Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

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daisuki
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby daisuki » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:40 am

TyrionLannister wrote:
daisuki wrote:
TyrionLannister wrote:Free ride, for sure.

Most importantly - Thanks for your service, brother.


Thank you - what makes you think so? Sorry if that's blunt but 0L's I've talked to seem hopelessly optimistic, some of them thought I would be in at T6's etc


Most 0Ls on this site are fairly young and fairly optimistic, yes. Being someone who has served in the military, your eyes have been opened to the reality of the world around us. Life is not all sunshine and roses, as many K-JDs think (this is not meant as an insult to those who are K-JD, regardless of how it is read). Sometimes, no matter how much we work, hope, and pray, things just don't go our way. That's life. The majority of early-to-mid 20 year olds have yet to gain this insight. Anyone who is planning on getting an advanced degree is already more fortunate than most people on this planet - but I digress.

How this applies to your situation is this - I'm assuming that you are a fairly rational individual. You have military experience and have formulated a fairly decent plan for a career change. What you have to decide is why you truly want to be a lawyer. You mentioned most likely enjoying the career, you are wary of the possible drudgery, and you have interest in working for a judge. I have no experience in the area, but it does seem like the deck would be stacked against you for getting a clerkship for that T50 school that is offering a full ride. Without knowing the school I couldn't examine statistics to be certain of its improbability, but it is probably unlikely. But is this why you want to be a lawyer? For a hardworking guy who is fairly intelligent, you could probably do quite well at that T50. Getting a JD without any debt, plus the knowledge of a possible re-entry to your old career if no job prospects come your way - that sounds like a dream situation in this economy.

But, if clerkship (or even BigLaw) is truly where your heart resides, then bust your ass and try to crack the 170 barrier on the LSAT. Retake and reapply. Hell, if you aren't truly locked into CA, retaking and reapplying to some east coast schools could open up a world of possibilities. Others would know more than I would though, me just being a 0L and all.

Just remember that much of the negative posts on this site have to do with re-paying debt and never making a good living, two things you may never have to worry about. Being free of those burdens is why I would absolutely take the free ride if I were you. You have absolutely nothing to lose in that situation, which may just give you the peace of mind you need to out-perform your classmates and crush it at that T50 (There's some hopeless optimism for you)! Either way, go with your gut. You are in an enviable position.


thanks for this, I will consider it and may well wait out one more year after some more thought, too bad it isn't 1996

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realhero
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby realhero » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:04 pm

I too have a 3.3, and depending where you went to UG, you're not necessarily shutout at T14.

I just talked to a consultant today, and she told me my Ivy soft lib 3.3 with a crazy good LSAT could give me a chance at T14. Giving her the benefit of the doubt that she doesn't just want my money, this gave me hope. Even if you didn't go to an Ivy, your strong LSAT could give you a chance. Also, you've worked for a while, so that mitigates your GPA somewhat. Gtown or Northwestern?

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Mad Hatter
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby Mad Hatter » Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:28 pm

I think a lot depends on just how badly you want law. I can tell you that Business Schools value Military experience (and work experience) far more than Law Schools, and value GPA far less (even the top BSchools "boast" a median GPA of 3.6-3.7) If you are on the fence between business and law, I would recommend taking the GMAT. If you score 730+, which isn't difficult with 2-3 months of medium prep, you are almost guaranteed a spot at at least one of the M7 (essentially the T6 equivalent for BSchools) and definitely UC Haas/UCLA Anderson/USC Marshall. Again, a lot depends on how badly you want law, but if you are uncertain, I would definitely think about BSchool. The application process rewards your strengths (Military,WE) far more and penalizes your weakness (GPA) far less, arguably offers similar if not better job prospects relative to the Law Schools you are considering, and only takes 2 years as opposed to 3.

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angrybird
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby angrybird » Sat May 05, 2012 12:58 am

realhero wrote:I too have a 3.3 (Ivy), and depending where you went to UG (Ivy? non-Ivy?), you're not necessarily shutout at T14 (except the Ivys).

I just talked to a consultant today, and she told me my Ivy soft lib 3.3 with a crazy good LSAT could give me a chance at T14. Giving her the benefit of the doubt that she doesn't just want my Ivy money, this gave me hope. Even if you didn't go to an Ivy, your strong LSAT could give you a chance. Also, you've worked for a while, so that mitigates your non-Ivy GPA somewhat. Gtown or Northwestern?

edited for completeness

daisuki
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Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:34 am

Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby daisuki » Wed May 09, 2012 10:25 pm

realhero wrote:I too have a 3.3, and depending where you went to UG, you're not necessarily shutout at T14.

I just talked to a consultant today, and she told me my Ivy soft lib 3.3 with a crazy good LSAT could give me a chance at T14. Giving her the benefit of the doubt that she doesn't just want my money, this gave me hope. Even if you didn't go to an Ivy, your strong LSAT could give you a chance. Also, you've worked for a while, so that mitigates your GPA somewhat. Gtown or Northwestern?


Actually I did not apply to either of those schools (or Cornell) I was waitlisted at M.

I mean, a 'crazy good' LSAT if high enough could even help someone with a 2.x GPA get a T14, but I didn't do *that* well, I didn't even break 170 but came fairly close

I want to stay in CA but that seems almost impossible other than a T2 or an even better LSAT

It's not just that, it's the $ involved since it looks like unless I get a 174+ I wouldn't get $ anywhere anyway because of my GPA

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soj
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby soj » Thu May 10, 2012 4:24 am

If you decide to go to law school, keep working hard to improve your LSAT score. You can get better at games through lots of practice if you study smart. Good luck!
Last edited by soj on Thu May 10, 2012 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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DaftAndDirect
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby DaftAndDirect » Thu May 10, 2012 4:38 am

Mad Hatter wrote:I think a lot depends on just how badly you want law. I can tell you that Business Schools value Military experience (and work experience) far more than Law Schools, and value GPA far less (even the top BSchools "boast" a median GPA of 3.6-3.7) If you are on the fence between business and law, I would recommend taking the GMAT. If you score 730+, which isn't difficult with 2-3 months of medium prep, you are almost guaranteed a spot at at least one of the M7 (essentially the T6 equivalent for BSchools) and definitely UC Haas/UCLA Anderson/USC Marshall. Again, a lot depends on how badly you want law, but if you are uncertain, I would definitely think about BSchool. The application process rewards your strengths (Military,WE) far more and penalizes your weakness (GPA) far less, arguably offers similar if not better job prospects relative to the Law Schools you are considering, and only takes 2 years as opposed to 3.


+1

B-school also just sounds more fun.

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JCFindley
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Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby JCFindley » Thu May 10, 2012 8:03 am

Ahhhhh OP, a story I recognize OH so well...... Mine is pretty close except change CA to NYC and change 30 something to 47.....

That last number will show that you are not in fact to old to study your butt off and retake the LSAT especially if you can stay contracting during that year. That said, do your research on the yellow ribbon program as the GI bill will only pay in state tuition at a state school which could leave you in some debt at UVA. I am basing this on last years participation in the YRP because the list is not yet complete for the schools participating this fall. Michigan is probably the top school that you can attend absolutely debt free as their YRP is unlimited in numbers AND in the amount they will pay. (OK, the limit is $99,999/year and that should cover tuition...) Within your state UCLA seems to be the best bet that you can attend 100% free but they only have ten of the YRPs available so first come first serve..... (S, Boalt and USC all payed some towards the YRP but it would not be a full ride.)

Now, opinions on attending LS....... If I were in your shoes, and basically I am, I would definitely go though I would seriously consider sitting out a year.... Here is my background and why: 21 years AD and ANG then I was an airline pilot and have NO desire to go back to that. I was a military contractor and that can be soul sucking as well and I do NOT want to go into project management...... Sure, I could get a GS job and just mark the clock until I die but hey, its a good paycheck. The one thing I have learned is I do not like working for anyone but ME. Right now I have my own fine art photography business and it does OK as art businesses go but the whole starving artist thing is a little too true. So, yes I plan to work for someone else out of LS but I will eventually hang my own shingle or at least I have that option and I like that option a LOT......

Regarding sitting out a year; My wife was on board this whole chasing my dream thing so long as it was in the greater NYC area. I ruled out CLS and NYU because the GI Bill/YRP did not cover 100%. I ended getting into Fordham which was my top choice and I got in based completely on softs so I will be attending this fall. I was preparing to retake and sit out a year when I got the admit email....... You really can open up a lot more opportunities if you can get into the 170s. I am pretty sure Michigan will continue to be covered 100% and if you wanted UVA for free you could come out here and contract in VA for the next year while EDing to UVA and that WOULD give you in state for sure and cover UVA at 100%. If you have reasons to stay in CA then retaking and going to UCLA and doing it early to get one of those 10 YRP slots is a definite option. (Unless UCLA is where you are in this year, then just GO!)

Just my thoughts but they do come from a person in a similar situation.....

Oh, and TCR is you do NOT pay back the GI Bill if you don't graduate.....

Best of luck in your decisions....

JC

Edit: I have heard UCLA has a GPA floor so that could lock you out but keep in mind, the military service CAN open doors that you would think you have no chance for.

daisuki
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:34 am

Re: Should I go to law school? Brutal honesty welcome

Postby daisuki » Thu May 10, 2012 11:48 pm

JCFindley wrote:Ahhhhh OP, a story I recognize OH so well...... Mine is pretty close except change CA to NYC and change 30 something to 47.....

That last number will show that you are not in fact to old to study your butt off and retake the LSAT especially if you can stay contracting during that year. That said, do your research on the yellow ribbon program as the GI bill will only pay in state tuition at a state school which could leave you in some debt at UVA. I am basing this on last years participation in the YRP because the list is not yet complete for the schools participating this fall. Michigan is probably the top school that you can attend absolutely debt free as their YRP is unlimited in numbers AND in the amount they will pay. (OK, the limit is $99,999/year and that should cover tuition...) Within your state UCLA seems to be the best bet that you can attend 100% free but they only have ten of the YRPs available so first come first serve..... (S, Boalt and USC all payed some towards the YRP but it would not be a full ride.)

Now, opinions on attending LS....... If I were in your shoes, and basically I am, I would definitely go though I would seriously consider sitting out a year.... Here is my background and why: 21 years AD and ANG then I was an airline pilot and have NO desire to go back to that. I was a military contractor and that can be soul sucking as well and I do NOT want to go into project management...... Sure, I could get a GS job and just mark the clock until I die but hey, its a good paycheck. The one thing I have learned is I do not like working for anyone but ME. Right now I have my own fine art photography business and it does OK as art businesses go but the whole starving artist thing is a little too true. So, yes I plan to work for someone else out of LS but I will eventually hang my own shingle or at least I have that option and I like that option a LOT......

Regarding sitting out a year; My wife was on board this whole chasing my dream thing so long as it was in the greater NYC area. I ruled out CLS and NYU because the GI Bill/YRP did not cover 100%. I ended getting into Fordham which was my top choice and I got in based completely on softs so I will be attending this fall. I was preparing to retake and sit out a year when I got the admit email....... You really can open up a lot more opportunities if you can get into the 170s. I am pretty sure Michigan will continue to be covered 100% and if you wanted UVA for free you could come out here and contract in VA for the next year while EDing to UVA and that WOULD give you in state for sure and cover UVA at 100%. If you have reasons to stay in CA then retaking and going to UCLA and doing it early to get one of those 10 YRP slots is a definite option. (Unless UCLA is where you are in this year, then just GO!)

Just my thoughts but they do come from a person in a similar situation.....

Oh, and TCR is you do NOT pay back the GI Bill if you don't graduate.....

Best of luck in your decisions....

JC

Edit: I have heard UCLA has a GPA floor so that could lock you out but keep in mind, the military service CAN open doors that you would think you have no chance for.


Interesting story, thank you for this - I know, it's frustrating that 2-3 points could literally make that much of a difference
I'm thinking I'm shut out of the better CA schools unless I did very very well, may be time to consider something else or a retake




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