A parent with a few questions

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gtbguy
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A parent with a few questions

Postby gtbguy » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:21 pm

I've been lurking around at this site learning as much as I can regarding law schools. I'm a parent and really have no clue about law schools and the in/outs regarding law schools, admissions, FA, etc. Please foregive me if I ask some stupid questions but I truly don't know what we're headed for. Since I'm an engineer, I'm a data person and any input you all have will be truly appreciated. My daughter is presently a sophmore at the University of Pennsylvania and her cummulative GPA is a 3.56 after 3 semesters. Her current major is cognative neural science and her minor is business law related and will be taking most of her classes from the Wharton Business School. She has worked in the legal department at a national lab for the last two summers and REALLY loved it. She has always wanted to be an attorney so its looking like law school is in her future. I've read many posts regarding that all applicants to law school maintain a high GPA and I don't doubt it. Getting a super high GPA at Penn is just about impossible. Since she will be graduating from Penn she has expressed interest in applying to top law schools. She hasn't exactly said which law schools she wants to apply but I'd expect the ones in the top 10.

1. Given her major/minor at Penn, which top 10 school(s) would be a good match?
2. Schools that may provide any FA? We are paying for her undergraduate education and said we would help with room and board for law school. So, she will be on her own for law school tuition.
3. She will begin worrying about the LSAT the beginning of her junior year, is this too late?
4. Any adivce regarding LSAT preparations, information, etc.?
5. Anything else she could be doing outside her school work that may help her?
6. She spoke about possibly submatriculating to Penn Law but I'm wondering if this eliminates any chance for FA.
7. Do top law schools care about ethnicity when it comes to admissions? She is Hispanic
8. I suspect law schools don't really care about high school achievements but Penn sure did. Do they even care about what an applicant did before attending college?
9. I'm sure I may have missed some questions and if you think of information that would be great to know I would appreciate any insight or information you all have.

Thanks!

ilikebaseball
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby ilikebaseball » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:32 pm

gtbguy wrote:I've been lurking around at this site learning as much as I can regarding law schools. I'm a parent and really have no clue about law schools and the in/outs regarding law schools, admissions, FA, etc. Please foregive me if I ask some stupid questions but I truly don't know what we're headed for. Since I'm an engineer, I'm a data person and any input you all have will be truly appreciated. My daughter is presently a sophmore at the University of Pennsylvania and her cummulative GPA is a 3.56 after 3 semesters. Her current major is cognative neural science and her minor is business law related and will be taking most of her classes from the Wharton Business School. She has worked in the legal department at a national lab for the last two summers and REALLY loved it. She has always wanted to be an attorney so its looking like law school is in her future. I've read many posts regarding that all applicants to law school maintain a high GPA and I don't doubt it. Getting a super high GPA at Penn is just about impossible. Since she will be graduating from Penn she has expressed interest in applying to top law schools. She hasn't exactly said which law schools she wants to apply but I'd expect the ones in the top 10.

1. Given her major/minor at Penn, which top 10 school(s) would be a good match?
2. Schools that may provide any FA? We are paying for her undergraduate education and said we would help with room and board for law school. So, she will be on her own for law school tuition.
3. She will begin worrying about the LSAT the beginning of her junior year, is this too late?
4. Any adivce regarding LSAT preparations, information, etc.?
5. Anything else she could be doing outside her school work that may help her?
6. She spoke about possibly submatriculating to Penn Law but I'm wondering if this eliminates any chance for FA.
7. Do top law schools care about ethnicity when it comes to admissions? She is Hispanic
8. I suspect law schools don't really care about high school achievements but Penn sure did. Do they even care about what an applicant did before attending college?
9. I'm sure I may have missed some questions and if you think of information that would be great to know I would appreciate any insight or information you all have.

Thanks!


1) Majors literally do not matter in law school. The advice you'll get around here is to take as cupcake of classes as possible in order to get a GPA above a 3.75 (approximately). Its better to take a bad major but get a great GPA than vice-versa.
2) All schools give some sort of financial aid (the elite schools give need based aid) but it will be dependent on her LSAT/GPA. The higher, the more money she will get. Check school's medians for both of these categories, and aim above them.
3) It isn't too late. I think a good schedule (assuming she isn't getting any work experience after undergrad) is to start studying the summer going into junior year, take the LSATs the following February, June, and October (if needed).
4) There is a misconception that the more money you spend, the better prep you get. That isn't the case. There are TONS of free prep on various websites like Manhattan, 7sage, velocity, etc. I don't think its worth shelling out over 1000 dollars for a class when you could get virtually the same thing for free. Keep that in mind. Purchase study materials (LSAT Trainer, Logic Games Bible, Manhattan LR) and purchase practice tests from Cambridge. You should be good to go after that.
5) Admissions is mostly based on numbers. However, considering she isn't getting any work experience, volunteering is never a bad thing. During two of my interviews, my volunteer work was acknowledged. To be honest, things outside of her LSAT and GPA will be viewed very little compared to those. So really, just get good grades and get a good LSAT score.
6) I can't really attest to this one, so someone else can take a stab
7) Yes, being a URM is a big deal for law schools. They strive to make classes as diverse as possible. However, just because you aren't fully american does not mean you are URM. Go to LSAC's website and check to see if she qualifies.
8 ) Not really. LSAT and college GPA. I can't stress the two enough.

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lawschool1741
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby lawschool1741 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:42 pm

1. Given her major/minor at Penn, which top 10 school(s) would be a good match?

STEM majors might get a SLIGHT bump from any school (including top 10)
2. Schools that may provide any FA? We are paying for her undergraduate education and said we would help with room and board for law school. So, she will be on her own for law school tuition.

FA is based primarily on LSAT score and GPA. If she KNOWS she is going to law school, many people would recommend doing everything you can do boost GPA (taking lighter course loads, etc). Whereas it might be an achievement within Penn to get an A on Super Advanced Sciencey Stuff 101, law schools only care about the UGPA they can report for their rankings. LSAT >> GPA, so make sure she preps for the LSAT as much as possible.
3. She will begin worrying about the LSAT the beginning of her junior year, is this too late?

Definitely not too late. Gives enough time for a retake if necessary.
4. Any adivce regarding LSAT preparations, information, etc.?

There is some awesome advice on these boards about prep materials, definitely look around. But the majority of the work is Practice Tests (old LSAT exams), so get books that have real old exam questions and then drill specifically on weaker areas.
5. Anything else she could be doing outside her school work that may help her?

Good news here! She can relax about the extracurriculars - LS does not care much about softs (outside of curing cancer, etc)
6. She spoke about possibly submatriculating to Penn Law but I'm wondering if this eliminates any chance for FA.

Unsure. Maybe someone with better insight can help here. Never hurts to reach out to adcom office to get more details!
7. Do top law schools care about ethnicity when it comes to admissions? She is Hispanic
Depends on the specific ethnicity. If she can classify herself as a URM, she can get quite a bump.
8. I suspect law schools don't really care about high school achievements but Penn sure did. Do they even care about what an applicant did before attending college?
Nope.
9. I'm sure I may have missed some questions and if you think of information that would be great to know I would appreciate any insight or information you all have.
Greatly recommend checking out http://www.lawschooltransparency.com and http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com for more addmission, job, and cost data.
Last edited by lawschool1741 on Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

R1chardParker
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby R1chardParker » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:42 pm

gtbguy wrote:I've been lurking around at this site learning as much as I can regarding law schools. I'm a parent and really have no clue about law schools and the in/outs regarding law schools, admissions, FA, etc. Please foregive me if I ask some stupid questions but I truly don't know what we're headed for. Since I'm an engineer, I'm a data person and any input you all have will be truly appreciated. My daughter is presently a sophmore at the University of Pennsylvania and her cummulative GPA is a 3.56 after 3 semesters. Her current major is cognative neural science and her minor is business law related and will be taking most of her classes from the Wharton Business School. She has worked in the legal department at a national lab for the last two summers and REALLY loved it. She has always wanted to be an attorney so its looking like law school is in her future. I've read many posts regarding that all applicants to law school maintain a high GPA and I don't doubt it. Getting a super high GPA at Penn is just about impossible. Since she will be graduating from Penn she has expressed interest in applying to top law schools. She hasn't exactly said which law schools she wants to apply but I'd expect the ones in the top 10.

1. Given her major/minor at Penn, which top 10 school(s) would be a good match?
2. Schools that may provide any FA? We are paying for her undergraduate education and said we would help with room and board for law school. So, she will be on her own for law school tuition.
3. She will begin worrying about the LSAT the beginning of her junior year, is this too late?
4. Any adivce regarding LSAT preparations, information, etc.?
5. Anything else she could be doing outside her school work that may help her?
6. She spoke about possibly submatriculating to Penn Law but I'm wondering if this eliminates any chance for FA.
7. Do top law schools care about ethnicity when it comes to admissions? She is Hispanic
8. I suspect law schools don't really care about high school achievements but Penn sure did. Do they even care about what an applicant did before attending college?
9. I'm sure I may have missed some questions and if you think of information that would be great to know I would appreciate any insight or information you all have.

Thanks!


I would add just a couple things to the previous answer. Law schools do not care much about major/minor, but it can really help when applying for internships and jobs in law school. A science/engineering degree, especially one that makes the student patent bar eligible (not sure the specifics but you should be able to look it up fairly easily), is highly valued by law firms. Business education (especially finance and accounting) also helps in the job hunt, but helps much more if it is paired with post-graduation finance or accounting work experience.

gtbguy
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby gtbguy » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:49 pm

Great advice all and please keep it coming however, she is not a URM. If she'd had been I wouldn't be paying for Penn.

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compass
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby compass » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:00 pm

gtbguy wrote:Great advice all and please keep it coming however, she is not a URM. If she'd had been I wouldn't be paying for Penn.

If I may ask, what's the implication here? Are you suggesting that Penn's financial aid office takes race or some other minority status into account when giving awards? Or perhaps that there are additional outside scholarship funds to which your daughter would have had access if she were a member of a racial minority group?

Just curious as to what you meant here.

ilikebaseball
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby ilikebaseball » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:19 pm

gtbguy wrote:Great advice all and please keep it coming however, she is not a URM. If she'd had been I wouldn't be paying for Penn.


If she isnt URM, then being hispanic won't help her application. If she maintains a GPA above 3.75, and scores a 168 or higher on her LSAT, she'll be in fine shape. Doesn't matter about the major, resume, volunteer work, pre grad work, anything. Just try to beat those two numbers I listed.

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banjo
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby banjo » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:31 pm

Your daughter should work for a few years after undergrad and see if she still wants to go to law school when she's 24 or 25. She'll have good job opportunities out of Penn.

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RZ5646
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby RZ5646 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:35 pm

gtbguy wrote:Getting a super high GPA at Penn is just about impossible.


I thought all the Ivies except Princeton had rampant grade inflation.

Also LOL at parents planning the lives of their adult children.

gtbguy
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby gtbguy » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:49 pm

compass wrote:
gtbguy wrote:Great advice all and please keep it coming however, she is not a URM. If she'd had been I wouldn't be paying for Penn.

If I may ask, what's the implication here? Are you suggesting that Penn's financial aid office takes race or some other minority status into account when giving awards? Or perhaps that there are additional outside scholarship funds to which your daughter would have had access if she were a member of a racial minority group?

Just curious as to what you meant here.


A couple of previous posts may have thought she was a URM, no other reason.

gtbguy
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby gtbguy » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:54 pm

RZ5646 wrote:
gtbguy wrote:Getting a super high GPA at Penn is just about impossible.


I thought all the Ivies except Princeton had rampant grade inflation.

Also LOL at parents planning the lives of their adult children.


I guess Penn didn't get that memo because that school is hard and grades don't come easy.

I can assure you I'm not pushing law school as this is entirely her decision. As a parent I will support her in any decision she makes. Try telling a kid from Penn what they should go into and you'll get that "I'll decide on my own future" look. :wink:

gtbguy
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby gtbguy » Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:58 pm

banjo wrote:Your daughter should work for a few years after undergrad and see if she still wants to go to law school when she's 24 or 25. She'll have good job opportunities out of Penn.


I discussed this same topic with her over Christmas break but she wants to go to law school right out of school. I think she just wants to get it out of the way and not take a 2 year break. I agree, working, interning, or volunteering a couple of years to make SURE that is what she wants seems logical to me. These kids now a days pretty much do what they want to do.

Hutz_and_Goodman
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby Hutz_and_Goodman » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:06 pm

gtbguy wrote:
banjo wrote:Your daughter should work for a few years after undergrad and see if she still wants to go to law school when she's 24 or 25. She'll have good job opportunities out of Penn.


I discussed this same topic with her over Christmas break but she wants to go to law school right out of school. I think she just wants to get it out of the way and not take a 2 year break. I agree, working, interning, or volunteering a couple of years to make SURE that is what she wants seems logical to me. These kids now a days pretty much do what they want to do.


You should try everything you can to discourage her. K-JD is much harder for a lot of reasons, including that you are starting a very high stress job with no work experience at a time when you are likely unmarried yet you have little free time.

Nomo
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby Nomo » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:17 pm

1. Her major and minor at Penn have no bearing on which law school would be a good match. Law school are pretty much all the same, except some provide better job prospects. The best match is the school that is best for getting the job you want at the right price.

2. Merit-aid is hit and miss. You have to apply broadly and see what you get. Need-aid is probably out of the question if you've got enough money to pay Penn's tuition.

3. Worrying about the LSAT her junior year might be too early. Its probably better to work at least a year or two before thinking seriously about law school.

4. There are thousands of posts on LSAT advice. Without getting into the details I think the most important thing is to take lots of practice tests and spend tons of time reviewing those tests to figure out why you missed certain questions.

5. There's not a ton you can do outside your schoolwork that will help. But I would recommend working a few years before law school.

6. I would talk to the people at Penn about submaltriculation. I have no idea.

7. Most schools care about ethnicity, to the degree that it increases their diversity. In that sense a white Cuban, whose grandparents immigrated here is not going to get the same kind of bump as someone who came over from Mexico at the age of 3 and learned english as a second language.

8. What you did before college is meaningless.

9. Don't assume that your daughter is going to be able to do get in the right schools, find the right job, etc. Law school is a huge investment. The best way to approach it is to graduate college, spend some time in the work force, grow up a bit, and then become sure that the law is a good fit. Only at that point should someone start studying for the LSAT. And only if you get an appropriately high LSAT score, and admission to the right schools at the right price does law school make sense. The legal job market is brutal and the cost of tuition is very high. Nobody should go into this without totally understanding what they're getting into. And frankly, anyone who needs advice from a parent on the types of questions your asking is someone who isn't ready to make the decision to go to law school.

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lawschool1741
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby lawschool1741 » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:20 pm

compass wrote:If I may ask, what's the implication here? Are you suggesting that Penn's financial aid office takes race or some other minority status into account when giving awards? Or perhaps that there are additional outside scholarship funds to which your daughter would have had access if she were a member of a racial minority group?

Just curious as to what you meant here.

Not sure if trolling or not...but yeah URMs are known to get better admissions and scholly cycles from all schools (vs comparable non-URM apps)

gtbguy
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby gtbguy » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:34 pm

Nomo wrote:9. Don't assume that your daughter is going to be able to do get in the right schools, find the right job, etc. Law school is a huge investment. The best way to approach it is to graduate college, spend some time in the work force, grow up a bit, and then become sure that the law is a good fit. Only at that point should someone start studying for the LSAT. And only if you get an appropriately high LSAT score, and admission to the right schools at the right price does law school make sense. The legal job market is brutal and the cost of tuition is very high. Nobody should go into this without totally understanding what they're getting into. And frankly, anyone who needs advice from a parent on the types of questions your asking is someone who isn't ready to make the decision to go to law school.


Seems like most posts are recommending a break between college and law school. Your comment regarding the legal job market is well known and has me VERY concerned and both my wife and I have had this discussion as well. Hopefully, if I can convince her to take a couple of years off to make sure this is indeed what she wants. Now I will say, if my daughter knew I was posting these questions (or seeking advice) she would have a few "choice words" with me. As my original post stated, I am an engineer and I like looking at all types of data and this forum has lots of information that helps me understand the process and lots of other things as well. Believe me, my duagher is NOT asking me to post questions.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:35 pm

ilikebaseball wrote:7) Yes, being a URM is a big deal for law schools. They strive to make classes as diverse as possible. However, just because you aren't fully american does not mean you are URM. Go to LSAC's website and check to see if she qualifies.

I don't think you really wanted to word this quite this way?

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Mack.Hambleton
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby Mack.Hambleton » Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:07 am

Congrats on the bowl win, way to represent the big ten

NonTradLawHopeful
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby NonTradLawHopeful » Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:18 am

Mack.Hambleton wrote:Congrats on the bowl win, way to represent the big ten


Did you confuse Penn with Penn State???

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banjo
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby banjo » Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:36 am

gtbguy wrote:Seems like most posts are recommending a break between college and law school. Your comment regarding the legal job market is well known and has me VERY concerned and both my wife and I have had this discussion as well. Hopefully, if I can convince her to take a couple of years off to make sure this is indeed what she wants. Now I will say, if my daughter knew I was posting these questions (or seeking advice) she would have a few "choice words" with me. As my original post stated, I am an engineer and I like looking at all types of data and this forum has lots of information that helps me understand the process and lots of other things as well. Believe me, my duagher is NOT asking me to post questions.


Your daughter is lucky to have someone who's genuinely interested in the law school process. My dad recently asked me how many years I have left.

You can find some jobs data here: http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/
A lot of that comes from these disclosures: http://employmentsummary.abaquestionnaire.org/

I would open up the "take a break" discussion again. I'm a 2L at a top school and have been through the law firm interview process. A couple years of good WE, while not necessary, can absolutely make a difference in legal hiring. It can also give you other kinds of valuable, unquantifiable perspective.

As for admissions, I agree with everyone here. It's hard to overstate the importance of LSAT and GPA.

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Clearly
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby Clearly » Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:39 am

NonTradLawHopeful wrote:
Mack.Hambleton wrote:Congrats on the bowl win, way to represent the big ten


Did you confuse Penn with Penn State???


It's intentional, inside joke around here...

gtbguy
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby gtbguy » Sat Jan 17, 2015 1:25 pm

NonTradLawHopeful wrote:
Mack.Hambleton wrote:


Did you confuse Penn with Penn State???



Ha Ha, everybody does especially folks west of the Mississippi.

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bretby
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby bretby » Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:57 pm

If your daughter wants to attend law school, I would suggest you direct her to this site and "allow" her the space to do her own research. Helicopter parenting is terrifying to behold.

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15 styx
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby 15 styx » Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:17 pm

Simplified. If she has the right stats the law school will cheerfully accept your money. Short of some major felony, most everything else in the application process is moot.

Nomo
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Re: A parent with a few questions

Postby Nomo » Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:36 pm

gtbguy wrote:
Nomo wrote:9. Don't assume that your daughter is going to be able to do get in the right schools, find the right job, etc. Law school is a huge investment. The best way to approach it is to graduate college, spend some time in the work force, grow up a bit, and then become sure that the law is a good fit. Only at that point should someone start studying for the LSAT. And only if you get an appropriately high LSAT score, and admission to the right schools at the right price does law school make sense. The legal job market is brutal and the cost of tuition is very high. Nobody should go into this without totally understanding what they're getting into. And frankly, anyone who needs advice from a parent on the types of questions your asking is someone who isn't ready to make the decision to go to law school.


Seems like most posts are recommending a break between college and law school. Your comment regarding the legal job market is well known and has me VERY concerned and both my wife and I have had this discussion as well. Hopefully, if I can convince her to take a couple of years off to make sure this is indeed what she wants. Now I will say, if my daughter knew I was posting these questions (or seeking advice) she would have a few "choice words" with me. As my original post stated, I am an engineer and I like looking at all types of data and this forum has lots of information that helps me understand the process and lots of other things as well. Believe me, my duagher is NOT asking me to post questions.


The fact that she wouldn't want you posting here doesn't demonstrate that your daughter is ready for law school. The problem is that you are posting here. That probably means that you don't trust her to do the proper research and make intelligent decisions, which indicates that either (1) she isn't ready or (2) that she knows what she's doing and you should lay off a little. But more importantly, your daughter is just a sophomore. She is probably going to changer her mind multiple times no matter what you do. I wouldn't worry too much at this point.




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