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Messages - Miami88

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Law School Applications / Re: old transcripts?
« on: March 06, 2014, 02:52:27 AM »
Yes, you need to report all college level coursework - including courses taken in high school. LSAC will average together all courses up through the completion of your first bachelor's degree. There is no ethical way around this. I was in a similar position as you - but the drop wasn't that bad, just about .08 of a point.

If there is a significant difference between your regular GPA and your LSAC GPA, you can write an addendum. You should highlight things like upward grade trends and why X GPA is a better indicator of your potential in law school. This won't make up for a stinky LSAC GPA, but if your are borderline, it may push you over the edge.

Good luck!

Minority Topics / Re: Proof?
« on: March 03, 2014, 09:53:55 AM »
1) There is no real background check when it comes to this... ie. they aren't going to require a swab of your mouth or urine sample. Haha - that would be an interesting law school application... gross! :) This is really just based on the honor system. Now, I have no idea what the bar does - but I'd imagine they will do some sort of basic background check. They will cross reference information from this with your law school app. Again, I'm not sure if they go into detail of your heritage though.

2) That said, the general consensus is if you typically mark "hispanic" or "mexican" or something similar on random forms, then go ahead and do it here. If not, tread lightly. You could be viewed as a stinky person who plays the system (again - I don't think anyone would ever even be able to find this kind of information - but I'm sure there's some ethical dilemma here).

3) My opinion... your mother is almost entirely from a mexican lineage - period. This is close enough for me to consider your heritage significantly Mexican (you are basically 50% Mexican!). And whether you realize it or not, the journey that your immediate ancestors took to get to you is a unique and, more than likely, difficult one. Moreover, your specific ancestry (Mexican) is one that our social structure, for whatever reason, has significantly alienated from the legal profession. This is precisely what law school are looking to correct for (and also be able to boast about their high diversity population - but thats besides the point). So... yes, mark URM-Hispanic/Mexican status!

Good luck!

Law School Applications / Re: W's question
« on: March 02, 2014, 06:39:39 PM »

To be honest, I don't know the answer to this question. But regardless of the answer, there isn't much you can do about it. If you can't do anything about it, there's no need to waste time worry about it. Just continue getting amazing grades, absolutely kill the LSAT, and invest the appropriate time into your essays. Let the law schools figure out the rest.

Good luck (and sorry for such a non-answer)! :)

Where should I go next fall? / Re: I need some help deciding
« on: March 02, 2014, 02:30:08 AM »
We really need way more information.

1) Where do you want to live/work after you graduate?

2) What kind of law are you interested in practicing?

3) What is your total debt going to be at each school? This is the ( total cost of attendance ) MINUS (Your own personal financial situation + Scholarships)

Rankings at these lower levels really don't offer much difference, and these schools are all located in different regions. So, if you don't care where you live/work, and don't care about what kind of law you practice, then I'd strongly consider the school that offers you the lowest total debt. 

Law School Applications / Re: My Chances w/ Georgetown? Any advice?
« on: February 28, 2014, 10:01:04 PM »
1) As an AA, and thus a URM, you are looking at a pretty strong LSAT boost. This can be anywhere between 0-10 points.

2) Especially as a URM, if you are within a schools average band, you will have a very real shot.

3) Therefore, if these end up being your real hard factors, not only would you be a shoo in for GTown, you would have a very very very real shot at Harvard.

4) As a URM, I highly recommend applying to as many schools as possible. In personally applied to the top 14 (generally considered the schools that have national pull) plus all the top schools in the cities/regions I wanted to live and work in long-term. You never know how a school will treat your URM status. One school may give you a huge LSAT boost/big scholarship while another competing school may just flat out reject you.

5) Be on the look out for fee waivers. If you don't get any, be sure to contact the school to see if they can give you one.

6) Make sure to rock your essays/resume/LORs/etc. Since you are a URM, if you are just under a schools numbers, these soft factors will end up swaying the decisions.

7) In sum, rock the LSAT. Take as many as you possibly can under full test conditions. Keep this GPA up. And invest the time into how your present your soft factors.

Good luck!

Where should I go next fall? / Re: FIU VS FSU LAW
« on: February 26, 2014, 12:20:56 AM »
I'd say, it depends. It depends on your financial circumstances and, most importantly, how you handle negotiations. If you can negotiate on the spot and leverage pathos, go for it. If its not something you are used to, I'd say email. This way, you have more time to formulate exactly how you want to phrase something.

Law School Applications / Re: Arrests Addendum
« on: February 26, 2014, 12:08:54 AM »
i just figured showing that they were flat out dumb decisions was taking supreme ownership.

Haha! I'd say in an informal setting, you are completely correct. But given that this is an application to law school and you are talking about a touchy subject, it is probably best to express yourself in a formal, clear, succinct manner. So saying something is misguided, as you did, as opposed to idiotic is much preferred. But this is just my opinion - I'm by no means on an adcomm.

As for the more info bit. Use your best judgment. All I know is that every ad comm in an interview says that they are disappointed (aka - very bad news for you) when they don't have the full scoop. Its far better to over inform than to under inform. Here is a great link that breaks down exactly what they are looking for:

That blog has great admissions info not just for Yale, but for any school.

Good luck!

Law School Applications / Re: Arrests Addendum
« on: February 25, 2014, 03:36:06 PM »
1) I would give a little more details on the charges. The city/state. Amount of substances, BAC levels, etc. Any bit of information that would be on a one sheet is important for the ad comms to know. This also includes if you plead guilty, if this was a felony, etc. You can't give too much info.

2) Take out self-depricating lines. You can say something was misguided, ok, but saying that you did some idiotic makes you sound immature not only back then, but now as well.

3) On the flip side, you ended this very well. Taking responsibility is far stronger than feeling sorry for yourself. And you communicate this sentiment beautifully.

4) I'd like to see how you have turned these things into positives. This will showcase to the adcomms that, not only are you mature enough to take ownership of your actions, but can learn from them. This may be subtle and may only require a sentence or two to achieve, but will make this part of your application shine. Instead of docking your application, this could potentially be another source of experience and perspective that other candidates may not have. So... find the positive.

Good luck!

Acceptances / Re: Cornell or job?
« on: February 15, 2014, 12:19:56 PM »
Just my thoughts and some real considerations...

1) Did you apply to any other schools? You may be able to use scholarships and admission offers from other places to leverage some money from Cornell.

2) Have you applied for need based financial aid from Cornell?

3) Continue to apply to more outside scholarships.

4) Look up more scholarships for your 1L, 2L, and 3L years. The majority of these are writing competitions, but something is something.

5) Look up if there are any work-study programs and/or part-time work potential for law students - even if just for your 2nd and 3rd year.

6) Summer work! There are plenty of opportunities to save up money during summers.

7) Make sure you look up loan repayment programs that Cornell offers. This may require a call to someone over at Cornell directly. They should help you view a realistic 10 year financial scenario out of law school. It may not be nearly as bad as you anticipate. If you end up averaging 100k/year in your first 10 years of work (a very real likelihood), 100k is just 10% of your income in that time period. You will have to live well within your means, but some debt can be good.

If you make sure all aspects of your financial standing are thoroughly exploited, I'm sure you could keep your debt well under 100k.

Good luck!

Law School Applications / Re: 3.1...LSAT??? What are my chances?
« on: February 15, 2014, 11:44:06 AM »
Of course - thats what we are here for!

Also note that your Undergraduate GPA may not be the GPA that schools base their decision on. LSAC (the organization between you and law schools) have their own way of scoring and scaling. Law school predictor also has a GPA calculator that will predict this LSAC UGPA.

I think the big takeaway for law school is that you don't have to go to a top ranking school to have a great career. Just make sure that your debt is kept as low as possible.

Finally, all of this info is great - but I think everyone on this forum would highly recommend you focusing 100% of your efforts right now on prepping for the LSAT. Don't worry about anything else - just focus on getting as strong of a score on that test. There are plenty of great prep tips here on this forum.

Good Luck!

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