LLB as a 'leg-up' for JD application?

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Legal11b
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LLB as a 'leg-up' for JD application?

Postby Legal11b » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:23 pm

Hello All,

Background: I'm currently an infantryman in the United States Army, but I'd be interested in pursuing a less dangerous vocation once my contract expires. Many of my academic and personal strengths seem to match up with those frequently associated with law, so I thought I would look into it. My standardized test scores and the feedback I've received from my professors throughout college (seem to) indicate that I have a relatively high verbal intelligence, and ceteris paribus, let's assume that I'm cut out to be a lawyer (i.e., I'll do as well on my LSATs as I did on the SATs, I'll be able to perform well in the grad/J.D. programs I take, &c.).

I have a problem, though: I didn't do terribly while studying for the Philosophy B.A. (UGPA = 2.50) I earned at a well-known liberal arts college.

(1) I'm looking for a grad school or other option to help set myself apart and apply to a good J.D. program.
(1.1) I'd prefer that whatever post-grad education I take doesn't eat up my entire salary or G.I. Bill, both of which I am attempting to either save for my J.D. or use on undergrad loans.
(2) I'm considering the UoL External LLB program, as my primary credential to show that academics is not a weakness for me as a student (i.e., to compensate for my UGPA) and that I can 'do' law school.

Why UoL External LLB? As an infantryman, I'll have considerable--if irregular--'down-time' to stare at my PDA or smartphone. I have a 5-year contract, significant leave, and down-time in which to attempt the LLB course of study. More traditional brick-and-mortar grad programs might be (a) inaccessible to me because of my UGPA, (b) physically inaccessible to me because of my career, or (c) useless, ultimately, because many J.D. programs wouldn't be too impressed by an expensive, academically anonymous philosophy M.A.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with this program?

Does anyone have any thoughts or criticisms for my plan?
Specifically, would anyone happen to know if admissions departments for upper-tier J.D. programs would see an LLB earned from UoL External in the manner I'd attempt to present it?

Any better ideas?

Thank you.

T14hoping
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Re: LLB as a 'leg-up' for JD application?

Postby T14hoping » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:29 pm

As far as I know, completing such a program might be a decent soft, but as for numbers you're going to be looking at a 2.5/(LSAT) regardless. I believe LSAC only factors in classes that you took up until receiving your BA for your LSAC GPA; everything afterward won't count towards it.

I'd just try to kill the LSAT, as your military service will already serve as an excellent soft factor. At any rate, your undergraduate GPA is going to be a limiter as to your options.

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Samara
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Re: LLB as a 'leg-up' for JD application?

Postby Samara » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:31 pm

Totally not worth the money. I had a UGPA of 3.09 last cycle with a 4.0 in an MA program. The graduate degree had no discernible impact on my cycle. Schools only care about your UGPA.

ETA: Your military service will be a good soft. Otherwise, all you can do is kill the LSAT and get good work experience to distance yourself from the GPA. Northwestern is your best shot.

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spleenworship
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Re: LLB as a 'leg-up' for JD application?

Postby spleenworship » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:05 pm

Just no. The grad school won't help you except as a weaker soft than your military service, and an online llb from london is again a weaker soft than your service. Both grad school and an llb cost money. Neither is really worth it, IMO.

Your GPA is stuck. It blows that it is a 2.5, but there is nothing you can do about it now, so do what you can control...

The LSAT. Try pithypikes guide on here to help you study and get real cozy with your Powerscore Bibles. IMO, you need to score 165 or better and aim for a strong regional school in an area you have ties to. Your GI Bill will make that less of a risky investment.

Please feel free to PM me if you have further questions.


ETA: if you are a URM that may change things, let us know and we'll update our advice if that is the case.

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spleenworship
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Re: LLB as a 'leg-up' for JD application?

Postby spleenworship » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:06 pm

Samara wrote:Totally not worth the money. I had a UGPA of 3.09 last cycle with a 4.0 in an MA program. The graduate degree had no discernible impact on my cycle. Schools only care about your UGPA.

ETA: Your military service will be a good soft. Otherwise, all you can do is kill the LSAT and get good work experience to distance yourself from the GPA. Northwestern is your best shot.



With that GPA won't he need above a 171 to get into Northwestern?

Legal11b
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Re: LLB as a 'leg-up' for JD application?

Postby Legal11b » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:10 pm

Samara wrote:Totally not worth the money. I had a UGPA of 3.09 last cycle with a 4.0 in an MA program. The graduate degree had no discernible impact on my cycle. Schools only care about your UGPA.

ETA: Your military service will be a good soft. Otherwise, all you can do is kill the LSAT and get good work experience to distance yourself from the GPA. Northwestern is your best shot.


Right, but the total fees for UoL External LLB are something to the tune of 8kUSD... That's a tax return or three, for the chance to have a strong answer to the question of, "Well, the LSAT shows he has the aptitude, but does he have the habits and ethic to do the work?"

LSAC rankings are one thing, but its inevitable that the committee--if my file even merits specific attention--will try to square a good LSAT score with poor academics.

Re: your M.A.--so you'd always discourage any sort of post-/grad work in preparation for a J.D.? You seem disappointed with the school you were admitted to--are you sure that the LSAC ranking was the operative factor in how the Admissions board considered your file? Further, the L.L.B. (if I'm not mistaken) is a baccalaureate, anyway, so couldn't I use it as the basis to apply to a J.D.?

I'm not sure if you have the answers to those questions, but thank you for your help.

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Samara
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Re: LLB as a 'leg-up' for JD application?

Postby Samara » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:59 pm

Legal11b wrote:Right, but the total fees for UoL External LLB are something to the tune of 8kUSD... That's a tax return or three, for the chance to have a strong answer to the question of, "Well, the LSAT shows he has the aptitude, but does he have the habits and ethic to do the work?"

LSAC rankings are one thing, but its inevitable that the committee--if my file even merits specific attention--will try to square a good LSAT score with poor academics.

Re: your M.A.--so you'd always discourage any sort of post-/grad work in preparation for a J.D.? You seem disappointed with the school you were admitted to--are you sure that the LSAC ranking was the operative factor in how the Admissions board considered your file? Further, the L.L.B. (if I'm not mistaken) is a baccalaureate, anyway, so couldn't I use it as the basis to apply to a J.D.?

I'm not sure if you have the answers to those questions, but thank you for your help.

It's unlikely the LLB will be of any value, so even $8k is too much. Your military service can be a great way to show how you have matured and whatnot. Schools will want an addendum, so you can write in there about how you've changed, etc. What teaches you discipline and work ethic better than the military? That's a plenty strong answer.

Yes, I would discourage any and all post-graduate degrees if the sole purpose is to attempt to boost your law school application because I believe the effect to be negligible in 99% of cases. I'm not sure what the rest of that paragraph means. I am very happy with the law school I ended up at and the school from which I received my MA. I acquired the MA for a specific career reason, not to boost my app. I don't know what LSAC ranking means or using the LLB as the basis for your application. Your LSAC GPA is already set, there is nothing you can do to change it. Thus, your time is best spent studying for the LSAT so you can get a 173+ and have a shot at getting into Northwestern.

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Samara
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Re: LLB as a 'leg-up' for JD application?

Postby Samara » Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:59 pm

spleenworship wrote:
Samara wrote:Totally not worth the money. I had a UGPA of 3.09 last cycle with a 4.0 in an MA program. The graduate degree had no discernible impact on my cycle. Schools only care about your UGPA.

ETA: Your military service will be a good soft. Otherwise, all you can do is kill the LSAT and get good work experience to distance yourself from the GPA. Northwestern is your best shot.



With that GPA won't he need above a 171 to get into Northwestern?

Yep, at the very least. More like above 173 to feel like his chances are maximized.

Legal11b
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Re: LLB as a 'leg-up' for JD application?

Postby Legal11b » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:13 pm

Pardon my ignorance but couldn't an LLB, insofar as its a baccalaureate degree.be used as the basis for the LSAC's calculation of one's UGPA?

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Samara
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Re: LLB as a 'leg-up' for JD application?

Postby Samara » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:14 pm

Legal11b wrote:Pardon my ignorance but couldn't an LLB, insofar as its a baccalaureate degree.be used as the basis for the LSAC's calculation of one's UGPA?

Nope, sorry. Your GPA is calculated based only on the classes you took before earning your first bachelor's degree. Any classes taken after that point are not counted. You can't change your GPA, it's too late. Sorry.

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dowu
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Re: LLB as a 'leg-up' for JD application?

Postby dowu » Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:21 pm

Samara wrote:
Legal11b wrote:Pardon my ignorance but couldn't an LLB, insofar as its a baccalaureate degree.be used as the basis for the LSAC's calculation of one's UGPA?

Nope, sorry. Your GPA is calculated based only on the classes you took before earning your first bachelor's degree. Any classes taken after that point are not counted. You can't change your GPA, it's too late. Sorry.


This is credited.




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