Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

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Logjik
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Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby Logjik » Sun May 09, 2010 3:54 pm

Hello,

I'm new to the forum and I've been lurking for a few months. First off I would like post my statistics:

School: CUNY
GPA: 3.5ish
Major: Accounting
Experience: Currently in the tax field and studying for my CPA.

I would like to get into the tax law field and I've been contemplating going for my Masters in Taxation (starting Spring 11'), and then attending Law school for Fall 2012. I would prefer to attend law school PT at first to get my necessary experience for my CPA certification, and going PT would allow me to reduce debt as well.

Now I would like to stay in the NY area and I think my best case scenario would be Fordham and more realistic options would be Cardoza, Brooklyn, St Johns and Hofstra. Obviously my LSAT score would be a huge factor as well on my decision for schooling.

One question I have is, do you think a Masters in Taxation would help my chances get into say Fordham if I could demonstrate in my essay my eagerness to pursue tax law? Do you think the Masters in taxation would be a waste of time considering I could take similar classes in law school? Are any of these programs known for giving financial aid to part timers?

I just wanted to know your thoughts and/or suggestions you might have.
Last edited by Logjik on Sun May 09, 2010 8:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

03121202698008
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby 03121202698008 » Sun May 09, 2010 4:13 pm

Logjik wrote:..


A masters is just a soft factor...and not a great one. A large percentage of people entering law schools have Masters degrees. It's going to come down to your LSAC GPA and LSAT.
Last edited by 03121202698008 on Sun May 09, 2010 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Logjik
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby Logjik » Sun May 09, 2010 4:46 pm

Really? I thought most people attend Law School right after UG. In fact, I remember seeing the statistic on the student body at one Law School where under 10% of their students had an "advanced" degree.

Anyways you're obviously right about the LSAT. I'm just hoping a CPA, a Masters in Taxation, UG in Accounting and experience in the tax field could work in my favor as "soft" spots, especially if I can relate those things in my personal statement.

Quick question, I would assume the grades from my MS will not be included in my LSAC GPA. Correct?

What do you think I would need to score on my LSAT to have a chance at Fordham for both PT and FT?

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pilawpcv
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby pilawpcv » Sun May 09, 2010 7:01 pm

From reading the Fordham Waiting Room list, it seems that many people have really wonderful softs. I would focus on GPA and LSAC for a realistic idea of your chances. You can play around with lawschoolnumbers.com, but Fordham's FT median is 166 and the PT is 163. You'll want yours to be at median or higher for your best shot.

And from LSAC.org :
Although LSAC does not summarize graduate or professional school work, it does list these transcripts on the law school report and send copies of them to law schools.

03121202698008
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby 03121202698008 » Sun May 09, 2010 7:12 pm

As an example, at Michigan...12% of the 2012 class had at least one Masters degree. I couldn't find this on Fordham's site but I'd imagine its similar. While that may not sound huge, it means that having a degree doesn't add all the much.

Edit: Also, 70% had more than one year off after undergrad before law school. You better believe they were raking up softs during this time. Another reason why LSAT/GPA is where it's at.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby Aqualibrium » Sun May 09, 2010 7:21 pm

OP, youd be better off working for 1-3 years as a cpa before going to law school. That experience will be more highly valued by both schools and employers, than the masters degree by itself.

Logjik
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby Logjik » Sun May 09, 2010 7:31 pm

Thanks guys for the response. So I guess at this point my best shot at getting is with the LSAT. Also considering Fordham is renowned for their PT program, I would assume many of the other applicants have great "softs" as well (assuming many of these applicants would be working FT when attending school.)

@ hombredulce. I' would be going for my Master's PT and would still be working full time. I'm at a position where my work schedule rarely goes over 40/hours per week, which is the only reason why I would entertain the idea of going to school PT for Law School and/or for my Masters. By the time I would apply to Fordham (early application) I would have over 1.5 years FT experience. By the time I would start the program at Fordham, I would have had around 2.5 years experience.

Aqualibrium
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby Aqualibrium » Sun May 09, 2010 7:40 pm

Logjik wrote:Thanks guys for the response. So I guess at this point my best shot at getting is with the LSAT. Also considering Fordham is renowned for their PT program, I would assume many of the other applicants have great "softs" as well (assuming many of these applicants would be working FT when attending school.)

@ hombredulce. I' would be going for my Master's PT and would still be working full time. I'm at a position where my work schedule rarely goes over 40/hours per week, which is the only reason why I would entertain the idea of going to school PT for Law School and/or for my Masters. By the time I would apply to Fordham (early application) I would have over 1.5 years FT experience. By the time I would start the program at Fordham, I would have had around 2.5 years experience.


So are you currently working in accounting?

Logjik
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby Logjik » Sun May 09, 2010 7:51 pm

Well I'm currently a Tax Auditor for a government position. I enjoy tax (as crazy as that might sound) and I would like to get the law education to expand my opportunities. Preferably I would want to get a IRS position where I can be a Tax Lawyer because I'm not sure if I'm cut out for "Big Law."

Aqualibrium
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby Aqualibrium » Sun May 09, 2010 8:04 pm

So currently a tax auditor and working on a cpa. Then part-time masters in tax.

I think the combination of experience + the degree pushes this out of the level of mere tiebreaker softs. Get a good lsat score, and talk up how your experience is relevant to what you want to do on your ps. You'll be fine.
Last edited by Aqualibrium on Sun May 09, 2010 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ZXCVBNM
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby ZXCVBNM » Sun May 09, 2010 8:18 pm

fordham's pt lsat average last year went up to 164. this year they cut the class to 80 from 160 b/c of the ranking slide. i imagine the lsat average for pt will be around 165-6.

Logjik
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby Logjik » Wed May 12, 2010 6:19 pm

Thanks for the help guys.

I have a quick question, I keep hearing how the first year is the most important year and I'm assuming it's because many people work during the summer as some sort of intern. I would assume grades are one of the biggest factors to getting these jobs and I've even read on here that the 1L OCI was one of the most important. My question is, as a PT'er how would that effect me? Would I miss out on 1L OCI?

yeff
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby yeff » Wed May 12, 2010 7:47 pm

Logjik wrote:at this point my best shot at getting is with the LSAT


:lol:

Yeah, that's an understatement.

OP, have you done any LSAT prep yet? Even just taken a diagnostic test (aka taking the test cold)?

Logjik
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby Logjik » Wed May 12, 2010 10:06 pm

yeff wrote:
Logjik wrote:at this point my best shot at getting is with the LSAT


:lol:

Yeah, that's an understatement.

OP, have you done any LSAT prep yet? Even just taken a diagnostic test (aka taking the test cold)?


Not yet. I plan to finish all of the parts of the CPA by late September. Then I plan on taking the GMAT to get admitted into my masters (which I plan to study a few weeks since I don't need a crazy score to get in.)

Then I finally plan to study for my LSAT, and if all goes well, I can start studying around November and take it on February. I'm not sure if 3 months or not is enough time to study, but I've developed a pretty good study habit since I've started taking my CPA. And if I'm shelling out a 120k for a JD, I want to get in the best school possible (obviously :wink: ), and Fordham it is for me. However, the poster claiming 165 could be the new median sounds a bit scary.

tesoro
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby tesoro » Wed May 12, 2010 10:52 pm

Hi there-

I'll be entering Fordham's PT program with a 165/3.5 this fall. I also carry a professional degree (electrical engineering). My work experience in my field and its relationship with the law is analogous to you earning an accounting degree working as a CPA (sorry for being vague).

This year Fordham cut their PT program in half. Dean Brown said that their goal is to maximize the amount of working professionals in the program. This bodes well for you, but bear in mind that the unstated goal is obvious as well: they want to raise their LSAT median in the PT program to equal that of the FT program.

So, I'll reiterate the above posters: your LSAT is a huge factor. Score a 165+ and your odds will be good. If you apply PT with a 3.5/165+ and note that you'll be working full-time as a CPA while studying, you will fit right in with the applicant profile they are looking for. A 167+ would seal the deal.

I wouldn't worry about any sort of masters degree. Work experience + LSAT = win.

Feel free to PM me if you have any related questions since we appear to be similar applicants. Good luck to you-

edit: As an evening student, you are allowed to push OCI off until after your 2L year if you want.

edit2: check out my LSN profile (same name) to get a good idea of how someones cycle with my numbers would go. I applied to a lot of the schools you're interested in.

yeff
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby yeff » Wed May 12, 2010 11:43 pm

Logjik wrote:And if I'm shelling out a 120k for a JD, I want to get in the best school possible (obviously :wink: ), and Fordham it is for me. However, the poster claiming 165 could be the new median sounds a bit scary.


Honestly, without any clue about your LSAT, there's no reason to believe either of these things. Maybe Fordham's not even possible for you, maybe you'll get Columbia or NYU. With your GPA, anything is possible except YHS.

Logjik
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Re: Some Advice Needed (Prospective Part Time Student)

Postby Logjik » Thu May 13, 2010 8:21 am

@ Tesero

Will do, thanks!

I checked out your profile at LSN and I can't believe you passed on $150k at Brooklyn for PT. That would've been a tough decision for me.

@ Yeff

You're definately right. I'm still in the initial stage at this point. I'm exploring the different alternatives at this point.




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