Worth applying now if I plan to defer for 1-2 years?

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ut_89
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Worth applying now if I plan to defer for 1-2 years?

Postby ut_89 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:00 pm

With my financial situation coming out of undergrad, I plan to work for 1-2 years before going to law school. Would it be a good idea to apply this year and defer? Or should I wait until I'm actually ready to enroll?

One more question. The options I have for after I graduate are Teach for America, Army OCS, work as a journalist or work for a presidential campaign. Would any of those boost my law school application significantly?

Thanks in advance.

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2ofspades
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Re: Worth applying now if I plan to defer for 1-2 years?

Postby 2ofspades » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:43 pm

I'm a deferred admit myself, so I can speak from my experience - but you'll need to check the details with individual schools.

With the exception of waitlist deferrals, you're not going to be offered a deferral unless you've already decided on a time-bound opportunity you want take advantage of after college. There are two elements to that: you have to already have decided what you will be doing, and it has to have an end date within 1 or 2 years. So, Teach For America or working on a campaign are great examples of a reason to defer, but something without an end date - like taking an ongoing job as a journalist - is not.

Keep in mind two things... First, deferrals are binding at most schools, so you have to be sure you are accepting an offer from your first-choice school. Second, your financial aid package won't be fully determined until the application cycle immediately preceding the year you matriculate.

Now all that said, it doesn't sound to me as though deferring is the best choice for you. Deferrals are generally granted only when an admissions dean is already sure that the applicant would get an offer in the year of entry for which the deferral is requested. So the only advantage to you is peace of mind over the next 1-2 years. That said, there's a downside - all of the opportunities you've mentioned would strengthen your application, and 1-2 years from now you might get into a better school than the best one that will offer you a deferral this year. So, again, don't defer anywhere except at your first-choice school.

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capitalacq
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Re: Worth applying now if I plan to defer for 1-2 years?

Postby capitalacq » Sun Aug 22, 2010 9:24 pm

ut_89 wrote:With my financial situation coming out of undergrad, I plan to work for 1-2 years before going to law school. Would it be a good idea to apply this year and defer? Or should I wait until I'm actually ready to enroll?

One more question. The options I have for after I graduate are Teach for America, Army OCS, work as a journalist or work for a presidential campaign. Would any of those boost my law school application significantly?

Thanks in advance.


take LSAT now, get academic LORs now, work out PS draft now, apply later.

None would really boost your app significantly enough that it should affect your decision. However, TFA may save you some money on app fees and qualify you for TFA scholarships at certain schools

ut_89
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Re: Worth applying now if I plan to defer for 1-2 years?

Postby ut_89 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:00 pm

Teach For America or working on a campaign are great examples of a reason to defer, but something without an end date - like taking an ongoing job as a journalist - is not.

Keep in mind two things... First, deferrals are binding at most schools, so you have to be sure you are accepting an offer from your first-choice school. Second, your financial aid package won't be fully determined until the application cycle immediately preceding the year you matriculate.


Great advice. I probably should have known but I didn't realize that deferrals were usually binding. With that in mind, I'll narrow down my list of schools, which in no order is Vandy, Georgia, Emory, North Carolina, Indiana and Washington U (MO), and apply to whatever I decide is my top choice.

I'm very drawn to TFA and I already know I'll have opportunities with at least two campaigns so I'll focus my attention on those jobs if I get accepted to my top choice and still want to defer.

take LSAT now, get academic LORs now, work out PS draft now, apply later.


I've been studying for the LSAT and will probably take in November/December, then I'll add the LORs and the personal statement. You're right that LORs would be a pain to deal with after moving out of town.

acrossthelake
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Re: Worth applying now if I plan to defer for 1-2 years?

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:09 pm

Why not wait until those things being on your resume could actually help you out with admissions? With TFA I believe there are actual scholarships offered specifically for corps members--but I don't think you can get it if you do it via the deferred route.

ut_89
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Re: Worth applying now if I plan to defer for 1-2 years?

Postby ut_89 » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:55 pm

Why not wait until those things being on your resume could actually help you out with admissions?


So of the choices I'll likely have (TFA, Army OCS and presidential campaign staffer) which do you think would boost my law school application the most? The answer to that question won't make me choose one or the other but I'm curious if any of those choices could knock me up significantly.

acrossthelake
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Re: Worth applying now if I plan to defer for 1-2 years?

Postby acrossthelake » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:59 pm

ut_89 wrote:
Why not wait until those things being on your resume could actually help you out with admissions?


So of the choices I'll likely have (TFA, Army OCS and presidential campaign staffer) which do you think would boost my law school application the most? The answer to that question won't make me choose one or the other but I'm curious if any of those choices could knock me up significantly.


I have no idea. Why are you so sure you'll nab them? TFA is rather competitive.

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capitalacq
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Re: Worth applying now if I plan to defer for 1-2 years?

Postby capitalacq » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:01 am

ut_89 wrote:
Why not wait until those things being on your resume could actually help you out with admissions?


So of the choices I'll likely have (TFA, Army OCS and presidential campaign staffer) which do you think would boost my law school application the most? The answer to that question won't make me choose one or the other but I'm curious if any of those choices could knock me up significantly.

From reading TLS and seeing how people fared with these experiences, none will knock you up significantly.

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jayn3
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Re: Worth applying now if I plan to defer for 1-2 years?

Postby jayn3 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:05 am

capitalacq wrote:
ut_89 wrote:
Why not wait until those things being on your resume could actually help you out with admissions?


So of the choices I'll likely have (TFA, Army OCS and presidential campaign staffer) which do you think would boost my law school application the most? The answer to that question won't make me choose one or the other but I'm curious if any of those choices could knock me up significantly.

From reading TLS and seeing how people fared with these experiences, none will knock you up significantly.

fortunately, the desperate and lonely 1Ls on tls are more than willing.

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2ofspades
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Re: Worth applying now if I plan to defer for 1-2 years?

Postby 2ofspades » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:07 am

ut_89 wrote:So of the choices I'll likely have (TFA, Army OCS and presidential campaign staffer) which do you think would boost my law school application the most? The answer to that question won't make me choose one or the other but I'm curious if any of those choices could knock me up significantly.

Good. The point is that you should do whichever you will find most fulfilling and whatever interests you most. This is the same as all the undergrads asking what to major in - just follow your interests and be successful at what you do.

ut_89
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Re: Worth applying now if I plan to defer for 1-2 years?

Postby ut_89 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:26 am

Why are you so sure you'll nab them? TFA is rather competitive.


I spoke with a recruiter last year and the impression he left me with is that I have an extremely good chance because of my background, work/volunteer experience during college and because the elementary school I went to is taking TFA teachers for the first time in '11. Maybe I'm being arrogant and counting it too soon. Hopefully not. I would love to help out at a school where a difference can really be made, especially if it works out for me to teach at the school I went to.

From reading TLS and seeing how people fared with these experiences, none will knock you up significantly.


That's what I would have guessed, didn't hurt to ask though. In any case, I plan on making the decision without LS in the front of my mind.

Pip
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Re: Worth applying now if I plan to defer for 1-2 years?

Postby Pip » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:42 am

Take everything a recruiter says with a grain of salt. Recruiters are like car salesmen, they tell you what they think you want to hear to make you happy and hopefully apply. In a situation like you describe the question you need to ask is whether the recruiter is actually making decisions or just drumming up apps. I'm betting his/her job was to drum up apps.

I can speak from my experience with getting a deferral... I applied as if I were going to school... after I was accepted something came up and I requested a deferral.. it was given with little information asked for or given. Was almost as if it were just a normal administrative process. So the school are all going to differ on those....

I would suggest that it would be better to wait to apply until you plan on going... you might find that you don't want to go to law school, you might find that you enjoy doing whatever it is you do after undergrad more than you expect and will find yourself doing it forever, in which case all the money spent on applications to law school would be wasted.... you might also find that after you work somewhere for a couple of years that the person you are working for would give a much better LOR than any old professor you had so why apply now? You really never gave a reason why you would want to apply now if you aren't going to go now. I understand things pop up that require a delay but you aren't giving any compelling reason for your course of action. It looks more like you are one of those people that just like to plan out things way in advance.

ut_89
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Re: Worth applying now if I plan to defer for 1-2 years?

Postby ut_89 » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:09 pm

It looks more like you are one of those people that just like to plan out things way in advance.


Is that you, Dad? lol that line couldn't be more true. Beyond the fact that I tend to think ahead (sometimes too far ahead) I was considering applying now with the thought that this admissions cycle might be easier than future ones and that if I got into a top ten school (really only YHSCCN) that it might be worth enrolling in '11 instead of waiting.

The main reason I'm not giving more thought to enrolling in '11 is that I would like to get my UG debt paid off even though it's not too much and have some money saved up before starting law school.

I'm pretty well sold on having a career in law, likely public interest, but it is true that I might enjoy whatever job I take after I finish undergrad and go with that instead. Who really knows?

Recruiters are like car salesmen...


This was one of the people at TFA who's involved in the hiring process and not so much in recruiting applications. So again, hopefully I'm not counting too much on what they told me. I guess I'll find out soon!

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2ofspades
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Re: Worth applying now if I plan to defer for 1-2 years?

Postby 2ofspades » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:29 pm

ut_89 wrote:The main reason I'm not giving more thought to enrolling in '11 is that I would like to get my UG debt paid off even though it's not too much and have some money saved up before starting law school.

I'm pretty well sold on having a career in law, likely public interest, but it is true that I might enjoy whatever job I take after I finish undergrad and go with that instead. Who really knows?

If that's your only reason for deferring or applying in a later cycle, I'd just go to law school now. If it was credit card debt, then yes, pay it off now...but lots of people go to law school with some existing educational loans (I will be one of them), and it's really quite normal. Try to focus on what you want to do, and if you do feel sold on going to law school, then just go.




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