(Closed) About law school

posted 9 years ago in Legal
Post # 3
Member
180 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

Hi there! I’m a baby lawyer (just passed the bar) and here’s what helped me …

The powerscore books for the LSATS are awesome. I never did the class but I heard that one is the best one too.

Apply super early for law schools, as in, send your applications before Thanksgiving. It’s rolling admission and you want your application to be among the first that schools see, not after they’ve already admitted a bunch of people and are looking to fill out the rest of the class with the “best of the best.” Plus you’ll find out earlier where you got in, which gets rid of a lot of stress.

Apply to schools widely (both in rank and geographic location) if at all possible.  This website (http://lawschoolnumbers.com/) helped me figure out where I had a shot, based on GPA and LSAT score.  But I applied to places where I didn’t have a clear shot either, and got into some of them.

After you finish applying, read the books “Law School Confidential” and “Getting to Maybe.”  I transferred from a top 20 school to a top 3 school by implementing the tips in those books (and of course, a ton of hard work).

Hope that helps!

 

Post # 5
Member
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

don’t? jk! (kind of) My best LSAT advice is my best test-advice generally. Study a lot. Go to bed early. Get up early. Eat eggs for breakfast. Work out a little (get the blood pumping). Take water and cough drops. Pee before going into the the testing room (whether you think you have to or not— the guy behind me at the LSAT asked to use the bathroom after entering the room and even though the test didn’t start for 15 minutes they wouldn’t let him go!). Lastly– don’t freak out. Know that you are prepared and you just need to take a deep breath and work calmly through it. 

Post # 7
Member
297 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2018 - The Grand Old House, Grand Cayman

The advice I always give people is go ahead, take the LSAT and see what happens, but before you actually go to law school make sure you 100% want to be a lawyer.  A JD isn’t a very versatile degree–don’t get one unless you want to be a lawyer.  If you aren’t sure, go to business school or something.  I thought I wanted to be a lawyer but really questioned my decision when I was in law school (and still do!).  This is true of many of my friends as well.

If you do go to school, try to get into the best one you possibly can (obviously geography, where you want to practice later matters too, but legal employers really do care about the rank of your law school).  The job market right now is REALLY tough for lawyers.  I know lots of unemployed lawyers who went to top 15 schools.  To get into a good school you need an awesome LSAT score and good grades.  I took the Princeton Review class and I feel l ike it created discipline and a schedule I could follow for studying.  And to get a good job out of school (or ANY job in this economy), you need to have great grades in law school.  It’s tough.  I’m not trying to scare you, just want you to know all the facts before you plunk down at least $100k on a JD!!

Post # 9
Member
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

@kitten- i agree. i went to law school because i thought “well, a jd will help me do anything.” Um…. it helped me be a lawyer! haha. I’m REALLY not sure this is what I was meant to do with my life, and I know a lot of my lawyer friends feel the same way. 

Post # 10
Member
180 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

Completely agree with kitten. The prospects for lawyers will go back up again, but if you’re going to law school to make money, make sure you’ve gotten into a highly ranked school and that you’re willing to work your butt off to do well there, because only very few go on to the biglaw jobs where you make the starting salaries.

Take the time to interview with lawyers who are doing what you think you want to do (litigating, etc.). Law is rarely glamourous, but for some reason many people seem to think it is. However, paying $1200 per MONTH on student loan payments for the next 10 years (about $140k in debt) is no joke, and it definitely constrains what you can do in the future.

Post # 11
Member
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Ok, here is my two cents. I have been a lawyer for 6 years now. My one huge piece of advice is to 100% make sure you really, REALLY REALLY want to be a lawyer. It’s not glamorous, the pay is nowhere near what most people think an attorney makes and honestly, it can be very stressful depending on your environment.

I wish I could go back to my 21 yr old self, because honestly, I wouldn’t have become an attorney. Now, I do like things about my job. I like being in Court, I like dealing with my clients, however the hours, stress level, low-ish pay and general vibe of the partners I have dealt with makes it a career I wish I had thought twice about.

I would suggest volunteering your time at a law firm, asking a million questions and try to really get a feel for why you want to be a lawyer. I agree with Mrs. Kitten, the J.D. isn’t as marketable as some people tout it to be. And the job market is tough right now. Just really step back and assess why you think you want to be an attorney.

Feel free to e-mail me if you have specific questions.

Post # 13
Member
58 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

Oh, and I agree with bluebook (nice name btw, lol), I am paying about $800/month in loans for the next 25 years. That sucks. Not to mention the debt I accumulated for the living expenses while on a law student budget. I just paid all of that off thankfully, but still working on those loans.

I actually disagree with some advice above, if you know that you’re not going to be the shark lawyer in a white glove firm, I’d get into the best state school you can, get the best grades you can and network your a$$ off. That will get you a solid middle of the road job. Honestly, after you pass the bar and get your first job under your belt, where you went to law school won’t really matter unless you’re in that upper echelon.

Post # 14
Member
180 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

Are you going straight from undergrad to law school? My #1 piece of advice would be not to do that. I took 5 years off and worked random jobs (eventually ending up working for a politician and writing laws which solidified that I wanted to be lawyer) and it’s the best thing I could’ve done.

Five years is a long time but I would recommend taking a year or two, and doing stuff related to law, perhaps even working with lawyers. It will also make you a much better applicant, and you’ll likely be able to get into better schools (I know it did for me).

Post # 15
Member
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

@chipmunk- just keep in mind that being in the courtroom is a TINY portion of what you do if you’re going the civil route. I am in a 100% litigation firm (which is super rare nowadays), so we only take cases that we think will go to trial, and we still only do maybe 3-4 trials/year. I was one of those people who loved mock trials and everyone said “omg you’re such a good fighter you have to be a lawyer!” Ummm yea haha. I do like the court part of my job but its about 1% of my job. Most of the time I’m researching, writing, and working on discovery. 

Post # 16
Member
180 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

Clover – I agree with you on that advice actually. The problem is that most people don’t know where they’ll fall and they also have the idea that there’ll be making $160k starting salary so who cares about loans. But if you want to actually see a courtroom ever (meaning, not white collar defense that the big firms do, and definitely not corporate litigation where the whole point is not to be in a courtroom), then yes, go to a state school, try to get scholarships / end up with very very little debt, then be a prosecutor or defense lawyer locally.

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