Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

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Windfish
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Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby Windfish » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:45 pm

Bottom Line:
1. Does the fact my wife has a career here matter?
2. Does the fact that I am in a graduate program at the same institution matter?
3. Is majoring in religion/theology somehow a boost?
4. Should I be concerned about my graduate GPA; will they even want my transcripts?
5. If it does play some role, will the fact that a legitimate untreated medical condition led to a false assessment of my abilities matter to admissions considering I have been properly diagnosed and am receiving treatment?
6. Are there opportunities to formally share this in an application?
7. Who should write my LORs of the following: Graduate professors, UG professors, internship supervisor, lawyers I've worked with on projects unrelated to law.
8. Any thoughts you had that might elucidate my situation at all?

Just trying to gain a sense.

Narrative:
I am interested in law school because of my interest in religion and law. Studying law gives me further career options and strengthen my chances of entering a religion PhD program. I am at Duke now studying religion, and will apply to Duke and UNC-CH for a JD to combine with my current program. Obviously I am limited to a particular geographic region, but I might try for a PhD/JD combined program later elsewhere in the US (Princeton, Yale, U Chicago, ND, Harvard, Emory, Boston College, Vanderbilt) or the UK (Cambridge, Oxford).

Hard Stats:
UGPA: 3.68
LSAT: TBD, aiming for 171+

Soft Stats:
• Wife currently employed in geographic region = difficult to move (do family considerations come into play at all?)
• Currently in a masters-level religion program
• UG Major: BA Theology, Honors Program, cum laude
• Received various awards, scholarships, and inductions into academic societies
• Founding Editor of small online blogazine
• Substantial office work, intern and volunteer experience (non-profit organizations)
• Leader of various campus organizations
• Research Assistant
• Come from religious heritage that is active in church-state issues
Last edited by Windfish on Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jun 25, 2013 5:03 pm

I'll be honest, I didn't read all of this. However, I can tell you that the only school of those you mentioned I would attend that would be worth your time and money would be Duke. If you have to stay in NC, its the dominant player, and it can also feed you to NYC or DC in several years if that's what you decide. UNC has a great reputation in other graduate programs, but its law school doesn't place particularly well.

In answer to a few of your queries, 1) get an LSAT score 170+ and come back to us
2) get at least one UG prof LoR, and at least 2 academic LoRs total
3) your "U" won't make any difference if it wasn't a for-credit course. figure out your LSAC GPA by converting whatever your UG used on a 4.33/4/3.67/3.33 ect. scale

good luck

akg144
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby akg144 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:29 pm

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Last edited by akg144 on Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.


rad lulz
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:33 pm

akg144 wrote:I'm in the same boat bro. Just finished my first year of my @Duke Div too and i'm interested in pursuing a JD/MDiv and maybe a PhD down the line as well. Ultimately my goal is to teach Constitutional Law and Christian Ethics at Law School and Div School respectively and will be applying to Duke and UNC for JDs this upcoming year pursuant to that ambition. Keep us updated I look forward to here how things work out for you. Good luck & God Bless!

Becoming a law professor is a pipe dream

If that' s the reason you want to go to law school then just don't bother

akg144
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby akg144 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:19 pm

rad lulz wrote:
akg144 wrote:I'm in the same boat bro. Just finished my first year of my @Duke Div too and i'm interested in pursuing a JD/MDiv and maybe a PhD down the line as well. Ultimately my goal is to teach Constitutional Law and Christian Ethics at Law School and Div School respectively and will be applying to Duke and UNC for JDs this upcoming year pursuant to that ambition. Keep us updated I look forward to here how things work out for you. Good luck & God Bless!

Becoming a law professor is a pipe dream

If that' s the reason you want to go to law school then just don't bother


Why do you say that? I'd be happy and content teaching at any law school I just love teaching (I did my undergrad in Education) so I can't imagine if I went to a T14 school and worked for a few years it would be impossibly hard to secure a teaching position at a 3rd, 4th or 5th tier school.

rad lulz
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:24 pm

akg144 wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
akg144 wrote:I'm in the same boat bro. Just finished my first year of my @Duke Div too and i'm interested in pursuing a JD/MDiv and maybe a PhD down the line as well. Ultimately my goal is to teach Constitutional Law and Christian Ethics at Law School and Div School respectively and will be applying to Duke and UNC for JDs this upcoming year pursuant to that ambition. Keep us updated I look forward to here how things work out for you. Good luck & God Bless!

Becoming a law professor is a pipe dream

If that' s the reason you want to go to law school then just don't bother


Why do you say that? I'd be happy and content teaching at any law school I just love teaching (I did my undergrad in Education) so I can't imagine if I went to a T14 schools and worked for a few years it would be all that difficult to teach at a 3, 4 or 5th tier school.

I have no idea how hard it is to teach at divinity schools but run a few google searches for "entry level academia" or "vap trap"

Look at the lists on Profsblawg and see how few people actually get hired

Consider that hiring is not about to increase

Chances are so small that going to a school because you want to be an academic is a bad idea

Even from Duke

edit: being a legal academic isn't about teaching, it's about trying to get people to cite your scholarship that usually no one cares to read

akg144
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby akg144 » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:10 pm

rad lulz wrote:
akg144 wrote:
rad lulz wrote:
akg144 wrote:I'm in the same boat bro. Just finished my first year of my @Duke Div too and i'm interested in pursuing a JD/MDiv and maybe a PhD down the line as well. Ultimately my goal is to teach Constitutional Law and Christian Ethics at Law School and Div School respectively and will be applying to Duke and UNC for JDs this upcoming year pursuant to that ambition. Keep us updated I look forward to here how things work out for you. Good luck & God Bless!

Becoming a law professor is a pipe dream

If that' s the reason you want to go to law school then just don't bother


Why do you say that? I'd be happy and content teaching at any law school I just love teaching (I did my undergrad in Education) so I can't imagine if I went to a T14 schools and worked for a few years it would be all that difficult to teach at a 3, 4 or 5th tier school.

I have no idea how hard it is to teach at divinity schools but run a few google searches for "entry level academia" or "vap trap"

Look at the lists on Profsblawg and see how few people actually get hired

Consider that hiring is not about to increase

Chances are so small that going to a school because you want to be an academic is a bad idea

Even from Duke

edit: being a legal academic isn't about teaching, it's about trying to get people to cite your scholarship that usually no one
cares to read


Obviously 50k or 55k per year doesn't sounds great but if you can get your foot in the door with some original ground-breaking research and publications I think it's doable if you sell the package right, like everything its all about networking, connections and who ya know and rubbing elbows with the best and brightest for a few years certainly can't hurt my chances too much -- it's not a guarentee but honestly since the 08 financial crisis really what is nowadays? Everyone is hurting financially and law/academics is still is viable option, I figure i'll just have to work a bit harder than people 10 or 20 years ago probably had to in order to secure a tenure track, it might not work out but i'm game for the challenge.

http://law.duke.edu/teaching/
http://web.law.columbia.edu/law-teachin ... ships-vaps

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Pneumonia
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:16 pm

lol at "TBD" LSAT under "Hard Stats"

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:00 am

akg144 wrote:Why do you say that? I'd be happy and content teaching at any law school I just love teaching (I did my undergrad in Education) so I can't imagine if I went to a T14 school and worked for a few years it would be impossibly hard to secure a teaching position at a 3rd, 4th or 5th tier school.

You and LOTS OF OTHER PEOPLE feel this way. There aren't that many law schools out there. Pick out a nice selection of law schools distributed all throughout the rankings, and look at the qualifications of their recent hires (ignore anyone who's been there more than 5 years). Even 4th tier schools are hiring people who went to T6 schools, graduated at the top of their class, and got top federal clerkships. The competition is EXTREMELY tight.

Just because schools offer fellowships/visiting professorships does not mean that their students get those positions, or that those positions will lead to tenure-track positions. VAPs are a great way for schools to get cheap labor.

And rad is absolutely right - being a law prof is not about teaching, it's about publishing. The entire law school educational model is counter to a huge amount of research about good teaching, and you're not rewarded for success in teaching. If you love teaching, go teach in a private high school.

rad lulz
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby rad lulz » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:57 am

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Last edited by rad lulz on Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

Windfish
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby Windfish » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:15 pm

I'll just clarify since I seem to be befuzzling people with what I'm asking for. I know there are those great statistics tools out there to see how I line up; I'm not asking for that here. I'll do that on my own time once I get my LSAT. What I really want to know is in my first post but listed here in short form and also place them in the first post for further clarity:

1. Does the fact my wife has a career here matter?
2. Does the fact that I am in a graduate program at the same institution matter?
3. Is majoring in religion/theology somehow a boost?
4. Should I be concerned about my graduate GPA; will they even want my transcripts?
5. If it does play some role, will the fact that a legitimate untreated medical condition led to a false assessment of my abilities matter to admissions considering I have been properly diagnosed and am receiving treatment?
6. Are there opportunities to formally share this in an application?
7. Who should write my LORs of the following: Graduate professors, UG professors, internship supervisor, lawyers I've worked with on projects unrelated to law.
8. Any thoughts you had that might elucidate my situation at all?

Just trying to gain a sense.

jbagelboy wrote:I'll be honest, I didn't read all of this. However, I can tell you that the only school of those you mentioned I would attend that would be worth your time and money would be Duke. If you have to stay in NC, its the dominant player, and it can also feed you to NYC or DC in several years if that's what you decide. UNC has a great reputation in other graduate programs, but its law school doesn't place particularly well.

In answer to a few of your queries, 1) get an LSAT score 170+ and come back to us
2) get at least one UG prof LoR, and at least 2 academic LoRs total
3) your "U" won't make any difference if it wasn't a for-credit course. figure out your LSAC GPA by converting whatever your UG used on a 4.33/4/3.67/3.33 ect. scale

good luck


Thanks for your help. Good insight here!

akg144 wrote:I'm in the same boat bro. Just finished my first year of my @Duke Div too and i'm interested in pursuing a JD/MDiv and maybe a PhD down the line as well. Ultimately my goal is to teach Constitutional Law and Christian Ethics at Law School and Div School respectively and will be applying to Duke and UNC for JDs this upcoming year pursuant to that ambition. Keep us updated I look forward to here how things work out for you. Good luck & God Bless!


Awesome! I noticed your topic soon after posting mine and thought it was great there was another person here with similar ambitions! GOod luck to you as well!

placencia
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby placencia » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:21 pm

FYI Wake Forest also has a Divinity school, so if you are interested in any sort of dual degree with law we offer one, too. I've never really known anyone who did it, but I did give a tour to an undergrad who was interested in doing it. And if you want to stay in NC, Duke doesn't really matter. Very few people from Duke actually stay in NC.

Until you have an LSAT score, nothing else really matters.

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intlsplitr
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby intlsplitr » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:42 pm

Windfish wrote:1. Does the fact my wife has a career here matter?
2. Does the fact that I am in a graduate program at the same institution matter?
3. Is majoring in religion/theology somehow a boost?
4. Should I be concerned about my graduate GPA; will they even want my transcripts?
5. If it does play some role, will the fact that a legitimate untreated medical condition led to a false assessment of my abilities matter to admissions considering I have been properly diagnosed and am receiving treatment?
6. Are there opportunities to formally share this in an application?
7. Who should write my LORs of the following: Graduate professors, UG professors, internship supervisor, lawyers I've worked with on projects unrelated to law.
8. Any thoughts you had that might elucidate my situation at all?


1. No, not at all.
2. If you are a borderline candidate otherwise, maybe. It shows that you are likely to matriculate if they accept you.
3. No.
4. Yes, your GPA will matter, but adcoms know that grad school grades are inflated. Adcoms will want to see that you can excel in a graduate-level academic environment. They only report UG GPA, so that is the one that matters. You will be required to submit your transcripts.
5. Maybe?
6. Yes, in the PS and/or additional essays. You could consider writing an addendum.
7. Professors that you have worked closely are the most important for LORs. I dont think it matters if it is grad or UG. My professors in grad school knew me/my work product better than UG profs, so that is who I used. You could use maybe one work/internship/outside LOR, but probably not more than that.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby jbagelboy » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:45 pm

I'll try to be more helpful.

Windfish wrote:1. Does the fact my wife has a career here matter?

Matter in what sense? To you? I hope it does. In the grand scheme of human existence? probably not. From a law admissions perspective? Only if your stats were at YP level (which they are not with a 3.7) and you needed to prove you were rooted to the region and weren't going to flee to Harvard.

Windfish wrote:2. Does the fact that I am in a graduate program at the same institution matter?

Not really. If you excelled at your school in Duke and profs knew you and could vouch for you, it could have some impact, but this is really just a UGPA/LSAT game.

Windfish wrote:3. Is majoring in religion/theology somehow a boost?

Why? How would someone construe this to be a boost? If you work it into your personal statement effectively and you can give a compelling narrative to your application via your major/course selections, then sure that would be an asset to your app. As for the intrinsic value of the major, it's not a very rigorous field at the undergraduate level relative to philosophy/history or STEM, adcoms know this

Windfish wrote:4. Should I be concerned about my graduate GPA; will they even want my transcripts?

They will want the transcripts, but they won't factor them into their admissions criteria. Again, if you have a 4.0 from a known masters/phd program, that serves as a soft. If you have a 3.0, it wouldn't be a boost, but it would have no impact on your likelihood of admission when your UGPA is 3.68.

Windfish wrote:5. If it does play some role, will the fact that a legitimate untreated medical condition led to a false assessment of my abilities matter to admissions considering I have been properly diagnosed and am receiving treatment?

See above. No one will care enough about your graduate GPA to read anything you submitted to justify it

Windfish wrote:6. Are there opportunities to formally share this in an application?

Is this different from #4 and #5? Yes, there's an addendum section for almost every LSAC application, but see above for why there's no need to include any reference to your graduate school grades there.
Windfish wrote:7. Who should write my LORs of the following: Graduate professors, UG professors, internship supervisor, lawyers I've worked with on projects unrelated to law.

As I said before, you want at least 1 UG prof, and at least 2 academic recs. The internships/people in the field should only serve as supplements beyond the second letter. Everyone knows a lawyer.

Good luck!

Windfish
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby Windfish » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:39 pm

Thanks all for indulging my thoroughness. I appreciate your input and any that is still to come! I guess it is about time I busted out those LSAT practice exams.

P.S. the first question is definitely in regards to adcom considerations. I certainly don't want to be moving my wife around the country chasing after other law schools, her happiness comes first.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby jbagelboy » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:17 pm

Windfish wrote:Thanks all for indulging my thoroughness. I appreciate your input and any that is still to come! I guess it is about time I busted out those LSAT practice exams.

P.S. the first question is definitely in regards to adcom considerations. I certainly don't want to be moving my wife around the country chasing after other law schools, her happiness comes first.


As a final note, you will want to apply to Duke's peer schools -- NU, Cornell, Michigan, ect -- to negotiate scholarship aid. When you do, don't mention these geographic limitations, or they think you won't come anyway and they'll hit you with the WL. Only state this for Duke.

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AreJay711
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby AreJay711 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:43 pm

Why don't you just do the PhD program? You really don't need to go to law school to write about Christian ethics or Christian legal ethics, or really constitutional law.

akg144
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby akg144 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:23 pm

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Last edited by akg144 on Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:25 pm

I think in most cases those doors get opened despite having a JD, not because of having one.

Windfish
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby Windfish » Thu Jul 11, 2013 6:52 pm

placencia wrote:FYI Wake Forest also has a Divinity school, so if you are interested in any sort of dual degree with law we offer one, too. I've never really known anyone who did it, but I did give a tour to an undergrad who was interested in doing it. And if you want to stay in NC, Duke doesn't really matter. Very few people from Duke actually stay in NC.

Until you have an LSAT score, nothing else really matters.


Sorry, I was reading over this again and should've asked this earlier: when you say Duke doesn't matter much if I plan to stay in NC, do you mean that it doesn't have much local prestige as, say, WF or UNC?

LSAT on the way.

placencia
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Re: Do I have a shot? (applying in NC + dual degree w/ religion)

Postby placencia » Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:20 pm

No, not that it doesn't have much prestige, but almost the opposite. People who come to Duke are from all over the country, and few stay in NC relative to the other schools. Also, because the degree is so portable and one of the top in the country, most of their graduates will go other places. This means that if you just care about staying in NC, then you don't need Duke at all. I don't know of many Duke graduates who practice in NC or have decided to set up shop here unless they have very specific ties to the state.

If you do go to Duke that will be great, but since you are saying you plan to stay in NC, then Duke is really unnecessary for that. The other schools in NC will have much more extensive legal networks here and alumni networks because of how many graduates stick around, which can be very helpful as well.

At the end of the day if you get in to Duke, I'd go to Duke, unless you get significant money from other schools. I have a friend who just graduated with me at Wake and he turned down no money at Duke to come here with a very solid scholarship, and everything worked out great, but with a lot less debt.

But again, these are all the kinds of questions that are irrelevant until after the LSAT.




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