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Messages - PSUDSL08

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One of my two career aspirations are to either hang a shingle and make a good living or to become a judge. I've glimpsed over your responses, and the only benefits to opening a private practice out of school have seemed to been the simple fact that it can be done without you getting sued. Why is it better to open one right out of school than gaining a year or two of experience doing research, etc?

My concerns with opening a private practice out of school are the following:

#1 Debt: I'm staring at $120K coming out of school. While it's possible to start a booming private practice, it's also very possible that the practice will flop. More private businesses tend to flop than thrive nowadays, and while selling "legal services" is different from opening up a pizza shop, the risk is still there. Should I really be taking out more money to startup coming out of school...or take a few years off, get my student loans down to a reasonable figure, then open up shop? Also, I've heard that there is one lawyer for every 27 people in my hometown...not sure if that's true but judging by the amount of shingles hanging, I wouldn't doubt it completely.

#2 Research: While I did well in legal writing, I am still by no means a confident researcher. How do you build upon this skill on your own as a solo practitioner coming straight out of law school? Wouldn't you be better served by at least doing a clerkship for a year then transitioning?

#3 Appearance: I'm 25, but look like I'm 17 or 18. This will be great when I'm 40, but doesn't exactly help professionally when you're my age. I think it will be very hard to build up a clientele without some prior experience based on this alone.

To make a long story short, it seems like you can minimize all risks with a year or two of experience rather than to go straight from law school to being a solo practitioner. I'm not really seeing where the extra year or two of your life is such a big deal in the grand scheme of things. I'd appreciate any light you have to shed on this topic. Thanks.

Current Law Students / Re: how good an indicator is the LSAT score really?
« on: February 06, 2007, 09:20:48 AM »
You can't infer a faulty correlation from a single data point. 

Also, your LSAT score likely placed you at a school where students have similar scores.  Thus, the correlation between scores and grades will be lower than if you were competing with a random sample of students from all law schools.

While your LSAT score places you at a school where students have similar scores, you can still prove the correlation wrong. I'm assuming that the OP with a 143 was probably in the bottom 10% of her entering class at her school...and according to that statistic should have grades in the bottom 10% of her class. Her grades are probably good enough to place her from anywhere in the top third to top 15% of her class.

Transferring / Re: 3.93 at low T1: Advice please
« on: January 29, 2007, 08:53:57 AM »
yahoo groups has a transfer database where people list their GPA's and ranks and where they were admitted to. Transfers should start there, then ask specific questions...not just "hey my grades are good where can I go?"

Current Law Students / Re: D in Torts
« on: January 24, 2007, 02:19:25 PM »
Things are looking pretty grim.  I'm a P/T evening student who earned a D in Torts.  Oh, by the way, I go to a tier 4 school. 

The worst part is, I know the material.  I just lost track of time on the three hour test, which determined the entire course grade. 

I had thought of a summer abroad program.  That's out.  Transferring to a better school.  That's out.
Working in a relatively large firm right after graduation. OUT.

So, here I sit, debts growing, wondering if I'll lose out on  future exams b/c of bad timing....

My other courses last the full year, so I have no definite grades in them, but my grades on those mid-terms were just above (Contracts) and just below (Civ. Pro) the class average.   

This is a bump in the road, I guess, but I'm really stuck weighing the consequences of it all. 

I'd love to hear from any others who've dug out of this kind of jam, or just have some thoughtful feedback.

Never got a D, but I did receive a C- in criminal law which is the next closest thing. Still managed to transfer to a T2 from a T4. You will need to see improvement from your first to your second semester, which is definitely possible if you get the timing down and bust your hump this semester. Upon getting accepted, I asked the dean out of curiosity whether or not they considered the C-...and he basically said he glanced at it but wrote it off as an anomaly. They will do the same for you.

As mentioned by lawlady...if you know your stuff, the key for you will be to do practice exams. This will not only help you hash over the material, but will allow you to get your timing down.

Stop worrying about the D. You can't change it now. Stop worrying about working at a big firm. Probably wont happen unless your in the top 5% at your school anyway. Stop worrying about an abroad program, which will be little more than an overpriced vacation. Your #1 concern at this point should be "what can I do to improve upon my exam performance and get the f- out of here". Are you considering a transfer for location purposes, prestige, or both?

Current Law Students / Re: any T4 to low T1 transfer stories
« on: January 24, 2007, 12:18:41 PM »
Isn't it the case that some T4s have particularly bad reputation, such as Cooley or New England. 

I'd say there's a split between some T4's. I went to Capital in which people in the top half of the class managed to land summer firm jobs locally. I'm not sure whether the numbers were played with or what not, but apparently their bar passage rate during the last bar exam was 87%. Who knows

Michigan State has the name recognition. Franklin Pierce has a great IP/Patent law reputation. West Virginia has some name recognition, and is the only law school in the state. I'm inclined to guess that WVU grads do well within the state. Same for Wyoming. 

Current Law Students / Re: any T4 to low T1 transfer stories
« on: January 23, 2007, 06:29:38 PM »
Hi everyone -  I guess the is the start of your rags to riches story - law school edition.

LSAT was a nightmare for me - took it twice - got a 147 first time around, scored a 149 second time around. Someone must have been smiling on me one day, becuase I was accepted to a T4 in Massachusetts last fall.

I'm currently enrolled in the PT program, and mid-term grades have been released. I scored a 90 in CivPro, 92 in Contracts, 93 in LRW and 94 in Torts. I would have chalked it up to luck if it weren't for the consistency in my grades. 

Here is my question - assuming I can keep up my level of performance, what do people think my chances are in transferring to UCONN Law (#50 ranking) next fall?


Transferring / Re: Will Law Review Boost My Transfer Options\Chances?
« on: January 22, 2007, 06:22:37 PM »
Thanks for a view from the other side of the argument. This option IS available to me next semester if I choose to remain here. My grades are fine ( I DID book legal writing, so...), I'm in the top 10%, looking to reach up, not a lateral transfer. Though I haven't spoken about this to a transfer advisor, everyone seems to take law review as a big accomplishment. But, the time factor is clearly what is being weighed here-

With the law review option as a 2L and a top 10% class rank available to you in your absolute worst case scenario, you will still have a competitive edge over most of your peers at your current school in terms of job opportunities.

On the other hand, I really can't see any benefit in beginning law review early if you're looking to jump from a T4 to a mid to low T1. Sure it might help you in your 1L summer job search. However, schools aren't really looking for 1L law review credentials when assessing transfer students, and you'll have to write on at your new school regardless. If joining law review causes you to even see 1/2 a letter grade reduction in any one of your classes, to me it's not worth it. And provided you're not looking to jump from a T4 to a T14, it seems like doing all that extra work will be for nothing.

Current Law Students / Re: Chances of transferring from a T4 to a T2
« on: January 22, 2007, 06:08:16 PM »
We just got all of our grades and my cumulative for this semester was a 3.1 on a 2.8 curve. I did really well in 3 classes and not so well in 2 others which brought down my GPA. If I bring my grades up next semester, what are my chances of transferring to a tier 2? Any opinions or experiences would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you! :)

I got into my T2 from a T4 with just under a 3.2 on a 2.67 curve (top 30%). Started out with a 3.0 (top 45% or so) and improved second semester. Had one really crappy grade which I'm sure the adcomms threw out. Since you did really well in three classes, you're obviously capable of doing well on all your exams next semester. If you can find a balance, there's no reason you can't nail a 3.3 or higher, which would put you in a great position to transfer to a T2. Even if you received another 3.1, you'd still have a fairly decent shot at a T2. At the end of the day, schools are looking for three things: (1) why does this person want to come here (2) can they handle the workload (3) can they pass the bar. Ask for LOR's in February and get in your apps early. While they won't start reviewing them until June, it can't hurt to show them that you're serious about coming there. have no reason to be concerned whatsoever being in the top 1% of your class. One of my friends was ranked 3/154 and got into Michigan. I managed to squeak my way into a T3 that hadn't accepted a transfer student in over three years and my grades weren't even close to yours. Any T2 would have to be on crack not to admit you, regardless of their rigid transfer policies.

Transferring / Re: Will Law Review Boost My Transfer Options\Chances?
« on: January 21, 2007, 06:41:41 PM »
Won't say what school, I'd rather stay anonymous since i'd like to transfer... But, I will say we have two law review journals, and only one (our international review) gives such an opportunity.

I haven't heard anyone consider option B, to maintain my grades and forget about law review. I guess that is a pretty stupid decision. Actually, it seems like I'm the only person I know who wants to think about this before I leap. Thanks for all of your advice. I've made my decision.

What is your class rank/GPA at this point and how big of a jump are you looking to make? Are you applying to any "safety" transfer schools, or are you just shooting for one reach school? Also, if you choose not to do law review this semester, will that option be available to you after the semester?

I was hellbent on transferring anywhere closer to home, even if it meant going from a T4 to another T4. I knew I had the grades to make a lateral transfer, so I didn't join any clubs or take part in any extracurricular activities at my old school so that I could focus on classes alone. It paid off as I improved 2nd semester and got into my reach school.

I'm the minority here...but I think that if you have the grades to put you in the ballpark for your any of your transfer schools, that you should forgo law review and focus on your studies. However if things are much more iffy, and the odds of you coming back to your current school are greater than your odds of transferring out, then you should do law review. From everything I've heard, law review is very time consuming, and the extra time you'll spend focusing on that might negatively impact your ability to build upon your GPA.

Ultimately, if you're a top legal writing student, you should be able to write onto your law review if things don't work out. In the end, your grades matter the most when you're looking to transfer. Just my $.02

Transferring / Re: Put your uniformed/bad transfer advice here!
« on: January 15, 2007, 05:15:52 PM »
Too many posts recently that have foolish advice stated as fact regarding transferring.  I'll start with my favorite...please add yours.  This way it will all be in one place and no one who wants to learn about transferring will have to read it.

1.  Law Review + High ranking at a T3/T4= more opportunity and better career options than attending a T1.

What is better...being #1 in your class at a T4 (with law review, etc) or transferring to a school ranked between 30-35 in the same town? One of my friends was in that position and didn't put in a transfer app...I thought it was a bad move not to search elsewhere but that's just my opinion.

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