low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

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fonteyn
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low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby fonteyn » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:11 pm

I have a BS in computer science (2.9), a MS in computer science from a top 10 (3.2), and am ABD on a Ph D from a top 10 school in computer science (which I am not planning to finish because my advisor left). I have 15+ years of work experience in my field, and have taught for 9 semesters at a state university in my field. Excellent LOCs from top people in the field, many awards and publications, and practice test estimates that my LSAT will be 170+ (My GREs were 96%, so I think this is reasonable). I spoke to the head of the department that I am interested at GULC in and she said I appeared to be an ideal candidate (but she hadn't seen my application yet).

Recently GULC opened a new LL.M. program in the legal aspects of my field, and this is the only university I want to attend. I plan on taking the LSAT in October, and will apply at GULC after that - ultimately for the JD/LLM joint degree. So, bleh GPAs (though I did work full-time through all degree programs), lots of graduate work (but apparently LSAC doesn't count any of that???), lots of relevant work experience, publications, and awards. WAMC? Am I going through all of this just to be hugely disappointed? I can't find much information on TLS or LSN that talks much about graduate degrees, work experience, publications, and teaching experience. I guess the only think I really have going against me is my GPA, but I am not sure how much that matters since it was 12 - 15 years ago.

Thoughts?
Last edited by fonteyn on Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lolol10
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby lolol10 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:15 pm

i recommend you study then take the LSAT.

lolol10
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby lolol10 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:23 pm

scores matter for two reasons: 1. law schools want to maintain/improve their stats. 2. they indicate how well you will do/how capable you are to handle the rigors of law school--law schools dont want to make a bad investment.


unfortunately softs do not matter much. i feel there is some weight to being a t25 and especially t10 alumnus in the admissions game. for example i had a 3.6 from a t20 school with a not so great LSAT score however i was still admitted to schools. this weight is nothing significant however. it might amount to pushing you over the edge in a tie break.law schools dont really care if you have a MBA or phD or MS in something. it add diversity to the student population but thats about all the clout youll get. if you score extremely well on the LSAT you have the potential of staying t10 or making it into gtown. get your app ready now and send it in opening day. theyll hold for your score.

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bk1
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby bk1 » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:37 pm

You want to be a lawyer but you are only willing to go to one specific school?

You're lucky in that Georgetown is one of the few top schools that is sometimes willing to dip below a 3.0 GPA. I think you have a shot assuming a 170+ LSAT. All you can really do is ED and hope for the best. There is a definite chance you will be accepted, but there is also a definite chance it won't happen.

fonteyn
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby fonteyn » Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:59 pm

bk1 wrote:You want to be a lawyer but you are only willing to go to one specific school?


Yes. I have an established career and want to study in one specific program at this one specific school. If I get in, my career path will go in a favorable direction. If I don't get in, I will continue on my current career path. I am not trying to just get in any school that will take me, or to practice whatever type of law the first firm that offers me a job specializes in. My goal is not to start over with a new career, but the supplement all of the degrees and experience that I already have.

I am working to prepare for this application and was wondering about the old GPAs and how they will affect my chances at getting in. I think I have enough positives to offset my old GPAs, but just curious if anyone has any other direct knowledge on how this might work. I don't want to spend a ton of time prepping for the LSAT and getting all of my application stuff pulled together if there isn't a snowball's chance that I am going to get in. However, I have gotten into other T10s with these GPAs, so I have to believe that it isn't all black and white.

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NYC Law
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby NYC Law » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:00 pm

You'll go to Northwestern and you'll like it.


ETA: And come back with a real score. I'm assuming you haven't even started studying yet seeing as you keep referring to it as the "LSAC".

fonteyn
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby fonteyn » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:06 pm

NYC Law wrote:ETA: And come back with a real score. I'm assuming you haven't even started studying yet seeing as you keep referring to it as the "LSAC".


No, I am referring to LSAC - the Law School Admissions Council, as in "lots of graduate work (but apparently LSAC doesn't count any of that???"

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NYC Law
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby NYC Law » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:07 pm

fonteyn wrote:
NYC Law wrote:ETA: And come back with a real score. I'm assuming you haven't even started studying yet seeing as you keep referring to it as the "LSAC".


No, I am referring to LSAC - the Law School Admissions Council, as in "lots of graduate work (but apparently LSAC doesn't count any of that???"


d practice test estimates that my LSAC will be 170+ (My GREs were 96%, so I think this is reasonable). I spoke to the head of the department that I am interested at GULC in and she said I appeared to be an ideal candidate (but she hadn't seen my application yet).

Recently GULC opened a new LL.M. program in the legal aspects of my field, and this is the only university I want to attend. I plan on taking the LSAC in October,

fonteyn
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby fonteyn » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:09 pm

Fixed my typos for you, since it seems to bother you so much.

albanach
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby albanach » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:22 pm

bk1 wrote:You want to be a lawyer but you are only willing to go to one specific school?

You're lucky in that Georgetown is one of the few top schools that is sometimes willing to dip below a 3.0 GPA. I think you have a shot assuming a 170+ LSAT. All you can really do is ED and hope for the best. There is a definite chance you will be accepted, but there is also a definite chance it won't happen.


I agree there's a chance because the work experience is so extensive. As others have pointed out, there are other top schools that are considered more favorable to considering work experience.

I still don't understand why the OP would restrict themselves to obtaining their JD from Georgetown, when the LL.M would still be an available option after a JD form elsewhere, including some lower ranked schools that might offer a considerable financial incentive if the OP achieves a 170+.

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kalvano
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby kalvano » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:17 pm

1) The GRE is not the equivalent of the LSAT.
2) Only your undergrad GPA will be counted. If you took classes outside your degree-granting school, those will be factored in as well. If they have bad grades, your LSAC GPA could be even lower.
3) Your work experience will be helpful, but probably not groundbreaking.
4) Unless there is something super-special about this GULC program, all law schools have pretty much the same curriculum.
5) It's not atypical to see a big drop on test day for the LSAT.


TL;DR - study your ass off and nail the LSAT. It's the only thing that will help you.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby JamMasterJ » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:45 pm

Apply to GULC PT as well. If you break it's median LSAT, you will probably get in, but a lower score could still get you into the PT program.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby JamMasterJ » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:46 pm

You should also apply to other schools, especially NU, if not for the options then at least for the scholarship leverage

Bumi
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby Bumi » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:48 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:Apply to GULC PT as well. If you break it's median LSAT, you will probably get in, but a lower score could still get you into the PT program.

Don't be so sure. Their PT program isn't as easy to get as it used to be.

fonteyn
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby fonteyn » Wed Jun 08, 2011 11:57 pm

Suffice it to say that there is something special about the GULC program that would make me uproot my family and move across the country to attend. Since I have a family and children to consider (my spouse has to be able to find a good job where I end up, good schools for the kids, etc) I am not willing to move around a ton - i.e. go to one school for a J.D. and another for an LL.M. In my situation, with a family and career, it is all or nothing. I am not going to go be unemployed for 3 years and pay a lot of tuition for a so-so school. I would rather just skip it entirely. I know this isn't the norm, but I am a non-traditional student.

I used LSP and looks like I need at least a 173 on the LSAT to get a consider at Georgetown. And with the info that the PP posted about the LSAC GPA, my undergrad GPA will go up because I took a few 400 level classes for my Masters and did well in them. So, perhaps that will help some.

Thanks for all of the information...

albanach
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby albanach » Thu Jun 09, 2011 7:09 am

fonteyn wrote:I used LSP and looks like I need at least a 173 on the LSAT to get a consider at Georgetown. And with the info that the PP posted about the LSAC GPA, my undergrad GPA will go up because I took a few 400 level classes for my Masters and did well in them. So, perhaps that will help some.

Thanks for all of the information...


UG level courses only count toward your LSAC GPA if taken before your UG degree is awarded. After you get your degree, you can no longer improve your GPA.

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kalvano
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby kalvano » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:17 am

What is so special about this GULC program? I'm curious.

albanach
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby albanach » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:02 am

kalvano wrote:What is so special about this GULC program? I'm curious.


Looking at their website, the only new and unusual LL.M is in National Security Law.

Given the OP can't apply or be accepted to the LL.M until the end of 2nd year, and the program itself is described as 'highly competitive' it seems like one big gamble to uproot a family and move across the US if acceptance to the program is your only reason to be at law school.

What if they're not accepted? Paying sticker, by the end of 2L that's $130k+ invested in a legal education they apparently don't want. Not to mention OCI will have taken place months previously.

Unless the OP can see themselves practicing a different kind of law in a different city, it seems like a risky endeavor.

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ahduth
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby ahduth » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:19 am

albanach wrote:
kalvano wrote:What is so special about this GULC program? I'm curious.


Looking at their website, the only new and unusual LL.M is in National Security Law.

Given the OP can't apply or be accepted to the LL.M until the end of 2nd year, and the program itself is described as 'highly competitive' it seems like one big gamble to uproot a family and move across the US if acceptance to the program is your only reason to be at law school.

What if they're not accepted? Paying sticker, by the end of 2L that's $130k+ invested in a legal education they apparently don't want. Not to mention OCI will have taken place months previously.

Unless the OP can see themselves practicing a different kind of law in a different city, it seems like a risky endeavor.


Yeah, this whole endeavor sounds odd. What's the value of this National Security Law LLM? It looks like... just more JD classes. Maybe the OP has an employer lined up who will pay for it?

nygiants56
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby nygiants56 » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:27 pm

Also looking to return to law school after being out of school for 18 years. I am 41, owned my own business on the floor of an exchange and watched my industry evaporate with the advent of technology.....very much like the horse and buggy....NO I was not a broker I was a market maker---guys you see on the floor yelling and screaming while wearing funny jackets....guys who traded their own money and did not have clients...I liken it to a bookie---customers want to buy or sell a stock they call the broker then the broker brings it to the market maker to find a price where the transaction can take place....I have seen the industry tarnished by the Maddoff's of the world throughout my entire career and always stayed morally and ethically above the allure of money. Well financially it didn't work out for me as it did for many on wall street.....Anyway enough about that....

I am looking to go to law school for 2 reasons...

1. to become a professor.....either law or paralegal
2. to open a small law firm


I am not as strong a candidate as the the person who started this post but here it goes....

After my first year I met my wife had an early surprise and got married --- finished undergrad in 3 years made deans list last 1.5 years with but still only finished with a 3.1
Currently enrolled in an ABA Paralegal program just to get back into school mode----have a 4.0 and will be ABA certified in December
scored around 155 on first practice exam cold...no prep
looking to go to Rutgers in 2012

any advice????

albanach
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby albanach » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:17 pm

nygiants56 wrote:
I am looking to go to law school for 2 reasons...

1. to become a professor.....either law or paralegal
2. to open a small law firm

...

any advice????


I presume these are either not both?

Academic jobs for law grads are extremely competitive. A large proportion of them go to graduates from the very top schools. Rutgers to academia will be a huge challenge.

Starting your own law firm might be possible, but can also be a challenge. Law school will teach you very little about running a law firm. You won't even learn much of the law you would need to know to practice in a small firm. You'll be up against established firms with established client bases. People in companies you litigate against will know you are small and do everything in their power to make the case as expensive as possible for you. It too will be a huge challenge.

Why do you want to go to Rutgers and not one of the better ranked schools in NY? Since you've been out of school a while, you shouldn't be rushing into this. You'd need to really move to make this year's cycle. You should really consider focusing on the LSAT, and not be concerned if you are not ready until next year and apply next fall.

Make sure you really want to be a lawyer, then aim for the very best school you can.

nygiants56
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby nygiants56 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:01 am

thanks for the reply......

I am actually looking to attend Rutgers because of it being the lowest cost school in NJ or NYC area.....I recently had an adverse financial situation occur along with the inability to get a job for the past 2 to 3 years and can't afford any other school.....But with the lack of a job I am considering full time and hopefully will still qualify for loans to help with living costs....but dont know if i will qualify...

My plans are pretty simple try to get a job in academia ----community college as paralegal professor or leverage my industry experience along with an llm Securities and Regulation from Georgetown and try to get into a 4 year institution to teach --- If it works out at a CC I will open a small firm to supplament my income by doing real estate, wills, etc.....no litigation....

To some my goals may seem a little odd in terms of how most potential law students think, but I don't desire doing the corporate gig...working 80-100 hrs a week----I did that at 23.....I dont want to do it at 45..........I know financially I can be placed in litigation situations where I could be squeezed out, and thats why I am opting out of that area as well.

Any advice I do appreciate......

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Scott Tenorman
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby Scott Tenorman » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:09 pm

nygiants56 wrote:thanks for the reply......

I am actually looking to attend Rutgers because of it being the lowest cost school in NJ or NYC area


The switch from eighths to pennies must have been a bitch

nygiants56
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby nygiants56 » Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:52 pm

that multiple listing....advent of technology everything....became the buggy maker

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Law Sauce
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Re: low GPAs from 15 years ago, lots of work experience

Postby Law Sauce » Thu Jun 30, 2011 11:45 am

lsat is everything for you guys since you are so distanced from your old old gpas. Ad comms will understand this. Especially for OP#2 who is worried about money. If you score very highly on the lsat you will be offered many full rides at schools significantly better than Rutgers. Or probably a full ride there too if they give them out. The lsat is very learnable and you can score highly on it with enough work. Work through the powerscore bibles and take every practice test you can find under timed situations. goodluck




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