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Messages - Citylaw

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11
I think you should wait 6 months and reapply. You might want to reevaluate everything and possibly retake the LSAT. Law school is not going anywhere, and you might want to take a few months to really study for the LSAT to make sure you are ready for the rigors of law school.

Good luck.

12
Where should I go next fall? / Re: FIU VS FSU LAW
« on: April 10, 2014, 12:54:39 AM »
Functional Drunk do not put so much emphasis on statistics they mean very little in the real world. At least in my anonymous internet poster opinion.

I really encourage you to go into a courtroom and watch how law in the real world works. Very few law students see it first hand and you will realize how serious the situations are. If you are prosecuting a murder suspect and the family of the murdered individual is in the background they could give two sh**ts about what law school you went to. You are either going to put the murderer or away or let him go loose.

Conversely if your defending a murder suspect the person is either going to be spending life in prison or have their freedom. It is on you in those situations as the lawyer to get the result and the name of the school you attend will mean nothing.

In the Civil arena the same is true you are either going to get the client their result or you won't. I lost in court today, and I made mistakes, which have nothing to do with my school I put to much faith in a witness who in the end was a liar. I didn't catch it no law school could have prepared me to deal with that it is a lesson I will remember moving forward.

Federal Clerkships 3%; Big Law Jobs 6%; it doesn't mean anything whether you get a BigLaw job or not will depend on you filing out all the paperwork; networking; drafting a kick ass cover letter; nailing the interview etc; etc. In the legal profession your success depends on you not the same of your school.

99% of students might pass the bar at X school, but they all busted their ass to pass. If you sit on your ass and do not study you will fail the bar and that 99% will not matter.

SECOND PART OF YOUR POST SOMETHING TO CONSIDER:
The second portion of your response regarding whether you want to live in Miami or Tallahassee is what you should consider. The family dynamic being present or not is a huge decision your parents and brothers will be in your life every day. That could be a good or bad thing I have no idea what the dynamic with your family is or how close you are to them.

You also seem to hate traffic I was born and raised in L.A., which is the same as Miami I never want to go back to living in that it is awful. I believe you also attended FSU for undergrad and if you enjoyed your time maybe you want to live it up in the College Town.

TWO RECOMMENDATIONS:

(1) I really encourage you to watch a movie called "lawyer walks into a bar" it documents several law students from UCLA, Loyola Marymount Law School, Western State Law School, and an unaccredited ABA School as they study for the bar exam. You see how little the name of the schools matter during that insanely stressful period in any law student's life. The real world of being a lawyer is 10x more intense than that.

(2) Do not even look at Stats anymore really consider the realities of where you want to live for the next three years. The small college town where you went to undergrad away from your family or the big City of Miami with your family nearby. Neither choice is right or wrong, but those are real things to consider. Whether 6% or 7% of the class got a federal clerkship is b.s. and has no applicability to you.  7% of people got a clerkship maybe 6 of those people were related to Federal Judges and they could have attended Timbuktu State and obtained the job. At the end of the day each individual has their own path and whatever other students did at X school has nothing to do with your life.

Conclusion:
I can't emphasize it just don't use numbers and rankings etc in your decision. As a 0L I know I did this, but having been a lawyer for awhile now I have seen enough "experts" testify to anything. The reality is you can make statistics say whatever you want them to say or find plenty of people to tell you FSU is awesome and plenty of others that will tell you FSU is awful. Same with FIU and any other law school or academic institution in the world.

Case in point 44 Yelp Reviews for Florida International University http://www.yelp.com/biz/florida-international-university-miami plenty of 5 stars; plenty of 1 stars; all for various reasons. 

You only have 6 Yelp Reviews for Florida State and there are 4 five stars; 1 one star; and 1 two star. http://www.yelp.com/biz/florida-state-university-tallahassee 4 people loved it and two hated it. They all have various reasons one guy claims the Chilli's is full all the time and he doesn't like it. That is his reasoning another poster hated the exercise department. At the end of the day everyone will have their reason for liking or disliking something.

What matters in this three year; $100,000; career altering changing is "YOU" what do you want. It is a question only you can answer by evaluating the realities of Miami v. Tallahassee. There is no right or wrong answer, but you will regret choosing one school over the other based on a statistic that means nothing.

That is my two cents as an anonymous internet poster so do with it what you will. Good luck in making this difficult decision.


 


13
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Duke (90k) v. Chicago (45k)
« on: April 03, 2014, 08:50:19 PM »
Good I am sure these visits will clarify the decision significantly. These are both very different areas of the Country and I am sure one will appeal to you more than the other.

Again, congrats on your acceptances those truly are impressive schools and you are likely to have a bright future in the legal field as long as you stay motivated, ethical, and accountable, which I am sure you will.

Good luck and have fun during your visits.


14
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Duke (90k) v. Chicago (45k)
« on: April 02, 2014, 08:24:23 PM »
First off Congrats on your acceptances and scholarship offers those are some impressive schools.

With that said realize that I or anyone else on anonymous internet poster board knows anything about you or your situation, and is certainly not capable of knowing what choice is best for you. What anonymous internet posters like myself can offer our some factors to consider when choosing a law school.

With that said I think any potential 0L should consider the following factors in this order when choosing a law school (1) Location; (2) Cost; (3) Personal Feelings about the School; (4) Understanding the reality of legal education; (5) last and least U.S. News and employment stats

I will analyze each factor to your particular situation and do with my anonymous internet poster advice what you will.

(1) Location:

I do not know where you are from, if you have friends in Chicago or Durham N.C, but your personal situation in regards to location is something to consider.

Additionally, as you likely know Chicago and Durham North Carolina are very different places, but many law students including myself when I was a 0L do not fully grasp the importance of where their law school is located. You will be spending three years of the prime of your life in Chicago or Durham North Carolina. What it really comes down to is are you someone that wants to spend their prime in a big City or a College town. I personally love College towns and Duke Basketball and think North Carolina has a more laid-back pace, which I enjoy.

However, I am not you maybe you are someone that woudl love going to Wrigley Field, Museums, Plays, etc and there is no right or wrong answer, but do realize law school does not exist in a vacuum and the City you attend law school in will have a major impact on your life.

On top of that odds are you will end up in the state or at least nearby where you attend law school. If you want to be a Federal Clerk in Chicago the Federal Judges in Chicago are more often than not U of Chicago Alumni and will hire locally. In the Carolina's many Federal Judges are Duke Alumni and will hire Duke Alumni. You will also likely take the NC Bar Exam if you attend Duke and the Illinois Bar Exam if you attend Chicago.

On top of that during your three year law school career you will make friends, get an apartment or house you like, enter into a serious romantic relationship, etc and it will be very difficult to leave somewhere you have spent three years of your life. Of course there are exceptions, but the odds are if you attend Chicago you will end up living in Chicago and if you attend Duke you will end up in the South. Both are fine, but really ask yourself where you want to be.

(2) Cost

Duke 49k (tuition)
Living Expenses (17K) 

66k x 3 years = $198,000 - 90k scholarship= $98,000 debt

Chicago 47k (tuition)
Living Expenses (22k)
69k x 3 years= $207,000  - 45k scholarship = $162,000 debt

That is assuming you keep the scholarship years 2 and 3 of course. One thing to really watch out for are the scholarship conditions. Often it will be something along the lines of maintaining a 3.0 GPA or finishing in the top 50% of the class. I am sure that sounds like a piece of cake to someone who is being offered scholarships to these schools, and you probably could have obtained a 3.0 in undergrad without even trying, but law school is much different. 100% of students are smart, hard-working, and motivated and truly believe they will finish in the top 10%, but 90% won't. In regards to the 3.0 many schools have a stiff curve that allows only 35% of first year students to have a 3.0 GPA, which means in that scenario there is a 65% chance you will lose your scholarship for years two and three.

This New York Times Article does a better job of explaining the situation than I can. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

With that said I encourage you to negotiate for more money from these schools and carefully read the conditions and negotiate for better ones. If both of these schools are offering you scholarship money you have a lot of bargaining power and you should use it, once you enroll it is gone.

(3) Personal Feelings About the School:
Your post indicated some thought to this in that you thought U of Chicago would be more competitive. I do not know if that is true or not, but I do know that each school has a culture to it and whether a school is the right fit for you personally is a decision only you can make. I strongly encourage you to visit both U(Chicago) and Duke talk to professors, admins, students, walk around the campus, walk around the neighborhood, and see what feels right. I am sure one will leave you with a better feeling than the other and you should really listen to that feeling.

(4) Reality of Legal Education:
No matter what ABA law school you attend you will receive a quality education, and you will learn the same exact thing at any school. Your first year will consist of Torts, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Property, and LRW. In these courses you will read Supreme Court Cases and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different schools. In Torts you will read the Palsgraf case to learn Proximate Cause, Civil Procedure Pennoyer v. Neff, Contracts Hadley v. Baxendale so on and so on. You will also learn how to cite cases and statutes in LRW.

At the end of your three years at Duke or Chicago you will sign up for either Barbri or Kaplan to help you pass the bar exam and study your ass off with students from schools all over the world. Then on the day of the bar exam you will be crammed into a room with a bunch of very nervous and stressed out recent law graduates taking the bar exam. If you pass that exam you are a licensed lawyer if not you are not a lawyer.

(5) U.S. News and Stats:

U.S. News is a for profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion and both Duke and UChicago were well regarded schools long before this magazine existed and will be well regarded if and when U.S. News stop publishing. As a tiebreaker use U.S. News, but nothing more since odds are by time you graduate these schools will have likely changed positions and one will be higher than the other at the time of graduation.

Employment Stats again these are fine to look at, but they do not really mean anything. Simply because 90% of people at X school pass the bar exam does not mean you can slack off or that a job will be handed to you. 10% of that 90% didn't pass or find a job etc. Stats are nice to look, but the reality is whether you succeed in the legal profession or not will have far more to do with you as an individual than the school you attended.

Conclusion:
I know when I was a 0L I wanted someone to tell me X school was the right choice, but no "right" choice exists. Both of these schools are amazing and will offer you an abundance of opportunities, but no matter, which school you choose your life will change and to some extent you will always wonder "what if' I chose the other one. I really think your best bet is to visit each school and really ask yourself if you want to live in a College town or Big City all other things considered are more less equal.

Good luck in your decision and congrats on your acceptances.

15
General Board / Re: Where should I go in FL?
« on: April 02, 2014, 11:11:18 AM »
The posters above offer great advice, but do realize this anyone posting on this board or others is nothing more than an anonymous Internet poster, my post included. Therefore, none of us have the right answer or know what will work at X school or what decision is best for you.

With that said it sounds like being close to the Orlando area is important and in my opinion location should always be priority #1. Maybe you have a girlfriend, family, friends, etc nearby or a job or who knows what, but if you want to be in a particular area then attend law school in that area. Law school is intense particularly 1L and you will not have time to go on trips etc you will be more or less stuck in the City you attend school in at least for 1L. If you have a support group in X city that can really assist you get through law school, which will be a very difficult chapter in your life.

As for the costs like everyone else says ask. Tell them you like their school, but X school is offering you X in scholarship money and you can't justify spending X amount more at X school. They will often come back with a 5,000-10,000 scholarship.

You should also be careful of any stipulations. I see the 2.25 GPA, which sounds pretty reasonable, but each law school has their own curve and law school is much different than undergrad everyone is smart, hard-working, and motivated and 100% of people think they will be in the top 10%.

I imagine a 2.25 means u need to finish in the top 75%, which means there is a 25% chance you will not have your scholarship year 2 and 3. However, I don't know the schools exact curve, but you should definetly ask. It is question potentially worth 10,000+

A final thing to do is visit each school. Each school has a culture to it and some you will like others you won't. The only person capable of knowing what you like best is you. Therefore, you should visit the schools talk to professors, students, admins, walk around the campus etc and you will get a feeling.

I know when I was a 0L visiting schools there were some I hated and others I loved. You will likely love one of these schools after a visit and not like another. Your gut will give you a feeling and it is very important to listen to that.

At the end of the day there is no "right" answer. No matter what school you choose there will be a what if feeling, but you will eventually have to choose one. The real truth is that no matter what school you attend whether it works out will have a lot more to do with you than the school.

Good Luck

16
Law School Applications / Re: Low GPA Questions
« on: March 31, 2014, 08:39:22 PM »
Agreed do not become a paralegal for the purpose of law school admissions. It might be a good idea to become a paralegal to see what the legal world is like or obtain a paralegal certificate to have a crash course for law school.

I actually obtained a paralegal certificate and worked as a paralegal to see if law school was right for me and I think it is a good idea to do those things, but certainly not necessary.

If your mind is set up to attend law school then do everything you can to boost your GPA and retake the LSAT.

With a 2.5 and 150 there might be a few schools you could get into, but if you really think you can improve your LSAT score go for it. However, many people do not apply themselves fully it is very difficult to do I am capable of having six pack abs, jacked arms, being in good enough condition to run marathon. However, I eat the occassional burrito, do not do 1,000 push ups  ad sit ups a day, or jog 10 miles every day. Those are things most people "could" do, but very few take the time to do.

Obtaining better grades or even really buckling for the LSAT are the same. On top of that there are just natural limitations, but if you really study and put in a good faith effort for your standards on the LSAT see what you get. It may end up being a 150, but if you can boost it up great.

Same thing with the 4.0 I hope you get it, but I think everyone wants to get a 4.0, but making it happen is the hard part.

Bottom line is you can attend law school if you boost your GPA a little and have a sufficient LSAT score. 150 is sufficient to get into a few schools, but you are unlikely to obtain any scholarship money. Additionally, if law school is really what you want you can make it happen.

Good luck to you.

17
Again, I do not think anyone on the internet should be making the decision for you. I encourage you to visit Pepperdine, LMU, and Southwestern.

What financial factors are at issue?

Also do not be afraid to negotiate for scholarship money tell Pepperdine and LMU you are considering Southwestern due to the scholarship offer and they will likely throw 5-10k your way. They may not, but you have nothing to lose by asking.

I think Pepperdine is far and away one of the most beautiful campuses in America and if I was in your shoes I would go there, but I am not you so it doesn't really matter what I think.

There is no "right' answer. Any of these schools will provide you with a solid education, but if you really want to end up in California I do not think attending school in Minnesota is a good idea. However, I am just some guy on the internet so take my advice with a  grain of salt.


18
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Cardozo vs Temple
« on: March 30, 2014, 08:42:01 PM »
You will not be shutting yourself off completely, it is certainly possible to get a job in New York from Temple, but it will be much harder to get a job in New York if your attending school in Philly. When the stress of actually finding a job choosing where to take the bar etc becomes real and it will during 3L the odds are if your at Temple you will get a job in Philly and take the PA Bar. If your in New York you will likely get a job in NY and take the NY Bar. 

As for additional money keep pushing for it. It seems like the only thing really stopping you from choosing Cardozo is the money and let them know that and even give them a financial breakdown. You already got more by asking, but keeping asking for more. Be a pest and get the best possible deal for yourself this is a 3 year $100,000 commitment and you should pull out all the stops.

Also visit both schools and really see how you feel about them. Talking to the profs, seeing the campus, etc will give you a lot of insight.

Conclusion:
With all that there is no right answer no matter what school you attend there will a "what if", but that is part of the selection process. I know making the commitment is very stressful I did it years ago and it drove me crazy, but once you finally make the choice it is relieving and realistically you can make anything happen if you put your mind to it.

Good luck.

19
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Cardozo vs Temple
« on: March 28, 2014, 08:45:35 PM »
First remember anything you read on this board or others is coming from anonymous internet posters and should be taken with a grain of salt, my post included.

With that said I think any law student should consider the following factors when choosing a law school (1) Location; (2) Cost; (3) Personal Feelings about the School; (4) Understanding the reality of legal education; (5) Last and least U.S. News Rankings.

I will apply these factors to your situation.

(1) Location: [/b
This is the most important factor by far when choosing a law school and it looks like all your applications except for South Carolina reflect a desire to live in an urban environment on the east coast, and you specifically say you want to end up in New York City.

Remember that law school does not exist in a vacuum and wherever you attend law school is where you will be spending three years of the prime of your life. Although, you will be busy particularly first year there will be time to have fun and enjoy the City you are living in.

Additionally, during your law school career you will make friends, likely enter a serious relationship, and get an apartment/house you are comfortable living in. You will also make connections near your school.

If your certain you want to be in New York then attending d law school in New York will allow you to experience the City for all three years of law school. You will make connections in N.Y. and you will prepare for the New York Bar Exam.

(2) Cost:
This is certainly something to consider and a definite plus in favor of Temple. However, one thing to be careful of with scholarships are the conditions. Typically they will require you to maintain a 3.0 GPA or rank in a certain percentage. Every law student goes in certain they will finish in the top 10% of the class and thinks there is no way they will get below a 3.0 GPA.

Law school, however is a different animal and there is a strict curve that typically allows only 35% of the class to maintain a 3.0 GPA, which means your scholarship can be gone for years two and three. This article does a better job explaining the system than I can. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all

Also do not be afraid to negotiate for more money with any of these schools. You have all the bargaining power as a 0L, but you lose it all once you enroll do not be afraid to ask for another 5-15k. Worst thing that will happen is they will say no.

(3) Personal Feelings about the school:
Each school has a culture to it and whether you like it or hate that culture is something only you can answer. I strongly encourage you to visit Cardozo, Temple, and any other school you are considering and talk to students, professors, admins, walk around the campus, walk around the neighborhood surrounding the campus and see how you feel.

There will be schools you like and schools you don't and your gut will tell you. Visit the schools and you will come away with a feeling and that feeling is something you should really listen to.

(4) Understanding Legal Education:
No matter what ABA school you attend you will learn the same thing. Your first year will consist of (1) Torts; (2) Contracts: (3) Civil Procedure: (4) Property; and LRW. In these courses you will read supreme court cases and learn bluebook citation.

Both Temple and Cardozo will provide you with a solid legal education as well any of the other schools you have applied to.

(5) U.S. News Rankings:
Remember this is a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion nothing more nothing less. It should not be the basis of a life altering decision such as where to spend three years of your life, $100,000 of your money, and develop the foundation of your legal career.

Realize U.S. News ranks more than law schools Albuquerque, New Mexico is the best place to live according to U.S. News. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/best-places-to-live . I imagine you will not be moving to New Mexico based on this ranking and use the same logic when choosing a law school.

You can certainly use it as a tie breaker, but this should be the last factor in your decision.


Conclusion:

Neither I or anyone else can possibly know what the best decision for "you" is. The reality is you will never know what the "right" decision is. When making the choice of what law school to attend there will always be a "what if" factor. Making a commitment is difficult, but that is the first step to becoming a lawyer.

It is a tough decision as location definitely favors Cardozo, but costs favors Temple. I encourage you to negotiate more scholarship money and visit the schools to see what you come away with financially and from your visits.

Good luck.





20
These are very interesting schools to be choosing if you plan to work in L.A. I think you are making the common mistake many 0L's do when choosing a law school, the same ones I did and placing emphasis on what a for-profit unregulated magazine thinks about a school and forgetting to use common sense.

Frankly if your goal is to be a solo practitioner in L.A. attending school in Minnesota does not make a lot of sense. San Diego to L.A. is doable, but if you want to be in L.A. why not attend school in L.A.

With that said I want to give you an analysis of five factors   I think any 0L should consider when choosing a law school, and I will apply them to your situation.

Factors: (1) Location; (2) Cost; (3) Personal Feelings about the school; (4) Understanding the reality of legal education; and (5) Last and least U.S. News Rankings. I will analyze these factors to your situation below

1.Location:
This is something law students really do not consider and it is by far the most important thing. Remember law school does not exist in a vacuum and you will be spending three years of the prime of your life were you attend law school. Additionally, your connections will be made in the area you attend law school and more likely than not you will end up taking the state bar in the state your school is located in.

There is also the reality that if you spend three years somewhere odds are you will end up there. If you attend Minnesota you will make friends, possibly get into a relationship, get an apartment you like, etc and the longer you stay somewhere the harder it is to leave.

In your situation Minnesota and San Diego are two extremely different places. It sounds like your ultimate goal is to end up in L.A. and you are more likely to achieve that by attending school in San Diego than Minnesota. There is probably still time to apply to a school like Southwestern in L.A, which will give you the best shot at making connections in L.A. I think Pepperdine and LMU closed their applications, but it never hurts to ask.

I do not know anything about you or your situation, but just really think of the reality of the differences between Minnesota and California that will matter, what some magazine "ranked' a school will not.

2. Cost

Scholarships are great and out of state tuition at Minnesota is 43k and California Western tuition is 42k so roughly equal. I am sure living expenses in San Diego will be much higher than Minnesota though.

With that said you need to check the scholarship conditions. I imagine the schools require you to maintain a 3.0 GPA or finish in the top 35% of the class or some stipulation at the end of your first year. I'm sure you think getting a 3.0 will be easy you were smart enough to get a scholarship at an ABA school and probably got 3.0's in undergrad without trying.

Law school however, is completely different and 100% of the students are smart, hard-working, motivated, and sincerely believe they will finish in the top 10% of the class on the first day, but obviously 90% will be wrong. To retain a 3.0 typically you need to finish in the top 35% of the class first and that means there is a 65% chance you will not retain your scholarship years 2 and 3.

Really check the conditions and if they are not favorable negotiate for better ones. This NY times article does a better job explaining the system than I can. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

3. Personal Feelings about the School:

Each law school has a culture to it and whether you like that culture or not is a question only you can answer. If your going to make a 3 year and $100,000 commitment you should visit the schools talk to professors, admins, students, walk around the campus, the library, the neighborhood and see how you feel about it. Maybe you will love Cal Western maybe you will hate it.

I know I visited many schools as a 0L some I liked others I didn't. You may like what I hated and vice versa this is your life decision and what you like is a question only you can answer.

4. The Reality of Legal Education:
It is all the same at an ABA school. Whether you attend Minnesota or Cal Western your first year will consist of Torts; Contracts; Property; Civil Procedure; and a LRW class. You will read supreme court cases and learn about blue book citation. The law is law wherever you are and at the end of three years you will sign up for BarBri or Kaplan to help you prepare for the bar exam.

Bottom line no school really does a "better" job of teaching the law. In Torts you will learn the elements of negligence (1) Duty; (2) Breach ; (3) Causation; (4) damages.  In Contracts you will learn promissory estoppel, the mailbox rule etc. The list goes on and one.

5. U.S. News Ranking:
So many students make the mistake of making life altering decisions based on this magazine, but remember it is an unregulated for-profit magazine offering an opinion nothing more nothing less. Realistically I had no idea Minnesota was ranked high and frankly I could care less as could most people. In Minnesota University of Minnesota will carry a lot of weight, but people in California will not care.

By example realize U.S. News ranks more than law schools Albuquerque, New Mexico is the #1 best place to live. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/best-places-to-live.

Are you going to move to Albuquerque because U.S. News ranked it #1? I assume it will not and use the same logic when choosing a law school. Sure it's great U.S. News ranked Albuquerque New Mexico #1 I am sure there are some real positive things about the place, but I would not make a life altering decision of where I am going to live based on the magazine.

On the same note do not make a 3 year, $100,000, and career altering commitment based on a magazine. Once you are out of the law school bubble you will realize how little it matters, but I know when you are in the bubble it seems really important.

Conclusion:
I am just an anonymous internet poster as is anyone else on this board or others. I certainly cannot tell you what the "right" answer is. Minnesota may be a great choice or Cal Western may be a great choice it is unpredictable. However, if your goal is to end up in Southern California attending law school in Southern California is the best way to end up in Southern California.

Many law students over complicate things, but do not forgot the tool of common sense it is very effective in law school and the practice of law.

Good luck on your pursuit of a legal education.



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