Calling in a Favor?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Baba Booey
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Calling in a Favor?

Postby Baba Booey » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:47 pm

Here's a question for you fine TLS folks to chew on:

I didn't do great on my LSAT (150's). However, I have many contacts in my local legal community, home to the one law school in the city (and my #1 choice). For example, one of my friends is BFF's with the dean. Another is a former state legislator who is now a professor at the school. A third is the president of the local bar association. My GPA is above 75%, but my LSAT is below 25%, so do I start making calls to all these people to put in a good word or keep my mouth shut?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:50 pm

Ask them for a recommendation for that law school.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:54 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Ask them for a recommendation for that law school.

This is the only professional way to do this

CaptAdams
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby CaptAdams » Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:59 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Ask them for a recommendation for that law school.

This is the only professional way to do this


My app is already in to the school. The school only allows two recommendations and prefer them coming from academic sources.

I also disagree that it is the only professional way to do it. I've been in a career for a dozen years and almost every job I've got was because I know someone. So......

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:02 pm

CaptAdams wrote:
JamMasterJ wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Ask them for a recommendation for that law school.

This is the only professional way to do this


My app is already in to the school. The school only allows two recommendations and prefer them coming from academic sources.

I also disagree that it is the only professional way to do it. I've been in a career for a dozen years and almost every job I've got was because I know someone. So......

law school admissions is more meritocratic than real life. There may be another way of doing this in a professional manner, but TCR is to do what Wolf said

03121202698008
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby 03121202698008 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:03 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:
CanadianWolf wrote:Ask them for a recommendation for that law school.

This is the only professional way to do this

admisionquestion
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby admisionquestion » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:15 pm

--ImageRemoved--


Either retake or give up on law school. I don't care how well connected you are--you should NOT UNDER ANY CONDITION INCLUDING HAVING A JOB LINED UP pay any tuition money to attend a law school outside the top 40 (in this economy).

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:22 pm

admisionquestion wrote:--ImageRemoved--


Either retake or give up on law school. I don't care how well connected you are--you should NOT UNDER ANY CONDITION INCLUDING HAVING A JOB LINED UP pay any tuition money to attend a law school outside the top 40 (in this economy).

That's a little extreme and this is coming from someone who thinks schools outside the top 50-75 should fold

Baba Booey
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby Baba Booey » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:33 pm

admisionquestion wrote:Either retake or give up on law school. I don't care how well connected you are--you should NOT UNDER ANY CONDITION INCLUDING HAVING A JOB LINED UP pay any tuition money to attend a law school outside the top 40 (in this economy).


Really?!?!

Worst advice ever... Even if you have a job lined up, you should not go to school outside of the top 40? That is stupid. I live in a small western U.S. state with one law school. I don't plan on leaving.

admisionquestion
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby admisionquestion » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:37 pm

What do you mean by extreme?

It is a bit sad that people who want to study law are put into positions where it is financially obscene to do so. Is that what is extreme?

Or is it extreme to tell people not to make bad financial decisions? I could see that being extreme in a "let everyone do what they want way" but that attitude itself would be strange on an advice centered forum.

Or are you saying my views regarding the financial logic behind paying to go to a school ranked lower then 40 are extreme (in the sense that you really mean wrong). If so what situation would you point to in suggesting someone pay money to attend a school ranked 50-100?


----
Baba Booey wrote:
admisionquestion wrote:Either retake or give up on law school. I don't care how well connected you are--you should NOT UNDER ANY CONDITION INCLUDING HAVING A JOB LINED UP pay any tuition money to attend a law school outside the top 40 (in this economy).


Really?!?!

Worst advice ever... Even if you have a job lined up, you should not go to school outside of the top 40? That is stupid. I live in a small western U.S. state with one law school. I don't plan on leaving.


Then get a good enough LSAT to not have to pay... I am not saying people should only go to top schools. I am just saying they shouldnt pay to go to schools that are ranked poorly.

Baba Booey
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby Baba Booey » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:42 pm

admisionquestion wrote:Then get a good enough LSAT to not have to pay... I am not saying people should only go to top schools. I am just saying they shouldnt pay to go to schools that are ranked poorly.


The school I'm interested in isn't ranked poorly. And while I appreciate your concern for my financial well-being, the question is whether I should call in favors.

bobbyh1919
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby bobbyh1919 » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:44 pm

Considering that many people on this board regard schools 20-75 ish as largely interchangeable, 40 seems like an arbitrary cut off. I agree that this economy is not going to be kind to people who pay sticker at most schools outside the T14, but I don't think I would tell them simply to not go, especially if they're in-state.

z0rk
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby z0rk » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:49 pm

I certainly think its in your interest to tell your connections that you have applied. Ask them about their thoughts on your application, and if they might have any advice on how you can make yourself more visible as an applicant. They may offer to put in a word for you.

In the mean time, visit that school at every reasonable opportunity available (i.e. sign up for an open house, schedule a tour a few weeks before the open house, reach out to professors if you have any reasonable connection). Don't go overboard, but it helps to start building your own relationship with the school to demonstrate your interest.

Good luck.

clarified_butter
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby clarified_butter » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:50 pm

I have met some lawyers that have graduated from Tier 4 schools...they had jobs lined up at firms owned by their families after graduation. The one guy told me all he had to do was get through school and pass the bar...then slide into the family firm.

Then I met a few IP lawyers that went to Tier 4 schools (all engineers going into law school)...they did the bare minimum as well. They then passed their state bars and the Patent Bar. Now they are sitting in a cushy place.

But these stories are the exception. Not everyone has a family firm or an engineering background. Everyone should be allowed to go to law school if they want to...no one is forcing you to sign for those loans. It's a personal decision and let's leave it there. I'm tired of seeing people on this forum fight about this issue day and night.

P.S. Like the OP said, he plans to stay where he is...some people like their location and want to practice there. Most law school grads get hired regionally anyhow.

Baba Booey wrote:
admisionquestion wrote:Either retake or give up on law school. I don't care how well connected you are--you should NOT UNDER ANY CONDITION INCLUDING HAVING A JOB LINED UP pay any tuition money to attend a law school outside the top 40 (in this economy).


Really?!?!

Worst advice ever... Even if you have a job lined up, you should not go to school outside of the top 40? That is stupid. I live in a small western U.S. state with one law school. I don't plan on leaving.

admisionquestion
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby admisionquestion » Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:56 pm

Baba Booey wrote:
admisionquestion wrote:Then get a good enough LSAT to not have to pay... I am not saying people should only go to top schools. I am just saying they shouldnt pay to go to schools that are ranked poorly.


The school I'm interested in isn't ranked poorly. And while I appreciate your concern for my financial well-being, the question is whether I should call in favors.


I guess I was not very clear. You should not call in favors to get yourself into a school that it is irrational to attend.
If the school is ranked well then I guess go for it, it cant hurt. But without a 3.8 or better Its gonna be hard for you to get into any reasonable schools.

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89vision
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby 89vision » Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:27 pm

admisionquestion wrote:What do you mean by extreme?

It is a bit sad that people who want to study law are put into positions where it is financially obscene to do so. Is that what is extreme?

Or is it extreme to tell people not to make bad financial decisions? I could see that being extreme in a "let everyone do what they want way" but that attitude itself would be strange on an advice centered forum.

Or are you saying my views regarding the financial logic behind paying to go to a school ranked lower then 40 are extreme (in the sense that you really mean wrong). If so what situation would you point to in suggesting someone pay money to attend a school ranked 50-100?


----
Baba Booey wrote:
admisionquestion wrote:Either retake or give up on law school. I don't care how well connected you are--you should NOT UNDER ANY CONDITION INCLUDING HAVING A JOB LINED UP pay any tuition money to attend a law school outside the top 40 (in this economy).


Really?!?!

Worst advice ever... Even if you have a job lined up, you should not go to school outside of the top 40? That is stupid. I live in a small western U.S. state with one law school. I don't plan on leaving.


Then get a good enough LSAT to not have to pay... I am not saying people should only go to top schools. I am just saying they shouldnt pay to go to schools that are ranked poorly.


Isn't the consensus on here that outside the top 14/20, law rankings are subjective, and sometimes meaningless? I know the school I'm looking at plummeted in the rankings because of reported expenditures, not academic or hiring reasons. It's tier 2, but the average salary is solid, employment is good, and it has very little competition in the city. I'm sure this varies based on location, but isn't the view on here that law school is worth the investment if it has good employment statistics for where you want to work?

Maybe I'm reading the board wrong, but I thought rankings didn't matter that much.

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Opie
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby Opie » Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:45 pm

clarified_butter wrote:I have met some lawyers that have graduated from Tier 4 schools...they had jobs lined up at firms owned by their families after graduation. The one guy told me all he had to do was get through school and pass the bar...then slide into the family firm.


This.

I personally know a guy who is like 32 years old and is a partner at a successful boutique firm. The reason he went there is that he goofed off in UG and test day was his cold diagnostic. He is the stereotypical spoiled rich kid that drove his porsche to school when he decided to go. The point is, his dad owns the firm. He told him all he needed to do was get a JD and pass the bar and he'd make him a partner. He paid sticker at COOLEY. He also just wrote them a check.

clarified_butter
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby clarified_butter » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:07 pm

This is the type of stuff that does happen...it's damn scary. I'm glad that someone else has witnessed this type of stuff too.

Opie wrote:
clarified_butter wrote:I have met some lawyers that have graduated from Tier 4 schools...they had jobs lined up at firms owned by their families after graduation. The one guy told me all he had to do was get through school and pass the bar...then slide into the family firm.


This.

I personally know a guy who is like 32 years old and is a partner at a successful boutique firm. The reason he went there is that he goofed off in UG and test day was his cold diagnostic. He is the stereotypical spoiled rich kid that drove his porsche to school when he decided to go. The point is, his dad owns the firm. He told him all he needed to do was get a JD and pass the bar and he'd make him a partner. He paid sticker at COOLEY. He also just wrote them a check.

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Opie
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby Opie » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:13 pm

clarified_butter wrote:This is the type of stuff that does happen...it's damn scary. I'm glad that someone else has witnessed this type of stuff too.

Opie wrote:
clarified_butter wrote:I have met some lawyers that have graduated from Tier 4 schools...they had jobs lined up at firms owned by their families after graduation. The one guy told me all he had to do was get through school and pass the bar...then slide into the family firm.


This.

I personally know a guy who is like 32 years old and is a partner at a successful boutique firm. The reason he went there is that he goofed off in UG and test day was his cold diagnostic. He is the stereotypical spoiled rich kid that drove his porsche to school when he decided to go. The point is, his dad owns the firm. He told him all he needed to do was get a JD and pass the bar and he'd make him a partner. He paid sticker at COOLEY. He also just wrote them a check.


FWIW, this guy isn't dumb. He's damn smart and a good lawyer. He's just lazy from being spoiled.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:24 pm

admisionquestion wrote:What do you mean by extreme?

It is a bit sad that people who want to study law are put into positions where it is financially obscene to do so. Is that what is extreme?

Or is it extreme to tell people not to make bad financial decisions? I could see that being extreme in a "let everyone do what they want way" but that attitude itself would be strange on an advice centered forum.

Or are you saying my views regarding the financial logic behind paying to go to a school ranked lower then 40 are extreme (in the sense that you really mean wrong). If so what situation would you point to in suggesting someone pay money to attend a school ranked 50-100?

Paying 10K per year at Arizona, SMU, or BYU (with the Mormon network) is perfectly reasonable as long as the scholarship is contingent only on good standing. However that falls into your catergorization is fine with me.

hoosierball
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby hoosierball » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:26 pm

Call it in, especially if the professor knows someone who is on the actual admissions committee, or can give a call directly to the director of admissions

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IAFG
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby IAFG » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:28 pm

A very famous alum of my school could not get an immediate family member in. I think you're boned.

Baba Booey
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby Baba Booey » Thu Dec 01, 2011 11:41 pm

admisionquestion wrote:I guess I was not very clear. You should not call in favors to get yourself into a school that it is irrational to attend.
If the school is ranked well then I guess go for it, it cant hurt. But without a 3.8 or better Its gonna be hard for you to get into any reasonable schools.


To put it in perspective, the school in question isn't in the top 40, but also isn't "irrational to attend." Believe it or not, there are many schools outside the first tier that are smart choice, such as the school I'm talking about. In this case, it's the only school in the state. There are about 85 clerking jobs each year for about 150 students. Want to go into government work like me? You'll be fine. Then there's the fact that the vast majority of attorneys with < 15 years of experience in my city are pulled from this school. Since I'm not planning on leaving this town, it's the polar opposite of irrational to apply to, and try everything I possibly can to get into, this lowly out-of-the-top-40 school. I'm continually bemused at the people who don't understand that not everyone wants to go to Yale.

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dresden doll
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby dresden doll » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:02 am

I'd call in a favor. Let them sort out how meritocratic they care to be.

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IAFG
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Re: Calling in a Favor?

Postby IAFG » Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:10 am

dresden doll wrote:I'd call in a favor. Let them sort out how meritocratic they care to be.

I didn't realize it isn't a top school; may be a different deal at this level/community. Agree that it probably won't hurt.




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