AA male 3.58 need advice

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
b33eazy
Posts: 146
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:43 pm

AA male 3.58 need advice

Postby b33eazy » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:17 pm

Okay, I am an African American male senior, who's graduating this semester, and I would like to know if there is any advice that someone can give me.. I currently have a 3.58 and I am hoping to get another 4.0 this semester, so I can get a 3.64. So far, I am the secretary for a Caribbean Student Association and a member of various clubs including: Mock Trial team, African American Student Alliance, Political Science Club and International Student Association. I also am about to get registered as a mediator in the Supreme Court of GA, but I have no work experience. My personal statement is about how I overcame abuse and I am debating whether I want to make my diversity statement about my father being a drug dealer, talking about my siblings with disabilities or my Jamaican backgrounds. However, I would like to know what scores I would need to get into Columbia Law school? And I have been sort of contemplating Harvard, would that even be possible with my gpa? Anyway, I took my LSAT in Dec but canceled it, so I am planning on just doing group study with one person for ten months (light studying until May and then heavy studying after I graduate in May till October).. I would like to know if there are any tips that can be offered to me or things I can do?

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clarion
Posts: 192
Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:53 pm

Re: AA male 3.58 need advice

Postby clarion » Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:19 am

Well, I'm still waiting to get rejected notification from Columbia, but I think we kinda need to know where you "sit" LSAT score-wise. Cause obviously, with a 180 you could get in. Also, with a 170 you'd PROBABLY almost certainly get in (assuming your PS isn't full of run-ons and what not). A 160 not so much. So I mean, I assume if you sat for a test then you can at least give us the range you're working with? What you're hoping for? Etc?

That might help you get some more useful feedback. (Possibly even from someone more informed than I) :)

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amc987
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Re: AA male 3.58 need advice

Postby amc987 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 2:57 am

If I were you, I would do what I could to get the best grades possible this semester. Once you're done with school, focus on the LSAT. I would study as hard as I possibly could for the LSAT and take it multiple times if I felt that I had underperformed/ wasn't happy with my score. If possible, take a class (TM, Powerscore, Blueprint, etc.) to help you acclimate to the LSAT's way of thinking. If that's not possible, you should buy the Powerscore bibles and one of the schedules on the LSAT blog and comply with that study schedule as closely as you can. Make sure to take as many practice tests as possible under timed conditions and to analyze them to improve your weaker areas. If you get to 170+ on the LSAT, I would be surprised if you weren't able to snag Columbia. It wouldn't be a sure thing-- nothing in admissions is-- but a 3.6X/170+ AA male should be able to write his own ticket at most of the T14 schools. This is especially true if your essays, your LORs, and your resume are solid. You would probably have a chance at getting a ton of money at lower ranked schools in the T14. Your chances would be iffier at HYS (because of GPA not LSAT), but you'd definitely be in with a fighting chance. There's an AA male who posts on here who already got into Harvard with a 3.6X and a 170, FWIW.

Also, while your topics for your PS and DS sound like they could be compelling, make sure that you spend a lot of time perfecting your essays so that they're examples of your best writing. Be careful of tone. It sounds like you've overcome a lot of adversity to achieve your success, but you don't want to come across as a whiner or a victim to adcomms. IMO, the best way to address issue like the ones you mentioned is to dwell less on what happened to you before (you can obviously talk about it so the reader understands where you're coming from, but don't be melodramatic), and more on how those obstacles have made you into who you are today. Just my 2 cents.

Good luck to you!

b33eazy
Posts: 146
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:43 pm

Re: AA male 3.58 need advice

Postby b33eazy » Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:27 pm

My scores have been all over the place, but that's because I have not been putting enough time in it. However, I am going to be working hard on that for ten months. So I should do well, hopefully. My goal is to at least hit a 165 on my LSAT. But I've been hearing that black males can get into HYS with a 3.6X and a 165+... But I don't have very impressive softs, very average and no job experience.. But I do think I'll have a good DS. But I am not sure if I should do my drug dealer father (not sure how admission council would take that, but it would go well with the PS which is about the abuse I endured from my father and how I overcame it), my siblings with disabilities, or my Jamaican backgrounds (both parents are from Jamaica).

b33eazy
Posts: 146
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:43 pm

Re: AA male 3.58 need advice

Postby b33eazy » Mon Jan 16, 2012 8:08 pm

Any other tips?

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clarion
Posts: 192
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Re: AA male 3.58 need advice

Postby clarion » Tue Jan 17, 2012 2:19 am

b33eazy wrote: My goal is to at least hit a 165 on my LSAT. But I've been hearing that black males can get into HYS with a 3.6X and a 165+... But I don't have very impressive softs, very average and no job experience.. But I do think I'll have a good DS.


To start, without good softs, Stanford and Yale might be a bit of an extreme reach with just a 165. Harvard is generally more lenient because their class size is comparably gigantic. Since you're gonna have a year off, definitely make sure to try and find employment (which I know is extremely difficult) and do whatever you can to build up your resume. Work experience is not everything, but it can definitely help.

Next, I can understand your apprehension towards mentioning a drug-using parent in your application, and unfortunately, I can't really say I'd be comfortable advising you how to deal with that. I think regardless of what you do or what anyone else suggests though, just remember what amc said and to make sure you're talking primarily about how you're a better/stronger person "in spite of ___" and not "my life has been hard, accept me :(" I think that's gonna be key.

Something you might consider trying, especially since you've got such an early start on all this, is what I did for my PS and just write about any and all three of the topics you presented. For me, after writing a page or so about one of the topics I had in mind, it became clear that it was the obvious choice over the others which had thus far come across as uninspired. Since we don't know your life, we can't tell you "write about 'x'" because maybe 'y' has been much more significant for you?

My last bit of advice however, is to make sure that whatever you present is, in fact, about YOU. All three of your topics could lend themselves to be very impersonal and give the impression of "my family had to go through this. Also I was there." You want to make sure that whatever you choose has had a direct impact on your life. Just something to keep in mind that you're in fact doing an 'autobiographical account' and not a biography of your parents and/or siblings in which you're a supporting character.




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