Just trying to be realistic

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
esviel
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:33 am

Just trying to be realistic

Postby esviel » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:44 am

Hey guys,

So I'm an undergrad polisci major at University of Pennsylvania. About to start my second semester of my sophomore year and my GPA is currently 3.32. What do I have to do from now until I apply to get into a top law school (top10)?

My extra-curriculars have been my main focus for my first three semesters and my academics have suffered because of it, though I believe (as i'm told by many of my professors, friends, supervisors at work) that I have great leadership skills. However, as reality sets in I am starting to feel that all of that is irrelevant without the numbers to back it up.

Do I have a realistic chance of getting into top schools? What would I have to bring my GPA up to and is it even feasible to get all A's from now till I graduate? Doing so would only bring me to a 3.77.

I don't know much about the LSAT but I do know that I am a very poor test taker and only scored a 1310 on the SAT after an entire summer of intense preparation (though I did get a 31 on the ACT).

Can I realistically set my sights on big-name top schools or should I not even waste my time and do something else?

Thanks!

sckon
Posts: 501
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:03 am

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby sckon » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:55 am

Worry about academics. You need a higher GPA. 3.6-3.7 plus a great LSat will get you into T14

calkel
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:16 pm

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby calkel » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:57 am

--ImageRemoved--

sckon
Posts: 501
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:03 am

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby sckon » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:59 am

Image



That gave me a good laugh Calkel

User avatar
nematoad
Posts: 421
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:06 pm

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby nematoad » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:01 am

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/top10/jd
yes you can look at big name schools. if your extracurriculars are really good and you have a compelling reason, anythings possible. in my very naive opinion, a 3.5 and 165+ can get you into a t14. but that being said, it's alot easier when you've got stellar numbers on your side.
one soft that'll help and many law applicants lack is knowledge of a foreign language. don't do it to get into law school, but if you've been looking for a reason to get started, you now have it.

sckon
Posts: 501
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:03 am

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby sckon » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:04 am

nematoad wrote:http://lawschoolnumbers.com/top10/jd
yes you can look at big name schools. if your extracurriculars are really good and you have a compelling reason, anythings possible. in my very naive opinion, a 3.5 and [strike]165+[/strike] 169+ can get you into a t14. but that being said, it's alot easier when you've got stellar numbers on your side.
one soft that'll help and many law applicants lack is knowledge of a foreign language. don't do it to get into law school, but if you've been looking for a reason to get started, you now have it.



FTFY

esviel
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:33 am

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby esviel » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:38 am

Hey guys, thanks for your replies.

Thing is, i have no desire whatsoever to be a lawyer, I really want to go into public office and most senators, governors, mayors, etc. have law degrees so law school seems like the best option. of course i could also serve in the military but since i'm in college now I might as well try the law school route first.

I speak spanish but not at a level of fluency (never use it) and I was considering taking Chinese language but i fear that, like spanish, if I don't use it often then I will lose most of it after a while.
to the guy who posted that i have a long way to go - it may seem like that yes but I could have possibly already screwed up my chances at getting into one of those schools - consider that, with my current 3.32 gpa I would have to get all A's in all classes from now till I graduate to get to a competitive 3.7. Not an easy task, nor is it even realistic for me to say that I am going to get 4.0's from now till I graduate. I'd probably have to cut all extracurricular activities in order to do that, and even then it's nowhere near a guarantee.

However, if I do significantly curtail my leadership positions and practically live in the library, i will definitely have a higher gpa than otherwise. I feel like since the start of my college career I've done so much for the clubs i'm in that I could write a pretty kickass PS even if I were to just drop everything now. I am very tempted to do just that. It would dissapoint alot of my peers because I'm usually the most enthusiastic and committed, but reality is reality and law schools (at least, the top ten ones) don't really seem to give a damn.

So - drop all extracurrics and try my best to ace everything?

User avatar
nematoad
Posts: 421
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:06 pm

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby nematoad » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:05 am

esviel wrote:
So - drop all extracurrics and try my best to ace everything?

i'd say no, because otherwise you'll drive yourself mad. you pulled a 3.3 with a huge load at penn, as a freshman, no easy feat. balance is the key man. From my own experience, when all I have to do is study, I don't do it nearly as efficiently. cut your duties down a bit, but if you enjoy it, stick with it. college really gets easier as you go on (mainly cause the classes are cooler) and the fact that you came to this site already shows that you're a step ahead of the game.
also, if public office is where you wanna be, go volunteer for a local congressman or your state's senator over summer. expose yourself and talk to people. a 3.6 with a good understanding of what you're doing is much better than a 3.7 without a life. i think adcomms will see that.

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby Helmholtz » Tue Jan 05, 2010 9:51 am

esviel wrote:Thing is, i have no desire whatsoever to be a lawyer


glwt

User avatar
TTH
Posts: 10378
Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 1:14 am

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby TTH » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:02 am

Flame.

User avatar
fl0w
Posts: 1404
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:46 am

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby fl0w » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:58 am

Helmholtz wrote:
esviel wrote:Thing is, i have no desire whatsoever to be a lawyer


glwt


OP, I feel like you've indirectly answered your own question with this statement. If you have no desire to be a lawyer, law school probably isn't a great idea, right?

User avatar
Grizz
Posts: 10583
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:31 pm

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby Grizz » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:27 pm

esviel wrote:Thing is, i have no desire whatsoever to be a lawyer.


Then don't waste your time and money studying for the LSAT and applying to law school. You will hate yourself.

esviel
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:33 am

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby esviel » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:32 am

Heh, I totally understand you guys who say why go to law school when I don't want to be a lawyer but most public figures that I see today have a law degree...so if public service is my primary goal then isn't law school a reasonable step toward that goal?

User avatar
Sogui
Posts: 621
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 12:32 am

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby Sogui » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:43 am

nematoad wrote:http://lawschoolnumbers.com/top10/jd
yes you can look at big name schools. if your extracurriculars are really good and you have a compelling reason, anythings possible. in my very naive opinion, a 3.5 and 165+ can get you into a t14. but that being said, it's alot easier when you've got stellar numbers on your side.
one soft that'll help and many law applicants lack is knowledge of a foreign language. don't do it to get into law school, but if you've been looking for a reason to get started, you now have it.


grew up in algeria, speak arabic fluently
worked through college 25 hours a week
internship in japan for investment banking
speak 4 languages
3 publications in economic journals
accepted to phd economic program at michigan and cambridge



Yea ok, I hate it when people post LSN profiles trying to show that a WHITE MALE can get into T14 with a mediocre GPA and LSAT. This guy may not be a URM, but he's got the kind of phenomenal background that allows him to defy his numbers. If you aren't URM or have an amazing background, don't think you can replicate this guy's results.

BenJ
Posts: 1353
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 12:58 pm

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby BenJ » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:50 am

esviel wrote:Heh, I totally understand you guys who say why go to law school when I don't want to be a lawyer but most public figures that I see today have a law degree...so if public service is my primary goal then isn't law school a reasonable step toward that goal?


There are plenty of other ways into public service. Chiefly, through going directly into public service: go to a public service grad school, work for a congressman, be a part of someone's campaign, work for a senator or governor, eventually run for state legislature with institutional backing, etc. I considered that path and sort of started on it, working for my congressman and then on the Bloomberg campaign last summer, but I decided that I'd rather be a lawyer in the medium-term than a politician.

A lot of lawyers become politicians because (a) law is a profession that makes the money needed to finance a political career without the patronage you get from working directly for elective officials and (b) lawyers' field means they tend to work with public figures even before entering politics. But, in order to be a successful politician through law, you have to first be a successful law student and a successful lawyer. Someone who has no desire to be a lawyer will not be successful.

Btw, the major political figures with JDs tend to have practiced as lawyers for a while, often over a decade, before running for office. Do you want to do that?

hoglawyer
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:33 pm

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby hoglawyer » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:53 am

Esviel and me have almost the same numbers and I've been meaning to ask this on this forum. The difference is that I want to go to law school..lol...but i'm thinking that a T14 is a stretch for me, and really the only school that i want to go to that's even close is Vandy. Its my dream school but I know I will have to kick ass on my LSAT and raise my GPA up to at least a 3.6. I would research though a little more on how people got into politics, being a lawyer isn't the only way. Only one of the two senators from my state went to law school.

Jockin Jay-Z
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:49 pm

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby Jockin Jay-Z » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:55 am

No, a j.d. is not in any way a prerequisite to be in politics. Besides, business is probably a better path to a political career than being a lawyer.

Danteshek
Posts: 2172
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:40 pm

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby Danteshek » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:55 am

esviel wrote:Heh, I totally understand you guys who say why go to law school when I don't want to be a lawyer but most public figures that I see today have a law degree...so if public service is my primary goal then isn't law school a reasonable step toward that goal?


Why do you want to be a "public figure"? What do you have to offer? Arrogance? I thought that only people at Harvard all want to become president.

Jockin Jay-Z
Posts: 123
Joined: Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:49 pm

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby Jockin Jay-Z » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:57 am

And people who actually want to be lawyers end up hating law school/lawyering. You'll have an awful time if you're not fully committed to law.

calkel
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 1:16 pm

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby calkel » Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:06 am

failed lawyers become politicians

User avatar
nematoad
Posts: 421
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:06 pm

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby nematoad » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:05 pm

Sogui wrote:
nematoad wrote:http://lawschoolnumbers.com/top10/jd

If you aren't URM or have an amazing background, don't think you can replicate this guy's results.


the latter is something that you can control. there are plenty of things you can do to make your background stand out and have fun in the process. if a candidate is a typical LScandidate and only went to school and studied for the lsat, im not surprised that they didn't get into any of their reaches. the percentage of candidates who only have a gpa and an lsat to their name when they apply far outnumber candidates who lived a life before the law, that's why they get in.

User avatar
Sangiovese
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:38 pm

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby Sangiovese » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:27 pm

esviel wrote: ... of course i could also serve in the military but since i'm in college now I might as well try the law school route first...


Actually, being in college now is a great step toward serving in the military with an eye toward public service afterwards. Most politicians who have military service backgrounds served as officers... and you need a degree for that. (Even the enlisted commissioning programs that transition enlisted soldiers to officers involve them getting a degree as part of the process.)

You could even get Uncle Sam to pay for the remainder of your schooling. Talk to the local ROTC unit.

Of course, if you have the same lack of desire for a stint in the military as you do for law school, I would recommend against doing it simply to "punch a ticket." However, if you have some interest in serving, then a few years as an officer will certainly get you headed in the right direction. And as far as a ticket punch goes, it has some advantages compared to going to law school. You'll actually make some money while you're doing it instead of racking up debt... and you'll get world class leadership experience. On the other hand... it's a fair bit more dangerous.

User avatar
Helmholtz
Posts: 4394
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:48 pm

Re: Just trying to be realistic

Postby Helmholtz » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:29 pm

esviel wrote:Heh, I totally understand you guys who say why go to law school when I don't want to be a lawyer but most public figures that I see today have a law degree...so if public service is my primary goal then isn't law school a reasonable step toward that goal?


I had a long response typed out but I have reasoned that further debate is no longer useful and OP is completely retarded to go to law school with no desire to be a lawyer unless OP is going to Harvard or Yale (which he almost certainly won't be), or possibly has connections/relatives in very high-up political spots.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests