LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

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Mickey Quicknumbers
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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:20 am

kapital98 wrote:delBarco:

Let me explain this in simple words:

People lost their jobs. More people chasing fewer jobs, without money decreasing, means more people of out jobs. Eventually this will get better. The legal place will eventually get better and jobs will exist for all. They may not be as good as they were before but they will exist for all.

Not having a job hurts. It hurts people without jobs because they don't have pay and it also makes them less valuable the longer they don't have a job. Eventually the [surplus army of labor -- I had to get in a marxist term 8) ] will find jobs. Everyone will be totally happier than during the recession.

The sky is not falling. Eventually things will get better.

P.S. Compared to Romo you're a genius. We don't agree but at least you say something of substance.


I'm glad that you appreciate that I am making any sort of substantial claim. But I want to specifically address the bold. Right now, like I said, there are about 42,000 graduates for a bout 15,000 legal jobs. The disparity is even greater in oversaturated markets like Florida, but the market forces are broken for a couple of reasons. 1) the supply won't ever (in the next 50+ years) correct itself to the demand. This is because the ABA has virtually no power to limit accrediting law schools, and as long as they can find enough students to fill their class, they will remain open. When the economy as a whole eventually corrects itself then the number of legal jobs opening up may go as high as 20-25 thousand a year, but that is all the supply that is needed for a non-recessed American economy at this time. Natural market forces would seemingly drop the supply of lawyers with such a great disparity, in a perfect market system. But it isn't. The reason it isn't is because schools are claiming false employment numbers that are vastly better than the reality of the situation and are luring in kids to get these degrees. Assuming that the OP wants to be a job in the legal sector, which isn't a huge assumption to make, he's going to be faced with this disparity, there simply will never be enough jobs to go around. It's a broken system, one which isn't subject to regular market forces, and one which shouldn't exist in theory. But it does, and here we are. And the schools that lose out big time in these broken hiring systems are the ones that the OP is applying to. The schools at the top of the chain (think back to the tiered hiring we talked about) will be soaking up most of the jobs leaving these poor kids unemployed permanently.

I think your biggest assumption was that there was no problem pre-recession. this problem has been present for years, was slightly disguised by the hiring bubble, and is now being grossly exacerbated by the recession. Your analysis is great for a theoretical market, but we're dealing with a broken market, and all the theory in the world isn't going to fix it.

I realize unemployment isn't at 0% if a perfect market equilibrium. But at no point in the next 50 years will it ever be better than 20-30% unemployed within the legal sector. I promise you that.
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kapital98
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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby kapital98 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:21 am

Neither of us are geniuses. I'll be around the forums for the next couple of years. I look forward to future discourse. Good Night

OP: Sorry for highjacking the thread. I hope some of what we said will help you.

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby kapital98 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:32 am

delBarco:

I agree with you that imperfect information creates a deviation away from perfect competition.

Where we disagree (and correct me if I'm misrepresenting you) is on the wages of lawyers entering the legal market. I argue that wages will change even with imperfect information. Assuming a tiered structure exist the wage distribution will be skewed. The highest earning lawyers will be relatively unaffected by an inflow of TTT lawyers. However, the bottom wage tiers will absorb the excess labor. This will result in lower wages but stable employment at potential equilibrium.

Better information by the ABA would prevent small frictions in the labor market. But, once again, I would argue that even if the ABA gave perfect information and perfect competition existed the number of lawyers would not appreciably decrease. It would probably increase until a new, allocatively efficient, equilibrium is reached. As wages fall new jobs become available.

I would need to see a study saying the legal market is 'broken' before I believe it. I agree that biglaw is not as efficient as many believed. But I don't believe that the entire market is flawed.

I think we agree on more than we disagree. All/any studies are always welcome. I look forward to speaking with you again. Good Night

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Mickey Quicknumbers
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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:46 am

quick FYI, here's a breakdown of the legal market salary structure:
--ImageRemoved--

You're saying basically that at the lower level legal jobs, wages will drop, and people will leave the market until the two come into equilibrium. This is unfortunately never going to happen because 1) the wages for most of these jobs are so low that they can't humanely get any lower. Government, PI, PD, clerkship, and shitlaw jobs are already pretty poorly paying, and no municipality is going to pay someone 15k a year salary. 2) the whole of lower wages to meet equilibrium is based on total demand v. total supply of lawyers in a given market. Here's where I think you're messing up. Me (and Romo) are look at total graduates v. total new jobs opening up, and every year there are going to be 40,000+ young graduates looking for legal jobs anywhere in the economy. Not only is the economy not ever going to lower the salary of current workers in any way, but even if they did the size of the market is just SO much smaller than the size of the workforce entering it every year that legal hiring is operating on a fundamentally flawed, and sorely broken system. I appreciate your understanding of labor-market theory, but it just simply is not practically applicable in this field, and it's sad, but it's the truth.

Honestly, take some time and really learn the legal hiring market. It will do a great amount of good for you.
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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:56 am

Also, i'd still love to see a cost-benefit analysis of any T4 that comes out to a positive NPV to justify actually going.

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby firemed » Fri Jan 14, 2011 3:20 pm

delBarco wrote:Also, i'd still love to see a cost-benefit analysis of any T4 that comes out to a positive NPV to justify actually going.


If it was free... and they paid you ~30K a year on top of tuition to go there... and you were guaranteed employment via a current employer... then, yes, it would be totally cooley to go T4.

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby Grizz » Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:53 pm

kapital98 wrote:However, the bottom wage tiers will absorb the excess labor. This will result in lower wages but stable employment at potential equilibrium.


I can't understand most of your argument due to your use of incomprehensible jargon, but I take issue with this much.

Why will the bottom tiers absorb the 20k-30k grads who currently can't get legal jobs? The above just hasn't been happening. Lower level firms and small govt. haven't been absorbing the excess labor. It's not a closed system. Now that wages have already been depressed to an absurd degree (like people paying new hires $10 hr. and such for doc. review), people just leave the legal market altogether for jobs in other fields.

So while you might not be unemployed, you probably won't work as a lawyer (which is unfortunate because that's why you go to law school).

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby JusticeHarlan » Fri Jan 14, 2011 6:07 pm

kapital98 wrote:The legal place will eventually get better and jobs will exist for all. They may not be as good as they were before but they will exist for all.

How do you know this?

Let me phrase this another way:

How many law schools would need to open (or rather, how many law school graduates would need to be produced every year) for this statement to no longer be true? Certainly, at some point there would simply be more people looking for work than there are jobs, right? If the number of law schools doubled in the next five years, would each graduate still find jobs? If the number tripled? And so on. At some point, this statement will no longer be true. There's no law that says everyone graduating with a JD will be able to find a job.

So, how do you know that we've not already reached that point? What exactly tells you 'jobs will exist for all' given the number of JDs being produced each year and the number of legal jobs this country can sustain, even post-recovery (whenever that happens to be)?

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby acirilli1722 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:54 pm

The fact that the ABA approved like 15 more schools or something in the last 10 years with 5 more on the way won't help.

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby romothesavior » Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:15 pm

firemedicprelaw wrote:
delBarco wrote:Also, i'd still love to see a cost-benefit analysis of any T4 that comes out to a positive NPV to justify actually going.


If it was free... and they paid you ~30K a year on top of tuition to go there... and you were guaranteed employment via a current employer... then, yes, it would be totally cooley to go T4.

I actually do think going to T3 schools can be a good decision when:

1) It is free or really cheap
2) It is in a market you want to practice in
3) The market is not horribly oversaturated or dominated by T1 schools

or, if you have a guaranteed job lined up and can go for cheap.

I know everyone thinks I'm some sort of elitist or something, but that is nowhere near the truth. Going to a lower ranked school isn't always disasterous. But way too many students make the absolutely ridiculous decision to pay six figures to attend private law schools in dry or uber-competitive markets like Florida, DC, New York, California etc. when they are from halfway across the country.

There are times when going to a Tier 3 is perfectly fine and can make financial and career sense. OP's situation (and the schools he is considering) is not one of them.

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby Cmart050 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:52 pm

romothesavior wrote:Re-take or do not go to law school. The schools you mentioned are not likely to get you a financially viable legal job and you will likely be out at most of them anyways.

You really need to think about whether law school is a wise decision. Before you go, do your homework. Start with this New York Time's article, as it will give you a good idea of what to expect from schools like the ones you just mentioned: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/business/09law.html?_r=1

If you decide you do want to go to law school, then you need to get your LSAT score up. A 155 is not a good score at all, especially when coupled with that GPA. If you really want to be a lawyer, you will take the time to study hard and do better than that. If you want to take the easy route and still go to a Tier 4 school, then you are setting yourself up for failure.


TITCR. Should be on the headline of every forum.

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kapital98
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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby kapital98 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:12 pm

delBarco and JusticeHarlan:

Thank You for the graph. I disagree with you that the number of jobs will remain statics. With a decrease in wages (long-run mind you) an increase in jobs will occur. The real wages of lawyers can go far below what is currently accepted. This is extremely unlikely to occur with decreasing wages of new lawyers. Most likely this would occur through a modest decrease in starting salary and inflation slowly eating away at real wages (ex: Low wage lawyers receive 1-2% annual increase in pay but not enough to counter inflation.) The same logic can be used for new hires.

*I would like to mention that outsourcing legal work costs a fraction of the lower tier of lawyers. It will be a long time before outsourcing takes off (for numerous reasons) but it further exemplifies why current wages do not necessary reflect future wages.

JusticeHarlan has an excellent point. How do we know when equilibrium has been reached? That question is impossible to answer at the moment. Using neoclassical theory you would know the market has reached equilibrium when firms begin to leave the market. This process continues ad infinitum. For the sake of argument you can consider this to be law schools. No law schools have closed. When the economy is at potential graduates from T3/T4 schools still find employment.

The problem with using this metric is law schools only close when law students cannot find satisfactory jobs. This in turn prevents prospective students from attending these schools. This could results in a long lag period in which many law students are hurt.

However, it is unlikely the legal market has reached this point. New schools are opening and, when the economy is at potential, their students are finding employment. If this were to change then law schools would close due to unprofitability.

Rad Law:

We’re currently in a recession and the labor market is experiencing an unusual aberration (please read previous posts about sticky wages.) The best employment data to use would be ~2004-2005 if you wanted to study the legal market. It will be several years before new, reliable, data emerges to talk about structural shifts.

Romo:

Nice post. I still disagree with you on the OP’s situation. If the value they put on being a lawyer is sufficiently high it is still worth the investment (this would factor into a cost benefit analysis that delBarco is talking about.) With that said: They should stick to your 3 rules when possible (probably #2 and #3 are most applicable to the OP).

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby romothesavior » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:30 pm

delBarco wrote:quick FYI, here's a breakdown of the legal market salary structure:
--ImageRemoved--

This is a good graph for getting a basic grasp of the bi-modal salary distribution. I'll just add that it is pretty skewed towards the high end though (likely due to self selection). In reality, that $160,000 peak is probably half that tall or even less, because never in the history of law have ~24% of all new grades gotten biglaw. Even if 75% of T14 grads, 25% of Tier 1 grades, and 10% of all other law schools (a huge exaggeration at all three levels) got biglaw pre-ITE, that wouldn't be anywhere near 24%. And only what, like half of NLJ 250 jobs pay $160,000+? It is also pre-ITE data, so you can lop that 160,000 peak down even more for the current economy. It is a good graph to see the bi-modal thing, but it is a terrible graph because it is so inaccurate. The percent of total grads making $160k to start has gotta be in the 5% range.

Kapital, dunno if you've read this yet, but here is the ABA's report (basically a warning) about law school: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/migrated/lsd/legaled/value.authcheckdam.pdf

Dean David Van Zandt of Northwestern Law School estimates that to make a positive return on thei nvestment of going to law school, given the current costs, the average law student must earn an average annual salary of at least $65,315.12 As the data above show, however, over 40% of law school graduates have starting salaries below this threshold. Thus, many students start out in a position from which it may be difficult to recoup their investment in legal education.


And it is important to note that this 40% number is probably quite generous, for the self-selection/data problems I mentioned before. It is quite possible that the real median salary for all lawyer is more like $50,000 or so. But even assuming the 40% number is correct, guess where the vast, vast majority come from? Tier 3 and 4 schools. Also, while this "warning" from the ABA is significant because they are finally recognizing the problem openly, but it is a very watered down assessment of reality. Things are far, far more bleak than even the article indicates.
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Mickey Quicknumbers
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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby Mickey Quicknumbers » Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:54 pm

kapital98 wrote:delBarco and JusticeHarlan:

Thank You for the graph. I disagree with you that the number of jobs will remain statics. With a decrease in wages (long-run mind you) an increase in jobs will occur. The real wages of lawyers can go far below what is currently accepted. This is extremely unlikely to occur with decreasing wages of new lawyers. Most likely this would occur through a modest decrease in starting salary and inflation slowly eating away at real wages (ex: Low wage lawyers receive 1-2% annual increase in pay but not enough to counter inflation.) The same logic can be used for new hires.

*I would like to mention that outsourcing legal work costs a fraction of the lower tier of lawyers. It will be a long time before outsourcing takes off (for numerous reasons) but it further exemplifies why current wages do not necessary reflect future wages.

JusticeHarlan has an excellent point. How do we know when equilibrium has been reached? That question is impossible to answer at the moment. Using neoclassical theory you would know the market has reached equilibrium when firms begin to leave the market. This process continues ad infinitum. For the sake of argument you can consider this to be law schools. No law schools have closed. When the economy is at potential graduates from T3/T4 schools still find employment.

The problem with using this metric is law schools only close when law students cannot find satisfactory jobs. This in turn prevents prospective students from attending these schools. This could results in a long lag period in which many law students are hurt.

However, it is unlikely the legal market has reached this point. New schools are opening and, when the economy is at potential, their students are finding employment. If this were to change then law schools would close due to unprofitability.

Rad Law:

We’re currently in a recession and the labor market is experiencing an unusual aberration (please read previous posts about sticky wages.) The best employment data to use would be ~2004-2005 if you wanted to study the legal market. It will be several years before new, reliable, data emerges to talk about structural shifts.

Romo:

Nice post. I still disagree with you on the OP’s situation. If the value they put on being a lawyer is sufficiently high it is still worth the investment (this would factor into a cost benefit analysis that delBarco is talking about.) With that said: They should stick to your 3 rules when possible (probably #2 and #3 are most applicable to the OP).


You're a nice guy and all but I can't help but lose respect for you every time you post. Everything you say is just full of wrong and I don't feel like helping you anymore so i'll just say: stop giving 0L's advice. kthanks.

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:29 pm

kapital98 wrote:delBarco and JusticeHarlan:
JusticeHarlan has an excellent point. How do we know when equilibrium has been reached? That question is impossible to answer at the moment. Using neoclassical theory you would know the market has reached equilibrium when firms begin to leave the market. This process continues ad infinitum. For the sake of argument you can consider this to be law schools. No law schools have closed. When the economy is at potential graduates from T3/T4 schools still find employment.

The problem with using this metric is law schools only close when law students cannot find satisfactory jobs. This in turn prevents prospective students from attending these schools. This could results in a long lag period in which many law students are hurt.

However, it is unlikely the legal market has reached this point. New schools are opening and, when the economy is at potential, their students are finding employment. If this were to change then law schools would close due to unprofitability.


But law schools are way too divorced from legal hiring to serve as a valid metric.

In an ideal world, potential law students would know, before going to law school, whether attending a particular school is a good investment. They will know the costs, and they will know the potential jobs they can get. In this idealize model, law schools would close when there aren't legal jobs, because no one would attend a school knowing full well that they won't be able to find a job.

But that's not how it works. Law schools provide manipulative data to show an employment picture far rosier than it actually is. Students attend knowing they can't get a biglaw or prestigious public interest job unless they crack the top 10%, but they go believing that they are smart enough to crack that top 10% (and if you don't believe that, lurk on this website a little longer). Some people have no idea what the job prospects from a law school are because they haven't done the research. Simply put, to use the lack of law schools closings as proof legal hiring hasn't reach the point where many or even most law school grads won't be able to find jobs assumes that the business of running a law school has anything to do with legal hiring. It really, really doesn't.

Why do you seem so sure when you say "When the economy is at potential graduates from T3/T4 schools still find employment." Do you have data that this was true even before the economy collapsed, let alone that it will be true a few years from now?

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby Gumby » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:46 pm

kapital sounds like a loser trying to impress everyone with his words and nobody is fooled

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby Grizz » Sat Jan 15, 2011 5:18 pm

kapital98 wrote:Rad Law:

We’re currently in a recession and the labor market is experiencing an unusual aberration (please read previous posts about sticky wages.) The best employment data to use would be ~2004-2005 if you wanted to study the legal market. It will be several years before new, reliable, data emerges to talk about structural shifts.


Seriously bro? 2004-2005? Like during the employment bubble? Lol no. And even then, many TTT grads graduated without legal employment. The 45,000 grads for 30,000 entry-level jobs that gets tossed around here sometimes is based on pre-recession data.

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby hndls022 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:35 pm

Has anyone asked if OP is a URM?

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby Flanker1067 » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:20 pm

For reference:
delBarco>me>dung flinging monkey>>>>t4 student paying at or near sticker>>>>>Kapital

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby romothesavior » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:34 pm

rad law wrote:
kapital98 wrote:Rad Law:

We’re currently in a recession and the labor market is experiencing an unusual aberration (please read previous posts about sticky wages.) The best employment data to use would be ~2004-2005 if you wanted to study the legal market. It will be several years before new, reliable, data emerges to talk about structural shifts.


Seriously bro? 2004-2005? Like during the employment bubble? Lol no. And even then, many TTT grads graduated without legal employment. The 45,000 grads for 30,000 entry-level jobs that gets tossed around here sometimes is based on pre-recession data.

Yep. Again, direct quote from my favorite professor who taught at a Tier 3 school in NYC regarding the job woes of students at Tier 3 and Tier 4 schools:

"This is not a product of the recession. The recession has simply made the problem go up the ladder to the higher ranked schools."

Things suck right now for Tier 1 students because the legal economy sucks. You cannot make that claim for T3/T4 students. Things suck for the T3/T4 students because their school sucks and there is not, was not, and will not be enough room for them in the legal market.

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby tkaninenberg » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:52 pm

I enjoy this forum, because of some of the unrealistic views we all have. I am a older applicant applying this cycle and I understand the idea that applying to a Tier 1 school appears to be what is going to make you a successful lawyerand justify your education but at the end day everybody who graduates needs to take the Bar and pass. I am not trying to offend anyone here, it just seems like if you don't have a certain number your out right rejected, well at least that it was it appears to be like on here. I'm sure there is some validity to the numbers, but lets be honest the numbers will not determine what kind of lawyer you will be. In my experience I have seen people get hired who have just graduated with a very impressive GPA and they just don't have what it takes and they are out the door. The success is based on the individual. I was reading another thread yesterday and this guy scored a 139 on his LSAT and he was really just wanting advice about what were his chances, he got reamed and was basically told he was retarded and that a moran could score better. It just wasn't necessary. For any of us who have taken the LSAT, alot of factors can come into play for not scoring well. I went back and looked at mine and I saw that I had throughout the test actually erased 10 correct answers and if I would have left them I would scored 10 points higher. I understand that scores can place you and give you a better chance, but it is not a guarantee.

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:08 pm

tkaninenberg wrote:I enjoy this forum, because of some of the unrealistic views we all have. I am a older applicant applying this cycle and I understand the idea that applying to a Tier 1 school appears to be what is going to make you a successful lawyerand justify your education but at the end day everybody who graduates needs to take the Bar and pass. I am not trying to offend anyone here, it just seems like if you don't have a certain number your out right rejected, well at least that it was it appears to be like on here. I'm sure there is some validity to the numbers, but lets be honest the numbers will not determine what kind of lawyer you will be. In my experience I have seen people get hired who have just graduated with a very impressive GPA and they just don't have what it takes and they are out the door. The success is based on the individual. I was reading another thread yesterday and this guy scored a 139 on his LSAT and he was really just wanting advice about what were his chances, he got reamed and was basically told he was retarded and that a moran could score better. It just wasn't necessary. For any of us who have taken the LSAT, alot of factors can come into play for not scoring well. I went back and looked at mine and I saw that I had throughout the test actually erased 10 correct answers and if I would have left them I would scored 10 points higher. I understand that scores can place you and give you a better chance, but it is not a guarantee.

The argument, in general, is not that 'good' scores mean you'll be a better lawyer. Its that 'good' scores mean you can get into a 'good' school, which in tern means you have a substantially better chance of finding legal employment. You can have all the abilities in the world that would translate into being an exceptional lawyer, but unless you can get a job that allows you to use those skills, it won't matter.

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby tkaninenberg » Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:36 pm

I agree with you regarding the advantages that having good numbers will provide you. You just read through out this forum that if you don't have "numbers" you should just forget it. I have spoken to a number of lawyers that although the LSAT is a mandatory tool for law school admissions it does not represent ones ability if they were to attend law school. Employment as a whole is shitty, I have often wondered if my UG degree has been worth it, my point your at risk with facing unemployment or being laid off in any profession. Any way again I do agree that the numbers do give you an advantage I never thought differently, I will contend that where you go to school and whatever your numbers are they are not going to be a determing factor with what type of lawyer you are going to be.

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby JusticeHarlan » Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:40 pm

tkaninenberg wrote: I will contend that where you go to school and whatever your numbers are they are not going to be a determing factor with what type of lawyer you are going to be.

Depends what you mean by "type of lawyer." If you mean "what kind of law you practice and whom you're employed by", then it can matters a great deal.

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Re: LSDAS GPA: 2.82; LSAT: 155

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jan 16, 2011 2:41 pm

JusticeHarlan wrote:
tkaninenberg wrote: I will contend that where you go to school and whatever your numbers are they are not going to be a determing factor with what type of lawyer you are going to be.

Depends what you mean by "type of lawyer." If you mean "what kind of law you practice and whom you're employed by", then it can matters a great deal.

Beat me to the punch. I just typed this almost word for word.




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