How will this change a school's weighting of GPA, LSAT, etc?

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dgp
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How will this change a school's weighting of GPA, LSAT, etc?

Postby dgp » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:18 am

So I'm probably a bit of an unusual candidate and am curious whether schools will weight my GPA(s), LSAT, essay, etc. differently as a result. I say unusual because:

-I'm 27, would be 28 at matriculation (4 years of work experience after undergrad)

-This would be round 2 of grad school

-I'm currently enrolled in a top 20 full time MBA program and will graduate in May

-Most people I know with both a JD and MBA that didn't do a dual degree did it in the opposite order as I propose

And yes, I do have good reasons for wanting a law degree on top of an MBA as well as for why I did not apply to dual degree programs.

My guess is that LSAT will be weighted roughly the same, undergraduate GPA discounted considerably and replaced by graduate GPA and extracurricular activities discounted somewhat and replaced by work experience, with the essay probably carrying more weight since they're looking for a good explanation. However this is merely a hypothesis and any evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, to either support or refute it would be appreciated.

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Yeshia90
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Re: How will this change a school's weighting of GPA, LSAT, etc?

Postby Yeshia90 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:21 am

From what I understand: They don't care about grad school GPA. Like, at all. Work experience is more of a soft boost. I think it's still UGPA and LSAT, with minor boosts for everything else you've done.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: How will this change a school's weighting of GPA, LSAT, etc?

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:22 am

Law schools do not look at your graduate GPA at all as graduate schools are known to inflate. While having an MBA will be a good soft factor your UGPA and LSAT will still be the most important.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: How will this change a school's weighting of GPA, LSAT, etc?

Postby Bildungsroman » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:27 am

dgp wrote:undergraduate GPA discounted considerably and replaced by graduate GPA

Nope. While law schools will look at your grad school performance as a soft factor, the primary evaluative criteria for your application are your LSAT and undergrad GPA.

dgp
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Re: How will this change a school's weighting of GPA, LSAT, etc?

Postby dgp » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:22 am

So basically it'll be hard to run away from a 3.45 from six years ago in spite of my MBA program outranking my undergrad institution? Definitely gives me something to think about, since practicing law in the traditional sense isn't my goal and I anticipate high 160s on the December test and don't necessarily think it's worth the money (tuition and lost income) to spend another three years in school if my JD comes from a lower ranking school than my MBA...

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law4vus
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Re: How will this change a school's weighting of GPA, LSAT, etc?

Postby law4vus » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:34 am

dgp wrote:So basically it'll be hard to run away from a 3.45 from six years ago in spite of my MBA program outranking my undergrad institution? Definitely gives me something to think about, since practicing law in the traditional sense isn't my goal and I anticipate high 160s on the December test and don't necessarily think it's worth the money (tuition and lost income) to spend another three years in school if my JD comes from a lower ranking school than my MBA...


The only way schools will change the weight of these factors is if the USNews rankings change how they rank schools. Schools report the 25th percentile, median, and 75th percentile UNDERGRAD GPA of their incoming class. There are no asterisks showing which of those students went to grad school, had significant factors affecting their grades, upward trends, or anything like that. Just the number. Because of that, the schools have no real incentive to take a 3.5 student with great grad school grades and work experience over someone going straight through from undergrad with a 3.8. Should they? In my opinion, yes they should. But they don't, and thus underlies one of the most fundamental problems with law school admissions.

Also, if your goal isn't to practice law (I'm not sure what you mean by not in the traditional sense), most people on this site will tell you not to go to law school at all. Make no mistake: law school is a crappy time and costs a lot of money. Do it if you want to be a lawyer, don't do it if you don't want to be.

To add - a score in the high 160s and a 3.45 can get you into a top 20 school. But with law school, unlike MBA school, the dividing line for the "elite" schools is top 14. Unless you break into the 170s, you don't have much of a shot at a top 14 school. I'd definitely reconsider law school given what you've said.

dgp
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Re: How will this change a school's weighting of GPA, LSAT, etc?

Postby dgp » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:47 am

law4vus wrote:
dgp wrote:
Also, if your goal isn't to practice law (I'm not sure what you mean by not in the traditional sense), most people on this site will tell you not to go to law school at all. Make no mistake: law school is a crappy time and costs a lot of money. Do it if you want to be a lawyer, don't do it if you don't want to be.


My goal is work in finance/VC structuring term sheets and having the ability to advocate on behalf of a company or position in a way an MBA and traditional post-MBA tracks really don't prepare/train you for.

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law4vus
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Re: How will this change a school's weighting of GPA, LSAT, etc?

Postby law4vus » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:56 am

dgp wrote:
law4vus wrote:
dgp wrote:
Also, if your goal isn't to practice law (I'm not sure what you mean by not in the traditional sense), most people on this site will tell you not to go to law school at all. Make no mistake: law school is a crappy time and costs a lot of money. Do it if you want to be a lawyer, don't do it if you don't want to be.


My goal is work in finance/VC structuring term sheets and having the ability to advocate on behalf of a company or position in a way an MBA and traditional post-MBA tracks really don't prepare/train you for.


Then don't focus so much on school rankings. As it stands, you're probably looking at a school ranked between 20-40. What you really need to consider is whether the time and money required for law school is worth it. If you can get a significant scholarship to a lower ranked school, then you may be able to achieve the goals you want. It doesn't sound like what you want to do will absolutely require a Harvard JD, just the law degree itself and the skills that come with it. In that case, I'd say take the money and run to a lower ranked school.

To give you perspective, I received full rides or near-full rides to several schools ranked between 50 and 70 with a 3.3 and a 167. With a 3.45 and a 168 or 169, you could get very significant money at a tier 1 school and a full ride at a higher end T2. Again, you still have to evaluate whether going through the pains of law school is worth it to you, but the money might not be the biggest issue you need to face.




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