URM 3.07/172. Does age hurt you?

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alittleshabby
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URM 3.07/172. Does age hurt you?

Postby alittleshabby » Wed May 11, 2011 5:20 pm

URM: African American Female
Public University
3.07 GPA (predicted 3.3 by the end of my 4th year)
-Upward trend. Nothing less than an A /A-from the 2nd semester of my 2nd year till now. However bad, freshman grades
-Planning on writing a addendum explaining the circumstances, (multiple illnesses and 3 immediate deaths in the family)
172 LSAT
English/Anthropology Double Major (genric, i know)
Founded Non-profit Org.
Vast Volunteer Experience -- mainly to do with youth education
Not that great softs -- one leadership position in a pre-law org, membership in a few other orgs.

1. What are my chances at the T-14? T-20?
-Any specific schools I should apply to at?
2. Since my GPA will most likely be raised, should I wait to apply for the next cycle? Or should I apply this cycle and if I don't get into any of the T-14 take the year off for an internship and reapply for the 2012-2013 cycle?
3. Recommendations of any softs I might be forgetting to include?
4. I entered college at age 15. If accepted for the 2011-2012 cycle, I will be starting Law School at age 19. Will this hurt me or help me? And while including this in my addendum for my GPA be a bad idea?
5. I might retake the LSAT in October to see if I can get my score to be more competitive. Any recommendations for better test prep courses ? I used Kaplan before.
6. This may be a stupid question, but I am new to these posts and I see many comments about URMs and URM boosts. What exactly is an URM boost and how does it work.

Thanks for your assistance.
Note: URM status seems to be looked down upon on these posts, I'd appreciate just advice and answers to the questions.
Last edited by alittleshabby on Wed May 11, 2011 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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acrossthelake
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Re: 3.07/172

Postby acrossthelake » Wed May 11, 2011 5:22 pm

URM status isn't looked down upon...it just makes your cycle fairly unpredictable. Work experience helps...if I were you I'd try to see if I could get some work experience for a year or two after you graduate, then apply to law school. You'll have a better shot at places like Northwestern and for hiring in general then. I had a friend who graduates law school at T10 before turning 21 and who has a nice job lined up in her target market, so it's possible, but not common.

alittleshabby
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Re: 3.07/172

Postby alittleshabby » Wed May 11, 2011 5:29 pm

Okay. So I should wait to apply for the 2012-2013 cycle, take a year off and work?

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Lawquacious
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Re: 3.07/172

Postby Lawquacious » Wed May 11, 2011 5:33 pm

With URM AA status, if you can end up with a 3.3 as you speculate (so that your numbers would be 172/3.3), I think Y/ H/ S should be your target. The low GPA could be a problem, but with URM status those would be extremely strong numbers that I think could get you in anywhere (though far from guaranteed). Even with 3.07 I think your AA URM status makes you a sure thing at T14 or even T10. But I say this with the caveat that I really don't know how lower-end GPAs factor into URM admissions.

You also have some strong softs (i.e. started non-profit etc). I really think you will have good luck with admissions, and that before it is said and done will end up with at least a T10 acceptance (particularly assuming you can get the GPA to 3.3). Good luck.

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Lawquacious
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Re: 3.07/172

Postby Lawquacious » Wed May 11, 2011 5:39 pm

alittleshabby wrote:Okay. So I should wait to apply for the 2012-2013 cycle, take a year off and work?


Might help with some schools, but your numbers (GPA/LSAT) are generally much more determinitive in admissions than whether you worked for a year after college. Some schools do seem to shy away from younger applicants, but it at least can't hurt to try IMO. That being said, I think that Yale wants to see at least a year work experience after UG, and I think I would apply there if I were you.

Re URM boost: it gives an advantage to certain underrepresented minorities. African American and Native American I think get the strongest boosts. Basically it is probably like adding 5-10 to your LSAT from what I can tell. Where it usually seems to work the best is if a person has a high GPA and a so-so LSAT. Since you already have a very strong LSAT I'm not sure how the boost would work for you. It would basically need to be applied in a way that essentially brings your GPA up .5+ (from 3.2 or 3.3) to have any shot at the best of the best IMO. Not sure if that will happen or not.

slotwide
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Re: 3.07/172

Postby slotwide » Wed May 11, 2011 5:42 pm

I say there is no need for work experience if you are an AA. You are for sure good for T14 this cycle.

alittleshabby
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Re: 3.07/172

Postby alittleshabby » Wed May 11, 2011 5:52 pm

By the time I graduate, which will be May of 2012, I will most probably have a 3.3. However, since I will be applying in October/November of this year. Will the prospect of raising my GPA up to a 3.3 still be pertinent to my applications?

CoriOlivia
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Re: URM 3.07/172. Does age hurt you?

Postby CoriOlivia » Wed May 11, 2011 6:53 pm

...
Last edited by CoriOlivia on Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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yngblkgifted
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Re: 3.07/172

Postby yngblkgifted » Wed May 11, 2011 6:57 pm

acrossthelake wrote:URM status isn't looked down upon...it just makes your cycle fairly unpredictable. Work experience helps...if I were you I'd try to see if I could get some work experience for a year or two after you graduate, then apply to law school. You'll have a better shot at places like Northwestern and for hiring in general then. I had a friend who graduates law school at T10 before turning 21 and who has a nice job lined up in her target market, so it's possible, but not common.


:shock:

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vanwinkle
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Re: URM 3.07/172. Does age hurt you?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed May 11, 2011 7:04 pm

I started college early and I ended up going to law school much later. Let me implore you to please consider working for at least a couple years before you graduate. This will have multiple advantages:

1) Top law schools really are focusing on work experience more and more these days. 75% of the entering class at HLS this fall will have at least 1 year of WE and I understand 50% will have two years or more. It's becoming a big plus to have on your resume.

2) The reason it's a big plus is that people with WE tend to have more real-world perspective and maturity. This isn't a comment on you or your age; it's a comment on anyone who tries to go to law school straight out of college, no matter how long it takes them. There's a perspective you only get from working in the real world and having to support yourself, and nothing in college can really provide it. It's valuable through the whole process. Not only does WE make you more attractive to schools, it makes you more attractive to future employers, who know you understand what a full work week is like and what a work ethic is. It doesn't even have to be legal WE; I've known people with a wide range of jobs prior to attending law school. It also helps in law school itself; law school requires a lot more self-discipline than college does, and has to be treated more like a full-time job. The people I've known who did best in their first year of law school almost universally had at least a couple years of WE under their belt.

3) Law school is the start of a career. It's a professional thing, your summers will be consumed with building up your resume, and you're going to end up in jobs with long hours and few vacation opportunities while you try to climb a ladder. You're young. Working for a couple years before law school also means living a couple more years before law school. It won't hurt you, it'll give you a chance to experience and do more before you enter the grind, and it'll make you a more full and rounded person by the time you are ready to attend.

4) Waiting until you graduate means your final semester of grades will be counted and your GPA will be higher. This is a good thing, as it'll help you when you're applying to the T6 (which you should be doing when you do go). A 3.3/172 would do a lot better than a 3.0/172.

There are people saying you don't need WE to get into top schools, and it's true, but you can both have a better cycle and do better in the school you attend if you take at least a couple years off first.

alittleshabby
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:55 pm

Re: URM 3.07/172. Does age hurt you?

Postby alittleshabby » Wed May 11, 2011 7:05 pm

CoriOlivia wrote:If you're asking whether or not they will consider that your GPA may rise over the next school year when you apply with a 3.07, then no. You can certainly apply and then send your fall grades in Dec, but they're not just going to assume you will have a higher gpa upon graduation because you have an upward-trending gpa. I wouldn't wait until after grades are posted to apply, though. The earlier, the better, from what I've read here.


So are you suggesting I apply for the 2013 cycle instead?

alittleshabby
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2011 4:55 pm

Re: URM 3.07/172. Does age hurt you?

Postby alittleshabby » Wed May 11, 2011 7:11 pm

vanwinkle wrote:I started college early and I ended up going to law school much later. Let me implore you to please consider working for at least a couple years before you graduate. This will have multiple advantages:

1) Top law schools really are focusing on work experience more and more these days. 75% of the entering class at HLS this fall will have at least 1 year of WE and I understand 50% will have two years or more. It's becoming a big plus to have on your resume.

2) The reason it's a big plus is that people with WE tend to have more real-world perspective and maturity. This isn't a comment on you or your age; it's a comment on anyone who tries to go to law school straight out of college, no matter how long it takes them. There's a perspective you only get from working in the real world and having to support yourself, and nothing in college can really provide it. It's valuable through the whole process. Not only does WE make you more attractive to schools, it makes you more attractive to future employers, who know you understand what a full work week is like and what a work ethic is. It doesn't even have to be legal WE; I've known people with a wide range of jobs prior to attending law school. It also helps in law school itself; law school requires a lot more self-discipline than college does, and has to be treated more like a full-time job. The people I've known who did best in their first year of law school almost universally had at least a couple years of WE under their belt.

3) Law school is the start of a career. It's a professional thing, your summers will be consumed with building up your resume, and you're going to end up in jobs with long hours and few vacation opportunities while you try to climb a ladder. You're young. Working for a couple years before law school also means living a couple more years before law school. It won't hurt you, it'll give you a chance to experience and do more before you enter the grind, and it'll make you a more full and rounded person by the time you are ready to attend.

4) Waiting until you graduate means your final semester of grades will be counted and your GPA will be higher. This is a good thing, as it'll help you when you're applying to the T6 (which you should be doing when you do go). A 3.3/172 would do a lot better than a 3.0/172.

There are people saying you don't need WE to get into top schools, and it's true, but you can both have a better cycle and do better in the school you attend if you take at least a couple years off first.


I appreciate your advice. I have heard that before as well. With my very low GPA, are there even any work opportunities (with regards to internships). Where would you recommend to be substantial WE? Also, if I do get into the school of my choice while applying this cycle (which would be CCN and Boalt), do you think I should still defer my acceptance to the next year?
Also, does applying in consecutive cycles look bad to law schools?

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vanwinkle
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Re: URM 3.07/172. Does age hurt you?

Postby vanwinkle » Wed May 11, 2011 7:34 pm

alittleshabby wrote:Where would you recommend to be substantial WE?

The key for WE is not really where but when, as in, how long. I've known people who have done a variety of things before coming to law school, including paralegals and low-level employees at law firms or financial institutions, but also assistants at book publishers, actors, documentary filmmakers, newspaper reporters or editors, a high school teacher, a firefighter, and a Navy fighter pilot. If it's full-time and you can hold it for a couple of years then it's "substantial".

alittleshabby wrote:Also, if I do get into the school of my choice while applying this cycle (which would be CCN and Boalt), do you think I should still defer my acceptance to the next year?

I'm wondering if you could get into HYS with a slightly higher GPA and some WE. Since waiting a couple years would give you both (the higher GPA from counting your final year of grades) I would consider not deferring so that you could apply to those schools later. Deferral usually means you're committing to attending that school and not apply to any others the next year.

alittleshabby wrote:Also, does applying in consecutive cycles look bad to law schools?

Not typically. It's just not usually helpful since you'd probably do the same with the same application. However, in your case it sounds like it could make a difference because you'd be better in multiple ways (higher overall GPA and anticipated WE) the second time around.




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