3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

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vlookup1990
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3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby vlookup1990 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:18 am

Thank you in advance to anyone taking the time to help me. I understand nothing on this forum is binding but I appreciate any input you may have to share based on your experiences and knowledge of past applicants and/or admission cycles.

I am currently a 23 year old white male with very strong softs but unfortunately my work and extreme involvement on campus prevented me from ever having the time to take 3-4 months off to study for the LSAT. I took the test cold once and got a 167, then studied for two weeks after graduation before I started my full time job and received a 169. I was recently accepted into Harvard Business School and would like to pursue a JD/MBA, so unfortunately if I do want to attend law school it's HLS or nothing. I will expand on my current situation but thought it would be best to first go over the realities of my strengths and weaknesses.

Quick overview of application:
GPA: 3.9 / 4.0
LSATs: 167, 169
GMAT: 760 / 800 (also took this test cold, average acceptance into HBS is a 720)
School: Ivy League, graduated with honors in economics. My thesis received the highest mark possible and was recently published in what is considered a strong economics journal.
Work experience: I work in investment banking and in a restructuring group in what is objectively one of the most competitive and highly regarded groups on all of Wall Street (think Goldman Sachs, Lazard, Morgan Stanley). On average I work between 100 and 120 hours a week. Over the past 8 months I was the sole analyst on one of the most high profile bankruptcy deals of the year which was deeply rooted in the intricacies of bankruptcy law and proceedings. I will continue to work in this role at this firm for the next year (for a total of two years after graduation). I recently received an offer at one of the top private equity funds, which I would like to work at for at least one year (and likely two) before attending law school (think Blackstone, KKR, Apollo, TPG, Bain).
On campus extracurriculars: Very strong. Student body president, founder of a non-profit, and recipient of numerous awards at school for my on-campus activities.
Internships: At the bank I currently work at, the White House, and a very well known non-profit.
Other involvements: I sit on the boards for two small local non-profits.
Other factors: My two older sisters and I were the first in our family to go to college. One of them attended community college, one attended a state university, and I was fortunate enough to receive a full ride through the Ivy League financial aid program which is the only reason I was able to go to school out-of-state. As mentioned above, recently accepted into Harvard Business School (I have already notified them that I would like to work for a few more years before attending, which they are fine with).

Recommendations: I am confident that my letters of recommendation will all be very strong (one from work, one from thesis adviser, and one from a Vice President at my college whom I worked with closely during my four years there). All three wrote me letters for HBS.

Now that I have gotten into HBS, I want to make sure that I do whatever is necessary to get into HLS. There is honestly no way that I can study for the LSATs while working, but I have one week of vacation that I would be able to take and use to study for the October or December LSATs if necessary. I know that I have a strong application in terms of softs but I don't know any non-URMs who have gotten in with the GPA/LSAT combination I have. In an ideal world, I would like to apply during the upcoming fall cycle because if I receive my acceptance before I begin my private equity job I would be eligible for a program wherein they will agree to pay for both degrees if I sign a contract to return for five years after I graduate, which I would willingly accept. It would also be nice to get the application off my chest.

I know that I have a unique situation and set of experiences, but as I mentioned earlier I would greatly appreciate any insight you can offer. Specifically, I am looking for opinions on:
A) whether it would be worth my time to re-take the LSAT; and
B) whether I have a strong enough application to apply this cycle or if more work experience is necessary to even make me competitive.

Again, thank you to anyone for taking the time to read this and offering to help.

PS. I promise I am not trolling as I would not hope to waste anyone's time. Some details have been narrowly distorted in order to help protect my identity, but not in any way that materially alters the strength of my application (ie. I might have attended Stanford as opposed to an Ivy League or worked at McKinsey for a summer instead of the White House). However, the key variables at play here are all accurate.

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UnicornHunter
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby UnicornHunter » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:57 am

vlookup1990 wrote:A) whether it would be worth my time to re-take the LSAT; and
B) whether I have a strong enough application to apply this cycle or if more work experience is necessary to even make me competitive.


A) Yes. Only way you're likely to get Harvard Law.

B. Yes. Law school isn't business school. Get your LSAT up and you'll have a strong chance at Harvard.

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thewaves
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby thewaves » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:11 am

Why do you want the law degree? What will it provide you that the MBA won't? Is it worth the extra debt and year of school?

legalmindedfella
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby legalmindedfella » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:31 am

Word of warning - there's a narrow subset of people you can be. Someone will someday be able to identify you from this post even with the modifications. This is completely fine - you're awesome!, the world will know - but if you're a cautious sort, heads-up.

You're a tremendously strong applicant for business school, obviously (as it seems you got in straight as opposed to in via the 2-year-out HBS program, though correct me if I'm wrong...)

But while HBS and good softs will be a bump, your LSAT will be a constraint (Note also that you can potentially attend YLS while at Harvard Business School, though it's likely you'd have to raise up the LSAT for them, too). So I would find a way to retake, busy job or not. If you worked this hard you're capable of practicing for the test on Sunday afternoons or on stray nights that you're not working until 10pm, and enough of them have to exist for you to be able to get up there.

Also, you have to ditch the line that you're too busy to take the LSAT or to prep effectively. No one on any admissions committee will care. It shows nothing good and could infer a few bad things (impulsive, you're bs-ing your reasons for wanting to go, disorganized secretly, whatever). No persuasive essay exists that will help you say you're smart but you can't actually get what you're capable of because X. If you want to do this, your sales pitch has to be either (a) ignoring the lsat entirely and getting in via connections or some other magic trick (b) finding a way to do better, no excuses. There's also (c) rolling the dice with a 169 and praying desperately. (It's not no shot, but it's a real stretch). And note that with (b), I don't know what other posters will say, but I'm pretty sure third time will be your last chance for the next few years.

Good luck, seriously, and congrats on HBS.

Total Litigator
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby Total Litigator » Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:57 am

Soooo, this is the most unqualified I've ever felt.

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jbagelboy
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby jbagelboy » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:15 am

You'll probably get into HLS with a 169. They say softs dont matter, but all of this will.

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twenty
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby twenty » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:50 am

Jesus, forget law school, stay with HBS.

Seriously. There's very few jobs you're going to get with a JD/MBA that open up to you now that wouldn't have opened up with either one on its own. And HLS is a lot of money for what I'm guessing is going to end up being hardcore private sector.

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sublime
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby sublime » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:03 am

..

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Clearly
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby Clearly » Tue Jul 16, 2013 4:19 am

I'd go ahead and not even bother with the JD frankly. But I can't believe I'm going to say this, I think you actually might get in if you put together a strong application, even with that LSAT.

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Reinhardt
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby Reinhardt » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:04 am

Law school would be a waste of time and money/opportunity unless you want to become the next Mitt Romney.

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Danger Zone
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby Danger Zone » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:21 am

vlookup1990 wrote:Thank you in advance to anyone taking the time to help me. I understand nothing on this forum is binding but I appreciate any input you may have to share based on your experiences and knowledge of past applicants and/or admission cycles.

I am currently a 23 year old white male with very strong softs but unfortunately my work and extreme involvement on campus prevented me from ever having the time to take 3-4 months off to study for the LSAT. I took the test cold once and got a 167, then studied for two weeks after graduation before I started my full time job and received a 169. I was recently accepted into Harvard Business School and would like to pursue a JD/MBA, so unfortunately if I do want to attend law school it's HLS or nothing. I will expand on my current situation but thought it would be best to first go over the realities of my strengths and weaknesses.

Quick overview of application:
GPA: 3.9 / 4.0
LSATs: 167, 169
GMAT: 760 / 800 (also took this test cold, average acceptance into HBS is a 720)
School: Ivy League, graduated with honors in economics. My thesis received the highest mark possible and was recently published in what is considered a strong economics journal.
Work experience: I work in investment banking and in a restructuring group in what is objectively one of the most competitive and highly regarded groups on all of Wall Street (think Goldman Sachs, Lazard, Morgan Stanley). On average I work between 100 and 120 hours a week. Over the past 8 months I was the sole analyst on one of the most high profile bankruptcy deals of the year which was deeply rooted in the intricacies of bankruptcy law and proceedings. I will continue to work in this role at this firm for the next year (for a total of two years after graduation). I recently received an offer at one of the top private equity funds, which I would like to work at for at least one year (and likely two) before attending law school (think Blackstone, KKR, Apollo, TPG, Bain).
On campus extracurriculars: Very strong. Student body president, founder of a non-profit, and recipient of numerous awards at school for my on-campus activities.
Internships: At the bank I currently work at, the White House, and a very well known non-profit.
Other involvements: I sit on the boards for two small local non-profits.
Other factors: My two older sisters and I were the first in our family to go to college. One of them attended community college, one attended a state university, and I was fortunate enough to receive a full ride through the Ivy League financial aid program which is the only reason I was able to go to school out-of-state. As mentioned above, recently accepted into Harvard Business School (I have already notified them that I would like to work for a few more years before attending, which they are fine with).

Recommendations: I am confident that my letters of recommendation will all be very strong (one from work, one from thesis adviser, and one from a Vice President at my college whom I worked with closely during my four years there). All three wrote me letters for HBS.

Now that I have gotten into HBS, I want to make sure that I do whatever is necessary to get into HLS. There is honestly no way that I can study for the LSATs while working, but I have one week of vacation that I would be able to take and use to study for the October or December LSATs if necessary. I know that I have a strong application in terms of softs but I don't know any non-URMs who have gotten in with the GPA/LSAT combination I have. In an ideal world, I would like to apply during the upcoming fall cycle because if I receive my acceptance before I begin my private equity job I would be eligible for a program wherein they will agree to pay for both degrees if I sign a contract to return for five years after I graduate, which I would willingly accept. It would also be nice to get the application off my chest.

I know that I have a unique situation and set of experiences, but as I mentioned earlier I would greatly appreciate any insight you can offer. Specifically, I am looking for opinions on:
A) whether it would be worth my time to re-take the LSAT; and
B) whether I have a strong enough application to apply this cycle or if more work experience is necessary to even make me competitive.

Again, thank you to anyone for taking the time to read this and offering to help.

PS. I promise I am not trolling as I would not hope to waste anyone's time. Some details have been narrowly distorted in order to help protect my identity, but not in any way that materially alters the strength of my application (ie. I might have attended Stanford as opposed to an Ivy League or worked at McKinsey for a summer instead of the White House). However, the key variables at play here are all accurate.

Grizz wrote:Image

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sublime
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby sublime » Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:42 am

..

kritarch
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby kritarch » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:20 am

Maybe it's just where I went to law school, but I'm not seeing the "superness" in these softs * * * They seem like they would be pretty common, even very ordinary, at a law school like HLS. And at certain other T14s with which I am familiar, they would be considered even very mundane.

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DrStudMuffin
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby DrStudMuffin » Tue Jul 16, 2013 7:41 am

kritarch wrote:Maybe it's just where I went to law school, but I'm not seeing the "superness" in these softs * * * They seem like they would be pretty common, even very ordinary, at a law school like HLS. And at certain other T14s with which I am familiar, they would be considered even very mundane.


You're wrong.

sapien
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby sapien » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:04 am

DrStudMuffin wrote:
kritarch wrote:Maybe it's just where I went to law school, but I'm not seeing the "superness" in these softs * * * They seem like they would be pretty common, even very ordinary, at a law school like HLS. And at certain other T14s with which I am familiar, they would be considered even very mundane.


You're wrong.


No, he's right. Not one of these things is "super" on its own. But combined, they do make a really strong candidate.

OP: Don't retake. See what happens. HLS is easier to get into for HBS students and vice-versa. And apps in general are way down. Plus, people with 170s and 171s (LSATs below HLS' median) get in all the time, myself included. I really don't see them using a hard cap, especially for joint degree students. If you don't get in, then start at the B-School, retake during the summer before, and apply once you're in B-School. Heck, you might even reconsider the law school thing.

On a side note, did you get into the GSB? Because SLS would solve most of your problems...

RodneyRuxin
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby RodneyRuxin » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:08 am

Honestly, you seem like a smart guy. Why don't you understand that the LSAT isn't something you should take lightly?

The answer to this thread is an obvious retake. If you HAVE to go to HLS, you should have the LSAT to guarantee acceptance rather than risking it on getting lucky with your softs.

There are tons of borderline people who have outrageous softs (helped the poor in Uganda, started and manage a nonprofit, etc.) You have good softs but this is Harvard, you won't stick out. Make sure you have the numbers to back you up. Retake in Oct and stop being lazy.

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Anciano
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby Anciano » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:13 am

RodneyRuxin wrote:Retake in Oct and stop being lazy.

vlookup1990 wrote:On average I work between 100 and 120 hours a week.


:shock:

(I understand what you meant, but I'm still amused.)

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englawyer
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby englawyer » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:21 am

you have a very good chance of acceptance as is. A retake w/ 172+ would seal the deal.

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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby fluffythepenguin » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:48 am

Where were your errors on the LSAT? If you missed a few on Logic Games, you could probably just work through the Powerscore Logic Games Bible, do some sample problems, and get a few extra points from your 169 that way. That may be enough without having to study for the entire LSAT.

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Monochromatic Oeuvre
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby Monochromatic Oeuvre » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:31 am

How did we get this far in the thread without anyone asking the OP why he actually wants to be a lawyer? There was no indication in the post that OP actually wants to practice law. If he really does have an IB resume, a JD is going to be effectively useless.

Also, I'm gonna call bullshit on working 100-120 hours a week. You'd be dead.

vlookup1990
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby vlookup1990 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:30 am

Thanks to everyone for the replies/constructive feedback.

On the topic of why law school: I would like to think that I have a pretty good reason, but unfortunately going into detail would put me at risk of making it very easy for someone (particularly a future adcom) to identify me. However, if it helps I did indicate on my MBA application that I was planning on applying for the joint degree (which requires an additional essay), it came up during my interview, and one of my recommendation letters is from a Harvard JD/MBA. I guess all I can say on this one is assume that I have a good reason based on pretty clear professional interests.

Regarding the LSAT: When I took it cold I got a few wrong on LGS, which I then focused on during my two weeks of studying before the second attempt. I got between 173 and 176 on my last few practice tests but I'm a bit ashamed to admit that I let nerves get the best of me and I didn't bubble in a section on my scantron, realized it at the end of that section with five Qs to go, had to flip back and got nervous about misbubbling, etc. Ended up getting -6 on that LR which ruined my score and knocked me down to the 169 (4/6 I got wrong were on that last page turn that I did after the bubbling fiasco). I should have retaken last October when I was still fresh but work just took over my life.

A few followup questions I have based on all of your initial responses are:
1) If I do retake and get something in the 170-172 range, will that make a difference since it is my third time? Is there really a big difference between an applicant with a 167/169 and one with a 167/169/170 or 167/169/171? I completely understand that getting a 173/174+ would be a significant increase but I don't know if that'd be realistic given the fact that I haven't looked at the test in a year. Also, how much would it hurt if I were to retake and get another 169 or even a 168?
2) Realistically, how much does getting into HBS help in admissions (if at all)?
3) When applying with an intent to defer, will the take my plans during the deferral years into account when considering my application? This is pretty standard in MBA applications but I wasn't sure if it was the same for law school.

Finally, while I take no offense to anyone who says my softs aren't as strong as I may have portrayed them, I would like to defend myself to the extent that I wouldn't consider my inquiry to a derivative of "laziness". I do pride myself on having worked hard my entire life and I don't think it's absurd to want to use my one week of vacation during the year on something other than studying for the LSAT.

Thanks again to everyone for all of your input.

littlegiant
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby littlegiant » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:41 am

A JD/MBA is not the same thing as a JD and an MBA.

Just wanted to put that out there. Sounds like you should go for the second, which is even more schooling FYI

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jetsfan1
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby jetsfan1 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:49 am

Alright so here are my two cents.

OP has very impressive softs, the kind that could get him into H with a 169. Honestly, I think its a toss up. HBS will help a bit, but still only a coin flip, I wouldn't be surprised either way.

Also, gotta agree with Mono that the 120 hour week is bs. That's over 17 hours each day, including weekends. That gives you 48 hours off the entire week (7 days), meaning you have less than 7 hours of sleep a night, and that's if you use your off hours exclusively to sleep. What about eating? commuting to work? talking to your family? etc.

That being said, I get it OP that the point you were trying to convey is that you work hard. I don't doubt that. Just be a bit careful with the hyperbole.

What I would do if I were OP is this. If you want H, (or even Y is a distinct possibility if you can hit 173ish, and someone above said you could still do your joint degree with Y) you should retake. It does not sound like you have much time to study, but it also doesn't seem like you need that much time. Yes. Even upping your score to a 170 will increase your odds substantially, so it is worth it. I would see if I can lower my responsibilities at work for maybe a month- not take off, but lose like 10 hrs a week and devote that entirely to the LSAT. this is doable. Then kill it. Then enjoy H/Y. Good luck.

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zozin
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby zozin » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:11 pm

Came for the super softs. Surprisingly super.

Retake or just go to HBS.

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unclepete
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Re: 3.9/169/super softs/HBS acceptance: Chances at HLS

Postby unclepete » Tue Jul 16, 2013 12:21 pm

HBS-only solely for quality of life purposes. HBS is a 2 year party with a HUGE payoff.




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