Help me pick my future

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )

Which should I do

1) Attend Texas at sticker this year
15
42%
2) Reapply next year
21
58%
 
Total votes: 36

waitlistking
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:28 pm

Help me pick my future

Postby waitlistking » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:50 pm

So here's the brief rundown, I need help picking one of the two options in the poll.
- 174 LSAT on 1st try, no retakes.
- 3.52 current LSAC GPA w/ 3.95+ last 70 credit hours at generic state school
- GPA after this semester will be 3.6, after summer will be 3.62.
- Current senior but have dropped one required basic study so I can keep bringing LSAC GPA up OR take it online this summer and matriculate to LS in fall
- Solid softs and applied right after Oct. LSAT score release
- No real work experience but start-up company in HS and some other stuff
- Accepted only at UTexas-Austin with zero scholarship
- Waitlisted/held at most of the T-14 even with why statements etc.
- Foreign citizen w/ American Permanent residence
- Have an internship doing good stuff that could become a full time job while doing boosting GPA at undergrad if I do a good job (which I will regardless.) Could probably save up $20k in a year of this job while reapplying.
- no undergrad debt whatsoever
- I am only interested in BigLaw

Here's the kicker that probably explains my predicament:
- About 2 and 1/2 years ago I was arrested and charged with 5 felonies related to selling Marijuana (no weapons, no violence, no theft etc.) 1 and 1/2 years ago as a result of these charges I plead guilty to 1 misdemeanor for possession of Marijuana. Since then I've served on substance abuse committees and done other anti-substance abuse stuff and have had no further problems.

So, naturally I'm going to try to ride out the waitlists and get in somewhere better and also try to negotiate with Texas for scholarships, but in the case that that doesn't go anywhere which of the following options should I choose.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Help me pick my future

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:54 pm

Did any of the 5 charged felonies result in a conviction, deferred prosecution, etc. ? Are you on probation ? If you are applying to law school, I suspect that you must have reached a very sweet plea deal and/or co-operated. If convicted as a "permanent American resident" are you subject to deportation proceedings ? Maybe your "permanent resident" status &/ or drug charges resolution makes you ineligible for US Gov't backed loans & possibly affects your eligibility for scholarship funds.

P.S. Your reluctance to answer the disposition of the five felony charges is understandable, but renders any offered advice somewhat useless as too much will be based on sheer conjecture.

waitlistking
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:28 pm

Re: Help me pick my future

Postby waitlistking » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:32 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Did any of the 5 charged felonies result in a conviction, deferred prosecution, etc. ? Are you on probation ? If you are applying to law school, I suspect that you must have reached a very sweet plea deal and/or co-operated. If convicted as a "permanent American resident" are you subject to deportation proceedings ? Maybe your "permanent resident" status &/ or drug charges resolution makes you ineligible for US Gov't backed loans & possibly affects your eligibility for scholarship funds.

P.S. Your reluctance to answer the disposition of the five felony charges is understandable, but renders any offered advice somewhat useless as too much will be based on sheer conjecture.


The 5 felonies were dismissed and expunged in exchange for me pleading guilty to a new (as in they filed this one when they dismissed the others, no new arrests or anything purely as a part of the plea deal on the original thing) charge of misdemeanor possession of less than 30 grams (they made this charge up for me.) The original charges have been expunged and don't show up on basic police background checks nor paid background checks.

Not subject to deportation because there is a 1 time waiver for less than 30 grams of marijuana. I'm still eligible for federal loans, already checked.
Last edited by waitlistking on Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Longhorn88
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Re: Help me pick my future

Postby Longhorn88 » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:34 pm

Do you want to live in Texas?


ps. we hate immigrants here. sry.

waitlistking
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:28 pm

Re: Help me pick my future

Postby waitlistking » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:07 am

Wouldn't mind living in Texas but am not sure whether BigLaw has mobility internally that would allow me to eventually end up somewhere else? Which I would like to at least have the option of doing.

I actually lived in Texas for a few years, really enjoyed it. Kind of think that's why my app succeeded at UT because I mentioned having lived there.

waitlistking
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:28 pm

Re: Help me pick my future

Postby waitlistking » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:15 am

Also for what it's worth I'm going to email the scholarship people at Texas tomorrow and ask whether the criminal thing precluded my consideration for scholarships or if there was something else at play. If it's something else well at least I have a shot next year but if I've been precluded then I can be fairly confident the case will be the same at other schools this year and next.

Also maybe worth noting that I'm still on probation which I will be done with by the time next app cycle rolls around.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Help me pick my future

Postby BruceWayne » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:18 am

waitlistking wrote:Wouldn't mind living in Texas but am not sure whether BigLaw has mobility internally that would allow me to eventually end up somewhere else? Which I would like to at least have the option of doing.

I actually lived in Texas for a few years, really enjoyed it. Kind of think that's why my app succeeded at UT because I mentioned having lived there.


As questionable as the QOL of good biglaw is, the one definite advantage it seems to provide is that it doesn't close any doors. You wouldn't have to worry about that. If you were to get a firm like Vinson Elkins you wouldn't have to worry about it.

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rman1201
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Re: Help me pick my future

Postby rman1201 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:20 am

I dont really see what benefit waiting a year would have... The only thing holding you back is your record, not #s... And I dont think a year will fix that.

waitlistking
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:28 pm

Re: Help me pick my future

Postby waitlistking » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:24 am

rman1201 wrote:I dont really see what benefit waiting a year would have... The only thing holding you back is your record, not #s... And I dont think a year will fix that.


This is my biggest concern, my GPA won't go up all that much (although it would move above the 25th percentile at several T14's) if I reapply again next year and I'm worried that the extra year really won't count for much and I'll have the exact same outcome at the cost of 1 year.

I'd also considered retaking the LSAT as I could have and should have had 2 less wrong (got lazy and knowingly ignored the don't bring in outside info rule) but the reality is regression to the mean is far too likely to risk this.

ALSO I'm an idiot and didn't apply to Penn nor Michigan this cycle, both of which would have been great options and may have taken me (although my priority reserve waitlist at Duke w/ tons of interest shown makes me think otherwise still.)

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esq
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Re: Help me pick my future

Postby esq » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:35 am

Austin is a great city with a low cost of living, UT is not only nationally competitive but is also by far the best school in Texas, Texas still has - relatively - a solid job market, and you'll be working and making money - ideally - a year earlier than if you put it off. Those are some good reasons to just get in there and knock out your 3 years. Though if you think that you have a chance at getting a significant amount of money (enough to make putting off your career for another year worth it), or upping your LSAT and getting into HYS, then it's your call.

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Longhorn88
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Re: Help me pick my future

Postby Longhorn88 » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:39 am

Nope, Austin is a shithole. We've got one applebees (not even a Chili's) and I hear it's shutting down.


to the original poster:

Image

You do not want to go to UT.

You want to take another year.

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aspire2more
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Re: Help me pick my future

Postby aspire2more » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:42 am

I would have suggested that you wait to apply anywhere for a lot longer. I'm not personally passing judgment on you, but consider it from the eyes of an admissions committee. It's hard to buy that someone has completely changed in a year and a half and will never ever have the same problem(s) again. The more time you put between you and your criminal history, the better you'll be able to convince a committee that you're a different person.

I personally think it would be a tragedy for you to pick option one with those numbers. On the other hand, I don't think sitting out one cycle is going to help you much. I get that this isn't really an answer. Sorry about that.

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esq
Posts: 571
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Re: Help me pick my future

Postby esq » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:02 pm

Longhorn88 wrote:Nope, Austin is a shithole. We've got one applebees (not even a Chili's) and I hear it's shutting down.


to the original poster:

Image

You do not want to go to UT.

You want to take another year.

Hahaha, spoken like a true Texan.

Though I've gotta play the devils advocate here and say screw Applebees and Chili's when you have places like the Salt Lick, Rudy's, and Papadeaux to get your BBQ and Cajun fix.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Help me pick my future

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:15 pm

Are you willing to share the law schools at which you are waitlisted ?

Your situation is interesting & complications from the five felony charges may extend beyond law school when you apply for bar membership C&F certification/clearance.
An acceptance at Texas while on probation for misdemeanor drug possession suggests that your application is quite strong overall.


The safest advice is to attend Texas because it is a sure thing and a very well respected law school nationally. However, it would be wise to hire a Texas attorney who specializes in bar complaints & ethics issues to get an assessment of your chances for admission to the state bar before investing 3 years in law school.

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sanetruth
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Re: Help me pick my future

Postby sanetruth » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:20 pm

I don't think you're going to like my response, but...

Based on what I have seen from this year's cycle, it seems that work experience is really giving people a boost. In your case, i think the difference between being held/getting sticker only in the T20 and getting some $$$ higher up is going to be taking a few years off to work.

Your numbers are clearly good and while you may be right that your caveat is the reason behind your being held everywhere, I have seen a lot of other people with really solid numbers being held or rejected solely for what seems like a lack of work experience.

In addition, a lot of schools probably want to see that your having 'turned yourself around' since your misdemeanor can actually translate into quality work experience after school.

waitlistking
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:28 pm

Re: Help me pick my future

Postby waitlistking » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:29 pm

Held at Columbia
Priority Reserve at Duke
WL'd: Chicago, UVA, Duke, UCLA, NYU (haven't been WL'd here yet but when I hear back i'm sure it will be as I've had no movement since November)

Bar thing noted but I've done fairly extensive research and it shouldn't be a problem (I'll be looking in to this more.)

CanadianWolf
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: Help me pick my future

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:33 pm

Priority Reserve at Duke sounds promising, although I suspect that it varies year to year. Contact Duke admissions and let them know of your continued interest & that, if true, you would attend if admitted.

P.S. If the feds like you, they can make C&F clearance easy. Plus, they can hire you.

waitlistking
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:28 pm

Re: Help me pick my future

Postby waitlistking » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:59 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Priority Reserve at Duke sounds promising, although I suspect that it varies year to year. Contact Duke admissions and let them know of your continued interest & that, if true, you would attend if admitted.

P.S. If the feds like you, they can make C&F clearance easy. Plus, they can hire you.


Already wrote a why duke, visited and wrote 2 LOCI's while I waited to hear. I really went after that one because I'm in the state and they have a university wide initiative in a field im interested in. Will likely soon state my willingness to immediately deposit if they accept me, want to wait and see what Columbia does with me on their hold list as I had a strong LOR from a prof of mine that's a Columbia Law alum and was a V10 hiring partner for 20 years (in case you can't tell I put together what I felt were pretty strong apps everywhere I applied.) Even the W.E. is maybe questionable because I do so much that I already pull 60-80 hour weeks most if not every week, something I tried to emphasize to make up for my lack of traditional W.E. (I understand that it's still not the same though.)

With regard to the P.S.: I assumed those career options were out based on the charges/conviction? Not the case?

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achilles
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Re: Help me pick my future

Postby achilles » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:14 am

OP, I spoke with the admissions dean at UT a few months ago, and she told me their GPA cutoff for scholly money is 3.6, so the only way you'll get money is to leverage with money from another school or ask if they'll consider you after this semester with a 3.6. I think your GPA made your record's effect on scholly offers moot. You should definitely call them and ask though! Good luck with those waitlists

BeachedBrit
Posts: 339
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Re: Help me pick my future

Postby BeachedBrit » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:19 pm

achilles wrote:OP, I spoke with the admissions dean at UT a few months ago, and she told me their GPA cutoff for scholly money is 3.6, so the only way you'll get money is to leverage with money from another school or ask if they'll consider you after this semester with a 3.6. I think your GPA made your record's effect on scholly offers moot. You should definitely call them and ask though! Good luck with those waitlists


Just emailed to find out about the 3.6 cutoff. I had heard from someone that got a merit offer with a 3.57 though.

pwyoung
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 2:19 am

Re: Help me pick my future

Postby pwyoung » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:25 pm

If your GPA is going to bump you above the 25's, I'd wait it out, re-apply, as well as tacking on some work experience in the meantime. You'll also have a bit more distance between your crimes, as well.

waitlistking
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:28 pm

Re: Help me pick my future

Postby waitlistking » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:31 pm

BeachedBrit wrote:
achilles wrote:OP, I spoke with the admissions dean at UT a few months ago, and she told me their GPA cutoff for scholly money is 3.6, so the only way you'll get money is to leverage with money from another school or ask if they'll consider you after this semester with a 3.6. I think your GPA made your record's effect on scholly offers moot. You should definitely call them and ask though! Good luck with those waitlists


Just emailed to find out about the 3.6 cutoff. I had heard from someone that got a merit offer with a 3.57 though.


Let me know what you find out...

Also the GPA 25th percentile thing is part of why I was considering reapplying next year. After this semester and summer classes my GPA will be above the 25th percentile at all of 4th through 15th other than Chicago/Berkeley. I'm also hoping my 18 credit hours of A's this semester (which will bump my GPA to 3.6) will maybe get me in off some waitlists.

Not really sure what to do, a family member that has a lot of higher education also made a good point that a year off of school will also break my familiarity with school/great study habits.




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