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Where should I go next fall? / Re: FIU VS FSU LAW
« on: February 11, 2014, 02:09:06 AM »
First and foremost realize anyone posting on this board is nothing more than an anonymous internet poster so take everything you read with a grain of salt my post included.

With that said I think any law student should consider the following five factors when choosing a law school 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.

The reasons for the factors being listed in this order are analyzed below.

1) Location
Remember law school does not exist in a vacuum and you will be spending minimum of three years of the prime of your life in City you attend law school. Tallahassee and Miami are very different places so you have to ask yourself where do you want to be. Do you want the College Town atmosphere or the City life in Miami? Some people would prefer the college town others City life there is no wrong answer, but you certainly know what you want.

An additional factor to consider is that if you attend law school in Tallahassee it will be difficult to get internships in Miami while you are in law school or even interview for jobs in Miami.

From your post it also appears that you have family in Miami and if this is also something to think about. If you have a support network in Miami and not Tallahasse it can make your law school experience much more pleasant. Many people travel across the Country for law school and it can be a lonely experience. I had a number of friends outside law school and it was great to get outside of the law school world once in awhile.

Just really think about where you want to spend the next three years.

2) Cost
FIU already has low tuition as does FSU, but if you have no living expenses plus a $5,000 scholarship cutting down on debt is something to consider. You indicate you want to practice corporate law, but you really have no idea what you will be interested in doing until you get out of law school. If you have minimal debt you can explore a lot more options and getting out of law school with almost no debt as you would at FIU is something to seriously consider.

3 Personal Feelings About the School
You should also visit each school and see how you personally feel about each. When I was a 0L I visited a number of schools and later competed in a number of mock trial competitions at different schools. I have probably been to 30+ campuses and can tell you each one has a culture and feel to it.

I loved a lot of schools I visited, felt indifferent about a number of others, and despised a few. However, these were my subjective opinions you very well love what I hated and hate what I loved it is your life and nobody knows better than you what suits your needs.

Therefore, you should visit each school walk around the campuses and surrounding neighborhood, talk to professors, admins, students, and alumni and see the vibe you get. At some point you will start to get a gut feeling that you really like one over the other and listen to that feeling.

4) Reality of Legal Education
Although U.S. News "ranks" law schools there really is no difference in the quality of education. No matter what ABA law school you attend you will be learning the same thing. Your first year will consist of Torts, Contracts, Civil Procedure, Property and Criminal Law. In these courses you will be reading Supreme Court cases and believe it or not the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for each law school.

You will be reading Pennoyer v. Neff in Civ Pro whether you attend FIU or FSU, Palsgraff in Torts, etc. At the end of three years you will then have to take a bar exam and whether you attend FIU or FSU you will be paying for a bar prep course most likely BarBri or Kaplan. Then after months of studying you will crammed into a room with about a 1,000 or so law students from every law school in the Country taking a very high pressure test. If you pass the exam regardless of what school you went to you are a licensed attorney and if you do not pass the exam your not. 

Once you have a license to practice law what you do with it is up to you and the name on your diploma will have little to do with your success.

5) U.S. News Ranking
Remember U.S. News is nothing more than a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion and it should not be the basis of a life altering decision.

As an example U.S. News ranks more than law schools. According to U.S. News Albuquerque, New Mexico is the #1 place to live. Citation here . I am sure Albuquerque is a great place, but I am not going to move there simply because U.S. News said it is the best place to live, and doing that would probably seem crazy to you.

However, many incoming law students make life altering decisions regarding where to attend law school based on this magazine, but remember it is nothing more than a magazine. Do not choose to attend FIU, FSU, or any other school based on ranking. Use it as a tiebraker and maybe if you were accepted to Yale or Harvard some thought should go into the prestige, but I imagine you knew Harvard and Yale were pretty good schools without U.S. News telling you. As to FIU v FSU I have no idea, which is ranked higher and I imagine most other practicing lawyers do not care or know about the difference in rank.

There is no right answer as to what the right law school is, but you should visit each school, evaluate the costs, and consider where you want to live for the next three years. If you cannot make a decision based on that evaluation then use the rankings as a tiebreaker, but do not let it me the main source of your decision.

Congrats on your acceptance and good luck in your legal career.

Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Weighing TX law school options
« on: February 10, 2014, 01:54:05 AM »
Completely agree with CA law dean.

As he stated if Biglaw is your goal then UT and SMU might you give a shot in Dallas. However, you will likely need to finish at a minimum in the top 25% of your class to even be eligible and there is a 75% chance you will not be in the top 25%. Nothing personal, but just the reality.

If your goal is to become a Public Defender in San Antonio then your odds of achieving that are more likely to be reached by attending St. Mary's. Simply because you can intern for the County Public Defender in San Antonio during law school build relationships there and upon passing the bar get a job there.

There are numerous paths to take in the law and certain schools will open certain doors.

Also there is no wrong answer any ABA school will provide you with a solid legal education and the opportunity to be admitted to the bar of any state.

General Board / Re: Practice Questions for Contracts Class
« on: February 10, 2014, 01:37:52 AM »
Happy to help another free sit out there is it has outlines and some MC questions. I used it a lot in law school.

You can also reach out to BarBri, Kaplan, and any other bar service provider often they will give you some practice MBE questions so you get comfortable with their program and then you will go to them upon graduation. You are going to end up using one of those services in the end anyway so you should try and something free from them while in law school

Again, good luck in your legal career.

2L job search / Re: Confirmations of Acceptance Letters
« on: February 10, 2014, 01:34:53 AM »
What purpose would this confirmation letter serve?

You might need a confirmation letter if your applying for work-study funding, but other than that I don't know what a confirmation letter would accomplish.

For purposes of having an understanding you should contact the person that hired you via e-mail to confirm when you are starting, ending, and if you are being the salary etc.

As you move forward in your legal career having documentation is key, but a simple e-mail can generally suffice. Congrats on your externship and good luck in your legal career.

Reviews, Visits, and Rankings / Re: Weighing TX law school options
« on: February 06, 2014, 01:28:01 AM »
Have you taken the LSAT yet?

I don't think you should rush into law school just for the sake of wanting to start ASAP.  As an anonymous internet poster that know nothing about you or your situation I have the following advice to offer.

Apply this Fall to a number of Texas schools. If your numbers are good enough to get into UT you will have a number of scholarship options and if you visit Houston Law and love it getting a J.D. debt free there might be a better option than UT at $150,000.

Law School Applications / Re: REJECTED, ETC. TODAY
« on: February 06, 2014, 01:19:26 AM »
Glad to see you back on this board CA Law Dean.

I think MCSL or any CBA school can be a great choice for the right person. However, you need to go in with realistic expectations and understanding.

Do not expect Cravath to recruit you out of MCSL, CBA school, or even 75% of ABA schools.

However, if you want to be a solo, possibly a public defender, small firm, rural area, etc a license to practice law can open doors in a lot of areas and MCSL can get you a bar exam ticket, but whether you pass that exam and what you do with your law license will have a lot more to do with you than the name on your diploma.

2L job search / Re: District Judge v. Magistrate Externship
« on: February 05, 2014, 12:06:06 AM »
No problem also just FYI a really great, but rarely used website the allows law student and recent graduates legal jobs is the BYU intercollegiate Job Bank, which is run through the BYU law school. I am not mormon, but it is a great site here is the link

It is password protected, but the username is Jobfind and the password is Cougarjobs . Just FYI the password changes every month. This job bank has almost every ABA law schools career service website on it and is what I used when I first graduated to find legal work.

Good luck in the rest of your legal career.

Acceptances / Re: Hamilton at CLS vs. SLS vs. HLS
« on: February 04, 2014, 09:33:01 PM »
I looked up the Hamilton at CLS and it is my understanding that provides a full scholarship.

If you have a full scholarship to Columbia that might be something to consider, particularly if your goal is not BigLaw.

Without debt you can have a lot more options, but I don't know what you want. If your goal is to be a D.A. or something I would take the money, because you will get hired from any of these schools, but a government position will pay what is pays regardless of your educational background.

If your goal is to work at Cravath or something then Harvard might be the best choice.

Again, you know what you want more than some anonymous internet poster, but a J.D. from Columbia and no debt is a pretty good position to be in.

2L job search / Re: District Judge v. Magistrate Externship
« on: February 04, 2014, 08:56:53 PM »
It cannot hurt the more Federal Court experience you have the better, but no guarantees.

Finding a job in any profession is really a crapshoot, but if you stay positive and keep applying good things will happen.

A law student cannot represent you in Court. To represent someone other than yourself in Court you need to be a licensed lawyer.

You should probably use your County or State Bar Association to find legal representation. There are also sites like out there that can match you with an attorney.

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