Please answer with thoughtfulness

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JohnBoy
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Please answer with thoughtfulness

Postby JohnBoy » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:53 pm

From my first class in undergrad, Constitutional Law, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. My initial reaction was the desire to attend a top twenty institution as it created more opportunity. I wasn't exactly sure where or what kind of law I wanted to practice, so I decided it would be best to keep as many doors open as I could. Attending a top twenty institution, in my opinion, was the best way to keep futures doors available. I studied five months for the LSAT, averaging 170 through roughly fifteen practice tests (my general range was 168-173). Come December I scored a 166, with a disheartening four wrong on the Logic Games section (normally its -0). My initial reaction was to retake in June, continuing to study and work while taking a year off. However, recently have been second guessing a retake as I feel Florida, where I currently live, might be a good place to practice. If I decide to live in Florida, would it be best to attend one of the top schools in Florida (UF, UMiami, Stetson, FSU) and try to get scholarship money since my numbers are above the 75th percentiles. Or, take on the excessive debt from a top twenty school, retake the LSAT, wait a year and become an attorney in Manhattan or DC. I know the law school doesn't make the lawyer necessarily, but how many doors are closed by attending a state school over a top14? Is it worth working 80+ hours a week versus a shorter amount in a smaller city?

I know we all get sidetracked from goals. I just don't want to have a midlife crisis in 25 years thinking I made the wrong decision.

scionb4
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Re: Please answer with thoughtfulness

Postby scionb4 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:55 pm

With thoughtfulness.

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MF248
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Re: Please answer with thoughtfulness

Postby MF248 » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:00 pm

Well what do you want to practice (Both what field and what type of job - Big Law, government, other), and where do you want to practice? Do you want to live in DC or Washington, or do you just think that's where the type of work you want to do is located?

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reasonabledoubt
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Re: Please answer with thoughtfulness

Postby reasonabledoubt » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:02 pm

JohnBoy wrote:From my first class in undergrad, Constitutional Law, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. My initial reaction was the desire to attend a top twenty institution as it created more opportunity. I wasn't exactly sure where or what kind of law I wanted to practice, so I decided it would be best to keep as many doors open as I could. Attending a top twenty institution, in my opinion, was the best way to keep futures doors available. I studied five months for the LSAT, averaging 170 through roughly fifteen practice tests (my general range was 168-173). Come December I scored a 166, with a disheartening four wrong on the Logic Games section (normally its -0). My initial reaction was to retake in June, continuing to study and work while taking a year off. However, recently have been second guessing a retake as I feel Florida, where I currently live, might be a good place to practice. If I decide to live in Florida, would it be best to attend one of the top schools in Florida (UF, UMiami, Stetson, FSU) and try to get scholarship money since my numbers are above the 75th percentiles. Or, take on the excessive debt from a top twenty school, retake the LSAT, wait a year and become an attorney in Manhattan or DC. I know the law school doesn't make the lawyer necessarily, but how many doors are closed by attending a state school over a top14? Is it worth working 80+ hours a week versus a shorter amount in a smaller city?

I know we all get sidetracked from goals. I just don't want to have a midlife crisis in 25 years thinking I made the wrong decision.


You can't take or expect this level of life advice from a forum. With that said, the thought process you're using above relies crucially on a few distinct presuppositions which may, in fact, not be as concrete as you think. In any case, shouldn't you be asking yourself (and only you can answer this) how much do you want to stay in Florida first? Secondly, top-20 + debt doesn't automatically = attorney in manhattan or dc. It doesn't limit your choices to that nor does it guarantee it. You have to make these decisions for yourself.

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guyincognito
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Re: Please answer with thoughtfulness

Postby guyincognito » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:02 pm

scionb4 wrote:With thoughtfulness.


TITCR

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reasonabledoubt
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Re: Please answer with thoughtfulness

Postby reasonabledoubt » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:03 pm

guyincognito wrote:
scionb4 wrote:With thoughtfulness.


TITCR


Whoa... the guys stache above and to the left is the TITCR.

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guyincognito
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Re: Please answer with thoughtfulness

Postby guyincognito » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:09 pm

Right you are sir. However, on tls it's abbreviated TITCM.

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scribelaw
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Re: Please answer with thoughtfulness

Postby scribelaw » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:12 pm

Depending on your GPA, you could get into a Top 20 school (BU, WUSTL) with a 166.

That LSAT would probably get you a nice $$ at FSU. UF isn't big on giving out merit money, I've heard.

It's really a personal decision. A 166 is a good score -- you can get into good schools with that. With a degree from UF/FSU, you can find legal work in Florida, but probably not much outside Florida.

If you retake and score 170+, you will probably have options in the T14, which seems like the only reliable shot at BigLaw. This path will involve a lot more debt.

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iShotFirst
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Re: Please answer with thoughtfulness

Postby iShotFirst » Thu Jan 21, 2010 7:14 pm

As someone above said, its hard to get this answer from a forum because its all about what YOU want. Florida is a great place and you have a great chance of getting scholarship money at these schools. To me quality of life is the key thing and thats why I, personally, am planning to take this route- scholarship money at a Florida school instead of doing top 20 at full price. I am also pretty debt averse. If I were you, I would apply to those Florida schools immediately, see what scholarships might pop up (but hurry cause theyve already given out a lot of the money), and make your decision based on that. No point in thinking too much about it now if you dont yet know your scholarship status in Florida.

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JohnBoy
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Re: Please answer with thoughtfulness

Postby JohnBoy » Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:21 pm

Very true. Maybe I'll ask more general questions where people's answers can sway my thinking as you may be more knowledgeable in the area of practicing law. I know big law refers to the top law offices in the country, but what does this mean in terms of hours worked? What is life in big law actually like? How does this compare to smaller firms? These types of questions will ultimately decide my course of action. If big law is a pleasant experience for a practicing attorney, then making the move to New York, D.C., Illinois, Texas would be worthwhile. However, if many of the attorneys in big law find it extremely draining/draconian then a decision to stay in Florida with lower amounts of debt may be a more efficient course. I'm curious as to what you, fellow posters, will do with your law degree. What is your rationale for these decisions?


I have a 3.7 GPA.

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JohnBoy
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Re: Please answer with thoughtfulness

Postby JohnBoy » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:40 pm

Also, when you say you cannot expect this level of advice on a forum, why not? You are all in similar positions. I think this is a better place to start than my parents or others who haven't put a fleeting thought into law school or being a lawyer. Usually a forum is the perfect place for advice on a narrow, specific area. Not many know what life is like in big law, unless you or a relative have worked in one. I'm certain someone on this forum has experience or knowledge.

Kobe_Teeth
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Re: Please answer with thoughtfulness

Postby Kobe_Teeth » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:45 pm

Honestly, if you know you want to work in FL and are going to get money from one of the FL schools that's a good avenue to go down. However, if prestige is important trying for a T-14 might be worth your while. From the numbers I see on TLS GULC, VA, Cornell and even some other T-14's seem within your grasp.

This is really your choice. I understand wanting to talk it out on TLS but you know your options. Talk to FL lawyers, talk to friends and family, they will have better advice than us.

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jgarr
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Re: Please answer with thoughtfulness

Postby jgarr » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:52 pm

I don't understand why you wouldn't spend the $ to retake. I was in the same boat - my first real test was a 166, and it was the first time I'd scored under 170 - I retook and significantly improved. It will open up more doors if you score higher. You can have more options and still choose a FL school - even use the other option as scholly leverage. Closing doors doesn't seem to make any sense in this situation.

Burger in a can
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Re: Please answer with thoughtfulness

Postby Burger in a can » Sun Jan 24, 2010 12:11 pm

retake.




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