176/3.5. Applying four years after graduating, strong work experience (I think?)

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Amblingalong

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176/3.5. Applying four years after graduating, strong work experience (I think?)

Post by Amblingalong » Sat Oct 31, 2015 12:04 am

Key facts:
  • I graduated in 2013 from the University of Michigan with mediocre grades - 3.5 GPA (LSAC) and 3.9 in my major (Public Policy)
  • I just got my LSAT score of 176
  • I plan on applying a year from now, so I'd be entering law school in September 2017; however I'd also consider applying now and deferring a year (this is one thing I was hoping to get advice on)
  • I've spent the last four years running political campaigns, including a successful and highly competitive Congressional race that drew national attention; I'm not sure how much this matters
  • I also am a board member of a midsize nonprofit that lobbies on voter rights issues; my 'narrative' for why I want to attend law school will be largely centered on voting rights (is this helpful? A bad idea?)
  • I'm not sure about recommendations; I can absolutely get strong professional references, including officials I've elected and who I have personal relationships with, but I'm honestly not sure my professors would remember me. Given the timeframe, what's the right goal here?
Frankly I don't know where to start; I'd like to attend the best law school I can get into, but I have no idea what that is. Looking at LSN it appears NYU/Georgetown/Michigan are all decently solid, but my GPA is way too low for Harvard, UChicago, Stanford, Columbia, or Yale. How much does my work experience matter? Should I even bother applying?

Thanks for the help!

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AnMzungu

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Re: 176/3.5. Applying four years after graduating, strong work experience (I think?)

Post by AnMzungu » Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:36 am

I'd be surprised if you didn't get into Columbia. No one cares about your softs though.

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Stardust84

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Re: 176/3.5. Applying four years after graduating, strong work experience (I think?)

Post by Stardust84 » Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:21 am

You are a bit above Columbia's 75% percentile lsat, and in the 25% GPA, its not even much of a reach. No need to apply now and take a deferment, better to apply next year earlier in the cycle and you will have better chances, granted its not late now, but presumably you haven't yet obtained your letters of recommendation or written your personal statement yet. The softs in your application are of marginal importance, more helpful than the work experience itself is that you have been doing it now 4 years removed from undergrad and can better explain away your "medicore" (relatively speaking) gpa.

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togoornottogo

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Re: 176/3.5. Applying four years after graduating, strong work experience (I think?)

Post by togoornottogo » Sat Oct 31, 2015 7:22 am

Don't write off Columbia and Harvard. Yeah GPA is a problem but there are a few spots on the mylsn.info graphs showing people getting in with +75% percentile LSAt and lower GPA than yours. I just got a fee waiver for Columbia and I have slightly worse numbers than yours so I'm sure you could get one too - it's certainly worth a shot.

Amblingalong

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Re: 176/3.5. Applying four years after graduating, strong work experience (I think?)

Post by Amblingalong » Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:52 am

Great, thanks for the tips. Also good to know my softs don't enhance my application much- figuring out exactly what counts as impressive softs has been difficult, short of winning a Pulitzer (and obviously I know LSAT/GPA come before everything else).

One other quick question- four years out, is it better to have glowing recommendations from professional contacts, or likely anemic recommendations from college professors who probably barely remember you at best?

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haus

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Re: 176/3.5. Applying four years after graduating, strong work experience (I think?)

Post by haus » Sat Oct 31, 2015 8:59 am

Amblingalong wrote:Great, thanks for the tips. Also good to know my softs don't enhance my application much- figuring out exactly what counts as impressive softs has been difficult, short of winning a Pulitzer (and obviously I know LSAT/GPA come before everything else).

One other quick question- four years out, is it better to have glowing recommendations from professional contacts, or likely anemic recommendations from college professors who probably barely remember you at best?
I beleive a similar question came up in the Spivey thread, IIRC, it was suggested to acquire LoRs from work, but strongly encouraged at least one academic LoR.

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/v ... 3&t=197451

Amblingalong

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Re: 176/3.5. Applying four years after graduating, strong work experience (I think?)

Post by Amblingalong » Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:21 am

Wow, awesome resource there- thanks! That knocked out like 80% of my questions.

norkanite

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Re: 176/3.5. Applying four years after graduating, strong work experience (I think?)

Post by norkanite » Mon Nov 09, 2015 4:56 pm

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Last edited by norkanite on Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

SplitMyPants

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Re: 176/3.5. Applying four years after graduating, strong work experience (I think?)

Post by SplitMyPants » Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:19 pm

I would apply broadly and blanket the T14 because your aid packages will be unpredictable. Definitely apply to Cornell to cop that $$$. They gave me big money with similar numbers, and I used it to negotiate with lower T14. They didn't give me a fee waiver, but per TLS, I knew they were generous. They may try and string you along to test your interest (I applied mid November, they reached out to me for an interview in mid January, and it was scheduled for mid March), but follow through with it if lower T14 w/ $$$ becomes your goal.

Also, I'd say you have pretty good shot at getting at least a JS1. You will be a more important asset to maintaining their 75th than elsewhere. It's hard to say beyond that, though. I got a JS1 and was immediately in the next round of dings, without passing WL or collecting $200...

If you do get HLS, do note that your cost situation may be positively impacted by not being K-JD.

Traynor Brah

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Re: 176/3.5. Applying four years after graduating, strong work experience (I think?)

Post by Traynor Brah » Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:52 pm

Blanket the T14 minus YS. You'll get plenty of nice options. Attending the "best" school you can get into, for that purpose alone, is generally a poor idea. That generally means lots and lots of unnecessary debt to get pretty much the same outcome. After you get all of your scholarship offers, choose the place that provides the best nexus of employment prospects, low cost of attendance, and placement power in your preferred region. We can help you with that come March (of whichever cycle you decide to apply in).

Do not apply this year simply to defer for the following year. There is no advantage to that and it can disadvantage you substantially.

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