Roger Williams Law?

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sfchick
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Roger Williams Law?

Postby sfchick » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:19 pm

Hi everyone,

I'm prepared for some bashing here, so please keep it to a minimum because its superfluous. I'm hoping to hear from people who have attended Roger Williams, or know people who have. I have worked for a California Superior Court for 3 1/2 years, from the bottom up, and am a civil courtroom clerk currently, which is the highest position within the court that you can go other than management. I also have a BA in Legal and Justice Studies, and a paralegal certificate. What I have been reading about paralegal positions is that they are just AWFUL, over-worked, under-paid, over-time hours, the works. Does anyone who actually knows what they are talking about have some insight on job prospects for a tier 4 graduate with law work experience? I am happy to stay in government as long as I make more than I do now, and am really hoping for a law degree. Can a RWU attorney practice in Massachusetts? I would consider transferring out of RWU if possible to a better MA school, but if that doesn't happen........? Thanks in advance for any helpful info.

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Blindmelon
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby Blindmelon » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:24 pm

I know 0 about RWU, but know of someone who transferred from RWU to BU, he was top 1% of the class though, so its going to be really difficult. I would assume it wouldn't be hard to transfer to a peer school like Suffolk, but I would aim higher.

sfchick
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby sfchick » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:33 pm

thanks for the reply, I would try getting into a tier 2 or 3 school...

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dextermorgan
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby dextermorgan » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:33 pm

Most entry level attorney jobs, especially out of lower ranked schools, are going to be just AWFUL, over-worked, under-paid, over-time hours, the works.

Mr. Pablo
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby Mr. Pablo » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:40 pm

I know a couple of people at RW (a friend's sister and a her friend, and I live in RI). From my talking to these people I get the understanding that most people there did not do any real research into law schools. One of the guys was at an internship and a previous graduate was doing the same crappy work as the intern- he didn't realize that his job prospects were going to be not so hot. Your chances of practicing outside of RI are slim. It is not impossible, but really slim. The school does go to bat for the top 3 or 4 students (not percent), and they get propelled into fairly lucrative careers through their professor's and administrator's contacts. My friend's sister mentioned a guy who was something like the #2 in his class, and he transferred to BU (I imagine its the same guy).
That being said, RI is the heartland of back-scratching and RW has cultivated that in the state. Because the school's graduates are virtually all in RI you will have job opportunities in RI. Don't expect $160K, think closer to a third of that.
RW has a nice campus and the town near it is a very quaint coastal New England town. It is also close the beach.

sfchick
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby sfchick » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:50 pm

dextermorgan wrote:Most entry level attorney jobs, especially out of lower ranked schools, are going to be just AWFUL, over-worked, under-paid, over-time hours, the works.


Thats fine, as long as there is light at the end of the tunnel. I spend my work days now typing judge's decisions, making hearing entries in the system, mailing notices to counsel, and basically being the judge's assistant and managing the court's calendar/trials at $50,0000/year (California economy, so its like $40,000 east coast salary).

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anothernancydrew
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby anothernancydrew » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:55 pm

Is there a particular reason that you are focused on Roger Williams? If you currently (I assume) live in California and hope to practice in Massachusetts, RW is unlikely to be a very good fit. T4s in general are going to be incredibly regional, so if T4 is really your only option, I would pick a state/metro area and attend the local school in that area (unless you have a guaranteed job elsewhere).

Also, I know that $50,000 in California isn't very much money, but you could also do much worse, even with a JD. Look at the salary ranges very carefully from RW, and whatever other schools you are considering, before assuming that you'll be making more money fresh out of school.

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twert
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby twert » Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:12 pm

the lsac data page says 90 students took the bar in MA last year (or whatever year this info is from) and 84 took the bar in RI. i don't know if this means they are getting jobs in MA, but it looks like half the class is trying to get out of RI.

sfchick
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby sfchick » Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:38 pm

anothernancydrew wrote:Is there a particular reason that you are focused on Roger Williams? If you currently (I assume) live in California and hope to practice in Massachusetts, RW is unlikely to be a very good fit. T4s in general are going to be incredibly regional, so if T4 is really your only option, I would pick a state/metro area and attend the local school in that area (unless you have a guaranteed job elsewhere).

Also, I know that $50,000 in California isn't very much money, but you could also do much worse, even with a JD. Look at the salary ranges very carefully from RW, and whatever other schools you are considering, before assuming that you'll be making more money fresh out of school.


I really appreciate everyone's informative advice - I'm focused on RWU because (gasp!) I have a horrid LSAT score, and even though I have a 3.7 GPA, we all know that LSAT is more weighted. I was waitlisted to GGU, and rejected. So, I'm wanting to relocate to New England, law school or not. Any thoughts on Suffolk?

Mr. Pablo
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby Mr. Pablo » Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Suffolk does really well, relative to its ranking, in Boston and the surrounding area. Considering that it is surrounded by Harvard, BU, BC, and Northeastern, the area actually has an absurdly high (as in more than you would expect, i.e. more than one) number of judges who graduated from Suffolk (again, my friend's sister is doing an externship with a judge in Worcester- he is a Suffolk grad). Its an old respectable (in Boston) school, but highly provincial in its reach. Though it is anecdotal, I just read a story about a guy who graduated from Suffolk and couldn't find a job so he became a cop and eventually went on to become a JAG.

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dresden doll
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby dresden doll » Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:07 pm

Retake the LSAT.

sfchick
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby sfchick » Sat Nov 21, 2009 3:19 pm

dresden doll wrote:Retake the LSAT.



That's an obvious answer - took 3 times already.

binthere
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby binthere » Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:38 am

I know many RWU students, alumns and a few faculty. It is a struggling T4 school with issues. (Google Pappitto). Given the cost I think you should consider many other alternatives. Suffolk, in the past decade or so has made some strides.

I know you probably thought of these things, but here are some thoughts: No matter where you apply, include some stretch schools and pitch your case to admissions: Can you explain the disconnect betw. scores and GPA? What about recommendations? Among your strongest references is anyone willing to write a kick butt letter or make personal appeal for you at an alma mater?

I knew a young applicant who had opposite issue: lousy GPA and great LSAT--even so he still had to strongly make his case for admission and worked for months on his essay and carefully selected his recommenders. He finally got into his first choice school after being wait listed. He paid as much to attend that top 20 school as it costs to go to RWU -- so think about value here...those loan payments are going to be onerous, esp. if you feel you were cheated.

As for avg earnings, most of the young lawyers I know in RI with five years of experience earn less than $80K -- that is, those young associates who still have jobs with the recent bloodletting in legal profession. But the cost of living in New England is almost as high as NY where associates start at about $125K or $160K. Again, it's a matter of value.

About RI politics--I've lived all over the US, including a decade in New York, RI is most corrupt place I've ever seen in any sector--law, higher ed, law enforcement you name it. Then there's the whole economic scene in RI==such a dysfunctional economy, I doubt there'll be much opportunity for years to come. If you don't have to operate in that kind of environment, why would you?

Finally, a pointn of clarification: RWU grads almost automatically take the MA, and sometimes the CT, bar not because they want to escape RI necessarily, but because RI is just so small that a lot of legal issues tend to overlap with neighboring states and a lawyer needs to be able to help his/her clients with matters that may span the region.

Are you getting any strategic advice about your application process, say from your undergrad career counseling office or something like that? Sometimes having that objective and insightful feedback can be really key. I know in the case of the young candidate I mentioned above, his college career counselor was instrumental in helping him identify --through statistics--his safety, medium and reach schools and to decide how he'd frame his application for those.


Again, if this is all old news to you, sorry for the repeat. Wish you the very best.

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dresden doll
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby dresden doll » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:13 pm

sfchick wrote:
dresden doll wrote:Retake the LSAT.



That's an obvious answer - took 3 times already.


Get a waiver, buy Powerscore Bibles and go take it the fourth time. Seriously. Your GPA is decent - you can do better than RWU.

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wadeny
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby wadeny » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:16 pm

dresden doll wrote:
sfchick wrote:
dresden doll wrote:Retake the LSAT.



That's an obvious answer - took 3 times already.


Get a waiver, buy Powerscore Bibles and go take it the fourth time. Seriously. Your GPA is decent - you can do better than RWU.


+1. Try to get a waiver, work a couple more years ($50k is not that bad in this economy), and do anything else you can to retake the LSAT again. With your GPA and a mid-150s LSAT, you could get into some much, much better schools. I'm originally from MA and have had friends go to RWU (both for undergrad and law), but it is really a toilet of a law school. Suffolk is at least a little more legitimate if you want any portability outside RI.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby reasonable_man » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:45 pm

If you're dead set on moving to New England and going to LS with a low LSAT, I'd look into Vermont, WNEC, Suffolk, Maine and Franklin Pierce, all of which are better then Roger Williams, which is possibly one of the biggest piece of shit law schools in the country. Its the only LS that appears in the consumer protection reports. Look into the other schools I mentioned. They will love your GPA.

When you say horrid LSAT, what are we talking about?

Be advised, lastly, that graduating from any T2, T3 or T4 school will almost certainly mean a pay cut for you.

sfchick
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby sfchick » Sun Nov 22, 2009 9:57 pm

reasonable_man wrote:If you're dead set on moving to New England and going to LS with a low LSAT, I'd look into Vermont, WNEC, Suffolk, Maine and Franklin Pierce, all of which are better then Roger Williams, which is possibly one of the biggest piece of shit law schools in the country. Its the only LS that appears in the consumer protection reports. Look into the other schools I mentioned. They will love your GPA.

When you say horrid LSAT, what are we talking about?

Be advised, lastly, that graduating from any T2, T3 or T4 school will almost certainly mean a pay cut for you.


This is all good information - I'm pretty ashamed of my 146 LSAT score (I already gasped at myself in a previous post). I'm trying to track down my SAT score, can't recall what it was, although I think it might help my cause with standardized testing. Its amazing what 5+ points will do to your law school choices, but will I really improve enough to make a difference? Thats the risk I hate. I was testing in the mid 150s, so I can't decide if its worth all that stress again in the long run. I might just apply to the tier 4 new england schools and hope my killer essay and addendum carry me through.

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reasonable_man
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby reasonable_man » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:03 am

sfchick wrote:
reasonable_man wrote:If you're dead set on moving to New England and going to LS with a low LSAT, I'd look into Vermont, WNEC, Suffolk, Maine and Franklin Pierce, all of which are better then Roger Williams, which is possibly one of the biggest piece of shit law schools in the country. Its the only LS that appears in the consumer protection reports. Look into the other schools I mentioned. They will love your GPA.

When you say horrid LSAT, what are we talking about?

Be advised, lastly, that graduating from any T2, T3 or T4 school will almost certainly mean a pay cut for you.


This is all good information - I'm pretty ashamed of my 146 LSAT score (I already gasped at myself in a previous post). I'm trying to track down my SAT score, can't recall what it was, although I think it might help my cause with standardized testing. Its amazing what 5+ points will do to your law school choices, but will I really improve enough to make a difference? Thats the risk I hate. I was testing in the mid 150s, so I can't decide if its worth all that stress again in the long run. I might just apply to the tier 4 new england schools and hope my killer essay and addendum carry me through.



Here is the thing.. If you move yourself into the mid-150s with your gpa, work experieince and a good essay, you're looking at Tier 4 schools, but with scholarships, i.e. same schools, same prospects, but half the cost. Thats a big deal.

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jakeoooh
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby jakeoooh » Mon Nov 23, 2009 11:43 am

I agree that if you were PTing in the mid 150's you should take the LSAT one more time. If I were in your position I would get whatever bibles everyone has suggested and back that up with a ton of practice tests. I have always found that familiarity with a test breeds confidence more than anything else you can do. Take a few months, exhaust the bibles, bang out a few dozen released LSATS (being sure to go over and correct your mistakes to learn where you need to improve), and then re-take the test. As it stands your current score is obviously not great, so you don't have anything to lose.

Mr. Pablo
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby Mr. Pablo » Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:09 pm

binthere wrote:

About RI politics--I've lived all over the US, including a decade in New York, RI is most corrupt place I've ever seen in any sector--law, higher ed, law enforcement you name it. Then there's the whole economic scene in RI==such a dysfunctional economy, I doubt there'll be much opportunity for years to come. If you don't have to operate in that kind of environment, why would you?




This is true. The level of corruption here is breathtaking. The people of Providence elected a known mobster as mayor. He went to prison on assault charges. He was re-elected. He then went to prison on fraud charges. He was released early, and one of the conditions of his probation was that he wouldn't run for elected office. He would have been elected again. The current mayor is a lawyer, and the son of the former mayor's lawyer. The brother of the current mayor is in prison on fraud charges. Go Lil'Rhody!

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summerstar
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby summerstar » Fri Apr 23, 2010 12:44 am

disgusting.

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renee15
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby renee15 » Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:58 am

sfchick wrote:
anothernancydrew wrote:Is there a particular reason that you are focused on Roger Williams? If you currently (I assume) live in California and hope to practice in Massachusetts, RW is unlikely to be a very good fit. T4s in general are going to be incredibly regional, so if T4 is really your only option, I would pick a state/metro area and attend the local school in that area (unless you have a guaranteed job elsewhere).

Also, I know that $50,000 in California isn't very much money, but you could also do much worse, even with a JD. Look at the salary ranges very carefully from RW, and whatever other schools you are considering, before assuming that you'll be making more money fresh out of school.


I really appreciate everyone's informative advice - I'm focused on RWU because (gasp!) I have a horrid LSAT score, and even though I have a 3.7 GPA, we all know that LSAT is more weighted. I was waitlisted to GGU, and rejected. So, I'm wanting to relocate to New England, law school or not. Any thoughts on Suffolk?


If you can get into Suffolk over RWU, do so...There are a TON of Suffolk grads all over MA...so the job prospects in MA don't seem to be too bad for Suffolk grads. I would consider WNEC...I know Springfield isn't as glamourous as Boston; it is kind of a dead city and it is certainly not as beautiful as the area around RWU (I went to undergrad not too far from RWU...trust me...its beautiful...super corrupt though..people here are not lying), but they seem to have a strong hold on western MA. Also, Like someone mentioned before, Franklin Pierce...it has just merged with UNH, so that is good news for that school. I believe someone mentioned UMaine as well...if you can get in, which you may be able to...that would be a good choice...only law school in Maine, Portland is a nice city...it is on the campus of Southern Maine...which isn't too nice, (no offense to any USM grads here hehe) and while I am not sure, it seems like USM is kind of not too close to downtown Portland. I am just offering up advice as a native New Englander :). In other words...don't go to RWU...there are other T3s and T4s in New England with slightly better job prospects. However, if you DO decide to go to RWU, don't forget to visit Newport.

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summerstar
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Re: Roger Williams Law?

Postby summerstar » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:54 pm

Don't even bother applying, let alone going. You'll regret it. I talked to a used car salesman who went there. Nuff said.




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