Predicament

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NervousNelly
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:09 pm

Predicament

Postby NervousNelly » Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:28 pm

Soooooooooooooo

This year I'll be a senior, ivy u-grad, 3.73 GPA, LSAT 167.

I'm retaking the LSAT in October (My PT average is 175, and I hit my PT average on the last one).



My question is, assuming I hit the LSAT average (I know, I know), should I wait a year? At my particular school, senior seminars notoriously give good grades, and my thesis adviser loves me, so I"m fairly confident my GPA at graduation would be a 3.8.

So do I apply this fall, with the 3.73 and 17X LSAT score, or next year, with the slightly higher GPA and some work/volunteering experience of interest?

I have pretty good softs as it is, but it seems the top schools just love the work experience. TLS, I would be honored and humbled to receive your collective wisdom.

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descartesb4thehorse
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Re: Predicament

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:36 pm

Depends. I think Harvard would bite if you could get it to 174. The GPA advantage isn't going to be huge, but that on top of WE is going to give you a much better shot at YS. All up to how high you want. I think if you hit mid-170s in October, you're a lock at CCN and the rest of the T-14 with money, but I always advocate at least a year of WE. If not just for admissions, so that you know what the workforce is like. I think it will help you see that the grass isn't greener once you hit the working world (as you will, eventually) and keep you from being burnt out ... even if only for slightly longer than the rest of your peers.

NervousNelly
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: Predicament

Postby NervousNelly » Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:43 pm

Thanks Descartes! That was actually the best advice I've gotten so far on this issue. Now if only you could do my taxes...

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northwood
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Re: Predicament

Postby northwood » Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:49 pm

i dont think it hurts to take a year off. Do well on the LSAT ( to get your average) and use the rest of the year cementing your gpa and getting all of your LOR in. Then relax and fine tune your essays.

Keeper1125
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Re: Predicament

Postby Keeper1125 » Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:50 pm

I think waiting a year will be more helpful in terms of work experience than in terms of your anticipated GPA difference. It will also prove beneficial when you're actually trying to secure employment and/or clerkships out of law school. And irrespective of your career, I think that for most people, the year off is useful for one's general development and well-roundedness as a person.

NervousNelly
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: Predicament

Postby NervousNelly » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:02 pm

Thank you all for your advice; this is far more useful than what relatives say after beer and cake at family gatherings.

Right now I'm actually interning at a BigLaw Firm, and have been told I could Summer there in Law School (assuming numbers etc. match up).

So if I did the year of real world work experience, would BigLaw or service (Americorps etc) be better for law school? Do they care? Is it irrelevant unless I save an endangered species? (Assuming my BigLaw connection remains either way).

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descartesb4thehorse
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Re: Predicament

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:08 pm

NP, OP. The thing is... I think there are varying opinions on most issues. Your parents, family, friends, classmates, lawyers you know, law students you know, people you see twice a year at parties... everyone's going to give you advice right now. Finding out someone wants to go to law school is like finding out they're pregnant: the unsolicited advice comes POURING in. And I like to give them all the benefit of the doubt, they're all trying to help you, but many - most? - of them don't know what the hell they're talking about. And this is exactly why TLS is such a resource. Lawyers who have fine jobs and graduated even 15 years ago were dealing with a much different economy. I've been told a LOT of stupid things by people who attend T3s or even T-20 about my decisions thus far, but I think it all mostly aligns with TLS wisdom. You have a lot of people who are going through this process, or just recently went through this process, or are going through the process of OCIs... so as long as it's not one huge conspiracy (takes off tinfoil hat), then these are the people who are going to help you get to where you need to be.

FWIW, though, I don't know anyone who advocated I not take a year off. I have two friends at T-20s who thought I was stupid for taking a second year off (they're both doing K-JDs), but everyone thought at least one year is TCR. So I think it can't hurt.

ETA to add:

So if I did the year of real world work experience, would BigLaw or service (Americorps etc) be better for law school? Do they care? Is it irrelevant unless I save an endangered species? (Assuming my BigLaw connection remains either way).


Doesn't matter. Focus on what's most important to you: good anecdotes for your PS or saving up for law school. Neither is super prestigious so one isn't going to make you a shining star, but they're both solid enough to make you look like a good candidate.

P.S. If I had one piece of advice when I was still in undergrad, it would be to collect your LORs while you're still on campus. They might be a wee bit outdated by the time you apply, but getting one from your thesis adviser for instance while your awesome dissertation on The Evolution of Near Eastern Languages and Semitic Epigraphy is still fresh in his/her mind as opposed to a year later will more than make up for the post-date on the letter itself.




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