How committed are you?

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criticalthinkx
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How committed are you?

Postby criticalthinkx » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:18 pm

I've been reading through the various threads on this site, and am left wondering how committed some people are to a career in law. Is it just me, or does it seem a little off that some people don't even apply to schools if their score doesn't meet their personal expectations?
It makes sense that some people are looking at "elite" schools, like Harvard, Yale, Columbia, etc., but is it enough to sidetrack one's hopes to study law over a score of 167 instead of a 180? Maybe this is a way to weed out the potentially exceptional students who consider a career in law for the wrong reason(s)?
I would love to hear from anyone who has/is considering giving up on law school after scoring less than expected on the LSAT. Anyone else is welcome to offer your input.

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3|ink
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Re: How committed are you?

Postby 3|ink » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:28 pm

I've been told that the LSAT is a better gauge of your work ethic than your abilities. That being said, anyone who wants to give up on law after scoring poorly on the LSAT either:

1.) Doesn't want to work harder
2.) Doesn't care enough about the law to keep going (and would probably end up quiting in L1 anyway)
3.) Doesn't realize how much is expected of a law student

IMO, take the test as many times as it takes to get the score you want. Don't let 1 bad performance deter you from a career in law.

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arkansawyer
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Re: How committed are you?

Postby arkansawyer » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:29 pm

FWIW if I don't get into one of the top 5 then I'm going to go to a regional school. It's strictly a cost-benefit analysis: I want to practice back in the south, and the prestige and education of those top schools would give me a competitive advantage. Other T-14 schools won't, so investing in their education doesn't make much sense for my purposes.

I realize that's a little off base from your question...

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criticalthinkx
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Re: How committed are you?

Postby criticalthinkx » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:52 pm

3|ink wrote:I've been told that the LSAT is a better gauge of your work ethic than your abilities. That being said, anyone who wants to give up on law after scoring poorly on the LSAT either:

1.) Doesn't want to work harder
2.) Doesn't care enough about the law to keep going (and would probably end up quiting in L1 anyway)
3.) Doesn't realize how much is expected of a law student

IMO, take the test as many times as it takes to get the score you want. Don't let 1 bad performance deter you from a career in law.


Hi-
Thanks for your post. Can you elaborate on how the LSAT gauges work ethic?
-A

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DoubleChecks
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Re: How committed are you?

Postby DoubleChecks » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:56 pm

criticalthinkx wrote:I've been reading through the various threads on this site, and am left wondering how committed some people are to a career in law. Is it just me, or does it seem a little off that some people don't even apply to schools if their score doesn't meet their personal expectations?
It makes sense that some people are looking at "elite" schools, like Harvard, Yale, Columbia, etc., but is it enough to sidetrack one's hopes to study law over a score of 167 instead of a 180? Maybe this is a way to weed out the potentially exceptional students who consider a career in law for the wrong reason(s)?
I would love to hear from anyone who has/is considering giving up on law school after scoring less than expected on the LSAT. Anyone else is welcome to offer your input.


i havent seen that many ppl on this board decide to quit pursuing law due to one bad LSAT score...

...i see a lot of advice from ppl telling others to quit pursuing law lol or at least wait and retake before applying to law school (the 2nd part of this sentence is, btw, credited advice in most cases)

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thecilent
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Re: How committed are you?

Postby thecilent » Fri Nov 26, 2010 11:58 pm

Retake.

Also, anti-stanford trolling, hard, jeeze.

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criticalthinkx
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Re: How committed are you?

Postby criticalthinkx » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:09 am

arkansawyer wrote:FWIW if I don't get into one of the top 5 then I'm going to go to a regional school. It's strictly a cost-benefit analysis: I want to practice back in the south, and the prestige and education of those top schools would give me a competitive advantage. Other T-14 schools won't, so investing in their education doesn't make much sense for my purposes.

I realize that's a little off base from your question...


Hi-
You are on base. Do you know any lawyers with successful careers that went to less than hyped schools? I get why anyone would love the opportunity to choose any school and get scholarship money, but it seems like one's commitment to a career in law is unrelated to financial investment. It's fairly common for schools to offer fellowships in exchange for public service work. The lower ranking schools actually better your chances of getting in and getting scholarship money.
-A

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3|ink
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Re: How committed are you?

Postby 3|ink » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:10 am

criticalthinkx wrote:
3|ink wrote:I've been told that the LSAT is a better gauge of your work ethic than your abilities. That being said, anyone who wants to give up on law after scoring poorly on the LSAT either:

1.) Doesn't want to work harder
2.) Doesn't care enough about the law to keep going (and would probably end up quiting in L1 anyway)
3.) Doesn't realize how much is expected of a law student

IMO, take the test as many times as it takes to get the score you want. Don't let 1 bad performance deter you from a career in law.


Hi-
Thanks for your post. Can you elaborate on how the LSAT gauges work ethic?
-A


Your score reflects the effort you put in to studying more than your IQ for most cases.

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IAFG
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Re: How committed are you?

Postby IAFG » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:14 am

committed enough to 1) take the LSAT 3 times to get that 17X 2) to get law-related WE before going 3) to very carefully research the state of the legal employment market and the types of legal careers available to graduates from the schools i was interested in, both in the short and long term.

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arkansawyer
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Re: How committed are you?

Postby arkansawyer » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:21 am

criticalthinkx wrote:
arkansawyer wrote:FWIW if I don't get into one of the top 5 then I'm going to go to a regional school. It's strictly a cost-benefit analysis: I want to practice back in the south, and the prestige and education of those top schools would give me a competitive advantage. Other T-14 schools won't, so investing in their education doesn't make much sense for my purposes.

I realize that's a little off base from your question...


Hi-
You are on base. Do you know any lawyers with successful careers that went to less than hyped schools? I get why anyone would love the opportunity to choose any school and get scholarship money, but it seems like one's commitment to a career in law is unrelated to financial investment. It's fairly common for schools to offer fellowships in exchange for public service work. The lower ranking schools actually better your chances of getting in and getting scholarship money.
-A


I do know several lawyers who went to less than stellar schools, the majority of them went to the 2 TTT state law schools here in Arkansas. Of course, they are more or less locked into the region, but many of them have gotten great jobs in the Dallas/Memphis/St. Louis markets.

As to whether or not an interest in the law is coupled to financial interests...we might disagree. I'm committed to the law, but I have to be able to hope I can pay off my loans, or else it's just not a feasible option.

I hate to be vague, but it seems like it just depends on what you want to accomplish with your law degree?

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criticalthinkx
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Re: How committed are you?

Postby criticalthinkx » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:22 am

3|ink wrote:
criticalthinkx wrote:
3|ink wrote:I've been told that the LSAT is a better gauge of your work ethic than your abilities. That being said, anyone who wants to give up on law after scoring poorly on the LSAT either:

1.) Doesn't want to work harder
2.) Doesn't care enough about the law to keep going (and would probably end up quiting in L1 anyway)
3.) Doesn't realize how much is expected of a law student

IMO, take the test as many times as it takes to get the score you want. Don't let 1 bad performance deter you from a career in law.


Hi-
Thanks for your post. Can you elaborate on how the LSAT gauges work ethic?
-A


Your score reflects the effort you put in to studying more than your IQ for most cases.


Agreed, IQ is also a funny measurement in itself, but I'll spare you my tirade. I am curious what your thoughts are on the emphasis on RC and "logic" while leaving out the very important verbal aspect (one must have verbal acuity to perform as a law student, yes?)? Also, what do you think about paying the LSAC to experiment on test-takers during a high-stress event?

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criticalthinkx
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Re: How committed are you?

Postby criticalthinkx » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:29 am

arkansawyer wrote:
criticalthinkx wrote:
arkansawyer wrote:FWIW if I don't get into one of the top 5 then I'm going to go to a regional school. It's strictly a cost-benefit analysis: I want to practice back in the south, and the prestige and education of those top schools would give me a competitive advantage. Other T-14 schools won't, so investing in their education doesn't make much sense for my purposes.

I realize that's a little off base from your question...


Hi-
You are on base. Do you know any lawyers with successful careers that went to less than hyped schools? I get why anyone would love the opportunity to choose any school and get scholarship money, but it seems like one's commitment to a career in law is unrelated to financial investment. It's fairly common for schools to offer fellowships in exchange for public service work. The lower ranking schools actually better your chances of getting in and getting scholarship money.
-A


I do know several lawyers who went to less than stellar schools, the majority of them went to the 2 TTT state law schools here in Arkansas. Of course, they are more or less locked into the region, but many of them have gotten great jobs in the Dallas/Memphis/St. Louis markets.

As to whether or not an interest in the law is coupled to financial interests...we might disagree. I'm committed to the law, but I have to be able to hope I can pay off my loans, or else it's just not a feasible option.

I hate to be vague, but it seems like it just depends on what you want to accomplish with your law degree?


Agreed. I feel like the odds are greater that a law degree will enable a person to do a number of things, but it could hinder someone as well. Like you said it depends on what you want to do with the degree.
I'm also of the school of thought that degree or no degree, a person can achieve incredible financial success if that is what they work for. Obtaining a law degree requires a big commitment to the profession, and I certainly wouldn't want someone to join the profession with intentions that could be destructive to their clients or the community. Sadly, this happens all the time, and horrifying lawyers are created.

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Re: How committed are you?

Postby 3|ink » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:33 am

criticalthinkx wrote:Agreed, IQ is also a funny measurement in itself, but I'll spare you my tirade. I am curious what your thoughts are on the emphasis on RC and "logic" while leaving out the very important verbal aspect (one must have verbal acuity to perform as a law student, yes?)? Also, what do you think about paying the LSAC to experiment on test-takers during a high-stress event?


I suppose they don't test verbal skills because they don't want a language barrier impeding on scores. I won't pretend to know their angle here, but I'm pretty sure they want the LSAT to be a test of character (i.e. how much work would you put in to studying for a monster of a test).

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Re: How committed are you?

Postby criticalthinkx » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:36 am

IAFG wrote:committed enough to 1) take the LSAT 3 times to get that 17X 2) to get law-related WE before going 3) to very carefully research the state of the legal employment market and the types of legal careers available to graduates from the schools i was interested in, both in the short and long term.


Does that mean you are committed and got into law school, or you decided against a career as a lawyer for these reasons?

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Re: How committed are you?

Postby IAFG » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:38 am

criticalthinkx wrote:
IAFG wrote:committed enough to 1) take the LSAT 3 times to get that 17X 2) to get law-related WE before going 3) to very carefully research the state of the legal employment market and the types of legal careers available to graduates from the schools i was interested in, both in the short and long term.


Does that mean you are committed and got into law school, or you decided against a career as a lawyer for these reasons?

i am a 1L at a T14, but i am saying, i took the decision very seriously because i was committed, and would not have gone if i had not gotten into a school whose job prospects i felt reasonably confident about.

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Re: How committed are you?

Postby Tanicius » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:52 am

arkansawyer wrote:FWIW if I don't get into one of the top 5 then I'm going to go to a regional school. It's strictly a cost-benefit analysis: I want to practice back in the south, and the prestige and education of those top schools would give me a competitive advantage. Other T-14 schools won't, so investing in their education doesn't make much sense for my purposes.

I realize that's a little off base from your question...


Dude, what the heck. Vandy, Texas, Duke and UVA will all serve you as well as if not better than Chicago, NYU or Columbia in the South .

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Re: How committed are you?

Postby AreJay711 » Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:02 am

Tanicius wrote:
arkansawyer wrote:FWIW if I don't get into one of the top 5 then I'm going to go to a regional school. It's strictly a cost-benefit analysis: I want to practice back in the south, and the prestige and education of those top schools would give me a competitive advantage. Other T-14 schools won't, so investing in their education doesn't make much sense for my purposes.

I realize that's a little off base from your question...


Dude, what the heck. Vandy, Texas, Duke and UVA will all serve you as well as if not better than Chicago, NYU or Columbia in the South .


I agree with what you say but Vandy and Texas are somewhat regional schools even though it is at least partially because of self-selection that their graduates stay in the South. If someone is dead set on the South, especially Arkansas, $$$ at Vandy/Texas might be better than Duke or UVA because of proximity.

Edit - @OP: I don't think there is anything wrong with not applying until you get an LSAT score that will enable you to achieve your professional goals. I was pretty much t10 or bust for what I REALLY want to do (academia) even though I applied to more schools just in case.

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criticalthinkx
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Re: How committed are you?

Postby criticalthinkx » Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:10 am

IAFG wrote:
criticalthinkx wrote:
IAFG wrote:committed enough to 1) take the LSAT 3 times to get that 17X 2) to get law-related WE before going 3) to very carefully research the state of the legal employment market and the types of legal careers available to graduates from the schools i was interested in, both in the short and long term.


Does that mean you are committed and got into law school, or you decided against a career as a lawyer for these reasons?

i am a 1L at a T14, but i am saying, i took the decision very seriously because i was committed, and would not have gone if i had not gotten into a school whose job prospects i felt reasonably confident about.


Do T14 schools guarantee jobs to their graduates?

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Re: How committed are you?

Postby IAFG » Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:11 am

criticalthinkx wrote:
IAFG wrote:
criticalthinkx wrote:
IAFG wrote:committed enough to 1) take the LSAT 3 times to get that 17X 2) to get law-related WE before going 3) to very carefully research the state of the legal employment market and the types of legal careers available to graduates from the schools i was interested in, both in the short and long term.


Does that mean you are committed and got into law school, or you decided against a career as a lawyer for these reasons?

i am a 1L at a T14, but i am saying, i took the decision very seriously because i was committed, and would not have gone if i had not gotten into a school whose job prospects i felt reasonably confident about.


Do T14 schools guarantee jobs to their graduates?

:? reasonably confident ≠ guarantee, but hopefully if OCI goes sideways my WE will give me a fallback

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Re: How committed are you?

Postby arkansawyer » Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:31 am

Dude, what the heck. Vandy, Texas, Duke and UVA will all serve you as well as if not better than Chicago, NYU or Columbia in the South .


The idea of paying T5 prices for these schools when the prestige is marginal makes me want to vomit. Either get serious prestige at YHS, or stick around Ark for connections. It's a pretty harsh calculation to make, but it's necessary in this economy.

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Re: How committed are you?

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:34 am

arkansawyer wrote:
Dude, what the heck. Vandy, Texas, Duke and UVA will all serve you as well as if not better than Chicago, NYU or Columbia in the South .


The idea of paying T5 prices for these schools when the prestige is marginal makes me want to vomit. Either get serious prestige at YHS, or stick around Ark for connections. It's a pretty harsh calculation to make, but it's necessary in this economy.


lol random aside: as far as UT goes, even out of state, w/ your numbers, you'd get a hefty scholarship

you wouldnt be paying nearly as much as you would at a T5 sticker (and could get in-state after 1 yr maybe)

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Re: How committed are you?

Postby arkansawyer » Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:37 am

DoubleChecks wrote:
arkansawyer wrote:
Dude, what the heck. Vandy, Texas, Duke and UVA will all serve you as well as if not better than Chicago, NYU or Columbia in the South .


The idea of paying T5 prices for these schools when the prestige is marginal makes me want to vomit. Either get serious prestige at YHS, or stick around Ark for connections. It's a pretty harsh calculation to make, but it's necessary in this economy.


lol random aside: as far as UT goes, even out of state, w/ your numbers, you'd get a hefty scholarship

you wouldnt be paying nearly as much as you would at a T5 sticker (and could get in-state after 1 yr maybe)


I don't know if that was directed towards me, but I can't go to UT. Huge rivalry between ark and texas, the family would disown me. Still, that's a personal problem, best of luck to everyone else.

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Re: How committed are you?

Postby DoubleChecks » Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:47 am

arkansawyer wrote:
DoubleChecks wrote:
arkansawyer wrote:
Dude, what the heck. Vandy, Texas, Duke and UVA will all serve you as well as if not better than Chicago, NYU or Columbia in the South .


The idea of paying T5 prices for these schools when the prestige is marginal makes me want to vomit. Either get serious prestige at YHS, or stick around Ark for connections. It's a pretty harsh calculation to make, but it's necessary in this economy.


lol random aside: as far as UT goes, even out of state, w/ your numbers, you'd get a hefty scholarship

you wouldnt be paying nearly as much as you would at a T5 sticker (and could get in-state after 1 yr maybe)


I don't know if that was directed towards me, but I can't go to UT. Huge rivalry between ark and texas, the family would disown me. Still, that's a personal problem, best of luck to everyone else.


sorry, point was really to show that, w/ your numbers, you wouldnt be paying T5 prices at those schools...you'd get a scholarship so it'd be more like HYS @ sticker vs. T10 w/ $; viable options

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criticalthinkx
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Re: How committed are you?

Postby criticalthinkx » Sat Nov 27, 2010 2:58 am

Does that mean you are committed and got into law school, or you decided against a career as a lawyer for these reasons?

i am a 1L at a T14, but i am saying, i took the decision very seriously because i was committed, and would not have gone if i had not gotten into a school whose job prospects i felt reasonably confident about.


Do T14 schools guarantee jobs to their graduates?

:? reasonably confident ≠ guarantee, but hopefully if OCI goes sideways my WE will give me a fallback


I didn't mean to imply any association by asking the question. I am curious how you are gauging the reasonable confidence, especially given that becoming a lawyer is only part of the battle. Your drive and motivation to obtain a specific job are unrelated to the school you attend. In fact, you would have a better chance of graduating at the top of your class if you went to a non-top five school; therefore, qualify for more fellowships and scholarships at a school other than those you currently perceive to be the determining factor in quality of employment opportunity and accessibility. In other words, it's the man that makes the degree, not the degree that makes the man.
I'm not trying to convince you to lower your standards, but the hype seems like unnecessary pressure that doesn't guarantee of any specific outcome. If someone is really dedicated to the practice of law, it doesn't make sense that the school one attends (within the scope of ABA-accreditation) has such a profound impact on a lawyer's career.
School rankings are marketing propaganda. The LSAT is part of that whole system. It's not cheap to attend or get into a top-tier school for the majority of students, and the school's reputation can take someone only so far. LSAT prep schools are the ones touting the notion that the LSAT can determine the path of the rest of your life. I don't doubt this is true for some people, but for the truly determined it is, by no means, a road-block.
BTW-I'm glad to hear you have a back-up but hope you get into the school you wish.

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Re: How committed are you?

Postby IAFG » Sat Nov 27, 2010 3:19 am

criticalthinkx wrote:
Does that mean you are committed and got into law school, or you decided against a career as a lawyer for these reasons?

i am a 1L at a T14, but i am saying, i took the decision very seriously because i was committed, and would not have gone if i had not gotten into a school whose job prospects i felt reasonably confident about.


Do T14 schools guarantee jobs to their graduates?

:? reasonably confident ≠ guarantee, but hopefully if OCI goes sideways my WE will give me a fallback


I didn't mean to imply any association by asking the question. I am curious how you are gauging the reasonable confidence, especially given that becoming a lawyer is only part of the battle. Your drive and motivation to obtain a specific job are unrelated to the school you attend. In fact, you would have a better chance of graduating at the top of your class if you went to a non-top five school; therefore, qualify for more fellowships and scholarships at a school other than those you currently perceive to be the determining factor in quality of employment opportunity and accessibility. In other words, it's the man that makes the degree, not the degree that makes the man.
I'm not trying to convince you to lower your standards, but the hype seems like unnecessary pressure that doesn't guarantee of any specific outcome. If someone is really dedicated to the practice of law, it doesn't make sense that the school one attends (within the scope of ABA-accreditation) has such a profound impact on a lawyer's career.
School rankings are marketing propaganda. The LSAT is part of that whole system. It's not cheap to attend or get into a top-tier school for the majority of students, and the school's reputation can take someone only so far. LSAT prep schools are the ones touting the notion that the LSAT can determine the path of the rest of your life. I don't doubt this is true for some people, but for the truly determined it is, by no means, a road-block.
BTW-I'm glad to hear you have a back-up but hope you get into the school you wish.

Re-take.




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