Undergraduate Student applying to law school in 2 years

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ThundercatsRinnocent
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Undergraduate Student applying to law school in 2 years

Postby ThundercatsRinnocent » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:02 am

Hello everyone, this is my first post here and I was hoping you could give me useful insight.
I'm an undergraduate student currently going to a community college in New Jersey. I came here (CC) because I was misinformed about college out of high school and attended an expensive liberal arts school in NY because my SAT scores (1900/2400) were above average but not good enough to get me into a Top 50 School. So anyway, $25,000 in loans later, I'm at community college.

Because my family is poor, I'm planning to transfer to UNC-Chapel Hill, a reputable school known for its generous financial aid (and also a school I would not have been admitted to as a HS senior). It also happens to have excellent English and History programs (I'm planning to double major in both when I transfer)


Anyway, sorry for the autobiography.

My GPA at my first school was a 3.6
My GPA at community college is a 3.9

Assuming I transfer to UNC, if I keep a 3.8+ GPA there and take the LSAT during the summer of 2012, what kind of LSAT score would I need to have a chance of getting accepted into a T14 school?

I'm a legitimate ethnic minority (100% Puerto Rican) and hopefully I'll have decent soft factors by the time I apply. I'm also planning to do work study when I transfer so that I have some invaluable work experience to put on my applications.

Would the community college GPA be a concern? Because as I understand it, the top law schools prefer that their students spent 4 years at a prestigious undergraduate institution..right?
Would you recommend applying a year after I've completed my bachelor's degree(s) so that the law schools would consider all of my college grades and not just 1 year from a liberal arts school, 2 years from community college and 1 year from UNC? (as opposed to 2 years of UNC coursework)


Sorry if I'm posting this thread in the wrong forum. I'm new here and not familiar with this message board just yet.

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kazu
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Re: Undergraduate Student applying to law school in 2 years

Postby kazu » Mon Sep 27, 2010 5:41 am

Law schools don't care about what school you've graduated from. There are some slight exceptions - I've heard that P graduates get a slight bump since their curve is brutal, and HLS gives H undergrads a slight boost, but otherwise LSAC GPA trumps undergrad prestige pretty much every time. Unfortunately, your LSAC GPA will include all your grades from all of the UG institutions you've attended.

However, URM cycles are very difficult to predict. I'm thinking that if you get 170+ you'll have a legitimate chance at every single T14. Someone with more knowledge about URM cycles might come by and clarify this though, since my knowledge in that area is pretty slim.

Right now what you do need to focus on is getting that GPA up as high as possible. If you're 100% sure you want to go to law school I don't know if double majoring is your best choice - getting straight As will count for much more than having 2 majors on your transcript.

ThundercatsRinnocent
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Re: Undergraduate Student applying to law school in 2 years

Postby ThundercatsRinnocent » Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:06 am

Really? So I could go to community college for 2 years and then transfer to the worst state school imaginable and get a 3.9 and still have a shot at Y/H/S with the right LSAT scores?

LOL, if I had known that I would have gone to Florida or maybe even Penn State right out of HS. Wouldn't take me 5 years to complete my bachelor's and I'd get to tailgate and go to awesome college football games :P


That must suck for those intelligent people who go to prestigious schools with severe grade deflation who get rejected in favor of the buzzed out tier 3 undergrads who majored in communications.


And the reason I was planning to double major was because I have genuine interest in both disciplines and I figure if I can pull off a 4.0 in all those higher level English/History courses at a great school, then my community college coursework and the 3.6 GPA at my first school will be offset in the eyes of the admissions committees. But apparently it doesn't matter so I guess I'll just minor in History. (Although wouldn't a double major help my chances at Yale and Stanford?)

r6_philly
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Re: Undergraduate Student applying to law school in 2 years

Postby r6_philly » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:37 am

Don't assume that because you are getting 3.9 at community college it is easy to get a 3.8 and above once you transfer to a state school. I ran across a study last about PA CC transfers, only a small percentage of 3.9-4.0 CC transfers were able to maintain grades close to their CC grades after transfer. Not saying you can't, it will just take a lot of work, and it also depends on the major you choose. If you had difficulty get to the top of the class at the LAC, then you probably won't be able to party/drink/hang out and still get a 3.9 at state.

That said, if you do get 3.9 at UNC or any other respected state school, and you score well on the LSAT, you will do fine. You may not stack up well against someone from an Ivy with the same grades/LSAT but you would not have to number taken too much out of context. Just study, work hard and test well. Save money in the process.

Just don't take state school for granted. :wink:

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bostonlawchick
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Re: Undergraduate Student applying to law school in 2 years

Postby bostonlawchick » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:51 am

I did almost the exact same thing you did... had high SAT scores, so I went to a really good engineering school taking out a bunch of loans and then hated it (but my GPA there was waaaay lower than a 3.6). I then went to CC for 3 years taking every other semester off to earn money, transferred with close to a 4.0 to my pretty respectable state school. My current school is nowhere near the caliber of UNC, but my GPA definitely suffered. I've got a 3.5ish here. Don't get too complacent at your CC. UNC will be a totally different ballgame.

That said, your past shouldn't matter that much, as long as you still have a decent LSDAS GPA to show for it. I'm looking at t-14 schools right now still and hopefully will have an acceptance.

Don't focus too much on what LSAT you need as much as getting the highest one you possibly can, so that you can get some $$. With a good GPA and a 170+ you should get some places with money.

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oshberg28
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Re: Undergraduate Student applying to law school in 2 years

Postby oshberg28 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 6:37 pm

r6_philly wrote:Don't assume that because you are getting 3.9 at community college it is easy to get a 3.8 and above once you transfer to a state school. I ran across a study last about PA CC transfers, only a small percentage of 3.9-4.0 CC transfers were able to maintain grades close to their CC grades after transfer. Not saying you can't, it will just take a lot of work, and it also depends on the major you choose. If you had difficulty get to the top of the class at the LAC, then you probably won't be able to party/drink/hang out and still get a 3.9 at state.

That said, if you do get 3.9 at UNC or any other respected state school, and you score well on the LSAT, you will do fine. You may not stack up well against someone from an Ivy with the same grades/LSAT but you would not have to number taken too much out of context. Just study, work hard and test well. Save money in the process.

Just don't take state school for granted. :wink:


3.95 GPA here at cc...3.67 GPA at the school I transferred to (Top 25); Cumul. GPA: 3.84 (also remember that you're taking your general courses at cc, then taking upper level courses at the transfer school, thus making it harder to maintain a great GPA, in most cases).

It's generally not a good idea to assume that you'll go to law school. Why work so hard at cc only to transfer to a Tier 2-4 school? Transfer to a great school (UNC, as you indicated), do well, and you'll have plenty of options beyond just attending law school.

r6_philly
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Re: Undergraduate Student applying to law school in 2 years

Postby r6_philly » Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:56 pm

I went to CC and has 3.82. I transferred to a US News T1 regional and graduated with a 4.0. I would like to think that I would have gotten 4.0 at a T50 but you never know. Graduating with a 4.0 allowed me great recommendations from school (everyone from prof. to department chair) and many options. I was awarded a funded + stipend grad program, but I chose to go to an Ivy grad program with some $$. I think I would have spent lots more going to a T50 for UG, and probably not be in as good of a position. Like I said, if you want grad, go where you get the best grades. If you want to work after undergrad, choose a school with a good career services department, prestigious reputation, and great employment stats.

ThundercatsRinnocent
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Re: Undergraduate Student applying to law school in 2 years

Postby ThundercatsRinnocent » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:34 pm

That's a huge factor in why I want to transfer to UNC for undergrad. If I can't get into a T14 Law School, I want to have a degree from a school with national recognition which would afford me the best employment opportunities. I'd probably take the GRE and complete a master's degree in my major. But if all that fell through because of poor standardized test scores, I'd like to have a degree with great name recognition.

That's why I didn't want to go to Rutgers when I graduated high school, even though I got in with a partial scholarship and my financial aid covered the rest of tuition and room/board in state grants. I chose to take out loans to attend a better liberal arts college over going to a state school where I thought I'd be locked in New Jersey if I didn't get into a good law school. In retrospect it would have made more sense to go there for a couple of years and then transfer up, but I was very naive 3 years ago.

Also to the other poster, I wasn't trying to assume that I'll get a 4.0 at UNC just because I have a 3.9 at CC, but I can't deny that I am confident I can do it.
I have a 4.0 in all my English/History courses I've taken since my senior year of HS. The only grades which have ruined my GPA were a B- in General Chemistry (still don't know what I was thinking taking that class, the fact that it was a 4 credit course made it worse) and a B- in Political Philosophy. Everything else has been B+ or >. :P


So the consensus is that I haven't quite ruined my chances at any of the T14 just yet?

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bostonlawchick
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Re: Undergraduate Student applying to law school in 2 years

Postby bostonlawchick » Mon Sep 27, 2010 9:41 pm

ThundercatsRinnocent wrote:I have a 4.0 in all my English/History courses I've taken since my senior year of HS. The only grades which have ruined my GPA were a B- in General Chemistry (still don't know what I was thinking taking that class, the fact that it was a 4 credit course made it worse) and a B- in Political Philosophy. Everything else has been B+ or >. :P


So the consensus is that I haven't quite ruined my chances at any of the T14 just yet?


Keep your GPA up, kill the LSAT, you'll be golden.

General chemistry kicked my ass twice. :evil:

r6_philly
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Re: Undergraduate Student applying to law school in 2 years

Postby r6_philly » Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:09 pm

ThundercatsRinnocent wrote:That's a huge factor in why I want to transfer to UNC for undergrad. If I can't get into a T14 Law School, I want to have a degree from a school with national recognition which would afford me the best employment opportunities. I'd probably take the GRE and complete a master's degree in my major. But if all that fell through because of poor standardized test scores, I'd like to have a degree with great name recognition.


Well, I didn't even take the GRE. My grad school took my LSAT, and the grad program at my UG (who offered me the fullride+stipend) gave me a waiver for the GRE because I did so well. Having a 4.0 has its rewards. Maybe you will be awesome at UNC too, so don't worry too much about it. Worry about the debt instead. Even if I had to pay sticker for my masters at the ivy (40k), it would still be cheaper than 2 years of UG at a T50 (I did my UG for free pretty much), and I get an advanced degree out of it.

trudat15
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Re: Undergraduate Student applying to law school in 2 years

Postby trudat15 » Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:54 pm

ThundercatsRinnocent wrote:That's a huge factor in why I want to transfer to UNC for undergrad. If I can't get into a T14 Law School, I want to have a degree from a school with national recognition which would afford me the best employment opportunities. I'd probably take the GRE and complete a master's degree in my major. But if all that fell through because of poor standardized test scores, I'd like to have a degree with great name recognition.

That's why I didn't want to go to Rutgers when I graduated high school, even though I got in with a partial scholarship and my financial aid covered the rest of tuition and room/board in state grants. I chose to take out loans to attend a better liberal arts college over going to a state school where I thought I'd be locked in New Jersey if I didn't get into a good law school. In retrospect it would have made more sense to go there for a couple of years and then transfer up, but I was very naive 3 years ago.

Also to the other poster, I wasn't trying to assume that I'll get a 4.0 at UNC just because I have a 3.9 at CC, but I can't deny that I am confident I can do it.
I have a 4.0 in all my English/History courses I've taken since my senior year of HS. The only grades which have ruined my GPA were a B- in General Chemistry (still don't know what I was thinking taking that class, the fact that it was a 4 credit course made it worse) and a B- in Political Philosophy. Everything else has been B+ or >. :P


So the consensus is that I haven't quite ruined my chances at any of the T14 just yet?



You DEF did not ruin any chances of t14. You'll be golden with a high LSAT score, URM status, and a 3.9 or whatever you end up with.




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