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Messages - BoscoBreaux

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: GW vs. Miami
« on: February 19, 2005, 08:47:03 PM »
I'm getting 18k at Miami, and nothing at GW

but GW has a great IP program, and I want freedom to move around the country
but I have great connections in Florida

I know I would have a much better quality of life during those 3 years if I went to Miami, and it is right next to home.

Does it really matter where I go if I plan on starting my own practice within a couple years of graduating?

Some questions are hard to answer, and some are no-brainers. Yours, thankfully, is a no-brainer.
Keep in mind that rankings mean very little beyond the top 15 or so schools, and they only are relevant if you want to work for one of the top firms in the nation where you will work 80 hours a week for a slim chance of making partner.  Many persons overblow the importance of rankings to delude themselves into thinking they are better than others. Of course, many persons don't think of it that way, but many do. But enough preamble.
If you plan on starting your own practice, you should go to the best local school you can, and you should focus more on connections than even grades. If given a choice to work Law Review, or to join a few local social clubs, choose the latter. Some of the most brilliant law students and Biglaw associates would make lousy solo-pracs because they lack either the sociability or the flexibility to be successful on their own.  Who you know is more important than  how smart you are in the startup business work. Law included. It would be hard to start a solo prac if you went to school in DC, and all of your classmates were working in Dc and New York.  Further, all of those Miami grads would have 3 extra years of networking in town under their belt.
Then the intangibles. If you are happier, you will do better in school, you will learn more, you will be more successful.
If a higher ranking was all it took to make someone happy and successful, then go to GW. Otherwise, Miami.

What's the cost of living like here?
I'd appreciate any information you have to offer, thanks.

Cost of living is very high; many persons who were driven out of California by high real estate prices found Seattle a decent alternative in the 1980s, and now Seattle is quite expensive. On the good side, the economy is solidly high-tech and 21st Century.
As for the climate, it doesn't rain much more than many places around the country in terms of annual volume, but it seems to almost always be sprinkling, or threatening to do so at any minute.  Seattle is to rain what Las Vegas is to sun.

Ok, I've gotten into both and let's assume these are the only schools I get into (still waiting to here from 17 schools but I'm just expecting the worse so I won't be too disappointed).  Which would be the better decision?

Wake Forest is ranked higher, a lot higher in fact, but Rutgers has a really good regional rep and the startin average salary is much higher.

I'm also from NYC and I just don't know if I could tolerate a small southern city (didn't think about this til after I applied)

What does everyone think?

Keep in mind, all law schools teach the same courses, more or less. Further, teaching quality and intellectual accomplishment are unrelated; some of the best law instructors are found at Tier 4 schools, and some of the most brilliant and utterly incompetent instructors are found at Top 10 schools. So, the truth is, you will get the best education possible at the school which encourages you to do your best. That is a personal question, and as such, no one's opinion is worth as much as your own.  The rankings are absurd, and in the case of USNWR, rankings are largely a reflection of the average LSAT of entering students. So, in a way, rankings are an example of a tail wagging a dog. Average starting salaries are a function of where graduates work, and less of how good the school is. New York Law School has a starting salary that would make a lot of top 50 schools envious, and far outpaces many much higher in the rankings.
After the top 15 schools, where you go has little impact on your opportunities for employment. Making law review at Rutgers will put you in a much better position in the job market, particularly in the NYC/NJ area, then being "average" at Wake Forest. And 3 or 4 years out of law school, no one will care what school you went to--a firm would much rather hire a great litigator, from what elitists call a "TTT," who can make the firm millions over a Harvard graduate who will only make the firm a few hundred thousand.  So unless you plan to practice in North Carolina, or suddenly fall in love with the south, go with Rutgers.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: where are the safe areas of NYC?
« on: February 19, 2005, 08:01:38 PM »
Pr=V00Jeff link=topic=23814.msg346296#msg346296 date=1107798002]
OK, so I'm pretty sure I want to go to Columbia...but I need to find an area that's relatively affordable ($2,000 or less a month for a 1BR), as safe as possible, and within a 30 minute metro ride of Columbia.  Any suggestions?  Or do people think that the Columbia area is safe enough?  Thanks!

$2,000 or less in Manhattan. Manhattan, as a whole, is rather safe. Sure, there are some bad areas, and some scary places just to the north of Columbia, but even places like the Lower East Side, once a place few persons would go to even on a bet, have caught the gentrification bug. The side effect of gentrification, however, is maddeningly expensive real estate prices, and hence, rents.  The safest places will be the most expensive ones, generally speaking of course. $2,000 a month is not alot in Manhattan, especially uptown, but you should be able to find something reasonbly safe for that figure.
Stick to the Upper West Side/Columbia area. I would not recommend outer-Boroughs, or even other parts of Manhattan. First, you have to factor in commuting time; time is something that will be at a premium in your life as a One L. Second, commuting via subway, especially during rush hours, is not conducive to reading dense appellate cases, if you planned on using commuting time to perpare for classes. Third, you lose a bit of the "Big City" atmosphere that makes studying in New York so enriching.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Is anyone seriously considering USF?
« on: February 19, 2005, 07:44:45 PM »
USF seems to be one of the lesser mentioned cali schools on the board... are any of you out there seriously considering going there?  if so, why?  it's pretty much my top choice in cali, unless hastings accidentally lets me in.  ;D

USF is a very good school.  It's 'conservative" reputation is more a function of it being an island in the middle of perhaps the largest concentration of leftists west of Greenwhich Village than based on reality.  It has a broad and impressive international law program, and SF's status as a truely international city makes it a great choice for persons with such interests. But, while USF is in a sea of leftists, it is also in a sea of great law schools, eg. Stanford and Berkeley, and some very strong schools, eg. Hastings and Davis (keep in mind most top grads from Davis work in SF).  Thus, competition for top jobs is fierce. If a persons has a "Biglaw or Bust" attitude, after seriously considering whether going to LAW school is for them, they should probably consider another school.
USF will never be one of the top schools discussed on this board, but keep in mind, while 90% of the discussion seems to revolve around the top 25 schools, 90% of law school applicants couldn't get into them anyway. Idle chat is....idle.

Law School Admissions / Re: Where to go to School if.......
« on: January 04, 2005, 07:26:49 PM »
Where should I go to school if I want to practice law in Salt Lake City..... my current prospects are BYU, Virginia, Minnesota, Notre Dame, Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Cornell.  What do you all think? I know you might know about SLC specifically, but in general what you know about legal markets

It depends. Few persons ever asks this question: where would you feel most comfortable? BYU and Harvard are about as alike as Tokyo is like Albuquerque. Wherever you feel comfortable is where you should go; being a top student at Third Tier school is better in my book than being a poor student at Harvard.
All things being equal, however,
I'd definitely attend a top 15 school over the best local school, unless one of the top 15 schools is a local school.  Alumni recruiting is important, moreso than  for which most persons give it credit, but you'd be dealing with a big gap between BYU and Harvard.

Law School Admissions / Re: Ridiculously depressed
« on: January 04, 2005, 07:15:57 PM »
. 158 LSAT, 3.8 GPA,
Anybody with similar numbers getting acceptance letters? Is it time to throw in the towel?


Your kidding, right? Okay, if you look at "" you'd think that half of those persons taking the LSAT got 165 or higher on the LSAT. Further, on most boards, it seems everyone is considering the same dozen schools (applying to both Harvard and Yale considering both schools share absolutely nothing in common other than a stellar reputation brings this to mind). 
Your numbers would get you into about HALF of the law schools in America, probably more. If you hestitate at attending now in view of your 158 LSAT score, perhaps you don't really wish to be a lawyer. If you really want to be a lawyer, it should matter little whether you get into a great school, or a mediocre one, as long as you can be what you want to be.  Applying to schools where you stand a realistic chance of being accepted is key. If someone with a 163 applied to only the top 5 schools, they will likely get rejected by all. Similarly, if you apply to every tier 4 school with ayour158 and your GPA, you'd (probably) get accepted in all of them.

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