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Acceptances / Re: Whittier Law or Cal Western in SD
« on: April 01, 2015, 01:41:13 AM »
First and foremost realize that anything you read on this board or others comes from anonymous internet posters so anything you read my post included should be taken with a grain of salt.

With that out of the way congrats on your acceptances.

Now to answer your question. I believe any law student should consider the following five 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. Here is a good article explaining the factors to consider.

Below is a brief application of those factors to your scenario.

You are on the right track with Southern California schools both Whittier and Cal Western will give you opportunities in Southern California, but obviously Cal Western will give you more opportunities in San Diego. Whittier will open doors in Whittier/L.A.

However, ask yourself what City you like more. L.A. and San Diego are not drastically different cities, but they are not the same either. Whichever, school you attend is where you will spend a minimum of three years of your life so make sure it is the City you want to be in.

2. Cost
Congrats on the scholarship at Whittier, but one thing to consider are the scholarship conditions. I imagine the conditions are a 3.0, which sounds easy, but in law school it is very difficult to get a 3.0. At most schools only 35% of students can get a 3.0, which means there is a 65% chance you will not get your scholarship years 2 & 3.

You can also negotiate scholarship money with Cal Western. Tell them Cal Western is your first choice, but Whittier is offering you $30,000 a year so they might give you $15,000 or so a year. You have everything and nothing to lose by asking for money.

3. Personal Feelings About School:
I strongly encourage you to visit both schools and walk around talk to people etc. Each school has a culture to it and whether you like the culture or not is a highly personal decision.

4. Reality of Legal Education
Whether you attend Whitter, Cal Western, etc you will learn the same thing. You will be reading Supreme Court Cases and the Supreme Court does not write different opinions for different schools. At the end of graduation you will then take BarBri or Kaplan for Barprep and pack into a room with thousands of other law students taking the bar exam. Whether you pass the bar or not has a lot more to do with you than the school you attend.

5. U.S. News Ranking:

This is a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion. U.S. News is doing nothing wrong by offering their opinion, but it should not be the basis of a life altering decision.

I know nothing about you and cannot possibly tell you what school is best for you. Also, no matter what you choose you will never have a for sure decision and you will have second thoughts.

Congrats again on your acceptance and good luck on your pursuit of a legal education.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Southwestern vs. Kent vs. Depaul
« on: March 31, 2015, 07:21:21 PM »
Again, I disagree if you pass the bar from an ABA school you are a licensed attorney and if work at you will find a job.

You can be the number #1 student at Whittier if you don't pass the bar your not working as a lawyer. However, even if you graduate #1 at Whittier and pass the bar you will still have to apply for jobs and nothing will be handed to you. However, it is and can be done.

I think most of your points are valid and I am in no way saying Whittier is a fantastic school and anyone enrolling should go in with realistic expectations, but I think you are making it sound way worse than it actually is. The truth is to get into an ABA school you need to obtain a bachelors degree and typically have obtained at least a 3.0. Then you need at least a 150 on the LSAT. The majority of the population is not capable of doing either of those things and getting into an ABA school is an accomplishment.

I will draw an analogy to basketball with March Madness going on. If you are 6'6 you are in the top of population in height and probably have a chance to play college basketball. However,  there are thousands of other 6'6 guys out there and you will have to succeed. Being 6'6 is like going to Whittier or some low school you are smart, but it is not that impressive.

If you are 7'2 you are in the elite of height and have an extremely strong chance at playing college basketball and drawing NBA scouts. Being 7'2 is like going to Harvard the doors will be more open.

However, there are plenty of 7'2 guys that don't make the NBA and plenty of 6'6 ones that do.

However, I feel like you are making it sound like Whittier is like being 5'1 and there being almost no chance of success and that is where I disagree, but again there is no argument that Whittier is not a top school, but if you go in with the right expectations it can be a good choice.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Southwestern vs. Kent vs. Depaul
« on: March 31, 2015, 05:57:21 PM »
Again, Whittier does not have great bar pass rates, but my point is you attend law school and pass the bar you will have opportunities.

Whittier has a 42% bar pass rate and you are saying 50% of Whittier Grads 9months out of graduation have jobs. So again my point is if you graduate from an ABA law school and pass the bar odds are you will get a job as an attorney.

If you are attending Whittier the odds of you passing the bar are less, but 100's of Whittier Law School Grads pass each year. The honest truth is no law school outside of Wisconsin guarantees bar passage and no law school guarantees a job.

If the OP attends any of these schools and passes the bar they will have opportunities. If they attend law school and fail out they will not get a job. If they attend law school and half ass it finishing in the bottom 25% of the class and half assing it their first time around and the bar and failing. Not many job opportunities will be available.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Southwestern vs. Kent vs. Depaul
« on: March 31, 2015, 05:21:11 PM »
Again I think we agree in principal, but I think you are greatly exaggerating how bad other schools are. 

You keep using the statistics, but they are not a good guide. You literally cannot be employed as an attorney at graduation from law school. (The exception being Wisconsin or Marquette, because the State of Wisconsin offers these two schools the degree privilege.)

However, whether you attend Stanford or Whittier and graduate in May of 2010 neither of these graduates can be employed as a lawyer until Mid-November when the California Bar Results are released. 

The reality is whether you attend Whittier or any of these schools the real challenge will be passing the bar. If you pass the bar from these schools you will have options, but many of the lower level schools have low bar passage rate and very few if any employers will offer you a job until you pass the bar.

Nobody is saying Whittier is some great academic institution, but you can certainly become a licensed and employed lawyer. However, you need to have realistic expectations.

Louisiana state / Re: Louisiana Law School Scholarships
« on: March 30, 2015, 08:30:09 PM »
Yea many schools will simply offer you merit based scholarships based upon UGPA/LSAT. 

LSU is only $18,000 for in-state tuition, which really isn't that bad.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Southwestern vs. Kent vs. Depaul
« on: March 30, 2015, 06:22:41 PM »
Whittier is one of the least regarded of the 200 ABA schools and if you are expecting a BigLaw or Federal Clerkship job right out of law school then it will not work. However, you can definitely get a job as an attorney from Whittier or any other ABA law school assuming you pass the bar.

Again, I place very little faith in job statistics. First and foremost if you don't pass the bar your not getting a job as a licensed attorney and whether you pass the bar or not has a lot more to do with the individual than the school. Additionally, you will need to hustle to get your first job out of Whittier or any of these schools and your first job might be in a small firm, public defender, d.a., etc office. 

I think that is fundamental difference in our positions.  From what I gather you work in Biglaw and went the clerkship route and if that is the goal then honestly none of these schools are a good investment. However, many people have no desire to work in Biglaw and the majority of legal jobs are not Biglaw.

So to the OP can you get a paying job as a lawyer from Whittier? Yes. Your only option will not be hanging out your own shingle either, but that is of course an option. Here is a list of 244 Super Lawyers from Whittier doing quite well. .

I even know several Superior Court Judges that went to Whittier you can succeed at Whittier, but nothing will be handed to you and some doors will be closed. However, if your goal is to work at a firm like Cravath they will not hire you out of Whittier or any of the schools your interested in.

Whittier will provide you with a quality legal education as will any ABA school. After three years you will sign up for the bar exam and use BarBri or Kaplan to pass. Plenty of people from UCLA, Whittier, USC, etc do not pass the bar and whether you pass or not will have a lot more to do with you than the school you attend.

If you pass the bar your a licensed lawyer and you will have options, but again if your goal is to work BigLaw or go through the recruitment process Tom Cruise did in the firm do not expect that any of these schools. Instead watch the Rainmaker with Matt Damon and that is a more likely look at your first year or so coming from these schools.

Just a huge John Grisham fan and he is doing quite well for himself coming out of Mississippi Law School a non-top 100 school.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Southwestern vs. Kent vs. Depaul
« on: March 30, 2015, 05:06:18 PM »
Loki makes a great point and I do think it is best to take some time off to work prior to law school. Many people that go straight from senior year of undergrad, which is pretty low key to the intensity of 1L would be in for a rude awakening.  However, if you have already worked or taken time off and everything is in place then I would recommend delaying.

As for Loki's comments about the schools not being good, I partially disagree. In my opinion ABA law school will provide you the tools to succeed.  Would Harvard open more doors than Whittier? Yes obviously.

However, I do think at any ABA law school you can recoup your investment. Law schools can range from $150,000-$200,000, but you will be a licensed lawyer for 20-30 years and education is a long-term investment after 5 years of being a lawyer from any school your income will go up significantly. When you first graduate from law school and have very little money to your name $100,000+ in debt and struggling to find your best job it will seem like a terrible investment, but you will find your first legal job.   Assuming, you perform somewhat competently your career will grow.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Southwestern vs. Kent vs. Depaul
« on: March 30, 2015, 11:44:37 AM »
Good advice above, but I typically think your better off starting law school sooner than later. A lot can happen in a year and in this scenario if you decided to retake you would not be starting school for 18 months. Being in limbo for that long is tough and odds are you will enter into something that will be difficult to leave and also have one less year of life to recoup your educational investment.

Education is a long-term investment and the longer it takes to finish the less time you have to benefit from it.

Also congratulations on your acceptances getting into an ABA school is an accomplishment.

Widener U School of Law / Re: Widener TAP 2015
« on: March 28, 2015, 02:21:19 PM »
Good luck having a thick skin is one of the most important parts of becoming a lawyer and if you can handle that you will do well. This site is a good place to post for specific questions etc. One thing I did as a 1L that helped me out a lot was using e-case briefs and CALI lessons, which Widener should provide to you.

Something I didn't realize until second semester was the importance of doing practice questions more than studying. You can remember all the cases etc, but if you don't do practice Multiple Chioce questions and exams it will be to detriment. Again, good luck!

Widener U School of Law / Re: Widener TAP 2015
« on: March 28, 2015, 01:35:05 AM »
Oh awesome will good luck with it. If you put the time into law school it will yield good results, but it is a difficult road.

I imagine their will be negative posters out there, but if becoming a lawyer is really what you want then fight to make it happen.

Good luck to you.

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