Leveraging Military Experience

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
meatball122
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:02 pm

Leveraging Military Experience

Postby meatball122 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:42 pm

I recently posted a thread in "What are my chances." This post is different in so far that I just want advice on how to best leverage my military experience rather than the other post, which focuses on predictions or advice on where to apply. Also, I'd imagine that there is a different audience in this more general forum.

Regardless, here is the link to my "Chances" thread: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=159146

Quick summary:
-3.8 GPA and 168 LSAT
-3 combat deployments (currently deployed, and will be applying WHILE deployed to Afghanistan [logistical nightmare])
-5 years Marine Corps
-Technical and fancy occupational specialty in military intelligence
-Extensive (military) leadership and management experience
-1 OUTSTANDING academic LOR and 2 military LORs
-Phi Beta Kappa
-Graduated "with distinction"
-Studied abroad throughout Europe (...all of it)
-Non-URM male

Thoughts on how I should use this to my advantage during the application process?
Personal statements
"Diversity" statements (Marines are the ultimate URM!! :wink: )
LORs
Addendums (I studied for my first LSAT [162] while deployed)
Resume

Any thoughts would be very much appreciated!!
Last edited by meatball122 on Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

meatball122
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:02 pm

Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby meatball122 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:44 pm

PS, this website freaking rocks. So happy I found it! Thanks to all of those who contribute to the forums and articles!

Army2Law
Posts: 154
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Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby Army2Law » Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:53 pm

My #s were slightly worse than yours and I managed to swing a WL at Harvard and a straight admit at the only other school I applied to. I went the route of tying it into my personal statement and getting LoRs from my commander. Let me know if you want me to PM you my personal statement. But, I think the key is selling the military angle and how it gives you a perspective to add to your class.

Also, I applied from Iraq, so I can give you some pointers on how to deal with that treat of a situation.

meatball122
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:02 pm

Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby meatball122 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:03 pm

Army2Law wrote:My #s were slightly worse than yours and I managed to swing a WL at Harvard and a straight admit at the only other school I applied to. I went the route of tying it into my personal statement and getting LoRs from my commander. Let me know if you want me to PM you my personal statement. But, I think the key is selling the military angle and how it gives you a perspective to add to your class.

Also, I applied from Iraq, so I can give you some pointers on how to deal with that treat of a situation.


I really do appreciate your response. Your WL at Harvard is very encouraging. Obviously, like everyone else and their momma, I'd love HYS, especially because theyd be more or less free!! The GI Bill is a huuuuge relief. Any advice on GI Bill, yellow-ribbon, etc?

I do appreciate your offer to review my PS. I just may take you up on that offer. Im gathering research and brainstorming at the moment. But expect it!

I intend to apply pretty much everywhere. Yale -> Fordham ish. Minus a few places that I wouldnt go to regardless (Duke, UT, etc) for geographic reasons.

In regards to applying from AF, I actually feel quite fortunate. My Bn CO offered me his personal white line computer whenever I wanted it (for app purposes, I mean)! So I guess it's not going to be too much of a headache.

I have A LOT of time until apps are submitted. So I intend to use that time wisely: write a BAMF personal statement, perfect my resume, etc.

meatball122
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Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby meatball122 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:15 pm

I anticipate the real benefit coming during OCI (and beyond), to be honest.

Army2Law
Posts: 154
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Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby Army2Law » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:16 pm

The GI Bill is glorious, it was one of the big factors in choosing where to apply (combined with not feeling like moving, but I digress) If you haven't done the VONAPP for confirming your Post 9-11 eligibility, do that as soon as possible. I did mine right after I hit 36 months in so that I would get the 100% eligibility designation. Also, make sure you get the school you end up attending to confirm your enrollment ASAP once they're able to. You'll need to give them any military training transcripts you have, so get your transcript from whatever the USMC equivalent of ATARS is as soon as you can to speed the process along. IAVA has a pretty good GI Bill FAQ on their website, so I'd definitely utilize that. I'd honestly be surprised if you didn't get at least one offer of admission from one of the top-6 schools, and you have a good chance of sweeping from Berkeley on down so long as your total application package is pretty tight overall. From everyone I've talked to, it seems like substantive military experience is a definite bump in admissions because schools always want to have as diverse a class profile as possible. In that way I feel like it is *almost* equivalent to a URM bump if you have a compelling military narrative to offer. Off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure NYU, Michigan, and UVA have pretty active veterans recruitment programs, especially Michigan. (But I might be confusing law schools with business schools, because I originally had planned on the JD/MBA route). I just PM'd you my PS too, so you can get an idea of the route I took. let me know what other questions I can help with.

Army2Law
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Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby Army2Law » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:17 pm

meatball122 wrote:I anticipate the real benefit coming during OCI (and beyond), to be honest.

Yeah, the military experience seems to have been a hit with employers so far. I didn't get a firm job out of 1L OCI, but I did get a pretty competitive government internship. Yay for federal veterans preference in hiring! haha

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MarineLaw
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Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby MarineLaw » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:24 pm

Getting ready for 2nd deployment, this one to Afghanistan. I studied and took my first LSAT while on UDP in Japan.

Any prior/current service want to swap and critique personal statemens?

I'm curious to know if there are any prior service students who can attest to the benefits during OCI and beyond.

Semper Fi

Army2Law
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Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby Army2Law » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:27 pm

PM'd you. Also, I feel so out of place in a thread full of Marines. Haha

meatball122
Posts: 56
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Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby meatball122 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:42 pm

Much appreciated! I saved it to my PS working document. Thanks!

And dont feel too out of place! I worked with the Army, Brits, and various other organizations quite closely, so I play nice.

meatball122
Posts: 56
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:02 pm

Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby meatball122 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:43 pm

MarineLaw wrote:Getting ready for 2nd deployment, this one to Afghanistan. I studied and took my first LSAT while on UDP in Japan.

Any prior/current service want to swap and critique personal statemens?

I'm curious to know if there are any prior service students who can attest to the benefits during OCI and beyond.

Semper Fi


Once I get my first draft ready, I'll be sure to PM it to you. Im thinking 2 weeks. But feel free to PM me yours. Same with your resume, etc.

'rah

kwkell07
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Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 9:45 pm

Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby kwkell07 » Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:25 pm

Somewhat unique mil situation here. I would love any critiques on my PS and unfortunately, I have all the time in the world to critique anything you got. MarineLaw PM inbound. - SF

03121202698008
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Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby 03121202698008 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 10:28 am

Emphasize your public service and maturity. DO NOT write a PS that sounds like "there I was crawling through the mud, etc." They are way overdone for vets.

(And yes I was a vet who applied and outperformed my #s with admits/money.)

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SemperLegal
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Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby SemperLegal » Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:19 pm

FYI veterans preference does not count for legal jobs, they are an excepted service, that being said, many agencies have internal polices or preferences for Vets.

My PS (which didn't prove to be a great boast) ignored the military with the exception of saying how military regulations and bureaucratic messes made me appreciate the need for trained legal assistance.

Army2Law
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:35 pm

Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby Army2Law » Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:40 pm

The agency I'm interning with had veterans preference listed on its application, but, I understand if that isn't an across the board policy.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:16 pm

meatball122 wrote:
Army2Law wrote:My #s were slightly worse than yours and I managed to swing a WL at Harvard and a straight admit at the only other school I applied to. I went the route of tying it into my personal statement and getting LoRs from my commander. Let me know if you want me to PM you my personal statement. But, I think the key is selling the military angle and how it gives you a perspective to add to your class.

Also, I applied from Iraq, so I can give you some pointers on how to deal with that treat of a situation.


I really do appreciate your response. Your WL at Harvard is very encouraging. Obviously, like everyone else and their momma, I'd love HYS, especially because theyd be more or less free!! The GI Bill is a huuuuge relief. Any advice on GI Bill, yellow-ribbon, etc?

I do appreciate your offer to review my PS. I just may take you up on that offer. Im gathering research and brainstorming at the moment. But expect it!

I intend to apply pretty much everywhere. Yale -> Fordham ish. Minus a few places that I wouldnt go to regardless (Duke, UT, etc) for geographic reasons.

In regards to applying from AF, I actually feel quite fortunate. My Bn CO offered me his personal white line computer whenever I wanted it (for app purposes, I mean)! So I guess it's not going to be too much of a headache.

I have A LOT of time until apps are submitted. So I intend to use that time wisely: write a BAMF personal statement, perfect my resume, etc.


Not sure who told you the bolded but it is completely false esp for Yale. Of those three the only one that offers, completely free ride without financial aid, is Harvard. That's one of the main reasons I picked them over Yale. Yale only offers 5k in Yellow Ribbon money while Stanford only offers 10k. Harvard doubles what Stanford offers you and guarantees that they will cover 100% of your tutition.

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unc0mm0n1
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Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 1:06 pm

Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Fri Jul 01, 2011 4:17 pm

Army2Law wrote:PM'd you. Also, I feel so out of place in a thread full of Marines. Haha


You have Army backing esp if BJ shows up as well.

Oh and can I get in on that prior service PM.

oliver_h
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Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:42 am

Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby oliver_h » Sat Jul 02, 2011 7:01 am

I have 4 years of active duty service in the Army and will be applying this cycle.

What is the consensus on writing a diversity statement about military experience? I'm a non-URM.

Also, I've noticed that most of the sample diversity statements on this forum are more like "overcoming adversity" statements--they focus on overcoming obstacles, challenges, etc. I've written a draft diversity statement, but it focuses on the self-development and expanded perspective I've gained during my military service and how that will make me a better student and lawyer (leadership, work ethic, etc.), not on adversity I've faced in the military. Am I missing the point?

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Rotor
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Re: Leveraging Military Experience

Postby Rotor » Sat Jul 02, 2011 10:01 am

blowhard wrote:Emphasize your public service and maturity. DO NOT write a PS that sounds like "there I was crawling through the mud, etc." They are way overdone for vets.

(And yes I was a vet who applied and outperformed my #s with admits/money.)

Yup. The tone should be how your experience will benefit the class, not how you have earned the opportunity because of the sacrifices that you've made.

Also, +1 to unc0mm0n1's post. With the new changes taking effect, MVB will be free without YRP and B kept YRP to cover the delta for out of staters. (Don't know about the others). Private schools are capped at 17,500/academic year without YRP. Short of the Harvard deal, makes the public T14 extremely attractive in my mind.

If you have Qs about being military in Berkeley PM me.
(tl;dr version: love it.)




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