Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

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bernaldiaz
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Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby bernaldiaz » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:02 pm

So I just got my LSAT score back. I got a 174, which is more or less what I was averaging so I'm pretty happy with that. I have a 3.98 or so (it'll probably be anywhere from a 3.95 or up by the time I apply) from a pretty good UG. My softs are average to weak, but not awful.

So I know I have a pretty good shot at places after spending a ton of time on LSN, but I was wondering what my strategy should be for where I apply.

Here are my goals:

-Have at least one option that free or near-free
-Have one option where I will get substantial scholarship, basically a compromise between prestige and debt
-Have a few highly ranked options
-Land biglaw, preferably in Boston (hometown)

So, how far down do you think I should go where I can expect to have (at least close to) a full scholarship? I know money at MVP is pretty sporadic, so I don't want to count on anything there. Would applying to BU/BC guarantee me that? Or do I not even have to go that low down? I'm assuming that at least one of MVPD will fit into that group that will give me some money while still keeping some prestige. Do you think CCN will give me money? On LSN, I seem to be borderline (either that or not everyone puts in scholarship info).

Right now I'm thinking of applying to HYS CCN MVPD then maybe BU/BC.

Also, what about like the Rubenstein, Hamiltons, Darrows, etc. I'm assuming I'm not competitive for those? Has anyone here with similar numbers received a named scholarship?

bdubs
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby bdubs » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:05 pm

Just chill out and wait to see what you get. You will have plenty of good options with those numbers.

Have you developed any significant softs? Do you have the opportunity to develop them? Those are what get people Hamiltons, Darrows and Rubensteins (along with stellar numbers like yours).

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby bernaldiaz » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:10 pm

bdubs wrote:Just chill out and wait to see what you get. You will have plenty of good options with those numbers.

Have you developed any significant softs? Do you have the opportunity to develop them? Those are what get people Hamiltons, Darrows and Rubensteins (along with stellar numbers like yours).


Really nothing great for softs. A little bit of research, a decent position at the university paper, on the squash team, in the honors program, a couple of decent awards, so like a bunch of decent stuff that put together might look good but nothing that will really make my application pop.

What type of things do those people with named scholarships have?

Also, sort of the reason for this post, do you think I need to apply down through BU/BC or is there a chance to get close to a full ride in the t14?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:45 pm

bernaldiaz wrote:
bdubs wrote:Just chill out and wait to see what you get. You will have plenty of good options with those numbers.

Have you developed any significant softs? Do you have the opportunity to develop them? Those are what get people Hamiltons, Darrows and Rubensteins (along with stellar numbers like yours).


Really nothing great for softs. A little bit of research, a decent position at the university paper, on the squash team, in the honors program, a couple of decent awards, so like a bunch of decent stuff that put together might look good but nothing that will really make my application pop.

What type of things do those people with named scholarships have?

Also, sort of the reason for this post, do you think I need to apply down through BU/BC or is there a chance to get close to a full ride in the t14?


Full ride in the T-14 is a done deal. Congrats on the score.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby lawyerwannabe » Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:55 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:
bernaldiaz wrote:
bdubs wrote:Just chill out and wait to see what you get. You will have plenty of good options with those numbers.

Have you developed any significant softs? Do you have the opportunity to develop them? Those are what get people Hamiltons, Darrows and Rubensteins (along with stellar numbers like yours).


Really nothing great for softs. A little bit of research, a decent position at the university paper, on the squash team, in the honors program, a couple of decent awards, so like a bunch of decent stuff that put together might look good but nothing that will really make my application pop.

What type of things do those people with named scholarships have?

Also, sort of the reason for this post, do you think I need to apply down through BU/BC or is there a chance to get close to a full ride in the t14?


Full ride in the T-14 is a done deal. Congrats on the score.


This. A Ruby, Darrow, Levy, or Mordecai will probably be coming your way in the future. Pretty awesome numbers.

You will probably be choosing between H (maybe Y/S but your admitted lack of softs hurt your chances) and a full-ride named scholly!

Note: Yes, your numbers are good enough for a Ruby! But almost definitely not a Hamilton . . .

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Geetar Man
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby Geetar Man » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:03 pm

I second the full ride. Apply to your top 5 in the T-14 and then choose from there. If you have the cash/fee waivers, apply to a few more. At this point, if you're debt adverse, you should consider COL, assuming you're torn between schools.

Great job berns.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby bernaldiaz » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:21 pm

Thanks guys, I'm pretty psyched.

One possible issue, though, I was supposed to be at Cambridge (UK) all year, but really hated it so I left after one semester and came back to ND. There is nothing on it on my transcript, just a blank semester. Do schools get my transcript or just the grade report from LSAC? I'm hoping this won't hurt me too bad. Thoughts?

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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby bdubs » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:22 am

I'm going to disagree that you're a "lock" for a full-ride, especially a named one like a Hamilton, Rubenstein, Darrow, Furman, etc. Most of these scholarships involve more than just numbers, including additional essays, interviews, and generally seem to require some form of softs (esp. if you are applying as a senior in college). You have a chance, but you will need to work at putting together a stand out application (well written PS, great letters of rec., solid resume, etc.)

Your softs sound kind of generic at the moment, find an area of interest and try to pursue something that stands out in that field. You don't have to do something ridiculously over the top, but showing some dedication and passion is a good thing.

lawyerwannabe
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby lawyerwannabe » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:24 am

OK. So maybe we got carried away. No one is T14 full-ride secure.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:51 am

bdubs wrote:I'm going to disagree that you're a "lock" for a full-ride, especially a named one like a Hamilton, Rubenstein, Darrow, Furman, etc. Most of these scholarships involve more than just numbers, including additional essays, interviews, and generally seem to require some form of softs (esp. if you are applying as a senior in college). You have a chance, but you will need to work at putting together a stand out application (well written PS, great letters of rec., solid resume, etc.)

Your softs sound kind of generic at the moment, find an area of interest and try to pursue something that stands out in that field. You don't have to do something ridiculously over the top, but showing some dedication and passion is a good thing.


I agree that adding softs and putting together a strong overall application are good ideas, but don't know what you mean by "most" of the full rides needing essays or interviews. Neither the Hamilton nor the Ruby required either this year.

A full ride is perhaps not a lock, but there will be gigantic scholarships heading the OPs way which make applying outside the T-14 unnecessary. Not getting a half-ride at one of UChi or Columbia would be an upset.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:59 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
bdubs wrote:I'm going to disagree that you're a "lock" for a full-ride, especially a named one like a Hamilton, Rubenstein, Darrow, Furman, etc. Most of these scholarships involve more than just numbers, including additional essays, interviews, and generally seem to require some form of softs (esp. if you are applying as a senior in college). You have a chance, but you will need to work at putting together a stand out application (well written PS, great letters of rec., solid resume, etc.)

Your softs sound kind of generic at the moment, find an area of interest and try to pursue something that stands out in that field. You don't have to do something ridiculously over the top, but showing some dedication and passion is a good thing.


I agree that adding softs and putting together a strong overall application are good ideas, but don't know what you mean by "most" of the full rides needing essays or interviews. Neither the Hamilton nor the Ruby required either this year.

A full ride is perhaps not a lock, but there will be gigantic scholarships heading the OPs way which make applying outside the T-14 unnecessary. Not getting a half-ride at one of UChi or Columbia would be an upset.


Thanks for all of your help. I feel like almost all of my softs, while decent, are a dime a dozen. While it's difficult to actually get softs that make a difference, can you guys give some examples of things done in UG that could help (so excluding stuff like work experience or joining the military, etc)

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Na_Swatch
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby Na_Swatch » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:01 am

I had numbers that basically mirrored yours and my decision basically came down to H vs Chicago with half-tuition scholarship. However with your preferences (i.e. biglaw in Boston) I'm guessing that your number one choice would be to go ahead and aim for H.

Not only is it by far the best school for guaranteeing your chances at Boston Biglaw, H also offers substantial grant aid. In fact, with the grant aid that I eventually got at H, my tuition costs are almost as good as the half-tuition I would have paid at Chicago.

As for softs, don't worry too much. It sounds like you've done enough so just make sure to have a strong and well-put together application (good PS) and make sure you apply early to H. With those things I'd estimate you have a better then 60% or 70% chance at getting in.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:19 am

Na_Swatch wrote:I had numbers that basically mirrored yours and my decision basically came down to H vs Chicago with half-tuition scholarship. However with your preferences (i.e. biglaw in Boston) I'm guessing that your number one choice would be to go ahead and aim for H.

Not only is it by far the best school for guaranteeing your chances at Boston Biglaw, H also offers substantial grant aid. In fact, with the grant aid that I eventually got at H, my tuition costs are almost as good as the half-tuition I would have paid at Chicago.

As for softs, don't worry too much. It sounds like you've done enough so just make sure to have a strong and well-put together application (good PS) and make sure you apply early to H. With those things I'd estimate you have a better then 60% or 70% chance at getting in.


Yeah I really, really want Harvard above all else. I'll be so bummed if it doesn't happen. I'm probably going to get crap for this, but I wish I could've grabbed a point or two more on the LSAT.

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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby AntipodeanPhil » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:41 am

For Boston big law you should take the debt at H. You'll get H. I agree with others here that full-rides are unpredictable, but you'll at least get big money (over a half scholarship) at a lower t14 school.

How wealthy are your parents? You might qualify for need-based aid. YHS are more generous in that regard than people often think.

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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed Mar 07, 2012 1:44 am

AntipodeanPhil wrote:For Boston big law you should take the debt at H. You'll get H. I agree with others here that full-rides are unpredictable, but you'll at least get big money (over a half scholarship) at a lower t14 school.

How wealthy are your parents? You might qualify for need-based aid. YHS are more generous in that regard than people often think.


Pretty wealthy. I really don't think I'll get anything. With that being said though, I think IF I get Harvard and show them that the reason I'm not getting this need based is because of our financial situation, they might come in and maybe give me 10-15k a year. I also will have about 40 grand savings by the time I graduate undergrad. With all that being taken into account, and maybe a SA position, I think I could get out with 100k or so in debt.

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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby 09042014 » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:04 am

Northwestern loves to throw around tons of money. And with the new dean, the work experience requirement may be removed. Even if it's not, they often gives K-JDers fullrides.

I'd apply to Cornell and Gtown as well. When you are looking for fullrides applying to all the t14 is a good idea. Even if it's just for negotiation leverage.

IIRC these school will give fee waivers, especially if you ask for one.

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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby t14fanboy » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:07 am

This isn't hard. Apply to 1-14 and weigh your options. There's nothing to strategize because you aren't a splitter and with your numbers it would be foolish to apply ED to someplace.

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:12 am

Desert Fox wrote:Northwestern loves to throw around tons of money. And with the new dean, the work experience requirement may be removed. Even if it's not, they often gives K-JDers fullrides.

I'd apply to Cornell and Gtown as well. When you are looking for fullrides applying to all the t14 is a good idea. Even if it's just for negotiation leverage.

IIRC these school will give fee waivers, especially if you ask for one.


Thanks, good advice. I love Northwestern and would apply if that work experience wasn't definitely going to hurt me. I saw that they've given a few full rides with a year deferral. If I could get meaningful work experience in that time I would definitely be open to that.

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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby Geetar Man » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:22 am

bernaldiaz wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Northwestern loves to throw around tons of money. And with the new dean, the work experience requirement may be removed. Even if it's not, they often gives K-JDers fullrides.

I'd apply to Cornell and Gtown as well. When you are looking for fullrides applying to all the t14 is a good idea. Even if it's just for negotiation leverage.

IIRC these school will give fee waivers, especially if you ask for one.


Thanks, good advice. I love Northwestern and would apply if that work experience wasn't definitely going to hurt me. I saw that they've given a few full rides with a year deferral. If I could get meaningful work experience in that time I would definitely be open to that.



Well what are you waiting for? Jobs are scarce, but they exist. You should be able to work through undergrad, depending on your major.

*Edit: Havent you seen this movie? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDKOlH0I0nQ

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Tom Joad
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby Tom Joad » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:27 am

Chill out you lucky bastard. You are looking at multiple T14 full ride offers and you have Harvard on lockdown.

Congrats. I am having a beer for you.

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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby bdubs » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:27 am

Tiago Splitter wrote:
bdubs wrote:I'm going to disagree that you're a "lock" for a full-ride, especially a named one like a Hamilton, Rubenstein, Darrow, Furman, etc. Most of these scholarships involve more than just numbers, including additional essays, interviews, and generally seem to require some form of softs (esp. if you are applying as a senior in college). You have a chance, but you will need to work at putting together a stand out application (well written PS, great letters of rec., solid resume, etc.)

Your softs sound kind of generic at the moment, find an area of interest and try to pursue something that stands out in that field. You don't have to do something ridiculously over the top, but showing some dedication and passion is a good thing.


I agree that adding softs and putting together a strong overall application are good ideas, but don't know what you mean by "most" of the full rides needing essays or interviews. Neither the Hamilton nor the Ruby required either this year.

A full ride is perhaps not a lock, but there will be gigantic scholarships heading the OPs way which make applying outside the T-14 unnecessary. Not getting a half-ride at one of UChi or Columbia would be an upset.


I haven't followed this cycle, but last cycle the Rubenstein required a phone interview (Hamilton doesn't seem to have ever required anything other than strong numbers and a solid application, neither apparently does Virginia's named scholarship). All of NYU's Furman, Penn's Levy, Michigan's Darrow, and Duke's Mordecai required at least one of additional essay or interview last cycle.

OP: Check out the following thread for more details.
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 5&t=144338

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bernaldiaz
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby bernaldiaz » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:41 am

Geetar Man wrote:
bernaldiaz wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:Northwestern loves to throw around tons of money. And with the new dean, the work experience requirement may be removed. Even if it's not, they often gives K-JDers fullrides.

I'd apply to Cornell and Gtown as well. When you are looking for fullrides applying to all the t14 is a good idea. Even if it's just for negotiation leverage.

IIRC these school will give fee waivers, especially if you ask for one.


Thanks, good advice. I love Northwestern and would apply if that work experience wasn't definitely going to hurt me. I saw that they've given a few full rides with a year deferral. If I could get meaningful work experience in that time I would definitely be open to that.



Well what are you waiting for? Jobs are scarce, but they exist. You should be able to work through undergrad, depending on your major.

*Edit: Havent you seen this movie? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDKOlH0I0nQ


Haha I think I'm the one ND student who hasn't seen Rudy.

bdubs
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby bdubs » Wed Mar 07, 2012 5:26 am

bernaldiaz wrote:Thanks for all of your help. I feel like almost all of my softs, while decent, are a dime a dozen. While it's difficult to actually get softs that make a difference, can you guys give some examples of things done in UG that could help (so excluding stuff like work experience or joining the military, etc)


I think having academic publications is a good way to do this if you can swing it. A few ways it would help are 1) it will help you get to know a member of the faculty a way that will get you an excellent letter of recommendation 2) it shows that you are academically oriented in the way that law schools like (esp. Yale if you want to go that route) 3) it shows particular interest in an area of study (hopefully one that you can tie into your interest in the law, schools love inter-disciplinary stuff).

Other stuff like trying to get your name thrown in for a Rhodes nomination seems to be helpful for these bfd law school scholarships. If you have some sort of PI bent you could also do something that takes some initiative, like starting up an ambitious/unique charitable organization.

These things are really dependent on your personal interests though. You're not going to stand out for doing all of the things that normally pedigreed, successful students do (President of generic EC, student paper, applying for typical academic student awards, etc.) because they will be on the resumes on 90% of people with numbers as strong as yours.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby Tiago Splitter » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:37 am

bdubs wrote:I haven't followed this cycle, but last cycle the Rubenstein required a phone interview


That went away this year.

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Doorkeeper
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Re: Help me strategize please? (174, 3.98)

Postby Doorkeeper » Wed Mar 07, 2012 10:56 am

Blanket the T-14. I'm sure at least one will give you a full-ride offer. Barring that, you'll get a Butler from Columbia for half, Michigan will throw $60-90k, and UVA will throw $105k at you.

Then negotiate the fuck out of the other schools you want to go to more.

Enjoy.




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