Veterans Thread

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

Postby Ex Cearulo » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:14 pm

corman3000 wrote:So I've now been wait-listed at 5 really good schools: Michigan, Penn, UCLA, W&M and Notre Dame. My stats are not that great (3.49/161), but I also have URM status.

Who knows? May be out of respect, may be because you fit a very particular demographic (URM & veteran) that they'd love to have in their class but have to see how things play out. You probably won't be surprised by this answer, but in your situation a retake may be the best answer. URM and military service are great; a few more points on the LSAT would likely get you across the finish line at a few of those schools. Really it just depends on what you want to do with your law degree since school is pretty much paid for.

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MT Cicero
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MT Cicero » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:48 pm

Ex Cearulo wrote:
corman3000 wrote:So I've now been wait-listed at 5 really good schools: Michigan, Penn, UCLA, W&M and Notre Dame. My stats are not that great (3.49/161), but I also have URM status.

Who knows? May be out of respect, may be because you fit a very particular demographic (URM & veteran) that they'd love to have in their class but have to see how things play out. You probably won't be surprised by this answer, but in your situation a retake may be the best answer. URM and military service are great; a few more points on the LSAT would likely get you across the finish line at a few of those schools. Really it just depends on what you want to do with your law degree since school is pretty much paid for.


Echo the retake since monetarily you're only bound by where you gain admission. A URM vet north of a 165 with your GPA opens up everything outside of HYS (and depending on the type of URM, maybe even H as well).

I'd say a WL could mean you have a shot, or it could be some level of respect. I really don't know. I was a sub-3.0 / >170 guy, and got WL'd at Chicago, NYU, UVA, Duke, and Michigan. I'm pretty sure that Chicago, NYU and Duke don't tend to go fishing for big splitters like me, even though I had over a decade gap since undergrad. I felt that there was some kind of respect nod there and that I never really had a solid shot. But, who knows?

Anyway, if you're not going to retake (again, please consider it), write LOCIs. Show interest. You never know!

corman3000
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby corman3000 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:39 pm

Retake and wait another year is not really an option with my voc rehab. I already have the ball rolling with the VA and have to start using my benefits this fall. I also already took about a year off after getting out to basically spend all my time studying for the LSAT. I wrote in June where I got the 161 and wrote again in September and got a 158, so I think that's played out. I know everyone says "you can master it, 170+ is cake" and all that, but honestly I gave it my best shot and I'm not looking back again.

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DiniMae
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby DiniMae » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:39 pm

corman3000 wrote:So I've now been wait-listed at 5 really good schools: Michigan, Penn, UCLA, W&M and Notre Dame. My stats are not that great (3.49/161), but I also have URM status. I did not get into my first choice, UT.

I feel like the wait list offer is just their way of showing respect for my military career but at the same time telling me I'm not getting in.

Anyone else feel this way?

Right now, I'm looking at going to SMU, which I believe is a good school but nowhere near some of the schools where I'm on the wait list. In any case, I will have voc rehab so financially I'm not fucking myself over. So I got that going for me... which is nice.

Welcome to the thread. What's your background? That and where you went to school may determine your WL movement. You have a better lsat than me (I'm urm too), but I think my resume and UG helped.

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MT Cicero
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MT Cicero » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:53 pm

corman3000 wrote:Retake and wait another year is not really an option with my voc rehab. I already have the ball rolling with the VA and have to start using my benefits this fall. I also already took about a year off after getting out to basically spend all my time studying for the LSAT. I wrote in June where I got the 161 and wrote again in September and got a 158, so I think that's played out. I know everyone says "you can master it, 170+ is cake" and all that, but honestly I gave it my best shot and I'm not looking back again.


Didn't really have any data on you (# of takes, plans, current job), so that clears it up a bit. My best advice is to try and find the sweet spot with hitting up these schools with LOCIs then. Not one a week and not just sit there on the WL. If there's one school in particular that you'd drop the others and attend without question, let them know that. "I truly appreciate the consideration...blah blah blah...if offered a spot, I would accept without hesitation." Something like that anyway. Maybe even schedule a visit. I mean, a few hundred bucks in a plane ticket could bring you to the fore of the adcomms' minds.

Anyway, good luck this spring/summer in getting off the WLs!

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storpappa
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby storpappa » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:04 am

For voc rehab, did the rep give you a deadline on being able to change schools and reallocate funding and BAH if you get off of a WL and into a better school?

The higher job at graduate prospects should make the reason an easy sell, since you already have the JD route approved.

Grunt2Grad
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Grunt2Grad » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:27 am

corman3000 wrote:Retake and wait another year is not really an option with my voc rehab. I already have the ball rolling with the VA and have to start using my benefits this fall. I also already took about a year off after getting out to basically spend all my time studying for the LSAT. I wrote in June where I got the 161 and wrote again in September and got a 158, so I think that's played out. I know everyone says "you can master it, 170+ is cake" and all that, but honestly I gave it my best shot and I'm not looking back again.


This was a concern of mine when I got my score back as well. I was basically told that I would need to reapply for the program as a check the box situation but would not have a problem being approved. That being said, we have all dealt with the VA and the military and when you have law school paid in full on paper you might not want to risk trying to get that a second time around.

I wouldnt give up hope on the wait list situation either. There should be some movement and with URM status and your numbers I cant imagine you getting shutout on that entire list. I do not think you have any timeline with Voc Rehab as far as having to submit your school (it takes them 10 minutes to write up a new plan) but I do understand wanting to know where you are going and what is going on. For now follow the advice already given and crush those LOCI. For what its worth I wrote a LOCI for UCLA before I even heard anything back at all (often frowned upon on TLS) and essentially told them I would attend if accepted regardless of the situation since I was already funded and I really wanted to go there.

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JD Walters
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby JD Walters » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:05 pm

Grunt2Grad wrote:
corman3000 wrote:Retake and wait another year is not really an option with my voc rehab. I already have the ball rolling with the VA and have to start using my benefits this fall. I also already took about a year off after getting out to basically spend all my time studying for the LSAT. I wrote in June where I got the 161 and wrote again in September and got a 158, so I think that's played out. I know everyone says "you can master it, 170+ is cake" and all that, but honestly I gave it my best shot and I'm not looking back again.


This was a concern of mine when I got my score back as well. I was basically told that I would need to reapply for the program as a check the box situation but would not have a problem being approved. That being said, we have all dealt with the VA and the military and when you have law school paid in full on paper you might not want to risk trying to get that a second time around.

I wouldnt give up hope on the wait list situation either. There should be some movement and with URM status and your numbers I cant imagine you getting shutout on that entire list. I do not think you have any timeline with Voc Rehab as far as having to submit your school (it takes them 10 minutes to write up a new plan) but I do understand wanting to know where you are going and what is going on. For now follow the advice already given and crush those LOCI. For what its worth I wrote a LOCI for UCLA before I even heard anything back at all (often frowned upon on TLS) and essentially told them I would attend if accepted regardless of the situation since I was already funded and I really wanted to go there.



FWIW, I initially went to Voc Rehab last year and met with a counselor and she thought law school was a good idea. The counselor wrote me a letter saying that she approved of the plan before she discharged me from the program. She told me to come back next spring (which is now) when I've been accepted to school (...still waiting on most of mine) and once I've reapplied, we'd start where we left off. The letter was for the unlikely case that she would not be there and I'd have to work with someone else. If you do consider postponing - I'd recommend seeing if you can get something on paper that lays out the plan.

Grunt2Grad
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Grunt2Grad » Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:25 pm

JD Walters wrote:
Grunt2Grad wrote:
corman3000 wrote:Retake and wait another year is not really an option with my voc rehab. I already have the ball rolling with the VA and have to start using my benefits this fall. I also already took about a year off after getting out to basically spend all my time studying for the LSAT. I wrote in June where I got the 161 and wrote again in September and got a 158, so I think that's played out. I know everyone says "you can master it, 170+ is cake" and all that, but honestly I gave it my best shot and I'm not looking back again.


This was a concern of mine when I got my score back as well. I was basically told that I would need to reapply for the program as a check the box situation but would not have a problem being approved. That being said, we have all dealt with the VA and the military and when you have law school paid in full on paper you might not want to risk trying to get that a second time around.

I wouldnt give up hope on the wait list situation either. There should be some movement and with URM status and your numbers I cant imagine you getting shutout on that entire list. I do not think you have any timeline with Voc Rehab as far as having to submit your school (it takes them 10 minutes to write up a new plan) but I do understand wanting to know where you are going and what is going on. For now follow the advice already given and crush those LOCI. For what its worth I wrote a LOCI for UCLA before I even heard anything back at all (often frowned upon on TLS) and essentially told them I would attend if accepted regardless of the situation since I was already funded and I really wanted to go there.



FWIW, I initially went to Voc Rehab last year and met with a counselor and she thought law school was a good idea. The counselor wrote me a letter saying that she approved of the plan before she discharged me from the program. She told me to come back next spring (which is now) when I've been accepted to school (...still waiting on most of mine) and once I've reapplied, we'd start where we left off. The letter was for the unlikely case that she would not be there and I'd have to work with someone else. If you do consider postponing - I'd recommend seeing if you can get something on paper that lays out the plan.


I agree. My counselor actually is no longer there and was leaving right before my paperwork was submitted. She knew I was really concerned about it and rushed me the 1905 (the paper that really matters) on her last day.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby KingsleyZissou » Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:05 pm

Got my DD-214 today (thank you, thank you), but I expected to be sworn into the IRR since my contract says 8 years total (4 of which on AD). He said that I somehow declined the IRR, which I didn't even think was possible, and I have no documentation of that.

I'm calling the main Navy Career Transition Office on Monday morning, but wanted to see if anyone could alleviate my major concern which is that Block 23 on my DD-214 only says, "Resigned" whereas my friend's says, "Released from Active Duty and transferred to the Navy Reserve."

The LAST thing I want (or can afford) is to have some sort of snag with my Post-9/11 benefits because some guy at our personnel management detachment screwed up the paperwork. Anybody experience anything like this with the transition to the IRR?

Edit: I'm already listed as 100% GI Bill eligible on E-benefits.

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navykev
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby navykev » Sat Mar 28, 2015 8:14 am

KingsleyZissou wrote:Got my DD-214 today (thank you, thank you), but I expected to be sworn into the IRR since my contract says 8 years total (4 of which on AD). He said that I somehow declined the IRR, which I didn't even think was possible, and I have no documentation of that.

I'm calling the main Navy Career Transition Office on Monday morning, but wanted to see if anyone could alleviate my major concern which is that Block 23 on my DD-214 only says, "Resigned" whereas my friend's says, "Released from Active Duty and transferred to the Navy Reserve."

The LAST thing I want (or can afford) is to have some sort of snag with my Post-9/11 benefits because some guy at our personnel management detachment screwed up the paperwork. Anybody experience anything like this with the transition to the IRR?

Edit: I'm already listed as 100% GI Bill eligible on E-benefits.


From what I understand, Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits are based on the amount of time you served after 9/11. The only thing that can really derail that is a BCD or some other type of negative discharge and even then some folks still get it. Since you were verified at 100% and didn't get a negative discharge- I'm pretty sure you are ok. Sounds like you had your eligibility verified while you were on active duty like I did. If that is the case, the paper copy the VA sent you in the mail should say that you need to send in your DD214 after you separate to be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program and BAH (which you're not if the VA thinks your active duty). So you probably need to send in your DD214 anyway. All that being said, I'd call your regional coordinator with that question so you can get a 100% answer and not have to worry about it (too many other little things to worry about with the law school application and attendance adventure). But I'm 99.9% sure it's the number of months you served after 9/11 that matters - don't think whether or not you did IRR matters.

If it does cause a snag and it's an administrative screw up by your personnel clerk - let me know. Im a prior Command Master Chief and dealt with a lot of stuff like this and can help walk you through who to call and what steps to take to unscrew the mistake. But like I said before - I doubt it's an issue.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby TheSpanishMain » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:22 pm

Agreed. This is almost certainly not an issue, unless you decide you want to go back in as a reservist at some point. It's much easier to go IRR -> drilling reservist than it is to come back when you no longer have any affiliation at all.

But yeah, I highly, highly doubt this impacts your GI Bill at all.

KingsleyZissou
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby KingsleyZissou » Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:55 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:Agreed. This is almost certainly not an issue, unless you decide you want to go back in as a reservist at some point. It's much easier to go IRR -> drilling reservist than it is to come back when you no longer have any affiliation at all.

But yeah, I highly, highly doubt this impacts your GI Bill at all.


navykev wrote:
KingsleyZissou wrote:Got my DD-214 today (thank you, thank you), but I expected to be sworn into the IRR since my contract says 8 years total (4 of which on AD). He said that I somehow declined the IRR, which I didn't even think was possible, and I have no documentation of that.

I'm calling the main Navy Career Transition Office on Monday morning, but wanted to see if anyone could alleviate my major concern which is that Block 23 on my DD-214 only says, "Resigned" whereas my friend's says, "Released from Active Duty and transferred to the Navy Reserve."

The LAST thing I want (or can afford) is to have some sort of snag with my Post-9/11 benefits because some guy at our personnel management detachment screwed up the paperwork. Anybody experience anything like this with the transition to the IRR?

Edit: I'm already listed as 100% GI Bill eligible on E-benefits.


From what I understand, Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits are based on the amount of time you served after 9/11. The only thing that can really derail that is a BCD or some other type of negative discharge and even then some folks still get it. Since you were verified at 100% and didn't get a negative discharge- I'm pretty sure you are ok. Sounds like you had your eligibility verified while you were on active duty like I did. If that is the case, the paper copy the VA sent you in the mail should say that you need to send in your DD214 after you separate to be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program and BAH (which you're not if the VA thinks your active duty). So you probably need to send in your DD214 anyway. All that being said, I'd call your regional coordinator with that question so you can get a 100% answer and not have to worry about it (too many other little things to worry about with the law school application and attendance adventure). But I'm 99.9% sure it's the number of months you served after 9/11 that matters - don't think whether or not you did IRR matters.

If it does cause a snag and it's an administrative screw up by your personnel clerk - let me know. Im a prior Command Master Chief and dealt with a lot of stuff like this and can help walk you through who to call and what steps to take to unscrew the mistake. But like I said before - I doubt it's an issue.


Great, thanks to both of you for putting my mind at ease. I'll give them a call on Monday. And navykev, thanks for the back up!

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jawsjawsjaws
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby jawsjawsjaws » Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:30 am

In at Chicago but still waiting to hear from Stanford. Will it make it any easier if I update my resume with promotion/awards that I received during the past three months? SGT here.

scampbell96706
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby scampbell96706 » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:54 am

Hi everyone,

I made a new thread accidentally titled "considering part-time law school while still active duty" which I meant to simply reply within this thread. Oops!! Anyway, I am still active duty and have already transferred my GI Bill benefits to my dependent. As I understand, the YRP and Voc Rehab are not applicable to active duty. Does anyone know of a program that supports members while still on active duty?

Thanks in advance.

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navykev
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby navykev » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:43 am

scampbell96706 wrote:Hi everyone,

I made a new thread accidentally titled "considering part-time law school while still active duty" which I meant to simply reply within this thread. Oops!! Anyway, I am still active duty and have already transferred my GI Bill benefits to my dependent. As I understand, the YRP and Voc Rehab are not applicable to active duty. Does anyone know of a program that supports members while still on active duty?

Thanks in advance.


Tuition Assistance! I'd talk to your base college office - I have a zillion friends that use TA for graduate programs.

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Ex Cearulo
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Ex Cearulo » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:37 pm

jawsjawsjaws wrote:In at Chicago but still waiting to hear from Stanford. Will it make it any easier if I update my resume with promotion/awards that I received during the past three months? SGT here.

If you were promoted or received a significant medal/award, I think it's definitely worth updating your resume and sending it in with a brief e-mail explaining the new info. Don't see how it could hurt. I think those fall in the category of significant updates that admissions officers have discussed being interested in seeing. If it was some low level award that doesn't truly have a lot of significance (like in the Air Force a squadron-level "xyz of the quarter" award isn't typically that big of a deal), it might be a different story. Congrats on Chicago and good luck with Stanford!

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MT Cicero
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MT Cicero » Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:45 pm

Ex Cearulo wrote:
jawsjawsjaws wrote:In at Chicago but still waiting to hear from Stanford. Will it make it any easier if I update my resume with promotion/awards that I received during the past three months? SGT here.

If you were promoted or received a significant medal/award, I think it's definitely worth updating your resume and sending it in with a brief e-mail explaining the new info. Don't see how it could hurt. I think those fall in the category of significant updates that admissions officers have discussed being interested in seeing. If it was some low level award that doesn't truly have a lot of significance (like in the Air Force a squadron-level "xyz of the quarter" award isn't typically that big of a deal), it might be a different story. Congrats on Chicago and good luck with Stanford!


I agree, and will add that if the update is written strategically, perhaps it may break a close-decision tie ("Update update update...thank you so much for the consideration; I would love the opportunity to be a part of Stanford's class of '18).

Disclosure: I have no idea if adding the "I love Stanford" to your update is a legit good idea from an admissions perspective. It seems like it couldn't hurt, but I'm no Mike Spivey.

Pacman
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Pacman » Mon Mar 30, 2015 2:11 pm

navykev wrote:
scampbell96706 wrote:Hi everyone,

I made a new thread accidentally titled "considering part-time law school while still active duty" which I meant to simply reply within this thread. Oops!! Anyway, I am still active duty and have already transferred my GI Bill benefits to my dependent. As I understand, the YRP and Voc Rehab are not applicable to active duty. Does anyone know of a program that supports members while still on active duty?

Thanks in advance.


Tuition Assistance! I'd talk to your base college office - I have a zillion friends that use TA for graduate programs.



Unfortunately TA terminates at the masters level and you can't use it for anything beyond that; you also can't use it for multiple degrees at the same level so the rule for TA is basically one bachelors, one masters and then you're done. Keep in mind that they have made the use of TA for masters level degrees more difficult so if you used TA to get your bachelors then you have to wait until your 10 TIS mark to use it for your masters if I'm recalling it correctly off the top of my head. I know these things because I'm using the last of my TA before I get out to finish my masters, so if for some reason you're talking about doing an LLM or another masters level program at a law school while still on active duty then go for it. Otherwise, if you're talking about a JD as I'm assuming you are then you are essentially out of luck on that front. I would recommend either waiting until you get out and then working the Voc Rehab angle if you can; I've heard of others doing this successfully for law school. The only other option I can think of is to hit the ground hard on a scholarship search, there is a ton of money out there for vets and non-vets, you've just gotta do a lot of box filling to sign up for everything. Hope this helps and good luck!

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jawsjawsjaws
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby jawsjawsjaws » Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:46 pm

MT Cicero wrote:
Ex Cearulo wrote:
jawsjawsjaws wrote:In at Chicago but still waiting to hear from Stanford. Will it make it any easier if I update my resume with promotion/awards that I received during the past three months? SGT here.

If you were promoted or received a significant medal/award, I think it's definitely worth updating your resume and sending it in with a brief e-mail explaining the new info. Don't see how it could hurt. I think those fall in the category of significant updates that admissions officers have discussed being interested in seeing. If it was some low level award that doesn't truly have a lot of significance (like in the Air Force a squadron-level "xyz of the quarter" award isn't typically that big of a deal), it might be a different story. Congrats on Chicago and good luck with Stanford!


I agree, and will add that if the update is written strategically, perhaps it may break a close-decision tie ("Update update update...thank you so much for the consideration; I would love the opportunity to be a part of Stanford's class of '18).

Disclosure: I have no idea if adding the "I love Stanford" to your update is a legit good idea from an admissions perspective. It seems like it couldn't hurt, but I'm no Mike Spivey.

Thank you for your input!

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jerrycallo
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby jerrycallo » Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:09 pm

.
Last edited by jerrycallo on Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FairchildFLT
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby FairchildFLT » Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:39 pm

jerrycallo wrote:Quick background: I'm waiting on a few schools to get back to me. My app at one school went complete 10+ weeks ago. I leave the country shortly for some training. I would ideally like to have my seat deposit in before I leave because I'm not sure what my internet access will look like and the deadline for seat deposits at the schools I was accepted to will be when I am gone.

Would it hurt my chances if I called the admissions office, explained my situation, and asked them to make a decision before I go? Is that basically shooting myself in the foot? Would I be better served by telling the schools I was already admitted to that I am waiting on other schools and ask them if I can push my seat deposit date to the right? Have admissions offices been pretty accommodating to military obligations for you guys?

This isn't ideal and it won't be the end of the world if I don't hear back before I go, it'd just be easier to just get this process finished and not have to worry about it when I'm gone.

Thanks for the help


I think it sounds totally reasonable to make this request. Admissions representatives have been nothing but understanding when I request something due to a military service obligation.

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storpappa
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby storpappa » Wed Apr 01, 2015 3:43 pm

jerrycallo wrote:Quick background: I'm waiting on a few schools to get back to me. My app at one school went complete 10+ weeks ago. I leave the country shortly for some training. I would ideally like to have my seat deposit in before I leave because I'm not sure what my internet access will look like and the deadline for seat deposits at the schools I was accepted to will be when I am gone.

Would it hurt my chances if I called the admissions office, explained my situation, and asked them to make a decision before I go? Is that basically shooting myself in the foot? Would I be better served by telling the schools I was already admitted to that I am waiting on other schools and ask them if I can push my seat deposit date to the right? Have admissions offices been pretty accommodating to military obligations for you guys?

This isn't ideal and it won't be the end of the world if I don't hear back before I go, it'd just be easier to just get this process finished and not have to worry about it when I'm gone.

Thanks for the help


While asking them to make a decision now for any reason is something I would not recommend, you can advise them of your deployment date and ask that "As I am hoping, the decision of the Admissions Committee will be positive, that any requirements such as a seat deposit be deferred until my return from my military obligation on ___ __, 2015. Thank you"

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Massimiliano
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Massimiliano » Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:35 am

Hey everyone, thanks for all the great info on this thread.

I wanted to get some opinions on a decision I am facing. I am currently deployed with the National Guard and returning home this summer. I will have one more year of law school and will be graduating in May 2016. My ETS date is January 2016. Do you think it is doable to continue serving in the National Guard while also being a lawyer? I don't have a job lined up yet, but I am shooting for a state clerkship then small/mid-sized firm.

Also, I am currently an E-5 and trying to decide if I should go to OCS. Would duties as an officer interfere with regular civilian life more than duties as an NCO?

Another issue with going officer is that I can do OCS one weekend per month, but will have 4-6 months active duty branch training right as my career is kicking off.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby TheSpanishMain » Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:04 am

I was a Reserve officer and had a civilian career (not as a lawyer). It was mildly inconvenient and annoying at times but doable. A lot depends on how far away your unit is and how understanding your boss is if you need to RST. You could always try to become a JAG in the reserves. In a JAG unit everyone else will be in the same boat as far as balancing a civilian legal career
Last edited by TheSpanishMain on Fri Apr 03, 2015 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.




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