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Author Topic: Question from a potential non-traditional law student  (Read 888 times)

86arlo

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Question from a potential non-traditional law student
« on: April 28, 2009, 10:58:43 AM »
Hello,

First of all, thank you in advance for any help or information you may be able to provide.

I have been working at a law firm the past 6 years and have decided to pursue law school for the 2010-2011 academic year. I studied Biology at my first university and left during my last quarter (without a degree) and a GPA around 2.70. Since leaving, I have been working as a consultant at a law firm/consultant company and doing very well in the industry. When I decided that law school was what I wanted to pursue, I enrolled as a transfer student at a new university and in the past year, I have a 3.9 GPA in Psychology. I am set to graduate after the summer and have started studying for the LSAT already. I am 30 years old and am very ambitious and want to pursue this goal head on.

I would like to try my hand at the more elite schools. While I realize the Ivy League schools may be out of reach, I want to get in the best school possible and have my sights set on schools such as Michigan, Duke & Boston College.

My question is, are these schools also out of reach? Assuming I knock the LSAT out of the park (which I believe I can), do law schools place much emphasis on students who don't do as well in college, but attend a bit later in life when they truly know what they want? Also, I assume the 6 years at a law firm with great reccomendations helps?

Again, thanks in advance for any answers you have.....I truly appreciate any thoughts you could lend.
 


themanwithnoname

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Re: Question from a potential non-traditional law student
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2009, 11:06:02 AM »
Hello,

First of all, thank you in advance for any help or information you may be able to provide.

I have been working at a law firm the past 6 years and have decided to pursue law school for the 2010-2011 academic year. I studied Biology at my first university and left during my last quarter (without a degree) and a GPA around 2.70. Since leaving, I have been working as a consultant at a law firm/consultant company and doing very well in the industry. When I decided that law school was what I wanted to pursue, I enrolled as a transfer student at a new university and in the past year, I have a 3.9 GPA in Psychology. I am set to graduate after the summer and have started studying for the LSAT already. I am 30 years old and am very ambitious and want to pursue this goal head on.

I would like to try my hand at the more elite schools. While I realize the Ivy League schools may be out of reach, I want to get in the best school possible and have my sights set on schools such as Michigan, Duke & Boston College.

My question is, are these schools also out of reach? Assuming I knock the LSAT out of the park (which I believe I can), do law schools place much emphasis on students who don't do as well in college, but attend a bit later in life when they truly know what they want? Also, I assume the 6 years at a law firm with great reccomendations helps?

Again, thanks in advance for any answers you have.....I truly appreciate any thoughts you could lend.
 



How many terms are you talking about for the degree you are working on now? They will average all of those grades together so the more credits you have, the higher you will go. If you can nudge your GPA above 3.3 you probably have a shot at some good schools assuming you really kick ass on the LSAT.

86arlo

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Re: Question from a potential non-traditional law student
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 11:11:50 AM »
At the previous university, I had around 100 credits and at the university I am at now, I'll have around 90 credits.

bl825

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Re: Question from a potential non-traditional law student
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2009, 11:13:40 AM »
First off, I do believe that if there's a significant gap between your first college stint and your second, admissions committees will slightly discount poor performance during the first stint.  That said, the 2.70 won't be disregarded completely.  Is there a particular reason why you left without completing your degree by the way?  If you had some kind of specific problem, it would be useful to let the admissions people know about it, since it might explain the GPA the first time around.  Also, any sense of what your overall GPA will be?

Second, I think you might want to familiarize yourself a bit more with school selectivity.  I say this because you say that the Ivy League schools are out of reach while Michigan and Duke might be in play, but Cornell is easier to get into than Michigan and probably Duke.  Penn is probably about as hard to get into as Michigan, maybe slightly harder.

Third, I think the working at a law firm and the recommendations will help, but it's still primarily a numbers game.  Your top priority has to be the LSAT.  That will be the number one determinant of where you can go.  If you do knock it out of the park, you should have a chance at some very good schools.  

Good luck.  :)
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86arlo

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Re: Question from a potential non-traditional law student
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2009, 11:26:15 AM »
bl825,

Thanks...I really appreciate your response.

I didn't graduate college the first time around because I was pre-med and realized I  did not want to go to med school even if I had the grades. I had a job opportunity arise (my current job) and I couldn't turn in down. The market for Bio majors without a graduate degree is very small.

I am somewhat familiar with which law schools are best, but you're correct, I do need to do more research.

Also, I need to find out what my cumulative GPA will be, but is this the first thing the law schools see? Meaning, will they first see that I have a 3.9 at my current university or will they see the cumulative first? I guess my question is, do the upper-tier schools look at GPA (say my accum is a 3.2) and throw out the application or do they take into account special circumstances (ie-going back to school, law firm job, etc). Maybe you answered it by saying it was a numbers game, but I am still a little green to the process :)

Again, thanks

bl825

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Re: Question from a potential non-traditional law student
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2009, 11:34:38 AM »
I can't say for sure, but I would guess that they see the cumulative GPA before they see the breakdown.  I doubt anyone will throw out a 3.2 right off the bat though.  They will probably look at the breakdown and see that it's not the typical 3.2, and that should help you a bit.
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themanwithnoname

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Re: Question from a potential non-traditional law student
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2009, 11:59:34 AM »
I can't say for sure, but I would guess that they see the cumulative GPA before they see the breakdown.  I doubt anyone will throw out a 3.2 right off the bat though.  They will probably look at the breakdown and see that it's not the typical 3.2, and that should help you a bit.

I suspect schools take a look at GPA and lsat and throw some applications in the garbage. However, a 3.2 with a good lsat will not get your app thrown in the garbage at the schools you are talking about.

nerfco

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Re: Question from a potential non-traditional law student
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2009, 01:17:57 AM »
Until you write the LSAT, it's pretty pointless trying to guess at what schools you might be able to get into. If you get a 180, you could get into some very nice schools. If you get a 140, you won't get in anywhere. Study hard for the LSAT, and once you get a score, then see where that leaves you.

FortheDefense

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Re: Question from a potential non-traditional law student
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2009, 06:27:13 PM »
Hello,

First of all, thank you in advance for any help or information you may be able to provide.

I have been working at a law firm the past 6 years and have decided to pursue law school for the 2010-2011 academic year. I studied Biology at my first university and left during my last quarter (without a degree) and a GPA around 2.70. Since leaving, I have been working as a consultant at a law firm/consultant company and doing very well in the industry. When I decided that law school was what I wanted to pursue, I enrolled as a transfer student at a new university and in the past year, I have a 3.9 GPA in Psychology. I am set to graduate after the summer and have started studying for the LSAT already. I am 30 years old and am very ambitious and want to pursue this goal head on.

I would like to try my hand at the more elite schools. While I realize the Ivy League schools may be out of reach, I want to get in the best school possible and have my sights set on schools such as Michigan, Duke & Boston College.

My question is, are these schools also out of reach? Assuming I knock the LSAT out of the park (which I believe I can), do law schools place much emphasis on students who don't do as well in college, but attend a bit later in life when they truly know what they want? Also, I assume the 6 years at a law firm with great reccomendations helps?

Again, thanks in advance for any answers you have.....I truly appreciate any thoughts you could lend.
 



I have found lawschoolnumbers.com very informative. If you have a 2.7 undergraduate degree you may be wasting your time applying to Duke or UMich and tier 1 schools of this nature. Sure there is that one chance a blind man reviews your app. I am in the same situation as you, although I havent taken the LSAT yet, which obviously will tell much. I am going to apply to mostly tier 3 or 4 schools, unless I score 170 or above. I am 47 and have had a successful career in sales, but always wanted to be an attorney. My kids are all grown now, and I am going to go for it. I just want to get into an ABA law school, graduate and pass the bar. Not too hard a task huh? Seriously check out that website, you will be AMAZED at some of the numbers that get accepted. Good luck and let me know what your LSAT score turned out to be and I will too. 
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