Splitter-Friendly T14 for Academia?

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Which should I apply ED to?

Penn
3
20%
Michigan
4
27%
UVA
6
40%
Northwestern
2
13%
Georgetown
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 15

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PantaRhei

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Splitter-Friendly T14 for Academia?

Postby PantaRhei » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:51 am

Hello TLS,

I'm new here but I've been watching the forums for a long time now. Academia is what I'm most leaning toward as a career, and I'm facing a bit of crisis. Due to a series of unfortunate events (intentional) in my family life and a fair amount of immaturity in my freshman year, its safe to say that I won't be gaining acceptance to HYS or CCN and will likely be forced to choose between the more splitter-friendly T14 schools. My top choice right now is Northwestern, as they have their full tuition ED program and I could potentially apply for the JD/PhD program there. I love the campus and the people are very friendly, and I love the "married school" reputation as I will be proposing to my girlfriend before law school and I'd rather be around similarly minded students. The other T14 schools I am considering are Penn, Michigan, UVA and Georgetown, any of which I would prefer to apply ED to (except Georgetown).

Quick stats:
-3.0 GPA
-175 LSAT
-URM (AA Male)
-2 years post undergrad
-Computer Science Major, Criminal Justice Minor

Of course, I could always transfer and I will most likely attempt to transfer to HYS or Chicago, however I'd rather not disrespect a law school by applying only to use it as a jumping off point to transfer to a better school. One should be proud to graduate from any law school they matriculate at, even if they transfer out of it.

Any input you all could give would be great, and I have a poll as well.

Thank you.
Last edited by PantaRhei on Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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cdotson2

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Re: Splitter-Friendly T14 for Academia?

Postby cdotson2 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:12 am

what kind of URM are you? I would still apply to HYS and CNN. Urm cycles are unpredictable, but I would bet with your numbers you get at least one.

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KENYADIGG1T

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Re: Splitter-Friendly T14 for Academia?

Postby KENYADIGG1T » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:00 am

Apply to Berkeley JSP, especially if a JD/PhD is something you're looking to do

Snuffles1

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Re: Splitter-Friendly T14 for Academia?

Postby Snuffles1 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:22 am

In the T7-14 range, I don't think it matters too much -- you'll be equally well off / equally disadvantaged coming from all of those schools. I'd suggest picking the school that (1) gives you the most money, because you will need the flexibility, (2) is in a location your gf/fiancee/wife can move to, because there is a good chance you will need to be long distance for a couple of years afterwards unless she has a flexible career, (3) has the best infrastructure for supporting academia-bound students.

By #3, I mean things like: do they have faculty (not staff--too much inside baseball!) who are in charge of "academic placement" / classes that aim to introduce students to academic workshop-style discussions & writing requirements / any support at all for conference attendance as a student. Nothing's dispositive, but the more the better.

Don't do a JD/PhD (which includes the JSP program) unless you really want the PhD. It's too much of an investment in time, money, and energy -- and I say that assuming that the current tax reform *doesn't* go through as-is, because if it does and you're not independently wealthy, it's 1000x less worth doing for purely strategic reasons. In most social science / humanities fields, you need to have a slightly irrational commitment to your work to justify the whole thing (I say this as someone with a PhD in one of those fields).

Happy to say more over PM.

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PantaRhei

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Re: Splitter-Friendly T14 for Academia?

Postby PantaRhei » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:43 am

cdotson2 wrote:what kind of URM are you? I would still apply to HYS and CNN. Urm cycles are unpredictable, but I would bet with your numbers you get at least one.


I'm AA Male, and while I imagine possibly Columbia and maybe NYU would take me, I doubt both

KENYADIGG1T wrote:Apply to Berkeley JSP, especially if a JD/PhD is something you're looking to do


Doesn't Berkeley have a reputation of turning away splitters? I was under the impression that they actually prefer reverse splitters. I'd love to go to Berkeley, between their academia and clerkship placement, but based on LSN and these forums I think I have no chance of getting in.

Snuffles1 wrote:In the T7-14 range, I don't think it matters too much -- you'll be equally well off / equally disadvantaged coming from all of those schools. I'd suggest picking the school that (1) gives you the most money, because you will need the flexibility, (2) is in a location your gf/fiancee/wife can move to, because there is a good chance you will need to be long distance for a couple of years afterwards unless she has a flexible career, (3) has the best infrastructure for supporting academia-bound students.

By #3, I mean things like: do they have faculty (not staff--too much inside baseball!) who are in charge of "academic placement" / classes that aim to introduce students to academic workshop-style discussions & writing requirements / any support at all for conference attendance as a student. Nothing's dispositive, but the more the better.

Don't do a JD/PhD (which includes the JSP program) unless you really want the PhD. It's too much of an investment in time, money, and energy -- and I say that assuming that the current tax reform *doesn't* go through as-is, because if it does and you're not independently wealthy, it's 1000x less worth doing for purely strategic reasons. In most social science / humanities fields, you need to have a slightly irrational commitment to your work to justify the whole thing (I say this as someone with a PhD in one of those fields).

Happy to say more over PM.


This was really helpful. I'll look more into the support all of them have for academia, and fair point about the PhD program and the tax bill. My gf will be a significant factor in the decision but she's already told me she's fine with long distance if necessary, we've done it before. And I'm leaning toward Northwestern because their ED program covers full tuition and they're so splitter friendly, however UVA and Michigan both have higher placement in academia and both seem to have reputations for scholarship. Northwestern seems to have a reputation for practice.

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Re: Splitter-Friendly T14 for Academia?

Postby Snuffles1 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:34 am

I might give UVA a teeny advantage on the academia front, but not that much. Certainly Michigan is not what it used to be, and at any rate the distinctions between all these places are minimal. If you get Northwestern ED, thank your stars and take it.

Part of this process is always hedging your bets without psyching out either yourself or your mentors in the process. If you play it too safe and constantly plan for bad outcomes, it will show and (unfairly) people will judge. But if you don't have any contingency plans at all, after 3-5+ years of shaping yourself with this one goal in mind you might find yourself in a truly bad spot. Northwestern ED is a reasonable middle ground, assuming T6 is off the table.

Also: it's wonderful that you and your gf are fine with long distance and have some experience with it, but don't underestimate the stress of law school, the stress of law school when you're gearing for academia, or the stress of gearing up for/being on the teaching market. It is a long, unpleasant road (for a very pleasant reward) and there's no need to make it harder earlier.

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Re: Splitter-Friendly T14 for Academia?

Postby icechicken » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:03 pm

PantaRhei wrote:
cdotson2 wrote:what kind of URM are you? I would still apply to HYS and CNN. Urm cycles are unpredictable, but I would bet with your numbers you get at least one.


I'm AA Male, and while I imagine possibly Columbia and maybe NYU would take me, I doubt both

KENYADIGG1T wrote:Apply to Berkeley JSP, especially if a JD/PhD is something you're looking to do


Doesn't Berkeley have a reputation of turning away splitters? I was under the impression that they actually prefer reverse splitters. I'd love to go to Berkeley, between their academia and clerkship placement, but based on LSN and these forums I think I have no chance of getting in.


I think you're being a bit too pessimistic about your chances based on a tissue-thin sample on LSN.

You're a very special applicant. A 175 puts you 3.88 standard deviations among the mean for AA applicants, or about 1 in 10,000. I have no idea if you'll necessarily get accepted at any given T13 school but I am confident that you'll get serious consideration at all of them and get amazing offers from some of them (so DON'T ED). You might well make it to the faculty-review stage at Yale, and if you can convince those 3 law professors that you'd make a great professor too, you're in - not saying that's necessarily likely, but it's possible, which makes your YLS chances a lot better than most people's.

Here's what happens when you zoom way out to get the handful of applicants in the past decade with profiles similar to yours:

Image

Looks pretty promising.

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PantaRhei

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Re: Splitter-Friendly T14 for Academia?

Postby PantaRhei » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:36 pm

Snuffles1 wrote:I might give UVA a teeny advantage on the academia front, but not that much. Certainly Michigan is not what it used to be, and at any rate the distinctions between all these places are minimal. If you get Northwestern ED, thank your stars and take it.

Part of this process is always hedging your bets without psyching out either yourself or your mentors in the process. If you play it too safe and constantly plan for bad outcomes, it will show and (unfairly) people will judge. But if you don't have any contingency plans at all, after 3-5+ years of shaping yourself with this one goal in mind you might find yourself in a truly bad spot. Northwestern ED is a reasonable middle ground, assuming T6 is off the table.

Also: it's wonderful that you and your gf are fine with long distance and have some experience with it, but don't underestimate the stress of law school, the stress of law school when you're gearing for academia, or the stress of gearing up for/being on the teaching market. It is a long, unpleasant road (for a very pleasant reward) and there's no need to make it harder earlier.


What do you mean by Michigan isn't what it used to be?

And I appreciate the advice about the relationship, but suffice to say it's a risk I'm willing to take.

icechicken wrote:
PantaRhei wrote:
cdotson2 wrote:what kind of URM are you? I would still apply to HYS and CNN. Urm cycles are unpredictable, but I would bet with your numbers you get at least one.


I'm AA Male, and while I imagine possibly Columbia and maybe NYU would take me, I doubt both

KENYADIGG1T wrote:Apply to Berkeley JSP, especially if a JD/PhD is something you're looking to do


Doesn't Berkeley have a reputation of turning away splitters? I was under the impression that they actually prefer reverse splitters. I'd love to go to Berkeley, between their academia and clerkship placement, but based on LSN and these forums I think I have no chance of getting in.


I think you're being a bit too pessimistic about your chances based on a tissue-thin sample on LSN.

You're a very special applicant. A 175 puts you 3.88 standard deviations among the mean for AA applicants, or about 1 in 10,000. I have no idea if you'll necessarily get accepted at any given T13 school but I am confident that you'll get serious consideration at all of them and get amazing offers from some of them (so DON'T ED). You might well make it to the faculty-review stage at Yale, and if you can convince those 3 law professors that you'd make a great professor too, you're in - not saying that's necessarily likely, but it's possible, which makes your YLS chances a lot better than most people's.

Here's what happens when you zoom way out to get the handful of applicants in the past decade with profiles similar to yours:


Looks pretty promising.


I have to admit this brought a smile to my face, and was very uplifting. I'll probably blanket the T14 except for Cornell (location). Truthfully Chicago is my dream school but knowing my GPA I've been completely discouraged from applying there due to my GPA. Hopefully I can score some surprising admits. Thank you

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chargers21

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Re: Splitter-Friendly T14 for Academia?

Postby chargers21 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:47 pm

Apply across the t13 and only ED if it's to Northwestern

Snuffles1

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Re: Splitter-Friendly T14 for Academia?

Postby Snuffles1 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:50 pm

Re: relationship -- I didn't mean to give advice about maintaining your relationship (not my business), it was more intended as a friendly warning that this process is sanity-draining and anything or anyone who helps you stay sane is handy to have nearby. Apologies if it came off otherwise. You do you.

As for Michigan -- it just hasn't produced as many great candidates as it (maybe) used to. You're not going to be handicapped coming from Michigan any more than you would be coming from UVA or Northwestern etc, and I expect there are still some hiring committee members who think of Michigan as a relatively academia-strong non-T6. But it's been a while, and I certainly wouldn't give it an edge up in my calculations based on a vague sense that it was once better relative to its peers at producing academics.

Snuffles1

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Re: Splitter-Friendly T14 for Academia?

Postby Snuffles1 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:55 pm

Also: I agree with the general advice that you should blanket the T14 regardless of where you personally think you will land. You have no idea what idiosyncratic preferences admissions committees will have, and frankly as an AA male with an amazing LSAT and academic aspirations you're a bit of a unicorn from their perspective. Unless you turn out to be a feeder/SCOTUS clerk with a HYPCC PhD and an HLR article prior to going on the market (seriously, these folks exist) everyone is going to find something lacking in your package so you don't need to do that to yourself as well.

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PantaRhei

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Re: Splitter-Friendly T14 for Academia?

Postby PantaRhei » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:59 pm

Snuffles1 wrote:Re: relationship -- I didn't mean to give advice about maintaining your relationship (not my business), it was more intended as a friendly warning that this process is sanity-draining and anything or anyone who helps you stay sane is handy to have nearby. Apologies if it came off otherwise. You do you.

As for Michigan -- it just hasn't produced as many great candidates as it (maybe) used to. You're not going to be handicapped coming from Michigan any more than you would be coming from UVA or Northwestern etc, and I expect there are still some hiring committee members who think of Michigan as a relatively academia-strong non-T6. But it's been a while, and I certainly wouldn't give it an edge up in my calculations based on a vague sense that it was once better relative to its peers at producing academics.


No worries, I'm sorry for assuming! It was solid advice either way.

Michigan- And that's fair, based on what I've read about it recently. UVA seems to be a better non-T6 option than Michigan for me overall, considering I'd like to clerk before starting in Academia.

Snuffles1 wrote:Also: I agree with the general advice that you should blanket the T14 regardless of where you personally think you will land. You have no idea what idiosyncratic preferences admissions committees will have, and frankly as an AA male with an amazing LSAT and academic aspirations you're a bit of a unicorn from their perspective. Unless you turn out to be a feeder/SCOTUS clerk with a HYPCC PhD and an HLR article prior to going on the market (seriously, these folks exist) everyone is going to find something lacking in your package so you don't need to do that to yourself as well.


I also appreciate this. It's better to apply across the board and maybe get something unexpected than not apply at all and potentially miss out.

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Re: Splitter-Friendly T14 for Academia?

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:28 pm

All of the T14 past Y and to a lesser degree H/S/Chicago are pretty much in the same boat for academia production according to Brian Leiter's 2009 report. These UVA and Michigan distinctions being made by other posters are inane. Though, if you do get into H/S/Chicago be cautious of how much their slight advantage over the rest of the T14 is due to self-selection. The same applies to Yale to a bit of a lesser degree. Also, for the most part, clerking isn't going to be sufficient to land a job in academia. You're probably going to need to land a VAP too with a couple published pieces or get a PhD as an additional research credential and hopefully some publications. Check out Sarah Lawsky's data for 2017. Of the 81 entries, only 2 got jobs with just clerkship and only 2 got jobs without any credential (VAP, clerkship, additional degree) and those were 1 legal writing professor and 1 clinical professor. This is all to say that unless you've got Yale lined up I'd recommend going to a T14 where you think you can 1) get working on scholarship ASAP 2) build good connections with professors to make calls for you come job search time (either VAP or TT jobs) and 3) pursue a PhD in another department that interests you/you are qualified for. If you're not willing to do the JD-PhD route (fully-funded), then I'd go to the T14 that helps you minimize your debt, because clerkships pay ~$52,000 (first year), VAPs pay ~$65,000, and Assistant Prof jobs pay ~$100,000. TLS builds a lot of hype on how the HS and the T6 might give you a bit of a boost for academia, but it's so marginal that you should definitely take a T14 with considerably more money than a T6 every time. They aren't Yale (though I doubt that Yale at even the highest level of needs-based aid is a better option than a T14 JD-PhD).

These are just my $0.02 from talking to numerous professors at my T14 and doing quite a bit of research on the subject.



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