Advice needed!

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
mike140
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Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Sun May 12, 2013 3:12 pm

Hi all. I'm new to this law school thing and a friend suggested I use TLS for advice. I went to a small private school undergrad in Boston, worked for a few years while doing my MBA, and now have decided to go to law school. I didn't have the best undergrad GPA but did quite well in my grad program. I got a 153 on my LSAT which was quite honestly the best I could do. I want to work in the public sector and help people. I applied to some schools in the Boston, NYC, Chicago, and LA area. As of now, the best school I've gotten into is Syracuse (also accepted at Brooklyn Law, Rutgers, Cardozo, Northeastern). I'm quite interested in Syracuse because of their JD/MPA program. As you may know, their MPA program at the Maxwell School is the top ranked of its kind in the country. I hope to bust my butt for the next three years and make something of myself.

Based on my prospects, do you think that's a decent option for me?


Thank you, in advance, for your assistance.

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HuskyHopeful
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby HuskyHopeful » Sun May 12, 2013 3:27 pm

Syracuse tuition is way too high for no job prospects, and unless you are a URM I will assume you are paying sticker. If you cant break 160, I honestly wouldn't go to law school and would investigate other career paths.

mike140
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Sun May 12, 2013 3:43 pm

Thanks for the tip. I'm confident I can dispel the theory that a high LSAT score correlates to success in law school. My career prospects now are decent but I won't be happy. I need to give this a shot.

PM2353
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby PM2353 » Sun May 12, 2013 4:00 pm

mike140 wrote:Thanks for the tip. I'm confident I can dispel the theory that a high LSAT score correlates to success in law school. My career prospects now are decent but I won't be happy. I need to give this a shot.


No one is arguing that you couldn't be an amazing attorney with a 153. They are saying that the schools that admit 153 LSATs provide dismal employment opportunities for its students. You could be a legal genius with amazing softs and great interview skills but it won't matter at lesser schools.

I'm sure your a great person who is hard working and very intelligent. But there is a serious problem in the legal market today; the over supply of lawyers and growing student loan debt. It's not your fault that its like this, and it sucks that it is the way it is. But you should consider retaking the LSAT or investigate other career paths.

PM2353
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby PM2353 » Sun May 12, 2013 4:05 pm

If your dead set on attending I'd strongly suggest:

Attend state flagship school.
Try to get resident tuition.
Only attend if its insanely close to free.
Network with alumni and people close to the schools location.
Be comfortable with the idea of working in small firms. Personal Injury, criminal, other small law areas.

I think you could still do what you wanna do but you have to be smart and realistic about your legal career goals. In the meantime, please please visit lawschooltransparency.com and look up your target schools employment numbers and estimated costs.

Good luck!

mike140
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Sun May 12, 2013 4:08 pm

Thanks for the great advice! Perhaps taking the LSATs again would be prudent.

In your opinion, when do you see the legal market returning back to normal? I'm assuming, like anything else, it's somewhat cyclical. And would the JD/MPA be worth pursuing? It wouldn't cost my any extra money but I'd lose my 1L summer.

PM2353
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby PM2353 » Sun May 12, 2013 4:18 pm

Yes, consider retaking the LSAT. It sucks, I think everyone here wishes that law school was a place where if you worked hard and dedicated yourself to school you could find a job. Unfortunately it's not like that. It is definitely necessary to hard but by no mean is it sufficient. A lot of it is chance. So the best bet is to look toward things you can control: cost.

If you can attend a decent law school for free then it may be worth it. (There is also the belief that a JD is a "Scarlett letter" if you decide to do other work).

I'm not entirely sure about when the profession will rebound but some on this site say it will rebound by only a small amount. Applicants to law school are decreasing by large amounts. But with ~45000 grads and ~25000 jobs there just isn't simply enough jobs. Especially jobs worthy of servicing the astronomical debt. (I don't have the real numbers but they concept is still there; too many grads no jobs)

If you have legal connections ( example dads small law firm) an have a guaranteed job after school with minimal debt then go for it!!!

BlueDiamond
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby BlueDiamond » Sun May 12, 2013 4:20 pm

If you do go to Syracuse, don't do the JD/MPA. Do one or the other.

However, I would suggest neither. I have a friend there who is very personable that is in the top 10 of her class.. which at Cuse is like the top 2% of something.. and she has nothing lined up. Her end goal was to end up in Syracuse, which makes it even scarier since Syracuse is more of a regional school. Yes, anecdotal, but still as a general rule I'd say that you shouldn't go to any school that has someone that high ranked in their class that is staring at unemployment.

mike140
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Sun May 12, 2013 4:22 pm

Your advice will be invaluable in helping me reach my goals.

PM2353 wrote:Yes, consider retaking the LSAT. It sucks, I think everyone here wishes that law school was a place where if you worked hard and dedicated yourself to school you could find a job. Unfortunately it's not like that. It is definitely necessary to hard but by no mean is it sufficient. A lot of it is chance. So the best bet is to look toward things you can control: cost.

If you can attend a decent law school for free then it may be worth it. (There is also the belief that a JD is a "Scarlett letter" if you decide to do other work).

I'm not entirely sure about when the profession will rebound but some on this site say it will rebound by only a small amount. Applicants to law school are decreasing by large amounts. But with ~45000 grads and ~25000 jobs there just isn't simply enough jobs. Especially jobs worthy of servicing the astronomical debt. (I don't have the real numbers but they concept is still there; too many grads no jobs)

If you have legal connections ( example dads small law firm) an have a guaranteed job after school with minimal debt then go for it!!!

PM2353
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby PM2353 » Sun May 12, 2013 4:23 pm

Search the forum and search relevant issues to yourself. Just by reading these forum boards you can get an idea of how the law school system works.

mike140
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Sun May 12, 2013 4:24 pm

Will do. Thanks again. This appears to be a fantastic resource.

PM2353 wrote:Search the forum and search relevant issues to yourself. Just by reading these forum boards you can get an idea of how the law school profession works.

mike140
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Sun May 12, 2013 4:25 pm

Wow. That's absolutely crazy. Does she feel that it's due more to the school or the legal climate in general?

BlueDiamond wrote:If you do go to Syracuse, don't do the JD/MPA. Do one or the other.

However, I would suggest neither. I have a friend there who is very personable that is in the top 10 of her class.. which at Cuse is like the top 2% of something.. and she has nothing lined up. Her end goal was to end up in Syracuse, which makes it even scarier since Syracuse is more of a regional school. Yes, anecdotal, but still as a general rule I'd say that you shouldn't go to any school that has someone that high ranked in their class that is staring at unemployment.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun May 12, 2013 4:31 pm

mike140 wrote:Wow. That's absolutely crazy. Does she feel that it's due more to the school or the legal climate in general?

BlueDiamond wrote:If you do go to Syracuse, don't do the JD/MPA. Do one or the other.

However, I would suggest neither. I have a friend there who is very personable that is in the top 10 of her class.. which at Cuse is like the top 2% of something.. and she has nothing lined up. Her end goal was to end up in Syracuse, which makes it even scarier since Syracuse is more of a regional school. Yes, anecdotal, but still as a general rule I'd say that you shouldn't go to any school that has someone that high ranked in their class that is staring at unemployment.

The legal climate has affected all schools, but it hit crappy schools WAY harder. So Yale may now have 5% of the class in trouble, Northwestern has 20% of the class in trouble, and shitholes like Syracuse and Northeastern have 60% of the class in trouble.

PM2353
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby PM2353 » Sun May 12, 2013 4:34 pm

mike140 wrote:Wow. That's absolutely crazy. Does she feel that it's due more to the school or the legal climate in general?

BlueDiamond wrote:If you do go to Syracuse, don't do the JD/MPA. Do one or the other.

However, I would suggest neither. I have a friend there who is very personable that is in the top 10 of her class.. which at Cuse is like the top 2% of something.. and she has nothing lined up. Her end goal was to end up in Syracuse, which makes it even scarier since Syracuse is more of a regional school. Yes, anecdotal, but still as a general rule I'd say that you shouldn't go to any school that has someone that high ranked in their class that is staring at unemployment.


Its a mix of the two but id say its probably more due to the school rank. From what I have read, law schools generally teach the same things. There's not a difference between the education you get at a top school and a top 100 school. It's just that if firms only have a limited openings they want it filled by someone who attended Harvard, Michigan, or Chicago and not Syracuse.

That person at Chicago may be an idiot who is just awesome at LSAT questions. He may be a social idiot and worked only hard enough to be in the top half of his class. But it doesn't matter, firms care about the brand name a school provides.

PM2353
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby PM2353 » Sun May 12, 2013 4:38 pm

And Syracuse could honestly provide a great education with a caring faculty. The professors could be very hands on and facilitate your learning better than anywhere in the country. They could also provide the best facilities money could buy. They could genuinely be working 24/7 to help find you jobs.

The thing is: there is just not enough jobs. And law school prestige matters in law.

mike140
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Sun May 12, 2013 5:02 pm

That's what really scares/confuses me. I looked at the Syracuse faculty and they are a fantastic set of accomplished and distinguished professors, many from the top schools in the country. This system truly is flawed.


PM2353 wrote:
Its a mix of the two but id say its probably more due to the school rank. From what I have read, law schools generally teach the same things. There's not a difference between the education you get at a top school and a top 100 school. It's just that if firms only have a limited openings they want it filled by someone who attended Harvard, Michigan, or Chicago and not Syracuse.

That person at Chicago may be an idiot who is just awesome at LSAT questions. He may be a social idiot and worked only hard enough to be in the top half of his class. But it doesn't matter, firms care about the brand name a school provides.

PM2353
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby PM2353 » Sun May 12, 2013 5:25 pm

A lot of the sentiment that going to law school is a path to riches is a byproduct of the economy before the recession. It use to be that if you went to a reputable law school you could find great jobs that paid very well. So our parents preached to us to be lawyers, doctors, etc.

If this was 20 years ago, I'd say of course go! Syracuse is a great school and community. But nowadays the market is telling there is simply too many JDs and tuition climbed so high that students find themselves in 200k debt with no way to find A Job of any kind.


My previous advice still stands. If you are set on being attorney and know what it entails, minimize your debt and network like hell. Be comfortable with lower paying small law.

mike140
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Mon May 13, 2013 5:46 pm

You make some very good points. Shouldn't something be said for the type of alumni network a school like Syracuse University has? That combined with the JD/MPA opportunity makes it very appealing to me.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby Mal Reynolds » Mon May 13, 2013 6:00 pm

mike140 wrote:You make some very good points. Shouldn't something be said for the type of alumni network a school like Syracuse University has? That combined with the JD/MPA opportunity makes it very appealing to me.


This is blatant stupidity.

mike140
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Mon May 13, 2013 6:06 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:
mike140 wrote:You make some very good points. Shouldn't something be said for the type of alumni network a school like Syracuse University has? That combined with the JD/MPA opportunity makes it very appealing to me.


This is blatant stupidity.



Do you have any advice to give? Or did you just want to be rude for the sake of being rude?

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby Mal Reynolds » Mon May 13, 2013 6:09 pm

mike140 wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:
mike140 wrote:You make some very good points. Shouldn't something be said for the type of alumni network a school like Syracuse University has? That combined with the JD/MPA opportunity makes it very appealing to me.


This is blatant stupidity.



Do you have any advice to give? Or did you just want to be rude for the sake of being rude?


You're trying to convince yourself to go to a terrible law school. If you don't retake the LSAT you will be strapping yourself with huge amounts of debt for dubious job prospects at best. Specialty rankings mean absolutely nothing. A top ranked MPA program should hold as much weight as the quality of cafeteria food at the school. Retake the LSAT or don't go to law school.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby Mal Reynolds » Mon May 13, 2013 6:22 pm

Just checked law school transparency and less than half of all Syracuse graduates are employed in JD required jobs after graduation. Those are HORRIBLE job prospects and no amount of alumni networking will amount to the insane level of debt you'll be taking on by paying what will likely be 200k+ to attend this school.

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stillwater
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby stillwater » Mon May 13, 2013 6:25 pm

mike140 wrote:You make some very good points. Shouldn't something be said for the type of alumni network a school like Syracuse University has? That combined with the JD/MPA opportunity makes it very appealing to me.


wut alumni network? Syracuse is a middling school in every respect, including UG. employment outcomes are a direct proxy for these elusive, fabled alumni outworks. check out lawschooltransparency.com. build AWARENESS

sparty99
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby sparty99 » Mon May 13, 2013 6:41 pm

stillwater wrote:
mike140 wrote:You make some very good points. Shouldn't something be said for the type of alumni network a school like Syracuse University has? That combined with the JD/MPA opportunity makes it very appealing to me.


wut alumni network? Syracuse is a middling school in every respect, including UG. employment outcomes are a direct proxy for these elusive, fabled alumni outworks. check out lawschooltransparency.com. build AWARENESS


Syracuse sucks. Medicore undergraduate program as well. I wouldn't attend. They have a low bar passage rate. They have no alumni network. The school is not highly ranked or a power school within the state. You might as well go to Rutgers.

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Pneumonia
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby Pneumonia » Mon May 13, 2013 6:46 pm

you can do better than a 153.




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