Applying to Law School with an EFC of 0 (estimated family contribution)

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
wonderfulworldicb10

New
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:08 am

Applying to Law School with an EFC of 0 (estimated family contribution)

Postby wonderfulworldicb10 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:40 am

In Fall I will be a senior at NCSU. I'm am going to start researching and applying to law schools shortly, and I really wanted some advice about finances.

I do not have the best GPA, 3.2 at the moment. Also, I do not have anyone in my family wealthy enough to help me pay for any of law school, nor will anyone be able to help me with living expenses while in law school. Given these circumstances, I fully expected that I would only really having a shot at attending the cheapest law school that my State has to offer.

Recently, I took my first practice LSAT and scored in the 90th percentile, way higher than I expected-with a score of 167. I think I have real potential to bring this up by practicing analytical reasoning problems, the section the majority of my missed questions were in.
I don't want to shoot below my potential when thinking about applying to law school, after all, I did not get this far by doing that. However, I do wish to be realistic, unlike the nine year old me who dreamed about Harvard. :mrgreen:

My Questions: Should I rule out all law schools that are not the cheapest options for me financially? I expect that I will qualify for maximum financial aid through the FASFA, but is it common for students like me to receive any grant or scholarship money from the school? Also, is there any way for me to know what I could potentially receive in order to make smart judgments on which schools to apply too (especially since applications costs add up :roll: )?
Last edited by wonderfulworldicb10 on Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
pancakes3

Platinum
Posts: 6623
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Applying to Law School with an EFC of 0 (estimated family contribution)

Postby pancakes3 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:44 am

you should probably change your user name.

wonderfulworldicb10

New
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:08 am

Re: Applying to Law School with an EFC of 0 (estimated family contribution)

Postby wonderfulworldicb10 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:47 am

Oh no, well it seems from the settings that it is too late to change that.
Endless spam mail?

Mikey

Platinum
Posts: 8047
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 5:24 pm

Re: Applying to Law School with an EFC of 0 (estimated family contribution)

Postby Mikey » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:49 am

167 on your first PT without any prep is really good. Since you said the majority of your missed points were taken from logic games, it's the easiest section to learn so you are in good shape, imo. The law school you go to should in part depend on your goals. It's definitely possible for you to get some decent money from a school with a 3.2/170+, you're just going to have to kill it on the LSAT. When are you taking the LSAT? It may be a good idea to get that GPA up a bit before you apply, it could make a difference even if it is still relatively low. Also, you'll be the Judge of what schools you think you can apply to and have a good shot at when you get your LSAT score. People on here are also helpful with predicting your chances, also refer to http://lawschoolnumbers.com/ to check out other peoples cycles.

ETA: Yeah you shouldn't have used your email as your username.

shruteHoosier

New
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:38 pm

Re: Applying to Law School with an EFC of 0 (estimated family contribution)

Postby shruteHoosier » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:52 am

Based on my understanding, only a few schools give out need based merit. FAFSA has been basically useless for me when it comes to LS.

wonderfulworldicb10

New
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:08 am

Re: Applying to Law School with an EFC of 0 (estimated family contribution)

Postby wonderfulworldicb10 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:59 am

TheMikey wrote:167 on your first PT without any prep is really good. Since you said the majority of your missed points were taken from logic games, it's the easiest section to learn so you are in good shape, imo. The law school you go to should in part depend on your goals. It's definitely possible for you to get some decent money from a school with a 3.2/170+, you're just going to have to kill it on the LSAT. When are you taking the LSAT? It may be a good idea to get that GPA up a bit before you apply, it could make a difference even if it is still relatively low. Also, you'll be the Judge of what schools you think you can apply to and have a good shot at when you get your LSAT score. People on here are also helpful with predicting your chances, also refer to http://lawschoolnumbers.com/ to check out other peoples cycles.

ETA: Yeah you shouldn't have used your email as your username.



Thanks so much for your response. I plan on taking the LSAT in September. I do think I will be able to get my GPA up some before graduating, but I have so many B's it may not make a large difference to be honest, especially not as soon as application deadlines. Well I could apply to law schools based on where I think I could get into, but my concern is how do I know what I can afford? Should I apply for some out of my price range just for the possibility of receiving aid, or is this far reaching?

Unfortunately, I made this account four years ago and cannot change the email. I should've noticed before posting, maybe I can contact the site about changing.

User avatar
pancakes3

Platinum
Posts: 6623
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Applying to Law School with an EFC of 0 (estimated family contribution)

Postby pancakes3 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:06 am

I'd be less concerned about spam and more concerned about outing yourself. Hopefully the mods can do something.

wonderfulworldicb10 wrote:My Questions: Should I rule out all law schools that are not the cheapest options for me financially? I expect that I will qualify for maximum financial aid through the FASFA, but is it common for students like me to receive any grant or scholarship money from the school? Also, is there any way for me to know what I could potentially receive in order to make smart judgments on which schools to apply too (especially since applications costs add up :roll: )?


1) No. There's a balance between employment prospects and how much in loans you'll need to take out. This is begs the question of what kind of job you want coming out of law school. It also matters where you want to practice. Things are different if you want biglaw vs going home to a small market and being a DA/PD.

Note Duke and UNC where based on UG perceptions Duke is good but it's not 4x as good as UNC, except for law school employment options, it is:
http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/ ... yers/2015/
http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/ ... yers/2014/


2) Yes, scholarships are common even with a 3.2 (but with a full year of classes you can raise that). Your LSAT will be very important and you should not settle for anything lower than a 170. Sitting out for a year to study more is a very good decision. This is not like going from HS to college where if you don't directly go there's some stigma of failure. In fact, work experience works in your favor for law school admission and future interviews - even if you just work retail.

3) Application fees are a drop in the bucket compared to what you'll actually take out for loans.

edit to add: i don't want to dissuade you from going k-jd but there are enormous benefits to sitting out, especially for someone with a lower GPA like you who absolutely needs to NAIL the LSATs for admission + scholly.

wonderfulworldicb10

New
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:08 am

Re: Applying to Law School with an EFC of 0 (estimated family contribution)

Postby wonderfulworldicb10 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:25 am

pancakes3 wrote:I'd be less concerned about spam and more concerned about outing yourself. Hopefully the mods can do something.

1) No. There's a balance between employment prospects and how much in loans you'll need to take out. This is begs the question of what kind of job you want coming out of law school. It also matters where you want to practice. Things are different if you want biglaw vs going home to a small market and being a DA/PD.

Note Duke and UNC where based on UG perceptions Duke is good but it's not 4x as good as UNC, except for law school employment options, it is:
http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/ ... yers/2015/
http://www.lstscorereports.com/schools/ ... yers/2014/


2) Yes, scholarships are common even with a 3.2 (but with a full year of classes you can raise that). Your LSAT will be very important and you should not settle for anything lower than a 170. Sitting out for a year to study more is a very good decision. This is not like going from HS to college where if you don't directly go there's some stigma of failure. In fact, work experience works in your favor for law school admission and future interviews - even if you just work retail.

3) Application fees are a drop in the bucket compared to what you'll actually take out for loans.

edit to add: i don't want to dissuade you from going k-jd but there are enormous benefits to sitting out, especially for someone with a lower GPA like you who absolutely needs to NAIL the LSATs for admission + scholly.



1) Slight correction *mother, but yes I would like to be a mother one day. I would love to do environmental law, but ultimately I want something with a market so I don't have to be concerned about job prospects. The only thing I am sure I do not wish to do is criminal law. I will have so much taken out in loans by the time I graduate I hope employment prospects are ones good enough to handle reasonable payments.

2) My only problem with this is that I have payed for my whole ungrad thus far with loans. I have worked jobs, including retail every since I was fifteen, and still work and do an internship (I would say this is why the GPA is so low :mrgreen: ). I do not want to take a year off because my undergrad loans will begin collecting interest. I do see how this could be a good option, but maybe not for me?

3) Oh your so right here, thanks

To be entirely honest I am not sure what you meant when you said "outing yourself"?
Last edited by wonderfulworldicb10 on Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse

Diamond
Posts: 29317
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: Applying to Law School with an EFC of 0 (estimated family contribution)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:30 am

By using your email, people here (which includes admissions people, fairly regularly) can probably pretty easily figure out your real name (also there's a possibility of spam emails and hacking and so on). If you PM me what you'd like the username changed to, I can do that (just check the member list first to make sure no one's already using it).

Mikey

Platinum
Posts: 8047
Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 5:24 pm

Re: Applying to Law School with an EFC of 0 (estimated family contribution)

Postby Mikey » Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:31 am

wonderfulworldicb10 wrote:
TheMikey wrote:167 on your first PT without any prep is really good. Since you said the majority of your missed points were taken from logic games, it's the easiest section to learn so you are in good shape, imo. The law school you go to should in part depend on your goals. It's definitely possible for you to get some decent money from a school with a 3.2/170+, you're just going to have to kill it on the LSAT. When are you taking the LSAT? It may be a good idea to get that GPA up a bit before you apply, it could make a difference even if it is still relatively low. Also, you'll be the Judge of what schools you think you can apply to and have a good shot at when you get your LSAT score. People on here are also helpful with predicting your chances, also refer to http://lawschoolnumbers.com/ to check out other peoples cycles.

ETA: Yeah you shouldn't have used your email as your username.



Thanks so much for your response. I plan on taking the LSAT in September. I do think I will be able to get my GPA up some before graduating, but I have so many B's it may not make a large difference to be honest, especially not as soon as application deadlines. Well I could apply to law schools based on where I think I could get into, but my concern is how do I know what I can afford? Should I apply for some out of my price range just for the possibility of receiving aid, or is this far reaching?

Unfortunately, I made this account four years ago and cannot change the email. I should've noticed before posting, maybe I can contact the site about changing.

Yeah contact a mod about your username. I think you should apply to all schools you're interested in no matter what the application fee costs. You can also try applying for an LSAC fee waiver, if that is something you are interested in, I think it will help you if you end up getting it.

wonderfulworldicb10

New
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:08 am

Re: Applying to Law School with an EFC of 0 (estimated family contribution)

Postby wonderfulworldicb10 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:34 am

A. Nony Mouse wrote:By using your email, people here (which includes admissions people, fairly regularly) can probably pretty easily figure out your real name (also there's a possibility of spam emails and hacking and so on). If you PM me what you'd like the username changed to, I can do that (just check the member list first to make sure no one's already using it).


Thanks so much! I actually just emailed the problem to the site. If you could please change it to wonderfulworldicb10

User avatar
pancakes3

Platinum
Posts: 6623
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Applying to Law School with an EFC of 0 (estimated family contribution)

Postby pancakes3 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 11:36 am

wonderfulworldicb10 wrote:I do not want to take a year off because my undergrad loans will begin collecting interest. I do see how this could be a good option, but maybe not for me?


if you sit out a year and interest accrues, how much are you spending more? compared to retaking the LSAT where you go from no scholarship ($200k in loans) down to full scholarship and only COL ($60k in loans) you've "gained" $140,000. Interest is a bitch but you're not going to accrue 140k worth by sitting out a year.

Also, environmental law is a highly competitive and niche field without a lot of high paying jobs. I was just looking up what Southern Environmental Law Center pays - google says $40k entry level. Highly competitive + low pay is a double-whammy of you needing to go to a T14 school AND with substantial scholarship which makes your LSAT score that much more important.

wonderfulworldicb10

New
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:08 am

Re: Applying to Law School with an EFC of 0 (estimated family contribution)

Postby wonderfulworldicb10 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 12:17 pm

pancakes3 wrote:if you sit out a year and interest accrues, how much are you spending more? compared to retaking the LSAT where you go from no scholarship ($200k in loans) down to full scholarship and only COL ($60k in loans) you've "gained" $140,000. Interest is a bitch but you're not going to accrue 140k worth by sitting out a year.

Also, environmental law is a highly competitive and niche field without a lot of high paying jobs. I was just looking up what Southern Environmental Law Center pays - google says $40k entry level. Highly competitive + low pay is a double-whammy of you needing to go to a T14 school AND with substantial scholarship which makes your LSAT score that much more important.


Well thank-you for your advice, you made some good points that I will take into consideration. Any suggestions for what kind of opportunities I should seek is I do decide to take a year off?
I have been interning for the NC democratic candidate for governor, since September, who is also currently the State Attorney General. I have been thinking about seeking something environmental related, but I'm also unsure if staying through the general election cycle could potentially lead to a letter of recommendation signed by the governor (and this may be worth my time?) Even so, I would like to do something more impressive than retail and the options on where to go from here are overwhelming in number.

Also, I am not dead set on environmental law. I was aware of some of the things you stated, and it is enough to make one want to consider other options as well. To my knowledge the first year of law school is the same regardless of what type of law you wish to go into, if this is the case is there really that much harm in considering options while at law school?

User avatar
pancakes3

Platinum
Posts: 6623
Joined: Sun Jul 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Re: Applying to Law School with an EFC of 0 (estimated family contribution)

Postby pancakes3 » Sat Jun 11, 2016 2:21 pm

The thing to keep in mind is that you'll be a lawyer first and whatever niche you settle into second. People want you for your legal expertise not your environmental/business/etc. expertise especially when you first graduate from law school. Even then it's not so much your expertise but your training. Getting an environmental job before LS helps build your narrative but when it comes to being hired after law school it won't matter nearly as much as where you went and what your grades in law school were. What job you take now is only a difference maker in the margin where it comes down between you and a comparable candidate with the same LS grades but you have a longer history of being environmentally conscious than the other candidate.

So full circle you need to get into the school that gives the best overall employment chances (determined at this point solely off your LSAT) before worrying about the niche soecialty advantages. I know that all this advice sounds counterintuitive but that's the reality of the legal market.



Return to “Law School Admissions Forum�

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Adsense [Bot], tlsadmin7 and 7 guests