Should I wait a year before law school?

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Da1andOnlyPharo
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Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby Da1andOnlyPharo » Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:09 pm

Hey got a question for you guys. I'm currently a 4th year senior at Ohio State, sporting about a 3.33 GPA which probably won't change much with LSDAS. Takin the LSAT in a week, obv hoping to get over 170 but lets say a minimum of 167. Finance Major/Econ+Japanese minor. I was thinking I'd apply to law schools this cycle, but after reading a few "outstanding" personal statements I was thinking about waiting.

I'm no URM, and about the only thing that makes me stand out would be the whole "overcoming socioeconomic adversity." Raised by a single mom with disability, I got myself through college with a full-ride scholarship. I'm on my 9th job, but nothing really outstanding; writing for a local newspaper is probably the most special, I had an internship with Red Bull, a few low level retail jobs and a couple other misc. Pretty inactive in the extracurricular section too, and absolutely no leadership experience.

Like everyone else, I wanna get into the best school that I can and hopefully land some scholarships. But my GPA is less than stellar and even if i score amazing on the LSAT, I think that'll balance out to mediocre. Either way, its probably not gonna make up for my lack of leadership and involvement. I don't want to apply and just be average.

The alternative would be waiting till the next cycle and being seriously dedicated in my last year of school to getting involved in a club or student org. Then I could attend a few leadership development events or try to get in some board position by the end of the year so I could at least bs something about my skills. This would also let me include the last year of grades in my UGPA which I'm hoping to bring up to at least a 3.4 by the end.

What do you guys think? Am I selling myself a little short here, or do you think waiting and getting some more life experiences would pay off in the long run (this includes getting into a better school or being more qualified for scholarships). You think I could spin the socioeconomic adversity thing well enough to win the hearts of admissions people?

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bport hopeful
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby bport hopeful » Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:18 pm

If you get over a 170, youll get into a good school with money. You shouldnt need to take a year off. And you can prolly turn your upbringing into a decent DS. You dont need to be URM.

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Bodhi_mind
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby Bodhi_mind » Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:25 pm

Focus on the LSAT more so than getting a leadership position in a club or something. The LSAT is much much more important. If you score well, then you'll be fine with what you've got. If you don't score your best or close to it, then I'd seriously consider retaking the LSAT and waiting to apply until next cycle. Good luck!

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descartesb4thehorse
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:42 pm

I disagree with the poster above me. You don't need to be in any clubs, but if your GPA will be boosted to 3.4 by putting apps off, I'd do it. First, it's never a bad idea to put off law school for a year after graduating. I spent a lot of time antagonizing over the fact that all of my friends had packed up and gone off to school in the fall while I was still working temp jobs, trying to make ends meet and studying for the LSAT while unemployed. (Lol.) But honestly, I'm really glad I did it. In February, I finally found a real job, and decided to put off law school for another year to save up a bit of cash. I'm currently deferred for class of 2015 at a T14, and those friends that I was so jealous of are struggling to find 2L positions at their T30 schools.

Anyways, from someone who was saddled with a 3.4x, you do not want to be any lower than that. So if postponing a year means you're out of the 3.3x woods, by all means doing K-JD should not even be an option for you.

hth.

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Bronte
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby Bronte » Sat Sep 24, 2011 6:48 pm

Tl;dr. It's always a good idea to take time off before LS.

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bport hopeful
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby bport hopeful » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:06 pm

If you know you want to be a lawyer, and dont have your heart set on a specific school, I dont see the point to taking time off unless you dont score as well as you hope on the LSAT.

If you had a specific school in mind, and their median was a 3.4, Id say maybe. But you GPA is going to be low for any school that you want to attend with a 170+, so you should just focus on the LSAT and not waste your time. You have to figure a year off could be a year you arent working a six figure job.

If you were looking to go to a school that requires WE, thatd be different. But youre not.

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NZA
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby NZA » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:08 pm

Yes.

Take a year off, get a job, just kick it; you'll thank yourself in a year. :)

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descartesb4thehorse
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:25 pm

bport hopeful wrote:If you know you want to be a lawyer, and dont have your heart set on a specific school, I dont see the point to taking time off unless you dont score as well as you hope on the LSAT.

If you had a specific school in mind, and their median was a 3.4, Id say maybe. But you GPA is going to be low for any school that you want to attend with a 170+, so you should just focus on the LSAT and not waste your time. You have to figure a year off could be a year you arent working a six figure job.

If you were looking to go to a school that requires WE, thatd be different. But youre not.


Only addressing the bolded, because "You have to figure a year off could be a year you aren't working a six figure job" is some of the most egregious 0L trolling I've seen on this board.

There's low, and then there's under the GPA floor. Tons of places that take 170s have a 3.4 floor.

I think that floor hits most lower 14s, with Berkeley and Duke being the outliers that will have higher floors, and NU having a much lower (/non-existent) one. So two scenarios: OP is too busy applying for schools to get the GPA >3.39, then his/her only shot in the T14 would be NU, which requires work experience; otherwise, he/she should be taking the year off from applying to get over the 3.4. Unless he/she does not actually want to get into the best school he/she can, in which case there are a few T25s that will throw money at him/her with a 170+. Basically, to crack the T14, OP is probably going to need that year.

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bport hopeful
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby bport hopeful » Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:40 pm

descartesb4thehorse wrote:
bport hopeful wrote:If you know you want to be a lawyer, and dont have your heart set on a specific school, I dont see the point to taking time off unless you dont score as well as you hope on the LSAT.

If you had a specific school in mind, and their median was a 3.4, Id say maybe. But you GPA is going to be low for any school that you want to attend with a 170+, so you should just focus on the LSAT and not waste your time. You have to figure a year off could be a year you arent working a six figure job.

If you were looking to go to a school that requires WE, thatd be different. But youre not.


Only addressing the bolded, because "You have to figure a year off could be a year you aren't working a six figure job" is some of the most egregious 0L trolling I've seen on this board.

There's low, and then there's under the GPA floor. Tons of places that take 170s have a 3.4 floor.

I think that floor hits most lower 14s, with Berkeley and Duke being the outliers that will have higher floors, and NU having a much lower (/non-existent) one. So two scenarios: OP is too busy applying for schools to get the GPA >3.39, then his/her only shot in the T14 would be NU, which requires work experience; otherwise, he/she should be taking the year off from applying to get over the 3.4. Unless he/she does not actually want to get into the best school he/she can, in which case there are a few T25s that will throw money at him/her with a 170+. Basically, to crack the T14, OP is probably going to need that year.


OP said that he is looking for money, which means its not likely coming out of the T14 (at least not the tippy top), so the difference between a 3.33 and a (maybe) 3.4 isnt going to be make or break. In the T25, a strong LSAT is going to pull him through.

Im not a 0L

could =/= is

HTH

Da1andOnlyPharo
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby Da1andOnlyPharo » Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:41 pm

Really thankful for all the input guys, seems like you all don't think leadership or extracurricular is that big of a deal which is pretty easing.

I haven't even really thought about the school I wanna go into; because of a combination of all the talk about the pecking order of law schools and my own ego, I've basically just been looking at it as how to get to the school highest on the rankings list. My thought process has been that i should maximize my hard credentials and then judge how much i'll have to make up for it with soft factors, but it seems that there are many more things to consider. After the LSAT, i'll start to think about where I can realistically set my sights. Waiting for the next cycle seems to have a lot of benefits toward upping my chances at, say, a T14 school, but if I get my score and T14 starts to seem like more of a pipe dream, it might make sense try for a lesser school that could potentially save me money and 'wasting' a year. So, its clear that theres no right answer quite yet.

Anyone have any knowledge on GPA addenda? Getting the Japanese minor was a mistake, I worked my ass off and got 7 quarters of B+'s, each of them being 5 credit hours each. The grading system was downright unfair, but I know that wouldn't be good enough for admissions. My recent quarters have been way higher than the previous ones, and it seems legit to claim that I didn't HAVE to get the Japanese minor, but just wanted to broaden my skills. Say I provided a calculation of my GPA without the Japanese minor, or perhaps a chart of my most recent years. Coupled with a really high LSAT, you think they'd cut me some slack?

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bport hopeful
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby bport hopeful » Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:44 pm

Honestly, youre prolly screwed addendum wise. I included one in my cycle before I found TLS, and I wish I hadnt. I think it made me look bad, and am not really sure, but it could have effected my cycle negatively.

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descartesb4thehorse
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:43 pm

bport hopeful wrote:
descartesb4thehorse wrote:
bport hopeful wrote:If you know you want to be a lawyer, and dont have your heart set on a specific school, I dont see the point to taking time off unless you dont score as well as you hope on the LSAT.

If you had a specific school in mind, and their median was a 3.4, Id say maybe. But you GPA is going to be low for any school that you want to attend with a 170+, so you should just focus on the LSAT and not waste your time. You have to figure a year off could be a year you arent working a six figure job.

If you were looking to go to a school that requires WE, thatd be different. But youre not.


Only addressing the bolded, because "You have to figure a year off could be a year you aren't working a six figure job" is some of the most egregious 0L trolling I've seen on this board.

There's low, and then there's under the GPA floor. Tons of places that take 170s have a 3.4 floor.

I think that floor hits most lower 14s, with Berkeley and Duke being the outliers that will have higher floors, and NU having a much lower (/non-existent) one. So two scenarios: OP is too busy applying for schools to get the GPA >3.39, then his/her only shot in the T14 would be NU, which requires work experience; otherwise, he/she should be taking the year off from applying to get over the 3.4. Unless he/she does not actually want to get into the best school he/she can, in which case there are a few T25s that will throw money at him/her with a 170+. Basically, to crack the T14, OP is probably going to need that year.


OP said that he is looking for money, which means its not likely coming out of the T14 (at least not the tippy top), so the difference between a 3.33 and a (maybe) 3.4 isnt going to be make or break. In the T25, a strong LSAT is going to pull him through.

Im not a 0L

could =/= is

HTH


OP said "Like everyone else, I wanna get into the best school that I can and hopefully land some scholarships." That's not just looking for money. That's T14, money would be nice. OP clarified in the post after yours. OP, you can crack T14. I did, twice, with a GPA not much better than yours. And there's a chance you can even get money at some of the more splitter-friendly T14s as well. But you won't even be able to know that if you can't get your GPA over the floor, for most of which is a 3.4.

And could=/=is counts for the LSAT as well. But you have the rest of your life to fix your LSAT. You can postpone law school for 2-3 cycles and still be absolutely fine, maybe even with some savings/further knowledge about what field you want to pursue. Ask any splitter on the boards if they were in OP's shoes if they would buckle down and get the best grades they could, or if they'd gun for T25 because it would save (and I'm using this word VERY loosely) them a year. (Alright, not all the splitters. They'd probably still spend all of their time drinking and playing video games and embrace their 2.xs with pride.) You can't guarantee 6 figures out of a T14, even a T6, but you think OP is definitely going to be missing out on 6 figures from a T25? That's laughable.

I know you're not a 0L, and honestly I've liked some of your other posts, which is why I was so upset by this one. You're trolling the 0Ls. Feeding them info about how they're missing out on a 6-figure year by taking a year off to get into a much better school is ridiculous. And if OP only gets a 165 on test day, and he takes a year off and reads some articles and realizes how bad it is out there for non-T14 grads, he'll have the time and the resources to study his ass off again and get that 170+.

Don't write the GPA addendum. I didn't. All I would have had to say is "I went to a T10 school that was notorious for grade deflation" and that would only come off as elitist. Yours would come off as... well, maybe naive? (I also took 5 quarters of a language and got straight B+s, but I also count it one of the most worthwhile things I learned in UG. You'll be fine, but it's not going to come off like this on an addendum.) Basically, they'll weigh the fact that you went to a very good state school and took challenging courses, but at the end of the day they have to report the 3.3x or 3.4x to US News, and they can't write addenda about how challenging the curriculum was for their students.

And, I wouldn't listen to bport hopeful if I were you. He hates Ohio.

hth.

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HarveyBirdman
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby HarveyBirdman » Sat Sep 24, 2011 9:52 pm

I'm in a similar position to you, OP. Actually live in Ohio also, but different school. I'm choosing the "take time off" approach for several reasons:

1. Working a real job to have something to talk about in application process.
2. " to talk about after first year when interviewing for summer positions
3. To take a break from FUCKING STUDYING. My god, after 4 and a half years of college...4 years of high school...everything else before that, so much of my life has been spent reading and practicing shit repetitively to regurgitate it on tests every other week or so and I just need a breeaaak. If you're truly dedicated to going to law school, you'll still go when the year or two is up.

You have a finance degree from the best undergrad business school in the state. You should be able to find something pretty substantial, eh? Think about how you could improve your resume.

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bport hopeful
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby bport hopeful » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:23 pm

I didnt say dudes gunna make 6 figures, but to say that it isnt possible is wrong. A decent graduate from a T25 has a strong chance to make 6 figures sometime in life, and since one only has so many years on the earth, the longer you wait to do it, the fewer 6 figure years youre going to have. And ohio kind of sucks.

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rowingmyboat
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby rowingmyboat » Sat Sep 24, 2011 10:25 pm

Positive gpa trend never looks bad.

OP- have you started your apps yet? It can take a long time to do everything (numerous ps edits, lor especially). Will you be able to get everything done to apply early?

full disclosure: I took a year off to take a break/travel/work on apps/raised my gpa .

Law school will always be there.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:08 pm

descartesb4thehorse wrote:
And could=/=is counts for the LSAT as well. But you have the rest of your life to fix your LSAT. You can postpone law school for 2-3 cycles and still be absolutely fine, maybe even with some savings/further knowledge about what field you want to pursue. Ask any splitter on the boards if they were in OP's shoes if they would buckle down and get the best grades they could, or if they'd gun for T25 because it would save (and I'm using this word VERY loosely) them a year. (Alright, not all the splitters. They'd probably still spend all of their time drinking and playing video games and embrace their 2.xs with pride.) You can't guarantee 6 figures out of a T14, even a T6, but you think OP is definitely going to be missing out on 6 figures from a T25? That's laughable.



As a splitter several years out of undergrad, I say get that 4.0 this year and wait an extra year to apply. Quit acting like the 3.33 is set in stone. You'll need all the GPA bumps you can get when you have the potential to get into schools worth attending. Hell, add another major and graduate in 5 years if you can.

bport hopeful wrote:If you had a specific school in mind, and their median was a 3.4, Id say maybe.


WTF school is this?

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descartesb4thehorse
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby descartesb4thehorse » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:16 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
descartesb4thehorse wrote:
And could=/=is counts for the LSAT as well. But you have the rest of your life to fix your LSAT. You can postpone law school for 2-3 cycles and still be absolutely fine, maybe even with some savings/further knowledge about what field you want to pursue. Ask any splitter on the boards if they were in OP's shoes if they would buckle down and get the best grades they could, or if they'd gun for T25 because it would save (and I'm using this word VERY loosely) them a year. (Alright, not all the splitters. They'd probably still spend all of their time drinking and playing video games and embrace their 2.xs with pride.) You can't guarantee 6 figures out of a T14, even a T6, but you think OP is definitely going to be missing out on 6 figures from a T25? That's laughable.



As a splitter several years out of undergrad, I say get that 4.0 this year and wait an extra year to apply. Quit acting like the 3.33 is set in stone. You'll need all the GPA bumps you can get when you have the potential to get into schools worth attending. Hell, add another major and graduate in 5 years if you can.

bport hopeful wrote:If you had a specific school in mind, and their median was a 3.4, Id say maybe.


WTF school is this?


lol this

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bport hopeful
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby bport hopeful » Sat Sep 24, 2011 11:28 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
bport hopeful wrote:If you had a specific school in mind, and their median was a 3.4, Id say maybe.


WTF school is this?

That was my point.

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theadvancededit
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby theadvancededit » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:16 am

Da1andOnlyPharo wrote:Anyone have any knowledge on GPA addenda? Getting the Japanese minor was a mistake, I worked my ass off and got 7 quarters of B+'s, each of them being 5 credit hours each. The grading system was downright unfair, but I know that wouldn't be good enough for admissions. My recent quarters have been way higher than the previous ones, and it seems legit to claim that I didn't HAVE to get the Japanese minor, but just wanted to broaden my skills. Say I provided a calculation of my GPA without the Japanese minor, or perhaps a chart of my most recent years. Coupled with a really high LSAT, you think they'd cut me some slack?


Don't beat yourself up over the Japanese minor, you wanted to broaden your skills and hopefully you did.

I don't think an addendum is really necessary-- like, uh, everyone else in this thread, take a year off and bump your GPA as much as possible, while you can.

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coldshoulder
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby coldshoulder » Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:19 am

So pissed I graduated in 3 years....should've added underwater basketweaving for two years of A's.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Should I wait a year before law school?

Postby CanadianWolf » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:50 pm

This discussion is premature, in my opinion, due to OP's lack of an actual LSAT score.

Whether or not one should take a year off prior to starting law school is a highly subjective issue that shouldn't be standardized.




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