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Messages - Citylaw

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General Board / Re: Am I On the Right Track
« on: November 12, 2014, 11:13:27 AM »
The fifth year will not hurt you, and I did the same thing in college wanted to play one more year. The only thing you should do is focus on taking the LSAT if you haven't already. I would encourage you to take the LSAT while in college just you have a score. You can always retake, but knocking that out of the way is really the hardest part of the application process, and many people put it off for years.

If law school is what you want then start get the process started take the February or July LSAT then start applying in October. I recommend anyone applying to law school attend an LSAC forum to obtain fee waivers, and get introduced to schools etc. . I saved about $2,000 on law school applications by attending this, and then obtained scholarship offers from schools I had no intention of attending and used those scholarships as leverage to obtain more scholarship money from the schools I wanted to attend.

I also think once you have the LSAT and are accepted into various schools, this article does a great job of explaining factors to consider when choosing a law school.

Good luck in your final season and on your pursuit of a legal education.

I agree I think it is perfectly reasonable to ask someone to write their own recommendation. In the real world you have to explain what you do to bosses, supervisors, clients, etc, you don't tell your boss to tell the client why your doing a good job you should be able to explain it.

I having the student sum up what it is they do that is so valuable is practice for the real world. I am sure the supervisor will edit, and maybe make some additions, but the student is asking for something and should have some framework of what they have to offer.

Law School Applications / Re: law!
« on: November 11, 2014, 01:56:47 PM »
That is all true, and I think various internet posters can offer good advice, but I would strongly recommend talking to people face to face. I do not think U.S. News is a credible source of information at all, it is a magazine trying to make money off it's opinion, but that is my opinion plenty of people think differently.

The primary purpose of my post is that what each individual want's from law school differs greatly. Many people want to move to a small town, many want to work in large firms, be D.A's, Public Defender's, so on and so on. Some people want to live in a big city others small cities, some people want to be close to their families others want to be as far away as possible. Some people want a competitive environment others want a more cooperative atmosphere, and the only person that can possibly evaluate all those factors is the individual. That is why I recommend any incoming student visit the campus, walk around the neighborhood, talk to everyone affiliated with the school directly, and gauge credibility.

Law School Applications / Re: law!
« on: November 11, 2014, 12:59:07 AM »
No problem, and please remember that random internet advice is not the best source of information to make a life altering decision upon. I strongly encourage you to visit schools you are actually interested and talk to professors, students, admins etc face to face. Also reach out to alumni from various schools, and see what they have to say about the school.

When you meet people face to face you can really gauge their credibility, but on anonymous internet posters can say whatever they want about anything without consequence, for a little humor here is exactly why you should not take internet advice seriously from the greatest boss every Michael Scott.

Personal Statement / Re: Need critique on personal statement please
« on: November 10, 2014, 09:55:22 PM »
I actually think it is a really good message, and overall very solid. A few things on the first read is you use some unnecessary words occasionally. i.e.

revealed that he had joined the force in an effort to be the “good cop”

get rid of had and say revealed he joined the force in an effort to be the "good cop"

The "had" doesn't add anything. I noticed throughout there are a sentences that have a an unnecessary word or two, and I think if you get rid of them it will read a little better. Overall, the message, story, and passion is really quite good, but I think with a few tweaks it can be great.

If you want to personal message me I can give you my real e-mail and do a redline of the personal statement.

Good luck on your pursuit of a legal education, you sound like the type of person the legal profession could use.

Law School Applications / Re: law!
« on: November 04, 2014, 07:59:10 PM »
First and foremost realize that anyone on this board or others is nothing more than an anonymous internet poster and whatever you read here my post included should be taken with a major grain of salt. For all you know I am a crackhead in a public library, the Dean of Harvard Law School, or just a run of the mill lawyer.

With that disclaimer, congratulations on your GPA and LSAT score. You can get into a number of ABA schools with those scores, and I cannot tell you how many people I know that never have the courage to actually take the LSAT. Additionally, 152 is not a "bad" score you score better than 50% of college graduates, that were motivated enough to want to attend law school, and had the courage to actually take the test.

Now for the reality check. Believe it or 99% of lawyers do not go to the top 1% of schools, and in reality whether you make it or not as a lawyer has far more to do with you than the school you attend.  Looking at your choices, I think the only school on your list that you have a good chance of admission at is South Texas, which I think know for a fact is a great litigation school. I am in California, but I competed at a trial competition at South Texas while in law school, and I know they dominated a number of other competitions I was involved in.

With your numbers the other schools you listed are unlikely. However, there are a number of other schools in Texas, L.A, or Louisiana that you could have a realistic chance at.

Texas Schools:
Texas A & M.
Texas Southern
Saint Mary's

So Cal Schools:
Western State
California Western
Thomas Jefferson

Those are just a in those specific areas, and using the LSAC chart I plugged in your numbers and a number of ABA schools that you are competitive at came out. Here is a link

How to Choose a Law School

You need to really consider the following factors when choosing a law school in this order. (1) Location; (2) Cost; (3) Personal Feelings About the School; (4) Understanding the Reality of Legal Education; and (5) Last and Least U.S. News Rankings.

Here is a great article that explains why to consider these factors.

Good luck in your pursuit of a legal education.

Law School Applications / Re: Disciplinary action
« on: November 02, 2014, 01:36:46 AM »
As everyone else said as long as you disclose everything will be fine. If breaking into a closed pool in college, is your worst offense then you have little to worry about.

I knew people with DUI's, battery charges, etc in law school as long as you disclose and do not have a felony conviction, everything should go smoothly.

Good luck on your application process.

Part of being in the real world is learning to sell yourself.

Write a letter that identifies your strengths etc, when you go on interviews etc you will need to be comfortable telling people why they should hire you over the other applicants. Of if you open your firm you will need to sell yourself to potential clients.

It is not something law school teaches you, but learning how to sell yourself is very important, and writing a LOR for yourself is good training for that.

As Groundhog said use specifics what did you do that exceeded expectations. Specify how you elevated performance etc, I know it is difficult to do this the first time around, but learning how to do it is an important skill.

Good luck.

First and foremost realize that any anonymous internet poster on this board or others myself included knows anything about you, and for all you know I am a crackhead in a public library or I could be a partner at Cravath. So with that take any anonymous internet poster advice with a major grain of salt my post included.

With that said I think you are making one of the most common 0L mistakes, one I made myself, which is putting way to much thought into what a for profit unregulated magazine thinks. U.S. News is not regulated by anyone, and they are offering an opinion for entertainment and to make money. If you want to make a life altering decision based on that it is your choice, but I do not recommend it.   Also realize rankings change drastically year by year, because U.S. News has no real formula, just look at the two schools you are considering. 

Temple Ranking U.S. News 2009-2014
Present 61* 2013   56*   2012 58* 2011   61*   2010 72*   2009 65*    

Penn State Ranking
Present 51*   2013 64*   2012 76*   2011 60   2010 72*   2009 65*

Both schools were tied for the same rank in 65th along with a number of schools, then both fell to a tie for 72nd with a bunch of other schools. In 2011 Penn State was one rank higher, In 2012 Temple was 18 spots hight, in 2013 Temple was 8 spots higher, and now Penn State is 10 spots higher.

So to sum it up if you choose Temple based on rank over Penn State in 2011 the school that you graduated from would be significantly lower ranked even though it was 18 spots higher. So DO NOT CHOOSE a law school based on ranking.

Here is a link to show the drastic changes in law school rankings year by year. The top 10-20 schools are basically the same, but outside of that they change drastically and odds are if you choose Penn State based on rank today, Temple will be ranked higher by the time you graduate or vice versa, and it doesn't matter.

With that said I think any 0L should consider the following factors in this order when choosing a law school: (1) Location; (2) Cost; (3) Personal Feelings about school; (4) Understanding the Reality of legal education; (5) Last and certainly least U.S. News Ranking.  I will analyze each of these factors to your current decision between Penn & Temple, but I also encourage you to apply to other schools in the area to obtain scholarship offers and more leverage when negotiating with schools you really want to attend.

 (1) Location:
It looks like you want to be in Pennsylvania, which is good you narrowed it down to a state, but do you want to live in Philly or University Park. No right or wrong answer, but if you want to be in a big-city go to Temple if you want the college feel go to University Park. It will make a big difference, and whatever is more your style is the right choice there.

(2) Cost
Temple offers in-state tuition at $19,000 per year x 3= 57,000 in Tuition which is a great deal.

Penn-State does not offer in state tuition and is $40,000 per year x 3= 120,000 in tuition;

On that factor Temple certainly wins you will save $63,000 on tuition, which is something to consider.
(3) Personal Feelings About School
Aside from location and cost each school has a culture to it, and whether the school's culture fits you is something only you can determine. When I was visiting schools there were some I liked others I didn't, which is entirely subjective to my personality.

The only way to know if a school is a fit is to visit personally, talk to professors, walk around campus, walk around the surrounding neighborhood, talk to students, alumni, etc and you will feel better about one over the other, and listen to your gut it will guide you in the right direction.

(4) Reality of Legal Education:
Finally I know there are law school rankings, but the reality is at any ABA law school you will learn the same thing. You will receive a great education at Penn State or Temple or any other ABA school. In law school you read Supreme Court Cases, and the Supreme Court does not write separate opinions for different law schools, nor does the law change whether you attend Temple or Penn State.

Your first year will consist of Torts, Civil Procedure, Contracts, Property, and a LRW class. Schools differ on whether they offer Crim Pro/Crim Law/Con Law 1L or 2L, but you will take those courses in law school as well. In Torts you will read the Palsgraff case, Civ Pro Pennoyer v. Neff, Contracts Hadley v. Baxendale, Property the fox-hound case.

I cannot possibly tell you what the right answer is, but really analyze the factors above to your personal situation. Good luck whatever you decide.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Good Programs for Law Grads
« on: October 26, 2014, 12:58:36 AM »
With your military and law background a good degree might be a Master's of Public Administration, which opens the door to being a City Manager or Assistant City Manager etc.

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