Admission advice for a junior in undergrad.

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
DSD2013
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 1:22 pm

Admission advice for a junior in undergrad.

Postby DSD2013 » Sun May 26, 2013 10:34 pm

Hello,

I am currently an undergraduate in my junior year majoring in biology with a 3.7 GPA. I will be taking the LSAT in June of next year.

I would love to hear advice from people regarding things that would definitely help when put on an application for a top law school. What kind of community service/ extracurricular things should I pursue that law schools love to see?

So far, I have worked for a full year as a Physics supplemental instructor, helped for 1.5 years at a clinic for local patients in the community, and have the opportunity to do research under a professor and possibly earn a publication in the field of Biology.

Any other ideas, please?

Also, do law schools prefer students receive letters of recommendation from professors in which classes they have earned A's in, or would it still be fine to get a letter of recommendation from a professor in which class you earned, for example, a B?

Thanks.

Daily_Double
Posts: 1035
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:45 pm

Re: Admission advice for a junior in undergrad.

Postby Daily_Double » Sun May 26, 2013 10:38 pm

Your GPA is better than mine can ever be. Don't ruin it. Go enjoy college, consider working before law school, and ravage the LSAT. But specifically, enjoy college, it flys by.

User avatar
txdude45
Posts: 912
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 6:25 pm

Re: Admission advice for a junior in undergrad.

Postby txdude45 » Sun May 26, 2013 10:41 pm

DSD2013 wrote:Hello,

I am currently an undergraduate in my junior year majoring in biology with a 3.7 GPA. I will be taking the LSAT in June of next year.

I would love to hear advice from people regarding things that would definitely help when put on an application for a top law school. What kind of community service/ extracurricular things should I pursue that law schools love to see?

So far, I have worked for a full year as a Physics supplemental instructor, helped for 1.5 years at a clinic for local patients in the community, and have the opportunity to do research under a professor and possibly earn a publication in the field of Biology.

Any other ideas, please?

Also, do law schools prefer students receive letters of recommendation from professors in which classes they have earned A's in, or would it still be fine to get a letter of recommendation from a professor in which class you earned, for example, a B?


Your extracarriculars aren't going to be significant enough to matter. Only the big ones, which you'd know if you had, mean much and even then it's on the margins.

Get the recs from the professors who gave you A's so long as they actually know who you are. If they don't know you from Adam, a B professor who knows you well would probably be better.

For the most part, nothing but LSAT/GPA/URM matters, so just have fun during your senior year. Maintain your grades and study for the LSAT, but have a ton of fun and do stupid things.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Admission advice for a junior in undergrad.

Postby IAFG » Sun May 26, 2013 10:42 pm

You should get your GPA over a 3.85 (with fluff classes, if necessary) then get a job for 1-2 years, then apply to the whole T14 to leverage scholarship offers. If you've started studying for the LSAT, take it sometime during your senior year or immediately after so you're not working a full time job while LSAT studying.

None of your extracurriculars, publications or letters will matter terribly much.

Do you have an internship lined up for this summer? Are you about to be a Junior or did you just finish your junior year?

DSD2013
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 1:22 pm

Re: Admission advice for a junior in undergrad.

Postby DSD2013 » Sun May 26, 2013 11:23 pm

Am still a junior. I have accumulated 85 credits. 88 credits is considered a senior at my university.

User avatar
Robbin Blue
Posts: 647
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 12:13 am

Re: Admission advice for a junior in undergrad.

Postby Robbin Blue » Sun May 26, 2013 11:43 pm

DSD2013 wrote:Am still a junior. I have accumulated 85 credits. 88 credits is considered a senior at my university.


That's not really the question, I don't think. Are you about to go into your last year of college, or do you have more than two semesters left?

DSD2013
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 1:22 pm

Re: Admission advice for a junior in undergrad.

Postby DSD2013 » Sun May 26, 2013 11:55 pm

Robbin Blue wrote:
DSD2013 wrote:Am still a junior. I have accumulated 85 credits. 88 credits is considered a senior at my university.


That's not really the question, I don't think. Are you about to go into your last year of college, or do you have more than two semesters left?



I still have four semesters left. In other words, I have just finished my second full year in college.

SouthernMiss
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 5:27 pm

Re: Admission advice for a junior in undergrad.

Postby SouthernMiss » Sun May 26, 2013 11:59 pm

DSD2013 wrote:Hello,

I am currently an undergraduate in my junior year majoring in biology with a 3.7 GPA. I will be taking the LSAT in June of next year.

I would love to hear advice from people regarding things that would definitely help when put on an application for a top law school. What kind of community service/ extracurricular things should I pursue that law schools love to see?

So far, I have worked for a full year as a Physics supplemental instructor, helped for 1.5 years at a clinic for local patients in the community, and have the opportunity to do research under a professor and possibly earn a publication in the field of Biology.

Any other ideas, please?

Also, do law schools prefer students receive letters of recommendation from professors in which classes they have earned A's in, or would it still be fine to get a letter of recommendation from a professor in which class you earned, for example, a B?

Thanks.


Rising 2L at a T20 here. I went straight from a not-at-all prestigious undergrad to law school, and just wanted to throw my 2 cents at you in case you find it informative. First of all, you sound like you're in great shape to start applying, and good luck on the LSAT.

My advice now would be to focus on your undergrad classes and do the best you can, because a strong GPA got me and a lot of my friends great law school scholarships (we had median LSAT scores, but still got money because of our GPA's). Plus, if you're free this summer, do a lot of prepwork for the LSAT to get yourself comfortable, even if you just do it at home alone as I did. As for your letters of rec, I would 100% suggest using a professor in a class where you did well, because judging from you GPA you do well in lots of classes. That being said, if there is a professor who knows you really well, use him/her additionally regardless of grade, provided you are sure they will say good things. Ideally, do both if you can.

Bottom line, though... I can't emphasize this enough: Getting into law school is a NUMBERS game, GPA and/or LSAT combo. Getting good stuff going once you're actually in law school is more of a mixed bag, and your extra curriculars in law school (moot court, law review, different organizations, optional seminars) will count way more. But in undergrad, focus on numbers outcomes. My only caveat would be that you need to build yourself an experience to write an essay about if you don't already have a plan for something to mention in law school essays that sets you apart (e.g., I volunteered at... and I... which inspired me to...) except less cheesy, and that would only be part of your essay of course.

Con granis salis, since I'm just a random person on TLS!

User avatar
North
Posts: 4041
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:09 pm

Re: Admission advice for a junior in undergrad.

Postby North » Mon May 27, 2013 12:41 pm

Four semesters left? Awesome. Take easy classes from here on out and get your GPA as close to a 4.0 as possible and definitely over a 3.85.

Study as long as you have to for the LSAT and retake as many times as you need to to get at least a 170 or above. Settle for nothing less than that, no matter what your diagnostic is -- plenty of people on here have made 20+ point jumps, myself included.

Consider working for a year or two after you graduate, it'll help when you're at OCI and make you a more interesting person.

Do all of that and in three or four years you'll be looking at a solid chance at HYS and money at CCN. You've got an opportunity to set yourself up nicely with some hard work, don't waste it.

Edit: Autocorrect.
Last edited by North on Mon May 27, 2013 1:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
ManOfTheMinute
Posts: 1562
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 12:54 am

Re: Admission advice for a junior in undergrad.

Postby ManOfTheMinute » Mon May 27, 2013 12:58 pm

North wrote:Four semesters left? Awesome. Take easy classes from here on out and get your GPA as close to a 4.0 as possible and definitely over a 3.85.

Study as long as you have to for the LSAT and retake as many times as you need to to get at least a 170 or above. Settle for nothing less than that, no matter what your diagnostic is -- plenty of people on here have made 20+ point jumps, myself included.

Consider working for a year or two after you graduate, it'll help when you're at OCI.

So all of that and in three or four years you'll be looking at a solid chance at HYS and money at CCN. You've got an opportunity to set yourself up nicely with some hard work, don't waste it.

SPerez
Posts: 400
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:22 am

Re: Admission advice for a junior in undergrad.

Postby SPerez » Tue May 28, 2013 2:59 pm

DSD2013 wrote:What kind of community service/ extracurricular things should I pursue that law schools love to see?


Everyone else has covered the usual stuff, but I wanted to comment on this specifically because it's a question I get a lot. I assume it's often on people's minds because it's pushed as such a big part of undergrad admissions.

However, for law school admissions I find myself repeating this over and over:

Don't worry about what a "school loves" when it comes to service and ec's. Do what interests YOU. Do what will help prepare you for life as a productive member of society. I tell high school students "Go be interesting." (#ohcaptainmycaptain, ami'rite?)

Should you get a law-related internship or job? Should you work for a few years after undergrad? Sure, but not because it will help you get into law school. You should consider it because you will hopefully learn what it's like to actually practice (at least one kind of) law, which will could either cement your desire to practice (which can help keep you motivated in law school) or potentially keep you from a mountain of debt and unsatisfying career.

Enjoy college. If you're not enjoying it, you're doing it wrong.

As far as LORs, you still have time to get to know your professors if you haven't already. DO IT.

Dean Perez
Texas Tech University School of Law

User avatar
dsn32
Posts: 435
Joined: Sun May 01, 2011 3:40 pm

Re: Admission advice for a junior in undergrad.

Postby dsn32 » Tue May 28, 2013 3:08 pm

I was in your same spot two summers ago. Highly recommend spending this summer preparing for the LSAT and killing it in either October or December. It takes the pressure off and allows you to just get good grades and coast. Also, do something fun before attending (for example, I studied abroad in Greece for free because the pressure was off and I had time to look into scholarship opportunities). Regardless, get done what you need to get done, but make sure you enjoy your last two years of UG.




Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 2 guests