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Messages - Miami88
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« on: January 12, 2014, 12:05:40 AM »
I would only do extra-curriculars that you really want to do - otherwise, it will more than likely look pretty obvious that you are only doing them to wow the adcomms. The admissions reps want intelligent, passionate, interesting people in their law schools. The specifics do not really matter.
My recommendation is to invest the bulk of your free time not in trite ECs, but in LSAT prep. Stronger LSAT scores > unauthentic ECs. If you have more time left over, do ECs that you really enjoy (or something at least related to what you truly enjoy). If you are still in school, also make sure to get the strongest grades as you can (again, in whatever courses interest you the most).
The bulk of a decision will be based on your LSAT and GPA. Soft factors, like ECs, major, background, etc., will add to your file, but not make it.
« on: January 10, 2014, 12:55:02 AM »
Not sure - you could go through lawschoolnumbers.com of last year's cycle. Look up people that applied to the school you want, at similar times, and with similar numbers/backgrounds. Generally, applying later in the cycle would most affect borderline applicants. In other words, people with lsat/gpas far over a school's 75% (i.e. auto admits) are probably going to get in no matter when they apply. The opposite is true for auto denies. If you are in the middle, and on the lower end, then there may be fewer spots for you. You will be competing against a larger pool of applicants for less open slots. Its not inherently bad, just more difficult.
« on: January 06, 2014, 09:52:20 AM »
1) If you get a 173+, you certainly will have a shot at several top 14 schools, even with a 3.37 GPA. Check out lawschoolnumbers.com for more specifics. Your soft factors will certainly play up your application.
2) Although you may have rocked those practice tests, understand that the strong majority of LSATers will score under their practice test scores. I'm not saying its impossible for you to score in the range you want, but it will be harder than you think. My best advice is to quickly review a test prep book(s) like Kaplan or Powerscore.. then take every single PT under exact test conditions until test day.
3) The difference between a 3.37 and 3.4 is exceptionally nominal. I think your time would be better served trying to get about 3 points on your LSAT or even writing stronger essays. Now, if you can get a 3.5 or 3.6, then thats another issue, but three one-hundredth of a decimal point is not all that alluring. On top of that fact that you will HAVE to get perfect scores in those classes. Which, based on your current record, may be harder than you think unless you take throw away easy classes. On top of the fact that you will have to explain to Columbia why you postponed graduation to take basketweaving to bump your GPA... Just my thoughts.
4) Although law schools really like seeing people overcome hurdles, be them external or self imposed, they also want assurance that the hurdle is FAR behind the student. My only concern with the drug issue is time. Although nine months is certainly very commendable, it is not in the same ball park as saying you have been ten years sober. If you are going to discuss your drug problem, then, you have to have several other hard pieces of evidence to substantiate your claim that it is really behind you and you have grown because of it. Have your grades improved drastically since you became sober (i.e. straight Ds and Fs to now straight As and Bs)? Finally, placement will be key. Although addendums are exactly what this kind of thing is for, you may decide that having a short paragraph in your personal statement is easier to acheive the above. You will be able to keep what you say more broad/vague, add luster to your personal statement, and still get the benefit of talking about a personal hurdle you overcame. Just a thought.
5) Finally, apply to more schools that just the top 14. Although there are certain perks in the top 14, it is not exclusive to them. If you know where you would want to live/work, apply to all the top full time and part time schools in that region. If you have a specific area of specialization you want to pursue (i.e. intellectual property), apply to all the top schools for that, even if the schools aren;t in the top 14. Not only will this give you more options, if you end up scoring as high as you hope, you will be able to snag strong scholarships (i.e. full rides). You may then be able to use those scholarships to negotiate for money at schools you would really like to attend (even some in the T14).
« on: January 03, 2014, 09:18:03 PM »
It depends on a few things.
1) Your next score. If you get a 140 - then you are in deep. If you get a 175, you are doing amazing.
2) The school. Some schools will average all scores together. This is particularly stinky if you get a really high score. The good news is, however, that most schools don't do this - rather, they will either take the higher score and ignore the others or look at all scores together holistically.
3) Presentation. The last thing that will affect how a school interprets your score is how you present it to them. The majority of schools will already be asking for an addendum if you have multiple scores. This essay will be key. Be honest... but present yourself in the strongest and most positive light.
Overall, a higher second score will put you in a better spot than where you currently are...
Now... whether you should take the test again is another issue. At a 144, you have quite a bit of room to improve upon, which is good. However, if there really wasn't much you could have done better, than it may be a waste of your time to study and retake. If you were sick, didn't study properly, etc., then it may be worth it.
« on: December 29, 2013, 02:50:34 PM »
Gotcha. Vibe is huge in decisions like these. Well, it looks like you will have a difficult decision ahead of you, but thats certainly a good problem to have.
« on: December 29, 2013, 12:25:34 PM »
Did you ever negotiate with FIU? I'm sure if St. Thomas and Nova offered you $$, you can get something from FIU. That, plus the fact that FIU is so cheap for Florida Residents, would make it pretty enticing.
« on: December 28, 2013, 09:43:51 PM »
I would of course double check - but from my understanding...
1) If I do submit the application minus the transcript will Loyola or American still receive the transcript automatically (from LSAC)?
Yes, as soon as LSAC processes it, they will send it over.
2) Also, will my application still be considered without the transcript?
No. Schools will only review a complete application. Note that this means slightly different things to different schools, like the number of LORs and what not, but usually the LSAT and transcripts are mandatory for completion. The schools will process any information they receive, but they won't review it for a specific decision until it is complete.
« on: December 28, 2013, 05:53:03 PM »
Apply and grab the fee waiver now. Your application will be received, however, it will not be complete until all items (i.e. transcripts, LSAT score) are sent in. In fact, its actually going to be to your advantage to do this as it will take longer to process your materials the longer you wait, which means you will be competing with a larger pool for fewer open spots.
« on: December 27, 2013, 10:17:48 PM »
I think you have already made up your mind. At this point, go with your gut. You know the pros and cons.
Also, there are tons of outside scholarships that you can apply for. Even if you just snag a few k... something is something. I also know quite a few people that worked during law school at UM. All that combined with living well within your means can help keep your debt as low as possible.
« on: December 27, 2013, 07:24:19 PM »
I'm still a 0L, but there really is something to be said about real human interaction. For the majority of law schools, and more importantly, law school students, this may not really be the case, but I don't see, say, Yale dropping their face-to-face classrooms any time soon. That said, it is great for the lower ranked schools to have a way to offer a legal education at an understandably lower tuition. However, the question remains if we really need all those lawyers... I guess the market will figure itself out - hopefully not too many people get swallowed up into a sea of debt in the meanwhile though.
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