Veterans Thread

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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mdubs314
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby mdubs314 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:47 pm

I'm looking to collect info from vets who are using vocational rehab or applied and were denied (for whatever reason). I'd like to include the information in our guide book.

With the VA being so hit-or-miss with the vocational rehab program, I want to put vets in the best possible position when they go in for their interview. You don't have to provide PII information. Just details. Post on here or PM is cool.

BFalcon, good (digitally) talking with you today. Glad to see you and GULC onboard with the DC conference.

Longsx3
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Longsx3 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:05 pm

Anyone have any experience with UM, Scholarship and Gi Bill?

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Shib26
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Shib26 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:26 pm

mdubs314 wrote:I'm looking to collect info from vets who are using vocational rehab or applied and were denied (for whatever reason). I'd like to include the information in our guide book.

With the VA being so hit-or-miss with the vocational rehab program, I want to put vets in the best possible position when they go in for their interview. You don't have to provide PII information. Just details. Post on here or PM is cool.

BFalcon, good (digitally) talking with you today. Glad to see you and GULC onboard with the DC conference.


I had the initial meeting with my VR&E counselor today and it did not go as I had hoped. I don't think I've been officially denied yet, but was basically told that would be the recommendation. Let me know if you need any further information and I'll PM you.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation and either been able to a) turn the initial reaction around and get approved or b) appealed a denial? I'm pretty set on law school regardless of the outcome but it would be stupid to not pursue this if the potential is there.

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Dcc617
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Dcc617 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:31 pm

Shib26 wrote:
mdubs314 wrote:I'm looking to collect info from vets who are using vocational rehab or applied and were denied (for whatever reason). I'd like to include the information in our guide book.

With the VA being so hit-or-miss with the vocational rehab program, I want to put vets in the best possible position when they go in for their interview. You don't have to provide PII information. Just details. Post on here or PM is cool.

BFalcon, good (digitally) talking with you today. Glad to see you and GULC onboard with the DC conference.


I had the initial meeting with my VR&E counselor today and it did not go as I had hoped. I don't think I've been officially denied yet, but was basically told that would be the recommendation. Let me know if you need any further information and I'll PM you.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation and either been able to a) turn the initial reaction around and get approved or b) appealed a denial? I'm pretty set on law school regardless of the outcome but it would be stupid to not pursue this if the potential is there.


I haven't dealt with VR&E, but I know that in the military, there's always a waiver, and sometimes you have to escalate something if it's easiest for the person you're dealing with to just say no. Also, look up the regulation and take that to the next meeting. DA civilians are lazy and will blow you off if they can get away with it.

biglawhopeful18
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby biglawhopeful18 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:45 am

.
Last edited by biglawhopeful18 on Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mdubs314
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby mdubs314 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:20 pm

Big law/DCC/shib,

Thanks. That is helpful. It matches up with the current cloak of secrecy that the vocational rehab program has around it. It seems to be hit or miss with little trend data. I'd hope there is more to it than getting a favorable VA rep for the interview, but perhaps not. It looks like Biglaw found a few ways to help crack the code.

I can totally understand and appreciate that these VA counsellors are simply doing their job, but ideally, a source of consolidated info will help vets (who truly deserve to be in the program) enter into the interview with the tools they need to support their case for going back to school.

If anyone has additional details to throw my way, please do!

Maplesyrup
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Maplesyrup » Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:41 pm

i applied and was denied for law school but they did pick up my last two semesters of undergrad and bought me a 3000 dollar macbook. basically they told me that i would be employable with my undergrad degree (this is absolutely true to be fair) and that if i am able to find a job then they have done their job. i could have appealed but i took the approximately 16k in benefits. from what i understand there is nothing standing in the way of my plan being amended later or my appealing their decision not to pay for law school. i was initially denied for everything because they deemed me to be too mentally unstable to attend college... at this point in time i had a 4.03 cumulative gap and had already completed 3 years worth of the undergrad lol. i got a psychiatrist to write me a letter and then they had to take me. it took 30 days to get reimbursed for the computer 60 days later i still haven't gotten a 1100 check for books.. yes i spent 1100 on 6 classes worth of books. also i get parking at school paid for, some other perks like an account at the book store. also using this program i do get to save my remaining 14 months of GI bill for law school, which is good but not nearly as good as full tuition with voc rehab.

50% ptsd

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FairchildFLT
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby FairchildFLT » Thu Oct 08, 2015 6:14 pm

Has anyone used their extra months of GI Bill eligibility to take classes just for the BAH? I'm going to get to Austin sometime around December. I plan on enrolling in some classes just to get the BAH as opposed to getting a job for just a few months. How did that work out for you?

BNA
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby BNA » Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:52 pm

FairchildFLT wrote:Has anyone used their extra months of GI Bill eligibility to take classes just for the BAH? I'm going to get to Austin sometime around December. I plan on enrolling in some classes just to get the BAH as opposed to getting a job for just a few months. How did that work out for you?


Good on you wasting tax dollars because you don't want to work.

Maplesyrup
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Maplesyrup » Fri Oct 09, 2015 1:17 pm

^ fuck this guy above it will work just fine. but once you've used it up its gone so... thats the price you pay. austin probably has a sweet BAH also.

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FairchildFLT
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby FairchildFLT » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:35 pm

BNA wrote:
FairchildFLT wrote:Has anyone used their extra months of GI Bill eligibility to take classes just for the BAH? I'm going to get to Austin sometime around December. I plan on enrolling in some classes just to get the BAH as opposed to getting a job for just a few months. How did that work out for you?


Good on you wasting tax dollars because you don't want to work.


"Don't want to work." I'm sure an employer will appreciate me working for them for four months and then leaving. Makes sense bud.

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FairchildFLT
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby FairchildFLT » Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:37 pm

Maplesyrup wrote:^ fuck this guy above it will work just fine. but once you've used it up its gone so... thats the price you pay. austin probably has a sweet BAH also.


Yeah I haven't touched it at all. I just don't think it makes sense to get a job for only a few months. If the choice is between lying to an employer and telling them I plan to be there for awhile, or using my GI Bill benefits that I've earned, I would rather use the benefits that I earned.

Maplesyrup
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Maplesyrup » Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:00 pm

Sounds like your in good shape then. 3 years of law school will only take 24 months of the 36 so you'll have a remaining 12 to do with as you please. The only other consideration is that you can give it to your spouse/child so you may want to think about that.

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Dcc617
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Dcc617 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:03 pm

Maplesyrup wrote:Sounds like your in good shape then. 3 years of law school will only take 24 months of the 36 so you'll have a remaining 12 to do with as you please. The only other consideration is that you can give it to your spouse/child so you may want to think about that.


I'm pretty sure you can only transfer to your spouse if you're still active duty, and then you incur an ADSO. And the kids have to exist before you separate, otherwise you can't transfer. I'm a little fuzzy in the exact details though, since I don't have kids.

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Cobretti
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Cobretti » Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:18 pm

Maplesyrup wrote:^ fuck this guy above it will work just fine. but once you've used it up its gone so... thats the price you pay. austin probably has a sweet BAH also.

+1

Maplesyrup
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Maplesyrup » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:04 pm

I'm pretty sure you can only transfer to your spouse if you're still active duty, and then you incur an ADSO. And the kids have to exist before you separate, otherwise you can't transfer. I'm a little fuzzy in the exact details though, since I don't have kids.


This is correct actually

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PoopyPants
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby PoopyPants » Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:19 pm

Dcc617 wrote:
Maplesyrup wrote:Sounds like your in good shape then. 3 years of law school will only take 24 months of the 36 so you'll have a remaining 12 to do with as you please. The only other consideration is that you can give it to your spouse/child so you may want to think about that.


I'm pretty sure you can only transfer to your spouse if you're still active duty, and then you incur an ADSO. And the kids have to exist before you separate, otherwise you can't transfer. I'm a little fuzzy in the exact details though, since I don't have kids.


You also have to have either 10 years of service or 6 years with a reenlistment that will bring you to 10 years.

Troianii
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Troianii » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:54 pm

BNA wrote:
FairchildFLT wrote:Has anyone used their extra months of GI Bill eligibility to take classes just for the BAH? I'm going to get to Austin sometime around December. I plan on enrolling in some classes just to get the BAH as opposed to getting a job for just a few months. How did that work out for you?


Good on you wasting tax dollars because you don't want to work.



I mean, it's not as if he earned his benefits, right?

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Billy Madison
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Billy Madison » Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:51 pm

Must be a retired SNCO :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

nontrad2014
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby nontrad2014 » Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:26 am

mdubs314 wrote:I'm looking to collect info from vets who are using vocational rehab or applied and were denied (for whatever reason). I'd like to include the information in our guide book.

With the VA being so hit-or-miss with the vocational rehab program, I want to put vets in the best possible position when they go in for their interview. You don't have to provide PII information. Just details. Post on here or PM is cool.

BFalcon, good (digitally) talking with you today. Glad to see you and GULC onboard with the DC conference.

Four of us applied for Voc Rehab after already enrolled at our law school. Three of us were approved starting the following semester after we applied (one student was not required to do an interview, and other two were approved after initial interview). The fourth student is still "fighting" it out.

Computer, dragon speaks naturally legal dictation software, and many other freebies. The Portland office has been doing an incredible job for us.

KPUSN07
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby KPUSN07 » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:40 am

Quick question - how are GPAs from the service academies viewed compared to the civilian institutions?

I earned a 2.69 at KP, but worry that it might be too low - already plan to submit an addendum.

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Billy Madison
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Billy Madison » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:53 am

KPUSN07 wrote:Quick question - how are GPAs from the service academies viewed compared to the civilian institutions?

I earned a 2.69 at KP, but worry that it might be too low - already plan to submit an addendum.


I'm pretty certain they're regarded well due to minimal grade inflation, but what I've heard has been mostly in reference to West Point specifically. I could also be totally wrong. Hopefully somebody has a better answer. LOL

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mdubs314
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby mdubs314 » Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:52 pm

KPUSN07 wrote:Quick question - how are GPAs from the service academies viewed compared to the civilian institutions?

I earned a 2.69 at KP, but worry that it might be too low - already plan to submit an addendum.


it depends on the school.

- You will have an effect on the school's average GPA, but you will not affect the schools 25th-75th percentile scores. If you are below the 25th percentile, it does not matter how far outside the 25th percentile. If during any given year, a school is trying to increase its average GPA, it will affect you. If not, it all depends on how much they liked the rest of your application. They cannot admit many people below the 25th percentile, but a handful will not hurt them. This is where your veteran card can come in helpful.

This will typically mean you will have to wait until late in the cycle to be accepted though. Once a school has the majority of their class figured out, then they can start looking at numbers on a case-by-case basis to ensure they will not be losing ground in the ranking rat race.

The super elite schools will care less about your GPA since they will not have any problem maintaining their high GPAs with K-JD applicants caring 3.95+ GPAs. your 2.69 will be held in higher regards than a 3.8 from a for-profit school. In that regard, a school won't worry that you can survive the rigors of law school. in the end end though, they still have to report your GPA to the ABA.

Bottom line: It won't place any school off-limits, but you still need to have a strong application to make up some ground. Schools will still have plenty of service academy graduates who have GPAs in the 3.0 to 3.5 range. Your application will have to demonstrate why you are a better pick than those other veterans. the best way to do that is with a high LSAT.

For what it's worth, I had a <3.0 GPA from USAFA, though I don't know how a KP GPA is viewed. I'm not knocking KP at all, I just don't have any data to offer you.

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MT Cicero
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MT Cicero » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:07 pm

mdubs314 wrote:
KPUSN07 wrote:Quick question - how are GPAs from the service academies viewed compared to the civilian institutions?

I earned a 2.69 at KP, but worry that it might be too low - already plan to submit an addendum.


it depends on the school.

- You will have an effect on the school's average GPA, but you will not affect the schools 25th-75th percentile scores. (1) If you are below the 25th percentile, it does not matter how far outside the 25th percentile. If during any given year, a school is trying to increase its average GPA, it will affect you. If not, it all depends on how much they liked the rest of your application. (2) They cannot admit many people below the 25th percentile, but a handful will not hurt them. This is where your veteran card can come in helpful.

This will typically mean you will have to wait until late in the cycle to be accepted though. Once a school has the majority of their class figured out, then they can start looking at numbers on a case-by-case basis to ensure they will not be losing ground in the ranking rat race.

(3) The super elite schools will care less about your GPA since they will not have any problem maintaining their high GPAs with K-JD applicants caring 3.95+ GPAs. (4) your 2.69 will be held in higher regards than a 3.8 from a for-profit school. In that regard, a school won't worry that you can survive the rigors of law school. in the end end though, they still have to report your GPA to the ABA.

Bottom line: (5) It won't place any school off-limits, but you still need to have a strong application to make up some ground. (6) Schools will still have plenty of service academy graduates who have GPAs in the 3.0 to 3.5 range. Your application will have to demonstrate why you are a better pick than those other veterans. the best way to do that is with a high LSAT.

For what it's worth, (7) I had a <3.0 GPA from USAFA, though I don't know how a KP GPA is viewed. I'm not knocking KP at all, I just don't have any data to offer you.


I haven't posted on here much lately, but I have been as involved with tracking admissions numbers for vets (and non-vets) for years. I talk often with our actual admissions folks at my law school (T14). There are so many statements that are flat-out wrong in this post. I've noticed it in some of your previous posts as well, and it's generally painting a much rosier picture for vets than actually exists. I've bolded and numbered statements in your post and will address them in order:

(1) Very very wrong. Why don't we see any sub-3.0's at the top 3? I mean ever? If you can point to one actual non-URM human (veteran, superhero, whatever) who has been admitted to HYS with a sub-3.0, please do. Actually, perhaps some famous alumna's kid fits this bill. So, let's make it three. If you can point out three in history, I'll buy you a beer. You really think Harvard treats a 3.70 just like a 2.25? Both are below the 25th! That's utter nonsense.

(2) Every school admits 25% of their class below their 25th percentile (give or take) every year, not "a handful." This is what makes it their 25th percentile.

(3) What? Are you saying that because Columbia can stack their class with as many 3.9+ folks as they want, that they're MORE likely to admit a sub-3.0 candidate because they can hide them in their numbers? If so, clearly the data show you're mistaken. For example, I believe it was 2012 or 2013 data on LSAC that showed Yale's acceptances by GPA over the course of a number of years. I think there was one person admitted with below a 3.5 (and it was like a 3.4). And why would this be relegated to GPA? Why don't we see someone with a nice GPA and a 148 LSAT (or even a number of them) ball-walking up to Harvard every year? They're below the 25th after all. This is just very wrong.

(4) Almost certainly wrong. I can't speak categorically of course, but as long as USNWR uses GPA, the school matters less than many people think it ought to. If it's a pure crap for-profit school, a law school might be hesitant. But not as hesitant typically as reaching down below 3.0. If you're talking about the really elite schools caring more about the undergrad, then you might be right that the school matters more (only very slightly). But at those schools, low GPAs can't overcome you having gone to the most prestigious institutions out there.

(5) A 2.68 won't put any school off limits? Whoa man. But for the absolute rarest of circumstances (we're talking about MoH, Olympic gold medalist), HYS just does not happen with that GPA. Even the exceptions I just mentioned would have a tough time and I give 3-1 odds against.

(6) I'm curious as to why you think this is important given your previous statement about it not mattering how far below the 25th you are (see #1). But your instinct is actually correct per all the data we have. A 3.5 that is below a school's 25th is viewed much much differently than a 2.5. Period. Again, we don't see 1.8's and 145's getting admission at top schools ever. Certainly there have been some amazing people with amazing softs and personal stories with these types of numbers, yes? Perhaps even plenty of vets over the years. We just don't see them admitted anywhere near the numbers of those GPAs/LSATs that are much higher, yet still below a school's 25th. So, yes, it still matters.

(7) I have plenty of buddies who went to the USAFA. Solid school. I only included this to say that I'm an Air Force guy too, so I dig it.

Look, I had a 99th+ percentile LSAT. I was north of every median and above most 75th's. I also had a sub-3.0 GPA. I had put 12 years between it and beginning law school. I had what people would consider an absolutely unique military job...likely something that a school would love to have for PR purposes. I had amazing recommendations. I had an excellent PS (revised many times with the help of great TLSers). In fact, at admitted students weekends, two separate schools' admissions people sought me out just to tell me how much they loved it.

I don't say all this to toot my horn. I say it to say this: my cycle went ALMOST EXACTLY like a non-vet's cycle with my numbers would expect to go. I say almost because I may have climbed on a couple WLs (Chicago, NYU) that I otherwise might not have. Other than that, nada. Harvard quickly dinged me (I only applied because of the preceding paragraph...I knew I was a 100-1 shot despite my non-trad and unique softs). Also, Penn & Berk scoffed with relative ease.

I know I'm an anecdote. But the data back me up as well. If folks want to apply to Yale with a 2.7 and the shiniest, most awesome LSAT and softs in the world, go ahead! It's only a C-note, and you might win that lottery (though they don't do full Yellow Ribbon match, so I'd take H or S instead). But it just hasn't happened. Or at S. Or at H. And a 2.6 and 3.5 are absolutely, unequivocally not treated the same for schools with a 25th north of 3.5. So please stop saying that.

I know you're trying to help. But there is no need to paint a rosier picture than actually exists. Vets are big girls and boys, and I'm sure they'd rather have an honest assessment based on the best available data than sunshine blown up their asses.

Maplesyrup
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Maplesyrup » Wed Oct 21, 2015 6:43 am

^^ mdubbs look what you made this nice person do, going to such lengths to correct your shitty advice.




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