Welcome to Hispanic Business LiveChat. We would like to welcome our guest speaker, Therese Lambert, Director of Student Recruiting at the University of Miami School of Law.
Reggio from Chicago, IL
What is the job market for a Latino Lawyer coming out of the Maimi school?
Will the job provide paying one's living expenses and paying back the student loan?
Latino Lawyers' prospects are as strong as anyone else and in some cases stronger. Depending on the location and practice, Spanish speaking attorneys are going to have an advantage because of their language skills (e.g., public interest jobs where a majority of clients are Latino/a; border towns that have a large Latino/a population; law firms, corporations, banks and businesses that service Latino groups).
One's ability to pay back the loans and still make the needed wage depends on the debt one accrues in law school, the job one wants/gets after law school, and the style of living one chooses. Private practice salaries, i.e., working in a law firm, are generally higher than government or public interest salaries. There are some loan forgiveness programs within the federal government; also fellowship programs and scholarship programs might offset the loan debt if one wishes to practice in public interest.
Miami offers the Miami Scholars Program (see www.law.miami.edu/finaid/scholarships/miamischolar.html) which awards scholarships to students choosing to go into public interest law. There are Miami alumni who have received fellowships and grants from outside groups to offset their loan debt. Miami also offers merit-based scholarships to entering students and to upper-division students.
Christella from Nashville, TN
How important is the LSAT score in the admission's process? What can you do about improving your score if you are not a good standardized test taker?
The LSAT and your academic record are the two most important factors in the admissions review process. The committee will also take into consideration where you went to school, your major and rigor of curriculum, your track record, work experience, extracurricular activities, leadership abilities, etc.
Be sure that you prepare fully for the LSAT. Miami will average multiple test scores so you want to avoid having to retake it. If you know you are weak in a certain section of the LSAT, you might wish to get a tutor.
Leonor from Houston, TX
I am a 40 yr old divorced Hispanic woman (with 2 children; one attending Texas A&M and the other in the 6th grade)that has recently gone back to college (have completed 34 hrs so far)
My questions is How hard will it be for me to be able to get into a good Law School and get financial aid?
Your background and overall experiences will certainly be considered in the admissions and scholarship review process. Your top choice in law school might be another applicant's safety school, or vice versa, so it is hard to determine what might be a "good" school for you.
The American Bar Association-LSAC Official Guide ot ABA-Approved Law Schools has a great deal of information in it that may be of use to you in selecting which school to apply to. Information on the LSAC website (see www.lsac.org) should also be useful.
Some law schools offer need-based awards; some merit awards, and some a combination of need and merit. At Miami, the majority of our scholarships are merit-based. You may apply for federal loans by filing the FAFSA online at www.fafsa.ed.gov. Also, there may be private loan options available. Please visit our website at www.law.miami.edu/finaid for further information.
Mike from Los Angeles, CA
Hello, I was wondering what the student population is like at Miami Law? Does your school have a strong Hispanic student base?
Our overall minority population is about 27%. Our overall Hispanic population is approximately 12%. The University and the City of Miami has a large Hispanic population.
The Law School has an active Hispanic Law Student Organization that brings guest speakers on campus and participates in cultural and public service activities in the community.
Ed from Spokane, WA
What is the GPA requirement to get in?
The median scores for our 2004 entering class were a 3.4 undergraduate GPA and a 157 LSAT. The 75th and 25th percentiles were a 160/3.6 and a 3.2/155 respectively.
Guillermo from New Orleans, LA
Which specialty areas of law are most popular at Miami U? Do you offer an immigration law program?
Miami is a large school and offers over 165 courses, seminar or workshops per year - everything from international law, estate planning, taxation, ocean and coastal law, computer law, to courses like food law, and bioethics and the law. ( for a course listing see pages 15-18 in our Law School View Book at www.law.miami.edu/publications/).
We certainly offer courses that deal directly or indirectly with immigration law/issues. We also have a clinical program that offers placements in the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center and the Immigration & Naturalization Service, among many other options. Our Center for the Study of Human Rights (see www.law.miami.edu/cshr/) broadly addresses immigration concerns. See www.law.miami.edu/litskills/clinicalplacementdesc.pdf for a listing of our clinical placement opportunities.
Further, our geographic location incorporates a large immigrant population, so immigration law is the subject of much discussion.
Sherri from Orlando, FL
Hello. How long does it typically take to get a law degree?
The JD (juris doctor) program typically takes three years in the full time program. If one attends in the summers, the degree could be earned in 2.5 years.
Tony from Newark, NJ
Do you have any affirmative action policies? Do I have an advantage in the application process being Puerto Rican?
All aspects of an applicant's history are reviewed by the Committee and the Committee supports a diverse class.
Joel from Jackson, AL
How many applications do you get a year? How many are accepted?
For the 2004 entering class, Miami received approximately 5200 applications and about one-third were admitted.
Shawn from Boston, MA
What's the average age of law school students? Do students typically take time off before going to law school?
For the 2004 entering class, the average age was 24. The age range was 20-50 and 53% were out of undergraduate school one year or more.
Dawn from Chicago, IL
What type of post grad career counseling do you offer?
We have a wonderful Career Planning Center (see www.law.miami.edu/cpc/) that has seven career advisors, six of whom have law degrees. They are available to help students figure out when to look, where to look and how to look for jobs. They offer workshops and career fairs, along with interviewing opportunitites both on and off campus.
While serving current students, they also assist alumni with placement and career advice.
Miami has alumni practicing throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Sergio from New York, NY
Does your law program offer the opportunity to study abroad?
Yes, Miami has programs in Spain, England and the Mediterranean Experience in Greece and Italy (see www.law.miami.edu/summer-abroad/ for further details).
Grace from Sacramento, CA
Do you offer online courses?
Arturo from Arlington, VA
Hi. Are there any advantages offered to bilingual or multiethnic lawyers that would otherwise be unavailable? Thanks.
Miami typically offer 4-5 upper division courses that are taught in Spanish, which I believe no other law school offers. In addition to our summer abroad program in Spain, we offer a semester exchange program in Barcelona at Universitat Pompeu Fabra. One of the past participants is featured in a spotlight at www.law.miami.edu/spotlight/megan_renze.html.
The City of Miami is an international city; therefore, bilingual attorneys have skills that some firms, corporations or agencies will find advantageous.
If you are asking about LL.M. opportunties, we offer LL.M. programs in both international law and inter-American law.
Jorge from San Jose, CA
With the increase in diversity hiring requirements, specifically those targeting a specific racial group for company quotas, how can a company/organization legally (if at all) go about targeting that group if they are not allowed to ask questions to attain racial information?
This is really a question for legal scholars, professors, or attorneys. Miami certainly offers courses in labor law, civil rights, discrimation, etc. that would address the issue.
Mark from Orange County, CA
It seems like since the job market has gone south, more people are going back to school, making the legal profession a crowded space. What areas of law are growing and which specialties have the brightest job potential?
My guess is that all aspects of international law are increasing in value. I suggest you contact advisors in our Career Planning Center or advisors at a school in your area. The CPC website at Miami is www.law.miami.edu/cpc/.
Mike from Los Angeles, CA
As far as recruiting efforts, does Miami Law ever visit college campuses? Where could I find a schedule for recruitment fairs, or something like that? Also, are interviews part of the application process?
Miami visits campuses throughout the country each fall. We attended several events in California this past fall, including the Los Angeles Law School forum. If you visit our website in the fall, under Admissions Schedule, you will find a listing of all of the law fairs in which a Miami representative will participate.
You are welcome to visit the campus for a tour and to attend classes; interviews are not offered as part of the application process.
Bill from Goleta, CA
What type of student houseing is available to Graduate students
We do not offer on-campus housing at this time for law students. My office does provide an Apartment and Relocation Guide as well as a roommate referral service.
Anne from Austin, TX
I am a senior at the University of Texas and am looking into pursuing a law degree after I finish. I have a relatively high GPA and am confident I would do well on the LSAT, but am afraid I do not have the right experience. What kind of internships or jobs should I pursue to make me a better law school candidate?
Any job that gives you professionl experience, whether it is law related or not, will enhance your resume. Obviously, working at a law firm or law-related position, could be helpful as far as personal development and growth is concerned. What is important is what skills you have gleaned from any employment experience.
Thank you to Therese Lambert, Director of Student Recruiting, University of Miami School of Law. This concludes our LiveChat, but for more information on the school, admissions questions or requirements, please visit their Web site: http://www.law.miami.edu.
In addition, you can specifically visit the Web site (http://www.law.miami.edu) and view an online DVD, which is accessible from the homepage. Also, contact the Admissions office for University of Miami School of Law (email@example.com) if you have questions or plan to be in the Miami area and wish to visit the campus.