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Messages - ptoomey

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1
Nice job on the LSAT. I hope I can do as well as you. I have a similar GPA.

I have no idea how southern schools place in neighboring states, but what about Wake Forest? It looks like you might have a shot there.

Tulane and Alabama also look like they might be possibilities, but might be a bit farther from home than you're looking for.
Also, I don't know how they would place in NC. I'm sure others on here would know though.

Have you used the different predictors out there? I've been using lawschoolpredictor.com, but haven't really asked around about how reliable
people think it is. Anyone??? I just checked lawschoolcalculator.com with your numbers and it gave a very different answer on Alabama than
lawschoolpredictor.com. lawschoolpredictor gives you a Weak Consider on Alabama, but lawschoolcalculator gives you an 88% chance at Alabama.
lawschoolpredictor says Weak Considere for Wake Forest and lawscholcalculator says you have a 60% chance at Wake.

What about the Florida schools? Are you going to apply to them. Looks like you'd have a good shot at both.

These predictors can only be as accurate as the ranges and formulas they use. For example, I know that Fordham's selectivity has been
increasing in recent years and that the percetile ranges listd by lawschoolpredictor.com are a bit lower than Fordham's current ranges, so
you might want to check that for the schools you're most interested in.

I'm curious to see how things go. Keep us posted. I have a feeling my numbers are going to end up being pretty similar to yours(if I'm lucky).
Good luck.

2
Law School Applications / Re: GPA Fade Away?
« on: January 02, 2010, 04:37:40 AM »
There are a couple of ways your GPA can be diminished - first, if you have any successful graduate work, it will help show that you can study if you put your mind to it.  Second, a successful career and a plausible reason as to why the sudden change.  Third, a kick-ass LSAT is the most important factor (unfortunate, but true.)

Your age will be a factor for some schools, particularly if you're looking high up the food(rank)-chain.  Tier 2/3/4 schools are generally more used to older students, and that familiarity only benefits you.  I'm currently the only person over the age of 40 in my class of 210 (at a lower T14) and I know of only two similar upperclass students.  It will be hit and miss no matter what your LSAT (UVA almost never takes older students, for example.)

Good luck.  Try and use your age to your advantage, but understand too that once you're in class, everyone is pretty much the same. :)

Thanks for the feedback mbw. No grad work, but I have had a successful career. I was really just immature at college age. I was one of those kids who probably would have benefited from taking a few years off before starting college. The kick ass LSAT is the one thing I have control over and I'm working on it.

Interesting about the way different schools view the age of applicants. I didn't know that.

I haven't taken the LSAT yet, but I'm guessing that Fordham will be my reach school, at best. Do you know anything about how friendly Fordham is to older applicants? They don't seem to be very friendly to splitters, but at least they have a part time program that I can shoot for.

Thanks for the info. btw, how did you handle all those young, ambitious classmates of yours this semester? It was your first semester, wasn't it? Do you think you did well?  I hope so. Good luck.

Just do as well as you can on the LSAT, and write in your personal statement about how college was a long time ago, you've matured, etc.

It won't disappear, but it'll be better than nothing.

Thanks for the advice nerfco, I guess that's the best I can do, is explain what happened. And kick butt on the LSAT.

3
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Ear plugs when taking the LSAT
« on: December 31, 2009, 11:14:31 AM »
I didn't mean to imply that it was ridiculous for you to inquire about them.  You make some valid points, and if you really feel like they will help you on the LSAT then I agree that it's worth it to use them.  I guess for me it was more a pent up rant following a couple very long and intense weeks in the library surrounded by weirdos with fluorescent ears.  I just find them very uncomfortable and kind of silly.   :P

No worries, I think I overreacted a bit. I guess I had some pent up holiday stress of my own.

4
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Ear plugs when taking the LSAT
« on: December 30, 2009, 03:35:57 AM »
I think this thread should be locked.  It is ridiculous how many replies this ridiculous post is getting, and ironically I'm adding to that number.  ???

locked???? are you kidding me? what's ridiculous about the post?

5
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Ear plugs when taking the LSAT
« on: December 29, 2009, 07:39:09 AM »
...you risk getting written up for misconduct.  If that happens the misconduct citation is noted on your LSAC candidate report that Law Schools receive when you apply.  Law Schools don't like rule/law breakers/cheaters since lawyers are supposed to uphold the law.

Definitely wouldn't want to risk that.

I don't get the whole earplugs thing.  I tried them once, and all it did was amplify the sound of my heartbeat and breathing.  I honestly just think it's a security blanket type of thing.  You really want to be dependent on bright yellow sponges in your ears in order for you to concentrate?  I mean really- people in the library, people taking exams, and they supposedly can't focus unless their ears are plugged.  Don't you already have enough to worry about without having to need something like that?  What are you going to do, spend the rest of your life in your office always fussing about having earplugs on hand?  Just get used to some background noise.  It's not that difficult if you have normal concentration. 

It's definitely not a security blanket thing for me. If you're saying they don't work for you, I can appreciate that, but I'm not really worried about being dependent on the bright yellow sponges. If they were effective for me(not sure if they would be) and if they were legal, I would certainly use them. I've worked in noisy environments and quiet ones, and there have been times when my productivity has been seriously impaired by noise level. In a work environment, you can always stay late to make up for lost productivity, but that is not the case with the LSAT. We all know that the stakes are very high. Two more correct answers can make the difference between accept and reject. I can accept that using earplugs is not an option, but let's not act as though it's ridiculous to inquire about them.

6
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Ear plugs when taking the LSAT
« on: December 24, 2009, 06:13:45 PM »
I've got one for you, how about if you are partially deaf and want to take your hearing aids out?  Can they tell you that you can't?:-D

I doubt they'll give you any trouble. I guess one option is to leave your hearing aids in the car, but would you have trouble hearing the instructions if you did that? If not, I'd do that, although I doubt they'd give you any trouble if you bring them and then take them out.

7
Law School Applications / GPA Fade Away?
« on: December 23, 2009, 08:23:02 PM »
Does anyone know how much it will help that my hideous GPA(2.6) is over 20 years old?
I'm guessing they'll still calculate my LSDAS GPA in the same way. Also, for full disclosure, there will be no addendum, or none that will be of any help. My "excuse" for the bad grades is that I spent most of my time drinking beer and chasing women, with great success in the former and only modest succcess in the latter.

A couple of related questions. I haven't seen anywhere that they factor in a more difficult major in any kind of quantitative way, but will an engineering major help at all? Most posts I've seen on this topic say that it has almost no bearing on your chances, but does anyone know if there are specific schools that like science majors, for example. I thought I saw a post about this a while back.

What about age? I'm pushing mid 40's - is that an advantage? At what point does a non-traditional applicant become a non-admissible applicant?

8
If you don't plan to practice in the Midwest, going to Indiana is probably pointless. If you're looking at regional schools, think about where you'd like to live and settle down and attend school in that area. If you are from the south/would like to live there, those are good schools. I'd also probably add other strong schools in the region like Vandy, Emory, and Duke just to see if your LSAT score can carry you the distance.

Good luck!

Good point about regional schools. I wasn't really recommending Indiana. I was just pointing out that the OP could crack the Top 25, even with the low GPA.

Surprisingly, Vanderbilt, Emory and Duke all come up as Deny on lawschoolpredictor.com, but Cornell comes up as a Consider. If the OP wants to go to school in the south, Cornell is obviously not an option, but if I had his numbers, I'd be shooting for Cornell. Some other Mid Atlantic and southern schools that appear to be within reach, according to lawschoolpredictor.com, are Texas(Weak Consider), George Washington(Consider), William & Mary(Consider), Alabama(Strong Consider), Washington & Lee(Strong Consider) and North Carolina(Weak Consider).

As far as the schools the OP mentioned, Florida and Georgia State are Admit, and University of Georgia is a Consider.

OP, I would definitely check out lawschoolnumbers.com. You might find some success stories there.


9
I have a 2.6 also. If I had a 175 to go along with it, I'd be pretty happy.

Check out lawschoolpredictor.com and lawschoolnumbers.com

According to lawschoolpredictor.com, your best shot at a T14 is Cornell, but it's far from a lock, I think . This is just anecdotal, but I think I've seen splitters with worse numbers than you on lawschoolnumbers.com who were accepted at Cornell. Your numbers are better than 36% of their applicants. Cornell seems to be the most splitter friendly, at least when your GPA is a 2.6. Next would be Georgetown and then Michigan.

I'm not an authority on the subject, but I've played around on those two sites.
Others on here can probably give you better info on your chances.

If you're a URM, that improves your chances.

Also, if you're not a URM, the top school that lawschoolpredictor predicts you as a lock at is Indiana, ranked number 23. Not bad for an indecisive, lazy, directionless undergrad ;)

Good luck, and keep us posted.

10
Where should I go next fall? / Re: JD or PhD in Biology
« on: December 23, 2009, 07:20:32 AM »
I've enjoyed this thread. Just some random thoughts on the subject.

I'm not a scientist, but I work for a company that employs many scientists - so these are industry scientists, not people in academia. I eat lunch with them, so I know their gripes, their aspirations, the top ten people they'd kill if they ever decided to show up to work with a rifle...we're close.

Many people have commented on this already, but the mobility issue is a big one, and as someone already mentioned, it's especially difficult when the person's spouse is a scientist too. That's a big consideration for someone with a family, or considering a family. I would never consider a career that required me to move all around the country to find employment.

On the other hand, if you're really passionate about science, how do you not pursue it?
It's easy to dream though, and think of nothing but your passion. I think the test for someone considering a specific field is to talk to as many people as you can in the field. And beg them to tell you about everything they find unpleasant about the field. And don't let your passion sway you into talking only to people who are happy in the field. Hear all the bad stuff and be honest with yourself about what will make you happy AND whether you have the skills to succeed. And ask yourself if you would really be happy AND successful.

I can see why people who have sacrificed so many years of their lives and regret it, would want to spare others that fate, but clearly there are people who will be happy and successfull scientists, and there are people who will be happy and successful lawyers. It's ridiculous to try to make a blanket statement about either field being a good field to enter or a bad field to enter for EVERYONE. I realize that the OP of this thread asked for everyone's opinion about what they should do, but I've seen so many threads on here where people want to convince the world that law school is a bad idea for everyone.

Not many people love what they do, and so many of us are out there on the hunt for the thing that's really going to make us happy and successful. We spend most of our waking lives at work, and we just want it to be gratifying, or even tolerable. That can make people desperate, and willing to follow a dream that costs 3 years and 150K of debt, or 5 years and the life of a gypsy. My advice would be: Think long and hard about any career choice, talk to anyone in the field who will listen, don't give too much weight to any one opinion, no matter how persuasive or charismatic the person is. Otherwise your dream could turn into a nightmare.

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