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Author Topic: Undergrad in 3...  (Read 1350 times)

green7

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Undergrad in 3...
« on: June 27, 2007, 11:10:02 AM »
At this point, it is very possible for me to graduate with my bachelor's in 3 years. I took tons of AP's in high school and the university I attend was generous with college credit, so much so that I don't have to take summer classes to graduate early. I don't want to take a gap year, and would like to enter law school immediately upon graduation. I plan to apply during the '09 cycle. I've read posts in another forum concerning a student who was worried about how it would look to graduate in 5 years, and the responses generally were that the length of time to obtain the degree doesn't matter, just the overall GPA and LSAT score. Does this also apply to students who take less time than normal to graduate? I've been asking several students about this and even called up some law school admission offices, and many people have brought up a question about maturity level. Is there really that big of a difference in the perspective of a 21 year old as opposed to a 22 year old? One of the admissions officers I talked to said his impression could be that a student who graduates in three years rushed to get out. It's interesting to me that some would consider graduating early as merely rushing. I thought it would actually work as a small plus if the student could obtain a solid GPA and LSAT score with fewer years to prepare.

Why does this situation seem so negative? If I do carry on with my current plans, should I address this/ explain in the form of an addendum on my application? Or should I just try to convey my maturity level in my personal statement? I am truly shooting for a Top 14, if I can keep my grades up and score well on the LSAT. I am just wondering if this undergrad in 3 situation will affect me in any way. Thank you all in advance!  :)

Myshkin

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Re: Undergrad in 3...
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2007, 11:48:21 AM »
There is nothing 'wrong' with graduating in three years; it is not looked upon 'unfavorably.'

That being said, it is not looked upon as a plus.  You graduated college.  If graduating early means that you're unable to put together an impressive undergraduate career, then you are at a disadvantage.  For example, let's say you get a 3.95 GPA and then end up with an LSAT around 166.  You will probably get a bite or two from the T14; but the liklihood is lessened if you don't have anything on your applicaton except for graduated in 3 years, didn't do anything but go to class, no real committment to volunteer work or even lame ECs like student body organizations and special interests.  Took the summer's off taking powerscore classes.  If on the other hand you are involved in school; get some papers published, play a sport, double major in different colleges, and genuinely appear enthused in your undergraduate career you will be on an equal footing likely with many of the candidates you are competing with for the scarce 3.95/166 T14 admits.

Do not assume you are special because you graduated in 3 years.  You're not. 

well eggy

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Re: Undergrad in 3...
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2007, 12:01:06 PM »
At this point, it is very possible for me to graduate with my bachelor's in 3 years. I took tons of AP's in high school and the university I attend was generous with college credit, so much so that I don't have to take summer classes to graduate early. I don't want to take a gap year, and would like to enter law school immediately upon graduation. I plan to apply during the '09 cycle. I've read posts in another forum concerning a student who was worried about how it would look to graduate in 5 years, and the responses generally were that the length of time to obtain the degree doesn't matter, just the overall GPA and LSAT score. Does this also apply to students who take less time than normal to graduate? I've been asking several students about this and even called up some law school admission offices, and many people have brought up a question about maturity level. Is there really that big of a difference in the perspective of a 21 year old as opposed to a 22 year old? One of the admissions officers I talked to said his impression could be that a student who graduates in three years rushed to get out. It's interesting to me that some would consider graduating early as merely rushing. I thought it would actually work as a small plus if the student could obtain a solid GPA and LSAT score with fewer years to prepare.

Why does this situation seem so negative? If I do carry on with my current plans, should I address this/ explain in the form of an addendum on my application? Or should I just try to convey my maturity level in my personal statement? I am truly shooting for a Top 14, if I can keep my grades up and score well on the LSAT. I am just wondering if this undergrad in 3 situation will affect me in any way. Thank you all in advance!  :)

Yes, it will.  How much of an admissions chances effect it will have is difficult to say--it won't help, though.

The greatest effect, though, will be on you.  Take your time, do college right.  Get good grades and have fun.

Myshkin

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Re: Undergrad in 3...
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2007, 12:09:47 PM »
Undergrad is lame.  I don't blame you for wanting to get out.  But Ali G up there is right; do it right.  Do what you need to in order to look like you enjoyed it and made the right "UG" choices.

Avoid getting knocked up.

It's not as cute as that movie with Grey's Anatomy girl.

rtqw

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Re: Undergrad in 3...
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2007, 12:17:05 PM »
The impression that I get is that age is more likely to be a liability when you're interviewing for jobs during and right after law school rather than getting into law school.  I just finished UG (in four years) and I'm only going to be 23 at the beginning of 2L - which is when on-campus interviewing takes place. You'll be 22 and your typical classmate will be in the vicinity of 26.

I think there is very little benefit to you in graduating in three years, unless you hate college. I could have graduated earlier, but I'm glad I didn't. I had a great senior year with a slightly smaller class load and was able to take classes only two days a week my last semester and do an internship two other days (and have Fridays off) during my last semester.   

Although soft factors are ultimately minor in the application process, mine were certainly strengthened by not graduating early (aforementioned internship, leadership positions in clubs senior year, etc).
University of Michigan Law School, Class of 2010
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darlinalexi

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Re: Undergrad in 3...
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2007, 01:00:28 PM »
As someone who did this, i say...don't make the same mistakes.

Myshkin

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Re: Undergrad in 3...
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2007, 01:13:06 PM »
For real...

I agree with the whole age thing mentioned above.  I graduated high school in May of 2003.  That summer I took classes at community college and combined with my APs started the fall Semester with about 50 credits.  I went to school the next summer and graduated in December 2004.  However, I still waited until the 06-07 cycle to apply for law school because I wanted time to get some work experience.  You don't have to spend 4 years in college, but you should at least have 4 years of activity on your resume.

TeresaPinfold

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Re: Undergrad in 3...
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2007, 01:15:56 PM »
I skipped a grade in high school, then a I graduated in 5 semesters from college, but I took a year off afterwards.

California_RedRaider

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Re: Undergrad in 3...
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2007, 01:33:54 PM »
I"m in a similar situation as Lucky AC... but slight differences, i finished high school earlier and spending 2 years in college but also plan on taking a year off. So that's 20 years old entering law school. Still deciding on traveling/volunteering for the year off or working!

I say if you want to graduate early, go for it. But know that a lot of T14 really look into work and life experiences in their student. All work and no play is definitely not good. Make sure you have solid extra-curricular activities, study abroad, internships, etc. to show that you are a well rounded student. Numericals are very very important, but as i've ascertained, with young applicants we must show maturity more than anything.

Don't write an addendum about graduating early. Graduating in 3 years is not overally unique, quite a few students do it. Focus more on showing, through your PS, that you are mature and ready for the demands of law school!

Hopefully I'm right in my statements, cause if i'm wrong, them i'm screwed also... :)

Good luck, you'll be fine. :)

StudentUVA

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Re: Undergrad in 3...
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2007, 02:30:55 PM »
I graduated sooner, was younger, and had no problems getting accepted. PM for details