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Messages - Miami88

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Personal Statement / Re: Need advice on Personal Statement Conclusion
« 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.

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!

Law School Applications / Re: law!
« on: November 06, 2014, 02:42:17 PM »
Hispanic is "self identifying" but FYI it you don't look and sound Hispanic, don't do use it
the "I'm blonde and sound valley girl but I'm Hispanic because my granma's maiden name was sanchez" is frowned upon
but far too often abused anyways
ginger "Hispanics"................with british accents.........seen it, more than once.


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.

1) GPA

First off, know that LSAC looks at all grades up until you receive your first bachelor's degree. So, if you are trying to raise your GPA, you can only do so before you get that bachelor's degree. Also note they will take into account grades from undergraduate coursework prior to your bachelors.

So, if you can take a few extra courses to boost your GPA prior to graduation, great... BUT, you have to figure out just how big of a bump you will POTENTIALLY get. If we are talking about .5 of a boost, okay... but if its just a 100th of a decimal... probably not going to do much.

And is that 165 a legit LSAT score or a practice score? A 165 + stellar addendum + stellar upward grade trend + lousy GPA is still going to be more than good enough to get you into good law schools - maybe even some money... Lower ranked schools may be willing to look past the GPA b/c of the big boost your LSAT score would give them. And if you have a recent history of strong academic performance, your GPA shouldn't scare them off (that you will drop/flunk out and thereby drop their ranking).

I don't know enough about LLMs to be of much help.

Good luck!

Law School Applications / Re: Help with Diversity Statement
« on: October 20, 2014, 12:26:31 PM »
I would say age could be a solid topic to talk about, but not really under your circumstances. If you were 12 years old - ok .... if you were over 30 - ok... But being one year less than the expected age is prob not worth it.

It's simple. Apply to all the top 14-20 schools plus any school in the region(s) you want to live and work in after college. If your hard factors place you far above the median for local schools, apply to the top school/school you like the most and move on.

Several people would (and with good reason) disagree with casting this wide of a net, but...

 Don't worry about applying to the "right" school just yet. If it was really certain you would get into the school you wanted merely by applying, then this early speculation would be warranted. But the reality is, even if you have the numbers, there is no certainty you will get accepted. Therefore, start thinking about these decisions once you have offers - and only then. Sure, you can look schools up and hope for your dream school - but don't pigeon hole yourself this early on.

Finding a job after graduation (or, hopefully, before graduation) is largely based on where you go to law school. The top 14 schools generally have national reach (though some far more than others). Therefore, no matter where you want to practice, these schools should open sufficient doors for you. Aside from that, it is easier to find work in the region your school is located. There are a few reasons for this... local schools will - surprisingly - have more local connections; you will have more opportunities to network in the specific area; and you will have a demonstrated commitment to the region.

Moreover, if you manage to get a scholarship, you might be able to use that as leverage to get money at another school. For example, assume school A is your dream school and school B is safety. Say both have accepted you but school B gave you $60k more in scholarship than A. You can then try to use that scholarship offer to get more money from school A. Likewise, if school A is ranked far higher than B, you can try to use their offer to get even more money out of school B... and so on. If you had only applied to school A, you would not have this option. And believe me, this is an option you want to have.

Law School Applications / Re: W's on transcript
« on: September 18, 2014, 02:23:21 PM »
I wouldn't stress out over it. It may warrant a brief addendum - but it won't break your app. This is a very minor flaw... if you were expelled, that's a major flaw... withdrawing from a course your first semester... please. Everyone, including those that get accepted to these top schools, has something in their app that isn't perfect. Which makes sense... we are all human. The difference in those who get accepted v those who don't is probably the way they present those flaws. Do they talk down about themselves? Do they disrespectfully and smugly shrug it off? Or do they accept it and use it as a vehicle to learn from - to grow. Go for the latter.

Good luck! And congrats on your high academic achievements thus far. :)

Where should I go next fall? / Re: Considering Law School
« on: September 09, 2014, 11:14:30 AM »

It will be an uphill battle. At this point, all you can do it blow them away with your application. Write killer essays and make your resume tight and sparkly. Get on that asap. The earlier you apply, the better. Applications should have opened up already (or will soon). But don't send it in until your essays and what not are perfect. Do anything you can to give yourself a leg up.

Also, make sure to address your GPA issue in an addendum. PS should not talk about this directly. Make w/e happened in undergrad look like a positive thing.

Finally, present yourself. Go to as many open house/preview weekend things you can get to.

In the end, that GPA will be difficult to overcome. The only way to do so is to present yourself in the best light, and that is done in the application.

You are almost there!

Good luck!

General Board / Re: Changing from a medical career?
« on: August 20, 2014, 12:32:59 PM »

170-175 LSAT is not easy. Seriously. I'll assume in the below that you get there, but understand that even assuming you are actually capable (not being mean, just realistic), it will still take a ton of work and effort to get there. Way more than you will ever expect. So, if you really think you can make it there, prepare to practice the LSAT BIG time - like part-time job (if not full time job) worth of preparation.

If someone is a pharmacist, they are probably already pretty brainy. A high LSAT score would not be unrealistic for them. If anything, medical school, pharmacy school,  even nursing school are far more challenging than law studies. That's because they have to take a lot of math and science courses to succeed in their career. A high LSAT score would be a cakewalk for someone who is a pharmacist. I am not sure why some here are doubting that the OP could achieve a high score. It is totally realistic for him.


First off, just because someone is in the medical field, it does not make them "brainy." I have met several pharmacists and doctors alike whose intellect are questionable at best. Of course, the likelihood is much stronger that the person is highly intellectual if they received an extremely high GPA from an extremely prestigious institution. However, the OP has a 3.1. This is a solid GPA, but not necessarily "top of class." We don't know where OP went to school, but regardless, let us assume they went to Harvard and a 3.1 places them in the top percentile of their class. Great. It still doesn't mean that they are "brainy" - it just means they got into Harvard and did well in their classes. Yes, it means that it is more than likely the case they are highly "intellectual," but not necessarily so.

Second, even if the OP is "brainy," the LSAT is not a test of how "brainy" you are - at least not primarily so. Math/Science tests are primarily tests of information - how well you can recall facts about a given subject. You either know the names of the bones in the human body or you don't. You either know the effects of a given drug or you don't. Of course, there is some application of this knowledge, but usually the application is yet another means of showcasing THINGS you KNOW. With some exceptions (some mathematics courses), the application processes itself is not the primary thing being tested.  For example, a Pharmacist may be expected to calculate dosage of a drug. They need to KNOW the formulas for the drug, KNOW what information is needed to plug into those formulas, KNOW how to find that information, etc. The fact that they compute may be expected, but not primary. In sum, these tests are tests of knowledge (noun).

The LSAT is not a test of "information" - it is a test of how efficient and productive you can 1) digest (verb) and understand (verb) new, convoluted information and 2) analyze/synthesize/problem solve (verb/verb/verb) with that information. The things being tested in the LSAT are not nouns (i.e. knowledge), but verbs (i.e. ability to DO). The LSAT, then, is a "skills" test. The LSAT does not test your knowledge, but rather how well you APPLY new knowledge. The LSAT is closer, then, to the ways abilities are tested of performers/artists/athletes. The major difference, of course, is that of the medium. The medium performers/athletes use to showcase their skills are physical in nature (running/playing an instrument/painting - all verbs). However, LSAT takers showcase their skills through cognitive and intellectual means. How well can they intake (verb), understand (verb), and synthesize (verb).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that this means people with Pharmacy backgrounds cannot perform well on the LSAT. All I'm saying is that just because you are a Pharmasict, it does not necessarily mean you will do very well on the LSAT. Moreover, given that the primary - if not only - means of testing a Pharmasict has been exposed to has been knowledge based, doing well on the LSAT may in fact be more surprising than "realistic" as you suggested. This is actually shown to be the case. The top scorers on the LSAT tend to be people who have been tested via skills tests. Phylosphy, Economics, History.. and on the science side, Engeering/Physics (where the PRIMARY testing method is skills based).

I went on to say that if OP is capable of scoring a 175 (and as I showed above, this does not NECESSARILY correlate to being a person of high intellect), it still does not mean much. You might be capable of being a Mozart, of being Picasso, of being da Vinci. Just because you are capable of being does not mean you are. The difference between these amazing performers and most everyone else that is "capable" is that they practiced - a lot. Mozart did not just "study" the parts (noun) of music - he practiced (verb) applying (verb) it via performing (verb) and composing (verb) - hours and hours and hours. Therefore, assuming OP is capable, they will need to practice and practice in order to get to a 175. This practice is far more intensive than most anticipate. That is the primary point I was trying to make in my statement.

How hard is it to get to a 175? What exactly is, as you said, a "high" LSAT score? It certainly is subjective -  but can it be defined? Certainly, average or below average would probably not be considered a "high" score to the reasonable person. Indeed, a "high" LSAT score would at least be above the average. Probably higher than JUST above average, but at least above average. The average statistical LSAT score is somewhere around 147-157 (plus/minus 5 from 152). So if a 158 (around the 75th percentile) is considered "high" - what do we call a 175? It is mega high!... 175 is not merely a "high" score. It is THE "high" score. Really, there is no great significant statistical difference between a 175 and a 180. We are now in the top 1% of all LSAT takers. The top fraction of a fraction of the top 1% of the total population. It will take work to get there. Lots of it.

So, no, it is not "unreleasitic" to expect anyone, even the OP (or particularly OP) to get a 175. Er.. excuse the double negative..... It IS unrealistic to expect a 175. Period. Again, this does not mean it is impossible, it is actually completely possible - it is just unlikely. Yet, even if all the facts situated the outcome to be "likely," it would still be extremely difficult.

You may think this overly blunt at best or overly mean at worst, but trust me, it is merely the former. This is blunt. It has to be. Because if someone actually is capable of getting a 175 thinks that just because they are capable, they will get it... they are doomed. Someone who is capable of a 175 needs to be pushed, needs to be challenged. They need to be hit over the head with the bluntness of this post, because if they aren't, then they probably won't get to that 175. They won't get to their fullest potential. It might hurt OP's ego (or any other reader's for that matter), but at least this post would help them get to where they are going.


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