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Messages - Citylaw

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M / Re: Monterey College of Law
« on: May 29, 2014, 01:07:44 AM »
Great work happy to hear your students are succeeding and entering the legal profession as licensed attorneys.

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Did you apply to ABA and CBE?
« on: May 29, 2014, 01:01:44 AM »
That is an interesting question I honestly never considered CBE schools when I was applying, but I was an idiot as a 0L and thought rankings etc mattered.

Knowing what I know now I might have considered a CBE school and gotten out with much less debt to end up in the same spot a licensed lawyer in California.

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: July 2013 Bar Exam Results
« on: May 29, 2014, 12:59:50 AM »
I think there is no question that an ABA grad is more likely to pass the bar exam than a CBA grad and someone who obtained a 180 LSAT score is more likely to pass the bar than someone who scored 150. It is entirely possible however, for both to pass, both to fail, or the 180 LSAT Harvard grad to not pass and the 150 LSAT CBA grad to pass.

At the end of the day whether you succeed or not in anything is up to the individual, but some people have an easier road to success than others. If you have the raw intelligence to score a 180 on the LSAT the road will be easier for you than someone who despite their best efforts achieved a 145 LSAT score.

Law School Applications / Re: Just Getting Started
« on: May 29, 2014, 12:55:33 AM »
I would recommend to not get ahead of yourself and instead focus on one thing at a time. The only thing to focus on at this point is your LSAT score. If you score a 180 your getting into a number of law schools if you score 140 your not getting into an ABA school.  If your somewhere in the middle, which is what will likely occur start worrying about the other factors, but you could have a 4.0, the greatest personal statement in the world, etc if you do not have an LSAT score your not getting into law school.

Many potential students in your position myself included put time and energy into irrelevant things and focusing on the other questions prior to taking the LSAT is irrelevant.

As for actual study tips again keep it simple and take as many practice LSAT scores under timed conditions as possible. The first few times your performance will not be great, but like anything else the more you practice the more you will improve.

I see many posters and potential incoming students ask the same question, but remember to not over complicate matters. Keeping things simple is very difficult, but it is how you succeed in the legal profession.

I think this quote sums it up. “Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.”

Good luck in your pursuit of a legal education.


If you have a 3.1 GPA and get a decent LSAT score you can into a law school. Disclose your academic probation because if it is discovered and you didn't disclose then you have  a problem, but plenty of incoming law students have a lot worse things on their record than one bad semester in college.

With a 3.1 GPA you will likely not get into Harvard even with a perfect LSAT score, but if you finish with a 3.1 and 155+ LSAT score you will have a number of law school options.

As Maintain suggests worry about studying for the LSAT your GPA is the past and not a whole lot you can do about it now other than finish strong. The LSAT however, is completely in your control and it is the key to law school admission.

Good luck.

I don't know if the first year bar exam should be avoided like the plague in reality I think all law students should have to take it. If you cannot handle the baby bar the real thing will be impossible and better to know early on that your not ready for the bar exam than waiting until you are 3 years and $100,000 in, but just my two cents.

As to the OP there is no right answer to any of it Appalachian PASO program might be a great fit, a CBA school might work, perhaps provisionally accredited ABA schools like La Verne or Western State might be better fits.

At the end of the day success can be achieved from any school, but CBA schools do have their limitations.

Good luck whatever you decide.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Mercer vs FAMU
« on: May 21, 2014, 11:17:58 AM »
There is no right answer to this question and realize anyone posting on this board or others is nothing more than an anonymous internet poster so take any advice you receive on this site or others with a grain of salt.

With that said I believe any incoming law student should consider the following factors 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. Below is an analysis of each factor to your situation, but I know nothing about you or your situation so I would encourage you to apply your own facts and an article explaining how to choose a law school .

1) Location:
Macon Georgia and Orlando Florida are different places Orlando is a fairly large City with an NBA Team, Disneyworld etc, with beach access.

Macon Georgia is a smaller town without as many options, but many people prefer small towns what you prefer is your choice.

Also they are located in different states and odds are if you attend Mercer you will end up taking the Georgia Bar if you go to FAMU you will probably take the Florida Bar. There are exceptions and some people do end up taking two bars, but the majority of law students end up taking the bar in the state they attend law school.

You will also likely end up in Georgia or FAMU based on connections Macon and Orlando are five hours apart. Therefore, during your law school career you will hold internships in Macon or in the surrounding areas if you attend Mercer or in Orlando if you attend FAMU it is just geography.

2) Cost

You have smartly looked at the numbers basically this is how it play out financially with an additional caveat to add at the end.

FAMU 12,000 per year - $12,000 in scholarship=  0 Tuition
Mercer 36,000 per year - 10,000 scholarship= 26,000 tuition x 3=  78,000

You also have to ask what are the requirements to maintain your scholarship at each school. Many schools require you to maintain a 3.0 GPA, which like any incoming law student 100% believe you will achieve. Law school however, is unlike other forms of education due to the strict curve and typically only 35% of the first year class, which means there is only a 35% chance an incoming law student will keep their scholarship. Everyone in law school is smart, hard working, and motivated and the difference between being in the top 25% or top 45% can be a few multiple choice questions or missing one issue on the Torts exam.

Point being read the conditions on the scholarships for both schools and asked detailed questions about them. This NY times article does a far better job explaining the system than I can.

Also do not be afraid to negotiate for better terms both of these schools are impressed with you enough to accept you into their institution and offer you money. Ask FAMU for living expenses costs and ask Mercer for more money play them against each other as a 0L you have all the bargaining power, but once you enroll it is gone.

(3) Personal Feelings about each school:

Each school has it's own culture to it and whether you like it or not a particular school is a question only you can answer. Some magazine, anonymous internet poster, or guidebook cannot tell you where you are comfortable. When I was a 0L I visited many schools and some I liked others I didn't, but you might like the ones I hated and hate the ones I liked.

I strongly encourage you to visit both schools talk to professors, students, walk into the library, walk around the campus, and the surrounding neighborhood and see how each one makes you feel. One will make you feel more comfortable than the other and listen to that gut feeling it is usually a lot smarter than your brain.

(4) Reality of Legal Education:
Whether you attend FAMU, Mercer, or any ABA law school you will receive a quality education since for all intents and purposes the ABA imposes the same requirements on each school. Your first year will consist of Torts, Property, Civil Procedure, Contracts, and then schools vary on whether you take the following courses 1L or 2L Crim Law, Criminal Procedure, and Con Law.

In these courses you will read Supreme Court cases and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different schools and the law does not change if you attend Mercer or FAMU. In Civil Procedure to learn notice you will read Pennoyer v. Neff; Palsgraf in Torts to learn proximate cause etc.

5) Last and least U.S. News Rankings:
Most incoming law students and those in the law school bubble take this very seriously, but once your out of the bubble you realize this is nothing more than a for-profit, unregulated magazine offering an opinion. U.S. News ranks everything from best places to live to best hospitals, but there is no strong basis for any of the rankings it is just their opinion, which they are entitled to have.

As an example New Mexico is the #1 best place to live according to U.S. News. Are you going to make the life altering decision to move to New Mexico because U.S. News said so? Probably not, but it might peak your interest in the City a little more, but not enough to make the life altering decision of where you are going to live.

Use the same logic when choosing a law school I do not believe either school is in the top 100, but I heard U.S. News started going up to 150 now who knows the scoring and format of the rankings is changed every year, but I guess Mercer is higher than FAMU, but I honestly don't know and most people won't. If this was Harvard or FAMU people would know, but neither of these schools are elite institutions and I wouldn't pay $78,000 more to attend one school over the other based on what a magazine thinks.

There is no right answer and I strongly encourage you to visit both schools, consider where you want to live and ask what the scholarship conditions are and negotiate for more money and better terms.

Once all that is done the decision will likely be clearer, but no matter what choice you make there will always be a question of what if I did X, but that is just part of life and one of the most important skills to have in the legal profession is making a final decision and sticking to it. As simple as it sounds it is very difficult to apply as you are learning in this process.

Finally any educational experience for all intents and purposes is what you make of it and you can have a great or terrible career coming from either of these schools and whether it is a great or terrible career will have a lot more to do with you than the name of the school on your diploma.

Good luck.

The list of ABA grads that have not achieved that much success is even longer.

My point is simply that people can and do succeed from any school. Additionally people can and do fail from any school.  Finally, plenty of people can do achieve below average, average, or above average results from any school.

Does an ABA school open more doors than a CBA school? Yes.

Do Harvard, Yale and Stanford  open more doors than a mid level ABA school? Yes.

Does a mid level ABA school open more doors than a low level ABA school? Yes

Do any of these schools guarantee you will graduate? No

Do any of these schools guarantee you will pass the bar? No

Do any of these schools guarantee you a job? No.

Do any of these schools guarantee you will not be disbarred? No

You can succeed or fail from any school whether it be Harvard or a CBA school.

I would bet substantial sums of money that any Harvard grad would have more professional success than a , CBA, but the Mayor of LA is more successful than many Harvard grads do in that instance I would have lost.

Agreed and there are plenty of more powerful and successful people that attended non-ABA schools than myself.

Mayor of L.A (Peoples College of Law)

Head San Francisco District Attorney (Western State)

Head Fresno District Attorney ( San Joaquin College of Law)

I graduated from an ABA school and I will likely never hold any of those positions nor will any of my ABA classmates.

Does that mean if you attend a CBA school your destined for success absolutely not and clearly attending a CBA school will make success more difficult, but not impossible. It is also easier to succeed from Harvard than the majority of ABA schools, but most people do not attend Harvard or bust.

If you go into a CBA school with realistic expectations it can work out, but you better not expect a damn thing to be handed to you and that is the really case for any law school or any profession. The school you attend impacts your career, but you can succeed or fail no matter what institution you attend.

If you are applying to law school and it is technically in the system just disclose it seems pretty harmless to me. Actually better advice is when you are applying to law schools call the admissions office and tell them the situation and specifically ask whether that needs to be disclosed or not.

It truly sounds like it is not a big deal, but I know most people in undergrad thinking about law school think every little thing matters, but just ask some questions and tell them that story and they will either say write a little report or it is not necessary to disclose.

It is far from something that is going to make or break your legal career and sounds pretty innocous, but the basic rule in the law is when in doubt disclose. That seems to be what you are doing and everyone seems to not want to even bother with it, which is what happens when you disclose these minor infractions.

As an anonymous internet poster with no authority to determine anything I think your in the clear, but when the time comes to apply to law schools ask the admissions officers and I imagine they will tell you the same thing, but you never know.

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