Law School Discussion

How competetive am I? Somewhat non-traditional

How competetive am I? Somewhat non-traditional
« on: June 05, 2014, 07:15:14 PM »
I have worked in medical research for 3 years as a research assistant since graduating with a BS in psychology. Since then I have 4 publications in medical journals and one forensic journal. Also have 3 poster presentations (psychology related). Also have worked in 3 other research labs doing various medical/psychology research. 2 exceptional letters of recommendation, 3rd mediocre one (person only knew me for 1 year).  Undergrad 3.3, have yet to take the LSAT.

Was planning to go for my PhD after working for 2 years but was very conflicted and decided to take another year to work and make up my mind. After losing interest in academia law looks to be a better fit.

I am relying on the strength of my research/work experience but am not sure exactly how good that looks. For a PhD my experience makes me a strong candidate however I am not sure how valuable it will be for law.

For top 14 programs, how do I look? I realize the LSAT is a wildcard but am trying to get a realistic idea of what to expect.

Thank you.

Re: How competetive am I? Somewhat non-traditional
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2014, 08:06:08 PM »
Law school admission is very different from grad school admission. It is far more numbers driven, and far less weight is given to things like academic publications.

Without a GPA and LSAT score, everything is pure speculation. Law school admission is first and foremost a numbers game. You can have the best soft factors in the world, great letters of recommendation and an impressive resume, and it will not overcome a low GPA/LSAT. Conversely, someone with zero soft factors and a high GPA/LSAT will get accepted regardless.

That said, your soft factors are good (much better than most) and this will help if it's tied to a good GPA/LSAT. The thing to understand is that these factors will be viewed as additional to, not in lieu of, your numeric qualifications.

At this point the best thing you can do is focus on the LSAT. It is hugely important, even more so than your GPA in my opinion. Start studying, take a prep course if possible, and max out your score. It will help you obtain offers of admission and scholarships, which you should definitely be shooting for. 

barprephero

Re: How competetive am I? Somewhat non-traditional
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2014, 08:27:09 PM »
what were your previous degrees in? I got the medical part but was it an MD?

Re: How competetive am I? Somewhat non-traditional
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2014, 08:30:20 PM »
what were your previous degrees in? I got the medical part but was it an MD?

It was a BS in psychology, sorry that wasn't clear. Edited the post.

barprephero

Re: How competetive am I? Somewhat non-traditional
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2014, 09:26:30 PM »
what were your previous degrees in? I got the medical part but was it an MD?

It was a BS in psychology, sorry that wasn't clear. Edited the post.

Have you looked into taking the MCAT?

Re: How competetive am I? Somewhat non-traditional
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2014, 05:22:09 AM »
what were your previous degrees in? I got the medical part but was it an MD?

It was a BS in psychology, sorry that wasn't clear. Edited the post.

Have you looked into taking the MCAT?

I have, med school is not the right option for me. Not really a hard bio/chem person.

barprephero

Re: How competetive am I? Somewhat non-traditional
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2014, 07:49:14 PM »
If you have published articles, is it safe to say you are full time employed? Is it good salary?
In theory if you have a job and just want to advance at that job, an online masters might be a better route

Re: How competetive am I? Somewhat non-traditional
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2014, 09:22:18 AM »
As Maintain stated it is all speculative until you take the LSAT.

With a 3.3 GPA your odds of getting into a t14 school not high and you will need to do extremely well on the LSAT to have a chance.

If you want to be a lawyer, however it is not necessary to attend a T14 school and only 5% of lawyers attended T14 schools.

I would recommend taking the LSAT and then evaluating your options without that information there is really no point in speculating.

Good luck in your pursuit of a legal education.