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Messages - jpiesel44

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1
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Law School or Army OCS
« on: May 06, 2009, 11:18:09 PM »
It's not a 3-year commitment.  OCS entails an 8-year commitment, the first three of 3 of which are on active duty.  You then must serve on IRR (Inactive Reserves) or the Select Reserves for the next 5 after that, so get ready to risk being called up during law school and beyond.  It's still happening by the hundreds, especially with officers.

Also, there's absolutely no guarantee that you'd get Armor, or anything else you wanted.  Branch slots go through the West Point Cadets, then the hundreds of ROTC programs in the country, so by the time they get to OCS, you get the scraps.  You'll do what they tell you to do.  Also, civilians who commission through OCS (as opposed to prior enlisted) are not very well prepared in my opinion for Army life (compared to West Point and ROTC guys who've trained for years).  Though their quality typically levels out in the end, it takes about a year of two of hard knocks before they get their *&^% straight.  Go ROTC if you still can.

Basically though, if you want the Army experience, that's great.  It's been GREAT for me, but others hate every minute of it.  Do ROTC or OCS planning on just rolling with the punches and getting the experience under your belt.  Don't plan on getting FLEP, because it probably won't happen.  It could, but that would be a bonus.

2
Where should I go next fall? / Re: Law School or Army OCS
« on: May 06, 2009, 09:41:26 PM »
You may already know this, but it is possible to get the military to pay your way through law school after 2 years of service.  It is not something I would bet on happening, but it may be worth trying.  Depending on the branch and the program, you give up some choice in schools and commit to 6 years of active duty service after you graduate.

This program is called the Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP).  I actually got accepted to it this year.  It's very competitive (only 25 out of several hundred are selected).

I ended up turning it down to get out and go to law school on my own for the following reasons:
1). There is a $20K annual tuition cap on which school you can go to through Army FLEP, which pretty much disqualifies you from the major schools because you are NOT allowed to take student loans or pay the rest on your own.  The army has to cover 100% of the bill.
2). 6 years is a pretty long obligation from the Army though the experience is good (as long as you want to work in the public sector)
3). You are NOT going to see any time on the line or interact with locals or anything else remotely dangerous if you go overseas.  For some, that's good, but I imagine if you went Army you'd embrace some of the adventure/danger, right?  Though there are exceptions, they are extremely few and very far between.

Also, going to JAG through Army FLEP is A LOT more difficult than going direct commission.  There are a few hundred JAGs who are assessed into the Army annually.  Only 25/year come from FLEP, so over 90% of the others are direct commissionees through law schools.

Also, people rarely get picked up for FLEP after only 2 years.  It's more like 4-5 who are most competitive.  Also, nowadays, it's very hard to get picked up if you haven't deployed and have combat experience.  They prefer to have combat officers as FLEPs.

Bottom line is that if you only want to join the military to be a JAG, go the direct commission option after Law School.  If you go to OCS wanting only to do JAG, be prepared to serve in combat positions, the possibility of never being selected and going to law school while you're in your 30s.

3
Acceptances / Re: any suprise acceptances?
« on: March 07, 2009, 05:04:45 AM »
Georgetown-PT, 3.3/164

I am beside myself.

Edit: I'm not an URM.

Congrats, but I would caution you...don't be so shocked about this. Your numbers are actually very solid; 84% +/- LSAT is nothing to sneeze at. And your score band puts you in the 161-167 range. That's what schools are supposed to be looking at. If you took the test more than once, improving your score, or gave schools another reason to be really optomistic about your potential, a school might see you as a 167.

And what was your major, and from what school? Did your grades trend upward? Your softs obviously made a difference, or your essays were off the hook. It happens more often than white applicants think. I keep telling them, but they don't believe me. If schools are doing what they claim to be doing, they are admitting white students with lower numbers every year. But when i advise posters to go ahead and apply to top schools, other white posters jump all over me, saying I don't know what I am talking about. I know exactly what I am talking about. I would have told you not to be shocked if you got in. 

Well, thanks for the words.  I actually did take the test twice, with 164 being an improvement on my first score.  I don't really want to discuss my specific school/soft factors on the public message board, but I went to a school that is nationally notorious for no grade inflation.  I also have some pretty unique softs.  If you PM me, I'll let you know the specifics.  Hopefully this pans out for some of the other top 14s I've applied to!

4
Acceptances / Re: any suprise acceptances?
« on: March 06, 2009, 12:02:50 AM »
Georgetown-PT, 3.3/164

I am beside myself.

Edit: I'm not an URM.

5
Kaplan is maybe good for those that are aiming at a score in 160's, but you probably need something more advanced to move to 170's.

Seconded.  I was faced with the same problem and decided on Kaplan.  Total waste of $1299.00.  After studying the bibles and taking about 3 preptests, I got absolutely nothing out of the last 4/5 of the Kaplan course.

6
Kaplan has detailed explanations of pretty much every numbered PT.  I've found their explanations to be mostly good, although at times somewhat misguided on the more difficult questions.

7
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Too late to register for December LSAT?
« on: November 21, 2006, 09:23:25 PM »
Yup, it's too late to register for it.

You're probably better off waiting until next year if you want to go to those schools.

Cold, hard truth.

8
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Perfect Sections?
« on: November 20, 2006, 01:00:55 AM »
Well, I got my first perfect section tonight while taking PT47.  It ended up being the LG section.  I was done with about 6 minutes to spare.  Unfortunately, the other sections went much worse than usual (about -5/each), so the test as a whole wasn't so great.

Go figure.

9
Studying for the LSAT / Re: Test Condition Request
« on: November 18, 2006, 09:13:13 PM »
This is generally a function of your test center.  What I used to find good test site was Kaplan's online test-center rater.  It rates desk sizes, proctors, and other aspects of most centers around the country. This was one of the few beneficial aspects of the whole Kaplan thing.

10
Studying for the LSAT / Re: doing PT in two days? or at one go.
« on: November 16, 2006, 01:41:36 PM »
I have hectic hours, so I have to split up tests as well.  However, I usually take an older PT, section at a time, during the week. On weekends, I take 2 full PTs with experimentals subbed in.  I usually figure out how I would have done based on my individual sections, but I take that with a grain of salt, since its usually 3-4 points above what's listed in my profile.

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