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Messages - lawschoolmama

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I just finished my first year at St Thomas and really like it.  THey have been around since the 80's.  Faculty is great, classrooms are sub par and campus is really small.  This can be good or bad depending on what you are seeking.  I find it very supportive and everyone is very helpful, but everyone knows everyone else's business

Nova has a gorgeous building - the first time I went there to study ( it is closer to my home) I had BIG TIME library envy.  Nova itself is a huge school - undergrad, Dental School, Med School and Law School on the campus.  Neighborhood is better than STU - surrounded by several other schools.

Back to STU - I am an older student, but I know the "kids" hang out in South Beach and Coral Cables.  Most students live 15 - 20 minutes away - I would avoid the dorms at all costs. 

I am very happy here - but I have to warn you the first year curve is brutal.  Friends of mine have a 2.45 after the second semester and have to appeal to stay in school.  Bar passage rates have been dismal - a real indicator will be the July passage rate - this will be the first class who was under Butterworth for all 3 years.

I would visit Nova and make a decision.  STU has plans to expand, but I don't know if they will be in place by the time I graduate ( Class of '08).  Let me know if you have any specific questions or need more info.  GOod luck with whatever you choose!

Anything below a C is not included in the curve - they throw those out.  10% was asked to leave last semester - if you get less than a 2.1 you are out.  If you get 2.1 - 2.5 you are on probation, and you have 1 semester to bring your GPA up over 2.5.

In a section of 86, in K class there were 2 A's, in Torts there were 4 A's.

it makes life interesting = that is for sure.

So there can be 10 F's, 10 d's, 10 c - and those are not calculated into the curve.

I picked St Thomas over Nova - Nova is much closer to my home.

Why did I do this?

St Thomas is a SMALL school - NOVA is a huge campus with lots of graduate progams.  Not what I personally was looking for, but not necessarily a big issue for others.

NOVA has a kick ass library - I was very jealous when I saw it.

Reputation is pretty much the same - 2 of my friends got internships for the Federal COurt for the SOuthern District of FLorida in Ft Lauderdale - very cool.

It is definitely not the #1 place for quality of life - Opa Locka, Hialeah and Miami Gardens are not the prettiest places on earth.

Quite a few people from here live towards the beach.  NOVA is about the same distance from the beach.

It is all about choices - I think the suggestion to check them both out is a valid one.  The cost of living in S Florida is out of control - the housing market has gone crazy.

Let me know if you have any specific questions I can help you with.....

It is a 4th tier - the worst thing about being T4 is the grading curve - it is tough - they use it to weed out.

The class graduating next month is the first class who had BUtterworth as their dean for all 3 years- the bar passage rate should be indicative of the type of education received under the new regime.

It is a really small school, and getting better known because of the politcal contacts of the staff and faculty

We have Butterworth, Clark ( former AG of AK under CLinton), Becker, who was general counsel to Ford and negotiated the Nixon surrender of Watergate docs.

How well is it known out of South FLorida?  Not at all.  My friends from before LS ( who I haven't seen since the start of the school year) always ask if I am at NOVA, and then are like " OH OK" when I say St Thomas

 All that being said, I love it here - everyone knows everyone else and is very supportive.  Again, though, the curve is a royal pain in the neck.  The average has to be 2.75 - 3 for grades over a C.  Anything lower is not factored into the curve.  Makes it very nerveracking.

Let me know if you have any questions

Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Re: FIU and St. Thomas Wait List
« on: April 01, 2006, 11:21:38 AM »
Last year I heard back by the end of March from St Thomas, but didn't hear from FIU until June - they have a later application date.

You can always call St Thomas and ask - they won't hold it against you.

I am 37 single mom of 2 boys who just finished my first semester.

My schedule was as follows-

MW - class from 10 - 11, 11:30 - 1

Tues   class from 9 - 10:30, 3:30 - 4:45, 6:30 - 8

Thurs  class from 9 - 10:30, 3:30 - 4:45,

Fri  Class from 10 - 11, 1 - 2:20

There was a TA session and dean's fellows thrown in there as well.

I used the ridiculously long breaks on Tues and Thurs to get my reading done, and didn't talk to anyone during the day - I lived in the library.  HOwever, when I went home, I was HOME for the most part.

I ended up with a 2.7, 2 kids that are doing great in school ( one with special needs), and a very happy family.

I am planning on working for a small firm when I get out and eventually go into a partnership with my mentors in Elder Law

The worst part was the first 6 - 8 weeks - you have no idea what has just hit you and why you even think you can do this.  FInals were rough - I studied my ass off for 2 weeks.

The best part - it will never be this hard again - and after the first year, it gets even easier.

I will be 40 when I graduate and damn proud of it. 

Go for it - you won't regret it - I promise

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: St. Thomas - Florida?
« on: January 02, 2006, 02:26:31 PM »
What were your numbers?  I am a 1l there, and we had a huge class - 50% passed summer conditional so the class size was about 50 more than they anticipated.  Maybe that is why they are being tougher this year.  I would contact them and see what you could do to get off the wait list - it certainly couldn't hurt...

Contact them and see if you can find out why = it doesn't make any sense.  Would you consider asking to do the summer conditional?  I know last year the mean LSAT was 150, and a few of my friends did the summer conditional and get it. Definitely take the LSAT again, maybe you can get it up a few points.

I am a mom of a 10 year old and a 6 year old who is starting school full time.  I am recently divorced, and since I get alimony decided I better do something to boost my income earning potential.  My kids have after care at their school, and understand the concept of homework. 

Do I wish I had gone when I was younger and before kids?  I don't think I was ready.  My 2 boys are the best motivator of managing time well and being efficient so I can study during the day and play with them at night. 

I did the stay at home mom thing for 8 years while my ex husband's salary went from 40K a year to $175K.  My earning potential stayed stagnant and now I am paying for it.  I never thought I would get divorced and be in this situation.  All I can say is make sure you are able to provide for yourself if something terrible happens - you just never know.

On a positive note, my real estate teacher at the community college where I took paralegal classes suggested staying in transactional law - she said the hours were much better than trial law.  The women lawyers I have spoken to have been very supportive and tell me to not get caught up in the "BIG LAW" frenzy - there are so many different career paths you can take with a law degree.  I just want to make a decent living - I am not looking for the new mercedes huge house etc.  I would suggest finding a mentor who can guide you - I am lucky enough to have 4 female lawyers who are more than willing to do anything to help me out.

Good luck to everyone! 

Black Law Students / Re: Interview Attire (for the rising 2L's)
« on: July 22, 2005, 01:33:19 PM »
Well, let me ask you another question - do you think a guy would realize if you are wearing a "cheap" suit vs an $800 suit, or is it the other women that we really dress for?  I don't think my boyfriend would have  a clue - even if I held the price tag in his face.  I truly think that in general we dress to impress other women - men really don't say " Ooh - I dig her - look at those cute shoes"

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