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Messages - PSUDSL08

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81
I've read quite a bit about the epidemic and it seems to be most prevalent in Corporate Law for obvious reasons. The most happy attorneys seem to be public defenders and prosecutors. I personally want to become a prosecutor, but the $51K starting salary a year doesn't seem too exciting especially with the law school debt. I would be making more as a police officer (because they have a strong union) and most officers around here just have a high school education. That is simply ridiculous.

On the other hand doing something like family law can get emotionally charged because many times you have to see the kids suffer as a result of your work.

It would be neat if both happy and unhappy attorneys would post on here and give us their points of view.

My father is an assistant homicide prosecutor in a crime plagued city, and absolutely loves his job because he knows that he is helping to put violent criminals behind bars. My father suffers from depression, and his first couple of years after graduating, his depression became so bad that he didn't work for 3 years. Once he finally got help, his first job was with a law firm. He absolutely hated it. He then opened a private practice,   and hated it. He eventually became a prosecutor, and it changed his life for good. Once a couch ridden depressed young man, he is now a vibrant professional who, 25 years later, loves getting up every day for work. He just put a gang member behind bars and received a letter from the mother of her murdered 18 year old son raving about what a great job he did and how they now pray for him and my father every day. It brought him to tears just knowing that he was able to help this family obtain some closure. He doesn't make a lot of money, but makes more than the average professional, has great job security...and in fact he said that he doesn't plan on retiring until his early 70's!

My friends father is a prominent real estate attorney in the same town in Northern, NJ. He makes a shitload of money, and when my friend mentioned to him that she was considering going to law school, he advised her otherwise. He has specifically told her that he hates his job but makes too much money to back out of it now. He just couldn't give up his lifestyle for the sake of having a more satisfying career.

The reason I bring all of this up, is that I've learned from this that I'm not going to put that much pressure on making money or having some big prestigious firm job. I will probably seek employment with a mid sized firm upon graduation as a learning experience. However, I'm not going to let debt, "prestige", or the possibility of being wealthy keep me employed in a job I hate. I think too many lawyers are hellbent on making the big bucks, and compromise their happiness for the sake of wealth and prestige. And even some of the financially successful lawyers might be depressed because they're not doing as well as they thought they would. I think these things lead to the depression, divorce, alcoholism, etc...that is so prevalent in our profession

If I can find a job where I make good money and love what I do, great. However, if I hate the firm life, I'm either going to hang a shingle or do some type of government work. If it means I'm only making $50K starting out, and can only climb up to $75K or so as a plateau...then so be it. The way I look at it is, I'd rather make the minimum payments on my loans for 30 years and enjoy life, than be like my friend's dad...unable to escape the drudgery of his job because he's grown accustomed to living a lavish lifestyle.

Speaking of depressing jobs...While I'm only 25, most of my friends my age, or a little older are stuck in crappy, dead end business jobs. The few of my friends without graduate degrees that actually like what they're doing aren't making much more than $35K. The ones that make more than that either openly admit that they hate what they do, or try to sugar coat what they're doing. I think the way to tell whether someone really likes what they're doing when they tell you they've found a "great career" is whether or not they actually provide examples of what they like doing (specific clients they've met with, who they've helped) vs. giving you a job description that you'd likely find on a company's vacancy website. For example, my friend got a job doing IT work for a pharmaceutical company, who when I asked him about his job, gave me a BS line that "It's a real professional atmosphere where I'm integrating their business information systems and coming up with integrative technological solutions for corporate problems"...which I translate as "I wear a shirt and tie to work despite being an IT female dog for my company...and the highlight of my week is when the hot girl from sales calls me when her Microsoft Excel crashes or when she can't locate a file on her hard drive"

82
Transferring / Re: 3.4 at T4 -- Where to transfer...
« on: March 25, 2007, 08:23:53 PM »
I'm a 1L at Suffolk Univ. Law School with a 3.4 after first semester (top 20%). I would like to stay in Boston next year, perhaps at BU or BC. Any thoughts on my chances? Is anyone familiar with BU/BC's transfer policies (i.e. are they transfer friendly?). I also gave some thought to Fordham, Brooklyn, American and GW. Any thoughts?

Not sure about the transfer policies at any of these schools, but I think without improvement, that BU/BC/GW are stretches...I think you need to be in at least the top 10% to get into one of those schools. Fordham might be a stretch as well, but if you can get up to top 15% you've got a shot. I'd say you have a good shot with American, and a very good shot at getting into Brooklyn.

If NY/Boston/DC are the areas you're considering, why not look at the following as well: Northeastern (#87); St. Johns (#80); Cardozo (#57). I'd say with your grades, these schools are likely a lock for you. Are there any other areas you'd consider relocating to?


NY and DC are the only other cities I'm interested in at this point. To be honest, I wasn't considering Northeastern; reliable sources have told me that NU is overrated and that, despite its lower ranking, Suffolk is a better school in the Boston market. Thanks for your advice / suggestions, however...

How well do UConn grads do in Boston? I know it's not Boston/DC/NYC, but I would imagine it would have a pretty decent rep in New England.

83
Transferring / Re: 3.4 at T4 -- Where to transfer...
« on: March 25, 2007, 07:21:41 PM »
I'm a 1L at Suffolk Univ. Law School with a 3.4 after first semester (top 20%). I would like to stay in Boston next year, perhaps at BU or BC. Any thoughts on my chances? Is anyone familiar with BU/BC's transfer policies (i.e. are they transfer friendly?). I also gave some thought to Fordham, Brooklyn, American and GW. Any thoughts?

Not sure about the transfer policies at any of these schools, but I think without improvement, that BU/BC/GW are stretches...I think you need to be in at least the top 10% to get into one of those schools. Fordham might be a stretch as well, but if you can get up to top 15% you've got a shot. I'd say you have a good shot with American, and a very good shot at getting into Brooklyn.

If NY/Boston/DC are the areas you're considering, why not look at the following as well: Northeastern (#87); St. Johns (#80); Cardozo (#57). I'd say with your grades, these schools are likely a lock for you. Are there any other areas you'd consider relocating to?

84
General Board / Re: Appalachian..Florida Coastal...Barry Law..
« on: March 21, 2007, 06:06:18 PM »
Appalachian..Florida Coastal...Barry Law..

Ok, so I already know that these schools may be at the bottom of most peoples lists but I was wondering if anyone on here either attends one of these schools or plans to in the fall. I got accepted to all three, but I am  still waiting to hear from 6 other schools; One in New york, two in NC and a couple others in Florida. I really wanted some advice from anyone that has any information about any of these schools. If I don't get in any other schools I def. WILL be attending one of the three so I just need a little more information.  I appreciate any info you can offer. Thanks.

Dont want to burst your bubble about Florida Coastal, but one of the transfer students at my current school attended Florida Coastal. He said that the curve was ridiculously low. He said he was just below a 3.0 and was in the top 20% of the class. He also mentioned that the school fails out a ton of people, and even in your 2L year, you're still subject to the same strict/low curve as your first year.

85
Law School Applications / Re: Rejections from Law Schools
« on: March 19, 2007, 10:14:06 PM »
Hi, thanks for your response. 
 
Yes, I am a minority.

I have employment/experience history from law firms working as a Bankruptcy Legal Assistant (I didn't do filing or any regular assistant duties) My duties were reviewing motions and stipulations for 17 states nationwide.  I also have experience in Healthcare, Background investigations for nuclear power plants and currently working as a loan officer for a mortgage company.  I have been working since 19 and I am not 27. 

Here are the lists of the schools I am still waiting on.
Golden Gate University
Southwestern Law
St. Thomas University
Indiana University - Indianapolis
University of Baltimore

I just recently applied to the following schools below:
Florida Coastal School of Law
Texas Southern University
University of La Verne

I seriously don't know if my school has anything to do with this because I believe that I am the first graduate to attend law school from my undergrad school. I also was thinking if its my major in Psychology.  I don't know anymore to tell you honestly.  But I have made some plan B's.  I was thinking of pursuing another Bachelor's degree in Business from a California State University and review the LSAT and re-take it again for the second time.  What do you think I should do?

Could be falling for the biggest flame ever being that you've started 3/4 different threads asking essentially the same question

Don't see the point in pursuing another degree...add Cooley and other low T4's to the list and pray...otherwise take a year off and reapply

86
Nashville School of Law / Re: Admission chances?
« on: March 19, 2007, 08:59:59 PM »
Don't go to Nashville.  I bet you could get into a fully accredited (ABA/AALS) T4 with 2.0/160, possibly even a T3 (but that's a long shot).

I think LSAT matters slightly more than UGPA in admissions.

I second this notion. With good/great LOR's and a good personal statement (how you are not the same unmotivated person you were in college, how you've grown, raised a family, received all A's in later coursework, etc), you can most definitely get into an ABA accredited school. Being that you're an older student to be, I think the adcomms would put less weight on your poor academic performance 13 years ago than they would on your current achievements/growth and desire to provide a better life for yourself and your family. It can't hurt to apply to Nashville, but don't sell yourself short. Call some schools and speak to their deans/directors of admission about your situation and get some feedback. Good luck with everything

87
Law School Applications / Re: Rejections from Law Schools
« on: March 19, 2007, 08:46:34 PM »
I'm not sure if this is a flame or not, but I'll bite on this being real. I'm not sure what your safeties are, but if you shot for anything higher than a T4, you wont get in. And to be brutally honest, most T4's are probably a stretch for you at this point. Couple of questions/suggestions

1. Are you a minority student?

2. Did you apply to Cooley/Appalachian Law?

3. How many times did you take the LSAT?

If you're a minority and you applied to Cooley/Appalachian/Regent or a similarly situated T4 school, then I think you have a 50/50 shot at getting into one of those. Otherwise, my best suggestion for you would be to hire a tutor and retake the LSAT this summer and reapply. If it makes you feel any better, I scored a 139 on my first practice LSAT, and was able to bring that up to a 151 when I took the actual test. If you could pull yourself into the 150 range, bringing your average up to a 146/147, then you'll stand a better shot. A last ditch option is to wait the couple of years it takes for your LSAT to expire, gain work experience, and retake the test and reapply. Good luck

88
General Board / Re: Government salaries even lower than I thought!
« on: March 19, 2007, 08:38:01 PM »
When you factor in pension and the other govt benefits, a $55K salary is more like a $65-80K per year salary. That and you can work relatively normal hours and have a life. My father is an asst prosecutor...on the low end of the pay scale for lawyers overall...but will retire with something in the ball park of 70-75% of his highest salary as pension. If you start fresh out of school and stay at your govt job, it's possible to retire before 50...leaving you free to do other part time work so you can net "two incomes"

I'm not sure about the $6K per year towards your student loans, but if that's the case, that's not too bad. If you're $120K in debt, and you shell out $6K of your income (or even half or lower if your spouse is contributing), then you can essentially pay off your loans between 10-15 years...which beats the 30 year repayment plan

89
General Board / Re: What to do the summer before law school?
« on: March 05, 2007, 10:38:49 AM »
Have fun, get wasted, enjoy leisure reading if that's your thing. Don't read law school prep books, E&E, or take any law school prep courses. You don't need any of that to do well in law school.

90
Transferring / Re: Chances of transferring - T4 currently top 30%
« on: February 23, 2007, 02:22:31 PM »

I'm currently a 1L at Chapman in the top 30% (3.0 cum on a 2.8 curve); I am in the top 10% in 2 of my classes including LRW. I love the school but I want to transfer to a school with better post-graduation opportunities. What are my chances of transferring to USD/Pepperdine/Loyola? If my chances of transferring aren't good right now, what cum gpa/what rank do I have to have to make my chances of transferring better? I've already posted to the Yahoo! transfer group & I really didn't get much of a response so I though I'd see what everyone over here has to say.

Thanks everyone! :)

I posted my results on the yahoo database, but I also transferred from a T4 to a PSU (same rank as Pepperdine), and received an acceptance to Seton Hall (close in rank to Loyola/USD). I had a year of work experience and two decent LOR's. I was in the top 31% with a 3.2 on a 2.7 curve. I think if you maintain your GPA, you have a good shot at Pepperdine, and if you're able to improve, you'll have a good shot at Loyola/USD. Keep working hard.

Couple of suggestions, things to think about:
1. I'd suggest getting your applications out sooner than later...not that they'll accept you anytime soon but just to show the interest.

2. I'd also call and speak to one of the directors/deans of admission to gauge how transfer friendly they are (how many applied last year and how many accepted, what gpa's they're looking for, etc).

3. Also, do you have reasons that you want to transfer into those schools other than better job prospects? I'd highlight those as well in your PS.

4. Do you have any low grades? Like a C or lower? I didn't try to "explain away" my low grade through an addendum, but the dean of the school I was accepted to confirmed what I thought...that he wrote the low grade off as an anomaly. If you have one bad grade, and dont get any more bad grades, schools might completely write it off, and might look at you as having a better rank/GPA than a 3.0 and top 30%.

Hope this helps. Good luck..

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