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Author Topic: Looking for some advice....  (Read 1441 times)

Sympletruth316

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Looking for some advice....
« on: January 04, 2013, 08:37:55 PM »
Thank you first and foremost for taking the time to read this and for any replies to help my future path.  Im currently 34 years old and am planning a drastic change in my life and circumstances.  I own and operate a small mobile audio company which I started in 2008.  I also work as a manager for a local auto parts store.  Most of my life choices have put me where I am.  Some I am proud of some I am not.  Some unforeseen circumstances have also played a significant factor in other areas.  I am married to my wife of 6 years and we have a wonderful 5 year old daughter.  My wife has just finished school so now as promised to my daughter, I am returning to school.  I attended Devry University in 2003 with a major in Electrical Engineering however due to a major illness, I was forced to leave after only one year.  While I was there, my grades were slightly above average but nothing outstanding.  I've spent years with many doctors and multiple surgeries getting myself to a happy normal again.  Now onto my point.  I have a goal to complete law school.  Its time to start down the road.  I am looking at the local community college for a degree in criminal justice for my undergrad.  My first question is if this is an acceptable way to start or am I wasting my time at a community college?  Should I even begin looking at a graduate school yet?  Am I too old to even be considering this?  Are there any recommended books or literature that I can study up on to influence my actions in a helpful manner?  Does anyone have any pertinent information that could help me out?  I greatly appreciate your time and thoughts on this.

jonlevy

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Re: Looking for some advice....
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2013, 10:26:38 PM »
No you are not too old; get the undergrad degree and then pursue a law degree if you like. Nothing wring with a Community College, you need start somewhere. The only thing to watch out for is racking up debt.  I am a firm believer that higher education should be largely free or low cost.

Groundhog

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Re: Looking for some advice....
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2013, 03:49:55 AM »
Generally speaking, you'll need more than just a community college degree to apply to law school, but starting there is fine. Hopefully there is a reasonably priced 4-year institution nearby. Obviously law schools understand that not everyone who is potentially successful can afford to immediately attend a 4-year university.

As for your major, it doesn't really matter, but majors that focus on analysis, reading, and writing are generally best. A lot of people that apply to law school are criminal justice majors but you shouldn't pick a major based on its value to law school because there is none and the degree should be valuable in it of itself. For what it's worth, anecdotal and statistical evidence suggests criminal justice is not great preparation for law school. It's usually geared towards those who want to become police officers, and though it gives you a superficial understanding of some aspects of the law, it doesn't particularly help with law school.

I don't think you are ever too old to go back to school unless you have obligations that are preventing you. However, as the above poster said, debt at your age could be more of a serious concern, because the potential return on your investment in higher education is less.

jack24

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Re: Looking for some advice....
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 02:34:30 PM »
All I have to add is that you should evaluate your potential undergrad path without even thinking about law school.  For the most part, law schools don't really care about where you went or what you studied.  They just care that the school was accredited, and that you have a competitive LSAT and GPA.   So that allows you to get an education in a valuable area, that might lead to better options than law school.

To be honest, if your only real goal was to get into law school, I would advise you find a decent 4 year college and get the easiest (and cheapest) degree you can find while studying for the LSAT.   A 3.8 GPA and 160 LSAT out of a no-name 4 year college is much better than a 3.4 GPA and 160 LSAT out of a good state school.

Sympletruth316

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Re: Looking for some advice....
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2013, 12:11:21 PM »
Thank you all very much.  My choice in school for criminal justice is because even if I don't head on to law school for any reason, I still have the foundation in criminal justice which is what I am focusing on.  I want to be able to help and make a positive difference in some way.  Also, I can get grants for most of my tuition for my undergrad because of my health and other factors(assuming I pursue it properly) so I think I have made the right choice.  Thank you all again.

Groundhog

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Re: Looking for some advice....
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 03:46:37 AM »
To be honest, if your only real goal was to get into law school, I would advise you find a decent 4 year college and get the easiest (and cheapest) degree you can find while studying for the LSAT.   A 3.8 GPA and 160 LSAT out of a no-name 4 year college is much better than a 3.4 GPA and 160 LSAT out of a good state school.
This.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Looking for some advice....
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 01:06:07 PM »
If the OP is located in California he may want to consider the CBE (California bar) accredited law schools. Of course, there are many factors that should be considered when contemplating a non-ABA school, but in the OP's case it might be a viable option.

CBE schools don't necessarily require a bachelor's degree for admission, I think two years of college work will suffice. This could save the OP a couple of years worth of tuition and time. They also tend to be cheaper than ABA schools and offer part-time programs.

The main factors to consider are the OP's post-law school plans. If he wants to work at a large firm or government office, then an ABA degree is a must. Also, many states will not accept a non-ABA degrees for bar admission. Considering the other factors the OP has listed, however, this may be a route to consider. 

jonlevy

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Re: Looking for some advice....
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 08:24:00 PM »
I'd question whether anyone with just two years of undergrad work could pass the cal bar unless they were a genius.  Your typical community college grad is going to have trouble stringing together enough coherent words to pass the bar. I am not dissing community college but in many cases it is simply a rehash of High School courses.

Rocketdog2017

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Re: Looking for some advice....
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2013, 11:43:43 AM »
I'd question whether anyone with just two years of undergrad work could pass the cal bar unless they were a genius.  Your typical community college grad is going to have trouble stringing together enough coherent words to pass the bar. I am not dissing community college but in many cases it is simply a rehash of High School courses.

ANYONE? ... I'd be careful before posting a blanket comment about something like this in a public forum. There are always people who will dazzle your mind. Good Will Hunting movie. Diamonds in the rough exist without being in the spotlight....but they are still there.

my .02
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Re: Looking for some advice....
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2013, 02:28:04 PM »
JL, I agree with many of your viewpoints, but sometimes you are stuck in your own limited paradigm. If you see the world solely through the model of a traditional student in their 20s going from high school, to college, to law school . . . you miss the entire point of the non-traditional student. Just three years ago, our number one graduate, moot court finalist, first time bar passer, and now successful local lawyer was a special student who entered without even an AA degree. She qualified through the baby bar and was an exceptional student from day one. Her education was in computer science and she had numerous certificates that qualified her for her job field in programing . . . just not the type of liberal arts education that somehow is presumed to better "qualify" a student in the study of law. She may be an unusual case . . . but we have returning veterans, small business entrepreneurs, and 50+ year old business professionals who did not have the luxury of a full undergraduate education that prove repeatedly that the piece of paper is not as important as an assessment of their interest, dedication, and willingness to do the extra work to make up any possible academic deficiencies.
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