Law School Discussion

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Messages - Citylaw

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11
Personal Statement / Re: Need critique on personal statement please
« on: November 10, 2014, 09:55:22 PM »
I actually think it is a really good message, and overall very solid. A few things on the first read is you use some unnecessary words occasionally. i.e.

revealed that he had joined the force in an effort to be the “good cop”

get rid of had and say revealed he joined the force in an effort to be the "good cop"

The "had" doesn't add anything. I noticed throughout there are a sentences that have a an unnecessary word or two, and I think if you get rid of them it will read a little better. Overall, the message, story, and passion is really quite good, but I think with a few tweaks it can be great.

If you want to personal message me I can give you my real e-mail and do a redline of the personal statement.

Good luck on your pursuit of a legal education, you sound like the type of person the legal profession could use.

12
Law School Applications / Re: law app...help!
« on: November 04, 2014, 07:59:10 PM »
First and foremost realize that anyone on this board or others is nothing more than an anonymous internet poster and whatever you read here my post included should be taken with a major grain of salt. For all you know I am a crackhead in a public library, the Dean of Harvard Law School, or just a run of the mill lawyer.

With that disclaimer, congratulations on your GPA and LSAT score. You can get into a number of ABA schools with those scores, and I cannot tell you how many people I know that never have the courage to actually take the LSAT. Additionally, 152 is not a "bad" score you score better than 50% of college graduates, that were motivated enough to want to attend law school, and had the courage to actually take the test.

Now for the reality check. Believe it or 99% of lawyers do not go to the top 1% of schools, and in reality whether you make it or not as a lawyer has far more to do with you than the school you attend.  Looking at your choices, I think the only school on your list that you have a good chance of admission at is South Texas, which I think know for a fact is a great litigation school. I am in California, but I competed at a trial competition at South Texas while in law school, and I know they dominated a number of other competitions I was involved in.

With your numbers the other schools you listed are unlikely. However, there are a number of other schools in Texas, L.A, or Louisiana that you could have a realistic chance at.

Texas Schools:
Texas A & M.
Texas Southern
Saint Mary's

So Cal Schools:
Western State
California Western
Thomas Jefferson
Whittier
Chapman

Those are just a in those specific areas, and using the LSAC chart I plugged in your numbers and a number of ABA schools that you are competitive at came out. Here is a link https://officialguide.lsac.org/Release/UGPALSAT/UGPALSAT.aspx

How to Choose a Law School

You need to really consider the following factors when choosing a law school in this order. (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.

Here is a great article that explains why to consider these factors. http://www.legalmatch.com/choose-the-right-law-school.html

Good luck in your pursuit of a legal education.

13
Law School Applications / Re: Disciplinary action
« on: November 02, 2014, 01:36:46 AM »
As everyone else said as long as you disclose everything will be fine. If breaking into a closed pool in college, is your worst offense then you have little to worry about.

I knew people with DUI's, battery charges, etc in law school as long as you disclose and do not have a felony conviction, everything should go smoothly.

Good luck on your application process.

14
Part of being in the real world is learning to sell yourself.

Write a letter that identifies your strengths etc, when you go on interviews etc you will need to be comfortable telling people why they should hire you over the other applicants. Of if you open your firm you will need to sell yourself to potential clients.

It is not something law school teaches you, but learning how to sell yourself is very important, and writing a LOR for yourself is good training for that.

As Groundhog said use specifics what did you do that exceeded expectations. Specify how you elevated performance etc, I know it is difficult to do this the first time around, but learning how to do it is an important skill.

Good luck.


15
First and foremost realize that any anonymous internet poster on this board or others myself included knows anything about you, and for all you know I am a crackhead in a public library or I could be a partner at Cravath. So with that take any anonymous internet poster advice with a major grain of salt my post included.

With that said I think you are making one of the most common 0L mistakes, one I made myself, which is putting way to much thought into what a for profit unregulated magazine thinks. U.S. News is not regulated by anyone, and they are offering an opinion for entertainment and to make money. If you want to make a life altering decision based on that it is your choice, but I do not recommend it.   Also realize rankings change drastically year by year, because U.S. News has no real formula, just look at the two schools you are considering. 

Temple Ranking U.S. News 2009-2014
Present 61* 2013   56*   2012 58* 2011   61*   2010 72*   2009 65*    

Penn State Ranking
Present 51*   2013 64*   2012 76*   2011 60   2010 72*   2009 65*

Both schools were tied for the same rank in 65th along with a number of schools, then both fell to a tie for 72nd with a bunch of other schools. In 2011 Penn State was one rank higher, In 2012 Temple was 18 spots hight, in 2013 Temple was 8 spots higher, and now Penn State is 10 spots higher.

So to sum it up if you choose Temple based on rank over Penn State in 2011 the school that you graduated from would be significantly lower ranked even though it was 18 spots higher. So DO NOT CHOOSE a law school based on ranking.

Here is a link to show the drastic changes in law school rankings year by year. The top 10-20 schools are basically the same, but outside of that they change drastically and odds are if you choose Penn State based on rank today, Temple will be ranked higher by the time you graduate or vice versa, and it doesn't matter.

With that said I think any 0L should consider the following factors in this order when choosing a law school: (1) Location; (2) Cost; (3) Personal Feelings about school; (4) Understanding the Reality of legal education; (5) Last and certainly least U.S. News Ranking.  I will analyze each of these factors to your current decision between Penn & Temple, but I also encourage you to apply to other schools in the area to obtain scholarship offers and more leverage when negotiating with schools you really want to attend.

 (1) Location:
It looks like you want to be in Pennsylvania, which is good you narrowed it down to a state, but do you want to live in Philly or University Park. No right or wrong answer, but if you want to be in a big-city go to Temple if you want the college feel go to University Park. It will make a big difference, and whatever is more your style is the right choice there.

(2) Cost
Temple offers in-state tuition at $19,000 per year x 3= 57,000 in Tuition which is a great deal.

Penn-State does not offer in state tuition and is $40,000 per year x 3= 120,000 in tuition;

On that factor Temple certainly wins you will save $63,000 on tuition, which is something to consider.
(3) Personal Feelings About School
Aside from location and cost each school has a culture to it, and whether the school's culture fits you is something only you can determine. When I was visiting schools there were some I liked others I didn't, which is entirely subjective to my personality.

The only way to know if a school is a fit is to visit personally, talk to professors, walk around campus, walk around the surrounding neighborhood, talk to students, alumni, etc and you will feel better about one over the other, and listen to your gut it will guide you in the right direction.

(4) Reality of Legal Education:
Finally I know there are law school rankings, but the reality is at any ABA law school you will learn the same thing. You will receive a great education at Penn State or Temple or any other ABA school. In law school you read Supreme Court Cases, and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different law schools, nor does the law change whether you attend Temple or Penn State.

Your first year will consist of Torts, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Property, and a LRW class. Schools differ on whether they offer Crim Pro/Crim Law/Con Law 1L or 2L, but you will take those courses in law school as well. In Torts you will read the Palsgraff case, Civ Pro Pennoyer v. Neff, Contracts Hadley v. Baxendale, Property the fox-hound case.

Conclusion:
I cannot possibly tell you what the right answer is, but really analyze the factors above to your personal situation. Good luck whatever you decide.

16
General Off-Topic Board / Re: Good Programs for Law Grads
« on: October 26, 2014, 12:58:36 AM »
With your military and law background a good degree might be a Master's of Public Administration, which opens the door to being a City Manager or Assistant City Manager etc.


17
You can get into a number of schools with 2.something GPA and a 165 LSAT score.

With that said there is nothing wrong with a Tier 4 school, and they can open a lot of doors.

When choosing a law school it comes down to the following factors in this order (1) Location; (2) Cost; (3) Personal Feelings about school; (4) Understanding the reality of legal education; and (5) Last and Least U.S. News Rankings.
Remember U.S. News Rankings is nothing more than a for-profit unregulated magazine opinion offering an opinion, and you should not make a life altering choice of where to attend law school based on it.

Then if your ultimate goal is to attend an LLM in taxation the rank of your school does not matter at law, you just need to graduate then seek an LLM. If that is your ultimate goal attend a law school that offers a taxation in LLM. I know New York, San Francisco, and L.A. have schools that offer LLM in taxation.

With that said here is a great article to read when choosing a law school.
http://www.legalmatch.com/choose-the-right-law-school.html

18
Law School Applications / Re: Help with Diversity Statement
« on: October 20, 2014, 08:00:46 PM »
Agreed I do not think it necessarily shows diversity by the time you are a 2L you will be the same age as everyone else.

In the law certain things are considered a suspect class with more protections race, gender, etc, but age is NOT one of them.

If you have space for an addendum you can explain you got through undergrad in two years by cramming classes, etc, which might be impressive, but age is not diversity.

Good luck on the law school process, and feel free to use this board there are good posters that offer great insight on this board.

19
Studying for the LSAT / Re: I took the LSAT December 5th!
« on: October 14, 2014, 07:52:40 PM »
Awesome good work! It is a great feeling to get that license!


20
Studying for the LSAT / Re: SEPT 27 LSAT
« on: September 29, 2014, 04:06:37 PM »
Excellent to hear you took it as Woody Allan said 90% of life is just showing up and whether you get a 120 or 180 you took the LSAT. I cannot tell you how many people put it off, but you can literally start applying to law schools in three weeks, and there is no harm in signign up to take the December LSAT now.

As for the application fees one way to save a lot of money on that is attending an LSAC forum or just registering. Here is a link to the LSAC page for the forums http://www.lsac.org/jd/choosing-a-law-school/forums-and-other-events .

I registered and attended one of these and got more fee waiver's than I knew what to do with. Literally go up to every school's booth you even though of applying to write down your LSAC number and most will come back with a fee waiver, and in your application you can say you stopped by the admissions officer's booth. This can give you a slight bump on your application and at the end of the day it is a numbers game, but it never hurts to talk to school's directly and save hundreds if not thousands of dollars on applications.

Again, congrats on taking the LSAT it is a big accomplishment to put yourself out there and even if you did terribly at least you put yourself out there.

When I was going through law school, LSAT, etc this quote got me through all of it.

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. "

You put yourself out there and whether you failed or succeed on this small test, you put yourself out there, which is something very few people do, and it is why I love the quote so much.

Good luck in

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