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Author Topic: And we'll have fun fun fun  (Read 613 times)

Beags

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And we'll have fun fun fun
« on: April 19, 2011, 01:15:05 PM »
Here's the deal.
UGPA 2.78 (LSAC standardized), 162 LSAT on the first try, no studying, taken while I have the flu (Luck is my best friend.  Seriously.  I was just taking it to get a benchmark on how I would do with no studying whatsoever to determine what prep courses, etc I'd need to get a decent score).

I'm definitely in that "non-traditional" group of students.  I jerked around my first two years of undergrad, dropped out, worked a couple of maritime jobs, went back seriously, managed to get a decent GPA (3.3-3.5) my last two years of Undergrad while getting married and instantly becoming a dad (stepchildren...), and took a job with a huge company instead of taking a year to take th eLSAT and apply when I found out another couple were on the way.  3 years afterwards, I'm sitting at my desk and realize that I still wanted to be a lawyer, so I take the LSAT, do reasonably well, and start applying.

Now, I have that legal background...grew up in my Dad's office, worked as his assistant (not the BS "lawyer kid" stuff either...this man had me prepping Sixth Circuit briefs at 21 for him and threatened to fire me at least once every other month) for a good chunk of time, got leased out to other attorneys in the area when his case load was low.  My desire is pretty much concrete in that whole "grew up in it and truly love the exhausting practice of it" without the ideological "change the world" perspective.

Personal statement?  Solid.  Criminal history?  A couple bumps (an old DUI and a violation for "loitering" that I'm candid about in the addendum and have a strong enough history of good moral standing  to overcome).  Sights?  Set firmly on T3 or T4 (A job with the county is almost a lock down here, given my father's connections...what?  I said I'm being candid.  Or, otherwise, there's always the family's practice).  So, here's my questions:

I'm limited by my UGPA.  I'm debating whether to retake the LSAT with some actual prep time and see if I can bump that score up a few points to make up the difference.

I've applied/am applying to Salmon P. Chase (NKU...3 hour roundtrip drive, but evening classes would allow me to keep my current job and therefore not destroy myself financially...plus, Resident status!), Widener (it's close to my wife's parents so provides some cost benefits for me in the living expenses area), Cooley (God help me, but everyone needs a safety...), Brandeis (This is how we shoot for the stars.  The heck with Harvard.), Dayton (See Cooley), and Appalachian (See Cooley, and realize I really, really need to get a JD).

I have no illusions about Big Firm jobs or massive salaries.  My goal is to get a JD, pass the Bar, and work in the practice my father's spent 30+ years building.  It's Sh*t Law, but law.  I'm certain we can live alright, if not comfortably, afterwards. 

So....what're my odds?  Any suggestions here?  C'mon folks, lay into me!
"Everyone goes to jail at some point in their lives.  If this statement doesn't apply to you, wait a couple more years."

FalconJimmy

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Re: And we'll have fun fun fun
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2011, 01:19:37 PM »
<<So....what're my odds?  Any suggestions here?  C'mon folks, lay into me!>>

I think so long as you're okay with a 4T school, then you're going to law school.  I guess you could re-take the LSAT, but I bet somebody will accept you as-is.


MikePing

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Re: And we'll have fun fun fun
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2011, 04:22:35 PM »
It looks like you probably have what you need to get into school right now.  Scholarship would be a stretch (probably always will unless you are high 170's).  Typically law schools put much more weight on the LSAT than the UGPA. 

Plan on spending a lot of time getting your applications perfect.  Even if you retake the LSAT and score a 180, I think you will be a discretionary applicant because of your UGPA.  That means that the admissions committees will carefully look at your whole application. 

But, that works in your favor due to the change of family status, realistic knowledge of law practice, and UGPA trend.  Nail your PS, resume, and get at least one decent recommendation letter, and you should be fine. 

Good luck!  Let us know how it works out for you.   

bigs5068

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Re: And we'll have fun fun fun
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2011, 08:34:11 PM »
Plenty of places would be happy to accept you with your numbers and give you a decent scholarship. The DUI probably doesn't help anything, but as long as you are candid it should not be much of an issue. Check out lawschoolnumbers.com it is a great site to see how much scholarship money people with similar numbers got from certain schools. It is a lot better than the LSAC predictor in my opinion and you can also directly e-mail people that have actually gone to certain schools. Honestly lawschoolnumbers.com is just the best site for any 0L to look at for determining their chances at certain schools.

Hamilton

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Re: And we'll have fun fun fun
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2011, 08:45:04 AM »
I think those numbers are good for a T3/4, maybe check with schools to see which LSAT they "take."  As I recall some use your last where others use best (I may be wrong)?  I think your perspective is good and your background will likely put you in a position to survive and thrive in a legal career.  Once you are out and working (the biggest challenge for T3/4 grads), you make a name for yourself based on work ethic and performance.  Improving the LSAT score will certainly help with scholarship money.  Mine were based solely on LSAT.

Beags

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Re: And we'll have fun fun fun
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2011, 02:46:33 PM »
Thanks to everyone who replied!  I'm applying late in the admissions cycle, so I guess I'll see where we go this year, retake the LSAT in June if I get no admission (all of the schools said they "take the highest" score, with a couple saying they only accept up to 3 reportable scores), and go from there.

Now...to get back to work.
"Everyone goes to jail at some point in their lives.  If this statement doesn't apply to you, wait a couple more years."

bigs5068

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Re: And we'll have fun fun fun
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2011, 03:50:19 PM »
You might be better off waiting because many of the scholarships may already have been handed out if you apply now. With your numbers you should get scholarship money from any tier 4 and most tier 3 schools, and if you don't it is probably because they have already handed out all their scholarships. If you apply the first day applications open up for the next cycle you might save yourself upwards of 80,000 dollars. Just something to consider and I might be wrong, but generally schools offer out scholarship money early on to attract the students they want the most. By April and May they pretty much have their classes filled. Again, I am only a law student and never worked in a law school admissions office so I could be 100% wrong, but I am speculating that is how admissions offices handle things.

Beags

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Re: And we'll have fun fun fun
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2011, 04:49:00 PM »
You might be better off waiting because many of the scholarships may already have been handed out if you apply now. With your numbers you should get scholarship money from any tier 4 and most tier 3 schools, and if you don't it is probably because they have already handed out all their scholarships. If you apply the first day applications open up for the next cycle you might save yourself upwards of 80,000 dollars. Just something to consider and I might be wrong, but generally schools offer out scholarship money early on to attract the students they want the most. By April and May they pretty much have their classes filled. Again, I am only a law student and never worked in a law school admissions office so I could be 100% wrong, but I am speculating that is how admissions offices handle things.

I thought about that...The one I'm really shooting for is a state school, so I could swing tuition and books for a year on my own.  I'm trying for the evening program at first, with a transfer to their full time (I checked, it's not only allowed but encouraged) for the 2L year.  For the first year, I'd be able to get tuition assistance of $5,000.00 from my company, ya know, because law is one of those areas they think it would benefit them to have me studying.  If I can continue working part-time, I'll be able to hold onto that through the entire time...which knocks my yearly resident tuition down to about $10,000.00.  I can swing that and books through a re-jiggering of my finances, 401K, and a small loan.  After that, I'd still be eligible for a merit scholarship as a 2L (They reassess every year) even if I don't qualify/don't receive an offer as a 1L.

Other places?  Well, that's why I'm taking the "wait and see before I commit" route.  If I retake the LSAT in June, then I'll probably be switching up where I'm applying (score dependent) with one exception, as I'd be planning on full-time attendance and have a lot more leeway (my "live in" condition on my mortgage is up in October, meaning that starting in 2012 I can rent it out and not sell). So, basically, if the school and amount is right, swinging a year of tuition through creative funding is more than possible as long as I can get assessed for a merit scholarship as a 2L.
"Everyone goes to jail at some point in their lives.  If this statement doesn't apply to you, wait a couple more years."

bigs5068

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Re: And we'll have fun fun fun
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2011, 05:06:01 PM »
Yea state schools are the best buys out there. Generally even if you get a merit scholarship the requirements to maintain them are stringent. If you can get into a state school and keep your job and they will offer you tuition assistance then you are really on the right track.