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Where should I go next fall? / Re: Thoughts? Where should I go
« on: July 07, 2014, 11:08:12 AM »
I think you might want to narrow the list down to some extent and as all other posters mentioned consider geography also consider actual tuition at individual school if you want to keep your debt down. As for the MA in International Relations I don't know if any school offers that and if you want to keep your debt down putting more money into a Master's Program might not be advisable?

I guess the question is what do you think obtaining an MA in International Relations will do for you?

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

Each factor applied to your situation is analyzed below.

(1) Location:
This is the most important factor in my opinion since wherever you attend law school you will spend a minimum of three years and more importantly the rest of your career. On your list you have schools in L.A., Florida, New York and Washington State frankly you are all over the place and I encourage you narrow down where you want to be.

If you attend USC you will live in L.A. for three years, obtain internships in L.A, make friends in L.A, etc and L.A is a fine place a lot to do, many beautiful people, beautiful beaches, beautiful weather on the pro side con heavy traffic, phony people, high cost of living, and if your someone fro rural Iowa it might not be a good fit for you. If your from L.A. have family in L.A, friends in L.A, etc then maybe U.S.C is a great fit.

I cannot tell your background from your post, but realize wherever you go life is still going to happen and having friends and familiar surroundings is important. Also having some idea of where you want to live is important if you want to live in the the beautiful, but isolated forests of Eastern Washington Gonzaga all the way. If you want to live in L.A. U.S.C, but that is a personal choice and one to consider.

(2) Cost:
It appears you understand the importance of keeping your costs down, but it is important to realize many schools offer in-state tuition, which is often better than scholarship money. For example CUNY is $10,000 per year in tuition, South Dakota is $6,000 per year in Tuition, University of Florida, Florida State, and Florida International are all at $14,000 per year.

You can attend Syracuse and get a 25,000 scholarship, but the tuition if $50,000 so your still paying a lot more in tuition than at those state schools. It is also important to understand that scholarships in law school are not guaranteed and almost every school imposes strict conditions to keep them. Typically you need to have a 3.0 GPA, which sounds easy enough, but law school is much different than other forms of education as there is a strict curve typically only 35% of the class can obtain a 3.0 after first year. This means there is a 65% chance you will lose your scholarship as 100% of students at any ABA law school are smart, hard-working, motivated and think there is no way they will finish outside of the 35%, but 65% are wrong every time. This New York Times Article does  a excellent job explaining the system.

3) Personal Feelings about the School:

Each school has a culture to it and whether you like that culture is something only you can answer. For any school you are serious about I encourage you to visit the campus, talk to professors, admins, walk around the neighborhood and determine if the school is right for you.

I visited many law schools and some I like others I hated, but you may very well like what I hated and hated what I liked. It is a completely subjective opinion and your life and you are in the best position to determine what is best for you.

4) Reality of Legal Education:
At any ABA school you will receive a quality education and learn the same thing as you will be reading Supreme Court cases and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different schools. In your first year you will have (1) Torts; (2) Civ Pro; (3) Contracts; and (4) Property in Torts you will read Palsgraf to learn proximate cause, Pennoyer v. Neff in Civ pro to learn about Notice; Haxendale v. Badley in Contracts to learn remedies etc.

Geography may come into play somewhat as you will focus more on New York Law at Syracuse, Washington Law at Gonzaga, and California Law at USC, but any ABA school gives you the same foundation.

As for the MA perhaps a law school out there will let you do both, but I don't know what an MA in International Relations will help you accomplish in the legal field. I imagine there are some differences between in MA programs, but I do not believe any ABA law school at least first year will let you take any outside courses.

5) U.S. News:
As you seem to already understand nobody in the real world cares about this. I couldn't tell you where the schools on the list you have are ranked. I know Michigan State has a good basketball team, but I don't know if it is "ranked' higher than Stetson nor do I or the vast majority of legal employers care. Michigan State will open more doors in Michigan and Stetson will open more doors in Florida.

What some for-profit unregulated magazines opinion is of the two schools matters very little.

There is no right answer, but I encourage you to ask yourself what the MA will accomplish. Also why is Michigan State your top choice? Do you want to live in Michigan?  I have nothing against Michigan State and I am sure it is a fine school, but what factors are making it your top choice.

Also review each schools actual tuition rate and review to see how much each school offers in scholarship money.

I also encourage you to register and attend an LSAC forum here is a list of the ones this year. If you attend these events you will get a number of fee waivers and more importantly interact with people from the school, which will give you a bit of a glimpse into the school. I attended one and obtained 30 fee waivers and met with representatives from a number of schools some schools I was into rubbed me the wrong way, some schools I was not into impressed me, and I also discovered a number of schools I never considered.

As an additional FYI here is a solid article explaining how to choose a law school.

Good luck on your pursuit of a legal education.

Black Law Student Discussion Board / Re: Where is everyone?
« on: July 02, 2014, 08:21:13 PM »
It is to bad journalism has become what it is, but the bottom line is  to make profit and in this day and age you can find anyone you want to agree with you. The 60 year old white males watch Fox News who think the world's falling apart. College Kids watch the Daily show to think they know everything and are smarter than 60 year olds watching fox news.

U.S. News Ranking and World Report does the same thing their job is to make a profit not provide an accurate guideline for various law school, hospitals, or other items.

Perhaps one day people will actually want more in depth analysis, but until that day comes and people are content to stay in their bubbles were everyone agrees with them media outlets have no incentive to deliver quality journalism and people are informed through Comedy Central and Fox News.

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: Did you apply to ABA and CBE?
« on: July 02, 2014, 08:01:07 PM »
I am pretty sure CA Law Dean gave the averages in his chart it appears the median gpas from 2010 to 2014 were as follows:

2014 3.28
2013 3.29
2012 3.03
2011 3.21
2010 3.2

I do not believe any ABA school or CBA school has a minimum GPA requirement, but CA Law Dean's statement was merely to say the median GPA was a lot higher than expected and those GPA's are actually higher than a number of ABA schools.

GPA for 2014 was 3.28; GPA for 2013 was 3.29;

M / Re: Monterey College of Law
« on: July 02, 2014, 07:57:26 PM »
Out of curiosity how many students attend MCL?

I was just wondering what the student body size was compared to ABA schools.

Agreed financial issues are a common cause of suicide.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Sleep as a Competitive Advantage
« on: July 01, 2014, 10:35:37 AM »
There are certainly times when you have to burn the midnight oil, but in my anonymous internet poster opinion I think if you are able to realize when you cannot comprehend anymore you are better off stopping and making sure you restart at a reasonable time the next hour.

My first semester of law school I put in probably 80 hours a week, but that was my worst semester after I put in between 40-50 hours a week and performed far better, because I was not overthinking things and actually comprehending what I was reading.

Of course each individual has their own way of doing things, but I do notice people often think the more time you put in means better results, but a lot of times working smarter and not harder is a way to succeed.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Sleep as a Competitive Advantage
« on: June 30, 2014, 11:33:37 PM »
That is very true and also many people think putting in hours alone leads to productivity, but they need to be actual beneficial hours.

You can sit and stare at a computer screen for 6 hours and read the same line over and over again your not getting anything done or you can intensely study for 2 hours and retain something.

Law Firms / Re: Which law school for Florida Job- FSU vs. Wake Forest
« on: June 25, 2014, 11:34:13 AM »
I believe I responded to a similar post, but you have added Ohio State to this list.

I know nothing about you personally or what is best for you and neither does any other anonymous internet poster on this board or others.

I would however, strongly encourage you to consider the importance of the location you attend law school in. Tallahassee, Florida; Columbus, Ohio; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina are very different places. You will deal with subzero temperatures in Columbus and sweltering heat in Tallahassee as one example. The culture of the Midwest differs significantly from Winston- Salem, North Carolina.

You also should consider whether you have friends or family in any of these cities as having people outside of law school to interact with is very important. You can get lost in the law school bubble if you don't have an outlet so if all your friends live in Columbus, Ohio that is something to consider. If you do not know a soul in Winston-Salem North Carolina that is also something to consider.

It is also important no matter what ABA school you attend you will receive a solid legal education and for all intents and purposes learn the same exact thing. Your first year will consist of (1) Torts; (2) Property; (3) Civil Procedure; and (4) Contracts. Schools then mix-up whether you take Crim Law/Crim Pro/Con Law in 1L or 2L, but you will take those courses. You will also take Evidence; Wills & Trusts; Business Associations/Corporations so on and so on. In these courses you will read Supreme Court Cases and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different law schools and the law is the same whether you attend Cooley or Harvard.

The rankings mean very little and in my opinion nothing particular with the schools you are mentioning as it is very possible Wake Forest will not be ranked lower than Ohio State by the time you graduate. Nobody really cares about the rankings in all honesty, but if there was someone who did these schools are so close in caliber that they alternate here is a list of where these three schools have ranked over the last 5 years.

In 2010 Wake Forest was 44th and Ohio State was 34th. Today both schools are in a five way tie for 31st.

So if you choose Ohio State over Wake Forest based on rankings in 2010 when you graduated in 2014 your choice would have been pointless, because they are now in the same exact spot. Your whole life experience of being in Columbus Ohio or Salem-Winston North Carolina would certainly have mattered, but the rankings at graduation, which honestly in mean nothing in the real world wouldn't even matter if they were important, because they are now in the same exact spot.

Specific Ranking Breakdown below and here is a link to the info for verification.

Wake Forest:
2009: 40th
2010: 4 way tie for 38th
2011: 39th
2012: tied for 44th
2013: tied for 36th
2014: 5 way tie for 31st

Florida State:
2009: 51st
2010: Tied for 54th
2011: Tied for 50th
2012: 3 way tie for 51st
2013: 3 way tie for 48th
2014: 45th.

Ohio State
2009: Three way tie for 35th
2010: Three way tie for 34th
2011: Three way tie for 35th
2012: Tied for 39th
2013: Tied for 36th
2014: Five way tie for 31st with one of the five schools they tied with is your other Candidate Wake Forest (which of the five schools ranked 31st is actually better? Is Wake Forest actually 36th? Who knows more importantly who cares?

Please do not make a decision on any of these schools based on ranking it is very possible whatever school you choose based on ranking will end up being lower by the time you graduate etc. Florida, North Carolina and Ohio however, will result in very different life experiences so I encourage you to analyze, which of those is best for you and to not listen to a for-profit, unregulated magazine to make a life altering decision. The U.S. News formula is not based on anything it is people filing out a scantron from 1-5 and there is no science behind it, which is why rankings change drastically year by year. U.S. News is not doing anything wrong they are just offering an opinion to make money and if you want to make a life altering decision based on it that is your call.

Good luck whatever you decide.

Becoming a doctor or a lawyer is difficult neither is an easy path. There are however, plenty of jobs for lawyers out there, but failed law students are more likely to offer analysis as to why things did not work out for them.

I agree 100% with Newlyminted just take the actual LSAT and see how it goes. Getting a 160 on a practice doesn't actually mean anything, but if you actually study and take the real LSAT and get a solid score law school becomes a reality. You can have an LSAT score and never apply to law school and continue your medical training your out.

If you end up getting a 140 on the LSAT then maybe it really isn't for you, but if you get a 170 then the door is open, but you don't have walk through it.

However, I want to disclose the feeling of getting B's and not A's will occur in law school. Law school is highly competitive and everybody on the first day thinks they will graduate in the top 10% of the class, but obviously 90% don't and half of the students finish in the bottom of the class.  I do not know how med school works, but there in law school only a certain percent of the class can get an A and the difference between an A and B is often subjective based on the professor. So whether you go to law school or med school be prepared to not be the #1 student.

Good luck whatever you decide.

Distance Education Law Schools / Re: LLB (Graduate Entry)
« on: June 25, 2014, 10:54:57 AM »
I believe CUSC is right on point.

At my California law school there were a number of LLB's and they were all in the process of completing an LLM to take the bar.

The best place to get an answer however, is directly from the source so I encourage you to contact the California State Bar.

Here is the link to the California Bar future lawyer website, which can probably answer any question you might have. If worse comes to worse call them and ask .

Although I believe cusc's post is right on you don't want to spend a bunch of time and money then not be able to take the bar for some unknown reason and say well X anonymous internet poster said it would all work out.

Good luck in your pursuit of a American law license.

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