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Quite late to the party, let's chat

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:06 pm
by Timetraveling
Hi all.

I'm a rising senior at a large state school in the SE US. I have a 3.55 right now, and pretty strong extracurriculars (below). I convinced myself I shouldn't go to law school when I was a sophomore so I've been doing a pre-medical track since then. I'm tired of striving for constant perfection and feel like I was naturally suited for law to begin with, so I think I'm going to apply to law school instead. To avoid the roast I presume I am about to receive: YES!--I have put a lot of thought into this decision!

ECs
Hospital volunteer, two years
Eagle Scout
Senate + House (district offices) internships
Trail maintenance crew
Honors while in college
2 years in my University's federal relations office


Currently, my biggest questions are 1) what can I be doing to prepare my application, 2) when would I ideally matriculate, 3) what can I do to strengthen my application?

Thanks all! Sorry for the block of text

Re: Quite late to the party, let's chat

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:11 pm
by cavalier1138
1. Take some time off school to work.
2. Take some time off school to figure out what you actually want to do.
3. Come back when you have an LSAT score.

Re: Quite late to the party, let's chat

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:14 pm
by Timetraveling
cavalier1138 wrote:1. Take some time off school to work.
2. Take some time off school to figure out what you actually want to do.
3. Come back when you have an LSAT score.


Hey thanks for your reply. 1 and 2 are self-explanatory, but you can help me with number 3. If I want to matriculate in the fall semester (whenever), what timeframe is best to synchronize everything?

Re: Quite late to the party, let's chat

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:02 pm
by Platopus
Timetraveling wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:1. Take some time off school to work.
2. Take some time off school to figure out what you actually want to do.
3. Come back when you have an LSAT score.


Hey thanks for your reply. 1 and 2 are self-explanatory, but you can help me with number 3. If I want to matriculate in the fall semester (whenever), what timeframe is best to synchronize everything?


Most applications open early September, so you'll want to apply by Thanksgiving to be considered "early". This means either taking the June or September LSAT. Right now, I would start working on a study plan, as the LSAT is probably the single most important factor in the admissions process. I strongly recommend taking some time off to work, so there isn't a real rush. Browse the LSAT thread, as there are some good stickied threads on how to get started studying.

Re: Quite late to the party, let's chat

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:58 am
by Slippin' Jimmy
If you are open to taking a year off, the June 2018 LSAT with September 2018 as a backup/retake is probably a good idea. Getting a good score is the most significant thing you can do for your application, and after that would be boosting your GPA (maybe consider delaying graduation for a year to take easy GPA boosting classes if this is a financial possibility). If you want to start LS fall 2018 you should start studying for the LSAT now and take in December, although this option would have you applying a bit later in the cycle with no realistic backup (Feb test is very late in the cycle).

Re: Quite late to the party, let's chat

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:04 am
by UVA2B
Timetraveling wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:1. Take some time off school to work.
2. Take some time off school to figure out what you actually want to do.
3. Come back when you have an LSAT score.


Hey thanks for your reply. 1 and 2 are self-explanatory, but you can help me with number 3. If I want to matriculate in the fall semester (whenever), what timeframe is best to synchronize everything?


The beauty of being willing to take time before applying is synchronizing your applications becomes far less important. You can take the LSAT when you've studied enough to reliably get a score that will help you get into your goal school (after you've figured out what you want to do and where you want to do it). You don't need to make some strict schedule to study for the LSAT, take the LSAT, and then apply. The LSAT is currently good for 5 years (no idea if this will ever change, but the LSAT generally is experiencing some structural shifts with schools considering accepting the GRE in the future, so who knows), so you could presumably take it, get a score you're happy with, and wait an extended time until you're in the right place to apply to law school (for instance, I applied in literally the last cycle my LSAT was good, but my situation was definitely unique that makes waiting that long probably a rare instance, but still).

Law school isn't going anywhere. You're a college senior. You have plenty of time to figure out what you want your professional life to look like. Do that part first before you commit to potentially serious student loans and a career.

Re: Quite late to the party, let's chat

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:03 pm
by Timetraveling
Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful and earnest replies. As I expected and y'all corroborated, it seems like being a tad late and testing next June, compiling my application over 2018, and matriculating Fall 2019 is the best option.

That leaves a gap year. What kind of jobs should I look to get to boost my application? I understand most will be fine to Adcom's, but what would be prime?

Thank you all again.

Re: Quite late to the party, let's chat

Posted: Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:49 pm
by Platopus
Timetraveling wrote: What kind of jobs should I look to get to boost my application? I understand most will be fine to Adcom's, but what would be prime?

Thank you all again.


You're thinking about this the wrong way. Make some money and enjoy your life. If you're looking for a job to help game your admissions chances, you're missing the point. You might find something that is immensely enjoyable that you would want to do as a career, and thus never go to law school and that's okay. Your gap year isn't purgatory where you're just putting in work at a meaningless job for the sake of boosting your admissions chance ever so slightly.

Re: Quite late to the party, let's chat

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:27 am
by MrAdultman
Platopus wrote:
Timetraveling wrote: What kind of jobs should I look to get to boost my application? I understand most will be fine to Adcom's, but what would be prime?

Thank you all again.


You're thinking about this the wrong way. Make some money and enjoy your life. If you're looking for a job to help game your admissions chances, you're missing the point. You might find something that is immensely enjoyable that you would want to do as a career, and thus never go to law school and that's okay. Your gap year isn't purgatory where you're just putting in work at a meaningless job for the sake of boosting your admissions chance ever so slightly.


+1

Unless you get some prestigious fellowship, your job won't matter to AdComs. I'd suggest you either 1) look for a paralegal job to get exposure to the field and make sure you like it, or 2) pick the most interesting/enjoyable job you can find. If you've ever considered going another direction, get some job in that field as you put your application together. I did both and am very glad I did. There's no rush!