Law School Questions

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itman
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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:49 am

Law School Questions

Postby itman » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:03 am

I'm new to the forum and have a few questions regarding law school.

3.7 GPA - Is this a competitive grade point average or should I try to get it to 3.8 by retaking a couple courses?
BS Information Technology - Will the law school administration look down on this degree? I know they want a lot of variety.
Excelsior College - Is this online school frowned upon by the administration?

I'm looking at applying specifically to a public law school in California. Currently, I am an Information Technician in the Navy and 20 years old. The reason I want to apply for law school is it is my passion like many similar areas pertaining to it such as philosophy, argumentation and politics. Since 15 years old I have been ambitious about becoming a lawyer.

I have two full ride options for law school, funding is not a problem as long as it is a public institution. Post 9/11 GI Bill and a state grant are at my fingertips. When I get out of the Navy, it will be January which means I will be waiting around till the fall semester begins. What are your recommendations during that time? I realize applying for a job may not be the best option if I have to move. Thanks in advance.

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rinkrat19
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Re: Law School Questions

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:26 am

3.7 is a competitive GPA, but you should try to get it to 3.8. Higher is better. With a 3.8 and a high enough LSAT, you are competitive for pretty much any school in the country.

Major does not matter, except perhaps as a tiebreaker between otherwise identical applicants.

A degree from an online school might hurt you a bit, but I imagine that any negative effect would be pretty much canceled by the fact that you were (I assume) completing this online degree while on active duty in the military. Military service is a great soft factor.

You choose a school by its employment prospects. Do not choose UC Irvine over Harvard just because it's in California. If you are dead set on a public school in Cali, aim for Berkeley.

I assume you haven't taken the LSAT yet? People are applying right now for next fall. Generally, an idea schedule is to take the LSAT in June and/or October, apply in the fall, and get acceptances in the winter, to enter law school the next fall. Studying for the LSAT can take anywhere between a couple of months to a year. (Say, 4-6 months as an average.)

If you are getting out of the Navy this January (2014), and haven't taken the LSAT yet, a good plan for the next year would be to find a job and study for the LSAT until June 2014. If you like your score, great. If you don't, study more and retake in October 2014. Apply to law schools in Sept/Oct/Nov 2014 (depending on which LSAT score you are using). Get your acceptances in Jan-May 2015 and decide in late spring/early summer where you'll be moving in August 2015 to start law school in fall 2015.

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twenty
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Re: Law School Questions

Postby twenty » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:32 am

deleted
Last edited by twenty on Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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midwest17
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Re: Law School Questions

Postby midwest17 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:44 am

Note that retaking won't help your GPA anymore than taking new classes will, since LSAC includes all attempts at the course even if your institution doesn't. Also note that if you've already received your degree, then taking more classes won't affect your GPA at all.

itman
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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:49 am

Re: Law School Questions

Postby itman » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:45 pm

Make sure you have legitimate letters of recommendation from legitimate professors. Do not solely rely on professional recommendations.

Absolutely write an addendum explaining why you attended EC. They might let you off the hook.

You are the smartest one here -- enlisting while doing college, and then getting the GI bill for post-grad. Good luck.


Thanks so much for the advice. I think writing an addendum explaining that EC was one of my few options to getting a degree on time. Unfortunately, I'm not the smartest I just work twice as hard. That's what you get for joining and trying to become a lawyer at the same time. I'm considering JAG military law at the moment as well. They have an enlisted to Jag program where they will pay you while you go to law school sort of like the Post 9/11 but better.

3.7 is a competitive GPA, but you should try to get it to 3.8. Higher is better. With a 3.8 and a high enough LSAT, you are competitive for pretty much any school in the country.

Major does not matter, except perhaps as a tiebreaker between otherwise identical applicants.

A degree from an online school might hurt you a bit, but I imagine that any negative effect would be pretty much canceled by the fact that you were (I assume) completing this online degree while on active duty in the military. Military service is a great soft factor.

You choose a school by its employment prospects. Do not choose UC Irvine over Harvard just because it's in California. If you are dead set on a public school in Cali, aim for Berkeley.


You have given me very sound advice rinkrat19. I found out that if I got straight A's from here on out I would land a 3.8333. Obviously, this has some room for error and I may barely pull off a 3.8. One of the things I may plan on doing is upon my transfer telling the college not to accept certain courses so my GPA will increase. To my knowledge, why can't they?

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

Re: Law School Questions

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:47 pm

itman wrote:
Make sure you have legitimate letters of recommendation from legitimate professors. Do not solely rely on professional recommendations.

Absolutely write an addendum explaining why you attended EC. They might let you off the hook.

You are the smartest one here -- enlisting while doing college, and then getting the GI bill for post-grad. Good luck.


Thanks so much for the advice. I think writing an addendum explaining that EC was one of my few options to getting a degree on time. Unfortunately, I'm not the smartest I just work twice as hard. That's what you get for joining and trying to become a lawyer at the same time. I'm considering JAG military law at the moment as well. They have an enlisted to Jag program where they will pay you while you go to law school sort of like the Post 9/11 but better.

3.7 is a competitive GPA, but you should try to get it to 3.8. Higher is better. With a 3.8 and a high enough LSAT, you are competitive for pretty much any school in the country.

Major does not matter, except perhaps as a tiebreaker between otherwise identical applicants.

A degree from an online school might hurt you a bit, but I imagine that any negative effect would be pretty much canceled by the fact that you were (I assume) completing this online degree while on active duty in the military. Military service is a great soft factor.

You choose a school by its employment prospects. Do not choose UC Irvine over Harvard just because it's in California. If you are dead set on a public school in Cali, aim for Berkeley.


You have given me very sound advice rinkrat19. I found out that if I got straight A's from here on out I would land a 3.8333. Obviously, this has some room for error and I may barely pull off a 3.8. One of the things I may plan on doing is upon my transfer telling the college not to accept certain courses so my GPA will increase. To my knowledge, why can't they?

You have to submit transcripts from every institute attended to LSAC, and they calculate your overall GPA for law school admissions. You can't leave anything out; if you do, you may be disqualified from passing the bar.

itman
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Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:49 am

Re: Law School Questions

Postby itman » Tue Oct 15, 2013 9:51 pm

Are you talking about overall GPA even if the courses don't pertain to my major?

There is one course that is not contributing towards my degree and I got a C in it. Will it help to retake the course if it is counted?

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

Re: Law School Questions

Postby rinkrat19 » Tue Oct 15, 2013 10:01 pm

itman wrote:Are you talking about overall GPA even if the courses don't pertain to my major?

There is one course that is not contributing towards my degree and I got a C in it. Will it help to retake the course if it is counted?

LSAC counts EVERY. SINGLE. GRADE. up until the granting of your first bachelor's degree. Doesn't matter if it was for your major or not.

If you retake a class, LSAC will just include both grades, unless your school ENTIRELY erases all traces that you ever took it the first time from your transcript. Most schools show both tries, even if they only count the retake in your GPA.

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twenty
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Re: Law School Questions

Postby twenty » Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:20 am

Excelsior will also give you letter grades for some DSST tests, and those are super easy to pound out and fairly inexpensive. Just make sure you can get As in them. ;)




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