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Messages - Citylaw

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111
Yea I think an EJD overall is a bad I never heard of it and just looked it up. If you really want to work in the law and cannot get admitted to law school you would be much better served by obtaining a Paralegal Certificate.

I am almost always very open to anyone pursuing an education, but this EJD feels almost fraudulent. They are making it sound like a J.D, but it is not a J.D and will not entitle you to take the Bar Exam. It also does not appear that you will learn the skills of becoming a paralegal either.

If you want to go to law school attend a school that will allow you to take at least one state's bar exam.

Again, I encourage you to retake the LSAT or pursue a paralegal certificate. Good luck.

112
General Board / Re: Where should I go in FL?
« on: April 14, 2014, 07:45:57 PM »
Awesome congrats on your decision hopefully the ASD at Florida gives you a good feeling and you can be on with your legal education. It is a very liberating moment when you make the final decision, but it is a very hard choice to make. I am sure everything will work out and I wish you the best of luck as your pursue a legal education.

Feel free to post on this board with questions as you begin law school there are a few very helpful posters on this site.

113
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Considering Law School
« on: April 11, 2014, 10:09:28 PM »
I do not think anyone should attend law school if they do not intend to practice law. You can get into politics, lobbying, etc without a law degree and spending three years of the prime of your career development obtaining a degree in something your not interested in doing seems like a waste of time.

It is true a law degree will not hurt you, but neither would attending medical school,  having six pack abs, or volunteering 30 hours a week at the soup kitchen. You can do all kinds of things with your time, but it is not unlimited and three intense years spent learning something you are not interested in does not seem like the best use of your time.

That is my two cents, but I am an anonymous internet poster so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.

114
Where should I go next fall? / Re: FIU VS FSU LAW
« on: April 11, 2014, 02:09:07 AM »
Functional it is good you are working in a firm.

I really think you should go into courtrooms and see how it works in practice. The name of a law school will not come up once, and I strongly encourage any incoming law student to attend court hearings.

Also watch lawyer walks into a bar http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0914850/ it profiles several graduates as they study for the bar. You can see the various personalities and you look up where each of them ended up. Some succeeded others did not and I am sure while watching the movie you will like some of the individuals and dislike others, and you will not care what school they attended.  t From my observation that is how it works in the real world at the end of the day you get along with certain people or you don't. 



From your posts it really seems like your leaning towards FSU and your gut is telling you that is the school, which is great. I really encourage you to listen to your and not cloud your head with stats, whether employers will think you are loyal by staying at one institution, etc, etc. You can get yourself way off course by over thinking and one of the main things to remember when you start law school is not to over think. Keep things simple it is much easier said than done, but it is how you succeed.

Again, take any advice here with a grain of salt, but it really seems like FSU is what you want so why fight it?

Remember however, that neither FSU, FIU or any law school guarantees you a job and it is up to you whether you succeed.  Go visit the FSU law school campus right now and talk to 3L's I am sure a month before graduation most of them have nothing lined up and are freaking out this is the way law school has worked for years, but in a year from now most of them will have passed their respective state bars and starting their careers, but it takes time.

In the end I  I am sure you will do fine at any school, but it seems like FSU is your choice.  I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit of a J.D.


115
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.

116
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.


 


117
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.


118
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.

119
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

120
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.

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