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Author Topic: How-to become a Successful Attorney...  (Read 20290 times)

NYCK

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How-to become a Successful Attorney...
« on: March 22, 2006, 05:46:09 PM »
I am a High School Senior (Class of '06); I am in need of your help.  Please do not click "back" on your web browser, and here me out.  This is not another "help me get into law school" thread--it's more than that.

I am sure many High School students, UG students and LS students can learn from this.

A little information about me:

I am passionate about law; I love it.  I'm crazy about it. 

Ideally, I would like to get into a top 30 UG institution and then attend a T-15 Law School (preferably:  Harvard, Columbia, or N.Y.U.).  All of us wish this idealistic dream to become a reality.  But I fear I am far, far away from that goal.  Ever night, I go to bed ashamed that it may be unrealistic.  I'm sick of it; I want to change.  I want to change my fate, so to speak.  I want to become the best student and graduate with honors from the collegiate level, and get into the TOP law firm and become the best god damn lawyer in the country.

I'm not stupid.  I'm very driven, but I--quite frankly--screwed up throughout High School.  I read often, do research, and read case law on my spare time.  I never really bothered with homework and the like.  High School bored me.  As a result of failing to take High School seriously, I lost my academic work ethic.  It's hard for me to even get into the habit of studying, unless the subject interests me.

I only did extremely well in my Constitution Law class.  No, I'm not failing anything, but my grades are not strong.  It's not strong enough to get into a good UG.  I fear I'm falling onto the wrong path.

I need your help to get back on the right direction.

My, current, GPA is a 3.4 or 3.5, I think.  On a 100 point scale, my overall average is 87.89.  My SATs are low too; I didn't study or anything.  640 verbal/590 math/500 writing

I participated, and did very well, in my school's Moot Court competition and Mock Trial competition.  In fact, I was the leading council and the coach.  I even interned at a Law Firm, based in New York City (in City Hall) since Freshman year.

To sum it up:

I really screwed up in High School.  My average freshman year was in the high 70s, but I pulled out of that hole.  But, I still screwed up.  I could of done so much better, thereby exposing myself to better UG institutions.

I feel powerless and, a bit, hopeless.  I want to become one of the best in the field.  What must I do?

I would really, really appreciate your assistance.  I'm in a pickle...

Thanks,

Kyle

P.S.

Furthermore, I understand my years as a High Schooler is over.  So there really is nothing I can do with my HS GPA or my SAT score.  That's behind me now, unfortunately.  Time cannot be manipulated; but, what can I do now?  What must I do now while I hope to get into New York University, Northwestern University, and University of Chicago for UG?  Regardless if I get in or not, what can I do to better prepare myself?

How can I change my ways to become the best student; the best attorney; and socially adept?

--Please address all my issues--

NYCK

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Re: How-to become a Successful Attorney...
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2006, 06:21:50 PM »
Advice... anyone?

krumanadi

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Re: How-to become a Successful Attorney...
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2006, 06:29:44 PM »
Advice... anyone?

I did sh!tty in high school too.. For whatever reason, it just bored me also.  It does not matter one bit.  I went to college and did much better (still not as good as I could have done) and tad-ah, im going to law school.  As long as you stop screwing around and bust your ass, theres no doubt you can get into a good law school.  Harvard/Columbia/NYU is another story - everyone wants to go there - and you will have to study hard on the LSAT and score in the 170's to have a shot - no small feat.

Just do good in college and you'll be fine.

NYCK

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Re: How-to become a Successful Attorney...
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2006, 06:32:23 PM »
I am just scared, to be honest.  I screwed up.  Many forum members say (in other posts) to get a 4.0 GPA in High School, and study your ass off to get into the top UG schools in the country.

I'm no where near that.  The best schools I applied to are:  Cornell, New York University, Northwestern and University of Chicago for UG.  I doubt I'll get in.

My back-up school accepted me though--Syracuse University (ranked #50 by USNEWS).

I don't know what to do anymore.  I lost faith in myself; and confidence.

I want those wasted years back and do well.

I screwed around; partied; and screwed girls from left to right neglecting my grades.  And the spare time I had left for homework, I spent on reading cases, and other law stuff for the pure enjoyment.  I neglected school all together, but I floated by.  It was easy, but I really screwed up my chances for the top law school--it seems.

How can I change it? Really?

Since High School is basically over... what can I do now? 

Just do well in college?

John Galt

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Re: How-to become a Successful Attorney...
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2006, 06:32:35 PM »
Now - college start: go to the best school that you can or go to the one that is the best fit for you. Forget about high school. Get drunk as often as possible between now and graduation (wait, are you 21 yet?)

Freshman Year: Start off well. Get into a mindset that you want to do as well as possible. If you want to go to Harvard, Columbia, etc this truly means that you need perfect grades. If you fall behind freshman year, its pretty hard to catch back up. Start building some rapport with your professors. Have them write recommendations for you for school wide scholarships. When people do things for you, they become invested in you so they'll want to see you succeed. Build this type of relationship early. Also, you're building up a bit of a resume by getting some scholarships.

Get involved with an organization in your school and meet lots of people. Start writing for your school newspaper and write a paper or two on a topic you're passionate about. Submit it for publication if it is high quality or let one of your profs read it over and save it to keep working on it so that you can publish it later.

During the summer volunteer for an organization or do a fellowship for half the summer. For the other half of the summer go to Africa to do research or humanitarian work. Alternatively, stay at home and volunteer in the inner city.

Sophomore Year: Keep your grades up. Start learning about the LSAT. Let it be known that you want to apply for (prestigious scholarship _____) Gain a leadership position in an organization and volunteer during the school year. During the summer work for an organization or a cause that you are passionate about

Junior Year: Apply for fellowships, scholarships, keep your grades up. Take testmasters, Powerscore, or griffin prep. Get a high score on the LSAT. During the summer, do all your applications; perfect your essays; get those strong recs; have your connections make a few calls; boom

Senior year: Send off your apps, sit back n relax.


Of course this is just a general guideline for getting into a top law school. My path was different as were most people's. There is no one way to have success at law school admissions. Also planning to do these things just to get into law school without recognizing the value of your activities or education is really going to be counterproductive to you in the long run. Do what you love man, and do it well. Then see where you come out. Normally I wouldn't respond to such a thread because its premature, but since you asked me personally, I decided to just put out a general guide. Check out "How to get into Harvard Law" if you want to know what type of activites can help you get in (the same ones tend to repeat themselves) other than that, its truly worthless. Get "How to Get Into the Top Law Schools" (they are indeed books, not articles).

Main thing is: Get good grades (near 4.0 if you're going to a less than stellar institution). Get a good LSAT score. Stay involved with things you're passionate about and build connections with your professors and employers.

if you're worried about your grades, you just have to get yourself into the right mindset. College is terribly easy (sorta like high school) for most people if you aren't lazy. It just takes working long hours every day on sometimes insipid topics. If your skills aren't up to par because you went to a crap high school, seek out tutoring early and be prepared to spend even more time studying. If you're working to pay for college, be prepared not to sleep.


Also, have some fun. Get on an athletic team or get a hobby you really enjoy. Do stuff with your friends on the weekends  (work hard, play hard) and don't forget the friends you leave behind in HS. Some of those can be the best you'll ever have.

juliemccoy

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Re: How-to become a Successful Attorney...
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2006, 06:40:07 PM »
Can you take the SAT again?

If not, see where you've been admitted. You might want to attend a local state school your freshman year. Don't screw around, either. Get great grades and get involved in an activity like Phi Alpha Delta, the pre-law fraternity. Notice, I did not say social fraternity. Go to class. Do not screw around. Make the dean's list. Did I mention "Do not screw around?"

After your first year, look into transferring to a more prestigious university. With your grades and campus activities in college, you will have a better chance. One of my sorority sisters transferred from UCF to NYU after sophomore year. She even did a semester abroad at Oxford.

If you're happy at the state school, stay there. Excel. Join a social fraternity, but don't let those grades slip. Get involved with your university UG trial team. Do community service. Don't screw around. Get good grades. Maybe even join ROTC. In the summer time, do some internships-- at a law firm, for example. Do a special independent study with a professor. Major in something like History or English or Economics (you can minor in Poli Sci, but know that law schools get a ton of Poli Sci applicants-- have a major that stands out showing you can write/think/analyze). Do volunteer work. Get some leadership experience in a meaninful student activity, like Student Gov't.

Above all, don't screw around. Study hard, keep your nose clean and don't get a DUI on Spring Break in Panama City Beach.
Vanderbilt 2010

krumanadi

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Re: How-to become a Successful Attorney...
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2006, 06:40:35 PM »
I am just scared, to be honest.  I screwed up.  Many forum members say (in other posts) to get a 4.0 GPA in High School, and study your ass off to get into the top UG schools in the country.

I'm no where near that.  The best schools I applied to are:  Cornell, New York University, Northwestern and University of Chicago for UG.  I doubt I'll get in.

My back-up school accepted me though--Syracuse University (ranked #50 by USNEWS).

I don't know what to do anymore.  I lost faith in myself; and confidence.

I want those wasted years back and do well.

I screwed around; partied; and screwed girls from left to right neglecting my grades.  And the spare time I had left for homework, I spent on reading cases, and other law stuff for the pure enjoyment.  I neglected school all together, but I floated by.  It was easy, but I really screwed up my chances for the top law school--it seems.

How can I change it? Really?

Since High School is basically over... what can I do now? 

Just do well in college?

What school is important, but not the end all/be all.  Like John Galt said, if its a less than stellar place, you need close to a 4.0 to think about top law schools, which isn't very east, but that is definitly do-able..  

And stop worrying so much.. It's still very early.  Its good to be concerned, but you got 3 or so more years till your application cycle, in which you will no doubt worry plenty.

krumanadi

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Re: How-to become a Successful Attorney...
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2006, 06:42:27 PM »

After your first year, look into transferring to a more prestigious university. With your grades and campus activities in college, you will have a better chance. One of my sorority sisters transferred from UCF to NYU after sophomore year. She even did a semester abroad at Oxford.


credited.

Goodfella Aaron

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Re: How-to become a Successful Attorney...
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2006, 06:48:07 PM »
Can you take the SAT again?

If not, see where you've been admitted. You might want to attend a local state school your freshman year. Don't screw around, either. Get great grades and get involved in an activity like Phi Alpha Delta, the pre-law fraternity. Notice, I did not say social fraternity. Go to class. Do not screw around. Make the dean's list. Did I mention "Do not screw around?"


I'm in a frat and I did well for myself. I think it made me more disciplined, in fact. Other posters on this board who got into T14s were in them too, as are many of the guys I meet at admitted student days. Don't not join because you're afraid it'll harm your grades. It only will if you let it.

NYCK

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Re: How-to become a Successful Attorney...
« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2006, 06:51:22 PM »
Now - college start: go to the best school that you can or go to the one that is the best fit for you. Forget about high school. Get drunk as often as possible between now and graduation (wait, are you 21 yet?)

Freshman Year: Start off well. Get into a mindset that you want to do as well as possible. If you want to go to Harvard, Columbia, etc this truly means that you need perfect grades. If you fall behind freshman year, its pretty hard to catch back up. Start building some rapport with your professors. Have them write recommendations for you for school wide scholarships. When people do things for you, they become invested in you so they'll want to see you succeed. Build this type of relationship early. Also, you're building up a bit of a resume by getting some scholarships.

Get involved with an organization in your school and meet lots of people. Start writing for your school newspaper and write a paper or two on a topic you're passionate about. Submit it for publication if it is high quality or let one of your profs read it over and save it to keep working on it so that you can publish it later.

During the summer volunteer for an organization or do a fellowship for half the summer. For the other half of the summer go to Africa to do research or humanitarian work. Alternatively, stay at home and volunteer in the inner city.

Sophomore Year: Keep your grades up. Start learning about the LSAT. Let it be known that you want to apply for (prestigious scholarship _____) Gain a leadership position in an organization and volunteer during the school year. During the summer work for an organization or a cause that you are passionate about

Junior Year: Apply for fellowships, scholarships, keep your grades up. Take testmasters, Powerscore, or griffin prep. Get a high score on the LSAT. During the summer, do all your applications; perfect your essays; get those strong recs; have your connections make a few calls; boom

Senior year: Send off your apps, sit back n relax.


Of course this is just a general guideline for getting into a top law school. My path was different as were most people's. There is no one way to have success at law school admissions. Also planning to do these things just to get into law school without recognizing the value of your activities or education is really going to be counterproductive to you in the long run. Do what you love man, and do it well. Then see where you come out. Normally I wouldn't respond to such a thread because its premature, but since you asked me personally, I decided to just put out a general guide. Check out "How to get into Harvard Law" if you want to know what type of activites can help you get in (the same ones tend to repeat themselves) other than that, its truly worthless. Get "How to Get Into the Top Law Schools" (they are indeed books, not articles).

Main thing is: Get good grades (near 4.0 if you're going to a less than stellar institution). Get a good LSAT score. Stay involved with things you're passionate about and build connections with your professors and employers.

if you're worried about your grades, you just have to get yourself into the right mindset. College is terribly easy (sorta like high school) for most people if you aren't lazy. It just takes working long hours every day on sometimes insipid topics. If your skills aren't up to par because you went to a crap high school, seek out tutoring early and be prepared to spend even more time studying. If you're working to pay for college, be prepared not to sleep.


Also, have some fun. Get on an athletic team or get a hobby you really enjoy. Do stuff with your friends on the weekends  (work hard, play hard) and don't forget the friends you leave behind in HS. Some of those can be the best you'll ever have.


Some questions...

The school wide scholarships that you mentioned... what is it for?  Is that scholarships for graduate school (i.e. law school) or...?  

And in regard to the connections I make:  How do I use them to help me get into Law School?  Simply ask them to call the school?