Extreme Splitter Crossroad

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lplaw
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Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby lplaw » Sun May 31, 2015 7:14 pm

Hey guys,

I know this type of topic has been beaten to death, but I am currently coming to a cross road in my life which will ultimately lead to lifestyles very different from one another. Let me preface this post with the idea that law school was my childhood dream and is still my dream everyday as I go to work in my current field. I graduated in 2012, although I should have graduated in 2010, but I switched majors multiple times and did not truly understand that my actions in college would effect me through out my life and early professional career. I was pretty much a floater in college just doing enough to pass with the assumption that I would graduate and have a cushy job. How wrong I was...

It's sort of embarrassing to say but I graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a UGPA of a very poor 2.31 with a grand total of 176 credits. Granted, I was 9 credits shy of also graduating with a double major with a B.A. in Philosophy as well. Regardless, I graduated and struggled to find a job which at the time was the slap of reality that I sorely needed. I somehow found a job as a laboratory technician at a small immunohistochemistry servicing company that I stayed with for a year and a half. Eventually I decided to leave and hope my real world experience would help me find something a little bit more promising. Miraculously, I was brought on as a contractor with a 6 month timeline for one of the largest biotech companies in the world as a qc laboratory technician. I realized this was a chance that would come only once for me and I worked the hardest I ever had in my life. 50 hour work weeks and pro bono work that I would do on weekends and holidays paid off as they decided to bring me on full time as a qc scientist after only 4 months. I work with a next gen sequencing system that is the current cutting edge technology on the market that is about to push into the diagnostics division, with only the sky as a limit as to where this tech could take us in the field of personalized medication and future diagnostics. With the blessing of my company they are willing to pay for me to complete a M.S. in Bioinformatics that has great career potential down the line, as it is a current in demand technical skill in the sequencing field. I know finding a program that would accept me might sound difficult given my past credentials, but it is rather surprising and eye-opening on what connections to a large biotech company can do.

This opportunity sounds great but my problem is everyday I have dreamed about being lawyer. Maybe I have some romantic notion of what being a lawyer entails but I do know of the other half. I have cousins who couldn't quite make it into the large firms and either opened up there own practice or went to work as an in house attorney for small companies. I know of the struggles of not making it and the crippling debt. I also know of friends who made it into big law who work ridiculously long and hard hours at all ungodly hours of the night, err mornings... Is it weird that I look forward to that? Is this a smart idea with the current state of lawyers? I feel as if I have really changed as a person and am finally ready to go back to chasing this dream and finally succeed at life.

Getting back the point of my post, I imagine that I would be an extreme splitter. I am taking the LSAT this October and do not currently have an actual score, but taking practice tests under similar and rigorous conditions I have scored in the 168-172 range. I am aware that even though these testing conditions that I use are similar to the actual conditions used in the actual LSAT, nothing can really prepare you for the actual pressure come test day. Hopefully, under 4 more months of study I can maintain this level and score close to my practice range. I've been self studying for the past 3 months, have another 3 months of self prep, and for further security signed up for a kaplan review in September. Maybe I can increase my score, but I know that is difficult. Though, I figure what can I lose if I go all out for another 4 months and see where the chips fall?

I'm not necessarily targeting a top law school. I know of the severe handicap I have placed myself in due to my immature but very young self. I have more realistic goals of hopefully Maryland, American, George Mason, University of Baltimore, and my dream school of George Washington University. I am regionally located in the MD area hence the common geographic location of my target schools. Granted the idea is to go wherever the best school is that accepts me. Is this even obtainable given my past failures or is this a pipe dream? Best to finally let go of this idea/dream and focus on my current career path? Any thoughts on best and worst case scenarios?

Any input, words of encouragement, blatant slaps to the face, or harsh realities are appreciated. Any other info you would need from me to be able to respond I would gladly provide.

Thanks.

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Clemenceau
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby Clemenceau » Sun May 31, 2015 7:25 pm

So.. What's so bad about your current gig, other than the fact that it doesn't fulfill your dream of being a lawyer?

I cant imagine many scenarios where leaving ft employment to apply to law school with a 2.3 is a good call. Especially considering your current job seems to be in a pretty advanced field.

Also you say you "look forward" to the long hours of biglaw, but how do you plan on getting biglaw from Umaryland or wherever?

CanadianWolf
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby CanadianWolf » Sun May 31, 2015 7:41 pm

First, Kaplan might not be the best in the test prep field if seeking a score in the 170s. Second, could you keep your current position if you attended law school part-time at George Mason ? Third, get the masters degree first.

Do you enjoy working on a single project with a clear goal ?

PoopNpants
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby PoopNpants » Sun May 31, 2015 7:49 pm

TL:DR

just saw 2.3 and I gotta say chilllllllllllllllllll
really not trying to sound like a dick but that's a super hard hurdle to come over. I know your major was probably hard as shit but some liberal arts major with a 3.0ish would be in a better place than you. Seriously consider whether or not law school is a good option for you friend

lplaw
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby lplaw » Sun May 31, 2015 7:51 pm

Clemenceau wrote:So.. What's so bad about your current gig, other than the fact that it doesn't fulfill your dream of being a lawyer?

I cant imagine many scenarios where leaving ft employment to apply to law school with a 2.3 is a good call. Especially considering your current job seems to be in a pretty advanced field.

Also you say you "look forward" to the long hours of biglaw, but how do you plan on getting biglaw from Umaryland or wherever?


Well the plan is to pursue patent or perhaps go to health law given my current situation and experience. The idea I had though was not to leave my current position as I apply, but rather given the best case scenarios is it a good idea to abandon a secure field to jump into what seems to be a very hard and unpredictable law career at the moment? Again though, this is a best case scenario where I would get into a UMaryland or what not.

As for what is so bad about my current field....well that's rather hard to explain. Growing up as a child I always loved reading business articles or financial reports. I always liked math and reasoning. I guess I am quite the argumentative person as most people I know may attest to. Logical reasoning is primarily why I took a keen interest in philosophy throughout my college career. But as a first generation born here in the US, my parents came here to America for opportunities that were not available to them back home. Thus, they pushed for science and engineering for me and my sister as that is what they used to be able to come here and survive. For me though, it is just not my calling. Granted it is my fault that I never really pushed for my dream course in college, which sort of shows my immaturity then, but I just feel that law is where I want to be. I just know that I am not who I was 2 or 3 years ago and am finally ready to pursue this. Truth is though I may have screwed my self over in the past and am not sure if this is a good idea. Unobtainable even.

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swampman
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby swampman » Sun May 31, 2015 7:55 pm

lplaw wrote: law school was my childhood dream and is still my dream everyday

Get better dreams.

lplaw
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby lplaw » Sun May 31, 2015 8:06 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:First, Kaplan might not be the best in the test prep field if seeking a score in the 170s. Second, could you keep your current position if you attended law school part-time at George Mason ? Third, get the masters degree first.

Do you enjoy working on a single project with a clear goal ?


Well that's another thing. If I did get accepted to a school I would definitely quit and go full time. I'm actually 26 and about to turn 27 in November and don't want to do a part time basis. If I were to go after a masters first that's a minimum 3-4 years as it would be incredibly difficult to try and finish it in 2 years and work full time. So realistically if I took that approach and maybe did exceedingly well in a M.S. program I would have an easier time getting into a law school I'd want, but I'd be going to law school when I'm 30 or 31?

As for do I prefer a single project with a clear goal? Yeah. I mean I can definitely manage multiple things at once and succeed, but I always figured having one clear goal is better than spreading yourself thin.

lplaw
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby lplaw » Sun May 31, 2015 8:09 pm

PoopNpants wrote:TL:DR

just saw 2.3 and I gotta say chilllllllllllllllllll
really not trying to sound like a dick but that's a super hard hurdle to come over. I know your major was probably hard as shit but some liberal arts major with a 3.0ish would be in a better place than you. Seriously consider whether or not law school is a good option for you friend


Hey man, the honesty is appreciated. It's kind of what I'm looking for so it's all good. I figure the cards are definitely stacked against me, but I mean what do I got to lose right? Except for a well paying and defined career....so yeah......lol

lplaw
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby lplaw » Sun May 31, 2015 8:09 pm

swampman wrote:
lplaw wrote: law school was my childhood dream and is still my dream everyday

Get better dreams.


Yeah I know...People have been saying that to me quite alot recently.

PoopNpants
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby PoopNpants » Sun May 31, 2015 8:11 pm

lplaw wrote:
PoopNpants wrote:TL:DR

just saw 2.3 and I gotta say chilllllllllllllllllll
really not trying to sound like a dick but that's a super hard hurdle to come over. I know your major was probably hard as shit but some liberal arts major with a 3.0ish would be in a better place than you. Seriously consider whether or not law school is a good option for you friend


Hey man, the honesty is appreciated. It's kind of what I'm looking for so it's all good. I figure the cards are definitely stacked against me, but I mean what do I got to lose right? Except for a well paying and defined career....so yeah......lol


If you got a well paying and defined career currently, I think your much better off than a shit ton of law applicants. Alot of us are people who studied useless bullshit in undergrad and can't get real jobs TBH

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Joscellin
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby Joscellin » Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:50 pm

If you're already in the high 160s, you should be able to study yourself into the solid 170s by October. LSN doesn't have a ton of information about that kind of super splitter, but what they do have is reasonably promising, with a real chance at Northwestern (especially with his solid WE), and pretty good chances to some other top 30's (Minnesota, WUSTL notably). OP mentions GW as his dream school, and LSN has them taking a 2.5/170 this cycle.


To OP: Focus on that LSAT. Boost it up into the mid 170s and you have a shot to go to a real school, with real employment prospects.

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dnptan
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby dnptan » Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:13 pm

Or take the patent bar and become a patent agent. You don't need law school - it's not going to be worth it with that GPA sadly. But as a patent agent you can do all sorts of things. Your degree will qualify you for taking the bar.

lplaw
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby lplaw » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:32 pm

Joscellin wrote:If you're already in the high 160s, you should be able to study yourself into the solid 170s by October. LSN doesn't have a ton of information about that kind of super splitter, but what they do have is reasonably promising, with a real chance at Northwestern (especially with his solid WE), and pretty good chances to some other top 30's (Minnesota, WUSTL notably). OP mentions GW as his dream school, and LSN has them taking a 2.5/170 this cycle.


To OP: Focus on that LSAT. Boost it up into the mid 170s and you have a shot to go to a real school, with real employment prospects.


Yeah thanks for the words of advice. Just going to go all out and see what happens. All I need is one shot.

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Joscellin
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby Joscellin » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:03 am

lplaw wrote:
Joscellin wrote:If you're already in the high 160s, you should be able to study yourself into the solid 170s by October. LSN doesn't have a ton of information about that kind of super splitter, but what they do have is reasonably promising, with a real chance at Northwestern (especially with his solid WE), and pretty good chances to some other top 30's (Minnesota, WUSTL notably). OP mentions GW as his dream school, and LSN has them taking a 2.5/170 this cycle.


To OP: Focus on that LSAT. Boost it up into the mid 170s and you have a shot to go to a real school, with real employment prospects.


Yeah thanks for the words of advice. Just going to go all out and see what happens. All I need is one shot.


For what it's worth, I'm in a similar boat. Graduated years ago and have been working since, but with a GPA in the low 2's. Started my LSAT diagnostics at 165 and am currently prep testing in the mid 170s. Taking in 6 days.

Looks like we may end up being numbers buddies :p

Edit: You'll get a shot somewhere. The advice I've gotten thusfar is to apply very broadly. Our cycle will be unpredictable. But the first step is to nail down that LSAT instead of speculating )

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ihenry
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby ihenry » Tue Jun 02, 2015 8:38 am

dnptan wrote:Or take the patent bar and become a patent agent. You don't need law school - it's not going to be worth it with that GPA sadly. But as a patent agent you can do all sorts of things. Your degree will qualify you for taking the bar.


Wait let me get this clear -- you don't need a JD degree to become a patent attorney (provided you pass the patent bar exam)?

I'm a Chinese student studying in Singapore for an honors degree in computer science. Our program is (thankfully) one of the few ABET accredited programs in Asia. I'm planning to attend a US law school in anticipation of becoming a patent attorney. Is that necessary in the light of this? With virtually no ties in the US can I just take my Singapore degree, pass the bar exam and find a decent patent job at a US law firm?

Sorry if the questions look naive. Just exploring my options in this field...

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Clemenceau
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby Clemenceau » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:04 am

ihenry wrote:
dnptan wrote:Or take the patent bar and become a patent agent. You don't need law school - it's not going to be worth it with that GPA sadly. But as a patent agent you can do all sorts of things. Your degree will qualify you for taking the bar.


Wait let me get this clear -- you don't need a JD degree to become a patent attorney (provided you pass the patent bar exam)?

I'm a Chinese student studying in Singapore for an honors degree in computer science. Our program is (thankfully) one of the few ABET accredited programs in Asia. I'm planning to attend a US law school in anticipation of becoming a patent attorney. Is that necessary in the light of this? With virtually no ties in the US can I just take my Singapore degree, pass the bar exam and find a decent patent job at a US law firm?

Sorry if the questions look naive. Just exploring my options in this field...


He was saying that OPs degree qualifies him for the patent bar, to become a patent agent, not a patent attorney. The wording was a little confusing. You will certainly still need to go to law school to work as an attorney in a US law firm.

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ihenry
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby ihenry » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:08 am

Clemenceau wrote:
ihenry wrote:
dnptan wrote:Or take the patent bar and become a patent agent. You don't need law school - it's not going to be worth it with that GPA sadly. But as a patent agent you can do all sorts of things. Your degree will qualify you for taking the bar.


Wait let me get this clear -- you don't need a JD degree to become a patent attorney (provided you pass the patent bar exam)?

I'm a Chinese student studying in Singapore for an honors degree in computer science. Our program is (thankfully) one of the few ABET accredited programs in Asia. I'm planning to attend a US law school in anticipation of becoming a patent attorney. Is that necessary in the light of this? With virtually no ties in the US can I just take my Singapore degree, pass the bar exam and find a decent patent job at a US law firm?

Sorry if the questions look naive. Just exploring my options in this field...


He was saying that OPs degree qualifies him for the patent bar, to become a patent agent, not a patent attorney. The wording was a little confusing. You will certainly still need to go to law school to work as an attorney in a US law firm.


Thanks. It is indeed too early to burn my LSAT books :|

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BasilHallward
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby BasilHallward » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:34 am

lplaw wrote:
Any input, words of encouragement, blatant slaps to the face, or harsh realities are appreciated. Any other info you would need from me to be able to respond I would gladly provide.

Thanks.


Since you are welcoming slaps in the face, please forget your dreams that you most likely gathered as a child watching Matlock on the tele. You are in a far better situation NOW. Assuming you sneak in to a t14, you are still in a better situation now. Forget it. Don't go. Get your Masters.

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Nebby
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby Nebby » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:40 am

I don't even know how you can graduate with a 2.3

Most schools require at least a 2.5 GPA in one's major.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:57 am

Nebby wrote:I don't even know how you can graduate with a 2.3

Most schools require at least a 2.5 GPA in one's major.

Maybe they had a 2.5 in their major and a bunch of non-major classes, but I'm not sure what that has to do with the OP's questions.

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Nebby
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby Nebby » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:00 am

OP. You shouldn't go to law school.

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Joscellin
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby Joscellin » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:21 am

Nebby wrote:OP. You shouldn't go to law school.


This is a well reasoned and helpful response.

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Nebby
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby Nebby » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:22 am

Joscellin wrote:
Nebby wrote:OP. You shouldn't go to law school.


This is a well reasoned and helpful response.

To get into a school worth going to then you're going to have to get at least a 175 on the LSAT. You likely won't, statistically speaking, and you can try to do that, but if you don't then don't go.

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Joscellin
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby Joscellin » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:31 am

Nebby wrote:
Joscellin wrote:
Nebby wrote:OP. You shouldn't go to law school.


This is a well reasoned and helpful response.

To get into a school worth going to then you're going to have to get at least a 175 on the LSAT. You likely won't, statistically speaking, and you can try to do that, but if you don't then don't go.


Much more helpful, though I would point out that Northwestern took a 2.0/170 this past cycle along with a 2.3/171, just based on whats on mylsn. With OP's work history, that seems potentially in reach. Lower 14 is possible with a high enough LSAT, which he has time to achieve by October, especially given that he's prepping in the high 160s now.

I suppose the rest comes down to what defines a school worth going to. A 170+ can net you $$$ at a handful of T1 schools, despite the GPA (looking at you, WUSTL).

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TasmanianToucan
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Re: Extreme Splitter Crossroad

Postby TasmanianToucan » Tue Jun 02, 2015 10:37 am

Yeah the grass is not greener over here, no matter what you might think. And for you the fence between you and law is very high. Don't expend the superhuman effort to make it over only to find that the grass here looks like a lawn in SoCal.

If being a lawyer is so important to you that you're willing to throw caution to the wind and go for it, you will need to score in the mid to high 170s to have a reasonable shot at a school worth going to. Even then, I think many here are being overly optimistic about your odds. Just because NW took one student with those stats does not mean they will take another.

Good luck. Be smart and don't do something nutty like quitting your day job to study for the LSAT.




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