22 y.o. Single Mom applying to L-school Fall 2011

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sophia.olive
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Re: 22 y.o. Single Mom applying to L-school Fall 2011

Postby sophia.olive » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:10 am

haus wrote:
re-applicant wrote:I hope this doesn't come off as presumptuous, but I am actually curious: how do you plan to balance law school, and then life as a lawyer, with being a single mom raising a young child? I'm rooting for you, but I couldn't possibly imagine going down the path that I'm going if I had your responsibilities.


Nearly any job that will provide a good life for someone and their family will produce challenges that need to be overcome. Opting to avoid law school, and a later career as a lawyer does not make these challenges go away.

Being an old geyser by the forums standards (late 30's), I know a bit about the problems of balancing work and life. I would argue that my current career (Information Security) more demanding then what most lawyers deal with. I work long hours, I am always on call, frequently I will need to work weekends and holidays, and there is a continuous need for additional education that is almost always done on my own time. Over the years I have learned that no field has a monopoly on hard work or difficult hours, and that part of the job of being a parent is finding way to persevere through the challenges to make a good life for your family.

ftfy now it is tcr

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MoS
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Re: 22 y.o. Single Mom applying to L-school Fall 2011

Postby MoS » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:51 am

I don't have a ton to contribute to what has been said. But (1) Being AA will give you a boost in admissions, but not as much as if you were a male. (2) I am not sure a gpa addendum would be worth it since it seems that your only real reason for one would have been your pregnancy, but that seems to have raised your gpa. (3) VERY IMPORTANT, when you start considering where you attend or even where you will apply to, take into consideration how much financial aid you can get. Childcare is not cheap and that is one thing all my fellow law student with kids complain about, is that childcare too expensive and the school won't certify that cost for loans. So you might ask law schools if they have childcare, if they will include the cost in your aid, or look to places that will give you scholarship money.

FutureLawyerMama
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Re: 22 y.o. Single Mom applying to L-school Fall 2011

Postby FutureLawyerMama » Wed Sep 22, 2010 12:00 am

MoS wrote:I don't have a ton to contribute to what has been said. But (1) Being AA will give you a boost in admissions, but not as much as if you were a male. (2) I am not sure a gpa addendum would be worth it since it seems that your only real reason for one would have been your pregnancy, but that seems to have raised your gpa. (3) VERY IMPORTANT, when you start considering where you attend or even where you will apply to, take into consideration how much financial aid you can get. Childcare is not cheap and that is one thing all my fellow law student with kids complain about, is that childcare too expensive and the school won't certify that cost for loans. So you might ask law schools if they have childcare, if they will include the cost in your aid, or look to places that will give you scholarship money.


I definitely am taking that into consideration. That would be my main reason for attending UK law school (t2 ranked about #66). my family lives nearby, wouldn't have to pay for apt. for a few months, in state tuiton and childcare would be essentially free for at least a year. The only way I'd really change my mind is if other schools I got into had childcare at a discount for students like Duke, UVA, UNC. All the places I'm applying have very reasonable cost of living.

EasternSeaboard
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Re: 22 y.o. Single Mom applying to L-school Fall 2011

Postby EasternSeaboard » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:42 pm

FutureLawyerMama wrote:
PostHawk wrote:You may want to find a way to convince the people reading your application that you will be able to handle raising a small child and the large workload of being a 1L.


This is a point to be noted. I'm trying to include that in the personal statement. In regards to my undergrad work, I know what went wrong. I had poor time managment skills. My son was born in the middle of the Fall 2009 semester, but I didn't sit that semester out and instead returned to class 3 weeks later (did assignments from home). Then when Spring came around i was off maternity leave, working 37 hours/week and had a courseload of 18 credits! It's a miracle I made it out alive! lol Torture to say the least. So I'm pretty sure that my 1L year will be like that and worse!


Is it possible for you to wait until your child starts kindergarten or even pre-k if the school has it before starting law school?

Makes a huge difference in the time and energy the kid will drain out of you while trying to do not just undergrad type work but LAW SCHOOL.

If not, make sure to consider where you want to live and work for the rest of your legal career, and apply with that in mind. Where you want to live and work with a young baby growing up should include places you have family nearby, either on your side or the father's if they are in the child's life...

Unless you get into HYSCC type of school...then ignore the location requirements. With a child who will be starting school about the time you graduate, it should be all about location location location otherwise though.

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Re: 22 y.o. Single Mom applying to L-school Fall 2011

Postby EasternSeaboard » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:36 pm

FutureLawyerMama wrote:
Pip wrote:You need to be realistic. A 3.0 in English is probably a stretch even with the URM status unless you can get int he 170s on the LSAT.

What will also come into play will be the shape of your grades... did you get a 3.0 because you really slacked in the first year or was it a steady 3.0 throughout your college years... how many classes were you taking at the end and how were your grades... Those things aren't mentioned.

What you did mention was that you are a single mom, that sounds more like an excuse that you are using for poor grades. I'm not sure if even bringing that up would be of any real value... A reader could also read into that negative things, immature, short-sighted... you name it.

That is not to say you will not be able to get into a law school, you will... but I wouldn't put all my eggs in the schools you mentioned because you aren't even close to being easy in for any one of them... but there are lots of schools that would let you in... BUT remember, a large number of those school are more interested in keeping enrollment up and tuition money going into their bank than they are in providing you a meaningful opportunity to get a better life for yourself. If you go to a lower level school you will still have a very substantial amount of debt when you get out and you will be in a very very competitive market. You are in no way guaranteed to make a bigger salary when you get out than you could make right now in a non-legal job that you might find.


I am being realistic in realizing that breaking top 20/30 isnt an easy thing to do with my numbers. I have never been naive in thinking I can crack Harvard or Yale and actually don't want to. Saying that, I am keeping an open mind in applying to tier 2 schools that I have a great chance of getting into. The 3.0 was actually me slacking in the first couple of semesters of college WAAAAY before I ever had my son. He is not the excuse and if you read, no where in my intro do I ever say that. If that was the case, I wouldnt be applying to law school and might be seeking sympathy somewhere else. From Spring 2009 and on, my GPA was above a 3.0 EVERY semester. I did summer 2009, fall 09, spring 10 and summer 10 with good GPAs, it is the first part of college that was my downfall. Throughout 85% of my college career I took 15 or more credits. The purpose of bringing up the fact that I am a single mother is that I have matured since my freshman days at age 18 and 19, which some people without children and older than me can't even say. So assuming a lifelong responsibility and also pursuing a tough and challenging career says good things about character and nothing of excuses. So putting things into perspective, it is much better to ask than to assume.


I know of someone who got into UVa and completely did not tell them about her status as a single parent. Nowhere on her application did she mention it, at all.

Because of what that person you responded to brought up, which is uncertainty about how it will be seen. Motherhood even when married is getting a bad rap these days.

You can't look at it as what you think it means. You need to look at it as what THEY will think it means. Perception IS reality. Not reality. The perception in america and most of the world is that having a child outside of marriage says terrible things about character.

Love it or hate it, but make sure you tailor your apps with that in mind.


That said, anything can be spun if you are talented enough with words on paper. So just make sure whatever you write about, it glows with talent and precision.

EasternSeaboard
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Re: 22 y.o. Single Mom applying to L-school Fall 2011

Postby EasternSeaboard » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:43 pm

firemedicprelaw wrote:
Pip wrote:
It is also better to read what is written than what you think is written. I was very clear in stating that a reader COULD read negative things into your being a single mother... I never said I believed them nor accused you of them. You appear to have read something into what wasn't actually there... and that is exactly what many readers of your application will do.... If you bring up the fact that you are a single mother and AA you will get a lot of people assuming negative things about you when they read the application. So again, I would strongly suggest you don't even put the single mom on any application, it isn't going to get you a boost while the AA will get you a boost.


Couldn't disagree with you more dude/dudette... I think that an application that says that this applicant is a URM and has overcome adversity in the form of being a single mother while maintaining a very high GPA her last year is WAAAY more advantageous than one that leaves out how rocking she is by doing so.

It is all about how you present the facts. Remind me not to hire you for my defense if I ever screw up bad enough to need it.

I am guessing that you assumed negative things (repeat after me class "stereotype... can you say stereotype?") because of your beliefs. I (and hopefully adcomms) heard that someone cool wants to be a lawyer. Even if some of the adcomms might hold those stereotypes in their head, I think two things will work against that: they value diversity on paper at least, and for those adcomms who aren't blinded by prejudicial notions they will look at this as a plus, balancing out with advantages at most institutions in return for harm at a few.


I agree. Maybe on her diversity statement she could use the single parent finishing school (with maybe some stats on the many who DON'T) angle to stand out from the many who will speak on being black in america. And save her PS for something truly unique to her life that is sure to be received positively?

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dresden doll
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Re: 22 y.o. Single Mom applying to L-school Fall 2011

Postby dresden doll » Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:55 pm

EasternSeaboard wrote:
You can't look at it as what you think it means. You need to look at it as what THEY will think it means. Perception IS reality. Not reality. The perception in america and most of the world is that having a child outside of marriage says terrible things about character.

Love it or hate it, but make sure you tailor your apps with that in mind.



Unless we're talking Liberty or Regents, admissions committees don't tend to be composed of right wing evangelical Christians. You give people who will be reviewing OP's app too little credit.

EasternSeaboard
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Re: 22 y.o. Single Mom applying to L-school Fall 2011

Postby EasternSeaboard » Tue Sep 28, 2010 5:19 pm

dresden doll wrote:
EasternSeaboard wrote:
You can't look at it as what you think it means. You need to look at it as what THEY will think it means. Perception IS reality. Not reality. The perception in america and most of the world is that having a child outside of marriage says terrible things about character.

Love it or hate it, but make sure you tailor your apps with that in mind.



Unless we're talking Liberty or Regents, admissions committees don't tend to be composed of right wing evangelical Christians. You give people who will be reviewing OP's app too little credit.


I did note that anything can be spun how you want it with the right talent with words...

But you may be right. I rather give them too little and still come up with ace statements than give them too MUCH credit and be wondering "what just happened?" lol.

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MoS
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Re: 22 y.o. Single Mom applying to L-school Fall 2011

Postby MoS » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:15 am

If you passively mention your kid, it will look bad. If you refer to your child as a mistake it will look bad. If you talk about beating your child it will look bad. If you say you had your child just to get an assistance check, to get married, or because you thought it would be "cool" it will look bad.

But none of those statements seem to reflect your maturity or intelligence. A child is not a per se bad thing. Nor should having a child define what type of person you are, though as you probably know your child does define your life. So leaving it out completely is tantamount to deception, which is not looked at well by the ABA.

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DukeCornell
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Re: 22 y.o. Single Mom applying to L-school Fall 2011

Postby DukeCornell » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:37 am

MoS wrote:I don't have a ton to contribute to what has been said. But (1) Being AA will give you a boost in admissions, but not as much as if you were a male. (2) I am not sure a gpa addendum would be worth it since it seems that your only real reason for one would have been your pregnancy, but that seems to have raised your gpa. (3) VERY IMPORTANT, when you start considering where you attend or even where you will apply to, take into consideration how much financial aid you can get. Childcare is not cheap and that is one thing all my fellow law student with kids complain about, is that childcare too expensive and the school won't certify that cost for loans. So you might ask law schools if they have childcare, if they will include the cost in your aid, or look to places that will give you scholarship money.



Dude, gpa addendums are pointless. We write them because they make us feel better, not because the school actually needs/wants them. So, I guess in the sense that an addendum will provide you with peace of mind, write it. But, if you're writing an addendum for the sake of being taken more seriously by the law school, don't waste your time. They’re counterproductive.
Last edited by DukeCornell on Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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dresden doll
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Re: 22 y.o. Single Mom applying to L-school Fall 2011

Postby dresden doll » Mon Oct 04, 2010 9:39 am

Did someone really just claim that not disclosing parenthood in an LS app is tantamount to ABA sanctionable deception? Really?




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