Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

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sting_it
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Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby sting_it » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:21 am

i am an international student (not a US citizen or green card holder) and did my bachelors in US in electrical engineering in 3 years time at a large public uni. After first year of college, I had a family tragedy which inflicted a huge financial burden on me because of which my grades dropped coz i had to work a lot to raise money. However my final (third) year saw an upward trend in GPA.
I was absent at first LSAT in Dec 2010 and now I got 178 on LSAT. I really want to study corporate or Intellectual Property law in US and be employed as a well earning lawyer here. I am not rich, but if it is worth it, I will take a huge loan and work really hard in law school for a good future. I have been following blogs like First Tier toilet and am worried about taking a huge risk even if I manage to go to a T14 law school because of (a) my visa status and (b) not so great condition of legal market in the States (c) not so good condition of employment in US in general.

I would appreciate advice on my admission chances at T-14 with or without money (my dream schools are Harvard and Columbia)and given my circumstances whether it is worth it for me to study law in the States.

mettasutta
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby mettasutta » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:30 am

GPA is too low for HYS (3.7/3.8 floor), but CCN on down will bite. Make sure to write an addendum about the family tragedy and resulting drop in grades. Congrats on that LSAT.

bfaiken
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby bfaiken » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:37 am

mettasutta wrote:GPA is too low for HYS (3.7/3.8 floor), but CCN on down will bite. Make sure to write an addendum about the family tragedy and resulting drop in grades. Congrats on that LSAT.


Agreed, that GPA is likely too low for Harvard, but one of CCN might bite. The best fit might actually be Penn if you're looking to go into IP and hoping for some $$.

ETA: Forgot to ask (if you don't mind), are you a URM? You said you're foreign, but if you are a minority as well that would be a game changer.

mettasutta
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby mettasutta » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:39 am

bfaiken wrote:
mettasutta wrote:GPA is too low for HYS (3.7/3.8 floor), but CCN on down will bite. Make sure to write an addendum about the family tragedy and resulting drop in grades. Congrats on that LSAT.


Agreed, that GPA is likely too low for Harvard, but one of CCN might bite. The best fit might actually be Penn if you're looking to go into IP and hoping for some $$.

ETA: Forgot to ask (if you don't mind), are you a URM? You said you're foreign, but if you are a minority as well that would be a game changer.


Yeah, if AA/NA URM, likely in at all of HYS as long as you don't seriously mess up your apps. If Latino, you might snag one.

Even if not URM, you have a shot at Hamilton (Columbia's full-tuition scholarship). Even if not, you'll receive a healthy amount of merit aid from them.

sting_it
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby sting_it » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:46 am

No i am not a urm...:(....looks like harvard is impossible(unless miracle happens)...i will be glad if columbia/nyu takes me...would that be worth the massive loan?

bfaiken
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby bfaiken » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:52 am

sting_it wrote:No i am not a urm...:(....looks like harvard is impossible(unless miracle happens)...i will be glad if columbia/nyu takes me...would that be worth the massive loan?


Depends what the alternative is. There's an excellent chance you would get some sizable $$ offers from the bottom half of the T14. Most TLSers will probably say that a large financial offer from the 8-14 schools > CCN at sticker (and I agree). But like the above poster said, you'll have a chance at getting money from CCN as well. Just gotta apply and see what happens.

Bottom line: You will be a very competitive candidate and have excellent options. It is at least worth applying and finding out what they are.

sting_it
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby sting_it » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:50 pm

thanks a lot for your replies...just wondering would it be worth it as a non citizen and non resident EVENTUALLY and should a lower ranked law school be chosen with some money over a higher ranked one without money?

mettasutta
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby mettasutta » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:55 pm

sting_it wrote:thanks a lot for your replies...just wondering would it be worth it as a non citizen and non resident EVENTUALLY and should a lower ranked law school be chosen with some money over a higher ranked one without money?


It depends. I would chose full-ride CCN over HYS, full-ride MVPB over CCN sticker, full-ride DCNG over MVPB sticker and full-ride Vandy/USC/UCLA/BU/BC/Texas (and other strong regionals, if I was OK practicing in their regions) etc. over DCNG sticker.

scammedhard
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby scammedhard » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:01 pm

sting_it wrote:thanks a lot for your replies...just wondering would it be worth it as a non citizen and non resident EVENTUALLY and should a lower ranked law school be chosen with some money over a higher ranked one without money?

Btw, one can only be a URM if one is a permanent-resident or a US citizen. Other than that, one is just a plain "international student."
As of your question, I'd say go where you can get the LOWEST amount of debt for at least three reasons:
1. Hiring of non-residents is a pain that involves a lot of extra cost and time. Why hire an international when you can more easily hire a US resident?
2. Also, remember that when the economy picks up, the H1B quota fills up very quickly. If you primarily work was as an engineer, there are extra slots for you, but as a lawyer, there are not, and you could easily be in position where a firm/company wants to hire you but it can't because quota has filled up. If so, usually the company moves on to hire someone else.
3. Remember that you will need a co-signer, and if something goes wrong, the co-signer is now in the line of fire.

EDIT: I guess my final opinion would be to work a few more years, get the green card, and then go to law school.

sarahh
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby sarahh » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:44 pm

I got into Harvard with a 3.62. I would not say it is impossible. It is at least worth applying. I think your GPA is too low for a Hamilton or significant merit aid from Columbia, though. I got nothing from them. Are you going to be able to get a US co-signer? If not, then you may be limited to going to a school that offers loans to international students (Yale, Harvard, anyone else?) or that offers you a significant amount of merit aid (probably lower top 14).

sting_it
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby sting_it » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:58 pm

Yes, I do have a US citizen as my cosigner. So, getting a loan is possible..I wish Harvard at least considers me strongly for admission based on my tough major (Electrical engineering) and terrible financial circumstances. Or at least an addendum about my hardship draws money from CCN or other top T-14s. My GPA is not a true reflection of my ability to get grades because I finished my undergrad in 3 years in order to save money. I took 33 credits and 41 credits in final two semesters with 3.7x and 3.6x GPAs respectively. Also, I was forced to do odd jobs like lawn mowing, tutoring during exams, cleaning, moving furniture, etc, anything that I could get coz of my acquaintances goodwill or from craigslist job/wanted link. I could have gone back to my country,but I was sort of determined to stay in the USA and try to survive.

The odd jobs I did were cash-in-hand jobs which are not legally allowed to a student visa holder who is only allowed to do on-campus 20 hours employment(am I disclosing too much :(). Anyways, I will just be glad if Harvard admits me and if Columbia admits me with a decent amount of money (if at all).

I am also wondering what scammedhard rightfully pointed out that what if they run out of H1B visa quotas at the time I graduate or are just reluctant to offer summer jobs or post-graduation employment due to my visa status...That thought scares me. I know it is hard to predict accurately what will happen,but is it too big of a risk to take about 150k loan and graduate from a T-14 with good grades and still not find an employment or even a summer internship (i am not sure if that happens to good grade earners of T-10 unless they are international.)

sting_it
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby sting_it » Wed Apr 27, 2011 1:52 am

i will really appreciate any more advice.

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soj
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby soj » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:28 am

Unfortunately, I haven't heard of any instances of <3.6 non-URMs getting into YHS, with or without extenuating circumstances like yours. There are quite a few applicants who faced the same kind of adversity you faced, so having faced adversity doesn't seem to be enough to overcome a relatively low GPA.

Doesn't mean you absolutely won't get into YHS, but I would have to bet against your getting in.

I don't think applying will hurt, though. And at least you're pretty secure in snagging at least one of CCN, and $ at others. You've done all you can in the two areas that largely determine admissions, so now you should focus on perfecting the other areas of your application and hoping for some luck.

whymeohgodno
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby whymeohgodno » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:34 am

Reminds me of how unfair GPA is. 3.57 in electrical engineering is more impressive to me than a 4.0 in most any liberal arts major.

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bleh
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby bleh » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:18 am

international pool is a different pool.
read the rate.

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glewz
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby glewz » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:28 am

OP, you have some chance. EE + financial burden is pretty good, and with a well-written, compelling statement, you might be able to push yourself over the edge.

Edit:
@bleh Yeah I was actually under the impression as well that international GPAs are rated something along the lines of "superior, above average, average, etc.," thereby placing a huge weight upon candidate's LSAT. But OP did do his ugrad in US so I'm pretty sure that law schools will count his US GPA.

rose711
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby rose711 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:25 pm

Shouldn't you go ahead and apply and then worry about the money? If you don't get anywhere you want to go, then the money will not be an issue. I can't really advise you with a bunch of hypothetical questions other than suggesting where you should apply and be competitive.

As for the future of jobs and the economy -so much of this depends on what school you attend and your grades in law school. It is always possible to withdraw from law school if you go and after the first year realize that you will not be competitive for jobs you want.

But you don't want to work as an Electrical Engineer?

sting_it
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Re: Please Help: 3.57 GPA, 178 LSAT---international student

Postby sting_it » Sun May 01, 2011 2:34 am

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