Should I apply ED?

General admissions strategy questions, what are my chances, discussion of specific application materials like financial aid and scholarships.
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Sasroll736
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Should I apply ED?

Post by Sasroll736 » Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:56 pm

Hi, LSL! I’m looking for advice on where to apply as a 3.4/170/non-URM. I would like to maximize my clerkship opportunities and am interested in biglaw. I’ve fooled around with myLSN, but there is not much data for ED applicants. Do you guys think I should consider an ED? Otherwise, where should I look to apply?

Thanks!

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HelloYesThisIsDog
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Re: Should I apply ED?

Post by HelloYesThisIsDog » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:20 pm

No. ED is rarely a good idea and doesn't allow you to shop around for scholarships. Since you're a splitter, you'll want as many options as you can get.

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Stranger
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Re: Should I apply ED?

Post by Stranger » Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:24 pm

Are you independently wealthy? Going to school on GI Bill funding? Convinced a marginal 5-10% better chance is worth 6 figures of extra debt? If so, sure apply ED. If not, maybe take a shot at Northwestern's ED, but skip any that don't have fat scholarships attached.

If not, apply to the T19, though probably skip HYS, and maybe skip CCN if you can't get fee waivers. Vanderbilt and UT could be very good targets for getting a reasonable shot at biglaw and especially clerkships while minimizing debt. Maybe sprinkle in some additional T1 schools from your home region if there are any.

Sasroll736
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Re: Should I apply ED?

Post by Sasroll736 » Mon Sep 02, 2019 3:50 pm

Stranger wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 9:24 pm
Are you independently wealthy? Going to school on GI Bill funding? Convinced a marginal 5-10% better chance is worth 6 figures of extra debt? If so, sure apply ED. If not, maybe take a shot at Northwestern's ED, but skip any that don't have fat scholarships attached.

If not, apply to the T19, though probably skip HYS, and maybe skip CCN if you can't get fee waivers. Vanderbilt and UT could be very good targets for getting a reasonable shot at biglaw and especially clerkships while minimizing debt. Maybe sprinkle in some additional T1 schools from your home region if there are any.
Thanks! I'm a KJD from a large state school, so Northwestern ED is probably off the table. I'll have to research Vanderbilt and UT.

Maybe this is the wrong thread, but what do you think of my chances in the T14? I've heard that the last couple cycles were tough. I ask because if I won't get money or admission from RD in the T14, I thought it might be better to ED somewhere to minimize my chances of being out of the T14 altogether.

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Stranger
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Re: Should I apply ED?

Post by Stranger » Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:21 pm

First of all, scrap t14. The t13 are a thing, but Vandy is better than GULC on the employment end of things. Would you rather have a decent scholarship at a school with placement comparable to GULC, or $300K of debt for an extra 10-15% chance? You may hear folks say "top 20" but there's no consensus on what the 20th law school is (and Minnesota isn't at all comparable to USC/Vandy/WashU/etc.), which is why I talk about t19. Any of those schools, you're looking at around a 40%+ shot at biglaw or a federal clerkship. Vandy and Georgetown are routinely half to 2/3, the traditional t13 are 2/3 and up, though it's rare to see any other than Columbia or Chicago crack 80%.

ED might improve your chances at a school, but getting it with your numbers guarantees sticker debt. Don't do that to yourself.

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icechicken
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Re: Should I apply ED?

Post by icechicken » Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:19 pm

If you're concerned about getting into a T14, then either getting some post-grad work experience or retaking the LSAT would make a much bigger difference than applying ED. The former could also help with the job search later, depending on what you do.

The evidence for ED improving admission chances is pretty thin and hard to disentangle from other factors (e.g., people apply ED apply earlier in the cycle almost by definition, which probably improves their chances as a group, but you don't need to apply ED to apply early). As others have said, it's simply not worth the opportunity cost unless you can handwave the cost of tuition somehow (rich uncle, GI Bill, guaranteed scholarship).


Let's try some napkin math. With the 170 you've got a realistic shot at Penn, UVA, Michigan, Berkeley, Duke, Northwestern and Georgetown. Suppose you have a 25% chance at getting admitted to each of those seven and a 10% chance of getting a substantial scholarship. Let's also assume that each event is independent, which isn't quite true because of scholarship negotiations - another reason ED is a bad idea.

In other words, you have about a 86% chance at getting in somewhere and a 52% chance of getting money somewhere if you apply RD.

Now lets suppose that applying ED raises your chances of admission to 30% at a given school (this is probably too high). But you're basically guaranteed to pay full price if you get in there. Now the numbers are 88% and 32%. Play around in an Excel spreadsheet if you like, but even with the most generous assumptions you're paying thousands of dollars for every percentage point of admission-chance you buy.

Sasroll736
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Re: Should I apply ED?

Post by Sasroll736 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:44 pm

Thank you all for the advice! Very helpful.

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inthetrenches21
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Re: Should I apply ED?

Post by inthetrenches21 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:06 pm

People here are all saying that ED automatically assumes sticker debt, though I've heard differently from other people who've ED'd to t13s who have substantial financial need based on their CSS profile. Schools supposedly are willing to provide some aid, albeit not much-something along the lines of 60-80k total across 3 years of study for people with the most need. So if sticker is $290k, and you get $75k, that's $215k total, and this is assuming you don't get an SA over 2L summer which can knock out a solid $20k outright.

I don't want to sound overly optimistic about this, as ED is wrong for a lot of other reasons, but I don't think the financial burden is as bad as people make it out to be. If you're determined to apply ED, consider Berkeley for their guaranteed ED scholarship. Your GPA already puts you under the 25th for every T13 school, may as go as far as your LSAT will take you.

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