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curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 12:54 am
by rochesterdive
apologies as my circumstances are fairly unusual but i am curious to hear people's thoughts about my applications - how much does work experience count at top tier schools?

i am 36, have a first from oxford in the UK in history and economics but only scored a 166 in the lsat (december unfortunately so too late to retake) - however my career is pretty impressive. I spent 10 years at Merrill Lynch as derivative trader and rose to managing director and then ran a trading desk at Morgan Stanley for a couple of years? where should i be applying given my resume?

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:23 am
by unodostres
Why law? And you can always retake. So with that, retake.

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:26 am
by BigZuck
Might do a little better than your numbers indicate, but that's doubtful.

Just keep the sweet job you have, the legal job market is rough.

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:40 am
by rochesterdive
thanks for the replies thats interesting - every law school claims they are broader than numbers etc in their admissions but have always been sceptical - given MD at bank is equivalent to a partner at a major law firm its interesting how little value is attached?

why law? a change, what i always wanted to do but got sidetracked (though very pleasantly so i admit)

not too worried about a job upon graduation

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:42 am
by rochesterdive
oh and i want to go law school this year so unfortunately too late to retake lsat - v frustrating! have already left wall street and theres only so much vacation i can take!

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:29 am
by 20141023
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Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:43 am
by rochesterdive
apologies yes i have just applied last week - harvard, stanford, nyu, columbia, ucla, usc, and berkeley - waiting to hear now?

yes i was an MD at Merrill and Morgan Stanley in equity derivatives trading

am really curious how law schools will see my application and whether i should apply to some other schools given my background?

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:49 am
by sublime
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Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 2:51 am
by lakers180
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Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:01 am
by rochesterdive
interesting and very useful thank you - looks like i need to start rethinking my strategy! a little surprised that work experience and achievement as well as great undergrad doesn't do anything against an lsat score, but need to be realistic

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:01 am
by 20141023
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Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:09 am
by rochesterdive
ha fair point - thanks for the feedback, very useful in figuring how to position myself in the right way - interviews would be interesting

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:24 am
by d cooper
If you have a 3.8+ you have alright chances. Otherwise you're not giving schools much to work with in terms of numbers.

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:29 am
by sublime
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Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:31 am
by rochesterdive
yes exactly - i went to oxford in the uk and we don't have gpa's like you guys - i got a first which is the highest degree you can get and i would think it would look good but as you say it's not a number they can use

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:38 am
by d cooper
My mistake.

Even though you've already applied and you're set on going this cycle, a retake can still help you if you find yourself wanting to get off some waitlists. That score is going to hold you back.

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:38 am
by Clearly
You're an x.xx 166, with we. T14 likely out, although some lower might bite. Usc should be easy admit. A toss up for ucla.

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:44 am
by 20141023
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Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:45 am
by rochesterdive
ok that is thought - i didn't realize a better feb score would be considered if i get wait listed - a retake may well make sense in that case

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:00 am
by 20141023
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Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:07 am
by rochesterdive
i'm very committed to attending law school this fall and next year really is a last resort - it seems like the best option is to apply to all the T-14 schools and hope that my distinct background and experience tips the balance at one of them - and perhaps retake in feb as i can't imagine getting a lower score (though i have learned that the worst can occur!)
thanks again for all your advice it is greatly appreciated

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:58 am
by midwest17
(Has impressive career handling other people's money.)

(Committed to making a bad decision with his own money.)

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:34 pm
by Lightworks
As another poster said, I think you'd have a great shot at Northwestern. I'm not seeing the rest of the T14, though. Maybe GULC.

Re: curious to hear your thoughts......

Posted: Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:53 pm
by 03152016
rochesterdive wrote:not too worried about a job upon graduation

Why? Do you have something lined up? A mountain of wealth?

I'd personally never do it, but I can see how it could make sense not to retake if a) you have something lined up, b) paying sticker is a drop in the bucket financially, c) you don't care about school prestige, and d) you're not expecting to work in a big firm after LS.

If that fits your description, GL in your cycle!

Otherwise, retaking is TCR.