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  1. #21

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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by reckless View Post
    Congratulations on graduating. That's a wonderful accomplishment.

    The LSAT is one of the few standardized tests that you really can study for and improve. Logic games, especially, have a lot of tricks to them and the biggest challenge on those is time. (The best trick I learned was to set up the "set" elements of the puzzle in pen and use pencil for the rest, so I did not have to set up the entire puzzle for each question. I think the LSAT banned pens not long after, but I believe they still allow hi-liters.) Also, don't overlook the writing portion. The one-hour or so essay may seem silly, but I had a professor in law school who considered that one of the most important parts of his evaluation because it showed the ability to write cogently under a time constraint (at my school, the professors reviewed applications).
    Thanks for the tips. I'm taking a Testmasters course (I got a half off coupon because they visited my school's Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and they offered those coupons to those who answered a logical reasoning question correctly). My biggest issue is the time-management and I know I need a lot of work on that. They also stressed the essay portion because I was told that there are examples of people doing well on the LSAT but not putting much effort on the essay portion and getting rejected from law schools because of that. I also enjoy writing, so that would most likely be the part I would enjoy the most (that and reading comprehension).

    For law school, think very hard about a few things. First, are you going because you think you'll make a lot of money or because you really are intrigued by and like the law? The answer could say a lot about your happiness in law school and beyond.
    I know jobs are very scarce right now (almost all of my friends who finished law school are having a hard time finding jobs) and I really am not doing it for the money. I would love to work for the public sector or non-profit and I know that's not where you go for high, glamorous living that is usually perpetuated for lawyers. I also love reading about the law, and I find judicial opinions to be fascinating. Every time there's a controversial law passed (like Arizona's immigration law and now Georgia) or a high-profile case (like the Westboro church v. Snyder), I like to see if my opinions, after reading the facts, are anywhere close to the real outcome.

    Second, investigate schools carefully. NYU is known as a highly cut-throat school. With jobs at the high-paying firms scarce, that has only ratcheted up the stress and competition. It may be nice to live in New York, but would that outweigh the day-to-day environment of the school?
    You're right about that. I'm going to visit NYU and Brooklyn law in October, so I can see if I even like New York. I have family and friends in NYC so that was one reason why I wanted to go to law school there, but I'm also considering other places as well. I was actually thinking about CUNY as well because they are known for having a diverse student body and their public interest clinics. Also, Ruth Bader Ginsberg gave a testimonial for it, so that caught my eye.

    Third, pay attention to what graduates from the school are doing. A lot of law schools sell people on bright futures, but they are unrealistic in this economy and you can wind up with huge debt and little opportunity. I don't know where you graduated, but if you were cum laude at a respectable college or university, don't settle for a tier 3 or most tier 2 law schools. It just isn't worth it in the long run. You might be better off spending a year or two doing an internship and gaining experience that you can sell to a top law school.
    IMO, the University of New Orleans is very respectable school and we are known for our academic research (I also think our Poli-Sci dept. is known in the South), but I know that UNO is not quite known as other schools in my area (like Tulane, Loyola, LSU) and it's not a big name school, so I may be suffering from some insecurity over that.

    I personally loved my three years of law school, but that was because I was not at a school where grades were considered particularly important. There was competition over law journal, jobs and clerkships, and stress around exam periods, but it was nothing like what my friends described at other schools. I had friends leave Harvard because the environment and competition was so unpleasant, whereas, the de-emphasis on grades at my school led to a pretty collegial and supportive environment.
    May I ask where you went to school? It sounds like a great environment.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    Thanks for the tips. I'm taking a Testmasters course (I got a half off coupon because they visited my school's Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and they offered those coupons to those who answered a logical reasoning question correctly). My biggest issue is the time-management and I know I need a lot of work on that. They also stressed the essay portion because I was told that there are examples of people doing well on the LSAT but not putting much effort on the essay portion and getting rejected from law schools because of that. I also enjoy writing, so that would most likely be the part I would enjoy the most (that and reading comprehension).
    A review course definitely will help, as will just doing a lot of practice questions.

    I know jobs are very scarce right now (almost all of my friends who finished law school are having a hard time finding jobs) and I really am not doing it for the money. I would love to work for the public sector or non-profit and I know that's not where you go for high, glamorous living that is usually perpetuated for lawyers. I also love reading about the law, and I find judicial opinions to be fascinating. Every time there's a controversial law passed (like Arizona's immigration law and now Georgia) or a high-profile case (like the Westboro church v. Snyder), I like to see if my opinions, after reading the facts, are anywhere close to the real outcome.
    That's good to hear. I will say, based on personal experience, that it is much more difficult to actually go into public interest when you are facing a mountain of debt. I had always thought I would do public interest, and I'm now into my 16th year of private practice, mainly at large firms. Part of that was financial. I also discovered, after working on several law school clinics, the emotional toll a lot of public interest work takes on lawyers. I have all the respect for people who can handle constant life-and-death cases, but it took too much out of me and I could not see doing that for a career.

    You're right about that. I'm going to visit NYU and Brooklyn law in October, so I can see if I even like New York. I have family and friends in NYC so that was one reason why I wanted to go to law school there, but I'm also considering other places as well. I was actually thinking about CUNY as well because they are known for having a diverse student body and their public interest clinics. Also, Ruth Bader Ginsberg gave a testimonial for it, so that caught my eye.
    CUNY's an interesting school. One of my law school classmates is the dean there. But your options may be limited there.

    Something else to keep in mind is where you might want to practice. Some schools have excellent alumni networks that help with post-graduate placements. Others have particularly good reputations in certain cities, but are not well-respected outside of the region.

    IMO, the University of New Orleans is very respectable school and we are known for our academic research (I also think our Poli-Sci dept. is known in the South), but I know that UNO is not quite known as other schools in my area (like Tulane, Loyola, LSU) and it's not a big name school, so I may be suffering from some insecurity over that.
    I don't know anything about UNO, but your school might be able to provide some information on where past alums have gone to law school. That might give you an idea of how the school is perceived. Bear in mind that very strong grades, good recommendations, and a high LSAT will offset some doubts about a school.

    May I ask where you went to school? It sounds like a great environment.
    I went to Yale in the early 1990s, and it was an amazing experience. The first year is designed to foster collegiality. There are no grades (just pass/fail) in the first semester and your four core courses have one "small group" of about 15 people and three larger classes that combine two to four small groups. As a result, your small group members are in all of your classes. That makes it pretty easy to form study groups and divvy up outlines. The "small group" also is a designated legal research and writing course. I believe some other law schools have similar programs (I think University of Texas for one), but I'm not sure the classes are set up the same way.

  4. #24
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    That's excellent!! Congratulations!!
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  5. #25

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    Congrats!! Don't ruin it with law school, lol Work for a lawyer first, or find a few to shadow to make sure that's what you want.
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  6. #26
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    Congrats!

  7. #27
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    Congratulations BA and Good Luck in Law School!!!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coco View Post
    Congrats!! Don't ruin it with law school, lol Work for a lawyer first, or find a few to shadow to make sure that's what you want.
    LOL. I had to take a capstone course where we had a different Poli-Sci professor presenting a topic and journal article every week. We were assigned a professor and were responsible to facilitate that particular discussion. One person lucked out because one professor decided to use his week as an opportunity to recruit us for his public administration masters program. I must say that it sounded really tempting.

    But I've decided on law school already. When/If I get in, I'll let you guys know how my first semester turns out and you guys can say "I told you so."
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    But I've decided on law school already. When/If I get in, I'll let you guys know how my first semester turns out and you guys can say "I told you so."
    I think we're trying to dissuade you because of the dire job market and the crushing debt. Most of my friends who graduated law school in the past few years haven't found law-related jobs yet, let alone anything high-paying that would make a significant dent into their loans. The only one who has claims she got her gig because she's fluent in Chinese. If you want to go that route, learning Chinese and heading to the east coast probably isn't a bad idea either.

    Congrats with the BA and good luck to whatever you choose to do! Even if it is law school.

  10. #30
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    Congratulations. This is a very special time in your life. Enjoy it and soak it in. Word of advice. Try hard to stay in touch with your college friends. I let too many of those friendships go by the wayside and I regret it.

  11. #31

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    Congratulations!

  12. #32
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    My nephew just graduated from NYU law and loved it...he's joining a big law firm in LA but I think he has his eye on something beyond that eventually. Just like undergrad, some places are great but not the right fit for you, so inspect carefully.

    And congrats!
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

  13. #33
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    Congratulations!!!!!

  14. #34
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    Thank you everyone!

    I'm applying for jobs right now in the meantime and focusing on studying for the LSAT and being active in my volunteer work. I'm hoping the time off will be productive for me.
    "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce

  15. #35
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    Hey congrats!

    On the LSAT, the logic puzzles were my favorite part. Once you learn the tricks, they are fun.

    Law school isn't bad at all. It has its rites of passage, but it isn't as stuffy as it is made out to be (depending on the school).

    Think about Washington, DC schools too. DC has a lot to offer law students. Some of them have courses where you get credits for interning with judges, agencies, non-profits, on the Hill etc. I worked for a Federal judge and for Amtrak during school, and it made the study of law feel more practical. The contrast between court and corporate was interesting.
    I think I will have a snack and take a nap before I eat and go to sleep.

  16. #36
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    Congratulations!

    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    Also, a friend of mine convinced me to go ahead and do it when he told me that I should wear it like Mr. T and "pity the fool" who thinks I'm elitist.
    Hey - you earned those cords - flaunt them!

    I'm in the corporate world and I never ceased to be amazed by how many people in different (non-counsel) positions I run into who have law degrees. The skills you'll develop - analytical reasoning, cogent writing, discipline, not to mention the ability to understand contracts - would serve you well in any number of professions, so even if you end up not practicing law, I think you'll have many more options available to you with a law degree than without.
    "I miss footwork that has any kind of a discernible pattern. The goal of a step sequence should not be for a skater to show the same ice coverage as a Zamboni and take about as much time as an ice resurface. " ~ Zemgirl, reflecting on a pre-IJS straight line sequence

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    However, I'm also looking at schools from all tiers because I know that if I only look at tier 1 and tier 2 schools, I may end up with nothing but rejection letters. Plus, the biggest factor that I need to consider when I choose a school is financial aid packages. I know I have to take out loans no matter what to live on, but I want to minimize my debt as much as possible.
    As someone with major student loans I cannot emphasize how important that is, especially if your school isn't tier 1. Good for keeping it in mind. Less debt will also help give you more flexibility in what you choose to practice (ie. not corporate law if it's not what you prefer).

    Congratulations and best of luck!!!

  18. #38

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    Congratulations! This is just the beginning, go for it!

  19. #39

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    Congratulations, and good luck with your legal endeavors!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    I'm going to let the LSAT score sort of dictate where I should shoot. However, my dream school in NYU.
    As an alum, I must say, you have great taste in law schools! One thing I loved about NYU is that their career department is very aggressive about helping all its students get jobs. That's important when the economy stinks (although it'll probably be good again by the time you graduate).

    Your reasons for going to law school are good. I'd be worried if you said you were going to law school because you don't know what else to do with your life. Far too many college grads do that, and usually end up unhappy.

    Btw, I disagree about NYU being very "cut-throat." I'd say it is hard to get into, but once you are in, it is less cut-throat than many other top-tier law schools, although the students naturally are competitive, of course. You'll definitely make friends while of course studying hard.
    Last edited by Cheylana; 06-01-2011 at 11:13 PM.
    "Marge, if you're going to get mad at me every time I do something stupid, then I guess I'm just going to have to stop doing stupid things!" - Homer Simpson in the Mr. Plow episode

  20. #40

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    Congratulations on graduating! And best of luck on the LSAT! I don't know that I could recommend law school to someone now, given the state of the legal job market these days, but if you know that this is what you want, the legal profession can be a very good one.

    I also agree with Cheylana that NYU is not cutthroat. Columbia, now that's a different story.

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