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Tiago Splitter
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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:22 pm

Moonlight wrote:When you say worthwhile, you're thinking of big bucks, yes? The thing is I can't take a year off. I need to dive right in. I've heard people do well out of Santa Clara and Hastings that's why I'm interested in these schools because I have a more realistic chance of getting in.


You have plenty of time to study for a better score in December if you want to go next year. Otherwise, wait a year. No one HAS to go to law school. A very small percentage of grads from Hastings and Santa Clara get the kinds of jobs you'd need to pay off the enormous debt you'd take on by going to either of them for three years. Without a higher LSAT the cost will simply be too high to make that gamble worthwhile.

You've been directed to lawschooltransparency. You've been told what you need to do by plenty of informed people. At this point you just need to overcome your own optimism bias and realize what you're getting yourself into. Once you do the decision to retake, and sit out a year if necessary, will be easy.

A few years ago I was all ready to attend the University of San Diego with a moderate scholarship. Thought I'd study hard (for the first time in my life) and finish in the top ten percent, where I'd need to end up to make the whole exercise worthwhile. As time went on though, I realized just how ridiculous this was. If I couldn't sit my ass down and study for the LSAT like I've never studied for a test before, how was I supposed to just waltz into law school and stomp everybody else? So I sat out another year (and by then I was already 27) and re-took the LSAT. Best decision I ever made.

You get one chance to go to law school. Once chance to get your legal career started on the right path. Why would you half-ass that? Take the time to do this right.

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midwest17
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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby midwest17 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:33 pm

Moonlight wrote:
dr123 wrote:Why can't you take a year off?


It's complicated.


I've seen this claim several times, I've never actually seen it backed up.

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby Moonlight » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:45 pm

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby Moonlight » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:51 pm

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twenty
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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby twenty » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:53 pm

TLSers don't take "it's complicated" very seriously because most of the time it isn't. I've seen a few cases where it really was complicated, (i.e, parents were going to pay 100% tuition this year, and weren't going to pay any tuition the following, or where a guy was going to have to live out of his car for the next year if he didn't go that year). Most of the time, however, undisclosed reasons are basically "I'm an under-employed liberal arts grad and I hate living with my parents."

That may be you, or you may be that guy who's going to be homeless for the next year unless he goes now. The reason there's a bit of hostility towards you (and trust me, if you come off in any way belligerent, there's going to be more :? ) on the issue is because not elaborating usually means the former.

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dr123
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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby dr123 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:59 pm

It's complicated means I don't want to

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twenty
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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby twenty » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:04 pm

Also, not to suggest you shouldn't talk to more people, but I get the feeling that the people you'll probably end up talking to are attorneys you know. The problem is, if they're attorneys, they were part of the 30%-60% of the class that did okay. Or, they'll be old timers that are super out of touch with reality and still think UC Davis charges 3k a year for tuition and that 100% of the class has access to biglaw.

I know you've done a lot of reading so far, but if you'd entertain me, I'd like to point you to one more place:

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=192753

This is the thread for people that were here in your shoes three years ago. Some of them are from T14 schools, most of them are from T1 and below. One or two HYS grads. There've been a couple of suicidal people on there.

The numbers aren't lying to you, for everyone who gets a biglaw gig from Santa Clara University, there's nine other people that couldn't make the cut. You have a coin flip chance of not only missing biglaw, but missing work all together. If you think your situation sucks right now, I promise you it will suck a lot more when you have a huge student loan payment to make.

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thewaves
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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby thewaves » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:19 pm

The potential outcome of having an actual career as a lawyer and the potential cost of $250,000 debt is worth an extra year. No excuses.

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby Moonlight » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:21 pm

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby Moonlight » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:22 pm

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby midwest17 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:26 pm

Moonlight wrote:Haha it's funny you mention that. I did hear some of those from attorneys I know and yea I realized they were super disconnected from this aspect. Appreciate the reminder though. I was thinking of talking to other law students who are in or recent graduates that I know to see what it's been like for them since they already made the decision.


Note, of course, that people will try to rationalize the decisions they've made by making their school sound better than it is. Personal anecdotes have value, but only when tempered by a good chunk of data.

Moonlight wrote:since I'm on my own; I imagine I'll qualify for a lot of need based aid which could lessen the pain of debt?


That depends on what you mean by "on my own". If you're under 24 (I think that's the right number?) with living parents and not having been declared legally independent, most (all?) schools will consider you a dependent and factor in your parental income when making need based grants. That's true, mind you, regardless of whether your parents actually intend to give you any support during law school.

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby Moonlight » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:32 pm

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby thewaves » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:32 pm

You need to remember you have options. I applied 2 years ago, after *already* working 2 years. Did OK on the LSAT but it wasn't my best. I got into a bunch of t-14 schools and was looking at $250k sticker. I was under a lot of pressure to take the offers because I didn't have much career growth or employment prospects. But I turned them down, and started looking for other positions. I switched roles and went to a different company. I retook the LSAT and went up 8+ points.

I work in a role where legal knowledge is helpful. An opening for my position solicits many offers. Guess what? 1/4 of the people seeking the position ALREADY HAVE JDs. And you can guess where they went to school. Don't let that be you.

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby midwest17 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:36 pm

Moonlight wrote:I know the Obamacare thing says under 24 can be insured under parents, but I wasn't aware that under 24 will force you to be classified as dependent and then have parental income factored into the aid. If this is true, then I gotta figure out how to fix this because I live on my own and definitely not looking to have my parents pay for my education. I didn't have them pay for undergrad, so certainly not going to start now. Sounds like I need to do an emancipation form or something? Where is that even declared by the way?


I may be wrong on the exact age, but if you're coming straight out of undergrad on a K-JD schedule, you're going to be classified as a dependent.

This has more information: http://www.finaid.org/calculators/dependency.phtml

If it were as easy as filling out an emancipation form, everyone would do it. The standards are basically "are you married, do you have kids, or were you independent of your parents before you turned 18?"

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:37 pm

84 out of 1244 students at Hastings last year received aid of at least half tuition.

Don't expect much aid, need based or otherwise, if you get into Hastings. Attending there for three years will almost certainly put you in more than $200,000 of debt.

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby Moonlight » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:40 pm

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby SFSpartan » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:40 pm

Moonlight wrote:And then I know Hastings gives based on Need (correct me if I'm wrong) and since I'm on my own; I imagine I'll qualify for a lot of need based aid which could lessen the pain of debt?


You are correct, Hastings does give based on need. However, the max amount of need based aid you can get is $15.5k. Assuming you get the max, and keep it all three years you're staring at ~$90k in debt before you even start paying COA. I wouldn't count yourself out for scholarships because Hastings whores out for high GPAs, but don't expect much more than $5k (For the record, I got 5k. My numbers were 3.5, 167).

On another point- I believe you mentioned something about not being able to improve on the LSAT, and it just isn't true. I started my diag. at a 150, and got a 156 on my first LSAT (didn't do so hot). I ended up with a 167 (and was consistently PTing in the mid-170s) after dedicating 2-3 months to studying. It's possible, and with your GPA, you need to be retaking. B isn't a moonshot if you improve.

Also, FWIW I chose to go to Hastings because I can live rent/cost-free in the Bay Area, and have a substantial amount in savings. If you're not in a similar position, I strongly suggest you retake.

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby Moonlight » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:41 pm

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby Moonlight » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:42 pm

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby thewaves » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:45 pm

Yes thanks! The biggest thing to keep in mind, especially if you're still in undergrad, is that there are many different kinds of jobs to explore outside of law. You can always apply later. It's easy if you're in college to want to go straight through school, but you may find yourself saddled with debt and no job prospects at the end. No one regrets taking more time off to gain some perspective, especially when it involves finances.

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midwest17
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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby midwest17 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:48 pm

Moonlight wrote:Thanks for the website! I did the survey thing and it says I'd be independent on the grounds I'd be a graduate student. But I'll look into that age thing because I wouldn't want to get categorized incorrectly!


Ah. I forgot about that. But most law schools will still take family income into account, even though you're technically independent on FAFSA as a graduate student.

I don't know about Hastings in particular. Yale, though, takes parents into account until you turn 28 (http://www.law.yale.edu/admissions/fina ... ssment.htm). Harvard takes parents into account until you turn 29 (http://www.law.harvard.edu/current/sfs/ ... /need.html).

Either way, I wouldn't expect much need-based aid from Hastings, as someone above pointed out.

I say all this, by the way, as a K-JD applying this cycle.

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby Moonlight » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:49 pm

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby Moonlight » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:51 pm

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby Moonlight » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:55 pm

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Re: What are my Chances for these Bay Area Law Schools?

Postby dr123 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:02 pm

Why don't you just retake in december




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