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Topics - CheezWiz

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I come in peace from the pre-law board and repeat a post I made there because, well, you may actually have experience paying law school tuition.

I just got my tuition bill/financial aid letter for C-M.  There was a 16% rise in tuition from last academic year to this academic year.  Is that kind of rise same as/more than/less than at other law schools?  I just want to anticipate paying 45-or-so% more than I expected over three years.

I just got my tuition bill/financial aid letter for C-M.  There was a 16% rise in tuition from last academic year to this academic year.  Is that kind of rise same as/more than/less than at other law schools?  I just want to anticipate paying 45-or-so% more than I expected over three years.

Just thought I'd pass on the information in case you hadn't heard.

In a May 2, 2005 letter from Ave Maria's Michael O. Kenney (Associate Dean for External Affairs)

I am pleased to inform you that the Accreditation Committee of the American Bar Association voted to recommend full accreditation for Ave Maria School of Law.  The matter now moves to the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education, which has the authority to make the decision.  The Council will consider the Accreditation Committee’s favorable recommendation at the June 17, 2005 meeting.  The Council's decision will then be presented to the ABA House of Delegates at the ABA's annual meeting in August for ratification.

I got into Cleveland-Marshall.. I GET TO GO HOME!!!!  I am going to their LCOP program so I have to be back in the area ALOT sooner than I thought.  I sent a letter of continued interest overnight last week it got there on March 30th letter dated March 31st. But there are others who got in at the same time so I don't know if it was my letter or if it was in the works.  At any rate, I now present for your viewing pleasure my "I got in dace" preformed by Snoopy.

I haven’t heard from this Cleveland State yet.  North East Ohio is my home so I am getting anxious.  Thusly, every time the wind blows from the east I wonder if it’s a sign.  I overnighted a passionate letter of continued interest last week.  Today, I got an e-mail from “Marion D. Ensley” with the following:

This message is to verify the email address for CheezWiz.  Please respond by clicking the reply button above and then indicate whether you are the individual named here.

Thank You
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
Office of Law Admissions

Is it a sign?  C-M does not do e-mail or telephone decisions from what I’ve heard.  Did anybody else get this?  Do you think it’s just a random update or a sign that they want to ensure it’s me before they send a decision by e-mail?


Choosing the Right Law School / *Please* -- help me sort out finances
« on: March 24, 2005, 09:19:29 PM »
I have been rejected at most of the schools I thought I had a chance to get into.  I now only have slight to far reaches so I am being realistic and focusing on the one and only acceptance I have received which is at Western New England.  This is the first time I am out and on my own financially (no paternal help).

In my estimation I am looking at $49,753 per year or $149,259 for my JD.  That’s tuition and fees, insurance, $1,500 for books (is that too high/low?), and $1,500/month living expenses.  I will qualify for subsidized student loans but, of course, my amount is over the amount one can barrow.  So I have to add X amount for interest for a private loan to that.  So $160,000 to $170,000 for the whole enchilada.

I want to do public interest.  WNEC is a T4 school.  Those two things combined will make me lucky to make $40,000 to $5X,000/year post grad. Am I about right with this?  I think I can live on $3000-$4000 a month so that leaves me making payments of just under $1,000/month to the loan.  So it should be paid off in about 14 to 15 years.

Am I missing something? What are your thoughts on paying a premium for a lower-grade (that sounds horrible) law school?  I’m down and in a really bad spot right now :'( Pease share your thoughts.

Law School Admissions / Cleveland State Financial Aid Letter
« on: March 23, 2005, 01:33:41 PM »
Did any of you get a letter from CSU’s FinAid office that said you were missing a “Law School Institutional Application” (or something like that)?

01010011011011110010000001101 00101110100100100100111001100 10000001101100011000010111010 00110010100100000011000010111 01000010000001101110011010010 11001110110100001110100001000 00011000010110111001100100001 00000010010010010000001100001 01101101001000000110011001100 10101100101011011000110100101 10111001100111001000000110110 00110100101101011011001010010 00000110000100100000011101000 11011110111010001100001011011 00001000000110011101100101011 00101011010110010000001110011 01101111001000000100100100100 00001100100011001010110001101 10100101100100011001010110010 00010000001110100011011110010 00000111001101110100011000010 11100100111010000100000011000 01001000000111010001101000011 10010011001010110000101100100 00100000011010010110111000100 00001100010011010010110111001 10000101110010011110010010111 00010000000100000010101000110 00010110110001101011001000000 11000010110110101101111011011 10011001110111001101110100001 00000011110010110111101110101 01110010011100110110010101101 10001110110011001010111001100 10111000100000001010000100001 00110100101101110011000010111 00100111100100100000011011110 11011100110110001111001001010 01001011100010111000101110001 00000011001110110010101100101 01111010001000000100100100100 11101101101001000000111000001 10000101110100011010000110010 10111010001101001011000110010 0000001110110010110100101001

I am the only black person on my mother's side of the family.  One of my family members from that side of the family sent me this article in the mail.  I've got yelled about it, got sad about it, and not I'm confused as to why the hell they would send me something like this.  The even highlighted (see below) the most negative sections!

How do I respond to this without rage?  Your thoughts on the article?
_____________________________ _____________________________ ___________

For Blacks in Law School, Can Less Be More?

Published in New York Times: February 13, 2005

NE would have thought, given the decades of ardent debate over affirmative action in higher education, that the main axes of the dispute had been established. Defenders of racial preferences say that they compensate for historical wrongs, ensure vibrant and varied campus discourse and help create minority role models and leaders. Opponents say preferences are nothing but a reverse form of discrimination that stereotypes and stigmatizes minority students.

But a recent study published in The Stanford Law Review by Richard H. Sander, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, has found a new way to inflame the debate. In fact, the study has ignited what may be the fiercest dispute over affirmative action since 2003, when the Supreme Court found some forms of it to be constitutional.

Professor Sander's study tests a simple, but startling, thesis: Affirmative action actually depresses the number of black lawyers, because many black students end up attending law schools that are too difficult for them, and perform badly.

If black law students were accepted to lesser law schools under race-blind admissions, Professor Sander writes, they would receive better grades and pass the bar in greater numbers. Even accounting for the many black students who could not attend any law school without affirmative action, the ultimate number of black lawyers would still increase, he concludes.

That assertion, which is based on a great deal of data, along with inference and speculation, has provoked an outpouring of written critiques from law professors, economists and social scientists. Several will be published in The Stanford Law Review's May issue.

Professor Sander, who is white, says he came to his conclusion reluctantly. He notes that he helped found a fair-housing group in Southern California and that his son is biracial. He says he "favors race-conscious strategies in principle, if they can be pragmatically justified."

His critics generally accept, and sometimes even praise, aspects of his empirical work. He shows three large gaps between black and white students: their academic credentials before entering law school, their grades in law school and their success on bar examinations.

But many critics dispute Professor Sander's assertion that the first gap - in undergraduate grades and L.S.A.T. scores - causes the next two, in law school grades and in rates of passing the bar.

The basic numbers are not in serious dispute.

Using a standard 1,000-point scale to reflect both L.S.A.T. scores and undergraduate grade-point averages, Professor Sander writes, the average black student's score was 130 to 170 points below that of the average white student.

Once at law school, the average black student gets lower grades than white students: 52 percent of black students are in the bottom 10th of their first-year law school classes, while only 8 percent are in the top half. And the grades of black students drop slightly in relative terms from the first year of law school to the third.

Black students are twice as likely as whites to fail to finish law school. Nineteen percent of the black students who started law school in 1991 had failed to graduate five years later; the corresponding figure for whites was 8 percent.

About 88 percent of all law students pass a bar exam on the first attempt; 95 percent pass eventually. For blacks, the corresponding figures are 61 percent and 78 percent.

Timothy T. Clydesdale, who teaches sociology at the College of New Jersey, says the law school environment, and not affirmative action, suppresses the grades of some law students.

"Something intrinsic to the structure or process of legal education affects the grades of all minorities," he writes in the fall issue of Law and Social Inquiry. Professor Clydesdale agrees with Professor Sander, however, that bar passage rates are determined primarily by law school grades.

Professor Sander concedes that 14 percent fewer black students would enter law school without preferences. But because more of those who do get in would get good grades at schools that are better suited to them, more would graduate, he said, yielding 8 percent more black lawyers.

The critics run their own numbers and conclude that without affirmative action, the number of black lawyers would fall anywhere from 9 percent to 35 percent.

James Lindgren, a law professor at Northwestern who has followed the debate, cautioned that none of these numbers should be taken seriously.

"In the real world, too many things would change," he said in an interview.

Professor Sander's study may be most vulnerable in its assessment of the top law schools, where the vast majority of law students of all races graduate and pass the bar.

For instance, Richard O. Lempert, a law professor at the University of Michigan, said that the university's law school had found little difference between its black and white students in rates of graduation, in passing the bar or in income afterward. "We think the fact that Michigan is an elite law school has a lot to do with it," he wrote in an e-mail message. "Sander's data, though he barely mentions it, convey essentially the same story. Thus his analysis provides no case for the Harvards, Yales and Columbias of this world to abandon affirmative action."

But the situation may be different at less prestigious schools.

Ian Ayres and Richard Brooks, two Yale Law School professors who are harshly critical of other aspects of the Sander study, used its data for their own study of law schools, which showed that 41.2 percent of black law students - based on their undergraduate credentials and the law schools they attend - have less than a fifty-fifty chance of becoming lawyers. The corresponding number for whites is 0.2 percent. "For some of these people," they write in a draft critique, "the investment in law school seems riskier than getting married in Las Vegas."

"While we reject Sander's conclusion that affirmative action has reduced the number of black attorneys," Professors Ayres and Brooks write, "we are more sympathetic to his idea that there is a class of black law students who shouldn't have gone to law school."

Wherever the debate ultimately leads, said Ed Johnson, a research economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Professor Sander's overall hypothesis is a valuable step in trying to understand a complex phenomenon.

"His story does seem to fit the data pretty well," Mr. Johnson said. "That doesn't mean it's true. But it's hard to come up with an alternative explanation. In his favor, he's told a story that's at least a story."

What do you guys think?

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