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Topics - mbw

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Law School Admissions / Class of 2012: Final Decison?
« on: June 21, 2009, 07:23:26 AM »
I realized last night that there have been some changes with people getting off waitlists or simply changing their minds (urp).  So, Class of 2012:

1.  Where are you planning on spending 1L and/or are currently deposited?

2.  Are you holding out on any waitlists? 

3.  If 2 = yes, what will it take to sway you?

Incoming 1Ls / University of Minnesota: Polar Law 2012!
« on: March 13, 2009, 11:41:58 AM »
Time to start the thread. 

Any current students around to answer questions?  Did anyone go to last week's ASW?

Figured we'd get one ready for you October LSATers, now that the update boxes are filling.

Remember, if you don't want to over stress-out your peers, the first one with their score should post a screen shot.

Good luck!  So glad it's not me this time.

I figure we could give the new October retakers a sense of what they can expect.  So, what was the increase/decrease, your old score(s), your new score, and what do you think accounted for the change (or lack thereof?)

Increase: +9 (18 raw points)
Old score(s): 156 (Sept, Dec '07)
New Score: 165 (June '08)
Reasons: conquered my test anxiety/misbubbling (although I did misbubble the RC, but caught it in time); got glasses (seriously - I didn't realize how blind I actually am until two months ago.)

Studying for the LSAT / Don't forgets for Monday...
« on: June 15, 2008, 12:23:59 AM »
Feel free to add more:

*Photo ID (and make sure your ID has the name exactly as you registered - My license abbreviated my name for some reason, so I had to find my passport.)

*Gallon sized ziplock bag.  No larger size is allowed.  First thing to put in it is your LSAC form.  Stick an extra copy in your car tomorrow.  Just in case.

*Adequate pencils and sharpener (I need my pencils to be razor sharp or I can't think.  Seriously.  :P)

*Leave your cell phone in your car or at home.

*Analogue watch.  They'll confiscate your digital one.

*Snack and water.  Bananas are perfect, if you like that kind of stuff.

*Not too much caffeine.  No more than you usually consume. Seriously, this is not the day to think some is good, so more must be better.  (I know this from experience.)

*Dress comfortably.  There's no one to impress.

*Practice writing in cursive.  Yes, you have to write a whole statement in cursive.  LSAC really, really wants you to do it in cursive.

Okay, that's all I can recall at the moment (having taken this damn thing twice already.)  Expect distractions.  And frankly, don't take it if you're sick or stressed cause your cat died or if you've just started a new medication with significant side effects (another one I know from experience.)  It's June, you can still take in October.

Studying for the LSAT / TEST DAY - so who is in for the June LSAT?
« on: June 04, 2008, 10:52:11 PM »
Guess it's time to start forming the class and building the support team.  Who else is in?

Just about one month to go.  Irrx, Dot, Limegreen and other retakers - how you all doing?

I'm completely clueless on the subject of practicing law in the US after attending law school in Europe, and so I'm picking the collective brain of LSD on the subject.  The reason is that the firm for which my spouse works, and my soon-to-be employer, is pressuring me to go to law school in Europe, so that we can commit to more than the one year overseas to which we're currently committed, beginning this summer.

Frankly, I really want to go to a US law school in 2009, but want to be better prepared to fight this battle.  I like my future coworkers a lot, and respect their opinions, but most are economists and not lawyers, and all are European, so don't really have a clue as to how the US system works.  I tried the "I can't study federal Indian law in Europe," but was parried with "do international human rights law instead."  Thing is, I'd have a great future working for this firm after I graduate, if I wanted to, so I don't want to burn that bridge unnecessarily.  And don't want to cramp my spouse's wonderful career there.  And my spouse and I have even agreed to look into my coming back for 1L on my own, so he could potentially commit to two years on site.

Arg.  Like I need this pressure right now.  Advice?

Studying for the LSAT / PT 22, LR (section 2, question 25)
« on: April 18, 2008, 09:46:19 PM »
A recent survey showed that 50% of gerbils polled believe that elected hamsters should resign if indicted for gerbilcide, whereas 35 percent believe that elected hamsters should resign only if convicted of this crime.  Therefore, more gerbils believe that elected hamsters should resign if indicted than believe that they should resign if convicted.

The reasoning is flawed because:

B) confuses a sufficient condition with a required condition.
D) draws a conclusion about a specific belief based on responses to queries about two different specific beliefs.

This is the only damn question I got wrong on this LR section today, and I still don't get it.  (Possibly because I'm caught up the the fact that you usually can't be convicted if not indicted...)

Please, oh LSAT gods, explain this one.

Sometimes, I hate when I'm right.  I saw this coming months ago (and thus put off law school until 2009 so I could have the money in the bank rather than (try to) take out loans.)  Maybe it's not such a bad idea to consider those lower ranked schools with the full-ride.

Fewer Loans for Students as Credit Crunch Spills Over
Dow Jones
February 13, 2008: 06:55 PM EST
By Aparajita Saha-Bubna

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Students may find securing financial aid just as hard as advanced Calculus.

Investors spooked by the current unrest in credit markets are shying away from student loans, even those that come with a federal guarantee. Tepid demand for these seemingly safe investments is not only driving up the cost of borrowing for students, but it is also threatening to limit the amount of loans available.

Further exacerbating the availability of student loans is a new federal law passed last year that cuts subsidies to commercial lenders distributing federal loans to students.

"The credit crunch combined with the new legislation is the perfect storm and what it will come down to is a question of loan access for students," said Gary Santo, head of student loan asset-backed securities at Fitch Ratings.

In the last week, auctions of securities tied to student loans have failed to generate investors' interest. Wall Street firms, such as Citigroup Inc. (C) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS), who conduct these auctions, have also stayed on the sidelines, choosing to not step in and bolster demand for these securities by buying the debt themselves. Investors now find themselves holding onto the bag of these securities longer than they thought, sparking concerns in the overall market that these investments may be tough to offload in the current credit environment.

"As access to credit markets gets reduced, it could have a negative effect in the not so distant future for students," said Jeff Noordhoek, president of Nelnet, a student lender based in Lincoln, Neb. "Certain schools and students are seeing reduced access to loan funding."

The Michigan Higher Education Student Loan Authority, a state agency, said Tuesday on its Web site that "due to the current and unprecedented capital- markets disruption" it will stop making loans under the state's Michigan Alternative Student Loan, or MI-Loan, program. More than 100 Michigan colleges and universities participate in the program.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Conditions in the asset-backed market where pools of student loans are bundled together in securities and sold to investors are just as challenging. Investors in this market are demanding higher returns for taking on credit risk, asking for an additional 50 basis points on new deals backed by student loans guaranteed by the government, according to Tom Joyce, a spokesman for SLM Corp. (SLM). The Reston, Va.-based company, also known as Sallie Mae, is the largest U.S. student loan lender by volume. It lent $26 billion to students last year.

In addition, there is "little demand for private loans in the asset-backed market," said Joyce. Private loans are typically riskier and therefore costlier because they don't come with a federal guarantee.

In 2007, $57 billion of publicly issued student loans - both federal and private - sold in the asset-backed market, according to the database of Asset Securitization Report, a trade magazine. In January last year, one such $4.1 billion deal sold, compared with two deals worth $3.8 billion during the same period this year.

Loan issuance is likely to go down as early as next month
, say market folks, driven by poor demand for securities tied to student loans even as default rates on these investments remain contained. The default rate on Sallie Mae's $28 billion of existing private student loans - or about 17% of its total student loan portfolio - currently stands at 3%, lower than the 3.5% seen in the middle of last year. The national default rate on guaranteed student loans was at 4.6% - hovering around historic lows - according to the most recent figures from the U.S. Department of Education.

More at

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