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Author Topic: Chances and advice?  (Read 322 times)

jac101689

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Chances and advice?
« on: July 04, 2012, 04:00:10 PM »
Hey all. I have a BA in Econ from UConn--overall GPA 3.39, 3.8 major GPA--and a 165 in the bank. My problem is that I have some possibly significant blemishes on my transcript. (2 D+'s, one incomplete that turned to an F, a withdrawal, and a C+). I suppose I could come up with explanations, but will I have to for admission and/or funding at these schools: UConn, Brooklyn, Cardozo, Lewis & Clark? Any other schools to suggest? Thanks.

legend

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Re: Chances and advice?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2012, 06:59:14 PM »
Before I say anything realize anything you read on this board or others comes from anonymous internet posters that know nothing about you, your situation, or what is best for you. So take everything you read on this board or others with a grain of salt including my post.

With that said here is some advice based on what I learned by going through law school. This might give me a scintilla of knowledge, but my post is more to help you think opposed to any concrete answer as to what to do.

FIRST ISSUE D+ and C+ CONCERNS:
To be honest if this is your biggest issue your doing alright. Schools don't really care about your major, a bad grade, they generally only care about your overall GPA. Although I have never sat in on admissions decision I know they receive 3,000 applications or more and likely do not go through each and every transcript in detail. They will see a 3.39 UGPA your Major GPA won't matter much. This is because the UGPA is what they report to LSAC & U.S. News and it is just easiest for them to look through.

I have known students who got DUI's, been arrested, and so forth and were still admitted to law school. I myself had one D and two W's on my undergrad transcript and it was not an issue. It is possible at some school it will be, but there are lot worse things to have than a few bad grades on your transcript.

CHOICE OF LAW SCHOOLS:
Best place to look to what schools you have a shot at are LSAC of course and lawschoolnumbers.com. I think lawschoolnumbers.com is better, because you can see what scholarships people were awarded.

Once you see your options consider location, cost, and your personal feelings about the school above anything else. 

It looks like you want to be in New York based on the majority of schools you have choosen. Hopefully, that is the case. Location is really more important than anything else at least in my opinion. Law school is 3 long years, you will make friends, get an apartment, start a relationship (if not in one already), and you will build roots wherever you attend school. If you already have roots in an area such as family, friends, etc in New York that is something to consider. Law school is a long journey and when you first graduate things don't go smooth. It takes a lot of time to build a legal career and when you graduate and are in BarBri sweating bullets about the outcome in your life it will be good to have friends and family around to support you.

I could belabor that point forever, but if you want to live in New York then go to law school in New York.

PERSONAL FEELINGS ABOUT THE SCHOOLS:
When I was in law school I did not a lot of mock trial competitions, and I visited a lot of schools when I was a OL. I have come to notice each place has a distinct culture to it. Whether you like that culture or not is highly personal there are number of schools I did not like and a number that I did. I had my own personal reasons for that and what I liked you have may have hated. So visit the schools you are interested in talk to professors, students, admins, and so forth and just see how YOU like it. I can assure you nobody knows better than yourself what you will enjoy. Not me, not U.S News, and not another anonymous internet poster that knows nothing about you. You may want to listen to parents, friends, etc that personally know you, but be wary of any anonymous internet poster telling you what is best for you.

COST:
Regardless of location, personal feelings, etc cost is a real concern. With your numbers you will have the option of getting a debt-free J.D. from a multitude of schools. Getting a free ABA J.D. is something to think about. However, be very wary of scholarship conditions if you choose that path.

This New York times article does a good job of explaining why. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all . Just remember law schools are a business and if you get scholarship offers ask questions regarding conditions don't be like these students who just thought everything would be great. If your smart enough to get into law school you need to be smart enough to ask questions when someone is offering you 100,000.

REALITY OF LEGAL EDUCATION:

The reality of legal education is that it is almost identical at every ABA school. Whether you attend Harvard or Gonzaga your first year will consist of torts, property, contracts, criminal law, civil procedure, LRW, Con Law or at least some variation on that. In Civ Pro you will read Pennoyer, In Contracts you will read Hadley v. Baxendale, Con-Law the Mud-Flap case, and Palsgraff in Torts. You will simply be reading Supreme Court cases and analyze them. This is what happens at every ABA school I am familiar with and these are the subjects on the MBE which is administered as part of the Bar in every state.

SPECIALTY PROGRAMS SOMETHING TO CONSIDER
The above is true at every ABA school, but some schools specialize in certain areas. If you happen to know exactly what you want to do then look at the course schedules. If you want to be a litigator see how many mock trial teams the school fields, how many trial-ad courses they offer and so forth. If you want to do employment law if they offer multiple courses in that area. The electives do vary from school to school. It is not a critical factor in your legal education, but certainly something to think about if you actually know what you want to do.

If you don't know then join the club of the majority of OL's and even lawyers that don't really know what area of law they want to practice in. It is not a big deal if you don't know, but if you do then consider the options.

RANKINGS:


If all else fails in your decision take this into account, but do not make this a deciding factor. So many students make life altering choices based on this magazine and within the rankings themselves they tell you that each individual has their own choices and should utilize them in making them decision. Remember U.S. News is nothing more than a for-profit, unregulated, private magazine offering an opinion. It might have some merit, but not enough to make a life altering decision.

Case in point U.S. News does not rank law schools alone they rank nearly everything. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/law-school-grants.html?pagewanted=all (They have stated Albuquerque New Mexico is one of the best places to live.) It makes me a little more interested in Albuquerque, but I am not going to move there or put it above Miami, New York, etc on my vacation list.

Point being if all else fails use consider the rankings, but don't let it be a primary reason for your decision it is a magazine nothing more.


CONCLUSION:

These are just some factors to consider and things I have noticed after going through law school. I have good intentions, but it is possible everything I have said is 100% wrong. If I am then I have no repercussion and neither does any other anonymous internet poster.

So most important of all when choosing your law school and whether or not to attend at all remember it is 3 years of YOUR life, 100,000 or more of YOUR money, and YOUR legal career. Use your gut, your personal experiences, and your own situation when making this life altering decision.

Good luck to you whatever you end up deciding.