3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

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softmer
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3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby softmer » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:11 pm

Hello,

I am an incoming undergraduate student (in an unranked state school) who aspires to attend a T14 law school (hopefully UChicago). As it currently stands, I will be graduating undergrad in 3 years due to the credits I earned while still in high school. How does this change the timeline of events for law school admissions? At what point should I take the LSAT and begin applying to law school? What things should I be doing throughout these next three years to achieve my goal of attending UChicago?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks.

20170322
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby 20170322 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:17 pm

softmer wrote:Hello,

I am an incoming undergraduate student (in an unranked state school) who aspires to attend a T14 law school (hopefully UChicago). As it currently stands, I will be graduating undergrad in 3 years due to the credits I earned while still in high school. How does this change the timeline of events for law school admissions? At what point should I take the LSAT and begin applying to law school? What things should I be doing throughout these next three years to achieve my goal of attending UChicago?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks.


Just did the same thing. Didn't change my cycle much. Try to take your LSAT over the summer so you have time to retake. Apply once you have a score you're happy with.

softmer
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby softmer » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:30 pm

SweetTort wrote:
softmer wrote:Hello,

I am an incoming undergraduate student (in an unranked state school) who aspires to attend a T14 law school (hopefully UChicago). As it currently stands, I will be graduating undergrad in 3 years due to the credits I earned while still in high school. How does this change the timeline of events for law school admissions? At what point should I take the LSAT and begin applying to law school? What things should I be doing throughout these next three years to achieve my goal of attending UChicago?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks.


Just did the same thing. Didn't change my cycle much. Try to take your LSAT over the summer so you have time to retake. Apply once you have a score you're happy with.


Summer before my third year, correct?

20170322
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby 20170322 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:33 pm

softmer wrote:
SweetTort wrote:
softmer wrote:Hello,

I am an incoming undergraduate student (in an unranked state school) who aspires to attend a T14 law school (hopefully UChicago). As it currently stands, I will be graduating undergrad in 3 years due to the credits I earned while still in high school. How does this change the timeline of events for law school admissions? At what point should I take the LSAT and begin applying to law school? What things should I be doing throughout these next three years to achieve my goal of attending UChicago?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks.


Just did the same thing. Didn't change my cycle much. Try to take your LSAT over the summer so you have time to retake. Apply once you have a score you're happy with.


Summer before my third year, correct?


Yeah. I'd say take it in Feb/June, and then retake as needed.

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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:36 pm

I would highly recommend doing something else after college for a few years at the very least.

pyramidenergy888
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby pyramidenergy888 » Sat Feb 11, 2017 3:39 pm

Also make sure to always be thinking about letters of recommendation when taking classes. Go to office hours and make relationships with your professors. It doesn't take much, just show your interest and ask some questions. When it comes time to ask for recommendation letters you will have a pool of professors to draw from.

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QuentonCassidy
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby QuentonCassidy » Sat Feb 11, 2017 6:55 pm

(Current 1L who graduated in 3 years)
The advice re: when to take LSAT and LORs is spot on. I planned out the classes that I would be taking ahead of time to figure out which professors I wanted to write LORs for me, and then went into their classes on day 1 with that mindset. I had to do that because I am the type of person who normally could take a class for a whole semester without the prof ever knowing I was there. So for 2 classes I made myself forge a connection with the prof and stuck to the shadows in the rest. If you naturally are an active participant in class/attend office hours/make connections with teachers then obviously you just do you, but if you don't I would highly recommend picking a few profs to connect with because applying to LS in the fall of your third year only leaves you with two years of professors to choose from. Most people have twice that number.
Regarding LSAT, Feb/June before your third year is good (and when I did mine). If you are prepared I would recommend Feb because that way if you underperform (many do on their first take) you have time to retake and still get your apps in day one. Having to retake in October is obviously not bad and won't delay your apps, but all else equal it is better to have your apps in earlier. If you are dead set on going straight to law school, and if you have extra time outside of school (i.e. if this won't adversely affect your GPA) then I would recommend going ahead and preparing for the LSAT now. At the very least take a diagnostic so you know where you are at. If you are a natural and get a super high score then you won't need much study and can just shore up any weaknesses/brush up on the concepts as the test approaches, and if you score low then you will know the areas that need work and will give yourself enough time to get your score up before the time to take the test actually comes. I took my diagnostic LSAT during the spring break of my freshman year and it definitely helped me get an idea of where I was at and what I did/didn't need to do.
However, don't let prepping for the LSAT have a negative effect on your GPA. You can take the LSAT anytime, whereas your GPA is set in stone once you graduate. It will pay off huge dividends for you to get the highest GPA you can even if that means you have to take a year off after graduation (which oftentimes is a good thing to do anyway) to study for the LSAT. You will be hurting yourself if you raise your LSAT at the expense of grade points. The LSAT can (and often should) be retaken, undergrad cannot.

Last point: as others have suggested and I have alluded to, you should consider taking some time off between undergrad and law school. I know you don't want to hear this (I didn't), but getting work experience and doing something other than school can be valuable in many ways. It can help you figure out what you really want to do, give you an understanding of what the world outside of school is like, and helps when trying to get your first job outside of law school. I can't speak very specifically to the benefits, but I would encourage you to listen to the people on the forum who advocate for taking time off and truly consider it with an open mind. Regardless of what I did, I believe that for most people it is the best decision.

Good luck. Feel free to respond and/or pm me if you want any more info

SPerez
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby SPerez » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:05 pm

Don't. Go. Straight. To. Law. School. Seriously.

Excellent advice to pay extra attention to getting LORs since you're not going to have as much time to develop relationships with professors. The same applies to basically every other part of college. If done well, college should be an amazing time in your life so, besides money, I don't advise cutting that time short. You have plenty of time to be an adult; the rest of your life, in fact. You only get to be young and in college once. When you retire, you're not going to look back and wish you had practiced law for a year or two more. You might, though, wish you had enjoyed your youth more. (Again, assuming you're not in a financial hardship situation.)

Beyond that, there are just SO many benefits to gaining a year or two of life experience after undergrad, and that just applies even more if you're graduating earlier than usual. Trust me. Law school isn't going anywhere.

Stephen M. Perez
Prof. & Fmr. Admissions Dean

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futureellewoods123
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby futureellewoods123 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:47 pm

I graduated in 3 years from undergrad also. In some ways, it was good for me; in other ways, it was hard. All in all, I'm happy with the decision. I took time off before applying to law school to study for and take the LSAT, work, volunteer, travel, etc. as I had given up a lot of opportunities such as studying abroad for a semester so as to graduate early. I highly recommend taking time off. Furthermore, do not worry about this timeline right this second. You haven't even started undergrad yet! Your enthusiasm is fantastic, and I was just as excited myself. But focus on your undergrad career for now; as others have said, focus on your grades and relationships with professors. Don't force it; I naturally had professors offer to write letters of recommendation for me. Join organizations, volunteer, gain experience and make sure your undergrad career is as full as it possibly can be. You still want to be able to fill a resume with valuable experiences. Enjoy college, do your best, and make it worthwhile. Go to law school fairs at your school in your first two years; join the pre-law association and attend events. When the time comes (late summer/early fall of next year), you will know if you should begin LSAT prep or wait. Evaluate this every couple of months, through the beginning of your third year. If you are not ready, that's great: do not rush. If you are ready, that's great: the app process begins. Always remember that there are so many options out there! Good luck!

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Rigo
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby Rigo » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:51 am

HuntedUnicorn wrote:I would highly recommend doing something else after college for a few years at the very least.

mebrenneriii
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby mebrenneriii » Sun Mar 12, 2017 7:11 pm

current 0L, applied this cycle, had very good results.

Started studying for the LSAT Summer before 3rd year, took LSAT in september, retook in December, had all my applications in by January 5th of my 3rd year.

EDIT: Letters of Rec were my biggest issue. I go to a large state school and my ability to connect with teachers was limited, and the shortened time did not help. Highly recommend taking smaller seminar classes if possible, go to office hours, participate in class, etc.

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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:59 pm

^^^ gross why don't do this

Cooley at Sticker
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby Cooley at Sticker » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:27 am

HuntedUnicorn wrote:^^^ gross why don't do this

The younger you can accomplish things, the better IMO. It just looks more impressive.

Npret
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby Npret » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:25 am

softmer wrote:Hello,

I am an incoming undergraduate student (in an unranked state school) who aspires to attend a T14 law school (hopefully UChicago). As it currently stands, I will be graduating undergrad in 3 years due to the credits I earned while still in high school. How does this change the timeline of events for law school admissions? At what point should I take the LSAT and begin applying to law school? What things should I be doing throughout these next three years to achieve my goal of attending UChicago?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks.

Get your GPA high. Be sure to calculate how your high school college course grades will impact your LSAT GPA. Your college may not count them for GPA but LSAT will.

Don't rush through college if you don't have to. Develop leadership roles if you can, intern and get work experience. Don't focus too much on softs or expect them to make a huge difference. Don't stay stuck on a path to law school and stay open to other interests. Law is an oversaturated job market with limited career stability. It isn't the best choice for a career for many people so be sure to explore other options.

Same advice with LORs as others have said.

Get work experience for a few years after college. You will need it when looking for jobs during law school. Being younger than everyone else doesn't help you get a job. It will be something you have to overcome, it isn't an advantage.

Npret
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby Npret » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:26 am

Cooley at Sticker wrote:
HuntedUnicorn wrote:^^^ gross why don't do this

The younger you can accomplish things, the better IMO. It just looks more impressive.

Not to people who hire you at law firms. It won't help you get a job and it could hurt.

softmer
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby softmer » Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:34 pm

Npret wrote:
softmer wrote:Hello,

I am an incoming undergraduate student (in an unranked state school) who aspires to attend a T14 law school (hopefully UChicago). As it currently stands, I will be graduating undergrad in 3 years due to the credits I earned while still in high school. How does this change the timeline of events for law school admissions? At what point should I take the LSAT and begin applying to law school? What things should I be doing throughout these next three years to achieve my goal of attending UChicago?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks.

Get your GPA high. Be sure to calculate how your high school college course grades will impact your LSAT GPA. Your college may not count them for GPA but LSAT will.

Don't rush through college if you don't have to. Develop leadership roles if you can, intern and get work experience. Don't focus too much on softs or expect them to make a huge difference. Don't stay stuck on a path to law school and stay open to other interests. Law is an oversaturated job market with limited career stability. It isn't the best choice for a career for many people so be sure to explore other options.

Same advice with LORs as others have said.

Get work experience for a few years after college. You will need it when looking for jobs during law school. Being younger than everyone else doesn't help you get a job. It will be something you have to overcome, it isn't an advantage.


I understand that this is a late response, and that I may be bringing up an old post, but I just noticed your comment about LSAT GPA. Are you saying that high school AP/IB courses will impact my LSAT GPA? Or do you mean that duel-enrollment courses that I may or may not have taken in high school will impact my LSAT GPA?

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Mullens
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby Mullens » Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:43 pm

softmer wrote:
Npret wrote:
softmer wrote:Hello,

I am an incoming undergraduate student (in an unranked state school) who aspires to attend a T14 law school (hopefully UChicago). As it currently stands, I will be graduating undergrad in 3 years due to the credits I earned while still in high school. How does this change the timeline of events for law school admissions? At what point should I take the LSAT and begin applying to law school? What things should I be doing throughout these next three years to achieve my goal of attending UChicago?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Thanks.

Get your GPA high. Be sure to calculate how your high school college course grades will impact your LSAT GPA. Your college may not count them for GPA but LSAT will.

Don't rush through college if you don't have to. Develop leadership roles if you can, intern and get work experience. Don't focus too much on softs or expect them to make a huge difference. Don't stay stuck on a path to law school and stay open to other interests. Law is an oversaturated job market with limited career stability. It isn't the best choice for a career for many people so be sure to explore other options.

Same advice with LORs as others have said.

Get work experience for a few years after college. You will need it when looking for jobs during law school. Being younger than everyone else doesn't help you get a job. It will be something you have to overcome, it isn't an advantage.


I understand that this is a late response, and that I may be bringing up an old post, but I just noticed your comment about LSAT GPA. Are you saying that high school AP/IB courses will impact my LSAT GPA? Or do you mean that duel-enrollment courses that I may or may not have taken in high school will impact my LSAT GPA?


Only dual-enrollment courses. Not AP/IB courses. The other advice about work experience and staying open to other options is also sage advice and you should consider it.

us3rnam3
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby us3rnam3 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:44 am

Unless you are graduating early to save money I would strongly advise against it. I did college in 3 years only because I hated it. I would also agree that you should at least wait until you graduate to start applying to law schools, take a year off or something.

The Greyest Goose
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby The Greyest Goose » Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:47 am

I did 3 years in undergrad and went right to law school and don't regret it at all. There are a few things you should realize:

1. You will have to start making choices about your future already. The major you take will have a big impact on your GPA and if you want to go to a top law school that gets very difficult unless you are doing a soft major like English or political science.

2. If you can do undergrad in three years then you aren't going to a top undergrad (no offense intended it's just that most top undergrads will not give you enough AP credits to skip a year). With this in mind, and particularly if you take a soft major like English or political science, don't expect amazing opportunities to pop up during the course of undergrad. In 2-3 years your options will probably still be law school or 40k entry level job going no where.

3. There is almost nothing you will do in undergrad that will dissuade you from going to law school. Being a lawyer can suck a lot but you won't realize this until you actually start practicing, and spending an extra year messing around or traveling won't enlighten you. That said, if there is something big you really want to do (travel india or build a car or whatever), realize that you won't really be able to take off months at a time if you pursue this path.

4. Taking a year off or getting a silly job for a year or two isn't much help. If you really need a break then take a year off, but working for low pay at an entry level job is a waste of time and won't teach you much about work life other than the fact that it's often shitty - go to law school and spend that extra year making money in biglaw. Even if you are a paralegal for a few years after law school and hate it, you will still be faced with the same issue above, 40k job going nowhere. The time to decide if law school is not for you is before you sign up for a soft major and go to a weaker undergrad that will let you graduate in 3 years.

5. Contrary to what people say, law is pretty flexible. It seems rigid when you first start out but after you graduate and hopefully put in a few years in biglaw or clerking or whatever, you will have a much wider range of options that actually pay well. Long story short, if you miss the boat for finance (and you probably will if you are going to a school that lets you graduate in three years) law is one of the only other straightforward paths into the upper middle class.

6. Do not go to a bad law school. If your choice is 40k job going nowhere and a law school outside of maybe the top 30, take the 40k job and forget about being a lawyer. While a good law school puts you on a pretty easy path to a comfortable professional life, a bad one will kill your career and finances in their cradle.

7. Coming back full circle, you need good grades and a good LSAT and not much else to get into a great law school. Ignore the other BS and focus on this. LOR, extracurricular, essays etc is all BS, it will come down to two numbers and you need to be doing everything you can to make sure they are as high as possible. Take the easiest classes you can, don't fuck around with an internship or something in the summer, study the LSAT. It sounds insane (because it is) but you are better off with a 4.0 in basket weaving than a 3.9 in nuclear physics so don't overthink things, just do whatever you must in order to have the highest GPA and LSAT possible. Be aware than because your grades are out of 3 years instead of the usual 4, one bad grade can really screw you. In fact, because you apply 3rd year, you will really only have two years of grades in your application. Front load all your easy classes and take a class that is easy over a class that is interesting every time. If you need to take a 4th year to take more BS classes to get your GPA up, absolutely do that. If you need to take a 5th year to get your GPA up then do that. Everything else is borderline irrelevant compared to your two key numbers.

Think long and hard about this now because the truth is you really do need to pick path. Do your research and be honest with yourself, and if law school is your choice then you know what you need to do. If it's not, that's perfectly fine as well, but again, you want to know now because some advice (like skip internships and study LSAT) will come back to harm you should you choose not to go to law school. Good luck man and let me know if you have any Qs

softmer
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby softmer » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:21 pm

The Greyest Goose wrote:I did 3 years in undergrad and went right to law school and don't regret it at all. There are a few things you should realize:

1. You will have to start making choices about your future already. The major you take will have a big impact on your GPA and if you want to go to a top law school that gets very difficult unless you are doing a soft major like English or political science.

2. If you can do undergrad in three years then you aren't going to a top undergrad (no offense intended it's just that most top undergrads will not give you enough AP credits to skip a year). With this in mind, and particularly if you take a soft major like English or political science, don't expect amazing opportunities to pop up during the course of undergrad. In 2-3 years your options will probably still be law school or 40k entry level job going no where.

3. There is almost nothing you will do in undergrad that will dissuade you from going to law school. Being a lawyer can suck a lot but you won't realize this until you actually start practicing, and spending an extra year messing around or traveling won't enlighten you. That said, if there is something big you really want to do (travel india or build a car or whatever), realize that you won't really be able to take off months at a time if you pursue this path.

4. Taking a year off or getting a silly job for a year or two isn't much help. If you really need a break then take a year off, but working for low pay at an entry level job is a waste of time and won't teach you much about work life other than the fact that it's often shitty - go to law school and spend that extra year making money in biglaw. Even if you are a paralegal for a few years after law school and hate it, you will still be faced with the same issue above, 40k job going nowhere. The time to decide if law school is not for you is before you sign up for a soft major and go to a weaker undergrad that will let you graduate in 3 years.

5. Contrary to what people say, law is pretty flexible. It seems rigid when you first start out but after you graduate and hopefully put in a few years in biglaw or clerking or whatever, you will have a much wider range of options that actually pay well. Long story short, if you miss the boat for finance (and you probably will if you are going to a school that lets you graduate in three years) law is one of the only other straightforward paths into the upper middle class.

6. Do not go to a bad law school. If your choice is 40k job going nowhere and a law school outside of maybe the top 30, take the 40k job and forget about being a lawyer. While a good law school puts you on a pretty easy path to a comfortable professional life, a bad one will kill your career and finances in their cradle.

7. Coming back full circle, you need good grades and a good LSAT and not much else to get into a great law school. Ignore the other BS and focus on this. LOR, extracurricular, essays etc is all BS, it will come down to two numbers and you need to be doing everything you can to make sure they are as high as possible. Take the easiest classes you can, don't fuck around with an internship or something in the summer, study the LSAT. It sounds insane (because it is) but you are better off with a 4.0 in basket weaving than a 3.9 in nuclear physics so don't overthink things, just do whatever you must in order to have the highest GPA and LSAT possible. Be aware than because your grades are out of 3 years instead of the usual 4, one bad grade can really screw you. In fact, because you apply 3rd year, you will really only have two years of grades in your application. Front load all your easy classes and take a class that is easy over a class that is interesting every time. If you need to take a 4th year to take more BS classes to get your GPA up, absolutely do that. If you need to take a 5th year to get your GPA up then do that. Everything else is borderline irrelevant compared to your two key numbers.

Think long and hard about this now because the truth is you really do need to pick path. Do your research and be honest with yourself, and if law school is your choice then you know what you need to do. If it's not, that's perfectly fine as well, but again, you want to know now because some advice (like skip internships and study LSAT) will come back to harm you should you choose not to go to law school. Good luck man and let me know if you have any Qs


You are right about a few things, I am not planning to attend a top ranked university by any means (which is why I have the possibility of graduating in 3 years) and I am majoring in political science. Attending a top law school (preferably UChicago) is a dream of mine, which is why I am willing to do whatever it takes to get me there. I am not going to take a 'year off' in between undergrad and law school.

That all being said, what did your time table look like for law school admissions? When did you take your (1st, 2nd, etc.) LSAT? At what point did you begin filling out law school applications? etc?

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BoyJord
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Re: 3 year undergrad - timeline for law school admissions?

Postby BoyJord » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:48 pm

pyramidenergy888 wrote:Also make sure to always be thinking about letters of recommendation when taking classes. Go to office hours and make relationships with your professors. It doesn't take much, just show your interest and ask some questions. When it comes time to ask for recommendation letters you will have a pool of professors to draw from.


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