Undocumented Law School Hopeful

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
starscripts
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:44 am

Undocumented Law School Hopeful

Postby starscripts » Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:37 pm

I searched through the forums and didn't find any undocumented students who had posted about law school, even though there are hundreds of us in LS and several grads who are fighting in courts for the ability to practice after passing the bar in places like California, NY, and Florida. I'd like to introduce myself and ask for any feedback from ya'll, especially as it relates to financial aid and packaging my story (non-LPRs are not qualified for federal aid and most private money).

I'm a low-income Pakistani American, have lived in America since I was 2 as my family fled for reasons of religious violence. I became undocumented my sophomore year at the Univ of Texas- Austin and have been one of those rabble rousing DREAM activists you see shutting down streets and protesting in front of Congressional offices. My GPA ended up being kind of sad due to the stress and chaos of being placed in deportation proceedings after ~17 years of lawful residency but I finished in 4 years with a 3.2 and LSAT=177. Taking 2-3 years off to wait for some of my life drama to die down. My resume is unique-- I get invited to major events to do public speaking about my immigration story and youth leadership, got some community awards, organized several successful grassroots campaigns in Texas, likely about to start working for a major PAC that is pushing for comprehensive immigration reform and an increase in tech worker visas, and will likely start a government affairs job at Exxon in late 2014.

I'm aiming for splitter friendly places obviously. My top pick is Columbia tho and I wouldn't mind returning to the Univ of Texas altho I hate living in Austin. My other picks are Northwestern, Georgetown, UVA, Berkeley (bad for splitters but a new campaign I'm about to start will build my SF/Silicon Valley connections), Chicago, U/Houston, maybe Harvard (hail mary).

Are there any other splitter friendly schools you'd suggest? Are there any tips for how to package my story given the attention on immigration reform, undocumented youth, and such in national media? Most importantly, are there any tips you'd have for financing my education? As an undocumented immigrant, I'm poorer than poor.

User avatar
twenty
Posts: 3153
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Undocumented Law School Hopeful

Postby twenty » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:12 pm

The worst part is, you won't be able to get federal loans, so the entirety of your law school is going to have to be funded by scholarships/institutional loans. I'd apply super broadly and hope you get a full ride somewhere based on your LSAT.

User avatar
Nova
Posts: 9116
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:55 pm

Re: Undocumented Law School Hopeful

Postby Nova » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:14 pm

starscripts wrote: I hate living in Austin.

:shock: :shock: :? :?

Are there any other splitter friendly schools you'd suggest?

UMN/WUSTL, assuming you are cool with practicing in their markets. They should offer you big scholarships.

User avatar
mr. wednesday
Posts: 406
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:15 am

Re: Undocumented Law School Hopeful

Postby mr. wednesday » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:39 pm

At this point, California is the only state where you could potentially practice law after passing the bar. Your focus should be getting a full ride to a CA school because you won't be eligible for loans, and then opening your own practice because it would be against the law for anyone to employ you.

Honestly, you don't say why you want to go to law school, but it's probably one of the worst careers for someone who is undocumented.

Psingh
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:21 pm

Re: Undocumented Law School Hopeful

Postby Psingh » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:51 pm

mr. wednesday wrote:At this point, California is the only state where you could potentially practice law after passing the bar. Your focus should be getting a full ride to a CA school because you won't be eligible for loans, and then opening your own practice because it would be against the law for anyone to employ you.

Honestly, you don't say why you want to go to law school, but it's probably one of the worst careers for someone who is undocumented.


I'm pretty sure it would also be illegal for him to have his own practise. A foreign national can't just come to America and start his own small business without going through the proper channels.

User avatar
mr. wednesday
Posts: 406
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:15 am

Re: Undocumented Law School Hopeful

Postby mr. wednesday » Sat Dec 28, 2013 6:28 pm

Psingh wrote:
mr. wednesday wrote:At this point, California is the only state where you could potentially practice law after passing the bar. Your focus should be getting a full ride to a CA school because you won't be eligible for loans, and then opening your own practice because it would be against the law for anyone to employ you.

Honestly, you don't say why you want to go to law school, but it's probably one of the worst careers for someone who is undocumented.


I'm pretty sure it would also be illegal for him to have his own practise. A foreign national can't just come to America and start his own small business without going through the proper channels.

There is actually no particular law or reg that addresses owning a business or being an independent contractor, unlike being an employee which subjects the employer to fines, etc. I mean, not any more than his continued presence in the US without status, which by itself makes him subject to removal.

starscripts
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Undocumented Law School Hopeful

Postby starscripts » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:13 pm

lol *she

i didnt ask for most of the paternalistic comments on this page. to those that gave useful suggestions, thank you. but as an activist working on every side of this issue, i dont plan on being undocumented forever nor does any other immigrant in the same spot. thats why there are hundreds of DREAMers in law school.... the world can turn upside down in a few years, especially as efforts to push for immigration reform skyrocket.

please give me useful advice, not paternalistic BS that assumes i've never critically explored my prospects or future. sorry, this is just a sore spot of mine-- people assuming undocumented folks dont know anything about their own lives.

all that said, are there any other undocumented law school hopefuls on TLS? would love to talk and network.

User avatar
BentleyLittle
Posts: 482
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:25 pm

Re: Undocumented Law School Hopeful

Postby BentleyLittle » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:21 pm

starscripts wrote:lol *she

i didnt ask for most of the paternalistic comments on this page. to those that gave useful suggestions, thank you. but as an activist working on every side of this issue, i dont plan on being undocumented forever nor does any other immigrant in the same spot. thats why there are hundreds of DREAMers in law school.... the world can turn upside down in a few years, especially as efforts to push for immigration reform skyrocket.

please give me useful advice, not paternalistic BS that assumes i've never critically explored my prospects or future. sorry, this is just a sore spot of mine-- people assuming undocumented folks dont know anything about their own lives.

all that said, are there any other undocumented law school hopefuls on TLS? would love to talk and network.


I'm not undocumented. But I'm a MA interested in the issue and would love to network.

User avatar
mr. wednesday
Posts: 406
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:15 am

Re: Undocumented Law School Hopeful

Postby mr. wednesday » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:00 pm

How is it paternalistic to take into account the fact that you can't take out loans? That's a huge factor and any advice concerning law school admissions that fails to take into account that you need a full ride is useless to your situation.

I get that "wait until you can take out loans or only accept a full ride" isn't what you want to hear, especially since it means potentially never going to law school OR giving up on some of your top choices because you may not be competitive at them with a full scholarship. But that's the situation you are in, and it's not paternalistic to acknowledge that.

You should also consider your potential job prospects and locations before enrolling, just like literally every other person who has ever asked for advice on TLS or applied to law school. People are considering your employability upon graduation because finding a legal job is the entire point of going to law school for 99% of people, and your choices in applying to schools are greatly affected by your career goals and limitations.

NYstate
Posts: 1566
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Undocumented Law School Hopeful

Postby NYstate » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:01 pm

starscripts wrote:lol *she

i didnt ask for most of the paternalistic comments on this page. to those that gave useful suggestions, thank you. but as an activist working on every side of this issue, i dont plan on being undocumented forever nor does any other immigrant in the same spot. thats why there are hundreds of DREAMers in law school.... the world can turn upside down in a few years, especially as efforts to push for immigration reform skyrocket.

please give me useful advice, not paternalistic BS that assumes i've never critically explored my prospects or future. sorry, this is just a sore spot of mine-- people assuming undocumented folks dont know anything about their own lives.

all that said, are there any other undocumented law school hopefuls on TLS? would love to talk and network.


Wait. People aren't assuming you don't know anything, they are trying to give you advice. Law is a terrible career choice for most people. I think posters on this board know that and are trying to help. You might be better off looking at other careers. What do you think law school will provide you?

Anyway, I have no idea how you can afford Columbia. If you want to wait until you have status and can get loans, that's a different story, but I still don't think Columbia at sticker would be a great choice. Until we know more about your goals and how you will pay for law school, it is difficult to help you. Even with scholarships you will still have living expenses- can you manage that without loans? You know there is no need based aid outside of a couple of schools, right? How you will pay for law school is a prime factor, if not the prime factor.


I'm also very curious as to how Exxon is going to employ you if you don't have status. Your story about losing status sounds compelling and I do hope things work out. Just realize that going to law school other than to practice law can be a huge waste of time and money.

californiauser
Posts: 1181
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 1:10 am

Re: Undocumented Law School Hopeful

Postby californiauser » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:06 pm

You'll need to get institutional loans which means Yale or Harvard. I'm not sure if any other schools offer institutional loans. You undoubtedly have a good story, but unless you can manage to get into a school that offers institutional loans, you're SOL.

starscripts
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:44 am

Re: Undocumented Law School Hopeful

Postby starscripts » Sun Dec 29, 2013 10:17 pm

BentleyLittle wrote:
starscripts wrote:lol *she

i didnt ask for most of the paternalistic comments on this page. to those that gave useful suggestions, thank you. but as an activist working on every side of this issue, i dont plan on being undocumented forever nor does any other immigrant in the same spot. thats why there are hundreds of DREAMers in law school.... the world can turn upside down in a few years, especially as efforts to push for immigration reform skyrocket.

please give me useful advice, not paternalistic BS that assumes i've never critically explored my prospects or future. sorry, this is just a sore spot of mine-- people assuming undocumented folks dont know anything about their own lives.

all that said, are there any other undocumented law school hopefuls on TLS? would love to talk and network.


I'm not undocumented. But I'm a MA interested in the issue and would love to network.


sounds good, you should PM me!





Return to “Under Represented Law Student Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests