This year or Next? Taking a year off..

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dempsey6
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This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby dempsey6 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:44 am

Been lurking for a couple of months, and I now need some serious advice on my immediate future .

So I am an URM (Hispanic). When I applied this cycle around January my LSAT was in the upper 150s so I (now regrettably) applied ED to GT. A couple months later my February LSAT came back at 169. Problem with that was the score came back in March, so I was subsequently waitlisted at almost every school in the T14 I applied to.

The only 2 schools I was accepted at were the 2 at the bottom of the T14 tier, GT & Cornell. GT at sticker price as no money was offered which is apparently pretty normal since they know ED applicants are bound regardless.

Regardless I figured GT is still GT (tho I know it is disliked on here lol) and my parents will be helping me out, which is a form of financial aid in itself, so why not go now?

However, this summer I learned my 55 year old father’s medical condition will have him out of work for a year or more, with an outside shot of retirement. Thus suddenly money is an issue as I refuse to have my jobless father contribute to something I could pay for with loans. I can still go to GT at sticker with loans, but I don’t know if it is worth it just to avoid taking the year off.

So thus I am down to GT at sticker this year or wait a year and maybe receive some aid at a similarly lower tier ranked t14 (cornell, duke, GT again?)/ sticker @ UVA, Northwestern, Michigan, UPenn.


What would be the wise decision here with a very average URM 3.5 GPA and 169 LSAT?
With all your experience, what would you do?
I would appreciate any and everyone’s opinion. Thank you!

UPDATE: Georgetown just offered me 90k over the three years. So obviously no longer at sticker price. I understand with my credentials that is probably the max I will get within the T-14.
So now I ask TLS a tougher quesion, Georgetown with 90k or a slightly better school like Northwestern or UVA at sticker or I assume something minimal like 20k over the three years (next year)?

The only school that I am capable of being accepted that I would undoubtedly wait for is UPenn, but with 3.45/169 not good enough chance to definitely wait for IMO (maybe 25% shot).
Last edited by dempsey6 on Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:07 pm, edited 4 times in total.

dempsey6
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Re: This year or taking a year off?

Postby dempsey6 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:46 am

Extra info:
-My GPA is weak at right under 3.5.
-Ideally I’d LOVE to get a big firm job out of school. I know GT isn’t the best place for that when compared to the likes of UVA, Northwestern, and of course UPenn.
-I’ve thought about taking the year off and going back to school and attempting to raise my GPA by getting 12 credits of A in easy classes.
-I’ve been told I can transfer, but for whatever reason I would just prefer not to.

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Balthy
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby Balthy » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:16 am

I think you should retake this October and apply early next cycle. You're so close man.

Have you declared and been approved for graduation? If so, LSAC won't count your additional courses.

Benjamin1987
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby Benjamin1987 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:27 am

You should definitely wait until the next cycle. It wouldn't hurt to retake one more time. 170+ and you'll be golden (you are probably already golden).

GL!

dempsey6
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby dempsey6 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:34 am

superdingle2000 wrote:I think you should retake this October and apply early next cycle. You're so close man.

Have you declared and been approved for graduation? If so, LSAC won't count your additional courses.



Yeah I just graduated this May. I did not know that once you graduate, no further courses are counted :?

And unfortunately I can no longer take the test. I really messed up by taking it before I started buckling down and taking it as serious as a job. Regretting it now, just like my GPA.

I appreciate your input.

dempsey6
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby dempsey6 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:36 am

Benjamin1987 wrote:You should definitely wait until the next cycle. It wouldn't hurt to retake one more time. 170+ and you'll be golden (you are probably already golden).

GL!


Thanks!

And yeah, unfortunately out of attempts. So I am what I am going to be. The only thing that could change would be my softs.

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sublime
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby sublime » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:45 am

..

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bizzybone1313
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby bizzybone1313 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:58 am

Georgetown is really greedy with $$. You would be making a big mistake by enrolling there this year. You should wait until next year. Taking one year off would be tremendously helpful to you.

You have a good shot at the lower T-14 by applying early in Sept. or October. There is no need for you to go right now.

You have a couple of problems though: (1) Generally Latinos do not get the type of bump that AA's get in LS admissions. This may complicate things for you in terms of getting solid bites within the T-14. A lot of peeps on TLS will act like all URM's bumps are the same, but this is not true. It is far more complicated than that. If you attended an elite undergrad like Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, etc, this is a tremendous bump for URM candidates as well. (2) You have real good stats with a 3.5 and 169, but the problem is you do not exceed the vast majority of medians at the T-14. You hurt their LSAT and GPA medians, which is what they are primarily concerned about. They do not care about the 25% and 75% percentiles all that much. It is all about maintaining the medians. So while you have solid stats, the T-14 much prefer to take URM's that help at least one median at the T-14. Usually the vast majority of URM's at the T-14 (and really anywhere) are reverse splitters, which is to say they have a real high GPA (think 3.85ish+ and above) and a below median LSAT (164-168). These peeps get admitted pretty easily at the T-14. (3) GT might be out of the cards for you the next cycle though, because you decided not to attend this cycle. That is something I cannot definitively speak to though and is better for other peeps to answer. While you should get Cornell and some other T-14's this upcoming cycle, it is not guaranteed. By not attending GT this cycle you might end up locking yourself out of the T-14, which to me is really important.

Nevertheless, you should reapply this upcoming cycle.

dempsey6
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby dempsey6 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:42 am

sublime wrote:So to clarify, you are bound to GT this year, and would not be next year, correct? There was some confusion about whether that would be the case in another thread.


That is what I understand. You're just bound for that cycle not any longer. That is also what I was told about a 4-6 weeks ago when I called to explain my situation.

dempsey6
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby dempsey6 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:56 am

bizzybone1313 wrote:Georgetown is really greedy with $$. You would be making a big mistake by enrolling there this year. You should wait until next year. Taking one year off would be tremendously helpful to you.

You have a good shot at the lower T-14 by applying early in Sept. or October. There is no need for you to go right now.

You have a couple of problems though: (1) Generally Latinos do not get the type of bump that AA's get in LS admissions. This may complicate things for you in terms of getting solid bites within the T-14. A lot of peeps on TLS will act like all URM's bumps are the same, but this is not true. It is far more complicated than that. If you attended an elite undergrad like Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, etc, this is a tremendous bump for URM candidates as well. (2) You have real good stats with a 3.5 and 169, but the problem is you do not exceed the vast majority of medians at the T-14. You hurt their LSAT and GPA medians, which is what they are primarily concerned about. They do not care about the 25% and 75% percentiles all that much. It is all about maintaining the medians. So while you have solid stats, the T-14 much prefer to take URM's that help at least one median at the T-14. Usually the vast majority of URM's at the T-14 (and really anywhere) are reverse splitters, which is to say they have a real high GPA (think 3.85ish+ and above) and a below median LSAT (164-168). These peeps get admitted pretty easily at the T-14. (3) GT might be out of the cards for you the next cycle though, because you decided not to attend this cycle. That is something I cannot definitively speak to though and is better for other peeps to answer. While you should get Cornell and some other T-14's this upcoming cycle, it is not guaranteed. By not attending GT this cycle you might end up locking yourself out of the T-14, which to me is really important.

Nevertheless, you should reapply this upcoming cycle.


Excellent insight. Makes a lot of sense.

1) I went to a top50 undergrad, but definitely no Harvard.
2) Scary what one point more could have done for me. I just looked it up very quickly and I believe I only make the median for 4 of the top 14: Cornell, Berkely, Georgetown, and Duke.
3) I figured that would be the case if I scorned them this year. But I would be curious to hear if anyone has ever heard of this situation before.

The point you make about missing out on a T-14 is what really makes this a tough decision. T-14 is huge for me as well. My logic however is that while GT is indeed T-14 (for now), are they really T-14 for what im going for (Big Law)? If I remember correctly they were around #16 for sending grads to top 250 firms.
Being locked out of the T-14 absolutely scares the shit out of me. If I was guaranteed at least one T-14 next year (even GT again), I would absolutely take the year off just to avoid potential future regret. That, however, like you said is not guaranteed.

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bizzybone1313
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby bizzybone1313 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:29 am

dempsey6 wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:Georgetown is really greedy with $$. You would be making a big mistake by enrolling there this year. You should wait until next year. Taking one year off would be tremendously helpful to you.

You have a good shot at the lower T-14 by applying early in Sept. or October. There is no need for you to go right now.

You have a couple of problems though: (1) Generally Latinos do not get the type of bump that AA's get in LS admissions. This may complicate things for you in terms of getting solid bites within the T-14. A lot of peeps on TLS will act like all URM's bumps are the same, but this is not true. It is far more complicated than that. If you attended an elite undergrad like Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, etc, this is a tremendous bump for URM candidates as well. (2) You have real good stats with a 3.5 and 169, but the problem is you do not exceed the vast majority of medians at the T-14. You hurt their LSAT and GPA medians, which is what they are primarily concerned about. They do not care about the 25% and 75% percentiles all that much. It is all about maintaining the medians. So while you have solid stats, the T-14 much prefer to take URM's that help at least one median at the T-14. Usually the vast majority of URM's at the T-14 (and really anywhere) are reverse splitters, which is to say they have a real high GPA (think 3.85ish+ and above) and a below median LSAT (164-168). These peeps get admitted pretty easily at the T-14. (3) GT might be out of the cards for you the next cycle though, because you decided not to attend this cycle. That is something I cannot definitively speak to though and is better for other peeps to answer. While you should get Cornell and some other T-14's this upcoming cycle, it is not guaranteed. By not attending GT this cycle you might end up locking yourself out of the T-14, which to me is really important.

Nevertheless, you should reapply this upcoming cycle.


Excellent insight. Makes a lot of sense.

1) I went to a top50 undergrad, but definitely no Harvard.
2) Scary what one point more could have done for me. I just looked it up very quickly and I believe I only make the median for 4 of the top 14: Cornell, Berkely, Georgetown, and Duke.
3) I figured that would be the case if I scorned them this year. But I would be curious to hear if anyone has ever heard of this situation before.

The point you make about missing out on a T-14 is what really makes this a tough decision. T-14 is huge for me as well. My logic however is that while GT is indeed T-14 (for now), are they really T-14 for what im going for (Big Law)? If I remember correctly they were around #16 for sending grads to top 250 firms.
Being locked out of the T-14 absolutely scares the shit out of me. If I was guaranteed at least one T-14 next year (even GT again), I would absolutely take the year off just to avoid potential future regret. That, however, like you said is not guaranteed.


The problem with those 4 schools you mentioned in the T-14 is that Duke and Berkeley are GPA whores, so you can almost 90% expect a rejection from them. Georgetown might not like that you are going to reapply (they obviously aren't dumb; they know you are doing it due to the higher LSAT score). So, this leaves Cornell, which should admit you again, but this isn't guaranteed. You should have a pretty good shot at Michigan. Penn is going to be tough due to their small class size. Northwestern is going to be difficult, because it appears you do not have work experience. Each school has unique considerations that make your decision really difficult.

If I was in your shoes, I would reapply next year and if you do not get the results at the T-14 you want I would not attend. I would then reapply a 3rd or 4th time a year or two from now after having done something else like the Peace Corps. This is advice that you will rarely if ever see on TLS, but this is something I would do if I was in your shoes. Keep applying to the T-14 until the jerkoffs admit you. You are young, so not going to law school right now is not the end of the world. If applications keep going down, they will eventually cave and start admitting more people with lower than ideal numbers.

Basically, you think like me: Fuck any schools outside of the T-14. They aren't worth it. They are essentially scams for the most part. The only school outside the T-14 I would consider attending is UT Austin and this is only because I am from Texas.

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jingosaur
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby jingosaur » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:39 am

I haven't heard of good schools being bitter about someone withdrawing and reapplying the next cycle. I agree with everyone's reapply idea and don't settle for a situation that won't let you achieve your goals.

Also, if you want biglaw, try not to transfer or make that your plan. You need a very high class rank to transfer and I only have anecdotal evidence on this second part, but most people who transfer to law schools tend to be on the bottom of the barrel at OCI since they had a different 1L experience at an "inferior" school to everyone that they're competing against.

dempsey6
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby dempsey6 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:14 pm

bizzybone1313 wrote:
dempsey6 wrote:
bizzybone1313 wrote:Georgetown is really greedy with $$. You would be making a big mistake by enrolling there this year. You should wait until next year. Taking one year off would be tremendously helpful to you.

You have a good shot at the lower T-14 by applying early in Sept. or October. There is no need for you to go right now.

You have a couple of problems though: (1) Generally Latinos do not get the type of bump that AA's get in LS admissions. This may complicate things for you in terms of getting solid bites within the T-14. A lot of peeps on TLS will act like all URM's bumps are the same, but this is not true. It is far more complicated than that. If you attended an elite undergrad like Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Columbia, etc, this is a tremendous bump for URM candidates as well. (2) You have real good stats with a 3.5 and 169, but the problem is you do not exceed the vast majority of medians at the T-14. You hurt their LSAT and GPA medians, which is what they are primarily concerned about. They do not care about the 25% and 75% percentiles all that much. It is all about maintaining the medians. So while you have solid stats, the T-14 much prefer to take URM's that help at least one median at the T-14. Usually the vast majority of URM's at the T-14 (and really anywhere) are reverse splitters, which is to say they have a real high GPA (think 3.85ish+ and above) and a below median LSAT (164-168). These peeps get admitted pretty easily at the T-14. (3) GT might be out of the cards for you the next cycle though, because you decided not to attend this cycle. That is something I cannot definitively speak to though and is better for other peeps to answer. While you should get Cornell and some other T-14's this upcoming cycle, it is not guaranteed. By not attending GT this cycle you might end up locking yourself out of the T-14, which to me is really important.

Nevertheless, you should reapply this upcoming cycle.


Excellent insight. Makes a lot of sense.

1) I went to a top50 undergrad, but definitely no Harvard.
2) Scary what one point more could have done for me. I just looked it up very quickly and I believe I only make the median for 4 of the top 14: Cornell, Berkely, Georgetown, and Duke.
3) I figured that would be the case if I scorned them this year. But I would be curious to hear if anyone has ever heard of this situation before.

The point you make about missing out on a T-14 is what really makes this a tough decision. T-14 is huge for me as well. My logic however is that while GT is indeed T-14 (for now), are they really T-14 for what im going for (Big Law)? If I remember correctly they were around #16 for sending grads to top 250 firms.
Being locked out of the T-14 absolutely scares the shit out of me. If I was guaranteed at least one T-14 next year (even GT again), I would absolutely take the year off just to avoid potential future regret. That, however, like you said is not guaranteed.


The problem with those 4 schools you mentioned in the T-14 is that Duke and Berkeley are GPA whores, so you can almost 90% expect a rejection from them. Georgetown might not like that you are going to reapply (they obviously aren't dumb; they know you are doing it due to the higher LSAT score). So, this leaves Cornell, which should admit you again, but this isn't guaranteed. You should have a pretty good shot at Michigan. Penn is going to be tough due to their small class size. Northwestern is going to be difficult, because it appears you do not have work experience. Each school has unique considerations that make your decision really difficult.

If I was in your shoes, I would reapply next year and if you do not get the results at the T-14 you want I would not attend. I would then reapply a 3rd or 4th time a year or two from now after having done something else like the Peace Corps. This is advice that you will rarely if ever see on TLS, but this is something I would do if I was in your shoes. Keep applying to the T-14 until the jerkoffs admit you. You are young, so not going to law school right now is not the end of the world. If applications keep going down, they will eventually cave and start admitting more people with lower than ideal numbers.

Basically, you think like me: Fuck any schools outside of the T-14. They aren't worth it. They are essentially scams for the most part. The only school outside the T-14 I would consider attending is UT Austin and this is only because I am from Texas.


That indeed has been my thinking. Either top regional or T-14 if I was good enough, which I think I am now.

Right now realistically the only ones I think I would have any shot at next year would be UVA, Michigan, Northwestern, Cornell, and Georgetown.

I have been working full time since around February, but it is in something that has absolutely zero to do with law. But if I do take the year off I hope to find work (probably for free) at a law firm so I can have that on my resume when I apply.

Seems like everyone on here follows my thinking. I'm just surrounded by elderly folk (parents and coworkers) that say to head out now and forget about taking the year off, hence my indecisiveness.

dempsey6
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby dempsey6 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:17 pm

goldbh7 wrote:I haven't heard of good schools being bitter about someone withdrawing and reapplying the next cycle. I agree with everyone's reapply idea and don't settle for a situation that won't let you achieve your goals.

Also, if you want biglaw, try not to transfer or make that your plan. You need a very high class rank to transfer and I only have anecdotal evidence on this second part, but most people who transfer to law schools tend to be on the bottom of the barrel at OCI since they had a different 1L experience at an "inferior" school to everyone that they're competing against.


Yeah I really have no desire to transfer. I've set myself up to go T-14. The last thing I would want to do is throw them out the window and have to do it again.

And the only reason why I would find GT to be bitter is because I applied ED.

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radar714
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby radar714 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:27 pm

3.5/169 URM?!

100% reapply. These schools are trying to rob you right now dude. People with 3.2/168 non-urm are getting into GULC/Cornell right now at sticker. If you reapply (and Ideally retake) you WILL have better options either way.

and seriously, take a year off no matter what. It was seriously the best decision I've ever made (after retaking, of course). Law School is the most intellectually taxing endeavor you have ever engaged in up until this point in your life, and its one you want to enter 1) completely researched and prepared for, and 2) mentally prepared for. Taking a year off will ideally give you the time to put some serious thought into why you're going, what you really want to do, what all the different career paths available to you are truly like, and what law school is all about.

I fought the retake/reapply sentiment so hard at first, but its simply the right decision 9/10 times. Make the right choice here and take advantage of your URM status and awesome stats, and get into better schools next year when medians drop and less apps go in, AND get some great money at other schools as well. It wouldn't suprise me if you got close to 75% scholly at UCLA/USC, 50% at cornell with your stats+URM alone, but if you break 170...you're gonna have a great time.

make the right choice for your future!

and PS even if you decide not to retake you should take the year off anyway because seriously your stats+URM status are being undersold right now, these schools are taking advantage of you and trying to get you in right now before you can apply and reap the benefit.

dude go look at the mylsn.info and type in your stats and take a look at what schools people with your stats were accepted to and how much money they got. That's all it'll take to convince you

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t-14orbust
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby t-14orbust » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:58 pm

nice
Last edited by t-14orbust on Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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you'rethemannowdawg
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby you'rethemannowdawg » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:06 pm

You should be able to get a little money from GTown as a 3.5/169 URM. You may be able to get decent scholarships at some T20s.

Also, OP, just so you know, I have never heard anyone who took time off between undergrad and law school say they regretted it.

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radar714
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby radar714 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:22 pm

t-14orbust wrote:
radar714 wrote:3.5/169 URM?!

words


OP said they maxed retakes for now.


regardless take a year off and reapply you'll likely get better options

timbs4339
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:41 pm

Take the year, get some WE, apply early next year. You won't do worse than you'll do now and might have significantly better options.

dempsey6
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby dempsey6 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:54 am

radar714 wrote:3.5/169 URM?!

100% reapply. These schools are trying to rob you right now dude. People with 3.2/168 non-urm are getting into GULC/Cornell right now at sticker. If you reapply (and Ideally retake) you WILL have better options either way.

and seriously, take a year off no matter what. It was seriously the best decision I've ever made (after retaking, of course). Law School is the most intellectually taxing endeavor you have ever engaged in up until this point in your life, and its one you want to enter 1) completely researched and prepared for, and 2) mentally prepared for. Taking a year off will ideally give you the time to put some serious thought into why you're going, what you really want to do, what all the different career paths available to you are truly like, and what law school is all about.

I fought the retake/reapply sentiment so hard at first, but its simply the right decision 9/10 times. Make the right choice here and take advantage of your URM status and awesome stats, and get into better schools next year when medians drop and less apps go in, AND get some great money at other schools as well. It wouldn't suprise me if you got close to 75% scholly at UCLA/USC, 50% at cornell with your stats+URM alone, but if you break 170...you're gonna have a great time.

make the right choice for your future!

and PS even if you decide not to retake you should take the year off anyway because seriously your stats+URM status are being undersold right now, these schools are taking advantage of you and trying to get you in right now before you can apply and reap the benefit.

dude go look at the mylsn.info and type in your stats and take a look at what schools people with your stats were accepted to and how much money they got. That's all it'll take to convince you


That's something I've also thought about. I don't know if I would be entering with the right mindset right now.

I am also hoping the amount of apps keeps going down thus allowing me to sneak into a school or two I really do not match up for (numbers wise).

I appreciate your opinion. And I saw a couple of the profiles and they were fairly promising. Of all the schools, it seems my peak if I am lucky would be Virginia.

Is Virginia really significantly better than GT for Big Firm Law?

dempsey6
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby dempsey6 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:57 am

you'rethemannowdawg wrote:You should be able to get a little money from GTown as a 3.5/169 URM. You may be able to get decent scholarships at some T20s.

Also, OP, just so you know, I have never heard anyone who took time off between undergrad and law school say they regretted it.


Thats what a couple of people have told me, and to be honest while I wish I could go directly into my legal studies, at this point I could use a little break.

dempsey6
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby dempsey6 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:59 am

timbs4339 wrote:Take the year, get some WE, apply early next year. You won't do worse than you'll do now and might have significantly better options.


Thanks. Been getting some full-time experience in an unrelated field (sales), but if I take this year off I intend to find a legal field job very soon simply to bolster my application.

mr.hands
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby mr.hands » Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:04 am

dempsey6 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:Take the year, get some WE, apply early next year. You won't do worse than you'll do now and might have significantly better options.


Thanks. Been getting some full-time experience in an unrelated field (sales), but if I take this year off I intend to find a legal field job very soon simply to bolster my application.


What type of URM? (Aside from just Hispanic?) only Mexican and PR receive a noticeable boost.

Sorry if this was answered somewhere above. I looked and couldn't find it

dempsey6
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Re: This year or Next? Taking a year off..

Postby dempsey6 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:12 am

mr.hands wrote:
dempsey6 wrote:
timbs4339 wrote:Take the year, get some WE, apply early next year. You won't do worse than you'll do now and might have significantly better options.


Thanks. Been getting some full-time experience in an unrelated field (sales), but if I take this year off I intend to find a legal field job very soon simply to bolster my application.


What type of URM? (Aside from just Hispanic?) only Mexican and PR receive a noticeable boost.

Sorry if this was answered somewhere above. I looked and couldn't find it


Colombian father and Cuban mother.

Myself
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.

Postby Myself » Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:27 pm

.
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