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Author Topic: Please help a prospective law student  (Read 6794 times)

Pittman2

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Please help a prospective law student
« on: February 13, 2006, 04:16:47 PM »
For those who have successfully completed the application process:
What do you think is the best way to strengthen one's application beyond improving one's GPA or LSAT score? [Extracurriculars? Further Formal or Independent Study? Post-school work/volunteer experience? Something to improve one's uniqueness as a candidate? Something else?]

majorporcupine

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Re: Please help a prospective law student
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2006, 06:46:55 PM »
Saving the world from imminent disaster.  That usually works, unless you're up against my impressive credentials (intramural ping-pong champion, baby).

curly

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Re: Please help a prospective law student
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2006, 10:39:47 AM »
I wouldn't really know, since the process seems to be so subjective (and dependent on what professor reads your file and what they're looking for in particular), but I'd think strong extracurricular involvement in something unusual would be a good thing. Of course, don't get involved in something just because you want to get into law school; do it because you really like it.
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Erapitt

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Re: Please help a prospective law student
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2006, 11:28:45 AM »
If you are honestly looking at Yale, all that matters are GPA and an LSAT above 175.  Even then you have no guarantees. 

Why do people constantly post the same thing over and over again?  Like it or not, Law School Admissions = LSAT + GPA.  Sure, there are exceptions, but generally they are few and far between at any reputable school.
Attending GW in Fall '06

curly

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Re: Please help a prospective law student
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2006, 12:25:47 PM »
If you are honestly looking at Yale, all that matters are GPA and an LSAT above 175.  Even then you have no guarantees. 

Why do people constantly post the same thing over and over again?  Like it or not, Law School Admissions = LSAT + GPA.  Sure, there are exceptions, but generally they are few and far between at any reputable school.

I was assuming the OP had good LSAT+GPA. As you point out in your (somewhat contradictory) post, LSAT+GPA are no guarantee of admission at Yale, even though they're a good start. I imagine extracurriculars are the next most important factor.
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Morten Lund

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Re: Please help a prospective law student
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2010, 03:45:17 PM »
If you are honestly looking at Yale, all that matters are GPA and an LSAT above 175.  Even then you have no guarantees. 

Why do people constantly post the same thing over and over again?  Like it or not, Law School Admissions = LSAT + GPA.  Sure, there are exceptions, but generally they are few and far between at any reputable school.

... and one of those exceptions would be Yale Law School.  Sure, everybody there has excellect GPA and LSAT score - no doubt.  But given the number of applicants, YLS could virtually fill their smallish class with perfect GPAs and LSAT scores - yet they don't.

During my time at YLS, two things became abundantly clear:  First, everybody was really smart.  Second, everybody was really interesting.  It is no accident that YLS graduates are disproportionately (compared to Harvard, Stanford, etc.) overrepresented among professors and judges, and underrepresented among BigLaw partners.

To increase your chances at YLS, be different, be interesting.  Of course, that can be a difficult thing to add to your resume your senior year in college...

BikePilot

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Re: Please help a prospective law student
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2010, 06:51:09 PM »
I think you've gotta be careful with defining "interesting" - the demographics cited suggest that professors and judges are more "interesting" than biglaw partners.  I have run accross quite a number of law professors, judges and partners over the past 3 years and can't say I've found the parterns to be any less interesting or varied, in fact I'd suggest that professors are probably the most boring as a group demographic, especially the newer hires (who often haven't done anything useful with their lives other than teach and write law review articles that no one outside academia cares about). Older professors on the other hand have almost universally been very interesting - SGs, chiefs of OLC, wildly successful partners, that sort of thing (which brings a bit of colineraty into the problem ;)).

Anyhow, all this to say an expression of interest in something legally related other than being a lawyer probably helps.
HLS 2010

Morten Lund

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Re: Please help a prospective law student
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2010, 09:28:18 PM »
Fair point - my "interesting" observation got caught in a mid-sentence mental shift.  As a BigLaw partner myself, I certainly wouldn't argue that I am any less interesting than my Washington-bound classmates. 

Slightly expanded, my point is this:  YLS students are less likely to have standard aspirations.  Very high proportions of graduates from HLS, Georgetown, NYU, and other good schools go straight to Wall Street firms (or equivalent), and stay there.  There is nothing wrong with this, that is a perfectly fine career option - but YLS seeks out students with different plans.  As a result, relatively few YLS grads go to Wall Street firms, and they don't necessarily stay.  Instead, you will find that they sought out "alternative" career paths, whether it be academia, politics, or something else entirely.  There is a mix of firm and non-firm graduates at every school, of course, but YLS seems to go out of its way to admit students reflecting a broad range of life goals.

Hope that makes more sense.  Just my opinion, of course, and all are welcome to disagree.