Monday, May 29, 2006

Let's get things started!

Anyone interested in going to law school must know a few things before seriously pursuing this life long adventure.
Myths about law school and the legal profession in general:

1. Law and Order is what being a lawyer is all about.
WRONG: First thing to know is that Law and order is based on the criminal justice system. In the US there are two main justice systems, criminal and civil. In the criminal justice system, cases are brought to court by the government (state, city, federal). this is the prosecutors office. In the Civil justice system, cases are brought by private individuals (also companies). While the Criminal courts are huge, the civil courts are also huge.
Most cases in both the criminal and civil systems never make it to court. They are either settled (civil court) or plea bargained (Criminal court). Cases can also be dismissed or a verdict directed for one of the parties.

In conclusion, Law and Order, and other tv shows like it, maybe realistic for cases that actually go to court, but the real world is A LOT less dramatic.

2. It is easy to get into law school
Probably: If you really wanted to go to law school you could probably get in somewhere. A lot of schools accept people with low scores but flunk them out after their first semester or year. The general rule is like this: If your law school was easy to get into then it is hard to finish it.
However, if you law school was hard to get into, then it should be easy to finish it.
Some words of caution, when I say easy, I don't mean as easy as brushing your teeth, I mean it is relatively easy when compared to a school that was easy to get into. You would have to be completely careless and idiotic to flunk out of a "hard to get into" law school.
I will talk about law school grading system in a later post.

3. LSAT and undergrad GPA are a good predictor of who does good in law school
False: The only thing that LSAT and GPA predict are good study habits and hard work. Except for those rare einstein like class mates you have, anyone who puts in enough effort and hardwork can do good in law school.

4. Law School teaches you the LAW
Not really; law school teaches you how to become a lawyer. It teaches you how to use any given law not what the law IS.
You do however learn basic law in all subjects.

5. Law school is expensive
This is mostly true but not always.
if you do well on your LSAT and your UGPA, you should be able to get a scholarship somewhere.

Thats about all I can think of right now, if you have any specific questions leave a comment and I will try to answer it.

4 Comments:

At 10:51 AM, Blogger David M. Richmon said...

Thanks for the blog, its been helpful to look at. I have a brief question that I thought you'd might be able to help me with. I'm currently enrolled in a Master's of Divinity program and intend on finishing it. I had an OK undergrad GPA; but have taken this Master's degree program more seriously and my GPA will be substantially higher, despite the course load being more difficult. How would most law schools judge my overall academic record? Secondly, I am a poor standardized test taker, any suggestions for studying for the LSAT? Lastly, I am looking for vocations to combine my theological background (especially ethics and poverty issues) and law; any suggestions? Thanks.

 
At 10:40 PM, Blogger Ammar Alo JD said...

David, First off I would like to know how you found this blog?

Now to answer your questions, there is no question that admissions people will respond positively to your graduate GPA. However, some schools have a formula they use to see who meets their criteria. That formula usually includes the LSAT and undergrad GPA. I also did a masters but I don't think it helped me in gaining acceptance.

As for the LSAT, if you are a poor test taker like myself, you probably want to take a course for the LSAT or at least take one practice test. I did KAPLAN, but I know there is Princeton Review and A LOT of other resources.

The legal field is very broad and open, you can incorporate almost anything with the law, because the law usually controls everything. I can't think of anything off the top of my head right now, but you will be able to find something you like.

 
At 12:07 PM, Blogger David M. Richmon said...

Thanks for the response. I came across your blog via googles blog search; I was looking for people's input on Ave Maria, and your site was one of the first results.

What other schools did you apply to?

 
At 4:46 PM, Blogger Ammar Alo JD said...

A lot David, A lot. over 20 probably

 

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