Veterans Thread

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
MrLions

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MrLions » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:21 pm

haus wrote:
MrLions wrote:
BlendedUnicorn wrote:I would just sign up for 3.5 years and get comfortable with having an extra year of life experience and maybe getting the chance to make E5.

Your plan's got a ton of pitfalls- if your command denies your early separation, there's a good chance the commander will also have a policy on how much terminal leave he'll allow. I wouldn't want to be relying on a plan that would require more than 15 days. Reenlisting and then turning around almost immediately and trying to get out early will get you all the wrong sorts of attention- it's amazing how hard people can make it for you to do things that you theoretically have the right to do once you're in.

I guess there's a chance it could work but it should tell you something that you're getting comments like this from everyone who has been in.


Yeah, I get it. I'm just worried the 3.5 then turns into 4.5 if things don't go as planned.

Keep in mind, you will still be on the hook for several years of reserve time (perhaps inactive). With the shit head in office, the odds seem higher than normal that stupid shit is going to happen and your 3.5 may well turn into 7.5. Hopefully life will go as you want it to, but when you sign the papers you need to understand that there is a shit-ton that will be entirely out of your control.


Thank you all for the words of caution. I just checked online and you literally can't even do 90-day Early Release to Further Education unless your initial enlistment is for 3 or more years. So the 2 year plan I laid out above isn't even going to work. I'm going to have to think more on this and decide whether the 3.5 yr option is worth it for my goals.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Tue Jan 02, 2018 9:34 pm

MrLions wrote:
haus wrote:
MrLions wrote:
BlendedUnicorn wrote:I would just sign up for 3.5 years and get comfortable with having an extra year of life experience and maybe getting the chance to make E5.

Your plan's got a ton of pitfalls- if your command denies your early separation, there's a good chance the commander will also have a policy on how much terminal leave he'll allow. I wouldn't want to be relying on a plan that would require more than 15 days. Reenlisting and then turning around almost immediately and trying to get out early will get you all the wrong sorts of attention- it's amazing how hard people can make it for you to do things that you theoretically have the right to do once you're in.

I guess there's a chance it could work but it should tell you something that you're getting comments like this from everyone who has been in.


Yeah, I get it. I'm just worried the 3.5 then turns into 4.5 if things don't go as planned.

Keep in mind, you will still be on the hook for several years of reserve time (perhaps inactive). With the shit head in office, the odds seem higher than normal that stupid shit is going to happen and your 3.5 may well turn into 7.5. Hopefully life will go as you want it to, but when you sign the papers you need to understand that there is a shit-ton that will be entirely out of your control.


Thank you all for the words of caution. I just checked online and you literally can't even do 90-day Early Release to Further Education unless your initial enlistment is for 3 or more years. So the 2 year plan I laid out above isn't even going to work. I'm going to have to think more on this and decide whether the 3.5 yr option is worth it for my goals.


Best of luck. With the right mindset (and that doesn’t necessarily mean wrapping yourself in the flag and jerking it to Toby Keith songs) being enlisted can be a great experience. I signed a 3.5 year contract to get get my MOS and it was the single best decision I’ve ever made in my life (which is not to say that i didn’t occasionally regret it).

Just get comfortable with the idea of being a very small cog in a very big machine. Most people will try to help you out if you need it, but not making waves is prized. In the grand scheme of things, one year of your life is nothing if this is something you actually want to do.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MichiganHoosier » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:47 pm

BlendedUnicorn wrote:and that doesn’t necessarily mean wrapping yourself in the flag and jerking it to Toby Keith songs


But this is still an okay thing to do, right?

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby dannyswo » Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:18 am

MichiganHoosier wrote:
BlendedUnicorn wrote:and that doesn’t necessarily mean wrapping yourself in the flag and jerking it to Toby Keith songs


But this is still an okay thing to do, right?

Everything is okay on deployment.

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Any retired Vets out there go to law school?

Postby zzman » Sat Jan 13, 2018 4:18 pm

Hi. FNG checking in.

I'm coming up on military retirement in less than 3 years and have been kicking around the "what's next?" question for awhile. As I see many talented peers completely fall flat in trying to transition to anything other than DoD civilian or contractor, I've realized that something beyond tightening up a resume might be required. So I've been thinking of pursuing law since I've long believed it would be a great fit for me.

I've gotten advice from a lawyer friend who believes that I would like law and be successful in it. But she also advises that if I don't get into a top 30 school, it's not worth pursuing (and my research seems to 100% back that up). So, my target is T14 or at least a nice regional school like UW or OSU. My UGGPA (from 1991) is 3.4 and I've not taken the LSAT yet, although I've tested pretty well on the ACT, GRE, and FSOT. When the Power Score 2018 books come out I plan to prep for a year or so. I have a Master's, but it seems like law schools don't care about that much. I'm fortunate enough to have the GI Bill, so I could make a decision without regard to cost, although I would like to be able to save GI Bill for my kids if I can.

From what I've seen, law schools probably won't ding me for my age (51 or 52 at start of classes), but I've heard that law firms won't be so keen on it. But some who are anecdotally saying that are also making seemingly ridiculous assertions that 32 is "too old" for a first year associate. I would like to get on at a medium to large law firm possibly in litigation, but am not gunning for prestige. I would certainly prefer a good salary, but it doesn't have to be top level; especially if it means something like a min of 2,200 billable hours.

So, I'd like to throw out a few questions for anyone with any experience or knowledge of similar situation. Or even just an opinion. Fire away if you want.
1. Is a target LSAT of 170 reasonable given my goals and other stats?
2. What, if anything, puts me in reach for applying to Harvard? (I only put that one out there as my ultimate reach because of their large class size)
3. How much should I temper my expectations regarding 2L Summer Associate chances or employment prospects as an older lawyer?
4. Any insight on what job market(s) might be might accommodating for non-trads? (Could certainly impact regional school targeting)

Thanks!

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby AJordan » Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:39 pm

I can't speak to anything beyond the LSAT but that's really your first step no matter what you end up doing in law and your first step there should be to give yourself an accurate diagnostic test. Google "June 2007 LSAT" as it's free and you can grab it in pdf form. If you want some help after that shoot me a pm.
Last edited by AJordan on Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby zzman » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:13 pm

AJordan wrote:I can't speak to anything beyond the LSAT but that's really your first step no matter what you end up doing in law and your first step there should be to give yourself an accurate diagnostic test. Google "June 2007 LSAT" as it's free and you can grab it in pdf form. If you want some help after that shoot me a pm.


Nice resource, thank you. Do people normally take that first diagnostic totally cold, or is it better to spend a few hours getting familiar with the test? Just curious because I think that first test is often seen as an indicator of where you might end up with prep time.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby haus » Sat Jan 13, 2018 8:31 pm

zzman wrote:
AJordan wrote:I can't speak to anything beyond the LSAT but that's really your first step no matter what you end up doing in law and your first step there should be to give yourself an accurate diagnostic test. Google "June 2007 LSAT" as it's free and you can grab it in pdf form. If you want some help after that shoot me a pm.


Nice resource, thank you. Do people normally take that first diagnostic totally cold, or is it better to spend a few hours getting familiar with the test? Just curious because I think that first test is often seen as an indicator of where you might end up with prep time.

Over the years there has been a fair number of conversations on this topic. Some people are fans of performing a cold diagnostic, where others are not.

The pros seem to be that it gives you an measurement to start from, and allows you to see where you natural weaknesses are.

The cons seem to be that (assuming you do actually prep for the exam) the cold drag score will be artificially low, as learning about the test and what to expect will make you better at this exam. Also, if you are unfamiliar with the nature/layout of some types of questions your cold score will be even lower than it otherwise would be, which may lead to you to invest your time in a manner that might not be the most efficient for you.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby zzman » Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:14 pm

Good points. Given that, it might be better for me to just take it cold since I have tons of time. Thanks for the info.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby zzman » Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:46 pm

AJordan wrote:I can't speak to anything beyond the LSAT but that's really your first step no matter what you end up doing in law and your first step there should be to give yourself an accurate diagnostic test. Google "June 2007 LSAT" as it's free and you can grab it in pdf form. If you want some help after that shoot me a pm.


So, I took a cold diagnostic today on the June 2007 LSAT and got a 153 (interestingly, my raw score seems to get a 156 these days). I think I did reasonably well in logical reasoning (20/25 and 18/25), but not as well as I should have on reading comp (17/27). As expected, analytical reasoning was pretty weak on the first run (10/23). I do better on cold GREs, but I know one can study for the LSAT.

I know the likely answer to "do you think I can get 17X?" with study is probably always "it depends." But looks like I have to get something like 25 more correct answers than I just did. That could be rough.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby ddevich » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:09 pm

zzman wrote:
AJordan wrote:I can't speak to anything beyond the LSAT but that's really your first step no matter what you end up doing in law and your first step there should be to give yourself an accurate diagnostic test. Google "June 2007 LSAT" as it's free and you can grab it in pdf form. If you want some help after that shoot me a pm.


So, I took a cold diagnostic today on the June 2007 LSAT and got a 153 (interestingly, my raw score seems to get a 156 these days). I think I did reasonably well in logical reasoning (20/25 and 18/25), but not as well as I should have on reading comp (17/27). As expected, analytical reasoning was pretty weak on the first run (10/23). I do better on cold GREs, but I know one can study for the LSAT.

I know the likely answer to "do you think I can get 17X?" with study is probably always "it depends." But looks like I have to get something like 25 more correct answers than I just did. That could be rough.


Maxing out your logic games (like many people are able to do given enough time) would then put you in position for a mid-160's score or better. I'd say you are in a great position with time on your side. I went from mid-150's cold to 169+ PT's in just about 4 months. I scored a 165 on the Sept. 17 test, which was ultimately a good score, but disappointing given my PT range.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby AJordan » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:48 am

My cold diag on that test was a 153 as well with similar splits. I studied for 4 full months 1-2 hours a day and was a 171-175 range on test day. I was lucky enough to test on actual day near the top of my range. Time is certainly on your side. If I were you I would take a long-term approach to studying that focused on:

1) smashing LG. This will likely take you 1-2 months with efficient study (1-2 hours a day imo) until you're at the 0-2 per section level. It's the easiest section to learn so you're in luck.

2) Don't be fooled by your LR/RC performance and don't fall for gimmicks in study. My advice would be to spend your extra study time in that first month focusing almost purely on stimulus-based argument analysis; literally read an LR stimulus and ask yourself "what's wrong with this?" while being able to answer that question in your own words in depth.

3) Once you're well on your way to -0 in LG and understanding how LSAT arguments/relationships are written, it's appropriate to switch over to learning the specific LR question types and learning exactly what they are, and aren't, asking. There are a variety of resources from which to learn this stuff. I like Nathan Fox or 7Sage personally for this step but others swear by different methods. From that point you're putting the puzzle together, your analysis of the argument + what the question is asking you specifically. There will be questions you fully understand that you still get wrong simply because you're not used to the formatting. The LSAT is a bit of a language in that it's completely learnable with long-term, bit by bit study.

4) Assuming you're a proficient, prolific reader (and if you're not you need to start reading more on D1 of study, anything that causes you to focus on reading is fine, imo) starting somewhere in month 2 or early month 3 it's appropriate to start "studying" reading comprehension where you'll find that your LR training has prepared you for success. The most important thing to remember when studying reading comprehension is that almost all RC questions, in my opinion, are some variant of the "Must Be True" LR question type. That is, we are not looking to make jumps or broad, sweeping assumptions based on the reading. We simply want to pick the answer choice that, if not directly said in the passage, is clearly supported by direct material. There are small pieces of advice once you get to that point that can help you refine your RC performance but if you're not already going -5 or better you're missing the basics.

5) lastly, you have unlimited shots at the LSAT but studying is usually, with an appropriate foundation, only contained by your energy and willingness to spend money (20 bucks each) on the test book. I'm a fan of someone not taking the LSAT until their PT range is in their desired scoring range. Seems logical but you'd be shocked at how many people go into that test room shooting for the moon beyond what they've prepared.

Again, if you or anybody else in the vets thread has any LSAT questions I'm just a pm away and always willing to do a short Skype session (free) to clarify things provided you've already done the appropriate prep work for the questions you're asking.
Last edited by AJordan on Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

zzman

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby zzman » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:19 pm

Thanks so much for the advice and encouragement.

One more question, if a school offers you a scholarship can you use it all in one semester? As in, use it for the Fall semester and then start using GI Bill in the Spring? It's possible I would apply with the hope to start while on terminal leave/PTDY, and since I'd still be active duty there'd be no YR program. I know waiting a year solves that, but I'm no spring chicken as it is. :)

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Dcc617 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:08 pm

zzman wrote:Thanks so much for the advice and encouragement.

One more question, if a school offers you a scholarship can you use it all in one semester? As in, use it for the Fall semester and then start using GI Bill in the Spring? It's possible I would apply with the hope to start while on terminal leave/PTDY, and since I'd still be active duty there'd be no YR program. I know waiting a year solves that, but I'm no spring chicken as it is. :)


You’d have to talk to the school. I’ve heard of ways around that, like the school waiting until you’re done to charge.

Are you going to be on terminal leave? Because you can just shorten that and cash out the rest.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby zzman » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:04 pm

The problem is that my retirement date can be no earlier than 1 December, so the only way to attend school in the fall is to max terminal leave and get 20 days PTDY. It's actually quite possible that it wouldn't work out if my chain didn't allow that much leave and/or grant the PTDY.

But getting a year jump would be great, so I like it as an option. I was thinking that if the leave portion didn't play out (and again that's definitely possible), I could request a deferment from the law school and just roll it to the next year.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby ddevich » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:06 am

Has anyone ever had any luck negotiating a tuition scholarship into something like a living stipend or perhaps subsidized school housing? I think this would be preferable for the school. If they "reallocate" the scholarship to the aforementioned, since the VA is the last payer, they receive more money since they aren't subsidizing my tuition by the amount of the scholarship. VA pays them more. If they give me a reasonable living stipend instead, say 5-7K a year, they are making more money through VA payments and I'll have a bit more for the summer months when BAH dries up.

It makes sense in my head at least.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby zzman » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:33 am

ddevich wrote:Has anyone ever had any luck negotiating a tuition scholarship into something like a living stipend or perhaps subsidized school housing? I think this would be preferable for the school. If they "reallocate" the scholarship to the aforementioned, since the VA is the last payer, they receive more money since they aren't subsidizing my tuition by the amount of the scholarship. VA pays them more. If they give me a reasonable living stipend instead, say 5-7K a year, they are making more money through VA payments and I'll have a bit more for the summer months when BAH dries up.

It makes sense in my head at least.


There was a report earlier in this thread of Michigan offering that without any prompting. I think I saw something about UVA doing it too, but nothing else about other schools in particular. But that's just what I've gotten from trolling through these forums, so take it for what it's worth.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Deltagirl1913 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:58 pm

Checking In, Chaos 6 on the net! Active Duty, African American, Female, Army Lieutenant Colonel, due to retire this summer after 22 years of service. Horrible undergrad grades (too much partying and sorority life), but two Masters degrees with 4.0 GPAs. Four full deployments to Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq. Mediocre LSAT but I have GI Bill/Yellow Ribbon and retirement pay so I don't need scholly money. My softs are amazing and my letters of recommendations legendary, I am what bloggers would call a Unicorn. I've been admitted to a handful of tier four schools but my first choice is Syracuse, Go Orange or Go Home!

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby ddevich » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:16 pm

Deltagirl1913 wrote:Checking In, Chaos 6 on the net! Active Duty, African American, Female, Army Lieutenant Colonel, due to retire this summer after 22 years of service. Horrible undergrad grades (too much partying and sorority life), but two Masters degrees with 4.0 GPAs. Four full deployments to Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq. Mediocre LSAT but I have GI Bill/Yellow Ribbon and retirement pay so I don't need scholly money. My softs are amazing and my letters of recommendations legendary, I am what bloggers would call a Unicorn. I've been admitted to a handful of tier four schools but my first choice is Syracuse, Go Orange or Go Home!


Welcome! I think with a good application you should have a decent shot at Syracuse; they are incredibly veteran friendly. Case in point: I went to Syracuse University through the Military Motion Media Program in 2015-2016. It was like a year-long vacation while still being on active duty. I was very lucky.

Syracuse has a robust Student Veteran Organization. They may be able to advocate for your admission. They will also provide you with a solid idea of what your student life would be like at Syracuse. Good luck to you!

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Deltagirl1913 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:47 pm

Thanks for the support! I think I have a decent shot too. Ive visited the school a handful of times, talked with admissions, financial aid, students and faculty. I applied early decision and should know my fate in a few weeks. Ill definitely share it here first!

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby marshallbrown11 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:33 pm

MT Cicero Thank you for posting the Yellow Ribbon school list for 207-2018. I am a Special Forces soldier, applying to law schools for Fall 2018. I had a question about some of the schools in your list regarding the math, there a few, UPenn for example, where the GI Bill allowance, and the Yellow Ribbon allowance does not seem to add up to the full cost of tuition. However, they are listed under the tuition free section. Is there something about the Yellow RIbbon program or about the spreadsheet I am not understanding? The math does not seem to add up? Any clarification you could provide would be welcome, thank you!

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby NavyNuke » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:36 pm

.

CMac86

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby CMac86 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:58 pm

marshallbrown11 wrote:MT Cicero Thank you for posting the Yellow Ribbon school list for 207-2018. I am a Special Forces soldier, applying to law schools for Fall 2018. I had a question about some of the schools in your list regarding the math, there a few, UPenn for example, where the GI Bill allowance, and the Yellow Ribbon allowance does not seem to add up to the full cost of tuition. However, they are listed under the tuition free section. Is there something about the Yellow RIbbon program or about the spreadsheet I am not understanding? The math does not seem to add up? Any clarification you could provide would be welcome, thank you!


If I undestand YRP and the spreadsheet correctly, the amount listed under YRP is the amount the school will kick-in, which the VA matches. So, for Penn, rhe remaining is $40,558, but they kick-in $20,300 towards YRP, then the VA will match up to a set amount, up to 50% of the difference. So, 40,558-20,300=$20,258 and then I think the VA covers that last $20,258.

Here's a link to a pdf VA Pamphlet on YRP.
https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill/docs ... mphlet.pdf

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MT Cicero

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MT Cicero » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:39 pm

I'm quite disappointed with the changes here, including the fact that I can't edit my own OP. I use PMs to help many people on this site, usually veterans or people with questions about NU. Since much of my advice is antithetical to the spamming and targeting to which this site will almost certainly be reduced, I say farewell.

I will continue to help veterans navigate the law school and legal employment melee, but it won't be here any longer. You can find me--and many others--in a different place now.

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Re: Veterans Thread

Postby AJordan » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:43 pm

I echo MT Cicero. I'm still very willing to do a Skype session for free with any Vet who has completed the free diagnostic June 2007 LSAT and has questions about how to proceed from there. I'm no longer going to post here, though. I will be moving along elsewhere with MT Cicero. If you need to contact me, please pm me there as that's apparently no longer an option here.



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