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Author Topic: Not so stellar grades+good, but lower ranked JDschool+ great experience=LLM?  (Read 6413 times)

Hgatinha

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Hi guys,
I can't believe no one w/ bad grades asked about this yet..:)

I recently discovered a passion for international law, and got all "A's" on a study abroad program sponsored by a high ranked school. I am REALLY interested in an LLM @ NYU, or if not: a school in DC (georgetown, american, or george washington), or UCLA.

However, my law school GPA is not that great (pretty much in the middle of the class), my school is around #60 (last time I checked), but I think my resume is lenghthy & 'rocks'.
I have various honors and a lot of experience, including pre-law school work @ reputable companies, a judicial clerkship, some public service, and small-medium firm experience. I'm also fluent in quite a few other languages and my transcript shows some improvement (1st year is what plagued me badly).

Also, I went to a top 10 undergraduate straight from high school and graduated w/ a 3.8.
thus, I feel i can 'rock' the personal statement, b/c my strengths are my life story, my experience, and my 'believed' and proven potential. But the JD grades, of course, are a mess.

did any of you (or someone you know) NOT graduate at the top 50% of your class, and went on to do an LLM @ a top school? If so, where?

or can anyone suggest what else I could do at this point to tip the weight to my favor? (publish something, work more yrs.? etc...) oh, i also plan to take and pass my state's bar exam before applying. 

thanks for any help or input!!!

jacy85

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I unfortunately can't help too much with your exact questions - the only person I know who is doing an int'l law LLM had pretty good grades (but I'm not sure if he graduated with honors), was on LR, was published, and had some very interesting work experience that related to int'l law both before and during LS.  He's at a highly ranked school's LLM program.  I know he rocked his personal statement, but I don't know what the other admitted candidates look like in terms of credentials.

One thing I'll throw out there though - the general consensus seems to be that LLMs are pretty worthless.  They don't add all that much to employment prospects unless it's in something like tax.  Why are you actually looking into getting one?  Do you want to teach at some point?  If so, a PhD would serve you more, especially since your LS credentials aren't particular strong in the academia universe.  Do you want to improve job prospects?  If so, and LLM may not help much - you should try to talk to people working your dream job and see what their take on an Int'l law LLM is.

If you really just wanted to get an LLM for the hell of it, that's great too.  I'm just suggesting that a lot of people view an LLM as a career boost right after law school, and I think this belief may lead people to waste time and money.

Manwithaplan

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Hi guys,
I can't believe no one w/ bad grades asked about this yet..:)

I recently discovered a passion for international law, and got all "A's" on a study abroad program sponsored by a high ranked school. I am REALLY interested in an LLM @ NYU, or if not: a school in DC (georgetown, american, or george washington), or UCLA.

However, my law school GPA is not that great (pretty much in the middle of the class), my school is around #60 (last time I checked), but I think my resume is lenghthy & 'rocks'.
I have various honors and a lot of experience, including pre-law school work @ reputable companies, a judicial clerkship, some public service, and small-medium firm experience. I'm also fluent in quite a few other languages and my transcript shows some improvement (1st year is what plagued me badly).

Also, I went to a top 10 undergraduate straight from high school and graduated w/ a 3.8.
thus, I feel i can 'rock' the personal statement, b/c my strengths are my life story, my experience, and my 'believed' and proven potential. But the JD grades, of course, are a mess.

did any of you (or someone you know) NOT graduate at the top 50% of your class, and went on to do an LLM @ a top school? If so, where?

or can anyone suggest what else I could do at this point to tip the weight to my favor? (publish something, work more yrs.? etc...) oh, i also plan to take and pass my state's bar exam before applying. 

thanks for any help or input!!!

I am in the same boat as you. I am applying to UCLA's LLM in bankruptcy, but my grades are avg at best and I also go to a higher tier 2 school (as an aside, I haven't talked about rankings in years, it seems those concerns evaporate as soon as you start law school doesn't it?).  I hope to write a great personal statement and I think my resume is decent. I've worked at the bankruptcy court, US Trustee and 9th circuit BAP. 

Does anyone know what LLM committees focus on? Is it the grades? Work experience?
USD Law grad

jake_lee_123

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You have a very good shot at getting into an LLM program.  Middle of the class isn't that much of a detriment.  Most people applying to LLM programs don't have top grades anyways.  Why?  Because they don't need them.  Some with good grades go because they want to go into academics, but for most its a waste of money.

The above people are right though, they do want to see that you have some experience in whatever field you want the masters in, but this doesn't necessarily mean that experience has to be work related if you've taken plenty of I-law classes.  I don't think there are that many LLM programs for international law anyways, so you might as well just apply to all of them and then see your options.