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Author Topic: Question about chances....  (Read 3739 times)

LaurenNY

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Question about chances....
« on: September 09, 2004, 01:39:26 PM »
I just need some opinions from people who know something about law schools and all...so I came here...because no one at my school knows anything.

I have a BS degree from Cornell in Neurobiology, after Cornell I had no idea what do to so I entered a PhD program in Neuroscience (one that is ranked among the top in the country)...but, after a year, I know that research isn't what I want to do, I want to combine my biology background with law...but I have no idea if I even have a chance of getting in to a decent law school.

If I leave graduate school in December, I'll be granted a masters in neuroscience...I have a 3.5 from Cornell and a 3.6 in grad school....but still I would be leaving grad school before I obtained a PhD, which is what I was admitted for. If I left grad school with a masters and worked for a year at a law firm while studying for the LSATs and applying to schools...would I have a chance in the world of being accepted to any law school at all?

Any advice would be REALLY appreciated.

The ZAPINATOR

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Re: Question about chances....
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2004, 01:44:48 PM »
Depends on a couple things: LSAT score and what you consider to be a "decent" law school.

If you get in the 170-range, you'll be competitive for most of the top programs.  If you get in the 163-170 range, I'd guess you'll be more competitive for non T-14 schools in the 30-15ish range.

Sounds like you're smart, but the main thing is beating the heck out of the LSAT.  Do that and you'll have really good chances to go anywhere.

And as far as working for a law firm for a year: it won't hurt your application at all, and it'll certainly help you get a better handle on how much you really love the law and want to practice it.  However, the flip side is that it may not help you very much in getting into law school either.  While it won't hurt, everything I've read suggests it wouldn't get much weight overall.

Hope some of this information is what you're looking for...

ZAP

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Re: Question about chances....
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2004, 01:47:00 PM »
If you're only interested in the top 6 or so schools, your GPA may indeed make it hard to get admitted.  But if you're willing to shoot for the rest of the top-14 or, even the top 25 or so, it shouldn't be a factor your LSAT couldn't overcome.

ZAP

I'm in the same situation, except worse. I dropped out of a Ph.D. in philosophy.  Mine is worse, though, because I actually withdrew in the middle of the second semester and my transcript is full of Ws.  So I am a lot more screwed than you are.

I plan to compensate by getting a 175 or higher on the LSAT.

I actually think your GPA situation is a lot worse than your grad school thing.  A GPA that low will probably put the top 5 schools out of your reach unless you get a 179+.

I don't think the grad school stuff matters at all for you.


LaurenNY

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Re: Question about chances....
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2004, 01:54:21 PM »
The average undergrad GPA for Cornell Law is a 3.5, and I think a lot of people forget that if a school's average GPA is a 3.6, that means half of all acceptees have under that. I was also told that the difficulty of your major counts for something, Neuroscience is not considered an easy major by any means. I have no desire to go to any Ivy League school though, I just want to get into one in the top 100.

I doubt I'd do that well on the LSAT though...but, again, I'm going from what I know about Cornell Law and their average LSAT score isn't above 170.

I don't know if what you said about the grad school stuff not mattering at all is true, I have been told that applicants with some graduate school experience have an advantage over new college grads because it's already been shown that they can succeed in a graduate school program. I just don't know if dropping out of graduate school is terrible...I'd stay for the PhD and then go to law school...but it almost seems pointless to put that many years of work into something you don't want to do.

As for working in the law firm...if it doesn't really count towards acceptance...is it at least good to have some experience in the field? I would think it would help eventually....

M2

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Re: Question about chances....
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2004, 01:55:26 PM »
So I am a lot more screwed than you are.



Yeh... for having superior lobes you are in pretty bad shape

The ZAPINATOR

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Re: Question about chances....
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2004, 02:00:13 PM »
As for working in the law firm...if it doesn't really count towards acceptance...is it at least good to have some experience in the field? I would think it would help eventually....

It would depend.  Are you planning to work in the firm's area after graduation?  If you are, then it would be a huge plus to already know people in the firm.  It would put you in a much better position to get a job with them.  Otherwise, I don't know what the obvious benefits would be other than that you'd gain experience and could put it on your resume.  It is a good idea to do it regardless, as it WILL help you learn about law firms and decide if law practice is really for you.  If nothing else, that sense of perspective is a huge benefit.

ZAP

LaurenNY

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Re: Question about chances....
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2004, 02:05:15 PM »
As for working in the law firm...if it doesn't really count towards acceptance...is it at least good to have some experience in the field? I would think it would help eventually....

It would depend.  Are you planning to work in the firm's area after graduation?  If you are, then it would be a huge plus to already know people in the firm.  It would put you in a much better position to get a job with them.  Otherwise, I don't know what the obvious benefits would be other than that you'd gain experience and could put it on your resume.  It is a good idea to do it regardless, as it WILL help you learn about law firms and decide if law practice is really for you.  If nothing else, that sense of perspective is a huge benefit.

ZAP

yes...i live on Long Island and i plan on working there...or in the city i suppose....the main reason i wanted to work at a law firm though was for the experience and to make sure i definitely enjoyed it....if i had done that with research, i would have never gone to graduate school for a PhD, so I don't want to be in that position again.

superiorlobe

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Re: Question about chances....
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2004, 02:09:51 PM »
Basically everything comes down to what you get on the LSAT.  You can get into a top-10 school if you do very well (i.e. 170+) on the LSAT.

Robespierre

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Re: Question about chances....
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2004, 03:38:49 PM »
The average undergrad GPA for Cornell Law is a 3.5, and I think a lot of people forget that if a school's average GPA is a 3.6, that means half of all acceptees have under that.

Median Cornell GPA is actually close to 3.7.  With your 3.5, even from Cornell in a hard major, you'll need a very strong LSAT score, perhaps 168+.

But if you're really interested in just a Top 100 school, you're in great shape.  I'd guess anything 162 or above will do it.

Getting into a Top 14 is surprisingly hard.  Getting into anything lower is surprisingly easy.
Penn Law Class of '09

LaurenNY

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Re: Question about chances....
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2004, 03:43:43 PM »
The average undergrad GPA for Cornell Law is a 3.5, and I think a lot of people forget that if a school's average GPA is a 3.6, that means half of all acceptees have under that.

Median Cornell GPA is actually close to 3.7.  With your 3.5, even from Cornell in a hard major, you'll need a very strong LSAT score, perhaps 168+.

But if you're really interested in just a Top 100 school, you're in great shape.  I'd guess anything 162 or above will do it.

Getting into a Top 14 is surprisingly hard.  Getting into anything lower is surprisingly easy.

cornell reports their average law school GPA as a 3.5-3.6 depending on the year. average lsat is 168. i don't want to go away to school, though, so the only options i have are top 100 or 4th tier, and i don't really want to go to a 4th tier one...