Military + Solid GPA = Good Start?

Not sure where your numbers will get you? Dying to know where you stand? Come have your palms read by your fellow posters!
Sackcrete

New
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:18 pm

Military + Solid GPA = Good Start?

Postby Sackcrete » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:47 pm

Greetings Everyone,

I have been browsing these forums ever since the prospect of Law School, and becoming an attorney, first perused through my thoughts. I know there is no way to determine what your LSAT score will be, especially when one hasn't even begun taking any initial assessments, but I am hoping to at least "curb the stress" a little by posting in this forum. I am going to be in a somewhat unique situation as I will be separating from the Air Force, essentially losing my families income (I have a wife and two daughters), and trying to "get by" while we wait to be accepted into a top 20 law school. I am terrified.

I'm scared that we will lose our income and I will never be accepted and thus will end up in a rut working in a factory back-home in my small town. I won't be able to take the LSAT until at least November 2017 as I have to deploy, and I separate in January 2018. If I can't even apply to a school for the August 2018 school year, so who knows how long it could take before being accepted somewhere.

Is a 3.8 GPA, eight years of military experience with tons of awards/recognitions and a personal vouch from my Colonel writing me a Letter of Recommendation a good start? Are those things that I am blowing up on too large of a scale? I'm scared I'm going to bomb the LSAT. Also, will my degree being from an online school (American Military University) hurt me at all in the admissions process? I mean I've been active duty for 8 years, so it's not like I could've gotten a degree anywhere else. Is a top 20 school a little too high of a goal? I'm from a very small town, and no one from my family has ever done anything like this, so I'm naturally inclined to be just a little unsure of my future with this stuff.

Thank you, everyone, for your time!

User avatar
UVA2B

Gold
Posts: 3421
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Military + Solid GPA = Good Start?

Postby UVA2B » Tue Dec 13, 2016 3:52 pm

I'll try my best to cover most of your concerns:

1)Will AMU hurt you? Maybe a little, but not enough to ultimately matter in an admissions decision. If you're rocking a 3.8, you might be at the bottom of those with a 3.8, but the schools get to report your 3.8, which will help their overall numbers at most schools. So even if you're at the bottom of the heap of 3.8s with your LSAT (once you get it), it won't be the deciding factor in your admissions decision.

2)Will schools look favorably on your military service? Absolutely. See reverse above regarding AMU affecting your chances. It won't get you into a given school, but it might make a person with your number profile more desirable. Within your service specifically, I doubt anything you did will make a substantial difference, but that's okay. You served honorably in the Air Force, play that up in your resume, PS, etc. and it'll be the selling point you're looking for.

3)Family concerns. I can see why you're struggling with this, but I would propose an alternative plan, since you haven't even begun studying for the LSAT yet. When you get out in January 2018, take a job somewhere that will help support your family while using that time to study for the LSAT and really nail it. I mean, if you can get to a point you're comfortable with (aiming for 180 with the goal of ending up in the 170s ideally) before November, go ahead and take it and see how you do. But I would personally be reticent to have to find a way to scrape by when I have family to care for because I want to giddy up on my horse and ride straight into law school the following fall. This entire proposal is hinging on how well prepared you end up being for the LSAT, but just know that the right LSAT combined with your GPA could get you in places exceedingly better than just T20. You'd be a lock for lower T14 and possible at the upper tiers (see above for reasons why a place like Harvard might/might not accept you, but it's not impossible with a 3.8/upper 170s). If you take a year out of the service to care for your family while putting together the best admissions materials you can (with heavy emphasis on the LSAT), you'll ultimately be glad you did. Law school isn't going anywhere, and you may save yourself and your family serious pain and heartache by unnecessarily rushing into it. I'm not saying don't go (it's obviously free for you to go, which is huge, but don't use the GI Bill as some impetus to "but I want to get my new career started as soon as possible!"), but just make sure you're going when you and your family are ready and you've put your best foot forward.

I hope I have addressed most of your concerns, but realize that you're doing a good thing in planning this out. Get ahead of the game in the LSAT and then you'll have the freedom to decide what is best for you and your family's future. Best of luck!

User avatar
chili_davis

Bronze
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:27 pm

Re: Military + Solid GPA = Good Start?

Postby chili_davis » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:08 pm

OP,

Bottom line...nail the LSAT! That will weigh HEAVILY on where you end up, and perhaps even more given your undergrad. Your high GPA/military experience will be extremely helpful, but striking out on the LSAT will of course be detrimental to your goals.

I would STRONGLY advise signing up at "service2school.org". It's a veteran run organization that will help you put your applications together for law school free of charge. Also, they will pair you up with a current/former law student at one of your desired schools for helpful advice.

Lastly, not sure what your deployment will look like, but if studying for the LSAT isn't impossible I would look into taking the test overseas. The LSAT is offered at MOST military deployment test centers. Good luck.

Sackcrete

New
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:18 pm

Re: Military + Solid GPA = Good Start?

Postby Sackcrete » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:16 pm

UVA2B wrote:I'll try my best to cover most of your concerns:

1)Will AMU hurt you? Maybe a little, but not enough to ultimately matter in an admissions decision. If you're rocking a 3.8, you might be at the bottom of those with a 3.8, but the schools get to report your 3.8, which will help their overall numbers at most schools. So even if you're at the bottom of the heap of 3.8s with your LSAT (once you get it), it won't be the deciding factor in your admissions decision.

2)Will schools look favorably on your military service? Absolutely. See reverse above regarding AMU affecting your chances. It won't get you into a given school, but it might make a person with your number profile more desirable. Within your service specifically, I doubt anything you did will make a substantial difference, but that's okay. You served honorably in the Air Force, play that up in your resume, PS, etc. and it'll be the selling point you're looking for.

3)Family concerns. I can see why you're struggling with this, but I would propose an alternative plan, since you haven't even begun studying for the LSAT yet. When you get out in January 2018, take a job somewhere that will help support your family while using that time to study for the LSAT and really nail it. I mean, if you can get to a point you're comfortable with (aiming for 180 with the goal of ending up in the 170s ideally) before November, go ahead and take it and see how you do. But I would personally be reticent to have to find a way to scrape by when I have family to care for because I want to giddy up on my horse and ride straight into law school the following fall. This entire proposal is hinging on how well prepared you end up being for the LSAT, but just know that the right LSAT combined with your GPA could get you in places exceedingly better than just T20. You'd be a lock for lower T14 and possible at the upper tiers (see above for reasons why a place like Harvard might/might not accept you, but it's not impossible with a 3.8/upper 170s). If you take a year out of the service to care for your family while putting together the best admissions materials you can (with heavy emphasis on the LSAT), you'll ultimately be glad you did. Law school isn't going anywhere, and you may save yourself and your family serious pain and heartache by unnecessarily rushing into it. I'm not saying don't go (it's obviously free for you to go, which is huge, but don't use the GI Bill as some impetus to "but I want to get my new career started as soon as possible!"), but just make sure you're going when you and your family are ready and you've put your best foot forward.

I hope I have addressed most of your concerns, but realize that you're doing a good thing in planning this out. Get ahead of the game in the LSAT and then you'll have the freedom to decide what is best for you and your family's future. Best of luck!



Thank you for giving an anonymous person the attention you afforded in this post. It's honestly the best advice I've gotten this entire journey. Also, on a side note, the attorney you are using as your avatar had my wife and I in complete excitement and disbelief the entire time we watched that series. He was so intelligent, and persistent, and confident in all of his interviews and he honestly had my complete attention (along with his associate). The quote he gave at the end of the show really sticks to me, in that he is completely right about that being the most horrific thought imaginable for our legal system. Now, on to the content!

1) This is actually very reassuring. Knowing that my undergraduate school can matter in the sense of putting me in a pool with the rest of the 3.8's, but it still being counted as a "real 3.8" for the sake of reporting numbers gives me hope. Bottom line taken is--no issue.

2) Good! I'm glad the military background will count. The only big variances I could imagine are possibly: A) a major award I achieved during leadership school (John L. Levitow award, only one person gets it), and B) four deployments in my eight years of service; although probably doesn't matter.

3) This is the big one. Here is kind of where I'm at... I'm scared out of my mind that I will not find that decent job while waiting the law school goal to come to fruition, even if I play it smart as you recommend and give it a year after I'm out. I'm going to try to get things done as fast as possible, but I'm also going to take your advice and take my time to get it right. If I can make the benchmark that puts me in the August 2018 pool, great! If it takes longer, perhaps we will have ended up in a better place. Really the biggest concern, however, is the what will we do between separating and enrolling portion. I don't want to take one of the "good" jobs from my hometown, such as a police officer, as I would potentially burn a bridge when I shoot off to law school 12 months later. That is just an example, of course. Stress... As much as it sucks, it reminds oneself that he cares!

It's encouraging that you think I have the potential for a T14 school. As previously mentioned in the original post, I really come from nothing and am scratching and clawing to get to where I want to be. It's ironic that, although the family makes this harder, my wife and kids are the best thing that ever happened to me and really put me into a whole new gear that I didn't know I had when it comes to pursuing this goal. I just don't want to let them down in the meantime.

Thank you again!

Sackcrete

New
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:18 pm

Re: Military + Solid GPA = Good Start?

Postby Sackcrete » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:23 pm

chili_davis wrote:OP,

Bottom line...nail the LSAT! That will weigh HEAVILY on where you end up, and perhaps even more given your undergrad. Your high GPA/military experience will be extremely helpful, but striking out on the LSAT will of course be detrimental to your goals.

I would STRONGLY advise signing up at "service2school.org". It's a veteran run organization that will help you put your applications together for law school free of charge. Also, they will pair you up with a current/former law student at one of your desired schools for helpful advice.

Lastly, not sure what your deployment will look like, but if studying for the LSAT isn't impossible I would look into taking the test overseas. The LSAT is offered at MOST military deployment test centers. Good luck.


Thank you!

Being able to take the LSAT at most military deployment test centers is invaluable information. That could potentially keep me on track for the June LSAT, as long as everything goes well with the prep of course. I already purchased the entire Power Score package using a grant I was given from FAFSA and plan on starting the grind as soon as January 1st. I am still taking classes full-time in my undergrad (graduate next November), so it won't be easy, but it's doable. Gym, class, and study for every free minute I get while deployed! If I can't do it there, I may as well forget the rigorous requirements of succeeding long-term anyway, right?

I am looking into that website you recommended now, seems very useful! Thank you again.

User avatar
m052310

New
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:42 am

Re: Military + Solid GPA = Good Start?

Postby m052310 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:38 pm

I definitely second the service to school recommendation. I don't know why you're getting out, or if it is an option in your situation, but keep the reserves in mind for your post active duty plans (assuming its an option). It might be a good way to pick up some cash here and there and keep the retirement ticker moving. For what its worth, I have a pretty crappy GPA and I'm fairing OK in the top 20, thanks (I think) in large part to my years in the military. Unless you get real crappy LORs or blow the personal statement, if you can put up a good score on the LSAT, I'd like your odds a lot.

User avatar
twenty

Gold
Posts: 3189
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 1:17 pm

Re: Military + Solid GPA = Good Start?

Postby twenty » Tue Dec 13, 2016 4:58 pm

Did you already use your GI bill for undergrad?

Sackcrete

New
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:18 pm

Re: Military + Solid GPA = Good Start?

Postby Sackcrete » Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:12 pm

m052310 wrote:I definitely second the service to school recommendation. I don't know why you're getting out, or if it is an option in your situation, but keep the reserves in mind for your post active duty plans (assuming its an option). It might be a good way to pick up some cash here and there and keep the retirement ticker moving. For what its worth, I have a pretty crappy GPA and I'm fairing OK in the top 20, thanks (I think) in large part to my years in the military. Unless you get real crappy LORs or blow the personal statement, if you can put up a good score on the LSAT, I'd like your odds a lot.


I had thought of the reserves for some time, but I want to either be 100% in it as active duty, or just not be in it at all and cut ties. I figure if things don't work out with this goal, I can come back with my tail tucked between my legs and commission using my undergraduate degree.

That's awesome that you were accepted even with your GPA. How did you do on your LSAT? If you don't mind me asking, what school are you enrolled at? On a side note, what did you do in the service. I appreciate all of your feedback! Thank you.


twenty wrote:Did you already use your GI bill for undergrad?



I have not. I've made it a point to not touch my GI Bill and use my Tuition Assistance the Air Force provides to pay for my school. If it comes down to it, I will take out a loan to cover the few thousand remaining on my undergrad before topping up off of my GI Bill. I've also pressed the button on switching to the Post 9/11.

User avatar
m052310

New
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:42 am

Re: Military + Solid GPA = Good Start?

Postby m052310 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:32 pm

I'm applying now, so not enrolled anywhere yet, but Georgetown is my front runner for next year. I've got about 100 days left in the Navy myself (pilot/desk jockey at the moment). I made a 168. If you want to get a feel for various LSAT GPA combos and how they do at various schools, check out lawschoolnumbers.com.

User avatar
chargers21

Gold
Posts: 3761
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:54 pm

Re: Military + Solid GPA = Good Start?

Postby chargers21 » Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:13 pm

.



Return to “What are my chances??

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests