Is masters degree a plus for apps?

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musicfor18
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Is masters degree a plus for apps?

Postby musicfor18 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:33 am

What is the general consensus on the impact having a masters degree has on law school applications? Is it a significant plus or a non-plus?

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LawandOrder
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Re: Is masters degree a plus for apps?

Postby LawandOrder » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:45 am

Minor Plus.

biobuslaw
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Re: Is masters degree a plus for apps?

Postby biobuslaw » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:53 am

If your grades are significantly improved from undergrad it may show you have the potential but just didn't have your head on straight in undergrad. In that case I think it would help a lot.

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JazzOne
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Re: Is masters degree a plus for apps?

Postby JazzOne » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:56 am

musicfor18 wrote:What is the general consensus on the impact having a masters degree has on law school applications? Is it a significant plus or a non-plus?

Typically, I would say that it is only a minor plus. However, if you are a splitter, I think a graduate degree can help to put some distance between you and your UGPA.

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raperez129
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Re: Is masters degree a plus for apps?

Postby raperez129 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:42 am

I'd say a minor soft plus.
I had a 3.08 UGPA :oops: and a 3.85 when I did my masters.
I was told that the UGPA is still primary because it is the objective standard to which they can compare all applicants.

I sure wish my MBA GPA counted for more. *sigh*
Last edited by raperez129 on Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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roundabout
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Re: Is masters degree a plus for apps?

Postby roundabout » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:47 am

I'll let you know at the end of my cycle, but in the meantime, I asked an undergraduate prof of mine who went to a T14 law school and then got a doctorate in law. In his opinion, some schools would value it more highly than others- I remember he mentioned NYU as one that might.

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gatorlion
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Re: Is masters degree a plus for apps?

Postby gatorlion » Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:55 am

Your UG GPA will not benefit at all from your MA GPA. Grad school has highly inflated grades. Therefore, it is not true that a 3.85 GPA in a Master's program will ameliorate concerns derived from a sub-par UG performance. I think a Master's works in one's favor where it appears relevant to one's legal interest and/or is prestigious. This means that an MA in American Studies from State U. with a GPA of 3.9 does not have the kind of impact that a Harvard MBA or Kennedy MPP would (regardless of GPA).

Conclusion= Don't think a Master's will give you a boost for GPA, though it will help a little if it shows you have a technical background needed for the area of law you want to practice (i.e. Biotechnology MS) or is a stand-alone prestige factor (i.e. Yale MEM, Syracuse MPA, etc.)

(Speaking from experience as someone with 2 MAs)

musicfor18
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Re: Is masters degree a plus for apps?

Postby musicfor18 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:30 am

Thanks for your thoughts on this. I wasn't asking if a grad GPA would be considered, but only if the fact of having a masters degree would be a good soft. Even if it's not in an area related to law, might the fact of having gone through a rigorous program be looked on favorably?

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kittenmittons
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Re: Is masters degree a plus for apps?

Postby kittenmittons » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:33 am

LawandOrder wrote:Minor Plus.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Is masters degree a plus for apps?

Postby prezidentv8 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:46 am

No, schools hate it when you have Masters degrees. Shows a lack of commitment to the law.

moviechicka
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Re: Is masters degree a plus for apps?

Postby moviechicka » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:35 pm

I don't know. I think my MA in Communications helped me. I made it very clear that I wanted to practice soft IP in my application essay and my background spoke to my experience in that area. It probably really depends on the law school. It definitely helps when it comes to getting letters of recommendations. Graduate professors are much closer to their students than undergrad professors.

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Aeroplane
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Re: Is masters degree a plus for apps?

Postby Aeroplane » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:39 pm

moviechicka wrote:I don't know. I think my MA in Communications helped me. I made it very clear that I wanted to practice soft IP in my application essay and my background spoke to my experience in that area. It probably really depends on the law school. It definitely helps when it comes to getting letters of recommendations. Graduate professors are much closer to their students than undergrad professors.
+1. Also if you had a low UGPA odds are decent that you're not in touch w/your UG professors and didn't get too many good grades so UG recs may be problematic.

JazzOne wrote: Typically, I would say that it is only a minor plus. However, if you are a splitter, I think a graduate degree can help to put some distance between you and your UGPA.
+1. Although if you have a few years of WE, I'm not sure how much the masters adds value. I had both and I know I did better than most splitters, but I can't say for which reason.

hotdoglaw
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Re: Is masters degree a plus for apps?

Postby hotdoglaw » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:47 pm

I think this question is sort of silly. Obviously it is a plus. The only question would be how much of a plus and I don't think anyone here can really answer that. Per usual, it would be a soft factor; LSAT/GPA are always more important. As far as softs go, it seems to me like a particularly good one.




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