Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

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ohtwozero
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Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby ohtwozero » Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:43 pm

Hi all,

I am a non-URM recent MA Graduate looking to apply to Law school's next fall (or even the following fall), and am looking for insight into how my application might be read. My hope is to be a legislative director, working for an advocacy organization, with an eventual career in public service. Hence, I am targeting Civil Rights Law, Constitutional Law, and/or Public Interest Law programs. My credentials are below:

  • UGPA (LSDAS): 3.07 cumulative, 3.4 major (Economics) I will be writing an addendum to explain my grades. Essentially, I changed majors twice and have a few courses that don't count towards my degree that pull down the cumulative score. Also, I was working full time (food service) to pay my way through school. My final four semesters (all upper-level Econ classes) were 4.0.
  • LSAT: I will be taking it in June. Assume 170+ (very confident).
  • Work: By the time of the application, I will have 1.5 years of internship experience in Public Policy/Legislative settings. There is a chance that if I put off my application for another year, that I could get some more tangible legal work experience to add to my application if possible (and also really secure that 170+ on the LSAT.
  • Other education: I have an international MA Degree in Public Policy (where I was in a one-year accredited program from a top-10 UK university), I also worked full-time during the degree. I finished with a 2.1 Merit, just shy of a distinction. Essentially, consider my MA GPA to be around 3.66. Not sure that It would matter for law school admissions, but I figure it is worth noting.
  • LOR's: I will have two strong LOR's from professors that have attended Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, level schools.
  • Other softs: I will have a decent amount of volunteer experience. Assume that it is relevant to my desired career in public service/advocacy.

I understand that it is a lot to process, but I need some honest advice on where I should be looking.

Tough love is welcome. If you think I am wasting my time, then let me know.

Nomo
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby Nomo » Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:52 pm

I don't think your softs are moving the needle much. So there isn't much we can tell you that LSN or one of the calculator's can't. Splitters tend to have unpredictable results, so if you get that 170+ you'll need to basically apply everywhere.

mvp99
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby mvp99 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:01 pm

ohtwozero wrote:I am targeting Civil Rights Law, Constitutional Law, and/or Public Interest Law programs.


Irrelevant. Get into the best LS you can if its worth attending.

ohtwozero wrote:LSAT: I will be taking it in June. Assume 170+ (very confident).


Comeback when you have an LSAT score and even then use LSN first.

ohtwozero wrote:I will be writing an addendum to explain my grades. Essentially, I changed majors twice and have a few courses that don't count towards my degree that pull down the cumulative score. Also, I was working full time (food service) to pay my way through school. My final four semesters (all upper-level Econ classes) were 4.0.


Won't make much difference (if any).

ohtwozero wrote:Other education: I have an international MA Degree in Public Policy (where I was in a one-year accredited program from a top-10 UK university), I also worked full-time during the degree. I finished with a 2.1 Merit, just shy of a distinction. Essentially, consider my MA GPA to be around 3.66. Not sure that It would matter for law school admissions, but I figure it is worth noting.


LS don't really care about Masters (although it won't hurt your application)

ohtwozero wrote:LOR's: I will have two strong LOR's from professors that have attended Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, level schools.


SO what? Admission officers are impressed by what people have to say about you, not because of the recommenders alma mater.

ohtwozero wrote:Other softs: I will have a decent amount of volunteer experience. Assume that it is relevant to my desired career in public service/advocacy.


Pretty standard soft.

Edit: Good luck and study a ton for the LSAT. There's it a lot of information on this website so use it.
Last edited by mvp99 on Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ohtwozero
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby ohtwozero » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:05 pm

mvp99 wrote:
ohtwozero wrote:LOR's: I will have two strong LOR's from professors that have attended Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, level schools.


SO what? Admission officers are impressed by what people have to say about you, not because of the recommenders alma mater.


Thanks for your input. I wasn't sure trying to say that the LOR's matter because of the alma mater, but rather that they could write about how I would perform in a top-level institution. I wasn't trying to sound arrogant.

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Rigo
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby Rigo » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:20 pm

Get back to us when you have your actual LSAT score, but splitters should apply broadly.
Assuming a very high score, you should blanket the T14 from NYU on down (skipping Berkeley).
Also apply to T15-20 and other strong regionals.

Your best bets will likely be Northwestern and WUSTL though.

GreenTee
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby GreenTee » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:22 pm

Just curious: Why are you "very confident" that you are going to score among the top 1-2% of test takers?

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby Ron Don Volante » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:23 pm

OP does not want to be a practicing attorney if y'all didn't notice that.

Don't go to law school.

03152016
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby 03152016 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:25 pm

ohtwozero wrote:[*]LSAT: I will be taking it in June. Assume 170+ (very confident).

you're just going to come back after the test and ask the same question, so this is a waste of time

no one knows where you should target, because you don't have a score

and as a former lsat tutor, i assure you that you have no idea how well you'll perform on test day

students choke all the time

mvp99
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby mvp99 » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:26 pm

Ron Don Volante wrote:OP does not want to be a practicing attorney if y'all didn't notice that.

Don't go to law school.


I didn't.

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Rigo
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby Rigo » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:26 pm

Ron Don Volante wrote:Don't go to law school.

Ah good catch. I was distracted by all the mumbo jumbo about civil rights & con law.
OP, save yourself the time and money and work your way up on Capitol Hill rather than law school.

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ohtwozero
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby ohtwozero » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:28 pm

GreenTee wrote:Just curious: Why are you "very confident" that you are going to score among the top 1-2% of test takers?


My diagnostic was 160, and I have over 6 months to study for the exam. I feel like I will be able to raise my score considerably.

Ron Don Volante wrote:OP does not want to be a practicing attorney if y'all didn't notice that.

Don't go to law school.


Fair advice, although I haven't completely ruled out being an attorney. I don't want to be a big law attorney, but I would consider working for the DOJ, or in a law office as long as they were public-facing.. If that makes sense.

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Rigo
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby Rigo » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:30 pm

ohtwozero wrote:I don't want to be a big law attorney, but I would consider working for the DOJ, or in a law office as long as they were public-facing.. If that makes sense.

DOJ jobs are extremely hard to get even for HYS grads. Don't bank on that being a likely outcome whatsoever.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby Ron Don Volante » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:35 pm

You realize DOJ is like the hardest job to get, period, right?

There are a fuck ton of people who go to law school/start this process saying the same things as you (I was pretty much one of them, too). But the people who actually get the cool, important help-the-world PI/govt jobs go to HYS, and sometimes Boalt or NYU. Look at the bios/do some linkedin stalking. There are almost no exceptions.

You have no shot at any of these schools with your GPA. Prestigious PI is pretty simply not going to happen for you, unfortunately.

If you want to work in/around a leg, do it. Absolutely no reason you need a JD for it.

GreenTee
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby GreenTee » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:38 pm

ohtwozero wrote:
GreenTee wrote:Just curious: Why are you "very confident" that you are going to score among the top 1-2% of test takers?


My diagnostic was 160, and I have over 6 months to study for the exam. I feel like I will be able to raise my score considerably.


You're clearly new here. A 160 diagnostic is absolutely no reason to be this cocky, and 6 months isn't as much time as you think it is.
Come back when you have a real LSAT score.

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ohtwozero
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby ohtwozero » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:44 pm

Thanks for all of the advice, guys.

GreenTee wrote:You're clearly new here. A 160 diagnostic is absolutely no reason to be this cocky, and 6 months isn't as much time as you think it is.
Come back when you have a real LSAT score.


I know that I am new here, but I wasn't trying to be cocky. I think that 6 months is plenty of time to work on getting a better understanding of the test, as well as working on better understanding the format of the questions.

I will probably still take the LSAT just to see where I stand, and check back next fall. I will also do a bit more research on people in the positions I want to hold in the next 5-10 years, and see how they got there.

I understand that Law School may not be the answer, and I almost certainly will not be a prestigious school applicant. I will continue to do my research and soul-searching with your input in mind.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby Ron Don Volante » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:47 pm

GreenTee wrote:You're clearly new here. A 160 diagnostic is absolutely no reason to be this cocky, and 6 months isn't as much time as you think it is.
Come back when you have a real LSAT score.

credited, but again, don't waste your time. You have clearly not made up your mind that you want to be a practicing attorney.

The gravity of this commitment can't be understated. It takes essentially four years of your life to become an attorney, and with your GPA you'd be lucky to get a half ride at a decent school. So say it takes 150K in debt, then. Now add four years of not working. Law school is also not like other academic pursuits: you're not going to walk away saying you've really grown as a person/intellectual because of it or gotten some serious intrinsic benefit, in all likelihood.

Taking this path because you want a job that does not require this path is seriously insane, but hey, it's your life.

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Gray
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby Gray » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:54 pm

Yeah.... my diag was 170, I studied for 5 months and was PTing consitently at 175+ for the last month. Ended up with a 171. You just can't assume anything.

Also I think your tar is from Redwall and ~15 years ago, I was all about that.

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ohtwozero
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Re: Splitter with Master's degree -- Need help with targets

Postby ohtwozero » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:59 pm

Ron Don Volante wrote:credited, but again, don't waste your time. You have clearly not made up your mind that you want to be a practicing attorney.

The gravity of this commitment can't be understated. It takes essentially four years of your life to become an attorney, and with your GPA you'd be lucky to get a half ride at a decent school. So say it takes 150K in debt, then. Now add four years of not working. Law school is also not like other academic pursuits: you're not going to walk away saying you've really grown as a person/intellectual because of it or gotten some serious intrinsic benefit, in all likelihood.

Taking this path because you want a job that does not require this path is seriously insane, but hey, it's your life.


Fair enough. Thanks for the advice - I will weigh all of that into my calculus.

smccgrey wrote:Yeah.... my diag was 170, I studied for 5 months and was PTing consitently at 175+ for the last month. Ended up with a 171. You just can't assume anything.


I understand. Thanks for the insight.

Also I think your tar is from Redwall and ~15 years ago, I was all about that.


You got it. Martin the Warrior = badass.




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