166, 3.84, TFA

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CigsNeeded2214
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166, 3.84, TFA

Postby CigsNeeded2214 » Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:33 am

Hi guys,

Wanted your thoughts. I've been out of college for four years and have worked throughout in education. TFA first, community organizing next, and currently something similar to both. Can't take the test again (3x already), so retaking is out. I applied to:

Penn - ED - deferred
Chicago
Duke
Berkeley
Georgetown
Cornell
Columbia
UVA
Vanderbilt

Am I doomed? Should I be casting a wider net? LSN gives me hope that I have a decent shot at Penn and Berkeley, but I know it may be dodgy...

Thanks in advance!

Edit: Forgot to mention this the first time. I have a master's in education, too!
Last edited by CigsNeeded2214 on Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kadyevna
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Re: 166, 3.84, TFA

Postby kadyevna » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:10 am

unless i entered the numbers wrong, you likely do not have a decent shot at penn or berkeley.. if you call 10 to 15% a decent shot, then you got a decent shot at H and S. 1 person got in, god knows why.

you have a decent shot at michigan, duke, NU (WE helps here), cornell, and georgetown, so if you are the kind of T14 or bust person, at least apply to all of them. give NYU a try, you have a shot there. if you don't care about application fees, blanket the T14 but don't expect much. that being said, with lower number of applicants, you may be one of the lucky ones, who knows.

probably you won't get much money from any of T14, so apply to a few strong regionals of your choice. if you are debt averse, that might be a better option. even you know you are going to T14, that can help with scholarship negotiations.

what you want to do btw? that can help narrow down the list a bit

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Skool
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Re: 166, 3.84, TFA

Postby Skool » Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:11 am

Not necessarily doomed. This is a year where common wisdom has been shifting, who knows what you'll get. I would definitely apply to some more safeties/regionals.

CigsNeeded2214
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Re: 166, 3.84, TFA

Postby CigsNeeded2214 » Sat Dec 27, 2014 1:54 pm

Hi guys -

Thanks for your responses so far.

I'm doing a "T14 (maybe even T10?) or bust" mentality just because I want to be maximally employable when I come out.

I'd like an education-related career, but the specifics are fuzzy. I see three options:

A) Public interest attorney working to create a more equitable distribution of resources for public school systems. The comparison's not great, but what the ACLU does for civil rights, I'd like to do for public education

B) Education lawyer for kids (special education and disabilities law in particular). It's kind of funny to think about how my Option A and Option B are on different sides of cases

C) Ed policy staffer for an elected official, either federally or locally. Federal has a chance to shape overall policy, but local deals with actual policy implementation, which is also appealing.

I realize that regional schools fit these niches adequately, but I also want the fallback of being at least worthy of consideration for something that pays really well after law school (e. g. Big Law) because debt's going to suck.

When people say "no school money", does that mean not as much need-based money? Or is it merit-based money?

Thanks again in advance!

P. S. Just realized I had an acceptance from Vanderbilt! Totally forgot about my random FedEx package!

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downbeat14
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Re: 166, 3.84, TFA

Postby downbeat14 » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:16 pm

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Last edited by downbeat14 on Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck
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Re: 166, 3.84, TFA

Postby BigZuck » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:22 pm

downbeat14 wrote:
CigsNeeded2214 wrote:Hi guys -

Thanks for your responses so far.

I'm doing a "T14 (maybe even T10?) or bust" mentality just because I want to be maximally employable when I come out.

I'd like an education-related career, but the specifics are fuzzy. I see three options:

A) Public interest attorney working to create a more equitable distribution of resources for public school systems. The comparison's not great, but what the ACLU does for civil rights, I'd like to do for public education

B) Education lawyer for kids (special education and disabilities law in particular). It's kind of funny to think about how my Option A and Option B are on different sides of cases

C) Ed policy staffer for an elected official, either federally or locally. Federal has a chance to shape overall policy, but local deals with actual policy implementation, which is also appealing.

I realize that regional schools fit these niches adequately, but I also want the fallback of being at least worthy of consideration for something that pays really well after law school (e. g. Big Law) because debt's going to suck.

When people say "no school money", does that mean not as much need-based money? Or is it merit-based money?

Thanks again in advance!

P. S. Just realized I had an acceptance from Vanderbilt! Totally forgot about my random FedEx package!


I don't think the T14 or bust mentality makes sense for your long term goals. I'm not sure what the market is for the types of public sector jobs you are hoping to find, but I can assure you that they do not pay very well (if those types of jobs even exist or even require a JD for that matter). You also can't assume you'll get biglaw: everyone thinks they'll be in the top half of the class, including the half that ends up at the bottom.

The best low income protection plan available is minimal debt. You should be looking for regionals that will throw you some big cash and see if you can squeeze some money out of a lower T14 through the negotiation process. This would be the year to do it with apps and higher LSAT scorers significantly down.

The only terrible outcome you could get is paying a shit ton of money where you're going to be a slave to the student loan machine for decade(s), and at a place where you are statistically more likely based on the LSAT (ppl argue this, but it is one of if not the most predictive psychometric test for grad school program GPAs) to end up lower in the class grades-wise, thus meaning you won't necessarily have the biglaw option to pay back the debt.

Screw the Twhatever preftige crap, unless you are deadset on gunning for biglaw/clerkship (which u r not), because none of that stuff matters if you end up buried in loans without substantial income in five years.


I know people who do those jobs so they do technically exist. I'm in TX and everyone I know in those fields either went to UT or did a stint in big law first.

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downbeat14
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Re: 166, 3.84, TFA

Postby downbeat14 » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:29 pm

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Last edited by downbeat14 on Tue Apr 28, 2015 2:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

BigZuck
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Re: 166, 3.84, TFA

Postby BigZuck » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:38 pm

downbeat14 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
I know people who do those jobs so they do technically exist. I'm in TX and everyone I know in those fields either went to UT or did a stint in big law first.


Granted, I know nothing about that world. I still would not be trying to take on six figure debt for OPs goals and situation.


Yeah, I mean, I don't think the OP should rack up T14 sticker debt either, unless maybe there is some very clearly defined path to a PSLF/LRAP eligible job and he/she is absolutely sure that's what they want to do and they have to go to a T14 to get it

I was just posting because I do know it exists on some level. Seems to be a very small world though.

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kadyevna
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Re: 166, 3.84, TFA

Postby kadyevna » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:44 pm

downbeat14 wrote:
BigZuck wrote:
I know people who do those jobs so they do technically exist. I'm in TX and everyone I know in those fields either went to UT or did a stint in big law first.


Granted, I know nothing about that world. I still would not be trying to take on six figure debt for OPs goals and situation.


agreed, arguably it is not wise to go more than 100k in debt if you are dead set on your goals. is "education lawyer" considered public interest? i don't know much about the loan repayment program at lower T14s but i think its worth looking into it and see if you are eligible.

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nothingtosee
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Re: 166, 3.84, TFA

Postby nothingtosee » Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:51 pm

I don't think Tfa is going to give you a boost over anyone who has work experience ( but better than k-jd).

MOST education policy is done at a state level - eg if you want to work in Florida go to Florida state, if you want to work in Wisconsin go to Wisconsin.

But if you want prestige, go to a t14, then do biglaw, then realize you don't actually care about education enough to make it a career.

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ballcaps
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Re: 166, 3.84, TFA

Postby ballcaps » Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:15 pm

CigsNeeded2214 wrote:Am I doomed?


this completely depends on your goals. are you doomed in the sense that you won't get into any of those t14-ish schools? you're below lsat median at them all, i believe, which isn't good. however, you'll likely be admitted to at least one or two, given your strong gpa and w/e.

none is likely to offer you much $, however. is this a problem? how do you plan on paying for ls?

if $ is a problem, then the answer to your second question is yes, you should cast a wider net. again, though, it's difficult to say without knowing more about your goals.

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Skool
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Re: 166, 3.84, TFA

Postby Skool » Sat Dec 27, 2014 3:54 pm

CigsNeeded2214 wrote:Hi guys -

Thanks for your responses so far.

I'm doing a "T14 (maybe even T10?) or bust" mentality just because I want to be maximally employable when I come out.

I'd like an education-related career, but the specifics are fuzzy. I see three options:

A) Public interest attorney working to create a more equitable distribution of resources for public school systems. The comparison's not great, but what the ACLU does for civil rights, I'd like to do for public education

B) Education lawyer for kids (special education and disabilities law in particular). It's kind of funny to think about how my Option A and Option B are on different sides of cases

Keep in mind you don't have to be t-14 or bust to get these jobs (although I would hate to try to build this kind of career without LRAP). You do have to be super-duper specialized. I know a 2014 and a 2015 non t-14 grad who just got hired in my city to do this kind of work (the organization's practice involves both A and B). Getting A and/or B doesn't require super awesome grades either. Still, there is little room for error in making relationships and good impressions.

The most important part of the process was in selling themselves to third party foundations who would fund their fellowships. These sorts of foundations are less prestige whorish than traditional law school hiring (e.g., Skadden). They care more about the project you're proposing to work on and how socially valuable/evidenced based the work you will deliver at the end of your grant is. Also, the kind of relationship/track record they have with your sponsoring organization is key. Having good recommendations from internships and sponsoring orgs is key. In some ways, education law is a little more of an attainable niche because lots of foundations that aren't Skadden or EJW are willing to fund it if you can make a good case.

Starting this kind of career from Vanderbilt is possible, but you damn sure have to be committed to it. A and B are incredibly interesting and socially valuable. You can definitely have an interesting and worthwhile career doing them. But Don't say you want education law if you don't.

Also, if you want the best info on how to choose the right school in the right part of the country for this career, you're going to need a mentor ASAP to help you make these decisions. Nobody on TLS really knows what they're talking about in terms of developing this kind of specialization. It's tricky and relationship based. TLS is advice for the unwashed big law masses.

03152016
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Re: 166, 3.84, TFA

Postby 03152016 » Sat Dec 27, 2014 5:27 pm

CigsNeeded2214 wrote:A) Public interest attorney working to create a more equitable distribution of resources for public school systems. The comparison's not great, but what the ACLU does for civil rights, I'd like to do for public education

B) Education lawyer for kids (special education and disabilities law in particular). It's kind of funny to think about how my Option A and Option B are on different sides of cases

C) Ed policy staffer for an elected official, either federally or locally. Federal has a chance to shape overall policy, but local deals with actual policy implementation, which is also appealing.

I realize that regional schools fit these niches adequately, but I also want the fallback of being at least worthy of consideration for something that pays really well after law school (e. g. Big Law) because debt's going to suck.

so you want pi with the option of biglaw?
that's nyu's bread and butter man, not sure why it isn't on your list

stoopkid13
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Re: 166, 3.84, TFA

Postby stoopkid13 » Sat Dec 27, 2014 11:43 pm

nothingtosee wrote:I don't think Tfa is going to give you a boost over anyone who has work experience ( but better than k-jd).

MOST education policy is done at a state level - eg if you want to work in Florida go to Florida state, if you want to work in Wisconsin go to Wisconsin.

But if you want prestige, go to a t14, then do biglaw, then realize you don't actually care about education enough to make it a career.


I think you might get a boost from TFA but I would still apply to at least a few schools assuming TFA has no impact. I have a few friends who applied from TFA and most of them had at least one acceptance where they were below both medians (one below both 25ths, no idea how he managed that). I would definitely look into NYU like another poster said (balance PI with Biglaw options). Generally apply broadly (TFA gives waivers basically everywhere anyway). Reevaluate when you have scholarship info.

penn278
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Re: 166, 3.84, TFA

Postby penn278 » Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:14 am

nothingtosee wrote:I don't think Tfa is going to give you a boost over anyone who has work experience ( but better than k-jd).

MOST education policy is done at a state level - eg if you want to work in Florida go to Florida state, if you want to work in Wisconsin go to Wisconsin.

But if you want prestige, go to a t14, then do biglaw, then realize you don't actually care about education enough to make it a career.


This is wrong. There are tonnnns of TFA people at Penn (I think there were 8 or so in my section alone) and they talked about it a lot during orientation. I found it gave me a boost with T-14 apps and I'd bet it will give you more of a boost than this poster described.

hlsperson1111
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Re: 166, 3.84, TFA

Postby hlsperson1111 » Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:53 am

Strongly agree that you should apply to NYU.




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