Veterans Thread

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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Dcc617
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Dcc617 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:43 am

sodomojo wrote:Not sure if I'll get any response to this question, but figured I'd ask anyways.


Nope.

1) I got Bs in my junior year ROTC, but it was because I did the absolute bare minimum ever because I hated ROTC. I seriously doubt that the person is going to be that tough. It's MS4 ROTC. You already did the hard part. Coast and chill.

2) If you're on scholarship you'd be dumb to drop out. At a 3.8+ your LSAT will probably be the limiting factor to your law school prospects. It's definitely a smoother ride to just stay on this train to the station.

3) Some people on here will tell you not to do the military of you're not 100% committed. I disagree, since it's more than possible to be a decent officer without dedicating your life to it. But this post screams of cold feet. Are you nervous about LDAC or something?

4) I recommend staying in long enough to get your GI Bill. I just got my stuff approved for about 90K in funding this year alone. It's pretty sweet.

Foniks
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Foniks » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:54 am

if you are worried about grades, just study more. Take this for what it's worth, I was an OCS guy and not a ROTC guy... But it just makes sense to stay ROTC.

Checking in to this thread. Marine Officer, right at 9 years now; will be at 10 when I separate next year. A little nervous about the transition, but it's time...

BNA
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby BNA » Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:12 am

sodomojo wrote:Not sure if I'll get any response to this question, but figured I'd ask anyways.

I'm currently a rising senior in ROTC with a 3.87 GPA. I intend to serve for 3-5 years, get out, and apply to law school. The problem is I'm concerned that my PMS (the O-5 that teaches the senior-level ROTC academic courses) is a tougher grader than I've experienced so far from previous ROTC courses taught by other officers. I'm considering disenrolling (assuming I'll be able to get out of my contract without involuntary enlistment - I'm optimistic considering the current downsizing) and going to OCS instead post-grad. I would presume that getting in would not be a problem for me - but if anyone has any useful info about OCS or the application process/selectivity, please let me know.

With that said, my question is should I stay in ROTC and risk losing around .05 on my GPA (give or take, based on 9 credits of ROTC courses and a mandatory 5 credit military history course during senior year) - or disenroll from ROTC and dedicate 5-6 months after undergrad for OCS?

The military is certainly something I want to do for a few years, but it's not my long term goal and I don't see myself carving out a career in it - that's why the potential GPA hit is so important to me. Correct me if I'm wrong (I hope I'm wrong), but losing .05 on where my GPA is right now could be a difference maker. My goal is to get into a T6, preferably HYS if my LSAT allows.


Just one man's opinion, but you can't predict what your goals will be once you're commissioned. Your experience will change your attitude toward many things - you may have opportunities that lead you in a different direction. I'm not saying you shouldn't keep that gpa up if law school is your current goal, but give a lot of thought to what your priorities are with the understanding that serving will drastically change your life and plans. Also, and I could very well be wrong about this, but a .05 hit may be negligible with a strong lsat and military experience.

Wipfelder
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Sun Jun 12, 2016 10:10 am

Dcc617 wrote:4) I recommend staying in long enough to get your GI Bill. I just got my stuff approved for about 90K in funding this year alone. It's pretty sweet.


This is a tricky spot for OP.......if he stays in ROTC, he'll owe (4 years?) time, and then another 3 to get the full Post 9/11. If he drops out of ROTC and goes to OCS, he will likely owe much less "Pre 9/11 GI Bill time". If OPs been getting scholly money for ROTC, i'd assume they make OP pay it back...which could be worth it for the potential to get that back-end GI Bill/YR money. Straight-up enlisting after college would probably be the quickest way to LS with the most amount of money available. That Gold-Bar prestige is overrated.

Some considerations:
1. OCS isn't a guaranteed thing...be prepared to enlist. Being an E-4 Airborne Ranger or something like that would be an exciting, easy-to-impress -at -future-interviews way to become a well-rounded applicant with money in the bank.

2. What's the financial hit for dropping ROTC? What does that look like vs. what you can get from YR/GI Bill stuff in the future? What is the expected value of your course of action?

3. How confident are you that the YR/GI Bill will stay at least as valuable as it is now? Things change.

-For a young person looking to grow, a few years in the military is a pretty solid way to spend a dude's early twenties. I think the equation changes for females, but it will still help an individual grow.

MichiganHoosier
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MichiganHoosier » Sun Jun 12, 2016 11:31 pm

Eh...tread very carefully with banking on the whole E4 airborne ranger thing. Getting an option 40 contract is one thing, but completeing the training is another. If you fail, you may hate your life, especially if you're dead set on being a spec ops badass. If you don't make it through the pipeline, you're an infantryman, and you must serve out the remainder of your contract as such. Same for those thinking about an 18x contract. I've known many a men who have had their dreams crushed by the harsh reality of military schools and because of such are pretty miserable with their decisions. But, if you can make the best out of any situation (which is a good quality to have in the military), you'll make it work.

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sodomojo
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby sodomojo » Mon Jun 13, 2016 2:26 am

I'm actually non-scholly, so I wouldn't have to pay anything back in the event I disenroll. I turned it down with law school in mind, knowing that unless I was gonna stay in for a while, I was essentially choosing between having half of undergrad paid for (joined ROTC late) or all of grad school paid for. It was a no-brainer since now my GI Bill clock will begin immediately.

Anyways I have to decided to stick with ROTC. As you all have said, I was indeed overreacting as far as the GPA concerns go, and it certainly makes more sense to just go with the flow/ROTC. Thanks for all the wise replies, really appreciate it!

Wipfelder
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:56 am

sodomojo wrote:I'm actually non-scholly!



Dude, that is awesome. You're already winning the life game. Not sure I would have been able to think that far ahead at your age. Enjoy LT time, and then HYS.........

-If your ROTC teacher guy is a hardass grader, it might be best to just ask him/her what you have to do to get an A. You don't have to explain your aspirations to be a lawyer or anything, but just say "I want to do the best I can, what does A-level work look like to you?"

Laconic speech with a can-do attitude goes a long, long way in the world of professional arms. It is likely they will tell you exactly what they expect.

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sodomojo
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby sodomojo » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:54 pm

Wipfelder wrote:Dude, that is awesome. You're already winning the life game. Not sure I would have been able to think that far ahead at your age. Enjoy LT time, and then HYS.........

-If your ROTC teacher guy is a hardass grader, it might be best to just ask him/her what you have to do to get an A. You don't have to explain your aspirations to be a lawyer or anything, but just say "I want to do the best I can, what does A-level work look like to you?"

Laconic speech with a can-do attitude goes a long, long way in the world of professional arms. It is likely they will tell you exactly what they expect.

Haha not so fast... still gotta ace the LSAT. HYS is but a dream for now.

Thank you for the advice. Absolutely true. I've watched myself become progressively lazy as far as the going into office hours/being proactive outside of class goes...

Ohz888
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Ohz888 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:37 am

Hello all. It’s a pleasure to meet you. This is my first time posting… I’ve been ghosting TLS for over three years now.

I’m active duty Navy, E5, CTI (Chinese). 6 year hitch. I will be separating next year in August and should finish undergrad (Economics & Chinese) at UH Manoa with a 3.8+ LSAC GPA in December, assuming no complications.

I had originally planned on taking the entirety of 2018 to study for and take the LSAT, compile and revise my application materials, relax, travel. I still think this is a solid plan.

But, I’m beginning to think that I should do something more between separating and law school. I’m thinking a private job in the intel community would bolster my work experience and give me a competitive edge. I’ve also toyed with the idea of going off to China to teach English, which would just be awesome. And fun. And awesome.

I really want to go to law school, though; and I’m getting older than I want to be. I’d like to finish law school before I turn 30, and I’ll be nearing 26 when I separate.

What do you think? I know it’s ultimately up to me, but I’m looking for pragmatic, objective advice. Finances and fun aside, would the additional work experience be worth the time foregone? Would my opportunities, with respect to both law school and employment thereafter, be improved or expanded in any significant way?

Thank you in advance!!
Last edited by Ohz888 on Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

BNA
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby BNA » Fri Jun 17, 2016 9:12 am

Ohz888 wrote:Hello all. It’s a pleasure to meet you. This is my first time posting… I’ve been ghosting TLS for over three years now.

I’m active duty Navy, E5, CTI (Chinese). 6 year hitch. I will be separating next year in August and should finish undergrad (Economics & Chinese) at UH Manoa with a 3.8+ LSAC GPA in December, assuming no complications.

I had originally planned on taking the entirety of 2018 to study for and take the LSAT, compile and revise my application materials, relax, travel. I still think this is a solid plan.

But, I’m beginning to think that I should do something more between separating and law school. I’m thinking a private job in the intel community would bolster my work experience and give me a competitive edge. I’ve also toyed with the idea of going off to China to teach English, which would just be awesome. And fun. And awesome.

I really want to go to law school, though; and I’m getting older than I want to be. I’d like to finish law school before I turn 30, and I’ll be nearing 26 when I separate.

What do you think? I know it’s ultimately up to me, but I’m looking for pragmatic, objective advice. Finances and fun aside, would the additional work experience be worth the time foregone that I could have spent already in law school, on my way to a J.D.?

Thanks in advance!!


I say take the year off and enjoy a small window with zero responsibilities. You have the work experience, you speak Chinese, and you have a good gpa. You'll do well on the lsat with that much time to study. I think the Mandarin is the best thing you have going for you. That said, if you really want to work, maybe try and find a secretarial or runner position at a firm over there. That would stand out, I think.

Wipfelder
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:39 am

Ohz888 wrote: I’ve also toyed with the idea of going off to China to teach English, which would just be awesome. And fun. And awesome.


Maybe just do what it seems like you really, really want to do. FWIW, I am an older applicant and ended up having to defer a year to enroll. I was in a near-panic, because you know, time's ticking.....but it seemed like I was the only person who cared. I ended up doing an army thing that required me to bounce all over several continents and do cool stuff. Not really helpful for becoming a lawyer, buuuuuuut I'm a more well-rounded person.

I have many old army buddies who are now BigLaw/Elite Litigation types, they all think my age will not be a limiting factor. If I can get the grades to get the interview, I should be in good shape. I think it'd be the same for you.

I mean, you could study then go teach in China, or study and teach, or teach and then study. You're in the driver's seat, worst-case, defer enrollment for another year.......

KPUSN07
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby KPUSN07 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:00 pm

OtterLaw wrote:I'm actually really bummed that I didn't find TLS until after I sent in my intent to separate. My GI Bill is at 80% and had I known how YRP worked I would have probably extended my contract a year to get to 100% and retaken the LSAT to apply for next cycle. Getting waitlisted Harvard with my low LSAT makes me feel like I'd have a legitimate shot at getting in next year to H and S with a higher score and I could have gone with all tuition and fees covered. It's too late to go back now though. I'm still excited about UVA at an 80% discount but can't help thinking what could have been.


What was your lsat?

KPUSN07
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby KPUSN07 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:09 pm

I can't find an earlier post, but simply do law schools view service academy gpas differently from civilian institution undergrad gpas?

Also I'm looking at UF FSU Cincinnati OSU GWU and William and Mary - specific lsat aim point you all think?

Wipfelder
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:17 pm

KPUSN07 wrote:I can't find an earlier post, but simply do law schools view service academy gpas differently from civilian institution undergrad gpas?

Also I'm looking at UF FSU Cincinnati OSU GWU and William and Mary - specific lsat aim point you all think?


No, I don't really think so. I think they understand that the service academies have a brutal curve and do not grade inflate much, but they gotta keep them medians up.........That is a strange spread of schools, are you doing FLEP?

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Nagster5
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Nagster5 » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:12 pm

KPUSN07 wrote:I can't find an earlier post, but simply do law schools view service academy gpas differently from civilian institution undergrad gpas?

Also I'm looking at UF FSU Cincinnati OSU GWU and William and Mary - specific lsat aim point you all think?


I had a 2.7 from USMA and had a great cycle. A low GPA from an academy is the best low GPA you can have (they are well known for having the worst grade deflation in the country, plus all the mandatory extra time-wasters that don't reflect in GPA), but it's still a low GPA. For splitters, you always want to hit the opposite median, so if you're just below the 50th for GPA, get above the 50th for LSAT. If you're below their 25th GPA, you're going to want to beat their 75th LSAT.

I also echo Wip, with a degree from a SA you're wasting your time going to law school unless

1. You are gunning for biglaw (those schools are not reflective of that)
2. You are doing FLEP or
3. You don't particularly care about money

Wipfelder
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Thu Jun 23, 2016 5:23 pm

Nagster5 wrote:I had a 2.7 from USMA and had a great cycle.


Mine was lower than that, but I was above most every school's 75th LSAT. I also had a decent cycle, in at a few T-14s, and am 100% YR eligible...soooo merit scholly's wut?

-Not sure if the USMA GPA was looked upon less harshly, or if my unique softs carried me through. I think pretty much anyone with ten years of unique "special" softs and a top 1% LSAT would get into at least 1 T-14. I think my softs and LORs were unusual, even for a military dude.

Jasperval
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Jasperval » Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:10 am

Nagster5 wrote:I also echo Wip, with a degree from a SA you're wasting your time going to law school unless

1. You are gunning for biglaw (those schools are not reflective of that)
2. You are doing FLEP or
3. You don't particularly care about money


Or

4. You're gunning for elected office.

Not that it's something I'd ever consider. But military service + law school seems like a good selling point for something like state representative.

As for me, I'm currently applying for FLEP (again) right now. O3/SA graduate, 3.30 GPA, MPA from Online School (4.0, not that it matters), just retook in June since my first test was back in Feb 2012; got the same score - 164. Targeting W&M if I get FLEP; although I don't rate my chances of the military selecting me very highly; especially since I wasn't even an alternate my first time applying (four years ago), or last year. Maybe persistence is key though.

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Nagster5
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Nagster5 » Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:44 pm

Jasperval wrote:
Nagster5 wrote:I also echo Wip, with a degree from a SA you're wasting your time going to law school unless

1. You are gunning for biglaw (those schools are not reflective of that)
2. You are doing FLEP or
3. You don't particularly care about money


Or

4. You're gunning for elected office.

Not that it's something I'd ever consider. But military service + law school seems like a good selling point for something like state representative.

As for me, I'm currently applying for FLEP (again) right now. O3/SA graduate, 3.30 GPA, MPA from Online School (4.0, not that it matters), just retook in June since my first test was back in Feb 2012; got the same score - 164. Targeting W&M if I get FLEP; although I don't rate my chances of the military selecting me very highly; especially since I wasn't even an alternate my first time applying (four years ago), or last year. Maybe persistence is key though.


That would fall into category 3 for me. Financially the vast majority of people would be better off just going into the workforce with a SA degree/experience than going to law school with an angle on politics.

For FLEP they like to see good OERs and strong recommendations more than good GPA and LSATs from my experience, I know I had the highest LSAT in the cycle I applied and I wasn't even an alternate, probably due to less than stellar evals.

KPUSN07
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby KPUSN07 » Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:08 pm

Jasperval wrote:
Nagster5 wrote:I also echo Wip, with a degree from a SA you're wasting your time going to law school unless

1. You are gunning for biglaw (those schools are not reflective of that)
2. You are doing FLEP or
3. You don't particularly care about money


Or

4. You're gunning for elected office.

Not that it's something I'd ever consider. But military service + law school seems like a good selling point for something like state representative.

As for me, I'm currently applying for FLEP (again) right now. O3/SA graduate, 3.30 GPA, MPA from Online School (4.0, not that it matters), just retook in June since my first test was back in Feb 2012; got the same score - 164. Targeting W&M if I get FLEP; although I don't rate my chances of the military selecting me very highly; especially since I wasn't even an alternate my first time applying (four years ago), or last year. Maybe persistence is key though.



Bingo on #4 - one of the primary reasons I was considering law school... Thinking MPP might be more pertinent though.

CMac86
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby CMac86 » Thu Aug 11, 2016 10:09 pm

I talked to my command about getting time off to take the February 2017 LSAT, and they are onboard. I have to wait until Dec 1st to get a clear yes/no, just in case we end up doing a tour or some sort of major event comes up (it happens when you're the only one in your command with your NEC). I'm back on a study schedule, and just started using the LSAT Trainer.

School wise, I have it narrowed down a bit. I want to stay in Chicagoland (I have the most ties, enjoyed living there the most, and want to practice there). My reach schools are Northwestern (1st choice) and University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, but unless if I write a 170+, I don't think that will happen (I have several F's and WF's from the first two go-arounds of school). The goal schools are Loyola-Chicago, Chicago-Kent, and DePaul. None of them stand out more than the others based off of my reading. My first undergrad school is down the street from DePaul Law, and I used to work in that area. They all offer Yellow Ribbon Program to the top up level (Kent would require $300/year).

With my current contract, I would most likely be starting school on terminal leave, or be approved for the early-out for education program. I'm not opposed to deferring a year if various factors don't line up.

Pending any surprises with my debt repayment/savings plan, I'll have nearly a year of base pay saved up by the time my contract is up. That should give me some wiggle room for the delay in getting disability payments started. Disability wise, it will be a crapshoot on the amount. If they determine that my major issue (blood clots) are service aggravated mixed with the specific wording, that one issue would either be 60% or 10-20%. So, at best, I'm looking at about 90% service connected/aggravated disability, and at worst 40% disability (no service aggravation). The reason I mention that is that I don't want to take out any more student loans (I have some from undergrad round one that I am/will still be paying).

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dodint
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby dodint » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:36 pm

My rating took 6 months, but when you get it you get back-compensated for the time that elapsed since you got out. You could get a line of credit and pay it off with the lump sum, just be careful to calculate on the low end of what you expect.

I ended up getting the highest ratings for something I never considered, and 0% for high blood pressure and my knees. Just weird.

Wipfelder
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Thu Aug 11, 2016 11:43 pm

There are financial assistance and counseling programs for people in ya'lls type of situation. WWP has a pretty robust program they have counsellors who are experts at figuring out VA and GI Bill type of stuff

Wipfelder
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:11 am

CMac86 wrote: My reach schools are Northwestern (1st choice) and University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, but unless if I write a 170+, I don't think that will happen (I have several F's and WF's from the first two go-arounds of school).



What's your cumulative GPA?

CMac86
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby CMac86 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:22 am

Wipfelder wrote:
CMac86 wrote: My reach schools are Northwestern (1st choice) and University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, but unless if I write a 170+, I don't think that will happen (I have several F's and WF's from the first two go-arounds of school).



What's your cumulative GPA?


It will depend on how I finish out undergrad. I'm at my third school. My first school was 2.16, second school was 2.47, and I'm on track to get at least a 3.5+ at my third school (where I will finish the degree). The first two schools I will be writing GPA addendums. So, I'm looking at a cumulative of 2.7-2.85. The first school will have been 11 years since I dropped out when I apply to law school and about 9 years since dropping for the second. I know that the GPA and related issues will limit school choice as well be a hurdle to gaining acceptance anywhere.

CMac86
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby CMac86 » Fri Aug 12, 2016 10:26 am

dodint wrote:My rating took 6 months, but when you get it you get back-compensated for the time that elapsed since you got out. You could get a line of credit and pay it off with the lump sum, just be careful to calculate on the low end of what you expect.

I ended up getting the highest ratings for something I never considered, and 0% for high blood pressure and my knees. Just weird.


That is good to know. I have documented foot, ankle, calf, knee, back, shoulder, and hearing issues. The biggest unknown for me is how they will rate my blood clots. They could deem it genetic/non-service aggravated and it would be 0%, but they could deem them service aggravated requiring indefinite anticoagulation that is 60%.




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