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Messages - loki13

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Tier 4?
« on: March 06, 2017, 08:59:57 AM »
I am looking at some Tier 4 schools since that is all I can manage. I have heard some negative, some positive. If I am not looking at going to big law firms and just aspire to my own private practice, am I still at a disadvantage? Some people have tried to discourage me completely while an attorney I know said it really doesn't matter what school you go to, depending on your expectations.

There is no easy answer, here. Or, as any attorney would say, "It depends."

Let's take three "Tier 4" schools (I don't know if they are all Tier 4 currently, but generally have been): UMaine, Suffolk, and Florida Coastal.

These are three very different schools. All of them are "tier 4" in the sense that the applicant pool tends to have lower scores (uGPA + LSAT), they don't have great placements (BigLaw, good firms), and they aren't well-respected nationally.

But they are also very different-
UMaine is the only law school in Maine, and the state law school. If you want to practice in Maine, if you want to be a Maine attorney ... well, it's a fine choice. Maine does have some transplant attorneys (highly ranked New England law schools), but there is nothing wrong with going to State U if you want to practice in that state.

Suffolk is fine if you want to take a job in Boston- not a white shoe job, but one of the other legal jobs in the Boston market (PD, prosecutor, government, smaller firm, etc.).

Florida Coastal, on the other hand, is "classic" Tier 4. For profit, low standards, and competing in an oversaturated legal market. There are 11 law schools in Florida, and it might be the worst. That said, you can still pass the bar, or transfer, or do well out of Florida Coastal!

It's just probabilities. Tier 4 schools give you fewer options. And you have to do better at a Tier 4 school to get an equivalent position than you would at a higher-tier school; your competition might be less, but there is far less margin for error.

As practicing on your own- all you have to do is pass the bar. It is certainly doable, but most people struggle in solo practice without a few reps or some connections.

Let's see.

Rule I(a)(1).
“Accredited” means that a law school is recognized as being qualified by the competent accrediting agency of a state or foreign jurisdiction, by a political subdivision of a state or foreign juris.

Read in pari mutuel with the provision cited, then:
(1) You have to have a degree (but not a JD) from a law school that is accredited in that jurisdiction; AND
(2) The studies must be substantially similar to an ABA ("approved") law school.

If you go here, you will see that Taft (for example) is specifically listed as an unaccredited school:

So I would agree with Maintain- regardless of any intent, the actual wording is clear. While California has specific rules allowing unaccredited schools to have their graduates sit for the Bar, that does not mean those schools are accredited.

In addition, there are other jurisdictions where the state has an accreditation for the law school, but it is not ABA-accredited (or "approved").

That said, there is case law in some jurisdiction (minority) where people have been able to successfully petition the State Bar to take the Bar Exam after they have shown a period of good practice, despite unorthodox credentials. I don't think that this gives you it as a matter of right.

As always, YMMV, and I would contact the Texas Bar for a dispositive ruling on the issue. State Bars are usually happy to help.

Without getting into the weeds, the thing to understand is that this isn't a general admission provision, this is under the generic reciprocity provisions.

In other words, this isn't about someone getting their "whatever" degree and trying to get a Texas license. It's a specific rule about how an attorney, license in a different jurisdiction, may also become licensed in Texas. That's why it's called "Applicants From Other Jurisdiction."

More specifically, this only applies if you are a practicing attorney, in a different jurisdiction, and you would like a Texas license. So there are two categories-

1. Graduate from an ABA-approved school (Sec. 1). In that case, so long as you have been practicing law, you can get the license from Texas without taking the Bar.

2. Do not graduate from an ABA-approved school (Sec. 2). This is the unapproved school route; in that case, you so have to take the Texas Bar, and you must have been practicing law for three of the past five years.


Online Law Schools / Re: taft law school
« on: February 13, 2017, 07:01:44 AM »
Just wanted to say that on all 13 pages of this thread, you represented yourself and your alma mater well, and it helps folks like me who are closely judging Taft, with little more to go on than Orly.  I hope you keep up a presence on lawschooldiscussion. 


I will point this out for those reading the thread. There are various advantages to different "law school" solutions. The Taft "Distance Learning" solution is not a good one for the vast majority of people. Allow me to explain why-

If you choose to go the Taft route, then (IIRC), you have to pass the Baby Bar in California. That's your first possible point of failure. They don't break it down by school, but recent statistics show that Taft is in the category of schools that have an approximate 25% passage rate (first time), lower for repeaters. So, assuming you get past that (showing your aptitude), then you get to spend even more money to take the real California Bar. And if you do, then Taft has a terrible passage rate on the real Bar. (again, look this up- it's 20% or so). So you have a 25% chance of getting to take the Bar, and then a 20% chance of passing it. Those aren't good odds.

If you do overcome those odds, you will have graduated with a degree that doesn't mean a whole lot in the legal practice, and isn't very portable. Yes, you can practice in California, but you won't have any connections. And you will find it nearly impossible to practice anywhere else.

There may be particularly motivated people that can make Taft work to their advantage; but most of those people would be better off at a different school. The number of people that a) succeed at Taft, and b) can only do distance learning, and c) are able to successfully practice law after Taft are vanishingly small.

This isn't impossible. But if you want to actually practice law with your JD, there are almost always going to be better options.

Law School Admissions / Re: URM African American Male
« on: January 31, 2017, 01:23:28 PM »
A law degree is a law degree to me. I'm fine with a median tier school.

I'm trying to be nice. Even as an URM, a 140 is really, really low. Check out LSN (lawschool numbers). In 2013, when it was (slightly) easier to get in, you can see this user profile-

Yeah, URM, 145 LSAT, got into Ol' Miss. But there's a big gap between a 140 and a 145. With a 140, you're looking at Florida Coastal type of schools. A 143 and a 3.1 got an URM into the Charleston School of Law (yeah ....).

You will get in somewhere. But that "somewhere" may not be where you want to go to school. And with a 140, you are predicted to seriously struggle in law school, and if you get through the 3 years, to struggle to pass the bar.

I cannot recommend highly enough re-taking the LSAT. Even a 145 (with URM) substantially improves the schools you can get into.

If you must go with that score, send apps to the lower-tier school in the state/metro region you want to practice in, along with a few apps to some reach schools.

Good luck!

Law School Admissions / Re: URM African American Male
« on: January 31, 2017, 09:12:38 AM »
LSAT 140 GPA is 3.1 any really chances of getting into any 2 tier or 3 tier law schools? I am a year out of undergrad now. I worked with lawmakers/ interned on Capitol Hill in DC as a congressional intern and I'm currently working at the Biggest Law Firm in my state.  I've heard of a URM boost to some applicants. Does every law school practice this, cause I know that some states view Affirmative Action stuff as unconstitutional. What schools do I need to apply to? HELP!!!!

First, the bad news. A 140 is a really low LSAT score. As put famously in a presentation to the Florida Coastal School of Law, an LSAT score of 144 or below is "low aptitude, extreme risk."

The reason that I am writing that is as follows:
Can you get into a law school, somewhere? Yes, you can. Given the cratering of admissions, and your URM status, you can.
Should you? Ehhh...

Look, your LSAT score indicates that you are very much at risk for not passing the Bar Exam. If you don't pass the Bar, you won't practice law. That's three years, and a lot of money, down the drain.

So, my main recommendation is this- take the LSAT again. Really work it. You should be able to improve on general test taking and the logic games section. You should shoot for at least a 147 (147-149 is moderate aptitude, high risk of not passing the bar). And seriously consider if you want to go to law school.

Okay, after you've observed that, you need to focus your search. Where do you want to practice, and how much can you afford? Then take a look at websites (lawschoolnumbers for people admitted, and lawschooltransparency for median numbers and trends) to inform you.

Good luck!

Poster who edits their name on a regular basis, but I call snake,

You are so perceptive! How did you know- wait, you must have majored in Child Advocacy! That's it, right?

Oh, my unique and special snowflake, you might consider that:
1) There are very few people still posting on the board; and
2) At some point, you might have actual legal questions (like serving process) that you want serious answers to, and this just isn't the best reputation for the few people who still bother.

But hey- your posts, your call!

Hello I need help! I want to go into either child advocacy law or criminal law and I want to know if anyone knows of any good schools with great programs for either of these majors? :o

1. There are no "majors" in law school. Just a JD.

2. Any school will teach you enough to go into child advocacy law or criminal law.

3. Do not believe the self-rankings of schools regarding their programs; with a very few exceptions (such as tax law, which you need an LLM for anyway) it doesn't matter at all. Certainly not for those areas.

4. Go to the school the you like, that is the least expensive, in the geographic area that you believe you will practice.

Finally, good luck. Those are two fields that I could never practice in. It's not the law - it's the facts, if you know what I mean.

Not true, MANY have majors as options, and without question concentrations on the rest, and different quality of clinics for options (if any at all in those specific areas)

Let's see. What did you write? You wrote that many law schools have majors, and those that didn't would have concentrations or clinics.

WOAH, dude! It's almost like you have no idea what you're talking about! It's like ... you have a reading comprehension or memory issue.

Did you know that reading comprehension and memory issues make it difficult to take standardized tests? Might have wanted to get an accommodation for that.

Seriously, though. Please stop providing inaccurate information.

gave links as proof, spoon fed, idiots only grasp first long winded ad hominem, and then denial of spoon fed reality

whatever guys

up is still up and down is still down -insert snarky pointless back and forth BS here if desired-

You gave links? Really? Please, help us Obi Wan. Show us the links to the law school majors. Come on now, you can do it! Yes you can. Googling isn't nearly as hard as a bar exam.


Perfect troll logic.

Claim: law schools totally have majors.

Obvious reality: no, they don't.

Troll response: well, uh, where's the links to the law schools showing they aren't offering what they aren't offering!

In other news, law schools don't offer concentrations in watermelon law. Kinda hard to post that link, because ... wait for it ... it doesn't exist. Like a law school major.
dear god I hope you aren't actually handling any cases

Dear poster formally known as snake,

I know things are tough for you; after all, you did fail the bar exam the first time! But let me tell you something; it does get easier! Really. And luckily for you, after a while, no one will care that you couldn't even pass the bar. But here's the thing; high barriers to entry already exist in our profession. Once you're in, you're set. So relax, and stop trolling those poor people who are just looking for information. 'Kay?

Now, my little special troll, it helps to be able to read, in legal practice, on bar exams, and even in comment threads! A "concentration" is not a major. That's already been addressed. Any practicing attorney who says they "majored" in something in law school will be laughed at, like Maintain and I laugh at you. A clinic is also not a "major." These distinctions are important, because a JD is a certain type of degree that does not allow for "majors." And neither does the ABA (for those who go to accredited schools). So as I already wrote, certain schools will give you a shiny, happy piece of paper for completing bogus objectives, "Look, person who doesn't know better, you can have your pro bono / child advocacy / criminal law certificate!" And, if you would like, you can say that you completed it! Pat on the head for you! But it doesn't mean anything.

But you wouldn't say you majored in child advocacy. I mean, I'm sure you would write that you majored in Pro Bono, but that's just the kind of special that you are!

So we'll try this one more time, shall we? Can you show a single school that has a ... wait for it ... major in law school? You know, for a JD? Not a clinic. Not a special happy certificate made up by the school. Not an LLM program (because that's a different degree, as I already told you, just like I already told you about concentrations).

Go on ... you can do it! I know you can! Make us proud!

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