WOOO!!! In at Berkeley! Berkeley was easily my top choice, so right now I couldn't be happier!
I have a few interesting curve-balls in my application that you folks might find some interest in:
Under Review 1/11/2010
LSAT 163 (10/08) 171 (12/09)
Now here are the curve balls:
* First and foremost, I was convicted of a pretty serious misdemeanor in Sept. '08 (a little over a year ago). I also took the LSAT for the first time about 3 or 4 days after it happened (explains that 163...) I thought this would totally screw me over for any top 10 school, but apparently not. I was totally honest about it in my application and was also honest about how devastating I thought the whole thing was, my incredible shame and remorse over the incident, and all my sincere efforts to address the underlying problems and change myself for the better. Also surprised since I was convicted in Berkeley's backyard of San Francisco. (PM if you want to know what the charge was, I'm not comfortable throwing that out there).
* I attended Berkeley for undergrad. I've heard consistently that this was more of a burden than anything else when applying to Berkeley for grad or professional school. Apparently they don't favor their undergrads, but, hey, maybe not!
* I applied to Berkeley in '08 for Fall 2009 and was rejected (pretty obvious considering the fresh arrest and crap LSAT score).
As for softs, I graduated Cal early and went to work in Silicon Valley. Had a lot of hands-on experience with IP issues and definitely played this element up in my app. No leadership experience or student organization stuff, though I did volunteer at the local Berkeley radio station for a couple of years. I have a pretty diverse resume with jobs in finance, politics, and even entertainment (production assistant).
BTW, not URM (Jewish, but we all know that doesn't count, haha).
Anyway, hopefully that's some interesting stuff to chew on for all you hopefuls. As for me, I could not be happier!!!