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Messages - Citylaw

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41
Feel to disagree with me.

All I can say to the OP is remember this will be one of the biggest life choices you ever make. You can listen to internet posters or go out and talk directly to real people.  There is no bad advice on this thread, but talk to people in person and you can judge their credibility first hand.

This is a very big decision and there is no absolute. There are scenarios where Cooley is better than Harvard. This is few and far between and 99% of the time not the case and if you want to go the Clerk-Big Law etc path it is 100% not true. However, not everyone wants the Big-Law clerkship path and if you want to work for a solo attorney in Lansing Michigan they will be more likely to hire someone from Lansing law school than flying a Harvard Grad out.

If you want the traditional law school path then Penn will open the most doors, but I do not know you or anything about you. If your goal is to open your own firm right out of law school get out with as little debt as possible. Frankly the possibilities are endless and having never met you or knowing the first thing about OP I will not tell him/her that X school is the absolute right choice. Use the factors I mentioned as well as the other posts on this board as preliminary info, but the best information comes from people you can talk with face to face.  You cannot do with that with myself, Miami88, or Loki13. For all you know we are all using the same screen name and hired by Law School Discussion to disagree to generate content. That is not the case, but maybe it is there is nothing wrong with saying anything you want on this board or others.




42
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Need help making a decision
« on: March 24, 2015, 07:55:33 PM »
You should not be that concerned with rank. Remember U.S. News is a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion and should not be the basis of a life altering decision.

If you want to work in Texas University of Texas is a far better choice than University of Washington. If you want to be in Washington attend law school in Washington.

Also, do not go to a law school expecting to transfer.  Transferring is very difficult to do and even if you end up finishing in the top 20% of your class, which there is an 80% chance you will not. The friendships and connections you make during 1L are very important and many people do not handle transferring well.


43
Plenty of people do rely on U.S. News, but I am not one of them. Of course a Harvard degree can open doors, but not everybody wants that many choices. If someone wants to be a public defender in Lansing, Michigan then Cooley is a better choice than Harvard.

Of course you cannot know how it will go based on a visit or any amount of research. It will either work out or not and if we any of us could know how things would turn out these decisions would be pretty easy. I think the best people to talk to our alumni from schools in your area, but certainly visits are helpful.

To the OP neither I, Loki13, or any other poster really knows what is best for you. For all you know I could be a tweaker in a public library or the Dean of Harvard Law School. These boards and items such as U.S. News can be used as tools to assist in your decision, but don't make a life altering decision based on an anonymous internet posters opinion.

In my experience the name of a law school does not matter that much.  There are thousands of successful lawyers from every school and maybe in three ways the firm you really want to work at will love Penn Grads or maybe they will hate them. It is frankly a crapshoot and my anonymous internet poster opinion is that whether you succeed or not will have far more to do with you as an individual than the name of the school on your diploma. However, no matter school you attend the debt will be real and my two cents is try and avoid it, but there are plenty of reasonable people that will disagree with that advice.

However, remember this is your three year, $100,000+, life altering commitment and nobody knows what is best for you better than yourself.


44
First and foremost realize that anything you read on this board or others mine included comes from anonymous internet posters and should be taken with a grain of salt. There are some valid posts above, but the law school you choose is a highly personal decision and the reality is any ABA school will provide you with a quality legal education and the opportunity to obtain a license to practice law.  If you pass the bar and become a licensed lawyer whether you succeed or not will have a lot more to do with you than the school you attended.

With that intro I think any incoming law student should consider the following five factors in this order when choosing a law school. (1) Location; (2) Cost; (3) Personal feelings about the school; (4) Understanding the reality of legal education; (5) Last and least U.S. News ranking.  Here is a good article summarizing these factors and I rambled on about them below as well. http://www.legalmatch.com/choose-the-right-law-school.html

Location:
It looks like you want to be in Pennsylvania so you are looking at the right schools, but I am unfamiliar with Pennsylvania and don't know if these schools are in vastly different areas. The neighborhood your school is in will be where you spend three years of your life so it is something to consider.

Cost
Getting out of law school debt free would be awesome. However, has another poster suggested be careful of the conditions it sounds like it is only a 2.0 at most schools, which is fair, but don't assume the law school will do you any favors be very certain you understand the conditions. This New York Times Article explains how law school scholarships work better than I can. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?_r=0

However, getting out of law school with little or no debt will give you more freedom down the road, which is something to consider.

Personal Feelings about School:
Each school has a culture to it and whether you like that culture is a question only you can answer.

UPenn is an Ivy League School, which is great, but maybe your not an Ivy League type person. One of my friends went to Harvard Law School, but hated every minute of it. He is from the inner city and not exactly a preppy person and would have been happier going to  a school that had more scrappy people in it. He got a Biglaw job offer, but hated that environment and then started his own firm and is a solo practitioner hustling, but he loves it. He could have had full scholarships to numerous other schools, but now the Harvard debt is impacting him. The point is he was not a fit at Harvard, but there are certainly plenty of people that are.

So the point of that story is really look at yourself and what you like and don't like. No magazine, internet poster, etc can possibly know what fits you best. I encourage you to visit each school, talk to students, alumni, professors, walk around the neighborhood and determine, which school feels right. UPenn might be the perfect fit, but it might be a terrible fit as well, but this is a question only you can answer and the only way to answer this question is by visiting the schools and talking to people in person.

4) Reality of Legal Education
Any of these schools will provide you with a great education. At any ABA school you learn the same thing. Your first year courses will consist of  Torts; Contracts; Civil Procedure; Property; Legal Writing & Research; and then Crim Law/Con Law/ or Crim Pro these switch between schools for 1L and 2L, but you will take all of those courses. In those courses you will read Supreme Court cases and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different law schools nor does the law change if you attend a different law school. 

In Torts you will read Palsgraff to learn about proximate cause; Pennoyer v. Neff in Civ Pro to learn about notice; Hadley v. Baxendale in contracts to learn about remedies. So on and so on.

After three years at any of these schools you will then need to take the bar exam. You will sign up for either BarBri or Kaplan and then be completely stressed out for 3 months then pack yourself in a room of thousands of people where students from all of these schools will be taking the bar exam. If you pass the bar your a licensed lawyer if you don't your not. None of these schools guarantee you will pass and whether you pass the bar or not will have a lot more to do with you than the school you attend.

5) U.S. News Ranking:
Remember that U.S. News is nothing more than a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion. U.S. News is doing nothing wrong by offering it's opinion, but there is no science behind it. U.S. News ranks everything from hospitals to best places to live and Alberqueue, New Mexico is the #1 place to live according to U.S. News http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/slideshows/best-places-to-live

I imagine you are not going to apply to New Mexico law school, because U.S. News said New Mexico is the best place to live. Use the same logic when choosing a law school, you can certainly consider it, but a magazines opinion should not be the basis of one of the biggest decisions of your life.

Conclusion:
I know nothing about you or your situation and certainly do not know what is best for you. The only person that can really answer the question is yourself, but use the factors above to assist in your decision. I also guarantee you now matter what you choose you will wonder "what if". I was accepted to numerous schools and even paid deposits at three. Part of me always wonders what if I had chosen school X over school Y, but you can only choose one and make the best of your decision.

Good luck and congratulations on all your acceptances.


45
Widener U School of Law / Re: Widener TAP Program
« on: March 04, 2015, 12:01:44 PM »
They might, but you might want to consider retaking.  A 139 LSAT is suggestive of poor standardized test taking skills and law school as well as the bar exam are standardized tests.

It is good that you took the LSAT and you should be proud of yourself for following through, but you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by retaking. Good luck.

46
Agree with a lot of the posts above. The reality is you should go to law school only if you want to be a lawyer, to get anything you have to be all-in.  An interest in law, but a less than complete commitment will not lead to good things. I am sure in your business practice you don't have half ass things as nothing good results.


47
General Board / Re: In Need of Serious Help!
« on: February 26, 2015, 12:22:28 PM »
Perfect follow-up. If bar finds the discrepancy then the investigator will have to ask if you lied/covered up that what else are you covering up, but if you tell them what happened and it is a reasonable explanation then it should be fine.

If on the other hand you were arrested and in jail for a month, which then resulted in you having to drop out that seems like something you would remember, but if you were an 18 year old kid that was flaky at their local community college joined the military then forgot about 2 months when you were 18 it seems reasonable.

48
There are only a few online law schools and none are currently accredited by the ABA (American Bar Association).

California has a few California State Bar Schools that offer online and a few unaccredited online schools that will allow you to sit for the California Bar Exam, but will not allow you to take it any other state. Here is the info on all law schools in California from the State Bar Website. http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Education/LegalEducation/LawSchools.aspx

Below is a list of the registered, but unaccredited California correspondence schools. To obtain a traditional legal education attending an ABA school is the best option, but it is mandatory that you physically attend the school. A license to practice law is a very serious responsibility, but if you simply what to get an education and have no desire to be licensed the registered unaccredited schools should provide you with a passable legal education.

Registered Unaccredited Correspondence Law Schools in California


The following institutions are currently registered by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California as unaccredited correspondence law schools. A correspondence law school is a law school that conducts instruction principally by correspondence. A correspondence law school must require at least 864 hours of preparation and study per year for four years.

American International School of Law

16491 Scientific Way
Irvine, CA  92618
888-875-5175
www.aisol.org    

Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy

P.O. Box 26870
Fresno, CA 93729-6870
559-650-7755
www.obcl.edu


California Southern University
930 Roosevelt Avenue
Irvine, CA 92620
800-477-2254
ww.calsouthern.edu    

Taft Law School
3700 So. Susan St., Office 200
Santa Ana, CA 92704-6954
800-882-4555
www.taftu.edu

International Pacific School of Law
3055 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 500
Los Angeles, CA 90010
888-921-8899
www.paclawschool.com    

University of Honolulu School of Law
1609 Tully Road, Suite 4
Modesto, CA 95350-4030
209-577-3161
www.universityofhonoluluschoo loflaw.net

Northwestern California University
School of Law
2151 River Plaza Drive, Suite 306
Sacramento, CA 95833-4133
916-920-9470
www.nwculaw.edu    

49
General Board / Re: In Need of Serious Help!
« on: February 26, 2015, 11:30:32 AM »
This is not the worst thing it is understandable that a two month stint at a Junior College before the military could be forgotten.

I think your best bet is to speak with the admissions officer at your school and explain your situation. You may also need to inform your local state bar either now or when you apply for your moral character application.

I have seen worse stories and I remember freaking out about a similar situation and I think most law students and people for that matter forget various things about their lives and then when the state bar comes around asking every detail it is scary, but I do not think you are the first nor will you be the last two drop out of their local J.C.

When in doubt disclose and you should be fine. Good luck.


50
Congrats on your acceptances and scholarships.

Before I say anything substantive realize that I or anyone else posting on this board or others comes from anonymous internet posters, my post included and when making a life altering decision such as where to attend law school anonymous internet advice should be low on the relevance scale.

With that intro I think any incoming law student should consider the following five factors in this order when choosing a law school (1) Location; (2) Cost; (3) Personal Feelings about the school; (4) The reality of legal education; and (5) last and least U.S. News rankings. Here is a good article analyzing these factors. http://www.legalmatch.com/choose-the-right-law-school.html

Two main things that stick out in your post is that I think you are taking the rankings to seriously and you have listed what the scholarship conditions are, which is very important.

U.S. News is nothing more than a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion. U.S. News is certainly entitled to provide it's opinions, but for all intents and purposes it is entertainment and should not be a large factor on where you attend law school. U.S. News ranked Albuquerque, New Mexico #1 best place to live. http://www.bestplaces.net/city/new_mexico/albuquerque .  Will you move to New Mexico, because U.S. News said it is the #1 best place to live? I assume moving to a new city based on what a magazine says seems a bit crazy, but for some reason incoming law students myself included make three year $100,000+ commitments and move to new cities to attend law school often based on what this magazine says, which is not a smart decision.

Additionally, the rankings change year by year when I was in law school Villanova was #50 or so, but it has dropped to #91, but will probably rise again and the methodology U.S. News uses is far from scientific and it doesn't need to be it is entertainment after all. Here is the list of U.S. News law schools for the past 5 years you can see outside of the top 15 schools change drastically year by year.  If you attend Seton Hall at 68th now there is a strong chance Rutgers at 81st could be ranked higher by the time you graduate. It changes drastically year by year and more importantly nobody cares about 68th or 81st best. Seton Hall and Rutgers are both fine schools.

As for your scholarships what are the CONDITIONS many law schools require that you maintain a 3.0 GPA, which to an incoming law student seems like a piece of cake, but it is not. All law students are smart, hard-working, motivated and 100% really believe they will finish in the top 10%, but you don't need to be a math major to see how that works out. The 3.0 requirement is also unlike undergrad, because law school has a steep curve and typically only 35% of students can get a 3.0 first year. This means there is a 65% chance you will lose your scholarship if that is the scenario. I don't know what the conditions of your scholarships are, but ASK. This New York Times Article explains the situation better than I can. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all

You have a lot of good options, but I strongly encourage you to visit each school, learn the scholarship conditions, and put the U.S. News magazine down if after all the other factors are considered and you can't make a decision use it as a tie-breaker, but a magazine should not be a major basis for a 3 year, $100,000+, life and career altering decision.

Good luck and congrats on your acceptances.


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