Veterans Thread

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Tootleloo

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Re: Veterans Thread

Post by Tootleloo » Wed Dec 25, 2019 12:50 pm

Lurk2020 wrote:
Tootleloo wrote:New guy here, looking to apply during the admission cycle in 2020 or 2021.

I have 14 years TIS, transitioning over to the Guard. I was an Army Special Forces 18D, 18F, and currently acting as an 18Z. Nothing special, some deployments, a tour as an instructor, and some temporary assignments with some other organizations. I haven't taken the LSAT, but the diagnostics have me in the low 160 range cold. 3.2 GPA from 15 years ago.

Going to blanket pretty much any school that waives the application fee in the T-14 and regional schools in areas I would not mind living in.

I'm open to any advice. I'll have about a 4 month window in a couple months I can dedicate to studying for the LSAT.

Know very few GB's, or anyone in SOF, who went the law school route. Most went with B-school and the veterans organizations at law schools seem to be much smaller and less active than their respective b-school counterparts.
The numbers are definitely lower across the board than at business school. Penn’s group does a veteran visit day every fall and can be reached via their club website or the admissions office. I believe they had a former GB officer graduate this past year so they might be a good starting point.
Thanks, I'll reach out to him.

I checked the status of my transcripts at LSAC and apparently, they calculated my GPA as a 3.4 using their lawyer math.

Anyone apply with a GRE score? I took the GRE 3 years ago for a masters program and got a total of 330. How do admission committees view the GRE in comparison to the LSAT?

AJordan

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Re: Veterans Thread

Post by AJordan » Thu Dec 26, 2019 3:46 pm

Tootleloo wrote:
Lurk2020 wrote:
Tootleloo wrote: Anyone apply with a GRE score? I took the GRE 3 years ago for a masters program and got a total of 330. How do admission committees view the GRE in comparison to the LSAT?
I've never advised it since it's so new. This past cycle, according to data I've seen, there were roughly 100 T-13 attendees (of like 4,000 total?) that applied with only the GRE. I would wager dollars to donuts that almost ALL of them were (1) bumping the GPA median up and/or (2) URM. Don't believe any of those "conversion calculators" online. USNWR doesn't recognize any of them afaik.

It's kind of double edged. If you're capable of a 330 then you're capable of AT LEAST 165 on the LSAT. But if you go bomb the LSAT then they're looking at that number primarily. I guess there's no problem with applying now with that score (other than the funds to apply) but I'm not sure anybody can tell you how that's going to turn out. On the flip side, a 170 on the LSAT and you're suddenly at least somewhat competitive for probably all schools from the 5-13 range. If you have any more specific questions, pm me. I just went through this process last year so I'm not too far removed.

Billyinforsey

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Re: Veterans Thread

Post by Billyinforsey » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:00 pm

Hey everyone. I am so happy I found this thread. I was looking for some stuff on reddit but there werent a lot of military vets on there. Anyways, I wanted to ask the older group (retired guys) if it was hard finding a job in a large or midsized law firm after law school. Is there a lot of discrimination on age?

Also, how much did you talk about military experience in your PS when you applied? I will be a 20 year Marine (logistics CWO with 2 deployments to afghanistan). I have around a 3.8 LSAC GPA. Havent taken the LSAT yet. This isnt really a chance me. I'm more just looking for experience with the process.


Thanks, I appreciate any info.

AJordan

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Re: Veterans Thread

Post by AJordan » Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:52 pm

Billyinforsey wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:00 pm
Hey everyone. I am so happy I found this thread. I was looking for some stuff on reddit but there werent a lot of military vets on there. Anyways, I wanted to ask the older group (retired guys) if it was hard finding a job in a large or midsized law firm after law school. Is there a lot of discrimination on age?

Also, how much did you talk about military experience in your PS when you applied? I will be a 20 year Marine (logistics CWO with 2 deployments to afghanistan). I have around a 3.8 LSAC GPA. Havent taken the LSAT yet. This isnt really a chance me. I'm more just looking for experience with the process.


Thanks, I appreciate any info.
Cliffs: The route for you is no different than any other perspective law student if you're shooting for biglaw: LSAT --> T14 (assuming you have GI Bill and funds aren't an issue) --> Biglaw.

I'm an older guy, though I didn't retire. I have had some success doing what you're talking about doing but I'm not sure exactly how much my work experience has helped. Anecdotally, I think it has, but it really depends on a number of different criteria.

The most important thing for you, as it is for everyone, is the LSAT. If you can get to the median LSAT number of a t14 school, you're likely to have options. Be careful with guessing what your lsac GPA is. They count a lot of things that most students don't understand (failed classes that were retaken, community college classes, classes taken while in high school). And a 3.8, while stellar, isn't above anybody's median in the t14 anyway (edit: Duke and GTown both have 3.78 medians (as of now, this could change) and a few other schools have exactly a 3.8), so you need to focus on the LSAT. I cannot stress enough how important it is. It's the single most important part of your application, and when combined with your GPA you will have entered into a pile where you're either (1) hoping to give them a reason to accept you even though you're not an ideal candidate or (2) an assumed admit who just needs to avoid red flags in order to be accepted. Obviously it goes without saying, but it is much easier when you're in that second pile. Thousands of applicants apply to top schools every year hoping to talk their way in with subpar numbers. Almost all of them are rejected. Don't think you're the exception because of your work history.

That's not to say t14 is the only way in. There are other options for biglaw, t14 is just the easiest. The schools from roughly Texas through WashU all place the top of their classes pretty comfortably into biglaw. But you're gambling there on being in at least the top half of your class. Good rule of thumb: at HYS anybody who can get through an interview without committing a major faux pas can get biglaw, at CCN, almost anybody can get NY biglaw if smart about how they bid, at the rest of the t14 anybody at median or above should be comfortable getting a biglaw job somewhere as long as they aren't picky, below that it continues to scale down in opportunity and up in difficulty.

As far as messaging your service through statements this is really something you should only think about once you've finished the LSAT. And really it's unique to each applicant. I'll say that the best piece of advice I got was that the most important part of communicating military experience is to make sure that you write considering forward momentum toward the new career you are seeking. An example template would be: "In the military I did ABC which taught me JKL which I feel would help me in law school as the law school students I've talked to have stressed the importance of XYZ and I feel the lessons I learned are a good match for those skills." Obviously you will be a much better writer than I am. Just focus on that forward momentum.

As far as any question about age is concerned, I haven't encountered any overt age discrimination yet (nearing 40) but I imagine it exists. I will say that there are common things that come with age like extra weight, a lack of professional fashion sense, and a general air of overconfidence that, anecdotally, I do think are fitness disqualifiers at many firms even if they'd never say so out loud. If you go to a t14 and get good grades, though, you're going to be fine.

KPUSN07

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Re: Veterans Thread

Post by KPUSN07 » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:06 pm

Hey everyone - I've been a lurker / contributor for a while, but I did want to offer some encouragement to 0Ls.

I finished my 1L year at a T2 in the top 15-20% of the class. My stats were not great entering in (2.7 GPA / 158 LSAT), but I found that my work ethic and drive to understanding the material set me apart from many of my classmates. After that, it was just drilling down the material, learning to apply rule / law to facts in an essay, and doing well under a time pressured exam schedule - most, if not al Veterans are able to handle that intensity. I also found a fellow USAF Vet as a study partner and we were like two peas in pod - he also did well b/c we were honest with our understanding and had a different view / focus on what was / was not important with classes. Can't really emphasize that point - certainly doesn't need to be a Vet - but I found that he and I, I don't know, could relate easily and were not intimidated by challenging each other over issues and pushing each other to work hard.

I had applied twice to law school - the first time I was not happy with my results, and the second go around, I was satisfied with the particular T2 school I attended, b/c I was a legacy and it was "home" as compared to where I was living in the military.

Fast-forward, to this summer - I externed for a federal judge and I applied / was accepted as a transfer student to Michigan Law beginning my 2L year.

If you don't get T14 - things are ok - heck even if you miss the T1 train - it's all about working hard, truly understanding the material, performing under pressure and networking with law firms you want to work at (or elsewhere). 1L Fall is very hard, don't get me wrong (assuming you do it "right") - but you all are very capable of pulling it off.

So for those Veterans somewhat discouraged by the strict adherence to the LSAT / GPA game - I get it, but when push comes to shove, attend a school your comfortable with where you'll graduate with the smallest amount of debt and then swing for the fences.

Hope this helps someone today and happy to continue the discourse here / or through PM.

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Billyinforsey

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Re: Veterans Thread

Post by Billyinforsey » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:48 pm

AJordan wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:52 pm
Billyinforsey wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:00 pm
Hey everyone. I am so happy I found this thread. I was looking for some stuff on reddit but there werent a lot of military vets on there. Anyways, I wanted to ask the older group (retired guys) if it was hard finding a job in a large or midsized law firm after law school. Is there a lot of discrimination on age?

Also, how much did you talk about military experience in your PS when you applied? I will be a 20 year Marine (logistics CWO with 2 deployments to afghanistan). I have around a 3.8 LSAC GPA. Havent taken the LSAT yet. This isnt really a chance me. I'm more just looking for experience with the process.


Thanks, I appreciate any info.
Cliffs: The route for you is no different than any other perspective law student if you're shooting for biglaw: LSAT --> T14 (assuming you have GI Bill and funds aren't an issue) --> Biglaw.

I'm an older guy, though I didn't retire. I have had some success doing what you're talking about doing but I'm not sure exactly how much my work experience has helped. Anecdotally, I think it has, but it really depends on a number of different criteria.

The most important thing for you, as it is for everyone, is the LSAT. If you can get to the median LSAT number of a t14 school, you're likely to have options. Be careful with guessing what your lsac GPA is. They count a lot of things that most students don't understand (failed classes that were retaken, community college classes, classes taken while in high school). And a 3.8, while stellar, isn't above anybody's median in the t14 anyway (edit: Duke and GTown both have 3.78 medians (as of now, this could change) and a few other schools have exactly a 3.8), so you need to focus on the LSAT. I cannot stress enough how important it is. It's the single most important part of your application, and when combined with your GPA you will have entered into a pile where you're either (1) hoping to give them a reason to accept you even though you're not an ideal candidate or (2) an assumed admit who just needs to avoid red flags in order to be accepted. Obviously it goes without saying, but it is much easier when you're in that second pile. Thousands of applicants apply to top schools every year hoping to talk their way in with subpar numbers. Almost all of them are rejected. Don't think you're the exception because of your work history.

That's not to say t14 is the only way in. There are other options for biglaw, t14 is just the easiest. The schools from roughly Texas through WashU all place the top of their classes pretty comfortably into biglaw. But you're gambling there on being in at least the top half of your class. Good rule of thumb: at HYS anybody who can get through an interview without committing a major faux pas can get biglaw, at CCN, almost anybody can get NY biglaw if smart about how they bid, at the rest of the t14 anybody at median or above should be comfortable getting a biglaw job somewhere as long as they aren't picky, below that it continues to scale down in opportunity and up in difficulty.

As far as messaging your service through statements this is really something you should only think about once you've finished the LSAT. And really it's unique to each applicant. I'll say that the best piece of advice I got was that the most important part of communicating military experience is to make sure that you write considering forward momentum toward the new career you are seeking. An example template would be: "In the military I did ABC which taught me JKL which I feel would help me in law school as the law school students I've talked to have stressed the importance of XYZ and I feel the lessons I learned are a good match for those skills." Obviously you will be a much better writer than I am. Just focus on that forward momentum.

As far as any question about age is concerned, I haven't encountered any overt age discrimination yet (nearing 40) but I imagine it exists. I will say that there are common things that come with age like extra weight, a lack of professional fashion sense, and a general air of overconfidence that, anecdotally, I do think are fitness disqualifiers at many firms even if they'd never say so out loud. If you go to a t14 and get good grades, though, you're going to be fine.
Thank you. I agree on focusing on the LSAT. I used the 7Sage calculator and put in credits and grades and it was a 3.87. I just put 3.8 in the OP to be more general. I think I should be above the medians for some T14 or just below in others. Do you think for Texas Big Law a T14 School like NU or chicago would be better than UT Austin?

Also, I was a recruiter before I became an officer. Would discussing the challenges of late nights sleeping at the office, learning a whole new job of sales and completely failing at the beginning and overcoming the failure be a good topic? I know focus on the LSAT first. I am just trying to brain storm topics while I am taking a break from studying for the LSAT.

AJordan

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Re: Veterans Thread

Post by AJordan » Tue Jul 21, 2020 5:05 pm

Billyinforsey wrote:
Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:48 pm
AJordan wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 6:52 pm
Billyinforsey wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:00 pm
Hey everyone. I am so happy I found this thread. I was looking for some stuff on reddit but there werent a lot of military vets on there. Anyways, I wanted to ask the older group (retired guys) if it was hard finding a job in a large or midsized law firm after law school. Is there a lot of discrimination on age?

Also, how much did you talk about military experience in your PS when you applied? I will be a 20 year Marine (logistics CWO with 2 deployments to afghanistan). I have around a 3.8 LSAC GPA. Havent taken the LSAT yet. This isnt really a chance me. I'm more just looking for experience with the process.


Thanks, I appreciate any info.
Cliffs: The route for you is no different than any other perspective law student if you're shooting for biglaw: LSAT --> T14 (assuming you have GI Bill and funds aren't an issue) --> Biglaw.

I'm an older guy, though I didn't retire. I have had some success doing what you're talking about doing but I'm not sure exactly how much my work experience has helped. Anecdotally, I think it has, but it really depends on a number of different criteria.

The most important thing for you, as it is for everyone, is the LSAT. If you can get to the median LSAT number of a t14 school, you're likely to have options. Be careful with guessing what your lsac GPA is. They count a lot of things that most students don't understand (failed classes that were retaken, community college classes, classes taken while in high school). And a 3.8, while stellar, isn't above anybody's median in the t14 anyway (edit: Duke and GTown both have 3.78 medians (as of now, this could change) and a few other schools have exactly a 3.8), so you need to focus on the LSAT. I cannot stress enough how important it is. It's the single most important part of your application, and when combined with your GPA you will have entered into a pile where you're either (1) hoping to give them a reason to accept you even though you're not an ideal candidate or (2) an assumed admit who just needs to avoid red flags in order to be accepted. Obviously it goes without saying, but it is much easier when you're in that second pile. Thousands of applicants apply to top schools every year hoping to talk their way in with subpar numbers. Almost all of them are rejected. Don't think you're the exception because of your work history.

That's not to say t14 is the only way in. There are other options for biglaw, t14 is just the easiest. The schools from roughly Texas through WashU all place the top of their classes pretty comfortably into biglaw. But you're gambling there on being in at least the top half of your class. Good rule of thumb: at HYS anybody who can get through an interview without committing a major faux pas can get biglaw, at CCN, almost anybody can get NY biglaw if smart about how they bid, at the rest of the t14 anybody at median or above should be comfortable getting a biglaw job somewhere as long as they aren't picky, below that it continues to scale down in opportunity and up in difficulty.

As far as messaging your service through statements this is really something you should only think about once you've finished the LSAT. And really it's unique to each applicant. I'll say that the best piece of advice I got was that the most important part of communicating military experience is to make sure that you write considering forward momentum toward the new career you are seeking. An example template would be: "In the military I did ABC which taught me JKL which I feel would help me in law school as the law school students I've talked to have stressed the importance of XYZ and I feel the lessons I learned are a good match for those skills." Obviously you will be a much better writer than I am. Just focus on that forward momentum.

As far as any question about age is concerned, I haven't encountered any overt age discrimination yet (nearing 40) but I imagine it exists. I will say that there are common things that come with age like extra weight, a lack of professional fashion sense, and a general air of overconfidence that, anecdotally, I do think are fitness disqualifiers at many firms even if they'd never say so out loud. If you go to a t14 and get good grades, though, you're going to be fine.
Thank you. I agree on focusing on the LSAT. I used the 7Sage calculator and put in credits and grades and it was a 3.87. I just put 3.8 in the OP to be more general. I think I should be above the medians for some T14 or just below in others. Do you think for Texas Big Law a T14 School like NU or chicago would be better than UT Austin?

Also, I was a recruiter before I became an officer. Would discussing the challenges of late nights sleeping at the office, learning a whole new job of sales and completely failing at the beginning and overcoming the failure be a good topic? I know focus on the LSAT first. I am just trying to brain storm topics while I am taking a break from studying for the LSAT.
sent you a pm.

why2020why

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Re: Veterans Thread

Post by why2020why » Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:09 pm

Can anyone speak on including an addendum that tells schools you will not need to be considered for any scholarships due to having full GI Bill benefits? Would this be helpful towards one's admissions odds? If so, how would one go about mentioning this?

I recall reading about someone discussing this tactic and how it helped their cycle in the past, but I'm not sure if it was in this thread or elsewhere.

AdieuCali

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Re: Veterans Thread

Post by AdieuCali » Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:50 pm

why2020why wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:09 pm
Can anyone speak on including an addendum that tells schools you will not need to be considered for any scholarships due to having full GI Bill benefits? Would this be helpful towards one's admissions odds? If so, how would one go about mentioning this?

I recall reading about someone discussing this tactic and how it helped their cycle in the past, but I'm not sure if it was in this thread or elsewhere.
I just sorta slipped a sentence in about leaving the service to use my post-9/11 and attend law school in my “Why X” addenda.

3 notes:
1) Technically, adcoms are supposed to make admissions decisions and financial decisions separately. But of course it’s a subtle point in your favor that they can charge you sticker and thus subsidize other students’ scholarships.
2) This is really only an advantage at public schools. Because the GIB caps tuition to private schools ($25k-ish) and then requires a 50/50 match with the school under YRP for the remainder, the school is effectively giving you a ~1/3 ride if you’re using GIB+YRP. I’m not sure it would hurt you, necessarily, but it won’t help.
3) It’s really only worth mentioning at “reach” schools. If MyLSN suggests that you’re likely to get admitted with a scholarship with your stats to a certain school, don’t mention the GIB. Your “safety” schools may be less generous knowing that you’re on a full ride + MHA. I know of at least one guy who got a scholly at UVA and then told them he was going to use his GIB. UVA then offered to convert his aid offer into a stipend (but he decided to go to H instead).

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AJordan

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Re: Veterans Thread

Post by AJordan » Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:22 am

AdieuCali wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 8:50 pm
why2020why wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:09 pm
Can anyone speak on including an addendum that tells schools you will not need to be considered for any scholarships due to having full GI Bill benefits? Would this be helpful towards one's admissions odds? If so, how would one go about mentioning this?

I recall reading about someone discussing this tactic and how it helped their cycle in the past, but I'm not sure if it was in this thread or elsewhere.
I just sorta slipped a sentence in about leaving the service to use my post-9/11 and attend law school in my “Why X” addenda.

3 notes:
1) Technically, adcoms are supposed to make admissions decisions and financial decisions separately. But of course it’s a subtle point in your favor that they can charge you sticker and thus subsidize other students’ scholarships.
2) This is really only an advantage at public schools. Because the GIB caps tuition to private schools ($25k-ish) and then requires a 50/50 match with the school under YRP for the remainder, the school is effectively giving you a ~1/3 ride if you’re using GIB+YRP. I’m not sure it would hurt you, necessarily, but it won’t help.
3) It’s really only worth mentioning at “reach” schools. If MyLSN suggests that you’re likely to get admitted with a scholarship with your stats to a certain school, don’t mention the GIB. Your “safety” schools may be less generous knowing that you’re on a full ride + MHA. I know of at least one guy who got a scholly at UVA and then told them he was going to use his GIB. UVA then offered to convert his aid offer into a stipend (but he decided to go to H instead).
Want to echo that this is almost the exact advice that I got from my admissions consultant a few years ago, I also slipped it in via other writing and had success at a reach school doing it. A+ advice here.

why2020why

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Re: Veterans Thread

Post by why2020why » Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:41 am

Sounds like a plan, thanks!

Also if anyone would be willing to give my personal statement a read over, please let me know! I'm trying to tie in my service to the statement but it's also light on the 'why law' aspect right now, if that is really needed. Thanks for any and all help.

AdieuCali

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Re: Veterans Thread

Post by AdieuCali » Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:42 pm

why2020why wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 9:41 am
Sounds like a plan, thanks!

Also if anyone would be willing to give my personal statement a read over, please let me know! I'm trying to tie in my service to the statement but it's also light on the 'why law' aspect right now, if that is really needed. Thanks for any and all help.
Sure- DM me

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MichiganHoosier

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Re: Veterans Thread

Post by MichiganHoosier » Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:01 pm

While I feel like one of the few military applicants on this site applying this cycle, I’m still going to put this out there for anyone lurking in the shadows. I’ve created an admissions spreadsheet for vets / those currently serving. This way we can track and get some quantifiable data on how veterans perform in law school admissions.

Feel free to PM me and I’ll get you added!

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why2020why

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Re: Veterans Thread

Post by why2020why » Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:41 pm

Any NYU applicants/alums know if they will reclassify scholarship aid as a living stipend like UVA does?

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Veterans Thread

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Wed Dec 02, 2020 11:36 pm

why2020why wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:41 pm
Any NYU applicants/alums know if they will reclassify scholarship aid as a living stipend like UVA does?
Private schools generally don't do this; they're already topping you up through the Yellow Ribbon.

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