Chances at UNC Law?

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lawschoolhopeful114

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Chances at UNC Law?

Postby lawschoolhopeful114 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:09 pm

LSAC GPA: 3.81
LSAT: 157(March), 158(June), ? (September)
UG: top 30 liberal arts college, double major in Political Science and History, minor in German
Other info: international (permanent resident), military spouse

I'm applying to Wake Forest, UNC, and probably Campbell. Staying in North Carolina is what makes the most sense for me, on every level. UNC law has been my dream school for years, and if they had ED, I'd definitely do that. However, I am concerned that I might not be able to make it in this year, or at all, and would love some thoughts/advice.

Resume issues: I am a military spouse. We moved 4 times in the last 5 years, and I had to quit jobs abruptly and take on whatever was available at the next location. I completed a paralegal certificate program and worked as a court clerk for a year, but the other three jobs were in admin (so no connection to legal services/law school).

LSAT: I self-studied for the LSAT since I couldn't afford a tutor, and I worked full time and commuted for two hours every day. On top of this, I had a pretty rough year with two surgeries + recovery, and taking care of an ill parent. I'm retaking in September and I hope I can bring it up to 160-165 range.

I know a lot of people will tell me that I should retake and maybe wait to apply next year. But honestly, I've been waiting to go to law school for years. I am finally in a position where I can afford to go, I have taken care of my health issues, and my husband's military career will keep us in North Carolina for at least 5 years. I do not want to postpone my future for another year.

So my question is: what are my chances? How can I make my app stand out?

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Re: Chances at UNC Law?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:34 pm

Your odds are good because you're above the 75th GPA, and not egregiously below the LSAT median. The advice is going to be to retake though as being above both #'s would virtually guarantee that you get in.

Unless you have a truly unique history, I don't think you want to try to stand out. Just put together a solid application without many typos. The best way to guarantee you get in is with a higher LSAT, but you're probably in with your current #'s.

cavalier1138

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Re: Chances at UNC Law?

Postby cavalier1138 » Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:45 pm

What kind of work do you want to do?

I ask because you indicated you might apply to Campbell, which has a horrible track record for placing its students in most legal career tracks.

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Re: Chances at UNC Law?

Postby QContinuum » Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:20 pm

lawschoolhopeful114 wrote:LSAC GPA: 3.81
LSAT: 157(March), 158(June), ? (September)

I'm applying to Wake Forest, UNC, and probably Campbell. Staying in North Carolina is what makes the most sense for me, on every level. UNC law has been my dream school for years, and if they had ED, I'd definitely do that.

Resume issues: I am a military spouse. We moved 4 times in the last 5 years, and I had to quit jobs abruptly and take on whatever was available at the next location. I completed a paralegal certificate program and worked as a court clerk for a year, but the other three jobs were in admin (so no connection to legal services/law school).

First, welcome to TLS!

To answer your specific question, as LSATWiz says you will probably get in to UNC. Law school admissions is almost unbelievably predictable, with outcomes almost perfectly tracking one's LSAC GPA and highest LSAT. If you are at/above a school's 75th percentiles for both GPA and LSAT, you are almost a lock to get in, likely with merit scholarship funding. If you are at/above a school's 75th percentile for one of GPA or LSAT, and below median (50th) for the other, then you will probably get in, depending on the applicant pool and the school's need for high GPAs or high LSAT scores. But your scholarship odds will take a huge hit compared to if you were at/above the 75th for both GPA and LSAT. UNC's 75th LSAT is 163 so I have every confidence that you will be able to reach it.

In fact, if you're able to improve your LSAT even further, to 169/170, you'd have a great shot at getting into Duke.

There's a separate issue, though, that you didn't ask about, but which in typical TLS tradition I will proceed to address. Law is not generally a good career path for those who want/need to move frequently. In fact, outside the T13 (top 13 law schools, as ranked by US News) and certainly outside the T20 (top 20), law schools place their graduates almost exclusively into their local state. Outside the T13/T20, J.D.s are not very portable in practice. There are relatively few major legal markets, and everywhere else it takes time to build up your reputation and practice, which simply isn't doable if you're going to be moving, say, 4 times in 5 years. So if you plan to continue following your husband around the country, I'm not sure becoming a lawyer would be a good option. There are career tracks which are relatively accommodating of frequent relocations (e.g., being a travel nurse/NP/PA), but not law.

betterdeadthanred

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Re: Chances at UNC Law?

Postby betterdeadthanred » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:15 pm

cavalier1138 wrote:What kind of work do you want to do?

I ask because you indicated you might apply to Campbell, which has a horrible track record for placing its students in most legal career tracks.



This...

Retake, but going to Campbell would be a huge mistake...yes they will throw a trash scholly at you, but do not take that bait....there is a reason why they dropped their application fee and still lost applicants.

I am a 2013 grad of this failure factory, just avoid the place. UNC and Wake are solid choices, but retaking will be your best shot. If you hit 160 i think you are pretty golden for UNC...maybe not Wake though.

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Re: Chances at UNC Law?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:26 pm

betterdeadthanred wrote:
cavalier1138 wrote:What kind of work do you want to do?

I ask because you indicated you might apply to Campbell, which has a horrible track record for placing its students in most legal career tracks.



This...

Retake, but going to Campbell would be a huge mistake...yes they will throw a trash scholly at you, but do not take that bait....there is a reason why they dropped their application fee and still lost applicants.

I am a 2013 grad of this failure factory, just avoid the place. UNC and Wake are solid choices, but retaking will be your best shot. If you hit 160 i think you are pretty golden for UNC...maybe not Wake though.

Were you able to make do with the rough situation you were dealt coming out? It's been 6-years so I'm wondering how it worked out for you. I also understand if you don't want to share.

betterdeadthanred

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Re: Chances at UNC Law?

Postby betterdeadthanred » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:34 pm

I do not mind talking about it. I am now out of the law and Teaching at a public high school. Essentially, the legal market in NC is really really rough. UNC, and Wake grads tend to take up the bulk of hiring. The market is so glutted that most graduates simply have no place to go except doc review. Central, Campbell, and Elon grads are all hit pretty hard by this.

I do doc review in the summer to fill my time and my wallet. Campbell was all but useless in helping me attain employment. I had multiple meetings with lawyers with hiring power, some were even friends of the family. The common thread was lateral entries were prized over recent grads. The story is much the same today.

Campbell law was a huge mistake, I fell for the whole "regional reputation" BS....not to mention some unscrupulous claims about income made by someone in their admissions office while I was in undergrad.

The Teaching pays bills and has benefits...insurance is good and free...pay is not so good...

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Re: Chances at UNC Law?

Postby LSATWiz.com » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:14 am

betterdeadthanred wrote:I do not mind talking about it. I am now out of the law and Teaching at a public high school. Essentially, the legal market in NC is really really rough. UNC, and Wake grads tend to take up the bulk of hiring. The market is so glutted that most graduates simply have no place to go except doc review. Central, Campbell, and Elon grads are all hit pretty hard by this.

I do doc review in the summer to fill my time and my wallet. Campbell was all but useless in helping me attain employment. I had multiple meetings with lawyers with hiring power, some were even friends of the family. The common thread was lateral entries were prized over recent grads. The story is much the same today.

Campbell law was a huge mistake, I fell for the whole "regional reputation" BS....not to mention some unscrupulous claims about income made by someone in their admissions office while I was in undergrad.

The Teaching pays bills and has benefits...insurance is good and free...pay is not so good...

I feel you. Well, it's good you were able to adapt to a bad position and create an alternative path for yourself. I've never understood how anyone intending to be dependent on someone giving them a job would attend these institutions if the only value they can provide is potential, and students from more competitive schools are assumed to have more potential.

If I was in your situation and the teaching gig was enough to provide for my basic necessities, I'd probably look at whether there's a need for a certain type of lawyer in my community, and teach myself to become an expert in that area of law as even if it never paid more than doc review, I think I'd be much happier. If you're not dependent on doc review and don't enjoy it, I'd say, "Why do it?" but that might sound insensitive. It does sound like it may be perpetuating your anger towards TTT schools, which despite being warranted is going to make it difficult to fully move on. My guess is if you weren't doing it, you would probably be much more focused on the present day, and even if that doesn't lead you to more money, you'd probably still be happier. However, it's not my place to tell you what to do. Just some food for thought.

betterdeadthanred

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Re: Chances at UNC Law?

Postby betterdeadthanred » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:39 pm

actually I enjoy doc review....its just that the closest location is an hour away from where I currently live. It is easier to enjoy doc review when you know it is just to fill time... I just throw on some podcasts and put in 8 hours and go home. Really, it is not that bad a deal...but I would not want to do it full time.

I am bitter, but it does not control me....and it once did...now I post facts numbers and snark in an effort to help people avoid my mistake. Some lower tier law schools do serve a purpose (NCCU comes to mind), but Campbell Law is just a cash grab failure factory.



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