Chances for Current Harvard Grad Student?

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)
TMW88

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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:27 am

Chances for Current Harvard Grad Student?

Postby TMW88 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:32 pm

Hello!

I'm currently getting my masters in policy at Harvard and am applying to law schools. In particular, I'm interested to know my chances for getting into Harvard Law, as I'd prefer staying in Cambridge. Stats are:

- African-American male
- 3.5 GPA
- 168 LSAT
- All A's during current graduate study at H
- Co-teaching two classes next semester at H at request of professors, one class being taught alongside professors from Harvard Law
- Recs from Harvard Law prof and another prof from this past semester
- Worked for 7 years, 4 years working in China in corporate leadership role
- Teach For America alum
- Significant leadership experience in past and currently in leadership roles at H
- Undergrad was a public ivy

Thank you for your insight! And wishing everyone the best of luck going into this admissions cycle!

RedPurpleBlue

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Posts: 552
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Re: Chances for Current Harvard Grad Student?

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:10 pm

Chances aren't very good. I'd apply to every T14 except HYS, because you could get some considerable money at other exceptional school. If you have the extra $ and want to go for it, then feel free to submit HYS apps. Someone got into S in your LSAT and GPA range. The sample size is low, so it's hard to tell what's going on at the HYS level.

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Npret

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Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Chances for Current Harvard Grad Student?

Postby Npret » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:52 pm

RedPurpleBlue wrote:Chances aren't very good. I'd apply to every T14 except HYS, because you could get some considerable money at other exceptional school. If you have the extra $ and want to go for it, then feel free to submit HYS apps. Someone got into S in your LSAT and GPA range. The sample size is low, so it's hard to tell what's going on at the HYS level.

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I don’t agree. URM cycles are unique. There is no reason not to apply to HYS. Who knows maybe OP can get fee waivers.
If you can, retake the LSATs and get a better score. We advise everyone to do that and there is no reason for you not to do so. You have room to improve and retaking should be a definite option here.
Are you certain you need a law degree for the career you want? Is the current Masters enough?

RedPurpleBlue

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Re: Chances for Current Harvard Grad Student?

Postby RedPurpleBlue » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:28 am

Npret wrote:
RedPurpleBlue wrote:Chances aren't very good. I'd apply to every T14 except HYS, because you could get some considerable money at other exceptional school. If you have the extra $ and want to go for it, then feel free to submit HYS apps. Someone got into S in your LSAT and GPA range. The sample size is low, so it's hard to tell what's going on at the HYS level.

Image

I don’t agree. URM cycles are unique. There is no reason not to apply to HYS. Who knows maybe OP can get fee waivers.
If you can, retake the LSATs and get a better score. We advise everyone to do that and there is no reason for you not to do so. You have room to improve and retaking should be a definite option here.
Are you certain you need a law degree for the career you want? Is the current Masters enough?


URMs have unique cycles to the extent that they can drastically outperform non-URMs with the same statistics or perform relatively similarly. Even if you put OP in the dramatically outperform crowd, OP isn't getting into HYS with a 3.5 and 168. Even URMs have ceilings. Realistically, OP is going to need to hit 170 or 172 to have a shot at Harvard and probably higher for Yale or Stanford to come into play. I've done probably 20 permutations of OPs GPA band and hypothetical LSATs and none of them look particularly rosy for HYS. I know it's pretty blind dogma around these parts that "URMs should apply everywhere because they have crazy cycles," but at some point you have to be realistic. Like I said in my original post, if OP has the extra money, there's no harm. Otherwise, if OP doesn't and also doesn't get a fee waiver, I wouldn't apply.

Npret

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Posts: 1900
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:42 am

Re: Chances for Current Harvard Grad Student?

Postby Npret » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:45 am

RedPurpleBlue wrote:
Npret wrote:
RedPurpleBlue wrote:Chances aren't very good. I'd apply to every T14 except HYS, because you could get some considerable money at other exceptional school. If you have the extra $ and want to go for it, then feel free to submit HYS apps. Someone got into S in your LSAT and GPA range. The sample size is low, so it's hard to tell what's going on at the HYS level.

Image

I don’t agree. URM cycles are unique. There is no reason not to apply to HYS. Who knows maybe OP can get fee waivers.
If you can, retake the LSATs and get a better score. We advise everyone to do that and there is no reason for you not to do so. You have room to improve and retaking should be a definite option here.
Are you certain you need a law degree for the career you want? Is the current Masters enough?


URMs have unique cycles to the extent that they can drastically outperform non-URMs with the same statistics or perform relatively similarly. Even if you put OP in the dramatically outperform crowd, OP isn't getting into HYS with a 3.5 and 168. Even URMs have ceilings. Realistically, OP is going to need to hit 170 or 172 to have a shot at Harvard and probably higher for Yale or Stanford to come into play. I've done probably 20 permutations of OPs GPA band and hypothetical LSATs and none of them look particularly rosy for HYS. I know it's pretty blind dogma around these parts that "URMs should apply everywhere because they have crazy cycles," but at some point you have to be realistic. Like I said in my original post, if OP has the extra money, there's no harm. Otherwise, if OP doesn't and also doesn't get a fee waiver, I wouldn't apply.

The reason I say to apply is that the data is too limited to make reliable predictions. That’s why I would never say don’t apply even with these numbers.
I appreciate your take on URM cycles.
I think OP can retake and with a few points have a better shot.

TMW88

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Re: Chances for Current Harvard Grad Student?

Postby TMW88 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:13 pm

Thank you all for your feedback!

jmcali19

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Re: Chances for Current Harvard Grad Student?

Postby jmcali19 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:01 am

TMW88 wrote:Hello!

I'm currently getting my masters in policy at Harvard and am applying to law schools. In particular, I'm interested to know my chances for getting into Harvard Law, as I'd prefer staying in Cambridge. Stats are:

- African-American male
- 3.5 GPA
- 168 LSAT
- All A's during current graduate study at H
- Co-teaching two classes next semester at H at request of professors, one class being taught alongside professors from Harvard Law
- Recs from Harvard Law prof and another prof from this past semester
- Worked for 7 years, 4 years working in China in corporate leadership role
- Teach For America alum
- Significant leadership experience in past and currently in leadership roles at H
- Undergrad was a public ivy

Thank you for your insight! And wishing everyone the best of luck going into this admissions cycle!


Can I ask you something? Are you first-gen? I have a hunch that first-gen designation helps in addition to URM, so would be interested to know that. Keep us updated on what happens! Best of luck!

eck456

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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:07 pm

Re: Chances for Current Harvard Grad Student?

Postby eck456 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:35 pm

Ok so while this is probably generally good advice, it’s not really applicable for someone already in the MPP/ MPAID program and applying since HLS treats you a little differently. So in general, HLS waitlists most decent 1st year candidates who are at HKS and interested in doing the four year. (Tho tbf as a joint degree I mostly know those who got in, so it’s possible there were a bunch who applied as mpp1s who were quietly rejected but if so I never heard about it). Some got in directly but my year there were several waitlists and then people mostly knew or didn’t know by June. I will say I know you wouldn’t be the only joint degree with numbers close to that, and I definitely don’t think you’d be an auto reject. HLS likes to see people who get really involved w Harvard and will really engage if they stay, but also don’t want someone who will have trouble transitioning. It will likely be up to you to network with profs and people across HLS / HKS to move you off the waitlist - if you don’t do that at all or show engagement, they’re going to think you’re just throwing in an app for an extra degree and you’re not really committed to the full program. I’d reach out to the MPP/ JD student association (should just be able to email the admin office for contact info or talk to the MPP1 jointees) and ask more specific questions. Everyone’s v chill. If you’re a second year and planning to do the full 5 years, inter Harvard networking is still good but I don’t know anyone who’s done it straight through. I knew one person who applied and was waitlisted (gre only) and wound up not doing law and two people who worked several years in between the degrees. I think they might be suspicious if you plan to really stay a full 5 years and (if so) why you would put yourself through that, so you would want to address that either through a supplemental letter if/ when you’re waitlisted and/ or letters of rec from professors within Harvard. One piece of advice I got from someone on the admin team when I was in your shoes was to focus on profs who are “movers and shakers” and Harvard admin in general wants to keep happy. I.e. tenured profs who publish a lot, not celeb profs who come for a semester or don’t really engage with the running of the place or with publishing

eck456

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Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:07 pm

Re: Chances for Current Harvard Grad Student?

Postby eck456 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 8:43 pm

URMs have unique cycles to the extent that they can drastically outperform non-URMs with the same statistics or perform relatively similarly. Even if you put OP in the dramatically outperform crowd, OP isn't getting into HYS with a 3.5 and 168. Even URMs have ceilings. Realistically, OP is going to need to hit 170 or 172 to have a shot at Harvard and probably higher for Yale or Stanford to come into play.


Also, just for future baby jointees who are reading this thread someday, this is not an accurate assessment or analysis for jointees who are already Harvard grad students and performing well at HKS/HBS/ insert other school and have profs willing to pull for them. I know with 100% certainty of jointees across several years who were accepted with numbers close to or equivalent to these, both URM and not. Harvard likes the jointee program because it makes them look good and jointees place very well in certain markets, fellowships, etc. There is certainly no guarantees and some HKS students get waitlisted/ not accepted every year (and others have crazy high scores and are immediately accepted, or accepted at the law school first and then apply HKS, etc) but to not apply when you’re on campus and have the ability to network would be crazy, unless you feel strongly about not staying. No guarantees, but if you want to stay it’s worth trying to fight

Edited bc I fucked up the quotes



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