T-14, softs over numbers?

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Lady in Red
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T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby Lady in Red » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:34 pm

I want to be a law school professor, but I think it’s difficult to realize that goal without attending a T-14 school. My numbers aren’t strong enough for most of them. Do you think my softs will be enough to help me?

Dream schools are Cornell, Virginia, Berkeley, Penn, Michigan, NYU, Columbia, and Stanford. Yeah, okay… I did say “dream.”

UGPA: 3.73, Northern Arizona University (small public school), B.A. in Music, B.S.Ed. in English Education

June 11 LSAT: 167
Oct 11 LSAT: 167 (I’m so bummed; I was consistently scoring 170-173 on practice tests this time around.)

9 years work experience as a full time English teacher at a public high school.

M.A. in English from Arizona State University, 4.0 GPA.

2 letters of rec, 1 from a professor, 1 from my boss. I suspect that both are strong. Nice résumé, professional involvements, undergraduate leadership, etc.

Non-URM. Caucasian lesbian, first in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree, 32 years old.

Money is tight. Is it worth applying to NYU, Columbia, and Stanford? I fantasize about them constantly, but when you barely can afford your rent each month, it’s hard to justify spending so much money if a denial is all but guaranteed. I was only able to get a waiver for Virginia and Michigan.

Please predict my future! :)

Mal Reynolds
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby Mal Reynolds » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:45 pm

To be honest I think you're out at most, if not all of the top14. I think Cornell is a maybe since you are above their GPA median but that LSAT is a little low. I would retake if you want to go to a top 14.

But if you want to be a professor you need to do WAY better than the top 14. Only HYS, and maybe more so just Y, gives you a really good shot at being a professor. I would love to be a professor too, but you need to be ready for other career paths since being a professor is super rare.

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bk1
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby bk1 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:50 pm

Lady in Red wrote:I want to be a law school professor, but I think it’s difficult to realize that goal without attending a T-14 school.

More like it's difficult to realize that goal without attending the top 3-4 schools.
Lady in Red wrote:June 11 LSAT: 167
Oct 11 LSAT: 167 (I’m so bummed; I was consistently scoring 170-173 on practice tests this time around.)

Then take the LSAT again.

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patrickd139
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby patrickd139 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:52 pm

HYS is far from necessary to become a professor. Though going to a top school definitely matters, what matters more is publication, graduating at or near the top of your class, and publication, along with a clerkship/term in biglaw or biggov, and more publication. More and more law profs these days go to top schools, kill it (graduate number one or two) and then get their S.J.D. or PhD.

What I really want to know is why, without ever having practiced law, been to law school, or written a scholarly legal paper, you think you want to be a law prof?

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Lady in Red
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby Lady in Red » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:08 pm

Well...I love teaching, and I'm good at it. Obviously, teaching law school would be very different than teaching high school English. (Understatement, sure.) But all career goals require a bit of imagination...

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itsirtou
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby itsirtou » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:11 pm

Lady in Red wrote:Well...I love teaching, and I'm good at it. Obviously, teaching law school would be very different than teaching high school English. (Understatement, sure.) But all career goals require a bit of imagination...


why do you want to teach law, in particular?

and it's a bit risky to go to law school if you ONLY want to be a law professor, tbh, because so few people get that position. would you be happy being a regular ol' lawyer if you can't get a law professor position?
Last edited by itsirtou on Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Lady in Red
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby Lady in Red » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:19 pm

Yes, I'd be happy as a lawyer! :)

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kwais
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby kwais » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:27 pm

I think a lot of TLS wisdom is sound, but this thing that gets repeated all day of "there is no way you could know that you want to teach law" is a little far-fetched. It's not some wildly unknown entity. I wonder if people think about that for even one second before rushing to respond.

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Grizz
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby Grizz » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:29 pm

Your softs are good, just like everyone else's.

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patrickd139
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby patrickd139 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:34 pm

kwais wrote:I think a lot of TLS wisdom is sound, but this thing that gets repeated all day of "there is no way you could know that you want to teach law" is a little far-fetched. It's not some wildly unknown entity. I wonder if people think about that for even one second before rushing to respond.

Never said that you couldn't know that you want to teach law, I just asked why OP though s/he wants to. You have to admit, though, that it's a very content-specific aspiration that requires a vast breadth and depth of knowledge, knowledge which can (usually) only be gained through years of law school and experience.

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patrickd139
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby patrickd139 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:35 pm

Grizz wrote:Your softs are good, just like everyone else's.

Also, this. Although I think your experience teaching could demonstrate a dedication to the legal profession if you end up with the credentials to become a law prof.

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kwais
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby kwais » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:43 pm

patrickd139 wrote:
kwais wrote:I think a lot of TLS wisdom is sound, but this thing that gets repeated all day of "there is no way you could know that you want to teach law" is a little far-fetched. It's not some wildly unknown entity. I wonder if people think about that for even one second before rushing to respond.

Never said that you couldn't know that you want to teach law, I just asked why OP though s/he wants to. You have to admit, though, that it's a very content-specific aspiration that requires a vast breadth and depth of knowledge, knowledge which can (usually) only be gained through years of law school and experience.


Indeed, you are describing what it takes to accomplish it, not what it takes to decide to have it as a goal. In general, on TLS, people seem to think it's impossible to know that you want to do it, which would logically put it in the category of everything you have not yet done.

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Lady in Red
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby Lady in Red » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:42 pm

Grizz wrote:Your softs are good, just like everyone else's.


Most applicants don't have 9 years of professional experience and a graduate degree.

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birdlaw117
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby birdlaw117 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:46 pm

Lady in Red wrote:
Grizz wrote:Your softs are good, just like everyone else's.


Most applicants don't have 9 years of professional experience and a graduate degree.

People applying to top schools have very impressive resumes. I have met a lot of very impressively qualified people, and I assume they had LSAT/GPA combos comparable to everyone else here.

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paratactical
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby paratactical » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:49 pm

Lady in Red wrote:
Grizz wrote:Your softs are good, just like everyone else's.


Most applicants don't have 9 years of professional experience and a graduate degree.

That doesn't make the degree or experience in any way special enough to compensate for inadequate numbers.

Also, most applicants don't get into schools good enough to give them a shot at teaching law.
Last edited by paratactical on Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Veyron
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby Veyron » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:51 pm

One thing you might want to consider is that it can sometimes be easier to get a low research professorial position at a community college or 4 year college criminal justice program than at a law school. It sounds like you're mostly interested in the teaching component anyway so this might be the way to go.

P.S. A 4.0 masters English is not going to impress admissions committees at the T-14 nearly as much as you think it will. That being said, I agree that you have a shot at Cornell if you apply ED.

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UnamSanctam
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby UnamSanctam » Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:53 pm

You might hit lower T-14, but even then I'm a little skeptical about the amount of money you'd get. Above that is a crapshoot.

ccmbr006
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby ccmbr006 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:28 am

You could just go be a successful attorney and then become a professor based on IRL achievements. Better get cracking.

shoeshine
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby shoeshine » Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:44 am

Ummm getting into a T14 (outside of HYS) does not guarantee a shot at academia.

You still need either signicant W/E after law school or a clerkship to even be considered for academia at most schools. Those things are not easy to come by.

Retake. Go to HYS. Otherwise you should rethink your dream.

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Bodhi_mind
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby Bodhi_mind » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:23 am

Teaching at the college or law school level isn't as much about teaching as it is about research and publication. If you really like teaching but want more of a challenge, try to teach at a community college or get a non-tenure track position at a university.

If you were scoring 170-173 and are deadset on law school, then retake and go get it. Otherwise you're likely shut out at the T14 except for Cornell.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby TaipeiMort » Sat Oct 29, 2011 9:53 am

The other posters might be wrong. Women do get a small LSAT bump at top schools because a lower percentage of them score in the top five-percent on the LSAT (this only works for top schools though because a higher percentage of women get median scores than men). I would honestly add a point or two to your LSAT to get the range you will be evaluated at.

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itsirtou
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby itsirtou » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:47 am

TaipeiMort wrote:The other posters might be wrong. Women do get a small LSAT bump at top schools because a lower percentage of them score in the top five-percent on the LSAT (this only works for top schools though because a higher percentage of women get median scores than men). I would honestly add a point or two to your LSAT to get the range you will be evaluated at.


i am pretty sure women do not get a bump

tennisking88
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby tennisking88 » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:52 am

patrickd139 wrote:HYS is far from necessary to become a professor. Though going to a top school definitely matters, what matters more is publication, graduating at or near the top of your class, and publication, along with a clerkship/term in biglaw or biggov, and more publication. More and more law profs these days go to top schools, kill it (graduate number one or two) and then get their S.J.D. or PhD.


This. Publishing is really important. You don't even need to be in academia to do it.

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quakeroats
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby quakeroats » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:57 am

The USNWR rankings are not relevant to law teaching:

TLS: Should someone interested in academia even bother going to a school that is not a top 14 law school? Looking at your rankings would suggest that they should not.

Brian Leiter: Again, looking at the data I’ve collected, the first correct conclusion to draw is that “top 14” is not a relevant category. If you want to go into legal academia, you should go to Texas over Cornell, to take an obvious example. The law teaching market is, indeed, very pedigree-sensitive, but ‘top 14’ isn’t the relevant marker. The market is dominated by Yale (though faculty retention troubles at Yale may well change that over the next decade), and then Harvard, Chicago, and Stanford each have a big chunk of the market. After those four, Columbia, Michigan, and increasingly NYU are major players, also Berkeley. Virginia also does well. Then there’s another drop-off before you get to the Georgetown, Duke, Northwestern, Texas, Penn et al. cluster. I’d choose among these based on your interests, since finding faculty mentors, as noted, is really key to success on the academic job market. Texas and Penn, for example, have strong criminal law groups, and also a strong commitment to law & philosophy; Northwestern is an excellent place to be for someone with an empirical social science background interested in studying the legal system—so too Cornell. Finding a good intellectual match can also be relevant with respect to the top four schools for law teaching. All of them are quite strong in law & economics, but only Harvard and Stanford would make sense for a student interested in critical race theory, while only Yale and Chicago would really work for a student interested in law & philosophy. By the same token, a philosophy student thinking about law school and interested in teaching would be crazy not to consider NYU too, and a student interested in critical race theory or feminist jurisprudence ought to be thinking about UCLA. There are lots of specialty niches where particular schools excel.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/brian-le ... rview.html

CanadianWolf
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Re: T-14, softs over numbers?

Postby CanadianWolf » Sat Oct 29, 2011 10:59 am

With a 3.73/167 & nine years of teaching experience & a MA in English, you are a solid candidate for the lower Top 14 law schools.




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