2.98 GPA, 155, STEM B.S. and Ivy League grad

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grad_student
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2.98 GPA, 155, STEM B.S. and Ivy League grad

Post by grad_student » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:22 pm

MPH in Health Policy at an Ivy league school now (I only mention that because I got in despite my low undergrad GPA) with a solid GPA (3.44 and going up this semester). Low GPA in undergrad b/c of academic prob 1st semester and having a STEM major. Completed STEM major along with 2 minors, 100 more credits than those required and 5 publications in respectable scientific journals. 4 very strong LORs
Looking mainly at BU, BC, GWU, Suffolk, NE, and perhaps Gtown (although i dont know if I should apply to Gtown at all). Main interest is in health law
Last edited by grad_student on Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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pancakes3
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Re: 2.98 GPA, 155, STEM B.S. and Ivy League grad

Post by pancakes3 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 1:32 pm

retake the LSAT until you hit 172.

grad_student
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Re: 2.98 GPA, 155, STEM B.S. and Ivy League grad

Post by grad_student » Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:03 pm

Definitely a great idea if I had time but next opportunity I can take it is Jan if I want to make this cycle. I am trying to study for Jan test but will grad school + research + thesis, time is somewhat limited. Any other suggestions/ chance predictions?

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pancakes3
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Re: 2.98 GPA, 155, STEM B.S. and Ivy League grad

Post by pancakes3 » Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:14 pm

don't be in a rush to apply this cycle.

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UVA2B
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Re: 2.98 GPA, 155, STEM B.S. and Ivy League grad

Post by UVA2B » Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:17 pm

pancakes3 wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:14 pm
don't be in a rush to apply this cycle.
This. You get one start to this profession in almost all cases, and where you start can lay the very groundwork for what your career becomes, so you really don’t want to screw that up.

When you say health law, what exactly does that mean to you?

Edit: since you want a prediction, you have a shot to pay a lot for Suffolk or NE, but that doesn’t make them a good option.

grad_student
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Re: 2.98 GPA, 155, STEM B.S. and Ivy League grad

Post by grad_student » Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:51 pm

By pay a lot do you mean in terms of tuition? Likewise, what do you mean by them not being a good option? Do you mean in terms of employment? education? both?

The only thing I keep thinking about is age...if I start law school next fall I'll graduate at the age of 29 which is the first time I'll really start my career and I don't want to wait forever to do that. My alternate option, of course, is to work for a year, re-take the LSAT and then reapply (if I apply this cycle too). If I dont do well then I've taken a year off my life. If I do better, I'll still be a splitter. What are the negatives in re-applying vs. waiting a year to apply?

Health law is pretty diverse and I know that entering law school, I'll discover more opportunities so, for now I'm keeping an open mind. I know I've always wanted to be involved in the healthcare field so my undergrad and grad degree fit with my narrative and plans to go to law school.

Thanks for the advice btw! :)

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UVA2B
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Re: 2.98 GPA, 155, STEM B.S. and Ivy League grad

Post by UVA2B » Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:10 pm

Suffolk and Northeastern both cost ~$250k non-discounted, meaning with full tuition and cost of attendance. Since you're below both medians for Northeastern and below Suffolk's GPA median while right above their 75th % LSAT, you're likely looking at close to full price. Compare/contrast that with the 1/3-1/2 of graduates who don't even find jobs as attorneys, and that should scare the crap out of you. Every other school on your list is a non-starter.

And respectfully, your age shouldn't be playing a factor here, because although you feel some push to get out into the real world, you're really not old by law school standards. In fact, you're probably somewhere in the 60th percentile age-wise if you graduate at 28-30 (I'm really making this number up based on anecdotal evidence, but the median age of graduates is generally in the 26-27 range, so you're right in the target range). This is coming from someone who is definitely in the top 10% of oldest law school graduates.

You shouldn't look at a year of studying fastidiously for the LSAT as a year off your life. It would be a year spent earning money saved by way of scholarships, and thereby future money saved in terms of tuition and loan payments. You'll never have a good GPA, but if you push yourself for a good LSAT, you can minimize the cost of law school while maximizing the opportunities to start your career off right. That is the part you should really take seriously. Law school is expensive for most people, and it might still be expensive for you. All you can do before you start is make yourself the most desirable candidate possible, which means changing the one thing that you can still affect...Your LSAT score.

Finally, considering you haven't really defined what you're imagining in a "health law" career, it becomes even more important that you try to minimize cost while maximizing opportunities. Maybe health law for you will actually mean regulatory work with the federal government, or maybe it'll mean non-profit work for disability and patient rights advocates, or maybe it'll mean someone representing hospitals and major health networks/companies in MDLs. Regardless, you'll want as much ammunition for someone considering hiring you as you can find, and not waiting a year because you're worried about graduating at 29 would be extremely short-sighted when juxtaposed against not having a shot at the actual job you want. The difference between graduating from, say, GULC or GW on a scholarship in four years (which isn't realistic now) and graduating from Suffolk in three years (which might be realistic now) could be literally life-changing. And that's not even commenting on whether your list of schools makes any sense.

You still have the time to approach this decision to maximize opportunities while minimizing cost, but you're not there yet. Keep working until you get there, which means studying for and improving on the LSAT.

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Re: 2.98 GPA, 155, STEM B.S. and Ivy League grad

Post by Stranger » Sat Nov 24, 2018 6:01 pm

grad_student wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:51 pm
By pay a lot do you mean in terms of tuition? Likewise, what do you mean by them not being a good option? Do you mean in terms of employment? education? both?

The only thing I keep thinking about is age...if I start law school next fall I'll graduate at the age of 29 which is the first time I'll really start my career and I don't want to wait forever to do that. My alternate option, of course, is to work for a year, re-take the LSAT and then reapply (if I apply this cycle too). If I dont do well then I've taken a year off my life. If I do better, I'll still be a splitter. What are the negatives in re-applying vs. waiting a year to apply?

Health law is pretty diverse and I know that entering law school, I'll discover more opportunities so, for now I'm keeping an open mind. I know I've always wanted to be involved in the healthcare field so my undergrad and grad degree fit with my narrative and plans to go to law school.

Thanks for the advice btw! :)
I'm a 35 year old 1L with an even lower undergrad GPA than yours. You are not going to be too old if you go get some work experience and get the LSAT those schools are looking for. You can pay through the nose now for poor opportunities out of Suffolk or its peers, or you can retake for a 170+ and pay through the nose for much better opportunities out of GULC, GW, BC, or BU. There are also schools that take low GPA high LSAT candidates with $$$, and I'd be happy to go over some of those with you, but you'll need a higher LSAT before that's a realistic plan.

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Re: 2.98 GPA, 155, STEM B.S. and Ivy League grad

Post by somelawperson » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:04 pm

grad_student wrote:
Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:22 pm
MPH in Health Policy at an Ivy league school now (I only mention that because I got in despite my low undergrad GPA) with a solid GPA (3.44 and going up this semester). Low GPA in undergrad b/c of academic prob 1st semester and having a STEM major. Completed STEM major along with 2 minors, 100 more credits than those required and 5 publications in respectable scientific journals. 4 very strong LORs
Looking mainly at BU, BC, GWU, Suffolk, NE, and perhaps Gtown (although i dont know if I should apply to Gtown at all).
Totally lost and feeling very hopeless. Main interest is in health law
I had a moderately worse GPA than yours but an LSAT 20ish points higher and I got rejected from BU and BC FWIW
I did get into Georgetown though and some other T14 and got some $$$ offers at some regional and local schools. When your GPA is that low the only thing that can get you in is the LSAT. Work experience, graduate degrees, and a charming personality only help if you have a killer LSAT. Retake the LSAT.

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CS1775
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Re: 2.98 GPA, 155, STEM B.S. and Ivy League grad

Post by CS1775 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:19 pm

With a 2.98 and a 155, as others have said, you'd be paying full tuition rates (no scholarship) at Suffolk, Northeastern, New England SOL, or comparable schools in other regions. Higher ranked schools are not really viable options.

You absolutely do not want to pay full tuition at say Suffolk. Your LSAT is just above last year's 75th Percentile for Suffolk, but your GPA is below the 25th Percentile, therefore I don't foresee them offering you a scholarship. The problem with law schools of this rank is that they don't put students in positions to pay off the mountains of debt incurred by paying full tuition. Suffolk et al makes sense if you have a big scholarship, you can live cheap with say family, and you want to be a prosecutor or a public defender. Suffolk is not going to place you in a good position for BigLaw based on its curve of about 3.00. Most firms are going to want a minimum law school GPA of 3.30 to be considered for 2L OCI.

Also, like you said, "health law" is a big topic. When I think of someone working as a lawyer in healthcare, I picture a hospital's in-house counsel. Do you know what kind of salary you should expect in healthcare as a lawyer? Keep in mind, the typical Suffolk grad who becomes a prosecutor or a PD is looking at a salary of $45k to $60k and has to fight other Boston and New England area grads for jobs, who have similar grades.

Going to one of these law schools at full tuition is not in a student's best interest. All it does is help pay the law school's bills at your expense.

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