Call and ask the schools directly.
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Messages - Miami88
2) As it sounds that you have personal savings that will offset the COA, let me rephrase the question... How much will you have to spend out of pocket to attend both schools? I ask because, if UI is going to cost 5x W, your feelings may be different about it.
3) I would call up both schools and be as candid with them as possible (respectful, but upfront with your situation and concern). Say that you are planning on living and working in Chicago and you have xyz concern. Also try and get the admissions staff to put you in contact with a current student. Plead with them for their honest opinion on what is up. Also, if you have any connections to the legal market in Chicago... call them up and ask them what they think.
4) How much? Like... is UI employing 60% of their kids with 100% of that being in Chicago while W employs 65% of their kids with 1% of them in Chicago? I would ask the schools when you call them for stronger stats. If they tell you they don't have those kinds of stats, they are lying b/c they do.
« on: March 13, 2015, 02:03:02 PM »
Hard factors will amount to - at minimum - 2/3 of your chances. The other 1/3 include everything else - your letters of rec., essays, diversity, etc. The fact that you got high 3.0s in graduate school is not that impressive (this is by no means a judgment call - even if you were to get a 4.0, in most grad program that is to be expected). This is not meant to devalue your graduate studies - they do offer you competitive advantages, just not in a GPA sense - they certainly are not going to counteract your Undergrad GPA. Of course, in your essays, I would speak to your increased work ethic in grad school. But I would spend more time focusing on the valuable perspectives that you will bring to the classroom as well as the benefit you will bring to future employers given your expertise. Just know that your grad. studies will be a small soft factor boost and will not substantively affect the 2/3 hard factor part of your candidacy.
All that said, given your UGPA, your LSAT will really be indicative of where you have a realistic shot. A lot of schools are, sadly, closed off to you even if you were to get a 180. All I can say is get as high of an LSAT score as possible. After you have a real LSAT score, we will have a stronger idea of where you will have a good shot at. If you end up getting a 170, you are looking around schools ranking in the 40-70s range. With a 160, you are looking around the 100 range. With a 155 and you are pretty much confined to unranked schools. Anything less and your shot at any law school is minimal.
So... practice your butt off for the LSAT!
1) What, if any, are the conditions on the scholarships?
2) Assuming you keep your scholarships, what is the total debt load you are looking at after three years at each school (including cost of living, interest on loans, projected increases in tuition, etc.)?
3) Not sure what to do given its recent drop... part of me thinks it will stabilize - the other part of me is cynical...
4) What are the placement stats, specifically for Chicago?
My gut would tell me, if your goal is Chicago and you have a full ride to a (relatively speaking) solid Chicago school... go for it. The only reason it sounds like Wisconsin is a contender is because of Chicago's recent drop in ranking. I'm not saying that is a non factor, but I don't think it should dissuade you away from the school. In other words, I'm not sure Wisconsin will offset the risk. I am going to assume they don't place as well in Chicago (but that is speculative).
The more pressing question is: where do you want to live/work after law school?
It's not until you get into the T14 (and even then) that you get schools that truly place students in jobs throughout the US. In your range, you are looking at schools that will have solid local pull up to, maybe, regional pull. In other words, if you go to school at FSU, you will be practically limited to having the strongest shot at landing a job in the northern Florida area. If that area is not a place you see yourself spending your foreseeable future living and working in - do not even apply.
I say this because your school list is literally all over the map. There is nothing inherently wrong with this - just make sure you actually want to live/work in any given school's respective region.
Note that in the eyes of law schools, the only true URM hispanics are Mexicans and Puerto Ricans. Any other hispanic (South American, Cuban, etc.) and you may get a "diversity" soft-factor boost, but it will be minimal (at least compared to a true URM boost).
Once you know the cities you can legitimately see yourself living in post law school - check out what your rough chances are at:
I would personally apply to all the top schools in the cities you want to live/work in that you have some glimmer of hope that they would accept you. In other words, if you want to live in New York City, at least apply to: Fordham; Cardozo; and Brooklyn... if you want to live in Chicago, at least apply to: Illinois Inst. of Tech. and Loyola Uni. Chicago... you get the picture.
Selecting Schools that Admit You
This is a separate beast, one that will involve weighing several factors that are of legitimate importance to you. I would at least consider the relative total debt (post interest) and job statistics of each school. School A may end up costing you about $50k more than School B, but if School A also places 50% more of their grads in the kind of job you want... then it may be worth it (that is a personal choice call - no one can decide how debt adverse you should be but you). But this is clearly a ways away. For now, just focus on figuring out what schools are on your radar and getting your application/essays as strong as you can get them.
« on: January 26, 2015, 12:12:24 AM »
I'm not sure how competitive it is to get the positions, but from all the recruiters I have spoken with, they are always saying that (that there are more jobs than qualified candidates). Also, literally everyone I know that is qualified has been able to find solid IP work.
Again, I'm not sure how competitive these jobs are to actually get. In other words, I'm not sure if they are only looking for Top 14...Top 50... Top 100 school kids. If I were you, before you go into debt, speak with IP law recruiters. Are they schools you are looking at going to be competitive enough?
« on: January 25, 2015, 05:13:03 PM »
Do your research on those websites to figure out your chances of getting accepted and the chances of employment post graduation. As is right now, you are likely looking at unranked schools. The positive side is you may qualify for intellectual property work (one of the few sectors in the legal industry that has more jobs than qualified candidates). Check out the website below for more info on the requirements.
I would try and get your LSAT up as much as possible. Your GPA will send lots of red flags to almost any accredited school, but maybe a really strong LSAT would add to your argument that your program was really hard and your were going through a rough time. I would also talk to your school's law school advisor as well as the admission departments for schools you think you would have a real shot at (per the above websites).
« on: December 01, 2014, 06:35:48 PM »
I wouldn't if it feels at all like you are merely tacking it on at the end. In other words, if you are specifically tying in the school's programs/professors/etc with your personal statement, then ok. But if its a "insert school name" here kind of conclusion, I would avoid it. Also, research the FAQ sections for the school's admissions department. Several schools (like Yale) explicitly state they don't want you to take up real estate by, essentially, just blowing smoke - i.e., they don't want to see their name on the PS at all. Others welcome it.
I personally wrote school specific conclusions for the schools that had the programs I was really interested in (that fit in 100% with my PS). Other than that, I wrote generic conclusions.
In the end, I doubt it really makes much of a difference. If you have the time and can make the school specific conclusion sincere - go for it. Other than that, don't worry about it.
« on: November 06, 2014, 08:02:28 PM »
1) Contact professor asap to get the inside scoop.
2) Contact the registrar asap to get the inside scoop.
3) Contact the state bar where she wants to practice in. What are their policies for things like this?
3) If that doesn't work, anonymously contact the law school for the inside scoop.
4) Last resort, I would use your best and honest discretion while erring on the side of caution. A 5 sentence paragraph describing the issue with the grade and the background of the situation while, at the same time, turning it into a positive thing is only going to show class and perseverance. I would be surprised if this would in any real way affect her chances in the long run. It might bump her down if she was right on the cusp of getting accepted, but, realistically, schools are more so concerned about your GPA and LSAT. Those two things = their ranking = amount of students they get = amount of tuition they get. The C&F is more so designed to filter out people that likely wouldn't be able to practice even if they graduated (again, lower employment stats = lower ranking = less students = less $). Further, C&F can show some minor issues in academic performance (will the student even graduate). Given the overall situation, I doubt there will be much of an issue UNLESS...
Unless the info is on the official transcript AND she does not disclose the info. This would likely be met with a big sad face followed by a rejection letter. No gold star.
So... if all options prove fruitless, disclose!
Hispanic is "self identifying" but FYI it you don't look and sound Hispanic, don't do use it
I'm sure you aren't suggesting that race is strictly (or significantly) tied to physical appearance and accents? Hispanics all look and sound very different. There are hispanics that are white with freckles and red hair (yes - "ginger" hispanics as you put it. South America has a lot of hispanics that "look" like this.). There are hispanics that are black skinned with black hair. There are hispanics that speak better english than most Americans. There are hispanics that can hardly be understood.
The whole point of URM - and diversity in general - is to offset the imbalance of specific social groups that we, as a society, have historically and systematically suppressed. This historical suppression has gravely impacted social groups' opportunities to pursue higher education and, as a result, legal studies and representation in the legal profession. The crucial point, therefore, is not of your skin color, the suburb you grew up in, or the way you pronounce "quesadilla." The crucial point is that of your cultural ancestry.
I can understand concern if, say, your entire ancestry is non-minority EXCEPT for that one great great grandfather that was himself only half (fill in URM). But aside from these type scenarios, your cultural background is your cultural background.