Splitter - Should I bother with T-14?

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Splitter - Should I bother with T-14?

Postby BenWyatt1993 » Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:15 pm

I have a weak GPA, decent LSAT, and strong softs. Should I even apply to T-14 schools...?

Quick Breakdown:
GPA: 3.0
LSAT: 171
Softs: Student body president, numerous undergrad awards, published research (individual and joint), prestigious fellowship, job at well known think tank.

Longer Breakdown:
Undergrad: Went to a Top 10 university, triple majored and got a 3.0 GPA. My junior year I became severely ill and tanked several classes, but didn't withdraw from school due to being elected student body president (my illness ended up being life threatening and I went into surgery immediately following finals). Had it not been for the illness my junior year, I would've graduated with a 3.6 GPA (provided I had maintained the grades I normally received). I completed several highly competitive internships in government/policy, was awarded funding to carry out individual research, and served as a research assistant to a professor. At graduation, I won several awards for character and leadership as I was highly involved in the community. Not sure if worth mentioning, but I worked part-time throughout college (not work study), sometimes working multiple part time jobs to pay for school.

Post-Grad: I won a prestigious year-long fellowship, published research and wrote several pieces for media outlets. I now work at well known think tank, with several research projects about to be published (some have been covered by the media already).

LSAT: Finally, I received a 171 on the LSAT, but will re-take it again in September, hoping to improve by a few points to be a stronger splitter.

I am most interested in public service aka working as a lawyer for the government or at a non-profit. I had not planned on applying to any T-14 schools, but figured I would ask if it's worth a shot. I appreciate any and all advice you guys can give me! I am also open to working for a few more years before applying if y'all think that is the most strategic move.


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Re: Splitter - Should I bother with T-14?

Postby notsolawful » Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:21 pm

Hmm, you have a shot at mich, nu, and UVA. I wouldn't expect scholarship money if you do get accepted but I would apply.


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Re: Splitter - Should I bother with T-14?

Postby AJordan » Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:25 pm

Where do you want to work? What kind of a lawyer do you want to be?

Probably worth throwing an application everywhere you can see yourself attending. We are in a similar boat and I'm going to go to the best combination of work outcome + location + free ride. But your financial situation will dictate a lot here.
Last edited by AJordan on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Splitter - Should I bother with T-14?

Postby Redfactor » Sun Jun 11, 2017 8:02 pm

It's definitely worth the application costs, and you can ask for a fee waiver.

This conversation is putting the cart before the horse, imo. You have a shot at several T-13 and one never knows how next year's cycle will go i.e. a school trying to increase their median a point or something. Your LSAT could be more valuable than you think.

A triple major from a top undergrad, a fellowship, and work experience is going to be about as strong of a 3.0 gpa as I can imagine. I think you'll get a couple to bite if you put together a good package -- and maybe even some money.


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Re: Splitter - Should I bother with T-14?

Postby Hennessy » Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:11 pm

You're not looking super hot for the t-14:

[+] Spoiler

You might be one of those folks who benefits from going to your flagship school / strong regional in the area you want to practice. If govt. work is the way you want to go, you're going to need good grades and commitment to public service - a school name can often matter less than a lengthy resume of interships and service work when it comes to PI hiring.

That being said, your LSAT will get you a lot of money at some fantastic schools outside the t-14 (check those WUSTL and USC numbers.) If you have any sliver of an aspiration not to do govt. work, and to go into the private sector, you might want to maximize this by going to a school with high BL/Fed. Clerkship rates. If this school happens to geographically be in the area where you want to work, your even better off.

I'd definitely nail down what you want to practice, and specifically where you want to practice, and then aim for the highest-ranked school in that area that will give you the $$$. If you want to do PI/government, go to school for as little cost as possible and then grind out those networks and service-work.

Maybe shoot an app or two at some t-14 schools, but I think t-20 is more your bread and butter.

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