Realistic Expectations for admission to law school

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Realistic Expectations for admission to law school

Postby jd2019 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:37 pm

Hello all,

Here's my situation: Twelve years ago I was an undergraduate student who obtained a Bachelor's of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Recently I went back to school to work on a post-baccalaureat program studying computer science and have been taking some pre-law courses on the side. I am debating the idea of attending law school. In my post bac work today, I hold a GPA of 4.0 in a hard science major and have been having equal success in my pre-law work as well. I am also studying for the LSAT in preparation to take it in June.

Here's my problem.

In my original undergraduate program, I did not do that well. My cumulative GPA was a 2.51 with multiple classes repeated. Looking back on it, I know I did not slack off or not try, I just really struggled to learn new subjects. This has obviously been improved over my twelve years working as an engineer as well as my recent capabilities in college; maybe I just learned how to learn in the interim. But I fear these old grades will haunt me and permanently blacklist me from attending a good school. And from what I've seen of the legal market, that will be necessary for obtaining a good paying job outside of school.

A wildcard in this mix will be the LSAT. I've been taking practice tests and am convinced that I can score a 170 or better on the LSAT. In addition, I have been doing an unpaid internship with one of the local law firms as well as building up contacts with people who could write good letters of reference for me. I am aware that the selection process for law school is a combination of recommendations, LSAT scores and UG GPA.

My own thoughts would be that my current standing in school is going to be far more indicitave of my academic abilities that what happened ten years ago. I can understand a selection committee rejecting someone who got mediocre grades on their first bachelor's, then got their sh*t together and started pulling better grades doing post bac work in a community college a year later. Still, I really need to do a realistic assessment of my chances to get into at least one of the top 100 schools; I am frightened by the prospect of attending a legal gulag for 3 years and spending 100k for a useless degree. Also what are the chances of getting any kind of scholarships or financial aid for one of these schools?


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Re: Realistic Expectations for admission to law school

Postby t-14orbust » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:40 pm

run away as fast as you can.

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Re: Realistic Expectations for admission to law school

Postby Auxilio » Thu Jan 15, 2015 3:49 pm

I am sure you could get into a law school with a decent LSAT score, but honestly the likelihood of getting into a decent school, let alone with enough money to make it worth it, with a 2.51 GPA (that is all they will see, and any more courses after you receive your first degree is irrelevant) is very slim.

Especially considering you have the potential, I assume, to get a decent paying job in Engineering (or something based off recent work in Computer science) which will likely pay better than the job you get coming out of law school. This is ignoring the fact that you will be wasting 3 years salary in return for 200k in debt.

At the same time your experience in engineering, and computer science work, will likely make finding a decent job out of law school easier to acquire, I still doubt it would pay off even in a best case scenario.

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Re: Realistic Expectations for admission to law school

Postby LET'S GET IT » Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:24 pm

I attend a T20. There are people here with GPA's in that range with close to full rides. If you do manage to score 170+ on the LSAT, you will be fine. You may even snag a couple lower T14's, although it would be with a hefty price tag. Your entire focus should be on the LSAT right now. Knock it out of the park, and you will have attractive options.

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Re: Realistic Expectations for admission to law school

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:25 pm

t-14orbust wrote:run away as fast as you can.

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Re: Realistic Expectations for admission to law school

Postby chuckbass » Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:38 pm

Why in the world would you want to do law school?

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Re: Realistic Expectations for admission to law school

Postby twenty » Thu Jan 15, 2015 7:39 pm

Agreeing that a decent enough LSAT score will probably get you into an okay school, the question I have for you is why? If you've been out of school for 12 years, you have to be closing in on your late thirties, I'd imagine. I get that a career change might seem like a good plan at this point, (and I would certainly urge you to follow your dreams, etc. etc.) but please don't make the mistake of doing law. Ending up with only 100k in student loan debt means you probably got almost a full ride - and while that's not strictly impossible with your numbers, by the time you actually started a legal career you'd be 40. Legal jobs in general are notorious for requiring 50-60 hour weeks at the entry level, and if you have a family/kids/etc. you probably don't want to be doing that.

I dunno. Paired with your GPA which will absolutely hurt you and your post-grad work which will absolutely not help you, I don't foresee this working out for you, to be honest. :/

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