tgc92 wrote:Hello! Thank you officers for taking the time to answer our questions!
I graduated from Princeton in 2014 and ended up with a low GPA, 2.89 (not sure what my LSAC uGPA is). I had a 3.21 average until my last semester in my senior year when I difficulty finishing my thesis on time and that affected the rest of the grades during that same semester. This aberrant semester decreased my GPA drastically, as you can tell.
Going to law school has always been my dream, and I still really wish to go to the best, such as HLS or Stanford. I currently work in DC and am planning on getting a MPA (or other Master's degree) in a few years after more work experience.
With that in mind, if I make it to one of top MPA/MPP programs, such as SAIS, Princeton, Harvard, or Fletchers, and redeem myself academically, would it be possible to get to a top law school like Harvard or Stanford? By the time I apply, I would be 5-7 years out of undergrad.
Moreover, if redeeming myself in this manner is possible, which MPA/MPP programs have you seen top law schools like HLS or Stanford consider to be academically rigorous and therefore to be a reputable enough soft? (For example, I've heard that Princeton's MPA is considered more academically rigorous than others and so to be better soft.) Have you possibly encountered or heard of a pattern of past instances of these top law schools admitting students more from certain MPA/MPP programs than others?
A few more related questions: Perhaps it would be more advantageous to attend MPA/MPP programs that have joint degrees already set up with one of these law schools? Or perhaps a MPA/MPP program with the same school, like the Kennedy School --> HLS?
Please let me know; law school is my dream so receiving a variety of advice from different admissions officers would be immensely appreciated!
While I would never discourage you to apply to any school that you think will be a good fit, I want to help manage your expectations. This is an incredible hurdle to get over. Your undergraduate GPA is well below what is typically seen in the the bottom 25% of these classes.
A graduate degree is never a bad idea if it is an education that you will find interesting and useful, but it can never replace your undergraduate GPA for law school admissions purposes.
Keep in mind that one of the factors in the decision is the quality of the applicant pool. Even if your application is really quite stellar otherwise, the applicant pool at these schools is ridiculously talented. When people are denied with excellent applications, it is often the result of there being others in the pool that were admitted first.
If you continue with this plan and do well on the LSAT, there will be opportunities for you in law school. There is also the possibility of transferring after 1L year, tho i am hesitant to recommend transferring as a rock-solid plan.