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Process of becoming a lawyer

 
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Oct, 2004 05:40 am
Also, even though you will be an undergraduate, if you buy the LSAT practice books, feel free to post your attempts at the writing sections for more advice. That, and everything jespah said. Good luck.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Oct, 2004 08:18 am
Re: im new
wannabelawyer wrote:
ok hi everyone im 17 yr old and im almost done with high school i read all of your post and learned alot from you guys i just got a few questions to see if u can help me out with 1:will one need any high math skills

Like algebra and calculus? No, not unless you plan on going into patent law or maybe tax law or some other number-intensive area of the law. My math skills are rudimentary at best (I can figure out a pitcher's ERA, which is about the most complex mathematical task that I can accomplish), and I managed to go through college without taking a single math course.

When you're a lawyer, you should be able to make enough money to hire an accountant. That's the best math skill that I ever learned.

wannabelawyer wrote:
2:what should i do as a newbe to the collge world to get on the path of law
what classes will i need and any adive u guys have for a kid like me will help alot

As usual, jespah gives some good advice. In general, any course that concentrates on reasoning and writing skills is good preparation for law school.
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wannabelawyer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Oct, 2004 03:05 pm
well im not to worried about writing and spelling and stuff because im pretty good at it they are putting my in advance english 12 this yr , what i moslty worried about is math because my math skills are very weak i can speak infront of stranger and i love reading i want to thnk you all for ur help and i have another question , i want to be rich fast and i want to know what course should i take i heard criminal defense is very good in making money but thats all any other options i should look at
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Oct, 2004 04:39 pm
If you want to be rich fast, go to the lowest level Law School you can, and get onto Law Review. Law Review, even in lower-level schools, seems to be the ticket for better jobs or at least for more placement assistance, and a straight A average at a mediocre school tends to look better than a mediocre grade point average at an above-average school. Of course, though, if you can get into an Ivy League, even if you'll be at the bottom of your class, go.

Securities attorneys tend to make good $$. But absolutely none of this is guaranteed. As for criminal defense, you don't necessarily do well - www.salary.com shows some very high salaries for here in Boston, but the fact is that it doesn't take into consideration the differences among practice areas. Insurance tends to not pay well, neither do nonprofits (they can't), banks tend to pay better.

But it's really about what you want to do. If you want to just make bucks, try an MBA instead. If practicing law (or any profession, really), is just about the money, you will be miserable if you cannot find a job that fits your preferences, and in a tough economy, that's harder than you might think. Just having a law degree doesn't mean that a job is just handed to you.

Have you taken the SATs? Not the LSAT, the SAT. And if so, how did you do on Verbal and on Math? What about the ACTs or the Achievement Tests? What subjects did you take, and how did you do? Are you taking Advanced Placement courses? These will help for college and, if college is easier and if you get better grades, you will get into a better school, if that's what you want.

I don't want to seem nasty, but from your posts here I am not seeing proper spelling, punctuation or capitalization. What you have written here does not seem to indicate an ability to communicate well in writing - despite what your High School says by putting you in Advanced English. While I realize it is possible that you are quickly posting and are not checking over your writings here (after all, this isn't school), my suggestion is to work on the basics, even if you think that's not necessary. A Law School admissions officer is going to have a hard time reading your application essay, if it's written in a style similar to how you are posting here. An employer is going to pass by your resume if you write it in the same manner as you are writing here. That may seem to be unfair, but this is Law, you need to be able to write and be understood. This means following accepted standard rules. Perhaps your school does not cover these basics. If not, I strongly suggest picking up an old favorite like Strunk & White's Elements of Style.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Oct, 2004 07:23 pm
Strunk and White's Elements of Style still stands as a tremendous help for those who wish to communicate clearly in English. And......... it's fairly short: a quick read, and a useful one.
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wannabelawyer
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Oct, 2004 07:23 pm
lol no i just type like then online i would never dare write on offcial papers thats for ur advice and no i havent taken the sat not yet i haven i was thinking of going 2 yrs city college then 2 yrs ur a university for sure they got a prog that makes sure u get in if theirs anything else i should know plz tell me thankx.
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Debra Law
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2004 12:48 am
English
wannabelawyer wrote:
lol no i just type like then online i would never dare write on offcial papers thats for ur advice and no i havent taken the sat not yet i haven i was thinking of going 2 yrs city college then 2 yrs ur a university for sure they got a prog that makes sure u get in if theirs anything else i should know plz tell me thankx.


Practice your writing and communication skills (proper grammar, proper sentence structure, proper spelling, proper punctuation, etc.) at all times. Although your online audience does not expect perfection, your online audience deserves consideration. It is difficult and unpleasant to read what you wrote and posted. Even if you say you want to be a lawyer, you can't be taken seriously if you write in this manner. If you want people to read your posts and respond to them, you ought to put forth greater effort to make your posts readable.

No one will expect excellence from you if you don't expect it of yourself.
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john-nyc
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2004 07:16 am
I have been told that law school class work is adversarial; that professors think nothing of wilting students with dripping sarcasm. Do I have the straight dope?
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2004 07:30 am
I found that in first year and then only in a few classes. After that, no - and even then, a lot of profs just aren't very good at it. The thing is, we - and they - have all seen "The Paper Chase" and so it's expected. I don't recall ever feeling devastated, but then again I did my best to come to class ready to recite.
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john-nyc
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2004 07:32 am
10-4, thanks.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2004 08:06 am
john/nyc: Some profs enjoy taunting and humiliating students, many don't. As jespah pointed out, that's mostly in the first year. In my experience I didn't have any professors who reached Kingsfieldesque levels of hostility and sarcasm, but that's only my experience.

Oh, and you don't have to stand up when you're called on.

Debra_Law: Well put.
0 Replies
 
JustanObserver
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Oct, 2004 04:03 pm
Whats up Ocean,


I'm taking a break from my midterm and thought I'd toss in my $.02.

I'm in the middle of my second year of Law School. Not to scare you, but holy crap, I've never worked so hard in my life. Its the most difficult, time consuming, and mentally challenging thing I've ever experienced.

And I love it.

Study hard, take the LSAT's , and get started. As long as the school you get into is ABA approved, you'll be fine. Granted, my girlfriend broke up with me, I had to sell my motorcycle and car (and now have a little junker to get around), and my social life is non existant, but the intellectual growth Iv'e experienced is life altering. If I had the choice, I'd do it all over again. And I'm not even done yet!

What I guess I'm getting to, is just make sure your doing it for the right reasons. I know that a J.D. degree can open a lot of doors for me in the future. I also personally want to be a part of making some serious changes in this country, and law is the best way to do it. Remember, the civil rights movement, womens sufferage movement, etc. all needed attorneys to facilitate their growth and development. I want to be a part of that kind of social growth.

Its going to be the most difficult time of your life, but its worth it. I wish you the best of luck. I need it myself. Just PM me if you have any questions or concerns, and I'll be happy to do what I can. Just don't do it only "for the money". You should do it because you want to.

Now, let me get back to my friggin' Bus Orgs midterm Smile
0 Replies
 
imhelenmarie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Nov, 2004 11:07 pm
i am going into college next year as a pre-law student and i was wondering if you had any advice for me??
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Nov, 2004 03:11 pm
Well, the advice I'd give is to take classes outside of your major - as far out of it as possible, so long as you still like them and can do well in them. Things like, I dunno, Geology. What I'm trying to get across is that (a) college should be fun; (b) you should attempt to get very good grades but also (c) the more diverse your education, the better - Law Schools tend to prefer that over straight pre-law majors who barely venture outside the major. There are hundreds of those folks - the ones who took classes in Archaeology or Architecture, etc., are a lot more rare, so those folks stand out amidst the pack of applicants.

PS Good luck and welcome to A2K.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 09:29 am
As always, excellent advice from jespah. I wholeheartedly concur.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 4 Nov, 2004 09:54 am
Lawzy, joefromthewindycity, you do know how to make a gal blush ...
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patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 07:00 am
jespah wrote:
Well, the advice I'd give is to take classes outside of your major - as far out of it as possible, so long as you still like them and can do well in them. Things like, I dunno, Geology. What I'm trying to get across is that (a) college should be fun; (b) you should attempt to get very good grades but also (c) the more diverse your education, the better - Law Schools tend to prefer that over straight pre-law majors who barely venture outside the major. There are hundreds of those folks - the ones who took classes in Archaeology or Architecture, etc., are a lot more rare, so those folks stand out amidst the pack of applicants.

PS Good luck and welcome to A2K.


Not just in school, either. The wife's arts background and professional resume have helped her get feet in a lot of doors, and she's already got loads of post-JD employment options early in her 2nd year. Law exists as part of the rest of society, not parallel to it...
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mathfarmer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 31 Mar, 2006 09:27 pm
ag-law
i am a undergrad student at a small HBCU (Historically Black College/University) and am a agricultural economics and math major....i want to get a JD in ag-law, but the school options are very limited. also i would like to do a dual degree program, hopefully a masters in economics...am i hoping for too much?
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Apr, 2006 09:40 am
'Course not. A lot of it, though, depends on your grades. You have a funky, different type of background, and that's helpful.

How tough is the school? Where does it fall in an objective listing of schools (like US News & World Rpt)?

Graduating with a better than 3.5 average is probably going to be essential for you if your school is middle of the pack or lower, based upon an objective standard. And, a good LSAT score will certainly not hurt. Another thing you can do is take a year off and either take paralegal classes (and perhaps work as a para) or intern in a firm. This kind of commitment should also make you a more attractive candidate.

If your school is higher up the academic food chain, a lower overall GPA won't harm you as much. I attended Boston University and graduated with just under a 3.1 average, and got into 2 Law Schools. And that was enough.

Actually, let's face it, just getting into one Law School is enough.

What do I mean by that? Well, you want to go to Law School, yes? And so Job One is getting in. If you don't like where you are, you can try to transfer, but the truth is that transferring is difficult. The only guy I ever knew who transferred had the top grade in First Year Property. Of course, the vast majority of any class is not so lucky. So yes, you need to get into one school. And, to refine that, it should be a school you like or at least can tolerate, e. g. it's in a place you like, or has a program you think is fascinating or whatever.

Without knowing how difficult your school is, or your grades, or your grades in your majors, or where you wish to apply, it's virtually impossible to give you a more detailed answer than this -- but since you know your goal, now's the time to start thinking of how you're going to get there, and the path, particularly for someone who does not have the built-in advantages of an Ivy League education and/or a cum laude or better GPA, almost always runs through a combination of the following:
    (1) good overall grades, (2) great grades in your major(s), (3) as diverse and wacky a background as possible, so that you stand out, (4) an internship if you can afford it, (5) paralegal school and paralegal practice if you can afford working for a lower salary while working on the bigger picture, (6) excelling in one area so much that you stand head and shoulders above everyone else, (7) being realistic about where you can get in, and applying there, (8) being flexible about where to go so that you can accommodate whatever place will take you, even if the school or location are not ideal, (9) getting as good a grade as possible on the LSAT, including possibly paying for a study course or even retaking the exam if the score is not up to par [b]and/or[/b] (10) living with possibile disappointment and being flexible enough to try again in a later year.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 1 Apr, 2006 10:52 pm
Gee, now Reese Witherspoon has joined the f o r u m. That little bugger, Craven (C r a v e n) is having some A p r i l F o o l ' s Day fun with us!
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