Wedding Photographer cum JD

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glenno
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Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby glenno » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:31 pm

Two questions:

1) Since completing UG in '09, I worked overseas for four years and in the most recent four years have been self-employed. From whom should I request my LORs? Would my previous employer be appropriate? I was never close with or knew any UG professors on a personal level.

2) I first took the LSAT in Feb of '09. I plan on sitting for it again this coming February. Is that too late for the Fall '18 cycle?

A few bullets about me:
- Graduated from business school with a 2.6 GPA
- First LSAT score was a 154—currently PT'ing in the lower 170s
- Asian, 30, married, no kids
- Pretty solid PS
- Will only apply to local schools: GULC (a reach, I know), GW, GM, UMD, American, CUA
- Not particularly worried about tuition; a scholly would be great, but not holding my breath
- Interested in corporate or health law

Answers to the above questions and advice in general would be much appreciated!

cavalier1138
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:34 pm

What's your undergrad GPA? And no grad school professors who could write a letter?

glenno
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby glenno » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:36 pm

Undergrad GPA is 2.6, and did not attend grad school

cavalier1138
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:37 pm

glenno wrote:Undergrad GPA is 2.6, and did not attend grad school


You said you went to business school. Was this an international degree?

glenno
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby glenno » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:40 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
glenno wrote:Undergrad GPA is 2.6, and did not attend grad school


You said you went to business school. Was this an international degree?


No, sorry for the confusion, I only meant to indicate the major I graduated with at a state flagship university.

cavalier1138
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:45 pm

glenno wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
glenno wrote:Undergrad GPA is 2.6, and did not attend grad school


You said you went to business school. Was this an international degree?


No, sorry for the confusion, I only meant to indicate the major I graduated with at a state flagship university.


Ok, so that's a bit of a red flag for me already, but now that's cleared up...

You aren't getting in anywhere decent with a 2.6/154. Certainly not anywhere that will let you practice corporate or health law at any kind of high level. And unless you're independently wealthy (and an idiot about how you spend your money), you absolutely should be particularly worried about tuition. If you don't get a scholarship, you're talking about $200k-$300k in debt for a degree from a bad school.

You should retake the LSAT and prepare to sit out this cycle if you can't raise it in to the mid-high 160s, minimum. Letters of recommendation can come from work supervisors, but if there's any academic source you could ask, that plays much better with admissions.

glenno
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby glenno » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:54 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
glenno wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
glenno wrote:Undergrad GPA is 2.6, and did not attend grad school


You said you went to business school. Was this an international degree?


No, sorry for the confusion, I only meant to indicate the major I graduated with at a state flagship university.


Ok, so that's a bit of a red flag for me already, but now that's cleared up...

You aren't getting in anywhere decent with a 2.6/154. Certainly not anywhere that will let you practice corporate or health law at any kind of high level. And unless you're independently wealthy (and an idiot about how you spend your money), you absolutely should be particularly worried about tuition. If you don't get a scholarship, you're talking about $200k-$300k in debt for a degree from a bad school.

You should retake the LSAT and prepare to sit out this cycle if you can't raise it in to the mid-high 160s, minimum. Letters of recommendation can come from work supervisors, but if there's any academic source you could ask, that plays much better with admissions.


Thanks for your insight.

So as I mentioned above, I do plan on retaking the LSAT this February. I'm PT'ing in the low 170s. So you're saying if I don't get anything above 167 in February, plan on a retake and definitely wait for the Fall '19 cycle? Inversely, if I get a 167 or above this February, it's not too late as a splitter for Fall '18?

glenno
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby glenno » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:56 pm

Also, I wouldn't be able to use the 154 score from 2009 anyway.

cavalier1138
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby cavalier1138 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:57 pm

I'm saying that if you don't get in to a school that gives you a reasonable chance of meeting your goals and won't leave you with too much debt to reasonably pay off, then you wait a cycle and try applying early. You're not a splitter yet, so talking about this hypothetical 167 is pointless until you actually have it. Get your decent LSAT score; then see where things stand.

glenno
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby glenno » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:06 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:I'm saying that if you don't get in to a school that gives you a reasonable chance of meeting your goals and won't leave you with too much debt to reasonably pay off, then you wait a cycle and try applying early. You're not a splitter yet, so talking about this hypothetical 167 is pointless until you actually have it. Get your decent LSAT score; then see where things stand.


Point taken.

However, just to elaborate on my position, waiting to see where things stand is difficult as a self-employed wedding photographer. As you may or may not know, couples hire photographers anywhere from 6-18 months in advance. I don't think it'd be wise to commit to a wedding in 2019 when I'm not sure where I'll be professionally.

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yyyuppp
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby yyyuppp » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:46 pm

you're not likely to get into GULC unless you get something like a 175+, and even then its a long shot. they just seem to have a hard GPA floor around 2.9 or so absent some kind of military service or other unique softs (see LSN). You should also throw an app at UVA given your geographic preference and the fact that LSN indicates they have taken a small number of students with sub 3 GPAs.

if you have to go to a T13ish school (though seems like your priority is more staying around DC) and can get over a 170, then apply to Northwestern. be advised that if you get in it will be with no schooly.

kill the LSAT. thats your best bet for this work out in your favor.

glenno
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby glenno » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:55 pm

yyyuppp wrote:you're not likely to get into GULC unless you get something like a 175+, and even then its a long shot. they just seem to have a hard GPA floor around 2.9 or so absent some kind of military service or other unique softs (see LSN). You should also throw an app at UVA given your geographic preference and the fact that LSN indicates they have taken a small number of students with sub 3 GPAs.

if you have to go to a T13ish school (though seems like your priority is more staying around DC) and can get over a 170, then apply to Northwestern. be advised that if you get in it will be with no schooly.

kill the LSAT. thats your best bet for this work out in your favor.


Yes, definitely want to stay in the DC area.

Thoughts on the Feb LSAT for Fall '18?

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icechicken
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby icechicken » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:10 pm

glenno wrote:Thoughts on the Feb LSAT for Fall '18?


Don't get your hopes up as a splitter. Many schools won't even accept a February test.

You should still take it if you're serious about this plan because then you'll still have July and September (and December, in a pinch) to fall back on if you're dissatisfied with your score.

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yyyuppp
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby yyyuppp » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:30 pm

icechicken wrote:
glenno wrote: Many schools won't even accept a February test.



I'm pretty sure this isn't true. I've heard that the june test even is used by waitlisted folks to get in.

the problem with taking the feb 18 test (if you're applying for fall 2018 admission) is that by the time your score comes in schools are likely done admitting most of their applicants. this might not hurt you with GULC and the like, cuz you're likely to be getting in on the waitlist anyways if at all, but your other schools will have already given out a ton of scholarship money already, so you might get worse deals in that respect or not get in at all if you are on the margins. the principle is usually the earlier you apply the better, and the december LSAT is usually the latest you can take with not being considered a late applier. there is nothing wrong with applying so late, cuz you can always reapply, but understand you might have a better outcome if you do in fact reapply.

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Johann
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby Johann » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:48 pm

might be a bad career switch. why do you think you want the switch?

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icechicken
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby icechicken » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:23 pm

yyyuppp wrote:
icechicken wrote:Many schools won't even accept a February test.


I'm pretty sure this isn't true. I've heard that the june test even is used by waitlisted folks to get in.



I know at least a few T13s outright won't accept one and many more schools (Georgetown and NU, for instance, since they've been mentioned in this thread) advise against it so strongly they essentially say "unless you're an applicant we really need you'll have missed the boat by then". I probably compared apples and oranges since OP's target schools tend to have looser policies than that, but the point is that waiting till March to apply would probably be ruinous.

More importantly, OP: we definitely agree that a February LSAT isn't going to produce the best outcomes and you don't seem to have a particularly good reason to hurry. If you go to law school at all, which, as noted by others, isn't obviously a good idea, you should wait a cycle in order to do as much as possible to overcome that 2.6.

glenno
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby glenno » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:32 am

Thanks, ice and yup, for the insight re: Feb LSAT. I think my aim should still be to take it then, apply, and make a decision whether to move forward based on money offered.

icechicken wrote:If you go to law school at all, which, as noted by others, isn't obviously a good idea


I'm not sure I follow, care to elaborate?

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icechicken
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby icechicken » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:47 am

glenno wrote:I'm not sure I follow, care to elaborate?


1) You have yet to articulate why you want to go to law school, despite being asked by well-meaning people who want to tailor their advice to your goals. It stands to reason that you lack a coherent plan (but please correct me if I'm mistaken there).

2) Law school is expensive, especially because your GPA and (probable) lack of academic LORs will make it very difficult to secure scholarship funding. You've been cagey about whether you'd have to borrow money to finance tuition and living expenses, but if you do, that debt will hang around your neck like a millstone. Even if you don't, that's money you could be spending on a house, or saving for retirement, or saving for your children's educations if you have kids.

3) You have a job already that would be jeopardized by going to law school. If you realize it's not for you and drop out, or graduate and and fail pass the bar exam, or get admitted to the bar and then realize law isn't for you, you'll have to wait months or years to rebuild your photography business because, as you said earlier, clients tend to book well in advance.

4) If you want to move on to another career entirely, that JD will spook non-legal employers because it implies (rightly or wrongly) you're at best flakey and at worst incompetent.

glenno
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby glenno » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:58 am

Johann wrote:might be a bad career switch. why do you think you want the switch?


I'm interested to know why you think it may be a bad career switch.

However, to answer your question, it's truly an amalgamation of several factors. For one, I was interested in law pretty much since high school. I worked a desk job PT (FT during summers) at a 501(c)3 senior year of HS all through college and managed to graduate with 0 debt. I didn't take LSAT prep as seriously as I should have and performed accordingly. Coupled with my abysmal GPA and some highly motivating personal reasons, I decided to move overseas just two weeks after graduation. I wouldn't have done anything differently over the past eight years if I had the chance to do it again as I got to pursue a passion relatively successfully as an editorial and, currently, wedding photographer. Getting the experience of being my own boss (however over-romanticized) out of my system, I now feel I'll be better able to focus on preparing for and excelling in law school.
As far as life after school, I do take comfort in the fact that while I'll be back at a desk job working a 9-to-5 (and probably more), I no longer have to face the uncertainty that comes hand in hand with being self-employed. I expressed interest in corporate or health law above, but my approach is not to limit myself to those areas without knowing much about them, or the myriad other areas for that matter.

glenno
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby glenno » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:20 am

icechicken wrote:
glenno wrote:I'm not sure I follow, care to elaborate?


1) You have yet to articulate why you want to go to law school, despite being asked by well-meaning people who want to tailor their advice to your goals. It stands to reason that you lack a coherent plan (but please correct me if I'm mistaken there).

2) Law school is expensive, especially because your GPA and (probable) lack of academic LORs will make it very difficult to secure scholarship funding. You've been cagey about whether you'd have to borrow money to finance tuition and living expenses, but if you do, that debt will hang around your neck like a millstone. Even if you don't, that's money you could be spending on a house, or saving for retirement, or saving for your children's educations if you have kids.

3) You have a job already that would be jeopardized by going to law school. If you realize it's not for you and drop out, or graduate and and fail pass the bar exam, or get admitted to the bar and then realize law isn't for you, you'll have to wait months or years to rebuild your photography business because, as you said earlier, clients tend to book well in advance.

4) If you want to move on to another career entirely, that JD will spook non-legal employers because it implies (rightly or wrongly) you're at best flakey and at worst incompetent.


I was typing my response above to Johann before seeing this, but I believe I've touched on point #1. To the remainder:
2) As you can probably tell from my previous reply, I am debt averse. Fortunately, I've saved enough over the years to responsibly make this decision to invest in furthering my education. Anecdotally, my wife, a medical professional, and I moved into a newly-built home this summer, our only debt obligation. Also, no kids. Ever.

3) This is true and what is cause for most of my anxiety, for the lack of a better word, as currently I'm already having to turn down interested couples.

4) I'm certain about a career in law. I know that one of the areas I failed to mention interest in is in academia. Salary is not a motivating factor for me. I personally know a few working lawyers in various fields in various years removed from LS. Speaking with them, hearing about the ups and downs, I definitely see myself practicing in one capacity or another.

Thank you for your comprehensive points, I appreciate it, truly. Writing down my thoughts in this manner rather than looping endlessly in my mind is cathartic.

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icechicken
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby icechicken » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:56 am

To be clear: this might in fact be a good path for you, but law school is a big decision for anybody and your circumstances demand even more caution than usual.

glenno wrote:2) As you can probably tell from my previous reply, I am debt averse. Fortunately, I've saved enough over the years to responsibly make this decision to invest in furthering my education. Anecdotally, my wife, a medical professional, and I moved into a newly-built home this summer, our only debt obligation. Also, no kids. Ever.


Investments are only sound if you can expect a reasonable return. Frankly, for mediocre or worse law schools, the expected ROI on tuition (and, since you already have a career, the opportunity cost of putting that on hold for 3 years) is pretty grim. If you can't get a fairly sizable tuition discount, then you'd be better off putting that money in a regular investment vehicle. This isn't chump change; the expense of law school, alone, could result in you and your wife retiring years later than otherwise.

3) This is true and what is cause for most of my anxiety, for the lack of a better word, as currently I'm already having to turn down interested couples.


That strikes me as unwise. I would keep doing business at the same rate until you get accepted to a law school at a price you're comfortable with. You might have to cancel on people but they'll have 3+ months to make new plans. That's perfectly reasonable. Even if some people are vindictive and leave you bad Yelp reviews or something, you're leaving the industry at that point anyway, so who cares?

4) I'm certain about a career in law. I know that one of the areas I failed to mention interest in is in academia. Salary is not a motivating factor for me. I personally know a few working lawyers in various fields in various years removed from LS. Speaking with them, hearing about the ups and downs, I definitely see myself practicing in one capacity or another.


I think you're underestimating your chances of being totally unemployed if you go to a mediocre law school. It's a real possibility, no matter how talented and hardworking you are.

(Also; academia is basically impossible given your background. I don't mean to put you down by saying that; the vast majority of Harvard Law graduates don't have the credentials for legal academia either.)

glenno
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby glenno » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:29 pm

icechicken wrote:To be clear: this might in fact be a good path for you, but law school is a big decision for anybody and your circumstances demand even more caution than usual.

glenno wrote:2) As you can probably tell from my previous reply, I am debt averse. Fortunately, I've saved enough over the years to responsibly make this decision to invest in furthering my education. Anecdotally, my wife, a medical professional, and I moved into a newly-built home this summer, our only debt obligation. Also, no kids. Ever.


Investments are only sound if you can expect a reasonable return. Frankly, for mediocre or worse law schools, the expected ROI on tuition (and, since you already have a career, the opportunity cost of putting that on hold for 3 years) is pretty grim. If you can't get a fairly sizable tuition discount, then you'd be better off putting that money in a regular investment vehicle. This isn't chump change; the expense of law school, alone, could result in you and your wife retiring years later than otherwise.

3) This is true and what is cause for most of my anxiety, for the lack of a better word, as currently I'm already having to turn down interested couples.


That strikes me as unwise. I would keep doing business at the same rate until you get accepted to a law school at a price you're comfortable with. You might have to cancel on people but they'll have 3+ months to make new plans. That's perfectly reasonable. Even if some people are vindictive and leave you bad Yelp reviews or something, you're leaving the industry at that point anyway, so who cares?

4) I'm certain about a career in law. I know that one of the areas I failed to mention interest in is in academia. Salary is not a motivating factor for me. I personally know a few working lawyers in various fields in various years removed from LS. Speaking with them, hearing about the ups and downs, I definitely see myself practicing in one capacity or another.


I think you're underestimating your chances of being totally unemployed if you go to a mediocre law school. It's a real possibility, no matter how talented and hardworking you are.

(Also; academia is basically impossible given your background. I don't mean to put you down by saying that; the vast majority of Harvard Law graduates don't have the credentials for legal academia either.)


Thank you for taking the time to share your opinion.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:33 pm

There’s a lot of debate about what schools actually do give you a shot at academia, but unless you’re also getting a PhD, or you want to teach clinical stuff (which requires practice experience first), you will have a REALLY hard time getting an academic position from those schools.

glenno
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby glenno » Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:40 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:There’s a lot of debate about what schools actually do give you a shot at academia, but unless you’re also getting a PhD, or you want to teach clinical stuff (which requires practice experience first), you will have a REALLY hard time getting an academic position from those schools.


Good to know, thanks.

whodareswins
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Re: Wedding Photographer cum JD

Postby whodareswins » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:45 pm

Wedding photographer cum???




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