What about a graduate degree?

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What about a graduate degree?

Postby slightlypaniced » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:52 pm

I have been unable to find decent information about how having a master's degree affects acceptance into law schools. My LSAT/GPA are 166/3.2 for undergrad and a 3.8 for graduate school. I know when I applied to graduate school, they looked at improvement, as well as, overall GPA, is that the case for law schools?

The problem that I have is that I had a really bad freshman year due to illness and, while my grades got better (my GPA for my last year was a 3.8), I spent my junior year abroad. The grades for that year abroad were reported as P/Fs on my transcript. I have documentation in the form of score reports and professor comments through my undergrad that I made the equivalent of all As and Bs that year, I can have them attached to my transcript. Will that help my chances at all?

I have 3 years experience as a college lecturer, I volunteer at a museum and at the Human Society, and I am a tutor. I want to know if I have a decent chance of getting into: Cornell, University of Texas, Vanderbilt, Emory, University of Alabama, or University of Georgia. I am trying to hedge my bets with all these schools. I am also trying to decide if I should take the LSAT again in October.

Any suggestions?

Last edited by slightlypaniced on Thu Jul 18, 2013 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What about a graduate degree?

Postby stillwater » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:54 pm

doesnt matter (grad degree).

also- lawschoolnumbers.com

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: What about a graduate degree?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:58 pm

Law school admissions is completely different from masters' admissions. Law schools weight overall undergrad GPA and LSAT at probably 97% of your application, because that's what they report to US World News for rankings. They don't care about graduate GPA, and an MA is a fairly minor soft - it might break a tie between you and another candidate who has the same stats, and could be part of a decent PS, but it doesn't really make any significant difference for admissions.

Ti Malice
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Re: What about a graduate degree?

Postby Ti Malice » Thu Jul 18, 2013 4:31 pm

Definitely retake. A 166 coupled with a 3.2 GPA will not get you into any school close to worth the price you'll have to pay. You would be in at Alabama and Georgia but with unjustifiably high costs. You have no chance at any of the other schools.

Also, don't consider going to a place like Alabama or Georgia unless (1) it's very cheap and (2) you'd be content with spending your professional life nearby. Those schools only place locally (and you would have a very hard time getting to Atlanta from either). Emory will be a little better in Atlanta, but it isn't very portable either. Texas and Vandy are somewhat more portable, but they're still mostly regional schools.

You have to have a 170 for law school to even have the possibility of being a sensible decision for you, because you aren't going to get much in the way of scholarship money anywhere (rather, anywhere worth attending) with a 3.2. If you're going to be paying sticker or close to it, you absolutely have to be at a T14 -- and even then it's risky in this legal market. You need to aim for 172+ and focus above all on UVA and Northwestern, the two most splitter-friendly schools in the T14.

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