Going to law school question

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cheesepep
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Going to law school question

Post by cheesepep » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:31 am

I want to be an attorney, not really, but kind of.

I want the easiest and possibly cheapest way of becoming an attorney. I really don't care what law school I go to, accredited or not (don't mind taking the baby bar), but want to take the bar in the easiest state possible.

Why? The real reason remains secret from here, but I need the title for something. No, I won't be practicing any real law, nor have any real clients in the realm that most people think of it as, but just need the title. It doesn't matter which state that I will be "practicing" in, so I just want to take the bar in the easiest state possible. Does going to school in xx state mean that I have to take the bar in the same state? How about online schools? Can I take online classes and then take the bar in whatever state I want?

Money is of course a concern, but not the biggest. The biggest is just easiness and speed. I have a Masters in electrical engineering and more than 10 years out from college if that matters. Any recommended law schools, preferably online is best.

To make it personal finance related, getting this attorney license will help me get a job which will help me earn more money, even though I won't be practicing any real law. Just need the title.

Please don't insult me what my goals and ambition. Thanks a lot.

edit: I have taken the LSAT before also, a number of years ago. Not bad, but not good scores.
Last edited by cheesepep on Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

TallBoy29er
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by TallBoy29er » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:36 am

No idea about online schools. Maybe ask Kim Kardashian what she is doing.

I can tell you that you can take the bar in any state, regardless of what school you go to. The advantage of going to a school where you take the bar is that you are learning the laws of that state, which of course helps with the bar. That said, many people take bar exams in states where they don't goto school. You can take online prep courses (think Kaplan) that help you learn that state's law.

Part time may be an option for you. There are schools that offer this, so you can continue to work and earn coin. I would keep in mind bar passage rates for schools. If you're going to go through the motions, you may as well do it with a school that is competent and gives you a better shot at passing the bar.
Last edited by TallBoy29er on Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Sandtrap
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by Sandtrap » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:38 am

cheesepep wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:31 am
I want to be an attorney, not really, but kind of.

I want the easiest and possibly cheapest way of becoming an attorney. I really don't care what law school I go to, accredited or not (don't mind taking the baby bar), but want to take the bar in the easiest state possible.

Why? The reason reason remains secret from here, but I need the title for something. No, I won't be practicing any real law, nor have any real clients in the realm that most people think of it as, but just need the title. It doesn't matter which state that I will be "practicing" in, so I just want to take the bar in the easiest state possible. Does going to school in xx state mean that I have to take the bar in the same state? How about online schools? Can I take online classes and then take the bar in whatever state I want?

Money is of course a concern, but not the biggest. The biggest is just easiness and speed. I have a Masters in electrical engineering and more than 10 years out from college if that matters. Any recommended law schools, preferably online is best.

To make it personal finance related, getting this attorney license will help me get a job which will help me earn more money, even though I won't be practicing any real law. Just need the title.

Please don't insult me what my goals and ambition. Thanks a lot.
Is there something you have a passion for pursuing, because the long road to many professions is tough to sustain on "kind of".

No insult on any goal you might choose. Simply perhaps helping you clarify them.
jus sayin' :shock:

Why?
Because another lifetime ago, I was faced with the same decision about medical school and was ambivilent about it.

j
Last edited by Sandtrap on Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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TallBoy29er
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by TallBoy29er » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:39 am

One more thought. Do you need a JD, or to pass a bar? You can earn a law degree, and not take a bar exam.

Chadnudj
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by Chadnudj » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:42 am

1. Lawyer here. If "I want to be an attorney, not really, but kind of" is your motivation, I really gotta discourage you from spending three years and the accumulated debt/lost income to become an attorney. Seriously, seriously, think about this.

2. That being said, go to an ABA accredited law school that is affordable, that will have business connections in whatever region you're going to end up in. Ideally, a credible/good state university in whatever state you want to end up in. So, since your name has "cheese" in it, if you're from Wisconsin, go to UWisconsin for law school (bonus: Madison is an awesome city to spend 3 years in -- and you should consider the law school town you'll be forced to live in for 3 years in making this decision), and take the Wisconsin bar exam. Since you're not interested in really practicing after school, you can probably try to have a couple schools in the mix, and take the one that offers the best financial aid package. Do not go to online schools, do not go to for-profit law schools -- get someplace credible. Law school is 3 years, so there's no quicker path.

3. As long as you go to an ABA accredited law school, you can take the bar exam in any state. I went to Virginia, but took the Illinois bar; etc. Universally, the New York and California bars are considered among the most difficult, in terms of planning. After you graduate law school, you'll take/pay for a BarBri bar exam prep for the summer where you basically study non-stop for 2 months to take the bar exam -- law school itself does almost nothing to prepare you for the bar exam (other than teach you how to write/understand the law).

4. Given your electrical engineering background, think about the patent bar, for sure. Lots of money out there (and a steady demand for, even in bad economies) patent attorneys.

5. Really, though.....don't go to law school if you don't love the law. I mean it.

SchruteB&B
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by SchruteB&B » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:49 am

Chadnudj wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:42 am


After you graduate law school, you'll take/pay for a BarBri bar exam prep for the summer where you basically study non-stop for 2 months to take the bar exam -- law school itself does almost nothing to prepare you for the bar exam (other than teach you how to write/understand the law).

Yes, this is how it is done. I went to an public university in my state for law school and I don’t think we spent one second learning that state’s laws? We spent 6 weeks debating who can own a wild fox.

bgf
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by bgf » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:54 am

a few states dont require you to go to law school. you can 'apprentice' then take the bar. just take a kaplan/barbri course for the bar.

do some research on these states and their specific bar requirements.
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TSR
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by TSR » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:54 am

Another attorney here. I am trying not to criticize or analyze your plans---it seems like you've got your own thing going and your own idea of how to get there, so I'll just answer your question. If you just need "the title" for whatever reason, you should probably go to the cheapest accredited state school you can get into. That may not be easy if you have trouble even faking an interest in practicing law and you have only "ok" LSAT scores. But I can tell you that going to an unaccredited school is often super expensive and makes it very hard to take and pass a bar exam, especially out of state. Historically, the "easiest" bar exams were in places like Tennessee and Georgia (Georgia's was known as the "candy bar"), but the exam is getting more and more standardized. You certainly don't want to take New York or California, or other places that are trying to have fewer lawyers. If you go to any accredited law school, you can take any state's bar.

Somewhat contrary to what others have posted, there are lower-ranked (but still accredited) law schools that are really teaching to the bar exam. They can move higher in the US News rankings by getting a higher bar-passage rate than the higher ranked schools. If your undergrad grades are good and you can get your LSAT scores up, you might be able to get scholarship money to go to one of those schools. You are aware that LSAT scores expire after several years, right?

I don't know any online schools, and I don't think that would be worth your time and money given how hard it would be to sit for the bar with such a degree. This is a profession that is very jealous of its power, and it makes it deliberately hard to get "the title" (although perhaps not hard enough). Don't expect this to be easy or casual. If you really do go to law school, the strange thing is that you might just love it. It's legitimately interesting stuff. I can't really recommend it just as a lark.

TallBoy29er
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by TallBoy29er » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:55 am

SchruteB&B wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:49 am
Chadnudj wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:42 am


After you graduate law school, you'll take/pay for a BarBri bar exam prep for the summer where you basically study non-stop for 2 months to take the bar exam -- law school itself does almost nothing to prepare you for the bar exam (other than teach you how to write/understand the law).

Yes, this is how it is done. I went to an public university in my state for law school and I don’t think we spent one second learning that state’s laws? We spent 6 weeks debating who can own a wild fox.
And the kicker is, you probably never got to an answer. Or, the answer was, "it depends." Stupid law school!

bsteiner
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by bsteiner » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:56 am

Chadnudj wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:42 am
... if you're from Wisconsin, go to UWisconsin for law school (bonus: Madison is an awesome city to spend 3 years in -- and you should consider the law school town you'll be forced to live in for 3 years in making this decision), and take the Wisconsin bar exam. ...
If you go to the University of Wisconsin law school, you don't have to take the Wisconsin bar exam to be admitted to practice in Wisconsin: https://law.wisc.edu/current/diploma_privilege/.

krustytheclown
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by krustytheclown » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:57 am

This is my first ever post. I am an attorney. I am 32 years old. I graduated from law school in 2014 when I was 27, and have been practicing law since. A few observations:

1. Law school is very expensive, but if you have a unique background as a non-traditional student and you have a good LSAT (and don't care what law school you attend), you should be able to get a scholarship.

2. Mitchell Hamline School of Law has an online program that is accredited by ABA. There may be others too.

3. Law school is really hard, especially the first year. It isn't anything like college or graduate school (I also have a master's degree). It is 3 long years of really hard work and sacrifice. I encourage you to think long and hard about this before pulling the trigger. There were many times during the first year when I wanted to quit. Most of my weekends were spent in the library studying.

4. As an aside, I encourage anyone who is younger to do lots of research before attending law school. It has worked out pretty well for me personally, but I know many, many attorneys who work long hours for insignificant salaries and also carry tons of debt.

Sic Vis Pacem
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by Sic Vis Pacem » Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:59 am

I believe the Wisconsin diploma privilege applies to Marquette Law as well, which should be a little easier to get into than UW Madison.

Chadnudj
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by Chadnudj » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:05 am

bsteiner wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:56 am
Chadnudj wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:42 am
... if you're from Wisconsin, go to UWisconsin for law school (bonus: Madison is an awesome city to spend 3 years in -- and you should consider the law school town you'll be forced to live in for 3 years in making this decision), and take the Wisconsin bar exam. ...
If you go to the University of Wisconsin law school, you don't have to take the Wisconsin bar exam to be admitted to practice in Wisconsin: https://law.wisc.edu/current/diploma_privilege/.
Even better then -- go to law school in a great college town that offers a top notch legal education, and never have to pay for Bar/Bri or spend your post 3L summer studying.

bsteiner
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by bsteiner » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:15 am

krustytheclown wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:57 am
...
Law school is really hard, especially the first year. It isn't anything like college or graduate school (I also have a master's degree). It is 3 long years of really hard work and sacrifice. ...
I thought so, too, until I went to the graduate tax program at NYU for an LL.M. in tax law. That was much harder than law school.

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Cyclesafe
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by Cyclesafe » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:17 am

The problem is that unless you are a member of your state bar, it is illegal for you to represent yourself in any way as being a lawyer. You can say you went/graduated to/from law school, you can say (if true) you are an inactive/former member of your state bar, but if you represent in any way that this makes you a lawyer or qualifies you to legal work of any kind, you are setting yourself up. Please don't be that guy.

Furthermore, if you do go inactive, you will probably be required to reinstate your active bar status if you seek or are employed in any profession that is within the penumbra of the legal profession such as real estate, politics, sale securities etc. Reinstatement can be as arduous as taking the bar in the first place.

I guess my point is that it seems that you are seeking some sort of a certification that will qualify you for something. Merely getting a law degree qualifies you for nothing other than perhaps being a paralegal under the close supervision of a real, practicing attorney.

All of this for Cali is somewhere within here:

http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/Cond ... rent-Rules
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StormShadow
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by StormShadow » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:18 am

cheesepep wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:31 am
I want to be an attorney, not really, but kind of.
:oops:
Compelling. IANAL, but when filling out your law school application... I wouldn't include that in your personal statement.

You know, this website is about giving sound financial advice. My advice for you, this sounds like a waste of money.

I'm guessing that someone is guaranteeing you a large sum of money to finish law school? Still sounds like a waste of money.
cheesepep wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:31 am
I want the easiest and possibly cheapest way of becoming an attorney. I really don't care what law school I go to, accredited or not (don't mind taking the baby bar), but want to take the bar in the easiest state possible.
https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-sc ... mpus-03127
Part time tuition is $14,919/year out of state. Cheapest I found on US news.

Oklahoma has the highest pass rate on the bar at 81%.
https://lawschooli.com/bar-exam-pass-rate-by-state/

student
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by student » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:27 am

I think it is possible to take a bar exam in some states by going through an apprentice program rather than a law school in some states. https://priceonomics.com/how-to-be-a-la ... aw-school/

rj342
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by rj342 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:32 am

krustytheclown wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:57 am
This is my first ever post. I am an attorney. I am 32 years old. I graduated from law school in 2014 when I was 27, and have been practicing law since. A few observations:

1. Law school is very expensive, but if you have a unique background as a non-traditional student and you have a good LSAT (and don't care what law school you attend), you should be able to get a scholarship.

2. Mitchell Hamline School of Law has an online program that is accredited by ABA. There may be others too.

3. Law school is really hard, especially the first year. It isn't anything like college or graduate school (I also have a master's degree). It is 3 long years of really hard work and sacrifice. I encourage you to think long and hard about this before pulling the trigger. There were many times during the first year when I wanted to quit. Most of my weekends were spent in the library studying.

4. As an aside, I encourage anyone who is younger to do lots of research before attending law school. It has worked out pretty well for me personally, but I know many, many attorneys who work long hours for insignificant salaries and also carry tons of debt.
I graduated w BS in late 80s, tech guy. Apart from those who knew that's where they wanted to end up, law school was the generic career fallback for quite few people in my cohort who originally had no interest, but were disappointed by the jobs they had first few years out of college with whatever undergrad major they did get. It worked out well for a few, but many, maybe most others just sort of scrape by. Probably not worth the $$ and effort.

Smart friend of mine from HS knew then he wanted to be a lawyer (rather than a biz guy like his dad, a successful banker).
Got a Poli Sci degree a History minor, went on to Alabama for law school. Yes, if you mean to practice, generally go to flagship law public school in that state -- apart from ideally a leg up on the in-state part of Bar exam, it is for the connections. Back to the friend - -his dad's connections helped hook him up with some internships with the 'right' big local firms. After seeing up close the near-slavery grind of the associates, toiling for years hoping for a shot at partner, he lost a lot of enthusiasm. Took the bar twice after graduating, each time passing one part but failing the other (switching up the second time - he partied too much like young lawyers/students do), and just blew it all off. Lucky dad paid all the tuition. Worked several years as a legal researcher for a title company, mostly for cell tower and other utilities. Finally ended up spending about 20 years as an overseas English teacher in various countries.
Last edited by rj342 on Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

investingdad
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by investingdad » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:33 am

For any difficult, time consuming, frustrating effort... I find that my ability to stay with it and enjoy the process is directly tied to my desire for the outcome.

Hard work is hard, but feels less like work, when you're enjoying it.

drk
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by drk » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:39 am

Chadnudj wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:42 am
So, since your name has "cheese" in it, if you're from Wisconsin, go to UWisconsin for law school (bonus: Madison is an awesome city to spend 3 years in -- and you should consider the law school town you'll be forced to live in for 3 years in making this decision), and take the Wisconsin bar exam.
Even better: Wisconsin offers diploma privilege, so there's no need to take the bar in this case.

samsdad
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by samsdad » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:52 am

cheesepep wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 8:31 am
I want to be an attorney, not really, but kind of.

I want the easiest and possibly cheapest way of becoming an attorney. I really don't care what law school I go to, accredited or not (don't mind taking the baby bar), but want to take the bar in the easiest state possible.

Why? The real reason remains secret from here, but I need the title for something. No, I won't be practicing any real law, nor have any real clients in the realm that most people think of it as, but just need the title. It doesn't matter which state that I will be "practicing" in, so I just want to take the bar in the easiest state possible. Does going to school in xx state mean that I have to take the bar in the same state? How about online schools? Can I take online classes and then take the bar in whatever state I want?

Money is of course a concern, but not the biggest. The biggest is just easiness and speed. I have a Masters in electrical engineering and more than 10 years out from college if that matters. Any recommended law schools, preferably online is best.

To make it personal finance related, getting this attorney license will help me get a job which will help me earn more money, even though I won't be practicing any real law. Just need the title.

Please don't insult me what my goals and ambition. Thanks a lot.

edit: I have taken the LSAT before also, a number of years ago. Not bad, but not good scores.
As a lawyer, I'm (a) confused by your seemingly contradictory post, and (b) concerned by some of the things you've said.

First, you say:
Why? The real reason remains secret from here, but I need the title for something.
Later you say:
To make it personal finance related, getting this attorney license will help me get a job which will help me earn more money, even though I won't be practicing any real law. Just need the title.
So, is getting the job the "real reason," or are you still keeping the "real reason" secret, and this job thing is just a pretext?

Next, you make some statements that are concerning to me. I don't particularly care that you "kind of," but "not really" want to be a lawyer. It's your money, your time, and your life. Waste it away for all I care. Nor do I care that you "won't be practicing any real law, nor have any real clients in the realm that most people think of." Rather, I'm concerned that you appear to have no clue as to the responsibilities and standard of conduct that other people will hold you to once you "achieve" your goal. You might not know that once you're an attorney, you'll be held to a different standard of conduct than the "civilian" population. If you ever have to sue someone for instance, even if you are inactive as a lawyer, you may be held to the standard of knowledge and practice that a practicing attorney is held to. In some instances for example, a civilian will be excused for not knowing the ins-and-outs of the rules of civil procedure in a civil lawsuit. As a "lawyer," and officer of the court, you may be. And that might be detrimental to you when you miss a deadline, for instance. In my jurisdiction, they change the rules every year, ostensibly for improvement to the system. (I think they just want to sell this year's new set of books.)

Even outside of the courtroom as a lawyer, you are held to a standard that regular folks aren't. If you get a DUI for instance, you must report that to your local licensing authority. If you don't do that within a certain time frame, they will most likely look very unfavorably upon you, and may even sanction you more robustly than they would have---had you notified them within the time frame set out by your local rules. Moreover, do you think a judge will look more or less favorably upon you if you appear before them on a DUI charge as a lawyer? Other examples come to mind as well.

Your business dealings may be impacted by the rules of professional conduct that exist in your licensing jurisdiction. If you get into litigation and try to use a defense of being an unsophisticated party in a contracts case, that might not be available to you.

In addition, you have to notify the local licensing authority every time you move. You may have to notify them if you are on the hook for child support. A bankruptcy situation may be looked at unfavorably as well by your local licensing authority, depending on the circumstances. Basically, you have to keep your nose clean and notify them of anything that might impact your license or the standing of attorneys in general. Are you sure you really want to be under the microscope for the rest of the time you have a license?

Finally, as someone with a law license, you may be expected by whomever hires you now that you're "Cheesepep, Esquire" to actually know what the hell you're doing as far as it intersects with the law. Do you really think that you will get the same knowledge as someone who goes to a brick-and-mortar classroom at an accredited law school by taking the cheapest online classes at LawsCool.com, etc? Do you want to get eaten for lunch by someone on the other side of the table, or other side of the phone who did? Don't get into the water if you're not serious about swimming with the sharks.
Last edited by samsdad on Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

Gill
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by Gill » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:03 am

I don't see how you can get through the three-year grind of law school just "kind of" wanting to be a lawyer. Quite honestly, I hated law school for the most part but my determination to complete the three years and pass the New York bar drove me to complete it. I've often marveled how people complete law school while holding down another job. Think long and hard about this project.
Gill
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mcraepat9
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by mcraepat9 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:25 am

This better be some job
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Case59
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by Case59 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:33 am

I'm a retired attorney. Just to make sure you're clear, and I don't believe this point has been made above, passing the bar in a state entitles you to practice only in that state. You said you won't "really" be practicing, but depending on what you are "really" doing, you would have to be careful not to engage in unauthorized practice of law if not in the state of your bar. Rules on this are very fuzzy, especially for in-house counsel. But with your mystery post, I thought it useful to make sure you are aware of this.

A few dittos on points made above.

1. I liked law school, but most people don't. It's hard to view it as something you can lark through, as you perhaps are thinking.
2. The person above who said just go to a good law school and you can skip the bar prep course is precisely incorrect. Ironically, the better the law school, the less it prepares you for the bar, because it's more about thinking about the law as opposed to the specific rules in a particular state. As someone else noted, lower tier law schools tend to teach to the bar more than higher-end schools.
3. Pierson v Post is the case involving the wild fox. It's traditionally the first case everyone studies in first-year property (though I doubt anyone ever spent six weeks on it.)

Good luck.
"Most quotations on the internet are incorrect."-Mark Twain

alfaspider
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by alfaspider » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:38 am

A lot of good points have already been made, but as a lawyer, I'd consider the following:

1) Supposedly you will have something lined up if you get the "lawyer" title. How guaranteed is that? Do you have an existing employer who has provided a written offer, is this a rich uncle who has offered to hire you as his general counsel, or something else? Do you just need a degree, or do you actually need a law license?

2) Is there any chance at all you would use the degree to actually practice law for any third party?

3) If you want to pass the bar and become licensed, an online school is statistically a very poor option. The pass rate from online schools is abysmal (don't be fooled by baby bar pass rates that are advertised by many of those schools). Plus, the material on the bar exam is a very small amount of the law school experience. Just about anybody who can score a 160+ on the LSAT could pass the bar with nothing but a 6-8 month cram course (no law school needed), but they'd be missing out on a lot of education- that's why no states allow someone to just waltz in and take the bar exam, and only a few allow self-study law school (and those options are very restricted and rarely practiced).

4) If you do decide to go to law school, unless someone else is paying and you have nearly guaranteed lifetime employment after, it would be to your great benefit to study for the LSAT like your life depends on it. Just a few points can be the difference between a rejection and a big scholarship.

5) If there is any chance you will need to go onto the general legal job market at all, it would behoove you to go to a high ranked law school. The legal profession tends to be very snobby about hiring at the top end. Starting salary distributions are bi-modal. Most graduates make around $200k all in to start, or they make $50k, with comparatively few positions that pay in between those amounts. The vast majority of graduates who get the $200k jobs went to top 20 law schools.

6) Law school is 3 long years. It can be a tedious grind that can sap your resolve. If your resolve is poor going into the experience, you are likely to have a bad time.

7) Some (certainly not all) engineers go into law school thinking that if they could do all of the high level math and engineering courses, namby pamby liberal arts subjects like law will be a piece of case. While that may be true for some engineers, law and engineering tend to favor different skill sets, and being good at one does not guarantee being good at another. Unlike most undergraduate liberal arts classes, law school classes are graded to a curve such that some people WILL get bad grades (though almost nobody fails out of Top 20 schools, many low ranked schools expect that 1/4 or more of their entering class will and their curve enforces such a failure rate).

8) Patent law can be a decent career path, but be aware being a patent lawyer isn't the golden ticket some make it out to be. Patent prosecution tends to be a relatively low margin business. They pay isn't terrible, but it tends to lag other large firm practices- despite the higher educational barrier to entry. For this reason, a lot of major law firms have pretty much jettisoned patent prosecution in favor of patent litigation. Having an engineering background can be helpful for patent litigation, but it's not an outright requirement like for prosecution. In my experience, most patent litigators are litigators first, engineers second (if at all). Patent prosecutors tend to be engineers first, lawyers second.
Last edited by alfaspider on Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

alfaspider
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by alfaspider » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:49 am

Case59 wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:33 am

2. The person above who said just go to a good law school and you can skip the bar prep course is precisely incorrect. Ironically, the better the law school, the less it prepares you for the bar, because it's more about thinking about the law as opposed to the specific rules in a particular state. As someone else noted, lower tier law schools tend to teach to the bar more than higher-end schools.
This is true, but it's worth noting there is a strong correlation between bar pass rates and school rank. This is largely because the bar is, like the LSAT, a standardized test, and those who do well on the LSAT (and hence are likely to go to a top-ranked school) are also likely to score highly on the multistate bar exam. Many states are switching to a multi-state essay exam, so state specific knowledge is becoming less helpful.

In any event, bar prep is a 2 month process. It's not a really material time commitment against 3 years of school.

guyinlaw
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by guyinlaw » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:51 am

There are many with engineering and professional backgrounds who go law school in the evenings, its grueling but possible. Depends on support from work and home.

1. Part time law takes 4 years, classes are 2-4 days/week in the evenings - depends on the classes you choose. Full time takes 3 years. I did part time law school.

2. It doesn't really matter where you go to law school and where you take the bar exam. Doesn't have to be the same state. Now a days easy states for bar exam are UBE states. search for states that have lowest cutoff. (NY/NJ/DC bar has lower cutoffs. AL seems to be lowest) I would recommend DC, they do not have continuing education requirement. UBE scores are transferable to some other states.

3. Get a good LSAT score, spend money in prep course, this helped me get a 25% scholarship.

Make sure the school is ABA approved, evening classes will help you keep a day job and save money. PM me with your location preferences and I can suggest you options.

UBE bar exam pass score by state - https://www.jdadvising.com/wp-content/u ... _state.png

just1question
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by just1question » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:51 am

If you have a masters in EE, I don't think law school will be as difficult for you as others. I say this as an engineer who found my undergrad classes harder than law school classes. You already know how to think analytically, otherwise you wouldn't be an EE. But with that said, law school is still a lot of work. And expensive.

It would be easier to give you advice if we knew what the position is. PTAB judge? Other government position? I assume it is patent-law related. Are you currently a patent examiner looking to move up? Some of those jobs can be quite selective in their job applicant review.

Did I mention that law school is expensive? If the job requires that you have a JD, I have to think there is some aspect of law that you will be practicing. So be sure you want to practice law, even if you think you won't be practicing law.

By the way, law school is really expensive.
Last edited by just1question on Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Big Dog
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by Big Dog » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:53 am

The simplest would be to attend law school in Wisconsin, which does not even require taking the bar for those that graduate from an accredited law school. That will get you a JD.

But you will likely have to retake the LSAT as the scores are only good for a few years.

DividendMickey
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by DividendMickey » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:04 am

Another attorney here. Most everyone else that answered made excellent points in re time, expense, etc.

Assuming you are going to be admitted to a state bar (even if you don't "practice") consider that you will be subject to the state continuing legal education requirements (depending upon state where admitted). That's more money and more time, every year. Failure to comply can be cause for censure and worse.

investingdad
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by investingdad » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:07 am

I'm a chemical engineer and I took the LSAT after completing my MBA. Yes, I thought about law school.

First, chem E was stupid hard for me. I'd never want to do that again.

Second, the MBA was ridiculously easy.

And the LSAT? I studied really hard for 6 months and scored in the 85th percentile. I think law school would rival engineering school for difficulty, but with a different tool set.

Finally, perhaps the OP is contemplating elected office...

Thegame14
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by Thegame14 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:28 am

with the attitude of just want to get it to get it and fast and now and faster is better, I would guess the school wont matter, as the test should be too hard that someone who isn't busting their butt for 4 full years at a good school, wouldn't be able to pass.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:00 pm

investingdad wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:07 am
Finally, perhaps the OP is contemplating elected office...
I think he took a bet. I hope he updates us as the years go by.

rj342
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by rj342 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:02 pm

SrGrumpy wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:00 pm
investingdad wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:07 am
Finally, perhaps the OP is contemplating elected office...
I think he took a bet. I hope he updates us as the years go by.
These days, I should thinking electing another lawyer to office would be a negative to most of the electorate.

anon_investor
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by anon_investor » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:05 pm

Yet another lawyer here, the problem with law school is that it is so different than anything else that no matter what your background it is impossible to really know how well you will do or enjoy it. Now, if the OP is only interested in the most efficient way financially to get through law school and be licensed in any jurisdiction (others have already covered the larger issues of maybe law school is not the best idea if you don't want to be a lawyer, etc.), then I will say this:

-Depending how well you did on the LSAT (it sounds like you did just okay), take a prep class and take it again. You can't change your prior GPA from past education, but you can improve on your LSAT. The higher you get on the LSAT the higher the offered scholarships will be.

-Be careful about any stipulations on scholarships. Because it is impossible to know how well you will do in law school, and because of the way the grading curve works (usually fixed mean to a certain grade; e.g. fixed mean to B-, which means having to maintain a B+ GPA would be extremely hard); many lower ranked schools will offer generous scholarships that are very hard to keep. Better ranked schools seems to have more lax requirements. For example, I went to a law school where my scholarship only required me to maintain academic good standing; while some scholarships I was offered would have required me to stay in the top 1/3 or 1/5 of my class. I knew people who had full rides at school and lost them after only a semester.

-Part time law school may make sense too (usually 4 years+summer classes vs. 3 years full time w/ no summer classes).

-Go to an ABA accredited school, and not one that might lose accreditation. It will just make your life easier, and not having to worry about meeting certain criteria to take a certain state's bar exam if the school loses accreditation.

-As others have said, some state if you go to school there automatically give you admission to that state's bar (e.g. Wisconsin). That might be an option, but might cost more if you are not from that state or do not have a scholarship.

-If you go to an ABA accredited school, you can take the bar in any state + DC. DC bar might be easier, because less subjects to study for (some state bars will require you to know Federal Law and that State's law, which often times is significantly different); although this may have changed as some states move toward the Uniform Bar Exam. Some people take 2 state bars at the same time to hedge their bets.

-While some say you need to be licensed in the state you practice in, that is not always the case, it really depends on what you are doing. Lawyers that only practice before Federal administrative bodies, can be licensed anywhere in the U.S. (this holds true for some Fed gov law jobs as well). Or if you work for a company instead of a law firm, some states allow you to do that without being licensed in that state (some states might require some form registration but no bar exam).

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Gort
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by Gort » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:14 pm

I want to be a brain surgeon, not really, but kind of. :beer

alfaspider
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by alfaspider » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:17 pm

anon_investor wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:05 pm


-As others have said, some state if you go to school there automatically give you admission to that state's bar (e.g. Wisconsin). That might be an option, but might cost more if you are not from that state or do not have a scholarship.
Forgot to mention in my earlier post: Wisconsin diploma privilege is neat if you already plan on being in Wisconsin, but having to take the bar exam really isn't that big of a deal such that it should be a primary consideration. If you can get into a school like Wisconsin, you should have no trouble passing the bar with appropriate study. The bar exam is more of a hazing ritual rather than a real barrier to entry (save perhaps states like California).

rj342
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by rj342 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:18 pm

Gort wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:14 pm
I want to be a brain surgeon, not really, but kind of. :beer
I wonder if his situation is something akin to being in University administration, where having a PhD, *any* accredited Phd, is the ticket enabling a move up the ladder. Or in some case Hospitals or Pharma business where that MD opens doors even if you never really went into practice.

srt7
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by srt7 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:54 pm

samsdad wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:52 am
Next, you make some statements that are concerning to me. I don't particularly care that you "kind of," but "not really" want to be a lawyer. It's your money, your time, and your life. Waste it away for all I care. Nor do I care that you "won't be practicing any real law, nor have any real clients in the realm that most people think of." Rather, I'm concerned that you appear to have no clue as to the responsibilities and standard of conduct that other people will hold you to once you "achieve" your goal. You might not know that once you're an attorney, you'll be held to a different standard of conduct than the "civilian" population. If you ever have to sue someone for instance, even if you are inactive as a lawyer, you may be held to the standard of knowledge and practice that a practicing attorney is held to. In some instances for example, a civilian will be excused for not knowing the ins-and-outs of the rules of civil procedure in a civil lawsuit. As a "lawyer," and officer of the court, you may be. And that might be detrimental to you when you miss a deadline, for instance. In my jurisdiction, they change the rules every year, ostensibly for improvement to the system. (I think they just want to sell this year's new set of books.)

Even outside of the courtroom as a lawyer, you are held to a standard that regular folks aren't. If you get a DUI for instance, you must report that to your local licensing authority. If you don't do that within a certain time frame, they will most likely look very unfavorably upon you, and may even sanction you more robustly than they would have---had you notified them within the time frame set out by your local rules. Moreover, do you think a judge will look more or less favorably upon you if you appear before them on a DUI charge as a lawyer? Other examples come to mind as well.

Your business dealings may be impacted by the rules of professional conduct that exist in your licensing jurisdiction. If you get into litigation and try to use a defense of being an unsophisticated party in a contracts case, that might not be available to you.

In addition, you have to notify the local licensing authority every time you move. You may have to notify them if you are on the hook for child support. A bankruptcy situation may be looked at unfavorably as well by your local licensing authority, depending on the circumstances. Basically, you have to keep your nose clean and notify them of anything that might impact your license or the standing of attorneys in general. Are you sure you really want to be under the microscope for the rest of the time you have a license?

Finally, as someone with a law license, you may be expected by whomever hires you now that you're "Cheesepep, Esquire" to actually know what the hell you're doing as far as it intersects with the law. Do you really think that you will get the same knowledge as someone who goes to a brick-and-mortar classroom at an accredited law school by taking the cheapest online classes at LawsCool.com, etc? Do you want to get eaten for lunch by someone on the other side of the table, or other side of the phone who did? Don't get into the water if you're not serious about swimming with the sharks.
This a fantastic viewpoint. OP is lucky to be getting it for free as it is potentially his career/dignity/life saving advice.
I can't think of anything more luxurious than owning my time. - remomnyc

srt7
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by srt7 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:57 pm

rj342 wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:18 pm
Gort wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:14 pm
I want to be a brain surgeon, not really, but kind of. :beer
I wonder if his situation is something akin to being in University administration, where having a PhD, *any* accredited Phd, is the ticket enabling a move up the ladder. Or in some case Hospitals or Pharma business where that MD opens doors even if you never really went into practice.
You mean like MBA's who storm in to their new job in a totally unrelated (to their experience) industry as the new VP/SVP etc. and "grab the company by the horns" to save it from itself? :annoyed
I can't think of anything more luxurious than owning my time. - remomnyc

ohai
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by ohai » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:00 pm

Just as a thought exercise... consider that there are 100s if not 1000s of law schools in the US, ranging from Yale at the top, to some weird online one at the bottom. How much effort would someone from the top law school take to complete ths course at the bottom law school, and also pass the bar? Clearly, this would not be 3 years of full work. Is this 2 years? 1 year? 6 months?

OP, for what it is worth, basically all my peers who went to law school took Bar courses, usually paid for by their employers. This is probably the most efficient way to learn the bar material, since it's not always well mapped to law school courses.

investingdad
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by investingdad » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:02 pm

srt7 wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:57 pm
rj342 wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:18 pm
Gort wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:14 pm
I want to be a brain surgeon, not really, but kind of. :beer
I wonder if his situation is something akin to being in University administration, where having a PhD, *any* accredited Phd, is the ticket enabling a move up the ladder. Or in some case Hospitals or Pharma business where that MD opens doors even if you never really went into practice.
You mean like MBA's who storm in to their new job in a totally unrelated (to their experience) industry as the new VP/SVP etc. and "grab the company by the horns" to save it from itself? :annoyed
Haha.

It's funny because its true.

Actually, it's not funny for the same reason.

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TexasPE
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by TexasPE » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:17 pm

At 20: I cared what everyone thought about me | At 40: I didn't give a damn what anyone thought of me | Now that I'm 60: I realize that no one was really thinking about me at all | Winston Churchill

rj342
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by rj342 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:29 pm

investingdad wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:02 pm
srt7 wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:57 pm
rj342 wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:18 pm
Gort wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:14 pm
I want to be a brain surgeon, not really, but kind of. :beer
I wonder if his situation is something akin to being in University administration, where having a PhD, *any* accredited Phd, is the ticket enabling a move up the ladder. Or in some case Hospitals or Pharma business where that MD opens doors even if you never really went into practice.
You mean like MBA's who storm in to their new job in a totally unrelated (to their experience) industry as the new VP/SVP etc. and "grab the company by the horns" to save it from itself? :annoyed
Haha.

It's funny because its true.

Actually, it's not funny for the same reason.
"Experience in the particular industry is unimportant - the principles of managerial science and finance are universal".
-- said no one who ever started or grew a business with a hand in operations.

About the ONLY case I can think of where that sort of worked out OK was when Lou Gerstner went from Nabisco to IBM in the 90s and pulled it back from a slump.

alfaspider
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by alfaspider » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:09 pm

ohai wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:00 pm
Just as a thought exercise... consider that there are 100s if not 1000s of law schools in the US, ranging from Yale at the top, to some weird online one at the bottom. How much effort would someone from the top law school take to complete ths course at the bottom law school, and also pass the bar? Clearly, this would not be 3 years of full work. Is this 2 years? 1 year? 6 months?
A top-ranked law school isn't necessarily more or less work than a bottom ranked one. The curriculum is pretty similar, although top ranked ones tend to spend more time on theory/policy whole bottom-tier one tend to focus on bar prep. Bottom tier schools have been known to give homework and take attendance, while top tier schools usually just have a single exam and don't really care if you show up to class (the ABA has been said to require that schools take attendance for accreditation, but the Harvards of the world aren't worried about accreditation). Lower-tier students also tend ot do more extra-circulars 2nd and 3rd year because they are angling for jobs while most top-tier students have jobs lined up at the beginning of 2L year. A top tier school could actually be less work. In any event, being a super genius wouldn't get you through law school any faster, it would just put you higher up in class rank.

As for passing the bar- it's mostly just a cram session. There were something like 21 subjects on the New York bar when I took it (depending on whether you group related subjects together). I took less than half of the tested subjects in law school (I knew I was going into tax, and pretty much took tax-related courses exclusively after the first year), and did not go to law school in New York or learn any NY specific law prior to bar study. But 2 months of study was plenty- I actually over studied for the thing.

As I stated earlier, someone who is good at standardized tests (160+ LSAT) could learn to pass the bar in a few months of hard study. On the other hand, 3 years of law school may not help you if you are a poor test taker (sub 145 LSAT).

flaresident
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by flaresident » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:40 pm

I am barred in a number of jurisdictions and cannot stress enough the importance of what samsdad wrote. There is a whole host of expectations, obligations, and restrictions that go along with having a bar license. It'll never be just a title. And I'd get that opportunity commitment in some kind of binding form if that's the only driving force - a lot can change over the course of the next 4-5 years.

chessknt
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by chessknt » Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:57 pm

I'm surprised noone mentioned it--if passing the bar is all you nerd there are a few states that dont even require a law degree to try to take it if you think you can study hard enough to pass it without the degree you don't care about.

bernoulli
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by bernoulli » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:10 pm

I once met someone whose name is "Judge." Perhaps consider changing your name to "attorney"? Really, this is the easiest way to do it and I don't mean to be facetious. Like my colleagues on this forum indicated, being accepted into a law school is at least a few months of work (choosing a school, taking the LSAT, applying, etc.), attending law school is at least three years of full time work, and then the bar is a few months of intense work. You are not done after taking the bar (assuming you pass, some people don't), then you have to maintain your license by having CLE credits. CLE stands for continuing legal education. The credits must be fulfilled every year, including substantive legal issues as well as ethics.

The highest return and lowest investment - given that all you seem to need is a title which is to say you need to be addressed a particular way - is to be Mr. Attorney Smith or Ms. Attorney Smith. Middle name could be esquire.

Ruger
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by Ruger » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:53 pm

I met a guy that got a law degree on line, never took the bar, but needed the degree as part of his business.

GmanJeff
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Re: Going to law school question

Post by GmanJeff » Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:55 pm

OP, you're in CA; there are plenty of low-rent law schools there, both on-line and unaccredited, where you can pretty much buy a degree if you really want to. Passing the bar anywhere will be another question, the cost will be high in terms of time and money, and the diploma won't be worth the paper it is written on because that's the value any informed potential employer, in this or any other country you may be thinking of, will place on such credentials.

http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Admissions/Law ... aw-Schools

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