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Messages - amk320

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Acceptances, Denials, and Waitlists / Rutgers-Camden Waitlist
« on: May 15, 2008, 10:07:28 AM »
Does anyone have any advice for increasing the chance of getting off of a waitlist?  My acceptances for this year are not so good, and with rejections from Temple, Villanova and Drexel, I'm hoping I can move off the Rutgers WL so I don't have to relocate or take a year off entirely.  I know that sending a LOCI or something is usually a good idea, but the only thing I could offer is that my final semester senior grades were excellent, and the GPA I've maintained for the last two years is considerably higher than the cumulative GPA I was forced to advertise to the schools I applied to.  I think that is a strong indication that the upward trend in my academic progress is likely to continue in law school.

(EDIT - Cumulative undergrad GPA moved from 3.27 to 3.30, but semester GPA was high 3.6 with Dean's List, where it's been for two years.  Had a couple bad semesters at the beginning that hurt me.)

Failing that, would I have better chances if I offered to attend the part-time programs?  As terrifying as spending an evening in Camden is, I can't imagine seats are as competitive.

Thanks for the input,


I hope so.  I grew up on welfare in a single-parent household, moved every year from one place to another, lost my only parent and went into foster care for years.  Sadly, not much of this helps me to provide "diversity" because I am, unfortunately, white.  I have a sinking feeling that if I had another color to my skin, I would be able to get into some schools beyond my LSAT/GPA, both of which are terribly low for much the same reason that such scores tend to be "statistically" lower among URMs.

That being said, I opted not to list racial data on any of my applications.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Living in Houston v. Philly
« on: March 08, 2008, 06:34:48 PM »
Just thought I'd chime in.  I haven't heard back from any schools, but I'd like to go somewhere in Philly because I was born and raised in Bucks County, one of the Philly suburb areas.  The friend I plan on living with is also from my area, and we have both heard Manayunk is the safest and best place to be looking for a place to live.  As for the weather, I can tell you that I have spent the last five years in State College doing undergrad at Penn State, and it is so unbelievably cold here compared to the Philly area only 3.5 hours away, it's not even funny.  We routinely get snow here that never materializes around Philly, and it is not uncommon for this area to be a full 10-20 degrees colder.  But what makes State College the worst is the WIND.  Horrible wind, all winter long.  There is no Spring and no Fall in this town.  It's 7 months of brutal cold from October to April, and then it's just as hot/humid as everywhere else in PA from May to September.  And when you wish that wind that made your year so awful was around to cool you off, it's nowhere to be found.

For these reasons and more, I applied to every school in PA *except* Penn State.

Law School Admissions / Re: Application Deadlines -
« on: March 02, 2008, 07:40:21 PM »
I had an LSAC fee waiver, so I assumed it'd be free to apply to all these places.  Then I just got a MASSIVE bill from LSAC, because I didn't know that after my first four "free" reports, I'd be charged $12 per.  I didn't even know what a "report" was prior to applying.  But I figured I might as well just pay the $300 or so.  Sure beats the.. several thousand I would've had to pay in application fees.

Law School Admissions / Re: Application Deadlines -
« on: March 02, 2008, 06:32:30 PM »
Good deal.  Thanks. :)

Law School Admissions / Application Deadlines -
« on: March 02, 2008, 06:13:46 PM »
How do these work?  Is the date listed as a school's application deadline the date you need to have submitted your application by?  Or the date by which everything needs to be complete?  I'm a hardcore procrastinator and just sent out all applications for Fall 2008 on February 26th trying to beat March 1st deadlines.  Of the 31 schools I applied to, 26 requested reports on February 27th, but the remaining schools have not.

Anyone know how this works?  Did I beat the deadline for the schools that requested my report before March 1st?  What about the schools that haven't requested one yet? 

I've done five years of undergrad at Penn State.  State College is a great little town, but it is *brutally* cold here in the winter.  Being from the Philly suburb area, I also don't like being 3-4 hours away from everything in Pennsylvania.  Plus, at least right now, the law school's temporary building is sitting out in a field that two years ago was a dairy farm, and I think part of it still is.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Is Drexel hard to get into?
« on: February 22, 2008, 07:11:47 PM »

You can't afford NOT to retake it- even with the year off. Talk with your lenders, something should beable to be worked out.

The only schools that will enable you to reasonably pay off that kind of debt are the kind that require a 160+ LSAT. You are only digging your hole much deeper by attending third tier law school. You would graduate with 200k+ debt and little more earning potential than with just the undergrad degree. Thaats getting to the point of might as well flee the country.

As to the difficulty of getting into schools, check out

Also, a good personal statement about your background would go a long way towards making up the UG GPA.

I haven't found to be very helpful. For most schools the average GPA/LSAT for "accepted" applications seems a good bit higher than what their medians actually are.  Further, it doesn't really tell you *why* people were accepted or rejected.  Taking Drexel for example, you see people with 158 LSATs, and 3.6 GPAs rejected, and people with 152s and 3.5 GPAs accepted.  That's not informative to me.  I've also heard enough about taking time off.  I'm not going to work for $30,000 a year or have to bust my ass working overtime just to pay off my loans so I can better study for the next LSAT.  There's no guarantee I will score higher, and if I have to work that much just to stay above the poverty line, I'll probably be too bummed out and unmotivated to even bother studying.  I'll take my chances at a crappy school and see what I can do to transfer somewhere that might more reliably provide me with a good income at graduation.  I don't think it's too unreasonable to think I might be able to transfer into a school like Temple if I did well enough.

Plus, the question of whether or not Drexel would accept someone like me hasn't been addressed.  Like I said, the info on lawschoolnumbers is kinda misleading.

Okay... yeah, if you're convinced you want to go now and you're happy with Drexel here's what I have to say:

Is it hard to get into? Eh, it's all relative, but I'm going to say no, not really.

Will it be hard for you? Somewhat. You have some things against you: an unimpressive LSAT score/GPA, and you're applying late.

BUT... you're a good writer (that's evident from your posts). You're smart and determined. Why not visit Drexel and talk with someone on the admissions committee? Take a tour there. Apply ASAP and draft something really well written explaining to them that despite your low numbers, you really can and would do well in law school, and further, that you are really eager to attend Drexel in particular. Law schools, like their applicants, like to feel wanted. Give them some love, and you have a reasonable shot at receiving it.

Good luck, friend!  :)

Would I include such an addendum with my personal statement?  I planned on discussing my personal upbringing in the statement, since I think that's my best chance for admission.  If I can illustrate that I represent a minority group (albeit just a socioeconomic one) and that I have, time and time again, beat the odds to succeed, there's a strong chance I'll suceed in law school despite a poor LSAT score and UGPA.

EDIT - Reason for my inquiry, I know that Dickinson requires both a general personal statement and then a specific "Why Penn State Dickinson?" letter.  I also plan on applying to Dickinson, though it is my absolute last choice after spending the last five years here in State College.  Penn State is the reason I have the crippling financial burdens I do.  Being the MOST expensive state school in the U.S and A. as it is...

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Is Drexel hard to get into?
« on: February 22, 2008, 06:37:28 PM »
Well, I think if Drexel shoots me down, I'm going to follow another close friend of mine who plans on going to Roger Williams.  He pulled a 160 on his LSAT, but his GPA's only 2.98.  Still, they offered him like, 75% tuition or something.  So it's either that, or take the plunge at Widener and try to get out of there by my second year.  Or, do something meaningless for a year and live in a box while I pay off my $1,000 a month student loan bills with my $2000 a month take home pay.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Is Drexel hard to get into?
« on: February 22, 2008, 06:30:19 PM »
Plus, the question of whether or not Drexel would accept someone like me hasn't been addressed.  Like I said, the info on lawschoolnumbers is kinda misleading.

Don't just use the graph, check the individual profiles. 9/10 times it is immediatly clear why someone was accepted/rejected outside of the normal number range.

With your background, it is safe to say that you have a good chance of doing better than your numbers might otherwise indicate.

I heard somewhere that because they're not accredited, you can't count the credits if you were to transfer to an accredited school.  Is that accurate?  Also, I'm not sure how that would work now that they have provisional accredation. I've also heard that it's harder to get into Drexel because they're keeping the class size small at around 120 or so?  And they're throwing money at people to go there, apparently.  Not that someone with my stats is the sort of applicant to have money thrown at, but I think it's too early in the game to make the claim I'll have 200k in debt.  It's possible I could transfer to Temple and pay 16k a year tuition, or get some sort of scholarship at Drexel were I to do well enough initially.

The credit transfer would depend on the school accepting the credits. I would't count on being able to transfer.

I have never heard of anyone getting scholarship money just for doing well. Maybe you could work out some kind of deal in exchange for not transferring were you to be at the very top of the class, but its very very unlikely. As for transferring, the odds are against you. To make a siginficant jump in school quality, you would likely need to be top 20% of your class. There is an 80% chance it won't happen.

As for not wanting to make "only" 30k with just your UG. Just how much do you expect to make with a degree from Drexel? Since it's not ABA fully accredited, it's hard to get specific salary information about the school, but at the lower ranked ABA approved schools, it is not at all uncommon for grads to start at 30-40k for their first job (if they are lucky enough to get one practicing law at all.

The system is not fair, and its not an accurate reflection on the candates caught up in it, but those who chose to ignore how it works risk some very tough times. Good luck with what ever you chose to do. 

The point I was driving home is that I'd prefer to make 30k a year doing something I want to do than 30k a year doing something I don't want to do.  I only get to be alive once, it doesn't seem worthwhile to spend time doing things I don't want to do.  Already had to spend five years in undergrad learning about obscure political theories and ancient history so I can go to law school..

And is it that unbelivable to pull the top 20% of the class?  I'm sure it's difficult, but the chance is still there.  Even if the odds are stacked against me.  I mean, they've more or less been stacked against me my entire life, it wouldn't be that big of an adjustment for me.

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