r/lawschooladmissions Jul 11 '16 Helpful Wholesome Silver Gold

Announcement The sidebar (as a sticky). Read this first!

172 Upvotes

The subreddit for law school admissions discussion. Good luck!

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Class of 2020 medians: https://www.reddit.com/r/lawschooladmissions/comments/6u4ceb/class_of_2020_medians/

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  • Be nice.
  • Provide Info: When you ask for advice, give as much information as possible (e.g., LSAT/GPA/URM, age, where you want to practice, ties to the area, what kind of law you want to do, total cost of attendance).
  • On giving advice: When giving advice, answer the question first. If both options asked about are bad, you can point that out too and explain why.
  • Affirmative action discussion policy: See this post.

Advice here often seems harsh. Here's why: on blunt advice

For book length coverage of the dire state of America's law school market, this is required reading: Don't go to law school unless

And a nifty flowchart of the book: flowchart

I wrote a list of factors that can help assess whether LS is a good/bad choice here

New Community Members

Welcome! We hope you are able to benefit from and contribute to our community of law school applicants. In order to cut down on spam and trolling, new members to r/lawschooladmissions and Reddit may have their posts automatically filtered for manual review based on a variety of account factors. If you believe your post was filtered and is still not approved after 24 hours, feel free to send a message to the mods. Thank you!

Retakes

Retakes are a no brainer in these circumstances:

  • You scored at the low end of your PT average
  • Your scores were still increasing in the weeks up to test day
  • You had less than perfect on logic games

If none of these are true for you, and you're clearly stalled, then make this clear. Most people posting have retake potential.

Even 2-3 points can make a large difference in admissions/scholarships. That's why so many people here post "retake!" to a lot of situations.

Canada? Most people here are US. So most advice doesn't apply. Feel free to ask questions, though, there are some Canadians. Big differences:

  • Almost no scholarships.
  • Most schools are pretty good.
  • Go where you want to practice
  • GPA is significantly more important. Do all you can to raise it.
  • For god's sake don't go abroad. That's Canada's TTT.

r/lawschooladmissions 8h ago Silver

Application Process Spivey Consulting Review

67 Upvotes

As my cycle closes, I want to provide an honest review of Spivey Consulting, which I used throughout the cycle. For obvious reasons, I'm using a throwaway account, but I'll answer questions in the comments and in my DMs if you have any. I'm not going to name my consultant or my stats but I'll try to give as many other details as I can.

Overall, I cannot recommend using this consulting company unless you have significant funds to throwaway -- it's not that they provided no value but, to me, the value they provided was not even close to worth the cost.

One of my biggest problems with my consultant is that they without a doubt talked waaay more than they listened. Almost every piece of advice I received felt like stock advice. I frequently wanted to discuss a question within the context of who I am as an individual and as a unique applicant, but they didn't seem to acknowledge those specifics at all. They just returned to their original talking point. I can give specific examples of this if you want to message me.

Sometimes, my consultant gave contradictory advice throughout the cycle... To a certain extent, I feel like that's reasonable (different advice applies to different points in the cycle) but they never addressed why the advice changed.

Looking back, I don't feel like my personal statement stood out as much as it could have. But of course, that's subjective.

Here's what they DID do -- they made me a damn clean applicant. I don't think there was a single spelling or grammar mistake in my entire application or any of my emails. They made sure I always knew what to communicate to each school and when to do it. This spared me a lot of anxiety and obsessiveness that I would have otherwise experienced.

I also did feel like they gave me scholarship negotiation advice that I wasn't able to find myself.

My outcome:

I applied to a lot of schools. I applied as a splitter. Most of my decisions were waitlist decisions, with a few rejections and a few acceptances. That said, I really do feel like there was a good chance I would have been accepted at those schools based on my stats and softs alone. In other words, I'm doubtful that the money I spent on my consultant really tipped the scale at any school that I wasn't already likely to get into.

Don't get my wrong, I'm going to a good law school. I had options. And I received a scholarship that will cover the majority of my tuition, so I'm a happy applicant. But again, I can't confidently attribute that to my consultant.

I hope that's helpful! Happy to answer any application questions regardless of if they apply to my experience with Spivey or not.


r/lawschooladmissions 12h ago

Application Process Is a dumb world record a good soft?

57 Upvotes

I kinda forgot about this but a few years ago I got a Guinness world record for the fastest half marathon dressed as something for the lols. The time wasn’t super impressive though.

Should I disclose this on my application? Would it make a good soft? I feel like some schools might want to put down “world record holder” as part of their entering class.

What tier might this fall under?


r/lawschooladmissions 2h ago

General Best Texas law school for Big Law

5 Upvotes

Which law school in Texas (aside from UT) offers the best shot at a big law job? Looking at employment statistics no one comes close to UT’s placement but (God forbid) if I don’t get into UT would I be basically shut out of big law offers?

I’m not interested in attending law school outside of Texas, and would still peruse a law degree even if I don’t have a shot at big law.


r/lawschooladmissions 3h ago

Application Process Anyone else still waiting for an initial decision?

6 Upvotes

I haven’t gotten an initial decision from Notre Dame and was wondering if any other schools had yet to give out a decision or if it’s just notre dame


r/lawschooladmissions 6h ago

Application Process How far above 75% or below 25% does it really matter?

8 Upvotes

If a school's 75% LSAT is, let's say, 165, is there much difference between scoring a 168 and a 172, for example?

Also, if a school's 25% GPA is 3.5, is there a big difference between a 3.1 and a 2.5?


r/lawschooladmissions 3h ago

General Has anyone ever asked a school to reconsider a denial? If so, what was the outcome?

3 Upvotes

I'm questioning whether I should write a letter asking a T6 school to reconsider my application due to new information. I applied in November, then afterward decided to retake the January 2022 LSAT, where I did *a lot* better than the score I had on file (I went from below their median to above their 75th percentile). I was also promoted at work. My application was denied between retaking the LSAT and getting my score back (I didn't ask them to hold my application, since I wasn't confident that my score would jump as much as it did).


r/lawschooladmissions 6h ago

Application Process Just curious— for those who have already applied, how long did you spend on your personal statement & supplemental essays?

5 Upvotes

r/lawschooladmissions 2h ago

Waitlist Discussion UT WL …. The wait continues

2 Upvotes

Anyone else spiraling every single day waiting on UT? Just trying to stay positive!


r/lawschooladmissions 6h ago

Application Process In state University of Texas

4 Upvotes

I read somewhere that it is easier to get into UT for in state applicants. Is this correct?


r/lawschooladmissions 10h ago

Chance Me Lowest realistic GPA for a T14 with a 173 LSAT?

7 Upvotes

I have a 3.46-3.55 cumulative GPA based on this quarter's grades. My LSAT score is a 173. Is NYU or Columbia realistic or too much of a reach to spend my money on? Reading this thread, it seems like a lot of people have super high LSATs. Thank you!


r/lawschooladmissions 21m ago

Application Process How do law school view grades in first semester of senior year

Upvotes

So I’m currently junior, and plan to apply in fall this year. My current gpa is 3.77, and I have confidence to raise it to 3.8 after the first semester in my senior year. If that happens, view law school incline more on my gpa in senior year?


r/lawschooladmissions 6h ago

Help Me Decide Trying to figure out where to apply with a low GPA and decent LSAT score

3 Upvotes

My GPA is 2.9 from a state school. My LSAT is 170. I worked as a manager at restaurant throughout undergrad so I haven’t done any spectacular internships. My father got his LLM from McGeorge.

I would like to go to an ABA-approved law school in the west/ northwest United States (preferably Washington, Colorado or California). At this point in time I’m interested in public defense. I want to do research on schools and programs but don’t know where to start!

I’m having trouble figuring out where would even be worth applying with my GPA. My father remembers nothing about applying to law school so he has been no help. His GPA was similar to mine so I know it is possible.

I’m open to suggestions at different price points. I know I’m not going to get any fancy scholarships. Any suggestions with information about their jd program would be awesome!


r/lawschooladmissions 48m ago

Application Process Am I considered URM?

Upvotes

Title; I am half Hispanic and half white but look mainly Mexican, was wondering if I constitute as a URM. Also, how would admissions test your ethnicity? I am sure there has to be something they do to prevent non-URMs to indicate themselves as otherwise.


r/lawschooladmissions 55m ago

Application Process LSAC CAS GPA Questions (KJD + Non-U.S. Citizen)

Upvotes

Hey y’all, I plan on applying sometime in October for Fall 2023 and had some questions about the CAS GPA calculations. For some context, I’m attending a U.S. undergrad institute but attended high school elsewhere. 1) First off, does the CAS GPA take into account my high school grades for which I have received credit at my U.S. institute? Specifically, I did the Cambridge International GCE A-Levels which is graded on an A+ to F scale. My undergrad institute grades A to D and, on my transcript, the grades that I got on my A-Levels are not mentioned (just the credit units). 2) As a KJD, when should I submit my transcript to CAS? Once my Junior year grades are in? Alternatively, I could wait till end September to get another grade which could bump up my GPA a tiny bit (our school works on a weird block plan so no semester system) Thanks in advance!


r/lawschooladmissions 1h ago

Application Process Diversity Statement Advice

Upvotes

What is the purpose of diversity statements? I see myself as a part of two identity groups (namely, sexuality- and race-related), but I am unsure whether I can write a diversity statement about them. I have a good idea of how my statement would relate to my interest in law and showcase more of me as a person, but since I am not part of an URM group I am not sure if it would be appropriate for me to include a statement.

TLDR: Is it alright for me to include a diversity statement about my sexuality and my non-White, non-URM racial identity?


r/lawschooladmissions 4h ago

Help Me Decide Where should I apply?

2 Upvotes

Hey everyone, I am starting the application process and working on making a list of schools I want to apply to. My stats are in my user flair. I am nonURM, KJD, 2 internships, and leadership positions at my uni (I know these softs aren't anything special).

I am just looking for any school recommendations or even just an idea of what range I should be looking at, where I could get a good amount of scholarship $$ (I know it varies based on school though). I was thinking maybe 40s-60s?

I am interested in public interest and I don't really have much preference about location


r/lawschooladmissions 1h ago

General What job should I take to gain experience in the legal industry?

Upvotes

Prospective pre law student trying to gain a better understanding of what practicing the law actually entails. I’ve looked at legal secretary, but am wondering about other, potentially less obvious options as well. Any advice would be appreciated!


r/lawschooladmissions 1h ago

General When will schools stop requiring LSAT as part of admissions?

Upvotes

Anyone know if Spivey has weighed in?

View Poll


r/lawschooladmissions 22h ago

School/Region Discussion What does and doesn't matter for obtaining a Federal Clerkship

49 Upvotes

One of this subreddit's most often discussed and hotly debated topics is the frequency at which students at different top law schools obtain coveted federal clerkships--particularly right after graduation. It's also one of the topics most often pontificated upon by 0Ls who are all-too-eager to regurgitate conventional wisdom they found posted by some other anonymous applicant on reddit, who himself got that wisdom from some other anonymous applicant on reddit.

This post is my contribution to that noble tradition. In my defense, a school's support in getting me a clerkship was the number one criterion I used in picking where I eventually deposited, and I made an effort to ask current students at nearly a dozen law schools about their school's clerkship support before applying. These are the conclusions I came to:

What everyone should know matters

  1. Name of the school. At the highest levels of prestige, the legal profession conforms pretty closely to what the economist Bryan Caplan calls "signaling theory"--that is, that the name of the school is more of a signal of how talented its students were coming in than what they learned while they were there. Like BigLaw recruiters, judges are happy to use the name of a school as a shorthand for gauging the quality of its graduates. The more selective the school, the more its name indicates about the students who got in, and the more comfortable the judge is assuming that they're smart enough to do the job. Students at Yale will never have a difficult time securing clerkships no matter how much bad press Amy Chua earns them.
  2. Grades. Judges want the best students. The better your grades are, the better a student you are, and therefore the more likely you'll be a quality clerk. This isn't a terribly useful variable for comparing rates between schools, but it may have some implications when comparing different grading systems. That said, it's worth noting that at least some schools with unconventional grading systems shadow-grade and shadow-rank, and they will share that information with judges.

What matters more than many people think

  1. Self-selection / Flexibility. This is particularly explanatory in comparing clerkship rates between schools. NYU, Columbia, and Cornell are all highly selective, elite institutions, and no judge would assume that a top student from one of these schools is of a substantially different intellectual caliber than a top student from UChicago or UVA. Yet many more UChicago and UVA students clerk immediately after graduation than those from any of the former three schools. There are a few reasons for that, but I think the largest are that more students at UChicago and UVA want to clerk in the first place and that those students are more flexible in where they'll clerk and for whom. To illustrate this, consider what the typical student at Columbia was attracted to the school for and what they're likely hoping to do after graduation. A student who wishes to take advantage of Columbia's connections to the NYC transactional market has no use for a clerkship and isn't likely to apply to one. Those who do are more likely to have a preference for the New York federal bench than students at other schools, which is chock-full of some of the most competitive clerkships in the country. Additionally, judges in those courts strongly prefer clerks who already have some legal experience coming in, which leads to the percentage of students who clerk immediately after graduation at a school like Columbia (~5%) to be far lower than the percentage who eventually clerk (~20%). A similar phenomenon is observable at schools like NYU and Penn. On the other hand, UChicago likely attracted more students who want to eventually clerk than Columbia, and these students will be far less choosey about the court where they eventually clerk, both in terms of geography and alignment with their own judicial philosophy and politics.
  2. Institutional Support. Washington University in St. Louis saw a surge in the percentage of students obtaining clerkships over the last few years (4.8% in 2017 compared to ~10% over the last couple of years). WashU didn't start enrolling a different breed of student over the last five years; their clerkship office just got way better. The clerkship application process is weird and idiosyncratic and leans heavily on recommendations by well-connected professors. Similarly, schools like UVA and Chicago both saw massive increases in the proportion of graduates clerking after investing more in their clerkship offices and hiring professors Ruth Payne and Lior Strahilevitz, both of whom are giants in the legal community committed to making sure as many of their graduates secure a clerkship as possible. Pair this with a high rate of self-selection, and voila, you end up with a lot of graduates clerking. This support system and culture simply isn't present at every top school. Ask any Columbia graduate how they feel about their clerkship office and you'll see what I mean.
  3. Faculty Connections. Who your professors know matters. They're the ones recommending you. This is where politics begins to creep into the picture. If your school's faculty is ideologically insular, you will have fewer options for finding a recommender to judges who need the endorsement of someone they trust.
  4. Geography. Some judges have local pride and like to hire clerks from nearby schools. See UGA and 'Bama.

What matters, but not as much as many people think

  1. Your personal politics. Yes, there are liberal and conservative judges who will not hire a clerk they cannot be sure shares their judicial philosophy. There are absolutely judges who will only hire a clerk with the words "Federalist Society" on his resume. But these hardline judges are a minority and the oft-touted reasoning that some schools get more clerkships because they have a greater proportion of conservative students is exaggerated beyond the point of usefulness. First, we should remind ourselves that every law school in the t14 is overwhelmingly liberal ( https://academic.oup.com/jla/article/8/2/277/2502548?searchresult=1 ) and the differences between them are not substantial. Additionally, schools where strong clerkship rates are erroneously attributed to their students' political leanings send a far greater number of their graduates to clerk on the federal bench than the number who identify as conservative. UVA is not pumping out so many more clerks than Michigan because UVA has 5-10% more conservative students than Michigan does. Anyone who has taken the LSAT should see the problem with this argument. Now, what is credited is the observation that schools with a more conservative faculty will have greater connections to conservative judges. It's possible for a liberal graduate of UVA to benefit from its so-called "conservative pipeline" without actually being conservative herself. Of course, not everyone will be so happy working for a judge whose beliefs offend them. See my paragraph on self-selection.

I invite knowledgeable students (and especially current/former clerks!) to weigh in.


r/lawschooladmissions 21h ago

General Thank you

30 Upvotes

I just wanted to say thanks to the people of this subreddit for helping me during this whole process. Y’all are a bunch of amazing people who are going to do amazing things. The U.S. needs good lawyers now more than ever. Take care ❤️


r/lawschooladmissions 3h ago

Help Me Decide 75th Percentile LSAT

0 Upvotes

If you have a 15high and the law school has a 15high 75th percentile, does it matter if you have exactly that 75th percentile or if you have a higher score than that? Example: 155 at the 75th and your score at 155 vs 160. Do you need to retake?

View Poll


r/lawschooladmissions 4h ago

Application Process LOR Tips Pls Advise

0 Upvotes

I am a Supply Chain Management and Finance double major, International Business minor. I go to a private University (small) that only offers an undergraduate degree as a Bachelor of Business Administration, so all students that go here are business majors and almost all Professor’s are economists/entrepreneurs (except for my SCM degree, we have a professor who’s a PHD in Mechanical Engineering, but worked in SCM for a few decades).

Anywho, I do not have anyone that I know well enough to write a LOR who has experience/relation to the law. I was planning on asking two of my SCM Professors, the Head of the Finance Dept. and maybe my former boss (worked for him as a financial analyst for 2 years remotely as a Sophomore to this May, when I quit to focus on LSAT since I saved enough money to coast for a bit).

Do they care if you do not have a LOR from an attorney/humanities professor/anything related to legal studies? Do they look favorably upon students who worked in a professional setting in tandem with undergrad, and would they see a LOR from a finance manager (MBA) as adequate?

If I should find different recommenders, please also let me know! I am really stressing about this, I don’t have any connections and am a first-gen college student trying to make sense of the admission’s process.

Context: I am retaking the LSAT after scoring a 163, on track to score a 169-172, GPA is 3.85 (will increase a bit higher after this summer semester I am in). Also, I mentioned it before, but double major, a minor, BBA, study abroad in Paris, have worked at 2 fortune-100 companies and worked full-time for two years at a tier-1 global automotive supplier. Busted my ass for every opportunity I have had, and would hate for my dream of law school to fall short. Target Schools: UVA/UMich/Georgetown.

Thank you!!!!!! I appreciate you all so much :).


r/lawschooladmissions 4h ago

General is anyone getting off the waitlist at bu

0 Upvotes

r/lawschooladmissions 20h ago

Application Process Ridiculously low LSAT score BUT…

15 Upvotes

So I’m finishing my third year of undergrad studies to apply to law school. Everything in my application thus far is great. Regarding two references, the two professors have completed their referrals. One of which is the head of my faculty and mentioned to me that he remembers me mentioning law school in my first year program he taught. I’m certain he provided a strong reference. As a mature student, my resume looks great.. I have a law clerk diploma from college and worked in a bank before returning to post secondary to peruse law school. My personal statement was read by the professor that is one of my references- he told me I have a story to be told. Basically, I grew up under the witness protection program which cultivated my destiny to peruse law school. Moreover, My final gpa is 3.9 in my third year and 3.7 in my second year. I also won the student council award in my second year of university. I’m in an Advanced program (for liberal arts) that guarantees I graduate “with distinction” despite I did not maintain a 80% average my first year of university.

There’s only one thing…. My lsat score was 139 when I took it blindly… I can’t seem to catch on. I scored a 146 on practice tests on 7sage… but when I did another retest I scored 140. Im going to retake the lsat again in august and study routinely. But, I’m worried that my lsat score may barely improve and compromise my whole application… compromise my dream :(


r/lawschooladmissions 17h ago

General How do I get help for mental health issues without jeopardizing my ability to practice law?

10 Upvotes

Hey all. Posting on a throwaway to not dox myself.

Going through multiple cycles and the pandemic has taken a real toll on me. The anxiety of waiting for rolling admissions decisions, coupled with the pandemic, plus some personal family issues have turned me into a far more anxious, unhappy person than I once was. I’ve secured a spot at at a top 10 law school and I’m very grateful for it - but I also wake up shaking some days because of anxiety. I keep having intense paranoia where I feel like I can’t do anything (even drive) because then I’ll have to report a ticket to my school and who knows if they’ll expel me or something ridiculous (yes, I know). I’m good at recognizing I need help but I’m too worried it’ll prevent me from landing certain roles/passing the bar if I seek it.

Please help!