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Author Topic: Native American male's chances for law school.  (Read 2327 times)

cb070

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Native American male's chances for law school.
« on: June 19, 2013, 04:52:11 PM »
So I am heavily weighing my options on what to do after I graduate. It looks like I am going to graduate with a BA in Psyc with a 2.4. I worked through college, traveled home quite a bit to help family and just had so much on my mind that it affected me everyday. But my last 2 years I have improved my grades as much as I can. I have NO volunteer work and moving home back to the Indian Reservation with family I don't see any volunteer work to be found. I the first person in my family to get a 4-year degree. I just want to know if I have any chance of every being in law school. I have a lot to offer, but the thing is I don't have the factual evidence to prove it (volunteer work, better grades, etc.) There is nothing for me here on the reservation to let me grow as a person and I don't feel as passionate about anything else other than law school. How could I improve my application to any law school? If you would like to know any more information, ask me. ex

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Native American male's chances for law school.
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2013, 08:05:21 PM »
How could I improve my application to any law school?

The best thing you can do is focus on LSAT preparation. Study like crazy, take a prep course if possible (or buy books and study yourself), and max out that score. There's nothing you can do about your GPA, but a high LSAT score can work wonders.

The fact that you are Native American will help. Law schools are actively seeking NA applicants. Still, you're going to need a decent LSAT score to balance out that GPA. Native American or not, law schools don't want to admit students who may fail out. At this point the best way to demonstrate that you are capable of handling the rigors of law school is to score well on the LSAT.

Places like Harvard and Yale are probably not in the cards even if you score very high. But there are plenty of mid-lower range schools that might very well consider a NA applicant with a  2.4 and a good LSAT score.

I have NO volunteer work and moving home back to the Indian Reservation with family I don't see any volunteer work to be found.


A little bit of last minute volunteer work is not going to be the determinative factor in your law school applications. If you can build up some resume experience, great, definitely do it. It may give you a slight boost. Your GPA and (especially) LSAT, however, will be of paramount importance. The impact of your numeric qualifications can't be overstated. Focus on the LSAT if you want to go to law school.

Lastly, assess whether or not law school is the right decision at this point in your life. If the same problems that derailed your undergrad grades are going to continue during law school, then you need to have some honest conversations with yourself.

Law school is far, far more demanding than undergrad. The amount of preparation that got you an "A" in undergrad will get you a C or even C- in law school. You will have to literally compete for grades against your fellow students, all of whom will be just like you: smart, motivated, and accomplished. You will have to be able to dedicate yourself 100% (especially during that first year) to succeed. Something to consider.

Good luck with your decision!

CA Law Dean

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Re: Native American male's chances for law school.
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2013, 11:26:32 AM »
So I am heavily weighing my options on what to do after I graduate. It looks like I am going to graduate with a BA in Psyc with a 2.4. I worked through college, traveled home quite a bit to help family and just had so much on my mind that it affected me everyday. But my last 2 years I have improved my grades as much as I can. I have NO volunteer work and moving home back to the Indian Reservation with family I don't see any volunteer work to be found. I the first person in my family to get a 4-year degree. I just want to know if I have any chance of every being in law school. I have a lot to offer, but the thing is I don't have the factual evidence to prove it (volunteer work, better grades, etc.) There is nothing for me here on the reservation to let me grow as a person and I don't feel as passionate about anything else other than law school. How could I improve my application to any law school? If you would like to know any more information, ask me. ex

cb070 . . . do you want the "anything is possible if you work hard enough" speech or the "tough love, here is reality" speech?

MFL350 is correct that the ONLY option that even gets you into the "anything is possible with hard work" scenario is to dedicate several months of compulsively dedicated hard work on preparing for the LSAT and prove that you have what it takes (to yourself and potential law schools) by getting a high score (I would guess 155 is the minimum and 160 would be better). In other words, you need to show that your 2.4, which in blunt honesty is a simply terrible GPA if law schools are considering whether you can be successful in graduate school . . . is not a reflection of your academic potential.

I admire your honesty about your situation, but frankly, lets be realistic here . . . look at it from the law school's standpoint . . . what does any of that have to do about whether you have the fundamental academic ability to be successful in graduate school? Essentially you are saying, nobody (including you) knows, since you haven't had a fair chance to find out during college. Being an URM does help . . . but you need to be realistic that you are still competing with URMs who faced many similar challenges AND graduated with much higher GPAs.

Consider the scenario you have presented . . . I didn't do well, but I am moving BACK to where I don't have the resources to succeed (or am facing the same challenges that resulted in a 2.4). Here is the tough love part . . . you need to get it into your head about how you want to move FOREWARD, not BACK. Law school is not about wishes, good intentions, and volunteerism (although those are certainly admirable qualities that are an asset). Law school is about really, really, really hard work so that you will eventually be in a position to counsel people and advocate on their behalf about the most fundamental and critical issues in their lives . . . losing their freedom, children, jobs, livelihood. It is a wonderful profession and career . . . but to show that you have what is necessary, you need to get straight about . . . and be in a position to prove . . . what you CAN do, not look for excuses (even those that are understandable and unavoidable) about what you have NOT done.

End of tough love . . . the very fact that you are looking into law school tells me that somewhere there is a spark in you that might be interested in rising to the challenge . . . go for it . . . but only if you are willing to work for it. If you take MFL350's advice, prepare and do well on the LSAT . . . and are interested in living and working in California, feel free to contact me at Monterey College of Law (where I am Dean), one of the California accredited law schools. We are all about second chances . . . and provide a comprehensive academic support program for those who are willing to make the commitment to do what it takes to succeed.

Hopefully, no hard feelings . . . and Good Luck.

Monterey College of Law
www.montereylaw.edu

Maintain FL 350

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Re: Native American male's chances for law school.
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2013, 12:28:00 PM »
Law school is not about wishes, good intentions, and volunteerism (although those are certainly admirable qualities that are an asset). Law school is about really, really, really hard work so that you will eventually be in a position to counsel people and advocate on their behalf about the most fundamental and critical issues in their lives . . . losing their freedom, children, jobs, livelihood. It is a wonderful profession and career . . . but to show that you have what is necessary, you need to get straight about . . . and be in a position to prove . . . what you CAN do, not look for excuses (even those that are understandable and unavoidable) about what you have NOT done.

Excellent advice  from CA Law Dean. This should be reposted to every applicant wondering whether they can get into law school with low numbers. It's so important to understand that law school makes college look like preschool, and no one will cut you any slack once you're there.