Count myself lucky or reapply?

(Rankings, Profiles, Tuition, Student Life, . . . )

Which would be most reasonable?

Duke ($$)
64
68%
Cornell
1
1%
UPenn
24
26%
Reapply
5
5%
 
Total votes: 94

viking138
Posts: 223
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby viking138 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:59 pm

Hmm that is awfully odd I must say. You said you were at a state school right? How were your recs? Nothing that would possibly raise alarm right? What did you write your PS about?

I completely understand why you feel bummed by the way. Your numbers suggested you would be going to CCN, you probably had your heart set on it, and now it doesn't seem to be panning out. As people have said, don't give up hope completely.

You mentioned taking a year off -- what would you do?

erniesto
Posts: 298
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:56 pm

Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby erniesto » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:01 pm

Sorry for being blunt, but you've got an excellent position lined up for your legal future. And personally I think you need to be smacked by reality a little bit.

Question: Why would you apply to a law school this cycle if you didn't think there was a possibility you would be happy there if it was your only acceptance?

Freudian Analysis: I think your feelings of inadequacy are rooted in something else, and you are falsely blaming law school prestige. See a therapist.

Phrase of the day: http://lmgtfy.com/?q=diminishing+returns

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ainzabo7
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby ainzabo7 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:03 pm

I voted for “Duke”. No sense in retaking the LSAT again because you already have a top score. Given your GPA and strong LSAT score, it may be something else that you are lacking in the eyes of the T6, like real world experience, realistic expectations and new challenges. Sorry, undergraduate work isn’t real challenging for top law school prospects unless one is working full-time or a D1 athlete.

What is wrong with getting a job for a year and working on your communication, time management, negotiation, presentation, and organization skills? The real world is nothing like undergrad and it will allow you to grow professionally and mature. It also gives you an opportunity to refine your expectations. I like yourself aced undergraduate studies and continue to get my ass kicked in the real world every day. It is a humbling experience and nothing like college.

I know the job market isn’t the greatest but there are plenty of internship/volunteer opportunities that can provide you with real world challenges that will add to your essays and maturity. You will also be adding value to society. What a concept!

ljmrc3344
Posts: 35
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby ljmrc3344 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:13 pm

viking138 wrote:Hmm that is awfully odd I must say. You said you were at a state school right? How were your recs? Nothing that would possibly raise alarm right? What did you write your PS about?

I completely understand why you feel bummed by the way. Your numbers suggested you would be going to CCN, you probably had your heart set on it, and now it doesn't seem to be panning out. As people have said, don't give up hope completely.

You mentioned taking a year off -- what would you do?


I know at least one of my LOR was very good (I didn't read it, but she said it was going to be extremely supportive), the other two I'm fairly confident were pretty supportive (I was one of the only A's in the classes I took with one, and I had like a 105 average in the other's course). I've never had any legal troubles or anything. My PS was about a personal family crisis that re-focused me from medicine to law (I know, nothing new probably, but those who helped me edit thought it was persuasive and well-written)

As for the year off, I'd like to maybe find a teaching assistantship or volunteer work in a Francophone country (to continue using the language). Unfortunately, the deadlines for a lot of those things have passed. I could also possibly intern for a friend of mine in the Youth Services Dept. in Chicago. I might be able to find good things to occupy my time with, but I definitely don't have anything squared away.

@erniesto To be honest at the start of this whole process I said I would be satisfied with any T14. But as I research more and more into what it takes for high-level clerkships, academia, and other prestigious positions, it seems like it would behoove me to aim as high as possible (HYS aren't taking my GPA until I found a Fortune-500 and cure ovarian cancer). If you want the truth I've been an underachiever for a long time and I want to actually put myself to good use.

BetterCallSaul
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby BetterCallSaul » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:19 pm

Something is wrong with your app. Given your numbers and the lack of self awareness that you show in your post, I'll bet money that you've got problems in your essay and/or recommendations. Nothing huge enough for UPenn, Duke and Cornell to diss you, but you've turned off CCN.

You might be able to fix the problem with decent LOCI--Chicago is known to offer people with decent # spots off the waitlist. Since you said that money is a non-issue, why not get a waitlist assessment from a consultant? I wouldn't normally suggest that, but in your case it could help to get some outside perspective on your application and how to go forward.

Still, I don't think waiting a year is the solution. Either get in off the waitlist or take UPenn.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:21 pm

If you really want to prove your mettle, take Duke, get top 10% and transfer to HYS.

Honestly, I'm only half joking. I kind of had a similar path. I was a slacker through high school (well, academically--working 40-60 hours a week in HS will hurt the grades a bit)--locked myself out of a decent UGH, never showed up to classes in UG and slacked, barely studied for the LSAT at all, ended up with a 612. Obviously, that wasn't going to get me in to much of anything, so I jumped at Wisconsin (where I was in-state.) Started having regrets as I researched law schools, legal markets and such, considered retaking the LSAT and re-applying, decided against it.

So, I ended up at U-Wisconsin for LS... woke up one day, decided I wanted to see what I was capable of doing. Year and a half later, I'm in contention for K&E scholar at UChicago. If you really did "underperform" on your school placement, you may be able to transfer up. The big difference between you and other transfer-wannabes, however, is that your current options (particularly Duke w/money) are also very, very good, so you have little to lose.

Edit: Also, Chicago does tend to take quite a few late admits off the waitlist, and I know Schill is looking to bolster our numbers a bit.

Apple Tree
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby Apple Tree » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:37 pm

BetterCallSaul wrote:Something is wrong with your app. Given your numbers and the lack of self awareness that you show in your post, I'll bet money that you've got problems in your essay and/or recommendations. Nothing huge enough for UPenn, Duke and Cornell to diss you, but you've turned off CCN.

You might be able to fix the problem with decent LOCI--Chicago is known to offer people with decent # spots off the waitlist. Since you said that money is a non-issue, why not get a waitlist assessment from a consultant? I wouldn't normally suggest that, but in your case it could help to get some outside perspective on your application and how to go forward.

Still, I don't think waiting a year is the solution. Either get in off the waitlist or take UPenn.


Really? Damn it, I should have written a Why Chicago like they asked. I thought I would never have a chance even if I wrote it (which is probably true but really just an excuse for my laziness). Oh well, now I'm just gonna wait for that ding letter.

ljmrc3344
Posts: 35
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby ljmrc3344 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:44 pm

BetterCallSaul wrote:Something is wrong with your app. Given your numbers and the lack of self awareness that you show in your post, I'll bet money that you've got problems in your essay and/or recommendations. Nothing huge enough for UPenn, Duke and Cornell to diss you, but you've turned off CCN.

You might be able to fix the problem with decent LOCI--Chicago is known to offer people with decent # spots off the waitlist. Since you said that money is a non-issue, why not get a waitlist assessment from a consultant? I wouldn't normally suggest that, but in your case it could help to get some outside perspective on your application and how to go forward.

Still, I don't think waiting a year is the solution. Either get in off the waitlist or take UPenn.


I do plan to submit a LOCI to Chicago and stay on the waitlist, especially in the event that Columbia or NYU don't take me. My gut really says that there isn't a PROBLEM, per se, with my application. I had a lot of help editing my essay and worked very hard with those people to avoid coming off sounding anything but earnest and enthusiastic about doing meaningful legal work. One of my recommenders is French, and English is obviously a second language for him, so maybe something in his letter sounded funny or restrained in his endorsement (though he told me that it would be a good recommendation). That is the only thing I can think of in that regard. I'm not really sure what you mean by lack of self-awareness. I'm very aware that being male and non-URM makes me very unspecial and not naturally deserving of a lot of things without something substantial to set myself apart. I tried extremely hard to convey that my desire for law school is not a simple prestige or monetary issue, but it is a path that can help me do good in the world.

If there is one weak spot it would be my resume. It's not like there is nothing on it, but my jobs have not been incredibly impressive, my scholarships and academic awards are of the same caliber that many people applying have, and my extracurriculars are mostly just recreational (aside from a year of competitive sport). I would admit that is certainly possible that that could make me unextraordinary to the point that they threw me by the wayside, which makes more sense given all the extra applicants. But then that definitely goes against the numbers game thing.

orphanarium
Posts: 156
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby orphanarium » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:45 pm

...
Last edited by orphanarium on Sun Feb 13, 2011 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BetterCallSaul
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby BetterCallSaul » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:59 pm

ljmrc3344 wrote: I'm very aware that being male and non-URM makes me very unspecial and not naturally deserving of a lot of things without something substantial to set myself apart. I tried extremely hard to convey that my desire for law school is not a simple prestige or monetary issue, but it is a path that can help me do good in the world.


This is what I'm talking about--I say "lack of self-awareness" and you jump to how you're hyper aware that you're a white male but you only want to do good in the world. (I meant you were unaware that your whining about Duke and UPenn will not sit well with many people/acted sketchy about your numbers, etc.)

Here's the thing--in your first post you said that you want to go to UChi for philosophical reasons which implies that you like Law & Econ--so why are you saying you want to use a JD to do "good"? And if you write in your essay that you don't care about the money and you really want to use the law for good, they will look to your resume to judge if you're being sincere. Could it be that your resume didn't match who you professed to be in your essay? You might come off looking like an insincere jerk.

I'm not saying this to be mean, I'm just demonstrating how a person can go wrong...

ToTransferOrNot
Posts: 1928
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:45 am

Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:01 pm

BetterCallSaul wrote:
ljmrc3344 wrote: I'm very aware that being male and non-URM makes me very unspecial and not naturally deserving of a lot of things without something substantial to set myself apart. I tried extremely hard to convey that my desire for law school is not a simple prestige or monetary issue, but it is a path that can help me do good in the world.


This is what I'm talking about--I say "lack of self-awareness" and you jump to how you're hyper aware that you're a white male but you only want to do good in the world. (I meant you were unaware that your whining about Duke and UPenn will not sit well with many people/acted sketchy about your numbers, etc.)

Here's the thing--in your first post you said that you want to go to UChi for philosophical reasons which implies that you like Law & Econ--so why are you saying you want to use a JD to do "good"? And if you write in your essay that you don't care about the money and you really want to use the law for good, they will look to your resume to judge if you're being sincere. Could it be that your resume didn't match who you professed to be in your essay? You might come off looking like an insincere jerk.

I'm not saying this to be mean, I'm just demonstrating how a person can go wrong...


FWIW, that statement shows a misunderstanding about L&E.

BetterCallSaul
Posts: 75
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby BetterCallSaul » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:04 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:
BetterCallSaul wrote:
ljmrc3344 wrote: I'm very aware that being male and non-URM makes me very unspecial and not naturally deserving of a lot of things without something substantial to set myself apart. I tried extremely hard to convey that my desire for law school is not a simple prestige or monetary issue, but it is a path that can help me do good in the world.


This is what I'm talking about--I say "lack of self-awareness" and you jump to how you're hyper aware that you're a white male but you only want to do good in the world. (I meant you were unaware that your whining about Duke and UPenn will not sit well with many people/acted sketchy about your numbers, etc.)

Here's the thing--in your first post you said that you want to go to UChi for philosophical reasons which implies that you like Law & Econ--so why are you saying you want to use a JD to do "good"? And if you write in your essay that you don't care about the money and you really want to use the law for good, they will look to your resume to judge if you're being sincere. Could it be that your resume didn't match who you professed to be in your essay? You might come off looking like an insincere jerk.

I'm not saying this to be mean, I'm just demonstrating how a person can go wrong...


FWIW, that statement shows a misunderstanding about L&E.


If you subscribe to L&E you can benefit lots and lots of people, but you do not go out in the world every day thinking "How can I do good for others?"

Edit: Ok fine, maybe Cass Sunstein goes out into the world every day thinking "How can I use L&E to do good in the world?"
Last edited by BetterCallSaul on Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lawduder
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby lawduder » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:09 pm

take Duke and smile, that's a good scholarship at a great school...

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:10 pm

How much have you worked with L&E and people who subscribe to it?

L&E is a way of analyzing how legal systems and economic systems interact, and ultimately argues that legal systems should work to make economic systems as efficient as possible. It has absolutely nothing to do with helping people or not helping people. In fact, most L&E folks would argue that their worldview, wealth-maximizing as it claims to be, helps everyone, rich and poor alike.

Easterbrook and Posner do not seek out babies to feast on under full moons.

(Edit: This is all coming from someone who thinks L&E is bunk, by the way.)

You can be very economically libertarian and still wake up wanting to help everyone you see.

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GordonBombay
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby GordonBombay » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:10 pm

I cant believe I just advised that anyone attend Duke

ljmrc3344
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby ljmrc3344 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:12 pm

BetterCallSaul wrote:
ljmrc3344 wrote: I'm very aware that being male and non-URM makes me very unspecial and not naturally deserving of a lot of things without something substantial to set myself apart. I tried extremely hard to convey that my desire for law school is not a simple prestige or monetary issue, but it is a path that can help me do good in the world.


This is what I'm talking about--I say "lack of self-awareness" and you jump to how you're hyper aware that you're a white male but you only want to do good in the world. (I meant you were unaware that your whining about Duke and UPenn will not sit well with many people/acted sketchy about your numbers, etc.)

Here's the thing--in your first post you said that you want to go to UChi for philosophical reasons which implies that you like Law & Econ--so why are you saying you want to use a JD to do "good"? And if you write in your essay that you don't care about the money and you really want to use the law for good, they will look to your resume to judge if you're being sincere. Could it be that your resume didn't match who you professed to be in your essay? You might come off looking like an insincere jerk.

I'm not saying this to be mean, I'm just demonstrating how a person can go wrong...


I meant philosophical in their focus on scholarship and tight-knit class atmosphere. I do see how that could be misconstrued given their... ideological proclivities, shall we say? By doing "good" I mean that I am primarily interested in social justice/human rights and the like, rather than something like BigLaw. Also, I did anticipate that that I might come off as whining, which I did mention, as it so happens (see the P.S. in the first post).

Honestly, I'm not trying to piss anyone off. I completely realize a lot of people would love to have my problem and that makes me sound arrogant and entitled, but I just don't want to be dissatisfied with my school again. For instance, when I applied to undergrad I neglected a lot of places that I probably had a good shot at getting into because I was being impudent about it all (I don't want to go to school in the middle of nowhere, etc). I ended up applying to only a few schools, got waitlisted at some really good ones and settled for one of my safeties. I've regretted it ever since. It wasn't the right place for me in so many ways. I would just hate to do that again.

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Grizz
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby Grizz » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:20 pm

If you said you wanted to use your JD to "do good," which is an extremely generic statement in itself, and have nothing to back up this extremely vague assertion (record of service, involvement in the community, etc.), you're just gonna sound incredibly insincere. Maybe that's a reason why you're getting dinged.

Edit: in fact, I would bet on it.
Last edited by Grizz on Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ljmrc3344
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby ljmrc3344 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:25 pm

rad law wrote:If you said you wanted to use your JD to "do good," which is an extremely generic statement in itself, and have nothing to back up this extremely vague assertion (record of service, involvement in the community, etc.), you're just gonna sound incredibly insincere. Maybe that's a reason why you're getting dinged.


I would agree that could be a possibility. That was sort of what my PS was about, why I have the sudden desire to do so. It has been a rather recent development. I was being honest, which is why I didn't just go for the more believable, if untrue, "I want BigLaw" approach. I feel like I was fairly specific in my essays with regards to this, but I definitely see your point.

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im_blue
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby im_blue » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:27 pm

ljmrc3344 wrote:
rad law wrote:If you said you wanted to use your JD to "do good," which is an extremely generic statement in itself, and have nothing to back up this extremely vague assertion (record of service, involvement in the community, etc.), you're just gonna sound incredibly insincere. Maybe that's a reason why you're getting dinged.


I would agree that could be a possibility. That was sort of what my PS was about, why I have the sudden desire to do so. It has been a rather recent development. I was being honest, which is why I didn't just go for the more believable, if untrue, "I want BigLaw" approach. I feel like I was fairly specific in my essays with regards to this, but I definitely see your point.

This is why "Why I want to be a lawyer" essays are tricky to pull off and generally not advised. It's much easier to just write a generic "I had these hardships and overcame them" PS.

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rockchalk86
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby rockchalk86 » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:36 pm

Dude, go to one of your amazing options this year. NYU was my dream school and I am currently deciding between Michigan and Penn... guess what, I'm thrilled. I don't buy this "I know I could succeed in the T6" bullshit. If you think you can succeed there, you can succeed in Duke or Penn. Ten years from now you are gonna be scratching your head thinking why you ever even thought about waiting to break into the T6.

ljmrc3344
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby ljmrc3344 » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:04 am

As for the essay, basically it was an amalgam of "hardship" and "lawyer" themes. I tried to intertwine them as best I could. The structure was something like this: really terrible event in my family really fucks me up, I refocus myself with a desire to help people with certain problems (sorry I'm not being specific for privacy), hence I believe that law is the best way that I can do so with my capabilities.

rockchalk: I hear you with my choices being good options. Maybe its just the whole "HYS or bust" theme of this website. Hopefully, Columbia or NYU will give me some good news soon. But I will think about what everyone has been saying.

JJDancer
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby JJDancer » Fri Mar 12, 2010 12:17 am

Don't end your cycle before it ends. You def have a shot at getting off some of these waitlists.
I say wait it out as long as possible/put down a deposit at Penn if you need to/can while you wait to hear from the rest.

Don't wait a year. If money doesn't matter then don't pick Duke. I would say Penn over Cornell.

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thedogship
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby thedogship » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:05 pm

ToTransferOrNot wrote:-I question whether Penn is $60k better than Duke, particularly when you consider that living at Duke would be much more pleasurable)


not to mention living in Durham is a lot cheaper over the course of 3 years than living in Philly. That $60K is more like $80K at least, all things considered.

asealclubber
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby asealclubber » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:46 pm

OP: Why did you have you sights set on Chicago and Columbia, but not NYU? Even now, all your posts make it seem like you would still be disappointed if you only got into NYU.

ToTransferOrNot
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Re: Count myself lucky or reapply?

Postby ToTransferOrNot » Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:49 pm

asealclubber wrote:OP: Why did you have you sights set on Chicago and Columbia, but not NYU? Even now, all your posts make it seem like you would still be disappointed if you only got into NYU.


For people who aren't interested in PI work, there is a general sense that Columbia in particular, and Chicago (notwithstanding the officially lower rank) are both superior to NYU. Whether this general sense has much basis in reality is questionable, though NYU's national reach isn't quite the same as Columbia/Chicago.




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