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3.4/161/ LGBT-URM Chances at Duke Law

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 10:03 pm
by jefe11
Thanks in advance for taking the time to look this over and I'd appreciate any feedback people could offer.

UG: Arizona State studied finance and was in the honors college (3.4 GPA and graduated 2 years ago) and will be attending the Duke MMS program (Masters in Management) next summer

Work Experience: 3 investment banking internships in Debt Capital Markets during UG (Small Boutique firm, Middle Market bank, and Bulge Bracket Bank), 1 Sales and Trading internship on the Rates Derivatives desk at Bulge Bracket Bank, 10 months of Tech Sales at F500 company (laid off due to pandemic), and am currently interning at a Hedge Fund investing in specialized debt instruments with about $500 million AUM (will have 11 months of experience there when I start at Duke)

EC's: Former Athlete, UG Thesis with F-100 tech company, and founded a nonprofit in a developing country (doing mid-six figures a year in revenue and could potentially do seven figures if scaled correctly over the next few years)

LOR's: Portfolio Manager at the fund I'm working at and B-School professor (will either be from ASU or Fuqua)

LSAT: 161 (took it cold)

Given that I'll be a Duke student and will have grades from Duke by the time I apply what are my chances of getting into Duke law? I'm aiming for a 3.6 or 3.7 GPA out of the program. Would that GPA be looked upon more favorably than my UG GPA since it's both more recent and from Duke?

Do I stand a better chance at other similar but lower-ranked programs (UCLA, UT-Austin, USC, Vanderbilt, etc.)?

My goal out of a law program is to work in Big Law on debt transactions specifically, which I believe my banking and hedge fund experience have given me a strong background in.

Re: 3.4/161/ LGBT-URM Chances at Duke Law

Posted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 11:06 pm
by Slytherpuff
Your numbers are unfortunately a bit low even with your URM status and with an interesting resume - I would recommend taking some time to study for an LSAT retake. No matter how great your MMS GPA ends up being, law school will really only factor in the 3.4 undergrad GPA. They can look favorably upon a higher grad school GPA in the abstract, but they only need to report your undergrad GPA so that is ultimately the number they'll consider. Since you can't change your undergrad GPA at this point, you need to get your LSAT score up higher to make yourself more competitive. If you got a 161 taking it cold, I am fairly confident that you will score above a 170 if you devote the time to studying for it. A 170+ drastically improves your chances at Duke and elsewhere (schools in the top ~13 would give you the best shot at getting big law if that's your goal).

Play around with this calculator a bit to see what I mean. https://mylsn.info/g6d3fv/ Increasing your LSAT score will dramatically up your odds at getting into a school that will get you a big law job.

Re: 3.4/161/ LGBT-URM Chances at Duke Law

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:11 am
by Story
Yes. Please study and retake. Unfortunately, law school is a numbers game and your really interesting experience won’t matter too much. Get that lsat up!

Re: 3.4/161/ LGBT-URM Chances at Duke Law

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:05 pm
by jefe11
I appreciate you both getting back to me and for offering your perspective.

Re: 3.4/161/ LGBT-URM Chances at Duke Law

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:36 pm
by waldorf
I echo what others have said. The fact that you took the LSAT cold is further evidence that you should retake. A 161 is a pretty good score if you didn’t study. You could probably get to at least a 165 with just a few weeks of study, and you could almost certainly get a 170 if you’re willing to put a few months of work in.

Re: 3.4/161/ LGBT-URM Chances at Duke Law

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 2:33 pm
by ymmv
waldorf wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:36 pm
I echo what others have said. The fact that you took the LSAT cold is further evidence that you should retake. A 161 is a pretty good score if you didn’t study. You could probably get to at least a 165 with just a few weeks of study, and you could almost certainly get a 170 if you’re willing to put a few months of work in.

Re: 3.4/161/ LGBT-URM Chances at Duke Law

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 5:45 pm
by Stranger
ymmv wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 2:33 pm
waldorf wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:36 pm
I echo what others have said. The fact that you took the LSAT cold is further evidence that you should retake. A 161 is a pretty good score if you didn’t study. You could probably get to at least a 165 with just a few weeks of study, and you could almost certainly get a 170 if you’re willing to put a few months of work in.
No one should settle for their cold diagnostic unless it's in the 175+ range. You should be able able to make a significant improvement on that cold score, and that will significantly improve your chances of getting into Duke (or an equivalent school) with $$.