.   There will be several Suffolk alums in town, the impression of the school will be good, and you'll be there and available to network during law school.   As 75%+ students get their jobs through networking and hustling, being in the right place at the right time is crucial.    That being said, if you wanted to work in Denver or Seattle, it's probably better to go with Alabama than Suffolk.


Live cheap during law school + Free Rent + Hispanic + willing to do family law, permits, and immigration?
That's about as good a recipe as I've seen.    There is no guarantee you'll like it, but it sounds like you are more cut out to go to law school than 90% of those inquiring on this board.

First let me thank you for being frank, and for giving me at least some hope.  Most guys on the web are very negative. 

After weighing everything out in my head while showering today, I had a thought.  As it stands now I have nothing.  I have a crap degree an OK family business which will be carved up and divides between 5 of us if anything ever happens to my mom (God forbid).  9 years of work in this business making it what it is and I will end up having an equal inheritance as my sisters who went out and made their lives outside the business.

If I have a chance at getting in with a 2.0 and a 160 CUNY Law is a real possibility.  It is close to home and only 12K per year.  I can leave with between 36-60k in debt, closer to the lower end I'm guessing. 

T14 is not in my future unless I can get my records expunged, and even then I will be looking to go to a T14 to work for a great law firm and make 165k straight of too LS, lots of money and a set future, but do I really want to work 2300 hours a year to make money I can't enjoy?  Nah, not really.  I want to hang my own shingle, open an office in my rent free office space in Manhattan, and practice some kind of law.  In that case it won't matter where I went to LS so long as I am licensed.  If I can run the business right I can make a great living and still have relative freedom. 

In short T14 and a "good school" is only worth it if I want to work like a mule and earn great money if and when I'm hired. 100-200k in debt an at least 8 years to pay it off.  Probably not getting in anyway, so, sour grapes?

The schools I'm most suited for given my possible 1.8 GPA and 160+ LSAT are cheap, get me a degree and a career if I can hack it as a business man, and I've shown that I can do that running one business well, and creating another from scratch.

I have a flimsy job now, and need some stability to support a wife and 2 kids if my mom is ever taken from us.

As I've said on many other threads, the work of a lawyer is unpredictable.   Saying you want to be a lawyer is like saying you want to work in a science field.  There are wildly different work environments, workloads, types of work, and fields of law that you might end up dealing with. 

I try to dissuade people from going to law school to practice a very specific type of law in a specific type of firm.  For example, if you said, "I want to go dominate law school, and do Mergers and Acquisitions for an international firm,"  I'd tell you that your chances are worse than playing roulette.   You are unique, however.  If you really want to be a solo practitioner, you can do it with a law degree.  If that's your dream, there's really no other way to do it.

One word of caution, however.  I don't know you, and I have now way to determine what your skill set is.  I will say that business management skills are important for a solo, but they are nowhere near as important as networking and marketing skills.   A new firm, especially one run by a baby lawyer, lives or dies depending on whether the lawyer can make quality contacts and find paying clients.   Such abilities are far more important than the ability to create a positive client experience, the ability to balance books, or the ability to manage support staff.

If you are sure you have rent-free space, and you are sure you would enjoy the awful grind that is solo practice, then your question comes down to math.  (Obviously, if you are only concerned with chasing your passion, the math won't matter)

If you have 60,000 in debt, your annual loan payments will be approximately $4992 per year for 25 years.   As a result, your financial decision comes down to whether your average salary will be $5000 more as a lawyer per year than it would be as something else.

The statistics out there are really bad.    (And cost of living in Manhattan is brutal)  But you don't see a lot of statistics for average salaries 10 years after law school.   It's my impression that lawyers still do quite well as opposed to bankers, managers, marketers, and the average salesperson.  If you can survive the first five years, I believe it would probably be a great financial investment, even though the market sucks.   That said, it takes a special person to survive five years as a solo.   

What kind of law would you like to practice?   Are you cut out for the grind that is family law or criminal law in the most competitive market on earth?  Do you have the education to take the patent bar?  Do you have the education and smarts to do estate planning and tax?   Why would someone trust you with their business, when there will be countless attorneys out there with a similar billing rate and more experience?   How many solo practitioners have you sat down with?  (They tend to be a social bunch, and they tend to be very honest with how things are going).

Law School Admissions / Re: Law school projections?
« on: March 08, 2013, 04:54:36 PM »
Just curious about my projected chances at attending any of the Top 20 Law schools....

I have 3.3 combined GPA of both my majors (Political Science/Economics) and have been working (as a legal assistant) for a law firm for 4 1/2 years (working 30+ hours per week). Having taken a practice LSAT exam (cold), I scored a 168. I project that my actual score will be 170.

Hypothetically, if I maintain an LSAT score of 170, what are my chances of getting into any of the Top 20 (USC and UCLA being my top prospects).

The LSAC calculator can estimate your chances, but it can be inaccurate at times.
It does use actual acceptance data, though. This changes if you are a URM.

According to LSAT, you have less than a 25% chance of admission at Boston, Texas, USC (~25%), Cornell, Northwestern, UCLA (~15%), Michigan, New York, Duke, Virginia, Penn, and Harvard. (No chance at Harvard).  You have a between a 25% and 50% chance at Notre Dame, Vandy, Washington, Illinois, Boston College, Minnesota, William and Mary, Alabama.

Stanford doesn't participate (you have virtually no chance)
Berkeley doesn't participate (you have virtually no chance)
You've got a ~65% chance at UC Davis, ~60 at Hastings, ~80% at Loyola, ~90% at pepperdine and about 100% at all the other California schools.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
« on: March 05, 2013, 11:17:10 AM »
You win I am going to live and enjoy life continue ranting anonymously on the internet I really don't care that much. I really can't believe I spent this much time arguing frivolous stats with some random anonymous Internet poster.
To the OP remember take everything you read on here with a grain of salt. This is a life altering decision so opposed to listening to people who have never been to the school get first hand knowledge from people with direct experience. However, I am hopeful you had enough common sense to stop paying attention to all the ranting on this thread days  ago.

Anti if the job market is really as bad as you say I would spend a lot more time studying to get some kick ass grades opposed to ranting on here as much as you do. Good luck finding a job and passing the bar you will need it.

Taking your ball and going home, eh?

Maybe anonymous ranting isn't helpful, but sharing statistics can be helpful.  People can verify those statistics and hopefully make a good decision.    Could we paint a rosier picture with anecdotal evidence?  Sure.   I had something like 10 close friends in law school.  Each of them has a full time legal job.  SUCCESS!   But I don't know these people on this board.   Most of the "where should I go" posters have very poor LSAT scores, mediocre grades, and are choosing between terrible schools.   Most of my friends had 160+ LSATs and half of them were on Law Review.  We also went to the most dominant law school in our region (And still only 55% of students in our law school class had full time legal work 9 months after graduation, even though we were all sworn in 5 months after graduation.) 

This particular poster is asking about Thomas Jefferson LS.  A school with abysmal statistics, in the state with the toughest bar, in the state with the most law schools, in the state with a high cost of living.

So yeah, life is what people make of it, but I just hope these people understand that there are inferior law schools out there, and that not all law schools are created equal, despite your rantings about how crappy US news is.     If this person was claiming to have received a decent scholarship and in-state tuition at the University of New Mexico or Oregon or something, I'd probably keep my opinion to myself.   But anyone considering TJLS is considering an incredibly risky path.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Depaul or Loyola chicago
« on: March 01, 2013, 10:34:15 AM »
Sorry meant to say that i am not considering skipping law school. Please do not reply here and tell me how bad the job market is and that i shouldnt put myself in that kind of debt. I've done the research i am fully aware of the risk and understand how the job market is, i asked which school i should choose between the two so telling me to not go to law school is pointless.


I thought I knew all the risks and I thought I did all the research.   I still have my spreadsheet of law schools that contains 26 different weighted categories.  I didn't know what I was getting in to.   I mean, I did the financial analysis.  About 95,000 in debt would equal annual payments of about $7,700.   So in my mind, the only financial decision was whether, over the next 25 years, my salary as a law grad would be an average of $7,700 more that it would have otherwise been.   I looked at the chart that Anti posted above and I figured I could certainly start out at $65,000 or more, so it made sense for me to leave my banking career and go to law school.  It turns out my two year legal career pays just about what I was making before law school, but I still think the investment will pay off for me in the long run.

Those of us who discourage individuals like yourself from going to law school, don't mean to say that you can't make a decision.  We just want to make sure that you have all of the information.   If you do, then go ahead and ignore us.  But I think Anti and I, though we don't agree on everything, will continue to make sure that prospective students are exposed to the data. 

I know that ABA law schools are churning out 40,000+ new lawyers every year, while the industry is only creating 9000 jobs and only about 15,000 people are retiring per year.  More will start to retire in the coming decade.

I also know that there are about seven broad types of law,  Transactional Business/corporate, Transactional Other,  Criminal, Domestic, IP,  corporate litigation, commercial litigation. (Not exhaustive, but most things fit in one of those)
And then there are about 9 types of legal employers.  Municipalities, Courts, Counties and States, Feds, Solos, Small Firms, Medium Firms, Large Firms, and Big Law.

Some quick conditional math tells me that the above create about 47 fairly unique combinations.    For me, I think I would enjoy either the power of being a solo, or the structure of working for a large firm.  The in between, those small and poorly run organizations, are hell.    I have worked for judges, counties, small firms, solos, and one medium firm.  Each experience was wildly different.    In my view, going to law school is fine, but it's a bit of a roulette wheel.    Most people have no idea where they will end up.   Those who desire to work in IP, Tax, Family, or Criminal have a higher chance of landing in the area they want, but they will have no idea what type of organization they will end up in.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
« on: March 01, 2013, 09:37:54 AM »
I mean, just think about that for a minute...  84 of the 126 students who took the bar exam for the first time failed it.  67% failed.  Overall,  160/215 students from TJLS who took the bar exam failed it.   That's three out of every four!

How can anyone defend a school like that?

(To be fair, the July 2012 first time passage rate on the Cal bar for TJLS was a super good 52%)

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Thomas Jefferson School of Law?
« on: March 01, 2013, 09:34:41 AM »
July bar exams are far better for their statistical reliability:

As a sampling, here are some bar passage rates for FIRST TIME TAKERS:

Thomas Jefferson: 33%  (for Repeaters, 13/89 TJ students passed.  ouch)
Cal Western: 79%
Chapman: 79%
Golden Gate: 79%
Pepperdine: 86
Stanford: 89
Berkely: 87
UCLA: 85
U San D: 76
USC: 91
Western State: 77

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Too Many Good Choices
« on: March 01, 2013, 09:13:07 AM »
Fair point, but lets say an OL wanted to do what you are doing.. you know, busting up crack houses.

I went to the best school in a particular metro region.   The biggest DA's office was hiring 7 clerks.  They conducted 35 interviews out of 200+ applications.   I got one of the clerkships.

Those odds aren't horrible.  I mean, you've got a 1/30 chance or so.   The clerkship was a great experience.  But that DA's office only added between 1-3 attorneys per year.  And those attorney spots were coveted by current clerks, former clerks, graduating law students and criminal attorneys in the area.  The DA told me they typically got 150 licensed applicants for every position, and they usually went to the best clerks from the past three years.

Of course there are other city offices and other counties you could apply to, but it was tough all over.   I can't give you the exact stats, but I'd be blown away if your chances to end up in a job like yours were better than 1/15 when you enter law school.  If someone goes to law school with that dream, but they end up doing commercial collections work or personal injury processing, they are going to be pretty pissed off.

So while I agree with what you are saying, I hope you recognize that you were fortunate.  In my opinion, the only job that is available to any licensed attorney is a spot as a solo practitioner.  If you have a passion to run your own little family law firm, then yeah, law school is going to get you there.

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