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Messages - avvocato

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Current Law Students / To bar loan, or not bar loan...that is the question.
« on: September 27, 2007, 12:43:49 PM »
Well... it's not really a question for me. It's just a matter of time until I sign by the "x", once again.... I, like many of you, will probably be low on dinero/near broke during summer 08, especially with my Bar/Bri bill hanging over my head. The idea of signing on for several thousand more dollars of debt (and probably at a variable interest rate) turns my stomach. But at the same time, the last thing I want to worry about during my bar prep is how I'm going to eat or provide shelter for myself. No one ever said becoming a lawyer was easy or cheap - I'm just trying to get ready for the incoming bills.

I'm just curious to know if anyone has starting looking into applying for a bar-study loan for 2008. I was thinking of going with Sallie Mae, but was wondering if any of you have other lenders that you recommend. I last heard that we can borrow up o $15,000 but I'm not sure if the amount has increased. I'm also trying to get an idea of how soon we can get our hands on the cash, considering that Bar/Bri will need to be paid next semester, we will have to start submitting state bar applications (and the fees....ugh).

I'll post any news I find out as I continue my search, but I'm also curious to hear about any info others may have.


Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Very Low LSAT
« on: July 21, 2006, 11:43:16 PM »
No prob - you are welcome!

I'll pm you...

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Very Low LSAT
« on: July 21, 2006, 09:46:08 PM »
How did you do while studying with Kaplan?

I am in Kaplan because I heard it was better than Princeton Review...but after 10 sessions already I'm not so sure I'm doing any better than when I started off cold by myself study.

Where can I find Testmasters? I noticed a lot of people mentioned that program but I have no idea where to look for it in my area. I'm from Maryland.

Thank you for your insight...I don't think I can get a full refund back because I'm 2 weeks from the end of the course already. They have the program for higher score guarantee but I don't believe they are willing to refund you the entire tuition fee.

Word on the street is that the higher score guarentee is a bit of a sham. I was told that they will under-score your exam so that you are certain to make a 10 point increase. But what good is that if you are going from a 137 to a 147? Know what I mean? Just see if there is a refund policy... or something pro-rated... or tell them you had an emergency or something. See what they say.

Here's the link for Testmasters:

In Baltimore, the class for the September test started this week. :-\
In College Park, the class for the September test starts next Tuesday. :o

As I said before, I only wish I had known about Testmasters earlier... it would have saved me a lot of money and heartache. And I'd probably already be a lawyer by now. Ha! But things still worked out, and I'm on my way....

Good luck!!!

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Very Low LSAT
« on: July 21, 2006, 09:30:15 PM »
Ohh I'm in a very similar situation. For my Kaplan test 2 I scored a 140 but I got a 137 on the last practice exam and I'm worried about if I should even consider law school. I'm signed up for the Sept 30th test date and its pretty nerve wrecking. I'm hitting about 60% with the 140 score on Logic Games and RC but LR I suck at and I need serious improvements in inference and assumption questions. I'm working on them...but taking a break to post here. ;)

Here's your first problem: Kaplan. My suggestion is that you get out of the class, and see if you can get any or all of your money back.

I'm only saying this because I studied with their books and it got me nowhere. I wasted my money on Princeton Review which gave me a slight improvement, but I still wasn't competitive.

Testmasters180 saved my butt, and after going through their program and seeing how everything made so much more sense, I WISH someone had told me about them earlier down the road.

I'm sure you could get into one of their courses for the December test... perhaps even a late summer session for the September test.

See how things go, but if you are barely hitting the 150s, your best bet would be to postpone and go with Testmasters180 for the December test. You only want to have to deal with the LSAT once....

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Tattoos...bad idea if becoming a lawyer?
« on: July 20, 2006, 06:27:50 PM »
I've got a tramp stamp and I can't imagine what I would ever wear to the office, to court, or to a coworker's wedding that would reveal it!

I guess if your shirt is always tucked in enough over your butt, you have nothing to worry about. Or if you never take your suit jacket off... ever... Or if you never ever plan to bend over to pick up a pen or piece of paper off of the floor. Or if you never ever ever have to grab a file out of the cabinet. OR if  you sit with you back stuffed up against the back of the chair and there's something there to cover any possibility of the mildest amount of a plumberís crack from showing. Or you plan to revert back to 1980s fashion and sport the high-rise look in the waist.

....then no, I can't imagine your tramp stamp showing in a work setting.  ;)

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Tattoos...bad idea if becoming a lawyer?
« on: July 19, 2006, 09:45:04 PM »
...I think most LDS folks and young people in general don't find them to be too much of a big deal...


Mormons find the fact that I am not married and have no kids to be a big deal. They also find the fact that am not Mormon to be a VERY big deal.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Tattoos...bad idea if becoming a lawyer?
« on: July 19, 2006, 08:34:06 PM »
My vote: Don't do it.

Personally, I don't care if people have tattoos, and I think most LDS folks and young people in general don't find them to be too much of a big deal. However, after your three years are up, you are not going to spill into the legal world with a bunch of 20-somethings. You're gonna be working with people twice your age or even the same age as our parents. With this comes a generational difference of opinions about tattoos - especially when it comes to women. Sure, you can say right now that you don't want to work in a place that's going to 'judge me for my tat' - but you may not feel as dismissive in four or five years.

Even if you could cover it up at work, you never know when that big event is going to come up (co-workers weddings, formal occasions, etc) where your badge or pride may be on full display. For conservative and/or older folk, it may not be something that they will outright hold against you, but it may change their impression of you. And for someone coming out into the workforce with a very large bar number, you need every ounce of respect you can collect.

Even at school, I will hear a student say on occasion, "Oh, did you see that big tattoo on her arm/ stomach? etc. In my opinion, this is coming from most of the *squares* that you will meet in law school - but the reality is that tattoos don't always make a favorable impression on everyone or in every industry. As a fellow Californian, I will say that things are a bit more relaxed... not all judges are going to ream your for wearing open toed shoes or forgetting to sport some nylons, and there are more open-minded professionals in the area. However, the social climate will vary from firm to firm and I think it would suck to have a tattoo or a piercing limit your opportunities after working your butt off for three years.

The choice is yours. And whatever you do, DO NOT GET A TRAMP STAMP!!!

"Somewhere in the middle" was in reference to him/her falling in between being an auto reject and auto admit. People in the 1-25th percentile are not necessarily auto-rejects; they are just in the bottom 25th percentile of applicants. Yes, perhaps more people in the 25-75th++ percentile will be admitted than the bottom 25%, but pleanty of people in the 25-75th percentile will also be rejected, especially considering there are only about 400 seats.

Although the GPA and LSAT are on the lower end of the percentile, I don't think kinetic is in a total dead end. Clearly there is increased possibility of auto rejection when looking at the first LSAT score, but since he/she is planning to retake the test, it will hopefully become less of an issue. However a 157 doesn't mean s/he is totally out of the game - sure, when you look at the numbers, it is not as promising that s/he may get admitted, but key factors like the PS, LORs, UGM would play a key role in helping (or hindering) the app. Obviously LSAT/GPA are the most important in one's application, but if the other factors didn't matter, the adcomm wouldn't waste their time or ours in requiring those items as part of the application.

Nevertheless, I agree with you on your idea that making mention of the upcoming exam should certainly keep kinetic afloat during the application process.


Also, something no one mentioned here is that there is a very high chance that most schools will be taking the higher score for the next app. cycle. Call the schools you are interested in and see what they are doing.

I agree with this... word on the board seems to be that more schools are now taking the highest score instead of averaging. According to the LSAC FAQs section, they said they will average the scores on the reports.... but yes, it's best to check with the schools that you are interested in.

Applying early may or may not help in many cases. Schools like to say they have a rolling admissions policy but many of them appear to have "modified" rolling admissions policies. This means, they may sort applicants by index number. The people with the highest numbers get accepted first, then they go down the line. Some applicants are auto-rejected, Some "borderline" applicants will be waitlisted or deferred.

A majority of schools seem to sort applicants by index number, and break the piles into auto-admits, auto-rejects, and then the applicants that fall somewhere in the middle. My guess is that currently, you'd fall in the middle and it would seem advantageous to have your app in as soon as possible, so the adcomm can give it stronger consideration, rather than sending it in January and learning that it was tossed in the waitlist pile. (Even if you got waitlisted in Dec., your chances of getting off the waitlist are more promising since other admitted students may pass up Hastings in the months to come. This would give you a better a chance of getting off the WL in early 07, instead of perhaps barely getting on the WL sometime in late spring and crossing your fingers that something would open up by the summer.)

Additionally, if you get  your app in early, and follow up with a note to Hastings stating, "Hi, I just wanted to update my application with the results of my LSAT. I got a score of 168!!", that's definitely the kind of follow-up news that looks great on an application.

The *absolute* worse case scenario is that you put off law school for a couple of years, take the patent bar, get some patent experience, then apply to law school again when you can take the LSAT a fourth time. LSAC will only let you take the test 3 times in a two year period. Since you graduated in '05, it might not be a bad idea to do this anyway.

Another solid piece of advice! I know it seems weird to put off law school and - *gasp* - work, but I'm really glad I waited a few years until I went back. No, you will not fall behind schedule or be the "old" person at school. So far, I've found that employers have looked quite favorably at my work experience and it gives them something else to talk about in an interview aside from school. Additionally, you have the rest of your life to be a lawyer - why not take a year or two to explore another path, learn what it's like to work, and see what the world has to offer? In the end, the choice is yours, but it's just some food for thought....

Again, good luck!!

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Very Low LSAT
« on: July 14, 2006, 07:21:26 AM »
So  I have two low LSAT scores-- 140's and a 3.46 GPA. I am planning on taking the test again after SERIOUS preparation. Is there any chance of me getting into a good law school? If so what schools would you recommend? Or should I just give up on law school. 

Ok, let's get the bad news out of the way. You've lost your solid shot at Harvard. Booohooo...

Now, time for some damage control....
You have a great GPA so obviouly you have some smarts. Since you got a score in the 140s without serious prep, that shows that you need to change how you've approached the test. Many people in my LSAT class started out in the 140s on their first diags, and increased to the 150s 160s and beyond by the time the class was over. My experience with LSAT classes is the following: stay away from Kaplan, Princeton Review is more miss than hit (it was a miss in my case), and Testmasters ( saved my future as a law student.

The deal with aveaged scores....
Ok, it does suck that most schools average scores. I agree with the others - look for schools that don't average. However don't limit yourself to only those schools. Even if you only wind up an aveaged score in the high 150s, it's not the end of the road. You can write an addendum asking the adcomm to take note of your higher score, and that your first score is not representative of your testing skills, etc. It doesn't wipe away the fact that you had a lower score, but it brings attention to your improvement.

4th tier isn't your only option...
Don't sell yourself so short. I always tell people, "Let them tell you no." I say this because sometimes, they just might tell you yes. Or even waitlist you, and many time the WL game can land in  your favor. Of course you should be practical and not bother applying to places like Harvard (unless you want to frame the rejection letter, and let it hang on the wall next to your diploma from U of XYZ when you're a successful attorney. Then you can laugh and say, "Can you believe it - Harvard rejected MEE?? Bwahaha!) Even if your average is in the 150's, it's not a complete dead end for you, especially with your GPA and any other factors you will list on your application.

Relax (and save those nerves for your first set of law school exams)....good luck on lsat # 2 and those apps!!

Hope this helps.....

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