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Borhas
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby Borhas » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:49 pm

scribelaw wrote:
Borhas wrote:If I were you I'd play up the transgendered aspect of your life, etc not just how you were oppressed, but how you overcame it and became a better person because of it, but you are going to do that anyway I hope. Just realize that a unique life isn't enough, you also need to write creatively, and succinctly. But even if you do that, your PS probably won't help THAT much.

Practice more for LSAT. LS admissions is a numbers game, it's not just, it's not fair, it doesn't measure your intelligence, it just is. So what if the LSAT is not what you are good at? Think of it as another obstacle to overcome.


If the LSAT is one thing, it's fair. It's a straightforward standardized test that anyone with the basic skills to be a decent law student can prepare for and get good at. There are no tricks. What wouldn't be fair is if law schools admitted people on whim, or tried to peer into the souls of people like the OP and divine that they are special snowflakes who would be better lawyers than people who actually studied for and performed well on the LSAT.

Also, these people who complain that the LSAT isn't a good judge because they don't do well under pressurized testing conditions -- what do you think law school is? And then BigLaw after that?


fair in the sense that everyone is judged by the same standard? yes I grant that, it's by far the biggest merit of the LSAT. God knows folks like me probably couldn't have competed in the olden days when the biggest test was the WASP?.

But, is it fair in the sense it's weighted in accordance with what it actually tests? No. Law schools seem to use it as an aptitude test. The way people study, take exams, and practice law seems to bear very little resemblance with the LSAT, but because it is standardized, and quantified, the test is given an unfair amount of weight. I used "fair" in that sense.

edited to be coherent

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PlugInBaby
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby PlugInBaby » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:56 pm

The whole original post just seems like an unfiltered expression of angst and frustration at the entire admissions process, and on that she certainly isn't alone. Forums such as these are good place to exorcise such frustration, but also a good place to get advice on how to convey to adcomms how you bounced back from adversity whether a tumultous childhood such as the OP had or someone wanting to write that perfect LOCI flattering the school while hiding the frustration of not getting in the first place. I would expect someone who excelled in college, GPA or not, and is a serious law student would know the time and place to let out such sentiment and how to repackage it to something far more flattering to the adcomms.

Perhaps I am giving her too much credit, but I feel inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt.

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whitman
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby whitman » Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:28 am

I feel your pain, OP, and I'm sorry you've had so many challenges, though it seems like you've shown great ability to rise above them. I admit to being one of your upper middle class white nerds who are good at standardized testing.

However, stereotyping and prejudice is what drove you out of high school, so you should think about your own attitudes. It is natural to strike back at those that are perceived as judgmental toward you, but it is not healthy. Some of us upper middle class white folk aren't that bad. Some of us have had challenges, too. Some of us aren't anything like the people who beat you and called you [HI I'M THE WORD FILTER. THIS PERSON MIGHT BE A DICK.]. And some of us are good at the LSAT, were fortunate enough to do okay at school, and yet are still good people.

I'm not trying to describe myself - I realize it sounded like I was just praising myself - but just remind you to not be so aggressively judgmental. It is fantastic that you have risen above your challenges, but I hope you can find peace and learn to focus on yourself and not blame others. Best of luck in your admissions process.

Robert398
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby Robert398 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:11 am

You need to be careful about how you handle expressing these ideas if you include some / any of them in a personal statement... don't for instance (IMO), claim that you just know you can be a better lawyer than those who score higher on LSAT..

qualster
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby qualster » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:14 am

actuallybasically wrote:Maybe I am just being a bit Pollyanna about all of this, but, it seems to me if I have a unique story and very strong case made in my personal statement, along with an undergraduate education specifically geared towards government, law, and policymaking, I have a really decent shot of getting into law school.

I just took my first (and only, hopefully) LSAT this February. Actually it was this past weekend. I think I got somewhere in the 150s range. I knew this test was not a strength of mine, and I stated in my applications before even taking the test that I went to an undergraduate institution which doesn't use ABCDF grades and standardized testing as a means of evaluation. Instead we have a system of self- and faculty evaluations of our performance. Then the professors decide how much credit we will receive for the work we did in a given quarter. My point is, testing under tightly-timed conditions is by no means my forte but to make up for that I am quite strong in my writing, communication, and also critical thinking skills BECAUSE I went to a school which focused on developing those attributes within its students. This isn't even mentioning the sometimes-obscure material we studied, which we examined from an interdisciplinary viewpoint. I am so happy I had a nonconventional education because I feel I know a whole lot about the world we live and and how it became the way it is that I might never would have otherwise known if I went to another school. I never had a professor who didn't know my name and personality, and I never had a classtime lecture with 100+ people. Thankfully.

Aside from my undergraduate education, I'm unique in the fact that I am part of a distinctly oppressed group in society. I made specific mention in my personal statements of how that affected my life and what I had done to resist the tides against me. Additionally I made the case of how I would be a groundbreaking pioneer if I was to attain a JD and actually do the type of work I wish to do with that degree. Actually all of the schools I have applied to (and I applied to 6-- again, am I being a Pollyanna?) have a JD-MA or LLM program in International Affairs or International Law so I specifically stated that I was applying to get two degrees. In other words, I wasn't just applying based on rankings, but was applying because of what the school OFFERED. I don't have the exact luxury of applying to 10-11-12-13-14 schools, because there just are not 14 schools that have a dual-degree program like I really want. Jeesh, I can't imagine how expensive that would be to apply to all of those schools! Before I decided to go to law school I was just going to apply for a Master's in International Affairs, but something clicked in me last Autumn and that all changed.

Maybe all of this is for naught. Maybe I won't get in, maybe all the hundreds of thousands of middle- and upper-class 'straight' white kids with well-bolstered backgrounds will take the spots I might have otherwise gotten at a law school. Maybe those 180 LSAT photographic-memory process-regurgitating NERDS will be the undoing of me. I don't know. But I do know that almost none of them could be as good an attorney as I can be.

...And then again, maybe all of you should be so fortunate as me to be an intersex, transgender-identified female (FOR ONCE it could help and not hurt me- hysterical). Going back to earlier in this post when I wrote about not being tested-- well, that is to say the least! I never took the SAT or ACT and I dropped out of high school in the 9th grade, despite being near the top of my class, because I couldn't take being harassed and beaten and called "[HI I'M THE WORD FILTER. THIS PERSON MIGHT BE A DICK.]" Monday through Friday anymore. That's right, folks-- I am a high school DROP-OUT who eventually got a GED at 18 years of age and then made it to the doorstep of law school. My unique circumstances and experience, laid out in the context of what I consider to be the all-important Personal Statement just might be the edge in getting me to the point of becoming the shark litigator that I know I can be :::rrraawwrrrr:::

Maybe, just maybe, 'trans' or 'high school dropout' are the magic keywords to law school. Try it and see?

((The point of this comical but narrative piece, in case you missed it, is to emphasize the importance of bringing out those things in your personal background which unmistakably set you apart in your Statements, during the application process))


You know what's really crazy? There are probably 40 other people applying to law schools in the US this year with a story very similar to yours, and some of them are probably process regurgitating 170+ LSAT scoring nerds. Not trying to be a spoiler, but I think we'd all be shocked to find out how common all of our stories are. Me? I'm one of the middle class guys you don't seem to hold in high esteem. I'm a dime a dozen. I can't write a compelling diversity statement. Whatevs. It is what it is.

That being said, I hope you get into one of the schools you are hoping for. That would be cool. Good luck.

r6_philly
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby r6_philly » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:31 am

40 is an arbitrary number :) why 40?

I think 160+ will help a whole lot more with the story. I haven't gotten in anywhere yet so all I have is useless opinion/hope as well...

qualster
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby qualster » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:37 am

r6_philly wrote:40 is an arbitrary number :) why 40?

I think 160+ will help a whole lot more with the story. I haven't gotten in anywhere yet so all I have is useless opinion/hope as well...


Meh, I don't know.

nycparalegal
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby nycparalegal » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:48 am

OP you do know going to law school isnt difficult. Anyone can go to law school. It's getting into the best schools that is difficult.

icydash
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby icydash » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:56 am

I agree a personal statement is a great place to bring out the differentiating factors that set you apart from other applicants. However, as many people previously stated, all it really comes down to is numbers. I hope you don't actually give the personal statement you've written the weight it seems like you do in the admissions process.

actuallybasically wrote: Maybe I won't get in, maybe all the hundreds of thousands of middle- and upper-class 'straight' white kids with well-bolstered backgrounds will take the spots I might have otherwise gotten at a law school. Maybe those 180 LSAT photographic-memory process-regurgitating NERDS will be the undoing of me. I don't know. But I do know that almost none of them could be as good an attorney as I can be.


I'm curious as to what makes you think you'd make a better attorney then the "upper class white kids" who have a stellar history of incredible academic performance under the strictest testing conditions and continuous high pressure situations. While overcoming adversity is worth a lot, and is great for building character, I find myself in no way convinced that it would make you a better attorney in any way than the "photographic-memory process-regurgitating NERDS" who you'll undoubtedly be up against in the real world. What makes you think because you had a rough time, you can compete with the 4.0 Ivy League, 180 LSAT scorers on an academic and professional level?

Unfortunately, the majority of law school success is simply being smarter, quicker, and better than the kid sitting to your left on timed, high pressure exams, where often your entire grade is determined by one test (much like how the LSAT pretty much determines what law schools you'll get in to). If these situations are not your forte, law school may not be for you.

I know the above questions sound like I am being demeaning, but they are actually sincere questions I am really interested in hearing your answers to. I'm sure there's a lot about you we don't know, and I'd like to learn more.

...Also when you said "shark litigator" it made me wonder if you are one of the people who think they'd make good attorneys because they like to/are good at arguing. I could be way off base, but in either case, I hope this is not your response to my above questions.

nycparalegal wrote:OP you do know going to law school isnt difficult. Anyone can go to law school. It's getting into the best schools that is difficult.


Also, the above is a HUGE point. Undoubtedly, if you have above a 140 LSAT score, you can get into law school somewhere. It's getting into a top law school that's tough, and is extremely numbers based. It all depends on what you're goals are. If you're expecting Harvard, then sorry, your personal statement will do nothing for you if you're below 170 LSAT. If you're shooting for Cooley, then it may help.
Last edited by icydash on Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

r6_philly
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby r6_philly » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:12 am

icydash wrote:I'm curious as to what makes you think you'd make a better attorney then the "upper class white kids" who have a stellar history of incredible academic performance under the strictest testing conditions and continuous high pressure situations. While overcoming adversity is worth a lot, and is great for building character, I find myself in no way convinced that it would make you a better attorney in any way than the "photographic-memory process-regurgitating NERDS" who you'll undoubtedly be up against in the real world. What makes you think because you had a rough time, you can compete with the 4.0 Ivy League, 180 LSAT scorers on an academic and professional level?



I largely agree with you, except I want to add that most "upper class white kids" will go through life not really know what "continuous high pressure situation" is from the perspective of a disadvantaged minority (not just racial, but any sort of out-group membership). It doesn't really detract from your point, but I wanted to point it out nonetheless.

icydash
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby icydash » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:17 am

r6_philly wrote:
icydash wrote:I'm curious as to what makes you think you'd make a better attorney then the "upper class white kids" who have a stellar history of incredible academic performance under the strictest testing conditions and continuous high pressure situations. While overcoming adversity is worth a lot, and is great for building character, I find myself in no way convinced that it would make you a better attorney in any way than the "photographic-memory process-regurgitating NERDS" who you'll undoubtedly be up against in the real world. What makes you think because you had a rough time, you can compete with the 4.0 Ivy League, 180 LSAT scorers on an academic and professional level?



I largely agree with you, except I want to add that most "upper class white kids" will go through life not really know what "continuous high pressure situation" is from the perspective of a disadvantaged minority (not just racial, but any sort of out-group membership). It doesn't really detract from your point, but I wanted to point it out nonetheless.


Just because you're white, and upper class, doesn't mean you can't be homosexual, have a disease, etc... that will many times put you in an out-group (not that it should, but that's the world we live in). It also doesn't mean we don't know hardship. I've been battling Ulcerative Colitis for three years now, and spent all of last February (while pursuing my masters) doing my homework from a hospital bed. Literally an entire month. I was brought in at 2am by ambulance. I had two blood transfusions, and couldn't get out of bed for the first three weeks of my hospital stay, and was in incredible pain....I still managed to get an A in every class I took.

...This is not to brag, but to show (while this is not an example of being an outcast from society) that it's not all rosy cake and butterflies for us white kids all the time, either.
Last edited by icydash on Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby EdmundBurke23 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:20 am

icydash wrote:I'm curious as to what makes you think you'd make a better attorney then the "upper class white kids" who have a stellar history of incredible academic performance under the strictest testing conditions and continuous high pressure situations. While overcoming adversity is worth a lot, and is great for building character, I find myself in no way convinced that it would make you a better attorney in any way than the "photographic-memory process-regurgitating NERDS" who you'll undoubtedly be up against in the real world. What makes you think because you had a rough time, you can compete with the 4.0 Ivy League, 180 LSAT scorers on an academic and professional level?


+1

A really good point here. I hate it when people like OP try and abuse the privilege of being "under-privileged." But I do think it's wrong that others have called him a [HI I'M THE WORD FILTER. THIS PERSON MIGHT BE A DICK.]. I hope American high schools will soon adopt tolerance as a value...

09042014
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby 09042014 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:21 am

I get to go to better law school than you not because I'm a nerd, but because I am smarter than you.

Hope that hurts,

DF
Last edited by 09042014 on Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

r6_philly
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby r6_philly » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:29 am

icydash wrote:Just because you're white, and upper class, doesn't mean you can't be homosexual, have a disease, etc... that will many times put you in an out-group (not that it should, but that's the world we live in). It also doesn't mean we don't know hardship. I've been battling Ulcerative Colitis for three years now, and spent all of last February (while pursuing my masters) doing my homework from a hospital bed. Literally an entire month. I was brought in at 2am by ambulance. I had two blood transfusions, and couldn't get out of bed for the first three weeks of my hospital stay, and was in incredible pain....I still managed to get an A in every class I took.

...This is not to brag, but to show (while this is not an example of being an outcast from society) that it's not all rosy cake and butterflies for us white kids all the time, either.


I admire you for your strength and achievements. But you are making the sort of the mistake OP is making. OP generalizes that no upper class white kids face adversity, and you generalize that because have, that many other upper class white kids have as well. You are just as exceptional as the OP, you have to realize that. The norm of the world is for upper class white kids to receive the kind of life that is designed for them. So you have had to deal with problems but you are still build into that life, it was your to lose. But for many, perhaps OP's case, the life was not hers to lose, but for hers to gain... There is a difference. If you don't see it, that's because you have it ;)

By the way, hardship is not necessarily continous pressure. Maybe I am just looking at the word pressure in a different way. To imply that rich kids (who are not you) are under pressure to do well, then ... well you just don't understand pressure in a disadvantaged person's point of view.

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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby r6_philly » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:32 am

EdmundBurke23 wrote:
icydash wrote:I'm curious as to what makes you think you'd make a better attorney then the "upper class white kids" who have a stellar history of incredible academic performance under the strictest testing conditions and continuous high pressure situations. While overcoming adversity is worth a lot, and is great for building character, I find myself in no way convinced that it would make you a better attorney in any way than the "photographic-memory process-regurgitating NERDS" who you'll undoubtedly be up against in the real world. What makes you think because you had a rough time, you can compete with the 4.0 Ivy League, 180 LSAT scorers on an academic and professional level?


+1

A really good point here. I hate it when people like OP try and abuse the privilege of being "under-privileged." But I do think it's wrong that others have called him a [HI I'M THE WORD FILTER. THIS PERSON MIGHT BE A DICK.]. I hope American high schools will soon adopt tolerance as a value...


it is privilaged to be "under-privileged"??? you feel like it is some sort of club that people love to be a part of? this is offensive.

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prezidentv8
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby prezidentv8 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:34 am

Everybody is unique! Just like everyone else!

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ConMan345
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby ConMan345 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:35 am

r6_philly wrote:it is privilaged to be "under-privileged"??? you feel like it is some sort of club that people love to be a part of? this is offensive.


This may be neither here nor there, but I definitely think I'm a better person for having dealt with some pretty unpleasant stuff.

I wouldn't call it a "privilege" though, I suppose....That's too "thank you, sir, may I have another."

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ConMan345
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby ConMan345 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:36 am

prezidentv8 wrote:Everybody is unique! Just like everyone else!


The Hot Topic in the mall is hiring...

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prezidentv8
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby prezidentv8 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:36 am

ConMan345 wrote:
prezidentv8 wrote:Everybody is unique! Just like everyone else!


The Hot Topic in the mall is hiring...


I'm not under the delusion that they're too special either.

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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby calicocat » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:37 am

Desert Fox wrote:I get to go to better law school than you not because I'm a nerd, but because I am smarter than you.

Hope that hurts,

DF

DF why do you always send us to threads with so much reading? come on.

Edit after DF cliffnoted the post for me:

Come on OP, if your life has given you so many critical thinking skills in your non-trad schooling then you should have done well on the lsat. hth. Also, disadvantages in life might help with an app but not when you have no credentials to back it up i.e 150 lsat score. Just shows that you pretty much failed at overcoming the obstacles.
Last edited by calicocat on Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

r6_philly
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby r6_philly » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:40 am

ConMan345 wrote:
r6_philly wrote:it is privilaged to be "under-privileged"??? you feel like it is some sort of club that people love to be a part of? this is offensive.


This may be neither here nor there, but I definitely think I'm a better person for having dealt with some pretty unpleasant stuff.

I wouldn't call it a "privilege" though, I suppose....That's too "thank you, sir, may I have another."


I full heartedly agree. I am definitely a better person in every way after my harsh life (I feel many time worse than OP's). I am not bitter, as a matter of fact I appreciate all the crap that I went through. I wouldn't trade it for another life if I could, it made me who I am. However I can't say that I have been "privileged" for having been laughed at by fate and fortune. That is just not a nice thing to read.

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TTTennis
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby TTTennis » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:43 am

calicocat wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:I get to go to better law school than you not because I'm a nerd, but because I am smarter than you.

Hope that hurts,

DF

DF why do you always send us to threads with so much reading? come on.


+1 on the reading. Boo.

But, I'm a little confused. It seems like the real point of this thread is to whine about the fact that you won't beat out a bunch of NERDS who scored a lot higher than you on the LSAT (although you don't even know yet), because you are transgender (hs dropout) and have the legitimate reason of attending a specific law school because they have dual-degree programs?

And if your school was so awesome in teaching you how to think analytically and blah blah blah, why in the hell wouldn't you be able to score high on the LSAT? Being timed really screws with you that much, or is it the pressure, or both? You sure you wanna go to law school?

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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby vanwinkle » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:43 am

ConMan345 wrote:
r6_philly wrote:it is privilaged to be "under-privileged"??? you feel like it is some sort of club that people love to be a part of? this is offensive.

This may be neither here nor there, but I definitely think I'm a better person for having dealt with some pretty unpleasant stuff.

I wouldn't call it a "privilege" though, I suppose....That's too "thank you, sir, may I have another."

Yeah. It's a club that makes the people who're in it unique to it, but most of them wish they never had to go through it. I'm in the club. If you're not in the club, and I could switch places with you, I would.

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Richie Tenenbaum
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby Richie Tenenbaum » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:46 am

nycparalegal wrote:OP you do know going to law school isnt difficult. Anyone can go to law school. It's getting into the best schools that is difficult.


TITCR

If you have above a 150 you should be able to get accepted to a law school. Getting into the best schools that provide you with some of the best opportunities after school is the difficult part.

r6_philly
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Re: The importance of having a unique, strong reason to get a JD

Postby r6_philly » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:46 am

vanwinkle wrote:Yeah. It's a club that makes the people who're in it unique to it, but most of them wish they never had to go through it. I'm in the club. If you're not in the club, and I could switch places with you, I would.


If it was really a privilage, everyone would want it.




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