Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

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sdonaldson
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Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby sdonaldson » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:03 am

I've got the time and I spend a fair number of hours thinking about this every day, so I figured I'd toss in my stuff here.

Graduated college (fine art) in '96. Been building a steady career in advertising ever since, pretty senior now (personal income range $140,000 - $160,000), but unhappy overall with advertising. Gave a lot of thought to a career change, settled on law and law school.

GPA from college sucks the big donkey: 2.9. Studied for the LSAT over the summer, got a 157. Not that great, but not absolutely miserable either. A hair above average, which is fine considering how long it's been since I've been tested regularly, although I recognize that's a weak argument. Anyway, the score is what it is.

Applied to the part-time evening programs in the area (live in the UWS of Manhattan with wife and daughter): Fordham, Brooklyn, NYLS, Pace, and Touro.

Fordham denied, but I expected that. Fordham was my "would be nice to get in" application, but never really had a shot.

Brooklyn denied me. Based on their 2009 entering class stats, thought I had a better shot considering my resume and professional experience. Regardless, I get the sense that a lot of undergrads are hiding from the miserable economy by continuing their educations (and rightfully so). Still, getting that rejection letter sucked.

Touro gave me the thumbs up and with a $8,500 merit award. Would be nice, but I work downtown and leaving the office every day at 4:00 or 4:30 to drive 50 miles to Touro--even if only for a year before transferring, which I would do if necessary--is an argument I don't believe the best lawyer in the world could sell to my boss.

So now I'm waiting to hear from NYLS and Pace. NYLS is two subway stations from my office. I could walk there, if necessary. In terms of convenience, well, it's the most convenient. And I don't care about rankings or tiers as, at my age, the goal is to do my own thing upon passing the bar. Joining a firm and working 80+ hours / week for someone else is not on the radar. (Again, the career choices post-bar is not the point here, just an fyi.) In other words, NYLS could be the worse school in the world as far as US News was concerned--I simply don't buy into it.

So with the shitty GPA (2.9), average LSAT score (157), but with thirteen years professional experience, what do you think? Think NYLS is gonna give me the thumbs up?

Either way, good luck to everyone getting into the schools of their choices this year.

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Jay-Electronica
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby Jay-Electronica » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:05 am

Youre making 140-160k right now????

Is staying in your current career field an option??

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Ken
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby Ken » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:07 am

Your GPA is holding you back. Unless you really want to practice law, you may want to consider business school as B schools look much less at GPA and more at how you have fared in the word world, which clearly has been successful.

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Jay-Electronica
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby Jay-Electronica » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:09 am

Ken wrote:Your GPA is holding you back. Unless you really want to practice law, you may want to consider business school as B schools look much less at GPA and more at how you have fared in the word world, which clearly has been successful.

+ 1

The law schools you are going to get into will not give you much in regards to career prospects.

An MBA is the way to go.

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Trifles
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby Trifles » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:10 am

People with worse numbers then you got into NYLS last year, http://newyork.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/0809/

You are above the 75% for their LSAT, and just below the 25% GPA, I think you are in.

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kswiss
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby kswiss » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:11 am

I am by no means an expert, but can't you retake the LSAT? Right now you have low stats in general....if you popped your LSAT up 5-10 points, you could make up for the GPA pretty quick.

sdonaldson
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby sdonaldson » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:12 am

I smell what you stepped in, Ken, but I see a law degree and practicing law as infinitely more defined than what's feasible with a business degree. Further, most of my clients are MBAs and, while they do get stuck in large corporate cultures (mostly pharmaceutical and CPG companies), I've never been overly impressed with the thinking they bring to the table. Too textbook and not enough street smarts (if you know what I mean).

Granted, I've had it on the radar since Brooklyn denied me as, on average, higher education is what often stands between a good income and a great income. Recognizing it's not all about income, I settled on law as I'm confident that based on my experience, personality, skill set, etc., that it would be a good fit for me.

Again, for whatever it's worth . . .

sdonaldson
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby sdonaldson » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:14 am

I hear you, KSwiss. Thought of it. If I start a 4-year part-time program in 2010, I'll be 41 by the time I graduate. In other words, I'm hoping to make a more sooner rather than later.

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AlanShore
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby AlanShore » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:15 am

I think you have a very solid shot at NYLS. Your lsat is 75th and your gpa is just below 25th. You have good work experience so you have a great shot.

That being said.. a career change into law isn't necessarily bad.. but are you realistically willing to go through this debt to make 40,000 when you're making a very good salary right now? There is also a chance, and its actually a reasonable chance, that you may be unemployed upon graduation because the NY market is so tough and NYLS is not really too respected there. If you're willing to risk these things to practice law then go for it!

You obviously know how to become successful at something and hopefully the same will happen in law.

sdonaldson
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby sdonaldson » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:20 am

Thanks for the kind words, Alanshore.

(I'm usually not active on the message boards here. Wife's out with the baby tonight, so just chillin' at home and have the time.)

Regarding the income and current career. Advertising is more lucrative than people may think simply b/c advertising is so pervasive: it's everywhere. Of course, it's extremely prone to swings in the economy (was laid off for several months before my daughter was born in November), but if you keep your ear to the ground, in a few years, you can make a few bucks. And I'm on the agency side of the business. The publisher sales side is hugely more lucrative. My wife had a few years, selling for a top health site, where I think she banked just under $300K / year. And I believe a few of her coworkers, those with the best accounts, came close to half a mil. I mean, that's big time.

But this is Manhattan, of course. My income makes me middle class (to use an outdated term), at best. I'm not complaining, but I'm certainly not living on easy street, either.

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AlanShore
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby AlanShore » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:30 am

sdonaldson wrote:Thanks for the kind words, Alanshore.

(I'm usually not active on the message boards here. Wife's out with the baby tonight, so just chillin' at home and have the time.)

Regarding the income and current career. Advertising is more lucrative than people may think simply b/c advertising is so pervasive: it's everywhere. Of course, it's extremely prone to swings in the economy (was laid off for several months before my daughter was born in November), but if you keep your ear to the ground, in a few years, you can make a few bucks. And I'm on the agency side of the business. The publisher sales side is hugely more lucrative. My wife had a few years, selling for a top health site, where I think she banked just under $300K / year. And I believe a few of her coworkers, those with the best accounts, came close to half a mil. I mean, that's big time.

But this is Manhattan, of course. My income makes me middle class (to use an outdated term), at best. I'm not complaining, but I'm certainly not living on easy street, either.

ah got it. well then it sounds like you do have the means to pay sticker for NYLS, even though I'm sure it would be easy. Good luck then!

If you don't mind telling, what don't you like about advertising?

sdonaldson
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby sdonaldson » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:37 am

What don't I like about advertising? Long, long story. Longer than what would be appropriate for this board, but the short answer is that, in advertising, there are no laws. What I mean is, there are basic guidelines that apply to advertising--audiences, media, etc.--but all of that can be thrown out the window on a client's whim (probably an MBA, to be honest--those people more concerned with promotions than driving product sales, but that too is a whole other story).

Granted, that's somewhat simplistic, but at least in law, there is a written law. Those laws may be interpreted a million different ways, but at least there is something on which lawyers can stand. In advertising, there is nothing as concrete and that, amigo, can become mightily frustrating to many, many advertising professionals.

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CoaltoNewCastle
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby CoaltoNewCastle » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:28 am

This is insane. Even if you were looking at lower T14's I would say this is a bad idea. Dumping a job that makes good money to pay to go to a low-ranking law school when even graduates from T14's are having serious trouble finding jobs is crazy. This is a terrible idea. At the very least, prep for the LSAT and get a much better score. Law school right now is a bad idea for most people, and T2 and below law school is terrible idea for almost everybody. I believe NYLS is T3. Students coming out of that school are lucky if they get the 30k per year jobs that people expect that they might have to "settle" for. If you hate advertising that much, go into some other career field that has jobs or doesn't penalize you so much for your UGPA and averagish test results.

Edit: I know you say that career choices don't matter. But you may come out of law school having no choices in the field of law.

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IAFG
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby IAFG » Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:35 am

sdonaldson wrote:But this is Manhattan, of course. My income makes me middle class (to use an outdated term), at best. I'm not complaining, but I'm certainly not living on easy street, either.

Do you have a reason to believe you will be able to earn a similar or better income with a law degree from a school in your range?

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AlanShore
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby AlanShore » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:54 am

IAFG wrote:
sdonaldson wrote:But this is Manhattan, of course. My income makes me middle class (to use an outdated term), at best. I'm not complaining, but I'm certainly not living on easy street, either.

Do you have a reason to believe you will be able to earn a similar or better income with a law degree from a school in your range?

I don't think he expects to make a similar income and he is o.k. with that.

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby Sauer Grapes » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:06 am

....
Last edited by Sauer Grapes on Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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AlanShore
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby AlanShore » Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:50 am

Sauer Grapes wrote:Money isn't everything (it certainly does help).

As long as OP realizes that he WILL be taking a pay cut when he graduates from NYLS, I don't judge him for wanting to try something different.

I have my reasons for wanting a change in career, and I probably won't increase my salary at all. There is also the opportunity cost of going to school for 3 years if I do full time.

Some of you posters in your young 20's will realize in 5-10 years that there really are more important things than making a lot of bank. I'm not judging those that have being rich as a goal. I don't think there is anything wrong with having money. I just think that realizing there are more important things in life is very important.

+1.

sdonaldson
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby sdonaldson » Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:23 am

Yeah, money is definitely not everything. And again, the goal is not to take the bar and join a law firm and work my way up. My goal is to do my own thing so, like any business, it'll take some time to get going in terms of income, but that's to be expected.

Woozy
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby Woozy » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:01 pm

Won't try to talk you out of going to whatever school you want, as with your plan it doesn't seem as important.

However, that does not mean you shouldn't consider retaking the LSAT. You need to do a cost/benefit analysis because according to LSN, last year at NYLS people with 160+ and <3.0 often got quite decent scholarships thrown at them. Thats only a few more questions correct. If another 40-80 hours of studying could net you up to $90k, that's over $1000/hr.

Looking at LSN, everyone with a 157 got in to NYLS last year, a few had GPAs down in the 2.6 range and still got in. So, even if it is tougher this year, your chances have to be pretty decent. However, of the 157s, only the ones above 3 were getting any scholarships.

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goosey
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby goosey » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:12 pm

I agree with those that recommend retaking the lsat. Your 13 years of WE will give people a reason to overlook the gpa if you have an lsat that is higher. I think that if you raise it you have better options (like cardozo part-time) and that would be the better route than to just go to nyls. As it stands, you can start studying for the june lsat, get the best score possible, apply to cardozo's january entry (if you have the option to not work, because I believe they are day classes) and it will be as if you started fall '10 because you finish your first yr by the end of the summer. If working is necessary, then its worth retaking and applying next cycle and trying for fordham pt again.

I am not too familiar with how schools on the lower end stack up against eachother, but wouldnt st.johns be better than nyls? have you applied there pt?

sdonaldson
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby sdonaldson » Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:49 pm

Thanks for the input.

Not working while going to school is not an option: have only applied to evening programs. That also means I'm going to miss a fair amount of watching my 5-week old daughter grow up over the next four years, so really, if I'm not accepted, it ain't exactly the end of the world.

Retaking the LSAT is a solid approach, but I had been laid off when I studied for 8 weeks for the test in September so I had hours upon hours every day to hit the books. Could I break 160? It's possible as it only means a few more correct questions, although I'm unsure if I'm willing to sacrifice another year (again, at my age, 36, which makes me an old, old man . . . ha, just kidding) to try and do that. So the question becomes, if accepted, what's more valuable: a year of my time or the POSSIBILITY of scholarship money?

Keep in mind, all this stems simply from my impatience with waiting for notice from both NYLS and Pace. Worse case scenario, I go to Touro (who has accepted me) for a year and then transfer--granted I can sell my boss on the idea of letting me go at 4 every day (and if I want to be a lawyer, creating a solid argument is part of the job, no?) and I don't go insane before that time with all the travel.

Or I think about business school. Or I suck it up and make the best of my current career by trying to figure something out, whatever that something may be.

tesoro
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby tesoro » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:02 pm

sdonaldson wrote:Thanks for the input.

Not working while going to school is not an option: have only applied to evening programs. That also means I'm going to miss a fair amount of watching my 5-week old daughter grow up over the next four years, so really, if I'm not accepted, it ain't exactly the end of the world.

Retaking the LSAT is a solid approach, but I had been laid off when I studied for 8 weeks for the test in September so I had hours upon hours every day to hit the books. Could I break 160? It's possible as it only means a few more correct questions, although I'm unsure if I'm willing to sacrifice another year (again, at my age, 36, which makes me an old, old man . . . ha, just kidding) to try and do that. So the question becomes, if accepted, what's more valuable: a year of my time or the POSSIBILITY of scholarship money?

Keep in mind, all this stems simply from my impatience with waiting for notice from both NYLS and Pace. Worse case scenario, I go to Touro (who has accepted me) for a year and then transfer--granted I can sell my boss on the idea of letting me go at 4 every day (and if I want to be a lawyer, creating a solid argument is part of the job, no?) and I don't go insane before that time with all the travel.

Or I think about business school. Or I suck it up and make the best of my current career by trying to figure something out, whatever that something may be.


I'm not sure it has been said yet...

Almost all matriculants at any of the schools you're considering will have similar credentials (i.e., UG GPA/LSAT). These credentials are supposedly the best indicators of one's ability to perform in law school. As such, it's impossible to go in and expect that you will be in a position to transfer, because only 5%-10% of the class will have the GPA to do so, while 80%+ of the class will be chasing those high GPAs. In other words, tons of people who are equally as smart as you and share a similar drive will be competing for a very limited amount of transfer-eligible GPAs. With the tight curves to be expected in LS, the difference between a B and an A may be one careless misbubbling in a MC exam, or one minor point that you didn't go into enough depth on in a final exam.

The point being, attending Touro with the intent of transferring to NYLS may not be a good idea, because overwhelming odds say that you will not be able to transfer. If this happens, you may be forced to quit law school because quitting your job does not appear to be an option.

This is not a slight at your intelligence or ability to achieve one of the top class ranks at Touro. All I'm saying is, if in attending Touro you are REQUIRED to transfer after your 1L year, this may be a gamble that isn't worth taking.

I hope you get into NYLS/Pace. Good luck.

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goosey
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby goosey » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:30 pm

sdonaldson wrote:Thanks for the input.

Not working while going to school is not an option: have only applied to evening programs. That also means I'm going to miss a fair amount of watching my 5-week old daughter grow up over the next four years, so really, if I'm not accepted, it ain't exactly the end of the world.

Retaking the LSAT is a solid approach, but I had been laid off when I studied for 8 weeks for the test in September so I had hours upon hours every day to hit the books. Could I break 160? It's possible as it only means a few more correct questions, although I'm unsure if I'm willing to sacrifice another year (again, at my age, 36, which makes me an old, old man . . . ha, just kidding) to try and do that. So the question becomes, if accepted, what's more valuable: a year of my time or the POSSIBILITY of scholarship money?

Keep in mind, all this stems simply from my impatience with waiting for notice from both NYLS and Pace. Worse case scenario, I go to Touro (who has accepted me) for a year and then transfer--granted I can sell my boss on the idea of letting me go at 4 every day (and if I want to be a lawyer, creating a solid argument is part of the job, no?) and I don't go insane before that time with all the travel.

Or I think about business school. Or I suck it up and make the best of my current career by trying to figure something out, whatever that something may be.


I live near Touro and depending on what time classes start, 4 may not be early enough (unless they start at 6) but really, being on the LIE at 4-5 is not fun. from nyc it will easily take you over an hour. why not st johns or hofstra? theyre MUCH closer to nyc. hofstra has part time and I *think* st johns does too. touro just seems so out of the way, and while its good to have an acceptance in hand, I would think st johns or hofstra are much better options, even if only for travel issues.

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Nom Sawyer
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby Nom Sawyer » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:41 pm

sdonaldson wrote:Thanks for the input.

Not working while going to school is not an option: have only applied to evening programs. That also means I'm going to miss a fair amount of watching my 5-week old daughter grow up over the next four years, so really, if I'm not accepted, it ain't exactly the end of the world.

Retaking the LSAT is a solid approach, but I had been laid off when I studied for 8 weeks for the test in September so I had hours upon hours every day to hit the books. Could I break 160? It's possible as it only means a few more correct questions, although I'm unsure if I'm willing to sacrifice another year (again, at my age, 36, which makes me an old, old man . . . ha, just kidding) to try and do that. So the question becomes, if accepted, what's more valuable: a year of my time or the POSSIBILITY of scholarship money?

Keep in mind, all this stems simply from my impatience with waiting for notice from both NYLS and Pace. Worse case scenario, I go to Touro (who has accepted me) for a year and then transfer--granted I can sell my boss on the idea of letting me go at 4 every day (and if I want to be a lawyer, creating a solid argument is part of the job, no?) and I don't go insane before that time with all the travel.

Or I think about business school. Or I suck it up and make the best of my current career by trying to figure something out, whatever that something may be.


Money is not the most important thing... but your family definitely is near the top. With the fact of a newborn daughter added into the equation, I really don't think going to law school is the best option for you at this point. Consider:

1) Trying to do part-time/transferring/working is difficult to manage, will hurt your grades, and also leave you very limited time to spend with a family that needs you

2) The exit options for these school choices, even with your background and goals, are uncertain and not guaranteed in anyway.

3) Your income right now is quite high, especially compared with anything you can get first year (and probably for several others) out of Law school. This comes out to opportunity costs equaling perhaps 2-6 years of salary... an extremely high price.

I think at where you are in your life, you might want to figure out exactly what your desires are and balance them against a realistic appraisal of what each choice will result in. If just continuing at your regular job does not have too many negatives in it and will allow you to spend time with your new daughter, I think that might be your best option for now.

sdonaldson
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Re: Will? He? Go? All? The? Way?

Postby sdonaldson » Fri Jan 08, 2010 2:45 pm

Hofstra doesn't have an evening program and St. John's, slim chance of getting in there. And I realize Touro is massively inconvenient. It's definitely a worse case scenario.




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