PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

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BrianGriffintheDog
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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby BrianGriffintheDog » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:14 am

Screw law school. Save your time & money. With your GMAT score & work exp, you should be able to get into some pretty damn good business schools.

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Lawquacious
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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby Lawquacious » Sat Jan 01, 2011 6:48 am

stugots26 wrote:I'd like to thank the last few posters for their contributions.

I'd like to wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Look, bottom line - I didn't do well on the LSAT. I saw that Northwestern accepts the GMAT. So I took it, and rocked it. I'm playing to my strengths.

I've been doing the equivalent of office work - in a lab - for six years, while earning my PhD. And now I'm a professor in Chicago. I just don't think that an undergraduate GPA should really factor into the decision, given that Northwestern prides itself on work experience, and I've proven in my case that I've risen above and beyond the undergraduate GPA of NINE YEARS AGO. I'm not a typical law student, and I shouldn't be treated as a typical applicant.

Northwestern doesn't seem like a school that wants to focus on statistics and medians and ratings. They're doing something different already by accepting the GMAT.

Yes, I meant that an outlier like me for an undergraduate GPA wouldn't affect a median like I would an average.

Northwestern knows that I want to study Intellectual Property Law and that I want to make that my career. Why I should still be penalized, at 31, for an undergraduate GPA that was last relevant at 22, is kind of a mystery to myself and anyone who I've discussed my status with.

Like I asked to begin with, what's the normal range for GMAT that Northwestern likes, at least for the JD-MBA program?



I think in reading this I can understand your frustration better and withdraw my comments about probably being a troll and saying you were acting like a dick when you didn't hear what you wanted to- I apologize for that latter comment especially (I think I was a bit on edge when I wrote it and hope you didn't take it to heart). I think it does suck that post-grad GPA isn't accounted for and so I can understand your frustration with that. Similarly, the way GPA is accounted for even across undergraduate programs can be quite unfair to people who studied at a difficult UG since the GPA scores aren't weighted to take into account relative grading rigor. In any case, I would think the best place to get stats for your inquiry is from the school itself (though it sounds like you may have tried that). I wish you luck and hope that maybe there is someone on here that goes to or graduated from NU after being accepted on GMAT.

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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby bdubs » Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:56 am

stugots26 wrote:Why I should still be penalized, at 31, for an undergraduate GPA that was last relevant at 22, is kind of a mystery to myself and anyone who I've discussed my status with.

Like I asked to begin with, what's the normal range for GMAT that Northwestern likes, at least for the JD-MBA program?


1) You aren't the only non-traditional applicant to law school and not all non-traditional applicants have a poor undergraduate record. If you read up there are a number of applicants around who have been out of undergrad for 5-10 years who have applied to LS. Schools have to decide whether to admit another traditional student or a non-traditional student like you, so they need common metrics to compare across you as candidates.

2) You should probably take a look at the AJD program statistics since those seem to be more relevant to your interests (entry into the law program based on GMAT). 750 would make you an above median candidate, but you are still pretty far from the GPA median.
http://www.law.northwestern.edu/admissi ... ofile.html

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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby thwalls » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:19 am

stugots26 wrote:I'd like to thank the last few posters for their contributions.

I've been doing the equivalent of office work - in a lab - for six years, while earning my PhD. And now I'm a professor in Chicago. I just don't think that an undergraduate GPA should really factor into the decision, given that Northwestern prides itself on work experience, and I've proven in my case that I've risen above and beyond the undergraduate GPA of NINE YEARS AGO. I'm not a typical law student, and I shouldn't be treated as a typical applicant.



I was in a position almost identical to yours last year. Finished my PhD in Organic Chemistry from UVA and my undergraduate degree seemed like a thousand years ago. However, in the law school application process it seemed like most schools didn't care about my PhD for the most part. I think that your PhD and experience, as it did with me, may help if you're on the fence between being accepted or not but if your UGPA and LSAT/GMAT don't pass muster, you may have some trouble. The argument of, "it was a long time ago and shouldn't matter," is invalid.

Furthermore, in this day and age you are a typical applicant. I thought that my PhD and my experience (which includes teaching experience and my own grant funded research) would make me different and it just doesn't. This was a tough pill for me to swallow.

On the flip side though, if you're looking at IP law you're golden because all of your accolades will be taken into account when searching for a job. So if I were you, and I was, study for the patent bar. I don't think Northwestern offers a PT program, but if they do you could sell yourself to local IP boutiques as a patent agent who is attending law school. It took me some time, but I ended up with a patent agent position at an IP boutique in Philly that will keep me as an attorney after I graduate in 3 years. This may not be as glamorous as going full time and hunting for a "biglaw" job after graduation, but unlike my fellow classmates, I don't have to worry about about a job after graduation. You may be able to work out the same deal.
Last edited by thwalls on Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

stugots26
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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby stugots26 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 12:56 pm

Thank you for your empathy with my situation, thwalls, and for the other recent responses and second looks.

It certainly doesn't seem very positive to think that all this time spent doing research doesn't matter. It's pretty disappointing. I feel like what I have going for me with Northwestern is the fact that I know exactly what type of law I want to practice (IP) and I'd be successful, I've got a stellar GMAT score, a letter from my thesis advisor who goes into detail about how he was initially concerned about my undergraduate GPA and saw how I came in, matured, and grew into a serious, professional academic over the course of my PhD. Northwestern prizes work experience and leadership, and I've gotten a lot of both as a teaching assistant, research mentor (for less senior graduate students and undergraduate students).

A lot of people have mentioned that I'd increase their diversity at the school.

You're right, Northwestern gives the old company line "we don't just look at the numbers, we take everything into account", but as everyone on here loves to talk about numbers:

I understand the situation if the UGPA AND the standardized test score are both questionable, but when only one of them is - in other words, when the only reason I'm questionable and not a lock at this point is the GPA, given that I've scored in the 98th percentile on the standardized test - is it just a tossup?

And I definitely am, now that the GMAT is done, starting to study for the patent bar. I bought the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure on Amazon. I've got eight solid months to outline and outline and outline, and worst comes to worst, I'll just go to John Marshall, which has a terrific IP program and is two blocks down the street from me here in Chicago.

I got really bummed when I bombed the LSAT, because I really wanted Northwestern. Then I remembered that little item about the GMAT from the application, and I got really excited, because it was like a second wind. And I was exhilirated when I aced the test and saw I still had a chance.

I appreciate both the empathy and the bitter pills I'm forced to swallow on here. Thanks. I guess I'll just have to wait.

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ResolutePear
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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:08 pm

While it may be true that not everybody with a PhD has a poor undergrad academic background-

I have heard they look more favorably towards those PhD's who publish "excellence" every-so-often.

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seespotrun
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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby seespotrun » Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:12 pm

You can always wait until next year. Retake the LSAT.

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dextermorgan
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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby dextermorgan » Sat Jan 01, 2011 1:56 pm

Image

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ResolutePear
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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:05 pm

dextermorgan wrote:Image


Well - considering that a PhD must write a dissertation consisting of empirical research, I'd say this is on point. :P

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NayBoer
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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby NayBoer » Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:14 pm

I'm not positive, but I am pretty sure that if you take the LSAT, Northwestern will consider it because they have to report your score to USNWR. The only way to get around this, I believe, is to only take the GMAT. You may be able to select which score you want NU to consider, but they'll see both, and the LSAT is what's going to be reported. If every law school could get out of reporting the LSAT by considering another test, the rankings would be much easier to game.

From a USNWR perspective, GPA + GMAT + LSAT is just GPA and LSAT. If you have a bad GPA and a bad LSAT score, I don't think the GMAT will work as a backdoor for you. The GMAT is just an attempt by Northwestern to get a credible, standardized test score from applicants while simultaneously avoiding reporting a low LSAT score. Michigan and Georgetown do the same thing with their own undergrads who have high GPAs. The LSAT isn't required, but once taken, they must consider it.

I get that you're a nontraditional applicant and that you have an impressive resume. Northwestern does like that; however, the admissions committee probably isn't going to ignore your bad numbers just because of your PhD and work experience. Lots and lots of people apply every year with impressive work experience and much better numbers. They don't need to take you when they have others with everything.

Edit:
And I was exhilirated when I aced the test and saw I still had a chance.
Re-taking the LSAT is your second chance.

stugots26
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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby stugots26 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:49 pm

NayBoer, I appreciate your perspective.

A legitimate question, and I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm just trying to reason this out: Do you think that the part of the application where they ask which test score the applicant wants the committee to consider is not taken seriously? That it's just wishful thinking that they'd get a LSDAS report on me and toss aside the page with the LSAT scores since I ask them to consider the GMAT?

I can understand the low opinion of admissions boards on here, but do posters think that they wouldn't honor their own application terms? I was fully prepared for them to review my LSAT score, until I saw the question opting out of them considering it and considering the GMAT instead. If they say they won't consider it, that means that they shouldn't be playing the game of saying, "Well, even though he wants us to look at his GMAT score, his LSAT score will have to be reported." That, simply, would be the very definition of taking the LSAT score report INTO CONSIDERATION.

If they intend to use my LSAT score anyway, that should be made clearer. In my conversations with the admissions staff at Northwestern, it's been made to seem like that's a part of the process in which I set the terms, and one is totally replaced by the other at my choice. Otherwise, if they accepted both and used both, I feel as though the application wouldn't bother to ask the question allowing me to select.

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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby IAFG » Sat Jan 01, 2011 2:56 pm

If you had a 3.8+ GPA they would probably overlook, say, a 155 LSAT and consider your GMAT. The thing is, lots of people have strong resumes AND strong numbers.

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ResolutePear
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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:06 pm

You probably already thought of this, perhaps dismissing it because you don't want to follow in the profession... but I'm personally curious.

Why not med school?

stugots26
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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby stugots26 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:10 pm

IAFG, that's the point of my last question.

You say they'd "overlook the LSAT and consider the GMAT". According to my application, they're ONLY supposed to consider the GMAT.

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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:11 pm

OP, whether or not you think it's fair. It's the tough situation your in. And, your earlier grades may be forgiven to an extent if you could show that you can succeed at the LSAT. But ATM, in the two most important things for admission, you haven't shown that you can do well. I respect the PhD, but that is just not as big a part of your application as the other two things.

Also, I can't imagine OP has a good change at Kellogg, even with a 750. Jd/MBA is probably out.

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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby IAFG » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:16 pm

stugots26 wrote:IAFG, that's the point of my last question.

You say they'd "overlook the LSAT and consider the GMAT". According to my application, they're ONLY supposed to consider the GMAT.

We could be wrong but since they have to report it, that just doesn't sound likely. When it comes to crafting a class of strong numbers, you're dragging us down. If there were no USNWR you would probably be in.

As for why USNWR matters so much, DVZ told me NU plays the game because people say it is a big reason why they choose NU over another school, or why they pass NU up. Since recruiting and admissions are the same office, they're ruled by gaming USNWR.Edit: when I say "people" I am talking about what admits write in the surveys of admits the admissions office collects.
Last edited by IAFG on Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby NayBoer » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:17 pm

That's a good question. Where did you see Northwestern promise not to consider your LSAT score? I can't locate a copy of the application, so maybe you can post the exact wording.

On the JD-MBA FAQ page, Northwestern says the LSAT is not required, but that's not the same as "we won't consider your LSAT score." I think you made your choice when you took the LSAT. If you'd only taken the GMAT, then you wouldn't have an LSAT score to report. I suspect, though, that because you took the LSAT, the score gets considered even if you're applying with your GMAT score. I don't think Northwestern is being disingenuous, but they're also not going to come right out and say, "If you're going to bomb the LSAT, please don't take it." They strongly hint that you shouldn't take the LSAT, but that's it. My feeling is that everything you submit gets considered. By asking you which score you want to apply with, they're probably not saying that the LSAT isn't considered, but rather that only the GMAT is required. If the application says otherwise, post it. I'd like to see it.

I don't have a negative opinion of the admissions office; they let me in. I'm just realistic about the process having been through it. A lot of students look at US News rankings and schools have an obligation to achieve the best rankings possible.

Even if you are right, I'm not sure it matters. You're still just a low GPA from the law school's perspective. A splitter has a low GPA, but offers a high LSAT to counter it. As it stands, your GPA would a point against the GPA median and your GMAT score wouldn't help the law school at all. Who knows, maybe NU Law will just follow Kellogg, but because I know the law school has to report your LSAT score, I can't help but think that that's going to hurt you.

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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby stugots26 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:40 pm

If worst comes to absolute worst, I'll go to John Marshall or another school for L1 and submit a transfer application to Northwestern with my GMAT without going through LSAC so my LSAT score doesn't even get reported.

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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby 09042014 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:48 pm

stugots26 wrote:If worst comes to absolute worst, I'll go to John Marshall or another school for L1 and submit a transfer application to Northwestern with my GMAT without going through LSAC so my LSAT score doesn't even get reported.


Studying for the LSAT is so much easier than acing 1L for a transfer.

Why can you score so well on the GMAT but so poorly on the LSAT?

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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:48 pm

stugots26 wrote:If worst comes to absolute worst, I'll go to John Marshall or another school for L1 and submit a transfer application to Northwestern with my GMAT without going through LSAC so my LSAT score doesn't even get reported.


You are going to get a lot of flack for this. Really, OP, you just need to study your ass off and retake the LSAT.

stugots26
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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby stugots26 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:56 pm

How would I get flack for that?

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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby 09042014 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 3:58 pm

stugots26 wrote:How would I get flack for that?


It's a dumb plan. Transferring from John Marshall to NU is hard as fuck.

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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby Patriot1208 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:05 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
stugots26 wrote:How would I get flack for that?


It's a dumb plan. Transferring from John Marshall to NU is hard as fuck.


Much harder than getting a 170.

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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby thegor1987 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 4:13 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
stugots26 wrote:If worst comes to absolute worst, I'll go to John Marshall or another school for L1 and submit a transfer application to Northwestern with my GMAT without going through LSAC so my LSAT score doesn't even get reported.


Studying for the LSAT is so much easier than acing 1L for a transfer.

Why can you score so well on the GMAT but so poorly on the LSAT?


Because GMAT is way easier.

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fastforward
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Re: PhD Scientist, low undergrad GPA, 750 GMAT NWJD

Postby fastforward » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:45 pm

OP: What you are saying makes a great deal of sense, and that's the problem. Law schools are known to be irrational in making decisions, which too often are made with an eye to the USNWR rankings. A study partially underwritten by LSAC documents this: http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1202435994960. The same article mentions a GAO study that shows the primary reason law school tuition is increasing is the schools' perceived need to generate funds to do things (e.g. award raises to retain distinguished faculty) to boost their USNWR rankings.

Northwestern has been said to have hired unemployed grads as research assistants to protect its employment statistics, and hence its USNWR rankings. The only cite I've been able to find for this, though, attributes the information to Brian Leiter, who has been highly critical of the USNWR rankings. http://www.aolnews.com/2010/10/15/opinion-are-law-schools-scamming-students/ So we should take what Leiter says with a grain of salt. Still, the information has circulated for years and Northwestern has not denied it to my knowledge.

None of this is to discourage you from applying to Northwestern. You are correct that you actually have a quirky advantage being below the 25th percentile GPA. Northwestern accepting the GMAT in lieu of LSAT is far too new a phenomenon for anyone to meaningfully predict what your chances are. But the new policy is indeed a clear signal Northwestern is ready to entertain alternatives to traditional admissions criteria.

It sounds as though you wisely are considering alternatives to Northwestern in the event you are not offered admission there. Because you mentioned John Marshall, I suspect you may want to stay put in Chicago. If you are flexible, you just might have a shot at UC-Berkeley. They have one of the best IP programs and they value post-baccalaureate work by applicants. U-NH (formerly Franklin Pierce) might just be ideal for you, given their emphasis on IP law. If you want to stay near Chicago, Creighton in Omaha has a good IP program. Your LSAT/GPA would likely get you in there. I am acquainted with a highly successful Creighton grad with a thriving IP practice.

Ken, this site's administrator, went to Berkeley and practices IP law. His posts contain a wealth of information (as do other threads here) on IP, so you definitely should search them. I believe if you look, you will see many posts that confirm the comments here saying once you get past the admissions hurdle, you have excellent professional prospects.

All the best for success, whatever you decide.

[Edited to delete factual error re: Leiter]
Last edited by fastforward on Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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