Law School Discussion

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Messages - "Legapp" Stands for "Legal Application"

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1631
Acceptances / Re: Syracuse
« on: November 21, 2005, 12:50:36 PM »
I went there for UG, and to be honest, wasn't thrilled with the place.  As you may have heard, the "city" stinks.  Very industrial wasteland.  The snow thing sounded nice before I actually got there (skiing! sledding!).  It was not nice when combined with 30 mph gusts of wind while walking to class.  Campus authorities pretty much clamped down on anything resembling fun after the Livingston riot during my freshman year.  The funky bohemian coffee shop was forced out by Starbucks, also during my freshman year.  Communal space narrowed down to a few bars overcrowded with greeks who were the worst drunks EVER.

Classes were hit-or-miss... some Arts and Sciences classes were built for morons.  Newhouse and Maxwell were better.  I did take one law class, which I enjoyed, so perhaps that bodes well.  The law building is pretty new. 

And, of course, bball and football lovers will be happy, though I'm still mad about the high cost of tickets.


1632
Law School Applications / Re: Does Honors Mean Anything
« on: November 18, 2005, 11:53:19 AM »

And, for whatever it's worth, I think a state school student who pursued a vigorous honors curriculum, wrote a thesis, and generally did all he could to exhaust his schools academic opportunities, is much more impressive than a student from a higher ranked school who avoided the honors program and graduated with a decent GPA.  Hard work counts.

i agree. honors programs are nothing special, but many people involved in them chose scholarships over ivies and other higher ranked schools. adcomms probably aren't blind to this fact.
[/quote]

You're right. While it varies per school, I spoke to an admissions guy at a very prestigious law school about tbe importance of academic records.  For this school, he said that the quality of the classes you took is more important than the resulting GPA (remember--the US News GPA is a median, so only half the class need have super high ones to keep this score up). 

Certainly taking advantage of available opportunities is important, and he said they count the number of honors classes that you have taken (at my school, you had to be in the honors program to take honors classes).

Two people read every application submitted, so I wouldn't worry too much about something being missed.  I would certainly highlight your achievements in the section called "awards and honors."

1633
Law School Applications / Re: Did Columbia tell you they received your app?
« on: November 16, 2005, 05:24:56 PM »
I'm ED and sent my LSAC app on Nov 1st, got a request for the report on Nov 3, and then got the complete email on the 14th.

My timeline was almost identical-- sent 10/31, report request 11/1, complete 11/14.  I know the thing holding up my application was the Dean's Certification, as I'd emailed the week prior to find out if they had received it.

My undergraduate school sucks... they only have one person to do the DC's for the entire university, and it took a month.  Sigh.

Anyway, I'd say email them to see what's holding up your complete notice.

1634
Law School Applications / Re: PS word count roll call
« on: November 03, 2005, 06:28:07 PM »
Whoa...

1132 - 1221 depending on the school. But it's all good stuff!  I think I was at nearly twice that on my first draft.

1635
Personal Statement / Re: any readers for a rough draft PS?
« on: November 03, 2005, 06:08:39 PM »
sure, shoot me an email... give me a couple days, though, because I'll be out of town this weekend.

1636
Personal Statement / Re: Rought Draft to Read
« on: November 03, 2005, 06:05:40 PM »
I don't have the time to do the full critique that kruddler did, but I hope you heed his advice.  This PS is FAR too negative; it sounds like you can "barely stand" your wife and kids, which is not going to sit well with admissions folks.  Also, I would remove every "you" from this statement, because they sound condescending.  You can't know what the reader is thinking, or their life situation.

Orwell wrote a wonderful essay on writing that can be found here:
http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm

The most important part of this essay for me was his advice to really examine your thoughts on a topic before trying to but it into words.  Why do you want to go to law school?  What about it appeals?  Are there stories in your past that show it will be a good fit? (If so, use one as your opener--you need a more engaging introduction.)  A little research could also go a long way, as far as mentioning possible career paths after graduation, but I wouldn't spend too long on that part, as people expect it to change during school.

1637
I know it's really nerve-racking, but it's hard to predict chances based only on the information provided... the extent to which LSAT and GPA are really important vary with each school.  A school that's really trying to push up their rankings will probably emphasize them more, but think about the numerical data.  If a school cares a lot about its median, then half the class must have really high scores, but the rest can get pretty low, since it's not an average (fyi, I heard that someone got into Columbia with an LSAT of 151).

There's a lot of other considerations, including your ps, recs, ec's, work experience, and transcripts (yes, the quality of the classes you've taken will affect your chances).  I've also been told that two admissions people read every application.  I think many posters demean this stuff by calling them "soft factors," but they can make a huge difference.  In your case, the senator internship has got to help.

That said, my prediction would be that you'll be accepted at 9 out of 12 of your schools, with maybe a couple waitlists and one or two rejections.  You seem to have selected a good variety of schools, something I still have to get around to... right now I'm just praying for my top choices  ;)

1638
I didn't apply to all of those schools (yet), but I can say that you are correct that Penn and NYU don't require it, but Columbia does.

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