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Messages - nate
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« on: December 12, 2005, 01:27:45 PM »
i just graduated from msu undergrad last year. i often miss that place, despite the constant threat of STD's.
though you're right that it will be a while, that law school is going nowhere but up in the rankings. breaking the top 100 has to be very difficult (probably one of the most difficult thresholds to cross), but its stats keep rising, and it has tons of money to offer students as well as to invest in making it even better. it's not like ave maria, which spent a bunch of money getting people with certain stats to come the first year, and now has nothing and is spiraling downhill.
my question is, what percentage of the class has a legitimate chance at scoring a summer job during OCI? one student i know of didn't really seem to understand what OCI was, so i was wondering if only the very top ranked students have a chance at landing something.
« on: December 11, 2005, 12:30:48 AM »
i'm in basically the same position you were in a year ago... applying pt with a 161/3.4 from ucla, though I don't have an addendum explaining my gpa at all (whereas yours was really convincing). You were also really smart to include specifics about clinics and profs, whereas I wasn't. The only good soft factors I have are my work exp. and time abroad. I'm really curious to see what's going to happen there, as I realize i'm really on the edge... Based on LSN, I'm guessing I'm going to hit the waitlist there, at which time I'll definitely be writing them and may even take the lsat again in february.
one question i have is... you mentioned you were expecting b's this semester, and I suppose that now you're in classes with other part-timers... but how do you foresee yourself doing there in the next 2.5 years... will it be at all possible for you to graduate in the top third? i'm just concerned about possibly being condemned to the bottom half if i was to get in there thru the "backdoor"...
your numbers are definitely borderline. the basic rule about GW PT admissions seems to be- as far as i've seen on LSN and from talking with people i've met- that as long as you're above 160 on your LSAT, you stand a decent chance. honestly, our GPA's are on the lower end of the band, so you never know. if GW PT is something you really want to do, i think retaking the LSAT might not be a bad idea. otherwise, have you considered sending another LOR (assuming you haven't maxed those out...i got accepeted before they got my second one)? i think work experience is what matters the most, and you have that, so that's good. time abroad- i forgot to mention that i had that too, but i'm not sure how much it helped. a lot of people seem to have that, so it probably depends on how long the time abroad was for, and what reasons it was for. honestly, i wish i had more advice there, but again, i don't think my own soft factors were all that impressive.
your concern about grades is valid. i do foresee myself finishing in the top third, personally, and if not then in the top half. for me, this semster was mostly about figuring out how to study. i'll probably get B's on my two exams (maybe a C on one, maybe an A on the other...who knows), but next semester i don't foresee any problems. now i know how to study, where i want to be at during different points in the semester, how to outline, etc. it all makes sense now. i really love law school and the entire studying process. i'm just a slow learner.
additionally, while 1L grades are certainly most important, i think my rank will only increase after this year when i can take classes where the final grade is based on a paper (though it's only pass/fail, i've gotten the kinds of grades i wanted in my research and writing class). and what got me this semester was not that i didn't know the material- i think it was just lacking a firm ability to take exams. that will only improve next semester... i personally gurantee myself of that.
so i think it all depends on your attitude towards school. my study group is one hard-core studying group of people...but some of them have issues with having no life outside of studying for law school. i really don't. i've always loved school and studying, and i love law school too. it was just a matter of poor time management and study skills this semester, which i know i'll have all worked out by next semester. other people i know just want to "get by" while doing as little as possible (like people do everywhere). i don't foresee them doing well because law school isn't that kind of place. as long as you have the drive and dedication- no matter what reason it's for- you shouldn't have any problem.
one issue with the whole PT-->FT status change is that, having less credits at first year's end, you're ranked a bit below your FT peers with the same grades as you. of course, this can change if you take a graded summer course. i plan to study abroad over 1L summer, where the classes are super easy, so i feel fine about all that.
now if only i could have this semseter erased from my record.
« on: December 10, 2005, 06:52:43 PM »
Oh yes, Bertucci's I have been to many times, and love.
« on: December 10, 2005, 03:36:47 PM »
that's a great idea about the book. i wonder if writing and selling "nate's guide to sneaking in GW's back door" would count as being "published" when i apply to grad school later on.
now, in regards to fridays...i haven't eaten there once, nor has anyone i know from the law school. why do you ask? is there something special about that fridays?
« on: December 10, 2005, 03:54:48 AM »
Well, technically working is frowned upon. I don't think they expect you to have some fantastic, big time job while going to law school, whether it's FT or PT. I honestly don't think anyone is really going to ask someone why they went to law school PT or FT if they have good grades and other attributes. I think you would have to be in the most ridiculous competition with the most pretentious firm on the planet earth for it to even be that sort of issue.
Same classes, same amount of work, same faculty (in most instances, in most places), and in the end, the same diploma.
The idea of stigma, I think, is highly overblown, like most things people worry about on here.
oh so very true...well put.
« on: December 10, 2005, 02:43:01 AM »
I would say that that there might be a stigma with interviews if you didn't have a job. After law school (or at least in 2L/3L) there is interviews. I'm sure they ask you about your experiences in and out of law school. I would say if you didn't have a job while doing PT, you've shown your stigma.
excellent point mrniceguy. i've thought and worried about the very same thing.
however, i think someone posted an article here (perhaps it was xoxohth.com, though) that talked about the stigma attached to PT programs, and it quoted a GW grad in particular who said there was stigma attached to graduating as a PT student. so it seems to be present whether you transfer or graduate that way (which isn't really fair for true, working PT'ers, i must admit).
so what am i going to say during 2L interviews if they ask about why i didn't work, or why i started PT? i'll just have to tell them that GW was the school i got in to with the best connections to NY (where i hope to start work), and could offer me a better education than any of my other options, PT or not (though i realize this isn't entirely true). if they honestly care that much, i really don't. if they choose to rely on how i started at the school without regards to my grades/ranking/honors/activities, they're not really worth my time. and from what i hear, this doesn't seem to be the case with most employers. most just want a student from the best school possible, with the best record possible. so honestly don't see too much reason to be worried, in the slight chance it comes up during an interview (which i've also been told it doesn't).
again, SOME stigma has to exist, no doubt. it's just HOW MUCH that is in doubt/controversy among law school communities in regards to the matter at hand. and again, i don't see anybody at my school at a loss because they started PT as opposed to FT...it all seems to be about rank and other things. so it all seems to work out just fine in the end.
« on: December 10, 2005, 02:23:17 AM »
about the "stigma", it's really hard to say. every school, including GW, wants you to think that there is absolutely NO difference between graduating in one or the other. this can't possibly be true. as i said in my first post on the thread, i think if an employer is deciding between you and another person from your school with the relatively same transcript (or even another similarly ranked school), they'll probably be hesitant to choose the candidate who started PT versus as the one who started FT.
however, when it comes down to it, i don't think there's much repercussion from doing so, and every student i've talked to seems to think the same thing. i know people who stayed PT, people who transferred to FT, and people who started FT, and it all seems to come down to class rank and other things (law review, journals, moot court, ect), in my honest opinion. it has to have SOME effect, but it just doesn't seem like a LARGE one. from what i can at least tell, it's not an effect that warrants a person going to a school ranked 20 spots lower, let alone another tier (like myself). that just doesn't make sense.
the schools do not differentiate on their diplomas between the two programs, you're right; just as undergrad schools don't differentiate between the four-year students and the people who take 6-8 years to finish their degrees. so in a sense, it doesn't matter except in school, but i think your first employer is going to care at least somewhat. again, "how much" is the question. some people think it's a huage deal; i say this is just plain ridiculous. they'll care a bit, but they'll care more about how you proved yourself as a law student. and of course, after the first employer, it really won't matter at all.
*EDIT: in regards to your great quote, i have to add: it is actually sort of hard for me to get used to the straight up "i don't like you" attitude that i get from many people out here. that was absent in michigan. i don't know if it's just because life was "simpler" there, or some such nonsense, but it really was different. and i have to be honest, at times i feel like running home to that giant cornfield. so, while i have no idea where you come from, i can say- be excited- the brutal honesty adds a whole new dimension to every day life. at times its cold, but it's great to move beyond the whole "plastic" thing.
« on: December 10, 2005, 01:57:51 AM »
yeah, i'm happy to answer these questions. i've got a civil procedure outline to tweek here and any reason to avoid doing so is just fine. for some reason, even though i've already started law school, i'm more interested in admissions (and grad school admission too, for that matter) than i was when i was applying. actually, after i had received my lsat score (6 points below where i was consistently practicing) the whole admissions thing made me sick to my stomach every time i thought about it. it's a wonder i ever ended up in law school.
as far as the mom/relatives thing goes, trust me, i understand. my uncle, and his son for that matter, went to a school in my home state. they couldn't fathom why i would want to travel to DC for a PT program rather than taking a full ride at the local school they attended. i never told them that a $47K starting salary with a 75% chance of employment was not really the "options" that i wanted for myself in law. and i mean no offense to anyone who goes to such a school (i have many good friends who did), but spending $150K for GW just seemed a better idea for someone like me who wasn't going to stand for living in michigan his whole life.
my mom, on the other hand, is a wonderful social worker who actually wishes she had gone to law school. she realized she was no real expert on admissions when she saw the employment/salary statistics for the schools i was considering.
for me, i also dreamed of living in DC. now i do, and although i have the "stigma" of being a PT student, i'm attending the school i used to only dream of getting in to (i had some GPA problems). even though i snuck in the so-called back door, i've met so many people doing the same, and it's not like there's going to be an asterix on my diploma.
« on: December 10, 2005, 01:30:33 AM »
tough question. the tution rate for FT is about $35K (a flat rate) while the tution rate for PT is about $25K (though paid per credit, it works out to this much each year for 4 years).
so FT is technically more expensive, but it would come down to a few thousand. however, then you need to add living expenses on, which are between $15-20K/year unless you get financial aid or scholarship (that goes for tuition, as well, of course). if you were to go PT all four years, you'd clearly be paying more because of the extra year of living expenses. of course, for most PT students that cost of living is offset, if not covered, by working a job.
so in my situation, i'm paying about $12K this semester (10 credits), and then $17K for next semester. once again, i'll beat out the full time students financially. however, the difference comes with having to take a class during the summer. i'll be studying abroad, which will cost about $6K, so that will put me equal with FT students as of next year. then next year any credits i have yet to make up won't matter simply because i'll be paying the flat $35K/year rate, as opposed to per credit.
if you didn't have to take at least some credits this summer, you'd actually save money through this method. unfortunately you do. however, if you simply opt to take the one class over the summer (as opposed to studying abroad), you'll probably pay $4-5K for its 3-4 credits...once again breaking even, if not coming out better than, the FT students.
of course, i'm going off general numbers here, not anything exact or specific. it might save or cost you an extra thousand or two, but probably nothing more. that is, of course, unless my logic's off here. i haven't taken math since high school (and man did this affect me calculating remedies on my contracts exam two nights ago!)
if i may ask, what is your mother worried about in particular, if something aside from cost? my own mother was almost furious at me for turning down a near full ride at loyola-chicago, but then i emailed her data on starting salary information and she understood.
but then, if all else fails, just tell her nate from LSD told you it's a good idea...that should work, right??
« on: December 10, 2005, 12:33:12 AM »
great insight. anyone that can productively study 8am to 6pm every day is my hero.
i just wanted people to be forewarned of the general trend i saw at GW. i met so many intelligent, hard-working students who planned to do what you do every day (myself included). but i can't tell you how many times i would see them in the library for 6-7 study periods, 4 of which were spent on AIM and email. it seems that once you start to understand the "game" of lawschool better, and you can read/brief faster and with more accuracy, it becomes more of a quest to find productive ways to fill that time studying before evening classes. i sort of gave up those long days when my dean's fellow told me there was not nearly enough material to be studying for that long every day.
but then again, i'm sure you're destroying your exams, whereas i'll be getting Bs at best this semester. so there's no doubt about which method works better, assuming you have the stamina and drive to pull it off.
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