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Messages - BIG H2001

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Law School Admissions / Re: scores in the 160's...
« on: July 26, 2005, 08:26:25 PM »
Actually, I think 159/160 and 169/170 are probably, psychologically, the biggest gaps for applicants AND adcomms. There's something about factors of 10, especially those two in terms of the LSAT.

Yeah but that's truly psychological. What's the difference, 1 or 2 questions? And I doubt an ADCOMM can afford to get caught up in something like that.

The difference is a few spots in U.S. News after several applicants with scores 1 or 2 points lower.  It is a big deal.

I think everyone here has made some good points, and unfortunately the big issue a lot of us are going to have to face is "am I willing to work BigLaw for a sizeable number of hours?"

IMHO, working 80 hours a week isn't really that big of a deal, all things considered.  Especially for those of us who originally wanted to go into medicine, and were planning on ~100/wk residencies.  :)

More importantly though, since we're on the Biglaw topic, the conditions in which you're working aren't really so bad at the top firms.  I just finished my summer associateship with arguably the biggest firm in the world, and really didn't mind the few nights I had to stay late.  Now, obviously the summer flings are just teasers, and I didn't really have to do any real grunt work or work the 80/hr weeks that true associates do.  At the same time, though, I did get to see what perks were available to the people making that 125K, and whatnot.

First off--and this is for this one firm only, not every firm--if anyone worked past 8:00pm, he got driven home in a towncar.  That's right--driven.  Not too shabby considering you don't have to ride the subway, and you can actually get some work done while you're riding in style.

Secondly, for those who worked more than 8 hours in a day, you were given a $50 stipend for food, which I (being frugal out of necessity) took to buy groceries instead of a fancy lunch.

Third, on the topic of eating, the firm had its own cafeteria (which is a horrible misnomer) which served 7 course meals if you preferred, or even just a sandwich or so.  And by the way, it was all subsidized, so the sandwich was ~$3.25--cheaper than Subway.  So was the huge meal, but who really eats like that at work anyway?  Kinda cuts down on the living expenses NYC is notorious for, although the $2500/mo to share a flat with 3 people didn't help too much...

Fourth, if you're worried about making connections to big business, it's really not that difficult if (as the OP states), you're a people person.  I started dating a cute girl who turned out to be an exec at a major webfirm, and will probably be moving in with her once I go back down to the city for good.  NYC is packed with opportunities to meet and greet.  The people you meet at work and the clubs will introduce you to anyone you want if you make yourself available.  I got to hang out with all kinds of celebrities and others just because of who I was with--cuz I definitely have been a poor, nameless fellow my entire life.

Furthermore, in regards to the hours worked and whatnot, it's true that everyone is expected to pull in at least 2100 hrs. there.  No big deal honestly, considering that that's for the entire year, and one must pace oneself.  If you're in litigation, you'll surely have to HUGE workweeks prepping for trial or mediation, but in the meantime you often have to search for things to do.  I know a number of partners who take their folders to the can with them so that they can charge the $750 while on the pooper. The corporate folks though get a bit more of a steady flow of work, but again, you're often getting in at 10 am with a specific goal in mind, and once it's finished, you go home.  More importantly though, for people who like to work, 2400 hrs is where you make "the big bonus," as in 6 figures, and is well worth it in terms of almost doubling your salary.  The steady 60-80 hr weeks are mainly there for people who LOVE money, or who are trying to show off so that they can make equity status in 5 or 6 years.  And by the way, at this particular firm, that's minimum 1.9 Mil/yr per partner.  I'd say it's worth it--if you feel lucky.

Other people don't even worry about trying to get partner with a Biglaw firm though.  They realize about 3 years in that if at 6 years they get a pretty resume and can pull in some clients, they will be SCOUTED by headhunter firms to work in Midlaw as a partner.  Then you get the regular hours and still get the big money.  You might have to move though.  And we haven't even gotten into the concept of being "Of Counsel."  That ain't a bad break there...

But honestly, if you think about it, working 10-9:00 with a lunchbreak isn't slave labor, considering that LAW IS FUN.  Even the supposed "drudgery" of research and memorandi.  Then, come 9:00, you get ready to go out on the town in Manhattan, the center of the world, and get home in time to meet that 9:30 wake-up call.

So sure, if you're looking for a family, a 9-5, and lots of free time to sit and watch television, I say go work for the gov't.  Biglaw seems to be a fast life, with a lot more involved than would be allowed if I had kids or other responsibilities.  You guys also probably shouldn't worry too much about going to a very prestigious school either, if  you're not looking for Biglaw, as the student loans would be murder without the first few years of that 125 to pay down the principal.  U Houston is a great school, and cheap as dirt too.  Go there.

My two cents:

Two's old roomate

It is exactly this type of optimism that sucks people into BIGLAW.  When you actually become a lawyer and have real responsibility, it probably won't be as fun.

The first thing I think is that you mean "wary" not "weary."

Secondly, top 10% seems extreme.  You can go for it, but I wouldn't be crushed if it doesn't happen.  That's a lot of people to finish ahead of, at any school.  If you go to a school like Toledo that has several instate superiors, you're going to need to do other things to find a job anyway.  You have to network and explore every possible job opportunity on your own.  Get everything you can out of career services. 

I think it's a stretch to say that unless you are in the top 10%, it is worthless to go to law school there.

How much does Toledo cost?  Have you seen their 25/75 salary numbers.  What kind of law do you want to practice? Do you already have lots of debt?  Are you getting a scholarship?  All of these questions should factor into your overall cost benefit analysis of attending Toledo.  I think it was a bit simple minded of the professor to give such a blanket statement.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Got my 1L Schedule
« on: July 13, 2005, 10:46:31 AM »
Loyola Chicago Section 1:

9-10 - Criminal Law
1-2 - Property

10-12 - Torts
12-1 - Legal Research Lecture (Optional)
2-3:30 - Civil Procedure

9-10 - Criminal Law
1-2 - Property
5-7 - Legal Writing

10-12 - Torts
2-3:30 Civil Procedure

9-10 - Criminal Law

Loyola sure does know how to schedule.  All 3 of the full time sections are scheduled quite well.  This sure as hell beats working 60-80 hours a week, as I was used to.  Not to rip on anyone, but I think it's funny that people complain about starting class as "early" as 9.  I am as much as a night owl as anyone (look at my post time here), but 9 is late compared to the real world where 7 or 8 AM is typical.  I am also happy to start most days at 9 and the others at 10, as I will have no choice but to start the day by 8 and be most productive and live a normal schedule.  With built-in 3 hour breaks for reading, it really looks like working from 8-6:30 daily (most weeks) is a realistic way to do well, at least at Loyola!  I can't wait.

I go to work at 4am. That may be a little extreme, but you're correct in saying that whining about classes starting at 9am is rather sad.

I hate when people ask me that question. It's always an awkward response which produces some awkward moments of silence.  Like they expect me to be firmly committed now.  It's almost as annoying as people who try to throw hypos at me and ask me if I know anything about some situation they're in.  AT LEAST let me have one year of law school before you start doing that.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Vanderbilt VS Wake Forest
« on: July 12, 2005, 02:44:27 PM »
Are you interested in UNC?  With those numbers you'd have a good shot at admission even if you are out of state.  If you want to work in NC it would be a great option.

A school interview?  Seems like an odd time for that.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Phillies V. Braves on ESPN Right Now!!
« on: July 04, 2005, 06:44:21 AM »
Go Braves!  I guess we will have to get the wildcard this year in order to actually win a playoff series.  That will still be better than the Phillies who are probably one of the biggest wastes of talent in baseball over the last 2-3 years. 

The Yankees and Reds?  Are you on drugs?

Law School Admissions / Re: 159/3.75
« on: July 01, 2005, 02:19:46 PM »
Well I have to say that I'm probably not the best person to ask for LSAT advice.  I only managed a 161 on test day.  However, that was 2 points higher than I scored on any of my practice tests so I was actually happy with my own performance (this board will make you feel stupid when you see all the 170's). 

It seems like you've already prepared fairly thoroughly for June.  I guess my advice would be to get your hands on any actual LSAT's that you may not have already taken in your previous preparation.  Also, you may want to look into the full powerscore course if you were happy with them and you have the time and money to do it.  Maybe you would benefit from more instruction.  Also, if you weren't practicing under STRICTLY timed conditions before, I suggest that you do so this time around.  I think that this is one of the factors that contributed to my score increase on test day.  There were no timing surprises and I had learned how to pace myself and not lose focus.  Also, as you added, confidence is a big factor with the LSAT.  Just having taken it once should help you feel better about your potential.  It seems that LR is a weak point for you.  The LR Bible is very helpful, you may want to pick it up.

Finally, take some time off.  Even if its just a couple of days or a week.  October is still a ways off and you don't want to burn out in August or September.  There's plenty of time to do what you need to do as you've already done a lot on your own.  Good luck.

Law School Admissions / Re: 159/3.75
« on: July 01, 2005, 08:56:25 AM »
I think you stand at least a chance at UNC given the fact that a high GPA is something they seem to value and you're an NC resident.  You also have a good shot at Tennessee.  W & L and Wake are longer shots.  If you really want Wake, you should go for a 162 or so.  But in order to do this you'd have to get a 165 since Wake averages scores. Same with W & L I believe.  UNC takes the higher score so if you get a 165 you'd be golden for them. 

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