Career Advice and Admissions Chances

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AJ76
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:38 pm

Career Advice and Admissions Chances

Postby AJ76 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:15 pm

I'm currently in an interesting situation and would greatly appreciate thoughtful opinions and any advice.

Here is my situation:

I have wanted to go to law school for a long time. I would like to work as a prosecutor, and later at a plaintiff's firm (such as Lieff Cabraser). I went to a university in the midwest and majored in communication, and I'm close to a minor in political science. I should have graduated, but I have had to take this semester and the last semester off due to serious health issues. These health issues made school much harder and affected my gpa. I have two semesters left, and should finish with around a 3.0, which does not reflect my true ability. I know that when I apply for law school, I can write an addendum to explain this. But I still just don't feel good about it.

I have explored the LSAT to a minor degree, and I feel that with a lot of very hard work I could do well on it. But I have long wanted to go to a top school (t14), and I'm not convinced that this would be enough. I am interested in working possibly for a nonprofit, as I have experience with them, or for a prosecutor's office after graduation.

So here are my questions:

Would a high LSAT score and this situation be enough to get me in?
Should I try to work somewhere exceptionally impressive after graduation to increase my chances?
If so, where?
What should I do to increase my chances?

Thanks for putting up with this lengthy post, and thanks for your help.

Edit: I realize I can't really expect people to say where I should work. But here is what I'm trying to get at - do you think a prosecutor's office would be good enough? Or should I be trying to work at DOJ or a federal agency? Or if it's a nonprofit, is local good enough? Or do I need Human Rights Watch in NYC? See, I'm asking about scope. I'm asking about what people think it would take (to get into t14) from their experiences and insights. Or is it possible that I could be competitive if I just applied after I graduated?
Last edited by AJ76 on Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

badnewsbears
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:06 pm

Re: Career Advice and Admissions Chances

Postby badnewsbears » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:29 pm

1- Define "top school". T14, A high LSAT would probably work on one of them (and depending on your addendum/LSAT, maybe many of them). Check out lawschoolpredictor.com
2- Working somewhere exceptionally impressive is always a good idea. Theoretically, separating yourself from the GPA, and proving that you are good in a work environment, and employable as seen by "impressive" employers will always help. Maybe you'll like it more, and stick with it instead of law school. As far as where- come on... you can't expect people to answer that for you. Depends what your interests are, and what you are qualified for.
3- Kill the LSAT (170+), and work for 2+ years in a "real job", and you will almost assuredly get into a "top school". Whether that top school is HYSCCN, is a different story.

AJ76
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 4:38 pm

Re: Career Advice and Admissions Chances

Postby AJ76 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 5:47 pm

Thanks for your response. I probably should have clarified what I meant by "top school." I guess what I meant was t14 plus a couple others I'm interested in. The schools that I'm most interested in are Stanford, UVA, USC, and Vanderbilt. However, I'd be thrilled if I got into any of those, and even more thrilled if it was one of the t14 schools. Or any t14 for that matter haha...

Of course, I would love to work somewhere very impressive. But I was also hoping to apply after only a couple of years. Anyway, I'll check out that website.

badnewsbears
Posts: 30
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2011 11:06 pm

Re: Career Advice and Admissions Chances

Postby badnewsbears » Mon Feb 18, 2013 6:37 pm

Stanford is probably out. USC vs Vandy.. where do you want to work? In the south, Vandy is good. In California, I would imagine USC is good. I know it is tempting to look ahead at what schools are within your reach, but you need to do things one step at a time. First- Law is what you have wanted to do for a long time, but the economy is different. Read all the threads on this site, and decide if law is still what you want to do. If so, immediately start studying. Read all about the LSAT, and Practice test (real conditions, 5 sections, timed strictly. There are online moderators to do the timing for you if you'd like) repeatedly until you're consistently in the 170s if you want a shot at the T14. UVA is splitter friendly from what I've read, so that could be a good goal for you. Whatever your diagnostic PT exam is, you have a shot at increasing it by 20 points (depends on how high it is to begin with, but assuming you PT in the 150s, don't be discouraged. If you diagnostic test in the 160s, you're in great shape). Take a class too if you think it will help (Kaplan gives you a large amount of resources, so it isn't a bad place to start if you have the money for it.)

So in summary, what I am saying is simply- study first. Then wonder what your chances are at schools. GPA is one thing that will be tough to overcome, but the LSAT is most important part of your application. You aren't locked out of the T14 with a 3.0, but you just need to make up for it in a big way.




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