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Messages - Citylaw

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Personal Statement / Re: Need advice on Personal Statement Conclusion
« on: December 08, 2014, 10:52:09 AM »
If you have time and money to spend on a personal statement advisor go for it. Also hire a personal trainer, nutritionist, personal stylist, so on and so on.

I am sure you could hire some former admission officer from Ex-School to assist you with your personal statement, but at some point why not just give a generous donation to the school. I have friends that have done that to gain admission to top schools.

Personal Statement / Re: Need advice on Personal Statement Conclusion
« on: December 05, 2014, 04:04:03 PM »
At the end of the day everyone more or less agrees.

If your numbers are in the median to low end of a school you really want to get into spend a lot of time on the personal statement it will be reviewed. However, if you are applying to Whittier for example and have a 3.4 160, write a solid personal statement. Even those numbers if you write something like IMD says i.e. I wunt law school to be Prez one day and make some straight cash, then you might end up rejected event though your numbers were well above the median.

However, a cookie cutter personal statement with a 3.4 160 will get you into the schools your numbers are close to. I think a lot more time is spent on it than necessary, I look back at mine and I must have spent weeks maybe months on my personal statement. I got into all the schools I expected to, scholarships from safety schools, and rejected from my reach schools. Exactly as the numbers predicted.

After passing the bar I reread my personal statement for sh**ts and giggles, and it was fine. It talked about wanting to help people, my experience as a paralegal, etc probably the same exact story all my classmates wrote.

Basically I spent way to much time on it and actually applied to less schools, because I focused on drafting a "perfect" personal statement for each school. I would have been better off spending time applying to some additional schools for more options instead of drafting a perfectly competent and normal personal statement, which I kept trying to make perfect.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Should I Cancel My LSAT Score?
« on: December 05, 2014, 11:40:14 AM »
Exactly advice from IMD.

No need to cancel if you haven't taken it, and as IMD said most if not all schools take your highest score now.  To sum it up you are never going to be 100% ready, you will always feel like you could do more, but at some point you just have to take it. It sounds like you have put in a lot of work, and you should take the test.

I do not know how many people I know that have put off the LSAT/MCAT for years hoping to feel a bit more prepared, but instead they waste years of their life and sometimes never end up attending at all. The LSAT is step one in the process and after your first day of law school whatever you got on the LSAT will be an afterthought.

Take the test get a score. You can retake if your unsatisfied, but you one thing is for sure you cannot attend law school without an LSAT score, which you do not have yet.

Good luck.

Personal Statement / Re: Need advice on Personal Statement Conclusion
« on: December 03, 2014, 07:50:08 PM »
I agree with everything you said, but I think what often gets lost in these discussions, law school books, etc is that the majority of OL's are not trying to get into Stanford, Harvard, Yale etc. I would estimate that more than 75% of law school applicants nationwide are realistic enough to know that they are not getting into an Ivy League school. However, these OL's who have no intention of going to an Ivy League school read these books and think they need to write a personal statement that meets Ivy League standards for admission to Washburn Law School, which is not true. A well over 100 ABA schools schools the admissions committee will look at the GPA/LSAT and read the personal statement to see if the individual can write competently. They will not need to be moved to tears by the personal statement, and it just needs to get done.

So again, I agree with everything you said, but I think there is bigger disconnect as the individuals writing about law school admission typically went to T14 schools and couldn't imagine not wanting to be partner at Cravath or sitting on the Supreme Court, but the majority of law students just want a J.D., bar admission, and a job that offers some personal satisfaction.

I have now taken the topic almost completely off point, but I do think the fact that many people writing about law schools etc impose their views and ambitions on those that don't care as much creates confusion. 

The personal statement is important, and is the third most important beyond GPA/LSAT. If you are trying to get into Harvard Law School and that is your goal then hire someone to review your personal statement and spend days reviewing it, because the margin for admission there is that thin.

However, if your goal is to get a J.D., admitted to a state bar, and practice law spend 10-20 hours on a personal statement have a friend or two review it for grammar, and apply. I cannot tell you how many people I see never end up pursuing their fairly achievable goals, because they think everything needs to be perfect.

Personal Statement / Re: Need advice on Personal Statement Conclusion
« on: December 03, 2014, 04:26:54 PM »
It made sense it is meaningless, but not that high of a priority. At the end of the day GPA/LSAT make up 90-95% of your LSAT, and again unless you have a great story to tell worrying about a perfect personal statement is not that important, and most people do not have that exciting of a story to tell.

Law School Applications / Re: Do I Have a Chance?
« on: December 03, 2014, 11:06:23 AM »
To some people yes. To others only an Ivy league school will do.

It is entirely up to the goals of the individual.  For example if OP wants to be a Public Defender in Whittier there is no better law school to attend than Whittier, and plenty of people want nothing more than to join a Public Defender's Office, and schools like Whittier, La Verne, California Western, etc can accomplish that goal, and therefore it is "good" for that student.

If the student wants to become a big law partner then Whittier, La Verne, California Western etc are "not good". However, many people have no desire to become a big-law partner.

For all intents and purposes you will learn the exact same thing at any ABA school, as all ABA schools have to follow ABA guidelines. Certain schools have far more prestige as far as employment prospects go, but as you know the majority of law consists of reading Supreme Court cases, and the Supreme Court does not write one opinion for Whittier students and another for Yale students.

To sum it up I do think any ABA school is "good", but you have to go whatever law school you attend with the appropriate expectations.

Personal Statement / Re: Need advice on Personal Statement Conclusion
« on: December 03, 2014, 10:52:49 AM »
I think they matter as well, and as to the earlier comment agreed the conclusion I wrote will not win any awards, but I think it works. I think many applicants struggle for months on their personal statement, and that at the end of the day I think that is way to much time, because your numbers will make or break you, and you either have a truly inspirational story or you don't.

No matter how well you write about interning at X law office, or your desire to help people, etc admissions officers will likely roll their eyes, but at least you submitted a competent statement.  If you rescued orphans as a Navy Seal in Iraq spend time telling that story as well as possible, but 95% of law school applicants do not have a page-turning story to tell.

Law School Applications / Re: Do I Have a Chance?
« on: December 02, 2014, 08:01:41 PM »
The question becomes what is a good school.

It is untrue that anyone can get into Whittier Law School and they rejected 598 out of 1874 applicants that were college graduates that were motivated enough to actually take the LSAT. (Documentation here)

As to the attrition rate again this is always misunderstood at every school.

The attrition rate is 23% not 52%.

There were a total of 56 students listed in attrition 36 of those 56 were due to transfers, and another 8 were for other reasons often people that decide the law is not for them after one year. Therefore only 12 people actually "failed out".  Here is the actual data

I don't like to see anybody knock an ABA school by listing inaccurate facts. My favorite judge to appear in front of went to Whittier and if you ever appear in his court tell him his school doesn't matter.

Again, the question turns to what is a "good school" and the answer is unique to each individual. I have never met the OP nor do I know OP's goals. There are 200 ABA law schools out there and if you gain acceptance to any of them it is an accomplishment, and any of them will provide you with the skills necessary to obtain a license to practice law.   

OP's first step before deciding what is or is not a good school for their purposes is to take the LSAT and see what options they have.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Took 1st Practice LSAT Today
« on: December 02, 2014, 10:55:46 AM »
A 135 for diagnostic is not that bad, and I guarantee your score will rise.

However, like many 0L's you are not likely to score in the top 90% of test takers and obtain a high 160 low 170 on the LSAT. This is an important thing to realize many undergraduate students that want to attend law school have a hard time accepting it. You are a college graduate and doing well enough in college, but law school takes the all-stars of undergrad and puts them all together, and I root for you, but the odds of you scoring in the top 10% of LSAT takers is 10%.

Again, if and when you attend law school on the first day of class 100% of students are certain they are going to work hard and finish in the top 10% of the class, but again there is only a 10% chance of that happening and 90% of students will not be in the top 10% of the class.

Does any of it really matter at the end of the day?  Not really, once you graduate from law school and pass the bar your a lawyer, and whether you succeed or not is an attorney is up to you and if you got a 180 or 140 on your LSAT will be irrelevant.

Good luck in your pursuit of a legal education.

Law School Applications / Re: Do I Have a Chance?
« on: December 02, 2014, 10:47:45 AM »
Getting a 170 is unlikely, but I hope you get it. There is nothing wrong with Whittier if you have realistic expectations, and it might even be a better choice than "higher ranked" school if you obtain a scholarship and your goal is to be a D.A., City Attorney, etc. If your goal is to be a partner at Cravath then Whittier will not open that door.

That I guess leads to a bigger question regarding what you want out of law school. If you just want to make a lot money, which many people do then law school may not be the best option. If your goal is to be a lawyer, because you like the pressure of court, resolving conflicts, etc then it might be the right choice.

Regardless of the goal the first step is to take the LSAT whether you attend law school or not depends entirely on that. If you hate the LSAT process then you will probably hate law school, but if you like the LSAT process you will probably like law school.

Good luck.

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