Offered Fulbright--defer or reapply?

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What do?

Ride out the waitlist and ditch Fulbright
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Offered Fulbright--defer or reapply?

Postby stoopkid13 » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:41 pm

I've been awarded a Fulbright ETA grant. I am also waitlisted at Harvard, in at NYU, Columbia, Boalt, Michigan, Penn, and Duke but no serious money at any (nothing more than half-tuition and no named scholarships). I have a 3.7/172. I took the LSAT once this October. I'd like to do some type of PI law, but I'm not totally set on what form that would take.

The decision I am struggling with is what to do about Fulbright given my waitlist. Should I take the Fulbright and reapply next year, hoping to get another bite at the YHS apple? I could retake--I don't think I studied for the LSAT as much as I could have but my actual score was about where my PTs were. That being said, I think the bigger weakness is my GPA and not much I can do there. LSN doesn't show much of an increase in odds at YS with a higher LSAT, marginally so at H. My softs are fairly strong already, but I feel like my application won't be any weaker by adding a Fulbright. But if there isn't much added benefit, do I just take the Fulbright and defer at my top choice acceptance to save myself the grief and enjoy my Fulbright year? Or do I go straight to law school and hope to get off the waitlist at H this cycle? I am reluctant to turn down the opportunity to live and work abroad on a personal level, but I also recognize the Fulbright ETA doesn't have a lot of value added for my legal career.

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Re: Offered Fulbright--defer or reapply?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:44 pm

Talk to Harvard admissions.

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Re: Offered Fulbright--defer or reapply?

Postby Indifference » Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:45 am

Why not just do the Fulbright cause lol Fulbright and then reapply? Seems you want to do it. Just do it. Law school will be here in a year :)


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Re: Offered Fulbright--defer or reapply?

Postby twenty » Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:59 am

If you want to do the Fulbright, do that. Law school isn't going anywhere.

Also, Fulbright is kind of a nice soft to have. Maybe that'd push you over the top later if you don't get into H this cycle.

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Re: Offered Fulbright--defer or reapply?

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:00 am

you cant defer off the waitlist so just reapply unless youve got some great offer from one of the schools youve been accepted to.

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Re: Offered Fulbright--defer or reapply?

Postby lurkerlarry » Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:20 am


Do it, I got back in November, it is a great time. Just reapply. Things will work out.

Also what country?

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Re: Offered Fulbright--defer or reapply?

Postby stoopkid13 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 7:54 am

To the people saying law school will be there next year, my hangup is with the waitlist, Harvard might be here this year but not next year (or not at all).

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Re: Offered Fulbright--defer or reapply?

Postby antiworldly » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:30 am

Your numbers are marginal for HLS, so it's not a huge surprise you're waitlisted. A fullbright though is the kind of soft that will help you punch slightly above your numbers and help you get better outcomes next time around. HLS obviously liked you b/c they didn't outright reject you, and if they see you withdrew for a fullbright I believe that they'll understand and look more favorably upon your app when you reapply, IMHO. Plus, a fullbright will be a good selling point for post-law school job searches.

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Re: Offered Fulbright--defer or reapply?

Postby Rigo » Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:50 am

You're thinking about this a little too clinically. Take the Fulbright if it's a program and experience you genuinely want, law school aside.

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Re: Offered Fulbright--defer or reapply?

Postby Tasik32 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:08 am

OP, I had a somewhat similar decision (albeit not as great options on my first cycle). I took the Fulbright ETA and I've had a much better cycle this year. I'd encourage you to take it. It's a great opportunity and will only increase your stock in the eyes of admissions. Also, depending on your independence in the grant, I think it's really helpful preparation for the working world - and I'm hoping for law school as well. Feel free to PM me for more details and congrats!

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Re: Offered Fulbright--defer or reapply?

Postby bruinfan10 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:17 am

Just remember there are a ton of people on H's waitlist. Hell, I was on that waitlist and didn't ultimately get accepted. If I were you I'd take the Fulbright--people told me when I was in your shoes that there's no rush on going to law school and I didn't listen, now there are (a lot) of times I wish I had. I think if anything you help your chances at H by trying again later, but if I were you I'd take a look at the "What's the deal with Harvard students" thread and try to go to Chicago or Columbia with a scholarship.

Also, unless a 172 was below a lot of your practice tests, I don't really buy the retake advice. Good chance you'll score lower. Then again, if you were practice testing at 178s every time and you had an off day, knock yourself out. I had a similar LSAT score and it was higher than most of my PTs, no way in hell I was gonna jeapordize my awesome game day performance and subject myself to potential averaging, etc.

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Re: Offered Fulbright--defer or reapply?

Postby Holly Golightly » Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:20 am

Take the Fulbright. I'm very glad I lived abroad for a year before law school. It will be much harder, if not impossible, to do something like this after law school; now is the time.

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Re: Offered Fulbright--defer or reapply?

Postby AreJay711 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:27 am

Do the Fullbright thing. I'd withdraw from everywhere because those other schools will likely readmit you next year and you'll have a new resume line. Like the poster above me said, once you're on the path, the only way to pump the brakes without falling off is to try to get a clerkship somewhere fun.

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Re: Offered Fulbright--defer or reapply?

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:03 pm

Do you want to teach abroad?

I'd say defer CLS and go for it if you want to teach. A bunch of people here deferred for fulbright or a similar program and came the next year.

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