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Author Topic: Successful entrepreneur, good enough soft factor?  (Read 482 times)

Barkeep

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Successful entrepreneur, good enough soft factor?
« on: June 07, 2013, 12:24:29 PM »
I am 28 years old, I have 14 years of hospitality experience. 10 of which are in management. I wrote a business plan, raised capital and started my own business when I was 26 years old. My 1st company grosses 2 million/year with a 30% profit margin. Business was in the black in 9 months. I purchased a second company 1 year later which I am turning around. I currently employ 30 full time employees and the business is growing steadily. My business has won many awards and is very highly rated in the industry where I am located. (one of the most competitive cities in the country for this industry) took the LSAT once, 155, gpa 2.89. Worked 3 jobs, 60-70hrs a week, to put myself through school in 4 years. Suggestions for law schools? Possibly a part time or 2 year program, I may start another business that I will run during law school, so larger markets are preferred. Possibly San Diego, Chicago, Nashville, Austin, Dallas, Portland, Seattle, or Houston.

Please excuse grammar or punctuation, I wrote this on an iPad and I'm too impatient to correct errors on it.

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Successful entrepreneur, good enough soft factor?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2013, 05:36:47 PM »
There are a few things to address here, I'll try cover them all. First of all, congratulations! Your business acumen is impressive and you should be commended.

Soft Factors
Are your soft factors "good enough"? It depends on what you mean by "good enough". Your business experience will not overcome your GPA/LSAT and get you into Harvard, but it might help with schools where you're on the borderline of admit/reject. The vast majority of admissions decisions are based on numbers, pure and simple. Law schools love to talk about they look at the "whole applicant", but most have a GPA/LSAT range beyond which admission is highly unlikely.

Soft factors seem to be most useful when the applicant is being compared to other numerically equivalent applicants. Then they can be used as a tie-breaker. Higher numbers, however, will almost always beat good soft factors. Interestingly, I think soft factors matter more at top ranked schools than at lower ranked schools. With a 2.8/155 you'll be applying to T2-T4 schools, and the decisions will be based mostly on numbers.

Possibly a part time or 2 year program, I may start another business that I will run during law school, so larger markets are preferred.

You're a little bit all over the place on the these next two issues. A two year program and a part-time (4 year) program are very different. You will not be able to start a new business or run an existing one if you do a two year program. The only two year program I know of (at Southwestern) is incredibly intense and requires a whole separate application process. I'm not sure, but they may not even allow you to work at the same time.

Starting a new business while attending a four year part time program would still be very challenging. I attended a part time program and I can tell you that it was still a huge amount of work, far more than most people expect. Law school is nothing like college. The level at which you are expected to operate, the competition among students, and the rigor of the courswork is shocking at first. I knew many classmates who worked while in law school, but they weren't starting new businesses (which requires a significant time investment), and many had to cut back on work because it was just too much. Something to think about.

Possibly San Diego, Chicago, Nashville, Austin, Dallas, Portland, Seattle, or Houston.


These are all very different cities and you will have very different post-graduation opportunities depending on each choice. I'm not sure what your post grad plans are, maybe you're not interested in practicing law per se. Nonetheless, you should think about where you want to live after law school, and try to go to law school in that city. For example, if you go to law school in Houston but want to live in San Diego after school, that means that you'll have to take the CA bar exam and then compete against the local talent who have spent the last three years working at local internships, gaining experience, and making connections. If you attend a non-elite out of state school, the problem is compounded because you can't rely on your academic pedigree to find work.

I hope this helped, and I wish you the best of luck! 


Barkeep

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Re: Successful entrepreneur, good enough soft factor?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2013, 12:21:53 AM »
Thank you for your reply livinglegend!

I do have a business partner, and he has offered to pick up the slack while I am away because it will be beneficial to our business. Also, we have modeled this business to be operational without our constant supervision. It isn't there yet, but we are very close. We are looking to expand to other cities (the ones listed) and my business partner would run the one where I go to law school as well. I will be more of a watchful eye, rather than a day to day operator while in school. We have had some serious setbacks due to attorneys (our own), which could have been avoided, had I been more knowledgeable. The dollar amount that these mistakes have cost us already is at least equal to a 3 year law school education. However, I do not want to waste time on a poor education. I should have restated my question to whether my soft factors are good enough to get me into any T1 program that has a higher than usual emphasis on soft factors, specifically business oriented soft factors. Job prospects, scholarships, and region are less important to me than quality of the education, as I will not be pursuing a legal career and my business will pay the tuition costs.