Everything just changed

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ashby
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 10:54 pm

Everything just changed

Postby ashby » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:06 pm

Hi there, I might have just completely changed my course, and I'm looking for help. I'm currently going into my sophomore year at Princeton University. I always thought I wanted to go into finance, but I think I had a revelation and might be steering towards law school. It wouldn't be too hard for me to switch paths. However, a few questions about my chances at law schools.

1. I already missed the first summer for getting law work experience. Will that hurt me?
2. Say I could graduate from Princeton with a 3.5 gpa (and an equivalent LSAT). That might seem a little low, but Princeton has pretty heavy grade deflation. With that GPA plus two summers of work experience (sophomore and junior summers) would I likely be able to get into one of the top 5 law schools?

Thanks.

duckmoney
Posts: 886
Joined: Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:21 pm

Re: Everything just changed

Postby duckmoney » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:13 pm

ashby wrote:Hi there, I might have just completely changed my course, and I'm looking for help. I'm currently going into my sophomore year at Princeton University. I always thought I wanted to go into finance, but I think I had a revelation and might be steering towards law school. It wouldn't be too hard for me to switch paths. However, a few questions about my chances at law schools.

1. I already missed the first summer for getting law work experience. Will that hurt me?
2. Say I could graduate from Princeton with a 3.5 gpa (and an equivalent LSAT). That might seem a little low, but Princeton has pretty heavy grade deflation. With that GPA plus two summers of work experience (sophomore and junior summers) would I likely be able to get into one of the top 5 law schools?

Thanks.


1. No. Just do something during your summers. Preferably anything that earns you money. A financial internship would look just as good if not better than something "law related," which everyone knows for undergrads involves making copies and fetching coffee.

Also, law schools really don't care that much about your summer work experience. Your GPA / LSAT are much more important.

2. Try to get better than a 3.5, but that won't keep you out of a good school if you kill the LSAT. That GPA would shut you out of the top 3 schools, and you would only have a small chance at the top 6. You need to kill the LSAT.

Your combination of LSAT / GPA is far and away the most important factor in law school admissions. Kill the LSAT. Look at lawschoolpredictor.com and lawschoolnumbers.com to try to gauge your chances at different schools.

Unfortunately, the fact that you go to Princeton won't help you very much. Someone who to Hillybilly State with a 4.0 and the same LSAT as you will get into better law schools.

TL;DR:

Don't worry about your summers or work experience or extra curriculars. Law schools don't care.
Kill the LSAT.
Bring up your GPA.

Good luck!

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Hippononymous
Posts: 292
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2009 8:11 pm

Re: Everything just changed

Postby Hippononymous » Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:16 pm

UG soph with no GPA and no LSAT in the What Are My Chances forum...

You's about to get burned, my friend.

Welcome to TLS.

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minnbills
Posts: 3153
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Everything just changed

Postby minnbills » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:50 am

Yeah your GPA/LSAT combo is far more important than where you went to school. Although going to an elite school like princeton is what we'd call a "soft" factor. At the end of the day, going to a great UG, doing a lot of community service, working, etc etc. are all great things to have on your application and can help boost you above applicants with a similar GPA/LSAT profile, but you will ultimately need to have those LSAT/GPA credentials.

A 3.5 GPA is pretty good, but it's not going to impress any adcomms at an elite school. You need a 3.7, at a minimum. A 3.8-3.9 would be a much safer bet. You will need a great LSAT score no matter what.

You're still a sophomore in undergrad though, so I wouldn't worry about the LSAT at all right now. Just focus and do as well as you can this year and next. If you decide you want to apply to law school, plan on taking the LSAT in June before your senior year, and start studying 6 months in advance. There is plenty of advice on these boards and in the TLS articles.

Also, make sure you read up on the state of the legal market, things are really poor right now and law school is not the same bet it was 6 years ago. Good luck!

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dr123
Posts: 3503
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:38 am

Re: Everything just changed

Postby dr123 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 12:58 am

Dude, you're a sophomore in college. Fuckin loosen up a bit.

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billyez
Posts: 868
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:19 pm

Re: Everything just changed

Postby billyez » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:04 am

Nothing has changed. Nothing has even been set in stone yet. Focus on your GPA. You've gpt the time to vault that into the 3.7 range.

Danteshek
Posts: 2172
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:40 pm

Re: Everything just changed

Postby Danteshek » Mon Aug 08, 2011 1:07 am

ashby wrote: I'm currently going into my sophomore year at Princeton University. I always thought I wanted to go into finance,


Hahaha so typical. I assume you are in the Woodrow Wilson School of Investment Banking and Self Interest?

AspiringAcademic
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:36 am

Re: Everything just changed

Postby AspiringAcademic » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:01 am

I agree with most of the above, Specific advice for your case:

1.) Call up career services and ask for an appointment with the Princeton pre law advisor. She's good and has dealt with thousands of people just like you.
2.) GPA tends to increase throughout college. Don't worry too much about what yours is now, just make it better.

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glitched
Posts: 1040
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 9:50 am

Re: Everything just changed

Postby glitched » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:05 am

ashby wrote:Hi there, I might have just completely changed my course, and I'm looking for help. I'm currently going into my sophomore year at Princeton University. I always thought I wanted to go into finance, but I think I had a revelation and might be steering towards law school. It wouldn't be too hard for me to switch paths. However, a few questions about my chances at law schools.

1. I already missed the first summer for getting law work experience. Will that hurt me?
2. Say I could graduate from Princeton with a 3.5 gpa (and an equivalent LSAT). That might seem a little low, but Princeton has pretty heavy grade deflation. With that GPA plus two summers of work experience (sophomore and junior summers) would I likely be able to get into one of the top 5 law schools?

Thanks.

wait. did you say you go to princeton?

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$1.99
Posts: 684
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:49 am

Re: Everything just changed

Postby $1.99 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 3:25 am

don't they teach you to use the search function and basic research skills at princeton or at your previous high school? VERY DISAPPOINT!

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soj
Posts: 7735
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:10 pm

Re: Everything just changed

Postby soj » Mon Aug 08, 2011 4:46 am

Princeton doesn't deflate; it inflates less. Try Caltech or Reed for truly deflated grades. You might get some boost for being from HYP--certainly no less than you deserve--but nothing big.

WE/softs won't help at all. Besides, if you apply straight out of UG, you'll be at a disadvantage on that front compared to applicants with real-world experience. But like others said, softs aren't nearly as important as your numbers.

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Tiago Splitter
Posts: 15475
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:20 am

Re: Everything just changed

Postby Tiago Splitter » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:07 am

ashby wrote:Hi there, I might have just completely changed my course, and I'm looking for help. I'm currently going into my sophomore year at Princeton University. I always thought I wanted to go into finance, but I think I had a revelation and might be steering towards law school. It wouldn't be too hard for me to switch paths. However, a few questions about my chances at law schools.

1. I already missed the first summer for getting law work experience. Will that hurt me?
2. Say I could graduate from Princeton with a 3.5 gpa (and an equivalent LSAT). That might seem a little low, but Princeton has pretty heavy grade deflation. With that GPA plus two summers of work experience (sophomore and junior summers) would I likely be able to get into one of the top 5 law schools?

Thanks.


I switched my plans from B-school to law school around age 26. Something tells me that at 19 you will be okay doing the same, and probably switching back a forth a few more times before it's all said and done.

One piece of advice: Don't go for a 3.5 GPA. I thought my 3.5 was solid until I started applying to law schools.

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vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Everything just changed

Postby vanwinkle » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:14 am

It doesn't matter if your pre-law-school work experience is law-related or not. What does matter, though, is your GPA, and a 3.5 is going to be low if you're aiming for the top schools. Spend less time worrying about what kind of work experience you're getting and more time worrying about getting A's.

berkeleykel06
Posts: 292
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:39 am

Re: Everything just changed

Postby berkeleykel06 » Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:23 am

"Everything just changed" :roll: Award for most melodramatic thread title.

I would like to amend some of the advice that implied that you don't need worry about work experience. It's true that it doesn't matter if your jobs are law-related or not, but you should try to do as many substantive internships as possible because even if law schools don't care for admissions purposes you'll need SOMETHING to talk about come OCI.




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