Veterans Thread

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
spacelaw2017
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby spacelaw2017 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:40 am

Hey everyone, this is my first post and it's also pretty early in my exploration of the subject of law school. Please forgive me for asking stupid questions. Sorry if I missed anything that's already been discussed in this thread...

I'm a current AF officer with about 10 months left in my ADSC. I also didn't have a scholarship for undergrad, so AFAIK I am eligible for the full Post 9/11 GI Bill at this point. Even though I know it's a solid career with amazing benefits, I don't see a future for myself in the Air Force. I've done my first assignment, I'm almost done with a deployment, and I just don't think it's a good fit for me anymore. I gave an honest effort, DG'd in my tech school, got some strats, won some quarterly and annual awards, but I'm just not "feeling it". I also want to settle in CA which would be difficult given my AFSC that more or less requires spending significant time in CO if you want to make Major or beyond. That's all to say that continuing in the AF is off the table for me. I will separate in May 2018.

Now, to the subject at hand, is practicing law a viable path forward for me?

I'll start with my academic attributes. The glaring negative is that I had about a 3.2 GPA in undergrad (Biology, UT Austin). The fact of the matter is that I was complacent and did only what I needed to get by, little more. On the other hand, I am very good at standardized tests. 35 on the ACT on my first try, 99th percentile on all but the pilot section of the AFOQT. I took an old LSAT recently and got 85/100, all but 3 missed questions were in the Logic Games section which I hear can be learned. I signed up to take the real deal in December and I expect I could get a high 160 or low 170 after doing more practice during the remainder of my deployment. I also did a Master's online and got a 3.8 GPA, though I hear that most law schools don't care about graduate school.

I've done a good bit of research and it seems most people going to law school are aiming for Biglaw jobs that start at $160k base to make the price tag worth it. The thing is, if I use my GI Bill, I should come out with little to no debt. That should mean that I will have more leeway in terms of what level of pay I can accept. I'd also be 30 or 31 years old when I finish law school. Do they want people that age doing the grunt work in the biglaw firms? The way it sounds to me, those are the jobs they give new attorneys because no client wants to talk to a 25 year old and they can train them to be exactly what they want. I already tried out the up-or-out culture and I didn't like it that much. Is it common for people who don't have to worry about debt to look at smaller firms that might pay less but give better work-life balance? I'd love to be able to work in a smaller market, especially the Central Coast of California, but I think I'd have to work for a smaller firm or maybe the government.

Some schools I'm considering in no particular order: Pepperdine, USC, Southwestern, UCI, UC Hastings, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Stanford... do you see the trend? I know that because of my low GPA I have little chance of getting into Stanford, UCLA, or Berkeley. If I do well enough on the LSAT, though, I think it wouldn't be too hard for me to get into at least one California school, right?

Obviously, what I want to hear is that I should go to law school and I'm a great candidate. I'm looking for people to tell me some of the factors I haven't considered yet. How much worse of an idea is this then just finding a civilian job? Am I going to do 3 years of law school only to find out I'm practically unemployable unless I go to Stanford? Is this a waste of my GI Bill that I should use to get an MBA instead? Is my GPA just too low to even consider law school?

Thank you all for any advice you can give me. I really appreciate the help while I start to make my transition.

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Dcc617
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Dcc617 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:51 am

spacelaw2017 wrote:Hey everyone


So you should be eligible for the post 911 GI bill. I'm currently going to law school on it. It's amazing.

I started off with a very similar diagnostic LSAT score. I took the online blueprint course and ended up going perfect on LG for the test. So it's very doable.

A 3.2 won't keep you out of too many schools if you crush the LSAT (which is easier said than done). It's easier for you because you don't have to worry about scholarships. HYS are probably no gos, but that's it.

From your post, it's unclear exactly why you want to be a lawyer. I'd look at other options if you just want to make money. It seems like most biglaw attorneys aren't crazy about their jobs and there's a whole industry built around helping people leave. So why do you want to be a lawyer?

Oh, also, I'll be around 30 when I graduate. I don't think it's going to be a negative at all. Most places seem to like that I have military experience, and I'm not too far off the median age at my school.

spacelaw2017
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby spacelaw2017 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:05 am

Dcc617 wrote:
spacelaw2017 wrote:Hey everyone


So you should be eligible for the post 911 GI bill. I'm currently going to law school on it. It's amazing.

I started off with a very similar diagnostic LSAT score. I took the online blueprint course and ended up going perfect on LG for the test. So it's very doable.

A 3.2 won't keep you out of too many schools if you crush the LSAT (which is easier said than done). It's easier for you because you don't have to worry about scholarships. HYS are probably no gos, but that's it.

From your post, it's unclear exactly why you want to be a lawyer. I'd look at other options if you just want to make money. It seems like most biglaw attorneys aren't crazy about their jobs and there's a whole industry built around helping people leave. So why do you want to be a lawyer?

Oh, also, I'll be around 30 when I graduate. I don't think it's going to be a negative at all. Most places seem to like that I have military experience, and I'm not too far off the median age at my school.


Awesome, thank you for the response.

Sorry for leaving out that important point about my motivations for studying law. First, in general it's a field I've always thought is very interesting. I enjoy being the guy who can pull out the AFI and find all the points that actually matter. I had a lot of fun reading all the VA regulations for my mortgages. I'm almost done with my real estate agent license course and I can tell that having a better understanding of the law would be a huge boon for me in the real estate business. My ultimate goal would be to have my own practice along with a real estate brokerage, something that I noticed is pretty common in the area. I'll be starting as a real estate agent part time when I get back from my deployment and I will focus on that during the time in between separating and starting law school (assuming a good enough LSAT score). Do you think that's a good enough reason to want to go to law school?

JDforRE
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby JDforRE » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:10 pm

spacelaw2017 wrote:
Dcc617 wrote:
spacelaw2017 wrote:Hey everyone




Awesome, thank you for the response.

Sorry for leaving out that important point about my motivations for studying law. First, in general it's a field I've always thought is very interesting. I enjoy being the guy who can pull out the AFI and find all the points that actually matter. I had a lot of fun reading all the VA regulations for my mortgages. I'm almost done with my real estate agent license course and I can tell that having a better understanding of the law would be a huge boon for me in the real estate business. My ultimate goal would be to have my own practice along with a real estate brokerage, something that I noticed is pretty common in the area. I'll be starting as a real estate agent part time when I get back from my deployment and I will focus on that during the time in between separating and starting law school (assuming a good enough LSAT score). Do you think that's a good enough reason to want to go to law school?


I begin law school next month. Also using the Post 9/11, interested in real estate, without big aspirations for a big law job. In my state they waive all education/experience requirements for a real estate broker's license if you are an admitted member of the bar. From what I can tell, having a J.D. gives you a major leg up in the business. So I guess answering your last question, I hope it is a good enough reason, because thats exactly what I am doing.

My girlfriend just began her real estate career, and most of the people I have been talking to in the business wouldn't even know what the T14 is or be able to actually tell you what schools are in it. Sure the name of the top law schools (Harvard, Stanford, Yale etc.) will look good on any resume, but outside of the law world it's not that big of a deal. (disclaimer: I am only a 0l who doesn't have the experience a lot of people in these forums do) Granted if you want to work as a corporate real estate attorney in Big Law you should ignore this whole paragraph.

I should also ask what state you are planning on practicing real estate in?
Last edited by JDforRE on Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Wipfelder
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:16 pm

JDforRE wrote:
spacelaw2017 wrote:
Dcc617 wrote:
spacelaw2017 wrote:Hey everyone




Awesome, thank you for the response.

Sorry for leaving out that important point about my motivations for studying law. First, in general it's a field I've always thought is very interesting. I enjoy being the guy who can pull out the AFI and find all the points that actually matter. I had a lot of fun reading all the VA regulations for my mortgages. I'm almost done with my real estate agent license course and I can tell that having a better understanding of the law would be a huge boon for me in the real estate business. My ultimate goal would be to have my own practice along with a real estate brokerage, something that I noticed is pretty common in the area. I'll be starting as a real estate agent part time when I get back from my deployment and I will focus on that during the time in between separating and starting law school (assuming a good enough LSAT score). Do you think that's a good enough reason to want to go to law school?


I begin law school next month. Also using the Post 9/11, interested in real estate, without big aspirations for a big law job. In my state they waive all education/experience requirements for a real estate broker's license if you are an admitted member of the bar. From what I can tell, having a J.D. gives you a major leg up in the business. So I guess answering your last question, I hope it is a good enough reason, because thats exactly what I am doing.


I don't know if it does anything really in the short term. In the long term though, it could give you some street cred, or allow you to like, manage a REIT or something. You might also look at in-house jobs for real estate/construction companies. "Real Estate" is a huge and diverse occupational field. You might want to also search this site for discussions on landmen. I always thought that would be a cool JD/RE thing to do

ddevich
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby ddevich » Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:02 pm

Hello all,

This is my first post here. From what I've seen so far, it seems like a great community! I always think it's a special thing when people use their own time to help others, especially strangers on the internet, though we're all brothers and sisters in arms in this thread.

About me:

I'm a Specialist in the Army with an ETS date of August 13th, 2018. I am a 25V or Combat Documentation/ Production Specialist or COMCAM. You may have seen one of us during any of your training events or deployments, though most troops seem to marvel at our existence. Currently, I'm stuck in hell at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, CA. I plan on attending the best law school to which I am accepted with an emphasis on three schools that I think will fit me well. My first choice is UC Berkeley. The other two are Columbia and NYU. I am willing to practice in either New York or California, though being a Floridian for 20 years of my life, I would definitely prefer the warmer climate.

My stats:

June '17 LSAT: 161
UGPA: ~3.5

The LSAT score is the result of three weeks of practice with 10 LSAT Prep Tests. I know that I can improve. I bought The LSAT Trainer by Mike Kim a few weeks ago and it is enlightening to say the least. I am retaking in September with what I believe are realistic expectations for a high 160's score.

I will graduate from Kaplan University early summer of '18. I am unsure what my UGPA will be given that I have transferred credits from my civilian year at Florida State University and my Army sponsored year at Syracuse University. My freshman year, as a civilian, I had very little drive and was a little too deep into partying, so I managed to receive an F in 3 classes. Given LSAC's GPA calculator, these grades will be factored in. I am hoping for a 3.5 or above since my grades at Syracuse and Kaplan have been exceptional due to learning the value of hard work and motivation through the military.

I am hoping that a high 160's LSAT partnered with my military and life experiences will be driving factors in my acceptance into one or more of these schools. I plan to ED to NYU since Berkeley does not have that option.

Anyway, here's to hoping and good luck to all this admissions cycle!

-ddevich

spacelaw2017
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby spacelaw2017 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:58 pm

JDforRE wrote:
spacelaw2017 wrote:
Dcc617 wrote:
spacelaw2017 wrote:Hey everyone


I should also ask what state you are planning on practicing real estate in?


JDforRE, it sounds like you have goals that are pretty similar to mine. That's cool to see I'm not alone.

I want to practice in California. A big factor for me is being able to stay in California for school, too.

spacelaw2017
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby spacelaw2017 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:01 pm

Wipfelder wrote:I don't know if it does anything really in the short term. In the long term though, it could give you some street cred, or allow you to like, manage a REIT or something. You might also look at in-house jobs for real estate/construction companies. "Real Estate" is a huge and diverse occupational field. You might want to also search this site for discussions on landmen. I always thought that would be a cool JD/RE thing to do


I knew a landman back in high school, a friend's dad. That guy was rolling in money. I think he had a business degree and that's it. He must have started back in the 70s, though. It sounded like a pretty fun job, but it must have been highly dependent on the oil market.

nubcs
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby nubcs » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:03 am

ddevich wrote:Hello all,

This is my first post here. From what I've seen so far, it seems like a great community! I always think it's a special thing when people use their own time to help others, especially strangers on the internet, though we're all brothers and sisters in arms in this thread.

About me:

I'm a Specialist in the Army with an ETS date of August 13th, 2018. I am a 25V or Combat Documentation/ Production Specialist or COMCAM. You may have seen one of us during any of your training events or deployments, though most troops seem to marvel at our existence. Currently, I'm stuck in hell at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, CA. I plan on attending the best law school to which I am accepted with an emphasis on three schools that I think will fit me well. My first choice is UC Berkeley. The other two are Columbia and NYU. I am willing to practice in either New York or California, though being a Floridian for 20 years of my life, I would definitely prefer the warmer climate.

My stats:

June '17 LSAT: 161
UGPA: ~3.5

The LSAT score is the result of three weeks of practice with 10 LSAT Prep Tests. I know that I can improve. I bought The LSAT Trainer by Mike Kim a few weeks ago and it is enlightening to say the least. I am retaking in September with what I believe are realistic expectations for a high 160's score.

I will graduate from Kaplan University early summer of '18. I am unsure what my UGPA will be given that I have transferred credits from my civilian year at Florida State University and my Army sponsored year at Syracuse University. My freshman year, as a civilian, I had very little drive and was a little too deep into partying, so I managed to receive an F in 3 classes. Given LSAC's GPA calculator, these grades will be factored in. I am hoping for a 3.5 or above since my grades at Syracuse and Kaplan have been exceptional due to learning the value of hard work and motivation through the military.

I am hoping that a high 160's LSAT partnered with my military and life experiences will be driving factors in my acceptance into one or more of these schools. I plan to ED to NYU since Berkeley does not have that option.

Anyway, here's to hoping and good luck to all this admissions cycle!

-ddevich


Hey, welcome to the thread, I just wanted to comment that with a ~3.5 LSAC GPA, you're probably going to have to score in the 170s to have more than a puncher's chance at the schools you mentioned. If you check MyLSN, the difference between a 165-169 LSAT with your GPA and a 170-174 is significant, and with a 175+, you're pretty much a lock at CN, with Berkeley being a coin flip due to their emphasis on GPA. Of course, the calculus changes if your LSAC GPA turns out to be higher/lower than expected.

I studied for the LSAT on AD, using Mike's LSAT Trainer to figure out methodology of how to approach each section, then relying heavily on the prep tests available, supplemented with 7sage's explanations for LG and Manhattan Prep's forum for RC and LR explanations. It worked out pretty well for me, so maybe try those on for size. Good luck with the September LSAT and your upcoming admission cycle!

ddevich
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby ddevich » Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:06 am

nubcs wrote:
ddevich wrote:Hello all,

-ddevich


Hey, welcome to the thread, I just wanted to comment that with a ~3.5 LSAC GPA, you're probably going to have to score in the 170s to have more than a puncher's chance at the schools you mentioned. If you check MyLSN, the difference between a 165-169 LSAT with your GPA and a 170-174 is significant, and with a 175+, you're pretty much a lock at CN, with Berkeley being a coin flip due to their emphasis on GPA. Of course, the calculus changes if your LSAC GPA turns out to be higher/lower than expected.

I studied for the LSAT on AD, using Mike's LSAT Trainer to figure out methodology of how to approach each section, then relying heavily on the prep tests available, supplemented with 7sage's explanations for LG and Manhattan Prep's forum for RC and LR explanations. It worked out pretty well for me, so maybe try those on for size. Good luck with the September LSAT and your upcoming admission cycle!


Hey, thanks for the warm welcome and advice. I looked at myLSN and see that you are absolutely right. I will definitely devote as much time as I can to preparation for this upcoming test and do the absolute best that I can.

I have gotten through the LR section in the LSAT Trainer and am consistently going -1 on LR sections in my prep tests. LG's are my weakness but I know they are the most "learnable" of all the sections.

-ddevich

walden
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby walden » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:23 pm

Hi all,

1st post here and I'm fairly new to the law application process, but thanks to everyone for the previous contributions as the info has been very helpful. Curious if anyone out there worked in the real world after military service and then applied to law school. Also curious if anyone out there had success applying to the top law schools w/ a less-than-stellar undergraduate GPA. I graduated with a 2.9 in Economics from Navy, served for 5 years, transitioned into finance at a very prestigious bank once I got out, and now run operations for a major tech company in one of the company's satellite cities. My resume is heavy w/ premium brands/companies, solid leadership experience, and a degree from USNA, but I'm wondering if my low undergraduate GPA will a deal breaker from the start for most of the T15 schools. I took the GRE, did reasonably well, and was accepted to some other grad programs but they don't spark my interest like law school does, so I'm focusing my attention full-time to going to law school... with the caveat being that I don't think going will be worth it if I'm not going T15. Thanks in advance for any advice!

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Dcc617
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Dcc617 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:53 pm

walden wrote:Hi all,

1st post here and I'm fairly new to the law application process, but thanks to everyone for the previous contributions as the info has been very helpful. Curious if anyone out there worked in the real world after military service and then applied to law school. Also curious if anyone out there had success applying to the top law schools w/ a less-than-stellar undergraduate GPA. I graduated with a 2.9 in Economics from Navy, served for 5 years, transitioned into finance at a very prestigious bank once I got out, and now run operations for a major tech company in one of the company's satellite cities. My resume is heavy w/ premium brands/companies, solid leadership experience, and a degree from USNA, but I'm wondering if my low undergraduate GPA will a deal breaker from the start for most of the T15 schools. I took the GRE, did reasonably well, and was accepted to some other grad programs but they don't spark my interest like law school does, so I'm focusing my attention full-time to going to law school... with the caveat being that I don't think going will be worth it if I'm not going T15. Thanks in advance for any advice!


Why are you thinking law school at all? What sort of work do you want to do? Do you have the GI bill?

walden
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby walden » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:39 pm

Dcc617 wrote:
walden wrote:Hi all,

1st post here and I'm fairly new to the law application process, but thanks to everyone for the previous contributions as the info has been very helpful. Curious if anyone out there worked in the real world after military service and then applied to law school. Also curious if anyone out there had success applying to the top law schools w/ a less-than-stellar undergraduate GPA. I graduated with a 2.9 in Economics from Navy, served for 5 years, transitioned into finance at a very prestigious bank once I got out, and now run operations for a major tech company in one of the company's satellite cities. My resume is heavy w/ premium brands/companies, solid leadership experience, and a degree from USNA, but I'm wondering if my low undergraduate GPA will a deal breaker from the start for most of the T15 schools. I took the GRE, did reasonably well, and was accepted to some other grad programs but they don't spark my interest like law school does, so I'm focusing my attention full-time to going to law school... with the caveat being that I don't think going will be worth it if I'm not going T15. Thanks in advance for any advice!


Why are you thinking law school at all? What sort of work do you want to do? Do you have the GI bill?


A few reasons, in no particular order: (1) I find the potential work to be very interesting and a good match with how my brain works. I enjoy the strategy and intellectual rigor of building an argument and planning for counter-arguments. (2) I have always thrived in situations where I could solve problems and help people in ways that others can't / won't help. (3) I joined the military to serve my community and defend those who couldn't defend themselves. I see a lot of parallels in the legal profession. (4) The problems I'm most interested in are based around law.

As for the work I want to do, I have a few ideas. M&A/Corporate, Contract, and Civil Litigation are the areas that interest me the most.

I do have the full GI Bill.

JDforRE
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby JDforRE » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:17 pm

spacelaw2017 wrote:
JDforRE wrote:
spacelaw2017 wrote:
Dcc617 wrote:
spacelaw2017 wrote:Hey everyone


I should also ask what state you are planning on practicing real estate in?


JDforRE, it sounds like you have goals that are pretty similar to mine. That's cool to see I'm not alone.

I want to practice in California. A big factor for me is being able to stay in California for school, too.


It appears they have a similar education waiver in California, although I am not framiliar with their laws. Definitely worth looking into.

Cjackson
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Cjackson » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:16 pm

Hey everyone, I'm re-applying this year after sitting it out for a year and reassessing due to a rough cycle. I have improved my GPA significantly and hope to do the same to my LSAT in SEP. I have a couple questions though I'm hoping some of you can help me with.

Last year I applied with what I would now consider a half-assed effort. Mainly because I did not write an addendum for my horrible GPA during my first two years and my 4.0 for the last two years after restarting school after joining the military. I also didn't write a diversity statement. Between the two of those, I feel like I left a lot on the table. I had a lot going on last year between returning from a deployment, going right into the LSAT and preparing to ETS while deciding to go to LS or take a deployment contractor job (I guess subconsciously I wanted to go for the overseas money).

Does anyone happen to have an example of something they put together for either of those that I could use as a guide? I'm hoping for some type of a GPA addendum and an idea of what a diversity statement might look like. I don't have a clue about them as far as formatting and content is concerned.

My other question is regarding JAG and its possible affects on practicing law after the military. I guess I just don't know the full extent of what a JAG officer can do in the military but I can't help but wonder if I took that path because I enjoy the military and the retirement, that it might hinder my opportunities outside of GOV down the road. I'm curious to hear what some current JAGs have to say about it.

Thanks in advance.

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Capt_Beatty
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Capt_Beatty » Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:34 pm

Anyone have knowledge about getting reimbursed for taking a national exam such as the LSAT, or other similar thing?

National Testing Programs/Licensing & Certification Tests

You can be reimbursed up to $2,000 per test. Your entitlement will be charged one month for every $1,902.61 paid to you rounded to the nearest non-zero whole month; this means even low-cost tests are charged one month of entitlement per test.


I am struggling to understand wtf they mean, I'm going to assume they mean for any amount up to $1,902.61 for EACH test, you will be charged 1 month of POST 9/11 GI Bill entitlement.

If so, that's a terrible deal. I have taken the LSAT twice and 6 Architecture Registration Exams. let's say I input 8 exams = 1600.00 Will these equal one month's reduction, or 8 months reduction lol...

ddevich
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby ddevich » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:45 pm

Capt_Beatty wrote:Anyone have knowledge about getting reimbursed for taking a national exam such as the LSAT, or other similar thing?

National Testing Programs/Licensing & Certification Tests

You can be reimbursed up to $2,000 per test. Your entitlement will be charged one month for every $1,902.61 paid to you rounded to the nearest non-zero whole month; this means even low-cost tests are charged one month of entitlement per test.


I am struggling to understand wtf they mean, I'm going to assume they mean for any amount up to $1,902.61 for EACH test, you will be charged 1 month of POST 9/11 GI Bill entitlement.

If so, that's a terrible deal. I have taken the LSAT twice and 6 Architecture Registration Exams. let's say I input 8 exams = 1600.00 Will these equal one month's reduction, or 8 months reduction lol...


What a racket!

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ponderingmeerkat
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby ponderingmeerkat » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:19 am

Dcc617 wrote:
walden wrote:Hi all,

1st post here and I'm fairly new to the law application process, but thanks to everyone for the previous contributions as the info has been very helpful. Curious if anyone out there worked in the real world after military service and then applied to law school. Also curious if anyone out there had success applying to the top law schools w/ a less-than-stellar undergraduate GPA. I graduated with a 2.9 in Economics from Navy, served for 5 years, transitioned into finance at a very prestigious bank once I got out, and now run operations for a major tech company in one of the company's satellite cities. My resume is heavy w/ premium brands/companies, solid leadership experience, and a degree from USNA, but I'm wondering if my low undergraduate GPA will a deal breaker from the start for most of the T15 schools. I took the GRE, did reasonably well, and was accepted to some other grad programs but they don't spark my interest like law school does, so I'm focusing my attention full-time to going to law school... with the caveat being that I don't think going will be worth it if I'm not going T15. Thanks in advance for any advice!


Why are you thinking law school at all? What sort of work do you want to do? Do you have the GI bill?


I'm with Dcc617 on this. Given your circumstances, I'd struggle to recommend law school to you. You have options, and attaching a JD to your name isn't going to expand those options, it's only going to pigeonhole you into JD-required jobs. These fora are filled with people who have experienced this dynamic--once you go JD, it's a struggle to do much else. Are you sure sweating in the JD "salt mines" for a decade is for you? What info (besides what you think legal work might be like) drives you to believe you're ready to do this for an extended period of time?

That said, if you're bound and determined, I don't see a 2.9 from USNA holding you back. I had a slightly lower GPA from USAFA, a 170 LSAT, and accepted an offer to UVA. I'm friends with several other military academy grads with your typical sub-3.0 GPA (thanks grade deflation), they all had 170+ LSATs, and are at (or already graduated) from Northwestern, UVA and GULC. The two guys I know with 3.5+ GPAs (acquaintances, so unsure their exact numbers but they were both "honor grads") graduated from Harvard and Yale and are enjoying that V5/V10 NYC life.

All this to say, if you are sure you want to go this route, crush the LSAT, put together a tight application package, and apply broadly. Someone will bite. Good luck dude.

walden
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby walden » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:53 pm

ponderingmeerkat wrote:
Dcc617 wrote:
walden wrote:Hi all,

1st post here and I'm fairly new to the law application process, but thanks to everyone for the previous contributions as the info has been very helpful. Curious if anyone out there worked in the real world after military service and then applied to law school. Also curious if anyone out there had success applying to the top law schools w/ a less-than-stellar undergraduate GPA. I graduated with a 2.9 in Economics from Navy, served for 5 years, transitioned into finance at a very prestigious bank once I got out, and now run operations for a major tech company in one of the company's satellite cities. My resume is heavy w/ premium brands/companies, solid leadership experience, and a degree from USNA, but I'm wondering if my low undergraduate GPA will a deal breaker from the start for most of the T15 schools. I took the GRE, did reasonably well, and was accepted to some other grad programs but they don't spark my interest like law school does, so I'm focusing my attention full-time to going to law school... with the caveat being that I don't think going will be worth it if I'm not going T15. Thanks in advance for any advice!


Why are you thinking law school at all? What sort of work do you want to do? Do you have the GI bill?


I'm with Dcc617 on this. Given your circumstances, I'd struggle to recommend law school to you. You have options, and attaching a JD to your name isn't going to expand those options, it's only going to pigeonhole you into JD-required jobs. These fora are filled with people who have experienced this dynamic--once you go JD, it's a struggle to do much else. Are you sure sweating in the JD "salt mines" for a decade is for you? What info (besides what you think legal work might be like) drives you to believe you're ready to do this for an extended period of time?

That said, if you're bound and determined, I don't see a 2.9 from USNA holding you back. I had a slightly lower GPA from USAFA, a 170 LSAT, and accepted an offer to UVA. I'm friends with several other military academy grads with your typical sub-3.0 GPA (thanks grade deflation), they all had 170+ LSATs, and are at (or already graduated) from Northwestern, UVA and GULC. The two guys I know with 3.5+ GPAs (acquaintances, so unsure their exact numbers but they were both "honor grads") graduated from Harvard and Yale and are enjoying that V5/V10 NYC life.

All this to say, if you are sure you want to go this route, crush the LSAT, put together a tight application package, and apply broadly. Someone will bite. Good luck dude.

Very much appreciate the thorough and thoughtful response. My main motivation actually comes in part because of the options I have in front of me, and what I think they mean for me down the road. I've attained a reasonable degree of success in the civilian world in a relatively short period of time, but the work has seemed rather empty and on the whole, largely unfulfilling. The problems I'm currently solving are interesting to others but not to me. Some of the main reasons I joined the military are because I enjoy being able to do the hard stuff that other people can't/won't do. I enjoy being the one to defend others. I truly get a sense of fulfillment from helping people. I enjoy being the one that people go to when they need problems solved... all things that I also attribute to being an attorney. And from what I know, the work matches the way my brain operates. I do have some degree of confidence in knowing what this choice would mean for my short and medium-term future as my father is a partner and has been a practicing attorney for 30+ years, so I've witnessed and heard first hand some of the things he likes and dislikes about the legal profession. He's actually the one who dissuaded me from going to law school back when I was getting out, but that "itch" has remained throughout the past few years.

What I'm weighing right now, is as you said, do I want to sweat it out in the JD "salt mines" for a decade or so, or do I want to continue down the path that I'm on, living a relatively comfortable lifestyle, but do so knowing that there will always a "what if" should I decide not to at least apply and see what happens. It's reasonable to think that I have 30+ years left in my career and I'd prefer to take a shot and do something I think I'd be good at, would enjoy, would find fulfillment doing, and that could help others as opposed to not trying just because it's the more difficult road to travel.

Thanks again!

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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:10 pm

What sort of work do you envision yourself doing as an attorney? I would say it's highly unlikely you find big law to be significantly more meaningful than what you're doing now. If you really want to be a prosecutor or a public defender or something like that, it might be a different conversation. But unless you have something very specific in mind, I would not go to the law looking for fulfillment.

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dannyswo
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby dannyswo » Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:12 am

Got my retired ID card today, took a photo sporting a short beard. Feels good, man.

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m052310
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby m052310 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:40 am

dannyswo wrote:Got my retired ID card today, took a photo sporting a short beard. Feels good, man.

Congrats man. That's awesome.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby haus » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:53 am

dannyswo wrote:Got my retired ID card today, took a photo sporting a short beard. Feels good, man.

Nice. Congrats!

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MichiganHoosier
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MichiganHoosier » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:59 pm

Hey Guys and Gals! What is the best rule of thumb for LORs? I figured I'd secure 3, but I don't know what is a good ratio. Should it be 2 undergrad Profs and 1 military senior (O-5 and up)? Or should I not even bother with a military LOR? Heading to the Middle East in a few weeks for 12 months, so I'm trying to figure out if I should renew some relationships with old professors while I have the time (anticipating submitting applications in Fall of 2018 for Fall 2019 matriculation). I have one undergrad professor who I speak with often, but if you guys think I need more academic letters I'll have to get back in touch with the professors who wrote me LORs for OCS back in 2013. Thanks for any insight.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby doobleykah » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:40 am

MichiganHoosier wrote:Hey Guys and Gals! What is the best rule of thumb for LORs? I figured I'd secure 3, but I don't know what is a good ratio. Should it be 2 undergrad Profs and 1 military senior (O-5 and up)? Or should I not even bother with a military LOR? Heading to the Middle East in a few weeks for 12 months, so I'm trying to figure out if I should renew some relationships with old professors while I have the time (anticipating submitting applications in Fall of 2018 for Fall 2019 matriculation). I have one undergrad professor who I speak with often, but if you guys think I need more academic letters I'll have to get back in touch with the professors who wrote me LORs for OCS back in 2013. Thanks for any insight.


Law school applications will generally tell you exactly how many LORs should be academic or professional. When they do give you the keys to the kingdom, take advantage of it. However, if you are several years out from school, or maybe you did your undergrad online and don't have super great connections to professors, you can get by with one academic rec. (That's what I did). Do not spend a second worrying about how senior your recommender is. Most administrators don't know the difference between a specialist and a major. I opted for my first line rather than trying to chase down some field grade who really only knew me as the PT guy. There is no advantage in choosing to do the "blind" option in LSAC that I am aware of.

A general rule of thumb that I often hear is to choose recommenders who won't go over the top because you want the recommendation to be believable or w/e. Absolutely do not do this. Choose recommenders who you know and trust and will write the most glowing recommendation possible for you. Several times I have heard admissions folks say they moved a maybe app to the yes pile simply because the recommender said something like, "This is the best student/soldier that I have ever lead". If you can, choose a recommender who will let you be part of the process because no one outside of the industry really gets what the admissions folks are looking for. Admissions are looking for reasons to shorten their stack and if the decision is between you and someone with similar numbers and their recommenders wrote stronger recs you could be SOL. Also, make sure the letters are recent, and be aware that the recommenders you choose will have to submit the letters to LSAC, you cannot do it yourself. (So don't choose someone who is flaky or prone to missing deadlines)

Lastly, you can add as many recommenders to LSAC as you want. I didn't do this, but in retrospect I could have asked more than three, to have some options over which letters to actually use when the time came.




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