Finding the Best Law School

Becoming a lawyer is hard work. It requires a relentless commitment to education and learning. You have to be willing to put in long hours to truly understand the vast and complex legal system we have here in America. One of the things that sets a high profile lawyer apart from their peers is the quality of the education they received. Knowing which schools are the best schools to attend is an essential piece of information for any aspiring lawyer. Looking into law school rankings is an integral part of preparing yourself for the next step in your continuing education.

Yale and Harvard, those two Ivy League titans who are known worldwide for their elite levels of education are high on the list. Yale is ranked #1, and Harvard comes in at #3. Nobody is ever ashamed of hanging a law degree from either of these prestigious schools on their office wall. That degree will come at a pretty high process as tuition at either school will run you over sixty-two thousand dollars. The choice between being a Bulldog or Crimson may come down to if you want to be closer to Boston by being in Cambridge or if you prefer you spend your free time in New Haven.

The second-ranked law school resides on the opposite coast. Stanford is legendary for being the elite law school on the west coast. Other west coast schools in the top twenty include Cal-Berkley (Tied for 9th) UCLA (16th) and USC (19th) the Cardinal has a pedigree for excellent that is known the world over and students who study there know they are getting one of the best legal educations possible Again this education won’t come cheap, unless you’re getting a scholarship from one of their dominant sports teams odds are you’ll be footing a bill of sixty thousand dollars a year.

When it comes to the Big Apple, you can still get an excellent education and law degree while being in the greatest city in the world. Columbia and New York University place 5th and 6th respectively on the rankings. Columbia being another of the elite Ivy League schools that boasts a ten billion dollar endowment that gives the school the ability to offer state of the art education and instruction to all the students that walk their campus. New York University’s law department might not be well known to the everyday people, but it’s consistently one of the highest rated schools in America and 96% of those who graduate pass the bar.

In the southeast, you can get yourself a good education in a more temperate climate by heading to Duke University, ranked in a tie for 11h. It is an odd note that a school known for being called the Blue Devils currently has 666 students working towards law degrees (Maybe they should have accepted or rejected one more person). This powerhouse in the law is also known for its domination of the basketball court.  Nearby Virginia University ranks 9th.

Non Lawyer Legal Careers

The legal profession seems like it’s all about lawyers when in truth countless people work jobs to support those who practice law. Finding a niche in the legal world without having a law degree might seem like a daunting task, but it isn’t. There are tons of exciting and rewarding careers out there for you seek them out. Many of these jobs are highly sought after and high paying. Finding the right job for you likely will come down to seeing a job that fits your areas of expertise and what your educational background is.

E-Discovery professionals are the on the front lines of a whole new field in the legal system. Discovery is the standard process before a trial where both sides reveal all the vital information they expect to use to argue their case before a jury. In the olden day’s discovery meant pouring over tons of folders full of notes, dates, transactions and all kinds of information. Now, this information is on computers and in the cloud online and having skilling professionals who understand how data works and can safely protect and store this data is so very important when it comes to handling trials in today’s courtrooms. This is already a two billion dollar a year industry, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. If you have a background in the law and computers seeking out a job as an E-Discovery professional may be the right decision for you.

Legal nurse consultant is another growing job market. Legal nurse consultants help lawyers understand the complex medical jargon that often comes with malpractice cases or cases that involve some insurance fraud, a workman’s comp claim, or a personal injury lawsuit. Being a professional nurse and taking courses on how to be certified as a legal nurse consultant is usually the path a person chooses to get into this field.

Another one of the many careers in law without being a lawyer is being a litigation support professional. Big lawsuits often involve all kinds of information that has to be kept up to date and be easy to retrieve when a lawyer needs vital data. Litigation support professionals manage vast databases of information for the lawyers and firms they work for so that the lawyers are free to work on case strategy and the facts of the case at hand. This is another job where having an It background and a law background will be a big help.

Jury consultants are people lawyers call upon to help them study a jury pool and help to mold a jury that will be more sympathetic to their case. They can support a lawyer work on how to frame their questions to appeal to certain members of the jury. Jury consultants generally have a Ph.D. in a behavioral science field. A background in law is not required but can help.

These and many other jobs are just waiting for you in our legal system. Chart your path to a new career today.

You Can’t Handle The Truth: Court Movies It Would Be Criminal To Skip

The past few years have seen the movie industry undergo a lot of changes. One of the best changes, in our opinion, was the slow phasing out of physical media for people who wanted to rent movies to watch at home. Gone are the days of having to browse shelves for the movie you wanted to see. No more worrying about late fees or taking care of the disk or tape you rented.

Thanks to streaming media, we now have on-demand availability for a lot of movies we would have missed out on otherwise, as well as an archive of movies that we never got around to watching or really wanted to watch again, but didn’t want to shell out for a blu-ray copy of. Here are some of our favorite law-related movies that we highly recommend:

Legally Blonde

While this movie may not be everybody’s cup of tea, we at Law Office Portal love this movie because it embodies what we want to show people about law: it doesn’t have to be scary. While we don’t think that just anybody can be a lawyer, one doesn’t have to be super smart to grasp the law itself and how it can benefit everyone

The Devil’s Advocate

While this movie can, unfortunately, reinforce the beliefs of a lot of people that lawyers are agents of evil, it also shows that there are lawyers out there who do have a moral code they adhere to. The portrayal of the Devil himself masquerading as the head of a massive law firm is a scary thought, but the thought that there are lawyers who are willing to sacrifice wealth for integrity gives us hope.

Chicago

One part wonderful musical and one part commentary on the justice system, Chicago started life on Broadway before making it to the Big Screen. The movie does a great job of staying true to its roots with several musical numbers playing out the same way they would on a stage. It also does an amazing job of showing how showmanship rather than substance can affect the outcome, with one song number referring to the courtroom as a 3-ring circus.

What law movies are queued up on your Netflix? Be sure to let us know!

And Justice For All: Fictional Worlds With Distinct Legal Systems

Writers have always used their work as a medium for expressing their hopes, dreams, and fears. The way a writer portrays the legal system of their fictional world can show a lot about how they feel about our justice system, whether it’s what they wish it was more like, or what they fear it may become. Some fictional worlds are practically defined by their legal systems. Let’s look at a few:

The Judges – Judge Dredd

In this dystopian future, the Judges handles practically all aspects of the law. Don’t let the name fool you though; they’re law enforcement, judge, jury, AND executioner all rolled into one. Additionally, lawyers are very rare in this world, usually only representing the richest clients. Everyone else is advised to not provoke the Judges, lest you end up with a heavier sentence.

The Inquisition – Warhammer 40k

This universe sees humanity besieged on all sides .The Empire revolves around the worship of the God-Emperor, and given that all crimes are crimes against the Emperor, law enforcement is handled by The Inquisitors. Armed with all manner of weapons and clad in heavy armor, they zealously prosecute any individual suspected of heresy. A zeal shared by the military wing that exemplifies the Empire as well.

The Ministry of Love –1984

Probably the most terrifying legal system on this list, the Ministry of Love, as portrayed in George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, defines the law as whatever it says the law is. This is exemplified when one of the characters is told that 2+2 is “whatever the Ministry says it is”, revealing the Ministry to be more of an enforcement agency than one that upholds the law.

The Boros Legion – Magic: the Gathering

In one of the many worlds introduced during Magic: the Gathering’s long run, the law is upheld and enforced by the Boros Legion. A well-organized military organization, their ranks feature humans, goblins, minotaurs, and even angels. One of the strangest aspects of this group is that service doesn’t end with death. Ghosts of departed officers usually continue to serve on the force for centuries!

Do you think the creators of these worlds wanted to warn us about how far the justice system can fall? Were they pointing out the existing flaws by magnifying them through a lens of fiction?

Setting The Bar: Comic Book Super-Lawyers

The recent years have seen a massive resurgence of the superhero genre, both in movies and on TV. Gone are the days when superhero-related media revolved around the same few characters over and over again; in addition to Batman and Spider-Man, the general public is now also more aware of characters like Ant-Man, Black Panther, Cyborg, Black Lighting, and Killer Frost.

That being said, it’s easy to forget that there are superheroes that don’t only fight for justice out on the streets, but in the courtrooms as well. These characters provide an interesting look at how the “champions of justice” view the legal systems of their world. Let’s take a look at a few:

Kate Spencer: Manhunter

While not as popular as her green-skinned Martian counterpart, Kate Spencer saw moderate popularity during her run in the early 2000’s. A court prosecutor who was angry at how rich villains were able to cheat the system, she donned a suit that made her stronger and faster, allowing her to take justice into her own hands.

Matt Murdoch: Daredevil

Perhaps the most famous comic book lawyer, Matt Murdoch, better known as Daredevil, the Man Without Fear, battled street-level crime both in the courts and on the streets. A great mix of brains and brawn, Daredevil has recently seen resurgence in popularity thanks to not one, but two shows on Netflix: A Daredevil solo title, and the Defenders, a series that brings the Netflix Marvel characters together

Jennifer Walters: She-Hulk

Despite being a member of both The Avengers and The Fantastic Four, poor Jen was often overlooked because of her big, angry cousin’s popularity. Fortunately, the past few years saw She-Hulk’s popularity rise thanks to titles like A-Force, an all-female team she was a prominent part of, as well as her own solo title. In fact, Ms. Walters made it to #18 on IGN’s list of their Top 50 Avengers.

Do you have a favorite comicbook lawyer, whether hero or villain? Be sure to let us know!