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Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:13 am
by Loser2005
As you can see from my Username, I was a total academic failure during my college days (2005) - well I did not actually fail any modules/papers, but if my college could have awarded me ''Underperformer of the Century'' it would have gladly done so.

Granted my university ( Pune University ) is touted as a university with one of the harshest grading curves in my country, but I really don't want to use that as an excuse - to justify the cold hard fact - I was academically incompetent to meet the rigour and high standards of my programme ( Philosophy). The only good marks I had was in my Elective English and Compulsory English. I also fared poorly in my other electives - Economics and Theology.

I performed moderately well though in my final year, and graduated with a pathetic 2nd class lower. In fact my final year saved me from graduating with a 3rd. Would have probably committed suicide if that occurred.

However, I got hit by the law bug whilst working as a PR consultant ( fresh out of grad), I signed up for an LLB at DU ( Delhi University), aced their entrance exam and got in. I passed out in 2012 - with some of the highest grades ( distinction). What can I say, let's just admit - that I discovered the secrets of being a good student, really really late in life. :(

Currently working as a legal manager at an FMCG. My law school admission consultant has hinted, that getting into an ABA accredited law school will be an uphill battle for me even if I kill the LSAT. She has instead advised me to apply for LLM at some decent US Law schools, and then try transferring into their JD programme, if I get into one.

Here, again I feel skeptical, as I don't know how the LLM admission committee will view a superior LLB transcript, as opposed to below average BA transcript.

In fact. my UGPA has made me hesitant to apply to the Oxford BCL programme and prestigious LLM programmes - even though profs at my law school have actively encouraged me to apply. Even though these programmes seek good grades at law related Bachelor's courses ( which I have) - I also know that poor grades in First degrees are almost like criminal record - nothing you hereafter can mitigate the disaster of a piss poor UGPA.

Please don't say - forget about law school. I am not fussed about rankings. With my botched up First degree, I'd be grateful to get into any ABA accredited law school that will take me ( if I manage to murder the LSAT). I am confidant, that I will do well in law school - as I did quite well in my LLB.

Any hope for me, at T3/4 ( unranked) law schools if I can get a good LSAT score? I feel so demoralized. :(. I just feel that I will have zero chance at improving legal career due to my inability to get a respectable GPA in UG.

My law school advisor have provided another option for me - the SCALES programme provided by John Marshall Chicago. Its basically a pre law prep course, designed for students, who do not meet GPA/LSAT requirements. Will this be a good option for me?

P.S : Have passed Bar Exam at my country as well. Will this count as plus point?

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:55 am
by AJordan
0L here who has never worked in admissions so grain of salt and all that.

First, the good news, you're not hopeless and your law school advisor either sounds uninformed or you misunderstood the conversation. As an international student your undergraduate transcript will be evaluated by CAS and will be given a rating commensurate with what they feel your performance is. Kind of a black box to me but that's it. Then, you'll take the LSAT. If you score even reasonably well on the LSAT there will be plenty of schools lining up to take your money.

That's the bad news. You're not asking the right question. You haven't stated several key things: where you eventually want to work/live, what your LSAT diagnostic score is, what kind of a lawyer you want to be, or anything resembling a plan in general. The reason that's dangerous is that there are plenty of schools who will welcome you, at full price, to attend their law school if you have even an average LSAT score, a degree, and a pulse. For almost everyone this is a terrible option. Start from the back. 9 months after you graduate law school where do you see yourself and what do you see yourself doing? This will help people give you advice.

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:07 am
by Loser2005
AJordan wrote:0L here who has never worked in admissions so grain of salt and all that.

First, the good news, you're not hopeless and your law school advisor either sounds uninformed or you misunderstood the conversation. As an international student your undergraduate transcript will be evaluated by CAS and will be given a rating commensurate with what they feel your performance is. Kind of a black box to me but that's it. Then, you'll take the LSAT. If you score even reasonably well on the LSAT there will be plenty of schools lining up to take your money.

That's the bad news. You're not asking the right question. You haven't stated several key things: where you eventually want to work/live, what your LSAT diagnostic score is, what kind of a lawyer you want to be, or anything resembling a plan in general. The reason that's dangerous is that there are plenty of schools who will welcome you, at full price, to attend their law school if you have even an average LSAT score, a degree, and a pulse. For almost everyone this is a terrible option. Start from the back. 9 months after you graduate law school where do you see yourself and what do you see yourself doing? This will help people give you advice.


Though my aggregate warrants an average rating from CAS - due to so quite a few very poor marks in major and elective modules in 2nd year, I will be left with BA rating.

Keen on Competition law.

Cold/Diagnostic LSAT score is in 160s.

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:16 am
by AJordan
CAS already evaluated your credentials? That's important information. Why do you want a US JD?

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:03 am
by Loser2005
AJordan wrote:CAS already evaluated your credentials? That's important information. Why do you want a US JD?


I want to work in the US as an antitrust lawyer, hence the need for US JD.
However with such disastrous credentials - I think I am pretty much an auto ding everywhere. :(. I have yet to take the Feb 18 LSAT - but even if I cross 175 ( hypothetical situation), will it do any good? Will any T3/4 law school take a chance on me?
I have worked hard to ''distance'' myself from my abysmal record.

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:03 am
by AJordan
Loser2005 wrote:
AJordan wrote:CAS already evaluated your credentials? That's important information. Why do you want a US JD?


I want to work in the US as an antitrust lawyer, hence the need for US JD.
However with such disastrous credentials - I think I am pretty much an auto ding everywhere. :(. I have yet to take the Feb 18 LSAT - but even if I cross 175 ( hypothetical situation), will it do any good? Will any T3/4 law school take a chance on me?
I have worked hard to ''distance'' myself from my abysmal record.


Hopefully some others can chime in so I'm not a lone voice here. I'm a bit conscious of my hive mind mentality and not a lawyer so I hope I'm not giving you bad advice.

T3/T4 schools will let you attend. DON'T DO THAT!!!!! Assuming you are not a US citizen, you will have to find a way to pay a stupid amount of money and you will not get a job from those schools that will allow you to work in the states. The only thing I, personally, think T3/T4 schools are for are people in the local region with a guaranteed job who can attend for free. You don't fit these criteria. You need to look up schools' biglaw/fed clerkship rates from the appropriate ABA reports. Those are, more or less, the only jobs that are going to sponsor your VISA to work in the states.

I figure you're probably from a background where there is money, you're asking the admissions question and not a financial aid question, so if this is a thing your family really wants you to do then that's culturally out of my realm. That said, unless there's some really plum opportunity for you in your home country that necessitates a JD, there is no reason for you to get a US JD outside of the T13. Do not think you can reach your goals from a T3/T4, or even T2 or lower tier T1. You are most likely not the unicorn. You need to be attending a top school to reach your goals as an international student.

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:35 am
by packer_22
Ok- so even with an "average" transcript, you can get into a T14 school with a good enough LSAT score (I know many people with worse who got into UVA, NU, and even Penn).

HOWEVER- I have some advice for you.

1. Get into therapy if you are not already in it. Law is not a healthy profession and 1st year of law school is tough on everyone. Just from reading your posts (and even your username), you need to get your head right. You'd commit suicide if you'd gotten a 3rd when you graduated? Come'on! While you are studying for the LSAT, go to therapy and get healthier mentally.

2. Study for the LSAT. If you are in the low 160s, you can improve to the high 160s and low 170s. Get a Analytical Reasoning book and do every problem until you are getting -2 or -1 wrong on AR.

3. Come up with a plan. Where do you want to live in the US? What kind of law do you want to practice. If you are foreign, you will likely need to work at a big law firm that will need to sponsor you for an H1B visa. So, you should aim for a T1 school or above (preferably T14). Research them and decide what areas of law you'd want to practice and where you want to live.

4. See step 1. Thats the most important one.

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:53 am
by Loser2005
packer_22 wrote:Ok- so even with an "average" transcript, you can get into a T14 school with a good enough LSAT score (I know many people with worse who got into UVA, NU, and even Penn).

HOWEVER- I have some advice for you.

1. Get into therapy if you are not already in it. Law is not a healthy profession and 1st year of law school is tough on everyone. Just from reading your posts (and even your username), you need to get your head right. You'd commit suicide if you'd gotten a 3rd when you graduated? Come'on! While you are studying for the LSAT, go to therapy and get healthier mentally.

2. Study for the LSAT. If you are in the low 160s, you can improve to the high 160s and low 170s. Get a Analytical Reasoning book and do every problem until you are getting -2 or -1 wrong on AR.

3. Come up with a plan. Where do you want to live in the US? What kind of law do you want to practice. If you are foreign, you will likely need to work at a big law firm that will need to sponsor you for an H1B visa. So, you should aim for a T1 school or above (preferably T14). Research them and decide what areas of law you'd want to practice and where you want to live.

4. See step 1. Thats the most important one.


No its rated below average....

Technically my aggregate/cumulative equates to an ''Average'' evaluation. But 1st and 2nd years totally killed my GPA. I did improve in my final year though, but not to a huge extent. Due to so many poor grades in my early years - I am left with BA ( Below Average) rating. I am not justifying my academic record - I was a below average student for most of my college time - I did study, but apparently I was doing it all wrong.

My first two years were disastrous. While I did slack in my first year, I gave it my all in my 2nd year - and was expecting a B- at least if not a B. I was literally shocked to the bone when I got such poor ( passing) grades. Since I passed all papers, I was not allowed to resit.

I literally gave 200% in my final year, only to get a B-. My disaster of a college career was nothing but abject poor decision making skills - getting into a program on which I had almost no aptitude in, not dropping out ( half of my friends dropped out midway, changed majors and enrolled in colleges with lenient grading system/grade inflation). I had many friends attending unis with student friendly grading policies, who graduated with mid to high 2s with lots of partying and slacking off. I do regret not doing that today, but no use crying over split milk...

All I can say that I am better at legal studies than Philosophy/Theological studies - and did manage to excel in my LLB. So I think I can do reasonably well at least at a JD - as I have already been through a rigorous 3 year law program and got great marks.

Had I graduated with a 3rd class aggregate - I would have most likely taken such a drastic step. I would not have been eligible for the LLB, not have had any job.

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:38 am
by packer_22
Have you had it evaluated by LSAC? If not, you never know what they will say.

Additionally, the long time (12 years) since your undergrad and subsequent excellent legal performance (LLB), will mitigate the impact of your undergrad.

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 11:41 am
by sparkytrainer
A below average evaluation will sink you. You should get an LLM and work from there.

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 1:03 pm
by Mullens
I also don't think a US JD will work out for you. You're gonna need to get a biglaw job and, if you want to do antitrust, likely a biglaw job in Washington, D.C. The problem for you is that DC is the toughest market to get a job in and you will likely need very good grades from a highly ranked law school to even have a shot. Many well-credentialed candidates from top schools strike out in DC every year. And that's before you consider hiring biases and the fact that you need visa sponsorship (which might become much harder to obtain very soon).

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 1:20 am
by Loser2005
sparkytrainer wrote:A below average evaluation will sink you. You should get an LLM and work from there.


So basically, you are suggesting me not to take the Feb LSAT. Damn. I had such a nice cold LSAT as well.
Will I have no chance at schools like Barry, Phoenix School of Law, Mitchell Hamlin, Cooley, Florida Coastal, Loyola New Orleans, John Marshall Chicago etc if I can really kill the LSAT?

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:47 am
by RCSOB657
Can't tell if last post is troll.

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 7:33 am
by AJordan
Yeah unfortunately I bit on a troll thread. Sorry, fam.

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:23 am
by Loser2005
RCSOB657 wrote:Can't tell if last post is troll.


No not a troll. Just an unfortunate sod who had messed college up horribly and now, cannot believe he has ruined all chances of law career for good.

Underachiever yes. Troll no.

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:30 am
by cavalier1138
Loser2005 wrote:
RCSOB657 wrote:Can't tell if last post is troll.


No not a troll. Just an unfortunate sod who had messed college up horribly and now, cannot believe he has ruined all chances of law career for good.

Underachiever yes. Troll no.


Nah, I'm still leaning towards troll. You listed the known worst law schools in the country as though they were viable options.

Just find a different hobby. I hear that birdwatching can be fun.

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 8:56 am
by Loser2005
cavalier1138 wrote:
Loser2005 wrote:
RCSOB657 wrote:Can't tell if last post is troll.


No not a troll. Just an unfortunate sod who had messed college up horribly and now, cannot believe he has ruined all chances of law career for good.

Underachiever yes. Troll no.


Nah, I'm still leaning towards troll. You listed the known worst law schools in the country as though they were viable options.

Just find a different hobby. I hear that birdwatching can be fun.


I knew, that many people won't take me seriously. I listed those schools, precisely because - if I ace the LSAT, those are the schools, I will have any chance at.

Re: Should I Discard all hope of US JD?

Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2017 9:12 am
by A. Nony Mouse
OP, I think if you do ace the LSAT you will find a school better than those you just listed that will take you. International evaluations don't factor into the USNWR rankings and since you have quite a lot mitigating the below average (it was a really long time ago, excellent performance in a subsequent degree program) you will essentially be a splitter - your outcomes will be unpredictable but you should have some less terrible options than the schools you suggested.

It's not easy to say what they would be, however, or whether they would allow you to follow the career path you want. The US has *tons* of law schools, so school prestige is a huge thing for certain kinds of jobs, and being an antitrust lawyer is probably one of them (my sense is that it would involve big companies/a lot of money, so will be very competitive). You will want to look very carefully at employment outcomes for any schools you consider, and talk to US lawyers in the field you want about how they got their jobs. Here, having the credential often isn't as important as where it's from.

But as to the step of literally getting into law school, if you ace the LSAT, you will get in places, although it will be very unlikely to be the top tier of schools that offer the best job opportunities.