No uGPA/170(+) LSAT/Philosophy Ph.D.

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PolPhilPhD
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No uGPA/170(+) LSAT/Philosophy Ph.D.

Postby PolPhilPhD » Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:14 pm

Hi-

I'm an advanced graduate student in philosophy, specializing in political philosophy at a quality school (not T10 generally in philosophy, but good general 'brand' + very good in political). I have no grades for either undergraduate or graduate school - neither my undergraduate alma mater nor my Ph.D. program gives them (narrative evaluations in both cases instead - mine are very good, so far as I can tell). I took the LSAT a long time ago (2003), and did all right - a 170. I suppose I'd have to retake it; I think I'd probably do better now.

I've seen some threads on the value of the Ph.D. - that sounds like a pretty good plus. But I'm not sure how the lack of GPA will play.

Law school for me would be another route into the academy (and in particular, a way to delay looking for academic work until the economy improves). So I'd only really be interested in schools commensurate with that goal (Yale? Chicago? Stanford? NYU?). Any thoughts on whether that's realistic?

dissonance1848
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Re: No uGPA/170(+) LSAT/Philosophy Ph.D.

Postby dissonance1848 » Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:21 pm

Get high 170s, and CLS, UofC and HYS should be possible. But you need a high LSAT, because without the GPA they are going to wonder a little. But yeah, I should think it is doable.

PolPhilPhD
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Re: No uGPA/170(+) LSAT/Philosophy Ph.D.

Postby PolPhilPhD » Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:30 pm

Thanks. Browsing a bit today, I noticed that some top law schools, including Yale, don't themselves give out grades. I wonder if that would affect their attitude here?

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flyingpanda
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Re: No uGPA/170(+) LSAT/Philosophy Ph.D.

Postby flyingpanda » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:07 pm

PolPhilPhD wrote:Thanks. Browsing a bit today, I noticed that some top law schools, including Yale, don't themselves give out grades. I wonder if that would affect their attitude here?


If you have no LSAC gpa, schools will make a decision as if your GPA was at their median.

rynabrius
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Re: No uGPA/170(+) LSAT/Philosophy Ph.D.

Postby rynabrius » Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:21 pm

Retake the LSAT after practicing more.

PolPhilPhD
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Re: No uGPA/170(+) LSAT/Philosophy Ph.D.

Postby PolPhilPhD » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:20 pm

flyingpanda wrote: If you have no LSAC gpa, schools will make a decision as if your GPA was at their median.


Thanks. Can I assume you mean median for applicants? If so, that sounds like it would hurt me. In that case I'm hearing conflicting things: some don't seem to think it matters much in my case. Can I ask where this info comes from?

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flyingpanda
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Re: No uGPA/170(+) LSAT/Philosophy Ph.D.

Postby flyingpanda » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:29 pm

PolPhilPhD wrote:
flyingpanda wrote: If you have no LSAC gpa, schools will make a decision as if your GPA was at their median.


Thanks. Can I assume you mean median for applicants? If so, that sounds like it would hurt me. In that case I'm hearing conflicting things: some don't seem to think it matters much in my case. Can I ask where this info comes from?


No I mean median for the school. If you think about it, it makes sense because only your LSAT score is going to influence their medians one way or the other.

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St.Remy
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Re: No uGPA/170(+) LSAT/Philosophy Ph.D.

Postby St.Remy » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:35 pm

PolPhilPhD wrote:
flyingpanda wrote: If you have no LSAC gpa, schools will make a decision as if your GPA was at their median.


Thanks. Can I assume you mean median for applicants? If so, that sounds like it would hurt me. In that case I'm hearing conflicting things: some don't seem to think it matters much in my case. Can I ask where this info comes from?


Most people on this site work under the assumption that school admissions committees do things to boost their rankings in USNWR, an assumption which I think is reasonable. Since you have no GPA law schools will not have to report it to USNWR, so your lack of GPA should not effect you. Thus it would be as if a law school put your GPA at the median of its incoming class: not a factor for you, not a factor against you. This leaves your LSAT and if you have any amazing softs (I don't think a Philosophy Ph.D. would be a good enough soft to change the schools that you get accepted to). This is all the conventional logic of this site, which is cobbled together by anecdotal examples and interviews with admissions officials and superstition and whatever else has trickled in over the years. Take it with a grain of salt, but the results often match the predictions made on this.

PolPhilPhD
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Re: No uGPA/170(+) LSAT/Philosophy Ph.D.

Postby PolPhilPhD » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:36 pm

flyingpanda wrote:
PolPhilPhD wrote:
flyingpanda wrote: If you have no LSAC gpa, schools will make a decision as if your GPA was at their median.


Thanks. Can I assume you mean median for applicants? If so, that sounds like it would hurt me. In that case I'm hearing conflicting things: some don't seem to think it matters much in my case. Can I ask where this info comes from?


No I mean median for the school. If you think about it, it makes sense because only your LSAT score is going to influence their medians one way or the other.


OK. Sounds like it won't make a difference either way, then. Makes sense. Thanks.

PolPhilPhD
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Re: No uGPA/170(+) LSAT/Philosophy Ph.D.

Postby PolPhilPhD » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:43 pm

St.Remy wrote:
PolPhilPhD wrote:
flyingpanda wrote: If you have no LSAC gpa, schools will make a decision as if your GPA was at their median.


Thanks. Can I assume you mean median for applicants? If so, that sounds like it would hurt me. In that case I'm hearing conflicting things: some don't seem to think it matters much in my case. Can I ask where this info comes from?


Most people on this site work under the assumption that school admissions committees do things to boost their rankings in USNWR, an assumption which I think is reasonable. Since you have no GPA law schools will not have to report it to USNWR, so your lack of GPA should not effect you. Thus it would be as if a law school put your GPA at the median of its incoming class: not a factor for you, not a factor against you. This leaves your LSAT and if you have any amazing softs (I don't think a Philosophy Ph.D. would be a good enough soft to change the schools that you get accepted to). This is all the conventional logic of this site, which is cobbled together by anecdotal examples and interviews with admissions officials and superstition and whatever else has trickled in over the years. Take it with a grain of salt, but the results often match the predictions made on this.


Thanks. The point about GPA is heartening (since there's nothing I can do about that). And the reasoning makes sense, to a point, though I should say that I'm a little skeptical that the very top programs are worried all that much about USNWR rankings. It would also be surprising to me if schools like Yale, which send a lot of people along to the legal academy, and generally seem to encourage a grad-school-like environment wouldn't look pretty favorably on credentials that demonstrate an ability to thrive in academia (not true of just any Ph.D., but I think my C.V./recs/ etc. are strong enough for that purpose). But then what do I know.

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The Gentleman
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Re: No uGPA/170(+) LSAT/Philosophy Ph.D.

Postby The Gentleman » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:54 pm

OP, out of curiosity, how bad is the academic job market for philosophy PhDs? I've heard some horror stories.

PolPhilPhD
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Re: No uGPA/170(+) LSAT/Philosophy Ph.D.

Postby PolPhilPhD » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:14 pm

The Gentleman wrote:OP, out of curiosity, how bad is the academic job market for philosophy PhDs? I've heard some horror stories.


jobs haven't been posted yet for this year (any time now). last year was pretty bad; this year might be a little better. people say there's a glut of candidates on the market, though, from the the previous two bad years. so even if there are more jobs this year and the next (when I'd be applying), it's going to be tough. on the plus side the number of postdocs and the like seems to be growing; so some, at least, might be able to ride out some of the bad market in a decent temporary position.

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re-applicant
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Re: No uGPA/170(+) LSAT/Philosophy Ph.D.

Postby re-applicant » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:24 pm

I would imagine (purely imagining here, no experience) that recommendations from your professors will become very important, so that they have a sense of your academic aptitude (which I'm sure is excellent given your experience).

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im_blue
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Re: No uGPA/170(+) LSAT/Philosophy Ph.D.

Postby im_blue » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:28 am

Most schools require an LSAT score within the past 4-5 years, so you'd need to retake. HYS would give you the best chances at academia, so you'll need a 170+ for Stanford and a 173+ for HY.




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