Part-Time Georgetown Question

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SantaC

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Part-Time Georgetown Question

Post by SantaC » Sun May 10, 2020 7:01 am

Good morning!

I'm considering an application to Georgetown's evening law program while I'm active duty military.

Profile
Age: 29
UGPA: 3.78
LSAT: Pending LSAT FLEX results (was supposed to take in March, but COVID happened). PT scores have been 166-170.
I have a BS in Criminology/Justice Studies, an MS in Computer Science, and 2 graduate certificates in software engineering and cybersecurity.
I've been a member of the Intelligence Community for the past 8 years, and will separate from the military no later than 2022 due to a disability.

I'm interested in starting the part-time program while I'm still in and converting to full-time once I get out: my intent is to get as much done while I'm working so I can minimize the time I'll have to live on my savings while going to school.

Does anyone have experience with a plan/situation similar to mine, or know anyone who does? If so, what's your/their assessment of carrying it out and what do you think of my chances for admission?

Thank you!

QContinuum

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Re: Part-Time Georgetown Question

Post by QContinuum » Mon May 11, 2020 1:13 pm

Welcome to TLS and thank you for your service.

I'm not sure what your question is. Are you asking whether, if you enroll in Georgetown's part-time (4-year) J.D. program, you'd be able to finish up in less than 4 years? The answer's yes:
Georgetown Law wrote:The evening program is designed to allow students the flexibility to complete a J.D. in four, three-and-a-half, or three academic years.
See https://www.law.georgetown.edu/academics/jd-program/

(You'd probably not be able to finish in less than 3 years. IIRC, finishing a J.D. in less than 3 years may jeopardize eligibility to take the bar. The few schools that offer <3 year J.D. programs, I think, have some kind of special dispensation, and even then their graduates may not be eligible to take the bar in all 50 states.)

Is the question whether you'd get in? Depends on your LSAT score. Your GPA's above Georgetown's 50th GPA percentile for the part-time program (see https://www.law.georgetown.edu/wp-conte ... Report.pdf), so you'd also want an LSAT above Georgetown's 50th LSAT percentile to have a strong shot. That means a 166 or up. If you hit a 167+, you'll be at or above Georgetown's 75th LSAT percentile and should start to see some merit aid, with each additional point likely netting you more merit aid.

Now, whether it'd be a good idea for you to do 1L while still serving in the military - that's a different question. As you may know, 1L grades are absolutely critical - much more so than 2L/3L/4L grades. What are your goals out of law school? If your goals are "grades-sensitive" (e.g., BigLaw, DoJ Honors, federal clerkship, etc.) then you should seriously consider whether it might make sense to delay law school by a single year - starting in fall 2022 instead of fall 2021, as you're currently contemplating. That would allow you to fully focus on doing well in 1L. Further - and perhaps more importantly - that would also allow you to apply to the T13, and to other T20s beyond Georgetown. Especially in a (likely) weak economy, there is even more reason than usual to attend a T13 over Georgetown.

(On the other hand, if your goals are not grades-sensitive - say, your raison d'etre for going to law school is to work as a public defender in D.C./NOVA, or to land a specific, less-competitive federal position - say, a legal gig at the VA or Social Security, and not DoJ/DOT/SEC/Federal Reserve - then it may indeed make sense to attend Georgetown.)

SantaC

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Re: Part-Time Georgetown Question

Post by SantaC » Mon May 11, 2020 2:29 pm

Good afternoon, and thank you for your reply!

My question was primarily looking for the "what do you think of this plan" assessment that you had in the latter part of your reply, which I sincerely appreciate.

Post-degree, I'm not necessarily interested in Big Law, but I was hoping to do something related to security policy & privacy/civil liberty protections. If possible, I'd like to support policy decisions in the Law Enforcement or Intelligence Communities, considering my relevant experience in those fields. However, other positions related to privacy and civil liberty protections would also be very attractive.

Please forgive my ignorance on the subject, but is the perception difference between a T13 school and Georgetown or another T20 school that great?

The Lsat Airbender

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Re: Part-Time Georgetown Question

Post by The Lsat Airbender » Mon May 11, 2020 7:03 pm

SantaC wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 2:29 pm
Please forgive my ignorance on the subject, but is the perception difference between a T13 school and Georgetown or another T20 school that great?
"Georgetown is a good law school, but it admits too many students."

The school's reputation is comparable to the lower half of the T13, and it enjoys nationwide recognition, which is why it is still useful to talk about the T14 in some contexts. But GULC has a massive class (573 students, bigger even than Harvard) because Georgetown U uses its law school as a revenue stream to support other things. This dilutes the brand and means that, for any given student, outcomes are going to be appreciably worse than at, for instnace, Cornell/Duke/Northwestern (three schools whose combined class size is comparable to Georgetown's).
SantaC wrote:
Mon May 11, 2020 2:29 pm
Post-degree, I'm not necessarily interested in Big Law, but I was hoping to do something related to security policy & privacy/civil liberty protections. If possible, I'd like to support policy decisions in the Law Enforcement or Intelligence Communities, considering my relevant experience in those fields. However, other positions related to privacy and civil liberty protections would also be very attractive.
Policy-advisory positions are extremely thin on the ground. They exist, at think tanks and their ilk, and its DC connections mean that Georgetown is not a completely terrible for targeting them, but you could do literally everything right (i.e., get a PhD and then go to Yale Law) and still miss out on this kind of thing. You should be comfortable with a career that actually involves practicing law before you start school.

If you want to have even the slightest say in setting policy then you need to run for Congress or get into senior management at a federal agency, and a law degree won't help much with either.

SantaC

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Re: Part-Time Georgetown Question

Post by SantaC » Mon May 11, 2020 9:33 pm

Good evening and thank you for your reply!

I wasn't aware of the size discrepancy, thank you for that insight and potential point of concern.

Excellent points about realistic goals, and I'm certainly not looking to be a Congressman. I think I'd be happy practicing law in most specialties, but I'm definitely most interested in civil liberties and privacy & will try for those!

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