AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
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mt2165
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AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby mt2165 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:44 pm

Hey guys. So I'm in a conundrum, somewhat. I am an AA student studying at Binghamton University. I am a sophomore who plans to graduate a year early (credit wise, I am a junior). I have a 3.6 GPA in philosophy. I am a division 1 athlete, I run track and field here. Not to boast or gloat, but I was traditionally going to attend Swarthmore College but personal finances would now allow. In addition to relative academic success, I have written awarded papers in political phislophy, some of which have been published. Anyways my questions concern the practicality (if any) of my application to a graduate philosophy program in hopes of professional academic philosophy? Is there a reasonable cost effective market for such a risk? I am also considering applying to law school. With my GPA (and my practice LSAT scores in the 167-170 range) what do you think are my chances at a top law school? Also note that if I go to law school I have a serious interest in public interest/social justice as well legal academia (which I have heard is a immensely competitive and narrow market).

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wbrother
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby wbrother » Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:45 pm

Hypothetical LSAT scores are usually found upon, but with a 3.6 and a 167 I think this forum will tell you you can get in anywhere. YS might be tough but H---> should be good. Someone else will give you a better answer soon though. Make sure you turn that hypothetical LSAT score into a real one and aim for a 180.
Last edited by wbrother on Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mt2165
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby mt2165 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:01 pm

Thanks. I realize hypothesizing is unreliable and often unrealistic. I'm just trying to weigh my options. And I'm certainly aiming for the highest score possible!

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wbrother
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby wbrother » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:48 pm

mt2165 wrote:Thanks. I realize hypothesizing is unreliable and often unrealistic. I'm just trying to weigh my options. And I'm certainly aiming for the highest score possible!

No problem. I don't actually have a problem with hypotheticals, I've just seen TLS bash users in the past. Your GPA will serve you well, just do your best to make sure your LSAT is 160+. It sounds like this won't be a problem for you.

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mt2165
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby mt2165 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:20 pm

Anyone with any information on the prospects of URMs in legal academia?

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mt2165
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby mt2165 » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:30 pm

Bump

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twenty
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby twenty » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:40 pm

mt2165 wrote:Anyone with any information on the prospects of URMs in legal academia?


As good as anyone else in legal academia. Gaia's thread kind of sums it up nicely when she points out that the only real advantage you'll have as a URM is getting in the door. Academia is insanely competitive, so you better be prepared to gun with the best of them.

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dingbat
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby dingbat » Sat Dec 22, 2012 5:44 pm

mt2165 wrote:Anyways my questions concern the practicality (if any) of my application to a graduate philosophy program in hopes of professional academic philosophy?

Is there any other purpose of getting int a graduate philosophy program? The only cost-effective way to do it is to get full stipends for it and to speak at symposiums (and whatever else academics do to boost their income). If you can't manage to scrape a living while in the program, you might have a tough time getting a gig that pays well once you get out (partly because taking part in those activities is a great way to pad your resume and boost your prospects of getting a good outcome)

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mt2165
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby mt2165 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:14 pm

Thanks guys although I feel there was a certain degree of circumnavigation around the essence of my question. I'm not asking when academia would be cost effective, I'm asking in your opinion is the goal of a position in philosophical or legal academia an appropriate goal, a reasonable expectation? Or would I be significantly better suited to practicing law, nothing I do not want to practice at a for profit private law firm.

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wbrother
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby wbrother » Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:41 pm

Well I think Affirmative Action does exist in the higher education hiring, but it's still very tough to get. If that is your only goal in going to law school, and you want to achieve WITHOUT practicing at a for profit organization, I would say philosophy would be a better bet.

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mt2165
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby mt2165 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 2:58 pm

Thanks. I mean I have a real interest and passion for teaching, in both law and philosophy, as well as how the combine (legal philosophy, theories of punishment, ethical questions in law and so forth) I always figured that law school would be a better bet because if I fail to secure a position in academia I could fall back on the professional nature of the degree and pursue practice elsewhere.

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PickMe!
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby PickMe! » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:18 pm

Retake.

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dingbat
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby dingbat » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:23 pm

mt2165 wrote:Thanks. I mean I have a real interest and passion for teaching, in both law and philosophy, as well as how the combine (legal philosophy, theories of punishment, ethical questions in law and so forth) I always figured that law school would be a better bet because if I fail to secure a position in academia I could fall back on the professional nature of the degree and pursue practice elsewhere.

If you want to teach law, you need to get into Yale (maybe HS and possibly CC). Anywhere else is just not going to happen.
If you want to teach philosophy, you need to get into a top school (HYP, Cambridge/Oxford, maybe a few others, but I don't know which; I know it can be done from Chi)

Then, you need to start laying the groundwork as soon as you get there, if not earlier. Get articles published, start speaking at symposiums, all that fun stuff. Also look at becoming a visiting scholar at other top schools. You need to build a resume that screams "serious academic".

Whether it's an appropriate goal is up to you, but academia is never a reasonable expectation - it's damn freaking hard to get. Take a look at how many people get to enroll in a philosophy PhD or a law class, and then consider how many teachers there are. It's probably worse in philosophy because there is no credible alternative. Also, expect to spend the next decade of your life semi-nomadic. You go wherever there's an opening and an opportunity, wherever it may be.
My cousin has lived at least half a year each in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Cairo, Cambridge, Chicago, Leiden, Paris, Philadelphia and Princeton over the past decade (I'm sure I'm missing one or two places), and that doesn't include places he's gone for a summer gig or a week-long conference. He's also in his mid to late 30s and has only just gotten to the point where he can reasonably support himself

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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby suralin » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:24 pm

mt2165 wrote:Thanks. I mean I have a real interest and passion for teaching, in both law and philosophy, as well as how the combine (legal philosophy, theories of punishment, ethical questions in law and so forth) I always figured that law school would be a better bet because if I fail to secure a position in academia I could fall back on the professional nature of the degree and pursue practice elsewhere.


I would urge you to carefully investigate and then consider the costs of law school: $250k+, three of what are commonly considered the best years of your life, diminished social life, opportunity costs, unpredictable and exacting exams, etc. With such costs (don't forget the intangible ones as well) and non-obvious, non-commensurate benefits, the analysis invariably indicates that law school should not be something into which one enters with the hope of attaining a "fall back" degree; instead, generally one should only pursue a JD if one actually wants to be a lawyer.
Last edited by suralin on Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mt2165
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby mt2165 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:38 pm

Thanks both of you. That does sound intense. I think I miscommunicated what I meant there. I would love to go into legal academia but I also have an interest in public interest/international/healthcare law so I shouldn't of said fall back per se, but academia would be my first choice if the stars aligned. I very we'll can see myself practicing law.

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dingbat
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby dingbat » Sun Dec 23, 2012 3:51 pm

mt2165 wrote:Thanks both of you. That does sound intense. I think I miscommunicated what I meant there. I would love to go into legal academia but I also have an interest in public interest/international/healthcare law so I shouldn't of said fall back per se, but academia would be my first choice if the stars aligned. I very we'll can see myself practicing law.

Don't let me discourage you at all. I'm all for following your dreams, as long as you're aware of the risks/costs involved, and even more so if you have a backup plan. For legal academia, you really need to be shooting for HYS, preferably Yale, to have a decent chance. The other thing you need to do is find a young professor and ask them everything you can about the process, how they got there, etc. If you can find an esteemed academic and get him/her to take you under his/her wings, that's sweet as well, because they can help open doors that a young professor is still struggling with him/herself.
Read everything you can on this forum about getting into the best law school possible and about being successful, it's a great resource. But keep in mind that the path you're embarking on is rare and very few people (myself included) know much about it, so take specific advice with a grain of salt.

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wbrother
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby wbrother » Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:34 pm

OP, does your interest in legal academia include possibly teaching Legal Studies/Poli Sci/Philosphy/Social Justice type majors at an undergrad level? Become a professor at a law school is really hard. It's still hard at an undergrad level, but there is more of a possibility of getting it done without T14.

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mt2165
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby mt2165 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 6:43 pm

Obviously, if blessed and lucky, with the law degree I'd like to teach at a law school but I would also love to teach at an undergraduate institution. But yes, I have a lot of interest in those subjects and wouldn't mind undergraduate teaching at all!

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soj
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Re: AA Male in need of LS/Grad S advice

Postby soj » Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:57 pm

PickMe! wrote:Retake.

Knock this shit off, it's not funny.




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