Law School Discussion

SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)

Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #40 on: April 06, 2015, 02:00:14 PM »
Alrighty guys, here's an update on my situation (and I'll read up on everything that's been said for the past few posts afterwards and respond as need).

So after emailing SCU, they responded with the following:

"Your letter has actually come at a good time. Let me begin by saying that our merit scholarships are awarded such that similarly qualified applicants receive the same amount. Thus it is not our policy to increase the scholarship of one person unless we can increase the award to the entire group. It is also not our policy to match or exceed the scholarship offers made by other schools. Having said that, we recently decided to increase the scholarship within your group to $15,000. Amended scholarship letters reflecting this increase will be going out in the mail next week. The terms and conditions of your scholarship will remain the same.

We understand that scholarship awards are among the many important factors to consider when selecting a law school. Our centers, clinics, and programs, along with our robust externship opportunities that take advantage of our Silicon Valley location provide our students with unique opportunities that are difficult to match. Though we cannot match your other scholarship offers, we do offer additional endowed scholarship opportunities for continuing students.

We look forward to welcoming you to Santa Clara Law in the fall."

So, they essentially raised it from a 30k to a 45k scholarship. And granted, it's a 3.0 stip (but then again at SCU that's a B-, not a B). I don't know how hard that will be to maintain, but every lawyer and doctor friend I know who'd aware of my schoolwork/work ethic believes it won't be terribly difficult. Challenging, but manageable. The only thing that worries me are grade curves in law school. Unlike many med schools which operate on a P/NP system, the whole "you can have no more and no fewer than ___ amount of A/B/C, etc."

That being said, I think I'm fairly set on attending SCU. If Hastings were to reply and offer me some sort of aid, I would go there. Otherwise SCU seems like the best balance of traits I'm looking for, and I'm not against delving into High Tech to see how it fits with me. The Biotech department is of particular interest, and SCU's rep is truly underrated based on just how much its rep around Silicon Valley carries apparently (based on recent and former grads from there).

NOW THEN! Onto reading what you guys have been quibbling about :P Hahahahaha

Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #41 on: April 06, 2015, 02:38:57 PM »
I think attending SCU is the right choice and awesome they gave you more scholarship money, but the only thing to be concerned about is that you think it will be easy to maintain a 3.0. That is what every law student thinks.

Ask SCU what the curve is and how many people can maintain a 3.0 after 1L. It is a very easy question they will answer if you ask, but if you assume you will just a 3.0, because your friends etc say it will be easy that is where issues arise. Again, it is possible you will lose the scholarship, but you do everything you can to keep it.

However, I definitely think SCU or any Bay Area School is the right choice for your situation.

Good luck.

Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #42 on: April 06, 2015, 03:30:27 PM »
Oh I never meant to suggest that it'll be EASY to get that 3.0, just possible/manageable for someone with my past experience of speaking with law student friends/current lawyers.

One of the former mayors of Santa Cruz, who was one of my law professors during my undergrad, definitely held no punches when discussing law school with his students. He actively tried to persuade us NOT to pursue law actually, emphasizing the challenges and hardships the accompany it. Kind of how Rabbis actively dissuade any gentiles trying to convert to Judaism, hahahaha

Anyways, I'm constantly wary and careful about my grades and performance in law school. I hold no assumptions about how easily I'll be able to achieve success there. But I still maintain confidence in my skills and abilities all the same.

Oh, and here's the breakdown at SCU, City, just in case you were curious. So about 50% lose their scholarships (45-50)

http://law.scu.edu/bulletin/academic-policies/

Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #43 on: April 06, 2015, 03:40:03 PM »
Good to see you researched the issue and there is a 50% chance you will lose the scholarship and a 50% chance you will finish in the bottom half of the class. There is also a 50% chance you will finish in the top half of the class etc.

I think if you go into law school with realistic expectations it can work out, but it could also be a disaster, but anything worth doing in life comes with a risk. If being a lawyer is what you want go to law school , work your ass off and hope it works out.  You may succeed you may fail, but when I started law school my friend gave me the below quote from Teddy Roosevelt, which I think is very inspiring and true. I take it to mean that anything worth doing is a risk.

The Man in the Arena Quote
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #44 on: April 06, 2015, 03:49:34 PM »
Brilliant quote City, I'll definitely have to save it. And I appreciate your help and advice with everything, particularly you looking at both sides (the good and bad).

Who knows, maybe next time I'm in SF (I go there every so often since I'm so close) we'll end up crossing paths one way or another :)

Also my name is Boris, for any future messages. Figure I owe the decency of introducing myself with my actual name after you guys have helped me juggle so many things, haha

loki13

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Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #45 on: April 07, 2015, 08:14:28 AM »
Boris,

Congratulations, and it's good to see that SCU extended more money. I hope that the prior information I provided was helpful. It's a fine school, especially if you are going to practice in the area.

As I noted before, and you have seen, please be careful regarding the scholarship conditions. Try this on for size- how does your LSAT/GPA compare with the entering class at SCU? Based on trends, expect a 158 and a 3.5 to be the 50th percentile. IME, if you are overperforming those numbers, and have a good work ethic, you have a better shot at finishing in the top half of your class. While not dispositive, it has also been my experience that LSAT scores are very predictive for grokking law school, moreso than uGPA (provided you have a work ethic). Hope this helps!

Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #46 on: April 07, 2015, 09:49:24 AM »
Yes, thank you Loki, your advice and suggestions were indeed very helpful. :)

In terms of the grading and scholarship terms, yeah I have been looking into those, and I think I should have a moderate challenge when I'm there. I'm the kind of guy who performs best when putting myself under "crunch time"; the adrenaline helps me focus and write some of my best essays, but I'm working on balancing that out with typical smart study habits, as procrastination and waiting to be told my a professor "YOU NEED THIS IN TOMORROW" aren't exactly nice feelings, hahahaha

But my 3.35 uGPA is primarily due to 2 grades: I failed calculus twice. Which is funny, because I keep placing into calculus on all math exams, and I passed Chemistry and all with not too many issues.

My transcript literally had all A's, A-'s, and a range of B's (my GPA would have been about a 3.6 if not higher) but those two classes dropped it hard. I never wrote an addendum since I figured it was self-explanatory and was told schools may look at it as though I'm making excuses for myself.

Anyhoo, that's all passed. My point is, when I care about something, I'm fairly confident in my abilities to succeed. Law school will be full of topics I *don't* care about, so those will be my biggest challenge. But I'm fairly sure I won't be gasping for air there, hahahaha

Thanks again guys, I really appreciate all of your time and help!

loki13

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Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #47 on: April 07, 2015, 10:13:44 AM »
Boris,

A few quick notes-

1. Procrastination is the killer in law school. Here's why LSAT + uGPA (before grade inflation) were such a good predictor for success. The LSAT was decent at seeing if you had the aptitude for law school; in short, could you read, analyze, and do the logic (whether abstract, like applying rules to facts in torts, or more concrete, like 1L property). uGPA was a good proxy for follow through and work ethic. You do not have graded home work or quizzes. You will have final exam (most likely) that is 100% of your grade. You may have absolutely no feedback until the next semester, grade wise, how you are doing. You absolutely must stay current with everything- all the reading assignment, all the classes, all the time. Form a study group (if possible) with other students so you're talking about the classes. And so on. Find out what works best for you- I learn by writing, so I took extensive notes for each reading assignment (that's how I learn best). The only person who will keep you on task is you, and many people try and catch up at the end- it's too late. If you go to a lecture, and you haven't done the reading, and you're on facebook because you don't understand... then you're in trouble.

2. You will have to work twice as hard in the subjects you don't care about. Some subjects (whatever they might be) will be taught well, will make sense, and you'll love. You'll want to learn more. Some subjects will have a crappy professor, will be dry as hell, will be at 8am, and those are the ones you have to watch out for.

I only pass this along because I always get concerned when I hear people say that they never have trouble working when it's something they like. Well, of course. But that's why it's called work, and not happy fun time. :)

Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #48 on: April 07, 2015, 10:21:02 AM »
Good call there. And yeah, complacency is one hell of a beast to deal with.

But then again I'm going into law school treating it as a job as is. Only difference is there will be far more tears and alcohol involved I'm guessing.

Re: SLU vs. Case Western (and other schools)
« Reply #49 on: April 07, 2015, 10:23:05 AM »
Solid post Loki and Boris. I honestly, think the best thing to do in law school is go in thinking you know nothing. Many people come into law school thinking they know X, Y and Z and are special because of X reason. Just come in with a clean slate, listen to the professors and don't make it complicated.

Your first year will be extremely stressful and you will waste inordinate amounts of time on simple issues as every 0L does. I have kept my 1L property book, which is covered in pointless highlighter marks to remind to keep it simple, but that is really the hard part.

Go to class everyday, read the material assigned, and most importantly do practice questions. Everyone will remember the facts of the cases you read, but learning to write in IRAC and figuring out the Multiple Choice question tricks can only be done through practice. My first semester finals I knew every case backward and forward, which is good, but it is all about applying the law to the test.

I also highly recommend CALI Lessons, which are provided by every ABA school. I did those every night and listen to your professors don't get to wrapped up in various outside sources unless the professor loves the outside source. The professor writes the exam so pay attention to what they have to say.