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Messages - PSUDSL08

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Current Law Students / Re: good GPA on a 2.45ish curve?
« on: June 10, 2008, 10:41:07 AM »

So then what exactly is the point of the next 2-3 years (including the year  for my MBA) and this past year then if i am going to make the same as I did if I didnt go to law school but am now $100,000 in debt?

To do something you love to do as opposed to just making a lot of money and waking up every day wanting to hang yourself with your tie.

At my T2, the career services lady told me that she's amazed at how many people walk into her office and say something like "I wont accept any job that pays less than $80K per year." Far too many people head into lawschool with a feeling that they're "entitled" to make 6 figures quickly just because they're going to become a lawyer. 

I'm doing Bar/Bri self study. I am so behind on my schedule already, its not even funny. Keeping up with the lecturer schedule is the hardest, because it takes me an hour or two to read both the MS outline and the PA outline and then condense the two into a single outline for myself (The process of making an outline allows me to memorize the material). It took me nearly a week to do evidence and criminal law. So, now I am way behind. This blows.

The ONLY consistent advice I've gotten from people that have taken the bar in the last few years (at least in GA) is to absolutely DO NOT try to stick to the BarBri schedule.  It's completely inhuman, and if you do, you'll completely burn out by the time the bar rolls around.

For me, I find the big outlines completely worthless - there's no way in hell I'd EVER remember ALL of that friggen material.  I'm pretty much working solely off the lecture handouts/workbook that I do in the lectures, and then I go to conviser to review after class - I focus mostly on the study/exam tips and the charts, and skim over the text.  I also look at the state law distinctions.

Don't stress yourself out for not staying on the BarBri schedule - seriously, 12 hours a day, every day for 2 months is grueling, and I have yet to find anyone who was able to maintain that schedule.

I'm doing NJ and PA, and basically we have 3-4 essays assigned each day, which according to the guide, should take 4 hours. I've been trying to make outlines of how I would answer the question and compare it to the model answer. Ultimately, I feel like I'm not doing great on the multiple choice b/c I'm not spending enough time actually studying the material and instead am focusing on trying to finish all the assigned work.

Do you think its wise for me to cut out doing a few essay problems?

When I was set to graduate from undergrad in 04, the weekend before I was set to take the LSAT, I decided to take a year off because I wasn't prepared for the LSAT (scoring in the 140's). My dad is a lawyer and needless to say, he wasn't real thrilled about my decision. He was a firm believer in the myth that "if you don't go right away, you'll never go." We both admit now that taking a year off was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made.

From a work related standpoint, I don't really think it's worth it to just take up a job as a paralegal (if you have better non-law opportunities) on the basis that this job will be a greater resume builder for you once you attend law school. I think if you're going to explore meaningful employment, that the year off is the perfect opportunity to explore a non-legal career that may be of interest to you.  In the best case scenario, you might end up finding a career that you like without having to endure the expense and time commitment that law school requires. On the flipside, you should become more comfortable with your decision to attend law school once you've had a taste of what's really out there. I always had an interest in seeing what the corporate world was like and worked as an entry-level trade analyst for a large corporation. Within a month or two, not only did I realize that the corporate world was not for me (asskissing, job insecurity, mundane tasks), but it made my desire to attend law school even stronger.

Also, you can use your work experience as a positive selling point whether or not it's law related. During interviews, I have explained to employers that I wanted to try a non-legal career before taking the plunge into law school, and while that career wasn't a good fit for me, the experience I obtained in negotiating with outsiders and working with other employees will serve me well in the future. A partner from a mid-sized firm that I applied to told me during my interview that if two employment candidates are on relatively equal footing, that he almost always chooses the one who has taken a year or two off from undergrad. Another interviewer praised my decision to take a year off and said she wished she had done the same when she was my age.

As other people have stated, the year off is worthwhile for many other reasons. You'll finally have a paycheck and can go visit friends, head back to your UG school to party, go on road trips, and save up for a vacation, spend time with family, etc. Also, with the money I stashed away that year, I was able to fully furnish my apartment and cover my 1L health insurance payments. IMO it's a win-win situation: you can enjoy yourself, have more time to prep for the LSAT, save money, and you'll head into law school fresh and motivated. I truly believe that I wouldn't have done as well in law school if I went straight out of undergrad.

Current Law Students / Re: Is LEEWS worth it?
« on: June 07, 2008, 11:06:36 AM »
I'll just say off the bat that I really hope you're leaving a solid career because you would enjoy a career in law more so than you would your current career despite the financial perks. If you're looking to justify a career in law more on a financial basis than you are on an intellectual level, then the law might not be the career for you.

Everyone who I've seen post here before who has taken LEEWS attributes it to their academic success in law school. However, I'm more inclined to think that the people taking LEEWS are naturally more driven (and possibly intelligent) than those who don't enroll in the it's really the person's work ethic and not the program that can be credited for academic success

I agree with Nocomply that you absolutely should not take LEEWS. I have already transferred out of one school and am ranked near the top 10% of my class at my second school without doing any sort of program. You're much better off spending your time barbequing, drinking beers, and doing whatever it is to enjoy yourself. If you absolutely have to do anything before law school, you're better off taking care of errands now that are going to be a hassle once you start (car repairs, cleaning the gutters, etc).

Ultimately, the IRAC (issue/rule/application/conclusion) is the format you need to know for law school exams. The key to first year success IMO is to attempt as many practice problems as you can in the various subjects and consult with your individual proefssors about your answer to the questions. There are many different types of essay questions that can be posed on an exam:(1) "spot all issues" (2) "address issues A and B" (3) "if you're representing X, what types of arguments will you make on his behalf" (4) address all issues/claims on behalf of all parties, where you have to argue "both ways" on given legal doctrines.

The key to doing well on your exams is to have a feel for what types of questions your professors will pose, where your deficiencies are with regards to your grasp of the law, what types of answers are preferred by various professors - all things you'll get only from attempting practice problems once you're in school. All a pre-law school prep course is going to do is contribute to an early burnout.

Current Law Students / Re: My law school screwed me!!!
« on: June 05, 2008, 11:31:59 AM »
From a legal standpoint, I haven't taken remedies and it's been a while since I brushed up on contracts, but Strictly is probably correct that the OP lacks a viable legal claim (unless there is some type of unjust enrichment/quantum meruit claim allowing him to recoup his tuition money). Also, I doubt that the school proceeded with its retroactive change of the graduation requirements without consulting an attorney or two about it's potential liability and obtaining an advisory opinion from the ABA on its proposed change.

From a moral standpoint, I'm going to go out on a limb and say the reason Strictly has no perceivable compassion for the OP is because he believes subpar students at non-ABA accredited schools lack the intelligence and/or motivation (or both) to be a law student and/or practicing attorney in the first place. I have to agree with Strictly when it comes to the OP's potential competency in the field of law. To be blunt, the odds are heavily stacked against the OP of not only passing the bar, but finding legal employment OF ANY SORT even if his school's graduation requirements weren't retroactively changed. Most legal markets are already flooded to being with..and I don't think it's far off to assume that no employer spotting a non-ABA accredited school and no GPA listed on a resume (inferring subpar performance) are going to bring the OP in for an interview for a position other than a paralegal or document review job. Overall, the OP's choice to remain in school after his first year was not a wise investment as it pertains to his legal career.

However, after meeting the school's strict graduation requirements for two of his three years spent at the school, I think it's highly unfair leave the OP in a position to have to explain at non-legal interviews why he hasn't pursued meaningful employment in the last 3 years. If he obtains the degree, a non-legal employer isn't going to pry into the particulars of his academic record at the school and can fairly assume that he (1) decided that a career in law isn't for him (2) was incapable of passing the bar or gaining legal employment but (3) has the drive to work the long hours necessary to succeed in the non-legal position applied for.

I'm walking proof countering the correlation. I had a 151 LSAT, which put me at the bottom 25th percentile for entering students at my T4, and I'm guessing I probably have the lowest LSAT score of anyone in my class at my current T2. Scored in the top 30% at the T4, and about the top 10-12% at the T2. Probably did more work/studying than the average student, but not even close to being buried in the library like a good chunk of students were. According to the correlation, I should have been in the bottom quarter or so at my T4 and the village idiot at my T2.

I think the premise of the LSAT's importance is as follows: you can be smart and have the ability to understand, apply, and practice law and do poorly on the LSAT, but you can't be an idiot and do well on the LSAT. I guess law schools take the approach that the former need to prove they're "smart" and the latter are entitled to a presumption of intelligence as it pertains to the study of law. I don't know much about statistics, but I don't understand why a general IQ test wouldn't provide a similar correlation.

I wouldn't let a low LSAT score relative to your peers discourage you in terms of how you perform relative to your classmates.


I guess I fit well into this category of non-traditional students. Anyway, here is my story.

I have wanted to go to law school for as long as I can remember.  But of course, due to life's unexpectancies and roads that you've clearly paved somehow turning in their own directions, my take a year off before going to law school turned out to be 10 years.  I am now 31 years old, I am happily married with 2 kids (my oldest is currently in grade school). I work full-time earning very good money in the legal field and I love my job , I really do.  We bought a house 2 1/2 years ago and things seem to be going well. Howevever, I've always felt that something was missing. I feel very very blessed and thank God everyday for what I have and where I am, but for some reason I cannot get rid of the thought of me actually fulfilling my long time dream of going to law school and becoming an attorney.  I have finally decided to apply to school.

The dilema: I am considering applying for Fall '09 to schools both in NY and GA. Both my husband and I have close family in GA, our parents, I know we will have absolutely no problems with support and assistance with our girls. I am secretly hoping that the schools in GA accept me so that I can go full-time. My husband on the other hand is not thrilled about that idea because he does not want me to quit my job AND he's not too sure about selling our house now. I really want to sell our house but I don't want to make that big decision in this kind of market and more so because I am not sure if I will get accepted into those schools.

Am I being selfish and should I give up on attending law school???

Help me out here please.  I would appreciate all advice that comes my way.

Ready for School

Age is certainly not an issue (most of the older students tend to do pretty well) but its your familial responsibilities that are a significant limitation. I'll make the following suggestions:

1. Why is law school a dream of yours? Do you have a specific legal career in mind or is it just a feeling of not being fulfilled that is motivating you? I think selling your home and uprooting your family from their settled location is not a wise decision, financially and otherwise, solely on the basis that law school will fill some void in your life.

2. I would heavily consider doing a part-time program and working full time throughout law school unless your husband is in a financial position to pick up the extra slack.

3. Aside from real estate concerns, why is your husband not on board? I agree with Jacy that he needs to not just assent to your decision, but should be convinced that this is the best decision for you and your family. He will probably be shouldering much of the load when it comes to caring for the children and footing the bill. If he's not 100% convinced that this is the best decision for you, your relationship, the children, then I would be hesitant to go even if he assents to the decision.

4. Biglaw. I'm not sure what type of hours you're working now, but if you have Biglaw dreams where you're going to be working like a dog after you graduate...just be prepared that your children are going to be asking "why is mommy never around" for at least the next 5-8 years or so (including law school). Most of your peers will likely be singles/dating in their 20's without children who have the time and energy to devote to a big firm. I would go into law school with a realistic approach as to the type of salary/career you're looking for, and how those careers might put a strain on your family relationships.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Liberty, Regent or Ave Maria
« on: June 02, 2008, 02:28:19 PM »
As a recent grad (and someone who should be studying for the bar right now) I'll throw in my $.02. In law school, you're there to learn a way of thinking that will best prepare you for the practice of law. If the OP wanted to practice in Papal Law, Christian law or the like, than attending any of the schools wouldn't be a significant disadvantage for his career goals.

However, the OP said he is interested in becoming a state or federal prosecutor. From my understanding, the US Attorney's Office does not hire entry level students unless they qualify for the "Honors Program," where you basically need to be in the top 20-25% of your class and have spent a year in some capacity as a judicial clerk. The salaries for these positions are generally higher than that for state level prosecutors and PD's so these jobs are in much higher demand. Basically the US Attorney's office has a ton of qualified candidates to choose even if the OP qualifies for the program, he's fighting an uphill battle for these jobs based solely upon the school he's considering attending.

Furthermore, if I'm the OP, I'm going to be very wary about being lured in by a scholarship at a lower ranked school. The OP probably has a decent chance for a full-ride at any of the aforementioned schools, however many of the schools require that the person have a 3.0-3.2 to maintain their scholarship. The curves at many T4 schools range from about a 2.0 to a 2.7. While the correlation seems to suggest that people with higher LSAT scores in comparison to the other members of their entering class will have better grades overall, that's not necessarily the case. Students attending lower ranked schools are highly competitive (I'd know, I went from a T4 to a T2 and have a better GPA/rank at the T2 than I did at my old T4) since they either (1) want to transfer out and (2) know that the only decent job opportunities come to those ranked in the top third of the class, and I'm not talking Biglaw here. One really poor start to a law school career is enough to lose your full ride entirely.

I can appreciate the OP's desire to be in the type of educational and social environment that comports with his religious beliefs. However the OP can engage in a self-directed study of how the law relates to his religious beliefs and write independent study papers on  topics of his choice. Furthermore, due to the reduced pressure to study around the clock that comes from attending a better school (greater job security, open book exams), the OP will have ample time on the side to read books and scholarly articles on the topics of his choice.  I also wouldn't be quick to automatically assume that the majority of students at any of these schools share the same fundamental religious beliefs as the OP. I am not religious at all, and applied to Ave Maria because of my ridiculously low LSAT score. I'm guessing I'm not the only one.

Current Law Students / Re: B in Civ Pro and not real happy about it
« on: June 02, 2008, 01:33:25 PM »
what an insufferable a$$ you are. wow.  as subtle as a fire alarm.

Eh, I don't think he's bragging. I think I'd be pretty pissed off too if I didn't pull straight A's at a TTT--it's about as insulting as losing a round of Jeopardy! at the Special Olympics.

Probably just trying to stir the pot, but I know of a several people who transferred out with better GPA's and class ranks than they had at their initial T3/T4 programs, including a girl at a top 5 school. I wouldn't be so quick to judge the relative ease of academic success on the basis of a school's rank alone (nor the lower LSAT scores of the overall student body).

Current Law Students / Re: Really Need Transfer Help
« on: June 02, 2008, 10:12:52 AM »
Girl from my T4 transferred to Michigan being ranked #4 in the class, basically top 2%. Being in the top 10-20% at a top 20 school should probably give you some of those options. Although if you really hate your location, I'd consider the option of a lateral transfer. Apply to one or two similarly ranked schools that you would consider attending even if all your top choices don't pan out. 

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