Applying to law school with a masters

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digits2006
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Applying to law school with a masters

Postby digits2006 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:57 am

I was wanting to see if applying to Law School with a masters will help my chances at all? I am about to start a masters degree in psychology. My research is in jury bias and eyewitness testimony. I am seeing if my chances will improve with a masters degree and research in legal psychology.

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jackalope11
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby jackalope11 » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:01 pm

digits2006 wrote:I was wanting to see if applying to Law School with a masters will help my chances at all? I am about to start a masters degree in psychology. My research is in jury bias and eyewitness testimony. I am seeing if my chances will improve with a masters degree and research in legal psychology.



I may help your application, in that you will be able to add to the diversity of the class... but it will not get you into any place that your grades from UG wouldn't on their own. However, it might also help with $$ negotiations down the road.

Since USNWR doesn't factor in Master's coursework, neither will adcomms, for the most part.

HTH...

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Grizz
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby Grizz » Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:04 pm

Cool and interesting real-life research, but probably not gonna matter that much for admissions.

digits2006
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby digits2006 » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:48 pm

That sucks. At least I can put it into my personal statement when I apply and hope that will help me. :)

r6_philly
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby r6_philly » Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:31 pm

Well I love my masters program, I am just going to act like it will help quite a bit! 8)

s419
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby s419 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:01 am

I applied this past cycle with an MA, and I think it helped in that it made sense and filled out my story about who I am and what I want to do with my JD. My MA played a major role in my personal statement and it also a little off the beaten track so that may have helped my application stand out. I think if graduate work were to come off as something that an applicant was doing to kill time, or just for an admissions boost, it probably wouldn't help at all.

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dogmatic slumber
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby dogmatic slumber » Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:19 am

s419 wrote:I applied this past cycle with an MA, and I think it helped in that it made sense and filled out my story about who I am and what I want to do with my JD. My MA played a major role in my personal statement and it also a little off the beaten track so that may have helped my application stand out. I think if graduate work were to come off as something that an applicant was doing to kill time, or just for an admissions boost, it probably wouldn't help at all.


Same goes for me, but my fancy MA made no discernible difference in my cycle. I thought it'd give me a bump; safe to say it didn't. GPA and LSAT rule.

s419
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby s419 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:08 am

dogmatic slumber wrote:
s419 wrote:I applied this past cycle with an MA, and I think it helped in that it made sense and filled out my story about who I am and what I want to do with my JD. My MA played a major role in my personal statement and it also a little off the beaten track so that may have helped my application stand out. I think if graduate work were to come off as something that an applicant was doing to kill time, or just for an admissions boost, it probably wouldn't help at all.


Same goes for me, but my fancy MA made no discernible difference in my cycle. I thought it'd give me a bump; safe to say it didn't. GPA and LSAT rule.


I'm not saying that it was nearly as important as numbers, but I do still think, if written about effectively, it's a strong soft.

ze2151
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby ze2151 » Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:06 am

My masters gave me a credibility that I was serious about the stuff I was talking about. My interests (Law-Religion, Ethics) made my choices for law school a little narrower, and many schools that knew they didn't really have what I was looking for were more apt to waitlist me. But the schools that could support my interests probably gave me credit that I meant what I said in my personal statement and interviews, which I believe really helped when it came time to talk about scholarships.

If I had no advanced degree in my field but still blathered on about how much I like investigating touchstones between law and religion and working in the field of international/domestic human rights, I think I could have been seen as, at best, a poseur who superficially cares about this stuff, and at worst, someone who is using a public interest sheen to cover the fact that I really just want to make a lot of money at a firm someday. I think (but do not know for sure) that my degree provided a foundation for me to be believed.

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jump_man
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby jump_man » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:05 am

ze2151 wrote:My masters gave me a credibility that I was serious about the stuff I was talking about. My interests (Law-Religion, Ethics) made my choices for law school a little narrower, and many schools that knew they didn't really have what I was looking for were more apt to waitlist me. But the schools that could support my interests probably gave me credit that I meant what I said in my personal statement and interviews, which I believe really helped when it came time to talk about scholarships.

If I had no advanced degree in my field but still blathered on about how much I like investigating touchstones between law and religion and working in the field of international/domestic human rights, I think I could have been seen as, at best, a poseur who superficially cares about this stuff, and at worst, someone who is using a public interest sheen to cover the fact that I really just want to make a lot of money at a firm someday. I think (but do not know for sure) that my degree provided a foundation for me to be believed.


If you can get two or three articles published while completing your masters degree then your published material can serve as a very strong soft factor. Law schools definitely want to see proof of academic potential, and publishing original research in good journals will definitely help your application.

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fragged
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby fragged » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:45 pm

I am applying this cycle with a master's in Forensic Psychology. While I have never seen proof that grades in grad school don't impact an adcomm's evaluation of an application, I'll give conventional knowledge the benefit of the doubt.

That being said, I think a master's degree (assuming it is complementary to a law school education) is beneficial for a few reasons:

1. If you had poor grades in undergrad, performing exceptionally well in grad school may instill confidence that you can in fact get decent grades. True, grades are inflated in grad school, but a 4.0 is a 4.0 no matter how much something is inflated.

2. Your education and any experiences (externships, etc.) while in grad school can be the foundation for your personal statement. Personally, one of the fields I am interested in is criminal law. Understanding psychological theory as it applies to the legal system made my personal statement credible because I now have an educational background in psychopathology and assessment of offenders.

3. Sure you won't get into a school over someone with better numbers, but getting in to the school you want to attend may come down to a tie with people who have similar numbers to yours. If you have a master's degree, that might be all you need to break the tie.
Last edited by fragged on Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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homestyle28
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby homestyle28 » Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:51 pm

I agree with the general theme of folk's response as a fellow MA-er (2 of them actually). It won't help you get admitted to a school your UG GPA rules out, and it won't help w/schools that love UG GPA for schollys. But it will give you something to write about for your PS, more time for LSAT prep (IMO you should casually begin doing LGs now). In my own case all of the reading meant I spent literally zero time studying for RC or LR and missed like 3 total on those sections. Plus, you should be more intellectually developed when you actually get to LS and have a little bit of a leg up there.

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gwuorbust
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby gwuorbust » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:41 pm

...is just like applying to law school as anyone else.

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2Serious4Numbers
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby 2Serious4Numbers » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:45 pm

Schools don't have to report which % of class has a masters -- thus they don't care

r6_philly
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby r6_philly » Wed Dec 15, 2010 12:46 pm

I really like these absolute statements made by law school representatives here.

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gwuorbust
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby gwuorbust » Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:30 pm

r6_philly wrote:I really like these absolute statements made by law school representatives here.


glad I could help!

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jump_man
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby jump_man » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:17 pm

2Serious4Numbers wrote:Schools don't have to report which % of class has a masters -- thus they don't care


This is true, but many Law Schools publish data about the number of students with advanced degrees in their marketing materials. I wouldn't go so far as saying law schools "don't care," but certainly having an advanced degree won't significantly improve your application.

At the very least, succesful completion of an advanced degree (with a grad GPA higher than your undergrad GPA) shows your academic potential, which will definitely give you a slight boost in comparison to other applicants with similar numbers.

09042014
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby 09042014 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:21 pm

Masters programs aren't hard to get into, nor are they hard to complete. Therefore nobody cares.

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3|ink
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby 3|ink » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:25 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Masters programs aren't hard to get into, nor are they hard to complete. Therefore nobody cares.


--ImageRemoved--

It's funny because it's true.

r6_philly
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby r6_philly » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:29 pm

Desert Fox wrote:Masters programs aren't hard to get into, nor are they hard to complete. Therefore nobody cares.


Looks good on the resume and gets you a higher pay grade when you get hired.

ETA: realize this has nothing to do with law school admissions.

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paratactical
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby paratactical » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:32 pm

r6_philly wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Masters programs aren't hard to get into, nor are they hard to complete. Therefore nobody cares.


Looks good on the resume and gets you a higher pay grade when you get hired.

That depends on the law firm or organization you work for and the masters you have.

Basically, applying with a Masters is similar to applying with any other soft. If you've done amazing things with it, it can help you look better. If it makes sense for the type of law you want to practice, it makes you credible. If you did poorly in UG, it (like work experience), can help distance you from the poor UG GPA. But it won't change your GPA. It won't change your LSAT. It won't make you a URM. It just means that you will probably be more competitive than someone else with the same numbers who doesn't have competitive softs.

09042014
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby 09042014 » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:34 pm

r6_philly wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Masters programs aren't hard to get into, nor are they hard to complete. Therefore nobody cares.


Looks good on the resume and gets you a higher pay grade when you get hired.

ETA: realize this has nothing to do with law school admissions.


Flame people with Masters of Art don't get jobs.

http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1944515

r6_philly
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby r6_philly » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:34 pm

paratactical wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Masters programs aren't hard to get into, nor are they hard to complete. Therefore nobody cares.


Looks good on the resume and gets you a higher pay grade when you get hired.

That depends on the law firm or organization you work for and the masters you have.

Basically, applying with a Masters is similar to applying with any other soft. If you've done amazing things with it, it can help you look better. If it makes sense for the type of law you want to practice, it makes you credible. If you did poorly in UG, it (like work experience), can help distance you from the poor UG GPA. But it won't change your GPA. It won't change your LSAT. It won't make you a URM. It just means that you will probably be more competitive than someone else with the same numbers who doesn't have competitive softs.


Why the hell are you so reasonable nowadays?

Point is: it is not that "nobody cares" it is "it won't matter if your numbers suck".

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paratactical
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby paratactical » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:34 pm

r6_philly wrote:Why the hell are you so reasonable nowadays?

Point is: it is not that "nobody cares" it is "it won't matter if your numbers suck".


Troof. I am trying to behave in the ontopic forums.

r6_philly
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Re: Applying to law school with a masters

Postby r6_philly » Wed Dec 15, 2010 2:36 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
r6_philly wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Masters programs aren't hard to get into, nor are they hard to complete. Therefore nobody cares.


Looks good on the resume and gets you a higher pay grade when you get hired.

ETA: realize this has nothing to do with law school admissions.


Flame people with Masters of Art don't get jobs.

http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1944515


I suppose. But you are generalizing all masters. MS in many fields are required for certain positions.




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