NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

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LSATandADHDdontmix
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NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby LSATandADHDdontmix » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:29 pm

Okay, so I dropped out of high school when I was 15 and ran away to San Fran (was clearly on the wrong path). My dad committed suicide when I was 19, which was a huge wake up call...I guess. Got pregnant when I was 21, had him at 22. Aimlessly messed around in school, but had an awakening at 27 and buckled down in school.

I'm 30 now. Graduating this Spring with a 3.7-3.8 (probably getting another batch of straight A's)...

My issue during my younger years was that I was never treated for a learning disability, which I have and it SUCKS. Been studying for the LSAT for 8 months. I cannot get my score up. I'm supposed to take it for the first time on October 5th, but I think I shouldn't since I've never broken 150.

I'm not stupid...I just have an issue with this timing and I have ZERO experience with standardized testing.

Should I grind it with studying and delay until December?

Also, I have been working for years...I'm a sommelier....a volunteer for the VA Hospital, which is actually what I want to dedicate my legal career to --- aiding veterans with getting their benefits that they deserve (the VA sucks).

I need some good advice. I didn't tell you guys my sob story to make you feel bad or to get reassurance, so you don't need to give me a "high-5" or anything like that. It's all good. Just some advice please...

My #1 choice for law school is UCI Law. I'm willing to go to Western State University and attempt to transfer to UCI if I can't get my score to a good place. Ugh....obviously stressed :/

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rinkrat19
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby rinkrat19 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:31 pm

You need to take as long as you need--YEARS if necessary--to get above a 165.

Your GPA for law school purposes is going to include all the grades from your "messing around in school" years, so it's probably not going to be a 3.7-3.8.

LSATandADHDdontmix
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby LSATandADHDdontmix » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:33 pm

All the "messing around" was negated when I filed to have them written off (some schools allow it after 5 years and it was well over that time)...

I don't have years to wait to do well. I need to get accepted and attend in fall 2014. I have a family and I need to get going.

Any other tips?

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smaug_
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby smaug_ » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:35 pm

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Last edited by smaug_ on Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LSATandADHDdontmix
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby LSATandADHDdontmix » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:36 pm

My brother's wife just started at UCLA with a 3.9 and a 155 LSAT....does ANYONE have any GOOD advice? lol

I don't even know what FLAME means???

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twenty
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby twenty » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:58 pm

Get your learning disability diagnosed, petition the LSAC to let you take the LSAT with disability measures (i.e, get more time), take it then.

You have no business going to law school with less than a 150 score. The people I've known that did end up going to law school with sub 150s are now jobless and borderline suicidal.

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Nova
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby Nova » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:01 pm

You must be studying wrong. The LSAT forum here can help you. How have you studied?

You are going to need to wait a year to put yourself in a much better position. Target next Feb/June to set yourself up for next cycle.

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MoMettaMonk
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby MoMettaMonk » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:16 pm

FLAME means that your story isn't real and you're just posting here to get a rise out of people.

I'm not sure if you can get a time extension on the LSAT, but you should definitely check into that if you've got a diagnosed reason. Also check with LSAC to make sure that your original undergrad grades won't count towards your GPA, they tend to count grades that people have long forgotten about or don't count towards many other things.

The general advice that you're going to get is:

A. Don't go to law school until you break at least 160 and can get a sizable scholarship to a school in the region that you want to work, or score higher (165+) and get into a t14.

B. http://www.lstscorereports.com/?school=westernstate Don't go to this school. The California legal market is not in great shape, and that school does not give you remotely decent employment prospects for the price.

All that I'll say is, be incredibly wary of going into debt for a law school that is either not fully accredited yet (UCI's first few classes apparently got an unparelleled level of help in securing jobs/clerkships and is unproven outside of that), or gives you less than a 35% chance of being a lawyer with long term full time work. Law school will always be there no matter how long you decide to wait, and the debt that you go into will follow you FOREVER.

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dr123
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby dr123 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:41 pm

PM the user Dr. Dre, he is an expert on UCI Law.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby Dr. Dre » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:28 pm

First, I would not recommend going to uci law school.

Second, this is the best LSAT study guide out there; use it.
http://www.amazon.com/The-LSAT-Trainer- ... 0989081508

LSATandADHDdontmix
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby LSATandADHDdontmix » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:37 pm

I don't have time to wait a year. I'm going to aim for December and adjust my study habits.

I have the manhattan books and 5 free hours of tutoring one on one.

I'm highly self-motivated. My issue has been finding time between 15 units, my son, and work.

And I'm not a "flame" lol someone told me what that means....first time user on this thread.

I'm also 30. I have connections with judges due to my current job so my getting into law school and completing all 3 years....passing the bar.....those are really what I need to accomplish. My first choice is uci because I can't leave the county to go to school. My son's school is in Yorba Linda, so my options are limited.

If you have good advice, then give it to me. Waiting years or not going to law school because I have no business going if I don't score a certain score, isn't an option.

I appreciate your time and consideration.

:)

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Nova
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby Nova » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:48 pm

Waiting 1 year to drastically improve your situation should not be off the table. Attending law school without maxing out your lsat potential is shortsighted and unwise.

You should read the stickies in the lsat forum and follow Noodley's guide. Drill 1-40

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dr123
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby dr123 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 9:52 pm

Why cant you just commute to UCLA or USC?

LSATandADHDdontmix
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby LSATandADHDdontmix » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:14 pm

I'm a single parent. If there's a hiccup in traffic even slightly, what is my 8 year old son going to do when I can't get to him in time for school to be let out?

Waiting a year isn't an option. I gather you're not a parent.

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dr123
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby dr123 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:22 pm

Woah, no need to get all defensive. Also, I'm sure you wouldn't be the only parent to have a commute from LA to Orange County

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mr. wednesday
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby mr. wednesday » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:32 pm

Think about it logically. Without doing better on the LSAT, you're looking at paying full price, meaning you're 30 and taking out about a quarter of a million dollars in non-dischargeable debt. You'll still be paying it off when your child starts college, so forget helping with those expenses. It's more likely that you'll be making payments on that quarter of a million dollars without a job requiring a JD, because the level of school you are looking at has poor employment prospects. How are you going to start saving for retirement at 50 when your debt is finally forgiven (and that forgiveness taxed)? If you already have $250k to blow, you can invest it more wisely than in UCI tuition.

No one is saying you MUST take a year off and do better on the LSAT and commute to USC or UCLA. But realistically, if that plan isn't an option for you, you'll be much better off not going to law school. There are advocate or paralegal positions that don't require a law degree for you to make a difference in veterans' lives.

Ti Malice
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby Ti Malice » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:44 pm

LSATandADHDdontmix wrote:I have connections with judges due to my current job so my getting into law school and completing all 3 years....passing the bar.....those are really what I need to accomplish.


What exactly do you expect those connections to do for you?

If you have good advice, then give it to me. Waiting years or not going to law school because I have no business going if I don't score a certain score, isn't an option.


You're getting very good advice. Reality is not always pleasant. Going to any law school that would accept you with anything close to a 150 is a horrible idea. In case you haven't heard, the legal market is in bad shape, and it's particularly bad in CA. Law school is no longer a safe and reliable path to a comfortable lifestyle. Those days are long gone. No school in your area is worth attending without a large, no-stipulations scholarship -- including UCLA and USC. A school like Western State is not worth attending at any cost. Taking on massive amounts of nondischargeable debt for poor job prospects is a nonsensical plan. It's also a terribly irresponsible plan for someone raising a child.

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twenty
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby twenty » Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:35 am

Yeah, the only worse idea I can think of than attending a T2 or below school in SoCal at sticker is doing that... with a young child depending on you.

In fact, more than anything, I think waiting a few years is most definitely an option. Doing law school is time consuming and miserable enough -- and then to add a young child on top of that? There is absolutely no reason you can't wait until he's old enough to not be entirely dependent on you, and then go to law school.

EDIT> Also, the reason why people are calling flame is because you are the textbook profile of someone who should absolutely not be going to law school, and yet you're giving fairly irrational reasons why it would be a great idea. Just FYI.

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Iroh
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby Iroh » Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:03 am

I need some good advice. I didn't tell you guys my sob story to make you feel bad or to get reassurance, so you don't need to give me a "high-5" or anything like that. It's all good. Just some advice please...


Waiting a year isn't an option. I gather you're not a parent.


I have to ask, what advice are you looking for, exactly? Are you looking for advice on how to achieve a higher LSAT score? There is an entire forum dedicated to that. There are threads dedicated to users who will be taking the LSAT in October, December, February, even next June.

Are you looking for advice on how to transfer from a school like Western State University to UCI? Going to a law school with the intent to eventually transfer to a better one is considered risky business by the TLS hivemind. It has been done. Here is a thread on that very issue:http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=82937

Or are you looking for more general advice, such as, "What would you do if you were in my situation?" I think the overwhelming response will be:
1) Improve LSAT score.
2)Failing 1, do not go to law school.

You are free to disregard that advice. But that is the advice you shall receive, by and large.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby Dr. Dre » Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:35 am

Ti Malice wrote:In case you haven't heard, the legal market is in bad shape, and it's particularly bad in CA.




The UC system is in financial crisis. Unless you're berkeley, no law school in that system is worth going.

timbs4339
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby timbs4339 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:05 am

Taking out six-figures of debt to go to Cal Western Law is foolish and shortsighted for a 22 year old with no responsibilities. For a single mom with a child it is almost dangerous. You do know that the debt is non-dischargeable, and you've seen the employment statistics? You know you'll be lucky to get any lawyer job that pays around 50K?

If you have a good job that is paying the bills, then why would you give it all up for the huge risk involved in going to law school? I'm not sure exactly what would be forcing you to go this year except that you are being irrational about this decision.

californiauser
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby californiauser » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:45 am

LSATandADHDdontmix wrote:Also, I have been working for years...I'm a sommelier....a volunteer for the VA Hospital, which is actually what I want to dedicate my legal career to --- aiding veterans with getting their benefits that they deserve (the VA sucks).


Your best bet is to probably go to a school with a full scholarship seeing as how working for Veterens is an extremely low-paying gig. It wouldn't make sense to go 200k+ debt as a single mother to obtain a 50k (best scenario) job.

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jbagelboy
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:16 pm

If OP is still reading this thread:

From your comments and logistical defenses above, I feel obligated to ask and direct the conversation towards the following question:

Why do you want to go to law school?

If the answer is, to find full time work as an attorney so I can support my family, commit to public service/meaningful contribution, and ultimately claw into the middle class, That's a relateable perspective in your generation, but in a different universe from your current expectations. The act of attending a law school in southern california next year other than USC/UCLA on substantial scholarship would be entirely oppositional to this goal. As other posters have mentioned, paying tuition to enroll in a barely accredited law school like Western as a parent would be grossly negligent, perhaps criminal - its reckless and a potential breach of parental duty guised as a "responsible," professional decision.

Are you afraid that "if you dont do it now, its not going to happen"? Is it a goal you've made for yourself for a while that you feel you need to accomplish? Most law schools arent responsible choices; its not setting your life back on track. Its a massive risk to entertain. Taking a year to hammer out the LSAT? Thats very low risk, extremely high potential for reward. That, or securing another line of work, is the responsible, low risk, true parental choice. Why law as a career? You are just finishing your BA and there are other full time job options available with advancement opportunities.

I have a friend with a learning disability (Asperger's) who overcame sub-150 performance to achieve a 167. Took 3 takes, a year of study, but he's now at Georgetown. You can do it too if law school means that much to you.

You may be able to hit in your preferred score range by December -- thats the first practical advice would be what everyone here has told you, change up your study methods and get the exam. Its just one test. The deeper point here is that you need to articulate with a 2013 mindset what an anteater law degree really does for you and your family; small logistical "impossibilities" grounded in low-risk situations pale in comparison to the massive risk and burden of debt and unemployment.

And don't tell people on this board they don't know what they're talking about when it comes to children. There are tons of parents on here. Listen to them

whatsyourdeal
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby whatsyourdeal » Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:34 pm

OP:

I wouldn't even respond to this post, as I'm busy LOOKING FOR A JOB IN YOUR AREA POST-LAW SCHOOL. But since you're from the area, I feel some sort of responsibility to help you make an informed decision. I understand the intent of the posters in this thread trying to dissuade you from going to law school unless its UCLA and USC, and I understand that it doesn't apply to your situation, or that you just won't take heed of that advice. This is, after all TLS, where the mentality is generally T14 or bust.

Whether you agree with that mentality or not, however, the posters are correct: Western State is an absolutely horrible school to pay full tuition. Not because it is not elite, but because, as these posters have noted, your employment options will be severely limited to opening up your own practice, working for small firms that are usually terrible (operate unethically, pay very little, do mainly "shitlaw", etc.), or, if you're lucky, going to the public defenders or district attorneys office (extremely rare, given the fierce competition you face from loyola, chapman, whittier, uci, pepperdine, usc, ucla, and other accredited schools). Gone are the days when Western grads made it as a judge or PD/DA; that doesn't happen anymore because of this crap legal market.

Even if you got a scholarship to Western, I hear that they have some tough stipulations to keeping scholarships, and that the curve is brutal. This is purposely done to trim scholarship offers and for the school to make more money.

In short, do more research on Western, talk to some of their students and recent graduates, and find out what the employment prospects are. At the end of the day, you and your child will have to face the consequences of your decision.

On the other hand, have you thought of applying to Chapman? Its not the greatest school, but if you are serious about finding a decent job as an attorney in the Orange County area, this school MUST be considered. In my job search in OC, I am always in competition with graduates from this school, and they actually have enough alumni support and a decent reputation in this area for small-mid sized practices. With your grades and even with a 15X LSAT score, you definitely could get a sizable scholarship from this school. At the least, it would be much better than Western State. *Post-edit: no, I did not graduate from Chapman, so I have no self-interest in promoting them. But my views are based on my discussions with employers in this area and my observations of my general competition in this area, and the prevailing idea is Chapman>>>Western State.

Good luck to you.

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Dr. Dre
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Re: NON-Traditional wants to go to UCI LAW so bad!

Postby Dr. Dre » Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:09 pm

(mcgeorge grad)




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