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Messages - BoscoBreaux

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General Off-Topic Board / Re: How come I never had a teacher like this?
« on: November 24, 2005, 05:23:06 PM »

Reminds me of that case of that midwestern MALE teacher who had sex with his 14 year old student. Many years later, after she was an adult, he wanted to get marry her; he even sent her a copy of the bank account he set up and deposited money into for her. He was prosecuted. The prosecutor wanted a life imprisonment penalty, but the charge was thrown out becuase he did not "rape" the girl. Instead, he just got 15 to 25 years imprisonment.
And this chick gets home detention.  How interesting.

after murtha's speech...a vote was taken...and the people have spoken...


democrats while wobbling...keep ball in play...
elephants force the issue.


no matter how the "washed-up-post" propagandizes (props-up)...these numbers 403-3 DO NOT lie!

Not even Murtha called for an immediate pull-out. The more relevant polls indicate most Americans believe going to Iraq was a mistake (and a hefty percentage of them think Bush lied).  Bush still does not think it was a bad idea. Then, you consider the 95% of the rest of the planet who thinks it was a mistake (80% of Brits, for example--and they even went to war with us!). Now, who is out of touch?

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: McGeorge offers
« on: November 24, 2005, 05:06:29 PM »
Hmm..Interesting.  I am in California too.  Applied there as my safety with higher numbers than this person.  I wonder if I'll hear something?

Do you want to become a McLawyer?

(yes, I still remember that joke you told the board many moons ago...)


"Go to McGeorge!  Be a McLawyer"

hehe.  It is my bottom of the barrel safety (no offense to anyone who wants it!) which is funny cause all my old coworkers went there.  In fact, our office was dominated by McLawyers.  And they were constantly telling me "Have you considered McGeorge?"

The jokes are cute, but I know a professor who taught at Stanford Law, and in his opinion, McGeorge's curriculum and demands of its students is signifcantly harder than both Stanford and Berkeley.  Sure, perhaps McGeorge and similar schools don't have the endowments or the "star professors" that many other schools have, but to suggest that just because graduate X went to Y school he can't beat you in a courtroom easily is a mistake.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Please share your wisdom with me 1L's...
« on: November 24, 2005, 04:53:12 PM »
I will (hopefully) start law school next fall.  One year ago you were in my shoes.  What do you know now that you wish someone had told you a year ago?

I wish I was told (or more correctly, I was told but refused to listen) that YOU MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT need to do any preparation before orientation begins. Reading E&Es backwards and forwards will be of little use, even if you are one of the few persons who can retain the knowledge.  I was told by former law students to relax, enjoy you spare time, especially the summer before One L, and chill out. Of course, I didn't do any of this, and followed all of the commercial advice out there. It was a waste of time and, more important, it assured that my brain was fried before my first class. Resist at all costs the misconception that you can get a leg up on anyone--even yourself.

The second thing I wish I knew was how utterly time consuming One L is. Of course, I read all the books--its grueling. That is an understatement.  It is beyond grueling. It is "you will have absolutely no life and the only time you have to yourself is when you are sitting on the toilet" grueling. If you cannot dedicate 70 hours a week to actual law study (and the rest of your time stressing about it) you will probably not make it.

The third thing I wish I knew is that PLSII has it all wrong. Totally wrong. The law school curriculum is designed as it is for a purpose: to instill a work ethic that is necessary to succeed as a young lawyer. What that means, unfortunately, is that you will learn little substantive law, but you will learn to get used to reading an obscene amount of material while under immense pressure (internal and external) for little tangilble rewards. In that sense, law schools are immensely successful. The socratic method's purpose is to force you to endure the obscene workload rather than just showing up for class after having merely reviewed the material (like in undergrad). So, out of fear of being reemed by a law professor, you'll read for hours and hours and hours some of the most boring bits of prose ever put onto paper. The sad truth is your grades would be just as good if you merely read the cases once, listened in class, prepared a good outline, and took the exam, without the hundreds of hours of preparation that the socratic method demands.

The major criticism of the USNews reputation ratings is that the survey is based on only a handful (couple hundred at most) of the biggest and most prestigious law firms in the country.  It does not give an accurate represenatation of how a regional school is viewed by the small and mid-sized regional firms, which make up much of the legal industry.  I'm willing to bet that the partners that do those ratings truthfully rate the schools they know about, then just pull up last years rankings and just give ratings based on the rankings.

You are correct that the the opinion of the legal community on USNWR, whether it be judges or firms, is skewed.
Judges tend to be more likely to attend elite schools than the legal community in general. Also, persons at large law firms as well tend to skew elite. That we know, and it tends to show that some schools, no matter what happens, will always be Top 10, 15, or 25 schools.

To further complicate matters is the reality that those persons who give opinions in USNRW are more likely to be urban practitioners. Hence, those lawyers who attend schools which tend to plant lawyers in non-urban areas will be at a disadvantage.

With this and other realities, one can only reasonably say that the USNWR Rankings merely indicate what the majority of urban judges and practitioners think the rankings should be given their own narrow experience and inherent prejudices. This in no way answers the question "which are the best schools?"

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Howard University
« on: August 07, 2005, 03:33:21 PM »

No, it doesn't contradict anything.  Elite schools take the most qualified students with the highest numbers.  They are not going to take someone with a 168 over someone with a 173, even though both would be more than capable of doing the work, just because someone has a great PS or WE.  We're not talking about a difference that isn't even statistically significant.  A 170 and a 172 are in essence the same score, so it's a pretty useless example. 

A lower ranked school, which does not mean a school where students have LSATs in the low 150s, but perhaps somewhere like GW, would be much more likely to take a gamble on a student with a 163 over someone with a 168 if they have some sort of compelling non-numerical reason, even though that is the same 5 point spread a T14 school probably wouldn't overlook.  The applicant pools at lower ranked schools are less cloistered and more diverse in terms of what type of applicants they are dealing with. 

Of course schools say they take all sorts of things into consideration, blah, blah, but if elite schools actually accepted even a quarter of their applicants outside of their numbers (not one point lower or higher), they would not remain the same 14 for long.  They realize that, and lower ranked schools have much more freedom to go from 24th place to 26th place and back up again and in turn, to not be so devoted to a certain level of numerical achievement they have to maintain.

Also, those who score in the 150s on the LSAT are not overwhelmingly likely to not make it through law school, or to not achieve success as a lawyer.  In fact, those who do not are in the overwhelming minority.  Even a majority of Cooley students pass the bar, and we've all heard more than enough about Cooley's weaknesses.  It wasn't so long ago that an LSAT in the 150s would get you in at some really highly ranked schools, and LSATs in the mid to high 150s still will in some instances. 

This conclusion that a high LSAT equals success or failure as a law student has no evidence to support it.  The only correlation between LSAT and academic success is that those who have a higher LSAT SOMETIMES have higher 1L grades.  The correlation is not that people with lower LSAT scores fail out of law school. 

Your statements are conclusory, and in some cases, inaccurate. In the following case, both!

To bolster your argument that somehow elite schools are blinder to soft factors than lesser schools, your premise is that  "Elite schools take the most qualified students with the highest numbers." Is this accurate? I assume, then, that George Bush got into Harvard Business because his 2.75 GPA was mind shattering, or JFK Jr's--what, 155 LSAT--proved he deserved to attend one of the finest law schools in the country. But, we don't even have to use these examples to prove that there is a history of elite colleges of all types weighing things other than statistics in their admissions policies. This information, coupled with the admission on the part of ADCOMS of elite schools that they rely heavily on soft factors to differentiate what are outstanding candidates.

Now, I would like to believe that schools like George Washington are uninterested in their ranking, and would be more likely than Harvard to accept someone with lower numbers, but I don't see much evidence proving this. In fact, evidence seems to suggest that schools without the luxury of high rankings, they are likely to work equally as hard, if not harder, to improve their ranking, and one could not do this without being sensitive to the impact of the statistics of its candidates. Harvard, for example, is less likely to see a fall in rankings than GW because of inertia. After all, even Princeton gets votes in the rankings, despite not even having a law school!

I was amused by your statement that there is no real difference between a 168 and a 170. I happen to agree with you on this point, but this reality further errodes your argument. If there is no difference between the scores, then this only increases the likelihood that soft factors will creep their way into decisionmaking.  Now, you may discount its relevance because there is no real difference between the two scores as a reflection of academic ability, but a 2 point difference on the LSAT is a 2 point difference in the statistics which in part determine the rankings. USNWR does not care whether the 2 points were at the top of the scale or at the bottom. Schools know this!

But let us assume that schools never considered personal factors unless the LSAT differential was meaningful, lets say a 15 percentile difference. Then, it is likely that you must give elite schools a pass altogether, since most of their competitive applicants are at the "irrelevant" end of the spectrum.  Your statement in this universe has little meaning, for the schools are forbidden from taking soft factors into consideration much less than they simply don't do it by choice. Regardless, we all know schools do take meaningless GPA and LSAT differences into account. Whether this is wise is another argument altogether.

But, of course, GW and Harvard consider far less significant percentile differences than you suggest, and even so, we are talking about Top 25 schools only.  It is reasonable to assume, if you are correct that is, that when you get to the bottom of the rankings, schools would routinely deny admission to those who score significantly higher on the LSAT over those who performed worse. We tend not to see this. In fact, most persons, including ADCOMS, view non-elite schools--particularly Fourth Tier schools, as being more numbers driven than the TOP 25 generally, and the Top 5 specifically.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: What about the FBI???
« on: August 07, 2005, 02:47:59 PM »
FYI, but I heard that the CIA likes to recruit agents from Notre Dame or BYU. I guess it has to do with the fact that they want ppl who believe it is the agentís moral duty to do anything possible to defend the country. This was said in the book about that rogue CIA agent that went off to CUBA and named other undercover agents. This led to the murder of an undercover agent in Greece. Also, led to the legislation that Karl Rove is currently under investigation of violating. I forgot the name of the book but Iíll attempt to find it. From what I heard that it is available for purchase in Canada.

U of Miami is also popular in this regard, for obvious reasons.

I wouldn't dig too deeply here. Let us assume that the FBI does recruit at certain schools over others. It may be logical that going to a conservative school, whose student body may be more likely to be influenced by a law enforcement recruiter, would be more fruitful than going to a place like Univ of Oregon, which has a strong civil rights reputation and is more likely to view law enforcement with suspicion. Of course, partisans can make the argument that conservatives are more likey to evade the law in pursuit of the own self-righteous sense of morality, and hence may be helpful to the FBI nowadays, but I doubt there is a systemic and deliberate attempt to find persons whose moral sands shift. (Can't say the same for the Attorney General's Office.) In reality, for every G. Gordon Liddy (who thinks it is okay to violate the law if we are protecting ourselves from liberals) there are 100 honest agents who respect the letter and purpose of the law.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: What about the FBI???
« on: August 06, 2005, 04:18:16 PM »

Well, not glamorous, but maybe more exciting than the usuall law firm grunt work. Yeah, I totally agree that it's more like detective work, which is why I am actually interested, and for people who are interested, we usually don't care that much about the relatively "low pay". Do you know if the agent who you personally know is a special agent or not?? What kind of military experience did he have to get in? Well, to think of it, a Marine Corp culture would not be that bad at all, at least there will be more bonding  :P

My work has brought me into contact with dozens of federal agents, from FBI to Customs. All FBI agents are "Special Agents," so the term itself is meaningless. Many have MP backgrounds, many were officers in the armed forces, and those who were not tended either 1) have law enforcement backgrounds (e.g., former cops) or have have backgrounds in areas specifically vital to the FBI. For example, if you wish to work in banking fraud, it would help to have a Bachelors or Masters in finance and relevant experience. Nowadays, a Masters in Computer Science from just about any school and experience is more helpful to them than a J.D. from Yale. It is pretty hard to be accepted into the FBI (Richard Nixon tried and failed--he was "good enough" to be President though!) but it certainly is more interesting than most legal work one does in the private sector. Then again, that raises the question--why go to law school at all?


Does it honesty really matter that much whether it is top 10 or top 15 or even top 20?  Does anyone really think the education they get is going to be any signficantly better or worse if they go to Chicago or New York?  Specifically, it won't be.  On an individual basis, it might be, based on what your interests are and your plans for the future are.  For someone, Chicago will be a much better option, and for others, NY will be.  Is it honestly worth this much worrying? 

That raises a more fundamental question, will you get a better education at a Top school than a "lesser" school? Many believe you get a better EDUCATION at a school like Washington and Lee (one whose professors actually teach and are serially available to students) than at a school like Harvard. As a general rule, the more prestigeous the group of professors, the less likely  you are to have access to them. (Sometimes it takes weeks to get a response from the professor's secretary at Harvard, whereas at a smaller more genial school you may actually be invited over the professor's house over the weekend to discusss and issue).  This, of course, is not only exclusive to law schools, but in undergraduate schools. Judging by my own personal experience, I had a heck of a lot of contact with new associate professors, but getting in touch with a renowned professor was like trying to get into contact with President Bush at Crawford.

Of course, when we choose a school, the educational quality is only a part of the calculus. Of course, we all know that employers prefer Harvard to lesser schools and you'd probably have a better shot at getting a good job if you went there. But, for pure education's sake, I think you'd be better off elsewhere. Food for thought.

Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses / Re: Howard University
« on: August 06, 2005, 03:57:43 PM »

No, top schools do not take more into consideration than T3 and T4 schools.  I have no idea where you got that from.  It is quite the opposite.  A candidate with borderline numbers will have a much easier time being admitted to any school outside of T14 on the basis of WE, ECs, PS or LORs, and the only time WE, ECs, PS or LORs even have an impact anywhere is when someone has borderline numbers. 
This statement contradicts virtually everything that I have read about the subject, not to mention that it defies the logiic. First, it ignores what the schools themselves have said. Second, it fails to acknowledge that differences in LSAT scores mean less in determining whether a student will succeed in school the higher up you go. That is, scoring 170 on the LSAT will almostly certainly suggest you are smart enough to do the work, so there really isn't no pressure to deny you for that reason alone. Thus, the LORS and other factors become even more important.

In just about every converstation with Deans of Admissions of various top schools, they indicate that invariably they are dealing with persons with great stats. They further comment that if they wanted to, the could fill their classes twice over with persons with unshakable LSATs and GPAs. The truth is there is no tangible difference between a 170 and a 172--the percentile differences are negligible. Since the issue isn't whether they "have what it takes" to succeed in law school, they can be a bit more creative with the student body. So, the school can reject the 170 over the 168 who won a silver medal in the 1996 Olympics and not suffer in any meaningful way. Whereas, a lesser ranked school  would not be dealing with such a choice, but instead will be dealing with persons who genuinely may not be able to cut it--someone say with a 152. Turning down a 154 in favor of a 152 with stellar soft factors is much less defendable--you are talking about a significant percentile difference as well as getting close to a point which might cause a school to question whether they have the logical and analytical skills to succeed.

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