Recent HS Graduate/Looking toward Law?

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nmarof
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:30 pm

Recent HS Graduate/Looking toward Law?

Postby nmarof » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:04 pm

I have a few pressing questions about gaining entrance into Law that I've researched and found the answers to, but that I'd also like to hear - or read rather, straight from people who actually went to Law School that can be accessible to any question I may have.

Long story short, I didn't graduate High School with the most stellar grades. It wasn't that I couldn't do the work, I just didn't care. Graduated with a staggering 2.2 GPA average. Looking back, I would've done things completely different and it took me one dead end gas station job to realize it.

I've thrown myself back into school, and I'll be starting Community College (College of the Desert) here at the end of the month, which I plan to bust my hump to obtain the highest marks that I possibly can in contrast to my High School years. I'm actually excited about returning to school. I've always loved learning, but as a rebellious kid in High School - just wasn't my 'style.'

Recently, I've been researching a proliferation of different avenues in terms of which career to possibly construct a path toward and the most feasible to me is Law, which is why I'm lurking on these forums today. I have always been very strong in English and writing, with equally as strong reading skills. I'll probably edit this post a few thousand times because I misplaced a comma or something, lol. I've looked through LCAT Practice Tests (no idea how good those are or aren't, but I'm assuming they're crap - but I could be wrong,) and most of it, aside from the Logical Reasoning portion, which I will need EXTRA study for, haha.. seems to be things I can excel in quite tremendously given good study.

I've always been fascinated by Politics and History, don't know if that matters or not. Probably doesn't.

The questions' I have are:
While I researched the field, I came across many, many people (online) that would say disparaging things about the Law profession (i.e. DON'T GO TO LAW, YOU'LL BE DEPRESSED! or LAWYERS ARE THE MOST DEPRESSED PEOPLE EVER.)


Is there legitimate merit to this or would this just be a few bitter folks who have had their own bad experiences?

Will Law Schools look down on the fact that I'm attending a Community College (with plans to transfer)?

I live in California, and I'd like to stay in California. I know that the T14 schools are probably the best schools to look at if you want to get into Law, so I've been looking at UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis or USC. I know these will be some extremely tough reach schools, but I feel with enough preparation and if I work hard in school, these schools can be attainable. I do believe in dreams.

Advice for potentially getting into the above schools?

And really, any general advice would be tremendous. I'm also a URM, I guess. (African-American.. legit, I'm Egyptian, Sudanese and Black. Haha.)

Any piece of advice would go a long way. Thank you! And if you actually read anything I wrote above, kudos.

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Lincoln
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Re: Recent HS Graduate/Looking toward Law?

Postby Lincoln » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:21 pm

nmarof wrote:While I researched the field, I came across many, many people (online) that would say disparaging things about the Law profession (i.e. DON'T GO TO LAW, YOU'LL BE DEPRESSED! or LAWYERS ARE THE MOST DEPRESSED PEOPLE EVER.)

Is there legitimate merit to this or would this just be a few bitter folks who have had their own bad experiences?


Law is not an easy job. Lawyers (at least at big firms, which is where most people on TLS want to work) work brutal hours for an employer that will fire 10-20% of your peers every year. Compared to people in finance who work similar hours, lawyers are actually underpaid (unless you make partner).

That being said, I think that law can be very rewarding if you decided to do it for the right reasons and know what you get yourself into. I love the nerdy aspects of litigation, and generally thrive in a fast-paced environment.

nmarof wrote:Will Law Schools look down on the fact that I'm attending a Community College (with plans to transfer)?


Law schools won't care on bit if you transfer from a CC to a UC. Just be aware that your CC grades are included in your LSAC GPA.

nmarof wrote:I live in California, and I'd like to stay in California. I know that the T14 schools are probably the best schools to look at if you want to get into Law, so I've been looking at UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis or USC. I know these will be some extremely tough reach schools, but I feel with enough preparation and if I work hard in school, these schools can be attainable. I do believe in dreams.

Advice for potentially getting into the above schools?


Plently, but not anything you can do now. Work hard in school at your CC and your eventual degree-granting institution. Take the LSAT in the summer between your jr and sr year, and score in the top 5% or higher.

Most importantly though, don't worry about it too much at this point. Enjoy college, work hard, make friends, party, meet some people of whatever sex you prefer and actually have sex with them. Get some work experience; it'll be the most valuable thing you will do. Also, keep your options open, and maybe you'll decided law isn't for you, or maybe is definitely for you. Don't be too single-minded. The only way you'll be really disappointed is if you work too hard towards a single goal and then, when you reach it, realize it wasn't what you wanted after all. And no offense, but I've got at least 12 years on you, and there is no way you can imagine what it's like and what you want at your age.

Good luck, and have fun. It'll be an awesome ride whatever you decide to do. And when you're getting ready to apply in 3-4 years, come back and get some info on this forum. Until then, forget about law school.

nmarof
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: Recent HS Graduate/Looking toward Law?

Postby nmarof » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:45 pm

Lincoln wrote:
nmarof wrote:While I researched the field, I came across many, many people (online) that would say disparaging things about the Law profession (i.e. DON'T GO TO LAW, YOU'LL BE DEPRESSED! or LAWYERS ARE THE MOST DEPRESSED PEOPLE EVER.)

Is there legitimate merit to this or would this just be a few bitter folks who have had their own bad experiences?


Law is not an easy job. Lawyers (at least at big firms, which is where most people on TLS want to work) work brutal hours for an employer that will fire 10-20% of your peers every year. Compared to people in finance who work similar hours, lawyers are actually underpaid (unless you make partner).

That being said, I think that law can be very rewarding if you decided to do it for the right reasons and know what you get yourself into. I love the nerdy aspects of litigation, and generally thrive in a fast-paced environment.

nmarof wrote:Will Law Schools look down on the fact that I'm attending a Community College (with plans to transfer)?


Law schools won't care on bit if you transfer from a CC to a UC. Just be aware that your CC grades are included in your LSAC GPA.

nmarof wrote:I live in California, and I'd like to stay in California. I know that the T14 schools are probably the best schools to look at if you want to get into Law, so I've been looking at UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis or USC. I know these will be some extremely tough reach schools, but I feel with enough preparation and if I work hard in school, these schools can be attainable. I do believe in dreams.

Advice for potentially getting into the above schools?


Plently, but not anything you can do now. Work hard in school at your CC and your eventual degree-granting institution. Take the LSAT in the summer between your jr and sr year, and score in the top 5% or higher.

Most importantly though, don't worry about it too much at this point. Enjoy college, work hard, make friends, party, meet some people of whatever sex you prefer and actually have sex with them. Get some work experience; it'll be the most valuable thing you will do. Also, keep your options open, and maybe you'll decided law isn't for you, or maybe is definitely for you. Don't be too single-minded. The only way you'll be really disappointed is if you work too hard towards a single goal and then, when you reach it, realize it wasn't what you wanted after all. And no offense, but I've got at least 12 years on you, and there is no way you can imagine what it's like and what you want at your age.

Good luck, and have fun. It'll be an awesome ride whatever you decide to do. And when you're getting ready to apply in 3-4 years, come back and get some info on this forum. Until then, forget about law school.


Can't argue with that.
Thanks.

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PDaddy
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Re: Recent HS Graduate/Looking toward Law?

Postby PDaddy » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:10 pm

Law schools will not look down on your attendance at community college. About 75% of four-year graduates have completed at least one course at a community college, and a good portion of them have done suignificant study there if they haven't completed an AA degree. I started at a four-year and continued to matriculate there, but took several community college courses while I was at my four-year - just to save money.

High school gpa means nothing when applying to law school, so don't worry about that. My advice for getting into any good law school is to be consistent during undergrad: take challenging courses, do well in them and build an academic resume that gets stronger as you go along. Visit your professors during office hours. Let them get to know you and about your goals...get to know them. I would also recommend getting community service work if possible. Keep in mind that deep, long-term commitment to a single cause is much better than superficial participation in several activities.

Law schools want applicants to demonstrate "leadership", so perform all activities with that in mind. Be a leader at your job, classes, in group assignments, in your community, and in your extra curriculars. Try to get raises and promotions by doing well. Be proactive at work. Ask for extra responsibility. Network with your supervisors and team leaders by sharing with them your career goals. You may need a letter of recommendation one day. Be a team player in everything you do. Demonstrate that you care about others by helping out your relatives in need.

Begin now reparing casually for the LSAT during your off-time (until your Junior year, when your study should begion to intensify). Get the admissions materials for the schools you are interested in; it's not to early to do that. Talk to multiple lawyers who can give you positive but honest feedback on the profession. Don't just listen to the negative. Do your research. Visit the schools you are interested in.

nmarof
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: Recent HS Graduate/Looking toward Law?

Postby nmarof » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:46 pm

Thank you PDaddy, sound advice! Appreciated, and absolutely noted.

83947368
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:16 pm

Re: Recent HS Graduate/Looking toward Law?

Postby 83947368 » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:24 pm

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Last edited by 83947368 on Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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annyong
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Re: Recent HS Graduate/Looking toward Law?

Postby annyong » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:43 pm

Also an 0L going through the application process now, but my advice would be to not get tunnel vision about law school - enjoy college, gather some interesting life experiences, try some internships and summer jobs, and keep your opportunities open. I knew I wanted to go to law school when I was entering college as well, but I've changed my mind about why and what type of law because of lawyers that I've talked to and internships and jobs that I've had, I think people end up unhappy in law because they see it simply as a respectable career choice/school for a few more years/ticket to economic security, and while it can be all of those things, those aren't good reasons to go on their own and that's potentially why so many people end up unhappy with it.

Having said that, don't worry about CC or UG transfer, just remember your CC grades will count towards your LSAC GPA and you should try to make the best grades possible and start worrying about the LSAT your junior year or so.

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cinephile
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Re: Recent HS Graduate/Looking toward Law?

Postby cinephile » Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:53 pm

Have a plan B.

When I entered college I was sure I wanted to go to med school, then I switched to neuroscience, then to psychology, then to linguistics. In the end, I managed to pull off a double major, but I didn't really have enough pre-requisites in any discipline to be competitive for a top graduate program. So, I went to law school.

But the point of my story is to get just enough pre-reqs to go into another field if you later change your mind--you could sit for the CPA exam, for example. It's always good to have a backup plan if you decide not to go into law.

nmarof
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 6:30 pm

Re: Recent HS Graduate/Looking toward Law?

Postby nmarof » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:01 pm

Thanks for the great responses. I see everyone's responses as good pieces of advice and I plan on using all the advice I get here and mold my own path with it, which is what everyone should do no matter what they do in life. That's just one of the many wonders of life. I can't exactly tell you guys any other reason why I want to go to Law School other than this one, simple reason: I feel as if it's something I can do, enjoy and excel in. Of course, I'd never know until I actually went to Law School, graduated and landed a job. It's simply that the profession bundles many things I thoroughly enjoy into one, and I believe that matters more than prestige. You could label the job: "Research and Books whore," and I'd still want to do it after reading a general description of what it was.

What I will be aiming to accomplish these next few years is simply: to enjoy college, earn high grades, dabble in classes that interest me; but at the same time, challenge myself. I won't be stressing over Law School just yet and I will, of course, structure a Plan B just in case Law School isn't within my reach and/or I simply don't want to be a Lawyer any longer, but I will always keep the goal in mind and use it as motivation. (I work that way..) I'd also like to develop a broad knowledge filled with personal experiences. I think that's some solid advice I've gotten here, and I appreciate all those who took the time.

With that said, I do have more questions: Out of curiosity, how many of you that graduated Law School had trouble finding jobs, and/or how long did it take for you to find a job? How manageable is the debt? How did you make yourself competitive against the apparent "one job opening per 100 lawyers?" I don't know how accurate that account is, I was reading a report online about the economic crisis' effect on jobs, so this is kind of a personal query.

Thanks.




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