Entering UT, have questions

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Mos10
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby Mos10 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:32 pm

BigZuck wrote:Middle of the pack you're probably looking at relatively lower paying small firm work if you're looking for something in the private sector. Public sector probably stuff like PD and DA offices, things like that. Basically not the more "prestigious" work.

It's a relatively big school so there's all kinds of different courses on offer. By and large though a JD is a "generalist degree."


What would be relatively lower paying? $70k?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:35 pm

Mos10 wrote:All right, I'll take that into consideration. But I would like my transcripts to be biased towards commercial law over constitutional/human rights/criminal.
And by the way, to become a special agent you need three years of experience in a professional field (such as law). Foreign language skills are valued as well. This doesn't necessarily mean I'd even be competitive six years from now, but there is no mutually exclusive choice between the FBI and big law.
https://www.fbijobs.gov/1111.asp

No, it's more that the FBI is incredibly competitive and not something you can count on. I'm also not sure how all that commercial law stuff is supposed to prepare you to be an FBI agent, but you never know.

Also, lower paying is more like $40K.

Mos10
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby Mos10 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:45 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Mos10 wrote:All right, I'll take that into consideration. But I would like my transcripts to be biased towards commercial law over constitutional/human rights/criminal.
And by the way, to become a special agent you need three years of experience in a professional field (such as law). Foreign language skills are valued as well. This doesn't necessarily mean I'd even be competitive six years from now, but there is no mutually exclusive choice between the FBI and big law.
https://www.fbijobs.gov/1111.asp

No, it's more that the FBI is incredibly competitive and not something you can count on. I'm also not sure how all that commercial law stuff is supposed to prepare you to be an FBI agent, but you never know.

Also, lower paying is more like $40K.


I'm aware that it's competitive, and I never said I was counting on it. They require a BA/BS in any discipline and three years of work experience, or an advanced degree and two years of professional experience. I think my fluency in Russian is what would matter, not the field of law I choose.
So you're probably someone who doesn't think law school is worth it unless it's HSY, right? Maybe you're right - I'm trying to gauge that.

BigZuck
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby BigZuck » Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:54 pm

Mos10 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Mos10 wrote:All right, I'll take that into consideration. But I would like my transcripts to be biased towards commercial law over constitutional/human rights/criminal.
And by the way, to become a special agent you need three years of experience in a professional field (such as law). Foreign language skills are valued as well. This doesn't necessarily mean I'd even be competitive six years from now, but there is no mutually exclusive choice between the FBI and big law.
https://www.fbijobs.gov/1111.asp

No, it's more that the FBI is incredibly competitive and not something you can count on. I'm also not sure how all that commercial law stuff is supposed to prepare you to be an FBI agent, but you never know.

Also, lower paying is more like $40K.


I'm aware that it's competitive, and I never said I was counting on it. They require a BA/BS in any discipline and three years of work experience, or an advanced degree and two years of professional experience. I think my fluency in Russian is what would matter, not the field of law I choose.
So you're probably someone who doesn't think law school is worth it unless it's HSY, right? Maybe you're right - I'm trying to gauge that.


She went to a regional school. She one of the least "elitist" regulars around here.

Anyway, that's a weird ad hom, she's just trying to help. I think the main point being that you might be overestimating just what exactly a law degree gets you and what career possibilities might be available to you from law school in general and this school in particular.

Mos10
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby Mos10 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 6:59 pm

I don't want to overestimate, and I mean no offense to A. Nony Mouse. I have nothing against elitists if the truth is on their side.
I got into my dream school, I don't really have any prospects outside of it, and I'd like to know if a JD from UT would ultimately be a net monetary gain, as opposed to a net loss like JD's from many other schools. I don't expect to get rich, but if I have no reasonable expectation of paying off my debt and supporting a family, then I'd like to know.

BigZuck
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby BigZuck » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:03 pm

Guess that largely depends on what you'll end up paying for your JD.

Mos10
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby Mos10 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:06 pm

Well I got in-state tuition, but only a $1000 scholarship.
I would love to be a lawyer practicing in Texas, but the trauma of being an unemployed history major has made me second-guess.

BigZuck
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby BigZuck » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:11 pm

What you're comfortable with debt wise is a personal decision.

If you have to take out loans for cost of living and tuition and everything you're going to be about 170K in debt at the end of three years. Personally, I wouldn't pay anything close to that at UT, especially not without TX ties. But again, that's a personal decision.

Mos10
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby Mos10 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:15 pm

Well I'm Hispanic, that might be worth something if diversity is a factor.
And why couldn't I get Texas ties by networking and being politically active while I'm a UT student?

BigZuck
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby BigZuck » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:24 pm

Mos10 wrote:Well I'm Hispanic, that might be worth something if diversity is a factor.
And why couldn't I get Texas ties by networking and being politically active while I'm a UT student?


I mean, if you're not a Texan, you'll never be a Texan. That might matter to some Texans more than others when it comes to employment. I don't think not being a Texan is the absolute kiss of death or anything like that, I just think you might have a bit more of an uphill battle when it comes to selling yourself and explaining why you might want to live in a certain region.

You have mentioned the politics thing a lot and I'm not really sure what you mean by that. I could envision being highly politically active to being polarizing for some people depending on the nature of the activity. But maybe it could be a big plus, I'm not sure.

My point was more about the 170K debt and less about the ties, but I do think having ties are generally better than not having ties.

Mos10
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby Mos10 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:25 pm

And why is UT not worth that? Don't its graduates have decent job prospects?
It's a far sight better than UC Hastings, which is more expensive and in a far more saturated, competitive market.

Mos10
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby Mos10 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:27 pm

BigZuck wrote:
Mos10 wrote:Well I'm Hispanic, that might be worth something if diversity is a factor.
And why couldn't I get Texas ties by networking and being politically active while I'm a UT student?


I mean, if you're not a Texan, you'll never be a Texan. That might matter to some Texans more than others when it comes to employment. I don't think not being a Texan is the absolute kiss of death or anything like that, I just think you might have a bit more of an uphill battle when it comes to selling yourself and explaining why you might want to live in a certain region.

You have mentioned the politics thing a lot and I'm not really sure what you mean by that. I could envision being highly politically active to being polarizing for some people depending on the nature of the activity. But maybe it could be a big plus, I'm not sure.

My point was more about the 170K debt and less about the ties, but I do think having ties are generally better than not having ties.


Okay, well I didn't want to get specific, but I plan to campaign for Greg Abbott and stay active in the Republican Party, hopefully forging state ties that way.

Mos10
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby Mos10 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 7:30 pm

I think it's do or die for me. It's impractical to assume that I'll be top third of my class, but considering the debt I'll be taking on and my lack of other career options, I don't think I have a choice but to be top third of my class.

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kalvano
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby kalvano » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:26 pm

1) Political activity won't get you Texas ties. You'll need something better than that and saying Texas has a good economy to convince a firm you won't bolt for somewhere else the minute you perceive their economy is better.

2) Why do you want to go to law school? You sound like someone who realized a history degree is kind of worthless and is banking on law school getting you to that upper-middle class lifestyle. What exactly do you want to do? Energy law and "law enforcement" are pretty disparate.

3) $170K for UT is nuts. You shouldn't do that.

4) Law school is full of smart people, and undergrad performance won't matter much. Don't assume anything other than being median and what your options will be from there.

Mos10
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby Mos10 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:34 pm

Everything you've said is basically true.
So, should I give up? I think I have a fair chance of success - I don't see the point of despairing.
And yes, I want to do energy law. That is my focus.
I came on this forum just to find out how to get ahead. I wanted advice, not put-downs.

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Balthy
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby Balthy » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:39 pm

Mos10 wrote:And your point is?
So I should go in with the attitude that I won't be in the top third, and slack off, right?



His/her point is probably that the likelihood of your NOT doing as hotly as you expect should factor into whether you should go to UT this fall, your career plans, etc. Looks like that's exactly what you're trying to do on TLS, so kudos but stop with the defensiveness.

Mos10
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby Mos10 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:58 pm

Balthy wrote:
Mos10 wrote:And your point is?
So I should go in with the attitude that I won't be in the top third, and slack off, right?



His/her point is probably that the likelihood of your NOT doing as hotly as you expect should factor into whether you should go to UT this fall, your career plans, etc. Looks like that's exactly what you're trying to do on TLS, so kudos but stop with the defensiveness.


I don't think I'm being unfairly defensive. I got into UT, and was seeking friendly advice about getting ahead while I'm there. I don't need to be told that it's tough to be at the top of the class.
I'd like to read some evidence that non-Texans are substantially discriminated against.

NYstate
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby NYstate » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:08 pm

Mos10 wrote:I'll be starting at UT this year (I applied ED). It was my dream school, but I want to put my best foot forward.
I'm very interested in their duel degree with ITAM in Mexico City. I want to specialize in corporate law, but I'm especially interested in the petroleum industry.
I don't want to bring up partisan politics, so I won't say which of the two parties I'll be volunteering with ahead of the elections this November. I hope to network through acquaintances in the party (I'm not from Texas, by the way).
I know UT is the best investment law school, and that Texas has a strong economy, but with the national legal market being what it is, I'd appreciate any insight and advice from UT students/grads, or from anyone familiar with the Texas legal world, about making my legal education worthwhile.
I'm hoping that the only contingency that could come between me and a job would be a depression. Don't want to squander these three years.


There are contingencies besides a recession or depression that could come between you and a job. Law school at best gets you an interview for very competitive jobs. Grades are a huge factor and because of the mandatory curve you can't guarantee with certainty that you can obtain the grade you want. Also the salary in law is starkly big modal. There are high salaries at one end, $40,000 or so at the other end and not a lot of room in between.

Almost all markets are insular on the sense that they want to know you will stay and that you will fit in. I know nothing about Texas hiring so I will leave that to others. As for volunteering, you need to be focused on school because grades are crucial, so don't plan on doing too much. I think it is a pretty good way to meet some people though it may not matter for hiring.

No one is saying not to do your best. You asked about contingencies.

Energy law or oil and gas may be a good field for the future so that's a positive.

Mos10
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby Mos10 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:22 pm

That's a fair answer, thank you.
But my understanding was that UT was a pretty solid bet, especially if you plan to stay in Texas, as I do. Quite frankly, if UT chose me despite my CA background, I see no reason to suspect that would be a handicap in the future.
I'm going in knowing what I want to do - energy law. I think that ought to help.
Right, I will absolutely put academics before volunteering.

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kalvano
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby kalvano » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:32 pm

Mos10 wrote:But my understanding was that UT was a pretty solid bet, especially if you plan to stay in Texas, as I do. Quite frankly, if UT chose me despite my CA background, I see no reason to suspect that would be a handicap in the future.


UT chose you because you have a 3.8 and whatever LSAT. A law firm doesn't necessarily want someone who has no demonstrable reason to want to be in Texas or to stay. Why would they choose you over over someone born and raised in the state, who, if times get tough, isn't as likely to bolt for somewhere else and waste all the money they spent training that person?

Mos10
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby Mos10 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:37 pm

Well, I can't prove it, but I love Texas culture. And this is pretty irrelevant - call me naive, but I don't see how that would be an automatic rejection. This is the United States of America, people relocate all the time.
And if they're paying me, why would I leave? I would only leave the state if I lost my job, but I don't see how prospects could be better elsewhere.

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patogordo
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby patogordo » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:38 pm

Mos10 wrote:This is the United States of America, people relocate all the time.
And if they're paying me, why would I leave?

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Mojosodope
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby Mojosodope » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:42 pm

Why do you type every sentence on a new line?

Just curious

Mos10
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby Mos10 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:47 pm

Mock me all you want - I'm not convinced until someone provides facts.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Entering UT, have questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Feb 15, 2014 11:03 pm

Mos10 wrote:I think my fluency in Russian is what would matter, not the field of law I choose.

Sure, but since you enter the FBI through the various career tracks, one of which is language and one of which is law, I don't know why you need to go to law school if you already have the required language fluency. My point wasn't that there's any problem with going to UT, just that FBI is a tough career that doesn't seem to mesh with your other interests.

Anyway, yes, I went to a regional school, and IME you can in fact forge local ties by going to the local law school in a region where you have no ties (I'm more sanguine about this than many people here). I wasn't in TX, though, which sounds more pro-Texan than my state was pro-locals; many people here have commented on being grilled about ties to TX when interviewing with TX firms. It's anecdotal, but a pretty-well documented phenomenon. Personally, I think that interning/externing every opportunity you can (not 1L - 2L & 3L), joining local bar associations, and participating so you can get to know as many local lawyers as you can, are key.

Beyond the ties issue, I'm not sure there are any keys to succeeding at UT that are any different from succeeding anywhere else.




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