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Author Topic: Advice?  (Read 908 times)

ahinz90

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Advice?
« on: July 12, 2010, 05:12:41 PM »
Hello all, so I am in kind of a complicated situation and I'm not sure what to do.

I am entering my Junior year in my undergraduate program, which is a B.A. in Pastoral Studies at a small private university in Minneapolis. I have prayed and decided to attend law school (I know not all here are Christian, so please don't criticize or ridicule how I came to the decision). Yes, I do wish to practice law, I am not going just to go. The problem is that since I'm at a small religious university there is no pre-law advisor. I'm not really sure what to do. Are there jobs I could look for to help me gain experience in the field and prepare me for law school? Is there a timeline I should follow? I'm just completely lost on the process but I REALLY want to go so any help would be great!

bigs5068

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Re: Advice?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2010, 06:13:35 PM »
The Pre-Law Advisor does not help all that much. If you can get any experience in a law firm it is a lot of help to get familiar with teh actual practice. If your school has a paralegal program or something that is also quite helpful as it will teach you how to do IRAC.

If you are still in undergrad another thing worth doing is signing up for a few easy A classes. Basketball, weight lifting, whatever it may to boost your GPA a little bit. This can help in an admissions decision or getting you scholarship money.

Also it really is not that complicated to apply to law school. The LSAT & your Undergrad GPA make up about 90% of everything an admissions committee examines. You will need to write your personal statement and get some LOR's, but it is really not that complicated and you just send them into LSAC and they take care of the rest. You should sign up for an LSAC account now it is free and register for the LSAT when you think you will be ready take that test and also register for law school forums on LSAC and you will get a ton of fee waivers from schools, which can save you a few 100 bucks. You can send your LOR's into LSAC now and just have them there they don't expire as far as I know. 


ahinz90

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Re: Advice?
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2010, 06:26:22 PM »
Thank you very much for that! Are there resources for tips on writing a personal statement? Topics I should focus on? I go to a religious college and work in homecare, never really had to write one before, haha. I guess I will search around law firms in the area, but I doubt anyone is hiring for evening hours.

bigs5068

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Re: Advice?
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2010, 06:45:22 PM »
There are resources, but really a personal statement is personal, I don't think you can get that much advice from it. There books at Barnes & Noble etc that claim to be able to help your write a personal statement, but I don't know how much they will really help.  I remember thinking there was wild crazy process when I was applying, but there really isn't. Look at lawschoolnumbers.com in my signature and you will the LSAT/GPA is really the main factor that schools care about. Obviously, put in a good amount of work for your personal statement, LORS, etc. However, as long as they are acceptable they probably won't help or hurt to much.

Study your ass off for the LSAT and get the best grades you can in undergrad.  In regards to legal employment it really doesn't matter much for admission to law school whether you worked a day in your life or not. It certainly does help to expose yourself to the legal profession by getting an internship or something before committing 100,000 dollars and three years of your life to something you don't know much about. So I would definitely try to get an internship or employment in a law firm and see if law school really is something you want to do. It is not as exciting as the media portrays it. A lot of is quite boring and procedural it is generally not high drama, but a lot of motions regarding minor pieces of a case.

Well good luck to you.

ahinz90

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Re: Advice?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2010, 06:51:36 PM »
I understand that law isn't all exciting trials and what not, but I am interested in it. I also understand that it is a big monetary commitment and I know I will probably have to work in public interest for a while so I can get some help repaying loans (I live in a State that offers such programs). So, I will take your advice as closely as possible...thanks for the help! :)

bigs5068

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Re: Advice?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2010, 07:02:02 PM »
I like it a lot to despite it being boring at times, but some people go to law school expecting high drama all the time. It is a lot of reading & writing, but there is cool stuff and I like writing motions and things, but a lot of people don't. Again if you like the writing aspect of it is is something you will figure out if you get some legal experience before law school.

There will be people on this board and others that say it is impossible to get a job blah blah and don't go to X school, but the bottom line is it hard to get a job as a lawyer when you start out and is hard to start out in any profession.  Even when you graduate undergrad people are probably not going to be flocking to employ you it will be up to you to find employment.  However, if you really put the work it generally works no matter what school you went to, but this is only based  on my limited experience of one year of law school.

Kurt Cobain

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Re: Advice?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2010, 11:05:57 AM »
I go to a big university with a several pre-law advisers, and they're all pretty much useless compared to the info you can find online. I'd say just do your own research on lsac.org and lawschoolnumbers.com to see where you stand.

'blueskies

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Re: Advice?
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2010, 11:23:41 AM »
I go to a big university with a several pre-law advisers, and they're all pretty much useless compared to the info you can find online. I'd say just do your own research on lsac.org and lawschoolnumbers.com to see where you stand.

this. 

As far as timing, you want to apply as early in the admissions cycle as possible.  Most school start accepting applications on November 1st, you want to have taken the LSAT, gotten your recommendations, and written your personal statement/diversity statement/any addenda by that time so you can just fill out the application and send it in.  Since you're in your junior year, plan to take the LSAT by next June so study accordingly and register with LSAC when you sign up to take the LSAT.  Focus on getting good grades over the next two years and making connections with your professors for recommendations.
awkward follows you like a beer chasing a shot of tequila.

Morten Lund

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Re: Advice?
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2010, 12:20:59 PM »
I agree with the prior replies.  From what I gather, pre-law advisors are pretty useless, and not required.  I certainly didn't miss not having one.  Just to pile on what others have said:  take the LSAT very, very seriously.  It counts as much as your GPA.

I also always try to push Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold, by Thane Messinger*.  This is one of the better law school guides, IMO, and - more importantely for you - one of the few that extensively discussed how to get in to law school, where to go to law school, and even whether to go.

As to law school itself - different people have different experiences.  I did not particularly enjoy law school, but I thoroughly enjoy the practice of law.  I know others that feel the other way around.  It is difficult to predict.

*Disclosure:  Thane is the publisher of my books as well, and also a friend.  This does not affect the sincerity of my recommendation of GGG.