Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

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Anonymous User
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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Anyone else apply this year? Submitted my app recently and waiting to hear back. Just thought I'd bump for anyone else interested or who may have additional input about the program.

I've applied from a T14. I'm wondering if they'll take me since I think I'm just below median here. They say that we'll hear back at any point from now until February 16 but I'm guessing we'll all know on that same date.

Curious to know if they cover air transportation to the conferences? I thought they did but when I spoke to someone in the organization, they were less clear.


I've done the Blackstone fellowship, and yes, they do cover all airfare (4 flights altogether) and your boarding and lodging at the conference. Depending on the city/placement, they may also cover your lodging and food for your internship placement. Pretty generous, especially in combination with the stipend.

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 29, 2015 11:12 am

Any chance at below median from BC/BU/Fordham/ND type of strong regional school with arguably excellent essays / LORs / Previous experiences?

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:38 pm

Fair warning: ADF markets itself as pluralistic, but nothing could be farther from the truth -- this is about as hardcore religious right fundamentalist as it gets. And it's not just a little homophobia -- I'm talking things like required reading that proclaims "the gay plague" as God's punishment for sodomy. Like this is evolution-denying, earth-is-6000-years-old, extreme-as-it-gets fundamentalism.

If that's your cup of tea, it's a free $6000, a solid internship, and a summer vacation in the Ritz Phoenix with a trip to Sedona and the Grand Canyon.

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 30, 2015 12:08 am

As someone who's done BLF, I'd very respectfully disagree. There's a lot of pluralism, disagreement, and intelligent discussion.

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:11 pm

Anonymous User wrote:As someone who's done BLF, I'd very respectfully disagree. There's a lot of pluralism, disagreement, and intelligent discussion.


I did it too; this wasn't my experience. ADF has an agenda, and they do try to push it. You will spend days listening to folks talk about why gays shouldn't marry and why trans people are mentally ill; there are no speakers representing the other side. I'd agree that there is more diversity among the interns/fellows than among the speakers or ADF staff.

fivestarfolds
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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby fivestarfolds » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:30 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Fair warning: ADF markets itself as pluralistic, but nothing could be farther from the truth -- this is about as hardcore religious right fundamentalist as it gets. And it's not just a little homophobia -- I'm talking things like required reading that proclaims "the gay plague" as God's punishment for sodomy. Like this is evolution-denying, earth-is-6000-years-old, extreme-as-it-gets fundamentalism.

If that's your cup of tea, it's a free $6000, a solid internship, and a summer vacation in the Ritz Phoenix with a trip to Sedona and the Grand Canyon.

As "hardcore religious right fundamentalist as it gets"? You obviously haven't met my relatives.

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 31, 2015 10:19 pm

Speaking of their political agenda, does being a BLF blacklist you anywhere (outside activist groups on the other side of the aisle, of course)? Will non-political employers look at my resume and go "oh look, a BLF right-wing nutjob" and proceed to toss it in the trash"?

I applied primarily because (1) the political issues within the law interest me and it'd be fun to talk about them and get paid to do it, (2) I'm religious and lean conservative, and (3) the stipend + internship opportunities sound great. I just don't want to be permanently labeled or forever associated with a group that some might now or one day think of as a hate group or something.

Final questions: They talk about being holistic, but what kind of role do grades play? I know the sample size is small, but is there any sort of "auto-admit" GPA/rank from any range of schools?

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:29 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Speaking of their political agenda, does being a BLF blacklist you anywhere (outside activist groups on the other side of the aisle, of course)? Will non-political employers look at my resume and go "oh look, a BLF right-wing nutjob" and proceed to toss it in the trash"?

I applied primarily because (1) the political issues within the law interest me and it'd be fun to talk about them and get paid to do it, (2) I'm religious and lean conservative, and (3) the stipend + internship opportunities sound great. I just don't want to be permanently labeled or forever associated with a group that some might now or one day think of as a hate group or something.

Final questions: They talk about being holistic, but what kind of role do grades play? I know the sample size is small, but is there any sort of "auto-admit" GPA/rank from any range of schools?


I was median at Penn and got it. I think pretty much everyone from Penn who applied got it. Don't know if that helps.

I "lean conservative" too but --shocker-- I support gay marriage, and was made to feel like a pariah.

As to your main question, yes, you will be labeled as an uber-religious right person if folks find out about it, and that would get you into trouble most places, but there's no reason to put that on your resume or anything (list your actual internship, not the other stuff), so I don't know why they'd find out.

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 03, 2015 10:03 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Speaking of their political agenda, does being a BLF blacklist you anywhere (outside activist groups on the other side of the aisle, of course)? Will non-political employers look at my resume and go "oh look, a BLF right-wing nutjob" and proceed to toss it in the trash"?

I applied primarily because (1) the political issues within the law interest me and it'd be fun to talk about them and get paid to do it, (2) I'm religious and lean conservative, and (3) the stipend + internship opportunities sound great. I just don't want to be permanently labeled or forever associated with a group that some might now or one day think of as a hate group or something.

Final questions: They talk about being holistic, but what kind of role do grades play? I know the sample size is small, but is there any sort of "auto-admit" GPA/rank from any range of schools?


I was median at Penn and got it. I think pretty much everyone from Penn who applied got it. Don't know if that helps.

I "lean conservative" too but --shocker-- I support gay marriage, and was made to feel like a pariah.

As to your main question, yes, you will be labeled as an uber-religious right person if folks find out about it, and that would get you into trouble most places, but there's no reason to put that on your resume or anything (list your actual internship, not the other stuff), so I don't know why they'd find out.


Thanks for the input, and that's what I'm concerned about. This may be moot if I don't get accepted but it's worth considering now since they seem to want to move quickly with internship stuff.

fivestarfolds
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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby fivestarfolds » Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:34 pm

Twould seem that the communiques are being dispatched.

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 2:43 pm

fivestarfolds wrote:Twould seem that the communiques are being dispatched.


Wait list here (didn't know they had one). Within top 5% at a T1 for future reference.

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:59 pm

Yeah I was also waitlisted but I think they already filled up all of the spots...I'm in the top 10% of my class in a t14 school just for future reference for next year's applicants. For those who got accepted, congrats!

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:01 am

Anonymous User wrote:Yeah I was also waitlisted but I think they already filled up all of the spots...I'm in the top 10% of my class in a t14 school just for future reference for next year's applicants. For those who got accepted, congrats!


That makes me feel less bad about getting waitlisted. That said, don't lose hope because I got off it this week. Based on my conversations with them, it seems their preferences are significantly based in geographic and professional interests of the applicants/their ability to fit those interests.

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:02 am

great program. they took it down but here's some testimonials http://web.archive.org/web/20140311120021/http://www.blackstonelegalfellowship.org/Internships/Testimonies

examples:

"“This summer, I had the opportunity to see a nation and a people who have pulled even farther away from God’s law than the United States. My time in Europe offered a sobering glimpse of what the United States could become in 10 years if we don’t act now. At the beginning of the summer, I might have accepted that some cultural change was inevitable, but not all that bad – by August, I realized that small changes over time become great."
The Blackstone Legal Fellowship reminded me that God created man to live according to His law, current cultural norms fail to reflect that law, and living contrary to God’s law is bondage.


In 2009, James graduated from Washburn University, where he was a staff member of the Washburn Law Journal, and had his note, The Case for Human Ingenuity: How Adderall Has Sullied the Game, published in 2009. He also filled the roles of treasurer and secretary of the Christian Legal Society. Currently, James works for the Parmele Law Firm in Kansas.
“Before participating in the Blackstone Legal Fellowship, I was sitting on the fence on a lot of important issues such as abortion and same-sex “marriage.” As a Christian, I believed that both abortion and same-sex “marriage” were wrong, but as a future lawyer I was not equipped to justify my belief through case law, history, and sound public policy arguments.”

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:27 pm

I'm a T6 at median and got accepted (for future prospects). I have pretty strong softs so that might make a difference.

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:35 pm

Congrats anon 10:27, and congrats anon 1:01 for getting off the waitlist! I ended up withdrawing myself from the waitlist since I did hear back from a federal judge that I wanted to clerk for. But yes, I agree and appreciate that Blackstone looks beyond just grades/school rankings and considers other soft factors. You both will probably end up meeting a great diverse group of students.

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Feb 26, 2015 10:40 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Congrats anon 10:27, and congrats anon 1:01 for getting off the waitlist! I ended up withdrawing myself from the waitlist since I did hear back from a federal judge that I wanted to clerk for. But yes, I agree and appreciate that Blackstone looks beyond just grades/school rankings and considers other soft factors. You both will probably end up meeting a great diverse group of students.


Thank you, and congrats on the judicial internship. Wish you would have gotten an offer!

To anyone who's done this before: what are the phase I and III portions like in AZ? Is the schedule packed most of the time? Where do they host this thing? Do they assign roommates and such? I'm sure I'll hear more soon, just curious.

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:30 pm

Is this Kindle for keeps?

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 27, 2015 1:46 pm

Question, especially for anyone who has done Blackstone in the past: I'm a committed Christian, and I'm definitely interested in learning more about what Christianity has to say about the law, but I am predominantly not politically conservative and disagree with the ADF about civil same-sex marriage, adoption by same-sex parents, religious displays in public buildings, etc. Does that mean that Blackstone might not be a good experience for me? Do Blackstone students generally align with the ADF on policy?

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby 2012LawGrad » Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Question, especially for anyone who has done Blackstone in the past: I'm a committed Christian, and I'm definitely interested in learning more about what Christianity has to say about the law, but I am predominantly not politically conservative and disagree with the ADF about civil same-sex marriage, adoption by same-sex parents, religious displays in public buildings, etc. Does that mean that Blackstone might not be a good experience for me? Do Blackstone students generally align with the ADF on policy?


If you are openminded, willing to listen to other viewpoints, and willing to reexamine your views in light of your committed Christian faith, then I see no reason to write it off. The underlined portion of your post leads me to believe that this might describe you.

As I recall, the application process is geared toward screening for Christian faith commitment, not political issue commitment. But if there are any questions relating to political issues, answer them honestly. Once you are accepted, you can call the staff and ask for more information about the fellowship. Let them know where you are coming from and ask whether it would be a good fit. I will say that the more liberal views you hold, the less likely the program would be a good fit, but their fellowship class is always ideologically diverse in some respects.

In my experience, Blackstone accepts students who diverge somewhat from their viewpoint IF those students have demonstrated Christian faith commitment. They even pitch their program---accurately, in my view---as a course correction from the nonreligious, positivistic outlook advanced in most American law schools. Thus, in recognizing that the vast majority of law schools take an opposing approach to the law and legal education and that this opposing approach has an impact on students, the staff necessarily expect that their entering students will not share all of their convictions. Accepting students who do not share all of their views is a logical implementation of their vision for the program.

The program is a chance to hear viewpoints that you likely would not have otherwise encountered in law school, and if you are a committed Christian and willing to think through the issues, I don't think you should be discouraged from applying. You'll probably be in the same boat as a lot of the other fellows. If, however, you are set in your views and unwilling to have a two-way conversation about them, then you will probably be a "pariah" as the other poster described himself.

<-- Blackstone fellow who completed the program with changed legal and political views.

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:30 pm

Thank you for the response! That's very helpful.

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Nov 08, 2015 3:50 pm

2012LawGrad wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The program is a chance to hear viewpoints that you likely would not have otherwise encountered in law school, and if you are a committed Christian and willing to think through the issues, I don't think you should be discouraged from applying. You'll probably be in the same boat as a lot of the other fellows. If, however, you are set in your views and unwilling to have a two-way conversation about them, then you will probably be a "pariah" as the other poster described himself.


Entirely true. As a Fellow myself, I can say that my experience yielded none of the closed-minded fundamentalism expressed several posts above. My suspicion is that those comments represent flames from people with only tangential connections to the program.

So you do know to expect some readings and comments from speakers that sound uncomfortably like the "religious right." But Blackstone sends you dozens of books before the summer, representing everything from capitalism (Thomas Sowell) to natural law (CS Lewis). But they expect you to take it all with a grain of salt. Their goal is find bright law students (who express a commitment to their personal faith), and expose them to ideas and arguments they would otherwise never hear in law school. Consequently, you do find lots of speakers who are pro-life or opposed to gay marriage, but they do express their ideas very respectfully and thoughtfully. (Speakers on those two topics were tenured at top-3 universities and law schools).

Much more of the training centers around historical development of the American legal system, natural law theory, and the US Constitution. Along with a good bit of First Amendment. Again, from high-caliber academics and public intellectuals.

If there is any pressure on those who disagree it comes in the same soft social pressure conservative law students feel in a normal law school class — the simple mental exhaustion of being around people who disagree with you. I'm quite well-adjusted to it, and often find it invigorating.

Their selection criteria focuses on open minds and good interlocutors. So of course they want to weed out the trolls, people who openly despise the organization, but thoughtful dissent is acceptable. I actually just heard their director a couple of weeks ago speak at HLS, and she repeatedly used the phrase "we want you to have a dialogue with us." That's continuous from the application essays to the end-of-summer essays when you're commissioned as a fellow. At HLS she continued to say "we often have students who say, you know, 'I still disagree with you, but I understand your arguments better now and can respect them more,' and we consider that a win."

I wish more legal academics had the same mindset.

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 14, 2016 11:37 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Thank you for the response! That's very helpful.


2015 Fellow here. I agree with the previous two fellows. The Blackstone people are certainly socially conservative, and most of them are economically conservative. But if you aren't a committed leftist ideologue, you will probably be fine. To me, the biggest benefits were (1) the other students and (2) the network. The other students are almost universally bright, and most of them are friendly and generally great people. Probably half are from T14s, another 30-40% top students at top 50 schools, and the remainder is made up of international students. The Blackstone network is really impressive; if it were a law school (and in a sense it sort of is), its employment stats would be comparable to or better than the T6. They'll send their statistics if you're accepted.

I would apply if:
1. You're serious about your Christian faith
2. You can stomach conservative (but usually fair) lectures for a few weeks
3. You want to be part of a prestigious network
4. You want a pretty decent stipend, rare for 1Ls
5. You want better career advice and assistance than your law school will give
6. You like being around really smart, nice, and talented people
7. You like good food and good hotels

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 16, 2016 2:53 pm

How is Christian defined in the application process? Would Mormon applicants be welcomed, or are only more traditional/Trinitarian Christians accepted?

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Re: Blackstone Legal Fellowship GPA

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 17, 2016 10:24 pm

Anonymous User wrote:How is Christian defined in the application process? Would Mormon applicants be welcomed, or are only more traditional/Trinitarian Christians accepted?


The letter of commitment you have to sign says something along the lines of "I understand that I will be participating in a Trinitarian Christian community.."

While it doesn't explicitly say that YOU have to be a Trinitarian Christian, I think it's pretty easy to read between the lines. You also have to write a statement of faith, so your Mormon beliefs would be pretty clearly communicated.




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