Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Thoughts on my reaches, reasonables and safeties  (Read 1512 times)

Netopalis

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 272
    • AOL Instant Messenger - troop85eagle
    • View Profile
Thoughts on my reaches, reasonables and safeties
« on: June 13, 2008, 09:20:47 AM »
Alright...I've got a lot of schools on my mind, and I wanted to run these by everyone and see what they think that I should do.  I come from a lower-income background and have to place a hard limit on paying more than 20,000 per year at any of the law schools that I'm considering.  I'd like for everyone who responds to pick which they think is the best out of my 3 categories and then what they think I should do from those resulting 3.   

My plans:
I'd like to start out as a small-town attorney doing general work, then perhaps move on to politics, either being a judge or running for state legislature.  Instead, though, I wouldn't mind teaching law school either, should my grades allow it.

My scores:
LSAT 163
GPA  3.85 - small, relatively unknown private university

Soft factors (If they matter at all):
Student body president who is working towards establishing an academic honor code on my college's campus
Eagle Scout
First in the family to graduate college
Appalachian (In some schools, this does matter!)
Will be completing my college's honor program
Two-time recipient of one of two awards for outstanding history students at my college.
Long history of volunteering in church and community projects.

The schools:
Reach:
Washington and Lee, George Mason (I may be able to qualify for residency), Tulane, Case Western Reserve
Middle:
University of Tennessee, Wake Forest,  Cinncinatti, Temple
Safety:
West Virginia U.(I get residency), Akron, Mercer, Stetson
Mercer University School of Law '12

Netopalis

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 272
    • AOL Instant Messenger - troop85eagle
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on my reaches, reasonables and safeties
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2008, 09:28:45 AM »
Oh, I was definitely going to apply to Vanderbilt and W&M (Especially W&M, since I may be able to get residency), but based on their numbers, I doubt that I can even get in at Vandy and I'm rather doubtful of any scholarships at W&M.
Mercer University School of Law '12

vjm

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1070
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on my reaches, reasonables and safeties
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2008, 09:41:42 AM »
I agree with Mr. Cash. You definitely can cast a little broader net. If nothing else, it might help you play scholarships off each other.

I don't think Tulane or W&L is a big reach. WUSTL is a great suggestion, since they seem to be so ready to throw around money.

Also, if you want cheap, you can get residency at the University of Florida in your second year. Much better option than Stetson and waaaaayyy cheaper. Although I would still apply to Stetson just to see how much money they give you.

Netopalis

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 272
    • AOL Instant Messenger - troop85eagle
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on my reaches, reasonables and safeties
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2008, 09:47:24 AM »
WUSTL is interesting, but I'm right at their 25% mark - 20% get half or better...It'd be tough to convince them that I'm in that 20%.

Florida, however, looks very doable!  Thanks for the suggestion!

The Stetson pick was based on taking the percentage of students above me on the grid and comparing it to the percentage of students receiving scholarships.  This  turned out pretty favorably...but is this a valid way to approach the problem?  Has it proven to be effective?
Mercer University School of Law '12

vjm

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1070
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on my reaches, reasonables and safeties
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2008, 09:55:59 AM »
Totally valid, I just think you also have to factor placement in there somewhere. You should be getting a sweet deal from them, but do think about where you will end up working when you get out. Little to no debt is awesome, but you may not be thrilled with Tampa/ St. Pete.

There are other state schools that offer residency the second year. Not sure which ones (Tennessee?) but I think there was a thread about it quite recently.

Netopalis

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 272
    • AOL Instant Messenger - troop85eagle
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on my reaches, reasonables and safeties
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2008, 10:17:12 AM »
I'll have to look for that thread....I visited U of Tenn recently and they said that unless I got married to a Tennessean while in law school, I pretty much had no shot at residency.  That being said, I think that their scholarships may turn out.  Well, that and the fact that I appreciated their outright honesty on the matter.

That is a valid point about where I want to work when I get out of law school...Florida would be nice to visit, but I'm not 100% sure that I want to live there permanently. 
Mercer University School of Law '12

lawyer999

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Thoughts on my reaches, reasonables and safeties
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2008, 10:18:40 AM »
To really increase your chances create some better soft factors. IE. Peace Corps, TFA, Americorps, I banking, something that will make you stand out from the thousands applying with similar numbers. People who get in at the 25% are those with GREAT soft factors.

I wouldn't even bother with WUSTL unless you want to wait out the waitlist for no money. THey give all of their money to high lsat low gpa people. I predict you would be waitlisted and if accepted would have to pay sticker price...if that is appealing than surely apply. With no real great post-undergrad soft Vandy is prolly also a bit of a stretch and highly unlikely

Some schools that may we be within reach if you nailed a personalized PS may be BU and BC, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois but all those are more regional (but very good regional) schools.

lawyer999

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Thoughts on my reaches, reasonables and safeties
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2008, 10:23:54 AM »
Also, you expressed an interest in teaching law which is a Great career! However, you need to retake the LSAT for that too realistically happen. Too teach law you should really go to these schools in this order.

Yale......Stanford..Harvard.. ...Chicago...Michigan.Columbi a..............Georgetown.Pen n.NYU.Berkeley...Cornell.Virg inia.Northwestern....Texas..D uke

Netopalis

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 272
    • AOL Instant Messenger - troop85eagle
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on my reaches, reasonables and safeties
« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2008, 10:28:18 AM »
Well, teaching is a secondary thought for me - I'd like to go to a school that would make that possible, but I know that it's an outlying chance, due to the incredibly competitive nature of law school and the fact that I know that I won't be #1 in my class at most of those schools.  That being said, if you look at the LSAC data sheets, most of the mid-to-high ranked schools list at least a few graduates working in academia, and a quick search confirms that there are several law school professors at other schools from most of the ones that I'm looking at...
Mercer University School of Law '12

Netopalis

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 272
    • AOL Instant Messenger - troop85eagle
    • View Profile
Re: Thoughts on my reaches, reasonables and safeties
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2008, 10:40:23 AM »
Sorry, I forgot to reply to Lawyer999's earlier post - didn't see it.

Taking 2 years out of my life to join the peace corps or a similar organization just to increase my chances of law school admission seems a bit excessive.   If the law school doesn't want me for who I am, then perhaps it's not a school that I should be considering in the first place.  Sorry, it just really feels kinda..cheap?  to do something like that just for law school purposes.

Yeah, I'll be checking the VA residency requirements as soon as I can - I think I can put together a pretty strong case for it, as the town that I live in is bisected by the VA/WV state line.  I was strongly considering moving across the state line anyway.
Mercer University School of Law '12