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Messages - Coregram

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Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Undergrad Schools
« on: August 05, 2004, 05:55:43 PM »
"We think we can do even better [than just using an admission index] by looking at transcripts, analyzing the rigor of the courses and cirriculum a student has taken, looking at letters of recomendation, looking at trends in grades, looking at the institution attended - all of these things.  We think we can improve on the predictive value of the admissions index [calculated by the LSDAS] by doing our own legwork.  Numbers can only tell you so much about someone."  Richard Geiger, Dean of Admission, Cornell Law School, in Law School Confidential, pg.57.

But what would he know?

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Not so sure I want to go anymore...
« on: August 03, 2004, 06:32:10 PM »
There's a big difference between being sure you want to go but being nervous about it (I'm sure we all are to some extent) and not being sure you want to go. 

The OP was that they weren't sure they even wanted to go to law school or be a lawyer.  If you're not sure, don't go.  Defer and go later if you decide you really want to go.  There are plenty of older people in both full-time and part-time programs, so this isn't the only chance you'll get if you don't go.  You won't have to always wonder if you don't go now.  But if you go now and blow it cause you aren't committed to it, it might be your only chance.

The rest of us who just have some "pre-school jitters" will be fine once it starts.  Sometimes it's good to be nervous, gives you a bit extra focus and drive as anyone who has been nervous before "a big game" knows.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Lifetime Learning Credit- maximize it
« on: August 03, 2004, 11:20:52 AM »
That's a good point, but there are a few caveats that everyone should consider carefully and plan for before they do it:

1. The credit is limited to 20% of qualified expenses paid.  Tuition qualifies, but not room and board, books, travel, etc.  And the qualified expenses get reduced for any scholarships, PELL grants, etc. applied against it.

2. The credit begins to phase out (is reduced) at $42K of Adjusted Gross income (which includes the distribution) for single filers; $84K for filing jointly.  At $52K single, $105K jointly, it is gone (but not the tax on the distribution, which gets higher as your taxable income increases.)

3. The distribution could be taxed at greater than 20%, depending on your taxable income (which again includes the distribution.)  If your tax bracket is 25% and you take $10K and use it all on qualified expenses, you will pay $2,500 in taxes and get a credit of $2,000.  If you are in a 15% tax bracekt, you would pay $1,500 in tax and still get the 2,000 credit.  That's not including any state taxes.

4. The credit is non-refundable, meaning it can only reduce your tax to $0 and you get back all your actual withholdings.  But any extra credits are lost.

5. The money out of the IRA can never be put back.  You will lose the benefits of it earning a tax deferred return until you retire (maybe 50 years) and withdraw it. That's the biggest drawback.

You might want to find a copy of Law School Confidential.  There's a lengthy discussion, including an interview with the Dean of Admissions at Cornell, about the process and what they look for.  I imagine the process at most school's is pretty much in line with Cornell's.

Your last post sounds like the good start for the theme of your personal statement.  Remember, that's where you get to tell your story and convince them why they should give you one of the limited slots.  The rest of the file (LSAT, transcripts, etc.), hopefully, supports your story.

Check the application, but I would say you must include it on the application and have a transcript sent.  The last thing you want is for a school to find out you didn't provide full-disclosure.  I would also send it to LSAC, but I don't believe they include it in their calculated UGPA or in the school's statistics.

My guess is it helps alot if your UGPA is lower, and I'd highlight it in your PS and say why it's more indicitive of your current abilities than your UGPA (that's what I did.....It gives them a reason to accept you despite the lower UGPA.)  It's probably a wash if both are around the same.  If it is lower than your UGPA, I'd address that in your personal statement.

You could always call the admin dept and get their take as well.

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