Veterans Thread

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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OLitch
Posts: 261
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby OLitch » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:06 am

mdubs314 wrote:
OLitch wrote:I was just dinged from my top choice. Now, I'm rethinking my chances of getting in anywhere. I would like to get into a T14. I'm in pity party mode worried that even regional schools (vandy, Emory, W&M...) are a long shot.

4 years noncombatant military enlisted
163 LSAT
3.70 UGPA with a bad first year and a near 4.0 for the rest of my time
3.9 grad GPA
Lots of community service
I have one additional great soft but also a gap in my employment history
2 LORs from bosses.

Military service, grad degree, and huge upward trend in UGPA make it difficult for me to judge where I stand.

What do you think my chances are?


When those rejection letters start rolling in, it's hard to NOT go into pity-party mode. I remember when I got my rejection letter from Boalt (my #1). I think your chances are decent at getting WLd at those schools you listed. Since you've already submitted, It's hard to talk about your chances at a T14 without seeing your full application.
1) your grad GPA is meaningless. Have you thought about asking one of your grad school teachers for a L-of-R? You could submit that to school that WL you.
2) start reaching out to the veteran associations at each school. You'll often come upon a vet that works with the admission office; someone the admission office specifically ask to talk to vets. Treat those conversations like an unofficial interview. Prep for them like an interview. The tone will be more casual, but prep for it and treat it like an interview. Vandy has a veteran professor you'll likely get put in touch with. That's a good thing. He's a huge advocate for vets and will likely ask you about coming out to see the campus and talk with him. If you have the ability to travel to Vandy and meet with him, do so.
3) IMO, Emory isn't as veteran friendly as the other schools in its Tier. That judgment is somewhat based on their yellow ribbon contribution rate, which is terribly low. Even if you can't tap into the yellow ribbon program, a school's contribution rate can serve as an litmus test for the value they place on veteran status during the admissions process. Perhaps there is a Emory vet on TLS that can chime in. Maybe they offer substantial scholarship money instead.
4) I don't know as much about W&M. Sorry.
5) consider adding ND and WUSTL to the mix if you haven't already. great schools for vets in that Tier.
6) Have you been submitting the "why XYZ law school" essays? If not, start giving those some thought. You'll want to submit those to schools that WL you. You can still contact service2school for help even if you've already submitted.
7) agree that you should consider taking the LSAT again. A few more points could make a huge difference.


Thank you for the advice. I underperformed on my LSAT. I made two strange mistakes that probably cost me a good 5-7 points. I will likely retake in December. My hesitation lies in the fact that I have children. When I studied last time I missed baseball games, play dates, and school functions. I hate the idea of going through that again right before I commit myself to that same lifestyle for 3 years. LSAT studying is too temporary to get a nanny and this last year with my kids feels important. I was delusional to think that my softs would carry me. It looks like I don't have a choice.

I think I could get close to a 170. Do you think I should hold off on T14 applications until after the LSAT or apply now? I gave the same rundown to admissions at my top choice and they told me to submit early and then request a re-review after the LSAT. Even though that is what I was told a couple months ago, I'm not sure I can move forward with a rejection.

Again, family presents a problem. I need to make a decision as quickly as possible because I will need to get my children into school as well. Most schools require a deposit between December and February. Having a family before a career was great but right now it is complicating things.

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mdubs314
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby mdubs314 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:13 am

OLitch wrote:
mdubs314 wrote:
OLitch wrote:I was just dinged from my top choice. ...?


When those rejection letters start rolling in, it's hard to NOT go into pity-party mode.
...
7) agree that you should consider taking the LSAT again. A few more points could make a huge difference.


Thank you for the advice. I underperformed on my LSAT. I made two strange mistakes that probably cost me a good 5-7 points. I will likely retake in December. My hesitation lies in the fact that I have children. When I studied last time I missed baseball games, play dates, and school functions. I hate the idea of going through that again right before I commit myself to that same lifestyle for 3 years. LSAT studying is too temporary to get a nanny and this last year with my kids feels important. I was delusional to think that my softs would carry me. It looks like I don't have a choice.

I think I could get close to a 170. Do you think I should hold off on T14 applications until after the LSAT or apply now? I gave the same rundown to admissions at my top choice and they told me to submit early and then request a re-review after the LSAT. Even though that is what I was told a couple months ago, I'm not sure I can move forward with a rejection.

Again, family presents a problem. I need to make a decision as quickly as possible because I will need to get my children into school as well. Most schools require a deposit between December and February. Having a family before a career was great but right now it is complicating things.


The family issue is going to create complications with your timeline. If a T14 does accept you, it'll likely be a situation where they WL you, you send a LOCI, and then they still won't accept you until early spring 2016. In that timeframe, they'll put you into a pool of "possible veterans" and see how things shake out. It sounds like that timeline isn't an option for you?

IMO, you should still submit most T14 apps as soon as possible. Review each school's LSAC site for notes about, "if you plan to retest". Typically, all rejections are final. What medium did you use to contact your #1 school? If you have a time sensitive question, you can call. Otherwise, stick to email. Typically, any emails will become part of your file. So if you tell a school via email that you're retesting in Dec, they will usually print out that email and place it in your file (or use something digital that flags your file for anyone who reviews it). If you asked that question to your top school months ago, you likely hadn't submitted your application to them yet, right? So, they had no place to put a note saying, "this person is retesting in Dec." Again though, check their LSAC site for info first so you don't bug a school with unnecessary questions that have already been answered.

All schools are different with how/if they will re-review rejections. So if this school told you to contact them after you retest and ask for a re-review, then that's what you should do. If there is one primary reason a school WOULD re-review a rejected applicant, a higher LSAT would be it. Without knowing your #1 school though, it's hard to tell if a higher LSAT would make a difference anyway.

Lastly, the rejection letter may have been the schools way of telling you that you made too many careless mistakes on your application and that even a higher LSAT wouldn't make a difference. Just in case, you might want to have someone with a fresh set of eyes review your application, to include anything you typed directly into the LSAC text boxes. I doubt this was the case, but it never hurts to review your full application prior to submitting it to more schools.

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OLitch
Posts: 261
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby OLitch » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:04 pm

mdubs314 wrote:
OLitch wrote:
mdubs314 wrote:
OLitch wrote:I was just dinged from my top choice. ...?


When those rejection letters start rolling in, it's hard to NOT go into pity-party mode.
...
7) agree that you should consider taking the LSAT again. A few more points could make a huge difference.


Thank you for the advice. I underperformed on my LSAT. I made two strange mistakes that probably cost me a good 5-7 points. I will likely retake in December. My hesitation lies in the fact that I have children. When I studied last time I missed baseball games, play dates, and school functions. I hate the idea of going through that again right before I commit myself to that same lifestyle for 3 years. LSAT studying is too temporary to get a nanny and this last year with my kids feels important. I was delusional to think that my softs would carry me. It looks like I don't have a choice.

I think I could get close to a 170. Do you think I should hold off on T14 applications until after the LSAT or apply now? I gave the same rundown to admissions at my top choice and they told me to submit early and then request a re-review after the LSAT. Even though that is what I was told a couple months ago, I'm not sure I can move forward with a rejection.

Again, family presents a problem. I need to make a decision as quickly as possible because I will need to get my children into school as well. Most schools require a deposit between December and February. Having a family before a career was great but right now it is complicating things.


The family issue is going to create complications with your timeline. If a T14 does accept you, it'll likely be a situation where they WL you, you send a LOCI, and then they still won't accept you until early spring 2016. In that timeframe, they'll put you into a pool of "possible veterans" and see how things shake out. It sounds like that timeline isn't an option for you?

IMO, you should still submit most T14 apps as soon as possible. Review each school's LSAC site for notes about, "if you plan to retest". Typically, all rejections are final. What medium did you use to contact your #1 school? If you have a time sensitive question, you can call. Otherwise, stick to email. Typically, any emails will become part of your file. So if you tell a school via email that you're retesting in Dec, they will usually print out that email and place it in your file (or use something digital that flags your file for anyone who reviews it). If you asked that question to your top school months ago, you likely hadn't submitted your application to them yet, right? So, they had no place to put a note saying, "this person is retesting in Dec." Again though, check their LSAC site for info first so you don't bug a school with unnecessary questions that have already been answered.

All schools are different with how/if they will re-review rejections. So if this school told you to contact them after you retest and ask for a re-review, then that's what you should do. If there is one primary reason a school WOULD re-review a rejected applicant, a higher LSAT would be it. Without knowing your #1 school though, it's hard to tell if a higher LSAT would make a difference anyway.

Lastly, the rejection letter may have been the schools way of telling you that you made too many careless mistakes on your application and that even a higher LSAT wouldn't make a difference. Just in case, you might want to have someone with a fresh set of eyes review your application, to include anything you typed directly into the LSAC text boxes. I doubt this was the case, but it never hurts to review your full application prior to submitting it to more schools.


You have been tremendously helpful. Thank you.

I contacted the school as soon as the June scores were released. I called. The only reason I felt comfortable applying ED was because I thought I would have a shot at a subsequent review. I thought I stood a good chance at a wait list decision because of my softs. I was wrong.

I am using S2S and my application was reviewed and edited by several people who are friends (professional recruiter, former class president of my top choice LS, a friend who worked at the admissions office at another LS, and a freelance writer for a national magazine). That doesn't mean that there weren't red flags in my package. I am just pretty confident that my package was without mistakes.

You have given me so much to think about. I appreciate the help. Sometimes just talking about things helps me distance my feelings and take a more logical position.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby SemperLegal » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:15 pm

Cobretti wrote:
biglawhopeful18 wrote:I'm going to agree with the tempered expectations approach. I marginally outperformed my numbers, even with distinguished service and compelling PS/DS (Purple Heart, multicultural background). 3.35/167 and snagged some lower t14''s; dinged by entire t10. I will note that I initially had a lower lsat and retook in December for the 167, so I wasn't necessarily able to get apps in early. From talking to vets and law firm contacts, the vet boost is much more pronounced in legal hiring than law school admissions.

I agree with the legal hiring bump, definitely seems to be the case.



Agreed. I definitely got offers that I would not have gotten save my service (one was confirmed by a member of the hiring committee that I went from the Maybe pile to the Yes pile as soon as my military record was revealed)

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mdubs314
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby mdubs314 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 2:08 pm

OLitch wrote:
mdubs314 wrote:
OLitch wrote:
mdubs314 wrote:
OLitch wrote:I was just dinged from my top choice. ...?


When those rejection letters start rolling in, it's hard to NOT go into pity-party mode.
...
7) agree that you should consider taking the LSAT again. A few more points could make a huge difference.


Thank you for the advice. I underperformed on my LSAT. I made two strange mistakes that probably cost me a good 5-7 points. I will likely retake in December. My hesitation lies in the fact that I have children. When I studied last time I missed baseball games, play dates, and school functions. I hate the idea of going through that again right before I commit myself to that same lifestyle for 3 years. LSAT studying is too temporary to get a nanny and this last year with my kids feels important. I was delusional to think that my softs would carry me. It looks like I don't have a choice.

I think I could get close to a 170. Do you think I should hold off on T14 applications until after the LSAT or apply now? I gave the same rundown to admissions at my top choice and they told me to submit early and then request a re-review after the LSAT. Even though that is what I was told a couple months ago, I'm not sure I can move forward with a rejection.

Again, family presents a problem. I need to make a decision as quickly as possible because I will need to get my children into school as well. Most schools require a deposit between December and February. Having a family before a career was great but right now it is complicating things.


The family issue is going to create complications with your timeline. If a T14 does accept you, it'll likely be a situation where they WL you, you send a LOCI, and then they still won't accept you until early spring 2016. In that timeframe, they'll put you into a pool of "possible veterans" and see how things shake out. It sounds like that timeline isn't an option for you?

IMO, you should still submit most T14 apps as soon as possible. Review each school's LSAC site for notes about, "if you plan to retest". Typically, all rejections are final. What medium did you use to contact your #1 school? If you have a time sensitive question, you can call. Otherwise, stick to email. Typically, any emails will become part of your file. So if you tell a school via email that you're retesting in Dec, they will usually print out that email and place it in your file (or use something digital that flags your file for anyone who reviews it). If you asked that question to your top school months ago, you likely hadn't submitted your application to them yet, right? So, they had no place to put a note saying, "this person is retesting in Dec." Again though, check their LSAC site for info first so you don't bug a school with unnecessary questions that have already been answered.

All schools are different with how/if they will re-review rejections. So if this school told you to contact them after you retest and ask for a re-review, then that's what you should do. If there is one primary reason a school WOULD re-review a rejected applicant, a higher LSAT would be it. Without knowing your #1 school though, it's hard to tell if a higher LSAT would make a difference anyway.

Lastly, the rejection letter may have been the schools way of telling you that you made too many careless mistakes on your application and that even a higher LSAT wouldn't make a difference. Just in case, you might want to have someone with a fresh set of eyes review your application, to include anything you typed directly into the LSAC text boxes. I doubt this was the case, but it never hurts to review your full application prior to submitting it to more schools.


You have been tremendously helpful. Thank you.

I contacted the school as soon as the June scores were released. I called. The only reason I felt comfortable applying ED was because I thought I would have a shot at a subsequent review. I thought I stood a good chance at a wait list decision because of my softs. I was wrong.

I am using S2S and my application was reviewed and edited by several people who are friends (professional recruiter, former class president of my top choice LS, a friend who worked at the admissions office at another LS, and a freelance writer for a national magazine). That doesn't mean that there weren't red flags in my package. I am just pretty confident that my package was without mistakes.

You have given me so much to think about. I appreciate the help. Sometimes just talking about things helps me distance my feelings and take a more logical position.


Applying ED puts a twist on it, too. Applying early and applying ED are two separate topics. You might make contact with them and ask for clarification on if your ED application was automatically put into the normal application cycle, or if you need to resubmit; that's a PC way of asking if the rejection was final. (Again, check their LSAC site and website first). A lot of schools will allow you to reapply to the standard cycle even if you were rejected for the ED cycle, but those schools will usually put something in the rejection letter that lets you know it was automatic.

No worries at all on the help. I remember being in your shoes. All the vets on this thread are on your side. I know my message is a little bit different from others. Neither is right or wrong. It's just based on our own experiences (or collection of experiences). My input is based on working as a JD ambassador with service2school. I'm not trying to sugarcoat anything on your chances, but I will say that you DO still have a chance at a T14 with the right application. Helping to ensure you maximize those chances is exactly what we specialize in at service2school. that message of "you still have a chance at a T14 with your numbers" isn't going to be in the majority.

You seem like someone that could gain a lot of value in our DC workshop on 24 Oct. You can register to stream it live if you can't attend in person. It's not a workshop that some other entity organized. This is OUR event--specifically for vets--on how to navigate the application process. I posted a "flyer" a few pages back in this veterans thread. Elite schools (Harvard,Georgetown, UChicago, etc) will be their to lead the JD workshop. Take a look. Even though you've already submitted some apps, we can still help. Remember, it's free for Vets. For those that are already in law school, but curious about us...feel free to register for the live streaming option.
http://www.service2school.org

This is not some bait & switch setup or some time-share sales pitch scenario. We're not trying to get you to attend something for free only to up-sell you on something once you get there. We want vets to attend so that they are armed with the best information possible. That's it. Ideally, some will decide to apply for our full services )which are also 100% FREE for vets), but if not, that's okay too. Follow us on FB if you want to know more about us (we're "service to school" on FB).

toni22
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby toni22 » Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:45 am

hey question for the group
I am currently in the application process for next year. My GPA from undergrad at UNC chapel hill is low..3.0 I am taking the LSAT this weekend and am not expecting a score above 155. I was 3 years active duty army,sergeant just got medically retired. 1 tour to afghanistan with special operations command training afghan security forces. before the army I taught 5th grade for a year.

I'm wondering realistically what my chances are at school and if my softs will be able to push me over the edge...I think my personal statement is definitely going to stand out.
My schools I'm trying for are mostly American, northeastern, Chicago-kent, or UNC again.

Any feedback would be great.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby SemperLegal » Tue Sep 29, 2015 5:36 am

toni22 wrote:hey question for the group
I am currently in the application process for next year. My GPA from undergrad at UNC chapel hill is low..3.0 I am taking the LSAT this weekend and am not expecting a score above 155. I was 3 years active duty army,sergeant just got medically retired. 1 tour to afghanistan with special operations command training afghan security forces. before the army I taught 5th grade for a year.

I'm wondering realistically what my chances are at school and if my softs will be able to push me over the edge...I think my personal statement is definitely going to stand out.
My schools I'm trying for are mostly American, northeastern, Chicago-kent, or UNC again.

Any feedback would be great.


If you can get a teaching degree from chapel hill, you are smart enough to get a 165+. If you can make Sgt, you are disciplined enough. Study harder and set yourself up for success.

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Shib26
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Shib26 » Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:24 pm

Hey all, just stumbled across this and figured I'd throw my info out there to get your opinion on where I stand with law school admissions.

The basic stats:
-3.0 GPA from West Point 2005
-LSAT - no official score yet, have scored above 170 on 2 practice tests and that's up from a 158 initial test with no prep so I'm fairly confident I can hit high 160s or low 170s on the real thing.
-Infantry Officer for 5 years, 2 deployments to Iraq
-non-URM
-MBA from Texas - got this when I got out and then have been working in a Fortune 10 company's management development program. I think I can address the "why law school and why now?" questions pretty well though.
-70% Disability rating - not sure what if any effect this will have
-I had a pretty intense first deployment, BSMV/ARCOMV recipient, books written about my unit etc. and think I can craft a pretty compelling personal statement from that experience

So 1) how will that 3.0 UGPA be regarded? At a school that has forced grade distribution I was fairly proud of a 3.0 but on the other hand I know that a 3.0 is still a 3.0 in an environment where schools try to maintain their stats. It did have an upward trajectory (plebe year sucked), and I think the LSAC calculated GPA will be higher if they take out the military and PE courses.
2) What effect if any will the MBA have? Texas is my #1 choice at this point so I'm wondering if they in particular would see it as a positive that I already have a grad degree from the same institution.
3) Just in general what would be realistic targets? Reaches? As I stated before Texas is my #1 choice, for a lot of reasons I'd like to stay where I'm at geographically so I'm also looking at schools like SMU/Baylor/UH. But I also don't want to settle so if I have a legit shot at a t14 I might as well go for it.

Thanks in advance for any feedback! And also for this thread in general, it's always great to see a group of veterans helping each other out.

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Dcc617
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Dcc617 » Tue Sep 29, 2015 3:00 pm

Shib26 wrote:Hey all, just stumbled across this and figured I'd throw my info out there to get your opinion on where I stand with law school admissions.

The basic stats:
-3.0 GPA from West Point 2005
-LSAT - no official score yet, have scored above 170 on 2 practice tests and that's up from a 158 initial test with no prep so I'm fairly confident I can hit high 160s or low 170s on the real thing.
-Infantry Officer for 5 years, 2 deployments to Iraq
-non-URM
-MBA from Texas - got this when I got out and then have been working in a Fortune 10 company's management development program. I think I can address the "why law school and why now?" questions pretty well though.
-70% Disability rating - not sure what if any effect this will have
-I had a pretty intense first deployment, BSMV/ARCOMV recipient, books written about my unit etc. and think I can craft a pretty compelling personal statement from that experience

So 1) how will that 3.0 UGPA be regarded? At a school that has forced grade distribution I was fairly proud of a 3.0 but on the other hand I know that a 3.0 is still a 3.0 in an environment where schools try to maintain their stats. It did have an upward trajectory (plebe year sucked), and I think the LSAC calculated GPA will be higher if they take out the military and PE courses.
2) What effect if any will the MBA have? Texas is my #1 choice at this point so I'm wondering if they in particular would see it as a positive that I already have a grad degree from the same institution.
3) Just in general what would be realistic targets? Reaches? As I stated before Texas is my #1 choice, for a lot of reasons I'd like to stay where I'm at geographically so I'm also looking at schools like SMU/Baylor/UH. But I also don't want to settle so if I have a legit shot at a t14 I might as well go for it.

Thanks in advance for any feedback! And also for this thread in general, it's always great to see a group of veterans helping each other out.


Not an expert but I got dinged from Texas last cycle with a 3.7X and 165 and 3-4 years military experience. I was also out of state, which makes it a lot harder to get admitted.

Nobody here can really tell you your chances without an LSAT. A 167-170 you'll have a good shot at a lot of T14 and Texas/UCLA. A 160 and you're probably out of luck. The 3.0 is definitely not a deal breaker with military experience and a high LSAT though. I'm sure that others on here will be able to give you more insight.

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Cobretti
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Cobretti » Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:40 pm

Shib26 wrote:Hey all, just stumbled across this and figured I'd throw my info out there to get your opinion on where I stand with law school admissions.

The basic stats:
-3.0 GPA from West Point 2005
-LSAT - no official score yet, have scored above 170 on 2 practice tests and that's up from a 158 initial test with no prep so I'm fairly confident I can hit high 160s or low 170s on the real thing.
-Infantry Officer for 5 years, 2 deployments to Iraq
-non-URM
-MBA from Texas - got this when I got out and then have been working in a Fortune 10 company's management development program. I think I can address the "why law school and why now?" questions pretty well though.
-70% Disability rating - not sure what if any effect this will have
-I had a pretty intense first deployment, BSMV/ARCOMV recipient, books written about my unit etc. and think I can craft a pretty compelling personal statement from that experience

So 1) how will that 3.0 UGPA be regarded? At a school that has forced grade distribution I was fairly proud of a 3.0 but on the other hand I know that a 3.0 is still a 3.0 in an environment where schools try to maintain their stats. It did have an upward trajectory (plebe year sucked), and I think the LSAC calculated GPA will be higher if they take out the military and PE courses.
2) What effect if any will the MBA have? Texas is my #1 choice at this point so I'm wondering if they in particular would see it as a positive that I already have a grad degree from the same institution.
3) Just in general what would be realistic targets? Reaches? As I stated before Texas is my #1 choice, for a lot of reasons I'd like to stay where I'm at geographically so I'm also looking at schools like SMU/Baylor/UH. But I also don't want to settle so if I have a legit shot at a t14 I might as well go for it.

Thanks in advance for any feedback! And also for this thread in general, it's always great to see a group of veterans helping each other out.

If you hit 168 you can get NU more than likely. With a 3.0 NU is really attractive because of how splitter friendly they are, so if you don't get Texas because they are more GPA sensitive, you should take a serious look at NU. I had a 3.0, above median LSAT and a separate MBA and wound up there. I was enlisted with less impressive deployments too so you should be looking really strong if you can perform on the LSAT.

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Shib26
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Shib26 » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:17 pm

Cobretti wrote:
Shib26 wrote:Hey all, just stumbled across this and figured I'd throw my info out there to get your opinion on where I stand with law school admissions.

The basic stats:
-3.0 GPA from West Point 2005
-LSAT - no official score yet, have scored above 170 on 2 practice tests and that's up from a 158 initial test with no prep so I'm fairly confident I can hit high 160s or low 170s on the real thing.
-Infantry Officer for 5 years, 2 deployments to Iraq
-non-URM
-MBA from Texas - got this when I got out and then have been working in a Fortune 10 company's management development program. I think I can address the "why law school and why now?" questions pretty well though.
-70% Disability rating - not sure what if any effect this will have
-I had a pretty intense first deployment, BSMV/ARCOMV recipient, books written about my unit etc. and think I can craft a pretty compelling personal statement from that experience

So 1) how will that 3.0 UGPA be regarded? At a school that has forced grade distribution I was fairly proud of a 3.0 but on the other hand I know that a 3.0 is still a 3.0 in an environment where schools try to maintain their stats. It did have an upward trajectory (plebe year sucked), and I think the LSAC calculated GPA will be higher if they take out the military and PE courses.
2) What effect if any will the MBA have? Texas is my #1 choice at this point so I'm wondering if they in particular would see it as a positive that I already have a grad degree from the same institution.
3) Just in general what would be realistic targets? Reaches? As I stated before Texas is my #1 choice, for a lot of reasons I'd like to stay where I'm at geographically so I'm also looking at schools like SMU/Baylor/UH. But I also don't want to settle so if I have a legit shot at a t14 I might as well go for it.

Thanks in advance for any feedback! And also for this thread in general, it's always great to see a group of veterans helping each other out.

If you hit 168 you can get NU more than likely. With a 3.0 NU is really attractive because of how splitter friendly they are, so if you don't get Texas because they are more GPA sensitive, you should take a serious look at NU. I had a 3.0, above median LSAT and a separate MBA and wound up there. I was enlisted with less impressive deployments too so you should be looking really strong if you can perform on the LSAT.


Thanks for the recommendation. Interesting that a lower ranked school could be tougher to get into, but I guess it makes sense if a lower ranked school is trying to climb the ladder. I'll buckle down on the LSAT prep and hopefully knock it out of the park.

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mdubs314
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby mdubs314 » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:01 pm

Shib26 wrote:Hey all, just stumbled across this and figured I'd throw my info out there to get your opinion on where I stand with law school admissions.

The basic stats:
-3.0 GPA from West Point 2005
-LSAT - no official score yet, have scored above 170 on 2 practice tests and that's up from a 158 initial test with no prep so I'm fairly confident I can hit high 160s or low 170s on the real thing.
-Infantry Officer for 5 years, 2 deployments to Iraq
-non-URM
-MBA from Texas - got this when I got out and then have been working in a Fortune 10 company's management development program. I think I can address the "why law school and why now?" questions pretty well though.
-70% Disability rating - not sure what if any effect this will have
-I had a pretty intense first deployment, BSMV/ARCOMV recipient, books written about my unit etc. and think I can craft a pretty compelling personal statement from that experience

So 1) how will that 3.0 UGPA be regarded? At a school that has forced grade distribution I was fairly proud of a 3.0 but on the other hand I know that a 3.0 is still a 3.0 in an environment where schools try to maintain their stats. It did have an upward trajectory (plebe year sucked), and I think the LSAC calculated GPA will be higher if they take out the military and PE courses.
2) What effect if any will the MBA have? Texas is my #1 choice at this point so I'm wondering if they in particular would see it as a positive that I already have a grad degree from the same institution.
3) Just in general what would be realistic targets? Reaches? As I stated before Texas is my #1 choice, for a lot of reasons I'd like to stay where I'm at geographically so I'm also looking at schools like SMU/Baylor/UH. But I also don't want to settle so if I have a legit shot at a t14 I might as well go for it.

Thanks in advance for any feedback! And also for this thread in general, it's always great to see a group of veterans helping each other out.



Most admission boards are well aware of the grading curve that exist at the military academies. What that means for you is that the schools won't worry that you'll struggle with the rigors of law school. They will look at your academic report from LSAC and see what your school's median GPA and LSAT. The bad news is that each school is still required to report GPAs to the ABA. So, a 3.0 from USMA is the same as a 3.0 from some easy school when it comes time to determine rankings.

Some schools will take that into account. Some won't. The same goes for your major. A 3.0 in engineering is the same as a 3.0 in general studies.

The good news is that: unless a school is trying to improve their average GPA, they can still admit you without affecting their 25-75th percentile GPA score.

Common mistake with LSAT pre-testing: make sure you're completing 5 sections. After finishing all 5, flip a coin to determine which repeat section will count. It's no fun to complete 5 sections while prepping, but it's important to do it. Also, keep in mind that it's not as easy to keep track of time during the actual LSAT when all you have is a clock on a wall that may or may it be close by. You'll won't have the luxury of a digital watch or a watch that counts down.

It sounds like you've already used 2years of GI Bill benefits on your MBA. If you have a 20% VA disability raining, you need to take a look at the vocational rehab program.

On to Texas:
As a publically funded state university, it strongly helps your chances that you have a lot of connections to the state. Based off what you said above, I would recommend applying ED. even if you don't get accepted ED (which I don't think you will), Texas is one of the schools that will take that into account during the regular cycle. They want to offer admission to people who see Texas as their #1 pick and won't flee for a T14.

With your GPA and non-URM status, you'll want to aim for 165+. If you can do that and if have a good application, I see you getting into Texas sometime around Feb.

Make sure you complete all the optional essays and if possible, try and tie your PS to Texas, too. The more you can telegraph that Texas is your #1, the better.

If you can get a 165+, you're competitive for a T14 like NU. If you have some strong Army experience to talk about, I could see you making it far with the Harvard process too. If you can get a 169+, I like your chances at Harvard. I wouldn't pass up Harvard, but otherwise I would give a lot of thought to NOT passing up Texas to go to a T14. I say that because it sounds like you'll end up in Texas after you graduate, so the advantages of a T14 are minimal. With your Texas background, a JD from Texas will open up all the doors (In Texas) that a T14 will. It's not like a Texas firm is going to pay you more because you come from a T14. Plus it gives you the advantage of a summer internship with a Texas firm.

And make sure you apply to every single T14. A couple of those schools might like your PS a lot. I don't think you'll have any problem with getting accepted at the other Texas schools. Feel free to apply so you can throw a couple Ws in your win column, but your goal should be Texas and only Texas.

You should take a look at the Pat Tillman scholarship, too. It sounds like you might have a inspirational story they would be interested in reading.

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mdubs314
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby mdubs314 » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:29 pm

SemperLegal wrote:
toni22 wrote:hey question for the group
I am currently in the application process for next year. My GPA from undergrad at UNC chapel hill is low..3.0 I am taking the LSAT this weekend and am not expecting a score above 155. I was 3 years active duty army,sergeant just got medically retired. 1 tour to afghanistan with special operations command training afghan security forces. before the army I taught 5th grade for a year.

I'm wondering realistically what my chances are at school and if my softs will be able to push me over the edge...I think my personal statement is definitely going to stand out.
My schools I'm trying for are mostly American, northeastern, Chicago-kent, or UNC again.

Any feedback would be great.


If you can get a teaching degree from chapel hill, you are smart enough to get a 165+. If you can make Sgt, you are disciplined enough. Study harder and set yourself up for success.


+1. You need to get into that 160+ range. Your potential would be squandered on those schools above. Sometimes the LSAT doesn't start clicking until after you take it live. That's okay. Just keep studying and take it again. There is a right way and wrong way to study. You need to go back and review every single question you got wrong and every single question you guessed at but got right. The goal isn't to figure out what the real answer is, the goal is to look at the root cause for why you got it wrong.

You should be able to quickly eliminate at least 2 answers right away. If you can't do that, then you don't yet understand the LSAT patterns to the types of questions it asks. If your making a guess on a question and haven't eliminated 2-3 right away, you'll hit a wall with how high you can score.
When you start getting to the point where your score isn't improving, but you're able to get the answer down to one of 2 choices (and you end-up picking the wrong one on most of the ones you get wrong)...you're on the verge of breaking through to the upper percentile. If you're not to that point yet, then you need to focus on HOW you study/prep. At this point, if you're thinking you'll top out at 155, you you need to get down in the weeds with fewer questions rather. Doing a higher volume of practice questions isn't going to help you nearly as much as trying to dissect what you're doing wrong.

toni22
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby toni22 » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:54 pm

yeah you're right. I am getting down to that 2 question left. but then I normally pick the wrong one. which kills me. I know I probably need to take the test and then retake in December. I want to be in school by next fall though. So what's the trick between the 2 answer choice left game. Thanks for the reply

also curious to know how many of you (like myself) are female?

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Shib26
Posts: 264
Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:03 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Shib26 » Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:46 pm

mdubs314 wrote:
Most admission boards are well aware of the grading curve that exist at the military academies. What that means for you is that the schools won't worry that you'll struggle with the rigors of law school. They will look at your academic report from LSAC and see what your school's median GPA and LSAT. The bad news is that each school is still required to report GPAs to the ABA. So, a 3.0 from USMA is the same as a 3.0 from some easy school when it comes time to determine rankings.

Some schools will take that into account. Some won't. The same goes for your major. A 3.0 in engineering is the same as a 3.0 in general studies.

The good news is that: unless a school is trying to improve their average GPA, they can still admit you without affecting their 25-75th percentile GPA score.

Common mistake with LSAT pre-testing: make sure you're completing 5 sections. After finishing all 5, flip a coin to determine which repeat section will count. It's no fun to complete 5 sections while prepping, but it's important to do it. Also, keep in mind that it's not as easy to keep track of time during the actual LSAT when all you have is a clock on a wall that may or may it be close by. You'll won't have the luxury of a digital watch or a watch that counts down.

It sounds like you've already used 2years of GI Bill benefits on your MBA. If you have a 20% VA disability raining, you need to take a look at the vocational rehab program.

On to Texas:
As a publically funded state university, it strongly helps your chances that you have a lot of connections to the state. Based off what you said above, I would recommend applying ED. even if you don't get accepted ED (which I don't think you will), Texas is one of the schools that will take that into account during the regular cycle. They want to offer admission to people who see Texas as their #1 pick and won't flee for a T14.

With your GPA and non-URM status, you'll want to aim for 165+. If you can do that and if have a good application, I see you getting into Texas sometime around Feb.

Make sure you complete all the optional essays and if possible, try and tie your PS to Texas, too. The more you can telegraph that Texas is your #1, the better.

If you can get a 165+, you're competitive for a T14 like NU. If you have some strong Army experience to talk about, I could see you making it far with the Harvard process too. If you can get a 169+, I like your chances at Harvard. I wouldn't pass up Harvard, but otherwise I would give a lot of thought to NOT passing up Texas to go to a T14. I say that because it sounds like you'll end up in Texas after you graduate, so the advantages of a T14 are minimal. With your Texas background, a JD from Texas will open up all the doors (In Texas) that a T14 will. It's not like a Texas firm is going to pay you more because you come from a T14. Plus it gives you the advantage of a summer internship with a Texas firm.

And make sure you apply to every single T14. A couple of those schools might like your PS a lot. I don't think you'll have any problem with getting accepted at the other Texas schools. Feel free to apply so you can throw a couple Ws in your win column, but your goal should be Texas and only Texas.

You should take a look at the Pat Tillman scholarship, too. It sounds like you might have a inspirational story they would be interested in reading.


Thanks for the great feedback, I really appreciate it!

cmac2210
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:39 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby cmac2210 » Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:57 pm

I have a question for you all regarding LSAC applications. I have been in the AF for over 20 years! That is a ton of PCSing and changing duty locations to account for. How did you all handle this on your applications? Did you list every single duty location that you were stationed at or did you just do a single entry to account for your total military service?

JazzyMac
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:30 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby JazzyMac » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:03 am

cmac2210 wrote:I have a question for you all regarding LSAC applications. I have been in the AF for over 20 years! That is a ton of PCSing and changing duty locations to account for. How did you all handle this on your applications? Did you list every single duty location that you were stationed at or did you just do a single entry to account for your total military service?


I was encouraged by my S2S mentor to paraphrase a portion of my career. In this case, it was my first 8 years where I served more as a "technician" than a manager. That encompassed four bases. I also limited my duties to major accomplishments. Additional duty types that I felt significant are in a different area on the resume. A 20-year career can fit on two pages!

Let me know if I can help more.
Last edited by JazzyMac on Sat Oct 10, 2015 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JazzyMac
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:30 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby JazzyMac » Fri Oct 02, 2015 6:03 am

toni22 wrote:yeah you're right. I am getting down to that 2 question left. but then I normally pick the wrong one. which kills me. I know I probably need to take the test and then retake in December. I want to be in school by next fall though. So what's the trick between the 2 answer choice left game. Thanks for the reply

also curious to know how many of you (like myself) are female?


Chickadee here!

User avatar
OLitch
Posts: 261
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2015 7:53 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby OLitch » Fri Oct 02, 2015 7:38 am

JazzyMac wrote:
toni22 wrote:yeah you're right. I am getting down to that 2 question left. but then I normally pick the wrong one. which kills me. I know I probably need to take the test and then retake in December. I want to be in school by next fall though. So what's the trick between the 2 answer choice left game. Thanks for the reply

also curious to know how many of you (like myself) are female?


Chickadee here!


I'm a female as well.

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SemperLegal
Posts: 1333
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:28 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby SemperLegal » Fri Oct 02, 2015 9:09 am

cmac2210 wrote:I have a question for you all regarding LSAC applications. I have been in the AF for over 20 years! That is a ton of PCSing and changing duty locations to account for. How did you all handle this on your applications? Did you list every single duty location that you were stationed at or did you just do a single entry to account for your total military service?


I broke it down. The bar application is even worse.

cmac2210
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:39 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby cmac2210 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:23 pm

I sent S2S all of my documents, but I haven't heard back from them yet. Would anyone be willing to glance at my resume and comment?

JazzyMac wrote:
cmac2210 wrote:I have a question for you all regarding LSAC applications. I have been in the AF for over 20 years! That is a ton of PCSing and changing duty locations to account for. How did you all handle this on your applications? Did you list every single duty location that you were stationed at or did you just do a single entry to account for your total military service?


I was encouraged by my S2S mentor to paraphrase a portion of my career. In his case, it was my first 8 years where I served more as a "technician" than a manager. That encompassed four bases. I also limited my duties to major accomplishments. Additional duty types hat I felt significant are in a different area on the resume. A 20-year career can fit on two pages!

Let me know if I can help more.

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TheSpanishMain
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby TheSpanishMain » Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:53 pm

SemperLegal wrote:
cmac2210 wrote:I have a question for you all regarding LSAC applications. I have been in the AF for over 20 years! That is a ton of PCSing and changing duty locations to account for. How did you all handle this on your applications? Did you list every single duty location that you were stationed at or did you just do a single entry to account for your total military service?


I broke it down. The bar application is even worse.


Seems more or less like filling out an SF-86, from what I've looked at so far. Seem about right, or is it even worse?

cmac2210
Posts: 95
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:39 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby cmac2210 » Fri Oct 02, 2015 1:56 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
SemperLegal wrote:
cmac2210 wrote:I have a question for you all regarding LSAC applications. I have been in the AF for over 20 years! That is a ton of PCSing and changing duty locations to account for. How did you all handle this on your applications? Did you list every single duty location that you were stationed at or did you just do a single entry to account for your total military service?


I broke it down. The bar application is even worse.


Seems more or less like filling out an SF-86, from what I've looked at so far. Seem about right, or is it even worse?


It depends on the school. One of the schools I am applying to does not have specific spaces for employment, but some do, which is like the SF 86! I want to bulk a lot of my early career into 2 blocks and then list my time in the legal office line by line, as I feel its more relevant to law school, and its the bulk of my career with regard to leadership.

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SemperLegal
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby SemperLegal » Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:04 pm

TheSpanishMain wrote:
SemperLegal wrote:
cmac2210 wrote:I have a question for you all regarding LSAC applications. I have been in the AF for over 20 years! That is a ton of PCSing and changing duty locations to account for. How did you all handle this on your applications? Did you list every single duty location that you were stationed at or did you just do a single entry to account for your total military service?


I broke it down. The bar application is even worse.


Seems more or less like filling out an SF-86, from what I've looked at so far. Seem about right, or is it even worse?


Pretty identical in NJ. Easier in NY (which asks for only five years of history for most things.

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Bfalcon
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Bfalcon » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:42 am

Morning folks,

I'm the senior co-president of Georgetown's Military Law Society. More than happy to take questions from any vets or service-members looking at Georgetown. We have a robust society with 117 members and over 85 J.D. student-veterans/active duty/reserve. This year, our Board and committees will be hosting 19 events including a comprehensive career series, academic and national-security related panels, social events, and admissions events. We also pair all MLS members with distinguished veteran alumni in the D.C. area through our External Mentorship Program as well as 1L/1E pairing with internal upperclass-student mentors. Currently lobbying for veterans experiential learning courses, scholarship and YRP upgrades and veteran hiring in BigLaw.




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