Just tell me I'm not crazy...

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krzyreeesh
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Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby krzyreeesh » Thu May 13, 2010 5:06 pm

TLS has been my home and sanctuary for so many months now. When I started my law applications, I had no idea how much information I was missing out on. For all the information and help you've provided me with, I sincerely thank you. BUT, I also apologize. Because after all I've read and learned from you all, with deadlines approaching, I still find myself needing reassurance that I'm making the right move. I would greatly appreciate it if someone could help me out and let me know I'm making the right choice.

About me:
- Currently in NY, would love to stay and work here but I'm not averse to moving somewhere new (DC/Virginia, Florida/Chicago, Atlanta, Pennsylvania, Indiana, New Orleans, Ohio, Texas being the preferred order after NY)
- Debt is not at all a major consideration, I want to make sure I'm getting the best education and have the best chance to further my career regardless of cost
- Though BigLaw opportunities would be nice, my real interest is public interest law/international humanitarian law
- National reach and lay prestige are important to me as I may want to go into politics later in life
- Low ugrad GPA and a late application gave me some mixed results but I'm fairly confident (but not cocky) that I'll succeed in law school so I also want a school that is looked favorably upon should I receive the grades required to transfer up to a T20/T14.
- Reapplying next year/Retaking LSAT isn't an option

(all lists are in order of what I think my best choices are)
In:
Brooklyn w/ $30K |Saint John's University w/ $32.5K | Florida State | University of Pittsburgh w/ $8K | Chicago-Kent w/ $20K | Cincinnati | Baylor

Pending
Vanderbilt (auto-deny) | Fordham PT (would enroll in a heartbeat if they accepted me) | Indiana | Minnesota

Held:
Miami | Alabama

WL:
Emory | W&M | W&L | Cardozo | American | UGa | Case | GMU | Tulane | Villanova | Wisc

So, right now I'm thinking that Brooklyn is, by far, my best bet with the amount of $ they offered me and the fact that I'd get to stay at home and their relative prestige in NY. FSU is in an amazing city with an awesome campus and I'd love to be in sunny Florida for 3 years but don't know how strong my conviction is to stay there afterwards. With how livable a city Pittsburgh is and the school's prestige, that's also a consideration. But again, I don't want to be 'stuck' in Pittsburgh forever should I want to move. Do any of these schools have more of a NY reach than I'm giving them credit for or, is there anything else I'm missing?

A Fordham acceptance would make all of this moot. But other than that, I'd be hard-pressed not to accept an offer from Emory, W&M, W&L, Cardozo (w/ $), and maybe American or Case off the WL. I'm considering withdrawing from the rest of my WLs because I feel like after Brooklyn $$$ and the possibility of Fordham, those are the only ones that makes sense. Just tell me I'm not crazy...
Last edited by krzyreeesh on Thu May 13, 2010 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bk1
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Re: Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby bk1 » Thu May 13, 2010 5:30 pm

If national reach and lay prestige are important, why not reapply next year (possibly retake LSAT) considering your late application probably got you a lot of WL's?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu May 13, 2010 5:38 pm

State schools offer the best political connections if you plan to remain in the same state & run for office. Particularly true for the South, Southwest & Midwest regions. Probably not significant for the Northeast, however.

krzyreeesh
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Re: Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby krzyreeesh » Thu May 13, 2010 5:42 pm

I certainly considered retaking (and may eventually decide to do so in June to get myself off some WLs) but I've already taken the LSAT twice and feel like I've already hit my test-day threshold.

Also, waiting another year really isn't an option. I'm already older than I'd like to be entering law school and I just can't sit around for another year waiting to start. I'd certainly be happy to attend Brooklyn and possibly even happier if I made it into some other top-tier schools. But given my current options and the basic assumption that I will not re-apply, I'm just asking if my current plan makes sense.

Thanks for the advice!

edited my original post to reflect this

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A'nold
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Re: Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby A'nold » Thu May 13, 2010 5:48 pm

Tbh, I really like Pitt. I'm sure those schollies have contingencies (Brooklyn and St. John's) and Pitt does really well for its rank.

tesoro
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Re: Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby tesoro » Thu May 13, 2010 5:56 pm

BLS and St Johns are at the bottom of a long pecking order in an oversaturated market. For example (roughly speaking), CLS > NYU > the rest of the T14 > Fordham > Cardozo > St Johns = BLS = RU-N = RU-C = Hofstra> NYLS, Seton Hall, ...

Do you see the problem here? at least 4 schools are going to be releasing at least 1000 graduates, all of whom hold a more prestigious degree than a BLS student, and most of whom presumably want to live in NY after graduating. Then, the rest of the T14 has their pick of NYC jobs. Then BLS students are looked at... but they're competing for a small number of remaining positions with everyone from the other 4 peer schools in the area. This doesnt even take into consideration students from nearby regionals like GWU, BU, BC, etc... I think you get the idea though.

I personally turned down a full ride at BLS to attend Fordham at sticker because I, at the end of the day, decided that I would like a good chance at being employed in NYC when I graduate.

You've been accepted to solid regional schools. Pittsburgh and FSU do well in their home markets. The reason why is that their home markets have relatively few law schools in the area, so there are a lot more jobs available per student in the region. In light of this, you should seriously consider either a) reapplying and hoping for acceptance to Dozo or ideally Fordham, or b) moving to a one of your solid regional options.

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philosoraptor
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Re: Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby philosoraptor » Thu May 13, 2010 6:06 pm

Having grown up in Tallahassee, I'd be hard-pressed to think of a better law school for state and regional politics/government than FSU. And I'd guess it has more lay prestige, at least in the South, than most if not all of your other options, in part because of the politicians it has churned out. If you establish residency, it'll be pretty cheap, and of course Tally is an inexpensive and nice place to live. Of your waitlist options, I'd consider taking only Emory, W&M, W&L or UGA over FSU.

krzyreeesh
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Re: Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby krzyreeesh » Thu May 13, 2010 6:44 pm

Damn, I was hoping to get out of this with a "Yes! Choose Brooklyn! Definitely!"... But in the back of my head I was thinking almost the exact same thoughts that are being echoed here. I'd like to think that Brooklyn is more along the lines of Cardozo than it is of St. John's (though obviously, Cardozo is trending up and Brooklyn is trending down). Beyond that, my thoughts were that, at least here in NY, Brooklyn Law has enough lay prestige to carry me through if I'm in top 20%...maybe top 30% of my class. Beyond that, I know it's a crapshoot.

But I figure the same is probably true for FSU or Pitt. Outside of the top 30% of your class and there is no guarantee of financial security and you're looking at no portability outside of the state you're in. I suppose what it will really come down to then is how much I value the possibility of staying in NY, the quality of life in the respective cities and what my degree's worth if I am 'stuck' in any one of these states (I think philoso's right, FSU wins this last one).

So I guess the verdict is to:
1) pray for Fordham,
2) visit FSU/Pitt,
3) Try like hell to get off those WLs.

Thanks everyone for the awesome insight so far. It is much appreciated.

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PhantaManta
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Re: Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby PhantaManta » Thu May 13, 2010 6:49 pm

If the Brooklyn scholly is 30k/year and you want to work in NY, I think that is your best option.

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philosoraptor
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Re: Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby philosoraptor » Thu May 13, 2010 7:00 pm

krzyreeesh wrote:So I guess the verdict is to:
1) pray for Fordham,
2) visit FSU/Pitt,
3) Try like hell to get off those WLs.
By all means visit if you can afford the time/money. It'll be tough to feel confident in your choice unless you kick the tires a bit, as they say.

krzyreeesh
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Re: Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby krzyreeesh » Thu May 13, 2010 9:35 pm

PhantaManta wrote:If the Brooklyn scholly is 30k/year and you want to work in NY, I think that is your best option.


Woohoo! A pro-Brooklyn response! Man, I'm really grasping for straws now, haha.

philosoraptor wrote:
krzyreeesh wrote:So I guess the verdict is to:
1) pray for Fordham,
2) visit FSU/Pitt,
3) Try like hell to get off those WLs.
By all means visit if you can afford the time/money. It'll be tough to feel confident in your choice unless you kick the tires a bit, as they say.


Yeah, I definitely want to try to visit. The problem is that the deadlines are in the next couple of days (Pitt only gave me a week to decide!) so I'll have to ask the offices for an extension and I don't know successful of a venture that will be.

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holydonkey
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Re: Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby holydonkey » Thu May 13, 2010 9:44 pm

don't withdraw from the waitlists. What harm does it do to stay on? see what happens.

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doinmybest
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Re: Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby doinmybest » Fri May 14, 2010 7:34 am

krzyreeesh wrote:I certainly considered retaking (and may eventually decide to do so in June to get myself off some WLs) but I've already taken the LSAT twice and feel like I've already hit my test-day threshold.


Yeah I felt like that too, but then I took it a third time and increased by over 10 points. I think some people truly underestimate the value of waiting a year.

krzyreeesh
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:48 am

Re: Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby krzyreeesh » Fri May 14, 2010 10:19 am

doinmybest wrote:
krzyreeesh wrote:I certainly considered retaking (and may eventually decide to do so in June to get myself off some WLs) but I've already taken the LSAT twice and feel like I've already hit my test-day threshold.


Yeah I felt like that too, but then I took it a third time and increased by over 10 points. I think some people truly underestimate the value of waiting a year.


Perhaps I should clarify. 3 years ago, I took the LSAT. After taking the exam, I realized I didn't prep nearly enough which was indicative of my overall state of mind and the fact that I just wasn't mentally ready for the rigors of law school. I cancelled the score and spent the last 3 years in the work force. Late last year I took an actual LSAT after studying rather rigorously for 3 months. By the end of my studying, I was PTing in the high 160s, and ended up with an actual score in the low 160s. An international humanitarian venture took me abroad and I thought I would be away for all of 2010. When I found out I would be back in time for the start of the 2010 academic year, I signed up for the February LSAT. With my mind a bit clearer, I was PTing in the low 170s. With 5-6 weeks of rigorous testing, I ended up with a score just above the mid 160s.

So my score report reads: cancel/low 160/mid 160s.

I know my potential is 172ish and I do feel like I've had a bit of a mental breakthrough after submitting all these apps and actually being accepted to law schools (irrational fears are now gone). But I still feel like it'd be hard for me to break that 170 threshold on test day. Using LSN as a reference, IF best case scenario I had a 172-174 with my GPA, the schools I could include would be WUSTL, Illinois, Vanderbilt, UCLA, BU, BC with a very outside shot at Northwestern. They are certainly better schools but I'd likely end up paying at or closer to sticker for a degree - aside from maybe BU/BC/NU - that isn't that portable outside of its region.

My only LSAT-related conundrum right now is if I should retake it in June. I haven't been prepping at all and while an increase would get me off some waitlists, I'm concerned about how an LSAT drop would look to the WL schools/my current acceptances.

reverendt
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Re: Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby reverendt » Fri May 14, 2010 10:30 am

They've got a pretty good international law program at Pitt. They have "semester is DC" program now, and seem to be putting alot of people into DC.

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Drake014
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Re: Just tell me I'm not crazy...

Postby Drake014 » Fri May 14, 2010 10:34 am

doinmybest wrote:
krzyreeesh wrote:I certainly considered retaking (and may eventually decide to do so in June to get myself off some WLs) but I've already taken the LSAT twice and feel like I've already hit my test-day threshold.


Yeah I felt like that too, but then I took it a third time and increased by over 10 points. I think some people truly underestimate the value of waiting a year.


Some people wait a year then get the exact same score.




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