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Topics - jas9999

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Law School Admissions / I just spoke to an admissions guy at GWU...
« on: July 12, 2004, 11:48:59 AM »
I had been rejected this past spring, and GWU was my top choice. I scheduled an appointment with one of their counselors for this afternoon, so we could discuss my application, since it always burned me that I didn't even get on the waitlist, and I thought I had a decent chance of getting in.

Here's what I learned, which may or may not be applicable to other schools:

Thre three major things they look at are LSAT, GPA, and the PS. Everything else has little to no impact. If your GPA is low (mine was 3.07), he said that having a graduate degree would have helped considerably. They 'need to know you're capable of doing that level of work.'

The institution/major have virtually no influence. So the moral (as I see it) seems to be, at least for GWU, go to an easy school and pick an easy major where you can get good grades. I said "so it seems to me that it's better to go to an easy school where you can do well than to attend an elite institution where you'll be challenged and may not succeed gradewise." He didn't outright endorse my statement, saying that if the LSAT would have ended up the same, yes, it would have made me a better candidate to have a better GPA.

As for the PS, he said to think of it as an interview of about 15 minutes, where you have 3 to 4 minutes to speak about yourself, and the PS is those 3 to 4 minutes. The idea is to let them know who you are.

I chose to write about actions I took to lobby for provisions in a state welfare reform law to ensure it included benefits for legal immigrants, and how that influenced me to attend law school, and he said that it didn't do it for them. It didn't say enough about who I was, and didn't give them any way to get to know me. I don't necessarily agree with his statements, since I had it read over by many people, from college professors to law students, and they all thought it was great, but it's only the opinions of the adcom that count, after all. So make sure to keep the PS focused and not to include too much that isn't directly about you, even if you feel those parts are necessary to place the events in sociopolitical and personal context.

I hope this proves helpful for someone out there. I'm beginning to believe that...

Incoming 1Ls / Loans: LIBOR vs. PRIME
« on: June 23, 2004, 12:47:12 PM »
I know there are some people here with experience in the finance industry. Is it better, in your opinion, to take a loan pegged to LIBOR (3 month), or Prime? Recently, the LIBOR has been increasing, but I thought it was the more stable over the long term.

I'm looking at Citibank vs. AccessGroup. Right now, the LIBOR rate is a little better, but it's less than .1% difference.

Any thoughts from people who deal with this stuff would be appreciated. I'm not a finance moron, I'd like to think, but I don't follow historic trends and leading indicators...

Law School Admissions / Re: Study Abroad
« on: May 02, 2004, 02:19:43 PM »
i think study abroad can only help, never hurt. going to a foreign country, particularly one where you don't speak the language, is not something that everyone is willing to do.

personally, i spent a semester at tel-aviv university as an undergrad. my biggest problem with the program was that we lived in dorms with other americans, which left us fairly isolated from the real culture there, since everyone in the building was speaking english all the time (my main purpose for going was to learn hebrew, since i needed to pass my college's language requirement). if i were doing it again, i'd find a program where you do homestay, or at least arrange an apartment off campus, but i don't think that's as relevant for law school programs.

overall, i know a lot of people who went abroad (about 2/3 of people at my college went abroad at least once, and several went twice), and i've never met anyone who regrets the decision. i do, on the other hand, know a lot of people who regret not taking advantage of the opportunity, since you may never have the chance to live abroad again once you finish school and need to work, raise a family, etc.

Site Suggestions and Announcements / replies timing out
« on: April 01, 2004, 11:08:12 AM »
I've had it happen a few times now that when I've been in the middle of replies, where my 'session' has timed out even though I've stayed logged into the site permanently. This is really aggravating, because I'll type of a nice long post, and hit submit. Then, it gives me an error, but doesn't save my text in the form, so when I go back to the previous page, it's all lost.

What's going on with this?

Incoming 1Ls / Undergrad LSAT/GPA Inter-School Comparisons
« on: March 13, 2004, 02:17:39 PM »
Okay, so there's a lot of discussion on these boards about GPAs being comparable or not comparable between colleges and universities. Since we've got a lot of people on this site, with a little help from the LSAC, we can see grade trends and how they relate to LSAT scores. Is a 3.5 from an Ivy comparable to a 3.5 at a 3rd tier public? Let's find out.

If you check out the "Academic Summary Report" from the LSAC website (after you log-in, go to Account Status -> Transcripts and you'll see it there), it gives you information about all applicants from your undergrad granting institution within a few years of when you attended.

I'm not interested in the individual applicant (your) data, but the aggregate data from the schools. Let's do the top half (until you can add up the percents and come out greater than 50), to make it easier.

I went to a top 5 Liberal Arts College.

LSAT % distribution:
95+ : 30
90-94 : 17
85-89 : 12

This means that 30% of LSAT takers from this college scored 95th percentile or higher. 47% scored 90th percentile or higher, and we stop at the 85% percentile, which includes 59% of test takers from this institution.

GPA % distribution:
4+ : 0
3.8-3.99 : 3
3.6-3.79 : 15
3.4-3.59 : 22
3.2-3.39 : 21

GPA College Mean (under transcript analysis) : 3.25

As one can see, LSAT scores are high, but GPAs are fairly low, since almost twice as many people score higher than the 95th percentile than have a GPA greater than a 3.6.

Thanks for participating! If a lot of people post this data, I think we can learn a lot about relative grade inflation, or the lack thereof. Right now, I don't think it's necessary to post the actual school names, but if other people are interested, I wouldn't argue against it.

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