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Messages - btideroll

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41
Um.  I don't know whether or not some professors will TOLERATE skipping class.  I'm sure there must be some professors who care about attendance, no matter what they profess.   ::)
Right. Don't most schools have an attendance policy? Temple professes strict adherence to 80% minimum attendance... but effed if I know how they enforce it (yet, at least)

...the idea is to adapt accordingly to your school. Those who can't adapt will not succeed. You aren't to take everything as the "WORD". HE doesn't necessarily agree with going to class because it is a waste of everyone's time but I don't remember if he was telling you NOT TO GO.

42
Law School Admissions / Re: business major-> bad??
« on: August 12, 2005, 03:05:45 PM »
I think they frown upon these types of courses because, in many cases, the courses are not as rigorous when it comes to critical thinking, reading, and writing as many courses in the liberal arts.  These are the skills that are valued in law school.  At many places, these are the kinds of courses where everyone learns out of a big hardbound textbook with lots of pictures, take nothing but multiple guess tests, and pass everything with flying colors if you just memorize the definitions of the bold-faced words in the chapter and know all the charts.  At least that was my experience as a Business minor at a big state university.  It was also the experience of many of my friends who majored in journalism or criminal justice.  In these classes, you didn't read very much, and you almost never wrote many papers (maybe 1 per class, often none for many classes).  This kind of program is not good preparation for law school.  It may be different where others go to school, and if it is, you have to make sure the admissions committee reviewing your application KNOWS that.

Gee lets see. Liberal arts classes are a joke, they are the easy classes and majors. I am a Finance major as well (like some posting above). I don't know many majors that can challenge critical thinking and strategy as much as finance can and does--economics as well. Both majors are built upon theories and applied mathematical science. I mean, hell, Finance is all about analying economic conditions, examining data of corporations and the market, and making critical decisions as too how to proceed with investment and whatnot. My business classes, and Finance especially, were heavily project/paper oriented and exams were not multiple choice. Some classes had cases assigned and we had to solve problems. The entire field is a theoretical approach to economics and business.

I don't really agree with the liberal arts degree being a more "broad" degree. Business majors have 2 years to fulfill general college requiremets in which certain hour requirements must be met in each "subject" just like liberal arts majors do. The only difference is those liberal arts majors end up focusing in english, or history and the business majors end of focusing in business. Why, because a business student who takes all sorts of broad clases the first 2 years, gets shunned for focusing in a field of business instead of continuing a focus in a "liberal arts major" is beyond me. Those majors, are the ones that are least likely to land you a job and almost tailor students to continue into grad work and they focus narrowly in their respective field as well (just like business degrees do). Isn't that the point of the degree? to start off broad, and narrow down in a subject? All degrees are like that, even liberal arts degrees. At the end of the day the better part of the last 2 years are spent in a given subject area, period.

43
If I could please try to negate JGCESQ's terribly poor advice.

I came across this board while searching for something else and was amazed to see students obsessed by the same issues with which my friends and I were preoccupied when we were applying to law school. My two years working in the legal profession have enlightened me on several issues about which I was formerly misinformed. I regard it as a damned shame that students too often rely on the uninformed opinions of certain publications. I will set out my points below.

Oh, so in 2 years you attained guru level knowledge on the legal profession. I see. Are you BAFF's older brother?

1) US NEWS & WORLD REPORT RANKINGS. First and foremost, it's imperative that people begin to understand that these rankings do not come down to us on tablets from God. Moreover, the ranking process  is hardly a science with the certainty of, say, mathematics. Some students applying to law school actually believe that there is some real and finite difference between the 80th-ranked school and the 100th-ranked school or between the 80th-ranked school and the 60th-ranked school. It's nonsense, and, in many cases, a school's ranking has as much to do with politics as with anything else.

2) THE TOP LAW SCHOOLS. Yes, there is, justified or not, a perception that a certain group of law schools is in a class by itself ("generally" the top 15-20 schools in US NEWS). And yes, if your desire is to work for one of the biggest and most prestigious law firms in the country, you will "probably" need a degree from one of these schools. That said, there are several caveats. The first, of course, is that there are exceptions. There ARE lawyers at the world's most prestigious firms who went to schools that US NEWS ranks in the 2nd and 3rd tiers.

3) BIG FIRMS AND MONEY. There is an absurd myth prevailing to the effect that the lawyers at the biggest and most prestigious firms make the most money. That is nonsense. They will make more money AT FIRST but, in many cases, will find themselves making less money than people who went to smaller firms in 5-10 years. In some cases, a LOT less. Why? Because, when you go to work for a law firm, you own NOTHING. You are a subcontractor for the firm and are at its mercy. The BIG FIRM bills clients $300-400 per hour for your work and gives you about $25-$40 an hour(based on a 70-hour week), keeping the other $250-$350 for itself. The ONLY way that you ever begin to exercise some degree of control is to become a partner---especially an equity partner. Very simply, you have a much greater chance of becoming an equity partner at a smaller firm, and if you do become an equity partner at a smaller firm, you OWN a piece of the firm. The business is yours. Don't fall into looking at ridiculous salary averages that are associated with degrees from certain law schools. You would be SHOCKED to learn that many of the lawyers who operate out of rinky-dink little offices on the side of a highway can BUY AND SELL many of the lawyers who work at the most prestigious firms. If your goal is to sit at a desk and have SOMEONE ELSE hand you work, you will NEVER be rich. Law firms are a stepping stone for 99% of lawyers. Sure, there is that 1% that will make equity partner at Cravath and make $2.5M a year, but the rest won't---even among the Harvard/Yale kids. For almost all lawyers, law firms are stepping stones meant to guide you closer to your OWN firm or your OWN business.         

4) IF MONEY IS YOUR GOAL, DON'T WORRY SO MUCH ABOUT TIERS. I am all in favor of going to the most prestigious law schools. If you are blessed to get into Harvard, Yale, Columbia, or one of the other top 15 or top 20 schools listed in US NEWS, go. But I find that students tend spend so much time obsessed with the criteria of academia (GPA, LSAT score, School reputation) that they often fail to realize that 95% of their potential clients don't give a damn about ANY of those things. I have found that the one overwhelming criterion is PERSONAL APPEAL. Are you a likeable person? Do you project confidence? Do you have a natural charisma? Do you inspire confidence on the part of the potential client? Does the client feel safe with you? THOSE are the questions that really matter. You could be the finest lawyer in the world from a technical point of view, but if you don't get clients, you're not going to make money. A good friend of mine graduated from a 4th-tier school, went to a small firm, and made over $125,000 in commissions in his FIRST year because he was such a likeable guy. He would meet clients in diners, restaurants, apartments, construction sites, bars, delis, parks, etc. He bent over backward for clients. Now, three years out of a 4th-tier law school, he's closing in on $200,000 a year and dusting 90% of the kids who went to Harvard.
 

This is ridiculously flawed logic and dangerously bad advice. Your post is offensive.

"Blessed" to get into Harvard
First of all, people who go to Harvard and Stanford aren't blessed. It wasn't luck. They are intellectually superior. They work harder, are smarter etc. It's not luck, it's skill and ability. Skill and ability which will be used on the job.

Personal appeal
Personal appeal can get you very far in life. People with personal appeal from Stanford/Yale/Harvard become the President of the United States. People with personal appeal from the bumblef*ck lawschool your friend went to brag about making $200k after two years in some ambulance chasing firm. $200k after two years is not that impressive. Sure it's unheard of and amazing for 4TT, but is common for top school graduates. Sounds like your friend busts his *ss for that money. I suspect he's the front man in an ambulance chasing firm. He's the one literally chasing the ambulance. Then he uses his charm to get the welfare-check receiving trash to sign the retainer.

Rather than talk about how great it is that he's making $200k, you should be talking about what a tragedy it is that someone with that sort of charisma will never do anything more than make a little money chasing ambulances - all because he went to a 4TT.

And I suspect you make around $70-$90k.



RE: the "Blessed" comment you made---I' m sure a lot of apps have skill, and a lot may not have skill. The ceiling on admissions alone make some people not be accepted that may well be qualified. So I doubt its as much of the apps "skill" as it is the go-ahead decision by the admission committee. Also, a lot of diversity isn't skill related, and a lot of these "life experiences" may be from luck, wealth, or social status. Not everyone is on equal ground and it seems that a lot of people get pushed over into acceptance via the factors mentioned above.


44
http://bls.gov/


Again, since the tax cuts went into effect economic growth has been steady and strong, tax reciepts to the government are up around 18% year over year (harming the poor by giving tax cuts to the weathly?), employment growth continues to be strong month after month AND WAGES ARE GOING UP, productivity is high, and unemployment is a remarkable 5%.  Oh did I mention, the deficit has halfed since last May?  Many economist predict the pace of the economy to continue to be strong and the deficit to be NILL by this time next year.

I didnt hear that on the news.   Hmm, wonder why...  I also dont hear liberals bringing the economy up anymore.  Hmm, wonder why...



damn liberals.

45
Is it at all a negative that you'd miss out on 1L summer employment?

Call me crazy, but most employers don't hire first summer anyways? IF so, it seems its a the minority of firms. I'd just think the biggest downfall is having all the semesters back to back to back.

I'd go where I would be financially stable, in a program that offered my interests, and that could get me the job.

46

One question though, and this is a bit off topic... in a large law firm, do you have to find your own clients, or do they come to the firm and the firm assigns them to you?



My impression is that you don't even see a client for your first few years...you're just doing female dog paperwork until you prove yourself, and then maybe they'll let you talk to someone.


This is true. (sorry for the multitude of posts I'm making that may be back to back, it is easier to read them as separate responses to the posts).

From my experiences in BigLaw, the associates, especially new ones, are mindless drones slaving away for the regular associates and partners. Clients come to the firm, usually via another higher up associate/partner who was saught after, but sometimes they randomly call the firm, and then the firm divies out the client to the correct team. The new associates are blessed by doing the grunt work (pay their dues). They usually got their own clients after 2-3 years. But even then it was still joint work.

47
First, thanks for the insights.  It was nice to read many of the things I've suspected from someone with a better perspective than I have, and thanks for bringing up many things that I hadn't thought of and will definitely keep in mind while I'm in law school.

When a kid gets hired at a national law firm, he first thinks, "Oh my God! I'm making $125,000 a year!" Then, 6 months later, he thinks, "Oh my God! I'm making ONLY $125,000 a year and working myself to death while the partners make millions and buy planes with the profits from the work that I do.

Well-said...I guess it's an issue of extremes. I can imagine that the type of person who thrives in the BigLaw firm is the one who wants to see if he/she has a shot at that $2-3M spot and doesn't mind YEARS of misery in the meantime.  I'd rather comfortably make $80k to start and work my way to a quarter million a year or more in the long run, but be happy doing it.


AMEN. My goal exactly. I worked in BIGLAW and what was originally posted and what you say is true. The associates were grunts. Working, excuse me, slaving to kiss the partners ass, so that they may be a partner one day. The competition was feirce, the ethics were..what ethics? It can get a fairly grim path--the partnership track.

48
I came across this board while searching for something else and was amazed to see students obsessed by the same issues with which my friends and I were preoccupied when we were applying to law school. My two years working in the legal profession have enlightened me on several issues about which I was formerly misinformed. I regard it as a damned shame that students too often rely on the uninformed opinions of certain publications. I will set out my points below.

1) US NEWS & WORLD REPORT RANKINGS. First and foremost, it's imperative that people begin to understand that these rankings do not come down to us on tablets from God. Moreover, the ranking process  is hardly a science with the certainty of, say, mathematics. Some students applying to law school actually believe that there is some real and finite difference between the 80th-ranked school and the 100th-ranked school or between the 80th-ranked school and the 60th-ranked school. It's nonsense, and, in many cases, a school's ranking has as much to do with politics as with anything else.

2) THE TOP LAW SCHOOLS. Yes, there is, justified or not, a perception that a certain group of law schools is in a class by itself ("generally" the top 15-20 schools in US NEWS). And yes, if your desire is to work for one of the biggest and most prestigious law firms in the country, you will "probably" need a degree from one of these schools. That said, there are several caveats. The first, of course, is that there are exceptions. There ARE lawyers at the world's most prestigious firms who went to schools that US NEWS ranks in the 2nd and 3rd tiers.

3) BIG FIRMS AND MONEY. There is an absurd myth prevailing to the effect that the lawyers at the biggest and most prestigious firms make the most money. That is nonsense. They will make more money AT FIRST but, in many cases, will find themselves making less money than people who went to smaller firms in 5-10 years. In some cases, a LOT less. Why? Because, when you go to work for a law firm, you own NOTHING. You are a subcontractor for the firm and are at its mercy. The BIG FIRM bills clients $300-400 per hour for your work and gives you about $25-$40 an hour(based on a 70-hour week), keeping the other $250-$350 for itself. The ONLY way that you ever begin to exercise some degree of control is to become a partner---especially an equity partner. Very simply, you have a much greater chance of becoming an equity partner at a smaller firm, and if you do become an equity partner at a smaller firm, you OWN a piece of the firm. The business is yours. Don't fall into looking at ridiculous salary averages that are associated with degrees from certain law schools. You would be SHOCKED to learn that many of the lawyers who operate out of rinky-dink little offices on the side of a highway can BUY AND SELL many of the lawyers who work at the most prestigious firms. If your goal is to sit at a desk and have SOMEONE ELSE hand you work, you will NEVER be rich. Law firms are a stepping stone for 99% of lawyers. Sure, there is that 1% that will make equity partner at Cravath and make $2.5M a year, but the rest won't---even among the Harvard/Yale kids. For almost all lawyers, law firms are stepping stones meant to guide you closer to your OWN firm or your OWN business.         

4) IF MONEY IS YOUR GOAL, DON'T WORRY SO MUCH ABOUT TIERS. I am all in favor of going to the most prestigious law schools. If you are blessed to get into Harvard, Yale, Columbia, or one of the other top 15 or top 20 schools listed in US NEWS, go. But I find that students tend spend so much time obsessed with the criteria of academia (GPA, LSAT score, School reputation) that they often fail to realize that 95% of their potential clients don't give a damn about ANY of those things. I have found that the one overwhelming criterion is PERSONAL APPEAL. Are you a likeable person? Do you project confidence? Do you have a natural charisma? Do you inspire confidence on the part of the potential client? Does the client feel safe with you? THOSE are the questions that really matter. You could be the finest lawyer in the world from a technical point of view, but if you don't get clients, you're not going to make money. A good friend of mine graduated from a 4th-tier school, went to a small firm, and made over $125,000 in commissions in his FIRST year because he was such a likeable guy. He would meet clients in diners, restaurants, apartments, construction sites, bars, delis, parks, etc. He bent over backward for clients. Now, three years out of a 4th-tier law school, he's closing in on $200,000 a year and dusting 90% of the kids who went to Harvard.

 


This is what these boards have been needing for a LONG TIME. I have been an advocate of what you said and I'm glad a real attorney came in here to express this view. I really appreciate your time and thank you for the insight.

49
OK, so I got an email on Friday from UF law admitting me for the January enrollment class.  Until now I've been making plans to go to the University of Miami.  I already found an apartment in Miami, but I suppose I could get out of the lease if I needed to.  My question is, how much better of a school is UF than UM...obviously it's ranked higher, but rankings aside, which school will open up more doors in the future? There's also the issue of price, and waiting till spring...what would you do? Opinions welcomed...

I heard that those admitted for Spring were those applicants that were on the wait list for the Fall, but who weren't accepted, but apparently the school wanted to hang on to them and offered them Spring Admission. Supposedly this Spring admission is the final class entering in since they are phasing Spring admissions out. They are in some accelerated program and will be a 2L by the fall of 2006 (IE. on track with those who entered in the fall).

Can you confirm this?

I'd go to whichever school is financially best for you. Both are good schools and can land you good jobs in florida or the SE in general. I'd take UF simply because I think they may be a little stronger in business law which is my main interest at this time.

Gluck

50
Incoming 1Ls / Re: Any 1L Comments on PLS2 ???
« on: August 09, 2005, 07:20:40 AM »
Quote
Everyone I've talked to says prepping is a complete waste of time.

At least keep in mind some folks like to get competitve advantages, no matter how dirty a tactic it may take. Like say oh, telling someone now to worry, to chill out before school.

paranoid much?

Actually, I'm not, not did my post insinuate such :)

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