Law School Discussion

Total Law School Noob Question.. About Thomas Cooley etc..

Re: Total Law School Noob Question.. About Thomas Cooley etc..
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2009, 10:23:48 AM »
Don't listen to these kids.  Most of the people on these boards are lying about their LSAT, GPA or both.  You have enough life experience to know if you want to do something bad enough, you will succeed.  Yes, Cooley is seen as a joke, especially on these message boards, but do people go there and graduate and find jobs as lawyers, of course.  I also have a similar story, out of undergrad for a number of years, working, but now wanting to go to law school.  Do some more research and find some more schools to apply to.  Yes, you could wait and retake the LSAT and apply next year, but you and I both know we're not getting any younger.  Your numbers will get you in to more schools than just Cooley, of course they will not be the top schools, but sometimes the top schools might not be the best schools for you.  I take it you are more concerned with passing the bar and actually working as a lawyer as opposed to getting a lofty law school education and a career in biglaw, slaving to make partner.  You have the employment history and work ethic to guarantee you will be successful in law school, even if that's at Cooley.  Good Luck.

Tetris

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Re: Total Law School Noob Question.. About Thomas Cooley etc..
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2009, 12:44:06 PM »
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Re: Total Law School Noob Question.. About Thomas Cooley etc..
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2009, 01:26:12 PM »
"Most" might be a bit of an overstatement.  But just look at the numbers, you have to admit these boards and forums have a disproportionate number of high LSAT/GPA kids who think that it's T14 or die and that anyone at less than T14 is a total loser who will be living in a box down by the river.  "Most" might not be lying, but quite a few are and those that are not lying tend to be total ranking whores with an overly elitist attitude.

Re: Total Law School Noob Question.. About Thomas Cooley etc..
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2009, 01:43:09 PM »
Perhaps those with high numbers are the most committed/interested/enthusiastic about their academic futures and therefore most drawn to discussing law school with others on forums such as this one. I don't think many people are lying, it's just that those who frequent this forum or tls or various others are a self-selecting group... and for that matter, new posters/members are probably more drawn to a board with a high percentage of prestigious-school-goers, so those become the most popular.

Re: Total Law School Noob Question.. About Thomas Cooley etc..
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2009, 04:29:44 PM »
Increase the peace.

Getting a job in the legal world has many parallels with getting any other job. It is mostly about networking. If you can get a decent education at Cooley, which I am sure you can because they are ABA, and you can meet people at Cooley who can help you get the job you want then you should go to Cooley.

Can we get someone on here who actually goes to Cooley who can give us a valid opinion?

Re: Total Law School Noob Question.. About Thomas Cooley etc..
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2009, 12:05:43 AM »
There is way too much Cooley-hating on this board.  To tell someone that because of their GPA + LSAT combo that they shouldn't go to law school is absurd.  As much as Cooley is torn apart for their unsavory tactics, I agree with Cooley's basic philosophy that Everyone, regardless of their numbers, should have the opportunity to go to law school.  There are any number of legitimate reasons why a person would have a low GPA and LSAT, many of which have nothing to do with current academic potential and ability to lawyer effectively.  If you KNOW you want to be a lawyer, and Cooley is your only option, then so be it.  If there's another path with which to achieve your desired goals in life, then that's something to weigh, but I truly doubt you will find any audience in the real world to be as harsh towards Cooley as these message boards.

That said, when considering Cooley as an option, you MUSt be aware of these general facts:

* A huge percentage of the first-year class fails out after paying two semesters of tuition.  The curve is very tough, the competition is fierce, and lots of people don't make it.

* Jobs outside of Michigan will be very difficult, although not impossible, to get.

* Law is an elitist profession, and you might have to deal with d-bags who look down on your school.  This is probably the case for everyone to some degree, though (even Yale kids are looked at as being too theoretical and lacking in practical skills - although this obviously doesn't hurt them too much ;))



nealric

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Re: Total Law School Noob Question.. About Thomas Cooley etc..
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2009, 08:15:47 AM »
Quote
Everyone, regardless of their numbers, should have the opportunity to go to law school.   

I disagree with you- not because I think having low numbers necessarily means someone won't succeed, but because I don't see law school as the type of thing everyone is entitled to try.  I don't have the numbers necessary to be an NFL linebacker (I'm 5'11, 160lbs). Sure, there is some tiny possibility that if you put me in the NFL I could train like a maniac and become a great linebacker. Does that mean that everyone should be given a chance to play in the NFL regardless of their size or demonstrated abilities?

Allowing everyone who wants to an opportunity to attend would necessitate vastly increasing the number of law schools. Remember, the average LSAT is 150, and few ABA law schools regularly take scores significantly lower than that. There are plenty of people who can't attend any law school right now. Giving them all a chance would no doubt result in an even more dire surplus of lawyers, and likely drag down average quality. I'm not making the argument that the LSAT or Ugrad GPA are by any means perfect filters. I'm sure some would-be brilliant lawyers get left left out in the cold each year. But we need some sort of filter, and right now those two factors are the best available.

Re: Total Law School Noob Question.. About Thomas Cooley etc..
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2009, 08:31:47 AM »
I disagree with you- not because I think having low numbers necessarily means someone won't succeed, but because I don't see law school as the type of thing everyone is entitled to try. 

Why not?  What makes someone "entitled to try" law school?  I agree with you that not everybody should BE a lawyer, but going to law school to see whether your interest in law translates to being good at it?  That opportunity should be available to anyone who has the drive to try it.


Quote
I don't have the numbers necessary to be an NFL linebacker (I'm 5'11, 160lbs). Sure, there is some tiny possibility that if you put me in the NFL I could train like a maniac and become a great linebacker. Does that mean that everyone should be given a chance to play in the NFL regardless of their size or demonstrated abilities?

This is a faulty analogy.  You're talking about attempting a career that requires certain immutable physical characteristics in order to be successful.  You can do nothing within reasonable human means to change your height, although you could probably pack on 100-200 pounds.

Becoming a lawyer is not the same as becoming a linebacker.  Being a successful lawyer requires skills that can be inherent or acquired through training - cunning, analytical sharpness, tenacity, and knowledge of the law among them.  Being a successful lawyer DOES NOT require that you had a great UGPA and LSAT score.  Do those things correlate to successful lawyers?  Sure.  Are there exceptions.  TONS.

I'm not sure if you know anybody who had horrible things happen to them during undergrad that affected their grades.  I know many people who had families fall apart due to death or divorce, had health problems that caused them to fail or do poorly in a semester of classes, or people who tried a pre-med major that didn't work out.  Are you telling me that those people, who had an unfortunate semester or two of school due to reasons that were either out of their control or for which they lack blameworthiness, should be denied the mere OPPORTUNITY to try to become a lawyer just because they also had poor luck with the LSAT?

Do I think everyone should have the opportunity to BE a lawyer?  No.  Not everybody will be good at it.  But gosh darn it, let everybody who has the passion and the desire TRY, at least.  Things are hard enough for you as a law student and lawyer if you go to a T4.  In many ways, the schools that accept students with lower numbers punish them for doing so.  Do you think I'd be taking the time to post on LSD right now if I went to Cooley and had to face that curve?  Hell no.  But I go to a higher-ranked school and our curve is a B/B+.  Anyone who has the motivation to attend law school anyway, even though their T4 experience will be incredibly rough, has earned my respect; in many ways more than a person who goes to a T14 and has the legal profession handed to them on a plate.

Education is one of the greatest institutions we have in America.  With education comes power, money, and in many ways greater degrees of life satisfaction.  There are studies to show that with increasing levels of education come all these things.  To say that someone is not entitled to ATTEMPT to pursue it, not because they don't have the fire in their belly, but because their numbers aren't good...well, that just doesn't sit right with me.

Navlaw

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Re: Total Law School Noob Question.. About Thomas Cooley etc..
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2009, 08:32:44 AM »
Quote
Everyone, regardless of their numbers, should have the opportunity to go to law school.   

I disagree with you- not because I think having low numbers necessarily means someone won't succeed, but because I don't see law school as the type of thing everyone is entitled to try.  I don't have the numbers necessary to be an NFL linebacker (I'm 5'11, 160lbs). Sure, there is some tiny possibility that if you put me in the NFL I could train like a maniac and become a great linebacker. Does that mean that everyone should be given a chance to play in the NFL regardless of their size or demonstrated abilities?

Allowing everyone who wants to an opportunity to attend would necessitate vastly increasing the number of law schools. Remember, the average LSAT is 150, and few ABA law schools regularly take scores significantly lower than that. There are plenty of people who can't attend any law school right now. Giving them all a chance would no doubt result in an even more dire surplus of lawyers, and likely drag down average quality. I'm not making the argument that the LSAT or Ugrad GPA are by any means perfect filters. I'm sure some would-be brilliant lawyers get left left out in the cold each year. But we need some sort of filter, and right now those two factors are the best available.

I have to disagree with you. No you shouldn't be able to play in the NFL but everyone has the chance to train and work toward it. Will everyone make it? No. But they do have the choice to try. Same with law school. Even if everyone goes to law school it doesn't mean that they will graduate and if they graduate it doesn't mean they will bass the bar. And if they pass the bar it doesn't mean they will get a job in law. But they have the choice to try. And I disagree with th bolded as well. If the market is over saturated then lawyers wll have to work harder and not just rely on things like school name to get the jobs. It creates competion which forces you to work harder to be the best. If you were in the NFL you might get beat badly. And I am not saying the same won't happen to people going to lower tier law schools. They may come out with a lot of debt and may not be able to get a job to pay for it. But thats their choice. If they want to try, knowing the possible outcomes why should anyone stop them.

Just my 2 cents.

Re: Total Law School Noob Question.. About Thomas Cooley etc..
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2009, 08:39:23 AM »
This is actual data for you.

http://officialguide.lsac.org/SearchResults/SchoolPage.aspx?sid=151

Click on ABA LAW SCHOOL DATA.

Attrition: 1st year 292 (ACADEMIC) 241 (OTHER) 533 (TOTAL) 26.1 (% OF CLASS)
           2ndyear   82 (ACADEMIC) 53  (OTHER) 135 (TOTAL) 15.2 (% OF CLASS)
           3rd year  31 (ACADEMIC)  0  (OTHER) 31  (TOTAL) 5.4   (% OF CLASS)

Can you imagine paying for TWO years of law school, spending TWO years of your life not making any money, only to get kicked out from a crappy law school trying to increase their bar passage rates and employment numbers? Can you imagine that happening after paying for THREE?

Those numbers aren't not just bad. They are REALLY bad.  It means that, in a lot of ways, you are just taking a gamble with your money.