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Apply now or wait

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:17 pm
by april_ludgate
180/3.93/non-URM/K-JD/basically no softs at all

My goals are federal clerkships and PI/civil rights law. Debt averse, with debt from undergrad, but willing to consider full sticker at HYS because of the doors they can open.

If I wait to apply next cycle when I've finished undergrad, I'll most likely have a higher GPA-- not much, maybe a 3.95-3.96, plus a year of work experience somewhere which my resume sorely needs. However, I would like to go straight through for personal reasons as well as not wanting to start paying off my undergrad debt immediately.

Do you think my chances will significantly improve for HYS as well as scholarships at T6 if I wait to apply next cycle?

(Please don't tell me I should take a year off because I'm not ready or something, I am considering that possibility but that's not the question I'm asking right now.)

Re: Apply now or wait

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:29 pm
by UVA2B
If I haven't told you before (which I think I have), you're a baller applicant.

I will spare you the wait a couple years before you go to law school advice (even though I think it's genuinely good advice), because I also genuinely believe you know what you're doing (the not wanting to pay undergrad debt would normally make me scream at you nicely, but I'll hold off on that).

You are basically guaranteed at H, and I'd be shocked if you didn't get one or two of YS. And given your goals, that could make complete sense. Waiting a year would be fine/good if you found something substantive/meaningful for the career trajectory you want, but it won't affect your admissions chances demonstrably. You're already an elite candidate with a coherent message for what you want.

My only warning would be that you should still apply broadly, because you'll have an embarrassment of riches in the T13, and you can achieve your goals from schools outside of HYS. I'm not saying you can't/shouldn't go to Yale if you get in, but you should force yourself to think about that decision, because it's a monumental one in your career trajectory.

Re: Apply now or wait

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:53 pm
by april_ludgate
UVA2B wrote:
You are basically guaranteed at H, and I'd be shocked if you didn't get one or two of YS. And given your goals, that could make complete sense. Waiting a year would be fine/good if you found something substantive/meaningful for the career trajectory you want, but it won't affect your admissions chances demonstrably. You're already an elite candidate with a coherent message for what you want.

My only warning would be that you should still apply broadly, because you'll have an embarrassment of riches in the T13, and you can achieve your goals from schools outside of HYS. I'm not saying you can't/shouldn't go to Yale if you get in, but you should force yourself to think about that decision, because it's a monumental one in your career trajectory.


Thanks so much for the advice! I am definitely going to blanket the T13 (though hopefully with some fee waivers), especially looking at UVA as it's my home state and places well in clerkships.

So you don't think my utter lack of extracurriculars/work experience will demonstrably harm me? I mostly just did artsy non-leadership stuff and worked part time menial jobs to pay the bills.

Re: Apply now or wait

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:03 pm
by UVA2B
april_ludgate wrote:
UVA2B wrote:
You are basically guaranteed at H, and I'd be shocked if you didn't get one or two of YS. And given your goals, that could make complete sense. Waiting a year would be fine/good if you found something substantive/meaningful for the career trajectory you want, but it won't affect your admissions chances demonstrably. You're already an elite candidate with a coherent message for what you want.

My only warning would be that you should still apply broadly, because you'll have an embarrassment of riches in the T13, and you can achieve your goals from schools outside of HYS. I'm not saying you can't/shouldn't go to Yale if you get in, but you should force yourself to think about that decision, because it's a monumental one in your career trajectory.


Thanks so much for the advice! I am definitely going to blanket the T13 (though hopefully with some fee waivers), especially looking at UVA as it's my home state and places well in clerkships.

So you don't think my utter lack of extracurriculars/work experience will demonstrably harm me? I mostly just did artsy non-leadership stuff and worked part time menial jobs to pay the bills.


It's a reasonable concern, but no it won't harm you substantially. Is it possible you don't get a Mordecai, Dillard, Hamilton, or Ruby* in non-HYS outcomes? I think it's fairly possible, even likely. But you'll still probably get options on that level for what you want to compare against need-based aid within HYS, which is what you should care about. Even when you're thinking about PSLF-eligible jobs, it's preferable to limit the monthly payments and/or risk with the program being expunged.

There is little to worry about in your message and application materials beyond being K-JD. You'll have great options, but if you want help in making those decisions, you know where to find me.

ETA: *I meant each individual award, not that you would strike out from all of them. I think you'll have one or multiple of that type of award

Re: Apply now or wait

Posted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:12 pm
by april_ludgate
UVA2B wrote:It's a reasonable concern, but no it won't harm you substantially. Is it possible you don't get a Mordecai, Dillard, Hamilton, or Ruby* in non-HYS outcomes? I think it's fairly possible, even likely. But you'll still probably get options on that level for what you want to compare against need-based aid within HYS, which is what you should care about. Even when you're thinking about PSLF-eligible jobs, it's preferable to limit the monthly payments and/or risk with the program being expunged.

There is little to worry about in your message and application materials beyond being K-JD. You'll have great options, but if you want help in making those decisions, you know where to find me.

ETA: *I meant each individual award, not that you would strike out from all of them. I think you'll have one or multiple of that type of award


That makes sense. I guess I will apply and see what happens. Thanks again!

Re: Apply now or wait

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:26 am
by allezallez21
Great advice above.

Also, I don't think it's the end of the world if you apply and don't get your ideal outcome. You can always go to into the working world, gain experience and perspective, and apply again in another 1-2 years. I think you're likely to get what you want this cycle, but you've got options and time on your side.

Re: Apply now or wait

Posted: Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:39 am
by rachelac
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