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Messages - Citylaw

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There is so much talk about going to a "good school", but at the end of the day in the legal world at least in California it doesn't matter that much. You are at Tier 1 working for a solo PI attorney that cusses at you making $8.00 an hour would Tampa Cooley or Steston or any of the schools do much better than that?  The truth is that is not uncommon for tier 1 to tier 4 law students when you start out. You are struggling at this tier 1, but if you attended a school with a little less competitive students you might have a better GPA and more confidence.

I think everyone gave good advice, but don't get to wrapped up in the rankings etc this is why I always preach about finding the right school for you. The reality is once you graduate from a law school you take the bar, which is extremely difficult if you pass your a lawyer.  Your first job out of law school you will be overworked and underpaid, but as you put time in you will gain experience a reputation etc.

Loki does make a good point about in-state tuition and I know there are three schools in Florida that offer in-state tuition and I assuming Florida International University is not the school you are attending as it is not Tier 1, but since it offers in-state tuition on top of an awesome location in Miami it might be a good option.

If your not set on Florida there a number of other schools out there. I know for my California school a few people got dismissed after 1L, but they had the option to take the Baby Bar Exam and if they passed that they could be readmitted. Perhaps you could propose taking the Baby Bar Exam to your current school. It is California's exam, but from my understanding it is really just the MBE subjects and I think if you pass that you can show a commitment to your school or another school that you have what it takes.

I agree with Loki here I mean if you want to complain it is to hard then why have it all.

We never say I am going to get a brain surgery, but hopefully that surgeon did not have to work to hard to conduct surgery. Or oh I hope the lessen the Pilot Training requirements when you hop on 747.

Attorneys play an important role and having some licensing requirement is important. Although, the California Bar is hard it is certainly not impossible and thousands of people pass it every year. I don't think it needs to be made any easier or any harder, it is a difficult exam and Chemerinsky is writing the article to make his BarBri in hopes of making a positive change to his BarBri and law school stats.

Again, Chemerinsky is awesome and I loved listening to him, but the difficulty of the exam is not an issue.  The timing of bar exams could be changed to allow students easier access to the marketplace instead of having to sit on the shelf for 7 months, but it is sufficinently difficult in my opinion and honestly far easier for students now who have immediate access to the internet. Back in the old days to look up a word you had to pick up a black's dictionary etc now you just google it.

Yep the card does not matter and I have actually never had a client ask to see it, but I keep it in my wallet, because it makes me feel good about myself : ) , but other than that as Loki says it is a piece of plastic and I have been asked to show it to a client, or Judge. I guess in Federal Court you can go into the attorney line and skip the security check at least in the Eastern District of California and I am sure there are other counties and or districts that have the same privilege for someone with a bar card.

I have read it and he doesn't make bad points, but the reality is if you were an Oregon attorney that wanted to get licensed in California you do not need to even take the full California Bar Exam you need to only take the Attorney Exam. This exam does not require you to do the MBE and you only have two days of essay so it is significantly easier.

Also, many states have reciprocity etc. Plenty of states do the Uniform Bar Exam, which is fine, but I think California having a slightly harder exam considering it is the most marketable state to be licensed in makes sense.

As for the 50% statistic cited in the article I believe California is one of the most if not the most liberal about allowing people to take the exam. We allow unaccredited law school graduates to take the exam and if they can pass the bar more power to them. New York does not allow non-aba grads to sit and you have to go through the rigors and expense of an ABA program and if that requirement is there then fine minimize the bar exam standards, but we allow people to get a J.D. and sit for the bar far more freely than other states, but our exam is very difficult. If these grads that did not go the traditional route, but can pass a more exhaustive bar exam then great let them practice.

At the end of the day this proposal is very self-serving to Chemerinsky who is a BarBri instructor and a California Law School Dean. Of course he wants the exam to suddenly get easier so he looks great when the percentages all skyrocket, but he would never include that part in his article.

Don't get me wrong I love Chemerinsky and more power to him for advocating for his students, but I don't think it is a good idea to change the exam.

Law School Admissions / Re: Upcoming Undergrad-- Law???
« on: June 01, 2015, 02:44:10 PM »
Well the question is also who is a good person.

An attorney (Lincoln) Supporting the abolition of slavery 150 years ago was looked upon by many as so evil that thousands of people died.

The definition of "good" people changes all the time and part of being a lawyer is advocating for a side.

At this moment in time defending the Police is controversial, because there is a lot of media saying otherwise, but the months after 9/11 if you represetend the cops you were a good idea.

It is a valid point once you have the license why make it is easier for more competition, but I am not that big of an a-hole and I think if I was able to pass the current exam then it is certainly possible.  I am not Einstein and there are a number of people less competent than me out there that  passed the bar exam so it can be done, but it is hard and it is supposed to be.

I would also argue it is far easier than it was people before 2000 who did not have internet access to get quick answers and had to handwritte, etc.

I don't think the exam structure is wrong. One change I would advocate for is not making law students wait four months to get bar results.

You know why the employment rate for grads 9 months after graduation is so low? Because  you cannot possibly be a licensed attorney until 7 months after graduation and the results come out Thanksgiving and from Thanksgiving to Christmas is not exactly a hiring frenzy in the legal market and so you can't even really look for a licensed attorney job until 9 months after graduation.

I have heard reasonable arguments that students could take the bar exam after 2L and the 3rd year could be a much more practical experience for those that pass and those that do not pass the first time around could use the third year to go into a law school bar-exam program.

That aspect could certainly be changed, but the difficulty of the exam is fair in my anonymous internet poster opinion. 

Law School Admissions / Re: Upcoming Undergrad-- Law???
« on: June 01, 2015, 11:16:41 AM »
There are definitely jobs such as City Attorney work where you deal with Constitutional Law all the time.  There are very few private practice attorneys that do Free Speech Work, etc, but if you are government attorney particularly a City Attorney or County Counsel there are significant constitutional issues.

However, as everyone said most people don't practice in that area, but the law is very broad. I think what every poster can agree with is that you should go to undergrad and pursue a degree you are interested in and do as well as you can. A lot will change during your college years, I specifically remember saying I would "never" go to law school in college, but it happened. I knew plenty of other pre-law majors etc that were completely focused on going to law school, but never ended up going.

Since your major does not matter for law school, but your grades do pursue a field of study you are interested in and do well academically.

Good luck!

Chemerinsky always makes good points, but I don't think it needs to be any easier or any change is necessary. California is a very desirable place to live and there is no shortage of lawyers in California.

If the pass rates were 10% maybe something needed to change, but according to the July 2014 Bar Exam Results 3,818 out of 6,220 people passed.

 This is a pass rate of 61.4% of all non-aba, aba, repeaters, etc. 61% passed.

3,818 were able to do it so it can be done. Does UC Irvine having a 60% bar passage rate have more to do with him being upset probably? However, even if you look at the numbers for Irvine it is one of those messed up thing 3 out of 5 UCI students passed so 60% passage. B.S., but I am sure that 60% did not impress his bosses at UCI so he is taking it out in the article.

Is the bar extremely difficult, yes. However, as my professor told me it is supposed to hard.

I wanted to be in the NBA, but I didn't make it. I don't think they should make it easier to get in. Anything worth doing is not easy and if the percentage was 5% and there were not enough lawyers in California then make it easier, but people do pass and there are certainly more than enough lawyers in California as it is.

I think one of the main reasons California is routinely lower is you can take the examination by attending a non-aba school.

Additionally, these are three simple theories that may or may not be true, but may have an impact.

1) California allows foreign law school grads that complete an LLM to take the California Bar. Do those test takers count as ABA law school grad/first time takers? If so I imagine the percentage of those grads passing on the first try is substantially lower. Not even because of intelligence, but simply if English is not your first language noticing the minor nuances on a MBE question would be difficult as would adjusting to life in a new country etc .

2) I believe California has the most out-of-state ABA law school grads taking the exam.  For any student taking an exam in the state they did not attend law school makes a difference. Although, there is a lot of similarities there are differences in state law.

3) I believe many attorneys that graduated law school long-ago and passed a separate bar years ago attempt to take the California Bar, while working etc. I knew a Stanford undergrad and law school grad that was very intelligent and worked for one of the most prestigious law firms in New York, which is the exam they took out of law school.  10 years later this person attempted to take the California Bar and  did not pass. They were having to bill 200 hours while simultaneously studying for the California Bar and then had to fly into California etc. The person is a first-time taker ABA grad, but not the typical type you think of.

I would be interested to know what the percentage of California ABA Law School Grads who are taking their first bar exam three months after graduating from law school is.

On top of that lets be honest whether you pass the bar or not has a lot more to do with the individaul. I had a friend in law school that just did not take it seriously the first time. She was fully capable of passing and did, but she was burned out from law school and admits she put in a half-ass effort and did not pass. Is that the law school or California Bar's fault? No.  Another friend of mine in law school had one of his parents die two weeks before the exam and another was diagnosed with cancer a month before. These people did not pass on their first time either and all three went on to pass on their second try, but those instances make it understandable how they did not pass on their first try.

People are people and I guess I really dislike these blanket statistics that cannot possibly take into consideration each individuals personal circumstances.

The California Bar Exam is difficult, but thousands of people pass it each year so it is not impossible.

I also think the number of applicants has gone down significantly so there are less competitive students.  When the economy collapsed in 2008-2009 law school applications were significantly higher in 2011-2012.

76% in 20122
68.3% in 2012

Then everyone said there were no jobs etc and then law school applications are now down significantly. Therefore, a less competitive pool and lower passage rates.

Let's also not forget that exam soft collapsed during the 2014 California Bar Exam, which likely did not help anyone.

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