Law School Discussion

Where should I apply

Where should I apply
« on: July 03, 2004, 08:12:40 AM »
I just got my LSAT- 167...  have a 4.0 from my undergrad (Georgetown College, in Kentucky- major was psychology) plus a M.S. degree from the University of Georgia, in psychology, also a 4.0.

Any ideas on where I should apply?  What "dream" schools could I have a decent chance of getting accepted?

ruskiegirl

Re: Where should I apply
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2004, 08:16:12 AM »
With your numbers there is probably no school out there to which you have no chance of getting admitted.  I would use the top five as reach schools and go from there.  Congrats on the great scores and best of luck to you in the admissions process!

Re: Where should I apply
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2004, 08:19:02 AM »
Are you serious?  Yale, Harvard, Chicago, wherever you want to go is within reach.

Re: Where should I apply
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2004, 08:19:51 AM »
Do you really think so?  Thanks!!  I guess I worry that my undergrad- a private liberal art college with, in my opinion, a good education but little recognition, might hurt my chances.  However, I was hoping the M.S. would help.  Well, that's good news then!

So, the "top 14"... sure, they're prestigious, great education, etc.  But what is it like to be a student there- is there a lot of pressure??  Do you ever have any fun?

ruskiegirl

Re: Where should I apply
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2004, 08:26:45 AM »
Do you really think so?  Thanks!!  I guess I worry that my undergrad- a private liberal art college with, in my opinion, a good education but little recognition, might hurt my chances.  However, I was hoping the M.S. would help.  Well, that's good news then!

So, the "top 14"... sure, they're prestigious, great education, etc.  But what is it like to be a student there- is there a lot of pressure??  Do you ever have any fun?
I think that really depends on the school.  Some are known to be pretty cutthroat, while others have a repuation for being laid back.  The best way to see if the "climate" works for you is to visit the schools and talk with current students.  IMHO, there are schools that are more cutthroat than the top 14.  This is, of course, from anectodal evidence, since I have yet to become a law student myself and experience the "climate" for myself.

zpops

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Re: Where should I apply
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2004, 09:36:52 AM »
I've gotta disagree here with ryckmansboy.  Lately I feel like I'm a very negative guy on this board, but I think that everyone is giving out overly optomisitc advice.

You're an usunsual candidate, becuase you have an outstanding GPA and a very good LSAT, but not an outstanding one.  When I was talking to the director of admissions at CLS at a cocktail party for admitted students, she lamented the fact that they don't really have much choise in who they admit.  She said that she wished she could admit students with high lsats or high gpa's, but becuase of the number of candiates they get with outstanding gpa's and lsats, she simply can't justify giving the spots to people with one outstanding number. 

I think that you should apply straight through the top 14, and you should get into at least a few.  I don't know if you'll make a top 5, but it's certainly possible.  To be honest, I don't really know much about schools outside of the top 5, becuase that's really where my attention was focused while i applied, but I sincerely beleive you'll get into at least 1 top14 school.  But I also don't want you to rob yourself of choices by only applying straight top14, since you are an unsual candiate for these schools.  Whille you're very likely to get into the lower end of the top 14, you may not want to go to any of those schools for various reasons, so I suggest you apply straight down the list, but that you ALSO apply to a few top 25's that you think you'd be happy attending.  You never want to be forced into a position where you're taking a spot at a school because its the only reasonable choice you could make.

On competition, i think that the higher you go, the less there is in the top 14.  Everyone in the top 6 or 7 for example knows that they will get a great job, so what is there to really compete for?  I think that the schools right outside of the absolute top schools are probably the most competitive, becuase these are the scghools where the top of the class will get great jobs and the bottom may not.  Good luck with your app process, and congrats on your outstanding academic record, and great LSAT.

Re: Where should I apply
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2004, 09:40:43 AM »
That is the impression I was under as well.  You have to understand that I wasn't expecting to apply to any top 20 schools.  I was expecting around a 160 LSAT and expecting to apply to Ohio State and the University of Kentucky.  Now that these doors have opened, I want to explore my options more.  Thus, will be applying to more schools. 

Will having my M.S. degree help me when compared to other applicants?  I've always heard that law schools love people with work/extended education experience.

zpops

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Re: Where should I apply
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2004, 09:51:24 AM »
That is the impression I was under as well.  You have to understand that I wasn't expecting to apply to any top 20 schools.  I was expecting around a 160 LSAT and expecting to apply to Ohio State and the University of Kentucky.  Now that these doors have opened, I want to explore my options more.  Thus, will be applying to more schools. 

Will having my M.S. degree help me when compared to other applicants?  I've always heard that law schools love people with work/extended education experience.

When I went to the admitted students weekends for CLS and NYU, I was surprised to find that I was one of the only people who was right out of UGrad.  The top schools certainly prefer students with life experiences, becuase they make the class more "interesting".  How you or I feel about the fairness of schools accepteing one candidate over another based on how "interesting" he/she lkooks on paper aside, your M.S. does make you more interesting than someone with nothing but a BA/BS.  I think that to make the most of your M.S. you need to explain why you got that degree, why you want to go to law school now, and how the combination of your M.S. and your JD will help you in life.  You NEED to make them realize your not a degree collector though, becuase the top schools are actually very nervous about giving their degrees to people who won't use them.  As long as you explain how the M.S. will help you to get mroe from your JD than a person without the extra degree, it will work out in your favor. 

edit:  I just looked at the usnews numbers (hadn't checked them in a while, and  I never memorized them like some people) and now I'm very confident that you'll get into most of the schools from Penn down.  Good luck!

Re: Where should I apply
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2004, 09:59:28 AM »
Thanks!

I do plan on using the pesronal statement as a forum for discussion of why I think my M.S. will be beneficial.  Basically, I want to eventualy pursue public interest law with a focus on family and children.  Having a M.S. in psychology with a concentration on developmental psychology gives me a perspective not often considered from the legal side.  So, I have an understanding and knowledge of children's needs, normal development, influences that impact socio-emotional development, etc.  If I ever choose to pursue custody, etc., this could be useful.

zpops

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Re: Where should I apply
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2004, 10:06:45 AM »
Thanks!

I do plan on using the pesronal statement as a forum for discussion of why I think my M.S. will be beneficial.  Basically, I want to eventualy pursue public interest law with a focus on family and children.  Having a M.S. in psychology with a concentration on developmental psychology gives me a perspective not often considered from the legal side.  So, I have an understanding and knowledge of children's needs, normal development, influences that impact socio-emotional development, etc.  If I ever choose to pursue custody, etc., this could be useful.

You just justified the degree in my mind.  I think you'llbe a very stong applicant.