military before law school?

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kalel
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military before law school?

Postby kalel » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:49 pm

ok so if i do 4 years in the army after my bachelor's degree, will that hurt my admission chances to law school? particularly harvard, yale, and stanford? plus i'll be 26, will than be to old for HYS? thanks


edit:
also when should i take the LSAT? after my four years in the military, or after my undergrad degree? thanks

xyzzzzzzzz
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Re: military before law school?

Postby xyzzzzzzzz » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:52 pm

.
Last edited by xyzzzzzzzz on Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jhare
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Re: military before law school?

Postby jhare » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:56 pm

This is what I'm doing. I'm 22 and graduated from undergrad this past December. I was planning on going to law school this next fall, to the point that I had a lot of applications in and was excited to go. But then I got off the Waitlist at two schools I never thought I'd be able to go to (Duke/Virginia) and realized that I shouldn't settle for a T2 just because it was cheaper. So long story short, I decided to join this Army. I Leave Oct. 5 for training and I will be in for 3.5 years, just in time to start law school in 2014, when I will be 26.

to answer your question, I don't think it's a bad decision to do something before law school. The avg age for most law schools I believe is somewhere between 24-26 anyway. It may not give you that much of a boost in admissions, but it definitely won't hurt.

If you have anymore questions let me know.

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casper13
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Re: military before law school?

Postby casper13 » Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:59 pm

Just make sure you stick to your plan because a lot of times people join military and get sucked into the stable paycheck and the easy job it is for some. If you do 4 years and then get out youll have a pretty good GI Bill benefit for law school. Just dont knock a girl up or get married to some chick right outside of post or that is in already. And enjoy the ride. Good thing is you could probably get a good car and have it paid off before you get out and you will probably see at least one deployment so youll have some cash to save or even invest for yourself to have when you go to law school.

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kalvano
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Re: military before law school?

Postby kalvano » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:03 am

Killing terrorists looks good on a resume.

jchb6d
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Re: military before law school?

Postby jchb6d » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:18 am

Depends what your job will be.

I served 4 years in the Army after undergrad. Planned on it being a career, but it didn't turn out to be for many reasons.

OP didn't say how old he is now. My suggestion is actually to take the LSAT early on. The military has a way of sucking up your life. There is a lot of downtime when you're deployed, but you can't really count on any kind of a set schedule. You can't really count on getting hour-long blocks set aside for quiet study. If you're going to be working on practice tests in 15-minute increments, you might as well not do it at all. Schedule's almost just as bad stateside.

I don't know that HYS will give you a significant boost for military service. The Post-9/11 GI Bill is such an enticing program that you actually have a lot of competition now, whereas a few years ago most people stayed in because the difference between active duty pay and the Montgomery GI Bill was so big, veterans might've been a novelty.

Anyway, the bottom line is really that you should serve because you actually want to, not because it's going to look good on a future application. I'm not trying for a "country/duty first" thing here. There are a lot better ways, application-wise, to spend four years than to be stuck in some hut in a desert. It's not really the maturing and enriching experience it's made out to be.

sharpnsmooth
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Re: military before law school?

Postby sharpnsmooth » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:27 am

kalel wrote:ok so if i do 4 years in the army after my bachelor's degree, will that hurt my admission chances to law school? particularly harvard, yale, and stanford? plus i'll be 26, will than be to old for HYS? thanks


edit:
also when should i take the LSAT? after my four years in the military, or after my undergrad degree? thanks


I am first starting my apps now, so in anything non LSAT related, my knowledge is at best amateur. This said, a lot of schools seem to ask if you've been discharged for dishonorable reasons, and I'm guessing this would be a big negative in the law school admissions process. If one joined the military, I would bare in mind that while one could gain a lot, one would have more to lose than the average GI who does not intend to go into a profession like law.

Pending your service being good, as a lawyer, aren't we fighting to uphold the constitution? As a GI, you would technically be fighting for there to be a stable and secure enough country for there to be a constitution. I would imagine this would be very well respected, however there are risks, some of which are out of your control: PTSD (very common in soldiers) and would definitely impact your ability to succeed in law school especially, and physical injury.

I disagree with the previous poster warning you not to knock up anybody. It is far more likely that would happen if you work a full time job in America where you will actually be able to meet women to knock up.

As for age... it is against the Civil Rights Act for them to not take you based on age, and they seem to all want diversity and maturity as the first modernizes the campus and the second predicts good academic standing. You'd seem to have more of both than you would now.

jhare
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Re: military before law school?

Postby jhare » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:35 am

jchb6d wrote:Depends what your job will be.

I served 4 years in the Army after undergrad. Planned on it being a career, but it didn't turn out to be for many reasons.

OP didn't say how old he is now.


He said he'd be 26 when he got out of military, so let's guess he's 22...

jchb6d wrote: My suggestion is actually to take the LSAT early on. The military has a way of sucking up your life. There is a lot of downtime when you're deployed, but you can't really count on any kind of a set schedule. You can't really count on getting hour-long blocks set aside for quiet study. If you're going to be working on practice tests in 15-minute increments, you might as well not do it at all. Schedule's almost just as bad stateside.


That's assuming he won't have down time between getting out of the military and starting law school. My commitment is 3.5 years, which means I'll have at least a few months to study for the LSAT if I choose to. You're right though, he should seriously consider how much time he's going to need to study for that damned test.


jchb6d wrote: I don't know that HYS will give you a significant boost for military service. The Post-9/11 GI Bill is such an enticing program that you actually have a lot of competition now, whereas a few years ago most people stayed in because the difference between active duty pay and the Montgomery GI Bill was so big, veterans might've been a novelty.


That's may be true for Undergrad colleges, but if you look at statistics, prior military service is still a novelty for law school, and several other grad schools for that matter. There are tons more people clamoring to get in the military now than before though, you're right about that, partly because of the economy and also because of the terrific new gi bill.

jchb6d wrote: Anyway, the bottom line is really that you should serve because you actually want to, not because it's going to look good on a future application. I'm not trying for a "country/duty first" thing here. There are a lot better ways, application-wise, to spend four years than to be stuck in some hut in a desert. It's not really the maturing and enriching experience it's made out to be.


Another reason for joining is because you just can't afford law school without a third party helping you pay for it. That's ultimately where the decision came down to for me. To support my wife and child during three years at Duke or Virginia would come out to 200k in student loans, which is not realistic. At least this way I have two options: 1. if I like the military I can try my hardest to enter the JAG program in which I'd be able to make a career out of the military and be an attorney. or 2. I could serve my commitment to the military and my country and when I get out take advantage of the gi bill which will bring my debt down from 200k to less than 75k.

And I sincerely thank you very much for your service. Me and my family thank you for it.

sharpnsmooth
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Re: military before law school?

Postby sharpnsmooth » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:50 am

kalvano wrote:Killing terrorists looks good on a resume.


On this note, and this doesn't apply to me but I'm curious, how would serving the military of other countries look to law schools. I would imagine most every South Korean and Israeli applicant has military experience... would law schools really favor serving one country over another, or is it the principle of having the experience?

OIF2LAW
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Re: military before law school?

Postby OIF2LAW » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:02 am

I pretty much copied this from my post in a previous thread, if you have any additional questions hit me up on --LinkRemoved--

This represents one of the routes you can pursue to become a lawyer with military experience. IMO, this is the most ideal route. For the record, most of my peers agree.

If you join the military as a "College-Op," you will go through basic as an E-4, Officer Candidate School as an E-5, and commission as a Cherry (2LT). This is advantageous because you will be 100% eligible for the post-911 GI Bill. Your talking a 3 year contract from the day you commission though. This is the route I went, and I wouldn't change a thing about it.

I will be leaving the Army as a CPT next month to attend law school. My GI Bill covers 100% of my tuition and I own a condo in Hawaii courtesy of a VA Loan. Yes, that means I will graduate with ZERO debt.

Additionally, I signed up for two years stabilization (guaranteed not to deploy) in the Army Reserves. After that, it is entirely up to me which career path I pursue. I could always go back on active duty or just bid farewell with the fondest of memories. What is most important is that the decision is MINE to make. I preach to all of my Soldiers that the best path in the military is the one that gives you the most amount of options (in other words, least amount of service time obligations). You can always tack on more years, but as for shaving off time....

motiontodismiss
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Re: military before law school?

Postby motiontodismiss » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:52 am

sharpnsmooth wrote:
kalvano wrote:Killing terrorists looks good on a resume.


On this note, and this doesn't apply to me but I'm curious, how would serving the military of other countries look to law schools. I would imagine most every South Korean and Israeli applicant has military experience... would law schools really favor serving one country over another, or is it the principle of having the experience?


It would be unreasonable for a law school to penalize the applicant if the applicant was conscripted under threat of imprisonment. For the record I vehemently oppose any forms of conscription but that's another discussion.

We don't penalize applicants for being Iranian either. I don't see any reason they would just because some whackjob government believes in slavery.
Last edited by motiontodismiss on Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

JOThompson
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Re: military before law school?

Postby JOThompson » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:01 am

Pending your service being good, as a lawyer, aren't we fighting to uphold the constitution? As a GI, you would technically be fighting for there to be a stable and secure enough country for there to be a constitution.

The US constitution, yes. Not necessarily the constitution of foreign countries.

OP: I also gave a military career much thought but I ultimately decided I wanted to be a lawyer first. There are numerous benefits as a military officer, but make sure you're commissioning for the right reasons, not just because military service is a good soft.

OIF2LAW
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Re: military before law school?

Postby OIF2LAW » Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:47 am

JOThompson wrote:
OP: I also gave a military career much thought but I ultimately decided I wanted to be a lawyer first. There are numerous benefits as a military officer, but make sure you're commissioning for the right reasons, not just because military service is a good soft.


+1
This would be a terrible course of action to undertake

sharpnsmooth
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Re: military before law school?

Postby sharpnsmooth » Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:38 pm

OIF2LAW wrote:
JOThompson wrote:
OP: I also gave a military career much thought but I ultimately decided I wanted to be a lawyer first. There are numerous benefits as a military officer, but make sure you're commissioning for the right reasons, not just because military service is a good soft.


+1
This would be a terrible course of action to undertake


unless you're already at around 170, i feel like improving your LSAT score 5 points would be a lot easier than joining the military for 4 years.

it's actually a shame that military service isn't a better valued soft by American law schools, and various other professions. I know in Iran, for instance, military service is a guaranteed path up the social status ladder, and it seems logical to argue that if America adapted a similar mentality, our military would be better.

in all, it seems like the only reason to join the military is because you believe in fighting for your country. the payment stories are great, namely about how the government took care of you, but it's also possible you could have saved more money working another job. I just don't find people commemorate our troops for the most part as they did in generations past or in the countries of our enemies today.

motiontodismiss
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Re: military before law school?

Postby motiontodismiss » Wed Jun 09, 2010 1:01 pm

sharpnsmooth wrote:
OIF2LAW wrote:
JOThompson wrote:
OP: I also gave a military career much thought but I ultimately decided I wanted to be a lawyer first. There are numerous benefits as a military officer, but make sure you're commissioning for the right reasons, not just because military service is a good soft.


+1
This would be a terrible course of action to undertake


unless you're already at around 170, i feel like improving your LSAT score 5 points would be a lot easier than joining the military for 4 years.

it's actually a shame that military service isn't a better valued soft by American law schools, and various other professions. I know in Iran, for instance, military service is a guaranteed path up the social status ladder, and it seems logical to argue that if America adapted a similar mentality, our military would be better.

in all, it seems like the only reason to join the military is because you believe in fighting for your country. the payment stories are great, namely about how the government took care of you, but it's also possible you could have saved more money working another job. I just don't find people commemorate our troops for the most part as they did in generations past or in the countries of our enemies today.


I consider this a good thing. It's becoming socially less acceptable to send people to a foreign country to die against their will.

kalel
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Postby kalel » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:16 pm

thanks everyone!

WhydidntItry
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Re: military before law school?

Postby WhydidntItry » Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:46 am

Question from a soldier currently deployed... I'm national guard, but I am deployed right now for OIF. I am a paralegal in the JAG Corps. Does the working as a paralegal help any extra as a soft on top of the military experience?

OIF2LAW
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Re: military before law school?

Postby OIF2LAW » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:28 pm

WhydidntItry wrote:Question from a soldier currently deployed... I'm national guard, but I am deployed right now for OIF. I am a paralegal in the JAG Corps. Does the working as a paralegal help any extra as a soft on top of the military experience?


It can't hurt, but don't get too caught up on softs. I was very surprised how little they play into the grand scheme of things. It's all about GPA and LSAT

bigben
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Re: military before law school?

Postby bigben » Fri Jun 18, 2010 8:36 pm

OIF2LAW wrote:
WhydidntItry wrote:Question from a soldier currently deployed... I'm national guard, but I am deployed right now for OIF. I am a paralegal in the JAG Corps. Does the working as a paralegal help any extra as a soft on top of the military experience?


It can't hurt, but don't get too caught up on softs. I was very surprised how little they play into the grand scheme of things. It's all about GPA and LSAT


It may not matter much for LS admissions, but it matters a lot "in the grand scheme of things." Military folks tend to do extremely well in the interviewing/hiring process.

OP: certainly won't hurt you in admissions, will actually help somewhat. Not sure how much. I remember hearing that HLS sets aside a substantial number of seats and scholarships for military people.

superjake
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Re: military before law school?

Postby superjake » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:00 pm

I think it is a good idea in order to keep you disciplined. Unlike the common perception that military high schools will assure you a slot in a military academy, the reality is that not all students in military boarding schools go on to become servicemen. Military academies give equal opportunity for admission to deserving students from other private and public high schools.
Last edited by superjake on Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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DeeCee
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Re: military before law school?

Postby DeeCee » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:01 pm

.

privatemf
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Re: military before law school?

Postby privatemf » Fri Apr 15, 2011 7:56 am

I think that if you are able to become an officer you are definately on the right path, if you are unable to become an officer and you have to do enlisted I would considered the things everyone told you. I was enlisted and there are a lot of things you can do in the service to boost your resume and I would definately push for a job in adminstrative and legal. If you are enlisted Navy you would have to become a Yeoman and then become a legalman. Which takes about 8-10 years to do. The service is a hard place right now. They are trying to downsize and they really take away your life. You are in a different and when it is over, it seems sereal. People that I know that have retired, gotten out, etc have felt as if something was taken away. I think it is honorable to devote yourself to the service but have a plan. FROM DAY ONE! I didn't have big goals but edcuation was one of them. I stayed the course in my education and I left with a Master's Degree. I started with 30 college credits towards an Associates. If I could do it all over again, I would have aligned my goals to Law School and worked on the GPA and the LSAT and I would have placed myself in a position that would have been given me an advantage in the legal field.

Have a plan and learn about what they have to offer. Save money, the Navy has tons of resources for school but if you are enlisted they are now making it harder for to utilize. The 9-11 GI Bill isn't bad and the GI Bill 2.0 is being redesigned with new options. I wish you luck in your decision.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: military before law school?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 8:40 am

Hey I'm not sure why all of these guys are saying military service isn't a great soft. Look at my profile. I got in to Yale and Harvard but my numbers don't seem to say I would. The same goes for my three of my buddies who are going to law school all four of us out performed are numbers (no matter if they are URM) or not. But too be fair my friends are a little high speed as well. We all wanted to join the military not for softs or the GI Bill but because of civic duty. All four of us have been deployed multiple times, all four of us have went to specialized advanced schools (rangers, pathfinders, sapper, etc.), three of us are airborne, three of us have CABs, and two of us have bronze stars. I say of you go to the military give it all you have and you can get something great out of it. I loved my time in but I always knew I wanted to be a lawyer long term. So if you do too don't get distracted. Don't get someone pregnant or marry the first Korean or German girl you meet outside of the gate. Concentrate on work and school. Get a masters while you're in. The military paid for mine.

P.s. I know some people said you have to be an officer but I don't agree. Even though I had a degree I came in enlisted (i personally didn't want to lead troops until I knew what being a troop was about) and I don't think it hurt me one bit.

Edit. I know people don't talk about this but also understand you can die. Even as a paralegal or admin guy. Last time my division deployed we lost 89 Soldiers and I'm sure none of them thought they'd be the one to go. Some were officers some were enlisted. Some were in their teens and some were about to retire. There were infantry, admin, mechanics and pilot deaths. That doesn't include the hundreds of Soldiers we had injured. If you get a chance volunteer to see the Soldiers at Walter Reed. Many don't have all of their apendages. Then there is the mental anguish that goes along with the job, PTSD, depression increased suicide probability. You might have to kill someone can you live with that? I'm not telling you not to join but many people have this idealized view of the military. And while people do skate through and never do anything closely combat related, many people find themselves in situations they never thought they'd be in. Just be sure when you join that's what you want to do.

hasmith
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Re: military before law school?

Postby hasmith » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:12 am

unc0mm0n1 wrote:Hey I'm not sure why all of these guys are saying military service isn't a great soft. Look at my profile. I got in to Yale and Harvard but my numbers don't seem to say I would. The same goes for my three of my buddies who are going to law school all four of us out performed are numbers (no matter if they are URM) or not.


It was not your military experience that got you into Harvard or Yale. I had better numbers and military experience - did not come close to Harvard or Yale.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: military before law school?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Fri Apr 15, 2011 9:17 am

hasmith wrote:
unc0mm0n1 wrote:Hey I'm not sure why all of these guys are saying military service isn't a great soft. Look at my profile. I got in to Yale and Harvard but my numbers don't seem to say I would. The same goes for my three of my buddies who are going to law school all four of us out performed are numbers (no matter if they are URM) or not.


It was not your military experience that got you into Harvard or Yale. I had better numbers and military experience - did not come close to Harvard or Yale.


What was it then? Let me guess it was bring a URM? So why didnt every URM with my numbers get in? I don't care what you think actually but I have white military friends who also outperformed their numbers just take some time and look through lsn and see some of the military cycles.

Edit before this turns into a URM debate. Of course I got a boost but other candidates with my numbers didn't get in. When I spoke with JR he specifically talked about my military past. I think it makes a difference. If you disagree then we just have to agree to disagree.
Last edited by unc0mm0n1 on Sun May 22, 2011 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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