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The Lawyer Thread Where We Stop Ruining Other Threads


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5 minutes ago, Otis said:

I have a national practice and I don’t think I’d suddenly put down the contract and walk away if someone works in a wonky choice of law = New Mexico provision.  

What if they started putting in provisions from New Mexico statutes that they told you were mandatory?  Would you at least research them or consult with someone before trying to make changes?

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Just now, -fish- said:

What if they started putting in provisions from New Mexico statutes that they told you were mandatory?  Would you at least research them or consult with someone before trying to make changes?

Prolly yeah.
But I’d also call them dummies first and just strike it all. 

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23 minutes ago, -fish- said:

Dunno.   I assume it depends on the laws of Illinois, New York and Delaware.

I represented a California investor in a case involving a Hawaii property and a contractor incorporated in Nevada.   Hawaii rules required that I be admitted pro hac vice to mediate the case.  In a similar situation in California, an out-of-state attorney was held to have been practicing unlawfully when he represented his client at mediation in California.  

What we have is a contract in this state, the work is in this state, the property is in this state, the property owner is in this state, the venue is in this state, the choice of law is this state's laws, and an attorney from another state admits that she's negotiating changes to the contract without knowledge of this state's laws and without consulting an attorney licensed here. 

Under this state's case law interpreting this state's statutes, her changes that are being blindly made would invalidate negotiated terms of the contract since they violate our statutes without a proper acknowledgement and waiver.  She has refused to agree to the acknowledgement and waiver because she doesn't understand them, since they're specific to our statutes.  There is no "standard" non state-specific language that can replace them under our case law.  

Negotiating contract terms is defined in our civil rules as practicing law.    Our statute defines a "Nonlawyer" as a person to whom this state's supreme court has granted a limited authorization to practice law but who practices law outside that authorization, and a person who is not an active member in good standing of the state bar, including persons who are disbarred or suspended from membership.

This attorney has not been approved, on a limited basis or otherwise, to practice law in this state by our supreme court.   That is defined as unlawful practice by a Nonlawyer, a gross misdemeanor.   Seems like a problem for them.

I get that you have an issue with this lawyer, and she is not being very smart about representing her company, but I think her practice of negotiating contracts for her company in multiple states is common practice in my experience.  In most cases, I would think she should research the local law and deal with you in good faith. That said, in some cases if you're dealing with a huge company, their lawyers just don't give a ####.  I recall Exxon and IBM in particular - they couldn't care less what my legal arguments were - it was going to be their way or no deal regardless, even if the contract made no sense or was partially unenforceable.  In many cases, you can't even get a lawyer on the phone, and are stuck negotiating with a "contract specialist" or a "procurement consultant."  They have their rules, and that's that.

 

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4 minutes ago, Otis said:

Better yet I’d challenge them for the case law supporting their view that it’s required. Always play dumb and make the other side do the work for you!

I'd hate you, but I've already provided you chapter and verse since I know that your're ignorant of what's going on based on your first set of stupid changes and comments.   Plus the statute itself is cited in the contract language...as required by the case law.  

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3 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

I get that you have an issue with this lawyer, and she is not being very smart about representing her company, but I think her practice of negotiating contracts for her company in multiple states is common practice in my experience.  In most cases, I would think she should research the local law and deal with you in good faith. That said, in some cases if you're dealing with a huge company, their lawyers just don't give a ####.  I recall Exxon and IBM in particular - they couldn't care less what my legal arguments were - it was going to be their way or no deal regardless, even if the contract made no sense or was partially unenforceable.  In many cases, you can't even get a lawyer on the phone, and are stuck negotiating with a "contract specialist" or a "procurement consultant."  They have their rules, and that's that.

 

This. And imagine the logjam if every time another state law issue came up, you had to pull in another outside lawyer. You’d need a team of 50 on the ready at any moment to negotiate a contract. We’re a stupid profession, but that can’t be right. 

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4 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

I get that you have an issue with this lawyer, and she is not being very smart about representing her company, but I think her practice of negotiating contracts for her company in multiple states is common practice in my experience.  In most cases, I would think she should research the local law and deal with you in good faith. That said, in some cases if you're dealing with a huge company, their lawyers just don't give a ####.  I recall Exxon and IBM in particular - they couldn't care less what my legal arguments were - it was going to be their way or no deal regardless, even if the contract made no sense or was partially unenforceable.  In many cases, you can't even get a lawyer on the phone, and are stuck negotiating with a "contract specialist" or a "procurement consultant."  They have their rules, and that's that.

 

I may report her just to see what happens.

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Just now, Otis said:

This. And imagine the logjam if every time another state law issue came up, you had to pull in another outside lawyer. You’d need a team of 50 on the ready at any moment to negotiate a contract. We’re a stupid profession, but that can’t be right. 

Now I have a logjam because I have a lawyer who doesn't know our law trying to demand #### nobody can agree to.   

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1 minute ago, -fish- said:

Do we come into the architecture thread and crap all over your arguments about scarves?

Oh...I was genuinely totally into the law and order ####- been fun to read. 

But sorry if I'm gumming up the works in here... I'll go back to my one man scarfitecture thread and mope.

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22 minutes ago, -fish- said:

Now I have a logjam because I have a lawyer who doesn't know our law trying to demand #### nobody can agree to.   

You sir need a better lawyer. Or the other side does. Or they don’t, if it’s the other side’s lawyer, because they’re driving you batty. 

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32 minutes ago, El Floppo said:

Oh...I was genuinely totally into the law and order ####- been fun to read. 

But sorry if I'm gumming up the works in here... I'll go back to my one man scarfitecture thread and mope.

You’re always welcome.  Come back.  

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So my company owns real estate in 22 states. When I am dealing with vendor/service contracts (such as dealing with elevators) or construction contracts, I typically am not involving any outside counsel or local counsel. 
 

When negotiating the sale of real estate we may or may not utilize outside counsel (depends on complexity of deal and internal workloads) but we do engage local counsel for review of the contract after it has been almost fully negotiated to ensure local rules are met. 
 

For litigation we engage local counsel (or whoever the insurance carrier assigns) but everything runs through our legal department. 

Edited by Leeroy Jenkins
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@CletiusMaximus and others are so right about all this, and these other posts are making my head hurt.  In my 20 years of negotiating contracts while working in-house, it’s rare I’ve brought in local counsel.  Mostly in CA because all their laws are whack.  Most recent I can think of was about five years ago when acquiring a company based in Florida, and they wanted some protection from the FL sunshine laws in order to avoid sharing info with our Board and shareholders.  Plot twist:  our local counsel found they were wrong.  Only other recent-ish one was understanding LA non-compete law (hi Henry!  Those are whack, too!).

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38 minutes ago, krista4 said:

@CletiusMaximus and others are so right about all this, and these other posts are making my head hurt.  In my 20 years of negotiating contracts while working in-house, it’s rare I’ve brought in local counsel.  Mostly in CA because all their laws are whack.  Most recent I can think of was about five years ago when acquiring a company based in Florida, and they wanted some protection from the FL sunshine laws in order to avoid sharing info with our Board and shareholders.  Plot twist:  our local counsel found they were wrong.  Only other recent-ish one was understanding LA non-compete law (hi Henry!  Those are whack, too!).

Hint:  the state you live in now?  Our laws are whack.

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41 minutes ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

What type of terms here are inconsistent with state law?

The indemnity provisions.  We have two parallel anti-indemnity statutes dealing with contractors and worker’s compensation laws.  If you want to agree to your own mutual indemnity provisions you can,  but you have to expressly waive the statuteS and separately acknowledge the agreement.  East coast bozo wants a custom indemnity agreement but refuses to agree to the waiver, which invalidates the negotiated terms.  She admitted she has no clue what these statutes say, no knowledge of the 30 years of case law interpreting them, but wants to get her way anyway.  

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1 hour ago, Otis said:

“Arguments about scarves” :lmao: 

That would require another person in my thread. As it is, I can only argue with the voice in my head.

Eta

and I don't have a voice in my head. 

Edited by El Floppo
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3 hours ago, -fish- said:

Hint:  the state you live in now?  Our laws are whack.

Doesn't matter for the overall point.

I get that you want to punish this person who's being a jerkface.  This just isn't the medium to do it.

*See me for other ways to make someone suffer.

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5 hours ago, krista4 said:

Doesn't matter for the overall point.

I get that you want to punish this person who's being a jerkface.  This just isn't the medium to do it.

*See me for other ways to make someone suffer.

Go on...

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10 hours ago, krista4 said:

Doesn't matter for the overall point.

I get that you want to punish this person who's being a jerkface.  This just isn't the medium to do it.

*See me for other ways to make someone suffer.

I'm not gonna marry her, if that's what you're getting at.

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1 hour ago, Doug B said:

Kinda wondering what's kept the board's lawyers out of the New Orleans Saints-Archdiocese of New Orleans thread? Seems to be fertile ground for pointless argument rousing debate. 

1.  It's in the Shark Pool. 

d.  It's Louisiana law.   There are like 2 people here that are versed in that stuff.  The rest of us just assume you have a duel or something or just feed people to alligators when you need to settle a dispute.

iv.  The field of Catholic church scandal and coverup is saturated.   What is there new to discuss other that whether a Catholic owner of an NFL team is also complicit?

 

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I realized I didn't explain myself well last night, for which I blame the wine.  Local counsel isn't really the issue.  The question is unauthorized practice of law based on the governing law of a contract.  There is no way in hell that is an issue.  Using the M&A context since that's been a lot of my contractual experience, the majority of acquisition agreements have Delaware governing law.  Until a couple of years ago, if you were a seller you might try to get something else due to the belief that DE law didn't prohibit sandbagging, but in general you'll find a lot of the big corporate deals being governed by DE law.  And yet, no M&A lawyer goes and gets admitted in DE for this.  Not just in-house, but at Kirkland and at Skadden I never heard of a single person doing this.  If governing law of a contract affected whether you could work on it, every M&A lawyer in existence would be in violation of the ethics rules.

That said, if I were the other lawyer in question, I'd definitely be hiring local WA counsel to address the issue, and she's wrong not to.  Well, actually I probably wouldn't have agreed to WA law to begin with, but that's beside the point.  

Edited by krista4
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I'm be very appreciative of any Law School admissions real talk I can get from the vets in this thread

My son is a junior in college and thinking kind of seriously about applying to law school next year and going straight out of college. I would prefer he apply for some fellowships and wait a year or two but he is pretty resistant (primarily because he's already lived abroad twice for 6+ months since graduating from high school - gap year and semester abroad - and his longterm girlfriend is tired of being left behind). We are in agreement that he shouldn't go to law school unless he gets into a Top 6 (or so) school.

Academically, he looks good - goes to Brown and has a 4.0 GPA, double majoring in Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies. He's reasonably fluent in both Arabic and Chinese and won first place in a national collegiate Arabic translation contest. His work history is nothing special, mostly working at camp along with a research fellowship he'll do at his college library this summer. While I know there are no guarantees, my understanding is that law school admission is based in very large part on GPA and LSAT. Would he have a reasonable expectation of getting into a Top 6 school if he got a 175 LSAT? If not, what score would he need?

Next, how hard is the LSAT? He had 800s on the SAT Verbal and the SAT II Literature Subject tests. If he did PowerScore or some other good LSAT prep course this summer, would he have a chance at a 175? Is LSAT prep something he can realistically accomplish on the side while doing his fairly low-impact library fellowship?  

Finally, I guess the longer-term questions are how miserable is law school, and could he expect to find a decent job if he does go to a top law school? But I can hold off on those until if/when he does actually get into law school and has to decide whether or not to go. For all I know, maybe he and his girlfriend break up between now and next fall and suddenly post-graduate fellowships are back on the table. But in the meantime I'm looking for advice before lining up Test Prep and registering for the August LSAT. 

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10 minutes ago, The_Man said:

I'm be very appreciative of any Law School admissions real talk I can get from the vets in this thread

My son is a junior in college and thinking kind of seriously about applying to law school next year and going straight out of college. I would prefer he apply for some fellowships and wait a year or two but he is pretty resistant (primarily because he's already lived abroad twice for 6+ months since graduating from high school - gap year and semester abroad - and his longterm girlfriend is tired of being left behind). We are in agreement that he shouldn't go to law school unless he gets into a Top 6 (or so) school.

Academically, he looks good - goes to Brown and has a 4.0 GPA, double majoring in Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies. He's reasonably fluent in both Arabic and Chinese and won first place in a national collegiate Arabic translation contest. His work history is nothing special, mostly working at camp along with a research fellowship he'll do at his college library this summer. While I know there are no guarantees, my understanding is that law school admission is based in very large part on GPA and LSAT. Would he have a reasonable expectation of getting into a Top 6 school if he got a 175 LSAT? If not, what score would he need?

Next, how hard is the LSAT? He had 800s on the SAT Verbal and the SAT II Literature Subject tests. If he did PowerScore or some other good LSAT prep course this summer, would he have a chance at a 175? Is LSAT prep something he can realistically accomplish on the side while doing his fairly low-impact library fellowship?  

Finally, I guess the longer-term questions are how miserable is law school, and could he expect to find a decent job if he does go to a top law school? But I can hold off on those until if/when he does actually get into law school and has to decide whether or not to go. For all I know, maybe he and his girlfriend break up between now and next fall and suddenly post-graduate fellowships are back on the table. But in the meantime I'm looking for advice before lining up Test Prep and registering for the August LSAT. 

 

I don't know what admissions standards are but it sounds like with his undergrad, if he gets a 175 he should be in a pretty good spot. But why are you limiting it to only Top 6 schools? I can see top tier (I recommend this to people myself) but Top 6 seems a little strict.

Also, I wouldn't worry about him finding a job. The CIA will find him.

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Mortgage/trust question.

My wife and I are buying a vacation/rental home.  We want to do the mortgage in just one of our names, for discussion's sake let's say mine.  We have a trust setup in the case of our deaths, rather than a will.

As I understand it with the trust I have to put the mortgage in the trust's name, IE mortgage would go to "Mr and Mrs FreeBaGeL Family Trust".

How can I put the mortgage in just my name but at the same time assure that the property would go to my wife in the case of my death?

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17 minutes ago, The_Man said:

I'm be very appreciative of any Law School admissions real talk I can get from the vets in this thread

My son is a junior in college and thinking kind of seriously about applying to law school next year and going straight out of college. I would prefer he apply for some fellowships and wait a year or two but he is pretty resistant (primarily because he's already lived abroad twice for 6+ months since graduating from high school - gap year and semester abroad - and his longterm girlfriend is tired of being left behind). We are in agreement that he shouldn't go to law school unless he gets into a Top 6 (or so) school.

Academically, he looks good - goes to Brown and has a 4.0 GPA, double majoring in Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies. He's reasonably fluent in both Arabic and Chinese and won first place in a national collegiate Arabic translation contest. His work history is nothing special, mostly working at camp along with a research fellowship he'll do at his college library this summer. While I know there are no guarantees, my understanding is that law school admission is based in very large part on GPA and LSAT. Would he have a reasonable expectation of getting into a Top 6 school if he got a 175 LSAT? If not, what score would he need?

Next, how hard is the LSAT? He had 800s on the SAT Verbal and the SAT II Literature Subject tests. If he did PowerScore or some other good LSAT prep course this summer, would he have a chance at a 175? Is LSAT prep something he can realistically accomplish on the side while doing his fairly low-impact library fellowship?  

Finally, I guess the longer-term questions are how miserable is law school, and could he expect to find a decent job if he does go to a top law school? But I can hold off on those until if/when he does actually get into law school and has to decide whether or not to go. For all I know, maybe he and his girlfriend break up between now and next fall and suddenly post-graduate fellowships are back on the table. But in the meantime I'm looking for advice before lining up Test Prep and registering for the August LSAT. 

Sounds like a very bright kid who could expect to do well on the LSAT.  Make sure he does a prep course and takes it seriously.  It's been a long time since I went through the process, but US News used to post 25th/75th percentile GPAs and LSAT scores for the schools in its rankings, and that would give you a very rough idea of what range of schools he should be targeting.  I assume he has some sources for a couple great letters of recommendation, but if not, he should be cultivating those as well.

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52 minutes ago, The_Man said:

I'm be very appreciative of any Law School admissions real talk I can get from the vets in this thread

My son is a junior in college and thinking kind of seriously about applying to law school next year and going straight out of college. I would prefer he apply for some fellowships and wait a year or two but he is pretty resistant (primarily because he's already lived abroad twice for 6+ months since graduating from high school - gap year and semester abroad - and his longterm girlfriend is tired of being left behind). We are in agreement that he shouldn't go to law school unless he gets into a Top 6 (or so) school.

Academically, he looks good - goes to Brown and has a 4.0 GPA, double majoring in Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies. He's reasonably fluent in both Arabic and Chinese and won first place in a national collegiate Arabic translation contest. His work history is nothing special, mostly working at camp along with a research fellowship he'll do at his college library this summer. While I know there are no guarantees, my understanding is that law school admission is based in very large part on GPA and LSAT. Would he have a reasonable expectation of getting into a Top 6 school if he got a 175 LSAT? If not, what score would he need?

Next, how hard is the LSAT? He had 800s on the SAT Verbal and the SAT II Literature Subject tests. If he did PowerScore or some other good LSAT prep course this summer, would he have a chance at a 175? Is LSAT prep something he can realistically accomplish on the side while doing his fairly low-impact library fellowship?  

Finally, I guess the longer-term questions are how miserable is law school, and could he expect to find a decent job if he does go to a top law school? But I can hold off on those until if/when he does actually get into law school and has to decide whether or not to go. For all I know, maybe he and his girlfriend break up between now and next fall and suddenly post-graduate fellowships are back on the table. But in the meantime I'm looking for advice before lining up Test Prep and registering for the August LSAT. 

He should be able to do LSAT prep with that. I did LSAT prep while working full-time, but the environment may have changed since then.

I considered law school pretty fun, but it depends on where he goes and what kind of experience he is looking for.  It's a lot of work, but I met the people that I now consider my closest friends there.

If he goes to a Top 6 or so, he should have no problem finding a job.  But, if he wants to be a lawyer, I would not limit himself just to those schools. Certainly a point where I would question the cost-benefit of the legal education, but I think still mostly in favor a bit beyond that too, unless he has lots of other great opportunities to pick from.  And you could find some good scholarship offers beyond the Top 6 too.

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Why does he want to be a lawyer?  If he wants to be a judge or professor then top 6 is obviously worth striving for.  If he wants to practice, there are lots of options depending on what, where, etc.  

The LSAT is very time intense.  The prep will be helpful just for pacing alone.  Did mine while working full time, it was modestly helpful until I realized I needed to pick and choose strategies and saw more improvement closer to and on test day.  

I really enjoyed law school but I worked 4 years after undergrad and was *ready* for intense study and wanted to redeem my "lackluster" undergrad performance.  Law school's not the place to suffer burnout as you get left behind quickly.  A fast start and first year grades are important.  Maybe your son's travel experiences mitigate that risk, maybe he's very driven.  But ask him to double check his motives.  

Edited by munga30
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1 hour ago, The_Man said:

I'm be very appreciative of any Law School admissions real talk I can get from the vets in this thread

My son is a junior in college and thinking kind of seriously about applying to law school next year and going straight out of college. I would prefer he apply for some fellowships and wait a year or two but he is pretty resistant (primarily because he's already lived abroad twice for 6+ months since graduating from high school - gap year and semester abroad - and his longterm girlfriend is tired of being left behind). We are in agreement that he shouldn't go to law school unless he gets into a Top 6 (or so) school.

Academically, he looks good - goes to Brown and has a 4.0 GPA, double majoring in Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies. He's reasonably fluent in both Arabic and Chinese and won first place in a national collegiate Arabic translation contest. His work history is nothing special, mostly working at camp along with a research fellowship he'll do at his college library this summer. While I know there are no guarantees, my understanding is that law school admission is based in very large part on GPA and LSAT. Would he have a reasonable expectation of getting into a Top 6 school if he got a 175 LSAT? If not, what score would he need?

Next, how hard is the LSAT? He had 800s on the SAT Verbal and the SAT II Literature Subject tests. If he did PowerScore or some other good LSAT prep course this summer, would he have a chance at a 175? Is LSAT prep something he can realistically accomplish on the side while doing his fairly low-impact library fellowship?  

Finally, I guess the longer-term questions are how miserable is law school, and could he expect to find a decent job if he does go to a top law school? But I can hold off on those until if/when he does actually get into law school and has to decide whether or not to go. For all I know, maybe he and his girlfriend break up between now and next fall and suddenly post-graduate fellowships are back on the table. But in the meantime I'm looking for advice before lining up Test Prep and registering for the August LSAT. 

Here is the method I used to LSAT prep.

I did not think the LSAT was hard. But I did work hard at it. I improved from a cold diagnostic of 169 to a perfect 180 consistently in my last few practice tests.

 

Websites to answer all your likelihood of admissions questions: Law School Numbers and Top-Law-Schools. The first is basically a bunch of info, including plots of LSAT/GPA combos and admissions results by school. The second is a forum for your son that I was extremely glad I spent a lot of time on. Your intuition is right regarding LSAT/GPA - i think the r-squared is above 0.9 on their predictiveness of admission. 

 

All of that should provide anything you need. Now for my own two cents...

 

I really enjoyed law school. The practice of law seemed (and seems) like an absolutely torturous hellhole that I decided I want no part of. Some of my classmates now (a few years out) would disagree, but far fewer of them than did so when we were, say, 3Ls. I went right out of college and wish I hadn't. I suggest applying ot beyond the top 6, because $$$ > school at the top. By that I mean, every school from Chicago on down offers a number of full ride (some + a stipend) option (or did when I applied like 6 years ago). Chicago for free > Harvard for $$$. I considered Yale an exception to this general rule. ETA: So I applied to YHS, Chicago, Columbia, Virginia, Duke, Texas (a nice mix of places to be and to get $$$), and was offered a full ride or more at everything other than YHS. I was admitted everywhere. If your son has a similar LSAT, I would expect the same. I had no special qualities about me beyond academics (e.g. no Olympics, no founded a nonprofit, no college sports, etc). 

 

Edited by Instinctive
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I didn't realize any Top 14 schools gave scholarships - very good info

@Instinctive thanks for the link. My sense is that my son and you think in similar ways - and those tips on how to analyze what you're getting wrong so you can identify and correct the errors will completely resonate with him. He actually likes taking standardized tests - they're like puzzles to him and he enjoys breaking them down until he can see how they've been constructed by the puzzle maker and know how to solve them.

That's why I think he's not unlikely to enjoy law school either. But you make a good point about enjoying law school and enjoying practice being such different things. All the more reason I think the comments about going for scholarships > rankings are very helpful. If he can get through with minimal debt, then he'd be far less constrained in the kind of job he'd need to land afterward to make it financially viable. 

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27 minutes ago, The_Man said:

I didn't realize any Top 14 schools gave scholarships - very good info

@Instinctive thanks for the link. My sense is that my son and you think in similar ways - and those tips on how to analyze what you're getting wrong so you can identify and correct the errors will completely resonate with him. He actually likes taking standardized tests - they're like puzzles to him and he enjoys breaking them down until he can see how they've been constructed by the puzzle maker and know how to solve them.

That's why I think he's not unlikely to enjoy law school either. But you make a good point about enjoying law school and enjoying practice being such different things. All the more reason I think the comments about going for scholarships > rankings are very helpful. If he can get through with minimal debt, then he'd be far less constrained in the kind of job he'd need to land afterward to make it financially viable. 

It’s hard to talk about this in generalities, but I’d be cautious with the scholarships > rankings approach when he gets closer to making a decision, depending on what he ultimately wants to do. Certain sectors of the legal industry (big firms and particularly specialty fields like appellate litigation) are absurdly snobby about one’s alma mater.  

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3 hours ago, The_Man said:

I'm be very appreciative of any Law School admissions real talk I can get from the vets in this thread

My son is a junior in college and thinking kind of seriously about applying to law school next year and going straight out of college. I would prefer he apply for some fellowships and wait a year or two but he is pretty resistant (primarily because he's already lived abroad twice for 6+ months since graduating from high school - gap year and semester abroad - and his longterm girlfriend is tired of being left behind). We are in agreement that he shouldn't go to law school unless he gets into a Top 6 (or so) school.

Academically, he looks good - goes to Brown and has a 4.0 GPA, double majoring in Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies. He's reasonably fluent in both Arabic and Chinese and won first place in a national collegiate Arabic translation contest. His work history is nothing special, mostly working at camp along with a research fellowship he'll do at his college library this summer. While I know there are no guarantees, my understanding is that law school admission is based in very large part on GPA and LSAT. Would he have a reasonable expectation of getting into a Top 6 school if he got a 175 LSAT? If not, what score would he need?

Next, how hard is the LSAT? He had 800s on the SAT Verbal and the SAT II Literature Subject tests. If he did PowerScore or some other good LSAT prep course this summer, would he have a chance at a 175? Is LSAT prep something he can realistically accomplish on the side while doing his fairly low-impact library fellowship?  

Finally, I guess the longer-term questions are how miserable is law school, and could he expect to find a decent job if he does go to a top law school? But I can hold off on those until if/when he does actually get into law school and has to decide whether or not to go. For all I know, maybe he and his girlfriend break up between now and next fall and suddenly post-graduate fellowships are back on the table. But in the meantime I'm looking for advice before lining up Test Prep and registering for the August LSAT. 

Whenever I read something like this, my first thought is always how sad it is that someone so young, bright and energetic, with the world in the palm of their hand, would throw it all away by becoming a lawyer.  Sorry, I've got no real advice to offer other than to say that law school was a blast, not at all miserable that I recall.  Being a lawyer ... not so much, but no complaints.  Best of luck to the young man.

 

 

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1 hour ago, The_Man said:

I didn't realize any Top 14 schools gave scholarships - very good info

@Instinctive thanks for the link. My sense is that my son and you think in similar ways - and those tips on how to analyze what you're getting wrong so you can identify and correct the errors will completely resonate with him. He actually likes taking standardized tests - they're like puzzles to him and he enjoys breaking them down until he can see how they've been constructed by the puzzle maker and know how to solve them.

That's why I think he's not unlikely to enjoy law school either. But you make a good point about enjoying law school and enjoying practice being such different things. All the more reason I think the comments about going for scholarships > rankings are very helpful. If he can get through with minimal debt, then he'd be far less constrained in the kind of job he'd need to land afterward to make it financially viable. 

:thumbup:

Sounds like a smart kid ;)

 

Yeah there is (or was, recently, at least) a TON of money out there to pull people in. Bottom line is rankings are largely based on clerkships + incoming GPA and LSAT for schools, so they pay for the latter two, which tend to predict the first one anyway. I actually met with an admissions consultant who was formerly at HLS, and he basically said "4.0 and 180? You don't need me, let's just grab a beer." He was in my town and I had seen him post somewhere and had reached out to see if I could hire him LOL. Had a great chat and wished each other luck.

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45 minutes ago, thecatch said:

It’s hard to talk about this in generalities, but I’d be cautious with the scholarships > rankings approach when he gets closer to making a decision, depending on what he ultimately wants to do. Certain sectors of the legal industry (big firms and particularly specialty fields like appellate litigation) are absurdly snobby about one’s alma mater.  

Have you seen anyone be so snobby as to look down on UChicago > HLS?

 

I think it's a total truth when you get to larger gaps (e.g. Duke vs SLS or something) but not so much on schools close to each other (e.g. Northwestern vs UChicago vs Columbia). Asking - not telling. I am still interested in these things because I advise undergrads from my alma mater every year.

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49 minutes ago, Instinctive said:

Have you seen anyone be so snobby as to look down on UChicago > HLS?

 

I think it's a total truth when you get to larger gaps (e.g. Duke vs SLS or something) but not so much on schools close to each other (e.g. Northwestern vs UChicago vs Columbia). Asking - not telling. I am still interested in these things because I advise undergrads from my alma mater every year.

Well, there are certainly some Harvard/Yale grads that look down on everybody. You’re right of course that the gap is much more pronounced the larger the spread between school rankings. Most Supreme Court clerks come from the top 3 schools, though. I know a prominent appellate group that basically only hires Stanford attorneys. It’s been shocking to me how much that can still matter with some people even for mid career hires. 95% of lawyers aren’t going to have that specific conundrum, and the cheaper law school may often be a better choice. But the odds are higher than most that a 4.0 Ivy League student with a 175 LSAT may be interested in those types of positions, so it’s something to keep in mind. 

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Always happy to help a guy I saw Bob Mould with.

First things first,.  A 175 would likely be good enough for top 6.  While we were non-trads (and probably got a diversity boost), I got into UVA with a 175 and a truly mediocre undergrad GPA.  My wife got in to Harvard off the waitlist with a 177.  The best way for your son to figure out if the LSAT will be easy for him is to take a practice test.  The powerscore books have them in them.  If he's scores in the mid to high 160's cold, odds are that Powerscore will get him to a 175 or higher.  Considering his test scores, this seems likely, as the only section that will probably seem alien to him is games.  And games are totally teachable.  Logic is also teachable, but practice really only helps with the two or three hardest questions on that section.  In my experience, reading comp is hard to teach.  I really didn't need to do much work on it.  I know people I prepped with struggled to finish those sections, so maybe it's just down to reading fast.

I would absolutely take a scholarship.  It wasn't an option for me, but my wife turned down a half scholarship at UVA to take a half scholarship at Columbia and then turned that down to go full freight at Harvard.  And I think she regrets it.  She'd really rather do public interest than big law, but the loans make that unfeasible.  I loved law school.  And I was good at it.  But it didn't make me a good lawyer.  It rewards a different skillset (reading fast and being able to get a decent rough cut at an argument under time pressure) than practice (attention to detail, balancing competing demands, etc.).  In my experience, if you can write, you'll get a chance to write an appellate brief.  And if you do it well, you'll get more opportunities.  I think clerking or not clerking is more likely to affect your son's chances of getting into a good appellate shop.  And frankly, appellate work isn't all that at many firms.  Because the record is already developed, it's not a big money maker for a firm compared to, say, antitrust or litigation.

It's just impossible to put a price on the freedom to be able to pick the firm/opportunity that is right for you (in terms of time commitment, fulfilling work, etc.) versus being handcuffed to a firm that pays your loans off.  

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5 hours ago, whoknew said:

 

I don't know what admissions standards are but it sounds like with his undergrad, if he gets a 175 he should be in a pretty good spot. But why are you limiting it to only Top 6 schools? I can see top tier (I recommend this to people myself) but Top 6 seems a little strict.

Also, I wouldn't worry about him finding a job. The CIA will find him.

Lol at Will a 4.0 from Brown and a 175 LSAT get me into a good law school. He’ll have his pick of law schools I imagine. 

And I agree there’s no reason to limit to “top 6” (by the way, why 6?  So arbitrary...).  If he goes to a top tier law school he’d be just fine. I would target anything in the top 25 — if he goes to those and gets excellent grades/gets on law review, he’ll have tons of good job options.   

I think market salary for first years out of law school is $180k.  He’ll Have lots of options for those if he does well in law school, and will be just fine. 

Yes it’s miserable sometimes, as I imagine many professions are. It’s probably more demanding and stressful than lots of others. But can be challenging and interesting and financially rewarding too (if not also rewarding in other ways). 

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2 hours ago, thecatch said:

It’s hard to talk about this in generalities, but I’d be cautious with the scholarships > rankings approach when he gets closer to making a decision, depending on what he ultimately wants to do. Certain sectors of the legal industry (big firms and particularly specialty fields like appellate litigation) are absurdly snobby about one’s alma mater.  

This is true. Pedigree also can limit options for things like clerkships and ultimately positions as a judge.  If he’s going to invest in a career, I’d go for the best ranked school he can get into. And my advice would be to turn off everything else in his life as a first year law student (after that matters a whole lot less).  If he goes to a top school and gets top grades for just one year, he can do whatever he wants in law from there. And this is coming from a guy who was lazy and didn’t study in college, did ok on the LSAT, eeked into a top ~30 school, and ended up with a pretty decent career as a partner in biglaw. I didn’t need a better pedigree, but it wouldn’t have hurt me, and it probably could help me in a variety of ways these days still. 

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LOL. I thought I was smart but you guys (or your kids in this case) are another level. Maybe this doesn't apply as much to those grades/LSAT scores, but it's my personal opinion that most people do better in law school and get better scholarships if you've had a few years of work experience. I wouldn't recommend going straight from undergrad to law school. I feel like most of the people who do that do it because they don't know what they want to do in life and are just putting off real life. But sounds like your kid is driven and this probably won't be an issue. 

Anyway, I'd just echo that he probably shouldn't limit himself to top 6. Follow the money. I got into a top 20 school with a 50% scholarship, waitlisted at a top 20 school, and ended up taking a full ride at a local school ranked 100+. I found law school wasn't that hard (just a lot of reading), but I also didn't try that hard (with the exception of first year) and graduated like top 15% from a pretty low ranked school (after being ranked like #4 after first year, I really stopped trying).  Anyway, the biggest thing was I wasn't shackled to student loans and wasn't too worried about getting a prestigious job out of school, which really takes the pressure off and makes law school much more enjoyable.  

Edited by FBG26
found one of probably many spelling mistakes
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Egads, I'm so old that the LSAT was on a 48-point scale.  :bag: 

My information is a bit dated, but I was on the recruiting committee at Kirkland in the late 90s.  Assuming the top six you guys are referring to are still Yale, Harvard, Columbia, Chicago, Stanford, and NYU in some order, we did indeed have different thresholds for those schools.  IIRC, you could get a callback interview if you were in the top 1/3 of your class there.  At the next tier, if you were in the top 10%.  Then we had a couple of "local" schools that we'd interview some people from - U. of Illinois we'd bring you in if you were in the top 10 overall, and Chicago-Kent and Loyola if you were first or second in your class.  I might have the numbers slightly off, but there was a distinct difference in the first tier vs. the second, and then the second vs. anywhere else.  Also, we were very skeptical of Yalies because in K&E's experience they had often not turned out to be great lawyers.  So of course we'd interview them, but they needed to impress more than the those from other schools in the top six.  

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15 hours ago, CletiusMaximus said:

Whenever I read something like this, my first thought is always how sad it is that someone so young, bright and energetic, with the world in the palm of their hand, would throw it all away by becoming a lawyer.  Sorry, I've got no real advice to offer other than to say that law school was a blast, not at all miserable that I recall.  Being a lawyer ... not so much, but no complaints.  Best of luck to the young man.

Not to hijack my own semi-hijack of this thread, but I'll admit it's been a challenge giving him advice about what kind of career path to follow. He doesn't feel like he needs to get rich, just make a decent living, and do something that might help better society. All his friends are pursuing McKinsey and the other management consulting firms like the Holy Grail and he has zero interest in that. And he's not a software or engineering guy, or a math/quant finance guy.

CIA/NSA is out because of his political beliefs, State Dept. for the same reason now that it's been so degraded. Higher ed seems like the right fit to me, but he has zero interest in going for a PhD and knows the academic job market is a disaster. As is journalism. I guess if there's a field that most appeals to him, it's translation but we're not sure what kind of careers that offers. To him, the law at least holds out the promise of intellectually stimulating work with the chance of positively impacting society. And it seems like there could be some potential for translation or otherwise putting his language skills to use.

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