Law School Insight

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Grownup
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Law School Insight

Postby Grownup » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:54 pm

Hi,
I just discovered this forum and think it is really cool. I am undecided on if I should even attempt to get into law school. Here is a little background on me. I am a 27 y/o white male, veteran of the USMC, married with one child, I attend a small university here in Alabama that is mostly at night, I work a 40+ hour a week job and I have a 3.86 GPA with a major in History and a minor in poli sci. I have had to take a couple of classes over due to having FA as my grade. I have one more to take and my GPA will be a 4.0. I have taken the practice LSAT and my average score is a 168 ( I took it 10 times, with a high score of 176). My credit history is a little shaky. Is that a big deciding factor in the admissions process or is it not that big a deal. Any insight or opinion will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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manbearwig
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby manbearwig » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:08 pm

Grownup wrote:Hi,
I just discovered this forum and think it is really cool. I am undecided on if I should even attempt to get into law school. Here is a little background on me. I am a 27 y/o white male, veteran of the USMC, married with one child, I attend a small university here in Alabama that is mostly at night, I work a 40+ hour a week job and I have a 3.86 GPA with a major in History and a minor in poli sci. I have had to take a couple of classes over due to having FA as my grade. I have one more to take and my GPA will be a 4.0. I have taken the practice LSAT and my average score is a 168 ( I took it 10 times, with a high score of 176). My credit history is a little shaky. Is that a big deciding factor in the admissions process or is it not that big a deal. Any insight or opinion will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.


As long as it's not shaky due to anything illegal, it won't matter at all. The only thing I could see it affecting is possibly getting the loans for paying for law school.

Also, what does FA mean as a grade? Do you mean you failed and retook? Because if that's the case, even if your university lets you retake, thus ignoring the first grade, LSAC won't and it will affect your gpa.

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luhrenzo
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby luhrenzo » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:11 pm

Grownup wrote:Hi,
I just discovered this forum and think it is really cool. I am undecided on if I should even attempt to get into law school. Here is a little background on me. I am a 27 y/o white male, veteran of the USMC, married with one child, I attend a small university here in Alabama that is mostly at night, I work a 40+ hour a week job and I have a 3.86 GPA with a major in History and a minor in poli sci. I have had to take a couple of classes over due to having FA as my grade. I have one more to take and my GPA will be a 4.0. I have taken the practice LSAT and my average score is a 168 ( I took it 10 times, with a high score of 176). My credit history is a little shaky. Is that a big deciding factor in the admissions process or is it not that big a deal. Any insight or opinion will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.


your credit history will not make any difference. sounds like you are certainly qualified and its really just a personal decision as to whether or not you want to be a lawyer now.

Grownup
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:44 pm

Re: Law School Insight

Postby Grownup » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:18 pm

Thanks for your responses. It is really encouraging.

Mr. Pablo
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby Mr. Pablo » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:21 pm

1) Thank you for serving.
2) Your credit history will not factor into your admissions. It may hamper your ability to get GradPlus loans, so you might have to get a co-signer for them (if you need that type of loan, look at the financial aid part of the forum, and on LS websites for more info on this)
3) You have a great GPA, no real worries there
4) Nail the LSAT. This will determine where you could reasonably think about gaining admission.
5) Some terminology:
TTT- Third Tier Toilet, derogatory term for lower ranked schools (those in the third and fourth tiers according to USNWR) and is often used for schools all the way up to Stanford and Harvard, but almost never Yale. Somehow writing GeorgeTTTown doesn't get old? I don't know
6)Nail the LSAT.

Grownup
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby Grownup » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:22 pm

manbearwig wrote:
Grownup wrote:Also, what does FA mean as a grade? Do you mean you failed and retook? Because if that's the case, even if your university lets you retake, thus ignoring the first grade, LSAC won't and it will affect your gpa.

FA is failure due to absence.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby blsingindisguise » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:25 pm

Yeah man, your background and family history show that you have the discipline and maturity for law school, and your numbers are good enough to go somewhere good. Employers will probably like your background too. Just a matter of whether you want to be a lawyer.

Do you want to stay in Alabama? Your state school is very good and probably places great in the region with so little competition. I'm guessing you could get good scholarship money and possibly even go to school for free. I'm also guessing Alabama firms don't work you to the bone the way NYC firms do. I.e. you sound like you're in a good position. Good luck.

viking138
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby viking138 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:29 pm

If the failure is punitive (and it sounds like it is) that grade will unfortunately be calculated into your LSAC GPA. This sucks but since you have a high GPA it shouldn't kill you. However it does mean that the LSAT will become even more important for you.

Where you should go to law school really depends on your goals for getting a JD. What are they?

Grownup
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby Grownup » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:50 pm

I would like to stay in Alabama, but if I could get in to a "better school" I would. If they count an FA against me then I will do good to get into an unaccredited school, that really sucks. I have to speak to the dean about getting that removed. I guess making a 180 is always an option ;)

Grownup
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby Grownup » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:55 pm

I just want to have a small practice and help out in the community. I have no desire to be a "big shot" lawyer. If I can help the people in my community, it is fairly rural and mostly poor, and make a good living for my family I will be happy.

blsingindisguise
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby blsingindisguise » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:16 am

I don't necessarily see a reason for you to go to a "better" school unless it's Harvard, Yale or Stanford - a serious possibility with a 172+ but probably not with a 168. Alabama is a great school and it's going to be way more connected in the state than any outside school. If you want to serve your community and your community is poor, you're probably looking at public interest organizations or government or some kind of specialty firm - mostly low paying so you're better off with little debt.

I think the best bet is to talk to people at local law firms or organizations and see what they think is better - an Alabama degree or a top 14 school degree. I mean just even for the sake of the recruiting process if you pretty much only want to work in Alabama, flying back for job interviews all the time is going to be a huge pain and you won't be able to network as much while in school. Not to mention moving your family and all. Go nail that LSAT and see what Alabama offers you. If you get Harvard Yale or Stanford all doors will be open to you but you're still going to have to take on a lot of debt (is there some kind of current bill that gives tuition assistance for people who served?). I guess it'd be cool to be the local boy made good with the Harvard degree, and you'd probably be setting yourself up for an eventual judgeship or something. But I'd imagine U. Alabama offers a lot of opportunity as well.

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flyingpanda
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby flyingpanda » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:23 pm

blsingindisguise wrote:Stuff he said


I'm going to respectfully disagree. Schools in the t-14 offer much more prestige and opportunities. It's sad, but even in public interest and government, where you attend matters.

Also, many of the t-14s have very nice LRAP programs that will help in paying back loans. I think Georgetown in particular has a nice one and OP's numbers seem good for it.

And to grownup, one failed grade isn't going to make a huge difference.

Grownup
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby Grownup » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:04 am

Just an update, but I got some really good news from two private law schools here in Alabama.(Thomas Goode Jones and Cumberland) I was kind of stressing the whole GPA thing so I just called these two schools and their admissions people said that with my background and my GPA after retaking the classes that I should have no problems getting in to some great schools. The LSAT does play a bigger role in the process, but with my personal statement and any other attachments to my application they will most likely overlook it. Thanks to all the people that responded to my post and let me know that "the dream is alive". Good Luck to all of you and see you in court :wink:

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General Tso
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby General Tso » Thu Mar 18, 2010 12:37 am

Grownup wrote:Just an update, but I got some really good news from two private law schools here in Alabama.(Thomas Goode Jones and Cumberland) I was kind of stressing the whole GPA thing so I just called these two schools and their admissions people said that with my background and my GPA after retaking the classes that I should have no problems getting in to some great schools. The LSAT does play a bigger role in the process, but with my personal statement and any other attachments to my application they will most likely overlook it. Thanks to all the people that responded to my post and let me know that "the dream is alive". Good Luck to all of you and see you in court :wink:


flame

who PTs at 168-176 and settles for Cumberland Law? with that GPA/LSAT you are looking at a full ride at many T1s.

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traehekat
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby traehekat » Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:28 am

Grownup wrote:Just an update, but I got some really good news from two private law schools here in Alabama.(Thomas Goode Jones and Cumberland)


Grownup wrote:I have a 3.86 GPA with a major in History and a minor in poli sci. I have one more to take and my GPA will be a 4.0. I have taken the practice LSAT and my average score is a 168 ( I took it 10 times, with a high score of 176).


Um, come again?

blsingindisguise
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby blsingindisguise » Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:26 am

Yeah geez man you need to think bigger - no reason you shouldn't get a decent scholarship from 'Bama and I wouldn't go anywhere less than that.

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Fast_Fingers
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby Fast_Fingers » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:32 am

With an interesting background and solid scores, you can go much higher. Unless you are loathe to leave Alabama, I suggest looking at UT Austin, Vanderbilt, Duke...top 14/20 range. Also apply to Alabama and decide for yourself how much you want to pay for a higher ranking based on the scholarships and overall costs.

Grownup
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby Grownup » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:47 pm

I just wanted to speak to someone with more knowledge on the subject than I have. Not that the people on here aren't great, but I am a little bit OCD and I like get info from people that deal with these issues on a daily basis. I did call Alabama and they were on spring break. If I score >172 I will probably apply to the top three plus Alabama, Vandy, and some other lower ranked schools. With the kind of law I would like to practice Cumberland or Jones would be fine, especially if I can graduate debt free. That being said I am 99.9% sure I will not even apply to those schools unless I really screw up on the LSAT. But thanks for the insight it is appreciated.

Unadilla Kayaker
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Re: Law School Insight

Postby Unadilla Kayaker » Thu Mar 18, 2010 4:56 pm

You hit those scores, Dean Randall at Alabama will throw money at you to come. It'll be a great option to stay in state since you'll have a highly regarded degree but also connections because of it. Fewer connections come with the top 3 degrees if you want to go back to your small town in Alabama.




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