HLS Advice. Please Help.

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cap10h
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HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby cap10h » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:25 pm

Hello everyone,

I was hoping I could get some advice from all of you. Essentially, I want to get into HLS and I've been trying to work toward that goal for the last few years. I went to Florida State University and majored in political science and history. I graduated magan cum laude with a 3.8 GPA. I have been heavily involved in public policy research since my junior year and have even presented an individual research project at a major academic conference. I am currently in graduate school working on my Master's degree (also polisci and also at FSU). As I mentioned, I have worked on a lot of research and I currently have two papers that I will be submitting for publication at peer-reviewed polisci journals. Because of my involvement in research with professors, I have already secured letters of recommendation, one of which will be from my major professor who actually did a post-doctoral fellowship at HKS.

In addition to all the academic work, I have also been very involved in state politics, since FSU is located in Tallahassee (Florida's capital). I have worked as a legislative assistant for the League of Women Voters of Florida (a non-profit) and for the Florida Press Association (a professional association). Moreover, I am currently a member of the current class of Florida Gubernatorial Fellows - a prestigious (in Florida) program that selects 10 graduate and law students from across the state and places them at a state agency to work and learn how state government works. Furthermore, as part of the Fellowship we have weekly meetings with top state leaders, such as agency heads and members of the governor's cabinet.

Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is that I've been trying to do everything in my power to stand out from the average student applying to HLS. I am fully aware that my degree is from a state school, which is not ideal when applying to top law schools. In terms of LSAT scores, I still have not taken it. I graduate with my M.S. this upcoming May and I plan on taking a year off working at a think thank, while studying for the LSAT and preparing my law school applications. So I'm applying to enter law school in the Fall of 2015. So my question is, do I have a real chance to get into HLS? Is there something you all recommend I do to increase my chances? To be perfectly honest, I know that I could get into many law schools with my current credentials. Still, my plan is to either get into a top 5 law school, or just start my career... after all, I am about to have an advanced degree.

Any comments, recommendations, or advice will be greatly appreciated it. Thanks so much in advance.

Carlos P.
P.S. I forgot to mention I am Hispanic and the first member of my family to graduate college in the U.S. (I know some people say this helps).

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Nova
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby Nova » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:32 pm

cap10h wrote: So my question is, do I have a real chance to get into HLS? Is there something you all recommend I do to increase my chances?

In terms of LSAT scores, I still have not taken it

Score median or above (173+) on the LSAT
Last edited by Nova on Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Balthy
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby Balthy » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:33 pm

What kind of Hispanic are you?

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cap10h
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby cap10h » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:35 pm

My concern is what if I score below the median? Is that it?

Pancakes12
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby Pancakes12 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:36 pm

superdingle2000 wrote:What kind of Hispanic are you?

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cap10h
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby cap10h » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:36 pm

Ummm what kind of Hispanic?... I was originally born in Colombia (South America) and moved to the states at a very young age.

03152016
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby 03152016 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:37 pm

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Last edited by 03152016 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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UnicornHunter
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby UnicornHunter » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:39 pm

Lots of words, no LSAT score. Your softs are fine, but not special enough to make the LSAT unimportant. If all you care about is getting into HLS, just focus on that. If you 're PR or Mexican, you'll get a URM boost too (eta: never mind). Still will need a very good LSAT though. Is your plan to go into politics after law school?
Last edited by UnicornHunter on Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Nova
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby Nova » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:39 pm

cap10h wrote:My concern is what if I score below the median? Is that it?

well, the median GPA is 3.88
so being below both medians makes it a long shot

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cap10h
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby cap10h » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:43 pm

It's not so much that I'm ambivalent about going to law school. I've always been interested in law, government and politics. My ultimate goal is to get into politics, and whether people agree with me or not, a law degree from a top law school always puts you at an advantage, not only in terms of great education, but also because of networking. I know that I could get into FSU or UF law, but that's only going to help if I want to do state politics in Florida (which I don't).

03152016
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby 03152016 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:47 pm

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Last edited by 03152016 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Fiero85
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby Fiero85 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:51 pm

If OP counts as URM (??? - I don't know either way) he still needs a good LSAT score to be competitive.

If not, he needs an excellent one, aka above median of 173, as said above.

Get your GPA officially calculated by LSAC. Figure out your URM status. Study hard for the LSAT.

Softs are necessary for HLS but not sufficient: not having them will hurt you, but having them will not make a difference.

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MyNameIsFlynn!
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby MyNameIsFlynn! » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:55 pm

You don't need a law degree to go into politics. It sounds like your interest is exclusively politics, not law... you should seriously consider your short and long term goals before spending 200k+ on a law school education.

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Nova
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby Nova » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:57 pm

Fiero85 wrote:If OP counts as URM (??? - I don't know either way)


"The general consensus on this board (TLS) is that the only groups to receive URM (Under Represented Minority) boosts are: Black/African Americans, Native Americans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans.

If you are from any other Latin American or Spanish speaking country, the consensus is to just check the Hispanic box.
You may not receive as much of a boost as those that check Mexican or Puerto Rican, but it may still help you in showing diversity to the class."

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=35568

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Nova
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby Nova » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:59 pm

MyNameIsFlynn! wrote: you should seriously consider your short and long term goals before spending 200k+ on a law school education.

COAs at some top schools are $270k+, hard to pay those loans off in politics.

True. If you haven't seen it, read this thread, OP: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=221749

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cap10h
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby cap10h » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:10 pm

Thanks for the advice everyone. I still want to aim for HLS or YLS...but in the end, maybe a school like Georgetown wouldn't be too bad.

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Clearly
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby Clearly » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:18 pm

cap10h wrote:Thanks for the advice everyone. I still want to aim for HLS or YLS...but in the end, maybe a school like Georgetown wouldn't be too bad.

:| You need to do much more research on this.

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cap10h
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby cap10h » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:25 pm

Yeah, I know I need to do more research on the specifics of applying, which is I'm on this forum... As I said, I'm applying for Fall 2015, I'm not trying to do this haphazardly.

03152016
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby 03152016 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:40 pm

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Last edited by 03152016 on Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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cap10h
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby cap10h » Fri Dec 27, 2013 2:59 pm

Great analogy haha. I didn't mean to come off that way, but it just seems that everything that I've done (or as you all refer to them - "softs") has very little to do with my admission prospects. As you can tell, I'm just starting to do in-depth research about the process, and it seems that my chances are a lot worse than I might have expected. So when I brought up GT, I simply meant that it's a school in D.C. where I'll still get great political networking and where I can easily get into... CCN are great, of course, and I might have a better shot there than at HY... but for personal and professional reasons I don't see myself moving to NYC and definitely not Chicago.

timbs4339
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby timbs4339 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:00 pm

cap10h wrote:Yeah, I know I need to do more research on the specifics of applying, which is I'm on this forum... As I said, I'm applying for Fall 2015, I'm not trying to do this haphazardly.


Have you taken a practice LSAT? This is like planning a vacation without knowing how much money you have in the bank, but knowing you want to go somewhere with soft towels.

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cap10h
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby cap10h » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:06 pm

No, I haven't taken a practice test but I've looked at practice questions, I'm beginning to familiarize myself with the questions, and I'm talking to friends who have taken the test. I also just bought some studying materials. Moreover, I've been a pretty decent test taker in the past. My GRE scores were in the 94th percentile, and although I understand there is very little (if anything) in common between these tests, I know I have what it takes to get a good score.

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Nova
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby Nova » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:09 pm

cap10h wrote: My GRE scores were in the 94th percentile

youre gonna need a 99th percentile LSAT score for HLS.

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cap10h
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby cap10h » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:17 pm

Yeah, I'm aiming for 99th percentile...

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Cicero76
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Re: HLS Advice. Please Help.

Postby Cicero76 » Fri Dec 27, 2013 3:37 pm

While your softs are all lovely things that might help you get into YLS or Stanford, none of that will matter if you don't score a 173 or higher on the LSAT. With a 173-175, Harvard should be easy and the rest decently in play. Your GPA is fine, though not spectacular, and I'm sure that the rest of your application will be fine as well, assuming you can write with marginally more humility than you post.

Chill out, study for the LSAT, and go to some parties for the National Championship or something while you wait for FSU to receive its rightful spanking from the SEC.

Go War Eagles. Or Tigers. Or whatever the hell Auburn's calling themselves these days, so long as they beat FSU.




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