3yrs community college, 1yr university. Too early to apply?

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Funkycrime
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3yrs community college, 1yr university. Too early to apply?

Postby Funkycrime » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:03 pm

Hey everybody, I'm a long time lurker but new poster on the forums. I decided its about time to begin planning for my law school application process, and I need some advice!
My community college career yielded a GPA of 3.75, and I transfered to UCLA after last spring. So far after one summer session and one regular quarter at UCLA my GPA here is 3.88, but this total represents a small portion of my overall units. I have two more quarters left before summer, which is when I plan to begin preperation for the LSAT, but I wonder if law schools will be put off by the fact that I will only have one year of university grades to show. The totals will be 71.5 semester units (CC) and 44 quarter units (UCLA).
My question is will this underrepresentation of units and grades from a credible school hurt my chances at top law schools? Would I be better off to wait a year and apply with two years of (hopefully) strong grades from UCLA? Any advice or previous experience would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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cinephile
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Re: 3yrs community college, 1yr university. Too early to apply?

Postby cinephile » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:33 pm

You'd be fine even if you hadn't transferred. But I'd always vote to wait and work before applying.

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Funkycrime
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Re: 3yrs community college, 1yr university. Too early to apply?

Postby Funkycrime » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:41 pm

Do you say that because undergrad quality isn't a factor in admissions? I guess I'm worried because I feel like community college is a step below even low level universities haha.

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cinephile
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Re: 3yrs community college, 1yr university. Too early to apply?

Postby cinephile » Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:49 pm

It may be a small factor, but really your GPA and LSAT combo will be the best predictor of where you'll go. Also, lots of people go to community colleges and then transfer. By the time you apply, you'll have a full year at your new school, so that's a good representation of you abilities at UCLA.

But if you want to wait until after you graduate, I think that's great. Getting some work experience before starting law school is always a good idea.

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Funkycrime
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Re: 3yrs community college, 1yr university. Too early to apply?

Postby Funkycrime » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:15 pm

Yeah I still play with the idea of working for a year after college. I guess my biggest problem with that route is a feeling of idleness, especially since I took three years in community college. I have already worked a number of law related internships, and I have firmly decided that this is what i want to do, but I understand WE is a good application booster. Either way, I appreciate the help cinephile.

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philly_law
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Re: 3yrs community college, 1yr university. Too early to apply?

Postby philly_law » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:25 pm

You should be fine as far as gaining admission goes, I doubt you'd underperform the generic predictions for someone with your GPA/LSAT. Working between undergrad and law school would help on the legal job search though. At OCI, it certainly seemed to me that employers viewed candidates who had some work experience as more mature, and preferred these candidates. Or maybe that's just how I rationalize striking out at OCI as someone who went straight through from undergrad to make myself feel better.

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Funkycrime
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Re: 3yrs community college, 1yr university. Too early to apply?

Postby Funkycrime » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:33 pm

This is definitely something to consider. I haven't thought much past the hurdle that is gaining admission.

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philly_law
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Re: 3yrs community college, 1yr university. Too early to apply?

Postby philly_law » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:41 pm

I didn't really either, and man do I regret it now. It's easy for admissions to feel like the endgame, but it's really only the very first step to the real goal, which is employment. It depends on your career goals too. My sense is that Biglaw values the work experience more that perhaps some other employers, because of the high salaries and long hours. They might prefer someone more mature who has a better sense of what they are signing up for. That's just the sense I get though.




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