2020 Law School Prospects Input

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LSConfidant

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2020 Law School Prospects Input

Postby LSConfidant » Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:49 pm

Firstly, thanks to all who are taking time to read this thread - it's my first post here. I want some candid advice re: my applications from either students in the process, or current and former law students. I understand the realities of some of these schools, so, please, without limiting your openness I ask not to urge me to wait another cycle, not pursue law school, or anything of the like. I know this is a career path I want to pursue.

To make things simpler, here is a link to my law school numbers profile www.lawschoolnumbers.com/LSConfidant. I want to make $ as a lawyer, ideally BigLaw which for me is just a firm that has a solid reputation and pays $120K or more - I don't need market salary. I am also good with scoring a federal clerkship or job with the USAO right out of school. I know that my odds for each are slimmer given my choices so far (I am planning to retake the LSAT in March one final time; I have already taken it twice). My LSAC GPA is 3.51 and highest LSAT is 157. I did work in a ATL Top 30 firm in SF for a year out of undergrad so I have connections in the city, although the firm I have heard is notorious for being an*l about grades, so connections won't mean anything unless I am in the top of my class (even then, it may not even matter as they predominantly recruit from Boalt, Stanford, and the rest of the T14). I have accumulated about $40K to spend on school just FYI with no other options to pay for school other than merit-based aid and loans. No real preference re: location of practice but would eventually like to end up in CA. My parents live in the Sacramento area so that's why McGeorge is a great fit but I don't want to be confined necessarily to working in one city. Thanks!

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: 2020 Law School Prospects Input

Postby The Lsat Airbender » Sat Jan 11, 2020 5:43 pm

With your salary expectations, you need to retake for at least a 168 or so so that you can go to UCLA or better.

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cavalier1138

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Re: 2020 Law School Prospects Input

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:15 am

Despite your insistence that you don't want to wait another cycle, you need to do just that. Schools that will give you the employment options you want (McGeorge is not one of these schools) won't be taking applications after the March LSAT scores are released.

kinge

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Re: 2020 Law School Prospects Input

Postby kinge » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:31 pm

The schools you applied to do not give you a good chance at landing a biglaw job. Most don't even give you a good chance of becoming a lawyer.

decimalsanddollars

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Re: 2020 Law School Prospects Input

Postby decimalsanddollars » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:26 pm

I'll go ahead and repeat the advice that others gave to wait a year and retake the LSAT, and I'll add that your career goals (large, high-paying firm or highly-sought-after government role/clerkship) are unrealistic even if you do well at many of the schools you applied to. I would also add that a USAO is extremely unlikely to hire you straight out of school; some USAOs participate in the DOJ Honors program, but those spots are rare, highly competitive, and often explicitly require a federal clerkship first. DOJ Honors in general is very competitive, particularly coming from lower-ranked schools, and federal clerkships are difficult for people to get coming out of t14-20 without deep connections, let alone for applicants from schools ranked below 20.

I won't go as far as to say that you shouldn't be a lawyer, but you should significantly recalibrate your career goals based on what's realistic from the schools you get into. I would recommend taking a year to retake and/or reevaluate what you want your career to look like, but given your limitations on advice, your current numbers, etc. I'll just say this:

I don't think Hastings at full price is worth it over Santa Clara with a discount unless you're dead set on practice in SF. I think SC and USF are different enough that a $2000 difference shouldn't be a huge factor---do you want to be closer to SV or SF? is a much bigger consideration, because those schools have limited placement outside their footprint. At any of these schools, your job prospects will vary greatly depending on your grades and personal connections, so you're taking a huge gamble that you end up at a TTT school with low grades and no employers willing to take a chance on you. That's a rough situation to be in.

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LSConfidant

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Re: 2020 Law School Prospects Input

Postby LSConfidant » Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:00 pm

Thanks, all! The fact that Hastings didn't give me $ is a massive deterrent. I'm not set to practice in SF, so this, in no way, shape, or form, warrants that kind of debt. At this point, I'm just trying to figure out which one of my choices is the best deal, so to speak. I am VERY open geographically. My only commitment is my desire to work in private practice straight away. Definitely committed to doing nothing but studying during 1L no matter where I go. I understand the realities of the employment prospects/salaries, though, via the ABA disclosures and NALP data.

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cavalier1138

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Re: 2020 Law School Prospects Input

Postby cavalier1138 » Fri Jan 17, 2020 6:25 am

LSConfidant wrote:Definitely committed to doing nothing but studying during 1L no matter where I go. I understand the realities of the employment prospects/salaries, though, via the ABA disclosures and NALP data.


Everyone is going to be studying during 1L. That doesn't give you any guarantee of top-of-the-class placement, which is required for you to have even a whiff of a chance at biglaw from your current options.

And if you understood the realities of employment prospects from these schools, you wouldn't be asking about which one of them gives you the best shot at making $120k out of school. None of them do, and you should not go to law school this cycle.

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