What should I do from here on out?

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NashBowen
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What should I do from here on out?

Postby NashBowen » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:39 pm

Hello,
This is my first post on this site, I was hoping to get some insight as to what I should do from here on out to better my chances at getting accepted to schools such as UCLA or UC Berkley for law school. My dream is to end up working in New York as a m&A lawyer at a Biglaw firm. I am currently a second semester Junior at the University of Alabama majoring in finance with a specialization in investment banking on a pre-law track. My upper division GPA is a 3.6 but my cumulative is 3.0 (neglected my studies for my fraternity my freshmen year). I haven't yet taken the LSAT but am beginning my studies for a practice LSAT. I plan to score high on it as I am a strong test taker. I know it isn't very relevant but I got a 35 on the ACT before college. I hope to get a 168-170 if at all possible. Please give my your input! Thanks,
Nash

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Big Red
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby Big Red » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:43 pm

Do everything you can to get that GPA up and use the resources on this board to make and execute a study plan. I would personally recommend taking at least a year off, too

UCLA and Berk don't make a ton of sense for your goals, but that's not something that should really even be on your radar at this point.

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KMart
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby KMart » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:45 pm

Berk isn't the worst plan, but UCLA is kind of odd for wanting to work in NY. Get your GPA up and kill the LSAT. The upward GPA trend does help mitigate the lower GPA at the beginning but it doesn't remove it entirely.

NashBowen
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby NashBowen » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:48 pm

Thank you for your advice, I also forgot to mention that I have been a runner for a law firm in Chattanooga, as well as participating in an internship program at another law firm last summer. I also have around 250 hours of community service while in college. I have held Judicial roles in my fraternity as well as becoming ritually proficient. I am also a 6 time All American swimmer (not sure if that counts for anything or not). The reason I was looking at UC or UCLA is because they seem to have a high rate of employment in New York after graduation and I figured if that was possible it would be nice to have a couple more years in the heat before bearing the cold for the rest of my employment. Thanks

03152016
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby 03152016 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:48 pm

imKMart wrote:Berk isn't the worst plan, but UCLA is kind of odd for wanting to work in NY. Get your GPA up and kill the LSAT. The upward GPA trend does help mitigate the lower GPA at the beginning but it doesn't remove it entirely.

he has three semester left of grades and a 3.0
berk isn't happening

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nlee10
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby nlee10 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:51 pm

Why are you aiming for CA schools if your goal is NY Biglaw?

trvr
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby trvr » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:52 pm

Hi Nash,
Work on improving your GPA as much as possible. Try to get 4.0's during your last semesters of UG. A 3.0 cumulative is too low to for you to be even considered by many schools (including UCLA and Berkley). Also, shoot for 170+ on the LSAT by studying and practicing as much as possible. Lots of great resources on this site for that.

If you want to work on New York, you should probably consider schools in that area, instead of focusing on Cali- you might have a better chance of working there if you go to school there

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middlebear
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby middlebear » Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:53 pm

If you want to work in NYC, you're best looking at a school at/near there--don't pick a school for weather, pick it for employment outcomes. Like everyone's said, study hard and kill the LSAT (maybe even with a 3.0 you could swing Cornell with a 17x score?). If you're looking at NYC, your safest bet is to be in the Northeast.

Major or "tracks" don't matter. Softs really don't matter (idk if there's a boost for an All-American athlete, though, that might help a tiny bit?). You can use all that to write a great PS, though.

Also, I don't know what upper division GPA means, but if it isn't your cumulative LSAC GPA it doesn't matter either.

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rinkrat19
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby rinkrat19 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:00 pm

The California schools are notorious GPA whores, and don't make the most sense for NY anyway.

Nomo
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby Nomo » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:01 pm

3.0 with 3 semesters left is a killer for your NY biglaw goals. You're best chance is to make a 4.0 the next 3 sememsters. Then work for 3-5 years. Get a 170+ LSAT and apply to Northwestern. But even then, the cost of school isn't likely to be worth it. Your GPA is just way too low. Even if you pull it up to a 3.35 (that's probably about as good as you can do) its still going to be a serious problem.

BigZuck
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby BigZuck » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:02 pm

UCLA doesn't have a high rate of employment in New York, where are you looking to get info on employment outcomes?

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middlebear
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby middlebear » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:08 pm

Nomo wrote:3.0 with 3 semesters left is a killer for your NY biglaw goals. You're best chance is to make a 4.0 the next 3 sememsters. Then work for 3-5 years. Get a 170+ LSAT and apply to Northwestern.


Actually, yeah, this is TCR. Good work experience can prop up that GPA, in combination with a good LSAT.

Also - why are you set on working in NYC, if it sounds like you're from the South/don't like winter?

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ballcaps
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby ballcaps » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:10 pm

Brut wrote:
imKMart wrote:Berk isn't the worst plan, but UCLA is kind of odd for wanting to work in NY. Get your GPA up and kill the LSAT. The upward GPA trend does help mitigate the lower GPA at the beginning but it doesn't remove it entirely.

he has three semester left of grades and a 3.0
berk isn't happening

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:34 pm

Nomo wrote:3.0 with 3 semesters left is a killer for your NY biglaw goals. You're best chance is to make a 4.0 the next 3 sememsters. Then work for 3-5 years. Get a 170+ LSAT and apply to Northwestern. But even then, the cost of school isn't likely to be worth it. Your GPA is just way too low. Even if you pull it up to a 3.35 (that's probably about as good as you can do) its still going to be a serious problem.

This is overstating it a bit. He's not going to get a full ride, but 3.3/175 gets some real money in the T-14 these days. Who knows what it will look like in three years.

OP seriously try to get a 4.0 or better the rest of the way through college. Take some easy community college classes along the way and try to get an A+ in each one. Your poor first year means you'll likely need to sit out a year before applying so as to let your senior year grades all get factored in to your LSAC GPA.

NashBowen
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby NashBowen » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:05 pm

Thank you all for your replies, I suppose that I am going to apply anyways and if I don't get in the ones I would like I will take a year off and retake some of my classes from freshmen year to get my GPA up. Also to add on my grades from second semester senior year. Do internships or clerk jobs mean very much to law school applications? Also, how much would recommendations affect my applications? I have a recommendation from a US Senator along with a few highly ranked Tennessee lawyers. Would these help much? Thanks

03152016
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby 03152016 » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:12 pm

is your school's policy to wipe the original grade off your transcript if you retake a course?

NashBowen
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby NashBowen » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:35 pm

No, unfortunately my school averages the retake grade with the previous grade. Also, what are y'all's thoughts on the six-sigma course and whether or not I should take those for my application (one of my professors said having the highest six sigma award would add upwards of 100grand to most salaries). Thanks

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BrazilBandit
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby BrazilBandit » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:39 pm

NashBowen wrote:No, unfortunately my school averages the retake grade with the previous grade. Also, what are y'all's thoughts on the six-sigma course and whether or not I should take those for my application (one of my professors said having the highest six sigma award would add upwards of 100grand to most salaries). Thanks


In Business/Management, yes. Law? not so much...

NashBowen
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby NashBowen » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:40 pm

BrazilBandit wrote:
NashBowen wrote:No, unfortunately my school averages the retake grade with the previous grade. Also, what are y'all's thoughts on the six-sigma course and whether or not I should take those for my application (one of my professors said having the highest six sigma award would add upwards of 100grand to most salaries). Thanks


In Business/Management, yes. Law? not so much...



Even in m&a or business law?

NashBowen
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby NashBowen » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:41 pm

Or even if it didn't add to salary, would I look good on applications? Thanks

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KMart
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby KMart » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:43 pm

NashBowen wrote:Or even if it didn't add to salary, would I look good on applications? Thanks

It's not really needed for law. It helps, but it potentially is a waste of time. I'd look more into taking easy classes so you can ensure 4.0s the rest of the way. That's going to behoove you more than six sigma will for law.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:44 pm

NashBowen wrote:Or even if it didn't add to salary, would I look good on applications? Thanks

M&A biglaw hiring is very formulaic. It's almost all based on grades and school, so other factors like this really don't make a difference. This is especially true because law school admissions are even more formulaic, based on almost exclusively GPA and LSAT.

The Six Sigma black belt or whatever the top level is called is a huge distinction and would make you lots of money, just not as a lawyer.

MattM
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby MattM » Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:40 pm

It is ok if you are new to this but to echo the advice of the other posters here .......Cali Schools are pretty much a no go ( They are very strict on GPA....just as an example lower GPA's (~3.65) have a better shot at Harvard than Berk or Stanford)

If you could in the 3.35 range you have more luck at the T14....Most T 14's / super regionally favor the LSAT much more heavily than GPA ( with the exception of Cali Schools /Chicago)

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middlebear
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby middlebear » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:35 am

NashBowen wrote:Thank you all for your replies, I suppose that I am going to apply anyways and if I don't get in the ones I would like I will take a year off and retake some of my classes from freshmen year to get my GPA up. Also to add on my grades from second semester senior year. Do internships or clerk jobs mean very much to law school applications? Also, how much would recommendations affect my applications? I have a recommendation from a US Senator along with a few highly ranked Tennessee lawyers. Would these help much? Thanks


Internships or clerk jobs - not really, unless you did something crazy intense. Really, only full-time work experience, post-grad in the adult world, will help.

Most schools really primarily want academic letters of rec; it can help to throw in one from an employer, though mainly if you've been out of school multiple years. But if you're going to try to add in a senator or some random lawyers (also my hunch is that most schools outside of, say, Nashville, aren't going to really care about "highly ranked Tennessee lawyers") make sure they have something substantive and real to say about you that is glowing and genuine. If you get a form rec letter from Senator Bob's office, it doesn't mean jack and will probably reflect poorly on you.

From personal experience, post-grad, full-time work experience really, really helps, both so you know what you're getting into and to help boost your app. Work and study to get a 170+, and make sure you're looking at schools that place where you want to go.

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DiniMae
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Re: What should I do from here on out?

Postby DiniMae » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:23 pm

NashBowen wrote:No, unfortunately my school averages the retake grade with the previous grade. Also, what are y'all's thoughts on the six-sigma course and whether or not I should take those for my application (one of my professors said having the highest six sigma award would add upwards of 100grand to most salaries). Thanks

You know that LSAC will count both grades right?

Are you interested in adding a second major (which would extend your grad date) and allows you to take additional classes to raise your GPA?




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