Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

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jtheace2
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Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby jtheace2 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:15 am

Hey guys, I am new to this forum, and obviously not expecting any "guarantees", but just hoping someone has either been in my shoes or has advice or, at the very least, some calming words (although i only want the truth obviously). Going to be somewhat vague, but still give details if possible, since for (which you will see why after you read) obvious reasons i dont want to really be identified....

In a nutshell, I went to an Ivy League school (not one of the 'big 3'), class of 2006, and ended up screwing up big-time to say the least. Ended with with a 2.2, 1 course shy of graduating on time. Got a job working as a trader, did pretty well. With my head finally screwed back on right, last year I finished up my degree taking a course at a local state school and got an A+ and a great rec from the prof. Took the LSATs, got a 171. started teaching/tutoring the LSAT (still do) part-time for Kaplan. Ended up parlaying some connections/past trading success into a really good job currently with a top-notch hedgefund. However, law is where I think my mind is best-suited, and has always really been what I want. I'm currently in the process of applying for 2010, although ideally will defer to 2011 and then re-evaluate w/the current job.

So my question/concerns are- im assuming its pretty rare for such a huge disparity between GPA and LSAT scores. Ive used the 'law school calculator' but i don't know how much that is relevant for a 'one-off' situation such as mine. Does anyone have any advice, insight into what my realistic chances are for various schools, and also, is it at all possible to get any scholarships based solely on LSAT score if/when i do get in somewhere?

My current plan is to apply to my local state school (Rutgers or Uconn, could probably declare residency both places but definitely rutgers) for both tuition + likelihood of acceptance purposes. However, I would really like to go to one of the top 15 schools. Obviously my chances are probably 0, but....im thinking if i write a great personal statement, plus my current job experience (firm is well known), plus recommendations from the prof plus current bosses...maybe one school would take a chance, think i matured, use my lsat score more...i dont know

kind of rambling, i apologize- again any and all insight/suggestions/realistic comments (if i should just save my $ and not waste time applying to any decent schools, that helps too) will be greatly appreciated. Good luck everyone.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:15 am

Apply to WUSTL. They will probably accept you and give you $$ for your LSAT score.

jtheace2
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby jtheace2 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:18 am

vanwinkle wrote:Apply to WUSTL. They will probably accept you and give you $$ for your LSAT score.


washington university st louis? is that what u mean? Why do you say that? Arent they a pretty highly ranked school...just curious why you think they would be any more leniant w/the bad GPA?

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Dick Whitman
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby Dick Whitman » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:20 am

I wonder if, given your situation, you might be smart to try to do a JD/MBA at a school with a better business school than law school -- e.g. UCLA or UNC.

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kalvano
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby kalvano » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:21 am

jtheace2 wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:Apply to WUSTL. They will probably accept you and give you $$ for your LSAT score.


washington university st louis? is that what u mean? Why do you say that? Arent they a pretty highly ranked school...just curious why you think they would be any more leniant w/the bad GPA?



They accept pretty much anyone with a 170+ LSAT.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:22 am

jtheace2 wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:Apply to WUSTL. They will probably accept you and give you $$ for your LSAT score.


washington university st louis? is that what u mean? Why do you say that? Arent they a pretty highly ranked school...just curious why you think they would be any more leniant w/the bad GPA?


They are ranked 20th. They have been boosting their rankings in part by throwing $$$ at people with high LSATs to get them to come there. With a 3.0/170 they offered me a full ride last year. They offer lots of high-LSAT splitters, even people with really low GPAs, acceptances and usually some money as well.

They may reject you, that's one of the lowest GPAs I've ever seen, but if they do accept you I bet they'll give you at least some $.

jtheace2
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby jtheace2 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:31 am

Dick Whitman wrote:I wonder if, given your situation, you might be smart to try to do a JD/MBA at a school with a better business school than law school -- e.g. UCLA or UNC.


Ideally I would do that- however, I figure im going to have enough trouble getting into just one of the schools with my GPA, let alone the dual degree (which is even more competitive)- i dont even know how they work because honestly i didnt put much thought into them given the GPA. im just hoping that the 3 years since school + good recs + good job will get me a bone thrown somewhere...hence why im asking for any suggestions.advice

09042014
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:37 am

vanwinkle wrote:
jtheace2 wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:Apply to WUSTL. They will probably accept you and give you $$ for your LSAT score.


washington university st louis? is that what u mean? Why do you say that? Arent they a pretty highly ranked school...just curious why you think they would be any more leniant w/the bad GPA?


They are ranked 20th. They have been boosting their rankings in part by throwing $$$ at people with high LSATs to get them to come there. With a 3.0/170 they offered me a full ride last year. They offer lots of high-LSAT splitters, even people with really low GPAs, acceptances and usually some money as well.

They may reject you, that's one of the lowest GPAs I've ever seen, but if they do accept you I bet they'll give you at least some $.


I bet they don't give a dime.

Too bad OP didn't apply ED to Northwestern. http://lawschoolnumbers.com/sparty1/jd

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BeastCoastHype
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby BeastCoastHype » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:49 am

Dude - are you sure this is the right choice? You need to make sure that you understand one very important thing before you do this: it is VERY difficult to get a good law job outside of the top 14 schools. You would likely be trading down in a major way if you decided to go to law school, and you might not be able to get your hedge fund job back. If I were you I would stick with what I was doing and avoid going into debt at a crappy law school.

jtheace2
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby jtheace2 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:50 am

Desert Fox wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:
jtheace2 wrote:
vanwinkle wrote:Apply to WUSTL. They will probably accept you and give you $$ for your LSAT score.


washington university st louis? is that what u mean? Why do you say that? Arent they a pretty highly ranked school...just curious why you think they would be any more leniant w/the bad GPA?


They are ranked 20th. They have been boosting their rankings in part by throwing $$$ at people with high LSATs to get them to come there. With a 3.0/170 they offered me a full ride last year. They offer lots of high-LSAT splitters, even people with really low GPAs, acceptances and usually some money as well.

They may reject you, that's one of the lowest GPAs I've ever seen, but if they do accept you I bet they'll give you at least some $.


I bet they don't give a dime.

Too bad OP didn't apply ED to Northwestern. http://lawschoolnumbers.com/sparty1/jd


Honestly the $$ is the last on my list of importance right now- more concerned with the getting in part...

jtheace2
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby jtheace2 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:52 am

BeastCoastHype wrote:Dude - are you sure this is the right choice? You need to make sure that you understand one very important thing before you do this: it is VERY difficult to get a good law job outside of the top 14 schools. You would likely be trading down in a major way if you decided to go to law school, and you might not be able to get your hedge fund job back. If I were you I would stick with what I was doing and avoid going into debt at a crappy law school.


BeastCoastHype- I agree with you- to be clear, I will go to either a top 14, or my state school. Top 14 for obvious reasons- state school because as long as i do well there (which this time around wont be an issue), i could still get a top job in the local area. Especially if I go to Rutgers- can still get the big NJ and some NY firms there. I agree, though- what I wont do is pay private school tuition for, say, the 40th ranked law school in the middle of the country where i have no geographical ties and thus no doors being opened.

so really im just curious about the top 14 and any advice for how to approach them given my current splits, plus any potential insight as to whether or not its simply impossible, etc.

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BeastCoastHype
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby BeastCoastHype » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:55 am

jtheace2 wrote:
BeastCoastHype wrote:Dude - are you sure this is the right choice? You need to make sure that you understand one very important thing before you do this: it is VERY difficult to get a good law job outside of the top 14 schools. You would likely be trading down in a major way if you decided to go to law school, and you might not be able to get your hedge fund job back. If I were you I would stick with what I was doing and avoid going into debt at a crappy law school.


BeastCoastHype- I agree with you- to be clear, I will go to either a top 14, or my state school. Top 14 for obvious reasons- state school because as long as i do well there (which this time around wont be an issue), i could still get a top job in the local area. Especially if I go to Rutgers- can still get the big NJ and some NY firms there. I agree, though- what I wont do is pay private school tuition for, say, the 40th ranked law school in the middle of the country where i have no geographical ties and thus no doors being opened.

so really im just curious about the top 14 and any advice for how to approach them given my current splits, plus any potential insight as to whether or not its simply impossible, etc.


T-14 I would guess would be next to impossible. Your LSAT is good but not spectacular, and a 2.2 is flat out dismal. You are very likely to be shut out entirely. I also think it takes some arrogance to say that you will definitely do well at Rutgers. Law school grades are very unpredictable, and there are going to be a lot of smart kids there who just didn't get stellar LSAT scores. You can't bank on outperforming these people. If I were you I would apply to like the lowest T-14s on a hail mary and otherwise plan on sticking with my current job.

Pearalegal
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby Pearalegal » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:23 am

BeastCoastHype wrote:Dude - are you sure this is the right choice? You need to make sure that you understand one very important thing before you do this: it is VERY difficult to get a good law job outside of the top 14 schools. You would likely be trading down in a major way if you decided to go to law school, and you might not be able to get your hedge fund job back. If I were you I would stick with what I was doing and avoid going into debt at a crappy law school.


God, seeing generalities like this makes me want to stab a fork through my eye. First of all, this entirely depends on your definition of "good law job" and what market you want to practice in.

Right now, T14 and non-T14 students are having trouble, just like everyone else in every industry in almost every area of the country. Deal with it.

Now, take a look at any firm in secondary markets (even the ones that still pay market rates). The vast majority of those attending went to local schools.

DLA Piper in Baltimore for existence. There are almost no T-14 graduates-even the recent hires. In fact, a good chunk of the attorneys went to the University of Baltimore, for christs sakes. The rest are mostly University of Maryland, with a few GW, W&M and some other randoms thrown in.

Yes, NYC and DC, ect. biglaw is comprised of mostly T14 grads--even then, usually the T14 in the area (save HYS). But anyone with any intelligence can figure that out. There is a difference between markets. A very important difference.

For gods sake.

09042014
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby 09042014 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:30 am

jtheace2 wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
I bet they don't give a dime.

Too bad OP didn't apply ED to Northwestern. http://lawschoolnumbers.com/sparty1/jd


Honestly the $$ is the last on my list of importance right now- more concerned with the getting in part...


Apply to WUSTL, Northwestern, UIUC, Minnesota, IUB, and Iowa.

If you want T14 more than anything, apply ED to Northwestern next fall. That is your only shot, and I have no idea how much of a shot you have. Only that everyone this year who ED'd above the median got in including someone with a worse GPA than yours.

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kurama20
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby kurama20 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:39 am

Pearalegal wrote:
BeastCoastHype wrote:Dude - are you sure this is the right choice? You need to make sure that you understand one very important thing before you do this: it is VERY difficult to get a good law job outside of the top 14 schools. You would likely be trading down in a major way if you decided to go to law school, and you might not be able to get your hedge fund job back. If I were you I would stick with what I was doing and avoid going into debt at a crappy law school.


God, seeing generalities like this makes me want to stab a fork through my eye. First of all, this entirely depends on your definition of "good law job" and what market you want to practice in.

Right now, T14 and non-T14 students are having trouble, just like everyone else in every industry in almost every area of the country. Deal with it.

Now, take a look at any firm in secondary markets (even the ones that still pay market rates). The vast majority of those attending went to local schools.

DLA Piper in Baltimore for existence. There are almost no T-14 graduates-even the recent hires. In fact, a good chunk of the attorneys went to the University of Baltimore, for christs sakes. The rest are mostly University of Maryland, with a few GW, W&M and some other randoms thrown in.

Yes, NYC and DC, ect. biglaw is comprised of mostly T14 grads--even then, usually the T14 in the area (save HYS). But anyone with any intelligence can figure that out. There is a difference between markets. A very important difference.

For gods sake.


The bolded is something that I began discovering a while back when I actually looked into it myself and decided to not blindly follow the whole TLS thing of CCN>MBVP>DCGN thing. Though some of that is true to an extent, the truth is that beyond HYS when it comes to the rest of the top 14 the area where you want to work and the school's connection to that region is more important than the rankings difference. The legal field just doesn't view the schools within the top 10, disregarding HYS (even Stanford seems to be about the same as Columbia and Chicago outside of the west coast markets) , as all that different and they base more of the hiring on grades/resume etc. and region.

Pearalegal
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby Pearalegal » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:42 am

kurama20 wrote:The bolded is something that I began discovering a while back when I actually looked into it myself and decided to not blindly follow the whole TLS thing of CCN>MBVP>DCGN thing. Though some of that is true to an extent, the truth is that beyond HYS when it comes to the rest of the top 14 the area where you want to work and the school's connection to that region is more important than the rankings difference. The legal field just doesn't view the schools within the top 10, disregarding HYS (even Stanford seems to be about the same as Columbia and Chicago outside of the west coast markets) , as all that different and they base more of the hiring on grades/resume etc. and region.


Thank you. Apologies to everyone for getting so irritated in the first place.

TLS has some great advice, but when it comes to the hiring side of things, a lot of the time its just 0Ls who know next to nothing following popular opinion and ATL.

BenJ
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby BenJ » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:04 am

Four years out with an impressive job, a 2.2 GPA is not going to sting as much as it would have coming straight out of UG, although it's still a serious disadvantage. If you wait until next cycle and apply early (apps in as soon as submissions open), you might have a shot at some T14. Just be prepared to explain the GPA and how you've matured since then.

Like Desert Fox said, Northwestern is your best shot at T14. Their mandatory interviews tend to limit the number of people who apply, and you can talk a little about your changes since undergrad with the interviewer. But do at least try to see if Duke, Cornell, UVA or Georgetown bites (maybe 10-15% chance each with an early app). You might be best off settling on one and focusing huge amounts of attention on them, making clear that's where you really want to go. (Again, Northwestern's interviews give you the best shot, assuming you interview well.)

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Dick Whitman
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Re: Rare combo- Ivy school, GPA screwup, high LSAT, great job

Postby Dick Whitman » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:25 pm

jtheace2 wrote:
Dick Whitman wrote:I wonder if, given your situation, you might be smart to try to do a JD/MBA at a school with a better business school than law school -- e.g. UCLA or UNC.


Ideally I would do that- however, I figure im going to have enough trouble getting into just one of the schools with my GPA, let alone the dual degree (which is even more competitive)- i dont even know how they work because honestly i didnt put much thought into them given the GPA. im just hoping that the 3 years since school + good recs + good job will get me a bone thrown somewhere...hence why im asking for any suggestions.advice


For law school, you will live (by your LSAT) and (mostly) die (by your gpa). The great job won't count for much, unfortunatetly. The "softs" will help you more for B-school than law school.




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