Applying to UVA & Penn Law

Admissions strategy and application process for URM applicants.
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tamoki
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Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:04 am

Applying to UVA & Penn Law

Post by tamoki » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:14 am

Hi there,
Hope you all are well and happy new year! I'm a female URM here wondering if someone can help me decide whether applying early with a lower 150 LSAT score from 5 years ago is wiser than retaking the LSAT on the last acceptable date in February to achieve a higher score. UVA and Penn Law have both notified me that they would accept either score but I am still unsure about applying later in the cycle even if I have a higher score. Being a DMV native, UVA Law is my top choice but if anyone recommends that I head back to Philly because Penn is ranked one spot higher than UVA, I'll happily consider moving.

DISCLAIMER: Here's a bit about my background that may help. I graduated from Penn undergrad in 2012, completed the Teach For America corps in Detroit, MI and worked on TFA staff for a couple of years after that. I then went through the law school application process during 2015 for the first time and got the 150 on the LSAT that same year. On a personal note, I was illegally placed on medication that prevented me from doing my best on the test. Despite this, I got a full ride to Detroit Mercy's law school.I unfortunately dropped out and had to flee Michigan because I was in an abusive relationship. After that, I lucklily began my Master's at GW in International Education and worked in Paris briefly as a UNESCO fellow. I graduated in May 2019 but am waiting for my degree to be conferred because I worked on my thesis after graduating. GPA at Penn was 3.38 and at GW is 3.85. Please share any helpful advice and thanks in advance :)

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pancakes3
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Re: Applying to UVA & Penn Law

Post by pancakes3 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:19 am

1) What are your career goals?
2) How long were you at Detroit Mercy before dropping out/are you sure you can reapply?
3) You already admitted that you don't have the best score you have, so why not get the best score you can, even if it means sitting out a cycle?

tamoki
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Re: Applying to UVA & Penn Law

Post by tamoki » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:36 am

pancakes3 wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:19 am
1) What are your career goals?
2) How long were you at Detroit Mercy before dropping out/are you sure you can reapply?
3) You already admitted that you don't have the best score you have, so why not get the best score you can, even if it means sitting out a cycle?
Thanks so much for your quick reply!
1) I want to practice international dispute settlement with the United Nations (or with UNESCO); planning to complete the LLM during my 3rd year in France if I go to either UVA or Penn (both schools have that option as well as Georgetown)
2) I was at UDM for only two months. I think I can reapply because I withdrew over 3 years ago and received a fee waiver to retake the LSAT from LSAC.
3) I think that makes a lot of sense-- UVA Law admissions counselor mentioned that I can go ahead and submit my application now but email the office to let them know I am registered for the February LSAT and will need my admissions decision held until that score comes.

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pancakes3
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Re: Applying to UVA & Penn Law

Post by pancakes3 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:49 am

Those are pretty lofty goals. Like, unrealistically lofty. Are you ok with a more typical outcome? It'd be an enormous waste of time, money, and effort if you're not.

Ok, withdrawing before grades came out probably makes you ok to reapply as a 1L.

Scoring your best on the LSAT is more than "makes a lot of sense" - it's the only way to proceed. I wouldn't put too much stock in an adcomm giving you the green light to apply. They're going to fill their class as they see fit, regardless of what you plan on doing.

3.3x/150 flat doesn't make you competitive for UVa/Penn even as a URM. you need to do better on the LSAT - by a lot. that should be your focus.

tamoki
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Re: Applying to UVA & Penn Law

Post by tamoki » Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:30 am

Gotcha! A more typical outcome would be okay with me-- I'll go ahead and aim for a 170+ on the February LSAT. I think I can make it happen bc due to my previous experience and with supporting documentation, I'm eligible for accommodations (usually time + a half for the test). Career wise, the UNESCO fellowship sets me up pretty well for the dispute settlement role (former colleague in France is currently practicing that type of law). Do you happen to know any more about the LLM and whether or not that's something I should bother pursuing at all? Thanks again for your help!

tamoki
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Joined: Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:04 am

Re: Applying to UVA & Penn Law

Post by tamoki » Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:32 am

pancakes3 wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:49 am
Those are pretty lofty goals. Like, unrealistically lofty. Are you ok with a more typical outcome? It'd be an enormous waste of time, money, and effort if you're not.

Ok, withdrawing before grades came out probably makes you ok to reapply as a 1L.

Scoring your best on the LSAT is more than "makes a lot of sense" - it's the only way to proceed. I wouldn't put too much stock in an adcomm giving you the green light to apply. They're going to fill their class as they see fit, regardless of what you plan on doing.

3.3x/150 flat doesn't make you competitive for UVa/Penn even as a URM. you need to do better on the LSAT - by a lot. that should be your focus.
Also, would my Master's GPA of 3.85 be completely disregarded? Thanks again.

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Nony
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Re: Applying to UVA & Penn Law

Post by Nony » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:31 pm

The MA won’t be entirely disregarded, but 1) grad degrees don’t count for law school rankings and 2) in many grad programs, As are the norm. That you did the MA will be more meaningful than the grades specifically.

tamoki
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Re: Applying to UVA & Penn Law

Post by tamoki » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:10 pm

Thank you! Super helpful :)

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64Fl
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Re: Applying to UVA & Penn Law

Post by 64Fl » Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:40 am

Super late to the part, but if you don't get in/matriculate after this cycle I'd look at Northwestern too. There is a 4 year JD-LLM in International Human Rights program, and there is also a program where you can get a JD+French law degree in three years.

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