3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

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TheProducerMan
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3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by TheProducerMan » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:27 pm

Hello all,

First-time poster. I've read a number of forums about soft factors, but have never inquired about my own. I do not ask this question for self-congratulatory reasons but because I have never seen a similar post or have heard of a similar student.

I am a 2x Tony-Award nominated theater producer who wants to pursue entertainment law. I started in the industry as a child film actor, touring as a drummer and actor, and then transitioned into producing shows in New York under my own production company. (Though, since I am the only employee, "company" is a bit strong). I have run a regional theater, and have net tickets sales of 1mm across New York, Las Vegas, Japan, the U.K., Mexico, and Germany.

I was late going to college due to work. I am now a senior at HYPS, with a 3.85 GPA in history. I have continued my business concurrent with classes, living in New York and commuting in 3x a week for seminars. I studied for the LSAT, but it was quite a struggle with work and I would prefer not to do it again if at all possible.

Most theatrical lawyers that I know attended Harvard or Yale Law School. I am not necessarily interested in "entertainment law" programs as I have not really seen their graduates active in entertainment law circles in New York, which is concerning given my career path. I am below both medians at Harvard and am solidly below both medians at Yale. In your opinion, do I have a chance at Yale or Harvard with my "soft" factors? Are these softs that they might be interested in? Finally, I really don't know if these are unique softs. In the theater business, we like to all think that we are unique. It is possible that these are not considered special stats for law school. Are there other schools that might work better?

It is also possible that a similar discussion has been had somewhere else on the internet. If you know of where one might be, please let me know!

Thanks for all of your help. I appreciate your time!

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UVA2B
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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by UVA2B » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:42 pm

I think Harvard is definitely possible, considering law schools love touting their more "interesting" students. Yale, as always, is more of a blackbox, but not impossible. A retake would obviously help for both, but as it stands, it's possible.

To the grander point: are you committed to only attending those two schools? I'm sure most you have come across seemed to come from Harvard or Yale, but I would expect, with your background and familiarity with the industry, a T6 or even T13 could get you where you want to go. I would consider applying more broadly than Harvard and Yale, because you could have some really strong options at significantly lower price points than you'd have at Harvard or Yale. At least make sure you have all options on the table before you make any decisions.

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Platopus
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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by Platopus » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:46 pm

Yes, you have a good shot at Yale and Harvard, just about as good as anyone could hope. These are exactly the kind of softs that Yale and Harvard love. In your case, the slightly below median numbers aren't a huge concern, since you're definitely still within range. Of course, a higher LSAT will always help, but I genuinely don't think it is necessary in your case.

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pneumonia
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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by pneumonia » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:55 pm

I think you'll be accepted wherever you apply. Your softs are unique, and your numbers are good enough. A lot of people with the "unique softs" angle also have bad numbers (there's a multi-gold Olympian at my local TTT). You, on the other hand, are just barely below median. Yours is exactly the kind of situation where softs can help, and your softs are great. So I don't think you need to retake the LSAT.

I agree that you should also consider NYU and Columbia, and maybe NYU in particular. It seems like you need to maintain some presence in NY for business reasons, so there's no reason for you to go to Chicago. With your connections to the industry/city, I'm not sure H/Y are worth another three years of being split between two cities.

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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by TheProducerMan » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:19 pm

Hi all,

Thank you for your prompt and thoughtful replies!

I am certainly interested in Columbia and NYU, I just do not know as many lawyers from those schools in my practice areas. While it may be possible to continue to do such work, it makes me a little bit nervous. But those are great institutions and I would be lucky to attend!! :) I'm grateful to hear about the Olympian at the TTT, I thought that sometimes softs were looked at in a bad light (loose focus or random, instead of helpful). I'm writing my personal statement about some work I did investigate Death Row cases for a Broadway show--does that sound like an appropriate topic? Sorry for asking so many questions.

I'm just curious (and sorry for what I am sure are ignorant questions), why is T13 not T14?

I would also be interested in knowing your perspectives on how softs influence scholarships. I know Cornell uses softs for the Hughes scholarship, but I don't know beyond that. I seem to be too low for the Hamilton (though it would be a DREAM to get that). The Yale Career Office mentioned Chicago and the Rubenstein Scholarship, but I do not really have a use for living in Chicago and suspect that my numbers are far lower. And I would not want to enter into a competition at the expense of others for no reason.

Thanks so much.

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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by RichardMilhousNixon » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:37 pm

TheProducerMan wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:19 pm
Hi all,

Thank you for your prompt and thoughtful replies!

I am certainly interested in Columbia and NYU, I just do not know as many lawyers from those schools in my practice areas. While it may be possible to continue to do such work, it makes me a little bit nervous. But those are great institutions and I would be lucky to attend!! :) I'm grateful to hear about the Olympian at the TTT, I thought that sometimes softs were looked at in a bad light (loose focus or random, instead of helpful). I'm writing my personal statement about some work I did investigate Death Row cases for a Broadway show--does that sound like an appropriate topic? Sorry for asking so many questions.

I'm just curious (and sorry for what I am sure are ignorant questions), why is T13 not T14?

I would also be interested in knowing your perspectives on how softs influence scholarships. I know Cornell uses softs for the Hughes scholarship, but I don't know beyond that. I seem to be too low for the Hamilton (though it would be a DREAM to get that). The Yale Career Office mentioned Chicago and the Rubenstein Scholarship, but I do not really have a use for living in Chicago and suspect that my numbers are far lower. And I would not want to enter into a competition at the expense of others for no reason.

Thanks so much.
Can't speak to entertainment law, but prevailing wisdom is that anything that's possible from H is also possible from CCN. Definitely apply and consider them. That sounds like a great topic, IMO.

A year or so ago GULC slipped from #14 to #15, hence t13. They're back to #14 now tho.

Softs will help for scholarships, and may help you be considered for one when your numbers are lower than the typical recipient. Many - hammies, rubies, vanderbilt, etc - don't require a separate application. You're considered for them automatically.

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Stranger
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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by Stranger » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:41 pm

It's T13 these days because Georgetown is a clear step down from Cornell, Northwestern, Duke, etc. They are still a great school, but their peers these days are more realistically Vanderbilt, UCLA, Texas, etc.

As for Chicago and the Ruby, it is numerically the best outcome in law school admissions. It's a full tuition scholarship, plus cost of living stipend, with mentorship to help you reach your specific goals in law. If you are offered a Ruby, take it. Chicago is a damned fine school, and the best one to give out full rides.

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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by Platopus » Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:35 pm

TheProducerMan wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:19 pm
I would also be interested in knowing your perspectives on how softs influence scholarships.
Yale, Harvard and Stanford don't offer merit scholarships, so your softs won't help you there. In my experience, softs definitely move the needle on scholarships at CCN & down. Of course, numbers still matter to a certain degree. But, at all the schools that offer merit scholarships, you have above median-medianish numbers already, so you're in a good spot. I suspect you'd qualify for a half-tuition discount at Chicago down. Of course, you'll still need to put serious effort into crafting a quality personal statement that highlights your achievements and clearly delineates a plan for your law career.

I would also caution against sticker at HYS, simply because I don't think it's entirely necessary. My hunch, and this is purely speculation, is that the other attorneys with the HYS credentials don't have a couple of Tony nominations under their belt. I may be wrong, but I don't think Columbia or NYU would keep you from a solid career in the industry, especially if you are well established and respected in that industry already. Take a peak at https://www.lstreports.com/ and see just how much an HYS degree costs.

edit:
TheProducerMan wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:19 pm
I'm writing my personal statement about some work I did investigate Death Row cases for a Broadway show--does that sound like an appropriate topic?
Maybe, maybe not. It's hard to say without reading it. My first impression is that it makes you seem less focused on actual entertainment law related issues. Perhaps something on an actual legal issue you faced while producing a show would be more in line with the narrative you want to sell.

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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by TheProducerMan » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:50 pm

Hi all,

Thank you for your thoughts and for the kind words!

I'm fairly anxious about this process (nothing like being judged by strangers, right?!) and am grateful for all of your help.

I've done a lot of reading about Columbia over the past few days. It looks like a great school and it is certainly one of my top choices. Are there any things that I should especially think about moving forward?

I really appreciate it!

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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by Platopus » Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:11 pm

TheProducerMan wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:50 pm
Are there any things that I should especially think about moving forward?

I really appreciate it!
Moving from a very successful career in theater, you’ll want to make sure you keep a consistent narrative about the switch to a legal career in all aspects of your application. Other than that, just make sure to polish your applications, start working on securing letter of recommendations and perfecting your personal statement.

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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by UVA2B » Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:29 pm

The main thing you have to think about now, at least in my personal opinion, is cost. Law school can be almost prohibitively expensive if the negotiation process of law school admissions is mishandled.

With your stats and your background, you have the potential for free tuition educations at elite law schools, but they won't necessarily be Columbia or NYU (they might be, but I just never suggest full rides are guaranteed/likely anywhere). And since you don't fully appreciate how law school prestige fits into the legal profession, take a step back and reevaluate what law school prestige means. You have a pretty specific career path, which is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, you know exactly what you think you want to do (and you likely don't fully appreciate what that career fully entails, but that's really ok at this point in the decision). On the other hand, you have little to no idea what that career will take outside of anecdotal evidence that Yale and Harvard graduates populate that practice area in your experience. That simultaneously encourages you to (likely) pay more for Yale or Harvard while having no idea whether Columbia, NYU, Duke, or Cornell could also put you where you want to go (with your background that heavily suggests you'll understand the entertainment industry that you're coming from).

Moving forward, you should consider applying to everywhere in the T13 (or T14, I don't want to parse that distinction here because it's irrelevant for you), and you should be comparing the schools and the discounts they offer. You might be best served by going to NYU at half-priced on tuition (one realistic outcome), or you might decide that Michigan for free+ on the Darrow is best (because your credentials are strong enough for that scholarship). Don't worry about where the school is located in this tier, because all of them place well nationally and their placement is hardly predicated on where they are geographically located (there is some correlation in these schools and where they place, but not enough to let you pay extensively more for one school over another).

You have the benefit of being cost-sensitive in your analysis, and you should take that seriously. It's a huge chip in your corner, because your numbers and softs make you much closer to a buyer than a seller like most applicants mostly suffer through.

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by SmokeytheBear » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:12 pm

Also, just wanted to flag that the word 'unique' shouldn't/can't be modified.

TheProducerMan
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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by TheProducerMan » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:27 pm

SmokeytheBear wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:12 pm
Also, just wanted to flag that the word 'unique' shouldn't/can't be modified.
Hi Smokey,

Normally I refrain from snark, but this seems like an ample opportunity to use some.

Your claim is true for the first definition of unique, meaning "being the only one of its kind." But I was using unique in its capacity (and still completely valid second definition) of "extremely unusual." While I suppose that you could argue that "unusual" could be a better word choice, I used unique because its second definition implies a more selective nature than even "extremely unusual."

Merrian-Webster did a great article on this topic. I believe it is called "The Unusual Case of Unique" or something of that nature.

For those wondering, that is what you learn in three years of playwriting classes at the Yale School of Drama.
Last edited by TheProducerMan on Tue Aug 14, 2018 4:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

TheProducerMan
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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by TheProducerMan » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:28 pm

Thank you all for your help and advice. I appreciate it!

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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by SmokeytheBear » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:17 pm

TheProducerMan wrote:
Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:27 pm
SmokeytheBear wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:12 pm
Also, just wanted to flag that the word 'unique' shouldn't/can't be modified.
Hi Smokey,

Normally I refrain from snark, but this seems like an ample opportunity to use some.

Your claim is true for the first definition of unique, meaning "being the only one of its kind." But I was using unique in its capacity (and still completely valid second definition) of "extremely unusual." While I suppose that you could argue that "unusual" could be a better word choice, I used unique because its second definition implies a more selective nature than even "extremely unusual."

Merrian-Webster did a great article on this topic. I believe it is called "The Unusual Case of Unique" or something of that nature.

For those wondering, that is what you learn in three years of playwriting classes at the Yale School of Drama.
I'll bite.

The article you cite refers to the "unusual" definition as it is commonly being used currently (note their examples of people modifying it date back not more than eight years). This is similar to the now common use of the word "literally" in situations in which the speaker/author actually means "figuratively" or anything other than "literally." (Also, note at the bottom of the article they say that it is used in this sense only in informal settings and "should be used with care.") I'm glad M-W has taken the time to say how the word is being used now, but it's a bastardization of the absolute meaning of the word. M-W has had peculiar opinions on the usage of other words throughout time that were later decided a bit off; I recall during some dissertation research, they defined the "n" word as "a silly black boy."

I don't have access to it, but I was referring to the AP Style Guide, which you may have to use depending on which law school you attend and if you make it onto a law review. The AP Style Guide used to (and hopefully still does) prohibit the use of modifiers for unique.

Similarly for those wondering, this is what you learn in three years of law school at a top public school, and five years of a PhD at a different top public school.

We can take this to private messages if you want to continue.

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pneumonia
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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by pneumonia » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:26 pm

I took truly to as a synonym for "actually" rather than "very," which I think is ok under AP. I.e., "these are my softs, which unlike lots of softs that claim to be unique and aren't, are truly unique."

ETA -- regardless of your personal views, Smokey is correct that in the legal-verse "unique" is best left without a modifier. It's persnickety thing that persnickety people (among others) care about.

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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by TheProducerMan » Tue Aug 14, 2018 11:04 pm

Thanks, guys!

When I write I'm usually coming from a dramatist/new usage school of thought. So I really don't know some of the more classic conventions as well as I should. I appreciate your thoughts--always interested in learning new things.

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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by RoyalHollow » Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:57 am

Because "unique" has been so bastardized (as "literally"), one might consider the modifier "truly" to be a defense against the bastardization, and not a furtherance of it. In other words, by denoting that this is a "true" example of something "unique," the modifier "truly" is casting shade on the use of other modifiers like "extremely" or "very," which indicate something of "false" uniqueness.

On topic though: I have a friend who was a committed professional stage actor (not as successful as you, credentials-wise) who went on to T6 and then biglaw/clerkship, etc. I do not believe this friend is practicing in entertainment law though (nor had any intention of it). Their GPA and LSAT were similar to yours, but at a less prestigious undergrad. This friend may have applied at Yale, but I don't think they did. I'll ask and report back if anything interesting.

TheProducerMan
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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by TheProducerMan » Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:56 am

Thanks! I look forward to hearing back. There aren't too many theater folks in the law (much less biglaw), as far as I know, so I'm anxious to hear!

Thanks again.

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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by TheProducerMan » Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:49 pm

Hi all,

Do the new Harvard numbers change anyone's calculus here? I went from 0.01 below median to 0.05 below median.

Thanks!

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Platopus
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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by Platopus » Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:55 pm

TheProducerMan wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:49 pm
Hi all,

Do the new Harvard numbers change anyone's calculus here? I went from 0.01 below median to 0.05 below median.

Thanks!
No, it’s such a small difference that it really doesn’t matter. The GPA medians usually vary a little bit from year to year.

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Re: 3.85 HYPS, 172, Truly Unique Softs (?)

Post by Nebby » Mon Aug 27, 2018 3:21 pm

TheProducerMan wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:49 pm
Hi all,

Do the new Harvard numbers change anyone's calculus here? I went from 0.01 below median to 0.05 below median.

Thanks!
Yep. You're basically auto-ding now. Good luck

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