What schools should I apply to?

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rawlsohard
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What schools should I apply to?

Postby rawlsohard » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:30 pm

GPA: 3.25 cumulative, 3.7 institutional. major: philosophy. "It's a great major for law," they said. "Philosophy majors score so high on the LSAT," they said.

Institution I graduated from: not very good at all. According to collegeboard, the SAT ranges for my institution are
430-530 reading and 440-550 math. I bombed at a harder school due to crippling intellectual insecurity and transferred because it was easy and I heard that law schools don't care about institutional GPA. in retrospect this may or may not have been a terrible idea.

LSAT: Based on the way my LSAT practice is going, I'm looking at an LSAT in the 170-175 range. Taking in June, applying in fall.

Softs: 6 month WE at a fine dining restaurant, 3 months internship at a local newspaper and 2 years as a tutor (both in school and independently), then a lot of trying to start businesses and failing due to various reasons. I'm 24. if only Ronan Farrow could have this kind of resume.

Letters of rec: I can get glowing letters of recommendation because I look like a Rhodes scholar compared to the average student at the school I graduated from. Presumably someone reviewing my application would realize this and disregard the letters, but the letters will sparkle like Edward Cullen for what it's worth.

Other factors to consider: I have about $95k in debt right now from really bad choices. I'm trying to avoid taking out more than $80k in debt, so something like Cornell causes bricks to come out of my anus.

Location: Texas.

6-pack: yes.

**also:** I've read pretty much every "why you should not go to law school" article ever but Ph.D. programs are out of the question due to my gpa/institution and lucrative professions, like consulting or gay stripping, are out of the question due to lack of requisite background and/or encumbering dignity.

An obvious one is UT law, and I've heard WUSt.L also gives out a lot of cash. Any comments unrelated to choosing law schools yet still helpful re: law as a profession are welcome.

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isuperserial
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Re: What schools should I apply to?

Postby isuperserial » Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:50 pm

First off, you're hilarious and I wish you luck, no matter what happens.

Second, the way law school seems to work is that it's better to take on more debt and go to Cornell than take on a bit less and go to, say, BU. Obviously if you're at a full ride or close to it, that's a different story. The difference is between a job that gets you 160k in your first year, 90k, 50k and 0k. The difference is so great between a T14 school and others in job prospects that it mitigates the debt.

In short, its easier to take a shitload of debt to the face now and be able to pay it off in biglaw, than to take on a little debt and attempt to pay it off as a barista.

Your LSAC gpa is what matters, but judging from your cumulative, if you get a 173, you should have a shot at the lower T14. If you get a 175, things get interesting.

Step 1: Study your ass off
Step 2: Get the highest score possible
Step 3: ????
Step 4: Profit

rawlsohard
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Re: What schools should I apply to?

Postby rawlsohard » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:05 pm

Thanks a bunch. I'm glad that you like my dumb law jokes.

Another point: Some people think "oh it's okay, I will just go to law school and be in the top 10%."

I am not sure I am one of those people. I thrive on pressure of important tests like the SAT/LSAT and such, while classes that are made up of a lot of "this is worth 10%, this is worth 20%" kill me. Obviously I want to believe I will be great, but I haven't been to an environment like LS, so I don't know how that will work. I will say that I generally do better when I feel like everything I'm learning is relevant -- I'm studying for personal trainer certification right now to get income between June and December and it's easy to focus on, so when everything I'm studying is lawyer-related, I feel like I'll have an easier time. In all likelihood I will be a median student, but I have no way of being sure one way or the other.

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isuperserial
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Re: What schools should I apply to?

Postby isuperserial » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:13 pm

rawlsohard wrote:Thanks a bunch. I'm glad that you like my dumb law jokes.

Another point: Some people think "oh it's okay, I will just go to law school and be in the top 10%."

I am not sure I am one of those people. I thrive on pressure of important tests like the SAT/LSAT and such, while classes that are made up of a lot of "this is worth 10%, this is worth 20%" kill me. Obviously I want to believe I will be great, but I haven't been to an environment like LS, so I don't know how that will work. I will say that I generally do better when I feel like everything I'm learning is relevant -- I'm studying for personal trainer certification right now to get income between June and December and it's easy to focus on, so when everything I'm studying is lawyer-related, I feel like I'll have an easier time. In all likelihood I will be a median student, but I have no way of being sure one way or the other.


Yeah, just go to the school you get into with the best employment statistics. You can use tools like mylsn.info or lawschoolpredictor.com in order to discover what kinds of numbers will likely deliver you certain results.

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Crowing
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Re: What schools should I apply to?

Postby Crowing » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:30 pm

isuperserial wrote:
rawlsohard wrote:Thanks a bunch. I'm glad that you like my dumb law jokes.

Another point: Some people think "oh it's okay, I will just go to law school and be in the top 10%."

I am not sure I am one of those people. I thrive on pressure of important tests like the SAT/LSAT and such, while classes that are made up of a lot of "this is worth 10%, this is worth 20%" kill me. Obviously I want to believe I will be great, but I haven't been to an environment like LS, so I don't know how that will work. I will say that I generally do better when I feel like everything I'm learning is relevant -- I'm studying for personal trainer certification right now to get income between June and December and it's easy to focus on, so when everything I'm studying is lawyer-related, I feel like I'll have an easier time. In all likelihood I will be a median student, but I have no way of being sure one way or the other.


Yeah, just go to the school you get into with the best employment statistics. You can use tools like mylsn.info or lawschoolpredictor.com in order to discover what kinds of numbers will likely deliver you certain results.


Don't use LSP. It's absolute shit and worse than absolute shit for splitters.

That amount of debt already sucks dude. If you're at all interested in staying in TX I'd prob go for in-state + scholly there instead of T14 sticker (which is what a 3.25 will get you at best). But that's all hypo - you're going to need a decent score (170+) before you'll even have these dicey decisions to make. Anything lower and LS is almost certainly not worth it.

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spleenworship
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Re: What schools should I apply to?

Postby spleenworship » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:35 pm

Come back with actual LSAT. Then we can give good advice.

rawlsohard
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Re: What schools should I apply to?

Postby rawlsohard » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:44 pm

the reason I'm asking this now rather than later is so that I can decide, mid-practice, if I want to continue practicing or if I should devote my resources elsewhere. I have until May to sign up for the thing. if I feel I can't reliably score in the range of 170-175 (though, really, absolute lowest would be 168) I won't even bother applying.

@Crowing: Texas schools rarely give out full or near-full tuition scholarships, unfortunately, and the ones that do don't seem to have very good bar-required employment rates. I've considered U. Houston, but I'd still have to take out a good deal of rent/living costs, and I have no idea what their bar-required employment rate is like. If you have good reason to still think that's worthwhile I'll reconsider it.

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Crowing
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Re: What schools should I apply to?

Postby Crowing » Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:52 pm

rawlsohard wrote:the reason I'm asking this now rather than later is so that I can decide, mid-practice, if I want to continue practicing or if I should devote my resources elsewhere. I have until May to sign up for the thing. if I feel I can't reliably score in the range of 170-175 (though, really, absolute lowest would be 168) I won't even bother applying.

@Crowing: Texas schools rarely give out full or near-full tuition scholarships, unfortunately, and the ones that do don't seem to have very good bar-required employment rates. I've considered U. Houston, but I'd still have to take out a good deal of rent/living costs, and I have no idea what their bar-required employment rate is like. If you have good reason to still think that's worthwhile I'll reconsider it.


I was moreso thinking UT specifically, but I'm not sure how low you can get the COL even with in-state scholly there.

I had a similar problem with a mediocre GPA and residence in a state with schools that don't give full rides. Being a splitter sucks balls for getting big schollys anyway. With 95k debt already and a 3.25 I'm not sure if any realistic LS option is going to be good.

rawlsohard
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Re: What schools should I apply to?

Postby rawlsohard » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:03 pm

With 95k debt already and a 3.25 I'm not sure if any realistic LS option is going to be good.


I have been getting four letters from loan servicers monthly for a year since graduating and paying student loan debt for about that long, so I'm aware. I also have a friend who is an avid browser of /r/personalfinance on reddit and is only one step away from telling me I should commit hara kiri for making such a dishonorable financial decision.

My prospects in other fields aren't much better. In fact, for every field I've considered, there is a companion of "why the market for _____ is terrible right now" literature. (with the exception of perhaps nurses. holy shit have I read so many Forbes writers that get erect when talking about why America needs more nurses.)

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spleenworship
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Re: What schools should I apply to?

Postby spleenworship » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:14 pm

rawlsohard wrote:
With 95k debt already and a 3.25 I'm not sure if any realistic LS option is going to be good.


I have been getting four letters from loan servicers monthly for a year since graduating and paying student loan debt for about that long, so I'm aware. I also have a friend who is an avid browser of /r/personalfinance on reddit and is only one step away from telling me I should commit hara kiri for making such a dishonorable financial decision.

My prospects in other fields aren't much better. In fact, for every field I've considered, there is a companion of "why the market for _____ is terrible right now" literature. (with the exception of perhaps nurses. holy shit have I read so many Forbes writers that get erect when talking about why America needs more nurses.)



Many currently graduating nursing students are unable to get a job. Seriously.

j.anderson
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Re: What schools should I apply to?

Postby j.anderson » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:17 pm

Silly question, but do you actually want to be a lawyer or are you merely picking a profession that may or may not pay decent money?

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thisiswater
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Re: What schools should I apply to?

Postby thisiswater » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:30 pm

Have you been looking for people with similar numbers on lawschoolnumbers?

rawlsohard
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Re: What schools should I apply to?

Postby rawlsohard » Mon Mar 18, 2013 4:33 pm

I have indeed. I also checked out mylsn.info. apparently University of Iowa really likes splitters with high LSATs, and so does Emory/GWU/Indiana. if these patterns are even remotely representative of reality, I find this reason to be optimistic. whatever can be said about "the law market is terrible", the market for people with philosophy degrees from expensive fourth-tier undergrad institutions is even worse.

also, j.anderson -- the question "do you really want to be [profession]" assumes I can answer with confidence whatever it is I "really want" to be. I will tell you that I would like being a lawyer much better than a lot of professions. there's a comforting sense that I get when everyone around me is an analytical shithead. I do not get that when I'm around, say, accountants, or comm majors, or especially nursing majors. in an odd way, I like the confrontational nature of the legal profession.

spleenworship wrote:Many currently graduating nursing students are unable to get a job. Seriously.


welp there went the vestige of certainty I had regarding any kind of long-term employment.

there are upsides though. you could argue that law schools are creating jobs, albeit for cardiologists instead of lawyers.




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