Advice needed!

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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isuperserial
Posts: 519
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby isuperserial » Tue May 14, 2013 2:27 am

First off, I would say learn as much as you can about the field of law before you take a many thousand dollar plunge. You say you have a passion for law, but it sounds like at one point you had a "passion" for business with your MBA. You better make sure this isn't going to go the same way as that. I think you've made it pretty clear that you have a bit to learn about the field. Learn it before, not after. What you're doing now is how mistakes get made.

Secondly, you can do better on the LSAT. Seriously. Studying your ass off is not a Kaplan course and a bunch of preptests. If you haven't read the powerscore bibles as well as completed and reviewed every single practice test in existence, then you haven't done as much as you can. A Testmasters or Manhattan course would be icing on the cake. One more point can mean the difference between schools. One more point can mean the difference of thousands of dollars of scholarship money.

For fucks sake, you can ALWAYS do more. Right now you are settling, and that attitude makes me sick. These people have thrown you a four leaf clover, a break in the clouds, with the information they've given you.

You owe it to yourself to do better.

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stuckinthemiddle
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby stuckinthemiddle » Tue May 14, 2013 2:55 am

If you graduated from college, I seriously do not believe that a 153 is the best you can do.

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wert3813
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby wert3813 » Tue May 14, 2013 11:24 am

mike140 wrote:Hah - I know I'm exaggerating a bit. 26 isn't old by any means but I'd like to have some concrete direction in my life in the near future. Many of my friends are getting married, settling down etc, and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

I'm going to law school because it's something I've always had a passion for. I have an MBA and realized that I don't want to do something business focused for the rest of my life. What I learned was helpful and I'm sure will benefit me in some capacity in the future but I don't want a career in it. If I don't take this step now then I never will.

I don't post much in this forum but read all four pages of this even though there is pretty much one of these a week. The bolded is the most concerning thing to me I read. Let's say you are one of the 5-12 people who have a good outcome from Syracuse law. What happens if you don't want to be a lawyer?

I go to one of the few school in the country where everyone gets a job and I'm as sure as one can be that I want to do the mechanics of lawyering and this still scares the hell of out me.

Going to Syracuse for you is an objectively poor decision, but even going to NYU might be for you based on what you have said.

rwhyAn
Posts: 294
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby rwhyAn » Tue May 14, 2013 11:35 am

OP, how much in debt are you looking at Syracuse? I'd imagine it would be north of $200k before interest, right? That's insane.

Here's the best advice that I can give you:

1. Try to find a job at Rutgers (they have 100% tuition remission for full-time employees)
2. Go to RU law school part-time at night while earning an income.
3. Graduate debt free and with some cash in your pocket.
4. Profit.

bananapeanutbutter
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:12 pm

Re: Advice needed!

Postby bananapeanutbutter » Tue May 14, 2013 1:29 pm

Reasons against: Horrible job placement, tremendous debt, doesn't even want to live in Syracuse, high likelihood (i.e. over 75% likelihood) of making 30-40k per year while paying 24000 in student loans.

Reasons for: Is 26, friends are getting married, doesn't know what he wants to do with his life, too lazy to retake the LSAT.

The clear answer is to go the Big Orange and don't look back!

mike140
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 3:05 pm

Re: Advice needed!

Postby mike140 » Thu May 16, 2013 1:18 am

Thanks for all of the help guys. I'm stuck between trying to kill my 1L at Syracuse and then transferring or taking the LSAT again. It's honestly not a question of laziness but rather a proper understanding of my abilities. I don't see any way that I could do better on it. Standardized tests aren't my thing. You've all been incredibly helpful and I can't thank you enough. I hope I can help someone in a similar capacity in the future.

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Gamine
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby Gamine » Thu May 16, 2013 8:17 am

mike140 wrote:
CO2016YEAH wrote:
mike140 wrote:I really cannot afford to take another year off. If I work for the next year then it would be meaningless and not contribute to my career at all. I'm more confident in my abilities to make the most of law school and hope for the best. Who knows - I may end up liking Syracuse, appreciating the prospects I have, and staying. I'm 26 and it's already scary enough thinking that I'll be 29 when I graduate. I truly look at going to law school now as the lesser of two evils. I studied my butt off for the LSAT and wasn't able to score much higher than mid-150s. If that means I'll have to do more to prove myself in law school then so be it.

I'm not trying to go against anything any of you have said. I'm so grateful for all of the good advice given. I'm simply trying to use this great information to my advantage and do what's best for me in both the short and long term.


At least one person with the clock even more against him is seriously considering waiting another year, doing better on the LSAT, and applying next cycle (read: the guy who wrote what you are reading). 26 was quite a while ago for me. I have a score significantly better (not bragging, just saying). I have dependents and really need to begin building my law career asap if this is what I'm going to do with my life. I'm into better schools. The stuff the people here are saying is very real. Do you want to be begging for your old job back with 6 figs in debt in the event that you are in the majority out of Syracuse graduate population and flat out fail to find legal work, let alone legal work that justifies three years in lost income and mid $100k's debt? It has taken me nearly all application cycle for this to sink in and I applied to most schools mid September. The situation out there is scary.

You might still wind up going this year, and I just might too. A mid 160s score could get you a decent scholarship at a much better school. I know you (and I) are eager to get going on this law school business asap. However, a solid improvement on a retake could mean a better school, big money in scholarship reducing your debt a ton, and hundreds of thousands in increased earnings over your career.

Imagine a payment of $1500-2000 a month, every month, for the next 10-20 years. Now imagine having that payment and no legal job, or one that pays miserably. Yes, there is IBR and PAYE. However, you will still have the debt and that will surely affect your additional borrowing (for homes, cars, etc). In the even the debt is eventually forgiven there will be tax implications.

I'm in the same boat my friend. Proceed with caution. $150-200k debt looks a lot more appealing when it is in the barely imaginable, seemingly non-existent future and the only thing between us and law school is a click on an electronic box agreeing to the loan. That money will have to be paid back, or at least dealt with through ongoing bureaucracy to arrange deferments or reduced payments and then the inevitable write-off and huge tax bill.

To be honest, I don't believe you've maxed out at 153. I can barely read and I broke 160 (I jest, but I do read slow). Take a course if you haven't. Work the Powerscore bibles. Even if you suck at reading and reasoning the logic games should be very learnable for almost anyone. The best LSAT advice I got was to not take it at least until you are scoring perfect on games. The average on the lsat is 152 simply because a good number of people go in completely unprepared and another good number are practically retarded (one woman at my testing filled out the wrong part of the form during the instructions period and tried to fill out the cancellation section not understanding she was cancelling her score in doing so). You don't strike me as either of these types, but perhaps you were under-prepared. How much did you bust ass to prepare?

Consider your decision carefully. If you wind up going this fall then I wish you the best of luck. Having said that, 26 is only 4 years older than you would be had you started UG at 18 and went straight to law school after graduation. This is not a good enough reason to dive headfirst into shallow water. I plan on working a long time and therefore consider I have 30-40 working years ahead of me (and like I said, I'm older). We can both afford to delay law school a year to secure a more favorable outcome in the long term.

Good luck with your decision.

Edit: I also know of several people that have taken Kaplan and seen only negligible increases. I took Blueprint. They are similar to Powerscore in structure (and also to Testmasters, I've been told), but they try to put a humorous spin on it. In all honesty, you could do more self study with a better system than Kaplan and see the same improvement. The structure helps, though.

Also, have you looked into the situation for public defender jobs? I know that in many locales the pay can be meager (like 40-50k) and some offices get 500-1000s of applications for a single spot. Only more food for thought.

Oh, and you got the polite crowd tonight. Things can be remarkably more hostile in such threads. :)

(Looks like I'm wordy tonight.)



Thank you for very thoughtful and insightful response. You make many good points. Your post illustrates exactly what I was looking for when I joined TLS - helpful, constructive feedback. I'd just hate to take it again, apply next cycle, and see similar results. I know I'm young but a year is still a LONG time. Your perspective has been very helpful though. I definitely have some thinking to do.


After being disappointed with my retake I was dreading the thought of sitting out yet another cycle because I also though that a year would be far too long to wait. I took the december lsat and I wasn't happy with my score in January. Lucky for me, I found a job that is not too stressful but pays enough for me to live comfortably. I'm retaking in October which is 4.5 months from now. I'll probably spend quite some time getting my app ready and apply by November. Then I'll probably spend December waiting for decisions and that will most likely take me into the new year. If things go well I actually think the year will go by rather quickly. I really didn't want to retake and thought of giving up altogether but I realised that this is what I really want to do and I'd be miserable if I went through life knowing that I didn't give it my best shot.

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wert3813
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby wert3813 » Thu May 16, 2013 11:39 am

mike140 wrote:Thanks for all of the help guys. I'm stuck between trying to kill my 1L at Syracuse and then transferring or taking the LSAT again. It's honestly not a question of laziness but rather a proper understanding of my abilities. I don't see any way that I could do better on it. Standardized tests aren't my thing. You've all been incredibly helpful and I can't thank you enough. I hope I can help someone in a similar capacity in the future.

Mike,

If you have maxed out or don't have another 16 LSAT points in you going to law school is an objectively poor decision. I'm sorry. No one wants to hear that, but killing your 1L year at Syracuse is extremely unlikely and you are a prime candidate for graduating with a bunch of debt and no job.

bananapeanutbutter
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:12 pm

Re: Advice needed!

Postby bananapeanutbutter » Thu May 16, 2013 1:08 pm

Just be number one. It's always better to be a depressed and homelessawyer than a middle class non-lawyer. It's all about how much you believe. Rumor is Jesus does the grading and it's always about who feels it.

bananapeanutbutter
Posts: 351
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:12 pm

Re: Advice needed!

Postby bananapeanutbutter » Thu May 16, 2013 1:10 pm

Ladies loveeeeee jobless 30 yr olds with 200k in debt. It's so hawtttt! And if you get down, just blame it on a political group or a mixture of minorities. That's part of the cuse 10 yr plan in the brochure.

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isuperserial
Posts: 519
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby isuperserial » Thu May 16, 2013 3:19 pm

And here come the brutally honest people. Look, if you can't see the overwhelming consensus here, then there's really nothing more any of us can do. Nobody here thinks going is a good idea. No one. None. Nobody.

But we can't make you do something you don't want to do.

Good luck.

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buddyt
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Re: Advice needed!

Postby buddyt » Thu May 16, 2013 3:37 pm

isuperserial wrote:Nobody here thinks going is a good idea. No one. None. Nobody.

efin12
Posts: 51
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:34 pm

Re: Advice needed!

Postby efin12 » Thu May 16, 2013 3:38 pm

mike140 wrote:
Clearlynotstefan wrote:OP, I have a similarly dismal GPA, I realized I really wanted to maximize my chances for success, I took a year off and retook my 164, I studied for practically a year on and off, and scored 175+. I'm applying next cycle and am now competitive for T14. It was worth the year even though it delayed my dreams by another year. Honestly, your best bet might be being smart enough to pass on law school, but if you are really going to pursue it, you need to continue doing research and figure out what your goals are and the best way to achieve them. HOW did you study for the LSAT?


Congrats! That's awesome. I'm happy that you were able to raise your score that much. I took a Kaplan course and took countless practice exams. The main issue for me (as for most I assume) was time. I've accepted the fact that I don't test well on standardized exams.


I just wanted to reiterate that taking a Kaplan course in NO way means you have maxed out your potential. I would argue taking a Kaplan course actually hurt you. I took a Kaplan course for four months, attended every class, and completed every homework assignment, and only went up 4 points (which I think was just luck). After self study with PowerScore and Manhattan, I was able to go up another 10 points. It's easy to blame weak performance on being a poor standardized test taker, but I really think the LSAT is a learnable test that you can beat. I had pretty average SAT test scores and wasn't confident in my ability to do well on the LSAT. Once I ditched Kaplan, I saw a major improvement. I really think you would, as well. If I were in your shoes, I would wait another year and devote all my time to a retake.




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