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Messages - Citylaw

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31
Studying for the LSAT / Re: HELP:(
« on: May 11, 2015, 06:45:32 PM »
Nothing to be embarrassed about a first diagnostic of 141 is not bad and in all honesty you are not going to be in the top 20% of ambitious college graduates that are motivated enough to actually show up to the LSAT, which is what a 160 LSAT score is.

Once you attend law school there is an 80% chance you will not be in the top 20% of the class either.

If you get a 154 you can get into plenty of ABA approved law schools, which is an accomplishment and you don't need to go to Harvard or Yale to be a lawyer. In fact 99% of practicing lawyers didn't go to Harvard or Yale.

So the best advice is be realistic with yourself and set realistic expectations otherwise it is going to the LSAT, law school, the bar exam and working as a lawyer is going to be a struggle.

With that said if your not putting your best effort in then put the test off until summer. If you are only a junior in college there is no rush you might consider taking the December LSAT or just taking the June test and seeing what happens. You can retake without any real consequence almost every school takes your top score at this point.

The advice you will need throughout the whole law school process is to not over think things. It seems like you are concerned that there is a chance you will not score a 160 and odds are you will not. That does not mean it is the end of the world you can get into nearly 100 ABA schools with a 154 and a good GPA.

 Good luck to you and here is a good article about choosing a law school for when that time comes. http://www.legalmatch.com/choose-the-right-law-school.html


32
Widener U School of Law / Re: WIDENER HARRISBURG TAP PROGRAM
« on: May 07, 2015, 07:24:33 PM »
This is an active thread on Law School Discussion with Widener TAP students. http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/index.php?topic=4029053.0 . However, that might be the other campus it is my understanding there are two campuses.

Good luck with your pursuit of a legal education!

33
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Arizona Law
« on: May 07, 2015, 01:53:24 PM »
Perfect summary by Loki.

If you want to live in Arizona after graduation there is no better school to attend than Arizona.

If you want to in Washington D.C. then George Washington is your best option.

Since you went to ASU and I assume you qualify as a resident of Arizona, which entitles you to $27k a year tuition and a substantially less cost of living opposed to Hastings at $52k per year or Davis at 58K per year out of state.  GW also has out of state Tuition, which is 47k per year.

You are looking at paying $81k in tuition at U of A v. $156k at Hastings (plus astronomical living expenses in SF) or 174k in tuition at Davis (but slightly more reasonable living expenses) or $141K per year at GW (plus higher living expenses than Tucson.)

The rankings may chance drastically year by year, but your law school debt is very real. 

Get out of school as cheaply as possible in a location you want to live in.

Do not spend an 100k to move to a more expensive place you have no desire to live in, because some scan-trons said X school was 24th instead of 42nd that year.

Most incoming law students and new lawyers over think everything and make bad decisions, but law school teaches you to simplify things, which is the primary skill you learn.

As Einstein said any fool can complicate things, but it takes a genius to simplify them.

I was a OL at one point and nearly moved to the Midwest from L.A. to pay $100,000s more to live in bitter cold where I didn't know anyone to attend what was the 64th best school at the time. However, I talked to real lawyers and told them my goal was to be a lawyer in San Francisco and they said if that is your goal go to law school in San Francisco. I fought that in my head for nearly a month, but it was absolutely the right decision.


34
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Arizona Law
« on: May 07, 2015, 12:41:30 AM »
Congrats on your acceptances that is a great accomplishment.

Before I say anything realize that anyone this board or any other is nothing more than anonymous internet poster my post included and should be taken with a major grain of salt.

With that intro it seems you are making the number one mistake incoming law students make and looking to the unregulated, for profit magazine of U.S. News to make a life altering decision. You should realize that the law school rankings change drastically year by year, because the rankings on based on nothing other than a few professors and lawyers filling out scantrons based on 1-5 and obviously these lawyers and professors do not visit or even know what is happening at all 202 ABA law schools every year.  However, they are certainly entitled to give their opinion as is U.S. News. However, it is up to you to decide whether making a life altering commitment based on a magazine is a good idea.

Here is a chart showing how drastically these schools "rankings" have changed year by year. http://www.top-law-schools.com/rankings.html

UC Hastings in 2009 was 39th now it is 59th. I have been a lawyer in the Bay Area since 2009 and nothing has changed at Hastings it is a fine school and well respected in San Francisco, but it is in a horrible location.

Arizona was 55th in 2009 and now it is 26th and In 2018 when you graduate I would not be shocked if Hastings is ranked higher than Arizona there really is no rhyme or reason to the rankings and it should NOT be a major factor in your decison.

U.S. News ranked New Mexico the #1 place to live. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/best-places-to-live . I imagine you are not going to move to New Mexico, because U.S. News says it is #1. Or maybe that will inspire you to apply to University of New Mexico it is completely up to you, but don't leave common sense at the door.

As for choosing a law school any incoming law student should consider the following factors in this order. (1) Location; (2) Cost; (3) Personal Feelings about the school; (4) Understanding the reality of legal education; (5) if all else fails then use U.S. News, but do not use it first.

Below is a brief analysis of these factors to your situation.

1) Location:

You are looking at attending law school in San Francisco, Tucson, Davis and Washington D.C. These cities are all drastically different and will result in a completely different experience. I can tell you that Hastings is located in the heart of the Tenderloin one of the worst areas of San Francisco I play lawyer league basketball there every Tuesday and I am 6'7 250 pounds and scared to walk around there at night. It is one the one school in the Bay Area I would not attend, but plenty of people love it.

Davis is basically a college town like Tucson and if your into that feel great. Conversely, Washington D.C. is a whole other experience.  I am assuming you have connections in Arizona since you went to ASU and the reality is that wherever you attend law school is likely the state bar you will take. If you want to be in Arizona attend Arizona. California Hastings or Davis or Washington D.C. George Washington.  Almost every law student ends up within 300 miles of their law school.

Also, if you don't like the hustle and bustle of a City do not attend Hastings. If you like the college town feel Davis or Tucson will be good fits. Just realize that no employer in Arizona is going to recruit you out of any school other than Arizona or Arizona State. No firm or government agency in San Francisco is going to recruit from Arizona or George Washington etc.

2) Cost:
I believe of U of A has in-state tuition, which is very reasonable and UC Hastings and UC Davis charge out-of-state Tuition, which is astronomical. Look into the actual tuition of these schools and the residency requiremetns I believe out-of-state tuition at Hastings or Davis is around $60,000 per year so you will have $180,000 in tuition costs alone combined with another $100k in living expenses particularly if you choose Hastings, which is San Francisco one of the most expensive housing markets in the U.S.

3) Personal Feelings about School:
Something that is important is visiting the schools and seeing if it is a fit for you. I know Hastings is not for me I can't stand it there, but you might love it. Visit all the schools you are interested in and get a feel for them it is where you will be spending three years of your life and spending $100,000+ you might as well enjoy it.

4) Reality of Legal Education:

At Arizona, Hastings, Davis or George Washington or any ABA school you will get a solid legal education. For all intents and purposes you learn the same things at any school. Law school consists of reading Supreme Court Cases and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different schools nor does the law change if you went to the 42nd or 84th best school . 

5) U.S. News
I already ranted about it, but I cannot stress enough how little this matters particularly for non-elite schools such as the ones you listed. If it were Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Georgetown or some school known around the world then ranking means something, but I honestly had no idea what any of the schools you mentioned were ranked nor did I care.

Conclusion:
Use common sense when choosing a law school. You are making a common mistake, which I myself made as a 0L and completely over thinking it. Go to school in the location you want to live and get out with as little debt as possible.

A school being ranked 42nd or 28th doesn't mean anything and you should not move to a City you hate and spend $100,000 more dollars, because a few scantrons decided X school was 28th instead of 36th in 2015.








35
Excellent point Loki if your goal is simply to pass a bar it my understanding South Dakota is the easiest and it is a State that pays lawyers to work there. http://www.businessinsider.com/south-dakota-lawyer-subsidy-2013-4

If your goal is to work in the United States as a licensed lawyer and it doesn't matter where South Dakota will give you the best shot at passing the bar and making an income. Additionally, it is not expensive there, but I hear it can get a little cold.

36
Then the answer is no you have to pass a bar to waive in.

The only way to get a license to practice law without writing a bar exam essay is to attend University of Wisconsin or Marquette. The State of Wisconsin has the degree privilege for their two schools so if you graduate from those schools you automatically pass the Wisconsin Bar.

Other than that you need to pass a bar exam to practice law.

37
Great post Loki and I agree with the majority of it.  A professor more or less breaks a course, but if there is something generally you want to do certain classes are important.

I.E. if you want to be a litigator take trial advocacy and try to as many mock trial competitions as possible even if the professor is terrible if you get the chance to compete in a mock trial it is as close to the real thing as you will get. I would also recommend remedies, which is typically a recommended bar class,  but I think having a basic understanding of legal remedies is key as that is what any client wants.

The client will always want a remedy to their situation and understanding the various remedies out there TRO, injunction, receivership, settlement, whatever it may be is a good use of 3 units and it is usually on bar exams, which doesn't hurt.

I also know some schools require these courses, but others recommend them and I would encourage any law student to take these courses Wills & Trusts, Business Associations and Evidence.  Any lawyer needs to have a basic understanding of these three subject areas as they come all the time in the practice of law no matter what field you are in. Additionally, they are on the bar as well so it doesn't hurt.

If you attend Santa Clara a bar recommended course in California is Community Property since California is a community property state. However, you can learn community property in a few hours. If you are married anything you earn through work is split 50/50 except for gifts or inheritance. 

Anything before marriage or after separation is separate property. 

There are nuances of course, but that is the gist and I took the class in law school, which was a complete waste of 2 units. 


38
Yes as Loki mentioned DC will allow you to waive in if you scored a 133 or higher on the MBE and Minnesota will allow you to waive in if you scored a 145 or higher. You will never actually know the score, but go to the NCBEX website request score page and pay $25.00 and they will let you know if you can waive into either or both jurisdictions. If you passed the bar you more than likely got a 133 and can waive in, but you never know.

I belivee South Dakota allows a transfer if you score 150 or higher as well, but I know for a fact DC and Minnesota allow you to waive in on the MBE.

Also, D.C. as a Federal territory and not a state has reciprocity with the vast majority of states.



39
Does the Dept of Justice one pay? Also I would consider the payment of any of these.

I had internships and summer jobs every semester and summer in law school and if there is ever one that says you will get great experience, but no pay my two cents is stay away. I know this is a common statement for government employers, but the reality is if they are not paying you then they have very little incentive to utilize you.

The more they are paying you the more they are going to use you and not to mention you will be minimizing your debt.


40
As everyone has asked what are the scholarship conditions. If you can't get them down to good academic standing on the conditions and maybe even ask for living expenses you will have the chance to get an ABA degree for minimal or no debt, which is a solid deal.

I would also negotiate with Cal Western for more money worse thing they will say is no.

As to the quality of the schools I have known solid attorney's from both schools, but obviously neither one is Harvard. However, if you want to end up in San Diego those are solid schools to choose from.

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