HYS likelihood - should I both applying to Y?

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JabberDabber

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HYS likelihood - should I both applying to Y?

Postby JabberDabber » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:11 pm

Concern:
What are my chances of HYS admission? I’ve just joined TLS to hopefully get some insight and quell my uncertainty. I’ve read accounts on TLS of some remarkable people getting waitlisted or outright rejected from Yale & Stanford. Also, I’ve been reading about Yale’s incredibly low acceptance rate for international applicants. I’m uncertain whether I should bother applying. Thank you in advance to anyone who can offer any input.

General info:
I’m an international applicant coming from a poor single-parent family (would certainly qualify for maximum amounts of need-based aid). My undergraduate and graduate degrees are in a STEM field. I want to be in the legal profession, and I think I’d enjoy the pace and sense of purpose of BigLaw, but I’m also an academic at heart, and I have an interest in public interest work on top of that. In my view, HYS provides the best flexibility to accommodate whichever direction I end up taking.

Numbers:
uGPA 4.1x/ LSAT 174

Softs:
  • STEM PhD (grad school GPA 4.3/4.3)
  • Nine publications, some in top-tier journals – four of these are first-author, while the rest are (primarily) second and (some) third-author
  • Many presentations (posters and selected talks) at regional, national, and international conferences
  • Part-time work as a teaching assistant for the past 4 years (2.5 years above what my PhD requirements mandated)
  • Supervision of ten undergraduate students over the course of my studies. My reference letters attest to this.
  • Two years of scholarship-funded undergraduate research (which I completed interspersed between academic terms)
  • Many scholarships (over fifteen), including three major national awards (two at the graduate-level and one at the undergraduate-level), and one major international award (for academic accomplishments and leadership at the graduate level).

QContinuum

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Re: HYS likelihood - should I both applying to Y?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:40 pm

You're certainly a very strong Y/S candidate, and should definitely apply given your academic aspirations. (Of course, also apply to the rest of the T13, requesting fee waivers if needed. Don't handicap your chances by trying to save on application fees!)

You have the right stats. You have strong softs. What you need now is to bring it home with stellar LORs (think carefully about who you ask), a stellar "why law" PS, and a stellar Yale 250. Most law schools are very strongly numbers-driven, but Y/S are unique in the amount of importance placed on softs. The "remarkable" people who were WL'd/dinged from Y/S despite having killer stats and killer softs likely fell short in the quality of their PS/250 or the strength of their LORs.

Best of luck!

JabberDabber

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Re: HYS likelihood - should I both applying to Y?

Postby JabberDabber » Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:44 pm

Thanks for the feedback! I'll ask 2 established professors who've known me for over 4 years. They've written strong recommendation letters in the past for funding applications. I have confidence that if I end up applying & am not successful, it won't be because of their letters!

QContinuum

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Re: HYS likelihood - should I both applying to Y?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:03 pm

JabberDabber wrote:Thanks for the feedback! I'll ask 2 established professors who've known me for over 4 years. They've written strong recommendation letters in the past for funding applications. I have confidence that if I end up applying & am not successful, it won't be because of their letters!


Best of luck! I don't think there's any single formula for a successful Yale PS/250, but what often seems to work is a "why law" PS (I think particularly important in your case, given your STEM Ph.D. - you'll need to make a compelling case for why you want to be a lawyer), coupled with a compelling 250 that gives some insight into you as a person. The 250 need not be about anything related to law.

Of course, entirely possible to succeed with a different model.

abl

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Re: HYS likelihood - should I both applying to Y?

Postby abl » Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:20 pm

Where did you study? I think for Y and S, in particular, it could matter. There's a real difference between Oxbridge and the fourth-best university in Colombia. I bet you have a strong chance, regardless, but it's difficult to assess without knowing the answer to this question. Along those lines, does your GPA put you at the top of your undergrad class? (I don't think grad student GPA matters as much.) Close to the top? Top 1/3? When I see GPAs > 4.0, I get suspicious, fairly or not. There are U.S. high schools where a 4.1 GPA might put you just barely inside the top 10%, for example.

Also, I know it's tough if English isn't your first language, but avoiding typos on your application -- like "should I both applying to Y" -- should be a very high priority for you.

JabberDabber

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Re: HYS likelihood - should I both applying to Y?

Postby JabberDabber » Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:08 pm

With respect to my undergraduate degree, I'm certainly within the top 5% of students, regardless of department/major. My university is Canadian & has a reasonably good reputation. It's not the best in the country, but I chose it because it was close to my family, and because it was the only one I applied to - they gave me a full scholarship with some extra money, so I accepted enthusiastically.

Thanks for the feedback re:typos. You've reminded me to keep working on something I know is a weak point. English isn't my second language, but I frequently make mistakes in low-key communication settings. In certain situations I tend to overlook details...This is actually part of a larger focusing issue that I've being working on. I understand how important typo-free/quality writing will be, so I'll give it more attention.

QContinuum

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Re: HYS likelihood - should I both applying to Y?

Postby QContinuum » Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:08 pm

JabberDabber wrote:With respect to my undergraduate degree, I'm certainly within the top 5% of students, regardless of department/major. My university is Canadian & has a reasonably good reputation. It's not the best in the country, but I chose it because it was close to my family, and because it was the only one I applied to - they gave me a full scholarship with some extra money, so I accepted enthusiastically.

Thanks for the feedback re:typos. You've reminded me to keep working on something I know is a weak point. English isn't my second language, but I frequently make mistakes in low-key communication settings. In certain situations I tend to overlook details...This is actually part of a larger focusing issue that I've being working on. I understand how important typo-free/quality writing will be, so I'll give it more attention.


I wouldn't worry too much about it - just make sure to proofread everything 5x before you submit, which shouldn't be too hard to do - law school applications really aren't that long (and you can recycle the same PS for all of your schools).



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