Applying to Law School from abroad

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dadengcrew
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:00 pm

Applying to Law School from abroad

Postby dadengcrew » Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:06 pm

Hi,

Is anyone else in this situation? Next semester I'm going on a SIT study abroad program in Kathmandu, Nepal, a little off the beaten trail.

I've taken the February LSAT and got a 176, so it looks like law school would be a good option for me. Has anybody else been through applying while out of the country? How do applications, recommendations and interviews work?

Thanks,
Jon

starsong
Posts: 421
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 2:35 pm

Re: Applying to Law School from abroad

Postby starsong » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:10 pm

dadengcrew wrote:Hi,

Is anyone else in this situation? Next semester I'm going on a SIT study abroad program in Kathmandu, Nepal, a little off the beaten trail.

I've taken the February LSAT and got a 176, so it looks like law school would be a good option for me. Has anybody else been through applying while out of the country? How do applications, recommendations and interviews work?

Thanks,
Jon


Many apply while abroad. Applications are submitted electronically, no problem there. Recommendations can be faxed if you're concerned about mail arriving. Most adcomms will call you overseas for interviews. Decisions are a bit trickier, since many schools notify via U.S. mail. I've heard of some cases--Columbia comes to mind--where a school sent a decision via e-mail after the applicant specifically notified that he/she was abroad.

Zara
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Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:37 am

Re: Applying to Law School from abroad

Postby Zara » Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:27 pm

I applied from japan and didn't run into too many problems. Some things were a bit more annoying but they were not impossible.

I would suggest you start early by getting your transcripts and LOR taken care of before you go. The biggest problem I had was requesting transcripts from schools I haven't attended in a long time and trying to get in touch with them during office hours when problems arose. That can be tricky if there is a significant time difference.

Apart from that I was able to do everything by email or fax so it all went very smoothly. Just make sure you have internet access and a working phone number (if you won't just make sure they know because some schools like HLS will want to call you).

Waiting is truly the worst part. You will see people on here talking about getting their letters and you'll get anxious and nervous but you'll be stuck waiting a couple more weeks for yours. You could just send everything to your parents address and have them tell you though if you are only there for a short time. Most of my schools have notified me by email though.

naruhodo
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:55 am

Re: Applying to Law School from abroad

Postby naruhodo » Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:14 am

Zara wrote:I applied from japan and didn't run into too many problems. Some things were a bit more annoying but they were not impossible.

I would suggest you start early by getting your transcripts and LOR taken care of before you go. The biggest problem I had was requesting transcripts from schools I haven't attended in a long time and trying to get in touch with them during office hours when problems arose. That can be tricky if there is a significant time difference.

Apart from that I was able to do everything by email or fax so it all went very smoothly. Just make sure you have and a working phone number (if you won't just make sure they know because some schools like HLS will want to call you).

Waiting is truly the worst part. You will see people on here talking about getting their letters and you'll get anxious and nervous but you'll be stuck waiting a couple more weeks for yours. You could just send everything to your parents address and have them tell you though if you are only there for a short time. Most of my schools have notified me by email though.


Taking care of your transcripts and LORs before you leave is TCR.

I applied while in Asia as well, and things went very smoothly for me. The two things that helped me out were: getting a Google Voice number, and listing my boyfriend's address as my mailing address (your parents' address would work equally well). I would also recommend buying a Magic Jack before you leave -- it's a USB device that plugs into your computer and allows you to make phone calls from abroad as if you were in the United States. Have your Google Voice number forward to your Magic Jack, and you should be able to receive calls (especially for schools that usually call for acceptance decisions) without a hitch. Be sure to list your Google Voice number as your phone number on your application, though.

As for interviews, inquire with each school if (1) a phone interview can be done instead or (2) if it is an alumni interview, if there by chance happen to be alumni in the country you are traveling to (this may be highly unlikely, but worth asking anyway).

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parker09
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Re: Applying to Law School from abroad

Postby parker09 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:37 am

Applying itself from abroad is not a problem; hearing back is kind of a pain. Sounds like you'll just be applying from abroad and will be back in the US in time for the decisions?

Definitely yes on the LORs - I had these taken care of before I left, and I'm glad I did. You have to sign (unless you're not waiving your right to read the LOR, which I don't think is recommended) the LSAC LOR form you give your recommender, and it's just easier to be able to hand it to them in person or snail mail it in the US with a fairly reliable postal system. You've also already taken the LSAT (awesome score, btw! I'm totally jealous) so you don't have to worry about that either.

Northwestern pretty much requires an interview, which I wasn't able to do (and am on "hold" so who knows how much it actually affected it), but people are able to get in without one.

I didn't find that I needed a phone #. While a lot of schools call their acceptees, if they can't reach you or you have an international #, for the most part they'll just email you instead.

The most irritating part has been getting snail-mailed decisions and the admit packets and other follow-up material. However - are you only abroad for a semester, through December-ish? If so, then you may not have to worry about the whole "which address to put down" thing - just put down your parents or someone in the US for "current address," and collect it when you get back and tell the school your new address. While lots of schools send decisions electronically, some of them don't, and even if they do, waiting the extra 3-10 weeks for the packet itself is kind of a pain.

(If you ARE gone through like March or April, then you'll have to decide whether you want to wait those extra weeks, or have stuff sent to a US address and just miss the thrill of reading the letters/brochures/shiny stuff yourself... I think most people choose the more instantly gratifying route, but I like having all my materials in front of me.)

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Applying to Law School from abroad

Postby Holly Golightly » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:44 am

Everything takes longer and it's a bit of a pain in the ass, but other than that no biggie. To echo what others have said, try to get your LORs and transcripts taken care of before you leave and you'll be fine. Also, if you're interested in NU, see if you can interview before you leave if they don't have an alum in your area who can interview you (which I would assume they don't).

Zara
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Re: Applying to Law School from abroad

Postby Zara » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:35 am

I got into Northwestern with no problem without doing the interview. I just marked on my application that I would not be doing one. So I wouldn't worry about it, especially with an LSAT as high as yours. You are basically an auto-admit there if your GPA is good. With that score though you do have a great shot at HYS. Unlike Northwestern, you cannot get into Harvard without doing a phone interview. so that is something to consider.

naruhodo
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:55 am

Re: Applying to Law School from abroad

Postby naruhodo » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:39 am

Zara wrote:I got into Northwestern with no problem without doing the interview. I just marked on my application that I would not be doing one. So I wouldn't worry about it, especially with an LSAT as high as yours. You are basically an auto-admit there if your GPA is good. With that score though you do have a great shot at HYS. Unlike Northwestern, you cannot get into without doing a phone interview. so that is something to consider.


If you get invited for a JR1 and do not have access to a U.S. number, the HLS admissions office can reimburse you for the international long-distance charges you incur.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Applying to Law School from abroad

Postby Holly Golightly » Mon Mar 15, 2010 8:31 am

re: phone calls to the U.S., Skype is the only way to go. I pay less than $5/month for unlimited calls to the U.S.

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laurathenerd
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Re: Applying to Law School from abroad

Postby laurathenerd » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:50 am

I had everything mailed to my parents' house, and left a voice mail message on my answering machine that I was out of the country and wouldn't be able to respond to phone calls or check my voice mail (this was before the days of Google voice). My mom scanned in all the mail I received and took care of mailing in all the stuff I needed. It's really not that complicated. I would definitely get LORs and everything else in before you leave, just to make it easier on yourself, because seriously, who wants to spend time doing all the law school application stuff when you're in a foreign country?

naruhodo
Posts: 55
Joined: Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:55 am

Re: Applying to Law School from abroad

Postby naruhodo » Mon Mar 15, 2010 6:55 pm

laurathenerd wrote:who wants to spend time doing all the law school application stuff when you're in a foreign country?


TITCR. If at all possible, get EVERYTHING done before you leave. There'll be a million other things you'd rather do in a foreign country than sit in front of your computer editing your essays.

dadengcrew
Posts: 33
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Re: Applying to Law School from abroad

Postby dadengcrew » Mon Mar 15, 2010 7:58 pm

Thanks for the considered replies guys.

I'm going to be in Kathmandu next semester, which doesn't really have stable power 24 hours a day. Has anybody applied to law school in a developing country?




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