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Messages - Groundhog

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Law School Applications / Re: Looking for Advice, Please
« on: July 29, 2014, 08:49:53 PM »
Soft factors are generally anything that can't be reduced to a number for LSAC and ranking purposes. They can usually be improved upon significantly with some effort, but don't matter as much as hard factors. GPA and LSAT are the two main hard factors, plus URM status, if applicable; pretty much everything else is a soft factor, i.e. major, extracurriculars, etc.

Keep planning on attending med school. Law school will always be there, and requires significantly less preparation than medical school; just the LSAT, really. Similarly, the LSAT is an aptitude test—while you can study for it, it isn't the same as a test that requires scientific knowledge, like the MCAT. Being naturally good at it doesn't mean you need to go to law school. Chances are you're better than 80% of your peers in writing, math, and science, but the math and science classes tend to weed people less dedicated or skilled out.

Your major doesn't really matter for law school, and, if you meet the pre-med requirements, doesn't matter so much for med school either. 't you can, take only the minimum pre-med classes. It's not actually more than a couple years in each subject, so if you want to switch or double major in something, you can still do it and meet med school requirements.

It's unlikely that switching majors and classes at this point could improve your GPA *that* much, so I would only switch completely if you're absolutely sure you'll never want to go to medical school and are 100% positive you want to do law school.

There's nothing wrong with having law as a Plan B, as long as that's not the only reason you decide on it. Don't decide to do it just because med school doesn't work out the first time around or seems hard. Remember, it will always be there, and admissions requirements are getting easier, not harder, right now.

One thought: Don't work and attend school, especially with difficult classes. I know this may be financially difficult(I had to work through school as well) but it inevitably hurts GPA. After a JD or MD, you won't be sweating an extra couple thousand in loans, but during admissions you might sweat that .1 or .3 GPA difference it could make. Just a thought.

Minority Topics / Re: Am I a Minority According to LSAC Standards?
« on: July 28, 2014, 07:40:06 PM »
Foreign applicants absolutely do not get any kind of boost in JD acceptances. Think about it—they've most likely received their entire education in another country, another legal system. On top of that, there are potential English issues.

The one exception could be if your race is considered a true URM in America and the law school needs to check more boxes of that type.

But in my experience, foreign applicants are evaluated separately, and somewhat less favorably, than U.S. candidates. That doesn't mean that a 4.0/180 from Oxford is any less good than the same from Yale, as both are English-speaking, but going to a top university in Japan, for example, isn't the same.

Logic is usually in the Philosophy department. In rare cases where it's not, it's because of a particular emphasis on logic in general or on the mathematics elements. But most people who get their PhDs in Logic are studying in Philosophy departments.

Law School Applications / Re: Looking for Advice, Please
« on: July 26, 2014, 01:00:12 AM »
In general, the prestige of your undergrad matters very little. Getting a solid GPA and good soft factors matters a lot, so you should go somewhere you will be happy. The price can matter too.

Furthermore, it appears that at least by US News general rankings, UC Santa Barbara is much higher ranked(#41 vs. #91).

In the end, you have to go with the school that feels right or works for other reasons. It will matter very little from a law school admissions perspective.

General Board / Re: Academic Dismissal
« on: July 23, 2014, 12:13:49 PM »
Good work!

Minority Topics / Re: Am I a Minority According to LSAC Standards?
« on: July 23, 2014, 12:12:55 PM »
Won't hurt, probably won't help much.

M / Re: Monterey College of Law
« on: July 10, 2014, 04:31:44 PM »
Many of these schools have high attrition rates and expect a number of students fail, but Cooley would be ecstatic if all their 1L's performed amazingly well on their first year exams and had 0% attrition.

But that's not possible because of the forced curve. Although the details vary by law school, most curves discourage if not outright prevent everyone from receiving the same grade or close to it, which is the only way to avoid academic attrition on a low curve/high GPA grading system.

M / Re: Monterey College of Law
« on: July 09, 2014, 08:18:01 PM »
I never said anything about a minimum fail out rate. I said that they had GPA curves that inevitably lead to dismissals for academic reasons. When you curve at say, 2.0, and then anyone with a 1.5 or below is academically ineligible, it's going to happen.

I hate to use the cliché but Cooley has a >10% attrition rate for both 1L and 2L years according to official ABA data. There are probably plenty of non-ABA schools that are worse, but those statistics are harder to find.

The benefit to dismissing students is because it somewhat helps their bar passage rate and they often use the same low GPA curve high GPA standards to remove scholarships. It's also cheaper to teach 1Ls than to invest in smaller class sizes, journals and clinics that upperclassmen need.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Is this a "bill or attainder" moment?
« on: July 09, 2014, 08:10:29 PM »
Where who says? In the text of the law?

To which MBE question are you referring?

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