MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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ScrabbleChamp
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:44 pm

Do you know anyone that is participating/has participated in the Tax Clinic? I had a current 3L call me a few weeks ago to speak with me about the school, and I mentioned to her I was interested in the Tax Clinic and she said she would pass my info along to a friend that was in the Tax Clinic, but nobody ever got back with me.

Guthrie32
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby Guthrie32 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:53 pm

sparty99 wrote:(1) What is the magic formula to be at the top of your class? I want that $160k job you hear about. Also, one of those full-ride scholarships for 2L/3L will be nice as well.

(2) What is the salary ranges for summer associates? I heard in NY they make $3,000/week. Is this possible for MSU students (whether in NYC, chicago, michigan)?

(3) Do the top 10 students remain at MSU or do they usually transfer to Michigan?

(4) Do you get a lot of cooley transfers?

(5) Are there biglaw firms that specialize in criminal law? Do you know their names so I can research them?


1) I'm not sure there is a magic formula, but I would suggest not listening to what anyone tells you. Find out how you study best, and then study relentlessly. Make school a 60 hour a week job, and you will easily have a shot at making the top of your class. One of my study group members (you definitely should be in a study group) is on track to getting a scholarship after this year, pending similar grades this semester. I study better at the library, so I basically picked a table and got a very close-knit group of 4 people and laid claim to it. We basically lived at this table during the last month of fall semester. The SBA or some organization cleared out the Castle Boardroom for the 2 weeks of finals and they had breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily…like I said, I literally lived in the library. USE THE LIBRARY, that is an enormous resource, I didn't buy hardly any supplements because I checked them out from the library reserve. It can save you a LOT of money.

2) Summer associate pay does get into the upper 2k range, but you should know upfront that literally 10-20 students out of 290 will even be in the running for those positions. Not saying it isn't possible, but that you will have to really work to be in the running. I know the most prized summer associate positions are in Chicago and Detroit, but there are others that pay well like Indianapolis (1900 at Baker & Daniels), and smaller cities like Grand Rapids are also options. That stuff should not even be on your mind until the day your fall finals are over. I suggest using it to motivate you, but do not let it run your life. Our school is very much a community, and is not overly competitive. There will always be gunners, but you do not want to be that person…nobody like you, lol!

3) I'm sure some of the top students transfer, but honestly I do not think anywhere near all of the top 10 have left. You will know who did well from the 2L class because most of the students who were the JP of classes return as TA's. I do not know of anyone planning to transfer from my sections, but again, I'm sure some will.

4) I do not know of anyone that is a transfer, but I'm sure there are some from Cooley. I would just be guessing as to how many. As a 1L I don't know who was and was not here last year, so it is hard to tell.

Hope this helps you out! If you have any other questions feel free to ask away! Are you for sure attending MSU this fall?

Guthrie32
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby Guthrie32 » Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:55 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:Do you know anyone that is participating/has participated in the Tax Clinic? I had a current 3L call me a few weeks ago to speak with me about the school, and I mentioned to her I was interested in the Tax Clinic and she said she would pass my info along to a friend that was in the Tax Clinic, but nobody ever got back with me.


This is actually a clinic I would like to do. If you have specific questions about it I can try to answer them, otherwise I can give a broad overview.

sizzlechest
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby sizzlechest » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:08 pm

ScrabbleChamp wrote:Do you know anyone that is participating/has participated in the Tax Clinic? I had a current 3L call me a few weeks ago to speak with me about the school, and I mentioned to her I was interested in the Tax Clinic and she said she would pass my info along to a friend that was in the Tax Clinic, but nobody ever got back with me.


http://www.law.msu.edu/clinics/tax/staff.html

Call or email the clinic...I met Professor Halloran and toured the old facility awhile back prior to applying...she was very friendly and helpful.

artfbo01
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Graduate housing?

Postby artfbo01 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 2:15 pm

What do you know about graduate on-campus housing? I believe Owen Hall is used to house law students on-campus, right?

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ScrabbleChamp
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby ScrabbleChamp » Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:15 pm

sizzlechest wrote:
ScrabbleChamp wrote:Do you know anyone that is participating/has participated in the Tax Clinic? I had a current 3L call me a few weeks ago to speak with me about the school, and I mentioned to her I was interested in the Tax Clinic and she said she would pass my info along to a friend that was in the Tax Clinic, but nobody ever got back with me.


http://www.law.msu.edu/clinics/tax/staff.html

Call or email the clinic...I met Professor Halloran and toured the old facility awhile back prior to applying...she was very friendly and helpful.


Maybe it's just me, but the one glaring problem I have with MSU is the fact the Tax Clinic Director is a graduate of Cooley. I'm sure she is a nice lady, but, Cooley?

Guthrie32
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby Guthrie32 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:32 pm

artfbo01 wrote:What do you know about graduate on-campus housing? I believe Owen Hall is used to house law students on-campus, right?


Owen Hall is great for people who do not mind a dorm setting. I personally would not like being confined to the small dorm rooms, but it was recently revamped and is a very modern building. The Riverwalk Market is an excellent place to eat, and I believe residents of Owen get a meal plan with the deal. To break it down this is how I would rate it:

Positives:
No cooking
Close to Law building (across the street)
Quiet and surrounded by other law students (could be good/bad)
Single rooms
No Utilities
Study rooms in basement

Negatives:
Expensive
Shared bathroom
Small room

Hope this helps.

sparty99
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby sparty99 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:31 pm

I was going to say don't live in Owen Hall, but I saw it was recently renovated and it looked nice. Although, I didn't see pics of the dorm rooms.

But then I thought about it again, you don't want to live in the dorm as a grad student. The dorm is very, very, very, very small. And you have to share a bathroom! That alone would make me not interested.

Guthrie32
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby Guthrie32 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:16 pm

sparty99 wrote:I was going to say don't live in Owen Hall, but I saw it was recently renovated and it looked nice. Although, I didn't see pics of the dorm rooms.

But then I thought about it again, you don't want to live in the dorm as a grad student. The dorm is very, very, very, very small. And you have to share a bathroom! That alone would make me not interested.


I personally would not live there either, despite the fact that I'm writing this comment from the Riverwalk Market in Owen. The rooms are very small, but if you are used to a dorm and do not have much stuff it may work for you. I just have too much stuff for that amount of space, and I refuse to share a bathroom. Honestly, for dorms I must admit they are remodeled and nice looking, but I will most likely live at Chandler Crossings all three years. I lived at the Club this year and will be at the Landings for the 2011-2012 school year.

Danteshek
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby Danteshek » Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:44 pm

Guthrie32 wrote:
Danteshek wrote:
Guthrie32 wrote:I think it is definitely headed in the right direction. I personally am not interested in business law, but I do know the journal is ranked very high, and made a big jump into the top 50. That is partially due to having an excellent business school across the street, and partially because the J.D./MBA program is a really great deal for people interested in a dual program. If you have more specific questions I can get you an email for someone on the journal.


I am competing in the Elliot Spoon student writing competition. But I might withdraw if the Journal of Business and Technology Law at U of MD accepts my submission. I will know by tomorrow.


Well, my article was accepted by the Journal of Business and Technology Law :-)

Guthrie32
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby Guthrie32 » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:36 pm

Danteshek wrote:
Guthrie32 wrote:
Danteshek wrote:
Guthrie32 wrote:I think it is definitely headed in the right direction. I personally am not interested in business law, but I do know the journal is ranked very high, and made a big jump into the top 50. That is partially due to having an excellent business school across the street, and partially because the J.D./MBA program is a really great deal for people interested in a dual program. If you have more specific questions I can get you an email for someone on the journal.


I am competing in the Elliot Spoon student writing competition. But I might withdraw if the Journal of Business and Technology Law at U of MD accepts my submission. I will know by tomorrow.


Well, my article was accepted by the Journal of Business and Technology Law :-)


Congrats!

Rucks689
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby Rucks689 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:51 pm

Thanks for answering questions!

If you don't mind me asking, what is your rent like at Chandler Crossings? I've heard a lot of people at MSU say how many law students live there.

Also, how is the general quality of life in East Lansing? I am from Kazoo, MI and graduating from CMU this semester, and I have never really had good feelings about the Lansing area, especially after I interned there this summer. Do you feel like there are undergrads everywhere?

Do you know anyone in the King scholarship program? If so, do they think the extra project/class/etc are beneficial?

Thanks again.

sparty99
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby sparty99 » Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:43 pm

Rucks689 wrote:Thanks for answering questions!

If you don't mind me asking, what is your rent like at Chandler Crossings? I've heard a lot of people at MSU say how many law students live there.

Also, how is the general quality of life in East Lansing? I am from Kazoo, MI and graduating from CMU this semester, and I have never really had good feelings about the Lansing area, especially after I interned there this summer. Do you feel like there are undergrads everywhere?

Do you know anyone in the King scholarship program? If so, do they think the extra project/class/etc are beneficial?

Thanks again.


I didn't study law at MSU, but did undergrad there. East Lansing and Lansing are very different. 1) East Lansing is basically Michigan State. There really is no need for a MSU studdent to leave campus. Lansing is not an attractive city and is struggling with the economy, but the baseball stadium downtown gives the city character. Outside of that, I don't have too many positive things to say about Lansing.

Some of the cities surrounding EL are nice. Specifically, Okemos/Meridian. You will go to Okemos/Meridian for movies, target, best buy, etc. However, don't judge MSU by what you see in Lansing. Unless you plan on working at the state government or for MSU, you will likely not stay in the Lansing area after graduation.

The quality of life in EL is good. Everything is cheap and you're surrounded by people your age. MSU has 45,000 students with 10,000 of those students at the graduate level. No matter what they say, MSU is an undergraduate instutiton and caters to that experience. However, 10,000 students is a large community so you shouldn't feel like an old geezer. You will see plenty of undergrads on campus because the law school is right next to the business school. Some of these students might use the law library to study and this could annoy you. But MSU has very strong medical, education, physics, and business programs at the graduate level so you are not alone. Regardless if you are a grad student or undergrad, most students who attend MSU fall in love with the scenery and what it means to be a Spartan. This is probably what differentiates MSU from many law programs.

Guthrie32
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby Guthrie32 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:42 am

sparty99 wrote:
Rucks689 wrote:Thanks for answering questions!

If you don't mind me asking, what is your rent like at Chandler Crossings? I've heard a lot of people at MSU say how many law students live there.

Also, how is the general quality of life in East Lansing? I am from Kazoo, MI and graduating from CMU this semester, and I have never really had good feelings about the Lansing area, especially after I interned there this summer. Do you feel like there are undergrads everywhere?

Do you know anyone in the King scholarship program? If so, do they think the extra project/class/etc are beneficial?

Thanks again.


I didn't study law at MSU, but did undergrad there. East Lansing and Lansing are very different. 1) East Lansing is basically Michigan State. There really is no need for a MSU studdent to leave campus. Lansing is not an attractive city and is struggling with the economy, but the baseball stadium downtown gives the city character. Outside of that, I don't have too many positive things to say about Lansing.

Some of the cities surrounding EL are nice. Specifically, Okemos/Meridian. You will go to Okemos/Meridian for movies, target, best buy, etc. However, don't judge MSU by what you see in Lansing. Unless you plan on working at the state government or for MSU, you will likely not stay in the Lansing area after graduation.

The quality of life in EL is good. Everything is cheap and you're surrounded by people your age. MSU has 45,000 students with 10,000 of those students at the graduate level. No matter what they say, MSU is an undergraduate instutiton and caters to that experience. However, 10,000 students is a large community so you shouldn't feel like an old geezer. You will see plenty of undergrads on campus because the law school is right next to the business school. Some of these students might use the law library to study and this could annoy you. But MSU has very strong medical, education, physics, and business programs at the graduate level so you are not alone. Regardless if you are a grad student or undergrad, most students who attend MSU fall in love with the scenery and what it means to be a Spartan. This is probably what differentiates MSU from many law programs.


Very well put. I would just add that my rent is 456 now, and that is for a 4BR with 3 roommates. Next year, I will pay 527, but it will be a 2BR at the Landings at Chandler Crossing. It is a great place to live.

I do know several King's Scholars and I would say the extra stuff is beneficial, but it seems to be very light. I don't think they have to put a ton of time into it. It is a wonderful program and I know the scholar's in my section have formed a pretty tight bond.

Guthrie32
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby Guthrie32 » Tue Mar 15, 2011 7:44 am

I would also like to point out that we are now ranked 95 in the U.S. News and World Reports! I think this is an awesome first step, but I also think that it is just the beginning for this school. There is a TON of potential here, and I think the administration is fully committed to moving this school even further into the top 100.

Damascus
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby Damascus » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:45 am

What's the crime rate around campus? I plan on riding a bicycle and hoping it won't get stolen.

sparty99
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby sparty99 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:55 am

The crime rate is basically non existent. Petty theft like leaving your dorm room unlocked is your only concern. I went to UG at MSU and had a bike for four years. It was never stolen. Just make sure you have a good lock. People have been to known to jack bikes without locks. I mean, it's a large campus so anyone will do anything to avoid walking. Also, sometimes people would steal your wheels on your bike, but this is rare. If they are going to steal your bike, they usually take the entire thing. You also have to make sure you lock the bike well. Sometimes they can lift the poll that you lock your bike to. The U-Shaped bike locks is what is recommended by the police, although, I did have some issues with these locks. On two ocassions it was so cold that I could not open my bike lock. This actually caused me to have to buy a new bike from Target because I could not unlock the bike.

Rucks689
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby Rucks689 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:51 am

sparty99 wrote: On two ocassions it was so cold that I could not open my bike lock. This actually caused me to have to buy a new bike from Target because I could not unlock the bike.



If that ever happens in the future, you can sometimes get a U-lock off with a car jack. If it is in the right place and there is space, you can put it in between the two ends of the U and push off the end. I had a U-lock one time and the key actually broke off inside the lock. However, it was only locked to itself, so the car jack worked with just a few scratches on the bike.

Anyway, that is totally off topic. I made my final decision on MSU! Better financial choice all around. Going down to look at apartments in a week or so. It will be nice to be close to the family.

Also, on the crime situation, I did recently hear of someone that got carjacked and stuffed in the trunk, and maybe would have been shot to death if it had not been a new car with a trunk release. Of course, I do not think that is the sort of thing that happens often at all. I imagine if you use common sense you'll be alright.

climber
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby climber » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:35 pm

Guthrie32 wrote: There is a TON of potential here, and I think the administration is fully committed to moving this school even further into the top 100.


My friend was a former professor at MSU law. The school also has a lot of challenges. For example, it is basically a brand new law school with a prior history of a 4th tier law school in Detroit. So MSU isn't going to have as establish alumni or reputation in Michigan or the midwest as the overall institution, which is a powerhouse, world class research university. My guess is that MSU probably greatly lags in terms of donations and funding at the university level, so they really maybe constrained to make the improvements necessary to climb in the rankings over established law schools.

But who knows? The MBA program is also fairly new and has greatly climbed in the rankings. But one important fact is that there were some rich and powerful corporations that wanted the MBA program to exist and funded its establishment and endowed it to get top professors. Places like Dow Chemical were sick of loses top candidates because it couldn't offer them a decent local MBA program. For years they had to send them to Saginaw State until the MSU program was started.

The law school doesn't have those advantages and the legal market in Lansing is very middle market to support many top tier law firms. A potentially shrinking Detroit legal market where it doesn't have a lot of alums except for the DCL folks doesn't help either. But its connection with MSU I would think give it a better future than Wayne State.

jpjpporter
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby jpjpporter » Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:41 am

What can you tell me about incoming scholarships? What are the stipulations on them? are they just front-loaded to get students to come to MSU, or do most people who get a scholarship end up keeping them? Thanks

Guthrie32
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby Guthrie32 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:17 pm

climber wrote:
Guthrie32 wrote: There is a TON of potential here, and I think the administration is fully committed to moving this school even further into the top 100.


My friend was a former professor at MSU law. The school also has a lot of challenges. For example, it is basically a brand new law school with a prior history of a 4th tier law school in Detroit. So MSU isn't going to have as establish alumni or reputation in Michigan or the midwest as the overall institution, which is a powerhouse, world class research university. My guess is that MSU probably greatly lags in terms of donations and funding at the university level, so they really maybe constrained to make the improvements necessary to climb in the rankings over established law schools.

But who knows? The MBA program is also fairly new and has greatly climbed in the rankings. But one important fact is that there were some rich and powerful corporations that wanted the MBA program to exist and funded its establishment and endowed it to get top professors. Places like Dow Chemical were sick of loses top candidates because it couldn't offer them a decent local MBA program. For years they had to send them to Saginaw State until the MSU program was started.

The law school doesn't have those advantages and the legal market in Lansing is very middle market to support many top tier law firms. A potentially shrinking Detroit legal market where it doesn't have a lot of alums except for the DCL folks doesn't help either. But its connection with MSU I would think give it a better future than Wayne State.


I cannot disagree with a lot of this, but I do know that there is a lot of money coming into this school. There seems to be a strong push from MSU to continue forward in the rankings (see Penn State for an example of what a new Big 10 school can do). There are also a lot of DCL attorneys who are very successful, and are very well respected in Michigan. It was always ranked low because they accepted a lot of students with low numbers and focused primarily on Detroit. The fact that it has been around since the 1800's really helps because a lot of those attorneys from Detroit made fortunes off of the auto industry. I know DCL does not have a national name, but locally those attorneys did extremely well, and are embedded in the state of Michigan. I just think the MSU name really helps, and people will realize that it is no longer the school it used to be, and that is what matters going forward.

Guthrie32
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby Guthrie32 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:23 pm

jpjpporter wrote:What can you tell me about incoming scholarships? What are the stipulations on them? are they just front-loaded to get students to come to MSU, or do most people who get a scholarship end up keeping them? Thanks


My scholarship (full tuition) only requires a 2.5 GPA to maintain it, which is substantially less than all of my other offers (most were 3.0, or top x% of the class). There are others that require a 3.0, and the King's scholars who require a 3.5, so it depends on which one you get. I think they are definitely using them to attract stronger students, but I do not think that many are actually going to lose it once they get here. Most people do not talk about their scholarship offers much, but I think it would be hard to lose the ones that only require a 2.5 or 3.0. The King's scholars have to have excellent numbers just to get the scholarship, so they are held to that 3.5 for a reason (and there are only a select few who get this scholarship). They are infusing a ton of scholarship money to get students with higher numbers, and students with higher numbers=better ranking. It seems like that is the driving force, and losing students to dropouts will not help the ranking, which is what would happen if a bunch of people were losing scholarships. Hope this helps.

mrperfect101
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby mrperfect101 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:21 pm

I will be starting this Fall and I'm considering moving into The Lansing at Chandler Crossings. Is there anything that a prospective resident should know before signing the lease. The website makes it look like a utopia, although most apartment websites do this.

Also, How helpful are the professors in regards to assisting students during their office hours and with difficult material?

I'm coming all the way from Georgia , so Michigan is a big change in terms of academics, location, and weather

Thanks..

Guthrie32
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby Guthrie32 » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:25 am

mrperfect101 wrote:I will be starting this Fall and I'm considering moving into The Lansing at Chandler Crossings. Is there anything that a prospective resident should know before signing the lease. The website makes it look like a utopia, although most apartment websites do this.

Also, How helpful are the professors in regards to assisting students during their office hours and with difficult material?

I'm coming all the way from Georgia , so Michigan is a big change in terms of academics, location, and weather

Thanks..


For starters, congratulations on deciding to attend and welcome to MSU Law! I have good news, and I have bad news. The good is that you have picked a great apartment complex, and professors are helpful…the bad is that you are going to be subjected to Michigan winters! I assume you mean the "Landings" at Chandler Crossings? If so, it really is a nice place. I actually will be staying there this fall. My two biggest complaints with the complex are thin walls and insulation. It really is nice, but the bottom floor units get drafty in the dead of winter, and units close to the bus line (which is very few at the landing) can get a little loud. Other than that, it is a great place to live and has a lot to offer.

Professors truly run an open door policy here. I struggled with contracts, and received a lot of great advice (both law school and life) from my professor. All of your 1L classes also have TA's, which are extremely helpful at clearing up tough situations, and many do weekly or at least bi-weekly review sessions. I did not have a 1L professor that was not approachable, or available for ample office hours.

I have spent a lot of time in Georgia, mostly Jefferson/Athens, so I have to say the winters will kind of suck for you. I am originally from Indiana, but I would go stay with family in Georgia in the winter/early spring and it was always a lot warmer there. The good news about the weather is that you won't spend a lot of time outdoors your first year, and the snow can actually be very peaceful.

cabbydui
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Re: MSU Law - 1L Taking Questions

Postby cabbydui » Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:30 pm

To be honest about the King Scholars I think that you need a 3.5 to retain the benefits of the King Scholars program but only a 3.0 to retain the full-tuition scholarship




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