170/3.81 Advice for Stanford

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dnptan
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170/3.81 Advice for Stanford

Postby dnptan » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:12 pm

Hi guys,

I need help making my application as strong as possible for Stanford this cycle. If I don't get in, I will retake the LSATs. Advice is welcome.

Alma Mater: Boston University, Double Major
B.A. Biology - summa
B.S. Biomedical Engineering - magna
GPA: 3.82 (3.81 LSAC for some reason)
LSAT: 170 (DEC test - I decided on law VERY late, mostly due to my job. Definitely room for improvement but would rather get in sooner rather than later)
Money is a secondary concern (IE Stanford over full NYU scholarship)

LoRs
1 Very Strong from Professor (4 years) - Targeted
1 Strong from Professor (1 year) - General
2 Very Strong from Employer (I have 2 managers) - Targeted

Work Experience
Some college jobs (TA, Tutor, Lab Tech)
6 months (and going) of experience at an Intellectual Property Consulting Firm (Boston)

Personal Statement
Regarding my experience co-founding a startup company, which made its way through venture funding and academic support, before hitting a legal roadblock (an employee disclosed the invention in his blog, preventing patentability - lawyers had no idea what our tech actually did and thus couldn't advise us to trademark instead - something I learned at my current job). Focus on using that experience in landing my current job (Intellectual Property Consulting) and in turn using my job to study IP law, bringing me back full circle by being a technical legal adviser to startups.

Link: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=203005

Diversity Statement
Regarding my experience attending a public school in a developing nation (Philippines) and how it shaped my perspectives and attitudes in life. Highlights include overcoming faulty infrastructure and facilities (being creative on dealing with research after our library burnt down); the importance of teamwork and camaraderie (Helped drive a fundraiser so that a classmate could afford his flight back to the school, else be expelled); and learning that circumstances can be hindrances or advantages - depending on your perspective and resourcefulness.

Link: Pending

Resume: http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=202327

Other schools of interest:
Harvard
Yale
UC Berkely
NYU (Parent's Alma Mater for LLM)
Columbia
------

Thank you for taking the time to read over this. I would appreciate advice and critique. Please don't toss "flame" or "no chance" at me, because I really want to get in. If not now, then next cycle. Questions are welcome!
Last edited by dnptan on Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

vzapana
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Re: 170/3.81 Advice for Stanford

Postby vzapana » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:28 pm

you're unlikely to get admitted, but it's not impossible. ideally, your lsat would've been at least a point or two higher, but oh well.

as for your ds, that's a lot of stuff to cover in one page, and i'm not convinced it's going to read well. focus on either the library anecdote or the fundraiser anecdote, not both, in order to show (not tell) your resourcefulness.

also, be wary of sounding like you're rambling in your ps.

as for your LORs, send in the two profs and only one of your employers. two employer LORs seem redundant.

extracurricular experience at BU?

at the moment i can see you at nyu. i think HY are out. the others are iffie, depending on the strength of your softs.

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dnptan
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Re: 170/3.81 Advice for Stanford

Postby dnptan » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:42 pm

Hey, thanks for the reply.

I know it's not ideal, and while I would be very proud to get in NYU, knowing that Stanford is within reach makes it hard for me to settle. I think most people would agree it's worth waiting a cycle (and retaking the LSAT) so you get admitted into a higher-ranked school.

On that note, what LSAT do you think would be "safe" for Stanford, given the rest of the application?

RE: PS. Noted, will make every effort to be concise without trading readability
RE: DS. Noted. Although I wanted to use those experiences to coalesce into a more general conclusion, specifically the idea mentioned in point 3.
RE: ExtraCurriculars at BU - Besides working as a college-level tutor, Teaching assistant and lab assistant, my ECs include studying abroad (Germany) and membership in clubs which really don't deserve space on my resume.

Thanks!

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: 170/3.81 Advice for Stanford

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:49 pm

dnptan wrote: what LSAT do you think would be "safe" for Stanford, given the rest of the application?

Stanford accepts very few people each year with a GPA as low as yours, so you aren't safe even with a 180. That said, getting the LSAT up over 176 seems to make a difference.

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dnptan
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Re: 170/3.81 Advice for Stanford

Postby dnptan » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:24 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Stanford accepts very few people each year with a GPA as low as yours, so you aren't safe even with a 180. That said, getting the LSAT up over 176 seems to make a difference.


Hey thanks for the reply.

Stanford's 25th percentile was 3.72 according to TLS. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that imply that at least 1/4th the population of Stanford has a GPA of 3.72 or lower? Unless of course you are talking about the generally low number of students accepted in general, in which case I totally agree with you.

In a totally unrelated topic, does anyone have any information on this year's apparently "wild" cycle? Is this good for reachers like me?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: 170/3.81 Advice for Stanford

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:07 pm

dnptan wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Stanford accepts very few people each year with a GPA as low as yours, so you aren't safe even with a 180. That said, getting the LSAT up over 176 seems to make a difference.


Hey thanks for the reply.

Stanford's 25th percentile was 3.72 according to TLS. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that imply that at least 1/4th the population of Stanford has a GPA of 3.72 or lower? Unless of course you are talking about the generally low number of students accepted in general, in which case I totally agree with you.

Yeah I was talking more about the fact that they only accept about 350 a year, and a huge portion of those have GPAs over 3.9. Many of those who get in with lower GPAs are underrepresented minorities. Just not a lot of space.

nebula666
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Re: 170/3.81 Advice for Stanford

Postby nebula666 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:17 am

I hate to say it but you are almost an auto-reject from Stanford. Maybe a 175+ will give you a better chance. Harvard, CLS and Chicago are also not looking great. Significant money at MVP and below. Best school you can get into right now is probably NYU.

http://myLSN.info/jgvevf (170)

Even with a 179, your chances are not great.

http://myLSN.info/0z3ohl (178-180)

You really need to consider which of NYU, Berkeley and MVP down you would most like to attend and then pray that one of HYS + CC gives you a shot.

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somewhatwayward
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Re: 170/3.81 Advice for Stanford

Postby somewhatwayward » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:43 am

dnptan wrote:Money is a secondary concern (IE Stanford over full NYU scholarship)


You are not anywhere near a full scholarship to NYU. I think in my admissions cycle ('09-'10) you might not have even gotten into NYU at all. CLS is also probably a stretch for you even in this admissions cycle. I assume you are trying to contrast the best school you would get into with the school that gives you a full scholarship but for your numbers that is more like NYU at sticker v a T20-30 school with a full scholarship.

There is no high enough LSAT that can guarantee you Stanford because they are more holistic in their admissions. I think they do like engineers, though. Getting your LSAT to 175+ would give you a good shot at H, improve your shot at S, and make everywhere else besides Y very likely. I would recommend waiting a year if you can get your score up both to get into better schools and to get more scholarship money. There is no harm in sending an application to S this year in the mean time, though, and seeing what happens since they are unpredictable and do like engineers.

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dnptan
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Re: 170/3.81 Advice for Stanford

Postby dnptan » Tue Jan 22, 2013 10:44 am

nebula666 wrote:I hate to say it but you are almost an auto-reject from Stanford. Maybe a 175+ will give you a better chance. Harvard, CLS and Chicago are also not looking great. Significant money at MVP and below. Best school you can get into right now is probably NYU.


I respect your opinion, but if words could dissuade me from applying, I really don't deserve to get in. Like I said money isn't a real factor for me, and extremely unlikely since I am not a US citizen.

nebula666 wrote:You really need to consider which of NYU, Berkeley and MVP down you would most like to attend and then pray that one of HYS + CC gives you a shot.


I only applied to NYU as homage to my parents' alma mater. Not that it isn't a great school, or that I would be honored to be accepted, but I don't think I would attend it at this time.

Berkeley is appealing because of its great IP program, but I have to look more into it if and when I get accepted.

MVP are out for me

It's not a hubris thing, it's just that I have a stable job at the IP field (patent consulting) and I really am enjoying it. My impetus to go to law school stems from my experience here, and the revelation that when I was working on my startup, a tech-inclined lawyer could really have saved my business. I address this in my personal statement [Pending].

tldr; I'm interested in law school because I want to have an impact in IP, especially for startups. I am only interested in HYS, or possibly Berkeley, because only an excellent school would merit (for me at least) leaving a stable, well-paying job. I am an Engineer after all!

somewhatwayward wrote: You are not anywhere near a full scholarship to NYU.

I know I'm probably not getting $, but I just wanted it to express my priorities.

somewhat wayward wrote:There is no high enough LSAT that can guarantee you Stanford because they are more holistic in their admissions. I think they do like engineers, though. Getting your LSAT to 175+ would give you a good shot at H, improve your shot at S


Great! My Engineering background is a plus, I'll take it. LSAT of 175 is a tangible goal, although I would skip Harvard and Yale for Stanford in a heartbeat. I'm really interested in Patent Law.

edit: Sorry, got too excited in posting. I forgot to thank everyone for their input! I really appreciate it.

wearefoxsports
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Re: 170/3.81 Advice for Stanford

Postby wearefoxsports » Wed Jan 23, 2013 2:23 pm

dnptan wrote:
Tiago Splitter wrote:Stanford accepts very few people each year with a GPA as low as yours, so you aren't safe even with a 180. That said, getting the LSAT up over 176 seems to make a difference.


Hey thanks for the reply.

Stanford's 25th percentile was 3.72 according to TLS. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that imply that at least 1/4th the population of Stanford has a GPA of 3.72 or lower? Unless of course you are talking about the generally low number of students accepted in general, in which case I totally agree with you.

In a totally unrelated topic, does anyone have any information on this year's apparently "wild" cycle? Is this good for reachers like me?


The percentile numbers of accepted can be very misleading, especially when we are talking about Stanford, because it's problematic if you only compare your numbers to the ones who are accepted, rather than to the entire applicant pool. To demonstrate this problem, I put your numbers into lawschoolpredictor (which calculates your percentile placement among those accepted), and LSN (which calculates your chance being accepted against the entire applicant pool reported). The results:

According to lawschoolpredictor, your numbers place you at about 51th percentile among those accepted to Stanford. It indicates you have a 51% of chance to be accepted to Stanford if you equate your percentile placement to your chance being accepted;

but according to LSN, only 7%of non-URM applicants with your numbers (2 out of 30) were actually accepted to Stanford (link here: http://myLSN.info/xzelyi). You see the difference?

Sure, according to the percentile numbers, 1/4 of people accepted to Stanford has a GPA lower than 3.72. You can imagine, however, only a tiny fraction of all applicants with a GPA 3.72 or lower is actually accepted to Stanford (and don't forget a significant amount of those could be URMs). Basically a GPA of 3.72 (or 3.8 for that matter) will be very uncompetitive in Stanford. That being said, Stanford is still willing to dip down to lower numbers (hence very diverse student profiles) for people with great softs. I don't know how strong your softs are (nobody really knows), but I think they may be OK. You definitely have a chance at Stanford, just not a very good chance.

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dnptan
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Re: 170/3.81 Advice for Stanford

Postby dnptan » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:04 pm

wearefoxsports wrote:The percentile numbers of accepted can be very misleading, especially when we are talking about Stanford, because it's problematic if you only compare your numbers to the ones who are accepted, rather than to the entire applicant pool. To demonstrate this problem, I put your numbers into lawschoolpredictor (which calculates your percentile placement among those accepted), and LSN (which calculates your chance being accepted against the entire applicant pool reported). The results:

According to lawschoolpredictor, your numbers place you at about 51th percentile among those accepted to Stanford. It indicates you have a 51% of chance to be accepted to Stanford if you equate your percentile placement to your chance being accepted;

but according to LSN, only 7%of non-URM applicants with your numbers (2 out of 30) were actually accepted to Stanford (link here: http://myLSN.info/xzelyi). You see the difference?

Sure, according to the percentile numbers, 1/4 of people accepted to Stanford has a GPA lower than 3.72. You can imagine, however, only a tiny fraction of all applicants with a GPA 3.72 or lower is actually accepted to Stanford (and don't forget a significant amount of those could be URMs). Basically a GPA of 3.72 (or 3.8 for that matter) will be very uncompetitive in Stanford. That being said, Stanford is still willing to dip down to lower numbers (hence very diverse student profiles) for people with great softs. I don't know how strong your softs are (nobody really knows), but I think they may be OK. You definitely have a chance at Stanford, just not a very good chance.


Hey fox,

Thanks for the input - that was very informative. I've never really been a numbers guy (despite being an engineer!) - mostly because I don't believe in people being a statistic. Personally I think numbers are great for analysis, but provide little predictive power for the individual. That said, I really appreciate your input.

I know getting into Stanford won't be a walk in the park - nor do I expect it to be. I've gotten rid of my sense of entitlement while looking for a job after graduation. However I do believe that should I play my cards right, and sell myself properly, I do have a chance. A small chance, maybe, but that's better that what many people get, and I'll be damned if I don't go for it just because it's unlikely.

All in all, this thread is for helping me make myself as attractive as possible to the Adcomm - and to that effect I think you have all been a great help. My resume, PS and DS are constantly changing (for the better I think!) because of TLS, so thank you.

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dnptan
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Re: 170/3.81 Advice for Stanford

Postby dnptan » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:25 am

Sorry for this but BUMP - my PS is up. Comments please!

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contrapositive1
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Re: 170/3.81 Advice for Stanford

Postby contrapositive1 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 11:37 pm

good lsat

bp shinners
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Re: 170/3.81 Advice for Stanford

Postby bp shinners » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:25 am

dnptan wrote:Berkeley is appealing because of its great IP program, but I have to look more into it if and when I get accepted.


While I don't disagree that they have a great IP program, you'd be better off skipping Berkeley for a more prestigious school. The programs within each school really don't carry that much weight in anyone's post-law school metric. In your current job, you've learned more about IP law than you will at any school, even one with an IP focus. And if you're looking to start your own consulting business in the area you mention (or even enter another company), the prestige of your UG is going to be more important than the fact that Berkeley has a strong IP program. Outside of CA, Berkeley doesn't carry nearly as much weight as some of the other schools you've discounted.

Unless you want to stay in that area, in which case Berkeley is a great school.




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