Belmont Law in Nashville

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The Roman

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Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby The Roman » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:01 am

I've done a search on the site for opinions of this particular school, and the consensus seems to be to not go. However, Belmont has recently become provisionally accredited by the ABA, so the degree is no longer 100% crap. My plan is to, hopefully, attend Belmont and transfer over to Vanderbilt in the second year. I didn't do so well with my undergrad GPA (3.17) because of slacking off when I was younger. It was worse than that, but as I grew older I realized I needed to finish college and buckled down to get it back up to a half way respectable number, all while working full time and raising a family. This also presents another issue, in that I can't uproot my family and move. Nashville is where we'll have to stay, and Belmont seems to be my only option. I feel like if I can kick some major tail my first year there that Vandy may consider me, or am I just convincing myself of a fairy tale?

Thanks for the input.

My current LSAT score is a 151. I'm actually studying this time around instead of trying to wing it, so that score should improve in June. Career goals would be a big firm, in town of course.

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johnnyquest

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby johnnyquest » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:20 am

Never go to a place planning to "kick tail" and trans, because the odds are stacked against you. Everyone else in the class will be thinking the same thing. The best way to get into Vandy is to sit out this cycle and retake the LSAT. Study like a mad man and score into the high 160s and you have a good shot. Your odds are much better to do that than to finish in the top 1% and hope Vandy takes you.

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McAvoy

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby McAvoy » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:25 am

You should never go somewhere with the intent to transfer, especially to a school as selective as Vandy.

If you can't move from Nashville, don't go to law school. You will have difficulty getting any job from Belmont, and even if you would somehow get to Vanderbilt, TLS wisdom says it's almost impossible to get a job in Nashville. (Or at least a job capable of servicing Vandy debt)

If you really want to be a lawyer, you should continue working and retake until you get to 168-169. Vandy would probably admit you when you hit that, but you'll still have to take a lot of debt and probably have to move somewhere else; however, you'd be in a far superior situation than if you would matriculate at Belmont.

The Roman

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby The Roman » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:28 am

I've been reading that good grades in law school are not something that someone should plan for. It just seems so odd coming from undergrad, which was really a cake walk even with working 55+ hours a week and taking care of a family. I have been studying like crazy every day, even during work. Practice tests are looking better and better.

Thank you for the advice.

The Roman

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby The Roman » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:31 am

I have my heart set on becoming a lawyer. As far as moving, let me rephrase. I am not able to move during school. After, if I receive job offers from firms, I will be able to. Not that it won't be difficult, but having a job in hand makes it that much easier.

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McAvoy

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby McAvoy » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:32 am

The Roman wrote:I have my heart set on becoming a lawyer. As far as moving, let me rephrase. I am not able to move during school. After, if I receive job offers from firms, I will be able to. Not that it won't be difficult, but having a job in hand makes it that much easier.

Then, yeah, kill that test and get to Vandy.

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cotiger

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby cotiger » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:33 am

The Roman wrote:I've been reading that good grades in law school are not something that someone should plan for. It just seems so odd coming from undergrad, which was really a cake walk even with working 55+ hours a week and taking care of a family. I have been studying like crazy every day, even during work. Practice tests are looking better and better.

Thank you for the advice.


UG wasn't a cakewalk if you got a 3.17.

If your goal is biglaw as you say, then going to Vandy is the only option.

If you would be satisfied with general legal employment in TN, then getting a high LSAT and going to UT for low cost might also be an acceptable-ish outcome. You could commute home during the weekends.

There're really no other options. As it is, those two (Vandy with bigdebt and UT with medium debt) aren't actually ones that I would recommend, but if you absolutely must go..

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yeslekkkk

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby yeslekkkk » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:37 am

I lived about a mile from Belmont. I took the LSAT there actually. The law building is very beautiful. However, I feel like no one should really go there. I highly doubt Vandy would be impressed by good grades from Belmont Law. They're too unknown If you're not willing to stay at Belmont for three years, then don't go there. Retake and go to Vanderbilt or go to Nashville School of Law.

The only thing I recommend doing at Belmont Law is taking the LSAT there. It was pretty chill and good testing facilities.

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bugsy33

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby bugsy33 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:50 am

Despite what everyone on here says, I think Belmont is decent school and a hell of a lot better than some of the other TTT's out there. If you can raise your LSAT to above a 160 and go for close to a full ride I think it could be a decent option. I have a friend studying there now and he seems to like it.

The problem with new, or new-ish law schools is that there is no alumni base to connect with for jobs. Even well respected schools like Penn State and Michigan State struggle with employing grads in part to a lack of loyal legal alumni.

In law school you pay for the name on your degree. The education is roughly the same everywhere. Belmont does not have a name (yet), so keep that in mind.

The Roman

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby The Roman » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:56 am

cotiger wrote:
The Roman wrote:I've been reading that good grades in law school are not something that someone should plan for. It just seems so odd coming from undergrad, which was really a cake walk even with working 55+ hours a week and taking care of a family. I have been studying like crazy every day, even during work. Practice tests are looking better and better.

Thank you for the advice.


UG wasn't a cakewalk if you got a 3.17.

If your goal is biglaw as you say, then going to Vandy is the only option.

If you would be satisfied with general legal employment in TN, then getting a high LSAT and going to UT for low cost might also be an acceptable-ish outcome. You could commute home during the weekends.

There're really no other options. As it is, those two (Vandy with bigdebt and UT with medium debt) aren't actually ones that I would recommend, but if you absolutely must go..


UG wasn't a major focus of mine until recently. I slacked off when I was fresh out of high school, and generally didn't care. Went back to finish as an adult degree student, and did well. My GPA was worse, and I brought it up to the 3.17.

I kind of already knew that Vandy was my only option, which is why I've been studying very hard for the LSAT. A 151 is good enough to get into Belmont, but I don't think an upper 160/ lower 170 is out of my reach.

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TheSpanishMain

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby TheSpanishMain » Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:15 pm

Even Vandy isn't a lock for a big firm job, although it's obviously a hell of a lot better at Belmont. LST has them at about 36% for Big Law.

Here's the problem with your Belmont - > Vandy plan. Even if you could somehow transfer to Vandy, you'd be paying sticker price. At that level of debt, Big Law isn't a preference. It's a necessity. A necessity you have about a 65% chance of missing.

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bugsy33

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby bugsy33 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:21 pm

The Roman wrote: I've been studying very hard for the LSAT. A 151 is good enough to get into Belmont, but I don't think an upper 160/ lower 170 is out of my reach.


It's important to also have realistic expectations. A 170 puts you in the top 2.6% of test takers, even a 167 puts you in the top 5%. If you're testing at 151 now you could realistically expect a 10 point jump maximum. Some people are able to get a 15 point jump, but it's extremely rare. The average re-taker experiences a 2-3 point gain. If you can get into Vandy then great, but there is a large, large gap between the two. UT would be the most realistic option for you if you can get between a 158-160.

It's too bad you're so geographically limited, you're stuck between a rock and a hard place in Nashville. Again, I think Belmont at close to a full ride wouldn't be a terrible option for you, just don't expect to transfer.

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deadpanic

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby deadpanic » Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:26 pm

As a practicing TN attorney, I can tell you that you are not in a good situation. Nashville is an extremely competitive job market--there are plenty of lawyers in Nashville and not many jobs. You have to be flexible geographically and retake the LSAT if you actually want to become a lawyer. Belmont, even for free, is likely a waste of your time. You probably won't even get a job as a lawyer. Tennessee has a ridiculous amount of horrible law schools now and not enough markets to support them. For Tennessee, your only options should be UT, Vandy or possibly Memphis if you want to work in Memphis or West TN.

The only other option I MAY recommend would be Nashville School of Law. It is of course unaccredited and they take anyone with a pulse, but around Nashville there are lots of small firm alums. So, if you wanted to do divorces in Goodlettsville/Gallatin or some other nearby small town and are fine with making 35-40k, it isn't a terrible option and is pretty affordable. But still, your chances of finding legal employment are not good so I can't fully tell you to go that route. Most small firms that would hire from NSOL don't have the case load to take on a new associate and pay a non-commission associate salary.

You should really retake.

The Roman

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby The Roman » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:04 pm

So, I need to get into Vandy. Only way to do that is to kill the LSAT. Undergrad GPA isn't great, but I did graduate from Lipsomb University and received their highest honor, the SALT Scholar award, so maybe that will help. I looked into Nashville School of Law, and it isn't going to work for me. I can be flexible geographically once out of law school. I'll just have to be.

I also realize that a very small percentage of people score in the 170's, but if I want to be an attorney with my limited circumstances, what other choice do I have?

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TheSpanishMain

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby TheSpanishMain » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:08 pm

How commited are you to Big Law? As I said, even Vandy isn't a great choice if you're Big Law or bust.

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby The Roman » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:15 pm

Big Law is my first choice, but not something I absolutely HAVE to have.

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby arklaw13 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:29 pm

Vandy probably takes the number one student from Belmont every year at most. Don't waste your time when you have no idea what your grades will be like. Get as high an LSAT as you possibly can. If you can get a 169 you would have a pretty decent shot. Looks like the lowest LSAT someone had who had lower than a 3.2 was a 165 according to this year's LSN.

Also, no one gives a shit about the SALT award for community service stuff. Sorry to be harsh, but law schools really only care about four things when they are considering whether to admit you:

1) your LSAT
2) your GPA
3) whether you are a URM
4) whether you have a criminal history

That's it. Study for the LSAT, get a good score, and you'll have a shot. If you can't get a decent score, think about another career. Not that getting a bad LSAT means you want be a decent lawyer, it just means that you can't get into a school that will give you a reasonable chance of practicing law.

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TheSpanishMain

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby TheSpanishMain » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:30 pm

The Roman wrote:Big Law is my first choice, but not something I absolutely HAVE to have.


Just know if you take on a lot of debt at Vandy, you NEED Big Law, and Big Law is still unlikely from Vandy. It's more likely than it would be at Belmont by far, but it's still a less than 50% shot. You're just really in a tight spot if you must stay in Nashville for school. I think a better move for you would be to look at a big scholarship from UT.

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby Nomo » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:41 pm

The Roman wrote:I've been reading that good grades in law school are not something that someone should plan for. It just seems so odd coming from undergrad, which was really a cake walk even with working 55+ hours a week and taking care of a family.


You're aware there is a curve, right? You'll be surrounded by a bunch of people with nearly identical GPA's and LSAT scores and all of you will be trying to get to the top of that curve. But, half of you will be in the bottom half. Someone will be dead last. It could be you.

Also look at the LST score reports for Vanderbilt and Belmont. That will give you a pretty good idea of what your future job might be.

arklaw13

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby arklaw13 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:45 pm

Nomo wrote:
The Roman wrote:I've been reading that good grades in law school are not something that someone should plan for. It just seems so odd coming from undergrad, which was really a cake walk even with working 55+ hours a week and taking care of a family.


You're aware there is a curve, right? You'll be surrounded by a bunch of people with nearly identical GPA's and LSAT scores and all of you will be trying to get to the top of that curve. But, half of you will be in the bottom half. Someone will be dead last. It could be you.

Also look at the LST score reports for Vanderbilt and Belmont. That will give you a pretty good idea of what your future job might be.


LST doesn't have Belmont's data. Hasn't started reporting employment to ABA yet I guess.

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ZGr88n

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby ZGr88n » Mon Apr 28, 2014 3:49 pm

arklaw13 wrote:
Nomo wrote:
The Roman wrote:I've been reading that good grades in law school are not something that someone should plan for. It just seems so odd coming from undergrad, which was really a cake walk even with working 55+ hours a week and taking care of a family.


You're aware there is a curve, right? You'll be surrounded by a bunch of people with nearly identical GPA's and LSAT scores and all of you will be trying to get to the top of that curve. But, half of you will be in the bottom half. Someone will be dead last. It could be you.

Also look at the LST score reports for Vanderbilt and Belmont. That will give you a pretty good idea of what your future job might be.


LST doesn't have Belmont's data. Hasn't started reporting employment to ABA yet I guess.


I think their first class is currently in their final year.

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yeslekkkk

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby yeslekkkk » Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:33 pm

It sounds like you should find a job, study, and reapply once you are geographically flexible enough to at least expand your options to UT. Remember, just because you get a good enough LSAT score does not mean they'll admit you. Law schools do look at other factors, and it's not smart to plan your life on retaking, getting that score, and getting into that one law school. You have to be more flexible.

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Motivator9

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby Motivator9 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 8:13 pm

yeslekkkk wrote:It sounds like you should find a job, study, and reapply once you are geographically flexible enough to at least expand your options to UT. Remember, just because you get a good enough LSAT score does not mean they'll admit you. Law schools do look at other factors, and it's not smart to plan your life on retaking, getting that score, and getting into that one law school. You have to be more flexible.


I agree. I never understand the rush people have to jump into law school. Take a year off to work then apply next year when you retake the LSAT.

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Louis1127

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby Louis1127 » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:26 pm

bugsy33 wrote:Some people are able to get a 15 point jump, but it's extremely rare.


It's not that rare on TLS.

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BankruptMe

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Re: Belmont Law in Nashville

Postby BankruptMe » Mon Apr 28, 2014 9:29 pm

Vandy for big law

UTK for a Tenn law job

or dont go



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