Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Financial Aid => Topic started by: szcz0033 on December 04, 2010, 11:58:45 AM

Title: Full Scholarships to Law School
Post by: szcz0033 on December 04, 2010, 11:58:45 AM

First, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to read this! I have a question that I can't adequately answer and I'd like some opinions. My question is how hard it is to get a full scholarship to law school. I'm currently an officer in the Navy and I make a decent salary. I want to gauge the financial impact of going to law school before I decide to become a poor college student again!

Let me tell you a little about myself to give you an idea of my chances:
*High school valedictorian (4.0 / out of 320ish students)
*B.S. in Physics (3.49 GPA / attended Sept 2004 - Dec 2007 and had a rough year in there because of some family issues)
*M.E. in Nuclear Engineering (3.85 GPA / attended Sept 2008 - July 2010)
*Passed my Fundamentals of Engineering exam (first test to become a professional engineer)
*Employed by the Navy (from August 2007 until Summer 2012) to teach nuclear engineering (specifically math and physics) to future operators in the Nuclear Navy
*I probably will stay with the Navy in a reserve status
*Judging by my prior test scores, I feel I could get at least a 165 on the LSAT
*I would be entering law school in Fall 2012. It is my desire to go to the Northeast, the California region or the Michigan region.

Once again, thanks for any insight and I apologize if Iím spamming your forum!

Title: Re: Full Scholarships to Law School
Post by: marcus-aurelius on December 04, 2010, 12:08:33 PM
It is impossible to say until after you get an official score on the LSAT.  That will determine everything.

Being in the armed forces, plus your engineering background will help.  But the LSAT is the key
Title: Re: Full Scholarships to Law School
Post by: bigs5068 on December 04, 2010, 12:21:25 PM
Look at and you can see what you need to get scholarship money and how much people with similar numbers get.
Title: Re: Full Scholarships to Law School
Post by: Hamilton on December 06, 2010, 08:05:25 AM
2 thoughts:
1. to echo others, your LSAT will be a huge deciding factor.
2. you have a M.E. in Nuclear Freaking Engineering - why would you want to waste those skills and your talent by practicing law?

There are a ton of good reasons why NOT to go to law school - ESPECIALLY when you possess such a valuable and worthwhile skill set.  If it is and has been a dream to be a lawyer, by all means pursue it, but if this is a new area of interest, a passing idea, or something that just seems like a good idea, REALLY reconsider the idea.  Do your homework and evaluate the upside and downside of law school and a law career.
Title: Re: Full Scholarships to Law School
Post by: bigs5068 on December 06, 2010, 02:24:06 PM
See this is something that I think law students don't understand. Nuclear Engineering is a difficult degree, but I don't know if any nuclear jobs exist outside of the military. With any type of degree even Nuclear Engineering people do not just hand you jobs. Getting a Nuclear Engineering degree also costs money, time, and is difficult. At then of it there is no guarantee of a job either.

If the OP wants to be a lawyer go to law school. Just like everything else in life it is NOT a guarantee of success.
Title: Re: Full Scholarships to Law School
Post by: Tanrael on December 06, 2010, 05:34:58 PM
Do you have GI Bill benefits?
Title: Re: Full Scholarships to Law School
Post by: BikePilot on December 06, 2010, 07:19:17 PM
It really depends on where you want to go.  As far as I'm aware Yale, Harvard and Stanford don't offer scholarships to anyone (other than need-based and those tend to be small and stringent).  Its really hard to guess what schools will make of you given the low gpa, but impressive masters and unknown lsat.  The LSAT is always the most critical factor and you'd need and actual score before you could do any meaningful guessing. I'm told URM status helps quite a lot with scholarships as well.  As a non-urm with pretty good numbers I had a nearly-full ride to UVA. Although I didn't apply to them and wasn't interested in attending, I got many letters suggesting I apply for various scholarships from NYU, Columbia and Duke IIRC (doesn't mean I'd have gotten them of course). I'd echo Hamilton, the ROI for law school likely won't be great for you given your potential in other fields, opportunity cost and the current legal market.  You could probably go consult for one of many organizations and make nearly as much as a biglaw associate working half the hours (check out miter, cna, ida, rand, etc for cushy ffrdc jobs - the doe and national labs may also be worth looking into as well as nuc contractors, particularly those that are good in the cleanup game).
Title: Re: Full Scholarships to Law School
Post by: rm09 on January 30, 2011, 02:30:58 PM
Are you committed to a specific school or a specific area?  If not, that increases your odds.  Take the LSAT and apply to every school that gives you a fee waiver.  I have a 2.75 GPA and a 165 LSAT and I've been offered a full ride to a school I never would have applied to if not given a fee waiver.
Title: Re: Full Scholarships to Law School
Post by: louiebstef on January 30, 2011, 08:54:55 PM

If you are eligible (and I suspect you are) for Chapter 33 (The Post 9/11 GI Bill), you are eligible for 36 months full tuition to any public institution, plus an allowance equivalent to E-5 BAH, paid at the rate of the educational institution's location.

That of course is a full scholarship, with stipend.  You can't beat that.  I used 2/3 of my benefits to finish undergrad, so I am envious of those who have the full benefit to apply to law school.