International undergrad: Help!

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hhrodddd
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International undergrad: Help!

Postby hhrodddd » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:22 pm

Hello everyone!

I'm an international student who wants to apply for a JD program in the United States. I'm from Eastern Europe, and will be heading to college in my home country this fall. I have a problem deciding which college program I should choose to have a better chance of getting into a T-14 law school, mostly having HYS in mind. I don't know if it's the right thread to ask such question, but I'd be utterly grateful to hear some advice as I'm really torn between my options. To present a better picture of my situation, I'll add that I'm highly interested in American law and politics. Also, I don't want to do a JD in my country and then an LLM in the United States. I'm only interested in an American JD. Here are the programs and my thoughts:

Program 1
American Studies at the best-ranked university in my country, highly regarded internationally; the university is public.
The 3-year program is colloquially only called bachelor and is designed in my country's educational standards.
What I worry about regarding this program:
- I'm afraid that this program may not be recognized as equivalent to a BA degree in the United States; there is no an LSAC center in my home country, I doubt that many nationals from here apply for JD admissions in the US, thus I'm worried that the LSAC may have a problem with recognizing my degree
- The program focuses on cultural studies, while my interest is politics

Program 2
International Relations at one of the top universities in my country; the university is private, ranked second-best among private ones, I think.
The 3-year program, in English, awards a student with a Bachelor of Arts degree and is designed within the standards of the British educational system. It's accredited by one of the US states and run in conjunction with a Top 20 (sometimes Top 30; it depends on the ranking) university in the United Kingdom. Upon graduation, one receives two separate degrees from both universities.
What I worry about regarding this program:
- In my country, public universities are considered to be better than private ones, and I worry that the private university I'd like to attend may not be well-known at all in the United States and it'd hurt my chances

My two cents:
I feel like Program 2 is a better option for me because if I fail to get into a law school in the US, it seems to be a better match for other career prospects I'm interested in (US or international political advisor, working with the campaigns, etc.). I also like Program 1, but as I said, I'm more interested in politics (International Relations program at the public university is not really an option because it has almost no elective courses, not many courses in American politics and very strict curricula which is not compatible with my passion). There's also an issue with the degree recognition and GPA transfer, while with the British one and their class honors, there'd be no such a problem. On the other hand, I'm worried that the admission officers will wonder: "Why didn't she go to a well-regarded university but to some barely known private one? Wasn't she good enough to get into there?"

Assuming I'd work hard, get a top GPA (first class honors/superior in Program 2, superior/equivalent in Program 1) and a +175 LSAT, which program should I choose to have a better chance of getting into a top law school (financial aid needed)? Will my college matter that much in the admission?

I'm sorry for such a long description, but I wanted to present all the details. Thank you very much in advance.
Last edited by hhrodddd on Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

grades??
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby grades?? » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:05 pm

You should contact the LSAC about whether they will recognize either degree. A lot of international degrees that are only 3 years are not deemed sufficient for the LSAC. If both are, then do the one that will most likely get you a superior rating. I don't know how Eastern European universities grade, but if you were say in the UK, you need a first/ 1:1.

hhrodddd
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby hhrodddd » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:00 pm

grades?? wrote:You should contact the LSAC about whether they will recognize either degree. A lot of international degrees that are only 3 years are not deemed sufficient for the LSAC. If both are, then do the one that will most likely get you a superior rating. I don't know how Eastern European universities grade, but if you were say in the UK, you need a first/ 1:1.


Thanks so much! So in other words, a college I attend is not as important as a superior rating, right?

grades??
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby grades?? » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:23 pm

hhrodddd wrote:
grades?? wrote:You should contact the LSAC about whether they will recognize either degree. A lot of international degrees that are only 3 years are not deemed sufficient for the LSAC. If both are, then do the one that will most likely get you a superior rating. I don't know how Eastern European universities grade, but if you were say in the UK, you need a first/ 1:1.


Thanks so much! So in other words, a college I attend is not as important as a superior rating, right?


Im going to be very straight with you. Take the UK for example. Harvard RARELY takes anyone who did not get a superior from Oxbridge/St Andrews. They take 1 above average it seems a year, with a 175+ lsat, ONLY from Oxbridge/St Andrews. So the school you go to matters, but so does getting a superior. To be truthful, the chances of you getting into Harvard/Yale is almost impossible unless you are attending an Oxford level University. So focus on getting a superior and then a 175+ lsat for you to have a chance at a t13 school. But you need to make sure you can use either of those degrees to apply.

hhrodddd
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby hhrodddd » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:26 pm

grades?? wrote:
hhrodddd wrote:
grades?? wrote:You should contact the LSAC about whether they will recognize either degree. A lot of international degrees that are only 3 years are not deemed sufficient for the LSAC. If both are, then do the one that will most likely get you a superior rating. I don't know how Eastern European universities grade, but if you were say in the UK, you need a first/ 1:1.


Thanks so much! So in other words, a college I attend is not as important as a superior rating, right?


Im going to be very straight with you. Take the UK for example. Harvard RARELY takes anyone who did not get a superior from Oxbridge/St Andrews. They take 1 above average it seems a year, with a 175+ lsat, ONLY from Oxbridge/St Andrews. So the school you go to matters, but so does getting a superior. To be truthful, the chances of you getting into Harvard/Yale is almost impossible unless you are attending an Oxford level University. So focus on getting a superior and then a 175+ lsat for you to have a chance at a t13 school. But you need to make sure you can use either of those degrees to apply.


Thank you very much!

DownUnder
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby DownUnder » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:20 am

I second the above responses.

I did my undergrad in NZ (3 year bachelors degree) and there was no problem.

Getting a superior is important but not nearly necessary for getting into T14. I had a 'mediocre' above average with a B average but still landed a >50% scholarship at MVPN, with median LSAT.

Remember to work hard and keep your GPA up, but also remember to work hard on the LSAT and get a 170+.

Good luck mate!

ghytu48
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby ghytu48 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:51 am

grades?? wrote:
hhrodddd wrote:
grades?? wrote: Harvard RARELY takes anyone who did not get a superior from Oxbridge/St Andrews. They take 1 above average it seems a year, with a 175+ lsat, ONLY from Oxbridge/St Andrews. So the school you go to matters, but so does getting a superior.

So If I am lets say from Russia with LSAT 179 I have almost 0 chance? Could someone confirm?

hhrodddd
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby hhrodddd » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:23 am

DownUnder wrote:I second the above responses.

I did my undergrad in NZ (3 year bachelors degree) and there was no problem.

Getting a superior is important but not nearly necessary for getting into T14. I had a 'mediocre' above average with a B average but still landed a >50% scholarship at MVPN, with median LSAT.

Remember to work hard and keep your GPA up, but also remember to work hard on the LSAT and get a 170+.

Good luck mate!


Thanks so much!

One more thing: how is your college ranked? I mean, did you go to absolutely a top one? My point is not about getting a superior and a great LSAT score because I haven't even started college yet, and I'll do all the work to get those things + decent extracurriculars, internships etc. My concern is whether a college I attend may be a deciding factor in admission/rejection.

Thank you again!

hhrodddd
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby hhrodddd » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:27 am

ghytu48 wrote:
grades?? wrote:
hhrodddd wrote:
grades?? wrote: Harvard RARELY takes anyone who did not get a superior from Oxbridge/St Andrews. They take 1 above average it seems a year, with a 175+ lsat, ONLY from Oxbridge/St Andrews. So the school you go to matters, but so does getting a superior.

So If I am lets say from Russia with LSAT 179 I have almost 0 chance? Could someone confirm?


That's what I'm asking! I understood it as if they only accepted people from Oxbridge among all international applicants. Is that the case? Don't they look at a college rank in a particular country?

cavalier1138
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:44 am

hhrodddd wrote:
ghytu48 wrote:
grades?? wrote:
hhrodddd wrote:
grades?? wrote: Harvard RARELY takes anyone who did not get a superior from Oxbridge/St Andrews. They take 1 above average it seems a year, with a 175+ lsat, ONLY from Oxbridge/St Andrews. So the school you go to matters, but so does getting a superior.

So If I am lets say from Russia with LSAT 179 I have almost 0 chance? Could someone confirm?


That's what I'm asking! I understood it as if they only accepted people from Oxbridge among all international applicants. Is that the case? Don't they look at a college rank in a particular country?


Yes. I believe the point was more that within UK schools, that was what Harvard's trend had been. If you go to [I have no idea what the best university in Russia is], I'm sure that carries the same weight.

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heythatslife
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby heythatslife » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:50 am

If you're applying from a non-US undergrad institution, your LSAT generally matters a whole lot more than your GPA. That much you can be quite certain about, because schools still have to include your LSAT for ranking purposes but not your GPA.

HYS do seem to pretty much require a "superior" rating from international candidates for their GPA. As to whether it matters which undergrad you went to, I think the causation is the reverse, in that people who went to top universities tend to be excellent test takers and will generally have good resumes so they are more likely to end up at top law schools, rather than the law schools discriminating on the basis of where people studied. But I am speculating about this point, and so much about the area of international applicant admission is a black box, since the sample sizes are small and stats are not released. I will say I have met multiple people at Harvard who did not necessarily go to the #1 undergrad program in their home countries.

hhrodddd
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby hhrodddd » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:26 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
hhrodddd wrote:
ghytu48 wrote:
grades?? wrote:
hhrodddd wrote:
grades?? wrote: Harvard RARELY takes anyone who did not get a superior from Oxbridge/St Andrews. They take 1 above average it seems a year, with a 175+ lsat, ONLY from Oxbridge/St Andrews. So the school you go to matters, but so does getting a superior.

So If I am lets say from Russia with LSAT 179 I have almost 0 chance? Could someone confirm?


That's what I'm asking! I understood it as if they only accepted people from Oxbridge among all international applicants. Is that the case? Don't they look at a college rank in a particular country?


Yes. I believe the point was more that within UK schools, that was what Harvard's trend had been. If you go to [I have no idea what the best university in Russia is], I'm sure that carries the same weight.


Thank you!

hhrodddd
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:18 am

Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby hhrodddd » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:27 pm

heythatslife wrote:If you're applying from a non-US undergrad institution, your LSAT generally matters a whole lot more than your GPA. That much you can be quite certain about, because schools still have to include your LSAT for ranking purposes but not your GPA.

HYS do seem to pretty much require a "superior" rating from international candidates for their GPA. As to whether it matters which undergrad you went to, I think the causation is the reverse, in that people who went to top universities tend to be excellent test takers and will generally have good resumes so they are more likely to end up at top law schools, rather than the law schools discriminating on the basis of where people studied. But I am speculating about this point, and so much about the area of international applicant admission is a black box, since the sample sizes are small and stats are not released. I will say I have met multiple people at Harvard who did not necessarily go to the #1 undergrad program in their home countries.


Thanks so much!

DownUnder
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby DownUnder » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:31 pm

hhrodddd wrote:
DownUnder wrote:I second the above responses.

I did my undergrad in NZ (3 year bachelors degree) and there was no problem.

Getting a superior is important but not nearly necessary for getting into T14. I had a 'mediocre' above average with a B average but still landed a >50% scholarship at MVPN, with median LSAT.

Remember to work hard and keep your GPA up, but also remember to work hard on the LSAT and get a 170+.

Good luck mate!


Thanks so much!

One more thing: how is your college ranked? I mean, did you go to absolutely a top one? My point is not about getting a superior and a great LSAT score because I haven't even started college yet, and I'll do all the work to get those things + decent extracurriculars, internships etc. My concern is whether a college I attend may be a deciding factor in admission/rejection.

Thank you again!


#1 in New Zealand and probably <#100 in the world. But I really don't think the rank mattered a lot. As long as the college you are going to has sent people off to Masters program or even better, law school in the US, you will be fine.

Could it be a tiebreaker? Yes, but a single extra LSAT point is going to be much more valuable than some college rankings.

Be sure to check with LSAC or whoever to see whether a bachelors degree from that institution will satisfy the degree requirement for law school.

hhrodddd
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby hhrodddd » Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:37 am

DownUnder wrote:
hhrodddd wrote:
DownUnder wrote:I second the above responses.

I did my undergrad in NZ (3 year bachelors degree) and there was no problem.

Getting a superior is important but not nearly necessary for getting into T14. I had a 'mediocre' above average with a B average but still landed a >50% scholarship at MVPN, with median LSAT.

Remember to work hard and keep your GPA up, but also remember to work hard on the LSAT and get a 170+.

Good luck mate!


Thanks so much!

One more thing: how is your college ranked? I mean, did you go to absolutely a top one? My point is not about getting a superior and a great LSAT score because I haven't even started college yet, and I'll do all the work to get those things + decent extracurriculars, internships etc. My concern is whether a college I attend may be a deciding factor in admission/rejection.

Thank you again!


#1 in New Zealand and probably <#100 in the world. But I really don't think the rank mattered a lot. As long as the college you are going to has sent people off to Masters program or even better, law school in the US, you will be fine.

Could it be a tiebreaker? Yes, but a single extra LSAT point is going to be much more valuable than some college rankings.

Be sure to check with LSAC or whoever to see whether a bachelors degree from that institution will satisfy the degree requirement for law school.


Thank you!

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InterLaw
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby InterLaw » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:40 am

I have a 3-y bachelor from continental Europe University. The lsac report says "equivalent to 3 years of us education. Not equivalent to us bachelor". I wrote to 20 ls, everyone but berk says that's okay. I'll have a msc too, and I suggest you to do the same (you'll meet 4 years of uni study). Applying next cycle so we'll see if college rank matters!

hhrodddd
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby hhrodddd » Mon Jun 26, 2017 10:01 am

InterLaw wrote:I have a 3-y bachelor from continental Europe University. The lsac report says "equivalent to 3 years of us education. Not equivalent to us bachelor". I wrote to 20 ls, everyone but berk says that's okay. I'll have a msc too, and I suggest you to do the same (you'll meet 4 years of uni study). Applying next cycle so we'll see if college rank matters!


Thank you so much!
So, let's say... maybe I shouldn't apply to law schools right after my undergrad and instead apply for a 1-year Master's at Oxbridge. If admitted, I'd enrol, get a degree and then apply to law schools. Would it help?

albanach
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby albanach » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:21 pm

DownUnder wrote:Getting a superior is important but not nearly necessary for getting into T14. I had a 'mediocre' above average with a B average but still landed a >50% scholarship at MVPN, with median LSAT.


My experience also. There was no suggestion that my school needed to be at Oxbridge level, not that a first or even 2:1 was required for T14.

Perhaps HYS do look differently, but to be frank they're not reporting it to USNWR and so there's a lot more flexibility for a holistic approach if your LSAT is in the ballpark.

hhrodddd
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby hhrodddd » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:51 am

albanach wrote:
DownUnder wrote:Getting a superior is important but not nearly necessary for getting into T14. I had a 'mediocre' above average with a B average but still landed a >50% scholarship at MVPN, with median LSAT.


My experience also. There was no suggestion that my school needed to be at Oxbridge level, not that a first or even 2:1 was required for T14.

Perhaps HYS do look differently, but to be frank they're not reporting it to USNWR and so there's a lot more flexibility for a holistic approach if your LSAT is in the ballpark.


Thank you!

kdxsam
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby kdxsam » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:01 pm

I can't say for certain, but I am very suspicious of the claim that HYS only admit Oxbridge grads from the UK. Even if that's true, the causation is probably reversed, i.e. students who end up in Oxbridge/St. Andrews, especially American students, are the only ones who apply to American law schools. Most UK students interested in law would just go do LLBs or equivalents.

I am an international student, and I have seen other international students from universities nowhere near as prestigious as Oxbridge accepted by HYS. As others said, I think they judge the university by looking at if it is reputable domestically, and they tend to trust universities that already sent people to their law school (JD or LLM).

ghytu48
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby ghytu48 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:16 am

kdxsam wrote:I can't say for certain, but I am very suspicious of the claim that HYS only admit Oxbridge grads from the UK. Even if that's true, the causation is probably reversed, i.e. students who end up in Oxbridge/St. Andrews, especially American students, are the only ones who apply to American law schools. Most UK students interested in law would just go do LLBs or equivalents.

I am an international student, and I have seen other international students from universities nowhere near as prestigious as Oxbridge accepted by HYS. As others said, I think they judge the university by looking at if it is reputable domestically, and they tend to trust universities that already sent people to their law school (JD or LLM).

But if it is not highly reputable, is it possible to get in to HYSCCN with Superior GPA and lsat in 75 persentile?

kdxsam
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Re: International undergrad: Help!

Postby kdxsam » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:28 am

ghytu48 wrote:But if it is not highly reputable, is it possible to get in to HYSCCN with Superior GPA and lsat in 75 persentile?


I honestly don't know. All the international JD students I met came from universities that are considered "good" in their countries, although not necessarily at the very top. You might try searching on Linkedin, or ask students and professors from your university if anyone matriculated to American law schools previously. They might have a better answer.




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