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Law School Applications / Re: a bit of variance; seeking guidance
« on: March 26, 2015, 07:02:05 PM »
179 is awesome good job!

With that you will have a lot of opportunities possibly at some T14's as well as scholarship options at mid to even low ranked schools.

What you should really ask yourself is where you want to live and apply to every school in that area. Then try applying to Harvard, Yale, Stanford etc if they accept they can be something to consider.

One thing to do to save on law school application costs is attend an LSAC forum. this is the list of where they are held. Before the event many schools will offer you fee waivers if you just stop by their booth and you can just write your number down at each booth as well. I did this at one forum and got something like 40+ fee waivers and applied to most of them, which then gave me scholarship options etc.

Basically you have a lot of doors and this is a good article offering some preliminary guidance on how to choose a law school.

Good posts and this is why location is and personal feelings about the school are so much more important than rankings etc. Where you live and the people you are around make the experience.

As to your question of course your school is going to say it needs to be a serious hardship. You are a paying student and they don't want to let you go easily, but if you really want to leave you can apply to be a visiting student and you will be much better off reaching out to the schools you are interested in visiting as they will be interested in you paying them and have an incentive to make it happen. Your current school does not. So hypothetically if you want move to New York reach out to schools in New York I included Cardozo's link . It looks like you can transfer up to 42 units and maybe you would lose credits or something, but ask around to the schools you are interested in and there might be a way.

However, you might also just want to finish out 3L one year in the grand scheme of things is not that big of a deal, but I think your post shows why location/personal feelings about a school mean so much more than anything else.

Good luck.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Need help making a decision
« on: March 26, 2015, 02:50:42 PM »
Good advice all around and I think you are making one of the most common 0L mistakes one I myself made and thinking to much about rankings.  You are looking at schools all over the place  L.A, Washington, Texas, St. Louis, Colorado etc.

If you attend Houston I am assuming you are from Texas and your goal is to be in Texas, but that is just an assumption. However, one of the most important things to consider when choosing a law school is it's location. L.A. and Boulder Colorado are very different places and the reality is wherever you attend law school is likely where you will end up living. Colorado will not open many doors in Texas and Houston will not open many doors in Colorado.

One school I was always impressed with in Mock Trial Competitions was South Texas Law School in Houston. If you want to be a litigator it really is a good school and you probably get substantial scholarship money there. That is something to consider, but as everyone says don't plan on transferring and choose a school in the area you want to live in. If you want to live in Texas after graduation there are about 10 schools there and go to school in Texas.

This is a pretty good article explaining how to choose a law school.

Solid posts above, but my overall advice is for each individual person to take their own feelings into account. All four people that have chimed in on this thread attended law school and are working as lawyers, and none of us are in complete agreement. In all likelihood the four of us have very little common with the OP.

For all I know OP is a Transvestite and a Transvestite student might have a harder time fitting in at Harvard or Yale than a school in San Francisco.  Although, BYU is a great school I would not recommend Provo, Utah. There can be a lot more to choosing a school than prestige. For the typical white male/female straight out of undergrad sure Harvard, Yale, Stanford if those doors are open go for it.

Another example would be if we are talking about a 44 year old non-traditional student with a family. That person should not attend Harvard, Yale, or Stanford.  First making your family move to attend law school is probably not a good idea. Even if there is no family consideration very few big law firms are hiring 47 year old associates and that student would be better off going to a regional school getting out with as little debt as possible and opening their own firm.

Again, location does matter as well. I am a City Attorney and we have had Harvard, Yale, graduates apply for positions with us, but we are in California and government agencies don't have budgets to fly people across the country for interviews nor are we going to offer someone a job that doesn't live locally.  In politics, which attorney work many cities want people from the area not some person out of nowhere.

Would I as a typical white male with few family connections chosen  Harvard, Yale, Stanford over any other school? Yes I would have, but there are plenty of people with different goals, expectations and wants. Of course use common sense, but each persons law school experience is highly personal and I strongly believe whether someone succeeds as a lawyer has a lot more to do with them than the school they attended. However, there are plenty of lawyers out there that believe credentials are the most important.

To the original question it looks like OP wants to be in Pennsylvania, and I strongly believe any of these schools will give you the opportunity to succeed. If you are not that entrepreneurial and want the clerkship/big law route then Penn will open the most doors for jobs.

If you are more of a hustler and really just want to start your own firm then getting out with as little debt as possible is a good option.

Also, if possible try to negotiate a scholarship with Penn tell them you are very impressed, but X school is offering you a full ride they might throw $5,000-$10,000 a year your way. Worst thing they say is  no and your in the same position your in now.

Good luck. 

Feel to disagree with me.

All I can say to the OP is remember this will be one of the biggest life choices you ever make. You can listen to internet posters or go out and talk directly to real people.  There is no bad advice on this thread, but talk to people in person and you can judge their credibility first hand.

This is a very big decision and there is no absolute. There are scenarios where Cooley is better than Harvard. This is few and far between and 99% of the time not the case and if you want to go the Clerk-Big Law etc path it is 100% not true. However, not everyone wants the Big-Law clerkship path and if you want to work for a solo attorney in Lansing Michigan they will be more likely to hire someone from Lansing law school than flying a Harvard Grad out.

If you want the traditional law school path then Penn will open the most doors, but I do not know you or anything about you. If your goal is to open your own firm right out of law school get out with as little debt as possible. Frankly the possibilities are endless and having never met you or knowing the first thing about OP I will not tell him/her that X school is the absolute right choice. Use the factors I mentioned as well as the other posts on this board as preliminary info, but the best information comes from people you can talk with face to face.  You cannot do with that with myself, Miami88, or Loki13. For all you know we are all using the same screen name and hired by Law School Discussion to disagree to generate content. That is not the case, but maybe it is there is nothing wrong with saying anything you want on this board or others.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Need help making a decision
« on: March 24, 2015, 07:55:33 PM »
You should not be that concerned with rank. Remember U.S. News is a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion and should not be the basis of a life altering decision.

If you want to work in Texas University of Texas is a far better choice than University of Washington. If you want to be in Washington attend law school in Washington.

Also, do not go to a law school expecting to transfer.  Transferring is very difficult to do and even if you end up finishing in the top 20% of your class, which there is an 80% chance you will not. The friendships and connections you make during 1L are very important and many people do not handle transferring well.

Plenty of people do rely on U.S. News, but I am not one of them. Of course a Harvard degree can open doors, but not everybody wants that many choices. If someone wants to be a public defender in Lansing, Michigan then Cooley is a better choice than Harvard.

Of course you cannot know how it will go based on a visit or any amount of research. It will either work out or not and if we any of us could know how things would turn out these decisions would be pretty easy. I think the best people to talk to our alumni from schools in your area, but certainly visits are helpful.

To the OP neither I, Loki13, or any other poster really knows what is best for you. For all you know I could be a tweaker in a public library or the Dean of Harvard Law School. These boards and items such as U.S. News can be used as tools to assist in your decision, but don't make a life altering decision based on an anonymous internet posters opinion.

In my experience the name of a law school does not matter that much.  There are thousands of successful lawyers from every school and maybe in three ways the firm you really want to work at will love Penn Grads or maybe they will hate them. It is frankly a crapshoot and my anonymous internet poster opinion is that whether you succeed or not will have far more to do with you as an individual than the name of the school on your diploma. However, no matter school you attend the debt will be real and my two cents is try and avoid it, but there are plenty of reasonable people that will disagree with that advice.

However, remember this is your three year, $100,000+, life altering commitment and nobody knows what is best for you better than yourself.

First and foremost realize that anything you read on this board or others mine included comes from anonymous internet posters and should be taken with a grain of salt. There are some valid posts above, but the law school you choose is a highly personal decision and the reality is any ABA school will provide you with a quality legal education and the opportunity to obtain a license to practice law.  If you pass the bar and become a licensed lawyer whether you succeed or not will have a lot more to do with you than the school you attended.

With that intro I think any incoming law student should consider the following five 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 ranking.  Here is a good article summarizing these factors and I rambled on about them below as well.

It looks like you want to be in Pennsylvania so you are looking at the right schools, but I am unfamiliar with Pennsylvania and don't know if these schools are in vastly different areas. The neighborhood your school is in will be where you spend three years of your life so it is something to consider.

Getting out of law school debt free would be awesome. However, has another poster suggested be careful of the conditions it sounds like it is only a 2.0 at most schools, which is fair, but don't assume the law school will do you any favors be very certain you understand the conditions. This New York Times Article explains how law school scholarships work better than I can.

However, getting out of law school with little or no debt will give you more freedom down the road, which is something to consider.

Personal Feelings about School:
Each school has a culture to it and whether you like that culture is a question only you can answer.

UPenn is an Ivy League School, which is great, but maybe your not an Ivy League type person. One of my friends went to Harvard Law School, but hated every minute of it. He is from the inner city and not exactly a preppy person and would have been happier going to  a school that had more scrappy people in it. He got a Biglaw job offer, but hated that environment and then started his own firm and is a solo practitioner hustling, but he loves it. He could have had full scholarships to numerous other schools, but now the Harvard debt is impacting him. The point is he was not a fit at Harvard, but there are certainly plenty of people that are.

So the point of that story is really look at yourself and what you like and don't like. No magazine, internet poster, etc can possibly know what fits you best. I encourage you to visit each school, talk to students, alumni, professors, walk around the neighborhood and determine, which school feels right. UPenn might be the perfect fit, but it might be a terrible fit as well, but this is a question only you can answer and the only way to answer this question is by visiting the schools and talking to people in person.

4) Reality of Legal Education
Any of these schools will provide you with a great education. At any ABA school you learn the same thing. Your first year courses will consist of  Torts; Contracts; Civil Procedure; Property; Legal Writing & Research; and then Crim Law/Con Law/ or Crim Pro these switch between schools for 1L and 2L, but you will take all of those courses. In those courses you will read Supreme Court cases and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different law schools nor does the law change if you attend a different law school. 

In Torts you will read Palsgraff to learn about proximate cause; Pennoyer v. Neff in Civ Pro to learn about notice; Hadley v. Baxendale in contracts to learn about remedies. So on and so on.

After three years at any of these schools you will then need to take the bar exam. You will sign up for either BarBri or Kaplan and then be completely stressed out for 3 months then pack yourself in a room of thousands of people where students from all of these schools will be taking the bar exam. If you pass the bar your a licensed lawyer if you don't your not. None of these schools guarantee you will pass and whether you pass the bar or not will have a lot more to do with you than the school you attend.

5) U.S. News Ranking:
Remember that U.S. News is nothing more than a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion. U.S. News is doing nothing wrong by offering it's opinion, but there is no science behind it. U.S. News ranks everything from hospitals to best places to live and Alberqueue, New Mexico is the #1 place to live according to U.S. News

I imagine you are not going to apply to New Mexico law school, because U.S. News said New Mexico is the best place to live. Use the same logic when choosing a law school, you can certainly consider it, but a magazines opinion should not be the basis of one of the biggest decisions of your life.

I know nothing about you or your situation and certainly do not know what is best for you. The only person that can really answer the question is yourself, but use the factors above to assist in your decision. I also guarantee you now matter what you choose you will wonder "what if". I was accepted to numerous schools and even paid deposits at three. Part of me always wonders what if I had chosen school X over school Y, but you can only choose one and make the best of your decision.

Good luck and congratulations on all your acceptances.

Widener U School of Law / Re: Widener TAP Program
« on: March 04, 2015, 12:01:44 PM »
They might, but you might want to consider retaking.  A 139 LSAT is suggestive of poor standardized test taking skills and law school as well as the bar exam are standardized tests.

It is good that you took the LSAT and you should be proud of yourself for following through, but you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by retaking. Good luck.

Agree with a lot of the posts above. The reality is you should go to law school only if you want to be a lawyer, to get anything you have to be all-in.  An interest in law, but a less than complete commitment will not lead to good things. I am sure in your business practice you don't have half ass things as nothing good results.

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