Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Choosing the Right Law School => Topic started by: Slumdog Lovebutton on April 08, 2006, 04:08:09 PM

Title: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Slumdog Lovebutton on April 08, 2006, 04:08:09 PM
Alright, so this is what I'm thinking.  I'm interested in your feedback.

I'm a current senior in college coming from Yale undergrad with a 3.6/166.  I sort of choked on the LSAT, and I'm pretty sure I can do better if I study a bit harder and chill out more (I've got the chilling part covered).  This cycle, I got into GW, UMiami ($$$), and Cornell.  I didn't apply to HY, but I got rejected from UPenn, Stanford, Columbia, NYU, UChicago.  Haven't heard yet from GULS, UCLA, and USC, but I don't have super-high hopes.

I got into a really awesome Master's program at UPenn, and I'm going to go to that next year.  While I COULD defer at GW or Cornell (UM is out, I think), I am thinking that I should withdraw my applications everywhere. 

The plan right now is to take an LSAT class over the summer and study hard, take a bunch of practice tests, and then retake the LSAT this October in Philly.  I figure that even a few points higher would bump me from the bottom 25% to the middle 50%.  I'd finish up the Master's program, then reapply in the Fall of 2007 to start law school in the Fall of '08.  I think after finishing the master's, I might get a great recommendation from the director of the program, who I think is terrific and she likes me a lot. 

In the year that I'd be applying, I'd probably bounce around the country experimenting with work in different areas of the law.  The goal in reapplying is to try one more time as a stronger candidate (with an M.S. and hopefully a higher LSAT).  While I might not get into anywhere different, GW and Cornell both said they wouldn't hold it against me if I didn't go this year, and I think I've got a good shot at some merit money at GW if I improve my numbers.

What do you guys think?  Bad idea?  Suggestions?  ???
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: redemption on April 08, 2006, 04:18:53 PM
Cornell's a good school. Master's programs are seriously overrated (although the extnt to which they are depends somewhat on what kind of Master's program it is). So... specify: what's the MA in?
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Slumdog Lovebutton on April 08, 2006, 04:21:45 PM
it's an M.S. in criminology.  the program focuses on using criminological/statistical analysis to look critically at crime policy and figure out what works, what doesn't work, and why.  It's ultimate mission is to create "change agents" who have the skills to write, implement, and reform better public policy.

Cornell is definitely a good school, but I'm unsure about Ithaca.  I didn't really feel extremely passionate about either of my options, and I think I might feel better about the whole thing if I gave it one more go.  Then again, I hate to lose my shot at staying in the Ivy League, but I would hope that better stats might bump me into UPenn Law, which would be my pick over Cornell and GW.
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: redemption on April 08, 2006, 04:43:12 PM
Well, I'm sure that you'll get all kinds of advice on this from others, but here's my take for what it's worth: criminology's definitely not worth delaying law school by two years. What in the world could you learn or do with a criminology masters that you couldn't learn or do in/with a JD? Nothing is my (educated) guess.

If the stronger motivation is to attend a higher ranked school, I'd understand that a liitle more, but even then it would have to be a substantially higher-ranked school to make a two-year gap worthwhile, at least for me if I were in your position - Chicago and up. What kind of LSAT score would make a shot at Chicago and up possible? 176 or 175 in order for you to average at least 171. If you think that you'll attain that, then by all means (although why you'd take it in June, I don't know).

Cornell's a good school. Location, imo, is not a great reason to decide against a school as good as Cornell is, unless you have an SO who needs to find work etc.

That's my take.  :)
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: l1lshady0 on April 08, 2006, 06:04:20 PM
I say Cornell!
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Steve.jd on April 08, 2006, 06:45:00 PM
I agree with Red 110%,

If you really feel Cornell isn't "good" enough you can always transfer, although this is hard...
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Slumdog Lovebutton on April 08, 2006, 08:15:31 PM
I understand what you guys are saying.  I definitely DON'T think Cornell is not good enough for me, but Ithaca might not be the right city for me.  While I don't plan on getting into HYS, I think I've got a good shot at UPenn, which is not THAT much higher-ranked than Cornell but is in a much better city that is closer to both NYC and DC.  There's also the potential scholarship issue.

Are you guys all going straight from undergrad?  I'm curious whether folks are taking time off before law school elsewhere, because it seems like a lot of kids here are working for a year or two before going back to school.
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: redemption on April 08, 2006, 08:16:32 PM
I understand what you guys are saying.  I definitely DON'T think Cornell is not good enough for me, but Ithaca might not be the right city for me.  While I don't plan on getting into HYS, I think I've got a good shot at UPenn, which is not THAT much higher-ranked than Cornell but is in a much better city that is closer to both NYC and DC.  There's also the potential scholarship issue.

Are you guys all going straight from undergrad?  I'm curious whether folks are taking time off before law school elsewhere, because it seems like a lot of kids here are working for a year or two before going back to school.

I've been out in the world for now 3 years.
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Slumdog Lovebutton on April 08, 2006, 08:19:37 PM


I've been out in the world for now 3 years.

would you say those three years have been a valuable experience that have gotten you excited about law school, or were they kind of a waste of time?
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: redemption on April 08, 2006, 08:23:23 PM


I've been out in the world for now 3 years.

would you say those three years have been a valuable experience that have gotten you excited about law school, or were they kind of a waste of time?

Neither, really. My work is reasonably interesting, but my brain has definitely atrophied.
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Sweet Tea on April 08, 2006, 09:02:01 PM
would a hypothetical scholarship be worth the expense of a master's and the loss of two year's earning potential?
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: queencruella on April 08, 2006, 09:20:08 PM
If you know for sure that you want to be a lawyer, I see no reason to withdraw/defer. Most of the people I know who didn't go to LS right from undergrad either hadn't considered law at graduation or weren't 100% convinced it was right for them and wanted some time to think it through. While there are some master's degrees that I think could go well with a JD, I am not sure that criminology would really give you something that would be all that beneficial when looking for a job.
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Pirate Pete on April 08, 2006, 09:32:43 PM
Plus, you could always get a joint MA/JD at Cornell.  I think that most law schools allow you to apply during your first year for a joint degree.
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: WfPck05 on April 08, 2006, 09:49:45 PM
This may be a stupid question, but I thought I read an article stating that Cornell was moving the law school to NYC.  When is that going into effect?
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Slumdog Lovebutton on April 08, 2006, 10:05:00 PM
would a hypothetical scholarship be worth the expense of a master's and the loss of two year's earning potential?

Well, I've got about half tuition from the Master's program, so that makes the cost slightly more affordable.  The goal during the second year pre-law school is to work, so while I wouldn't be making $100,000, I'd be staying afloat and decreasing the chance of graduating with a LOT of debt.

Also, I think I would be happier knowing I gave law school admissions my best shot.


If you know for sure that you want to be a lawyer, I see no reason to withdraw/defer. Most of the people I know who didn't go to LS right from undergrad either hadn't considered law at graduation or weren't 100% convinced it was right for them and wanted some time to think it through. While there are some master's degrees that I think could go well with a JD, I am not sure that criminology would really give you something that would be all that beneficial when looking for a job.

I disagree.  A lot of my friends who knew they wanted to be lawyers took some time between UG and law school to refresh their brains and feel passionate again about schooling.  Everyone who has done it seems to think it was a good idea, and a lot of folks I've talked to who didn't wish they had.  Also, it seems like most people I've met at admitted students things have taken some time off and found the experience extremely valuable.
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Slumdog Lovebutton on April 09, 2006, 12:03:30 AM
Sounds like you know you want to be a lawyer and are just hesitant about your choices for this fall.  Would you consider just working full time for a year and reapplying next cycle?  You could save some money if you were frugal and possibly get a scholarship.
Seems like the masters is unnecessary for your future(I dont know much about this myself, but that is the feel I get from all of the posts) and your "time off" would be better spent gaining some work experience and $$.

Cornell is an amazing choice, but if it is not a place you feel comfortable dont settle.

Thanks.  I don't feel comfortable with either Cornell or GW right now.  If in two years they're still my two choices, then I'll have a different decision to make (and it will be one or the other).  I'm planning on gaining some work experience in the year that I apply to law school (after the Master's), but I see what you are saying.  Thanks for the advice  :)
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Slumdog Lovebutton on April 09, 2006, 12:27:08 AM
FWIW, I am getting a JD to go into Tax Law.

I graduated two years ago with my UG degree.  Two years later and I have a somewhat prestigous career in Tax at a Big Four Accounting Firm, a CPA license and an MS in Taxation. 

I don't regret taking the path that I took...   My numbers are garbage because although I graduated UG summa, my cumulative was low (went to 5 UG schools) and I didn't really study for the LSAT.

That being said, my MS, my CPA license and my work experience didn't do sh*t for me (at least that is how I feel), most schools are numbers whores and really the best thing you can do is retake the LSAT.  If I were you I'd take one of your offers and bust ass and try to transfer or re-take the LSAT ASAP and apply next cycle.  As someone else said putting law school on hold for two years is probably not worth it.

As for me, I'm taking the T2 $$ and if I'm meant to be at a better school I'll end up in the top 5% there and transfer... if not, then it is what it is.

I know I just said a lot of crap, but the moral of the story is I would have been better off starting my JD two years ago (I'd be almost done already).

HTH

I can understand that.  For me, I am not ready to be a lawyer in three years.  You end up with the job you will have for however many years RIGHT after law school...I guess I figure I'll be working in law my whole life.  Another two years (probably) won't kill me?

How do you know that your work experience and extra education didn't help you?
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Slumdog Lovebutton on April 09, 2006, 12:43:21 AM

How do you know that your work experience and extra education didn't help you?

Just the feeling I get.  Take a look at my LSN. 

I'm not sure I really get your GPA situation, but I'm glad you found a school that works for you (that will give you money).  Most of my reasoning for wanting to take the time to go through this hellish process again is that I think I am a very borderline candidate at many of the schools I was rejected from.  A lot of it will depend on if I can bring my LSAT up a few points, but I think that  I am in a position right now where I am CLOSE to where I need to be to get into my top-choice schools.  I just need a little budge.

Of course, I could be wrong.
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Slumdog Lovebutton on April 09, 2006, 01:03:15 AM

How do you know that your work experience and extra education didn't help you?

Just the feeling I get.  Take a look at my LSN. 

I'm not sure I really get your GPA situation, but I'm glad you found a school that works for you (that will give you money).  Most of my reasoning for wanting to take the time to go through this hellish process again is that I think I am a very borderline candidate at many of the schools I was rejected from.  A lot of it will depend on if I can bring my LSAT up a few points, but I think that  I am in a position right now where I am CLOSE to where I need to be to get into my top-choice schools.  I just need a little budge.

Of course, I could be wrong.

GPA = 2 years of 2.somethings, then took some time off, transferred and graduated with 3.9.

So 3.9 from my degree school and 3.2 overall.  I thought the 3.9 would be indicative of my abilities, but unfortunately I feel like many schools strictly look at numbers.

As for the LSAT, I feel the same way, I know I could've done better, and I wonder where I would've gotten in with a couple more points, but because of my GPA, I don't think I was looking at T14 anyway, so for me my best move is to go to T2 and see if I have what it takes to be top 5%. 

If I were you, I'd definitely re-take the LSAT, but I'd re-think the Masters.

I mean the Masters didn't get me into better law schools and quite frankly I don't think it (or CPA license) is going to do anything to get me a better job after law school.  Just my .02

Ach, that sucks about your GPA.  Did you attach an addendum or something explaining the situation?  I don't mean to be pushy, it's just that I would kick someone for a 3.9.

I think the Master's program, when explained, will sound pretty good on paper (becoming "change agents," policy analysis, statistics, etc.)  I spoke with one of the deans at GW, who told me I would absolutely be a stronger candidate with a Master's.  I know that GW is not Cornell, but nobody I've spoken to seems to look at the MS at UPenn as a waste of time--it's not Criminology like CSI, but brain-power criminological/sociological legal analysis.

I don't mind adding another degree to my name for after law school.  I think the job market is getting competitive enough, and I already plan to amass some work experience before law school and during the summers--I think another degree that is analysis-based from a good university will only help me in the long run.
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Zoli on April 09, 2006, 01:24:21 AM
lovebutton, this is a big decision and a complicated one at that.  I think you're going to have to take some time out.  I suggest you come visit me, we'll drink some wine (or your preference of an alcoholic drink), get naked, and figure it out from there.  This is a serious decision, and I think we need to get naked and get in the jacuzzi and see what happens.
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: HippieLawChick on April 09, 2006, 01:28:45 AM
I don't know why you asked the question.....sounds like you have made up your mind, and have justified your reason for the decision.  Don't ask a bunch of strangers - you already know the right answer for yourself.  (I sound like the good witch in Wizard of Oz now - thanks!)

Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Zoli on April 09, 2006, 01:44:14 AM
I don't know why you asked the question.....sounds like you have made up your mind, and have justified your reason for the decision.  Don't ask a bunch of strangers - you already know the right answer for yourself.  (I sound like the good witch in Wizard of Oz now - thanks!)




Were you by chance in High School when the original Wizard of Oz movie came out?
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Slumdog Lovebutton on April 09, 2006, 07:18:04 AM
lovebutton, this is a big decision and a complicated one at that.  I think you're going to have to take some time out.  I suggest you come visit me, we'll drink some wine (or your preference of an alcoholic drink), get naked, and figure it out from there.  This is a serious decision, and I think we need to get naked and get in the jacuzzi and see what happens.

Yeah, Yeah, okay.  That sounds...helpful...heh

I don't know why you asked the question.....sounds like you have made up your mind, and have justified your reason for the decision.  Don't ask a bunch of strangers - you already know the right answer for yourself.  (I sound like the good witch in Wizard of Oz now - thanks!)



I guess I have pretty much made up my mind.  It has still been pretty helpful for understanding my own reasons for all of this to hear what everybody has to say about the decision.  It's also interesting to me that folks here seem to think all of this is a less-than-great idea, while my advisors at Yale think the opposite.
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: HippieLawChick on April 09, 2006, 06:47:30 PM
I don't know why you asked the question.....sounds like you have made up your mind, and have justified your reason for the decision. Don't ask a bunch of strangers - you already know the right answer for yourself. (I sound like the good witch in Wizard of Oz now - thanks!)




Were you by chance in High School when the original Wizard of Oz movie came out?

1)Why do you ask?
2) Why does it matter?
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: aerynn on April 09, 2006, 08:22:55 PM
Since the movie came out in 1939, I think he may be making a crack about your age and old fashioned advice.
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: HippieLawChick on April 10, 2006, 07:26:41 AM
Since the movie came out in 1939, I think he may be making a crack about your age and old fashioned advice.

Yeah, if that's the case, I would love for him to just admit it.  I love it when people post stuff like this and never come back to "defend" their trolling.

As for my advice being old fashioned: I am just a believer in setting my own course in life.  I don't think it's old fashioned, but more that I don't need to depend on anyone else to make up my mind and stuff.
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: redemption on April 10, 2006, 07:43:49 AM
Zoli's shtick is to be abrasive, HLC. He doesn't mean anything by it. And usually, he does it in a funny way so that it's obvious.
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Zoli on April 10, 2006, 09:33:26 AM
hey Hippie calm down, I'm just messing around.  I'm sorry, I won't make anymore cracks at your age.  But seriously, which concert was better live??  Woodstock 1969 or Woodstock 1994??  have a great day!
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: HippieLawChick on April 10, 2006, 10:02:48 AM
Your dad and I had a great time at Woodstock 1994. 
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Slumdog Lovebutton on April 10, 2006, 12:26:52 PM
Your dad and I had a great time at Woodstock 1994. 

Hot.
Title: Re: What if I just forget it for now and reapply?
Post by: Zoli on April 10, 2006, 01:18:42 PM
What?? dammitt!!! I told dad not to go to concerts anymore.  He has this heart condition and he's not supposed to get all excited.  I'm gonna have a talk with him.