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(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Questions4people
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Postby Questions4people » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:06 pm

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Last edited by Questions4people on Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Hawkeye Pierce
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby Hawkeye Pierce » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:14 pm

Don't do TFA because you want it to help with Law School admissions. Do it because you want to do it.

If you really want to teach English in Japan, then do that.

You can still get Letters of Recommendation from professors at your university. Remember that the LORs will stay valid for, what is it 5 years? As long as your CAS is valid.

EDIT: I think law schools will not look kindly if the letters are over 3 years old, or something along those lines.

lobeca
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby lobeca » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:19 pm

From a person who hated thier TFA experience:

You should do TFA. Teach in Japan afterwards. If you can get through TFA after two years you will have connections to really good schools. Chicago, NYU, and Georgetown LOVE alum. Not to mention the crazy professional development opportunities that are out there if you decide to do something other than teaching. Also, it will ground you.

*person before me is correct. You should look for recommendations from professors not the persons you meet in TFA.

Questions4people
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby Questions4people » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:27 pm

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Last edited by Questions4people on Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Vronsky
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby Vronsky » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:39 pm

OP - i taught in Korea and was able to get a law school LOR from my branch manager for the school I was teaching. She even let me help here with the grammar and syntax, so it wasn't so bad.

Questions4people
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby Questions4people » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:42 pm

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Last edited by Questions4people on Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Hawkeye Pierce
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby Hawkeye Pierce » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:45 pm

Questions4people wrote:Did you find that you were still able to get into the law school you wanted?

Also in general, do people think I have a chance of getting into a T14 with my stats?


Yes.

I repeat, do TFA ONLY IF you truly want to do it. DO NOT do it if you want a slight boost to your application.

LOR aren't the most important thing in your application. In fact, the adcomms will most likely already have made a decision by the time they reach your LORs. Just have serviceable ones and they will neither hurt nor help your chances.

Yes, definitely. Just study your ass off for the LSAT and do as well as you can. Anything 170+ and you've got a good chance at T14s.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby lawyerwannabe » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:54 pm

168 LSAT, 3.6+ GPA will probably not get you into the T14 regardless of whether you do TFA.

Here is a list of the minimum LSAT that would give you a decent chance at gaining acceptance:

- 169 LSAT = Cornell, UMich
- 170 LSAT = UPenn, UVA, Duke, NW, Georgetown
- 172 LSAT = Columbia, UChi, NYU

- B is weird so I cannot tell you the minimum LSAT needed to be competitive there
- HYS appear to be unattainable with your GPA

I am not saying these scores will get you acceptances. You could very easily be WL (or possibly even rejected).

Good luck.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:04 pm

With TFA, LSAT scores can be lower than those specified above---sometimes much lower.

Questions4people
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby Questions4people » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:18 pm

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Last edited by Questions4people on Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:26 pm

Sometimes lower. This year a TFA alum with a 153 was admitted a top 14. But typically a score in the 160s is needed for lower T-14.

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soj
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby soj » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:33 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:Sometimes lower. This year a TFA alum with a 153 was admitted a top 14. But typically a score in the 160s is needed for lower T-14.

It's tough to say whether that case indicates a large bump for TFA alumni. Was that person a URM? Have other great softs? Have a great GPA? (Admittedly, satisfying the last two criteria is usually not enough to get a 153 into T14.)

I have a tough time believing TFA is that big a factor when other prestigious work experience (e.g. Google, GS, McK) and honors (e.g. Rhodes) don't seem nearly that powerful.

Oh, and there's lots of great info on TFA on TLS. Here are several of many, many threads:
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=102027
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=116185
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=140764
Last edited by soj on Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:37 pm

That person chose not to reveal info. re: URM. Received invitation to apply & fee waiver due to TFA participation.

fkaisani
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby fkaisani » Sat Jun 18, 2011 8:58 pm

I agree with the others on here, as a TFA alum, do not do TFA if you are not fully committed to doing the work. You will be misrable, you will produce less than adequate work and you will make TFA look bad. Also, I think teaching English in Japan sounds like a pretty cool gig and would still look great for your applications. Good luck!

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billyez
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby billyez » Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:05 pm

Don't do TFA if you don't want to do TFA. It's a medium soft that may help on your applications, sure. But I've talked a number of folks who have done TFA - it's going to take a lot out of you and you're going to have to be wholly invested in the venture. You're going to need to want to do this in order to be successful, was the feeling I got. You might not even finish it if you aren't that interested in it.

Spending the time in Japan, doing something you are interested in, is still a decent soft and you're far more likely to gain something from the experience. If you want to change the calculus of your admissions then do well on the LSAT. Practice tests don't matter. Well, they do, but getting a 168 on a practice test and getting it on the real thing is not one and the same.

Questions4people
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby Questions4people » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:44 pm

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Last edited by Questions4people on Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

abl
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby abl » Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:47 pm

Please do not do TFA if you do not want to do TFA. You owe it to your prospective students (if not yourself).

bp shinners
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:18 am

Questions4people wrote:If I start and only do a year and quit, will that look as bad as doing the teaching in Japan?


If you even think you might quit after a year, don't sign up for TfA. You seem to want to head to Japan; do that instead. You'll have a better experience overall, which will be better for you than TfA. Instead, take the time where you would be miserable in TfA and study for the LSAT to boost your score above 170.

minnesotasam
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby minnesotasam » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:26 am

fkaisani wrote:I agree with the others on here, as a TFA alum, do not do TFA if you are not fully committed to doing the work. You will be misrable, you will produce less than adequate work and you will make TFA look bad. Also, I think teaching English in Japan sounds like a pretty cool gig and would still look great for your applications. Good luck!

Another TFA alum here, please don't do it. Your heart clearly isn't in it, you'll just drop out the way that so many do and that hurts everyone involved. That's not a personal attack at all btw, TFA is a wonderful program for some and an awful choice for others.

Sadly bp shinners, it really is "TFA" and not "TfA," a fact that drives me completely insane to this day.

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Rock-N-Roll
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby Rock-N-Roll » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:36 am

Please forget about whether or not TFA will give you an application boost!

TFA is not intended to advance the career aspirations of its teachers but is rather a program designed to help educate underprivileged children. If doing that doesn't particularly interest you, then please do not join. Enjoy Japan.

WayBryson
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby WayBryson » Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:40 am

I have taught English in Japan for the past four years on the JET Programme. I don't think the experience hurt me at all in admissions. If anything, I think it probably helped. I have met many very interesting people, including my wife, and done a lot of traveling while here. I think that deciding against teaching in Japan, when you want to do it, for the sake of law school admissions would be a foolish choice unless something much more awesome/prestigious than Teach for America presented itself as an option. Good luck.

EDIT: commas for clarity, and I would also recommend requesting Sendai as a destination city if you apply to JET. They employ 70 ALTs, which makes for a pretty diverse set of friends.

Questions4people
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Re: Will Turning Down Teach for America Doom Me?

Postby Questions4people » Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:04 am

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