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Author Topic: Non-Traditional GPA/ Experience  (Read 6957 times)

weymo001

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Re: Non-Traditional GPA/ Experience
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2008, 10:09:19 PM »
Hi everyone,

I think both DC labor and qmmm raise some excellent points. I suspect that Adcomms are really hamstrung by this ranking BS and would like to consider other indicators of potential success. Further, I suspect that one's experience or soft skills might resonate better with certain schools (eg scientist applying to Franklin Pierce might get a better response than applying to Baylor....with specialization in litigation).
Which schools might have a better appreciation of applicants with a hard science background? Maybe schools with a strong IP program.

I have explored the patent agent route. It seems that in biotechnology you need a PhD to compete given the glut of post-docs in academic biomedical research. Firms want the advanced degree as way a to market the "scientific expertise" of their firm. Many post-docs go get JD/PhD combination to compete. There is not much emphasis placed on experience. Not many firms in Texas do biotech work and many don't pay the tuition. There is a firm in Austin that would like to hire me as a tech specialist if I get into law school in a city where this firm has an office. The senior partner understands the importance of my experience but feels the JD will insure that my options are not limited in the future. Her advice get your MS done and get a year of law school at SMU/Houston/or DC law school and we will talk seriously about options.

So right now I am in limbo or stuck until I can figure what might work. My options are somewhat limited because my wife would like me to stay in Texas. Have scheduled a meeting with two of the law schools that I am considering. I am just going to meet with any law school that I am considering and even the ones that denied my application. Don't know if my late applications hurt me...applied Feb 14.

Any thoughts? I am tired of having the absence of an advanced degree being the rate limiting step in my career. Presently, I am a fulltime graduate student and a fulltime employee at UT Southwestern Medical Center. I am doing everything I can do to get there but it is frustrating when you feel all you need is 5-8 more points on a 3 hr test and that's it. Plus, your success on the LSAT depends on how much time you spend practicing and how much money you invest in preparation....and all else is not considered. Just give them what they want?

Thanks,


NW

Lessig- What consultant did you use?


qmmm

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Re: Non-Traditional GPA/ Experience
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2008, 10:37:13 PM »
I really believe that the bolded is a problem.  By the time the adcom even looked at your application, most of the acceptances for the year would probably have been extended.  I suspect that you may have had a different experience if you applied in Oct. instead of Feb.  If you can raise your LSAT a couple of points and apply early, you'll likely see a different outcome.

Hi everyone,

I think both DC labor and qmmm raise some excellent points. I suspect that Adcomms are really hamstrung by this ranking BS and would like to consider other indicators of potential success. Further, I suspect that one's experience or soft skills might resonate better with certain schools (eg scientist applying to Franklin Pierce might get a better response than applying to Baylor....with specialization in litigation).
Which schools might have a better appreciation of applicants with a hard science background? Maybe schools with a strong IP program.

I have explored the patent agent route. It seems that in biotechnology you need a PhD to compete given the glut of post-docs in academic biomedical research. Firms want the advanced degree as way a to market the "scientific expertise" of their firm. Many post-docs go get JD/PhD combination to compete. There is not much emphasis placed on experience. Not many firms in Texas do biotech work and many don't pay the tuition. There is a firm in Austin that would like to hire me as a tech specialist if I get into law school in a city where this firm has an office. The senior partner understands the importance of my experience but feels the JD will insure that my options are not limited in the future. Her advice get your MS done and get a year of law school at SMU/Houston/or DC law school and we will talk seriously about options.

So right now I am in limbo or stuck until I can figure what might work. My options are somewhat limited because my wife would like me to stay in Texas. Have scheduled a meeting with two of the law schools that I am considering. I am just going to meet with any law school that I am considering and even the ones that denied my application. Don't know if my late applications hurt me...applied Feb 14.

Any thoughts? I am tired of having the absence of an advanced degree being the rate limiting step in my career. Presently, I am a fulltime graduate student and a fulltime employee at UT Southwestern Medical Center. I am doing everything I can do to get there but it is frustrating when you feel all you need is 5-8 more points on a 3 hr test and that's it. Plus, your success on the LSAT depends on how much time you spend practicing and how much money you invest in preparation....and all else is not considered. Just give them what they want?

Thanks,


NW

Lessig- What consultant did you use?



OlderandWiser

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Re: Non-Traditional GPA/ Experience
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2008, 10:59:42 AM »
I really think nontrads need to cast a broad net. Schools seem to vary on what they look at with us. I have a 3.4ish/ 158 and got into a T50 school, waitlist at another and waitlist at a T14.

Your best bet is to kill on the LSAT, and not to rely on soft factors to give you a boost. However, don't be afraid to apply widely and see what happens. It's a very unpredictable process.

I think this is an excellent point for anyone, but non-trads in particular.  Its so hard to know what will make an impression on a school.  They all look for different things.  I've got a 3.13, 163, 3.9 GGPA and 7 years WE and here's how my cycle went:

T14: 1 WL, 3 rejections
Tier 1: 4 acceptances, 2 WL, 1 deferral, 2 rejections
Tier 2: 5 acceptances

The school I am planning to attend in the fall (Washington) has a tendency to accept only very high GPAs.  But for whatever reason, they liked my application.  Same with the T14 WL.  Based on medians and such, there is no way I get waitlisted there.  But there was something in my application they liked. By the same token, I was dinged at UIUC almost immediately, a school that I thought I had a decent shot at the WL at least.  Obviously they didn't like my application, and WE and such didn't make up for what they felt were mediocre numbers.  I think researching schools and casting a wide net (if you have the means for all those application fees) is an excellent piece of advice.  It is incredibly hard to predict who any given school is going to accept or reject. All it takes is one adcomm who likes something about you and you're golden.   
 
University of Washington 2011

weymo001

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Re: Non-Traditional GPA/ Experience
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2008, 12:51:11 PM »
Hi Older and Wiser,

I agree with you. There are some schools that seem to like certain types of students. I guess it depends on the adcoms at that school and whether your experience/background resonates with whoever reads it. I don't know if you can make anything out of how long a school holds on to your application and their interest. WashU/SMU/UT Houston held on to my application for 3.5 months before making a decision whereas Baylor rejected my application quickly for both terms within 6-7 weeks. Franklin Pierce took 4 months before WL me. Does anybody on this forum know which schools have a greater number of applicants with a hard science background applying to their school?

I guess I might just start with the top IP programs and find any school that might have a range (25-75%) which includes a 157. I am leery of this general advice: apply to the best regional school. I don't think Baylor would welcome my application if I had a score at the top of their LSAT range....guess not a good fit. Several people who I know have suggested that I apply to Duke and UT-Austin. Their thoughts were that UT-Austin has a strong IP program and will look at state residents closely. Since I worked at Duke University for ten years and their IP program is quite strong. I told them my numbers are way off for those programs and thus I didn't apply. They feel that my background might resonate better with the adcoms at those schools despite my numbers.

When I spoke with the admissions dean at WashU, she ask what I thought was the problem with my application. I replied LSAT! Her response was I disagree.....it's late! This rolling admisions approach is quite different than graduate school. Hey if you guys have suggestions on law schools for applicants with a technical background.

Need all the help I can get.

Thanks,

NW

   

Martin Prince, Jr.

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Re: Non-Traditional GPA/ Experience
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2008, 02:56:49 PM »
Everybody on this board seems to rave about soft factors like work experience.  I would put all of my effort into getting a high LSAT score.  I finished my B.A. 8 years ago, have great soft factors inculding a 4.0 M.A. and several years academic work experience.

Everywhere I was accepted, I think I would have been accepted with no soft factors.  The only things that mattered were my undegrad GPA and my LSAT score.  In fact, no where that I applied with median LSAT and GPA scores accepted me.  I was well over in one or both categories in all the schools that accepted me.  I was waitlisted at two schools where I was median though.

Does anyone on this board have a story about soft factors helping him? 

Maybe you will have better luck with the process, but I think a great LSAT score is your best chance.

Gonna have to agree with this guy. Like the OP I have military experience, and while I think it played a role in financial aid offers, as a soft factor it seemed to play little to no role in admissions decisions, as they seemed very numbers-oriented. Like another poster said, take an LSAT prep course if your own self-study isn't paying dividends. A 4-6 point improvement in your score opens up another tier of schools, as well as increasing aid offers from former-target-turned safety schools, making it worth every penny.
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qmmm

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Re: Non-Traditional GPA/ Experience
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2008, 10:50:12 PM »
Hmmm... That advice sounds familiar. 

Honestly, the play is: 1) retake the LSAT and hope to get a few more points, 2) apply early, and 3) apply to schools w/ some sort of IP presence as well as the TX schools that you hope to attend.  W/ respect to (1), the low 160's make you a candidate for almost all schools.  W/ respect to (2), take the WashU adcoms advice and apply early next year.  W/ respect to (3), if you get into one of those and a TX school, you can always use that to leverage money even if you don't really want to go there.

For an IP presence look for an IP journal, student organizations w/ an IP focus, IP classes offered, schools in regions w/ a significant tech businesses, and look at firms and IP boutiques in IP heavy regions and see where their IP attorneys went to school.


When I spoke with the admissions dean at WashU, she ask what I thought was the problem with my application. I replied LSAT! Her response was I disagree.....it's late! This rolling admisions approach is quite different than graduate school. Hey if you guys have suggestions on law schools for applicants with a technical background.
   


TimMitchell

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Re: Non-Traditional GPA/ Experience
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2008, 11:05:21 PM »
In my experience soft factors mean nothing. Law school admissions is completely a numbers game with the exception of URM status. I have five years work experience and come from a poor background plus tons of other softs, but my LSN stats did not vary significantly from anyone else with my numbers, including people right out of UG.

Now, I know this is 100%. I have read stories of people getting accepted at schools out of their range with greats softs + great PS. However it is very rare. If I were you I would apply to a bunch of schools to increase you chances of that happening.

SingleGirl

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Re: Non-Traditional GPA/ Experience
« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2008, 03:35:19 AM »
To the people interested in patent law:  I have a friend in the US Patent Office and he says that they are constantly trying to get him to go to law school and the govt picks up the full tab.  So, combined with the advisement of others that you don't even need your JD to become a patent attorney.  I'd get on @ the office first and then, have them pick up the bill for your JD.

Best of  luck!