Older 0L, ready to take plunge, have questions.

General admissions strategy questions, what are my chances, discussion of specific application materials like financial aid and scholarships.
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chewie
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Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:44 pm

Older 0L, ready to take plunge, have questions.

Post by chewie » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:09 pm

Hey guys, thanks for having me! I have some questions, hope some of you can help, all opinions welcome.

Let's get my age out of the way, I'm 46/m, URM, and will have my UG from UCLA with a 3.8 this winter. I've spent the last 15 years in the entertainment business in LA, made a nice nest egg, own a home, have savings, but still pursuing my dream of becoming an attorney, thus my slow progress through school while I work. I'll probably end up in Ent. Law considering all my established connects in town. Not averse to debt, OK with that, even at my age. Will probably hang a shingle considering my age. Been back and forth with it for years. It's going to happen, but I need help with my timing of things, or rather, the logistics of planning. Hope you can help.

I know PT's don't hold a lot of weight, but consistently hitting 160 now. Aiming for 165+ by game day. This is my timetable, let me know if it's on point, or needs adjustments:

May 2020 Request recommendation letters
May 2020 Begin study for Sept LSAT
June 2020 Review CAS needs
July 2020 Finish personal statement and resume
July 2020 Have all UG transcripts sent to LSDAS.
Sept. 2020 Take LSAT
October 2020 Send out applications after LSAT score received
November 2020 All applications should be sent out by now.
December 2020 Retake LSAT if need to.

Targets are LMU, UCI, Pepperdine (let me know if these are bad choices).

Timetable look right to you guys? I know I should have done all of this last cycle, but work got in the way. Once I graduate in March, I leave the entertainment biz to focus solely on LS.

Thoughts?

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Stranger
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Re: Older 0L, ready to take plunge, have questions.

Post by Stranger » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:32 pm

If you intend to hang a shingle, I would seriously be trying to minimize debt. Fortunately, a 3.8 will help with that. If you can bump that LSAT up past your 165 target, that will help even more. An early application could also help, so I might aim for taking the LSAT in the summer to get your apps in when they open. It would also give you time for a retake if the first test comes in below expectations.

With your background and goals, I would also target USC and UCLA. Even if they don't give you enough money to justify attending, you could still use acceptance there a leverage at UCI.

chewie
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Re: Older 0L, ready to take plunge, have questions.

Post by chewie » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:36 pm

Stranger wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:32 pm
If you intend to hang a shingle, I would seriously be trying to minimize debt. Fortunately, a 3.8 will help with that. If you can bump that LSAT up past your 165 target, that will help even more. An early application could also help, so I might aim for taking the LSAT in the summer to get your apps in when they open. It would also give you time for a retake if the first test comes in below expectations.

With your background and goals, I would also target USC and UCLA. Even if they don't give you enough money to justify attending, you could still use acceptance there a leverage at UCI.
Excellent thoughts, Stranger, thanks so much! So, when you say take in Summer I'm a little confused. I thought there were only a few tests per year? it's been a couple years since I checked. So there's a summer one I should take, before I take in September? That's a great idea. So I should start studying well before the summer one, right? When would you recommend I start to study for it? Is it in June or July? Thanks again!

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Stranger
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Re: Older 0L, ready to take plunge, have questions.

Post by Stranger » Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:40 pm

https://www.lsac.org/lsat/lsat-dates-de ... ease-dates

There are now six dates, with one in July. Starting to study after you graduate (you said that's in March, right?), with maybe a week or two off to recover from school, would be ideal if you can study full time.

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Rowdy
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Re: Older 0L, ready to take plunge, have questions.

Post by Rowdy » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:14 pm

Do you know your LSAC GPA? That 3.8 might not be a 3.8 in the eyes of law schools if you have an old undergrad record from years ago hanging out that is worse--LSAC counts all grades from all colleges that show up on your transcript, even if they aren't calculated into your degree GPA. If I were you I would start sending in transcripts to LSAC sooner rather than later so you know where you stand. If your LSAC GPA is worse than 3.8 that isn't deadly of course--Stranger and I can both attest to that.

Stranger is right that the higher the LSAT you get the better from a debt minimization standpoint. A point or two could matter a lot--a 161 puts you at 25th percentile for UCI, but a 165 puts you at 75th percentile. The jump form 165 to 168 to 169 makes the 25th-50th-75th jump at UCLA. This makes a huge difference in your chances for admission, of course, but it makes an even bigger difference in the scholarship money you're likely to be offered. I am a big dumb LSAT nerd and I would say you should start sitting for the test sooner rather than later, and keep taking it until you get a score that puts you in a really good position.

I can't comment directly on the "hang out your shingle" plan other than to say--law school doesn't teach you anything about how to be a lawyer, and that sounds like a really difficult path to me (a law student). Might as well make it easier on yourself by getting a sick scholarship and going to law school for cheap or free.

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HelloYesThisIsDog
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Re: Older 0L, ready to take plunge, have questions.

Post by HelloYesThisIsDog » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:34 am

I think hanging out your shingle isn't terrible but you have to be aware you won't make much starting out and possibly for years. The folks I know who did it maybe netted $60k after paying overhead and other costs.

Debt minimization should be your highest priority if that is your plan. I know you're not debt averse but you probably don't want to be scrounging to pay your mortgage.

chewie
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Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:44 pm

Re: Older 0L, ready to take plunge, have questions.

Post by chewie » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:18 am

Rowdy, yeah, going to send LSAC my transcripts soon, thanks for that tip. I did calculate it once and it indeed dropped a point or two, from 3.8 to 3.6 using the LSAC criteria. But will send in soon to verify.

HelloDog, Yeah, debt minimization is certainly my priority, so studying the LSAT is my primary focus from now through Feb take and July take. I'm not adverse to debt, but certainly don't need it! As for shingle, I'm open to working for a firm if I have too, it's just not my first choice. I've really built a strong list of colleagues in the entertainment business and would have a couple dozen clients out of the gate with my own practice, so that's my goal for now. Always open for change, we'll see.

New timeline based on everyone's tips...

Taking on 7Sage soon, so I have a full 10 months to study for July 2020 test, however will also sign up for the Feb. 2020 test since it's a freeby before the three 2020 takes (hope I understood that correctly).

Feb. 2020 Take LSAT (as PT, at place I will take in July)
March 2020 Graduating with 3.8gpa (UG @ UCLA)
March 2020 Request recommendation letters
April 2020 All transcripts to LSDAS (but will start this early)
May/June 2020 Review CAS needs, already registered
June/July 2020 Finish personal, and diversity essays and resume
July 2020 Take LSAT
Sept. 2020 Re-take LSAT (if needed)
October 2020 Apply to schools
December 2020 Re-take LSAT (if needed)

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Hennessy
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Re: Older 0L, ready to take plunge, have questions.

Post by Hennessy » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:40 pm

Have you taken any PT's yet?

chewie
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Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:44 pm

Re: Older 0L, ready to take plunge, have questions.

Post by chewie » Thu Aug 29, 2019 10:19 am

Hennessy wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:40 pm
Have you taken any PT's yet?
Yeah, I did a few before studying and hit 155-160. I start studying next week, so hoping for a solid increase.

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