Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

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romothesavior
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby romothesavior » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:49 am

zacharus85 wrote:
scottidsntknow wrote:
bjsesq wrote:
zacharus85 wrote:just make sure you are absolutely confident you won't be below average and you'll have a good shot.

How in the hell do you propose op does this, exactly?

Oh ok is this the key to doing well in law school? Crazy how no one had thought of this before.


First of all, 300K debt is stupid. If you go to law school and get into 300K debt, then you are stupid. I will be at about 90K post-grad, which, with a law firm job lined up, means it is very manageable.

Despite previous posters smart-assery, you CAN actually educate yourself about your abilities and chances. Here are some questions you should be asking yourself:

Q1: Do you have any legal experience?

Q2: Did you do well on the LSAT? (In and of itself it's a BS test, but it shows you can jump through BS hoops - welcome to law school!)

Q3: Did you do well in undergrad? If you can figure out what professors want and tailor exam answers to their expectations, you will do better than if you just go in and write

Q4: Do you have a study methodology researched and planned? I looked into how to 'study smart' that works with my learning style - most of it is no brainer stuff: do the reading, take notes on paper, no laptop in class, make my own outline from scratch, etc.

Q5: Have you researched and do you understand the geographic and practice areas you may want to enter?

Law school is a cost/benefit risk assessment - if you don't gauge your abilities and likelihood of success relative to the cost of going and potentially not making it, then you're not cut out to be a professional or, quite frankly, a functional adult. You can't know 'for sure' that you'll be above or below average, but there is a LOT of research you can do to figure out rough approximations. I waited 5+ years from undergrad until I was sure I was ready for law school, the hiring market would be there, and that I could handle the workload, understand the material, and be a prime candidate for legal employment thereafter.

For various reasons, I'm tied to DC - so that meant Georgetown and BigLaw in DC. I did as much research as possible, weighed the pros and cons, and decided that I could make it. My advice is that doing no less, you will statistically be fine even if you pay full sticker. If you flail around blindly and assume that you could never know anything about your chances/abilities, then nothing short of HYS and well-connected parents will save you.

Hey Zach I edited out the idiotic parts for you, hth

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psychmusic
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby psychmusic » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:31 am

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Last edited by psychmusic on Fri May 01, 2015 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Total Litigator
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby Total Litigator » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:11 am

Zach, why did you ED to Georgetown? With your numbers, I think you would have probably gotten a scholarship.

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Pragmatic Gun
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby Pragmatic Gun » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:43 am

He lives in DC and works there. Why would he uproot that?

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:59 pm

Pragmatic Gun wrote:He lives in DC and works there. Why would he uproot that?


This. I had been in DC at that point for 6 years, family in the area, long-term SO (now wife) whose family is also in the area, etc. In hindsight, I probably could've applied full-time and tried to negotiate financial aid, but A. I still wanted to keep working and B. I was afraid I might not get in to GULC at all.

To try and clarify my posts above (no one should have to read this much text - I'm not a succinct person): I in no way advocate coming right out of undergrad and going to any law school (short of T10-level) if you don't have a plan, a tolerance for risk, and an understanding that you will be wed to a BigLaw job (if you can get it), for a bare minimum of 5+ years.

The negativity about law school (and sticker debt) is well-founded - it sucks out here. My point was that there are things that can ameliorate risk and debt (and we didn't have info from OP to assume that he/she was fresh out of undergrad, with no savings, no significant other who can help with living expenses, family help, etc.). These include planning and research - people who go into school believing that the career office owes them a job are morons. Getting prior experience working in consulting, paralegal jobs, government, etc. is also good. Lurking on these forums was helpful for me (less so when I speak up, aha). And just working for a while and building up some savings is a good idea too.

The people I tend to see fail here at GULC are people that really didn't know why they were in law school, didn't figure out the (admittedly stupid) grading/hiring system, didn't show up to class or do the reading, and somehow expected the career services offices to hand them a job. There are probably very hard workers who got screwed - I don't mean to imply all people who got burned are failures. But I saw some pretty 'meh' GPA's get sweet jobs.

And also: if you can get into a better school and are not tied to the area, then of course do that. I think there are a lot of great things about GULC, but there's nothing GULC does that any of the other T14 can't do equally as well (or, I suspect, better) - and every little 'preftige' boost helps.

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UnicornHunter
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby UnicornHunter » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:30 pm

Yea duder, I think I said upthread that your plan sounded pretty good. It's just that without the context of all the things you'd done to set yourself up for success/mitigate the risk of law school, your advice sounded a lot like "just go and don't worry about that d."

arturobelano
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby arturobelano » Sun Mar 01, 2015 10:42 pm

Zach, I think the issue that others are taking is that you're trying to generalize from your clearly very particular experience. I think you have an extremely rare case that isn't even necessarily advisable for everyone in your position, and I think what the OP has both implicitly and explicitly communicated is nothing like your case. The OP has flown some pretty serious warning flags on this decision that would make me take pause before helping to rationalize a decision to go to any of these schools under this calculus - he just wants to move to DC without appropriately assessing job placement statistics being the most obvious one. I don't doubt your sentiment, but I don't think it's a good idea to post anything that can even be interpreted, if liberally, as encouraging of any of these decision (and particularly of taking on bonkers debt.)

OP, you would be better off moving to one of the less expensive areas of DC and mass-applying for non-legal jobs. The job market there for lawyers is awful, but DC metro is actually pretty good for entry/mid-range positions in most areas. It's burgeoning and leans very young - if you're just looking to move there, going to a non-T6 law school is probably non-productive for your ends.

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Pragmatic Gun
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby Pragmatic Gun » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:02 pm

Zach, we simply recommend you provide context so one may not take an irresponsible course of action.

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Capitol_Idea
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby Capitol_Idea » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:12 pm

Completely fair points. I do want to clarify that it's not just generalization of my own experience, but the synthesis of what I've seen work and not work from a number of colleagues at GULC (I'd guess around 40-50 people that I've gotten to know over the past 3 years, but don't hold me to that). Scientific? Of course not. But I'm not attempting to say, paraphrasing a previous poster: "I can haz law and you can too!"

irish921
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Re: Selecting a D.C./Mid-Atlantic School

Postby irish921 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:45 pm

Solid GeorgeTTTown anecdotes abound




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