Thursday, February 26, 2004

Fine, I Didn't Want To Go To Penn Anyway + Bush And Gays In The Chapel

So, I got waitlisted at Penn on Tuesday... and they sent it to me via e-mail. I don't care how good a school you have, if you're going to reject someone, DO IT IN A LETTER. By the way, let's not kid ourselves... being Wait Listed is just a nice way of saying "We don't want you." Actually, it's not that nice, it's worse than a flat out rejection, because it's saying "We don't really want you, but we want to keep you on the hook for another few months, so we're making you think that WE think that you are good enough for us, but we just got so many great applications that we can't accept you just yet." Is it just me or does this sound like the girl in High School who wasn't part of the most popular clique, but was "on the cusp," and she was hoping she could break in by being asked to prom by the captain of the football team, but she didn't want to reject your invitation outright in case Jocko didn't ask her? Maybe I'm just bitter (about the wait listed thing... not the prom thing... at least as far as YOU know).

I'm going to make my first foray into topics other than law school (well, I did talk about a movie a few days ago, but that hardly counted), by discussing my reaction to President Bush's call for a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage(to the U.S. Constitution, not just the Chuck E. Cheese Constitution). Now, I don't know which side you fall on about the issue of gay marriages by itself (I myself see no reason why gays shouldn't be allowed to marry each other... and I agree with the Massachusetts Supreme Court when they said "The history of our nation has demonstrated that separate is seldom, if ever, equal")

What really irks me about Bush saying he wants a Constitutional Amendment, when he knows that 1) The likelihood of a Constitutional Amendment getting the 2/3 majority in Congress needed to pass any amendment banning gay marriage is practically nil, 2) Even if the right magically conjures the votes its needs in Congress, it is even more unlikely that they will get enough votes in the 30 some states that they need to ratify the amendment, 3) Even if they get the votes, eventually, by they time they did W would be out of office, and 4) By the time they got the votes, it is likely that public opinion will have shifted (maybe not to being OK with gay marriage, but at least with seeing how stupid it is to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban it), so that another amendment rescinding the original amendment will have to go through. Which leads me to believe that Bush is only doing this to win back some support from his political base on the right (I'm sure there are many of you that are saying, "Well Duh!"). I have no problem with him trying to energize his base, I mean he is running for reelection... but I do have a problem with him making a mockery of the Constitution by even suggesting that this kind of thing is even worthy of being considered as an amendment. Alright, I'll get off of my soapbox. At least now I'll probably get some kind of response to my blog. Later.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Boredom Overcomes...

I haven't really had much to write about recently... particularly regarding admissions. But I wanted to allay your fears, and assure you that I am not dead (especially since my site is becoming very popular, as I am receiving upwards of 0 hits a day). The last week has been extremely busy at work. My boss told me last week that I need to step up my work efficiency, and get things done quicker, so I have been working longer hours (which of course greatly increases efficiency) in an effort to finish a really great patent application on the first draft.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Putting My Nose To The Grindstone Before I Have An Axe To Grind

Not much to update with respect to my admissions, but I have been doing some work in preparing for law school. I have been reading "Planet Law School II" by Atticus Falcon, which strongly reccomends reviewing some materials before you start law school. So, while on the El on my way to work I have been reading and working my way through "Learning Legal Reasoning" by John Delaney, which goes through the steps of briefing a case (a staple of studying the law for many law students), and the legal reasoning skills you should acquire while briefing cases. So far it is interesting, and moderately challenging... but man are the cases esoteric. The two I've worked through so far are from the 1920's, one dealing with a criminal who flew a stolen plane from Illinois to Oklahoma (convicted at the trial level, but the Supreme Court reversed the decision because an airplane was not covered under the National Motor Vehical Theft Act) and the other with a farmer who wouldn't pay his bill for farming equipment that a company shipped to him (the courts said he was wrong and needed to pay). Anyway, from what I have read, I would reccomend either book to someone preparing for law school. I'll keep you posted when I have more news about my applications.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Happy Valentines Day from the University of Chicago Law School

I received a very unfortunate Valentines Day present... a rejection from the University of Chicago Law School (hey, at least it wasn't from my wife). I knew when I applied that Chicago might be a long shot (considering it is one of the top 3 law schools in the country, top 5 at the worst), but I thought my 3 years of work experience in a Chicago firm, with the reccomendation of a well respected Chicago lawyer (who actually knew me, not just someone my dad knew, and was nice and wrote a letter for me), would be enough to push me over the top, or at least onto the wait list. Oh well, it was worth a shot.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

FAFSA OR How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Department of Education

I finally finished up my online FAFSA today, and according to Uncle Sam and the Department of Education, I'm expected to contribute $27,000 to my education next year. Granted, that includes my expected parental contribution (which in real life will be $0), but still $27,000!!!! Are they crazy? How do they expect anyone to be able to afford that when they know I won't be working for 9 months of next year. Hopefully the schools themselves will be more logical.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

The Beginning Of The End Of Blogs As We Know Them

Feb. 11, 2004 - As this is my first update, I thought it would be a good idea to give you a brief history of me so that you can understand why I have choosen law school, and what has transpired so far in the admissions process. For this reason, this first posting will be fairly long, but subsequent updates should be significantly shorter.

I am originally from the Twin Cities Metro Area (Minneapolis/St. Paul), and I earned a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from one of the best public engineering schools in the country (biased view of course, but still quite true). I graduated with a 3.58 GPA (on a 4.0 scale). I went to a different school for my Freshman year where I had a 3.87 GPA (also on a 4.0 scale). According to the Law School Admissions Council, who oversees the admissions process, my cummulative Undergraduate GPA (aka the UGPA, not to be confused with the Un-Professional Golfers Association, or UPGA, to which many of us belong... sorry, bad pun) is 3.65. By the way, I'm not telling you these stats to brag, but so that you will have a context for why I applied where I did, and a frame of reference as to why I got in, got wait listed, or got rejected (OK, I might be bragging, but only a little bit).

After graduating, I began working for a patent law firm in Chicago, where I learned that to work in patent law, you didn't need to have a law degree. I've been working here for 2 1/2 years (3 years by the time I start law school) as a patent agent, writing patent applications for our corporate clients, prosecuting the application through the Patent Office, and doing legal research and analysis for infringement opinions, and recently I did legal research for an Amicus Brief filed by the Intellectual Property Law Section of the American Bar Association. I took the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) in June of last year and received a 167 out of 180 (not great, but still 96th percentile).

With my numbers, I was in the range of some of the top schools in the country (notice I say in the range, not at the top of the range), so I cast my net fairly wide in the hopes of catching some big fish. I ended up applying to a total of 13 schools (way more than I would recommend) of varying degrees of prestige. My top tier, or "reach" schools (i.e. not highly likely, but my numbers still fall in their range, so it is worth a shot) included Harvard, Yale, University of Chicago, Stanford, and Cal-Berkeley (who insists on including the parenthetical Boalt Hall whenever you refer to them), my "moderate reach" (i.e. better match with my numbers) included U. of Michigan-Ann Arbor, U. of Pennsylvania (Penn), U. of Virginia, and Northwestern, my "right on" schools (i.e. where my numbers are right at the top of their typical range) includes U. of Minnesota, U. of Illinois, Washington and Lee (Virginia), and U. of Iowa, and my "safety" school (i.e., I should have no problem getting in) was William Mitchell (Minnesota).

As it now stands, I have been accepted to (in order of when I received the acceptance letter) U. of Iowa, U. of Minnesota, U. of Illinois, William Mitchell, and Washington and Lee, I have been rejected by the myopic likes of Stanford and Berkeley (bunch of flakey Californians anyway, just kidding... kind of), and I have been Waitlisted by Northwestern (which to be quite honest was a shock to me, because a co-worker with nearly identical numbers, yet with less work experience, got in outright... but whatever). Also, thankfully, I have received scholarship offers from Iowa (full ride tuition), William Mitchell (full ride tuition), Minnesota ($5000 per year, but tuition is out of state), and Illinois ($7000/year, in-state tuition).

Currently, I am trying to finish up my Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and other financial aid applications to have a better idea as to what my options are. Anyway, that's the story up to now. I hope you check back to see what else is going on.