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peanutatl
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Postby peanutatl » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:54 pm

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cavalier1138
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Re: Looking for advice as an international student

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:58 pm

peanutatl wrote:Under the circumstances, should I go ahead and try my chances with top 20 or do not waste my money? I was thinking my chances would be good with Northwestern and even UCLA and UCS but honestly, am I being too optimistic?


Yes. Way too optimistic.

Where do you see yourself working? Human rights law is an extremely competitive field, and a lot of the organizations that work in it only pull students from top schools.

peanutatl
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Postby peanutatl » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:01 pm

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Looking for advice as an international student

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:32 pm

If you already have an MA, and intend to get a PhD, why do you need to do a JD? I can't see any reason to do that. There are many many PhD programs that would allow you to address human rights and legal issues that won't require a JD to enter (and frankly Law is a weird academic field and a PhD in law is sort of a disciplinary red-headed stepchild - it doesn't really have a clear methodology of its own and you might well be better off in a traditional academic discipline).

SInce you have a non-US/Canada degree, your GPA doesn't get reported directly. It gets evaluated on a scale of "superior" to ...other categories I forget (like "above average" to "average" to "poor," but I don't know the exact name of the categories other than superior). It doesn't count toward a given school's GPA statistics and so doesn't help the school especially. So for students with international degrees, the LSAT takes on even greater significance. Frankly, your goals are unrealistic with that LSAT.

peanutatl
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Postby peanutatl » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:04 pm

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Looking for advice as an international student

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:31 pm

Then why do you want a PhD as well? You don't need one to go into policy (US PhD programs are much much better at creating academics, and again, the law PhD is a weird animal that doesn't lead to any particular policy path - you'd be just as well off doing polisci or econ or sociology or the like). To be clear, I say this based on my experience having a PhD.

As for discouragement, my opinions about you doing a PhD has nothing to do with the facts around your application. Feel free to apply with a 163 but I don't think your chances are good at all (and there's a relatively simple solution to that).

peanutatl
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Postby peanutatl » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:36 pm

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UVA2B
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Re: Looking for advice as an international student

Postby UVA2B » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:41 pm

peanutatl wrote:Do you mean I do not have any chances of acceptance at any of the top 20 or any law school at all? I looked at the entering class profile of Northwestern and it looks like 50% of their entering students have an LSAT score in the range of 163-170 that's why I thought I would have a chance there but you are implying I would be wasting my money, right?


Yes, because those statistics show median LSAT of all students, so all that requires is that of their incoming class, half of the class has an LSAT above the reported median, and half have an LSAT below that median (more or less without getting into statistical modeling). What happens in practice is that applicants with lower LSATs (below median LSATs) tend to have higher GPAs. And those with higher LSATs (above median) are a mixture of lower GPAs and higher GPAs on scholarships.

You are unlikely with your current GPA/LSAT profile to go anywhere in the top 20.

There is a whole other discussion to have about your goals with the PhD and JD, but Nony is much better situated to have that conversation with you, so I'll hold back in that part of the conversation.

Edit: just realized your degree is from Turkey, so your chances are even worse since your GPA will be translated by LSAC, meaning all you have is a 25th % LSAT to report. I don't want to say 0%, but it's closer to that than 50% chance.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Looking for advice as an international student

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:48 pm

The thing is, schools want both a good LSAT and a good GPA. Applicants who have LSATs at the low end of the LSAT range also have GPAs at the high end of the GPA range. Your LSAT is at their 25th percentile and your GPA doesn't count. So yes, unfortunately I think Northwestern is extremely unlikely.

I was talking about the top 20. You would absolutely find plenty of schools that would take you - basically if your LSAT is at/over their 75th percentile you have an excellent shot. It looks like that might get you into Iowa in the top 20, but I don't think Iowa is going to really get you where you want to go. (But then, top 20 isn't really a very meaningful designation - go to Iowa if you want to work in Iowa, not because it's in the top 20. If you wanted to work in Ohio, Ohio State would be a much better option even though it's ranked lower than Iowa.)

(partly scooped)

peanutatl
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Postby peanutatl » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:59 pm

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UVA2B
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Re: Looking for advice as an international student

Postby UVA2B » Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:52 pm

peanutatl wrote:I know my GPA doesnt count which might be a good or bad thing, I am still unsure. My school was ranked among the world's top 100 back then and I was among the top 10 students in my department and I was among the top 50 students in my area in the whole country when I took the university exam (a different system) so actually I did really good but I doubt any one from my university applies to law school in the US so there probably is not any point of reference for me. Anyway, none of these matters.

I want to go to school at a big city where I can settle so I am considering applying at schools in New York, Boston, Chicago and maybe in LA (not sure about California in general). Based on your comments, I believe I need to change my focus and try my chances with schools like Brooklyn and Loyola maybe? Maybe Boston College but that might even be a long shot?


Can you outline a proposed career trajectory for what you want to do? Brooklyn JD-->follow-on PhD at [insert university with a PhD in law]-->policy think tank in NYC for human rights? I think you need to rectify your goals with your current options, because they mostly don't align. And they also don't make a ton of sense, considering you want to settle in a big US city. Do you have citizenship in the US? If not, how do you expect to go about sponsorship?

I'm not trying to dissuade you from your goals per se, but the focus on whether you'll get into a [insert rank] law school is pretty secondary to actually achieving your goals.




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