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Lparsons7641

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Thinking of law school........little help
« on: July 23, 2010, 10:42:54 PM »
Sorry if these seem like completely NOOB questions, but I am lost. I just got my B.A (in history) from a little state school, law school is one of my options, the others being teaching and throwing a hail mary and going for a PHD.

My GPA was a 3.73. I haven't yet taken a LSAT, but I took a practice test out of the blue and got a 166. What kind of schools would I be looking at? (assuming I study more for the LSAT, maybe get another point or 2) I am not thinking Harvard, but I don't want to go 150K into debt and not get a job (like my cousin.........) If it helps I would be more interested in environmental law or public service then making the big money. I also live in Massachusetts and if all possible would like to stay in New England/the northeast if at all possible (though the midwest or the west coast wouldn't be bad either, I just need my seasons and I don't really function to well in the subtropics of Florida! :D)

Thanks for all the help and advice everyone............again sorry if these are completely noobish inquires.

Addendum-It might be a stereotype, a school that is friendly for someone going through the process of converting to Judaism would be helpful too (as in easy access to Kosher shops, within walking distance to a Rabbi/Synagogue.) But I could put the process on hold for a few years to continue my education.

marcus-aurelius

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Re: Thinking of law school........little help
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2010, 09:04:44 AM »
If you want to go inot public service, your best bet is to go with the school that gives you the best aid package.  That way youcan come out with as little debt as possible.  I would look into going to a school in the area you wish to live.

With a 3.7 and a 166 you  ,, if you are concerned about ranking, will be looking at top 20 schools.  In what conditions did you take the test?  Simulating true test day conditions are difficult.  If it was trulyt simulated, you should be looking good.

Lparsons7641

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Re: Thinking of law school........little help
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2010, 11:00:02 AM »
If you want to go inot public service, your best bet is to go with the school that gives you the best aid package.  That way youcan come out with as little debt as possible.  I would look into going to a school in the area you wish to live.

With a 3.7 and a 166 you  ,, if you are concerned about ranking, will be looking at top 20 schools.  In what conditions did you take the test?  Simulating true test day conditions are difficult.  If it was trulyt simulated, you should be looking good.

It wasn't really simulating test conditions I guess you could say. I was just at my desk, no distractions, plugging away following the instructions on time etc the book gave me. I plan on taking MANY more before testing time, and on studying as much as possible. So I don't imagine my "real" score will wax or wane to much.

Thanks for the advice, I think somewhere that gives me good $$$$ would be a top priority as well. Because in honesty I'm pretty broke, and haven't had much in the job search so far. And my parents are even worse off.........

Another question........

Does legacy count any for some schools? My grandfather went through the "3 B.Cs" they are called, B.C High, B.C, then B.C law. It can't hurt to mention it right if I applied there?

Some schools that caught my attention by word of mouth or by their websites.........

Brooklyn Law
Vermont Law School
B.U
GWU

bigs5068

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Re: Thinking of law school........little help
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2010, 12:11:41 PM »
If you really want to avoid debt look at State Law Schools. They are ABA approved and just way cheaper and they can't take your scholarship away, which a lot of private schools do if you don't finish with a 3.0, which is very difficult to do in law school. CUNY in New York is only 10k a year and then Florida, Florida State, and FIU all have in state tuition, but I saw you don't like Florida weather still if you can have 80k over three years a little humidity might be worth it. There are a lot of in-state tuition law schools out there and if you want to go real cheap North Dakota and South Dakota are only like 6k a year and I can't imagine living expenses are anything.  They are ABA schools so once you graduated you could take the bar if I could have handled those States for 3 years then that is something I might have done. There are in-state schools in more exciting areas though I am sure LSAC has a list.

SASS

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Re: Thinking of law school........little help
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2010, 02:50:51 PM »
My advice is to go to the best school you can get into with the least cost.  I know you didn't need someone to tell you that.  But with your numbers (assuming you really study for the LSAT and you keep your score around 166), you will easily get into a top 50 school.  In my opinion, after the top 50, the opportunities begin to drop off as you go down the rankings.  So you need a school that minimizes the cost but maximizes opportunities, that equation is a little trickier than it appears.   

Also, I always give this advice to those entering law school, you probably don't know what you want to practice yet.  Most people I know, myself included, are in a completely different practice than were they thought they would be when we entered.  You just never know what will catch your interest in law.   So, for example, if you are thinking of Vermont Law School b/c of their environmental law program, take a look at their entire program and make sure you would still want to be there if they did not have that program.  You could end up hating eviro law but be at a school that doesn't have much else to offer (I don't know if that is true about Vermont School of Law, I don't know much about that school, this is just for the sake of the example).

Good luck.

sonofapickle

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Re: Thinking of law school........little help
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2010, 03:48:51 PM »
State law schools? Don't listen to that guy. He has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. I am assuming you want to be not only marketable in most states but also have a leg up on the competition, right? Then practice for a few more months improving upon your score and read some Bible's on logic games, et cetera, and take a few more practice tests. When you feel confident enough, take the LSAT.

Cicero

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Re: Thinking of law school........little help
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2010, 07:48:46 PM »
Umm...there are quite a few state schools in the top 50, such as UNC & UF, and they are both much cheaper than private schools.

batermani2001

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Re: Thinking of law school........little help
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2010, 09:22:28 PM »
If you can get into one of the top 40 schools you are in good shape! According to almost every article online, the higher the ranking of the school, the higher your starting salary will be and if you let a chance to enter one of the top 40 schools....you are a moron! not everyone can get a 166 on the LSAT. I studied 3 months for the LSAT and the best i could do was a 161 and i got a 156 on the actual. Do not let this opportunity go! if you go to one of the top universities...it will payoff later....according to all the articles on the internet. do your research and you will see what i am talking about.

pacelaw2013

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Re: Thinking of law school........little help
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2010, 10:14:16 AM »
Your grandfather is a tripple eagle! But I doubt grandfather would sway the decision much, but you are in line with the numbers, I would not be surprised if you got into BC with those numbers alone.

Top 20 schools are certainly in reach with those numbers, though I think you might want to try and raise the LSAT a bit, but you should be fine either way.

Harvard and Yale would be real tough, but other top 10 schools would be in reach, and hell, if you raise your score 10 points (175-178), who knows, Harvard and Yale might not be out of the question.

Use the probability calculator on lsac.org or lawschoolnumbers.com. Those are both helpful.
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bigs5068

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Re: Thinking of law school........little help
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2010, 11:47:59 AM »
Even if you don't get a 166 and end up going to a tier 4 you can still get a job that will pay you. Obviously, going to a top 50 school is better than going to a tier 4. However, debt is also a consideration. I remember when I worked in New York I worked with a lot of lawyers from CUNY, Fordham, Touro, Columbia, NYU etc. They were all there, but the CUNY ones were doing the best financially because they had WAYYYYY less debt. They were all working in the same government firm granted so maybe had it been private it would have been different. However, the government pay scale is the same no matter what school you go to at least in that department. You start out at a certain salary whether from Harvard or Cooley and if you have only 40,000 in loans to pay off compared to 150,000 well you will have more money.

I am not going to say that I wouldn't go to Stanford if they had let me in, but at least in my limited view it really seems like law school is what YOU make of it. As long as you do well enough on the LSAT to get into an ABA school you can figure it out. Once you pass the bar etc and get some experience it won't matter what school you went to if you do a good job. Nobody cares that Tom Brady was the 226th draft pick he is a baller and nobody cares that he wasn't that good in college.