Chance me at T14, AA URM

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
jkander31

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Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby jkander31 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:20 pm

Hello,

I have a 3.91 Cumulative GPA and a 164 LSAT. I applied early (end of October) to several schools in the top 14. These schools are Harvard, Stanford, UVA, UPenn, NYU, Columbia, and UChicago. I am applying in early December to Yale. I am an AA Male.

I have a very solid resume including time spent at the State Department, intern in Congress, 2-3 years of W/E, nationally ranked debater and national champion of policy debate.

I had two very solid recommendation letters from my beloved professors whom I've known for many years and I have graduated from a top 100 university.

Please help me out.

Thank you,

Jason
Last edited by jkander31 on Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SomewhatLearnedHand

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby SomewhatLearnedHand » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:30 pm

Going off your numbers on MyLSN you look very solid throughout the T13 with the exception of UPenn and Yale (but hey, you never know). Decision should come down to where you get good scholarship money / what your career goals are.

icechicken

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby icechicken » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:46 pm

Yale/Stanford/Harvard could be tough with that LSAT, but are entirely possible. Of the other 5 schools you listed, I'd be surprised if you didn't get at least 4, probably decent tuition discounts.

If at all feasible, you should consider retaking the LSAT. It's the only blemish on your otherwise-excellent profile. Even getting to 167 would make you close to a stone-cold lock for at least one of HYS and put you in the running for full-ride scholarships at the rest.

ETA: not saying you should start planning to retake the LSAT now; you're probably going to have great options as-is. But if you miss the boat for some reason, that'd be an easy fix.

jkander31

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby jkander31 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:54 pm

icechicken wrote:Yale/Stanford/Harvard could be tough with that LSAT, but are entirely possible. Of the other 5 schools you listed, I'd be surprised if you didn't get at least 4, probably decent tuition discounts.

If at all feasible, you should consider retaking the LSAT. It's the only blemish on your otherwise-excellent profile. Even getting to 167 would make you close to a stone-cold lock for at least one of HYS and put you in the running for full-ride scholarships at the rest.

ETA: not saying you should start planning to retake the LSAT now; you're probably going to have great options as-is. But if you miss the boat for some reason, that'd be an easy fix.



Hey,

Thank you for the insight. I greatly appreciate it.

jkander31

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby jkander31 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:55 pm

SomewhatLearnedHand wrote:Going off your numbers on MyLSN you look very solid throughout the T13 with the exception of UPenn and Yale (but hey, you never know). Decision should come down to where you get good scholarship money / what your career goals are.


Hey,

Thanks. I am worried about HYS and Columbia, however, I am confident in my abilities to land in the top 6.

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby SomewhatLearnedHand » Thu Nov 30, 2017 9:59 pm

jkander31 wrote:
SomewhatLearnedHand wrote:Going off your numbers on MyLSN you look very solid throughout the T13 with the exception of UPenn and Yale (but hey, you never know). Decision should come down to where you get good scholarship money / what your career goals are.


Hey,

Thanks. I am worried about HYS and Columbia, however, I am confident in my abilities to land in the top 6.


According to lsn your numbers are solid for H, C, & S. The question then becomes at what price- I'm not sure how much money you'd get. Like the above poster mentioned, if you could bump that lsat a couple points you'd likely be in at all with some good money as well.

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UVA2B

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby UVA2B » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:01 pm

SomewhatLearnedHand wrote:
jkander31 wrote:
SomewhatLearnedHand wrote:Going off your numbers on MyLSN you look very solid throughout the T13 with the exception of UPenn and Yale (but hey, you never know). Decision should come down to where you get good scholarship money / what your career goals are.


Hey,

Thanks. I am worried about HYS and Columbia, however, I am confident in my abilities to land in the top 6.


According to lsn your numbers are solid for H, C, & S. The question then becomes at what price- I'm not sure how much money you'd get. Like the above poster mentioned, if you could bump that lsat a couple points you'd likely be in at all with some good money as well.


2/3 of those are need-based only. Getting in is the tough part, but once you’re in, how much you get depends on your financials, not your numbers. It’d help at C though.

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby SomewhatLearnedHand » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:04 pm

UVA2B wrote:
SomewhatLearnedHand wrote:
jkander31 wrote:
SomewhatLearnedHand wrote:Going off your numbers on MyLSN you look very solid throughout the T13 with the exception of UPenn and Yale (but hey, you never know). Decision should come down to where you get good scholarship money / what your career goals are.


Hey,

Thanks. I am worried about HYS and Columbia, however, I am confident in my abilities to land in the top 6.


According to lsn your numbers are solid for H, C, & S. The question then becomes at what price- I'm not sure how much money you'd get. Like the above poster mentioned, if you could bump that lsat a couple points you'd likely be in at all with some good money as well.


2/3 of those are need-based only. Getting in is the tough part, but once you’re in, how much you get depends on your financials, not your numbers. It’d help at C though.


Listen to this dude then, he clearly knows more than me. I'm going strictly off what mylsn said, but you seem good to go at C ,H, & S

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UVA2B

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby UVA2B » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:13 pm

SomewhatLearnedHand wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
SomewhatLearnedHand wrote:
jkander31 wrote:
SomewhatLearnedHand wrote:Going off your numbers on MyLSN you look very solid throughout the T13 with the exception of UPenn and Yale (but hey, you never know). Decision should come down to where you get good scholarship money / what your career goals are.


Hey,

Thanks. I am worried about HYS and Columbia, however, I am confident in my abilities to land in the top 6.


According to lsn your numbers are solid for H, C, & S. The question then becomes at what price- I'm not sure how much money you'd get. Like the above poster mentioned, if you could bump that lsat a couple points you'd likely be in at all with some good money as well.


2/3 of those are need-based only. Getting in is the tough part, but once you’re in, how much you get depends on your financials, not your numbers. It’d help at C though.


Listen to this dude then, he clearly knows more than me. I'm going strictly off what mylsn said, but you seem good to go at C ,H, & S


You weren’t wrong, I just wanted to make clear that HYS are need-based aid, so the retake calculus slightly changes because your numbers don’t affect tuition discounts. I absolutely agree with your premise though: an improved LSAT can only help here.

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby jacketyellow » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:41 pm

jkander31 wrote:Hello,

I have a 3.91 Cumulative GPA and a 164 LSAT. I applied early (end of October) to several schools in the top 14. These schools are Harvard, Stanford, UVA, UPenn, NYU, Columbia, and UChicago. I am applying in early December to Yale. I am an AA Male.

I have a very solid resume including time spent at the State Department, intern in Congress, 2-3 years of W/E, nationally ranked debater and national champion of policy debate.

I had two very solid recommendation letters from my beloved professors whom I've known for many years and I have graduated from a top 100 university.

Please help me out.

Thank you,

Jason


Pretty simple. You'll get just about all the T14. I know many AA females at H with 3.7s, 165s. Yale is a crapshoot as I only know one AA female who went there but she had a 4.0 GPA with a 165 LSAT. Since you'll have many options, I only want to caution this: only go where you will get significant money. No law school (even Yale) is worth $300,000 in debt. If you want biglaw, you'll get there with a full scholarship at, say, NYU than going for sticker at Stanford or Harvard.

Trust me: financial security is much better than educational pedigree.

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UVA2B

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby UVA2B » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:42 pm

jacketyellow wrote:
jkander31 wrote:Hello,

I have a 3.91 Cumulative GPA and a 164 LSAT. I applied early (end of October) to several schools in the top 14. These schools are Harvard, Stanford, UVA, UPenn, NYU, Columbia, and UChicago. I am applying in early December to Yale. I am an AA Male.

I have a very solid resume including time spent at the State Department, intern in Congress, 2-3 years of W/E, nationally ranked debater and national champion of policy debate.

I had two very solid recommendation letters from my beloved professors whom I've known for many years and I have graduated from a top 100 university.

Please help me out.

Thank you,

Jason


Pretty simple. You'll get just about all the T14. I know many AA females at H with 3.7s, 165s. Yale is a crapshoot as I only know one AA female who went there but she had a 4.0 GPA with a 165 LSAT. Since you'll have many options, I only want to caution this: only go where you will get significant money. No law school (even Yale) is worth $300,000 in debt. If you want biglaw, you'll get there with a full scholarship at, say, NYU than going for sticker at Stanford or Harvard.

Trust me: financial security is much better than educational pedigree.


Amen. All of this.

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby jacketyellow » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:47 am

UVA2B wrote:
jacketyellow wrote:
jkander31 wrote:Hello,

I have a 3.91 Cumulative GPA and a 164 LSAT. I applied early (end of October) to several schools in the top 14. These schools are Harvard, Stanford, UVA, UPenn, NYU, Columbia, and UChicago. I am applying in early December to Yale. I am an AA Male.

I have a very solid resume including time spent at the State Department, intern in Congress, 2-3 years of W/E, nationally ranked debater and national champion of policy debate.

I had two very solid recommendation letters from my beloved professors whom I've known for many years and I have graduated from a top 100 university.

Please help me out.

Thank you,

Jason


Pretty simple. You'll get just about all the T14. I know many AA females at H with 3.7s, 165s. Yale is a crapshoot as I only know one AA female who went there but she had a 4.0 GPA with a 165 LSAT. Since you'll have many options, I only want to caution this: only go where you will get significant money. No law school (even Yale) is worth $300,000 in debt. If you want biglaw, you'll get there with a full scholarship at, say, NYU than going for sticker at Stanford or Harvard.

Trust me: financial security is much better than educational pedigree.


Amen. All of this.


Just trying to help since I'm an AA male, and I also drunk the Kool Aid. Now, I'm stuck at biglaw trying to pay off a massive amount of loans. I didn't listen when i was applying to law school; I just hope other AAs will listen.

jkander31

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby jkander31 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:03 am

jacketyellow wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
jacketyellow wrote:
jkander31 wrote:Hello,

I have a 3.91 Cumulative GPA and a 164 LSAT. I applied early (end of October) to several schools in the top 14. These schools are Harvard, Stanford, UVA, UPenn, NYU, Columbia, and UChicago. I am applying in early December to Yale. I am an AA Male.

I have a very solid resume including time spent at the State Department, intern in Congress, 2-3 years of W/E, nationally ranked debater and national champion of policy debate.

I had two very solid recommendation letters from my beloved professors whom I've known for many years and I have graduated from a top 100 university.

Please help me out.

Thank you,

Jason


Pretty simple. You'll get just about all the T14. I know many AA females at H with 3.7s, 165s. Yale is a crapshoot as I only know one AA female who went there but she had a 4.0 GPA with a 165 LSAT. Since you'll have many options, I only want to caution this: only go where you will get significant money. No law school (even Yale) is worth $300,000 in debt. If you want biglaw, you'll get there with a full scholarship at, say, NYU than going for sticker at Stanford or Harvard.

Trust me: financial security is much better than educational pedigree.


Amen. All of this.


Just trying to help since I'm an AA male, and I also drunk the Kool Aid. Now, I'm stuck at biglaw trying to pay off a massive amount of loans. I didn't listen when i was applying to law school; I just hope other AAs will listen.


For sure. I will not pay nearly 300k for prestige when a school 3-5 spots down on the USNWR will offer me significantly more. I definitely dodged a bullet in undergrad because I had people like you advising me to stick to a school that will offer great financial aid and scholarships. Thank you again

jkander31

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby jkander31 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:05 am

I received almost full financial aid and merit scholarships in UG so I am also wondering if FAFSA works the same for law school. Any clue?

jkander31

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby jkander31 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:15 am

I am also wondering about the loan-forgiveness at these schools for those interested in clerkships and public interest work. Any clue on this?

You guys are super helpful.

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Drea

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby Drea » Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:24 pm

Not really agreeing or disagreeing with anything anyone had said, but I just want to add a few points. Whether or not you believe in/agree with "prestige," it would be a mistake to say that this isn't a profession that values it. For that reason, it's not so surprising that HYS do not give merit scholarships or full grant financial aid (in general). It's also not surprising that they are the only law schools (with the exception of Berkeley) without real grades/GPAs, since employers already have assumptions about their students' abilities by virtue of them attending those schools. And the recognition these schools have across the profession affords their graduates a certain degree of flexibility throughout their career. I'm not saying these are reason you should incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. But in the grand scheme of things, it's not so surprising why their students/alums do.

If you don't want to work at a high-paying firm, however, they also have low income protection programs. How protective or desirable these programs are is another story, and can vary a bit between HYS. I would look into this if it's a major factor for you.

Basically, don't take my word or any one person's word for it. Do as much research as you can, apply broadly (and *write well* in addition to focusing on numbers), and weigh your options. Gl.

Full disclosure: I'm AA, I go to H, and don't particularly see myself in big law (but who knows..)

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby icechicken » Fri Dec 01, 2017 1:57 pm

jkander31 wrote:I received almost full financial aid and merit scholarships in UG so I am also wondering if FAFSA works the same for law school. Any clue?


One huge difference: Top-tier UG financial aid offices take pride in not requiring their students to take out loans. In law school, "financial aid" consists almost entirely of loans, although HYS cap the amount they expect you to borrow to compensate for the fact that they don't give merit aid and many schools offer LRAP programs (of varying quality) for graduates who take lower-paying jobs.

That's why a T13 full ride is considered the ideal outcome for most people.

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby jkander31 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:49 am

Drea wrote:Not really agreeing or disagreeing with anything anyone had said, but I just want to add a few points. Whether or not you believe in/agree with "prestige," it would be a mistake to say that this isn't a profession that values it. For that reason, it's not so surprising that HYS do not give merit scholarships or full grant financial aid (in general). It's also not surprising that they are the only law schools (with the exception of Berkeley) without real grades/GPAs, since employers already have assumptions about their students' abilities by virtue of them attending those schools. And the recognition these schools have across the profession affords their graduates a certain degree of flexibility throughout their career. I'm not saying these are reason you should incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. But in the grand scheme of things, it's not so surprising why their students/alums do.

If you don't want to work at a high-paying firm, however, they also have low income protection programs. How protective or desirable these programs are is another story, and can vary a bit between HYS. I would look into this if it's a major factor for you.

Basically, don't take my word or any one person's word for it. Do as much research as you can, apply broadly (and *write well* in addition to focusing on numbers), and weigh your options. Gl.

Full disclosure: I'm AA, I go to H, and don't particularly see myself in big law (but who knows..)



Thanks, Drea. I appreciate the insight. It's always helpful to hear from current students.

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UVA2B

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby UVA2B » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:18 am

Drea is providing a good perspective from someone who chose HYS over other options, but that opinion deserves several caveats for a 0L picking a law school.

1. Prestige matters. It really does. But it's not an inelastic concept where relative value of a degree and your performance in that school doesn't matter. HYS is not categorically better than other T13 in a vacuum. HYS top 10% has substantially better options than a T13 10% if the career you want is highly specific, but most law students do not have specific goals in mind that would need that differentiation. Prestige is an inaccurate science, and you should appreciate that.

2. Financial aid: HYS have decided to give need-based aid, and good for them because they sit at the top of the relative prestige heap. Depending on what you want in your career, that can make complete sense for an individual. If you're committed to finding a job in public service or non-profits, HYS has better loan forgiveness than the rest of the prestige tier. Public service minded folks admitted to HYS should probably pick HYS over other T13 in most cases because their LRAP/LIPP/etc. is better than everywhere else. But if you're thinking you might go private, and in the most lenient situation where you get max need-based aid, HYS will more than likely cost you more than another T13 that will place in substantially the same job that pays the same. Once you remove PSLF/LRAP/LIPP protections, it entirely becomes about cost-benefit. And HYS will rarely add up to a better investment than options in the lower T13 with substantial scholarships (assuming you're the type that gets substantial scholarships within the T13).

3. Confirmation bias/advice based on personal decisions: Every person who chose a school will provide the reasons they chose to attend the school they did. It made sense to them, and they sincerely believe they made the right choice. They may or may not be right (trying to objectively make this assessment is tiresomely difficult, so we should just skip it), but your focus should be to try to stay objective as long as possible. In the end, we are all doing cost-benefit-goal analysis that should be understood individually. Your goals are likely different than mine, and they're likely different than Drea. I fully believe you can dissect this point, but it's important to remember because the natural inclination is to get excited about particular law school admissions or tuition discounts.

You have an important decision to make if/when you have all your options on the table, and I hope you keep in mind what you want to do with your law degree, how likely that outcome is from the schools you're considering, and how much the degree will cost you (and whether it will be eligible for loan forgiveness). That is ultimately what will matter most. The "prestige," financial aid programs, and access to certain jobs should all be understood within the sphere of your options.

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Re: Chance me at T14, AA URM

Postby jkander31 » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:59 pm

UVA2B wrote:Drea is providing a good perspective from someone who chose HYS over other options, but that opinion deserves several caveats for a 0L picking a law school.

1. Prestige matters. It really does. But it's not an inelastic concept where relative value of a degree and your performance in that school doesn't matter. HYS is not categorically better than other T13 in a vacuum. HYS top 10% has substantially better options than a T13 10% if the career you want is highly specific, but most law students do not have specific goals in mind that would need that differentiation. Prestige is an inaccurate science, and you should appreciate that.

2. Financial aid: HYS have decided to give need-based aid, and good for them because they sit at the top of the relative prestige heap. Depending on what you want in your career, that can make complete sense for an individual. If you're committed to finding a job in public service or non-profits, HYS has better loan forgiveness than the rest of the prestige tier. Public service minded folks admitted to HYS should probably pick HYS over other T13 in most cases because their LRAP/LIPP/etc. is better than everywhere else. But if you're thinking you might go private, and in the most lenient situation where you get max need-based aid, HYS will more than likely cost you more than another T13 that will place in substantially the same job that pays the same. Once you remove PSLF/LRAP/LIPP protections, it entirely becomes about cost-benefit. And HYS will rarely add up to a better investment than options in the lower T13 with substantial scholarships (assuming you're the type that gets substantial scholarships within the T13).

3. Confirmation bias/advice based on personal decisions: Every person who chose a school will provide the reasons they chose to attend the school they did. It made sense to them, and they sincerely believe they made the right choice. They may or may not be right (trying to objectively make this assessment is tiresomely difficult, so we should just skip it), but your focus should be to try to stay objective as long as possible. In the end, we are all doing cost-benefit-goal analysis that should be understood individually. Your goals are likely different than mine, and they're likely different than Drea. I fully believe you can dissect this point, but it's important to remember because the natural inclination is to get excited about particular law school admissions or tuition discounts.

You have an important decision to make if/when you have all your options on the table, and I hope you keep in mind what you want to do with your law degree, how likely that outcome is from the schools you're considering, and how much the degree will cost you (and whether it will be eligible for loan forgiveness). That is ultimately what will matter most. The "prestige," financial aid programs, and access to certain jobs should all be understood within the sphere of your options.



Hello,

Thank you for taking the time out to help me (and others) with this topic. I greatly appreciate it. I, for one, do not know exactly what I'd like to pursue. Although I have a good idea where to start, my undergrad experience has taught me to keep my options open and be flexible about how to achieve my goals. I've taken a similar approach to my legal career both as a student and as a professional. I do definitely understand that prestige should be understood in the respective space it is presented. And I also believe that being anywhere over 150k in debt should be avoided. For a little more than $180,000 you can buy a decent home around my community. When I put prestige and loans in that conversation it seems unreasonable to accrue such a burden. I also think about the amount of flexibility that students with little or no debt have in terms of their career and personal choices. With that being stated, balancing prestige, loans and my goals makes me feel like I am trying to walk without spilling two buckets of water filled to the brim. I think I'll definitely consider the plethora of great advice provided by yourself and others. I think it will require some more reflecting and mapping.
Thanks again




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