Law School Discussion

Chances for these Law Schools


Chances for these Law Schools
« on: July 02, 2013, 11:11:13 AM »
Hello all,

This is my first post to this forum. I recently took the June LSAT and got my score yesterday. This was my first attempt and I got a 155 which was consistent with my practice exams. I have several applications out there that were just submitted within the last few weeks. I understand that the application deadlines have long since passed but the deans of several schools are allowing me to apply because I was delayed in law school preparation from military service. I was recently honorably separated from the Marine Corps. They are making an exception. However, now it is time for the waiting game and I would like to put some feelers out there to all who would be interested in giving advice, wisdom, or a hard time.

Something that is particularly important to consider with my situation is money. I don't have to worry about it whatsoever. The Post 9/11 GiBill provides a free ride so I don't need scholarships. This fact has made possible admission into better schools a financially viable option for me. All the schools below have been vetted already for me and I can attend 100% tuition free with no scholarships. I don't mind going to a lower tiered school because I will have virtually no debt.

Undergraduate GPA - 3.93
Undergraduate Major - Criminal Justice (B.S Awarded)
LSAT Score - 155
Softs - Marine Corps Service (4 years active) and currently doing reserve time.

What are your opinions and insight on the below schools. They are listed in order from lowest median LSAT score for 2012 to highest. I have already applied just waiting for word back. I would appreciate any insight!

University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth Median LSAT 145
Faulkner School of Law Median LSAT 149
Mississippi College School of Law Median LSAT 149
Syracuse University Median LSAT 153
Charleston School of Law Median LSAT 154
West Virginia University Median LSAT 154
University of Mississippi Median LSAT 155
University of South Carolina Median LSAT 158
St. John's University Median LSAT 158
University of Oregon Median LSAT 159
University of Pittsburgh Median LSAT 159
Northeastern University Median LSAT 161

My overall number one choice is University of South Carolina. I was stationed in South Carolina and I like the state a lot. I am not considering retaking the LSAT. I feel as though 155 is nearly as good as I will ever have. And I feel 155 is sufficient. I am ready to get in this Fall and go to work! Thanks in advance for your comments.


Re: Chances for these Law Schools
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2013, 12:17:19 PM »
I'd say that you have an excellent shot at admission to most of these schools, and a decent shot at the rest (the ones with 158+ medians). Your high GPA is a plus, but at schools with 160ish median LSATs it may or may not be sufficient to gain admission. Schools tend to give the LSAT more weight than GPA, so all you can do is apply and see what happens. Check out the admissions profiles on LSAC and you will get a very good idea as to your chances.

One thing that really struck me was that you're all over the place geographically. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but you need to understand that your post law school options will be very different from each of these schools. All of these schools are ABA accredited, and most enjoy a decent local or regional reputation. However, none are what you would call "national" schools, and your post-grad job opportunities are likely going to be limited to each school's immediate geographical region.

For example, you applied to Oregon and Faulkner (MS). A degree from UO is great if you intend to live in the Pacific Northwest or California, but won't help you get an internship or make connections in Mississippi. Likewise, most people in the Pacific Northwest have probably never even heard of Faulkner.

When you're considering attending a local/regional school, I think it's very important to go to school in the city in which you want to live. You won't be able to rely on an elite pedigree to land a job, so you've got to make as many connections to the local legal community as possible during law school. This means you've got to score internships, externships, summer associate positions, and maybe join local bar associations. Understand that whichever of these schools you attend, you will likely remain I that area for quite a while after law school.

Additionally, you will have to take the bar exam in each state in which you intend to practice (unless there is a reciprocal agreement). In my state, CA, our bar exam tests federal and state law, which puts out of state grads at a disadvantage. If you go to school in NY and show up to take the South Carolina bar three years later, you may have learn new law in order to pass (I don't know that for sure, something to look into).

If you like SC, I would recommend going to school there unless you get into a nationally prestigious school whose reputation crosses state lines.

Good Luck!


Re: Chances for these Law Schools
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 05:24:04 PM »
Thank you for the reply I really appreciate it.



Re: Chances for these Law Schools
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 07:16:56 PM »

1.     The LSAC website is linked below.  The site allows you to get some guesstimate as to your chances at all of the LSAC law schools.  Plug in your GPA and LSAT and the site will give you some idea about your admission chances to each school.

2.     Don't underestimate the value of your experience in the Marine Corps.  I bet that experience gets you admitted to a school you otherwise would not get admitted to.

3.  The LSAC website will also tell you the attrition rate of each school.  My advice is don't go to a school like Syracuse University that has a high attrition rate.  SU has a 18% first year attrition rate which means that nearly 1 in 5 students that enroll incur debt and don't come back and an equal number have a miserable time competing in a cut throat environment.

4.    Good luck.

Re: Chances for these Law Schools
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2013, 10:27:29 AM »
I agree with Maintain you really need to understand that law school does not exist in a vaccuum and the location you choose will be where you spend a minimum of three years of your life and most likely the entirey of your legal career. If you attend Syracuse you will take the New York bar and after you take one bar you will not be anxious to take another.

Additionally, three years is a long time and while in law school you will likely enter into a realtionship and if you already have a spouse they will build roots over three years as well you. Picking up and moving after three years is tough especially since all your legal connections will be local and if you attend Syracuse all your connections and your school's connectiosn will be up in Upstate New York and all the Law Students that attended South Carolina will have a significant advantage over you.

I am an attorney and I just reviewed a number of resumes and frankly people applying from out-of-state or out of area law schools I didn't want to bother with. I am in the Bay Area and there is Hastings, Golden Gate, USF, Santa Clara, Davis, and McGeorge applicants who live close enough to actually move. I received resumes from Michigan State, Gonzaga, Florida State etc and just practically I don't want to have the conversation of them asking we will fly them in and I imagine they are more likely to take a job in Michigan, Washington, or Florida so if we even offered it to them there is a good chance they won't take it.

The name of the school is not that impressive and at any ABA school you will learn the same exact thing if a Harvard or Yale resume came across my desk then maybe I would consider flying them out, but if I saw any of the schools you are considering for a job in the Bay Area I would not take it seriously. Not that these are bad schools if I had a firm in South Carolina I would actively recruit from University of South Carolina and not look at resumes from Bay Area Schools.

Also remember that U.S. News should be taken very seriously particularly with schools of this caliber it is a magazine nothing more and at any ABA school you will learn the same thing and your first year will consist of Torts, Contracts, Property, etc and you will read Supreme Court cases the Supreme Court does not write seperate opinions for different law schools and in your first year you will read Palsgraff to learn Proximate Cause, Pennoyer v. Neff to learn about Notice, Hadley v. Baxendale for Contract Remedies so on and so on.

One final piece of advice is to visit each of these schools and get a sense of how you fit in. Although, the law is the same each school has a culture to it and I know as a 0L and having competed in a lot of mock trial competitions different schools have very different cultures some I liked others I didn't. Maybe as analyogy I see your a Marine and in the armed forces and the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force are also armed forces, but have different cultures I would imagine. Same for law schools I know there were some I liked and others I hated, but you probably think much differenlty than I do. So visit the schools talk to professors, walk around the campus, talk to students, and talk to administrators and see how you feel about the school. After visiting some schools I knew I did not want to attend school there and others I loved, but that is me and this your life altering decision don't let a magazine make it for you.

Good luck in legal career and excuse the typos sneaking in a little Law School Discussion Post at work doesn't allow me much time to edit.