Splitter - wait how many years to apply?

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breadphonez
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:42 pm

Splitter - wait how many years to apply?

Postby breadphonez » Fri Mar 09, 2012 2:52 pm

Hi guys,

I graduated in 2011 with a rather low GPA of 3.2. I have a 171 from October 2010. I have been working as a paralegal since graduating. I have biglaw ambitions - at least coming out of law school. I was considering applying this fall, but now I'm leaning toward taking more time off. That being said:

I. Could you tell me how significant the below factors are? I'd especially like to know how much 1-2 years of paralegal experience might help in OCI.

Pros of taking more time off
1. Distance myself from my GPA
2. Accumulate more savings.
3. Enjoy my youth
4. Have better idea of what I'm getting myself into with law school
5. More time for the economy to recover
6. Biglaw firms might consider me more favorably with more years of paralegal experience.

Cons
1. Lost net earnings - working for longer at paralegal salary vs. associate salary.
2. LSAT becomes less current, schools might want me to retake before 5 years are up?

II. Would it help me significantly to apply in Fall 2013 as opposed to Fall 2012?

Thanks!
Last edited by breadphonez on Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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bk1
Posts: 18421
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: Splitter - wait how many years to apply?

Postby bk1 » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:07 pm

(Pros)
1. Your 3.2 is going to haunt you forever. You've already distanced yourself from it by 2 years, which is good, but even another 8 years isn't going to do too much to change the 3.2.
2. This one is really important imo but it depends how much you are saving per year. Since you want biglaw that means you'll need to go to a T14. Your 3.2 pretty much guarantees you will be paying sticker. 7-8% interest on $200-250k is killer so if you can put a serious dent in how much you have to take out I think that would be the best reason for waiting. However if you're only saving a few thousand a year then that is a pittance compared to how much you'd have to take out.
3. This depends on you. Law school is 3 years long and you can still go out and "enjoy your youth" in law school.
4. You will have worked as a paralegal for almost 2 years by matriculation, you've got a far better idea than most law students.
5. At this point I don't see biglaw recovering significantly from what has already happened. Marginally? Maybe but I don't think it is significant to be a factor.
6. No idea on this one. My guess would be that the difference between 2 years and 4 years wouldn't be too huge, but I really don't know.

(Cons)
1. This is contrasted with the lower interest you would have by working longer and having to take out less $. There's also the chance that you miss biglaw (which would suck if you were taking out sticker price debt).
2. Huh? I don't think schools will care if your LSAT is 4 years old though I could be wrong.

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No13baby
Posts: 440
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:42 am

Re: Splitter - wait how many years to apply?

Postby No13baby » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:13 pm

Unless you're planning to take a LOT of time off - like, eight years - I'm not sure that taking more time off to distance yourself from your GPA will be very effective. At the end of the day, you're still going to have to deal with that number unless you win an Olympic medal or cure cancer or whatever. No need to retake the LSAT though - as long as your score is valid, schools will accept it.

I am also working as a paralegal between college and law school, and I think the experience it's given me, both in actually doing law-related work and in ensuring that a law firm is a place I'd like to work, has been invaluable. From what I've heard, it will also give you a bit of a boost during OCI (but I'm a 0L, so take that with a grain of salt.) If you're not sure whether to apply this year or not, wait. You can save more money, and law school will always be there. You'll gain more experience doing legal work (assuming they have you doing substantive things, not just e-filing and copying) which will be another plus.

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Samara
Posts: 3245
Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:26 pm

Re: Splitter - wait how many years to apply?

Postby Samara » Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:17 pm

All of the above.

I haven't heard of schools having a problem with an old score as long as it is still valid per LSAC. I say go for it. You still have 1.5 years before you would start law school. I think by then you would have achieved the purpose of work experience and your marginal returns would be small. (Unless you're willing and able to save a lot of money to stave off T14 debt.)




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