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Author Topic: NonTraditional Student-The LSAT and Law School Selection  (Read 3328 times)

Osmosis1

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Re: NonTraditional Student-The LSAT and Law School Selection
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2006, 10:53:41 PM »
Landrover, I am glad that you didn't give up. I am in a similar position as you in terms of the test score. I took the June 05 LSAT and scored miserably. I took a TM class and did not gain any more points to my practice tests. I have not been able to stick to my 20 hours a week worth or studying so my scores have not improved much. I was going to take the Feb 05 test but postponed it to June 06 then Sep 06 and finally I plan on taking the Dec 06 test and do not want to postpone any longer.

I am trying to get to at least 158 so I can get into the ABA school near me (only a 30 min drive). However, I am struggling in achieving the 158 score (Hell, I can't even break 150), I should have a decent chance if I score a 158 because I plan on going PT and I am a URM with an extensive IT background.

Lately I have been questioning what my financial outcome would be in addition to the amount of years I might be able to practice law. If I get into the ABA school I will have about $100K worth of debt when I graduate. I will need to continue working in my current job until I am at least 56 (I will be 45 soon). I will not be able to go "solo" until I retire out of my current job. So, if I have my JD and have passed the Bar by the time that I am 49 would it be financially smart for me to attend the ABA school versus attending a CalBar school (which is also 30 mins away from me) at at substantially lower cost than the ABA school?

I am beginning to think that the CalBar school would be my best alternative given my situation. I have applied to the CalBar school and have presented my letters of recommendation but they are waiting for my Dec 06 LSAT score to give me final word if I am accepted.

What do you guys think? Think I would be better off with the CalBar school with lower debt?

LadyKD

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Re: NonTraditional Student-The LSAT and Law School Selection
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2006, 11:58:32 AM »
Thank you to everyone for your responses. I am going to attend the Law School Forum in November here in Atlanta. See what some of the schools are saying about non-traditional students.

fredm04

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34 is not old!
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2006, 07:15:38 PM »

LadyKD,

Don't worry about being 34.  I entered law school at age 32, horrified at how old I was and convinced everyone would ostracize me because I was such a geezer.  In fact, I remember reading a post on this board about how older students don't have enough energy to compete with younger students.  That's bull!  I am at one of the top law schools in the country and have done very well.  In fact, my friends range from age 23 to age 40, and I can honestly tell you that no one cares about how old you are.  The schools don't care either -- all they care about is your performance.  I am now in my second year and having a truly wonderful experience with employers.  Just like the schools and the students, employers don't care how old you are!

Don't worry about your age or being "non-traditional."  That term exists only on this discussion board; it does not enter the minds of employers or admissions committees.  If you are interested in law school, go for it!

Fred
HLS 2008

landrover06

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Re: NonTraditional Student-The LSAT and Law School Selection
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2006, 04:20:35 PM »
Osmosis1,

I think you should look into the CBA route.  It doesn't sound like you have enough time between now and the Dec test to do the type of preparation it takes to significantly raise your LSAT score.  Note that it took me from Feb through October to raise my score significantly and I studied full-time.  Of course if you do raise your score, would this be enough to get you into the ABA school considering that you already haven't scored that well? ABA schools are unforgiving, even for URMs.

I chose CBA for many reasons.  1. I didn't get into an ABA, so I didn't have a choice.  If I was going to become a lawyer I was going to have to take the path that was presented to me to get there.  CBA schools have proven themselves to be excellent places for me to learn law.  2. Not interested in running up a $100K educational debt at my age.  3. I'll be in the patent law area, an area that places a heavy emphasis on professional technical experience rather than the law school you went to.  I have over 20 years experience as a computer scientist/software engineer. 4. I'm not interested in working for biglaw or competing with 20-somethings for these jobs.  I'm more likely to work for small firms or go solo.  I have the professional background and contacts to do both. 5. CBA schools (at least the ones I'm familiar with) are respected locally and produce excellent attorneys.  I can't tell you how many lawyers I have talked to from ABA schools who have emphasized this. 6. Passing the bar exam has nothing to do with what school you attend.  It depends on you.  Same for the LSAT.  You can take Kaplan, Powerscore, TM, but you still have to sit down and master the test on your own.  Some score 143 after taking Kaplan whereas others score 173 after taking the same course.  Some go to Stanford and never pass the bar, whereas someone might go to a CBA school and pass on the first try. 7. Proximity to my home.  The CBA school is only 20 minutes from my house and many of the graduates who work at law firms in the area are close as well. 8. CBA schools are good networks that help graduates and law students get jobs.  9. Classes are small. 10. I have the option of transferring to an ABA school if I want.

I think getting into an ABA school is great if you can do it.  Otherwise, check out CBA schools.  Because of your situation, they may provide the means for you to get your JD.  If you live and intend on staying in CA, attending a Cal Accredited school certainly wouldn't be to your disadvantage.



Thistle

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Re: NonTraditional Student-The LSAT and Law School Selection
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2006, 05:18:09 PM »
i started law school this fall at age 46.  doing well, as far as i can tell, as the only grade i've gotten back was a legal writing paper.

heck, the "kids" in my class even elected me to one of the Student Bar Association positions  8)

as far as applications go, i likewise didn't prep much for the lsat and got a 152 to go along with my stellar 3.08 gpa.  whee.  however, i did have a masters and 28 years work experience to go with it.  i applied to 31 ABA schools (call it overkill, but i didnt think anyone would let me in either) but i was straight up accepted to 14; and ended up going to u arkansas little rock on an in-state tuition scholarship.

throw your line out there and see who bites
non ex transverso sed deorsum


JD

Osmosis1

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Re: NonTraditional Student-The LSAT and Law School Selection
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2006, 11:23:37 PM »
Landrover06,

I absolutely agree with your points 1, especially 2, 4,5,6, especially 7 and 9. I have over 15 years of IT background (WAN and technical support mostly) and I want to somehow incorporate that knowlege with my law degree.

I think I am at peace with my decision of going to an CBA school. I simply do not have time to do intensive studying for the Dec 2 LSAT and I really do not want to incur at $100K debt from an ABA school.

Are you in Northern CA? What school do you attend? It would be great if you are attending the school I have applied. PM to me the name of the school that you attend if you like. It is comforting to know there is someone out there like me taking the CBA route. It would be nice to go with an ABA and have the benefit of the prestige the school name could offer me. But, it is not a guarantee that I wll land a great job after I pass the bar. As I said before, by the time I take the bar I will be 50 years old and still have another 6 years to work at my current job before I can "retire" from my State of CA job.

If God graces me with many more years of good health I would like to practice law well into my 60's.



landrover06

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Re: NonTraditional Student-The LSAT and Law School Selection
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2006, 03:20:07 AM »
Landrover06,

I absolutely agree with your points 1, especially 2, 4,5,6, especially 7 and 9. I have over 15 years of IT background (WAN and technical support mostly) and I want to somehow incorporate that knowlege with my law degree.

I think I am at peace with my decision of going to an CBA school. I simply do not have time to do intensive studying for the Dec 2 LSAT and I really do not want to incur at $100K debt from an ABA school.

Are you in Northern CA? What school do you attend? It would be great if you are attending the school I have applied. PM to me the name of the school that you attend if you like. It is comforting to know there is someone out there like me taking the CBA route. It would be nice to go with an ABA and have the benefit of the prestige the school name could offer me. But, it is not a guarantee that I wll land a great job after I pass the bar. As I said before, by the time I take the bar I will be 50 years old and still have another 6 years to work at my current job before I can "retire" from my State of CA job.

If God graces me with many more years of good health I would like to practice law well into my 60's.




Check your mailbox.  I don't want to mention my school here so I can preserve my anonymity.  I am in northern CA.

With that much experience, it makes sense for you to build on top of that, and propel yourself to the next level.  Aside, from being in IT, working as a professional all those years, you have been a professional and you have a professional track record.  The 20-somethings who have no professional experience have to work many years to establish the longevity, commitment, and responsibility that you have shown. That experience counts.

There are three ABA schools who would accept me after I complete the first year.  Golden Gate, USF, and Santa Clara.  Hastings may be open for a transfer depending on my grades.  GGU, SCU, and USF have PT programs.  Hastings does not.  Stanford and Boalt are out of the question and neither has a PT JD program.  But I'm more likely to stay where I am b/c I can't imagine it being better anywhere else and the Profs are exceptional.