LEO to Law School

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
Post Reply
Kem62797

New
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:33 am

LEO to Law School

Post by Kem62797 » Tue Jun 15, 2021 5:22 pm

Long time lurker of this website and I wanted to gain some insight regarding my intentions to apply during this upcoming cycle. Unfortunately, relocation is questionable at this moment and so I have preliminarily narrowed my focus towards Nashville programs, such as Vanderbilt and Belmont, where I would likely try to ED for Vanderbilt. There have been some preliminary discussions with my wife about moving for law school, so I do intend to still apply to plenty of other schools for regular admissions. However, I do not know if my package is reasonable for a Vanderbilt ED, or other T14/T20 regular admissions.

Here is a quick breakdown of my stats/background:
-UGPA: 3.31 – Health Sciences (Kinesiology) – Public University
Minor downward trend- I was working two different jobs while volunteering as a wildland firefighter
for a major city fire department. I successfully paid my way through college and left with no student
loans.
-Practice LSATs: Averaging Mid 160’s from part-time self-study, but I will be doing a course with full-time
studying for 3+ months to break 170 by the October test.
-URM – Puerto Rican (I believe this counts, please inform me if that’s not the case)
-Non-traditional – Approximately 7-years of law enforcement experience for a big city department.
-Graduate GPA: 3.86 – Master’s Degree in Public Administration – Public University
-Peer-Reviewed Research: Research on hiring standards for American police departments and how it negatively impacts the recruitment of underrepresented minorities and female officers.

I look forward to any critical feedback you can provide for my goals of attending Vanderbilt (ED) or another top-tier school.

crazywafflez

Bronze
Posts: 402
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:02 pm

Re: LEO to Law School

Post by crazywafflez » Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:47 am

Hey,
As a fellow Tennessean: Nashville market is tough to crack, does not pay well compared to CoL and is super insular. Are you from the state/went to high school in the area (these are the sort of connections you'll need coming out of Belmont- which I'd only recommend on a complete fullride- and you'll need good to great grades at law school as well)? Otherwise, you'll really need Vandy. Moreover, if you ever plan to leave Nashville, the Belmont name/connections will not carry- not even to Memphis or Knoxville.
Your grad school GPA won't count for anything, sadly. Your URM status will help you though. Your UGPA is fairly low, so you'll really need to focus and bring up that LSAT. You are going to need to get as close to that 170 mark as possible to get in, and I'm not sure you'll get a scholarship. I'd apply broadly (message admissions places and ask for a waiver- tell them you are a URM with this lsat score and they'll give you one- I did this and it worked for me at least) for scholly negotiations. I'd really consider trying to leave Nashville, but if you can't, Vandy is a great school and can certainly get you anywhere in the South or NYC.
Normally, I do not advise paying sticker to a school, but if you are living for free with your working partner, it may be worth it to go to Vanderbilt if you cannot leave the city- even over a fullride at Belmont. Hopefully, you'll do well enough on the LSAT to not have to worry about it.
My guess is with something like a 3.3 and 168 LSAT score as a URM you'll get some bites in the lower T14 and T20 range- just is a crapshoot sometimes, as are scholarships for URMs. I'd just toss an application to every T14 from CCN on down, Vandy, WashU, and Belmont and see where the chips fall.

User avatar
cavalier1138

Moderator
Posts: 7792
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: LEO to Law School

Post by cavalier1138 » Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:53 am

No one can really assess your chances without an LSAT score, but to respond generally to your question about ED: Don't. There is no value in ED'ing to a school unless they offer a guaranteed scholarship with admission.

I'd also add that Belmont is going to generally be a bad choice for most career goals. So what are you hoping to do with your degree?

Kem62797

New
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:33 am

Re: LEO to Law School

Post by Kem62797 » Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:14 am

crazywafflez,

Thanks for the detailed response. I did not grow up in the Nashville area and I am actually a recent transplant, so my connections/network in the area is definitely limited. I feel like you put some reality into the situation that moving would likely be a necessity for this endeavor. As for the graduate GPA, would that be more examined as an EC/soft or is it pretty irrelevant for the admissions process?



cavalier1138,

I definitely understand the limitations of assessment without a formal LSAT score. The Vanderbilt ED does provide a minimum 105k (35k/year) scholarship for ED admissions, but I was more hoping it would help negate my lower UGPA. I intend to go into the public sector, preferably in a prosecutor role. I do hope to utilize my law enforcement experience/education in some form if possible.

User avatar
cavalier1138

Moderator
Posts: 7792
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2016 8:01 pm

Re: LEO to Law School

Post by cavalier1138 » Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:41 am

Kem62797 wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:14 am
The Vanderbilt ED does provide a minimum 105k (35k/year) scholarship for ED admissions, but I was more hoping it would help negate my lower UGPA.
I think it's unlikely to have that effect. When ED comes with a guaranteed scholarship, they're usually only going to offer it to applicants who would already have received that same scholarship. For example, Northwestern offers a close-to-full scholarship for ED, and everything we know about that program suggests that you have to have numbers close to or above both 75ths to be in the running. There's no motive for these schools to be giving money away to someone who wouldn't qualify for it normally.

crazywafflez

Bronze
Posts: 402
Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:02 pm

Re: LEO to Law School

Post by crazywafflez » Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:50 pm

Kem62797 wrote:
Wed Jun 16, 2021 10:14 am
crazywafflez,

Thanks for the detailed response. I did not grow up in the Nashville area and I am actually a recent transplant, so my connections/network in the area is definitely limited. I feel like you put some reality into the situation that moving would likely be a necessity for this endeavor. As for the graduate GPA, would that be more examined as an EC/soft or is it pretty irrelevant for the admissions process?



I'm not qualified to really say, but my gut is it is a low level soft for most T14-T1 schools. I attended a T1 myself, and I'd say about a quarter of the students had a graduate degree of some kind or another. A number of them were also authors, reporters, teachers, military officers, police officers, paralegals, hotel management, grocery store clerk, and think we had 2 Fulbright, and a few other random gigs tossed in, as well as about 1/5 or so K-JD. No firefighters though, so that's neat. Don't worry too much about your softs nor your GPA (what's done is done)- study hard and kill the LSAT. Breaking a 170 is fantastic, and honestly, while I'd fully suggest portability and applying widely and considering leaving Nashville- if you could acquire a fullride to Vandy I'd pull the trigger unless you are looking at HYS (or a decent scholly to other T14s). But you'll need to just take the LSAT and see how you do- once you get your score I think we can help you out more.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


Post Reply

Return to “Law School Admissions Forum”