Law School Discussion

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21
Law School Applications / Re: About to take the Next Step
« on: March 22, 2014, 05:06:21 PM »
Will first thing you need is to setup an LSAC account, but I imagine you did that if you took the LSAT.

The only documents you will actually need to apply to law school are (1) Official undergrad transcripts; (2) LSAT score; (3) Letters of Recommendation; (4) Personal Statement; (5) Some schools require additional essays. Here is the future JD students LSAC link. http://www.lsac.org/jd

For financial aid purposes fill out FAFSA for the year you will be attending and use all the schools you are applying to. http://www.fafsa-application.com/preparer.php/?s=GOOGLE&gclid=COaN4JWEp70CFcRefgodrDcAjw

One other thing that is useful for law school applicants is to attend or at the very least register for LSAC forums. This year they are going to Atlanta, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Houston, L.A, Miami, New York, D.C. and Toronto. Here is the link for the forums http://www.lsac.org/jd/choosing-a-law-school/forums-and-other-events . Even if you just register with your LSAC number for these forums you will get numerous recruitment e-mails and application fee waivers from law schools around the country. If you can atten more fee waivers will come in particularly if you just sign your LSAC number into booths. When I was a 0L I think I literally signed in at every booth from Harvard to Cooley and got 125 law school fee waivers. Still a $12 processing fee to apply, but it saved me thousands on applications.

I applied to a number of schools and was accepted at many with scholarships and used that to negotiate with a number of schools. In then end I got a 75% scholarship from the law school I attended and graduated from. There are a lot of ways to make the system work for you, but it just takes a little effort.

I still paid $50,000+ for law school and I hate paying tuition for anything, but still better than $150,000.

This board has some great posters on it so continue to post on the process and many people will be eager to help you with the process.

Good luck in your pursuit of a legal education it can be a very rewarding career.
   
 
   
   

22
Law School Applications / Re: steps
« on: March 20, 2014, 01:34:15 AM »
Take the LSAT when you have time to study summer between junior and senior year is probably best. Also remember you can take the test again and again without any real consequence. The majority of schools do not average LSAT scores anymore.

To take the LSAT you will need to create an LSAC Profile and keep that active. Try to obtain a few professors, employers, that will agree to write you letters of recommendation when the time comes. Think about some personal statement topics. Also obtain official transcripts that you can submit to LSAC.

Really all you need to apply to law school is listed below.
(1) Undergraduate degree preferably a 3.0 or above GPA.
(2) LSAT score
(3) LSAC account
(4) Official Transcripts
(5) Letters of Recommendation
(6) Personal Statement
(7) Some schools have required additional or optional essays as well.

One other helpful hint that can save you a thousand dollars or so and might give you a 1% boost on your application is attending LSAC forums. If you have an LSAC account go to every booth of a school you are even remotely interested in and you can check off the box you talked to an admissions officer and more often than not you will get a fee waiver, which saves you between $60-$100.00.

Good luck in your pursuit of a J.D.

23
Where should I go next fall? / Re: UK vs. UL vs. $NKU
« on: March 17, 2014, 01:41:39 AM »
First realize any information you receive on this board or others is coming from anonymous internet posters and should be taken with a grain of salt, my post included.

With that said I think any 0L needs to consider the following factors (1) Location; (2) Cost; (3) Personal Feelings about the school (4) Understanding the reality of legal education; and last (5) Employment stats/U.S. News Rankings.

Each factor is analyzed to your situation below.

1) Location
It sounds like you have it narrowed down to the state, which is great. Many 0L's are looking at schools all over the country, but knowing Kentucky is the place for you is a big step in the right direction.

However,  between Highland Heights, Lexington, and Louisville are different cities and no matter what school you attend you will be living in that City for three years. Additionally, if you want to work in Lexington or Louisville you will be able to intern during law school at Lousiville firms if you attend Louisville. A 70 mile drive for an internship in Lexington would be tough.

If you prefer any of the three cities attending law school there might be the best bet. Odds are you will find employment near your law school and more importantly you are going to spend three years of the prime of your life around that campus.

2) Cost

Northern Kentucky
NKU offers in state tuition 15k per year and an 8k scholarship means 7k per year.

Tuition:
In-State 15k per year - 8k scholarship=7k per year x 3 = 21,00.

Living Costs:
10K living costs on campus x 3= 30,000
16k per year off campus x 3= 48,000
Law school is three years so total

NKU Total Cost
51,000 on campus
69,000 of campus.

Kentucky
18k per year in state x 3= 54,000

Living Costs
15k per year x 3= 45,000

Kentucky
Total Cost = 89,000.

Louisville
In-State tuition 16k x 3= 48,000
Living costs 18,000 x 3 = 54,000

Louisville Total Costs:
92,000

Scholarship Conditions & Negotiation:
For NKU you need to pay attention to the scholarship conditions if any. Many schools require a 3.0 GPA, which was likely easy to get in undergrad, but most schools only allow 35% of their first year class to have a 3.0 GPA. This means there is a 65% chance you will not keep your scholarship for years 2 & 3. This N.Y. Times article explains the situation far better than I can. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Also do not be afraid to negotiate for scholarship money from Kentucky or Louisville. These schools want you to attend and they might take 5k off if you ask and say I am really considering Kentucky and vice versa.

Bottom line ask detailed questions about the scholarship at NKU and ask for more money from them and the other schools. You have all the leverage until you enroll in the school, but you are an over qualified student, which is the scholarship is being offered and don't be afraid to negotiate for more.


(3) Personal Feelings about School:

This is very important each school has a culture and feel to it. When I was a 0L I visited many schools some I hated others I loved, but those are my personal feelings. You may very well hate what I loved and vice versa. Therefore, it is very important you visit the schools talk to professors, admins, students, walk around campus and see what school gives you a good gut feeling. That feeling should be listened to it is $100,000 of your money, three years of your life, your legal career, and nobody knows better what works for you better than you.


(4) Reality of Legal Education

It is important to understand at any of these schools you will learn the same exact thing. Your first year will be Torts, Contracts, Property, and Civil Procedure. In these courses you will read Supreme Court Cases and they do not write separate opinions for different schools. At the end of the day the law is the law.


(5) U.S. News and Stats

If all else fails look at the magazine and employment stats, but remember that U.S. News is a for-profit, unregulated, magazine offering an opinion. They rank more than law schools and Albuquerque, New Mexico is the best place to live according to U.S. News. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/best-places-to-live . I imagine you are not going to move to New Mexico based on this ranking.

Use the same logic when choosing your law school. A magazine saying something doesn't make it true.

As for the employment stats no school guarantees you a job and more importantly the actual accounting of graduates is terrible. After you get through law school, pass the bar, and are working 50-70 hours a week you are not going to say oh yea I am going to call up career services, fill out a detailed form, give them all my salary information etc, because you just have free time. There is no consequence to not responding to these surveys.

An additional point regarding employment stats is that NKU has a large part time program nearly half the students are part-time. Louisville and Kentucky do not have part-time programs. The typical part-time law student already has a job, interacts rarely with the school, and often does not find a "legal related" position, because they are not looking for one.

Bottom line each student has their own hugely individual story and on top of that if you finish in the bottom 10% at NKU you will struggle if your Valedictorian you will not. Essentially, whether you succeed in the legal field will have a lot more to do with you than the school you attend.

However, you environment, personal feelings about the school, and cost are going to make differences in your life and ability to succeed. Kentucky being ranked 87th will not matter in the long run.

Conclusion:

Congrats on your law school acceptances it is great to have options. There is no, "right' answer and you need to balance all the factors of location, cost, and personal feelings about the school. Do not get to wrapped up in stats they are b.s. particularly when related to something as individualized as student success. Not every student wants the same thing. There will be those that want to help the homeless and others that want to make money at all costs. Nothing wrong either way, but you can measure those graduates the same way they are entirely different people.

Any of these schools will provide you with a great education and give you a ticket to a bar exam anywhere in the Country. Whether you pass the bar exam and succeed will be up to you.

Good luck on your decision and go visit these schools, talk to alumni, students etc. Remember anything on anonymous internet poster boards should be taken with a grain of salt. For all you know I am a crackhead in a public library or a Biglaw partner drunkenly rambling on an internet board. 

To get some real answers and insight you need to talk to real people about each school.







24
Law School Applications / Re: Credit check
« on: March 09, 2014, 11:44:33 PM »
Each state bar will have their own criteria generally called a moral character application. Here is a link to the California Bar preliminary questions http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Requirements/Forms.aspx if you declare bankruptcy it comes up, but missing a credit card payment is probably not going to prevent you from going to law school.

As for individual law schools make an LSAC account and look at the various applications. Each school has a slightly different form and one might ask about Credit, but back when I was applying to law schools I never remember it coming up.

If you have a judgment against you or bankruptcy they will ask, but like everything in the law just disclose. Having bad credit doesn't make you immoral etc, but lying about it would.

You should call the state bars and schools you are interested in directly to see what they say, but from my experience I have no recollection of any type of credit score being an issue during the law school application process or going through the California Bar background check.

25
Law School Applications / Re: Credit check
« on: March 09, 2014, 07:04:31 PM »
I don't think Credit really matters other than for purposes of getting student loan money, but most incoming law students have little or bad credit. Again, if it comes up on an application somewhere disclose your credit, but I doubt anyone would ask. The poor credit score may affect your financial aid package though.

26
Law School Applications / Re: old transcripts?
« on: March 09, 2014, 01:33:14 PM »
There is a saying in the law when in doubt disclose. They may never find the transcripts and maybe you will get away with it, but you will have to fill out a Moral Character Application to be admitted to a State Bar and a background check will be conducted. The investigator may or may not find these transcripts, but if they do you will be in some deep sh**. Once you are $100,000+ in debt and have spent three years of your life to get a law degree and our under the stress of the bar exam having whether or not background investigator will find this information will result in a lot of unnecessary stress. If it gets found out your three years and $100,000+ may go for nothing and your moral application could be denied.

Simply put disclose explain you did poorly 15 years ago in a Junior College and be on with it.

27
M / Re: Monterey College of Law
« on: March 09, 2014, 01:06:16 PM »
Excellent research by Bobol and response by CA Law Dean.

I think CA Law Dean makes an excellent point regarding stats, which I have seen in my own personal experience in law school and the bar exam. Granted 0 for 11 is not impressive, but the reality is life happens during the bar exam. I know people in my class didn't pass for reasons completely unrelated to my school. One student was diagnosed with cancer two weeks before the bar exam and the other's father died in a car crash three weeks before.

Both students ended up taking the exam, but understandably had other issues on their mind and were not successful on their first attempt. In some positive news both ended up passing the exam and the cancer is in remission both of those people are employed as lawyers now, but under the "stats" they were unsuccessful on the bar exam. What my law school could have done or what those students could have done differently in those situations is beyond me.

My understanding of Monterrey College of Law is that it is a part-time program and the majority of students are not the typical 25-26 year old recent graduate whose only responsibility is passing the bar exam. I imagine many of families, careers, etc that they must balance. This is why for the most part I am against part-time law school, because handling additional responsibilities while managing law school rarely works out, but it can for the right person.

One other factor is that whether you pass the bar exam or not has a lot to do with the individual. I knew some other students in my class that did not pass simply because they did not put in the effort or did not take the exam as seriously as it needed to be taken. A law school cannot control a law student's behavior if they want to go out and party every night neither Monterrey College of Law or Harvard Law can stop the student.

At the end of the day I understand 0 for 11 is not going to be on the Monterrey College of Law brochure ,but the graduates made a decision to attend law school. These 11 graduates choose to attend law school and if they did not understand the bar exam would be extremely difficult they did not do their research.  There are Monterrey Grads who have passed the bar it has happened and will happen again, but any law graduate whether from Harvard or Monterrey has to pass the bar exam and whether student does or not is a personal accomplishment, and has little to do with the school they attended.

I do think this was an interesting topic for discussion and I think it is great CA Law Dean is so open to discussing his school in this forum.

28
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: Reversionary interest
« on: March 05, 2014, 10:43:18 AM »
I am assuming the context is that this is a will or trust and someone has passed away.

I believe the language means that if the deceased/dead owner was leasing the property the lease is still valid, but if nobody is leasing the only way to obtain the property is buy purchasing it, but you have to prove you have the right to buy the property

If this is a real legal issue talk to an attorney in person advice from anonymous Internet posters like myself should be taken with a grain of salt. Good places to look for attorneys are your state bar association, county bar association, or sites like legalmatch.com

29
Agree 100% why not at least try and open your firm. If you continue volunteering 50 Hours a week you will never get out of the situation you are in.

Maybe volunteer one day a week, but your working more than most people who are getting paid full salaries/benefits etc are.

I truly think the reason you are struggling is that your volunteering and has nothing to do with the legal market. Maybe I am wrong, but it sounds like what you are doing is not working so change it.

There are plenty of opportunities for family law attorneys. Join your local bar association for referrals, sign up on sites like http://www.legalmatch.com/, and go to your school's career service website to learn how to open a firm.

There are also sites http://myshingle.com/resources/startalawfirm/ that can help you figure out how to start a firm. If Family Law is really what you want it lends itself easily to solo practitioners.

Again, I really wish the best for you, but if you want this situation to change you got to make it happen. Volunteering 50 hours a week is not going to lead you to what you want

Good luck.

30
If you want to actually get paid as lawyer get used to insensitive and condescinding comments. The world is tough and if your going to let a anonymous Internet poster get under your skin then you need to get tougher.

I honestly hope you succeed and one thing to do ASAP is not continue volunteering your time. If your spending 50 hours a week volunteering that means your not applying to any jobs.


I have a number of unpaid interns work for me and they do a good job, but if they are willing to work for free then my agency doesn't bother paying them.

You should leave your volunteer job on good terms and spend 50 hours a week applying to actual jobs or starting your own firm.

You were intelligent enough to graduate law school and pass the bar, which means you are certainly capable of succeding, but you have to respect your time and not volunteer 50 hours a week.

Again, I honestly hope you succeed it is tough to make it in the legal profession and you have to use your time wisely.

Good luck in your future endeavors and again the BYU intercollegiate job bank is a great place to look.

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