Law School Discussion

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Messages - Citylaw

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21
Job Search / Re: For all those who cry about our jobs stats......
« on: August 13, 2014, 11:08:32 AM »
Agreed.

There are thousands of attorney jobs or other employment opportunities. If you are fortunate enough to graduate from an ABA accredited law school you have had more opportunity than 99% of the world, and if your complaining that it is still not fair then the issues you are facing are self-created.


22
Law School Applications / Re: Baylor Law Prospective Student!
« on: August 11, 2014, 07:51:28 PM »
161 LSAT and 3.99 GPA are solid.

Remember 161 LSAT puts you in the top 20% of LSAT Test takers, which is not a stupid group. Anyone taking the LSAT is a college graduate that is motivated enough to attend law school and has the fortitude to actually take the test.

As you go down the law school path realize there is a 90% chance you will not be in the top 10% of your class and a 99% chance you will not be in the top 1%. Everyone in law school is smart, hard-working, motivated, with solid backgrounds similar to yours. Everyone on the first day really believes they will be number one just as everyone thinks they can do better on the LSAT. However, if everyone could score 175-180 on the LSAT getting into Harvard would not be much of an accomplishment.

Again, you have some impressive credentials and there is a strong likelihood you  can get into Baylor. If your goal is to go into JAG you can certainly accomplish that from any school with your prior military experience and a J.D.

Good luck as you pursue a legal education.

23
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Thoughts on Touro Law School?
« on: August 11, 2014, 01:49:58 PM »
Any ABA school will provide you with a quality education and if you want to work in Long Island attend law school in Long Island.

With that said I believe any incoming law student should consider the following five factors in this order. (1) Location; (2) Cost; (3) Personal Feelings about School; (4) Understanding the reality of legal education; (5) Last and least U.S. News ranking. I will apply each of these factors to your situation.

1. Location:
You are looking at NY schools, which is a good sign. Many students myself included as a idiotic 0L apply all over the country and think the City you attend law school does not matter, but it is for all intents and purposes the most important factor.

From your post it appears like Long Island is where you want to be so Touro or Hofstra are your best options, and if you can live with your parents and not pay rent for three years that is a significant savings. Additionally, your parents can probably be a source of comfort and take care of a lot of the little random things that will allow you to focus during 1L when it is extremely stressful.

I think Touro or Hofstra would work for location.

2) Cost
Congrats on the scholarship that is great, but one thing to ask is what are the conditions. Most law schools require you to maintain a 3.0 GPA or maintain some standing in the class. As an incoming law student you know your going to work hard and will certainly obtain a 3.0 GPA, but that is what 100% of your class thinks as every law student is smart, hard-working, and motivated. Additionally, law schools is not graded like undergrad and typically only 35% of the class can maintain a 3.0 GPA, which means there is a 65% chance you will lose your scholarship years 2 and 3. I don't know what the conditions of your scholarship are, but I strongly encourage you to ask. This NY Times Article does a great job summing up what happens when law students don't ask. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

I also encourage you to negotiate for more scholarship money and better conditions.

You may also want to consider City University of New York since it only $13,000 per year for an in-state resident. In-State ABA schools are the best deal out there if you happen to be a resident of the state, which I assume you are in New York.

(3) Personal Feelings about the school
Another very important factor to consider is your personal feelings about the school. The only person that can really know whether a school fits you is you. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to visit any school you are interested in talk to professors, admins, students, walk around the campus, the neighborhood, and see what school feels right. I visited a number of schools as a OL and there were some that rubbed me the wrong way and others I loved. What is best for you can only be answered by a visit and your gut will have a reaction, which is something you should listen to.

(4) Understanding the Reality of Legal Education:

Whether you attend Touro, Hofstra, St. John's etc you will obtain a quality education. All ABA schools are highly regulated and for all intents and purposes you learn the same thing. During law school you read supreme court cases and the Supreme Court does not write seperate opinions for different schools nor does the law change if you attend a different school.

Many people get all wrapped up in this, but all schools will teach you the law and it will then be up to you pass the bar exam.

(5) U.S. News:
Remember this is nothing more than a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion. Do not let it be the basis of a life altering decision.

Good luck whatever you decide.


24
Law School Applications / Re: Student discipline problems
« on: August 09, 2014, 12:15:29 AM »
Probably not that big of deal. Stupid yes, but plenty of lawyers got DUI's or arrested etc.

Don't do it again and you will have to disclose the incident in applications and to the bar when you apply, but as long as you don't try to hide it you should be fine. Plenty of my law school classmates who are now practicing lawyers did a lot worse things and our licensed, but use better judgment moving forward.

Really the only way this is likely to hurt you is if when asked you fail to disclose.

Sorry to hear about the incident and hopefully you learned from your mistake.


25
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Newest of the n00bs
« on: August 07, 2014, 07:53:22 PM »
To keep it simple I think you are really well served to just take the LSAT and see how you do. Many people in your situation put their carriage in front of the horse and before committing all this thought into whether and where you should attend spend a few months studying and get an LSAT score then you can know your options.

Honestly, if you enjoy studying for the LSAT then you will probably enjoy law school if you hate studying for the LSAT you will probably not enjoy law school. With that I would recommend setting a goal to take the December LSAT that will give you months to prepare and study and will cost you about $100.00 and a Saturday afternoon.

Once you have the LSAT score you will know if you even have the option to attend law school. Once the option is there then start really considering your options and you will likely do better on the LSAT if you put less pressure on it.

Good luck.

26
Where should I go next fall? / Re: USD vs. Pepperdine
« on: August 05, 2014, 10:42:11 AM »
Groundhog makes a good point L.A. is a much more competitive city than San Diego. However, L.A. does have more opportunities, but with that comes stiffer competition.

Both are good solid options and you should be proud of your acceptances getting into any ABA school is very difficult. I think after you visit both schools you will have your answer one of them will give you a gut feeling and that is what you should listen to. You can look at endless stats, internet posts, etc, but they are all b.s. at the end of the day what matters is your educational experience and you are the only that knows what will work best for you so listen to your gut and visit the schools.


27
Law School Applications / Re: Law School Admission Options
« on: August 04, 2014, 11:09:56 AM »
Excellent advice from Miami above.

One thing to realize is that the odds of you scoring a 160-170 are very low particularly if you have a 2.72 GPA. It is certainly possible to score in the 160-170, but that puts you in the top 10-20% of college graduates, that are motivated enough to want to attend law school, and have the fortitude to actually take the test.  There is a 80-90% chance you will not score in the top 10-20% of test takers.

With that said scoring below a 160 does not mean you cannot have a successful legal career and there are a number of ABA schools that you can be admitted to with less than a 160 LSAT.

I recommend getting the best grades possible to finish out your undergrad career as a 2.72 is on the very low end of acceptable for admission standards to any ABA school. One way to boost your GPA is take some easy classes to get an A. Law school admissions do not really review all your courses just the number so if you can get an A or two in Frisbee Golf to boost your GPA then I recommend going for it.

Also take the LSAT when your ready and once you have a final GPA/LSAT you will realistically know what your options are.

Good luck in your pursuit of a J.D.


28
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Mediocre diagnostic test...now what?
« on: August 04, 2014, 10:58:48 AM »
If you got a diagnostic of 141 odds are if you do all the prep right you are probably capable of getting a 155-160, which will get you into a number of ABA schools. Something I see many incoming law students and incoming med students do is flip out about the LSAT/MCAT and expect to obtain near perfect scores. This however, is very unlikely and odds are you will not go to Harvard, Yale, Stanford law school. That does not mean you cannot have a successful legal career attending a law school that 98% of other practicing lawyers attended.

As for prep you can obtain materials from LSAC and order the old tests.  Do as many practice questions as possible under strict time conditions. Practice makes perfect, but it will take a lot of time and effort to do 20-30 full length practice tests, but it is certainly doable.

As an additional FYI I do not believe any schools average the LSAT anymore so you can retake the LSAT if you do not do well without any consequence. Schools only have to report their highest LSAT so that is typically what they will do. A few schools might have exceptions, but I believe the vast majority of schools do not average the LSAT.

Continue doing well in undergrad and maybe get a few filler classes to get some free A's to boost your GPA, take the LSAT, then attend an LSAC forum to get admission waivers and talk to school representatives. Then start applying once your acceptances come in start reviewing this is a good article explaining how to choose a law school. http://www.legalmatch.com/choose-the-right-law-school.html

29
Where should I go next fall? / Re: USD vs. Pepperdine
« on: July 31, 2014, 08:14:00 PM »
Congrats on your acceptances and scholarship offers. Choosing a law school is a life-altering and difficult decision and remember I along with anyone else on this board is nothing more than an anonymous internet poster so take advice you receive with a grain of salt.

With that said I believe any incoming 0L should consider the following five factors 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. I will apply each of these factors to your situation below.


1) Location:
It looks like you have narrowed it down to Southern California, which is good. Many people myself included as a clueless 0L apply to law schools all over the country expecting that they can just pick up and move after graduation anywhere they want, which is not the case.

With that said your options are San Diego or Malibu pretty solid choices, but I am from L.A. and know there are some minor cultural differences between San Diego and Malibu, which are worth considering wherever you attend law school will be three years of your life and if you go to school at Pepperdine odds are you will end up in L.A. if you attend law school in San Diego you will end up in San Diego.

2) Cost
It also looks like you have put thought into this, but one thing I strongly consider that you do with both schools is negotiate for more scholarship money and better conditions. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by asking for more money and better conditions. You are a qualified student and so qualified in fact that they are willing to take you on at a discounted rate. As a 0L you have all the bargaining power, but as 0L you are often not smart enough to realize that I know I wasn't, but once your enrolled that bargaining power is gone. Kind of a catch 22.

I guess I am not 100% clear on the actual numbers presented.

From my understanding Pepperdine housing/tuition = 63,000 per year minus 25,000 scholarship = 38,000. x 3 years = $114,000.

Univeristy of San Diego housing/tuition= 57,000 per year - 32,000 year= 25,000 year 1 then 30,000 year 2 & 3 when the scholarship reduces to 27,000 therefore totaling= 85,000 per year.

Therefore it is 85,000 per year USD v $114,00 per year at Pepperdine. Pepperdine however, imposes the stipulation of finishing in the top half of the class, which means there is a 50% chance you will lose the scholarship years two and three making the total cost of attendance $164,000.

I strongly recommend you negotiate with both schools to get a better deal for yourself and then evaluate the costs. Certainly USD wins out on the cost end.

3) Personal Feelings about the School:
This is a very important consideration as you will spend three years of the prime of your life at the school you attend. Each school has a culture to it and whether that culture fits you or not is something only you can know. I have been to a number of law schools both as a OL and for mock trial competitions and there were some schools that really rubbed me the wrong way and others I loved, but that was my personal opinion you very well loved the schools I didn't like and hated the ones I did.

In this instance I have been two both campuses and USD is nice, but Pepperdine is probably one of the most gorgeous campuses in America and this is one of the schools that I just loved. My mom worked there when I was a kid and I went to a lot of camps at Pepperdine and I just love everything about that school.

With that said I strongly encourage you to visit both schools talk to professors, students, admins, walk around the campus, the surrounding neighborhood, and see what school feels right. One of the schools will give you a gut feeling, but this gut feeling is highly personal I would choose Pepperdine in this regard in a minute and even pay more to attend, but I am not you. This is a three year, $100,000, career altering choice so take the time to personally visit these campuses and make the decision for yourself.

4) Understanding the reality of legal education:

It is important to understand that any ABA law school you will receive a quality education and for all intents and purposes learn the same thing.

Your first year will consist of Torts; Contracts; Property; Civil Procedure etc and you will read supreme court cases and whether you do that at USD or Pepperdine you will learn the same exact thing from quality professors.

5) U.S. News Ranking:
I honestly have no idea what either school is ranked and whatever the ranks are for these two schools will change significantly for better or worse by the time you graduate.

With that remember U.S. News is nothing more than a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion so do not use it as anything more than a tie-breaker when making the life altering decision of choosing where to attend law school.


Conclusion:

Nobody can tell you the right choice and no matter what you choose you will always wonder what if I went to the other school, but tough decisions are what you will be faced with in your legal career and exercise good judgment and make the hard decisions and you will succeed in law school and your legal career.

I would choose Pepperdine only because I love the campus so much, but again I am not you this is your life, your money, and your career so visit the schools and negotiate for as much money as possible.

Good luck in your pursuit of a legal career.

30
Law School Applications / Re: Looking for Advice, Please
« on: July 31, 2014, 10:41:41 AM »
Law schools would care very little if at all between the difference of University of San Diego and UCSB with the exception of University of San Diego Law School they might be more willing to accept a University of San Diego alumni. Other than the differences between the two schools are negligble they are fine, but nobody is going to say WOW this applicant graduated from UCSB or USD. There is a chance an alumni of one of those schools could review your application, which might be a boost, but the same could be said for any other school out there.

The short answer to your question is consider what undergrad you are most comfortable and also what will allow you to get out with the least undergrad debt. Enjoy college, because it is possible you may change your mind about law school so for now don't give it to much though. Pursue the major that interests you at the school you want to attend and get the best grades possible to keep the door for law school open. Once you graduate or are nearing graduation take the LSAT and you will see what if any law school doors are open to you.

Good luck.

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