Veterans Thread

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

Postby Wipfelder » Wed Oct 05, 2016 8:44 am

AJordan wrote:I have full post 9-11 available, I paid/am paying for my BS with TA and my own money.

I have calculated out retirement to about 20k a year of salary/benefits if I stay until 20 where I am. If I live to an average life expectancy that's about 800k. Is it a super huge mistake to get out and go to law school with my prospects? I'm feeling like it's certainly a gamble, but if I have a solid fallback I'm leaning toward doing it.

tl/dr. Cheers.


I don't think trying to stick it out in your situation is worth it. 20k a year with healthcare is a sweet retirement package, but then you'd be in your 40's trying to make a career change, which presents its own challenges. It's still doable, and maybe even a good option, but not from a financial standpoint.

The advice I received when I was more or less in your shoes was "if you like it, keep doing it, if you don't, get out and find something you do like"

If your at a 165 now, you can be in the 170s. With a 3.2, your in, most likely, at some of the lower T14 and all the regional powerhouses (UT/Vandy etc).

BNA
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby BNA » Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:25 pm

AJordan wrote:Hello, folks. Thanks a ton for this thread. It's enlightening and, though massive, I've read the entirety of this year's entries and it has been incredibly helpful. I was hoping to ask for a bit of advice. Here's my situation:
33 year old, 10+ year Army SSG with current ETS of May 2019.
In an MOS that has experienced almost 50% cuts since I joined active duty with, subsequently, a very low chance of ever making E7.
Very supportive foreign national wife with green card (29). No children.
Recently recertified Secret (lol) Clearance.
No derogatory records otherwise.

On track to graduate with BS in October 2018 with a 3.2... 4.0 (hopefully) major GPA. Like many folks I was a loser before I joined the service and failed 6 classes. It was my wakeup call to join active duty.
First cold LSAT 153. After 2 weeks of solid study, 165. I realize this is only one data point but I feel I'm progressing significantly. Speed is my biggest enemy. Half the questions I miss are because I am moving too quickly through the material. I think 170 is a reasonable goal with a shout at 173. Anything under 165 would be an outlier and a cause for retest.

I have full post 9-11 available, I paid/am paying for my BS with TA and my own money.

I see no path forward in my MOS and am terrified of QSP. If I'm going to change my job I am wanting to consider all options. Assuming health, If I graduated law school is it even an option to rejoin as a lawyer once I finish as of current legislation or will prior service/age (38 at graduation) dq me? I realize this may be a question for a recruiter. GS jobs I have read ITT are an option, especially if located in DC and can be reactive? I might have trouble getting a TS because of my FN wife though that's admittedly conjecture. I could always get a civ job as an addiction counselor as that's what my degree is in. Maybe even ASAP. So there's that.

I have calculated out retirement to about 20k a year of salary/benefits if I stay until 20 where I am. If I live to an average life expectancy that's about 800k. Is it a super huge mistake to get out and go to law school with my prospects? I'm feeling like it's certainly a gamble, but if I have a solid fallback I'm leaning toward doing it.

tl/dr. Cheers.



Your gpa is low, of course, but if you hit those lsat numbers you'll end up at a law school that will be competitive for the student jag program. As long as your enlistment was successful, you'll easily sell yourself to the professional (ods) recruiters. Go to the best school you can and then you have options - jag, line, or civilian attorney. I did exactly this, realized I hate civilians, and am heading back in.

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navykev
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby navykev » Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:56 am

AJordan wrote:
I have calculated out retirement to about 20k a year of salary/benefits if I stay until 20 where I am. If I live to an average life expectancy that's about 800k. Is it a super huge mistake to get out and go to law school with my prospects? I'm feeling like it's certainly a gamble, but if I have a solid fallback I'm leaning toward doing it.


I did 20 (enlisted) and then went to law school. Each person's journey is different, and I can only speak for myself, but it's nice to have virtually free health care and retirement income to go along with tuition-free law school. Those bennies ultimately give you a lot of flexibility in your legal career choices.

AJordan
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby AJordan » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:05 am

The issue really isn't as simple as get in/get out. With the Army focusing so much on "up or out" and my MOS promoting ~10% of 6s this year it looks bleak for those of us not getting picked up. I do enjoy my job, but there is also a chance I'll get a stiff handshake, a check, and a "Thank you for your service" around year 15. To avoid that I would need to change jobs, essentially recruiter or nothing, or get out. I think I'm going to sit the June LSAT and see what happens. If I can get 168+ I'll put more thought into it. If I can't do that it's probably moot.

Thanks a ton for all the advice. I actually feel encouraged.

Wipfelder
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:39 am

AJordan wrote:The issue really isn't as simple as get in/get out. With the Army focusing so much on "up or out" and my MOS promoting ~10% of 6s this year it looks bleak for those of us not getting picked up. I do enjoy my job, but there is also a chance I'll get a stiff handshake, a check, and a "Thank you for your service" around year 15. To avoid that I would need to change jobs, essentially recruiter or nothing, or get out. I think I'm going to sit the June LSAT and see what happens. If I can get 168+ I'll put more thought into it. If I can't do that it's probably moot.

Thanks a ton for all the advice. I actually feel encouraged.


Being proactive is probably always the correct answer. Hope is never a plan! Speaking from personal experience, "taking control" of your future, as your doing now, will really improve QoL in an uncertain phase of your life, whatever it is you end up doing.

CenterFringe
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby CenterFringe » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:57 pm

So I got accepted at UVA and was running the COA numbers on law school transparency, but I feel like I'm doing something wrong. Assuming GI Bill, I did BAH (E-5 w/dep) for 9 months and the cost of tuition, but it still looks like I'm coming in under expenses by about 6k/year. The biggest difference I see is BAH is significantly lower than the project Room and Board. Can anyone who's attended UVA tell me what the financials looked like in practice?

Second question, has anyone successfully converted their scholarship money into a stipend (at UVA)?

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Nagster5
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Nagster5 » Sun Oct 16, 2016 2:33 am

CenterFringe wrote:So I got accepted at UVA and was running the COA numbers on law school transparency, but I feel like I'm doing something wrong. Assuming GI Bill, I did BAH (E-5 w/dep) for 9 months and the cost of tuition, but it still looks like I'm coming in under expenses by about 6k/year. The biggest difference I see is BAH is significantly lower than the project Room and Board. Can anyone who's attended UVA tell me what the financials looked like in practice?

Second question, has anyone successfully converted their scholarship money into a stipend (at UVA)?


PMed

Cjackson
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Cjackson » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:56 am

Putting together my admissions packet now (kind of late TBH) but I was curious what you guys did about your resumes. Because you were applying to law school, was it any different than your standard professional resume??? I've just started the Army ACAP process and they offer support with building resumes but the class I'm attending isn't for another month and I need to get the ball rolling. Curious to hear some opinions.

CenterFringe
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby CenterFringe » Wed Oct 19, 2016 2:26 pm

Cjackson wrote:Putting together my admissions packet now (kind of late TBH) but I was curious what you guys did about your resumes. Because you were applying to law school, was it any different than your standard professional resume??? I've just started the Army ACAP process and they offer support with building resumes but the class I'm attending isn't for another month and I need to get the ball rolling. Curious to hear some opinions.


I took my standard 2 page resume, but reduced it down to one page by eliminating details a technical employer might find interesting (I'm an engineer) but that Law School wouldn't care about. Anything leadership related stayed. Extracurricular/volunteering stayed. I combined all my college works into a "Activities" section, without explanation, within education. Most schools say two page maximum, but most people I talked to suggested one page. Also, to maximize space efficiency, make sure you're using Microsoft publisher, not Word.

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Dcc617
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Dcc617 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:20 pm

CenterFringe wrote:
Cjackson wrote:Putting together my admissions packet now (kind of late TBH) but I was curious what you guys did about your resumes. Because you were applying to law school, was it any different than your standard professional resume??? I've just started the Army ACAP process and they offer support with building resumes but the class I'm attending isn't for another month and I need to get the ball rolling. Curious to hear some opinions.


I took my standard 2 page resume, but reduced it down to one page by eliminating details a technical employer might find interesting (I'm an engineer) but that Law School wouldn't care about. Anything leadership related stayed. Extracurricular/volunteering stayed. I combined all my college works into a "Activities" section, without explanation, within education. Most schools say two page maximum, but most people I talked to suggested one page. Also, to maximize space efficiency, make sure you're using Microsoft publisher, not Word.


One page is nice, but not necessary for law school apps. They'll read it, so don't cut good stuff our for the sake of one page.

Also, lead with academic credentials, not work experience like they teach you in ACAP. It matters more to law schools than employers.

Cjackson
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Cjackson » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:09 pm

Awesome, appreciate the feedback guys

Cjackson
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Cjackson » Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:06 pm

I just finished my first draft of my PS. Can I convince one of you guys to take a look at it?? I'm curious to learn how far off target I am with it and could use another set of eyes.

I wanted to post in the Veterans Thread looking for a volunteer or two before creating a thread in the Personal Statement section.

Thanks in advance.

Thewanderer
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Thewanderer » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:37 pm

Cjackson wrote:I just finished my first draft of my PS. Can I convince one of you guys to take a look at it?? I'm curious to learn how far off target I am with it and could use another set of eyes.

I wanted to post in the Veterans Thread looking for a volunteer or two before creating a thread in the Personal Statement section.

Thanks in advance.


I'd be glad to take a look at it.

lawschoolvet
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby lawschoolvet » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:04 pm

i received an invitation to Penn Law visit day on november 10. do other schools do this? worth it?

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Nagster5
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Nagster5 » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:55 pm

lawschoolvet wrote:i received an invitation to Penn Law visit day on november 10. do other schools do this? worth it?


All schools I know of do this and it definitely is worth it to check the school out before you decide to live there for three years, but I wouldn't break the bank to do it. It can also help demonstrate interest for admissions/scholarship negotiations. Different schools have very different vibes and cultures, it's important to feel them out. For example, I didn't really like the vibe I got from Penn when I visited, very cold and professional. Texas was much more laid back. UVA was almost like a cult everyone was so into the school. I also have a bad knee and Penn is all stairs. It lets you see the area and talk to students, highly recommend, especially if they let you sit in on a class and talk to real students, not paid and coached admissions reps who also happen to be students.

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FairchildFLT
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby FairchildFLT » Sun Nov 06, 2016 8:07 pm

I was around the forums two cycles ago (accepted to UT two cycles ago, deferred admission until this year.) When I was here I asked if there was a veterans group at UT...and there was not. Noticing this gap, myself and two other veterans decided to start a veterans group at UT, and we're currently an association of 25 members. If you're looking into applying to UT, feel free to look us up. We would love to meet you if you come for a visit!

Texas Law Veterans Association Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/TexasLawVetera ... n/?fref=nf

Texas Law Veterans Association email: texasveteranslawassociation@gmail.com

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dannyswo
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby dannyswo » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:13 am

So I got accepted to my first choice by email yesterday, with a scholarship offer. Pretty stoked.

Wipfelder
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Wipfelder » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:21 am

dannyswo wrote:So I got accepted to my first choice by email yesterday, with a scholarship offer. Pretty stoked.


Badass. Congrats man!

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m052310
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby m052310 » Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:19 am

How's everyone's cycle going so far? I'm punching above my numbers, so there is hope for vets with crap GPAs like mine.

CMac86
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby CMac86 » Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:51 pm

m052310 wrote:How's everyone's cycle going so far? I'm punching above my numbers, so there is hope for vets with crap GPAs like mine.


Congrats!

I still have a few cycles before I apply. I'm waiting on command approval to take the Feb 2017 test. My PT's are increasing. My current PT scores are just below what I need to get into my target scores, but a ways off from what I need to get into reach schools. I figure, if I don't write high enough to get a solid shot for my reach schools on the Feb test, I'll retake later that year.

CenterFringe
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby CenterFringe » Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:49 pm

m052310 wrote:How's everyone's cycle going so far? I'm punching above my numbers, so there is hope for vets with crap GPAs like mine.

I'm still waiting on Harvard. I got in at UVA and Georgetown, so that's a serious load off my shoulders, but still, hopefully my crap GPA isn't a deal breaker.

AJordan
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby AJordan » Fri Nov 25, 2016 9:46 am

m052310 wrote:How's everyone's cycle going so far? I'm punching above my numbers, so there is hope for vets with crap GPAs like mine.


Not to be too personal but would you mind elaborating? How crap? How far above your weight? What mitigating factors do you feel are working so that you're having a cycle to your liking? Resources used? Did you use an admissions expert for help?

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m052310
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby m052310 » Fri Nov 25, 2016 1:01 pm

AJordan wrote:
m052310 wrote:How's everyone's cycle going so far? I'm punching above my numbers, so there is hope for vets with crap GPAs like mine.


Not to be too personal but would you mind elaborating? How crap? How far above your weight? What mitigating factors do you feel are working so that you're having a cycle to your liking? Resources used? Did you use an admissions expert for help?


A little under 3.0 crap. Bottom of the top 14 above. The relative difficulty/under-inflated GPAs of my undergrad probably made the low GPA less concerning (though just as much a concern from a numbers standpoint). Work experience (military), years out of school, and just approaching the application stuff knowing that the goal of every piece was to remove any doubt the low GPA might cause for an admissions staff and sell the positives I have to offer. I also did very well in a master's program. I honestly doubt that in itself did much, but but it did facilitate me getting a strong academic recommendation from a professor.

I used the bible books and the LSAC old tests you can buy for the LSAT. I will put in a plug for Service to School here (google it, or look earlier in this thread). It's free, they set you up with someone who got where you're trying to go (generally, I don't think they match a goal school specifically or anything) who is willing to give advice. My helper (I think they called her an ambassador) was a big help with my resume, and I used her for general advice on my personal statement (I didn't have her read it, but she was more than willing). If nothing else, they have a PDF guide on applying that has some useful tips. You can download it for free.

AJordan
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby AJordan » Fri Nov 25, 2016 5:53 pm

Thanks for the great information. Have you done any work on scholarships/converting them to stipends? I'm curious as to how you guys are leveraging your GI Bill with the money law schools seem to be throwing around. I know there's been some talk of schools that will do it. I'm especially curious about WashU as they seem to be offering very large amounts of scholarship money to anybody with seemingly a 168 or higher.

KPUSN07
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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby KPUSN07 » Sun Nov 27, 2016 4:11 pm

For those recently accepted - how did you all score on the LSAT or at least compared to the 25/median/75 for schools accepted?




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