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Author Topic: New in applying for law school, please advice!  (Read 790 times)

liverpool08

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New in applying for law school, please advice!
« on: April 02, 2009, 09:36:25 AM »
Hi, everyone, I'm new to this forum.  And of course, I'm here because I'm interested in applying for law school, but I don't know jack about it.

Here is my background:

Chinese American, native speaker of Cantonese,obtained my US Citizenship in 2004.
Military veteran of the US Army, honorable discharged with the rank of E-5/SGT in Jul, 2005.
Completed a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.A. in History from UNC-Charlotte in Dec, 2007, GPA: 3.67
Will finish a M.S. in General Mathematics from UNC-Charlotte in Dec, 2009, Current GPA: 3.286 (might move up to 3.5 or drop to 3.00 by the end, depending on how I do in my last 3 courses, but so far I have As in the two classes that I'm taking.  However, the last class that I would take in the fall is Real Analysis, known to be difficult)

Interests/Goals in law:

Constituation Laws, interests in entering politics.
Sport Admin Laws, interests in working for soccer teams in Europe (I'm a Liverpool fan)

Now, I have looked at a few different schools, of course, the big names such as Harvard, Yale, Duke, and Columbia are attractive, but UNC-Chapel Hill isn't bad and it is much cheaper.  So I don't know what route I should take.  Is it realistic for me to apply for the big names?  Is it important to do my law school in famous university if I do decide to go into politics?  If yes, will I be able to pay off the loans in a timely manner?

Any comments will be appreicated, thank you so much!

CTL

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Re: New in applying for law school, please advice!
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2009, 09:49:17 AM »
Study hard for the LSAT, my friend.  For most schools, your LSAT score determines roughly 50-60% of your chances at admission.  If you want the best opportunities nationally, and of course, internationally, you should really focus on the top 10-15 schools.  Those are:

Yale
Harvard
Stanford
Columbia
NYU
Chicago
Berkeley
Penn
Michigan
Virginia
Northwestern
Cornell
Duke
Georgetown

You shoud be shooting for 170+ on the LSAT to have a great chance at most of these schools.  You have some pretty good soft factors working for you (particularly your military service), so you might be able to swing the top 5 schools if you get 172-173.  Most people with your GPA would be hard-pressed to obtain entry to Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, but it's not impossible.  Study hard for that LSAT.

For politics, big names help, or you can go to a big regional school and start at a local level (town supervisor, da, etc.).  Academia is pretty much out of the picture unless you go to a top 10.  Most international firms/companies know the big names as well, so they go with grads from those schools.  Sports law is not something you should focus on (it's too narrow a focus), but you could definitely try to set up an externship with a FC or FIFA or something.  Again, it will be infinitely harder if you are coming from UNC than if you are coming from Virginia or something.

Good luck! 
If looks could kill, you would be an uzi.

liverpool08

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Re: New in applying for law school, please advice!
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2009, 10:00:43 AM »
Now I wished I did better in my GPA, it was difficult to balance as I had both history and math courses, plus taking full load every semester didn't help (I finished my double undergraduate majors in 2.5 years).  I wonder if they take that into consideration, as I would have much higher GPA if I only take math classes (the few Bs that I got were from History, sometimes it is just hard to review and enhance your history paper after studying for math exam).  Also, will the Master's Degree do anything for me here?

CTL

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Re: New in applying for law school, please advice!
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2009, 10:24:14 AM »
You've got a respectable GPA, man, don't worry about that so much.  You definitely are no slouch, so I think you can address that you finished in 2.5 years.  The MA might help marginally, but it's really your undergrad GPA that matters.  That's actually good, considering your undergrad GPA is higher.  Really, your GPA is fine. 

You should focus big time on the LSAT.  I can't stress the importance of the test enough.  Do a lot of research, and start studying for October (you probably don't have enough time to get things in order for June).  Take a LOT of practice tests, work with Powerscore books, and make sure to focus on your weaknesses.

Also, get a jump on your personal statement, and apply to schools very early in the cycle.  If they start accepting applications October 1st, get them in as early in October as you can.  You will have a better shot at admits, since most schools have rolling admissions.  If you haven't already, start talking to former profs to see if you can get a STRONG recommendation.  Ask them this.  If they don't know you well enough, or don't have enough good things to say, they should tell you. 

I think good schools for you to apply to would be (given your stats, experience, goals thus far):

Michigan
Penn
Virginia
Duke
Cornell
Georgetown
Vanderbilt
Texas
UCLA
George Washington

You'll need about a 167-172 LSAT score to get accepted to most of those schools, but you can certainly achieve that with adequate prep. 
If looks could kill, you would be an uzi.

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: New in applying for law school, please advice!
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2009, 10:33:44 AM »
How do you think your US law degree would help you represent a soccer team in the UK?
Russian by birth, Southern by the grace of God.

liverpool08

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Re: New in applying for law school, please advice!
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2009, 11:02:35 AM »
Thanks for the tips, I will study hard for the LSAT.

As for the soccer team thing, I want to do it, but it is really a secondary objective to politics.  So it is just crazy talks.

LittleRussianPrincess, Esq.

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Re: New in applying for law school, please advice!
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2009, 12:33:14 PM »
1. you don't need a law degree to go into politics

2. a US law degree is useless for representing a UK soccer team on matters of UK law. Liverpool is not going to have many, if any, US law issues. If and when they do, their counsel will get an outside lawyer to advise.
Russian by birth, Southern by the grace of God.