If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

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leshachikha
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If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby leshachikha » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:26 pm

...what would you do? Take a full ride to Temple? Or retake the LSAT in June, aim for 172+, and cross your fingers for Penn? Is Penn even a realistic possibility for me?

My dream is working in cultural resource management (a very competitive nonprofit field where jobs require JDs). I have connections in the field, but I understand that this is shooting for the moon.

If I went to Temple, I could emerge with negligible debt. My plan, if I could not find CRM work immediately, would be to apply for prestigious PhD programs in a related field. [sidenote: For a variety of reasons, I don't think my recs from UG professors are good enough to get me into those kinds of programs right now, but I hope I could leverage a notable performance at Temple Law into a PhD.] Regardless, with negligible debt, I would have flexibility for my next move.

If I went to Penn at sticker, I imagine I would have about $250K in debt, if not more. Penn opens doors, especially in CRM because of the museum. But it also could trap me in an unhappy marriage with BigLaw just so I could service my debt. Or I could be unemployed and really SOL. I might not need more schooling, but if I do... well, getting a post-JD PhD is rough when you have that kind of debt to worry about.

So what do? Do y'all think that I have any chance at $$ at Penn if I improve my LSAT and apply RD the first day applications are accepted next Fall?

Relevant Info:

3.84 GPA in history from a top 10 private liberal arts college. Above average extracurriculars and employment experience in CRM. Mediocre recs (the weakness of my recs is why I'm not first going for the masters/phD in an academic field and then the JD).

Graduated in Spring '11. Worked for a year at a luxury hotel in downtown Chicago, then moved to Philly with my partner in Fall '12. Unfortunately, have been having serious medical problems for the past few months that have gotten in the way of employment. Finally am well enough to start looking for work. Hope to do something non-profit.

Took the LSAT for the first time in December after light-moderate prep. Received a 168, a good 6 points lower than I'd been PTing and 2 lower than my timed diagnostic. All but 2 of my wrong answers were in the LG section... I don't know whether I should chalk my poor performance up to nerves or what.

White, female, LGBT-identified.

Tell me what you think. Thanks!

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bk1
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby bk1 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:28 pm

Are you stuck in Philly post-law school as well? If so, Penn at sticker would be risky considering that biglaw in Philly is not plentiful.

leshachikha
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby leshachikha » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:35 pm

bk1 wrote:Are you stuck in Philly post-law school as well? If so, Penn at sticker would be risky considering that biglaw in Philly is not plentiful.


Nope. My partner will be into dissertation territory by then and will be flexible, so I can go where ever.

gman1978
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby gman1978 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:47 pm

Penn at sticker is bad. I'm not sure of the employment numbers for temple, but it might be worthwhile to go there with a full ride. If you retake and can get a few points higher on LSAT you could get money from penn.

leshachikha
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby leshachikha » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:01 pm

gman1978 wrote:Penn at sticker is bad. I'm not sure of the employment numbers for temple, but it might be worthwhile to go there with a full ride. If you retake and can get a few points higher on LSAT you could get money from penn.


Latest figures for Temple from LST: About 55% are in non-school funded full time legal positions. 33% are under- or un- employed.

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dingbat
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby dingbat » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:09 pm

Your numbers are on target for penn.

SportsFan
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby SportsFan » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:40 pm

Retake, get 170+, and you'll have a great shot at Penn (it's hard to predict because they love YP though). However, you're slightly below median GPA (I think its like a 3.87 now), and AFAIK they don't give much/any money to people with GPA's below 3.9. Could be wrong though.

MapsMapsMaps
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby MapsMapsMaps » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:43 pm

dingbat wrote:Your numbers are on target for penn.

Identical numbers to OP and one of the ~3 softs that actually matter. Waitlisted at Penn.

HeavenWood
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby HeavenWood » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:53 pm

MapsMapsMaps wrote:
dingbat wrote:Your numbers are on target for penn.

Identical numbers to OP and one of the ~3 softs that actually matter. Waitlisted at Penn.

OP should be golden with a 170.

gman1978 wrote:Penn at sticker is bad. I'm not sure of the employment numbers for temple, but it might be worthwhile to go there with a full ride. If you retake and can get a few points higher on LSAT you could get money from penn.

"Bad" is a strong word, especially when you're comparing it to Temple's abysmal prospects (and Temple gives very few full rides anyway), though Penn with $$ is certainly better than Penn with no money at all. Even though the OP is not biglaw focused, it sounds like she's interested in a preftige-heavy field where the name will do a lot of good. If she wanted to work at a local Philly nonprofit, that would be another issue entirely.
Last edited by HeavenWood on Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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dingbat
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby dingbat » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:54 pm

gman1978 wrote:Penn at sticker is bad.

:?:

MapsMapsMaps
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby MapsMapsMaps » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:56 pm

Also. I dont really remember specifics, but I do remember getting a shit ton of money from Temple. I wasnt full scholly, but it was a shit ton. That's the best I can do hahaha

HeavenWood
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby HeavenWood » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:57 pm

MapsMapsMaps wrote:Also. I dont really remember specifics, but I do remember getting a shit ton of money from Temple. I wasnt full scholly, but it was a shit ton. That's the best I can do hahaha

I'd ask you to define "shit-ton," but since you don't remember specifics, I suppose it's a fruitless effort. ;)

A small number of exceptions aside, Temple is notoriously stingy with money.

Edit: Seems the OP may be one of those lucky few? Either way, I'd retake.

MapsMapsMaps
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby MapsMapsMaps » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:04 am

haha that's why I used the word shit ton. It's the best description available. I even used a thesaurus. :D

And yes, retake. A 170 will change everything for you. Im kind of a dumb ass and had to work my ass off for a 168, so I decided to stay put.

leshachikha
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby leshachikha » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:12 am

Thanks for all your input so far, guys.

SportsFan, I wouldn't doubt that you're right about merit aid at Penn being pretty much restricted to 3.9+. Even if there are exceptions to that rule, I don't know if my softs are good enough to be that exception. ...Unless applications continue to fall and the landscape changes, maybe? But I don't necessarily want to make that bet.

I'm sort of stuck, because, as HeavenWood commented, meaningful CRM work is somewhat prestige driven. Most people have at least a MA (in archaeology, art history, what have you) AND a JD. A Penn JD might be prestigious enough to get my foot in the door without the other graduate degree, but if it's not... Temple won't get me the dream job I want initially, but it might get me into a subsequent program that will, for a lot less money than Penn.

Another complication: It's unlikely that my partner will be hired in Philly once she's done, because Penn snubs its own grads in her field. So if I end up having to find a job and not a PhD, only being able to work in Philly is a disadvantage. Even though I wouldn't necessarily mind the local nonprofit life. 45K a year sounds like riches to me, at this point...

That said, if I went to Temple this fall, I'd graduate 2 years ahead of her. Would 2 solid years of legal work experience make a Temple degree any more transportable, at least on the east coast?

I keep going back and forth. Sorry this is so long.

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dingbat
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby dingbat » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:44 am

leshachikha wrote:That said, if I went to Temple this fall, I'd graduate 2 years ahead of her. Would 2 solid years of legal work experience make a Temple degree any more transportable, at least on the east coast?

I keep going back and forth. Sorry this is so long.

Work experience is always more portable than just a degree, but how portable it is depends on what kind of work experience you have. However, bar exams are not (at least, not that soon). At any rate, you will need to take the bar exam in the state you move to. With only 2 years experience, you might not be able to get a job until after you pass the bar in your new location.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby somewhatwayward » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:25 am

Why do you think a Temple JD would increase your ability to get into a PhD program? Compared to other respectable grad programs, it is laughably easy to get into even highly-ranked law schools, and Temple isn't highly-ranked. Retake, score 172+, which it sounds like you can manage if you buckle down on LG, the easiest section to learn, and go to Penn with some $$. I'm not even sure a Penn JD would help you get into a "CRM"-relevant PhD...seems pretty unrelated to me.

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johnnyutah
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby johnnyutah » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:16 pm

HeavenWood wrote:"Bad" is a strong word, especially when you're comparing it to Temple's abysmal prospects (and Temple gives very few full rides anyway), though Penn with $$ is certainly better than Penn with no money at all. Even though the OP is not biglaw focused, it sounds like she's interested in a preftige-heavy field where the name will do a lot of good. If she wanted to work at a local Philly nonprofit, that would be another issue entirely.

Agreed. If OP had to stay and work in Philly after graduation, I would say that Temple is the better choice. Otherwise, Penn.

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twenty
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby twenty » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:06 pm

leshachikha wrote:(a very competitive nonprofit field where jobs require JDs).


When you say "require" does this mean that almost all, if not all of the people that would be doing your job or applying for your future job would have JDs? This puts a huge spin on everything, since this may qualify you for Penn's LRAP. If this is actually the case, I'd take Penn and run.

Took the LSAT for the first time in December after light-moderate prep. Received a 168, a good 6 points lower than I'd been PTing and 2 lower than my timed diagnostic. All but 2 of my wrong answers were in the LG section... I don't know whether I should chalk my poor performance up to nerves or what.


This screams retake, even if you have to sit out a cycle. Actually, you're probably going to want to sit out this cycle regardless. LG is for sure the most learnable section of the LSAT. Work on it, retake in June.

Good luck.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:30 pm

There is only one right answer here. You need to go to Penn. You could get in this year; get up to a 172+ and you're a shoo-in.

leshachikha
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby leshachikha » Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:26 pm

twentypercentmore wrote:
leshachikha wrote:(a very competitive nonprofit field where jobs require JDs).


When you say "require" does this mean that almost all, if not all of the people that would be doing your job or applying for your future job would have JDs? This puts a huge spin on everything, since this may qualify you for Penn's LRAP. If this is actually the case, I'd take Penn and run.



I'd say about 70% of the jobs in the field require JDs (the desk jobs, at least, not the archaeological ones). Most are government positions. I'm aware of LRAP, but was kind of leery because of how conditional the assistance is...Still, it's a possibility.

The more I think about it, the more I think that Penn might be the better choice. I would rather not be tied down to Philadelphia forever (although I'm finding West Philly more to my liking than Chicago, the Twin Cities, or NYC... whatever that says about me), and I'd rather not wait 5+ years for a Temple JD to become even marginally transportable.

I'll mull over it more, but I think I'm going to retake for that 172+ and apply to Penn next cycle. Is ED a good idea for me, since my GPA sits right at the median?

And goddamn, all this when I was about to get $30 from a dude on Craigslist for my old LSAT books...

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johnnyutah
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Re: If you had to stay in Philly, and you had 3.84/168...

Postby johnnyutah » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:56 pm

leshachikha wrote:I would rather not be tied down to Philadelphia forever (although I'm finding West Philly more to my liking than Chicago, the Twin Cities, or NYC... whatever that says about me)

That's because West Philly is fucking great.




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