So, should I go to law school?

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So, should I go to law school?

Unread postby SiliconClassics » Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:48 am

I'll try to make this long story short: I graduated from Cornell U. with a degree in computer science in 2000. My GPA wasn't so hot (2.9) but I never liked programming anyway and made a career in 3D animation.

Fast forwarding to recently, I'm through with animation. Applied to law schools (something I was considering way back in freshman year of college). Since I made this decision just a few months ago, I could only apply to the few local schools that had a rolling admissions policy that still allowed entrance this fall. I'd have to wait until next year to apply to most other schools.

Got a 167 on my LSAT and was just accepted to Brooklyn Law School with a full scholarship. So now the question is: Should I go? Should I wait a year and see if I can get into any top-tier schools? Should I do my first year in Brooklyn and try to transfer? Ideally I'd like to spend just a couple of years at a large firm and then start my own practice.

If there are any lawyers here who could offer advice, please do so! Thanks.
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Re: So, should I go to law school?

Unread postby josehill » Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:52 am

ajerimez wrote:Got a 167 on my LSAT and was just accepted to Brooklyn Law School with a full scholarship. So now the question is: Should I go? Should I wait a year and see if I can get into any top-tier schools? Should I do my first year in Brooklyn and try to transfer? Ideally I'd like to spend just a couple of years at a large firm and then start my own practice.

Congrats on getting in. Take a look at the school's alumni...where have they landed? Also check with their career office to see which large firms recruit there.

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Re: So, should I go to law school?

Unread postby milatchi » Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:21 am

ajerimez wrote:
Got a 167 on my LSAT and was just accepted to Brooklyn Law School with a full scholarship. So now the question is: Should I go?

I would.


But, IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer).
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Re: So, should I go to law school?

Unread postby VenomousPinecone » Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:37 am

Most firms will take an associate from just about any law school. If you got the full scholarship, do it.

IANAL, but I do work for them.

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Re: So, should I go to law school?

Unread postby Frapazoid » Fri Jul 06, 2007 1:36 pm

I would. Have fun!
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Re: So, should I go to law school?

Unread postby regan_russell » Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:18 pm

I think you should ask yourself the question: What sort of lawyer do you want to be and what sort of courses do the schools run?
Is there some school that is better for different types of lawyers?
I am sure that their are many types of lawyers, criminal, civil, commercial, etc..
With a strong background in animation, some in computer science, intellectual property seems like an area to go to use your background as an advantage.

Just some thoughts..

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Re: So, should I go to law school?

Unread postby porter » Fri Jul 06, 2007 5:31 pm

ajerimez wrote:Got a 167 on my LSAT and was just accepted to Brooklyn Law School with a full scholarship.


Take the money and run! Heard the one about gift horses and mouths?
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Re: So, should I go to law school?

Unread postby SiliconClassics » Sat Jul 07, 2007 3:36 pm

porter wrote:Take the money and run! Heard the one about gift horses and mouths?


Can't argue with you there. Brooklyn Law isn't Yale or NYU, but even if I could get into such schools I'd most certainly have to pay full tuition. Since it's not my ambition to be partner in a huge Manhattan law firm, it probably won't matter if I don't graduate from a top-tier school. I'll avoid about $100k of debt and will be able to start my own small practice quickly.

I've got to let them know by Tuesday, and I'll talk to a few other friends before then, but at this point it looks like the answer is yes.
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Re: So, should I go to law school?

Unread postby Sparrowhawk » Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:23 pm

ajerimez wrote:I've got to let them know by Tuesday, and I'll talk to a few other friends before then, but at this point it looks like the answer is yes.



You're to young to go to law school. Just think, you'll have to spend the rest of your life knowing that you are a liar, er lawyer... :)

I've had friends (well former friends :) ) go to big law schools and small ones - it doesn't seem to matter to much to them beyond the obvious networking the larger schools offer. I'd say go for it this fall.

Cheers,

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Re: So, should I go to law school?

Unread postby porter » Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:29 pm

ajerimez wrote:Can't argue with you there.


...and you want to be a lawyer? :)
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Re: So, should I go to law school?

Unread postby luchford » Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:20 am

I'm due to begin my fifth and final year of law-school this fall. IANAL, but I'll tell you what I've learnt...

You'll be buried in text-books, reading verdicts etc... which requires a lot of _hard work_, don't underestimate this! It has a reputation of being based on "rote memorization", but this isn't quite true. The most important part is learning the particular "legal logic", and getting to know the interactions between different subjects (contracts/torts e.g.). You'll constantly encounter new legal questions, and "reading up" on unfamiliar areas of law is the "easy" part... whereas aquiring good analytic skills (parting up problems in parts, how to approach, judging proof etc.) requires a fair amount of practice..

Like some have mentioned, I don't think -where- you study is that important. Mostly I prefer reading on my own to lectures, then participating in some study groups... most any school can provide you with this... it's ridiculous to pay huge sums of money just to "network"....

Your GRADES will be of huge importance, though... this is the basic metric for getting a job; in addition to practical EXPERIENCE, which is naturally hard to gain while studying!

You could either get a "trainee" position at a firm (at the later stages of your studies), or if you are into business law, do like I've done; put up some money, and start your own company... (I did this with a couple of friends during my third year)... You'll get "real" experience doing contracts, marketing, copyright, competition law, import/export, shipping etc, by yourself....

As soon as you've had a job or two, the importance of grades (naturally) diminishes... should you get to the "partner in a firm" stage, it'll be based on your work and the contacts you've gained, less grades and even less if you went to a "top tier" university or not...

Starting your own practice sounds good, until you see the formal requirements, expenses for bank guarantees, etc., all while trying to start a business (gaining customers etc.) for the first time... it'll be very hard work, and not neccessarily that interesting (you'll typically be a "GP", and have to work with whatever field/question you get), nor -that- well paid ... Here (I live in Europe) you e.g. have to supply minimum $850.000 of bank guarantees just get your own attorneys office... If you'd like to have a trainee, you'll have to add another $500.000!

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Re: So, should I go to law school?

Unread postby SiliconClassics » Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:18 pm

Well, I just gave Brooklyn my $600 deposit, which they're going to refund once classes start. That basically gives me between now and late August to find an apartment and relocate. This will be a busy summer.

Oddly enough, I just received another full-scholarship offer from Indiana University via email, and I didn't even apply there. Apparently if you get a decent LSAT score some schools will look for you. Indiana is actually ranked higher than Brooklyn, but I'm not going to move halfway across the country.

Honestly, I'm a little apprehensive about this whole thing, especially after reading what Luchford wrote, but what the hell, it don't cost nuthin'. I should also be able to find summer legal work that will pay my expenses for the year, and NYC girls are pretty hot. Just got to figure out where to store all these computers...
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Re: So, should I go to law school?

Unread postby TeeTylerToe » Wed Jul 11, 2007 1:55 pm

congrats, according to wikipedia, the 90th percentile is a score of 163, 99th at 172.

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Re: So, should I go to law school?

Unread postby SiliconClassics » Wed Jul 11, 2007 2:59 pm

TeeTylerToe wrote:congrats, according to wikipedia, the 90th percentile is a score of 163, 99th at 172.


167 is 95th percentile, which is probably good enough to land me back at Cornell or perhaps Berkely or NYU if I applied next year. I wouldn't have a snowball's chance of getting into Yale or Harvard what with my crappy GPA. If I can be a top-10% student at Brooklyn and make the Law Review then the future should be pretty bright. I've been advised against transferring by several people so it looks like it'll be BLS for all three years. On the other hand some have advised me to wait a year and apply to some good schools, though I can kiss any scholarship goodbye. Kind of a dilemma.
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Re: So, should I go to law school?

Unread postby R-ten-K » Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:51 pm

IANALBMSILI (I am not a lawyer but my sister in law is) but with a crappy GPA you can forget about a top tier school, and both Cornell and NYU are in the top 15, no matter how high your LSAT scores are (98-tile may change things though). Plus you seem to be a bit late in the application process, and trust me top spots for law schools are rather competitive esp. when you factor the thousands of pre-law pricks who are about to graduate with a worthless undergrads and are feeling the panic associated with the possibility of having make due with a psychology degree. Also my advice is, that if you are seeing this as an afterthought... and trust me asking in Nekochan if you should go to Law School makes it look that way... then going or even thinking about going to a top tier sounds a bit dangerous. You will be competing with people who have taken the whole law practice way too seriously :-)

However, I think that with your tech background you may find there is a nice the niche regarding law aspects of high tech. And that gives you quite the edge. However, regarding normal practice or joining a major law buffet... then going to a mid tier school may limit a lot of your options. My advice, take the scholarship... obtain your JD, and try to practice law in an area in which you can do something you enjoy, computers in this case. Things will be far easier, plus you can then leverage your Cornell degree (CS I assume), after you get your JD you no longer need to list your GPA :-) This is, if practicing Law is what you want to do. Nothing sucks more than joining a profession you feel nothing about but you need to work to pay them bills...

I don't want to sound harsh, I just don' sugarcoat things. However, if you want to practice law and you are getting an OK school to pay for the ride... take the opportunity.
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