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Messages - Miami88

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1
1) GPA

First off, know that LSAC looks at all grades up until you receive your first bachelor's degree. So, if you are trying to raise your GPA, you can only do so before you get that bachelor's degree. Also note they will take into account grades from undergraduate coursework prior to your bachelors.

So, if you can take a few extra courses to boost your GPA prior to graduation, great... BUT, you have to figure out just how big of a bump you will POTENTIALLY get. If we are talking about .5 of a boost, okay... but if its just a 100th of a decimal... probably not going to do much.

And is that 165 a legit LSAT score or a practice score? A 165 + stellar addendum + stellar upward grade trend + lousy GPA is still going to be more than good enough to get you into good law schools - maybe even some money... Lower ranked schools may be willing to look past the GPA b/c of the big boost your LSAT score would give them. And if you have a recent history of strong academic performance, your GPA shouldn't scare them off (that you will drop/flunk out and thereby drop their ranking).

I don't know enough about LLMs to be of much help.

Good luck!

2
Law School Applications / Re: Help with Diversity Statement
« on: October 20, 2014, 12:26:31 PM »
I would say age could be a solid topic to talk about, but not really under your circumstances. If you were 12 years old - ok .... if you were over 30 - ok... But being one year less than the expected age is prob not worth it.

3
It's simple. Apply to all the top 14-20 schools plus any school in the region(s) you want to live and work in after college. If your hard factors place you far above the median for local schools, apply to the top school/school you like the most and move on.

Several people would (and with good reason) disagree with casting this wide of a net, but...

 Don't worry about applying to the "right" school just yet. If it was really certain you would get into the school you wanted merely by applying, then this early speculation would be warranted. But the reality is, even if you have the numbers, there is no certainty you will get accepted. Therefore, start thinking about these decisions once you have offers - and only then. Sure, you can look schools up and hope for your dream school - but don't pigeon hole yourself this early on.

Finding a job after graduation (or, hopefully, before graduation) is largely based on where you go to law school. The top 14 schools generally have national reach (though some far more than others). Therefore, no matter where you want to practice, these schools should open sufficient doors for you. Aside from that, it is easier to find work in the region your school is located. There are a few reasons for this... local schools will - surprisingly - have more local connections; you will have more opportunities to network in the specific area; and you will have a demonstrated commitment to the region.

Moreover, if you manage to get a scholarship, you might be able to use that as leverage to get money at another school. For example, assume school A is your dream school and school B is safety. Say both have accepted you but school B gave you $60k more in scholarship than A. You can then try to use that scholarship offer to get more money from school A. Likewise, if school A is ranked far higher than B, you can try to use their offer to get even more money out of school B... and so on. If you had only applied to school A, you would not have this option. And believe me, this is an option you want to have.

4
Law School Applications / Re: W's on transcript
« on: September 18, 2014, 02:23:21 PM »
I wouldn't stress out over it. It may warrant a brief addendum - but it won't break your app. This is a very minor flaw... if you were expelled, that's a major flaw... withdrawing from a course your first semester... please. Everyone, including those that get accepted to these top schools, has something in their app that isn't perfect. Which makes sense... we are all human. The difference in those who get accepted v those who don't is probably the way they present those flaws. Do they talk down about themselves? Do they disrespectfully and smugly shrug it off? Or do they accept it and use it as a vehicle to learn from - to grow. Go for the latter.

Good luck! And congrats on your high academic achievements thus far. :)

6
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Considering Law School
« on: September 09, 2014, 11:14:30 AM »
Congrats!!!!

It will be an uphill battle. At this point, all you can do it blow them away with your application. Write killer essays and make your resume tight and sparkly. Get on that asap. The earlier you apply, the better. Applications should have opened up already (or will soon). But don't send it in until your essays and what not are perfect. Do anything you can to give yourself a leg up.

Also, make sure to address your GPA issue in an addendum. PS should not talk about this directly. Make w/e happened in undergrad look like a positive thing.

Finally, present yourself. Go to as many open house/preview weekend things you can get to.

In the end, that GPA will be difficult to overcome. The only way to do so is to present yourself in the best light, and that is done in the application.

You are almost there!

Good luck!

7
General Board / Re: Changing from a medical career?
« on: August 20, 2014, 12:32:59 PM »
Intro

170-175 LSAT is not easy. Seriously. I'll assume in the below that you get there, but understand that even assuming you are actually capable (not being mean, just realistic), it will still take a ton of work and effort to get there. Way more than you will ever expect. So, if you really think you can make it there, prepare to practice the LSAT BIG time - like part-time job (if not full time job) worth of preparation.

If someone is a pharmacist, they are probably already pretty brainy. A high LSAT score would not be unrealistic for them. If anything, medical school, pharmacy school,  even nursing school are far more challenging than law studies. That's because they have to take a lot of math and science courses to succeed in their career. A high LSAT score would be a cakewalk for someone who is a pharmacist. I am not sure why some here are doubting that the OP could achieve a high score. It is totally realistic for him.

....

First off, just because someone is in the medical field, it does not make them "brainy." I have met several pharmacists and doctors alike whose intellect are questionable at best. Of course, the likelihood is much stronger that the person is highly intellectual if they received an extremely high GPA from an extremely prestigious institution. However, the OP has a 3.1. This is a solid GPA, but not necessarily "top of class." We don't know where OP went to school, but regardless, let us assume they went to Harvard and a 3.1 places them in the top percentile of their class. Great. It still doesn't mean that they are "brainy" - it just means they got into Harvard and did well in their classes. Yes, it means that it is more than likely the case they are highly "intellectual," but not necessarily so.

Second, even if the OP is "brainy," the LSAT is not a test of how "brainy" you are - at least not primarily so. Math/Science tests are primarily tests of information - how well you can recall facts about a given subject. You either know the names of the bones in the human body or you don't. You either know the effects of a given drug or you don't. Of course, there is some application of this knowledge, but usually the application is yet another means of showcasing THINGS you KNOW. With some exceptions (some mathematics courses), the application processes itself is not the primary thing being tested.  For example, a Pharmacist may be expected to calculate dosage of a drug. They need to KNOW the formulas for the drug, KNOW what information is needed to plug into those formulas, KNOW how to find that information, etc. The fact that they compute may be expected, but not primary. In sum, these tests are tests of knowledge (noun).

The LSAT is not a test of "information" - it is a test of how efficient and productive you can 1) digest (verb) and understand (verb) new, convoluted information and 2) analyze/synthesize/problem solve (verb/verb/verb) with that information. The things being tested in the LSAT are not nouns (i.e. knowledge), but verbs (i.e. ability to DO). The LSAT, then, is a "skills" test. The LSAT does not test your knowledge, but rather how well you APPLY new knowledge. The LSAT is closer, then, to the ways abilities are tested of performers/artists/athletes. The major difference, of course, is that of the medium. The medium performers/athletes use to showcase their skills are physical in nature (running/playing an instrument/painting - all verbs). However, LSAT takers showcase their skills through cognitive and intellectual means. How well can they intake (verb), understand (verb), and synthesize (verb).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that this means people with Pharmacy backgrounds cannot perform well on the LSAT. All I'm saying is that just because you are a Pharmasict, it does not necessarily mean you will do very well on the LSAT. Moreover, given that the primary - if not only - means of testing a Pharmasict has been exposed to has been knowledge based, doing well on the LSAT may in fact be more surprising than "realistic" as you suggested. This is actually shown to be the case. The top scorers on the LSAT tend to be people who have been tested via skills tests. Phylosphy, Economics, History.. and on the science side, Engeering/Physics (where the PRIMARY testing method is skills based).


I went on to say that if OP is capable of scoring a 175 (and as I showed above, this does not NECESSARILY correlate to being a person of high intellect), it still does not mean much. You might be capable of being a Mozart, of being Picasso, of being da Vinci. Just because you are capable of being does not mean you are. The difference between these amazing performers and most everyone else that is "capable" is that they practiced - a lot. Mozart did not just "study" the parts (noun) of music - he practiced (verb) applying (verb) it via performing (verb) and composing (verb) - hours and hours and hours. Therefore, assuming OP is capable, they will need to practice and practice in order to get to a 175. This practice is far more intensive than most anticipate. That is the primary point I was trying to make in my statement.

How hard is it to get to a 175? What exactly is, as you said, a "high" LSAT score? It certainly is subjective -  but can it be defined? Certainly, average or below average would probably not be considered a "high" score to the reasonable person. Indeed, a "high" LSAT score would at least be above the average. Probably higher than JUST above average, but at least above average. The average statistical LSAT score is somewhere around 147-157 (plus/minus 5 from 152). So if a 158 (around the 75th percentile) is considered "high" - what do we call a 175? It is mega high!... 175 is not merely a "high" score. It is THE "high" score. Really, there is no great significant statistical difference between a 175 and a 180. We are now in the top 1% of all LSAT takers. The top fraction of a fraction of the top 1% of the total population. It will take work to get there. Lots of it.

So, no, it is not "unreleasitic" to expect anyone, even the OP (or particularly OP) to get a 175. Er.. excuse the double negative..... It IS unrealistic to expect a 175. Period. Again, this does not mean it is impossible, it is actually completely possible - it is just unlikely. Yet, even if all the facts situated the outcome to be "likely," it would still be extremely difficult.

You may think this overly blunt at best or overly mean at worst, but trust me, it is merely the former. This is blunt. It has to be. Because if someone actually is capable of getting a 175 thinks that just because they are capable, they will get it... they are doomed. Someone who is capable of a 175 needs to be pushed, needs to be challenged. They need to be hit over the head with the bluntness of this post, because if they aren't, then they probably won't get to that 175. They won't get to their fullest potential. It might hurt OP's ego (or any other reader's for that matter), but at least this post would help them get to where they are going.

<3

8
Law School Applications / Re: Baylor Law Prospective Student!
« on: August 10, 2014, 09:10:06 PM »
I'd imagine with a 161 and a 3.99 you won't have much trouble getting in. Add to that an army background and work experience... Just make sure your there are no fatal errors in your essays/application (i.e. bad typos).

for reference, check out...

http://baylor.lawschoolnumbers.com

http://www.lawschoolpredictor.com/wp-content/uploads/Law-School-Predictor-Full-Time-Programs.htm


Good Luck!

9
Law School Applications / Re: Law School Admission Options
« on: August 03, 2014, 07:05:49 PM »
1) 160-170 is a HUGE range. Really, this is the difference between schools ranked in the Top 10 and around 50ish. University of Florida is not the same as UMichigan.

I would recommend spending some time messing with  http://www.lawschoolpredictor.com/wp-content/uploads/Law-School-Predictor-Full-Time-Programs.htm

as well as

lawschoolnumbers.com and

This is where the predictor grabs its data fyi.


All that said,

If you end up with a 3.0 and a 160, you are in okay shape for schools ranked between 50-100 and in good shape for schools outside the top 100. If you end up with a 170, you are looking at Top 50 schools.


Note on ranking

Don't get worried about its hype. The reality is the strong majority of schools outside of the Top20 have pretty similar employment figures. Between T14 and T100, there are surely differences, but no the same as T6 v. sub-T100 schools. In other words, for the schools you would be considering, ranking plays a relatively small role in your end career. The big factor that will drive your employment (and, lets face it, that is the whole point for law school) out of these schools will be the particular school's regional pull. Therefore, apply to as many schools in the region you hope to live and work in after law school.

Done.

Good luck!


10
General Board / Re: Changing from a medical career?
« on: August 01, 2014, 10:10:05 AM »
Intro

170-175 LSAT is not easy. Seriously. I'll assume in the below that you get there, but understand that even assuming you are actually capable (not being mean, just realistic), it will still take a ton of work and effort to get there. Way more than you will ever expect. So, if you really think you can make it there, prepare to practice the LSAT BIG time - like part-time job (if not full time job) worth of preparation.

IP would be great. Know that you need to have advanced degrees in science. I'm not sure of the specific requirements to sit for the Patent Bar (there is a specific licensure you need to actually practice Patent Law), but I believe to be somewhat competitive in this field you need a Ph.D. (not just masters, and certainly more than a Bachelors). Good, qualified IP (specifically Patent Law) lawyers are rare and, if you hustle, can be quite lucrative. It is extremely niche, however, and will thus require exceptional entrepreneurship.


Overview

In genearl, about 66-75% of a law school's decision is simply placed on your GPA and LSAT. These are your hard factors (factors that are firm and measurable). If both of these are at or above a school's median, you have a legitimate shot. If you are an underrepresented minority (URM) AND you are at least within the average band (25-75th percentile), then you have a legitimate shot. Other factors, like work experience, your application essays, your undergraduate major, etc., are considered soft factors and play a relatively small role in the decision (about 25-33%, if that). These factors are more so tie breakers than decision makers. Strong softs might push you over the edge if your hard factors are borderline, but they will not make up for relatively poor hard factors.


The sorta-negative (not really negative, just more realistic)...

Assuming you are not a URM, the issue you will be facing is that of your GPA (and even if you are a URM really). If you do indeed score in the 170-175 range, then your LSAT is within range of the very top schools (Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, etc.), however (big however), your GPA will place you far far below their average band. This scenario is referred to as a splitter (above median LSAT, below median GPA). The likelihood of getting into these schools as a non-URM splitter - even with really strong softs - are slim. You might be able to sneak into a lower T-14 (T-14 refers to the US News Top 14 ranked schools, generally considered the elite national schools), but I wouldn't count on it.


The positive (yay!)

Your best bet would be to apply to schools relatively lower ranked schools (fyi - there is nothing wrong at all with these schools, but not all schools can be Harvard, ya know). Again, assuming you do indeed score in the LSAT range you are looking for, you will be a shoe-in for serious scholarships at these schools. You will probably get full tuition scholarships from several. Understand that Big Law is extremely limited if not impossible for grads coming from these schools. Your best bet would be a small law firm specializing in IP Patent Law.

I would specifically apply to lower ranked schools in the region you wish to work in. A law school's employment prospects become more and more regional the lower in rank it is. For example, where a degree from Harvard (ranked 2nd) can legitametly help you get a job almost anywhere in the US, Vanderbilt (16th) will be more so confined to the South. University of Florida (50ish) will be more so confined to Florida, University of Miami (75ish?) will be confined to Southern Florida, and FIU (100) to Miami in specific.


Conclusion

So... rock the LSAT, apply to all the T14 schools (you never know!) and any school in the region(s) you want to work in, and take the least expensive option.

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