Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion

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 on: April 14, 2014, 07:24:11 AM 
Started by Flo2k - Last post by chucktduck
I realize that it has been about five years since this topic was first posted but I felt a need to respond.

First of all, Never let anyone step on your dream of becoming a lawyer. I find it appalling that there are people who under the guise of "being helpful but realistic" are instead being just the opposite by posting really rude, condescending, disrespectful and unhelpful things. You can be realistic and helpful without being a jerk. I too am realistic but unlike others on this website (and others that I've read) prefer to be positive and encouraging while remaining realistic.

Here's the deal;

If you graduate from a 4th tier  law school, the best that you can hope for is getting hired at a top firm in the city where the law school is located. However, unless you graduate at or near the top of your class, this option will likely not be available to you. In this case, the best you could hope for is getting on with a small or midsized firm once again in the city where the law school is located. Others may also decide to put up their own shingle and start their own solo practice. Even in these instances a career in Biglaw is still a remote possibility.  Doing a lateral transfer to a BIGLAW firm would mean acquiring several years of experience and building a really good reputation. It would also mean doing some serious networking along the way.

Now to address the 800 lb gorilla in the room;

Law school is an expensive undertaking. When all is said and done you are likely to accumulate $120,000+ in non-dischargeable debt. There's no way around it. This money MUST be repaid and Uncle Sugar is going to get What's his no matter what! That being said there are options available to repay at a reasonable rate. If you do Public interest law for a certain number of years you can have all or most of your student loan debt erased. You can also opt to repay your loan as a percentage of your income. By law you can't be forced to pay more that 15% of your income towards your student loans under this option. Finally if you make steady and on time payments for at least 10 or 15 years you can request to have the remaining balance of your loans written off. So you have options. Don't listen to anyone who says otherwise.

If the only law school you could get accepted into is a 4th tier school then go with it. You have no other choice at this point. Work hard to get good grades your first year and transfer to a higher ranked school. If accepted into a higher ranked school then by all means transfer no matter what the other school offers, (scholarship, law review etc.) Transfer! Look into taking the law preview course so that you can be as prepared as possible when you start and have a leg up on your competition.

In the end, nothing in life is guaranteed. I think everyone knows that. But its always best to go in with eyes wide open and armed with as much information as possible. Good luck to you and everyone else (including my self). And when you're successful, track down all the naysayers here and let them know.

 on: April 13, 2014, 08:57:52 AM 
Started by mychan24 - Last post by jonlevy
IMO I also think EJD is a waste of time and money.  If you think you have the right stuff, try another online law school like Taft.  Although, getting rejected by Concord might give one pause for thought about the entire affair. 

 on: April 11, 2014, 10:09:28 PM 
Started by nreese - Last post by Citylaw
I do not think anyone should attend law school if they do not intend to practice law. You can get into politics, lobbying, etc without a law degree and spending three years of the prime of your career development obtaining a degree in something your not interested in doing seems like a waste of time.

It is true a law degree will not hurt you, but neither would attending medical school,  having six pack abs, or volunteering 30 hours a week at the soup kitchen. You can do all kinds of things with your time, but it is not unlimited and three intense years spent learning something you are not interested in does not seem like the best use of your time.

That is my two cents, but I am an anonymous internet poster so take my advice with a grain of salt.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.

 on: April 11, 2014, 04:43:39 PM 
Started by squanto43 - Last post by squanto43
Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who replied.  After negotiating I was able to get a small scholarship to UK.  Although I will still be taking on roughly 20-30k more debt the employment prospects at UK (78% graduates with bar passage jobs nine months out) compared to NKU (44% graduates with bar passage jobs nine month) and my desire to work in Lexington have led me to choose UK (and the cheap student basketball tickets).  Go Cats!

 on: April 11, 2014, 12:15:45 PM 
Started by functionial drunk - Last post by Miami88
What CityLaw said. It sounds like your heart is with FSU. Follow it!

As for the UMich waitlist - make sure to visit the school asap if you havent already. Make your presence known and be in regular (once every few weeks or so) contact with them. If UMich is your top pick, let them know in explicit, concise, non-hyperbolic language.

Good luck my friend!

 on: April 11, 2014, 02:09:07 AM 
Started by functionial drunk - Last post by Citylaw
Functional it is good you are working in a firm.

I really think you should go into courtrooms and see how it works in practice. The name of a law school will not come up once, and I strongly encourage any incoming law student to attend court hearings.

Also watch lawyer walks into a bar it profiles several graduates as they study for the bar. You can see the various personalities and you look up where each of them ended up. Some succeeded others did not and I am sure while watching the movie you will like some of the individuals and dislike others, and you will not care what school they attended.  t From my observation that is how it works in the real world at the end of the day you get along with certain people or you don't. 

From your posts it really seems like your leaning towards FSU and your gut is telling you that is the school, which is great. I really encourage you to listen to your and not cloud your head with stats, whether employers will think you are loyal by staying at one institution, etc, etc. You can get yourself way off course by over thinking and one of the main things to remember when you start law school is not to over think. Keep things simple it is much easier said than done, but it is how you succeed.

Again, take any advice here with a grain of salt, but it really seems like FSU is what you want so why fight it?

Remember however, that neither FSU, FIU or any law school guarantees you a job and it is up to you whether you succeed.  Go visit the FSU law school campus right now and talk to 3L's I am sure a month before graduation most of them have nothing lined up and are freaking out this is the way law school has worked for years, but in a year from now most of them will have passed their respective state bars and starting their careers, but it takes time.

In the end I  I am sure you will do fine at any school, but it seems like FSU is your choice.  I wish you the best of luck in your pursuit of a J.D.

 on: April 11, 2014, 12:44:19 AM 
Started by functionial drunk - Last post by lrt8000
Miami and City Law: You are giving out terrible advice. Employment stats do matter. Law schools have radically different employment outcomes. The ABA just released the class of 2014 employment report. Golden Gate University had a 22.4% employment in FULL-TIME/LONG-TERM IN BAR-PASSAGE-REQUIRED JOBS (EXCL. LAW-SCHOOL-FUNDED JOBS) in comparison to South Texas which had a 67.0% rate. Are you seriously going to tell me its just as good to go to GGU as ST.  If GGU was the only school I got into I wouldn't go because of its employment rate. FIU had a 59.6% while Florida State had a 69.6%. That looks like a big difference to me. Check the employment stats on LST before you choose a law school.

 on: April 10, 2014, 09:25:32 PM 
Started by functionial drunk - Last post by functionial drunk
As a preface let me say again that both Miami88 and CityLaw have been great in giving me the feedback that I need during this arduous process. I know I was just splitting hairs when it came to the difference in employment stats between FIU and FSU, I just really want to convince myself that one school is better than the other so that I can make a clear headed and easy decision. Fact of the matter is that I still cannot but I am slightly leaning towards FSU for a variety of reasons. 1. The peace and calm demeanor of Tallahassee should allow me to focus on my studies better 2. The cost of living leads to less money spent on gas, groceries, etc. (although I would be saving more by staying at home) 3. This consequently leads to cheaper happy hours for when I need to blow off some steam 4. I firmly believe Tallahassee is the best college town in Florida. Now FIU is a great institution and I was perfectly happy going there until I realized that I could go back to my alma mater that I am a proud graduate of.

To not give you guys too much of an easy time I have come up with some counter points: although FIU would offer the obvious "networking" advantage being located in Miami don't you think that some employers would be intrigued by an FSU grad after seeing a thousand resumes with FIU, UM, St. Thomas, Nova, etc. on them? Wouldn't some attorneys recognize that I am loyal and willing to contribute to the firm in the long term because of my willingness to receive my Bachelors and JD from the same institution? Also wouldn't I have a broader alumni network to tap into if I attended FSU because it was founded in 1966, whereas I would have to essentially "blaze my own trail" if I graduated from FIU because it was founded in 2002?

On another note yes Miami88 if I got accepted to Michigan I would probably go because it would be an opportunity that I would regret to pass up on. Michigan has an outstanding entrepreneurship/law program which I am highly interested in. Only problem is that I got "waitlisted" so they literally told me that I have from now until August to play blindfolded pin the tail on the donkey until I find out. Kind of makes me regret not applying to more top schools because I didn't think that my 157 LSAT score and 3.45 GPA were up to their standards. I do however have an outstanding resume, solid writing samples, and represent a "minority". At the end of the day  I don't need a fancy ivy league/top 20 degree to boost my self esteem or to make jobs appear out of thin air, I'm just going to do what I always have done which is use my own determination and resilience to separate myself from the competition.  I am perfectly fine and happy practicing in Florida or somewhere else in the Southeast with a relatively low burden of debt as a graduate of either FIU or FSU.

Another note for Michigan is that I have never experienced "Michigan" type cold weather. From what I hear about other residents of the Midwest is that Michigan is cold for even Ohio/Minnesota standards. Being a Florida native for the last 20 years I am not sure how I would deal with that and how it might impact my psychological well being. The coldest weather I have been in is about -10 degrees Celcius because I was in Europe at the time.

Citylaw I will make a note to check out that movie because like Miami88 I have been devouring admissions/first year/intro to law books in my quest to find the right school for me, yet I still have not found an answer. Oh yeah Miami88 if we both do make it to Michigan we will have to swap info to see if we can find suitable living arrangements.

 on: April 10, 2014, 05:16:28 PM 
Started by lrt8000 - Last post by lrt8000
The ABA has just released the law graduate outcomes for 2013 and it's another bad year for Washington and Lee. The school placed 100th on the "Percent Employed Full-Time/Long-Term Bar Passage-Required Jobs (Excluding Law-School-Funded Jobs)" list. []
Their full-time long-term score was up some, but its Underemploment score was 35% compared to 31.5% in 2012. []

The big problem for W & L though is its poor yield of accepted applicants for fall 2013.  Its yield was second worse of all ABA law schools at 12% bettering only UC Davis. [] The poor enrollment yield is even more evidence that W & L' experiential program is having no effect. Its certainly not attracting students or employers.

 on: April 10, 2014, 03:59:56 PM 
Started by ItsTribbey - Last post by ItsTribbey
Stetson came back to me with their offer.  They upped it a little bit, but it pretty much makes the COA for both schools equal.  I'm going to Gainesville tonight to participate in the ASD tomorrow, but I've pretty much decided to attend UF.  I think that's the best decision I can make at this point in time.

Thank you everyone for your input, it's been very helpful, and much appreciated!

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