Slew of LS questions from a 1st-semester undergrad freshman

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JJDancer
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Re: Slew of LS questions from a 1st-semester undergrad freshman

Postby JJDancer » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:24 pm

1. Make sure you want to go to law school
this is different than #2
2. Make sure you want to be a practicing attorney (for over 5 years)
3. Try to figure out what the heck type of law you want to practice and have more to support this than a summer internship or college courses.

Now on to your questions:
1. Is the pass/fail going to kill my chances at the Top 6? What about graduating in just 2.5 years? What about both? What if I pull a 3.8+, 170+?
P/F will not kill your chances - or affect them at all.
I suggest graduating in 3 years to make your GPA as high as possible, unless you have some great adventure planned for Jan-Aug (when law school would start)
Graduating early would be a small soft
There are concerns about being too young but I know someone in my entering class of LS (not a T6) who was 19-21 years old (international student and she was extremely bright). But being super young isn't great for jobs.

2. Am I going to be Mr. Conditional Acceptance come the application process?
Don't know why you think this/ No comment.
3. Will my extracurricular involvement and work experience allow me to make a compelling case for my personal maturity, despite a truncated undergraduate experience? Do I need to write an addendum about the 2.5 year graduation? What about for the one pass/fail?
Definitely no addendum for a pass - fail. Every school allows you to take a few P/F classes and most people do - please forget this as even being a consideration. I graduated in 3.5 years ( could have done it in 3 but took it slower on purpose) I wouldn't write an addendum for 3 years but maybe for 2.5 - but it could hurt rather than help you if it doesn't come off well. Don't feel you need to make a case for personal maturity. But you do need to make a case for why law school and doing that at age 19/20 when you barely have any exposure to or experience in the field makes it hard.

4. With a 164 as my first try on the LSAT, how high is it possible for me to go in terms of a score (realistically, please)? What test prep company would you all recommend?
Possible to go 175+. 170+ is a great realistic shot although there is a thing as overstudying for years and hitting a plateau. Powerscore books are good. Heard good things about blueprint. Self study went a long way for me.

5. Will any of the Top 6 (or even the Top 14) be impressed that I was able to get a Bachelor's in 2.5 years from a top-notch univ.?
Sure, but it might not be enough to get over the "will this person thrive here" question

For your total life experience, I highly suggest using the extra 1-1.5 years to do something interesting and/or explore non-law options, and/or find a passion within the law with work experience to back it up. Do an independent project upon graduating using a grant or go work in an industry you might want to be involved with on the legal side but learn how it works.

Also, unlike others I do think univ is a time to grow and suggest you take courses that sound interesting/challenging. I remember taking a course Freedom and Equality on political philosophers and Idea of the Enemy on the concept of the other in war - challenging but soo interesting. Consider taking these p/f if you are really scared but also, LS is hard. You should have some experience taking courses that are hard for you. No need to load up on calculus if you aren't interested but given the state of the legal industry, consider learning to code or exploring 100s of careers that may exist that you've never heard of that you might enjoy more.

BigZuck
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Re: Slew of LS questions from a 1st-semester undergrad freshman

Postby BigZuck » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:15 pm

Why would a school give someone a bump in admissions for graduating early? I don't get why that would be a soft/bump worthy thing.

Like 1/3 of my classes were P/F in UG. I was also old AF when I applied. Got in everywhere my numbers said I should. P/F and age don't seem to matter. Maybe HYS cares I guess, I dunno.

Kimikho
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Re: Slew of LS questions from a 1st-semester undergrad freshman

Postby Kimikho » Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:57 pm

Kimikho wrote:Don't go to law school before you can legally drink.

SPerez
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Re: Slew of LS questions from a 1st-semester undergrad freshman

Postby SPerez » Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:53 am

What this comes down to is the difference between what you CAN do and what you SHOULD do.

You COULD totally graduate in 2.5 years with a 4.0 and study your way up to a 170+ and find yourself an elite law school graduate at the ripe old age of 22. Congratulations, you traded 2 years of spring breaks and month-long winter breaks for two extra years of 2200 billable hours. When you're 65, which do you think you would have remembered more fondly?

Like many extremely bright teenagers, unless you're in the small sliver of people that have accomplished amazing, CNN HEROES-type stuff, I think you are over-estimating the value of your experiences to date. The stuff you listed is pretty run of the mill. I think most on TLS would agree with me that no matter how mature you think you are at 18, you realize at 21 how wrong you were. And when you get to 25 you realize how clueless you were at 21. And so on. You can rush through college, but you can't rush life.

Graduating early isn't an accomplishment anymore. If you go to the right high school, it's almost the default. Plus, I don't know about other AdComs, but I don't view high school AP classes or dual-credit community college courses as the equivalent of freshman/sophomore level college courses. Similar to what JJDancer said, avoiding hard classes to lock in your 4.0 might get you into law school, but you won't be very prepared to succeed once you get there if you've never been challenged. At an elite Lib Arts school maybe that's not as big of a concern, but because of the school I'm at I see a lot of large, open-access public school grads in similar situations where I know they aren't adequately challenged in most of their courses.

IMHO, here are two better options for you.

1) If money isn't a factor, stay in school at least 3 years. When done right, college is awesome and it's a time in your life you'll never get back. Do a semester-long study abroad, semester-long internships in D.C., etc. if you want to get off campus and out of the classroom.

2) Pretty much the only time I am fine with someone shaving off 1 year+ of undergrad is to save money. If that's your situation, then go ahead and graduate in 2.5-3 years, but then work full-time for at least two years. I don't care what you do, really. Be a BigLaw peon. If you're into politics/policy, work full-time on the Hill or your home state's legislature. The work you will do will likely be more challenging and substantial than what you would get as a 19 year old summer intern. Teach English in a foreign country. Start your own small business. Just generally live life and make yourself a more interesting, well-rounded person.

And really, you've probably read around here that many would still advise you to work, etc. even if you stay in school all four years. You might have noticed that all the consequences of waiting/working that have been listed have all been positive. That's because there really aren't any downsides to being older, wiser, more interesting, etc. when you go to law school. I can tell you your personal statement will be a lot more interesting if you've done more than write some articles for your high school paper and be secretary of your club soccer team. (I'm old enough to remember when Eddie Murphy was funny. This bit from RAW comes to mind here. NSFW Language.) Make yourself a Pros/Cons list. I'm pretty sure there will be way more pros on the wait/work side than the hurry-up side.

Now if you'll excuse me, there are some twenty-somethings who don't remember the Walkman that I need to chase off my lawn.

Dean Perez
Texas Tech Law

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MidwestLifer
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Re: Slew of LS questions from a 1st-semester undergrad freshman

Postby MidwestLifer » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:09 pm

wunderkind2 wrote:
nothingtosee wrote:
wunderkind2 wrote:Basically as long as I have the numbers, it won't hurt me that it took just 2.5 years to get them?


I disagree, actually.
Especially the higher up you aim, your age will work against you.
Last year YLS had a single k-jd.
Harvard is only a quarter k-jd.

So if your LSAT doesn't come back 175+ I think there's a reasonable chance you'll get waitlist/dinged at the top.

Also employers won't want to hire you.

Also, life experience and responsibility and polish and knowing how to mingle &c

Also, be a kid. Do a year abroad teaching English or something.

eta: judging by being able to graduate in 2.5 years as even a possibility, I imagine you're at a public school or not super high ranked private, which will work against you at the top. Of course it's not dispositive, but it is a factor.


I'm at a top-ranked private non-Ivy, I just had a good number of AP credits and I'm basically taking the maximum summer and winter credits available. As for your stats, what percentage of Yale/Harvard's applications were K-JD? What were their stats? How many above-median candidates were rejected because of K-JD status? You give some numbers but fail to elaborate on their relevance. I have a hard time making anything of what you say when I have no context. Thanks!

If you're such a wunderkind go find this on your own.

ETA: If YLS only took one K-JD you can probably extrapolate that they rejected quite a few K-JD's of all varying numbers because it's freaking Yale.

pmacob
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Re: Slew of LS questions from a 1st-semester undergrad freshman

Postby pmacob » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:25 pm

I don't know where you got that YLS only took one K-JD last year, because that's blatantly false. Looking at their entering class profiling, they claim that 24% of their incoming class is directly from undergrad. Since YLS is taking more than four kids a year, that means more than one YLS 1L is a K-JD. In fairness, I guess I'm not taking into account someone who took time off between high school and undergrad, I don't know if they count as true K-JDs. However, the point stands, YLS took more than one K-JD.

http://www.law.yale.edu/admissions/profile.htm

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MidwestLifer
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Re: Slew of LS questions from a 1st-semester undergrad freshman

Postby MidwestLifer » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:26 pm

pmacob wrote:I don't know where you got that YLS only took one K-JD last year, because that's blatantly false. Looking at their entering class profiling, they claim that 24% of their incoming class is directly from undergrad. Since YLS is taking more than four kids a year, that means more than one YLS 1L is a K-JD. In fairness, I guess I'm not taking into account someone who took time off between high school and undergrad, I don't know if they count as true K-JDs. However, the point stands, YLS took more than one K-JD.

http://www.law.yale.edu/admissions/profile.htm

(I'd like to add that my post was relying on whatever nothingtosee had said)

AReasonableMan
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Re: Slew of LS questions from a 1st-semester undergrad freshman

Postby AReasonableMan » Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:49 pm

Just read Ingredients for Making A's in Law School if you need to catch up to speed. Written by a Cooley Law graduate, it's a quick guide to something. The writer even said they like the book so you know you're getting good stuff.

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hillz
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Re: Slew of LS questions from a 1st-semester undergrad freshman

Postby hillz » Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:55 pm

MidwestLifer wrote:
wunderkind2 wrote:
nothingtosee wrote:
wunderkind2 wrote:Basically as long as I have the numbers, it won't hurt me that it took just 2.5 years to get them?


I disagree, actually.
Especially the higher up you aim, your age will work against you.
Last year YLS had a single k-jd.
Harvard is only a quarter k-jd.

So if your LSAT doesn't come back 175+ I think there's a reasonable chance you'll get waitlist/dinged at the top.

Also employers won't want to hire you.

Also, life experience and responsibility and polish and knowing how to mingle &c

Also, be a kid. Do a year abroad teaching English or something.

eta: judging by being able to graduate in 2.5 years as even a possibility, I imagine you're at a public school or not super high ranked private, which will work against you at the top. Of course it's not dispositive, but it is a factor.


I'm at a top-ranked private non-Ivy, I just had a good number of AP credits and I'm basically taking the maximum summer and winter credits available. As for your stats, what percentage of Yale/Harvard's applications were K-JD? What were their stats? How many above-median candidates were rejected because of K-JD status? You give some numbers but fail to elaborate on their relevance. I have a hard time making anything of what you say when I have no context. Thanks!

If you're such a wunderkind go find this on your own.

ETA: If YLS only took one K-JD you can probably extrapolate that they rejected quite a few K-JD's of all varying numbers because it's freaking Yale.


Kinda hate myself for even responding to this, but yeah, you can easily figure this out on your own: http://www.abarequireddisclosures.org/

Also, just look up each school's website at their stats on what percent of the previous class was KJD.

hdunlop
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Re: Slew of LS questions from a 1st-semester undergrad freshman

Postby hdunlop » Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:43 pm

AReasonableMan wrote:Just read Ingredients for Making A's in Law School if you need to catch up to speed. Written by a Cooley Law graduate, it's a quick guide to something. The writer even said they like the book so you know you're getting good stuff.


this never quits being funny




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