Page 1 of 1

Full ride splitter chances

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:57 pm
by lovethelaw324
Hi everyone, I've read a lot of the forums on here and looked at my chances on law school numbers but I would appreciate some specific advice if anyone can give some. I have a 3.3 and 172 lsat and am extremely debt-averse. I know many people here seem to value prestige of the schools very highly and I too would like to attend a prestigious school but not if it would cost anything to me.

I am looking into becoming a prosecutor or getting a federal clerkship. I also am a Hispanic female (not Mexican so non URM I think) and I don't really have a preference of where I want to be. I don't have strong ties to any area but if I had to pick my ideal location it would be D.C. Should I ED to GW or do you think there are any better schools that would offer me a full ride? I don't want to go anywhere regional because I want to be flexible with where my degree can take me after since I'm not sure where I want to live after law school. Sorry for my lengthy post but any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Re: Full ride splitter chances

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:42 pm
by UVA2B
Which matters to you more, being geographically flexible, being a prosecutor (you'll probably have to clarify if you mean being a DA somewhere local, state prosecutor, or federal prosecution/AUSA), or not paying for law school tuition (and I hope you're still willing to accept going into debt because even a full ride doesn't cover cost of living in almost every case)? The reason you need to figure out what matters to you most is that each one of those factors will cause the overall calculus to change. If you want geographic flexibility, you'll need a school ranked higher than GWU (and is definitely less likely to get you federal prosecution jobs that you hit on in wanting to be a prosecutor). If you really want to be a federal prosecutor, there is a decent correlation between higher ranked schools and ending up in AUSA jobs immediately following law school, and in order to get AUSA not immediately following law school, the most traditional path is going to a big private sector firm and then lateraling into the AUSA gig, so you'd want a better school that can close to guarantee you a job at a big private firm. If you want a more local prosecution job, then your best bet is to get a full ride to the region where you want to be a local prosecutor (but this cuts against your geographic flexibility).

I know you're looking for a sweet spot where you can have law school for free, that can get you a prosecutor job wherever you may want one, but reality is a lot of your wants cut against each other, so you'll have to figure out what matters to you most and where you're willing to sacrifice if need be.

Re: Full ride splitter chances

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:09 pm
by lovethelaw324
UVA2B wrote:Which matters to you more, being geographically flexible, being a prosecutor (you'll probably have to clarify if you mean being a DA somewhere local, state prosecutor, or federal prosecution/AUSA), or not paying for law school tuition (and I hope you're still willing to accept going into debt because even a full ride doesn't cover cost of living in almost every case)? The reason you need to figure out what matters to you most is that each one of those factors will cause the overall calculus to change. If you want geographic flexibility, you'll need a school ranked higher than GWU (and is definitely less likely to get you federal prosecution jobs that you hit on in wanting to be a prosecutor). If you really want to be a federal prosecutor, there is a decent correlation between higher ranked schools and ending up in AUSA jobs immediately following law school, and in order to get AUSA not immediately following law school, the most traditional path is going to a big private sector firm and then lateraling into the AUSA gig, so you'd want a better school that can close to guarantee you a job at a big private firm. If you want a more local prosecution job, then your best bet is to get a full ride to the region where you want to be a local prosecutor (but this cuts against your geographic flexibility).

I know you're looking for a sweet spot where you can have law school for free, that can get you a prosecutor job wherever you may want one, but reality is a lot of your wants cut against each other, so you'll have to figure out what matters to you most and where you're willing to sacrifice if need be.


Thanks so much for your response, I think my list of priorities right now would be first getting a full ride, then the possibility of a federal prosecution job, and lastly being geographically flexible. I have worked throughout my undergrad and saved an amount of money that I think will be more than enough to cover my living costs for three years (additionally I have a SO that will be paying for our housing costs) so the free tuition is what I am mainly looking for.

To be honest I am not that knowledgeable on types of prosecution jobs, I have done research online but honestly don't know enough to decide right now. I am not looking to make a huge amount of money, I would just like a legal career in which I am able to make a difference in the lives of others. I have also read about BigLaw but again it doesn't seem in line with my motivations really.

I love the DC atmosphere and would like to potentially pursue something in politics after being a prosecutor. With this information do you think that ED'ing GW would be my best decision right now? Or any other schools you think I should apply to would be much appreciated

Re: Full ride splitter chances

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:43 pm
by UVA2B
lovethelaw324 wrote:
UVA2B wrote:Which matters to you more, being geographically flexible, being a prosecutor (you'll probably have to clarify if you mean being a DA somewhere local, state prosecutor, or federal prosecution/AUSA), or not paying for law school tuition (and I hope you're still willing to accept going into debt because even a full ride doesn't cover cost of living in almost every case)? The reason you need to figure out what matters to you most is that each one of those factors will cause the overall calculus to change. If you want geographic flexibility, you'll need a school ranked higher than GWU (and is definitely less likely to get you federal prosecution jobs that you hit on in wanting to be a prosecutor). If you really want to be a federal prosecutor, there is a decent correlation between higher ranked schools and ending up in AUSA jobs immediately following law school, and in order to get AUSA not immediately following law school, the most traditional path is going to a big private sector firm and then lateraling into the AUSA gig, so you'd want a better school that can close to guarantee you a job at a big private firm. If you want a more local prosecution job, then your best bet is to get a full ride to the region where you want to be a local prosecutor (but this cuts against your geographic flexibility).

I know you're looking for a sweet spot where you can have law school for free, that can get you a prosecutor job wherever you may want one, but reality is a lot of your wants cut against each other, so you'll have to figure out what matters to you most and where you're willing to sacrifice if need be.


Thanks so much for your response, I think my list of priorities right now would be first getting a full ride, then the possibility of a federal prosecution job, and lastly being geographically flexible. I have worked throughout my undergrad and saved an amount of money that I think will be more than enough to cover my living costs for three years (additionally I have a SO that will be paying for our housing costs) so the free tuition is what I am mainly looking for.

To be honest I am not that knowledgeable on types of prosecution jobs, I have done research online but honestly don't know enough to decide right now. I am not looking to make a huge amount of money, I would just like a legal career in which I am able to make a difference in the lives of others. I have also read about BigLaw but again it doesn't seem in line with my motivations really.

I love the DC atmosphere and would like to potentially pursue something in politics after being a prosecutor. With this information do you think that ED'ing GW would be my best decision right now? Or any other schools you think I should apply to would be much appreciated


Ok, well if you really want a free education and you have an SO/savings that will cover major living costs, an ED to GWU could make sense, but with some pretty big caveats. When you're looking at federal prosecution jobs, there is a serious prestige angle in the more competitive offices (DC, SDNY, EDNY, CDCA, etc.), to the point where you'll want competitive federal judicial clerkships that will be very, very hard to get from GWU, and the other offices can still be prestige/grades-driven, but can also consider connections to that particular district/region.

Honestly, in my personal opinion (which is decidedly limited since I'm not a federal prosecutor and am giving advice more based on the decision you're making than the particular goals you're going after), you seem to have really broad, prestige-driven goals that you don't want to pay for if you don't have to pay for it. Getting a federal prosecutor job out of GWU will be laced with a ton of luck, particularly when you're not focused on a particular region/district. It'll be free, but you need to be acutely prepared that the likelihood of getting that type of job out of GWU is really, really slim. In your circumstance, the opportunity cost/savings cost would be pretty limited, but if you come out of GWU without debt but practicing as a local DA (assuming you stay committed to being a prosecutor), would you be happy?

Re: Full ride splitter chances

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:53 pm
by lovethelaw324
Yes! I would be very happy with that outcome. Being a federal prosecutor would be an amazing dream for me but as you said, I do realize it would be very difficult. I would be content with a local DA position too. Do you know what area/region I could expect to get that kind of position if I did get in and decide to go to GW? I know Georgetown has a better name and could give me better opportunities but I highly doubt they will offer me a full ride. I'm not sure any of the top schools would either but since I'm not tied to any area, I would be open to potentially going anywhere that has somewhat good connections/ a good name and would give me a full ride. Thank you again for the advice!

Re: Full ride splitter chances

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:05 pm
by UVA2B
Getting local DA jobs is most about showing connections and commitment to that office. That usually means interning/externing in those offices, which would go against your wanting geographic flexibility. In terms of regions GWU could place you in doing local prosecution work, it's more about the extent you can show a commitment to that region than it is about GWU. I would say that any prosecution job in DC would be very tough, but you would have a shot at the DMV DA offices if you showed a commitment from the beginning.

I'm getting beyond my depth on this point, so I don't want to offer more specific advice because I'm not familiar with hiring practices in the DMV region DA offices.

My only remaining advice is that you should spend some time thinking about where you want to practice law, because that will be fairly determinative of where your career starts when you're trying to target full rides, which can be determinative of where your career develops. You'd be much better off figuring out you want to be a DA in St. Louis going to WUSTL or being a DA in LA going to UCLA (two somewhat similar examples, not that you'd get a full ride at either of them per se). Figuring out geographic preferences is really important in figuring out the rest of your legal career, and starting to figure it out before law school starts can be a big help.

Re: Full ride splitter chances

Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:09 am
by wmbuff
lovethelaw324 wrote:Yes! I would be very happy with that outcome. Being a federal prosecutor would be an amazing dream for me but as you said, I do realize it would be very difficult. I would be content with a local DA position too. Do you know what area/region I could expect to get that kind of position if I did get in and decide to go to GW? I know Georgetown has a better name and could give me better opportunities but I highly doubt they will offer me a full ride. I'm not sure any of the top schools would either but since I'm not tied to any area, I would be open to potentially going anywhere that has somewhat good connections/ a good name and would give me a full ride. Thank you again for the advice!


If you're fairly open-ended, you may want to consider applications at schools with a history of generous scholarships, and see what gives you the best combination of region and mobility with a full ride. WUSTL, Alabama, Arizona State, Wake Forest, Minnesota, Indiana, etc. could all be good chances for full rides, but have varying degrees of mobility. My brother had your GPA with a lower LSAT, went with a "safe" essay strategy, and still had multiple full ride offers out of the list I just named.

Try out the search page on mylsn.info, see which schools frequently give out generous scholarships with your profile (plenty outside of the t13), then dig into the employment numbers (mylsn.info conveniently links to LST for that). You can also see the top states each school lands graduates in, and if you scrutinize their 509s, you can see if a large percentage are employed outside of their top three states. None of this will guarantee you a full ride, a prosecutor job, and a totally portable degree, but you're in a good position to find a full ride, a good shot at a prosecutor job (and in some of those cases, a reasonable shot at FC), and at least regional portability.

Interestingly, when I ran a search centered around your numbers, Vanderbilt looked pretty open to big scholarships. Maybe not a full ride, but close enough you'd only be looking at small loans in your situation. Their employment numbers, including clerkships, are really strong, and they're a good example of a school that can give you the most regional flexibility you'll find outside the t13.

Re: Full ride splitter chances

Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:37 am
by lovethelaw324
Thank you both so much for the advice, I'll definitely look into applying to the schools you mentioned. Does anyone think that taking the lsat again could help me more? Or is it not worth it. I was trying to get a 180 and was consistently PT'ing 180 before the test.

Re: Full ride splitter chances

Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 11:59 am
by OakBrook2021
lovethelaw324 wrote:Does anyone think that taking the lsat again could help me more?


If you were hitting 180 consistently then I'd say retake if you don't like your options in the spring. The difference between 172 and 175+ definitely seems significant in admissions outcomes. Also, given your aversion to debt you really should apply to WUSTL. They will probably give you alot of money and you might even land their full tuition + stipend scholarship.

Re: Full ride splitter chances

Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:29 pm
by cavalier1138
OakBrook2021 wrote:The difference between 172 and 175+ definitely seems significant in admissions outcomes.


That can be true for HYS, but those are all out of the running with a 3.3.

Re: Full ride splitter chances

Posted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:28 pm
by OakBrook2021
cavalier1138 wrote:That can be true for HYS, but those are all out of the running with a 3.3.


I was thinking it could possibly give her an edge for the full + stipend at WUSTL. Seems like splitters are less likely to get the Stipend with a low 170's