Law School Discussion

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Messages - PSUDSL08

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11
Transferring / Re: Transfer Personal Statement
« on: March 02, 2009, 07:52:14 PM »
Same, I'll take a look

12
Transferring / Re: Transfer Repercussions
« on: March 02, 2009, 11:24:18 AM »
To give a piece of advice, if you're breaking the news to a dean or the head of admissions at your current school, I would refrain from using academic prestige as a basis for seeking a transfer. I'd come up some other personal reason why you're looking to leave their school.

From my personal experience, I told the dean of my school that I was having a great educational experience at my T4 but wanted to move closer to my family. There were no follow-up questions...she was very supportive of my decision, and offered to provide me with any help I needed in facilitating a transfer.

13
Distance Education Law Schools / Re: NOVUS LAW SCHOOL?
« on: December 12, 2008, 11:51:49 PM »
I find it to be somewhat suspicious that many of the people that seem to be posting their personal success stories, or otherwise attempting to dispel the rumors (whether truthful or not) have very few posts on this site. I also find it suspicious that the following information does not appear to be readily available on the website:

1. What percentage of Novus JD grads are permitted to sit for the bar exam in California, Maine, NY, Vermont, Washington, or Wyoming? Of those grads permitted to sit for the bar exams in those respective states, what is the general passage rate for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd time takers?

2. Tantamount to #1, some states that will you to sit for a bar exam upon taking 26 credits at an ABA approved school or by pursuing an LLM at an ABA approved school. What percentage of those students that pursue this opportunity are admitted to an ABA school? What are some of these schools? What are the average costs these students incur in pursuing either the 26 credits or the LLM?

3. Of those students who seek an education from Novus as a supplement to their existing careers, what percentage of those students have received salary increases/raises as a result of completing the JD program through Novus within the first 1-3 years?

4. Of the numerous administrative/government agencies listed on the following website (http://www.novuscatalog.org/alegaledu.html), how many of them are in higher policy making positions as opposed to administrative/secretarial positions?

5. What percentage of Novus alums have salaries approaching the $70K Doctorate Degree and $81K Professional Degree figures listed on the following website: http://www.novuscatalog.org/laborstats.htm

6. For those who have obtained JD's and are bar admitted, or permitted to practice under the supervision of other attorneys...do you have a list of law firms where these alums are currently employed?

I could come up with at least 20 more questions designed to elicit important information that should be considered before deciding to attend any school. To give my initial impression, I think it's somewhat deceptive that the Novus website focuses upon what you can hypothetically do with a degree from Novus (become bar admitted, obtain $70K/$81K salaries, laundry list of government agencies, etc) but fails to reflect upon what actual Novus grads are currently doing with their degrees (bar passage rates, mean salaries of grads, etc). If my goal was to really push distance learning as a practical and worthwhile alternative to attending a traditional law school, then this type of information is worth gathering for many obvious reasons.

14
Pre-Law in high school / Re: History Undergrad Major...and more
« on: December 12, 2008, 12:12:01 PM »
Hi. I am a junior in high school and have been looking around the internet for some college advice for law-school bound students, and I came across these message boards. I'm hoping to get some questions answered so here goes nothing...

I currently plan on going into law and practicing for a certain amount of time before possibly going into politics. With this being the case, my question is which undergraduate major would be the best idea for me? I assume political science, but I guess you never know.

Furthermore, what is the advice on double-majoring while getting an undergraduate degree with the plan to go into law school? I ask this because I have a keen interest in history (primarily U.S.) as well as politics, and if the legal field did not work out I would highly consider going into teaching at the high school level and history would be the most likely course. I have a feeling you guys are going to suggest not double majoring so that I have time to study for the LSAT, and if that's the case, then it brings me to my next question...

In my situation, would you suggest majoring in history or political science? I am as sure as I can be (at this point, anyway) that I want to go into politics at some point. Also, if not a double major what would your opinion be on major/minor combo? Same feeling about the time-constraint on this one?...

I am very highly ranked in an extremely competitive and deep high school class but will probably not get as high of a score on the ACT to get into one of the upper-tier undergraduate schools. Right now my considerations are  DePaul (for a more moderate workload and better chance of finishing high on the GPA and class rank scale) and Loyola Chicago (which, if I'm not mistaken, has a highly acclaimed history program correct?).

I have hopes of getting into a top-tier law school which is why I want to ensure that I will do well in my four-year school. By top-tier I was thinking along the lines of Colombia, Georgetown, and possibly some lower-tier ivy league schools as my "dream." That is my goal, although I would settle for some more realistic possibilities as well for law school.

Anyways, now that you know my life plan, I'm interested to see some of the answers to my question, and thanks for reading this post (sorry for the length).

As for the person who suggested that it's sad that you have your "political career path" planned out this far ahead, I think the exact opposite. I think it's encouraging that you have a plan for yourself at this stage. However, I would caution you on having anything set in stone at this point. Life changes, and what may seem like the most prudent course of action now might not be the case moving forward. Just keep an open mind.

That being said, I think you should focus on your goal of becoming a high school history teacher before you consider law school at this stage. I think majoring in either political science or history would be sufficient if you're looking to become a history teacher. My only concern for you in obtaining a double major might be the expense if for some reason you have to take summer classes or go to school for an extra semester to complete both majors. I think a more viable option would be to major in one and pursue a minor in the other. If you choose to major in poli-sci and minor in history, due to the overlap in courses between both programs, you might only need to take a couple extra history courses to complete the minor vs. a slew of extra history courses to finish the double major.

Also, you may want to consider taking a year off after undergrad rather than trying to take the LSAT while in undergrad. I'd advise anyone who has a non-legal career of interest to explore their interest in that career before making the time/financial commitment that law school requires. You have nothing to lose by taking some time off, getting your teaching certification, and trying out that career path. If you end up loving your job, and dont want to leave it, then law school is unnecessary. If you're still itching to go to law school, you'll have plenty of time to prepare for the LSAT while working (most HS teachers are done by 2-2:30PM each day), and could even do a part-time JD program while continuing to teach. From personal experience, taking a year off between undergrad and law school was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I realized that corporate life was not for me, and this made my desire to attend law school even stronger.

15
3L job search / Re: SO Pissed...
« on: December 05, 2008, 08:31:59 PM »
Iím sick of it. So damn sick of it. No matter where I go, no matter who I talk to, I canít catch a break for poo. Iím so DONE. Put a f-iní fork in me. Since AUGUST, Iíve been busting my ass, day and night, in class, at work, all the f-iní time trying to find a mother f-ing job. Iíve sent out hundreds, upon hundreds of applications. Iíve scoured the far corners of the internet. Iíve exhausted my personal connections. Iíve heard every excuse under the sun: Weíre not hiring right now; Weíre looking for someone who is already licensed; We have already completed our recruiting needs. BITE ME. But thatís not even as bad as some of the clowns Iíve interviewed / talked with. One a-hole told me I couldnít find a job in the south because too many of them hate northerners. Get over it Ė ass hat. One guy dropped ďFĒ bombs all throughout the f-ing interview! He trash talked liberals for a half an hour. Other assholes expect me to shell out my life savings to fly across the country to interview with them. Hello! Iím f-ing POOR!!! You idiots are sitting on massive amounts of cash, and you want me, the poor law student who is eligible for Section 8 housing and food stamps, to go GET ON A PLANE AND FLY TO YOU?! DREAM ON, ASS BAGS! Some buttholes think itís kosher to hire me at $30,000 or less. Listen, freaks, inflation has happened since you were in the 3rd grade! YOU CANíT SURIVIVE ON 30 GíS!!!  >:( Iím sick of this! People say that our generation has this ďhigh and mighty sense of entitlementĒ and we want all of this poo for nothing, blah blah blah. Well, let me tell YOU something - OLD WINDBAGS - YOUíRE ALL OLD CHEAP BASTARDS! All of those whining critics of our generation fault us because we donít want to work 60 hours a week after accumulating $120,000 in debt for a whopping $25 - 30,000. Go eat a f-ing turd. Itís easy to be critical when youíre loaded and financially secure. These anus warriors get a f-ing kick out of watching the youth of America suffer, probably because ďthey had to do it once.Ē Bite me. Since when has growing up in America become a big hazing ritual? To all of the unsupportive, stupid-ass crap heads out thereÖgo to hell. Iím done.  >:(

What a whiny little b**ch. Waaa, I can't live on $30K, waaaa. It's called getting your foot in the door. You take a state trial level clerkship for $30K (for one year working basically 9-5), defer your loan payments, live modestly, pick the brain of the judge you're working for, and NETWORK with local attorneys who might be willing to throw you a full-time job after your clerkship ends. I'm not planning on working in the town where I'm clerking, but after one local bar association happy hour, I have had two local attorneys tell me that if I can't find a job in city X, to call them and "we'll work something out for you."

There is also a federal loan consolidation program starting in July of 09 where if you work in a qualifying position (DA/PD/public interest) and make minimum income based payments for 10 years (on a $40K salary, its about $300 a month with $125K in loans), the government will pay off your student loans. There are several small market cities where you can get a govt job starting at between $35-40K, opt into the program, make your loan payments, and have a decent (but not lavish) quality of life.

Instead of looking at the most realistic options, keep up the good work. Keep applying for positions on the opposite coast and get angry when they don't want to shell out money to fly you in for an interview when they can probably hire someone who lives 5 minutes away with more impressive credentials...and most importantly, common sense.

16
General Board / Re: Quit law school and re-apply?
« on: December 05, 2008, 08:07:44 PM »
Thanks guys.  I actually went to this school with the intent to transfer.  I know, it's stupid, as I'm learning that the grades are such a crapshoot.  But I did it because I was pretty sure I could.  And I know I have the intelligence to be at a T15-T25 school, which is where I wanted to be before I started law school.  I'm now at a Midwestern State school.  It's just not a good fit in terms of location (I've been living in this state for a few years now, and have not had good experiences) and activities.  If I finish my first year, do mediocre on the exams, logically it would make sense to stay for the last two years because the first year is the hardest.  I'm not willing to do that. So it's either transfer (which isn't a guarantee), or drop out now. 

The whole semester I've been obsessing about these two options to the extent that I haven't been focusing on my coursework t the extent that I need to.  Yeah, I know, not smart but that's just how miserable it's been.

I don't think its stupid to attend a school with the intention of transferring. I feel for you because I also attended a midwest school that wasn't a good fit for me, and had every intention of getting out of there from the day I set foot on campus. But I think the idea of dropping out, trying to find a meaningful job in this economy, and reapplying with what will become an extremely competitive applicant pool isn't a prudent idea unless you are unsure that you want to practice law. Not to mention, you'll be throwing away a year's worth of tuition.

Assuming you're at a T2/T3 school, you can make a lateral transfer if you're in the top half of your class. And if you're as intelligent as you claim to be, you will find a way to push yourself into the top half of your class if you're determined to do so.

17
Bar Exam / Re: Please reassure me that I am not being harsh on my cousin
« on: November 19, 2008, 11:15:13 AM »

Ok a little background: he hasn't done poo with his life, literally. As a testament to his legendary non-achievements, he has never NEVER held a job, took 10 years to finish undergrad, and "chilled" for 2 more years before he decided to attend law school.

Edited on 10/18/08 to ensure more anonymity

I'm not sure why you edited this to ensure anonymity. You should first be brutally honest with him about what direction his life has taken and then extend a helping hand should he make an honest/reasonable effort at picking up the pieces. I'm going to assume uses the old "I'm living life carefree and to the fullest" excuse to justify being lazy and avoiding responsibility. Tell him he's essentially a ambitionless deadbeat and put him in a position to choose whether to sink or swim. He'll initially be mad at you for saying it, mainly because it's true..but maybe pissing him off would help him get his act together.

18
Studying and Exam Taking / Re: Bar Exam Study Thread
« on: July 20, 2008, 02:05:47 PM »
Has anyone finished the half-day exam in the MPQ2 book? If so, what are your thoughts on the difficulty level and whether or not this will be a good indication of what the actual MBE is going to look like? The percentage of questions I got correct on the half-day practice exam (77%) were far higher than any of my results on the previous simulated MBE (116/200) or problem sets (average between 8-11 correct per set).

To quantify...I felt like 50% of the questions were "gimmies", or otherwise very straightforward applications of the law. I felt like 30-35% of the questions were intermediate questions where two answers looked pretty good and the remaining questions were of the types we saw in problem sets 5&6. Judging by what the MBE workshop lecturer said about adding roughly 30 points to your score, I'm truly hoping that this is what the actual MBE is going to look like.

19
General Board / Re: Advice for prospective law student
« on: July 15, 2008, 05:18:02 PM »
I think it would be very wise to defer your acceptance to UC Davis (if the option is available), work for a year and re-evaluate your situation next summer. Aside from the obvious benefits (income and resume booster) there are other benefits to taking a year off. First, you might realize that a career in investments is perfect for you, thus eliminating the time and expense of law school. On the other hand, if you absolutely hate what you're doing, at least you'll be able to say to yourself that you gave an alternative career a shot. Secondly, from my experience, the students who take time off from law school tend to perform better academically since they treated school as a full-time job as opposed to merely an extension of undergrad. And for what it's worth, I had a partner for a mid-sized firm tell me specifically that he prefers to hire candidates who have some work experience for summer associate positions over others who have little to no meaningful work experience.

Taking a year off in between law school and undergrad was easily one of the best decisions I've ever made. You do quite a bit of "growing up" when you're thrust into a position of responsibility after spending your college days partying. I took a job working for a large international company thinking that a career in the business world would be something I was interested in. I soon realized that the corporate world wasn't for me, and this made my interest in practicing law even stronger. And from a financial standpoint, I was able to save up enough money that year to fully furnish my apartment and cover my insurance payments for my first year of law school...and have some fun in the process.

If the deferment option is available to you, you've got nothing to lose by taking a year off and re-evaluating your position next summer.

20
General Board / Re: Firm Social Life: Necessary Sports Knowledge?
« on: July 13, 2008, 01:30:42 PM »
I think having sports knowledge, or at least a semi-relevant opinion about a given sport or team is worthwhile in one of three situations: (1) you're interviewing in a place with a rich sports tradition (2) you attended a college/law school with a prominent sports team (3) you currently live or grew up in a place with a rich sports tradition. If you're from Mississippi and you're interviewing for a job in Milwaukee, I don't think an interviewer is going to ask you your opinion on the Brewers or whether Ole Miss is going to make a run for an SEC championship anytime soon. However if you're from Boston, you might get a comment like "Man you guys have had a run of luck lately" or something along those lines.

For what it's worth, in every interview I've had, I have been specifically asked about sports by at least one of the interviewers. If you're put in a similar situation, I don't think it's necessary to have an in-depth knowledge of the sports team (i.e. what the Yankees team ERA and batting average are), but a general understanding of how the teams are doing (i.e. Looks like the Yanks will make hte playoffs again), or how the teams have done recently (i.e. Boston should make a run again for the NBA championship since they won last year, and Garnett/Pierce/Allen are all back next year).

I grew up in NJ (Jets/Giants/Yankees/Mets), went to both undergrad and law school at PSU (Paterno), and interviewed for positions in NJ and Pittsburgh (Steelers). Pretty much, Joe Paterno's contract situation and age have been unavoidable questions for me. With the Pittsburgh firm, they merely asked me what team I rooted for and told them the Jets. We had all had a laugh after I received some friendly groans, and they told me "Well at least you're not a Patriots fan."

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