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October 26, 2005

Does Withdrawing From Classes In Undergrad Look Bad?

A reader writes:

I'm currently an undergraduate in Fall Semester of my sophomore year. I've maintained a 4.0 at my school.

But due to medical reason, I'm going to have to withdraw from my classes this Fall semester. Since I'm withdrawing, “w's” show up on the transcript to indicate the withdrawal from classes. MY QUESTION IS: Do all the w's look bad that show up on your transcript to indicate that you've withdrawn from classes?

First, I assume you're asking about how law school admissions committees will view those W's, and I can only say that if you've got a whole semester of W's on your transcript they're not just going to say “oh, that's bad,” they're going to look to your application letter or statement of purpose to see some explanation for that. You can use those writing opportunities to explain what happened and why it has made you a stronger candidate for law school.

Second, you're a sophomore in college! You've got a lot of time to think about what you want to do. Explore your options, enjoy undergrad, and maybe a year or two from now you can start worrying about things like this. ;-)

Of course, I'm a slacker and that's just me. Any other thoughts? Has anyone had experience explaining W's on a transcript for a law school application?

Posted by mowabb at 10:17 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 23, 2005

Top 10 Questions To Ask During Law Firm Interviews

Professor Orin Kerr of The Volokh Conspiracy offers a humorous look at the law firm interview process with a list of questions you should ask at a callback interview (not!). The lengthy comment thread is funny, too, and you can probably find some good advice mixed in, as well.

Posted by mowabb at 08:32 PM | TrackBack

October 19, 2005

Aw Shucks

A reader writes:

I would simply like to state that I have found this site to be extremely helpful and encouraging. Thank you for addressing my questions so quickly. This site is helping me feel less nervous and overwhelmed about the law school process. Thanks again.

You're most certainly welcome, and thank you for letting us know you've found something here helpful. Thanks especially also to the many readers of Blawg Wisdom who leave comments responding to other readers' questions, as well as to all the people who have sent pointers to helpful blog posts around the blawgosphere since August 1, 2004.

Posted by mowabb at 01:57 PM | TrackBack

October 18, 2005

What's an Adequate Application Timetable?

Request of the day:

I have decided to take the December LSAT in order to apply for the 2006 admissions process. The admission deadline for my top choice is March 1st but I plan to process the application in January.

My question is: is this too short of a time table? I will have had about two months to prepare for the LSAT. Some people have advised that they prepared for three months, others have told me they only prepared for a month. What have some of you done?

Should I be concerned with such a small time frame to complete the entire law school application process?

Posted by mowabb at 10:36 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 14, 2005

How do I Get into Entertainment Law?

A reader has a few questions about getting into law school for entertainment law:

#1: Is there a site or does anyone know what law schools have specialties/programs in Entertainment Law? Which school is the best to attend?

#2: I've read various personal statements from people interested in studying criminal justice, international law, etc, which were very compelling and passionate. How in Hades do I write a statement about why I want to get into Entertainment Law? It's not a particularly glamorous field, nor is it geared towards “defending the good”, so there goes trying to look like a martyr.

#3: I read the blog about a low GPA; I am also in the same situation (a 3.3...I have yet to take my LSATs). Does the university attended make a difference at all (ex. a 3.3 at Berkeley versus a 3.8 at Cal State Chico)?

So what about it? Any entertainment law peeps out there?

Posted by mowabb at 08:34 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 11, 2005

Does School Matter for IP?

A reader writes:

I've heard that the quality of the law school matters less when it comes to hiring IP/patent attorneys. I even heard once that it doesn't matter at all where you go to law school, because the demand for such specialized attorneys is so high. Is this true?

Hmm. My impression would be no, this is not true. When I was looking at schools I remember some were singled out as good primarily if you wanted to do IP—some schools have a reputation for being strong in this area. That suggests to me that those schools will give a you a leg up in the IP job search, even if just a small one.

As far as which schools are better for IP and whether demand for IP attorneys is high, I'm not so sure. Does anyone know more?

Posted by mowabb at 08:11 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

October 10, 2005

Alternatives to BarBri?

Jeremy Richey is wondering whether there are alternatives to BarBri for bar exam preparation. Specifically, he's looking at The Study Group. If you know anything about this course or any other BarBri alternative, please let Jeremy (and everyone else) know by posting comments here or there.

Posted by mowabb at 09:52 AM | TrackBack

October 08, 2005

Fast Fashion For Law Fools

Neo Tokyo Times confronts one of those small but vastly important aspects of becoming a lawyer: Learning how to dress like one. His advice:

I think the guiding rule is to be dressed up nicer than you need to be. . . . A good lesson for the fashionable law student is that bets may best be hedged.

Pretty good, if somewhat vague, advice. Would anyone like to add to this? For example, I just attended a “gala” where the dress was designated as “business.” What the heck does that mean? Suit and tie for men, apparently, and skirts/slacks with nice blouses for women. O think of “business casual” for men as khakis and a button-down (just go as a Gap ad and you'll be fine), but for women? And what other options are there? Is “casual” just whatever?

Posted by mowabb at 09:54 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 05, 2005

Princeton Review Law School Rankings

Check out the TaxProf Blog for a summary of the recent Princeton Review Law School Rankings.

We surveyed more than 15,000 students at 159 law schools and used the information that they reported to us, along with school statistics provided by administrators, to create 11 ranking lists. None of these lists purports to rank the schools in terms of overall quality; but by using the lists in conjunction with the Students Say profiles and the school statistics, you will be able to identify the attributes of a law school that are important to you—and ultimately, generate a list of the schools that can best help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

It's an interesting picture of law schools. Yale, Harvard, and Stanford (HYS) are the hardest schools to get into (shock!), but Baylor, St. Johns (NY) and Yeshiva have the most competitive students? For best quality of life head for St. Thomas U. (feel the island breezes as you study your torts), U. of VA?, and Chapman U.? Hm.

Posted by mowabb at 02:47 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Averaging LSAT Scores?

A reader wonders what happens when you take multiple LSATs:

I have read that some schools average LSAT scores which could end up costing one points instead of creating a better score. Is this true? Do some schools average the results?

I've heard this, too. I'd say you'd just have to contact the individual schools' admissions people to verify. Does anyone know more?

Posted by mowabb at 09:24 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 04, 2005

Advice for New Associates

Although new associates probably aren't going to visit this site for advice, readers who aspire to be new associates someday soon might learn a thing or two from Blonde Justice and Fresh Pepper (no permalinks; scroll to Sept. 29) about starting that job. A selection of my favorite tips includes:

  1. Your life is supposed to suck. Get used to it.
  2. Save as much money as you can. Don't get caught up in the swanky attorney lifestyle, it's just fancy-looking slavery.
  3. You don't have to kiss ass. Just be friendly.
  4. Start studying for the GMAT.
Obviously, some are more serious than others, but the more lawyers I talk to, the more I realize that their snarky cynical comments (i.e. “start studying for the GMAT”) are less jokes and more serious than it's comfortable for you or them to admit.

Posted by mowabb at 10:14 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Good Sports Welcome Here

A kind reader suggested we all might find some humor in this cartoon from a recent edition of the New Yorker. Heard any other good lawyer jokes lately?

Posted by mowabb at 08:39 AM | TrackBack

October 03, 2005

International Job Hunting

Reader “Shoortie” writes with two questions about his job search:

First, do Canadian and European (England in particular) firms hire US law students for their summer programs? Second, can I practice law in Canada or England with a JD? Any response is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

Good questions! Anyone have any ideas?

Posted by mowabb at 04:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack