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Messages - wjo9522

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Law School Admissions / Re: In desperate need of some advice!
« on: October 02, 2011, 07:13:28 PM »
I don't see anything wrong with calling the school you are interested in applying to and posing that exact question.  Good luck.

Current Law Students / Re: DUI and getting a Bar License
« on: September 22, 2011, 09:27:12 AM »
I can't say how to proceed, but the tone of your message seems to be one which avoids ownership of the issue.  With respect to you and your Navy buddies, a stellar record of not getting caught abusing alcohol by a competent authority does not render this DUI an "isolated incident".   Rarely does someone get caught on the first time ('I swear officer') that they make the decision to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of debilitating substances.  The fact that you were in Law School when you got the DUI does not resonate well.

I have always found that owning up to your faults and facing the consequences of your actions is best.  In your argument for why you think you should be 'okay' includes premises such as "my Navy buddies just returned from deployment; I have never done this before; this is an isolated incident." The conclusion that you will somehow be vindicated can only be false. 

The criminal courts may give you a bye, but I don't believe that the California State Bar will give you a pass on moral character; especially when you don't accept full responsibility.

Law School Admissions / Re: Where should I go?
« on: September 19, 2011, 02:45:58 PM »
As a person who turned down a conditional offer of employment at the FBI, I would encourage you to look into the USMC Officer programs as a launch pad for your FBI career.  (  We train all Marine Officers at Quantico; co-located with the FBI Academy.  Military service (provided that you are a performer) will certainly enhance your resume. 

Moral/drug waivers need not apply...don't participate in the knucklehead activities that fellow 16-year old's may be trying out.  Get in great physical shape and set goals for continuous improvement.   

Stay focused on your goal, but be sure to enjoy the rest of your adolescence. Good luck.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Military
« on: August 19, 2011, 07:56:34 AM »
...Maybe that's why so many retired vets end up as cops(and not good ones either)...

That's a hasty generalization concerning vet-cops, but you are certainly entitled to your opinion.  I have served with several Guard Members both overseas and in garrison, and while a great number of them are overweight, lack proficiency in their skills, and are generally ancient per-grade as compared to the average soldier; I would never postulate that they don't make good soldiers.   

I like the OP's rationale for obtaining a J.D.  According to the World Bank Development Indicator (2009), the mean US life expectancy is now 79 years.  Can we seriously expect, that in today's political and financial climate, a government pension is a "sure thing"?  I don't count on it and neither should the OP.  He is making an investment in himself and he is a proven performer.  In this case, I don't think that making a bet on himself is a gamble.

Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students / Re: Army Flep Application
« on: July 12, 2011, 08:04:48 AM »
Welcome to LSD.  I have found that there aren't many "duty experts" in that arena on this forum.  Try the Army FLEP Facebook page.  There seems to be a good discussion going on there.

Good Luck.

The focus on the military is based upon the OP's concerns about lack of extracurriculars in his/her LS application. 

I would have to disagree with your assumption that military service "isn't too relevant, unless you want to practice law in the military."  Please see Dean Pless' comments during an TLS interview, "TLS: What soft factors, meaning components of the applications besides GPA/LSAT, does your law school like the most?Pless: I think most people consider resume and PS to be soft factors. At least I do. Military experience is certainly a positive factor...."

While it is true that the OP's scores are stellar, most deans will attest that there is no such thing as an auto-admit.

Check out the following interview of Paul Pless (UIUC) by TLS (

TLS: How are advanced degrees viewed at Illinois?
Typically at least 20% of our students have advanced degrees. I love to see them in applications. The only thing is that the graduate GPA is fairly meaningless since almost all graduate programs have very high curves. I look more at the quality of the school and the program when using it as a factor.
TLS: What percentage have Ph.D.s? How is a doctoral degree viewed as compared to a masters?
Maybe 5%, and yes, it is given considerably more weight. I think a Ph.D. is always an impressive thing to see in an application. It can make up for a lackluster undergraduate GPA or a poor LSAT.

There won't be very many former marines applying to the top law schools.  This gives you a good anlge.  Schools want as diverse a class as possible because that's what makes the school gool. 

Ride that horse in.  Don't dwell on everyone else.  Polish yourself to look as good as possible and you will have a legigitimate shot.

I assume that your logic is based upon the number of Marines/military members versus the total number of all applicants.  If you posit that Marines do not typically apply to these schools, I would have to disagree.  There are plenty of Marines and other former servicemembers--many of them bonafide war heroes--seeking T14 school seats.

I was in a similar situation last year; sitting in Firebase Fiddler's Green/Marjeh with very limited NIPR access.  Many of the responses you are going to receive here will assume you have the basic U.S. implements of phone and 24/7 Internet access.  Please P.M. me if there is something I can help with.  We were still burning our poop and drinking from a well when I left there, and I hope things have improved.

If you have SPAWAR access, you should be able to enter your stats at, which will give you a decent idea of where you stand.  I'm not sure if you are an Underrepresented Minority candidate, but I did some research for you and this is what was generated from your scores (non-URM):

UChicago: Deny
Northwestern: Deny
Berkeley: Deny
UT: Texas?...Deny
UCLA: Deny
USC: Deny
Minn (home state): Deny
Notre Dame: Deny
Iowa: Deny
Colorado: Deny
Univ San Diego: Consider
Villanova: Weak Consider

I'm certainly not one to dispense Law School admissions advice, but I have learned a great deal from reviewing LSD postings and several publications that the LSAT score is the most important admissions factor that you can control at this time.  I would recommend at least two books to you, both of which are available at

1) Law School: Getting In, Getting Good, Getting the Gold by Thane Messinger (also an LSD contributor)

2) Later-in-Life Lawyers: Tips for the Non-Traditional Law Student by Charles Cooper

As Bigs5078 writes, is a great place to see where you stand compared to current/previous year's applicants.  I think you will see several combat veterans listed there, some with numbers and "soft factors" more compelling than others.  Lots of Army guys with Bronze Stars = war heroes.

Please let me know if you need assistance in getting these books or additional info.  Thane was generous enough to contribute a copy of his book to my cause and I would be happy to pay it forward.  Good luck to you and your brave Marines.

Semper Fidelis. 

APUS also operates American Military University.  A good friend of mine was accepted to William and Mary with an AMU BS and great LSAT score.  I think the latter carried more weight than the former.

Good Luck.

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