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Messages - Citylaw
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« on: October 20, 2013, 02:45:55 PM »
I think you have a good start, but it still needs work. If you want to personal message me I can do a track changes on it, but some preliminary advice.
First and foremost I don't know what race you are based on the statement, but your first paragraph is all about race. I think if your white you don't want to focus to much on the race card.
Your overall explanation of wanting to get into law to help people and seeing the court process in action is excellent and it sounds like this Jesuit Volunteer Corps was important to you, but frankly I don't know what it is and you want to explain in more detail why you choose to be part of this organization.
You also list a bunch of specific addresses, which I don't think are necessary unless you are applying to New York Schools. I happened to live in New York and am familiar with the neighborhoods you are referring to, but if you are planning on applying to West Coast Schools they will have no idea what FlatBush is etc.
You may also want to include where you are from. If you came from a small town in Nebraska and joined the JVC in New York that is a major change and worth mentioning in our personal statement, but if your from New York and volunteered in New York it won't be as impressive.
Also just you know the personal statement makes up a very small percentage of an admissions decision it is worth spending time on, but your GPA/LSAT makes up 90-95% of the decision.
I do think your off to a good start and your story and reason for wanting to pursue a legal career are noble. Also remember I am nothing more than an anonymous internet poster so take any advice from me or anyone else with a grain of salt.
« on: October 20, 2013, 02:27:57 PM »
I think Golden Gate is a classic example of why these employment statistics cannot be accurately kept. Golden Gate has a large part-time program and is located in the heart of the San Francisco Financial District. A number of part-time students enroll while working full-time at various jobs and have no intention of becoming lawyers. They want to have a law degree to help them in their non-legal career.
There are also a number of older people who simply attend Golden Gate as an intellectual challenge not to become lawyers. On top of that there are number of wealthy housewives that want to attend law school to have something to do. I would say 30-40% of the student population at GGU makes up one of those three categories and none of them are looking for jobs that require bar passage.
The real problem with these statistics you continually cite is that it assumes every law student is in the same exact boat there are an abundance of reasons why people attend law school or any form of education. Not everyone graduate of GGU is a 25 year old ready to start a career it is more of an alternative schoool than Harvard etc where the majority of graduates are 25 years old and ready to start a career.
On top of that California takes four months to provide bar results and the stats calculate 9 months after graduation. You graduate law school in May take the bar in Late July and results are released the week of Thanksgiving. Therefore, assuming you pass the California Bar the first time, which statewide has a 55% passage rate you cannot possibly start working in a job that requires bar passage until 7 months after graduation and most firms are not going to fire during Thanskgiving or Christmas so you can't even look until January, which is 9 months after graduation.
I know a number of GGU alumni and alumni from all the Bay Area schools and alsmot of them started working between January-March after receiving bar results, but that doesn't show up in these "stats" because it doesn't even count until 9 months after.
Additionally as Maintain states it is not the responsibility of a school to find you a job I have interviewed students from Santa Clara, USF, GGU etc some are great others I would not trust to feed my cat and would really never hire them as a lawyer and that has a lot more to do with the person than the school.
As an example I was interviewing for Interns one student from Santa Clara showed up 20 minutes late, wrinkled shirt no suit jacket and frankly looked hungover. He had no resume and clearly did not research what our firm did. He was completely unprepared and obviously not hired, but another Santa Clara student interviewed and was great on time, suit, researched, etc he was hired and has done a great job.
Santa Clara can't babysit these students and the guy we hired will do fine the other one needs a wake-up call. He could have attended Harvard I wouldn't have hired him based on my interaction with him. At the end of the day it comes down to the individual and any ABA school will provide you with the basic tools to pass the bar exam. What you do with thta is up to you and has very little to do with your school.
« on: October 20, 2013, 12:46:13 PM »
I believe LSAT scores last three years, but different schools may have different policies. It sounds like you want to be in the Sacramento area so I would contact McGeorge and Davis to learn their specific LSAT policy.
As for your service in Afganistan I believe that is something worth mentioning. Generally soft factors matter very little, but military service and literally being in a war zone is an interesting fact. The majority of 0L's will write about their internship at a law firm or how hard introduction to Chemistry was, which doesn't impress egghead admissions individuals nor is that exciting. I would really highlight your experience in your personal statement as I think you have one of the rare instances of an impressive soft factor.
As for when you should take the LSAT you should take it when your ready. It is not going anywhere, but it is a difficult exam and as Maintain said you really can't know your options until you have a score. I would study for LSAT as much as you can and when you feel ready sign up.
« on: October 19, 2013, 02:36:47 PM »
Not really law schools are driven by numbers and if you have a 3.8 from Brandham it will look better than a 3.4 from Cal State Fullerton. Neither school is an elite institution and the truth is the Davis Admissions Committee won't care one way or the other about the school.
Don't overthink the admissions process focus on getting the best possible GPA and then getting a solid LSAT score. Davis is a solid school, but also don't forget McGeorge if you want to be in Northern California. Good luck on your pursuit of a legal education and thanks for your service.
Feel free to post other law school related questions on this site there are some great posters.
« on: October 19, 2013, 02:24:02 AM »
I imagine there are plenty of people who think Campos is an expert, but it doesn't make them right a lot of people thought the behind this photo was an expert, but the tagline on the image says it all. http://www.7hawksmedia.com/onpoint/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Never-Underestimate-Stupidity.jpg
One thing I can guarantee is Hofstra's placement will not be impacted by this drop in rankings. I highly doubt even one law firm anywhere is revoking job offers to individuals they hired based on this drop in rankings and OCI's are not being cancelled. Attorney's in the real world do not make decisions based on the rankings nor do they care about them. Common sense gets applied and Harvard is a good school, but I encourage you to go and speak with lawyers who have been licensed 5+ years and ask them what U.S. News has ranked Hofstra Law School. There response will be I have no idea and I don't care.
« on: October 18, 2013, 07:37:27 PM »
GGU had some tough times in in the mid 2000's, but they got a new dean in 2009-2012 and another new dean this year and hired a number of new professors. GGU is far from Harvard, but it has always been a solid litigation school.
Mock Trial and real litigation is a classic example of why law school ranking doesn't matter, particularly if you want to be a litigator. I believe you are thinking of South Texas College of Law not Texas A & M dominating higher ranked schools.
South Texas College of Law is essentially the best trial advocacy school in the Country and wins the majority of competitions they enter. In Mock Trial Competitions you never know who is from what school, because just like in Real Court you never say I went to X law school, because no jury should ever hear what law school you went to.
I encourage any 0L to watch a live trial at their local courthouse and you can see good and bad attorneys, and you will have no idea what school they went to and frankly it doesn't matter. The rules for hearsay, relevance, expert opinion etc don't change based on what school you attended.
« on: October 18, 2013, 07:25:16 PM »
Could not have said it better myself Maintain. 4% Biglaw is acceptable believe it or not there are a number of people out there who do not want to work in BigLaw. Additionally, those at Hofstra should be realistic and know unless they finish in the top 4-5% of the class and even then no guarantee of BigLaw.
BigLaw is like getting drafted to the NFL/NBA about .01 percent of people make it. If you play College Basketball at Division 1 San Jose State odds are you are not going to the NBA. You can probably play internationally somewhere, but you will not make a multi-million dollar contract, but if you really want to be a professional basketball player San Jose State can get you place somewhere.
Law School and BigLaw is no different about 1% of lawyers are in Biglaw and unless you attended on of the name schools odds are you will not get an interview let alone hired. However, there are plenty of City Attorney, D.A., P.D., Litigation, Small firms etc that work well if you want to be a lawyer, but if you want to be making $200,000 k at graduation in Manhattan you better have finished in the top of your class at a T14 school.
I also agree Paul Campos's attack on Hofstra is on par with what a naive 0L would write, but Mr. Campos went straight into Academia and has no practical legal experience so it is not that surprising his attack was so unprofessional.
« on: October 18, 2013, 07:13:59 PM »
Legend love the passion and agree with everything you said, but Lrt was using ABA employment data, which although not the best compilation of information is better than U.S. News.
There are plenty of issues with tracking employment stats, but there is some credence to it. I also think the actual article written with the data is excellent and hits all the crucial points such as U.S. News and the rankings in this poll don't really matter.
Anyway keep posting!
« on: October 17, 2013, 01:14:37 AM »
I am on your side JoelButterfly.
What do you think aspiring 0L's should know about the admissions process?
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