Application advice

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slystad
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 12:54 am

Application advice

Postby slystad » Sun May 20, 2012 1:13 am

Hello,

I'm going to take the LSAT in June, on the 24th. At the moment, my score is 171/172, but I'm about to start studying a lot harder. I've been reading a lot of stuff about what will and will not increase your chances to getting into certain schools, but I still have a few questions about some of the programs.

1. How is it that the early decision stuff is binding? I understand it is, but not how exactly it is - suppose I get into Georgetown's binding early decision program. Would they tell other schools that I can't be admitted or something? This is more curiosity than anything else.

2. My decision to study law is relatively recent (though quite steady). I don't have any internships from anywhere law or policy related, nor any real extra-curricular stuff besides being on a student council at my last University. Also, I was only ever really close to one prof during my master's (my adviser) and one during my undergrad (which I finished in 2007). I'm currently teaching English in Japan, and the job before that was in customer service at a tourist attraction. Should I just ask the two profs for LORs, or would it be more valuable to get someone recent, even if they're less related to the field?

3. For undergrad, I got a 3.49, but for my Master's, I'm currently challenging the grade on my thesis, and depending on how it comes down, I will have a 3.6 or 3.7, though likely the latter. Will I be graded on my first or second score? I'm planning on going into int'l law, and applying to Berkeley, NYU, Columbia, Georgetown, and Harvard and Yale for the hell of it.

4. I've traveled a lot, including living in Oslo (got my masters here) for two years and now Japan for a year, as well as a short stint in Cape Town. A friend of mine who's in law school advised me this would at least give me a leg up on competition, but do you think it would help me out at all? If so, to a great degree or a small one?

Thanks for your help!

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Tom Joad
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Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:56 pm

Re: Application advice

Postby Tom Joad » Sun May 20, 2012 1:33 am

Get a 171 or 172 or higher

ED to NYU

Pray

You probably want an even higher LSAT for NYU to tell you the truth

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rinkrat19
Posts: 13915
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 5:35 am

Re: Application advice

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun May 20, 2012 1:46 am

1. Do not test the ED binding clause. The schools have been known to communicate with each other. If you get into an ED program, you are expected to withdraw your application from all other schools. If you mess with it and get found out, you could get blacklisted from law school entirely. If it doesn't get found out until time to pass the bar, it would be a Character & Fitness problem.

2. Not having legal experience before law school is hardly a minus at all. Academic letters are generally more desireable, assuming the profs remember you well enough to write good ones. But a professional letter from a supervisor can be ok too. I would get all three and decide later.
3a. Be aware that your dream of "International Law" doesn't actually exist for most people.

3b. Law schools have to report undergrad GPAs to USNWR for the rankings. Grad school GPA is a small soft ("soft factor" = everything besides LSAT, GPA and minority status), meaning that it doesn't really matter. Your 3.49 might change slightly if LSAC calculates grades differently than your schools, so check out the GPA Calculator on lawschoolpredictor.com
Unless you get pretty close to a 180, Berkeley is going to be tough with that GPA. The California schools are notorious GPA whores. Columbia's a long shot, and HY are likely out. 172 or better and NYU is possible. You'll definitely want to broaden your applications to include the rest of the T14, and possibly lower depending on your actual LSAT.

4. You might be able to write a diversity statement about your experiences abroad, and certainly it could provide good material for your personal statement. Aside from that, it won't make much of a difference. It might be a tiebreaker between you and a person with the same numbers. Having work experience is a bigger factor (although still not a huge deal at most schools--excepting Northwestern where it is a near-requirement).

Enjoy lawschoolpredictor.com and lawschoolnumbers.com

slystad
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 12:54 am

Re: Application advice

Postby slystad » Sun May 20, 2012 2:49 am

Ok, thanks for the info.

I was mainly asking about the Early Decision stuff because I didn't see a clear way to enforce it and didn't see any info immediately apparent. I certainly don't plan on challenging it at all.

As far as numbers, good to know about my GPA. I was under the impression the latest GPA would be most relevant, good thing I asked. NYU/Georgetown are the two I'm mainly looking at (I was going by these two numbers), but I'm looking at a few others. I suppose there's no chance, then, for HY, which is no big surprise.

What did you mean by "Be aware that your dream of "International Law" doesn't actually exist for most people." Do you mean this doesn't exist as a career? Or a path through school?

Got a little over a month before the LSAT, hopefully I can get a few more points out of it.

Edit: I don't mean to look arrogant, I actually am sort of limited in which cities I can move to. I've been considering SF as not much of an option anyway.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Application advice

Postby rinkrat19 » Sun May 20, 2012 3:12 am

slystad wrote:What did you mean by "Be aware that your dream of "International Law" doesn't actually exist for most people." Do you mean this doesn't exist as a career? Or a path through school?
I mean that it's a vaguely defined field, and the very few jobs that actually meet the amorphous definition most people come up with are hyper competitive. It's only slightly less optimistic than saying your career aim is to be appointed to SCOTUS.

JDClassof3013 wrote:I am at HYS. I know some international lawyers (UN, EC, ICC sort of stuff)

Pro tip for wanna be international lawyers;

1. Go look at the organizations you want to work for
2. Find lawyers doing what you want to do
3. LOOK AT THEIR RESUMES
4. If you can't achieve that, give it up.

Most of the people I know in the UN/ICC are not American (because of the country quotas/hiring politics). Most of them are fluent - native fluent - in multiple languages. Not just "French at college" fluent but "Italian & dutch parents and grew up in Iran. And oh I speak French too" types. Most have at least a masters if not a phD and a bunch of post docs in some development area. Again, not "I did a MPP and got a high GPA" masters. More like "I'm an econometrics expert who won an international scholarship to study some obscure heavily technical development specialty" expert.

They're that good. Most of the people going to these orgs are SJDs or post docs who are just 10x more qualified than the average JD.

I know plenty of students who are interning in these orgs. It's really easy if you are at a good school with decent grades to get an unpaid internship in these orgs. But getting a job there is nigh on impossible. Seriously.

Obv doing cross border transactional or crappy paid direct services in a foreign country are very different.
rad lulz wrote:First, decide what "international law" means to you. Want to do capital markets/international M&A/international tax/etc.? Okay you can do that, but you'll probably be doing it at a biglaw firm, working entirely with US law, and not leaving the USA. I'm guessing this isn't what you mean.

Want to do ICC/World Bank/human rights in Asscrackistan. Basically no one does this. You will NOT get a job doing this. The only decent way to MAYBE have previous work experience with some sort of international NGO, which whill give you credibility and a network. Law school is NOT the time to try to break in. 99.9% chance you will fail.

And for the love of all that is holy do NOT do your full 1L summer abroad for the reasons mentioned above.
vanwinkle wrote:Few people will listen to rational explanations of "There are very few positions that offer true 'international law' work, especially to those with no or minimal post-LS experience, and they are often taken by the highest-achieving graduates of the very top schools, who also have international backgrounds and are fluent in blah blah blah"; instead they zone the fuck out. However, saying "YOU WILL NOT WORK IN INTERNATIONAL LAW" is just as true for 95% of posters, and gets the message across, in language those posters can understand, before they get bored and wander off.

If there are maybe 100 such job openings a year and 10,000+ people interested in them, is it overdoing it to bluntly people that they're not going to get those jobs? You're only going to be wrong about 1% of them, and that 1% is the group most likely to have done their own research and been realistic without asking TLS anyway.

slystad
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 12:54 am

Re: Application advice

Postby slystad » Sun May 20, 2012 4:43 am

Ah, ok.

Yeah, I didn't get very far on this forum without reading stuff like that. I don't want to be Ban-Ki Moon or Madeline Rees or Hillary Clinton even if I had the option. It's just sort of a preliminary thing right now, I'm planning on doing a lot more research when I get my LSAT score and know more where I stand.




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