Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

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HLShopeful12345
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Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby HLShopeful12345 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:21 pm

Hey guys,

Question about my chances at Harvard.. I have a 3.0 GPA and a 175 LSAT score.

I'm URM, with 3 years WE. My softs are pretty outstanding, including work in national security, and 3 years as an investigative reporter. I know my GPA is awful,...in second year I was out with mono, and stubborn...should have taken a year off to get healthy, but I didn't. Third year my brother was diagnosed with MS and I had to work full-time in third and fourth year to help pay for medical bills.

I have two professors who I know will write me great LOR's, as well as two supervisors at work. Do you think Harvard would look past my GPA?


Also applying to NYU, Columbia, and Georgetown. Yale is probably out of reach because I bombed my first lsat sitting.

sparkytrainer
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby sparkytrainer » Sat Sep 02, 2017 2:32 pm

You should apply to the whole t13. Most will give you fee waivers, so you should do that. As for Harvard, your chances are meh. There has been a trend at Harvard with a 3.5 floor for URMs. Sure sometimes they go lower, but usually not. You have a shot, but not a great one. Apply to the t13 broadly.

cavalier1138
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:15 pm

Apply broadly, and stop focusing on Harvard to the exclusion of all others. Look at the actual outcomes for graduates, not the perceived benefit of all that prestige once you're $300k in debt.

HLShopeful12345
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby HLShopeful12345 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:33 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:Apply broadly, and stop focusing on Harvard to the exclusion of all others. Look at the actual outcomes for graduates, not the perceived benefit of all that prestige once you're $300k in debt.



Thank you ! Yeah, I toured Columbia and honestly their IP program is exactly what I want to be doing, combined with an MJ in investigative journalism. But Harvard is my reach school.

HLShopeful12345
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby HLShopeful12345 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:34 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:You should apply to the whole t13. Most will give you fee waivers, so you should do that. As for Harvard, your chances are meh. There has been a trend at Harvard with a 3.5 floor for URMs. Sure sometimes they go lower, but usually not. You have a shot, but not a great one. Apply to the t13 broadly.


Thanks! Definitely applying to all...do you think I have a good chance at Columbia?

cavalier1138
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:35 pm

HLShopeful12345 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Apply broadly, and stop focusing on Harvard to the exclusion of all others. Look at the actual outcomes for graduates, not the perceived benefit of all that prestige once you're $300k in debt.



Thank you ! Yeah, I toured Columbia and honestly their IP program is exactly what I want to be doing, combined with an MJ in investigative journalism. But Harvard is my reach school.


...what do you actually want to do with your JD?

HLShopeful12345
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby HLShopeful12345 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:38 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
HLShopeful12345 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Apply broadly, and stop focusing on Harvard to the exclusion of all others. Look at the actual outcomes for graduates, not the perceived benefit of all that prestige once you're $300k in debt.



Thank you ! Yeah, I toured Columbia and honestly their IP program is exactly what I want to be doing, combined with an MJ in investigative journalism. But Harvard is my reach school.


...what do you actually want to do with your JD?



lol, I get this a lot. I want to be an IP lawyer, but also continue to freelance as an investigative journalist. Most of the journalists I work with currently are also lawyers, and this is the path most of them took.

cavalier1138
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:40 pm

HLShopeful12345 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
HLShopeful12345 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Apply broadly, and stop focusing on Harvard to the exclusion of all others. Look at the actual outcomes for graduates, not the perceived benefit of all that prestige once you're $300k in debt.



Thank you ! Yeah, I toured Columbia and honestly their IP program is exactly what I want to be doing, combined with an MJ in investigative journalism. But Harvard is my reach school.


...what do you actually want to do with your JD?



lol, I get this a lot. I want to be an IP lawyer, but also continue to freelance as an investigative journalist. Most of the journalists I work with currently are also lawyers, and this is the path most of them took.


How old are they?

JDs aren't as flexible as they used to be, and I've never heard of an IP litigator with enough free time to pursue a secondary career. Do you actually want to practice law, or do you just see it as a way to finance your actual career?

HLShopeful12345
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby HLShopeful12345 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:50 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
HLShopeful12345 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
HLShopeful12345 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Apply broadly, and stop focusing on Harvard to the exclusion of all others. Look at the actual outcomes for graduates, not the perceived benefit of all that prestige once you're $300k in debt.



Thank you ! Yeah, I toured Columbia and honestly their IP program is exactly what I want to be doing, combined with an MJ in investigative journalism. But Harvard is my reach school.


...what do you actually want to do with your JD?



lol, I get this a lot. I want to be an IP lawyer, but also continue to freelance as an investigative journalist. Most of the journalists I work with currently are also lawyers, and this is the path most of them took.


How old are they?

JDs aren't as flexible as they used to be, and I've never heard of an IP litigator with enough free time to pursue a secondary career. Do you actually want to practice law, or do you just see it as a way to finance your actual career?


All over 35, with most being around 45-50. Surprisingly, most of them still work part time as lawyers, and part time in my newsroom. I definitely want to be a lawyer/work as a lawyer, but from what I've been told by them and a few other journalist/lawyers it's possible to combine both, with journalism taking a little bit more of a back seat when needed.

Also, I make 100 k+ as an investigative journalist and I'm 24. I don't need a second career to finance my first career lol.

sparkytrainer
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby sparkytrainer » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:52 pm

HLShopeful12345 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
HLShopeful12345 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
HLShopeful12345 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Apply broadly, and stop focusing on Harvard to the exclusion of all others. Look at the actual outcomes for graduates, not the perceived benefit of all that prestige once you're $300k in debt.



Thank you ! Yeah, I toured Columbia and honestly their IP program is exactly what I want to be doing, combined with an MJ in investigative journalism. But Harvard is my reach school.


...what do you actually want to do with your JD?



lol, I get this a lot. I want to be an IP lawyer, but also continue to freelance as an investigative journalist. Most of the journalists I work with currently are also lawyers, and this is the path most of them took.


How old are they?

JDs aren't as flexible as they used to be, and I've never heard of an IP litigator with enough free time to pursue a secondary career. Do you actually want to practice law, or do you just see it as a way to finance your actual career?


All over 35, with most being around 45-50. Surprisingly, most of them still work part time as lawyers, and part time in my newsroom. I definitely want to be a lawyer/work as a lawyer, but from what I've been told by them and a few other journalist/lawyers it's possible to combine both, with journalism taking a little bit more of a back seat when needed.

Also, I make 100 k+ as an investigative journalist and I'm 24. I don't need a second career to finance my first career lol.


You shouldn't go to law school. At all.

HLShopeful12345
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby HLShopeful12345 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:54 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:
HLShopeful12345 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
HLShopeful12345 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
HLShopeful12345 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:Apply broadly, and stop focusing on Harvard to the exclusion of all others. Look at the actual outcomes for graduates, not the perceived benefit of all that prestige once you're $300k in debt.



Thank you ! Yeah, I toured Columbia and honestly their IP program is exactly what I want to be doing, combined with an MJ in investigative journalism. But Harvard is my reach school.


...what do you actually want to do with your JD?



lol, I get this a lot. I want to be an IP lawyer, but also continue to freelance as an investigative journalist. Most of the journalists I work with currently are also lawyers, and this is the path most of them took.


How old are they?

JDs aren't as flexible as they used to be, and I've never heard of an IP litigator with enough free time to pursue a secondary career. Do you actually want to practice law, or do you just see it as a way to finance your actual career?


All over 35, with most being around 45-50. Surprisingly, most of them still work part time as lawyers, and part time in my newsroom. I definitely want to be a lawyer/work as a lawyer, but from what I've been told by them and a few other journalist/lawyers it's possible to combine both, with journalism taking a little bit more of a back seat when needed.

Also, I make 100 k+ as an investigative journalist and I'm 24. I don't need a second career to finance my first career lol.


You shouldn't go to law school. At all.



humour me lol, why not?

cavalier1138
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:13 pm

HLShopeful12345 wrote:humour me lol, why not?


Because you're already doing what you want to do and making a great living doing it.

sparkytrainer
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby sparkytrainer » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:15 pm

HLShopeful12345 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:
HLShopeful12345 wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:
HLShopeful12345 wrote:

Thank you ! Yeah, I toured Columbia and honestly their IP program is exactly what I want to be doing, combined with an MJ in investigative journalism. But Harvard is my reach school.


...what do you actually want to do with your JD?



lol, I get this a lot. I want to be an IP lawyer, but also continue to freelance as an investigative journalist. Most of the journalists I work with currently are also lawyers, and this is the path most of them took.


How old are they?

JDs aren't as flexible as they used to be, and I've never heard of an IP litigator with enough free time to pursue a secondary career. Do you actually want to practice law, or do you just see it as a way to finance your actual career?


All over 35, with most being around 45-50. Surprisingly, most of them still work part time as lawyers, and part time in my newsroom. I definitely want to be a lawyer/work as a lawyer, but from what I've been told by them and a few other journalist/lawyers it's possible to combine both, with journalism taking a little bit more of a back seat when needed.

Also, I make 100 k+ as an investigative journalist and I'm 24. I don't need a second career to finance my first career lol.


You shouldn't go to law school. At all.[/quote]


humour me lol, why not?[/quote]


If you want a biglaw job, one that you will make more money than you are right now, you will not be able to do investigative journalism on the side. You won't have time, nor will firms let you have other employment. So that whole legal employment field is out.

Now, if you wanted to go into government, I can't imagine a government position will allow you to also be an investigative journalist on the side. Someone who works in the government may be able to discuss this in more detail.

So, that leaves you with small-firm jobs that pay at BEST 50k, and even then you likely won't be able to do journalism.

If you want to be a lawyer, go to law school. If you don't want to be a lawyer, don't. And if you only want to partly be a lawyer, recognize that decision is not even remotely possible in the vast majority of situations. No firm in NYC is going to allow you to spend time doing journalism on the side.

So yeah, you seem to have zero interest in law school. That's cool, even great for some people. And those boomers you know that can do this? LOL at any attorney nowadays getting chances like that. It just doesn't exist anymore. Hence why they are all boomers.

HLShopeful12345
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby HLShopeful12345 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:19 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:
HLShopeful12345 wrote:humour me lol, why not?


Because you're already doing what you want to do and making a great living doing it.


I guess it's also seeing the limitations that there are in investigative journalism. I feel like I'm hitting a ceiling, and there's very limited room for growth, which is why many of my colleagues suggested I go to law school. I did plan on going to law school in undergrad, but decided to wait before applying.

My job consists of analysing cases, and looking over judges discrepancies. It's a lot of pointing out where the legal system went wrong, and it can be discouraging because there's very little you can do to correct mistakes, asides from tell the story. Not sure if that makes any sense. But basically, it's working as an investigative journalist that made me realise I want to be a lawyer.

Also - Guy Lawson is an excellent example of a lawyer who also works as an investigative journalist. His story was the backbone of the book War Dogs.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:24 pm

I would actually think that for certain fields of journalism, having a JD would be helpful. Not sure it would be helpful enough to be worth the time/cost, and it might make more sense just to do the MJ and take law courses along the way, but I don't think it's a crazy combination.

It may depend a little on what you mean by being an IP lawyer (are you thinking of free speech/media/First Amendment stuff? I ask just b/c that would fit better with journalism but isn't what people usually think of as IP work). Also, what kind of legal jobs do the lawyers in your newsroom actually have? Do they work at big firms? If so, are they actual fully involved, or are they sort of experts/luminaries lending their name to letterhead, dipping in as time allows? Or do they have their own solo/niche practices that they developed at some point in the past and have enough cred/connections to keep going on their own? If the latter, how did they get to that point?

Edit to add: just keep in mind neither of Guy Lawson's law degrees are American.

sparkytrainer
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby sparkytrainer » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:34 pm

I think OP needs to decide whether OP wants to practice law, or wants to be a journalist who has a legal background.

If OP wants to practice law as an attorney, there will be almost 0 chance OP could do journalism on the side. If you are an attorney, you are an attorney, not an attorney and journalist on the side.

If OP wants to be a journalist, having a legal background could be helpful, but it could also be expensive and a giant waste of time.

OP needs to decide which of the two OP wants.

The people OP has cited and others I can think of have a legal background, but they aren't practicing lawyers during the day. Other example is Linda Greenhouse. She has a legal degree, but she's a journalist, not a practicing attorney.

HLShopeful12345
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby HLShopeful12345 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:37 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:I think OP needs to decide whether OP wants to practice law, or wants to be a journalist who has a legal background.

If OP wants to practice law as an attorney, there will be almost 0 chance OP could do journalism on the side. If you are an attorney, you are an attorney, not an attorney and journalist on the side.

If OP wants to be a journalist, having a legal background could be helpful, but it could also be expensive and a giant waste of time.

OP needs to decide which of the two OP wants.

The people OP has cited and others I can think of have a legal background, but they aren't practicing lawyers during the day. Other example is Linda Greenhouse. She has a legal degree, but she's a journalist, not a practicing attorney.



Fair. Thank you.

sparkytrainer
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby sparkytrainer » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:39 pm

HLShopeful12345 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:I think OP needs to decide whether OP wants to practice law, or wants to be a journalist who has a legal background.

If OP wants to practice law as an attorney, there will be almost 0 chance OP could do journalism on the side. If you are an attorney, you are an attorney, not an attorney and journalist on the side.

If OP wants to be a journalist, having a legal background could be helpful, but it could also be expensive and a giant waste of time.

OP needs to decide which of the two OP wants.

The people OP has cited and others I can think of have a legal background, but they aren't practicing lawyers during the day. Other example is Linda Greenhouse. She has a legal degree, but she's a journalist, not a practicing attorney.



Fair. Thank you.


Good luck. I think you want to be a journalist, so continue with that. I think Nomy is right, go get a MJ and try to take some law classes. If you decide you want to completely change careers, then consider law school. But don't pretend you are going to be a practicing attorney by day and a journalist at night, because that is just not going to happen.

HLShopeful12345
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby HLShopeful12345 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:41 pm

sparkytrainer wrote:
HLShopeful12345 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:I think OP needs to decide whether OP wants to practice law, or wants to be a journalist who has a legal background.

If OP wants to practice law as an attorney, there will be almost 0 chance OP could do journalism on the side. If you are an attorney, you are an attorney, not an attorney and journalist on the side.

If OP wants to be a journalist, having a legal background could be helpful, but it could also be expensive and a giant waste of time.

OP needs to decide which of the two OP wants.

The people OP has cited and others I can think of have a legal background, but they aren't practicing lawyers during the day. Other example is Linda Greenhouse. She has a legal degree, but she's a journalist, not a practicing attorney.



Fair. Thank you.


Good luck. I think you want to be a journalist, so continue with that. I think Nomy is right, go get a MJ and try to take some law classes. If you decide you want to completely change careers, then consider law school. But don't pretend you are going to be a practicing attorney by day and a journalist at night, because that is just not going to happen.


I mean, I work with people who do that every single day. My boss is a lawyer and a journalist, and actively works as an attorney (though part time). Not sure if they are just super human, but they make it seem doable.

But thanks for your input! Really appreciate it :)

sparkytrainer
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby sparkytrainer » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:43 pm

HLShopeful12345 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:
HLShopeful12345 wrote:
sparkytrainer wrote:I think OP needs to decide whether OP wants to practice law, or wants to be a journalist who has a legal background.

If OP wants to practice law as an attorney, there will be almost 0 chance OP could do journalism on the side. If you are an attorney, you are an attorney, not an attorney and journalist on the side.

If OP wants to be a journalist, having a legal background could be helpful, but it could also be expensive and a giant waste of time.

OP needs to decide which of the two OP wants.

The people OP has cited and others I can think of have a legal background, but they aren't practicing lawyers during the day. Other example is Linda Greenhouse. She has a legal degree, but she's a journalist, not a practicing attorney.



Fair. Thank you.


Good luck. I think you want to be a journalist, so continue with that. I think Nomy is right, go get a MJ and try to take some law classes. If you decide you want to completely change careers, then consider law school. But don't pretend you are going to be a practicing attorney by day and a journalist at night, because that is just not going to happen.


I mean, I work with people who do that every single day. My boss is a lawyer and a journalist, and actively works as an attorney (though part time). Not sure if they are just super human, but they make it seem doable.

But thanks for your input! Really appreciate it :)


I mean the answer is in your posts. These people are boomers, and the one in this post is a part time attorney. Does he/she work for a firm? Does he/she work in their own shop? These are important answers, because I HIGHLY doubt you will find attorneys anywhere near your age working at any decent sized law firm, especially ones that do IP law, also having time (or even allowed to) do journalism on the side.

uion1715
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby uion1715 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:46 pm

HLShopeful12345 wrote:Also, I make 100 k+ as an investigative journalist and I'm 24. I don't need a second career to finance my first career lol.


How the hell are you making 100k+ as a journalist (and at 24)?

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:51 pm

To be fair, I don't think the OP ever said they intended to work full time as a lawyer/for a big firm.

HLShopeful12345
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby HLShopeful12345 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:47 pm

uion1715 wrote:
HLShopeful12345 wrote:Also, I make 100 k+ as an investigative journalist and I'm 24. I don't need a second career to finance my first career lol.


How the hell are you making 100k+ as a journalist (and at 24)?



I got hired full-time while I was a student, so I've had four years of experience. I work in a very particular field, which usually takes 10+ years to break into, but I got lucky (ie, I worked my ass off). My salary is 80 k + I negotiated a contract that lets me freelance, and I write for publications that pay $1,000 per piece.

HLShopeful12345
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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby HLShopeful12345 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 6:32 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:To be fair, I don't think the OP ever said they intended to work full time as a lawyer/for a big firm.


I don't. Still applying to law school, because I know exactly what I want to do with my career... I just wanted to know if HLS was possible with my stats lol

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Re: Harvard chances? URM, 3.0 GPA 175 LSAT

Postby cavalier1138 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:40 pm

HLShopeful12345 wrote:
A. Nony Mouse wrote:To be fair, I don't think the OP ever said they intended to work full time as a lawyer/for a big firm.


I don't. Still applying to law school, because I know exactly what I want to do with my career... I just wanted to know if HLS was possible with my stats lol


Assuming that a JD really is helpful in this field, why Harvard?




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