Critique my law school options list

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ri.co
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Critique my law school options list

Postby ri.co » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:44 am

URM, UC Berkeley, Rhetoric, 3.6, 155 and 155, CA resident, immigration paralegal/community activist/primary caretaker (out of school since summer 2015), want PI Immigration work, depending on PSLF program for debt. I know my LSAT isn't the best but I want to see what offers I get. If they aren't great I am open to taking some more years off from school and don't want to but might be open to retaking the LSAT.

UC Irvine
University of Colorado
St. John's
Loyola Marymount
Northeastern
Rutgers School of Law-Newark
University of San Diego
Lewis & Clark
CUNY

studystudystudy
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby studystudystudy » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:56 am

why don't you just do a course now and retake in Dec.?

devilblue
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby devilblue » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:57 am

They are awful options. If you were able to get a 3.6 from berk you can probably get a higher lsat score up into the 160s, and then you'd be looking at options that aren't awful (still not GREAT, but certainly not awful). Retake.

cavalier1138
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:42 am

If you want to do immigration law, then focus on the region you want to work in. CUNY is actually a pretty good option if you want to work with local NYC organizations, and Irvine would be great for California. Avoid the rest of the schools on your list (unless you want to work in Colorado or New Jersey). Most immigration work is direct representation, and those organizations care much less about your school pedigree than they do about your commitment, language skills, etc. But you still need to go to a decent school and not some dumpster fire like San Diego.

You should shoot to raise that LSAT and get a full ride to a strong regional school where you want to practice.

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Rigo
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby Rigo » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:20 pm

cavalier1138 wrote: dumpster fire like San Diego.

Not saying USD is a great school, but it's not the most glaring dumpster fire on the list (cough cough St. John's section stacking)

Retake (why not December?) and pinpoint where you'd like to end up when considering regional schools.

ri.co
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby ri.co » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:48 am

studystudystudy wrote:why don't you just do a course now and retake in Dec.?



Thank you everyone for responding. I knew it was embarrassing getting the same score but I thought there might be some good offers considering I went pretty low down in the rank.

Since I got the same score twice, I am not confident in raising my score. I wanted to see what kinds of offers I got. Like I said in my post, if they all suck I will take some more time off then study again once I don't feel like I will remember answers from the tests I studied earlier this year.

ri.co
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby ri.co » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:09 am

cavalier1138 wrote:If you want to do immigration law, then focus on the region you want to work in. CUNY is actually a pretty good option if you want to work with local NYC organizations, and Irvine would be great for California. Avoid the rest of the schools on your list (unless you want to work in Colorado or New Jersey). Most immigration work is direct representation, and those organizations care much less about your school pedigree than they do about your commitment, language skills, etc. But you still need to go to a decent school and not some dumpster fire like San Diego.

You should shoot to raise that LSAT and get a full ride to a strong regional school where you want to practice.


So if I am understanding you right my list of schools are solid but I should improve my LSAT score to make sure I don't have debt because I'm interested in public interest work? You don't think I should trust PSLF existing in a few years?

Do you think my list is solid though or what other dumpster fires should I avoid? I am a little hesitant about this since my bosses at my law firm formed their own non-profit law firm in CA even though they both went to Northeastern so I always saw myself following in their footsteps.

ri.co
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby ri.co » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:10 am

devilblue wrote:They are awful options. If you were able to get a 3.6 from berk you can probably get a higher lsat score up into the 160s, and then you'd be looking at options that aren't awful (still not GREAT, but certainly not awful). Retake.


Are these options really that bad? My bosses at my law firm are from Northeastern and they managed to start their own non-profit law firm that still stands years later :)

studystudystudy
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby studystudystudy » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:25 am

I think it depends. One of the partners at the firm I work at went to San Diego and trust me, he's doing quite well. I'm also looking at USD, LMU, Pepperdine, and UCI so I disagree. But I obviously know that should I choose Pepperdine, I'm pretty much chained to So Cal for a good few years. Ya know what I mean

cavalier1138
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby cavalier1138 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:47 am

ri.co wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:If you want to do immigration law, then focus on the region you want to work in. CUNY is actually a pretty good option if you want to work with local NYC organizations, and Irvine would be great for California. Avoid the rest of the schools on your list (unless you want to work in Colorado or New Jersey). Most immigration work is direct representation, and those organizations care much less about your school pedigree than they do about your commitment, language skills, etc. But you still need to go to a decent school and not some dumpster fire like San Diego.

You should shoot to raise that LSAT and get a full ride to a strong regional school where you want to practice.


So if I am understanding you right my list of schools are solid but I should improve my LSAT score to make sure I don't have debt because I'm interested in public interest work? You don't think I should trust PSLF existing in a few years?

Do you think my list is solid though or what other dumpster fires should I avoid? I am a little hesitant about this since my bosses at my law firm formed their own non-profit law firm in CA even though they both went to Northeastern so I always saw myself following in their footsteps.


PSLF is solid, but it often doesn't cover solo practitioners or small offices. So be extremely careful of relying on it for everything that you think is PI. You should do more reading on what PSLF covers and what schools' LRAPs are able to cover (to the extent that schools you apply to have LRAP).

And while solo practice is possible from anywhere, there are many, many, many attorneys who crash and burn trying to start up their own shops. Graduating without a bucketload of debt hanging over your head helps eliminate the stress of having to succeed in a very difficult market. You can find success stories from any school in the nation, but if you focus on those, you'll miss the huge number of attorneys struggling to find work or the graduates who never became attorneys in the first place.

ri.co
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby ri.co » Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:30 am

studystudystudy wrote:I think it depends. One of the partners at the firm I work at went to San Diego and trust me, he's doing quite well. I'm also looking at USD, LMU, Pepperdine, and UCI so I disagree. But I obviously know that should I choose Pepperdine, I'm pretty much chained to So Cal for a good few years. Ya know what I mean


What do you mean it depends? It seems like the consensus here is San Diego is a waste? I'm not sure why considering it got decent BAR passage rates compared to everything else according to http://abovethelaw.com/2016/12/californ ... hool-2016/ it's better than say UC Hastings or Pepperdine... And those above it are Irvine, Loyola, then the unreachable Stanford, UCB, UCLA, USC
Last edited by ri.co on Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

ri.co
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby ri.co » Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:32 am

Rigo wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote: dumpster fire like San Diego.

Not saying USD is a great school, but it's not the most glaring dumpster fire on the list (cough cough St. John's section stacking)

Retake (why not December?) and pinpoint where you'd like to end up when considering regional schools.


Can you explain a little more why St. John isn't good compared to something like Brooklyn Law School? I was trying to shoot for schools that would be reasonable based on my current numbers.

I am feeling a little discouraged after studying on my own twice for the LSAT for a solid four months each time (Blueprint Online, then Powerscore + LSAT Trainer) so you can understand my reticence to retake for a THIRD time. But yes, I understand its probably a good idea to minimize total debt without depending on PSLF.

studystudystudy
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby studystudystudy » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:05 am

ri.co wrote:
studystudystudy wrote:I think it depends. One of the partners at the firm I work at went to San Diego and trust me, he's doing quite well. I'm also looking at USD, LMU, Pepperdine, and UCI so I disagree. But I obviously know that should I choose Pepperdine, I'm pretty much chained to So Cal for a good few years. Ya know what I mean


What do you mean it depends? It seems like the consensus here is San Diego is a waste? I'm not sure why considering it got decent BAR passage rates compared to everything else according to http://abovethelaw.com/2016/12/californ ... hool-2016/ it's better than say UC Hastings or Pepperdine... And those above it are Irvine, Loyola, then the unreachable Stanford, UCB, UCLA, USC


It depends on what you want to do. I haven't done the research on SD regarding PI work, so idk on that. I guess what I meant is it depends on what type of career or lifestyle you are happy with. I disagree with your point that it is better than Pepperdine. Pepperdine has a lot more regional pull than you would assume. I've spoken with plenty of attorneys who attest to Pepperdine's education. Loyola and Pepperdine are basically the same except location purposes and that Loyola is in LA. To say Stanford, UCLA, USC, and Berkley are unreachable is an incredibly inaccurate remark. If you want that, take some time and increase your score +10 and it's reasonably in reach for you. Maybe think of enrolling in a course instead of self studying.

cavalier1138
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:51 am

studystudystudy wrote:One of the partners at the firm I work at went to San Diego and trust me, he's doing quite well.


I missed this earlier.

This is faulty logic and a dangerous way to go about choosing a law school. You can find partners at firms from almost any school. That doesn't affect the job market for graduates who can't get hired as a lawyer in the first place.

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unicorntamer666
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby unicorntamer666 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:01 am

If there's any way you can get your hands on a couple thousand dollars, I strongly encourage you to hire a top-notch LSAT tutor (from a major test prep company) and retake once more. I've come to believe virtually everyone should hire a private tutor and take the LSAT the maximum number of times. There's almost no way you will fail to recoup the cost of the tutor many times over via improved outcomes and bigger scholarship offers.

Anyway, I probably agree with whoever said you should go to the best regional school that offers you a full (or almost full) ride.

Good luck!

studystudystudy
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby studystudystudy » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:01 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
studystudystudy wrote:One of the partners at the firm I work at went to San Diego and trust me, he's doing quite well.


I missed this earlier.

This is faulty logic and a dangerous way to go about choosing a law school. You can find partners at firms from almost any school. That doesn't affect the job market for graduates who can't get hired as a lawyer in the first place.


I understand and completely agree with you. I was merely adding a fact.

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Rigo
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby Rigo » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:03 pm

ri.co wrote:Can you explain a little more why St. John isn't good compared to something like Brooklyn Law School? I was trying to shoot for schools that would be reasonable based on my current numbers.

St. John's is just NOTORIOUS for section stacking (when everyone receiving a conditional scholarship based on class rank is placed in the same section forcing most of the kids to have their scholarship taken away or reduced).

http://abarequireddisclosures.org
See for yourself (I think Law School Transparency might also track scholarship retention rates). Over half of the people receiving scholarships at St. John's lost them or had them reduced. That's the sign of a shady toilet school.
Though Brooklyn also does conditional scholarships, the retention rate is far greater so it's more of a gray area if section stacking is a thing at BLS. Be generally very cautious of schools that give conditional scholarships.

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UVA2B
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby UVA2B » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:07 pm

studystudystudy wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
studystudystudy wrote:One of the partners at the firm I work at went to San Diego and trust me, he's doing quite well.


I missed this earlier.

This is faulty logic and a dangerous way to go about choosing a law school. You can find partners at firms from almost any school. That doesn't affect the job market for graduates who can't get hired as a lawyer in the first place.


I understand and completely agree with you. I was merely adding a fact.


It might be a fact, but in reality it's just a faulty anecdote. I can walk the gaslamp district and probably find successful attorneys from USD. But you know what else I could possibly find? A Subway sandwich artist with a JD from USD.

Don't apply anecdotes, particularly from a different hiring environment, to consider schools. Statistics the school provides is your most accurate (still flawed, but better than anecdotes) representation of whether the school is a good investment.

ri.co
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby ri.co » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:29 pm

Rigo wrote:
ri.co wrote:Can you explain a little more why St. John isn't good compared to something like Brooklyn Law School? I was trying to shoot for schools that would be reasonable based on my current numbers.

St. John's is just NOTORIOUS for section stacking (when everyone receiving a conditional scholarship based on class rank is placed in the same section forcing most of the kids to have their scholarship taken away or reduced).

http://abarequireddisclosures.org
See for yourself (I think Law School Transparency might also track scholarship retention rates). Over half of the people receiving scholarships at St. John's lost them or had them reduced. That's the sign of a shady toilet school.
Though Brooklyn also does conditional scholarships, the retention rate is far greater so it's more of a gray area if section stacking is a thing at BLS. Be generally very cautious of schools that give conditional scholarships.


THANK YOU! The link you provided amazingly provides excel data for all schools at once with a click of a button. Do you think it would wise to disregard all the schools that do eliminate scholarships based on class rank?

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UVA2B
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby UVA2B » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:30 pm

ri.co wrote:
Rigo wrote:
ri.co wrote:Can you explain a little more why St. John isn't good compared to something like Brooklyn Law School? I was trying to shoot for schools that would be reasonable based on my current numbers.

St. John's is just NOTORIOUS for section stacking (when everyone receiving a conditional scholarship based on class rank is placed in the same section forcing most of the kids to have their scholarship taken away or reduced).

http://abarequireddisclosures.org
See for yourself (I think Law School Transparency might also track scholarship retention rates). Over half of the people receiving scholarships at St. John's lost them or had them reduced. That's the sign of a shady toilet school.
Though Brooklyn also does conditional scholarships, the retention rate is far greater so it's more of a gray area if section stacking is a thing at BLS. Be generally very cautious of schools that give conditional scholarships.


THANK YOU! The link you provided amazingly provides excel data for all schools at once with a click of a button. Do you think it would wise to disregard all the schools that do eliminate scholarships based on class rank?


Yes, scholarships are only acceptable when they require maintaining good academic standing.

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Rigo
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby Rigo » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:36 pm

Still apply for negotiation purposes I guess. I have a feeling most schools in your range probably do conditional scholarships and you shouldn't necessarily put all your eggs in the one basket that doesn't.

albanach
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby albanach » Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:40 pm

ri.co wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:If you want to do immigration law, then focus on the region you want to work in. CUNY is actually a pretty good option if you want to work with local NYC organizations, and Irvine would be great for California. Avoid the rest of the schools on your list (unless you want to work in Colorado or New Jersey). Most immigration work is direct representation, and those organizations care much less about your school pedigree than they do about your commitment, language skills, etc. But you still need to go to a decent school and not some dumpster fire like San Diego.

You should shoot to raise that LSAT and get a full ride to a strong regional school where you want to practice.


So if I am understanding you right my list of schools are solid but I should improve my LSAT score to make sure I don't have debt because I'm interested in public interest work? You don't think I should trust PSLF existing in a few years?

Do you think my list is solid though or what other dumpster fires should I avoid? I am a little hesitant about this since my bosses at my law firm formed their own non-profit law firm in CA even though they both went to Northeastern so I always saw myself following in their footsteps.


I think most folk currently in paid pslf don't even assume it will survive for them, let alone for future graduates.

And yes, raise that LSAT. Did you follow the tutorials on this site? Take any course? How long did you study, how many practice tests?

ri.co
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby ri.co » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:39 am

Rigo wrote:Still apply for negotiation purposes I guess. I have a feeling most schools in your range probably do conditional scholarships and you shouldn't necessarily put all your eggs in the one basket that doesn't.


Well seeing as this is the second time I get a 155 I felt I had little to lose to see for myself what kind of offers I get. In any case, thanks for your response.

ri.co
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby ri.co » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:44 am

albanach wrote:
ri.co wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:If you want to do immigration law, then focus on the region you want to work in. CUNY is actually a pretty good option if you want to work with local NYC organizations, and Irvine would be great for California. Avoid the rest of the schools on your list (unless you want to work in Colorado or New Jersey). Most immigration work is direct representation, and those organizations care much less about your school pedigree than they do about your commitment, language skills, etc. But you still need to go to a decent school and not some dumpster fire like San Diego.

You should shoot to raise that LSAT and get a full ride to a strong regional school where you want to practice.


So if I am understanding you right my list of schools are solid but I should improve my LSAT score to make sure I don't have debt because I'm interested in public interest work? You don't think I should trust PSLF existing in a few years?

Do you think my list is solid though or what other dumpster fires should I avoid? I am a little hesitant about this since my bosses at my law firm formed their own non-profit law firm in CA even though they both went to Northeastern so I always saw myself following in their footsteps.


I think most folk currently in paid pslf don't even assume it will survive for them, let alone for future graduates.

And yes, raise that LSAT. Did you follow the tutorials on this site? Take any course? How long did you study, how many practice tests?


So I took Blueprint Online for six months and took around 15-20 tests. I don't have access to my scores anymore and took the Feb test so I don't have access to the real test either.

Second time around I bought Powerscore Bibles and finished the three. I took notes every chapter. I also bought LSAT Trainer, which I finished in the last month, since I started freaking out that a month before the real test I wasn't seeing much improvement. Fortunately, this time I have access to the scores I was getting on my PTs and the real test I took in June. I have attached my PT scores. Basically my highest was 162 once with 3 161s, but mostly in the 150s.

https://postimg.org/image/iq99te8et/

whodareswins
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Re: Critique my law school options list

Postby whodareswins » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:22 am

Lewis and Clark did away with gpa/rank stipulations on scholarships a few years ago. You just have to stay in good standing (1.8-2.0) to keep your scholarship, but virtually everybody does. L&C is very public interest focused so it may be worth applying to.

Good luck! Keep us updated.




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