how much does a masters degree help

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jbriggs
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how much does a masters degree help

Postby jbriggs » Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:36 pm

Hello,
I was wondering how much having a masters degree will help in law school applications. I had a 3.2 gpa at Loyola Marymount and should (knock on wood) graduate with a master's degree in Sports Management next summer. I have not started the program but hope to work hard (which I didn't really do at all undergrad) and get upward of a 3.6-3.7. How much would this help me in relation to top schools , do some schools weigh this more than others and lastly, can I use my graduate GPA as my applying GPA so I don't have to get a perfect 180. My practice test range has been in the 164-171 range after taking 6 or so tests, any input, help or advice you have, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you and sorry if this is a long post

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doctorgonzo
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby doctorgonzo » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:00 pm

Having a Master's degree helps only slightly. The GPA you get in your Master's program won't matter at all. The only GPA that matters for law school is your undergrad GPA as computed by LSAC. You can't make up for a low undergrad GPA with an advanced degree.

Archon
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby Archon » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:18 pm

I disagree. I think a Masters can be an asset, especially at schools that prefer more professional candidates at the expense of an undergraduate GPA. Even though your Master's GPA won't be considered in LSAC's average, nor will it benefit the schools by being reported in rankings, I think admissions committees have to consider it. If your graduate GPA differs considerably from your undergraduate and you can demonstrate convincingly that your second record should be what they judge you by, then it can be an advantage.

tsukasa
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby tsukasa » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:18 pm

doctorgonzo wrote:Having a Master's degree helps only slightly. The GPA you get in your Master's program won't matter at all. The only GPA that matters for law school is your undergrad GPA as computed by LSAC. You can't make up for a low undergrad GPA with an advanced degree.


i bet it's a cool soft though~

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booby87
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby booby87 » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:28 pm

There is only so much a graduate degree can help. I agree it is a good soft, but it can't fix your undergrad GPA. I have a friend who has an almost perfect GPA in their master's program but they still got locked out of the t14 with their low undergrad GPA (that is with a 173 LSAT). I'm sure their grad program and LSAT helped a lot because this person is attending a top 20 school, but it didn't make up for everything.

tsukasa
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby tsukasa » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:46 pm

booby87 wrote:There is only so much a graduate degree can help. I agree it is a good soft, but it can't fix your undergrad GPA. I have a friend who has an almost perfect GPA in their master's program but they still got locked out of the t14 with their low undergrad GPA (that is with a 173 LSAT). I'm sure their grad program and LSAT helped a lot because this person is attending a top 20 school, but it didn't make up for everything.


how about a PhD (not that I have either~)

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doctorgonzo
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby doctorgonzo » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:49 pm

tsukasa wrote:how about a PhD (not that I have either~)


A PhD is also a soft. Advanced degree programs have pretty lax grading standards, and law schools know this. You can't blow away adcomms with a high GPA in an advanced degree program. Advanced degrees help, but they are not going to get you into a school far above your LSAT/undergrad GPA stats.

uclabruins
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby uclabruins » Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:00 pm

Most advanced degrees won't be able to completely offset your UG GPA or LSAT but will help the admissions committee decide if you are neither an auto-reject nor auto-accept for a particular school. An advanced degree can definitely help splitters who have low UG GPA, but a high LSAT. In those cases, it could take some weight off the UG GPA.

jscreep
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby jscreep » Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:44 am

booby87 wrote:There is only so much a graduate degree can help. I agree it is a good soft, but it can't fix your undergrad GPA. I have a friend who has an almost perfect GPA in their master's program but they still got locked out of the t14 with their low undergrad GPA (that is with a 173 LSAT). I'm sure their grad program and LSAT helped a lot because this person is attending a top 20 school, but it didn't make up for everything.


This is where recommenders and PS come into play. In my opinion, a grad degree will help you, however, it has to be a meaningful one and not some random year of taking classes for fun.

How will sports management help with your law degree? Do you want to be a sports agent?
Only reason I see the benefit of it. Now Economics.......different story.

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sherman
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby sherman » Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:52 am

Archon wrote:I disagree. I think a Masters can be an asset, especially at schools that prefer more professional candidates at the expense of an undergraduate GPA. Even though your Master's GPA won't be considered in LSAC's average, nor will it benefit the schools by being reported in rankings, I think admissions committees have to consider it. If your graduate GPA differs considerably from your undergraduate and you can demonstrate convincingly that your second record should be what they judge you by, then it can be an advantage.


it was a pretty big factor for me as grad school grades being great, and ug being above average

my lsat was in bottom third for my law class

the soft factors are not always that "soft"

to get into any law school, you have to be more than just an undergraduate gpa and an lsat score

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vasiok
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby vasiok » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:00 am

My grad (MS) GPA is around 0.7 higher then my UG GPA, but certainly not because of easier class loads.

It was funny looking at 40 out of 100 class average on a non-curved test for a course where you had to get a B(80) or higher to actually graduate.


Hopefully you guys are right about it moving focus away from UG GPA.

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sherman
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby sherman » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:06 am

vasiok wrote:My grad (MS) GPA is around 0.7 higher then my UG GPA (3.9ish), but certainly not because of easier class loads.

It was funny looking at 40 out of 100 class average on a non-curved test for a course where you had to get a B or higher to actually graduate.


Hopefully you guys are right about it moving focus away from UG GPA.


i am currently an active graduate student with 3.75 gpa in mba school and at lowest could graduate at 3.30 if i blow the remaining classes, and my graduating undergraduate gpa was 3.36

those helped my bad lsat score, and i got into law school anyway where i am right now...well, on break since we finished up the final last night...whew!!

if my two gpa factors were low, i would have never even considered law school

..........

from talking to law admin staff, teachers, deans, judicial clerks, and lawyers, it seems the lsat is 40 percent of the consideration, undergraduate gpa 35 percent, and lor/soft factors only 25 percent

but that 25 percent, while some may write it off, can make the difference between law school and no law school

..........

in another thread, some people discounted doing military service after law school, and how that would affect one's chances at good large firm work later

going jag officer is a soft factor that can make a young lawyer stand out when trying to crack junior partner status by age 35 or 40
Last edited by sherman on Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

Archon
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby Archon » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:10 am

Just out of curiosity, sherman, what school do you attend?

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playhero
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby playhero » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:13 am

Johnny I'll take near nothing for 2000.

Seriously though, not to knock your masters or anything, but most masters are not a big soft in any way. I think the fact it's in Sports Management will make it count even less so.


vasiok wrote:My grad (MS) GPA is around 0.7 higher then my UG GPA, but certainly not because of easier class loads.

It was funny looking at 40 out of 100 class average on a non-curved test for a course where you had to get a B(80) or higher to actually graduate.


Hopefully you guys are right about it moving focus away from UG GPA.


It won't. One of the reasons law schools don't weight a masters heavily, is that near all people do better in their masters program than their ug.

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vasiok
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby vasiok » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:17 am

playhero wrote:Johnny I'll take near nothing for 2000.

Seriously though, not to knock your masters or anything, but most masters are not a big soft in any way. I think the fact it's in Sports Management will make it count even less so.

It won't. One of the reasons law schools don't weight a masters heavily, is that near all people do better in their masters program than their ug.


Oh well, not a big loss :mrgreen:

Archon
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby Archon » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:26 am

I think there are really two schools of thought on this. A Master's, at worst (and if relevant to your degree), is an average to strong soft factor, especially if you went to a top tier school and performed considerably better than your UGPA. It's clear that some schools weigh it more heavily and others weigh it less heavily. But to suggest that a master's means nothing is a ludicrous notion, especially if the only argument is that "people do better in graduate degrees." Frankly, this disparity exists from difficult top tier and easy top tier schools, as well difficult top public and easy top public.

Anyone who tells you that an adcom will not consider your graduate level performance has no more clue than someone who says that they will only consider your graduate level performance. Get over yourselves, masters haters. Or better yet, go get a graduate degree from a top tier yourself and then tell me that your program was easy.

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sherman
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby sherman » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:28 am

Archon wrote:Just out of curiosity, sherman, what school do you attend?


just a humble regional one...something people call TTT, TTTT, or whatever

if i upped my low lsat by 4 points, then my gpa and soft factors may have gotten me into a TT (tier 2), but i wasn't willing to commute 3 hours to that school and 3 hours back from my house/wife/business/dog/aging parents

i am established and middle aged and just can't get up and move in with 21 year old roomies in a slum district in sacto :)

if i upped my lsat by 10 points, i would have gone near the bottom of tier 1 but that would be a pipe dream for me :) ... and also a 2 1/2 commute one way, so that would be out

when i take the lsat at home, i score that 10 points higher, but it is quite different when you take the real lsat...at least for me

i applaud anybody who can get into a tier 1 school where you need at least a 3.1 gpa-3.8 gpa depending where on tier 1, and a 155 lsat-167 lsat, also depending on where on that tier, and the combination of lower gpa/higher lsat for low tier 1 or higher gpa/lower lsat for low tier 1

high tier 1 is high gpa (around 3.8), high lsat (around 167), and great soft factors, especially for HYS

i have heard about a 3.6 and a sub-167 for T14s like boalt, michigan, and others, but soft factors must have been strong

and anyway, i am sure publics like #6 or #7 boalt and #9 michigan are really the same quality as those famous private law schools... (over the last 15 years since ug, i have looked at us news, newsweek, time, and others and some years boalt was named best public law school and some years michigan was voted best public law school in rankings and/or articles)
Last edited by sherman on Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

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RonSantoRules
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby RonSantoRules » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:32 am

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Last edited by RonSantoRules on Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sherman
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby sherman » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:37 am

RonSantoRules wrote:I have a master's degree. I also had a high GPA in my master's program. For this upcoming year, I did not get in anywhere that my LSAT and undergrad GPA did not indicate that I would. Infer from that information what you wish.


what was your ug gpa and your lsat? and where did you not get into?

just curious if you feel like sharing

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RonSantoRules
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby RonSantoRules » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:41 am

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Last edited by RonSantoRules on Tue Jul 29, 2008 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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sherman
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby sherman » Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:49 am

RonSantoRules wrote:
sherman wrote:
what was your ug gpa and your lsat? and where did you not get into?

just curious if you feel like sharing


I've got the same screenname on Law School Numbers if you want to check it out. All info is posted there.


cool, thanks

anyway, i hope you got into an appropriate law school for your grades

sometimes, for some reason, somebody gets a great ug gpa and a great lsat, and can't even get into a tier 2 school...i attribute that to soft factors

i know a girl who graduated with honors from cal and killed the lsat with a high 160s and didn't even get into a tier 2, but went to a tier 3 where i think she must be the highest lsat/gpa person there

of course, due to commute, familty, etc, that same tier 3 school has people with ug's from the ivies, stanford, cal, and baby ivies
Last edited by sherman on Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jbriggs
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Re: how much does a masters degree help

Postby jbriggs » Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:44 pm

thank you for the input everyone, sounds like it won't hurt but I should not count on it helping me much if at all
i have a strong background in college athletics, 3.2 from LMU as history major if I get a mid 160s to hopefully a 170, what law schools would be the top of the line as far as possibilities for me. Trust me, I don't think I deserve to get into a better school than I qualify for, just wondering what some good reaches might be
Since Im from the bay area, how would I look for UC Davis or Hastings (probably not great)
I could be totally wrong but I was thinking Santa Clara and Loyola would be on the safer side for me
again, I would appreciate any input, thanks




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