Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students => Topic started by: untradional on March 14, 2011, 08:13:11 PM

Title: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: untradional on March 14, 2011, 08:13:11 PM
How far can a weak 3.8 GPA and 170 on the LSAT take you. I have not one good recommendation, zero extra curriculars, and no voluteer work. My school was not competitive nor challenging. I worked full time while in college and I am a veteran of the Marine Corps.  I wish to attend a top 30 school, is that even possible?

Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: msteedubya on March 15, 2011, 07:25:35 AM
R u kidding me? Those are Ivy League numbers...
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: john4040 on March 15, 2011, 09:11:47 AM
How far can a weak 3.8 GPA and 170 on the LSAT take you. I have not one good recommendation, zero extra curriculars, and no voluteer work. My school was not competitive nor challenging. I worked full time while in college and I am a veteran of the Marine Corps.  I wish to attend a top 30 school, is that even possible?

You should be a lock at all schools ranked lower than GULC.  You are also competitive with those schools ranked above GULC.

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-law-schools/law-rankings
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: jack24 on March 15, 2011, 09:56:38 AM
How far can a weak 3.8 GPA and 170 on the LSAT take you. I have not one good recommendation, zero extra curriculars, and no voluteer work. My school was not competitive nor challenging. I worked full time while in college and I am a veteran of the Marine Corps.  I wish to attend a top 30 school, is that even possible?

This seems like a bit of a flame to me, but whatever. 
Go on here
https://officialguide.lsac.org/release/OfficialGuide_Default.aspx

Plug in your numbers and take a look at the percentages they give you to get a good guide.   You can also look at lawschoolnumbers.com for some good information.

What do you mean by weak 3.8?  If you mean you took powder-puff classes, that probably won't be a big issue for most schools.  If you mean you retook a bunch of classes changing Fs to As, then your lsac gpa will get nailed.


Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: MikePing on March 15, 2011, 11:25:30 AM
Lack of extracurriculars is easily explained by working full-time.  The reason schools look at these are to guage:

1.  Whether you can balance other activities while you are in school;
2.  Whether you are a good citizen -- community involvement; and
3.  Whether you have leadership experience.

Working full time and being a former Marine, reflects positively on these factors.  If you are not in management, be sure to highlight your leadership skills as part of your personal statement. 
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: untradional on March 17, 2011, 11:17:21 PM
Thank you for the responses and making me feel much better. I have been reading personal statements and I can't even fake being as involved as these kids have been. 

Sure I can research GPA/LSAT averages but honestly my former High School debate partner has superior numbers to me, went to Oxford and is nearly done with her PhD. She currently attends Yale Law. Even with my numbers I am a 100th the candidate she is/was. 

Weak GPA does refer to "powder-puff" classes.




Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: MikePing on March 18, 2011, 11:23:29 AM
There won't be very many former marines applying to the top law schools.  This gives you a good anlge.  Schools want as diverse a class as possible because that's what makes the school gool. 

Ride that horse in.  Don't dwell on everyone else.  Polish yourself to look as good as possible and you will have a legigitimate shot. 
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: bradyllewis on March 29, 2011, 03:06:36 PM
To me it sounds like you have a pretty good chance to go wherever you want.  A 3.8 GPA is fantastic.  It doesn't matter that you weren't challenged while obtaining it.  Your full time work and marine status should help overcome the lack of extracurriculars.  You should be in good shape.
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: margiecardin on May 09, 2011, 09:45:49 AM
My humble opinion is that you should choose four or five of the schools you would most like to attend and then apply to them. I think you'll get into all of them. I'm happy for you. Most of us on here would like to have your set of problems.
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: wjo9522 on May 10, 2011, 07:13:37 AM
There won't be very many former marines applying to the top law schools.  This gives you a good anlge.  Schools want as diverse a class as possible because that's what makes the school gool. 

Ride that horse in.  Don't dwell on everyone else.  Polish yourself to look as good as possible and you will have a legigitimate shot.

I assume that your logic is based upon the number of Marines/military members versus the total number of all applicants.  If you posit that Marines do not typically apply to these schools, I would have to disagree.  There are plenty of Marines and other former servicemembers--many of them bonafide war heroes--seeking T14 school seats.
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: MikePing on May 10, 2011, 10:12:40 AM
My point is that in any given application class, the number of former service members especially like this man will be low.  Not that Marines are unlikely to apply to law school. 
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: oceanblue on June 12, 2011, 06:10:12 PM
You can go where ever you want with those scores.  Have you applied to Duke?  They will take military references and personal references so will Wake Forest and Campbell.  Schools in North Carolina are extremely military friendly.
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: fortook on July 04, 2011, 08:51:54 PM
Why are people here focusing on the military?  Your scores are stellar, close to the top %1.  With top %1 scores you can go wherever you want. Military service isn't too relevant, unless you want to practice law in the military.  In that case, you do need to do some research on schools connected to the military. Otherwise, I am failing to see a connection.
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: wjo9522 on July 05, 2011, 08:57:12 AM
The focus on the military is based upon the OP's concerns about lack of extracurriculars in his/her LS application. 

I would have to disagree with your assumption that military service "isn't too relevant, unless you want to practice law in the military."  Please see Dean Pless' comments during an TLS interview, "TLS: What soft factors, meaning components of the applications besides GPA/LSAT, does your law school like the most?Pless: I think most people consider resume and PS to be soft factors. At least I do. Military experience is certainly a positive factor...."http://www.top-law-schools.com/paul-pless-interview.html (http://www.top-law-schools.com/paul-pless-interview.html)

While it is true that the OP's scores are stellar, most deans will attest that there is no such thing as an auto-admit.

Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: EarlCat on July 05, 2011, 09:02:03 AM
This seems like a bit of a flame to me

A bit?
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: fortook on July 05, 2011, 09:45:07 AM
All I meant was his career past, unless he was a legal secretary or something in the Marines, is irrelevant to law school.  Will an admissions board look upon it differently than any other job, say a fire fighter or police officer?  You may think it is cool, but has no bearing on the law, unless like I said he worked in military law while he was in the military.

I'm not trying to put anyone down, just looking at the facts.  Because you want it to be a relevant factor is not enough to make it a relevant factor.  OP, by all means try, but don't think because you were in the military you have a leg up in law school.  That is a logical fallacy.  With your numbers you don't need soft factors like that anyways. 170 on the LSAT is enough alone to get you into a decent school.  Good luck.
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: EarlCat on July 05, 2011, 10:34:57 AM
All I meant was his career past, unless he was a legal secretary or something in the Marines, is irrelevant to law school.

Untrue.
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: barond on July 05, 2011, 04:47:37 PM
All I meant was his career past, unless he was a legal secretary or something in the Marines, is irrelevant to law school.  Will an admissions board look upon it differently than any other job, say a fire fighter or police officer?  You may think it is cool, but has no bearing on the law, unless like I said he worked in military law while he was in the military.

I'm not trying to put anyone down, just looking at the facts.  Because you want it to be a relevant factor is not enough to make it a relevant factor.  OP, by all means try, but don't think because you were in the military you have a leg up in law school.  That is a logical fallacy.  With your numbers you don't need soft factors like that anyways. 170 on the LSAT is enough alone to get you into a decent school.  Good luck.

What are you doing with yourself after your dismissal fortook?
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: Morten Lund on July 05, 2011, 09:06:35 PM
There are plenty of Marines and other former servicemembers--many of them bonafide war heroes--seeking T14 school seats.

Indeed.  There were several recently decorated combat veterans in my law school class (shortly after the first Gulf War), including graduates of the various military academies.

Our current conflicts are unfortunately generating war heroes at a faster pace than the last time we were in the Gulf, and it is reasonable to expect this to be reflected in law school applications, at every level.a
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: fortook on July 05, 2011, 09:08:21 PM
Got into another, much better school.  Thank God. Why the uncomfortable digression?  Too many digressions here already.  I am confused as to why you would digress by alienating me.  Never mind, its okay, I don't really care.  Thanks for checking up on me.
Title: Re: Wanting to go to Law School but...
Post by: barond on July 05, 2011, 09:39:19 PM
Got into another, much better school.  Thank God. Why the uncomfortable digression?  Too many digressions here already.  I am confused as to why you would digress by alienating me.  Never mind, its okay, I don't really care.  Thanks for checking up on me.

Didn't mean to digress, I just remember your name arising out of bad 2nd semester grades.  I must admit I was terrified my first year with that attrition problem and came across your story.  I just have to assume thats excruciating and brutal in the months that follow -I commend you for your perseverance.