3.5/168 engineer looking at Midwest law school options

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BigBear85

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3.5/168 engineer looking at Midwest law school options

Postby BigBear85 » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:01 pm

Hey TLS,

I know this has been asked many times before, but I would greatly appreciate any color on my particular profile.
I am a 3.5/168, undergrad degree in bioengineering from a t15 school. I also have a masters degree and am interested in BigLaw IP litigation. I have DEEP ties to the Chicago area and I am wondering if I might stand a shot at Chicago/NU/Michigan if I get my app in in the next few weeks? How about the lower half of T14 in general?

Also, would it be appropriate to talk about graduating from Chicago's public school system (K-12) in my personal statement, in order to shed some light on my background/diversity, particularly for the Midwest schools?

Thank you very much for your thoughts and have a Happy New Year!!

lucretius_

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Re: 3.5/168 engineer looking at Midwest law school options

Postby lucretius_ » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:25 am

BigBear85 wrote:Hey TLS,

I know this has been asked many times before, but I would greatly appreciate any color on my particular profile.
I am a 3.5/168, undergrad degree in bioengineering from a t15 school. I also have a masters degree and am interested in BigLaw IP litigation. I have DEEP ties to the Chicago area and I am wondering if I might stand a shot at Chicago/NU/Michigan if I get my app in in the next few weeks? How about the lower half of T14 in general?

Also, would it be appropriate to talk about graduating from Chicago's public school system (K-12) in my personal statement, in order to shed some light on my background/diversity, particularly for the Midwest schools?

Thank you very much for your thoughts and have a Happy New Year!!


Michigan is definitely within reach with your stats. I would get out that app ASAP, with a solid optional essay to boot. Northwestern is on the table as well with your background, though that UGPA may be your downfall. I think you may have passed the deadline for an interview, but I would do everything you can to find an interview opportunity and play up your connections. UChi is probably a no go, but apply anyway and see what comes.

I would recommend looking at both WUSTL and UIUC as well. Illinois has some pretty great Chicago placement and those numbers would bag you a good scholarship, which would help to minimize the risk. You should be essentially an auto-admit as WUSTL with a scholarship most likely >50% tuition.

Talking about Chicago public schools would be an okay choice, though a harder sell after you've already completed a Master's degree. It's just too removed from your (semi)adult life to make a huge impact.

However, if you are a URM, everything I've said is moot. All school's are on the table and a well-crafted essay about graduating from Chicago public schools could go a long way.

enoca

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Re: 3.5/168 engineer looking at Midwest law school options

Postby enoca » Tue Jan 02, 2018 1:51 pm

If you can wait a year, you should retake and ED to NW. If you can add even a few points, you have a pretty decent shot at the 150k, which is definitely your best option if you want to stay local to Chicago (pretty sure your GPA is a no go at UChicago).

Image

Looking in the details, a couple of those folks got bumped to regular decision with lesser money, but everybody got in.

A lady theoretically even got it with your current numbers a couple years ago:

http://lawschoolnumbers.com/Brightwhites456

enoca

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Re: 3.5/168 engineer looking at Midwest law school options

Postby enoca » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:09 pm

Looking at it a little more, I would probably recommend shooting for next year regardless because I think you are gonna be a bit late for your numbers at this point. I think you'll be looking at a lot of waitlists. Take a look at the difference between getting in by December vs January on for your current numbers:

Image

Image

You'll have a much better shot at Michigan if you get in an early app with a "Why Michigan?" essay.

But seriously, from personal experience, retake if you really want Chicago. I had almost your exact same numbers, retook, and improved from a 168 to 174 on my third try. I went from the t20 to the t6 with decent money on the table.

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UVA2B

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Re: 3.5/168 engineer looking at Midwest law school options

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:11 pm

I’m not going to mine the underlying data, but doesn’t that show they won’t be getting the ED scholarship? It seems they all got rolled to RD and got a still pretty sizable scholarship. NU does that fairly regularly.

That said, NU for cheap is definitely the right call with ties to Chicago. Michigan would also be perfectly fine at the right price.

This isn’t something that you should distinctly rely on, but your background/career goals change the outcome calculus. You won’t have a problem getting patent litigation with that background and decent performance at any T13 (and possibly somewhat lower than that. I’d shoot an app to UIUC for the purpose of comparing for your best options).

A couple LSAT points would definitely help, especially since there has been a sizable increase in high LSAT scores this cycle. Just something to consider.

Edit: this was in response to the first post above, not the follow-on post.

enoca

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Re: 3.5/168 engineer looking at Midwest law school options

Postby enoca » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:14 pm

UVA2B wrote:I’m not going to mine the underlying data, but doesn’t that show they won’t be getting the ED scholarship? It seems they all got rolled to RD and got a still pretty sizable scholarship.


5 of 7 are listed at the full 150k, with 2 getting rolled to 60k regular decision.

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UVA2B

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Re: 3.5/168 engineer looking at Midwest law school options

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:17 pm

enoca wrote:
UVA2B wrote:I’m not going to mine the underlying data, but doesn’t that show they won’t be getting the ED scholarship? It seems they all got rolled to RD and got a still pretty sizable scholarship.


5 of 7 are listed at the full 150k, with 2 getting rolled to 60k regular decision.


Gotcha. Thanks for doing what I was too lazy to do myself. 8)

goldenbear2020

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Re: 3.5/168 engineer looking at Midwest law school options

Postby goldenbear2020 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:28 pm

Your GPA is too low for UChicago, and Michigan's LSAT median is up to 169 now, so both of those are pretty unlikely. You might squeak into NU, but likely with no scholarship money. I would throw apps at the lower T13, GULC, WUSTL, and UIUC to maximize chances of scholarship offers for negotiation purposes.

BigBear85

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Re: 3.5/168 engineer looking at Midwest law school options

Postby BigBear85 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:07 pm

Thank you all for the thoughts. I will incorporate the feedback and apply strategically this cycle, and also think about retaking the LSAT. My only dilemma about waiting a year is that, if I am fortunate enough to get into a lower T13 school even without any scholarship money (or potentially even lower) and fortunate enough to get a position at a Big Law firm, my opportunity cost of waiting a year could literally be one year of Big Law salary. As a previous responder mentioned, with my background it seems like I could get a IP Lit BigLaw job if I work hard to pursue that goal (this is what I have heard from some others as well). Am I thinking about this trade-off correctly, ie. that it isn't necessarily the best option to just wait a year and apply, even if I were to raise my LSAT, given my career goals?

One follow-up question please: I know everyone here says your GPA is your GPA for admissions purposes, regardless of what you study. But isn't it probable to outperform my LSN predictions, if my 3.5 was in major where the grading standards are simply different from humanities, and that GPA is actually considered quite respectable for my course of study? Again, I know the consensus here is "3.5 is a 3.5". Is that really the case, or would AdComs view it more favorably?

Really appreciate all the helpful responses. Thank you!

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UVA2B

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Re: 3.5/168 engineer looking at Midwest law school options

Postby UVA2B » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:17 pm

Your GPA is what it is for admissions purposes. It's not that things like major are never considered in comparing GPAs of applicants, but more that it could act as a tiebreaker between two otherwise completely equal candidates (which rarely exist in the holistic part of admissions review). You should expect to perform in line with your numbers, and nothing more.

Re: the opportunity cost of one year of pay: that's short-sighted because you are working under an assumption that everything will work out before it ever does, and more importantly, you're not accurately assessing how much more you'll end up paying in tuition for the same diploma if you waited, retook, and got a much more significant scholarship. $100k savings in loans next year should far outweigh the single additional year of $180k that is likely to only last for 2-5 years in a big firm. Saving on debt is almost always the better call than going today. Now, if you decide to take a lower ranked school this year that offers that level of scholarship, so be it. You've traded off room for error in law school performance for going now for the same price. That's simple cost-benefit analysis, and only you can decide whether you'd rather be relatively assured of an outcome at the higher ranked school or are willing to take the relative risk of a lower ranked school that gives you less room for error in law school grades and relies much more heavily on your bioengineering background. If you're considering UIUC for free this year vs. NU for free (or close to it) next year, then it's within the realm of sound decisions to take UIUC this year. But don't take NU at sticker this year when you can save that money while working for a year and getting a better LSAT. You'll thank yourself down the road. Trust me.

EminentDumain

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Re: 3.5/168 engineer looking at Midwest law school options

Postby EminentDumain » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:38 pm

BigBear85 wrote:One follow-up question please: I know everyone here says your GPA is your GPA for admissions purposes, regardless of what you study. But isn't it probable to outperform my LSN predictions, if my 3.5 was in major where the grading standards are simply different from humanities, and that GPA is actually considered quite respectable for my course of study? Again, I know the consensus here is "3.5 is a 3.5". Is that really the case, or would AdComs view it more favorably?

Really appreciate all the helpful responses. Thank you!

STEM major with a few years WE at a T1 here. I think your major helps a little, but LSN is probably still a relatively accurate guide. Your masters might help your softs, but from a pure GPA standpoint, it won't be huge. My roommate with a finance major and no WE has the same LSAT as me, and a .15 better GPA than me, and we have the same scholarship.

I also don't think I outperformed my LSN at all, except for my safety school, which gave me a bigger scholarship than I expected.

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rokiv

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Re: 3.5/168 engineer looking at Midwest law school options

Postby rokiv » Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:30 pm

goldenbear2020 wrote:Your GPA is too low for UChicago, and Michigan's LSAT median is up to 169 now, so both of those are pretty unlikely. You might squeak into NU, but likely with no scholarship money. I would throw apps at the lower T13, GULC, WUSTL, and UIUC to maximize chances of scholarship offers for negotiation purposes.


I think this pretty much sums it up with your current numbers. I would only add, that if you're midwest (particularly Chicago) or bust ND is comparable to WUSTL in terms of biglaw/fed clerk numbers and South Bend is much cheaper than St. Louis.

BigBear85

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Re: 3.5/168 engineer looking at Midwest law school options

Postby BigBear85 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:59 pm

rokiv wrote:
goldenbear2020 wrote:Your GPA is too low for UChicago, and Michigan's LSAT median is up to 169 now, so both of those are pretty unlikely. You might squeak into NU, but likely with no scholarship money. I would throw apps at the lower T13, GULC, WUSTL, and UIUC to maximize chances of scholarship offers for negotiation purposes.


I think this pretty much sums it up with your current numbers. I would only add, that if you're midwest (particularly Chicago) or bust ND is comparable to WUSTL in terms of biglaw/fed clerk numbers and South Bend is much cheaper than St. Louis.


Thanks for all the helpful thoughts. Just to make sure I understand, if I apply super early next cycle (ie for Fall 2019 entry) with my current numbers, then I would have a better shot at Chicago, NU, Michigan, although the chances for all 3 are still low with the given LSAT?

icechicken

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Re: 3.5/168 engineer looking at Midwest law school options

Postby icechicken » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:56 pm

BigBear85 wrote:Thanks for all the helpful thoughts. Just to make sure I understand, if I apply super early next cycle (ie for Fall 2019 entry) with my current numbers, then I would have a better shot at Chicago, NU, Michigan, although the chances for all 3 are still low with the given LSAT?


There's probably a marginal benefit at Northwestern/Michigan but it will be far outweighed by even one more point on the LSAT. Your GPA makes Chicago tough no matter what you do; your best chance there would be to substantially improve that GPA and apply at the beginning of a new cycle.



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