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Author Topic: Give me a dose of reality  (Read 1638 times)

Stockers

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Give me a dose of reality
« on: October 13, 2007, 01:45:45 PM »
Do I even have a shot at a decent school? My UPGA is 2.5 (I REALLY wasn't ready to go to university) but with definite upward mobility (Poli Sci major GPA is 3.4, Dean's List 3 of last 5 semesters). Taking the LSAT in December (in London - anyone going to be there?), testing in the upper 160s, lower 170s right now. I have been out of school for over 5 years, working in banking. I moved to Sweden, became fluent in Swedish, got a MA in Development Studies with distinction, and now work as a financial editor/supervisory analyst in equity and macroeconomic research for a top Nordic investment bank. I am a Swedish citizen, so I can apply as such if it will help my chances.

My dream school is Northwestern. Regionally, California, D.C., Chicago, and Seattle are my target areas since that is where my husband can transfer work. I want to work in international law, specifically international banking and transactions in emerging markets.

Should I consider PT? Is the rep really that bad? I make good money ($80,000+) and can transfer work if I choose. I'm not really concerned about the costs, rather the fact that I might have a shot at a better school if I go PT. Any suggestions, both FT and PT? I realize this would be much easier if I already knew my LSAT, but I can't wait until early January to decide. Thanks in advance!

ElMismoPandejo

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Re: Give me a dose of reality
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2007, 09:31:15 PM »
Are you an American citizen or not?  If not, your prospects get a lot better, because then you are an "international student" and they don't have to report your numbers to the ABA (and, therefore, to USNews).

Of course, in this context, the school will no longer care if you are URM, and will also not offer you any scholarship money.

As an international student, the school likes the fact that you won't affect their incoming student stats, but the school can also be hurt in other stats if you drop out or don't pass the bar.  So you will have to convince the school that despite your incompetence as an undergrad, you still have it together enough to graduate and pass the bar.  There are 2 ways to get a 2.5 undergrad: 1) stupid or 2) lazy.  (For the record, I did poorly because I was depressed and lazy.)  A good way to do this is to do well on the LSAT to prove you're not stupid.  An upward trend in grades, a good work record or some other kind of evidence is also necessary to prove you're not lazy.

Now if you aren't eligible to be considered an international student, you can only be admitted on the basis of what you have to offer with your numbers.  This means that unless you get a 178 or so Northwestern is out of the question (for reference, I think a 2.7/176 got accepted in an earlier cycle).  If you get around a 170 and up, you may have a shot at GW, Illinois, WUSTL and like places.  Texas used to not admit low GPA splitters but I think that changed last cycle; same goes for GW, although GW's new reputation for admitting splitters is more established.

Every year, more and more people take the LSAT; every year they are more educated about the LSAT's importance and are more prepared, thanks to improved prep materials; and there is a new ABA policy to take the best LSAT.  These three factors combine to push the LSAT scale, on average, down over time.  It is no longer prudent to assume that -10 will give you a 170.  If you want to have a shot at the schools you talk about, try to make sure you are getting -5 or less in practice.

Also remember that if you go to Georgetown or Texas, you must be in the top half to get a decent job upon graduation; at GW, Illinois and the others, it's closer to 25-33%.  Keep this in mind when deciding if law school is worth the money.

Right now, you make far more than most grads of first tier law schools can dream of making.  And your hours are probably better too.  If I were you, I'd look down at us law applicants with pity and thank God you're not one of us.

Jets

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Re: Give me a dose of reality
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2007, 11:48:31 PM »
Are you an American citizen or not?  If not, your prospects get a lot better, because then you are an "international student" and they don't have to report your numbers to the ABA (and, therefore, to USNews).

Of course, in this context, the school will no longer care if you are URM, and will also not offer you any scholarship money.

As an international student, the school likes the fact that you won't affect their incoming student stats, but the school can also be hurt in other stats if you drop out or don't pass the bar.  So you will have to convince the school that despite your incompetence as an undergrad, you still have it together enough to graduate and pass the bar.  There are 2 ways to get a 2.5 undergrad: 1) stupid or 2) lazy.  (For the record, I did poorly because I was depressed and lazy.)  A good way to do this is to do well on the LSAT to prove you're not stupid.  An upward trend in grades, a good work record or some other kind of evidence is also necessary to prove you're not lazy.

Now if you aren't eligible to be considered an international student, you can only be admitted on the basis of what you have to offer with your numbers.  This means that unless you get a 178 or so Northwestern is out of the question (for reference, I think a 2.7/176 got accepted in an earlier cycle).  If you get around a 170 and up, you may have a shot at GW, Illinois, WUSTL and like places.  Texas used to not admit low GPA splitters but I think that changed last cycle; same goes for GW, although GW's new reputation for admitting splitters is more established.

Every year, more and more people take the LSAT; every year they are more educated about the LSAT's importance and are more prepared, thanks to improved prep materials; and there is a new ABA policy to take the best LSAT.  These three factors combine to push the LSAT scale, on average, down over time.  It is no longer prudent to assume that -10 will give you a 170.  If you want to have a shot at the schools you talk about, try to make sure you are getting -5 or less in practice.

Also remember that if you go to Georgetown or Texas, you must be in the top half to get a decent job upon graduation; at GW, Illinois and the others, it's closer to 25-33%.  Keep this in mind when deciding if law school is worth the money.

Right now, you make far more than most grads of first tier law schools can dream of making.  And your hours are probably better too.  If I were you, I'd look down at us law applicants with pity and thank God you're not one of us.

Patently wrong.

$Bill

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Re: Give me a dose of reality
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2007, 01:41:28 AM »
Do I even have a shot at a decent school? My UPGA is 2.5 (I REALLY wasn't ready to go to university) but with definite upward mobility (Poli Sci major GPA is 3.4, Dean's List 3 of last 5 semesters). Taking the LSAT in December (in London - anyone going to be there?), testing in the upper 160s, lower 170s right now. I have been out of school for over 5 years, working in banking. I moved to Sweden, became fluent in Swedish, got a MA in Development Studies with distinction, and now work as a financial editor/supervisory analyst in equity and macroeconomic research for a top Nordic investment bank. I am a Swedish citizen, so I can apply as such if it will help my chances.

My dream school is Northwestern. Regionally, California, D.C., Chicago, and Seattle are my target areas since that is where my husband can transfer work. I want to work in international law, specifically international banking and transactions in emerging markets.

Should I consider PT? Is the rep really that bad? I make good money ($80,000+) and can transfer work if I choose. I'm not really concerned about the costs, rather the fact that I might have a shot at a better school if I go PT. Any suggestions, both FT and PT? I realize this would be much easier if I already knew my LSAT, but I can't wait until early January to decide. Thanks in advance!

This would make me get a M.A. in something I like, like classics, and just enjoy my life as is; I'd say law school may be a silly choice for you

Stockers

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Re: Give me a dose of reality
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2007, 05:07:11 AM »
Are you an American citizen or not?  If not, your prospects get a lot better, because then you are an "international student" and they don't have to report your numbers to the ABA (and, therefore, to USNews).

I am a US citizen as well, so in my case, as tempting as it is to apply as just a Swedish citizen, I do not think it is prudent to do so. US immigration and citizenship laws are so intense that I could imagine my failure to report US citizenship could be construed as renouncing my US citizenship, something I obviously don't want to do. Could also cause problems with the bar.

Thanks for all your comments. You're right about the UGPA; I'm not stupid, but I was lazy and immature when I started school. I guess I'll have to rock the LSAT.

Any suggestions for lower T1 schools that I might be able to get into? I'm also starting to think that PT at Georgetown might be the way to go. I understand my current job sounds great, but the fact of the matter is that I want to be a lawyer, not an investment banker.

ElMismoPandejo

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Re: Give me a dose of reality
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2007, 02:14:09 PM »
It doesn't matter how well you do on the LSAT or where you can go.  Basically there is no law school you can get into, unless you basically get a perfect score, that will not be GUARANTEED to DOWNGRADE your current standard of living.

Unless you have a burning desire to become more impoverished, you can continue to live a pleasant life while laughing at all us prestige-obsessed, overstressed strivers.

Meliss1086

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Re: Give me a dose of reality
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2007, 02:24:50 PM »
Are you an American citizen or not?  If not, your prospects get a lot better, because then you are an "international student" and they don't have to report your numbers to the ABA (and, therefore, to USNews).
What about permanent residency? I'm not a US citizen, but I am a permanent resident. I can't imagine that would still be considered an "international student".

bamf

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Re: Give me a dose of reality
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2007, 08:23:36 PM »
Are you an American citizen or not?  If not, your prospects get a lot better, because then you are an "international student" and they don't have to report your numbers to the ABA (and, therefore, to USNews).


uhhh, I'm not so sure about this ... I'll take a link if you've got one, otherwise I'll call BS.  They don't have to include your numbers if you are going for an LL.M. (for someone who already has a legal degree from outside the US) but if you are applying to a JD program and have an LSAT and GPA it will most certainly be included/ reported.
2L, Boston College Law

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Around from time to time.  Always willing to answer any Qs about BC, my '06/'07 cycle or law school in general ... PMs work better ...

Stockers

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Re: Give me a dose of reality
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2007, 03:24:26 AM »
I want to be a lawyer, not an investment banker.

Do you mind if I ask why?

Not at all. Business just isn't my thing, although don't get that twisted because I want to remain in banking/finance albeit from the legal side. I currently work in the guts of equity research, and it isn't what I want to do. I love the macroeconomic and emerging market research part of my job, and I will continue with that during law school.

My work experience and education to this point seem disparate, but with the addition of a JD (and specialization in international transactions), I am finally able to pursue what I really want to do - financial reform and establishment of banking systems and credit markets in emerging economies. Fortunately, money isn't the biggest factor for me, otherwise I would stay in investment banking and make gobs of it. Quality of life is about more than money. I appreciate the comments that push me to consider the loss of income and current career mobility, as these are certainly serious issues to be considered.

internetuser

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Re: Give me a dose of reality
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2007, 08:56:01 AM »
You want to go to law school to reform financial markets?


My work experience and education to this point seem disparate, but with the addition of a JD (and specialization in international transactions), I am finally able to pursue what I really want to do - financial reform and establishment of banking systems and credit markets in emerging economies. Fortunately, money isn't the biggest factor for me, otherwise I would stay in investment banking and make gobs of it. Quality of life is about more than money. I appreciate the comments that push me to consider the loss of income and current career mobility, as these are certainly serious issues to be considered.
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