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Messages - Citylaw

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First I agree very few OL's have any idea what they want.

However, any law school can and does place students in jobs, but it is a long road. The 9 months after graduation stats are highly flawed. First off you honestly cannot even be employed as a lawyer until 7 months after graduation at least in California where bar results are released in November and very few firms will hire in November or December so realistically it is not until that January when you even have a chance of getting hired, which is 9 months after graduation and odds are many lawyers will do some b.s. thing the first year or two out of law school.

Education however, is a long term investment as you have mentioned in your post you just landed your dream job, but I imagine there was a lot of stress and uncertainty going down that path. Most lawyers however that have practiced that have been licensed for 5 or more years do pretty well for themselves, but getting that first job is a pain in the ass.

However, this is not uncommon to law school.

College grads not finding jobs.

MBA's a bad choice

Nursing grads can't find jobs

I could go on and on with articles saying X education is a bad investment. However, the truth is starting out in any profession is difficult. To the best of my knowledge I am not aware of some guaranteed $200k a year cush job waiting for 100% of graduates in any profession. If that exists let me please let me know.

Basically anything is a challenge and there is no easy route. Therefore, if you want to be a lawyer go to school and use common sense when choosing the school you choose.

Law school is a great investment for thousands of students and terrible one for thousands of others.  Then these blanket employment stats from schools have little merit to me.  Frankly, if your in the bottom 25% of your class at any school, no internships, no mock trial, no nothing then it will be hard to get a job out of law school and probably to even pass the bar.

At the same school another student can finish in the top  25%, have numerous internships, participates in mock trial, heads law review etc likely will find a job, which goes to my overall point that whether you succeed in the legal profession will have a lot more to do with the individual than the school.

I interview people and schools are great, but I look at references, experience, etc. If someone attended Berkeley and had a 2.6, never interned, participated in nothing and showed up 20 minutes late to the interview I am not hiring them.

If another student from Santa Clara comes in with a 3.6, numerous professor references, internship experience, participated in mock trial, comes prepared to the interview etc I am hiring them.

So that goes to the overall crux of OP's question choose the school that fits them best, but if Biglaw is their main goal then sure Penn opens more doors, but is it worth the cost? Maybe, that is for OP to decide, but don't choose anything without thinking of yourself first and foremost.


Where should I go next fall? / Re: Southwestern vs. Kent vs. Depaul
« on: March 28, 2015, 01:15:44 AM »
It sounds like you have experience living in both L.A. and Chicago and the first question to ask yourself, which City do you prefer more?

If you attend Southwestern or Whittier you will be in L.A., which is much different than Chicago. If your friends etc are in Chicago and you love Chicago stay in Chicago.

You can negotiate better conditions and scholarship money with the school. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by asking.

Also, visit all these schools and see what you prefer. Each school has a culture to it and whether you like a particular school is a highly personal decision. Depaul has an undergrad with sports teams etc while Southwestern is a Law School with no sports teams etc. One is not better than the other, but just one of 10,000 factors to consider.

You are wise to not count on anyone guaranteeing you a job in the future. Your uncle may leave that firm by the time you graduate in four years. The economy could tank again and jobs might be unavailable and frankly a lot can happen in four years. Maybe you will meet a girl who convinces you to move to Minnesota where he doesn't have a practice group. I could go on and on with possibilities, but number one thing to consider is where you want to live after graduation.

Good luck with your decision.

This article might also be helpful in making your decision.

You might want to take your LSAT in a small California town like Chico or Monterey. I actually took mine at Cal Northern Law School in Chico and there were only 18 people in the room. I am from L.A. and did not want hundreds of people around me and to be fighting traffic etc.

Here is the list of test centers.

I would say Santa Rosa, Humboldt, Chico, Sonoma would be low key areas. I imagine Chico and Humboldt would be the best.

Exactly, but there is always more research that can be done, but at some point you also have to pull the trigger and do a tangible task. Where that balance is of doing to much or to little research is a difficult thing to learn.  I know personally they have been times when I made something simple very complicated and other times I should have done more research.

I also wanted to make one comment about the number of Harvard associates in Biglaw.  Again, if Biglaw/Clerkship is the goal then there is no question that choosing a T14 school is the way to go.  Biglaw cares about credentials, but outside of that 1-5% of the legal market it matters much less.  There are many people that simply want to be D.A.'s or Public Defenders. If that is the goal do not go to Harvard or Yale get out with as little debt as possible.

Again, good posting it is nice to not have spammers on here.

Agreed and it certainly is not easy to start your own firm out of law school and for most recent graduates it is not likely. However, there certainly are graduates that have enough confidence right out of law school to do the things you mentioned, but it is rare. As you know most of the law is simply having the confidence to think your right, but that is not easy to obtain. Some people are born with that decisiveness and confidence while others are not.  The confidence and decisiveness can also backfire if it is wrong, but having clerked etc I imagine you saw many lawyers that you could have done better than.

Solid post Loki.

The Transvestite post was not towards Harvard, I imagine Boston and Harvard to be very accepting places. I was mentioning a situation such as a Transvestite student at BYU not being a good fit or a bible thumping Christian from Alabama struggling to fit in at Berkeley. Those are extreme scenarios, but although Boalt is a great school I would not recommend someone that is highly conservative attending school in the Bay Area. I would also not recommend a highly liberal transvestite attending a Mormon school. Not to say either school would deliberatley do anything bad, but I think it would be very difficult for either of those students to fit in.

As for the hanging out your own shingle again for the typical straight out of undergrad to law school student hanging out your own shingle would be a bad idea. However, to go back to the age aspect if someone has 10 years of business experience before going to law school they could probably handle operating their own law firm right out of law school. However, I imagine both you and I had similar paths with minimal work experience prior to law school. I would have been a disaster hanging out my own shingle right out of law school as well, but I was 27 years old with some minor paralegal experience.

I had classmates older classmates that had started their own businesses before law school and business backgrounds and started their own firms out of law school that did quite well.

Widener U School of Law / Re: Widener TAP 2015
« on: March 27, 2015, 02:06:44 AM »
Out of curiosity what is the Widener Tap program?

Great post above and it really is that simple if your goal is to end up in Florida go to school in Florida. One other pro of a number of Florida schools is in-state tuition if you can obtain that it will be a substantial savings.

To sum it up if your goal is to end up in Florida do not attend Wake Forest over a law school in Florida.

Good luck.

Law School Applications / Re: a bit of variance; seeking guidance
« on: March 26, 2015, 07:02:05 PM »
179 is awesome good job!

With that you will have a lot of opportunities possibly at some T14's as well as scholarship options at mid to even low ranked schools.

What you should really ask yourself is where you want to live and apply to every school in that area. Then try applying to Harvard, Yale, Stanford etc if they accept they can be something to consider.

One thing to do to save on law school application costs is attend an LSAC forum. this is the list of where they are held. Before the event many schools will offer you fee waivers if you just stop by their booth and you can just write your number down at each booth as well. I did this at one forum and got something like 40+ fee waivers and applied to most of them, which then gave me scholarship options etc.

Basically you have a lot of doors and this is a good article offering some preliminary guidance on how to choose a law school.

Good posts and this is why location is and personal feelings about the school are so much more important than rankings etc. Where you live and the people you are around make the experience.

As to your question of course your school is going to say it needs to be a serious hardship. You are a paying student and they don't want to let you go easily, but if you really want to leave you can apply to be a visiting student and you will be much better off reaching out to the schools you are interested in visiting as they will be interested in you paying them and have an incentive to make it happen. Your current school does not. So hypothetically if you want move to New York reach out to schools in New York I included Cardozo's link . It looks like you can transfer up to 42 units and maybe you would lose credits or something, but ask around to the schools you are interested in and there might be a way.

However, you might also just want to finish out 3L one year in the grand scheme of things is not that big of a deal, but I think your post shows why location/personal feelings about a school mean so much more than anything else.

Good luck.

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