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Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:58 pm
by Prospectiveatty5142
I'm a junior at a top public university with a 3.93 GPA. I took a practice LSAT and got a 172, but I think I could get that up with a prep course, as that was my first try. I don't really have any good softs, I'm part of some clubs and I have two pretty good federal government internships, but nothing too impressive. Not a URM. Not sure if this matters, but I'm a legacy at one of MVP, as one parent went there, and a grandparent went to HLS.

Assuming I can get my LSAT up a bit and keep my GPA, what are realistic options for me? I grew up in the DC area and love it more than any city in the world and really hate the city of New York, so I really, really really would prefer DC. I'm an econ major and find antitrust and tax issues really interesting, but also really like the idea of being a litigator, and regulatory stuff sounds interesting too. I definitely never want to do Corporate Transactional, as my MVP parent has drilled into my brain that it's basically a living hell. I also really like the idea of doing a Federal Clerkship, and one feeder judge is a family friend, so I really hope I could clerk with them.

Which schools are best for DC? And how good of a shot do I have at them?

Re: Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:42 pm
by The Lsat Airbender
UVA punches above their weight but otherwise DC biglaw hiring tracks pretty closely with US News rankings. You want to go to Yale, or else H/S, or do well at CCN/Virginia, or do very well at another T14 in that order. With a 3.93 and a strong LSAT you’ll have good options so focus on keeping your grades up for now.

Re: Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:19 am
by Vursz
I practice in DC biglaw. The above is credited.

I will add, though, that Columbia/NYU punch below their weight in DC. Likely there’s some self-selection going on, but in my experience Chicago has a clear advantage over those two for DC. I also don’t run into a whole lot of Penn folks—make of that what you will.

Re: Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 4:35 pm
by Prospectiveatty5142
The Lsat Airbender wrote:UVA punches above their weight but otherwise DC biglaw hiring tracks pretty closely with US News rankings. You want to go to Yale, or else H/S, or do well at CCN/Virginia, or do very well at another T14 in that order. With a 3.93 and a strong LSAT you’ll have good options so focus on keeping your grades up for now.


Vursz wrote:I practice in DC biglaw. The above is credited.

I will add, though, that Columbia/NYU punch below their weight in DC. Likely there’s some self-selection going on, but in my experience Chicago has a clear advantage over those two for DC. I also don’t run into a whole lot of Penn folks—make of that what you will.



Thank you for the replies. Given that Yale is significantly above the rest, I think it begs the question: How difficult is it to get into Yale as a K-JD? I would definitely prefer to go straight to law school than work, as I've struck out on banking/consulting recruiting (Didn't want to do that long term, just thought it was worth a shot) despite my high GPA and being at a target school, so I wouldn't be looking at a terrific job. I could probably get a job on the hill or in one of the federal agencies I worked for, but I'm not going to be a Rhodes Scholar. How much would working on the hill improve my shot at Yale? If not too much, I'm just going to blanket T14, but if it could, I'd probably be willing to suck it up for a couple years before applying.

Re: Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:50 pm
by Elston Gunn
Prospectiveatty5142 wrote:
The Lsat Airbender wrote:UVA punches above their weight but otherwise DC biglaw hiring tracks pretty closely with US News rankings. You want to go to Yale, or else H/S, or do well at CCN/Virginia, or do very well at another T14 in that order. With a 3.93 and a strong LSAT you’ll have good options so focus on keeping your grades up for now.


Vursz wrote:I practice in DC biglaw. The above is credited.

I will add, though, that Columbia/NYU punch below their weight in DC. Likely there’s some self-selection going on, but in my experience Chicago has a clear advantage over those two for DC. I also don’t run into a whole lot of Penn folks—make of that what you will.



Thank you for the replies. Given that Yale is significantly above the rest, I think it begs the question: How difficult is it to get into Yale as a K-JD? I would definitely prefer to go straight to law school than work, as I've struck out on banking/consulting recruiting (Didn't want to do that long term, just thought it was worth a shot) despite my high GPA and being at a target school, so I wouldn't be looking at a terrific job. I could probably get a job on the hill or in one of the federal agencies I worked for, but I'm not going to be a Rhodes Scholar. How much would working on the hill improve my shot at Yale? If not too much, I'm just going to blanket T14, but if it could, I'd probably be willing to suck it up for a couple years before applying.

A job on the hill or at a federal agency would make you mildly more attractive at Yale. It would likely give you a bigger boost at DC OCI, especially for gov agencies that are relevant to DC biglaw (eg, think OFAC, OCC, DOD rather than HUD or SSA). I would definitely do that if you will be happy in one of those jobs and are DC or bust.

Re: Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 5:58 pm
by Prospectiveatty5142
Elston Gunn wrote:
Prospectiveatty5142 wrote:
The Lsat Airbender wrote:UVA punches above their weight but otherwise DC biglaw hiring tracks pretty closely with US News rankings. You want to go to Yale, or else H/S, or do well at CCN/Virginia, or do very well at another T14 in that order. With a 3.93 and a strong LSAT you’ll have good options so focus on keeping your grades up for now.


Vursz wrote:I practice in DC biglaw. The above is credited.

I will add, though, that Columbia/NYU punch below their weight in DC. Likely there’s some self-selection going on, but in my experience Chicago has a clear advantage over those two for DC. I also don’t run into a whole lot of Penn folks—make of that what you will.



Thank you for the replies. Given that Yale is significantly above the rest, I think it begs the question: How difficult is it to get into Yale as a K-JD? I would definitely prefer to go straight to law school than work, as I've struck out on banking/consulting recruiting (Didn't want to do that long term, just thought it was worth a shot) despite my high GPA and being at a target school, so I wouldn't be looking at a terrific job. I could probably get a job on the hill or in one of the federal agencies I worked for, but I'm not going to be a Rhodes Scholar. How much would working on the hill improve my shot at Yale? If not too much, I'm just going to blanket T14, but if it could, I'd probably be willing to suck it up for a couple years before applying.

A job on the hill or at a federal agency would make you mildly more attractive at Yale. It would likely give you a bigger boost at DC OCI, especially for gov agencies that are relevant to DC biglaw (eg, think OFAC, OCC, DOD rather than HUD or SSA). I would definitely do that if you will be happy in one of those jobs and are DC or bust.


Thank you! This may be what I end up doing. One last question, would working for a GOP hill member hurt me at all for Yale? I know Yale has a famously liberal reputation, I'm definitely conservative and all of my connections are on the conservative side, so I would be remiss were I to spend a couple years working on the hill for an improved chance at Yale only for it to hurt me.

Re: Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:30 pm
by The Lsat Airbender
Prospectiveatty5142 wrote:Thank you! This may be what I end up doing. One last question, would working for a GOP hill member hurt me at all for Yale? I know Yale has a famously liberal reputation, I'm definitely conservative and all of my connections are on the conservative side, so I would be remiss were I to spend a couple years working on the hill for an improved chance at Yale only for it to hurt me.


Clarence Thomas went to Yale. When the chips are down, these schools happily play both sides of the ball.

Re: Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:51 pm
by QContinuum
The Lsat Airbender wrote:Clarence Thomas went to Yale. When the chips are down, these schools happily play both sides of the ball.

Also see: Kavanaugh, Sam Alito, Byron White, current HHS Secretary Alex Azar, John Bolton, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Alan Dershowitz, David Lat, Pat Robertson...

Lawyers and law students are mostly liberal, and thus liberals are naturally overrepresented at the T13. As a result, there's something like affirmative action for conservatives.

Re: Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:26 pm
by LBJ's Hair
QContinuum wrote:
The Lsat Airbender wrote:Clarence Thomas went to Yale. When the chips are down, these schools happily play both sides of the ball.

Also see: Kavanaugh, Sam Alito, Byron White, current HHS Secretary Alex Azar, John Bolton, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Alan Dershowitz, David Lat, Pat Robertson...

Lawyers and law students are mostly liberal, and thus liberals are naturally overrepresented at the T13. As a result, there's something like affirmative action for conservatives.


Eh. Law schools like powerful, connected people, regardless of which side of the aisle you are on. But not sure if they're looking for like, intellectual diversity for the sake of intellectual diversity itself.

Like, I would hypothetically write a personal statement about my experience interning for Mitch McConnell. In no universe would I write about my experience working as an unglamorous field worker for the conservative version of Planned Parenthood (whatever that is).

Re: Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:33 pm
by Elston Gunn
LBJ's Hair wrote:
QContinuum wrote:
The Lsat Airbender wrote:Clarence Thomas went to Yale. When the chips are down, these schools happily play both sides of the ball.

Also see: Kavanaugh, Sam Alito, Byron White, current HHS Secretary Alex Azar, John Bolton, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Alan Dershowitz, David Lat, Pat Robertson...

Lawyers and law students are mostly liberal, and thus liberals are naturally overrepresented at the T13. As a result, there's something like affirmative action for conservatives.


Eh. Law schools like powerful, connected people, regardless of which side of the aisle you are on. But not sure if they're looking for like, intellectual diversity for the sake of intellectual diversity itself.

Like, I would hypothetically write a personal statement about my experience interning for Mitch McConnell. In no universe would I write about my experience working as an unglamorous field worker for the conservative version of Planned Parenthood (whatever that is).

Affirmative action for conservatives only kicks in after admission. If OP is conservative, has a 3.93 GPA, a 172 cold practice LSAT and a family friend who is a feeder judge, s/he has like a 175% chance of clerking on the Supreme Court. (May be slightly exaggerating.)

Re: Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:20 pm
by Anon-non-anon
I would just add the GW and Georgetown punch a bit above their weight in DC and being in town is useful to make connections/do internships throughout the year, but given your scores, your much better off going to higher ranked schools. Perhaps if it's full ride to Georgetown vs no/little money at other T14s, it would be worth the full ride, but doubt you won't have better options. You'll still have to do quite well at Georgetown to be safe for DC big law.

Also agree that being conservative is useful for clerkships/other post grad stuff (no idea about in your law school apps, but doubt it). There are just far fewer qualified conservative law students for (probably) more slots.

Re: Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:38 pm
by The Lsat Airbender
Anon-non-anon wrote:I would just add the GW and Georgetown punch a bit above their weight in DC and being in town is useful to make connections/do internships throughout the year, but given your scores, your much better off going to higher ranked schools. Perhaps if it's full ride to Georgetown vs no/little money at other T14s, it would be worth the full ride, but doubt you won't have better options. You'll still have to do quite well at Georgetown to be safe for DC big law.

Also agree that being conservative is useful for clerkships/other post grad stuff (no idea about in your law school apps, but doubt it). There are just far fewer qualified conservative law students for (probably) more slots.


Yeah, they punch above their weight but their weight class is dangerously low to begin with. Agree that a full-ride to GULC is a decent option, because it makes non-biglaw in the DMV viable if you really want to be in the area.

Re: Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:52 pm
by LBJ's Hair
The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Anon-non-anon wrote:I would just add the GW and Georgetown punch a bit above their weight in DC and being in town is useful to make connections/do internships throughout the year, but given your scores, your much better off going to higher ranked schools. Perhaps if it's full ride to Georgetown vs no/little money at other T14s, it would be worth the full ride, but doubt you won't have better options. You'll still have to do quite well at Georgetown to be safe for DC big law.

Also agree that being conservative is useful for clerkships/other post grad stuff (no idea about in your law school apps, but doubt it). There are just far fewer qualified conservative law students for (probably) more slots.


Yeah, they punch above their weight but their weight class is dangerously low to begin with. Agree that a full-ride to GULC is a decent option, because it makes non-biglaw in the DMV viable if you really want to be in the area.


Agree. I don't know why people are talking about GULC. If OP ends up with a ~172 LSAT, only places s/he should be applying are the T6 and I guess UVA for the DC connection, but realistically the question is gonna be like massive aid at CCN vs Harvard (if Yale doesn't come through)

Re: Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:41 pm
by Prospectiveatty5142
The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Anon-non-anon wrote:I would just add the GW and Georgetown punch a bit above their weight in DC and being in town is useful to make connections/do internships throughout the year, but given your scores, your much better off going to higher ranked schools. Perhaps if it's full ride to Georgetown vs no/little money at other T14s, it would be worth the full ride, but doubt you won't have better options. You'll still have to do quite well at Georgetown to be safe for DC big law.

Also agree that being conservative is useful for clerkships/other post grad stuff (no idea about in your law school apps, but doubt it). There are just far fewer qualified conservative law students for (probably) more slots.


Yeah, they punch above their weight but their weight class is dangerously low to begin with. Agree that a full-ride to GULC is a decent option, because it makes non-biglaw in the DMV viable if you really want to be in the area.


Not looking to do non biglaw. I would strongly prefer to be in the DMV, but I would much rather take another city, even New York biglaw over a non-biglaw job in DC.

Re: Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 10:11 pm
by Prospectiveatty5142
LBJ's Hair wrote:
The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Anon-non-anon wrote:I would just add the GW and Georgetown punch a bit above their weight in DC and being in town is useful to make connections/do internships throughout the year, but given your scores, your much better off going to higher ranked schools. Perhaps if it's full ride to Georgetown vs no/little money at other T14s, it would be worth the full ride, but doubt you won't have better options. You'll still have to do quite well at Georgetown to be safe for DC big law.

Also agree that being conservative is useful for clerkships/other post grad stuff (no idea about in your law school apps, but doubt it). There are just far fewer qualified conservative law students for (probably) more slots.


Yeah, they punch above their weight but their weight class is dangerously low to begin with. Agree that a full-ride to GULC is a decent option, because it makes non-biglaw in the DMV viable if you really want to be in the area.


Agree. I don't know why people are talking about GULC. If OP ends up with a ~172 LSAT, only places s/he should be applying are the T6 and I guess UVA for the DC connection, but realistically the question is gonna be like massive aid at CCN vs Harvard (if Yale doesn't come through)


Yeah, assuming I don't blow the LSATs (pretty safe bet IMO as I haven't had this issue with standardized tests in the past), I don't see the need to apply to GULC. I'm going to apply to UVA because if it wasn't obvious enough already (DC Area + top public) I go to UVA undergrad. I love it here and would almost certainly not get a YR, so I'd have to seriously consider it vs NYU if money were equal (probably would go with NYU but would have to think about it.) Money is also not a huge concern for me. Money is always nice, but I'm not going to go into huge debt to go to LS anyways. If it came down to GULC on a full ride vs HYS at sticker, I'd without a doubt take HYS.

Re: Is any school in particular best for DC? Do I have a shot at them?

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:03 pm
by LBJ's Hair
Prospectiveatty5142 wrote:
LBJ's Hair wrote:
The Lsat Airbender wrote:
Anon-non-anon wrote:I would just add the GW and Georgetown punch a bit above their weight in DC and being in town is useful to make connections/do internships throughout the year, but given your scores, your much better off going to higher ranked schools. Perhaps if it's full ride to Georgetown vs no/little money at other T14s, it would be worth the full ride, but doubt you won't have better options. You'll still have to do quite well at Georgetown to be safe for DC big law.

Also agree that being conservative is useful for clerkships/other post grad stuff (no idea about in your law school apps, but doubt it). There are just far fewer qualified conservative law students for (probably) more slots.


Yeah, they punch above their weight but their weight class is dangerously low to begin with. Agree that a full-ride to GULC is a decent option, because it makes non-biglaw in the DMV viable if you really want to be in the area.


Agree. I don't know why people are talking about GULC. If OP ends up with a ~172 LSAT, only places s/he should be applying are the T6 and I guess UVA for the DC connection, but realistically the question is gonna be like massive aid at CCN vs Harvard (if Yale doesn't come through)


Yeah, assuming I don't blow the LSATs (pretty safe bet IMO as I haven't had this issue with standardized tests in the past), I don't see the need to apply to GULC. I'm going to apply to UVA because if it wasn't obvious enough already (DC Area + top public) I go to UVA undergrad. I love it here and would almost certainly not get a YR, so I'd have to seriously consider it vs NYU if money were equal (probably would go with NYU but would have to think about it.) Money is also not a huge concern for me. Money is always nice, but I'm not going to go into huge debt to go to LS anyways. If it came down to GULC on a full ride vs HYS at sticker, I'd without a doubt take HYS.


You would be stupid not to, frankly. Good luck on the LSATs