Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

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Olivio Pastimante
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Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby Olivio Pastimante » Sat Mar 27, 2010 7:44 pm

Hi people,

Long time lurking now posting for the first one.

I am an international applicant. I took LSAT in Dec and have a score of 170. I'm now going to apply to law schools with a 3.98 GPA (they did a conversion from my international university and this is the gpa they gave me). I am right out of college (21 yrs old) and would like to study international law/arbitration and perhaps go for an LLM after graduation (I may want to teach).

I am focusing on these schools:
Harvard
Yale
Columbia
NYU
Georgetown

What do you think my chances if we assume I will send applications in September/October?

Does my dad's Italian heritage and my mom's Spanish citizenship make me a minority applicant? I was born in the US but moved to italy when I was 18 months old and have been living all throughout Europe since (my dad works closely with an ambassador). Will I get special consideration? Will being an international applicant hurt my chance? Hurt my financial aid?

Thank you!
Last edited by Olivio Pastimante on Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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youpiiz
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Re: 3.98/170 Italian/Spanish - Chances?

Postby youpiiz » Sat Mar 27, 2010 8:15 pm

if you were born in the us dont you have a citizenship

BenJ
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Re: 3.98/170 Italian/Spanish - Chances?

Postby BenJ » Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:14 pm

Being an international applicant is interesting but does not get you special consideration. That said, I would be flummoxed if you didn't get into Georgetown, and you should be golden for Columbia and NYU as well. Harvard is a reach, and Yale is unpredictable and a reach, but neither is out of reach. I would consider applying to at least one school somewhere between Georgetown and NYU as well--that's a big step down, and if you don't get into Columbia or NYU for whatever reason, you would rather have Michigan or Virginia or Penn as a backup than Georgetown.

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Olivio Pastimante
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Re: 3.98/170 Italian/Spanish - Chances?

Postby Olivio Pastimante » Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:13 pm

youpiiz wrote:if you were born in the us dont you have a citizenship


Yes I do have a US passport and citizenship. Do you know if this make any difference?

BenJ wrote:Being an international applicant is interesting but does not get you special consideration. That said, I would be flummoxed if you didn't get into Georgetown, and you should be golden for Columbia and NYU as well. Harvard is a reach, and Yale is unpredictable and a reach, but neither is out of reach. I would consider applying to at least one school somewhere between Georgetown and NYU as well--that's a big step down, and if you don't get into Columbia or NYU for whatever reason, you would rather have Michigan or Virginia or Penn as a backup than Georgetown.


Well, I am not certain about that. I have many friends who have applied to US medical and business schools from international and they have been accepted even though they have below-average credentials. I think they must have got some special consideration or something. It has to be no? I find it interesting that you say I will get into Georgetown but do not have similar chances at Yale/Harvard. Internationally at least here, Georgetown always is received with much prestige and sometimes friends and family are more impressed with Georgetown than if you tell them you go to Yale or Columbia. You think I have such good chance at Georgetown? Is it because they will give me more consideration because they are a more international school? Why is that?

Also, how should I approach my international status on an essay without appearing boring/usual/bland?

Thank you!

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Olivio Pastimante
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Re: 3.98/170 Italian/Spanish - Chances?

Postby Olivio Pastimante » Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:39 pm

Can somebody please help me? :)

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amputatedbrain
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Re: Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby amputatedbrain » Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:00 pm

Can't really give too much helpful advice . . . except I can tell you that being Spanish/Italian doesn't give you any kind of minority-boost outside of how interesting it makes your PS and general application.

BenJ
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Re: 3.98/170 Italian/Spanish - Chances?

Postby BenJ » Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:36 pm

Olivio Pastimante wrote:
Well, I am not certain about that. I have many friends who have applied to US medical and business schools from international and they have been accepted even though they have below-average credentials. I think they must have got some special consideration or something. It has to be no? I find it interesting that you say I will get into Georgetown but do not have similar chances at Yale/Harvard. Internationally at least here, Georgetown always is received with much prestige and sometimes friends and family are more impressed with Georgetown than if you tell them you go to Yale or Columbia. You think I have such good chance at Georgetown? Is it because they will give me more consideration because they are a more international school? Why is that?


Georgetown is much, much easier to get into than Columbia or NYU, let alone Harvard or Yale. Look at the rankings listed on this site and check the LSAT and GPA ranges. Georgetown is not even comparable to HY or CN in terms of academic quality of the student body--nor in terms of job prospects, at least in the US. Lay prestige (that is, the opinions of those outside of the law profession) means nothing in the legal field, and, in the US, Georgetown doesn't have much lay prestige anyway, certainly far less than Yale or Columbia.

My guess for why your family perceives Georgetown to be a good school would be because it's a Jesuit school, and you're from a mostly Catholic country. This tends to result in bias. Columbia and NYU are better international schools than Georgetown.

Also, entering into legal academia is incredibly difficult even from a top school. If you do not go to Harvard or Yale, you would need to be in the top 1% of your class at NYU or Columbia. Even the very top student at Georgetown in any given year would find it difficult to get into academia.

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Olivio Pastimante
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Re: 3.98/170 Italian/Spanish - Chances?

Postby Olivio Pastimante » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:00 pm

BenJ wrote:Georgetown is much, much easier to get into than Columbia or NYU, let alone Harvard or Yale. Look at the rankings listed on this site and check the LSAT and GPA ranges. Georgetown is not even comparable to HY or CN in terms of academic quality of the student body--nor in terms of job prospects, at least in the US. Lay prestige (that is, the opinions of those outside of the law profession) means nothing in the legal field, and, in the US, Georgetown doesn't have much lay prestige anyway, certainly far less than Yale or Columbia.


This is very good to know, BenJ. I had no idea Columbia and NYU were that much superior to Georgetown. And thank you for the link to the list of school. You know, I'm still confused though because you say that "Georgetown is not even comparable to HY or CN in terms of academic quality of the student body--nor in terms of job prospects," but then the rankings website says this about Georgetown:

The Georgetown University Law Center (GULC for short) is one of the best law schools in America; this reputation has been reinforced by the US News and World Report law school rankings . . . With its large size and prestigious reputation, GULC provides a plethora of opportunities for its elite group of future lawyers and legal scholars . . . As one should expect given the prestige of the school, it is not easy to gain admission to GULC.

It sounds like you may have overstate the distinction between the schools a bit, or maybe the author of that blurb has some bias. I believe what you say, however, because you have been very helpful. Also, you mention there is a difference in "job prospects." I don't really understand this. Usually in Europe the school you graduate from doesn't really matter to get a legal job, your scholastic marks matter much more. So when you say the "prospects" are different, what do you mean? Do some employers automatically reject (do not even consider) graduates of Georgetown but will review an NYU graduate's credentials when the two apply for the same job? How do we make the distinction? Does a Georgetown graduate need to have better marks to overcome this? I'm trying to get a feel for what this means because now it seems as if I have to reconsider my list of potential schools and I want to make sure I understand the consequence fully.

BenJ wrote:My guess for why your family perceives Georgetown to be a good school would be because it's a Jesuit school, and you're from a mostly Catholic country. This tends to result in bias. Columbia and NYU are better international schools than Georgetown.


Also, I think this may be true, but this almost insulted me when I first read it because I thought you were saying that catholics are biased people and closed minded, but then I see your point. I don't know, though, because my family does not think Notre Dame is that great of a school (when you compare it to Georgetown at least). But I see the point you made. And also, when I said Georgetown is an "international school" I said not the program they offer in international law, but in theur international reputation--I only started hearing about NYU when I considered law for the first time and also because of their mathematics department, but other than that, I would have never thought it was this good.

Again, it would help me if you could tell me more about what the "job prospects" differences means. That is, how do we explain it.

Thanks so much! You've been really helpful!

Tuyarp
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Re: Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby Tuyarp » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:17 pm

You're not an international applicant because you're a US citizen. You could use your international upbringing to tell a story that will add diversity to the incoming class, however.

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Olivio Pastimante
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Re: Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby Olivio Pastimante » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:22 pm

Tuyarp wrote:You're not an international applicant because you're a US citizen. You could use your international upbringing to tell a story that will add diversity to the incoming class, however.


Thanks for your viewpoint. I was thinking of writing about my battle with a mental disability in my statement of diversity and writing about my interest in international arbitration in my regular essay. Do you think this would be OK? Do you know how I should/could incorporate my international component into the mental disability essay? Has anyone out there combined multiple/divergent items like these into a diversity essay without making it not coherent? Where could I find this help?

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amputatedbrain
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Re: Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby amputatedbrain » Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:28 am

Olivio Pastimante wrote:
Tuyarp wrote:You're not an international applicant because you're a US citizen. You could use your international upbringing to tell a story that will add diversity to the incoming class, however.


Thanks for your viewpoint. I was thinking of writing about my battle with a mental disability in my statement of diversity and writing about my interest in international arbitration in my regular essay. Do you think this would be OK? Do you know how I should/could incorporate my international component into the mental disability essay? Has anyone out there combined multiple/divergent items like these into a diversity essay without making it not coherent? Where could I find this help?


Talking about mental disability could work just fine, but I think you should tread cautiously. I believe the national law students with disabilities organization puts out some kind of advisory material for disabled students applying to law school, with a special section for how to discuss mental disability . . . does someone have the link for that? Might be able to google it.

Edit: http://www.nalswd.org/ , look under publications. Not as expansive as I remembered, but still worth looking at if you consider yourself a disabled applicant.

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Grizz
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Re: Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby Grizz » Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:47 am

Flame?

1. Asks about minority status when clearly not a URM
2. Vague interest in "international law"
3. Repeated emphasis on "lay prestige"
4. Weird other TLS topics
5. Blatant pro-GULC opinions

So is this multi-faceted yet subtle flame? You be the judge.

Abrikos
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Re: Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby Abrikos » Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:55 am

rad law wrote:Flame?

1. Asks about minority status when clearly not a URM
2. Vague interest in "international law"
3. Repeated emphasis on "lay prestige"
4. Weird other TLS topics
5. Blatant pro-GULC opinions

So is this multi-faceted yet subtle flame? You be the judge.


It is flame. LSAC does not give UGPA for international students as claimed by OP.

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amputatedbrain
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Re: Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby amputatedbrain » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:00 am

Abrikos wrote:
rad law wrote:Flame?

1. Asks about minority status when clearly not a URM
2. Vague interest in "international law"
3. Repeated emphasis on "lay prestige"
4. Weird other TLS topics
5. Blatant pro-GULC opinions

So is this multi-faceted yet subtle flame? You be the judge.


It is flame. LSAC does not give UGPA for international students as claimed by OP.


ya, pretty sure they don't. Can't believe let that slip by. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I wish people would at least do Peter North style funny/provocative flames. These ones are just boring.

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Grizz
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Re: Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby Grizz » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:08 am

amputatedbrain wrote:ya, pretty sure they don't. Can't believe let that slip by. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I wish people would at least do Peter North style funny/provocative flames. These ones are just boring.


I normally give people the benefit of the doubt, but this one seemed to hit all the high notes. So happy to raise my e-credibility.

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romothesavior
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Re: Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby romothesavior » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:09 am

rad law wrote:
amputatedbrain wrote:ya, pretty sure they don't. Can't believe let that slip by. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt. I wish people would at least do Peter North style funny/provocative flames. These ones are just boring.


I normally give people the benefit of the doubt, but this one seemed to hit all the high notes. So happy to raise my e-credibility.


Also, check out this guy's other postings. Screams flame to me.

edinbourgh
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Re: Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby edinbourgh » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:19 am

Man, I came to this thread to both discuss and learn more about applying as an international applicant. I was hoping to share what I've gleaned over the past few months and maybe add some valuable knowledge to what I have learned so far, stroking my OL online ego. According to recent posters though it just may be an odd passive agressive flame. Bummer.

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Olivio Pastimante
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Re: Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby Olivio Pastimante » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:20 am

What do you want me to say? I don't know the point of this, but they definitely adjusted my GPA and I studied internationally. Like I said before, I lived throughout Europe before. At the risk of divulging too much, I will tell you that I went to school in Canada most recently and they did adjust my GPA when I submitted my credentials to the service. I'm not sure why you come here and ignore my question and instead speculate about my honesty. Then again, I've had so many bad experiences in so little time here that I am not surprised my question has been ignored and now you're going on tangents.

Many thanks anyway! Especially to BenJ! Thanks Ben!

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$1.99
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Re: Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby $1.99 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:22 am

you, sir, are an idiot

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Olivio Pastimante
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Re: Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby Olivio Pastimante » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:23 am

$1.99 wrote:you, sir, are an idiot


Thanks. I'll just add that to my list of wonderful experiences here. My God. :(

Xiaolong
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Re: Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby Xiaolong » Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:49 am

Olivio Pastimante wrote:
$1.99 wrote:you, sir, are an idiot


Thanks. I'll just add that to my list of wonderful experiences here. My God. :(



I don't know if you are a flame or not, but from one intl. applicant to another: no, you will definitely not get any special consideration because of your having grown up in Europe. Maybe if you were from Tibet or Rwanda you would get some boost. My experience and those of a couple of other intl. people that I know on this board is that you are facing an uphill battle. Your credentials will be even more scrutinized than those of an American applicant. Law Schools are not B-schools where it is the norm to have 40% international students in the program. Most top schools have 3-5% intl stundets which IMO is in large part a reflection of institutional policies to keep the stundet body largely domestic.

P.S. Since you have lived all over Europe, I am sure you are fluent in several European languages. Maybe to prove you are not a flame, just repost bits and pieces of your original post in whichever languages you happen to speak.

Abrikos
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Re: Very Uncommon International Story - Chances?

Postby Abrikos » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:10 pm

Olivio Pastimante wrote:What do you want me to say? I don't know the point of this, but they definitely adjusted my GPA and I studied internationally. Like I said before, I lived throughout Europe before. At the risk of divulging too much, I will tell you that I went to school in Canada most recently and they did adjust my GPA when I submitted my credentials to the service. I'm not sure why you come here and ignore my question and instead speculate about my honesty. Then again, I've had so many bad experiences in so little time here that I am not surprised my question has been ignored and now you're going on tangents.

Many thanks anyway! Especially to BenJ! Thanks Ben!


Before developing your very interesting story at least try to carefully read LSAC policy on international applicants. It might have helped you avoid being caught so easily.




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