Want to Attend Law School in California

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bdm261
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Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby bdm261 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:03 pm

Hi everyone,

First post here, hopefully I am in the right forum.

I am a college senior and I attend the University of Akron in Akron, OH. I have scheduled to take the LSAT in June this year and my uGPA is 3.57.

I currently work for an attorney as an assistant. The guy I work for works for a nationally recognized firm that handles very high profile class-action cases. He has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and was part of a team that won a recent 9-0 decision. Additionally, he (supposedly) has connections to law schools and major U.S. firms and he promised me a stellar letter of recommendation.

I really don't like living in Ohio and the only law school within 30 miles of me is University of Akron School of Law, which basically means I will be limited to the Akron-area and NE Ohio after graduation.

I would prefer to live somewhere warm year-round such as California (maybe even Florida or Hawaii) and would like to know how I should pursue that. I understand COL in California is very high as well as tuition for LS there and it's difficult to get residency for IS tuition.

How should I pursue going to LS in California and does my current employment with the attorney I work for give me an advantage in any way?

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bk1
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Re: Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby bk1 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:11 pm

bdm261 wrote:How should I pursue going to LS in California and does my current employment with the attorney I work for give me an advantage in any way?


1. Get a good enough LSAT to gain admission to a good CA school (Boalt/Stanford, though your GPA is going to make those hard if not impossible no matter your LSAT) or get a large scholarship to decent CA schools (ideally UCLA/USC, however UCH/UCD if need be).

2. The attorney isn't going to help you get admitted to a law school. I mean he can write a letter of rec but that's not going to make anything but a marginal difference.

bdm261
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Re: Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby bdm261 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:06 pm

Thank bk for the quick reply.

Is a 3.57 GPA not considered "above-average?" I receive mostly As and A- grades with perhaps one B per year, mostly in my non-Major classes. My major is Intpersonal/Public Communications by the way. Is a Communications degree looked down upon since it's stereotyped as an 'easy degree?'

thederangedwang
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Re: Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby thederangedwang » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:10 pm

bdm261 wrote:Thank bk for the quick reply.

Is a 3.57 GPA not considered "above-average?" I receive mostly As and A- grades with perhaps one B per year, mostly in my non-Major classes. My major is Intpersonal/Public Communications by the way. Is a Communications degree looked down upon since it's stereotyped as an 'easy degree?'


it's considered below average on this site...and below average for school's like stanford and berk and basically any other top 20 law school
and yes....comm is an easy major and it would look bad that you get B's when you take classes outside your major

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rinkrat19
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Re: Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:14 pm

bdm261 wrote:Thank bk for the quick reply.

Is a 3.57 GPA not considered "above-average?" I receive mostly As and A- grades with perhaps one B per year, mostly in my non-Major classes. My major is Intpersonal/Public Communications by the way. Is a Communications degree looked down upon since it's stereotyped as an 'easy degree?'
The degree doesn't matter much (law schools would rather have a 3.8 in basketweaving than a 3.5 in engineering, although they'd likely take a 3.8 engineer over a 3.8 basketweaver). Law schools are obsessed with the USNWR rankings. One of the things used in the calculation for the rankings is the incoming class' median GPA. A 3.57 is a mediocre GPA for good schools and an average GPA for average schools. There are schools for which a 3.57 would be excellent, but these schools have terrible job prospects and are mostly not worth attending.

That said, a 3.57 doesn't lock out of good schools if you get a good enough LSAT. Even lower-mid T14 is very possible. Unfortunately, it does lock you out of the best California schools (Stanford & Boalt), and make even USC/UCLA a challenge, since they all tend to weigh GPA more than LSAT. You'd need a pretty damn good LSAT. (I was waitlisted at USC with a 3.56 in engineering and a 171.)

http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com
http://www.lawschoolpredictor.com

bdm261
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Re: Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby bdm261 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:58 pm

Thanks everyone. I am not as concerned with getting into the top law school, I realize not everyone will make it to Harvard or Stanford. Is this poor thinking?

I have been considering schools like Whittier or University of the Pacific. I've read up on them on TLS but can anyone tell me if these are good choices and if they're in my GPA range?

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rinkrat19
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Re: Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:04 pm

bdm261 wrote:Thanks everyone. I am not as concerned with getting into the top law school, I realize not everyone will make it to Harvard or Stanford. Is this poor thinking?

I have been considering schools like Whittier or University of the Pacific. I've read up on them on TLS but can anyone tell me if these are good choices and if they're in my GPA range?
It depends. Would you like to get a job after you graduate?

If employment isn't a concern, by all means, go to any school you can get into.

Check out
--LinkRemoved--
--LinkRemoved--
and ask yourself if a 25-30% chance of getting legal work after graduation (and almost no chance of getting a job that pays enough to pay off your student loans) is a good gamble.
(refresh the page or copy/paste the link if they don't load)

Unless you have an absolutely 110% guaranteed job lined up and/or no debt after graduation, attending a shitty school is financial suicide.

I have almost exactly the same GPA as you and I'm going to Northwestern in the fall. Your GPA is not dooming you to schools like Whittier and Pacific. Personally, I would only consider attending the top 4 California schools, although some will argue that Hastings or Davis with scholarship money are decent choices too. (Probably depends on how much scholarship.) No one in their right mind argues that Whittier is a good bet.

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mattviphky
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Re: Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby mattviphky » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:13 pm

That is a fine GPA, and is above average for college graduates. I mean, you're graduating cum laude. However, that is not enough for Stanford or Berkeley. But you still have a good shot at USC, UCLA, etc. But just ignore your boss for the time being, connections are well and good, but just study your ass off for the LSAT in June, and then address the whole LOR thing when the time comes. LSAT/GPA should be the only things on your mind right now. After you knock the test out you can focus on the rest of your application. But aim high, man. 170+

bdm261
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Re: Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby bdm261 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:22 pm

rinkrat19 wrote:
bdm261 wrote:Thanks everyone. I am not as concerned with getting into the top law school, I realize not everyone will make it to Harvard or Stanford. Is this poor thinking?

I have been considering schools like Whittier or University of the Pacific. I've read up on them on TLS but can anyone tell me if these are good choices and if they're in my GPA range?
It depends. Would you like to get a job after you graduate?

If employment isn't a concern, by all means, go to any school you can get into.

Check out
--LinkRemoved--
--LinkRemoved--
and ask yourself if a 25-30% chance of getting legal work after graduation (and almost no chance of getting a job that pays enough to pay off your student loans) is a good gamble.
(refresh the page or copy/paste the link if they don't load)

Unless you have an absolutely 110% guaranteed job lined up and/or no debt after graduation, attending a shitty school is financial suicide.

I have almost exactly the same GPA as you and I'm going to Northwestern in the fall. Your GPA is not dooming you to schools like Whittier and Pacific. Personally, I would only consider attending the top 4 California schools, although some will argue that Hastings or Davis with scholarship money are decent choices too. (Probably depends on how much scholarship.) No one in their right mind argues that Whittier is a good bet.


I am hoping the connections I am building through my current job will last a lifetime and hopefully translate into a career when/if I graduate law school. I have a family member that attended Cal-West Law which is at the bottom of the 4th tier if I am correct, he makes $250+ a year working for himself as a criminal defense attorney, so third-tiers/fourth-tiers can't be all that bad.

The guy I work for literally has 1000s of connections with state/federal government, the DOJ, and lots of major law firms. He's handled very high-profile cases that have national importance, so I am partially confident if I give him a call if I'm out of school and still unemployed I'll have some assistance finding something.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby rinkrat19 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:38 pm

bdm261 wrote:I am hoping the connections I am building through my current job will last a lifetime and hopefully translate into a career when/if I graduate law school. I have a family member that attended Cal-West Law which is at the bottom of the 4th tier if I am correct, he makes $250+ a year working for himself as a criminal defense attorney, so third-tiers/fourth-tiers can't be all that bad.

The guy I work for literally has 1000s of connections with state/federal government, the DOJ, and lots of major law firms. He's handled very high-profile cases that have national importance, so I am partially confident if I give him a call if I'm out of school and still unemployed I'll have some assistance finding something.


Man, this is like a list of classic misconceptions about the legal market.

Your family member undoubtedly graduated before 2008. The legal market was CRUSHED in the recession. And I mean destroyed. Hiring classes are about half what they used to be, and worse in some markets. The most optimistic estimates say that there are about 30,000 new jobs for 45,000 new lawyers each year. The vast majority of the 15,000 deficit are graduates of crappy law schools. Yes, a JD from any school used to be the key to a six-figure job. Now even some students at T6 schools are scrambling for jobs to service their loans.

Connections are great, but not if no one is hiring. Government slashed their hiring even more than private firms. Some Federal departments literally hire 1 or 2 per year, when they used to hire 15-20. Plenty of departments (fed/state/local) are on hiring freezes altogether. And I'm not sure if you've heard, but California's budget is completely fucked. Cali gov't agencies are trimming to the bone just to keep their doors open. To make matters worse, government jobs used to be the purview of grads from lower schools. Now they're the fallback for grads of high-ranked schools who didn't get a firm job, and the low-ranked grads are just screwed.

You really need to educate yourself on the state of the legal market before you do anything insane like attend Whittier.

apollo2015
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Re: Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby apollo2015 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:38 pm

bdm261 wrote:Is a 3.57 GPA not considered "above-average?" I receive mostly As and A- grades with perhaps one B per year, mostly in my non-Major classes. My major is Intpersonal/Public Communications by the way. Is a Communications degree looked down upon since it's stereotyped as an 'easy degree?'


Be sure to use the GPA calculator at http://www.lawschoolpredictor.com/wp-co ... ulator.htm to find out what your LSAC-GPA is. Often people find that its lower than they expected. If you have been getting a lot of A+s, it may be higher than expected.

Your major will not be looked down upon during the admissions process. (Law schools have little interest in people who take unnecessarily hard majors. There's no point in proving that one can solve irrelevant puzzles.)

Anyway, a 3.57 GPA is at or above the 25th percentile for 43/50 of the Tier One schools. It is below the 75th percentile at every Tier One school. That means that your GPA is a good fit for good law schools, but that it is not exceptionally high.

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20130312
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Re: Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby 20130312 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:08 pm

bdm261 wrote:I am hoping the connections I am building through my current job will last a lifetime and hopefully translate into a career when/if I graduate law school. I have a family member that attended Cal-West Law which is at the bottom of the 4th tier if I am correct, he makes $250+ a year working for himself as a criminal defense attorney, so third-tiers/fourth-tiers can't be all that bad.


Image

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smelltheglove
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Re: Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby smelltheglove » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:35 pm

flame

bdm261
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Re: Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby bdm261 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:03 pm

apollo2015 wrote:
bdm261 wrote:Is a 3.57 GPA not considered "above-average?" I receive mostly As and A- grades with perhaps one B per year, mostly in my non-Major classes. My major is Intpersonal/Public Communications by the way. Is a Communications degree looked down upon since it's stereotyped as an 'easy degree?'


Be sure to use the GPA calculator at http://www.lawschoolpredictor.com/wp-co ... ulator.htm to find out what your LSAC-GPA is. Often people find that its lower than they expected. If you have been getting a lot of A+s, it may be higher than expected.

Your major will not be looked down upon during the admissions process. (Law schools have little interest in people who take unnecessarily hard majors. There's no point in proving that one can solve irrelevant puzzles.)

Anyway, a 3.57 GPA is at or above the 25th percentile for 43/50 of the Tier One schools. It is below the 75th percentile at every Tier One school. That means that your GPA is a good fit for good law schools, but that it is not exceptionally high.


My GPA is actually 3.59, not that the extra .02 really changes things (does it?). I just logged into my schools websites student center and checked it. Tried the LSAC-GPA calculator and it says I have a 3.59 as well. Did I do this correct? The highest grade at University of Akron is an A, they don't have A+.

Here's a breakdown of every credit hour by grade received, the Cs were from my freshman year.


a: 51

a-: 20

b+: 7

b: 9

b-: 1

c: 9

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:20 pm

OP has a shot at Berkeley with a mid-170s LSAT. Aside from that, he has a definite chance at UCLA/USC with a +168-170 LSAT.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Want to Attend Law School in California

Postby rinkrat19 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:05 am

Doorkeeper wrote:OP has a shot at Berkeley with a mid-170s LSAT. Aside from that, he has a definite chance at UCLA/USC with a +168-170 LSAT.
SLIM shot at Berkeley. GPA's too low.
http://berkeley.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/1011/

USC
http://usc.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/1011/

UCLA
http://ucla.lawschoolnumbers.com/stats/1011/


Lawschoolpredictor doesn't work all that well for splitters, especially with GPA-whore schools (like all 4 top Cali schools)




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