What are my chances? 176+/3.5x

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Pneumonia
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What are my chances? 176+/3.5x

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:10 pm

07/03/13 Original Post
07/31/13 Edit: OP removed, will replace post-'13/'14 cycle.
02/20/14- OP replaced, bumped with acceptances.

LSAT 176+ (1 take, June 2013).
GPA is a 3.5x with a strong upward trend:
Dual Credit at high school 2.2
Freshmen year at community college 3.2
Sophomore year at cc 3.5
Junior year at current UG 4.0 (Philosophy)

Senior year is TBD; I'll be graduating May of 2014. My dual credit obviously hurts me, and I worked 50+ hours a week while at community college. I'm currently at my state's flagship and only work about 25-30 hours a week.

I worked full time 6 months for a subsidiary of AIG doing loss recovery, which although interesting and engaging, was ultimately clerical and not at all quant. Worked another 6 months for a (very small) family startup doing supply chain management and bookkeeping. Other than that all my work experience is non-profit public interest oriented. Have been with current organization for 1 year doing outreach- GED tutoring, ESL, social service referral etc. for low income communities. Just received a promotion and will now be overseeing a dozen or so full time employees who do the same work. Combined I have about 3 years of real full-time work experience in the non-profit sector, plus another 1 year part time, with some other miscellaneous work thrown in.

My goals are TX biglaw (Austin>>Dallas>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Houston). I was born and raised in a smallish Texas town and have never lived out of state. I have ties to Austin from undergrad, and immediate family in Dallas.

I have two questions.

1) Where should I be applying?
Right now my list is SMU, Vandy, UT, Duke, and UVA. I don’t want to ED anywhere though. I’m curious about my chances of admission and $ to other schools that place well in TX. Specifically would NW be a good choice for me? I am debt averse and want to apply broadly, but I haven’t seen enough about TX biglaw placement from other schools to narrow my list.

2) When should I apply / should I wait and apply next cycle?
I think I can maintain my 4.0 (or at least a 3.9) at my current UG, which would give me a fighting chance at getting my GPA to a 3.7 by summer 2014. Realistically though I might have to take some CC online classes to accomplish this and am wondering if doing so would cancel out any positive effects. There is also a non-zero chance that I may be able to raise by GPA to a 3.6 by the end of this summer. I’m currently in 11 hours and am waitlisted for a 4th class; if I get off the waitlist and make an ‘A’ I’ll raise to a 3.6. Otherwise I won’t be above 3.6 until after Fall grades come in. I imagine that it would be better to apply in Sept/Oct with the 3.59 than to wait until December though?

Please only quote as you would have yourselves be quoted, and thanks for any help!
Last edited by Pneumonia on Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:06 pm, edited 5 times in total.

seagan823
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Re: 3.59/178 Want TX biglaw.

Postby seagan823 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:16 pm

Which non-profits are you talking about? From what I have read most non-profits care way more about commitment than what school you went to.

Also, is that flower/your sn a Whiskeytown/Ryan Adams nod? Because if so I think that is awesome.

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AreJay711
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Re: 3.59/178 Want TX biglaw.

Postby AreJay711 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:20 pm

Austin is tough. I think HYS>UT>t14. If you aren't from the Austin area, then UT is even more above the rest of the T14. Hopefully, you will be able to get a hefty scholarship at UT.

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StylinNProfilin
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Re: 3.59/178 Want TX biglaw.

Postby StylinNProfilin » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:20 pm

With your numbers u'd probably get the Northwestern full ride if you applied ED, but you might have to get a year of work experience first. I'd definitely try to get that GPA up to 3.7 before applying. That could be the difference in landing Harvard. If you go the UT route, u'd probably be looking at a full-ride or close to it.

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Pneumonia
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Re: 3.59/178 Want TX biglaw.

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:21 pm

AreJay711 wrote:Austin is tough. I think HYS>UT>t14. If you aren't from the Austin area, then UT is even more above the rest of the T14. Hopefully, you will be able to get a hefty scholarship at UT.


UT > Duke for Austin?

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Pneumonia
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Re: 3.59/178 Want TX biglaw.

Postby Pneumonia » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:26 pm

StylinNProfilin wrote:With your numbers u'd probably get the Northwestern full ride if you applied ED, but you might have to get a year of work experience first.


What is the placement power of NW into TX? Also my WE is 2-3 years full-time, degree required (I guess only ostensively though since I got in without one, although the people I worked/work with are all mid-career and have UG/Post-grad degrees).

So NW is wants post-grad WE, not just full-time WE?

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StylinNProfilin
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Re: 3.59/178 Want TX biglaw.

Postby StylinNProfilin » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:30 pm

Pneumonia wrote:
StylinNProfilin wrote:With your numbers u'd probably get the Northwestern full ride if you applied ED, but you might have to get a year of work experience first.


What is the placement power of NW into TX? Also my WE is 2-3 years full-time, degree required (I guess only ostensively though since I got in without one, although the people I worked/work with are all mid-career and have UG/Post-grad degrees).

So NW is wants post-grad WE, not just full-time WE?


Placement power is very strong w those that have Texas ties. Probably wouldn't suggest NU if you're Austin or Bust though. They want post-undergraduate work experience, however this cycle they've been become a little more lax on the we requirement.

Ti Malice
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Re: 3.59/178 Want TX biglaw.

Postby Ti Malice » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:41 pm

StylinNProfilin wrote:With your numbers u'd probably get the Northwestern full ride if you applied ED, but you might have to get a year of work experience first. I'd definitely try to get that GPA up to 3.7 before applying. That could be the difference in landing Harvard. If you go the UT route, u'd probably be looking at a full-ride or close to it.


Only one or two people with OP's GPA got NU's ED scholarship on LSN this past cycle. The vast majority of ED admits have GPAs of 3.8+.

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StylinNProfilin
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Re: 3.59/178 Want TX biglaw.

Postby StylinNProfilin » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:46 pm

Ti Malice wrote:
StylinNProfilin wrote:With your numbers u'd probably get the Northwestern full ride if you applied ED, but you might have to get a year of work experience first. I'd definitely try to get that GPA up to 3.7 before applying. That could be the difference in landing Harvard. If you go the UT route, u'd probably be looking at a full-ride or close to it.


Only one or two people with OP's GPA got NU's ED scholarship on LSN this past cycle. The vast majority of ED admits have GPAs of 3.8+.


True but probably still has a shot. Doubt they get many 178s applying other then extreme splitters.

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AreJay711
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Re: 3.59/178 Want TX biglaw.

Postby AreJay711 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:49 pm

Pneumonia wrote:
AreJay711 wrote:Austin is tough. I think HYS>UT>t14. If you aren't from the Austin area, then UT is even more above the rest of the T14. Hopefully, you will be able to get a hefty scholarship at UT.


UT > Duke for Austin?


Probably. It is tough to say because (1) there aren't many summer associate positions in Austin compared to Dallas or Houston; (2) while UT is better in absolute terms for Austin, I have no idea how being one of a few people targeting Austin from Duke compares to being one of most of your class targeting Austin at UT (e.g., you might be more likely to underperform your grades); and (3) you will have a tougher time getting a small / midlaw firm in Austin from Duke. In Houston, by contrast, Duke>UT probably. Idk about Dallas.

Either way, I think what you should really do is take the biggest scholarship. With instate tuition and quotas, that will probably be UT.

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Presidentjlh
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Re: 3.59/178 Want TX biglaw.

Postby Presidentjlh » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:15 pm

cop dat 4.0 senior year, get the GPA up even more, and get CCN, or even HYS if it pulls it high enough.

H would be ideal, I feel.

nebula666
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Re: 3.59/178 Want TX biglaw.

Postby nebula666 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:50 pm

With your numbers you could take a full ride to UT and not have to worry about much debt or take your pick of Columbia and below. You still have a small chance at Harvard, maybe 20-30%.

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shifty_eyed
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Re: 3.59/178 Want TX biglaw.

Postby shifty_eyed » Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:56 pm

Is that 3.59 your LSAC GPA?

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Pneumonia
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Re: 3.59/178 Want TX biglaw.

Postby Pneumonia » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:38 am

shifty_eyed wrote:Is that 3.59 your LSAC GPA?


yes

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Pneumonia
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Re: 3.59/178 Want TX biglaw.

Postby Pneumonia » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:45 am

Presidentjlh wrote:cop dat 4.0 senior year, get the GPA up even more, and get CCN, or even HYS if it pulls it high enough.

H would be ideal, I feel.


I would love to get Harvard, and although it looks like I'll be just under the 3.6 floor at the time I apply, I'll be over it by a few 1/100ths after the fall semester. Will they give my updated GPA consideration, assuming I apply September/October? If not, should I wait until after fall grades come in to apply to H?

I'm definitely going to be applying this cycle, but I'm not entirely opposed to applying next cycle as well depending on how this one goes.

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Pneumonia
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Re: 3.59/178 Want TX biglaw.

Postby Pneumonia » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:47 am

Bump to ask specifically about chances at Harvard. LSN is showing my chances aren't really worth talking about until I have a 3.6, so should I apply early (Sept/Oct) with the 3.59 and hope they assume that I'll continue my current grade trend or apply later (december) when I'm above a 3.6?

Obviously waitlist>rejection, but if applying early will help I'd like to... thoughts?

Ti Malice
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Re: 3.59/178

Postby Ti Malice » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:07 am

Can you enroll in an easy five-week class or two at a nearby community college for the second half of the summer? One more A should be enough to push you over the 3.6 threshold. If you're going to apply this fall, that would definitely be your best move.

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Pneumonia
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Re: 3.59/178

Postby Pneumonia » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:15 am

Ti Malice wrote:Can you enroll in an easy five-week class or two at a nearby community college for the second half of the summer? One more A should be enough to push you over the 3.6 threshold. If you're going to apply this fall, that would definitely be your best move.


I have considered this. You're right that another 'A' will pull me up to a 3.6; the issue is financing it. The cheapest online class I've found is about $500 for 3 hours, which isn't bad, but it's still $500. If I had it I'd pay it, but I'm still trying to scrape together the $160 to pay for CAS so I can send in my transcripts and make sure that my GPA calculations are correct (they are).

I'll have the money once Fall financial aid comes in, but of course by then it will be Fall so I'm a little at a loss.

Ti Malice
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Re: 3.59/178

Postby Ti Malice » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:47 am

Pneumonia wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:Can you enroll in an easy five-week class or two at a nearby community college for the second half of the summer? One more A should be enough to push you over the 3.6 threshold. If you're going to apply this fall, that would definitely be your best move.


I have considered this. You're right that another 'A' will pull me up to a 3.6; the issue is financing it. The cheapest online class I've found is about $500 for 3 hours, which isn't bad, but it's still $500. If I had it I'd pay it, but I'm still trying to scrape together the $160 to pay for CAS so I can send in my transcripts and make sure that my GPA calculations are correct (they are).

I'll have the money once Fall financial aid comes in, but of course by then it will be Fall so I'm a little at a loss.


Understood. I can't really advise you on how to conjure up the money, but if I were in your shoes, I would go to pretty great lengths to get it (by legal means, of course). Get creative/shameless.

Aasterinian
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Re: 3.59/178

Postby Aasterinian » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:55 am

Pneumonia wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:The cheapest online class I've found is about $500 for 3 hours


My local CC charges $75/credit hour for out of state residents. I think it might be even cheaper for online classes. Feel free to PM me if you want the name.

Best of luck, in either case, and congrats on your fantastic LSAT :)

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Pneumonia
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Re: 3.59/178

Postby Pneumonia » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:09 am

Aasterinian wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:The cheapest online class I've found is about $500 for 3 hours


My local CC charges $75/credit hour for out of state residents. I think it might be even cheaper for online classes. Feel free to PM me if you want the name.

Best of luck, in either case, and congrats on your fantastic LSAT :)


PM'd, and thanks!

I know everyone says that GPA boosting isn't an issue, but will that still hold for H even when it's this flagrant?

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Clearly
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Re: 3.59/178

Postby Clearly » Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:21 am

Pneumonia wrote:
Aasterinian wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:
Ti Malice wrote:The cheapest online class I've found is about $500 for 3 hours


My local CC charges $75/credit hour for out of state residents. I think it might be even cheaper for online classes. Feel free to PM me if you want the name.

Best of luck, in either case, and congrats on your fantastic LSAT :)


PM'd, and thanks!

I know everyone says that GPA boosting isn't an issue, but will that still hold for H even when it's this flagrant?

1 class isn't really gpa boosting. I mean for your intentions, it is, but it won't be looked at that way. You could very well have just taken a class you were interested in. If boosting were problematic (which I don't believe) it almost certainly wouldn't be considered so until it became blatantly obvious you were trolling schools with 25 unrelated CC credits 3 credits shy of graduating.

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Re: 3.59/178

Postby jbagelboy » Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:19 pm

Rather than take a summer class, why not just get a 4.0 senior year and apply fall 2014. Your lsat is so good, you shouldnt hold yourself back by applying with a subpar gpa. You've demonstrated that you can get perfect grades at your state school, so so it again and reap the reward (Harvard). I strongly advise you against applying this fall. Harvard also wont look particularly well upon your community college credite relative to university, and so another year of classes at your current school will pull even more weight and reassure adcoms of your true potential. Lastly you'll want strong LoRs from your current university profs, and you'll need another year to get close to those phil profs, do thesis researh with them, ect, and then ask for letters after senior year.

These base financial considerations (few hundred here and there right now) are moot compared to a career of success in texas biglaw from HLS (best placement in austin). You could definitely keep working after graduation, so Im not worried about you there. It would also give you the space to craft a stronger app. I see you applying fall 2014 w/ close to 3.7, that great 178, 2 strong academic lors and a professional one from your employer, and a great resume with full time WE to complement all your efforts while a student. Harvard will be very much a possibility here.

Aasterinian
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Re: 3.59/178

Postby Aasterinian » Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:30 pm

jbagelboy wrote:Rather than take a summer class, why not just get a 4.0 senior year and apply fall 2014. Your lsat is so good, you shouldnt hold yourself back by applying with a subpar gpa. You've demonstrated that you can get perfect grades at your state school, so so it again and reap the reward (Harvard). I strongly advise you against applying this fall. Harvard also wont look particularly well upon your community college credite relative to university, and so another year of classes at your current school will pull even more weight and reassure adcoms of your true potential. Lastly you'll want strong LoRs from your current university profs, and you'll need another year to get close to those phil profs, do thesis researh with them, ect, and then ask for letters after senior year.

These base financial considerations (few hundred here and there right now) are moot compared to a career of success in texas biglaw from HLS (best placement in austin). You could definitely keep working after graduation, so Im not worried about you there. It would also give you the space to craft a stronger app. I see you applying fall 2014 w/ close to 3.7, that great 178, 2 strong academic lors and a professional one from your employer, and a great resume with full time WE to complement all your efforts while a student. Harvard will be very much a possibility here.


This is really good advice, OP. It's definitely what I'd do in your situation.

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Pneumonia
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Re: 3.59/178

Postby Pneumonia » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:10 pm

Aasterinian wrote:
jbagelboy wrote:Rather than take a summer class, why not just get a 4.0 senior year and apply fall 2014. Your lsat is so good, you shouldnt hold yourself back by applying with a subpar gpa. You've demonstrated that you can get perfect grades at your state school, so so it again and reap the reward (Harvard). I strongly advise you against applying this fall. Harvard also wont look particularly well upon your community college credite relative to university, and so another year of classes at your current school will pull even more weight and reassure adcoms of your true potential. Lastly you'll want strong LoRs from your current university profs, and you'll need another year to get close to those phil profs, do thesis researh with them, ect, and then ask for letters after senior year.

These base financial considerations (few hundred here and there right now) are moot compared to a career of success in texas biglaw from HLS (best placement in austin). You could definitely keep working after graduation, so Im not worried about you there. It would also give you the space to craft a stronger app. I see you applying fall 2014 w/ close to 3.7, that great 178, 2 strong academic lors and a professional one from your employer, and a great resume with full time WE to complement all your efforts while a student. Harvard will be very much a possibility here.


This is really good advice, OP. It's definitely what I'd do in your situation.


Thank you both for you time. I just checked mylsn and compared 3.50-3.59 with 3.60-3.69 and the differences were as apparent as you indicate, especially at H. A follow up questions is this: other than application fees, what are the downsides to applying both this cycle and next (if I don't get H)?

I'm assuming that schools don't necessarily prefer to admit students who declined to attend the previous year, so I can see the downside of applying broadly this cycle while really only banking on H. However, would there be a downside to applying ONLY to H this cycle, hoping for a waitlist-->accept, but applying broadly (including a reapplication to H) next cycle if I don't get in?

Also, downsides of applying broadly both cycles (again, excluding app fees)?

Thanks all again for continuing to indulge me; I am very grateful.

(sorry for the convoluted typing; I'm on my phone)




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