I don't think it's that cut and dry, Kayos. They say you need to demonstrate significant adversity. (they italicize significant in the application.) And then they give you some considerations you might include in your claim.
Lishi, I was more talking to myself than at your 521 word essay that I have never read before. I'm sure you can write a wonderful essay in 521 words, I'm just impressed you got yours that short and am wondering what I could do to shorten mine as well.
Good luck if you decide to apply to Hastings through the LEOP program.
There is one big tower. It's hard to get a spot so you better get on the list as soon as you get accepted if you want to live there. It's in a crummy neighborhood (as is the school) but if you don't mind that, it's not a bad place to live. It's got a dorm-like environment and most of the rooms are studios that run anywhere from 900-1100 depending on what floor you get. There are limited 1 bedrooms and some efficiencies (really small). The building is old and the rooms are pretty plain with some exposed pipes and really old fixtures but it's not too shabby. There are several other options though.
One option is UCSF Mission Bay, where I live, which is 20 minutes south taking the MUNI. You need to hop on the waiting list for this place too. The thing about here, its about 800 a month but you would have to live with 3 other people you don't know but they will be grad or professional students. It's also WAY nicer, cleaner and safer than the tower. If not MB then you can just hunt for an apartment on your own which I'd say a good chunk of students do, maybe about 20%, where you can find pretty competitive pricing, usually around $11-1200 for a studio. There's plenty of nice areas near school where you can walk from like Nob Hill and Haight and theres places where you can just grab a Bart or Muni from like the Mission and the Sunset or the Marina (which is a bit more car-friendly). You can find places on Craigslist very easily as well.
i wrote about a four page LEOP essay re: messed up child hood (incl abuse), absentee parents. i have a 3.57 GPA. LSAT will be in feb. any thoughts on my chances? what lsat would give me a good shot? im pretty happy with my LEOP chances, but not happy about what has happened to me, obviously.
You said you wanted a good shot didn't you? Their median from 2 years ago was in the 156 or 158 range. Being in the median does not = a good shot; a decent one at best. Also, I always tell people that whatever score they're aiming for on the LSAT, they should be practicing 5 to 6 points higher on a consistent basis because no one can duplicate the environment and feel of the real thing.
Second, Hastings just hired a fully staffed professional admissions committee this year (something that has been lacking for the past few years due to the lack of state funding that for the large part was cut down in 2002) and the dean is trying to pump up our rankings. This means it will be more competitive and harder to get into. They just changed the entire admissions policy this year to reflect a more aggressive attitude.
Third, Hastings does not want think that LEOP is an easy way to get in. The fact that LEOP applicants generally do have lower numbers is a result of their hardships and struggles and Hastings is willing to take a more holistic perspective on these applicants in weighing their overall potential. This does not mean that they are lowering the bar; this just means that they are more generous in allowing LEOP applicants to show that they were able to excel in academics despite shortcomings and challenges that are a result of things beyond their control.
Finally, keep in mind that there is an influential handful of student body and administration that do not see the LEOP program in the "brightest light." Thus, what I am predicting in this next cycle is a higher level of scrutiny in general but particularly for LEOP students because LEOP needs to prove to the school that it is attracting students from a diverse range of backgrounds that bring with them unique strengths and qualities not found in "traditional" students and that these students can excel in law school. If LEOP fails to do this, they will lose support and funding.
i appreciate the candor. yes, i realize it is not an EASY way to slip in, but do feel like the obstacles i have faced warrant some serious consideration. being abused for years and basically raising myself left me a little out in the dark. do you think this falls into the realm of leop consideration?
i have always been very impressed with leop. i just moved from boston and have for a long time wanted to know more about it.
Not to sound callous but realistically, abuse alone will not exactly make you stand out. LEOP is not looking for stories that simply talk of hardships and tragedies, everyone has dealt with some at one point or another. So, when you do write your application, don't go off the edge in emphasizing the severity of your struggles; this should not be your focus as such stories are not very difficult to fabricate. I would focus more on expressing your unique perspective on the world as a result of your struggles and how this has contributed to your achievements and to who you are today.
Communicate now with those who not only know what a legal education is, but can offer you worthy advice and commentary as you complete the three most educational, yet challenging years of your law related post graduate life.