Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students => Topic started by: Penn263 on April 23, 2008, 01:03:41 PM

Title: Latino/as interested in top law schools
Post by: Penn263 on April 23, 2008, 01:03:41 PM
If you identify yourself as a Latino/a, feel free to message me to ask questions or just to hear about tips for getting into a prestigious law school without having "perfect" credentials.

(I prefer for you to message me rather than post a question on here because I get e-mail notifications when I receive personal messages.)
Title: Re: Hispanic applicants interested in Tier 1 schools...
Post by: CPAcroPilot on February 09, 2009, 03:30:29 AM
Did you go to any of the LSAC sponsered law forums?  If yes, what did you do there, learn, questions asked etc.  I am signed up for the one coming up next week in Houston and will be traveling there for this.  What prep did you do for the LSAT, time spent, material used etc.  I have not taken the LSAT but already started preping in Dec. and just finished a Prep class.  I will be taking the June test and be applying in the 2009 cycle.  Thanks
Title: Re: Hispanic applicants interested in Tier 1 schools...
Post by: Penn263 on March 28, 2009, 06:01:56 PM
If you can go to the LSAC sponsored forums, then go. But I think ideally you should talk to a pre-law advisor at your undergrad school, or do the research yourself. Ask yourself what region you to practice law? What type of law? And look on LSAC to see how your numbers match up to those of the admitted students. Then apply to schools accordingly.

To prepare for the LSAT. Take a prep course well in advanced. Message me if you are Latino/a and not able to afford a prep course, I can tell you what to do in those circumstance. Generally the more practice the better, but don't study the week of the test, give yourself a break. Studying so close to the exam will just increase anxiety when you stumble on a question you don't know how to approach solving.

Message me with other questions.
Title: Re: Hispanic applicants interested in Tier 1 schools...
Post by: stone9939 on April 16, 2009, 09:15:37 PM
Counter-intuitively, the higher the percentage of students of your ethnicity attending the school, the harder it may be to get accepted since there may be a large pool of applicants from your background to choose from, thus making it more competitive for you.

How do you know this is true?
Title: Re: Hispanic applicants interested in Tier 1 schools...
Post by: latinlord on April 18, 2009, 11:55:05 AM
I just thought i'd offer my assitance also... Although i'm a Tier II law student...haha

Great job BCL!

I always like to see more latinos in law school!!
Title: Re: Hispanic applicants interested in Tier 1 schools...
Post by: bm408 on May 19, 2009, 07:02:40 PM
Hi, I'm a latina non-trad looking at law school. I will be finishing by BA within two years and am declaring my major this semester (Sociology or History). I had two bad terms that will bring my GPA to about 3.0-3.2 as long as I complete my next terms at a 3.5, which I have all except my baddies. What should I do to strengthen my application?
Title: Re: Hispanic applicants interested in Tier 1 schools...
Post by: Penn263 on July 04, 2009, 02:00:57 PM
bump*

I'm still out here if anyone needs help of any sort. Send me a message and I will respond asap. Good Luck.
Title: Re: Hispanics interested in top law schools
Post by: Jeff0620 on July 24, 2009, 11:56:41 AM
Hi, I'm a Hispanic male who attends a top 5 University/College with a 3.3 GPA, and from what it looks like, I will be around the 163-167 LSAT range. I am first generation college (not sure whether that holds any significance when applying) and am also a varsity athlete at school. Do I have any shot at say UT Austin, UVA, or any other T14 law school? Thanks.
Title: Re: Hispanics interested in top law schools
Post by: Jeff0620 on July 24, 2009, 11:58:11 AM
Hi, I'm a Hispanic male who attends a top 5 University/College with a 3.3 GPA, and from what it looks like, I will be around the 163-167 LSAT range. I am first generation college (not sure whether that holds any significance when applying) and am also a varsity athlete at school. Do I have any shot at say UT Austin, UVA, or any other T14 law school? Thanks.
Title: Re: Hispanics interested in top law schools
Post by: Penn263 on August 23, 2009, 08:14:31 PM
Hi, I'm a Hispanic male who attends a top 5 University/College with a 3.3 GPA, and from what it looks like, I will be around the 163-167 LSAT range. I am first generation college (not sure whether that holds any significance when applying) and am also a varsity athlete at school. Do I have any shot at say UT Austin, UVA, or any other T14 law school? Thanks.

I can't remember if I replied to you via message, but just message me and we can talk more in depth.
Title: Re: Hispanics interested in top law schools
Post by: Penn263 on October 31, 2009, 02:27:37 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9wTNjYRwuU&feature=player_embedded
Title: Re: Hispanics interested in top law schools
Post by: JDat45 on November 28, 2009, 08:29:21 PM
Why do they have to "message you", this is a public forum....that sounds solicitous...IJS... :P
Title: Re: Hispanics interested in top law schools
Post by: Penn263 on December 16, 2009, 10:31:02 AM
Why do they have to "message you", this is a public forum....that sounds solicitous...IJS... :P

Because I give out my email and phone number to help people if they want to get in touch, and that's not something I'd post here.
Title: Re: Hispanics interested in top law schools
Post by: MCB on December 16, 2009, 08:00:09 PM
Hi, I'm a Hispanic male who attends a top 5 University/College with a 3.3 GPA, and from what it looks like, I will be around the 163-167 LSAT range. I am first generation college (not sure whether that holds any significance when applying) and am also a varsity athlete at school. Do I have any shot at say UT Austin, UVA, or any other T14 law school? Thanks.

I'm not an under represented minority (URM), but from what I have seen on lawschoolnumbers.com and anecdotally, I'd say you have a very solid shot at the T14 with a 3.3 and a 167.  Maybe even top 10.  URM status can be a huge admissions boost. 
Title: Re: Hispanics interested in top law schools
Post by: AnnMary on December 22, 2009, 06:43:52 AM
Hello everyone!!


My name is Ann, and I am a latina interested in any law school that I will accept me as I have lost the hope of attending my school of preference.  I currently hold a cum 3.0 GPA, BUT I recently calculated the LSDAS and my GPA went down to a 2.23!!!  I am getting ready to finish with a BA if Criminal Justice with a minor in Homeland Security, I have no extracurricular activities as of yet, I have a gorgeous 9 year old son, Oh and while living in Virginia I was fined for public intoxication, therefore I also have a misdemeanor for having 2 beers, I work for a large Bank and have been in banking since the age of 19.  I also worked as  real estate agent in New York for two years before returning to banking.  I have always worked full-time and I have always been the primary financial support for myself and my son. I have not taken the LSAT but I am studying and hope to do so in June.  I would love to attend New York Law School, Hofstra or Pace Law...

What are my chances??

Please Help!!!

Title: Re: Hispanics interested in top law schools
Post by: coquita on January 01, 2010, 09:53:54 PM
Ann Mary,
I might get slaughtered for saying this but here goes. I am a Latina who just graduated from law school in the top 12% of my class. This is my advice. If you are the sole breadwinner for your son, do NOT go to law school unless you get a full scholarship. Otherwise you could be putting your financial situation for your family at risk. I graduated from undergrad with honors, and graduated from a strong regional school (tier I). However, given the bad job market, I am unemployed and so is everyone else I know who graduated from my school. Students that worked for federal judges and were editor of law review are still looking for jobs. With your son I don't know if that's a risk you want to take right now, at least until the legal market improves if ever. I know this seems harsh but I am just trying to give some warning from the other side, I wish I had gotten this advice. Another option is to pay your way through while going to school part-time.

Now for getting in, you may have problems with this. You may have to disclose the misdemeanor on your law school applications, which may be a barrier. Also with your low GPA, it seems like it will be hard for you to get into anything but a lower ranked school even if you get high LSAT scores. And as I said before, people from strong schools are unemployed in this market. Also be aware that if you do get in school, as soon as you get in, you should talk to someone at your state bar to see if you will have any problems with their moral character requirements because of your misdemeanor. I know someone who got into my school in CA, passed the bar, and then was denied admission to the bar because of their convictions. Let me know what you think...and good luck regardless of what you decide to do!
Title: Re: Hispanics interested in top law schools
Post by: JDat45 on January 20, 2010, 01:45:21 PM
Why do they have to "message you", this is a public forum....that sounds solicitous...IJS... :P

But understand, your responses could help the general population on the board, not just Hispanics. You could always PM the person your info... :P
Title: Re: Hispanics interested in top law schools
Post by: Penn263 on October 03, 2010, 11:27:49 AM
Still here to help!
Title: Re: Hispanics interested in top law schools
Post by: ricmiami on November 27, 2010, 07:24:19 PM
I am helping my wife with her Law School applications and trying to help her decide what to do. She initially wanted to go to NYU or UVA but I am doubting she will make it. This is her situation:

- She's hispanic
- 3.53 degree GPA (3.45 according to LSDAS) and graduated Cum Laude. Her cumulative LSDAS GPA is 3.29, but I believe there is a mistake... should end up being 3.33.
- Scoring around 150 on practice tests and her biggest problem is time. She can answer 70+% of the questions correctly, but she's not able to finish all questions yet. She's working very hard on it and is registered to take the LSAT on December 11.
- 5+ years of experience as a paralegal / legal assistant
- A bunch of obstacles to mention to Admissions Committees:
  1. Migrated to the US in 2001 and her native language is not English which impacted her grades on the first semesters.
  2. Had to work full time and study part time due to economic hardship... heavily supported and continue to support her parents and siblings financially
  3. Mother had cancer. She was always by her side during chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgical procedures. This impacted a bit her grades in one/two semesters

I am telling her she should aim for a 155 in the LSAT and encouraging her to apply to UM (University of Miami), UF (Florida), FSU, Wake Forest, BC and BU. We plan to stay in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area in the long term, so I think UF and UM are the best choices.

What do you guys think? Do you think UMiami would take her with a 150 LSAT, considering all the obstacles she has overcome? I think UF (Florida) is going to be tough, almost impossible.
Should she mention she's consistently getting 75% of the questions right, but that she has trouble being as fast as native english speakers? Not sure if this sounds like an excuse.

If she does not score higher than 150 on the last practice LSATs, she is planning on waiting another year instead of taking the February LSAT. How does this sound? Any help is highly appreciated!
Title: Re: Hispanics interested in top law schools
Post by: ricmiami on December 01, 2010, 06:10:10 PM
Comments anybody? :)
Title: Re: Hispanics interested in top law schools
Post by: Penn263 on January 23, 2011, 09:14:57 PM
1. I'm sorry for the late response. I only get e-mail notifications when someone messages me personally, but not when someone replies to my posts on a thread.

2. I want to know if she has taken, or is taking, any LSAT prep course? I would highly recommend taking an LSAT prep course (well) before she sits for the exam. I am not an expert on LSAT preparation, so I cannot give substantive advice as to how she should tailor her studying to best prepare for the exam, but I can say that time is a huge issue for everyone on the exam, not just her. This is why taking a prep course is so important, particularly for those people who also have to deal with growing up speaking a native language other than English. An LSAT prep course will help her develop techniques that will save precious time. So, once again, I highly recommend that she take an LSAT prep course--and practice as much as possible--if she hasn't already. Message me if financial reasons make it impossible to afford an LSAT courses, there are some resources out there for instances as such.

3. As for the discrepancy with her LSDAS GPA, I would work to resolve that as soon as possible. LSAC sometimes has a different GPA calculation rubric than one's degree-granting college.

4. When considering which schools to apply to, look at their applicant profile on LSAC's website. Look at more than just the LSAT/GPA chart. One technique I used that seemed to work for me when I was applying to law school years ago, was seeing how many people of my ethnicity were represented at the law school. I applied to law schools where students of my ethnicity were the most underrepresented, because--to the extent law schools even take race and ethnicity into account--being an applicant of a background that is significantly underrepresented is an advantage. (For example, if you are Cuban-American, and you apply to UMiami where many other Cuban-Americans apply and matriculate, the URM advantage can be less substantial than if you apply to a law school that has a much lower amount of Cuban-American applying and matriculating). Does that make sense?

5. If she plans to apply to Boston College Law School, or Boston-area law schools, we should get in touch so I can give more school-specific advice. With that said, attending tier 1 law schools that are far from the region one wishes to ultimately practice law should not necessarily be viewed as an impediment. Employers don't care so much about the location of the law school one attended as much as they care about a demonstrated commitment to permanently live and practice in the employer's region.

6. She may want to consider supplementing her personal statement with a diversity statement, (if adding such a statement would better explain the past circumstances that affect her performance). From my own experience, the difference between a personal statement and a diversity statement is that a diversity statement focuses more on the application process and how your special diverse background created special obstacles or circumstances that affect your candidacy to the law school. In contrast, your personal statement is a more general opportunity to personalize yourself on your application. If you can successfully incorporate both into one essay, then you don't need both. But in her case, and in the case of many other Latino/as who grew up speaking a language other than English, I would err on the side of writing a supplemental diversity statement.

7. As for whether or not to wait or take the LSAT now: I think over-preparation is better than under-preparation, so in that respect I would wait for the next cycle if I were feeling uncertain about my all-important LSAT score. One thing that I've heard other applicants doing with regards to the LSAT is actually going in to take the test and trying their hardest, but if they sense the test is going really bad--like worse than their practice tests--they cancel the score on the spot, rather than get stuck with an LSAT score lower than their practice test scores. I didn't use that method myself, but I know of people who have cancelled more than one test until they get the "right test" and score really high. It's risky in the sense that (1) the admissions committee will know that you cancelled, and (2) one can only take the LSAT so many times and cancel before it begins to look ridiculous. On the reverse side of the coin, if you DO chose to take and score an LSAT in which you perform well below your expectation, if a law school really wants to accept you, there is a potential for the school to actually contact you and encourage you to re-take the test (and if you score reasonably higher they likely will accept you).

Finally, I'm sorry to hear about her mother, and I wish you both the best of luck. Never give up on the process because you think you're not good enough.

Message me if you have questions or comments.
Title: Re: Latino/as interested in top law schools
Post by: benavidez22 on July 19, 2011, 12:17:03 PM
Hey everyone!

What do you think my chances are for a top 25 school? Here are my statistics:

LSAC GPA: 3.55 (Graduated 2010)
LSAT: 160 (Have decided not to re-take LSAT as I am a teaceher and will not have time to study once school starts in a couple weeks)
Soft: Teach for America (New Orleans)

I intend in applying this fall, and have just completed my personal statement. I also intend on writing a diversity statement highlighting my experiences and take aways as a Mexican female growing up in East Los Angeles.

Advice? Thoughts?
Title: Re: Latino/as interested in top law schools
Post by: Penn263 on October 29, 2011, 05:31:55 PM
I'm sure you can definitely get into some T25 schools with that. To some extent it depends on what college you got that 3.55 at, too. And of course Teach for America's a huge soft factor. Apply early though! Hopefully you have all your applications in by now! If you haven't applied, and want another review of your PS and DS, just message me on here. Good luck!