Law School Discussion

Applying Dec '08 vs Sept/Oct '09??

Applying Dec '08 vs Sept/Oct '09??
« on: September 07, 2008, 02:17:25 PM »
Hi guys,

I'm planning on taking the December LSAT and I'm wondering if it would be worth applying this cycle or spending more time getting everything ready for next year's cycle - any thoughts?

The reason I'm asking is because I have a relatively low undergrad GPA (3.44) but I've been testing in the 170's for a while. I haven't done anything in terms of writing a personal statement, gathering LORs, or any other application process. Assuming I do well on the LSAT (170+), I will still have a splitter-ish application based purely on numbers. If it helps, I have a decently strong set of soft factors ranging from work experience/publications/master's degree/minority (not sure exactly what constitutes URM status..I'm Arab if it makes any difference).

If I apply this December and get rejected, will it affect my chances next cycle? I would be able to put together a slightly better application, I guess, but nothing major would change. I realize it's really important to apply early, but if that's not possible this year is it just better to hold off and wait another 10 months or so? 

I'd appreciate any advice, thanks in advance!

Scentless Apprentice

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Re: Applying Dec '08 vs Sept/Oct '09??
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2008, 02:39:44 PM »
Pardon Johnny Cash gave great advice.

I was in a similar situation, and decided to sit out a cycle. For me, there is just much more upside to waiting until next year, rather than rushing my apps. The upsides for me are: more time to prepare for the LSAT, prepare my PS & get together LOR's, and an extra year to get some substantive work experience to add to my resume.

Re: Applying Dec '08 vs Sept/Oct '09??
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2008, 02:56:45 PM »
Thanks for the replies!

1) MONEY: I'm perfectly happy to blow some money on application costs, as long as it means I get some good info out of it and am able to gauge where I stand with these schools.

2) 2009 JOB: I honestly have no idea what I'm doing in terms of work. I just finished up an MSc Public Policy in London and was planning on staying in Europe or going to the Middle East. Some family stuff happened in the past 2 weeks and I had to change plans a little suddenly, and I haven't really explored the US job market properly. I'm assuming that DC would be the place to go with a public policy background, but I'd also like to check out Boston and NYC. A DC, govt related job (DOJ??) would be cool, some think tank stuff would be alright, but nothing that is really outta this world...

Re: Applying Dec '08 vs Sept/Oct '09??
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2008, 07:00:29 AM »
OK, well, you might have to readjust your job expectations there. I have friends who graduated summa from Ivies and have still not been able to find jobs in public policy, or in any substantial government or NGO work. There are just not a lot of jobs in those fields out there, and those that exist are horrifically competitive.

But to answer your first question, applying in December isn't tragic, especially if you have all of your essays, LORs and whatnot lined up. The key here is to do well on the LSAT. If you do poorly, or even not as well as you would have expected, you should wait a year. However, if you hit it out of the ballpark, go for it.

My suggestion would be to have all of your supplemental stuff done, in anticipation of applying this cycle. Study your ass off for the LSAT. If you get pleasantly surprised, then woo hoo! If not, then you can go from there.

Re: Applying Dec '08 vs Sept/Oct '09??
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2008, 07:42:49 AM »
Thanks for the heads I said I really wasn't planning on being back for a while and thus haven't properly explored the job market. I'm just assuming that policy oriented jobs would be more accessible than anything else just based on my background. I remember how hard my undergrad class was hit, though - my school was an IR/poli sci machine and nobody that I know of got good policy jobs straight away.

Anyways, I really have no idea where else to try and right now the focus is on the LSAT...and getting all the extras organized. I know this is probably answered on the LOR section, but I was wondering what kind of deadline I should set for my profs? Also should I only get recommendations from my undergrad profs or should I also use the masters profs?

Pardon Johnny Cash, you mentioned you'd been out of undergrad for a few years as well. Did you recently make the decision to come to law school? Also, have you been working in a related field? I'm trying to find something at least loosely linkable with law

Re: Applying Dec '08 vs Sept/Oct '09??
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2008, 07:46:57 AM »
I'm trying to find something at least loosely linkable with law

Do this because you think it's interesting, not because you think it's good for law school.  Law schools aren't going to be upset that you don't have a law related job before coming fact I think having a non-law related job is kind of a boost because it'll set you apart from all those kids working in law firms and such.