What's your Opinion?

Share Your Experiences, Read About Other Experiences. Please keep posts organized by school and expected year of graduation.
nyclawguy
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:39 am

What's your Opinion?

Postby nyclawguy » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:29 pm

I have been a semi-frequent visitor to TLS for quite some time. While I’ve only ever posted on the site on 3 or 4 occasions, I find it a great place to find information regarding the application process, and law school more generally. Nevertheless, in the course of my perusing, I’ve always been a bit perturbed by those posts in which people ask to have other users “chance them”, and have fairly deplorable numbers. Before I continue on, I am more than aware of the fact that numbers aren’t everything (I especially feel this way with the LSAT since I don’t believe that a four hour test is necessarily indicative of how one will do in law school or as a practicing attorney), but with that said, I think there is something to be said for one’s GPA (four years of sustained study, presumably on a topic that a person finds intellectually stimulating). Also, I do recognize that as it pertains to GPA, instances arise where students have a crisis that impacts their grades for a semester or longer (or even on occasion, just a really difficult class/course of study). And of course, one’s “soft” factors must be taken into account; there is certainly something to be said for students who hold a job during their undergraduate careers, are heavily involved in community service/leadership activities, who publish articles, win awards, etc.

Nevertheless, despite all of these aforementioned considerations, I cannot help but feel that in the United States today, anyone who wants to go to law school, can (I stop short of saying “become an attorney” because passing the bar is still a fairly formidable obstacle). Fifty years ago, there was something to be said for being a lawyer; it implied a sense of intelligence (true, academic intelligence—not “life experience”), and carried with it a degree of prestige. Going to law school was hard work, and not every John Doe who liked to argue, enjoyed politics, and was in student council went on to pursue a legal education. However, as the decades have gone by, I feel as if the industry has begun to corrode (quite precipitously), and I feel that this problem lies with the proliferation of law schools that really have no place issuing JDs. The 25th percentile GPA/LSAT of Southern University (which appears to be the lowest ranked school on TLS) is 2.48 and 143 respectively. Graduating with a 2.48 (and mind you, 25% of the class at this particular school has LESS than a 2.48) is slightly better than a C+ average, and on the October 2010 test, a 143 meant that you answered 45 out of 101 questions correctly (and again, 25% of the class at this school scored even worse). Looking at these statistics this way begs the question as to whether or not a student with those statistics (or worse) has any place practicing law. I asked a family member of mine who is the director of hiring for a clothing company if she would ever hire someone with a 2.48 GPA, and her answer was an unequivocal “no”.

No, not everyone is a gunner who shoots for the t14 or has aspirations of working at Wachtell or Cravath. Many people are more than content (and have wonderfully successful careers) practicing law at boutique firms or working as sole practitioners. Yet regardless of where you attend law school, or where you eventually practice, being a lawyer requires intelligence. The law is inherently complex, reading legalese can be worse than hyroglifics, and legal research can be a grueling undertaking. I cannot help but think that to do all of these things well (emphasis on well) one must be smarter than average. I remember going to an attorney’s office when my parents closed on their new home and left mortified that I wanted to pursue a career in law, because of the ineptitude, incompetence, and unintelligence of the man signing the coveted “Esq.” after his name. When I asked casually asked him what law school he attended, I was unsurprised by his answer.

I post this not to place myself on a pedestal or appear arrogant, but instead to foster a legitimate and respectful (emphasis on respectful) dialogue. I have always been drawn to the legal profession, and have always felt as if being a lawyer was predicated upon being smart, articulate, and disciplined. However, as I read through many of these “chance me” posts, look at statistics from 3rd and 4th tier law schools, and see many lawyers who practice outside of “big-law”, I can’t help but feel as if being a lawyer isn’t all that much to be proud of anymore. In the not too distant past, identifying yourself as an attorney automatically conveyed (the vast majority of the time) very specific characteristics about yourself. I do not feel as if the same can be said today. Unless you are remarkably inept or have a criminal record, I feel as if virtually anyone can receive their JD. I am worried about where this profession will end up in another fifty years. I seek the opinions of others, but I truly ask that the tone be respectful and constructive.

NJcollegestudent
Posts: 490
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:12 pm

Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby NJcollegestudent » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:44 pm

nyclawguy wrote:I have been a semi-frequent visitor to TLS for quite some time. While I’ve only ever posted on the site on 3 or 4 occasions, I find it a great place to find information regarding the application process, and law school more generally. Nevertheless, in the course of my perusing, I’ve always been a bit perturbed by those posts in which people ask to have other users “chance them”, and have fairly deplorable numbers. Before I continue on, I am more than aware of the fact that numbers aren’t everything (I especially feel this way with the LSAT since I don’t believe that a four hour test is necessarily indicative of how one will do in law school or as a practicing attorney), but with that said, I think there is something to be said for one’s GPA (four years of sustained study, presumably on a topic that a person finds intellectually stimulating). Also, I do recognize that as it pertains to GPA, instances arise where students have a crisis that impacts their grades for a semester or longer (or even on occasion, just a really difficult class/course of study). And of course, one’s “soft” factors must be taken into account; there is certainly something to be said for students who hold a job during their undergraduate careers, are heavily involved in community service/leadership activities, who publish articles, win awards, etc.

Nevertheless, despite all of these aforementioned considerations, I cannot help but feel that in the United States today, anyone who wants to go to law school, can (I stop short of saying “become an attorney” because passing the bar is still a fairly formidable obstacle). Fifty years ago, there was something to be said for being a lawyer; it implied a sense of intelligence (true, academic intelligence—not “life experience”), and carried with it a degree of prestige. Going to law school was hard work, and not every John Doe who liked to argue, enjoyed politics, and was in student council went on to pursue a legal education. However, as the decades have gone by, I feel as if the industry has begun to corrode (quite precipitously), and I feel that this problem lies with the proliferation of law schools that really have no place issuing JDs. The 25th percentile GPA/LSAT of Southern University (which appears to be the lowest ranked school on TLS) is 2.48 and 143 respectively. Graduating with a 2.48 (and mind you, 25% of the class at this particular school has LESS than a 2.48) is slightly better than a C+ average, and on the October 2010 test, a 143 meant that you answered 45 out of 101 questions correctly (and again, 25% of the class at this school scored even worse). Looking at these statistics this way begs the question as to whether or not a student with those statistics (or worse) has any place practicing law. I asked a family member of mine who is the director of hiring for a clothing company if she would ever hire someone with a 2.48 GPA, and her answer was an unequivocal “no”.

No, not everyone is a gunner who shoots for the t14 or has aspirations of working at Wachtell or Cravath. Many people are more than content (and have wonderfully successful careers) practicing law at boutique firms or working as sole practitioners. Yet regardless of where you attend law school, or where you eventually practice, being a lawyer requires intelligence. The law is inherently complex, reading legalese can be worse than hyroglifics, and legal research can be a grueling undertaking. I cannot help but think that to do all of these things well (emphasis on well) one must be smarter than average. I remember going to an attorney’s office when my parents closed on their new home and left mortified that I wanted to pursue a career in law, because of the ineptitude, incompetence, and unintelligence of the man signing the coveted “Esq.” after his name. When I asked casually asked him what law school he attended, I was unsurprised by his answer.

I post this not to place myself on a pedestal or appear arrogant, but instead to foster a legitimate and respectful (emphasis on respectful) dialogue. I have always been drawn to the legal profession, and have always felt as if being a lawyer was predicated upon being smart, articulate, and disciplined. However, as I read through many of these “chance me” posts, look at statistics from 3rd and 4th tier law schools, and see many lawyers who practice outside of “big-law”, I can’t help but feel as if being a lawyer isn’t all that much to be proud of anymore. In the not too distant past, identifying yourself as an attorney automatically conveyed (the vast majority of the time) very specific characteristics about yourself. I do not feel as if the same can be said today. Unless you are remarkably inept or have a criminal record, I feel as if virtually anyone can receive their JD. I am worried about where this profession will end up in another fifty years. I seek the opinions of others, but I truly ask that the tone be respectful and constructive.


Aptitude tests are what they are, take those numbers with a grain of salt. If you had told me the the SAT would predict where i was and how i would do in college, that just did not hold true.

I will get quite a bit of disagreement here, however, i believe it is all effort, and that is what makes a good law student and attorney. I can see anyone with any LSAT score and GPA succeeding in law school, as long as they devote themselves to the program.

As to the prestige, that is something that is long gone, and for good reason. There is no reason to place one careers value over another, and if law is becoming less prestigious, yet opening up more opportunities, i say that is excellent.

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Tanicius
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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby Tanicius » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:52 pm

nyclawguy wrote:I have been a semi-frequent visitor to TLS for quite some time. While I’ve only ever posted on the site on 3 or 4 occasions, I find it a great place to find information regarding the application process, and law school more generally. Nevertheless, in the course of my perusing, I’ve always been a bit perturbed by those posts in which people ask to have other users “chance them”, and have fairly deplorable numbers. Before I continue on, I am more than aware of the fact that numbers aren’t everything (I especially feel this way with the LSAT since I don’t believe that a four hour test is necessarily indicative of how one will do in law school or as a practicing attorney), but with that said, I think there is something to be said for one’s GPA (four years of sustained study, presumably on a topic that a person finds intellectually stimulating). Also, I do recognize that as it pertains to GPA, instances arise where students have a crisis that impacts their grades for a semester or longer (or even on occasion, just a really difficult class/course of study). And of course, one’s “soft” factors must be taken into account; there is certainly something to be said for students who hold a job during their undergraduate careers, are heavily involved in community service/leadership activities, who publish articles, win awards, etc.

Nevertheless, despite all of these aforementioned considerations, I cannot help but feel that in the United States today, anyone who wants to go to law school, can (I stop short of saying “become an attorney” because passing the bar is still a fairly formidable obstacle). Fifty years ago, there was something to be said for being a lawyer; it implied a sense of intelligence (true, academic intelligence—not “life experience”), and carried with it a degree of prestige. Going to law school was hard work, and not every John Doe who liked to argue, enjoyed politics, and was in student council went on to pursue a legal education. However, as the decades have gone by, I feel as if the industry has begun to corrode (quite precipitously), and I feel that this problem lies with the proliferation of law schools that really have no place issuing JDs. The 25th percentile GPA/LSAT of Southern University (which appears to be the lowest ranked school on TLS) is 2.48 and 143 respectively. Graduating with a 2.48 (and mind you, 25% of the class at this particular school has LESS than a 2.48) is slightly better than a C+ average, and on the October 2010 test, a 143 meant that you answered 45 out of 101 questions correctly (and again, 25% of the class at this school scored even worse). Looking at these statistics this way begs the question as to whether or not a student with those statistics (or worse) has any place practicing law. I asked a family member of mine who is the director of hiring for a clothing company if she would ever hire someone with a 2.48 GPA, and her answer was an unequivocal “no”.

No, not everyone is a gunner who shoots for the t14 or has aspirations of working at Wachtell or Cravath. Many people are more than content (and have wonderfully successful careers) practicing law at boutique firms or working as sole practitioners. Yet regardless of where you attend law school, or where you eventually practice, being a lawyer requires intelligence. The law is inherently complex, reading legalese can be worse than hyroglifics, and legal research can be a grueling undertaking. I cannot help but think that to do all of these things well (emphasis on well) one must be smarter than average. I remember going to an attorney’s office when my parents closed on their new home and left mortified that I wanted to pursue a career in law, because of the ineptitude, incompetence, and unintelligence of the man signing the coveted “Esq.” after his name. When I asked casually asked him what law school he attended, I was unsurprised by his answer.

I post this not to place myself on a pedestal or appear arrogant, but instead to foster a legitimate and respectful (emphasis on respectful) dialogue. I have always been drawn to the legal profession, and have always felt as if being a lawyer was predicated upon being smart, articulate, and disciplined. However, as I read through many of these “chance me” posts, look at statistics from 3rd and 4th tier law schools, and see many lawyers who practice outside of “big-law”, I can’t help but feel as if being a lawyer isn’t all that much to be proud of anymore. In the not too distant past, identifying yourself as an attorney automatically conveyed (the vast majority of the time) very specific characteristics about yourself. I do not feel as if the same can be said today. Unless you are remarkably inept or have a criminal record, I feel as if virtually anyone can receive their JD. I am worried about where this profession will end up in another fifty years. I seek the opinions of others, but I truly ask that the tone be respectful and constructive.


TL;DR

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WhatSarahSaid
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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby WhatSarahSaid » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:54 pm

it implied a sense of intelligence (true, academic intelligence—not “life experience”)


Looking at these statistics this way begs the question


Also, why this forum?

Sandro
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:12 am

Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby Sandro » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:55 pm

I can see anyone with any LSAT score and GPA succeeding in law school, as long as they devote themselves to the program.


What? Come on man. This guys whole post was about how the law profession suffers from the fact that now anyone with a pulse can attend law school. Sure, I COULD become an astronaut and fly to mars if I dedicated myself to it - but what are the odds ? For every 25k people who set out to fly to mars, how many end up there? 5?

Look at college degrees - anyone can get one if they pony up the money and enroll in some of the less than stellar online colleges etc. I'm not saying this is directly comparable to law but look look at how competitive Medical school admissions are - there is no med school for anyone with a pulse who will "dedicate themselves to the program"

Just some thoughts.

ran12
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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby ran12 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:55 pm

Parts of your argument are def true. Almost anyone can get into a law school and even get a JD. But as you mentioned, to be a lawyer, you need to pass the bar and while you may hear about a large percentage of people passing, a lot of people don't. That leaves a bunch of people with a degree that they can't even really utilize. People who pass the bar on mutliple tries may be allowed to practice but likely will not find a job. Then there's the fact that many people go to law school and drop out or never even plan on taking the bar to practice.

Granted there will be people who are incompetent who will finish law school, pass the bar, and become lawyers but that's not the most prevalent case. In law, as in any profession, you need to be good at what you do to survive. By virtue of these factors, most people who shouldn't be practicing law will be weeded out by a form of natural selection.

There are def people from 3rd and 4th tier schools that get their act together and become pretty good lawyers. With that said, there are just way too many law schools that are essentially tricking people into paying a boat load of money to get a JD.

mrwarre85
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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby mrwarre85 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:56 pm

Government backed student loans.

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Gemini
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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby Gemini » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:56 pm

Tanicius wrote:
nyclawguy wrote:I have been a semi-frequent visitor to TLS for quite some time. While I’ve only ever posted on the site on 3 or 4 occasions, I find it a great place to find information regarding the application process, and law school more generally. Nevertheless, in the course of my perusing, I’ve always been a bit perturbed by those posts in which people ask to have other users “chance them”, and have fairly deplorable numbers. Before I continue on, I am more than aware of the fact that numbers aren’t everything (I especially feel this way with the LSAT since I don’t believe that a four hour test is necessarily indicative of how one will do in law school or as a practicing attorney), but with that said, I think there is something to be said for one’s GPA (four years of sustained study, presumably on a topic that a person finds intellectually stimulating). Also, I do recognize that as it pertains to GPA, instances arise where students have a crisis that impacts their grades for a semester or longer (or even on occasion, just a really difficult class/course of study). And of course, one’s “soft” factors must be taken into account; there is certainly something to be said for students who hold a job during their undergraduate careers, are heavily involved in community service/leadership activities, who publish articles, win awards, etc.

Nevertheless, despite all of these aforementioned considerations, I cannot help but feel that in the United States today, anyone who wants to go to law school, can (I stop short of saying “become an attorney” because passing the bar is still a fairly formidable obstacle). Fifty years ago, there was something to be said for being a lawyer; it implied a sense of intelligence (true, academic intelligence—not “life experience”), and carried with it a degree of prestige. Going to law school was hard work, and not every John Doe who liked to argue, enjoyed politics, and was in student council went on to pursue a legal education. However, as the decades have gone by, I feel as if the industry has begun to corrode (quite precipitously), and I feel that this problem lies with the proliferation of law schools that really have no place issuing JDs. The 25th percentile GPA/LSAT of Southern University (which appears to be the lowest ranked school on TLS) is 2.48 and 143 respectively. Graduating with a 2.48 (and mind you, 25% of the class at this particular school has LESS than a 2.48) is slightly better than a C+ average, and on the October 2010 test, a 143 meant that you answered 45 out of 101 questions correctly (and again, 25% of the class at this school scored even worse). Looking at these statistics this way begs the question as to whether or not a student with those statistics (or worse) has any place practicing law. I asked a family member of mine who is the director of hiring for a clothing company if she would ever hire someone with a 2.48 GPA, and her answer was an unequivocal “no”.

No, not everyone is a gunner who shoots for the t14 or has aspirations of working at Wachtell or Cravath. Many people are more than content (and have wonderfully successful careers) practicing law at boutique firms or working as sole practitioners. Yet regardless of where you attend law school, or where you eventually practice, being a lawyer requires intelligence. The law is inherently complex, reading legalese can be worse than hyroglifics, and legal research can be a grueling undertaking. I cannot help but think that to do all of these things well (emphasis on well) one must be smarter than average. I remember going to an attorney’s office when my parents closed on their new home and left mortified that I wanted to pursue a career in law, because of the ineptitude, incompetence, and unintelligence of the man signing the coveted “Esq.” after his name. When I asked casually asked him what law school he attended, I was unsurprised by his answer.

I post this not to place myself on a pedestal or appear arrogant, but instead to foster a legitimate and respectful (emphasis on respectful) dialogue. I have always been drawn to the legal profession, and have always felt as if being a lawyer was predicated upon being smart, articulate, and disciplined. However, as I read through many of these “chance me” posts, look at statistics from 3rd and 4th tier law schools, and see many lawyers who practice outside of “big-law”, I can’t help but feel as if being a lawyer isn’t all that much to be proud of anymore. In the not too distant past, identifying yourself as an attorney automatically conveyed (the vast majority of the time) very specific characteristics about yourself. I do not feel as if the same can be said today. Unless you are remarkably inept or have a criminal record, I feel as if virtually anyone can receive their JD. I am worried about where this profession will end up in another fifty years. I seek the opinions of others, but I truly ask that the tone be respectful and constructive.


TL;DR

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bk1
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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby bk1 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:58 pm

Stop measuring yourself based on the letters behind your name and who else has those letters. Instead actually do something.

You care about TTT/TTTT for the wrong reason. Caring about them because they let anybody get a JD is misdirected. Caring about them because they pump out too many JD's relative to the number of jobs that require them is on the right track.

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Gemini
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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby Gemini » Fri Jan 07, 2011 2:59 pm

bk1 wrote:Stop measuring yourself based on the letters behind your name and who else has those letters. Instead actually do something.

You care about TTT/TTTT for the wrong reason. Caring about them because they let anybody get a JD is misdirected. Caring about them because they pump out too many JD's relative to the number of jobs that require them is on the right track.


<3 You always give the BEST responses!

NJcollegestudent
Posts: 490
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:12 pm

Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby NJcollegestudent » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:04 pm

Sandro777 wrote:
I can see anyone with any LSAT score and GPA succeeding in law school, as long as they devote themselves to the program.


What? Come on man. This guys whole post was about how the law profession suffers from the fact that now anyone with a pulse can attend law school. Sure, I COULD become an astronaut and fly to mars if I dedicated myself to it - but what are the odds ? For every 25k people who set out to fly to mars, how many end up there? 5?

Look at college degrees - anyone can get one if they pony up the money and enroll in some of the less than stellar online colleges etc. I'm not saying this is directly comparable to law but look look at how competitive Medical school admissions are - there is no med school for anyone with a pulse who will "dedicate themselves to the program"

Just some thoughts.


Why should it be that way? We may not be an egalitarian society, however, we have prided ourselves on following our dreams and ambitions. It makes no difference to me what an LSAT score says, as a persons worth is determined by their work, and simply their work.


Even bachelors degrees are something that is accessible to so many people now, and that is a great thing. There are plenty of persons who would love to attend college, and be happy, and that is something we cannot take away from them.

The bottom line is, prestige is dead, and it is never coming back. We should be focusing on bringing equality, rather than reinforcing class divides among society.

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androstan
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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby androstan » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:06 pm

Gemini Hopeful wrote:
bk1 wrote:Stop measuring yourself based on the letters behind your name and who else has those letters. Instead actually do something.

You care about TTT/TTTT for the wrong reason. Caring about them because they let anybody get a JD is misdirected. Caring about them because they pump out too many JD's relative to the number of jobs that require them is on the right track.


<3 You always give the BEST responses!


+1

Sandro
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Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:12 am

Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby Sandro » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:10 pm

The bottom line is, prestige is dead, and it is never coming back. We should be focusing on bringing equality, rather than reinforcing class divides among society.


So A graduate from Charlotte Law school shouldn't worry about the prestige of his school when he sends in applications compared to HYS or even T25 for that matter?

Emma1
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Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:11 pm

Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby Emma1 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:14 pm

We need to close more of the TTT Law schools and stop opening up new ones. We don't need this many attorneys.

NJcollegestudent
Posts: 490
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 5:12 pm

Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby NJcollegestudent » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:17 pm

Sandro777 wrote:
The bottom line is, prestige is dead, and it is never coming back. We should be focusing on bringing equality, rather than reinforcing class divides among society.


So A graduate from Charlotte Law school shouldn't worry about the prestige of his school when he sends in applications compared to HYS or even T25 for that matter?



That is not my point, i mean the prestige of being an attorney. I am not in this for presitage, and honestly no one should attend law school to be considered prestigious, as that is just not the case. Even medical professions are becoming less prestigious, with an oversupply of medical staff.


My point is apply to the school you want to go to, and worry less about the prestige, as that does not mean you will automatically do well. Take me for example, i am applying to Rutgers-Newark law School, a school that is bashed left and right here. I think it is a great school, and i would attend it over HYS (if i had the numbers to receive admissions).

krad
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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby krad » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:19 pm

androstan wrote:
Gemini Hopeful wrote:
bk1 wrote:Stop measuring yourself based on the letters behind your name and who else has those letters. Instead actually do something.

You care about TTT/TTTT for the wrong reason. Caring about them because they let anybody get a JD is misdirected. Caring about them because they pump out too many JD's relative to the number of jobs that require them is on the right track.


<3 You always give the BEST responses!


+1

+2 million

Emma1
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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby Emma1 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:21 pm

Thank quality rather than prestige. Stop opening up TTT Law schools.

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AreJay711
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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:22 pm

*Actually had to do work at work so couldn't finish this post earlier*

Why do you care? Being intelligent is probably a prerequisite for being a good lawyer still and just because more people are getting the minimum qualifications doesn't stop any particular intelligent person from actually being good at a lawyer. It is true that being a lawyer doesn't automatically get you respect you like it once (presumably) did but being excellent in your field will get you respect no matter what the general views people hold of the profession.

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slax
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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby slax » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:23 pm

nyclawguy wrote:I have been a semi-frequent visitor to TLS for quite some time. While I’ve only ever posted on the site on 3 or 4 occasions, I find it a great place to find information regarding the application process, and law school more generally. Nevertheless, in the course of my perusing, I’ve always been a bit perturbed by those posts in which people ask to have other users “chance them”, and have fairly deplorable numbers. Before I continue on, I am more than aware of the fact that numbers aren’t everything (I especially feel this way with the LSAT since I don’t believe that a four hour test is necessarily indicative of how one will do in law school or as a practicing attorney), but with that said, I think there is something to be said for one’s GPA (four years of sustained study, presumably on a topic that a person finds intellectually stimulating). Also, I do recognize that as it pertains to GPA, instances arise where students have a crisis that impacts their grades for a semester or longer (or even on occasion, just a really difficult class/course of study). And of course, one’s “soft” factors must be taken into account; there is certainly something to be said for students who hold a job during their undergraduate careers, are heavily involved in community service/leadership activities, who publish articles, win awards, etc.

Nevertheless, despite all of these aforementioned considerations, I cannot help but feel that in the United States today, anyone who wants to go to law school, can (I stop short of saying “become an attorney” because passing the bar is still a fairly formidable obstacle). Fifty years ago, there was something to be said for being a lawyer; it implied a sense of intelligence (true, academic intelligence—not “life experience”), and carried with it a degree of prestige. Going to law school was hard work, and not every John Doe who liked to argue, enjoyed politics, and was in student council went on to pursue a legal education. However, as the decades have gone by, I feel as if the industry has begun to corrode (quite precipitously), and I feel that this problem lies with the proliferation of law schools that really have no place issuing JDs. The 25th percentile GPA/LSAT of Southern University (which appears to be the lowest ranked school on TLS) is 2.48 and 143 respectively. Graduating with a 2.48 (and mind you, 25% of the class at this particular school has LESS than a 2.48) is slightly better than a C+ average, and on the October 2010 test, a 143 meant that you answered 45 out of 101 questions correctly (and again, 25% of the class at this school scored even worse). Looking at these statistics this way begs the question as to whether or not a student with those statistics (or worse) has any place practicing law. I asked a family member of mine who is the director of hiring for a clothing company if she would ever hire someone with a 2.48 GPA, and her answer was an unequivocal “no”.

No, not everyone is a gunner who shoots for the t14 or has aspirations of working at Wachtell or Cravath. Many people are more than content (and have wonderfully successful careers) practicing law at boutique firms or working as sole practitioners. Yet regardless of where you attend law school, or where you eventually practice, being a lawyer requires intelligence. The law is inherently complex, reading legalese can be worse than hyroglifics, and legal research can be a grueling undertaking. I cannot help but think that to do all of these things well (emphasis on well) one must be smarter than average. I remember going to an attorney’s office when my parents closed on their new home and left mortified that I wanted to pursue a career in law, because of the ineptitude, incompetence, and unintelligence of the man signing the coveted “Esq.” after his name. When I asked casually asked him what law school he attended, I was unsurprised by his answer.

I post this not to place myself on a pedestal or appear arrogant, but instead to foster a legitimate and respectful (emphasis on respectful) dialogue. I have always been drawn to the legal profession, and have always felt as if being a lawyer was predicated upon being smart, articulate, and disciplined. However, as I read through many of these “chance me” posts, look at statistics from 3rd and 4th tier law schools, and see many lawyers who practice outside of “big-law”, I can’t help but feel as if being a lawyer isn’t all that much to be proud of anymore. In the not too distant past, identifying yourself as an attorney automatically conveyed (the vast majority of the time) very specific characteristics about yourself. I do not feel as if the same can be said today. Unless you are remarkably inept or have a criminal record, I feel as if virtually anyone can receive their JD. I am worried about where this profession will end up in another fifty years. I seek the opinions of others, but I truly ask that the tone be respectful and constructive.



+1. You couldn't manage a 3.0 in undergrad but think you'll be in the top 10% at a TTT and get a legit job. This is why Americans are in such deep debt.

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bk1
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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby bk1 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:23 pm

krad wrote:
androstan wrote:
Gemini Hopeful wrote:<3 You always give the BEST responses!


+1

+2 million

I aim to please. :D

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bk1
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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby bk1 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:24 pm

slax wrote:+1. You couldn't manage a 3.0 in undergrad but think you'll be in the top 10% at a TTT and get a legit job. This is why Americans are in such deep debt.


Shhh, don't tell this to half the class at NU. You'll dash their hopes and dreams.

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slax
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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby slax » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:31 pm

bk1 wrote:
slax wrote:+1. You couldn't manage a 3.0 in undergrad but think you'll be in the top 10% at a TTT and get a legit job. This is why Americans are in such deep debt.


Shhh, don't tell this to half the class at NU. You'll dash their hopes and dreams.


I mean, if someone will give you a full ride, then why not? But to take 3 years off from work and spend $120k+ while you're off is plain stupid. If I stayed at the job I have now, I'd be making $70k+COLA increases in 3 years. I'm not going to a law school that won't lead me to making more than this when I graduate.

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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby nyclawguy » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:42 pm

Great dialogue so far. Figured I'd jump back in and give my responses:

NJcollegestudent wrote:There is no reason to place one careers value over another, and if law is becoming less prestigious, yet opening up more opportunities, i say that is excellent.


Part of my aim in writing this post was to coutner this very notion. Yes, perhaps with the proliferation of law school more people can become lawyers. But more lawyers does not equal more opportunities. If the people receiving JDs do not practice their profession well, it corrodes the entire industry. Productivity is lost, grid-lock sets in, and client's time/money is wasted. Sure, more people with "Esq" after their name may be receiving a paycheck, but that's a very shortsighted perspective. How does this affect the industry on the whole is the question that I think needs to be asked,

Sandro777 wrote:look look at how competitive Medical school admissions are - there is no med school for anyone with a pulse who will "dedicate themselves to the program"


This is EXACTLY what I was going for, Sandro777. If this was a medical school forum, we wouldn't be having this discussion. I don't think anyone on here wants their doctor to have an MD because it's always been their dream to practice medicine and they should be able to live out their ambitions if they aren't qualified to practice medicine. We hold that standard because of course, the possible outcome of an inept physician is serious injury/death. I personally don't believe that this should have to the standard by which we expect the same level of apptitude when it comes to lawyers.

ran12 wrote:There are def people from 3rd and 4th tier schools that get their act together and become pretty good lawyers.


Agree, entirely.

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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby Grizz » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:44 pm

slax wrote:I mean, if someone will give you a full ride, then why not?


Debt for COL, opportunity cost, and the chance that a JD will make you ovrequalified for many non-legal jobs.

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Re: What's your Opinion?

Postby ran12 » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:48 pm

rad law wrote:
slax wrote:I mean, if someone will give you a full ride, then why not?


Debt for COL, opportunity cost, and the chance that a JD will make you ovrequalified for many non-legal jobs.


That's actually really on the mark. A lot of employers won't hire people who are overqualified for a position b/c they think you'll bounce as soon as a better opportunity arises or ask for more money. I've also actually experienced this situation in college while applying for internships. While that's not the same situation per se, things like that happen all the time.




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