Baguette Applies to Law School

General admissions strategy questions, what are my chances, discussion of specific application materials like financial aid and scholarships.
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Baguette
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Baguette Applies to Law School

Post by Baguette » Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:38 pm

Hi everyone,

With my family, friends and TLS all unacceptable for various reasons, I have decided to blog about my application cycle in this thread. Hopefully it will be a useful resource to similarly-situated people down the line, but mainly I just need to put these thoughts somewhere. With that said:

Stats:

GPA: 3.30
LSAT: 180 (Took this a few years ago, which means it's only good for this upcoming cycle or else 2021-2022.)

Softs:

- not a URM
- Been working as a V20 paralegal since college, first anniversary was in May
- Undergrad is solid (e.g., has a T14 law school on campus) which I worry makes my GPA look worse alongside my classmates'
- I feel pretty good about my two professor recommenders, although only one of those recs is written yet.
- College transcript is remarkably spotty; I failed a few classes and copped an academic suspension after a family tragedy during undergrad got me depressed and all that. Spent my time off in therapy and working at Wendy's; GPA was about 3.8 across the three semesters after I came back and I've held down my current job no problem so I'm confident those issues are behind me.
- Nothing responsive to C&F except for the aforementioned suspension and two speeding tickets, 4 and 7 years ago.

Next Steps

- Plan is to apply to the entire T14 plus Vandy (I have ties to a state neighboring TN and am okay with NYC, so a big scholarship there would be a tempting outcome)
- Going to knock on doors with the attorneys I work with for recommendations, ideally some of them school-specific, over the next two months
- Need to write a PS, GPA addendum, and half a dozen Why X's by the end of August

Questions

- Would it be a bad idea to write a personal statement about [family tragedy]? Relatedly, if I write a PS about something else, should some of that background go into the addendum or should the addendum be as bare-bones as possible?
- Those of you in biglaw: how would you recommend approaching people for letters of rec? In particular I'm worried people might think I'm wasting their time with requests like "hey, I'm objectively an absurd longshot for SLS, but you say you had a great time there so wanna put in a good word?", but I do want to eke out everything I can for these apps
- Any other advice would be greatly appreciated

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Slytherpuff
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Re: Baguette Applies to Law School

Post by Slytherpuff » Fri Jun 19, 2020 1:43 pm

I'll at least answer the recommendation question for now. I don't think you need to tell the attorneys that you're a long shot. Just tell them that you're applying to X school(s). If you go to attorneys (a) you work with a lot and (b) who genuinely like you, I think you'll find that they're happy to write you a recommendation. Just give them as much lead time as possible - so I'd start asking around now and not wait until August.

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BlendedUnicorn
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Re: Baguette Applies to Law School

Post by BlendedUnicorn » Fri Jun 19, 2020 2:00 pm

yup, can't hurt to ask. I've written glowing letters for every paralegal whose ever asked me for one.

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waldorf
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Re: Baguette Applies to Law School

Post by waldorf » Fri Jun 19, 2020 2:14 pm

Whether you write your personal statement on the family tragedy probably depends in part on what it was and what you would write about. I mentioned suddenly losing my dad in my personal statement but it wasn't the only thing that I wrote about. One reason is that while losing a parent is very tragic (and in my case, it had a huge effect on me), I know that there are people who have it way worse (grew up homeless, have no parents at all, etc.) and I didn't want to come off as idk.. too privileged?

I think you could definitely mention it in your PS, and if you don't, a short addendum explaining what happened, how it affected your grades, and how you pulled yourself together and succeeded in the second half of undergrad would be appropriate. I wouldn't write a novel about it, but a paragraph or two would be appropriate.

Baguette
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Re: Baguette Applies to Law School

Post by Baguette » Sat Jun 20, 2020 5:21 pm

Thanks to all three of you for your responses - could not have gotten this perspective anywhere else. I will start reaching out on Monday!

Baguette
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Re: Baguette Applies to Law School

Post by Baguette » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:20 pm

Thanks again to those who pushed me to ask for recs! I now have my second college-prof letter on LSAC (honestly was a little shocked how quickly she wrote it) and my first colleague letter pledged for July. He offered to write me a general one and a slightly modified one for his T14 alma mater.

Going to ask a few more people this week for more targeted recs—I have an attorney I like for each of Columbia, Chicago, and Virginia. I feel icky and mercenary asking for each of them but I guess I'll have to get used to it since I'm also planning to write a lot of Why X's.

Other than the above, forcing myself not to think about apps through the 4th of July weekend. Plan is to have my PS and GPA addendum done by the end of July and then write C&F and Why X's in August. Lately I'm tempted to write my PS about Dungeons and Dragons but I also can see myself botching it so hopefully that dream subsides :P

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Slytherpuff
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Re: Baguette Applies to Law School

Post by Slytherpuff » Mon Jun 29, 2020 5:56 pm

Good luck! And feel free to post on here for help with your PS or your Why X essays too. I probably would steer clear of D&D for your personal statement but others may disagree!

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heythatslife
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Re: Baguette Applies to Law School

Post by heythatslife » Mon Jun 29, 2020 8:49 pm

If you can write about D&D in a thoughtful and non-cringey way, I don’t see why you should rule it out just because of the topic. I personally know someone who wrote about Magic: The Gathering for their college PS and did really well (as in, snagged one of HYPS).

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pancakes3
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Re: Baguette Applies to Law School

Post by pancakes3 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:17 am

i wrote my college PS on the physics definition of W = F*d*cos(theta) saying that work is a result of effort (force), sustained (distance), and oriented in the right direction (theta)

Baguette
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Re: Baguette Applies to Law School

Post by Baguette » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:58 am

I now have a targeted rec for each of HYS; the H writer also offered to write a general professional rec. I picked these people mainly because I know them the best but I also have a couple of decent candidates (people I've worked closely with who like me) who are alumni of other schools.

Would going for more help?? I've only heard of targeted recs making a big difference at SLS and I don't exactly want to exhaust my whole rolodex on these apps. But I'd do it if it made a difference lolol

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Slytherpuff
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Re: Baguette Applies to Law School

Post by Slytherpuff » Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:49 pm

What are your top two dream schools? I'd also add on a targeted rec there - it may not make a huge difference but it definitely won't hurt. And if your dream schools are HYS then your work is already done! I think your LSAT score and paralegal experience already make you a fantastic candidate for a lot of the T-14 (even if your GPA is low) so you may not need the targeted recs though.

Baguette
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Re: Baguette Applies to Law School

Post by Baguette » Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:35 pm

Slytherpuff wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:49 pm
What are your top two dream schools? I'd also add on a targeted rec there - it may not make a huge difference but it definitely won't hurt. And if your dream schools are HYS then your work is already done! I think your LSAT score and paralegal experience already make you a fantastic candidate for a lot of the T-14 (even if your GPA is low) so you may not need the targeted recs though.
Thanks for this! I think I can stand pat, then. My dream outcome would probably be my undergrad university with $ and I think I have plenty of Why X material on my own for that.

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