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Messages - Citylaw

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Studying for the LSAT / Re: Newest of the n00bs
« on: August 07, 2014, 07:53:22 PM »
To keep it simple I think you are really well served to just take the LSAT and see how you do. Many people in your situation put their carriage in front of the horse and before committing all this thought into whether and where you should attend spend a few months studying and get an LSAT score then you can know your options.

Honestly, if you enjoy studying for the LSAT then you will probably enjoy law school if you hate studying for the LSAT you will probably not enjoy law school. With that I would recommend setting a goal to take the December LSAT that will give you months to prepare and study and will cost you about $100.00 and a Saturday afternoon.

Once you have the LSAT score you will know if you even have the option to attend law school. Once the option is there then start really considering your options and you will likely do better on the LSAT if you put less pressure on it.

Good luck.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: USD vs. Pepperdine
« on: August 05, 2014, 10:42:11 AM »
Groundhog makes a good point L.A. is a much more competitive city than San Diego. However, L.A. does have more opportunities, but with that comes stiffer competition.

Both are good solid options and you should be proud of your acceptances getting into any ABA school is very difficult. I think after you visit both schools you will have your answer one of them will give you a gut feeling and that is what you should listen to. You can look at endless stats, internet posts, etc, but they are all b.s. at the end of the day what matters is your educational experience and you are the only that knows what will work best for you so listen to your gut and visit the schools.

Law School Applications / Re: Law School Admission Options
« on: August 04, 2014, 11:09:56 AM »
Excellent advice from Miami above.

One thing to realize is that the odds of you scoring a 160-170 are very low particularly if you have a 2.72 GPA. It is certainly possible to score in the 160-170, but that puts you in the top 10-20% of college graduates, that are motivated enough to want to attend law school, and have the fortitude to actually take the test.  There is a 80-90% chance you will not score in the top 10-20% of test takers.

With that said scoring below a 160 does not mean you cannot have a successful legal career and there are a number of ABA schools that you can be admitted to with less than a 160 LSAT.

I recommend getting the best grades possible to finish out your undergrad career as a 2.72 is on the very low end of acceptable for admission standards to any ABA school. One way to boost your GPA is take some easy classes to get an A. Law school admissions do not really review all your courses just the number so if you can get an A or two in Frisbee Golf to boost your GPA then I recommend going for it.

Also take the LSAT when your ready and once you have a final GPA/LSAT you will realistically know what your options are.

Good luck in your pursuit of a J.D.

Studying for the LSAT / Re: Mediocre diagnostic what?
« on: August 04, 2014, 10:58:48 AM »
If you got a diagnostic of 141 odds are if you do all the prep right you are probably capable of getting a 155-160, which will get you into a number of ABA schools. Something I see many incoming law students and incoming med students do is flip out about the LSAT/MCAT and expect to obtain near perfect scores. This however, is very unlikely and odds are you will not go to Harvard, Yale, Stanford law school. That does not mean you cannot have a successful legal career attending a law school that 98% of other practicing lawyers attended.

As for prep you can obtain materials from LSAC and order the old tests.  Do as many practice questions as possible under strict time conditions. Practice makes perfect, but it will take a lot of time and effort to do 20-30 full length practice tests, but it is certainly doable.

As an additional FYI I do not believe any schools average the LSAT anymore so you can retake the LSAT if you do not do well without any consequence. Schools only have to report their highest LSAT so that is typically what they will do. A few schools might have exceptions, but I believe the vast majority of schools do not average the LSAT.

Continue doing well in undergrad and maybe get a few filler classes to get some free A's to boost your GPA, take the LSAT, then attend an LSAC forum to get admission waivers and talk to school representatives. Then start applying once your acceptances come in start reviewing this is a good article explaining how to choose a law school.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: USD vs. Pepperdine
« on: July 31, 2014, 08:14:00 PM »
Congrats on your acceptances and scholarship offers. Choosing a law school is a life-altering and difficult decision and remember I along with anyone else on this board is nothing more than an anonymous internet poster so take advice you receive with a grain of salt.

With that said I believe any incoming 0L should consider the following five factors 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. I will apply each of these factors to your situation below.

1) Location:
It looks like you have narrowed it down to Southern California, which is good. Many people myself included as a clueless 0L apply to law schools all over the country expecting that they can just pick up and move after graduation anywhere they want, which is not the case.

With that said your options are San Diego or Malibu pretty solid choices, but I am from L.A. and know there are some minor cultural differences between San Diego and Malibu, which are worth considering wherever you attend law school will be three years of your life and if you go to school at Pepperdine odds are you will end up in L.A. if you attend law school in San Diego you will end up in San Diego.

2) Cost
It also looks like you have put thought into this, but one thing I strongly consider that you do with both schools is negotiate for more scholarship money and better conditions. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by asking for more money and better conditions. You are a qualified student and so qualified in fact that they are willing to take you on at a discounted rate. As a 0L you have all the bargaining power, but as 0L you are often not smart enough to realize that I know I wasn't, but once your enrolled that bargaining power is gone. Kind of a catch 22.

I guess I am not 100% clear on the actual numbers presented.

From my understanding Pepperdine housing/tuition = 63,000 per year minus 25,000 scholarship = 38,000. x 3 years = $114,000.

Univeristy of San Diego housing/tuition= 57,000 per year - 32,000 year= 25,000 year 1 then 30,000 year 2 & 3 when the scholarship reduces to 27,000 therefore totaling= 85,000 per year.

Therefore it is 85,000 per year USD v $114,00 per year at Pepperdine. Pepperdine however, imposes the stipulation of finishing in the top half of the class, which means there is a 50% chance you will lose the scholarship years two and three making the total cost of attendance $164,000.

I strongly recommend you negotiate with both schools to get a better deal for yourself and then evaluate the costs. Certainly USD wins out on the cost end.

3) Personal Feelings about the School:
This is a very important consideration as you will spend three years of the prime of your life at the school you attend. Each school has a culture to it and whether that culture fits you or not is something only you can know. I have been to a number of law schools both as a OL and for mock trial competitions and there were some schools that really rubbed me the wrong way and others I loved, but that was my personal opinion you very well loved the schools I didn't like and hated the ones I did.

In this instance I have been two both campuses and USD is nice, but Pepperdine is probably one of the most gorgeous campuses in America and this is one of the schools that I just loved. My mom worked there when I was a kid and I went to a lot of camps at Pepperdine and I just love everything about that school.

With that said I strongly encourage you to visit both schools talk to professors, students, admins, walk around the campus, the surrounding neighborhood, and see what school feels right. One of the schools will give you a gut feeling, but this gut feeling is highly personal I would choose Pepperdine in this regard in a minute and even pay more to attend, but I am not you. This is a three year, $100,000, career altering choice so take the time to personally visit these campuses and make the decision for yourself.

4) Understanding the reality of legal education:

It is important to understand that any ABA law school you will receive a quality education and for all intents and purposes learn the same thing.

Your first year will consist of Torts; Contracts; Property; Civil Procedure etc and you will read supreme court cases and whether you do that at USD or Pepperdine you will learn the same exact thing from quality professors.

5) U.S. News Ranking:
I honestly have no idea what either school is ranked and whatever the ranks are for these two schools will change significantly for better or worse by the time you graduate.

With that remember U.S. News is nothing more than a for-profit unregulated magazine offering an opinion so do not use it as anything more than a tie-breaker when making the life altering decision of choosing where to attend law school.


Nobody can tell you the right choice and no matter what you choose you will always wonder what if I went to the other school, but tough decisions are what you will be faced with in your legal career and exercise good judgment and make the hard decisions and you will succeed in law school and your legal career.

I would choose Pepperdine only because I love the campus so much, but again I am not you this is your life, your money, and your career so visit the schools and negotiate for as much money as possible.

Good luck in your pursuit of a legal career.

Law School Applications / Re: Looking for Advice, Please
« on: July 31, 2014, 10:41:41 AM »
Law schools would care very little if at all between the difference of University of San Diego and UCSB with the exception of University of San Diego Law School they might be more willing to accept a University of San Diego alumni. Other than the differences between the two schools are negligble they are fine, but nobody is going to say WOW this applicant graduated from UCSB or USD. There is a chance an alumni of one of those schools could review your application, which might be a boost, but the same could be said for any other school out there.

The short answer to your question is consider what undergrad you are most comfortable and also what will allow you to get out with the least undergrad debt. Enjoy college, because it is possible you may change your mind about law school so for now don't give it to much though. Pursue the major that interests you at the school you want to attend and get the best grades possible to keep the door for law school open. Once you graduate or are nearing graduation take the LSAT and you will see what if any law school doors are open to you.

Good luck.

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Finding the "Perfect Fit"
« on: July 30, 2014, 07:44:58 PM »
Miami's post is right on point.

Attend law school where you want to live and remember that any ABA school is respectable do not get to caught up in the rankings. If you want a dog-friendly, warm, city then I recommend a number of California law schools and probably L.A. or San Diego would be best.

With a 160/3.0 you could probably get scholarships at Chapman or Southwestern in L.A. or Thomas Jefferson and California Western in San Diego.

Good luck on your journey and congrats on your solid LSAT score.

General Board / Re: Touro Law School question
« on: July 30, 2014, 11:29:53 AM »
Touro is not Harvard, but an ABA school that will provide you with a quality education.

To answer your question they will consider your experience, but at the end of the day law school admission is really a numbers game. A good website to look at your chances of admission is this is the Link to Touro's site it appears they accepted someone with similar numbers.

If you are in New York I also encourage you to apply to CUNY, which is significantly cheaper than Touro and has roughly the same admission standards.

Good luck in your pursuit of a legal career and feel free to use this board to ask additional questions about law school and the admissions process, there are some quality posters on this site.

Great post Miami.

Silverdoe the rankings are not going to make it or break it for you. Any ABA school will provide you with a quality education and the reality is any educational experience is what you make of it. Honestly, if you attend Harvard, but sit in the back of the class, never interact with anyone, don't study etc you likely won't succeed. If you attend Cooley graduate as Valedictorian, connect with professors, get internships etc you will likely succeed.

As Miami said very few lawyers went to the top schools. There are 200 ABA schools therefore, 95% of practicing lawyers did not attend a top 10 school.

I encourage you not to over think the law school application process it is something many 0L's do, but keep it simple. If you want to be a lawyer in Miami attend law school in Miami and get out with as little debt as possible. If you want to be a lawyer in Eastern Washington attend law school in Eastern Washington and get out with as little debt as possible.

If you will only be happy working for Cravath then probably don't attend law school.

Columbia, NYU, and Fordham are great schools. However, no school anywhere guarantees you a job.

Whatever law school you choose it will be up to you to graduate, obtain relevant internships, pass the bar, and find the right job for you.

I know you would like there to be some guarantee that choosing X law school will result in success, but there is no way to know. There are plenty of Harvard, Yale, Stanford grads that never passed the bar or found legal employment and plenty of Cooley Grads that passed the bar and went onto successful legal careers. Obviously a degree from Harvard, Yale, and Stanford will open more doors than Cooley, but no school will guarantee you anything it will be up to you as an individual to succeed in the legal profession.

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