do I have a shot?

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Zaenian
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do I have a shot?

Postby Zaenian » Thu May 26, 2011 10:31 am

I'm wondering if I have a shot at a top law program. I just graduated from college, and have a mediocre gpa. My school does not have grade inflation, but I realize that schools like Harvard and Stanford law don't really care about that. I graduated with a 3.5, and decent extra-curricular activities. I interned for several US Senators while in college. I have not yet taken the LSATs because it will be several years until I apply. I was admitted to Yale's PHD program in philosophy - one of the best programs in the country. It will be a good 6-7 years before I finish and apply to law school. How much will my undergrad grades matter at that time? Do I still have a chance at a top law program?

aliarrow
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby aliarrow » Thu May 26, 2011 10:33 am

Come back in 6-7 years.

You might have a shot at HYS if you do well enough on the LSAT - but we don't even know what the medians will look like in 6-7 years, they've been changing pretty drastically the past couple years.

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Thu May 26, 2011 10:35 am

Zaenian wrote:I'm wondering if I have a shot at a top law program. I just graduated from college, and have a mediocre gpa. My school does not have grade inflation, but I realize that schools like Harvard and Stanford law don't really care about that. I graduated with a 3.5, and decent extra-curricular activities. I interned for several US Senators while in college. I have not yet taken the LSATs because it will be several years until I apply. I was admitted to Yale's PHD program in philosophy - one of the best programs in the country. It will be a good 6-7 years before I finish and apply to law school. How much will my undergrad grades matter at that time? Do I still have a chance at a top law program?

1. Why do you want to go to law school after completing a PhD? Are you afraid to enter the real world?
2. Without an LSAT score, speculation is pointless.
3. Your undergrad grades will still matter at that time, because graduate grades are not factored into the LSAC GPA.

EDIT: Grammar

Zaenian
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby Zaenian » Thu May 26, 2011 10:42 am

Im not afraid to enter the real world, but in all honesty a PHD in philosophy doesn't do much in itself. The only thing it really helps with is a teaching position in philosophy. And I realize that I don't have as much information as might be helpful now. But I take it that even with a solid LSAT score right now I wouldn't have much of a chance at top law programs. My question was simply if this would be the case after graduate school. I'm assuming a PHD won't hurt my chances, but I don't know if it will overcome my gpa

ausoccer19
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby ausoccer19 » Thu May 26, 2011 10:51 am

Your PhD will do very little, if anything, to overcome your UG GPA. As the above poster said, graduate GPA is not factored into LSAC GPA, and LSAC GPA is the one that law schools care about because it is what's used by USNWR. If your GPA is a 3.5, HYS are a slim chance regardless of your LSAT score because they have pretty firm GPA floors around 3.7-ish (if not higher). What your PhD can do is work as a soft factor in separating candidates with similar #'s. Some T-10 schools may look at a graduate degree from Yale as a strong soft factor, but that's tough to tell and it still won't overcome your hard #'s. So in other words, do well in your PhD program and kill the LSAT. Come back in a few years with a real LSAT and your LSAC GPA. Best of luck.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby JamMasterJ » Thu May 26, 2011 11:43 am

Zaenian wrote:Im not afraid to enter the real world, but in all honesty a PHD in philosophy doesn't do much in itself. The only thing it really helps with is a teaching position in philosophy. And I realize that I don't have as much information as might be helpful now. But I take it that even with a solid LSAT score right now I wouldn't have much of a chance at top law programs. My question was simply if this would be the case after graduate school. I'm assuming a PHD won't hurt my chances, but I don't know if it will overcome my gpa

You're not shut out of the top schools, but the 3 are probably not going to happen. However, with a high enough LSAT, 3.5 can still be ok at CCNMVP

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Corwin
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby Corwin » Thu May 26, 2011 4:13 pm

Zaenian wrote:I'm wondering if I have a shot at a top law program. I just graduated from college, and have a mediocre gpa. My school does not have grade inflation, but I realize that schools like Harvard and Stanford law don't really care about that. I graduated with a 3.5, and decent extra-curricular activities. I interned for several US Senators while in college. I have not yet taken the LSATs because it will be several years until I apply. I was admitted to Yale's PHD program in philosophy - one of the best programs in the country. It will be a good 6-7 years before I finish and apply to law school. How much will my undergrad grades matter at that time? Do I still have a chance at a top law program?

Why would you waste the better part of a decade on a PhD if you aren't going to do anything with it? If the ultimate plan is to go to law school, you should probably leave your program with a masters after you've passed your quals.

CanadianWolf
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu May 26, 2011 4:36 pm

How did you get admitted to Yale's PhD. program in philosophy with "mediocre grades" ?

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Corwin
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby Corwin » Thu May 26, 2011 4:45 pm

CanadianWolf wrote:How did you get admitted to Yale's PhD. program in philosophy with "mediocre grades" ?

Well he has a 3.5, which isn't that bad. Grad school is a lot different than law school. If you have a few publications at top tier conferences and a professor who is willing to write an excellent letter, you've got a shot anywhere. Grad schools try to determine ability to do research and that's all they care about. GPA/GRE help to some extent, but can also be false indicators. Publications and a LOR from a professor are absolute proof that you can succeed at doing research.

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ahduth
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby ahduth » Thu May 26, 2011 5:31 pm

Zaenian wrote:Im not afraid to enter the real world, but in all honesty a PHD in philosophy doesn't do much in itself. The only thing it really helps with is a teaching position in philosophy. And I realize that I don't have as much information as might be helpful now. But I take it that even with a solid LSAT score right now I wouldn't have much of a chance at top law programs. My question was simply if this would be the case after graduate school. I'm assuming a PHD won't hurt my chances, but I don't know if it will overcome my gpa


Er, define "top law programs." People on this site default to HYS if you don't specify, which is stupid.

CanadianWolf
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby CanadianWolf » Thu May 26, 2011 5:34 pm

@Corwin: OP made no mention of any published work or research projects..

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cinephile
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby cinephile » Thu May 26, 2011 6:29 pm

You might not even have to wait 6-7 years. What about doing a concurrent JD/PhD program? Although, doing this at Yale might not be possible with a lower GPA.

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Grizz
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby Grizz » Thu May 26, 2011 7:10 pm

Don't waste your time with your useless Phil. PhD, herp derpington.

Zaenian
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby Zaenian » Sun May 29, 2011 8:53 pm

I mean, a lot of the reason Im doing a PhD in philosophy is because I really like philosophy. I enjoyed studying it a lot as an undergrad and want to keep taking courses. As far as my grades are concerned, PhD programs are mostly (if not entirely) only concerned with grades in philosophy, not my overall GPA. In philosophy I had a 3.8, with excellent letters, two publications, a perfect score on the GREs, a strong writing sample, and good connections.

I suppose it wont hurt to try - and a few friends of my parents are professors at Yale Law, so I'll try to discuss my prospects with them before applying anywhere. There is a dual degree program, but I honestly dont know too much about how it works.

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Corwin
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby Corwin » Sun May 29, 2011 9:15 pm

Zaenian wrote:I mean, a lot of the reason Im doing a PhD in philosophy is because I really like philosophy. I enjoyed studying it a lot as an undergrad and want to keep taking courses. As far as my grades are concerned, PhD programs are mostly (if not entirely) only concerned with grades in philosophy, not my overall GPA. In philosophy I had a 3.8, with excellent letters, two publications, a perfect score on the GREs, a strong writing sample, and good connections.

I suppose it wont hurt to try - and a few friends of my parents are professors at Yale Law, so I'll try to discuss my prospects with them before applying anywhere. There is a dual degree program, but I honestly dont know too much about how it works.

Maybe with those personal connections you have a shot. No one will be able to predict such things. Perhaps you can even co-author a paper with a Yale law prof. if you can convince them you are competent. As everyone knows though, general consensus is that only a handful of people have ever, ever gotten into Yale law with that GPA. And those people usually started major companies or have some other equally impressive soft. Good luck!

Snape
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby Snape » Tue May 31, 2011 4:04 pm

apply now and see if you can get a 6-7 year deferral...im sure with a 3.5 and Phd program at yale that ANY school would be willing to give you that...

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JamMasterJ
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Re: do I have a shot?

Postby JamMasterJ » Tue May 31, 2011 4:07 pm

Snape wrote:apply now and see if you can get a 6-7 year deferral...im sure with a 3.5 and Phd program at yale that ANY school would be willing to give you that...

That's just mean.




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